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(The New York Times)   Once tranquil Montana and North Dakota are reaping the benefits of a fossil fuel based economy, including full employment, a booming economy, and murderous drifters who bury math teachers in shallow graves   (nytimes.com) divider line 62
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5609 clicks; posted to Main » on 01 Dec 2013 at 4:06 PM (20 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-01 01:22:56 PM
You people obviously don't remember Coalstrip 1 - 4, and Montana has ALWAYS been home to various serial killers over the decades.
 
2013-12-01 03:34:26 PM
Please log in.  No thanks, NY Times.


Everything written by the NYTimes is leftist spin.  Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.  The Times has to find some way to negate it: But-but-but crime.

Criminals leech off of every success.  That's how they work.  Thieves don't steal from poor people.  Criminal masterminds don't plot to break into the projects where there's nothing to stealk.
 
2013-12-01 03:43:06 PM

SlothB77: Everything written by the NYTimes is leftist spin.


Thanks, Sarah.
 
2013-12-01 04:10:39 PM
So, not at all familiar with the history of Montana and the Dakotas...
 
2013-12-01 04:11:57 PM

ecmoRandomNumbers: SlothB77: Everything written by the NYTimes is leftist spin.

Thanks, Sarah.


He can see Alaska from his house.
 
2013-12-01 04:12:19 PM
The Times is merely upset that the drifter failed to urinate on the body and then steal the math teacher's identity as well.

i.telegraph.co.uk


Villain in alley:  I have murdered someone and would like to confess.

Male voice in the distance:  Shut up!
 
2013-12-01 04:12:33 PM

Superrad: So, not at all familiar with the history of Montana and the Dakotas...


Came to say this.  From the area.  Mom's from the ND side, long history of bootlegging in her family.  Dad's from the MT side, he married up.
 
2013-12-01 04:12:46 PM
Yo, anyone that can please post the article. As Sloth mentioned, pay wall.
 
2013-12-01 04:13:20 PM
I blame Bush.
 
2013-12-01 04:14:41 PM
Wow. More money + more people = more crime. Outstanding investigative reporting there NYT. Now tell me about how when it rains the pavement gets wet and automobile accident rates go up. That ought to be some real hard-hitting journalism.
 
2013-12-01 04:16:28 PM

Superrad: So, not at all familiar with the history of Montana and the Dakotas...


clothes2use.com
 
2013-12-01 04:24:13 PM
SIDNEY, Mont. - One cold morning last year, a math teacher jogging through her hometown in eastern Montana was abducted, strangled and buried in a shallow grave. Charged in her death were two drifters from Colorado, drawn to the region by the allure of easy money in the oil fields.

One hundred fifty miles away, in a bustling oil town in North Dakota, a 30-year-old man disappeared one afternoon from the street where he had been putting in water and sewer pipes, leaving behind a lunchbox with his paycheck inside and a family grasping for answers. After months of searching, his mother said she now believes her son is gone, buried somewhere on the high plain.

Stories like these, once rare, have become as common as drilling rigs in rural towns at the heart of one of the nation's richest oil booms. Crime has soared as thousands of workers and rivers of cash have flowed into towns, straining police departments and shattering residents' sense of safety.

"It just feels like the modern-day Wild West," said Sgt. Kylan Klauzer, an investigator in Dickinson, in western North Dakota. The Dickinson police handled 41 violent crimes last year, up from seven only five years ago.

New homes just outside Williston, N.D. The Family Crisis Shelter there has added bunk beds and has converted a living room to accommodate more people.

Matthew Staver for The New York Times

To the police and residents, the violence shows how a modern-day gold rush is transforming the rolling plains and farm towns where people once fretted about a population drain. Today, four-story chain hotels are rising, and small apartments rent for $2,000 a month. Two-lane roads are jammed with tractor-trailers. Fast-food restaurants offer $300 signing bonuses for new employees, and jobs as gas station attendants can pay $50,000 a year. Workers flush with cash are snapping up A.T.V.s, and hotel menus offer crab and artichoke dip and bacon-wrapped dates.

Amid all of that new money, reports of assault and theft have doubled or even tripled, and the police say they are rushing from call to call, grappling with everything from bar brawls and shoplifting to kidnappings and attempted murders. Traffic stops for drunken or reckless driving have skyrocketed; local jails are spilling over with drug suspects.

