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The Rooster Crows – August 22, 2014

The lightning flashed, the thunder rumbled and 2 inches of rain drenched Rutland and its immediate vicinity on the night of Saturday, August 16 and into the morning of Sunday, August 17.  A rain cloud that seemed to materialize out of the clear, blue sky dropped another .1 of an inch of rain on the community at about 4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 18.  The rain was warm, came straight down, and was immediately absorbed by the thirsty earth.  Much, if not most, of the wheat in this area had been harvested before the rains came on Saturday, and the general consensus among The Assembled Wise Men was that the corn and soybean crops have benefited mightily from the recent precipitation.  Rainfall amounts dropped off sharply south of town, though, and the normal rain track along the hills reported only ½ to ¼ of an inch of precipitation in the past week.  “Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick,” is the opinion of farmers with fields in that area, but crops there will need some additional timely rains to attain their full potential.

Wedding bells have been ringing in August, and 3 couples with ties to this community scheduled receptions, wedding ceremonies, or both, in Rutland this month.  Katie Klubben, daughter of Brenda Smith of Rutland and Eric Klubben of Leonard ND, & Cassidy Black, a Lisbon native, were wed in a ceremony at the Smith Family’s vacation home on Clear Lake SD on Saturday, August 9, and held their reception and dance at the Rutland Town Hall that evening. Katie is employed as the Delicatessen manager at Hornbacher’s in Fargo.  Cassidy works at Trail King manufacturing in West Fargo.  The bride & groom are both 2006 graduates of Lisbon High School.  They will be making their home in Fargo.  Chelsea Rohrbach, daughter of Vaughan and Polly Rohrbach of Rutland, and Tyler Seelye of Oakes ND exchanged their vows at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland on Saturday, August 16, with Pastor Liesebet Gravley officiating.  An outdoor ceremony in the Park near the Town Hall had been planned, but 2 inches of rain required “change 1 to plan A, and the ceremony was moved inside.  The old saying is, “Wealthy is the Bride the rain falls on,” so the future looks good for Chelsea and Tyler.  A wedding reception, supper and dance were held at the Rutland Town Hall following the ceremony.  Chelsea is employed at Oakes Ready Mix in Oakes ND, and the groom is engaged in farming south of Ludden.  The couple will be making their home on a farm near Ludden.  This weekend, Samantha Hambeck, daughter of Diane Pherson of Grand Forks and the late Lenny Pherson of this community, and Josh Stenvold of Forman are planning to exchange vows on the ball diamond at Lou Sanderson Field on Saturday, August 23, with a reception and dance to follow at the Rutland Town Hall.  The Rutland community extends its congratulations to all 3 of these young couples, along with best wishes to all of them for long and happy lives together. Read More »

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Full Time EMT Needed

The Sargent County Ambulance Service located in Forman North Dakota is currently seeking Applications for the Position of a Full Time Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).     This position will work various shift schedules to include days, nights, weekends, and Holidays.  Shift scheduling is shared with the Fulltime Ambulance Coordinator and a Volunteer Squad.   This position will be filled immediately and a Second position will be advertised and opened up at a later date through the Sargent County Milnor Ambulance Squad.

Full Time Wage starting at $31,000.00 annually & benefit package pursuant to Sargent County’s Pay Plan is being offered.

Applicants must be a National Registered EMT.

Experience in the Field recommended but not required for application.

For more information please contact Marwood Klein, SC Ambulance Coordinator of Forman at (701) 370-0502 cell or email or visit; click menu; employment; for an application.   Applications are also available at the Sargent County Courthouse Emergency Management Office.   Deadline for application is September 15thth, 2014 by 5:00 pm.  Applications can be returned to the County Emergency Management office by mail at 355 Main ST S  Ste 3 Forman ND 58032; email to  or dropped off.   Sargent County is an equal opportunity employer.

