The Rooster Crows – Dec. 31, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Oh, say can you see, by the New Year’s first light, what so proudly we hailed at September’s last gleaming; Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through 3 months of perilous nights, O’er the old Franzen Building were so gallantly streaming; And the street lights’ bright glare, the stars shining in air, gave proof through the nights that our flag was still there; Oh, say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the little city that can, home of the free and the brave? Well, the Flag still flies over the Rutland Post Office, and the door is still locked. The Postal Service has provided no information to the Rutland community as to when, if ever, service may be expected to be restored. In the meantime, there has been no additional clean up or repair activity observed at the Rutland Post Office building. No information. No action. No service. No Post Office. It could be described as a heck of a way to run a railroad, except that, back when the railroads hauled the mail the Post Office was open, and the mail got delivered. So much for 50 years of progress! Benjamin Franklin, America’s first Postmaster General, would be appalled by the disrespectful and cavalier attitude of today’s U. S. Postal Service management.

Mother Nature and Old Man Winter teamed up to deliver the first blizzard of the season, commencing on the day after Christmas, Sunday, December 26, and continuing into the early evening of Monday, December 27. Depending on whose report you choose to listen to, the storm delivered either 1 to 3 inches of new snow or 6 to 8 inches of new snow, along with sustained wind speeds of 30 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph, and temperatures falling from the mid-20’s above Zero to the sub-Zero regions by Monday night. Below Zero conditions are predicted to continue throughout this week and into the New Year. While there is no relief from cold, snow and wind foreseen in the near-term forecasts, most prognosticators are of the opinion that warmer conditions will return to the region before the next summer solstice.

The blizzard had both I-94 and I-29 closed to traffic on Sunday night and Monday morning, and a “No Travel” advisory posted for the entire eastern end of North Dakota. Roads were also closed in northeastern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. In Sargent County, the State & County snowplows were out opening roads by Monday afternoon, and in the City of Rutland Scott Haan was opening streets with the City’s snow removal equipment by mid-afternoon, with some assistance from Bernard Mahrer Construction’s big equipment, as well. There is now enough snow on the ground to provide employment opportunities for snow removal crews every time the wind shifts. As the old-timers used to say, “There’s nothing so bad that it doesn’t do someone some good.”

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 31, 2021”

The Rooster Crows – Dec. 10, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Santa Claus is comin’ to town! He’s making a list and checking it twice. He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. Jolly Old St. Nick will be making his 76th annual pre-Christmas visit to Rutland on Santa Claus Day, Saturday, December 11, at 5:00 p.m., at the Rutland Town Hall. He will be handing out bags of candy, consulting with kids of all ages about their Christmas wish lists and awarding Christmas hams donated by local businesses to the lucky winners of the annual drawing. Other Santa Claus Day activities will include: crafts & games for the kids; BINGO for all; and, a spaghetti supper. This is your chance to see Santa Claus in the flesh and to have a personal, face-to-face visit with him before he swings through town to make deliveries on Christmas Eve. Don’t forget: Santa Claus Day in Rutland from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 11, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Winter has definitely arrived, making its presence known with a thermometer reading of 2 degrees below Zero on the morning of Monday, December 6 and a 60-mph wind that battered the area the night before. Less than a week earlier, on Wednesday, December 1, the mercury had topped out at 58 degrees above Zero. Preceding the wind on Sunday, Mother Nature, or maybe it was Old Man Winter, had deposited about 2 inches of snow on Rutland and vicinity in a series of snow flurries that began on the afternoon of Saturday, December 4 and ended on Sunday, December 5. After sidewalks and driveways had been cleared of snow on Monday, another half an inch of the white, powdery stuff was delivered to the community on Tuesday morning, just to show us who’s the boss.

CORRECTION: Last week’s column contained a few errors that need to be corrected. It was reported that, as of Tuesday, November 30, there had been no activity at the Rutland Post Office building. In fact, workers were observed doing some cleanup work around the exterior of the building, and removing materials from the interior on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, November 29, 30 & December 1. No explanation of what is planned for the building has been received, however. Apologies for the error. We’ll try harder in the future.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows – Dec. 10, 2021”

The Rooster Crows —– January 15, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Rutland and vicinity have been enjoying a welcome guest since the New Year began. The traditional annual visit of “The January Thaw” began early and has stayed late. This is one guest that doesn’t get old after 3 days. A high temperature of 41 above was forecast for Wednesday, January 13, and even though cooler weather is being predicted for the coming week, the highs are still predicted to be in the mid-20’s to low 30’s, with the lows in the double digits above zero. Weather like that for North Dakota in January just can’t be beat. But, Winter isn’t over, yet, so don’t lose track of your parka and snow shovel!

The house at 301 First Street, also known as The Bagley House, has been occupied by Aaron & Silvia Brooks since shortly before Christmas, 2020. Mr. Brooks is a native of New Orleans LA, and Mrs. Brooks grew up in Bakersfield CA. He is employed by RayMac at Gwinner, and she has her own residential cleaning business in addition to attending classes at the State College of Science in Wahpeton and working part-time as a bartender in Gwinner. The Rutland Community extends a hearty welcome to Aaron & Silvia Brooks! As soon as this covid-19 pandemic is over, we’ll teach you how to make lefse and rommegrot. Uff-Da!

