It’s unusual to see air traffic in Oliver County. What’s even more unusual is to look up and see helicopters towing people through the air on ladders. Thanks to the low-impact, efficient construction methods being used by Michels Corporation to prepare transmission towers and string conductor, such sightings will be commonplace in the skies as conductor is installed along Minnkota Power’s Center to Grand Forks transmission line.
The Center Republican captured top honors in three categories and received a number of additional awards last weekend during the North Dakota Newspaper Association Convention. The event was held in Bismarck in conjunction with the South Dakota Newspaper Association, and provided professional growth and education opportunities to representatives from daily and weekly newspapers throughout the two states. During the awards program, first place honors were presented to The Center Republican in the 1-1,000 circulation division of the general excellence, best website, and sports column categories. Judges’ comments on the general excellence award included “Very attractive newspaper with good use of photos and graphics. Strong education coverage.” The following awards were earned by the newspaper and its staff: general excellence, first place; best website, first place; sports column, first place, Jarann Johnson; feature reporting, Kathy Tandberg, honorable mention; sports reporting, Johnson, second place; front page design, staff, third place. Staff members whose contributions helped to achieve these honors also included former editors Jackie Long and April Baumgarten, and designers Lacy Gierke-Korbyn, Holly Doe, and Marcy Huber. Former Center Republican editor Tandberg also earned several additional feature-writing honors for stories published in the Beulah Beacon and the Hazen Star. Johnson received additional honors for sports coverage that appeared in the Beacon and the Star. Overall, BHG Inc., parent company of The Center Republican, claimed 169 awards in the annual contest. The company’s 11 newspapers won 85 advertising awards, 47 for news, 24 for photography, two for the company’s website, www.bhgnews.com, and 11 for excellence in design.
Minnesota Power/Bison Wind Energy Center Production Superintendent Tim Mork, and Business Office Coordinator/Budget Analyst Sandra Bohrer presented the Golden Age Club with an automated external defibrillator, or AED, April 28. “We’re proud to show support for the community of Center,” Bohrer said. “It’s always an honor—we’re happy to be here for you.” John Green accepted the AED on behalf of the Golden Age Club. He thanked the two Minnesota Power representatives and showed Mork, Bohrer and others who were present a plaque commemorating the donation. The plaque will be placed by the AED as an ongoing expression of the club’s appreciation. The donation came about as a result of 4-H members working on Helping Hands first aid kits. “We realized that the Golden Age did not have an AED, and it seemed like a likely place to have one,” Extension Administrative Assistant Dawn Alderin said. “Dave Berger connected me with the Bison Wind Energy Center, I filled out a grant and today, the club is receiving an AED.” North Dakota is a pioneer in enacting legislation that provides for AEDs to be used by people outside of the medical profession. It was one of the first six states—along with California, Florida, Maine, Maryland and Texas—to do so, increasing the chances of survival for heart attack victims in rural areas where public-access AEDs are placed in the community.
Josh Sasse is the newest member of the Oliver County Sheriff’s Department, coming on board March 31. Sasse spent his first three months as a law enforcement officer in Williston, after completing his peace officer and law enforcement training at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake. “I grew up in a small town, and like small communities,” Sasse said about making the decision to move to Center. “This is a good place to raise a family.” Sasse grew up in Princeton, Minn., where he spent seven years working as an auto mechanic after graduating from high school. The work became routine, and he started looking for other options. “I was bored doing the same thing every day,” Sasse said, “I had a lot of friends in law enforcement and I did some ride-alongs with them.” The appeal of his new profession hasn’t worn off, at least not so far, and he and his family are settling into the community.
Representatives of Miller-Linn American Legion Post 90 and the North Dakota Veterans Administration presented an American flag to Center-Stanton Public Schools April 22. “This flag marks our ground wherever it is flown around the world for our service men and women,” Oliver County Veterans Service Officer Ron Otto said. “This is a brand-new flag for the school, ready for Memorial Day and a brand new class of graduates.”
City Auditor Becky Vosberg reported to city council members that there have been discrepancies between the amount of water reported through meter readings and the amount billed to the city by Southwest Water Authority. “If we’re into too much of a discrepancy, we need to figure this out,” Council Member Mary Wahlman said. “It wasn’t a big problem when we were pumping our own (water), but now we’re buying water.” Vosberg will contact the rural water system to come out to help the city detect any leaks that may be present in the system. She also noted that there are still some errors in meter reading, which contribute to the discrepancies, and that the new meter reading software will update the current program so that all of the involved systems are compatible. Spring Clean-up Days Curbside pick-up for Spring Clean-up Days will be Saturday, May 17. A dumpster will be provided at the city shop May 15-18 for electronics, whiteware and metals. The city will not accept tires, batteries, oil or items containing Freon. Old Settler’s street closure A request was submitted to the city for street closures for the Old Settlers Days parade Saturday, June 14, and assistance with benches and bleachers as has been requested and provided in the past. The request was approved. Beer garden permits
The annual Easter cantata performed by Center Stage delighted an audience of more than 130 people April 13 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Center. This year’s cantata, “Come Walk With Me” by Pepper Choplin, featured five brief monologues that brought the perspectives of witnesses and participants into the Passion story. Deb Tellmann directed the program; narration was provided by Randy Leinius and Melton Olin.
Wayne Windhorst appeared before the Center-Stanton Public School Board to initiate discussion about the land he inherited that borders the land that was bequeathed to the school district. “The property line between the two is irregular, to say the least, and is fenced according to the lay of the land,” Windhorst told the school board. This places some of Windhorst’s land within the fence-line of the school’s pasture land, and also makes other lands accessible only by crossing his property.
The low water crossing on 19th Street near J.D. Bubels has been posted “cross at your own risk” by the Oliver County Roads Department due to deterioration of the concrete slab. Heavy vehicles and semi-trucks are encouraged to use alternate routes until repairs can be made. “While it appears that the crossing will hold, that is impossible to guarantee,” County Commissioner Darrell Berger said. “Especially if heavy trucks or tractor-trailers cross it.”
Jim Jackson and Terry Fasteen of KLJ appeared before the Oliver County Commission to provide an update on the Hensler Road overlay project. Requests for bids will be published and distributed to qualified contractors, with bids due on April 25 to allow for selection of a contractor at the May commission meeting. Estimated project costs are just under $2 million, with the county’s cost share at 10 percent. The remaining costs will be paid by state and federal transportation funding programs. “The cost hasn’t changed a great deal from the original estimate,” Jackson noted, providing commissioners with a handout that listed estimated materials quantities and equipment and labor hours.