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The Rooster Crows – December 26, 2014

As promised, Santa Claus stopped in at the Rutland Town Hall on the afternoon of Saturday, December 20, to take part in the community’s 69th annual Santa Claus Day event.  Activities began at 3:00 p.m. when children gathered outside the Rutland Town Hall heard sleighbells and saw Santa Claus, himself, riding down the street as the guest of honor in Roy Hildebrandt’s horse-drawn, rubber tired people mover.  Santa explained that there wasn’t any snow for the runners of his sleigh, and that he was resting the reindeer for Christmas Eve deliveries.  Santa Claus Day proceeded with games and crafts, including a Christmas cookie decorating contest, for kids; BINGO games with cash prizes for each game; a bake sale held by the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club; and, a lunch of coffee and bars served by the Rutland Community Club.  Those in attendance also signed up for a drawing for Christmas turkeys donated by local businesses and individuals.  According to Santa Claus Day co-chairperson Cher Spieker, approximately 40 youngsters participated in the Christmas cookie decorating contest, and the winners were: Braydon Siemieniewski, pre-school; Mattie Jablonski, age 6-8; Abby Erickson, age 9-11; and, Briana Monsen, age 12 and over.  The cookie decorating contest winners prizes consisted of $5.00 worth of North Dakota quarters.  While other events proceeded, Santa listened to Christmas requests and posed for photos with children and adult admirers, alike.  Santa’s elf assistant made sure that each child received a bag filled with candy and other small gifts prepared by the Rutland Community Club for the event.  After the last BINGO game was played, the drawing for Santa Claus Day Christmas Turkeys donated by local businesses was held.  Christmas Turkey winners were: Taylor Lehman; Kurt Breker; Janelle Brakke; Gavin Christianson; Tyler Banish; Sophia Erickson; Janet Kiefer; Norbert Kulzer; Kaia Mahrer; Janice Christensen; Diane Smith; Jeff Olson; Cohen Jensen; Patty Breker; Kaycee Hamilton; Mark Bauman; Braydon Siemieniewski; Mandy Stroehl; Ione Pherson; Rylee Roney; Lucy Mahrer; Adeline Stenvold; Kim Kohler; Cher Spieker; Diana Anderson; Brian Pherson; Ted Lee; Joyce Christensen; Rita Preble; and, Pam Maloney.  The following Rutland businesses contributed the Christmas turkeys to Rutland’s Santa Claus Day: The Rutland General Store, Gretchen Vann, Owner; Lori McLaen, PMR, Rutland Post Office; Roger Pearson d/b/a Roger’s P & H and fishing consultant; Rutland Oil Co., Greg Donaldson proprietor; Mayor Ron Narum; The Grainery, Lori Mclaen, owner; Lariat Bar, Rebecca & Brad Christensen, proprietors; Pride of Dakota Flax and U Store It, Paul Anderson, owner; Oleo Acres LLC, Bill Anderson & Paul Anderson owners; Dave Bergeman, Farmers Union Insurance; Sargent County Bank Rutland Station, Shawn Klein, Manager; Rutland Cayuga fire Department, Cam Gulleson, Chief; Bladow’s Used Machinery, Dave Bladow, proprietor; Cal Jacobson, Jacobson Plumbing, Heating and Excavating; Nelson Electric Solutions, Josh Nelson, proprietor; R2 Inc and Wild Rice Air, Rodney Erickson, owner; Anderson Law Office PC, Bill Anderson, Attorney; Jakes Feed and Seed, Jake Erickson, Proprietor; Bernard Mahrer Construction, Inc., Mitch Mahrer, President; The Old Parsonage, Kathy Brakke, proprietor; Dakota Precision Fabricating, Inc., Shannon & Hilary Mehrer, owners; Joe’s Ag Supply and Joe’s Fertilizer, Kenny Hamilton, CEO; Alley Cuts, Jen Christianson, proprietor; and, Waloch-Johnson Insurance-Rutland Office, Kristine Radke, Manager.  Santa Claus Day events concluded with the lighting of Rutland’s Community Christmas Tree, complete with the huge, lighted, star at its peak.  The new Christmas Sleigh built for Santa by Doug Spieker was also on display for all to enjoy.  His task performed, Santa and his  Stetson wearing elf teamster then returned to their North Pole Christmas Headquarters, via the Eden SD home of their special friends, Mr. & Mrs. LaRon Knebel, to load up the sleigh for Christmas Eve and make a final check of the “naughty and nice” list.  Before his departure, Santa Claus promised to return to Rutland next December for Rutland’s 70th Annual Santa Claus Day.  Debbie Banish expressed the thanks of the Rutland Raiders 4-H Club for a very successful Christmas Bake Sale held in conjunction with Santa Claus Day activities.  According to Debbie, more than $300.00 in free will donations to the 4-H Club were received.  Congratulations to the Rutland Community Club, and to 2014 Santa Claus Day co-Chairpersons, Doug & Cher Spieker, for a fun and memorable community event. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 19, 2014

