Jennifer Johnson is the K-12 education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. Contact her if you have any story ideas or tips and visit www.grandforksherald.com.
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Members of United Lutheran Church in Grand Forks were treated to a bluegrass worship Sunday by Thief River Falls-based band The WoodPicks. The performance was part of the church's fifth annual bluegrass worship, followed by a barbecue lunch. Rev. Karla Coen-Tuff said the idea started with their music director, who once heard The WoodPicks perform in the area and wanted to bring their sound to to the church. The band formed in 2005 and started playing their acoustic mix of gospel, bluegrass, country and Americana music for northern Minnesota venues.
A two-car accident on the Columbia Road overpass early Sunday afternoon injured three people and caused extensive damage to both vehicles. Rock Desmarais, 42, of Grand Forks, was driving a Nissan pickup south in the outside southbound lane, started sliding then crossed into the northbound lanes. Amanda Tucker, 26, of Grand Forks, was driving a Ford Edge north in the outside northbound lane and struck the passenger-side front of the Nissan.
A Grand Forks man was injured after a car accident Saturday night with a parked tractor trailer. Michael Hutchinson, 35, of Grand Forks, was driving north on Stanford Road near Gateway Drive when his 2001 Kia Sportage crossed the intersection and struck the trailer of a tractor trailer parked at J.R. Simplot Company. Officers responded to a report of the accident at 11 p.m. Hutchinson had what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Altru Hospital. The driver seated in the parked tractor trailer was not injured.
The promoter of a high school exhibition football game Sunday at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks chose to cancel part of the event, according to a release. Promoter Elite Opportunities signed a facility usage agreement with Alerus to hold its International Futures All-Star Game there, but decided to cancel the first game and combine players in the second game, Lance Johnson, Alerus marketing manager, said Sunday. Alerus Center is not a partner or sponsor of Elite Opportunities or its events, and the promoter complied with its contract, he said.
New and old Americans were invited to share their story Saturday for an interactive art exhibition in Grand Forks. Nearly every wall in the downtown Third Street Gallery was covered in the paint, drawings and musings of people who contributed to the "art party," the final of two interactive exhibits held this month led by local artist Adam Kemp. A reception will be held 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday to honor the success of the project, which was funded by the Knight Fund Community Foundation.
Jason Whitesock of Grand Forks doesn't like running in cold weather. But the volunteer was willing to stand in it for two hours Saturday morning for the Red River Runners Frozen Feat race, one of several outdoor events that drew hundreds downtown and on the ice. "I'm just volunteering and making sure traffic goes into the right direction," he said. "I like to help out with groups like this."
The four finalists competing for the East Grand Forks Public Schools superintendent position include a Grand Forks principal and superintendents from three northeast Minnesota districts. The school system released information on the finalists today. The successful candidate will replace Superintendent David Pace, who plans to resign June 30. Todd Selk is the principal of Valley Middle School in Grand Forks. He's also served as a principal's assistant in Spokane, Wash., and an activities director in Crookston and Brainerd, Minn.
One Grand Forks event held Thursday challenged local and regional artists to create 15 seconds of captivating film. Moviegoers wandered into The Guild art studio to munch on popcorn and watch 21 films by nine ambitious artists vying for a shot at prizes. "We have everything from a film taken on a cellphone to a high production, post-editing type work, and a lot of funny stuff, which is what we were hoping for," said Kathryn Fink, director of The Guild and event organizer. "We've got a huge variety."
The search to find a superintendent for East Grand Forks Public Schools has been narrowed to four finalists. A three-member search committee discussed candidates for an hour today before shrinking the candidate pool from 14 to four based on School Board member rankings. Names and background information were not available as the finalists had not yet agreed to be interviewed in-person. Candidate information is considered private by law until they reach finalist status.
The opportunity to donate to local charities through the Giving Hearts Day fundraiser starts Thursday. Twenty-five Grand Forks and East Grand Forks charities are working together to raise awareness of the online-only event. Charities are promoting the 24-hour event in part through events from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Choice Health and Fitness and the Grand Forks YMCA downtown. Donations of $10 or more made anytime Thursday at impactgiveback.org will be matched by multiple donors.