North Dakota

2:03pm

Tue January 8, 2013
Planet Money

Episode 428: Turning A Boom Town Into A Real Town

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 9:53 am

Coming soon: A town.
Joshua Marston NPR
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Williston, North Dakota is in the middle of an oil boom. Thousands of workers have flooded into the town, but they're reluctant to call it home. Instead, they live in bleak rentals, often sleeping in dorm-like trailers known as "man camps."

Local officials are trying to turn Williston into a real town, where people want to bring their families. But it's a tough sell.

On today's show, we visit Williston, and we learn why one guy endures a thousand-mile commute, why a one-bedroom apartment costs $2100 a month, and why the town is building an indoor lazy river.

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1:20am

Tue December 18, 2012
Economy

The Downsides Of Living In An Oil Boom Town

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:18 am

Cyndy Aafedt (left) owns the El Rancho hotel in Williston, N.D. Jobs in town have been hard to fill. Her employee, Mary Joy Hardt (right), who is from the Philippines, is one of many people with J-1 visas helping to fill retail, hotel and restaurant job openings here.
Meg Luther Lindholm for NPR

The population boom in Williston, N.D., has been a blessing and a curse for many local businesses. Williston, the fastest growing small city in America, is enjoying an oil boom and has seen its population double in the past two years.

At the city's brand new McDonald's, manager Vern Brekhus struggles every day to maintain his staff of nearly 100 workers.

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4:13am

Sun December 9, 2012
NPR Story

A Senator's Last Challenge

Originally published on Sun December 9, 2012 12:36 pm

Sen. Kent Conrad has chaired the Senate Budget Committee since 2006. The Democratic senator from North Dakota is retiring in January 2013, but before leaving the Senate, he is a key player in the negotiations to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with Sen. Conrad about the challenges to achieving a budget compromise.

5:24pm

Mon October 15, 2012
Politics

Pro-Oil Democrat In The Hunt For N.D. Senate Seat

Democratic Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp and her Republican opponent, Rep. Rick Berg, attend a North Dakota Chamber of Commerce forum in Bismarck last week.
Dale Wetzel AP

1:24am

Tue August 7, 2012
Around the Nation

Roosevelt's Badlands Ranch Faces Potential Threat

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:39 pm

In the North Dakota Badlands, plans to build a bridge near Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch have led to protests.
John McChesney

Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch in North Dakota is often called the Walden Pond of the West. But Roosevelt's ranch is now feeling the pressure of an oil boom that is industrializing the local landscape. Critics say a proposed gravel pit and a bridge could destroy the very thing that made such a lasting impression on Roosevelt: the restorative power of wilderness.

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