News & Events

The Rooster Crows – September 15, 2017

Despite 24 hour a day, 7 days a week coverage by the national media, no hurricane damage has been reported in Sargent County, yet. In fact, after a couple of cool mornings right after Labor Day, and a cool, breezy day on Saturday, September 9, Rutland and vicinity has experienced the warm, sunny days that are much appreciated by most as Summer draws to a close. The mercury climbed up to 94 on Tuesday, September 12, a hot day in a Summer which has not seen the thermometer hit a 100-degree reading. A few more hot days, and soybean harvest will be in full swing. Nobody’s ready for a frost just yet, though.

Joanne Harris, accompanied by her son, Andy Harris, and her daughter, Kathy Stout, was in Tampa, Florida, from Friday, September 1 to Tuesday, September 5, to be present at the promotion of her eldest son, Michael J. Harris, to the rank of Captain in the United States Navy. Mike is a 30-year veteran of the Navy, and has been serving as a Commissioned Officer for the past 24 years. An old friend of Mike’s, Brian Diebold, shared the promotion ceremony with him. Both had earned their Commissions as Navy Officers at the same time, and both earned their Captain’s Eagles at the same time, as well. The following report was provided by Mrs. Harris: “The ceremony took place on the deck of a restored WWII cargo ship the “American Victory” which is moored in the Port of Tampa. It is mainly a tourist attraction but they do take the ship out twice a year for a spin around Tampa Bay. Anyway, the ceremony was held on the deck which was decorated with red, white, and blue banners, flags, and white chairs for the guests. All this under blue skies and hot, humid temperatures. As the ceremony began with the playing of the National Anthem, the skies opened up with rain and as the anthem ended, all the guests ran for cover under a near by canopy! The Navy, being used to lots of water, proceeded with the program without pause! This included the shuffling of guests THREE times as the rain showers came and went, the blast of the neighboring Carnival Cruise ship’s horn–twice–and of Brian Diebold sitting in his white plastic chair of honor and the darn thing breaking at the arm connection! In spite of all this, the ceremony was impressive and very touching. The new Captains heard their orders read, recited the oath of allegiance, and each spoke of honor, friendship and family. Kathy and Andy had the honor of pinning Mike’s Captain’s eagles to his collar, and I presented him with a new hat with the captain insignia. In Mike’s speech he spoke of living in Montana and how the Native Americans there respected and honored the eagle for it’s beauty, courage, and majesty and how proud he was to be able to wear eagles on his uniform. He closed his speech by dedicating his “eagles” to his dad, the late John Harris and wished him and everyone “Erin Ga Bragh!”  The group then retired to a downtown eatery and the “yo ho ho and a bottle (or two!) of Rum” continued into the evening. Capt. Brian Diebold, the other member of the Navy receiving his Captaincy, is a long-time friend of Mike’s. They were both enlisted Navy men and met after they were both recommended for Officer Training Program 24 years ago. Brian’s family lives in Florida and organized the ceremony and reception and kindly included the Harris crowd. As they say, a good time was had by all!” Thanks to Joanne for the report, and congratulations to Captain Harris on his achievements in the service of our country.

Rutland native David Sundlie, youngest son of the late Arnold “Slim” & Magdalene (Miller) Sundlie of this community, has been a resident of Bismarck for many years, but still maintains contact with old friends here. Dave observed his 70th birthday on Wednesday, September 6, and was pleased that President Donald J. Trump and U. S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp flew into Bismarck on Air Force 1 to help Dave celebrate the milestone. While in Bismarck the President and the Senator also took a few minutes to participate in a public gathering at the Tesoro Oil Refinery in Mandan. The President talked about taxes while 2 Senators a Congressman and a Governor, all from North Dakota, nodded their heads, and a crowd which the President estimated at somewhere between 700 and 700,000 rendered polite applause. Well,” Dave, that’s what happens when your guest list isn’t exclusive.

Jim & Ione Lunneborg arrived home on the evening of Sunday, September 10, at the conclusion of a 19-day vacation trip that took them to the home of their daughter, Marne, at Greenville SC, and all points in between. Jim reports that even though Greenville is about 3 hours from the Atlantic Coast, the community was making preparations to deal with the effects of Hurricane Irma, including high winds and heavy rainfall. The hurricane’s influence had not yet spread to South Carolina when Jim and Ione headed for home, so they avoided being impacted by, or contributing to, the problems associated with Hurricane Irma. On their road home, they stopped in Illinois to observe the 50 Years Of Farm Progress show, and had one of those experiences that lets you know that you have to behave, no matter where you are. They were boarding a cart in the parking lot to take them to the action, states Jim, when a lady asked the driver if she and her husband could get on. The driver asked her where she was from, and she replied, “Michigan.” Jokingly, the driver replied that he didn’t know if folks from Michigan would be allowed in, so Jim asked, “What about North Dakota?” The couple from Michigan asked the Lunneborgs where they were from in North Dakota, and when Jim replied “Rutland,” the next question from the Michigan folks was “Do you know Dave Bladow?” Well, who doesn’t? The Lunneborgs also stopped at Wisconsin Dells, and went on a river cruise there, but Jim reports that the weather was chilly, and as they were dressed for South Carolina, not Wisconsin, they stayed in the cabin and watched through the windows. Jim also reported that he spotted only 2 soybean fields being harvested between Greenville SC and Rutland ND, one in Illinois and one at Elbow Lake MN, but fields all along their route looked as if harvest was not far off. “It’s fun to go,” stated Jim at morning coffee in The Lariat on Monday morning, “but it’s great to get home.” Amen, brother.

