Janelle Vonasek / Forum News Service
DEVILS LAKE, N.D.—It's been a long run for the original organizer of the annual Devils Lake Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Tournament, but Fire Chief Jim Moe has one more round to go before he can breathe easy. The event he started as a fundraiser for the local Eagles Club in 1984 has grown from a contest of 100 two-person teams to this year's Jan. 27 whopper with 5,000-plus anglers and thousands more ticket holders hoping to net one of more than $325,000 in prizes.
STARKWEATHER, N.D.—More than 20 years before smartphones, Twitter or 24-hour news networks would be accused of spreading untruths, there was a different breed of "fake news." Sparked by sensational supermarket tabloids, it was fueled by old-fashioned word of mouth and wild imagination. The Weekly World News in 1996 created a firestorm of sorts when it reported a North Dakota farmer had discovered a long-forgotten "back door to hell." He had been clearing an abandoned field for planting that spring when under an uprooted tree he "uncovered a stinking pit brimming with bones."
GRAND FORKS — A methodical Curt Hanson carefully clears a space on the end of a large table on the fourth floor of the University of North Dakota's Chester Fritz Library. The chief archivist for the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections takes no chances as he removes a can of Mountain Dew and a coffee cup filled with water. A nearby pen must be traded for a pencil, too, before he disappears behind a locked door.
WASHINGTON—The last time Joe Bristol talked to fellow Marine Gary Lindsay of Grand Forks was in August 1967, and they were in the thick of the Vietnam War. Fresh off a mission in the middle of the jungle, the pair had sat down for a meal of C-rations with a splash of pocketed Tabasco to spice it up.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Well, that depends. If the woodchuck is named Benoit and you're talking about 100-year-old wood, the answer would be: None. Not a sliver. That beaten-up chicken coop out back of the trees. The falling-down granary. The sagging barn with not a stitch of stain left are all treasures not to be wasted. Jason and Lacey Benoit, of Benoit's Barnwood in Crookston, wouldn't chuck a single board.
EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — Hannah Vonasek doesn't remember the Flood of 1997, but she definitely remembers the Blizzard Hannah that preceded it. While growing up in the wake of the flood, no one let her forget it. Just four months shy of 2 years old when the disaster struck her hometown of East Grand Forks, Hannah was too young and innocent to defend her name when the Herald decided to name the eighth and most punishing blizzard for her.