The weather roller coaster continues. From a high of 48 above on Friday, February 26 to below zero on the morning of Monday, March 1, then back up to a high of 57 above on Tuesday, March 2. Well, the old timers used to say, “If you don’t like the weather in North Dakota, just wait a minute. It’ll change.” In a land in which there always has to be something to be concerned about, though, the extreme swings in temperature, along with the lack of moisture in the topsoil and in the atmosphere, has some local farmers worried. Sargent County has not experienced a severe drought, a drought that completely eliminated the year’s crop, since 1988, but, right now, 2021 appears to be putting the conditions in place for a repeat of that performance. Of course, if you don’t like that forecast, just wait a minute. It’ll change!
Rutland native Judie Seavert reported from the Texas Gulf Coast on Thursday, February 25, that the weather inn Port Aransas TX had returned to normal, with clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s. Judy also reported that the severely cold weather that hit Texas 3 weeks ago wreaked havoc with fish populations that inhabit the shallow waters near the shore, in addition to inflicting terrible damage to vegetation in the area. According to Judie, crews were busy cleaning up huge piles of odoriferous dead fish from the beach this past week, and big sea turtles that had been rescued from the cold by commercial fishermen were being returned to the sea after getting a warmup at local rescue centers. The weather fluctuation also seemed to pique the appetite of the area’s premier game fish, the red snapper, and Judie’s husband, Steve Grohs, had been out on the Gulf on several occasions, bringing in his limit. There is nothing that is so bad that somebody can’t get some good out of it, and if it takes a weather disaster to get some good fishing, well, so be it.
Old friends here were saddened last week when word was received that former Rutland resident Karen Tchida had passed away on Friday, February 26, at the age of 62 years, 4 months and 13 days. She had been battling cancer and was a patient in the Marshal County Healthcare Center in Britton SD at the time of her death. Karen Jean Nereim was born in Aberdeen SD on October 13, 1958, to Orville & Fern (Sanderson) Nereim. She grew up and attended elementary school in Claremont SD, graduating from Langford High School in 1976. Following high school, she worked in Aberdeen for the State of South Dakota. On September 1, 1979, Karen married Ron Tchida of Rutland. Ron was employed as a mechanic by Kulzer Brothers Farm Supply,the Allis-Chalmers Farm Equipment dealership in Rutland at the time, and they later owned & operated their own trucking business here. Karen & Ron resided at 305 Gay Street in Rutland during the first years of their marriage and later moved to the old Arnold Torgerson farmstead situated 4 miles south of town. Their 2 boys, Terry & Kevin, were born while they made their home in the Rutland community. The Tchidas were active members of Nordland Lutheran Church and the Rutland Community Club during their years here. Karen often contributed her embroidery and crocheting talents as an exhibitor at community events such as Uff-Da Day. In 1991 the Tchida family moved to Britton SD where Ron was employed by Horton Industries. In Britton, they continued to be active in church and community activities, with Karen serving on the 1st Lutheran Church Council. She also continued to participate in Uff-Da Day in Rutland for several years. Karen is survived by her husband, Ron, of Britton SD; by her 2 sons: Terry Tchida of Britton SD; and, Kevin Tchida of Fargo ND; by 2 sisters; by several nephews and one niece; and, by a host of friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and by her paternal & maternal grandparents. The funeral for Karen Tchida was held at 1st Lutheran Church in Britton SD at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3, with the Rev. Terrill Sorensen officiating. Visitation and a Prayer Service were conducted at the Church on the evening of Tuesday, March 2. Interment was in Sunset Memorial Garden of Aberdeen SD. The Price Funeral Chapel of Britton and Forman was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to Ron Tchida, 1112 8th Street North, Britton SD 57430. According to a note on the Price Funeral Chapel web site, Karen wrote her own obituary a few years ago, and concluded it with this message, “I ask you God to make a reservation for me to be home with you when I am done here. Make sure that I have done all here on earth that you wanted me to do. Love, Karen.” Karen Tchida was a beautiful person, in all respects, who will be missed by all who knew her. Her many friends in Rutland extend their condolences and sympathy to the Tchida family.