Last year, a study by officials in Montana and North Dakota found that crime had risen by 32 percent since 2005 in communities at the center of the boom. In Watford City, N.D., where mile-long chains of tractor-trailers stack up at the town's main traffic light, arrests increased 565 percent during that time. In Roosevelt County in Montana, arrests were up 855 percent, and the sheriff, Freedom Crawford, said his jail was so full that he was ticketing and releasing offenders for minor crimes like disorderly conduct.

"I don't have nowhere to put them," Sheriff Crawford said.

Officials say that most of the new arrivals are hard workers who are simply looking for better lives, and that much of the increase in crime has resulted from population growth: Waves of new residents inevitably mean more traffic crashes and calls to 911.

Police and sheriff's departments are responding by hiring more officers, in part with new tax revenue but often not fast enough to keep pace with their booming populations. In Dickinson, for example, the population has surged to an estimated 25,000 from 16,000 in 2000, with new hotels, condominiums and extended-stay inns being built every week. The city's police department has 38 officers, but Sergeant Klauzer said it would need to add 12 more to keep up with the growth. Each detective's caseload has doubled.

Once a month, Sergeant Klauzer receives a phone call from a mother looking for news about her son, Eric Haider, the 30-year-old pipe layer who vanished in May 2012, one of several disappearances in the region. Mr. Haider hated the tiring three-hour commute to his job in Dickinson, but the town's breakneck growth meant steady work and money to support his daughter, said his mother, Maryellen Suchan.

The family has made buttons and printed fliers with Mr. Haider's brown-bearded face, and has silk-screened T-shirts with the words "Have You Seen My Son?" The police dug up the streets and searched with dogs. As hopes dimmed, Mr. Haider's family began asking hunters and oil workers to look out for shallow graves. Not a trace has been found.

"It's a living nightmare," Ms. Suchan said. "There isn't a single day that we don't think of him, talk of him. I don't have an end."

Federal prosecutors say the boom's riches have attracted opportunists and criminals. Mexican cartels and regional methamphetamine and heroin traffickers have proliferated, hoping to tap the same sources of wealth that have turned farmers into millionaires and shaved unemployment rates to as low as 0.7 percent.

"It's following the money," said Michael W. Cotter, the United States attorney for Montana. "I hate to call the cartels entrepreneurs, but they're in the business to make money. There's a lot of money flying around that part of Montana and North Dakota."

Over the last year, the police and prosecutors in North Dakota, Montana and Canada have tried to crack down on drug traffickers and the most violent offenders systematically with an effort they call Project Safe Bakken, named for the rich oil formation under the plains. The F.B.I. is adding a handful of agents to the region. Federal officials have charged more than two dozen people they say were trafficking drugs into the area.

As more families arrive, domestic-violence shelters are also filling up, often with similar stories of troubled migrations. Families arrived hoping for $20-an-hour jobs, but discovered that modest homes rent for $2,000 and that things like gasoline and dinner cost more. The stresses of life piled up. Alcohol and drugs added to the problem. Old patterns of domestic abuse crossed state lines.

In Dickinson, mothers in the shelter sleep on couches with their children. In Williston, the small Family Crisis Shelter has added four sets of bunk beds and turned its living room into a bedroom to accommodate more people. The executive director, Lana Bonnet, said that 83 percent of her clients were from out of town, and that many had sought refuge after being choked, threatened with a gun or beaten until bones broke or teeth fell out.

While the raw numbers of murders and rapes remain low, every few months seem to bring an act of violence that flares like a gas flame on the dark prairie, shaking a community and underscoring how much life here is changing.

In Dickinson, it was the rape of an 83-year-old woman, who the police say was attacked inside her home by a 24-year-old man who had come to town looking for work. In Culbertson, Mont., it was a man who was beaten with brass knuckles by a group of drug dealers and left for dead along the side of a road. In Sidney, it was the murder in January 2012 of Sherry Arnold, the 43-year-old schoolteacher abducted during her Sunday morning jog.

Hundreds of people searched for Ms. Arnold in frozen fields, neighborhoods and ditches until her body was found in North Dakota, near a line of trees planted as a windbreak by farmers. After receiving a tip, the police arrested two men, Lester Van Waters Jr. and Michael Spell. Mr. Van Waters has pleaded guilty, and Mr. Spell is expected to go on trial in January. His lawyer has said Mr. Spell is mentally disabled.

