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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By a margin of one vote, the Grand Forks City Council upheld a 2013 performance raise given to city employee Pete Haga at its Monday meeting. A motion made by council member Terry Bjerke to withhold the raise from Haga was defeated by a vote of 4-3. Council member Dana Sande campaigned for Haga to keep his raise. "Anytime you single one person out, you're setting a bad precedent," he said. Along with Sande, Tyrone Grandstrand, Ken Vein and Bret Weber voted in favor of keeping the raise.
Should the world end on Dec. 21 as the Mayan calendar predicts, one Grand Forks resident will be spending his last moments in a bunker -- filled with partygoers, music and drinks. That's because Jason Rolland, 27, scored a place at an end-of-the-world party hosted by Shock Top Belgian Wheat Beer. He won the second in a series of weekly selections organized by the brewing company. "I love doing stuff like this," he said.
Head Elf Lynn Roche had her hands full Saturday afternoon as hundreds of children poured into the Grand Forks Park District's Santa Village. Roche, special events manager for the district, and her team of volunteer elves estimate that they will see more than 10,000 children and their families pass through the village -- located in the Lincoln Golf Course Clubhouse -- by its last day on Dec. 23. "The kids just love it," she said. "We have free cookies, hot cider and hot chocolate.
To escape the drudgery of everyday life, a young girl named Zoé discovers all you need is a magical hat from a headless stranger and a vivid imagination. The story of Zoé's quest to find excitement and meaning in her life takes the form of Cirque du Soleil's production "Quidam," which premiered at the Ralph Engelstad Arena Friday night in Grand Forks. Almost 3,500 people watched as Zoé and the remaining 51 cast members hopped, skipped, jumped and rolled onto the stage to perform feats with hoops, Chinese yo-yos, jump ropes and more. "It's unbelievable," said Sam Lastovich, 20, of Brainerd,
Developing land for housing in Grand Forks comes with hazards, but a city commission is hoping to reduce potential roadblocks. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing met Wednesday and identified promoting new housing development and reducing the risk that comes with it as one of the city's top priorities. Alleviating this risk could be one step in the direction of resolving Grand Forks' affordable housing crunch. "We need land developers to bring in land," said homebuilder Jon Miskavge.
The city of Grand Forks is getting federal and state grants worth $291,000 to improve public transportation for veterans and other riders in six northeast North Dakota counties. The money would be used to create a system to coordinate transit throughout the region, including upgrading the Cities Area Transit website and call center, and equipping rural transit providers with computer-assisted scheduling and dispatch software. Veterans account for 11 percent of the population in Grand Forks, Walsh, Pembina, Nelson, Ramsey and Benson counties, according to a city staff report. The coordinatio
One Grand Forks city employee may not be getting a pay raise in 2013 if one City Council member gets his way. While the council's finance committee was reviewing the city's proposed 2013 salary plan Monday night, council member Terry Bjerke pointed out that Pete Haga, the city's community and government relations officer, would receive a 1.81 percent raise. "He's not getting another raise out of me," Bjerke said. The first raise Bjerke referred to came in May when Haga received a $24,500 raise.
Property tax relief and university support emerged as two of Grand Forks' top legislative priorities Monday in a discussion between City Council members and local legislators. A draft of the city's legislative priorities, assembled by the council's Legislative Committee, was presented to the council during a Monday night work session. Council member Bret Weber, a member of the committee, said the city would be supportive of continued property tax relief, including the state offering comparable relief for renters.
Monday marked the coldest day of winter in Grand Forks so far this year, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures dipped to 13 below zero at the Grand Forks airport and 11 below at the city's weather service office, according to meteorologist Pete Speicher. Grand Forks reached 11 below zero late Sunday night, and Monday hit its low of 13 below before 7 a.m. Low temperatures are expected to remain in the single digits for the rest of the week.
After ending $135,000 in the red last year, earnings of almost $500,000 in this year to date have put Grand Forks' Alerus Center on track to stay in the black. As of Oct.