Your online source for western North Dakota and oil news

COLUMN: Surviving the Mothership

COLUMN: Surviving the Mothership

WILLISTON, N.D. - Three to four years ago, it was real easy getting things done around here. Roughnecks came by the hundreds in their F350s or Silverado Duramaxes, pulling campers and squatting in the Walmart parking, or a field, or wherever. Local company offices were usually a 12-by-18-foot, wobbly box trailer with a propane tank, a water hose and a flex sewer line, and who knows or cared where it went. These pioneers were hard working and productive, returning back high value to their companies who just left them alone.

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Centralized pipeline info a good first step, landowners say

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Landowners trying to help smooth relations between pipeline companies and property owners say a new Easement Information Center launched Tuesday by the North Dakota Petroleum Council is a good first step. Landowners Troy Coons, of Mountrail County, and Daryl Dukart, of Dunn County, were part of a right-of-way task force that met over several months to talk about easement problems and ways to solve them. Festering issues and landowner fatigue are causing lengthy delays in pipeline projects. Petroleum Council spokeswoman Tessa Sandstrom said pipeline companies say it's taking from 90 to 180 days to get easements signed.

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FACES OF THE BOOM: Teacher welcomes new faces, diversity to reservation school

FACES OF THE BOOM: Teacher welcomes new faces, diversity to reservation school

NEW TOWN, N.D. -- On a recent day in Camarilla Hunter’s sixth-grade class, rainbow-colored candy made math a whole lot sweeter and fun for her students. “When can we eat the Skittles?” a boy interjected, as Hunter, 35, explained the goal of their assignment was to find the fraction, decimal and percent for each color in their small bag of candy. It was all in a day’s teaching for the third-year educator at New Town Middle School on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in western North Dakota. Earlier in the school day the students learned about the U.S. presidents playing bingo and practiced their English skills by writing pen pal postcards.

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MDU eyes Minot area for second diesel refinery

MDU eyes Minot area for second diesel refinery

BISMARCK, N.D. – Developers of a nearly completed diesel refinery near Dickinson are eyeing the Minot area as the potential site for a similar plant. John Stumpf, senior vice president of business development for WBI Energy Inc., said the second refinery would process about 20,000 barrels of Bakken crude oil per day, the same capacity as the Dakota Prairie Refining LLC facility near Dickinson. “Minot’s a little different situation, but the demand for diesel up there is even stronger than it is here,” Stumpf said in an interview Thursday at the Dickinson refinery.

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Central North Dakota ski resort has earliest opener ever

MANDAN, N.D. -- For the first time ever, Huff Hills has opened before Thanksgiving thanks to the recent streak of frigid weather. The main runs off the ski resort’s blue lift are covered in snow and ready for the season’s first skiers and boarders. The ski resort is south of Bismarck-Mandan near the Missouri River.

Getting with the program: Grafton uses housing incentive to stem population decline, stabilize community

Getting with the program: Grafton uses housing incentive to stem population decline, stabilize community

GRAFTON, N.D. — Mayor Chris West has a quick answer for anyone questioning the value of an eight-year-old Grow Grafton housing construction incentive program. “We have 50 new homes built in Grafton in that time, and people are still building,” he said. “Grafton’s rolling.” That’s why he lobbied to extend the program through additional funding from the Grafton City Council, which recently approved another $100,000 for the housing incentive this year but is also facing questions about whether it’s the right benefits and doing enough to help lower-income residents build starter homes.

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North Dakota voter ID changes being proposed

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office and Grand Forks Democratic lawmakers are drafting separate bills to tweak the state’s voter identification law. The proposed legislation comes after reports of people being turned away from the polls on Election Day due to identification problems. This year marked the first major election since North Dakota passed a law in 2013 that removed the option to sign an affidavit, allowing voters who didn’t have proper ID to swear under the penalty of law that they are eligible to vote.

North Dakota higher ed board again violates state open meetings law

BISMARCK, N.D. – The State Board of Higher Education violated open meetings law when it asked attendees of a July 30 meeting to leave the room so a consultant could speak only to board members, the state attorney general ruled Friday. During its summer retreat, the board brought in Tom Meredith, a former chancellor of two state university systems, to advise members on issues plaguing the board. In a recording of the meeting, board chairwoman Kirsten Diederich can be heard asking everyone but board members and legal counsel to leave so the board could have a conversation with Meredith.

The finishing touches: U.S. Border Patrol Station nears completion in Pembina, N.D.

PEMBINA, N.D. — Landscaping crews dodged snow squalls this week as they seeded grass around the new 30,000-square-foot U.S. Border Patrol Station in Pembina. It’s one of the finishing touches on the $13 million facility. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials anticipate the project will be complete in December or January, according to Agent Justin Constans, public affairs officer. Officials have not announced whether or not there will be an opening ceremony or open house. If an open house is scheduled, he said, it likely would be in the spring. The new station is being built within a man-made dike that protects North Dakota’s oldest city, with about 600 residents, to a 100-year flood level.

Some national retailers promote decision to stay closed on Thanksgiving

Some national retailers promote decision to stay closed on Thanksgiving

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The term “Black Friday” is slowly becoming a misnomer as more retailers begin opening their doors on Thursday. And it’s not any Thursday, but Thanksgiving: a holiday many people see as a time to be thankful for the people around them and the things they already have. That’s perhaps why, even as more people spend time away from the dinner table to shop for deals on Thanksgiving Day, some national retailers are promoting their decision to shut their doors. Stores such as TJ Maxx, Gamestop and Cabela’s said their decision was made with their employees in mind.

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Featured Staff Blogs

http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2756/50/50/ OUTDOORS WITH SAM COOK
Some thoughts on the deer hunt, from a deer hunter
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11/24/14 at 1:06 PM
http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2763/50/50/ BISON MEDIA BLOG
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http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2792/50/50/ OIL PATCH DISPATCH
Faces of the Boom: Teacher welcomes new faces, diversity to reservation school
By Kathleen J. Bryan Forum News Service NEW TOWN, N.D. -- On a recent day in Camarilla Hunters sixth-grade class, rainbow-colored candy made math a whole lot sweeter and fun for her students. When ca...
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http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2811/50/50/ UND HOCKEY
Grimaldi scores first NHL goal
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Featured Area Voices

http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2812/50/50/ SOCIAL SECURITY: INFORMATION & UPDATES
Working? Retiring? Options if reaching full retirement age in 2015.
Do you reach your full retirement age (FRA) in 2015? Still working? Thinking about starting Social Security in 2015? What are some options to consider? When to start Social Security benefits is alwa...
11/24/14 at 9:14 AM
http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2771/50/50/ KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS
Handyman's Act of Kindness Changes His Life
A man came to my house the other day to repair all of those little things in a home that are too difficult to fix myself, yet not so difficult that they involve cutting my losses and just moving. He ...
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http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2767/50/50/ COURAGE IN THE KITCHEN: REMINISCENCES AND RECIPES
Corn and Cheese Chowder
Chowders are basically thickened soups. They are similar to stews but often are thickened with cream, biscuits or crackers. This recipe uses cream and flour to thicken the broth, but the addition of...
11/23/14 at 8:20 AM
http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2758/50/50/ UND NEWS
UND professor recognized for connecting state’s Indian heritage with local high school German exchange program
Danke schn, or thank you, is the gesture behind the University of North Dakotas Birgit Hans recently beinghonoredwiththe Friends of the German American Partnership Program (GAPP) award from a local ...
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http://media.fccinteractive.com/voices/2774/50/50/ NDSU NEWS
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