The drought, which lasted the better part of the last three years, hammered agricultural producers across Mercer County. Dugouts went dry while hay and commodity crops crumbled into dust. It was no different at Jim Kusler's farm and ranch operation south of Beulah. To cope, Kusler drilled a 300-foot well in one pasture, while hauling water to several others. And on approximately 1,000 acres of hay land that usually yielded around 2,000-3,000 bales - he got just 468. Those harsh realities forced his hand into significantly reducing his herd.
Mercer County is filled with faith of many religions. Communities are filled with churches representing these faiths. Little is known about the other religions in the area, but while much of the county and the world were celebrating Christmas these past days, others have been celebrating Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish holiday. Also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is held to remember the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem going back to the second century. While Christmas is always the same date every year, Hanukkah is observed for eight nights according to the Hebrew calendar and may occur anytime from late November to late December.
We're often told, "Count your blessings." One by one each of us can count off the many blessings in life - family, friends, a job, food on the table, good health. Now during Christmas, as with all holidays, families will gather in celebration of the many blessings that life has bestowed upon them. They take this time above any other to remember and cherish one another.
A little taste of North Dakota made its way to Iraq in December proving that their fellow countrymen have not forgotten the U.S. soldiers on duty in Iraq. Part of a "Gifts for Soldiers" project, the Beulah High School FFA meats processing class made 69 pounds of Slim Jims for U.S. soldiers spending Christmas in Iraq.
The newest piece of police equipment has hit the streets of the city - a mobile speed monitor trailer purchased by the Beulah Police Department with a combination of a $3,000 Department of Transportation grant and matching city funds. Beulah Police Chief Kennie Voegele said the monitor has already been in use in three areas of the city since late October - Chaffee Row, Front Street and Highway 49 - while the department tests and learns how to use it. Sgt. Frank Senn has been responsible for setting the machine up and training other department members
Nite Owl Bar owner Ted Eickman returned to the Beulah City Council Monday night to formally proposed that the city place a cap on the number of liquor licenses that can operate within the city. At this time, after the approval of a liquor license to Bronson's Super Valu at the Dec. 1 council meeting, the city has seven various liquor license permits. In addition, the Black Sands Golf Course operates with a liquor license from Mercer County. There is also a license that was connected to the recently closed Looney Bin Lounge.
The countywide emergency training exercise held last month taught Mercer County's emergency responders some valuable lessons in communication. At last Wednesday's Mercer County Commission meeting, the commission applied some of those lessons, and agreed to request mutual aid agreements with Basin Electric Cooperative's Dakota Gasification Company, Leland Olds Station and Antelope Valley Station; Coyote Station; Dakota Westmoreland Mine; Coteau Mine and Great River Energy's Stanton Station.
Residents in Beulah may have another option for heat by the winter season of 2010 if all the ducks are in a row. The decision is still out as a fact-finding committee looks into whether or not Beulah should accept an offer from two Michigan based companies to bring a natural gas pipeline into the city. While the Hazen City Commission agreed last week to an exclusivity agreement with Major Pipelines LLC and Porter Survey PC, the city of Beulah is not yet ready to sign on the dotted line without further information. The decision will go before the City Council at 7 p.m. at the Dec. 15 meeting.
Seven of the eight Beulah City Council members present at Monday night's meeting voted unanimously to approve an off-sale liquor license request from Kelly and Kim Kessler, owners of Bronson's Super Valu in Beulah. The license will allow the Kesslers to sell off-sale wine, beer and liquor from a roughly 1,400 square foot department in their expanded building now under construction. The Kesslers told the council that they are expanding several departments with the addition and the license would provide for the sale of what they described as "upscale" products to enhance sales in other departments, such as their deli, meat and seafood products. They said they would also offer events such as wine tastings and the like.