Patrick Springer first joined the reporting staff of The Forum in 1985. He can be reached by calling 701-241-5522. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
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FARGO — The largest herd of Nokota horses is being dispersed. The herd was the lifetime work of Leo Kuntz, a 69-year-old rancher near Linton, N.D., who died unexpectedly from injuries suffered in an all-terrain vehicle crash in August while checking on his horses. His family has begun selling horses from his herd of almost 200, the largest single herd of what is known as the Nokota horse, a hybrid of the Northern Plains that traces part of its ancestry back to Sitting Bull's ponies, confiscated when the Hunkpapa Lakota leader surrendered at Fort Buford in 1881.
FARGO — Hubs like the Midco data center here will serve as the "brains" for increasing armies of mobile devices and the "internet of things" that will exploit the lightning speed of broadband and wireless communications. That's the vision of Brendan Carr, a member of the Federal Communications Commission, who stopped here Thursday, Oct. 11, on a tour of locations in Minnesota and North Dakota that will continue with a field hearing Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D.
FARGO — North Dakota bankers gathered in Fargo recently for a conference on agricultural lending, including a seminar on how to recognize distressed farm borrowers and how to mitigate their stress. The recent session for the conference of the North Dakota Bankers Association is a sign of the times as farmers carry out harvest for yet another crop year dominated by low prices, compounded by high input costs and the uncertainty caused by trade disputes.
FARGO — The Spirit Lake Tribe is opposed to a proposed factory hog farm that would be built half a mile from the shore of Devils Lake and is urging state health officials to deny a permit for the project. The tribal council voted unanimously to pass a resolution against Grand Prairie Agriculture, a proposed operation that would have up to 2,499 hogs capable of producing thousands of piglets a year.
FARGO — The family of Leo Kuntz has launched an online fundraiser with the goal of collecting $50,000 to maintain the herd of almost 200 Nokota horses the Linton, N.D., rancher tended. Kuntz died Aug. 12 at age 69 from injuries suffered earlier in an all-terrain vehicle accident that happened when he was returning from checking on his horses. The horses are descended from horses that came from Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Kuntz coined the term Nokota horse, which was named the honorary state horse in 1993.
LINTON, N.D. —Leo Kuntz was a lifelong bachelor. He lived alone on the family ranch in Emmons County and tended a large herd of horses whose very existence was his greatest achievement. The horses came to be called Nokotas, a name Leo coined to signify the North Dakota horse, which was named the honorary state equine in 1993. Kuntz scraped by, never spending money on himself, saving every penny to care for a herd of Nokota horses that grew over the years to number more than 200 on his ramshackle ranch.
FARGO—Xcel Energy broke ground on the 150-megawatt Foxtail Wind project in southeastern North Dakota on Thursday, July 9. The project will have the capacity to provide electricity for 80,000 homes. The groundbreaking marked the start of a project that is part of a push by Xcel to grow its wind generation by 1,850 megawatts, which represents a 70-percent expansion of its wind portfolio. Foxtail, which is located near Ellendale, a 144 miles southeast of Fargo, will sprawl over 35,000 acres, 99 percent of which will remain available for farming, according to Xcel.
FARGO—Economic activity edged up in North Dakota in July as the region continued a long expansionary run, but retaliatory trade tariffs threaten to erode farm exports and boost manufacturing costs. Almost two-thirds of firms surveyed for the Mid-America Business Conditions Index reported that recent tariffs or trade restrictions have had, or will have, a negative impact on their company. Similarly, 46.8 percent of supply managers indicated recent tariffs have increased the cost of buying from abroad.
FARGO—Cass County commissioners are debating whether to seek back taxes from rural residents whose applications for a farm-home property tax exemption have been denied. The possible crackdown came up in a discussion at the Cass County Commission meeting on Wednesday, July 18, when commissioners were briefed on the results of an audit of farm-home exemptions, expected to conclude this fall.
WEST FARGO — Farmers will rally at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds on Wednesday, June 27, hours before President Donald Trump will stump for Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., who is trying to unseat Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in the North Dakota Senate race. The rally, organized by the North Dakota Farmers Union and others, is not billed as a protest, but seeks to draw attention to issues confronting farmers, including trade disputes and a potential decrease in an ethanol production benchmark, which would decrease demand for corn.