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Lignite Volunteer Fire Department
Fined Over $650,000 for Selling Water

Volunteers Unknowingly Violated State Law

The Lignite Volunteer Fire Department recorded over $650,000 of profit over the past few years, and were recently assessed a penalty for a similar amount for illegally selling water to be used in the oil patch of North Dakota.

North Dakota law states that all waters within its borders are owned by the state, and a permit is required to sell the water.

The Fire Department, like many North Dakotans, was unaware what they were doing was in violation of the state law.

The North Dakota Water Commission knew there was going to be an issue because of the great demand for water in the oil industry, especially in the water-short area of western North Dakota.

Large amounts of water are used in the Bakken Formation for hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the process where huge amounts of water are pumped underground to break apart rock to extract the oil.

“We knew the potential for water-use violations was great,” said Jon Patch, Water Appropriations Division Director at the State Water Commission.
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Allison Voigt receives silver medal at 2015 National Leadership Conference
Above photo: Allison Voigt of MLS-Mohall received a silver place medal for her Job Interview at the National FCCLA STAR Event competition which was held in Washington, DC. from Sunday, July 5th to Thursday, July 9th.

Allison Voigt participated in STAR Events (Students Taking Action with Recognition) at Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America’s (FCCLA) 2015 National Leadership Conference held in Washington, DC July 5th through the 9th. She was accompanied by her advisor, Valerie Aho.

Voigt, who will be a senior at MLS-Mohall this fall and is the daughter of Robby and LoAyne Voigt, received a Silver medal in the Job Interview category, one of 32 national STAR Events available to FCCLA students. Her medal was presented to her at a recognition session honoring all participants on Thursday, July 9, 2015.

More than 7,000 members, advisors, alumni, and guests from across the nation attended this meeting. Approximately 4,100 students advanced from the local, regional, and state level of STAR Events to the national meeting.

Allison Voigt was a participant in the Job Interview event. She used her Family and Consumer Sciences related occupation skills to develop a portfolio, participate in an interview, and communicate a personal understanding of job requirements and the ability to perform them.
(article continued on to Renville County Homepage)
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Opdahl Grocery, Kjelshus Take Top Prize in Chili Cook-off
By Ginny Heth
There was a ‘hot time in the old town’ on Saturday as Westhope Community Club hosted the First Annual Chili Cook-off!
May 10th was chosen as Community Day for Westhope with city-wide rummage sales happening throughout the day as well as the annual Presbyterian Women’s fund raiser serving sloppy joes, pie and coffee. They also had basket- and purse-mania, a silent auction type activity that is fun for all. Included this year in the day’s activities was the Trini Tree Frogs Youth Group detailing the insides of cars. They had a great turn-out for their fund raiser, even having to turn away a couple of cars that arrived after their time was up. Maybe they will have to plan another day of car cleaning since people were so happy to have someone to take on that task for them!
Meanwhile, all around town people’s homes were beginning to smell a lot like a Mexican restaurant as pots of chili were started in anticipation for the Chili Cook-off. Around 3:00 p.m., the Gateway Community Room began buzzing with activity as the ten contestants brought their chili in for tasting......some contestants even brought their own Mexican ambience including table cloths, decorations (even some hung on the wall!) and music!!
Ten entirely different pots of chili were there for the tasting when it began at 4:30 p.m. coming from Westhope Farmers Union (Kevin Schroeder, cook); Westhope Fire Department (Ryan Ellsworth, cook); Double EE Service (Ben Cartwright, cook); John Gruenberg, M&D Pizza (Heather Lee, cook); Presbyterian Children (Lola & Randy Kimpland); Rachel Gruenberg; Kim & Lance Kjelshus; Opdahl’s Grocery (Barb Opdahl, cook); and Westhope Ambulance (UB & Sylvia Schlieper, cooks). There were white chilis, red chilis, and no bean chilis. Some were quite spicy and some were just flavorful, with out the bite! Many contestants included ‘add-ins’ such as sour cream, onions, chips, crackers and cheese to make their offering more enticing. Community Club provided corn bread to make sure everyone had a way to ‘cut the heat’ between bowls of chili, coffee & water with the water being the most popular thing!
In all, nearly 100 people voted and there was a tie for first place! Opdahl’s Grocery and Kim & Lance Kjelshus are the proud winners, sharing a traveling trophy for the year and prize money. Coming in a close third (only one vote separated the three chilis!) was Westhope Ambulance with UB’s Road Kill Chili, who took home a small cash prize as well.
Plans are already in the works for the 2nd Annual Westhope Community Day Chili Cook-off, so get those recipes tweeked, plan on a few decorations for your table (Opdahl’s & the Kjelshus’ both had very nicely decorated tables -- whether that had anything to do with the winning or not.....) and take a chance at bragging rights for next year!!


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