Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and and at CBS Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
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The West Fargo School Board agreed to buy a piece of land near Main Avenue where a transportation facility will be built. The board is buying a total of 8 acres in the Sandhills Addition, which is northwest of Main Avenue. The district will pay for 5.5 acres for $87,120 per acre but it will receive 3.5 acres at no cost.
WEST FARGO—After her two daughters went away to college, Tammy Baumgartner made sure to call or text them every night and say, "I love you." She didn't reach out the night of Sunday, Aug. 21. Her oldest daughter, Savanna Baumgartner, soon learned that her "biggest fear" had come true. West Fargo police were called to to the home of Clarence Baumgartner at 444 C St. shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday. When they arrived, officers found two people with gunshot wounds: Clarence and Tammy Baumgartner.
WEST FARGO—The School District here now has more than 10,000 students for the first time. West Fargo School officials said 10,051 students reported for the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 23, an increase of 467 students, or 4.65 percent, over the first day of school last year. Middle schools and the two high schools had the largest increase, with 258 more students in grades six through 12. First-day enrollment at West Fargo High School was down from last year, going from 1,448 in 2015 to 1,428 on Tuesday. Sheyenne High School enrollment increased to 1,169 from 1,011 in 2015.
A private fundraising group that has been raising money for enhancements to West Fargo's Hulbert Aquatic Center plans to give the School District an additional $300,000 that will help pay for many upgrades, including better seating. Initially, the School District allocated about $18.5 million for the pool facility as part of the $98.1 million bond referendum voters passed in November, but the budget has now grown to about $21.3 million. While UP Aquatics, a regional group of swim supporters, said it had secured at least $2.5 million it now plans to donate $2.8 million.
The West Fargo City Commission wants to see a change in the look of the school district's new hockey facility before it will sign off on the master plan agreements. While the West Fargo School District broke ground Aug. 8 on the $18 million two-sheet hockey facility it planned as part of the $98.1 million bond passed in November, it had been working with the city on a "master plan" for the area.
Wrecking balls started to swing down Sheyenne Street last week, clearing most of the 400 block to make room for the incoming Sheyenne Plaza building. Construction, which includes demolition of a strip mall and the building that was the former home of Fish Shoppe, was expected to begin shortly after July 4. The discovery of asbestos pushed back the bulldozers' timeline, while developers waited for experts to clear the buildings of the dangerous material.
West Fargo students were among the more than 5,300 kids who received a backpack full of school supplies from the United Way of Cass-Clay's 18th annual School Supply Drive last week. Last year, two West Fargo schools were among the top five metro schools to receive supplies from the drive, and the district was expected to receive high volumes again in 2016. In 2015, 192 West Fargo High School students received backpacks filled with school supplies, the most of all metro schools, and 160 Cheney Middle School students received backpacks.
The West Fargo School District expects that more than 570 new students will join the district this fall which means district costs, especially those of staff, are rising just as quickly as enrollment.
Deek's Pizza is now open in the Oak Ridge Retail Center at 635 32nd Ave. E.Suite 124, directly west of the Cash Wise store on the corner of Veterans Boulevard and 32nd Avenue South. The restaurant in West Fargo opened on Aug. 1, making it the third North Dakota location. Deek's Pizza is also open in Fargo and Grand Forks. Ultimate Nails, a nail salon and MJ Capelli, a hair salon have also opened in the center. The pizzeria, which also serves chicken wings and other specialities, is open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. and has carryout and delivery service.
Hundreds attended West Fargo's annual Night to Unite celebration at Elmwood Park on Tuesday, Aug. 2. Residents got the chance to meet city police, firefighters, FM Ambulance crew members and see police K-9 demonstrations, Tae Kwon Do demos, or take a free helicopter tour. More than 50 community service booths were on display along with with free ice cream floats, treats and face painting by the West Fargo and Sheyenne High School Dance Teams.