A large delegation from Rutland took in the Annual Community Dinner in Havana on Sunday, September 10, and the report is that, as usual, the repast was outstanding, all the way from the mashed potatoes with heart-stopping gravy, through the roast turkey & dressing to the homemade pie for dessert. Bruce Peterson of rural Havana reports that approximately 300 dinners were served in the Havana Civic Center. He was impressed with the turnout of younger members of the community to assist with the dinner. Bruce states that he has been on the cleanup crew for the past 41 years, and that he is getting pretty good at handling a mop and a bucket. After 41 years, he knows every floor tile on the Civic Center floor by its first name.

With Uff-Da Day fast approaching, ethnic heritage and hospitality of communities in this area are topics worth remembering. The following report was received on Thursday, September 7, from Ryan Kaczynski of Geneseo: “ I’m sure you know the whole story of the friends from Norway who returned each year to visit Brampton where they moved the church from.  But I will tell you that after Brampton they stopped in Lidgerwood while I was at the Knights of Columbus hall and they asked to use our restrooms and we had picnic tables in front of the hall that they used to eat their lunch etc.  They were very appreciative for the use of our facility, and the head man said I made a very great impression on all of them with my kindness to them. Have a great week, Ryan Kaczynski , Geneseo ND.” Thanks to Ryan for the report, and for his hospitality to these visitors from Norway that reflects favorably on the entire region.

The Uff-Da Day Facebook page, managed by the brother-sister team of James & Claire Brakke, has been publicizing Uff-Da Day XXXIII on social media. The following report was received from Claire on Sunday, September 10: “The question we asked on Facebook on September 5 was “What is your favorite activity to do on Uffda Day?” There was a poll where people could choose their favorite things to do. I also mentioned in the post that if they commented or tagged a friend their name would be put into a drawing for an Uffda Day Prize Package. The drawing will be on September 29th, the Friday before Uffda Day. Here are the results of the poll: 79 people picked the “I’m just here for the food!” option; 34 people picked the Parade; 21 people picked Crafts; 16 people picked Car Show; 14 people picked Live Music; 10 people picked Wife Carrying Contest; 9 people picked the Museum; 8 people picked the Pioneer House; 4 people picked the 5k run/walk; and, 4 people picked Bouncy Houses. Thanks to Claire for the report, and to all those who responded to the poll. Pass it on!

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, in the Rutland Town Hall, with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Deb Banish; and, Aldermen Rodney Erickson, Delores Lysne and Bert Siemieniewski present. Alderman Mike Mahrer was absent. Also present was Rutland resident Bill Anderson. The financial report indicated that all funds are operating in the black. The Council instructed the City Auditor to send a “Thank You” note to the Rutland Community Club for the $5,000.00 contribution the RCC made to the construction of the new sidewalk on Gay Street. As “new business,” the Council approved: Building Permit #217-17 to Michael & Kayla Mahrer for the construction of a garage addition to their home at 117 Ross Street; gaming permit #221 to the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary for a quilt raffle to be held on November 11, 2017; gaming permit #222 to the Sargent County Pheasants Forever for a gun raffle to be held on December 9, 2017; and, gaming permit #223 for the National Turkey Federation for a gun raffle to be held on December 9, 2017; and, the City’s preliminary 2018 budget. Once the preliminary budget is approved, the total budget figure may be decreased, but cannot be increased. Auditor Banish reported to the Council on advice received from City Attorney LeeAnn Even concerning the composition and function of the City’s Zoning Board. Mayor Narum appointed the City Auditor to serve as Zoning Administrator, with authority to issue building permits in those instances in which the project obviously is permitted under the City’s Zoning Ordinance. The City is currently seeking applicants for appointment to 5 positions on the Zoning Board. At least one of the members of the Board must reside out side of the City limits, but inside the City’s extra-territorial jurisdiction for zoning purposes. Persons interested in appointment to the City’s Zoning Board should contact City Auditor Deb Banish. After reviewing the City’s bills and authorizing payment the Council adjourned. The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 2, in the Rutland Town Hall. All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and local citizens are encouraged to attend.

