The Rooster Crows – May 28, 2021

By Bill Anderson

Mother Nature has been sparing of rain so far this year, but more than generous in the supply of wind provided to her loyal patrons in Sargent County. The rain that fell on Rutland and vicinity last Wednesday & Thursday, May 19 & 20, measured between .18 and .38 of an inch, depending on whose rain gauge you checked, but the 40 to 50 mph winds of Monday & Tuesday, May 24 & 25, whisked most of it away to parts unknown before it could be utilized by thirsty crops. Well, Memorial Day weekend is coming up, and, as the old-timers often observed, if we don’t get rain over Memorial Day, “Katy bar the door!” as the Summer is likely to be long, dry and hot. Of course, once in a while the old-timers were wrong. Let’s hope so!

Some Rutland folks have already rung up 2021 as a success. Larry Christensen of this community reports that his brother, Leo, now a resident of Papillion NE, a suburb of Omaha, called on Thursday, May 20, to inform his younger brother that he had just hit a hole-in-one on a par 3 hole on a golf course near Papillion. In keeping with the ancient tradition regarding such things, Leo bought a round at the clubhouse for everyone who was at the course at the time of his accomplishment. Skill finally triumphed over luck. Leo is one of the sons of the late Fred & Laura Christensen of Rutland. He is a 1961 graduate of RHS, a combat veteran of the USMC and a longtime employee of North Central/Republic/ Northwest/Delta Airlines, first in Fargo and later in Omaha. His wife, Gayle, is a daughter of the late Floyd & Salina Arneson of this community. Leo’s old friends in Rutland extend their congratulations to him, and expect to hear the complete story the next time he visits in his old home town.

Things are looking up on the covid-19 pandemic front, too. No dramatic holes-in-one, but steady progress provides the encouragement. The following report was received from Sargent County Public Health District Administrator Brenda Peterson on Monday, May 24: “the state is recommending we follow CDC guidelines. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/participate-in-activities.html If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did before the pandemic, without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. This is different in health care settings also. The link to the website may be your best option for scientific data. I understand the studies have found vaccinated people are not carriers, but that is just my unscientific generalization. 

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The Rooster Crows – May 21, 2021

By Bill Anderson

It was a million-dollar rain that fell on the evening of Thursday, May13 & the morning of Friday, May 14, less adjustments for interest, inflation, carrying costs and additional charges. The grumble of thunder and the angry flashes of lightning that preceded the rain belied its gentle nature. Greg Donaldson reported .6” of precipitation in his rain gauge on the east side of town, while Andrew & Katie Woytassek gauge situated a quarter of a mile further east showed .5” on Friday morning. Other readings included: .75” in Mahrer Construction’s gauge on the north side of town; .6 at Jesse Brakke’s farmstead between Rutland & Cayuga; .6” at the Joe & Patty Breker farm in Tewaukon Township; and 1 full inch at Rick Bosse’s farm near Brampton. The rain was enthusiastically welcomed by local farmers in the process of getting the 2021 crop planted. “We had about 3 days of planting left to do,” said Jerry Woytassek on Friday evening, “but I’ll take the rain when it comes, and be happy about it, too!” Obviously, this rain will not make the 2021 crop, but it will help give it a good start. There are many travails to endure and worries to bear before the grain is in the bin, the cash is in the sock and the checks are in the bank. Until then, let it rain!

Rutland native Dan Narum stopped in at The Lariat Bar on the evening of Wednesday, May 12 for a meeting with his cousin, Trent Nelson, and to get together with old friends for some visiting in the old hometown. Dan currently serves as the Presiding Judge of North Dakota’s Southeast Judicial District. Dan said that the covid-19 pandemic made it difficult to maintain court schedules during the past year, but with remote hearings made possible by electronic technology, court services were able to be kept up throughout the North Dakota Judicial System. Dan also reports that he has once again been sharpening a skill he learned from his Dad, the Late Dennis Narum, back when he was growing up in Rutland. He has acquired 3 registered quarter-horse colts and has been training them on the acreage at his home in Lamoure ND. The colts are registered descendants of the famous Doc Bar bloodline, Dan said, and the American Quarter Horse Association exhibited its sense of humor by assigning the name “Hanging Judge Bar” to one of his colts, the one that Dan calls “Little Tex.” Dan said that he, Caroline and their 2 children, Asher, and Ellery, are all doing well, and he extended greetings to all of his old friends from Rutland.

