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Merry Christmas from The Dakotan!

Spainer’s picks -- week 5 

Spainer’s Record -- 18-2-1  Football:  Minot State vs. Southwest Minnesota State  Minot State has a very tough matchup with the Mustangs this Saturday.  The Mustangs come in 2-1 and looking for their third straight win.  SMSU will look to ground and pound the Beavers.  They have Jesse Sherwood who leads…
September 22, 2022

If You're Bored, You're Doing It Wrong

Hot Dish Lifestyle MINOT--Hello Hot Dishers! If you are in Minot, or within driving distance and you aren’t having fun this weekend, you’re doing it wrong. Actually, for the rest of the month, if you stay home and claim there’s nothing to do—you’re doing it wrong. There is so much…
September 22, 2022

Teach Your Children Young 

 Budget Wise  It's not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by financial stress or think that you are constantly treading water to keep from going under. These feelings are becoming more and more common, especially now as Americans are seeing inflation outpace their income. In many areas of the economy, 10% inflation…
September 21, 2022

Scandimonium, Return of Norsk Høstfest

She's Not From Around Here MINOT--It happened while my family was at Logger Fest over the weekend. I was standing to the side of the bouncy-house obstacle course, waiting for my son to come down the final slide, when I heard foreign speech behind me.   In another place I wouldn’t…
September 20, 2022

Eat Healthy, Save Money 

Grains and Legumes  If you're working on long-term food storage, something that will feed your family for a year or more, you'll want foods that will store for a long time and provide maximum nutrition for minimum price. That's why grains and legumes are the cornerstone of any good long-term…
September 19, 2022

Honoring an icon… 

Upside Down Under  For the past several days the news has been dominated by the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, and rightfully so. She was probably the best known person on the face of the earth.   And while some people believe it has been overdone, there are plenty of…
September 18, 2022

 Wonderment Around Us

Much More Than Fishing KEY LARGO, Fla. -- As the boat skied across the top of calm water toward a distant fishing spot, I had my head down, busy searching through the contents of my tackle box to find the perfect lure for our destination. My decision made after several…
September 18, 2022

Knowledge is Key 

Northern Celebrations  Knowledge can unlock doors to many opportunities.  And knowledge is key when it comes to unlocking a hunting dog who inadvertently ventured into a trap or cable device when in the field.  It’s better to be proactive, educated, and prepared when it comes to dealing with in-the-field injuries…
September 17, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Term Limits on Ballot The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled term limits should be on the ballot. As Chair of the term limits Committee, I want the facts to be known. Unproven allegations of fraud were rejected by an unanimous 5-0 majority of the North Dakota Supreme Court. The highest…
September 15, 2022

Trash Christmas

She's Not From Around Here  MINOT--My favorite biannual holiday starts on Monday.  That’s right, I’m talking about Trash Christmas.  I know a lot of new folks have moved into Minot since the last Trash Christmas, so I thought it only fair to write about it again. (Read my first article…
September 15, 2022

Family Budget Night 

Budget Wise  [email protected] As you work towards a healthier budget, it is essential to include your children in the process. It will make life so much easier if everyone in the family has a clear idea of what the family budget is and is working towards the same goals.   There…
September 14, 2022

Hot Dish Land 

Out and About Happenings  MINOT--There are very few things I enjoy hearing less than the words, “There’s nothing to do in Minot.” I’ve spent the last three years intentionally combating this phrase, and the negativity that comes with it.  Before a new transplant arrives in Minot, they have often already…
September 13, 2022

A Look at Long-Term Food Storage 

Provident Home Companion  For months I've been writing about how important it is to have a three-month food storage. This is the most basic step to being prepared. Your “super pantry” should be stocked with the everyday food you eat, enough to last three months. This will help you get…
September 12, 2022

Harvest and the prairie skyscraper… 

Upside Down Under  Now that harvest is in full swing, a lot of things come to mind, but there is one thing I doubt many people think about and that is the loss of the old, wooden elevators, sometimes called prairie skyscrapers.  On Sunday, we made a trip to Bismarck…
September 11, 2022

Hot Topic Outdoors

Chronic Wasting Disease [email protected] MINOT – It's a hot button topic with the state’s deer hunters, no doubt about that. Knowing that to be the case, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department recently conducted meetings in Fargo, Dickinson, and Minot to discuss chronic wasting disease.  Minot’s meeting was held…
September 11, 2022

Garnet, Foreign Bodies, and bubble wrap

Northern Celebrations The bubble wrap almost came next and we’re hoping the new Hunting Maniac isn’t like one already in the house. The thought crossed my mind that the only thing to protect our orange-and-white Hunting Maniac in our house, Garnet, when she was young was bubble wrap. Even at…
September 10, 2022

Participation and Enthusiasm

She's Not from Around Here [email protected] MINOT— On Monday, I went to the Soggy Doggy Pool Paw-ty at Roosevelt Park Pool. My sons and I found seats on the bleachers to watch dogs jump from diving boards and wade in the kiddie pool. As I sat there, reveling in the…
September 8, 2022

The Essential Three-Month Savings 

Budget Wise  [email protected]  Budgeting is essential to financial well-being, and yet it is one of the most difficult things to implement.  So you'll understand if I return to the topic every now and then. It may be time to check and see if you are on target to meet your…
September 7, 2022

What’s With All The Wallering? 

Facts of Law  In the Appalachian Mountains, where I grew up, to “waller” meant to lay around lazily and do nothing, like a pig in the mud. It’s a slang term for “wallow,” with a Southern twang.  In North Dakota, “Waller” has taken a whole new meaning. The U.S. Supreme…
September 7, 2022

Roughrider Rodeo Finals

Labor Day Weekend [email protected] PARSHALL-- Challenges have arisen all season for Roughrider Rodeo contestants. Whether it be recovering from last year’s drought to the spring storms, to an increase in fuel prices—nothing stopped contestants from putting their best ‘boot’ forward this past 2022 rodeo season. “Cowboys and cowgirls are resilient.…
September 6, 2022

Spainer’s picks week 3 

First two weeks: 6-1-1  Minot State Volleyball  Minot State Volleyball is off to a tough start at 0-7.  They have had a brutal schedule for a young team trying to create an identity.  We know volleyball is in the “Group of Death” Northern Sun Conference, and  the death march starts…
September 5, 2022

King Kohlrabi

Provident Home Companion [email protected] Three or four years ago, my husband's co-worker gave him two kohlrabi, two giant kohlrabi. Normally kohlrabi is about the size of an apple or orange, weighing about 6-10 ounces each. But these were huge, each one weighing twenty pounds! I would have expected them to…
September 5, 2022

Terrific explosion revisited…

 Upside Down Under  [email protected]  Some locals in the Carpio area still talk about an explosion on a nearby farm that happened 100 years ago on Aug. 31.  This was no ordinary explosion like you would think. It wasn’t gasoline and it wasn’t spontaneous combustion. This bomb went boom when 500…
September 4, 2022

When the uncommon occurs  

Northern Celebrations   It doesn’t seem possible but fall hunting seasons have arrived – too soon for those who haven’t been conditioning and training their four-legged hunting maniac in the cool hours of the day.  Get out there in the short time before more hunting officially kicks off, especially considering early…
September 3, 2022

NoDak Bar Culture and a Perfect Bar Recipe 

She’s Not From Around Here  [email protected]  MINOT -- “Are you willing to bring a pan of bars for the after-funeral luncheon?”   This sentence was written in a now nearly-decade-old email.  As I read and reread that first request for bars, I could surmise the term was referring to dessert.…
September 1, 2022

Keep Health Cost Down

Budget Wise [email protected]   This month my husband began the labyrinth of paperwork required for him to retire at the end of September. Living on a fixed income is daunting enough, but in the last year or so we've seen our health expenses go up and we have to make some…
August 31, 2022

Community, Rodeo and the Prairie

Parshall's Healing Horse Ranch hosts MHA Rodeo [email protected] PARSHALL – The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation Rodeo Association held its first year end finals rodeo this past weekend, August 26-27 at Healing Horse Ranch.  “We are very pleased with the first season, especially the finals,” said Northeast Segment, Parshall-Lucky Mound,…
August 30, 2022

You Can Do It 2

Provident Home Companion [email protected] Last week I wrote about all the good reasons you should be canning food this summer. And now it's time to get started. The garden is producing, fruits are ripening, you have so much good food available to you this season, it's time to take advantage…
August 29, 2022

Paris on the Prairie

Upside Down Under [email protected] A woman with four young children stopped by the farmers’ market last week and she said they had just moved to North Dakota from Louisiana. “From hurricanes to blizzards,” she said. But she seemed happy to be in Minot and her kids were relaxed and appeared…
August 28, 2022

A Tale of a Big Fish

Outdoors with Kim  [email protected] What follows, dear reader, is a tale of a big fish.  This story would go unpublished were it not for the urging of fellow workers. Okay, one fellow worker who threatened to have one or more writers interview me for what he perceived as story of…
August 28, 2022

The Alphabet Chain - is it “M” for Monster???

