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., 25 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 email@example.com.
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HILLSBORO, N.D.—The new distribution center for Degelman Industries rises above farm fields near Hillsboro, looking little like the building the company started in more than four decades ago in Canada. "Manufacturing started in a barn," General Manager Blair Flavel said, sitting Thursday at the facility's boardroom table. Flavel sat with Paul Degelman, who confirmed the story of how his father, Wilf Degelman, started the company in 1962. "Dad chased the cows out of the barn and turned it into a plant," Degelman said.
PULLOUT AT BOTTOM The latest round of data released by the Federal Aviation Administration detailing sightings of unmanned aircraft by pilots and air traffic controllers shows no new reports in North Dakota. Despite earning a reputation of being an up and coming hub for unmanned aircraft systems technology, sightings in the state have been rare since the FAA began tracking such reports in December 2013, logging only two reports — one each in Grand Forks and Fargo — in the timeframe.
The "Get It All" mascara by New York Color promises a lot with its name but falls short on delivery. The product's slogan screams "No compromises! Get it all for your lashes!" on NYC's website, and from looking at online reviews, the majority of reviewers seem to be satisfied with their experience. Maybe my tube sat around the store longer than usual or the mascara gremlins tampered with it, but the results on my lashes were underwhelming.
Regional efforts to research integrating unmanned aircraft into national airspace received a funding boost Thursday to the tune of $3 million. The U.S. Department of Defense funding will be invested at Grand Forks Air Force Base and Fargo's Hector International Airport to make technical upgrades to their digital airport surveillance radar systems. The upgrade will provide clearer resolution for imaging, allowing personnel to keep an eye on aircraft flying beyond line of sight, which is not permitted by the Federal Aviation Administration.
North Dakota researchers will conduct an experiment next month as part of a program helping NASA study space—airspace, that is. The federal agency is exploring the potential for regulating unmanned aircraft systems traffic as the technology advances and is integrated in commercial operations for tasks such as package delivery, inspections and news gathering. Managing additional drone traffic on top of manned aircraft is key to both types of aircraft coexisting in the national airspace, and NASA is developing a system to do just that.
Tenants of the Grand Sky technology park under construction on land rented from Grand Forks Forks Air Force Base will now have access to a runway for flying unmanned and manned aircraft. The base and Grand Forks County signed a joint-use agreement 18 months in the making Wednesday that will allow commercial tenants of the tech park to use the base's runway. Adding the final signatures to the document during a ceremony held on base were U.S. Air Force Under Secretary Lisa Disbrow and Grand Forks County Commissioner Tom Falck.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—The future of two northwest Minnesota armories could look very different in the next 20 years. The Minnesota Army National Guard's facility in Thief River Falls sits on a list of buildings eyed for closure, while Crookston's armory could see a more than $9 million expansion and the addition of personnel from Thief River Falls.
For a third year, the Chester Fritz Auditorium served as a house of worship for thousands of churchgoers gathering to celebrate Easter Sunday. The location may seem odd, but its size is necessary to host the services, which are put on by Hope Church of Grand Forks. "We started doing it because we outgrew our original facility on Easter," said the Rev. Paul Knight, who serves as lead pastor for the church. "We love the idea that people come out and what we're trying to is create a church for people who don't go to church very often."
Thousands of plastic Easter eggs lay scattered Saturday on the floor of the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, unaware of the wave of children that would soon crash over them. At 10:30 a.m. sharp, kids ages 6 to 8 raced to collect the eggs and fit as many as possible into green bags. The rush of children marked the last egg hunt of the day at the annual Easter Egg Scramble. Between the three rounds of egg hunts, more than 10,000 eggs were plucked from the event center's arena floor by kids as young as 2 years old.
More than 7 million small unmanned aircraft are predicted to fly off U.S. store shelves or arrive on doorsteps by 2020, according to a forecast released Thursday by the Federal Aviation Administration. In its Aerospace Forecast for fiscal years 2016 to 2036, the agency said 2.5 million of those sales could take place this year.