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The Rooster Crows – March 14, 2014

Maybe complaining about the weather actually does do some good.  A week ago it appeared that the winter of 2013-14 would never end, and even up to last Saturday, March 8, frigid temperatures held sway.  But then came Sunday, with sunshine and a high in the mid-50’s, followed by Monday with more sunshine and another high in the mid-50’s, and all of a sudden things are looking up, everyone’s smiling and spirits are soaring.  More cool weather is predicted in the next couple of weeks, but nothing like the unrelenting cold that had held the region in its icy grasp since December.  Spring ain’t quite sprung, yet, but it’s getting wound up and ready to jump.  Stand by!

All roads led to Rutland on the evening of Friday, March 7, for the 30th Annual Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s Great Northern Pike Fish Fry.  Skillets and deep fryers were sizzling hot in the kitchen of the Rutland Town Hall as the pan fryers and deep fryers produced northern pike filets in their latest competition for public favor.  According to Club vice-president Jake Erickson, the deep fried filets were favored by the early crowd, but the pan fried filets got the nod from the late diners, once again making the contest too close to call by the end of the evening.  Both teams will be re-evaluating production procedures and tuning up their seasonings in preparation for the next competition, set for the first Friday in March next year.  This year, the weather was cold but the roads were clear and nearly all of the holders of the 500 advance tickets sold for the event showed up to enjoy northern pike filets, baked potatoes, coleslaw and dinner rolls.  Mr. Erickson states that Club members had done an excellent job of preparing for the event, and were “Johnny-On-The-Spot” when it came to taking care of diners in the Hall.  Rutland Fire Chief Cam Gulleson reports that raffle winners of the three cash prizes in the Rutland-Cayuga Volunteer Firemen’s cash raffle were Matt McLaen, Forman – $500.00; Jeanie Odegard, Milnor – $300.00; and, Taryn Cunningham, Rutland – $100.00.  Planning is already underway for the 31st Rutland Sportsmen’s Club Great Northern Pike Fish Fry, set for Friday, March 6, 2015, in the Rutland Town Hall.  Don’t miss it.

Paul Anderson arrived home on the evening of Wednesday, March 5, at the conclusion of a 12-day winter vacation trip to Houston TX and Phoenix AZ.  While in Houston, Paul visited at the home of his daughter, Betsy, a history professor at Lone Star Community College, an institution of higher education with both on-line classes and several campuses in that sprawling metropolis.  On Friday, February 28, Paul & Betsy flew via United Airlines from Houston to PhoenixAZ for a weekend visit with Betsy’s maternal grandmother, Etha Quinlan, at her home in Sun City West.  Paul had driven from Rutland to Houston, and reports that the roads were clear on the way down, but were quite icy on the return trip. Read More »

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Land for Sale on Bids

The City of Rutland will accept sealed bids for the sale of property within the City as follows:

Parcel 1: MINIMUM BID $2,000.00. North 75’ Lots 9-10-11-12, Block 3, Greene’s First Addition, including the 1 story, frame single family residence.  The successful bidder will be required to make significant progress on either renovation or demolition of the existing residential structure within 6 months or ownership will revert to the City without any refund of the purchase price.

Parcel 2:  MINIMUM BID $ 400.00.  North Half Lots 13-14, Block 3, Greene’s First Addition.

Bidders may submit separate sealed bids for each parcel; OR, may submit a combined bid for both parcels.  Envelopes must be marked LAND BID PARCEL #1, LAND BID PARCEL #2, or LAND BID PARCELS #1 & #2. Bids may be mailed to: City of Rutland, PO Box 81, Rutland ND 58067-0081; or, may be hand-delivered to the Rutland City Hall, 115 Gay Street,  no later than Noon on Monday, April 7, 2014Bids will be opened at 5:15 p.m. on Monday, April 7, 2014, at which time bidders will have the opportunity to orally raise their bids.   Terms: Cash, on acceptance of bid by City.  A purchase agreement will be executed.  Conveyance by Quit Claim Deed.  The City reserves the right to reject any or all bids.

Deborah Banish
Rutland City Auditor
PO  Box 81
Rutland ND 58067-0081

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The Rooster Crows – March 7, 2014

When March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb.  At least that’s the conventional folk wisdom.  But, what happens when March comes in like a polar bear, as it has done this year, with sub-zero cold, wind chill factors that are even colder and no sign of letting up any time soon? As Minnesota born folk-singer Bob Dylan might say, the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind, and there has been plenty of wind this winter.  Only 2 weeks to go until the Vernal Equinox and the first day of spring, but there’s been little sign of a loosening in winter’s icy grip, yet.  Across the northern U. S., 100 million people are in much the same predicament as the soccer team whose airplane crashed in the Andes Mountains of South America several decades ago.  The plane hit the mountain near the crest, impacting in 10,000 years of accumulated snow and ice.  The survivors didn’t know that only a few hundred feet above them, just over the mountain’s crest, lay the verdant green of the Amazon Basin and rescue.  That’s where we are.  Behind us is the endless winter, eternal ice and snow, bitter cold, and brutal winds.  Just a little way ahead, hidden from view by the mountain’s crest, lies the green and growing fields of spring, sunshine, blue skies, and release from the confines of winter.  All we have to do is keep moving ahead to get there.  It’s out there, just a little ways up the road.  Keep moving folks.  Don’t give up.  We’ll all make it together.  Just a little bit farther to the green, green grass of spring.

