The Rooster Crows – January 25, 2019

By Bill Anderson

One week to go until Ground Hog’s Day, and a chance to break Winter’s tyrannical grasp on a people who will be neither bowed nor cowed, although they may, occasionally, have to be towed. We are now at that stage of the Winter in which it has ceased to be interesting or entertaining, and has become a brutal burden, to be endured, outlasted and overcome. Adversity does create opportunity, though, and men of ambition, such as Dave Young, Jim Brown and Larry Christensen, have shown that even winter’s bleak cloud brings with it the silver lining of polished and shiny snow shovels. Bitter cold and the sharp sting of snow driven by fierce winds cannot stay these stalwart yeomen from the efficient completion of their appointed snow removal duties. 

On Tuesday, January 22, Sonja Christensen, one of the co-chairpersons of the 24th Annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, reported that 57 teams of pinochle enthusiasts had preregistered to play their favorite game of skill on Saturday, February 2, in the Rutland Town Hall, and that there is still room for a few more teams. The tournament is sponsored by the Rutland Community Club, which will also serve morning and afternoon lunches, as well as a Noon dinner, to tournament participants and to the public. For more information about registering to compete in the pinochle tournament, give Sonja a call at 701-899-1463.

One enthusiastic pinochle player, Judie Seavert Grohs, a Rutland native who has been wintering by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, at Port Aransas Texas, recently sent the following message concerning her plans to participate in this year’s Pinochle Tournament in Rutland: “…I think that my coming home to actually play in the tournament is relevant this year. After a four-year absence, and never being able to play before because of hosting the Tournament with our family for 20 years, I can’t wait to get to Rutland.  Ron’s niece from Fargo, Jessica Hayen, will be my partner.  I’ve watched hand after hand played and this year I will only watch mine.  You know I learned from the best.  Rudy Anderson, Arden Anderson and Muriel Avery put up with me as partners and we had one heck of a good time.  If we all play to have a good time, then we all are winners. Please, no snow storms or ice storms this ground hog day, as I am coming home to play in this really great tournament in Rutland. (This really isn’t that relevant but I’m so excited).” The community’s local Ground Hog, Rutland Roscoe, is looking forward to welcoming Judie and all of the pinochle players to Rutland on Saturday, February 2.  Deal ‘em out! 

A crew of workmen in the employ of Otter Tail Power Company has been at work in and around Rutland for the past several weeks, installing poles and doing other work in preparation for the construction of a new electrical service substation on the south side of Cooper Street, about ½ block east of the intersection with First Street. This past week the crew has been in the process of connecting a temporary substation that will provide power to Rutland’s residents while the permanent substation is under construction. The new substation will replace Otter Tail’s original substation here, which has been providing electrical power to the Rutland community for as long as anyone can remember, and probably a lot longer than that. According to stories related by “the old-timers,” Paul Kuester and Ted Helberg built a diesel engine powered electric generation plant in Rutland in about 1915, with investments acquired from several others in the community, and ran the business until the mid-20’s, when it was purchased by the Otter Tail Power Co. The original company provided electricity between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. and would “flash the lights” about 10 minutes before turning the electricity off for the night in order to give customers a chance to get their kerosene lamps lit before the electric lights went out. Since its acquisition of the old Rutland power company, Otter Tail has provided electrical power on 7 days a week, 24 hours a day basis, except on those occasions when accidents or natural disasters have interrupted service. It is expected that the new substation will enable Otter Tail to provide abundant, reliable electric service to its Rutland customers for many years to come.

Mr. Kyle Schlenker and Mr. Tim Kassian of Lakota ND, both employees of Nelson Electric Solutions (NES) of Rutland and Lakota, were in Rutland on Monday and Tuesday, January 21 & 22, installing electrical wiring, fixtures and equipment at The Old Parsonage at 217 First Street. Another NES employee, Mr. James Haman, had accompanied Kyle, Tim and their boss, Mr. Josh Nelson of Rutland, for several days of work on The Old Parsonage during the preceding 2 weeks. During their time in Rutland the men stayed at The Bagley House at 301 First Street, and at The Bird’s Nest at 210 Front Street West.

