Latest News

The booming oil activity in western North Dakota has brought with it increased employment, increased tax revenue and a strong economy in the midst of a struggling U.S. economy. However, with the increase in oil activity, there has also been a multitude of challenges for local, county and state decision makers.

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Although fall snowstorms are typical for North Dakota, that first good storm always seems to be a tough one. And even though it was the second snow of the season, last week’s storm was no different.

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Leasing minerals is nothing new for residents of McKenzie County. However, it is a new idea for home- owners in Watford City.

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Construction of a gas processing facility north of Watford City will have to wait until spring. That is, unless the North Dakota Public Service Commission (NDPSC) approves the company’s application quickly like Bear Paw Energy, LLC, a subsidiary of ONEOK Partners, LP is pushing for.

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As developers and individuals work to end a housing shortage in Watford City and McKenzie County, it has gotten a little difficult to determine where the city ends and the county begins. As of now, some businesses and subdivisions aren’t sure which one they will fall into either.

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With Frances Olson not seeking re-election as the McKenzie County Auditor, area voters will be choosing between two candidates to serve as the county’s auditor during the 2010 General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

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McKenzie County voters will be asked to choose between three candidates to fill two seats on the McKenzie Board of County Commissioners during the 2010 General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Incumbents Roger Chinn of Grassy Butte and Richard (Rick) Lawlar are being challenged by Cameron Arnegard of Arnegard.

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October 20, 2010

Making it harder to fail

What can be done by teachers and school administrators to help students who are failing classes? That is a question that is not only plaguing schools across the United States, but schools in McKenzie County as well.

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Two long-term Republican members of the North Dakota House of Representatives from District 39, David “Skip” Drovdal of Arnegard and Keith Kempenich of Bowman, will be facing their first political challenge in many years during the 2010 General Election on Tuesday, Nov. 2

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Caught in the proverbial Catch-22 of how to keep up with the demands associated with energy development and yet keep a balanced budget, the Watford City City Council decided that budgeting to spend more money than it will take in was the best course of action for them to take.

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The McKenzie County Commissioners have approved a budget for 2011 which represents a 52 percent increase from last year and a 9.5 percent increase over what was requested.

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Like most of western North Dakota, the McKenzie County skyline is dotted with gas flares, something that most people associate with an active oil well. However, a gas flare means a lot more than just a well sight.

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With no injuries or incidents to people or bison, the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park has once again held a successful bison roundup.

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Brock Savelkoul, 28, of Minot is currently being held in the McKenzie County Jail after brandishing firearms at the Kum & Go convenience store in Watford City and leading area law enforcement officers on a high speed chase.

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September 29, 2010

Adding the finishing touches

When a new home is being built, it’s a great accomplishment when it is ready to move in to, but at that point the work is often far from over.

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After some unseasonably cold temperatures and snow in the area, it may seem to some people that road construction season will soon be over. But according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, that isn’t the case.

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September 22, 2010

Optimism has faded

It’s common knowledge that rain is an important part of growing crops. This spring the rain was nearly perfect, giving area farmers a bumper crop for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, Mother Nature hasn’t let up on the rain, and for some area farmers it’s turned their bumper crop into something that is barely salvageable.

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One of Watford City’s oldest buildings, ‘The Old Courthouse’ is slated to be demolished this week. The building, which is currently owned by the McKenzie County School District No. 1, was built in the late 1930s to be used as a hospital.

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Watford City High School’s track will be going fully electronic this spring following the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1’s school board approval of spending $5,000 toward the purchase of an automated timing system as well as making other improvements at the track.

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Economic development is an important aspect for any growing town. But what happens to an economic development coordinator when a town is booming with economic development, like Watford City is right now.

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September 15, 2010

Busted at the Post Office

A trip to the Watford City Post Office on Sept. 1 to pick up a package didn’t turn out quite the way Tim Bourne had planned it.

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McKenzie County Commissioners will be considering a 39.3 percent increase in the county’s 2011 budget during a preliminary budget hearing on Sept. 23. The hearing, which is open to the public, will be held at 10 a.m. in the commissioners meeting room.

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A new policy from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could be disastrous for small hospitals and clinics like McKenzie County Healthcare Systems (MCHS) if the ruling can’t be overturned.

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September 8, 2010

NDRA rides into Watford

It’s been named one of the nation’s top 100 events and it’s happening right here in Watford City. McKenzie County residents are in for a special treat when the NDRA Championship Rodeo rides into Watford City on Sept. 10 and 11 with nightly performances at 7 p.m. at the McKenzie County Multi-Purpose Building.

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All parents of school-aged children know that back-to-school time can be a very busy and stressful time. But for some area students going back to school is a lot easier, especially when they don’t even have to leave home.

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Recent rains have area farmers sidelined from their fields, but most are still optimistic for a good harvest. Most farmers throughout McKenzie County report being half finished with this year’s harvest before rain put a stop to things.

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It may come as no surprise, but area schools have all reported an increase in enrollment.

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As fall approaches, the time has come for the 65th Annual Old Settlers’ Day celebration in Alexander, a weekend of food, fun, family, reunions and of course, new memories.

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It’s no secret that the oil and construction industries are extremely busy in McKenzie County. But workers in those industries aren’t the only ones who are busy.

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WATFORD CITY WEATHER