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8/1/2007 – News

Volume 124, Number 26            Wednesday, August 1st, 2007

Fate of building hangs in the balance
Another Benson County town is faced with the monumental decision of what to do with an original townsite building that is falling to ruin.
Like Leeds, Maddock has a main street building that has been part of the landscape since 1905 — the Harriman Building, also known as Plum’s Hardware Store.
The city took possession of the building in December of 2004. In January of 2006 John Sauber Jr. of Interstate Engineering conducted a site review consisting of visual observation only.
His findings state the foundation walls of grouted rock are in sound condition, as is the concrete basement floor. Floor joists, timber support columns and a support beam in the basement also appear to be structurally sound.
That’s the good news. The rest of the building exhibits extensive water damage caused by a roof that is in poor shape.
The opinion of costs at the end of the site review gives a total of $910,000 for basic repair. It includes $50,000 for a new roof and drainage system, $5,000 for re-grouting the brick, $315,000 for removal and replacement of the interior finishes, and $540,000 for electrical, plumbing and heating. There are no provisions for building code compliance or floor load issues that may arise, or for repair of the structural members that may become evident once the interior walls are removed.
To help the city determine what to do with the building, a public meeting was held July 23 at the Maddock Community Center.
Approximately 30 people attended and were given a review by Sauber on his findings.
Mayor Kevin Winson informed the group another option is to fix the roof to prevent further damage and buy more time. Target Roofing gave an estimate of $30,000 to $35,000 for this option.
Then there is the option to tear the building down. Durbin Excavating placed a price tag of $30,000 to $35,000 for this work. The south wall of the building is shared with Tracy’s Market, so extreme care is involved.
Among the concerns voiced were the availability of money for renovation; the mold from the water damage and other environmental impacts; what the building would be used for; and the emotional and psychological costs if the building is removed.
Funding is always a major concern. Mayor Winson stated there are limited funds available for roof repair and that the city is not interested in raising taxes to pay for fixing the Harriman Building.
Nor is the city interested in overseeing a renovation project. If it is the desire of the community, the city will fix the roof then turn the future of the building over to another entity. The Maddock Economic Development Corporation and the Maddock Historical Society were mentioned as two possibilities.
Environmental issues will be addressed once a save or tear down answer is determined.
As for uses, Lisa Swanson Faleide gave a presentation on a rural renaissance center concept, which included a video show on a building that had been restored and possible uses for the Harriman Building.
Among those are live theatre, concerts, music classes, cultural activities, community development activities, artist workshops and outlet, art gallery, micro-business incubator and many others.
It was stated the library needs larger accommodations and the historical society’s secondhand store will need to be moved due to problems with the basement walls. That building was home to Con and Agnes Beck and his shoe repair business.
The emotional and psychological costs are immeasurable. It was mentioned that tearing the building down would not only leave a gaping hole on main street, but would also cause anguish to visitors and community members alike.
If the final decision is to save the building, three things must be done immediately:
1. Install a working roof system; 2. Repair the exterior bricks; and 3. Repair the interior.
A committee also needs to be formed to develop a plan of action.
At the end of the discussion Mayor Winson asked for a show of hands of those in favor of saving the building. A large majority of hands were in the air. He then invited everyone to the next city council meeting to give input before the council votes on the fate of the Harriman Building. Details of the meeting date and time will be announced.
The bottom line is, are the residents of Maddock ready to take on a renovation that will have a price tag in excess of a million dollars?

The Harriman Building is approximately 45 feet wide and 90 to 100 feet long. To the left is Tracy’s Market, which shares a wall with the Harriman Building and may be the most affected by its future.

Horse to be raffled
Colton Gillespie of York holds the halter of Hall of Fame Hancock, a bay roan gelding from Joe Sage Hancock, a blue roan stallion, and Sonita’s Holly Bar, a chestnut mare. Colton, his brother, Dakota and mother Roxanne are donating the yearling to the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame (NDCHF) to be raffled off. Roxanne is a trustee of the Hall of Fame. Her father, the late Ole Solberg, was among the first to be inducted into the NDCHF. Money raised through this raffle will be used by the NDCHF to continue making improvements at the Center of Western Heritage and Cultures in Medora and for other projects. The drawing will be held near Sentinel Butte at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5 at the annual Home on the Range Champions Ride. Ticket holders must be 21 to enter and do not have to be present to win. More information is available at

Vote Harlow
Two of these bright red signs are located at the west entrances to Harlow on ND 30 and on the county road entrance on the north side of Harlow. The signs obviously came from another area where there was an election for a fire district. The candidate running was named Harlow and someone deemed it proper to mark the entrances to Harlow with the signs.

