The Rooster Crows – May 13, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Spring has finally arrived, and the blizzards of April have been replaced by the thunderstorms of May. Last weekend, from the evening of Friday, May 6, to the morning of Monday, May 9, Rutland and the surrounding area received more than 2 inches of rain, every drop accompanied by a bolt of lightning and the rumble of thunder. There is some nervous pacing going on, as most farmers in the community have not yet turned a wheel planting the 2022 crop, due to the excessive moisture. Shane Breker has managed to get some wheat planted in the hills south of town, where the fields are better drained, but even Shane has about run out of hilltops that are solid enough to carry a tractor and planter. More rain is forecast through the coming weekend, and some are predicting that the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation will be looking at a lot of “prevented Planting” acres this year. Well, experience tells us that the weather can turn on a dime around here, and we might be crying for rain by Memorial Day, but, for now, just a little bit of “normal” would be nice.

If you can’t farm, you might as well go fishing. The local lakes are now full of water, and some of them are even full of game fish. Walleyes, crappies and northern pike just waiting to grab a hook and jump into the boat. During the first week of May, good catches of walleyes were reported at Buffalo Lake, about 6 miles north of town. No reports about fishing success at other lakes in the area have been received, but, in keeping with the Fisherman’s Code of Silence, that most likely means that the catching is even better on those bodies of water. The guys who aren’t fishing say that the fish aren’t biting, but they usually don’t bite if you don’t have a line in the water.

Roger Pearson reports that there is a shortage of good fishing minnows in the area. The ones that are available are either too small or already dead, he says. One bait shop in the area has a coin operated minnow dispensing machine that is a lot like playing the one-armed bandits at the casino. You put in your money, and you take your chances. It has been reported that minnows of the appropriate size are available at the bait shop in Britton SD, but transporting minnows across State Lines is illegal, so don’t do it. The minnows might get smart and turn you in.

Hal Nelson drove out to Beulah ND, out in the coal country on the west side of the Missouri River, on Friday, May 6 to visit his sister and brother-in-law, Lori & Larry Hruby. Hal says that the 40” of snow that was dumped on the Beulah area back in mid-April was very welcome, but not enough to break the drought that has devastated agriculture in that region for the past 2 years. Hal said that there was some green grass, but not much. 

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 13, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – May 6, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The year of 2022 is one-third gone and we are now enjoying the merry month of May, when a young man’s fancy blithely turns to thoughts of a new fishing boat with which he can pursue those lunker walleyes. Sometimes romance enters into the equation, but neither a boat nor a walleye are capable of returning much in the way of affection. Well, at any rate, at least we are now getting some sunny days and some temperatures in the low 60’s that are in the “normal” range for this time of the year. Of course, we had all of those “below normal” days in April that must be made up in the coming weeks. Cam Gulleson reports that he had recently heard a weather expert explaining that the month of April 2022 was the coldest, wettest, and windiest April since the year of 1886. 1886 was the year that James J. Hill’s Great Northern Railway constructed its tracks and brought its trains to Rutland, and the year that Prindiville’s Saloon was built. None of Rutland’s residents who were residing here in 1886 are disputing Cameron’s report, so it must be true. Rutland’s current residents are just hoping for “normal” in 2022. That’s not asking for too much, is it? Just once, once in 136 years, can the month of May, and maybe June, be normal? Well, we do live in North Dakota, where “normal” is a point on the weather spectrum that we pass on our way from too cold to too hot, too wet to too dry and back again.

Another report from Cam Gulleson is that the Gulleson Ranch is nearly done with Spring calving. As of Monday, May 2, the Gullesons had delivered more than 600 calves, and had about 70 to go. They didn’t think that they would have to be battling Winter in April, but this is North Dakota, after all.

