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.

Post Office Closings

Government is at it again trying to find ways to cut costs at the sake of the citizens.  The latest battle round is focusing on rural Post Offices.  On July 26, the US Postal Service released a long-awaited “post office study” of nearly 3700 potential closings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.  The list was developed based on customer foot traffic and post office employee workload. The US Postmaster General is recommending closing facilities in rural communities which will have little impact on the PO budget but will significantly affect each community.

Last year the US Postal Service had a net loss of $8.5 billion; in 2009 it had a $3.8 billion loss.  The Postal Regulatory Commission has found that maintaining rural post offices only amounts to 0.7 percent of the USPS’s total budget.   The Postal Service has reduced its staff over the past several years, has cut billions from its costs and has asked Congress to cut delivery to five days a week and to reduce its contributions toward future retiree health benefits.

Rutland, Havana and Cayuga stations are on the closing list.  The first step was a Rutland community meeting last week to initiate a call to action by Rutland residents. Over 40 individuals attended the meeting to hear about the proposed closings and to identify steps to take to challenge the closing of the Rutland Post Office.  A petition was started and many residents took copies to obtain signatures of area residents .  Secondly, we are all asked to send letters to our Congressional Delegation:  Congressman Rick Berg, 3170 43rd Street S, Fargo, ND 58104; Senator Kent Conrad, U.S. Federal Building, Room 306, 657 2nd Avenue North, Fargo, ND 58102; and Senator John Hoeven, 1802 32nd Avenue South, Room B, Fargo ND 58103.  Letters should also be sent to our local legislators: Senator Jim Dotzenrod, PO Box 69, Wyndmere ND 58081-0069; Representative Bill Amerman, PO Box 43, Forman ND 58032-0043; and Representative Jerry Kelsh, PO Box 27, Fullerton ND 58441-0027.

Click here for a sample letter that you should modify to make the letter more personal about how the closing will affect you and/or your businesses.  A “Rutland Fact Sheet” is also included for your information.  Don’t forget to mail your letter at the Rutland Post Office!