Latest News

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.

Posted in Rooster Crows | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

Posted in Rooster Crows | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hens Do Crow – July 25, 2014

There was big excitement on Main Street last week when new gasoline and diesel pumps were installed at Rutland Oil Company’s self-service station here in Rutland.  The old “Gasboy” pumps were 13 years old and the meter readouts were mechanical.  The new “OBW” pumps are much faster and have digital readouts.  The credit card system was being installed on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 15 & 16. Greg’s grandfather, Iver Donaldson, was the Standard Oil Co. agent and bulk dealer in Rutland from 1907 to 1932, and he then helped out his friend and neighbor, Paul Kuester, owner of the Rutland Garage, deliver “White Eagle” gasoline and oil products until his death in 1942.  Iver’s 250 gallon bulk delivery wagon was powered by a team of draft horses, and fuel was conveyed from the tank wagon to the customers storage tank using a 5 gallon can and a funnel.  Greg’s Dad, Aldon Donaldson, acquired ownership of the bulk oil business in Rutland, then handling Socony Mobil products, in 1946 and operated the business until 1984, when Greg acquired the business from his father.  2014 is Greg’s 30th year in the bulk fuel business in Sargent County.

On Sunday, July 13, a crowd gathered at Lou Sanderson Field for a sendoff party for Peder, Connie, Emma & Ally Gulleson. Cameron Gulleson served up burgers from the grill to round out a huge pot luck spread.  The bases were loaded after supper with an entertaining mix of kids and adults for a rousing game of softball.  Ben Durbin, former pastor of Nordland Lutheran Church, & his wife, Ruth, made their way back to Rutland for the event.  The Gulleson’s will be heading to Bismarck in August where Peder has accepted a position as the Director of Music and Worship at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Read More »

Posted in Rooster Crows | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hens Do Crow – Friday, July 18, 2014

Bright, sunny weather greeted more than ninety descendants at the Couteau des Prairie Lodge on Saturday, July 12, for the Anderson/Narum/Donaldson family reunion, an event that has been held on a regular basis since 1951. Family arrived from California, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas along with twelve relatives from Norway.   The twelve Norwegians are cousins of several local residents including Bill Anderson, Chuck Anderson,  Dick Anderson, Paul Anderson, Beverly Brezicka, Greg Donaldson, Joanne Harris, Barbara Hayen, Doris Hoistad, Milton McLaen, Orville Nelson, Orvis Pearson, and Roger Pearson to name a few.  Irene Anderson, age 97, took the honors as eldest family member attending and 11 month old Celia Olson, daughter of Jeff and Rachel Olson of Rutland, was the youngest. The relatives gathered for a fun-filled day of visiting, food and entertainment. One of the highlights of the day was the performance of a play entitled “Parting,” written by Clifford Nelson and performed by a cast of cousins from both Norway and America.  The play tells the story of the six children leaving Norway providing an understanding of the difficulties of “parting” and the emotions felt by those who chose to remain in the homeland.  One hundred twenty five years ago, in March of 1889, Ole Anderson was the first to leave Norway, bound for Kirkhoven, Minnesota, on his way to North Dakota.  Eventually his siblings followed and established homes in the Rutland area.  Those siblings were Jonetta Olson Narum, Bernt Anderson, Otto Anderson, Netta Donaldson, and Josie Lauritzen.  Gina Onsrud and Lene Odberg remained in Norway to farm, raise their families, and also care for their mother and her small farm in the Snertingdal area, north of Oslo, near Lake Mjosa, Norway’s largest lake. Clifford Nelson, brother of Orville Nelson, wrote the play in 1989 as a tribute to his grandmother Jonetta Narum, her parents and her siblings. Clifford, a graduate of Sargent Central High School, was a teacher in Montana until his untimely death in 1996.  His legacy lives on in the plays he authored and in the school named for him and dedicated to his memory.  A family history book written by Danene McLaen was shared and enjoyed by many.  Roy Hildebrand and Doug Spieker also provided horse and wagon rides for the descendants and their family members at The Lodge.  On Sunday, several family members attended services at Nordland Lutheran Church, participated in activities at the John Narum Memorial Trap & Rifle Range at the Rutland Sportsmans Club, and toured the Sargent County Museum in Forman.  Some of the visitors will depart for Norway on July 17 while others will head to Iowa to meet host families from an event held two years ago. The next Anderson/Narum/Donaldson gathering will be held during the summer of 2016.

A large crowd of spectators gathered at Sanderson Field for the Rutland Park Board Men’s Slowpitch Softball Tournament on Saturday, July 12.  Six teams were in the competition – Gwinner Green Wave, Britton, Eden, Oaks JVG, Havana and the hometown Rutland Roosters. The Rutland Roosters lost their first game to JVG but won the rest of their games leading them to the playoffs.  JVG and the Roosters played for the championship last year and this year they again went head to head for the final game.  The Roosters came through at the end winning the championship for the second year in a row. The Rutland Roosters now have a 28-4 season record with three league games left to play.  The Roosters have another tournament this weekend, July 19, in Oakes, and the state tournament in Fargo on August 10.  Congratulations to the Roosters for a season well played. Read More »

Posted in Rooster Crows | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rutland Park Board – June 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Members Present:  Hal Nelson, Hilary Mehrer, Jeff Olson, Larry Christensen.  Not Present:  Barry Christianson

Secretary’s Report:  Motion to approve secretary’s report made by Larry, Hal seconded; motion carried

Treasurer’s Report:  No formal report given

Old Business

Men’s softball tournament will be on Saturday, July 12th and possibly extended to Sunday, July 13th.  Hilary and Jeff will be gone so we will be asking members of the community for their help with concessions.  Rob has lined up the umps.  Finalize concessions during next meeting.

Weed whacker was found but gas was put in it.  Vaughan Rorhbach is looking at it to see if it can be fixed.

Hilary mentioned that we should look at getting something to keep at the basketball court to help get the water off after a rain.  Will purchase a squeegee to keep by the court.  Also, a Rubbermaid container will be purchased to hold the basketballs that are left at the court.

New Business

Lumber delivered to fix the bleachers

Welcome to our newest members, Larry Christensen and Barry Christianson

Election of new officers:  Jeff made a motion to keep the three members positions as is and add Barry Christianson as president and Larry Christensen as member at large.  Motion seconded by Larry Christensen.  Officers are as follows:  Pres:  Barry Christianson, Vice President:  Jeff Olson, Secretary:  Hilary Mehrer, Treasurer:  Hal Nelson, Member at large:  Larry Christensen.

Chelsea Rohrbach has asked the Park Board if she can use the basketball court for her wedding on August 16th.  Legion was also contacted and they are fine with that.  We will let her know that the use of the park board facilities is a free will donation.

Possible use of the ball diamond on July 23rd for the Gulleson’s going away party.

Bag of mulch to be spread under the play structure before the 4th of July weekend.  Jeff will take care of it.

Meeting date is set for the 1st Monday of every month at 7:00 pm at the ball diamond, weather permitting, or the City Hall.  The meeting can be cancelled the day of, it just needs to be posted.

Jeff Olson made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Larry Christensen seconded.

Next meeting will be July 7th at 7 pm at the ball diamond.

Posted in Meeting Minutes | Tagged | Leave a comment

Read all news stories...