Brandi Jewett is a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald with beats focusing on northwest Minnesota, unmanned aircraft systems and East Grand Forks city government. A native of Valley City, N.D., 26 years worth of winters haven't scared her out of the state yet. Follow her work at grandforksherald.com, on her blog at droningon.areavoices.com and on Twitter and Instagram: @brandijewett. Send tips and story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Federal funding for roads, bridges and other infrastructure isn't keeping up with needs in northwestern Minnesota and regional leaders would like to see that change. Several attended a listening session Wednesday in East Grand Forks where they were given time to voice their concerns to staff working for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn. In their corner of the state, county officials say roads are in need of work but funding can be scarce for such a rural area.
Restaurants and bars caught selling alcohol to minors could see stiffer penalties for racking up multiple offenses in East Grand Forks if a proposed ordinance change passes. In response to businesses failing multiple compliance checks, city staff are proposing to track offenses over a longer period of time. City law tallies offenses that occur in a 12-month period, which is a time frame deemed too short by Police Chief Mike Hedlund.
A trip to space is in the cards this year for a homemade UND satellite, but students and alumni behind the small device said its purpose extends beyond orbiting Earth. The device started as an idea in 2011 among a group of students looking to create a project that could prove helpful to a larger community of learners. "We finally came up with making a satellite that makes it easier for everyone else to make a satellite," said Jeremy Straub, the project's director and a recent doctoral graduate of the school's computer science program.
Creating connections between local businesses and the growing drone industry in Grand Forks is the driving force behind a new monthly lunch series launching this week. For several years, the city and North Dakota as a whole have garnered a reputation for being a hub for unmanned aircraft systems activity and event organizers say they want to continue building on that foundation.
KITTSON COUNTY, Minn. — More than 75,000 acres comprise the Roseau River Wildlife Management Area, but each year it seems more of that land is drowning under floodwater. Wildlife Supervisor Randy Prachar watched Thursday afternoon as a pair of loons glided over the surface of a pond within the area. No chicks followed the adults. "They probably lost their family — lost their nest — to the flooding," he said, slapping away mosquitoes.
A federal research initiative centered on integrating unmanned aircraft systems into national airspace with ties to North Dakota could see an additional three years of operation. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., announced Wednesday the U.S. Senate and House reached an agreement to extend the Federal Aviation Administration's authorization through September 2017. Included in the bill is Hoeven's proposal for a three-year extension of the agency's UAS test site program, which includes the Northern Plains UAS Test Site headquartered at UND in Grand Forks.
Gene Payson has seen the world from the controller of small unmanned aircraft systems. He serves as chief trainer for Unmanned Vehicle University, a job that sends him to cities...
A change to lot lines approved Tuesday by the East Grand Forks City Council is expected to pave the way for a new apartment building on the city's north end. The council's six present members voted unanimously to approve the changes to the lots and their corresponding concept development plan. The apartment building would be added to the existing Green Acres apartment complex located at 1800 Fifth Ave. N.E.
After taking a deep sniff from a bag, Daisy bolted into the thick prairie brush in search of her target. It's not the first time the bloodhound and her handler, North Dakota State Trooper Cody Harstad, have hit the trail in search of a person, but it is the first time they've had help from what could become a routine partner. Hovering hundreds of feet above Daisy's head was a unmanned aircraft operated by Grand Forks area law enforcement officers.
Gene Payson has seen the world from the controller of small unmanned aircraft systems. He serves as chief trainer for Unmanned Vehicle University, a job that sends him to cities and Air Force bases around the United States regularly and across oceans as well. "I was called up by an Arab sheik and he flew me out to his yacht in Monaco, and I spent four days with this Arab sheik training him how to fly his (unmanned aerial vehicles)," Payson said. "So yeah, I get around."