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The Rooster Crows – April 18, 2014

The weather pendulum continues to swing wildly, from a high of 77 degrees on Wednesday, April 9, to a low of 14 degrees on the morning of Tuesday, April 15.  Last Wednesday’s 77 degrees coupled with  a 40 mph south wind took the ice off a number of lakes and sloughs, churning the ice into slush and depositing it, like snowbanks, on the lakeshore. Mother Nature provided a couple of beautiful Spring days on Friday and Saturday, April 11 & 12, but the temperature began to slide on Sunday, and the bottom fell out on Tuesday with a low of 14 degrees at 7:00 a.m.  The forecast calls for improving weather from Good Friday on.

Kurt Breker reported that he succeeded in seeding 100 acres of Spring Wheat on his farm near Cayuga on Saturday, April 12.  Kurt’s effort is the first reported seeding of the 2014 crop in the local area.

Cameron Gulleson drove out to Mott on Saturday, April 12, to attend the funeral for an old friend, Ron Swindler.  The Gullesons have done custom harvesting for the Swindler farm for the past several years.  Cameron reports that he observed no seeding or field work under way throughout the entire distance from Rutland to Mott.  He returned home on Saturday night.

Joe Breker and Eugene Breker drove to Amidon ND on Friday, April 11, to visit with the John Hanson family at the Logging Camp Ranch there.  On Saturday, April 12, they attended the funeral for Ron Swindler in Mott ND. According to Joe, Mr. Swindler was the pioneer no-till farmer in North Dakota, adopting the practice on his farm near Mott back in 1975.  Joe has known, consulted with and worked with  Mr. Swindler since Joe’s student days at NDSU back in 1978.  Ron Swindler was a true visionary in North Dakota agriculture, states Joe, and his innovations in the development of moisture and soil conserving no-till farming will have an impact on generations to come. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – April 11, 2014

It appears that spring has finally arrived out here on the prairie, coming on like gangbusters after an agonizingly slow beginning.  With daytime highs in the 50s and pushing 60 for a solid week, and predicted to hit the 70s for at least 1 and maybe 2 days before Palm Sunday, winter is now only visible in the rear view mirror.  Snow and blue geese in the hundreds of thousands have been resting at Lake Tewaukon and other area lakes and sloughs while feeding in last year’s corn and soybean fields, while goose hunters from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and even North Dakota have been doing their patriotic duty by participating in the Spring Conservation Hunt that is intended to reduce this huge flock to numbers that can be sustained on its nesting grounds in northern Canada.  Eighty years ago, these birds, and many other species of waterfowl, hovered on the brink of extinction.  Now, thanks to the conservation efforts of 4 generations of sportsmen, and to a 2 decade long wet cycle, they are so numerous that they are threatening to eat themselves out of house and home, and have even become a nuisance in some areas.  Today’s hunters, bird watchers, and others who just enjoy hearing the music made by millions of migrating geese are enjoying the fruits of a success story that has been 80 years in the making.  We should give ourselves a collective pat on the back and recognize that there are things that we can do right, when we put our minds to them.

Rutland Housing, Inc., held its annual Meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2, in the Rutland Town Hall.  Members of the non-profit entity received the corporation’s annual financial report and elected two directors to the board.  Ron Narum was re-elected to another 3 year term on the board, and Bill Anderson, who had been appointed to fill the unexpired term of the late Earl Cramton back in May of 2013, was elected to a 3 year term.  Other members of the board of directors are Jeanne Leinen; Delores Lysne; and, Shari Brown.  The Rutland Community Club established Rutland Housing Inc. in 1971 to provide affordable housing for low-income, elderly, and other residents in the Rutland community.  The corporation currently owns three apartment houses, with a total of 14 apartment units, in Rutland.  Ms. Kris Nerison has been manager since 2002.  Renovation plans for Rutland Housing’s buildings have been placed on hold while the architect comes up with new specs to match the resources available to pay for the work.  During the year, Rutland Housing’s Board of Directors meets monthly, at 5:00 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of each month at 204 Dakota Street. Read More »

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Post Office Town Meeting

The US Postal Service (USPS) will conduct a town meeting at the Rutland Post Office on Tuesday, April 15, at 3:00 p.m. in the Post Office lobby. SARGENT COUNTY BANK – RUTLAND STATION MEETING ROOM.

The purpose of the meeting is to obtain customer input on the proposed decrease in hours for our Post Office.  The proposal is to reduce service from 8 hours to 2 hours daily.

The USPS evaluation of the Rutland station placed it in their cut-off line between a 2-hour and 4-hour office.  Luckily, the Rutland Post Office revenues have steadily increased since the USPS evaluation was done.  The community — you — have also shown strong support though attendance at the last two meetings and by sending hundreds of letters to congressmen.  That support, and the increased revenue, should have an effect on the USPS decision to hopefully have our PO open more than 2 hours daily.  We need to strongly continue our efforts.

The Rutland Community Club encourages everyone to attend the April 15, 3:00 p.m., meeting to promote the need for more than two hours of daily service.  This is your chance to let the USPS officials know your needs for mail service in Rutland.

Together we can do this!

