Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
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WEST FARGO—Lester Hazer, 105, danced through life. On Sunday, May 6, Hazer danced on his way to death. From his bed, he moved his arms and legs along to the polka music his family turned on. A short time later, he closed his eyes to sleep for the last time. Hazer, who founded Hazer's Auto & Truck Parts in West Fargo, was known to never give up on what he wanted. Although he passed the business on to his son, Duane, and grandson, Daniel, Hazer continued to work at the shop past age 100. "Even up to the end, his mind was very, very clear," said his son, Duane Hazer.
WEST FARGO—The Fargo and West Fargo public school districts plan to join forces to create a small unified school specially designed to help kindergarten and elementary-age students with severe behavioral problems. If the plan comes together for next fall, it will be the first such school in North Dakota. School districts around the country are seeing an increase in student behavioral problems that often disrupt classrooms and sometimes lead to staff injuries.
ROTHSAY, Minn.—A Wisconsin man was injured after his SUV spun out on Interstate 94, was hit by a semi and started on fire. According to the Minnesota State Patrol: The accident occured just west of Rothsay about 11:20 p.m. on Saturday, March 31. James Albert Anagnost, 46, of De Pere, Wis., was heading west in a Chevrolet Trailblazer when he lost control of the vehicle and spun out into the cable barrier between the two interstate lanes. The trailblazer was then hit by a Volvo semi driven by Sanjar Rasulov, 31, from Brooklyn, N.Y.
ALEXANDER, N.D.—Authorities have identified the 89-year-old man from rural North Dakota who died after he was pinned between a fence post and a trailer near here on Friday, March 30. According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Arne Skedsvold was pinned between a fence post and a cattle trailer around 10 a.m. The driver of the 7510 John Deere tractor and trailer, Jacob Heen, 33, was backing up to load cattle in a pasture in rural McKenzie county, about 20 miles southwest of Alexander when the accident occured.
FARGO—A group of protesters calling attention to missing and murdered indigenous women demonstrated Tuesday afternoon, March 27, near the downtown Radisson hotel where Vice President Mike Pence was meeting for a fundraiser before speaking publicly across town. Tasheena Neeland of White Earth, Minn., said the group of nine protesters would remain on the public sidewalks near Fifth Street and Third Avenue North but had been asked to move by police who closed off streets surrounding the hotel.
WEST FARGO — Authorities have identified the man fatally shot by members of the Red River Valley SWAT Team during a Monday night standoff as Justin Lee Dietrich, a 32-year-old Fargo native who had a criminal history and was suspected of possessing stolen handguns. West Fargo Police Chief Heith Janke said the incident began about 8:30 p.m. Monday, March 12, when a West Fargo officer tried to pull over Dietrich. However, the attempted traffic stop turned into a high-speed chase through the city, Janke said.
FARGO — After years of failed attempts in the North Dakota Legislature to form an ethics commission that would keep lawmakers in check, citizens are taking the matter into their own hands. Since January, three petitions to begin a ballot initiative dubbed the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment have been submitted to Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office for approval.
WEST FARGO—Wednesday's announcement that West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent David Flowers will retire next year creates the rare—maybe unprecedented—situation of all three large metro-area public school districts searching for new leaders at the same time.
WEST FARGO — A West Fargo Sheyenne High School teacher who resigned amid allegations of partying with students will not face criminal charges after a July incident at her home where she was reportedly found drunk with four minors, including one cited for having a blood-alcohol content nearly four times the legal limit to drive.
FARGO—Convicted murderer Ashley Hunter will hear his punishment this week for killing Clarence Flowers and Samuel Traut in June 2015. Hunter was convicted June 2 of two counts murder and one count of arson after a two-week trial in Cass County District Court. The murder charges, Class AA felonies, are each punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Class B arson felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.