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The Rooster Crows – August 19, 2016

These days, in mid-August, are what the old-timers used to call “The Dog Days of Summer,” when warm nights, hot days and barely moving air brings on a feeling that Summer will never end, and that there’s no reason to be in a hurry about anything.  In Rutland, the main concern of local residents this time of year is that they will forget to lock their car one day, and someone will fill up the backseat with zucchinis.  The Dakota, the people who occupied this land before the tidal wave of European immigration overwhelmed them, called this season “Canpa sapa wi,” which, according to the tribal newsletter published on the Wahpeton-Sisseton Reservation, translates as “When the chokecherries are ripe.”  The chokecherry crop was especially abundant in 2016, so the recipient of a back seat full of zucchinis might luck out and get a jar of homemade chokecherry jelly or chokecherry syrup, too.  Sweet corn has also been in abundant supply this year, and even the raccoons couldn’t steal all of it.  Home grown tomatoes, one of only two treasures of great value, the other being true love, that money can’t buy, are also now ripening on the vine.  Some of our would be political leaders tell us that times are bad, and getting worse; while others proclaim that times are good, but we could do better; and, here we are, surrounded by natural wealth so abundant that many fail to appreciate it, or even realize it.  The Dog Days of Summer, when the living is easy and it’s too hot to do much, is a good time to sit back and contemplate: the hectic race for material things that consumes most of our lives; the abundant blessings that surround us out here on the prairie; and, the appreciation that is due to the Creator for making it all possible.  Sit back…Relax…Have a tomato.

Rutland was where the action was on Saturday, August 13, as a community-wide garage sale, the 2nd Annual Relay For Life Junk-Fest and the 8th Annual Rutland Rib-Fest kept The Little City That Can hopping.  Two dozen vendors participated in the Junk-Fest and had a tremendous variety of goods on display, ranging from precision hand-crafted items to enough parts for Model A Fords to build a couple of them, from radiator cap to rear bumper.  The Rutland Rockets Relay For Life team had a rummage sale at the Rutland Town Hall and also served a dinner featuring scalloped potatoes with ham, and the Relay For Life team from Four Seasons Healthcare also had a lunch stand in the Rutland Seniors’ Center on Main Street.  By mid-afternoon the Junk-Fest phased into the Rib-Fest as the aroma of ribs on the grill drifted down Main Street.  The Rutland American Legion Auxiliary served home-made pie with ice cream in the Seniors’ Center while other vendors enticed diners with sweet corn, deep fried green beans, mini-doughnuts, burgers, bratwursts and other offerings.  The rib judging team, this year consisting of County Extension Agent Melissa Seykora, Pastor Nicholas Rohde and expert rib chef Kenny Hamilton, sampled the ribs prepared by those competing for the title of “Best Ribs In Rutland,” and awarded the 2016 title to the Lariat Bar, and Chef Mike Pyle.  Mike & Kyle Mahrer were awarded 2nd place honors and Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion took the 3rd prize award.  Ironically, Doug Spieker, one of the head chefs at the American Legion’s rib stand, had prepared the barbecue sauce for both the Lariat Bar and the American Legion, so he could claim a share of the credit for both 1st and 3rd place.  It was pointed out that, as there were only 3 competitors for The Best Ribs in Rutland this year, 3rd place might not be so special, but those who sampled the fare of all 3 stands expressed the opinion that all 3 were equally outstanding.  The day was warm and sunny, and the evening was warm and nearly windless, so guests occupied the picnic tables set up on Main Street long into the evening, enjoying the music of the “Whiskey Sam” band.  All in all, it was a great day for Rutland, and for all who visited Rutland throughout the day.

Another 1.3 inch of rain from another thunderstorm on Wednesday, August 10 and Thursday, August 11, brought the total rainfall for the week to 2.4 inches, and the consensus from The Assembled Wise Men that there is now sufficient moisture to “make” the corn and soybean crops.  Unlike the storm of the night before, there was No wind, or at least not much, with this blast.  Local rain gauges measured 1.3 inch at Paul Anderson’s, 1.1 inch at Norbert Kulzer’s and 1.9 inch at Roger Pearson’s.  Heavier rains were reported to the north, with downpours of 6 to 9 inches inundating areas along the Sargent-Ransom County Line.  County Road Supervisor Sparky Engquist reports that improvements to County Roads made in 2013 kept trouble spots that would have been under water from such a deluge in previous years high and dry in 2016.  Read More »

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Special City Council Meeting


The Rutland City Council will meet at the Sargent County Bank – Rutland meeting room on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, at 5:30 p.m. on the following items:

  1. Request from Dennis McLaen to move a house onto property he owns within City limits and to connect to City water/sewer lines.

