The Rooster Crows – April 4, 2008

By Bill Anderson

March, the month that was put on the calendar to let people who don’t drink know what a hangover feels like – too depressing to live, too tough to die – departed on Monday, throwing a snowstorm and several inches of wet, sloppy snow our direction as it slammed the door on its way out. April Fool’s Day, Tuesday, April 1, fooled us by pretending it was still March.

The Spring conservation snow goose hunting season has been open since mid-February, but there were no geese here until the last 10 days of March. For the past 2 weeks, millions of the birds have been moving through this area, feeding in last year’s corn and soybean fields and providing some great hunting for those hardy enough to go afield and smart enough to outfox them. The purpose of the conservation season is to reduce the numbers of snow and blue geese to a level that can be sustained by their Summer range in northern Canada, so the usual rules that govern waterfowl hunting during the regular Fall season don’t apply. Hunters may remove the plugs from the magazines on their automatic and pump action shotguns, making 5 shots available before reloading is required, and there is no limit, other than their shooting ability and carrying capacity, to the number of snow and blue geese they are allowed to harvest. They must, however, have a valid North Dakota hunting license to avoid running afoul of the law. It’s not a sure thing, either, as the geese seem to fail to appreciate that all of this shooting is for their own good and continue to outsmart the hunters on many occasions, even if they are birdbrains. Hunters from Minnesota, Iowa and Montana, as well as North Dakota, have landed in Rutland, along with the geese.

Eric Nelson of Turtle Lake ND stopped in at the Rutland General Store on the afternoon of Friday, March 28, looking for information on where he could find some geese and was met with a welcoming chorus from a table full of farmers having their afternoon coffee. Mr. Nelson is a professional video photographer and reports that he tries to capture the sights and sounds of the goose hunt as well as take home a game bag full of birds. He commented that Rutland is fortunate to have the progressive business people and loyal citizenry needed to keep a vibrant community percolating. John Haggart of Fargo stopped in at the General Store on Saturday afternoon and obtained tips on good goose hunting sites from Mark Wyum and Denny Pherson. Mr. Haggart and his family own the Geo. Haggart Construction Co. of Fargo, a firm that specializes in the installation of municipal water and sewer systems. Mr. Haggart stated that he appreciated the opportunity to hunt geese that local landowners had provided and also complimented the General Store on its appearance, stock and service.

DeLamere native Eric Nygaard, now of Fargo, was in Rutland on business on Wednesday, March 26. Eric is the son of the late K. O. and Hap Nygaard who farmed in the DeLamere area back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. His father, K. O. “Kelly” Nygaard represented Sargent County in the North Dakota House of Representatives in the 1961 and 1963 sessions of the Legislature, and served as North Dakota’s Insurance Commissioner from 1964 through 1968. Eric has been in the Trucking business in Fargo for the last several decades, and states that he doesn’t have many opportunities to get back to his old stomping grounds in Sargent County these days, but always enjoys visiting with old friends when he does.

Load limits are on and the construction season is about to begin. The employees of Bernard Mahrer Construction Company of this city attended a Safety Meeting on Friday, March 28, in the Community Room of the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station in preparation for the work ahead. Even the boss and the bookkeeper were required to attend the day-long session, reported company head Mitch Mahrer. The Mahrer company has an excellent safety record.

Steve & Sheila Wyum returned to Rutland on Friday, March 21, at the conclusion of a 12 day trip to Italy and a 4 day jaunt to Florida. During their time in Italy, they headquartered in Rome at the home of Rutland native Christina (Reif) Woolwine-Moen and her husband, John. The Moens and the Wyums joined up for tours of several other Italian cities, including Venice and Florence, in addition to the sights and sites of the Eternal City. The Wyums returned from Italy on Monday, March 17, and topped off their vacation with 4 days in Florida before returning to Rutland on March 21. A great trip, reports Steve.

Six volunteer firefighters of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department participated in a joint training exercise with the Forman Fire Department in Rutland Township on Saturday, March 29. The old farmhouse situated on the NW¼ of Section 17, originally built during the 1890’s by the John & Maria Peterson family, was the object of the exercise. The current owner of the property has decided to construct a new residence on the site and allowed the fire departments to use it as a training site as part of the demolition process. Firefighters obtained experience in locating victims in a smoke-filled environment, extinguishing hot spots and finally, in keeping a fire from spreading from the primary structure involved. The Rutland-Cayuga Department, or Cayuga-Rutland Department, depending on your point of view, also used the training exercise to practice with the recently acquired fire truck that is stationed at the Cayuga Fire Hall.

Pastor Phil Larson of Fargo conducted services at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana last Sunday, March 30. Rev. Larson serves as Chaplain at Bethany Homes in Fargo and was well acquainted with several Rutland natives, including: Norman Fust; Tollef & Ethel Lee; Josie Bauman; and, Irene Anderson; who had resided there in recent years. Rev. Larson was recently nominated for the position of Bishop of the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in the election that will be held during the Synod Assembly in Fargo on April 5 & 6. Nordland and Trinity have been without full-time pastoral services since the departure of Rev. Kristen Schwann last Summer, but have recently entered into an arrangement with Hope Lutheran of Fargo to share pastoral services.

