The Rooster Crows – April 6, 2012

April 6, 2012:  Spring weather continues to hold the prairie in its warm embrace, and even provided a gift of Rain on Thursday, March 29, depositing .4 of an inch in Rutland, and more to the east.  Saturday was a beautiful day, with little wind and the temperature in the low 70’s.  Mother Nature provided a change of air on Sunday and Monday, April 1 and 2, as high winds swept across the region, but Tuesday, April 3, resumed this gentle Spring’s aspect.

Greg Donaldson reports that the walleyes were biting along the Wild Rice River earlier this Spring, and he had been having some good luck until the water flow slowed down.  Greg is close-mouthed about the hot spots on the River, though, only admitting that the best place to fish on the Wild Rice is somewhere between Straubville, in southwestern Sargent County, and south Fargo, where the Wild Rice flows into the Red River of the North.  Gordy Phillips has been spending some time fishing at the spot where the Wild Rice enters Silver Lake, and reports that the fishing success was pretty good there back in the middle of March, but the bite has slowed as the water level in the River has dropped.  For those who have the patience to keep at it, the local lakes: Tewaukon; Sprague; Silver; and, Buffalo; have been producing some nice fish, not a lot of them but enough to keep the fishermen coming.  Chris Dennison reports some nice walleyes and northerns, but never in the same place twice, and usually only 1 or 2 a day.

Peder & Connie Gulleson and girls; Steve Wyum; and, Bill Anderson; were among those from Rutland who drove over to Cogswell on Friday afternoon to take in the retirement party for County Extension Agent Julie Hassebroeck.  Julie had served as County Extension Agent in Sargent County since March of 1986, her 26 years of service being the longest that anyone has served the County in that capacity.  As the County’s Extension Agent, Julie has been very proactive and helpful in arranging programs on economic development; transition of farms & businesses from one generation to the next; livestock and crop production; and, 4-H Youth activities.  A lunch was served by the staff of the Sargent County Extension Service office, assisted by some of Julie’s friends.  A number of co-workers and friends also spoke of Julie’s contributions to the job and to the community during the reception.  Mrs. Hassebroeck now intends to devote her energies to assisting her husband, David, tend to horses, cattle and crops on the Hassebroeck farm in southwestern Sargent County.

Pat Prindiville of Horace and his son, Mark Prindiville of Fargo, visited in Rutland on the weekend of Saturday, March 31.  Pat and Mark picked up a golf cart and a 4-wheeler that had been stored at the Prindiville farm for the Winter.  Pat stated that he is planning to spend the Easter holiday weekend with his daughter, Janelle, and her family at the home of her in-laws in Orlando FL.  He states that the Allegiant Air direct flight from Fargo to Orlando and back is very convenient for the trip.

Back on March 16, a trivia question submitted by Arden Anderson of Wahpeton appeared in this column with the promise that the answer would appear in the next week’s edition.  Apparently there are only 7 days between March 16 and April 6, because the answer is finally making it into the column this week. Arden is a trivia buff, and poses this question: “Back in the more innocent, early days of television, a letter was read during one of the network late night or variety shows, on a nearly weekly basis, that always started out, “Things are fine in Mount Idy.”  Who wrote the letter; and, what character read the letter?”  Answers: The letter was written by “Momma” and was read by its recipient, her son, “Charley Weaver” played by comedian Cliff Arket.  The Letters from Mount Idy were always humorous, despite the fact that they contained no sleazy sexual innuendo and no foul-mouthed cursing, two elements that have become the hallmarks of today’s standup comedians.  Back in that more innocent time, Jack Benny could get a laugh with a look, and “Who’s on first?” had audiences rolling in the aisles and bud Abbot & Lou Costello rolling in the dough, even though everyone knew the entire routine by heart.  Cliff Arket and his character, Charley Weaver, appeared on several shows, including the Gary Moore show and The Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson.

CORRECTION!  In the March 23 edition of The Rooster Crows, it was stated that Rutland Township had installed the 10 inch tile that was draining some water from Consolidated Lake, and allowing it to flow eastward to the Wild Rice River. Rutland Township supervisor Mike Walstead points out that, although Rutland Township did not object to the installation of the 10” line, it was actually installed by 2 landowners and farm operators.  It was a privately financed project, and no public monies were used, Mike points out.

Twenty-eight youngsters participated in Rutland’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Rutland Town Hall on Saturday, March 31, reports Jeanne Leinen, one of the organizers of the event.  This year Jerry & Jeanne Leinen and family had 786 colorful plastic eggs, each with a prize in it, scattered throughout the Hall.  In addition to the prizes in the eggs, the kids also put their names in for a drawing for bigger prizes.  Hannah Siemieniewski won $25.00, cash; Charleze Willprecht, age 3, won a small bicycle; Gabrielle Christianson won a 20” girls bike; and Parker Dockter was the winner of  a 20” boys bicycle. The annual Rutland Easter Egg Hunt is organized and conducted by Jerry & Jeanne Leinen and family, with some financial assistance from the Rutland Community Club.  The Rutland community extends its thanks to Jerry, Jeanne, their children and grandchildren for another enjoyable and memorable community event.

190 diners consumed about 1,000 meatballs during the annual Palm Sunday Dinner served by members of Nordland Lutheran Church here from 11:00 to 1:00 on Sunday, April 1 at the Rutland Town Hall.  “No Foolin’!” says Lori McLaen one of the co-chairpersons of the event.  This year’s menu consisted of Swedish Lutheran meatballs, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and dessert.  The potatoes were a generous donation from the Heimbuch Potato Farm of Cogswell, Lori reports.  Joan Lee, Lisa Wyum and Lori McLaen co-chaired this year’s dinner, and did an excellent job, all agree.