The City of Rutland will consider whether to reinstate the abandoned portion of the plat with Front and Arthur Streets extended to the west as well as alleys, lots, and blocks with the intention of extending municipal utility lines and streets across the current ditch. The City Council will also consider the request from Mr. McLaen to move in the manufactured home.

  1. Sunday Liquor License: Approve the request from The Lariat Bar for a Sunday liquor license for September through December 2016.
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The Rooster Crows – August 12, 2016

We can smell them ribs a’ cookin’; we can smell ‘em cookin’ slow;and Rutland’s 8th Annual Rib-Fest is the place to go!  Main Street in Rutland will be a busy place on Saturday, August 13, as the day starts out with community wide garage sales, then proceeds to Relay For Life’s 2nd Annual Junk-Fest with all kinds of interesting antiques, collectibles and just plain good stuff for sale, the Rutland Rockets’ Relay For Life team’s rummage sale at the Rutland Town Hall, the American Legion Auxiliary’s Pie & Ice Cream Social at the Rutland Seniors’ Center that will begin at 4:00 p.m. and continue until all of the pie and ice cream are gone, the 8th Annual Rib-Fest competition that is scheduled to  be held with ribs ready to serve around the supper hour, and live music on Main Street to be performed throughout the evening.  According to Mike Pyle, one of the organizers of this year’s Rib-Fest, the popular band “Whiskey Sam” has been contracted with to provide the Grande Finale on Saturday evening.  Mike Pyle and Jeremy Becker, new owners of The Lariat Bar, are the primary sponsors of this year’s event, and invite everyone to come to Rutland “for good food, good drinks, good music and a good time with good friends,” on Saturday, August 13.

A thunderstorm just after Midnight on Thursday, August 4, dropped another .5 of an inch of precipitation on Rutland, according to the rain gauge in Norbert Kulzer’s backyard at 415 Gay Street.  Phyllis Erickson reported that her gauge at 102 Bagley Street indicated .38 of an inch of rain from the same weather system.  It was another welcome rain that kept lawns and fields green and growing.

Prairie thunderstorms aren’t always welcome.  A violent storm hit the Rutland area at about 2:30 in the morning of Wednesday, August 10, bringing fierce winds, hard rain and some hail.  Jesse Brakke reports that the wind tore the front porch from his home in Ransom Township, then rolled the porch across the roof, over the house and into the backyard.  The rain gauge at the Brakke farm showed 1.4 inch of precipitation from the storm.  The Brakkes also report that their chicken coop was undamaged, and that their flock of 5 red hens was not impressed by the storm, continuing egg production without missing a beat.  In town, the damage consisted, primarily, of downed power lines and damaged trees.  The big cottonwood at 304 Bagley Street, on the corner of Bagley and Anthony, was hit by lightning that split the tree, blew the bark off the tree and blasted dirt out of the ground around the roots.  A downed tree at 301 First Street had taken down the electrical service line to the structure on the property, pulling the electric meter and wiring off the wall.  The sign on the Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency Office at 101 First Street was also damaged.  Areas of Rutland were still without electrical power at 11:00 on Wednesday morning, and Otter Tail Power Co. had crews in town repairing the damage to poles and power lines.  Rainfall measurements in the Rutland area varied from .9 of an inch in Norbert Kulzer’s rain gauge at 415 Gay Street to 1.5 inch of rain in the rain gauge in Roger Pearson’s back yard at 409 Gay Street.  Paul Anderson reported that his electronic gauge indicated 1.08 inch, and Jim Lunneborg reported 2 inches of rain at his farm in Shuman Township.  Mike Anderson stated that his rain gauge northeast of Rutland contained 1.3 inch of rain on Wednesday morning, and Kurt Breker said that the gauge at his farm 1 mile south of Cayuga held 1.7 inch when the rain stopped falling.  Mark Wyum stated that his brother-in-law, Mike Harris, had reported 6 inches of rain at his farm home near Crete, in the northwestern corner of the County.  No hail damage to crops had been reported as of 10:00 on Wednesday morning. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – August 5, 2016

