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 — The sanctuary of Freedom Church in downtown Grand Forks was filled with song on a Tuesday night.
GRAND FORKS — University of North Dakota senior Matt Sorenson recently sat among the expansive roll-down maps of a classroom in the the university's department of geography and geographic information science. The unfurled maps depicted the usual major landscapes — North Dakota, the U.S., the world at large — but Sorenson, a student of geography and economics, was more focused on the small maps before him which detailed an issue far closer to home.
STANDING ROCK SIOUX RESERVATION—The Prairie Knights Casino and Resort on the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation is serving as a refuge for a growing number of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters seeking shelter through an ongoing winter storm. Rooms in the casino's hotel filled rapidly. By Monday evening, a front desk attendant said the waiting list for a room had grown too long to justify adding any more names. In many cases, several protesters shared a single room, but those left without made alternative arrangements.
STANDING ROCK SIOUX RESERVATION—As blizzard conditions mounted, a representative of the protest camps just south of the Dakota Access Pipeline construction zone issued a clear message Monday, Dec. 5. "As water protectors, we have a responsibility to be stewards of the water," said John Bigelow, head of the camp's media committee and a member of the Standing Rock Sioux. "We declare here today, we are not going anywhere."
CANNON BALL, N.D.—The mood in the pipeline resistance encampments just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation was celebratory Sunday night, but protesters expressed no intention of leaving the site. Paula Devlin, a member of the White Bear First Nation from southern Saskatchewan, said she was excited yet "cautiously optimistic" to hear of the denial of the Dakota Access Pipeline easement earlier that day.
The nursing lab on the East Grand Forks campus of Northland Community and Technical College looks more like a hospital room than a classroom. Throughout the day, nursing students attend to the various medical needs of lifelike manikins who take residence in hospital beds lining the walls of the practice ward. The mock patients are highly detailed. The one under the care of Heather Nelson, 22, during a Monday afternoon exercise is actually groaning on its own accord, its face molded into a contorted expression of discomfort.
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — As cold and influenza season settles in, public health officials are urging people to avoid unnecessary antibiotics. Dr. Joel Walz, the health officer of Grand Forks Public Health and a family practice physician with Altru Health System, said misuse of antibiotics is a national, possibly global health issue with both individual and societal effects. In that latter category, Walz said health observers are increasingly concerned with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a resilient group popularly referred to as "superbugs."
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The table is set, the turkey is finally the perfect shade of crispy golden-brown and the family is gathered in the warmth of another Thanksgiving. But all is not as it seems. Whether it's due to a tumultuous political climate, a football rivalry or even some kind of weird divide between the sugar beet growers and corn planters, there's tension brewing beneath the idyllic holiday surface. You get the sense that conflict could bust out the flying mashed potatoes at any moment. What do you do?
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Nichole Shilling, 25, has had health insurance for about four years now.
BISMARCK—North Dakota residents won access to medical marijuana in Tuesday's election following the passage of Measure 5, but it's unclear how soon patients will be able to buy the drug. The measure included a provision for a 30-day window for the North Dakota Department of Health to build out the rules and procedures needed to regulate marijuana production and distribution to qualifying patients. Arvy Smith, deputy state health officer, said she believes the 30-day timeframe is not enough to get everything done to fit what she described as a measure with a wide scope.