News & Events

The Rooster Crows – September 29, 2017

Mother Nature bestowed another 3.1 inches of rain on Rutland and vicinity from Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24, according to Paul Anderson’s electronic precipitation measuring device at 309 Gay Street. One block to the east, the pre-electronic age rain gauges of Roger Pearson and Norbert Kulzer both held 3 inches when the rain stopped on Sunday afternoon. The 2 gauges are almost never in agreement, even though they are only a few feet apart, so the consensus of the Assembled Wise Men is that last weekend’s identical readings must mean that they are either both right, or both wrong, a matter for endless conjecture and discussion. Harvey Bergstrom reported that the gauge on his farm 3 miles south of Cayuga recorded 3.1 inches of rain for the weekend. Tuesday’s sprinkles, mists and drizzles added another .45 of an inch to the week’s total. The moisture has stymied soybean harvest efforts, but no one is complaining about the rain, yet.

The last regularly scheduled pastry production session prior to Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 1, was held with a whoop, a holler and a “Ya, sure, you betcha!” at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 25, when 15 bakers, some experts and some novices, gathered in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall to make the last batches of sandkaker, also called sand cakes and sandbakkels. According to Marcia Brakke, that last session produced more than 500 of the pastries that are made with flour, butter, sugar and a little vanilla extract. In America, they are often consumed “as is,” like a pie-crust shaped sugar cookie, but in Norway, Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries, they are often filled with whipped cream and berries to be served to guests with strong coffee. In Scandinavia, coffee is served in small cups, but strong enough to almost bend the spoon when stirring it. Sandkaker, along with lefse, rommegrot, krumkake, rosettes and abelskievers are among the treats awaiting visitors to Rutland on Sunday, October 1. The Uff-Da Day Committee has provided the following schedule of events for the day: 7:30 to 9 AM Coffee and Rolls at a location on or near Main Street; 8 AM 5K Walk/Run, commencing at the 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, Romegrot and Abelskievers commence; 11 AM Scandinavian dinner at Rutland City Hall, featuring Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and Scandinavian Goodies; 1 PM Parade commences at the intersection of Dakota & Gay Streets; 1:45 Nickel Scramble on Main Street; 2 PM Minute-to-Win It Contests on Main Street, sign up at the event; 3 PM Finnish Wife Carrying Race at course adjacent to Bagley & Gay Streets, register in advance at 763-221-7862, or sign up at the course before the race. Food sales, craft vendors, demonstrations and other events and activities continue throughout the day. Velkommen til Rutland I Uff-Da Dagen XXXIII, Sundag, 1 Oktober.

This community was saddened on Wednesday, September 20, when it was learned that a longtime active member of the Rutland community, Arnold Banish, had passed away on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman. He had attained the age of 89 years, 5 months and 29 days at the time of his death. Arnold Gene Banish was born March 21, 1928 in Lidgerwood, North Dakota to Peter J. and Mary (Baumann) Banish, Jr., the first of their 3 children. He grew up on the family farm southeast of Cayuga, and attended elementary school in Kingston Township. Establishing a pattern he followed through life, Arnold worked hard at his lessons, excelled in school and graduated from Geneseo High School at the age of 15, as a member of the GHS Class of ’43. He met his future wife, Bernice “Bee” Barthel, on a blind date arranged by a local girl, Lois (Kiefer) Breker, who worked with Bee in the Nursing profession. In 1951, Arnold and Bernice were united in marriage. They moved to the farm 2 miles south of Rutland where they brought up their three children and made their home for more than 6 decades. Their farm operation included both beef and dairy cattle, as well as hogs, chickens and grains. Throughout his life, Arnold was an active member of Sts. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church of Cayuga, where he served on the council. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus. Arnold served on the board of directors and as an officer of a number of local organizations, including: Tewaukon Township Clerk; Rutland Farmers Co-op Grain Co.; the Producers-Consumers Co-op of Rutland; the LaMoure-Greenfield Mutual Insurance Company; and, the Wild Rice Soil Conservation District. Arnold was also a member of the Sargent County Farmers Union; the Sargent County Farm Bureau; the Rutland Community Development Corporation; and, the Rutland Community Club. He found time to be a 4-H leader, as well. For 32 years Arnold was a Pioneer Seed Corn dealer, and he was a Sigco Sunflower Seed dealer for many years, to. He is survived by: his wife of 66 years, Bernice “Bee” Banish of Rutland; 2 sons: Richard Banish of Cayuga; and, Michael (Deborah) Banish of Rutland; 1 daughter, Clarice Banish of Fargo; two grandsons: Tyler Banish and Anthony Banish of Rutland; 1 sister, Joan Beyer of Breckenridge MN; 1 brother, Thomas Banish of Lidgerwood; and, numerous nieces, nephews and friends. His parents, Peter & Mary Banish, preceded him in death. The Mass of Christian Burial for Arnold Banish was conducted at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, at Sts. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in Cayuga ND, with the Rev. Fr. Philip Chacko celebrating the mass. Burial was in the Cayuga Community Cemetery. Price Funeral Chapel of Forman & Britton was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be directed to the family in care of Bee Banish, 13810 96th St SE, Rutland ND 58067. The Rutland Community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Arnold Banish, a hard-working neighbor who devoted a lifetime to the service of his family, farm, church and community.

