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Does North Dakota need more parks?

Does North Dakota need more parks?

Backers of conservation measure cite N.D’s second-to-last ranking in state park acreage; opponents say better avenues exist for funding new parks
BISMARCK, N.D. – Backers of a proposed conservation fund are shining the spotlight on North Dakota’s second-to-last ranking in state park acreage and the fact it hasn’t added a new state park since the 1980s as examples of why the growing state needs to spend more on parks and recreation. “When you look at the stats ... it really substantiates that we have not done a whole lot,” said Steve Adair, chairman of the sponsoring committee that has turned in signatures and is waiting for the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks amendment to be approved for the Nov. 4 ballot.

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COMING HOME: Get to know your neighbors, strangers

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Did you know out in the middle of North Dakota, just above the shore of Lake Sakakawea, there’s a family who stripped and refinished the wood floors of their old barn specifically for dancing?

Stories from Williston

Stories from Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. — Everyone in this town seems to have a story. From a hotel receptionist from Kenya to a pre-med major from Georgia working on an oil rig, Williston has a bit of everything, and everybody.

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WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: No easy money

WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: No easy money

WILLISTON, N.D. - Yes the opportunities are great here in The Oil Patch, and one can make a six-figure income, but you do need to work ... maybe even 70 to 100 hours a week. Folks don't come here to endure 40-below wind chills, just so that they can work a 40-hour week and spend afternoons watching Oprah reruns. There ain't no easy money. I consistently convey to my twin 17-year-old sons that with a strong work ethic and goals they have the opportunity to retire at 30.

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COLUMN: What would dog say about past eight years?

COLUMN: What would dog say about past eight years?

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- The big brown dog lying beside my bed is snoring a little this morning. The beard around his snout and his dog eyebrows have turned white. When he gets up, he gets up slowly, sort of creaking as he prepares to hit the steps to go outside.

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FACES OF THE BOOM: No small operation: Energy boom keeps operating room’s chief nurse hopping

FACES OF THE BOOM: No small operation: Energy boom keeps operating room’s chief nurse hopping

WILLISTON, N.D. -- The day that Sue Erling arrived in Williston in September 2010, she was surrounded by trucks. No longer the sleepy outpost she remembered as a young girl, the native North Dakotan was fresh off a year working as a nurse in Fairbanks, Alaska, and ready to meet the challenges at Mercy Medical Center.

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Teachers shortage has superintendent ‘juggling’

Teachers shortage has superintendent ‘juggling’

Oil Patch schools still looking teachers, readying for more students
WILLISTON, N.D. -- Last month, Viola LaFontaine was facing a teacher shortage the likes of which she had not seen in her four years as superintendent of the Williston Public School District. With 25 open teaching positions and the resignation of another counselor, she feared having to reassign reading and other teachers who provide academic support to fill the gaps, which would have affected her reading program and forced her out of compliance.

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WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: Bored neighborly roughnecks

WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: Bored neighborly roughnecks

WILLISTON, N.D. - We have 11 roughnecks next door. They are always friendly, like when they feed, Rambo, our plastic-sewer-pipe-eating boxer, pork rinds much to the dismay of my beautiful wife, Melva. When dried, the rind particles just ain't good for our used Hoover.

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From ancient times onward, a long list of FYIs on N.D.

Happy 125th birthday, North Dakota! With the quasquicentennial celebration of statehood fast approaching, we have collected some factoids about the state – some of them even as amazing as this place we call home. So, you keepers of trivia and assorted minutiae, here are 125 conversation starters for the coffee shop, long car rides, dentist chair, football huddle, awkward silences during dates, or anywhere else you deem appropriate:

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Neighbors again, and ready for our next mission

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- I used to keep a wildflower book. I was 9 or 10, and I decided somewhere in that summer that my life’s work would be collecting, identifying and pressing every blooming thing that grew on the hillsides out here.

Millennial vice: Study looks at spending habits of young adults

FARGO, N.D. – We all have our vices, guilty pleasures that can eat away at our pocketbooks. A recent study found that spending on these vices can vary based on where you live.

Pet masseuse helps dogs, cats muscle through pain

Pet masseuse helps dogs, cats muscle through pain

MOORHEAD, Minn. -- Sarah Hrichena’s clients react in all sorts of ways when she gives them a massage. Some rave that she’s really helped their sciatica. Some ask if she could work on specific areas, like the right shoulder. Others just flick their tails and purr.

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WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: Gotta have a sense of humor

WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: Gotta have a sense of humor

WILLISTON, N.D. - A sense of humor in a place like this is essential and makes the journey a lot more fun. Our family picked up that sense from "Dolly." "Dolly," was my mother, Ginny, who was married to Bill "Big D," and she also was a mom to 11 kids, six girls and five boys. She was the consummate mother, wife, entertainer and the absolute best story teller.

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COMING HOME: Even Google can’t provide all the answer

COMING HOME: Even Google can’t provide all the answer

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- We all have our struggles in life. These days, mine come in swarms, and in wild, unruly clusters. My husband’s come with feathers, dive-bombing at my head.

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WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: Rambo goes fishing

WILLISTON ... LIVING THE DREAM: Rambo goes fishing

WILLISTON, N.D. - Our biggest challenge when our family of six moved here and moved into our first temporary home, a 27-foot Outback camper, was Rambo, our Boxer mixed with who knows what else. That camper become home for the first nine months, and for some devious reason Rambo consistently would chew off the plastic, flexible sewer hose from the camper. We went through seven of them at $49 a piece. The sales rep at Coates RV in town got to know us so well we invited him to the boys' high school graduation.

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