Meibers joined the Herald in September of 2018. She reports on all things business in Grand Forks and the surrounding areas. Have a tip or want to get to know her? Call her at (701) 780-1114 or email her at email@example.com.
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Devils Lake is the third most affordable place to live in North Dakota. Financial technology company SmartAsset ranked Devils Lake as one of the most affordable places to live. With average closing costs totaling about $2,214 and the average annual mortgage payment at $4,479, Devils Lake is one of the most affordable places to live in the state. Devils Lake ranks 674 in the country, according to SmartAsset. SmartAsset found that the median income in Devils Lake is $43,791. The median income in Ramsey County is $55,927.
In response to concern from day care providers and parents, the North Dakota Department of Human Services reduced the time it takes to process background checks for a new day care employee. Grand Forks day care providers in November worried they might close because of federal legislation that went into effect October of 2018, requiring the initial portion of a fingerprint-based criminal background check to be completed before newly hired staff could begin working. These changes were the result of the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014.
Altru will host a groundbreaking celebration in Sertoma Park on June 5 for its new multi-million-dollar hospital. Food and entertainment will be provided at the celebration, as well as video boards and visuals of what the new hospital will look like. The event will be from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. and the public is welcome. Altru invited community members to a second "neighborhood meeting" on Wednesday, at which the celebration was announced.
The space that was formerly Macy's in the Columbia Mall will remain empty for now. Multiple new tenants were supposed to move into the space after it was purchased by Joy 2001 in January of 2018. "That deal basically fell apart," said Michael Marcotte, broker for Berkshire Hathaway Realty. Now Marcotte said he wants the city to move into the old Macy's space. Marcotte said the space would be a great place for a new city library. While currently valued at $4.8 million, Marcotte said the space is listed for sale at $1.8 million.
Marvin Windows and Doors and Integrity Windows and Doors will now be known as Marvin. Both of those brand logos are now retired, the company said in a release. The Marvin brand has a "refreshed" logo with an updated version of the old yellow rose. Marvin, based in Warroad, Minn., has been using the rose logo since 1968, according to the release. The new branding will allow the company room for growth as it looks to expand its presence in the home construction space, Marvin said in the release.
Grand Forks International Airport saw more takeoffs and landings in 2018 than ever before. The airport set an all-time record with more than 368,000 takeoffs and landings, up 11 percent from 2017, when there were 331,881. "In 2018, everything came together to produce an all-time record for us," said Ryan Riesinger, executive director of the Grand Forks Airport Authority Board. The previous record was set in 2013, with 345,964 takeoffs and landings.
Taxable sales and purchases increased last year in North Dakota, but Grand Forks revenues are going the opposite direction. Fourth-quarter 2018 taxable sales and purchases increased 12.6% in North Dakota, concluding a year that saw the state finish 12.5% ahead of the previous year. Meanwhile, Grand Forks continued its downward trend, with fourth-quarter numbers that were down 13.6% from the fourth quarter of the year before and 12% down overall from the previous year.
Rhythm comes naturally to Togo native Hamzat Koriko. In his Grand Forks apartment, he picks up a percussion instrument and straps it to his shin, letting the rhythm flow from the bottoms of his feet hitting the floor to the tips of his fingers dancing in the air above his head in harmony. "In my village they don't teach you. You just watch and then do," Koriko said of the array of percussion instruments from his home country, a west African nation on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea.
Anyone who walks in Ihisha Anderson's shoes will probably have sore feet. Anderson walks from the Walmart on Gateway, where she works, all the way to the county building downtown, regardless of the weather. "I don't always have bus fare. I have to walk to all these places," Anderson said. Anderson is living in poverty. She has three children. She works hard. "Some people think everybody just wants a handout," Anderson said. "No, we don't. We are the epitome of Grand Forks. We are working women."
Ken Walker scooped rice and crushed soybean into a funnel, part of a well-oiled machine. She watched as her husband, Justin, and 7-year-old son, Jaden, worked next to her, weighing the bags that she filled. "I'm doing this for him," Walker said, motioning to Jaden. "It's cool to show him volunteering and why this is important."