The Rooster Crows – January 11, 2019

by Bill Anderson

We are now in the post-holiday season, when all of the fun and frivolity of the past 6 weeks is weighing heavily on our waistlines, if not on our consciences. Well, there’s a cure for that! The Board of Directors of the Rutland Fitness Center recently sent out notices that it’s time to pay annual dues, and to start working off all of those Thanksgiving and Christmas calories. Membership renewals are now due for the Rutland Fitness Center, the Directors have reminded us. Membership fees are $150.00 per year for an individual and $235.00 per year for a family membership. Membership fees may be sent to: RFC, PO Box 24, Rutland ND 58067. Members are asked to include their cell phone # so the new entry code can be sent to them. The code will change on January 12. Due to insurance requirements, minor children utilizing the Fitness Center must be supervised by a responsible adult at all times. The Rutland Fitness Center is located in the American Legion Hall at 123 Gay Street in Rutland. It is open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to members. At that price, the cost is about 3 cents an hour for a Family membership. A small price to pay for individual, family and community fitness and good health. Directors of the Rutland Fitness Center are: Ione Pherson; Lori McLaen; and Jennifer Christianson.

Sonja Christensen reports that, as of Monday, January 7, 41 teams of pinochle players had preregistered for the 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Pinochle Tournament that will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019, in the Rutland Town Hall. One team that will be new to the tournament is a father-daughter combination from Grand Forks who read about the tournament on Rutland’s internet web site and then contacted Sonja to sign up. Sonja anticipates that another 21 to 25 teams will have registered before play begins on Ground Hog’s Day. The tournament, which is co-chaired by Sonja Christensen and Bryce Carlson, is sponsored by the Rutland Community Club.

Joel Susag returned from a nearly 3-week Christmas visit at the Park City MT home of his sister, Carolyn Story, on the evening of Thursday, January 3. Joel had taken the bus from Fargo to Park City on Tuesday, December 18, and states that he just leaned back and relaxed on the 15-hour trip. His return trip to Fargo was also via the bus line, and he was met there by his brother, David, who drove to Rutland with him that evening. Joel reports that Carolyn and her family are doing well, as is his brother Ron, who also resides in Park City. There was not much snow in the Billings or Park City area, Joel reports, but the nearby mountains enjoyed a white Christmas, brightening the outlooks of skiing enthusiasts.

Also enjoying a Montana vacation at the end of December were Chuck Sundlie and Aden Kohler. They had departed Rutland on Wednesday, December 26, and drove out to Bozeman where they met up with Chuck’s nephews, Ted Fust and Jake Fust, to enjoy some snowmobile action in the mountains near Bozeman. Chuck and Aden arrived home on Wednesday, January 2, with Aden ready to go back to school, and Chuck ready to go back to work. Well, Aden’s not so sure.

Darby Brakke of Los Angeles CA has been visiting at the home of her brother and sister-in-law, Jesse & Marcia Brakke, at their farm in Ransom Township since Friday, January 4. After enduring a particularly hot and uncomfortable Summer and Autumn season in L. A. during 2018, Darby decided that some crisp & cool air of a North Dakota Winter was in order. She planned to return to Los Angeles from Fargo on Friday, January 11. During her time in the Rutland area, Darby checked out the latest remodeling & renovation project that her Mom, Kathy Brakke, is working on at The Old Parsonage in Rutland, and also visited her Dad, Darwin, at his home in Havana.

Rutland native Dan Narum called on Monday, January 7, to report that his recovery from emergency back surgery back in November has been progressing very well. So well, in fact, that Dan was able to accompany an old friend, Dan Olson of Fort Ransom, and 2 of Mr. Olson’s sons, Jacob & Jared Olson, on an elk hunting trip to New Mexico, northeast of Cimmaron, near the area where Rick Bosse and Harvey Dawson from Brampton had hunted elk back at the end of November. Dan reports that he is still not allowed to ride a horse, but he did obtain a permit from the State of New Mexico to hunt from a motor vehicle due to the recent back surgery. The group drove down to the mountain lodge they shared with several other hunters on Sunday, December 30. Dan states that there were a lot of elk, “We must have seen at least 400,” and that everyone in their group did their part for conservation by bagging a nice bull elk. They were hunting at altitudes of about 10,000 feet, with deep snow and morning temperatures in the 10 to 15 below zero range. “The altitude, exertion and cold weather made for good sleeping, says Dan. The guides like to drive their 4-wheel drive pickups at 30 to 40 mph on goat trails through the mountains, Dan reports, but despite some rough rides his back held up very well. He is now back at work as the Presiding Judge of North Dakota’s Southeast Judicial District and has gotten rid of the walker and the cane, although there is still a hitch in his get-along from his gimpy right leg. The leg is steadily improving with use, though, and he expects to be back up to full speed by the time Spring arrives.

The Coteau des Prairies Lodge south of Rutland was busy with family reunions, weddings and Christmas parties throughout the recent holiday season, and the action has continued to roll on into the New Year. On Friday, January 4, an Agricultural finance and economics seminar at the Lodge, featuring NDSU Ag Finance Specialist Byron Parman and NDSU Crop Economist Frayne Olson, was attended by about 2 dozen local producers. The Seminar was organized by Sargent County NDSU Extension Agent Melissa Seykora and was presented with the assistance of Ransom and Richland County NDSU Extension Agents Brian Zimprich and Chandra Langseth. The impact of current U. S. trade and tariff policies, as well as the current trade war with China, on North Dakota ag producers were among the topics discussed during last Friday’s presentations. Among other upcoming events at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, a “Winter Beer Dinner” is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, January 24, and reservations may be made on-line at the Lodge’s web site at, or by calling Olivia at 701-680-1175.