After Ms. Arnold's killing, there was a run on pepper spray and stun guns in Sidney, and the town offered martial arts classes to women. Mayor Bret Smelser, who attended the same Lutheran church that Ms. Arnold did, said his wife had bought a small handgun to help her feel safer when he was away.

"Nobody knew anybody anymore," he said. "We were a community that never locked our doors. That's all changed."
 
2013-12-01 04:24:25 PM
Good time to invest in the businesses that benefit most from an energy-sector boom - rub 'n tugs, speed & liquor.
 
2013-12-01 04:31:01 PM
'Full employment'? 'Booming economy'?

What, did the 300 people who actually live there start a gas station or something?

/Just joking with you MT and ND peoples... I have a friend who lives there and I know he will see this
//DNRTFA
 
2013-12-01 04:31:29 PM

SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.


a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps
 
2013-12-01 04:34:33 PM
Thanks, KidKorporate.
 
2013-12-01 04:37:45 PM

SlothB77: Please log in.  No thanks, NY Times.


Everything written by the NYTimes is leftist spin.  Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.  The Times has to find some way to negate it: But-but-but crime.

Criminals leech off of every success.  That's how they work.  Thieves don't steal from poor people.  Criminal masterminds don't plot to break into the projects where there's nothing to stealk.


Pffft. Clearly someone doesn't realize all those welfare queens are living a life of luxury in their ghettos, with their 50" plasma screens, Cadillacs, and refrigerators. Tell me what thief wouldn't want all that!
 
2013-12-01 04:43:34 PM
What a lovely example of left wing Newspeak. Homeless people are good, solid, salt of the earth citizens while murdering psychopaths who also have no homes are to be referred to as " drifters." The mainstream media even changes the language to advance their agenda.
history.sffs.org
 
2013-12-01 04:45:39 PM
KidKorporate:

Thank you.
 
2013-12-01 04:46:36 PM
Hillbilly crack, child sex rings, and poison. What's not to like?
 
2013-12-01 04:50:06 PM

thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps


Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?
 
2013-12-01 04:52:49 PM
I did a bunch of work in North Dakota in 2011. Hit up most of the places in the article, but the boom was just happening, so the places were still pretty desolate. Most of the work revolved around survey for wind farms, telecommunications, oil wells, and flood mitigation.

Did not care for it much. Was mostly boring, not every small town had a gas station, if they had a gas station they might not sell liquor...and there weren't any liquor stores outside of gas stations.

Oh, and people were assholes...especially the white-trash land owners that thought we were either spying on them. Morans.
 
2013-12-01 04:53:09 PM
There you have it: capitalism and the search for energy is bad.

FTNYT. Twice.
 
2013-12-01 04:54:02 PM

Johnsnownw: I did a bunch of work in North Dakota in 2011. Hit up most of the places in the article, but the boom was just happening, so the places were still pretty desolate. Most of the work revolved around survey for wind farms, telecommunications, oil wells, and flood mitigation.

Did not care for it much. Was mostly boring, not every small town had a gas station, if they had a gas station they might not sell liquor...and there weren't any liquor stores outside of gas stations.

Oh, and people were assholes...especially the white-trash land owners that thought we were either spying on them. Morans.


FTFM
 
2013-12-01 04:54:54 PM
Now they have a hard paywall?  They didn't last month.
 
2013-12-01 04:59:51 PM
"Log in"? Fark you, subtard.
 
2013-12-01 05:00:09 PM
This is a sign of the social fabric ripping a little faster than usual.  Lots of changes fast do this.  Plus people are not getting any nicer.
 
2013-12-01 05:00:46 PM

Bob_Laublaw: Good time to invest in the businesses that benefit most from an energy-sector boom - rub 'n tugs, speed & liquor.


img.fark.net
 
2013-12-01 05:10:36 PM
And I'm sure if those drifters moved there to put up windmills in some sort of wind-power boom, they'd be all be adopting unwanted dogs and kittens from the SPCA instead.

/Got an economic boom of any kind? Society's chaff follows.
 
2013-12-01 05:21:27 PM

SlothB77: Thieves don't steal from poor people.


