Brandi Jewett is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald with beats focusing on northwest Minnesota, unmanned aircraft systems and East Grand Forks city government. A native of Valley City, N.D., 26 years worth of winters haven't scared her out of the state yet. Follow her work at grandforksherald.com, on her blog at droningon.areavoices.com and on Twitter and Instagram: @brandijewett. Send tips and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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College students looking for a piece of the unmanned aircraft system industry's future gathered Monday in Grand Forks to help launch their career plans. More than 100 students and educators from UND, Northland Community and Technical College and other schools gathered for a day of their own as part of the UAS Summit and Expo held at the Alerus Center. The summit brings together hundreds of industry experts to Grand Forks to showcase the technology's latest developments.
Jakee Stoltz and Matt Henry spend their workdays flying a variety of drones for researchers in Grand Forks, but they don't put the controllers down when they clock out for the day. The pair are behind a chapter of recreational drone racers that is taking shape in Grand Forks called Red River Rotocross. While many drone hobbyists use the devices to take aerial video and photographs, Henry and Stoltz found the aircraft can be used for even more after finding videos of various racing events on the internet.
Pennington justice center groundbreaking set THIEF RIVER FALLS — With the last of construction bids awarded for a $17.8 million justice center, the project is expected to break ground in September. The Pennington County Commission awarded the final bids during its Aug. 9 meeting, according to a report in the Thief River Falls Times.
The presence of drones and other remote-controlled aircraft will be strong in Grand Forks over the next several days as events and a major conference kick off in the city. Racing and airshows will precede the start of the 10th annual UAS Summit and Expo, which brings together hundreds of representatives from business, government and military organizations to showcase the latest technology and efforts coming out of the unmanned aircraft systems industry.
The East Grand Forks City Council will hold off on spending $84,000 to purchase a new records management system for the Police Department until the city's 2017 budget takes shape. Most council members voiced their support for the new system, but said they'd like to take a look at the cost in the context of the overall city budget.
It's officially every man by himself in the race for the East Grand Forks mayor's office and City Council seats. Tuesday's filing deadline for candidates passed without any new additions to the five open races, each of which has one declared candidate. For mayoral candidate Steve Gander, the lack of an opponent won't change his approach the next few months as he gets out to the community to meet residents and listen.
With a backhoe featuring a gold-painted bucket as their backdrop, East Grand Forks and Grand Forks leaders took golden shovels of their own Monday and broke ground on a joint wastewater project. The ceremonial gesture paves the way for a pipeline that will transport sewage from the East Side to the west, a project that has required cooperation on numerous levels from both city staffs in the eight years that have passed since its inception.
A successful summer continues for the newly renovated East Grand Forks swimming pool. The pool has topped previous attendance records and drawn users from around the region, including Grand Forks. In the first 55 days of operation, the pool has posted 7,455 visitors and reached a total revenue of $30,221, according to an email from Interim Parks and Recreation Superintendent Mark Dragich. "Hopefully these numbers will continue to grow for many summers to come," he said in the email.
There was a time in 1988 that Dan Boyce can recall no water flowing over the Riverside Park dam. A drought had slowed the Red River's flow but the demand for water from East Grand Forks and Grand Forks continued. "All the water that was coming down the river and the Red Lake River was being used between the two cities," said Boyce, who is the general manager of East Grand Forks Water and Light.
Staff members with the city of Grand Forks are hoping to give residents and visitors a new virtual way to explore the town and its local events. The Public Information Office has partnered with two local drone companies to give visitors to a new website a 360-degree view of Grand Forks staples using a special camera and unmanned aircraft, also known as a drone.