By Bill Anderson
The roar of diesel engines mingled with the calls of geese, ducks and pheasants as 2018’s Spring field work commenced in this area. Shane Breker, Mike Anderson, Kurt Breker and the Banish Brothers, Mike & Rick, were all planting wheat by Thursday, April 26, while Lyle Erickson, Harvey Bergstrom and Joe Breker, among others, were planning to have planters at work on some of their fields by Monday, April 30, and Tuesday, May 1. There have been a few reports of corn being planted, but most operators in this area are of the consensus that the ground is still too cold for corn or soybean seed to be sown. The frost is just beginning to come out in some fields, and the side hills that were covered by snowbanks only 2 weeks ago are still soggy traps waiting to ensnare an unsuspecting farmer and his tractor. Despite Spring’s perils, however, there is new energy in the air with the onset of Spring planting. The seed is in the ground, and all things are possible. It’s great to be alive! A good rain would be helpful.
The Rutland City Board of Equalization reconvened at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, in the Rutland Town Hall, with Council President Mike Mahrer; City Auditor Deb Banish; and, Aldermen Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and, Bert Siemieniewski; present. Mayor Ron Narum was absent. Also present for the reconvened meeting was City Assessor/County Director of Tax Equalization Denise Ferderer. Ms. Ferderer discussed how the State Board of Equalization had arrived at the current recommended valuations for residential property in Rutland last October and showed comparisons with residential properties in other jurisdictions within Sargent County. The Council approved valuations in the City, with a 20% across the board reduction from the level directed by the State Board of Equalization last Fall. The City’s valuations will next be reviewed at the County Board of Equalization meeting in June, and, finally, at the State Board of Equalization meeting in Bismarck this coming August. Due to requirements imposed by the State Legislature, all units of local government will have to have their 2019 budget work completed a month earlier this year. The 2017 session of the North Dakota State Legislature also ended the 12% property tax buy down and structured funding for elementary and secondary education in such a way that many, if not most, school districts in the State were required to increase their property tax levies in order to fund operations. As school funding accounts for approximately 60% of the local property tax bill, most owners of real property would have experienced significant increases in property tax, even without an increase in valuation. While forcing property tax increases on local taxpayers, the State Legislature has reduced State revenues by giving massive tax cuts to out-of-State corporations, such as oil companies, that have significantly impacted local and State infrastructure throughout North Dakota. Well, it all starts with the local city and township Board of Equalization, where your friends and neighbors try to work with a tax policy and funding formula drafted in the Board room of an Oklahoma oil company.
Paul Anderson and Bill Anderson of this community were among the large group of diners who enjoyed a five-course gourmet dinner featuring Greek cuisine and Greek wine at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on the evening of Wednesday, April 25. The Greek people have a 5,000-year tradition of enjoying fine food and fine wine, and last week’s event at the Lodge proved it to be a tradition worth sharing. Chef Kent Larson of Chef’s Table Catering, Fargo, prepared the food, and the wines were paired with the courses by Laura Botten of Johnson Brothers Distributing. The main course, rack of lamb, was “the best ever,” according to the enthusiastic gourmets who enjoyed the repast. next event coming up at the Lodge is expected to be a “Seafood Boil” on Mother’s Day weekend. Call Olivia at 680-1175 for additional information.
Bob Petrich, who was introduced to readers last week, stopped in for a farewell visit with The Assembled Wise Men at The Lariat on the morning of Thursday, April 26. Bob had been staying at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge since Sunday, April 22, but was continuing his research into family history by moving to the farm of an uncle near Sisseton for some visiting before returning to his home at Arvada CO. During the conversation at The Lariat on Thursday morning, it was noted that Bob’s current home base is not very far from Golden CO, home of the Coors Brewing Company and the brewery where Coors beer is made. This led to a discussion of Coors beer, and of the fact that until recently, Coors beer was not pasteurized, making it necessary to keep it refrigerated at all times prior to consumption. Bob, who had served for 30 years in the regular U.S. Army and the Missouri National Guard prior to his retirement in 2004, recalled one incident involving Coors beer that occurred when he was still a junior officer, first serving with the Missouri Army National Guard back in the late 1970’s. A severe storm had hit on the outskirts of one of Missouri’s major cities, demolishing many structures, including the building that housed the Coors distributor in that area, completely wrecking the structures air-conditioning and refrigeration system, and the National Guard had been called out to assist with disaster relief. The warehouse had been filled with unpasteurized Coors beer, and without refrigeration it would soon be ruined. So, Bob’s Missouri Guard soldiers did what any red-blooded American soldiers would have done. They convinced the distributor to allow them to haul the beer away before it warmed up. Bob states that the soldiers of the Missouri National Guard ended up with two 5-ton trucks full of cold Coors beer that had to be consumed before it spoiled. It was a memorable day for the soldiers of the Missouri National Guard, Bob concluded. When confronted with any unexpected situation, the rule for all U.S. military personnel is, “Adapt; improvise; and, overcome!” You have to do what you have to do to get the job done, and if that requires consuming two 5-ton truckloads of Coors beer while it’s still cold, well, it’s all in a day’s work for the Missouri Army National Guard. Thanks to Bob for the story. He plans to be back in this area for a family reunion in Mid-July and intends to stop in for coffee and conversation with The Assembled Wise Men on his return.
