Brandi Jewett is an enterprise reporter for the Grand Forks Herald and reports on a variety of topics. Other positions she has held at the Herald include city government reporter, general assigment reporter and news intern. While attending the University of North Dakota, she worked as a news reporter and editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, The Dakota Student. She now serves as one of its alumni advisers. A native of Valley City, N.D., 23 years worth of winters hasn't scared her out of the state yet.
You can follow Jewett and her reporting projects on her blog www.diggingdeeper.areavoices.com.
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Things seem to be coming together for a new arts center proposed for downtown Grand Forks. The North Valley Arts Council, the organization behind the push for the Arts Creation Center, received a $90,000 grant earlier this month from the North Dakota Department of Commerce's tourism division. The center would provide space for organizations to make, rehearse, perform and share art of all forms. The grant joins another $75,000 grant awarded to the group last year.
Each week, Herald reporter Brandi Jewett answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics. Q. While driving, I heard sirens and pulled over. Both a fire truck and an Altru ambulance were responding. Why do two units respond? Who pays for these calls?
State employees in Grand Forks County brought the heat -- and blood -- in an annual blood donation competition held Thursday in the Grand Forks County Building. State workers donated head to head against county and city workers in the Holiday Blood Drive Challenge.
Grand Forks City Council voted Monday to add a section to the city building code requiring builders to cover unfinished basement ceilings with drywall in new homes. The covering is meant to serve as added fire protection for the home's structures, but local builders say the requirement creates extra costs and waste. The section's addition was part of the city's adoption of the latest international building code, which is updated every three years, according to Building and Zoning Administrator Bev Collings. The previous version of the code lacked the requirement.
Each week, Herald reporter Brandi Jewett answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics. Q. We have the only driveway on our block and the whole world seems to think it's OK to use it as a place to turn around. We try watching TV at night and it's just headlights back and forth in our home. Is there anything we can do as homeowners to keep this from happening? A. If your street is an unmarked dead end, there may be some hope for deterring the turnarounds.
In the past decade, two programs created by the city of Grand Forks have been making recommendations on how to spend millions of dollars in art and special events money. City meeting minutes going back at least 10 years show suggestions from the Art Re-Grant and Special Events programs were rarely a source of controversy. The same can't be said for this year. Pushback from local organizations and concerns about the committees' procedures threw the programs into the spotlight and under the microscope of City Council. "We had to tighten things up a bit," said Council President Hal Gershman.
When you're my age, living in North Dakota is like a sinking ship -- people expect you to jump into a lifeboat and paddle to safety. Whether they define safety as a big city across the country or just anywhere outside of the state line, it seems people just assume young adults are jumping ship and following their dreams to other states -- except me and a few other hardy souls that is. The community elders always seem bemused by my choosing to live here voluntarily. It's not because I can't seem to find a lifeboat. I don't see living here as the end of the world.
A Black Friday shoplifter didn't get quite the deal she wanted at the Grand Forks Menards, but she did hit a store employee with her car as she left the parking lot, according to police. Instead of making off with her haul, the suspect abandoned her cart and fled. The incident began shortly after 9 a.m. on Friday when a woman walked out of Menards with a cart full of stolen items, according to police Capt. Mark Nelson. A store employee followed her to her vehicle and tried to stop her from leaving by blocking its path.
While many gathered around tables to share their Thanksgiving meal, the Holth family of Grand Forks ate their turkey and mashed potatoes from trays in a room in Altru Hospital's family birthing center. Jonathan, Emily and Sophia, 2, ate just down the hall from the neonatal intensive care unit, where the newest addition to their family, Evelyn, was sleeping. Evelyn arrived earlier than expected, entering the world at 3 pounds 12 ounces on Tuesday, but in just time to spend the holiday with her family.
A proposed change to Grand Forks' building code seems to have pitted two unlikely groups against one another. Fire department leaders are against the change for safety reasons while local builders want it to be embraced for financial reasons. The change involves adding a code requirement that dictates lightweight construction should be covered by materials such as drywall.