Northern Celebrations Our family – my husband, myself, a brother-in-law, and nephew - have an alphabet chain of dog names for our Hunting Maniac Brittanys we’ve been blessed with over the years.  We started the tradition innocently enough, naming our first dog Britt. It was a great call name in…
August 27, 2022

Spainer's Picks

Opening Weekend in 11AA and 11A football   Bismarck St. Mary’s @ Minot High  Minot so badly wants to be Titletown of North Dakota. Their basketball sweep at state combined with boys swimming and diving and girls’ soccer was a huge step toward that goal. The Magicians will need to take…
August 25, 2022

She's Not from Around Here

“No sane person would choose to leave Florida to live in North Dakota."  [email protected]  I read that quote in a news article a couple weeks ago. When my eyes ran across the words, I nearly spit out my coffee, choking back a laugh.  The next day, friends came over for…
August 25, 2022

High Kicking Arena Action

High School Rodeo Opener NEW SALEM -- North Dakota High School Rodeo had its season opener here this past weekend, August 20-21.  A total of 880 competitive runs from cow cutting, rough stock rides to roping went through the arena that sits under Miss Salem Sue. From seniors in high…
August 23, 2022

You CAN Do It

In the 1860’s a tinsmith named John L. Mason invented what we now call the Mason jar -- a glass jar with a threaded lip and a metal lid secured with a reusable metal ring. Since its invention, this homemaker’s wonder has allowed people all over the world to preserve…
August 22, 2022

Wilderness Wonderment

Fly-in Fishing  POINTS NORTH, SASKATCHEWAN -- Three river otters playfully bobbed up and down in the water, watching our boat as we maneuvered down a shoreline in their direction. It was an accidental meeting. We were as surprised as they were, but a bigger surprise awaited.  An adult bald eagle…
August 21, 2022

Arreter le sucre...

If you don’t know or understand French, let me clarify what this headline means. Simply put, it’s “stop the sugar.” As mentioned in the past, this weekly column is mostly about events happening in North Dakota, or the surrounding states or provinces. This week I feel compelled to write about…
August 21, 2022

It's Almost Here: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

There is a song that talks about Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year.  While that might be extremely difficult to dispute, many hunters will likely argue that autumn is the most wonderful time of the year.  Just think, several hunting seasons get underway soon – as in…
August 20, 2022

You'll See

MINOT--“I see you here a lot,” said the man who held the door for me as we simultaneously left the library.  “Yeah,” I replied, while shoving my now-empty coffee mug into my bag. “I come here to work when my husband is home with our kids. I’m close enough that…
August 18, 2022

Flourishing Pride of Dakota

FARGO -- Within a year of opening up his Maple River Winery in 2001, owner Greg Kempel joined with Pride of Dakota to help market his wines. Seeing all the support and success he got from POD, Kemple soon became an advocate for the POD label. So much so that,…
August 15, 2022

Enjoy Fresh Garden Peppers

Every year I plant peppers. A lot of peppers. At least six varieties of peppers, two to four plants of each variety. This year it’s Jalapeno and Serrano for salsa and canned peppers, Banana and Hungarian Wax\ for Chili Rellenos and pickled peppers, Paprika and Cayenne for powder, and Death…
August 15, 2022

Children found safe…

A kidnapping that was solved last week received little attention in the U.S. media, but had possible implications for North Dakota and Montana. It certainly did in South Dakota because that is where two children, a brother and sister, were found safe. A man named Benjamin Moore, a known sex…
August 14, 2022

Fishing and High Prices

MINOT – This has been the summer of increased prices across the board, especially gasoline that approached $5 per gallon for a time. When it comes to fishing trips, the question all anglers wrestle with is, how much is too much? It doesn’t help that boats are notoriously bad for…
August 14, 2022

Swan Song 

The application deadline for one of 2,200 tundra swan licenses available in 2022 is rapidly approaching. Mark Aug. 17 on the calendar if that application hasn’t already been submitted. However, if 2022 follows trends in recent years, it’s possible – but not certain -  wanna-be swan hunters could still have…
August 13, 2022

The Tried and True Secret to Thriving Where You Are

Today, I’m going to tell you a secret. To understand the secret, you’ll need to know the question I’m asked most often: Why, Minot? As in, “Why do you insist on liking Minot so much?” I get this question all the time. Until the moment my husband told me he’d…
August 11, 2022

Back-to-School Savings

Very few parents want to start thinking about back-to-school shopping in the middle of summer. But back-to-school supplies and clothing can cost hundreds of dollars, so now is the time to start planning so that you can realize the biggest savings. Start with a budget If I'm starting to sound…
August 10, 2022

Upside Down Under -- A Party of Parties

A party of parties…  What happens when a group of 20 somethings with nothing to do get together? They have a party. That’s what a group of us in Edgeley did on March 16, 1981. But this was no ordinary party.   Yes, it was 41 years ago, but I…
August 7, 2022

Northern Celebrations: A Time and Place for Everything, Including Releasing Fish

It’s been said that there is a time and place for everything.   The old adage holds true for fishing, as well, especially when it comes to well-meaning anglers practicing catch-and-release.   Generally, releasing a healthy fish is a noble – and good - act.   It’s just that it’s…
August 6, 2022

There's Nothing in North Dakota

MINOT— “I just know by the time we find a good place, the boys are going to be cranky and it’s going to be a disaster.” This was my lament last Sunday, as I wove our car up and down country roads, scanning the horizon for highlighter-yellow fields. I grumbled…
August 4, 2022

Time to Eliminate Property Tax

Dear editor, Here we are in the middle of a recession, with inflation higher than the 1980’s and Ward County and Minot are working to increase property tax.   Whenever these entities can’t balance their budgets, they raise property taxes. This is the most hated tax in history and is unfair, not…
August 3, 2022

Fun on a Dime

The average American spends about $1,800 a year on entertainment and that's not including eating out. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have fun. Who wants to live frugally if it's all tedium and drudgery? If we are to be successful at living within the budget, it's essential to find…
August 3, 2022

Trials and Tribulations of Yard Work

North Dakota summertime brings a unique sense of urgency and pride when it comes to taking care of a yard. Maybe it’s because we have a limited season to enjoy the aroma of fresh cut, magenta, green grass, or it’s the season of competition on who can maintain the ultimate…
August 2, 2022

There's No Such Thing as Too Much Zucchini

The joke is “Leave your car windows rolled up in the summertime or someone will deposit a bunch of zucchini in your car.”  But the truth is, there is no such thing as too much zucchini. Honestly, there are so many amazing ways to use zucchini, why would you ever…
August 1, 2022

We Should Showcase the Magic City

Normally I don’t complain in this space because I see enough of that on Facebook, and quite frankly, it’s disgusting.  However, last week the North Dakota State Fair was held in Minot, as it has for many years in late July. People come to the State Fair from all over…
July 31, 2022

Daryl's Racing Pigs IYKYK

 MINOT -- IYKYK. Have you seen this cluster of letters floating through the expanse of social media feeds and stories? Total transparency: The first time I saw it I googled it. To save you the trouble, I’ll just tell you what it means. “If you know, you know.” IYKYK.  I’ve…
July 28, 2022

Bag It

We all have to work and we all have to eat. Since work keeps us busy, it's natural that you want to eat out on your lunch hour. But how much is that lunch costing you?   Visa credit card company recently did a survey and found that the average American…
July 27, 2022

Raising Chickens, Part Two

Raising chickens, how to save money and have fun doing it!
July 25, 2022

Upside Down Under: Driver's Ed Teaches You This...

MINOT -- I was driving down a city street minding my own business when I came upon a semi-trailer in the right lane of traffic. I didn’t see a blinker so I assumed he was turning right since he was in the right lane and what not.  With that in…
July 24, 2022

Age Five Angler

GARRISON – At age 5 Braxley Kolden was the youngest entrant in the state’s biggest walleye tournament, the annual Governor’s Walleye Cup staged out of Fort Stevenson State Park on nearby Lake Sakakawea. His partner for the two-day event? His father, Chris Kolden. Father and son are residents of this…
July 24, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Exploring Byway Getaways

GARRISON -- Admittedly, gas prices continue providing a big impact on many people’s spending ability, perhaps putting a damper on big summer getaway plans.  But, still, getaways from the daily grind are important. They recharge one’s mind. They connect moms and dads and their children. They connect friendships.  They’re darn…
July 23, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Creative Kindness and Good Ideas

MINOT -- The van’s bright yellow exterior, accented by pastel, candy-colored sun rays immediately grabbed my attention. My children were more focused on the massive bubbles being blown in front of the Oak Park amphitheater. I followed, but kept side-eyeing that lovely van, wondering what sort of brilliant idea may…
July 21, 2022

Disappointed With City Council

You will rarely ever see a letter like this from me as I understand the challenges of public service more than most, but I feel it important to address.    Monday night, Minot City Council as a whole really disappointed me and many others.  Specifically, the leadership.    Last month they called…
July 20, 2022

Lower Your Electric Bill

This is the fourth in a series on lowering your electric bills. Today we'll look at a few final ways you can lower your electricity costs and stay ahead of the inflation monster.    Lighting Use natural light. A single south-facing window can illuminate 20 to 100 times its area. If you…
July 20, 2022

Small Town, Big Celebration

BUFFALO -- Last Saturday, July 16, the small Cass County town of Buffalo, population 200, celebrated homecoming and community building with their 16th annual Shuffle Off to Buffalo. This community celebration first began in 2007 as a class reunion and festival. The annual event unites this small community and brings…
July 19, 2022

Chickens-Key to Self-Reliance

Even though I've had chickens for eight years, I've never recommended raising chickens as a part of prepping or self-reliance, until now. Today's food prices are increasing at nearly three times the rate of wage increases. Recent avian flu outbreaks have triggered the destruction of millions of chickens. The result…
July 18, 2022

Weekend Buffalo Shuffle

  BUFFALO -- The town of Buffalo will hold its 16th annual Shuffle Off to Buffalo celebration this weekend, July 15 and 16.  Friday evening is the school reunion. It will include a Step Back in Time fashion show where members of the community will model clothes from the 1920's…
July 14, 2022

The Lake

Can we talk about “the lake” for a minute? During my years in North Dakota, I’ve become a student of Hot Dish language, culture, and traditions. I celebrate Syttende Mai, enthusiastically watch Lawrence Welk reruns, participate in Trash Christmas, and say things like “Oh, fer cute,” “Uffda,” and “Oh, I…
July 14, 2022

