August 4, 2017 

Dear Readers -
Registration is open for the annual SBDC/WED awards banquet on Thursday, August 31! A poolside social will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the dinner and program at 7 p.m. at the Grand Williston Hotel and Conference Center. The event will be emceed by talk show radio personality Joel Heitkamp.
or email Ann Kvande at for more information.  
Shawn, Ann, Barb, Brenda & Micah
Williston Economic Development
Lucy Lu's, Joan of Art allowed to re-open after Hedderich's Fire
Williston Herald

Workers have been busy removing debris from the Hedderich's site. A fire destroyed the building on July 10. Williston Herald
The City Engineer's office determined Wednesday that the Hedderich building was no longer endangering its neighbors, so both Lucy Lu's and Joan of Art have been cleared to reopen as of today, according to Williston City Administrator David Tuan.
Both businesses have been closed since a fire July 10 destroyed the top floor of the Hedderich building and weakened the structure. Read More

2017 Gonzaga-Williston Summer Internship Programs wraps up
Williston Economic Development
by Barbara Peterson
Micah Spanner showed Williston Economic Development staff a PowerPoint presentation featuring his survey results as he wrapped up his 2017 summer internship project. Williston Economic Development

A Gonzaga University student who interned in Williston will leave his mark behind. Micah Spanner has spent the past 10 weeks on a project for Williston Economic Development that will benefit future recruitment and marketing efforts. Spanner was tasked with identifying the country's overall perception of Williston and the oil and gas industry. "About eighty-five percent of those surveyed had never heard of Williston and over half had at least a somewhat negative view of the oil and gas industry," said Spanner. Spanner developed the survey to gather the information he desired. More than 1,000 people from nearly every state in the US responded. He targeted people between the ages of 18 and 44. Read More

Forbes: The Bakken is bustling Again
File photo of workers in the oil patch earlier in the boom.
Underneath the surface of North Dakota is the Bakken Formation, which is part of the Williston Basin that also lies underneath parts of South Dakota, Montana, southwestern Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan.  Last week I was in Bismarck, North Dakota at the  2017 Bakken Conference and Expo . I spoke about my  company's efforts  to eliminate natural gas flaring in oil fields and then drove around the state to observe the most recent drilling activity there.   Read More
New Laws go into effect; Littering Fine jumps to $500
Bismarck Tribune

Throwing trash out the window of your vehicle will cost you $500 starting today, significantly more than most speeding tickets. The fine for littering on a highway, once $100, went up this past legislative session due to a bill introduced by a Watford City legislator tired of the trash along U.S. Highway 85. Driving 75 mph in a 65-mph zone, meanwhile, still carries a $50 fine.House Bill 1311 was proposed by Rep. Denton Zubke, R-Watford City, because of litter problems in western North Dakota that worsened during the oil boom. Read More

A slate of new laws went into effect earlier this week; including a much higher fine for littering on highways. Bismarck Tribune

New Affordable Housing opens in New Town
Pictured is a photo of the Red Hawk Estates while under construction in New Town. Seventy-two units are now available for families. MHA Times
In a town where housing has been a problem for years, 72 new apartment units can make a big difference. That's what Dr. Monica Mayer, a tribal council member of the MHA Nation says regarding the new "Hawk Estates" that are opening in New Town. The 15-million dollar project was first pushed by then-tribal council member Ken Hall, and Mayer says as a new council member, she's completing those plans.  Read More   New Town News: Hawk Estates expands Tribal Housing
CJ Box releases New Book based in Bakken
McKenzie County Farmer
Readers of C.J. Box's "Highway" novel quartet won't find the towns of Grimstad and Watson City, N.D., on the map.  But Williston and Watford City, yes. "I didn't want to specifically say it was Williston and be chained to the streets, the stores, the names," the author said. "I just made it loosely based on the area and fictionalized, obviously." Released last Tuesday was "Paradise Valley" the fourth of four novels in the "Highway" series, following investigator Cassie Dewell of the Bakken County Sheriff's Department on the trail of a serial killer in North Dakota's Bakken region. "Badlands," a prior novel in the loosely linked, contemporary series, takes place entirely in North Dakota, largely in Grimstad, the Williston of Box's fictional Bakken.  Watson City is largely distant in the stories, he said, though a car chase takes place on the road into the fictitious town in "Badlands." For the full story, subscribe to the McKenzie County Farmer
Crosby kicks off 2017 Celebration
Crosby Journal

Crosby is celebrating its "100 Years and Building" festival this weekend. Crosby Journal
The stage has been set for over a week, but the planning for the first major celebration held in Crosby since 2004 has been ongoing since November 2015. "This is the week we find out how many things we never thought of," joked Cecile Wehrman, steering committee chair for the 2017 Celebration - "100 Years and Building." Registration is available all day Friday at the Crosby Community Center. The main arena of the community center is prepared to host a full evening of entertainment on Saturday concluding with a semi-professional fireworks show. To read the full story, sign in to our online edition.

