By Bill Anderson
Well, we’re not at the end of Winter, yet, but we might be at the beginning of the end. Last Wednesday’s 25 to 30 below was succeeded by a weekend that saw the mercury hit 40 above on Saturday and 41 on Sunday. This week more moderate temperatures, in the upper 20’s have prevailed, with the forecast being milder temperatures coming up in the first weekend of March. And, if the weather isn’t enough to make you feel good, wheat was selling for more than $21.00 per bushel in local elevators on Tuesday, February 26, $21.28 in Forman and $21.33 at Lidgerwood. The price at Minneapolis was $24.25 on Monday. What would Percy Pherson, Oscar Hoflen and Art Brown think about that? Soybeans and corn are also paying up, at more than $13.00 and $5.00 per bushel, respectively. A flock of new pickups has been appearing on local streets, with the 4 wheel drive, ¾ ton, 4 door, diesel powered behemoth being the weapon of choice for use on local roads. The high price of gasoline and diesel fuel arouses comment, but doesn’t seem to have slowed many down, at least not yet. Meanwhile, the new farm bill is stalled in Washington, with the Congress and the President disagreeing over how, or whether, it should be paid for. The Congress wants to use a phony credit card, while the President favors rubber checks. At least the weather doesn’t require government regulation or taxpayer support, not yet, anyway.
Members of the Rutland City Council, Renaissance Zone Board, Zoning Board, Community Club, Horizons Program Committee and Community Development Corporation Met at the Rutland General Store at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 20, to review proposed changes to the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance with Mr. Irv Rustad of the Lake Agassiz Regional Council. The group is scheduled to meet again, this time at the Nordland Fellowship Hall, at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 3, to approve the final draft of the revised Comprehensive Plan. The various groups will then develop their own programs to implement the plan. The plan aims to guide future commercial and residential development in the community.
Cameron Gulleson of the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Fire Department reports that the Department is applying for a $10,500.00 grant to help purchase a response vehicle for the community’s First Responders. First Responders are trained to provide basic emergency assistance to injured or ill individuals until the ambulance and EMTs arrive. Cameron states that the Department needs letters of support from individuals and groups within the community sent to the myhometownhelper.com web site. So fire up the computer, go to that web site and become a blogger for bucks for the Fire Department.
About two dozen attended the Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) class at the Rutland Town Hall on Thursday, February 21. The class was taught by Marwood Klein, crew chief of the Sargent County Ambulance Service’s Forman squad, assisted by ambulance squad volunteer EMT Shelley Boyce RN of Havana. The Rutland community extends thanks to all those who participated in the training.
Beverly Kulzer was entertained by a group of her friends at the Rutland General Store on the morning of Thursday, February 21, the occasion being a celebration of Beverly’s birthday. Beverly is now – well, let’s just say that’s she’s old enough to vote in this year’s election.
Barry Christianson has completed a course of study in the art of taxidermy and returned home last week, ready to hang out his shingle. Barry is now trained to prepare any critter with fur, fins or feathers for display. With game and fish species being plentiful in this area, he should have plenty of opportunities to practice his craft. Call Barry at 724-3981 for information about properly preparing your trophy for display.
A large crowd of well-wishers was on hand to help Edith Pherson celebrate her 90th birthday, with a party on the afternoon of Saturday, February 23, at the Rutland Senior’s Center. Edith has been an active participant in nearly every activity in the Rutland community for more than 70 years. She and her late husband, Percy, built and operated the Rutland Theater back in the 1940’s and 50’s, and, whenever a volunteer has been needed for a school, church or community event, Edith has been there, with a pot of coffee in one hand, a pan of bars in the other, a big smile and a positive attitude. The entire Rutland community can say, “Happy Birthday, Edith! We’re glad you met us!”
The Winter is getting long, and some Rutland folks are shortening it up by hitting the road. Bill & Mary Woytassek headed south on Monday, February 18, bound for Texas. Their neighbors, Lyle and Ann Erickson, took to the highway on Tuesday, February 19, headed in the same direction. Both the Woytasseks and the Ericksons were in San Antonio TX on Friday, February 22, where a rendezvous was planned. The Ericksons are expected to be back home by this weekend.
