Latest News

It is time to enjoy some “Summer Days and Country Ways” as the McKenzie County Fair comes to Watford City July 14 - 16.

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Traffic, traffic, everywhere, and hardly space to share. Many would agree that Watford City is losing its small-town feel. The increase in business and people has brought with it increased traffic, causing longer commutes, limited parking and road congestion. But there is good news. Northwest Dakota Public Transit (NWDPT) is hoping to help.

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The city of Arnegard could very well be on the brink of seeing the biggest population boom that it has ever seen within the next few months.

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Cars ramming into each other until they are nothing, but mangled metal seems to be a popular event around these parts.

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Christine (Bruins) Schmaltzhas an extraordinary gift that allowed her to run a personal record (P.R.) of 2:01.17 in the open 800 meter run at the U.S. Championships. That time qualified Schmaltz for the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. June 22 - July 1, 2012.

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While McKenzie County seems to have gotten along just fine the past 100 years with a “no zoning” approach to land use planning, the winds of progress may be forcing the county commissioners and county residents to rethink that philosophy.

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To say that the huge upswing in oil activity in McKenzie County is having an impact on McKenzie Electric Cooperative would be an understatement.

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While school has only been out for just over a month, Steven Holen, district superintendent, informed the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 school board at its meeting on Monday, June 20, that there is plenty of activity going on at the elementary school.

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County roads in McKenzie County have been taking a severe beating due to increased oilfield traffic over the past several years. And fixing the main roads that serve the oilfield’s needs, as well as county residents, is going to come with a big price tag.

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The excitement is in the air as Homefest nears.

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If there is one thing that can fill a room in western North Dakota’s oil patch quicker than a free meal, it’s a discussion on the need to fix county roads.

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June 15, 2011

To zone or not to zone

While McKenzie County has not had zoning laws for 100 years, the McKenzie County Board of County Commissioners is wondering if now is not the time for them to rethink that policy.

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Chalk up another North Dakota highway closed in and around McKenzie County for the summer because of damage caused by heavy oilfield traffic and record moisture.

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One year ago no one attended the public hearing when Kirk Wold proposed creating a man camp on his property south of the Watford City Elementary School. But on Monday, June 6, the Watford City City Council’s chambers was filled with concerned citizens over the extension of a conditional use permit that would allow the man camp to remain in its current location.

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"We’re not going to make it!” That statement by Larry Marmon pretty well sums up the feelings of the vast majority of McKenzie County farmers who will not be getting all of their acreage planted this year due to excessive moisture.

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And the award goes to... Eric Krogen! Krogen, who has been a Social Studies teacher at Watford City High School for two years, was recently honored as the school’s 2010-2011 Teacher of the Year.

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As the weather begins to heat up and summer officially arrives people will start to pack up for the lake in hopes of a relaxing weekend. They may be in for a big surprise.

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With Watford City busting at the seams with new growth, there is only one way for the community to grow. And that is to add more water and sewer lines into newly identified growth areas surrounding the city.

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“Twelve hours. It can stretch out forever when you are waiting to hear the report on a biopsy. It can literally evaporate when it’s the last hours spent with a dying loved one.

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Teachers at McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 will be receiving a $1,500 increase in their base salaries this coming school year following the school board’s ratification of a new two-year agreement last Tuesday.

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After a long and snowy winter, everyone is anxious to get outdoors and get started on their spring projects. And no group is more anxious than Watford City homeowners who have remodeling or building plans on their minds.

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After a historically wet winter and equally wet spring, it should come as no surprise that the Missouri River is reaching historically high levels.

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It takes as much as one million gallons of water to frac a single Bakken oil well.

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With the Garden Creek natural gas plant scheduled to go on-line by the end of 2011, ONEOK Partners of Tulsa, Okla., was in Watford City last Wednesday to discuss their plans to build a 62-mile liquid natural gas pipeline through McKenzie County.

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Oil and gas, water, and of course, money, along with many other issues were discussed during the 62nd session of the North Dakota Legislature, and it turned out to be a good session for western North Dakota.

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After experiencing one of the hardest winters in recent memory, the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 School Board at its May 9 meeting gave serious consideration to establishing separate bus routes for just Watford City students.

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Legislation that would provide $110 million of state money to fund the Western Area Water Supply was referred to as Mission Impossible during the North Dakota Legislature.

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At a time when new housing is in big demand in Watford City, one would assume that the city council would welcome any plans that would add new housing to the community. But during the Watford City City Council’s meeting on Wednesday, May 4, the council followed the advice of Curt Moen, city planner, in denying two zoning change requests from developers.

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Continued energy development fueled Watford City’s and McKenzie County’s economic growth in 2010 as taxable sales and purchases in McKenzie County and Watford City grew by nearly 50 percent during the 2010 calendar year.

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WATFORD CITY WEATHER