News & Events

The Rooster Crows – May 12, 2017

Friday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo for those Americans of Mexican heritage, was the first day in 2017 that the temperature exceeded 80 degrees in Rutland.  Spring weather has finally settled in, out here on the prairie, and spring planting has been going full bore since the 1st of May.  Reports are that some farm operators may be close to having their corn planting completed by the end of this week, with soybean planting not far behind.

All work and no play may be the rule for some, but, as Roger Pearson has been heard to say, “The worst day spent fishing is still better than the best day spent working.”  Local anglers are reporting some success on area lakes.  Mac Pherson brought in a nice stringer of crappies while fishing at Kandiota Lake on Saturday, May 6, and Roger Pearson caught his limit of walleyes, one 16 inches in length and 4 19 inch specimens, at Lake Tewaukon on Sunday, May 7.  Of course, you have to ask yourself, “When a fisherman tells you where he caught his fish, is he telling you where he REALLY caught those fish, or is he telling you where he wants you to think that he caught those fish so you won’t really know where those fish were caught?  You have to get up early to out think a fisherman.

Saturday, May 6, was the date set for community-wide yard and garage sales all over Rutland.  Shauna Bergh reports a good day with plenty of early customers at 115 Forest Street, and similar results are reported from other locations, as well.

Calvin Coolidge “Con” Colby was a familiar figure in Rutland for many years, and friends here bade farewell to Con at funeral services held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman on Saturday, May 6, with burial in the Forman Cemetery.  He had passed away on Wednesday, May 3, at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman at the age of 91 years, 8 months and 12 days.  Con was born on a farm west of Forman on August 22, 1925, to Edward “Ted” and Winnie (Sterner) Colby.  When Con was growing up, the Colby family lived on a farm just north of Silver Lake, in Rutland Township, for many years.  A portion of that farm is now part of Sargent County’s Silver Lake Park, and a portion of it is part of the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s waterfowl production area just north of the Park.  Con lost his right arm as the result of a hunting accident when he was 16, but he overcame that devastating loss.  He was so expert in the use of his prosthetic arm and hand that the word “disability” never applied to him.  He attended country schools through the 8th Grade, and graduated from Forman High in 1944.  He went west to work in a shipyard during World War II.  After the war, Con returned home and, in 1948, was united in marriage with Mae Walstead in a ceremony at the Walstead family’s farm west of Rutland.  Con & Mae farmed for several years before he went into the bulk fuel business in Forman during the mid-50’s.  Con was a hard worker, and in addition to the fuel business, he also owned a mobile home park, an apartment house, gravel hauling business, car wash and Laundromat in Forman, as well as farming interests in the area.  Con enjoyed games of chance, and back in the day when American Legion Smokers were the only game in town, his favorite spot was at the dice table where he proved that a combination of luck and skill was tough to beat.  He obtained training in the repair and maintenance of furnaces, and often worked with Lowell Sjothun of Rutland on projects that required more than 1 worker.  On one occasion when Con and Lowell were working together they had stopped in at the Rutland Café, then owned by Ralph & Lois Nelson, for lunch.  A discussion was in progress over the relative merits of fuel oil versus propane for heating purposes, and Con, ever a staunch proponent of fuel oil, offered a story to enlighten his listeners: “A fellow concluded that his life was dull, so he decided to try something exciting, like sky-diving, to liven things up.  He took some instruction in parachutes and went up in a plane to make his first jump.  He had both a main parachute and an auxiliary, in case the main chute failed to open, and had been instructed to step out of the plane, count to 4 and pull the rip cord for the main.  If there was trouble, and the main chute didn’t work, he was to pull the rip cord for the auxiliary, which would take him safely to the ground.  At 10,000 feet the pilot opened the door and the brave parachutist lept out.  He counted to 4, pulled the rip cord…and nothing happened.  He pulled the rip cord for the auxiliary and, again, nothing happened.  So, there he was, hurtling toward the earth with no parachute when he saw a bright flash on the ground beneath him.  As he watched, he saw a small speck that seemed to be coming up toward him.  As the speck drew nearer, he could see that it was actually a man wearing cover-alls who was clutching a wrench in one hand.  As they passed, the parachutist plummeting downward and the other man hurtling toward the sky, the parachutist yelled, ‘Hey!  Do you know anything about parachutes?’  The other man yelled back, ‘No!  Do you know anything about propane?’”  Well, it was Con’s story, and it got a laugh.  Con is survived by his 3 daughters: Ann Nelson of Forman; Ginger Nelson of Forman; and, Sally Smith of Havana; by 2 brothers: Dale “Doc” Colby of Glenwood MN; and, Larry Colby of Hereford AZ; 8 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; 2 step-great-grandchildren; and, by numerous nieces, nephews and friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents; by his wife, Mae, in 2007; by 6 sisters & brothers: Ione Warren; Allen Colby; Edward “Chub” Colby; Marlene Stenvold; Joyce Narum; Cozy Wehunt; and, a son-in-law, Brad Smith.  Condolences can be directed to the family in care of Ann Nelson, 610 6th Street SW, Forman ND 58032.  Price Funeral Chapel of Forman & Britton was in charge of arrangements.  The Rutland community extends condolences to the family and friends of Con Colby, a man of determination, ambition and good humor whose company will be missed.

