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The Rooster Crows – December 30, 2016

Mother Nature gave the entire region a Christmas gift consisting of 60 mph winds out of the southeast and heavy rains on Sunday, December 25, Christmas Day.  By 2:00 on Monday morning, December 26, though, she had changed her mind and took all of the air she had moved to the northwest on Sunday, back to the southeast with a northwest wind that was nearly equal in velocity to the winds of the previous day.  The temperature was up to 35 above zero early on Monday morning, but had dropped to 15 above by 11:00 a.m., turning roads, streets and sidewalks into a continuous skating rink.  Sargent County was spared the 8 to 12 inches of new snow that was dumped on much of North Dakota, though, so the roads remained open, if drivers could keep their vehicles from sliding off the icy road surfaces.  As of January December 30, there are only 82 days left until the First Day of Spring, so things are looking up!

This community was saddened on the morning of Thursday, December 22, when word was received here that Rutland native Mark Bauman had departed this life earlier that day at St. Gerard’s Nursing Home in Hankinson ND, after a lengthy illness. He had attained the age of 65 years, 3 months and 15 days at the time of his death. Earl Mark Bauman was born on September 7, 1951, at the Meyers Maternity Hospital in Rutland, the youngest of the 4 children of Robert and Harriet Ingeborg “Imbur” (Hoffman) Bauman. The family lived on the Ransom Township farm east of Rutland that had been homesteaded by Mark’s maternal great-grandparents, Fred & Ingeborg Ahrlin, back in the days of Dakota Territory. Mark’s father died in 1953, when Mark was less than 2 years old, and the family moved into Rutland, where his mother taught school. The Rutland Fire Hall now occupies the lot at 109 Bagley Street on which the Bauman family’s home was located.  At age 4 Mark contracted polio and had to lay in bed for 6 weeks. His grandparents, Harry & Lydia (Ahrlin) Hoffman, stayed with him in Rutland and helped him recover. He was always a willing worker, and began a lawn mowing service when he was still in Grade School.  He also worked for several farmers in the community, doing every farm job from milking cows to driving trucks and everything in between, and earned a reputation as a reliable, hard working young man.  Mark attended Elementary School in Rutland, and graduated from Sargent Central High School as a member of the SCHS Class of 1969.  Mark earned good grades in every subject except Deportment, where his active and energetic nature occasionally earned him a session in the Principal’s office. After he graduated from high school, Mark enrolled at the North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton, where he studied mechanics, metalworking and welding.  After completing his course of study at NDSSS, Mark was employed as a welder by the WilRich Company at Wahpeton.  Two years later he secured employment as a welder at Melroe Manufacturing’s skid-steer loader and farm equipment factory, now the Bobcat factory, in Gwinner.  He continued his employment there, working in welding, assembly and quality control, as well as running the paint line, until his retirement in 2013. Mark was a loyal and dependable employee.  The only time he missed work was when he had surgery to replace both of his knee joints at the same time, and he was under doctor’s orders to stay off concrete floors for several weeks.  In 1975 Mark married Diane “De-De” Bauer. They lived in Rutland during their life together, first at 316 Gay Street, in the house now owned by Jason Smykowski, and later next door at 322 Gay Street, in the house now owned by Cheryl Baker, and were divorced after 2½ decades of marriage. When he wasn’t working or sleeping, Mark was hunting and fishing.  His 2 boys, Mark Jr. and Travis, grew up accompanying their Dad on hunting and fishing excursions throughout southeastern North Dakota.  He also enjoyed his Schmidt beer, or, “Schmidties” as he referred to them.  Over the years, Mark acquired quite a collection of hunting and fishing equipment, but he was not a collector. When Mark acquired a piece of equipment, whether it was a rifle, shotgun, fishing rod or bow, he acquired it to use it, and he did.  He reloaded most of his own ammunition, and even salvaged lead from old plumbing and wheel weights to cast his own bullets. In 1982 Mark organized and supervised the pioneer black powder shooting demonstration and competition for Rutland’s Pride Of The Prairie Centennial Celebration.  Mark utilized all of the game he hunted and the fish he caught. Nothing went to waste, not meat, hide, horn, fur, fin or feather.  Mark was also a gardener with a green thumb.  He could raise tomatoes and cucumbers in places where others couldn’t even raise rocks. He canned and preserved his own produce, and kept himself in vegetables throughout most of the year.  Mark was a member of Nordland Lutheran Church, the Rutland Sportsmen’s Club and the United Steel Workers Union. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.  Mark is survived by two sons: Earl Mark Bauman Jr. (Tiffany) of Lidgerwood; and, Travis Bauman (NeTia) of Fergus Falls MN; by 1 sister, Kathleen Brakke of Rutland; by 2 brothers, Robert Bauman of Portland OR; and, Ronald “Red” Bauman of Fergus Falls MN; by 3 granddaughters; and, by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  At his direction, there will be no funeral service.  The family held a brief memorial service and celebration of Mark’s life at 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 27, at the Frank Funeral Home in Lidgerwood. His cremains will be interred in the Rutland Cemetery, near the graves of his parents, grandparents and other family members in a private ceremony at a later date.  The Rutland community extends its condolences to the family and friends of Mark Bauman, a good and loyal friend who marched to the beat of his own drummer. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 23, 2016

