United: The Heroes of Flight 93

Every generation has a moment that helps define who they are. For people in my father’s generation, that was the day President Kennedy was shot. For my generation, that moment is likely the events of 9/11. Of course, people of all ages will forever remember that fateful day, but for those just entering adulthood, that day became a part of our identity.

Although the falling of the World Trade Center is often the part of 9/11 that gets the most attention, the hijacking and subsequent crash of United Flight 93 is a story of remarkable courage and dignity. Unlike the two airplanes that hit the WTC and the third that targeted the Pentagon, Flight 93 crashed in the Pennsylvania countryside. All passengers and crew members died instantly.

The thing that made the crash of Flight 93 so extraordinary is that the passengers and crew on board made the decision to prevent the plane from reaching populated areas. Due to a departure delay, Flight 93 was hijacked after the initial three planes reached their targets. The people on that Flight 93 watched as terrorists rerouted their plane toward Washington, D.C. By that time, the passengers and crew knew their plane was a part of an insidious mission.

In just over 30 minutes, this diverse group of people on Flight 93 developed a plan and put it into action. Their efforts were recorded on the cockpit voice recorder, which captured every chilling detail. Instead of allowing the passengers and crew to regain control of the plane, the terrorist who had commandeered the cockpit intentionally crashed it. At 10:03 am, Flight 93 plowed into an empty field at a speed of 563 miles per hour.

Bare Stage Theatre:

Bare Stage Theatre, founded by David and Shanara Lassig in 2009, was created with the goal of bringing newer shows to Fargo that don’t require a large cast and only require a minimal set. “Most of our shows are done with a few actors playing multiple characters,” David explained. “Our most recent show, “Fargo Talk Radio,” which was written by myself and Shanara, featured six actresses and over 40 characters.”

Bare Stage’s next production will be an homage to United Flight 93. “United: The Heroes of Flight 93” uses actual conversations between the passengers and crew and their friends and family on the ground. The show features seven actors playing 53 different roles. “The show is performed as a staged reading and introduces the audience to the passengers and crew on Flight 93 before going into the conversations between the passengers and the people on the ground,” David explained. “The lines are supplemented with time-stamped slides in the background helping illustrate the chronology of events surrounding Flight 93.”

The motivation for the show came after David and Shanara visited the Flight 93 National Memorial after watching one of David’s award-winning plays performed in 2009. “After visiting the site, I did more research on Flight 93 and thought this was a story that needed to be told,” he said. “It is one of the lesser known stories of 9/11, but an incredible story about how the passengers prevented their plane from hitting another target.”

The ability of the passengers and crew to come together to protect unsuspecting strangers is what stood out to David. “It’s amazing to see how these people from different races and generations came together as one on that fateful day to accomplish the goal of keeping other people safe,” he said.

David does not recognize this group of people at the exclusion of the many heroes that emerged that day. “I think we need to remember the sacrifices that first responders made on 9/11. They put everyone else’s lives before their own,” he said. “I think it’s also a time for family and friends to come together and remember their loved ones and show the world that we can persevere through bad times and we can pick each other up and be stronger together.”

“United: The Heroes of Flight 93” will play at the Stage at Island Park in Fargo from September 8 – 11. There is no admission charge, but free-will donations benefiting the Flight 93 National Memorial will be taken at the door.


By Jamee Larson

National Recovery Month and William C. Moyers


Community Keynote: It Takes a Village

Finding ways to help those suffering from drug and/or alcohol abuse is a topic that has perplexed the best minds in the area, especially as drug-related deaths increase and dollars for treatment is more likely to be cut from the state budget than enhanced. Area treatment centers and support groups are doing everything they can to help addicts break the cycle they are trapped within; a cycle which unfortunately will lead to more hospitalizations, incarcerations, and deaths.

First Step Recovery, a part of the Village Family Service Center, has been a leader in the area’s treatment industry for many years. Acutely aware of the addiction issues in Fargo/Moorhead, First Step has continually evolved to meet the needs to drug addicts, alcoholics, and their families.

One of the ways First Step is battling addiction is by bringing recovery speaker William C. Moyers to Fargo on September 28. “William has been an advocate for recovery for many years and is at the forefront of the movement to take addiction and recovery out of the shadows and into the community and public policy discussions,” explained First Step Clinical Director and Primary Counselor Patti Senn. “We believe William will encourage the community to continue to advocate for public policy that supports treatment, promotes family and individual recovery, and further reduces the stigma associated with addiction.”

Moyers’ visit is part of First Step’s recognition of National Recovery Month. Throughout the month of September, treatment centers and recovery groups will be hosting a variety of events geared at increasing public awareness and support for addicts. “His (Moyers) passion and ability to engage his audience and spread the message and hope of recovery for all fits perfectly with the goal of Recovery Month,” Senn said.

