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|Construction begins |
By Teresa Roering
The ground has been broken at the construction site for a new 24-plex in Lignite, adjacent to the Burke Central High School football field.
May 9th marked the start of more housing to come in the town, which currently struggles to provide necessary housing to a growing population.
Gehrtz Construction out of Fargo is responsible for the project with foreman, Mike Risovi at the lead.
Gehrtz Construction specializes in residential units, along with restaurants. The 24-plex building will consist of 24, three bedroom, three bathroom units with four of them being efficiency apartments.
Risovi stated that the project should take approximately four months to complete.
Anyone interested in renting out one of the units should contact Ruby at 701-852-3045. More
|Popular Mouse River Park watering hole to reopen soon|
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article appeared in the Wednesday, May 8, 2013 issue of the Kenmare News and is being reprinted with their permission. We thank them for sharing the article with us.
By Caroline Downs
Ron Heisler just expects his errands to take longer these days. He gets stopped and questioned continuously by friends and strangers alike ever since the Renville County Park Board announced he would take over the operation of the Country Mouse Bar this summer.
“Everywhere I go, somebody asks me about it,” he said. “I can be in Minot or Bowbells, Mohall or Kenmare, or wherever. It doesn’t matter. People ask me, ‘How’s it coming?’”
The popular Mouse River Park watering hole, a colorful and beloved part of the Park’s history, last opened to the public during the summer of 2010. The 2011 Mouse River flood destroyed the bar and almost every other structure in the Park, and the building was demolished in the fall of 2011.
However, the Park’s auditorium survived the raging water and moldy aftermath, and became the focus of a renovation project to house the reborn Country Mouse Bar.
Heisler, of Ronnie’s Inc., wanted to be part of the action, and he was awarded a six-month lease for his business proposal. “The Park Board says they’ll look at it on a month-by-month basis after that,” he said.
He continued, “It’s another project I’ve wanted to do. Whenever I would visit with [Park caretaker] Darrell [Iverson] through the winter, I would see how the bar was progressing.”
Heisler is a long-time resident of the area and had a year-round residence at Mouse River Park that he sold in 2009. He owned Ronnie’s Inc. Auto & RV in Kenmare before opening Ronnie’s Roadhouse Pub in Bowbells, which he operated for three years before the recent sale of that establishment.
“The folks in Bowbells have been so good to me,” he said. “I had no intention of closing [Ronnie’s] and I made so many friends up there, but I didn’t want to have both bars and I couldn’t do [the Country Mouse] without selling the Bowbells bar.”
Between his experience at Mouse River Park and running a popular bar, Heisler knows just what he wants to see at the Country Mouse, beginning at the counter. “I’m going to start carrying some Canadian beers and some imports,” he said. “I will have some wines and mixed drinks, too.”
The 10’ x 30’ walk-in cooler looks cavernous with its empty shelves, but Heisler intends to fill it soon for his customers. He takes his responsibility seriously as the Park’s first business open after the 2011 flood, so he is speculating the cooler may stock more than beverages.
“If room allows, I might start carrying some grocery items for campers,” he said, listing milk, chips, buns, and hot dogs as examples. “But that’s on the back burner for now.”
New kitchen for small menu
Heisler’s front burner issue is the new kitchen getting installed in the bar. He decided to add a limited menu for the Country Mouse similar to what he offered at the Bowbells location.
“I think the Park needs food down here,” he said. “The cafe always did well, but this is not intended to take over the cafe. This is just a small kitchen for a small menu.”
The “small menu” features three varieties of deep dish pizza, appetizers including spicy popcorn, fried pickle spears, and onion rings, and Ronnie’s Wraps, made fresh to order.
“The wraps go over really, really well,” he said about selling the items to his Bowbells customers. “They’re made on a 12-inch wrap, with lettuce, onion, green peppers, bacon, and special sauce. A lot of people get them to go.”
The Country Mouse Bar will offer the Renville County Burger wrap (with beef chuck steak), the Gazebo Chicken wrap, and the McKinney Seafood Park wrap (with crab meat), each served with a half order of Heisler’s Renville Fries.
