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3/15/2006 – News

Volume 123, Number 6             Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Township officers elect new president
For the first time in 16 years, a new face heads up the Benson County Township Officers Assn. Erling Karlsbraaten of Esmond was elected president to succeed Ralph Olson of Maddock. Also leaving the leadership of the organization was Howard Pare of Tolna, longtime vice president.
Ralph Olson agreed to step into the vice president’s position to replace Pare. Fay Huffman of Minne-waukan was re-elected secretary-treasurer.
The annual meeting of the group was held Friday, March 10 at Trinity Free Lutheran Church in Minnewaukan. A hot dish supper was served by ladies of the church.
There are 37 townships in Benson County and two unorganized townships (Graham’s Island and the Fort Totten area). The latter two townships are administered by the county commissioners. Normania Township has filed for dissolution but that apparently has not yet been completed.
Ken Yantes, part-time lobbyist for the ND Association of Townships, told the packed house of township officials that they would have to adjust to comply with the open meetings and open records laws. "You have to furnish copies of official documents that are requested,"
Yantes said, "but you can charge what it costs to produce them."
Yantes also said flipping coins in cases of ties at township elections is no longer allowed. "The State Legislature, in its wisdom, decided that names have to be drawn to settle ties."
One supervisor volunteered that in his township, ties are settled by duels.
In response to questions, Yantes said that townships can levy penalties for failure to mow weeds along roads, but those penalties cannot be added to taxes until the landowner has been sent a return receipt letter informing of the penalty and the landowner has returned that receipt.
Another question concerning out-of-state people purchasing property and demanding a road be built to that property was answered by Yantes by saying the issue was entirely up to the township board. This was one of the issues Yantes worked on in the ND State Legislature and it was resolved in favor of townships.
A representative of the Internal Revenue Service gave a presentation on filling out 941 forms for wages paid to township employees, including supervisors. She said the 941 quarterly form is being phased out in favor of an annual 944 form which should be filed in January of each year for the previous year. Townships must be registered to be eligible for the 944 form.
Rep. Arlo Schmidt (D-Maddock) said many counties in the western part of the state receive impact money for roads damaged by oil production activities. Schmidt said Benson County’s roads suffer from construction activities as loads are hauled to other counties. "We’re going to try to get some type of impact money to fix this problem," Schmidt said.
Ralph Olson mentioned a pothole on ND 30 north of Harlow that has not been repaired by the ND Department of Transportation because it is the responsibility of the contractor. "In the meantime, who is liable?" Olson asked.
He also urged townships to continue paying $100 annually to the ND Township Officers Assn. in hopes of hiring Yantes as a full-time lobbyist. "We’d get that money back many times over," Olson said.
"There are many groups that are eyeing the money going to townships and they want those funds," Olson said. "We need a full-time lobbyist to protect what little we have," he said.
Benson County Highway Superintendent Gene "Shorty" Hager said road restrictions would be in effect Monday. "Our roads are in terrible shape," Hager said. "The reason is because last fall ruts were put in the roads because of heavy moisture. Those ruts are still there and they were only covered up by the road graders and with the first thaw, the ruts show up."
Hager said he thought the commissioners would abandon most of US 281 that lies in the water. "We know there are some portions of the highway that will have to be kept open because that’s the only way a few people have to get in and get out," he added.
Olson said townships which have bad roads and little money should look into an emergency loan from the Bank of North Dakota. The township would have to bond to get the money.
The three principal officers of the organization make up the executive committee. Pare suggested adding additional people to the committee, perhaps on the basis of commissioners’ districts to make eight members. Olson thought five members would be sufficient.
Township officers were advised to discuss this at their annual meetings.
Lyndon Olson of Maddock, a member of the Benson County Weed Board, gave a report, as did Brian Maddock of Maddock, a member of the Benson County Water Resource Board.

The Benson County Township Officers Assn. elected a new president to succeed Ralph Olson, right, who accepted the position of vice president. Left to right are secretary-treasurer Fay Huffman of Minnewaukan (West Bay Township), president Erling Karlsbraaten of Esmond (Isabel Township) and Olson (Albert Township). Olson had served as president for 16 years. Howard Pare of Tolna (Minco Township) stepped down from the post of vice president, which he held for many years.

