Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.
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(WDAY)—New developments have emerged Wednesday night in connection with a story we have been following since the airing of our award-winning TV Documentary: "Trafficked." A bill in Congress that cracks down on predators and sex traffickers online is headed to President Trump for his signature. Work on this legislation started five years ago and Wednesday afternoon the Senate voted and approved SESTA; the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act.
CASS COUNTY—Students from Northern Cass are putting to practice elements of the new "Jaguar Academy." 8th and 9th graders from the school took downtown Fargo by storm, meeting with business leaders and non-profit groups. The students are part of North Dakota's first "personalized learning program." Eventually, all will be part of the "Mass Customized Learning" project where students will work at their own pace in a more customized environment.
FARGO—It is easy to throw away or burn wood scraps since they tend to clutter our garage or basement, but a group of men at Hope Lutheran Church is turning those scraps into unique "crosses of comfort." In a south Fargo home the work begins; Gerald Larsen, carefully cutting crosses, all from scrap pieces of wood headed to the landfill. Close to 20 men gather monthly, part of the Hope Lutheran's prayer cross outreach, just retired guys with nothing to do. It is quite an assembly line they have, one group does the prep work; sanding and getting the edges smooth.
WAHPETON—One of Wahpeton's manufacturing giants is teaming up with a familiar face; the farmer. WCCO Belting announced on Tuesday the rubber used in its manufacturing, will now contain soybean oil. The company ships everywhere, so soybean farmers are thrilled with the announcement. 200 workers on three shifts are turning out belting products for farmers, construction and industrial customers around the world.
FARGO—When students one day read the history books and online stories of North Dakota Governor George Sinner, the pages will be filled with good humor and tales of leadership through adversity. Bud Sinner, a two term governor, was remembered on Friday in Fargo as a man of dignity whose "caring for others" surpassed any partisan politics. All those who packed Nativity Church in south Fargo on Friday, had some kind of "Bud Sinner Story."
FARGO—Imagine the thrill of parents watching their two-year-old run, jump and climb stairs. All this after sitting by that child's side for his first 300 days of life, it is an update to a story we first brought you a year ago. Owen Kummer is now spending his days, just being a kid. In addition to a lot of mom and dad time, Owen is working at and learning to do "two-year old things," thanks to physical therapists like Jordan Bahr. "Our goal for them is to do for them what their peers are doing," says Jordan Bahr, Owen's phyiscal therapist.
METRO—Thousands of students here in our region joined a national rally for school safety today in one of the country's biggest school walk-outs ever. In Moorhead, students didn't have to even leave the building, in order to get their point across. A thousand Moorhead High students didn't pack a school gym just for a 17-minute break. "We all deserve to live, yet these lives were cut short. These are their stories," said Moorhead High School student, Luke Seidel.
FARGO—We all know the importance of having family and friends walk alongside us during an illness or cancer battle. But a stranger beside you? Monday March 12th was the last day of chemotherapy for a Fargo mother of two. That itself is reason to celebrate. But throw in a surprise from someone she did not know, who volunteered to be there with her for her these last few weeks. It all started in a hair salon. Rachel Hinton was shaving off her hair in preparation for Lymphoma cancer treatment.
FARGO—Are you nursing or icing a sore back tonight? Join the club. If you shoveled today's snow, we don't have to remind you. It's heavy and wet. But there was one thing this snow was good for, building snowmen. Eli and Braeden had the perfect solution to boredom on this storm day off from school. "I am making a snowball for my snowman," said, Eli. Mackenzie Hamm of the Schlossman YMCA helped guide the two boys to a day of building a snowman. It indeed was a perfect storm.
MOORHEAD—You know that feeling when you pull on brand new socks? Across the nation, volunteer groups are delivering something life-changing to homeless shelters; thick, quality socks. Bob Baker knows what comfort and safety mean. "New socks, Bombas, they are good, really good socks. They are thick and comfortable and don't drop down. Bombas, they are the bomb," said Baker. He's survived hurricanes and storms, and is a guest now at Churches United.