The Beacon News
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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.
Audrey Kerner, Beulah, was recently honored as the 2008 Beulah Volunteer of the Year by the Mercer County Ambulance Service. "It's really nice that they gave me (this award)," Kerner said, "but I don't think I've done anything special to deserve it."
A Mercer County Commission quest to assist Mahto Bay cabin owners in gaining a road easement through privately owned reservation land has hit a roadblock. The county began working on the issue with the Three Affiliated Tribes in August 2007, but TAT but has now dumped the problem back into the lap of the county.
The Beulah City Council is mulling over what to do with the translator television tower the city has operated in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce since the late 1960s. Mayor Darrell Bjerke reported to the council Monday night that the building to house the new equipment needed to be replaced, and there was no guarantee that the tower would be able to pick up the signal once it is broadcast in digital after Feb. 17. The mayor estimated the cost of upgrading the tower at $1,000-1,500 per channel translated, not including building costs. Council members asked how many Beulah citizens were getting their television service from the tower. Mayor Bjerke indicated there was no way to know that number.
North Dakota National Guardsmen and women have duty one weekend a month keeping fit and ready if the call comes from state or nation. That duty involves the usual - shooting weapons, getting down in the dirt, running obstacle courses and playing some good old rockin' roll. Huh? It's not the typical Military Occupational Specialty that comes to mind when thinking about these weekend warriors, but it's just part of the job for a group of 52 talented musicians, all members of the 188th Army Band stationed in Fargo.
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.