A crew consisting of Rodney Erickson, Mac Pherson, Chuck Sundlie and Paul Anderson placed Rutland’s Community Christmas Tree in its stand at the corner of First and Arthur Streets at about 4:00 p.m. on the afternoon of Wednesday, December 14.  The volunteers braved sub-zero wind chill to accomplish the task of readying the tree for decorations, lights and the tree lighting ceremony at the conclusion of Santa Claus Day on Saturday, December 17.  At Mac Pherson’s suggestion, Rutland’s 4 Christmas Elves also got all of the lights on the tree by having Rodney Erickson install the lights from the bucket of his telehandler while Mac, Paul & Chuck rotated the tree in its base.  “Adapt, improvise and overcome” works as well for Santa’s helpers as it does for the USMC.  The 20’ tall spruce tree had been donated to the community by the Joe & Patty Breker and the Doug & Cher Spieker families.  Joe & Doug had harvested the tree from a grove on the Breker farm near Frenier Dam in Tewaukon Township on Friday, December 9.

Kevin Gillespie returned to his home here on Tuesday, December 13, after several weeks of duty with his North Dakota Air National Guard unit, providing security for the Dakota Access Pipeline Company’s equipment near the Cannonball River, south of Mandan. Kevin missed Thanksgiving at home, and reports that it is likely that he will miss Christmas at home, too, as he has already been notified that he is to report back to his unit’s field position for additional security duty as of Saturday, December 17.  Kevin’s many friends here extend their thanks to him, and to the other National Guard members and law enforcement personnel who have been keeping the peace between the pipeline company and the protesters whose goal is to force the pipeline to take a different route.  It’s not much fun, being the keeper of the peace in the snow, and the cold, and the wind, but it is a task that needs doing.  Kevin and his comrades have done it well.  This Christmas, as we gather with our families to observe the holiday, pause to give a thought, and thanks, to the men and women who stand guard for America all around the world, in the bitter cold and in the searing heat, their holiday is spent far from family, home and friends.  The next time you encounter one of them, let them know that you appreciate the sacrifices that we, their friends and neighbors, have required of them. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 16, 2016

The temperature broke through the zero barrier on the morning of Friday, December 9, and plunged right on down to a reading of -8.  The wind of the previous week let up, though, so the cold did not feel quite as cold as it might have.  Wind chil, as we all recall from our discussions on previous long winter evenings during which there was little to do but argue about useless bits of trivia, is not a measure of temperature, but is a measure of the rate of cooling.  So, if the air temperature is 5 above and the wind chill is 20 below, and you are outside without your gloves on, your fingers will cool down to 5 above at the same rate as they would if it was 20 below with no wind.  So, the wind chill factor tells you how cold it would have to be without wind to feel as cold as it does now with the wind.  This is North Dakota, after all, so the fact of wind chill is a constant.  Only the degree of wind chill is variable.  How about that?!

A Christmas Appreciation Open House was held at the Sargent County Bank’s Rutland Station on Friday, December 9.  The event was hosted by Station Manager Shawn Klein.  Cider, coffee and 5 kinds of cookies were served.  According to Shawn, the cookies had been prepared by Rosie’s Bakery of Gwinner, and they were excellent examples of the baker’s art.  A large number of Bank patrons stopped in throughout the day to enjoy the hospitality provided by the Bank and its capable manager.  Paul Anderson won the drawing for the door prize, a Sargent County Bank key ring with a miniature $100 bill for a fob.  Shawn was proud to present Paul with his $100 key ring on Monday morning.  As of November 1, the Rutland Station of the Sargent County Bank had been in operation on Main Street for 40 years.  The Sargent County Bank’s many patrons in Rutland extend their thanks for 4 decades of service in the community, as well as best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Wealthy New Year. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 9, 2016

The wind blew, the snow flew, the temperature plummeted and Old Man Winter asserted his dominance over the northern plains, including Rutland, the community upon which the sun always shines, once again.  That Rutland sunshine looked an awful lot like low hanging clouds and blowing snow on Tuesday, December 6, though, and Sargent Central even sent students home from school early.  The thermometer registered 10 degrees above zero on the morning of Wednesday, December 7, and the first below zero readings for the season are predicted for the morning of Friday, December 9.  No one, not even The Old Farmer’s Almanack or the National Weather Service, can tell us what the weather will be like for the rest of the Winter, but, if it’s similar to what it was on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, we ain’t a’gonna like it.  For those who always say that they need some winter weather before they can get into the holiday spirit, though, the past few days means, “Merry Christmas!”