Recovery is not a solitary activity, nor is motivating a paradigm shift towards greater support and funding. Together, the FM area is hoping the many activities scheduled during September can begin that movement. “We hope all of these events continue to increase awareness of the devastation caused by addiction and more importantly, send the message of hope and help for recovery for individuals, families, and the community at large,” Senn explained.

For Moyers, the topic of addiction has both personal and professional implications. “I am the vice president of public affairs and community relations at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and I am a person in recovery,” he said. “I overcame addiction to alcohol and drugs back in the 90s.” Moyers has managed to meld his personal and professional history into an identity as a national advocate for addiction, treatment, and recovery. “I advocate for unmasking the stigma of addiction and promoting the recovery from it.”

Although Moyers didn’t initially see a career in public speaking, he quickly realized it was needed. “Right away I realized we (the addiction and recovery field) had no voice,” he said. “In participating in dialogue about how to respond to the war on drugs and how to get insurance companies to stop discrimination against people and families in recovery, I discovered the power of my story.”

One of the hallmarks of any recovery program is the belief that nobody helps addicts better than other, recovering addicts. It is within this vein that Moyers found his true purpose. “What I have learned over the decades is that I can be a beacon of hope for people who don’t know what to do to overcome their substance abuse,” he said. “I started speaking because I thought it was the best way to be an advocate, but now I know I can be a source of hope for people.”

In addition to bringing Moyers to Fargo, First Step is also sponsoring the first annual Dick Beardsley Run for Recovery on September 22nd. According to Senn, all funds raised directly support the First Step Recovery Family Program. “First Step Recovery is the only agency in the area that provides a Family Program as part of its treatment program,” she said. “We believe addiction is a family disease and that a person’s ability to find recovery improves when family members are involved in the treatment process.”

First Step’s Family Program is offered free of charge. So far in 2016, the treatment agency has provided over $76,000 in family services, which include individual and family group sessions and educational materials, all with no cost to the participants.

Whether you attend Moyers’ speech, participate in the Run for Recovery, or donate your time and resources in other ways, you are an important part of the area’s recovery efforts. Addiction doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Neither does recovery.

The William C. Moyers Community Keynote will take place on September 28th at 7:30 pm at Avalon West in Fargo. Tickets are $8 and can be obtained at William Moyers Community Keynote.

The Dick Beardsley Run for Recovery (either a 5K Run or a 1K Fun Run/Walk) will be held on September 22nd beginning at 5:30 pm in Lindenwood Park. To register for the Recovery Run or to support someone who is, visit First Step Run for Recovery.

Information on both events and how you can show your support can be found at First Step Recovery or by contacting Patti Senn at patti@firststep-recovery.com.


By Jamee Larson

To Bag or Not to Bag: That is the Question


As schools begin opening their doors, parents are likely focused on their child’s educational needs, things such as supplies, teachers, peers, etc. One area that can get lost in the shuffle is lunch. For anyone that grew up in the 80s or even 90s, school lunch meant greasy pizza, hard chicken nuggets, and dry spaghetti. Although some of the dishes tasted very good, nutritional qualities were largely ignored. It’s no wonder many students brought their own lunch from home.

Fast forward to the present and school lunches are more nutritious than ever. I reached out to Michelle Draxten, Cass County Public Health Nutritionist and Dana Reith, Food Service Director for West Fargo Public Schools to answer the question of whether it is healthier to eat school lunches or bring lunch from home. The answer is not as easy as one would think.

“All school meals are planned to meet the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines,” they explained. “All meals meet standards for calories, sodium and saturated fat.” They went on to explain that lunches are also planned within specific calorie ranges for each age group. In other words, an elementary student does not have the same calorie needs as that of a high school student, and therefore won’t receive the same lunch.

Still, some parents prefer to decide on their own what their child eats for lunch. In that case, Michelle and Dana offer this advice: “Parents should include fruit and vegetables daily. Packing ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables (ones that are washed and pre-chopped) can make it easier and more fun for children to consume,” they said. “Avoid sending sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g., soda pop) and foods that are high in calories and low in nutrients.”

In terms of cost, I had erroneously assumed that lunches from home would cost less than those prepared at school. “School meals are affordable and often less expensive than packing a lunch from home,” my experts said. “In addition, school lunches provide a well-rounded meal consisting of protein, whole grains, vegetables, fruit and low-fat milk at an affordable price.”

For those of us that grew up eating processed foods for lunch, it is refreshing to see a paradigm shift. “Most schools are decreasing the number of processed foods they serve and adding more foods prepared from scratch to their menus,” Michelle and Dana explained. “Healthy school foods taste good and are well-received by students. Many schools even offer daily fruit and vegetable bars/carts with a variety of choices.”

