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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On paper, the East Grand Forks Police Department is back at full staff after more than a year of facing staffing shortages. In practice, the department is still down three bodies, as two new hires are still in the field training program and a third officer is on medical leave. The shortage has led to extra overtime, but Chief Mike Hedlund said those problems should be wrapping up soon when one of the officers completes training at the end of this month. "That one extra body makes a big difference," he added. The department has been down multiple officers since last year, meaning it has bee
Wine, women and dirty songs highlighted a recent journey I took through a time before cellphones, cars and indoor plumbing. Before this past weekend, I had never ventured to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
NEWFOLDEN, Minn.—Jerica Olson's family has been selling pumpkins for 10 years from their farm just south of Newfolden, but this is the first year the produce will be pink. Olson, 27, and her parents, Joel and Rhonda Olson, are selling pink pumpkins and are donating part of the proceeds to breast cancer research. "We've had great-grandmothers with breast cancer. We've had really close friends of the family get breast cancer," Jerica Olson said.
A group of local hobbyists are hoping a club they want to start can take off with the help of a new field for flying radio-controlled aircraft. The group has approached the East Grand Forks City Council in search of an area of city-owned land about the size of a football field that it can use to fly aircraft. "There's a lot of people in the community that want us to move ahead here," said East Grand Forks resident Tom Stennes, who is a member of the group. The resurgence of RC aircraft comes with the growing presence of the unmanned aircraft industry in nearby Grand Forks, and Stennes said
The lobby walls are now blue and the meeting room awaits new flooring, but not all the changes made in the past year at the Circle of Friends Humane Society have been physical. New faces and philosophies have emerged since the Grand Forks animal shelter's longtime executive director Arlette Moen was dismissed Sept.
When it comes to doing business in North Dakota, members of the unmanned aircraft systems industry say it's the openness and passion state officials and residents show for the technology that brings them here. Representatives from four companies elaborated during a panel discussion Wednesday about why they choose to operate from North Dakota at the ninth annual UAS Summit & Expo held at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. "All the pieces come together right here in North Dakota," said James Cieplak, senior business development manager for defense contractor Harris Corp. Panelists seemed to ag
Tenant spaces are filling up in buildings planned for the first construction phase at Grand Sky. Half of the available spaces in the unmanned aircraft systems business park now have leases attached to them, according to Tom Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co., which is behind the park's construction. Swoyer gave an update on the $300 million business park's progress Wednesday during the ninth annual UAS Summit & Expo at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks. Grand Sky Development is in the midst of installing about $8 million in infrastructure at the site, located on land adjacent
If the East Grand Forks city budget pass as proposed, residents would see a higher property tax bill, but a city tax hike wouldn't be responsible for the entire increase. At the City Council's Tuesday work session, the council learned the average house could see a roughly $215 increase on its property tax bill assuming a 25 percent increase to the city's tax levy is passed and its property value increases at least 12 percent. City staff determined the average value of a property in the city to be $198,000. City Administrator David Murphy said the Polk County Assessor's Office reported land
As mishaps with unmanned aircraft systems become more publicized so have the legal questions surrounding their use. A panel of attorneys sought to clarify some of the laws of unmanned flight, data capture and insurance Tuesday at the ninth annual UAS Summit & Expo in Grand Forks. Invasion of privacy is one legal problem that comes with UAS use, conjuring images of unmanned aircraft flying over fences and hovering outside windows. Lisa Ellman, a partner with Hogan Lovells law firm in Washington, D.C., said the privacy pushback is similar to those experienced by past technologies, including c
General Atomics plans to open an unmanned aircraft flight crew training academy that could be operational in Grand Forks County by early next year, officials said Tuesday. The academy, created by an affiliate of defense contractor General Atomics, aims to close a gap between the supply and demand of trained unmanned aircraft pilots. "General Atomics is not new to the training game," Director of International Programs Dan Fritz said.