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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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Now that the weather is finally beginning to feel like spring, it won’t be long before the time to vote during this summer’s June Primary Election is here too. An election that area school boards hope they’re ready for.

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The need for work coupled with Watford City’s need for housing and commercial space has led two companies to begin construction on the outskirts of Watford City.

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Wind is nothing new to McKenzie County. But harvesting that wind is, and last week’s Wind Energy Meeting was the first step in bringing wind harvesting information to the people of McKenzie County.

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With spring comes calving season, and while some McKenzie County producers haven’t started yet, those that have say that so far, things are going well, especially when you compare this year to last.

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Commission allocates $3.5 million to help bring water into county to serve growing oil industry

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With oil prices sitting close to the $80 mark and above, North Dakota saw the number of active rigs surpass 100 for the first time since February 1982. As of Monday, March 15, there were 19 rigs drilling in McKenzie County.

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March 10, 2010

Looking at wind energy

Anyone living in North Dakota knows that the state’s weather can at times be rather undesirable, especially when the wind is blowing. However, there are many people willing to not only live with the unfavorable wind, but also use the wind to their advantage. An advantage that is noticeable by the state’s changing landscape as wind turbines sprout up throughout the state.

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With an increase in businesses and a shortage of housing, it’s no secret that McKenzie County is growing. While a growing community is a good problem to have, it can make things difficult if you’re trying to plan for the future.

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