PISEK, N.D.—The Christmas candy-buying season is in full swing at the J-Mart store in Pisek, N.D. Nearly six tons of candy—or about 11,400 pounds—have been brought in to meet the demand of customers who crave the sweet treats this time of year, especially the old-time varieties like hard ribbon candy and chocolate creams that trigger warm holiday memories. The store carries 75 varieties of candies and nuts from six different companies, including brands such as Palmer, Brach and Georgia Nuts.
If you close your eyes, you might think you're on a beach in the Caribbean, so mellow are the mesmerizing sounds of steel pan drums that fill the band room at UND's Hughes Fine Arts Center. It's nearly impossible to not move with the rhythms that 13 students create with mallets on pans, sticks on the drum set, and hands on the shekere, a gourd-shaped instrument covered in a bead netting. Under the direction of Mike Blake, members of the UND Steel Pan Band are preparing for a concert which begins at 8 p.m. Monday at the Chester Fritz Auditorium.
Featuring a 20-piece orchestra, "Mannheim Steamroller Christmas" will light up the Alerus Center stage at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Strings, keyboard, percussion, brass, woodwinds and guitar players will present a program filled with traditional carols and Yuletide favorites that demonstrate the group's eclectic approach. Mannheim Steamroller, which released its first Christmas album in 1984, is known for blending "elements of classical, rock and pop music into something altogether unique," according to publicity materials.
Two school districts in northwestern Minnesota ranked among the top 10 safest school districts in the state, according to a report released by Niche.com. Thief River Falls third and Warroad ranked sixth among the safest school districts in the state, according to the report. They beat out 347 public and 349 private Minnesota schools. The Ada-Borup School District in Ada, Minn., ranked 22 in the report titled "2019 Safest School Districts in Minnesota."
The Altru Health Foundation has received a $625,000 federal grant to address and prevent youth substance use in Grand Forks. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will provide an annual payout of $125,000 for five years. The Grand Forks Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will use the funds to address the use of alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs among youth in the city, said Bill Vasicek, a coalition member who is the community safety coordinator with Altru Health System.
Anna Walker of Grand Forks was 22 years old when she boarded a ship on Sept. 12, 1943, to England, where she was assigned to serve with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps during World War II. "I felt a little bit insecure," the 97-year-old woman said, "but I thought, well, we have a good chaplain, Father Kenneth Martin." It took six days to cross the Atlantic. "Our whole unit went together. We had aircraft coverage during the first three days of the trip," Walker said, as though she could see the planes flying overhead in her mind's eye.
Maria Chapparo may be a scientist by training, but she's become an artist, of sorts, by following her heart into the bakery business. Since opening her shop, Paola's Pastries at 110 N. Third St. in downtown Grand Forks in May 2017, she's been steadily building a loyal clientele who appreciate her talent for making familiar—and not-so-familiar—baked goods. Chapparo and her assistants, mostly family members, bake "loaf cakes, cupcakes and muffins every day—some savory, some sweet," she said.
Incumbent Dan Fabian of Roseau has succeeded in his bid to represent District 1A for a fifth consecutive term in the Minnesota House of Representatives. With all 154 precincts reporting, Fabian, a Republican, won 71 percent of the votes in a race against Stephen Moeller, a Democrat from Thief River Falls, in Tuesday’s election. Moeller drew 29 percent of the vote. Election results are preliminary and unofficial.
Incumbent Lonnie Laffen, a Republican, lost his North Dakota Senate seat Tuesday to JoNell Bakke, a Democrat, in the race to represent District 43. Bakke drew 53 percent of the vote, while Laffen attracted 47 percent. For the North Dakota House, Democrats Mary Adams and Matt Eidson defeated Republicans Ben Olson and incumbent Richard Becker. Adams captured 28 percent of the vote, while Eidson won 25 percent. Olson received 24 percent and Becker 23 percent. Election results are preliminary and unofficial. District 43 covers southwest Grand Forks.
Voters in District 17 chose to send Republican incumbents Ray Holmberg, Mark Sanford and Mark Owens back to the North Dakota Legislature in Tuesday's election. Election results are preliminary and unofficial. For the district's seat in the North Dakota Senate, Holmberg drew 59 percent of the vote, while his challenger, Phyllis Johnson, a Democrat, received 41 percent. For the district's two seats in the North Dakota House of Representatives, incumbents Sanford and Owens defeated Democrats Monte Gaukler and Angela Urlacher.