You're adorable.
 
2013-12-01 05:41:09 PM

SlothB77: Please log in.  No thanks, NY Times.


Everything written by the NYTimes is leftist spin.  Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.  The Times has to find some way to negate it: But-but-but crime.

Criminals leech off of every success.  That's how they work.  Thieves don't steal from poor people.  Criminal masterminds don't plot to break into the projects where there's nothing to stealk.


Umm, serial killers do not work on profit margin. To make you look even more stupid, it says right in one of the articles "His paycheck was in his lunchpail".
 
2013-12-01 05:42:32 PM

poorjon: SlothB77: Thieves don't steal from poor people.

You're adorable.


He's slightly correct:  thieves steal from those they believe are vulnerable.  The socially marginalized (poor, immigrant - both legal and non, and the elderly/infirm) *are* often correctly viewed as vulnerable.  Rousting a drunk in an alley, wolfpacking a lone female, burglarizing the middle class home that is known to not lock their attached garage or back door... all these qualify as well.  A quiet rural Mayberry that happens to be in the middle of an oil boom will tend to be easy pickings as well, especially if Andy and Barney already have their hands full.
 
2013-12-01 05:45:34 PM

rohar: thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps

Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?


Well, this took 2 seconds, I'm sure you could find more if you are not begging the question.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/
 
2013-12-01 05:58:17 PM

machodonkeywrestler: rohar: thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps

Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?

Well, this took 2 seconds, I'm sure you could find more if you are not begging the question.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/


Ok, maybe you can put this together for me.  What does this have to do with a fossil fuel boom?
 
2013-12-01 06:05:34 PM
Like everywhere Montana has crime but with the influx of all this garbage oil fracking which is polluting the environment at a rate never seen before the crime rate has gone up almost 6 times and my two uncles and their families are thinking of moving simply because of that.  Fracking, it just gives and gives.
 
2013-12-01 06:06:58 PM
There will be blood.
 
2013-12-01 06:08:13 PM

machodonkeywrestler: rohar: thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps

Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?

Well, this took 2 seconds, I'm sure you could find more if you are not begging the question.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/


I'm just going to point out that a) that has nothing to do with fossil fuels (the exact opposite actually) and b) that when any source starts off with saying that water is filled with "Alpha Radiation" which is harmful when ingested is at a minimum engaged in borderline scaremongering. If you don't even know the difference between radiation and contamination then you really shouldn't be writing about it.

There are several different sources for man made and naturally occurring alpha emitters and not just from mining. Phosphate based fertilizers are another well known major source of uranium found in water tables. Without having a baseline measurement before the mining started (or at least upstream from the tailings from the mining operations) one really can't ubiquitously state that it came from any one particular point source.

Adding in that the signage used in that link is clearly homemade and I have a hard time giving it much credibility. The NRC has very strict rules on how radiation and contamination sites are marked and that ain't it.
 
2013-12-01 06:14:01 PM

rohar: machodonkeywrestler: rohar: thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps

Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?

Well, this took 2 seconds, I'm sure you could find more if you are not begging the question.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/

Ok, maybe you can put this together for me.  What does this have to do with a fossil fuel boom?


Uranium is a fossil fuel and mining it introduces runoff which gets into drinking water. Clear enough?
 
2013-12-01 06:15:06 PM

machodonkeywrestler: Uranium is a fossil fuel


*facepalm*
 
2013-12-01 06:16:39 PM

Radioactive Ass: machodonkeywrestler: rohar: thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps

Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?

Well, this took 2 seconds, I'm sure you could find more if you are not begging the question.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/

I'm just going to point out that a) that has nothing to do with fossil fuels (the exact opposite actually) and b) that when any source starts off with saying that water is filled with "Alpha Radiation" which is harmful when ingested is at a minimum engaged in borderline scaremongering. If you don't even know the difference between radiation and contamination then you really shouldn't be writing about it.

There are several different sources for man made and naturally occurring alpha emitters and not just from mining. Phosphate based fertilizers are another well known major source of uranium found in water tables. Without having a baseline measurement before the mining started (or at least upstream from the tailings from the mining operations) one really can't ubiquitously state that it came from any one particular point source.

Adding in that the signage used in that link is clearly homemade and I have a hard time giving it much credibility. The NRC has very strict rules on how radiation and contamination sites are marked and that ain't it.


