News & Events

The Rooster Crows – December 19, 2014

Rutland and vicinity welcomed the break from arctic conditions that came in the form of a warm-up on the weekend of December 12-14.  Temperatures here were in the 40’s, nudging the 50 mark.  Saturday, the 13th, with sunshine, warmth and no wind, was the nicest day to bless this area since the end of October.  No matter how pleasant the weather was here, though, it was even more so to the west and south.  The Old Curmudgeon and spouse, Richard & Janet Bradbury, reported that the thermometer hit 70 on Thursday and Friday, December 11 & 12, on the front porch of the ranch house at their winter haven on the Warren Ranch southeast of Rapid City SD.  After a month of hard winter, a break is nice, but winter hasn’t even started, yet, and won’t until Sunday, December 21.  Winter conditions rode back in on the heels of a 40 mph north wind on Monday, December 15, reminding all that it’s still a long pull until Spring’s flowers rise up to greet April’s showers next Spring.  On the bright side, though, the earliest sunset for the year took place at 4:39 p.m. on December 11, and the days have already started getting imperceptibly longer on the afternoon end, even though they are still shortening up in the morning.  That does not seem logical, but it’s what the almanac reports.  Anyway, who will be so bold as to try to impose logic and order on the whims and fancies of Mother Nature?

Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove to Sioux Falls SD last weekend, to watch granddaughters, Lauren and Brooke Kulzer, the daughters of Stephen & Ann Kulzer, play basketball for the Tri-Valley High team, and grandson, Will, take to the boards for the Tri-Valley Middle School.  Norbert reports that the girls’ team played 4 games, winning 2 and losing 2, while Will’s team took first place in gusto and enthusiasm but finished second in the scoring column.  The Kulzers returned to Rutland on Saturday, December 13, and report that it was a very pleasant drive.

Back in 1997, when the Rutland-Havana Farmers Co-op Elevator was in the process of being murdered and dismembered by its commission firm, the steel grain bins that had been situated west of the main house and annex of the Rutland Elevator were sold and removed, leaving behind the circular concrete bases to which they had been attached.  Although it was apparent that the bins would never be replaced with others of the same size, way too small by today’s standards, until now there had not been a good reason to remove the concrete bases from the site.  Visitors to Rutland last week observed a large track-hoe being operated by Philip Hofer of the Sundale Hutterian Colony at work west of the Rutland Elevator, though.  A 3 ton steel wrecking ball was being picked up by the track-hoe and dropped on the concrete bases, shattering them into more manageable chunks for removal.  Also removed was the foundation of the feed storage warehouse at the west end of the annex.  The warehouse had been destroyed by fire in May of 2013.   Rodney Erickson, owner of the Rutland Elevator, was having the work done in preparation for some significant improvements which he has planned for the facility, including the installation of a new 110’ scale capable of weighing fully loaded semis.  Rodney had also rented a Cat & dozer from Dan Thompson of Wyndmere for use in clearing the site.  The Cat & dozer work was completed on Tuesday, December 16.  Over the past several years, Rodney has rescued and renovated the Rutland Elevator, making it, once again, a facility capable of safely and efficiently handling and storing grain.  Rodney is so busy working at making his numerous enterprises successful that he hasn’t had time to listen to the folks who would tell him that “it can’t be done.”  Keep up the good work, Rodney!

Greg Donaldson reported that the posted price of gasoline at Rutland Oil Company’s self-service pump on Main Street was $2.59 on the morning of Friday, December 12, but that it was likely to be even less in the next week.  He was right!  The posted price dropped to $2.39 per gallon on Tuesday, December 16.  The rapidly dropping price of gasoline is saving American consumers, and American businesses, billions of dollars, just in time for Christmas.  Every silver lining has its cloud, though, and the declining price of a barrel of crude is now getting perilously close to the point at which it will discourage the production of oil in western North Dakota, bringing the oil boom and the revenues that have made North Dakota the envy of the nation to an abrupt and brutal bust.  The price of a barrel of oil on the spot market dropped below the Bakken formation’s reported “break even” point of $56.00 on Monday, December 15, and some of the so-called experts are predicting that it won’t stop sliding until it gets to $40 per barrel, low enough to shut down oil production in western North Dakota.  Of course, those are the same experts who predicted that the oil boom of the early 80’s would last for 40 years and that the current “Boom in the Bakken” would be with us for at least half a century.  So much for the experts.

Launa Peterson arrived home on Friday, December 6, after an extended stay at Sanford Hospital in Fargo following surgery.  Launa has been out and about some, and reports that it is nice to be home.

Shawn Klein, Manager of the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station, reports that a large number of patrons stopped in for Christmas coffee, cider and cookies during the Bank’s Christmas open house on Friday, December 12.  On behalf of the Sargent County Bank, Shawn extends a “Merry Christmas”, “Happy New Year” and “Thanks For Your Business” to all of the Bank’s patrons who have utilized the services of the Rutland Station throughout the past year.