The Rutland Community Club held its regular monthly meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, in the Rutland Town Hall. The Treasurer’s Report delivered by Hal Nelson showed that approximately $11,000.00 is available for community projects following payment of a $5,000.00 contribution to the sidewalk improvement project on Gay Street and several advance payments of Uff-Da Day XXXIII expenses. Board member Katie McLaen reported that a “freezer meals” session will be held in the Town Hall kitchen on October 18 in which participants will prepare freezer meals to be taken home. She is also organizing a “Kids In The Kitchen” session that will be held later this Fall. Katie also reported that Santa Claus has tentatively been scheduled to make a pre-Christmas visit to Rutland on Saturday, December 9. Marcia Brakke reported that Uff-Da Day preparations are proceeding on schedule. Lefse production concluded on Tuesday, September 5, with a total of 4,573 lefse rolled, fried, flipped and packaged, not counting the “mistakes” that had to be consumed by the lefse making crews on the spot. Krumkake, sandbakkel and rosette production is currently scheduled for: Krumkake at 9:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19; rosettes at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 22; and, sandbakkelr at 9:00 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 25; in the Town Hall kitchen. Preparations for the Uff-Da Day Parade, Wife Carrying Race, demonstrations, craft vendor booths and other activities are all moving along. Postcards with reminders of Uff-Da projects will be sent out to volunteers in the near future. Anyone who doesn’t receive a card but would like to participate should contact Carolyn Christensen, Diane Smith or Marcia Brakke. The Uff-Da Day Committee has approved the Rules for the 2017 Wife Carrying Race & the schedule for Uff-Da Day XXXIII. This year the event is following the North American Wife Carrying Contest Rules as follows: (1) Contestants must be at least 21 years of age; (2) Man Carries Wife. Wife does not have to be his wife; (3) Two teams race against each other. Final race comprised of two fastest teams to determine winner; (4) Course includes two log obstacles and is relatively flat; (5) Contestants are responsible for their own insurance; (6) Helmets for wives are provided but not required; (7) Winning team takes away wife’s weight in beer.” Schedule of events: 7:30 to 9 AM Coffee and Rolls at Main Street location; 8 AM 5K Walk/Run, commencing at City Maintenance Building at 315 First Street; 10 AM Craft Booths open throughout the day; 10:00 am, Display of early 20th Century photographs from the Haldor Anderson Photography Studio of Milnor throughout the day at the Bagley House, 301 First Street; 11 AM Pioneer Demonstrations and Sale of Scandinavian Foods that include Lefse, Rommegrot and Abelskievers commence; 11 AM Scandinavian dinner at Rutland City Hall, featuring Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and Scandinavian Goodies; 1 PM Parade commences at intersection of Dakota & Gay Streets; 1:45 Nickel Scramble Main Street; 2 PM Minute-to-Win It Contests on Main Street, sign up at event; 3 PM Finnish Wife Carrying Race at course adjacent to Bagley & Gay Streets, register in advance at 763-221-7862, or sign up before the race.

Ninety-four guests were present at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, southeast of Rutland, on the evening of Tuesday, September 12, to enjoy a 4 course “Beer Dinner” prepared by the chef from The Toasted Frog Restaurant of Fargo and the Junkyard Brewery of Moorhead MN. The main course of the dinner was rack of lamb, and each of the 4 courses was paired with a beer that complemented the dish. Among those from a distance who attended the event were: John & Janet Luoma of Edina MN, formerly of Oakes; and, Karl W. Gompf of Winnipeg, Manitoba, who was making his first visit to Rutland since November of 1966. As usual all of the guests were impressed with the Lodge; the view; the staff; the service; and, the cuisine. According to Phil Breker, a member of the Lodge’s management team, another dinner is being planned for October. For additional information about the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, check out the web site, or give Lodge Manager Olivia Stenvold a call at 701-680-1175.

With all of the important action taking place in Rutland, no one is paying much attention to events in Washington DC, but President Trump’s recent decision to turn to the Democrats in order to get something done in the nation’s capitol has upset Republican Congressional leaders who have dithered, delayed and defaulted on their obligations to the American people. Meanwhile, the Democrats, like a dog chasing a bus, are now wondering what happens after they have caught it. Congressional Democrats, despite their minority status, and the President, despite his lack of discipline, did manage to pass an aid package for hurricane victims in Texas, Louisiana and Florida; a continuing resolution to keep the Federal Government in operation until the end of the year; and, a debt limit increase to allow the payment of expenditures that Congress has already approved; while the GOP was trying to figure out when their next recess was scheduled. As of Friday, September 15, there are 34 weeks down and 174 to go until January 20, 2021. Time flies when you’re having fun, but it was strolling along in slow motion for the GOP’s Congressional leadership last week.

Well, that’s it 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 Uff-Da Day 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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