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Williston Economic Development
April 21, 2017

Standing Room Only Crowd pays Tribute to Retiring Williston Chief of Police


James Lokken spent more than forty years on the Williston Police force. And he finished his career on the top. Today, Williston celebrated the chief's retirement. James Lokken gave his final sign off. "10-42, 10-92 means 'Out of Service, At home.'" He says it was a special moment to speak to his son Les, a Highway Patrol Sergeant. "It was emotional because my son was on the other side of the radio, which was a nice thing that he did." About 200 people showed up to show their appreciation to Lokken for his distinguished  service. "I'm so grateful, it's such an honor. I never expected that. It's really humbling." Read More 
Peggy and James Lokken are pictured above while members of the Williston Police Department are in the bottom photo. Williston Economic Development

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Lokken reflects on Law Enforcement Career

Crosby Journal
by Cecile Wehrman

The Williston Police Department produced a slide show of retiring Chief of Police James Lokken. The Crosby native started his law enforcement career in his hometown. Williston Economic Development
Jim Lokken (Crosby High School Class of 1969) didn't travel far from his hometown geographically, but his career in law enforcement took him to the pinnacle of his department. Lokken, 66, retires this week as Williston's Chief of Police, a role his career trajectory suggests was a pretty good bet from the start. To read more, sign in to the Crosby Journal's online edition.

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Kvande named next Williams County Sheriff

Williston Herald

Williams County Capt. Verlan Kvande to replace retiring Sheriff Scott Busching this summer.
Following a round of public recommendations, Capt. Verlan Kvande received a standing ovation after the Williams County Commission unanimously appointed him as Sheriff Scott Busching's successor on April 18. Kvande will become Williams County Sheriff on July 2, after Busching retires, and remain in that role until running for election next year. County commissioners heard a number of people speak in support of Kvande before making their decision. Read More

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Fort Union's Loren Yellowbird earns ND Tourism Award

News Release

Governor Doug Burgum is pictured with the winners of the six North Dakota Travel and Tourism awards recently in Bismarck.
Loren Yellowbird was recently honored for contributing to the growth of the state's travel and tourism industry. Yellowbird has been a National Park Service ranger and Arikara historian at Fort Union Trading Post since 2000. He works daily with the visiting public and was tapped two years ago he served as a language advisor for the movie The Revenant. Yellowbird translated dialog into Arikara and other native languages, then trained the actors how to say the words correctly. Yellowbird and five others were recognized for their achievements at the 2017 North Dakota Travel Industry Conference in Bismarck. Read More     North Dakota Department of Tourism

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Williston unveils Site for tracking XWA Construction

Williston Economic Development

This photo is captioned Approach of Runway 14 on the XWA Project website.

The City of Williston has unveiled a new way for people to track construction on the new Williston Basin International Airport. Earth work began this week and will ramp up in earnest next week. New drone videos and still photos will be accessible on the www.xwaproject.com website via the press room. The site will be updated as construction moves forward. Check back weekly for new photos and videos.   

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Williston prepares for US Highway 2 West Construction Project

Williston Herald
by Jamie Kelley

Weather permitting, highway road construction projects will be in full swing by the end of April in the Williston area.
A major reconstruction project on U.S. Highway 2 is likely to start late next week, and the road will be closed between 11th Street West and 139th Avenue Northwest for much of the summer. The project includes removing the existing asphalt, grading, storm sewer, sanitary sewer and water improvements and pouring a new, concrete surface for the road, according to Chris Flippo with J.M. Marschuetz Construction, the company managing the project. Read More

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Williston seeks Home Owners for Boulevard Tree Study

News Release

Has the City removed a diseased boulevard tree in front of your house in the last 10 years? If so, you may be eligible to participate in an NDSU extension center study which would provide you with a new boulevard tree at no cost. Requirements would include watering the tree as per the study requirements and acknowledging that researchers will occasionally examine the tree. There are no guarantees that the tree will live through the winter, as it is a species hardiness study. Please contact City Forester Bruce Johnson at 701.577.6368 for more information. 

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Pick Up the Patch! begins, Williston Clean Up April 29

News Release
Energy of North Dakota

Pick Up the Patch is an award-winning program operated through the Energy of North Dakota. Industry partners with communities each year to hold clean-ups throughout western North Dakota each spring to help get communities and roadways looking great for the summer. Check for an event near you below or click here to contact someone about helping organize one in your town. Read More

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More than 1,400 Job Openings in Northwestern North Dakota

McKenzie County Farmer
by Jack Dura

Job openings in northwestern North Dakota leapt 16 percent from February to March, hitting 1,434, Job Service North Dakota reported, a high not seen since July 2015. Production job openings are up 130 percent, the agency also reported. In McKenzie and Williams counties, 413 oilfield positions were open late last week, said Cindy Sanford, of JSND in Williston. Truck driving positions are a large need at the present, she said, and maintaining a spotless driving record is vital for those jobs. To read more, subscribe to the McKenzie County Farmer. 

