The Rooster Crows – May 26, 2023

By Bill Anderson

We can always talk, and write, about the weather. We don’t, and can’t, do anything about it, but we sure can comment on it. At times we are so proud and boastful of the pleasant weather conditions in our home communities that an outside observer might think that we actually had something to do with creating it, while at other times our mournful wails against the injustice of harsh weather conditions might lead that same outside observer to conclude that some malevolent being is sending foul weather to torture us poor innocents who have chosen to make our homes here. The weather, though, is neither good nor bad. It is only our reaction to it that makes us perceive it as being one way or the other. As The Bard once wrote, “…There is nothing that is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so…” Well, that being said, after some mighty pleasant weather at the beginning of last week, a mean spirited old cold front moved through this area on Thursday and Friday, May 18 & 19, dropping temperatures down to the low 40’s, and drawing some cold weather clothing back out of the closet. The cold front brought the smoke from Canadian wildfires down to ground level, too, making breathing a hazardous practice for anyone with asthma, allergies, COPD or other respiratory ailments. The cold front also brought trace rainfall amounts to the Rutland area, further delaying Spring planting for a few more days. By Sunday, May 21, though, nearly everyone with crops to plant was in the field, some raising dust and some getting stuck in the mud, but all experiencing the feeling of action, if not the fact. By Wednesday, May 24, the temperature had hit the 90’s, a substantial percentage of the acres intended for wheat, corn and soybeans had been planted and the rocks had been rolled flat in preparation for the combine harvesters that will begin gathering in the golden harvest in a few short months, depending on the weather, of course.

The Rutland Community Club held its regular May meeting on Monday, May 15, at the Rutland Town Hall. Community Club President Katie McLaen supplied the following report: “We made a big purchase at our May meeting, 12 new plastic picnic tables and 2 new aluminum bleachers for the ball diamond at Lou Sanderson Field. Both purchases will be used through the Spring & Summer, as well as at Uff-Da Day in early October! The Annual Community Block Party is scheduled to be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, in the City Park adjacent to the Rutland Town Hall. The Volunteer Fireman will be grilling burgers, bratwursts & hot dogs, and Miss Whitney Mahrer will be crowned Miss Rutland 2023. Everyone in the Rutland Community is invited to participate in the Block Party. It’s a great opportunity to greet your neighbors, renew old friendships and make some new ones. There is no charge, and it’s a lot of fun!

So, what the “H” is going on with the U.S. Postal Service now? For many years, the rural routes were classified as either category “J” or category “K”, and the compensation paid to rural mail carriers was based on several criteria, including mileage of the route; number of deliveries on the route; time it took to complete the route; etc. Now, however, the Postal Service has put forward a plan to classify all rural routes as category “H”, a category no one has ever heard of prior to May of 2023. Compensation on all routes will be the same, regardless of miles, deliveries and other criteria. According to at least one carrier who delivers mail to some addresses in Sargent County, the new compensation schedule will result in a reduction of approximately $1,000.00 per month for the carrier serving that route. No one is expected to get a raise under the new system. Additionally, although the Postal Service is advertising for applicants to serve as substitute carriers, the rule will be changed to require regular carriers to work 6 days a week, rather than 5, leaving no days for the substitute carriers to work. Since 2006, the Postal Service has been working hard to make itself unprofitable and to put itself out of business. It has gotten rid of postmasters, clerks and post offices. Now it’s taking aim at the rural mail carriers. It has discouraged customers by raising fees while decreasing service to its patrons. The Postal Service is subject to rules and regulations instituted by the Congress and is under the supervision of the Congress. It is about time that our Congressmen and Senators step up, take responsibility for the disaster they have created, and do something to correct it. The duty of the Postal Service is to deliver the mail in a timely and economical manner. That’s it! Pretty simple. Even a member of Congress should be able to understand it.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 26, 2023”

The Rooster Crows – May 19, 2023

By Bill Anderson

Last week’s thunder, lightning and rain knocked out most of the remaining frost pockets and settled the soil for Spring planting. Here in Rutland, the combined rainfall total from the Friday afternoon downpour and Saturday’s day long drizzle amounted to .7 of an inch but other areas of Sargent County were drenched with considerably more precipitation. Mark Bopp, who farms northeast of Cogswell, reports 2.5” of total precipitation from the Friday-Saturday double whammy. Sunshine, temperatures in the 70’s & 80’s, and light winds from Sunday through Wednesday, May 14-17, helped to get fields in shape to hold machinery, but more rain is being predicted for Thursday & Friday of this week.

