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John Hageman, Forum News Service, Published January 17 2014

Grand Forks lift station to be named after Herald publisher

Another city facility will feature the name of a Grand Forks Herald figure.

The city will name a lift station near the intersection of Columbia Road and Washington Street after publisher Mike Jacobs, who is retiring from the paper later this year.

“An award like that would leave an ordinary man speechless,” Mayor Mike Brown said. The recognition was unveiled during the Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks’ annual meeting and dinner Thursday night.

“Well I’m not speechless,” Jacobs retorted later.

Another city lift station was named after Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty.

During his keynote speech Thursday, Jacobs traced the community’s history and the newspaper’s importance in chronicling it.

He recalled how after the Herald won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the 1997 Red River flood, men called about how they sold copies of the Herald during the Great Depression to support their families.

He said their words still move him today.

“They were so grateful for the opportunity,” he said.

Jacobs recounted how the 1997 flood made the community stronger and highlighted opportunities the two cities have ahead.

Jacobs became the Herald’s publisher in 2004, six years after the Herald won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for its coverage of the Red River flood in 1997. At the time of the disaster, Jacobs was the paper’s editor, a post he had held since 1984.

Jacobs will retire March 31. His successor, Mitchell (S.D.) Daily Republic publisher Korrie Wenzel, visited the Herald this week.