News & Events

The Rooster Crows – December 12, 2014

Rising temperatures have lifted spirits right along with the mercury this week, as the forecast is for the thermometer to push right past normal and into the 40’s, possibly even the 50’s, for this weekend, before dropping back down to the normal range, again.  Well, if you don’t like the weather right now, just wait a minute.  It’ll change.

The Sargent County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Windy Mound Chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation held a chili feed and 50 gun raffle on the evening of Saturday, December 6, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The Rutland General Store provided the chili for the event.  The event was held as a fund-raiser for the 2 groups.  A report of raffle winners has not been obtained as of this writing.

The Sage of Weber Township, Jack Brummond, accompanied by his granddaughter, Miss Hannah Brummond of Havana, was at the Round Table on the afternoon of Saturday, December 6, after an absence of nearly a year.  After offering to buy lunch, Jack was treated to a rousing rendition of “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” by the Assembled Wise Men, and also to the news that lunch was on the house, courtesy of The Rutland General Store, news that made The Sage almost as happy as learning that the Dow stock market average had reached 18,000, nearly 12,000 points higher than when Jack’s favorite President took office back in 2009.  The Sage reports that he is not as mobile as he used to be, and he has been so busy watching the stock market continue its climb into the stratosphere that he has hardly had time to stop for coffee and conversation.  With the Republicans now firmly in charge of the U. S. Congress, Jack is reconsidering his chances for 2016, and may make himself available as the Mug-Wump write-in candidate to put a taste of “Sage” on the White House menu as of January 20, 2017.  Meanwhile, though, Jack stated that he is once again selling raffle tickets for the VFW Youth Athletics program and has some guaranteed winners remaining for sale.  “Have ticket book, will travel,” reads the card of this man.

Steve & Sheila Wyum and Rick & Sherry Bosse were among the local folks who took in the season’s first Division 1A Football Playoff Game at the Fargo Dome on Saturday, December 6.  The game pitted Missouri Valley Conference rivals, the NDSU Bison and SDSU Jackrabbits against each other for the second time this season.  South Dakota State had proved to be a tough opponent earlier in the season, and they turned out to be even tougher last Saturday, requiring the Bison to stage a last minute, come from behind 27-24 victory, scoring the final touchdown in the last 48 seconds of the game.  The game was marred by complaints of poor officiating, but a win is a win.  The Bison have won the last 3 National Championships, and have their sights set on the 4th.

