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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The Grand Forks City Council approved an amendment to city law Monday that protects city employees from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The change will go into effect immediately and makes Grand Forks the first city in North Dakota to include this protection in city law. Director of the city's human resources department, Daryl Hovland, said he did not see the amendment having an effect on the department. "We hire the most qualified candidates," he said.
Grand Forks residents have the option of acquiring brand new recycling containers complete with lids and wheels following a Monday City Council vote. The council approved a plan 5-2 that would expand the city's curbside recycling program after nearly two hours of debate.
I had a map emailed to me the other day. Actually, it ended up being one of 22 maps published on the website Business Insider under its politics section. The maps didn't highlight the type of politics that involve elephants and donkeys. Instead, they depicted the politics of Americans and the English language, or more specifically, the battle over pronunciation and word choice. Having lived in North Dakota all my life, I know I pronounce things differently than people from other states.
A group examining the future of the Grand Forks Public Library is seeking public comments on what the facility's priorities should be. The survey, created by consulting firm Praxis Strategy Group, will be available online for at least the next month and will be accompanied by a public meeting next month with a date yet to be determined. It can be accessed at http://bit.ly/gflibrary and also will be posted on the library's website www.gflibrary.com within the week, according to Praxis consultant Mark Schill.
A Facebook slip-up had one Grand Forks City Council member in hot water Wednesday, marking another piece of the communitywide tussle over expanding the city's recycling program. Council members received an email Tuesday night with a screen shot of a Facebook status posted by Tyrone Grandstrand of Ward 2. The status was part of an email campaign urging residents to contact their council members and voice their support for expanding the recycling program. Grandstrand told the Herald Wednesday he copied the status from someone else but failed to see one line of text that would have his fellow
After being volleyed back and forth between the City Council and its service committee for a month, the future of Grand Forks' curbside recycling program may finally be decided Monday. Council members have been discussing two proposals for the program, the first of which will continue the current level of service while the second seeks to expand it. Both result in significant costs increases for residents. No matter which one the council members pick, Public Works Director Todd Feland said the service's success will continue. "People are using the service whether it's at the drop sites or
Altru Hospital in Grand Forks is lacking in patient safety, according to a nonprofit organization that gave the facility low marks in an annual national performance survey. More than 2,500 hospitals were given letter grades that represented their overall score in for keeping patients safe from preventable harm.
All eyes are on Grand Forks as it mulls becoming the first city in North Dakota to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. City Council member Bret Weber, who is in favor of the ban, said cities such as Fargo, Grafton and Mandan are waiting to see the outcome of the proposed amendment to city law defining classes protected from discrimination. If Grand Forks passes the amendment it will likely be the start of a statewide trend, according to Weber. "We're going to be the first of many cities that will pass laws like this," he said Monday.
Gas prices have jumped by 30 cents or more in North Dakota in the past month, but AAA says relief is on the way. The price spike has left North Dakota with the fourth-highest average gas price in the nation at $3.99.
A choice between two options for Grand Forks' curbside recycling program had the City Council divided at its Monday meeting. The council was asked to pick between extending the city's current level of recycling services and increasing that service. Increasing the level of service could result in higher program participation, according to Public Works Director Todd Feland, but could come with additional costs upward of $700,000 to pay for new containers. Council member Tyrone Grandstrand voiced support for increasing service. "I think it's something people would be willing to pay for," he s