Badlands Mountain Bike Race Aug. 5

The Maah Daah Hey 100 mountain bike race will begin August 5 at the CCC Campground.
Watford City's Nick Ybarra has managed to turn his passion for mountain biking into a career as a race director and the director of a local non-profit. Ybarra, a Bismarck native, moved to Watford City with his wife in 2008. The couple shared a passion for mountain biking, and spent many rides together on the Maah Daah Hey Trail, located between Watford City and Medora. Ybarra made it a personal goal to bike all 100 miles of the trail in one day. Unbeknownst to him, this ride would lead him to create the Badlands Race Series and found the non-profit, Save the Maah Daah Hey, to bring hundreds of visitors to experience the area. Read More
Williston City Commissioners, Employees to prepare Banquet West Dinner Aug. 6
News Release

Banquet West is held each Sunday evening at First Lutheran Church in Williston. The photo above is from the Williston Herald in 2013.
City Commissioners and staff will be serving at Banquet West on Sunday, August 6th
Banquet West is held each Sunday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church. Each week, volunteers prepare and serve the dinner, greet diners and cleanup. The dinner is provided for members of the community who may be lonely, disadvantaged or new to Williston. Banquet West provides a friendly atmosphere, a home cooked meal and fellowship.
Best of the West Ribfest Aug. 11 in Watford City

The annual Best of the West Ribfest is Aug. 11 in Watford City. 
One of the biggest events in Western North Dakota takes place on Main Street Watford City. The Best of the West Ribfest, Street Fair and Classic Car show is set for August 11, 2017 and it just keeps getting bigger and better than ever with three-time Grammy nominated country act, Little Texas headlining the free concert on Main Street. The event kicks off with a fundraising breakfast for the local Boy Scouts served on Main Street from 8-10 am. The Street Fair opens at 10 am with lunch being served at 11 and rib teams cooking up ribs on the street all day, serving them to the public at 5 pm. Read More

Chokecherry Festival Aug 11-12
News Release

The Williston Convention & Visitors Bureau along with the North Dakota Chokecherry Festival Committee is excited to bring this family friendly event back to Harmon Park August 11-12.  Read More

The annual celebrating of North Dakota's state fruit (chokecherry) will feature entertainment, kids activities, food and craft vendors and much more at Harmon Park in Williston!
Downtown Williston prepares for Back to School Week Promotion 
News Release
Paint your windows, set up your displays, and get ready to welcome parents and students into the community! Students will be getting ready to head back to school in soon. We encourage you to paint your windows and embrace the Back-to-School theme.  E-mail Karissa Kjos if you are interested in participating in this popular promotion at
Upcoming Williston Events
08/04-05            Dakota Energy Festival
Scott Stapp of Creed and The Guess Who will headline the 2017 Dakota Energy Festival at the Upper Missouri Valley fairgrounds.  Dakota Energy Festival website

08/05                  Kasmer & Aafedt Oil Charity Golf Tournament
The annual tournament will be held at the Links of North Dakota. All registration fees and cash prizes will benefit area nonprofit organizations.
08/08                  Williston City Commission
The commission will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

08/11-12            Chokecherry Festival
There will be something for young and old alike at the annual Chokecherry Festival at Harmon Park; food vendors and a chokecherry store, entertainment, arts and crafts, a dog show and much more! Chokecherry Festival Flier

08/22                  Williston City Commission
The commission will meet at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
08/30                  Williston Area Builders Association Golf Tournament
The tournament will be held at the Eagle Ridge Golf Course.  WABA website
08/30                  Ribbon Cutting for Water Reuse and Recovery Facility
The celebration will begin at 9 a.m. at 7 12th Ave. E. in Williston.

08/30-31             Williston Economic Summit & Trade Show
The WEST event will be held at the Grand Williston Hotel and Conference Center. The show will feature the WED/SBDC awards and appreciation dinner Aug. 31.

Energy Events
08/16-17               Summer NAPE
The annual Summer NAPE expo in Houston is a networking event that brings together all the players necessary to forge, facilitate and close deals. The event will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

08/23                    ND Oil PAC Golf Tournament
Registration opens July 25th. NDPC

09/26-28              NDPC Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon
The conference will be held in Grand Forks. The event brings together the Bakken's leading experts and decision-makers. NDPC members receive discounted rates for our Annual Meeting. Nomination Form for NDPC Industry Achievement Awards

10/04-05              Bakken Oil Product & Service Show
The 7th annual BOPSS, produced by DAWA Solutions Group, will be held at the Raymond Family Community Center in WillistonRegistration

07/16-18              Bakken Conference and Expo
The Summer 2018 event will be held at the Rough Rider Center in Watford City.
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