Reaching your 21st birthday is an important milestone in life. It's a time of celebration. Unfortunately, it can be a day of tragedy, as it was for Jason Reinhardt. Reinhardt turned 21 this year. On his birthday, he died from an overdose of alcohol. Jason's mother, Ann Buchanan, hopes the death of her son can shock young people into realizing that alcohol is legal, but lethal.
Convicted sex offender Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. has pleaded not guilty to a federal charge in the kidnapping and death of Dru Sjodin. Rodriguez appeared in federal court in Fargo Wednesday, where he was charged with kidnapping resulting in death. If he is convicted, the 51-year-old Rodriguez of Crookston, Minnesota, could face the death penalty.
The public goodbyes for Dru Sjodin begin today. A wake is scheduled in Cross Lake Friday afternoon, and her funeral will be Saturday in nearby Nisswa. Next week a memorial service will take place on the University of North Dakota campus. Searchers found Sjodin's body last Saturday in a ravine near Crookston, Minnesota. The Sjodin case has captivated the state and much of the nation since she disappeared five months ago. Some of those who knew her say finding her body will help them mourn.
For years residents of the Red River Valley have struggled with floods. Cities and towns have spent millions of dollars building dikes and diversion projects in an attempt to stay dry. Now researchers are working on a new approach to flood protection, patterned after a waffle.
Business owners in outstate Minnesota say the state's highway system is on the verge of a crisis, and they're urging lawmakers to spend more money to maintain and improve highways.
Moorhead city officials are voting on an ordinance that would ban smoking in local restaurants. About a dozen Minnesota communities have such laws. Proponents say the bans protect workers from second-hand smoke but others argue the smoking bans are a personal attack on smokers.
Consolidation can be a bad word in rural cities and towns. For decades, services and programs have been consolidated to save money. School districts have been the primary target, but last year, state lawmakers wondered if consolidation could be used in other areas. One idea on the table now is whether to merge dispatch centers that coordinate emergency services.
Live theater in the Fargo-Moorhead area has a long history. The Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre has been around for more than 50 years. The local colleges all have reputable theatre departments. Now a small group of friends is establishing a professional repertory company.
Minnesota residents talk a lot about the great quality of life they have. The state has enjoyed a national reputation for good schools and supportive children's programs. But that image has taken a hit lately. Funding for low income daycare has been chopped. Lawmakers will struggle again this year to make up a deficit that could total $500 million. It's a situation that may leave some families, scrambling to pay the daycare bill.
Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry campaigned in Fargo on Sunday, two days before the state's caucus. The Massachusetts senator said he was going to watch the Superbowl in Fargo and defeat President George W. Bush in November.
When it comes to the union movement, Minnesota and North Dakota are a study in contrasts. Minnesota has a strong organized labor movement. North Dakota has strongholds of organized labor, but is often thought of as an anti-union state.
Dental care is a vital but sometimes overlooked part of health care. Finding a dentist can be tough. Patients out number dentists by a wide margin. In Minnesota the numbers work out to about 1600 patients per dentist. It's even tougher to find a dentist if you're poor and live in a rural area.
Dennis Kucinich brought his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to Fargo Tuesday. Despite a poor showing in the polls, the Ohio congressman believes he still has a shot at the party's presidential nomination.
The man some call the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, visited Fargo on Monday night. Howard Dean's visit came on the heels of a campaign stop Sunday by Dick Gephardt.
Democratic presidential hopeful Richard
Gephardt said he's the best candidate to change trade policy,
telling a group of Red River Valley sugar beet growers that a new
deal with Central America would hurt family farms.