Center Republican

Winter has been tough on Oliver County’s rural roads.

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Oliver County Sheriff David Hilliard reported that on March 23 a pickup truck driven by Cody Bargmann of rural Oliver County struck a washout about 11 miles northwest of Hannover on a secondary road.

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The Center City Council had a busy evening April 6 starting with a tax equalization public hearing at 6 p.m. That hearing was followed by another public hearing to discuss the grant awarded to the city by the Lewis and Clark Regional Development Council on behalf of the Oliver County Golden Age Club. The council then geared up for a full monthly meeting agenda. The tax equalization meeting is held once a year in April for the purpose of giving city property owners an opportunity to ask questions or issue complaints.

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According to a popular business theory, nine out of 10 new businesses fail in the first two years. Common causes of business failure are owners lack standard business knowledge, product market analysis, personal ability to manage and sufficient money. But Center’s newest business Fit-4-Life won’t be worrying about that. According to Fit-4-Life board member John Mahoney, the fitness center would never have become a reality without the kind businessmen and women in the area. “Without businesses (support) it wouldn’t have happened,” Mahoney said.

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The U.S. Corps of Engineers made history March 24 when they made the decision to close the Garrison Dam and allow no water to be released into the Missouri River. The recent risk of flooding in the Bismarck-Mandan area drove the Corps to make their decision. The water in the Missouri had risen near Bismarck to an estimated 15.5 feet, less than half a foot from the 16-foot flood stage. The Corps had been carefully watching the river flow, ice dams and other factors that contributed to the area's flooding. Paul Johnston, spokesman for the Corps, said that on March 21, the Garrison Dam, which usually releases 19,000 cubic feet per second, was taken down to a 6,000 cfs release, a near record for the dam.

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Lace up those skates, winter isn't over yet as the recent snowstorm has displayed. Six young skaters from Center brought home gold, silver and bronze as competitors at the annual Capital City Winter Classic skating competition held Feb. 28 in Bismarck. All students at Center Elementary School, the skaters are Ashlyn Haag, 5, Kaitlynne Haag, 7, Madeline Henke, 10, Teegan Henke, 8, Abby Hintz, 9, and Teanna Hintz, 6.

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Despite what the calendar says, the weather isn't indicating spring yet. Center residents woke up to blizzard conditions Tuesday. Bismarck meteorologist Tom Szymanski said there was no official report from Center, but he estimated 5-7 inches of snow had blown in by 11 a.m. He expected another 1-4 inches before the front moves out of the area with partial clearing by Tuesday night.

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Center-Stanton School Board members discussed the future of the girls' basketball program at their monthly meeting March 16. Head coach Michael Bergstrom met with girls last week to assess interest in playing basketball next season. According to his count, seven or eight girls said they would play basketball. To get a team on the court, he would have to play eighth graders on the varsity. This year's Lady Wildcats placed third in Region 5 with nine girls on the team.

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While Trudy made lunch in the kitchen and Shelly worked on the laptop at the dining room table, he came rolling down the hallway in his wheelchair. He had the familiar smile on his face, and his attitude was as cheerful as usual. Although he has sustained a variety of serious injuries, Trent Sack isn't about to let them keep him down, and he's optimistic that he's well on the road to recovery. It's been about two months since the miner was injured in a Jan. 11 dragline explosion at the BNI Coal mine. On this sunny March day, Trent's sister, Trudy Hatzenbihler, had come to Center for a week to help out. His wife, Shelly, was working at her job as a collection officer with the Bank of North Dakota from home using the phone and the computer.

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Milk N' Honey is no longer flowing in Center with the Feb. 27 closing of the downtown grocery store owned by Rick and Lisa Reichenberg. The store was the only full grocery in the community. The Reichenbergs began scaling back operations early last fall, but would not officially confirm that they were closing the business until the door closed that last day. Customers, however, had noticed that the store's shelves gradually became more bare.

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