News & Events

The Rooster Crows – December 18, 2015

Snow started on Monday, December 14 with a light dusting that turned to a light rain, then to ice and back to snow again, increasing gradually but steadily through Tuesday, December 15 and into Wednesday morning.  Weather forecasts claimed that there would be 3 to 5 inches of the wet white stuff to move around by Wednesday Noon, but Rutland and vicinity skated by with only 1 to 2 inches, just enough to provide a good surface for Santa’s sleigh runners, and just slick enough to have pedestrians once again perfecting the “Tim Conway shuffle,” as they make their way down the street.  Mayor Narum had the City’s snowplow clearing streets by 4:30 on Wednesday morning, while Bobcat loaders and shovel wielding workers cleared driveways and sidewalks, making short work of this snowfall’s effect on vehicle and pedestrian traffic in Rutland.  If you were dreaming of a White Christmas, it is very possible that this week’s snowfall made your dream come true.

Santa Claus is coming to town on Saturday, December 19.  For the 70th time since the end of World War II, Santa Claus is scheduled to pay a pre-Christmas visit to Rutland.  Doug Spieker, a Co-Chairperson of the Rutland Community Club’s Santa Claus Day committee stated that Santa was prepared to land in Rutland on wheels or sleigh runners, depending on the amount and quality of the snow.  Co-Chairperson Cher Spieker states that activities will begin at the Rutland Town Hall at 5:00 p.m. with a soup & sandwich light supper, cash BINGO, games & crafts for kids, a 4-H bake sale and, finally, Santa Claus himself will arrive to hear Christmas requests and have his photograph taken with all comers.  Santa will also distribute bags of nuts and candy to the kids and award the Christmas turkeys that have been donated by Rutland’s businesses to the lucky winners.  The following businesses and individuals provided the Christmas turkeys for Santa to distribute: Mayor Ron Narum, 44 years on the City Council, 43 as Mayor; Roger Pearson dba Rogers Plumbing & Rogers Fishing Consultation Service; Andrew Hoflen & Son – Cattle & Grain; Coteau des Prairies Lodge; Rutland General Store & Café; Bladows Machinery & Parts; Rutland Senior Citizens; Bernard Mahrer Construction; Sargent County Bank-Rutland Station; Bertha Siemieniewski, Postal Support Employee, Rutland Post Office; Joes Ag Supply& Joes Fertilizer Service; Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Fire  Department; Oleo Acres Vineyard; Paul Anderson Consulting & U-STOR-IT of Rutland; The Old Parsonage – if items have lasted long enough to arrive here, they have to be good!; Wild Rice Air Ag, Rodney Erickson Owner, Operator, ground support, Mechanic & Pilot;Wheaton-Dumont Co-op – Rutland Elevator; Jim & Ione Lunneborg Farm – where Allis-Chalmers tractors get a second chance at life; Rockin’ Rodney Entertainment; Quality Handcrafted Furniture-Alan Olstad, quality handcrafter; Cal Jacobson Enterprises – Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating; Jake Erickson dba Jakes Feed & Seed; Farmers Union Insurance, Dave Bergeman; Gulleson Farms-Grain & Cattle; Rutland Oil Co.-Greg Donaldson, proprietor; Wyum Brothers Farms; Anderson Law Office; Lori McLaen’s Vacation Get-aways & Home Decorating; Jen Christianson dba Alley Cuts; Waloch-Johnson Insurance Agency – Kristine Radke, Agent; Jerry Sapa Construction; Josh Nelson dba Nelson Electrical Solutions (NES); the Lariat Bar; and, McLaen’s Service.  Everyone who is a child, or ever was one, is invited to join Jolly Old St. Nicholas at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, in the Rutland Town Hall.  Santa Claus Day will culminate with the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree at the corner of First & Arthur Streets.  The 16’ blue spruce is a gift to the community from the Joe & Patty Breker and Doug & Cher Spieker families.

The big quilting material closeout sale at The Rutland General Store on Saturday, December 12, drew a large crowd of enthusiastic shoppers.  The Rutland General Store had the largest inventory of quilting fabric in southeastern North Dakota, northeastern South Dakota and west central Minnesota prior to the sale, but store proprietor Gretchen Vann said that it all had to go, and by the time the sale was done every bolt of fabric, every spool of thread and even the shelves on which they had sat had gone to quilters’ closets throughout the region.  Local farmer and custom harvester Dennis Pherson even got in on the spirit of the event by purchasing all of the tools and hardware in “Norbert’s Corner,” the General Store’s hardware section.

