Andrew Haffner covers county, health 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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For the mild-mannered Midwest, the Red River Valley can experience some downright volatility when it comes to temperature. So far this winter, the Grand Forks area has experienced at least two warming swings of about 50 degrees in less than a week's time. Temperatures rose from the chilly depths of more than 20 degrees below zero to crest to the low 30s. Besides making it more of a challenge to dress for the weather, the extreme fluctuations can make for a bumpy road when doing upkeep on local infrastructure.
UND has officially begun the state-mandated process of approving the demolition of eight campus buildings. Those buildings are: • 2912 University • 314 Cambridge (formerly Conflict Resolution) • 317 Cambridge (formerly Center for Community Engagement) • Chandler Hall • Era Bell Thompson Center • International Center • Strinden Center • Women's Center
A bill introduced to legislators Wednesday could reinstate the ability of police employed through the North Dakota University System to make off-campus arrests. Sen. Curt Kreun, R-Grand Forks, sponsor of Senate Bill 2193, said the proposal was written in consideration of a 2015 decision of the North Dakota Supreme Court that ruled that officers employed through NDUS could not extend their jurisdiction beyond campus boundaries.
Diversity and social justice leader the Rev. Jamie Washington will come to UND for the second installment in the Eye of the Hawk Lecture Series. Washington's presentation, "Diversity and Inclusion in 2017: Our Next Round of Work," is described in a news release as an interactive discussion to encourage conversation about race dynamics and the personal effects of racial intolerance, as well as the healing process that follows such intolerance.
A bill set for debate by House legislators Tuesday could reject the concept of "safe spaces" in North Dakota higher education by bolstering protections for speech and expression. Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, sponsor of House Bill 1329, said the proposed chapter is responding primarily to conversations about free speech in higher education occurring beyond the North Dakota University System.
Higher education leaders in northeast North Dakota are searching their budgets for any fiscal slack as they look to likely reductions in state funding. Alice Brekke, UND vice president for finance and operations, said the university is in the midst of an internal planning process to determine the best means to handle the prospect of future budget cuts.
The Chester Fritz Auditorium was filled with the rise and swell of orchestral music Friday as the annual Honor Band, Choir and Strings Festival opened on the UND campus. The festival brought about 400 high school musicians to campus from North Dakota and Minnesota to rehearse, attend master classes in their musical areas and perform in a concert setting.
EMERADO, N.D.—Eight people, including a family of two adults and five children, were displaced by a Thursday morning home fire which destroyed their duplex in Emerado, N.D. Emerado Police Chief Dan Lund said the family of seven escaped their unit uninjured before first responders arrived at the scene on the 200 block of Sixth Street. "Everybody was safe," Lund said.
UND employees received a buyout offer Wednesday to voluntarily resign their posts or "phase down" their workload. The university announced a series of limited-time voluntary separation programs aimed at reducing staffing costs in light of expected state funding cuts for higher education. Both faculty and staff members are included in the program offerings. The window for submitting an application for a buyout opened Jan. 18 and will close Feb. 15. Not all staff members are eligible to participate in the program.
There's still plenty of winter freeze coming up this season, but the onset of gentler temperatures inspired some hope Wednesday in the Grand Forks area. For UND sophomore Brady Siebels, it also inspired a change of clothes. "I was sweating in sweatpants and made my way back to the dorm to change," said Siebels, who was walking the campus in shorts. He said he usually gauges his switch to shorts at temperatures of around 30 degrees—on Wednesday, the high temperature was right around 32 degrees.