Brandi Jewett is an enterprise reporter with a focus on northwest Minnesota for the Grand Forks Herald. Other positions she has held at the Herald include 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.
Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @brandijewett
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Population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2012 won't be in until June, but local officials say they feel Grand Forks had a growth spurt last year. Several past population estimates from the agency have shown a decline, while the area Metropolitan Planning Organization's own estimates say otherwise.
A committee is recommending two Greenway projects to Grand Forks city leaders despite some criticism from residents living near the potential sites. One project is a proposed disc golf course in Riverside Park.
A request for a special license to sell alcohol during Springfest will head to the Grand Forks City Council for final approval -- but not without opposition. The council's Service and Safety Committee voted 2-1 Tuesday to approve the license and a noise variance for the annual music event.
Rick Duquette's first job for the City of Grand Forks required him to wear a police uniform. Thirty-four years, he'll be retiring in a suit and tie, a uniform of a kind for the city's top unelected official. Duquette, 57, said he's officially calling it quits Oct. 1 after a dozen years as city administrator. "Leaving (the city) in a good place is important to me," he said. He notified Mayor Mike Brown and City Council members of his decision Monday, he said. "You know that employee you can recommend whole-heartedly without hesitation? That's Rick," Brown said Tuesday.
They say nice guys finish last, but I've heard it argued that they don't. Instead they are actually finishing in first place -- at being stupid. It's a harsh criticism most of these "nice" guys don't want to hear, but in my experience it's not far from the truth. Personally, it's never been a pleasant experience to see a male friend develop a crush on a girl that seems nice enough, but you know the only thing she and your friend have in common is they both breathe air. But, she's got a rockin' bod and a pair of blue eyes set to "stun," so there's no escape for your male friend.
A Grand Forks City Council committee is endorsing the formation of an alcohol abuse prevention task force that will examine the need for changes to city alcohol policy -- including the creation of a criminal social host law. The task force would discuss alcohol policy issues and related items such as a perceived lack of alcohol-free events in the community. "We need to have a task force that is focused on alcohol concerns," said Brianna Crawford, an assessment coordinator with UND Health and Wellness, during a meeting of the council's Service and Safety Committee on Thursday.
They are two Grand Forks men on opposite ends of the abortion issue, but Gary Hangsleben, 67, and Roland Riemers, 69, say they came together to create an opportunity for open discussion. The pair is behind petitions seeking to put North Dakota's recently passed abortion laws to a statewide vote -- a move they believe will give all residents a chance to speak their minds. "We just want a good, healthy debate, especially for this issue with so many emotions involved," said Riemers, the pro-abortion rights half of the duo. However, others in the abortion controversy have criticized their effor
If South Columbia Road is your go-to route for getting around Grand Forks, you may want make other daily travel arrangements before May 1. That date marks the beginning of a four-month closure of Columbia Road from the DeMers Avenue interchange to 11th Avenue South. The closure is part of a $4.2 million overhaul of the road and is the first phase of a multi-year repair project.
The First Avenue North parking ramp in downtown Grand Forks will be getting a facelift after City Council voted Monday night to move forward with the nearly $2 million renovation project. Greg Hoover, director of the city's Urban Development Department, told council members there isn't an imminent collapse in the ramp's future, but it would have to shut down in a few years if repairs were not completed. "It's obvious there are many problems with the ramp," said council member Doug Christensen.
The United Way in Grand Forks announced Monday it had reached its fundraising goal of more than $1 million -- a feat President Pat Berger was worried wouldn't happen. "We started out thinking it would be one of the worst years, but it turned out to be the best," she said. The United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and Area raised $1,035,000, which was $10,000 more than its goal and the most it has ever raised in its 56-year history, according to Berger. "The community really came together," she said.