The biggest snowstorm of the season hit on Tuesday, February 28, and continued on through Leap Year Day, February 29, depositing about 11 inches of snow on Rutland and vicinity, according to the U. S. Weather Bureau. The snow was wet and heavy, and moving it was like shoveling wet cement. Most roads were opened by Wednesday evening, but, as usual, Mother Nature was not content with leaving the snow where it had fallen, and proceeded to rearrange it with a strong northwest wind on Friday. The blowing snow stuck to sun-warmed highways, making driving a hazardous undertaking on many roads. Another 3 inches of snow fell on Sunday morning, giving the area well over a foot of snow for the week, and the most winter weather we have seen all winter.
Daylight Savings Time resumes at 2:00 a.m.on Sunday, March 10, so can spring be far behind? Daylight Savings Time used to be the rule from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, but it now covers 8 months of the year, leaving only 4 months for Central Standard Time, and that makes some folks wonder why it is still called Standard Time since it is no longer standard. Also, some are wondering what is happening to all of the daylight that is supposedly saved during the 8 months from early March to mid-November. Saving daylight, it seems, is much like saving time. Despite the label, and despite good intentions, there is exactly the same amount of daylight and the same amount of time as there has always been, no matter how much effort is devoted to “saving” it. We do like to fool ourselves, though, and “Saving Daylight,” is a good example of the human capacity for self-deception. Anyway, don’t forget to turn your clocks and watches ahead an hour at2:00 o’clockon Sunday morning, or you’ll be walking into church when everyone else is walking out.
Despite wind, snow and slippery roads, the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s annual Fish Fry on Friday, March 2 drew a full house to the Rutland Town Hall. Five hundred three of 550 ticket holders made it to town and turned in their dinner tickets at the door of the RutlandTown Hall, reports Greg Donaldson. Sportsmen’s Club secretary/treasurer Travis Paeper reports that the raffle winners were: Gwinner native Chris Johnson, now a Bismarck resident – $100.00 cash; Brett Anderson of Forman – 10X50 Leupold binoculars; and, Matt McLaen of Forman – Apple I-Pad. Proceeds of the door prize raffle went to the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen for equipment modernization. Once again the competition between the deep fried and pan fried fillets was fierce, with the deep fried fish taking an early lead as the favorite of the diners, but with the pan fried closing the gap by the end of the evening. The competition will resume on the first Friday in March 2013, so don’t miss it.
Richard Bradbury returned to Rutland on the afternoon of Friday, March 2, after vacationing on the Warren Ranch near Rapid City since December 15. He arrived in time to take in the Sportsmen’s Club’s fish fry at the Town Hall, and that was a good thing he reports, as the cupboards were bare at home. Janet detoured through Bismarck to visit children and grandchildren, and arrived in Rutland on Monday morning. Richard reports that the mild winter weather allowed him to get in several rounds of golf at the Rapid Cityand Ellsworth Air Force Base golf courses, so he is all practiced up and ready to relieve some of his local golfing partners of a portion of their winter savings.
Dick & Bonnie Anderson arrived home from their visit to the deep south on Saturday, March 3. The Andersons had visited former Ransom Township resident Bob Bergman at Gulf Shore, Alabama, stopping at Branson MO on their way down. They managed to get out just ahead of the huge storms and tornadoes that ravaged much of the Midwest and southeast last week. They stopped in Brooking SD for a visit with their daughter, Nicole, on Friday, March 2, and reached home base on Saturday.
Another Rutland traveler, Postmaster Ione Pherson, returned home early on Monday morning, March 5, after a week of vacation. Ione spent a couple of days at the home of her daughter, Lisa, in Sioux Falls, entertaining her grandson prior to departing for Phoenix AZ to be there for her mother’s 20th birthday on Wednesday, February 29. That’s right, Ione’s Mom, Ruby Bensen, has only had 20 birthdays, and she already has great-grandchildren. Ruby was born on Leap Year Day in 1932, so her birthday only rolls around once every 4 years, making her a youthful 20 year old as of last week. Ruby’s 21st birthday will be in 2016, and her family is considering taking her out to a bar for her first legal drink when the big day arrives. Ione reports that the weather was nice, the sun was shining and the North Dakota folks inArizona were doing just fine. So far, Arizona’s anti-immigration law has not been applied against visitors from the North. Postal Clerk Rebecca Christensen was in charge at the Rutland Post Office during Ione’s absence.
