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After a railroad fire south of Cavalier earlier this week, nearby companies that ship by train are struggling to find a solution before the fall harvest season. Curt Kirking, who co-owns Cavalier Bean Company, called the fire ironic. Nine days before Kirking found out about the fire Thursday morning, he and other businesses received a letter from Dakota Northern, which leases the rail from Burlington Northern Santa Fe LLC , saying the company will no longer pay for any major repairs from Hensel to Walhalla.
With Vice President Mike Pence coming to Grand Forks in just three days, the city still doesn't know where Pence will be and if he'll hold any public events. Not even Mayor Mike Brown knew any details as of Saturday afternoon. "It's disappointing people will visit a community and we can't prepare," Brown said. "Because you'd like to have your best foot forward and roll out the red carpet, you know?"
The Grand Forks Downtown Development Association will suggest changes to the downtown parking assessment at a City Council meeting Aug. 6, according to DDA Director Blue Weber. In the Grand Forks parking assessment, downtown businesses all pay for public parking, based on how many spaces the city determines a business merits. Some businesses argue they pay too much in parking assessments, and Weber said he hopes his suggestions will address that.
In the world of skateboarding, a halfpipe is a U-shaped ramp skaters use to practice. Growing up in the late '80s, Brian Rydell said he was lucky to have a halfpipe in his parents' backyard. Unfortunately, he and his friends didn't have anyone to model after, since the sport was relatively new to Grand Forks at the time, so they had to learn from VHS tapes.
The city of Grand Forks temporarily closed South Third Street between Kittson and DeMers avenues on Wednesday to install a "pop-up" street project to test safety techniques and improve pedestrian conditions downtown. Stephanie Halford, a city planner, said she expects installation to finish early afternoon. Staff painted red curb extensions at intersections along South Third Street, bordered by bright yellow delineators, to make crossing foot traffic more visible for vehicle drivers.
The City of Grand Forks is still looking into a new library, although its Library Board said during a meeting Tuesday it could be another five years before the city finds a new location.
The city of East Grand Forks will reopen its pool at 1 p.m. Tuesday, City Administrator Dave Murphy said, after the Parks and Recreation department finishes connecting a temporary pump to replace a faulty one.
City employees in Grand Forks will receive more preventive care services next year through a new plan from private insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield, after a council vote Monday night. The city of Grand Forks currently receives coverage from the North Dakota Public Employee Retirement System, a public pension program covering approximately 63,200 state employees this year. City employees have access to a "grandfathered" plan, which offers fewer preventive care services such as cancer screenings and contraceptives, because it was grandfathered in with the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Kari Goelz is the director of the the Grand Forks Emergency Management office, which coordinates the county's response to emergencies and natural disasters. In her work, Goelz said she has a hard time with "emergent volunteers," or those who check on neighbors and the injured after helping themselves in an emergency. "As much as we love to have it, now we have all these people who want to help and don't know what to do," she said.
Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., provided some details Friday about a visit by Vice President Mike Pence to Grand Forks after a pair of tweets Thursday hinting at an appearance. Pence is coming to Grand Forks July 25, Rep. Kevin Cramer told the Grand Forks Herald, and will likely be here in the afternoon. The administration is still working on a location and it will be short. "I can say he's not going to be spending the night," Cramer said. "And that's about as much as I can tell you right now."