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1/9/2008 – News

Volume 124, Number 49            Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

Commissioners vote not to accept Bouret’s Dam ownership
The Benson County commissioners met in regular session January 4 at 9 a.m. at the courthouse in Minnewaukan.
Chairman Curtis Hvinden of Maddock called the meeting to order.
Election of officers was held with Mike Steffan of St. Michael being elected chairman to succeed Hvinden. Dwain Brown of Sheyenne was elected vice chairman, replacing Jason Lee of Maddock. Lowell Haagenson of Leeds is the other commissioner. County Auditor Bonnie Erickson is secretary for the board.
Sheriff Steve Rohrer reported four laptop computers have been installed in county police vehicles and one remains to be installed.
Rohrer said he is planning a mock car crash this spring before prom time. He will be meeting with school boards to get their input and emergency services will be brought into the exercise. Rohrer said he would be having knee surgery at the VA Hospital in Fargo later this month and will be off duty for a few days.
He gave information he gathered on a 2008 vehicle for the sheriff’s department which would be paid for out of revenue sharing funds. He will gather more information for the next meeting of the commissioners, which will be on January 15.
County Highway Superintendent Gene "Shorty" Hager reported the highway department ended the year in the black. With a budget of more than a million dollars, the department recorded a surplus of $20,500. He said he was forced to shut down the graveling operation this fall due to the price of fuel.
Hager said he expects to retire in 2009, but would stay on for a few months of 2009 if the commissioners wanted him to. He said he would also be stepping down as Benson County emergency manager.
A county deed was signed by the chairman transferring ownership of property, including a small house, west of the Ryan Genre home in Minnewaukan to Myron and Mary Jury.
Ellen Huffman reported a request for tax abatement was received from Keith Norman, who purchased a quarter of land in McClellan Township which has a conservation easement on it. The property cannot be used for agricultural purposes unless the federal government approves those purposes. After a lengthy discussion, which included advice from State’s Attorney James Wang, commissioners decided not to approve the abatement because Norman apparently has not yet asked for permission from the federal government to utilize the land.
A lengthy discussion was also held on a proposal to more or less merge the social service offices of Ramsey, Towner and Benson Counties. Ed Forde currently serves as director of all three counties. Commissioners decided not to proceed any further until receiving input from the Benson County Social Services Board.
The commissioners reaffirmed that they would stand behind the decision of the Benson County Water Resource Board to drop out of the Devils Lake Basin Board. The dues for Benson County would have been $8,500 for 2008.
Reginal Herman of Brinsmade has applied to develop a subdivision to sell lots in East Riggin Township. The request will be turned over to the Benson County Zoning Commission.
A letter was read from the State Health Department stating Cory Christofferson of Minco Township will be given until January 31, 2008 to develop a plan for disposal of tires on his property.
Commissioners felt Christofferson is getting a "raw deal" from the State Health Department.
Members of the Benson County Water Resource Board met with the commissioners to ask if the county would take possession of Bouret’s Dam in Twin Tree Township. The State Water Commission wants the county to do so. John Beckstrand of Warwick, chairman of the water board, said the county water board simply couldn’t afford to take possession of the dam. Commissioners agreed and voted not to take possession of the dam.
Commissioners approved a beer license for the Crossroads Service Station near Churchs Ferry.
Pastor Lu Mathison of Maddock led the annual prayer service in the courtroom.

Members of the Benson County Board of Commissioners are pictured at their first meeting of 2008. Left to right are Curtis Hvinden of Maddock, Lowell Haagenson of Leeds, Jason Lee of Maddock, chairman Mike Steffan of St. Michael and vice chairman Dwain Brown of Sheyenne. On the right is County Auditor Bonnie Erickson, who is secretary for the board.

Provide special music
A youth bell choir performed at the Leeds Parish Christmas service December 23. Those attending the service at Leeds Lutheran Church enjoyed listening to "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Joy to the World" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," the last of which the children sang while ringing.
Members of the choir are from the first to fourth grades at Leeds School. They are, left to right, Mathias Follman, Katelyn Nelsen, Grace Nybo, Arnikka Thompson, Danielle Schwanke, Kaylee Lybeck, Joe Silliman, Keaten Nelsen, Braydon Follman and Spencer Follman.

To participate in honor band
Lindsay Anderson has been selected from live audition to perform in the UND Honor Band. She is a senior at Leeds School and is the daughter of Greg and Karen Anderson of Leeds.
Anderson will be part of the Honor Band, Choir and Orchestra Festival held in Grand Forks January 18 through 20. The festival concludes January 20 with a concert at the Chester Fritz Auditorium at 2:30 p.m.

Big stocking!
Joe Strand, son of Mike and Donna Strand of Leeds, was the winner of the World’s Largest Christmas Stocking. Jan Engstrom of Jan’s Stall Mall and RV Park at Leeds gave the stocking as a thank you to her patrons.

FFA members attend winter leadership event
Twenty members of the A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter of Maddock, along with chapter advisor Gary Wald, attended the annual North Dakota FFA Winter Leadership Conferences held in Bismarck January 5 and 6.
The Greenhand Leadership Conference is held for freshman agricultural education students to inform them on what is available in the FFA organization and to evaluate FFA involvement based upon information gathered during the conference. Preston Gilderhus was second high individual out of more than 300 FFA Greenhands who took a quiz on FFA history and basics.
The Made For Excellence (MFE) conference is directed toward sophomore and junior students and is focused on building confidence and competence along with giving the members an opportunity to build a foundation of excellence through their own talents, skills and will power. MFE helps members grow personally and realize what it takes to be a premier leader.
The Advanced Leadership Development (ALD) Program is directed toward members who have completed the MFE conference previously and are juniors and seniors. The ALD helps members answer the question, "What am I going to do after high school?" ALD focuses on career exploration and preparation. Members learn about a wide variety of careers in the field of agriculture. By polishing leadership and communication skills, members learn to best prepare for future careers.

Maddock FFA Greenhands are pictured, left to right, Drew Lauinger, Rachel Olson, Mikel Buckmier, Mackenzie Bullinger, Preston Gilderhus, Noah Engels, Janna Rice and Ben Backstrom.

Made For Excellence participants were, left to right, Jason Smith, Erin Leier, John Sears, Sharisa Yri and Michael Rameden.

Advanced Leadership participants were, left to right, Alexis Buckmier, Andy Backstrom, Paul Rice, Beau Buehler, Levi Slater, Tyler Sears and Kaidi Kenner.

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