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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PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn.—They hauled away the Golden Arches the other day in this Minnesota lakes country town, putting the yellow "M" on a flat-bed truck that rolled down Highway 59 toward points unknown. The McDonald's restaurant in Pelican Rapids is no more, having closed after 10 years of serving Egg McMuffins, Big Macs and those ridiculously perfect french fries to locals, tourists and travelers on South Broadway at the edge of downtown.
It's time to ask whether opponents of the Fargo-Moorhead diversion, including local politicians like Rep. Paul Marquart and Moorhead City Council member Heidi Durand, are working in good faith toward a solution or if their true goal is to kill the project entirely. It's also time to wonder if they and upstream opponents of the diversion are violating a federal rule by leaking information from private conversations. At the least, they are being disingenuous in their concern for rural residents impacted by flooding.
Hope, it's been said, is a dangerous thing. So when we discuss the possibility of an 11th Street North underpass in Moorhead, dipping beneath the two sets of railroad tracks between Main, Center and First avenues, keep in mind that being hopeful might lead to disappointment. These BNSF Railway tracks have been causing headaches — and tardiness — for decades. Running east and west through the middle of downtown Moorhead, trains often block traffic on several streets.
The Fargo-Moorhead diversion is close to moving forward again. For supporters, the next week could see some juice pumped back into the project. For opponents, it won't be as enjoyable. Is it a done deal? No. Nobody would be crazy enough to say that. Until there is a ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicating the completed Red River diversion project to the the memory of late, great Fargo mayor Dennis Walaker, nobody should even begin to think about that.
The Fargo City Commission election might be getting more interesting. And it was already going to be plenty interesting. Former longtime north Fargo state senator Tim Flakoll is gathering signatures to get his name on the June ballot, making the field for the race even deeper. There are two spots up for grabs, seats currently held by Dave Piepkorn and Tony Gehrig. Former three-term city commissioner Mike Williams, who couldn't run for reelection in 2016 because of term limits, has already filed to run. The only other candidates to file are Gehrig and activist Lenny Tweeden.
South Dakota State football coach John Stiegelmeier has spent the past couple of days indicating to South Dakota media outlets that he’ll determine his punishment after getting arrested for driving under the influence. Jackrabbits athletic director Justin Sell clarified that Friday, saying he would decide Stiegelmeier’s departmental discipline and the coach would add on his own punishment “above and beyond” the school’s.
The hope, for those who want to see dramatic action taken to slow or stop school shootings, isn't in the politicians. Those in Washington, D.C.—particularly Republicans when it comes to this issue—are mostly worthless, beholden to a gun-promotion organization more than children and parents. Those in state capitals—again, particularly Republicans—would rather turn teachers into Yosemite Sam than figure out a meaningful solution.
“False firestorm.” That’s the phrase ousted Fargo School Board President Jim Johnson used in a text message to fellow board member Jennifer Benson to describe the controversy over potential changes in school boundaries for two south Fargo neighborhoods.
Whenever I go to the wonderful Minnesota State University Moorhead wellness center to get an old-man workout—walk around the track a few times, "jog" on a treadmill—there are college guys using one of the two basketball courts to play pick-up games. They yap, they laugh, they argue. Just like the good old days.
If you thought the fact a longtime, highly-trained law enforcement officer—for whatever reason—did not confront the Florida school shooter would be enough to quiet the we-must-arm-teachers chorus, you would be very wrong. President Donald Trump quadrupled down on the idea Friday, Feb. 23, saying a teacher with a gun would have "shot the hell" out of the killer.