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. 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 – Mar. 11, 2022

By Bill Anderson

“When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb,” the old-timers used to say. So, what happens when March comes in like an iceberg? The first 10 days of March, 2022, have either been cold, or a lot colder, and the forecast doesn’t have any relief in sight. Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 13; St. Patrick’s Day is on Thursday, March 17; and, the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of Spring, arrives on Sunday, March 20, according to the Sun; so we suspect that warmer weather may be arriving one of these days. So far no show, however. “If you don’t like the weather in North Dakota right now, just wait a minute and it’ll change,” is another of the old-timers’ sayings, and, although it is true, there is no guarantee that the new weather conditions won’t be worse than what you didn’t like in the first place, especially in March. Just be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

Mike & Debbie Banish drove to Fargo and then flew to Denver on Saturday, February 26, to represent North Dakota at the National Farmers Union Convention. The Banishes were delegates selected by the North Dakota Farmers Union to represent the State organization at the national level. Mike reports that the Convention was held in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Denver. According to Mike, the delegates discussed current farm policy and adopted resolutions and policy positions stating the Farmers Union’s aims and goals when it comes to national farm policies and programs. Past President of the National Farmers Union, Roger Johnson of North Dakota, was recognized for his years of meritorious service to the organization by current President Bob Larew, according to Mike. The Banishes returned home on Wednesday, March 2, and report that they had a most enjoyable and informative time at the National Farmers Union Convention.

Norbert Kulzer was a patient at Sanford Hospital in Fargo from Wednesday, March 2, to Monday, March 7. Norbert received treatment for a painful hip injury and for an infection in one of his feet. He is feeling much better now, but will be moving a little slower than normal for a while. Norbert’s many friends extend a hearty “Welcome home!” to one of Rutland’s stalwarts.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Mar. 11, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – March 4, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The month of February ended on a pleasant note, as the temperature climbed to 41 degrees above Zero on Monday, February 28, and Mother Nature provided a sunny, nearly windless, day to close out the month. Winter isn’t over, yet, though. The forecast is predicting high temperatures below the freeze line, along with the possibility of more snow, for the coming week. We have to remember that the Ground Hog, old Rutland Rasputin, saw his shadow back on February 2, a circumstance calling for 6 more weeks of winter. Well, that 6 weeks will be up right around St. Patrick’s Day, so, no matter how cold the temperature or how deep the snow may be, be prepared to celebrate the arrival of Spring, and green beer, at about the same time.

Mike & Phyllis Wyum, Chuck & Mary Beth Anderson, and Randy & Gayleen Ptacek departed Sargent County, bound for Hawaii on Sunday, February 20. They arrived back home on the evening of Monday, February 28, after spending a week enjoying the climate and seeing the sites on America’s Pacific paradise. According to Chuck, they headquartered at a very nice hotel on the island of Oahu, fronting the beach, with rooms on the 22nd floor, overlooking an idyllic lagoon. 

Chuck said that he enjoyed the whale watching cruise, during which they got up close and personal with some humpback whales, including a playful calf; and a tour of Pearl Harbor that included a visit to the battleship USS Missouri, the ship on which the Japanese surrendered on September 2, 1945, at the end of WWII, and a tour of the USS Arizona Memorial, the American battleship that was sunk, with about 1,100 of its crew still aboard, on the day the U. S. was thrust into WWII, December 7, 1941. Hawaii is a wonderful place, Chuck said, but he and Mary Beth have other locations on their “bucket list” to visit before they make a return trip. The weather on Hawaii is boring, perfect every day.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – March 4, 2022”

The Rooster Crows – Feb. 18, 2022

By Bill Anderson

Old Man Winter has maintained a tight grip on southeastern North Dakota, providing more than enough below Zero temperatures, ferocious winds and migrating snow to satisfy even the most masochistic of North Dakotans. Last Friday, February 11, Rutland and vicinity was hammered with 60 mph winds followed by below Zero temperatures. The wind inflicted some damage to structures in Rutland, including stripping a substantial number of shingles from the roof of Paul Anderson’s house at 309 Gay Street. The forecast doesn’t indicate any relief through the end of February. Maybe March will be a little more civilized.

