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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Each week, Herald reporter Brandi Jewett answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics. Q. The stoplight on Grand Forks' First Avenue North at the intersection with North Fifth Street is extremely slow and frustrating for everyone I know who takes that route into downtown. In fact, I recorded a video today as I headed into downtown and found that it took at least four minutes and that's only because a pedestrian came along and pressed the switch. Traffic on Fifth was sparse, adding to the frustration.
More than 3,800 high school students in Grand Forks were observed crossing the street for a few days last spring and fall. About 267 of them crossed the street distracted. Their noses were buried in a text conversation on their phones or headphones were plugged into their ears. In some situations, it was a combination of both, according to Carma Hanson, coordinator of Safe Kids Grand Forks who was recording her observations for a national study. "What we found was very alarming," she said, noting the grade-school fundamental of looking before crossing a street wasn't being used.
The City of Grand Forks rolled out the welcome wagon Wednesday for four officials visiting from Kanuma, Japan. Their visit coincided with the arrival of 15 Kanuma students who will be staying in Grand Forks and attending classes as part of the cities' student exchange program. School district staff presented gifts to the delegation at a ceremony earlier in the morning and more were given by Mayor Mike Brown in the afternoon. "There have been a lot of gifts today.
Grand Forks' Community Violence Intervention Center may have to cut services and staff by the end of the month if the ongoing federal government shutdown is not resolved. In a week, the center is set to run out of money it receives as reimbursements from the federal agencies for services rendered. "If things don't get straightened out, we'll have to borrow on our line of credit to get through the end of the month," executive director Kristi Hall-Jiran said. The center provides services to prevent and resolve domestic violence situations within the city and Grand Forks County. The shutdown
In front of a standing-room only crowd, the Grand Forks City Council passed a law Monday banning housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the city. Grand Forks becomes the first city in the state to do so, according to council members. The council approved the law by a vote of 5-2 with members Terry Bjerke and Ken Vein dissenting. While Vein voted against the law after seeing a lack of incident data, Bjerke said he was against identifying any group of people as a protected class -- including those already defined under state and federal law.
Each week, Herald reporter Brandi Jewett answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics. Q: Is North 42nd Street going to be fixed anytime soon? I'd say it's a pretty rocky patch of road, and I hope it will be tackled next year. A: The good news North 42nd Street is on the city's radar. The bad news is you'll have to wait a few years before you're driving on smooth road up that way. The city tentatively has the North 42nd Street project slotted for 2018 or 2019 depending on when it can get federal funding.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Hi, my name is Brandi. I cannot tell you how many times I have said this phrase in my life or started an email in this fashion.
At its final meeting Thursday evening, a task force recommended constructing a new building to house the Grand Forks Public Library. The Library Working Group, assembled to propose action for the facility, found that building a new library was the best of four possible scenarios. The other three options were doing nothing, completing basic building and equipment upgrades and remodeling and expanding the building. "As I said at the last meeting, this is the beginning of a process and not the end," said Chairwoman Sandi Marshall.
A Grand Forks apartment building could be constructed in an "unusual" spot if the city gives the project a green light. Developers have brought forward a plan for an apartment building to be constructed at 2750 and 2900 DeMers Avenue -- just west of the Columbia Road overpass. Preliminary plans showed the building would be four stories tall and contain a maximum of 145 units. The apartments would be marketed mainly to UND students. The land is zoned for commercial use.
Bus schedules for Cities Area Transit in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks just got a lot handier. A new phone and web application debuted earlier this summer that allows patrons to view bus routes and departure times instantly. The app is called RouteShout, and CAT Mobility Manager Ali Rood said it will make riding public transit easier for regular and new riders. "Say one morning you discover your car doesn't start or it's raining and you don't want to walk somewhere," she said, adding someone in this situation may not have a paper map handy.