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After 20 years in office, the time had come for Frances Olson, McKenzie County Auditor to retire. “I came into the position with the hopes that I would be here for 20 years,” says Olson

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Following a meeting in regular session on Friday, March 18, the McKenzie County Board of Commissioners has appointed Linda Svihovec to fill the position of McKenzie County Auditor until the General Election of November, 2012. The effective date of the appointment is April 1, 2011.

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While the North Dakota Legislature is still debating how much funding will be made available to oil-impacted communities, such as Watford City, for infrastructure improvement assistance, the Watford City City Council decided on Monday evening that the city needed to continue pressing forward with plans to expand city water and sewer service into newly annexed areas.

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High winds and snow left many McKenzie County travelers stranded either in a town or on the highway on Friday.

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March 9, 2011

Well goes up in flames

Shortly after 9 a.m. Monday, a sky filled with billowing black smoke had Arnegard residents and area emergency personnel on alert.

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More passing lanes and a widened roadway are all on tap for U.S. Highway 85 this summer as the North Dakota Dept. of Transportation (DOT) finalizes plans for improving the highway between Watford City and Williston.

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Many McKenzie County residents are still waiting for rural water to run through their faucets, but if the Legislature passes HB 1206, the water could be flowing a lot sooner.

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With a continually growing drop-out rate, school administration at Watford City High School decided it was time to do something to help more of its students to succeed.

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They were referred to as the little basketball team with a big heart, and they were credited with pulling off the biggest sports upset of the year in 1961, when the Arnegard Spuds beat Crary, 64-59 to become the 1961 North Dakota State Class C Champions.

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With all of the snowstorms that have kept school buses from running so far this winter, McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 school board members were informed on Monday, Feb. 15 that the district is struggling to keep its test exemption policy fair to all students.

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Dan Kelly, McKenzie County Healthcare Systems (MCHS) CEO has been named the 2010 Grassroots Champion for North Dakota.

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Recent studies and observations show that McKenzie County is in need of housing. A problem that has been ongoing.

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After less than a month in her position, Jodi L. Hanson tendered her resignation as the McKenzie County Auditor, effective for the term that would begin April 1, 2011.

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With a growing number of residents, the Watford City City Council and the Watford City Chief of Police decided it was time to add another police officer to the department.

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A new U.S. Forest Service scoping document that would create a new requirement for high grass structure on three pastures of the Little Missouri National Grasslands has members of the McKenzie County Grazing Association up in arms over potential grazing cuts.

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During the Dec. 13 meeting of the Watford City City Council, it was approved to add just over 700 acres to Watford City through annexation. The annexation will include tracts of property to the north, south, east and west of the current Watford City city limits.

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Watford City is located smack in the middle of an oil boom, and unless you’ve experienced the good and the bad of it, it’s difficult to understand why city and school district officials are fighting to keep more of the oil tax revenues here in Watford City.

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It may sound like a broken record, but North Dakota’s weather in February and March will once again be critical to the health of the state’s wildlife populations, with McKenzie County being no exception.

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In North Dakota, winter isn’t thought of as a rainy season, but for some area home and business owners, last week’s above average temperatures had it raining indoors. The problem of the indoor moisture caused by ice dams on the roofs.

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After serving in the North Dakota Legislature for the past nine legislative sessions, David Drovdal, District 39 Representative and North Dakota Speaker of the House, knows that things don’t happen fast in the North Dakota Legislature, nor do they always follow what some people would think of as the most logical path.

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It’s hard to believe that a penny could go very far, but for the Watford City Roughrider Fund, the pennies have added up, making Watford City and its surrounding communities a great place to live.

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The growth of a city doesn’t come without significant financial cost.

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When school started last August, it came as no surprise to school faculty that there were a lot of new students. The surprise for some teachers and parents is just beginning to surface as the number of new students continues to grow at a steady pace for some county schools.

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With the county growing at an unusually rapid pace, many offices and departments are continually getting busier without any slowdown in sight. Area law enforcement and emergency personnel are firsthand witnesses to just how busy the county has become.

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January 12, 2011

City’s crime on the rise

Watford City’s population is growing, and with the increase in residents, the Watford City Police Department has also noticed an increase in crime.

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Thanks to several large donations, a new wellness center in Watford City is an even closer reality than fundraisers expected it to be.

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After posting a very vigorous 45.96 percent increase in taxable sales and purchases in the second quarter of 2010, the third quarter of this past year was even better.

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Oil and gas, water, and of course, money, along with many other issues will be discussed when the 62nd session of the North Dakota Legislature convenes in Bismarck on Jan. 4.

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Throughout 2010, McKenzie County residents have watched the oil industry grow.

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WATFORD CITY WEATHER