Notebook

Aftermath of a Flood People in Grand Forks, N.D., tend to divide their histories into neat halves. They call the first half “Before The Flood.” The second half? Well, you guessed it. Grand Forks is the state’s second largest city. Bigger than Bismarck, smaller than Fargo, to the south. Both cities are on the Red River, which flows north – one of the few, dividing North Dakota from Minnesota. Back in 1982, Steve Hess left his father’s business in Thief River Falls, Minn., to open a store in Grand Forks. He found a location on “the best retail corner” downtown. His store, like his dad’s, is called The Jewel Box. The store did well. But after a few years, “the downtown was going through some problems, like a lot of downtowns.” A regional mall pulled people away, leaving government buildings and law offices, but not a lot of retailers. After rejecting the idea o
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