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Julie Ward, a third grade teacher from Liberty Elementary, is the 2015 Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce Elementary Teacher of the Year.

More than 60 students and teachers wrote to the chamber to show their support for Ward.

She is known for going above and beyond at Liberty, staying after school to tutor children as well as supporting the schools’ volleyball and basketball teams.

Ward has taught in Bismarck Public Schools for 19 years, also spending time at Saxvik and Northridge.

Julie is the daughter of Delwyn and Mary Winzenburg of Bowbells.

Student of the Week

Burke Central Elementary has announced its Students of the Week. They are Gavin Nygard, Alex Feri and Erica Smith.

Gavin Nygard (1st grade) has worked hard in first grade all year. Gavin always turns in his homework. If he is absent from school, he completes all his work the very next day. He has demonstrated respect to his teachers and classmates. Gavin also has a happy, easy going, comical personality!

Alex Feri (3rd grade) is very polite and honest student. You can always see Alex on the playground, playing with everyone and sharing whatever ball he is playing with.
In the classroom, Alex is a quiet and respectful student. He works hard and is always willing to help anyone who needs it.
Alex has a great sense of humor and a fun person to have in the classroom. You never have to worry about Alex getting his work done, as he takes pride in his work.

Erica Smith (5th grade) has received two notations! Erica works extremely hard. She listens well, turns in her homework and asks questions. Erica offers help to others when they need it. She is always polite and respectful. Erica sets a good example for others to follow.

Portal Masonic Lodge #84 Announces
Scholarship Winners for 2015

Portal Masonic Lodge #84 is happy to announce the three winners of their annual college assistance grants.

Three thousand dollars divided into three $1000 scholarships will be given to Lakin Peterson of Columbus, Haley Allen of Lignite and Declan MacDonald of North Portal, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Haley is the daughter of Bobbi and Cole Allen of Lignite. She is a senior at Burke Central High School.

Her honors and activities include: honor student, Student of the Month, Student Council and officer of the Council, Academic Olympics, drama, speech, pep club, choir, band, basketball, volleyball and co-Captain of those teams.
Haley plans to attend Minot State University.

Declan is the son of Dorna and Scott MacDonald of North Portal, SK. He is a Senior at Estevan Comprehensive School in Estevan.
His honors and activities include: honor roll grade 10-12, track team, stage hand, guitar lessons.

Declan plans to attend the University of Saskatchewan at Saskatoon and work towards a degree in chemical engineering

Lakin is the daughter of Laura and Daniel Peterson of Columbus. Lakin is a senior at Burke Central High School.
Her honors and activities include: honor roll, Student of the Month, Academic All-State Honorable Mention Team, community involvement, drama, pep club, student council (president), basketball, volleyball and track.
Lakin plans to attend Williston State College.

Each $1000 grant will be sent directly to the college of choice to be used for books or tuition.

Monies were raised by Portal Masonic Lodge through pancake breakfasts and donations from Masons and supporters and the N.D. Masonic Foundation.

Portal Masonic Lodge is an international lodge composed of members from N. Portal, Portal, Lignite, Flaxton, Columbus, Bowbells, Powers Lake and Divide County.

Outdoor Tales


I cannot tell you how much fun I have had this spring with the nice weather and not being tied to a desk all day.

All winter I have been working ahead as far as I can on writing, planning and inside preparation for the summer guiding season so when the weather got nice I could just go, and so far that is exactly how it has been.

An inside to-do list nearly complete and an outside to-do list that is barely started but that is ok as the seasons change.

Just spending an afternoon in the driveway cleaning cars has been a delight this spring.

The other day I did the annual oil change and maintenance on the lawn mower, and just for fun I even mowed the grass.

That is just the work stuff, the real exciting stuff has been the early fishing opportunities this nice weather has provided.

Normally the river is flooding (now we need water very bad) and we are unable to get in until mid-May or it is cool and the catfish don’t respond positively. Not this year, once the warm weather set in the water warmed and hang on to your rods.

The guide service is ready to go but this early in May many of the guests are not. With that, one needs to just get outside and have some fun.

I helped a buddy learn to navigate a fairly dangerous river spot with his new boat one evening. Once we got through that part of the day we, of course, decided to wet some lines.

The catfish were not really on but of course “pike king” Braden reeled in yet a new personal best 35-inch pike.

A couple days later I had the opportunity to pre-fish the Drayton stretch of the river with my old Channel 8 boss, Rob Horken, who incidentally is the guy who took me catfishing for the very first time so many years ago.

We got to hang out on the river for a whole day, catch big fish and he saw a new part of the river he has never before seen.

With very few actual guide trips until the end of the month it is a great time to shoot some TV shows and do some photo shoots for sponsors.

That is how I will be spending my next couple weeks to take advantage of this weather and the good bite.
Keep the promotion part of the business early so they are not trying to get in and wrap things up when the guiding is busy and I don’t have time to commit to the project.

This is a very fun part of the job when the fish cooperate.
Until then it will be work on the to-do lists, keep plugging away on guiding, photo and TV shoots and of course just enjoying the outdoors.

Braden is going to get his first trip to the Canadian side of the Red River here soon. This will be a trip to the Mecca of channel catfish at the age of five. I was 28 when I made my first trip there and try to go back two or three times per year.

I have a feeling he will really enjoy it and I will have another partner for the trips up north. Stay tuned on that one.

For now get outside and just enjoy the spring. Before we know it the heat will set in, the bugs will be out, and it won’t be nearly as enjoyable as it is right now.

Oh who am I kidding being outside in North Dakota is always wonderful, even in the rain.

Until next time get outside and make some memories.


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