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WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: The Mothership Christmas, er, 'Holiday' Party

WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: The Mothership Christmas, er, 'Holiday' Party

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third in a series of columns based on the corporate takeover of the opportunities that exist in the Bakken oil patch. Check out thee prior two week's columns which were Parts 1 and 2.
WILLISTON, N.D. - Continuing on with the explanation of the The Mothership culture. Here is a little look into the Mothership "Holiday" (Christmas) Party. Hands down this is the worst social event in the history of large corporate America. If you can politically avoid it, do so. Here are some helpful tips to survive the Mothership "Holiday" party:

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COLUMN: Christmas prank on mother takes some thought

COLUMN: Christmas prank on mother takes some thought

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- My mother’s the Christmas queen. She decks the halls with beautiful wreaths, handmade wooden cowboy Santas, twinkling white lights and matching Christmas bulbs. The tree stands upright, symmetrical, and perfect in the corner of a family room, glowing in the light of the subtle cinnamon candles flickering and highlighting the decor neatly placed on every surface. My mom’s Christmas is kind of like her, a woman who’s known for only taking one bite of a bite-sized Snickers bar and wrapping the other half back up to put it in the fridge for later. Yes, the woman has self-control. She understands when enough is just perfect enough. And so it goes with her Christmas decorations. Visit her house on the holidays and you will find fudge cut in perfect bite-sized squares on a simple red platter.

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Task force outlines plan to pick new UND nickname

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Sue Jeno started to cry when she was asked whether she thought UND should pick a new nickname. "I just want to do it right," she said, choking back tears. "I don't want to look back and say we were wrong." At a meeting Wednesday, Jeno and the rest of the University of North Dakota New Nickname and Logo Process Recommendation Task Force voted to continue to move forward in selecting a new nickname for the institution. The group developed the skeleton of a plan that involves appointing another committee as soon as possible that will ultimately decide on the next nickname. The finalplan, which the group is still working on, will be presented to UND President Robert Kelley by Dec. 31.

COLUMN: It’s OK to be a little sad, grateful during the holidays

COLUMN: It’s OK to be a little sad, grateful during the holidays

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Early last month my uncle from Texas arrived. Pops took some time off work, and the entire Veeder Ranch turned into a hunting camp, just like it does every year at this time. There’s something about being out with the men who grew up here. My dad and his brother walk the draws they know so well, doing what they’ve always done. That’s always been comforting to me. Since dad’s health scare early this year, each tradition spent since his recovery has been regarded a little more precious than before. And as much as it’s made me grateful, it’s also made me shaky, a little hard and more aware of an unfair and imperfect world.

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WILLINGSTON ... LIVING THE DREAM:

WILLINGSTON ... LIVING THE DREAM:

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second of a series of columns based on the corporate takeover of the opportunities that exist in the Bakken oil patch. Check out last week's column which was part one.
WILLISTON, N.D. - Seriously, there are opportunities for young people to survive and thrive in a large, corporate environment, but it's imperative to understand "Mothership culture," terms and worst practices. Here are some basic fundamentals:

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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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Midcontinent ready to grow gigabit service in North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. – Midcontinent Communications announced Monday a plan to provide the option of gigabit-speed Internet access to all of its service area in the Northern Plains by the end of 2017. The company said about 600,000 homes and 55,000 businesses will have access to gigabit service under its Gigabit Frontier Initiative. Areas that will be among the first to have access to the high-speed service include Fargo-Moorhead, Grand Forks, N.D., and the South Dakota cities of Sioux Falls and Rapid City, possibly as soon as late 2015.FARGO, N.D. – Midcontinent Communications announced Monday a plan to provide the option of gigabit-speed Internet access to all of its service area in the Northern Plains by the end of 2017. The company said about 600,000 homes and 55,000 businesses will have access to gigabit service under its Gigabit Frontier Initiative. Areas that will be among the first to have access to the high-speed service include Fargo-Moorhead, Grand Forks, N.D., and the South Dakota cities of Sioux Falls and Rapid City, possibly as soon as late 2015.

COLUMN: We don't depend on the weatherman out here

COLUMN: We don't depend on the weatherman out here

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- I took my last ride before the snow fell last Saturday. Even before the weatherman told us it was coming, we knew it. We have ways of knowing out here even before the air turns cold: ribbons of geese flying south in the gray sky, the thickening coats on our horses, frost on trees and a film of ice on stock dams in the morning, an ache in my left wrist, arthritic from a fall off a horse that broke it in eighth grade, hunters out in orange, sneaking and waiting for a deer to fill their tag at their freezers.

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Dakota Bowl won’t be back to Grand Forks until at least 2021

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Today’s Dakota Bowl state championship football games won’t be back at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks until at least 2021 — and likely longer. The Fargodome is slated to be the home for the title games for North Dakota’s four high school classes over the next six years, after alternating years with the Alerus. It’s all about the money, said Matt Fetsch, the executive director of the North Dakota High School Activities Association. He said the 2013 Dakota Bowl in Fargo showed a profit of almost $60,000, compared with the $27,000 a year earlier in Grand Forks. Percentage-wise, the profit gaps have been similar in previous years.

‘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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