GF News Forward: Retail stores close, YMCA to offer Tai Chi, inmate treatment may go to court

Herald reporters cover events on Thursday, Dec. 31.

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Journalist Adam Kurtz reports that two more businesses located in Columbia Mall are preparing to close, continuing the downward slide in retail both at the mall and around Grand Forks.

Helzberg Diamonds and women’s clothing chain Francesca’s will close in late January. They will be the latest in a string of shops that have closed at the mall including the Gap Inc., which closed in late January 2019, followed by Victoria’s Secret in June. That same month Eddie Bauer was evicted from the mall.

Kurtz also presents the second in a series of stories about area residents exploring their creativity during the pandemic. What started out as a way to stay fit for Emi Osowski, will soon become a way for others to do so, in a manner that heals the mind as well as the body.

Osowski took up Tai Chi as a way to keep fit while staying at home during the pandemic. She will soon teach a class on the martial art to Grand Forks YMCA members, including veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. She balanced studying online and helping her children do the same, while her husband was deployed with the National Guard’s COVID response team, and became a certified instructor with TaijiFit LLC.

“I like the art of the movement,” Osowski told the Herald in a Dec. 18 phone call. “It’s the movement that I felt is beautiful. … Tai Chi and other martial arts are beautiful arts of the physical body.”


Journalist Hannah Shirley reports that a Fargo attorney representing several inmates of GFCCC plans to seek a mediation with Grand Forks County and the jail to resolve what he calls human rights concerns regarding the treatment of inmates during COVID-19. He’s hoping that this is the first step in a process that will eventually light a fire under the county commission to grant the jail a long-asked for expansion. If the county and the jail don’t respond to his letter, he says he plans to file a lawsuit.

Look for these stories and more online and in print through Sunday, Jan. 3.

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