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Subscribe to the Burke County Tribune, by calling 701-377-2626 or e-mailing to tribune@nccray.netTuesday, December 01, 2015
Lignite Counts Their Blessings

By: Jodi Benge
The afternoon of August 17, 2015 will forever be etched in the minds of Monte Mutschelknaus and Nichol Moore. It was the fateful day that Monte saw his eleven-year-old son, Kyle roll a tractor while coming home on a gravel road east of Highway 40 in Burke County.

Nichol had been out in the yard that afternoon when her nine-year-old son, Garett called her. He was with his dad in a truck and also saw Kyle’s accident. When she came into the house and saw she had a missed call, Nichol immediately called back.

“When Garett told me Kyle had an accident, my feet immediately felt like bricks, said Nichol. “He told me that Kyle was talking about his arm being hurt, so I knew at that point he was still alive.”

A neighbor, Scott Kostad, offered Nichol a ride to the scene.

“I remember it seeming like an eternity before we arrived,” said Nichol. “But when we did arrive, I pretty much lost it.”

She remembers Monte pacing with tears in his eyes, which was really hard on Kyle’s mom.
“I knew I had to somehow keep it together for everyone’s sake,” commented Nichol.

“I remember there being so many ambulance sirens, lights, and cop vehicles all around,” said Nichol with tears in her eyes. “Then I saw the helicopter hovering over needing a place to land. I knew the situation was worse than I had expected.”

Commissioners Hold
Public Auction of Property

The annual sale of property acquired by tax deed was held at 10 a.m. in the courthouse at a public action. Commissioners Allen Ryberg and Chairman David Sellie were present. Commissioner Debbie Kuryn was absent.

The following real estate was sold:

Lot 9, Block 1, Original Townsite, Larson Village sold to Aaron Norby

Lots 9-12, Block 8, Original Townsite, Larson Village sold to Robert T. and Elizabeth A. Casteel

SE/2 lots 4-6, Block 6, Original Townsite, Flaxton City sold to Eaton Family Trust

W/2SE/4 less Highway and Portions, Section 31-163-90, Unplatted Portion, Flaxton City sold to Jeremy and Casey Ragle.


Jeff Ebsch, Brosz Engineering reported that Burke County 7 is complete with final pay estimate will be presented at the next meeting. He stated the project was a little less than $160,000 under budget. This will be added onto the Surge money for next year.

Burke County 16 is mostly complete, box culvert is done. Tetrault has done a final inspection on the culvert. Needs to do the road inspection yet.
Burke County 8 will need to be discussed at next meeting for budget estimates. Commissioners would like to bid the project by March 1.

Ken Tetrault, road foreman, presented pictures of a situation on Burke County 17, near Steve Peterson’s. A culvert is needed. The commissioners approved the work.

The road crew finished the Burke County 1 grade raise and half of the riprap has been done on Burke County 11 near the Atwood/Smith corner. “The water has been eating on that pretty good,” stated Tetrault.

He has not received the specs for the Moody pit as of yet. Discussion on pricing of gravel at the Biwer pit at an agreed upon price.
Oasis put coarse gravel on when they had the spill, and have since put better gravel on. Chairman Sellie reported that the fence was finally coming down as of a couple days ago.

The snow equipment should be put on by the end of the week.


Marla MacBeth presented an application to rezone from agricultural to industrial for Farmers Union Oil, along with a building permit for a bulk petroleum plant on Highway 52. The commissioners approved the zoning and building permit.

MacBeth also reported that Mobergs were present at the planning and zoning board meeting. The board motioned to give Mobergs six months to apply for zoning permit to be in compliance for skid shacks due to replatting.


Jeremy stated his office is full staffed. He is looking into purchasing body cams.


Tony Pandolfo stated the City of Bowbells had received the bill for the demolition of the old hardware store on Main Street in Bowbells (about $21-$22,000). The city is also interested in two parcels Lots 9, 10, 11 & 12) in the city of Bowbells. The commissioners negotiated the purchase price of $30 due to special assessment against the property, with the demolition charge to be absorbed by the City of Bowbells.

The City of Powers Lake is looking for support for their application for Safe Routes to School project. The commissioners approved the chairman’s signature.

The chairman signed the county deed for the City of Columbus.
A quit claim deed from Burke County to Kristy Monson was approved.