Despite the gray, hazy appearance of the sky, and the reddish-orange appearance of the Sun at daybreak, local weather experts have been telling us that there are no clouds and that the sky is perfectly clear. So, what’s going on. Is this the new, “artificial intelligence,” technology at work, telling us to believe what they say, not what we see? Well, not exactly. The gray, hazy appearance of the sky is actually the result of an old-fashioned natural process, wildfires burning in the Canadian Provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, producing smoke that is carried across North America by upper-level air currents. The smoke is so high, the experts say, that we can’t smell it right now, but an approaching cold front is expected to bring the smoke down to Earth to torment creatures, including us, here below. So, that’s the weather story for North Dakota. Always something to look forward to.

Mark Wyum, who is helping his son, Rob, get the 2023 crop planted, reports that the hilltops are in good shape, but the slough edges and low spots are marginal, at best. Rob is planting some spring wheat this year, the first wheat in the Wyum Farm’s crop rotation in 30 years, just to see how it goes. He expects to have his planned total of 600 acres planted to wheat before day’s end on “Syttende Mai,” May 17. Other crews were just getting started on corn and beans, and hope to be hitting it hard by next week.

It is finally Spring, and that means that it’s also time for the Rutland Cemetery Association’s annual meeting. Association President Roger Pearson had scheduled the meeting to be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, in the Community Room of Stock Growers Bank’s Rutland Station. The meeting was called to order by Vice-President Paul Anderson. The big items of business were: approval of a budget for normal 2023 operating expenses; approval of the appropriation of approximately $7,000 from the Perpetual Care Fund for straightening and repairing a number of larger tombstones in the cemetery; and, election of a new Director to replace Norbert Kulzer on the Cemetery Association’s Board. Norbert said that, by his estimate, he had been a member of the board for at least the past 152 years, but Secretary Casee Carlson said that she could only find records to indicate that Norbert had been serving as a board member since the early 1980’s. Jerry Woytassek was elected to the board for a 4-year term. Members of the Rutland Cemetery Association Board are now: Roger Pearson; Paul Anderson; Casee Carlson; Chuck Sundlie; and Jerry Woytassek. Greg Donaldson serves as the Cemetery’s Sexton. The next meeting of the Rutland Cemetery Association’s membership is tentatively scheduled for the 2nd Wednesday in May 2024. The members of the Association expressed their congratulations and thanks to Norbert Kulzer for his 4, or 15 decades of faithful service on the Cemetery Board.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 19, 2023”

The Rooster Crows – May 12, 2023

By Bill Anderson

Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion provided the honor guard, and Mother Nature provided the tears, in the form of a day long drizzle & rain, for the funeral of Virgil Hoistad Sr. on Saturday, May 6. As had been reported here, earlier, Virgil’s funeral would be held at his home church, Nordland Lutheran Church, in Rutland, with burial at the home church of his late wife, Donetta (Gulsvig) Hoistad, at Pleasant Valley Lutheran Church near Kidder SD. All in all, the service, the ceremony, and the weather combined to provide a fitting tribute for our late friend and neighbor, Virgil Hoistad Sr. 

Roger Pearson reported that, as of Monday, May 8, he had measured 1.2 inch of rain in his gauge at 409 Gay Street since the 1st of May, including 1 full inch on Saturday, May 6. Roger’s next door neighbor, Norbert Kulzer, whose rain gauge at 415 Gay Street is only a few feet east of Roger’s gauge, reported 1.1 inch of precipitation from the May 6 rain event. Jesse Brakke said that the electronic gauge at his farm in Section 15 of Ransom Township indicated that he had received 1 full inch of rain on Saturday, May 6, although he is unsure of the effect that the dehydrated spider he found in the gauge would have on the reading. Ione Lunneborg reported 1.7 inch of rain at the Jim & Ione Lunneborg farm in Shuman Township, and Rick Bosse stated that the Brampton area had received somewhere between 2 and 3 inches of rain during the May 6 event. 