Lower Your Electric Costs

If you're trying to cut down on your electric bill, you're not alone. Reports in May show that inflation is up 8.6%, which is bad enough. But energy prices rose 3.9% from the previous month ago, bringing the annual gain to 34.6%. It 's doubtful that any of you are…
July 13, 2022

Dehydrating: Part Two

Last week I told you all the great reasons you should be dehydrating your summer produce [Providential Home Companion: Time to Dehydrate | The Dakotan | Charlene Nelson (mydakotan.com)]It's super easy, doesn't take much time, and it's the best way to preserve the color and flavor of foods. Preserving food…
July 11, 2022

Nobody wants to work…

I needed to have some service work done on my truck, so I took it to the Ford dealership in Minot. And since there is a McDonald’s across the street, I thought I would hang out there while having a cup of coffee. So, an elderly lady and I are…
July 10, 2022

North Dakota's Granddaddy of a Fishing Tournament

North Dakota’s premier fisheries – Lake Sakakawea, Devils Lake, and the Missouri River – have hosted a litany of big name national fishing events for decades. But none compare in longevity and size to the North Dakota Governor’s Cup Walleye Derby, a tradition that began when the United States celebrated…
July 9, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: The Community Pool

We could see the glimmer of sunshine on water before we heard the splashing or smelled the sunscreen. My husband, Derek, and I pedaled our tandem bicycle up to the bleachers near the pool and climbed off. On the other side of the chain link fence teenage boys were lined…
July 7, 2022

Budget Wise: Save in the Laundry Room

If seems like the utility bills are out of control, you're not wrong.  Experts are predicting that energy costs will rise 16% over the next year. That's why it's so important to get a grip on your electric bill now, so you can better weather the year to come. The…
July 6, 2022

Providential Home Companion: Time to Dehydrate

It's not enough that you store up extra food to see you through disasters or other challenges. You need a way to produce and preserve your food. Back in May I wrote about the need for a food plan. Should you get "food storage"? | The Dakotan | Charlene Nelson…
July 4, 2022

The Ancient Art of Hard Work

It is that time of year. Fireworks season, tournament fishing, baseball games, what have you, but the hidden holiday amongst all this fun -- haying season. As you drive across the highways and byways of North Dakota, one may notice the beautiful windrows of ample drying grass and alfalfas lining…
July 4, 2022

Fishin' For Cats

They probably missed out in the “handsome” category when it comes to being a fish. They probably don’t even fit the “cute” category. After all, the channel catfish calling the Missouri River tailrace home – or any channel catfish anywhere else for that matter – lack the glittery greenish-gold of…
July 3, 2022

Not Another One

This past week the official word came that yes, the weekly newspaper serving the community of Edgeley in LaMoure County, has shut its doors for the last time.
July 3, 2022

Critical Race Theory in ND Schools

This letter is to parents of school-age children.   Why should you spend your valuable energy, time, and resources keeping an eye on your children’s school curriculum and what is happening in your child’s classroom?    Parents are the customers of the school system.  You, the parents, are the ones who elect…
June 30, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: Small Magic

When describing why I find life in North Dakota so enjoyable, I usually cite a combination of local culture, quirks, and my stubborn insistence on finding beauty in things often overlooked. Giving a singular and concise answer to why Minot, ND has become something of a muse to me, is…
June 30, 2022

Lower Your Electric Bill

Your electric bill is one of the biggest guzzler of your monthly expenses. Fortunately electricity in North Dakota only costs about 9.6¢ per kilowatt hours (kWh), well below the national average of 13.1¢ per kWh. But we have higher heating demands in the winter, so the average North Dakotan spends…
June 29, 2022

Off Grid Cooking: The Wonder Box

Here's another cool off-grid cooking method you may want to try: the Wonder Box. Here is simplicity and genius at it's best. The Wonder Box is basically a slow-cooker that works by heat retention. It was developed in the 60's to help families in third world countries cook with very…
June 27, 2022

Upside Down Under: Ghosts of North Dakota past…

I have a North Dakota map from the 1950s and I was looking at it to see if any highways have changed. Then I got a little curious about several small towns in Cavalier County that either no longer exist or are hanging on by a thread. Alsen, Calio, Clyde,…
June 26, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Train now; train smart 

We’re just into the early days of summer’s official arrival but grouse season is right around the corner with its tentative Sept. 10 opening date. Don’t blink, because the state’s resident waterfowl season is – once again tentative – slated to follow beginning Sept. 24. And, of course, then it’s…
June 25, 2022

Facts of Law: North Dakota After Roe - A Complicated Mess

On Friday, the United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, overturning Roe v. Wade. The crux of the decision found no right to abortion contained within the various rights of the U.S. Constitution, effectively returning abortion regulation to the control of the…
June 25, 2022

Lower Your Auto Insurance Costs

If you haven't shopped around for insurance in more than a year, chances are that you're paying too much for car insurance. There are several factors that can change the cost of your insurance and give you lower premiums than what you're paying right now: Your car depreciates Insurance rates…
June 22, 2022

Off-grid Cooking: The Rocket Stove

Summer is a good time to experiment with off-grid cooking. Last week I introduced you to solar cooking. But if a solar oven isn't what you're looking for, maybe you want to look at the rocket stove. A rocket stove is a small L-shaped stove that uses small diameter wood…
June 20, 2022

Upside Down Under: Don’t be fuelish…

We’re all complaining about the price of gas these days and we have every right to do that. The price has never been this high and it’s killing any pay raise we might have gotten this year. Gas prices will go up and down as most of us know and…
June 19, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Brushing up on Boating Safety and Regulations

Summer is officially only days away even though boaters, anglers, and watercraft enthusiasts have already enjoyed some time on the water – wind permitting, that is. In celebrating summer’s arrival it doesn’t hurt to test one’s brain power when it comes to water, boats, safety, and perhaps above all, North…
June 18, 2022

Facts of Law : Criminal Restitution Isn't As Clear As We Think

In any criminal case, a crime victim is entitled to “restitution,” the absolute right to be repaid for any financial losses suffered. This is a right protected in both our North Dakota Century Code, and our State Constitution. In recent years, with the adoption of constitutionally-protected victim’s rights in Marsy’s…
June 18, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: When Visitors Come

This month our house feels a bit like a bed and breakfast — and my heart couldn’t be happier. In a perfect storm of circumstances and schedules, our home will be vacant of visitors only eight of June’s thirty perfect days. I’ve told you before, I’ll never claim that Minot…
June 16, 2022

Lower Your Monthly Bills

(A little review) Most finance and budget experts say that you should use the 50-30-20 rule for budgeting. That is, 50% of your income goes towards necessities, things like housing, transportation, utilities, food etc. The next 30% of the budget goes towards wants, things you really want but aren't essential for…
June 15, 2022

For the Farmer: Use Your Facebook Powers for Good, Not Evil

I’m going to complain about social media, but don’t get me wrong.  There is a lot of good that comes from social media.  First and foremost: prayers.  The good old church prayer list can be effective, but Facebook can be even more effective.  In real time.  Instantaneous prayer requests.  Right…
June 14, 2022

Off-Grid Cooking: Solar Ovens

A power outage can be stressful. If you have prolonged power outage, you will be glad for a hot meal. What do you have planned for cooking if you can’t use your stove? June is the perfect time to learn how to cook off grid. This is a “kill two…
June 13, 2022

Upside Down Under: Recycling stable but stagnant?…

Most of us, if not all of us in North Dakota, have recycled something. The first thing that comes to mind is aluminum cans, but there are numerous other items that can be and are recycled. North Dakota and the United States are a long way from the motivation to…
June 12, 2022

Northern Celebrations: The Roosevelt Trail

President Theodore Roosevelt didn’t spend all that many years in what was known as Dakota Territory at the time. But the years he spent hunting and ranching in the 1880s shaped not only what would become North Dakota in 1889 but the rest of the nation’s citizens, its lakes, rivers,…
June 11, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Charge, Mow, Repeat

There's this one Pearl Jam song lyric that goes: "Everything has chains. Absolutely nothing's changed." But I thought it was: "Everything has changed. Absolutely nothing's changed." I like my interpretation better. And I'd like to tell you why. It involves a lawnmower. A lawnmower is something you buy when you…
June 10, 2022

Letter to the Editor

The Governor is Trying to Buy the ND Legislature In my school days of learning about North Dakota History and Government, I was taught that the Constitution of North Dakota gave the executive branch, specifically the Governor very little power. The reason the founders did this was to prevent tyranny. …
June 10, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World: Will I Make It

Perspective is one of those things that’s more important than we give it credit for. Perspective is so powerful that it controls how and why we act in every situation of life… we just lose track of that fact more than we like to admit. There’s a lot of stuff…
June 9, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: I Wasn't Prepared for Summer

When my husband and I found out we would be moving to North Dakota, we got lots of unsolicited comments and advice. “Hope you like the cold.” “Have fun in the great white north — it’s just ice and wind up there.” “Why not Minot? Freezin’ is the reason. Haha!”…
June 9, 2022

Save Big on Cleaning Supplies

The grocery store is a minefield of danger to the family budget, especially with current inflation. Food is essential, so you really can't stop grocery shopping, can you? But a good portion of the tally you pay at the till is not for groceries, but cleaning supplies for the house.…
June 8, 2022

For the Farmer: The Finish Line

You are almost there. You can see the end. It has been a late spring. It has been a condensed timeframe this spring. It has been the most stressful spring’s work season you can ever remember. However, just like in any race, keep your eye on the finish line, keep…
June 7, 2022

The 3-Day Plan

Last week we talked about the 3-3-3-1 rule for developing your emergency plans and how to create a Bug Out Bag for the first three minutes of a disaster. This week we're going to look at the three-day plan, the second 3 of the 3-3-3-1 rule. Start with a plan…
June 6, 2022

Upside Down Under: Thank you Minot Air Force Base...

