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 — High winds caused a train car to partially derail Tuesday, June 13, after pushing a string of 15 empty cars as far as a half-mile away from the North Dakota Mill on the north side of Grand Forks.
CRYSTAL, N.D. — The potato crop at Lyle Shephard's farm near Crystal was looking good. So good, in fact, that he took a picture of the young plants to send to his son, Thomas. "It was looking beautiful," Shephard said. But that was before last weekend's storms brought tornadoes, hailstones and scattered downpours across the region and "right in line" with Shephard's land. Though the standing water in his fields has receded, he said that at one point the potato plants shown in his photo were covered in water for about three hours.
GRAND FORKS — The finalization of a series of University of North Dakota employee buyouts and phase-downs initially scheduled for an early May completion has been pushed back into next month.
A partnership of local companies and institutions is finalizing research this week to drive forward a NASA project to better manage flight plans for unmanned aerial systems, or drones. The latest round of testing is the second time in as many years that the Northern Plains UAS Test Site has been included in the aeronautic agency's national campaign to develop a more cohesive platform for its UAS Traffic Management system.
GRAND FORKS, N.D.—A decorated University of North Dakota professor who made a controversial social media post about the recent winner of a national spelling bee said her digital remark was meant as sarcasm. Roxanne Vaughan, a UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, said she felt an urge to comment on Facebook after observing the story of Ananya Vinay, who won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last Thursday. Vinay is a 12-year-old, sixth grade student who is from from Fresno, Calif., and is of Indian heritage.
GRAND FORKS — Peter Johnson is a man of many hats, though most know him for his primary gig—spokesman for the University of North Dakota. Johnson has held that role for all of his 29 years of employment at the university. During that time, he also picked up a few others, the most recent being the interim vice president for university and public affairs. Technically, Johnson now holds two high-level administrative titles.
GRAND FORKS — A documentary film detailing the life of the University of North Dakota's former Fighting Sioux logo and nickname is coming to a wrap after years in the making.
GRAND FORKS — It's still an applicant's market when it comes to jobs in North Dakota. Despite continued challenges to the state's leading energy and agricultural commodities, the unemployment rate was about 2.7 percent as of April, according to Job Service North Dakota. The jobs data, which coincides with spring thawing, might hold some answers for more than just job-hunters. Unemployment rates are being closely watched by economists tracking the fortunes of North Dakota, looking for signs of recession or growth.
GRAND FORKS—Ray Richards Golf Course isn't as well manicured as it used to be. The University of North Dakota-owned property shut down at the end of last season as the university chose to divest from the public-use, nine-hole golf course in Grand Forks. The course's greens won't be up to par for a game of golf this season, but UND facilities leader Mike Pieper said the course won't look like a prairie either.
GRAND FORKS — For a time on UND's campus, one or more unknown people were chalking sidewalks with an oft-quoted statement—Black Lives Matter. The full motto didn't last long, according to student Lauren Chapple. "A day or so after, simply the word "black" had been crossed out," said Chapple, who is the outgoing president of the University of North Dakota's Black Student Association. For her, the erasure is symbolic of a wider trend on campus in which people of color go unseen and unheard.