By Bill Anderson
From below Zero on Monday, March 1 to 62 above Zero on Monday, March 8, a very welcome respite from Winter, but “respite” is the operative word. Monday’s high temperature broke a record that had stood since 1911, when the mercury soared to 54 above zero. Tuesday’s high of 65 degrees above Zero was also a record, eclipsing the 58-degree mark that had been set in 2015. Winter is not done, yet, however. On Wednesday, March 10, the weather gurus are predicting a high of 35 and possible snow. You can rest easy, though, as Winter’s days are definitely numbered. Daylight Savings Time is scheduled to make its arrival at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 14, and the Vernal Equinox, the First Day of Spring, according to the timetable established by the Creator of the Universe, makes its arrival on Saturday, March 20. These two harbingers of better days ahead are more precise and dependable than the groundhog, the snow geese and the first robin, although not nearly as colorful, active and noisy. Once the Vernal Equinox arrives, spring has definitely sprung, regardless of what the thermometer says. So, just sit back and relax. Winter will make its exit and Spring will make its entrance in their own good time, and all of our questions, comments and complaints will not alter their pace one whit. Meanwhile, keep your snow shovel handy, just in case you have to shovel some of that Spring sunshine off your driveway.
Paul Anderson of this community reports that he is a grandpa, again. Miss Arlo Lake Elfering was born on Monday, March 1, 2021, in Seattle WA to Paul’s daughter & son-in-law, Katie & Josh Elfering. She weighed in at 7 pounds 7½ ounces, according to Grandpa, but he wasn’t sure how tall she was on arrival. Her Mom is 5’2” and her Dad is 6’8”, so she has possibilities in either direction. Arlo joins her big brother, Rhys, in the Elfering household. Congratulations to the Elferings, and to Arlo’s proud Grandpa Paul.
CORRECTION: In last week’s report of the Monday, March 1, Rutland City Council meeting, the last names of City Council member Colton Corry and City Engineer Mike Basingthwaite were misspelled. Apologies are extended to Mr. Corry and Mr. Basingthwaite for the errors, and thanks to City Auditor Debbie Banish for noticing the errors and providing the corrections.
Rutland native Mavis (Hoflen) Wold notified friends and relatives in the Rutland area on Wednesday, March 3, that, as of Monday, March 1, she is once again a Sargent County resident. Mavis reported that she is now a resident of Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman, where she is recuperating and receiving therapy for the broken leg she suffered in her Minneapolis apartment several weeks ago. Mavis and her husband, the late Norman Wold, made their home in Minneapolis for the past several decades, but seldom missed an event or activity in the old hometown. Mavis said that she felt that she would do better if she could be “back home” during her recovery. She is receiving phone calls and visitors at Four Seasons, but visitors should check with Four Seasons Management to schedule a time for their visit as there are still some restrictions due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking of the covid-19 pandemic, Sargent County Public Health District Administrator Brenda Peterson reports that approximately 24% of the County’s 3,872 residents have been vaccinated against the virus as of Monday, March 8, according to statistics obtained from the State of North Dakota. The 938 individuals who have been vaccinated include 307 in the 18 through 64 age group, 349 in the 65 through 74 age group and282 in the 75 and older age group. According to Ms. Peterson, more than 60% of Sargent County residents who are over age 65 have been vaccinated with at least 1 shot of the covid-19 vaccine, but only a little over 10% of those who are in the 18 through 64 age group have been vaccinated as of March 8. Sargent County has been receiving vaccine allocations from the State on an every 3 weeks basis, but that is expected to increase to every week in the near future. The pace of vaccinations is expected to pick up as the supply of the vaccine increases. Health District nurses Briana Spellerberg and Taylor Chapin have been administering the shots for the County and vaccinations are also available from Forman Drug. At 24%, Sargent County is slightly ahead of the State average in the percentage of its residents who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, says Ms. Peterson. To get on the list to obtain a vaccination, individuals should contact Sargent County Public Health at 724-3725, or Forman Drug at 724-6222. Congratulations and thanks to the staff of Sargent County Public Health, and to the staff of Forman Drug, for providing this much needed, and much appreciated, service to the people of Sargent County.