Two weeks ago I was out in the field planting, or rather mudding in, transplants. As I was doing that a helicopter from Minot Air Force Base circled overhead numerous times before darting off to the east toward Minot AFB. It got me to thinking about the numerous people stationed…
June 5, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Gearing up for summer

Admittedly, North Dakotans have a narrow window of opportunity to soak up the joys of summer. Perhaps that’s why summer is - hopefully – so greatly valued. Each sunny day is a treasure. A day of light breeze is a godsend (granted, some may say it’s also a miracle). That’s…
June 4, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Foiling the Governor’s Plan Governor Doug Burgum is working to defeat conservative legislators whom he considers enemies of his administration through immense contributions to attack PACs - about $4 million since 2020! There are those that believe he is violating Article V, Section 10 of the ND Constitution: A governor…
June 3, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Life Loves A Loser

Growing up in North Dakota, where there are no professional sports teams, you're almost a free agent in selecting what team to root for. To the neurodivergent among us, this is a gift, a burden and a curse. Say what you will about geographic allegiances, Dude, but at least it's…
June 3, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Lonely Holidays

I’m not from around here. Sometimes that can be really hard. Usually I’m too distracted by the fun I’m having and the quirky local culture to notice the hard parts about not being a native North Dakotan myself. Once in a while, though, the very not-from-here nature of my existence…
June 2, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Washington spin and dark money have come to North Dakota politics. Jeff Hoverson has been the target of attack ads from the Brighter Future Alliance.  The first ad accused him of voting to defund the North Dakota National Guard and of not being a supporter of the military.  There was…
June 1, 2022

Budget Wise: Travel North Dakota

Memorial Day is the gateway to summer, a time for vacations and travel plans. Despite rising gas and food prices, your summer vacations don't need to cost a lot, especially if you travel within the state. Who needs to go to Disneyland? There is so much to see and do…
June 1, 2022

For the Farmer: Industry Update

While it is hard to focus on anything but the remainder of spring’s work and just trying to get through one day and on to the next, it is important to keep your eye on the next few months.  Thinking ahead about the crop you are putting in the ground…
May 31, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Always Remember

First off, happy Memorial Day to all four of my readers. I’m not sure if “happy” is the right word to use for this day, as it is intended to be a somber holiday, dedicated to memorializing all the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to…
May 30, 2022

The First 3 Minutes

It's almost summer time, and that means we're entering tornado season. Natural or man-made disasters will strike without warning. In North Dakota, we should prepare for a house fire, tornado, or a chemical spill. In other parts of the country, the disasters might be earthquakes or flash flooding. When planning…
May 30, 2022

Upside Down Under: The Saudi Arabia of wind…

When I was working at the Minot Daily News, I interviewed Senator Kent Conrad one day about the rise of wind energy in North Dakota. On that day, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for a wind energy project near Velva. At one point during our interview Conrad told me that…
May 29, 2022

Facts of Law: Anatomy of a Murder (Bond Hearing)

The Anita Knutson murder made huge headlines recently when Nichole Rice was formally charged and arrested in the case. She made her initial appearance the afternoon after her arrest. After being informed of her rights, the possible penalties of being convicted of murder, and setting future court dates, the Court…
May 28, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Free fishing and a challenge

Nowadays, it might seem weird that back in the early 1990s, the N.D. Game and Fish Department formed an internal committee to look at ways to promote fishing opportunities in the state. After all, in a state with a population of less than 800,000 people, the agency anticipates more than…
May 28, 2022

Northern Celebrations: It’s spring – think about November deer hunting

It’s the end of May, but it’s time to start thinking about deer hunting. Especially because the 2022 North Dakota deer gun and muzzleloader applications are available with the June 8 deadline typically approaching faster than what one realizes. The early June deadline is a decades old tradition. Even though…
May 28, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: The Carousel

“I’m about to put a quarter in!” I called to a couple walking their daughter in a stroller at the zoo. “Does she want to rid?” They parked their stroller and helped their little girl climb onto one of the miniature horses on the merry-go-round at the zoo. My boys…
May 26, 2022

Thriftier Thrift Store Shopping

Thrift stores have become quite popular. And what’s not to like? You can get some amazing bargains, and you are helping the environment by using what would otherwise end up in the landfill. Thriftier Thrift Store Shopping I rarely buy anything new anymore. I find that with a good thrift…
May 25, 2022

For the Farmer: Honor Memorial Day

This spring has farmers frustrated to no end. If the spring planting conditions have you down, take this time to focus on a pleasant and worthwhile distraction. Think about those who served and gave all for their country. I want to use this opportunity, with Memorial Day less than one…
May 24, 2022

Letter to the Editor

TIF for 8 years was voted on [May 20] in a 4-1 vote. I have received several phone calls since yesterday. One caller indicated that one of the commissioners asked a question or made a statement not even pertaining to the Big M Building. Another caller said I have never…
May 23, 2022

Time to Store Water

In times of emergency, water is an essential concern. Water is not only essential to good health and hygiene, it is quite often the first thing to be affected by natural disaster. The water supply may be interrupted because of tornado, flooding, extreme weather or a power outage that affects…
May 23, 2022

Upside Down Under: Five years in the making…

It was recently announced that the North Dakota Department of Transportation has OK’d a major road construction project that will turn U.S. Highway 52, from the Canadian border at Portal, all the way to Carrington, into a “super 2,” which means strategic passing lanes will be added. Since April of…
May 22, 2022

Northern Celebrations: They’re back – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service welcomes visitors with two special upcoming events

Only a 2011 historic flood and two-year pandemic kept Upper Souris National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) from hosting Special Needs Fishing Day each June. While that same pandemic halted Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery’s annual Memorial Day weekend Hatchery Fun Day for two years, both activities are back and hosts are…
May 21, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Bike to Work Today

Every day is special. No, literally. Search the Google webs for “calendar of special days,” and you find out all sorts of things about the days we’re all living through. Today (or what will be today since I wrote this ahead of time because I’m a wizard of forethought), May…
May 20, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: It's Not a Vacation Destination

Last weekend we visited Rapid City. During the days we crammed in tourist activities. We hit Bear Country, Reptile Gardens, and Old McDonald’s Farm. We ate ice cream at Mount Rushmore and browsed Who’s Toy House downtown. In the evening we visited local friends over meals and later watched our…
May 19, 2022

Debt-free College

It's graduation time and hundreds of fresh-faced, enthusiastic youth are getting ready to head off to college. College can be an expensive proposition, and it appears that fewer and fewer people are able to afford it. Government reports say that nearly half of all students graduate with student loan debt and…
May 18, 2022

For the Farmer: I Will Pray for Rain, but....

In our neck of the woods, the farm weather has been terrible since, I don’t know, 1999. If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes they say. Farmers have been waiting longer than that and the tables have not turned. Sure, the weather changed in 5 minutes just like…
May 17, 2022

Provident Home Companion: Let's Talk About Cloches

Many of our favorite garden vegetables are cold-sensitive: tomatoes, peppers, basil, and vining plants like cucumber, squash and melons are all easily damaged by anything approaching the low-30s. According to weather maps, for most of us in North Dakota the average last frost date is in mid-May. But remember that's…
May 16, 2022

Upside Down Under: Welcome back to North Dakota…

In the past month, there have been a lot of vehicles with Saskatchewan and Manitoba license plates milling around Minot and on U.S. Highway 52. Covid restrictions were lifted April 1 in Canada which made it much easier for Canadians to travel across the border. It’s been a long time…
May 15, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Celebrating the joy of migration

The boisterous chirping was treasured morning music as the two Hunting Maniacs of the household and I started our early morning walking routine – they pretending to “hunt” along the muddy trail and me hoping they didn’t get too filthy in the process. The mud was welcomed even though it…
May 14, 2022

Facts of Law

I’m very excited to introduce myself as The Dakotan’s newest contributor.  I’m blessed to have this opportunity and will do my very best to entertain, inspire, or both, with each column. Now, here’s a little about me.  I’ve been a licensed attorney since 2009 and I own and operate Worthington…
May 14, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: iOwe You, iPod

Where were you when you heard the news? Certain news stories, when they happen, you will remember forever where you were and what you were doing when they happened. Stories like the moon landing, Pearl Harbor, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the O.J. Simpson verdict, Olive Garden opening in…
May 13, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: Trash Christmas

Something magical week is nearly upon us in the Magic City. It’s that special time of year that yields surprises, laughter, and neighborly cheer. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of loss, joy, victory and disappointment. It’s one of the traditions I found incredibly odd when I was a naive newcomer, and…
May 12, 2022

Save on Clothing

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” This age-old proverb is a good guide for those of us trying to live a frugal and sustainable lifestyle. Unfortunately, we live in a throw-away economy. Most people just find it easier to toss things when they break…
May 11, 2022

For the Farmer: Spring Update

As of now, the farmers are all getting busy with their own final preparations for spring seeding. However, they are all wondering, “What’s everyone else doing? Is anybody going yet?” From high atop the agronomy perch here in Mohall, the answer is that there have been a few acres planted,…
May 10, 2022

Plant It and Forget It

A garden is an important part of a good food plan, a plan to ensure that you will always have food regardless of what the market and economy are doing. But vegetable gardens are subject to the whims of nature. Over the years, too much or too little rain, early…
May 9, 2022

Upside Down Under: Happy Birthday Jim Hillestad…

There was a photograph in last week’s Kenmare News showing local man Jim Hillestad with his son Kelly and daughter Terri at his birthday party. That’s not so unusual, but what is unusual is that Jim turned 102 in late April. Kelly lives with his dad in Kenmare while Terri…
May 8, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Paddlefish – a survivor of time   

They’re a treasure, a living fossil surviving millions of years found in only one part of North America. And some call North Dakota home. They’re paddlefish, a massive, prehistoric fish scientists trace back to the Cretaceous Period 65 million years ago. Only one other paddlefish species found in Asia exists…