The Rutland Community Club met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 8, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The financial report showed approximately $24,000.00 currently available for community projects.  Doug Spieker reported on preparations for Santa Claus Day in Rutland on Saturday, December 20.  festivities are scheduled to start in the Town Hall at 3:00, with activities, games and prizes, and Santa is scheduled to arrive sometime between 3:00 and 5:00 to pass out gifts, listen to Christmas requests and have his picture taken with his youthful fans.  Mr. Spieker also displayed a photo of the 2014 Christmas sleigh he has built for Santa’s travels during the Christmas season.  It is believed that this unit, sponsored by Oleo Acres LLC and Rock Ridge Specialties,may be the first brand new sleigh prepared for St. Nick since he started making his rounds more than 1,500 years ago.  Deb Banish reported that the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club will also have a Christmas Bake Sale at the Hall during Santa Claus Day activities.  The event will conclude with Santa’s distribution of Christmas turkeys contributed by Rutland businesses, and with the Community Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the corner of First and Arthur Streets.  Rodney Erickson had decorated the tree on Saturday, December 6, but installation of the huge star that has adorned the top of the tree for the past 2 Christmas seasons had to be delayed until new, LED lights could be attached to the ornament.  Jake Erickson reported that the new banners and pole brackets for Main Street are on hand and it is planned that they will be installed by the end of the week.  There are 2 sets of banners currently on hand, Jake stated, one set has a Christmas theme and the other set is a more generic “Welcome To Rutland” theme.  Jake also recommended acquiring a set of banners with a patriotic theme, as well.  The banners are made of a heavy-duty canvas material, and are guaranteed not to rip or fade for 5 years, a guarantee which North Dakota’s winds will, no doubt, put to the test.  Bill Anderson presented a report from the Uff-Da Day 2015 planning committee that included a tentative schedule for Uff-Da Day activities.  Among the ideas being discussed are: addition of more Scandinavian folk arts and crafts; Scandinavian ethnic costumes for young and old; more live musical performances; an Ole & Lena look-alike contest; and, many more.  A performance of “Ole & Lena Live,” is in the works for this coming Spring, as a pre Uff-Da Day event.  The theme of Uff-Da Day 2015 is “Back To Our Roots,” with the goal of celebrating the community’s Scandinavian heritage and for everyone to have a good time doing so.  The Community Club authorized Paul Anderson to negotiate with the current owner of the First Baptist Church building on Rutland’s Main Street to explore the possibility of acquiring the building for community uses.  A nominating committee consisting of Delores Lysne and Bill Anderson was named to nominate candidates for the Community Club’s annual election to be held in January.  The terms of Ione Pherson and Rebecca Christensen are expiring.  The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 12, in the Rutland Town Hall.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 1, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum, Auditor Debbie Banish, and Aldermen Brad Christenson, Rodney Erickson, Mike Mahrer and Bert Siemieniewski present.  The financial report showed all funds to be in the black, with the exception of the garbage collection fund which showed a deficit of approximately $500.00 as of November 30.  The deficit is primarily due to delinquent utilities accounts, and to extra expense incurred in the operation of the City’s inert landfill this past Summer.  The Council reviewed proposed new policies for the City’s utilities accounts and for operation of the landfill. The Second Reading and final vote on the adoption of the new policies is scheduled for the January meeting.  The Council approved the renewal of the Lariat Bar’s liquor license for 6 months commencing January 1, 2015, pending receipt of the license fee.  Alderman Christensen reported that all but one of the unlicensed and inoperable motor vehicles have now either been removed from the City or are in the process of being licensed.  Mayor Narum and Council President Mahrer reported that they had not yet completed the review of the City’s sidewalks, but that it is apparent that the sidewalk from the alley on the west side of the Town Hall to Bagley Street will have to be replaced, soon.  They expect that the roots of the big cottonwood tree on the corner by the Legion Hall will present some issues.  The Council instructed the Auditor to place the topic of tree replacement on the agenda for discussion this coming Spring.  The Council transferred funds from the Emergency Fund to a new Emergency Reserve Fund that is intended to build up a permanent reserve to meet unexpected contingencies, and also transferred funds from the General Fund to the Garbage Collection Fund to make up the deficit there.  The General Fund will be repaid once the Garbage Collection Fund gets back into the black.  The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 5, in the Rutland Town Hall.

Sargent County was saddened on the morning of Sunday, December 7, when news was received that Pete Kiefer, a businessman in Cayuga for more than 6 decades, had passed away at Sheyenne Crossing Care Center in West Fargo.  He was 95 years, 5 months and 11 days old at the time of his death.  He was the 7th of 9 children, born on June 26, 1919, to Charles & Clara Kiefer, on the family farm in Marboe Township, where he grew up and attended elementary school.  Pete’s name was actually George Louis Kiefer, but he acquired the nickname of “Pete” when he was a young boy because, he once explained, his older sisters thought that he was “cute” when he recited the nursery rhyme “Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.”  His formal education ended when he graduated from the 8th Grade at Wood Lake School in Marboe Township in 1933, but his informal education continued through life.  Pete claimed that he had earned several advanced degrees from The School of Hard Knocks, and no one could deny that he had paid his tuition.  On January 2, 1941, he and Verna Janish were married at Lake City SD.  They farmed in Marboe Township for 2 years, until Pete and his brother, Bill, acquired the International Harvester dealership in Cayuga in 1943.  At that time there was an International dealer in nearly every community in Sargent County.  Thirty years later, when Bill retired, there were only 2 remaining.  Pete continued to operate the business until the store was closed in 2000, and then continued to operate a Snapper lawn equipment business from his home in Cayuga until 2009.  He was an avid deer hunter, and, along with a group of old friends, maintained a 65 year tradition of hunting in southwestern North Dakota, making his last hunt at the age of 89.  He also enjoyed fishing, and, most of all, visiting with friends.  Pete was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church and in all aspects of community life in Cayuga.  Pete and Verna had 5 children.  Verna preceded him in death in January of 2013.  He was also preceded in death by a daughter.  Pete is survived by 2 sons; 2 daughters; 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.  The funeral service for George L. “Pete” Kiefer was held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10, in Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Cayuga, with Father Robert Smith officiating.  Burial was in the Cayuga Cemetery.  Frank Family Funeral Home of Lidgerwood was in charge of arrangements.  Pete Kiefer and Kiefer Brothers’ Implement, later Kiefer Hardware, were hallmarks of rural North Dakota life for more than 6 decades.  That life, along with the individuals, businesses, communities and values that sustained it, is now fading into history.  The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Pete Kiefer, an old friend who will be missed, but whose memory will live on.

