The cost of abandoning a historic but structurally unsound grandstand at the Grand Forks County Fairgrounds and building a new facility outside of town could cost more than $23 million, according to early estimates. But local leaders and others say it is important to preserve the decades old landmark that is home to major races and once hosted a U.S. president.
A Grand Forks County Fairgrounds grandstand that was christened by a U.S. president has structural problems, leaving leaders with a difficult decision. At least one county commissioner has proposed tearing down the stands.
For 15 years, Dale Zahradka has put advertisements in the local newspaper looking for help on his farm. For 15 years, he has not received a single reply. Zahradka's farm is located 17 miles north of Michigan, N.D., a town of 294, and when asked what larger community he is located near, Zahradka said, "That's the problem, you know, there is no big town." This is the reality for many farmers in North Dakota, and, like Zahradka, they have had to rely on seasonal foreign workers.
Summertime means more bicycles on the road, but Grand Forks residents might have noticed even more around than usual—and in more flamboyant varieties. The Community Foundation's Gears of Gratitude project, which celebrates the foundation's 20th anniversary, asks community members to creatively decorate bikes as additions to the city's public art. The bikes can be sponsored by an individual, family, business, school or nonprofit organization, and they are display around the city from June 30 to Sept. 30.
Elizabeth Carlson faced a challenge. The relatively new social studies teacher at Red River High School wanted to teach her students about the scientific revolution and Isaac Newton's theories on gravity. But how could she make the lesson memorable to her 21st century ninth-graders? Interestingly, it was an old trick she learned from her grandfather that was successful. Standing on her desk, she dropped an obviously heavy object and an obviously light object, letting the class observe the equal speed at which they approached the ground.
FISHER, Minn.—Friday was humid on U.S. Highway 2, and smoke from wildfires in Ontario billowed into the air across the plains. That didn't stop Steve Epp from walking through the haze near Fisher as he shouldered a 40 pound wooden cross. The 66-year-old said the northwest Minnesota portion of his 4,000-mile walk across the country has been particularly lonely, but within a half hour on Friday morning, he was visited by three different cars who stopped to talk to him about Jesus.
East Grand Forks will have new bus routes going through town. The City Council voted Tuesday to renew contracts with the state of Minnesota and the city of Grand Forks regarding public transportation routes. By doing so, they approved City Area Transit's new bus routes. The new routes were designed to make stops more frequent, according to city officials. "They were getting complaints that it was taking too long to get from one point to another," City Administrator David Murphy said.
Before he was lieutenant governor, Brent Sanford was mayor of Watford City, N.D. The town currently stands at just over 6,500 people, with 264.4 percent population growth since 2010 according to the U.S. Census. In his keynote speech at UND's two-day workshop "Smart, Local, Resilient: Enabling our Communities through Research Partnerships," Sanford talked about the importance of fostering growth in rural communities. When he moved back to Watford City in 2004, Sanford said, the community was struggling "in the face of devastating population loss."
A native of Wahpeton, N.D., and longtime resident of Grand Forks, Robin David thought she had a pretty good handle on local culture. That was, until she was given the task of showing newly arrived Bhutanese refugees around the annual Potato Bowl French Fry Feed. "I remember trying to explain it to them in advance and saying, well we have this week where we celebrate potatoes, and you know it just started to sound so bizarre," David said. But, David realized, this is what has made her work with new Americans so rewarding.
On the verge of closure only five years ago, the Cooperstown Medical Center board has taken a step into the future by approving the construction of a new building. The board approved the project in April and it is projected to cost $26.2 million, according to CEO Nikki Johnson. The center's current building was built in 1951, and Johnson said it would need significant renovation to keep operating.