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The Rooster Crows – August 15, 2014

The second week in August has been just about as nice as the first.  There was some rain, off and on, on Saturday, August 9, but it came straight down, with no wind and the .6 inch of precipitation that fell on Rutland was welcomed by local farmers and gardeners, alike.  After a late Spring that was characterized by high winds, cold temperatures and violent weather, the months of July and August have produced one of the most pleasant Summer seasons in recent memory – cool nights, warm days, plenty of sunshine, adequate rainfall and enough wind to remind us that we are still in North Dakota, without tearing the shingles off the roof or sending the barn door flying.  The corn and soybean fields that were looking sickly and puny back in June, have a healthy, robust appearance in mid-August.  Every silver lining has its cloud, though, and the potential for a very good crop that is now in the field has been noticed by the grain traders in Minneapolis, Chicago and elsewhere, keeping commodity markets on a downward slide in anticipation of a bumper crop ahead.

A Committal service for the mortal remains of Rutland native Ellis Sundlie, RHS Class of ’56, was held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, at the Rutland Cemetery with Pastor Liesebet Gravley officiating.  Mr. Sundlie’s family and a number of close friends were in attendance.  Military rites were performed by a detail from Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of The American Legion.  Ellis was the eldest son of the late A. C. “Slim” and Magdalene (Miller) Sundlie of this community.  He had passed away last spring at his home in Pahrump NV after a long battle with cancer.  Ellis and his wife, Cleone, had made their home in Salem OR for many years before moving to Nevada following retirement from the office equipment business.  Friends here remember him as an outstanding high school athlete, being a member of Rutland Rockets basketball teams that won back to back District Championships in 1955 and 1956, and as an all-star baseball player on high school and American Legion teams, as well as a couple of seasons on the Rutland Roosters amateur baseball team.  He is survived by his wife, Cleone (Mathieu) Sundlie of Pahrump NV, one son, one daughter, one brother, David Sundlie of Bismarck, by several nieces & nephews, and by many old friends in this community.  The Rutland community extends its sympathy to the family and friends of Ellis Sundlie, a baseball player from a baseball family in a baseball town, who has circled the bases and is now safe, at Home.

Kenny & Tanya Hamilton & family were on vacation at Battle Lake MN during the week of August 3-10.  Kenny reports that the weather was beautiful throughout the week.  Grandma & Grandpa, Sheila & Steve Wyum, joined the Hamiltons at the Lake on August 7 & 8. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – August 8, 2014

It was 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 1, 2014. At least that’s what it was when the house lights went down, the stage lights came up and the curtain opened on Entertainment Unlimited’s 19th annual Childrens Summer Theater production, “There Ought To Be An App For That,” in the Rutland Town Hall. It didn’t take long, though, for both the date and time to take a dramatic change. Using a little known smart phone application, 3 time travelers stayed in one place, right here in Rutland, North Dakota, but traveled back in time for more than a century, to 1900, and then made stops in 1930, 1970 and 1990 on their way back to the present, meeting up with their great-great grandparents, great grandparents, grandparents and parents on the way. With snappy dialogue, period jokes and contemporary music, the time travelers and their ancestors demonstrated the old truth that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The cast included: Jacob Mehrer; Emma Howey; Gaven Christianson; Josephine Nelson; Thomas Mehrer; Hannah Siemieniewski; Cora McKinney; Jaylin Fulin; Abbey Erickson; Tyson Siemieniewski; Devonte Allen; Tyler Banish; and, Gabi Christianson. Musical numbers performed by the cast were: You’re A Grand Old Flag; God Bless America; The Ragged Old Flag; and, God Bless The USA. The play was directed by Diane Smith. Barry Christianson and Brad Siemieniewski set up the stage; Shannon & Hilary Mehrer worked with the sound system and stage sets; and, Ron Narum set up the lighting for the performance. The large crowd in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the performance, which had them laughing from beginning to end. Congratulations to Entertainment Unlimited on another successful production.