Jan Larson of Watertown SD and her spouse, Rutland native Glen Larson, drove up to Rutland to get in on the quilting fabric sale at The Rutland General Store, and while Jan did the shopping, Glen got in some visiting and reminiscing with old friends at the Rutland Cafe.  Glen reported that he is currently working on restoring a ’53 MG to its original appearance and to better than original mechanical condition.  He is replacing the temperamental British made 40 hp original MG engine and non-synchronized standard transmission with a 4 cylinder Chevy engine and automatic transmission.  Glen says that he is old enough that he has gotten over his boyhood fascination with adjusting timing & points, fine tuning carburetors and jamming non-synchronized gears.  He hopes to have the car ready to show at Rutland’s Uff-Da Day XXXI Car Show in October of 2016.  Glen has also restored 2 Plymouth automobiles, vintage 1928 and 1939.  The heaters weren’t that great in those older cars, but Jan is a quilter, and a warm-hearted quilter with a warm quilt makes winter driving a lot more pleasant, says Glen.  Glen is a member of RHS Class of ’60, and is a veteran of the U. S. Air Force and of the South Dakota Army National Guard.

Dan Carlisle, Pat Hunke and Carl Henning of Wadena MN were Rutland visitors from Friday, December 11 to Sunday, December 13.  The 3 Minnesotans were getting in some pheasant hunting, and report that they saw many pheasants, shot at quite a few and even hit some.  They headquartered with friends Jesse & Marcia Brakke at the Brakke’s farm home between Rutland and Cayuga, and stopped in at the Rutland Café, the Lariat Bar and Butch’s Tavern for meals, refreshments and visits with old friends.  Mr. Carlisle is an attorney, and was a UND Law School classmate of local attorney Bill Anderson in the Class of ‘88.  He has hunted pheasants in the Rutland-Cayuga area many times in the past quarter of a century, and has numerous friends in this community.

Shawna & Nathan Bergh have been organizing a benefit for Shawna’s mother, former Rutland resident Laurie Greene, that will be held at the Rutland Town Hall on Saturday, January 16.  According to Shawna & Nathan the benefit will feature a silent auction; raffle drawings; bucket drawings; and, a free will turkey supper.  Laurie Greene and her husband, Craig, formerly resided at 115 Forest Street in the house now occupied by Shawna and Nathan.  Other former residents at that address include: Aldon & Lorraine Donaldson; Willard “Bud” & Faye “Toddles” Bohn; Roman & Myrtle Kulzer; and, Carl & Ruth Franzen.  Laurie Greene has been battling cancer for several years, and the benefit is to assist with expenses not covered by insurance.

Judge Daniel D. Narum was a visitor in his old home town on Friday and Saturday, December 11 & 12.  Dan was getting in some pheasant hunting on the Mike & Jill Anderson farm as he prepared to officiate at a Saturday evening wedding at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge.  The bride & groom are Cheryl Arneson of Havana and Douglas Anderson of Gwinner.  The Judge brought down the gavel on several pheasants during his stay here, and sentenced the newlyweds to a lifetime of wedded bliss.

Sonja Christensen reports that 11 teams have already pre-registered for the 21st annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament that will be held in Rutland on Saturday, February 6.  Sixty teams will vie for the championship and the cash prize that goes with it.  Anyone interested in participating in the tournament should contact Sonja Christensen at her home in Wahpeton or Brice Carlson here in Rutland.

This community was saddened last weekend when word was received here of the passing of 2 former community residents.  The family of John W. Young, RHS Class of ’62, notified friends here that he had passed away at his home in Mesa AZ on Saturday, December 12, after a 2-year battle with cancer.  John was the eldest son of Rutland native and former Postmaster Gwendolyn (Prindiville) Young.  Gwen now resides in Mesa, and was with her son at the time of his passing.  Long time Rutland Township resident Roger Hom departed this life on Sunday, December 13, at the Lisbon Community Hospital, also after battling cancer for several years.  Roger was a son of the late James & Mae Hom of Rutland.  Additional information about both men will be provided when it becomes available.

