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Marla MacBeth reported to the commissioners that a meeting was held with no applications this month. The planning & zoning board discussed the comprehensive land use plan, which they want completed by the end of June.


Dan Folske, NDSU Extension Agent, announced that Rae Snook has resigned as her husband found his dream job in Colorado. Divide County is still interested in sharing the partnership with Burke County for the family consumer science agent.

The State pays half of the salary, with Divide and Burke Counties each paying a quarter. Burke County’s portion is approximately $13,000/year. The commissioners agreed to the sharing of the position.

Folske also asked about hiring summer sprayers with the hiring freeze in effect. Spraying school is May 25. Since it is state law to take care of noxious weed, the commissioners were in agreement to the hiring of summer sprayers.


Discussion was held on billing from the City of Lignite for tree trimming. Tetrault went to Lignite and measured to see which trees were in the right of way. The commissioners were in agreement to pay half of the bill.

A raffle permit was approved for the Burke County Fair Association to hold bingo during the county fair, June 25 & 26.


Amber Fiesel, states attorney and Jayne Tetrault were present during discussion on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) and law enforcement salaries and overtime payments.


Commissioner Allen Ryberg stated he was made aware that one of the county patrol cars was being driven to Mohall, a deputy’s residence. The deputy will need to use his/her own vehicle for transportation to the courthouse.

Chairman Debbie Kuryn read a letter from the City of Portal, stating they are terminating their contract with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office due to dissatisfaction. Discussion was held on the 2:00 a.m. bar closing time in Portal.


Possessing the ability to order beer, chicken, eggs, or coffee with milk in Spanish does not make me bi-lingual. After all, besides counting to ten, that is about the extent of my Spanish language skills. Skills that took me two college courses in Spanish to attain.

Not Spanish 101 and Spanish 102, you have to pass Spanish 101 to advance to 102, but rather Spanish 101 dos times.

I take solace in knowing at least I won’t starve if I find myself in a country that speaks Spanish, and doesn’t understand English, no matter how many times I repeat a word or how much I increase the volume. If that worked I would have learned Spanish, because it is the technique my friendly, but frustrated, Spanish professor was reduced to almost every day in class.

Dr. Linares was a nice man, but even nice guys have their limitations, and I found his.

He probably had dreams of being a code breaker for a spy agency or a suave government diplomat, but instead he was in Aberdeen, SD, ensuring that I, at the very least, could obtain employment as a very, very short-order cook at a Mexican resort that didn’t have more than diez rooms.

I would have learned more than numbers one through ten, but as fate would have it, I only have ten fingers, so anything beyond that seemed excessive and unnecessary.

Although, the first time around, I believe Dr. Linares took some delight in failing me, I am fairly certain he passed me the second go round out of fear that my North Dakotan accent was beginning to rub off on him.

He would have been laughed out of Taco John’s.
I don’t think I’ve ever taken delight in seeing a student fail one of my classes, but as an older brother, I may have taken delight in witnessing my little brother fail a time or two.

The reason I witnessed the failures may have had something to do with my instigating the failure in some way, shape, or form, but let’s not quibble over details.

The Germans have a word for pleasure derived from the misfortune of others, “Schadenfreude.” Ironically, I would hazard a guess there are a few automotive companies experiencing some schadenfreude in regard to Volkswagen’s “exhaustive” issues.

I experienced schadenfreude the other day while watching my son’s tennis matches.

A few courts down from where my son was playing there was a young man who wasn’t being very sporting. He was losing, which may have contributed to his angst, but I think the fact that he was losing to a kid three feet shorter and five years younger may have pushed him over the edge.

Schadenfreude began to grow with each of his angry outbursts of unsportsmanlike frustration, and peaked when he broke his racket by slamming it against the ground.

It is questionable as to whether his racket breaking qualifies as a “misfortune” since he was the one who broke it, but I can say, without question, I found great pleasure in it. Pleasure that bumped up to yet another level of schadenfreude when the kid’s coach gave him a very thorough and very animated talking to regarding his behavior.

Schadenfreude was enjoyed by all, well, almost all.

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