You've heard of getting a "sweet deal." At the Center-Stanton Library, Milissa Meckle had a sweet deal for students. She organized a "Reading with a Buddy Day," held Feb. 5 as part of activities she and classroom teachers planned to commemorate February as Reading Month. Senior high students, freshmen through seniors, went to the library during their English classes and were paired with kindergarten through sixth-grade students, who brought their favorite books. The students read together and did writing and drawing activities.
With America's recent financial woes - corporate bailouts, stock market fluctuations and real estate problems - it's no surprise that people are looking at their budgets. Budgeting for the future is a major job for North Dakota legislators as they continue the work of the 61st legislative session. The Legislature holds session every two years and Rep. Gary Kreidt, Dist. 33, New Salem, is in his fourth session.
"Her family and the city were her whole life," said Mary Wahlman, who appeared before the Center City Council Feb. 2 to ask that they consider a memorial on behalf of Betty Hagel, who died Jan. 21. Wahlman said Hagel served the community for more than 40 years with her involvement in the Oliver County Ambulance Squad, Golden Age Club, Center Park Board, Oliver County Food Pantry, West River Bus Board, American Legion Auxiliary, St. Martin's Altar Society, and the Center City Council for 19 years.
It was a clear, cold day in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. The crowd estimated at nearly 2 million began building two days before. An aura of excitement spread through the steadily congesting streets. Change was coming. History was in the making, and Randy Bittner, an 18-year-old teen from rural North Dakota was there.
At their first meeting of the new year on Jan. 19, Center-Stanton High School board members confronted a number of tough issues. This winter's nasty weather is related to many of the problems they faced. The first issue concerned a group of music students that traveled to Bismarck Jan. 12 for State music auditions with permission from parents. School had been cancelled that day, but a parent and the music director, Lacey Hanson, decided to take five students to the event. Another parent drove separately and one student who lives in Bismarck also went to the auditions. The weather had steadily improved throughout the day.
Brad Meckle was just going to get some grain for his son's 4-H project at his family's farmstead seven miles north of Center on Jan. 14. Then he decided to walk to the Quonset. When he opened the door, he was amazed to see his 7410 John Deere tractor on fire. Meckle tried to get at the fire extinguisher in the tractor, but the smoke and heat was too intense. He used the next best thing he could find to put it out, snow. Meckle called the Oliver County Fire Department in Center as soon as he could.
The first Oliver County Commission meeting of 2009 came in with enough business to match the winter's record snowfall. Commissioners decided to close two miles of section line to public access at their monthly meeting Jan. 8. The line runs west of the Van Oosting Dam in the northeastern part of the county. It can no longer be driven on as a continuous trail.
Oliver Soil Conservation District Chairman LeAnn Harner presented Craig and Rebecca Lahren the Oliver Soil Conservation Achievement Award for 2008 at the district's Annual Awards Banquet in December. The North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation also honored the Lahrens with a picture of their farm in November. It will be displayed at the North Dakota State Fair along with other county winners.
Mel Zent, representing Dakota West Inspection Services in Dickinson, appeared before the Center City Council Monday night to ask what they want to do next concerning condemning vacant houses. The Center Housing Authority hired him last spring to inspect structures that were in disrepair. "We put a lot of work into this project up to now. Our ducks are all in a row," Zent said. He checked 13 properties using the International Property Maintenance Code of 2006 which the council adopted last month as his guide. One of the buildings has been torn down, two have been worked on, and one is under new ownership.