Sonja (Anderson) Christensen, one of the organizers and original sponsors of The Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament, has announced that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the 26th annual tournament, originally scheduled for Saturday, February 6, 2021, has been postponed and rescheduled to Saturday, February 5, 2022. Sonja extends best wishes to all of the tournament’s regular participants and hopes to see all of them at next year’s event. They are all longing for those Rutland scalloped potatoes.

Continue reading “The Rooster Crows —– January 15, 2021”

Hens Do Crow! Feb. 7, 2020

The Rutland City Planning Commission met on Wednesday, January 29, to receive a petition for changes to the City Zoning Ordinance. As required, the Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for Monday, February 17, at 5:00 p.m. in the Rutland Hall. The purpose is to consider the petition of Bill Anderson to amend the Rutland Zoning Ordinance by changing the the property located at the SW ½ of Section 19, Township 130N, Range 54W of the Principal Meridiance, Sargent County, ND, from an Agricultural District to a Residential District. The Kathleen Brakke Addition to the City of Rutland would add privately-owned land to the City for possible future development. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council for a final public hearing on March 2.

Sonja Christianson has provided a wonderful report on the Anderson Pinochle Tournament held on Saturday, February 1:

On a beautiful Saturday morning with daylight peeking over the trees to the east, cars began to arrive in Rutland on February 1. Smiling faces with great expectations were paying their fees, enjoying coffee and donuts, and shaking hands with fellow card players. It was soon discovered that pinochle players were arriving from Minneapolis, Grand Forks, Ellendale, Aberdeen, Audubon, Fargo, Sargent County, Oklahoma, and many places in-between. At 9:00 a.m. the Town Hall became quiet as 48 cards were dealt and play began. About 6½ hours later prizes began to be handed out and the declaration made that Diane Degenstein from Oakes and her daughter Sarah Oster of Fargo (both with Sargent County roots) had achieved the top position with a score of 1614 points. They edged out John Eye and Howard Lenius of Britton by 17 points. 3rd place winners were Roger McLaen and Dennis Goltz scoring 1590 points, followed by Orvin Hogness and Raymond Hogness with 1570 points.

First time player and granddaughter of Rudy and Edna Anderson, Stephanie Watson of Minneapolis, enjoyed the activities immensely. She commented about the delightful conversations, the learning experience, and the patience and enthusiasm of all participants. NOTE: It appears that Stephanie is “hooked” and will return for future pinochle events.

The Rutland Community Club scored many points with players by serving “World Famous Scalloped Potatoes.” Praises were given to the kitchen crew of Sarah Pavek, Roger Pearson, Hal Nelson, Diane Smith, Lori McLaen, Marcia Brakke, and Kayla Mahrer for brewing up a good meal.

A drawing of names ended the tournament with recipients carrying home a number of prizes including lefse made by Carolyn Christensen, the same variety made famous on Uffda Day. Marilyn Anderson of Arizona, widow of Arden, contributed to the prizes by requesting the purchase of gifts from Fairmount Lockers. 4th grader Lucy Mahrer and 6th grader Whitney Mahrer helped with scoring and were true “Gophers.” Five-year-old Corbin Carlson, with help from his father Bryce, set up tables and organized the main hall.

Bonnie Anderson of Rutland and Brookings SD helped Shannon Mehrer, Joanne Harris, Janice Christensen, Dianna Anderson, and Bev Kulzer keep the correct scores. Bonnie says she will be back next year to chat with all workers, helpers, and players.

Sargent County participants, both present and former, included Eunice Thorson, Sandy Hanson, Turk Nelson, Caleb Nelson, Bryce Carlson, Marshall Thol, Hilary Mehrer, Diane Smith, Steed Nelson, Kyle Dallman, Kathy Hayen, Jason Hayen, Keith Shasky, Stephanie Watson, Jessica Hayen, Jeri Christiansen, Sandy Popp, Clem Severson, Sandy Mund, Diane Degensteirn, Sarah Oster, Roger McLaen, Dennis Goltz, Orvin Hogness, Raymond Hogness, Wade Anderson, Pam Thol, Dave Shasky, Vern Shasky, Alfred Resler, Harvey Preble, George Resler, Stella Bell, Sue Seelye, Roger Ziegler, Benita Ziegler, Dennis Nelson, Trent Nelson, Joel Hoistad, Leonard Miller, Ruth Larson, and Harvey Bergstrom. They are all invited to return on Saturday, February 6, 2021 for the 26th Annual Anderson Pinochle Tourney. Hats off to Stella Bell and Roger McLaen who have been present for all 25 tournaments. Close behind are Benita and Roger Ziegler who have made 24.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! Feb. 7, 2020”

Hens Do Crow! Jan. 24, 2020

Mother Nature packed another wallop for the three-day weekend which became a four-day weekend January 17-20 for many. She rolled in the winds and snow on Friday resulting in school closings to the delight of many children and the angst of parents. Kids not only got an extra day off but they were restricted to the indoors for most, if not all, of the weekend.