May birthdays honored at the Rutland Seniors Center on Monday, May 10, included: Janice Christensen; Roger Pearson; Rick Bosse; and Mike Kulzer. All are over 21 years of age. Those present were treated to a big slice of birthday cake baked and decorated by Ione Pherson, and to a rousing chorus of “the Happy Birthday,” song. So, Happy Birthday to all, and many more!

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Hens Do Crow! May 22, 2020

Members of the Rutland Community Club spent time on Friday, May 15, to brighten up the town. The adults and kids planted some bright purple petunias and other flowers in several flowerpots they had placed along the main business district. The block between Walock-Johnson and the Post Office has five beautiful large potted plants and one was also placed by City Hall. The businesses have been asked to water the plants to keep them looking lively for residents and visitors alike. Sargent County Bank also has two of their own flowerpots greeting patrons who stop in at the Bank.

The column last week mentioned the Birthday caravan that made its way through and around town. One birthday girl was missed. Kaitlyn Shirley Mahrer turned three last Thursday and the parade made sure to pass by there first to wish her a happy birthday. Then, as mentioned last week, the caravan made its way south to greet Anthony “Tony” Banish and then back through town and East to share the day with Audrey Anderson. Small towns can have big celebrations especially when three share the same date.

Word was received here on Tuesday, May 19, that Rutland native, John A. Lee, had passed away the previous evening at a Fargo hospital after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 76 years old at the time of his death.  John was a son of the late Tollef and Ethel (Weller) Lee of this community. He was a member of the RHS Class of ’63 and was a frequent visitor in his old hometown.  He and his wife, Cheryl (Halstenson) Lee, have made their home in Colfax ND since the 1970’s. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past weekend with a party at their home organized by their two daughters. John had served as Mayor of Colfax for many years, and he was known to his many friends as the common man’s Renaissance man, multi-talented and always willing to share his talents to make life better, and living more enjoyable, for all. Funeral plans were not available at this writing.

Sargent Central High School finished up the school year on Wednesday, May 20th.  Students and parents lined up in their cars on Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon to return their books, computers, and other school materials that had been used for the past several weeks while COVID-19 kept most at home. A closed graduation ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 24, at 2 p.m. with only immediate family members allowed. A livestream video of the ceremony will be available on Sargent Central’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Vy4ocl4qO5k. Some graduates have postponed the customary reception following graduation with a few selecting to have the reception with guests spreading outside to conform with the six-foot distance suggestions.

Memorial Day military rites ceremonies will be held at the Nordland Lutheran Cemetery and at the Rutland Cemetery. On Monday, 25, the American Legion Post #215 ceremonial detail will be at Nordland Cemetery, (2 miles east and 1/2 mile south of Rutland) at 10:15 a.m. and will be at the Rutland Cemetery (east edge of town) at 10:30 on Memorial Day morning. Commander Christensen requests that all Post members, and all members of the public attending the services, observe social distancing guidelines and wear face masks or other appropriate face coverings to prevent the spread of the corona virus. Auxiliary members will also be at the ceremonies.

That’s it for this week in Rutland. Have a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend.

Hens Do Crow! April 3, 2020

The weather looked promising with some sunlight this past week, but it quickly changed to cloudy and gloomy. That certainly doesn’t help the mood of everyone who is staying close to home and social distancing themselves. More events have been cancelled and it doesn’t look like there will be much going on during Easter this year. Watch out summer when the coast is clear!

Students at Sargent Central School began their online classes on Wednesday, April 1, and they will be continuing them for the next several weeks. As ordered by the Governor, in-person classes were suspended on March 16th and all 175 school districts were required to submit an online learning plan to the State Department of Public Instruction. Sargent Central’s plan was approved and students and parents received specific details on the process earlier this week. The online classes will continue during the COVID-19 restrictions. College students have been home since spring break and will not be returning to in-person classes for the remainder of the school year.

