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The Rooster Crows – September 26, 2014

The pleasant, late Summer/early autumn weather Rutland has been experiencing this month was interrupted, briefly, on the afternoon of Saturday, September 20, by a thunderstorm that barreled through with speed, violence, wind and rain.  The day had begun like the days preceding it, warm and sunny, but a cold front rushed across the area in the early afternoon, bringing with it a line of thunderstorms that brought a hard-driven rain to most of Sargent County, with reports of hail in the Havana area and a possible tornado sighting northwest of that community.  In Rutland, rain gauge measurements varied from .3 of an inch at Norbert Kulzer’s back yard, to .5 of an inch at Andy Hoflen’s farm and .75 in Jesse Brakke’s rain gauge between Rutland and Cayuga.  The rain came hard, fast and horizontally, and was over almost as fast as it had started.  The air behind the front was cooler and drier, making Sunday one of those beautiful days that make a person willing to live through the other 364 days in the year just to experience it.

Ryan Taylor, candidate for North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture, and Jason Astrop, candidate for North Dakota Tax Commissioner, were the featured speakers at the 26th District Democratic-NPL Campaign Rally held at Lisbon on the evening of Wednesday, September 17. A crowd of about 60 gathered in the Gazebo at the North Dakota Veterans Home to enjoy a picnic supper of burgers, beans and bars, and to enjoy the music of the popular local band, Raw Sugar, prior to hearing from the candidates.  State Sen. Jim Dotzenrod and Representatives Jerry Kelsh and Bill Amerman also addressed the assembly.  A pie auction and other donations netted about $2,500 for the 2014 campaign, reports 26th District Chairman Paul Anderson of Rutland.  Other local folks attending the rally included Mark & Kathy Wyum, Duane & Sharon Lock, Orville Nelson, Steve & Sheila Wyum and Bill Anderson.

Two popular young people of this community, Hailey Hamilton, daughter of Kenny & Tanya Hamilton, and Kian McKibben, son of Rebecca & Brad Christensen, were elected Sargent Central Homecoming Queen and King on Wednesday, September 17.  Hailey is also the reigning Miss Rutland 2014, so she presides over a vast and expanding realm.  Yesterday, Rutland.  Today, Sargent Central.  Tomorrow, the World!  Congratulations to Hailey and to Kian on the recognition awarded to them by their fellow students.  Kian is also a member of the Sargent Central Cadets football team.  Hailey is not a member of the football team, but she is an accomplished musician and is a member of the Sargent Central Cadets choir. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – September 19, 2014

Four Thousand Three Hundred!!  The lefse count stood at 4,300, even, when Lefse Lena and her hard working crew finally stood down on the evening of Tuesday, September 16, according to lefse production coordinators Janice Christensen and Dianna Anderson.  In 14 sessions, the lefse crews averaged more than 300 lefse per session, not counting the “mistakes” which had to be consumed on the spot.  On Tuesday morning, September 16, Lefse Lena got some reinforcements when 6 High School Seniors from Lidgerwood High School came over to lend a helping hand and learn the art of lefse making.  The Lidgerwood High Independent Living class, consisting of: Kallen Jorgenson; David Novotony; Zach Frank; Jared Soreson; Seth Harles; and, Chase Heley; accompanied by their teacher Mrs. Rebecca Dathe, spent the morning with lefse turning sticks and rolling pins in their hands, and helped to roll out another 25 dozen lefse for Rutland’s 30th Annual Uff-Da Day on Sunday, October 5.  The regulars on the Tuesday morning lefse crew reported that the students did a great job, and that it was a real pleasure to have them come in and help out.  According to Mrs. Dathe, the boys had a great time, “…and they got fed royally, too.”  This same group of boys came over to help make krumkake 2 years ago, when they were Sophomores, reported Mrs. Dathe, and their first question when classes started this year was, “Do we get to go to Rutland, again?”  The answer was, “Yes!”  Lidgerwood High School’s Sophomore Independent Living class is also planning a trip to Rutland to help with sandbakkel production next week.  Mrs. Dathe and her husband, Donald, live on the family farm near the North Dakota-South Dakota State Line, south of Geneseo.

