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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Maya Rao went where North Dakota media often dared not go during the peak of the oil boom in the western part of the state. She talked to, in her words, "pioneers, outcasts, losers, tramps, dreamers, do-gooders, failures, drifters, deadbeats, felons, freaks, dodgers, bootleggers, scum, miscreants, missionaries, stumblebums, sneaks, bastards, loan sharks, hustlers, millionaires."
Moorhead Mike Trom wants to be buried in a Minnesota Vikings helmet, which might seem like an odd request. Unless you know Mike. We chronicled him in this column last week. Mike Trom is better known to local sports talk-radio listeners as "Mike the Viking Fanatic" or "Vikings Mike." If you happened to hear him call programs in the Twin Cities, he was "Mike from Fargo." The 57-year-old Moorhead resident was a frequent caller to sports shows and he always—always—trumpeted optimism about his favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings.
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.
Moorhead "Mike the Viking Fanatic" is as feisty as ever, dressed in his Minnesota Vikings gear as always. From the ballcap that says "NFC North Champions" to the purple No. 14 jersey to the logoed blanket across his lap, he is unrelenting in his love for the Vikings and his dislike for the Green Bay Packers. "The only good Packer is a deceased Packer," Mike says, eyes ablaze and a finger jabbing the air for emphasis. He is joking. Sort of.
MOORHEAD — It is time for Moorhead to think big, perhaps bigger than it's dared think before. Does that mean anything fruitful will come of trying to fill the black hole left behind by the Herberger's store in the Moorhead Center Mall going out of business? Certainly not, but for some reason the death of Herberger's seems like a critical moment and one that can't pass without a major reaction.
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.
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.
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.
Why making it more difficult for citizens to vote is seen as a good idea remains a mystery, but North Dakota's most populous county might be going down that road. Why isn't exactly clear, but this much we know: The issue appears to be breaking down along party lines. Republicans appear willing to take away an hour of voting time for Cass County residents. Democrats don't. In some ways, it mirrors the national debate over access to voting.