The season of Lent began on Wednesday, March 5, and down in New Orleans the Mardis Gras season ended with the big “Fat Tuesday” celebration on March 4.  Here in Rutland, the closest thing to Fat Tuesday were the preparations for the 30th Annual Rutland Sportsmen’s Club’s Great Northern Pike Fish Fry, which will be held on the evening of Friday, March 7, in the Rutland Town Hall.  Five hundred tickets have been sold, and all will be ready when serving begins at 5:00 p.m.  To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the event the Club will be awarding door prizes to ticket holders throughout the evening.  The volunteer firemen of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department will also be holding a cash raffle in conjunction with the event.

A ticket for the fish fry is guaranteed to get you your limit, but some folks prefer to get their fish the old-fashioned way, by catching them.  Roger Pearson and Jim Huckell took Jim’s ice-fishing house out to BuffaloLake on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 4, and Roger reports that they managed to bring in a nice catch of medium-sized crappies.  The ice is thick, Roger states, and where the wind has swept it clear of snow, it is also very slick.  Jim’s ice-fishing house has spent most of the winter parked by the Mahrer Construction Company’s shop on the north side of Rutland, but the fishing was not very good at that location.  With no let-up in cold weather in sight, there are some predictions that ice fishing will continue through the summer this year. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – February 28, 2014

Six decades ago, the late country singer Hank Williams penned a song in which every verse ended with the plaintive lament, “Why can’t I free your doubtful mind, and melt your cold, cold heart?”  Across North Dakota and northern Minnesota that mournful question is becoming the theme song of the winter of 2013-14, which is shattering records for the most days with temperature readings in the below zero range in the century and a half since records of such a dismal statistic began to be kept.  After a brief glimpse of spring last week, the mercury has taken another nose dive and headed for the basement once again, delivering below zero readings each morning from Sunday, February 23, through Wednesday, February 26, with more of the same predicted through the first week of March.  The only hopeful sign right now is that the TV prognosticators are universal in their predictions of continued cold.  If their record for accuracy holds true, we should be enjoying tropical temperatures in short order.

 “No matter how bad you have it, there is always somebody else who has it worse,” the old-timers used to say, and that holds true for winter weather as well as the other afflictions of this life.  Lori McLaen of this community visited at the home of her sister in Minneapolis on Saturday and Sunday, February 22 & 23, and reports that, in addition to the bone-chilling cold, residents of that city are also dealing with huge amounts of snow.  According to Lori, the sidewalk at her sister’s home is flanked by 6 feet of snow on either side, and the streets in residential areas are so choked with snow that most are down to one lane of traffic, with huge walls of plowed snow obstructing visibility at every intersection.  “It might be cold out here on the prairie,” says Lori, “but at least you can see who’s coming at you.”  On the bright side, Lori states that her sister has developed another job skill, and is now an expert operator of both the snow blower and the snow shovel.

The icy conditions resulting from last week’s warm days and cold nights had at least one motorist finding a parking spot in the ditch north of Rutland.  A vehicle owned by Bill Hoflen of this community hit a patch of ice just north of the City Limits sign on the morning of Wednesday, February 19, and slid into the ditch.  There appeared to be little damage to the vehicle and no injuries were reported.  Road conditions can change quickly as the temperature swings between thawing and freezing, so caution is advised.  The area that was dry and safe last night can be ice covered and treacherous in a few, short hours. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – February 21, 2014

We may have finally been given a glimpse of the light at the end of winter’s long tunnel.  The light was shining through a lens made of ice, but it was a light, nonetheless.  With the mercury topping 40 degrees above zero on both Monday and Tuesday, February 17 & 18, and hitting the mid-30’s before noon on Wednesday, the 19th, the long siege of arctic weather may finally be nearing its end, or, at least may be getting closer to the end than it is to the beginning.  The forecast calls for conditions to fall back to “normal” for the next week, but even that is a hopeful sign, and an improvement over the conditions of the past few weeks.

Cold weather hasn’t dampened the spirits of local ice fishing enthusiasts, although reports indicate that the fishing action on local waters has slowed down somewhat over the past few weeks.  John Johnson of Langdon ND was visiting in-laws in the Barney ND area last weekend and accompanied his brother-in-law on a fishing excursion to Walstead Lake, about 5 miles west of Rutland, on Saturday, February 15.  Mr. Johnson reports that he and his companions had intended to do some spear fishing, but found that the water was too cloudy to allow for that practice so they fell back on the old tried and true hook and line method of angling, a practice that produced half a dozen nice perch and 2 frying pan sized northern for the anglers.  Mr. Johnson was formerly a high school music teacher at Langdon, and he also operated his family’s farm near Gardar ND, in the northeastern part of the State.  Among the high school students he taught during his teaching career was SargentCounty’s Social Services Director, Wendy (Tweten) Jacobson of this community.  Mr. Johnson and Rutland resident Bill Anderson were college roommates during their student days at the University of North Dakota back in the 1960s.  His wife, Kathy, is a Berg girl who grew up on her family’s farm near Barney.  Mr. & Mrs. Johnson met while both were students at UND, and Kathy also had a successful teaching career in Langdon.  John retired from both teaching and farming several years ago, but keeps active by working on humanitarian projects in the North Dakota-Minnesota region of the country, as well as internationally.  So, if you are ever going through an area that has been hit by a disaster and you come across a group of retired North Dakota teachers and farmers who are lending a helping hand, and one of them is pounding nails to a musical beat, ask him if his name is John Johnson.  If it isn’t, it ought to be. Read More »

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