Brandi Jewett is an enterprise reporter for the Grand Forks Herald with beats focusing on northwest Minnesota, unmanned aircraft systems and East Grand Forks city government. Other positions she has held at the Herald include Grand Forks city government reporter, general assigment reporter and news intern. A native of Valley City, N.D., 24 years worth of winters haven't scared her out of the state yet.
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Finding an apartment can be challenging, but for those who have a dog or cat in tow the task can be nearly impossible, according to Grand Forks renters. Patrick Bailey, 23, has been renting in the city for four years while studying history and political science at UND. He said he preferred to live near campus or his downtown job, but his permanent roommate, Lou, has made finding a home tricky in the past. Lou is a 5-year-old Australian shepherd and black lab mix. "It's difficult to find places that do allow dogs," Bailey said. Places that do often have a weight restriction.
It's a basic lesson in supply and demand, but a lack of apartments and an increase in rent has made life anything but simple for Grand Forks renters. Serena Lackman, 23, recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment, a goal she has had since moving out of UND's residence halls three years ago. Her income-based rent is lower than the rent charged for similar places and allows her to keep her place while going to school for her second degree. "It's the only way I can afford to live by myself," Lackman said. "It's really disappointing.
Grand Fork resident Aaron Castoreno can sum up the city's rental market in two words. "It sucks," he said. "Basically, you can't find anything, or it's gone right away." The 28-year-old father of two has been searching for a house to rent near his children's elementary school for about of six months. He and his wife Taylor gave up trying to buy a home near West Elementary a while ago, he said. They've toured a few homes in that neighborhood, located just east of UND's campus.
In a move that left some Grand Forks City Council members shocked and others smiling, Mayor Mike Brown cast a tie-breaker vote Monday against the proposed expansion of the city's recycling program. "Why spend $2.4 million when it's working just fine," Brown said of the current system. The expansion was part of a proposed six-year contract with firm Waste Management.
After working at Gilly's Bar & Grill for six years and purchasing the downtown Grand Forks establishment last year, Nick and Sarah Horak are ready to make the place their own. The husband-and-wife business owners are transforming the late-night college hotspot into a bar focusing on craft beers and eatery featuring entrees that go beyond the usual bar fare of fried food. Gilly's will close for a few days this week and reopen Friday as Brick & Barley Bar & Restaurant. Having a craft beer bar is something the Horaks say they have wanted for some time and hope the move will expand their custom
Downtown Grand Forks' visitors and workers will have to wait a few more weeks until they can use the parking ramp across from Central High School. The first phase of a $2 million repair project isn't expected to be complete until the end of the month. After that, the ramp will reopen partially to permit holders, with all construction wrapping up in late November, according to city spokesman John Bernstrom. The ramp, which houses 403 parking spaces, has been closed since July for repairs on corroded and cracked concrete. Several alternative lots will remain available for downtown parking, b
Efforts to tackle high-risk alcohol use in Grand Forks and the culture surrounding it got under way this week. The Community and Campus Committee on High-Risk Alcohol Use met for the first time Wednesday afternoon. The committee would work to establish a culture of low-risk drinking in the city through awareness campaigns, recommending law changes and other efforts. The group's inaugural meeting wasn't spent proposing solutions to the community's problems, but rather allowing the members to become acquainted with one another.
City officials in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks are getting closer to a final recommendation for improving the Kennedy Bridge. An improvement project for the bridge is scheduled for 2016, but whether it will be rehabilitated or replaced has yet to be determined, according to Earl Haugen, executive director of the cities' Metropolitan Planning Organization. The MPO is in the middle of studying construction options for the bridge, which spans the Red River on U.S. Highway 2.
Grand Forks residents can expect to see brand new recycling containers in their driveways by November if the City Council approves the bins' purchase next Monday. The bid for new containers, estimated to total about $600,000, along with the city's proposed six-year contract with Waste Management were given preliminary approval Tuesday by the council's Service and Safety Committee. The new containers are part of the city's curbside recycling program expansion that was approved by the council in June.
After completing a nearly 1,300-mile journey, the first piece of a proposed veterans memorial park arrived safely at a storage facility Monday in Grand Forks. The piece is a 24,000-pound anchor from a Navy ammunition ship, the USS Kiska, which traveled by semi to Grand Forks from Texas. It was unloaded by crane at a Park District storage facility where it will sit until moved to its final home at Richard's West Park some time next year. A volunteer crew from Minnkota Power Cooperative guided the anchor to the ground without incident -- though its weight did test the equipment's strength. "