Shareholders of the Rutland Community Development Corporation (RCDC) recently received the following notice of Annual Meeting from corporate secretary Katherine McLaen: “The annual meeting of the Rutland Community Development Corporation will be convened at 7:00pm on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 at the Rutland Senior Center. The meeting will commence with coffee and bars for the shareholders. The Directors report on the condition of the corporation and election of two (2) Directors will immediately follow the lunch. Jake Erickson & Calvin Jacobson have both completed their three-year terms. We also will need to fill the term that has been left vacant by Sam Gillespie. It has been an exciting year for the Rutland Development Corporation. We were able to help the Lariat Bar financially this past year and are looking forward to opportunities for growth in our community in 2019. We all benefit from the assets the community boasts and would ask you to consider purchasing additional shares to keep our community growing and thriving! Shares will be available for purchase at the annual meeting or you can mail in a check to RCDC, Att’n Secretary Katherine McLaen, 13758 Hwy 11, Rutland ND 58067. Each share is $50 and multiple shares can be purchased.   Sincerely, Board of Directors of the Rutland Community Development Corporation, Bryce Carlson, President.” So, there you have it.  Become a shareholder and encourage the betterment of your community. The Rutland Community Development Corporation was formed back in 1976 to encourage and assist with economic development efforts and business activity in the Rutland Community.

Ms. Margot Ganske of Park City, Utah, has been visiting in Rutland since Sunday, January 20. Margot has been a frequent visitor to this community, as she is one of the daughters of former Rutland resident Leonard Heinen, and the twin sister of Marcia Brakke of rural Rutland. She has been visiting her Dad, now a resident of Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman, and her sister, Marcia, while here, and is planning to return to her home on Friday, January 25. She reports that it is Winter in the mountains of northern Utah, too, with more snow, but less wind than out here on the prairie. She made her headquarters at The Bagley House, 301 First Street, during her Rutland visit, and states that the accommodations were very comfortable.

Larry Christensen, Commander of Rutland’s Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion, reports that preparations for the Post’s Super Bowl Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast/Brunch are proceeding on schedule. The Super Bowl Breakfast/Brunch will be served from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or all the hungry are fed, whichever comes first, on Sunday, February 3, in the Rutland Town Hall. It’s going to be a hard-fought game, and both Patriots fans and Rams fans are going to need a good breakfast to see them through the day. The price, a free will donation to help support the Post’s activities in the community, is right, too. Don’t take a chance on losing your strength or stamina before the game ends on Sunday. A great breakfast of Biscuits & Gravy will see you and your team through to victory! That’s on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, in the Rutland Town Hall.

No man’s life or property is safe while the Legislature is in session,” is an old adage that the 2019 session of the North Dakota State Legislature is working hard to affirm.  Its latest effort would even put the lives of the State’s public school students at risk with a proposed law that would allow 18 year old high school students to carry firearms while in school. The 26th District’s Representative Sebastian Ertelt is one of the sponsors of the bill. Rep. Ertelt has been an outspoken advocate of the right to carry firearms by anyone anywhere anytime, but this is the first time that the NRA representatives in the Legislature have made a push to put guns in the hands of public school students, in the classrooms and during the school day. Proponents of the unlimited and unregulated right to carry deadly weapons cite the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America to support their contention. The Second Amendment, as written and approved by the first Congress, and ratified by the requisite number of States back in 1791, reads as follows: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Some questions that should probably be asked, and answered, before allowing Mr. Ertelt’s proposal to become law, would be: Are the public schools part of a “well regulated militia”, or any other part of the State’s military or police forces; does any “well regulated militia” allow armed individuals to roam the hallways of public buildings without the control of, or supervision by, competent authorities appointed to command and direct their actions; does an amendment adopted in 1791, when “arms” meant muzzle loaded, single shot pistols and rifles, swords, knives and tomahawks, apply  to semi-automatic weapons capable of firing at the rate of tens, or even hundreds, of rounds per minute; and, does allowing armed school students to roam the halls of public schools contribute to the “security of a free State”? Another question that the people of the 26th District might ask is: Should anyone who proposes or supports such an irresponsible and potentially dangerous piece of legislation be representing them in the State Legislature? In the words of that great patriot, Patrick Henry of Virginia, “Forbit it, Almighty God!”

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. Remember to patronize your local Post Office, and don’t forget 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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