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Williston Economic Development
March 10, 2017

Wenko: Williston prepares for More Growth

Billings Gazette
by Tom Lutey
Downtown Williston has been renovated and revitalized during the past few years.
Even as the bottom fell out of the Bakken boom, Shawn Wenko saw good news in the economic statistics for Williston, America's fastest growing small city during the oil days. True, more than 6,000 jobs had vanished along with the high oil prices in October 2014. But something else happened, the oil workers who stayed started putting down roots, said Wenko, Williston's Economic Development executive director. Now the crude is making a comeback and Williston is ready to roll again. "People who decided to make Williston their home started bringing their families in. So, things were slow, they started to lay people off, but school enrollment started going up," Wenko said. "School enrollment is good, it's strong. Our birth numbers are off the charts. A good year in Williston, back in the day we might have done 300 a year. We're tracking about 800 a year right now with birth records."    Read More

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Helms: Bakken Shale down, but not out


The Energywire features the latest news on developments in the electric utility and unconventional energy industries.
The Bakken Shale may be down, but it's not out. So say North Dakota energy officials who maintain that a dismal December for oil production in the state does not signal a slow death of the shale boom there. Preliminary data from North Dakota's Department of Mineral Resources show that after seeing a record production drop in December, during which output tumbled 10 percent with a drop of 92,000 barrels per day, January saw much of that ground regained with an increase of 38,000 barrels per day. "The good news was production came up [in January] and we're looking at being on or above trend," DMR Director Lynn Helms said in a call with reporters. Read More   Lynn Helm's Director's Cut March 8, 2017

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ND Revenue Shortfall continues to grow

Bismarck Tribune
by Nick Smith
"The decisions are going to become even more difficult," North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum told lawmakers, state officials and lobbyists Thursday morning.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum released a state budget forecast this morning at the Capitol in Bismarck that reveals a revenue shortfall that continues to grow. Since January, the state budget is looking at an additional $46 million shortfall for 2015-17, and another $103 million shortfall is forecasted for 2017-19. Lawmakers will be faced with more difficult decisions the remainder of session in cutting and prioritizing budgets. Burgum delivered the news Thursday, March 9, to lawmakers, state officials and lobbyists in a packed Brynhild Haugland Room. Read More
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Future of Renaissance Zone Program remains uncertain

Bismarck Tribune
ND Newspaper Association
by Mike Jacobs

Renaissance zones encourage development in downtown areas through tax incentives. Williston Economic Development photo
Changes to North Dakota's downtown development incentives drew attention in a Senate committee recently. Supporters of the tax breaks pushed back against the notion that most of the benefit went to the state's larger cities. The bill under consideration in the Senate Finance and Tax committee would end the income tax exemption for developers of property in Renaissance Zones. The argument resonated in the House, which passed the bill, HB1182, by a vote of 48-41. The hearing before the Senate Finance and Tax Committee didn't focus on the philosophical argument, however, but on the economic impact. And much of it came from small towns. Read More

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Lawmakers meet with Constituents during Crossover

KEYZ Radio
Crosby Journal

The Williston Regional Economic Development Corporation hosted legislative forums in Crosby (pictured above), New Town, Tioga, Watford City and Williston during crossover. Crosby Journal photo
Doing more with less. That was the general theme of Saturday's legislative forum held at NDSU's Ernie French Center. Senator Brad Bekkedahl, and Representatives Gary Sukut and Pat Hatlestad met with about thirty District 1 constituents to answer questions during the "crossover" period of the legislative session.  Read More     Crosby Journal: Budget, Education discussed at Forum

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Crosby Student wins Mayor for a Day Essay Contest

News Release

Photo L to R: ND League of Cities Vice President and Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen; Will Lindbo, Crosby; MacKenzie Rist, Burlington; Malory Kemp, Cavalier; Sloane McCray, Hazen; ND League of Cities Executive Director Blake Crosby. ND Dept. of Transportation photo
Each spring the North Dakota League of Cities sponsors a statewide "Mayor for a Day" essay contest for third and seventh grade students. The "Mayor for a Day" contest encourages young people to think about public service and future community leadership.  The contest is open to any third and seventh grade student living in North Dakota. Winners of the 2017 contest were Will Lindbo (Grade 7), Crosby; MacKenzie Rist (Grade 7), Burlington; Malory Kemp (Grade 3), Cavalier and Sloane McCray (Grade 3), Hazen. Read More

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Basin Electric converts Church to Daycare Center in Hazen

Bismarck Tribune
by Lauren Donovan

A new daycare center will open in a former church in Hazen in the coming weeks. Bismarck Tribune
A former church in Hazen will become the location for a new concept in daycare for area children. In a project initiated nearly a year ago by Basin Electric Power Cooperative to fill a much-needed gap for its employees and others, a new Energy Capital Cooperative Child Care purchased the former New Bethel Congregational Church on the west side of town. The church building has space for as many as 60 full-time children ages infant to 12, and supervisory and aide staff is still being sought. The facility is expected to be operational starting late this month or early April. Read More
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Entrepreneur: North Dakota Native launches Personal Training App

