News & Events

The Rooster Crows – October 28, 2016

The wind blew, the rain came, and when it stopped early on the morning of Wednesday, October 26, Rutland and vicinity had received 2½ inches of precipitation, according to Paul Anderson’s electronic rain gauge at 309 Gay Street.  Kurt Breker reported that his gauge south of Cayuga contained 3.3 inches of rainwater on Wednesday morning, and Mike Harris reported that the gauge at his farm near Crete held 4.4 inches of precipitation when the deluge ceased.  The wind also stripped the leaves from many trees that still possessed them, piling the sodden leaves up in piles that stayed put once they were well soaked.  The rain was a Godsend for cover crops, pastures and hay land that had gone for several weeks without a significant drink.  A month from now, that rain would translate into 1 foot of snow for every inch of rain.  Count your blessings!

Several hundred thousand bushels of corn are now piled up in a huge, golden mountain on the west side of County Road #10, just south of Ron Narum’s residence.  When asked what the exact amount of bushels in the pile might be, Rodney Erickson states that it is, “somewhere between 1 bushel and 1 million bushels,” but he can’t get more specific than that, although he’s pretty sure that it’s more than 1 and less than a million.  Wheaton-Dumont has been piling the corn on the ground because its unit train loading facility at Tenney MN, on the main line of CP Rail, has not received a 110-car unit train in which to put it.  Rodney expects that the co-op will begin hauling the corn to its unit train loading facility at Graceville MN, which is on the BN-SF track, sometime in the first week or two of November.  The Rutland Elevator has been taking dry corn and trucking it to either Tenney or Graceville so that local farmers can keep their grain dryers in operation.

County Health Nurse Joyce Chapin reports that 18 persons received their flu prevention shots during the immunization clinic that was held at the Rutland Seniors Center from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, October 12.  That’s 10 fewer than the number who usually receive their flu shots at the Rutland clinic, according to Mrs. Chapin.  The County Health District does submit the vaccination claims to Medicare, Medicaid and health insurance programs, reports County Health District Director Brenda Peterson.  Nurse Chapin was in each of the County’s schools last week offering flu shots.  Anyone can call The District Office in Forman to make an appointment to get a shot, or they are also welcome to walk in, states Director Peterson.  The Sargent County Health District office is located on Main Street in Forman.  The phone number is 724-3725.  The Health District also has one more flu vaccination clinic scheduled to be held on November 3rd, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Health District’s Forman office.  “Right now there is a plentiful supply of flu vaccine on hand, and we do hope that County residents get vaccinated for flu prevention every year,” Director Peterson stated.

County Commissioner Bill Anderson hosted an “Anderson for Commissioner” Meet & Greet event from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, in the dining room of the Lariat Bar.  A number of community citizens dropped in for coffee and conversation about County issues and other matters of interest.  Commissioner Anderson’s Meet & Greet event had none of the contentious qualities of the Clinton-Trump Presidential Debate that followed later in the evening.

Former Rutland community residents Bill & Mary Woytassek were in town on Friday, October 21, and stopped for breakfast at The Lariat.  Bill has been working as a combine operator assisting his son and grandson, Jerry & Andrew Woytassek, bring in the harvest.  Bill and Mary currently make their home at Detroit Lakes MN.  During their visit to the old home town they had their travel trailer parked on the Andrew & Katy Woytassek farm just east of Rutland.

Rutland native Dean Nundahl, now a resident of Mankato MN, visited with friends at The Lariat Bar in Rutland on the morning of Thursday, October 20.  Dean had accompanied his son, Chris Nundahl, his 14-year-old grandson, Zachary Colemer, and, his 5-year-old grandson, Cooper Nundahl, up to his old stomping grounds in Sargent County to do some pheasant hunting.  Until 2004, Dean had served as the Mayor, City Council, maintenance Worker and Dog-Catcher for Perry, North Dakota, 4 miles north of Rutland, and reports that he still holds the title of Mayor.  He is pleased to note that Perry has recently enjoyed a population boom and is now home to 4 happy citizens.  Chris, Zahary and Cooper returned to their home near Minneapolis on the afternoon of Sunday, October 23, but Dean stuck around for Monday morning coffee and conversation with the Assembled Wise Men at the Lariat, as well as for a round of hugs from the Assembled Matriarchs of Rutland.