NDistinct Chatter: Embrace Every Day with Mom

I like to think that this column is maybe a tiny moment of levity in a world that is growing increasingly darker, filled more and more with anger, hostility, anxiety and sadness. I’m feeling all those things, too; I can assure you. However, my usual intention in this space is…
May 6, 2022

Mother's Day Tribute

Mother’s Day is fast approaching the world, much as everything else is approaching, fast! Mother’s Day in a small community brings back memories of the moms that did the opposite, they slowed down enough to take time to not only raise their own children but create fond memories and examples…
May 6, 2022

Letter to the Editor

In response to Shane McLoughlin's letter to the editor. He seems like a nice man and sincere about his comments but 10 years in Minot doesn't come close to the Midwest Federal Building, that's the period of time it was closed. Let me explain. I came to Minot in 1958…
May 5, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: Mother's Day

My birthday falls right after Christmas. Often the day is spent in the car or airport traveling to or from visiting family. The business of Christmas and New Year’s can put my ideals for a birthday celebration on the backburner. Plus, I’m usually too tired from all the Christmas-ing to…
May 5, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World: It's All About the Food

It's May. Actually it's not, it's November, well it is May; but I'm thinking about what I thought about last November, because I wish I would've thought about it in May. If you're confused, so am I and that's why I'm writing this article because one of the outdoor lessons…
May 4, 2022

The Bane of Your Budget

You're walking through the store, minding your own business when suddenly it grips you. You see something on sale, a novelty item, something you've long wished for and you are seized with the impulse to buy it. Impulse buying is probably one of the biggest threats to your budget. It's…
May 4, 2022

For the Farmer: "Dear Farmer... Love, your Ag Retailer"

Spring snow has delayed the planting season.  However, there is still a lot of time to get things dried out and get a crop in the ground.  No need to worry.  Farmers now have plenty of questions about availability of earlier day corn (spoiler alert, there is not any), the…
May 3, 2022

Should you get "food storage"?

The news is alarming: Reports of food shortages around the world, world leaders confirming there will be even more shortages to come, food warehouse and production facilities burning down and more transportation bottlenecks. In the last month or two, I've received several emails and phone calls from people who've attended…
May 2, 2022

Minot State Athletics put on Mental Health Panel

It’s been an entire month of planning and coordinating, but this last weekend all the hard work came to fruition. This past Tuesday, April 26, the Minot State Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Diversity and Inclusion Council put on a mental health panel for the more than 400…
May 1, 2022

Upside Down Under: Continuing a FM DX hobby…

For the longest time, I would sit and look at my Kenwood KT 6040 AM-FM receiver and wonder what was wrong with it. When I bought it in 2018, it provided radio reception two step above anything else I’d ever known. But in the past year, there’s been some kind…
May 1, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Spring means tick season         

They’re small. They’re annoying. But they can also be debilitating and deadly. For some beloved dog owners, Tick Season is a year-around occurrence. For others, it’s a seasonal thing. How soon it starts, how long it lasts, and the types of diseases they can transmit vary with one’s location in…
April 30, 2022

Letter to the Editor

In Support of the County Commissioners, I read Duane Brekke's letter to the editor on April 27, 2022 and felt a response was necessary. I have lived in Minot for over ten years, in North Dakota for nearly twenty years of my adult life and having grown up on a…
April 29, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Get In Line

There are rules to being in lines. We live in a society. I was reminded of this hierarchy this past Saturday while in line for Record Store Day. It had been a long, lonely time since I’d been in a line like this one, I realized sometime during my 47-minute…
April 29, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: Cream of Mushroom Soup

We’ve got to talk about the blizzards one more time. Just once more. Then I’m done. Unless, of course we get another blizzard. If we get a blizzard in May, all bets are off and you betcha I’ll write about it. But for today, let’s confidently hope that blizzard warnings…
April 28, 2022

Letter to the Editor

For many years we have had a county commissioner know by many probably the most negative to ever serve as commissioner. As a farm boy, I appreciate good farm-to-market roads. His ideal is a paved road from his farm house to the elevator. He has never cared about Minot (I’m…
April 27, 2022

Saving on Groceries Part 4: Final Two Tips

You may be finding it a challenge to keep food costs down, especially if you are living on a 2021 salary or a fixed income. These are financially precarious times and you need all the help you can get. So here are two more tips to help you manage your…
April 27, 2022

For the Farmer: The Urban/Rural Divide

Not very long ago, the former Governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels, wrote an opinion piece that appeared in the Washington Post called “In Farm Children, I See Virtues That One Sees Too Rarely These Days.”  In this article, he made note of the increasing divide between the urban and rural…
April 26, 2022

The Early Spring Garden: Brassicas

After you've planted your peas, spinach and onions, (mydakotan.com/2022/04/the-early-spring-garden/) it's time to start planting brassicas. “Wait! What,” you may ask “what on earth is a brassica?” Brassicas are a family of plants that are known for being cold-hardy and high in nutrition. They are also called cruciferous plants. That’s because…
April 25, 2022

Waiting for the call

For NFL fans second only to the Super Bowl, the biggest day of the year is the NFL Draft. It is an opportunity for teams at the bottom of the league to land the next franchise cornerstone player and pull them out of purgatory and for teams that made the…
April 24, 2022

Upside Down Under: Of Donnybrook and Donnybrook…

There’s a small town in the gooseneck of Ward County called Donnybrook. It’s common knowledge locally that the town was named for the Donnybrook Fair in Ireland. Today Donnybrook is a district in Dublin. A few days ago, I discovered there is another Donnybrook, and it’s in Western Australia. This…
April 24, 2022

Northern Celebrations: A big catch   

It’s not every day an angler lands a 48-inch freshwater fish and has to release because it’s too small. Yes, you read that right – it’s too small. When it comes to catching a muskellunge (muskie) in North Dakota, though, that’s exactly what happens – N.D. Game and Fish Department…
April 23, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Being Real in ND

There’s a new social media app in the world called Be Real. All the kids are using it. There aren’t ads, and it doesn’t track you across the internet and sell your information to the highest bidder. Supposedly. I don’t remember Facebook telling us they were going to do that,…
April 22, 2022

She's Not From Around Here: The Unsung Hero of Blizzard 2022

We got more snow than I expected. When I wrote last week’s column the blizzard was impending with predictions hinting at the possibility of 30” of snow. However, with my vast meteorological experience (okay, I have none), I made my own prediction: Minot would get far less snow than expected…
April 21, 2022

Letter to the Editor

The political class is up in arms over a proposed ballot measure to limit the terms of the governor and state legislators.  First, they derided the concept as flawed and told us that the ballot box is how we limit their time in office.  Now, the offices of the secretary…
April 20, 2022

Saving on Groceries Part 3: Cook from Scratch

In our attempt to lower the grocery bill we've covered things like shop with a list, have a super pantry and cut down on food waste. These all sound like Grandma skills. And the truth is, these are things your grandma did. If your Grandma lived during the depression (like…
April 20, 2022

For the Farmer: How to Fire Someone 101

How to Fire Somebody: A Farmer’s Guide There is a bunch of positive career development stuff on social media about how to be successful beyond your wildest dreams; how to thrive in the workplace; how to be the best salesperson; how to motivate others; how to inspire, lead and mentor.…
April 19, 2022

The Early Spring Garden

Spring is so close, so very, very close, that we are all getting anxious to get into the garden and start planting something. Every year, after a week or two of sunny, pleasant weather, everyone rushes to the garden center and buys a whole flat of garden veggies. Who doesn't…
April 18, 2022

Melting Pot of Minot State Athletics

Entering the 2021-2022 school year there were 14 athletic teams on the campus of Minot State University. Next fall the 15th team in Women’s Wrestling will join MSU Athletics. Excluding Women’s Wrestling since their roster is not yet finalized as they continue starting the program, there is only one team…
April 17, 2022

Upside Down Under: On the air to stay…

If you haven’t heard about this yet, there is something unique going on at Linton High School and my friend Jay Schmaltz is largely responsible for it. Jay and I go back a lot of years when I was deep into newspapers and he was deep into radio. And Jay…
April 17, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Think spring, think fishing

Spring means throngs of migrating waterfowl resonating overhead as they return to nest. It’s wildlife awakening from their winter survival mode. It’s green grass and early wildflowers as crocuses and other flowers pop seemingly out of nowhere. And it’s fishing. Finally, it’s open water fishing. To Jason Lee, an avid…
April 16, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: No Shame in Snow Game

I was recently told by an expert on human feelings that there are two of the feels that we humans feel so intensely and so negatively that we will go to extra efforts to avoid feeling them: shame and loneliness. Most of us, anyway. Maybe not politicians. I was thinking…
April 15, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Spring Snow

You know how some board games can force your pawn to return to start? Or at least make you to move back several spaces? That’s spring snowstorms in Minot. You can play the game. You can execute strategy — but in classic board games like Life, Sorry or Trouble it…
April 14, 2022

Saving on Groceries Part 2: Eliminate Waste

More Tips to Save at the Grocery Store Last week I gave three tips on how to save at the grocery store. They were: 1-Start a Super Pantry2-Shop with a list3-Go easy on the perishable foodsYou can read them in detail here: https://mydakotan.com/2022/04/saving-at-the-grocery-store-part-1/. Let's continue with more tips on how…
April 13, 2022

For the Farmer: Current Events and Your Farm in 2023

Yes, that’s right. That’s not a typo. 2023. Farmers have a lot of questions about what will happen to commodity prices and crop input prices for 2023 given that 2020-2022 has been such a roller coaster ride. The following is some very early speculation about what to expect for 2023.…
April 12, 2022

Ten Skills for Self-Reliance

The Internet is full of articles with titles like “Top Ten Skills Every Survivalist Should Know.” I know a lot of people are prepping for some end-of-the-world-doomsday-apocalypse  kind of event and in that case, these would be skills you’d want to know. But how likely is that? I think the…
April 11, 2022

