Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at email@example.com or (701) 580-6890.
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WILLISTON -- Williston ranks as the fastest-growing micropolitan area in the country for the second year, the U.S.
WATFORD CITY -- Jake Walters spent about half of 2012 commuting from southern California to Watford City, sleeping on the floor of an RV and video chatting with his young family back home. Being separated from his family for weeks at a time was tough, so he jumped at the chance to move his family to North Dakota and work in Watford City full time. His wife, Katie, visited Watford City in October and by Thanksgiving they were moving into a single-wide trailer with kids Julia, 7, and Drew, 4. "This is such a great community and is really focused on families," Katie said. Jake and Katie, who
WATFORD CITY -- Nikki Darrington has her dream job, working as a soil conservationist for the National Resources Conservation Service in Watford City. But the mother of two had to postpone her start date by two months while she waited for child care to become available, after being on the waiting list for 1 1/2 years. The agency has another job opening and a perfect candidate, but that woman is also waiting for child care, Darrington said. "She could walk in the door and start working," she said. Katie Barber quit working as a public defender in Williston after she had her second child and
MANDAREE -- Eighth-graders got to dig their hands into the gel-like fluid used in the hydraulic fracturing process at oil wells all around this community. The Mandaree Public School students got an up-close lesson Thursday on the ingredients used in fracking, including the water and chemical mixture that an industry representative compared to the consistency of "bull's snot." "It's really weird looking stuff," said Ron Parham, well completions manager for Enerplus Resources USA. Thursday's lesson was part of a yearlong Adopt-A-Well program with Enerplus and the students, who are following t
WILLISTON -- Isabella Dangelo traded in her business suits and high heels for Carhartt and steel-toed boots. And she's never been happier. The former Minneapolis woman sold her house and moved to North Dakota a little more than two years ago to look for oil boom opportunities. She had just gone through a divorce and was worried about paying her mortgage in the midst of a bad economy. "I was watching what was happening to the economy and I was really scared," Dangelo said. Dangelo spent 10 years selling temporary staffing contracts in the Twin Cities.
NEW TOWN -- A December oil well blowout east of here had minimal effect on Lake Sakakawea, but it was too close for comfort for those who love the lake. "Our concern was: What if? What if that water hadn't been ice covered? What if it was spring?" said Terry Fleck, chairman of the Friends of Lake Sakakawea.
WILLISTON -- Williston city leaders say they're disappointed by a reduction in the city's credit rating, but they're committed to managing their debt responsibly and without putting the burden of the oil boom on local taxpayers. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has lowered its long-term rating on Williston's refunding improvement bonds from A- to BBB+, calling the outlook "negative." "The rating action reflects our view of the city's lower-than-projected audited results, projected general fund deficits through 2013 that we expect to entirely deplete cash reserves, and the uncertainty regar
WILLISTON -- The experiences of oil boom workers moving to Williston are familiar to Terri Sorenson. She lived it in 1980. Now the longtime Williston resident is trying to make newcomers to town feel welcome by preparing hot meals for them. "I know what it feels like to be called oil field trash and have people not like you being here," Sorenson said. Terri and her husband, Kevin, both formerly of Grand Forks, moved to Williston in 1980 for job opportunities during that oil boom. They landed in the Oil Patch after a cement construction job Kevin had lined up in Seattle fell through. "We
WILLISTON -- The creators of an upcoming reality TV show called "Guntucky" are in North Dakota looking for their next show. Evan Stone and Adam Fox, executive producers for the show that's scheduled to begin airing this spring on CMT, are spending a week filming in the Williston area. Stone said he wanted to check out North Dakota after hearing a radio news story about the oil boom. "It just seems like this is really what America is all about," Stone said. "Opportunities are here.
BISMARCK -- A bill approved 61-33 Wednesday by the House updates North Dakota's law regarding grand juries and increases the number of petition signatures required for citizen-initiated grand jury investigations. House Bill 1451 says citizens can convene a grand jury with signatures from 40 percent of the votes cast in that county for governor during the previous general election, but no more than 5,000 signatures. Current law requires signatures from 10 percent. Rep.