David & Susan (Brekke) Benson of Aiken MN stopped in Rutland on the afternoon of Thursday, October 20.  Susan’s father, the late Gerald Brekke, served as Superintendent of Schools in Rutland from 1950 to 1955, and Susan enjoyed a coffee and conversation rendezvous with an elementary school classmate, Carolyn (Jacobson) Christensen, at the Lariat Bar.  Susan reports that her younger sister, Sandy, and younger brother, Bill, both currently reside in England.  Because their mother, Rosemary, was a British citizen who met and married Gerald Brekke when he was serving in England with the U. S. Army during World War II, her children now have dual citizenship, as citizens of both the United States of America and the United Kingdom.  Having British citizenship made it possible to travel and reside anywhere within the European Union prior to the United Kingdom’s recent decision to separate itself from that confederation of European nation states.  Until the terms of the UK’s separation from the EU have been negotiated, the future rights and privileges of British citizens with the nations of continental Europe will be unclear.  Of course, the Brekke kids are also American citizens, so they will be able to choose which Passport works best for them, UK or US, when traveling in Europe.  Susan reports that she has recently been researching family genealogy and has come across a connection between the Jarlsburg family of Denmark and the members of the Mathieson family who emigrated from Norway to northeastern Sargent County in the early 1880’s.  She has also discovered that the Brekke family did not have the Brekke name until her great-great grandfather married the “Widow Brekke,” the owner of the Brekke Farm along the Sogn Fjord, and assumed the farm name as the family name.  Susan’s great-grandfather, John Brekke, immigrated to America in the early 1880’s, and claimed a homestead in the Milnor area.  During Susan’s childhood years in Rutland, the Gerald & Rosemary Brekke family made their home at 403 Anthony Street, in the house now owned and occupied by Lori McLaen.

Rutland Housings 6-plex apartment house received a new, steel roof last week.  In addition to the new roofing, the rafters of the 41-year-old structure were also reinforced with additional bracing, after it was discovered that the original contractor had cut some corners back in 1975.  Kevin Maly & Son Construction of Forman did the work of reinforcing the rafters and installing the new roofing.  Rutland Housing Manager Bert Siemieniewski reports that she is still working with USDA-Rural Development and with Lake Agassiz Regional Development Group on the additional improvements planned for the structure.

Another new roof was being installed on Saturday, October 22, when Russell Boutaine began work on the garage belonging to Hal Nelson at 305 Gay Street.  The garage is a larger than normal 1 stall garage, with enough room on both sides and both ends to allow a mechanic to work on a motor vehicle.  It was originally built by Mike Marquette when he owned the house, about a decade ago.  Hal states that the garage also has an attic that is “full of stuff that is up there just because there was room for it.”  We all know that story.

Joe Breker of this community was recently recognized for his work on soil conservation and no-till farming, and for his cooperation with the NDSU Extension Service with the Service’s “Friend Of Extension” award.  Following is the article that was posted on the Coteau des Prairies Lodge internet web site at “Joe Breker is not afraid of change. As a young farmer, after a stint as a student at NDSU, he challenged tradition and indeed his own father’s farming methods. Clarence Breker, who had the same intrepid spirit, went along with Joe on a journey to totally change over the Breker farm to no-till farming…at a time when almost nobody was doing it. They literally had to drive several hours to find another no-till farmer for a no-till confab. That was just the beginning.  The Joe Breker farm has been a catalyst for change in agricultural practices for 38 years. In that same time period, many farmers in the region and across the nation have come to understand the value of this new way of thinking…proving wrong the old stereotype that farmers won’t change their ways.  Joe is a long-time partner of the NDSU Extension Service to study and advance conservation farming methods in our region. To be effective, the Extension must partner with real world farms to test and compare methods on a large scale and the Extension needs open minded producers on the ground who are actively engaged in the exchange of ideas.  At a ceremony on October 19th, 2016, the NDSU Extension Service awarded Joe the ‘Friend of Extension’ Award for his contribution to the work of the Extension Service.  Here is what the NDSU Extension Service had to say about Joe: “Joe is a steward of the land in every sense of the term because he carefully and responsibly manages the 3,000 acres of land entrusted to his care. He was one of the first farmers in the region to change to no-till farming methods.  However, he takes this idea of stewardship one step further: he shares his practices, equipment and equipment modifications with other farmers around the state.  Joe also problem-solves with other farmers interested in adjusting practices so they can reduce tillage, include cover crops or manage residue. He participates in NDSU Extension soil health café talks, field days and workshops across the state, as well as large regional meetings on conservation tillage and cover crops, and national meetings and web-based resources. He has a huge influence on farming practices in the state, not by being aggressive, but by being accessible.”  Of course, Joe’s passion for farming and conservation are an integral part of the appeal and success of Coteau des Prairies Lodge. We offer tours, both formal and informal, of the Joe Breker farm and surrounding area. Joe loves to give our guests a unique experience on a farm — and not just any farm — a modern family farm that is on the cutting edge of agriculture research.”  Congratulations to Joe Breker on this well-deserved recognition, and congratulations, too, to his family and farming partner, Patty Breker, for her support and encouragement of Joe’s efforts.