The influenza epidemic that has been sweeping across the Country has not bypassed Rutland. Larry Anderson, Craig Greene and Kaia Thorfinnson are among those who have been laid low by the flu for a number of days this past week.
The Spring goose conservation hunting season is another sure sign that Winter’s days are numbered. The season opened on Saturday, February 16, with the purpose of reducing the population of snow, blue and Ross geese to a sustainable level. According to Jack Lalor, Assistant Manager of the Tewaukon National Wildlife Refuge, a hunter desiring to go afield in this area after the migrating geese will need three things: a shotgun; a current North Dakota hunting license with the appropriate stamps; and, lots of patience, as the geese are still in Texas. The Spring conservation season will end on May 4, but the hunting will actually be over as soon as the spring migration has passed through the area.
A sunny day with the mercury climbing into the 40’s drew a large crowd to the annual Fishing Derby held at Silver Lake on Sunday, February 24. Derby hours were from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., a 2½ hour stretch in which nearly 400 reported anglers caught 39 fish, a Silver Lake Derby record. Nick Hajek of this community caught the largest fish, a 2.5 pound northern, and a prize of $200.00. Nick is an 8th grade student at Sargent Central. The Silver Lake Fishing Derby was started a number of years ago by the Cogswell Gun Club, and is now sponsored by the members of the Cogswell Gun Club and the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club. In prior years, funds raised by the Derby have been contributed to the Sargent County Park Board for improvements at Silver Lake.
Catherine Jacobson has been a patient at Meritcare Hospital in Fargo this week, where she underwent surgery on Tuesday, February 26. Catherine is expected to remain in the hospital for several more days for follow-up treatment. Her many friends here wish her a speedy recovery and a quick return to her home in Rutland.
Ahh, relief! North Dakota’s Governor, John Hoeven, unveiled a $300 million plan to increase State funding for North Dakota’s public schools and provide property tax relief for North Dakota’s property owners last week, and he should be commended for the wisdom and foresight of the plan. The plan presented last week is virtually identical to the one backed by 26th District Legislators Heitkamp, Gulleson and Amerman during the 2007 session of the legislature, and could already have been law had the Governor supported it then. But, back in ’07, the idea hadn’t originated in the right political party, so the Governor wouldn’t support it. This year, however, the Governor is up for re-election, and all ideas are up for grabs. The Dems didn’t copyright it, after all. It looks as if the Governor’s strategy for 2008 will be identical to the one he successfully used in 2000 and 2004 – co-opt the opposition’s ideas and plans during the campaign, and then do nothing that might offend the GOP establishment once in office. Well, it’s worked twice. Why not thrice?
Friday, February 29, is Leap Year Day, when the traditions of a more structured age used to allow unmarried women to pursue the bachelor of their choice, with matrimony as the goal. Well, so much for tradition.
Friday, February 29, is also the 1,766th day since the Declaration of “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq was made by a clueless President prancing across the deck of a U. S. aircraft carrier in a flight suit. Sounds kind of ridiculous now, doesn’t it? On a happier note, the Nation now has only 249 days left until Election Day, 2008, and 326 days until Inauguration Day 2009. The voters of the Country should take note that the GOP’s presumptive nominee for the Nation’s highest office, Sen. John McCain, started throwing the rabid, radical right-wing radio sleaze merchants off his campaign bandwagon this week. They are not taking it well. Congratulations to Sen. McCain. The day he dumps all of them will be a great day for America.