“Everybody already brings burgers to the Park when they come,” Heisler said about his menu. “The wraps are a healthy alternative.”
Milk shakes and fruit and yogurt smoothies from the Cold Cow Ice Cream franchise round out the menu. Heisler likes the products because of the quality ingredients used, including real fruit and premium ice cream and yogurt. “Nobody has these in town,” he said.
He plans to offer meal specials on some weekends, which he will advertise, and he will accommodate his youngest customers with the installation of a walk-up window in the kitchen at the northwest corner of the building.
“That’s for the kids,” he said, adding that other Park residents and visitors may enjoy purchasing their food that way, too.
Entertainment will return
Heisler is planning entertainment for the bar this summer, which will include live music on stage during a few weekends. “I’ll have bands periodically,” he said. “The acoustics in there are so good now. I have a couple bands lined up, but we won’t have live music every weekend.”
Customers can enjoy the jukebox or play Bingo during the scheduled times on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. “And we’re going to have blackjack through the Kenmare Veteran’s Club three times a week,” he said. “The tables are coming for that.”
He gestured toward a stack of lumber still piled between the south end of the bar and the stage. “I may be putting a pool table there,” he said. “Maybe. We’ll see.”
The Country Mouse patio, a new 20’ x 60’ concrete slab on the east side of the building, will be screened around the sides and outfitted with tables and chairs for customers who want to relax outdoors. Access to the bar itself will be through a new set of double doors.
Heisler plans to operate the bar with a staff of seven to ten employees. “Some will be part-time, some will be full-time,” he said. “I think I have a full-time cook already hired.”
Bar will open later in May
Whenever he has a moment free from setting up the ice cream machine or installing kitchen cabinets, Heisler is making plans for his move back to Mouse River Park. He owns two adjacent lots at the Park and plans to set a new home on the site. “I’ve been waiting for my lot to get ready,” he said as he described the late spring snow pack that prevented him from preparing the location.
In the meantime, he stays busy building the kitchen and getting the bar ready for an opening sometime later in May. He is obviously excited about his opportunity at the Park. “I believe there were five proposals submitted to the Renville County Park Board [to lease the bar],” he said. “I think I was the only one who wanted to put a kitchen in there.”
He’s heard talk from a few Park visitors who miss the former bar and lament its demolition, but he’s had an enthusiastic response from others who learned he was granted the lease. “There’s been a lot of buzz about it,” he said. “I tell people it will be the new Country Mouse Bar.”
The Country Mouse Bar will be open Mondays through Thursdays from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 12 noon to 1:00 a.m., and Sundays from noon to 11:00 p.m.
The kitchen will serve meals from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and between 2:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on the weekends. Service at the walk-up window will also be available during those times.
Heisler can be reached for more information by calling the bar at 701-386-2875 or his cell phone at 701-720-6713.
Although the bar will not open until later this month, Heisler expected to see some of the local residents stopping in to monitor progress on the renovations.
“There’s still lots of little things left to do,” he said. “Those ‘observers’ will be put to work.” More
Local Teen Has High Hopes to Make it BIG!
By Marlena Chaboudy
As parents, we all think our child is the brightest, most talented, and most photogenic child in the bunch. This also stands true for the parents of Westhope School sixth grader, Cassidy Elliot.
One day, while riding along with her parents in the family car, Cassidy was singing along to the radio, something most every kid does. After the song, mom, Tammy, praised her on how good she sings. Cassidy's reply? "Oh mom, you have to say that, you're my mom." After a few minutes of trying to build her daughters confidence that she REALLY was good, Cassidy ended the conversation with "PROVE IT!" Not more than just a few minutes passed by and a commercial came over the Minot radio station 93.7 that they were listening to. It was for iPOP, International Presentation Of Performers, a talent search for young aspiring hopefuls wanting to showcase their talents in the areas of acting, singing, modeling and the like. They were going to be holding auditions in Minot! This was just the opportunity Tammy was looking for.... to "PROVE IT". The radio station provided a phone number to call and that started the ball rolling. The Elliot's received a small script for Cassidy to learn for the audition the same night and Cassidy memorized it with just one read through.
