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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FARGO—LeAnn Toppen's trip to the emergency room led quickly to the discovery that she had ovarian cancer. A biopsy confirmed her doctors' suspicions. After surgery and 18 weeks of chemotherapy, Toppen is cancer free. But she soon learned through genetic testing that she had inherited a gene that also placed her at high risk for developing breast cancer.
FARGO—Kathy Smith has been getting annual mammograms since the age of 29, when her doctor recommended the regular screens after her grandmother died from breast cancer. "I think I've been doing it every year," said the 52-year-old Smith, who lives in Lake Park, Minn. Although mammograms are widely recommended, there is really no clear agreement about how often women should receive the screens or how old they should be to start regular screens.
FARGO — Meredith Staker's life depended in part on the accuracy of a face mask that vaguely resembles the type worn by hockey goalies. It had to be sculpted to the contours of her face in order to immobilize her head. She would have to lie perfectly still while a machine delivered multiple beams of radiation that would converge in the back of her brain, in the location that enables her to see, with great precision.
FARGO — Troy Anderson found himself deeply troubled by the disappearance and death of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. He felt a certain connection to the pregnant Fargo woman, who police say was killed in August by a pair of neighbors. LaFontaine-Greywind's infant was found in their apartment, and the 22-year-old's body was found days later in the Red River. Anderson knew one of LaFontaine-Greywind's aunts, and his mother had ties to North Dakota's Turtle Mountains, where LaFontaine-Greywind was from before she came to Fargo, where she worked as a nurse's aide.
FARGO — Dwindling grassland remnants in the Great Plains continued their decline last year with the loss of 2.5 million acres consumed by expanding crop production. The reduction, which included a loss of 266,127 grassland acres in North Dakota, was tallied by a "Plowprint" report recently released by the World Wildlife Fund.
Barbara Johnson's life as she'd known it ceased to exist for a reason that she once tried desperately to hide. As happens to some older women, especially those who have given birth to children, she was plagued by incontinence. Her condition became so severe that she avoided venturing outside her home once she retired. "I was pretty much housebound," she said. "It was just a devastating and degrading situation in my life."
LAS VEGAS – Beau and Adrianne Flom and two other couples are devoted country music fans. All regularly attended WE Fest concerts together as a summer ritual. So it seemed natural that the three couples would travel together to attend the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day celebration of country music near Mandalay Bay casino on the strip in Las Vegas. “It was just a fun event,” Flom said, recalling their decision to attend.
FARGO—Never mind that Fargo-Moorhead has a population well short of 1 million. Admittedly, the metro area couldn't immediately fill 50,000 open job positions. And coming up with 500,000 square feet of available space would be a challenge. But, undaunted by those requirements, local economic development leaders are entering the sweepstakes to become Amazon's second corporate headquarters city, commonly dubbed HQ2.
FARGO—Two campsites used by prehistoric Indians for butchering animals lie in the path of the diversion channel designed to provide flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is well aware of the sites and is hiring a firm to conduct extensive archeological studies of the locations in consultation with area American Indian tribes.
FARGO—Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind joined a large and tragic group when she left her apartment and seemed to disappear—the legion of missing persons. Eight months pregnant and 22 years old, LaFontaine-Greywind was asked by a neighbor in her apartment building for help in fitting a wedding dress. The Fargo woman never returned to her apartment that day, Saturday, Aug. 19. By the next day, Fargo Police launched an investigation and search.