According to Michelle and Dana, there is an additional benefit to eating school-prepared lunches. “School lunch provides an excellent opportunity for children to try foods they think they might not like and exposes them to foods they may have never tried before.”

There is absolutely nothing wrong with packing your child’s lunch. Many young people have certain nutritional needs that can best be monitored by the parent. If you are packing a lunch because you believe the school lunch to be unhealthy, however, that was yesterday’s thought. In reality, today’s school lunches are both affordable and healthy.


By Jamee Larson

Stary Olsa Performing at the Festival!


Stary Olsa Performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival!

 SHAKOPEE, Minn., (August 30, 2016) – Belarusian band Stary Olsa is making a journey to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival! Giving modern rock songs a twist while keeping some of Belarus’ musical traditions alive, the band wants to show the crowd how much their culture has in common with songs that are being produced today. Joining the festivities during the Passport to Adventure weekend, Stary Olsa is making a stop at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival to perform one of their concerts over September 3rd – 5th.

 Stary Olsa is a medieval Belarusian band. Their name comes from a brook in the west part of Mahilio? Region, which is located in Belarus. The band originated in the late nineties by Zmicier Sasno?ski. He wanted to bring back to life traditional Belarusian music, showing a new audience his culture’s rich history and traditions. The band comprises of people with a wide variety of talent who are either classically trained musicians or self-taught. Their different musical backgrounds bring forward a sound that is unique and special to today’s music world. Looking at old images and pictures the band has created many of their own instruments such as bagpipes and drums, that give the band the tools needed to create the traditional Belarusian sound. Constructing their own instruments pays tribute to the traditions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania where Belarus was the main cultural and geopolitical part in the 13th – 18th centuries, and where there was a unique combination of Belarusian folk and aulic music.

The band has access to songs from the 16th and 17th century allowing them to create music that incorporates their country’s past with modern day music. They have recorded twelve albums featuring songs that are popular European songs from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, and some that have traditional Belarusian ballads, marital songs, and canticles. Stary Olsa recorded YouTube videos of them re-creating classic rock songs, and fans from around the world began commenting on their videos saying how fresh and new these old classic rock songs sounded. They requested the band make a CD of these songs by artists like Metallica, AC/DC, The Beatles and more. In February of 2016, Stary Olsa had launched a Kickstarter to campaign to help raise money for their new album by offering different handcrafted projects and individual performances. Reaching their initial goal in one week, they decided to stretch their goal out to fund a U.S. tour, and by mid-March they had reached that goal and were planning a tour in the U.S.

You can watch Stary Olsa perform at the Pavilion Stage. Performances happen daily over Labor Day Weekend at 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:00 p.m., and 5:15 p.m.

 The Minnesota Renaissance Festival begins its 46th season on Saturday, August 20, and ends on October 2, 2016. The Festival is open weekends; Labor Day and Festival Friday, September 30, 2016 from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., rain or shine. The Festival is located seven miles south of Shakopee on Highway 169. Festival patrons can enjoy 16 stages of live entertainment, 250 artisan vendors and 7 theme weekends, full combat jousting and food fit for a king! Admission at the gate: Adults $23.95; Children 5 – 12 $14.95; seniors $21.95; four and under are free! Discount tickets are also available at participating Menards, Super America, and Walgreens. Coupons toward admission are available at participating Subway and Papa Murphy’s locations. Visit www.renaissancefest.com or call 952.445.7361 for more information. Also make sure to follow us on social media, @MNRenaissance!


For more information contact:

Jordyn Bacon

Marketing Intern



Fargo Snow

The summer is coming to a close, and in this neck of the woods, the snow will by flying sooner than you think. For those of you wanting to be pro-active about your plowing needs this year, call the friendly and professional team at Fargo Snow. This snow and ice management company is one of the biggest and best in town, with hundreds of residential and commercial accounts throughout the South Fargo and West Fargo areas.

The Snow Experts

The folks over at Fargo Snow are dedicated to ensuring their customers’ needs are met; this company is “snow only,” meaning their entire focus is on the pretty white powder that typically becomes the bane of our existence come late fall. Founded in 2007 by Steve Koep, Fargo Snow has grown by leaps and bounds to become the go-to guys when it comes to removing ice and snow.

“I started with one truck back in 2007,” Koep explains. “Now we have a team of 10-12 guys each storm out there getting the job done. It’s been a big change, I learn a little more each year, and it’s been a lot of fun. I really love snow, and I love challenges. The challenges in each storm are different, and that makes it very rewarding to wrap up each storm.”

The Best Machines to Get the Job Done

When asked what sets Fargo Snow apart from their competitors, Koep jumped in immediately.