The volunteers of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department were called to the Rich & Kathy Lehman farm in Tewaukon Township, 7 miles south and a mile east of Rutland, at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 24. Rich had been doing some work on a vehicle in the large 2 stall detached garage that was within a few feet of the Lehman’s modern farm home when the fire started. The Rutland-Cayuga, Forman-Havana and Lidgerwood Fire Departments responded to the call, and, according to Kathy Lehman, “They did an awesome job.” The garage structure and all of its contents, including an automobile and a pickup, were totally destroyed, but the volunteer fire-fighters saved the family’s home by pumping water onto the roof and siding that were within a few feet of the conflagration that consumed the garage. According to some of the firemen who were at the scene, the steel siding of the house helped to keep the fire from spreading to that structure, too. Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire, or in the valiant effort to save the family’s home. Rich & Kathy Lehman and their family are active members of the Rutland, Havana and Sargent County communities, and their many friends here are ready to lend a hand with the tasks of clean-up and rebuilding. Thanks and congratulations are extended to the volunteer fire-fighters from Rutland, Cayuga, Havana, Forman and Lidgerwood for a job well done.

David & Pat Kulzer arrived in Rutland on the afternoon of Monday, September 25, after a 3-day drive from their home in the Swan Valley of northwestern Montana. They were accompanied by their dog, Buster Brown, a Standard Poodle about as big as a medium-sized Percheron draft horse. They report that recent rains in the Rocky Mountains, as well as snowfalls at the peaks, have slowed, but not extinguished, the huge forest fires that have been raging in the northwest all Summer. The 300,000 acres of pasture and dryland farm land in central Montana that had been scorched by prairie fires this past Summer is still burned to a crisp, too, they report. From Glen Ullen ND in western North Dakota to Sargent County the country is green, they stated, but from there west the drought is still in evidence. The Kulzers have their travel trailer set up on the property owned by their son, Glenn, on the east side of Dakota Street. They plan to visit friends and family here for the next 2 weeks, and Buster intends to take Dave hunting, too.

The announcement by the Doosan-Bobcat Co. and Montana Dakota Utilities (MDU) on Thursday, September 21, at an event in Gwinner, that MDU will be extending its natural gas delivery system to Gwinner and the Bobcat factory is good news for Sargent County and the southeastern corner of North Dakota. The possibility of extending the availability of natural gas to Milnor is also under discussion, according to Terry Dusek, a local business and civic leader in the Milnor community. The availability of natural gas means lower costs: for industrial development; for agricultural services, such as grain drying; and, for home heating. The construction of a rural delivery system for natural gas, similar to the systems that have been built, and operated profitably, for the delivery of electricity and water to rural America has been advocated in the Rooster Crows for many years. With natural gas still being wastefully flared from North Dakota oil wells, there is obviously a tremendous supply of this inexpensive and relatively clean fuel.  We, the people of North Dakota, should be getting the benefit of that resource, rather than wastefully flaring it off for no other purpose than to get it out of the way. MDU and Doosan-Bobcat are to be commended for this first step to bring a new fuel source to Sargent County. If our political leaders had the vision, foresight and drive of our business leaders, this plentiful and inexpensive source of power would be available to every community and citizen of North Dakota. If anyone says that it can’t be done, the answer is “Hogwash!” We’ve already done it, twice, with electricity and water, and we can do it again for clean, abundant fuel for every farm, home and business in this State.

