The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sunday wrapped up a series we worked on at the Williston Herald called The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The three-part series looked at how Williston residents are uniquely affected by the Bakken oil boom.

For the good I interviewed Robert Peeler who came from California because the family ranch was in danger of being foreclosed on. He lived in a church for the first few days and eventually the mechanic found a job at a local body shop. (Story HERE)

My section of the bad looked at senior citizens who are being forced out of where they live because of high rent costs. Many live on fixed incomes and have seen their $400-a-month apartments quadruple. Some have lived here for a long time and question if they’ll live here the rest of their lives. (Story HERE)

For the ugly I looked into people who came to Williston thinking they’d find six-figure oil field jobs the moment they walk off the train. That is urban legend. Most don’t know it takes 2-5 weeks for an oil company to hire people and that’s after background checks. So many of these people come here, leaving everything behind, with no jobs and no place to sleep except their car. (Story HERE)

Overall I greatly enjoyed the series. I’ve mentioned before on here that there are so many people in Williston with such different stories. It will be impossible to cover them all but this was an interesting start. I’m hoping in the coming weeks to start up a new series that further explores what the oil boom is doing to Williston, both good and bad.

 © 2012 Jerry Burnes/Williston Herald

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