Skip to main content
A1 A1

Storm clouds hang low over a field of thirsty wheat near Lake Sakakawea.

Williston welcomes first baby of 2022, born at CHI St. Alexius Health Williston
  • Updated

Williston welcomed its first baby of 2022, born at CHI St. Alexius Health Williston Medical Center at 3:05 a.m. January 1.

Alfa and David Sanchez rang in the New Year by welcoming their new son David Sanchez II, into the world. David weighed 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. David’s joins four older siblings, brothers aged 2 and 6, and sisters aged 8 and 12, who mom and dad said are eager to meet him. Alfa said baby David was a little late showing up for the holidays, coming a week later than expected.

“We were expecting him December, and were excited to have a Christmas baby, but that didn’t happen!” Alfa said. “But now we have a January baby!”

Alfa added that David’s brothers and father all have birthdays in January. A gift basket filled with baby essentials was presented to the family. The items were donated by Western Cooperative Credit Union, Upper Missouri District Health Unit and CHI St. Alexius Health. CHI St. Alexius Health Williston delivered 732 babies in 2021.

“It’s really exciting and heartwarming to see that different people from the community are donating for the New Year’s baby,” Alfa said. “We’re really honored. We weren’t expecting it and it’s a blessing. We’re very grateful.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, David and Alfa were unable to have visitors during their hospital stay, but said that they both were thankful for technology, which allowed them to video-chat with their other children and family members to show off their new addition. The proud parents praised CHI’s staff for all their work during the delivery and the care they received afterwards.

“Dr. Teuma, Dr. Kadum and the entire team were incredible. We felt welcomed and supported from the moment we walked in,” said Alfa and David Sr.

“We continue our commitment to delivering Williston’s future. Our dedicated team of nurses exemplify the core values of our organization showing compassionate care to all those seeking our services. I am honored to lead an extraordinary group of nurses and providers at CHI St Alexius Health Williston” stated Leona Lambert, Manager of Maternal Child.

Spring Lake Park Holiday Lights Drive dazzles with fireworks display

TNT Fireworks lit up the sky at Spring Lake Park on Saturday to ring in the new year and close out 2021’s Holiday Lights Drive.

The display was originally scheduled for the Lights Drive’s New Year’s Eve Eve celebration on Dec. 30, but frigid temps in the region forced the show to be postponed until Jan 1.

The park was filled with visitors eager to see this year’s display, which featured hundreds of fireworks and last around 15 minutes. The annual Holiday Lights Drive features thousands of lights in hundreds of stationary and animated display pieces, with five of them set to music. Half the proceeds from the Lights Drive entry fee benefitted a non-profit group each evening.

Ag Improvement Association's annual meeting will include soil health seminar
  • Updated

The Ag Improvement Association is a growing force in the MonDak and this year they will host a Soil Health Improvement workshop with their annual meeting.

Williams County Extension Agent Kelly Leo has been working with NDSU Extension Agents to put together a great itinerary for the event.

“We’re going to have just a nice educational program during the day and then a nice lunch and after lunch we’ll have one or two more speakers and then we’ll do an annual business meeting at the end,” she said. “We’ll have Frayne Olson in the morning, he’s an economist for NDSU who draws a big crowd. He’s a really good speaker, so he will start our morning off.”

In addition to Olson’s market update, several specialists will also talk about agriculture’s newest buzz word, carbon.

“There’s a lot of questions and not a lot of answers for some of the producers (when it comes to carbon and carbon markets), so we’re hoping to maybe dispel some of the myths and maybe enlighten people a little more on some of that,” Leo said.

Perhaps the biggest question Leo hears from producers is whether there’s money to be made with soil health and carbon sequestration. NDSU Bioproducts and Bioenergy Economist David Ripplinger will talk about navigating emerging carbon markets during the day-long program.

Meanwhile, Keith Berns, co-owner and sales manager for Green Cover Seeds, will talk about Carbonomics and NRCS Soil Health Specialist Hal Wieser will talk about management practices that increase soil carbon. Happily, any time. you increase soil carbon you also increase soil health, so even if emerging carbon markets do not prove lucrative, you’re still investing in long-term improvements that can eventually produce higher crop yields.

“Soil health is kind of the top you know, it’s kind of our gonna be our flagship for a few years because it’s a big topic right now with with the carbon markets and the soil carbon and all of that,” Leo said.

There will also be a variety update from Williston Research Extension Center and North Dakota Crop improvement staff during the program, as well as the Williams County Ag Improvement Association’s Annual meeting, which will wrap up the day with a business meeting.

