Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.
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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."
FARGO—A Catholic priest who faced groping allegations last year has been assigned to a Fargo convent. Paul Braun, a Fargo Diocese spokesman, said Father Thomas Feltman is in "good standing" with the diocese. "Fr. Feltman has been cleared for priestly ministry at the conclusion of our internal investigation," Braun said Tuesday, Feb. 20, in a written statement.
FARGO – He’s all but off the market, ladies. Carson Wentz, perhaps the most famous North Dakotan of the moment after the Eagles’ Super Bowl win last weekend, is engaged.
FARGO—On a wish list full of high hopes for downtown, one item stands out not for its extravagance but a plain, practical goal. The Downtown InFocus master plan approved by city commissioners last month to serve as a blueprint for the neighborhood includes developing a homeless "day center." It's a goal local leaders in the field have championed for years—these experts helped get it included on the InFocus plan—and it could become a reality sooner than imagined.
KRAGNES TOWNSHIP, Minn.—Shane Friesz left North Dakota in his 20s to "go be gay" somewhere more progressive. The native of New Salem, N.D., is back now and recently opened a gay bar—the only one of its kind near Fargo-Moorhead in several years. Friesz and his partner, Shawn Weber, opened The Sanctuary Bar & Bistro on Saturday, Dec. 16, drawing patrons to check out how the couple converted a small-town watering hole into a gay bar.
FARGO — Human resources staff don't usually get the spotlight at work, but speakers at an annual conference here said these employees play a vital role in promoting a strong workforce and innovation that could make their businesses shine. North Dakota Commerce Commission Jay Schuler said the state is dealing with a big "challenge" right now: It had the nation's lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.3 percent in August, but it lacks enough workers to fill open jobs.
FARGO—When Hao Zhang first came to Fargo in 2008, he didn't know much about the area—he only chose to move here by randomly pointing to a spot on a map. That's why it might be surprising to learn the 30-year-old will soon fly back to his native country to open a North Dakota company's first international office as a way to beef up its contacts in China and help other companies tap into business opportunities in America's Midwest.
FARGO—A long-vacant laundromat building here will become a new restaurant on the edge of downtown as a Perham, Minn., couple plans to expand their eateries to Fargo and Wahpeton, N.D. Britt Belquist and her husband, Alex Belquist, opened Perham's Brew Ales & Eats in 2011 in the back of a diner. The couple bought a building at 124 E. Main St. in 2012 and moved Brew there the following year.
At first glance, viewers of Cathy Hummel's large printed canvases might notice an overhead view of a lake, complete with some major roads winding around the perimeter. Hummel sees something a little different. "I call it maps of memories because I think that's what happens when you look at it," she said. The interior designer launched her business Lake Overview in 2002 out of necessity for something she wanted but couldn't find—an aesthetically pleasing map of Minnesota's Pelican Lake where she spent summers with her grandparents.
FARGO—A new car wash is coming to the Brandt Crossing development in south Fargo. Property Resources Group announced earlier this week that construction has already started on Custom Express Car Wash, 4682 32nd Ave. S. The "state-of-the-art" car wash, according to a news release, will use equipment from Tommy Car Wash Systems that can handle up to 150 cars per hour. Owner Jason Gehrig said in a written statement that the business will be a "nice addition" to the community when it opens late this fall.