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At the county commissioners meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 4, the McKenzie County Commissioners approved a $53.4 million budget for 2012, which is more than double the previous year’s budget of $24.4 million.

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The Watford City Police Department’s frustration with the level of dispatch and jail service that it is receiving as part of the city’s contract with the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Dept. took center stage during the Watford City City Council’s meeting on Monday, Oct. 3.

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Watford City taxpayers will see a 13 percent increase in their taxes to fund the city’s new 2012 budget. But considering that the city’s budget grew from $3,657,772 in 2011 to $6,028,746 in 2012, an overall tax hike for city taxpayers from $215,470 to $243,817 seems like a pretty good deal.

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A late spring gave John Dunlap, owner of Cascade Homes and the main developer of Veeder Estates, a run for his money. But with Phase One complete and seven homes almost ready for sale, Dunlap is feeling pretty good about where he is sitting.

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n yet another positive indication that Watford City’s and McKenzie County’s economy is booming, the latest figures released by the North Dakota Tax Dept. shows that both the city and the county’s taxable sales grew by over 64 percent in the second quarter of 2011.

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On the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 8:20 a.m. Rory Gravos, 34, of Alexander N.D., made a threatening call to the McKenzie County Hospital, resulting in both the hospital and clinic being secured and locked down for approximately 45 minutes.

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Budget hearing on Oct. 6

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“If you build it, they will come” has become the mantra for Mark Johnsrud, president of Power Fuels.

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September 28, 2011

The Great Post Office Box Race

Local businesses have been hit hard by the increasing demands a rising population can bring. The Watford City Post Office is no different.

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Arnegard area residents who felt strongly that the closing of their community’s post office will have a disastrous impact on their community and the delivery of their mail, patiently sat and waited last Wednesday morning to meet with postal service representatives.

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Grassy Butte residents are boiling mad that their post office is one of 3,700 post offices in the United States that have been targeted for closure.

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September 21, 2011

Well fire claims two

An oil well explosion on Wednesday, Sept. 14, claimed the lives of two workers, while two more are still in critical condition at Regions Hospital Burn Center in St. Paul, Minn.

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The McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 school board gave its stamp of approval on a $8,3361,146 budget for the 2011-2012 school year.

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McKenzie County has big changes in store for the 2012 proposed budget.

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September 14, 2011

Ground broken for new motel

After months of speculation and rumors, it is official. Watford City will have a new motel open by the spring of 2012.

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September 14, 2011

Tough choices ahead for museum

A big piece of McKenzie County’s history is threatening to fall apart. But Alexander residents are struggling to keep it intact.

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Good things came out of last Tuesday’s Theodore Roosevelt Expressway meeting, namely an acknowledgement by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) that something has to be done about U.S. Highway 85.

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When the walls of the Four Eyes Motel start coming down this week, there will be some tears shed by Daryl and Esther Vance.

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It’s been a long journey for Rob Favorite, the newly-ordained Senior Pastor of First Lutheran Church in Watford City. But, according to him, it’s been a good one.

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September 7, 2011

NDRA Finals rides into town

One of the nation’s top 100 events happens this weekend right here in Watford City as the NDRA Championship Rodeo rides into town for two nights of great rodeo action.

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It’s been a long, long time since Watford City has seen over 700 students enrolled in its school system. But the days of rising enrollment seem to be back and school officials couldn’t be happier.

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Usually farmers in western North Dakota are singing, dancing or even praying for rain. But this season many farmers seem to have changed their tune.

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Good times are in store for those who live in Alexander and its surrounding area as the community hosts its 66th annual Old Settlers’ Day celebration.

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There won’t be any more temporary work force housing units going up within the city of Watford City or within the one-mile Extraterritorial Zoning Area (ETA).

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With thousands of oilfield-related trucks now traveling U.S. Highway 85 on a daily basis, the number one question on the minds of area residents is, “What improvements are in the works for this highway?”

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August 24, 2011

Boom’n Bakken

5,000 new rigs to be drilled in the next two years

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Every dawn has its day. For a school system, that day is now, and the dawn is enrollment.

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Just like that Ribfest has come and gone, but it will have people smiling every time they think about the fun they had.

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During a time when the rest of the world is in an economic slump, western North Dakota is thriving in its own bubble.

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Watford City will be able to expand its city water and sewer services to serve an ever-growing community thanks to a $12.3 million grant from the Board of University and School Lands (Land Board).

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