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FARGO — As a Lutheran pastor, Matt Valan is used to contemplating big, important questions. For most of the last decade he's been obsessed with a simple one: Why? Why did his sister, Cordee Jo Tungseth, kill her husband, Steve, in cold blood in the summer of 2006? Valan knew the facts. The couple had a strained relationship that was getting emotionally more distant day by day. That, coupled with Cordee's mental illnesses led her to point a shotgun at her husband's chest as he walked in their kitchen one day and pull the trigger.
Hans and Kyleigh Grafstrom were recently married and just had a baby when they decided to buy a house. Not just any house, though; they wanted a fixer-upper to flip. "We thought, 'Let's try this for the first house,' " Kyleigh recalls. The couple found an old home that needed some work and in December of 2014, they bought one at 124 10th St. N., Moorhead. Now, three years later they've turned the fixer-upper into a turn-key home to sell. The process was an eye-opener, but all of the do-it-yourself work and self-discovery was worth it for the young couple.
FARGO — As we settle into the post-holiday season, it's time to take a long look at winter. The big question this time of the year — especially during the recent Arctic coldsnap — is, "Why do we live here?" The most common response is that while winter seems longer than any other season, each has its benefits and experiencing the splendor of all four seasons is reason to stay. While each season offers so much to savor, winter's food offerings may get a bit washed out after all of the holiday cookies and sweets.
FARGO—Wynonna Judd has always had a strong voice. From the 1984 debut with her mother Naomi as The Judds, to her solo career, which started in 1992, the singer has sung her way to the top of the charts 20 times and five Grammy wins. Wynonna (she's earned first-name-only-artist status) brings her new band, The Big Noise to Scheels Arena in Fargo Wednesday night, Dec. 13, for her Christmas show. The singer agreed to a conference call interview in late November with a handful of journalists around the country each getting to ask one question.
FARGO—"Over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house we go." Over the next month, people will be hitting the road to spend the holidays with family and friends. As there's not always room at the inn, or Grandma's new condo, more and more people are looking to alternative short-term housing options like Airbnb. While rental owners try to make their guests feel at home, some also try to strike a balance when it comes to holiday decor.
FARGO — Before you go over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house, make sure you pack for the trip. Or rather, pack for the unexpected things that could happen on the way. As the temperatures continue to drop, snow blows and winter travel can become dangerous, experts urge drivers to take precautions, not just behind the wheel, but even before getting in the car. If you haven't already, the time has come to check and pack your winter survival kit.
FARGO — In 2014, when Herman Stern was posthumously awarded the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Award — the highest honor for a North Dakotan — he was celebrated as a businessman and a civic leader. He ran Strauss clothing store for years, promoted the Boy Scouts of America and established chapters in the Red River Valley, founded what would become the United Way and oversaw the formative years of the North Dakota Winter Show. What may have come as a surprise to some was how he saved over 120 Jews from Germany as Adolf Hitler rose to power.
FARGO — Sean Astin knows what people want to hear. "The coolest thing about what I'm doing in Fargo is that it's not what I want to talk about, it's what people in Fargo want to talk about," he says. What those who attend the actor's appearance at the Fargo Theatre on Wednesday, Sept. 13, will most likely want to talk about will be his roles in the epic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "The Goonies" and "Rudy." Astin's visit is a fundraiser for the HERO (Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization), the Fargo Theatre and its annual film festival.
FARGO—Jon Wanzek is familiar with building things, having worked in the family's construction business. After he sold the company a few years ago, he still had the desire to create, but now he's using his imagination instead of heavy machinery. Wanzek co-wrote and produced the North Dakota-based feature thriller, "Valley of Bones," with Fargo natives Dan Glaser and Steven Molony.
The tagline for the new North Dakota-based thriller, "Valley of Bones," is "Some things are better left buried." The filmmakers — many with Fargo ties — did well to unearth an impressive story framed by family ties and personal history, but fall just a little short with the finishing touches. The independent feature-length film is mostly shot in western North Dakota and does a great job using the landscape and the oil boom atmosphere as a potent backdrop.