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After nearly 30 years as a firefighter, Harold Larson of Arnegard still enjoys serving his community and helping those in need. When Larson joined the fire department 30 years ago, he didn’t do it looking for recognition. He did it because he saw a need.

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Oil is big business in western North Dakota, and the biggest challenge continues to be moving the oil out of North Dakota. Quintana, a Houston, Texas-based company has a proposal that could ultimately help to move some of North Dakota’s oil out of the state.

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With a new date, on a slightly less busy weekend, the McKenzie County Fair is the place to be July 14 through July 17.

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There is no doubt that with the continued development of the region’s oil and gas resources, Watford City and the surrounding area is going to grow. But where is that growth going to occur and does the city have the infrastructure to handle the new growth?

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The Fourth of July is just around the corner and Arnegard will be the place to be. From the Breakfast In The Park to the fireworks at dusk, there is something for everyone and the fun lasts all day.

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A park is a wonderful asset to a community, and Watford City is fortunate to have two large community parks and several neighborhood parks for area children to visit. Kathy Klang, a resident of Watford City, has made it her mission to make one of the city’s neighborhood parks just as wonderful as the Tourist Park and the Children’s Park.

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Is it ever going to warm up? That’s been a common question around McKenzie County this spring, and now that the days have begun to get warmer, the new question is, where did all of these mosquitoes come from?

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For some, birthdays are a big deal. For others, they are just a way to mark time. For McKenzie Electric Cooperative, (MEC) its 65th Annual Meeting not only served as a birthday party for the Cooperative, it was also an opportunity for members to hear everything that is going on within the Cooperative. And there is a lot going on.

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When the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 School Board approved an overall salary increase of six percent for the district’s ancillary staff, they thought that the raises would be satisfactory. But during the board’s meeting on Monday, June 14, they heard otherwise.

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The June Primary Election is over and residents of Watford City voted for change, with a new mayor being elected and an overwhelming “yes” vote for a new water source.

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For most residents in McKenzie County, knowing where to find a phone book or how to get their cable and internet hooked up is common knowledge. But for someone new to the community, these can be difficult tasks.

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With concerns over possible drainage problems as well as after hearing objections from neighbors, the Watford City City Council at its June 7 meeting denied a conditional use permit that would have allowed Craig Nelson to place 18 temporary work force housing units on property that he owns located north of McKenzie Building Center.

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If Senator Kent Conrad and the majority of those in attendance at last week’s Senate Budget Committee Hearing had their way, work to turn U.S. Highway 85 between Williston and Bowman into a four-lane highway would begin immediately.

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With school out for the summer, many parents have found that they are looking for things to keep their kids busy and the Watford City Park Board may have just the thing.

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June 9, 2010

Another great Relay

Once again, to no surprise, the Rugged West Relay For Life’s Relay event was a great success.

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With the June 8 Primary Election less than one week away, it’s time to make your final decisions so you can get out and vote or mail in your absentee ballot if you can’t make it to the polls.

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With new trailer parks, RV parks, businesses and subdivisions being planned around Watford City, one question remains unanswered. What is the best way for Watford City to grow?

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The month of May was National Foster Care Month, and like many counties, McKenzie County is always in need of foster parents. Becoming a foster parent is a big step, one that not everyone is ready or able to take. Fortunately, as one area group found out, becoming a foster parent isn’t the only way to help Social Services and area kids.

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ust one day after making what some considered to be a ridiculous decision, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers overturned its decision to freeze water permits from Lake Sakakawea.

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Both Alexander and Watford City schools passed Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) tests for the 2007-2008 school year. However, since then, only Alexander has been able to keep its test scores high enough to pass all areas for the 2009-2010 AYP

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The current oil boom combined with the good economy in North Dakota has given people one more reason to move to McKenzie County. Although it is always better for a city to be growing instead of shrinking, growth doesn’t come without some growing pains.

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Watford City city officials are hopeful that the low turnout at the City’s Forum on Drinking Water indicates that all questions have been answered in regard to supplying residents with water from the Missouri River.

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With plans to develop up to 64 new single family homes, as well as 72 short-term stay units this summer, a Watford City developer could finally help the community begin solving its lack of housing problem.

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Road construction is never fun to deal with, but it’s an even bigger headache when the work causes area roads to be closed off to traffic completely. And that is something many McKenzie County residents and travelers who use Highway 85 south of Watford City are well aware of. After nearly two weeks of being closed, Highway 85 south of Watford City has reopened to limited traffic.

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For most members of McKenzie County, First International Bank & Trust is an establishment that has always been on the corner of Main Street. But for some residents of the county, their memory is a little different.

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As the oil companies continue tapping into the Bakken Formation, it’s likely that McKenzie County will continue to expand, with the most recent expansion being a new gas plant southeast of Watford City.

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Most people don’t realize that a simple decision can save your life. However, that’s exactly what you may be determining every time you choose to put on your seat belt or to leave it off. For 27-year-old Dixie Steidl, of Watford City, the decision she made on Aug. 13, 2009, was a lifesaving one.

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Oil producers who have been busy drilling into the very productive Bakken Formation in western North Dakota could very well be setting their sights on another major oil formation - the Three Forks.

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McKenzie County is definitely booming. With new families, businesses, housing developments and oil wells, there is bound to be a lot of talk of changes throughout the county. With many plans in the works and even more ideas floating around, it’s difficult to know what is fact and what is fiction.

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With 109 active drilling rigs and another land lease sale coming up, the oil fields of North Dakota are still busy with no end in sight.

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WATFORD CITY WEATHER