Harvest of the 2011 corn crop continues at a rapid rate, but reports of the quantity and quality of the crop have been disappointing. The combined effects of prevented planting, drowned out acres that were planted, high winds and hail have pulled total corn production down by at least 50% across southern and central Sargent County. A few reports of 120 bushel yields have been circulating, but 50 to 70 bushels per acre seems to be the norm. Despite the disappointment of 2011, though, local farmers are also busy preparing the fields for next year’s crop. It’s a good thing that we have next year. It’s the best crop we’ve ever had.
Sargent County Health Nurse Joyce Chapin administered 28 flu shots at the Rutland Seniors Center from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12. Colleen Sundquist, Administrator of the Sargent County Health Department, reports that flu shots are still available at the County Health Department’s office in Forman, by appointment. Cost of the vaccination is $35.00, and that cost is covered by most health insurance providers, states Colleen.
A “Save Our Post Office” meeting was held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12 at the Rutland Town Hall. The meeting had been called by the Rutland Community Club to discuss the proposal to close the Rutland Post Office that had been posted by the U. S. Postal Service a few days earlier. Despite the fact that the deadline for submitting the original survey forms distributed by the Postal Service is not until October 25, the Service jumped the gun and submitted its closure proposal ahead of schedule. The forms did say “Your comments are important to us,” on them, but the Postal Service folks apparently didn’t read that part of their survey form, either. There are 2 reasons for closing the Rutland Post Office given in the proposal to close: the first being declining work load; and, the second being declining revenue. The Postal Service gives no indication of what the work load has been, though, and no indication of what it is now, so their reason is nothing more than an assertion with no factual information to back it up. The 4 years of revenue information in the proposal indicates that the revenue trend at the Rutland Post Office has been increasing rather than decreasing, putting the lie to reason number 2. The proposal is riddled with other inaccuracies, among them a statement that Rutland is an “unincorporated community” despite the fact that Rutland has been an incorporated city since 1908. Community Club President Paul Anderson pointed out that the appeal process begins now, and it is important to point out the inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the Services recommendation. He also stated that it is important to keep the pressure on the State’s Congressional delegation to take action to address the Postal Service’s real problem, the Congressionally imposed requirement to pre-fund and over fund the Service’s retirement and healthcare programs. If the unreasonable and unrealistic conditions imposed by Congress back in 2006 were reformed, the Postal Service would be running a surplus, not a deficit. It is important, says Paul, for as many letters as possible to be sent in to appeal the Postal Service’s proposal. In the event that the worst happens, and the Postal Service continues to misstate the facts and misapply the law, it may be necessary to seek an injunction in Federal Court, and, in that instance, only those issues brought up during the administrative process are allowed to be addressed in any court proceedings. The Community Club will coordinate a door-to-door campaign to get as many letters as possible in the mail to oppose the proposal to close the Rutland Post Office.
Another new businessman is on the scene in Rutland. Bryce Carlson has obtained his Federal Firearms License, and will be dealing in guns and ammunition in the Rutland community. The business will be part-time, for now, as Bryce is employed full time as a locomotive engineer by CP Rail out of Enderlin.
Donald “Soapy” Olson drove over from Forman on the morning of Thursday, October 13, and stopped in at the Rutland Café for coffee, conversation and breakfast. Soapy, a veteran of WWII, reported that he had recently been up to Lisbon to check out the new North Dakota Veterans Home there. He stated that the facility is very impressive, being laid out as a community, with a Main Street, neighborhoods, houses and individual rooms. Soapy stated that he is considering taking up residence there, depending on how he feels this Winter. He said that he had contracted trench foot while serving in the U. S. Army in France during the Winter of 1944-45, and his feet still cause problems in cold weather. Back in December of 1944, Soapy was serving with the 9th Armored Division in northern France in General George Patton’s Third Army. The 9th Armored was one of the Divisions that Gen. Patton ordered north to counter attack the German’s Ardennes Offensive in what is now called “The Battle of the Bulge.” Soapy relates that on Christmas Day, 1944, he lay with frostbitten feet in the snow near Bastogne, Belgium, fighting the German Army and lifting the Siege of the 101st Airborne Division in that ferocious battle. Neither Soapy, nor any of the other soldiers serving with him, got Christmas Dinner, or even warm, dry socks, that Christmas Day, he stated. Think about that, the next time you sit down to a nice, hot dinner in a nice warm home.
Pam Gulleson has been keeping up a fast pace as her campaign for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U. S. House of Representatives gathers momentum. On Thursday, October 13, Pam was in Wishek, over in McIntosh County, where she attended the community’s annual “Sauerkraut Day,” and greeted over 1,500 people. From Wishek, Pam headed over to Fargo to attend the Great Plains Food Bank’s Chef’s Gala, good food for a good cause; and, on Friday she was in Bismarck testifying at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on haze and air pollution in North Dakota.
Al & Corrine Romereim of Wahpeton were Rutland visitors on Friday, October 14. The Romereims joined Paul & Sue Anderson and Bill Anderson for dinner at the Rutland Café. Corrine, a 1958 graduate of RHS and a former administrator of Dakota Clinic in Wahpeton, is now serving as the Township Clerk for the rural Richland County township in which she and Al reside. She reports that the Township had approximately $38,000.00 in road damage from this past Spring’s flooding that has been reimbursed by FEMA, with some projects remaining incomplete due to high water in the Wild Rice River.