Preregistration is requested no later than Jan. 18 for the event, which is set for 9 a.m Jan. 20 at Williston Research Extension Center. Call Williams County Soil conservation District at 701-774-2319 or NDSU Extension Williams County at 701-577-4595 to preregister for the event or with any questions.

This event will also have a virtual attendance option. Let organizers know when you pre-register that you want to attend virtually, and they will email you the link to participate online.

Economic Development allocates more than $1.75 million for projects in 2021
  • Updated

Williston Economic Development is wrapping up 2021 on a positive note, with more than $1 million dollars given to area projects from the STAR Fund.

Economic Development released its annual STAR Fund report, which shows just over $1.75 million was allocated to projects this past year. The ventures included both startups and expansions in a variety of industries.

“This past year was encouraging as we saw diversified projects coming into the community. This was a significant shift from what we have seen previously,” said Williston Economic Development Executive Director Shawn Wenko. “Some of those projects included unmanned aerial systems, cryptocurrency and a gas to liquids plant.”

The Williston STAR Fund is funded by the City’s one cent sales tax (the sales tax is scheduled to sunset in 2030.) Up to twenty-five percent of the sales tax collections helps fund job creation projects. The STAR Fund is administered by a seven-member board. The Williston City Commission approves all projects except those falling under the Mini Match program, which are approved by Williston City Administrator David Tuan.

The most widely used STAR Fund program in 2021 was the FLEX Pace. Nearly $1 million was allocated to FLEX Pace projects this past year.

“The Flex PACE is the number one program that we utilize from the STAR Fund,” said Wenko. “The reason we really like the program is, one, it’s partnered with the Bank of North Dakota, and they match us roughly two dollars to every one dollar we put in, and two, the proprietor’s lead lender likes it because it helps mitigate some of the risk.”

While the STAR Fund allocated $976,000 to FLEX Pace projects in 2021, the Bank of North Dakota contributed just over $2 million. The private investment was approximately $24 million. Some of the industries supported by the STAR Fund included retail, child care, health care, restaurants, energy and agriculture.

Other achievements in 2021 included developments at Williston Square. The 800-acre site is located at the former Sloulin Field International Airport. This past year featured a lot of infrastructure projects and two ground breakings.

“The big focus at Williston Square was infrastructure, making sure the utilities (roads, water and sewer) were getting in there first. During Phase 1 we announced Sanford Health was building a regional clinic, Genesis and Slim Chickens broke ground on new buildings and the Upper Missouri River Regional Dispatch Center moved into the former airport terminal,” said Wenko. “I look forward to 2022 and Phase 2 of the development which will see projects starting along 42nd Street (behind WalMart).”

Other highlights from 2021 included releasing Season Four of the Williston Works Podcast and Season One of the Midwest Future Forum. Wenko hosted and moderated both programs. The Creative Treatment of Bismarck handled the videography.

“The podcasts have been widely successful. They won an award from the Mid America Economic Development Council (in 2020),” said Wenko. “It’s an advertising medium that reaches potential business owners, developers and investors. We try to feature people who are getting it done and giving them a voice.”

The next Williston STAR Fund meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 2 at 11:30 a.m. at the Center for Development. To submit a STAR Fund application, visit willistondevelopment.com or contact brendasc@ci.williston.nd.us.

The Williston Week
  • Updated

A new year has begun, and there are lots of activities this week to start your year off right. Plan your week with our handy community calendar, the most comprehensive calendar available in the Williston community!

Jan. 5

1 Million Cups, 8:30 a.m. at Caffeinated in the Badlands Town Center with Kari Donner from The Vault and Kenzie Brown from Coyote Pups Learning Den. Join in person or via livestream on Facebook. Speakers are wanted for the 2022 series, which meets the first Wednesday of each month. Contact barbp@ci.williston.nd.us.

Jan. 7

Kids Night Out, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Williston ARC. Winter Sports Night. Cost, $15 per child ($10 for siblings). Includes activities and pizza.

Bingo Night, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays at Williston ARC, ages 6 months to 9 years old. $10 per child. Questions? Email miranda@wprd.us.

Jan. 8

Little Dribblers begins, 9 a.m. Kindergarten, 10 a.m. first grade, 11 a.m. second grade on Saturdays through Jan. 29 at Williston ARC. Cost, $18 per player. Sign up at willistonparks.com.

Tennis Kids begins Saturdays, 9 a.m. for ages 3 to 6, 10 a.m. for ages 7 to 9 and 11 a.m. for ages 10 to 12. Details online at www.willistonparks.com.

