By Bill Anderson
Geese by the millions … well, maybe by the hundreds of thousands, had congregated in the Rutland area on Monday & Tuesday, March 28 & 29, taking a pause in their northward migration. Some of the geese, primarily those of the Giant Canada variety, were busy selecting nesting sites in the local area, while the rest, the snows, blues, brant, speckle-bellies and lesser Canadians, were foraging in preparation for the next leg of their journey up to the Arctic Ocean. Predators such as American Bald Eagles and Red-tailed Hawks, shadowed the huge flocks of geese, picking off the weak and the crippled. The number of human predators tracking the flocks seemed to be down this year, but maybe they’re just better camouflaged than normal. Well, good luck to the hunters, and good luck to the geese. We’ll see you again this fall.
It started out as rain on the evening of Tuesday, March 29, but changed to slushy, mushy, sloppy snow sometime during the night. The forecasters had predicted 1 to 3 inches of snow from the event, and they could have been right, about halfway through the night. Chuck Anderson measured 5 inches of snow in his Weber Township farmyard, and Chuck Sundlie said that there was a good 6 inches of slush on his front yard on the southeast corner of town on Wednesday morning. According to Denny Pherson, the precipitation is welcome, as we don’t have to go too far west, south or north of Sargent County to find areas that are already suffering from the effects of drought. Custom harvesters are expecting a short crop of winter wheat this year, due to drought conditions all the way from Texas to North Dakota, says Denny.
Sargent Central students participating in League Trap Shooting this spring were selling raffle tickets in town this week, raising money to help defray expenses for clay pigeons, ammunition and other necessities. Among those working for the cause were: Tucker Wiederholt; Lucy Mahrer; and, Brody Mahrer. According to Tucker, the drawing for a cash prize of $500 will be held on Friday, April 1, and that’s not an April Fool’s Day joke, either.
Lou Ann Lee of Abercrombie ND, representing the Quilts Of Valor Foundation, presented handmade quilts to 9 local veterans of the Vietnam War in a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 27, in the Nordland Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall. The quilts were made by a group of quilters from the Abercrombie area who are affiliated with the Quilts Of Valor Foundation. Each quilt had the veteran’s name and the date of presentation embroidered on it. Those presented with quilts were: Larry Christensen; Bill Anderson; Wallace Herman; John Hoflen; Andrew Hoflen; Boyd Jacobson, Jr.; Calvin Jacobson; Douglas Olstad; and, Douglas Spieker. The quilts were presented individually, and Ms. Lee read a brief summary of each veteran’s service as the quilt was draped over the veteran’s shoulders. Each veteran then had a chance to make a few remarks, and they all kept it short. Ms. Lee also presented emblems authorized by Congress to commemorate Vietnam War Veterans Memorial Day, March 29, to all those veterans present who had served in the U. S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, from November of 1955 to May of 1975, regardless of where their service was. March 29, 1973, forty-nine years ago, was the date when the last U. S. combat unit left Vietnam. Following the ceremony the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary served coffee and bars for those in attendance.
Mike & Debbie Banish departed Rutland on Monday, March 28, bound for Mandan, and the annual City Officials Academy presented by the North Dakota League of Cities on Tuesday & Wednesday, March 29 & 30. Debbie was planning to attend training sessions for City Auditors, while Mike was planning to be lounging by the motel pool. Well, everybody should do what they do best.
Covid-19 is the unwanted guest that just won’t leave. Back in mid-March of 2020, most of the country shut down as part of the national effort to control the spread of the deadly pandemic. Now, more than 2 years later, every time we think that we have the darned thing whipped, the virus keeps on coming back in new variants and sub-variants, attacking Americans of all ages and walks of life. Today, about two-thirds of Americans have been fully vaccinated against the virus, making them much less likely to become ill, be hospitalized, suffer long term after effects or die as a result of the virus. Those who have not been vaccinated are more likely to get sick, be hospitalized and die as the result of a covid-19 infection. As of Tuesday, March 29, the FDA and the CDC both recommended that those Americans over the age of 50, or those with compromised immune systems who received their first booster shot more than 4 months ago, should obtain a second booster shot to strengthen their immunity to the virus. According to Sargent County Health District Administrator Brenda Peterson, the Sargent County Health Department should be able to begin administering second booster shots to eligible persons by April 11, provided that both the U. S. and North Dakota Health & Human Services Departments get their paperwork done in an expeditious manner. To make an appointment to obtain a second booster shot, call the Sargent County Department of health at 724-3725.
The last session of the State Legislature established new boundaries for legislative districts, and, for the first time since 1966, no part of Sargent County is in the 26th Legislative District. This time around, all of Sargent County, except for Tewaukon and Marboe Townships down in the southeast corner, will be in the 28th District along with Dickey, Lamoure, Logan & McIntosh Counties. Tewaukon and Marboe Townships are tacked on to Richland County to form District #25. Last weekend, on March 25 & 26, several from the new District attended the State Convention of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party in Minot. Some delegates attended in person, and some attended virtually, via computer. Statewide candidates endorsed by the Democratic-NPL Party include: Katrina Christiansen for U. S. Senate; Mark Haugen for U. S. House of Representatives; Tim Lamb for Attorney General; Finton Dooley for Commissioner of Agriculture; Trygve Hammer for a 4 year term on the Public Service Commission; and, Melanie Monez for a 6 year term on the Public Service Commission. North Dakota Republicans are scheduled to hold their State Convention on April 1 & 2 in Bismarck.
Some upcoming events in Rutland include: Board of Equalization meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 4, in the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland City Council meeting immediately following the Board of Equalization meeting on Monday, April 4, in the Rutland Town Hall; and, Annual Rutland Easter Egg Hunt at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Lou Sanderson Field.
Sargent County Water Resource Board member Mike Wyum is planning to be at the Rutland City Council meeting on Monday, April 4, to discuss possible future plans for Sargent County Legal Drain #8, the drainage ditch that takes water from the City of Rutland and adjacent lands to the Wild Rice River. The need for improvement of the drain has long been recognized, but just what those improvements should consist of has been a matter for conjecture. As the old-timers used to say, “Whiskey’s fer drinkin’, and water’s fer fightin’!” Times may change, but the basic rules of the game remain the same. Five years ago the City rejected a Drain #8 improvement plan put forward by the Water Resource Board. Mike would like to have the City and the Water Resource Board on the same page when developing any future improvement plan.
Monday, April 11, 4:00 p.m., is the deadline for filing petitions to be a candidate for the Rutland City Council or Park Board. Those whose current terms are expiring on the City Council ar: Colton Corry; Rodney Erickson; and, Lori McLaen. Those whose terms on the Park Board are expiring are: Larry Christensen; Kyle Mahrer; and, Mac Pherson. The City Election will be held in conjunction with the Statewide Primary Election in June.
On the Post Office front the report is still the same: no information; no action; no service; and, no Post Office. The Postal Service’s refusal to provide any information to the Rutland community is both aggravating and insulting. Who do they think they’re working for, anyway? Rutland residents are urged to keep contacting Senator Hoeven, Senator Cramer and Congressman Armstrong to urge that they push the Postal Service for action to get the Post Office up and running in Rutland again.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the former 45th President of the United States has once again described Russian Dictator Vladimir Putin, destroyer of Ukrainian cities and murderer of Ukrainian children, as a “genius.” Good grief! Does anything more have to be said about the 45th President’s intellect, character and conscience? Americans can, and should, give thanks to The Almighty that they are rid of him.
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.