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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From eliminating holiday parties to unused phone lines to an open electrician position, Grand Forks Public Schools employees have been brainstorming ways to cut the budget. The district faces a budget deficit of $1.03 million this school year. But by using a survey of hundreds of school district employees, district leaders have come up with a plan to save enough money to eliminate the deficit.
Grand Forks Public Schools officials have identified $1.03 million in cuts that will allow the school district to avoid deficit spending this school year, none of which affect teaching staff or student programs, the district's finance committee said Thursday. Energy efficiency, discretionary travel and professional development were among the areas hundreds of the district's employees agreed could be reduced, according to a survey. However, the district is placing a "soft freeze" on hires in 2013-2014.
A Lakota, N.D., farmer accused of stealing cattle and threatening deputies who tried to arrest him is a victim of "government on steroids" his attorney said Tuesday in Grand Forks while the prosecutor said it was the farmer who provoked deputies. Rodney Brossart was arrested in June 2011 after he allegedly refused to allow a deputy and a brand inspector to check on reported strayed cattle on his farm. Defense attorney Bruce Quick of Fargo criticized deputies saying they didn't provide the paperwork to justify Brossart's arrest and didn't give him a chance to comply. Prosecutor Cameron Sille
Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a UND alumnus who lead the first Canadian government expedition to the western Arctic, is the subject of a conference Tuesday at the university. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Arctic Expedition, a significant event in the country's history and the largest scientific arctic expedition mounted at the time, according to UND.
For the past two decades, Arthur Bakken's annual $500 donation to Santa Claus Girls has meant more to him than just supporting a good cause. One of Grand Forks' oldest charities, Santa Claus Girls was founded 97 years ago by Herald employees and provides toys -- all paid for strictly by donations -- for needy children. Today, employees and nonemployees volunteer in the group as it starts its annual campaign. Bakken's stepmother Ellen, known as "Jackie," spent nearly half a century working at the newspaper, many of those years devoted to the group.
Maintaining the spirit of its organization, Grand Forks' Santa Claus Girls has raised its fundraising goal to $18,000 this year to meet the needs of more children in the community, said Anita Geffre, president of the group and the Herald's finance director. With the city's growing population, which has brought even more students to schools, the group wants to raise $3,000 more than it has in recent years, she said. Santa Claus Girls also kicked off the annual giving event last week, a bit earlier than normal because Thanksgiving runs so late this year, she said. After the donations are coll
A woman walked slowly through the food pantry at the St. Joseph's Social Care and Thrift Store in Grand Forks Thursday, examining each shelf as a volunteer advised how much of each she could choose. "I'm on food stamps but I don't want to be," she said later, growing emotional. Nerve damage in her leg has prevented her from holding a steady job the past three years, she said. Starting today, it may get worse. With nationwide cuts to food stamps going into effect, her family of three will receive $300 less per month from now on, she said. That may mean she'll be forced to turn to St.
Residents in the Thompson (N.D.) Public School district will decide next month if they want a $4.5 million expansion. Growing enrollment means more space is needed at the school, which houses kindergarten through senior high classes, officials say. Over the past five years, population growth in south Grand Forks have added 60 more students for a total of 455 students, said elementary school Principal John Maus. Without an expansion, he said, the district can't start a pre-kindergarten program and all the students will continue to share two computer labs built to hold a fraction their number
Several Lake Agassiz Elementary students sat quietly on stage Tuesday inside the Empire Arts Center in Grand Forks as the state's highest education official read a story about Charlie, a ranch dog, and his friend, Suzie. "Suzie, unfortunately, doesn't have the paws I have, or the droopy eyes, or the floppy skin," Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said. Although adults in the audience may not have found the story that interesting, the fourth-graders clearly paid attention -- and they could prove it. Baesler quizzed them afterward on the basics ("Who was the main character in the story?") to mor
Months after publicly criticizing Grand Forks School Board members, Doug Carpenter has now joined their ranks. On Monday, the School Board voted 6-2 in favor of appointing Carpenter, who was not present at the meeting, over John Knutson, Kevin Kuntz and Amy Zabinski. He will serve as a member until the next election, June 10. His appointment comes a few months after the board faced public ire over a proposed 28.6-percent property tax increase.