Still building a dream: Despite a decline in oil prices creating uncertainty, southwest ND continues to beckon those seeking success

A worker for Tommy Thompson Contracting measures a 2-by-4 piece of wood Tuesday while building a home not far from the new CHI St. Joseph’s Health campus in Dickinson.

Note: This column is written as the introduction to The Dickinson Press’ annual Progress edition, which begins Sunday, Feb. 1 and continues each Sunday through March 22.

You see them every day. In supermarkets, at your job or school, as you sit down to eat, or when you drive past a construction site.

Almost everywhere you look in southwest North Dakota, people are achieving the so-called “American Dream.”

Western North Dakota, for the past five years or so, has been a place where just about anyone could get back on their feet. There are people here who were broke only a few years ago but now have thriving businesses or jobs that pay very well. Others were simply able to get out of debt after falling on hard times elsewhere.

Now, however, as we enter a time of simultaneous progress and uncertainty, there seems to be few willing to say the good times are over, even if the boom is.

Continue reading “Still building a dream: Despite a decline in oil prices creating uncertainty, southwest ND continues to beckon those seeking success”

Getting a fan’s perspective on Super Bowl XLIX

Seattle Seahawks fan Wendy Wilson, left, and New England Patriots fan Jace Schillinger — both employees at Dickinson State University — spoke with me about why they like the teams they do and about the hate each team receives heading into Super Bowl XLIX

Do we really have to watch the Super Bowl today? Does anyone actually like the Seattle Seahawks? Or did they just get fans about three years ago.

How could anyone — especially in western North Dakota — really be a fan of the New England Patriots? I’m from New England, N.D., and I don’t know anyone there who likes the Patriots.

Around here, we’ve got cheeseheads, people who know the lyrics to “Skol Vikings” and a few who are praying that Peyton Manning starts aging like Benjamin Button. Then there are those staunch supporters of more traditional powerhouses who still wax poetic about the days of Steel Curtains, Super Bowl Shuffles or “America’s Team.” And, of course, there are people like me, who support a team that no longer knows how to beat the Seahawks.

So, with all the hubbub over the Patriots’ Deflategate, Marshawn Lynch’s interview skills, and the general dislike levied upon the two Super Bowl teams by opposing fans — including myself — I decided to seek out both a Seahawks fan and a Patriots fan to see what they had to say about today’s game, and chat about what made them fans of their teams.

Continue reading “Getting a fan’s perspective on Super Bowl XLIX”

Dickinson hits 61 degrees, sets record again

T.J. Davie, a Floridian working on a home in Dickinson for Tommy Thompson Contracting, took advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures Tuesday to work without a shirt.

Dickinson shattered a temperature record Tuesday, hitting 61 degrees and breaking the old record, set in 2008, by 10 degrees.

Temperatures fell just short of the all-time January high for the city, according to the National Weather Service. It was 63 degrees on Jan. 23, 1981. Tuesday, however, was the third-hottest January day ever recorded in Dickinson.

Unfortunately, the warm weather won’t last forever.

April Cooper, a meteorologist with the NWS in Bismarck, said a strong ridge is filtering warm air from the South toward the Great Plains and the Dickinson area has benefited from that. But by the weekend, temperatures are expected to be closer to an average of 24 degrees with a chance of snow expected Saturday.

“It’ll still be well above average through Friday,” she said. “As we get into the weekend, we’ll have a little bit of a cold front move through.” Wednesday’s highs are expected to be around 45 degrees — still almost 20 degrees above normal, according to the NWS.

Movies to watch for guys … for free

Guys, do you ever walk in the house at 7 p.m. on a Monday and the woman in your life has commandeered the primary household TV for her ritualistic viewing of “The Bachelor”?

That means you find yourself in front of a tablet or a TV and can’t find anything good to watch, especially now that Monday Night Football is done for the season.

In that case, here are a few films that can be found on Netflix’s streaming service that can tide you over on those boring Mondays (or any other boring day, really). Continue reading “Movies to watch for guys … for free”

Spills in the state and a ‘State’ of laughter

Sometimes, you just have to rant. Every once in a while, as Peter Griffin once so eloquently said, there are aspects of life that tend to “grind my gears.” Here are a few of them that popped up last week:

Continue reading “Spills in the state and a ‘State’ of laughter”

Marching for life: 2 Trinity students walk at front of of 750,000 during pro-life rally

Reporters and photographers watch as Trinity High School seniors Quinnlyn Nelson, left, and Brittany Berger walk in the March for Life anti-abortion rally in Washington on Thursday. (Submitted Photo)

Quinnlyn Nelson said it took her a while Thursday to grasp the scope of the moment.

Nelson and fellow Trinity High School senior Brittany Berger were among a select few students from North Dakota Catholic high schools given the opportunity to lead the annual March for Life rally against abortion at the National Mall in Washington.

The march drew an estimated 750,000 pro-life supporters, something Nelson said she didn’t immediately understand as she held the March for Life banner and walked at the very front of the rally.

“We were marching and we were going up this hill, and we looked back and I couldn’t see where the line ended,” Nelson said. “Knowing there are this many people that are passionate about this cause, this issue, was unbelievable.” Continue reading “Marching for life: 2 Trinity students walk at front of of 750,000 during pro-life rally”

UnFOURgettable: Champions showed up when it mattered most to lead NDSU to fourth straight title

Was there ever really a doubt?

Trailing by four points with about 1½ minutes remaining and with a fourth consecutive FCS championship on the line, did anyone expect the North Dakota State football team to falter Saturday afternoon?

The Bison made history by defeating Missouri Valley Football Conference rival Illinois State 29-27 for the title in dramatic and downright astounding fashion.

They were nowhere near perfect. But when it mattered most, NDSU displayed every bit of that championship swagger it had accumulated over the past four seasons. Continue reading “UnFOURgettable: Champions showed up when it mattered most to lead NDSU to fourth straight title”