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The year in photos - 2005
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One judge’s comments about Gandrud’s commentary included “good sources and citations” and another judge wrote, “persuasion on topic came through right away. Good job!”

Kremers’s inform speech was on color psychology and the effect that colors have on people and their moods.
Judges’ comments included clever transitions and original topic.

The other participants who made it to state include: Taylor Peterson, senior (Bowbells) competing in Humorous Duo, Dramatic; Heidi Knutson, junior (Bowbells), Humorous Duo, Speech to Entertain-following your dreams; Taryn Schmit, sophomore (Bowbells), Serious Duo, Dramatic; Aleyah Fettig, sophomore (Burke Central); Dani Koppelsloen, freshman (Burke Central), Serious Duo; and Robby Cooper, freshman, (Burke Central), Serious Duo.
Gandrud also competed in Serious Duo; Mahlum, Poetry; and Kremer, Poetry.

Coaches Olivia Barry, Amy Nelson, Beth Aufforth and Rachel Bartholmy are very proud of all the tremendous effort and commitment put forth this season.


Sabrina Kremer, Taylor Peterson and Heidi Knutson also received the All-Star award for placing in the top 20 percent for their participation in the One Act play, and three speaking events.


Marla MacBeth met shortly with the commissioners with one building permit to build a shop in Portal Township and three conditional use permits in Cleary, Lucy and Dimond Townships. All four requests were approved with the conditional use permits for two years with condition.


Commissioner Allen Ryberg requested Ken Tetrault, Road Foreman, take care of the bales that have been in a ditch on Burke County Road 2, between 52 and the cemetery. He has received two calls.

Tetrault received an email that the Canadian Pacific Railroad will be redoing the crossing on Highway 2 near Portal. The road will need to be closed May 12 & 13.

Tetrault to look into a detour, checking with Soo Township representatives, and to find out if the county is subject to a percentage of the cost of the construction. Ryberg would like the Reverse 9-1-1 used to notify truck drivers of the road closure.

Tetrault has looked through the skidsteer bids and RDO Equipment out of Minot was the lowest bid at $61,725. A motion was carried to approve the purchase through RDO.

Tetrault is looking for a trailer to haul it. Ryberg recommended a 22/24 ft. trailer and to check out Mertes Implement, to keep the business in the county.
The bid on the building for the generator by Trophy Unlimited was resubmitted, leaving off the electrical to be bid separately. The building will have to be tabled until more information is gained from the State Historical Society and Ulteig Engineering.

Tetrault reported that one of the blades had a major breakdown. The new blade should be here any day.
Discussion was held on the flashing light near Lignite. Tetrault contacted Burke-Divide with the cost being about $1700. The commissioners all agreed to get it fixed as soon as possible. With the new pole, the county will be responsible for the electric bill, approximately $100/month.

The 9-1-1 signs are being put up with approximately 60 locations.
Tetrault mentioned high water spots at the intersection of Burke County 11 & 16. The water has raised about a foot, “It’s getting serious.” He has Kevin Lucy hauling riprap. Tetrault suggested raising the road with gravel with a 15 mph speed limit. He will keep an eye on it.

The road crew has been chip sealing. Discussion held on the road going into Columbus, possibly milling it up and changing it to gravel or repaving as it is failing.

Ebsch reported on the Burke County 1 lawsuit. Auditor, Jeanine Jensen reported papers were served this morning. Ebsch stated the land is owned by the county and they can proceed. The only thing in question is the financial compensation which the judge will decide.

Arnt Construction, out of Hugo, MN was awarded the bid for reconstruction work on Burke County #1 with the low bid of $829, 402.38 after Ebsch’s recommendation.


Barry Jager presented a burn ban proclamation for the commissioners, which they accepted. County residents can only burn during the low to moderate fire index.


Janet Cron met with the First Commissioners District for a very short equalization meeting, with a 7% increase on agriculture land approved.
She reported the meetings have gone well. She and Mike Herman did multiple meetings at the same time.


Larry Skaare of Oasis Petroleum gave a presentation on remediation of the soil. He stressed scoop and haul is not the way to go.


