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Press Photos by Dustin Monke A 4 p.m. traffic snarl along Highway 85 in south Watford City like this one on Feb. 13 is a typical sight in the town that went from 1,744 to more than 7,500 since 2010.

The boom’s ‘epicenter:' Oil Patch hub Watford City adjusts to burgeoning population, financial questions

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WATFORD CITY — There are days, Brent Sanford said, when he struggles to wrap his head around everything happening in his hometown.

Ten years ago, Sanford returned to Watford City to take over his family’s automotive dealership. He soon found himself on the city council and was elected mayor in 2010 — right as oil and gas exploration in the Bakken shale formation was beginning to put a stranglehold on northwest North Dakota communities.

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Dustin Monke
Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He has been a key member of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, as well as the Press' Sweepstakes win in 2013. As the newspaper's editor, he writes a Sunday column, contributes feature stories, designs pages and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff.
(701) 456-1205
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