Rolf Odberg of Halden, Norway, reads The Rooster Crows on line, and sent the following information in response to a report about the price of gasoline that appeared in the November 28, 2014, column.  “I see that “The Rooster Crows” says that 1 gallon price on Rutland Oil Company’s self-service pump was $2.78!  I know that one US gallon should be 3.785 liter. Right? I know that we, today, have to pay approximately seven Norwegian kroner to buy one US dollar.  If my calculator is right the gas in Rutland last week cost 5,15 Norwegian Kroner per liter.  Wow!  Do you know what I had to pay for the gas today? More than 15 Norwegian kroner per liter! Almost Three times Your price! And Norway is an oil producing country, as is the USA!

More about the cost of driving cars.  Bloomberg has made a list of what gas cost in different countries.  1. Norway, $ 9.26 per gallon (15.93 kroner per liter); 2. Turkey, $ 8.44 per gallon (14,52 kroner per liter); 3. Hong Kong, $ 8.12 per gallon (13,97 kroner per liter); 4. Italy, $ 8.11 per gallon (13,95 kroner per liter) 5. Netherlands, $ 8.07 per gallon (13,88 kroner per liter); 6. Israel, $ 7.76 per gallon (13,35 kroner per liter); 7. Denmark, $ 7.64 per gallon (13,14 kroner per liter); 8. Great Britain, $ 7.33 per gallon (12,62 kroner per liter); 9. Portugal, $ 7.18 per gallon (12,34 kroner per liter); 10. Belgium, $ 7.15 per gallon (12,29 kroner per liter.  Norway’s price per gallon of gasoline at $9.26 is rank by most expensive gas: 1; and, rank by pain at the pump: 52.  Norway retains the title for world’s most expensive gas. The Scandinavian country doesn’t subsidize fuel at the pump, using its oil profits instead for national services, such as free college education and savings for infrastructure improvements.  Norway’s high gasoline prices are an electric carmaker’s dream. The country has the biggest share of electric vehicles in the world, making up almost 15 percent of new cars sold this year.  With the world’s second-highest incomes, Norwegians absorb the high price of gas, or an electric-car alternative, with relative ease. The average daily income is $272.00.  It takes 3.4 percent of a day’s wages to buy a gallon of gas.  United States’ price per gallon of gasoline at $2.93 is rank by most expensive gas at 53; and, rank by pain at the pump is 56.  Americans saw the biggest gasoline price drop in the ranking: 21 percent. The cheapest gasoline prices since 2010 amounts to about $500 in annual savings for the average gas-guzzling American.  Of course, not all gas tanks are created equal. Even at low prices, America’s unparalleled thirst for gas takes a toll on budgets. The average daily income in the U.S. is $150, but there are only 11 countries in the world where people spend more of their paychecks on gas.  The global drop in oil prices is being driven by the unprecedented U.S. oil boom and Saudi Arabia’s refusal to cut its own production. Gasoline prices fell worldwide by an average 7.2 percent in the last six months.  It is not difficult to understand why we Norwegians buy cars that use little gas, and that 15 percent of Our car park is made up of Electric cars.  Tesla is among the most popular, but Nissan, Mitsubishi, BMW and VW make good Electric cars too.  None of them can drive as long as Tesla before they have to refill with electricity.”  Mr. Odberg and members of his family were Rutland visitors this past Summer, attending a family reunion at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge back in July.

Kathy Brakke underwent surgery to replace both knees on Wednesday, December 3, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo.  The surgeon who performed Kathy’s surgery, Dr. Kevin Dahl, is the son of Larry & Diane Dahl of rural Forman.   Kathy was back home on Saturday, December 6, and is “up and at ‘em.”  In home therapy is expected to last for several weeks.

Remember to be in town for Santa Claus Day, coming up on the afternoon of Saturday, December 20, at the Rutland Town Hall.  Fun for all, and prizes, too.  See you there.1

Well, that’s the news from Rutland and vicinity 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, and check out the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re at it, too.  Remember to patronize your local Post Office during the holiday season, and don’t forget to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!  Santa Claus is expecting all of his friends to be in Rutland on Saturday, December 20, for Santa Claus Day.  See you there.  Later.

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