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4/6/2005 – News

Volume 122, Number 9             Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

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New postcard shows lake levels
Lake Region Heritage Center
It all began over 10 years ago, during the winter of 1994-1995, as residents of the Lake Region were anticipating another spring thaw and another possible rise in the level of the big lake which had surprised residents by leaping upward nearly 10 feet in the previous 18 months.
A longtime friend walked into the Old Post Office Museum in Devils Lake, vintage magazine in hand, opened to a color image featuring an attractive female contemplating the "lake level" signs mounted on a wooden pole which had been erected during the "dirty thirties" just to the west of the Highway 57 bridge where it crossed "The Narrows" five miles south of the city of Devils Lake. His idea was to have the Lake Region Heritage Center, Inc. place the image on a postcard so all who gazed upon it would see and experience what he had: a hair-raising realization that "there’s a whole lot more water out there than one can tell from a simple term such as "fourteen hundred, thirty something feet above sea level!" The present level of Devils Lake is 1447.9.
First, with clearance from US West Corporation whose photographer had captured the image in the summer of 1965, then with financial assistance from the Devils Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, a 12-inch-long lake level postcard was introduced to the public in the fall of 1995. It became an instant sensation with the last of several thousand postcards produced then, selling out in the summer of 2004.
A revised version of the lake level postcard has just come off the press.
Measuring 18 inches high by 4 inches wide, this oversized card, when properly folded at the score and sealed, will be delivered by the post office at the standard first class letter rate of 37c. The height of the pole has been digitally extended to show viewers the level at which the big lake will dump her waters into the Sheyenne River.
On the backside is a graph showing historic levels of the lake from 1867 through 2005, along with a short history and a paragraph telling how the body of water came to be known as Devils Lake.
The new postcard is available at the Old Post Office Museum in downtown Devils Lake. Museum hours are daily Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is accessible to the handicapped by parking and entering at the rear. For more information or to arrange a visit to the Old Post Office Museum, contact the director, Jim Schiele at 701-662-3701 during business hours or send e-mail to him at

ND 20 serves as dam for lake water
The ND Department of Transportation (NDDOT) closed ND 20 for several days last week in the area known as Geske’s Curve, near its junctions with Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Roads 2 and 4. The road was closed March 29 and reopened April 1.
The highway is functioning as a dam, which it was not designed or constructed to do. The difference in water level is 11.5 feet from one side of the road to the other.
The closure resulted from observations of water seepage through the roadbed by the NDDOT at two locations where the highway grade was raised in 1997 and 2000. NDDOT is taking corrective action and, with the State Water Commission, has increased monitoring and is conducting testing to determine what additional action is needed.
Gov. John Hoeven called on senior administrators at the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) in Washington, DC to provide both short and long-term funding assistance to address the problem of roads functioning as dikes at Devils Lake. The state estimates it will cost nearly $3 million to make short-term repairs to state of North Dakota and Bureau of Indian Affairs roads in the affected area.
Hoeven met with FHA Administrator Mary Peters and Deputy Administrator Rick Capka in Washington, DC last week. The Governor also met Friday with White House officials to push for support. Hoeven has also been pressing Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to provide the assistance under FHA’s Emergency Relief Program.
"The recent breaches of water under Highway 20 at Spirit Lake serve as a warning that we must take both short-term and long-term measures to correct the situation of roads functioning as dikes at Devils Lake," Hoeven said.
"Today, we asked the Federal Highway Administration to step up with Emergency Relief Program funds before — rather than after — we’re confronted with a full-blown disaster." Hoeven said he believed the state would receive the aid.
Hoeven met with local and tribal leaders at Devils Lake March 31 to inspect Geske’s Curve.
Subsequent analysis by state engineers determined that the road is safe for the time being, and traffic resumed on Friday. The highway has been raised to accommodate rising water twice in the area since Devils Lake began to rise in 1993.
Many homes on the east side of the highway would be flooded if the water were equalized on both sides of ND 20. Other roads in the area are also serving as dams.

This is Geske’s Curve on ND 20 southeast of the city of Devils Lake in Mission Township of Benson County. Water on the east side of the highway is
11.5 feet higher than water on the west side and water has been percolating through the highway bed. If the water were equalized on both sides of the highway many homes on the east side would be flooded. The map below shows the location.

