By Bill Anderson
Good Friday and the deadline for filing your 2021 State & Federal personal income tax returns are both on Friday, April 15 this year. The symbolism is obvious. Everybody gets crucified on the same day. Easter Sunday, April 17, commemorates the Resurrection of One, and the redemption of all the rest of us. Redemption, better than a Presidential Pardon, won’t get anyone who cheats on their taxes out of Leavenworth, but it will get everyone who accepts it into Heaven. That’s a better deal, and a better destination.
Despite the fact that the Spring Equinox occurred 3½ weeks ago, the actual arrival of Spring has been an elusive prize. So far, the warmest day of the year, just above 60, was experienced back in March. April has seen nothing above the mid-50’s, and the temperature has had difficulty breaking the 30 mark this week. More of the same is being predicted for next week. What’s the world coming to!? A steady rain rinsed some of Winter’s accumulation of dirt and grime away on Palm Sunday, April 10, but it didn’t warm anything. Gary Thornberg reported that his farmstead rain gauge in Weber Township measured 1¼ inch of rain on Sunday, and the gauge of his neighbor, Chuck Anderson, registered 1.22” from the same event. Chuck reported another .53 of an inch from the rain on Tuesday, April 12, with Mike Banish’s rain gauge 2 miles south of town registering .32 of an inch on Tuesday. The weather system that has brought cold temperatures and rain to Rutland has also blanketed most of the State with anywhere from 6” to 30” inches of snow. This is cause for celebration in the western 2/3 of North Dakota, which has been in a severe drought for the past 2 years. This snow and rain will not end the drought, but at least there will besome green grass when the Sun finally does shine, which it will, one of these days.
Just because the bar is closed doesn’t mean that there isn’t any excitement in the old town. According to a report from Sargent County Sheriff Travis Paeper, Rutland resident Jason “Schwank” Smykowski was driving north on Ross Street at about 11:00 p.m. on Monday, April 11, when he paused at the intersection with Gay Street, just ½ block west of his home, and apparently lost consciousness. His pickup truck was in gear with the engine running when his foot slipped off the brake pedal, allowing the pickup to idle forward. The vehicle angled slightly to the right and crossed the front lawn of Rutland Mayor Mike Mahrer’s house. The pickup missed a tree but passed close enough to fold the external mirror on the passenger side back. It proceeded north, still at idle speed and passed by another tree, this one on the driver’s side, that folded the external mirror back on that side, too. The pickup, with Mr. Smykowski still slumbering, then hit the south side of the attached garage on the house belonging to Calvin & Wendy Jacobson. The wall sustained some damage, but it did stop the truck. According to the Sheriff, the speed of the pickup at the time of impact was estimated to be about 3 mph, and Mr. Smykowski was cited for DUI. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the damage to both Schwank’s pickup and to Calvin & Wendy’s garage appears to be minimal. And they say that nothing exciting ever happens in a small town! This is the second time in less than a year that a vehicle has collided with a building in Rutland. Last fall, the mini-van driven by Vaughan Rohrbach, and owned by the late Joe Malstrom of this community, went through the front wall of The Lariat Bar building on Main Street. One more reason to not sit too close to the door.
The northward migration of the North Dakota snowbirds has commenced. Paul Anderson & Carol Fridgen arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 6, after spending the preceding 3 months in Sun City West AZ. They headed for their summer perch at Spider Lake, near Nevis MN, on Thursday, April 7, to enjoy the 6 inches of new snow that had been received there.
Friends here were shocked and saddened on the morning of Thursday, April 7, when it was learned that longtime Rutland resident Noel Liermark had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away at his home here. Noel had attained the age of 81 years8 months and 14 days at the time of his death. The funeral service for Noel Gary Liermark will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, with Pastor Julie Johnson officiating. Interment will be in the Rutland Cemetery at a later date. The Price Funeral Chapel of Forman & Britton is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences may be sent to Debbie Liermark, 213 Anthony Street, Rutland ND 58067. There will be more information about Noel’s life among us in next week’s column.
The Sargent County District Health Unit held a Covid-19 Booster Shot Clinic from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 12, at the Rutland Seniors’ Center. District Health Department Administrator Brenda Peterson, County Health Nurse Briana Spellerberg and Nurse Kelsey Nelson were on hand to handle the paperwork and administer the shots. According to Ms. Peterson, 27 eligible persons were vaccinated with their second booster during the clinic. The County Health Department will be holding the following booster shot clinics during the remainder of April: Thursday, April 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Gwinner Fire Hall; Monday, April 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the County Health District Office in Forman; On Wednesday, April 20, from 10:00 a.m. to Noon at the Milnor Senior Citizens Center; Thursday, April21 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Gwinner Fire Hall; Monday, April 25, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the County Health District Office in Forman; and, Thursday, April 28, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Milnor Senior Citizens Center. To get more information about covid-19 and other vaccinations, or to make an appointment, call the Sargent County Health District office at 724-3725. Briana and Kelsey are experienced with the needle and are “painless pokers.”
Easter Sunday services at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 17. The Maundy Thursday service for the TNT Parish will be at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, and the Good Friday service for the TNT Parish will be at Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 15.
The Rutland Community Club’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, at Lou Sanderson Field on the north side of town [Location has been changed to the City Hall due to recent rains and the forecasted temperature]. This year, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for adults in addition to the hunts planned for the various age groups of children. Lunch, prepared and served by the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary, will be available. Check the Rutland website at www.rutlandnd.com or the Rutland Facebook page for any changes that may be made due to adverse weather.
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.