Grand Forks looks set to win access to $28.8 million in federal aid, coming under the “Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief” program — or “ESSER” for short. Herald correspondent Sam Easter reports that that funding is limited to a finite list of uses, from boosting distance learning to better ventilation. But critics have wondered how that rush of available cash could offset the need to hike taxes or embark on big spending.

Grand Forks referendum: Proponents say 'there's something for every campus'

Voter approval of the June 22 school referendum will set the stage for the future of education in Grand Forks, bring facilities up to date, and provide a safe and equitable learning experience for all K-12 students – no matter where in the district the student lives, proponents say. A yes vote “really illustrates that there’s support for the entire school district,” Superintendent Terry Brenner told the Herald editorial board, the Herald's Pamela Knudson reports.

Grand Forks referendum: Opponents say proposal is too expensive, will negatively affect north-end neighborhoods

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Grand Forks Public Schools' referendum campaign has faced sharp criticism from groups skeptical that the district needs so many big changes. The group leading the effort against the effort says the plan — especially the bonding and new school proposal — is far too expensive, ripping community hubs out of small neighborhoods around downtown at far too steep a cost to taxpayers, Herald correspondent Sam Easter reports.

More than a year later, local businesses are still affected by semiconductor shortage

The problems began as a high demand for freezers when people were stockpiling food at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Herald's Jacob Holley reports that it snowballed from there into a long-term shortage of semiconductors that has left Dakota TV & Appliance, as well as other local businesses, high and dry while trying to maintain profits and salvage relationships with increasingly impatient customers.

Fundraiser started to repair oldest building in Grand Forks

The Grand Forks County Historical Society is seeking donations to help defray the costs of repairing a 153-year-old log post office on the Myra Museum grounds in Grand Forks. The Herald's Ann Bailey reports that several logs on the post office, which was built in 1868 and began operating in 1870, need repairs, and the work must be completed by a contractor who specializes in restoration of historic buildings. The cost of the first phase of the repairs, which will begin this fall, are expected to total about $50,000.

Former Devils Lake lawyer opens brewery

The first brewery in Devils Lake will be opening soon and it comes under the guidance and ownership of possibly the most unlikely of people. The Herald's Jacob Holley reports that owner Jeb Oehlke practiced law in Devils Lake for four years. He’s opening Black Paws Brewing Co. in August to follow a passion he has had for most of his life.

Grand Forks BMX park nearly set to host races, while city officials consider development options

The BMX track was the most shovel-ready project amongst other ideas, including a proposed children’s museum, indoor athletic facility and redevelopment of Columbia Mall, brought forth by city leaders to help grow Grand Forks into a destination for visitors, and add quality of life improvements for residents, the Herald's Adam Kurtz reports. Track volunteers are hoping it will be a draw, especially if they host a national event.

Shortage of lifeguards in Grand Forks part of a national trend

Due to a shortage of lifeguards, the Grand Forks Park District has had to reduce hours at two local swimming pools, one of which will close on the weekends, the Herald's Adam Kurtz reports. The Parks District usually employs about 25 lifeguards that are split between the pools. This year, 15 people are working as lifeguards, which means organizers need to juggle some schedules and shift staff between pools. Lifeguards may wind up working longer hours, or spending more time in the sun.

Edinburg, N.D., woman chronicles the lives of deceased Walsh County residents to ensure they aren't forgotten

When COVID-19 shut down Kim Pewe’s daily routine in 2020, she found new life walking through cemeteries to photograph graves and researching information about the people buried in them. The Herald's Ann Bailey reports that since last summer, the Edinburg woman has uploaded to the Find A Grave website more than 3,000 photographs of graves in a dozen rural Walsh County cemeteries, including Trinity, the largest, which has 590 graves, and Langemo Pioneer, the smallest with 21.

Routine childhood vaccinations drop in Minnesota, Dakotas during COVID-19 pandemic

Minnesota and the Dakotas saw significant drops in the number of infants and children receiving routine immunizations in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Forum correspondent Michelle Griffith reports that because of low rates of childhood immunization last year, health officials are warning that outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, such as hepatitis B, diphtheria and chickenpox, could occur in schools that hold in-person classes, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report dated Friday, June 11.