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Monday, February 05, 2018



BROWERVILLE, MINNESOTA, is a town of 750 midway between Fargo and the Twin Cities. The mother of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady grew up in Browerville as a member of the large Johnson clan. Brady’s family visited there in summers while “Little Tommy” was a child. Sunday, all of Browerville will watch the Super Bowl, many wearing Patriots garb.

BOLD NORTH You’ll hear more about this — the slogan came from the Super Bowl Host Committee which borrowed the idea from Gov. Mark Dayton’s son Eric— some think it should become Minnesota’s new motto. A committee member said, "A brand works when it's a promise you can keep.” And “cold” is a promise Minnesota can keep. Should North Dakota get aboard this bandwagon?
WENTZ ADMIRERS “I can just feel for him because he loves to play football and that was his goal to get his team into the Super Bowl and now he has to watch from the sidelines.” -- Carson Wentz's Jamestown grandmother, Bev Schaack. She is confident that Wentz will be in a Super Bowl sooner than later. This was part of a flood of Carson Wentz articles and letters as the Super Bowl approached. A Philadelphia Daily columnist wrote that Fargo once worshipped Roger Maris, but "Now it's Wentz, and there isn’t a close second." ND Gov. Doug Burgum will be wearing a Wentz jersey at the Super Bowl.

FLARING Overall, ND is having difficulty meeting natural gas flaring goals. Columnist Rob Port says most of the problem is on the Ft. Berthold Reservation where gas capture at wells was only 75 percent in November. The rate was 86 percent in the rest of the state. Port blamed the reservation problem on tribal and federal regulations, which Gov. Burgum calls a “bureaucratic labyrinth.” Citing the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, Port said environmental activists are also making it difficult to develop more pipeline capacity or gas processing facilities.

PRAIRIE PUBLIC TV showed a documentary this week about eight press pioneers in ND. Mike Jacobs, retired GF Herald editor and publisher, was featured. His staff won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the 1997 Red River flood. Jacobs’ former boss, Bill Marcil Sr.—CEO of Forum Communications, was also included. Bob Lind and Marilyn Hagerty are columnists for Forum newspapers. The late John Andrist, Jane Brandt, Richard Peterson and Roger Bailey were associated with community newspapers. The documentary was produced by Teri Finneman, a former Forum Communications journalist.

HOSPITALITY MOGUL Forbes Magazine described Gary Tharaldson (72) as ND’s richest man. He is the subject of a book, “Open Secrets of Success,” published by the University of Mary Press. The business school at the University of Mary in Bismarck is named after Tharaldson, who developed hundreds of hotels and is the owner of an ethanol plant near Casselton.

NORWAY’S OLDEST MAN is from ND. George Nygaard (108) was born near Maddock to an American mother and a Norwegian father. George moved to Norway, where his wife had many relatives, when he was 60. He lives in Roverud, about 50 miles from Oslo. He said he has never been careful about his diet — eating and drinking whatever he wants.

CHURNING Sears closed its store in Fargo’s West Acres shopping center, but will be replaced by Best Buy. In turn, a number of retailers are considering the space vacated by Best Buy — Dick’s Sporting Goods is rumored to be one. This illustrates the tenant churning in retail malls around the country.

HOW MANY FREELOADERS? Federal programs have ineligible clients, but columnist Lloyd Omdahl says there are fewer than the Republicans think and more than Democrats believe. He said, “Republicans need to cool their ardor for relentless budget-cutting and Democrats need to tone down their paternalism.” He thinks the two parties should work together to ascertain the facts and find the real dimensions of the problem.

KEEP THEM OUT OF PRISON Analysis shows many prison inmates in ND are serving sentences for minor drug and property crimes. The prison population is rising — ND’s imprisonment rate climbed 3 percent in 2016. The state has enacted legislation effective February 1 to reduce prison growth and made $7.5 million available to fund community-based behavioral health services to reduce recidivism.

HOMELESS IN FARGO A lengthy Forum article begins “If you have ever wondered how a mother of three young children becomes homeless, her story provides a humbling example.” The story provided something more, a horrifying picture of the life of Sheyenne Rodriquez (35). The former Sheyenne Flying Horse was born on the Standing Rock Reservation part of a violent, alcoholic family which lived on government food and never worked. Sheyenne was twice sent to prison in South Dakota, has bipolar disorder and sees devils and spirits. She and her three disabled children live in a YWCA homeless shelter in Fargo.

GARRISON KEILLOR wants his reputation and archives back. Minnesota Public Radio has a different idea. There is a legal standoff. MPR’s reservations arise because Keillor is charged with “dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents.” Keillor insists he has generated tens of millions of dollars for MPR over the years and given it national prominence.

YOU WON’T KNOW “The U declined a request from the Star Tribune to release descriptions of the suspects.” You won’t know the race of criminal suspects if the U. of Minnesota has its say. UM generally refuses to release suspect descriptions saying that, to do so, reinforces racial stereotypes. Armed robberies of students at the UM campus are a common occurrence.

THE MINNEAPOLIS CEDAR-RIVERSIDE AREA, home of the nation’s largest concentration of Somali, is near Augsburg University and the UM West Campus. Last week, within 24 hours, a student at each campus was the victim of armed robbery. Two men described as of Somali ethnicity were arrested in connection with the Augsburg robbery and may be involved with the UM incident.

DAKTOIDS: A GF Herald editorial said “leave NAFTA alone” because of its importance to ND agriculture . . . What is it? They sell 22,500 tickets, drill 6,000 holes in the ice and give out $325,000 in prizes. It’s the Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament.



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