“That’s easy! We have a fleet (currently 7) of John Deere tractors with snow blowers on them. These tractors are smaller than a pickup, about the size of a Jeep, and they are very nimble and quick. Each of these units is identical and are set up with a 7′ snow blower to quickly and efficiently blow the snow from driveways. Blowing snow is soooo much nicer than using a truck, our customers absolutely love it!”

Koep noted that the vehicles used are always up-to-date and that the fleet is upgraded regularly to ensure the best job done no matter what. In addition to the tractors, the company also has a number of specialty trucks and loaders for the extra-tough jobs.

Social Media + GPS = a Match Made in Snow-Removal Heaven

In addition to their fleet of impressive vehicles, Fargo Snow also keeps their customers informed in real time at all times during a storm. Utilizing GPS units within their vehicles, the technicians can give status updates via social media from the beginning to the end.

“From the time a storm is a “maybe” on the horizon, to during the storm, and after it’s over, we are keeping our customers informed,” says Koep. “With our GPS tracking we know exactly how our routes are going, and we let our customers know by updating our Facebook page. GPS has been a great technology to embrace, and our customers really appreciate that we are sharing our progress during each storm.”

Even if you’re not our customer, I encourage you to “like” us on Facebook, we do our best to keep you informed about the street and weather conditions all winter. (facebook link in article please )*Karen this may be under the photo as a quote?

Stay Ahead of the Curve

While it’s not quite winter yet, the team at Fargo Snow encourages both residential and commercial clients to be pro-active when it comes to their services so they do not get caught off-guard when the first storm hits. Koep breaks it down:

“We have flat rate pricing — Most driveways are only $375 – $395 for the entire winter. This is basically insurance against shoveling snow!”

Fargo Snow also features a customer referral program. For every friend or neighbor you sign up, you get $50 – the folks don’t even have to be on your block.

“You’ve heard of us, you probably already knew our name, you see us servicing your neighbor’s driveway, give us a call and let’s take care of your driveway too!” *Karen – requested as maybe a picture or inline quote?

Winter is Coming – Trust Fargo Snow

When it comes to snow and ice management, Fargo Snow is the name to remember. The fleet is often on the road before city plow trucks and pays special attention to high-traffic areas. In fact, their policy is to automatically clear snow after every 2” accumulation without customers even having to call.

Steve Koep encourages anyone who is in need of snow and ice management to reach out personally, and he will guarantee your needs are met.

“We have hundreds of happy customers with more signing up every year. If you’d like a quote for your driveway or your business please don’t hesitate to call 701-235-SNOW for a free quote, or send me an email to Steve@FargoSnow.com.”


Rachelle Gordon

EagleRidge Development

EagleRidge copy (2).jpg

Are you looking for a new apartment, condo, or townhome in the Fargo/Moorhead area? The team at EagleRidge Development is ready to help you find the perfect home for you and your family. Their dedication to community and quality yet affordable housing means you’re sure to find your new home, sweet home. With over 50 years of combined experience, EagleRidge properties stand the test of time.

The EagleRidge Difference

Designers and developers at EagleRidge pride themselves in being able to maximize the square footage in each unit and offer the best dollar per square foot. They offer high value and quality in order for residents to feel like their rental isn’t just an apartment, it’s a home.

“We aren’t just building apartments, townhomes, villas, or single family developments, we are building communities,” explained EagleRidge representative Abbey Benson. “That’s why we have started having events for our residents and why we have added amenities, such as onsite gyms and playgrounds. We want our residents to feel safe and welcomed, and we think that if we encourage our residents to build a community that is connected, we can achieve that.”

Shadow Crest Townhomes – a New Development for Modern Families

This summer, the Shadow Crest Townhomes came onto the market. They are 7-plex townhomes with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units.

“These townhomes are unique to the Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo area – you almost have to walk into one to truly understand just how different they are,” said Benson. “They are luxury and in the perfect location – right off of Veterans Boulevard. They all have a private entrance, an attached garage, large walk in closets, a walk out patio or balcony, central heating and cooling, and stainless steel appliances. We currently have two units staged (one 1-bedroom and one 3-bedroom) by Monica Hart Interior Design.”

Benson added that there are currently two specials being offered for Shadow Crest: with an 18-month lease, residents can pick out an accent wall and a backsplash. With any lease that is 13-month or longer, they receive 1 month free.

Something for Everyone

Whether you are looking for a new home in an up-and-coming single family development or need a perfect apartment or townhome, EagleRidge Development has you covered. In order to keep up with growing demand, the company has several developments planned for the future. They currently own nearly 400 acres of underdeveloped single family home properties and 80 acres of multi-family and commercial properties. Give them a call today to see what’s currently available and what’s on deck – you’ll be relaxing in your new home before you know it!


By Rachelle Gordon