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The Rooster Crows – May 22, 2015

Mother Nature’s torrent of four letter words: rain; wind; cold; and, even snow; finally let up on Tuesday, May 19, after pummeling the region for the previous 2 weeks.  In the category of, “It’s always darkest just before the dawn,” or, “It’s always worst just before it gets better,” Monday, May 18, was the nastiest day of a stretch of nasty weather, with the temperature struggling to reach 40 degrees, wind gusts of 35 to 40 mph, dark clouds, rain showers and snow flurries throughout the day.  Mitch Mahrer reports encountering a snow flurry between Cayuga and Geneseo on Monday morning that was blizzard-like in its intensity.  Scattered frost was reported throughout the area on both Monday and Tuesday mornings, but Tuesday dawned with a light breeze and sunny skies, promising better days ahead.  The forecast for Memorial Day weekend is calling for temperatures in the 70’s and the possibility of rain.  That’s the month of May we know and love.

Registration for the annual Relay For Life Tractor-cade will start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 13, on Main Street in Rutland, according to Jim Lunneborg, organizer of the event.  The caravan of antique and classic tractors will start moving at 9:00, sharp, says Jim, and participants are encouraged to arrive early so they can be ready to start on time.  The exact route has not yet been determined, as it will depend on the condition of roads and trails in the area.  There have usually been 35 to 40 tractors in the tractor-cade, says Jim, and, as of Thursday, May 14, 20 tractor owners had already pre-registered for the 2015 event.  The event is a fund-raiser for Sargent County’s annual Relay For Life fight against cancer, which has its main fund-raiser scheduled for Friday, June 20, in Milnor.  Jim Lunneborg is a cancer survivor, and he and his spouse, Ione, have taken an active role in promoting Relay For Life’s fund raising efforts in Sargent County.

Excavation work at the Rutland Elevator was temporarily stalled by recent rains.  The excavation was being done in preparation for the construction of a foundation and the installation of drains in preparation for the installation of a new electronic scale and driveway at the elevator, the new scale being capable of weighing grain hauling semi-trailer rigs.  Philip, from the Sundale Hutterian Colony, operated the track-hoe that did the excavating.  Rodney Erickson, owner of the Rutland Elevator, expects to have the elevator ready to receive and ship grain prior to the commencement of corn harvest this fall. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – May 15, 2015

Oh, how quickly conditions change!  In the past week, the local theme song has been changed from “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More” to “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head,” and the weather experts are predicting that “How High’s The Water, Momma?” will hit the top of the charts by next week.  showers on Wednesday and into Thursday morning, May 6 & 7, left .7 of an inch of rain in Rutland.  A cold front then moved through the region, holding the high for VE Day, Friday, May 8, to the mid-50’s and dropping temperatures to the freezing mark on the morning of Saturday, May 9.  Heavy rains on Sunday and Monday, May 10 & 11, accompanied by high winds, left an additional 3.2 inches of rain in Rutland, according to the rain gauges in Roger & Sharon Pearson’s backyard at 409 Gay Street, at Richard Bradbury’s residence at 419 Cooper Street and at Ron Narum’s place at 422 1st Street.  Tuesday, May 12, a sunny and cool day, gave a brief respite from wind and rain, but both returned with a vengeance on the morning of Wednesday, March 13.  For the past decade, every time the Sargent County Commission has adopted a fire danger proclamation, the act has been followed, almost immediately, by heavy rains sufficient to remove the danger, or even the possibility, of open burning.  2015 is no exception.  On Tuesday, May 5, four members of the County Commission: Mike Walstead; Jerry Waswick; Sherry Hosford; and, Bill Anderson; voted to approve a fire danger proclamation to go into effect when the Governor’s Statewide proclamation expired at Midnight on Friday, May 8.  Only Commissioner Dave Jacobson voted against the proclamation, leading to speculation that he may have had inside information about the Almighty’s plan for future precipitation.  At any rate, true to pattern, the rain began to fall on Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after the adoption of the fire danger proclamation.  For now, the rain has put an end to the fire danger posed by open burning, and the proclamation is effectively moot.  Unfortunately, there is no record of a County flood disaster emergency declaration being able to turn off the spigot once it has been turned on, so keep the boat handy.

Janet Bradbury, in residence at the Warren family’s ranch southeast of Rapid City SD, reports that the Mothers’ Day snowstorm that deposited more than 22 inches of new snow in the Black Hills dumped 11 inches of the wet, white stuff at her location.  Other than a few snowbanks in the draws and coulees, though, Janet reports that it had all melted by Monday afternoon. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – May 8, 2015

“Oh, it ain’t gonna rain no more no more, it ain’t gonna rain no more; so how in the heck can I wash my neck if it ain’t gonna rain no more?”  Residents of the northern plains sang that little ditty 8 decades ago, during the drought of the 1930’s, and, although it did rain some more after that, the verse seems to be applicable to 2015.  A dry weather pattern has settled over the western 2/3 of North America, from Kansas to California and from Manitoba to Mexico, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, at least not in the foreseeable future. Some promising looking clouds tried to produce rain on the night of Thursday, April 30, and Friday morning, May 1, but only managed to squeeze out .05 of an inch in Rutland.  Fire conditions continue in the dangerous category, with Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s executive Order requiring that permission for open burning be obtained from the local Fire Department when conditions are in the “low” and “moderate” category, and totally prohibiting burning in the open when the condition is “high” or when a “Red Flag” warning has been issued by the National Weather Service, remains in effect until midnight on Friday, May 8.  On Tuesday, May 5, the Sargent County Commission adopted a measure that goes into effect when the Governor’s Order expires.  The County measure allows open burning when conditions are in the low and moderate categories, and bans open burning when conditions are rated high or higher.  A person who violates the County’s fire regulations could be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, and be subject to a fine of up to $1,500 and imprisonment in the County hoosegow for up to 30 days.  Violators will be required to add “I’m In The Jailhouse Now” to “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More” in their musical repertoire.  Rain showers on the morning of Wednesday, May 6, with more chances for rain in the forecast, may put an end to the “no rain” lament, and to the fire danger, with the previous complaints to be replaced by, “Rains all the time.  Can’t get nothin’ done!”

