Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to email@example.com
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FARGO — Julie and Gregg Robbins, proprietors of side-by-side stores Pinch & Pour and Fowlers Heritage Co., are among the legions of brick-and-mortar merchants who will eagerly await the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a case involving taxation of internet sales. The Supreme Court announced Friday, Jan. 12, that justices will hear arguments in a South Dakota case that aims to reverse a 1992 case, Quill Corp. vs. North Dakota, that critics argue places Main Street merchants at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to internet vendors.
FARGO — North Dakota's entry into medical marijuana will require establishing a monitoring system that will enable officials to track the product from seed to final sale. It will have to account for medical marijuana that initially will be grown at up to two operations and distributed through up to eight dispensaries around the state to an estimated 1,900 patients, which expected to double to about 3,800 for the 2019-21 biennium.
FARGO—LeAnn Toppen's trip to the emergency room led quickly to the discovery that she had ovarian cancer. A biopsy confirmed her doctors' suspicions. After surgery and 18 weeks of chemotherapy, Toppen is cancer free. But she soon learned through genetic testing that she had inherited a gene that also placed her at high risk for developing breast cancer.
FARGO—Kathy Smith has been getting annual mammograms since the age of 29, when her doctor recommended the regular screens after her grandmother died from breast cancer. "I think I've been doing it every year," said the 52-year-old Smith, who lives in Lake Park, Minn. Although mammograms are widely recommended, there is really no clear agreement about how often women should receive the screens or how old they should be to start regular screens.
FARGO — Meredith Staker's life depended in part on the accuracy of a face mask that vaguely resembles the type worn by hockey goalies. It had to be sculpted to the contours of her face in order to immobilize her head. She would have to lie perfectly still while a machine delivered multiple beams of radiation that would converge in the back of her brain, in the location that enables her to see, with great precision.
FARGO — Dwindling grassland remnants in the Great Plains continued their decline last year with the loss of 2.5 million acres consumed by expanding crop production. The reduction, which included a loss of 266,127 grassland acres in North Dakota, was tallied by a "Plowprint" report recently released by the World Wildlife Fund.
Barbara Johnson's life as she'd known it ceased to exist for a reason that she once tried desperately to hide. As happens to some older women, especially those who have given birth to children, she was plagued by incontinence. Her condition became so severe that she avoided venturing outside her home once she retired. "I was pretty much housebound," she said. "It was just a devastating and degrading situation in my life."
FARGO—Two campsites used by prehistoric Indians for butchering animals lie in the path of the diversion channel designed to provide flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is well aware of the sites and is hiring a firm to conduct extensive archeological studies of the locations in consultation with area American Indian tribes.
FARGO—Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind joined a large and tragic group when she left her apartment and seemed to disappear—the legion of missing persons. Eight months pregnant and 22 years old, LaFontaine-Greywind was asked by a neighbor in her apartment building for help in fitting a wedding dress. The Fargo woman never returned to her apartment that day, Saturday, Aug. 19. By the next day, Fargo Police launched an investigation and search.
FARGO—Barb Swegarden felt a pop in her back while exercising at a fitness club. She suspected a pulled muscle. Then pleurisy was implicated as the cause of her pain. But the chronic pain persisted, unalleviated by removal of her gallbladder. Finally, at the Mayo Clinic, doctors found the cause: cancer in her spine. It turned out the cancer had spread from her breast, where the tumor began, then lodged in her spine. "They called it a rogue cell," Swegarden said. Then she faced a gauntlet of treatments: radiation to her spine, a breast lumpectomy, chemotherapy.