Shrine Bowl legacy
The sons of Philip and Carol Backstrom of Maddock have all played in the ND Shrine Bowl. Josh, number 52, competed in 2003; Caleb, number 10, competed in 2005; and Jordan, number 26, competed this year.
Money raised at the East-West 11-man and 9-man games goes to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis, Minn., which provides pediatric orthopaedic care at no cost to the families of its patients.
The Backstrom’s cousin, Ben Backstrom (far right), received care at the Shriners hospital after a lawn mower accident in 2003. That has made participation in the Shrine Bowl more personal for the young men
— a great way of giving back to an organization that gave their cousin so much.
Ben, the son of Dennis and Priscilla (Perky) Backstrom of Maddock, is wearing a jersey he received at this year’s banquet and holding a football signed by all the 2007 Shrine Bowl players.

Citizen of Year
Robert "Sally" Ebach, left, was named Minnewaukan’s Citizen of the Year at Summerfest July 28. Ebach has donated his time, energy and money in support of endeavors at Minnewaukan for many years. Making the presentation was Minnewaukan Mayor Curtis Yri, right. Ebach’s name will be engraved on a plaque which will hang in the Minnewaukan Library.

Catches big catfish
Joe Strand, 12-year-old son of Mike and Donna Strand of Leeds, caught this 20 lb., 2 oz. catfish on the Red River July 26. The fishing trip was guided by Larry Kyllo, owner of the Red River Catfish Co. The fish was released back to the river for the next fisherman.

Shrine Bowl has real meaning for Maddock football players and Backstrom family
To most of us the North Dakota East-West Shrine Bowl is a chance to see some of high school’s best football players compete for one last time. It’s a midsummer football fix that brings us to the Red River Valley for a game featuring senior all-stars from around the state.
To the Backstrom family of Maddock, the Shrine Bowl has another meaning — the one it was originally meant for — to raise money for, and bring awareness to, the Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis, Minn.
This year two Backstrom family members were honored at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on July 21 — one as a player and one as a prince.
When Jordan received word he was selected to play in the Shrine Bowl, the Shriner’s also asked that he and his parents help find local sponors for the event. His Maddock teammates, Brandon Lunde and Mark Wack Jr. were asked to do the same.
As all children and parents know, it’s easiest to start with family. When Jordan’s aunt, Perky Backstrom sent in their contribution she decided to include a note expressing gratitude for all the Shriners have done for her son, Ben. She also said her nephews gained a new perspective on what the game was supposed to be about — the children in the hospital, not winning or losing or playing football for one last time.
The main coordinator of the Shrine Bowl, Dale Duchscherer of Aneta, called Perky and asked to hear more of her story. He told her each year children under Shriner care are picked to be the prince and princess of the game and he was going to pass Ben’s name along to the committee. (Dale is a 1976 graduate of Minnewaukan High School.) A short time later they were notified that Ben was selected as the 2007 prince.
As you know from the caption on the front page photo, Josh, Caleb and Jordan, sons of Philip and Carol Backstrom of Maddock, all played in the Shrine Bowl. Ben’s story begins less than a week after Josh’s game in 2003. That’s when he was in a lawn mower accident that resulted in the loss of his right leg below the knee.
He was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. where doctors did what they could for the right leg and then worked to repair the flesh torn from his left leg by performing numerous surgeries and skin grafts. Once they felt confident the leg was saved, physical therapy began. After three weeks at Regions, the insurance company informed Ben’s parents, Dennis and Perky, that benefits were running out.
According to Perky, they were afraid for Ben’s future. He was barely able to use crutches and the insurance company was saying it was time to go home or find another way to pay for the aftercare he so desperately needed.
That’s when they received a call from Gerald Wagner of Roseville, Minn., Dennis’ former ag teacher at Maddock High School. He urged them to have Ben transferred immediately to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis so he could benefit from the orthopaedic care they specialize in for adolescents.
For the first time since Ben’s accident, the Backstrom family felt hope for his future. Perky stated the care he received was excellent and they were assured everything would be done to enable him to have a normal life. The staff at the hospital said they are with Ben for the long haul.
Today Ben goes back every six months for "tweaking" by his prosthetisist, Dick. He makes adjustments for Ben’s comfort and maneuverability. Ben says he gets a new prosthesis about every one to two years, or whenever he gets new shoes.
As for being the prince this year, 14-year-old Ben said it was "kinda cool" to get the autographed football and go out on the field at halftime of the 11-man game. He also gave a speech at the banquet in the morning and was able to meet and thank some of the local Shriners.
Ben also enjoyed watching his cousin, Jordan and former schoolmates Brandon Lunde and Mark Wack Jr. help the East team shutout the West team, 17-0.
As for Jordan, Brandon and Mark . . . each year the boys playing in the Shrine Bowl arrive a week before the game for practice. Some practice in Grand Forks and some in Fargo. And in the last few years the Shriners have taken them to the hospital in Minneapolis to meet the children the game benefits.
So even though Jordan got to carry the ball six times for ten yards and Brandon was considered by the East coach as one of his defensive standouts and Mark did his part in clearing a path for the running backs, they knew the game was all about the kids they met in Minneapolis.
The most memorable part of the weekend for Ben’s parents was when the Potentate of the El Zagal Temple in Fargo, Charlie Skeel, said to them before they walked onto the field at halftime, "He’s one of ours now."