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Hens Do Crow! March 20, 2020

A large crowd of family and friends gathered in the Rutland Town Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, March 7, to participate in a celebration of life honoring the late Jerry Sapa of this community. Jerry passed away at Sanford Hospital in Fargo on Wednesday, February 26 after a brief but spirited battle with an aggressive cancer. Jerry was the youngest of the six children of the late Joe and Helen (Silseth) Sapa, who had made their home in Rutland from the 1930’s until the late 1950’s. Jerry was born in 1956, when the family resided here, and moved to Fargo with his parents  and sisters shortly thereafter. The Sapas always considered Rutland to be their hometown, though, and Jerry frequently accompanied his parents on visits with his maternal grandparents, Arthur & Nellie Silseth, on their farm south of Rutland. Jerry’s great-grandfather, Ole Silseth, had been one of Sargent County’s early pioneers, having homesteaded near Silver Lake in Rutland Township back in 1882. After he had graduated from Shanley High School in 1974, Jerry took up the trade of carpentry and earned a reputation as a master of his craft as well as for the precision of his work. A little over 20 years ago, Jerry moved from Fargo to Rutland to practice his profession and to pursue some of his favorite activities, hunting whitetail deer, upland game and waterfowl. Jerry made many friends in this area, and always maintained contact with the friends he had made as a youth growing up in Fargo. Those new friends and old friends were often his hunting companions around Rutland, and also established a connection to the Rutland community. On Saturday afternoon many of them got up to speak about Jerry’s character, skill and good humor, and about the good times they had enjoyed in his company. Those attending the program enjoyed a supper featuring Rutland Scalloped Potatoes at its conclusion. During his years in Rutland, Jerry became the community’s “Mr. Fix-It,” working on many projects, large & small, including projects in and on the Town Hall in which the celebration of his life was held. He was generous with his time and his talents. (Back in 1947, Jerry’s Dad, Joe Sapa, was one of the volunteers who donated their time and talent to build the Rutland Town Hall that Jerry worked to maintain and improve.) He is survived by two sisters: Margaret Ann Hartze of Fargo; and, Jeannie Seifert of Fargo; by his 2 beloved dogs; by numerous nieces and nephews; and, by a multitude of friends. He will be missed by all who knew him.

The Rutland Community Club held the annual Fun Night on Sunday, March 15, with a good crowd of Rutland residents attending. Katie McLaen and Morgan Peterson organized the evening of games for the kids and bingo for the adults. The Hall was full of energy and activity for two hours concluding with the drawing for over 70 prizes for the youth. Individuals helped with the clean-up and it did not take long to take down all the decorations and seating which had taken hours to prepare.

Sargent Central High School, along with all K-12 schools in the State, took off the week of March 16-20 as announced by the Governor. Sargent Central students were already scheduled to have March 19-20 off for spring break. Students could get necessary items from their lockers at school on the morning of Wednesday, March 18. Information on when and how classes will resume is anticipated on Friday. The students may be home longer making it difficult for working parents who still need to work during this time.

The gathering of Rutland residents will soon be confined to ten or less as recommended by the ND Department of Health amid the spread of COVID-19. People have been urged to participate in “social distancing” to help stop the spread. Basically, avoid social gatherings of 10 or more and try to be in excess of 6 feet of others. Use caution when getting groceries or shopping. Now is the time to hunker down with a good book, go for a drive, watch movies, take a walk, start that indoor spring cleaning or take an online class. 

Information will be posted on the City of Rutland website and Facebook page as needed on events and activities in Rutland so be sure to check regularly. Events are being postponed or cancelled so be sure to call before planning to attend. That’s it from Rutland for this week. Stay warm and stay healthy!

Hens Do Crow! Nov. 29, 2019

Sargent Central High School volunteer day was Friday, November 22 (postponed from October due to the snow!). Twelve students helped in Rutland to clean the City Hall, Fire Hall, and Legion Hall. Thanks to the hard working group the City Hall floors shine like they haven’t shined for a while. There were items in the Legion left from Uffda Day that got moved and the Fitness Center equipment in the Legion also got a good cleaning. Seven of the twelve are from Rutland so it was good to get that home-town help.

Sargent Central ‘cleaning crew’
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