Lenny Runyan stopped in at The Lariat for coffee and conversation with the Assembled Wise Men on the morning of Tuesday, September 26. Lenny states that, despite the altitude of his farm at the crest of the north face of the Coteau des Prairies, the more than 3 inches of rain received last weekend has him concerned. He is looking for a supply of gopherwood for boat building purposes, just in case. The earliest reference to gopherwood that could be found by Siri, the smart-aleck know-it-all who resides in most “smart phones,” is in Chapter 6 of the Book of Genesis, and Rick Bosse reported that gopherwood is said to be the most durable wood in existence, if any currently exists. Lenny reports that his livestock, including: cows; goats; pigs; cats; chickens; and, guinea hens; are all doing well, but he’s thinking that finding some gopherwood and building a boat is probably quicker, easier and more efficient than teaching them all how to swim.

With 500 year floods occurring every other year, successive hurricanes of unprecedented destructive power pounding Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U. S. Virgin Islands, and severe drought afflicting much of the western U.S., some may think that Mother Nature has never vented her fury in this fashion before. However, Rutland native Milton Erickson noticed an item in a recent edition of the Lamoure Chronicle of Lamoure ND that he forwarded on for comment. A century ago, back on July 29, 1917, a portion of North Dakota experienced nature’s wrath as described in the following article: “Wednesday, August 2, 2017. Yesterdays…From the files of the LaMoure Chronicle. 100 Years Ago – August 2, 1917. One of the most terrific and destructive storms which has ever visited LaMoure county, occurred Sunday afternoon about five o’clock. Extreme hot weather invariably precedes such an outburst of the elements. On Saturday July 28, came one of the hottest days which even pioneers of the county recall. The temperature rose to 112 to 114 in the shade according to different thermometers. The destructive tornado swept LaMoure County, area of fifty miles long. Scores of barns wrecked and other buildings damaged, severe hail hit at various points, Losses may total $300,000. In the Berlin vicinity, Nels Ness barn was damaged and twisted on the foundation; Lawrence Nelson, barn damaged, Fred Johnson barn wrecked and hail loss. Wreckage of Henry Neverman, Jr, barn, biggest and[ [best work horse was killed by falling debris.” The damage amount of $300,000 in 1917 dollars would likely be in the tens of millions now. However, these days the countryside is so empty that it is likely that a tornado could re-trace the same route it took in 1917 without encountering a farmstead, barn, horse or fence post. Milton would like to know if there are accounts of any such storms in the Rutland area, or in other parts of Sargent County back in 1917.  

The following information was received from Rutland City Auditor Deb Banish on Wednesday, September 27: The Mayor & City Council of Rutland appointed the City Auditor to serve as the City Zoning Administrator at the September 11th Council meeting.  This is the beginning of a new, revised and streamlined process to obtain building permits in the City. The Council is also seeking members for appointment to the City of Rutland Planning Commission (formerly the Zoning Board).  The new City Planning Commission will recommend zoning district boundaries and zoning regulations to the City Council, they will investigate and make recommendations on proposed zoning ordinance amendments and/or changes and act as advisors to the Council.  The Planning Commission will not issue building permits. The Planning Commission will first focus on reviewing and clarifying the current City Zoning Ordinances.  Rutland citizens should consider applying and encourage other residents to apply.  The City also needs a resident from the extra-territorial zone (the City has joint jurisdiction with the Townships of Ransom & Rutland in the area that is one-half mile [.8 kilometer] to one mile [1.61 kilometers] from the City limits).  For more information contact the Rutland City Auditor, PO  Box 181 , Rutland ND 58067-0181 , Phone #701-724-3081.

Meanwhile, on the national scene, the President has once again demonstrated his mastery of a gullible national media by diverting attention from legal problems, Congressional failures and the possibility of nuclear war with North Korea by picking a fight with the players and owners of the National Football League. He doesn’t care what they’re saying about him, as long as they’re talking about him. He may be the most cynical, paranoid and egotistical charlatan to ever occupy the White House, but he sure has the national broadcast and print media eating out of his hand. As of Friday, September 29, there are 36 weeks down and 172 weeks to go until January 20, 2021. The American people are getting the same advice about the Trump Administration that the old country doctor gave to the fellow who swallowed a peach pit: “It will pass, but it’s going to be painful.”

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 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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