Center Republican

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.

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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.

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With more than 30 inches of snowfall so far this winter, the Center City Council is wondering what to do with all that snow. At their monthly meeting Jan. 5, council members discussed the obstinate problem of snow removal. Streets are becoming clogged because city workers are not able to push the snow to the curbs so some vehicle owners are parking farther out into the street.

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"I love it when a plan comes together." George Peppard, playing his role of Hannibal Smith, often recited that line in the 1980s TV show "The A-Team" just as an elaborate plan to catch a bad guy unfolded. The revision of the Oliver County Comprehensive Plan has now "come together." At a meeting Dec. 18, the Oliver County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved the new plan, ending a process they began Oct. 30 and continued through December.

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It's the last thing anyone wants to do, call an ambulance. But if you have to, you want it there fast and you want it to get to the hospital fast, and safely. This is assured with the acquisition of a new ambulance by the Oliver County Ambulance Squad arriving earlier than originally scheduled. Coming from Wheeled Coach, a company in Florida, the new 2009 Chevy 4500 arrived in Center Nov. 29. It is a Type III, meaning it has a box shape rather than a van configuration.

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It's the last thing anyone wants to do, call an ambulance. But if you have to, you want it there fast and you want it to get to the hospital fast, and safely. This is assured with the acquisition of a new ambulance by the Oliver County Ambulance Squad arriving earlier than originally scheduled. Coming from Wheeled Coach, a company in Florida, the new 2009 Chevy 4500 arrived in Center Nov. 29. It is a Type III, meaning it has a box shape rather than a van configuration.

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The Center-Stanton Class of 2019 - some of them are so shy it's difficult to hear their tiny voices. They hesitate before answering and cover their eyes with their hands. They think so hard it's as if they are trying to grasp the spelling of a tough word on a quiz. Others saunter into the room in the Center-Stanton Elementary School, ready for a challenge. They answer the questions with thought in a confident voice.

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Christmas will be merrier for 38 families in Oliver County this year. Approximately 30 volunteers spent Dec. 19 at the Center Civic Center packing "Gifts of Love" baskets filled with a turkey, fruits, vegetables, bread, milk, macaroni, soup, paper products and toys. LaVerne Hoffman, chairperson for the program, said the Center-Stanton Public School, the community's churches and a donation from ChristKindlemarkdt contributed toward the program.

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BNI Coal summoned the Oliver County Rural Fire Department and the Hazen City Fire Department at 11 a.m. Dec. 10 to assist with a fire in the "Big Jake" dragline working five miles southwest of Center. "Our employees put the fire out in 15-20 minutes," Jeff Forsberg, Safety Director for BNI said. "We sent the Hazen department back, but kept Oliver County's at the site to monitor the situation for about an hour. We really appreciate their quick response."

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After tabling it twice and revising it, the Center-Stanton Public School Board approved the Housing Incentive Program at the monthly meeting Dec. 15. In the program the board will put $2,000 per year into a special account for each qualified teacher employed by the district for five years. If at the end of that period a teacher owns a home within the district, that teacher will receive $10,000 plus interest. One-half of that incentive pay will be given to teachers that rent a home in the district or live outside the district but send students to the Center-Stanton school.

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