The big performance was on Rutland’s Main Street on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, August 2, as a dozen rib chefs demonstrated their skill and practiced their art for the benefit of the gathered throng of rib aficionados in the 6th Annual Rutland Rib Fest. Prior to serving their wares to the public, each chef submitted a sample of his or her ribs to a panel of 3 judges: Pastor Liesebet Gravley of Rutland; rib expert Mark Wyum of Rutland; and Gerald Martin of Sequim WA, father of Rebecca Christensen; to determine who made the “Best Ribs In Rutland” for 2014. As the judges tasted and pondered, diners enjoyed ribs, sauerkraut, corn on the cob, chicken on a stick, cotton candy and other delights prepared and served by vendors on Main Street. The “Earl Fust Band” entertained the early crowd with Golden Oldies from the outdoor stage set up at the intersection of First (Main) Street and Front Street, and the “Raw Sugar” band took over as the sun went down to keep the crowd dancing in the street well into the late evening. Miss Rutland, Hailey Hamilton, sponsored 2 fund-raisers: a “dunk tank” that offered chances to hit the target with a baseball, plunging a volunteer victim into a tub of cold water, that raised funds for the Rutland Park District; and, a bake sale that soldd home-baked breads cakes and cookies to support the training of “Sarge” the service dog. Among those who volunteered to take a dunking for a good cause were Rib Fest promoter Debbie Liermark and local handyman Jim Brown of Rutland. Winner of the Best Ribs In Rutland title for 2014 was Lisbon native, now Milnor businessman, Lee Hanna, who recently acquired ownership of Chunky’s Standard Service Station in Milnor. 2nd place went to another Milnorite, Harold Thorson, who has competed in all 6 Rib Fest events and markets his special barbecue sauce in many local retail establishments. Third place and the People’s Choice Award went to the Mahrer brothers, Mike & Kyle, of Rutland, for their Mahrer-B-Que ribs, prepared with their own “secret recipe” rub and sauce. For dessert, the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary served pie, ice cream and coffee in the Seniors’ Center. During the early hours of the event, many sought refuge from the heat of the sun in the cool air-conditioned interiors of the Lariat Bar, the Seniors’ Center, The Rutland General Store and The Old Parsonage, but as the evening progressed it became obvious that Rib Fest attendees had been blessed with a perfect Summer evening – no wind, comfortable temperature, no mosquitoes, stars in Heaven, good ribs, good music and good friends. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

The Nordland and Trinity Lutheran congregations of Rutland and Havana bade farewell to Pastor Liesebet Gravely at a combined service held in the Pioneers’ Pavillion at Silver Lake Park at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 3. The service was followed by a pot-luck dinner in the Park. Pastor Gravley has served the 2 congregations for the past year as an intern in a co-operative program sponsored by the Nordland and Trinity congregations, the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran seminaries sponsored by the ELCA. Pastor Gravley will be returning to the seminary in Chicago to conclude her pastoral training before ordination. Her final services at Nordland and Trinity will be on Sunday, August 10, and she has also promised to conduct a wedding ceremony in Rutland on Saturday, August 16. Retired Pastor Curt Larson, a member of the Nordland Congregation, will be conducting Sunday services on August 17, and the new intern pastor, Erik Karlson, is scheduled to arrive on Thursday, August 21. It is reported that Pastor Karlson had experience in the U. S. military and in private business prior to being called to the ministry.

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 4, with Mayor Ron Narum, City Auditor Debbie Banish, and Aldermen Brad Christensen, Rodney Erickson, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski present. The financial report showed all funds to be in the black. The Council approved 3 applications for raffles, one to the Rutland American Legion Auxiliary for a Quilt Raffle on Sunday, October 19, one to the Wild Turkey Federation for a gun raffle on Sunday, December 6, and one to the Sargent County Chapter of Pheasants Forever for a gun raffle on Sunday, December 6. The Council also adopted 2 resolutions, one authorizing the County Auditor to levy up to 1 mill against the taxable value of property in Rutland to support the County Park at Silver Lake, and the other requesting that the question as to whether the City of Rutland should be authorized to grant a property tax exemption as an incentive to improve or construct retail business property within the City of Rutland be placed on the November General Election Ballot. Both resolutions were adopted, unanimously. Council members discussed several delinquent water, sewer and garbage collection accounts that exceeded $200.00, and decided that the time had come to start turning off the water service to thos properties. The Council also discussed the matter of collecting for the expense of removing a derelict mobile home from the Cityback in June. Information obtained by the City had indicated that the derelict property was owned by Kyle Mahrer, but Mr. Mahrer now denies that he was the owner and disputes the assertion that he is responsible for the cost of removal. The Council tabled the matter pending further investigation. Due to the Labor Day Holiday on Monday, September 1, the next meeting of the Rutland City Council will be at 5:00 p.m. on either Tuesday, September 2 or Monday, September 8, in the Rutland Town Hall.

