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Fargo-Valley City

WDAY Reporter Kay Cooley Arrested For DUI

kay cooleyWDAY reporter Kay Cooley was arrested Monday on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead reports:

The trooper pulled Cooley over as the result of a citizen’s driving complaint, [Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse] Grabow said. A preliminary breath test showed Cooley had a blood alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit for driving of 0.08 percent.

Cooley was booked into the Becker County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree driving while intoxicated, which is a misdemeanor.

WDAY-TV News Director Jeff Nelson declined to comment on Tuesday. He said Cooley is still employed at the TV station.

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Jim Shaw Leaving KVRR For Health Reasons

shaw kvrrJim Shaw, news director at KVRR, has announced he is resigning from the Fargo, ND, FOX affiliate.

Shaw has led the news department since it launched in 2000. KVRR said his last day is Friday.

“It was a very, very difficult decision to make,” Shaw told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He then described how the newsroom reacted after he announced his decision. “I was crying, they were crying, a very emotional day.”

Although he is recovering from complications stemming from an intestinal infection, Shaw said he decided he needs more time to fully recover and regain his energy.

“I don’t have a full tank of gas in me,” he said. “I’m running with less than a full tank.”

Shaw was able to return to work a couple of months ago following a medical leave, but said he doesn’t have the energy to be as engaged as he would like. Read more

WDAY Launching Statewide Morning Newscast

wday_croppedWDAY in Fargo is launching North Dakota’s first statewide morning newscast.

Beginning April 28, WDAY’s morning newscast will air on stations in Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, Williston and Dickinson, N.D. The newscast, which runs from 5 to 7 a.m. and is anchored by Travis Skonseng and Rebecca Lebak, will also be available on WDAY-AM and online.

Earlier this year, WDAY launched a statewide weekend newscast.

Daryl Ritchison Signs Off From WDAY

daryl ritchisonDaryl Ritchison, the morning meteorologist at WDAY in Fargo, is leaving the station for a job at North Dakota State University.

“I’ve never actually had a ‘day job,’ so to speak, in my adult life,” Ritchison told The Forum. “So it was just an opportunity that I just thought I would take.”

Ritchison has worked at WDAY for 18 years. Before that, he worked at KSFY in Sioux Falls, S.D. and KEYC in Mankato, Minn.

WDAY news director Jeff Nelson said Aaron White and Rebecca Lebak will fill in until a permanent replacement is named.

“It’s too bad. I wish he was staying, but I understand that working, getting up at 3 a.m. every morning and doing it for that long has got to be tough on a person,” Nelson told The Forum. “I wish him nothing but the best. He was always the consummate professional here.”

What Are Local Stations Covering?

Fargo Station to Launch Statewide Newscast

wday_croppedWDAY is about to launch a newscast that will be seen throughout all of North Dakota.

“WDAY News will broadcast on all the ABC affiliates in North Dakota on Sunday’s at 530P,” Forum Communications director of broadcasting Mari Ossenfort told TVSpy. “We will deliver the news, weather and sports that is important to ND and the region, since our signal also reaches Canada, western Minnesota, the northern peak of South Dakota and the eastern fringe of Montana.”

Forum Communications, owner of WDAY plans to use its other owned stations WDAZ in Grand Forks, ND, KBMY in Bismarck, ND, and KMCY in Minot, ND. Read more

Fargo’s KVRR Transitions to HD

kvrr setFargo Fox affiliate KVRR made the transition to high definition this week, the Forum News Service reports:

The switch required purchasing high-definition gear, a studio redesign and a lot of work, said Kathy Lau, general manager of KVRR and chief operating officer of Red River Broadcast and Red Rock Radio. “From a management point of view, it’s been almost like building a station from the ground up,” Lau said. “It’s been no simple task, but we’re very excited. We’re looking to give our viewers the best product possible.”

In Fargo, ABC affiliate WDAY was the first station to switch to HD, according to the Forum News Service. KVLY-KXJB also broadcast in HD.

Fargo Station Works Out Deal with School Districts to Avoid Prosecution

MellaneyMoorePioneer Press is reporting Fargo CBS and NBC affiliate KVLY-KXJB has agreed to not assign school stories to reporter Mellaney Moore for 90 days in exchange for the having trespassing charges against her dropped in Fargo and Moorhead, MN.

Moore was investigated by West Fargo, Fargo and Moorhead after her hidden camera investigation into school security where she entered three different schools without checking in at the front desks.

The essentially identical agreements hashed out with school officials — signed by the districts’ superintendents as well as Moore, the news director and the general manager of Valley News Live — say the districts will ask prosecutors to charge Moore if she commits any trespassing violations in the next year.

The mediated settlement specifies that officials from neither the districts nor Valley News Live will take retaliatory action against each other in the wake of the agreement. Read more

Fargo Won’t Press Charges Against Reporter Testing School Security

MellaneyMooreKVLY-KXJB reporter Mellaney Moore will not face charges for entering a Fargo public school without first checking in at the office.

The reporter for the Fargo, ND, NBC and CBS affiliate had her hidden camera investigation into local public school security turn on her when she became the subject of police investigations in Fargo, West Fargo and Moorhead, MN, after entering city schools there without permission.

Fargo Assistant City Attorney Jason Loos told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, “The investigation showed that she did what she did under direction of her superiors or superior or someone over at KVLY.” He also told KFGO, “We’ve reviewed the case, and our understanding is the school district worked out a resolution with the news station, and isn’t inclined to prosecute.” Loos said. “We typically respect the wishes of victims in these types of cases.”

According to The Forum, it seems likely Moore will not face charges in West Fargo either. “Truly, there is no positive purpose to be served by the school district pressing charges or prosecuting Ms. Moore,” said Heather Konschak, spokesperson for West Fargo Public Schools. “That is not the nature of what a public school does in a community.”

Moorhead police have forwarded their investigation to the Clay County Attorney’s Office. The Forum said County Attorney Brian Melton couldn’t be reached for comment.

Fargo Reporter Faces Another Police Investigation, Claims of Inaccuracy

moore_kvly_schools-1The Duluth News-Tribune reports KVLY-KXJB reporter Mellaney Moore is facing further scrutiny after her hidden camera investigation into school security.

The Fargo police department has added its name to the list of two cities already investigating the reporter for the Fargo NBC and CBS affiliate. Moore is currently being investigated by West Fargo and Moorhead police for her hidden camera investigation looking into how easy it would be for a stranger to enter local schools.

In addition to Moore’s legal problems, the superintendent of the Fargo school district is now questioning the accuracy of Moore’s report.

Fargo Superintendent Jeff Schatz said Friday that the security cameras at a district elementary school show Valley News Live Reporter Mellaney Moore entering the school near the office and taking a quick left. Schatz said a faculty member then noticed Moore wasn’t wearing school identification in the hallway and asked her what she was looking for. The staff member then directed her to the office to sign in.

The video shows Moore walking back toward the office, stopping momentarily, then heading out the door without checking in, Schatz said. Read more

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