News & Events

The Rooster Crows – March 17, 2017

Faith and Begorra!  It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and it’s been “Up With The Irish!” at the Lariat Bar in Rutland.  According to Mike Pyle, who, along with Jeremy Becker, is one of the proprietors of the finest establishment in town, the St. Patrick’s Day Special on Friday evening will be the favorite menu of St. Patrick himself, corned beef & cabbage, with potatoes and sausage.  There’s some of Jamison distillery’s finest Irish Whiskey on the top shelf, too, states Mike.  So, if you’re Irish, or if you’d like to be Irish, or if you would just like a good supper accompanied by an excellent beverage, The Lariat Bar & Grill in Rutland is the place to be on Friday, March 17.  It’s the place to meet old friends, and to greet those you haven’t met yet.

Another day and a half of fierce winds battered Rutland and vicinity on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 & 12.  The wind was accompanied by about 2 inches of new snow, although it was difficult to get an accurate measurement, with the snow going by sideways.  Mayor Narum reported that by the time the snow and the wind stopped on Monday morning, some streets were entirely bare, while large snowdrifts blocking some intersections had to be cleared out with the City’s snowplow.  Norbert Kulzer reports that the street in front of his house was completely open, but his driveway was covered by several inches of snow.  Norbert is usually pretty prompt about clearing his driveway of snow, but states that this time he is going to leave that task to the one who put it there.  The thermometer reading of 4 degrees below zero on the morning of Monday, March 13, was not very enticing to prospective snow shovelers, especially when considered in the light of predicted temperatures in the upper 40’s and low 50’s by Thursday and Friday.  On the bright side, the Vernal Equinox, heralding the arrival of Spring, will occur in Rutland at 5:17 a.m. on the morning of Monday, March 20, according to Siri, the little “know-it-all” who resides inside a lot of cellular telephones these days.  Also coming up for the entertainment and gratification of fans of ecology, environment, weather and climate is Earth Day, 2017, on Saturday, April 22.  The theme of this year’s observance of Earth Day is “Trees For The Earth.”  Another bit of encouraging news is the fact that, as of Friday, March 17, 2017, there are only 200 weeks left until Inauguration Day, 2021.  Let the countdown begin!

Lenny Runyan stopped in for morning coffee at the Lariat Bar on the morning of Thursday, March 9, and reported that road conditions in the hills along the State Line are good, for now.  Lenny drives a schoolbus for Sargent Central School District, and states that road conditions are a major concern for him and the other Sargent Central bus drivers when he is transporting students from home to school and back again.  The ice that coated township and county gravel roads from the end of December to the beginning of February made Lenny’s bus route extremely difficult to navigate this Winter, he stated, and the high winds that swept through the region on Monday & Tuesday, March 6 & 7, made driving the school bus about like trying to keep a large box kite on the road.  Lenny, his wife, Kathy, and family reside on the old Maly farm in the hills southeast of Rutland, and he reports that his livestock herd, consisting of: cattle; hogs; sheep; goats; guinea hens; ducks; and, chickens; continues to increase.  Lenny estimates that he now may be the proprietor of the largest goat ranch in Sargent County.

Ted & Joan Lee returned home on the evening of Friday, March 10, at the conclusion of an 11 day visit in the Mesa AZ area.  Ted reports that they visited a number of old friends from this area during their stay in Mesa, including: Gwen Young; Pat Prindiville; Harold Young; Vincent Young; Harlis and Lenay (Lee) Langager; and, Curt & Renee Larson.  The Lees surprised Curt & Renee Larson when they showed up at the Lutheran church where Curt has been serving as interim pastor on Sunday, March 5.  Although Ted is the Chaplain of the local American Legion Post, he did not attempt to take over Curt’s preaching duties at Sunday services.  Ted stated that Arizona’s warm and sunny conditions were really appreciated, especially when he and Joan were welcomed home by wind, snow and below zero temperatures.  “The big difference between Arizona and North Dakota during the month of March,” he says, “ is that in North Dakota you have to start the car to get the heater going, and in Arizona you have to start the car to get the air-conditioner running.”

