Longtime Grand Forks court reporter retiresAfter typing word-for-word transcripts of legal hearings for nearly 40 years, Nancy Krogstad and her nimble fingers are going into retirement.
GRAND FORKS (AP) — After typing word-for-word transcripts of legal hearings for nearly 40 years, Nancy Krogstad and her nimble fingers are going into retirement.
The Grand Forks court reporter did 17-year stints with judges A.C. Bakken and Bruce Bohlman, both now retired. Most recently, she spent five years with Judge Sonja Clapp, who currently hears criminal cases.
“All three of them have kind of the same style,” Krogstad said. “They’re low-key. They don’t get too upset about anything. Their personality is just kind of even-keel.”
Krogstad, 61, guesses she’s transcribed thousands and thousands of cases. Of those, a memorable one came to mind: “a divorce case where they were fighting over a popcorn popper that didn’t work and a couple of pot holders.”
Despite an occasionally stiff neck and sometimes sore hands, Krogstad said she loved her job.
“Every case is different,” she said. “Some cases are very difficult emotionally, and you kind of learn to deal with that.”
Krogstad worked in the sheriff’s office for about 1 1/2 years before leaving to attend court-reporting school in Sioux Falls, S.D. To graduate, she had to learn to take down 225 words per minute on a stenograph machine, essentially a phonetic typewriter that allows for quick transcription. In lively hearings, the discourse can reach 300 words per minute, she said.
As the case is today, court reporters were hard to find four decades ago, so when Judge Bakken heard Krogstad was in training, he held a job open for her until she finished school. She started at the courthouse in July 1970.
“So, I came back to get some experience, and 39 1/2 years later, I’m still getting experience,” she said.
In their retirement, she and her husband plan to travel and spend time with their two children and three grandchildren.