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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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Coming Home: Some gifts just can’t be bought

Deep in photo albums tucked away in boxes under the steps in the basement, there was a photo of me with my arm around a boy.

Williston store may be sign of retail boom

Williston store may be sign of retail boom

WILLISTON, N.D. -- With the opening of their second retail store set for the end of November, brothers Jeff Hafner and Lenny Johnson hope to be on the leading edge of what Williston’s mayor predicts will be the year of retail for the Oil Patch hub. In a part of North Dakota known more for Carhartt than hip fashion, Hafner and Johnson are opening Starboard stores, with clothes and accessories aimed at women, men and children. Hafner and Johnson founded Starboard in 2009 and opened their first store in Dickinson in March 2010 in the Prairie Hills Mall.

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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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FACES OF THE BOOM: Williston native goes from square bales to drill bits

FACES OF THE BOOM: Williston native goes from square bales to drill bits

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Western North Dakota’s energy boom has lured workers from around the world, but for Kevin Mischke, the oilfields got him off the farm but kept him close to home. Mischke, 39, grew up on a farm and ranch northwest of Williston, played sports, worked on his family’s land and took every chance he got to “get out of having to haul square bales.” A friend of his dad’s asked Mischke to work with him an oil and gas company. With some college courses under his belt, the then 19-year-old thought, “cool, I got a job.” “I started at the bottom and worked my way up to a toolpusher,” Mischke said recalling his 11 years with Nabors.

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Social advertising: Convention and visitors bureau pays bloggers to come to Grand Forks

Social advertising: Convention and visitors bureau pays bloggers to come to Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Amanda Hofland started blogging almost on a whim. But with about 1,500 unique visitors to her blog every month, the Fargo resident said she is now attracting readers from across the country, nearly all of them she doesn’t personally know.

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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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Even a moment of movement at work can help decrease stress, keep you fit

Even a moment of movement at work can help decrease stress, keep you fit

FARGO, N.D. – Just a minute or two of movement can make all the difference in energy and stress levels among employees, say Ann Dolence and Carolyn Espel. The local women are the co-founders of Wellday at Work, a subscription Web application that features more than 100 videos, each one to two minutes long, that demonstrate yoga or other fitness-inspired moves employees can do in their workplace. It also includes nutritional information from North Dakota State University Extension and daily tips. A related Windows-based app lets users schedule reminders to take movement breaks during the day.

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A family calling: Couple’s sons are among nearly 300 international adoptions in North Dakota since 1999

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- At Calvary Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, a young Ethiopian boy recently recalled his first impression of seeing snow in North Dakota. “It was cold,” said Jonas Adams, 11. “We built snowmen.” The story of how he and his younger brother, Nate, arrived here involves nearly three years of paperwork, international visits and a rollercoaster of emotions felt by his new adoptive parents, Kim and Dave Adams of Grand Forks.

Speaking out for Tom: After losing soldier son to suicide, Jamestown family seeks to dispel stigmas

Speaking out for Tom: After losing soldier son to suicide, Jamestown family seeks to dispel stigmas

JAMESTOWN, N.D. Beth Doyle-Lautt has gotten used to the clutter in her house. A basement room is filled with boxes and totes, tools and extra furniture.

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Clarity can be elusive in accusations of child abuse

FARGO – Many said it was clear-cut child abuse when Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson used a tree branch to discipline his 4-year-old son, causing cuts and bruises.

COMING HOME: Our village grows with us

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- We all know the old saying “It takes a village,” usually said in regard to raising children, the support and the diversity of influences a kid needs to grow up and become a nice, well-rounded adult human being.

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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