The Knife River has been quiet for 12 years. This winters record snowfall has many people drawing comparisons to 1997, and local officials honing disaster preparedness plans. "The families that experienced flooding in '97 should take precautions against flooding this year," Richard Sorensen, Mercer County emergency manager, said. "There is enough snow to cause a problem if there is a high temperature event (like there was in 1997)."
Some years pheasants in North Dakota seem as thick as grasshoppers. It's easy to assume that they have the same survival mechanisms as all wildlife. A winter like this one is hard on all wildlife. The heavy snow makes getting to feed impossible for many animals, and the bitter cold makes getting enough food a daily challenge. The pheasant population is especially hard hit in a winter like this partly because they are immigrants, and haven't had time to adapt completely to North Dakota winters. According to Jim Bonderud this latest snowfall is the worst kind.
Mercer County may be eligible to get a piece of the pie available to rural counties and cities to aide in snow removal expenses. Snow removal costs this winter have added up to big dollars and hit the county hard. The Jan. 23 emergency declaration for snow announced by Gov. John Hoeven made $1.5 million available to rural counties and small cities to offset the cost of snow removal and other snow-related emergencies that occurred in the month of January.
The Mercer County Sheriff's Office is investigating allegations of neglect and starvation of cattle. Mercer County Sheriff Dean Danzeisen said he received a call from the Bureau of Indian Affairs asking him to check on reports of cattle starving on tribal lands. A private landowner within the Twin Buttes Segment of Fort Berthold Reservation reported that cattle had been on their property all winter with no feed or water. The cattle reportedly belong to John Voss, who the Sheriff's Department believes lives at a South Dakota address and stays in the Halliday area at different times. The reporting resident said they attempted to call Voss at least 100 times at a South Dakota telephone number and only received one return call.
Since 1963 North Dakota has had a law that allowed only pharmacists to operate pharmacies. Now House Bill 1440 seeks to change that. According to two local pharmacists the old law has benefited citizens of the area.
Editor's note: Paul Gackle, a Garrison native, is a graduate student at University of California at Berkeley. He, and a group of students, were assigned to the inauguration. The National Mall was a sea of flags - red, white and blue. Chants of "U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A," echoed through the crowd. The atmosphere was electric - joy, revelry, hope. On this day, the country rose above the fog of economic depression to celebrate history, another chapter in the story written by heroes, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, and regular people like, Sakakawea, Rosa Parks and the soldiers who have sacrificed themselves for America overseas. An estimated 1.8 million people filled the mall from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument - almost three times the population of my home state of North Dakota. As I surveyed the scene from below the Washington Monument, I couldn't help but wonder, what does "Change" mean for North Dakota? Last week, I had to opportunity to chat with both of the state's U.S. Sens. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan to discuss how the new government will affect life in North Dakota.
Coal Country Community Health Center in Beulah is going through growing pains. Work is nearing completion on the remodeling of the lower level of the facility. It's space that is badly needed. "We're just fighting over exam rooms," Clinical Quality Director Lunette Erberle said. "We're so limited with our growing patient volume."
A contrite Beulah School Board opened a special meeting Monday night to readdress the board's action Thursday to ban the book "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." In a prepared statement Board President Phil Eastgate told a packed house "we as a board may have failed, I may have failed by not encouraging the board to seek legal counsel and didn't research other options." "I should have said let's slow down and maybe read the book too," Eastgate said.
The future is uncertain for the TV translator tower, which is operated by the Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the city of Beulah. The Chamber of Commerce canvassed the citizens of Beulah in the late '60s to raise money for the translator, according to Darold Benz, former mayor of Beulah. The operating expenses in those early years were also covered by freewill donations. The Chamber set up a special account at the local bank and people donated to it, Benz said. The system went through a major upgrade in the late '70s or early '80s, according to Benz.