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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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — David Shulkin, a physician whom President Donald Trump tapped to head health care for veterans and later fired, will serve as Sanford Health's chief innovation officer. Shulkin's portfolio will put him in charge of Sanford's research, clinical genetic medicine, Profile weight loss and world clinic programs, according to an announcement made Tuesday, Sept. 11.
FARGO — UnitedHealthcare, the nation's largest health insurer, has announced its plans to enter the small group market in the three-state region in a move North Dakota's insurance regulator said could increase competition. The entry in January into South Dakota and new parts of Minnesota, too, will add a major player in the health insurance market. In North Dakota, the market is now dominated by three companies: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, the Sanford Plan and Medica.
FARGO—Sanford Health, which has pursued an aggressive growth strategy since merging with MeritCare, is poised to see its revenues more than double in less than a decade to almost $6 billion if it joins as planned with the Good Samaritan Society. When Sioux Falls-based Sanford and Fargo-based MeritCare merged in 2009, they had combined revenues exceeding $2.6 billion, more than 800 physicians and 17,000 employees. Today Sanford is a $4.5 billion enterprise, with more than 1,400 physicians and 28,000 employees in the Dakotas and seven other states.
MEDORA, N.D.—It was a gorgeous day for a hike in the Badlands. Not too hot, with some moody clouds that made the sky interesting and the sun less intense. Everything was perfect until my dog yelped. Zooey, my yellow Labrador retriever, whimpered and held up her front left paw, which she started licking furiously. I immediately suspected that she'd stepped on a prickly cactus, which were all around us. I crouched down and inspected her paw, which had begun to swell.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — The Fourth of July fireworks display near the Pavillion on the shore of Detroit Lake draws throngs of spectators who line the beach for a mile while others crane their necks from their perches on an armada of pontoon boats. The annual aerial display, which has grown over the decades, is reflected on the water, adding a shimmering mirror image to the pyrotechnics. Smaller versions, private displays from the hundreds of people who live around the lake, add more celebratory color and noise.
FARGO — Minnesota regulators have decided they must conduct a supplemental environmental review of the revised Fargo-Moorhead Diversion, and now local officials hope permit approval for the $2.4 billion project can come this fall. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, which must grant a permit for a dam on the Red River in order for the project to proceed, notified the Diversion Authority that it needs more information about the impacts of the modified project under its permitting process.
FARGO—Annika Perkins always had stomach troubles. It was just something she came to accept as normal for her. They largely receded from her thoughts and faded into the background. "Even as a small girl I always had stomach aches," she said. Then, after years of coping with digestive problems, she came to realize that she had a problem.
FARGO — Jenni Monet climbed a hill overlooking the Cannonball River to shoot video of dozens of protesters against the Dakota Access oil pipeline who had put up a teepee village and stood with their arms locked in a gesture of determination. Monet was reporting on a police operation to clear the Last Child Camp, which was taken down hours after it was erected across from the main protest camp during the prolonged protests near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 2016 and early 2017.
FARGO — Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said a Republican push to expand work requirements for a food assistance program has brought farm bill negotiations to a standstill and endangers the sugar program and crop insurance. Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee are pressing for a work requirement for recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits that would apply to able-bodied people up to age 65. The program now has work requirements for recipients ages 18 to 49.
MOORHEAD — Salt applied to streets and roads to melt snow and ice is becoming a growing environmental concern in some areas of the country, including Minnesota, where 50 lakes are listed as impaired because of their salt levels. Street and highway maintenance supervisors are aware of the problems that can result from the salt their crews deposit on roads, and have adopted new methods in recent years that help to reduce salt runoff as well as their operating costs.