Congratulations to Dallas Goedert, grandson of retired Havana oil man Gordon Phillips, who was selected by the reigning NFL Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles in the 2nd round of last week’s pro football draft. If the Eagles keep Mr. Goedert at the same position at which he excelled on the South Dakota State University team, they will pair 2 all stars from the Dakotas, Quarterback Carson Wentz, a native of Bismarck, and receiver Dallas Goedert, a native of Havana ND and Britton SD, in what could be an outstanding, even historic, professional partnership. Dallas and his parents were flown to Philadelphia on Saturday, April 28, to begin the transition from Division 1A college competition to the hard-hitting world of professional football. Gordon Phillips, as might be expected, is still the proud Grandpa. If an oversized eagle is spotted swooping low over Sargent County, citizens should not be concerned. It’s most likely just Gordy, exercising his wings and working off some exuberance, and justifiably so!
Rev. Michael Buller officiated at his final Sunday services at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana on Sunday, April 29. The two congregations thanked Rev. Buller for providing worship service ministry since last Fall. Rev. Buller has accepted a call from Faith Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids MN, and will begin his ministry there this coming Sunday, May 6. He stated that the call was unexpected, and had “come out of the blue,” as a Minnesota synod congregation does not usually call a minister from another synod, in this case North Dakota, without going through the bureaucratic channels of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Rev. Buller’s former part-time parishioners in Rutland and Havana extend him best wishes for success and good fortune at his new calling.
Chris Ryan of Christiques Estate Service of Ironton MN, stopped in Rutland on Tuesday, May 1, looking for 128 Dakota Street, home of Curt Nebben of this community, a seller of antique and collectable fishing lures. While in Rutland, Mr. Ryan also made a stop at The Old Parsonage, at 217 First Street, and was very pleased with the selection of items he found there. Kathy Brakke, owner of The Old Parsonage, has been at work getting inventory stocked and arranged for the 2018 season. This year, Kathy is planning to have The Old Parsonage open on the 2nd Wednesday and the following Saturday of each month from now to Christmas. In May, the scheduled open hours will be from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. The Old Parsonage is also open by appointment at any time, and anyone interested can give Kathy a call at 680-9831 or 724-3467.
Some upcoming events in Rutland include: Rutland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 7, in the Rutland Town Hall, with discussion of the City’s Revised Comprehensive Plan, designation of a Citywide “Cleanup Day,” and the establishment of an Arbor Day in Rutland on the Agenda; Rutland Park Board meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 7, in the Rutland Town Hall; The Old Parsonage at 217 First Street opens from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9th, and at other dates and times by appointment for the 2018 season; Rutland Sportsmen’s Club monthly meeting on the evening of Thursday, May 10, at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range 3 miles west and 1½ mile south of Rutland; The Old Parsonage open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, and at other dates and times by appointment; Rutland Community Club monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 14, in the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Cemetery Association Annual meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15, in the Community Room of the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station; and, Rutland Planning & Zoning Commission meeting at 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday, May 22, in the Rutland Town Hall.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the President made his most intelligent decision since Inauguration Day, and left town ahead of the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, April 28. The dinner, which has been a tradition in Washington for many years, was broadcast live on several TV networks, and the primary entertainment/keynote address by so-called comedienne Michelle Wolf proved to be a disgusting display of obscenity, trash talk and verbal manure that was unworthy of America’s tradition of a free and responsible press and was an insult to the American people. That kind of garbage has no place in America’s living rooms, or in this country’s national discourse. The White House correspondents, with this vulgar display, have fallen into the gutter with the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. For the sake of the future of this country, one or the other, or both, should decide to rise above the muck in the very near future. As of Friday, May 4, 2018, there are 67 weeks down and 141 to go until January 20, 2021, provided the President and the Press do not suffocate America in vulgarity before the date of deliverance. May this nation find the strength and determination to deliver itself from the depths of its own folly!
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and stop by the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to patronize your local Post Office, and remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.