By Bill Anderson
April seems to be bucking the season. It opened with a beautiful weekend over Easter, with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s, but the farther it goes, the colder it gets. The low temperature in Rutland on Wednesday, April 21, was 25 degrees and snow flurries, while Fargo set a record for cold on this date with 18. That’s 82 degrees colder than the record high for the same date of 100 above, set back in 1980. Thursday, April 22, was the 42nd annual Earth Day, a day dedicated to contemplating what we have been doing to our planet, and how to correct our blunders. Not to worry, though. President Joe Biden has hosted a “Climate Summit” of world leaders to discuss the situation. In keeping with the spirit of the occasion, and in observance of worldwide covid-19 recommendations, the summit was a virtual one, held online via ZOOM or some other video conferencing program. Picture it, hundreds of elected presidents and prime ministers, hereditary monarchs and tyrannical dictators in bathrobes, sweat suits and bedroom slippers, wearing facemasks and sitting in front of their computers, sipping coffee and discussing the fate of the world. Should we be comforted? Ask the Assembled Wise Men 42 years from now and they’ll let you know.
Hal Nelson has been treating an injured leg for the past week, the injury sustained while fishing at Sprague Lake. The walleyes had been biting, so Hal was out there enjoying the sport when he noticed some action on his line. He jumped to get the line and set the hook, slipped on a rock and fell onto some willow stumps left by a foraging beaver. The willow stumps were sharpened like punji stakes and put some serious scratches on Hal’s leg. He is getting around, though, and hopes to be back up to full speed in the near future.
Kenneth Maly of Chinook MT was visiting old friends in Rutland on the evening of Wednesday, April 14. Kenny is one of the sons of the late Francis & Rozilla Maly, and he grew up on the Maly family farm in Weber Township, south of Rutland. He is now employed by the Blaine County highway department out of Chinook, and he states that the county there has more than 1,300 miles of county gravel roads to maintain. Gravel is difficult to obtain for parts of Blaine County, Kenny says, and some roads are posted warning drivers to stay off of them when it is wet. “They might be out there until it dries up again,” he says. Kenny was employed by the Sargent County Road Department back in the 1990’s, before he moved to Montana. He planned to drive to Minneapolis to visit his daughter and 5-year-old granddaughter on Friday, April 16, and to return to Rutland on April 22 for a few more days of visiting friends and family here before returning to Montana. Kenny says that he likes living in the Chinook community, but he still has plenty of good friends and good memories in Rutland, too.
Information has been received from Lois Hoistad that a graveside service for her late husband, Urban Hoistad, a longtime farmer in the Rutland and Havana communities, will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 26, at the Nordland Lutheran Cemetery 1½ mile east and ½ mile south of Rutland. Military rites will be performed by members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion, Rutland. Urban had passed away on December 30, 2020, at the age of 93. He was one of the sons of the late John & Mabel Hoistad of Rutland. Old-timers here remember that Urban was a bowling enthusiast who bowled in the Rutland Recreation league back in the 40’s & 50’s. His bowling scores were usually in the high 200’s, and he bowled at least one 300 game on Rutland Recreation’s lanes. Along with Wilbur Jacobson, owner of Rutland Recreation, and several other bowlers from the Rutland Rec League, Urban participated in, and won, many tournaments throughout the tri-state region. Urban was also a life-long conservationist and was employed by the Wild Rice Soil Conservation District for many years.
Rutland native John Hoflen, now a resident of Bismarck ND, arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Friday, April 16, and spent the weekend visiting family and friends here. John enjoyed the Saturday morning coffee session at the Rutland Seniors’ Center and paid a visit to his cousin, Mavis (Hoflen) Wold at Four Seasons Healthcare Center on Saturday afternoon. In the late afternoon and evening of Saturday, April 17, members of the Hoflen family, including: John Hoflen of Bismarck; Andrew Hoflen of Rutland; Rob Hoflen of Rutland; Bill & Melissa Hoflen of Rutland; Ann Hoflen of St. Paul MN; Allison Glarum of West Fargo; Kent & Jeannie Hoflen of Hankinson; and Mary Hoflen of Wisconsin; enjoyed a family gathering in the dining room of the Lariat Bar in Rutland. John headed back to Bismarck on the morning of Monday, April 19, but not before stopping in at the Rutland Seniors’ Center for one more round of coffee and conversation before taking his leave. Except for brief periods of residency in Fargo ND and Phoenix AZ, John and his wife, Sharon, have resided in Bismarck for the past 5 decades.
