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The year in photos - 2005
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July-December 2004
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Discussion was held on the Stampede road project with some complaints called in. Ryberg drove the road, stating it was nice and smooth but he isn’t happy with the dip after the railroad tracks, going south. It should have been built up.

Road foreman, Ken Tetrault reported the proposed improvements made by the Local Road Safety Program, including rumble strips, 6 inch center lines, need for more chevrons on curves (King’s Highway, Short Creek Dam, County Road 17), and intersection improvements, namely entrances into Flaxton, Powers Lake entrance by the school, King’s Highway & 50, and King’s Highway & 52. The county will be able to pick and choose what they want done.

Tetrault did an inspection of the parking lot.
Gravel crushing at the Wayne Nelson pit is idle and the Barmoen pit crusher is down.

The road crew has improved two miles of road in Battleview Township by removing a lot of rocks.

Jeff Ebsch of Brosz Engineering reported on King’s Highway, County Road 7, 1 & 16 & 17, and the parking lot.


Chairman, Allen Ryberg stated that he would like to see all the cities in the county become active in Oil & Gas, “We need to stick our nose in more of it.”

Commissioner Terry Nelson agreed, “We need to be proactive.”
Tony Pandolfo, Mayor of the City of Bowbells, asked the commissioners about the Surge program and funding for cities.

Pandolfo requested information from the board on the tax sale, when and where it would be held, how the sale was run.
A raffle permit was approved for the Dollars for Scholars (Burke Central & Bowbells).

Shamah, invested deeply in the memoir, continued her portion of the story; thus “Sierra Sunrise”, the Demeter-Persephone story (a Greek myth) told from a modern point of view, was born. This creative non-fiction romantic adventure is based on Shamah’s personal experiences.

“This is very much a piece about me,” stated Shamah. “For me, Demi is not searching for her biological-child; she’s looking for her own inner-child.”

Shamah explained, “If we don’t heal this little baby inside, we can’t be whole human beings. We can’t be good parents. We can’t be good teachers. All those things depend on our sense of self sufficiency, self-reliance, and sense of who we are as whole persons.”

Shamah’s Demeter character (Demi) finds a way to heal as Poseidon, (Sy) gives her the power to move forward.


In her second story, “Hand Me Downs,” Shamah clarified that it is more of a memoir rather than a novel, using her husband and herself as the main characters.

“Except for the very beginning, there is nothing that has been made up, but the names have been changed,” stated Shamah. “My point in “Hand Me Downs” is this is what the prairie is all about. As I understand it as an outsider, you can’t escape who you are here. Everybody knows you and you aren’t allowed to change.”

The main character, Tamara is an outsider, coming into a community much like Flaxton, ND. She is really afraid of what will happen to her in the terms her friends’ and relatives’ perceptions.

“I taught in California 40 years; I can only represent the prairie from the point of view of this person coming in from the outside - admiring and enjoying, and at the same time finding the foibles that exist in the community.”

Shamah said that she doesn’t feel judgmental about this area of the prairie, so much as she stands “in wonderment of it, that it existed throughout this long economic drought and what’s happening to it today is so exciting.”

Shamah started to write about eight years ago. “Sierra Sunrise” and “Hand Me Downs” both fall into the creative non-fiction category of literature. They are based on reality, but there has been some twisting of agenda and names.

The talented writer has many short stories that haven’t been published. She plans to add them to her online story, “Hand Me Downs.” She also has many other stories in the works.

The Flaxton author is planning to publish, “Sierra Sunshine” in book form later next year.
Both stories are available online at, and Barnes and for download to be read on the computer, Ipad, or e-reader.

To date, the Land Board has awarded about $200.4 million in Energy Impact Grants to address a wide range of needs in western North Dakota, including enhancements for law enforcement agencies, upgrades to airports as well as county and city infrastructure and support for growing schools.

The Land Board will award about another $39 million in Energy Impact Grants during the remainder of the biennium.
The state grants awarded to further support the region’s emergency medical services and rural fire districts included:

* Bowbells Fire Department, $150,000, for rescue/extrication vehicle and equipment;

*Portal Rural Ambulance District, $200,000, for new ambulance building;

*Portal Rural Fire District, $54,848, for chassis on quick response brush truck;

* Powers Lake Rural Ambulance District, $130,000, for ambulance.

The Land Board will award about $240 million in energy impact grants during the 2013-2015 biennium. The grants are addressing a wide range of needs in western North Dakota, including enhancements for law enforcement agencies, upgrades to airports as wells as county and city infrastructure and support for growing schools.

In all, the state will provide about $2.7 billion to support the state’s oil and gas region during the 2013-2015 biennium. The state’s 2013-2015 commitment – more than twice the amount of the previous, two-year funding package of about $1.2 billion – is being used to address many needs in western North Dakota, including: highway, county and township road improvements; water supply and water treatment projects; funding assistance for local law enforcement agencies and emergency medical responders, the development of affordable housing and assistance for growing school districts.


Our daughter, Sierra, returned home for a visit this weekend. Her first time back from college, and the first we’ve seen of her, since we parted ways in Bozeman back in August.

The first we’ve seen of her in person anyway.
There have been numerous sightings of her via Facebook. Pictures of her hiking…pictures of her mountain biking…pictures of her white water rafting…pictures of her rock climbing. In essence, a pictorial montage of the poor girl trying to mask her homesickness.

To the casual observer the massive smile on that mask is fairly effective in portraying someone thoroughly enjoying college life, but a father is not a casual observer.

A father sees right through that massive smile. A father sees a girl desperately missing home. A father doesn’t see sweat and river water he sees sorrowful tears. A father…ah who am I trying to kid, the girl is having the time of her life…and she has good grades.

As long as those two can coincide I have no problems.
The life of college students is such a grueling affair who can blame them for letting off a little steam now and then with all that the Big Sky state has to offer.

It’s a good thing I went to college in Aberdeen, SD where the two biggest distractions from studying were watching it snow and shoveling snow.

I managed to squeeze a little fun out of my time in college (a little more than some, a little less than someone…I’m sure) but good grades and good times did not coexist in a congenial manner for me.

Fortunately for Sierra a relatively even split of genetics has made it possible for her to balance the two ends of this college equation.

A relentless drive for academic success from me and an eye for all things fun, funny, and frivolous from her mother (historical accuracy is always at the mercy of the writer).

That’s why my wife stalked and wooed me 20 years ago in college. She needed someone serious and studious to balance out her penchant for partying so her children had half a chance of being productive citizens and resist the urge to become pixy dust spreaders on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Hard to believe it’s been 20 years since she set her diabolical plan into action.

Dawn and I went back to our old alma mater a few weeks ago for homecoming. She had an alumni gathering for the track and cross-country team to attend and I went along as her arm candy…as usual.

It was fun to see some familiar faces who shared our time and place at Northern State.

Twenty years of living had exerted itself to varying degrees on all of us. Some more fortunate than others.
Some hadn’t changed much at all and some you had to squint and use your imagination a little more extensively to see who you saw 20 years ago.

I have a good imagination but it does have its limits.
It was enjoyable to visit and catch up with all the goings on in some of their lives…some not so much.

Some were able to jar your memory right quick on why you were never really chums 20 years ago.
If only our appearance was as resilient to the passage of time as our personality.

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