Four young ladies of this community: Greta Bladow, daughter of Brian & Trish Bladow and the late Wendy Bladow; Kaycee Hamilton, daughter of Kenny & Tanya Hamilton; Whitney Mahrer, daughter of Mike & Kayla Mahrer; and Charlize Willprecht, daughter of Kevin Willprecht and Wendy Willprecht; affirmed their baptism and became confirmed members of Nordland Lutheran Church here on Sunday, May 1. These young women impress all who meet them. Their families, their church and their community are justifiably proud of them all.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 2, at the Rutland Town Hall, with Mayor Mike Mahrer; City Auditor Deb Banish; and Council Members Rodney Erickson; Delores Lysne; and Lori McLaen present. City Council member Colton Corry was absent. Sargent County Water Resource Board Member Mike Wyum and Water Resource Board Engineer Nathan Trosen of Moore Engineering, Fargo, were present to discuss Drain 8 with the City Council. Mr. Wyum said that the Water Resource Board had discussed what it can legally do with the Drain, and what the city would be legally able to do with the drain. The State of North Dakota requires a cost-benefit analysis for all County Water Resource Board water projects. Engineer Trosen discussed the slope and pipe requirements of the project that would have to meet State criteria. An economic analysis is required by the State to determine the cost and benefits of any future project. Mr. Wyum said that safety is a big concern but that is not a factor in the State’s analysis. Another option is for the Water Resource Board to abandon the drain to the City and the adjoining property owners. The Water Resource Board currently has about $103,000 in the Drain #8 fund that is available for a project; and, that an engineer’s analysis of a proposed project would cost about $20,000. Mr. Trosen said that a storm water model analysis could be done comparing the cost and effectiveness of 8”, 10” and 12” pipes. a full summary had been done in 2015 and that data could be used. The Council discussed the cost of an analysis and the different size pipes. The Council agreed that a 12” pipe would be the minimum needed. Moore Engineering will use the existing data and studies and develop an analysis based on those figures using a 12” pipe. There are also minimum standards and safety issues that must be complied with in any project. The Drain #8 matter will continue to be discussed at future meetings.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – May 6, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Apr. 29, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The thunderstorm that moved through the Rutland community late on Friday night and early Saturday morning, April 22 & 23, was a real rip-roaring, rumbling, rattling, rocking & rolling sound and light show, combined with a downpour that dumped .84 of an inch of rain at the Mike & Debbie Banish farm south of town; 1 inch at the Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson farm in Weber Township; .85 of an inch at the Mark & Kathy Wyum home in Rutland; 1½ inch of rain at Jesse Brakke’s Ransom Township farmstead between Rutland & Cayuga; and, more than 2 inches at Rick Bosse’s farm near Brampton. A 4.6” gully-washer near Crete, in the northwestern corner of Sargent County, washed out a substantial section of County Road #2 near Kraft Lake, according to Sargent County Commissioner Lyle Bopp. The temperature shot up to 72 above by Noon on Saturday, and then began a rapid decline to 24 degrees by 6:00 on Sunday morning, as the weather front moved through. The forecast for the week calls for more rain and more cold, with freezing temperatures most nights until the first week of May is behind us. Well, at least there was half a day of nice weather on Saturday, April 23. There was some consternation on the afternoon of Tuesday, April 26, when a bright object appeared in the sky to the south southwest of Rutland. Concerns were relieved, though, when it was confirmed that the object was actually the Sun, making its first appearance in quite some time. It was a welcome sight, and it is hoped that it will show up a little more often in the future. There is general agreement that a week or two without freezing temperatures sometime between now and Labor Day would be nice.

Rodney Erickson reports that the paperwork he submitted to the U.S. Postal Service concerning a new Post Office location in Rutland has been received by the office in Colorado in charge of the project and is under consideration. Rodney was informed that it might take a month or two for the Postal Service to get someone up to Rutland to look things over and make a recommendation about the floor plan for a new facility. It takes a lot of planning to figure out how to put a lobby for the public up front; office space, work area & storage in the rear; and a screen line with customers’ Post Office boxes and a service window in between. Speed does not appear to be of the essence. The Post Office boxes, service window and other USPS equipment were removed from the old Post Office last week and taken to the Gwinner Post Office to be stored until they can be installed at the new location. Let’s hope that the Postal Service can remember where it put this stuff when the time comes to use it again. As of the end of April, it will have been 7 months since the door on the old Post Office was locked “for a few days.” Since then, several local volunteers have been making daily trips to Forman to pick up mail at the Post Office there and deliver it to the intended recipients in Rutland. A few years ago, before the gang that now runs the Postal Service from its lair in Washington DC was appointed, the aim of the operation was to be faster, more efficient, and less expensive. The current Postmaster General has a new goal: slower; less efficient; and, more expensive. It is time for the Congress of the United States, the body that has the statutory and Constitutional responsibility to oversee the operations of the Postal Service, to fire the Postmaster General and the entire Board of Governors of the USPS. They can then be replaced with competent individuals of good character who have the best interests of the American people in mind. So, come on John, Kevin and Kelly, step up and do your job!

