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Hens Do Crow – June 27, 2014

The sun was shining and the winds were favorable for the Sargent County Relay for Life in Milnor on Friday, June 20.  The event drew hundreds of county residents, family and friends in the fight against cancer.  The Rutland Rockets served up a lot of scalloped potatoes and ham and the brownies and ice cream were also a popular item during the heat of the day. The silent auction alone raised over $5,000 for the event and at last count the tally was nearing $88,000 with donations still coming in.  The books will be closed on the 2014 funding effort in August so if you missed it there is still time to contribute.  Rutland Rockets Chair Pam Maloney would gladly accept more donations for this fundraising event.

Mr. Dick Johnson of Hot Sulphur Springs CO was a Rutland visitor on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 & 22.  While in the community, Mr. Johnson got together with several of his cousins: Paul Anderson of Rutland; Beverly Schons of Fargo; Sonja Christensen of Wahpeton; Marilyn Anderson of Wahpeton; Bill Anderson of Rutland; and, Joanne Harris of Rutland; for an impromptu family reunion at The Rutland General Store where reminiscences and root beer floats were the order of the day on Saturday afternoon.  The cousins are descendants of Swedish immigrants John and Maria Peterson who homesteaded in Rutland Township with their three children: John; Emma; and, Julia; back in 1887.  Mr. Johnson stopped in Rutland while heading back home to Colorado after nearly a month of visiting old friends in western North Dakota and at his old hometown of Drayton, and a weeklong fishing trip on the Ontario side of Lake Of The Woods with friends from school days in Drayton back in the 1950′s. During his visit here, Mr. Johnson stayed at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on Saturday night and he rates the accommodations as “First Class.”  He plans to be back in Rutland at about the same time next year.  Mr. Johnson’s grandfather, Ole B. Johnson, served as Sargent County’s Clerk of Court for about 20 years during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th decades of the 20th Century.  His father, Chaude Johnson, was President of the State Bank in Drayton for many years.  Dicks career has been in newspaper journalism and publishing.  His great-uncle, the late Albert Johnson, once owned the Sargent County News in Forman, and his uncle, the late Omar “Bub” Johnson, at various times, owned both the Sargent County News at Forman and the Sargent County Teller at Milnor.

The Rutland Raiders 4-H Club, along with other 4-H-ers from the County, heeded the call to action at the Sargent County Fairgrounds on Sunday, June 22, to help get ready for the Fair. Panels and railroad ties were removed from the horse arena and rocks were picked, the barns were cleaned, the auditorium floors were scrubbed, signs posted, and the Exhibit building floors were swept.  Brightly colored trash cans will adorn the Fairgrounds thanks to several kids who spray painted them in various colors and designs.  The 4-H members have already submitted their project lists for the Fair – what are you entering in the Fair?  Bring your sweetheart for a fun weekend at the Fair and make sure to get to the Rodeo or the bands.  There is surely something for everyone so mark your calendar for this year’s Sargent County Fair on July 25, 26, and 27. Read More »

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Hens Do Crow – June 20, 2014

The peonies bloomed last week, just before the area received more rain so those blooms were short lived with rainfall and strong winds.  On the agricultural front, most farmers have finished spring planting but not without getting stuck in the mud.