Student Athletes Come Together to Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Very few communities are as diverse as the athletic community on a college campus. When you add the addition of Minot State’s higher than most international student population, MSU Athletics is one of the most community of people. From players to coaches all the way up to the athletic offices,…
April 10, 2022

Upside Down Under: Look for the clues…

When I signed on to write a weekly column for this newspaper, part of the agreement was that I write about current events, history, sports figures, etc., all with a North Dakota tie, sometimes deviating to states or provinces bordering us. This week, I’m compelled to change that theme because…
April 10, 2022

Always a Special Place

T.R. National Park-North Unit WATFORD CITY — It is the very definition of a National Park – beauty, majesty, serenity, wilderness. Take your pick. You’ll discover it all, and more, at the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I’ve never forgotten my first view of the North Unit. I’m…
April 10, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Maple sugaring North Dakota style

Maple syrup – thick and deliciously oozing true maple syrup – is probably any pancake lover’s true delight. Home-grown, North Dakota maple syrup isn’t a reality because the maple tree species producing maple syrup don’t grow in the state. But Chad Trautman, Garrison, discovered a passion for a different type…
April 9, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Watch the Watch

I have a complicated relationship with my wristwatch. It wasn't always like this. When I was so much younger, I wore a watch for the same reason most people do: telling time. But even way back then, in the Before Times, watches had other purposes. Remember calculator watches? One of…
April 8, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: The Library Sale

A local friend once told me the library sale is an ideal place to observe North Dakotans being North Dakotan. It’s a place to see Dakotaness on display. Like a lot of things, I didn’t understand until I saw it first hand. Let me explain. First of all, the fact…
April 7, 2022

Letter to the Editor

I can’t say thank you enough… Our campaign earned the support of 46% of the NDGOP State Convention vote against the most popular politician in modern North Dakota history. This was done on a shoestring budget through grassroots supporters of all stripes across our great state. We ran a campaign…
April 6, 2022

Saving at the Grocery Store Part 1

For most people, food is the third highest expenditure in the family budget (after housing and transportation) and food costs are going up. Way, way up. In the last year — from September 2020 to September 2021 — the cost of food rose 31%. That’s the steepest increase the U.S.…
April 6, 2022

For the Farmer: Family Farm Commo

Two-way radios. Business-band radios. Cell phones. CB radios. Texting. Hand-and-arm signals when backing up the tractor to the planter. How do you talk to each other on the farm? Ok, not that communication. Good old-fashioned talking to each other on the farm communication. Families that farm together, that run the…
April 5, 2022

Letter to the Editor

I have a confession to make… I didn’t expect to win the election on Saturday to chair the ND GOP convention. Why? I didn’t campaign, only a few knew I was going to have my name placed in nomination and I arrived at 10:50 a.m. (It started at 11:00 a.m.)…
April 4, 2022

The Embarrassing Bean

In many parts of the world, beans (and their legume cousins, lentils) are eaten every day at virtually every meal. By comparison, Americans eat very few beans. And this may be one big reason for it: gas. Many people have a reaction to beans that, well, alerts others to what…
April 4, 2022

Changes on College Campus with Name, Image, and Likeness

Very few divisive topics have hit centered stage more in college athletics than allowing players to receive financial compensation for their play. For years the NCAA has argued that paying players transcends the athletes from amateurs to professionals. This has changed with the new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rule…
April 3, 2022

Upside Down Under: We could be more diverse?…

Last week’s article showed the diversity of North Dakota and that we fall into the No. 1 category in a number of areas, mostly with grain and row crops. But, there are some areas in which we could do far better with our diversity. Let me give you some examples.…
April 3, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Biden's solution to gas prices: "Under my plan, which is before Congress now, we can take advantage of the next generation of electric vehicles, that a typical driver will save about $80 a month from not having to pay gas at the pump."So allow me to break that baby down…
April 2, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Confessions of Modern Day Patriot I have a confession to make: I haven’t always been a Republican. It was my senior year in high school. The year was 1976. Jimmy Carter was running for President. Being the democrat I was raised, and the bleeding heart that cries at movies, I…
April 1, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: Bald is Beautiful, Not Funny

In response to Will Smith’s recent choice to slap Chris Rock in the face at the Oscars, there is currently a war in the Ukraine and the cost of living is running laps around salaries and wages. I'm not an expert on geopolitical conflicts or macroeconomics the way I'm a…
April 1, 2022

Discernment 101: Stepping Up  

At the beginning of 2022, most people in the United States had never heard of the trucker convoy. It could be argued they didn't spend a lot of time paying attention to Canadian news sources at all. Many of us were just trying to figure out what to believe or…
March 31, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Prom in Hot Dish Territory

On Saturday, Minot’s teenagers will dress to the nines and scoot off to prom. Which means, this the perfect time to chat about an outsiders take on Hot Dish prom. Before going further, let me be candid. I love prom. Though my prom years are long passed, I still carry…
March 31, 2022

The Worst Topic of All

Budgeting. Such a boring word and a tedious topic. It's also an emotionally fraught subject. So much of what we feel emotionally and how we respond to society is wrapped up in how we spend our money.  Yet budgeting is the first step to managing finances and is essential if…
March 30, 2022

For the Farmer: “The Road Greater”

It is March Madness! What do basketball referees and County Motor Grader Operators have in common? They are both out there going back and forth and have lots of angry people criticizing the job they are doing. There is nobody pulling them aside to say “Hey, splendid work! We are…
March 29, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Confessions of Modern Day Patriot “A Room Without Books is a Room Without a Soul”William Shakespeare I have a confession to make. I haven’t read a lot of Shakespeare in my life, but this is one quote that has made me stop and think. About things that you instinctively know…
March 29, 2022

The Magical Fruit

Beans, beans, the magical fruit... School yard rhyme aside, you really should be eating beans at every meal. They are super high in fiber, protein and lots of vitamins. They are a tasty, inexpensive and filling, making them the ideal food for those trying to keep their food budget under…
March 28, 2022

Director of Fun

Fans of Minot State Men’s and Women’s Hockey will recognize him as the voice of Beaver Hockey and anyone who follows MSU Baseball knows he ended his career in the record books. Celestino “Sal” Rodriguez finished his playing days on the baseball diamond as Minot State’s all-time leader in homeruns.…
March 27, 2022

Bass Bracket Fishing

March Madness on the Water STANTON – A bass fishing version of bracketology was introduced at Nelson Lake this month. And what fun it was! The event was the culmination of a winter fishing circuit conducted by bass fishing enthusiasts of the Badlands Bass Bandits, a fishing club that made…
March 27, 2022

Upside Down Under: We’re not always No. 1…

Lately I’ve been seeing indicators of how powerful North Dakota is as an agricultural producer. Statistics are generated by the USDA, Department of Agriculture and others but numerous people have been regurgitating said statistics on social media. We’re No. 1! Following is a list of the crops in North Dakota…
March 27, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Navigating the waters                                 

It might not seem possible in a prairie state like North Dakota, but the N.D. Game and Fish Department manages more than 450 lakes. Some are as grand as massive Lake Sakakawea or ever popular Devils Lake while others are as tiny as the North Dakota State Fair Community Pond…
March 26, 2022

What’s All the Fuss About Eminent Domain?

The topic of eminent domain has come up again recently in the current discussions surrounding the carbon capture pipeline project. Many North Dakotans are at least tangentially familiar with the concept of eminent domain, but if you don’t own significant amounts of land, especially located in the western half of…
March 25, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: I'm Not Psychic, But Neither is Tyler Henry

Watch this, I’m psychic. You, the person reading this, are you from North Dakota? Do you know someone who’s died in the last two years, be it from COVID or another illness complicated by COVID, or they died in a motorcycle accident and tested positive for COVID afterward? Does your…
March 25, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: The Honor Code

I’ve never been robbed. Not really. There have been two instances in which something of mine was stolen. They are as follows: Once, at a pumpkin patch in Delaware, I painted a small pumpkin that came complimentary with each corn maze admission. I brushed on minimalistic black and white stripes,…
March 24, 2022

Making Ends Meet

Last week my husband and I sat down with an adviser to begin the paperwork for his retirement. This feels like the second scariest decision we've ever made during our marriage. The first was when we decided to live on one income so that I could be at home with…
March 23, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World: Fire Wisdom

One thing Mother Nature will teach you is that what you think you know may not be true. This reality highlighted itself back when our family was learning how to archery deer hunt. One evening as Peter and I were getting out of the tree stand we heard the shrillest…
March 23, 2022

For the Farmer: Industry Update

Current Events By now, everyone knows the direct effects of the war in Ukraine on our agricultural way of life here in rural North Dakota.  The war is an unfortunate situation for the people of Ukraine.  Imagine yourself in their shoes. I pray for God to be near to them…
March 22, 2022

Discernment 101: Why?

Fake news, misinformation, de-platforming, canceling and other terms are now part of everyday conversations in our country. Along with these terms and parts of these conversations are many questions and statements. When did fake news start? How can we let people get away with misinformation? Who deserves to have a…
March 21, 2022

Why Heirlooms?

