By Bill Anderson
Snow, wind & cold, those dreaded 4 letter words, hit with certainty on the evening of Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, and the following morning. An inch of snow, a 19-degree temperature and a 5-degree wind chill on Wednesday morning left no doubt that Old Man Winter is well armed for the season. The cold, wet weather has again delayed completion of harvest activities for many farmers, but some are getting close to the finish line. Colin Sundquist reported that 35 acres of soybeans remained to be harvested on the Sundquist farm north of Forman as of Sunday, November 4, and Mike Walstead reported that the soybean harvest had been completed and only 100 acres of corn remained to be threshed out on his Rutland Township farm as of Tuesday, November 6. Mike stated that the 2018 yields were the best he has seen since he started farming nearly 40 years ago. He didn’t want to boast, but if someone accused him of a soybean average of over 50 and a corn average of more than 200, he would have to plead “guilty!” He only wishes that he could plead guilty to $12 beans and $5 corn, and he would gladly accept his sentence with no remorse at all.
Harvey Bergstrom reports that he and Judy were at the Clarion Hotel in Minot on Saturday, November 3, to attend a meeting and banquet sponsored by the Farm Rescue organization. Harvey had suffered a heart attack a year ago, and Farm Rescue stepped in to help get his 900 acres of soybeans planted this past Spring. During the banquet on Saturday evening, several farmers from across the State, including Harvey, spoke of the assistance they had received from Farm Rescue and of their appreciation for what the organization had done. Harvey says that it is a good organization to have by your side, if and when the need arises.
Construction workers have been making progress on The Old Parsonage renovation project at 217 First Street this past week, despite the weather. Calvin Jacobson had his excavator at work and got the foundation and basement excavated, removing more than 600 cubic yards of dirt, clay and rocks. No buried evangelists, dinosaur bones or treasure chests have been discovered, at least none that Calvin is talking about. Strege Construction of Wyndmere had the footing Forms set on Friday, November 2 and the footings were poured on Monday, November 5. The next step is to install plumbing and in-floor heating prior to pouring the basement floor, and then the basement walls will be poured. It is estimated that the old house will be moved onto the new foundation within a week after the basement walls have been installed. After that, it will be a winter project for Buskohl Construction.
Tragedy was avoided late on the afternoon of Monday, November 5, when a 4-wheel drive farm tractor and grain cart driven by Mike Mowgren, an employee of Mike Anderson of this community, was involved in a collision with a tanker semi at the intersection of North Dakota Highway #11 and a township road 3½ miles east of the Rutland corner. Both vehicles had been traveling east on #11, with the tanker semi coming up on the tractor and grain cart from behind. Mike turned left (north) with the tractor and cart just as the semi pulled out to pass. The resulting collision sounded like an explosion, according to Jesse Brakke whose residence is located on the south side of the highway. Both vehicles ended up in the ditch and appeared to have sustained serious damage. Both Mike and the semi driver emerged from the wreckage, shaken but apparently uninjured. The fact that the tanker was empty probably saved both men from serious injury, or worse. Trucks, tractors and trailers are only metal and rubber, and can be replaced. Mike’s many friends in this community are thankful that he is still with them.
Members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion met at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5, in the dining room of The Lariat Bar, with Commander Larry Christensen presiding. The Adjutant’s Report delivered by Post Adjutant Doug Olstad showed slightly more than $3,000 currently on hand for Post projects, and the financial report for the October 14 Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast/Brunch indicated a net of nearly $800 from the free will offering donated by those in attendance. The Adjutant’s Report also showed that 21 of the thirty 2018 Post members have paid their dues for the 2019 membership year. Commander Christensen reminded members of the Veterans’ Day Program that will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 8 at the Sargent Central Activities Center, and of the Veterans Day Soup & Sandwich supper that will be served by the American Legion Auxiliary at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 12, at the Nordland Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall in Rutland. The Sargent County Veterans Day Program will be held on Sunday, November 11, commencing with an 11:00 ceremony at the Veterans Memorial on the Courthouse Grounds in Forman followed by a program and lunch in the Forman City Hall. Post members decided that there were not enough damaged or soiled American Flags on hand to warrant holding a Flag Retirement Ceremony this year and decided to schedule one to be held on Veterans Day in 2019. Members also discussed whether to serve Biscuits & Gravy or Pancakes & Sausage for the Super Bowl Sunday Breakfast/Brunch to be held on Sunday, February 3, in the Rutland Town Hall. Commander Christensen reported that the Town Hall has been reserved by Post #215 for Super Bowl Sunday. A decision on the menu will be made at the Post’s December meeting, which will be held at the call of the Commander. Officers of Post #215 are: Commander, Larry Christensen; Vice-Commander, Tom Manley; Adjutant, Doug Olstad; Chaplain, Ted Lee; and, Sergeant At Arms, Calvin Jacobson.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5, in the Rutland Town Hall, with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Debbie Banish; and, Council members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and, Bertha Siemieniewski; present. Council member Mike Mahrer was absent. Also present was Rutland resident Bill Anderson. The Council discussed the use of the wing on the City’s snowplow for snow removal following the October 10 snowfall. Some City Street boulevards were damaged when the wing rolled up dirt and grass on the edge of the pavement and a chunk of blacktop was hooked and torn loose on 2nd Street North. The Council reviewed a bill from Barry Christianson for damage to the asphalt paving on the street in front of his home at 121 2nd Street North. Discussion of the bill was tabled until the December meeting. The City received a clean inspection report from the State Health Department for the inert landfill facility located west of Lou Sanderson Field.
