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MOORHEAD, Minn. — Every year around this time, retired military man Tom Krabbenhoft starts feeling even more anxious than usual. On Oct. 11, 1992, he and 16 other servicemen cheated death when the Chinook CH-47 helicopter they were in crashed in the Alaskan wilderness. Krabbenhoft was a 26-year-old North Dakota Army National Guard soldier at the time, anxious to get home after wrapping up a week-long air defense drill.
FARGO — A runner for 10-plus years, James Botnen of Kindred is often training for the next big triathlon or marathon. But since last December, he's also focused on shorter, equally important distances. In a play on numbers, Botnen pledged on his 31st birthday to run 3.1 miles, equivalent to a 5K, every single day for a year. His preference is to run outdoors, but when the weather is bad or time is short, he's inside, on a treadmill. The total number of miles he faced wasn't the issue.
FARGO — Michele Elsenpeter gets upset when people ask why she's still looking for answers to what happened to her brother, Kevin Mahoney, 25 years ago. Her family, and police, think foul play was involved when he disappeared Oct. 2, 1993, after a house party here. "He's my brother and you just don't give up on family," Elsenpeter said.
FARGO — Carol Schlossman is on a mission to make downtown Fargo safer and more livable by holding bars and restaurants more accountable for over-serving alcohol. A business consultant and vice chair of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Schlossman lives in a condo along Broadway. She says the association views alcohol consumption three ways: those who drink responsibly, those who drink due to addiction, and binge drinkers, most often college students.
FARGO — As former North Dakota State University students and longtime Bison fans, Ashley and Thomas Ritteman saw more than they were expecting at her recent ultrasound appointment. The couple wanted to learn the gender of their baby, due in early December, and their families anxiously awaited the news. Seeing their first child on 3D ultrasound, Ashley began to cry. But through tears, she saw an unmistakable image. "I was kind of overwhelmed at the moment, so I just giggled a little bit," she said.
FARGO—Post-traumatic stress disorder began to rear its ugly head in the life of U.S. Army Capt. Garrett Ruud during a second deployment to Afghanistan. He took early retirement in late 2017 due to PTSD and returned to his native Fargo to try to cope. At times, Ruud wouldn't leave his house. "There's a lot of anxiety that comes from it, a lot of sense of not being secure. Social anxiety as well, being around large crowds, noises, those sorts of things," he said.
FARGO — There's a buzz at a federal facility at North Dakota State University, and it's not just coming from insects in the laboratory. Researchers here have been awarded a nearly $2.9 million federal grant to study how bees survive rough winters and emerge in the spring to reproduce. Julia Bowsher, associate professor of biological sciences and lead bee researcher at NDSU, said the work could help lessen the demise of bees worldwide and keep agriculture sustainable. "Everybody is concerned about the plight of the bees right now," she said.
FARGO — Tears come easily to North Dakota first lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum when talking about her recovery from alcohol addiction, a journey that began more than 16 years ago. "The emotion just comes through because I have so much gratitude," she said, adding, "I would not be here, if not for my recovery." Helgaas Burgum, 55, spoke with The Forum recently about her experiences and the second annual Recovery Reinvented gathering she's hosting on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Fargo Civic Center.
FARGO — Most everyone knows eating fruits and vegetables daily is good for you, and it appears North Dakota schools have stepped up to the plate to make sure they're available to all students. A new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report lists North Dakota as leading all others when it comes to school salad bars. With 91 percent of its middle and high schools offering lunchtime salad bars, the state easily bested Vermont's 86 percent, and Nebraska and South Dakota's 85 percent.
FARGO — Law enforcement leaders here are laying out their opposition to a ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota, with just over two months until residents cast votes on it. Fargo Police Chief David Todd and Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney both say they have concerns about Measure 3. "There is going to be some societal costs to this if it goes into effect, and I'm concerned that people aren't hearing about those society costs," Todd said.