The Rooster Crows – March 26, 2010

By Bill Anderson

Spring has sprung! The northward migrating snow and blue geese, which had been down in Nebraska only a week earlier, arrived here in huge numbers by Thursday and Friday of last week, their noisy, squawking flights over town nearly drowning out the rattle of diesel powered pickup engines on Rutland’s Main Street. The Spring conservation hunting season on these birds has been open for a month, and some shooting near town was heard last weekend. No reports of hunter success have been received as of this writing, though. These geese may be bird-brains, but they are not totally devoid of sense. By the time they arrive at this point in their Spring migration, they have already been shot at for 1,500 miles, and have become quite adept at avoiding their ground bound pursuers. The successful hunter, even in a season in which there are hundreds of thousands of geese and there is no legal limit on the number that may be taken, must be at least as wily as a goose, and an embarrassing number find that they have difficulty crossing that intellectual threshold. The Spring conservation hunt of snow and blue geese is held in an attempt to keep the prolific birds from over-populating, over-grazing and destroying their summer range in northern Canada. The huge populations of snow and blue geese, as well as of other waterfowl, including their cousins, the magnificent giant Canada geese, are the products of conservation efforts begun more than a century ago, during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, himself an avid hunter and outdoors enthusiast. The efforts have been so successful that some species, once thought to be headed for extinction, are now so numerous as to be regarded as pests in many areas. Well, it is the hunter’s good fortune. When it comes to fishing, waterfowl hunting, upland game hunting or big game hunting in southeastern North Dakota, the “good old days” are right now.

Friday, March 19, was the day for the Grand Opening at the remodeled and renovated Rutland Café. The Rutland General Store, owned and managed by Gretchen Vann, acquired the Café from Shari Leinen back in mid-October, and spent the next 3½ months in a make-over of the facility that was originally built and equipped in 1948. Carpenter John Buskohl of Milnor did most of the remodeling work, while Calvin Jacobson and crew of Jacobson Plumbing, Heating and Excavating of Rutland took care of their specialties and Harvey Kleingarn of B&K Electric of Forman re-wired the business. At 10:00 on Friday morning, Shirley Mahrer cut the ribbon opening the corridor between the General Store and the Café, after brief remarks by owner Vann. Mrs. Mahrer’s late husband, Bernard Mahrer, was the original builder, owner and operator of the Café, 62 years ago. Other operators and owners, including: Bernard’s parents, Frank & Minnie Mahrer; Harry & Martha Christensen; Henry & Mabel Hare; David & Adeline Brakke; Edna Anderson & Lois Nelson on behalf of the Rutland Commercial Club; Ralph & Lois Nelson; Sue Nathe; and, Shari Leinen were also recognized and honored during the ceremony. A number of prizes were awarded in drawings held throughout the day, including a Grand Prize of an “Auto-Start”, with installation, contributed by Dick Nelson Sales & Leasing of Valley City. Dick’s parents, Ralph & Lois Nelson, owned and operated the Café for 36 years, from 1962 through 1998. The Grand Prize was won by Ella Lou Nelson of Rutland. The Rutland community is fortunate to have such a fine commercial facility on its Main Street, and extends congratulations to the owner and employees on a job well done.

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Rutland Residents at Inauguration Events

Rutland residents Bill Anderson and Pam Gulleson were among the thousands who attended the Inauguration ceremonies in Washington, D.C., in January.  Accompanying them were Lowell Wyum of Forman and Lance Gulleson of Lisbon.  They have provided several photos from the inauguration events and photos taken at the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in which Bill Anderson is pointing at some names.  Bill sends along this information:  “Larry Dyer and Larry Greene served with me in the US Marine infantry platoon I commanded in Vietnam, and were killed in action on February 4, 1970, brother Paul’s 21st birthday and a day I will never forget.  They were both only 19 years old.  Cleo Levang was from Forman and graduated from Sargent Central High School in 1964.  He was in the Marines, too, and was killed in action on January 5, 1967.  He was only 20 years old.  I thought that our national leaders had learned the lessons of Vietnam, but Iraq showed us that you are not likely to learn the lessons if you never showed up for the class.  Anyway, we had a great time in Washington.  It was a  trip of a lifetime and I am really glad that I went.  There were millions of happy, hopeful, positive and optimistic Americans there on Inauguration Day, very pleased that a dark chapter in American history was coming to a close and that a new day was dawning for the American people, and the people of the world.  Well, that’s enough preaching.”