‘New’ Maddock Cafe & Lanes reopens
It’s been a long, dry spell at Maddock while Maddock Cafe & Lanes underwent remodeling from February 14 to March 27. The Maddock Norwegians went six weeks without coffee.
If you believe that, you don’t know much about the Maddock Norwegians.
They’re going to get their coffee no matter what. Coffee speakeasies opened in the Maddock Community Center and the Maddock Library. People even made coffee at home. They had their coffee, but they were pretty hungry for six weeks.
The cafe, owned by Mark and Sharon Wheeler, has a completely new look because it is virtually new. The inside was gutted and the walls got some much-needed insulation before they were refinished. The cafe boasts new plumbing and new electrical work.
"The remodeling was long overdue," said Sharon Wheeler. "We decided to go ahead with it because the community has supported us so well during the 13 and a half years we’ve been here," she explained. When asked how much the remodeling job cost, the only reply was "A lot!"
Johnson Plumbing of Rugby did the plumbing, Everett Hoffner of Esmond did the electrical work and Swang Construction of Harvey did the drywall and insulation. Wayne Leier of Orrin did the taping, texturing and painting.
Custom Wood Products of Maddock did the cabinetry. Bill Nix of Knox laid the tile, purchased through LaMotte’s in Devils Lake. Debbie Dosch did the decorative painting. Sharon’s brother, Mark Finley, did the detail work in the building, built the booths and did a lot of volunteer work. His real job is at Custom Wood Products. "We couldn’t have done it without him,"
says Sharon.
Volunteers who put in more than their share of time were Cindy and Danny Odden. Even Mayor Kevin Winson got involved by doing odd jobs. There were many other volunteers.
Walking into the new cafe a visitor at first thinks a time machine is in operation. It looks very much like a 1950’s establishment. Black and white tiles cover the floor. The counters are bright red. Several 78 rpm records serve as decorations on the wall, along with advertising from days gone by.
But one soon realizes it isn’t 1950 because there’s a new grill in the kitchen, along with a new broaster for pressure-cooking chicken in hot oil.
The big windows are gone, replaced with smaller, energy-efficient windows.
Jimmy Gilbertson has to crane his neck to see what’s going on outside. Gone also are the old booths one sank into, almost to the floor, it seemed. The new booths are wood and devoid of the covering that got ripped by the pliers and screwdrivers in the pockets of customers.
The ladies’ room is decorated with a painting of Red Hat Ladies, who wear their red hats there every Wednesday morning. A red hat hangs on the door.
The Red Hat Ladies are a social club of "older" women. The Red Hat Ladies also frequent the cafe almost daily, but wear their red hats on Wednesdays.
There will be further changes in the cafe. The chairs with blue seats and backs clustered around the tables will be replaced with red and chrome chairs. But that will come later.
The cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. When farmers start their spring’s work the cafe will be open until 10 p.m. through harvest. Daily noon specials are available as well as items off the menu.
There’s a Sunday buffet from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., complete with salad bar.
Pastries such as pies, cakes and cookies are always available and they’re made on the premises in the double oven in the new grill.
The primary personnel at the cafe are Sharon, her mother Yvonne Finley, Michelle "Shell" Eyl, Cindy Odden and aunt Joyce Fink. Among others who help at the cafe are Ashley and Ann Finley, Lindsey Maddock, Amanda Ellingson, Tracy Smith, Ryan Wheeler and Amanda Pranke. "I suppose I’ve forgotten someone," Sharon says in her soft southern drawl. She grew up in West Virginia.
How did they end up in Maddock? Well, Sharon has fairly deep roots here.
Her mother, Yvonne, was born in Maddock to Edwin and Viola Christianson and she returned to Maddock in 1983 with her husband, Hoyt, who was suffering from asbestosis. Yvonne went to work for her sister, Marvel Sylling, who owned the cafe with her husband, Sherman. Another sister, Joyce Fink, also worked there, and still does. It was kind of a family affair then and it still is.
After visiting her parents in Maddock about 14 years ago, Sharon and Mark returned to Phoenix, Ariz. and were surprised to receive a call from Marvel asking if they were interested in purchasing the cafe. They thought it over and jumped at the chance to leave the rat race in Arizona where he was a bakery supervisor and she was a pre-school director.
Neither had ever worked in a restaurant before. Maybe sometimes they think they jumped out of the frying pan into the fire, what with the hours of work a restaurant requires. Mark works at Rugby Manufacturing, so he only has to work in the cafe during his off hours. He does most of the maintenance work on the six bowling lanes and automatic pinsetters.
We’ve done a lot of explaining about the building and all that, but how about the food?
Ole Olson of rural Minnewaukan told this writer a couple years ago that Maddock Cafe & Lanes had the best biscuits and gravy in the country. After conducting this interview last Wednesday and sampling the biscuits and gravy, there’s no doubt that Ole knows what he’s talking about.

Personnel at Maddock Cafe & Lanes appreciate their new kitchen. Left to right are Shell Eyl, owner Sharon Wheeler and Yvonne Finley. Yvonne is putting the finishing touches on a freshly-baked cake.

This painting of Red Hat Ladies hangs in the ladies’ room at Maddock Cafe & Lanes. A red hat decorates the door.

Pictured is the spacious dining area at Maddock Cafe & Lanes.

Four Winds visits
Four Winds Elementary fourth graders recently spent an afternoon with Leeds Elementary first graders working together on some spring art projects.
Pictured is Leeds first grader Mathias Follman working with Adam Peltier from Four Winds.

Pictured is Danica Greywater working with Devin Schwanke.

Music students feted
Music students of the third quarter at the Leeds Elementary School are, left to right, front row, Katelyn Nelsen, Colton Wangler and Sara Galbraith. In the back row are Jennifer Price, Jessica Bingham and Jesse Hoffert.