Lori McLaen has also been busy making improvements to her home at 403 Anthony Street this Spring.  In recent months, Lori has had new windows and new metal siding installed on the house, repaired the foundation, and landscaped the yard to provide better drainage of snowmelt and rainwater away from the house.  The house was originally built about 1920 as the retirement home for one of Ransom Township’s pioneer women, Mary (Mrs. Jens) Olstad.  Others who have owned and/or occupied the residence include: Gerald & Rosemary Brekke; Clem & Hazel Preble; Ole & Clara Breum; Reinhard Wahl; Sue Head; Bill Anderson & Kathy Brakke; and, Gretchen Vann.  Congratulations to Lori on the significant improvements she has made to her home.

Sunday, April 1, was Palm Sunday, but it also marked birthday anniversaries for 2 of the community’s stalwart citizens, Richard Anderson and Renee Cramton.  Both have been known to pull a prank or two over the years, the result, perhaps, of being born on “April Fool’s Day.”  The Rutland community extends birthday greetings to Richard and Renee, and wishes them many more years of hi-jinks and opportunities to be April Fool’s Day tricksters.

The Rutland Town Hall was the site of the annual meeting of the Sargent County Crop and Livestock Improvement Association last Friday, March 30, and of the District Caucus for Dakota Valley Rural Electric Cooperative, formerly RSR REC, on Monday, April 2.  Other than the information that a dinner was served by the staff of The Rutland General Store to the Dakota Valley patrons attending the caucus, no report about the business conducted at the 2 meetings has been received as of this writing.

The Rutland City Council held its April meeting at 8:00 p.m.on Monday, April 2, with Mayor Ron Narum, Auditor Deb Banish and Aldermen Lary Arneson, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski present.  Alderman Barry Christianson was absent.  Also present were Don Johnson; Paul Anderson; and Bill Anderson.  The financial report showed all funds to be in the black.  According to the report, the City’s new Bobcat Skid Steer loader had a price tag of $24,890, and the City sold the old Bobcat for $24,685, making the City’s net ownership cost $205 for the year.  Auditor Banish reported that sufficient money had been received from Lake Agassiz grant funding to make the final payment to the general contractor for the recently completed Town Hall improvement project.  The Council approved a raffle permit for the Wild Rice Antique Tractor & Plowing Association to be held on Sunday, October 7, in conjunction with Uff-Da Day.  The Association annually conducts a raffle for a pedal-powered tractor, with the drawing conducted during the Uff-Da Day Fall Festival each year.  Bob Shelquist of Ferguson Water Supply, Fargo, met with the Council to discuss water meter options.  The Council decided that the City will by add-on equipment for existing meters to allow for external, electronic reading of the meter at a cost of $6,600.00 for 90 of the attachments.  Don Johnson commented on the minutes published in The Teller on March 2, 2012, that identified only one abandoned, inoperable or derelict motor vehicle in the city.  He had driven around town and counted 15 of them.  Don stated that, if the City’s minutes are going to include 1 name, they should include them all.  The Council will obtain Don’s list and will make the notifications.  Paul Anderson met with the Council to discuss the Rutland Community Club and Horizons Committee funding to obtain a new electronic Community Bulletin Board from the Stewart Sign Co. of Florida. The Community Club and Horizons Committee propose to provide the $10,000.00 to allow the City to purchase and install the sign on the corner of First & Arthur Streets, where the previous bulletin board had been located.  The Council agreed to accept the offer, provided that the Community Club approves the funding.  Bert reported that Kip’s Construction was planning to complete installation of the new doors on the chair storage area in the Hall this week.  Clay Kjos has been hired to repaint the ceiling in the Town Hall auditorium, and as soon as that is done, the floor will be scrubbed and refinished.  The next events scheduled for the Hall are High School graduation gatherings and the annual Memorial Day program at the end of May.  Claire Brakke was hired to mow the grass at the Hall for the 2012 year.  Bert is also working on a cleaning schedule and protocol for the Hall.  Petitions for candidates for the City Council and Park Board are due by April 13, reported Auditor Banish.  The Mayor and 2 Aldermen: Bert Siemieniewski & Lary Arneson; are up for election this year, as are the terms of 2 Park Board members: Hilary Mehrer, who was appointed to fill out the term of Diane Pherson; and, Jeff Olson.  Anyone interested should contact City Auditor Deb Banish, Mayor Narum or one of the City’s Aldermen for a petition form.  If you don’t want the job yourself, encourage the incumbents to run for re-election.  The City’s Tax Equalization meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m.on Tuesday, April 10.  The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 7.

Two of the area’s cattlemen, Roger Brekke and Mac Pherson stopped in town on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 3, for coffee and conversation at the Round Table.  Both men report that this Spring has been one of the best calving seasons they have ever experienced.  Neither cows nor calves have been stressed by the weather, and the combination of sunshine, dry ground and warm weather has helped keep the calf crop disease free, too, says Mac.  The combination of good weather, easy calving and healthy calves has also reduced the stress level for cattlemen, the 2 ranchers agreed.

Jack Brummond drove up from Havana for the afternoon session with The Assembled Wise Men, too, and reported that there is not yet any planting activity on the flat, due to the fact that the land will be filled to capacity with corn and soybeans by the time Spring planting is done, in Jack’s opinion.  Concerning his campaign for Governor, Jack denies making the statement last week that, “The less the voters know about me, the better they like me.”  However, 3 other regulars at the Round Table recall hearing the statement, or words to that effect.  The consensus of The Assembled Wise Men was that Jack shouldn’t be concerned, though, as it all fits with his “less is more” campaign style, and puts him right in there with the current front-runner for the GOP Presidential nomination.

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