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FARGO — AAA and Budweiser are teaming up this holiday weekend to provide free towing, even to non-members, to keep drunk drivers off the road. Nearly 40 million Americans will be traveling for Memorial Day weekend, a holiday with one of the highest rates of impaired driving. Anyone drinking is urged to plan ahead with a sober ride, but AAA's "Tow To Go" program is expanding to North Dakota this weekend.
FARGO — As the owner of Arctic Audio, a local business that sells audio and home theater equipment, Rod Shafer loves sound. "It's delicate and it takes a little more time, but it invites you to have a more complete experience with the music," the self-described "two-channel freak" said in describing a turntable. "I like recorded music better than I like live." So Shafer appreciates the chance to share his passion every year when the Fargo Marathon runs past his house on Eighth Street South. "We've putting sound out on the marathon since the first year," he said.
FARGO—The North Dakota Department of Transportation is trying a futuristic strategy to reduce the number of traffic deaths in the state. The DOT is providing schools and communities with a virtual reality crash simulator. The technology immerses users in a video of a crash, putting them in the front passenger to seat where they can see what happens to a vehicle occupant who wasn't wearing a seat belt. Officials hope the device will resonate with younger drivers.
FARGO — A south Fargo park has a new complex devoted to a growing sport. The Fargo Park District unveiled its pickleball complex at Brunsdale Park earlier this week. Pickleball is a sport similar to badminton, played with a large paddle and a wiffleball. There are between 200 and 300 players in Fargo-Moorhead, and parks officials hope the six new pickleball courts will help the sport continue to grow in popularity.
FARGO—It's become a disturbing trend: A handful of suspiciously similar interactions have been reported in our area. Police have filed reports several times in the last few weeks in our region about drivers asking children to get in their cars. Police are saying the warm weather may have something to do with the frightening uptick. Thursday was a beautiful day for Morgan Ament and her 3-year-old daughter, Kira, to enjoy a picnic at the park. As they spend more time outside in public, Morgan says it means keeping a closer eye on her daughter.
FARGO — Some are upset with local cities' rules regarding lawns, saying they're a public health hazard. City ordinances in Fargo and Moorhead say your lawn can't reach 8 inches. Critics say that's too long, and requiring more frequent mowing could keep people from getting sick. For decades, Ron Peterson has kept his apartment building's lawn neat and trim. "Always been that way. Even when I had a house, it was that way," Peterson said. It's a matter of pride for Peterson, who doesn't understand overgrown lawns.
MOORHEAD -- Habitat for Humanity is empowering women through volunteering as it begins work on its latest house.
MOORHEAD—Some students are upset after Minnesota State University Moorhead administration and its student senate agreed to a $30 fee for students who graduate. The fee was created to help pay for commencement ceremonies. It will take effect starting next year. Some argue there's no reason students should have to pay for cap and gown with a fee on top. Some students who are graduating this year feel it's unfair to future students, saying a lack of state funding left the school no choice but to impose the fee.
FARGO—A local group says it's asking U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., for help protecting the Earth. Several concerned people gathered nearly 300 signatures to bring to Heitkamp's Fargo office on Tuesday, May 2. The petition asks the senator to support a bill preventing development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. The group says Heitkamp's support is crucial because it's one vote shy of being filibuster-proof. Despite being nearly 3,000 miles away, the petition's creator says it's still important to try protecting the refuge.
FARGO—AAA's roadside assistance is no longer just for those with four tires and an engine. Starting Monday, AAA will now help cyclists if they get a flat tire, break a chain or have any other problems with their bike. Other parts of the country had access to the service before it was launched in North Dakota. The auto club says more people in the region are relying on their bikes to get around, and it's time to offer those people the same support.