Once upon a time, the Knife River Indian Villages was a place where very different people joined together to embark on a common journey. Now a national historic site, a group of people from varying backgrounds again came together at Knife River Indian Villages, but this time for the Heritage Outbound Winter Adventure held Saturday at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site near Stanton.
Armed with a court order from the Three Affiliated Tribes Tribal Court, Dunn County Sheriff Larry Boepple rounded up 58 neglected cows belonging to John Voss on Thursday, Feb. 12. He left 14 cows behind that had no brands or could not be identified as Voss cows. Voss is last known to have lived at a South Dakota address, but is believed to be in the Halliday area part time. Voss is believed to have leases allowing him to pasture cattle on land controlled by TAT within the Fort Berthold Reservation. With assistance from the Mercer County Sheriff's office, Boepple rounded up cattle off of the rugged Porcupine area, within the Hans Creek watershed, west of Twin Buttes. The sheriff seized the cattle due to reports that they didn't have access to food and water. Local ranchers have been reporting dead and dying cattle in the area for several weeks.
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."