The Rooster Crows – December 26, 2008

By Bill Anderson

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor dark of night may stay this faithful courier from the swift completion of his appointed rounds.  Attaining age 63 and 30 years of service allows the courier to turn his rounds over to another and retire, however. Louis Siemieniewski pulled his Jeep off his U.S. Postal Service rural route on Wednesday, November 26, the day before Thanksgiving, and hung up the mail bag for good. Louis started delivering mail back in 1980, as temporary substitute for Ray Murray on the Cayuga and Rutland routes. When Ray retired a few years later, Louis moved up to the full-time position. He turned 63 in October, and his 2 years of service in the U. S. Army during the Vietnam era were added to his years with the Postal Service to give him the 30 years of Federal service needed for retirement. A 1963 graduate of RHS, Louis has also been an avid outdoorsman since youth, and has been a Hunter Safety Instructor for over 30 years. He said that, from now on, whenever the snow starts to fall and the wind starts to blow, he is just going to open his drapes, sit in his recliner, look out the window and smile. The Rutland community extends congratulations and best wishes to a native son on his well deserved retirement. Jim Lunneborg of rural Rutland has taken over Louis’s old route, which now includes addresses with the Forman, Rutland, Havana and Cayuga ZIP codes.

Attorney Trent Mahler has been practicing his profession in Rutland since Monday, December 8, co-officing with Bill Anderson at 316 First Street, here. Trent is a native of Milnor, having graduated from High School there in 1985. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Moorhead State University in 1989. Following several years as program director with WDAY TV News in Fargo, Trent enrolled in Law School at the University of North Dakota and obtained his Juris Doctorate Degree in 1999. One of his classmates was Rutland native Daniel Narum, now a District Court Judge. Prior to returning to his home territory, Attorney Mahler served as a prosecutor in the Cass County States Attorney’s Office, as a partner with Kessel, Splitt & Mahler in Lamoure, and as an Assistant Attorney General in the office of North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. He and Attorney Anderson are not partners, but will be sharing office space as he establishes his practice here. Trent’s parents are Curt & Vi Mahler of rural Milnor. Welcome to Rutland, Trent.

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The Rooster Crows – November 21, 2008

By Bill Anderson

November, 2008, is living up to the 11th month’s reputation as the gloomiest month of the year. The first 3 weeks have seen only sporadic sunshine, long stretches of gray, overcast skies, fog, mist and snow. The excessive rain of October has ceased, but there has not been much drying going on since then, either. The whitetail deer season opened on November 7th, with rain and snow flurries in southeastern North Dakota, but a real knock-down drag-out blizzard hammered the rest of the State, stranding many would be deer hunters at home with nothing to do but tell each other stories about epic hunting experiences of years gone by. Standing corn still affords a lot of cover for deer in this area, and, although there have been steady reports of deer being harvested, there was no rush of success during the opening weekend as in many previous seasons. As the corn harvest progresses, both whitetail deer and ringneck pheasant hunters are finding it a little easier to spot and stalk their quarry. That still doesn’t solve the problem of being able to hit what they shoot at, but that’s another story. Just ask Kaia Thorfinnson, who took 6 shots at a standing doe, only to see the animal calmly flick its tail and stroll away when the shooting subsided. Kaia redeemed her reputation as a sharpshooter on Sunday, Nov. 16, though, when she dropped a nice whitetail with 1 shot, through the heart, at about 100 yards using a Remington model 700 BDL 6mm rifle equipped with a Nikon 3X9 variable scope. Now Kaia has 2 stories to tell about the 2008 hunting season: one about the one that got away; and, one about the one that didn’t.

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Mayor Honored

Narum AwardRutland should be proud to learn that our Mayor was honored at the North Dakota League of Cities Annual Conference as the “Outstanding City Official for 2008.”  Ron Narum has served as our Mayor for 36 years.  During his tenure, the city streets have been resurfaced, additions were made to City Hall, and the sewer system was renovated and the lagoons were rebuilt.   Ron was one of the founders of the Rutland Museum and serves as the caretaker of the museum, pioneer house and country school exhibits for 20 years.

Ron has been chief of the volunteer fire department and served on the board of the fire protection district. He is chairman of the county jobs development authority, a member of the county weed control board and president of the county historical society.  He has served on the boards of the Rutland Community Club, the Rutland Community Development Corporation, Rutland Community Housing, the Lake Agassiz Water Authority and the North Dakota League of Cities. Prior to becoming mayor, Ron served as a city council member.   

After receiving this award, Ron Narum said, “Well, this is a surprise. But, it isn’t just all my work…it isn’t just me…the community makes everything happen. And the community really appreciates when you can do even small things for them.”

Congratulations to Ron!