School Break Not Much Fun In ND Oil Country

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Spring break in northwestern North Dakota’s oil-producing region isn’t much fun for students who are living in campers and hotel rooms.

Williston’s public schools have 115 students who are living in temporary quarters in a booming region that’s chronically short of housing.

Homeless student coordinator Betsy Kelly says many of them are living in campers without running water or electricity.

Seven-year-old Steven Jarvis says there’s little to do but play video games in the recreational vehicle he shares with his parents, Jayson and Angelia Jarvis. They moved to North Dakota from Washington.

Angelia Jarvis tells The Forum newspaper her son is flexible about the living arrangements, but he misses home, and “we don’t really have a lot of privacy.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Tom

    Wow! What a story. Keep it up guys.

  • Brett

    It’s strange and STUPID to see all of these “hit” pieces on N. Dakota, due to their oil boom. Did you know that their state has a REAL budget surplus? How about the fact that some (if not many) workers up there are making over $200K a year? I’ve heard some say that you can make $75K a year if you are breathing and can get up in the morning. The housing will come if the jobs last. If not, it would be stupid to build a lot of permanent housing for 50,000 people, only for those new communities to become ghost towns in only a few years.

    But NOOOooooo. All we hear about is about the lack of housing, the booming “crime” rate, and now bored kids. Minnesota could have the same “problem”, but the tree huggers feel that they have to save us.

    • God 2.0

      Gosh, that was insightful. Now for a dose of reality Brett.

      Yes, you can make a lot of money BUT the cost of living is equally high and counterbalances any gains. Example, a two (2) bedroom apartment is renting for 2-3000 a month, cost of living (basic costs that is) are 3-5 times normal. People are being housed in transport containers in some cases. Basically, EVERYTHING is proportional to the median income of the area. Now try living in that kind of environment, you think you can save any of that money. Don’t bet on it.

      If you doubt me, check back in the 190’s when the SAME THING HAPPENED OUT THERE. That looked good then also, until it stopped and the place was turned into a wasteland with those that thought they would be rich were left holding the bag. BTW, that is part of the reason there is a housing crises now … fool me once.

      Finally, despite your genius those so called “tree huggers” provide a balance that society needs because left to their own designs people would decimate the planet for a buck and then whine when there was nothing left.

      • God 2.0

        make that the 1980’s (rant fail)

      • pumphandle-

        Thank goodness info from someone who hasn’t worked there, God 2.0 I do work out here, those 2 bed. apts are having 4 live in them, making rent about 700 a person, people have not came here to break even day to day, this kind of work is for men unlike you, stick to commenting on things you know something about, so nothing basicly

        • Rigger

          Guess you just confirmed what he said pump …. $2800 a month for family of 4. Young kids = one working. That be $2800. Food and transportation we now at roughly $3800 a month. The Feds want a slice of this – now I tossing out about $5600 a month with health insurance for all, minimal movies, clothing, etc.
          Not sure about you but I make on average $1800-1900/week with 25-3o hours OT.
          I’m not complaining as we are eating and saving some money but pal – if you want to imply this is healthy living for my wife and kids you are crazy as they get. For you –sounds like you have to be single sharing a flop apartment – it’s a helluva deal. If I was single I would say the same thing….but it’s different for the rest of us with family. So button on the loose lips eh

      • Brett

        Nobody put a gun to these peoples’ heads and ordered them to go there, and they shouldn’t expect shiny, new, clean cities to rise up out of the ground overnight.

        The tree huggers go TOO FAR, and things are out of balance, IMO. I’m not advocating decimating the planet, but you can’t make things out of THIN AIR.

  • AJ

    What an in depth fact filled story. Sheesh!! Most of the comments are longer then this “news brief”

  • Len

    We have 2 of our boys, late 20s, working outside Williston. They making very good money but last time home they both echoed that it wasn’t a place they’d want to live for long – and no place for a family to be. Both have many co-workers who have family with them and they think the divorce rates will be off the charts soon. Hard to imagine being cooped up with kids – not a lot to do. Not the best weather to be out. Just not much at all except for solid wages. Even then – not enough to maintain a house back at home for family and one there for them.
    It’s mostly a single mans game – but they say the companies like older workers for a couple big reasons – relaibilty and not as much alcohol-drug use. Same as around here I imagine

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