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Subscribe to the Burke County Tribune, by calling 701-377-2626 or e-mailing to tribune@nccray.netSunday, March 29, 2015
Flaxton Mini Mall
Housing Tuffy's

By Lyann Olson
Flaxton Main Street is active again.
After many years without a business on Main, Tuffy’s Pump Shop and Repair Inc. has opened in the old Flaxton Mini Mall.

Andy Tofteland started Tuffy’s in 2011 in Mohall when MRC closed its pump and anchor business. When MRC moved out of the area, Tofteland saw a demand for oil supplies and parts, and ran with it. In 2013, Tuffy’s included pump, anchor and oilfield supplies.

Looking to branch out to the west for better customer service, Tofteland discovered the Flaxton Mini Mall was for sale. And the rest is history.

Tuffy’s moved into the Flaxton mall in December of 2014.
Tofteland and his crew (wife Heather, her sister, operations manager Matt Strandberg) have remodeled the interior for a fresh new look. They added tin, painted every room, including the beams, bricks and floors. The bathrooms received an upgrade with new toilets, sinks and inviting wall decor.

Mrs. Tofteland grinned and stated, “We even replaced all the outlet covers.”

County Commissioners
Discuss Surge Funding

By Lyann Olson
The Burke County Commissioners met in regular session Tuesday morning, March 17 with Chairman David Sellie presiding. Commissioner Allen Ryberg was absent.
Road Foreman

Ken Tetrault, Road Foreman and Commissioner Debbie Kuryn discussed the Surge meeting they attended in Stanley. The County Road 1 project was “shot down.” The road needs to be a CMC (county major collector) route and have connectivity to major routes. It was decided to submit County Road 8 plans.

The road crew placed the road restriction signs on Friday with two exemptions (½ mile into Stampede; flashing light into Lignite).

Tetrault reported problems with the overweight load permits. Only 11 townships have signed the paperwork to give authority to the county. Commissioners, Sellie and Kuryn volunteered to get the letter/paperwork to their designated township boards.

Skid steer is being advertised with two sets of specs already sent.

Tarring is complete on County Roads 5, 13, 16 & 17 with 11 to be finished March 17.

Discussion was held on the parking lot water drainage issues. A culvert will likely need to be put in.

Community Health Foundation
Grants Exceed $5.3 Million

St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation is an independent public charity foundation set up with proceeds donated by the Sisters of St. Francis from the sale of a local hospital in 1998. Over $5.3 million dollars have been granted to area organizations to benefit the residents in the counties of Bottineau, Burke, McHenry, McLean, Mountrail, Pierce, Renville, Rolette, Sheridan, Ward, and Wells.

A board of directors governs the Foundation.
St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation grants funds to promote and support the improvement, availability and provision of the mental, physical and spiritual and emotional needs for people residing in the 11 counties served by the Foundation.

The Foundation meets this goal by welcoming grant requests from area agencies committed to meeting the needs of residents in our service area.

The Foundation may also identify an area of need in north central North Dakota and fund an initiative.

Slices of Life
By: Jill Pertler

“Does technology free us or trap us?”

This question came across my inbox the other day and caused me to pause. At first I thought it was a fairly straightforward and simple query – albeit one without a real answer.

It’s like asking: Does clothing free us or trap us? Do seat belts free us or trap us? Bike helmets? Deadbolt locks? Dietary restrictions? Zippers? Mortgage payments? Children? Spouses?

The answer has to do with perception and approach. Most things in life aren’t black and white. Shades of gray existed long before the best-selling book. And the technology debate contains layers and layers of gray. It’s like opening a can of worms – with an electric can opener or with a rock depending on which side of the technology conundrum you live.

When I originally read the question in question, I envisioned smartphones and computers – newly invented modern techy gizmos. Turns out the T-word is much more all-encompassing.

Technology doesn’t always involve megahertz and motherboards; it is anything (anything!) created to produce useful items, to solve problems, make life easier or – in the case of Candy Crush Saga – make it more interesting. According to Wiki (a technological manifesto in and of itself) technology includes simple tools like a crowbar and fork as well as more complex inventions such as a space station, satellite and the emoji app.

The convenience of having hundreds of icons to express oneself within a text message may be handy, but not everyone is pro-emoji. There are actual movements – organized groups – that organize for the purpose of scrutinizing technology. These opponents say big-T harms the environment, causes nuclear waste, global warming, ozone depletion, extinction of species and modern weapons. Furthermore, they say technology alienates people and will eventually lead to social collapse.

I’m not sure I could say technology alienates me. I do have 459 friends on Facebook, after all. That’s at least 458 beyond isolated.

On the flip side (not to be confused with flip phone, which is so 2008) there is a conflicting opinion, which causes complete technology discord. Another group in another camp views technological progress as beneficial to society and believes technology has the potential to improve the human condition to the point that eventually people may be able to live indefinitely.

That’s a long time - maybe too long. I don’t think I’d want to live to be 200; not unless they find a technological cure for wrinkles.

Lame humor aside, both camps would probably agree that technology is laden with complex issues that have yet to be sorted. Genetic engineering, drones and nanotechnology all create ethical and philosophical dialogues and dilemmas too big to tackle – or even joke about – here.

The idea of stepping back from technology and living a simple, self-sustaining, unplugged life has its appeal, but it would be difficult to completely turn one’s back on modern technology. Imagine washing clothes with one of those scrubbing boards or talking to your best friend on a phone attached to the kitchen wall via a 10 foot cord.
Computer monitors. Baby monitors. Smart TVs. Smartphones. Garage door openers. Can openers. Crowbars. Barcodes. They all have been or are a part of my everyday life.

The newest technology frees us from multiple cumbersome (old) technological devices like the common wristwatch, film camera, record player, flashlight, calculator, calendar, stopwatch, alarm clock and friend counter. It puts the weather forecast, ability to email, read the weekly grocery store ad and play video poker at our fingertips. And it boosts communication – at least at my house. I’m not sure how I’d ever connect with my teenagers if texting didn’t exist (*IMHO).

Back to our original question: Does technology free us or trap us? Until today, I naively didn’t realize the complexity of the issue. Now I do. And even though I’m uncertain which side of the debate I’m on, one thing’s for sure: I won’t look at my smartphone – or a crowbar – the same way ever again.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. She welcomes having readers follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

*In my humble opinion

(651) 264-1979 


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The Portal Masonic Lodge #84 will host their spring pancake breakfast for local senior scholarships.
The breakfast will be held Sunday, April 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Portal Community Center.
Mark your calendars!


Powers Lake Ambulance is sponsoring CPR classes FREE to anyone interested.
Call 464-5562 for information or to register.
First round of classes begins Monday, March 30 or Tuesday, March 31. The classes run from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Please take the time to do this for those you love!

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