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Oil boom and a kidnapping alter Montana town
Oil boom and a kidnapping alter small-town life in the Northern Plains
By The Associated Press

SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) ' Sidney isn't the first town in the West to get hit by a gold rush, in this case black gold ' more than 16 million barrels of crude being pumped every month from the Bakken oil fields in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

But Sidney's new-found prosperity doesn't dull the sting from the recent kidnapping and apparent murder of local teacher Sherry Arnold. For many, the case has brought an end to the days of unlocked doors that residents of the self-proclaimed "Sunrise City" once enjoyed.

Authorities allege Arnold was snatched from a Sidney street by two men among the thousands from across the country descending on the region for a slice of the boom's multi-billion-dollar payoff.

State officials say the drilling could continue for 10 to 20 years.

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