There’s a buzz going around about “heirloom seeds” especially heirloom tomatoes, leading people to believe that heirlooms have more flavor or are otherwise superior to all other tomatoes. And that's why they can charge you double for the seeds or plants. That’s only partly true. Yes, they do taste good, but…
March 21, 2022

New Face of the Beaver Defense

With spring break coming to a close, spring practices for the Beaver Football team are just getting started. Over the next month, the Beavers are allotted 14 practices and 1 spring game for offseason training. Football, unlike the rest of college athletics, is very restricted and limited in the amount…
March 20, 2022

Upside Down Under: Slava Ukraini!…

I’m sure many of us watched Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy live via video on American television Wednesday as he addressed the U.S. Congress about the need for more aid to stop the Russian aggression. It came one day after he spoke via video to Canadian Parliament requesting more aid. Whether…
March 20, 2022

Letter to the Editor

“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower. As a farmer and an active North Dakota Farm Bureau (NDFB) member that has worked directly with their policy, I took great interest in Joel Heitkamp’s interview…
March 20, 2022

Northern Celebrations: A Treasure in Paradise Found

The late Dr. Valerius Geist, Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary, was the first scientist to study Stone’s sheep native to northern British Columbia. Expecting to find “some modest scientific gain…”, as he described years later in his book, Wild Sheep Country, instead, he wrote:…
March 19, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: The Batmen Face Off in March Madness

It’s March Madness, and offices across the country are pooling money, building their brackets and watching in disbelief as their brackets fall apart and money flies away. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is 64 teams going head-to-head, and with 63 games played, the odds of guessing the outcome of each…
March 18, 2022

The Blessings and Challenges of Seeking Vindication

Religion in Society North Dakotans received some startling and for most people welcome news this week when an arrest was made in the 15-year-old murder investigation of the death of Anita Knutson. While a trial won’t likely occur for some time, and it may be many months from now before…
March 18, 2022

Nanny State

The poop was running down the back of my hand and inside my sleeve. I couldn't help but smile. I realized how much I love my new job as a nanny to my 9th grandchild. My wife and I signed on (begged for the chance, really) to nanny our 8-week-old…
March 17, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Lighter Days

I think the darkness is harder to bear than the cold. Everyone who comes to Minot thinks about the cold. Everyone dreads the cold. Everyone talks about the cold. But very few mention the darkness. In the fall we ride a slippery slope to days spent in the dark. It…
March 17, 2022

For the Farmer: The Finest American Crop

My dad wrote this for the Minot, North Dakota Rotary Club newsletter – “The Prairie Flower.” It was March 18th, 1999. 23 years ago, almost to the day. It provides a neat historical perspective on how far farming has advanced, how it is still much the same, and what is…
March 15, 2022

Time to Plan Your Garden

Right now it looks like spring is a long way off. But don’t be fooled — before you know it, it will be time to plant your garden. That makes this the perfect time of year to sit down and plan what you want this year’s garden to look like.…
March 14, 2022

This is College Baseball

Minot State Baseball has been predicted to finish as one of the top teams in the NSIC this spring and deservedly so. The Beavers return of 30 veteran players from last year’s team, that went 22-12 in conference play. Experience is key for this Beaver team with many of whom…
March 13, 2022

Step into the Outdoors

State Parks Hiking Challenge BISMARCK — It is a terrific way to step into some of the most scenic places in all of North Dakota, enjoy some quality family time, and reap the health benefits of hiking in the outdoors. North Dakota State Parks has brought back it’s Hiking Challenge…
March 13, 2022

Upside Down Under: Make customer service a priority…

Those of us who live in North Dakota like to think we are up-to-date with the rest of the nation, savvy about technology and on top the world because we are “North Dakota friendly.” Sorry to burst your bubble, but we’re not even close. We are so far behind in…
March 13, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Fish need oxygen, too

We don’t see it because they’re under water, but fish need oxygen, too. Granted, they get it differently than us humans but just as sunlight and oxygen are critical for people, it’s critical for fish. One problem snowy states like North Dakota face is that while it melts to provide…
March 12, 2022

NDistinct Chatter: I Saw the Sign

Do you believe in signs? I suppose I do, and I’d like to tell you about a few of them I’ve seen in the recent past if you have the time. We start with a sign I saw on the side of Interstate-94, just outside of Jamestown. It was a…
March 11, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Why Is Winter Taking So Long?

“Mom, why is winter taking so long?” My four-year-old has asked me this question exactly every day for a week straight. When he says it, the phrase is drawn out. It carries that tone of voice only a genuine child can produce when talking to their parents: Mo—ommm. My name…
March 10, 2022

For the Farmer: What’s in your water?

In the realm of making improvements to your farming practices, there are certain topics that you read about all the time. For example: what the newest and greatest herbicides are this year, what seed traits are the best fit for your acres, new planting equipment technology, and software you should…
March 8, 2022

Ten Reasons to Grow a Garden

Gardening is the most popular hobby in the U.S. right now. Each year more people take up gardening. Last year saw the biggest increase. An estimated six million gardened for the first time last year, and this year it is expected that even more people will join in this favorite pastime.…
March 7, 2022

Philled In: Mental Game

Sports are athletes' escape from the world. For me stepping on the football field, the basketball court, or the baseball diamond was an opportunity to block out reality for an hour or so. Seeing athletes playing their respective sports is where I have seen many at their happiest. It never…
March 6, 2022

Upside Down Under: Give credit where credit is due

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to visit the Dakota College campus in Bottineau. The reason for my visit was to meet a student and a staff member. What I found out, however, is having a lasting impression. It’s obvious that the big guys; University of North Dakota, University of…
March 6, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Finicky March

A person probably doesn’t want to think back through the past month of February and the number of days the thermometer dipped below the zero mark. For that matter, there’s no need to mention the number of days it didn’t even get above zero for daytime highs. Instead, let’s reminisce…
March 5, 2022

NDistinct Chatter

Introductions are always a little awkward, I think. Especially for columnists. Because I know what you’re thinking. Who is this guy? What is this thing he’s written, and why did he do it? Why am I reading it? What’s with the photo of his face? All questions I’d be asking…
March 4, 2022

Breath of Fresh Air

Letter to the Editor We experienced a severely needed breath of fresh air Saturday night from Dr. Scott Atlas at The Barn at 52 Pines in Burlington. I came to the event with a low bar of expectations as Dr. Atlas had just written his book, A Plague Upon Our…
March 4, 2022

Can We Coherently Define the American Dream Anymore?

Approximately 13 years ago, I blogged about “The American Dream.” As a real estate professional at the time, I had noticed that certain politicians continually referred to “home ownership” as the quintessential aspect of the American Dream. What directly followed that claim were fiscal policies, such as artificially low interest…
March 4, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: A Friendly Push

A few weeks ago I came across a car stuck in a bank of snow. We’d gotten snow earlier in theweek, but this was a warm, 35 ̊ day. Streets were clear, snow had even begun to melt on thesidewalks. The sky was blue, the sun was warm, the wind…
March 3, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World: Reach-Throw-Row-Go

I was scrolling through the news the other day when I saw a story of a police officer barreling out on the ice to save a dog that was heavier than the ice could handle. The story falls under the feel good category, getting good tractions with all the animal…
March 2, 2022

For the Farmer: False Motivation

The definition of “False Motivation” is buying into the illusion that you're content with someone or something in hopes that eventually you really will be. In the realm of business career advice, I’ve heard the phrase, “If you don’t like what you are doing, then find something else. Life is…
March 1, 2022

Let's Talk Beans

After you have a good store of food — the Super Pantry that we talked about a couple weeks ago — the next thing you should do is go buy 100 lbs of beans and 100 lbs of rice. I can hear you already exclaiming, “One hundred pounds! Are you…
February 28, 2022

Upside Down Under: What is happening to our shopping malls?

Have you been to a shopping mall lately? I haven’t until recently, and it’s quite surprising at the lack of activity going on. Some of it could be attributed to COVID, but somehow I doubt it because we’ve seen a shift in buying habits before the pandemic and that’s undoubtedly…
February 27, 2022

Northern Celebrations: Spring Hunting

Oops, just in case anyone missed it, North Dakota is already almost a week into hunting season. And, oh by the way, another hunting season closes in a few days. The state’s hardy tree squirrel hunters have to hang it up for another year on Feb. 28. However, that doesn’t…
February 26, 2022

Courage Comes in Different Forms 

Some types of courage may seem familiar to us. For example, many North Dakotans understand the need to regularly brave dangerously cold weather in order to care for their livestock and provide for their families. In fact, some might say that’s not even an example of courage but of simple…
February 25, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Hot Dish Airports

Since moving to North Dakota I’ve had many moments that leave me thinking I must have stepped into an alternate universe. However, few compare to my experiences at North Dakotan airports. Though locals may not bat an eye at the Hot Dish airport experience, to those of us who aren’t from…
February 24, 2022

Making a Difference: Men on Ice

I think it's really fair to say that it's easy to get discouraged when you take a look at the news now-a-days. Just the other day I heard somebody say that our country is going to hell in a hand basket yet again and definitely agree that it's easy to…
February 23, 2022

For the Farmer: ND Farm Bureau President responds to allegations and explains what the Farm Bureau is doing to close the urban-rural divide

If you are a farmer and you have not seen the recent New York Times Opinion online videos demonizing farmers, then your blood pressure is likely still at a reasonable level. If you have seen them, and you work in agriculture like I do, your blood pressure is probably through…
February 22, 2022

Talk to Your Neighbors

We've had a hard winter and some of us are feeling pretty battered by all the storms. Soon the government will be issuing its flood predictions for spring of 2022. Hopefully, the flood forecast will not be too dire. But no matter what's on the horizon, now is a good…
February 21, 2022

Upside Down Under: We all need to be better listeners

I’m sure you all remember Craig Cobb? He was a self-proclaimed white nationalist who came to the Grant County community of Leith and tried to take over the town by buying up properties and bringing like-minded individuals to Leith. Cobb caused quite a stir that lasted a long time. His…
February 20, 2022

Northern Celebrations: A Dark Side

They glistened like hidden treasures awaiting discovery. Lying in the bottom of a coulee, they beckoned to be released them from their fate, which, granted would probably have provided food and nourishment for a happy rodent. The sheds were precious, they begged to be appreciated because, given their size, they…
February 19, 2022