David Susag of Fargo was in Rutland on Saturday, October 22, assisting his brother, Joel Susag of Rutland, get his WD45 Allis Chalmers tractor and Allis Chalmers 1-row corn picker ready for winter storage at the McLaen farm, northwest of Rutland.  Most tractor powered corn pickers were of the 2-row variety, but when the width of corn rows got narrower about 60 years ago, some manufacturers made a 1-row picker so a farmer wouldn’t have to buy a new corn picker every time somebody planted their corn rows closer together or farther apart.  The Susag brothers, David & Joel, found this particular corn picker rusting away in a pasture over in Minnesota.  “It was mostly intact,” states David, “but it had sat in one place long enough that it had settled into the ground and the wheel rims had rusted off at ground level.  The cows hadn’t rubbed on it too bad, though.”  David, a 1965 graduate of SCHS, is now retired from a career as a mechanical engineer with the Case-IH factory in Fargo, and both he and Joel grew up on the Susag farm that was 1 mile west of Rutland, so they have a good understanding of how to resurrect a piece of farm equipment from the dead.  They took the picker apart, cleaned up the usable parts, found replacements for the rest, and when the picker was reassembled it actually worked.  This Fall, Joel picked 100 bushels of cob corn for the Sodbusters Association of Fort Ransom with the restored WD45 and the restored 1-row picker.  Picture yourself on an open tractor, in sub-freezing temperatures, with the wind howling out of the northwest, picking corn 1 row at a time, and it gets pretty easy to understand why they don’t do it that way any more.

Former Rutland Township resident Royce Heffelfinger and his wife, Connie, a native of the Barney ND community, visited in the Rutland area on Wednesday and Thursday, October 19 & 20.  Royce’s Dad, Robert Heffelfinger, had been the Superintendent, Principal and 5th through 8th Grade Teacher at the Rutland Consolidated School, 3 miles west and a mile north of Rutland, back in the 1950’s.  Royce & Connie now make their home in southern Minnesota.  They stayed at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge during their visit to this community.  Royce’s younger brother, Dean,was well known for overcoming the handicap of being born without arms, and going on to a successful career as an accountant and auditor with the Federal Government’s General Accounting Office.  When the Heffelfinger family left this area, they moved to Wyndmere, where Royce graduated from High School and met his future bride.

Members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion met at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 25, at the American Legion Hall/Rutland Fitness Center at the call of Post Commander Larry Christensen.  The Adjutant’s report showed that the Post has approximately $2,400 on hand, and that all members but one have paid their dues for 2017.  Commander Christensen reminded members that the Post will be furnishing a Color Guard for the Veterans Day program that will be presented at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, the day before Veterans Day, at the Sargent Central Activities Center in Forman, and also that there will be a Veterans Day observance for all County veterans beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, November 11, on the Courthouse Grounds and concluding with a program and lunch in the Forman City Hall.  Tom Manley, a member of the Rutland Post and currently serving as 10th District Legion Commander, will be the speaker at the County program.  Members decided to conduct the Post’s annual Flag Retirement Ceremony at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11, on the Legion Hall Grounds in Rutland.  The American Legion Auxiliary will be sponsoring a soup & sandwich supper to which all veterans in the community are invited.  Post members also decided to make a $100 donation to the Sargent County Health District to be applied to the purchase of equipment used to test the vision of children, and also to hold a pancake & sausage fundraiser from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 5, Super Bowl Sunday, at the Rutland Town Hall.  There being no further business, the meeting adjourned in time for every member to get home to watch game #1 of the 2016 World Series.  The Cleveland Indians won the game by a score of 6-0 over the Chicago Cubs, a team which has not won a World Series game since 1945, and which has not won the Series since 1908.  The Cleveland franchise last won the World Series in 1948, and made unsuccessful appearances in 1954, 1995 and 1997.