The Rutland City Council met at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 5, in the Rutland Town Hall with Mayor Ron Narum; Auditor Debbie Banish; and, Aldermen Rodney Erickson, Delores Lysne, Mike Mahrer and Bertha Siemieniewski; present.  Also in attendance were City Engineer Jarod Klabunde of Moore Engineering, Fargo; Calvin Jacobson of Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating; Bryce Carlson of Rutland Community Development Corporation; and, Bill Anderson, Rutland resident.  The City’s financial report indicated that all funds are in the black.  City Engineer Klabunde discussed the Local Transportation Alternatives Program (LTAP) grant application that has been prepared for submission to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, seeking a grant to finance the construction and reconstruction of sidewalks on Main Street and on the first block of Gay Street past the Rutland Town Hall.  The City has applied for this grant in 2013, 2014 & 2015, and has been close to obtaining the grant in each of the previous 3 years, but has not been chosen, yet.  If obtained, the grant would provide about 80% of the cost of the contemplated sidewalk improvement project, and the City would be responsible for the remainder of the costs, which could be paid by special assessment levied on property benefited by the improvement.  The Council approved the submission of the application to the North Dakota Department of Transportation for consideration.  Calvin Jacobson discussed the extension of Arthur Street across the Drain #8 drainage ditch and into the property owned by Dennis McLaen west of the legal drain, and a disagreement that he is having with the Sargent County Water Resource Board over payment of the bill for work completed to date.  At this point, the City has received no documentation from anyone, so no action was taken.  Alderman Rodney Erickson reported on the information he has obtained concerning the installation of exterior security cameras at the Town Hall.  Alderman Erickson is planning to obtain additional information for consideration by the Council at the January meeting.  The Council approved a contract securing the services of the State Health Department to check on water quality in the City’s municipal water system.  Alderman Delores Lysne discussed the maintenance and repair needs of some City owned buildings, including The Rutland Depot Museum, the Pioneer House and the old country school house.  The Council also reviewed a letter from Diane Pherson requesting that a special assessment for lot cleanup at 114 Bagley Street be removed.  The assessment has already been certified to Sargent County for collection with the 2016 taxes, though, so the Council will take the matter under advisement for 2017.  The Council also adopted a resolution recommending the re-appointment of Mayor Ron Narum to another 3-year term on the Sargent County Jobs Development Authority (JDA) Board.  Ron has served on that board since Sept. 5, 2000, when he was appointed as the representative of the County’s cities that have populations of less than 500.  The Council set its regular meeting times and dates for 2017 at 5:00 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, except when that day is a holiday, in which case the Council will meet on the second Monday.  After reviewing the City’s bills and approving payment, the Council adjourned.  The next meeting of the Rutland City Council is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 9, in the Rutland Town Hall.  All meetings of the Rutland City Council are open to the public, and citizens of the City are encouraged to attend. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – December 2, 2016

It’s not very often that the weather can be said to be “normal” around here, as weather conditions are usually only normal or average in that brief instant when they are going by, on the way to one extreme or the other.  The past week, though, may be said to have exhibited normal November weather: cold, but not too cold; wet, but not too wet; foggy, but not too foggy; and, miserable, but not too miserable.  In fact, conditions on Friday and Saturday of last week, the 2 days immediately following Thanksgiving Day, were downright nice, with sunshine, no wind and the temperature heading up into the mid-40’s.  The rain that has fallen since Sunday, November 27, has washed away all of the snow that had accumulated on roadways back on the 18th & 19th, but left the surfaces of most County and Township gravel roads in a soft and soggy condition that made driving hazardous for those whose only speed is FAST. One pickup made an unscheduled stop 2 miles east of Rutland at about 10:00 on the morning of Friday, November 25, when it slid into the south ditch of County #3, and then flipped end for end when the bumper and grill guard dug into the soft dirt at the bottom of the ditch.  The driver, who was wearing his seat belt, emerged from the wreck uninjured, but the same cannot be said for the pickup.  Paul Anderson’s electronic rain gauge at 309 Gay Street measured .75 of an inch of precipitation from Sunday, November 27 through the morning of Tuesday, November 29.  Paul had been up at his lake property near Nevis MN on Sunday & Monday, too, and reports that the 14 inches of snow that had fallen there during the weekend before Thanksgiving was all gone, washed away by the rain.  Winter is not vanquished yet, though.  Like the Terminator, it’ll be back!

Matt & Nicole Cramton of Minneapolis MN visited in Rutland from Monday, November 21, through Saturday, November 26, at the home of Matt’s mother, Renee Cramton.  Matt & Nicole were on hand for Thanksgiving Dinner, and paid a visit to The Old Parsonage while they were in town, as well.

Betsy Anderson returned to Rutland on Wednesday, November 23, after a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she visited some old friends from her college days at the University of Nebraska.  Betsy also toured a Community College near Lincoln, to check out a prospective teaching job there.

Joe & Nicole Rosenwald of Livingston, Montana, were Thanksgiving guests at the Jesse & Marcia Brakke farm home from Thursday, November 24 to Saturday, November 26.  The Rosenwalds son, Mason, enjoyed a day of pheasant hunting with Jesse Brakke and his English Setter, Rosie, on Friday, November 25.  The birds were wild, Jesse reports, and got up out of range for the most part, but that’s why it’s called “hunting,” isn’t it?

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