Andrew Haffner covers higher education and general assignment stories for the Grand Forks Herald. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and international studies. He previously worked at the Dickinson Press.
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A Fargo man is accused of raping a 19-year-old woman in Grand Forks after giving her alcohol. Arsenio Lamare Oquinn, 28, is charged with the Class A felony of gross sexual imposition of an impaired woman following the alleged October rape. He was also charged with the Class A misdemeanor of contributing to the deprivation of a minor for supplying the woman with alcohol. A criminal affidavit describes the case as beginning when Oquinn arrived at the woman's residence at about 10 p.m. on the night of the incident.
A plan to overhaul part of the marquee of the Empire Arts Center in downtown Grand Forks has met resistance from the local historic preservation commission. Emily Montgomery, executive director of the Empire, said the project began in early February when the theater's board was approached by Mike Kuntz, an owner and founder of Grand Forks-based Icon Architectural Group.
The loonie isn't stretching its wings quite like it used to. At least, that's part of the story told by statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and backed up by observers in Grand Forks who say border crossings from Canada have ebbed over recent years as a weak Canadian dollar—known by many in the north as the loonie—has kept Manitoban visitors home.
An Iowa man was arrested last Friday and charged with a felony in Grand Forks for allegedly trying to arrange sex with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. Ryan William Baker, 33, of Coralville, Iowa, was in Grand Forks County when he posted an ad to Craigslist looking for sex. A criminal affidavit for the incident doesn't say whether Baker was looking for minors, stating his post had a heading "Fun in my truck?" and was seeking someone for sex.
UND has selected a finalist for an administrator search as it whittles down a batch of applicants looking to serve as dean of its business school. The university announced Monday it will host Amy Whitney, associate director of an entrepreneurship program at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., as the sole finalist in the hunt for a new director of the UND Center for Innovation.
After spending last week in the running to be president of a Florida university, Mark Kennedy wants to make something known about his job-hunting aspirations. "To be clear, I wasn't looking, and I'm not looking," the UND president said Monday by phone from Washington, D.C. "For me, there's not many places I feel at home, and I feel at home in North Dakota."
A local fast food restaurant closed out the weekend with a Sunday night armed robbery. Grand Forks Police said in a media release that a man used a gun to rob the KFC at 706 S. Washington St. The man allegedly entered the restaurant a little before 9:47 p.m., after closing, showed a handgun and demanded money. Police are describing the suspected robber as a six-foot-tall white male weighing approximately 200 pounds. Investigators say he was wearing a black ski mask and a black hooded sweatshirt with "Mossy Oak" written on the front in camouflage lettering.
A UND investigation has begun to determine the security of student fee dollars after last week's arrest of the former student body treasurer. Chase Johnson was arrested by University Police and charged with Class B felony theft following accusations that he embezzled between $10,000 and $50,000 from his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. He was fraternity treasurer at the time of the alleged theft. Johnson was immediately removed from Student Government following his arrest. A member of Phi Delta Theta said he was also stricken from the rolls of the fraternity earlier this week.
The University of Minnesota-Crookston is hosting a series of events for Women's History Month, which is March. A UMC press release says this year's theme for the month is "Nevertheless she persisted: Honoring women who fight all forms of discrimination against women."
UND President Mark Kennedy proved a somewhat polarizing candidate in the running to be next leader of the University of Central Florida. "He does not strike me as someone I'd enjoy having a beer with, so to speak," wrote an unnamed UCF faculty member. That was one comment made in a survey of a wide slice of the constituency of the Orlando institution of some 66,000 students.