The Maddock Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) gaming committee recently presented $500 to the Minnewaukan Community Club for signs on the entrance to Minnewaukan from new US 281 to the west. The funds came from gaming machines the corporation operates at Miller’s Pub & Grub in Minnewaukan. Accepting the check is Sherri Thompson, left, president of the Minnewaukan Community Club. Presenting the check is Laura Every, representing the MEDC gaming staff.

Fort Totten basketball team heads to state tournament
The Four Winds Indians are shown with the plaque they were awarded after defeating Langdon 72-57 in the Region 4 championship. Left to right, standing, are Dallas Littlewind, Reno Littleghost, Kellen Littlewind, Quentin Lovejoy, Riley Smith, Tony Ironheart, Zack Alberts, Mike Meade, Chanze Herman and CJ Ironheart. Kneeling are Dave de la Paz with the plaque and Steve Cavanaugh with the game ball. (Photo by Louise Oleson of the Devils Lake Journal)

Miss ND at Leeds
Miss North Dakota Jacqueline Marie Johnson, back row, posed with Leeds sixth graders when she visited the school to discuss the importance of giving blood. Left to right, front row: Mitchel Tufte, Kyle Jorgenson, Thomas Urness, Darren Young and Justin Wangler.
Middle row: Chace Engstrom, Kendra Leibfried, Jeni Swanson, Kayla Wangler, Kassie Baker and Darien Rolle.

Carol Braaten earns high marks at Leeds
The Pierce County Tribune
Carol Braaten said the rewards of being in education are endless when you have great students and a committed staff to work with.
"I love waking up in the morning knowing I get to come to school and work with a staff that gives 150 percent and students who are caring and respectful," she said. "It makes my job very easy."
Braaten, who serves as elementary principal at Leeds as well as half-time first grade instructor, was recently recognized for her contributions to education.
She received a Golden Apple award from the North Dakota Association of Elementary and Secondary Principals (NDAESP).
"I was pretty shocked, actually, to receive this honor," she said. "I didn’t even know I had been nominated."
Braaten was nominated by her fellow principals in Region 3 and received her award from the NDAESP earlier this month.
She has spent the past 11 years teaching in Leeds, and for 10 of those years part of her days have been spent as principal, a position she sort of fell into.
"We moved to Leeds in 1995 when my husband, Joel, was hired as high school principal and teacher," she said. "I was planning to finish out my career as a counselor and teacher. Leeds had a part-time opening for elementary principal and I was asked if I was interested in the position, so I decided to give it a try."
Carol admits to having the best of both worlds. "I spend time in the classroom with six-year-olds every day, and I also help to lead our teachers, who are enthusiastic people and are willing to try new things," she said.
Braaten said there are challenges facing educators today. Meeting the demands of the No Child Left Behind federal legislation is one of them. "I believe we need to be held accountable, and I think every teacher feels the same way," she said. "The concern is, the method of determining the performance of schools and students is based on one factor."
That factor is student testing, which is conducted once a year, and many educators feel that should not be the only factor in the educational performance of students and schools.
Another challenge has been the growing needs of students. As society changes, parents and children lead busier lives and teachers have more hats to wear.
"Our roles are more than just delivering and teaching information," she said. "We’re often care-givers, an extension of their family, counselors, nurses and cheerleaders."
Carol said all teachers share a common trait. "They have to be givers," she said. ‘They put the students before themselves." Actually, teaching was not a career path Braaten initially chose.
"When I started college I looked at getting a degree in business, but I realized my heart wasn’t in it," she said. "I loved kids and enjoyed being around them. It was a no-brainer to pursue a career in education. And I have not regretted it one day."

Carol Braaten recently accepted her Golden Apple award from the North Dakota Association of Elementary and Secondary Principals.

Lady Royals in national tourney
The Lake Region State College Lady Royals are Region 13 champions and have earned their third consecutive berth to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. The Lady Royals are 29-3. Rebecca Mercer and Katie Schafer were named to the all-tournament team. Named to the all-region team were Mercer, Schafer, and Anna Skala. LRSC coach Duane Schwab was named Region 13 Coach of the Year. Left to right are Leigh Ann Brady of Fort Totten, Lamesha Walker of Las Vegas, Nev., Rebecca Mercer of Perth, Australia, Kylie Lindstad of Fordville, Anna Skala of Red Lake Falls, Minn., Samantha Brekke of Cavalier, Katie Schafer of Devils Lake, Ashley King of Cando, Rosie Chase of London, Anna Leigh Brady of Fort Totten and Robyn Herman of Tolna.