Cassidy has always been shy when it came to singing in front of groups, but as long as mom Tammy can remember, she always enjoyed putting on little skits for people. "All of Cassidy's brothers and sisters are quite a bit older than she is and I remember the times Cassidy and I would spend together making little skits for her to act out for friends and family. She really was good at it and loved performing for others in that way," commented Tammy Elliot. So it just made sense that Cassidy would take up acting for the talent showcase.
The Elliot's needed to build Cassidy's portfolio, head shots, ect. Westhope's own professional photography company, KC Photography, took numerous pictures of Cassidy in a scheduled photo shoot. "I never knew what people meant when they said the camera loves you, now I know, Cassidy could not take a bad picture, every angle and every picture Cassidy took was awesome!" boasted the proud mom. And with the realization that modeling was just Cassidy's "cup of tea", she was a natural beauty and the camera "loved her", Modeling was added to the talent showcase.
Cassidy's father, Mark Elliot, did a lot of research on iPOP hoping that his little girl was not just following a pipe dream. Mark's findings proved to be good news, iPOP is a well credited agency and has an A+ rating. And also found out that iPOP only accepts good students, which is a plus for Cassidy because her talent for memorizing the scripts easily, is mirrored in her school work and she is nearly a straight A student.
Sometime in February, it was time to audition. They were taking 200 people at the Holiday Inn in Minot. After Cassidy's audition, the Elliot's went home and anxiously waited by the phone for a call back, they got it right away. They were to return the next day where Cassidy had a limited amount of time to memorize a skit for a commercial, and once again, Cassidy went behind the curtain for mere minutes and had it down pat. Only 6 performers were to be chosen this time, and Cassidy made it through.
A classroom of sorts was set up at the arena in Minot and Cassidy began a three week acting class, teaching her how to hone and polish her abilities. She also got to enjoy a workshop with actor Daniel Samonos from the hit show Wizards of Waverly Place. Many Disney show actors and actresses were discovered by iPOP.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Cassidy", commented Cassidy's dad, Mark, "It's not only good for her self esteem, and confidence, but within the past few months she got to learn that all the actors and actresses out there are just real people like her, they all started out their careers just like she is doing now."
As with anyone following their dream, things cost money. Cassidy is looking for people to sponsor her for her trip to California at the end of June, where she will have the opportunity to show her talents to judging panels consisting of today's top agents, managers, casting directors, and industry professional. Those who are selected at auditions will perform in a professional showcase at iPOP's Celebration of Success Awards Night on July 5th and 6th, where top international agents will be seeking their next new star, and that just might be Cassidy.
"I really would appreciate your sponsorship so that I can attend this once in a lifetime opportunity. I didn't ask my mom and dad to call the radio station that first day and set up an audition, but they did. Since then I have done three auditions, have taken three weeks of classes, and did a workshop with actor Daniel Samonos. I did all the work in preparation for a special showcase that I would perform in front of the head talent scout for iPOP. A large convention where she would introduce me to talent agents and teach me even more about everything. She picked me right away, it appears I'm really good at acting, so actually it has been an adventure from the very start, and I would really like to see how far I can go. It won't be all fun and games. I will have to work 12 hours a day, audition, and talk to a lot of top agents, and compete against others. This is the great part... at every audition I say my name, age, and where I'm from. It makes me really proud to say that I'm from Westhope, North Dakota. Also, anyone contributing $100 or more will be listed in the iPOP schedule book at www.ipopconvention.com. Thanks, Cassidy Elliot."
A separate bank account has been set up at the Peoples State Bank in Westhope if you wish to sponsor the young and talented Miss Elliot.
Performers from iPOP walk away with a life changing experience and potential contacts to continue developing successful careers. Good Luck Cassidy! Shine like the star you are!
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