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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When it comes to building permits costs, Grand Forks is on track with other large North Dakota cities but still above average, according to a consulting firm hired by the city. Praxis Strategy Group presented its finding to the city's Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing Wednesday night. In Grand Forks, the average building permit for a $200,000 home is $1,430. Only Minot charges more for a permit for a comparable home at $1,574. Fargo is the cheapest at $1,203. The average for the six cities surveyed is $1,383.
East Grand Forks mayoral candidate Wayne Gregoire is calling on Mayor Lynn Stauss to stop using what Gregoire is dubbing "a misstatement of fact" in his re-election campaign. Gregoire, vice president of the City Council, agrees with a majority of the council that the city should build a wastewater interconnect bringing the city's sewage to Grand Forks' treatment plant. Stauss, who has vetoed the project twice this year, allegedly claims that Gregoire, as mayor, would support the interconnect and raise property taxes 20 percent. "I'm hearing more and more that I am going to raise taxes if I
Grand Forks city employees set to receive a 5 percent pay increase or more would need City Council approval if a new law is passed. During a special session Monday, the council voted unanimously in favor of creating an ordinance that would require pay increases of 5 percent or more of an employee's salary to be sent to it for approval. Promotions would be exempt from the law. The motion, made by council member Dana Sande, came on the heels of another idea proposed by council member Terry Bjerke.
Reinstallation of traffic signals at the intersection of DeMers Avenue and Fourth Street is set to finish up Tuesday, but it won't be the last traffic headache for downtown Grand Forks drivers. To upgrade the traffic signals at DeMers and Third Street the city will close Third Street to through traffic one block north and south of DeMers starting Wednesday. "We're calling business owners on Third Street today and tomorrow to get their feedback," Mike Yavarow, an engineer with the city, said Monday. Construction at the intersection is expected to last seven to 10 days.
A fire at a north Grand Forks home displaced the family that lived there and killed two pet cats on Friday, according to a fire department official. Firefighters responded to a call of a possible attic fire at 117 Fenton Ave. in the Riverside neighborhood shortly after 3 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Mike Sandry. No one but the cats were home at the time of the fire. Firefighters had the flames in the second floor bathroom under control in a matter of minutes, Sandry said.
A Walsh County, N.D., sheriff's deputy was released Friday after posting bail following an arrest on charges of burglary and damage to property in Crookston. Adam Koenig, 22, of Park River, N.D., made his initial appearance in court Friday morning and was released on $500 bail. His pre-trial appearance will be Jan. 14 in Polk County court. Koenig was hired by the sheriff's department in September, according to county records.
The faces change along Maria Fischer's delivery route through the north end of Grand Forks, but her mission to provide food to those who need it has remained the same for the past 11 years. That's how long Fischer has been volunteering for Home Delivered Meals, a free service based at Altru Hospital. Fischer is one of about 75 active volunteers that deliver about 90 meals by request from individual in need or from social service organizations. "Last year around this time it was about 75 meals a day," said Wendy Wood, director of Home Delivered Meals. Increasing demand has left the organiza
A deputy with the Walsh County (N.D.) Sheriff's Department is in custody after being arrested in connection with a break-in at a Crookston convenience store. Adam Koenig, 22, of Park River, N.D., was arrested by police on charges of burglary and damage to property after he was found lying behind the till of a Holiday gas station. According to police, officers responded to a report of a suspicious person with blood on his face standing outside the gas station around 3:42 a.m.
Fifty tons of leaves have been collected in Grand Forks so far, and more is expected as fall progresses. As of Monday, leaf vacuums have sucked up 35 tons in the Riverside Park area and another area just west of South Washington Street, according to LeahRae Amundson, the city's sanitation asset manager. The remaining 15 tons were hauled in from yard-waste drop sites on Monday. Tuesday's wet conditions made leaf pickup a little more troublesome. "While the crew members prefer a little moisture to keep the dust down, too much moisture makes it more difficult to vacuum the leaves," Amundson s
Grand Forks City Council members, city officials and local legislators met Monday night to begin developing the city's positions for the upcoming 2013 state legislative session, singling out taxes and road and water projects as priorities. The city's Legislative Committee presented a discussion agenda of topics covering taxes, transportation, housing, water projects along with funding. Property tax relief was identified as an important issue by council members. District 17 Sen. Ray Holmberg noted about $400 million was set aside in Gov.