Umm yeah, but the articles clearly state elevated beyond norms. As for the signage, didn't have too much time to figure it out, as I was answering someones's question for them.
 
2013-12-01 06:19:01 PM

Radioactive Ass: machodonkeywrestler: Uranium is a fossil fuel

*facepalm*


Meant that in the unrenewable sense rather than the actually from fossils. But, yes, feel your unearned superiority all you want. Second part of your name is really fitting. You should shorten it.
 
2013-12-01 06:23:59 PM

SlothB77: Please log in.  No thanks, NY Times.


Everything written by the NYTimes is leftist spin.  Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.  The Times has to find some way to negate it: But-but-but crime.

Criminals leech off of every success.  That's how they work.  Thieves don't steal from poor people.  Criminal masterminds don't plot to break into the projects where there's nothing to stealk.


That's why you need this guy...

1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-12-01 06:25:11 PM

machodonkeywrestler: rohar: machodonkeywrestler: rohar: thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps

Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?

Well, this took 2 seconds, I'm sure you could find more if you are not begging the question.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/

Ok, maybe you can put this together for me.  What does this have to do with a fossil fuel boom?

Uranium is a fossil fuel and mining it introduces runoff which gets into drinking water. Clear enough?


...and none of them you cited are in MonDak.  Worse, you're willfully ignoring both my point and the point I was responding to.  Threadjacking won't get more people on your side.
 
2013-12-01 06:26:30 PM

machodonkeywrestler: rohar: thenumber5: SlothB77: Red states see a booming economy from fossil fuels.

a booming economy is great and all until you factor in the poisoned water table and the insane CoL, along with... sure you can make 120k a year running a trackhoe, to bad you have to live in your truck in sub zero temps

Ok, I'll bite there buddy, what's threatening the water table in MonDak?

Well, this took 2 seconds, I'm sure you could find more if you are not begging the question.

http://www.culturechange.org/cms/content/view/336/65/


Ahh yes,  Nuclear reactions, a staple of the fossil fuel economy....
 
2013-12-01 06:29:59 PM

machodonkeywrestler: Radioactive Ass: machodonkeywrestler: Uranium is a fossil fuel

*facepalm*

Meant that in the unrenewable sense rather than the actually from fossils. But, yes, feel your unearned superiority all you want. Second part of your name is really fitting. You should shorten it.


That's a pretty weak backpedal. Why not correct yourself with: "I misspoke. Nonrenewable energy exploration is the phrase I was looking for. "
 
2013-12-01 06:30:01 PM
I've been working in the Bakken for just over a year. I haven't been murdered very often yet.
 
2013-12-01 06:36:26 PM

The5thElement: There will be blood.


And milkshake drinking.
 
2013-12-01 06:41:35 PM

MontanaDave: I've been working in the Bakken for just over a year. I haven't been murdered very often yet.


Then you must be a killer. You just haven't gotten around to it yet.
 
2013-12-01 06:53:00 PM

cryinoutloud: MontanaDave: I've been working in the Bakken for just over a year. I haven't been murdered very often yet.

Then you must be a killer. You just haven't gotten around to it yet.



I seen him!!! He was all stalkin' around, crazy eyed and such! Waitin' for an opportune moment to catch the victim unsuspectin'. He crep up on him and done him in!
 
2013-12-01 06:57:03 PM

FloridaWombat: poorjon: SlothB77: Thieves don't steal from poor people.

You're adorable.

He's slightly correct:  thieves steal from those they believe are vulnerable.  The socially marginalized (poor, immigrant - both legal and non, and the elderly/infirm) *are* often correctly viewed as vulnerable.  Rousting a drunk in an alley, wolfpacking a lone female, burglarizing the middle class home that is known to not lock their attached garage or back door... all these qualify as well.  A quiet rural Mayberry that happens to be in the middle of an oil boom will tend to be easy pickings as well, especially if Andy and Barney already have their hands full.


If I interpret his post correctly, he was not arguing that thieves target the vulnerable, but they go where the most money always is. If the latter were true, ghettos would be crime-free utopias where one can always walk safely at night. This is obviously not true. I agree with your assertion that criminals prey upon the vulnerable, but I do not think that was the point of the original post.
 
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