The volunteer firemen of the Rutland-Cayuga, or Cayuga-Rutland, Fire Department responded to 2 fires on the afternoon of Thursday, April 30.  One on the old Walter Nelson farm, 2 miles west and 1 mile south of Rutland, and one on the old Lowell Krize farm 1 mile west and 1½ mile north of Cayuga.  The fire west of Rutland started when one of the disks on a planter being operated by Cody Gulleson hit a rock and struck a spark that ignited dry crop residue.  The fire northwest of Cayuga was intentionally started by a farm operator, despite the high winds, the Governor’s Executive Order banning open burning and the National Weather Service’s “Red Flag” fire warning that was in effect.  The high wind took the latter fire into the dry grass on a nearby CRP field, giving it all the fuel it needed to spread quickly and give firefighters cause for concern.  The volunteer firemen of the Rutland-Cayuga Rural Fire Protection District responded to both blazes and brought them under control before any serious damage was done to buildings or equipment.  According to local Fire Chiefs Cam Gulleson and Kurt Breker, most local farm operators have acted responsibly by contacting the local Fire Department before conducting burning of crop residue or cattail sloughs, but there are always a few who either don’t get the word or think that the rules don’t apply to them. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – May 1, 2015

Several days of east wind, normally a sign of significant rainfall on the way, produced only a few, brief, showers during the past week, and a substantial amount of concern about the dry weather pattern that seems to have descended across the northern plains.  The rain that arrived on the morning of Friday, April 24, deposited an insufficient, but welcome, .1 of an inch of precipitation in Paul Anderson’s rain gauge.  Areas to the east and north of Rutland reported more satisfactory results, though.  Jesse Brakke’s electronically monitored gauge in the center of Ransom Township registered a healthy .5 of an inch on Friday morning.  Another .1 of an inch arrived on the morning of Saturday, April 25.  Saturday’s rain was what the late Oscar Hoflen would have described as a “dry rain,” because you could be out in it all day without getting wet enough to notice.  Well, back in 2009, 2010 and 2011, many prayers were raised to the Almighty, asking that the incessant rainfall of those years cease.  Those who offered up those prayers are now reminded that, although their prayers are always answered, the answer given may not be what, or when, the petitioner expected or wanted.  We should always be careful of what we ask for.  We just might get it.

Although it has been quite dry so far this spring, there are some indications that more precipitation could be on the way.  Mike Anderson reports that, on the morning of Thursday, April 23, he observed a Canada goose roosting in a tree near his farmstead in Ransom Township.  The conclusion of the Assembled Wise Men was that, if the geese start nesting in trees, high water could be on the way.  Muskrat numbers are way down this year, but it has also been reported that those few still populating Sargent County’s shrinking wetlands are installing drain tiles around the foundations of their houses, taking advantage of the current dry conditions to get ready for the next wet cycle.  Sargent County residents might be well advised to follow their example.

All 4 of Sargent County’s currently practicing attorneys: States Attorney Lyle Bopp of Cogswell; Jayne Leuwandowsky of Forman; LeeAnn Even of Cogswell; and Bill Anderson of Rutland; attended the Southeast Judicial District Bar Association meeting on the afternoon of Friday, April 17, in the Lamoure County Courthouse at Lamoure ND.  The Southeast Judicial District includes the counties of: Sargent; Richland; Ransom; Dickey; McIntosh; Logan; Lamoure; Kidder; Stutsman; Barnes; Foster; Griggs; and, Wells.  Geographically, it is one of the largest Judicial Districts in the State, stretching from the Red River in the east to the Missouri River in the west, and from the border with South Dakota on the south to New Rockford, near the center of the State, in the north.  Seven Judges currently serve in the District, with Judge Brad Cruff of Wahpeton providing most of the judicial services in Sargent County, and Judge Dan Narum of Lamoure presiding over the rest.  Attorneys attending the meeting in Lamoure received a report from presiding judge John Greenwood, chambered in Jamestown, who also discussed progress in implementing the court’s “paperless” electronic filing system.  Sargent County States Attorney Lyle Bopp was recognized for his more than 35 years of community service, and will be presented with the Bar Association’s Community Service Award at the State Association’s annual meeting in June.  Attorney Bill Anderson of Rutland had previously received the Bar Association’s Community Service Award back in 2003.  Sargent County was the only County in the Southeast Judicial District Bar Association to be represented by 100% of its attorneys at the gathering in Lamoure. Read More »

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Sargent County Fire Rating “Very High”

The fire rating for today for Sargent County is “VERY HIGH” which now means absolutely no burning whatsoever.

The Fire Danger Warning is still in effect noon till 7 pm so absolutely no burning allowed today.

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