Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.
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When it comes to jobs in North Dakota, it's still an applicant's market. Despite continued challenges to the state's leading energy and agricultural commodities, the unemployment rate was about 2.7 percent as of April, according to Job Service North Dakota. The job data, which coincides with spring thawing, might hold some answers for more than just job-hunters. Unemployment rates are being closely watched by economists tracking the fortunes of North Dakota, looking for signs of recession or growth.
A documentary film detailing the life of UND's former Fighting Sioux logo and nickname is coming to a wrap after years in the making. Filmmaker Matt Fern, who works by day at his Bismarck video editing company The Creative Treatment, will screen through mid-June the documentary—titled "Unauthorized: The Story of the Fighting Sioux"—for private audiences in Grand Forks, Minot and Fargo. The initial run of screenings will be limited to those who donated to the film's production through a 2015 crowdfunding campaign hosted on the website Kickstarter.
If you're in the market for a former motel turned university dorm, you might be in luck. UND is looking to sell Dakota Hall, an off-campus building, to help finance its grander plans for campus revitalization. The university recently was authorized to transfer ownership of the building by the state Legislature in its latest appropriations bill for higher education.
Longtime community leader and Grand Forks native Marijo Shide died Monday at the age of 86. The constant volunteer was known throughout the region for her work with a host of organizations both large and small. Those who knew her best say her legacy is one of tireless dedication to bettering her community and the world at large.
Ray Richards Golf Course isn't as well manicured as it used to be. The UND-owned property shut down at the end of last season as the university chose to divest from the public-use, nine-hole golf course at 3501 DeMers Ave. in Grand Forks. The course's greens won't be up to par for a game of golf this season, but UND facilities leader Mike Pieper said the course won't look like a prairie either.
For a time on UND's campus, one or more unknown people were chalking sidewalks with an oft-quoted statement—Black Lives Matter. The full motto didn't last long, according to student Lauren Chapple. "A day or so after, simply the word "black" had been crossed out," said Chapple, who is the outgoing president of UND's Black Student Association. For her, the erasure is symbolic of a wider trend on campus in which people of color go unseen and unheard. "It's a concern, and it definitely affects how people feel when they attend classes," she said.
DEVILS LAKES, N.D. -- The Tuesday spill of hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel into Devils Lake is not expected to seriously harm the lake and its fishery, said a representative of the North Dakota Department of Health. Karl Rockeman, director of the health department’s division of water quality, said Thursday that about 500 gallons of diesel fuel seems to have dissipated after leaking into the water from a faulty pump at a North Dakota Army National Guard station.
Easternwings Airlines Flight 576 departed recently from Sioux Falls, S.D., much as it always has, bound for Grand Forks International Airport. It didn’t make it -- not in one piece, anyway. The plane is very real, but the flight is a work of fiction. Even the airline is fake, a dreamed-up carrier that only operates a route from Sioux Falls to Grand Forks.
The UND admissions leader who has headed up an ongoing, approximately $3 million marketing push is leaving the university in June for a similar position at Northern Illinois University. Sol Jensen, assistant vice president for enrollment services, has been at UND since 2013 and has led UND's branding and advertising effort since its announced start at the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year.
UND professor Colin Combs is in good company. The medical researcher was named a Chester Fritz distinguished professor, the highest honor awarded to UND faculty, in a surprise Friday presentation ahead of spring commencement. Combs is the chair of the department of biomedical sciences in the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences and was recently named a "captain" to oversee a major health research area outlined in the university's five-year strategic plan.