By Bill Anderson
Old Man Winter’s role in the drama of 2008 is supposed to be over, but the doddering old actor can’t seem to find his way off the stage and keeps coming back for curtain calls long after the audience has tired of his cold and dreary performance. Despite the fact that Sargent County snowbird Harlan Klefstad has returned from Arizona, the fact that farmers have tractors fueled and planters ready, the fact that Canada geese are starting to nest, the fact that the snow geese have moved on to the North and the fact that fat robins are scratching around for their next meal in local yards, Winter made another appearance here last weekend, dropping another 4 to 6 inches of wet, heavy snow on this area on Sunday, April 6, with enough wind to make the storm as close to a blizzard as we have seen this year. Snow covered roads and slippery conditions slowed traffic and delayed the start of classes at local schools by 2 hours on Monday morning. Sunny days and temperatures that climbed into the mid-40’s on Monday and up to 53 on Tuesday cleared away most of the snow by Tuesday afternoon. Mark Wyum reports that Sunday night’s high winds blew many fields clear, depositing the snow in draws and coulees that will make good tractor traps in another week or so, when Spring planting commences.
It’s always tough to get past a popcorn stand or a bakery without stopping to make a purchase. Toni Hajek of the Rutland General Store has been making home-made doughnuts at the Store each Wednesday morning for the past few weeks, and the aroma wafting out onto the street has been drawing ‘em in like flies to honey. Toni’s doughnuts are not only adding to the girth of Rutland’s waistlines, but they are also adding to the community’s Relay For Life fund-raising effort. Toni is charging $5.00 per dozen for the fresh sinkers, with $1.00 from each sale going to Relay For Life. Fresh, home-made doughnuts, and they’re for a good cause, too. You can’t beat that with a lefse stick. Stop in at the Store on Wednesday mornings to pick up a dozen, or call 724-3784 to place an order.
The Sargent County Alcohol Coalition held its under age drinking Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, April 2, at the Rutland Town Hall. The meeting commenced with a 6:00 p.m. supper, prepared and served by the Nordland Luther League. Seventy-five interested citizens, a majority of them parents, were in attendance, by far the largest crowd so far, according to Wendy Jacobson, coordinator of the campaign against underage drinking in Sargent County. The primary speaker was Ann Buchanan of Fargo whose son, Jason, died of alcohol poisoning on his 21st birthday back in 2002. Ms. Buchanan’s talk was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Sargent County States Attorney Lyle Bopp that included Mr. Bopp; Ms. Buchanan; Mr. Duane Peterson of Gwinner; Sargent County Sheriff Travis Paeper; Ms. Angie Wamre, probation officer with the office of the Southeast Juvenile Supervisor’s office in Wahpeton; and, ND Highway Patrolman Sid Mann of Lisbon. There was a very good discussion between the panel and members of the audience concerning community attitudes toward underage drinking and possible solutions to the epidemic of underage and binge drinking endangering North Dakota’s teens. Recent studies have found that North Dakota has the highest percentage of binge drinking by teens in the nation, a leadership position that should make no one proud. For more information about underage alcohol abuse in Sargent County, contact Sargent County Social Services Director Wendy Jacobson at 724-6241, ext. 102; Sargent County Sheriff Travis Paeper at 724-6241, ext. 6; or Sargent County Health Unit Director Colleen Sundquist at 724-3725. The Sargent Alcohol Coalition is to be commended for their work to promote public awareness of this problem, and its dangers to the youth of the community.
Earl Cramton and Mark Wyum drove down to Bridgeport, Nebraska, last week to take in what was billed as “The World’s Largest Auction Sale.” The sale bill listed more than 25,000 separate lots, including more than 3,500 farm tractors. The tractors ranged from rust buckets to mint condition, reports Earl. The two Rutland men bought an auction catalog, but otherwise brought their money back home with them. Bridgeport, a community of about 1,200, is in the panhandle of western Nebraska, about 30 miles west of the City of Alliance. The Auction sale continued for more than a week, states Mark, with several sale rings going simultaneously. The sale only lacked a ferris wheel and an elephant to make it a real circus.
Rutland gained 3 new citizens last week. On Tuesday, April 1, Paul & Sue Anderson made the move from their previous home in West Fargo and took up permanent residence in their home at 309 Gay Street, here. On Thursday, April 3, Whitney Lou Mahrer made her debut on the Rutland scene, arriving that morning shortly after her mother, Kayla, was admitted to the hospital in Fargo. Whitney is the daughter of Mike & Kayla (Christensen) Mahrer. Her grandparents are Mitch & Dawn Mahrer, Penny & Randy Beckstrom, and Brad & Becky Christensen. The Rutland community extends a hearty welcome to these new arrivals.