Fffishtival said to be resounding success
Minnewaukan was the site of a winter celebration on Saturday, March 4. The gusty winds didn’t seem to bother fest-goers, who were bundled up for the occasion. There were games and activities for kids of all ages. Children enjoyed a penny hunt, fishing for prizes and bean bag toss. There were kites for flying, but the wind did not cooperate.
Adults tried their hand at Hammerschlagen and the prize wheel.
The Hideaway Trails Snowmobile Club offered a free obstacle course on the ice. Children rode on a kid-sized snowmobile. Adults competed for the best time on the course. Club members donated their time and machines. This activity generated a great deal of enthusiasm.
The Fffishtival began as an idea shared by local business owners, who wanted to bring people to the western shore of Devils Lake and offer an outdoor family activity. The Minnewaukan Community Club agreed to sponsor the event. Proceeds of the day’s events go to maintaining Minnewaukan’s state-of-the-art fish cleaning station and two boat landings.
A fishing contest was held. The entry fee was the purchase of a $2 raffle ticket. First prize for the largest northern went to Trey Benson, second prize to Mason Tandeski and third prize to Karl Kenner. First prize for the largest walleye went to Brad Hager, second prize to Kyle Clifton and third prize to Arick Scherr.
Minnewaukan Community Club members served foot-long hot dogs and burgers from the grill. The Minnewaukan Library raised money by selling hot chocolate, coffee and fresh homemade doughnuts. Miller’s Pub & Grub and the Hideaway Trails Snowmobile club offered beer and pop. Some fest-goers commented that they were lured to the Fffishtival by the great smells that filled the air all over town.
Raffle drawings were held throughout the day. The grand prize drawing was held at 4 p.m. The winner of the third prize, $100 in cash, was Caroline Haugen. Second prize of a portable DVD player was won by Ed Gefroh. The grand prize, a Frabil fish house, was won by Lee Buehler.
There were plenty of hands to pitch in as Minnewaukan residents volunteered their time to serve food, sell tickets, weigh fish, run games and make the day come together. "We are thrilled with the turnout we had," said Mark Zillmer, one of the event’s organizers. "Folks came out for a great day of enjoyment."
Plans are already in the making for the second annual Fffishtival on the first Saturday in March, 2007.
Thirty-seven area businesses supported the Fffishtival with donations. They were Ebach Construction, Benson County Farmers Press, Perch Eyes Guide Service, Staloch Insurance, Randy’s Bait Shop & C-Store, Spirit Water Inn Resort, Anglers’ Adventures and Outfitters, Oddens’ Grocery, Sherri’s Hair Care, Miller’s Pub & Grub and West Bay Resort, all of Minnewaukan; Ed’s Bait Shop, Leevers County Market, McDonald’s, NAPA Auto Parts, Tractor Supply Company, Devils Lake Chrysler Center, CountryInsure USA, Exhaust Pros, Mac’s, Schwan Wholesale, Home of Economy, Mr. & Mrs. J’s, Wally’s Supermarket, Wal-Mart, H.E. Everson Co., The Cove, Cedar Inn, Halverson’s Motor Sports, Pugsley’s, Blake’s Marine & Sports, Gerrells Sports Center, Dave’s Motor Sports, Old Main, Lake Chevrolet and LaMotte’s, all of Devils Lake; and Frabil.

Myron Jury of Minnewaukan waits for his hot chocolate at the big tent set up at the Fffishtival in Minnewaukan March 4. Claudette Carlson places marshmallows in the hot chocolate as Sandie Odden assists. The ladies sold hot chocolate, coffee and doughnuts as a fund-raiser for the Minnewaukan Library.

Grand Prix held
The Bethany Evangelical Free Church of Esmond held its 14th annual Grand Prix on Sunday, March 5 at the church in spite of icy roads and snow flurries. Although some children and parents didn’t tackle the roads, those attending had a great time watching or participating in the race. Trophies were given in two categories: speed and design.
Children are encouraged to not only design a fast car but also a creative one. Three people judge the cars before the race and choose the most creative cars. Design category winners were Katelyn Nelson, Jenae Johnson and Alyssa Nystrom.

Speed winners were Caleb Johnson, Alecz Hill and Alyssa Nystrom.
Because of the closeness of the races an electronic eye is used to determine the speed winners. Jim and Marie Fragodt are organizers of the event. Lunch was served following the race and this year Marie’s birthday fell on this day.