Rutland and vicinity welcomed the break from arctic conditions that came in the form of a warm-up on the weekend of December 12-14.  Temperatures here were in the 40’s, nudging the 50 mark.  Saturday, the 13th, with sunshine, warmth and no wind, was the nicest day to bless this area since the end of October.  No matter how pleasant the weather was here, though, it was even more so to the west and south.  The Old Curmudgeon and spouse, Richard & Janet Bradbury, reported that the thermometer hit 70 on Thursday and Friday, December 11 & 12, on the front porch of the ranch house at their winter haven on the Warren Ranch southeast of Rapid City SD.  After a month of hard winter, a break is nice, but winter hasn’t even started, yet, and won’t until Sunday, December 21.  Winter conditions rode back in on the heels of a 40 mph north wind on Monday, December 15, reminding all that it’s still a long pull until Spring’s flowers rise up to greet April’s showers next Spring.  On the bright side, though, the earliest sunset for the year took place at 4:39 p.m. on December 11, and the days have already started getting imperceptibly longer on the afternoon end, even though they are still shortening up in the morning.  That does not seem logical, but it’s what the almanac reports.  Anyway, who will be so bold as to try to impose logic and order on the whims and fancies of Mother Nature?

Norbert & Beverly Kulzer drove to Sioux Falls SD last weekend, to watch granddaughters, Lauren and Brooke Kulzer, the daughters of Stephen & Ann Kulzer, play basketball for the Tri-Valley High team, and grandson, Will, take to the boards for the Tri-Valley Middle School.  Norbert reports that the girls’ team played 4 games, winning 2 and losing 2, while Will’s team took first place in gusto and enthusiasm but finished second in the scoring column.  The Kulzers returned to Rutland on Saturday, December 13, and report that it was a very pleasant drive. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 12, 2014

Rising temperatures have lifted spirits right along with the mercury this week, as the forecast is for the thermometer to push right past normal and into the 40’s, possibly even the 50’s, for this weekend, before dropping back down to the normal range, again.  Well, if you don’t like the weather right now, just wait a minute.  It’ll change.

The Sargent County Chapter of Pheasants Forever and the Windy Mound Chapter of the Wild Turkey Federation held a chili feed and 50 gun raffle on the evening of Saturday, December 6, in the Rutland Town Hall.  The Rutland General Store provided the chili for the event.  The event was held as a fund-raiser for the 2 groups.  A report of raffle winners has not been obtained as of this writing.

The Sage of Weber Township, Jack Brummond, accompanied by his granddaughter, Miss Hannah Brummond of Havana, was at the Round Table on the afternoon of Saturday, December 6, after an absence of nearly a year.  After offering to buy lunch, Jack was treated to a rousing rendition of “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” by the Assembled Wise Men, and also to the news that lunch was on the house, courtesy of The Rutland General Store, news that made The Sage almost as happy as learning that the Dow stock market average had reached 18,000, nearly 12,000 points higher than when Jack’s favorite President took office back in 2009.  The Sage reports that he is not as mobile as he used to be, and he has been so busy watching the stock market continue its climb into the stratosphere that he has hardly had time to stop for coffee and conversation.  With the Republicans now firmly in charge of the U. S. Congress, Jack is reconsidering his chances for 2016, and may make himself available as the Mug-Wump write-in candidate to put a taste of “Sage” on the White House menu as of January 20, 2017.  Meanwhile, though, Jack stated that he is once again selling raffle tickets for the VFW Youth Athletics program and has some guaranteed winners remaining for sale.  “Have ticket book, will travel,” reads the card of this man. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 5, 2014

With more than 2 weeks to go until Winter’s official arrival, the season has been making its impending entrance known with a prelude anthem consisting of four letter words: cold; snow; and, wind.  Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27, dawned crisp and cold, with the thermometer reading 15 below zero in Rutland.  The mercury has bounced from below zero to the upper 20’s since then, and the Winter of 2014-2015 appears to be starting up right where the Winter of 2013-2014 left off when it finally let up last Spring.

