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Subscribe to the Burke County Tribune, by calling 701-377-2626 or e-mailing to tribune@nccray.netTuesday, September 16, 2014
County Offering
Severance Package
to Sheriff

By Lyann Olson
Burke County Sheriff Michael P. Cude brought an unsigned letter of resignation to the Burke County Commissioners at a special meeting Friday, Sept. 5.

On the agenda was a letter from the Attorney General which stated county commissioners have the authority to remove the sheriff from office. States Attorney Amber Fiesel advised the board the county has potential liability for wrongful removal of somebody.

Discussion was held on holding a public hearing.
“To even consider that [a hearing to remove the sheriff] we should have some pretty rock solid evidence,” said Commissioner Terry Nelson.

Chairman Allen Ryberg allowed the general public to speak.
Sheriff Cude asked the board to “Use caution and due diligence to make sure you don’t hang an innocent man.”

Schneider Running as a
Write-In for County Sheriff

By Lyann Olson
Pete Schneider, Lieutenant Deputy with the Burke County Sheriff’s Department, has decided to throw his name into the ring as a write-in candidate for Burke County Sheriff in the General Election, Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Schneider joined the county sheriff’s department in July. Since that time, he has been busy, “getting the office back in control.” As of Aug. 29, all the bills have been paid, credit cards reimbursed, and civil papers caught up. Along with Chief Deputy, Barry Vannatta, the two are now working on getting warrants filed and completed.

“I’ve really enjoyed the people in Burke County,” said Schneider. “It’s been fun working with all the departments at the courthouse.”

Combines Rolling
The combines were finally rolling full speed ahead over the weekend after rains shut down harvest for a few days. Rain is forecasted again with possible flurries on Wednesday.

Slices of Life
By: Jill Pertler

I’ve been feeding a squirrel. Please note the singular tense. Squirrel. Not squirrels. People don’t typically feed squirrels. They feed birds and try to keep the squirrels from getting at the bird food. That’s how it goes, usually.
So I don’t feed multiple squirrels; I feed just one. He lives in my yard. I named him Earl.

I guess I’m not so much feeding him as attempting to train him to understand that when he sees a bright red bowl on the patio it contains scrumptious morsels. I use the same bowl, in the same spot, at the same time every day. When I walk outside with the bowl, I make a clicking sound to alert Earl with the message: “Food – incoming.” It’s my own attempt at classical conditioning. Like Pavlov with his dogs except my dog is a salivating squirrel. I was a behavior analyst in another life. True story.

I provide just a tiny bit of food because I don’t want Earl to be dependent on me. He still needs to hone and rely on his survival instincts. I’m no meals on wheels, more like a snack benefactor.

Besides, I don’t want to feed all the squirrels in my yard. They’d probably tell their friends and pretty soon I’d have a squirrel overpopulation situation. Plus I don’t have any desire to be known as the squirrel lady.

I chose Earl over the others because he is the cutest. He frolics in the yard – there’s no other fitting description. He hops and digs and digs and hops with a glee not typical of rodents. I get a kick out of the way he holds his food in his little front paws. (I realize all squirrels do this, but Earl is especially adorable.) And he is black, so I am able to distinguish him from his gray cousins. Earl is my boy.

Except, I don’t know if he is a boy. You have to get really close to a squirrel to determine its sex. In other words, Earl could be a girl. But I’m not letting a detail like that get in the way of my science.

When I started this experiment, I was under the assumption that squirrels ate peanuts. They do, but there’s a problem with this practice. In a squirrel’s world, peanuts are the nutritional equivalent of cheese puffs. They are junk food, plain and simple.

So I decided to attempt to enhance rather than sabotage Earl’s diet. It’s what a friend would do. Google taught me squirrels are vegetarians, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Each day I’ve tried something new – in combination with a beloved peanut or two. I put a couple of grapes in his bowl. He nibbled on one. I tried a cherry tomato. Earl buried it. I gave him a big treat of a strawberry. He took one bite and tossed it aside. Corn was also discarded. Ditto that for a slice of cucumber and piece of banana.

Today he rejected carrots, even though the Internet warned against letting squirrels gorge on carrots because most of them love carrots that much. Earl is not most squirrels.
He is a junk food junkie and wants only peanuts. Little stinker.

He’ll eat one and then bury the other. He’s got them scattered throughout the yard and I guess plans to dig them up come winter. This is plausible. According to my research, squirrels are quite adaptable, which equates to intelligence in the animal kingdom. They have the ability to envision 3D maps of the locations where they’ve buried their nuts (and in Earl’s case a tomato). They can access this information days and even months later to find supper.

I don’t have the brain capacity to create 2D maps, so Earl’s got my respect there.
Now if only I could get him to eat his vegetables.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. You can read more and follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

(651) 264-1979 


Do you have a news tip or story idea? Call 1-800-377-2610 or 701-377-2626



The annual Car Show in Powers Lake is set for Saturday, Sept. 13.
The show takes place on Main Street and will run from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Come and enjoy food, classic cars and fun!!


Co-Ed Volleyball League will start in Bowbells, Sunday, Sept. 21. Matches begin at 3:00 p.m.
Please call in your team, three men and three women, to Brea Seime, 377-3315 or Joy Beard, 377-4478. Deadline is noon on Thursday, Sept. 18.


The Bowbells Parent-Teacher Organization is looking for new members. The next meeting is set for Monday, Sept. 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the school.

Anyone can join, parents, teachers, friends. If enrollment continues to decline, the organization will have to look into dissolving.
Take an interest in your local school/education and attend the next meeting.


The Flaxton Planning and Zoning Commission is seeking public commentary on the proposed Flaxton Master Plan.
Commission meets upstairs at the Flaxton Memorial Hall, 7:00 p.m., Monday, Sept. 22.

Copies of the proposed plan may be acquired via email by contacting the City Auditor at


Burke County is seeking information from area residents where excess water levels may be threatening area roads or properties due to recent rainfall and the inability for some low lying area’s to drain effectively.

If residents are observing or may be experiencing excess water levels please contact the Burke County Emergency Management Office at (701) 377-4911 to report this information.

Your assistance is appreciated in order to evaluate any damages or potential damages due to the amount of rainfall Burke County has received.

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