“He Is Born” is theme selected by Directors Ed Retzer and Harlan Johnson for the 45th Annual Celebration of Christmas Music.

This theme is very pertinent to the times we are living in and makes us realize how important the Christmas Season really is to all of us.
The “International Chorus” has been rehearsing for 12 weeks now and is looking forward to singing for you.

The concerts will be Saturday, December 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Estevan and Sunday, December 6, at 4:00 p.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church in Crosby.

Danielle Evanson of Estevan is the principal accompanist with Vicki Lee, Crosby, serving as secondary accompanist.

A men’s ensemble from Estevan is this year’s featured selection.
Please join the choir on December 5 and 6 for the 45th Annual Christmas Concert.

Knowing that He is Born is a great way to start the Advent Season. This is a great way to also begin the Christmas Season.
Following the performance at Concordia on Sunday, there will be a no-host buffet supper at Mr. K’s.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy this time of fellowship.

Slices of Life
By: Jill Pertler

It’s Friday night at 11:00 p.m. the end of a particularly hectic week and I am tired. But it is okay, because I can go to bed, thank goodness. They don’t need me to tuck them in anymore, at least not on Fridays, when they outlast me and sometimes end up tucking me in because it’s been a long week and they are usually kind to their mom.

This tucking, while sweet, is by no means guaranteed. They have places to go and things to do most Friday nights. Such is the life when you are a teenager or slightly beyond.

On the best nights (my viewpoint, not theirs) they are all home under one roof, but that doesn’t happen often. It wasn’t long ago that was the norm. They’d be home, in their beds, tucked in by 8:00 because they were little and tired. Looking back I suppose I took it for granted.

I took lots of things for granted. Them being home and in their beds. Having dinner together every night. Sitting with them over a bowl of cereal in the morning or ice cream in the evening. The security of car seats. Snuggling together on the couch watching Nemo. Reading “Go Dog Go,” over and over. Little things. Everyday things that seemed everyday until they weren’t anymore.

I asked a friend about this recently. Did she take the everyday for granted, too? Without hesitation she gave a knowing nod and I felt some sense of relief, I guess, at not being the only one.

She didn’t have to say a word. Her nod and expression could have filled pages. They were the actions of someone who toiled for years at parenting only to discover that once the job starts to get a little easier your duties are outsourced and your skills no longer needed. At least not on a daily (or hourly) basis.

It is bittersweet, their continually increasing independence - that they are growing up and away. I thought I’d forever be buying clothing from the children’s section. That toys would always be a part of Christmas. That chocolate milk would always be a mainstay in our fridge and sippy cups would forever prevail. All things change.

I should be celebrating. Some days I do. Other days, I see Barney or Big Bird on TV and remember when we used to watch and those sing-songy melodies got locked into my brain: “I love you; you love me.”

It is Friday night and I have the ability to go to bed when I am tired. I appreciate this freedom. I went years without sleep and know the realities of deprivation. Still, I look forward to next weekend when they will all be home and we will share a meal at the kitchen table, watch some football and stay up too late talking and laughing. I am glad they want to come home at all.

I’m sure there are people and places and parties much more interesting than good old mom and dad.
But at least for now, they return home. Maybe because they know we want them to. Maybe because they want to themselves. Maybe because they need groceries and gas and a hot meal in their bellies. Probably a little of each, but for sure the latter.

And that’s okay. They still need a few things from mom and dad. Thank goodness. And we still want them to come home. Thank goodness.

In the simplest of terms, it’s what being a family is all about – along with tucking each other in at night. Thank goodness.

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

(651) 264-1979 


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The Burke County Angel Tree is to provide gifts for the less fortunate. The intent is to help these individuals and families throughout our county experience the joy of Christmas.

If you or someone you know could benefit from the Angel Tree please fill out the request form and mail it to PO Box 73 Bowbells, ND 58721 by Dec. 5.

Angel Tree request forms are available at Burke County Social Service,

Dacotah Bank, Bowbells Farmers Union, Northland Community Health Clinic, Lignite Oil, Lignite Grocery Store, Liberty State Bank, Powers Lake Farmers Union, Country Fresh Foods and Country Store.

Monetary donations for the Angel Tree can be made payable to: Angel Tree PO Box 73 Bowbells, ND 58721

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Burke County Social Services at 377-2313.

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