Paul Anderson flew from Fargo to Chicago on Wednesday, November 26 to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with his daughter and son-in-law, Katy & Josh Elfering, at their new home in the Windy City.  Also joining Katy, Josh & Paul for the Thanksgiving holiday in Chicago was Paul’s younger daughter, Betsy Anderson, who flew in from her home at Philadelphia, Mississippi.  Paul reports that the snow and wind on Wednesday delayed some flights into and out of the Twin Cities, including the 12:55 p.m. Delta Airlines flight which he was scheduled to take to Minneapolis, there to change planes for the flight to Chicago.  The 12:55 flight was delayed for 2 hours, which would have put Paul into Minneapolis too late to catch the flight to Chicago, but, as luck would have it, the 11:00 a.m. Delta flight from Fargo to Minneapolis had also been delayed by 2 hours, and Paul was able to switch his reservations to that flight, getting him out of Fargo on a 2 hour delayed flight only 5 minutes later than his original reservations.  Had he stuck with the original flight, he would have gotten into Minneapolis too late to make it to Chicago for Thanksgiving Dinner.  There’s more than 1 way to skin a cat, or an airline, it seems.  Paul also reports that he, Katy, Josh & Betsy visited a local Chicago brewery that was releasing a new beer on Friday.  There were about 1,000 people standing in line, waiting for their opportunity to pick up the 4 bottles per person limit on the new release, and Paul struck up a conversation with the young man next to him in line.  The young man lived in Chicago, but, when Paul said that he was from Rutland, North Dakota, he was informed that his neighbor in line was Casey Silseth, grandson of a Rutland native, the late Eugene Silseth, and great-grandson of the late Ted & Annie Silseth of this community.  Mr. Silseth said that he had visited Rutland in the company of his grandfather a number of years ago, and that they had stayed with his Grandpa’s cousin, Orvis Silseth, and his wife, Angeline, at their farm home south of Silver Lake at that time.  It’s a small world, isn’t it?  The former Silseth farmstead south of Silver Lake, known to earlier generations as the Penfield place or the Spande farm, is now owned and occupied by Trevor & Sarah Roth.  The house at 116 Dakota Street in Rutland which was once owned by Casey Silseth’s great-grandparents, and where his grandfather grew up, is now owned and occupied by Bill Anderson & Kathy Brakke.

Gary & Mary Ann Thornberg were in Fargo on Saturday & Sunday, November 22 & 23, watching one of their granddaughters, Taylor Lehar, compete in the Miss North Dakota USA Pageant held at NDSU.  Taylor, age 19, is the daughter of Julie (Thornberg) Rostvet of Park River ND and Tom Lehar of Milton ND.  She is currently pursuing a degree in communications at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.  Mary Ann reports that, although Taylor did not come away from the competition wearing the tiara of Miss North Dakota USA, she is a real champion as far as Grandma and Grandpa are concerned.  The Rutland community extends its congratulations and best wishes to Miss Taylor Lehar, a young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – November 28, 2014

Winter’s arctic grip relaxed for a couple of days last weekend when the temperature soared all the way up to 47 above on Saturday afternoon, and a nearly normal 37 degrees on Sunday, before once more plunging into freezing territory behind 25 to 40 mph winds on Sunday evening and Monday morning.  More cold weather is being predicted for Thanksgiving Day and the following weekend, but time will tell.  Meanwhile, button up your overcoat ‘cause, Baby, it’s cold outside.

Among the many things that most folks have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season – U.S. economy growing at 3.9%, unemployment rate at its lowest level since 2001; U.S. combat troops out of Afghanistan – is the fact that the average price of gasoline in the State of North Dakota is now under $3.00 for the first time since 2010.  In Rutland, the posted price on Rutland Oil Company’s self-service pump was $2.78 on the morning of Monday, November 24.  According to an NPR news report  last week, the director of the North Dakota branch of the American Automobile Association (AAA), expects that the price may decline even more, if crude oil prices remain at present levels or decline further.  The price of a barrel of crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken oil field has fallen from almost $120 to about $75 in the past few months, according to Ron Ness of the North Dakota Petroleum Council.  The break even point for Bakken crude is about $56 per barrel, according to Lynn Helms, Director of the department of State government charged with both promoting and regulating oil and gas production in North Dakota, so producers in the Bakken are still making a comfortable profit, even if the price has dropped by more than 35% from its highs.  The price decline has been prompted, at least in part, by the actions of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations that have dumped millions of barrels of crude oil onto the world market at reduced prices, in an attempt to remain relevant and recover market share that has been lost to American production.  American reliance on oil from foreign sources has declined from approximately 60% in 2008 to less than 20% in 2014, and America is the largest consumer of petroleum products in the world.  An article in the November 23 edition of the New York Times, though, points out that the oil boom in North Dakota that is pushing the U. S. toward energy self sufficiency has a down side as well as an up side, and that all that glistens is not always pure gold, particularly when it’s black gold.  The article can be found on line at: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/11/23/us/north-dakota-oil-boom-downside.html and it is interactive, with maps, charts and pictures, too.  The article is pretty well documented, but, as oil industry spokesmen have pointed out, just because it is well researched, well documented, objective, independent and factual doesn’t make it credible, at least as far as they are concerned.  It is the first in depth look at both sides of the oil boom, though, and it’s just too bad that no daily newspaper in North Dakota had either the journalistic courage or the commitment to objective reporting to do it first. Read More »

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