Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.
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FARGO — The right conditions are in place for a fire to go wrong, and fast. High winds up to 35 mph, low humidity, warm temperatures and brown, dry vegetation have put most of North Dakota and Minnesota at an elevated risk of grass fires and wildfires this weekend and into next week. Folks should proceed with caution if planning to do a controlled burn or having a backyard fire, said Jim Prochniak, Cass County's emergency manager. "That wind can take those sparks," Prochniak said. "Exercise some better judgement, and be careful."
COLFAX, N.D. — The embattled Richland 44 School District has named a new superintendent to lead the school after an investigation revealed allegations of sexual misconduct and hazing among male students. Dean Koppelman, 63, former superintendent for the Valley City Public School District, will step in as substitute superintendent of Richland. He has 25 years of education experience, with the last 18 years spent in Valley City before his retirement in 2016.
FARGO — A one-week survey of sexual violence across North Dakota counted 101 victims who used crisis hotlines or received services such as therapy, shelter or legal assistance. CAWS North Dakota, a coalition of 20 domestic violence and sexual assault crisis intervention centers in the state, conducted the point-in-time survey Feb. 12-19. CAWS said the actual number of people receiving sexual violence services during that week likely exceeded what was reported.
COLFAX, N.D. — Assistant football coaches in the Richland 44 School District are calling for a "cultural overhaul" in the wake of allegations and investigations alleging years of sexual assault and hazing among teenage boys at the school. "What happens when you search Richland online? You see nothing but ugly news articles," said coach Zach Riopelle on Tuesday, April 17. "We need to show everyone that isn't us. Show them that whoever they think we are, we aren't."
FARGO — A 47-year-old man accused of firing a gunshot this week at a Fargo strip club was charged in 2000 with attempted murder for allegedly trying to shoot four men with a rifle after an argument at a bar in Hawaii. Pedro Dagdag III, of West Fargo and formerly of Kealakekua, Hawaii, was charged Friday, April 13, in Cass County District Court with seven counts stemming from the Wednesday, April 11, incident at The Northern Gentlemen's Club, 325 10th St. N. in Fargo.
MOORHEAD — Rick Santorum said he doesn't always get the warm reception he received at Concordia College on Tuesday, April 10, when visiting campuses across the country. He said he expected a different response from students later in the week when he plans to lecture at UC Berkeley. But on Tuesday in Moorhead, the majority of the 500 students and community members welcomed the CNN political commentator on campus to share his pro-life morals and conservative talking points — though without his signature V-neck sweater.
COLFAX, N.D.—Disturbing details of sodomy and sexual assault dating back to 2015 in the Richland 44 School District are described in an independent report that says school leaders failed to sufficiently respond to allegations of student hazing and sexual misconduct. The district hired a Minneapolis law firm, Langevin Lentz, to investigate the matter and compile the findings in a report, which The Forum obtained Friday, April 6, through a public records request.
COLFAX, N.D. — There's another departure at the Richland 44 School District. Athletic director John Freeman, who is also coach of the Colt's football team, is no longer with the district, according to Lisa Amundson, president of the school board. Amundson would not confirm when Freeman left or whether he was fired or resigned. The president also wouldn't not comment on whether any other coaches within the district have recently departed.
COLFAX, N.D. — Leadership changes are underway at Richland 44 School District during an ongoing sexual misconduct and hazing investigation involving boys at the junior and senior high school. School Board President Lisa Amundson and board members on Tuesday, April 3, unanimously accepted the retirement of High School Principal Bruce Anderson and resignation of Superintendent Tim Godfrey, who has been on paid administrative leave since March 1 without explanation. Both the retirement and resignation are effective at the end of the school year on June 30.
FARGO — Ahead of the state GOP convention this weekend, around 70 people came together Monday, April 2, for a candidate forum featuring three Republicans seeking the endorsement for the state's sole U.S. House seat. In attendance were North Dakota state senators Kelly Armstrong and Tom Campbell along with former North Dakota State University linebacker Paul Schaffner. Invited but not in attendance were Tiffany Abenroth and DuWayne Hendrickson.