David & Patty Bladow took a short, late summer vacation trip over the September 5 weekend, with their first stop at Watertown SD on Friday to take in the antique and classic car show.  Pat states that more than 400 beautifully maintained, restored or modified automobiles were on display.  David & Pat have organized Rutland’s Uff-Da Day car show since it started, and they ran into many old friends at the Watertown show.  Rutland native Glen Larson (RHS Class of ’60) makes his home in Watertown and has frequently displayed autos he has restored in the Watertown car show, as well as at Rutland’s Uff-Da Day event.  Glen got his start restoring old cars out of necessity, by resuscitating and resurrecting his old ’49 Pontiac from the dead on several occasions back in his high school days, gaining valuable experience in the process.  Pat states that she was impressed by the friendly, welcoming business places in Watertown.  The Bladows then drove up the Red River corridor to the northeastern corner of North Dakota and a tour of the spectacular Pembina Gorge.  Finally a stop in Devils Lake ND, a city which Pat found to be nice, but unimpressive, brought their tour to its close.  They arrived home on the evening of Tuesday, September 9.  Pat stated that she had fun stopping at every fabric store on their route, shopping for hard to find fabrics requested by her many quilting friends.  Being a persistent shopper, she found some, too.

A meteor shower lit up the night sky at about 1:30 on the morning of Saturday, September 13.  Mac Pherson reports that there were at least 2 large, brilliant meteors that crossed the northeastern sky.  The ancients used to hold that the appearance of meteors, also called “shooting stars,” in the sky was a portent of significant events to come.  According to the coffee counter commentators, the fact that Mac was up and about at 1:30 in the morning was a pretty significant event in itself. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – September 12, 2014

The calendar says that autumn will arrive on September 21, but Mother Nature says different.  The Canadian cold front that moved through this area on Monday night and Tuesday morning, September 8 & 9, brought with it the the declaration that summer, short as it was, is over, and Autumn has taken its place.  Tuesday morning’s temperature was in the upper 40’s, so a frost is still in the future, but those hazy, lazy, crazy days of Summer are gone, gone, gone.

Riley Bros. Construction of Morris MN completed the bridge replacement by Darren Hoistad’s southwest of Rutland on County #5 on Thursday, August 28.  The company’s well trained and experienced crew of workmen replaced the old, timber frame bridge with 2 7’ X 10’ concrete box culverts, raised the road grade at the site by 1 foot, and did some bank repair and stabilization work at the site.  When the old bridge timbers were removed, it was apparent that they were badly deteriorated and that the replacement was needed.  The old bridge had done its job for the better part of a century.  The new concrete box culverts should last somewhat longer.  The William Scepaniak Company of Holdingford MN began work preparing 13 miles of County #5, from County #10 south of Rutland to County #4 at Brampton, for a new gravel overlay.  The Scepaniak Company is purchasing gravel for the project from Bernard Mahrer Construction Co. of Rutland.  The contract provisions call for the company to pull in the shoulders, shape the top of the road and apply 1,500 tons of ND Class 13 gravel per mile to the road surface.  This is the first time that the County Road Department has let a formal contract for graveling in more than a decade, so it will be interesting to see if the result is any different than the more informal method of hiring graveling contractors that has been the practice for many years.

Local heating, plumbing and excavating contractor Calvin Jacobson had experienced some episodes of dizziness this summer, and underwent a surgical procedure on Wednesday, September 3, to relieve pressure from an inner ear infection that had affected his hearing and balance. After a couple of days of light duty, Cal was back on the job and doing well.  According to Calvin, the pressure in his inner ear gave him the misery of a hangover without any of the fun of the night before.  Not that Calvin has had any experience with such things, but he has friends and cousins who have described the phenomena to him. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – September 5, 2014

Like a late summer thunderstorm rolling out of the hills and across the prairie, another force of nature, Joel Heitkamp, a big guy with a big personality and the biggest radio show in the upper Midwest, broadcast his “News & Views” talk show on radio station KFGO AM-790 from Coteau des Prairies Lodge on the morning of Wednesday, August 27.  During the 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. hour, Mr. Heitkamp interviewed a number of people associated with the building, management, operation and promotion of the Lodge, including: Joe Breker; John Hanson; Patty Breker; Olivia Stenvold; Nate Rude; Eugene Breker; Paul Anderson; and, Bill Anderson.  All of those interviewed were local residents, except for Amidon ND rancher John Hanson whose Logging Camp Ranch furnished the logs for the magnificent structure, contractor Nate Rude of Fargo who managed and oversaw the construction of the Lodge, and Eugene Breker of Fargo, one of the investors whose daring made the facility possible.  Although the interviews were broadcast live, a podcast recording of the interviews may be accessed via the Lodge’s internet web site at, or through the radio station’s internet web site at  The show, intended to promote the First Annual Tewaukon Music Festival, held at the Lodge on Saturday, August 30, was heard throughout the State of North Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, northern South Dakota and eastern Montana on KFGO and its affiliated stations.

