Latest News

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 High School went into a lockdown last Tuesday morning as law enforcement officers from the Watford City Police Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Northwest Narcotics Task Force, assisted by six K9 units, made a surprise drug search of the school.

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Alcohol is the number one drug of choice among the nation’s youth and it often has serious, lifelong, consequences for them, their families and their communities.

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From a new sound system in the high school gymnasium to security cameras and fire alarms in the high school, to the demolition of the old courthouse building and the construction of a new bus barn, the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 school board at its April 12 meeting decided that now was the time to improve the school and to spend some of the federal stimulus funds that the district still has available.

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In spite of a low turnout by parents and youth, the McKenzie County Community Coalition’s (MC3) 3rd Town Hall Meeting addressing underage drinking and substance abuse resulted in a new hope of getting a handle on underage drinking.

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McKenzie County is fortunate to have a full healthcare system including a hospital, clinic, nursing home and wellness center. But having those facilities mean nothing if there aren’t any doctors.

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With housing within the Watford City city limits at a short supply, should the city extend its sewer services outside the current city limits to serve three proposed developments? Or would it be in the city’s interest to annex outlying property into the city limits and then provide those services?

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In spite of a general slowing of the state’s economy during the fourth quarter of 2009, fueled by a robust energy sector, Watford City as well as McKenzie County bucked that trend and continued to show positive growth.

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A canoe trip down the Little Missouri River is a great way to experience the beauty and solitude of the North Dakota Badlands. According to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park Guide, it takes three to four days to canoe the 110 miles from Medora N.D., to the Long X Bridge south of Watford City. But if you ask Nick Ybarra and his father-in-law, Marty Mulder, they’ll tell you it can be done in one day.

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Spring is finally here, and with it comes the dreaded road construction season. The first project in McKenzie County has already started on Highway 85 south of Watford City, and it’s not scheduled to wrap up until October. But as always, the road will be nicer and safer when it’s finished.

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If you’re looking for some great flips and good entertainment then you won’t want to miss the 22nd annual Badlands Gymnastics Club’s ‘Night of Stars,’ which will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 9 in the Watford City High School Gymnasium.

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Underage drinking is a big problem in McKenzie County and the McKenzie County Community Coalition (MC3) wants your help in resolving this problem.

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