By Bill Anderson
Big trucks, little trucks, big tractors, bigger tractors, planters, rock rollers, rock pickers and every other kind of machinery needed to plant a crop have been moving through Rutland this week as spring planting finally got into high gear. Commodity prices are up, covid-19 cases are down, the Sun is shining, the sky is blue, God is in Heaven and all is right with the world this week, at least so far. The temperature is still going up and down, too, from a high of 86 on Saturday, May 1, to a predicted low of 50 on Wednesday, May 5. In between, though, there was a very comfortable 74 on Sunday, May 2. Reports from the field are that the timely rain received back in April was just what the Doctor ordered, as soil moisture is good throughout the area. Even some combines have been observed, heading off to the shop to be serviced and made ready for the upcoming harvest season. Hope still springs eternal, on the farm as well as on the ball diamond.
The Sargent County Public Health District has reported more encouraging news on the covid-19 front this week. According to District Health Nurse Briana Spellerberg, there were 8 active covid-19 cases in Sargent County as of Tuesday, May 4, down from 16 a week earlier, and the percentage of adult County residents who have received at least 1 vaccination shot is at 53.6%, up from 52.8% a week ago. County Health Nurses Spellerberg and Chapin will be administering vaccinations to workers at the Bobcat Factory in Gwinner later this week. To make an appointment to obtain a vaccination, call: the Sargent County Public Health District in Forman at 724-3725; Forman Drug in Forman at 724-6222; or, Sanford Clinic in Oakes at 742-3267. All 3 of the currently approved vaccines: Moderna; Pfizer; and, Johnson & Johnson; are now available, although they may not all be available at the same time from the same supplier. Congratulations to the personnel of the Sargent County Public Health District, Forman Drug and Sanford Clinic for the work they are doing to protect the people of Sargent County from the ravages of the coronavirus.
Kaia Mahrer of this community was in Grand Forks on Thursday & Friday, April 22 & 23, completing her final examination for certification as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). She started the course last fall, and, due to covid-19 restrictions, completed most of her studies in a virtual classroom, on line. As a music teacher at Sargent Central, she’s used to teaching that way, and now she’s used to learning that way, too. Kaia will be working with the Forman Ambulance Squad of the Sargent County Ambulance Service. Congratulations to Kaia on her accomplishment, and on her dedication to community service.
Bud Cosgrove, formerly of Park Rapids MN, has been visiting in Rutland this week. Bud is the maternal grandfather of Shauna Bergh of this community, and he has recently made the northerly migration from his winter residence in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, near McAllen. He said that he now makes his summer home just north of the Twin Cities. Bud plans to be in Rutland on May 22 for the graduation of his great-granddaughter, Cora McKinney, from Sargent Central High School. Prior to retirement, Bud worked for many years as an independent trucker, delivering tanker loads of gasoline and diesel fuel to sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. After retirement, he also drove trucks for the Wyum Brothers farming operation near Rutland during the harvest season. Welcome back, Bud.
On Sunday, April 25, Curt & Renee (Sundquist) Larson of Forman celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary with a renewal of vows in a private ceremony at Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman, where they had been married 50 years earlier. Pastor Julie Johnson officiated at the ceremony, while Colin & Colleen Sundquist served as Best Man and Matron of Honor. Curt Larson had served as pastor of Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland for several years in the recent past. The Larsons said that their original marriage license was good for 50 years, with an option to renew for another 50. So, get ready for the celebration of their 100th in 2071. Their many friends in Rutland extend congratulations to them on the occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and best wishes for many more happy years together.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 3, in the Rutland City Hall with Mayor Mike Mahrer; Auditor Debbie Banish; and, City Council members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and Lori McLaen present. Council member Colton Corry was absent. Also present at the meeting were City Attorney LeeAnn Even; Sargent County/ NDSU Extension Service Family & Community Wellness Agent Cindy Klapperich; and, Rutland resident Bill Anderson. Ms. Klapperich invited the Council to participate in the “lead Local” workshop that will be presented at The Springs, in Gwinner, on July 14. The workshop is intended to help community members feel more comfortable about stepping into positions of leadership on local boards, councils, commissions and committees. Enrollment is limited to 30, said Ms. Klapperich, with a tuition of $75 per person, $50 of which will be paid by a grant obtained from the North Dakota Farmers Union. Ms. Klapperich said that the invitation to participate also extended to other groups and organizations in the community. Mr. Anderson urged the Council to take advantage of the many resources available to rural communities through the County’s NDSU Extension Service office.
