Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522.
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FARGO -- North Dakota has seen 48 flu-related deaths as the peak influenza season enters its final weeks. The 48 known deaths are much higher than identified flu deaths in recent years, which have ranged from five to 10, according to figures from the North Dakota Department of Health. "I would say it's a severe year for flu deaths," Jill Baber, the department's influenza surveillance coordinator, said Friday.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota lawmakers are moving swiftly to draft legislation requiring that a new health insurance contract for public employees and retirees contain no benefit changes for the next two years. The development comes one day after the board of the North Dakota Public Employees Retirement System voted to switch its health coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota to the Sanford Health Plan. That change, which ends 37 years of health coverage by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, will take effect July 1. The six-year contract — for the largest em
BISMARCK – North Dakota's largest employer group said Thursday it will switch health insurance coverage from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota to the Sanford Health Plan. The switch...
FARGO — The staunchly conservative ideology that holds sway in North Dakota appears to be mellowing into something more moderate, as measured by a tracking poll. But the magnitude of any shift in political philosophy could hinge on what poll respondents meant when describing themselves as moderate, analysts said. North Dakota ranked among the top 10 most conservative states in recent years, according to Gallup's "State of the States" polling. The percentage of North Dakota residents who described themselves as conservative ranged from 49 percent in 2010, when the state ranked sixth
BISMARCK — Kirsten Baesler, North Dakota’s superintendent of public instruction, was jailed Sunday for what police describe as a domestic violence assault. Baesler, 45, is being held in the Burleigh...
FARGO — Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is trying to determine whether any of its members’ information was stolen in a massive data breach of a computer network...
BISMARCK -- North Dakota legislators will decide whether to allow certified "advanced dental hygienists" to perform certain procedures now done by dentists to fill a gap in dental care that is acute in rural areas and Indian reservations. Proponents of Senate Bill 2354 held a news conference on Thursday in the Capitol to promote the measure as a way to address a shortage of dentists that now affects 40 percent of North Dakota's counties and is expected to worsen as dentists retire. Sen.
FARGO — High concentrations of college students help to explain why counties including Fargo and Grand Forks have much higher poverty rates than those for Bismarck and Minot. That's the conclusion of a new analysis of 2013 poverty figures by the North Dakota Census Office. North Dakota's poverty rate was 11.6 percent, ranking it ninth lowest.
FARGO — Cynthia Eggl felt reassured when her annual mammograms repeatedly came back normal. The Fargo woman also performed regular self-examinations of her breasts. Everything appeared OK. Then, after experiencing sharp pains, Eggl went for a more thorough examination. The radiologist ordered a scan, but said looking at the image was like "looking through mud," because of the density of her breast tissue. Three biopsy samples were taken — and all three came back positive for cancer. The cancer already had spread to her lymphatic system.
FARGO -- Membership in the much-maligned top 1 percent of income earners in North Dakota would require annual income of at least $502,393. That figure ranks sixth in the nation for 2012, right behind the state of New York, in a new study called "The Increasingly Unequal States of America." The report, released this week by the Economic Analysis and Research Network, examined income inequality by state from 1917 to 2012, and the declining middle class. Minnesota ranked 11th, with the top 1 percent income threshold of $413,748, and South Dakota ranked 13th at $404,010.