The 26th District Democratic-NPL Party held its 2017 Reorganization meeting at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 11, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The meeting was preceded by a lunch of barbecues, chips, pickles and bars served by Sheila Wyum and Kathy Wyum.  State Senator Jim Dotzenrod of Wyndmere addressed the group, describing the 2017 legislative session as one of retreat and withdrawal from the State’s responsibilities and obligations.  Sen. Dotzenrod said that the State’s current budget shortfall was created by the GOP led Legislature’s own shortsighted and foolish actions, including a drastic cut in the State’s Oil Extraction Tax rate from 6½% to 5% at the end of the 2015 session.  That one foolish decision, alone, has cost the people of this State more than $20 million per month, he said.  The meeting was called to order by Chairman Paul Anderson.  The Treasurer’s report delivered by Sheila Wyum disclosed that the District had raised and expended approximately $24,000.00 in the 2016 campaign cycle, and that the District now has approximately $2,400 on hand.  Jayne Pfau of Forman, who had served as District Co-Vice-Chairperson during the last campaign cycle, was elected to serve as District Chairperson for the next 2 years.  Kyla Temple of Rutland and Cam Gulleson of Rutland were elected and re-elected, respectively, to the position of Co-Vice-Chairpersons; Tibby Raes Hinderlie of Milnor was elected to serve as District Secretary; and, Sheila Wyum of Rutland was re-elected as District Treasurer.  Committees were also appointed for campaign finance; candidate selection; and media/communications.  The assembly also approved a resolution supporting the following: (1) A strong Federal Farm Program & Crop Insurance Program as a “safety net” for agriculture; (2) Encouragement of wildlife and other conservation groups to work more closely with farmers to facilitate farming operations while encouraging the establishment and maintenance of permanent wildlife habitat; (3) Improvements to infrastructure, such as Township, County & State roads and bridges; (4) Maintaining interest rates at levels that will encourage strong economic growth in the agricultural sector, as well as in other areas of North Dakota’s economy; (5) Restoration of the North Dakota Oil Extraction Tax rate to the 6½% originally established by a vote of the people of North Dakota; (6) The passage and implementation of strong campaign finance reform legislation that eliminates unlimited and undisclosed spending by corporations and Political Action Committees; (7) The passage and implementation of redistricting reform in North Dakota that eliminates “Gerrymandering” legislative districts in order to give one candidate or political party an advantage over another; (8) The passage and implementation of strong Ethics Reform legislation for the North Dakota State Legislature and other State offices; and, (9) Reconsideration and modification of the “Waters Of The United States (WOTUS) regulations to minimize or eliminate their impact on family farms.  The 26th Legislative District consists of: parts of Richland, Ransom, and Dickey Counties; and, all of Sargent County.

Bruce and Nancy Rohde of Rochester MN drove up to Rutland on Saturday, March 11, in order to celebrate the 26th birthday of their youngest son, Pastor Nicholas Rohde of Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana.  The elder Rohdes took their son out for dinner at The Lariat Bar & Grill on Saturday evening, where they were joined by Paul Anderson.  Paul & Nicholas gave Bruce and Nancy some lessons on how to play Pinochle, Rutland style.  The Rohdes had not played pinochle before the evening of March 11, but they can’t say that any more.  They departed Rutland shortly after Sunday morning worship, returning home to Rochester ahead of the winter storm that swept through the upper Midwest on Sunday afternoon and evening.

Despite the return to colder weather, Canada geese, snow & blue geese, and various species of ducks have continued to slowly migrate into this area, some of them taking up Summer residence here, while others are merely taking a break before moving on to the north.  Accompanying this Spring migration are also a number of non-licensed hunters, including hawks, owls and our national symbol, the Bald Eagle.  Paul Anderson reports that he spotted 2 convocations of Bald Eagles (according to, a group of eagles is called a “convocation”) shortly before sundown on Sunday, March 12.  One convocation of about 25 of the great birds was perched in the trees on the old Brown farm, 3 miles east of town, and the other convocation of about the same size was in the trees on the old Giske place, 3 miles east and about ¼ mile north from Rutland.  Norbert Kulzer also reports spotting the Eagles at the same 2 locations on Monday.  He wasn’t sure what the big raptors were hunting, but he states that the pheasants he spotted sure looked nervous.  Bald Eagles often pick off the sick and the weak among the flocks of migratory birds they follow, and also often feed on road killed deer and other carrion.  The late President Theodore Roosevelt reportedly did not approve of the Bald Eagle as a national symbol for the United States, preferring instead the more ferocious grizzly bear, a creature he considered to be more dignified.  There are some accounts of President Roosevelt describing the Bald Eagle as “…nothing but a buzzard in a fancy suit!”  Nonetheless, it is a bird of magnificent appearance, that seems to capture the essence of the American spirit when it is soaring on high, and even T. R. would have a tough time denying that.  Fortunately for us, grizzly bears can’t fly.

