People reading “Chasing the Strawberry Moon: Hitchhiking (for girls)” may not recognize Valley City in the novel, but it’s there, bridges, parks and all, under the name “Felicity.” Unlike Dawson and Oriska, which remained the same, and Spiritwood, which shifted only slightly to become Spirit Wood in the book, Valley City’s name was altered for a simple reason. “I wanted to change that name because I had some unsavory characters in my story there,” said author Judith A. Grout, who lives in Arizona.
The James River Valley Library System will not have an exit interview policy for employees, its board of directors decided Wednesday. “Number one, are we big enough to be in need of an exit interview policy?” said Joe Rector, library director. About six employees have left the Library System in the past six months, said Jennifer Senger, the library’s assistant director.
Since 2005, baskets of flowers have sprung up in downtown Jamestown as the weather warms, each year spreading a little bit further — down First Avenue and onto 10th Street Southeast. The flower baskets, each containing wave petunias, will require about $11,000 to purchase and maintain this year, and with about $5,000 raised, the groups partnering together to bring the flowers to Jamestown are looking for more donations. “We encourage everybody to participate if they wish,” said Charlie Kourajian, ambassador for the Jamestown Downtown Association.
Central Valley Health District released its 2013 annual report ahead of Public Health Week, April 7-14, showing its contributions to public health in Stutsman and Logan counties. “We kind of work behind the scenes,” said Robin Iszler, unit administrator with CVHD. “It’s a subtle thing we do in the community because of the services — it should be about prevention and keeping people healthy.” The agency’s budget was $2.3 million in 2013 — up from $2.16 million in 2012.
Between 400 and 500 volunteers gathered at the Buffalo Mall Saturday in an effort to package 190,000 meals for the hungry with Kids Against Hunger. It was the fourth event of its kind in Jamestown. “A lot of families (are here) too, so it’s great to see the turnout,” said Janna Bergstedt, president of the Kiwanis Club of Jamestown, which organized the event. Kiwanis was able to purchase $40,000 of supplies — $10,000 more than was raised last year. The money purchases meals composed of rice, soy, vegetables and vitamins, which assembly-line volunteers bag and place in boxes.
Rather than throwing away untouched leftovers, a group of state-certified kitchens has united as Daily Bread – Jamestown to bring those leftovers to people in need. The program began with Ave Maria Village in 2010, patterned after the Daily Bread program in Fargo.
Nine young people will compete next week in James Valley Youth for Christ’s Christian music vocal contest — J-Factor. The show begins at 7 p.m. April 11 at the theater in Jamestown High School. It is free. “We wanted to encourage young people to sing Christian music,” said Troy Gunderson, executive director of James Valley Youth for Christ.
After 11 years as pastor at St. James Basilica and 45 years as a priest, the Rev. Al Bitz plans to retire in June. “It’s been a privilege to serve here,” Bitz said of the basilica and the outlying parishes he serves as pastor. His plans include moving to Bismarck, where he will do some part-time work with the University of Mary in sacramental ministry, as well as some development work. Bitz has family in the Bismarck area, he said. “He's going to be greatly missed.
Country singer-songwriter Pam Tillis is taking some time from her crazy life to perform old hits and new tunes at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Jamestown Civic Center. Tillis, known for singing “Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life)” and other tunes, will perform with two other women as a trio. “We do most of the hits and especially the ones that lend themselves to an acoustic setting,” Tillis said. “… I do a balance.
A fast-paced farce focusing on the movie industry’s transition from silent film to sound, “Once in a Lifetime” features a cast of 25, a script with constant action and a set resembling movie marquees of the 1920s. “I find the show amusing because I have such a strong passion for this era in movie history,” said Mike McIntyre, director of the upcoming University of Jamestown production. Though films “Singin’ in the Rain” and “The Artist” have also treated the movies’ transition to full sound, “Once in a Lifetime” was the first to do so, McIntyre said. The show focuses on three vaudeville act