Paul Anderson of Rutland and one of his 2 daughters, Betsy Anderson of Philadelphia, Mississippi, arrived in Rutland on Saturday, December 13, after a 1,200 mile, 2 day drive.  Paul had flown to Betsy’s home in Mississippi, on Wednesday, December 10, and they had driven Betsy’s car back to Rutland, accompanied by Betsy’s black cat, Bruce.  “Bruce doesn’t like to fly,” explained Betsy.  Betsy is a history professor at a college in Decatur MS, which is near Philadelphia.

Jake Erickson and Larry Erickson borrowed Rodney Erickson’s extension boom and took advantage of the pleasant weather on Saturday, December 13 to install brackets and banners for the new decorations on Main Street.  Eight brackets were installed and 8 “Merry Christmas” banners were hung.  The Rutland Community Club had purchased the brackets and 2 sets of banners.  Acquisition of a third set of banners, this one with a patriotic theme, is under consideration.  The new banners look good, and are an attractive addition to Main Street.  Thanks to the Rutland Community Club, Jake, Larry & Rodney for getting the job done.

Violet Wyum arrived home from Rochester MN on Tuesday, December 16.  Violet had a heart valve repair procedure performed at a medical facility in Rochester on Friday, December 12.  Her many friends, and former students, extend a hearty “Welcome Home!” and best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.  Violet is a lifelong participant in the Rutland community and a member of RHS Class of ’42.

The following report was received from Paul Anderson on Tuesday, December 16: “Today, at the Lariat Bar, Mr. Jeff Bunn, District 2 Director of the North Dakota Stockman’s Association, presented Andy Hoflen of this community with a plaque recognizing the Hoflen family for 65 years of membership in the organization.   Andy was taken by surprise, but accepted the award in his quiet manner.    The presentation was attended by a number of friends and other stockman, including: Bruce Hawkinson from the Mcleod area; Mac Pherson of Rutland; Roger Brekke of Milnor; Cam Gulleson of Rutland; Rob Hoflen of Rutland; and, several others, about 20 in all.   A very nice event.  There had been a North Dakota Stockman’s Association banquet a couple of weeks ago at which others had received recognition plaques.  Andy had not been able to be in attendance at that banquet, so Mr. Bunn brought the plaque down to Rutland for the presentation.   Mac Pherson had told Mr. Bunn that the best chance to catch Andy would be at coffee in the afternoon.   There were a couple of tense moments as it got close to 3:15, a little later than usual, before Andy showed up!   Coffee and cookies were served by Brad & Rebecca Christensen, proprietors of the Lariat, and a good time was had by all.  Chuck Sundlie took a picture that turned out great.   It will go in the Association magazine.   I am trying to get a copy to send over to the Teller.”  The Hoflen family has owned and operated their Ransom Township grain farm and cattle ranch for more than a century, and Andy’s son, Bill, is the fourth generation of the family to be active in the operation.  The Rutland community extends its congratulations to Andy Hoflen and the other members of the Hoflen family for this well deserved recognition.

Another member of the Rutland community also received well deserved recognition on Tuesday, December 16, when Mike Walstead, Chairman of the Sargent County Commission, presented Steven Wyum of this community with a plaque in recognition of his 20 years of service as a Sargent County Commissioner, from 1994 through 2014.  The presentation took place in the Conference Room on the 2nd floor of the Sargent County Courthouse, during the employees’ annual pre-Christmas pot-luck dinner.  Sargent County experienced 14 flood disaster emergencies during Steve’s 20 years on the Commission.  Steve commented that he had enjoyed his service on the Commission, and working with Sargent County’s officials and employees.  He noted that his grandfather, Obed Wyum, had also served 20 years as a Sargent County Commissioner.  The Rutland community extends its congratulations and thanks to Steve Wyum for his 2 decades of service to Sargent County, and best wishes for good fortune in future endeavors.

Well, if Andy Hoflen and Steve Wyum are on the “nice” list this year, who’s on the “naughty” list.  Santa Claus has been making his list and checking it twice, so if you want to find out who’s been naughty or nice, you can check it out at Santa Claus Day in Rutland on Saturday, December 20.  Activities are scheduled to commence in the Rutland Town Hall at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon and will continue until 5:00 p.m., or until Santa has heard every request and awarded all of the gifts and prizes at the Town Hall, including the Christmas turkeys donated by Rutland businesses, whichever occurs later.  Coffee and lunch will be served at the Hall during the event, and the local 4-H Club will also be holding a pre-Christmas bake sale.  The lighting of the Rutland Community Christmas Tree, complete with the huge star at its peak, will conclude Santa’s activities in Rutland, until his return on Christmas Eve.

Well, 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 www.rutlandnd.com, and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re at it, too.  Remember to patronize your local Post Office during this holiday season and throughout the New Year, and don’t forget to keep the heat on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!  Santa Claus is expecting to see you in Rutland on Saturday, December 20.  Don’t disappoint him!  Later.

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