The calendar and the weatherman have both reminded us that Spring is not here, yet, and, despite the unusual gentleness of the season so far this year, Winter still has first claim on the region and on our attention. The approximately 4 to 6 inches of wet snow that blanketed the area on Monday, February 20, even had a few locals humming, “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!” even if it was 2 months late. The mercury, too, has settled into a range considered “normal” for the 3rd week in February, after rising into the mid-40’s last weekend. February, March, and even early April, are still capable of delivering some rough Winter storms, but even if Old Man Winter does his worst for the rest of the season, the Winter of 2011-12 will still go down in history as one of the warmest, driest and most civilized in the past 130 years. The consensus of the Assembled Wise Men is that we should remember it well, because it’s not likely to happen again.
The United Blood Services Blood drive that was held from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m.on Wednesday, February 15, in the Rutland Town Hall drew 39 total volunteers, 7 of whom had to be deferred for various reasons, according to Janet Kiefer, one of the local coordinators. Seven of the 32 volunteers who were able to donate, gave double units of red blood cells, states Janet, bringing total donations to 39 units of red blood. There were 2 first time donors this time around. Janet says that this was one of those occasions when anything that could go wrong did go wrong. Ten of those who had appointments cancelled at the last minute, 7 volunteers who showed up had to be deferred and the computerized record keeping system went down, delaying the entire program for a substantial period of time. Nonetheless, United Blood Service’s Fargo manager, Rod Miller, stated that the 39 units of much needed blood that was collected made the drive a success, and he thanked the local coordinators: Janet Kiefer; Sheila Wyum; Pam Maloney; Joanne Harris; and, Beverly Kulzer for their work on the effort, and also thanked Rutland Mayor Ron Narum for getting the Hall ready for the drive. Lunch for the donors was provided by the Rutland Community Club. The next blood drive in Rutland is scheduled for the morning of Tuesday, June 26, in the Rutland Town Hall, according to Coordinator Janet Kiefer.
Rutland native Sarah (Lee) Dobmeyer stopped in at the Rutland General Store on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 15, and sat in on a portion of the afternoon Round Table session with the Assembled Wise Men. Sarah reported that she had undergone knee surgery back on December 9 to correct a problem that had developed following what had appeared to have been a successful knee replacement operation about a year earlier. The corrective surgery went very well, and the knee is now fully functional, she states. Sarah also had the opportunity to visit with Bill Gulleson, an old classmate from SCHS Class of ’71. She had driven down from her home in Fargo earlier in the day to pay a visit to her aunt, Hazel Preble, who now resides at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman.
Jack Brummond, The Sage Of Weber Township, also stopped in for a visit at the Round Table on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 15, but Jack was not his usual ebuliant and voluable self. In fact he was downright quiet. Jack explained that he was just trying to absorb some knowledge, and avoid being quoted in the paper. How’s that working for you, Jack?
Mac Pherson reports that the purebred Simmental sale held on Monday, February 13, at the Valley City Winter Show building went well. Three purebred Simmental herds: Pherson Simmentals of Rutland; Triple H of Hannaford; and Black Tie of Kindred; put 64 yearling bulls on the auction block, with the Pherson herd supplying 6 of that number. Mac reports that the top price paid was $8,500.00 and that the average price paid was $4,500.00. With the demand for quality beef increasing around the world, and the number of cows decreasing, it is likely that the cattle market will remain strong for some time to come. That’s good news for cattle producers, although their numbers appear to be declining, too.
Wedding bells were ringing in Rutland on Saturday, February 18, as Ms. Marcia Moen of Elk River MN became the bride of Jesse Brakke in a ceremony held at the home of the groom’s mother & step-father, Kathy Brakke and Bill Anderson, at 318 First Street in Rutland. Pastor Ben Durbin of Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland and Trinity Lutheran Church in Havana officiated at the ceremony, which was held in the kitchen/dining room of the home. Attendants for the couple were the bride’s adult son & daughter; Joe Rosenwald of Livingston MT; and, Alice Bidle of Minneapolis; and the grooms adult son and daughter: James Brakke and Claire Brakke of Havana. Following the ceremony, the wedding party enjoyed a gourmet dinner at The Rutland General Store, and followed that up with a reception and dance at the Rutland Town Hall. Music for the dance was provided by “The Brothers Juke Box,” of Fargo, an act that had previously played in Rutland during the 3rd Annual Rib-Fest last August. The newly weds will be making their home at the groom’s residence just east of Havana. Their many friends here extend congratulations to Jesse & Marcia on the occasion of their marriage, and wish them many happy years together.
