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Subscribe to the Burke County Tribune, by calling 701-377-2626 or e-mailing to tribune@nccray.netWednesday, July 01, 2015
Powers Lake School
Needs Help Funding
Playground Equipment

By Lyann Olson
As the Powers Lake School addition is nearing completion, planning for the playground began in April.

Currently there is no recess/playground equipment at the new school, but in just two months 100 grade school children will be at the new building ready to play.

The equipment at the current elementary school was evaluated and only a few items can be moved to the new location.

Since much of the old equipment cannot be utilized, the school is asking for the public’s help in raising the much needed funding.

The estimated cost of a playground set suitable for the number of students currently enrolled at Powers Lake Elementary is approximately $92,000.

 More 
Roads Main Topic at
Commissioner Meeting

By Lyann Olson
The Burke County Commissioners met in regular session last Tuesday, June 17 with all commissioners present.

First order of business was Tony Pandolfo, Mayor of Bowbells. The city would like to work with the commissioners for demolition of the old hardware store. The city is also working to remove the old bank building. Since the city has hired someone to remove the asbestos from the bank building, the commissioners were in agreement to use the same company to remove the asbestos from the hardware store.

ROADS
Jeff Ebsch of Brosz Engineering reported on the road construction projects.

All the approach pipes are in for County Road 16. There is an internal gravel dispute causing a hold up. Mayo Construction needs to bring in a gravel crusher.

Discussion was held on some issues with the construction on Burke County 7. Commissioner Kuryn inquired why no one was working Friday, June 12. Ebsch reported the company is on schedule.

Most of the earthwork has been done on County Road 1. Commissioner Debbie Kuryn stated there are two really low spots that need to be taken care of. Tetrault stated his crew will be working on it [today].

The commissioners approved the contract for Central Specialties for the box culvert.

Ebsch received a price on the railroad crossing, but it was way too high to recommend it. He also stated the price to put chevrons on Burke County 1 would be $5950. They are not required, but would be a nice addition. Tetrault will look into seeing what he can do.

Tetrault reported that Burke-Divide applied for a utility occupancy permit to bore two phase lines across Count Road 16. He checked the map and everything seemed to be okay. The commissioners approved the permit.

The commissioners also approved an occupancy permit for NCC after some discussion of placement in a right-of -way.

Discussion was held on a half mile section of King’s Highway where the water level is increasing, and water comes onto the road when the wind blows. The commissioners approved changing the speed limit to 45. Commissioner Kuryn stated, “We need to think of a permanent fix.”

Tetrault’s crew has the two state land pits completed, and are ready to be released back. They have also done gravel testing at the Mariner pit with success, but there is a lot of water, “We’ll have to see if the water level goes down.”

Commissioner Ryberg brought up that a county patron would like to have a 25 mph speed limit posted on the county road going by their farmstead. Discussion ensued with Tetrault advising against it. He told the commissioners that gravel roads as a whole are posted at 45 mph, and by the end of this summer the road department will have all the county roads posted as such.

Tetrault also reported that dust control began June 15; a grant had been submitted by Barry Jager for wiring of the generator building; and water in the courthouse basement.

 more 
Audubon Dedicates Lostwood NWR and Des Lacs NW as Important Bird Areas
The Lostwood and Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuges have been identified by Audubon Dakota’s IBA Technical Committee as two of the “Important Bird Areas” in the nation, according to Audubon Dakota and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

The Dakotas technical committee comprised of land managers, scientists, and researchers reviewed bird survey data gathered over many years and identified these refuges as having exceptional bird species diversity and significant numbers of breeding birds for species.

“The sheer volume of songbirds, waterfowl, and other avian species that use these refuges is just incredible,” said Marshall Johnson, Executive Director of Audubon Dakota.
“The presence of such abundant bird life speaks volumes about the on-going management and partnerships with private cooperators that make these areas so vibrant.”