Raccoons can be cute little fellows, in the right place and at the right time, but one place in which they are not cute is in a commercial building on Rutland’s Main Street. Many have seen the Facebook photo of 2 raccoons posing in the window of the former Rutland Post Office at 113 First Street. They looked cute, posing as if they were the new Postmaster and Clerk at the Rutland Post Office. Unfortunately, they are also extremely destructive, going through walls, floors and ceilings to get where they want to go. They do not restrict themselves to their original place of abode, either. Like a band of drunken hooligans, raccoons are perfectly willing to trash any location to which they have access. The City of Rutland had previously notified the absentee owner of the building, Dr. Hamilton that the raccoons, and other vermin, were to be removed as soon as possible. A response from Dr. Hamilton was due by Tuesday, May 2. Rutland’s City Attorney, LeeAnn Even, reports that the demand letter sent to the registered agent of Hamilton Enterprises, LLC and to Hamilton Enterprises, LLC required removal of the raccoons within 7 days of receipt of the letter, or, at least, steps such as contracting with a pest removal company for dealing with the raccoons and notifying the city of the estimated timeframe to deal with the raccoons must have been taken. The letter also informed Hamilton Enterprises that failure to deal with the issue would result in the City having the raccoons removed and billing Hamilton for the costs, including attorney’s fees. Well, we suppose that the raccoons, once apprehended, could be charged with impersonating officials of the U.S. Postal Service and sentenced to 10 or 20 years in the Federal Penitentiary. That would keep them off the street, and out of our attics, for a while.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 12, 2023”

The Rooster Crows – May 5, 2023

By Bill Anderson

The rain last Thursday & Friday, April 27 & 28, and the wind that ripped and roared through the community from Thursday April 27 through Monday, May 1, felt more like late March or early April than late April and early May, but a quick check of the calendar has confirmed that we are already into the 5th month of the year with no appreciable field work on the 2023 crop yet completed. Even though the high temperatures have only been up in the mid-50’s lately, the lengthening days have done away with most of the snow that blanketed Sargent County with a layer of the white stuff several feet deep only a few short weeks ago. The forecasted high temperature of 72 degrees for Wednesday, May 3, was the first time that the thermometer has hit the 70 mark since November 1 of last year. 

Local farmers are anxious to get into the field, but some neighbors may have thought that Joe Breker was rushing the season a bit when they spotted Joe out with a self-propelled combine on recently tiled fields on the northerly 2/3 of Section 6, Twp. 129 Rge. 54 LTL, in Tewaukon Township. Joe explained that he was using the weight of the combine to level the filled trenches of the tiling project so he can plant a crop of radishes without wrecking his planter on rocks and dirt clods that were brought to the surface when the tile was installed. The radish seed won’t be ready for harvest until mid to late August. According to Joe, the tile was installed last Fall as part of “The Tri-Farmer Tile Project”, a cooperative effort that involved Joe, Dennis Pherson Jr., and Jerry Woytassek. The tile lines, once installed, allow what used to be excess spring moisture to drain away, taking alkali and other undesirable elements with it, leaving a field that can more easily be planted, and harvested. Joe says that the radishes he plants this Spring will hopefully yield seed that will be sold to other farmers to seed a soil conserving cover crop once their main cash crop, usually corn, soybeans, or wheat, has been harvested. So, although a combine on a bare field at the beginning of May might not be the conventional method of employing that particular implement, it is all part of the no-till and minimum till farming methods employed by many progressive, conservation minded farmers in this 3rd decade of the 21st Century. 

Hal Nelson & Bill Anderson of this community drove up to Fargo-Moorhead on Friday, April 28 on a multi-purpose mission. Bill visited his wife, Kathy Brakke, at Lilac Homes Memory Care in Moorhead; Bill & Hal called on Joel Heitkamp at radio station KFGO AM 790 to discuss North Dakota current events and history; and they stopped in to check out preparations for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day program and exhibit that would be presented at the Fargo Air Museum at Hector Airport on Saturday & Sunday, April 29 & 30. They also checked out gas prices at a major Fargo discount store and discovered that the price there was 5 cents a gallon higher than Rutland Oil Company’s price right here at home. That will teach them to buy at home!

Sunday, April 30, was the 5th Sunday of the month, and was Pastor Julie Johnson’s day off at the TNT Parish. At the Nordland Congregation here in Rutland, lay members presented a skit about the blind beggar whose sight was restored by Jesus on the Sabbath Day. The established church leaders 2,000 years ago condemned both Jesus and the blind man for healing and being healed on the Sabbath. Actors in the skit were: Mike Wyum; Randy Pearson; Steve Wyum; Carolyn Christensen; Kathy Wyum; and Larry Christensen. Those involved delivered the message proficiently, efficiently, and effectively.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 5, 2023”

The Rooster Crows – Apr. 28, 2023

By Bill Anderson

Fifty-one degrees above Zero on Tuesday, April25, and we’re not done, yet. The weather gurus are predicting highs of 59 for both Wednesday & Thursday, April 26 & 27, this week. It will only take a little push to get into the 60’s, where the reality of spring can finally sink in. The possibility of snow is still in the forecast, though, but maybe, just maybe, we are done with that nonsense until November.

Local farmers are beginning to get a little tense, as potential planting dates are crossed off the calendar without a wheel having turned anywhere in the County. If the cool damp weather persists, it has been suggested that ice plant may become 2023’s primary cash crop.