Among those from out of town who were in Rutland for the Moen-Brakke wedding last weekend were: Leonard Heinen, father of the bride, from Elk River MN; Margo Ganske, sister of the bride, and her husband, Alan, from San Diego CA; James & Dianna Garot, maternal grandparents of James & Claire Brakke, from Oceanside CA; Christine Tauer, sister of the bride, and her husband, Lyle, from Oak Grove MN; Dr. & Mrs. Gerald Parker of Casselton; Steve Thorfinnson of Fort Ransom; John Welch of Charleston SC; and, Darby Sebree, sister of the groom, and her husband, Robert, from Los Angeles CA. All report a very enjoyable time in Rutland.
Among the guests at the Jesse & Marcia Brakke wedding last Saturday were Stefan & Ulricka Johnson of Trollhaten, Sweden, accompanied by their daughter, Lovisa, and by Ulricka’s mother, Renee Almer. They are distant cousins of both the bride and the groom, being descendants of pioneer Swedish immigrants to the Rutland Community, K. P. & Ingrid Ahrlin, who homesteaded on the SE¼ of Section 15 inRansom Township back in 1889. The elder Ahrlins, then in their 50’s, had departed Ostersund, Sweden, bound for America, accompanied by one of their adult daughters, Paulina, and 2 of their grandsons, Karl & Eric. They left 2 adult sons, Eric Frederick, the father of Karl & Eric, and Karl Oscar, and one adult daughter, Karen, in Sweden with their families. Within a few years Eric Frederick Ahrlin and Karl Oscar Ahrlin brought their families to North Dakota, as well, but their sister Karen, the ancestor of Renee Almer, stayed in Sweden. Over the years and the generations the American and Swedish families gradually lost contact with each other, but, that contact was restored in the early 1980’s, when Renee’s husband, the late Rolf Almer, found and translated a letter that K. P. Ahrlin had mailed from Rutland to his granddaughter, Renee’s grandmother, in which the elder Ahrlin urged his descendant to come to Rutland, where the wages were high, the crops were good and the bachelors were plentiful. She stayed in Sweden, but her great-granddaughter, Ulricka, and Ulricka’s husband, Stefan Johnson, did come to Rutland for a visit when they were on their honeymoon back in 1986. Since then, the American and Swedish cousins have visited back and forth in their respective countries many times. Renee Almer, like her cousin Kathy Brakke, is a quilter, and she enjoyed a quilting session with the ladies at The Rutland General Store on Friday, February 17. The Johnsons and Mrs. Almer had arrived in Rutland on Wednesday, February 15, and departed here for their homes in Trollhaten on Wednesday, February 22. They planned to spend a few days visiting other friends & family in the Minneapolis area, as well as doing some shopping at the Mall of The Americas, before flying back to Sweden via Amsterdam, Holland.
Mike & Diane Kulzer arrived back home in Rutland on Saturday, February 18, after a 2 week Winter vacation in Las Vegas NV. They enjoyed the sun, the warm weather and a few shows, reports Mike, and there were no hot tub escapades, either, he states.
Lenny Runyan reports that he woke up at 3:00 a.m.on Saturday, February 18, looked out the window of his Weber Township home, and discovered that his barn was on fire. Lenny, his wife, Kathy, and son, Cody, immediately rushed out to extinguish the blaze he reports, and managed to save most of the structure and all of the livestock. The Runyans reside on the farm formerly owned by Francis Maly, about 6½ miles south and 2 miles east of Rutland. Lenny says that he didn’t think about calling 911 until after he had the fire out, and figured there wasn’t much sense in calling out a fire department at that point. The Runyan farm is near the southeastern corner of the recently combined Havana-Forman Rural Fire Protection District.
Robert Sebree, Darby Sebree, Kathy Brakke and Bill Anderson drove out to the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on the morning of Monday, February 20, where they received a construction progress report and a tour of the facility from Joe Breker. Joe, his daughters Olivia Stenvold and Maria Breker, and local carpenter Jerry Sapa were at work installing roofing fabric over the insulated panels that cover the roof of the log structure. The mild winter weather has allowed a great deal of construction work to be done ahead of schedule, says Joe, and they are hoping that construction work can be completed by the first of June. Mr. Sebree is a professional photographer based in southern California, and was impressed with the magnificent view from the upper story of the lodge.