Former WDAY-TV meteorologist Daryl Ritchison and KVRR-Fox News Meteorologist Rob Kupec of Fargo stopped in at the Rutland General Store for coffee and conversation on the morning of Sunday, June 15.  The two men were touring the Coteau des Prairie hills south of Rutland, retracing the route taken by early 19th Century explorers Joseph Nicollet and John C. Fremont when they had explored and mapped the area between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers back in the 1830′s.  At that time, the two American pathfinders had entered this region from the south, and had crested the Coteau where County Road #10 now crests the Coteau, about 6½ miles south of Rutland.  Mr. Ritchison, now on the faculty at NDSU in Fargo, stated that his interest in the Coteau dated back to his college days, and that he had done his Master’s Thesis in Meteorology on the effect that the Coteau des Prairie has on weather patternsthroughout this region.  Both Mr. Ritchison and Mr. Kupec have been familiar faces on TV screens in local living rooms for many years, butthis was their first visit to Rutland “in the flesh.” They stated that they were very impressed with the Rutland General Store, and enjoyed visiting with the many people in the “after church” Sunday morning coffee crowd.  While in the Store, they picked up a brochure on the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, and planned to take a look at that facility while touring in the area, too.  Both Ritchison and Kupec indicatedthat they would plan to be back in Rutland for the Rutland Rib Fest in August and Uffda Day on the first Sunday in October.

Rutland native Dick Meyers was in town on Saturday, June 14, visiting with friends over coffee at the Rutland General Store & Cafe. He currently makes his home in Sun City AZ but will be haunting the Rutland area until the School Reunion on July 4, 5, and 6.  Dick is a member of the RHS Class of ’50 and will have plenty of stories to tell to former classmates at the reunion.

The City of Rutland’s recent electronics recycling drive was a success – if success is determined by the fact that the 42 foot semi-trailer was filled with castoffs from Rutland residents.  The trailer full of computers, monitors, printers, televisions, and refrigerators, freezers and washers and dryers and other electronics and metal items will be removed from the City Municipal Waste Site by the end of the week. Thanks to everyone who participated in the effort to keep the City clean and to reduce our environmental footprint. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – June 13, 2014

It’s springtime, and it’s time for dining on the deck, the deck of the Coteau des Prairies Lodge, that is.  About 80 diners were on deck for the evening of Wednesday, June 4, to enjoy the “Seafood Boil” at the Lodge.  Lobster, shrimp, cod, potatoes, corn on the cob, carrots, onions, German sausage, Cajun sausage, green beans and asparagus were all prepared by being boiled in a huge kettle by head chef Joe Breker.  The diners were seated at long tables that had been covered with white “butcher paper,” the kind that stores used to wrap meat, cheese and other items in back in the days before everything came pre-packaged and shrink-wrapped.  When the boiling was complete, the water was drained off, the kettle was carried over to the table, its contents were distributed down the center of the table, and the participants were instructed to “Eat hearty!”  Eating utensils were the ones with which Mother Nature had furnished each diner, found at the ends of their arms.  Each table was equipped with an ample supply of paper towels, and each diner was furnished with a small container of drawn butter for the occasion.  Salt and pepper shakers were the only extras on the tables.  The staff at the Lodge could not have ordered a more perfect evening for the event, as patrons enjoyed a warm, windless, and insect free evening on the deck, savoring a magnificent view of the prairie and a beautiful sunset, along with a delicious and unconventional dinner.  After eating their fill of the main course, diners moved into the Lodge for dessert, a rhubarb cake-crisp served with ice cream.  A fork was provided with dessert.  The Lodge has many more events coming up throughout the summer and fall, says Olivia Stenvold, Manager of the facility, and anyone interested should give Olivia a call at 680-1175, or check out the Coteau des Prairies Lodge’s internet web site at  Events at the Lodge are more than dinner and a room with a view.  They combine a beautiful facility at a magnificent location with careful planning and friendly presentation to produce an exciting, enjoyable, and memorable experience.  Congratulations to Olivia, Austin, Joe, Patty, Phil, Lindsey, Doug, Cher and the rest of the staff at the Coteau des Prairies Lodge on another great event.

