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 email@example.com.
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Behind a mound of prairie dirt piled high Wednesday lies a glimpse into the future of the unmanned aircraft systems industry in Grand Forks County. The dirt will be spread and primed for shovels wielded by people whose work in the last few years will cumulate in the official groundbreaking today for Grand Sky, the country's first business park focusing on UAS technology. It's a day that Tom Swoyer Jr. has long awaited.
While East Grand Forks City Council members recovered from the sticker shock of a 33 percent tax levy increase proposal presented two weeks ago, city staff have been searching for savings. At Tuesday's council work session, City Finance Director Karla Anderson brought forward a revenue and expenditure summary for the city's proposed 2016 budget that featured 25 percent levy increase instead. "We are looking at options to give people what they need with what we have available," Anderson said. An increase of that amount leaves costs outpacing revenue by about $41,000 in 2016.
I'm getting green with envy, but it's not over fancy dresses, cute shoes or nice cars. It seems everyone I know has a pet or is getting one. My parents have them, my siblings have them, and my friends are adding them to lives as well.
Grand Forks area law enforcement officials want to make one thing clear: They have no intention of weaponizing unmanned aircraft in the near future, despite some saying it's legal to under state law. North Dakota's new statute governing law enforcement use of unmanned aircraft bans attaching lethal weapons to the devices but leaves out language concerning less-than lethal weapons, such as Tasers or pepper spray dispensers.
A Wednesday visit from an aeronautical company CEO brought officials with Grand Fork County's unmanned aircraft systems business park one step closer to signing a potential new tenant. General Atomics CEO Linden Blue, accompanied by U.S. Rep.
East Grand Forks' preliminary 2016 city budget is starting to shape up, but an analysis shows a hefty tax levy increase is necessary to fully fund city services next year. The analysis indicates the tax levy would need to be 33 percent higher than 2015, with just more than $1 million in revenue needed to cover all proposed city costs. The situation is the result of increases to the tax levy over the past several years not keeping up with rising expenses, City Administrator David Murphy said. The city has not seen a budget increase higher than 5 percent since at least 2008.
Two bids for city projects got final approval from East Grand Forks City Council members Tuesday night, meaning improvements will be made to a local campground and a lift station. The council unanimously accepted a base bid for about $210,000 to install utilities at the Red River State Recreation Area. In total, project costs are expected to run about $257,000, but the city was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
From leaking windows to unrefunded security deposits to discrimination based on having a disability, complaints filed with several agencies detail the alleged woes of local renters. Dozens of complaints regarding Grand Forks County rental properties were filed with the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights, the city of Grand Forks Inspections Department and the Better Business Bureau of North Dakota and Minnesota from 2012 to 2015. Among the county's more than 25,000 renters, some accuse property managers of wrongly charging fees, not completing maintenance work despite multiple
More amenities could come to campsites in the Red River State Recreation Area campground if the East Grand Forks City Council accepts a bid for their installation. The bid received preliminary approval from the council at its Tuesday work session.
About 1,400 customers were without power for about an hour Monday in Grand Forks. The outages were caused by a broken underground cable, Xcel Energy spokeswoman Judi Paukert said. She added the outages last from about 12:21 p.m. to 1:18 p.m.