Norbert Kulzer reports that he has sold the 16’ fishing boat, motor and trailer he had advertised for sale earlier this spring.  The proud new owners are Marshal Thol and Scott Buckhouse.  Norbert has reacquired the 14’ boat with motor and trailer that he had owned prior to acquiring the 16 footer.  The Kulzers, Norbert & Bev, drove down to Hartford SD on the weekend of Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7, to attend the confirmation of their grandson, Will Kulzer.  They brought Norbert’s replacement fishing boat back with them.

Miss Emily Kay Hamilton and Mr. Austin James Willprecht affirmed their baptisms in a ceremony at Nordland Lutheran Church at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 7.  Both had completed a 2 year course of study in Christian beliefs and practices.  Miss Hamilton is the daughter of Kenny & Tanya Hamilton, and Mr. Willprecht is the son of Kevin & Wendy Willprecht.  Both are students at Sargent Central High School.  For the older generation, Affirmation of Baptism used to be called Confirmation of Faith.

Greg Donaldson and Hal Nelson drove to Minneapolis to see the Minnesota Twins play the Boston Red Sox on Saturday & Sunday, May 6 & 7.  Hal reports that the Twins lost both games to Boston, the first by a score of 8-1, and the second by a score of 17-6.  Hal states that the second game was actually a much better game than the final score indicates, as the Twins had been playing even with the Red Sox, and the score stood at 7-6 Red Sox at the beginning of the 9th inning.  Then the roof caved in, even though the Twins’ outdoor stadium does not have a roof, and the BoSox scored 10 unanswered runs in the top of the 9th, to blow the Twins out of the game.  Hal reports that he and Greg had very good seats for both games.

Jim Peterson of this community has been working at the Silver Lake Park for the past 2 weeks, getting equipment ready and doing Park maintenance in the absence of a Park Manager.  The Park Manager who had been hired last Fall to replace retired Manager Dennis Goltz resigned in April, leaving the Park short handed until a new Park Manager can be hired.  Jim has been serving as Chairman of the County Park Board for several years, and has now stepped up to get the Park ship-shape prior to the Summer camping and recreation season.  He anticipates that a new Park Manager and Assistant will be hired and on duty prior to Memorial Day weekend.  Use of the Park for camping, boating, fishing and swimming has increased substantially during the past decade and a half, and it is anticipated that the demand for outdoor recreation facilities will continue to increase in the years ahead.  Sargent County’s Silver Lake Park, located 5 miles southwest of Rutland, is widely recognized as a “Pearl On The Prairie.”

The Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8, at the Rutland Town Hall.  Club president Rachel Olson was unable to be present, so the meeting was chaired by Vice-President Bonnie Anderson.  The financial report indicated that approximately $20,200.00 was available for community projects.  It was reported that Phyllis Wyum has volunteered to be in charge of the kitchen for the community pot-luck dinner following the Memorial Day program in the Hall on Monday, May 29.  Katie McLaen reported on preparations for the “Community Block Party” that will be held in the Veterans Memorial Park & Playground between the Town Hall and the American Legion Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1.  There will be burgers, brats, potato salad, music and games for all, states Katie.  Everyone is invited.  Club members voted to authorize Andrea Erickson to purchase a 15 cubic foot freezer to replace the one in the Town Hall that had quit working.  The freezer is one of those used to store pre Uff-Da Day lefse production.  Paul Anderson reported that he is still looking for new card tables to be used for the Rudy Anderson Pinochle Tournament.  He reports that there are good tables and there are inexpensive tables, but, so far, he has found no card tables that are both good and inexpensive.  He will do some more investigating before the June meeting.  Bonnie Anderson reported that City Auditor Deb Banish is working on having the piano in the Town Hall tuned prior to Memorial Day.  Uff-Da Day Chairperson Marcia Brakke reported that the 2017 Uff-Da Day organizing Committee will be meeting on Saturday, May 13, to review proposed events and committees for Uff-Da Day XXXIII.   The lefse making schedule was also discussed, and Marcia stated that she is planning to commence production earlier this year to allow for a more relaxed schedule.  Uff-Da Day will be on Sunday, October 1, this year.  Marcia Brakke also reported that a new cover for the Automated External Defibrillator (AED) that is in the Town Hall has been obtained.  Club members voted to expend up to $1,000.00 to obtain another AED for the community to be placed in a location where it would be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Club members appointed Hal Nelson and Paul Anderson to meet with the appropriate city official to discuss the disposition of the City’s street sweeper.  The next meeting of the Rutland Community Club is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 12 at the Rutland Town Hall.  Rutland Community Club officers this year are: President, Rachel Olson; Vice-President, Bonnie Anderson; Secretary, Andrea Erickson; Treasurer, Hal Nelson; Director, Katie McLaen; and, Director, Marcia Brakke.  Don’t forget the Community Block Party on Thursday, June 1, at Rutland’s Veterans Memorial Park & Playground!

The Homestead Tree Service and Contracting Co. of Ayr ND was in Rutland on Monday, May 8, trimming trees, and taking down some that had become hazards or had died recently.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9 & 10, they took down the 3 huge elm trees that were between the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station and the former Alley Cuts building, now owned by Lori McLaen, at 201 and 205 First Street.  The trees were so large that the limbs had to be carefully removed and the trunks taken down in sections to avoid risk of damage to the adjacent buildings.  As the trees have been trimmed and/or taken down, Mayor Narum has used the City’s Bobcat skid-steer loader to haul the debris to Rutland’s inert landfill west of Lou Sanderson Field.  In some cases, the removed trees will be replaced, but in many instances, such as the trees adjacent to the Bank building, they were a nuisance and a hazard and will not be replaced.

Josh Nelson of Nelson Electrical Solutions (NES), Rutland, was at work in The Old Parsonage at 217 First Street on Monday and Tuesday, May 8 & 9, replacing old wiring, outlets and fixtures on the building’s 2nd floor.  A new electrical service had been installed and the 1st floor wiring had been replaced several years ago.  The building had been constructed as a family residence by early day Rutland businessman C. E. Johnson, at a time before electrical service was available in Rutland.  When the Rutland Power &  Light Company was established  around 1915, Mr. Johnson had the house wired for electricity.  According to Josh, some of the wiring and fixtures removed this week were from that era, and were definitely not up to current code requirements.  The Old Parsonage, an antiques, collectibles and interesting items business, is owned and operated by Kathy Brakke of this community.  In the past several years the interior of the building has been repaired and modernized, new siding, new roofing and new windows have been installed, the foundation has been reinforced and the old front porch has been replaced with a new, wrap-around porch on the west and south sides of the house.  Congratulations and thanks to Kathy for the improvements to her business on Main Street.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, for the first time in the history of the republic, the President of Russia has had a Director of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation fired for conducting an investigation that was getting too close to the truth.  We do, indeed, live in interesting times.  Only 192 weeks to go, if the republic lasts that long.

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 Rutland’s internet web site at, and check out the Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re out there, 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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