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Year in review 2011: People honored, activity abounds


A special retirement open house party was held for Sharon Schacher at the West Fargo VFW, in recognition of ending a 35-year career with the city of West Fargo first as an accounting clerk, followed by deputy auditor, interim auditor, before being named city finance director in 2005, the position she held until stepping down.

Father Jim Meyer, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, led the charge for the second annual Oktoberfest celebration.

West Fargo High School officials announced their two 2011 Hall of Fame inductees: Shannon Crawford-Taylor, class of 1981, and Polly Ames, former English teacher from 1959 to 1969.

The West Fargo School Board voted to approve teacher salary proposals for the next two years including a 2.36 percent total compensation increase for 2011-2012 and a 5.48 percent total compensation increase for 2012-2013.

Western Finance & Lease, the equipment finance lease subsidiary of Western State Bank, experienced a name change to Western Equipment Finance.

The West Fargo Fire Department observed National Fire Prevention Week based off the theme "Protect Your Family From Fire." A huge part of the activity was working with kindergarten and elementary students providing tours and making classroom visits, educating them on the basic principles of sound fire prevention and how to safely react in the event of a fire.

Jacob Fischer, a senior at West Fargo High School and the son of Steve and Kathleen Fischer, Horace, was named West Fargo Exchange Club Student of the Month for October.

In addition to her regular duties as West Fargo Public Library Assistant Director Carrie Scarr also assumed the responsibilities as the North Dakota Library Association's Archivist/Historian. In this role, she will preserve North Dakota Library Association records and is the executive board's consultant on what should be kept and for how long.

The West Fargo School Board voted to secure preliminary construction estimates to fix and improve the West Fargo High School parking lot.

Kathy Ly was selected West Fargo Community High School Student of the Month for October.

Three attorneys from the Ohnstad Twichell Law Firm were recognized by their peers as Great Plains Super Lawyers 2011 - Robert Hoy, Brian Neugebauer and Robert Rosenvold.

Goldie Houkom, West Fargo, passed away at the age of 102. Goldie had a rich and colorful life filled with hard work and lots of love for family and friends. She enjoyed drawing, painting and needlework, and was known for her cooking, especially her bread baking abilities.


A new F-M Ambulance location opened in West Fargo at 1111 Queens Way, right off 19th Avenue South. The facility is comprised mostly of garage space used to house on duty ambulances for the West Fargo area.

Eleni Wilson, a 17-year-old senior at West Fargo High School, suffered a brain aneurism while rehearsing her role for the high school's production of "Cinderella." She passed away Oct. 26, donating several of her organs to others.

The North Dakota School Board Association presented West Fargo School Board member Karen Nitzkorski with their Veteran Board Member Award with Distinction. Nitzkorski has been a board member for 10 years, serving one year as president.

Kayla Weston was named West Fargo Community High School Student of the Month for November.

Allison Barta, a senior at West Fargo High School and the daughter of Wendy Barta and Chris and Hope Barta, was recognized as the West Fargo Exchange Club Student of the Month for November.

The West Fargo Park District held an open house to introduce the public to the newly completed improvements at the Veterans Memorial Area, which included a new 1/8 mile walking track, bleachers, lighting and a fitness room.

Eastwood Elementary students took great delight in shaving the head of teacher James Moe after raising the most money during a fundraiser for the United Way. Overall, the school raised $2,551.29 for the cause.

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church parishioners and volunteers prepared for 700 meals to be served during their annual Thanksgiving meal and fellowship event that saw additional food going to Churches United For the Homeless that same evening. The Fargo Salvation Army kicked off its annual five-week Red Kettle Campaign with a. lofty goal of $810,000.

Kevin Skoog was recognized by the West Fargo Exchange Club as Exchangite of the Year for his efforts with the service oriented club.

North Dakota Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley was the keynote speaker at the West Fargo Exchange Club's One Nation Under God Luncheon.

West Fargo Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Flowers received high marks and glowing praise from school board members during his annual review. Flowers joined the district in April of 2010.

West Fargo Assistant Chief of Police Mike Reitan was honored by the West Fargo Exchange Club with their annual Book of Golden Deeds Award presented to an individual or entity that does outstanding work within the community.

Master Sgt. Alan K. Peterson, the last Vietnam veteran serving in the North Dakota National Guard during the past 30-some years, was honored at a retirement ceremony at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center.

Longtime West Fargo resident and businessman William Montgomery, passed away at the age of 83.


Former West Fargo resident and historian Mary Hoganson celebrated her 100th birthday with her family in Hazen where she moved in 2010 to live with her daughter and son-in-law.

District 13 Rep. Kim Koppelman announced his campaign as a candidate for the United States Congress.

Members of the Red River Valley Fair Association received numerous awards at the International Association of Fairs and Expositions Conference held in Las Vegas.

The city voted unanimously to support an old downtown revitalization plan that will not only give Sheyenne Street and Main Avenue a whole new look during the course of the next decade, but also spark interest in new business location along both thoroughfares, in turn increasing the tax base and reinvigorating the life of the whole area and community in general. The first part of implementing the plan focuses on establishing a partnering public-private sector task force to lead the charge with other details to follow in incremental short, mid and long term phases.

The West Fargo Shakers promoted their annual New Year's bash with the goal of raising a sizeable donation which this year is designated to the local Big Brother Big Sister Program. The event took place at the Speedway Event Center Dec. 31.