Cement was poured for a new concrete driveway and sidewalk at 116 Dakota Street on Wednesday, June 4, bringing the construction of a new 32’ X 48’ addition, including a 1½ stall attached garage, to the existing 104-year-old residence one step closer to completion.  Buskohl Construction has been the primary contractor on the project, with Jacobson Plumbing, Heating & Excavating installing the pipes and air handling equipment, and Nelson Electrical Solutions of Rutland doing the wiring.  Materials for the project have been obtained from Martinsen’s Home Center, with the exception of wood salvaged from the old buildings that have been in the process of being removed from the premises while the project has been in progress.  Jim Brown of Rutland has been doing the demolition work while skillfully preserving much of the old lumber for recycling in this and future projects.  The previous owner of the property, the late Dennis Narum, a skilled carpenter and cabinetmaker, had already recycled much of the material at least once so it is now on its second or third reincarnation.  Final installation of plumbing fixtures, lighting and interior trim, as well as construction of a new front porch, are expected to be completed before the end of July, hopefully in 2014, according to Kathy Brakke, one of the current owners of the premises. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – June 6, 2014

With some local farmers done with their 2014 planting, and others racing to finish before the crop insurance deadlines of May 31 for corn and June 10 for soybeans, last weekend’s rains were either a blessing or a curse, depending on the perspective of the person upon whom the raindrops fell.  The .2 of an inch of rain that fell on Saturday, May 31, coupled with the showers on Sunday, June 1, brought the total to .4 of an inch in Rutland for the weekend, according to Larry Erickson’s rain gauge at his farm 2 miles south of town, and according to Norbert Kulzer’s gauge on the east side of the city.  A little farther south and east of Rutland, though, there is some disagreement.  Joe Breker reports that he had two rain gauges out in his farmyard, right beside each other.  One gauge showed .5 of an inch while the other registered .33 of an inch.  Among courtroom litigators there is an old saying that, “the only thing worse than having no witness is having more than one.”  Apparently, the same holds true for rain gauges, as well.

After a slow start, fishing action has been picking up for local anglers. Greg Donaldson reports that local waters have been producing some good catches of walleyes for those who practice the piscatorial arts with diligence.  Buffalo Lake was a hotspot during the last week in May, and Sprague has been producing some nice catches of walleyes and crappies.  Walleyes, crappies, and northern pike have been biting, off and on, at Lake Tewaukon, according to Mark Bauman, and Mark reports that he has brought in a couple of nice catfish from the Wild Rice River near Lake Tewaukon, as well.  Jerry Dill of Dilly’s Bar & Grill, Stirum, reports that Kraft Lake in northwestern Sargent County has not yet begun to produce walleyes at last year’s rate, but the water in the 30 to 35 foot deep lake is still quite cold, he states, and he expects the fishing to pick up in a week or two.  Jerry advises fishermen to check the weather and to come on over to Kraft Lake after the next good rainfall.  Dilly’s Bar & Grill in Stirum is open from 10:00 a.m. until closing time each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, says Jerry.  On Sunday afternoon, Monday, and Tuesday, though, he’s fishing. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – May 30, 2014

Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2014, dawned with a gray and somber overcast sky.  A cool northeast breeze rippled the American Flags displayed on Main Street, as early diners stopped in at the Rutland Café for the morning’s first cup of coffee and some breakfast to start the day.  At 9:45 members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion began assembling in preparation for the annual tribute to America’s war dead and those veterans who survived their respective armed conflict but have since passed away.  “Does this rifle work?” is asked, as the bolt of a Model 1903A3 Springfield that is at least 30 years older than the oldest Legionaire present is opened, slammed home, locked and the trigger pulled to produce a satisfying “click!”  “How many rounds do we need?”  It’s the same question every year, and every year, the answer is the same, “Twelve for the cemeteries, and one for practice.”  “Don’t get your tie caught in the bolt,” has been friendly advice ever since Norm Preble did exactly that about 25, maybe 30 or maybe even 35 years ago.  There are a few stories about Tom Shepstad, Roy Glarum, Clayton McLaen and others who once were among the detail paying respects to departed comrades, but now are among those to whom respect is paid.  “Fall in!” calls out Sergeant At Arms Cal Jacobson, a veteran of Vietnam.  Calvin has performed the Sergeant’s duties since the death of Clayton McLaen back in 2008, and Clayton had done the job for more than half a century before that.  Calvin runs the detail through the drill.  John Harris and Andy Hoflen carry the Flags, Ted Lee is the Chaplain who will read the “Memorial Prayer” and Roger McLaen, Tom Manley, Roger Pearson and Larry Christensen bear the rifles that will fire the volleys over the graves of those who have worn the uniform.  Miss Claire Brakke, who graduated from high school the day before, has her trumpet ready to play “Taps” at both the Nordland and the Rutland cemeteries.  Meanwhile, the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary, accompanied by daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters, as well as nieces and friends, are organizing the flowers that will soon decorate the graves of all who served in the military forces of the United States and its allies.  By a little after 10:00, the practices are done, instructions have been given and the participants begin the drive to the Nordland Cemetery, with Flags, flagpoles, rifles and flowers stowed in every available space.  At the Nordland Cemetery, a couple of dozen people are waiting, visiting with old friends as they walk around reading long forgotten names from tombstones, and remembering.  The detail lines up, and, as the Sergeant At Arms commands “ATTEN-HUT!” the people fall silent.  Cal gives the commands, “Right Face!  Right Shoulder Arms!  Forward March!” and the ceremony has begun.  At the appointed location, it has been the same spot for at least the last 68 years, he commands “Halt!  Order Arms!  Left Face!  Parade Rest!” He then instructs, “Attend the Memorial Prayer!” a prayer which Chaplain Ted Lee reads in a strong, clear voice.  The Sergeant At Arms then directs the ladies of the Auxiliary and their assistants, “You will deposit upon the graves of our departed comrades a token of our enduring memory.  These flowers may wither, but the spirit of which they are a symbol will endure until the end of time!” As the flowers are deposited on the gravesites, the Sergeant At Arms calls the detail to Attention, and gives the command,  “Port Arms!”  All rifles are brought up, angled across the body with the barrel up and the rifle butt down.    They’re snappy & precise, even though it has been more than 40 years since this command was first drilled into them during basic training.  “Load Rifles!  Aim!  Fire!” are repeated 3 times, followed by “Present Arms!”  At this command the trumpeter, for the past 2 years it has been Claire Brakke, Plays “Taps” and, as the last, mournful notes of that old melody fade away, the detail is marched back to the gate to head for the Rutland Cemetery, there to repeat the process 3 more times.  It was noted by several that 2014 was the first Memorial Day in anyone’s memory that Marvin Evenson, who passed away last September at the age of 101, was not present for the ceremony at Nordland.  Marvin’s younger brother, Orville, had been killed in action in Germany in March of 1945, only 6 weeks before the end of the war in Europe, and Orville, known as Bud, is the Evenson half of the name of the local Legion Post, Bergman-Evenson #215.  As the military rites are completed at the Rutland Cemetery, and as the last notes of “Taps” fade into memory, the clouds of the morning slide off to the east, revealing a clear, blue sky and the brilliance of the mid-morning sun.  The American Flag, at half-staff, still ripples in the morning breeze.  Following the ceremonies at the cemeteries, the American Legion Auxiliary presented a program at the Town Hall which was followed by a pot-luck community dinner sponsored by the Rutland Community Club.  Anyone who has ever attended a pot-luck community dinner in North Dakota can understand how you could start out with 5 loaves and 3 fishes and still feed 5,000, with food left over, before you were done.  A nice crowd of more than 120 attended the Memorial Day program, and among them were World War II veterans and charter members of Bergman-Evenson Post #215, Milton McLaen and Leif Sundlie.  Another World War II veteran, Gwen (Prindiville) Young, who is a 68 year member of the American Legion Auxiliary, was also present.  In Rutland, Memorial Day is a community reunion, an opportunity for old friends to get together to honor the past, discuss the present and get ready for the future.  We will do it again next year, same time, same location.  Don’t miss it! Read More »

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