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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Two Grand Forks apartments sustained thousands of dollars in damage Wednesday after a frozen pipe burst and flooded the units and nearby hallway. The units' tenants will be unable to return to their homes for some time, according to Mike Sandery, battalion chief for the Grand Forks Fire Department. He gave an unofficial damage estimate of $10,000 for the two apartments. Firefighters were called to the Mall View Apartments, located on 24th Avenue South, at about noon responding to a report of water seeping into an apartment.
Grand Forks City Council members voted Monday to hold off on forgiving the remaining $440,000 balance of a city loan given to the owners of the old Metropolitan Opera House. The council voted unanimously to table the request until the property's owner, Lonnie Laffen, and prospective buyer, Dan Sampson, rework details of their deal.
Weather experts say to bundle up because bitterly cold wind chills won't be leaving the Grand Forks area anytime soon. The city saw a wind chill low of 38 below zero Monday, and the National Weather Service predicts similar wind chill values for the rest of the week. "If you have to go outside, wear appropriate clothing," said Tom Grafenauer, a meteorologist with the Grand Forks weather service office. The weather service issued a wind chill advisory for northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota that is active until noon Tuesday.
Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" address, more than 100 people gathered Monday in Grand Forks to remember and reflect upon on the life and legacy of the speech and its giver. "He prayed and worked hard for a world that would be better," said Fred Wood, chancellor of the University of Minnesota-Crookston. "We're closer to his dream, but we're not there yet." The celebration "I Have a Dream -- Fifty Years Later" started at 11 a.m.
Though the 4th Street Eatery is known for its homemade soups, entrees prepared from scratch and Better Than Robert Redford dessert, it has a mission that extends beyond serving good food. Located on the sixth floor of the County Office Building in downtown Grand Forks, the restaurant was established in 2006 to assist community members battling with mental illness. "We're not here to make a profit," said manager Elaine Olson.
Despite enduring heated debate over wage increases in the past several months, including over a promotion that council members didn't know about, the city of Grand Forks received praise Wednesday for its employee salary plan. The city hired Public Sector Personnel Consultants to review its plan, which was first implemented 11 years ago and has not received a major evaluation since. Firm president Matthew Weatherly delivered the compliment at the City Council's Wednesday night work session. "Your city is the envy of other clients," he said.
Grand Forks, with its large hospital and numerous medical specialists, draws patients from a vast region.
To bring down housing costs, Grand Forks residents say the city should talk more about these issues with the community, and find ways to reduce the cost and financial burden of infrastructure. Residents were asked to select their top three priorities out of a list of 12 selected by the city's Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing. Community engagement's high ranking is a good sign, according to Mark Schill, a consultant working with the commission. "I think people are willing and eager to participate in this process," he said.
An update to Grand Forks' stormwater policy raised questions about public safety at Monday's City Council meeting. The update, passed unanimously, included changes to the city's specifications for stormwater ponds, used to manage drainage. Some of the changes were meant to make the ponds safer and discourage the public from entering them, according to City Engineer Al Grasser. Under the new policy, the steepness of the ponds' sides would be reduced and a more gradual decline called a safety shelf would extend 10 feet into the water.
Whether you're hunting for unique knick-knacks or don't want to spend $100 on new rug, you may find what you're looking for by rifling through the shelves and racks of local secondhand stores. The Greater Grand Forks area is home to more than a dozen stores that may specialize in gently used clothing, furniture or offer just about any household good. *Denotes store staff did not return calls for comment by press time. 1. Clothes Mentor • 2500 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks • (701) 757-2800 • Carries only brand-name women's clothing and accessories.