Rutland residents received an extra surprise in the early evening of Saturday, January 18th, when water slowly trickled out of the faucets. The City of Rutland sent out an alert to not use water around 5 p.m. that evening. A hearty crew bundled up and drove around town in an attempt to find the problem. The water tower was checked and appeared to be functioning during the storm, although it had a malfunction earlier in the week. The piles of recent snow did not help in that effort. Mike Mahrer and Rodney Erickson, along with the help of Calvin Jacobson, soon found the break near the intersection of First and Front Streets. By this time an army of helpers had gathered to assist with turning off the valve to stop the flow. Mike, Rodney and Calvin were joined by Rutland residents Mitch Mahrer, Chuck Sundlie, Colton Corry, Brad Wyum, Andy Harris, Kyle Mahrer and Mac Pherson. Staff from Southeast Water Users also traveled to Rutland to assist with the locating the break. Turning the valves proved to be a huge task as it takes about 21 turns to shut the valve and one turn of the valve was nearly a Herculean task.  The entire town was without water until about 5 p.m. on Sunday. When the water returned to the south side of the tracks, it was again just a trickle. The water in the tower itself had a thick sheet of ice on top and needed to be thawed. A two-man crew from Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls drove to Rutland on Tuesday to thaw the tower; however, they had to give up due to the high winds that followed the storm. They resumed the job on Wednesday thawing out the large chunk of ice that reduced the water flow. On Wednesday morning, the parts needed to repair the main break were on their way from Fargo to Rutland so that they could be installed to hopefully restore water to the North side residents on Wednesday.

Continue reading “Hens Do Crow! Jan. 24, 2020”

Hens Do Crow! Jan. 17, 2020

The Sargent County Arizona gang was at it again on Monday according to the report received from Curt Larson:

“The following were present for the January Sargent County Breakfast on Monday January 13 at the Golden Corral in Mesa, AZ: Al Ciota and Clarice Ordahl; Jim & Kathryn Gaukler; Duane & Sharon Lock; Richard Meyers & Pauline Carnahan; Pat Prindiville; Clarice Renschler; Harold Young; Gwen Young; and Vincent Young.

Sharon Lock’s granddaughter had given her a book for Christmas called Dakota Attitude by James Puppe. He interviewed someone from every town in ND. Everyone at the breakfast looked up their town to see who had been interviewed.

The Phoenix metro had temps in the upper 60’s today and sunshine. Gotta love it.

Curt and Renee Larson are in Redmond, WA this week watching our four granddaughters. The city where our oldest granddaughter goes to high school had 9 inches of snow during the night; so, No School today for her and her three sisters who attend elementary and middle school in a neighboring city. Temps are in the upper 20’s/low 30’s this week. It’s been fun to be with them this week; however, we are also looking to get back to Arizona for some sunshine and warm weather.

That’s my report for this month. Until later, keep smiling!

Curt

Thanks to Curt for the update. Many of us also wish we were in sunshine and warmer weather!

Sonja Christensen reported that as of Monday there are only 36 teams registered for the February 1 Anderson Pinochle Tournament in Rutland. There is plenty of room for more teams — so be sure to register soon. The Tournament is not only a great time to get together, but it is also a fundraiser for Rutland. From February 2007, the 12th annual tourney, to February 2019, the 24th tournament, $9,175.00 has been contributed for the Rutland Community Club. Sonja could not locate the records from the first eleven years but promises some day to figure that out.

The Rutland Community Club will be hosting another fun event on Friday, February 7, at the Rutland Hall. The LineBenders, featuring hometown comedian Shelly (Pherson) Fink, will provide their live improv comedy. The LineBenders have been performing coast to coast since 2001 and will be in Rutland for a great night. Come ready to laugh and enjoy a fun night out! The Lariat Bar will sell homemade pizza by the slice and there will be a cash bar. Tickets at the door are $10.00. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Mark your calendar for a night on the old town!

Congratulations are in order to Abby Erickson, member of the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club, and a member of the Sargent County Hippology Team. Abby got a Third place finish at the Western National Round-Up in Denver in Team Public Speaking with Anna Hoistad from Forman. The team of Kari Fuhrman, Jacy Bopp, Allie Bopp and Kassidy Larson placed 4th in the Horse Quiz Bowl with Jacy finishing as 9th high individual and Kari finishing as 4th high individual.

That’s it for this week from Rutland. There are several upcoming events to mark on your calendar: January 26 at the Forman City Hall is the annual Sargent County Ambulance breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; February 1 is the Anderson Pinochle Tournament in Rutland; February 2nd the Rutland American Legion will hold a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; February 3 is the Rutland City Council meeting; Tuesday, February 6 is the Rutland Blood Drive at the Town Hall sponsored by the Rutland Community Club. Call Janet Kiefer or Sheila Wyum to sign up or go to bloodhero.com and use sponsor code: rutland. Walk-ins are also welcome. So if the weather is fair, we expect to see you there!