Meredith Holt is a features/business reporter for The Forum who covers topics in health, mental health, social issues, women's issues, arts and entertainment, food and more. She also writes a column on health and wellness, body image and media representation. She was a copy editor/page designer for six years prior to joining the features team in March 2012.
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FARGO — Ziva is ready to work. She eagerly lifts her front right paw to allow her handler, Nate Dutt, to slip on her harness. Once she receives her orders, she's off, her attached bell ringing wildly. The little Belgian Malinois zigzags through a designated area of Island Park downtown, lying down next to each item she finds, proudly awaiting her reward.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Greta Myers has loved horses since she was a little girl growing up on a grain farm in Herman. Now she makes a living sharing her passion with others on her own farm near Moorhead. Myers, 46, runs 3 Gems Tack & Stables on the 45-acre property she shares with her husband, James. She offers boarding, lessons, camps and more. You can even "rent" a horse or pony. The ponies greet visitors with curious nuzzles in their outdoor pen while Myers talked about her business.
FARGO—Anna Palmer has had the makings of a reporter since the second grade. She read the newspaper as a farm kid growing up a half-mile from Kindred in southeast North Dakota and says she was "a pretty precocious kid." "I liked to ask questions and wasn't afraid to go up to people and talk to them," she says. "Being curious, I think, is one of the strongest components of a good reporter."
FARGO -- As church leaders developed the job description for the pastor of discipleship position at Fargo's First United Methodist Church, Senior Pastor Marilyn Spurrell knew she had a match. After considering other contenders, she told the leadership board her daughter, Amy Atkins, a small-town pastor in South Dakota, would be the best fit. She wasn't sure how they'd respond, but they said, "Let's meet her." Spurrell recused herself from the interview process, but the board came to the same conclusion.
FARGO—To help prevent lung cancer, you can quit smoking. To help prevent heart disease, you can eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. But what can you do to help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease? Unfortunately, with what we currently know about it, not much.
FARGO--Janelle Brandon, Kelly Rae Kerwin-Garland and Lindsay Kaye Arbach want local women to have more options for pregnancy and childbirth, and they want to help provide them through their new business venture. The three recently formed Fargo Birth, Fargo-Moorhead's first birth collective, combining their skills and experience to offer childbirth education, doula services, birth photography and placenta encapsulation. Combined, Brandon, Kerwin-Garland and Arbach have attended almost 100 births, and they work with a variety of clients, including single moms, LGBT families and tradition
BREAKOUTS Excerpts from 'Important Voices' "These women state officials knew how to overcome challenges. Berta Baker only went to school until she was 14, but as state treasurer and then auditor, she was an expert on the state's finances during the Great Depression. Superintendent of Public Instruction Minnie Nielson had to get an order from the Supreme Court before she could occupy her office. Beryl Levine was 35 years old with five children when she decided to go to law school and eventually become our first woman Supreme Court justice.
FARGO — Jenenne Guffey’s job has an unusual prerequisite: a criminal history. After years of involvement with the North Dakota and Minnesota corrections systems, Guffey worked hard to rebuild her life.
FARGO -- Carol Bradley Bursack has been known to carry sand in her car to make a trail for a cane or walker on ice. It's one of the many extra precautions Bursack, a longtime family caregiver and Forum of Fargo-Moorhead columnist on elder care, takes during the winter for the elderly and vulnerable in her life. "No matter how hard people, businesses and clinics try to keep pathways clear, it's still difficult sometimes on the ice," she says. Bursack explains that older adults are at higher risk of slipping and falling on the ice, and they're more likely to suffer injuries if they do. T
FARGO -- Rumors, myths and conflicting evidence can make understanding breast cancer risk confusing. A panel of Sanford medical professionals addressed some of the most common concerns about breast cancer, many of them untrue or inconclusive, at the health system's "Embracing Life" Breast Cancer Survivors Retreat earlier this month. Dr. Michael Bouton, a breast cancer surgeon on the panel, prefaced one of his answers with the reminder that the biggest risk factor for breast cancer is being a woman. Other known risk factors include age, genetics and family history.