The Sargent County Auditor’s Office has notified Rutland City that a residence at 403 Gay Street will be forfeited to the County for non-payment of taxes and will be sold at public auction on November 20, if the owner has not paid the 3 years of delinquent taxes and special assessments before that date. The City will have the opportunity to acquire the property from Sargent County for a price of $1.00 plus special assessments prior to the auction, however. The Council decided to purchase the property if it is not redeemed by the owner prior to the November 20 deadline. The Dutch Elm Disease Control Ordinance that had been tabled at the October meeting was considered and adopted as amended. The Council removed the provisions that provided for the imprisonment of any who might violate the ordinance. The provisions allowing for fines remain in the ordinance as adopted, however. Council member Lysne informed the Council that Roger Pearson has once again retired as meter reader for the City’s water system during the winter, and that Mr. Larry Christensen is willing to take on the job. A motion to retain the meter reading services of Mr. Christensen at the same rate of pay that had been paid to Mr. Pearson was approved. Auditor Banish presented information on the cost of wired pole mounted radar speed limit signs, as had been directed at the last meeting. The Council directed the Auditor to contact organizations to inquire about the availability of funds for the purchase of one wired sign to be installed at the Northern City limits, north of Lou Sanderson Field. The Auditor also reported that there were 5 delinquent municipal utility accounts as of 5:00 p.m. on November 5. Mayor Narum reported that some repairs to the lines that transfer water from cell #1 to cells 2 & 3 in the Municipal Sewer Lagoon will be required. The extent of the problem is not yet known, but a large pump is being secured to move water out of cell #1 before the worst of winter sets in. The Council adjourned after reviewing and authorizing payment of the City’s bills. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 3, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and all interested persons are invited to attend.
The mourning doves headed south at the beginning of September. The coots and most of the local ducks took off right around the beginning of October. Now the snowbirds are beginning to take wing, or wheels, to head south for the Winter. Those who headquarter in the Phoenix/Mesa area of Arizona are already looking forward to the Sargent County Breakfast each month. Curt Larson recently sent the following message to the regulars: “Hello everyone! Our first Sargent County Breakfast for the 2018/19 winter is almost upon us. We will gather at Golden Corral in Mesa on Monday, November 12 at 9:00 am. If you’d like to come a little earlier, no problem. I realize that many of you are still in North Dakota, and we will miss you. Hopefully, you will be able to attend in December or January. Renee and I will be leaving our home in North Dakota this Wednesday, so, hopefully, we can avoid any snow problems on the drive down. Our table topic for this gathering is: what fun trips or activities did you do this past summer? As in the past, I will send our event activities to the author of The Rooster Crows column for inclusion in the Sargent County Teller. I will see you next week. Keep smiling and enjoy those wild desert flowers.” Thanks to Curt for the information, and best wishes for a warm and sunny Winter. The snow that hit on Election Day, November 6, might foil Curt’s plan for a snow free drive to the sunny south, but it will take more than a snowdrift or two to hold him back.
Well, the election campaign of 2018 concluded when the polls closed on the evening of Tuesday, November 6, and the election campaign of 2020 commenced when the polls closed on the evening of Tuesday, November 6. Prior to Tuesday there had been numerous predictions of a “Wave” election, in which one party would sweep into power while sweeping the other party out. The President predicted a “Red Wave” for the Republicans and many Democrats predicted a “Blue Wave” for their candidates. Americans went to the polls in record numbers for a non-Presidential year, though, and provided the nation with a Red, White & Blue Wave, that strengthened the GOP’s grip on the U. S. Senate, gave control of the U. S. House of Representatives to the Democrats and involved a number of new groups in the political process. North Dakota remained a Red Sea, as the State’s lone Statewide Democratic officeholder, U. S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, was defeated by Congressman Kevin Cramer. For the next 2 years pundits and pollsters will explain what it all means for 2020, and then the voters will let them know that they really don’t know what they’re talking about. After the votes for County offices and measures were counted on Tuesday evening, Sargent County Auditor Pam Maloney reported the following totals. For County Commissioner: Jerry Waswick – 1082; Lyle Bopp – 890; Richard Ruch – 862; Rick Bryant – 784; Timothy Peterson – 736; and, Dave Jacobson – 676. Other County candidates received the following vote totals from their fellow citizens: Auditor, Pam Maloney – 1804; States Attorney, Jayne Pfau – 1737; Treasurer/Recorder/Clerk of Court, Alison Toepke – 1045; Treasurer/Recorder/ Clerk of Court, LaJuana Hayen – 893; Sheriff, Travis Paeper – 1660; and, Official Newspaper, Sargent County Teller – 1800. Sargent County Measure #1, providing for continuation of a $2.00 per phone line/cell phone fee to fund 911 Dispatch service was approved by a more than 2 to 1 margin, Yes – 1341 and No – 605. The final vote totals may change as Absent Voter ballots that arrive prior to the meeting of the Canvassing Board on Tuesday, November 13, are counted. As of December 4, Sargent County will have 3 new Commissioners: Jerry Waswick; Lyle Bopp; and, Richard Ruch; as well as a new States Attorney, Jayne Pfau, the first woman to serve in that capacity in the 135-year history of the County. All other County offices remain unchanged. Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all of the candidates for participating in the process and giving the voters a choice. The citizens of Sargent County thank retiring County Commissioners Mike Walstead, Sherry Hosford and Dave Jacobson for their service.
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 take a look at the Rutland Facebook page, 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.