Today’s story from the Bakken

BISMARCK–As I previously said, I did my own tour of northwestern North Dakota when I was in the area last week to cover the state officials’ public meeting in Williston.

Since the state meetings to hear about challenges in the Oil Patch are scheduled during the day, I wanted to get out and visit with everyday people who wouldn’t be able to attend to hear what their concerns were.

I got tipped off to the child care shortage in Williston after visiting with a college employee who told me people there need to find day care and then get pregnant.

Initially only planning one story about the issue, I realized I needed to break it into two because there was just so much information surrounding the problem. The first story ran in the papers today, and the other will run tomorrow.

It was to the point that tackling Williston was such a big project that I couldn’t begin to get into the child care shortages in other Oil Patch cities, as well as other North Dakota towns. Certainly they face some of the same problems. But I hope today’s story will give you an idea of how big the problem is.

I still have a few more stories coming from my visit up to the area, including reporting on positive news, not just the challenges.

My company should announce soon who the new oil reporter is, and then I will return to focusing more on state government. In the meantime, back to oil reporting I go……..

5 thoughts on “Today’s story from the Bakken

  1. Teri,

    Any word on health care issues up there? Rumor has it the medical facilities are going broke. People (rumorists say temporary oil workers) receive care, don’t pay their bills and then hospitals and collection agencies can’t find them since they’re so transient. Is this true? Seems to me health care would be the only industry struggling with income issues if it is…

    I look forward to hearing from you and/or the new Oil Patch reporter :)

    • I’ve heard the same issues. Patrick Springer at The Forum wrote stories about the strain in November. “Oil boom strains medical services:
      Oil Patch hospitals seek help as population, injuries mount” and “Emergency medical responders in N.D.’s Oil Patch are pushed to the brink.” I can email you those stories if you’d like.

  2. Please publish details of fracking, especially chemicals used. Dr. Winn Parker (Parkers Pathways) on from 10am-12-pm central time, (24 hour free archives) states: It takes 5 million gallons of water for 1 fracking! The upper layer of stratum is disturbed before reaching the desired depth. Water is more necessary than oil ($). Thank you

    • Thanks for writing! I talked to Lynn Helms about this today and will put the information in a future Ask Your Government column. Can you please send me your full name and city?

  3. Terri,
    Thanks for the story and the insight! I had no idea this was going on. I have been following the Bakken play ever since 2006 before a lot of others knew about the shale play. Anyway, I want to build a website for the area but I want to include locals and area influencers to produce the content.

    I have a favor to ask. I want to form a group of bloggers that are willing to talk about the oil patch in Williston and ND in general. I am really interested in Housing, Jobs, and Local News in Western ND. Would you know of any resources that I could connect with out there to find content writers willing to participate? I know a few folks out in Bismarck but nothing further west.

    My initial thought was to connect with local colleges out west to see if there were interns willing to write in exchange for college credit. What do you think?

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