There are some great days coming up in Rutland during the month of March. The Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s annual fish fry will be served on Friday, March 7, at the Rutland Town Hall. Fish fry tickets are available from Sportsmen’s Club members. On Friday, March 14, the Rutland Community Club’s annual supper and play, featuring the Mr. Miss Rutland Pageant 2008, will be presented at the Rutland Town Hall. Advance tickets for the supper and play are available at the Rutland Café, Rutland General Store and Alley Cuts. Nordland Lutheran Church will serve its annual Palm Sunday Dinner on Sunday, March 16, at the Rutland Town Hall. An Easter Sunday Brunch will be served by the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department and the Rutland General Store on Easter Sunday, March 23, in the Rutland Town Hall. Advance tickets for the Easter brunch are available from Rutland & Cayuga firemen and at the General Store. Coming up next week will be the March Meeting of the Rutland City Council at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 3, in the Rutland Town Hall; a meeting of the groups working on revisions to the City’s Comprehensive Plan at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 3, at the Nordland Fellowship Hall; and, the March meeting of the Rutland Community Club at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4, at the Rutland Town Hall. Rutland, it’s the community where things are happening.
Check out Rutland’s internet web site at http://www.rutlandnd.com for more information on what’s happening in the little city that can.
The following are excerpts from the L. S. Sanderson column of 2-26-1953: Today we are observing George Washington’s birthday and if he were here today he would find a different brand of weather from what he saw on the birthday he spent at Valley Forge. Even here in North Dakota the temperature has climbed to 36 and the snow is disappearing. Outside of the weather he would not find Washington exactly to his liking and would never be able to keep up with the gang there-he couldn’t tell a lie…This year Mrs. Mike Harles celebrated her birthday on Friday the 13th, yet it brought her nothing but good luck. A six o’clock supper was served in her honor at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Andy Sundlie, and present were Mr. and Mrs. Harles, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Sundquist and Mr. and Mrs. Bud Harles…Funeral services were conducted here on Friday for August Erickson who passed away at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ben Millis in Whitewood, S. Dak. Had he survived but a few more months he would have reached the age of 98. Coming here in 1883, Mr. Erickson filed on a homestead south of Rutland where he resided nearly 60 years, then moved to Rutland and later to Whitewood, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A number of his relatives in Wisconsin were unable to attend the funeral services, having been snow bound in Minnesota where a blizzard stopped all traffic when 10 foot drifts blocked the roads…Frank Goff was taken to the hospital at Hankinson where he will remain until his condition improves. He is suffering from a severe attack of asthma which is always aggravated by the brand of changeable weather we have been having…Bud Bohn and wife returned on Sunday from a 3 week stay in California. They report a very enjoyable trip and Bud has again got baseball in his blood, the result of the sunshine and television there. A baseball meeting will be called in the very near future and every effort will be made to give the fans the brand of ball they enjoy…Ted Colby and wife and Al Colby and wife returned on Sunday from their recent trip to Texas. They visited their son, Edward, Jr. and wife and infant daughter at Amarillo, Texas, and also their son, Doc, who came from camp at Mineral Wells. Doc has received orders to sail for France and his company will load all equipment on trucks which will be driven to port and loaded on a carrier. It is presumed their mission to France is to assist in building airports. Ted reports the dust storm in Texas as very bad and that winter wheat has been badly damaged by drought and wind…Mr. and Mrs. Andy Sundlie were Friday evening visitors at the Olaf Lee home in Tewaukon Township…Harry Hoffman came down from Bismarck on Saturday, to spend Sunday at home. Harry is employed at the capital during the session of the legislature and reports things there running very smooth…And speaking of the legislature, it is adhering to an old tradition of making the front page headlines, and this year they are reaching over the entire nation. Every legislature is accused of some wrong doing, and this one has been accused of “taking candy from a kid”, which we hope is not as bad as it sounds. An effort to discontinue the use of the school at Ellendale failed and we congratulate our neighbors on the west in saving their school. It was proposed that the overflow at the asylum at Jamestown be sent to Ellendale and the buildings there used in housing them, but someone has now suggested that the overflow from the asylum be sent to the legislature. More roads and less schools appears to be their slogan this year…Miss Beverly Sundlie invited a number of her friends to spend the afternoon at her home on Saturday, the occasion being her 12th birthday.