As Rutland’s Postmaster was on her way home, Rutland’s Postal Clerk was on her way out of town. Brad & Rebecca Christensen departed Rutland on Sunday morning, March 4, on a 10 day vacation trip that has its first stop inLas Vegas. Brad & Rebecka plan to head east from Vegas by the end of the week, with their next stop being New Orleans. They plan to be back home, and back on duty at the Lariat Bar, by Wednesday, March 14. During their absence management of the Lariat is in the capable hands of Janice Christensen and her assistants, Polly Rohrbach and Debbie Liermark.
A message from Rutland native Dave Sundlie (RHS-SCHS Class of ’65) concerning last week’s description of the sport of Curling was received on Monday, March 5. Dave writes, “I think Arden Anderson can explain the infield fly rule better than anybody. A few years ago, Bismarck hosted the World Curling Bonspiel. A good friend of ours privileged us with seats in the front row. I think watching the paint dry in our living room was more exciting. Oh well, the players and fans came and spent a lot of money. It was good for Bismarck’s economy.” Well, when you’re over the 60 mark, maybe watching paint dry is excitement enough.
The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m.on Monday, March 5, with Mayor Ron Narum, Auditor Deb Banish and Aldermen Lary Arneson, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski present. Alderman Barry Christianson was absent. The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. Bert Siemieniewski reported on the additional improvement work completed at the Town Hall, paid for by the Rutland Community Club. Mayor Narum reported that the City’s new Bobcat S-185 skid steer loader had been delivered, and that the old Bobcat, with 242 hours on it, has been sold. The Council discussed the installation of replacement water meters at a number of locations where the old meters are no longer working, and decided to meet with the vendor during the April meeting to discuss the various options available. The collection of delinquent water, sewer and garbage bills was also discussed. The Board also decided to ask Glenn Kulzer to present a proposal for a short term seasonal water, sewer & garbage rate to be applied to his lots on the east side of town. The Council approved a raffle permit for the Sargent County Relay For Life fund-raiser that will be held in June. Mayor Narum also stated that the terms of Mayor Ron Narum and Aldermen Lary Arneson & Bertha Siemieniewski are up this year, and candidates for those city positions have to file their petitions by April 13 in order to be on the ballot for the City’s election in June. The terms of 2 Park Board members, Hilary Mehrer and Jeff Olson, are also up, and candidates for those positions are also required to file petitions with the City Auditor by the April 13 deadline. Sargent County Tax Director Sandy Hanson met with the Council to discuss the recently completed reappraisal of residential properties in Sargent County. The Tax Director explained the process used by the appraisers, Vanguard Appraisals of Cedar Rapids IA, and the factors that the Council should consider if any valuation adjustments are to be made at the City’s Tax Equalization meeting on Tuesday, April 10. Following the reappraisal the average valuation of residential property in the City of Rutland increased by approximately 22%, Director Hanson reported. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council will be on Monday, April 2, at the Rutland Town Hall.
Janelle Brakke returned home on Monday, March 5, concluding a brief trip to visit friends in the Phoenix AZ area. Janelle had flown via Allegiant Air from Fargo to Mesa on Wednesday, February 29, spent a few days in the sun, and then drove back home with a friend from the Lidgerwood area.
