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Oasis Petroleum Responds to Commissioners
Response - Great • Communication - Lacking

By Lyann Olson

The Burke County Commissioners met Tuesday morning, May 19 with all commissioners present.

Oasis Petroleum representatives and a North Dakota Department of Health official met with the board to discuss the brine spill that occurred approximately five miles northwest of Powers Lake.

Department of Health officials reported about 63,000 gallons, or 1,500 barrels, leaked from a pipeline.
General Manager for Oasis Petroleum, John Lee asked the commissioners for their questions and concerns.

The biggest concern for the commissioners was the lack of communication. Also discussed was the placement of a fence put in the right-of-way and a dangerous temporary approach that was built without notifying the commission.

“I was appalled to see the fence,” stated Chairman David Sellie. “It is a death trap on our right-of-way.”
The representatives stated they were working with the renter much to the dismay of the commissioners.

Oasis reps stated they will be meeting with the owner that afternoon and commissioners stated the fence needs to come down.

Along with communication, Commissioner Allen Ryberg interjected, “It shouldn’t have taken 36 hours to contact us.”

Larry Skaare, Director of Community Affairs for Oasis, noted that he was out of town at the time of the spill and the company will need “to figure out a plan to cover when I’m gone.”

Commissioner Debbie Kuryn requested if this event was to occur again that Oasis contact Barry Jager, Burke County Emergency Manager first and he “can tunnel down the information to us.”

Commissioner Sellie did state that he was impressed with Oasis’ response and did an excellent job mitigating the spill.

2015 4-H Showcase was held May 9th
Clovers: Back row, left to right: Braden Savelkoul, Isabell Buynak, Aydan Beckedahl, and Eli Labatore. Front row, left to right: Rilynn Beck, Jasmine Undlin, and Connor Beckedahl.

On Saturday, May 9th, Renville County 4-H youth held their annual 4-H Showcase contest in the Multi-Purpose Area of the MLS-Mohall School.

In the 4-H Project Expo Renville County 4-H’ers make table-top displays exhibiting what they have done in one of their project areas for the year. They are then judged on how well they know their information and how good of a job they have done in putting their table top display together.
(article continued on to Renville County Homepage)

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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