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The Rooster Crows – April 4, 2014

The wind blew, the snow flew, and what is hoped to be the last winter storm of the season hit North Dakota like a hammer blow, closing highways, schools, courthouses and business places across the state on Monday, March 31.  Sargent County fared better than most, receiving only 3 to 4 inches of new snow, although it was difficult to measure as the 50 mph wind had it piled up in rock-hard snowdrifts in towns, farms, and treebelts.  Some sunny days last week had thawed out the top few inches of soil throughout the area, however, and a few farmers took advantage of that window of opportunity to get a little fieldwork done.  It is reported that Loren David managed to apply fertilizer to fields on the Jim Levery farm in Ransom Township last week, in preparation for the 2014 crop, and a report has also been received that some wheat has already been seeded in the Delamere area, but with the ground still frozen as deep as 6½ feet, it is not likely that the soil will be warm enough for seed to germinate for a few weeks, yet. 

“Late Easter, late Spring,” the old-timers used to say, and Easter Sunday, April 20, is pretty late this year.  For North Dakota’s farmers in 2014, though, the biggest challenge is not in producing a crop, but in getting it to market.  A substantial percentage of the 2013 corn and soybean crop is still held as inventory, awaiting transportation to processing facilities somewhere in America, or to ports for export.  The railroads that do business in North Dakota are tied up hauling oil from western North Dakota, and there are insufficient tracks, engines, or crews to move both oil and grain at the same time.  Oil trains have shoved grain trains off the track, to the detriment of North Dakota’s agricultural producers.  So far, neither the State’s Public Service Commission nor its Industrial Commission has done anything to bring some balance back to the transportation equation.  Not since Boss Alex McKenzie ruled the State for the benefit of the Northern Pacific Railroad back at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, has North Dakota been so dominated by a single industry and a single individual.  Back then, Boss McKenzie issued instructions by telegraph while controlling events from his hotel suite in St. Paul and his private railroad car.  Today, Harold Hamm, described by the Wall Street Journal as “The Man Who Bought North Dakota,” runs the State for the benefit of the oil companies, pulling the strings from corporate offices in Denver and Oklahoma City, while the Governor, Attorney General, and other State officials dance and jig like marionettes in a puppet theater.  A century ago, North Dakotans embraced the Non-Partisan League and wrested control of their State away from outside interests for nearly three quarters of a century.  Whether this generation of North Dakotans will have the gumption, grit, determination, and foresight to do it again remains to be seen. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – March 28, 2014

Spring has sprung, but the grass ain’t riz; don’t bother asking where the flowers is; with one day warm and 5 days cold; this dog-gone Winter’s gettin’ old!  The first day of Spring, 2014, was on Thursday, March 20, and it featured sunshine with the temperature in the upper 50’s by mid-afternoon.  A beautiful day.  The second day of Spring, Friday, March 21, was a different story, though, with the wind hitting  like a hammer blow at about 8:00 a.m. sending weather conditions sliding back into Winter by early afternoon.  Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday all featured morning temperatures in the single digits and below zero wind chills.  Sure is a good thing that Winter is over or we might be thinking that it’s still cold outside.

Led by the beautiful and powerful soprano voice of Liesebet Gravley portraying the Baroness Frankenstein, and strong performances by veteran actors Tom Manley as Igor and Marcia Brakke as Mrs. Hanna Hoople, the cast of the musical, “I Want My Mummy,” left crowds laughing at the Rutland Town Hall on the evening of Saturday, March 22, and the afternoon of Sunday, March 23.  This was the Rutland Community Club’s 37th annual supper and play presentation, and the ham just seems to keep right on getting sliced thicker every year.  All the ham was on the stage this year, as the supper, prepared under the direction of veteran caterer Bertha Siemieniewski with the capable assistance of Lori McLaen, featured baked chicken breast with white sauce on rice pilaf as the entrée.  Director Diane Smith states that cast and crew devoted many hours to preparation and rehearsals, and it all paid off with great performances on the stage.  Even the flub-ups worked out well, and only the actors knew when a mistake had been made, as their ad libs worked as well as the script.  The cast included: Liesebet Gravley; Tom Manley; Cher Spieker; Pam Maloney; Carolyn Christensen; Katy McLaen; Marcia Brakke; Brianne Nelson; Jacob Nelson; Toni Hajek; Josie Hajek; Calvin Jacobson; and Thomas Mehrer.  Kathy Brakke provided the piano accompaniment.  Diane states that she also wants to extend special thanks to Doug Spieker, Ron Narum and Peder Gulleson for their assistance and expertise with lighting, sound and just getting things done.  Tune in next year for the 38th annual presentation.

Mark Breker of this community was the guest of honor at a ceremony held in the Sargent County Courthouse on the morning of Thursday, March 20.  Coffee & cake were served, and Mark was presented with a plaque in recognition of his 15 years of service on the Sargent County Water Resource Board.  The old Chinese curse is, “May you live in interesting times,” and during Mark’s years of service on the board Sargent County has certainly experienced interesting times, dealing with the greatest water management challenges ever faced in North Dakota, and proving the truth of the old saying that, “Whiskey’s for drinkin’, and water’s for fightin’!” During much of that time Mark served as Chairman of the Sargent County Water Resource Board.  Mark declined to accept appointment to another term, and Luke Siemieniewski of Geneseo has been appointed to take Mark’s place on the Board.  Currently, the members of the Sargent County Water Resource Board are: Chris McFarland, Gwinner, chairman; Jim Bosse, Cogswell; Richard Engst, Milnor; Roger Zetocha, Stirum; and, Luke Siemieniewski, Geneseo.  Mark’s many friends in the Rutland community extend their congratulations and thanks to him for 15 years of dedicated, interesting and challenging service to his community, County and State. Read More »

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