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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GRAND FORKS—Ammonia might be something of an unsung hero when it comes to feeding the masses. The substance—a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen also known as NH3—is ubiquitous to agriculture, where it carries needed nitrogen to plants. Human-made, ammonia-based fertilizers have been a major contributor to increased crop yields over the past century and, in fact, the stuff is so prevalent that studies estimate as much of half the nitrogen in your body is originally from synthetic ammonia.
GRAND FORKS—North Dakota higher education could take some cues from Arizona, said Gov. Doug Burgum Friday, April 6, at the University of North Dakota.
GRAND FORKS—The Fighting Hawk could soon be flying at UND events. Or, if not flying, at least maybe dancing and hamming it up on the sidelines. By the end of this semester, students will have a chance to vote on designs for a new mascot character to represent their school at sporting events and community gatherings. A 17-member design committee has been working since the start of the year to bring the Hawk to life.
GRAND FORKS—10 people, including a Grand Forks legislator and a former UND professor, have applied to fill two seats on the board that governs North Dakota's colleges and universities. The seats are those of incumbent members Kevin Melicher and Mike Ness, whose four-year terms on the State Board of Higher Education are due to expire June 30. Both men are voting members of the SBHE and were appointed by former Gov. Jack Dalrymple.
GRAND FORKS—An email exchange late last week between UND President Mark Kennedy and a state legislative leader reveals lingering frustration after last year's steep budgetary cuts to higher education. North Dakota Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, said he "felt the need to set the record straight" with Kennedy after the university leader made comments aimed at the Legislature on a March 20 radio program.
GRAND FORKS—The world is at war—and every sneeze, a battleground. Multidrug-resistant bacteria, also known as "superbugs," have taken on an increased focus from medical researchers as older drugs continue to lose their effectiveness in curing disease. If evolution is a fight for survival, then medicine is an arms race between antibiotics and fast-adapting microbes. A recent international study with research from UND could give us a new molecular weapon that attacks hardy bugs from the outside-in.
GRAND FORKS—The Chester Fritz Auditorium is in its 40s and, like others around that age, it's had some work done. Betty Allan is the director of the concert hall on the University of North Dakota campus—the site of graduations and rock shows alike. Beyond some refurbishing here and there, she says, the aesthetic of the theater area is original to the hall's 1972 opening. Other elements, thankfully, are not.
GRAND FORKS—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.
GRAND FORKS—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 University of North Dakota 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."
GRAND FORKS—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.