Your online source for western North Dakota and oil news

Williston downtown business group has major plans for downtown

Williston downtown business group has major plans for downtown

WILLISTON, N.D. -- With an influx of new stores, the growing Williston Downtowners Association has big plans. Two years ago, the association started with five members. Now the group has 60 members, with plans for a new look for the downtown and several special events and studies in the works to make it a destination point. Karissa Kjos, the association’s newly hired executive director, said the original members formed the organization to create a united vision for the area as oil production brought an influx of new business.

RELATED CONTENT

New tribal leader seeks partnerships to solve oil issues

New tribal leader seeks partnerships to solve oil issues

NEW TOWN, N.D. -- With just two weeks in office, newly elected Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox is seeking a partnership with state and federal governments to tackle issues facing the tribe, a strategy, he says, the previous administration was not apt to do. In a meeting with Gov. Jack Dalrymple on Monday, after a celebratory ribbon cutting for a new bypass that diverts traffic around New Town, Fox said the two discussed topics ranging from infrastructure needs to traffic concerns and the rising crime on the oil-rich Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in northwest North Dakota.

RELATED CONTENT

Keystone XL bill fails in Senate by one vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Chanting and Native American song rang through the Senate chambers after a bill to congressionally approve the Keystone XL pipeline failed Tuesday afternoon. The bill, which would have taken the decision to approve the controversial pipeline out of President Barack Obama's hands, failed 59-41. The legislation was just one vote short of getting the 60 votes needed to pass. All 45 Republicans voted to approve the bill. Keystone XL would transport more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the U.S. Gulf energy hub.

Bypass takes truck traffic on New Town’s Main Street

NEW TOWN, N.D. -- New Town Mayor Dan Uran said things are looking up after a bypass opened Monday, the fourth such project in North Dakota’s Oil Patch to be completed this fall. “It’s a good day for the city of New Town. We’ll get rid of a lot of traffic on Main Street, and people will be able to walk across the street,” he said.

Groundwater study shows no contamination to North Dakota water supplies

RESTON, Va. -- Random sampling of shallow groundwater in the Bakken and Three Forks formations in North Dakota and Montana shows no early evidence of contamination from the region’s energy development, according to a federal study.

Quantum drops Billings as site for refinery

BILLINGS, Mont. -- Quantum Energy Inc. has apparently dropped a Billings, Mont., site from its plans to build refineries in Montana and North Dakota. The Arizona company is planning to develop up to five refineries designed to produce diesel fuel from Bakken crude oil.

Casselton residents worried by oil-train derailments near town; BNSF blames broken rail this time

Casselton residents worried by oil-train derailments near town; BNSF blames broken rail this time

CASSELTON, N.D. – Thinking about the trains that derailed on Thursday just west of town, Kari Plantz, like many in town, will remind you it’s the second derailment within a year. “It’s kind of scary because I do day care here,” she said from her front door, about 200 feet from the railroad tracks. Still, Lil Peeps, like all licensed day cares, has a plan to evacuate all children to a safe house across town, she said. No one in the area has been harmed by either derailment, but they were unnerving to people because both involved oil-tanker cars.

RELATED CONTENT

Sout Dakota senator’s ancestors helped build Mitchell to Rapid City railroad

MITCHELL, S.D. -- More than 100 years in the making, the railroad life of U.S. Sen. John Thune’s family has come full circle. In 1906, the Republican senator’s grandfather and great-uncle helped build the railroad that currently is known as the Mitchell-Rapid City line. "It's neat to see the history in my family and how they got to this country, and it was all kind of around the railroad and the railroad right in this area," Thune, one of the GOP leaders in the Senate, said this week. "It's nice to see us rebuilding those lines that they helped lay almost 110 years ago. We're just honored to be a part of it."

FACES OF THE BOOM: Stanley couple’s retail store risk pays off

FACES OF THE BOOM: Stanley couple’s retail store risk pays off

STANLEY, N.D. -- In 1996, Ruth and Robert “Hod” Hysjulien took a risk despite a flat economy in their small western North Dakota town. Open in time for that year’s holiday shopping season, Prairie Outfitters, their 3,600-square-foot retail store on Stanley’s Main Street, was a hit. “We had a great Christmas. We were all amazed,” Ruth said. Back then, the couple was unaware the future was even brighter for their town of about 1,300 — that by 2010, store sales would see a 300 percent increase.

RELATED CONTENT

Two trains involved in derailment near Casselton

CASSELTON, N.D. – For the second time in under a year, two BNSF Railway trains have derailed just west of here. “Welcome to Casselton, again,” is how Casselton Fire Chief Tim McLean greeted reporters at a news conference following Thursday night’s incident.

Last defendant in meth ring sentenced

BISMARCK -- The last member of a Williston-based drug trafficking organization was sentenced on Monday to 17 years in prison. Brian Scott Dahl, 51, of Williston was sentenced for conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon.

From dropout to hotshot: Woman turns life around in the Oil Patch

From dropout to hotshot: Woman turns life around in the Oil Patch

WILLISTON, N.D. -- When Trevis Alton met the 21-year-old woman, he saw someone who was motivated and wanted to learn. Hanna Olson, of Enumclaw, Wash., looked at him and said, “If you want a good hotshot driver, I’m your gal,” as she held two thumbs up pointed toward her.

RELATED CONTENT

MDU plans to sell oil production company, add second refinery

BISMARCK, N.D. -- After a drop in earnings, MDU Resources Group announced it plans to get out of oil production and consider a second North Dakota diesel fuel refinery during its third- quarter earnings conference call Tuesday. "Although we continue to see attractive investment opportunities at Fidelity, the capital required to effectively grow the business would compromise our ability to fund the substantial opportunities we are seeing at our other lines of business," said CEO David Goodin. "We expect to grow our utility, pipeline and construction business units in a more meaningful way and pursue that growth with a lower overall business-risk profile."

Winter rail service uncertain

Railroads report improvement, but industry skeptical
FARGO, N.D. — Regional farm group officials welcome more detailed railroad reporting that shows dwell times for grain cars versus oil and other industries, but say it’s too soon to know whether that will translate into adequate service this winter. In the latest mandatory report to the Surface Transportation Board, dated Oct. 29, BNSF Railway had 3,509 cars in North Dakota late an average of 14 days; Montana had 649 cars an average of 13 days; Minnesota had 283 late cars an average of 9.8 days late; and South Dakota had 724 cars an average of 10.3 days late.

New curriculum sponsored by oil companies doesn’t address environment

BISMARCK, N.D. – Energy companies working with state government recently launched an online curriculum for fourth- and eighth-graders about the state’s power sources: petroleum, natural gas, coal, wind, solar power and biofuel, to name a few. Absent from the curriculum is any mention of climate change.

RELATED CONTENT
View More Oil Articles