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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It's mid-afternoon on Todd Feland's first official day as Grand Forks city administrator, and he's discovering he's got a lot to learn about City Hall. "He doesn't even know where the coffee is," said Executive Assistant Diane Stanislowski with a laugh as she pointed him toward a coffee maker around the corner from her desk in the mayor's office. Feland, 42, who has served as the city's public works director for the past 13 years, just moved into his City Hall digs from his old office at the Public Works building on 47th Street. His office walls are bare and his desk is devoid of any sort o
The Grand Forks City Council won't be revisiting a vote it made two weeks ago that reaffirmed that art grants must be given only to groups with arts-based missions. Council member Tyrone Grandstrand made a motion to reconsider the vote after critics of the decision complained but no one seconded his motion at the council's meeting Monday night. On Oct.
While more and more houses and businesses continue to pop up on Grand Forks' south end, it's the west end where city staff members say there may be significant growth in the next few years. Earlier this year, patches of land were identified as growth areas by the city and require significant infrastructure investments -- including streets, sewers, stormwater ponds and water service -- in preparation for development. "Growth in those areas will occur in the near future," city Public Works Director Todd Feland said.
Each week, Herald reporter Brandi Jewett answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics. Q: We enjoy providing peanuts in the shell to the squirrels and blue jays in our backyard. Not all these peanuts get shelled and consumed in our backyard, however.
The first time someone called me a tomboy was in second grade. I had never heard the word that a girl threw my way during recess one day, and there was only one reaction I could muster -- I cried. Big, soggy tears rolled down my chubby, little face. My blubbering caught the eye of the playground supervisor, who, after hearing my piece, assured me that it was nothing bad. As it turns out, being called a tomboy really wasn't, though, I admit, my reaction at the time wasn't very characteristic of a tomboy. But I can't say that my classmate was wrong.
They crash at friends' places, stay with relatives or can sometimes afford a motel room. There's a roof over their heads and they're not on the streets in the public eye, but these people are homeless -- a group that sometimes seems to slip through the cracks of a social care system by circumstance or by choice. In 2012, the North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People found that 16 percent of the 972 homeless people it surveyed statewide described this as their living situation.
Health insurance providers in North Dakota are slimming down some of their plan offerings to meet state benchmarks, but the cost of insurance doesn't seem to be decreasing for everyone with the reduction in options. Blue Cross Blue Shield and Medica are reducing their offerings of insurance plans, but raising premiums to cover costs associated with changes established by the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. "Changes in premiums for health insurance will vary, depending on a person's situation," Blue Cross spokeswoman Andrea Dinneen said in a statement.
While it has the funding all wrapped up, the Grand Forks Police Department still needs approval from the city before it can order two night vision scopes for weapons. The purchase received preliminary approval from the City Council's Service/Safety Committee on Tuesday. The scopes are priced at about $10,000 each and would be used by the Grand Forks Regional SWAT Team in situations involving dark environments.
Public Works Director Todd Feland is one step closer to being hired as Grand Forks' new city administrator. Feland's employment contract received preliminary approval from the City Council's finance committee Monday night, after a few adjustments. One of those was a decrease of his proposed salary.
It's been 17 years since an annexation agreement was signed for the neighborhood of Shadyridge Court, located just south of Grand Forks. Now, as the Jan. 1, 2014 annexation date looms, its residents are petitioning City Council to delay it.