A dozen of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire District’s Volunteer Firefighters gathered at the Rutland Fire Hall on the morning of Saturday, February 27, to sharpen their firefighting skills with an on-line virtual training session. With larger, in person, training sessions still discouraged due to the covid-19 pandemic, the local firefighters opted for virtual training to sharpen their life saving and property saving skills, said Cameron Gulleson, Assistant Chief of the Rutland Department. According to Cameron, the Fire District acquired a 65” TV, hooked it up to a computer and then connected to the virtual training session via the internet, and everything went just fine. Andrew Woytassek is Fire Chief of the Rutland Department, and Katie Woytassek serves as the District’s Clerk/Secretary/Treasurer. It used to be that anyone who could drive a truck and pour water out of a boot could be a member of a small-town rural fire department, but no longer. These days, rural firefighters are required to undergo rigorous training to become certified and are required to keep on training on a regular basis to maintain their certification. The Rutland and Cayuga communities extend their thanks to the Volunteer Firefighters of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Departments for their hard work and dedication.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 1, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Mike Mahrer; Auditor Debbie Banish; and Council members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; Lori McLaen; and, Colton Corry; present. Also present was City Engineer Mike Bassingthwaite of Interstate Engineering, Wahpeton. Mr. Bassingthwaite discussed the recently discovered leak in the 50,000-gallon tank at the top of the water tower, and various options available to the City that ranged from repair to replacement. He will discuss the matter with the staff at Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls, the firm that has inspected and maintained the water tower and tank for the past several decades, before presenting specific options to the Council. The temporary repairs currently in place seem to be doing the job for now. In other business, the Council held the second reading and vote on final passage of a noxious weed ordinance; held the first reading of an ordinance regarding the parking of RV’s, travel trailers and campers on residential lots; and assigned portfolios to Colton and Lori, the two newest members of the Council. The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 5, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the City Council are open to the public, and Rutland citizens are invited to stop by to see their City’s government in action.
The Red River Sportsmen’s Show will be at the Fargo Dome in Fargo from Thursday, March 4 through Sunday, March 7. This year there will be at least one exhibitor at the show with a connection to the Rutland community. Great Bear Outfitting of Kalispell MT conducts guided hunting, fishing and camping expeditions into the Bob Marshal Wilderness of northwestern Montana, and the business is owned and operated by Mike & Katy Anderson of Kalispell. Mike Anderson is a son of the late Harvey Anderson, a native of Rutland, and a grandson of the late Earl & Irene Anderson of this community. So, if you’re at the Sportsmen’s Show this weekend and spot a flashy fellow who talks loud and brags a lot, that’s not Mike. Mike is the cowboy and former PBR rodeo bull fighter who talks, and shoots, straight and knows how to pack & trail a horse, find the best spot to bag your elk, deer, moose or grizzly with a rifle or a camera, find the best spot to put your fishing line into a fast-moving mountain stream to tempt a cutthroat trout, build a comfortable camp and make breakfast over an open fire or on a sheet metal camp stove. Say “Howdy” to Mike if you see him at the show and check out his web site at greatbearoutfitting.com if you don’t.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the former President, #45, the first President since Herbert Hoover back in 1932 to lose the House, the Senate and the Presidency in 4 years, and the first since Hoover to leave the Presidency with the American economy having fewer jobs than it had when he took office, emerged from the shadows to address his cult followers at a gathering in Orlando FL. Complete with a gilded plastic statue of the Great Bamboozler, the Orlando FL site chosen for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), competed with Disney World for the attention of the fantasy seeking crowd. CPAC used to have ideas, ideas that, no matter how backward, reactionary and dangerous they may have been, could at least be understood and debated. The CPAC of 2021, however, is bereft of ideas, and has only an unbounded faith in the demented dreams of its irrational prophet on which to hang its hat. Well, a great President, Harry Truman, said that the American people get the government they deserve, the government that they bring upon themselves. Right now, we have a government that is trying to unite the country, to solve problems and to correct wrongs. Do the American people want to return to a government that seeks to divide, to create animosity and to perpetuate injustice? The choice will be up to the American people in less than 2 years. Keep your seat belt buckled and hang on to your hat. We could end up back in Fantasyland again.
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.