Rick Bosse stopped in at the Lariat for breakfast and conversation on the morning of Wednesday, October 26.  Rick had returned home on Tuesday after a week-long vacation trip to northwestern Colorado with 2 old friends and hunting companions, Keith Hoistad and Dan Jacobson.  After 18 years of applying for a mule deer hunting permit in the northwestern corner of Colorado, Rick’s name had finally been drawn, and the season opened last Saturday, October 22.  Dan had gotten a permit and bagged a mule deer in the same area 5 years ago, and Keith had duplicated that feat last year.  Now it was Rick’s turn, with Dan & Keith providing technical advice and moral support.  Rick states that they saw 4 good sized mule deer bucks on the first day of the hunt, bucks which Rick says he would have taken a shot at if it hadn’t been for Keith & Dan telling him to “wait for the big one.”  On day 2, Sunday, they spotted the big one, an 8 by 12 mule deer buck standing several hundred yards from the spot where the trio of hunters had been scoping the area.  “I didn’t want to take a shot over 300 yards,” said Rick, “because this is a once in a lifetime experience, and I didn’t want to miss.”  After carefully moving to within 370 yards of his quarry, though, Rick stated that he realized that he was as close as he was going to get without frightening the deer away.  Rick had confidence in his rifle, a tried and true Winchester model 70 chambered for the .325 short mag cartridge and equipped with a Swarovski 3X10 power variable scope.  He put the crosshairs of the scope on the front shoulder of the big muley, squeezed the trigger and knew that he had hit his target when he heard a loud “thwack” from the bullet finding its mark, and when he heard Dan and Keith cheering and shouting as if the Vikings had just won the Super Bowl.  Dan & Keith then moved up to Rick’s position, and Dan stayed there to make sure that the deer did not get up and move while Rick and Keith moved out through the sagebrush to tag the deer.  “It was tough going,” said Rick, “that sagebrush is5 or 6 feet high, and it would have been easy to lose that deer in it.”  When Rick & Keith found the deer, it was discovered that Rick’s first and only shot had been right on target, dropping the animal where it stood.  It was decided to make sure, though, so Rick was going to put one more bullet into the deer.  Rick stated that he was so nervous, though, that he missed with 2 shots at close range before putting another fatal bullet into the big buck.  According to Rick, the antlers measured 28 inches outside, and scored 194 in the Boone & Crocket measurement.  Keith, who is also a taxidermist in his spare time, carefully preserved the hide for a trophy mount, and then the 2 friends quartered the deer and packed it out to their waiting vehicle.  Rick, Dan and Keith have had a number of memorable hunts in recent years, and Rick is good at relating the story.  Thanks to Rick for the story.  It’s quite a memory.

Well, more Americans tuned in to watch and listen to the 3 Presidential Debates that concluded on the evening of Wednesday, October 19, than had watched or listened to any previous series of debates since the modern practice began back in 1960.  It’s not that the discussions were enlightening, the arguments brilliant or the debating skills of the participants polished.  It was more like driving by the scene of a devastating accident on the highway.  You don’t want to look, but you just can’t help it.  Would Lincoln and Douglas, or Kennedy and Nixon, or even Reagan and Mondale, recognize the free for all mud slinging exhibitions put on by the candidates of the nation’s 2 major political parties in 2016 as debates?  Doubtful!  With Election Day, November 8, only a week and a half away, national polls indicate that Hillary Clinton is widening her lead over Donald Trump, not so much because voters like her, but because they dislike her a little less than they dislike him.  The American voters in 2016, it seems, have a dilemma similar to that faced by Alexander Hamilton back in 1800.  Two men he disliked intensely, even despised, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, were tied in the Electoral College, and Hamilton, with his influence in the Federalist Party, could tip the election to one or the other.  He vehemently disagreed with Jefferson’s principles, but at least Jefferson had principles, he reasoned.  Burr, on the other hand, had none, Hamilton concluded.  With the backing of his bitter enemy, Thomas Jefferson became the 3rd President of the United States.  Hillary Clinton may become the 45th President of the United States on the basis of similar reasoning and conclusions by the American people.  But it’s not over until it’s over.  The people have not yet made their final decision.  Polls of likely voters indicate that the election is likely to go to Clinton.  Trump backers, however, point out that his supporters are the ones that the polls don’t count, the unlikely voters.  Well, whether an American is a likely voter or an unlikely voter, one thing is sure – their opinion won’t count if they don’t vote.  Right now, voters in Sargent County can Vote By Mail, vote early at the Auditor’s Office in the County Courthouse or, wait until Election Day to cast their ballot.  Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.  Brave men and women have died to secure your right to vote.  Honor their memory by exercising that right!

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 Uff-Da Day 2016 and Rutland Facebook pages 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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