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History Buff Creates
Model of Portal City

Beginning Friday, the Portal Reunion marks the centennial of Portal’s induction as a town in North Dakota, but few know the history of its beginnings like Mike Gustafson does.

Luckily, those who attend his railroad presentation will have the opportunity to learn of the rich history surrounding Portal and the monumental part the Soo Line Railroad played in its beginnings.

Everyone should plan to attend the Gustafson’s railroad presentation, whether you’re interested in history or not. You’ll be sure to come away with something you didn’t know.

Growing up in Portal and having several family members who worked for the Soo Line Railroad, Gustafson became engrossed in its history.

Pouring over old pictures, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, letters, books and documents have allowed him to piece together the past and recreate it for the present with a scaled model of Portal.

At first look, the model seems nearly unrecognizable as the Portal we know today. The roundhouse, turntable, ice house and lumber yard are buildings of days past and distant memories. However, upon closer look, you will find that the buildings and streets are most definitely recognizable and history begins to come to life.   More

Renville County Muskrats qualify for the State American Legion Baseball Tournament
Pictured above: Region runner-up award from Harley Getzlaff, region representative and umpire. Renville County was defeated by Burlington for the title. Renville County and Burlington will now move on to the State Tournament to be held in Langdon this week.

The Northwest Region American Legion Baseball Tournament was held in Garrison on Wednesday, July 23rd through Saturday, July 26th. Teams participating were Hazen, Stanley, Surrey, Hettinger, Burlington, Garrison, and Renville County.
(article continued on to Renville County Homepage)   More

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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