News & Events

The Rooster Crows – December 26, 2014

As promised, Santa Claus stopped in at the Rutland Town Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, December 20, to take part in the community’s 69th annual Santa Claus Day event.  Activities began at 3:00 p.m. when children gathered outside the Rutland Town Hall heard sleighbells and saw Santa Claus, himself, riding down the street as the guest of honor in Roy Hildebrandt’s horse-drawn, rubber tired people mover.  Santa explained that there wasn’t any snow for the runners of his sleigh, and that he was resting the reindeer for Christmas Eve deliveries.  Santa Claus Day proceeded with games and crafts, including a Christmas cookie decorating contest, for kids; BINGO games with cash prizes for each game; a bake sale held by the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club; and, a lunch of coffee and bars served by the Rutland Community Club.  Those in attendance also signed up for a drawing for Christmas turkeys donated by local businesses and individuals.  According to Santa Claus Day co-chairperson Cher Spieker, approximately 40 youngsters participated in the Christmas cookie decorating contest, and the winners were: Braydon Siemieniewski, pre-school; Mattie Jablonski, age 6-8; Abby Erickson, age 9-11; and, Briana Monsen, age 12 and over.  The cookie decorating contest winners prizes consisted of $5.00 worth of North Dakota quarters.  While other events proceeded, Santa listened to Christmas requests and posed for photos with children and adult admirers, alike.  Santa’s elf assistant made sure that each child received a bag filled with candy and other small gifts prepared by the Rutland Community Club for the event.  After the last BINGO game was played, the drawing for Santa Claus Day Christmas Turkeys donated by local businesses was held.  Christmas Turkey winners were: Taylor Lehman; Kurt Breker; Janelle Brakke; Gavin Christianson; Tyler Banish; Sophia Erickson; Janet Kiefer; Norbert Kulzer; Kaia Mahrer; Janice Christensen; Diane Smith; Jeff Olson; Cohen Jensen; Patty Breker; Kaycee Hamilton; Mark Bauman; Braydon Siemieniewski; Mandy Stroehl; Ione Pherson; Rylee Roney; Lucy Mahrer; Adeline Stenvold; Kim Kohler; Cher Spieker; Diana Anderson; Brian Pherson; Ted Lee; Joyce Christensen; Rita Preble; and, Pam Maloney.  The following Rutland businesses contributed the Christmas turkeys to Rutland’s Santa Claus Day: The Rutland General Store, Gretchen Vann, Owner; Lori McLaen, PMR, Rutland Post Office; Roger Pearson d/b/a Roger’s P & H and fishing consultant; Rutland Oil Co., Greg Donaldson proprietor; Mayor Ron Narum; The Grainery, Lori Mclaen, owner; Lariat Bar, Rebecca & Brad Christensen, proprietors; Pride of Dakota Flax and U Store It, Paul Anderson, owner; Oleo Acres LLC, Bill Anderson & Paul Anderson owners; Dave Bergeman, Farmers Union Insurance; Sargent County Bank Rutland Station, Shawn Klein, Manager; Rutland Cayuga fire Department, Cam Gulleson, Chief; Bladow’s Used Machinery, Dave Bladow, proprietor; Cal Jacobson, Jacobson Plumbing, Heating and Excavating; Nelson Electric Solutions, Josh Nelson, proprietor; R2 Inc and Wild Rice Air, Rodney Erickson, owner; Anderson Law Office PC, Bill Anderson, Attorney; Jakes Feed and Seed, Jake Erickson, Proprietor; Bernard Mahrer Construction, Inc., Mitch Mahrer, President; The Old Parsonage, Kathy Brakke, proprietor; Dakota Precision Fabricating, Inc., Shannon & Hilary Mehrer, owners; Joe’s Ag Supply and Joe’s Fertilizer, Kenny Hamilton, CEO; Alley Cuts, Jen Christianson, proprietor; and, Waloch-Johnson Insurance-Rutland Office, Kristine Radke, Manager.  Santa Claus Day events concluded with the lighting of Rutland’s Community Christmas Tree, complete with the huge, lighted, star at its peak.  The new Christmas Sleigh built for Santa by Doug Spieker was also on display for all to enjoy.  His task performed, Santa and his  Stetson wearing elf teamster then returned to their North Pole Christmas Headquarters, via the Eden SD home of their special friends, Mr. & Mrs. LaRon Knebel, to load up the sleigh for Christmas Eve and make a final check of the “naughty and nice” list.  Before his departure, Santa Claus promised to return to Rutland next December for Rutland’s 70th Annual Santa Claus Day.  Debbie Banish expressed the thanks of the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club for a very successful Christmas Bake Sale held in conjunction with Santa Claus Day activities.  According to Debbie, more than $300.00 in free will donations to the 4-H Club were received.  Congratulations to the Rutland Community Club, and to 2014 Santa Claus Day co-Chairpersons, Doug & Cher Spieker, for a fun and memorable community event.

Claire Brakke arrived home on Wednesday, December 17, after completing her first semester as a student at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  Claire and brother James, a Pharmacy student at NDSU in Fargo, departed on Sunday, December 21, to join their maternal grandparents, James & Dianna Garot of Oceanside CA, for Christmas in Florence, Italy, at the home of their uncle and aunt, Robert & Valentina Garot.  They plan to return to Rutland on Friday, January 2.