Owners of residential property in Sargent County received letters this past week notifying them of the preliminary results of the recently completed revaluation of residential property ordered by the State Board of Equalization. In most cases, valuations went up. Sargent County had been directed to conduct the revaluation because the State Board of Equalization had determined that properties on the low-priced end of the spectrum tended to be over valued, while those at the upper end tended to be under valued, resulting in an inequitable distribution of the County’s property tax burden. The work was completed by Vanguard Appraisals of Cedar Rapids IA, a company that has done this kind of work in many jurisdictions throughout the nation. According to Bob Ehler, President of Vanguard Appraisals, the company’s representatives personally inspected the exterior of every non-exempt residential property in the County, and personally inspected the interior of more than 70% of all non-exempt residences. They did not consider the valuation formerly placed on any residence in performing their calculations, Mr. Ehler stated, but relied only upon accepted and approved appraisal methods and formulas in reaching their conclusions concerning the value of any given residence. Any property owner who would like to go over the criteria considered in arriving at the estimated value of their residential property will have the opportunity to confer with the company’s representative and the County Tax Director at the Courthouse in Forman on Tuesday & Wednesday, February 28 & 29, according to Tax Director Sandy Hanson. If any errors have been made, this is the time to get them corrected, states Mr. Ehler. Assuming that the budgets of local taxing entities, such as school districts, fire districts, cities, townships and the counties, do not rise precipitously, the valuations should result in a lower overall mill levy rate, said Mr. Ehler, and could possibly result in a reduction in the amount of property tax levied on some residences. Those interested in reviewing the valuation of their residence with Vanguard’s professional appraisers should call the County Tax Director’s office at the Courthouse in Forman, 724-6241, Extension #2, to set up an appointment, advises Bill Anderson, Chairman of the Sargent County Commission. Tax Director Hanson says that the vast majority of those who have contacted her office have had legitimate questions and concerns, and have, for the most part, had favorable comments about both the process and the result.
The Cayuga Hall Association is holding a spaghetti dinner at the Cayuga Hall on Sunday, February 26, to raise funds that will be applied to the installation of new, metal roofing on the Hall, says Kurt Breker. A free will donation will be asked of those attending the dinner. The Cayuga Hall is a valued and much used community asset, and the installation of new roofing will go a long way towards keeping it in good shape for a long time to come. Everyone is invited, says Kurt.
Rutland folks on the road this week include: Dick & Bonnie Anderson, bound for Gulf shore AL and a visit with Dick’s childhood friend and Ransom #2 classmate, Bob Bergman; Paul & Sue Anderson, on the highway to Phoenix & Sun City West AZ for visits with old friends and with Sue’s parents: Jim Brost and Etha Brost; Bill & Mary Woytassek, wandering somewhere in the American southwest, just taking it easy, visiting family and friends and, in general, having a real good time; and, Lyle & Ann Erickson, returning home following a vacation tour through the southwestern states.
Tuesday, February 21, marked the 50th anniversary of the first American manned space flight to orbit the Earth. U. S. Marine Col. John Glenn, then a 40 year old combat veteran of World War II and the Korean War, made that first flight, and, today, at 90 years old, the former U. S. Senator from Ohio appears to be ready, willing and able to do it again. During that flight 50 years ago, the spacecraft’s automatic pilot failed, requiring Col. Glenn to assume manual control of the flight, and, on re-entry, the craft’s heat shield came loose requiring Glenn and the ground control crew to adapt, improvise and overcome the difficulty, a challenge in which Col. Glenn’s Marine Corps training and experience served him, and the nation, well. As his rocket powered craft lifted off the launch pad at Cape Canaveral on that February morning in 1962, the controller sent him off with, “God speed, John Glenn.” Today, 50 years later, we can echo that farewell with, “God speed, John Glenn, and thank you for being a real American hero.”
Monday, February 20, was President’s Day, and North Dakota Congressional candidate, Rutland resident Pam Gulleson, sent out the following President’s Day message, a non-partisan message that bears repeating. Pam’s messages: “HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY! As we celebrate George Washington’s 280th birthday, and Abraham Lincoln’s 203rd birthday this month, I can’t help but think the achievements of our great American leaders aren’t given enough credit. Their wise words are lost in the hyper-partisan political climate of today’s world. So, this Presidents Day, I ask you to pause and remember the political courage of our nation’s greatest leaders. GEORGE WASHINGTON: “We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.” ABRAHAM LINCOLN: “It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.” THEODORE ROOSEVELT: “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.” FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” We must also remember that more important than the words they spoke, were the actions they took at critical times in the history of the United States – to preserve it, to improve it, to guide it, and to build it. Those presidents who were great presidents had visions and dreams forAmerica that were larger than themselves. Their purpose aimed this country toward goals many considered unattainable. I remember what Harry S. Truman said about the promise of our nation. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbounded determination to do the job at hand.” God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.”
Well, that’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information on what’s going on in the little city that can, 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, to. Remember to keep the pressure on the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.