Speaking of migratory birds, local snowbirds who have been wintering in the sunny southwest are beginning to prepare for their annual northern migration to their summer range in Sargent County.  The following report was received from Pastor Curt Larson on the evening of Monday, March 13:

Sargent County winter visitors and local residents met once again for the monthly Sargent County Breakfast. Monday, March 13 was the date of the most recent event at the Golden Corral in Mesa, AZ. This month was the largest turnout of the season with a total of 31. The reason for that was because Colin & Colleen Sundquist, Forman and Colleen’s brother and his wife, Alwood & Geri Huckell of Fort Ransom were in attendance. All the regulars were anxious to welcome them, as this was their very first visit to the Breakfast.  Other attendees were: Larry & Janet Bartz; Al Ciota & Clarice Ordahl; Larry Colby; Jim & Kathryn Gaukler; Carolyn Hopewell; Curt & Renee Larson; Duane & Sharon Lock; George & Elaine Marquette; Richard Meyers & Pauline Carnahan; David & Lavonne Nelson; Orvis & Alphie Pearson; Randy Pearson; Pat Prindiville; Kathleen Thomas; Kenny & Faye Waloch; Gwen Young; and, Vincent Young.  The Loony Toon Twins, aka Colleen Sundquist and Renee Larson, were present but were incognito; they actually looked and acted like normal people, unlike how they appeared to some at the Uffda Day parade in Rutland for the last two years. They said they did not have any of their “normal” apparel and props along, so they could not perform for everyone in the restaurant.  There was even a Champion amongst the group. Renee Larson was one half of the duo who won the annual Shuffleboard Tournament at Ironwood RV Park in Apache Junction AZ. Over twenty teams competed in the popular tournament. Renee said, “the competition was tough, but we persevered in extreme 90 degree temperatures to win the coveted trophy.”  Teammates, Neil and Renee, received their trophies at the Shuffleboard Banquet last Wednesday at the Park. It was the first time both shufflers had won it all.  Breakfast attendees were reminded that April 10 is the date for the final breakfast of the winter season. Some were planning to head back to North Dakota prior to the 10th. I guess the 90 degree temperatures are too extreme for them and they much prefer the cooler temps and white ground in Sargent County. That is the latest news from sunny Arizona.

Thanks to Curt Larson for the report.  At this point, Curt & Renee are planning to depart Mesa and head for home on Monday, April 17, the day after Easter.

The Rutland Community Club met at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, March 13, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The financial report indicated that approximately $23,000.00 was available for projects within the community.  The main item of business discussed was the upcoming Community Club Supper and Play.  The event will be held on Saturday, March 18, with serving of the supper commencing at 6:30 p.m. and the play performance of “Wash Your Troubles Away… or… Dirty Deeds Come Clean” beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Play Director Diane Smith reported that practices had been going well, and that a cast and crew of 15 is involved in the production of this year’s performance.  The supper menu is: pulled pork sandwiches; baked beans and potato salad, all made by cooks who learned their craft at Grandma’s knee so you know it’s tasty as well as nutritious.  The price for tickets is: adults – $15.00; children age 7 through 13 – $7.00; and, children age 6 and under – Free Will.  The price for tickets to see the play, only, is $5.00.  In other business, club members authorized a donation of $250.00 to the Jerry & Jeanne Leinen family to assist with the annual Easter Egg Hunt that will be held in Rutland, at the Town Hall, on Saturday, April 15.  A motion was also passed appointing Hal Nelson to coordinate Community Clean Up Day with the City of Rutland, to get Winter’s debris picked up and disposed of prior to High School Graduation and Memorial Day.  Katie McLaen was appointed to coordinate the planning of a spring or early summer community Block Party/Family Day with games, food and music, and a preliminary budget of $500.00 was authorized for the planning and preparation for the event.  The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 10, in the Rutland Town Hall.  Current officers and directors of the Rutland Community Club are: Rachel Olson, President; Bonnie Anderson, Vice-President; Andrea Erickson, Secretary; Hal Nelson, Treasurer; Katie McLaen, Director; and, Marcia Brakke, Director.  Marcia Brakke is also the chairperson of Uff-Da Day XXXIII, scheduled for the first Sunday in October of 2017.