Mr. Anderson also inquired about the City’s plans concerning the trench on the north side of Cooper Street/County #3, adjacent to Rutland Housing’s apartment house at 316 Ross Street. Mayor Mahrer said that the trench was necessary to allow water to drain off the Nordland Lutheran Church parking lot that is across Ross Street to the east, and that it would be reshaped and streamlined as soon as the ditch dried up enough to allow the work to proceed. The ditch and culvert had been blocked by sediment that had accumulated over the years, he said, and the ditch had to be restored to its original depth to work properly. After consulting with City Attorney Even, the Council decided to execute the encroachment agreement concerning a storage shed that is in the alley adjacent to 318 Anthony Street, and to then proceed with the legal action needed to vacate the platted alley that is adjacent to Lots 1 through 4 and 5 through 8 in Block 3 of Greene’s Addition of 1907. When completed, the vacated alley will become the property of the owner of the adjacent lots.
The Public Works position has again been relisted with Job Service of North Dakota. The City has been contacted by one applicant who wants to do mowing work, only.
Council member Rodney Erickson reported on the cost estimates that had been obtained for the repair of the City’s water tower, and the Council decided to retain Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls SD to perform the regularly scheduled tank cleaning and maintenance for $1,600, and to do the repair work at a rate of $575 per hour, the work to be done as soon as possible.
The Council decided to hire a contractor to mill out the portion of the garage driveway at 218 Gay Street that is obstructing drainage, and to bill the cost of the work to the property owner.
Four delinquent City utility services accounts were reported to be delinquent at this time. The Council approved a motion to assess the $450.20 delinquent account at 419 Cooper Street against the real estate if it is not paid by May 15.
The Council approved the Auditor’s request to dispose of unneeded City records in accordance with State Law.
The Auditor reported that a building permit has been issued to Mr. Doug Welinski for the construction of a 24’ X 38’ dwelling, slab on grade,, 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, at 218 West Front Street. The new structure will replace the mobile home that was recently removed from the property.
The Auditor reminded the Council members that Community Clean-up Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 15, with the Municipal Inert Waste Landfill scheduled to be open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Mayor Mahrer reported that a Rutland citizen has requested that the recently approved RV ordinance be enforced. The Auditor and City Attorney will draft a letter to be sent to the owner of the property on which the offense is alleged to be occurring.
The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. After reviewing the City’s bills and authorizing that they be paid, the Council adjourned. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 7, in the Rutland City Hall. All meetings of the City Council are open to the public, and interested citizens are invited to attend.
Another sign that community life is beginning to move toward normal is the resumption of the annual Mothers’ Day Seafood Boil at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on Saturday and Sunday, May 8 & 9. There will be several sessions each day. The event was cancelled in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, but restrictions have now been relaxed due to improvements in the pandemic picture. Interested persons can call Olivia at 701-680-1175 to check on reservations. The Rutland community extends an enthusiastic “Welcome Back!” to the Coteau des Prairies Lodge.
Some upcoming events in Rutland include: Mothers’ Day at the CDP Lodge on May 8 & 9; Rutland Community Club meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 10, at the Rutland Town Hall; Annual Meeting of the Rutland Cemetery Association at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12 in the Community Room of the Stock Growers’ Bank’s Rutland Station; Community Clean-Up Day in Rutland on Saturday, May 15, with the City landfill open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.; and, Syttende Mai, Norwegian Constitution Day, from sunup to sundown on Monday, May 17, All over Norway, but particularly in Oslo. Enjoy lutefisk & aqua vitae for breakfast, and the day gets better after that.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the national Republican Party’s descent into lunacy continues, as Party members jeer and censure Republicans of conscience, such as Representative Liz Cheney & Senator Mitt Romney, while weasels like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy follow the increasingly deranged former President, Trump, down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland with the Mad Hatter, March Hare and Crazy Queen of Hearts, and where words mean exactly what she says they mean, whatever that may be at the moment. It has to be disheartening for traditional Republicans to watch their Party, however tired, worn and backwards it may have been, brought down so low so quickly by a blowhard charlatan like Trump. But, no one should count the GOP out, at least not yet. The Party has been low in the past and has come back as strong as ever, but it has never before been totally bereft of its senses & conscience, as it is now. The World watches in fascination as a once great Party Struggles for its life, and for its soul. Republicans can save their Party, but only if they break the spell, and shake off the coils of the Trump personality cult. Will the GOP save itself? The world watches, wonders and waits.
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. 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.