Chuck Sundlie, Kim Kohler and Aden drove up from Elk River MN on Thursday, April 3, to spend a long weekend visiting with friends and family here. They cut their visit short, however, and departed for Elk River on Saturday afternoon, ahead of the approaching winter storm that deposited several inches of wet snow on roads, making driving difficult on Sunday and Monday.
Sharon Butz spent several days in Rutland and Forman last week, visiting her parents, Ole & Phyllis Lee, at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman. Sharon resided at 318 First Street during her stay in Rutland.
Despite foul weather and a smaller than normal crowd, Community Club BINGO was played at its normal time on Sunday, April 6, at the Rutland Seniors Center. Joyce Christianson won the $20.00 prize for BINGO in the final game of the day. There was no blackout winner last Sunday, so the prize increases to $75.00 in 56 numbers for next week. Community Club BINGO is scheduled to be held at the Senior Center at 3:00 p.m. each Sunday through May 18, reports Diane Smith, a Community Club fund-raising committee member.
Both contenders for the Democratic Presidential nomination, Sen. Barak Obama of Illinois and Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York, were in Grand Forks last Friday evening, April 4, to speak to the 2,000 delegates and alternates at the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party Convention, and to the other 15,000 people who packed the Alerus Center to hear them. They played the audience like dueling banjos, hitting their own chords while holding to a common theme. Sen. Obama delivered the Convention’s Keynote Address at 5:30, a call to action and a statement of Party principles that had the crowd roaring and on its feet. Sen. Clinton arrived at 8:45 and delivered a rip-roaring campaign speech to the same fired up crowd. Among the Rutland folks who traveled up to the Grand Cities for the event were: Rep. Pam Gulleson; Sheila Wyum; Steve Wyum; Mike Kulzer; Paul Anderson; Sue Anderson; Bill Anderson; Chad Kulzer; and, James Brakke. The 31 delegates from District #26 were 1 row back from the speaker’s stage and in the center of the Convention Floor, so many had the opportunity to greet and shake hands with the distinguished visitors. The race for the Democratic Presidential nomination is still close, although Sen. Obama holds the lead at this time. Either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton will face GOP Sen. John McCain in the General Election this Fall. There are stark differences between the 2 parties on foreign policy, economic policy and on the nation’s healthcare delivery system, so the debate promises to be serious, lively and interesting.
Last Friday, April 4, marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King spent his brief life, he was only 39 when he was murdered, struggling against poverty, racism and militarism, a good enough reason to kill any man, according to some. The fact that now, 4 decades after his death, an American of African-European descent and an American woman are vying for the Presidential endorsement of one of the Nation’s major political parties is evidence that Dr. King did not struggle or die in vain. The bigoted, prejudiced and racist comments that we hear every day is evidence that the struggle is not over yet, though. In many cases, if not most, these comments are made without thinking, because no one has ever called us on them and pointed out how ugly and unfair they are. If America is ever to live up to its promise, Americans will have to stop judging others on the basis of gender, color or race and start basing their judgments on ability, character and achievement. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a long road ahead.
Bill Anderson and James Brakke accompanied Lowell, Drew & Evan Wyum up to Grand Forks on Friday, April 4, to hear the Obama and Clinton speeches given at the Democratic-NPL Convention in that City. They report that the speeches were well delivered and well received.
A large number of Rutland folks braved the snowstorm and headed over to Cayuga for the annual Chinese Dinner held in the Cayuga Hall last Sunday, April 6. The dinner featured a variety of Chinese dishes prepared by Janet Kiefer. Chinese food prepared by an American chef who was taught how to cook German by her Norwegian mother is about as good as it gets. The dinner is a fund-raiser for the Cayuga Hall Committee and provides financing for the operation and maintenance of the Cayuga Hall. In addition to the supper, the Hall Committee also conducted a raffle in which a number of farm toys were awarded as prizes. Raffle winners were: Jack Rasmussen; Kathy Badowicz; Beth Stroehl; Levi Wangen; Bill Anderson; Olivia Breker; and, Mike Walstead.
The Rutland Fitness Center has recently added 2 professional grade treadmills to its inventory of equipment available for members workouts. The 2 new treadmills replaced 2 home quality treadmills that just plain wore out after 3 months of hard use. The Fitness Center is in operation in the Rutland Legion Hall at 123 Gay Street. Persons interested in the Fitness Center’s programs and schedule should contact Jen Christianson at 724-3406 or Ione Pherson at 724-6466. The Fitness Center is sponsored by the Rutland Park Board.
