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, N.D. — The number of opioid-related deaths and overdoses that resulted in ambulance crews administering antidotes decreased sharply last year as the narcotic epidemic in the area showed signs of tapering off after peaking in 2016. Meanwhile, in a trend public health officials regard as encouraging, the number of clients enrolled at a local clinic prescribing methadone, which helps addicts wean themselves from opioids, has risen dramatically.
FARGO—The president and provost of North Dakota State University have come under fire for failing to address criticisms of a vice president for research repeatedly brought forward by concerned faculty. Those faculty concerns were made in comments submitted to a committee that evaluated the performance of Kelly Rusch, vice president for research and creative activity since 2013. Rusch gave notice Wednesday, Jan. 17, that she will be leaving the university.
FARGO — North Dakota State University's vice president for research, the subject of complaints about a "vindictive" and "overbearing" management style, will be leaving the university. Kelly Rusch submitted notice "indicating that she would be seeking opportunities outside of NDSU" and wants to step down as vice president for research and creative activity, wrote Provost Beth Ingram in an email sent to deans on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Rusch has held the position since 2013.
FARGO — Julie and Gregg Robbins, proprietors of side-by-side stores Pinch & Pour and Fowlers Heritage Co., are among the legions of brick-and-mortar merchants who will eagerly await the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a case involving taxation of internet sales. The Supreme Court announced Friday, Jan. 12, that justices will hear arguments in a South Dakota case that aims to reverse a 1992 case, Quill Corp. vs. North Dakota, that critics argue places Main Street merchants at a significant competitive disadvantage compared to internet vendors.
FARGO — The late Katharine Graham, once publisher of the Washington Post, is becoming known to a new generation through Meryl Streep's portrayal of her in "The Post." The movie, which stars Streep as Graham and Tom Hanks as her swashbuckling editor, Ben Bradlee, opens in theaters Friday, Jan. 12. William C. Marcil, former longtime publisher of The Forum and chairman of Forum Communications Co., knew Graham as Kay. He found her somewhat reserved and "very businesslike" in her dealings, but said she became more open over time.
FARGO — North Dakota's entry into medical marijuana will require establishing a monitoring system that will enable officials to track the product from seed to final sale. It will have to account for medical marijuana that initially will be grown at up to two operations and distributed through up to eight dispensaries around the state to an estimated 1,900 patients, which expected to double to about 3,800 for the 2019-21 biennium.
FARGO—North Dakota State University has made some inroads in curbing alcohol abuse among its student body in the decade since a group began fostering a healthy culture, but binge drinking remains a stubborn problem. University administrators credit the President's Council for Campus Well-Being, a group of about 35 faculty, students and staff created a decade ago, with encouraging social alternatives to drinking alcohol, including late-night, alcohol free campus activities.
FARGO — The prescription of narcotic opioids in North Dakota has fallen sharply over the past several years in what a physician's advocate described as a "cultural change" in response to rising concerns over the opioid epidemic. The number of opioids dispensed in North Dakota dropped from 180,410 in early 2015 to 139,836 this fall, or 22.5 percent, according to figures from the North Dakota Board of Pharmacy's prescription drug monitoring program.
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.