Yoga & Stories, 11:15 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays starting Jan. 8 for ages 3 to 6. Cost, $18.50 per participant.

Noah’s Arc, private swim party for all children with any level of special healthcare need or assistance along with their family, 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Williston ARC.

Jan. 10

Boys basketball begins, 5:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for grades 3 and 4 and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursdays for grades 5 and 6 through Feb. 26. Cost, $34 per participant if registered by Dec. 26. Online at willistonparks.com.

Youth pink gloves boxing, 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at the ARC starting Jan. 10 through Feb. 16 for girls ages 10 to 17. Register online at www.willistonparks.com.

Tyke Swim, 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays at Williston ARC for $3 a participant, free for under 2.

Jan. 11

Me & My Buddy Move N’ Groove, 10:15 a.m. Jan. 11 through Feb. 15 Tuesdays at the Williston ARC. Cost, $18.50.

Jan. 14

Williston Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet, Jan. 14 at the Old Armory Theatre. Ticket information online at https://www.willistonchamber.com/annual-awards.

Jan. 20

WYP Social

Jan. 25

Coffee and Conversation

Jan. 26

Youth Soccer begins for ages 3 and 4 and 5 and 6 at noon and 11 a.m. Saturdays respectively through March 19. Details online at www.willistonparks.com.

Feb. 1

Lunch and Learn

Feb. 10

Business After Hours, Greystar Property Management

Feb. 19

Tennis lessons begin on Saturdays at 9 a.m. for ages 3 to 6, 10 a.m. for ages 7 to 9, and 11 a.m. for ages 10 to 12. Fees are $18.50 for ages 3 to 6 and $37 for all other ages. Register online at www.willistonparks.com.

Feb. 22

Coffee and Conversation

Feb. 26

Youth soccer for age groups 7,8 and 9,10 begins Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 9 a.m. respectively. Details online at www.willistonparks.com.

March 1

10th annual North Dakota Reclamation Conference, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Astoria Event Center in Dickinson. Register online at www.ndreclamation.com.

March 10

Business after hours, Hair Society Institute

March 24

Semi-Annual Job Fair, 2 to 6 p.m. The Well at Williston State College.

March 26

Williston API Chili Cookoff from 3 to 11 p.m. at Raymond Family Community Center

March 29

Coffee and Conversation

April 14

Business After Hours, Ryan Motors

April 25

Chamber membership drive

April 26

Behavioral Health Summit, Rough Rider Center in Watford City. Now accepting sponsorships. Email visionwest@dlnconsulting.com

April 30

80s BYOB Jam

May 2

Teacher Appreciation

May 9

Headshot Event

May 12

Business After Hours, Williston Economic Development

May 17

Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan. Details online at https://wbpc.ca.

May 18

Candidate forums

June 4

Lemonade Day

June 9

Business After Hours, Busted Knuckle Brewery

June 17

Corporate Cup

June 22

Farm to Table in Williams County, location TBA

NDPC Summer Social in Medora. Details online at https://www.ndoil.org/events/summersocial/.

July 4

Fourth of July Celebration

July 14

Business After Hours, Loan Depot

July 19

Bakken Rocks CookFest in Trenton. Details online at https://ndpetroleumfoundation.org/programs/cookfest/.

July 21

Bakken Rocks CookFest in White Shield. Details online at https://ndpetroleumfoundation.org/programs/cookfest/.

Aug. 9

Lunch and Learn

Aug. 11

Business After Hours, Korner Lions

Aug. 30

Coffee and Conversation

Sept. 8

Business After Hours, The Retreat Apartment Homes

Sept. 20

NDPC Annual meeting begins at Rough Rider Center in Watford City. The event continues through 9-22.

Sept. 27

Coffee and Conversation

Sept. 28

Leadership Graduation

October 4

Candidate forums

Oct. 8

Harvest Festival

Oct. 13

Business After Hours, Cooks on Main

Oct. 22

Boom Crawl

Oct. 25

Coffee and Conversation

Nov. 10

Business After Hours, American Engineering & Testing

Nov. 18

Wil Expo

Nov. 25

Holiday LIghts Parade

Nov. 26

Small Business Saturday

Nov. 29

Coffee and Conversation

Dec. 8 Business After Hours

Dec. 10 Holiday Marketplace

Dec. 14

Coffee and Conversation

Community events for The Williston Week can be submitted to rjean@willistonherald.com for this listing, which is free for community events. Listings will run at least once before the event, if they are submitted in a timely fashion. Events must be community-oriented, not commercial.