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Lignite Family Counts Their Blessings

By Jodi Benge

The afternoon of August 17, 2015 will forever be etched in the minds of Monte Mutschelknaus and Nichol Moore. It was the fateful day that Monte saw his eleven-year-old son, Kyle roll a tractor while coming home on a gravel road east of Highway 40 in Burke County.

Nichol had been out in the yard that afternoon when her nine-year-old son, Garett called her. He was with his dad in a truck and also saw Kyle’s accident. When she came into the house and saw she had a missed call, Nichol immediately called back.

“When Garett told me Kyle had an accident, my feet immediately felt like bricks, said Nichol. “He told me that Kyle was talking about his arm being hurt, so I knew at that point he was still alive.”

A neighbor, Scott Kostad, offered Nichol a ride to the scene.

“I remember it seeming like an eternity before we arrived,” said Nichol. “But when we did arrive, I pretty much lost it.”

She remembers Monte pacing with tears in his eyes, which was really hard on Kyle’s mom.
“I knew I had to somehow keep it together for everyone’s sake,” commented Nichol.

“I remember there being so many ambulance sirens, lights, and cop vehicles all around,” said Nichol with tears in her eyes. “Then I saw the helicopter hovering over needing a place to land. I knew the situation was worse than I had expected.”

Delwin Gates receives Amber Award
Delwin Gates, a durum producer from Mohall, ND, received the United States Durum Growers Association’s (USDGA) 2015 Amber Award during the Crop Outlook and International Durum Forum banquet on Monday, November 9th in Minot, ND. The Amber Award recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding commitment and dedication to the durum industry in the areas of production, research, or education.

Gates was raised on his family’s farm in Loraine, ND, which set the stage for his life-long involvement in the agriculture industry. In 1975, after graduating from Mohall High School, he rented his own land and began farming with his parents. He and his wife, Vicky, raised three children, and are now joined in their farming operation by another generation.

Delwin served as a director of the USDGA from 2004 to 2014. In addition, he held the positions of president and director on the Renville Soil Conservation Board for 12 years. From 1996 to 2002, he served as the director of Renville County Crop Improvement and has served as president and director of North Dakota Crop Improvement, most recently serving as president in 2015. He also served on the North Central Research Extension Center Board of Visitors from 2007 to 2010.

“Del is a very deserving recipient of this award,” says USDGA President (article continued on the home page.)  More

Opdahl Grocery, Kjelshus Take Top Prize in Chili Cook-off
By Ginny Heth
There was a ‘hot time in the old town’ on Saturday as Westhope Community Club hosted the First Annual Chili Cook-off!
May 10th was chosen as Community Day for Westhope with city-wide rummage sales happening throughout the day as well as the annual Presbyterian Women’s fund raiser serving sloppy joes, pie and coffee. They also had basket- and purse-mania, a silent auction type activity that is fun for all. Included this year in the day’s activities was the Trini Tree Frogs Youth Group detailing the insides of cars. They had a great turn-out for their fund raiser, even having to turn away a couple of cars that arrived after their time was up. Maybe they will have to plan another day of car cleaning since people were so happy to have someone to take on that task for them!
Meanwhile, all around town people’s homes were beginning to smell a lot like a Mexican restaurant as pots of chili were started in anticipation for the Chili Cook-off. Around 3:00 p.m., the Gateway Community Room began buzzing with activity as the ten contestants brought their chili in for tasting......some contestants even brought their own Mexican ambience including table cloths, decorations (even some hung on the wall!) and music!!
Ten entirely different pots of chili were there for the tasting when it began at 4:30 p.m. coming from Westhope Farmers Union (Kevin Schroeder, cook); Westhope Fire Department (Ryan Ellsworth, cook); Double EE Service (Ben Cartwright, cook); John Gruenberg, M&D Pizza (Heather Lee, cook); Presbyterian Children (Lola & Randy Kimpland); Rachel Gruenberg; Kim & Lance Kjelshus; Opdahl’s Grocery (Barb Opdahl, cook); and Westhope Ambulance (UB & Sylvia Schlieper, cooks). There were white chilis, red chilis, and no bean chilis. Some were quite spicy and some were just flavorful, with out the bite! Many contestants included ‘add-ins’ such as sour cream, onions, chips, crackers and cheese to make their offering more enticing. Community Club provided corn bread to make sure everyone had a way to ‘cut the heat’ between bowls of chili, coffee & water with the water being the most popular thing!
In all, nearly 100 people voted and there was a tie for first place! Opdahl’s Grocery and Kim & Lance Kjelshus are the proud winners, sharing a traveling trophy for the year and prize money. Coming in a close third (only one vote separated the three chilis!) was Westhope Ambulance with UB’s Road Kill Chili, who took home a small cash prize as well.
Plans are already in the works for the 2nd Annual Westhope Community Day Chili Cook-off, so get those recipes tweeked, plan on a few decorations for your table (Opdahl’s & the Kjelshus’ both had very nicely decorated tables -- whether that had anything to do with the winning or not.....) and take a chance at bragging rights for next year!!


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