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. She also serves as an alumni adviser to UND's Dakota Student newspaper. 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 recent defeat of a bill to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation statewide has some Grand Forks residents headed to Tuesday's City Council meeting looking for a similar local law. "We wanted to start the movement in Grand Forks as soon as it ended in Bismarck," said UND law student Tim Heise, 33. He and other members of One ND, a group fighting against discrimination, will ask the council to pass a law like Senate Bill 2252, which was aimed at employers, landlords, hotels, banks, and local and state government agencies. Heise, a Republican and father of four, said he
An empty pizza box sparked a debate over cutting taxes for oil companies during a city legislative forum in Grand Forks Saturday. Gerry Nies of Grand Forks used the box as part of a metaphor to set the stage for a question to local legislators: How can they rationalize giving money to out-of-state oil companies? His question was tied to Senate Bill 2336, which would reduce the state's extraction tax by 2 percentage points from 6.5 to 4.5 percent on wells drilled after 2017. Wells created prior to 2017 are not eligible for the tax break. District 18 Democrat Sen.
A meteor exploding over Russia Friday sent out a glass-shattering shockwave from 30 miles up in the air, but sent waves of excitement through the Space Studies Department at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Hundreds of small meteors enter Earth's atmosphere each week, but ones like the estimated 7,000-ton Russian object are a rarity, according to space studies professor Mike Gaffey. "These are natural events that occur all the time," he said.
Following recommendations from the City Council, the Grand Forks Public Library has formed a group tasked with determining what its options are for renovation. The 18-member Library FutureVision Working Group will collaborate with local consulting firm Praxis to decide how the library can meet the needs of the city and Grand Forks County in the long term through possible remodeling and expansions. "They will be finding a solution to some of the challenges affecting the facility," said Library Board President Brian Schill. Those challenges include fixing the building's structural and safety
With ticket sales closing in on 20,000, George Strait's "The Cowboy Rides Away" concert has officially become the biggest selling concert in the history of Grand Forks' Alerus Center. "We expected the show to be a success," said Lance Johnson, the events center's marketing manager. "We're thrilled with the outcome." The Saturday concert, featuring Strait and opener Martina McBride, nudged the 2002 Cher concert out of the top spot. That concert officially sold 19,531 tickets, according to Billboard Boxscore.
The Grand Forks Central High School Knight Riders swim team will spend six hours in a pool this Saturday, but it won't be for a competition. The 36-member team will host a swim-a-thon from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In June 2010, a drunk driver fleeing police in Grand Forks broadsided another car, injuring two, and killing James Freestone, 21, and Tasha Brenno, 19. Their friends and families constructed a memorial at the intersection of South Columbia Road and 17th Avenue South, near the crash site. One day, it disappeared. "We found out who took it," said Jackie Hoffarth, Freestone's sister. "It was a member of the community....
It wasn't an uncommon occurrence to see a child riding shotgun in truck No. 9 as it made its rounds at the Grand Forks International Airport. During his 43-year career in airport maintenance, Stephen "Skip" Rucinski gave his children -- and eventually grandchildren -- plenty of tours of the facility, which they referred to as "Papa's Airport." "He was like a little boy when he was driving those kids around," said Deborah Rucinski, Skip's wife of 44 years. Though the truck was designated No. 9, Skip's favorite number was, in fact, 23.
After the 1997 flood, psychologist and avid volunteer Lee Lipp noticed a change in the attitude of Greater Grand Forks residents. Lipp says an unintended outcome of the cities surviving the multi-billion dollar natural disaster was their residents' increasingly positive attitude toward philanthropy. "After the flood, we received a lot of help from different places," Lipp said, noting that when the community saw that support, a cultural shift occurred. The focus on philanthropy has become stronger than ever in the region, which is good news, according to Community Foundation Executive Direct
As Sue Twedt flipped through pictures of her family's trip to Hawaii in their Grand Forks home, her daughter Hannah, 15, became more and more excited as she remembered the experience. The March 2012 trip wasn't a means to escape the cold of North Dakota's winter. It was all part of Hannah's wish to visit the islands and swim with marine life -- a wish granted by North Dakota's Make-A-Wish chapter. Hannah had undergone surgery to reconstruct her skull just months before in January. "It gave her a motivation for recovery," Sue Twedt said.