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‘Overnighters’ screens in Williston

‘Overnighters’ screens in Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Filmmaker Jesse Moss wanted to tell the big story of life in Williston during an epic oil boom. Instead, he would be drawn to a local pastor who opened up his home and church to workers migrating from across the country in pursuit of black gold and the riches that flow from it. Moss said he filmed “The Overnighters” in a “cinema verite” style, witnessing the lives of Pastor Jay Reinke of Concordia Lutheran Church, his family, flock and homeless guests unfolding before him — a fly on the wall.

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FACES OF THE BOOM: Musician tries to capture life in the Bakken

FACES OF THE BOOM: Musician tries to capture life in the Bakken

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Keesha Renna is drawn to stories, and in her adopted city of Williston, the tales of struggle, heartache and loneliness are boundless. Intrigued by a story she read on North Dakota’s fracking boom in Harper’s Magazine more than a year ago, Renna first landed in Minot for a few months, then moved to Williston in September 2013. Armed with a degree in anthropology, a stint as a bartender and three years as a music promoter, the 27-year-old from Boise, Idaho, is hoping her musical take on the Bakken will reflect the many perspectives she has experienced in “one of the most pivotal moments in my time.”

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COLUMN: Tape up pant legs, the mice are taking over

COLUMN: Tape up pant legs, the mice are taking over

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Last week, Pops was out on a beautiful fall afternoon ride, saddled up for a mission to ensure the cows were in the right places. He had been out there for a bit, covering ground, trotting through the fields, when all of the sudden, Pops’ right reign lay limp in his hand, no longer attached to the bit at the horse’s mouth.

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Brewing up history: Renovation of historic Grand Forks Opera House set to begin, brewery planned

Brewing up history: Renovation of historic Grand Forks Opera House set to begin, brewery planned

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A couple of dusty tables, booth seats and equipment including ladders and extension cords are among the only tenants of a long-vacant portion of the Metropolitan Opera House in Grand Forks. But Matt Winjum has a vision for the space. As Winjum, a co-owner of the Rhombus Guys pizza restaurant with Arron Hendricks, walked through the building that the two own earlier this week, he provided a rough sketch of what it will become: a brewpub in the heart of downtown Grand Forks.

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COLUMN: Who will take care of this place when we’re gone?

COLUMN: Who will take care of this place when we’re gone?

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- The house seems especially quiet this morning. The sound of my fingers clicking across the keyboard is all there is to hear, really. My husband’s off to work, and I’m tackling a to-do list that includes finding homes for toy dinosaurs, books and superheroes, sweeping glitter and cracker crumbs off the floor and rearranging the dozen crayon-drawn pictures on the fridge. It might be quiet now, but evidence of the weekend spent with our nieces and nephews, all five of them, all between the ages of 4 and 11, all by ourselves, is lingering in every nook and cranny of this house.

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Mr. Rogers was real: Stories from 50 years of Prairie Public

Mr. Rogers was real: Stories from 50 years of Prairie Public

FARGO, N.D. – Bob Dambach can share many stories from his three decades at Prairie Public, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and he has a good one about Fred Rogers, better known as Mr. Rogers. The bottom line? Mr. Rogers was real. Dambach, now director of television at Prairie Public, said that in the late 1980s David Newell, the actor who played Mr. McFeely, the delivery man on Rogers’ long-running PBS show, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” was in the area to give a commencement address at a local high school.

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Unusual alliance on oil spill cleanup

Unusual alliance on oil spill cleanup

A year later, landowners trying to ‘go with the flow’ of 24/7 operation
TIOGA, N.D. -- On Monday, Patty Jensen delivered a treat to the workers doing the cleanup on the site of one of North Dakota’s largest oil spills. For husband Steve, it was just another day at the end of a busy harvest. But a year ago his discovery of oil in their wheat field near Tioga set off a media frenzy and an outcry over the 11-day delay by state officials in notifying the public.