In another Main Street development, The Stock Growers Bank, formerly The Sargent County Bank, has listed the Lariat Bar and its contents with the Steffes Auction Company in Fargo, to be sold sometime in mid-June. According to Casey Bopp of Stock Growers Bank, it is the Bank’s intention to sell the property as a “turnkey operation,” ready for a new buyer to get up and running in short order. The Lariat Bar has been closed since March 5, when former operators Pete & Michelle Denault, decided to terminate their lease. The Denaults had a good business going but decided to leave the business due to personal concerns. Anyone wishing to obtain additional information about the Lariat Bar in Rutland can contact Casey Bopp at Stock Growers Bank in Forman, 701-724-3216, or check out Steffes Auction’s web site at steffesgroup.com. The Lariat Bar is a great business opportunity for anyone who is willing to put forth some effort. It’s better than having a license to print your own money.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Apr. 29, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Apr. 22, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The more the weather changes, the more it stays the same. Like the movie “Ground Hog’s Day,” every day is a repeat of the day before: windy; cold; and, wet. There was a hot time at the old Town Hall, though, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 16, as more kids than you could shake a stick at gathered for the Annual Rutland Easter Egg Hunt. The event had been planned to take place at a more spacious venue in the great outdoors, Lou Sanderson Field, but the inclement weather forced the sponsor, the Rutland Community Club, to move it indoors. According to Community Club President Katie McLaen, the Easter Bunny, who remained at the scene for photographs, had hidden 3,000 eggs for the kids to find, and 100 for the participants in the newly added adult Egg Hunt. The Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen donated six bicycles that were awarded as door prizes to 6 fortunate youngsters. The ladies of the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary served caramel rolls, cupcakes, muffins, juice, and coffee to those in attendance. Congratulations to the Rutland Community Club for another successful community event. President McLaen also reports that the search is on for Miss Rutland 2022 to compete for the title of Miss Sargent County this coming Summer. The Community Club will also be hosting the Annual Rutland Community Block Party, to which the entire community is invited, in early June. The next Community Club meeting is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9, at the Rutland Town Hall. “Things are happening in the little city that can,” says Katie.

Local churches were full on Easter Sunday morning, it is reported. All three churches of the TNT Parish: Trinity Lutheran of Havana; Nordland Lutheran of Rutland; and Trinity Lutheran of Forman; were filled up, and it is also reported that all seats were filled at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Cayuga. 

Easter dinner guests at the Joanne Harris home in Rutland were Andy Harris; Paul Anderson; and Bill Anderson.

Easter weekend visitors at the home of Norbert & Beverly Kulzer were Stephen & Ann Kulzer of Hartford SD and their son, Will, of Brookings. Norbert reports that their two granddaughters were out of the area, Lauren working at a hospital in Kansas City, and Brooke working with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in North Carolina. Stephen, Ann & Will departed for home on Sunday afternoon, after the snow let up.

More rain on the morning of Wednesday, April 20. According to Chuck Anderson and Mike Banish, the correct amount received as of 10:00 a.m. was either 3 tenths or 30 hundredths, take your pick. This is added to the snow received last week and on Easter Sunday. As it stands right now, there should be enough moisture to start a crop, if only the weather would warm up a little.

