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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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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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