Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.
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Editor's note: This is the first installment in a two-part series. MOORHEAD — Laura Baker had just graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and was bound for Europe — a reward the 24-year-old planned and paid for herself after becoming the first in her family to earn a college degree. But between graduation and vacation was a small party with co-workers on June 2, 2016. She had been drinking that night, so a co-worker offered to drive her. On that ride home she said she was raped.
MOORHEAD — With a #DefendKurdistan poster in her hands, 27-year-old Siham Amedy and her mother, Bayan, stood in solidarity on Veterans Memorial Bridge Tuesday evening, Oct. 17, with more than 60 other Kurdish-Americans. The rally was in response to Iraqi government forces the day before sweeping into the Kurdistan region of Iraq, including the Kurdish-held, oil-rich city of Kirkuk. The majority of the Kurds protesting the military action Tuesday were children who encouraged one another to hold their signs of peace and prayers higher.
FARGO — October weather is the type that makes a sweater seem appropriate in the morning, but a questionable wardrobe choice by afternoon. "This is a time of year where we have wild swings in our weather pattern," said Jim Kaiser with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks. "It heats up and cools down quickly."
FARGO — Women hold fewer than 20 percent of North Dakota's legislative seats, 12 percent of county commission seats, and only three women serve in elected statewide executive office. Nationally, the state ranks 41st in the percentage of women serving in the Legislature. This data was presented to a group of 30 women Friday, Oct. 13, attending one of two training sessions at North Dakota State University.
MOORHEAD — A recently revitalized Moorhead Human Rights Commission announced its members Thursday, Oct. 12, as the group readies for a meeting next week.
FARGO — The Salvation Army here handed out 1,600 coats last year to children and families, but this year the organization is several hundred coats short. The Coats for Kids and Families Program is kicking off on Saturday, Oct. 14, after running six years strong, said Salvation Army spokesperson Julie Rivenes. The coat distribution is scheduled for five days, but Rivenes said if they don't receive more donations, distributions could end after the first day.
CASSELTON, N.D. — How bad are industrialized livestock operations? "A plague of biblical proportion," said Scott Dye, of the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, a grassroots organization that promotes family-owned agriculture and helping concerned communities across the country fight the proliferation of corporate factory farming. Dye was one of three speakers at a forum attended by about 50 people and hosted by the Dakota Resource Council Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Casselton Days Inn.
WAHPETON, N.D. — The Wahpeton City Council has appointed one of its own to lead the city following the resignation of Mayor Meryl Hansey. Hansey, 81, announced his resignation in a Sept. 5 letter to the council, stating it was "due to recent challenges with his health which have limited his ability to perform the duties as Mayor," according to council meeting minutes. Council member Renelle Bertsch said Hansey has battled lung cancer for nearly three years.
FARGO — As the seasons shift, so do crime trends. At a community crime and information meeting Tuesday, Oct. 3, at Fargo Cass Public Health, Fargo police Lt. George Vinson shared recent and historic crime trends and safety tips with a group of about 18 residents of south neighborhoods — including Bluemont Lakes, Brunsdale, Lincoln, Stonebridge, Southpointe, Fox Run, Centennial, Village Homes, Rose Creek, Meadow Creek, Maple Valley, Bennett, Davies and Amber Plains.
MOORHEAD — This city is moving forward with a highly anticipated underpass near Moorhead High School, but the $53 million project has one hitch before construction kicks off next year: the proposed closure of First Avenue South. City engineer Bob Zimmerman said Moorhead has been trying to get the underpass built at the intersection of southeast Main Avenue and 20th/21st Street South since 2002. The city repeatedly requested state funding to alleviate congestion and make the area safer, but a successful plea to help pay for the underpass didn't come until earlier this year.