Last week it was mentioned in The Rooster Crows that Noel Liermark of this community had passed away on the morning of Thursday, April 7, at his home in Rutland. Noel had attained the age of 81 years, 8 months and 14 days at the time of his death. Noel Gary Liermark was born in Brooklyn NY on July 24, 1940, to Ivan & Dorothy (Weissman) Liermark. His parents brought him up in the Jewish faith. According to Noel, his first name was supposed to have been Noah, but a clerk at the hospital typed in Noel and it stuck. During World War II Noel moved with his parents to Long Beach CA, where he grew up and attended school. According to his lifelong friend, Mike Silverberg, who flew in from Hawaii to speak at Noel’s funeral, he had the normal interests of a teenage boy of the 1950’s, sports, cars, and girls. He graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1958. Following his graduation from high school, Noel worked with his father in the metal salvage business in Long Beach for a year before enlisting in the U. S. Army in August of 1959. During his time in the Army, Noel served a tour of duty with Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (MAC-V), headquartered at Saigon. During that time, American military personnel in Vietnam were officially considered to be Advisors, but the Viet Cong guerillas considered them to be combatants, and did not hesitate to take them under fire. Noel continued to serve in the Army until his Honorable Discharge in 1962. After returning home, he decided to go up to Lake Tahoe for a weekend, and ended up spending more than 40 years there, working in the gaming industry, for many years as a floor supervisor at Harrah’s Casino, one of the most prestigious of the Lake Tahoe gaming venues. It was at Lake Tahoe that he met Debra Vanderwolf, the love of his life. They were married on May 27, 1989, at Beaverton OR. They continued to make their home at Lake Tahoe until moving to Rutland in 2006. He developed a passion for cooking and enjoyed the company of his pet cats and dogs. Noel was a kind and gentle man who played a large role in the lives of his nieces and nephews. He is survived by his wife, Debra Liermark of Rutland; by a brother-in-law, Klaas Vanderwolf of Forman; and by several nieces, grandnieces, and grand nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; by Debra’s parents, Hein & Toos Vanderwolf; and, by a sister-in-law, Gretchen Vann. The funeral service for Noel Liermark was at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 19, at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, with Pastor Julie Johnson officiating. Military honors were rendered by Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion. Interment will be in the Rutland Cemetery at a later date. Price Funeral Chapel of Britton & Forman was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to Debra Liermark, 213 Anthony Street, Rutland ND 58067. The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Noel Liermark, a kind and decent man to whom strangers were just friends that he had not yet met.

Well, on the Post Office front, it’s still 3 out of 4: no action; no service; no Post Office. We can’t say “no information” any longer, however. Rodney Erickson reports that he has been contacted by an official at the U.S. Postal Services office in Colorado, and that he has submitted paperwork for a new Post Office location in Rutland. According to Rodney, the USPS now has some new requirements which it is doubtful whether any of the Post Offices currently in use in Sargent County satisfy. One of them is a requirement for at least 9 parking spaces, 2 of them handicapped accessible, and a number of them on private property. We’ll have to check out the Fargo Post Office one of these days, just to see how it stacks up. Representatives of the U.S. Postal Service were in Rutland on the morning of Wednesday, April 20, removing the Post Office boxes and other equipment from the former Post Office building. It was reported that the equipment would be stored at the Gwinner Post Office until a new facility in Rutland is secured.

Rutland native David Sundlie (RHs & SCHS Class of ’65) reports that his current hometown, Bismarck ND had more than a foot and a half of new snow dumped on it during last week’s 3-day blizzard that had most of the State shut down for several days. According to Dave, with the snow that fell down, was blown in and shoveled up, he now has about 4 feet of snow under the deck on his house, and he is looking for a neighborhood youngster to handle the snow chores from this point on. But then, Bismarck had it easy compared to Minot, where 3 feet of snow fell during the blizzard, and another 12 inches was added on Easter Sunday. With western North Dakota having suffered through 2 years of drought, the precipitation is not unwelcome, but cattlemen who are trying to raise a calf crop could do with a little less snow and a lot more sunshine right now. It’s hard to tell which has to be tougher, the cows or the cowboys.