Cayuga native Randy Kiefer, who rode his bicycle from Los Angeles to the Arctic Ocean and then on to Anchorage, Alaska, and topped off his riding season with a ride through the Swiss Alps, has been resting up for his return trip to the” lower 48” in Anchorage, recently sent the following report on Alaska action to date: “Greetings, After 3 months in Anchorage, I finished the year with a train trip to Fairbanks for some Northern Lights viewing, and some local outings. Although we have been having some Midwestern style temps (hovering between -5 to +5) over the past few days, I am still liking Anchorage. Plenty of snow cover, and frosted buildings and trees abound. When out riding I am in a winter wonderland. To give you a glance of my activities, attached are a few pictures as follows: 1) 1-5. interior Alaska train ride to Fairbanks. Numerous clear shots of Mt. Denali with the as yet untamed Susitna River in the fore-ground. 2) 6-8, attempt to see Northern lights north of Fairbanks, not much luck. Am guessing that the full moon didn’t help. To get an idea of the strength of the moon, these pictures were taken well after midnight, when it is already dark at 4:00. 3) 9-10, New Year’s Eve in Downtown Anchorage. The city had a festive atmosphere for the occasion. Food trucks, street performers, main stage with music, and fireworks. The temp was ~40, kids were making snow-people, music playing, and a general good vibe. 4) 11, just before Thanksgiving Day the bike co-op donated 20 bikes to local kids. It was a hoot. I was at a table giving out helmets. This 10 yr old girl stops by and said, “I can’t believe I won”. Am sure it was a big deal for her. Sorta stole my heart. There it is, a capsule review of the last 6 weeks. No immediate plans, although I will take the train to Seward, that will complete the south to north rail link. When in Seward I will stop at the Yukon Bar. A favorite bar where cousin Wayne Janish and I shared a drink. A throwback place that still gives out free match books that say “More whiskey for my men, and fresh horses”. I can envision the chaos that would ensue under such direction – ha the good old days! It is good to stay connected with relatives and buds, some of you are both. Wishing you the best in 2019. r/randy” Brother Kiefer’s message was posted at 2:00 a.m. and the photos weren’t attached, but they’ll be posted on the Rutland web site if they arrive.

Rutland’s Mayor, Ron Narum, escaped injury on Friday, January 4, when the 1999 Dodge mini-van he was driving in Fargo was struck by a ¾ ton pickup truck. Ron was driving west on 13th Avenue, when his vehicle was struck by the pickup on the right rear quarter, spinning the van around and tearing off one of the rear wheels. The van was totaled. The pickup, Ron reported, may have sustained a broken headlight. Neither he nor the other driver sustained any injuries, Ron stated. Ron’s many friends here are thankful that it was only sheet metal and glass, and the Mayor’s pride, that was damaged.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 7, in the Rutland Town Hall, with Mayor Ron Narum, City Auditor Debbie Banish; and, Council Members Rodney Erickson; Mike Mahrer; and, Bertha Siemieniewski; present. Council member Delores Lysne was absent. City Engineer Terry Eslinger of Moore Engineering, Fargo, was also present. The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. The City Auditor reported that some residents have requested that an autopay option be available for the payment of utility bills. GovPayNet offers the availability of online payments or credit/debit payments in the Office at no cost to the City. The program will be accessible on the City’s website, and there will be a small fee for individuals who use the system. Individuals have an option to have autopay set up directly with their bank. The Council authorized a one-year trial period of GovPayNet for payments of utilities, permits, and other charges. City Engineer Terry Eslinger of Moore Engineering discussed the repairs needed at the City’s sewer lagoon. He presented cost estimates to either replace the existing 6” pipes or to install new 12” pipes with options to add concrete collars and discharge assemblies. The Council decided to replace the existing 6” pipes and to add concrete collars and discharge assemblies at the Lagoon. The Council also decided to retain the services of Moore Engineering to apply for grants for the Emergency Lagoon Repairs at a cost not to exceed $8,300.00. The Council denied the $100.00 claim that had been presented by Barry Christianson for clean-up work following snowplow damage to the pavement in front of his residence during street cleaning operations after the October 10 snowfall. The City Auditor reported that there are currently 7 delinquent utility bills, and that the Auditor is planning to begin Small Claims Court proceedings to recover one of the delinquent accounts at this time. After reviewing the City’s bills, and authorizing payment, the Council adjourned at 6:15 p.m. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2019, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and the Council encourages any interested citizen to stop by and observe the governing Board of their City in action.

“No man’s life or property is safe while the legislature is in session,” one of our patriotic ancestors once stated a couple of hundred years ago, and every time the Legislature convenes the statement is confirmed. Already, in just the first week of the 2019 session of the North Dakota Legislature, Republican lawmakers are proposing to substantially diminish the people’s right to initiate laws and Constitutional amendments. The proposals would give the Legislature a veto power over initiated measures approved by the people at the polls. Will the people be stupid enough to go along with such a blatant power grab? Well, the Republican Legislators who are proposing it apparently are of the opinion that any people stupid enough to elect them to the Legislature will be stupid enough to buy anything they’re selling. So far, the oil companies, through their wholly owned subsidiary, the North Dakota GOP, have been able to buy anything they want in North Dakota. The question for North Dakotans is: Will they be willing to sell their right to make their own laws, too? And the Legislature has been in session for only one week.

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, and stop by the Rutland blog and 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.

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