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COLUMN: Stepping stone job fosters lifetime of friendship

COLUMN: Stepping stone job fosters lifetime of friendship

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- It was the type of summer I hope we've all had in our lives. The one that stands between one life and another, full of long days, short nights and the sort of temporary things you grab onto knowing that, in a few months, everything changes. I was 22, newly engaged, one year out of college at the University of North Dakota, and one year into my plan to tour full time as a musician. It was not a practical gig for a practical girl who noticed the real world staring at me with a critical look, wondering what the heck I was thinking.

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Bringing back Bailey: Dickinson couple reunites with lost golden retriever 2 months after she went missing in Oil Patch

Bringing back Bailey: Dickinson couple reunites with lost golden retriever 2 months after she went missing in Oil Patch

DICKINSON, N.D. -- Bailey can be a handful. A loveable, smiling and prancing handful of soft, golden fur. On Wednesday afternoon, the 13-month-old purebred golden retriever — still very much a puppy at heart — tore around a Dickinson apartment. She played with her toys, teased a cat and nuzzled up to whoever would pet her. Bailey was happy. She was home.

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COLUMN: At Farm and Fleet, I'm a woman who can do anything

COLUMN: At Farm and Fleet, I'm a woman who can do anything

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- One of the most worthless things on the planet are rubber boots with holes in both. I discovered that I own a pair when I got my 4-wheeler stuck in mud halfway up its tires last week. So I need a new pair of rubber boots, which gives me a good excuse to go to the Farm and Fleet store. Seriously. I love the Farm and Fleet store. You wouldn't pick up on that just looking at me, you know, with the big hair and my recent attraction to sequins, but it's true. Bring me to a town with a Runnings or a Tractor Supply, a Feed and Seed or Bob or Jim or Kathy's Western Supply down the road, and I will find an excuse to stop in.

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Williston expands women’s clinic in response to rapid growth

Williston expands women’s clinic in response to rapid growth

WILLISTON, N.D. – As Williston prepares for another year of record births, Mercy Medical Center celebrated Tuesday the completion of a new Women’s Health Clinic. A record 804 babies were born in Williston in 2014, and practice manager Tim Olson said officials project that births could exceed 900 this year. The newly renovated clinic adds two new OB/GYN physicians and a nurse practitioner to serve the rapidly growing community. “It’s greatly needed and it’s going to be a huge asset to this community,” Olson said. Mercy Medical Center recruited physicians Dr. Fareed Kadum, most recently of Atlanta, and Dr. Eugene Meade, most recently of Jamestown, for the new clinic, along with local nurse practitioner Heidi Grondahl.

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COLUMN: Medora concert a return to where it all started

COLUMN: Medora concert a return to where it all started

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- I stood under a yellow and white tent along the boarded walkway of that town we all know nestled between the tall, rugged buttes of the Badlands and along the muddy river in western North Dakota. I had just started learning to play guitar, plucking away at "Amarillo by Morning" on the floor of my bedroom night after night, and I was likely nervous about trying out my shaky new skills in public. I was 12 or so behind that microphone and beside my dad, and I probably sang a Garth Brooks song on my own, and then along with the chorus in "Ghost Riders in the Sky." "Red River Valley" would have come next, and then maybe, after I settled into myself, facing a small crowd that had gathered on picnic tables, racing the melt on their ice cream cones or spreading ketchup on hamburgers wrapped in paper, maybe I got the nerve up, because they were a friendly crowd, to play a song I wrote, the one where I wondered out loud if my horses talked when I was away.

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Sebastian, Tigirlily, Veeder coming to Medora

MEDORA, N.D. -- Three popular North Dakota bands, including the state's first star from "The Voice," will be featured in Medora's inaugural Country Music Series.

Grafton teen and two-time world boxing champ part of successful Grafton Golden Gloves Boxing

Grafton teen and two-time world boxing champ part of successful Grafton Golden Gloves Boxing

GRAFTON, N.D. -- At 5 feet 2 inches tall and 119 pounds, Damon Reyes is a soft-spoken, well-mannered 13 year old. But throw him in a boxing ring with someone his size and age, and "Demon" comes out. "Damon, we call him Demon," said his coach Freddy Narro, who owns and runs Grafton Golden Gloves Boxing. "Damon's top notch." Damon, who trains with Narro, has two Ringside world titles to his name. Of his 73 fights, he has only lost 15. He doesn't even lift weights yet.

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COLUMN: We're all kids in cars

COLUMN: We're all kids in cars

I didn’t know the three teenage boys who lost their lives in a car accident near Ray, N.D., last month. I didn’t watch them play basketball together or cheer them on in the stands. I didn’t wish them luck or shake their hands or meet their parents. We weren’t friends or even neighbors really. I didn’t know them.

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Growing number of seniors moving to eastern North Dakota

Growing number of seniors moving to eastern North Dakota

Officials say community will face challenges as needs grows
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- If it wasn't for Grand Forks' city public transportation, 84-year-old Arleen Shide doesn't know how she'd leave her home. She doesn't drive anymore, but it's important to her to get out, she said, especially to play Bingo and have meals at the Grand Forks Senior Center every week. "It's very important because otherwise I'd be sitting in the house," she said. Shide is one of a growing number of senior citizens in eastern North Dakota needing services, as a result of the aging baby boomer generation and a migration of seniors from the Oil Patch, local experts said.

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COLUMN: Despite the uncertainty, next step is same

COLUMN: Despite the uncertainty, next step is same

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Before you walk into most businesses here in Watford City, you’ll be greeted with a sign. It will probably be snowing or raining outside, and if it isn’t now, it was yesterday, so you’ll be asked to “Kindly Wipe Your Feet.” And you’ll understand, because, well, it’s just plain hard to keep a carpet clean around here. So, if you’re like me and came in from gravel roads and slushy driveways and hopped out of a car coated with every element in between, you’ll look down at your feet and then around the entryway in search of one of those boot-scraper contraptions screwed to the concrete with hard bristled brushes, and you’ll spend a minute or so concentrating on un-caking the mud from your feet.

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COMING HOME: Sometimes it may only be the dreams we have in common

COMING HOME: Sometimes it may only be the dreams we have in common

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- The longest month is January, and, well, it seems it has slipped on by, leaving North Dakotans with mud puddles and slush, coats thrown aside and a taste of spring on our lips.

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COLUMN: Spotting a childhood love in Nashville

COLUMN: Spotting a childhood love in Nashville

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- Here’s a confession for you: When I was a kid, I wrote, stamped and addressed a fan letter to Reba McEntire, pretty convinced that the red-haired early-’90s country bombshell would write back. I mean, we had so much in common, her and I growing up on ranches and riding horses and everything. Oh, and then there’s the music and how I loved to sing, too, just like you, Reba, so there should be no question that the two of us would become pen pals. But the pen pal thing never panned out. Probably because my letters reached her at the pinnacle of her career and, well, the woman was busy.

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A vacation from the Bakken boom

A vacation from the Bakken boom

We sat on the sandy beach looking out at the Sea of Cortez. Just a couple airplane rides, just a few long hours taken from the day, and we were thousands of miles from the bitter cold and the golden grass sticking up out of the snow.

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Coming Home: Irresponsible girl shouldn’t be running on fumes

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- When you live 30 miles (give or take) from the nearest gas station, a girl finds that she spends a great deal of time in her car.

Coming Home: Smallest houses can hold most love

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- If you ask me about the memories I have of Christmases growing up on the ranch, a Norman Rockwell painting comes to mind.

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