Some upcoming events in Rutland include: Rutland City Council meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 2, at the Rutland Town Hall; Rutland Community Clean Up Day on Saturday, May 7, all over town, with drop off points at the City’s inert landfill west of Lou Sanderson Field and at the City shop for electronic items; Rutland Community Club meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 9, at the Rutland Town Hall; and, Memorial Day observances in Rutland commencing with military rites at 10:15 a.m. at the Nordland Cemetery & 10:30 a.m. at the Rutland Cemetery on Monday, May 30. The military rites will be followed by a program at the Rutland Town Hall, and by the traditional community pot-luck dinner at the Town Hall following the program.

The Rutland Cemetery Association reports that it has recently received 2 substantial donations to the Perpetual Care Fund. The first was a $10,000 donation from Jean Hauge, a daughter of Rutland natives Henry & Bertha (Moe) Skaarer, whose remains are buried in the Rutland Cemetery. Mrs. Hauge commended the Cemetery Association’s Board for the excellent care and maintenance that is provided for the cemetery grounds. The second donation was a $900 gift received from the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s gaming fund. The Rutland Cemetery Association is grateful to Mrs. Hauge and to the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club for their generous donations.

Meanwhile, on the North Dakota State scene, incumbent U.S. Senator John Hoeven is breathing a sigh of relief after narrowly fending off a challenge for the Republican Party’s endorsement during its recently concluded convention. Sen. Hoeven was challenged by ultra-conservative State Representative Dr. Rick Becker of Bismarck. Had Dr. Becker’s challenge succeeded, it would have been the first time that an incumbent U.S. Senator from North Dakota had been knocked off in a party convention or primary election since NPL candidate Wild Bill Langer beat out fellow NPLer Lynn J. Frazier back in June of 1940. It is alleged that Sen. Hoeven secured his renomination the same way he secured the GOP endorsement for Governor back in 2000, he bought it. According to Representative Becker’s supporters, Sen. Hoeven is not a bad guy, he’s just a bad Senator. That conclusion is probably the one and only thing on which Becker’s supporters and North Dakota Democrats agree.

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.

The Rooster Crows – Apr. 15, 2022

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.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Apr. 15, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – April 8, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Spring has been behaving like a reluctant maiden for the past few weeks, first bestowing her warm and radiant smile on her ardent suitors, then chilling their enthusiasm with a dousing of rain, snow and slush. Well, maybe it’s all part of an elaborate April Fools prank. Sooner or later, Spring is bound to bestow the warmth of her embrace upon the land, but, until then, she is delivering the promise without the squeeze. The 3 inches of new snow that fell on Sunday, April 3, was a reminder that April showers do not only bring May flowers. Those showers may also bring snow, slush and hazardous driving conditions. On the bright side, Janelle Brakke drove from Rutland to Fargo on Sunday afternoon, and reports that the clean snow removed all of the exterior dirt & grime from her car, as nicely as if she had purchased the high-priced option at the car wash. Every cloud has its silver lining.

A large group of family and friends gathered at the Rutland Town Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, April 2, to honor Delores “PeeWee” Breker on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Delores is one of the daughters of the late Mr. & Mrs. Harold Evenson. The Evensons made their home in Rutland when Delores was born, but later moved to Cogswell where she grew up and went to school. When she married Ralph Breker, she again became part of the Rutland community, residing on the farm southeast of town where Shane & Carla Breker now make their home. Guests from North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota were on hand to help Delores celebrate, and Stephen Ricksecker, a nephew who had made his home with Ralph & PeeWee during his high school years, flew all the way from California to attend the party. PeeWee’s many friends in this community extend an enthusiastic “Happy Birthday!” to her, and best wishes for many more to come.

Confirmation students at Nordland Lutheran Church: Greta Bladow; Kaycee Hamilton; Whitney Mahrer; and Charlize Willprecht; presented their Affirmation of Faith statements to the Congregation; and, 5th Grade students: Julia Mahrer; Loden Jochim; Lilith Pavek; and, Krosby Willprecht; had their First Communion; during worship service at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 3.  The Confirmation service, also called Affirmation of Baptism, for Greta, Kaycee, Whitney, and Charlize is scheduled for Sunday, May 1, at Nordland Lutheran Church. This is an impressive group of young ladies: intelligent; articulate; and, confident; of whom their families and their community can be proud.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – April 8, 2022”