Latest News

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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As a result of a national mandate, the U.S. Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands has developed a Travel Management Plan for the Little Missouri National Grasslands that will greatly decrease public access opportunities.

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Watford City High School is looking at 285 students for the 2010-2011 school year compared to 265 at the end of the 2009-2010 school year, and the elementary school is expecting to have 293 students this year compared to ending last year with 273.

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If you get up early enough, you can feel the chill of fall in the air. And if you haven’t noticed that, the combines in the fields are another indication that fall is just around the corner.

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Several businesses and private investors have chosen Watford City for their housing projects, with several housing projects underway in Watford City and its surrounding area.

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The tremendous increase in oil field activity has been good for McKenzie County as it has created many jobs and brought new people to the community. But at the same time, the increase has also brought in a large amount of heavy truck traffic which has caused problems with many of county’s roads.

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Watford City’s City Council, at its Aug. 2 meeting, passed the first reading of a new ordinance that could prohibit truck traffic, other than delivery trucks, on all streets within the city limits.

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As the community of Watford City grows, residents of the community have found the need for more space, especially when it comes to the space available within the Healthy Hearts Wellness Center. With a monthly average of more than 1,950 visits per month and a monthly high of 2,400 visits, space has become a problem for Wellness Center members.

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WATFORD CITY WEATHER