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- 4 years 8 months
FARGO — A social service agency that’s housed orphans, facilitated adoptions, provided disaster relief and been the center of sometimes controversial refugee resettlement is marking a major milestone. Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota is celebrating 100 years of helping people in need. Children have been its focus since day one. CEO Jessica Thomasson said the organization was started by immigrants, many of whom were Lutheran. “They looked around and saw kids and families in need and came together,” Thomasson said.
WEST FARGO — There are times when 9-year-old Ronnie Johnson is calm and seemingly content. He enjoys jumping on a trampoline, swimming and playing with his five siblings. But more often than not, his days are marked by anxiety and anger, borne out of frustration. Ronnie, who has autism, has "rage attacks" that have become more serious as he's gotten older. His mother, Alexa Johnson, pointed to a large hole in the wall next to the stairs leading to the basement of their West Fargo home.
FARGO — Children are taught to wear seat belts to stay safe in a vehicle, but when they board a large school bus there's no way for them to buckle up. While federal transportation safety agencies recommend lap-shoulder belts in all new school buses, most full-size school buses on the road don’t have them. So far, only eight states — none in the Midwest — have passed laws requiring bus seat belts. The reluctance may be due, in part, to a long, strong safety record of school buses.
FARGO — A smartphone app could someday take the place of the plastic driver’s license card most adults carry in their wallets and purses. But how soon that happens may depend on where they live. A bill under consideration in the North Dakota Legislature would establish electronic or digital driver’s licenses in the state, at a projected cost of $3.5 million. It received a "do not pass" recommendation from the House Transportation Committee, and co-sponsor Sen. Scott Meyer, a Republican from Grand Forks, isn’t optimistic about its chances.
FARGO — Children in this area are certainly among the toughest in the country for enduring frigid weather during school recess, but they do have some stiff competition. Fargo and West Fargo public schools send elementary-age children outside for recess every day unless the wind chill or “feels like” index is 15 degrees below zero or lower. An online search found even colder thresholds in place in a few other school districts.
FARGO — A traffic engineering tool known to prevent virtually all of a particularly deadly type of crash will begin to be installed for the first time on portions of North Dakota interstates this summer. Workers will start putting in high-tension cable median barriers along parts of Interstate 94 around Fargo and Bismarck and Interstate 29 in the Grand Forks area. Jane Berger, programming division director at the North Dakota Department of Transportation, said the 2019 project will cost about $6 million.
FARGO — It may seem counterintuitive to spray any kind of liquid outdoors during frigid North Dakota and Minnesota winters, but city crews here do it in the name of safer roads. The cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo use salt brine as one weapon in their winter weather arsenals. Fargo Public Works Director Ben Dow said the liquid keeps snow from bonding to pavement and can help fight frost on bridge decks and underpasses. “It’s like putting butter on your pan when making eggs so the eggs won’t stick,” Dow said.
FARGO — Work areas come in all varieties, but the spaces two men occupy on the Block 9 tower construction site downtown are wildly different than most. Jeff Jerde, 53, and Justin Beauchane, 41, operate the two large cranes being used to build the $117 million, 234-foot high-rise backed by the R.D. Offutt Company and Gov. Doug Burgum’s Kilbourne Group. Their jobs are to move heavy equipment and materials from one spot to another at the site along Broadway and Second Avenue North.
MOORHEAD — Local parks make a good training ground for the only cross-country ski team in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area, and well-groomed ski trails can help ensure the athletes stay on their feet. Other people may be compromising those trails, however, perhaps without even realizing it. Tom Dooher, Moorhead High School Nordic ski coach, said it’s great that so many people enjoy being outdoors in the winter, but when some are walking, hiking or biking on trails meant for skiers, they leave big ruts behind.
MOORHEAD — He rents “shop space” in a cold-storage building in this city’s industrial park, but isn’t using it for woodworking or any other hobby. Instead, “Homeless Dave,” as he calls himself, has turned the spot not meant for human habitation into his home. Boxes overflowing with household items cover the concrete floor. A bumper-pull camper parked inside is where he showers and sleeps. A makeshift office, where he uses his old computer, is shrouded in tarps and equipped with heat lamps to stave off the winter chill.