Latest News

Shortly before ending the 2011 legislative session, lawmakers approved financing for a $150 million water pipeline project that will supply McKenzie County residents and western North Dakota’s oil industry with water.

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On April 19, Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed into law HB 1013, providing $100 million to help communities in North Dakota’s oil and gas counties offset direct impacts created by the rapidly developing energy industry.

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The local post office is a staple in any community, but what happens when the office closes? This is something that Keene residents are just recently learning about.

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Faced with the prospect of more students next year, the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 school board gave its approval to hiring nine new teachers during its April 11 meeting.

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While the oil industry continues to give to the state, communities and residents of North Dakota, it is also taking from the state, especially when you look at roads in the western portion of the state.

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Along with its richness in oil, the Bakken Formation is also producing a large amount of natural gas, much of which is being burnt off due to a lack of infrastructure. Two area companies hope to begin collecting some of that natural gas when their new gas plants go on-line in May, 2011.

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While the final decision as to whether or not there will be a bypass built around Watford City to accommodate the increased traffic on U.S. Highway 85 may be years in the future, the Watford City City Council wants the North Dakota Dept. of Transportation to know that the city has identified a possible route.

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April 13, 2011

A land of opportunity

Changes in the economy have led many people to relocate in search of work, and the heavy oil activity in the McKenzie County has made this area a popular place for individuals and families looking for a better opportunity.

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For many, Easter is all about dying eggs, filling Easter baskets and Easter Egg Hunts. For others, it goes beyond the bright-colored eggs and seasonal candy. If you’re looking for some good entertainment and a reminder of why we celebrate Easter, the First Lutheran Church Choir’s Easter Cantata is a great opportunity for you.

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Watford City, like other communities in western North Dakota, continues to struggle with housing, especially the lack of housing, a problem that many people, including housing developers, hope that spring weather will soon help them to combat.

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Spring is here whether it feels like it or not. And in McKenzie County, with spring comes calving.

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If you’re looking for some great entertainment with a few flips and kicks in it, then you won’t want to miss the 23rd annual Badlands Gymnastics Club’s ‘Night of Stars,’ which will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 9 in the Watford City High School Gymnasium.

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For most of the past 60 years the U.S. Forest Service, which administers over one million acres of land of the National Grasslands in North Dakota, and the ranchers that graze cattle on these lands, have worked together cooperatively to ensure the health of the public land is maintained while allowing cattlemen to maintain their livelihoods.

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Spring blizzards are not uncommon in North Dakota, something Mother Nature reminded us of during the first week of spring.

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During a medical emergency, time is of the essence, and being the largest county in the state makes getting anywhere fast a challenge in McKenzie County. Which is why telehealth services are a prefect fit for the McKenzie County Healthcare Systems (MCHS).

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Driven by western North Dakota’s recent oil boom, the state’s population rose by 4.7 percent during the last 10 years, and McKenzie County’s population rose 10.9 percent during that decade to 6,360 people.

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After burning for nearly two weeks, an oil well fire located north of Arnegard was extinguished on Friday.

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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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