Lyle and Ann Erickson of this community announce the arrival of their 8th grandchild, a granddaughter, Miss Coralyn Marcy Kotzer, born on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, to Becky Erickson-Morrison and Kevin Kotzer in Aberdeen SD.  According to Grandpa Lyle, Coralyn weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces and stood 19½ inches tall in her bare feet when she arrived.  Her maternal great-grandparents are the late Bill & Marcella (Nelson) Kastner of this community and the late Raymond Erickson and Phyllis (Lock) Erickson of Rutland.  Coralyn resides in Groton SD with her parents, her older sister Adeline Kotzer, and  her two older brothers, Alex and Nicholas Morrison.  Coralyn will be assisting her mother and grandparents get Rutland’s Uff-Da Day XXXI Parade organized next October.

Cher (Breker) Spieker attended a farewell party held in her honor by the physicians and staff of Sanford Medical Center in Fargo on the evening of Thursday, December 18.  Cher has taken a new job in the Sanford system and will be working at the Forman and Gwinner Clinics beginning on Monday, December 29.  Fargo’s loss is Sargent County’s gain, and all here are very pleased to welcome the Spiekers as full-time members of the community.  Cher and her husband, Doug, reside on the Tewaukon Township farm formerly occupied by Cher’s parents, the late Clarence & Adeline (Syverson) Breker.

Word was received here on Friday, December 19, that former Rutland resident Karen (Hawkenson-Lanky) Lykes had died unexpectedly at her home near Seattle WA.  Karen was the youngest child of the late Henning and Agnes Hawkenson of this community, and she was a member of RHS Class of ’62.  She had been in Rutland back in July to attend the Rutland School Reunion that was held here during the 4th of July holiday.  No other information was available as of this writing.

Lori McLaen has been the PMR in charge at the Rutland Post Office for the past several months, but Monday, December 22, was her last day on the job.  Lisa Wyum will be back at the helm in the Rutland office until a permanent replacement is found.  Postal patrons will miss Lori’s efficient service, good humor and bright smile, but know that Lisa also brings those qualities to the task.  Lori states that she intends to devote more time to other pursuits, including her home decorating and painting business; her bed & breakfast business; and, the task of spoiling her grandchildren for the benefit of their parents.  The people of Rutland thank Lori for her many contributions to the life of the community, and wish her well in all of her future endeavors.

Jen Christianson reports that, due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, she will be in Alley Cut’s Rutland Shop on Wednesday, December 24 and Friday, December 26, as well as on Wednesday December 31, and Friday, January 2.  She will be in Alley Cut’s Gwinner shop on Monday & Tuesday, December 22 & 23, and on Monday & Tuesday, December 29 & 30.  Jen states that Alley Cuts Gwinner and Alley Cuts Rutland will resume regular hours on Monday, January 5.

Rutland native Anna Weber began working as a hair stylist at Hair By Danielle in Forman on Tuesday, December 16, and is now residing at the home of her parents, Mark & Vicki Weber, in Rutland.  Anna, a graduate of Sargent Central High School and a 2010 graduate of NDSU in Fargo, graduated from hair styling school in September of 2014 and was most recently employed by Olivieri’s in Fargo.  Anna states that she and her fiancé, Jesse Mastenbrook, are happy to be relocating to her home community. Mr. Mastenbrook recently accepted a position as manager of the Sargent County Insurance Agency at the Sargent County Bank in Forman.  Their many friends in the Rutland community extend a hearty “Welcome Home!” to Anna & Jesse.

The following message concerning the Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament was recently received from one of the tournament organizers, Sonja Christensen of Wahpeton:  “The date is set for the 20th annual Anderson Pinochle tournament in Rutland.  Please register your team by sending the $40.00 registration fee to Anderson Pinochle Tournament c/o Sonja Christensen, 1432 7th St N, Wahpeton ND 58075.  February 7, 2015 will be a very fun day.  Please respond by January 7, as this tournament will fill fast.  Merry Christmas everyone.  Sonja, Judie, Jeff & Marilyn.”  The pinochle tournament is held in the Rutland Town Hall, with lunch and dinner served by the Rutland Community Club.

The Rutland community welcomes another new citizen.  Corbin Clifford Carlson was born to Bryce and Cassie(Hawkenson) Carlson of this community at 00:59 a.m. on Tuesday, December 23 in Fargo ND.  He weighed in at 8 pounds 3 ounces and stood 22 inches tall in his bare feet on arrival.  Corbin is the 6th generation with the Carlson name to make his home in this community.  Corbin has Carlson, Jacobson, Colby & Stenvold ancestors on his Dad’s side and Hawkenson, Westra, Vold and Larson ancestors on his Mom’s side.  He’s bound to be an interesting guy.  Welcome to Rutland, Corbin!

Rutland will have a “White Christmas,” after all.  The mild weather that has prevailed since the 12th of December, dropped a few degrees on the evening of Monday, December 21, and a steady snowfall had deposited a couple of inches of the wet, sticky white stuff by Tuesday morning, covering up all of the bare ground, clean streets and ice-free sidewalks in the process.  Colder weather, with temperatures in the normal range, has been predicted for Christmas Day and the coming weekend.  Just in case you hadn’t noticed it, though, Sunday, December 21, was the day of the Winter Solstice, the day with the least amount of sunlight in the entire year.  By Christmas Day the daylight hours, minutes and seconds will be imperceptibly longer, and, even though Winter’s grip will tighten for a while, its days are numbered.  Next month those first harbingers of Spring, the seed catalogs, will be in the mail, and Spring itself will be working up the courage to take out Old Man Winter.

Well, that’s the news from Rutland 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, 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!  Later.

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