Llana Peterson was a surgery patient at Sanford Hospital in Fargo on the morning of Wednesday, August 27, receiving a pancreas transplant.  Llana has suffered from the effects of diabetes for more than 2 decades, at one point requiring kidney dialysis until the transplant of a new kidney could be accomplished.  Llana’s new pancreas is already producing insulin, according to her Dad, Don Johnson of this community, and, if the organ continues to function properly, will cure her of diabetes.  Lana expects to remain in the hospital for a few more days, and will then stay in Fargo for several more weeks while the hospital’s team of transplant surgeons monitors her recovery.  The entire Rutland community extends best wishes to Llana for a speedy recovery and return home.

Dick Meyers has been going through the accumulated possessions of several generations of the Meyers family that he has had in storage on the farmstead now occupied by Jake Erickson, and he has been making all sorts of interesting discoveries.  Dick recently found a cache of 2 cent postcards amongst stationery supplies that had once been the property of his mother, the late Mildred Meyers.  Two cent postcards went the way of the passenger pigeon back in 1959, so these have been around for a while.  Dick is passing them out to friends, so they can be ready to “throw in their 2 cents worth” in any discussion. Read More »

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The Rooster Crows – August 29, 2014

Milton McLaen transferred his temporary headquarters from Sanford Hospital in Fargo to the Four Seasons Healthcare Center in Forman on Friday, August 15 for recuperation and therapy.  Milton is recovering from a painful infection in his left leg and is undergoing therapy aimed at getting him back on his feet.  He was back to the hospital, this time in Oakes, on Friday, August 22, though, for some more intensive repair work.  Milton reported by phone from the Oakes hospital on Tuesday, August 26, that he is feeling much improved and expects to be released from the hospital there in a few days.  Milton & Danene’s son, Warren McLaen of Phoenix AZ has been visiting in Rutland and Forman this week, and he has made a few acquisitions while in the area.  According to Milton, Warren purchased a new pickup truck from a dealer in Aberdeen, then drove to Rutland and loaded the piano which he had purchased from the First Baptist Church.  An old friend of Warren’s from school days, Milnor native Dion Nicolai, now a resident of Washington State, helped him load the piano and enjoyed that job so much that he will be accompanying Warren back to Phoenix to help him unload it, too.  Also being removed from the Baptist Church building this week are some of the rows of plush and comfortable theater seats that made Rutland’s Baptists the envy of Rutland’s Lutherans for more than 60 years.  Milton states that the seats were purchased, new, from the Chicago Seating Co. in 1953, and that he, Lloyd Susag and Carl Olson fastened the rows of seats to the floor of the church at that time.  “This is the first time those seats have been moved in 61 years,” Milton said.  The Baptist congregation here, consisting of 4 members: Milton McLaen; Violet (Olson) Wyum; Edith (McLaen) Malpert; and, Andrew Hoflen; held its final service and ceased operations on Sunday, July 6, and has been in the process of disposing of assets since then.  Anyone interested in acquiring some of the seating from the Church should contact Andrew Hoflen, states Milton.

Thunder, lightning and another .3 of an inch of rain blessed Rutland and vicinity between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 21.  A repeat performance on Saturday and Sunday, August 23 & 24, dropped another .8 of an inch of rain on this community.  The rains have been pretty general throughout the County, but there have been some streaks where their cups, or rain gauges, have overflowed.  Randy Pearson reports that his Shuman Township farm has received 6.75 inches of rain since the morning of Sunday, August 24.  According to Randy, you can get a combine stuck just about anywhere on his farm without even trying.  It is proposed that the new advertising slogan for one of the major manufacturers of farm equipment should be changed to, “Nothing Swims Like A Deere!”

Mike & Diane Kulzer returned to Rutland on Friday, August 15, after spending a week visiting at the home of their son and daughter-in-law, Chad & Angela Kulzer, in Minneapolis, and several days at Hinckley MN, about 70 miles northeast of St. Cloud, near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.  Mike reports that the campground facilities operated by the casino at Hinckley are excellent.  Mike’s sister and brother-in-law, Mary & Bill Woytassek of this community, also spent several days relaxing at the Hinckley campground, states Mike.  Back in the 19th Century, Hinckley, then surrounded by native forest, logging camps and sawmills, was devastated by a huge forest fire that took more than 800 lives.  There was no danger of forest fire this year, though, Mike reports, as, “they are wetter there than we are here.”

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