The Sargent County Relay For Life, raising money for cancer research, has been held in Milnor for the past 2 years. This year, however, the Sargent County Relay for Life event will be held in Forman. Individuals, families, businesses and organizations from throughout the County will be sponsoring teams and hold fund-raisers during the event in June. The Havana Legion and the Relay For Life organization teamed up last Friday, March 28, and held a “Texas Hold’um” poker tournament at the Havana Legion Hall, the proceeds going to Relay For Life. Janice Degenstein of Forman, Relay For Life Team Leader, with the assistance of Havana Legion member and poker enthusiast Bill Smith, organized the tournament, which drew 50 players and a number of onlookers, including 17 who came in by bus from Richland County. According to Mr. Smith, players paid a $30.00 entry fee and could also buy additional chips for another $5.00. The top 10 players were awarded cash prizes and the rest received a hearty “Thank you!” and the satisfaction of knowing that they had contributed to a worthy cause, for their participation. Mr. Smith also reports that a number of the winners donated some or all of their winnings back to Relay For Life. During the tournament, additional funds were raised by the sale of raffle tickets and a delicious lunch. The Havana event raised $1,300.00 for Relay For Life, and all who participated had a good time, Mr. Smith reports.

The Rutland Community Club’s weekly BINGO games at the Rutland Seniors’ Center continue to draw good attendance, reports Diane Smith. Last Sunday, March 30, the last game blackout prize again was not claimed and that prize will rise to $70.00 and the numbers called will increase to 55 at the next session on Sunday, April 6. Ella Lou Nelson won the $20.00 prize for BINGO in the last game last Sunday.

The public hearing on the revised Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance for the City of Rutland was held in the Rutland Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 31. Irv Rustad of Lake Agassiz Regional Council, who has been working with the committee during the revision process, was also present. The Committee members approved the Comprehensive Plan for submission to the City Council and, after making some additional changes, also approved the revised Zoning Ordinance for submission to the Council. The documents will be presented to the City Council at its next meeting, at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 7, at the Rutland Town Hall. The Council may adopt the documents as presented, or it may make additional changes to them prior to taking final action.

Reports are that the 26th District GOP has endorsed 3 candidates to vie for the State Legislature in the 2008 Election. The 3 are: Lamoure County Recorder Nell Walstead for the State Senate; Forman businessman Jiggs Dyste for Representative; and Oakes fuel dealer Gary Schnell for Representative. Mrs. Walstead is the spouse of Sargent County Commissioner and Rutland Township farmer Mike Walstead. The 3 Republican candidates will face off against Democratic-NPL candidates former Senator Jim Dotzenrod of Wyndmere for Senate; incumbent Representative Bill Amerman of Forman, campaigning for another term in the House; and, former Senator Jerry Kelsh of Fullerton, seeking his first term as a Representative. A lively campaign is anticipated.

The Sargent County Sheriff’s Department was called to the scene of an accident 4 miles south of Rutland early on the morning of Tuesday, April 1. A pickup truck driven by Alex Justesen of Rutland Township, eastbound on County #5, had left the road just east of the intersection with County #10, crossed the ditch, gone out into the field on the north side of the road and then struck a large culvert when the driver tried to get back up on the road. The vehicle narrowly missed hitting a large hay bale that was a few feet off the right of way. Mr. Justesen went through the windshield and suffered several cuts and abrasions. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance and the seriousness of his injuries is not known at this time. The pickup, an older Ford, appeared to be a total loss. The Sheriff reports that the early morning of April Fool’s Day was no joke, as he had also been called to an auto accident in the Milnor area and to a domestic disturbance in Forman earlier that morning.

It’s no accident that well-informed folks go to Rutland’s internet web site at for the latest information on what’s going on in the old home town.

The following are excerpts from the L. S. Sanderson column of April 2, 1953: Beginning April 1, all business places will be open on Wednesday and Saturday nights…At a recent meeting of the American Legion Post it was agreed to sponsor a junior baseball team this season. Prof. August Schildberger was named manager and the work of organizing members is well under way. Prospects for a strong team are very good…Roger Nelson and wife enjoyed a visit at the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Nelson last week. Roger was married in Memphis, Tenn., and this was Mrs. Nelson’s first visit to North Dakota…Edgar Narum is building an addition to his home to be used as a bathroom. A force of workmen from Minnesota are doing the work, which is well underway…”The Lariat Bar” is the name given his place of business by Bud Bohn and which is displayed in large letters of rope on the front of the building. Bud’s place, inside and outside is one of the nicest in this part of the state and he is more convinced than ever it pays to advertise…Mrs. Buzzy Dallman is a visitor at the home of her mother, Mrs. Carl Ahrlin this week. The Dallmans now reside in Minot where he is employed by the G. N. as a locomotive fireman. The oil development has proven a great boost to the Minot division of the G. N. where work is plentiful…Art Peterson reported for duty at the Kraig Bros farm on Monday and his place at the Farmers Union Oil Station has been taken over by Agner Ahrlin…Herb Swanson returned from the hospital at Fargo on Sunday but is still under the weather and may be forced to return to the hospital at a later date if an operation is found necessary…The café which has been operated by Bernie Mahrer the past season has changed hands and Mrs. Henry Hare is the new proprietor, having taken possession on April 1. Mrs. Hare has had considerable experience in the restaurant business and during the past year has been in charge of the hot lunch program at the school house. Bernie has invested in a trailer house which he will move to Sisseton where he will be employed by the Lien Construction Co. which has a contract with the highway department to build 20 miles of road in re-routing No. 81…Vincent Fiala and family of Alexandria, Minnesota spent Sunday at the home of Mrs. Fiala’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Adam Ochalla…The Minnesota Woodchoppers will furnish the music at the dance to be given here on Tuesday, April 7. The dance is being given for the benefit of the Junior Legion Baseball Team and your patronage will be appreciated…Clarence Sorenson is spending a week here while recuperating from a few weeks hospitalization at Moorhead, where he has been employed for some time…Shorty Nelson is enjoying a months furlough and was a Rutland visitor on Saturday. He has been stationed at Ft. Lewis, Washington, but is to be transferred to Greenland or Iceland. Owing to weather, conditions in these countries labor is demanding and getting not less than $25.00 a day, yet soldiers must endure the same hardships at no increase in pay and the privilege of striking is denied to them.

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