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FARGO—Virtually every emergency call and response in the Fargo-Moorhead area goes through the hub here known as the Red River Regional Dispatch Center. From car crashes, assaults and fires, to gas leaks, fights and heart attacks, dispatchers make sure emergency crews get to the right location, fast. The center set up shop 15 years ago in an older brick building at 300 NP Ave., which offered a pleasant setting for a stressful occupation.
FARGO — People calling 911 for a medical emergency here expect to see a fire engine pull up, along with paramedics and police. In the near future, however, a Fargo fire pickup could respond instead of a full-sized engine. Mayor Tim Mahoney is proposing the potentially cost-saving measure after learning about trends in other cities at a recent conference. "Is there a way of doing some of our runs with a little less manpower, in a sense, and the manpower being the fire trucks?" he said in a recent interview, sitting alongside Fire Chief Steve Dirksen.
FARGO—The old two-story off Main Avenue here looks like any house in need of fixing, with its peeling paint, patched up siding and overgrown trees. Upon closer examination, traces of a more complex, even turbulent history become evident. Long-faded warning signs of "private property" and "premises under surveillance" remain. On the backside, repairs are still visible from the time someone used a molotov cocktail to set the building on fire.
FARGO — The Cass County Sheriff's Office has decided not to discipline an employee who was investigated over heated social media posts about gun control. Sgt. Jon Morse, 44, an administrative sergeant at the Cass County Jail, engaged in a profanity-laced debate on his personal Facebook page and posted a flag associated with the militia group known as The Three Percenters or III%. The complainant in the case said he felt threatened by the post. It also seemed Morse may have identified himself as a Cass County sheriff's employee during the exchange.
FARGO — The city's head firefighter invoked a downtown statue known as "Homeless Jesus" in an appeal to reduce the number of emergency calls that turn out to be false alarms. In his 2017 Fargo Fire Department annual report to city commissioners, Fire Chief Steve Dirksen said dispatchers still get 911 calls from people who think the statue is a real person curled up on a bench who may need help. Those calls are more frequent during cold winter months.
MOORHEAD—Paul Fuglestad is compelled to tell others about the 12-year-old boy he knows who walks through the jungle, two hours each way to and from school each day. "Boka" leaves around 6 a.m. from his family's bush hut in a village with no electricity and no plumbing. Walking barefoot, he makes nine river crossings during the trek. He carries only a bush knife to cut away jungle brush and kumara, a yam-like vegetable to sustain him.
FARGO—The North Dakota Highway Patrol was involved in its second high speed chase in this area in a matter of hours. The Patrol said it received a complaint of a reckless driver just after 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. A trooper located the vehicle, traveling over 110 mph on eastbound Interstate 94 near Casselton, N.D. The trooper tried to stop the 2006 Honda CR-V, but the driver kept going. Troopers used a spike strip tire deflation device to disable the vehicle near the Mapleton exit after a 20 mile pursuit.
FARGO—Police and fire crews blocked off a street on the northside here after a vehicle struck a power pole and the pole came to rest on power lines. Firefighters and officers were dispatched to Broadway and 24th Avenue North at 3:10 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. Police blocked off Broadway between 22nd Avenue and 25th Avenue to keep cars off the road. Fargo Fire Battalion Chief Jason Ness said there was no danger to people in their homes along Broadway, but they evacuated anyone who was outside as a precaution.
FARGO—Officers arrested a man here on fleeing and driving under the influence charges following a high-speed, daytime pursuit. A North Dakota Highway Patrol trooper tried to stop a speeding vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 18, about seven miles south of Casselton, N.D., at 1:50 p.m., Saturday, April 21. The driver didn't stop and the trooper pursued the 1990 Chevrolet Blazer, which accelerated to a top speed of 106 mph, the Patrol said in a release.
FARGO — There seemingly wasn't much to be thankful for last Thanksgiving for family and friends of Jason "Teddy" Ramstad. The good-natured general manager of Chub's Pub, 421 N. University Drive, had been hospitalized since mid-August 2017, much of that time in intensive care, following a wave of catastrophic health problems.