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience in a spectacular setting, the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, in the Coteau des Prairies Hills south of Rutland, has just the thing for you.  The following information was received from the Lodge on Friday, March 10: “Join us at Coteau des Prairies Lodge on Wednesday, March 22nd for a one-of-a-kind food & wine pairing event featuring award-winning TV chef and food writer Amy Thielen.  Amy is known as the host of the Food Network show Heartland Table which is filmed in her kitchen at her home in rural Park Rapids, MN. Her fresh take on Midwestern foods has inspired a new generation of cooks to get back to the kitchen. She is also a James Beard Award-winning cookbook writer. Her book The New Midwestern Table has a prominent place in many Midwesterner’s kitchens.  You will meet Amy at this wine dinner and you will enjoy some of her favorite spring dishes paired with premium wines. There will be dry-aged Breker beef and yes…there will be crispy smelt! Eat your Midwestern heart out. The menu for the March 22 dinner is as follows: First Course –  Curried Carrot Soup with Smoky Eggplant; Second Course – Crispy Smelt with Spicy Green Goddess Dipping Sauce; Third Course –  Japanese Sunday Salad with Miso, Wheatberries, Mizuna and Fried Shallots; Fourth Course – Braised and Charred Beef with Red Chile Garlic and Grilled Leeks; Fifth Course – Sour Raspberry Floats with Burnt Honey Marshmallow Crème.  The wine pairings for each course had not yet been selected as of March 10, so, if you want to know what they’re going to be, get a reservation and show up for some fine dining.  Amy grew up in Park Rapids, Minnesota, near the headwaters of the Mississippi River, and graduated from Macalester College. For three years she and her husband, visual artist Aaron Spangler, lived in a rustic off-the-grid cabin he built in the Two Inlets State Forest outside of Park Rapids, where she picked up her cooking and gardening afflictions. In 1999, they moved to New York City where she worked for celebrated chefs David Bouley, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud, and Shea Gallante. In 2008, she left the hot line and she and Aaron and their son moved back home to northern Minnesota.  She is the host of the James Beard-nominated Heartland Table on Food Network, an instructional cooking show filmed in her rural kitchen in northern Minnesota.  Her first cookbook, The New Midwestern Table, was published in 2013 and won the James Beard Book Award for American Cooking. She writes about food for newspapers and magazines, including Saveur, where she is a contributing editor, and has appeared in many others, including People, Food Network Magazine, Country Living, and Reuters, among others.  Her second book, a memoir called Give a Girl a Knife, comes out May 16 from Clarkson Potter.  Amy lives with her husband, Aaron, their son, his dog, a bunch of chickens, and a huge vegetable garden, in rural Park Rapids, Minnesota, in the house Aaron built years before–now fully hooked up to the 21st Century grid. A recovering professional chef, she now thinks of herself as a home cooking civilian, and develops recipes to fit her own small-town limits, sticking with ingredients she can find at the local grocery store, in her garden, and in the woods. Her food is rustic but extravagant, rich with honest fats and vegetables, original, and thrifty; she is not afraid of butter or burnt ends.  For more information about Amy, visit her website:  Amy is also putting on a 3-day food & wine retreat at Coteau des Prairies Lodge on March 20-23rd. It’s not too late to register for the retreat if you want to spend some quality time at one of North Dakota’s best getaway spots with Amy. The retreat is limited to just 20 guests, so it is a great opportunity to get to know our ‘local celebrity’ chef. As a retreat guest, you have the choice to take part in the wine dinner as a dining guests or as an assistant to Amy.  The event is on Wednesday, March 22nd at Coteau des Prairies Lodge. Everyone is welcome, but space is limited and meals are available by reservation only.  Alcohol will be served only to those over 21 years of age. The price is $75 per person. The meal includes a gourmet five course meal and 3-4 oz. of wine served with each course. Water and coffee will be provided. Sodas and additional alcoholic beverages will be sold at the bar. Doors open at 4pm, guests are welcome to come early, tour the lodge and enjoy refreshments served at the bar.  When you arrive at the lodge, sign your party in with our hostess. Guests will be seated for the meal promptly at 6pm.  For reservations, fill out the online form on the web site or call 701-680-1175.  Because we have limited space available, we kindly request advanced notice if you must cancel your reservation or reduce your party size so we can make room for other guests. You will receive confirmation of your reservation within 24 hours.”  There is no better place to enjoy an outstanding dining experience than right here in Sargent County, at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge.  Come on in, take a look, and sit down and eat!

