Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He previously wrote for The Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.
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FARGO — The Miss North Dakota program is standing behind Cara Mund, the first North Dakotan crowned Miss America who recently called out the national organization's leadership in a scathing letter. On Sunday, Aug. 19, officials with the Williston-based Miss North Dakota Scholarship Organization posted to Facebook an open letter signed by the group's board of directors that backs Mund and calls on the Miss America Organization to take drastic steps to address the treatment she says she's faced this past year.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Northwest Minnesota has four new state district court judges, the office of Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday, April 3. Dayton appointed Amber B. Gustafson and Tammy L. Merkins as Seventh Judicial District judges who will be chambered in Moorhead. They'll fill in the Clay County judgeship vacancies caused by the retirements of Steven J. Cahill and Galen J. Vaa.
FARGO — Locals will have two chances to see Vice President Mike Pence in Fargo next week, including at a free event focusing on tax cuts that will feature Pence as a special guest. Nonprofit group America First Policies is planning a "Tax Cuts to Put America First" event at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, in the Crystal Ballroom at Delta Hotels by Marriott, 1635 42nd St. S., according to an online posting about the upcoming talk.
MINNEAPOLIS—A Muslim civil rights group is calling for an investigation into a video that it says showed North Dakota militia members shooting at and blowing up a model of a mosque. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) issued a news release Wednesday evening, March 7, about the YouTube video, which was called "North Dakota Security Force III militia FTX."
MADISON, Wis. — The family of Emily Dewey, the widow of a murdered Mahnomen County sheriff's deputy, knew her time was running out — but they didn't expect they'd need to go to court to get her remains back from a man they claim took advantage of her. Her younger sister, Hannah Rentmeester, told Forum News Service that her family was in Denver in late January to visit Dewey, who was in declining health and under hospice care as her liver failed. She said they were able to see Dewey on Jan. 29, and told her they'd return the next morning.
The tragedies that contributed to Emily Dewey's death last month started long ago, according to her sister, Hannah Rentmeester. Emily, who was about 18 months older than Hannah, met Chris Dewey when the couple was in their early teens, and they immediately connected. "He completed her," she said. "He kept her grounded, and without him, life fell apart for her."
MOORHEAD, Minn. — The 2013 search for Anthony Kuznia, 11, quickly escalated when authorities learned he had autism. Chief Mike Hedlund said the East Grand Forks Police Department assisted the Polk County Sheriff's Department with a "very large search" to find the boy, who had a tendency of wandering off. Despite their efforts, Kuznia's body was found the next day in the Red River.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A former Fargo resident is suing officials in her home state of Alabama, alleging discrimination against transgender people. Darcy Jeda Corbitt, 25, is one of three plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Feb. 6. Corbitt v. Taylor is backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, and claims Alabama's requirements for changing the gender designation on driver's licenses makes it difficult or impossible for transgender people.
MOORHEAD — A former postal carrier was sentenced to 30 days of home monitoring and three years of supervised probation Monday, Jan. 22, for charges stemming from claims she stole a gift card, cash and check from mail on her route. Sarah Elizabeth Shanebeck, 31, of Fargo, was also ordered to pay a fee of $1,000 and restitution of $86 at the sentencing hearing in Clay County District Court.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Mark Berntson got to be creative when his new house was being built here in 2000. "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I can paint my walls and I can do whatever I want. And what do I really care about? I really care about the Vikings,' " he said, explaining why nearly every surface in his bedroom is purple and gold. That includes a painted Vikings team name that covers three walls, not to mention a Vikings lamp, chair and framed game-used jersey. He's single, so there wasn't a spouse around to tell him no, he said.