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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A $3.4 million building project in the Thompson (N.D.) School District failed to receive enough votes to pass Tuesday. The project, an addition to the district's K-12 school, was unsuccessful in receiving a 60 percent approval. The vote was 248 in favor and 247 against the addition. If passed the addition would have included two classrooms, a stage for music and theater productions and a gym. A 17-mill levy over 20 years would have been required to fund the project.
Grand Forks' public smoking laws will be stricter following a City Council vote Monday. To align with provisions laid out by the recently passed Measure 4, local businesses will have to make several changes, including moving outdoor ashtrays and posting additional antismoking signs on buildings and company vehicles. Under Measure 4, a statewide initiative, smoking is banned in public places and in a majority of businesses in North Dakota. "The city has no choice but to move forward with the changes of Measure 4," City Attorney Howard Swanson said.
Creating a video about transforming dinosaur toys landed a family from Cavalier, N.D., an early Christmas present -- a five-year supply of toys. Miranda Lotz and her three children entered VTech's video contest and won the grand prize from the toy maker. The toys showed up earlier this month much to the delight of the kids, Mason, 8, Miriam, 6, and Cyrus, 4. "They saw the box and screamed 'Mom, the toys are here!'" Lotz said. The contest was part of the company's promotion of its Switch & Go Dinos toys, according to spokesperson Molly Sawyer.
No positive results have surfaced among 68 tuberculosis tests conducted at Phoenix Elementary School in Grand Forks, according to a Friday news release. The Grand Forks Public Health Department began testing students and staff members at the school after it confirmed on Nov. 9 a student did have the disease. While conducting further testing, a second student's results came back positive for TB Wednesday.
The cost of housing for some renters and potential homeowners in Grand Forks has reached the point of being unaffordable, according to a report released by a city commission. After almost three months of deliberation, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Housing released its report Wednesday detailing the condition of Grand Forks' housing market. Created in August, the commission was tasked with creating the report and developing strategies to solve some of the city's housing problems. "We need more affordable housing for low-income families and more housing for the elderly," said commission membe
Thinking out of the box has been Rick Harrison's approach to designing neighborhoods long before he started his own planning firm in 1993 in Golden Valley, Minn. He presented his neighborhood planning concept of prefurbia -- a twist on the word surbubia -- to Grand Forks city officials and community members Tuesday night at City Hall. The goal of prefurbia is to design neighborhoods that residents would prefer to live in over traditional developments often created on a computer in five minutes, according to Harrison. "Everything is attention to detail," he said. Using this concept, Harriso
The first thing you may notice about 19-year-old Shelby Debell is the neck brace she wears. The second is her infectious smile. These days, she has a lot to smile about. Debell, who is from Grand Forks, was one of four passengers critically injured in an auto accident on Aug.
Snowfall for the Grand Forks area today isn't expected to be as heavy as previously predicted, according to the National Weather Service. Previous forecasts called for 1 to 4 inches of snow, but new data indicates the area would see only about 1 inch, according to John Hoppes, a meteorologist with the local weather service office. Predicted snowfall for the Devils Lake Basin also decreased, dropping from 1 foot to 6 to 10 inches. The Devils Lake area and northwest portion of North Dakota remain under a winter storm warning until Sunday as well.
Renovating the 40-year-old Grand Forks Public Library would cost an estimated $13.9 million, according to a new architect's report. That compares to the $20.8 million cost of building a new library proposed in 2011, which voters decisive rejected. Lonnie Laffen, president of JLG Architects, and Library Director Wendy Wendt presented the report to the City Council on Monday. He noted that if the cost of the renovation is more than 60 percent of the cost to build new, then building new is usually the better option.
In the District 42 Senate race, incumbent Democrat Mac Schneider, 33, kept his seat against challenger Republican Ross Lien, 22. Schneider won with 57.2 percent or 2,853 votes to Lien's 42.8 percent or 2,109 votes, according to complete but unofficial results. Schneider was elected to the state Senate in 2008, and he served on the industry, business and labor committee as well as the natural resources committee. Lien is a student studying business economics at UND.