Another thunderstorm rumbled, roared, snapped and crackled its way across Sargent County at about 9:30 p.m. on Monday, August 1, providing another shot of much needed precipitation across the County on a narrow west to east route.  For once the rain gauges of next door neighbors Roger Pearson and Norbert Kulzer at 409 and 415 Gay Street, respectively, agreed, with each indicating .75 of an inch on Tuesday morning.  A block to the west, Paul Anderson’s electronic rain gauge at 309 Gay Street showed .77 of an inch.  Mike Walstead reported that 1.1 inch of rain fell at his farm in western Rutland Township, while Silver Lake Park Manager Dennis Goltz stated that there was an even inch in the gauge at Silver Lake, while his farm in Weber Township was as dry on Tuesday morning as it had been on Monday afternoon.  To the north and east of Rutland the rainfall decreased, as well.  Mike Anderson reported .25 of an inch at his Ransom Township farm 3½ miles east and 3 miles north of Rutland, and Jesse Brakke had an identical .25 of an inch reading from his electronic gauge between Rutland and Cayuga.  As of Tuesday, August 2, the corn and soybean crops in the Rutland area are looking good, but there is a long way to go yet, before that harvest comes to pass.

Paul Anderson and Kurt Breker report that the late frost in May and the dry conditions through June seem to have put just the right amount of stress on the grapevines at their Shortfoot Creek Vineyard south of Cayuga and at Paul’s Oleo Acres Vineyard in Rutland to stimulate production to bumper crop proportions.  Paul reports that a couple of varieties that have never produced well in the past are fairly bursting with grapes this season.  Kyle & Kathy Marquette report that their vineyard north of Rutland is also loaded with grapes this year.  All of the grape growers were spreading nets over their vines this past weekend, to keep the eager birds out of the ripening grapes.  One of folk singer Bob Dylan’s early hits started out, “Bottle of wine, fruit of the vine, when you gonna let me get sober?”  If you see a bunch of tipsy robins staggering around, you’ll know where they’ve been. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – July 29, 2016

To last week’s description of those hazy, lazy, crazy days of Summer can also be added hot and muggy, as the temperature soared into the upper 90’s with a humidity percentage to match.  It was bound to come along if we waited long enough, but Winter’s “Wind Chill Index” now has a corresponding “Heat Index” for use in the Summer.  If you weren’t already uncomfortable enough just looking at the thermometer, the Heat Index combines the actual air temperature and the actual relative humidity reading to let a person know that it “feels” hotter than it really is, just as Winter’s Wind Chill “feels” colder than it really is.  Last Friday, July 22, the Heat Index was up to 108 degrees, and flirting with 110.  There’s no need to worry though, as 6 months from now the Wind Chill will be 30 degrees below Zero, and when 110 above is averaged with 30 below Zero the average is 40 degrees above, not great, but tolerable on a sunny day.  Remember to think about that when you are facing that northwest wind on January 29, 2017.  If you spend the winter in Arizona, just disregard the above, as the Arizona Tourism Bureau tells us that the heat in the Sunshine State is a “dry heat” that never gets uncomfortable, even when the doorknob is so hot that it blisters your hand.  And, you are permitted to wear a parka and complain about the cold when the temperature drops below 60 degrees above, too.  Well, we all have our burdens to bear.

The thunderstorm that rumbled and rattled across Sargent County just after Midnight and into the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 28, presented Rutland with .53 of an inch of rain, according to Paul Anderson’s electronic precipitation measuring device at 309 Gay Street.  Silver Lake Park Manager Dennis Goltz reports that the rain gauge at his Weber Township farmstead showed an even inch of rain on Wednesday morning.  The corn has tasseled, the beans are growing and the wheat harvest is beginning to wind down, so the rain was most welcome.

The Rutland community has another new citizen, descended from a long line of Rutland community pioneers.  Silvan Stephan Carlson was born to Bryce and Casie Carlson at 1:52 a.m. on Monday, July 18, 2016 at a Fargo hospital.  He tipped the scales at 8 pounds 8 ounces and stood 22 inches tall in his bare feet on arrival.  His ancestry is rooted in the Carlson, Jacobson, Colby, Stenvold, Hawkenson, Westra, Vold and Larson clans, so he is bound to become a man to reckon with.  Silvan joins his older brother, Corbin, in the Carlsons’ farm home just 1 mile east of Rutland’s Main Street.  Welcome to Rutland, Silvan.  You’re just in time for the 8th Annual Rutland Rib Fest that’s coming up on Saturday, August 13! Read More »

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