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Douglas Beck
Military Honors

Douglas Frederick Beck served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

He was born May 10, 1930 in Columbus, ND to Fred and Mildred Beck. He grew up and attended school in Lignite.
In October 1951, Doug was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to Headquarters Company 25th Infantry Division. He received special training in the 3rd Armored Division at Fort Knox, KY.

Doug was trained in operating light trucks and jeeps and served in the Korean War for 13 months.
He was honorably discharged in July 1953.

After his Army service, Doug worked in highway maintenance and was a foreman for the power company for 32 years.
He met his wife, Arlene, in school and they were married in May 1951.
They have four children: Daren Beck, Lori Schweigert, Anita Erickson and Tami Howarter. They also have nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren with two more on the way.

Doug and Arlene currently reside in Minot.
Hoeven presented Doug with the following medals, which were lost in the 2011 flood.

· National Defense Service Medal
· Korean Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars
· United Nations Service Medal
A member of the Senate Appropriations Committee Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans
Affairs, Hoeven continues his work to ensure our veterans have access to quality health care in their local communities.

The senator is sponsoring the bipartisan Veterans Access to Extended Care Act to help veterans get extended care in their own communities.

Hoeven is also cosponsoring the Veterans Access to Community Care Act, legislation that would allow veterans to seek health care services in their local communities if they are unable to receive needed healthcare services from a VA facility within 40 miles of their homes.

Jeff Ebsch of Brosz Engineering completed the bid tabulations for Burke County 7 with the low bid from Knife River. With no discrepancies found, the commissioners awarded the project to Knife River. A preconstruction meeting is tentatively set for April 22.

Ebsch also reported the county finally has approval for the box culvert from the Federal Highway Administration. Chairman Sellie signed the wetland permit.

Bid opening for the skidsteer loader was held with two company reps present. Three bids were opened with all accepted. County road foreman will study the bids and report back to the commissioners.


The Burke County Fair Board was granted an alcoholic beverage permit for a special event in June. Auditor, Jeanine Jensen distributed Vision West information to commissioners.

Jensen reported that with Hazel Herman’s retirement, a new wellness coordinator will be needed. Burke County Health Nurse, Stacey Schoemer was recommended if she can arrange it with First District Health. The coordinator is responsible to attend one day of training a year, and present health topics to courthouse employees twice a year.

Jensen also reported that she has distributed a personnel policy handbook to every employee in the building. If they have ideas on changes to please bring them forward. Commissioner Kuryn plans to have a meeting with all department heads.

Jensen brought up “leave records” stating that the commissioners should be reviewing the records every quarter. She requested that each department head to be in charge of their own employee’s leave. Commissioner Ryberg asked if sick leave/vacation was being abused which the answer was no. Discussion was held on the county going to time clocks/computer program to log into.

This turned into a lengthy discussion on vacation policy which was tabled until the April 22nd meeting.


Janet Cron, county assessor, requested the board hire someone as soon as possible to fill her position which will be vacated Dec. 31, 2015. It is important for the new assessor to attending training as soon as possible. The commissioners would like to fill the position, starting July 1, 2015. The position will be advertised and Cron will help with the interviewing process.

Cron is currently reassessing homes in Powers Lake, Portal, Bowbells and Lignite, raising homes to market.

“The market just isn’t there, but I have sales that say it is,” stated Cron. Homes need to be similarly assessed and right now they are not.

Cron agreed to be Burke County’s delegate to Vision West with two meetings coming up in Minot and in Billings, MT. The commissioners authorized her travel.


Barry Jager, emergency management, discussed burn bans. Bans go in effect when the fire index reaches high or extremely high. He will be in contact with the fire chiefs in the county.

He notified the commissioners on Forthun Township unable to find riprap at this time to finish project. They may need to try get an extension which needs state and FEMA approval.
Jager worked 10 days with Divide County’s Emergency Manager during the water break. He made sure Columbus had potable water during this crisis. He commended the City of Columbus for all their help distributing the water.

A lengthy discussion was held on the Don Helde road which is under water. Jager has sent in an Oil Impact grant to the State Land Board who is meeting on April 30. He asked what the county’s standpoint was on assisting, as it has a street address, but can be considered a private drive. The county is contracted by Lucy Township to maintain the road, which they put 10 loads of gravel on this past year. Oasis Petroleum, which has a pipeline to the west, was brought into the discussion and a representative from the company should be at the April 22 meeting.

Jager asked for permission to upgrade the reverse 9-1-1 to include cell phones as text messages and emails. The cost is an additional $500/year.

Jager has also sent in a grant into to Enbridge for nine additional H2S monitors (gas clips). Every responding unit in the county should have the four gas monitors.

The courtroom security system is just about complete. The decision was made to go with two keypads. The project should be finished up this week (April 10). Discussion was held on the cost for securing the entire courthouse, $11,000.



Although names have lazily been changed, more shifted than changed, the story you’re contemplating donating five or ten minutes of your life to read (could be longer depending on your literacy level, cognitive function, and severity of narcolepsy) is mostly true and based on mostly factual events. Our memories of events from our youth are like that, mostly true and mostly factual.

Embellishments, exaggerations, and flat out lies creep into every event and every story about an event almost immediately, and over time, some of those embellishments become a permanent part of the story, some become the story.

Over time, a good story, a funny story, will be told and retold because in general we like to laugh and to make people laugh. It feels good to laugh and it feels good to make others laugh.

So, maybe this story will make you laugh, maybe it will remind you of stories from your youth, and maybe you’ll share it with someone you think might enjoy such a story.
Stories are meant to be shared. Thank you for letting me share this story with you.

Blanchard’s house was a rutabaga’s toss from ours. More accurately, I suppose, our house was a rutabaga’s toss from his, as our parents didn’t plant rutabagas nor would they have thrown them towards Blanchard or his little blue house.

Civilized, I suppose you could say “normal” folks, don’t do such things. I suppose it could be said that both my parents are civilized and mostly normal. The same can’t be said for all of their children.

The youngest, Arthur, only a year old at the time of these particular events, was still too young for judgments of character to be passed, but with the errant role models he was exposed to there was a pretty strong inclination as to the path he would follow.

Rose, a stubbornly quiet six-year-old, was much too busy concerning herself with the life and times of her many dolls to pay any mind to the comings and goings of her two pain-in-the-Barbie butt older brothers or some little troll that willingly soiled himself.

The poor girl, adrift in a sea of stupidity, stuck sharing her inner most thoughts and feelings with a spirited but misdirected Cabbage Patch doll and a ratty haired stiff legged Barbie.

Our given names were Charles and Ray, not to be confused with the musician Ray Charles, as neither of us were blind and we were both too dumb to play the piano.

Ray couldn’t keep his hands out of his pant pockets long enough to learn how to tie his shoes so the piano was most definitely out of the question. The advent of velcro shoes was a godsend for Ray.

Our mother grew tired of repeatedly taking each of our names in vain and took to referring to us jointly, and accurately, as “fricken’ idiots.” Maybe this allowed her to emotionally separate herself from our behavior, making herself believe it wasn’t her flesh and blood, Charles and Ray, performing those idiotic acts of lewd depravity, it was those fricken’ idiots.

I was 12, Ray was 11, and my mother was right, we were fricken’ idiots.

To be continued…

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