The Rutland City Council held its regular monthly meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 7, at the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Narum, Auditor Hoistad and Aldermen Arneson, Christianson, Harris and Mahrer present. Also in attendance were several members of the committee that had worked on the revised Comprehensive Plan and City Zoning Ordinance. Irv Rustad of Lake Agassiz Regional Council went through the Comprehensive Plan and the Zoning Ordinance with the Council and, following the review, the Council adopted the revised Comprehensive Plan by a unanimous vote and adopted the revised Zoning Ordinance by a vote of 3 to 1, with Aldermen Arneson, Christianson and Mahrer voting Aye and Alderman Harris voting Nay. Mr. James Byerly of DRN Communications met with the Council to go over upcoming improvements to that company’s service within the community. DRN will be installing fiber optic cable throughout Rutland and the surrounding community during the Summer of 2008, Mr. Byerly stated. The installation of fiber optic cable will result in significant improvements in the telephone, internet and cable TV service the company currently provides. Mr. Byerly requested that the City grant DRN a 99 year easement on a parcel of land near the City’s water tower for the construction of a 10 X 12 building to house the company’s equipment. On motion by Alderman Harris, the Council approved the easement to DRN Communications. Mr. Byerly also informed the Council that DRN is considering providing cellular telephone service in this area and that the company may wish to lease antenna space on the water tower in that event. DRN’s predecessor in the cable TV business in Rutland, Hoverson Cable, leased antenna space on the water tower from the mid 80’s until DRN acquired the cable TV system several years ago. Auditor Hoistad reported that the financial statement showed all funds to be in the black, with the exception of the water fund, which continues to run a deficit due to the major emergency water main repairs of last Summer. The water operating fund deficit has been reduced to slightly over $7,000.00, and continues to get smaller each month. In other business, the Council made a $10,000.00 payment on the 1994 Street Improvement Bonds and paid $7,000.00 in other bills. An application for a building permit that did not conform to the requirements of the City’s Zoning Ordinance was referred back to the applicant. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council will be at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 5, at the Rutland Town Hall.
The Rutland Park Board has scheduled a baked potato fundraiser to bee held on Sunday, April 27, in the Rutland Town Hall. The event will feature baked potatoes with toppings ranging from butter and sour cream to hot cheese and chile con carne. This event is sure to be a real hot potato, so don’t miss it.
Get the hot news about what’s going on in “the little city that can”, by checking in on Rutland’s internet web site at http://www.rutlandnd.com. See you there!
The following are excerpts from the L. S. Sanderson column of April 9, 1953: Easter Sunday visitors from out of town were Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Kreiger and family from De Smet, S. Dak, at the Oscar Romundstad home. Clinton Pherson and wife of Fargo at the Ernest Pherson home. Roy Barger and family and Mrs. Chas Kasourek of Lidgerwood at the Anna Barger home. Easter Sunday this year was perfect in every respect, warm, clear and believe it or not, no wind and the Easter Parade was not the usual march to the coal bin and back…Bud Swanson was a Rutland visitor on Saturday, having just returned from Korea where he has been stationed the past two years. After a short stay at his home in Veblen he expects to return to Portland, Ore., where he was employed before entering the service…Kenneth Litchfield is advertising an auction sale to be held at his place south of town on Thursday, April 12, when he will dispose of his livestock and most of the farm implements. He will reside on the farm during the balance of this season…The marriage of Ed Nickeson and Miss Elnora Lee was solemnized last week too late for mention. These contracting parties are both residents of Tewaukon Township where Mr. Nickeson is the owner of a fine farm on which they will make their home. Their many friends extend congratulations…Slim Sundlie is enlarging his residence with an addition which will be a decided improvement when complete. Work was begun on Monday and is well underway…What could easily have been a serious accident occurred on Sunday afternoon when cars driven by Morris Christianson and Rev. Father Schuh of Cayuga, collided head on, both cars being badly demolished, but neither driver suffering injuries. The accident occurred on the road south of Cayuga and near Alkali Slough where the road has so many turns that it evidently follows a snake trail…Bud Bohn and wife spend Sunday with relatives at Hankinson. Edd Evenson and wife were Sunday visitors at the home of their son Marvin, in Moorhead…Ted Colby has rented the recreation parlors and will assume the role of proprietor on Friday, April 13th. Wilbur Jacobson will engage in other lines of work during the summer and is considering work in the oil fields…Fred Moore and wife came up from Wheaton on Monday and will reside on their farm in Tewaukon Township while putting in the crop…Roy and Evelyn Hermanson spent Easter Sunday in Fargo with their father, Henry Johnson, who is a patient in St. Luke’s Hospital. They report an improvement in his condition and that he will be released from the hospital about April 20.