Speaking of cash crops, Chuck Anderson reports that he has been hauling corn from the Anderson Farm in Weber Township to the Cargill Company’s storage and loading facility at Fairmount this week. The corn was harvested last fall, and was contracted for delivery to Cargill this spring. Road conditions have required Chuck to take a roundabout route to Fairmount, though. He has had to drive west from the farm on a Township road, then north on the next Township road to County Road #5, and then west on County #5 over to ND Highway #32, then north on #32 up to ND #11 and then east to Fairmount. Chuck says that he’s just happy to have a route that enables him to get the corn to where it’s supposed to go by the time it’s supposed to get there.

Chuck Anderson also reported that word was received on Tuesday, April 25, that an old neighbor, Virgil Hoistad, had passed away that day. Virgil was residing at a nursing home in Moorhead MN at the time of his death. Obituary and funeral information was not available as of this writing.

The Lariat Bar is becoming an increasingly popular venue for meetings of all kinds: professional; personal; and, partying. On Wednesday, April 19, three old friends: Steve Wyum of Rutland; Dr. Jerry Waswick of Gwinner; and, Bill Anderson of Rutland; gathered at The Lariat Bar to enjoy the Noon Special, a hot roast beef combo, and to catch up on where life has been taking them. The three men had become friends while serving together on the Sargent County Commission from 2004 to 2020. On the evening of Wednesday, April 19, Ambulance crews, Fire Departments & members of the Sargent County Sheriff’s Department met to discuss the new Statewide Interactive Radio Network (SIRN) that will allow emergency responders to communicate with each other during emergency response situations, when clear and unambiguous communication is needed. On Tuesday, April 18, the Sargent County Chapter of Pheasants Forever held its meeting in the Lariat’s dining room. Among those attending the Pheasants Forever meeting was Sargent County’s rhubarb King, Terry Dusek of Milnor. On Saturday, April 15, descendants of Dianna Anderson and the late Larry Anderson met in the Lariat’s dining room. Earlier that week, on Wednesday, April 12, the Wild Rice Antique Tractor & Plowing Association met at The Lariat in the afternoon, and the Sargent County Farmers’ Union executive committee held its organizational meeting in the dining room of The Lariat that evening. On Tuesday, April 25, members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion met in The Lariat’s Dining Room to review the “Poppy Posters” created by members of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd Grade Classes at Sargent Central’s Elementary School. Twenty-five posters had been submitted, and all were well done. The Poppy Poster Contest is sponsored by the Rutland Unit of The American Legion Auxiliary, and was coordinated by Auxiliary member Diane Smith.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Apr. 28, 2023”

The Rooster Crows – Apr. 21, 2023

By Bill Anderson

April, it seems, has become the new March up here on the northern plains, at least during 2023. Weather conditions have been swinging back & forth, like the pendulum on a Grandfather’s clock, between winter and spring. Mother Nature has become an exotic dancer, enticing observers by removing one layer of ice & snow at a time, turning up the heat and turning it down to serve her purpose, her preference, and her passion. The thermometer registered fifty-one degrees above Zero on Wednesday, April 12, while those with memories recalled that a week earlier Rutland was in the midst of a great blizzard that hammered the region with high winds, heavy snow and frigid temperatures. Spring will arrive in its own good time. Meanwhile, though, we might as well relax and enjoy the show. Mother Nature is bound to regain her usual modesty one of these days.

Rutland and vicinity were rocked by a wild thunderstorm at about 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 19. The thunder wasn’t the first we have heard so far this spring, but it certainly was the most emphatic. Lightning, wind and heavy rain provided accompaniment for nature’s symphony of thunder. In what was most likely a “first” in broadcast history, WDAY News, which began broadcasting on the radio back in 1922, 101 years ago, reported the rainfall amounts from both Rutland and Brampton in the same report, .62 of an inch at Rutland and .5 of an inch at Brampton on Wednesday, April 19. Congratulations folks, we’ve finally made the big time!

The combined effects of thunder, lightning, wind and rain also knocked out the supply of electricity from Otter Tail Power Co. to homes and businesses in Rutland on Wednesday morning. The power went off right after the storm hit, but Otter Tail’s repair crews had the power restored shortly before 6:30 a.m., in time to make breakfast for the kids before sending them off to school. The Rutland community extends thanks to the Otter Tail service technicians who went out into the storm to make the needed repairs. There is an old saying that, “We don’t miss the water until the well runs dry,” and we could add that we don’t miss the electricity until the lights don’t work and the coffee maker quits.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Apr. 21, 2023”