At 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, the Sargent County Jobs Development Authority (JDA) Board met in the dining room of the Lariat Bar in Rutland.  The Sargent County JDA is a County board that was established by authority of State law to assist with the development of new and existing business enterprises that will create or retain jobs in Sargent County.  The current Chairman of the JDA is Mark Bopp of Forman, Vice-Chairman is Terry Dusek of Milnor, and the Secretary-Treasurer is Sandra Hanson of Forman.  Board members include Bob Ptacek of Cogswell; Jessica Peterson & Jerry Erickson of Gwinner; Carol Peterson & Randy Pearson of Milnor; Al Colemer & Mike Walstead of Forman; and, Ron Narum & Bill Anderson of Rutland.  Economic Development Consultant Nathan Berseth of Wahpeton was also present, as was Justin Nepl of the Small Business Development Center in Wahpeton.  The main purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to consider participation in the loan package being put together by Mike Pyle & Jeremy Becker of this community for the purpose of purchasing The Lariat Bar building and equipment from Bradley & Rebecca Christensen.  The lead lender, the Sargent County Bank of Forman, and the Rutland Community Development Corporation (RCDC) had previously committed to participation in the financial package.  The JDA Board, after reviewing the application and asking several questions of the applicants and Mr. Nepl, unanimously approved participation in the loan package, providing the final amount needed to close the deal.  The JDA portion of the loan package will be amortized for up to 20 years, with a balloon payment required after 5 years.  Following approval of The Lariat Bar loan, the Board reviewed the JDA’s other outstanding loans, which are all current and in good standing.  Mr. Berseth reviewed the JDA’s Housing Incentive Program, and reported that the spec house built in the new addition in Milnor is now complete, and has been listed for sale with realtor Lacey Wyum of Fadness Realty of Milnor & Lisbon.  The aim of the JDA’s Housing Incentive program is to increase the supply of single family residences in the County, and to provide employment for skilled construction workers while doing so.  For additional information about the Sargent County JDA, contact Sandra Hanson at the Sargent County Courthouse, 701-724-6241, Extension #2, or Consultant Nathan Berseth at 701-388-3549.

Speaking of jobs, The U.S. Department of Labor released the February jobs report last week, and it was disclosed that approximately 215,000 new jobs had been created in the U. S. during the month of February, and that the national unemployment rate had dropped to 4.7%.  White House spokesmen immediately claimed that President Trump’s economic pronouncements had created the stimulus for the job growth.  The spokesmen had not, apparently, checked recent history, though, for it they had they would have found that There were fewer jobs created in February than had been created in January, the last month of the Obama Presidency.  They would also have found that February was just the last month in a string of months over the last 7 years in which there has been continuous positive job growth and a declining unemployment rate.  During the 2016 Election Campaign, then candidate Trump always assailed the job creation and unemployment numbers released by the Labor Department as “phony numbers.” When asked about this, the President’s spokesman stated that the numbers were phony back then, but that they are “real” now.  Well, isn’t that special?  Real and phony – an apt description of the Trump Presidency.

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, and stop by the Rutland blog and 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.

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