Earn gold at meet
Kaidi Kenner, Jillian Maddock and Stephanie Johnson (left to right) of the Maddock FCCLA Chapter competed at the District 3 STAR Events held March 8 at Petersburg. They received a gold rating (1st place) in the "Focus on Children" junior division and earned the opportunity to compete at the State FCCLA Convention to be held in April in Bismarck.

Cliff’s car
The late Cliff Simek’s 1948 Ford nestles close to a rockpile on the Gotfred Markestad farm west of Maddock, where it’s been for more than 40 years. Cliff took the motor out and today a tree grows where the motor used to be. The Markestads consider it something of a memorial to Simek, who died Nov. 13, 2005.

To compete in nationals at Dallas
The ND Delta Epsilon Chi Career Development Conference was held at the Radisson Hotel in Bismarck February 27, 28, and March 1. During the conference, Lake Region State College (LRSC) students competed with students from across North Dakota. All the LRSC students who competed qualified to attend the international competition in Dallas, Tex. April 22-25. Left to right are Kyle Schneider, Everett Ritterman of Leeds, Jessica Scott, Carmen Kramer of Langdon, Anne Jorgenson of Grafton, instructor Donna Gutschmidt, Ashley Lubarski, Emily Jaeger, Nicolle Ballou of Langdon and Sara Hoffner. Students not identified as being from a town are from Devils Lake. Instructor Donna Gutschmidt is a native of Esmond.

Maddock Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts in Maddock recently celebrated Thinking Day with a joint meeting of Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes. Thinking Day is a day set aside for Scouts around the world to think about each other. Girl Scouts in the USA are a part of an international movement known as the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
This year the Scouts focused on the country of Mexico. Yolanda Slater was a guest who told of her recent trip to Mexico and her family background, which began in Spain. She taught the girls several Spanish words by reading a story in Spanish. The girls listened to Spanish music. They broke a burro pinata to get candy inside.
First year Brownies Hannah Pierson, Emily Sears and Taylor Foss received their world pin and their first try-it, Girl Scout Ways.
Each troop contributed to the World Friendship Fund. This fund helps with programs and resources for Scouts worldwide.
Girl Scout Week is being celebrated this week. March 12 was the 94th birthday of Girl Scouts. Girls were encouraged to wear their sashes and help in church in some way. The annual cookie sale was just completed.
Leader of the Brownie Troop is Helen Foss and Dorothy Wisness is the leader of the Juniors and Cadettes. Becky Hestdalen is the assistant leader of the Junior Troop. Joyce Rasmussen is the helper and fall product and cookie chairman.
The Brownie Troop is sponsored by the North Viking WELCA and the Junior and Cadette Troops are sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary. Leaders are needed soon if the program is to continue. The local groups have been active since 1974.

Maddock Girl Scouts are pictured with two of their leaders and guest Yolanda Slater. Left to right, front row: Ashley Risovi, Alyssa Armentrout, Hannah Pierson, Nora Duren, Taylor Foss, Micki Brandvold, Alexis Gigstad, Emily Sears, Maria Sears and Kenadi Lee. Middle row: Hailey Kallenbach, Kayla Melaas and Kaylee Tollerud. Back row: Carah Hestdalen, Katherine Sears, Yolanda Slater, Breana Buehler, Ashley Foss, Gabrielle Rehling, Helen Foss and Dorothy Wisness. Not pictured are Megan Olson, Courtney Hestdalen, Rachel Olson, Kristina Trautman, Mylee Kenner, Sara Schwanke, Shelby Brandvold and Renae Lauinger.

Take part in contest
Ten members of the A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter of Maddock participated in the State FFA crops, livestock and ag sales contests held at the ND Winter Show in Valley City March 10 and 11. J.T. Rice, Paul Rice and Jordan Backstrom participated in the State FFA Ag Sales Contest. J.T. received a gold award and ended up as 8th place individual out of 127 FFA members participating. Receiving bronze awards were Paul Rice and Jordan Backstrom. Andy Backstrom, Beau Buehler and Kaidi Kenner participated in the State Crops Judging Contest with Andy Backstrom receiving a silver award. Kara Kallenbach, John Sears, Jason Smith and Sharisa Yri participated in the Livestock Selection Judging Contest. FFA members, left to right in the front row, are Sharisa Yri, Kara Kallenbach, Jordan Backstrom, Kaidi Kenner and Jason Smith. In the back row, left to right, are Andy Backstrom, J.T. Rice, Beau Buehler, John Sears and Paul Rice.

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