Rutland City Auditor Debbie Banish demonstrated how treacherous walking on the ice & snow can be while going to work at the Rutland Town Hall on the morning of Monday, February 14. A layer of new snow hid the ice next to the curb and when she stepped on it her feet went out from under her and down she went. Debbie reports that she landed on her back and gave the pavement a hard whack with her head. Her husband, Mike, took her to the Emergency Room at the Oakes Hospital where she was checked for a concussion. Tests indicated no concussion or other serious injuries, and Debbie was back home in the afternoon with no aftereffects other than a headache. She reports that the pavement was not damaged, either.

Twenty-five teams of coyote hunters braved the elements on Saturday, February 12, to participate in the Fourth Annual Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s Coyote Hunt. The hunt commenced at 5:00 a.m. at the Sportsmen’s Club’s Clubhouse north of Silver Lake. Each team of coyote hunters paid a $50 entry fee to participate in the hunt. According to Sportsmen’s Club Vice-President Kyle Mahrer, the winning team bagged 9 coyotes, the 2nd place team got 4 and the 3rd place team shot 3. The top 3 teams were awarded cash prizes, and the First-Place team earned $600 for their effort. According to Kyle, a total of 24 coyotes were shot throughout the day. The Fifth Annual Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s Coyote Hunt is scheduled for Saturday, February 11, 2023. Other upcoming Sportsmen’s Club events include: the Annual Great Northern Pike Fish Fry commencing at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, in the Rutland Town Hall; and The First Annual Rutland Sportsmen’s Club Gopher Classic with signup at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range on Saturday, April 30.

The bad news in Rutland this week was the announcement from Pete & Michelle Denault that they will be ending their operation of The Lariat Bar as of Saturday, March 5, due to a serious medical condition suffered by Michelle. The Denaults have been operating The Lariat since October of 2020, and their many friends in Rutland are sorry to see them Leave. As of Wednesday, February 16, no plans for successor management have been announced.

Rutland Community Club President Katie McLaen states that there will be a Community Club meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22, in the Rutland Town Hall. Everyone is invited.

The latest report on the Rutland Post Office is the same as the last report: no information; no action; no service; and no Post Office. Rutland residents are urged to contact Sen. John Hoeven; Sen. Kevin Cramer; and Rep. Kelly Armstrong; to request their assistance in restoring a Post Office to the Rutland community. Since 1970, the Postal Service has been a corporation owned by the Federal Government, with Congress having oversight of its operations and management.

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 – Jan. 7, 2022

By Bill Anderson

The New Year, pure, pristine and untouched, was dropped on the front porch like a block of ice precisely at the instant that the clock and the calendar changed from December 31 to January 1. Poor old 2021, all beat up, bruised, broken and scarred, departed at the same instant, giving the New Year a clean slate to work with, at least for a couple of minutes. So far, in its first week, 2022 is doing all right: the stock market is up; unemployment is down; and, wages are up. Coronavirus infections; the crime rate; and, inflation; are all up, too, but decrepit old 2021, even though he is now long gone, still gets the blame for that disagreeable trio. The temperature on the morning of Saturday, January 1, was 22 degrees below Zero in Rutland, the perfect temperature for cooling a Bloody Mary at The Lariat on the morning after the night before. The snow total for the current winter, 2021-2022, already exceeds the 28” snow total for the entire winter of 2020-2021, and we’re not even one-third of the way through it, yet. Well, the old-timers always told us that everything evens out – too little one year and too much the next – but, on the average, it’s about where it has been. So, enjoy the New Year! It’s unlike any we have ever experienced, but, on the average, it’s just like everyone we’ve ever lived through.

As far as the Rutland Post Office is concerned, as of Wednesday, January 5, the New Year is exactly like the Old Year: no action; no service; no information; and, no Post Office. The Postal Service is consistent, though. It doesn’t just keep the public in the dark. It doesn’t even tell itself what’s going on! At the current time, one department of the USPS is preparing to renew its lease on the building, while another USPS department has the building locked up and won’t allow it to be used as a Post Office. Situations similar to that in Rutland are also occurring at other small town Post Offices across North Dakota and throughout the Nation. So, what is happening? Don’t bother to ask the management of the Postal Service. They don’t know, and wouldn’t tell you if they did.

Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove down to Brandon SD on Friday, December 24, to spend Christmas at the home of their son & daughter-in-law, Stephen & Ann Kulzer, and 3 of their grandchildren: Lauren; Brooke; and, Will Kulzer. They drove home on Sunday, December 26. Norbert reports that there wasn’t much snow south of Brookings, and that the driving conditions were good, even at Summitt where the wind is always blowing.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Jan. 7, 2022”