Paul Anderson of this community and Carol Fridgen of Nevis MN arrived back in Rutland on Tuesday, April 20, after spending 2 months at their winter roost in Sun City West AZ. They had held off leaving for Arizona until they had received their second covid-19 vaccination on February 19 and headed south soon thereafter. Paul reports that weather and road conditions were good on the homeward trip, although he thinks that passage of the recently proposed infrastructure bill by the U. S. Congress could do a lot of good for the Interstate highways they travelled on. They stopped in Lincoln NE for a visit with Paul’s daughter, Betsy, on Monday, April 19, and cruised into Rutland at about 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. They departed Rutland, bound for Nevis MN, about Noon on Wednesday. All’s well that ends well.
Speaking of covid-19 vaccinations and travel, a report on the ongoing battle against the coronavirus was received from Sargent County’s Public Health District Administrator Brenda Peterson on Tuesday, April 20. She has graciously agreed that the information she provided may be reprinted here: “It feels like we’ve lost ground in the last 2 weeks, even with vaccinations. Our vaccination rate is 52.1%, but we no longer have a list so that percentage may increase much more slowly. … We have a lot of covid fatigue in our communities (everywhere, not just us). Everyone wants to get back to normal, but covid is not gone. Our positivity rate increased to 9.91% on April 12 but is down slightly today (8.57%). No changes to mask recommendations (in general) as we don’t know who has been vaccinated. They have given us guidance for those we know have been vaccinated. If you’ve been fully vaccinated you can: visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with other fully vaccinated people of any age; visit inside a home or private setting without a mask with one household of unvaccinated people who are not at risk for severe illness; travel domestically without a pre- or post-travel test; travel domestically without quarantining after travel; travel internationally without a pre-travel test, depending on destination; travel internationally without quarantining after travel. You shouldn’t: visit indoors, without a mask, with people at increased risk for severe illness from covid-19; attend medium or large gatherings. Dr. Avish Nagpal did comment in an interview with Valley News Live, April 9, 2021, “Since many of the adults are vaccinated, we have seen an epidemically shift in the spread of the virus. It’s affecting more young people and kids now.” One of our schools polled students to gage interest in the vaccine and when we went to the school only 33% of those interested were vaccinated. Anyone under 18 needs parental consent. We did take Pfizer into all our schools and offered it to anyone 16 or over (with parental consent). Forman Drug said they will offer Johnson & Johnson once it is approved again. We (Sargent County Public Health) will continue to offer Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, once it is approved again. Our active cases dropped again today to 16, which is an improvement. Thanks for the support. We appreciate it. Brenda” Thanks to Ms. Peterson for the information. To make arrangements to obtain a covid-19 vaccination, call: Sargent County Public Health at 724-3725; Forman Drug at 724-6222; or Sanford Clinic at 742-3267.
Meanwhile, on the local scene, covid fatigue is a reality and a threat. On April 14, the Sargent Central School Board voted, by a vote of 4 to 3, to end the District’s policy that required students, staff, and faculty to use facemasks on school premises and during school activities. With children now at increased risk of contracting and spreading the newly discovered variants of the covid-19 virus, District patrons are hopeful that covid fatigue does not evolve into covid tragedy. According to the U. S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) the best methods for preventing the spread of the covid-19 virus are still: use of facemasks; washing & sanitizing hands; and maintaining social distance. Covid fatigue is no excuse for covid foolishness. This is not the time to give in, give up or quit. With victory so close, let’s not blow it now!
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 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.