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COLUMN: Existing alone yet always in contact

COLUMN: Existing alone yet always in contact

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- I was a teenager in a time when a giant cell phone in a leather bag was the latest in communication technology. My parents would unplug it from the cigarette lighter in their minivan and detach the giant magnetic antenna from the roof only for me to reassemble the configuration in my 1983 Ford LTD before heading out to a football game with instructions to call before I left town.

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COLUMN: Our flares aren't that bad

COLUMN: Our flares aren't that bad

WILLISTON, N.D. - The Bakken region catches a lot of flak about our flares. When you pump oil, natural gas is a natural byproduct, and at this point it is not cost effective to capture it. So we just let it burn 24/7. The environmentalist and Al Gore types continue to badger us because of the waste of energy, pollution of our air and the possible long-term effects of all this gas everywhere. Believe me, we are working 24/7 on ways to capture this very valuable commodity to offset our winter temps of 40 below zero.

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COLUMN: Rekindle passions after long seasons of work

COLUMN: Rekindle passions after long seasons of work

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- The sun is slower to rise, and the leaves on the ash trees in the coulees are starting to give in to cooler weather. I’m sitting in my big chair watching the branches bob and sway to a chilly wind. It rained last night. In a few weeks it could be snow. So we are digging out sweaters and switching the thermostat over, putting on socks and eating dinner before 10 p.m. because the sun is down by 9. Yes, it’s September, and the weather is preparing us. It’s September, and it’s time to make those plums into jelly.

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Finding 'a different route': Strategic plan in place for ND scenic byways

Robin Reynolds owns a small business in Hebron, a southwest North Dakota town along Highway 10 about 2 miles off of Interstate 94. Like so many other small towns in the state, Hebron has seen busier times. "When the interstate came in, these small towns emptied out," Reynolds said. Since the Old Red/Old Ten Scenic Byway was established in 2008 through the state's Scenic Byway Program, Reynolds said the towns along Highway 10 have benefited from tourists who have abided by the byway's motto and taken "a different route."

‘GameDay’ affirms Bison culture in eyes of recruits

‘GameDay’ affirms Bison culture in eyes of recruits

FARGO, N.D. – It was about year ago when Omaha Creighton Prep quarterback Easton Stick and his coach got in a car after a Friday night game and made the drive from Nebraska to Fargo for an unofficial recruiting visit. Before going to the North Dakota State football game, they stopped downtown. It wasn’t for a doughnut and juice. It was the big enchilada of exposure for college football coaches: Getting ESPN’s “College GameDay” in their backyard. What Stick saw was something he didn’t expect, he said.

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Downtown Fargo businesses capitalize on ‘GameDay’

Downtown Fargo businesses capitalize on ‘GameDay’

FARGO, N.D. – Within 15 minutes Monday, all 150 tickets for the Saturday brunch at Monte’s were sold to fans eager for football and fine dining. The downtown restaurant at 220 Broadway hosted a similar event for last year’s ESPN “College GameDay” broadcast, said Christian D’Agostino, chef/owner. “I think they were waiting on it,” he said of this week’s quick ticket purchasers. “We’re right in the middle of it. We’ve got the best seat.” The same special is being offered at The Boiler Room, 210 Broadway, which D’Agostino also co-owns.

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College GameDay's return puts Fargo's plan on high alert

FARGO, N.D. – When ESPN’s College GameDay returns to Fargo on Saturday, the popular pre-game TV show will again be broadcast downtown in front of the Fargo Theatre, North Dakota State University announced in a news conference Sunday. “ESPN made it clear that they had a great experience last year in downtown Fargo and they wanted to go back there,” said NDSU interim athletic director Prakash Mathew.

Seasons change, even if we don’t want them to

Seasons change, even if we don’t want them to

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- The wild plums are ripening in the brush patch below our house. Just a few months ago those thorny branches were covered in white, soft blossoms bursting with excitement at the announcement that winter was officially over. Now those plump purple berries are whispering something about fall, but I’m not sure I’m ready to hear it.

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