January 6, 2016

Top 15 of 2015

By Kate Johnson

Time seems to pass so quickly and we find ourselves wondering where it went. For Beulah, many new adventures began or ended throughout this last year. While some may have been quickly forgotten, others continue to shine bright in our memories. Lets take a look back at Beulah’s stand-out news in the Beacon for 2015.

Zap council moves forward with streets
This project addressed Zap’s aging city streets and relining the water tower, and was forecast to cost $2.5 million. Two projected timetables were given for the repayment of the project, one a 15-year bond, and the other a 20-year bond.
Mayor Terry Barden had stated the importance of the city coming to some kind of conclusion on the roads now, as the decision had been put off for the better part of a decade. With rising costs of construction and materials, the city would have to decide to upgrade and repair the streets or likely just go with gravel.

Wiedrich selected Miss North Dakota
“It’s every emotion that you could possibly feel wrapped into one single moment.”
This is how Hazen native Delanie Wiedrich described her initial response when it was announced she had won the Miss North Dakota pageant June 13. Wiedrich had been telling herself she did not think she would win, because of her interactions with the other competitors and her realization of what they had to offer. She was both overwhelmed and gratified when the results were announced.

Grandview closes its doors
The Grandview closed its doors June 30. The business was open for roughly eight years to host events like Big Buck, Pheasants Forever, and various banquets, meetings and weddings.
A group of 10 investors had decided Beulah needed an area for gatherings to hold events after the Eagles closed; five of those investors remained. With a lack of service providers and management changes, the owners decided they could not keep taking time away from their other businesses to tend to the Grandview.

Beulah city storage shop burns
In the beginning of July the City of Beulah moved items out of its normal storage facility to an alternative building, attempting to make more room for the Mercer County Fair to operate near the Beulah Civic Center. The move was costly for the city, as a fire erupted at the alternative storage facility.
Chief of Police Frank Senn said that, even though a lot of damage was caused by the fire, certain important city items such as street sweepers, payloaders, and garbage trucks weren’t involved in the fire. The City mostly lost utility grass equipment: two pickup trucks, moving equipment, tractors, trailers, and painting equipment.

School board elects new leader
“I feel, as the new board chair, it is my job to conduct an efficient, organized meeting. My hope is to have an open meeting where all board members feel welcome to share their opinions. We are all looking forward to a new year with a fresh start,” said Stacee McLaughlin, Beulah school board’s new chairman.

Probation prompts ambulance manager’s resignation
Controversy and conflict within the Mercer County Ambulance Service reached a head at a special meeting held at the beginning of September. The meeting involved accusations and emotional pleas from various levels of the service, culminating in the resignation of the manager after the meeting closed.

School Board fills superintendent vacancy
Good things come in pairs, right? The Beulah school board hopes that advice holds true for the 2015-16 school year, since they hired two interim superintendent candidates in August to fill the open superintendent position. The Beulah school board hired Dale Gilje and Loren Scheer to fill the superintendent vacancy.

3rd Avenue project purchase ready?
“These are pretty exciting times” says Mayor Darrell Bjerke, referencing all the happenings to come in the Beulah area.
Development has been steady and 3rd Ave was one of the developing lands occurring to the north. A project that had begun several years ago now was seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
Owen Voigt, lead developer of the project, enjoys taking things that are broken and putting them back together.

Cobblestone Hotel and Suites puts on finishing touches
As the summer reached its end so did the Cobblestone’s construction, conducting a grand opening in the late fall.
“We are very excited and proud to become a part of the Beulah community with our new Cobblestone Hotel and Suites,” Cobblestone Hotels President and CEO Brian Wogernese said. “Much like most of the communities in North Dakota, Beulah has welcomed us with open arms. This beautiful hotel is the ninth Cobblestone to open in North Dakota and we expect many more.”

Heritage Park Market open to community
Aug. 4 was the opening of Heritage Park Market. It was organized in a week, explained co-organizer Stacee McLaughlin. Three weeks prior to opening, McLaughlin and Gloria Olheiser discovered  Heritage Park hiding behind some overgrown bushes, and a light bulb formed above their heads as the concept of the Heritage Park Market ascended.
The Heritage Park Market is a venue for vendors of all varieties to set up their businesses, at no cost to them, and the flea market ensues, with vendors selling baked goods, Scentsy, purses, Tupperware, do-it yourself crafts, jewelry, and other goods.

State champs in football
The Beulah Miners won a Class-B 11-man state football title in 1989, but struggled to get back to the big stage. The Miners erased 26 years of postseason let downs with a 33-18 win over Fargo Shanley at the Fargo Dome in the 2A state championship game.
“It’s kind of been our year. We were behind against Hazen. We were behind against Trinity, and I think that’s not just maturity. That’s guys who worked on that. We had an off-season program where we were working on those things,” says Beulah Head Coach Jim Dooley. “So, yes we addressed that and said we need to be mentally tougher.”

Police department adds sixth man
In November the Beulah Police Department’s search was over when Ben Newman was hired to the local force. City officials had been on the hunt and taking applications for some time before Newman’s application slid across their desks.

Man camps in Beulah: Capital Lodge
Beulah and man camps were sent through the ring over the last five months of 2015. With beginnings of a urea plant at Dakota Gasification, alternative housing was needed.
Capital Lodge was the first of many to plead their case within the county. Capital Lodge was the most memorable of man camps with desire to lay down within city limits. The proposed site was not appreciated by surrounding neighbors and facility owners.

Beulah meeting on EPA rule
Roughly 800 people from Mercer County communities came to the Beulah civic center to learn more about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to reduce carbon emissions from local industry. The meeting was put on by the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) to discuss how the state of North Dakota could implement a plan that would meet the stipulations required by the EPA.

School board ‘Yes’ to softball
After the hard work of a parent group and the research presented by Beulah’s Athletic Director, Carl Blackhurst, to the members of the school board it was a unanimous “Yes” to incorporate girls’ fast-pitch softball as a school sport. Blackhurst gave the board the idea that fast-pitch was in the future and, just three months later, he presented the positives and negatives of the addition.

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