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Thursday, July 10, 2014
Enbridge Helps Revamp
Lignite City Park
By Amanda Bjergaard Corey
In a time when many corporations aren’t known for giving, Enbridge Inc. is striving hard to make sure they give back to the communities they affect.
Their Volunteers In Partnership (VIP) program allows for several volunteer and non-profit organizations to receive help in the form of grants, donations and paid time off for employees to volunteer at various organizations.
Recently, their help came in the form of a revamp to the Lignite City Park.
The project began last fall, when Karen McEvers suggested to her brother, Quentin “Jody” Hill, an employee of Enbridge, that the park needed help. Plagued with frequent vandalism and a dismantled park board, it had fallen into disrepair.
Submitted by Diane Isakson
The Windmill Park Playground in Powers Lake is ready to be enjoyed by children for years to come.
In addition to what you see in the pictures, there is a new tire swing and merry-go-round and the Powers Lake Civic Club was able to retain the original swing set.
The ground beneath all the equipment is covered with engineered flex fiber that looks like wood chips but will not rot, mold or give slivers.
A wheelchair and stroller ramp was late in arriving but should be installed soon.
Burke County Courthouse
Personnel Fed Up
By Lyann Olson
A group of Burke County officials and staff met informally July 3 to discuss their feelings concerning the perceived hostile work environment in the sheriff’s department. It was felt that recent events have created a morale problem throughout all departments in the courthouse. No commissioners or Sheriff Cude attended this meeting.
The last straw was a letter given to Sue Christiansen, office manager of the sheriff’s department, from Sheriff Cude stating, “Burke County Commissioners illegally granted you one week of administrative leave to assist you with the time needed to decide whether you were going to stay as an employee of Burke County Sheriff’s Office or not.....You did not properly request the time off and the necessary approval for time off was not given by the Sheriff.”
Commissioner Ryberg requested that Christiansen return to work July 2 to complete the June paperwork. (Christiansen had been on administrative leave, granted by the commissioners until their next meeting).
Christiansen worked a full day, July 2. Upon returning to work, July 3, Christiansen reports that Sheriff Cude presented her with a letter of termination and to get out of the office as she was trespassing.
The courthouse heads discussed a possible walk-out, picketing, calling news agencies, to let the public know they are not happy.
It was decided to attend the next commissioners meeting as a united front; voicing concerns about the sheriff’s office, some of which pertain to serving the public, confidentiality, and accessibility.
The Burke County Commissioners met in special session, Monday, July 7 with over 20 county patrons attending. Commissioner Nelson was not present.
First order of business was Sue Christiansen and her termination of employment by Sheriff Cude.
Cude explained that he was in agreement with the one week of administrative leave, but stated Sue had abandoned her job and left work undone, not returning until July 2.
Christiansen responded that civil paperwork was left on her desk for two weeks. “And that’s your job,” she said.
Christiansen stated she felt uncomfortable with the closed door, as Cude would not open it upon her request. Cude countered, “If you don’t feel safe at this job, why are you here? [today]”
The open case files left on the front desk were discussed and
Slices of Life
By: Jill Pertler
The Patio Project
I am tired. My back is sore. My arms ache. My husband put me through the ropes this weekend. He had me completely tied up with yard work.
Our little project involved considerable moving of earth and sod as well as lifting and placement of 4,524 pounds of patio blocks. But that’s just an estimate.
We’ve always been do-it-yourselfers. We enjoy projecting together. Some couples are good at recreating. If they found an extra pile of cash they’d go out for a night on the town. We’d purchase a bunch of lumber or maybe resurface the driveway. Give us a garden that needs planting, a sink that needs installing or a deck that needs painting and we’ll be happy and content together for a whole weekend. It’s how we roll.
Lately, our ambitions have intensified. I blame it on too much TV. We watch home improvement shows where a team of 50 landscaping experts take on a beaten up yard and in two days transform it into paradise. Seeing retaining walls, water features and outdoor kitchens installed on-screen motivates my husband and me to think we can do the same things ourselves. Problem is, we aren’t landscaping professionals and we’re about 48 warm bodies short of the TV crew’s size.
We don’t let insignificant details like that stifle our self-confidence.
No way. We head to the home improvement store and order two tons of patio block to be delivered on Friday and are sure we can have them in place by Sunday afternoon.
To be fair, we have a crew of our own, but you know how it is with kids and yard work – or any work. Sometimes it’s easier to do it yourself, because having them help involves teaching and teaching takes time and a weekend is only two days long and things have got to get done before the sun sets on Sunday, you know?
Besides, previous commitments – jobs, sports and other activities – made our offspring unavailable for much of the project’s duration. They helped some, but by and large it was just my husband and me.
He got the big shovel; I got the little one. We went to work creating a patio and placing a few paver blocks to make a walking path. Sounded simple. It would have been, except the paver blocks were – in a word – heavy. And awkward. Each one had to be placed on a level surface. To create such a surface, sod and soil had to be removed from the ground. Sod and soil are heavy. And awkward. Once we had an area cut for each block, we poured in a layer of sand – from 60 pound bags. Sixty pounds is heavy. And awkward.
Every hour or two, I needed a break to catch my breath. My husband played the role of Energizer Bunny. To be honest, he did most of the work, but I did most of the sweating. Day two proved to be the toughest day of labor I’d ever experienced – besides the four times I was in actual labor.
Finally (finally, finally!) we placed the last block.
Actually, my husband placed the last block. By this time I was supervising. It was a glorious feeling of accomplishment mixed with perspirative exhaustion. Our bodies ached in a good way that comes from working together and getting the job done with your favorite project partner.
Now we get to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor. At least until our next project next Saturday.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of “The Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Self-Syndication.” You can read more and follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.
(651) 264-1979 firstname.lastname@example.org
Join the Stoney Run Sportsman Club at Northgate Dam on Friday, July 11 for a scavenger hunt for children and adults. Campers will be decorated with judging Saturday night.
Events on Saturday include a kids parade, kids games, ladder ball tourney, potluck supper and music.
Sunday get up early for a fishing derby. A BB gun shoot and turkey shoot will also be held.
United Blood Services is teaming with the Bowbells Fire and Ambulance and sponsoring a blood drive being held from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 17 at the United Methodist Church in Bowbells.
To schedule an appointment for a blood donations please call Miranda, 377-2870; Cindy, 377-2372 or Monica, 339-0224.
You may also log on to www.bloodhero.com, select donate blood and enter “Bowbells” as the sponsor code to make an appointment.