This community was saddened on Monday, March 8, when it was learned that longtime Rutland resident Richard O. Lysne had passed away at Sanford Hospital on Broadway in Fargo after a long battle with a serious respiratory condition. He had gone to the hospital by ambulance on Friday, March 5. Richard had attained the age of 73 years, 3 months and 5 days at the time of his death. Richard and his wife, Delores, were natives of Fairmount ND, and they moved to Rutland in the 1970’s, when he began his employment at the Bobcat, then Melroe, Factory in Gwinner. Richard had served in the U. S. Army and was a Vietnam Veteran. In Rutland, he and Delores were active in the community, with Richard serving as one of the co-chairmen of the Uff-Da Day Parade Committee for 25 years. He was a member of the Rutland Park Board for many years and was an active member of Rutland’s American Legion Post. Richard is survived by his wife, Delores, of Rutland; by a son, Ryan Lysne, of Morton ND; by a daughter, Carrie Wood, of Walker MN; by 4 granddaughters; by 3 grandsons; and by a host of friends and relatives. There will be a private family service at the Vertin-Munson Funeral Home in Wahpeton at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 12, and a Celebration Of Life honoring the memory of Richard Lysne at the Rutland Town Hall from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 12. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery at Fairmount ND later this Spring. A more complete write-up of Richard Lysne’s life among us will be in next week’s column. The Rutland community extends its condolences and sympathy to the Lysne family at this time of loss.
Well, Rutland has not been involved in weather modification, but the City has been creating some rain sprinkles this past week. Drivers going past the intersection of First and Arthur Streets noticed raindrops on their windshields, even when the sky was perfectly clear. It turned out that the raindrops did not originate from the clouds, but from the Rutland water tower. Rodney Erickson, a member of the Rutland City Council, reports that 2 more pinhole leaks have developed near the leak Rodney previously stopped with a tool intended to plug holes in the bottom of a boat. Rodney said that he managed to get a second plug into one of the additional leaks and plans to install the 3rd later this week. Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls, the firm that has provided inspection and maintenance services on the water tower and tank since the 1970’s, has been contacted to check out the situation and make a recommendation. Rodney said that a second firm has also been contacted to diagnose the problem and provide a repair estimate. The Rutland water tower was built when the municipal water system was constructed back in 1954. At that time, the tower and tank had a 50-year life expectancy. Regular and careful maintenance during the past 50 years has prolonged the useful life of the tank to 67 years, and it is hoped that timely repair will give Rutland residents some additional years of service from the familiar landmark. Until permanent repairs are made though, the situation merely reinforces what everyone already knows, that the Sun really does always shine on Rutland, even when it’s raining.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan,” a $1.9 Trillion plan to assist Americans cope with the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, is set to be approved by the Congress and signed by the President. The plan is aimed at those Americans who are in the middle to low-income range, and it is expected to give many Americans a big boost in lifting themselves out of poverty. One of the provisions that will be felt almost immediately is the $1,400 per person direct subsidy that will be paid out to taxpayers earning $75,000 or less, individually, or $150,000 as a married couple. Public opinion polls indicate that more than 70% of all Americans, including 60% of Republicans, support this plan that was proposed by a Democratic President and passed by a Democratic controlled U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Nevertheless, the plan was adopted without a single Republican vote in either chamber of the U. S. Congress. Back in 2009, the Republicans in Congress refused to cooperate with any proposal made by then President Barack Obama, even the plan that pulled the world back from the brink of world-wide financial collapse and economic depression. The GOP was successful in using that tactic, plus a huge helping of overt racism, to capture control of the Congress in the 2010 Election, and it appears that the GOP leaders in the Senate and the House are prepared to try the same tactic again. Will it work again? Well, it all depends on just how gullible the American public decides to be. Time will tell, and history will be the judge of the actions taken by the American electorate. History has reserved its harshest judgments for those who, in times of moral crisis, do nothing. As a great President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, once said, “Governments do err. Presidents do make mistakes. But far better the occasional mistake of a government that acts in a spirit of charity than the continual omissions of a government that is frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” Well, there’s nothing indifferent about the government led by the current President. Later.