Ben Backstrom (far right) poses with the Maddock members of the 2007 Shrine Bowl 9-man East Team. From the left is Brandon Lunde, son of Paul and Cheryl Lunde; Marck Wack Jr., son of Mark Wack; and Jordan Backstrom, son of Philip and Carol Backstrom and Ben’s cousin.

State winner
Kimberly Randle, daughter of Diane and Wayne Randle of Maddock, was selected the state winner in the North Dakota FFA State Agriscience Competition held at the ND State Fair in Minot. Kimberly is a member of A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter of Maddock and is the chapter secretary. Her project compared the psychrotropic proteolytic bacteria that occurred in different types of cheese. Three judges interviewed and reviewed her and gave her project a blue ribbon grand champion award.
She is now eligible to present her project at the National FFA Agriscience competition at the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind. this fall.

4-H’ers earn ribbons
The Benson County 4-H Horse Judging Team received second place in the state horse judging contest at the ND State Fair in Minot. Team members are, left to right, Janna Rice, Kristine Keller and Sharisa Yri.

Janna Rice of Maddock is shown with her horse and champion ribbon in western riding. She is a member of Benson County 4-H.

Katie Rice of Maddock placed in several categories. The Benson County 4-H member earned a champion ribbon in western riding, reserve champion in hunt seat equitation, champion in western horsemanship and second place high point individual.

Receiving a champion ribbon in drawing and a reserve champion ribbon in computers was Anne Backstrom of Maddock, a member of Benson County 4-H.

Ben Backstrom of Maddock, and a member of Benson County 4-H, received a champion ribbon in crop production and a reserve champion ribbon in wood arts at the state fair.

Catch largest walleye in tourney
The Lake Region Anglers Adult/Child Fishing Outing was held Saturday, July 21 at Graham’s Island State Park. The LRAA holds this outing each year in conjunction with Children’s Day at Graham’s Island State Park. Jordan Every of Minnewaukan, left, and Justin Eback of Devils Lake brought home the largest walleye in the tournament, a 3.46 pounder. Thirty-two children from ages 2 to 17 and 28 adults braved the gusty winds and hot weather to take part in the tournament. Jordan is the son of Mike and Laura Every of Minnewaukan and Justin is the son of Terry and Susan Eback of Devils Lake.

Hall of Fame
The late Ed Peterson was inducted into Minnewaukan’s Hall of Fame at Summerfest activities July 28. His daughter, Bernice Hanson of Oberon, accepted the certificate for the family. The original certificate hangs in the hall of fame at the Minnewaukan Library.
Making the presentation was Minnewaukan Mayor Curtis Yri, who is in Legion uniform since he was part of the color guard which led the parade.

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