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Watford City Entrepreneur invents Pat-Loc Safety System

McKenzie County Farmer
by Jack Dura

Pat Young has created a new tool that is able to enhance safety when working on pumpjack's in the oil field. McKenzie County Farmer
After years in the oilfield, Pat Young had an idea for a solution to a nagging concern. Working one day to position a pumpjack's weights in the down position, the unit's brakes just weren't cooperating, so Young climbed 12 feet up to the unit's gear box. "It just seemed so silly," he said. "You're up there with a hammer, leaning over the side of this thing, trying to smack it in place." After some months' thought, he took down some angles and measurements in an on-site sketch and branded his solution: the Pat-Loc safety system, an attachment to securely set a pumpjack's pawl, locking the unit. His first prototype was an immediate success. To read more, subscribe to the McKenzie County Farmer.  Hot Bakken Jobs April 19

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Mobile Bakery acquires Permanent Site in Sidney

Sidney Herald

T he Sugar Rush  bakery opened April 4 at the Village Square Mall in Sidney. Sidney Herald
A truck couldn't hold all the goodies that the baking skills of Salina Hagwood have to offer. Hagwood, who became popular driving around town with an ice cream truck last summer, began selling baked goods and delivering them with the truck in the winter. Her treats, however, became too popular for that to continue. "That lasted two weeks before I got too many orders," Hagwood said of the bakery business. "I knew if I did it, I was going to go full tilt." In February, Salina and her husband, Michael, then became interested in a spot at the Village Square Mall. The Sugar Rush opened for business at the location on April 4. Read More
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Trinity Health moves forward with $275M Hospital/Medical Complex in Minot

News Release
Trinity Health

Trinity Health continues to move forward with plans to build a new hospital and medical campus in southwest Minot.  Yates-Northwest Contracting, a joint venture, has been selected to manage the project's next step - evaluating and refining materials and cost estimates to bring them in line with the project's targeted budget. Read More

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Paddlefish Season begins May 1 in North Dakota, May 15 in Montana


The Paddlefish snagging season starts May 1 in North Dakota and May 15 in Montana.
Paddlefishing is an interest that brings people to the area from all over the country as the waters here are ideal, providing the appropriate temperature, water flow, and clean gravel and cobble which make up the fish's habitat. The North American paddlefish, one of only two species in the world, are found in the Missouri, Mississippi, and Yellowstone drainage systems and are only present in twenty-two states. Read More

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Tioga Drone Camp Aug. 5-6; Williston Economic Development sponsors Event

Tioga Tribune
by Brad Nygaard

The Tioga Drone Camp will return this summer. The event will be held Aug. 5-6. Tioga Tribune
Drones. They're coming back to Tioga Aug. 5 and 6. That's the word from a joint meeting of the Tioga Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Corporation recently. Dennis Lindahl, economic development director, said last year's event was the only event of its kind geared to youth. "We drew kids from three states," he said. "I believe we can use this as an economic development strategy." To read more, sign in to the Tioga Tribune's online edition.

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Upcoming Williston Events

04/21-22           Relationship Seminars
Free food and information is available during this two-day event sponsored by CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Medical Center. Relationship Seminars Registration
04/21-22           E-rase your E-waste
North Dakota Recycling Services (NDRS) is sponsoring an Earth Day campaign to support a greener, more sustainable future in Williston. Bring your old electronics to the recycling center and enjoy a free BBQ on Friday. E-rase your E-waste Flier

04/21                Casino Night
Teton Athletics will bring the Wild West to Williston State College for Casino Night beginning at 6 p.m. Casino Night Flier

04/25                Williston City Commission
The commission meets the second and fourth Tuesday's of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

04/28                 Lucky Duck Races
Get your rubber ducky for the first annual Lucky Duck Races sponsored by the Williston State College Alumni Association. The races begin at 2 p.m. at the ARC's Lazy River. Lucky Duck Races Registration
04/29                Clean Up Williston
Volunteers will meet at Davidson Park at 8:30 a.m. to retrieve trash bags & gloves to pick up trash throughout Williston. Clean Up Williston Flier
05/06                Free Williston Landfill Day
The annual spring cleanup event will be held from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Free Williston Landfill Day Flier
05/15                2017 State of Williston Address
The public is invited to Williston Mayor Howard Klug's first State of Williston address. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Williston Area Recreation Center. A free lunch will be provided.
06/17                Lemonade Day
Get ready for this fun-filled activity that teaches youth how to run their own business. Click Here to Register 
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