The next regular meeting of the county commissioners for May 5 will be moved to May 6.
The board approved a dance permit from the Burke County Fair Board.

Commissioner Debbie Kuryn will be attending the next City of Portal Council meeting to discuss demolition of a building the county took back for taxes several years ago.
The City of Columbus sent a thank you for the water during their water break.

Also received a letter from the City of Bowbells for notice of existence of nuisance buildings in town. Commissioner Ryberg will attend their May meeting.


-ADA Compliance-
Representatives from Ulteig engineering appeared before the board with plans for the ADA remodel.
Discussed the Historical Society’s point of view on what can and can not be done to the building.

The group went over plans for the courthouse remodel. Just looking at the elevator cost, the county is looking at approximately $120-160,000 for a traction type. A hydraulic elevator was not recommended with the four stops.

The addition, ADA renovations and elevator is estimated anywhere from $800,000 to $1.1 million.
Commissioner Ryberg asked if the county could do this project over a three year period without having to raise taxes, “Before we go much further, I want to be satisfied that we can proceed with this.”

Discussion was held on where the money will come from. Auditor Jensen will report back next meeting with some numbers. Commissioner Ryberg made a motion to continue to move forward with ADA compliance, pending finances. Motion carried.


The board approved the reinstatement of Sue Christiansen for her eight years of service with Ryberg and Sellie, “under duress” voting aye and Kuryn nay after a lengthy discussion.

Discussed the new policy manual in regards to comp time, longevity and vacation days.



Although names have lazily been changed, more shifted than changed, the story you’re contemplating donating five or ten minutes of your life to read (could be longer depending on your literacy level, cognitive function, and severity of narcolepsy) is mostly true and based on mostly factual events. Our memories of events from our youth are like that, mostly true and mostly factual.

Embellishments, exaggerations, and flat out lies creep into every event and every story about an event almost immediately, and over time, some of those embellishments become a permanent part of the story, some become the story.

Over time, a good story, a funny story, will be told and retold because in general we like to laugh and to make people laugh. It feels good to laugh and it feels good to make others laugh.

So, maybe this story will make you laugh, maybe it will remind you of stories from your youth, and maybe you’ll share it with someone you think might enjoy such a story.
Stories are meant to be shared. Thank you for letting me share this story with you.

Blanchard’s house was a rutabaga’s toss from ours. More accurately, I suppose, our house was a rutabaga’s toss from his, as our parents didn’t plant rutabagas nor would they have thrown them towards Blanchard or his little blue house.

Civilized, I suppose you could say “normal” folks, don’t do such things. I suppose it could be said that both my parents are civilized and mostly normal. The same can’t be said for all of their children.

The youngest, Arthur, only a year old at the time of these particular events, was still too young for judgments of character to be passed, but with the errant role models he was exposed to there was a pretty strong inclination as to the path he would follow.

Rose, a stubbornly quiet six-year-old, was much too busy concerning herself with the life and times of her many dolls to pay any mind to the comings and goings of her two pain-in-the-Barbie butt older brothers or some little troll that willingly soiled himself.

The poor girl, adrift in a sea of stupidity, stuck sharing her inner most thoughts and feelings with a spirited but misdirected Cabbage Patch doll and a ratty haired stiff legged Barbie.

Our given names were Charles and Ray, not to be confused with the musician Ray Charles, as neither of us were blind and we were both too dumb to play the piano.

Ray couldn’t keep his hands out of his pant pockets long enough to learn how to tie his shoes so the piano was most definitely out of the question. The advent of velcro shoes was a godsend for Ray.

Our mother grew tired of repeatedly taking each of our names in vain and took to referring to us jointly, and accurately, as “fricken’ idiots.” Maybe this allowed her to emotionally separate herself from our behavior, making herself believe it wasn’t her flesh and blood, Charles and Ray, performing those idiotic acts of lewd depravity, it was those fricken’ idiots.

I was 12, Ray was 11, and my mother was right, we were fricken’ idiots.

To be continued…

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