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FARGO—The general manager of Homewood Suites here feels fortunate to be spared from the turnover bug that commonly affects the hotel industry. Tom Kasper said many of his 30-member staff are hourly employees, paid in the neighborhood of $10 an hour. If a move underway in North Dakota to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour passes, he said, it could be tough to absorb. "Another five dollars in three years, a 50 percent increase, would be a large increase," Kasper said.
FARGO—News of a homicide at a north-side apartment building that's been visited by police numerous times has rattled families, students and others living nearby. Fargo police arrived at the tan and brown, three-level building on the corner of Seventh Avenue North and 10th Street North shortly before 6:30 a.m. Friday, March 2. Dominique Alfaro, who lives next door with her infant son and fiance, saw the large police presence when she went out to walk her dog.
FARGO — Referee Dave Klundt was looking to get things off on the right foot at the Tuesday night, Feb. 27, conference quarterfinal game between the Shanley and Fargo South High School boys basketball teams. "Put the ball in the hoop, have fun tonight. Good luck," Klundt told the boys at tipoff. Klundt has seen a lot in his 36 years of officiating college and high school sporting events. He's been up close for the best in sportsmanship, when athletes help a player from the opposing team up from the floor or compliment them on a nice play.
CASSELTON, N.D. — The first weekend of March, John Reichert will depart for an Alaskan adventure that perfectly ties together his professional career and a childhood obsession. For the 18th straight year, he'll volunteer his services at the grueling Iditarod sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Reichert will be one of about two dozen volunteer veterinarians from all over the country staged at checkpoints along the 1,000-mile wilderness course that traverses two mountain ranges.
ST. PETER, Minn. — Inside the fortified quarters of Minnesota's highest-security psychiatric hospital, Dustin Michael Defiel has spent the past year and a half of his life. The former National Guard soldier and Iraq War veteran shot and killed his father, Rick Defiel, on June 1, 2016, in the family's home in Fergus Falls, Minn. He was found not guilty due to mental deficiency and was committed to the Minnesota Security Hospital as mentally ill and dangerous. Defiel, now 30, maintains he is neither of those and doesn't belong at the facility.
FARGO—Gov. Doug Burgum is seeking school, community and church bands and choirs across North Dakota to apply to be the Governor's Official State Band and Chorus for 2018. Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum will select the Governor's Band and Governor's Chorus from applications received based on musical talent, achievement and community involvement, according to a news release. The band and chorus are invited by the governor to perform at official state functions held throughout the year.
FARGO — Amid the Twin Cities Craigslist ads seeking food servers, drivers, T-shirt sellers and even ice skaters for Super Bowl events are a few vague, provocative posts. One seeks "female models" with bartending experience who "must be comfortable topless" to work a party for "wealthy clients in town." Another solicits exotic dancers for the "big game weekend." An entertainment company offers free tickets to "qualifying women" for Super Bowl concerts. Applicants must offer up their Instagram handle so the promoter can check their photos to decide who is "selected."
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Nine-year-old Samantha Velline looked ready for the beach, wearing sunglasses and sitting in a reclining lawn chair in the Clay County Family Service Center in Moorhead. However, she and brother R.J. were among eight patients to be seen on Wednesday, Jan. 17, in a makeshift dental clinic set up in a conference room between tables and stacks of chairs. Dental therapist Teresa Bushnell went to work, plying Samantha's cheek with anesthetic before filling a cavity, while the child's aunt, Sarah Winbourn, looked on.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — When a deadly crash happens, family members and the public often want quick answers and justice. This may be especially true when it appears one driver is primarily at fault. In just the past week, three fatal crashes in Minnesota have people speculating on their causes and asking questions. Two-year-old Zaiden Engen died after the vehicle he was in was rear-ended on U.S. Highway 10 here on Saturday, Jan. 6.
FARGO—Police officers here were able to defuse a situation Sunday, Jan. 7, involving a suicidal woman who was believed to have a gun. Sgt. Jim VanLith said Fargo officers were called to assist West Fargo Police with a woman having a mental health issue who might have been armed. Discussion of the incident came across law enforcement radios around 7:20 p.m. A Fargo officer ended up talking by phone to the woman who was driving around, stating she would run cars off the road, VanLith said.