Bismarck Tribune
Dillan Ostrom co-founded the UTrain mobile app. Submitted photo
A North Dakota native is aiming to connect personal trainers and those who want to get in shape in North Dakota as well as in major metro areas across the United States. Dillan Ostrom, who grew up in Finley, is the co-founder of a mobile application, UTrain. Ostrom went to work as a personal trainer in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., after attending Valley City State University for communications and exercise science. "I just like the (personal) connection to be honest," he said of his decision to become a personal trainer. "Somewhere along the line in college, I realized I wanted that connection with people and wanted to do something to help them change their lives." Read More
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Rensch Chevrolet to close in New Town

New Town News

A business that has been part of the economic bedrock of New Town for nearly 50 years is closing. By the end of this month, Rensch Chevrolet Buick will be closing its doors for good. "We are closing," said owner Doug Rensch. "Hopefully someone will come in and start some kind of service and repair shop, because it is set up for that. But it would be hard for someone to come in here while we are still here. So we will close, get everything cleaned out and see what happens." Read More 

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ConocoPhillips gives $242K to Charitable Organizations

News Release

ConocoPhillips announced the presentation of $242,000 in charitable grants to 12 organizations from five counties in the Williston Basin at an event in Dickinson recently. This year's recipients included area volunteer first responders, healthcare facilities, schools and civic and environmental organizations. The largest of these donations was a $100,000 grant to the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust. Other large grants include $40,000 to the Gateway to Science Center in Bismarck and to Watford City Public Schools for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related initiatives. Read More

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Minot's MAGIC Fund awards $57,000 in 2016

Minot Daily News

Minot's MAGIC Fund awarded nearly $57,000 in assistance in 2016 as its reserves grew despite declining income. The fund's 2016 annual compliance report, submitted to the Minot City Council recently, showed a year-end cash balance of $7.14 million. Sales tax collections that support the fund decreased by $349,530 or nearly 17.9 percent from 2015. Collections last year totaled $1.6 million, which more than offset spending. Awards included $10,000 to Crosby Kids Day Care. Read More

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Spring Forward, Check Smoke Alarms March 12

Williston Fire Department
by Jason Catrambone

Most fatal fires occur at night. Every home needs working smoke alarms to provide an early warning. Install smoke alarms in all sleeping rooms, hallways that lead to sleeping areas, basements and each additional level of your home. A good time to remember to check your smoke alarm and change the batteries is when you change your clocks twice a year as Daylight Saving Time begins and ends. Read More

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WSC Alumni Association prepares for Lucky Duck Races April 28

News Release

The Williston State College Alumni Association is gearing up for its first annual Lucky Duck Races. The fundraising event will be held on Friday, April 28 at 2 p.m. at the Williston Area Recreation Center's waterpark/lazy river. To participate, purchase a duck from the alumni association. Each duck will be numbered and labeled. Prizes will be given away in three categories: the business division, adult individual race and kids individual race. For more details click on the following links: Lucky Duck form and Lucky Duck rules.

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Upcoming Williston Events

03/14              Williston City Commission
The commission meets the second and fourth Tuesday's of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

03/14-15         KUMV-TV Ag Expo
Check out the latest farm and ranch equipment, technology and businesses at the Raymond Family Community Center.

03/15              Great Northwest Education Cooperative
The 3rd annual Northwest Career Expo will be held for high school sophomores and juniors at Williston State College.

03/16              Band-O-Rama
The annual concert will be held at 7 p.m. in the Phil Jackson Field House. The concert will feature  bands from Bakken Elementary, Williston Middle School and Williston High School. Ti ckets are $6 for adults and $4 for students, but passes work!  

03/17              Shamrockin' the Bakken Taste of Williston
The Chamber's annual St. Patrick's Day event will be held from 6-10:30 p.m. at the Grand Williston Hotel and Conference Center. Tickets are on sale at the Chamber for $20 each.
03/17-19         Sport and Rec Show
Check out new recreational vehicles, boats, ATVs, spas  plus fishing camps, hunting guides and other outdoor enthusiasts at the Raymond Family Community Center! Show opens Friday at 1 p.m.

03/17-25         Mixed National Curing Tournament
The Williston Basin Curling Club is hosting the 2017 Mixed National Championship at the Agri Sports Complex. Curling teams from throughout the US will be vying for the National title.

03/20              Williston Planning & Zoning Commission
The commission meets the third Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

03/22              Williston Job Fair
The event will be held at the Grand Williston Hotel and Conference Center. Job Fair Flier for Job Seekers

03/22               Renaissance on Main First Anniversary
Renaissance on Main will celebrate its first anniversary with food and drinks, live music and door prizes from 6-8 p.m. Open House flier

04/05              1 Million Cups Williston
Bring a mug and a friend to the monthly meeting at 8:30 a.m. at the WSC Teton Lounge.

04/07-08         2017 Home and Garden Show
Whether you are in the market for a new home, looking to renovate or interested in home improvement projects; the home and garden show has much to offer! The show runs April  7 from 2-7 p.m. and April 8 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Raymond Family Community Center.
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