Students raise funds
Maddock third grade students raised more than $100 from their charity bake sale. The money was donated to victims of the December tsunami. Benson County Thrivent Chapter donated matching funds to the project. Left to right, front row, are Joseph Clinton, Renae Lauinger, Alecz Hill, Kelsey Smith, Shawn Aabrekke and Dylan Faleide. In the back row are Alex Sabbe, Shelby Brandvold, Justin Johnson, Kaleb Westad, Dylan Lauinger, Alyssa Nystrom and Zane Paulson. Nadley Buehler is their teacher.

Legionnaires honored
Four members of the Gunnerud-Dietrich American Legion Post 86 of Minnewaukan received certificates for 60 years of continuous membership.
The certificates were presented by Post Commander Curtis Yri, left. The four joined Legion Post 86 in 1945. Left to right are Yri, Milson Ball, George Schmid, Walter Lien and Bennie Thompson, all of Minnewaukan.

Alumni tourney held
The second annual Maddock Alumni Basketball Tournament was held in the Maddock gym on Saturday, March 26. In the title game, the 1987-1991 team defeated the 2000-2003 team 62-56. For third place, the 1993-1997 team hung on to defeat the 1997-2000 squad 33-31. Fifth place was won by the
2003-2004 team, which defeated the 1971-1986 team 51-40. On the girls side, the 1984-1998 squad beat the 1999-2004 squad 56-49.
There were 65 men and 20 women signed up for this year’s event. All the games were well attended by fans and each game provided some laughs for both the players and the fans. Concessions were sold by the Maddock FFA and the boys basketball team. A social was held in the evening.

The Gold Team, consisting of graduates from 1987 through 1991, won first place in the tournament. Left to right, standing are Dan Hugelen, David Sorlie, Corey Bergrud, Billy Arnold and Aaron Johnson. Kneeling are Tom Gilbertson, Travis Maddock, Mark Williams, Kyle Sabbe and Brad Kallenbach.

The Green Team, consisting of graduates from 2000 through 2003, took second place. Left to right, standing are Tom Abrahamson, Mitch Hermanson, Eric Lunde, Jon Wallace and Mark Simon. In the front row are Shane Maddock, Ross Lindgren, Eric Hoffner and Kasey Kallenbach.

Members of the Grey Team, consisting of graduates from 2003 and 2004 are pictured. Back row, left to right, are Tim Leier, Brandon Yri, Cameron Abrahamson, Noah Ellingson and Nathan Faleide. In the front row are Adam Nielsen, Jamie Kallenbach, Dave Stensland and Kyle Olson.

Members of the Light Blue Team were graduates from 1971 through 1986. Left to right, back row, are Dave Rice, Dan Odden, Richard Bubach, Russ Bubach and Stacy Bergrud. In the front row are Doug Schmid, Keith Smith, Gregg Smith, Rod Maddock and Tim Kallenbach.

Members of the Orange Team, made up of graduates from 1992 through 1997, are pictured. Back row, left to right, are Jeff Daeley, Davin Leier, Andrew Arnston, Michael Sorlie and Aanen Bergrud. In the front row are John Bernard, Bryan Leier, Jason Faleide and Gerald Anderson.

The Royal Blue Team was made up of graduates from 1997 through 2000. Left to right, back row, are Bryan Kenner, Lee Simon, Damon Finley, Duston Hoffner and Shane Ostlie. In the front row are Eric Olson, Justin Maddock, Joshua Swanson and Justin Swanson.

The womens Blue Team, made up of graduates from 1984 through 1998, took top honors in the women’s game. Left to right, back row, are Kristi Tangelin, Tammi Ziegler Johnson, Ranelle Leier Warcken and Karen Johnson Smith. In the front row are Kim Backstrom, Becky Kallenbach, Rachel Vetter Maddock and Lisa Vetter Wetsch.

The womens Gold Team, made up of graduates from 1999 to 2004, took second place. Left to right, back row, are Linda Odden, Kendra Lunde, Jill Hegland, Sara Olson and JoLynn Jacobson. In the front row are Brook Kallenbach Olson, LeeAnn Van Dolah, Erica Kallenbach, Bridget Lunde and Chelsey Maddock.

Mike Sorlie, left, and Ryan Wiberg were co-coordinators of the Maddock Alumni Basketball Tournament held March 26 at the Maddock School. Photos courtesy of Kris Kallenbach.

Benefit successful
A benefit for the widow of Virgil Matthews was held recently in Minnewaukan and a check for $5,094 was turned over to her April 4. He died March 13 after a lengthy illness which required many trips to medical facilities.
Benson County Thrivent Chapter 31327’s $1,200 contribution was in the check. Left to right are Claudette Carlson, a representative of Thrivent; Elizabeth Matthews; and Don and Dianne Mikkelson, co-coordinators of the benefit. Also co-coordinators were Roger and Sandie Odden. All are from Minnewaukan.

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