Some of the reasons for the inclusion of both Lostwood and Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuges as Important Bird Areas are:

•Annual presence of breeding Piping Plovers (Endangered Species) at Lostwood NWR

•Use of Des Lacs NWR by Whooping Cranes (Endangered Species)

•High quality avian habitat and land management at both refuges

 More 
Slices of Life
By: Jill Pertler
SUMMER METAMORPHOSIS

They are waiting to become frogs. Except they don’t know it yet. They probably never will. The change will be so gradual they won’t even sense they are changing at all.

Metamorphosis is the vocabulary word for it, but they don’t need to know that, either, to pull off the miracle they were born to complete. A tail will shrink. Legs will grow and they will go from breathing water to air, never cognizant of any of it because it is just what they are. What they were made to be. Frogs.

Or tadpoles. Or polliwogs. Depending on whom you ask and when.

Right now they are definitely tadpoles, but they are growing – I’d swear there’s a noticeable difference in them every day. Such is the life of an amphibian – going from miniscule organism to big-legged and froggish (or perhaps they are toads) in the course of 12 to 16 weeks. That’s no small feat.

I didn’t know we’d be parents to tadpoles/frogs. (Although, every mom, if she is honest, expects such a reality.) The adventure started when son number three sent a cryptic text message, “Bring a plastic bowl with a lid to school.” Call me psychic, or just seasoned in the critter department, but I suspected tadpoles were in our future. I wasn’t wrong.
He got them from science class. Where else would they be? Over the years I’ve found science teachers are more than generous about sharing “pets” with families. Particularly during the summer months. Thanks to my kids, we often seem to be that family.

They were tiny at first. Nearly dead, I think, from the sloshing they took during my son’s walk home from school. We set them on the kitchen table and let the water settle before setting up the habitat. As a mom with decades on the job, I am experienced with habitats. You can’t set up any old bowl with any old water and expect tadpoles (or bullheads or minnows or tree frogs or salamanders or caterpillars) to flourish.

We found a large container and added rocks and plastic plants (left over from previous fish aquarium days). And water, but not straight from the tap. Never do that. We learned this lesson the hard way during the early years of the new millennium; tadpoles and tap water do not mix.
We’ve had our little guys for a couple of weeks. I am happy to report they are not dead, which, honestly, is our typical experience with tadpoles. They are easy to kill, even with a proper habitat, water and TLC. Especially in a household with two cats.

Our felines are mesmerized with the tadpole bowl. They enjoy licking the water. We’re afraid they are actually more interested in licking a tadpole so we cover the bowl with a makeshift lid, which resembles a book because that’s what it is. Our habitat didn’t come equipped with a cover.
We are feeding them fish food. The Internet says they can also consume tiny pieces of lettuce and leaves. In their natural environment, they would eat algae. Maybe our plastic plants have a layer of algae. We should be so lucky. Whatever we are doing, it seems to be working. Not only are they not dead, they swim energetically around their bowl – when they aren’t hiding from the cats.

Soon their tiny legs will pop out and propel them into the morphling stage. (Another vocabulary word.) Their lungs will develop and we’ll drain some water from the bowl and give them more rocks for climbing. And we’ll obviously have to find a more fitting cover. During this stage they won’t need food because they get nourishment from their shrinking tails. The life is of a frog is one miracle after another. Ribbit.
School’s out. We’ve got tadpoles waiting to become frogs. Looks like we (mostly me) have a new summer project. Which leads to the obvious question: if they do turn into frogs, will I be eligible for some sort of middle school science extra credit?

Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright and author. She welcomes having readers follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

(651) 264-1979 jepsen@msn.com 

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AREA BRIEFS



ROADCHECK 2015
COMPLETED

In an effort to increase commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety, North Dakota Highway Patrol troopers and civilian safety inspectors participated in a large, targeted CMV enforcement and education program. Roadcheck, sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, was held June 2-4 and troopers statewide participated.

During this 72-hour time frame, 527 inspections were completed. Sixty-five vehicles and 20 drivers were placed out-of-service. Most of the vehicles placed out-of-service had brake, tire, or load securement violations.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote CMV safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry, and policy makers.


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