A Rutland native has been making a name for herself as an author.  The STARBUCK TIMES of Starbuck, Minnesota, recently printed the following article about Catherine Hagedorn, better known to her many friends in Rutland as Katie Jacobson, daughter of Rutland native Boyd Jacobson Jr. and Connie Johnson, and granddaughter of the late Boyd & Catherine Jacobson of this community. The Starbuck Times, Zach Anderson News Editor, has graciously consented to have its article about Katie reprinted here.  “Author stops in Star buck – Author Catherine Hagedorn of Red Lake Falls, stopped in Starbuck for lunch on Friday, Nov. 13. Hagedorn had a book signing at Central Square in Glenwood on Thursday, Nov. 12 for her recently published book titled “Destiny’s Children: Joby”. It Is the first book in a series of seven planned books Hagedorn said. The second book is currently in editing and she is working on writing the third book. The book Is available online at and It can also be purchased on Kindle, and bookstores can order it through distribution channels if requested. According to Amazon’s description of the book, “Joby’s life has been nothing but chaos since the day she was born. Left with the forest tribes as a baby, her childhood as a free-spirited young girl is violently thrust into adulthood when the King of the kingdom bordering her tribe’s forest threatens her people’s safety and peace. Joby will have to learn to fight, lead, and survive, all while having to endure loss and the trials of becoming a woman. Everyone is counting on Joby, and she cannot afford to let them down.” Hagedorn has been writing since first grade when she wrote her first story, “My Teacher Has Horns”. She also had two poems published in literary anthologies for young writers when she was a teenager. Hagedorn’s parents, Connie Johnson and Boyd Jacobson Jr. live in Starbuck, and her husband’s mom, Sandy Miller, also lives in Starbuck. Hagedorn is available for appearances or book signings, anyone Interested can call Bonnie Johnson at 701-680-7312.”  Katie resided in Rutland and was a student at Sargent Central High School at the time her poems were published.  Her many friends here wish her well in her new career.

The Rutland Community Club met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 14, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The Treasurer reported that the Club had more than $22,000 on hand for community projects.  Doug & Cher Spieker reported that preparations for Rutland’s 70th Annual Santa Claus Day were proceeding smoothly, with a light soup & sandwich supper and BINGO scheduled to open activities at the Rutland Town Hall at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 19.  Doug stated that Roy Hildebrand will have his team, complete with sleigh bells and either a sleigh or wagon ready to transport Santa and friends around town.  A report was also provided on preparations for the 21st annual Rudy Anderson Memorial Pinochle Tournament which is scheduled to be held on Saturday, February 6, 2016, in the Rutland Town Hall.  Community Club members voted to sponsor the Laurie Greene benefit which will be held on Saturday, January 16 in the Rutland Town Hall.  Members also reviewed the prospect of the imminent closing of the Rutland General Store and Rutland Café.  By a unanimous vote, the members decided to authorize the directors of the Community Club to allocate funds and work with the Rutland Community Development Corporation and other individuals and development agencies to keep a store and café operating on Rutland’s Main Street.  The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled to be held at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 11, weather permitting.

Jen Christianson has announced that as of the first week in January, Alley Cuts in Rutland will only be staffed on Fridays, and that she will be at her shop in Gwinner from Monday through Thursday of each week.  Jen states that she is looking for someone to purchase her shop here, or to come in and provide more service to the Rutland community.  Anyone who is interested in a business opportunity in a progressive community should contact Jen.

Meanwhile, anyone considering presenting a Christmas Pageant this holiday season would be well advised to look to GOP Presidential candidate, real estate tycoon, casino investor and luxury hotel owner Donald Trump as their model for casting the part of the Bethlehem innkeeper, you know, the guy who turned Joseph & Mary away and told them to sleep in the stable with the livestock.  Actually, though, the ancient innkeeper of more than 2,000 years ago was a model of hospitality compared to Mr. Trump, who has told those seeking refuge from the desolation of war and the oppression of tyrants for themselves and their families, to “Get out, and stay out!”  The current Presidential campaign has revealed a mean and ugly streak in a portion of the American electorate that is not very attractive when seen in the light of day.  It is based on ignorance, and fueled by fear that produces the destructive forces of anger and hate.  Some candidates, Mr. Trump and Sen. Cruz among them, have been exploiting that ignorance and fear for short term political advantage.  Whether the tactic of turning Americans against Americans, and the strategy of turning America’s back to those in need of compassion, will be rewarded with a 4-year term as President and a lease on the White House will be decided by the American people in 2016.  Will we Americans base our decision on the principle of “Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men,” as proclaimed by the voices that hailed the arrival of the Prince of Peace 2,000 years ago, or will we embrace ignorance, and base our decision on the passions of fear, anger and hatred, as some would have it?  The decision is ours to make.  We have 11 months to think about it.  A Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year, to all!

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, and stop by the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re at it, too.  Remember to patronize your local Post Office this Christmas, 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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