Former Rutland residents Keith & Hazel Cleveland stopped in at the Rutland Café for dinner on Friday, October 14, and spent some time visiting with old friends here. The Clevelands resided at 115 Anthony Street in Rutland back in 1973. Keith was employed as a truck driver for the Melroe Company at Gwinner. Keith says that he should have stayed in Rutland. Prior to moving here, they had resided in a mobile home at Oakes that was destroyed by a tornado. When they left Rutland, the Clevelands bought a new mobile home in Gwinner that was destroyed by fire shortly after it was acquired. And now, just this past Summer, their home at Bismarck was damaged by the flooding Missouri River. Their home in Rutland was the only one that didn’t blow away, burn up or get washed down the river, says Keith. The house they lived in here, known locally as “The Schuveiller House,” was demolished several years ago, though, so it’s gone now, too. The Clevelands were on their way to visit family in Sisseton when they stopped in Rutland. Keith stated that they also intended to drive through Marlowe, where he had operated the tavern back in the late 50’s & early 60’s. Those with a long enough memory can still recall some hot music and exciting times at the Marlowe dance hall and tavern.
The pancake & sausage breakfast served on Sunday, October 16, by the members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion drew 196 diners, according to the dishwasher’s plate count. Post Commander Larry Christensen states that he wishes to thank all those who attended and contributed so generously to support the Post’s activities in the community. The Post has its next pancake and sausage breakfast scheduled for Abe Lincoln’s 202nd birthday, on Sunday, February 12, 2012, so mark that date on your calendar. The Post’s Flag Retirement Ceremony is scheduled to be held at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11, at the Legion Hall. Anyone with worn or soiled U. S. Flags to be properly retired, may deliver them to Commander Larry Christensen, or leave them at The Rutland General Store where they will be picked up by a Post member.
County Commissioners Bill Anderson and Steve Wyum of Rutland were in Bismarck from Sunday, October 16 through Tuesday, October 17, attending the North Dakota Association of Counties Annual Conference. Others from Sargent County attending the conference were: County Commissioner Jerry Waswick of Gwinner; County Auditor Sherry Hosford of Forman; and, County Treasurer/Recorder/Clerk of Court Gina Hillestad of Forman. During the conference Commissioners Anderson, Wyum & Waswick, Auditor Hosford and County Engineer Damon Devillers met with officials of the North Dakota Department of Transportation to discuss upcoming road projects and the availability of funding for road projects. The State DOT officials stated that Federal funding is very uncertain at this point, with only a fraction of the budgeted amount actually appropriated so far. Even the funding for Emergency Repair projects already completed has not yet been released, according to the State officials. Alternative sources of short-term financing to bridge the gap, including a loan fund from the Bank of North Dakota, were also discussed. The County Commissioners Association considered and adopted several resolutions during the conference, one of them being a resolution opposing the closure of rural Post Offices by the US Postal Service that had been proposed by Sargent County. The County officials also attended several seminars on topics of interest, including: the impact of the North Dakota Minimum Stream Crossing Standards law on County and Township roads; implementation of the National Healthcare Reform Law by county governments; bid letting; diversity training and compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and, several others. The North Dakota Association of Counties holds its annual conference each October and, in addition, holds a training session for County officials during March of odd numbered years, when the Legislature is in session.
The 2011 Non-resident Pheasant Hunting Season opened last Saturday, October 15, and mixed results are being reported. First of all, though, it should be made clear that only resident pheasants are being hunted. As of Saturday, the hunters could be either residents or non-residents of the State of North Dakota. Two groups of hunters from the Minneapolis area were in the Rutland Café on the morning of Wednesday, October 19, and reported that they had been having good luck with ducks, some luck with geese and not much luck with pheasants. They had good dogs to assist them, however, and reported that this year, more than ever, a good dog is crucial to a successful pheasant hunt. Those birds they had bagged would have been lost without good dogs to find them, the hunters stated. Although the North Dakota Legislature has been increasingly unfriendly to non-resident hunters over the past decade, these out of state sportsmen give the local economy a much appreciated boost each Fall, and they are very welcome in the rural communities of the State.
Fishing is not at the center of conversation these days, but avid anglers continue to pursue their sport. No reports of fishing success on local waters have been received in recent days, but those who pursue their finny prey just south of the border continue to bring home some nice filets. Shan & Steve Meier brought in a limit of walleyes on the afternoon of Saturday, October 15, while fishing from shore on Opitz Lake about 25 miles south of Rutland, reports Shan. No ice, yet, but hang on. It’s coming!
Bertha Siemieniewski of the Rutland City Council reports that contracts for the Town Hall improvement project have now been approved and will be executed here on Thursday, October 20. Work on the project is expected to commence before the ink is dry on the signatures, says Bert. When completed, the Town Hall will have a handicapped accessible ramp on the east side and handicapped accessible restrooms on the inside. The project is a combined project of the City of Rutland, the Rutland Community Club, Lake Agassiz Regional Council and the USDA-Rural Development. It’s been a long time coming.
Reports from both Earl Cramton and Larry Anderson, on the sick list last week and this week, too, are that progress in their treatment is good. You can check out their condition at www.caringbridge.org/visit/larrynormananderson and www.caringbridge.org/visit/earlcramton. Earl is up in Fargo, again, this week, and Larry is still in the hospital in Rochester MN, but both are expected to be home this weekend. Their many friends here wish them a speedy recovery.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For more information about what’s going on in “The Pride Of The Prairie,” check out the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook pages while you’re at it, too. Don’t forget to write those letters to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!