The week of Sunday, March 4 through Saturday, March 10, was American Agriculture Week, a week dedicated to recognizing the achievements of America’s agricultural community and its contributions to American society. In Rutland, the week was observed by noting the transition from meteorological winter to meteorological spring, a transition heralded by the honking of high flying Canada geese, the crowing of increasingly aggressive rooster pheasants, and the nervous behavior of area farmers. On local farms, final preparations are being made to ensure that planting equipment is ready to roll as soon as conditions are fit. The Wyum brothers, Steve, Mike & Mark, and their employees have been upgrading the Global Positioning System (GPS) controls on their 2 60’ KINZE planters, reports Rob Wyum. The planters can each plant 36 rows of corn or beans at a single pass, the rows being 20” apart. The original GPS controls could turn 9 row sections of the planter on or off, depending on the position of the planter in relation to the last pass down the field. The new system will automatically control each individual row, preventing double planting or skipped rows, says Rob. The entire system is guided by signals from global positioning satellites that circle the globe in orbits several hundred, or several thousand, miles from the Earth, and it is controlled by a computer on the machine that directs the steering of the tractor and controls the operation of the planter. Of course, anyone who deals with computer controlled devices, such as word processors, on a daily basis knows that once the computer controls kick in absolutely nothing can go wrong can go wrong can go wrong can go wrong…
The Town Hall has been busy every night this week, as members of the Rutland Community Club prepare for that organization’s annual supper and play on the evening of Friday, March 16. Advance tickets for the supper and play are available at Alley Cuts; the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station; The Rutland General Store & Cafe; and, the Lariat Bar. The supper meal will be fried chicken with all the trimmings prepared by cooks who know what chickens were made for. “Lucky Dollar – Private Eye,” is the title of the play, a musical, which will be presented following the supper. The performance tracks the exploits of a Los Angeles private detective, Lucky Dollar, who is working on his first job in 2 years. The cast of characters, in order of appearance, are: Lucky Dollar- Peder Gulleson; Florence- Carolyn Christensen; Earthquake Debris- Rachel Olson; Pandora Sugarland- Taylor Wyum; Lieutenant Brush Mohair-Vaughn Rhorbach; Detective Babs Doyle-Trish Pearson; Joe Weasel-Tom Manley; Mrs. Mintworth- Marcia Brakke; Conchita-Hailey Hamilton; Seabrook-Ben Durbin; Claire Mintworth-Kylie Hambeck; Montrose Hogsbreath-Kyle Pherson; Chartreuse the Chanteuse-Pam Maloney; T. Mintworth- Kean McGibbon; Polly Wolf-Jeanne Lienen; The Kimono-Deborah Banish; Mona Lepaint-Claire Brakke; Nurse-Rachel Olson; and, Lucky’s Dollars- Michael Wyum, Kathy Wyum and Andrea Erickson. The supper menu for next Friday’s event may feature fried chicken, but the cast of characters is definitely pure North Dakota ham. This is a one time performance, so don’t miss it! Call for tickets today.
A sizable number from the Rutland community will not be in the audience at the Town Hall on March 16, as they will be in Grand Forks supporting the candidacy of Rutland resident Pam Gulleson for a seat in the U. S. House of Representatives. The announcement last week that former President Bill Clinton will deliver the keynote address at the Democratic-NPL State Convention on Saturday, March 17, has delegates, alternates and observers fired up. At the present time, the endorsement for the Party’s U. S. House of Representatives candidate is on the agenda just ahead of the former President’s speech. The last time Clinton was in Grand Forks was in 1997, just after the disastrous flood that nearly destroyed the City. As President, he committed billions of Federal dollars to rebuilding Grand Forks and to reconstructing its flood protection system. The success of that effort is evidenced by a now vibrant, thriving community that had no problem dealing with the huge Red River flood crests of 2009, 2010 and 2011 that exceeded the extremes of the 1997 disaster. Clinton’s Administration was the most successful Presidency in the last 40 years, possibly in the last 60, succeeding in reducing the national debt, balancing the budget and bringing about the longest sustained period of broad-based economic growth and prosperity in the history of the nation. During Clinton’s Presidency, middle class Americans experienced the first growth in real income since Lyndon Johnson was President back in the 1960’s, a trend that was reversed by Clinton’s successor in office, the stumbling, bumbling, fumbling G. W. Bush. Even Republicans, who hated Clinton’s guts while he was in office, appreciated the fact that his policies helped make them rich enough so they could afford to be Republicans.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, the blood-letting of the Republican Presidential Primary contests continues, with former Massachusetts Gov. Willard “Mitt” Romney; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich; all still staggering toward the finish line. Texas Congressman Ron Paul still thinks that he is in the race, but he is on a different track, possibly a different planet, than the rest of the field. And, as if the candidates didn’t have a tough enough time fending off the attacks of the other candidates, Republicans in Congress, led by their spiritual guru, conservative radio talk show gas-bag Rush Limbaugh, declared war on women last week, alienating a substantial percentage of a group that constitutes more than 51% of the American population and an even larger percentage of likely voters in this Fall’s General Election. For Democrats, the Party that usually forms circular firing squads that leave no one standing, the spectacle of this orgy of Republican self-destruction is a wonder to behold, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. But, they should not get too smug, as the winds of politics are unpredictable, and the favor of the voters has been known to be fickle. For now, though, Republicans appear to be suffering under the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.” There is no dispute that the times, indeed, are interesting.
Well, that’s the news from Rutland, Pride Of The Prairie, for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, stop by the community’s internet web site at www.rutlandnd.com, and check out the Rutland blog and Facebook pages while you’re at it, too. Remember to keep the pressure on the State’s Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Later.