The Rutland Community Club met at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 4, in the Rutland Town Hall. Lori McLaen updated members on preparations for Rutland’s 30th Annual Uff-Da Day, scheduled for Sunday, October 5, 2014. Bill Anderson reported that the Aberdeen SD Fire Department Pipe & Drum Marching Bagpipe Band that led the Uff-Da Day Parade back in 2012, will be back in the Uff-Da Day Parade in 2014. Paul Anderson reported that plans are also moving ahead for the Uff-Da Day pedal-powered tractor pull. Lefse production for Uff-Da Day will commence later this month, Lori reported. Club members also discussed the possible acquisition of a sweeper bucket for the City’s Bobcat, the purchase of new bleachers for use at Lou Sanderson Field and for other community events, and the addition of community information to an updated version of the Nordland Lutheran Church sign currently in place along ND Highway #11 north of Rutland. Paul Anderson reported that Prof. Amy Phillips of Minot State University and Prof. Scott Bolduc of Minnesota State University-Moorhead will be at the Rutland Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, August 11, to present “Coffee, Chickens And Conversation: The Role Of The Post Office In Rural North Dakota.” The presentation is based on research conducted by the 2 professors following the Postal Services aborted attempt to close thousands of Post Offices across rural America back in 2011. Professors Phillips and Bolduc had interviewed several Postal patrons in the Rutland community while gathering information for their report.

Wheat harvest has begun in the Rutland area. Ted Lee reports that Joe Breker was harvesting winter wheat 4 miles south of town on Tuesday, August 5. No report of yield or quality has yet been obtained, so for now, “It sure looks good from the road!” will have to do. Ted states that the harvest of spring wheat will likely begin on the Lee farm within the next week.

Paul Anderson drove to Fargo for a Grape & Wine Association board meeting on Tuesday, August 5. Paul states that grapes are very sensitive to most herbicides, and the grape growers are working with the producers of other ag commodities, as well as with ground and aerial chemical applicators, to minimize adverse impacts from the inadvertent drift of herbicides. Paul also reports that many North Dakota vineyards suffered losses due to the long period of severe cold last winter. Paul is currently serving as secretary of the North Dakota Grape and Wine Association. He has a small vineyard here in Rutland, and he is also a partner with Kurt Breker in a larger vineyard on Kurt’s farm south of Cayuga.

Veblen South Dakota native Dan Tobkin accompanied his father-in-law, Orvis Pearson, to the Rutland Café for coffee, conversation and a hearty breakfast on the morning of Wednesday, August 6. Dan, along with his brothers, John, Joe and Doug, is a former owner of the Spring Valley Cheese Factory that used to be located in Veblen. He states that the family sold the cheese plant back in 1994. Dan and his wife, Cindy, currently make their home in Tucson AZ. His brother Joe lives in New Mexico, John is in Watertown SD and Doug makes his home in Kindred ND. Dan says that he doesn’t miss the Dakota winters, but he is considering becoming a summer “Sunbird” to escape Arizona’s mid-summer heat.

Coming up at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge this weekend is the Neapolitan Pizza event from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 9, and from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 10. The pizzas are hand made, and baked in a super hot, wood fired, brick oven. For reservations, go on line to the Lodge’s internet web site at, or call Olivia at 701-680-1175. Also, don’t forget the First Annual Tewaukon Music Festival featuring several entertainers, including the fantastic “TigrLilly” duet, that will be held on Saturday, August 30, in a natural, outdoor amphitheater near the Lodge. Thirty years from now, when someone says, “Do you remember the first one?” you will want to be able to say, “Remember it? I was there!”

Well, that’s the news 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 Rutland blog and Facebook page while you’re cruising in cyberspace, too. Remember to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Just because we managed to hang onto 4 hours of service each day at the Rutland Post Office doesn’t mean that Darrell Issa and other corrupt and venal members of the Tea Party caucus have given up on their quest to destroy the Postal Service in rural America. Be in Rutland on Monday, August 11, to hear the presentation on the role of the Post Office in rural North Dakota. Thanks to Debbie Banish for her excellent writing, and for the great job of reporting community events that she has done for the preceding 7 weeks. When you see her, let her know that you appreciated her efforts. Later.

