Mike McFeely is a WDAY (970 AM) radio host and a columnist for The Forum. You can respond to Mike's columns by listening to AM-970 from 8:30-11 a.m. weekdays.
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FARGO — Ricky Marquart did the right thing. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of his graduation from West Fargo High School with old friends and classmates on June 14, he found himself in the Silver Dollar Bar early the next morning. So he ordered a Lyft ride from the app on his smartphone. The driver, identified as Travis on the app, arrived promptly and drove Marquart home. The ride took 13 minutes, from 2:21 a.m. until 2:34 a.m. on July 15, according to the receipt Marquart received on his phone.
FARGO—From defending a peeping Tom as "a very good man" to saying that all chain-link fences are created equal, whether they are holding children like caged dogs or simply enclosing a playground, it's been a rough past few weeks for Kevin Cramer.
WHITE EARTH, Minn.—Less than a month ago, Star Lake casino opponent Ty Dayton characterized the status of the controversial project thusly: "The casino proposal is not dead. It's just in a very deep state of hibernation." After the White Earth Nation tribal election on June 12, it might be time to ask a question. Like, what is the next step between hibernation and death? Suspended animation cryosleep? Or, in an ode to "The Princess Bride," mostly dead? Or something else?
Lisa Drafall answered a cell phone call from an unknown 701 area code number after the second ring, for which she deserves a measure of credit. But the general manager of the Redwood Falls (Minn.) Gazette sounded weary in a brief conversation, perhaps owing to the attention her twice-weekly newspaper was receiving from every corner of the world. "On what topic?" she asked when the caller from Fargo wanted to ask a few questions. The Obit, of course, the caller said. "No, I'm not going to make any comments. I'm not going to say anything about that," she said.
FARGO—There will be resistance from the usual corners of paragon and virtue, of course, when it comes to legalized sports betting in North Dakota and Minnesota. But it's coming, and that's about the safest wager a person could make. And sooner rather than later, according to a couple of local legislators.
The Great Minnesota Muskie War is getting ugly. It includes threats, intrigue and vindictive backroom politics that would make Tammany Hall politicians blush. And it's all over a fish that, according to scientific studies, has no negative effects in the lakes in which it swims.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—The family of a 6-year-old boy slain in Fergus Falls says it knows of multiple people who called social services in Otter Tail County to warn of possible abuse by the child's accused killers, but says nothing was done. The child's mother also says she called social services two times in the days leading up to his death.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—Justis Burland's mother says she contacted Otter Tail County social services in the days before his death. Misty Dawn Truitt says she wanted to make sure Justis and his twin brother Xavier were accounted for because their caretaker "flipped out" after a custody hearing was cut short by a judge.
Bobbie Bishop wanted full custody of Justis Burland and his twin brother Xavier. When she didn't get it after a hearing April 2, text messages sent from Bishop to the boys' grandmother reveal a mounting frustration. A week later, Justis was dead. Text messages obtained by The Forum and court documents from Otter Tail County show Bishop worked on gaining guardianship of the children for months, eventually getting one-year temporary custody from the boys' grandmother, Norma Burland of Polson, Mont., shortly before Justis' death.
WOODWORTH, N.D.—The alleged level of deception is stunning and the number of lies staggering, really, in court documents involving the Woodworth, N.D., woman accused of running an adoption scam. And it was all for a shot at $1,800, or maybe a little more. There's most likely not a price tag you can put on the confusion and heartbreak it caused.