Website Gives Watford City Residents a Voice

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When you hear "Watford City" you probably think about the Bakken.

"There's a lot of media attention on Watford City and Western North Dakota in general, and we get news stories on crime out here on development on what's happening in oil prices," said Jessie Veeder Scofield, McKenzie County Development.

Jesse Veeder says there is much more to the community than oil.

"It's the people's stories that is really interesting, and that pulls at the heart strings and really tells of a community," said Veeder.

Veeder decided it was time to add the voices of her neighbors to the Bakken narrative, using the website Voices of Watford City. Like Calli Thorne's, a Watford City native, who ranches with her husband and two children just north of town.

"I just hope people really get the visual of Watford City and that's why we did that and put that time and effort into it. That people see what a great community this is and a great place to live," said Thornes.

With the growth there has been some growing pains, especially for the transportation director for McKenzie County School District Transportation Director Jim Svihovec.

"In the past five years with the industry we've had; it's boomed, and we try to have a consistent bus list for our driver however our day to day and week to week that could change."

After working for 30 years in the health care field Jim's job changed completely after his 23-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident just outside of Watford City.

"Getting these kids back and forth from school safely has become almost my passion to make sure they get to school on time and safe," said Svihovec.

Proving Voices of Watford is more than just a website. It's a place where residents in the heart of the oil boom now have a way to transport people from around the world to their community, and share their side of the story.

Some of the video in that story is from the videos listed on the website, and the song is called Boomtown by Jessie Veeder, and she actually has a new album coming out this summer.

She says the film crew will be back this summer to share more stories.

To check out the ones that are already finished, visit