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Hens Do Crow – August 1, 2014

The Sargent County Fair, held last weekend, July 25-27, 2014, was the 91st Sargent County Fair in Forman.  The Rodeo, demolition derby and bands on Friday and Saturday evening drew large crowds.  The Rutland General Store’s Toni Hajek managed the food stand at the fair this year and several reports from Rutland folks said the food was delicious as always.  Hailey Hamilton, Miss Rutland 2014, represented the community in this year’s Miss Sargent County Pageant on Sunday evening, performing well and finishing as Second Runner-Up.  The Rutland Raiders 4-H Club had a number of members who brought home purple ribbons in static categories, some several purple ribbons, including Emma Gulleson, Tony Banish, Austin and Fletcher Willprecht, Emily Hamilton, Ali Gulleson, Charlize Willprecht and Hannah Siemieniewski.  Not to be outdone, several also had purple ribbons in the livestock categories:  Emma and Ali Gulleson, swine; Emma Howey, horses and sheep; Mollie and Addie Robbins, rabbits, sheep and goats; Ali and Emma Gulleson and Austin and Fletcher Willprecht, beef.  The Rutland Raiders nearly took a full sweep for the weekend in Overall Herdsmanship (missing out on the beef): Sheep – Emma Howey; Swine – Ali and Emma Gulleson; Goats – Addie and Mollie Robbins.  More detail on winners in all categories and from all the 4-H Clubs will be available in The Teller in about two weeks. Congratulations to the members of the Sargent County Fair Board, the Sargent County Extension Agent’s Office and to all the County 4-H Clubs for their outstanding effort at the 2014 County Fair.

It’s showtime!  The Entertainment Unlimited annual summer children’s theater program will be presented at the Rutland Town Hall, Friday, August 1, at 7:00 p.m, Free-will admission.  “There Ought to Be an App for That!” involves two time travelling brothers and a friend who visit Rutland in 1909, 1933, 1972 and 1991.  The cast includes: Host Jacob Meher; Time Traveler brothers (Thomas Mehrer and Gavin Christianson) and their friend (Josephine Nelson); 1909 cast – Mother (Hannah Siemieniewski) and Daughter (Cora McKinney); 1933 cast – Big Brother (Tyler Banish), Little Brother (Tyson Siemieniewski) and Mother (Hannah Siemieniewski); 1972 Cast – Teenage Boy (Jaylin Ross) and his Brother (Davonte Allen), Teenage Girl (Abbie Erickson), Mrs. Johnson – the rubbernecking neighbor (Gabi Christiansen), and party-goers (Tyson Siemieniewski, Tyler Banish, Emma Howey).   The show is a single night performance so be sure to come for this year’s production and learn a bit of Rutland history as well.  This 19th annual production of Entertainment Unlimited’s Children’s Summer Theater in Rutland is made possible, in part, with a grant from the North Dakota Council of the Arts, reports Diane.

Saturday, August 2, is the sixth annual Rutland Ribfest competition starting at 5:00 p.m.  The American Legion Auxiliary will also be holding the pie and ice cream social in the Rutland Senior Citizen Center for those looking for dessert.  In addition to good dining, the Earl Fust Band and Raw Sugar will be entertaining throughout the evening.  Don’t miss it.  Good friends, good ribs, good drinks and music always add up to a good time in Rutland.

Nordland Lutheran Church Sunday morning service will be at Silver Lake at 10:00 a.m. on August 3.  Following the service, there will be a farewell potluck for Ms. Liesebet Gravley who has served as intern Pastor for the Nordland and Trinity Lutheran Congregations since August 2013. She came just in time for Ribfest last year and is moving on just after this year’s Ribfest.  The Rutland community extends a hearty farewell and good luck to Pastor Liesebet Gravley.

That’s it for happenings in Rutland and for this writer. Back to your regular news starting next Friday.  See you in Rutland this weekend!

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