Community rallies to aid of Somali cafe damaged in Grand Forks arson

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Grand Forks community is helping a Somali coffee shop get back on its feet after it was heavily damaged by fire Monday night, just days after being the target of racist graffiti.

The Juba Coffee House in South Washington Street sustained about $90,000 worth of damage in the overnight blaze, WDAZ reports.

It does come a few days after the cafe was targeted by vandals who appeared to have spray-painted an "SS" – the symbol of Hitler's paramilitary organization – above the words "go home."

Fire investigator have told The Fargo Forum that the fire was intentionally set, saying it was "incendiary and suspicious in nature."

Right now a link between the two incidents hasn't been established, but either way the fire is bringing out the very best in the local community, with both businesses and voluntary organizations pledging support.

A GoFundMe fundraising drive has been set up to support the coffee shop, which has so far raised almost $6,500 of its $9,000 target despite only being launched around lunchtime on Tuesday.

The page was set up by Colleen Berry, a former professor at the University of North Dakota.

The Fargo Forum reports that support has also been offered by Hope Church and North Dakotans for Diversity and Compassion, while the Global Friends Coalition is in the process of organizing a benefit event for the business.

Grand Forks Mayor Michael R. Brown also released a statement in support of the Juba owners to WDAZ, saying: "As a community, we come to the aid of our friends and neighbors who are hurting and we rally around them. It is part of who we are and we will do it again. In fact, already the community support is evident.

"My office has reached out to the owners and we know they are hurting. We have also reached out to organizations who provide a network of support."

Next Up

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

Related

Grand Forks Zombie Run hits dead end

Minnesotans who planned on strolling across the border to Grand Forks, N.D., to become one of the walking dead in the city's Zombie Run will have to kick up their feet this year. The event, which was scheduled in conjunction with the Grand Forks Zombie Music Fest next month, has been scrapped over conflicts with another marathon.

Bill Clinton to visit Grand Forks March 17

The former U.S. President is scheduled to speak at the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party's state convention. Clinton also plans to tour some of the areas he visited 15 years ago, days after the 1997 floods devastated the Red River Valley.

Ecolab to close Grand Forks office next summer, cut 144 full-time jobs

St. Paul-based Ecolab plans to close its Grand Forks office next July, the Herald reports. The facility has 144 full-time employees who support accounting, customer service, human resources, information technology and other administrative functions related to Ecolab's Pest Elimination business. Layoffs could begin as soon as January. Some employees may be able to work from home or take other jobs at Ecolab locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois or Indiana.