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FARGO — The call came in as my Saturday shift was winding down. It was almost 11 p.m., and I was the only Forum reporter on duty. The police scanner on my desk started squawking, and I heard a 911 dispatcher alert officers to a fight at the HoDo Restaurant and Lounge. Knowing the upscale bar was just a block from the newspaper's downtown building, I hustled out of the newsroom and down a couple flights of stairs.
FARGO — Doug Burgum kicked off his run for governor last year with a speech peppered with jokes, like the one about how he started a chimney sweep business in college. "I was looking for a job where I could stay in the black and move up fast," he quipped. Along with punchlines, there were also more than half a dozen moments in the 45-minute speech when the tech mogul touched on matters close to his heart, and his voice became strained with emotion or he had to pause because he was choked up.
WEST FARGO – Nobody was hurt in a blaze that destroyed a house here Thursday, June 1, West Fargo fire officials said. The fire was reported at 11:54 a.m. at 940 44th Ave. W. The first truck arrived at 12:06 p.m. and immediately confirmed that no one was in the house, West Fargo Fire Marshal Dell Sprecher said.
FARGO — After 28 years as a judge, Frank Racek knows what's wrong with the criminal justice system. He also has an idea of how to improve it. Racek and his law clerk, Matthew Dearth, have penned a five-page paper hoping to inspire a discussion among local officials about how to reform the system so it does a better job of rehabilitating people sentenced to probation in eastern North Dakota.
FARGO – A 43-year-old man suspected of aggravated assault was arrested after being involved in a Saturday night fight that left two other men unconscious outside the HoDo Restaurant and Lounge, Fargo police said. Darren Scott Patterson, of St. Paul, was being held at the Cass County Jail without bail, jail staff said. Patterson has not yet been charged.
FESSENDEN, N.D. — The former Wells County sheriff was jailed Saturday, May 27, on suspicion of committing two felonies: bribery and conspiring to deliver methamphetamine. Johnny Zip Lawson, 41, was also booked on three misdemeanors: neglect of duty by a public official, ingestion of meth and providing false information to a law enforcement officer, according to staff at the Stutsman County Jail in Jamestown.
FARGO — The Catholic Diocese of Fargo has placed a priest on paid administrative leave after he told church officials about "concerns that had been brought to him regarding his interaction with youth," Bishop John Folda said in a statement Saturday, May 27. Father Thomas Feltman, pastor of St. John the Baptist's Catholic Church in Wyndmere, N.D., and St. Arnold's Catholic Church in Milnor, N.D., won't be performing any priestly duties and won't be living on diocesan property while the complaint is investigated, diocesan spokesman Paul Braun said.
RURAL BARNESVILLE, Minn. — A couple is accused of stealing roughly $80,000 worth of collectables from a home in rural Barnesville, including Nazi memorabilia and four guns. Amber Hedstrom and her boyfriend, Justin Marlen, were each charged Thursday, May 25, in Clay County District Court with nine counts of felony theft.
MOORHEAD — A former employee of Pancheros Mexican Grill is accused of secretly filming women and at least one girl in the Moorhead restaurant's bathroom. Sam Thomas Hagen, 18, of Moorhead made his first appearance in Clay County District Court on Wednesday, May 24. He faces a felony charge of interfering with the privacy of a minor, as well as four misdemeanor counts of interfering with privacy.
FARGO — The Forum's newspaper carriers will no doubt be earning their money Monday, May 15, as they lug the hefty, 58-page public notice that's tucked into every print edition. The public notice, paid for by the Cass County Joint Water Resource District, lists the roughly 44,000 properties whose owners could be on the hook for a special assessment if there's not enough local sales tax revenue to put toward the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project.