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The fund was established as a partnership between Farm Credit Services of Mandan and Farm Credit Services of North Dakota – the two largest providers of agricultural loans in western North Dakota—and AgriBank, their St. Paul, Minn.-based funding bank, to help communities impacted by oil development.

Through the fund, Farm Credit provides grants to support infrastructure or development initiatives encompassing housing projects, medical facilities, health, safety and environmental programs, and other critical needs.

The latest grants included the Burke County entities of

• $25,000 to the Powers Lake Rural Fire Protection District for a new rescue/extrication vehicle used during vehicle accidents and building fires.

• $9,999 to the Bowbells Fire Department for the purchase of protective gear for firefighters.

• $9,833 to the Portal International Fire Department for firefighter equipment and training.

The Rural Community Grant Fund is accepting applications for work to meet the needs of communities in western North Dakota. Interested parties should apply before April 30 at, or

Grants will support critical community needs that improve health, safety, access to housing, education, economic development and other important needs.


Kris Hillaert was sworn in as the new tax equalization director for Burke County. She presented information on agricultural acre values and the county is in the state’s threshold. She will be doing soil typing after the assessing season.

To date, three townships have not submitted contracts for assessing to be done by the county: Dimond, Dale and Vale.


Stacey Schoemer appeared before the board, requesting her vaccine refrigerator be hooked up to the generator when the electrical work is done this spring. The commissioners were in agreement. Schoemer is also the new wellness coordinator and is working on programs for the insurance discount.


Sheriff Jeremy Grohs reported a new deputy has been hired as of Feb. 1. He will be living in Lignite and just graduated from the Academy.

Discussion was held on having a uniformed officer in the courthouse during business hours. Also the Social Service office is open during the noon hour, so it was recommended the front doors not be locked at this time.
Barry Jager, emergency manager, stated the front doors need “some tweaking.”


Jeanine Jensen brought some “doom and gloom” to the meeting, reporting on a letter she received from Terry Traynor, NDACo Assistant Director just prior to the meeting, discussing the projected figures for state funds for 2016, a reduction by 4.05%.

Jensen estimated incoming State Highway Tax distribution to be at a revenue of $420,000 for the 2016 budget, but with the 4.05% reduction, payment could be down to $347,744. Expenses are at $571,000, according to Jensen’s estimates.

The county is already overspending in Highway Tax and transferring from Gas & Oil as salaries are paid out of Highway Tax.

Road & Bridge is capped off at 10 mils by the legislature. To go above that amount, it will need to go to the vote of county residents during the General Election.

“If we cut services, we will get ripped apart, and if we increase taxes we will get ripped apart,” stated Commissioner Ryberg.

Discussed possibly not filling any vacancies that may occur, not purchasing a motor grader which would put them out of rotation.

“We need to ask taxpayers for more or find ways to reduce,” stated Chairman Kuryn.
It is important to remember the $347,744 is only a projected amount.


As the great Irish writer Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

His full name, Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, is hardly a moniker of moderation, and he seemed to be conflicted by the idea of moderation, as he was also quoted as saying, “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”

He probably uttered those words after his visit to the United States in the 1880s.
This country of ours is not without issues, but overall it is a great success in many ways. Many of these successes have been the result of people not being complacent with a moderate amount of success. A continuous insatiable appetite for more, seems to be the prevailing force behind many of our country’s great successes…and its failures.

How does one know when the gap between success and excess has been bridged?
When is enough of anything truly enough?
At what point does positive success turn to negative excess?

I have been involved in sports in various capacities for a large portion of my life, either as a participant, a coach, a parent, or professionally, as an athletic trainer. Each of these modes of involvement allows for a varying and unique perspective regarding the sport in question.

I believe the perspective I have gained as an athletic trainer has offered me the clearest, most unbiased, view of the culture of sports. This view is not concerned about winning or losing, not concerned about how much playing time one kid is getting in comparison to another, not concerned about much of anything, except for the safety and well-being of the athletes.

What I have seen from this perspective is that moderation has given way to chronic excess, and in many cases the act of simply playing for the enjoyment of playing has been taken from our young athletes.

I believe sports are great for building character, teaching the importance of teamwork, and provide a means of expressing talent and hard work. For a very, very small percentage of the population, sports can be a way to make a living, to become famous, to make money…a lot of money, an excessive amount.

Is this small percentage of professionals being paid large amounts of money the driving force behind making the sports experience for many kids a miserable apathetical slog towards achieving the hopes and dreams of others?

If a kid needs to be regularly coerced or forced to practice and play a sport “for their own good,” they will not enjoy the experience for their own good or for yours.

Young athletes are not voiceless, brainless material goods brought into our lives for the purpose of living out the life we feel we could have had if our parents hadn’t been so busy trying to make something of their own lives.
Instead of wastefully funneling the family’s financial resources into food, clothing and education, they should have been flying me around the country to year-round baseball camps in support of my dream to play shortstop for the Yankees.

To be fair, my parents drove me to Minneapolis for a tryout with the Twins, flew me to Colorado for a tryout with the Rockies, and willingly funded my travels to Reds and Braves tryout camps.

They did not make me do any of this “for my own good,” rather, they let me do it out of support for something I thoroughly enjoyed.

My parents have always been supportive of whatever it is that interests us. Supportive, not excessive, and I have tried to toe that same line with my children.
Let young people explore their interests and curiosities.

Resist the urge to make them specialize in one sport or activity early on “for their own good” and the good of the professional career you have planned for them.

Exploration of diverse activities makes for a more interesting and well-rounded individual (research indicates a better athlete as well).
Also, resist the temptation to view every single interest and talent a child has as the beginning of a lucrative professional career.

The ice auger that has been hanging in the rafters of my garage for the past four years was not bought because I had aspirations to be a professional ice fisherman. It was bought because I thought it might be enjoyable.
I found out what I enjoyed was eating fish, not fishing.

As adults we allow ourselves to explore various interests and hobbies for the sake of curiosity and personal satisfaction. Let’s allow our children to do the same.

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