Kari Lucin joined the Grand Forks Herald as a multimedia producer in August 2014. Previously, she worked for a few years at the Jamestown Sun in Jamestown, N.D., as a staff writer, and prior to that, for about six years as staff writer and later online content coordinator, at the Daily Globe in Worthington, Minn. A graduate of Jackson County Central High School and Augsburg College, she has a bachelor's degree in philosophy and English. Find more of her writing at her blog, Oh Look, a Shiny Thing! or on Twitter at @karilucin.
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A Jamestown College student is one of only 10 Girl Scouts nationwide to be named a National Young Woman of Distinction this year. "I was definitely surprised," said Annika Vernon, 18, of Hazen, N.D. "I was very excited. At the same time, I just wanted to get off the phone and tell my mom what happened." Vernon, the daughter of Tammie and Kent Hazen, has been a Girl Scout for 11 1/2 years. She's had her eye on the National Young Woman of Distinction designation since 2008, when she attended a national Girl Scout convention.
Devils Lake's daily commercial flights to and from Minneapolis are officially canceled, but may resume as early as Saturday. Since Dec. 1, only four Delta Air Lines flights have flown out of Devils Lake, due to the airport's short runway that does not allow takeoffs under windy conditions. "Delta's been flying in here all along. Why didn't they know (the runway was too short), I have no idea. We've asked the question and asked the question," said John Nord, airport manager at Devils Lake Regional Airport. "They said they only found out on Nov.
Twelve sites in Stutsman County where roads were raised to compensate for high water in 2009 and 2010 will be permanently fixed in an $18 million series of projects starting in 2012. Ten of the 12 roads are paved, and seven sites are located on Stutsman County Road 67. "It's a closed-basin area. There's nowhere for the water to go," said Stutsman County Commissioner Dave Schwartz. "It's never flooded before --well yes, it has, but not like this." In some cases, the water overtopped the road by five feet.
Two flights from Jamestown Regional Airport were cancelled Sunday and another Monday when weather conditions demanded a de-icer for jets. The airport has a type I de-icer already, but required a type IV de-icer for the CRJ-200 jets which started flying out of Jamestown Nov. 30 -- when Delta Air Lines officially retired its fleet of Saab propeller planes. "This was a minor hiccup for us. We certainly have the infrastructure to accommodate the airplane," said Matt Leitner, JRA airport manager. A type IV de-icer arrived in Jamestown just before 5 p.m.
The Stutsman County Commission voted 4-1 to move forward with the creation of the Spiritwood Energy Park Association rail loop project during its Tuesday meeting. "This is a tremendous opportunity... there are communities that would kill to have the opportunity we're discussing today," said Mark Klose, commissioner. The legal agreements still have to be completed, and some details still need to be clearly determined, but the board agreed to move ahead with the process of combining 100 acres of land belonging to the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.
A new translation of the Mass for English-speaking congregations has Catholics in Jamestown focusing on getting the words right -- and smiling ruefully at occasional missteps. "At the present time, people are paying attention not so much to the translation itself, but rather, trying to get their responses correct," said the Rev. Al Bitz, pastor of St. James Basilica. The text of the original Latin Mass has not changed, but its translation into English has -- and for the first time since the late 1960s. In many cases, the changes make the language more precise.
Art projects aren't just for kids, and the new Arts After Work program aims to bring a little art, sophistication and fun together for adults. "You can come in, talk, have fun, have a glass of wine and make something simple," said Vreni Gust, artist in residence with the Jamestown Arts Center. The new Arts After Work program will begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at Hansen Arts Studio. Gust will teach participants to make mosaic coasters and pots using chips of stained glass, plates and plaster of Paris. The projects could serve as good Christmas gifts, she said. The sessions will be at 5 p.m.
Overall winter weather forecasts for the Jamestown area are still up in the air, but meteorologists said snow is probably on the way Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. "The last several winters, we've really gotten used to there being so much snow, and we forget that it's not unusual to go into December and not have any snow," said John Wheeler, meteorologist with WDAY.
A series of small-town burglaries in Medina and Woodworth has the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office warning businesses to lock their doors and bring cash home at the end of the day. "There's been a rash of very similar burglaries in other counties," said Sgt. Jason Falk. "(The burglars) are very busy and we need to catch them, because it's (happening) like every weekend now." The burglaries and attempted burglaries likely occurred between 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m.
Landowners be warned: property taxes for agricultural land are likely to increase sharply next year, payable in 2013. "We've been telling people when that certification comes out in December, we're looking at a 20 percent increase," said Noel Johnson, former Stutsman County chief operating officer. The jump in taxes will occur both because of the way taxes are calculated using 10-year averages and because of the Legislature's determination of a number in the tax formula. Individual landowners' taxes may also shift up or down based on a new inventory of soil types, which are used to determin