The Very Road They Tried to Avoid 

ND legislature’s fumbled sub-districting demonstrates submission to fear  Every once in a while, a pithy film line displays substantial wisdom. In the animated movie Kung Fu Panda, Master Oogway tells a spooked Master Shifu, “One often meets his destiny on the road he takes to avoid it,” a quote slightly…
February 18, 2022

She’s Not From Around Here: Talk Like a Local

When you move to a new place it’s common to feel like an outsider. Obviously, you expect it to take some time to find your stride and your people – but that stage of relocation is never fun. I’ve never felt so foreign in a place than when I moved…
February 17, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World: When the bad thing happens

As I sat in the icehouse catching up with a couple of friends I faintly heard in the distance “dad…Dad…DAd…DAD!” That day I was at an ice fishing retreat with forty plus anglers and about half of them were dads. One of my buddies said, “Someone must have a fish,”…
February 16, 2022

For the Farmer: Roundup Force Majeure

You know how the White House Press Secretary’s office sometimes does the political stunt of dropping big news late on a Friday when everyone is going into the weekend? Usually at that time, everybody wants to get out of there and nobody really cares, right? Well, Bayer Crop Science, the…
February 15, 2022

Food Storage Part II

Chances are good that your grandma kept a well-stocked pantry. She called it “putting by” and she thought it was just common sense to always have a good supply of food on hand. But with the prosperity in the decades following the Great Depression, this practice has fallen into disuse.…
February 14, 2022

Upside Down Under: Swinging the pendulum 

The world of communications is constantly changing and most of it runs parallel to the changes in technology. And for those of us who work in communications, it’s sometimes been a difficult transformation. As an example in each of the past three years, North Dakota has lost three weekly newspapers…
February 13, 2022

Upside Down Under: Regina to Minot 250 

It wasn’t quite the Iditarod, but we had our own version of long-distance winter recreation that was fun for a lot of people.  How many of you remember a snowmobile race that started in Regina and ended in Minot? It was called the Regina Minot International 250 that took place…
February 12, 2022

Northern Celebrations: It’s almost turkey time

For all of the love one glitzy import gets from North Dakota hunters, it almost seems unjust another import doesn’t garner the same amount of affection and attention. Especially considering that less respected import here in North Dakota is so highly revered by hunters virtually everywhere else. We’re talking turkeys…
February 12, 2022

Does North Dakota Truly Have a Citizen Legislature? 

What would it take to achieve such a body?  In an ideal world, our state legislature ought to reflect a “citizen legislature,” where North Dakotans from all walks of life could run, get elected, and serve in the legislature. In doing so they could have a hand in enacting the…
February 11, 2022

She's Not from Around Here: Cold is Relative

When you find out you’re moving to Minot, the first thing you wonder about is the cold. Whenyou move to Minot the first thing you’ll think about is the cold. When you tell someone you live in Minot, the first thing they ask about is the cold. Yes, there’s more…
February 10, 2022

For the Farmer

Promoting Agriculture This past weekend, I had the privilege of traveling to our nation’s capital – Washington, D.C.  Being out east, I had the chance to reconnect with some old friends and meet new ones.  A trip like this always offers the opportunity to talk to big city folks about…
February 8, 2022

Food Storage

Let's talk food storage   At first blush, talking about food storage may sound hard core prepper, but it's really not. It's hard core common sense.  When preppers talk about food storage, they are usually talking about a long-term food storage made up of MREs and freeze-dried foods that will see…
February 7, 2022

Lasting Change Takes Time 

About a month ago, many people were making New Year’s resolutions. I have no idea how many people have, up to this point, succeeded in keeping them, but I do know we also saw a number of articles at that time about the attributes and mindsets that lead to meaningful…
February 4, 2022

A North Dakota Legacy x3 

The community of Minot has benefited from Minot State University in many ways.  Some of the benefits are long lasting residual over the years.  The stories of Rick Hedberg, Kevin Bohl, and Chris Lamoureux  are intertwined and have had a lasting impact on the Minot community.  The three each had…
February 3, 2022

She’s Not from Around Here 

A casseroler’s take on life in hot dish territory  “Wow, look at all those shades of brown.” The comment was delivered with faux awe from my passenger seat. Her sarcasm was friendly, not fiery. We both laughed.  “Now, now — don’t be judgmental. Look,” I said while pointing out the…
February 3, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Healthcare workers deserve our thanks I write this letter to all of North Dakota’s healthcare workers and organizations with a message of hope and health. I/we look forward to a year ahead, free of this dark cloak of COVID-19 that has challenged all of us for the past two years.…
February 2, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World 

That's Mine  You don’t need to be a parent to understand that kids can get very protective of their toys. Sit down at any local café in our country, and it takes less time to realize we adults don’t have anything to brag about when it comes to humility and…
February 2, 2022

For the Farmer

Ag Expo Recap “Did you learn anything at the Ag Show?”  A common question to commence the small talk and maybe pry a little if you were not able to make it to Minot any of those three days.  Now that the KMOT Ag Expo in Minot has come and…
February 1, 2022

A Prescription for Congress in 2023

Although nothing is a sure bet in politics, at this point it seems that the Republicans are well poised to take back both the House and the Senate.  Unfortunately, as is often the case for elections, it will be due more to the poor performance of the Biden administration and…
January 31, 2022

Budgeting

“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28  Budgeting. That is the first step to having a Preparedness Plan in place. If you are serious about…
January 31, 2022

Northern Celebrations

Check out the GBBC – Great Backyard Bird Count                              The Great Backyard Bird Count is underway Feb. 18 through Feb. 21, and participants don’t have to be expert ornithologists to participate. In fact, they don’t even have to be expert birders. Even if one’s interest is merely as a…
January 29, 2022

Rules for Thee and not for Me 

Just about every breathing adult today knows we live in a more polarized society than at any other time in recent memory. And some people will simply vote for whichever candidate is aligned with whatever party they feel most aligned with, regardless of any individual traits that candidate has or…
January 28, 2022

For the Farmer

INDUSTRY UPDATE  A farmer’s best tool is information.  With the farm show season in full swing, the KMOT Ag Expo kicks off this week in Minot and farmers will come equipped to quiz equipment dealers, agronomy centers, seed dealers, grain marketers, and all sorts of other industry reps on what…
January 25, 2022

Citrus Fruit

In the dead of winter, when everything is frozen and bleak, Mother Nature blesses us with a ray of warm sunshine: citrus fruit. This is the season that citrus fruit is harvested, and so there’s plenty. This abundance also means it’s often on sale during the winter months. And a…
January 24, 2022

Politics Shape Our World

This has been an eventful week for me, politically speaking.  I announced my retirement from the state legislature at the upcoming completion of my term in December.  It will have been a 10 year stint.  Like many, I viewed the legislative seat not as mine to fight for and keep,…
January 24, 2022

Northern Celebrations

Kick-sledding through Winter   Sometimes the combination of ingenuity and necessity make for fun things, born out of a way to make life simpler and easier while providing some fun along the way.   Or sometimes something designed to be fun turns out to be quite functional.   Maybe that explains kick-sleds.…
January 22, 2022

Why Do So Many Judges Run Unopposed? 

Last week I reported on Judge Gary Lee’s decision to seek a fourth term as North Central District Court judge. The conversation I had with Judge Lee got me thinking: why do so many of our district court judges run unopposed?   Now, please hear me: I’m not in any way…
January 21, 2022

Special Request

For D-Day Veteran who will turn 99 on Feb. 8 It was June 6, 1944, D-Day….  As part of the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division (known as the Ivy Division), Sgt. Edward John Zilli had crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary, landed in Scotland, rode a blacked out train…
January 19, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World

Will I Make It Perspective is one of those things that’s more important than we give it credit for. Perspective is so powerful that it controls how and why we act in every situation of life…we just lose track of that fact more than we like to admit. There’s a…
January 19, 2022

NDYR Pass Two Resolutions at Convention

Two resolutions passed by the North Dakota Young Republicans at their annual convention in Bismarck this past weekend addressed key issues being debated nationally.  The first, a “Resolution Affirming Free Speech with Emphasis on Educational Environments”, introduced by NDYR secretary Rory Somsen, speaks to the fact that college campuses have…
January 18, 2022

For the Farmer

A Cohesive Partnership Between Oil and Agriculture ANTLER—What is the big deal about saltwater spills on the ground every now and then?  It naturally comes from the earth, and it cannot hurt anything, right?  Wrong.  Once this type of water spills, it has an immediate, negative impact on the ground. …
January 18, 2022

Conservation Notes

Despite legislation, improving access to public and private land has not been adequately addressed  North Dakota has long been a state that allows hunting access on private land without asking permission unless the land is physically posted.  Every recent legislative session, including the 2019 session, has had a bill introduced to…
January 17, 2022

2022

I have long lamented the state of affairs with the political parties in North Dakota.  The Republican party has become a very big-tent party.  In most of the state, if someone wants to run for office, they realize their only hope for success is to run as a Republican.  They…
January 17, 2022

Declutter and Donate 

Last week I talked about simplifying your life, paring down on things that clutter your time, your emotions and your space. Continuing with that theme, I'm going to challenge you to declutter a room this week. Choose a room—any room—and get rid of what you can't use and organize what…
January 17, 2022

Northern Celebrations

Eider's Joy I know any and all dog trainers, especially those training and working towards hunting dog tests and trials, would cringe at Eider’s antics as the 2021 pheasant season drew down.   But I don’t care. Eider was having the time of her life and she radiated with joy.   You…
January 15, 2022

Letter to the Editor

What would you have done?  Imagine our government telling a private organization (e.g. United Way) who they can hire for their management?  Our state legislators (our government) during a special session, starting November 8th, quickly forwarded and passed a bill giving the Chairman of the Republican Party of North Dakota (a…
January 14, 2022

For the Farmer

Tribute to a National Farm Leader This past month, we lost a lifelong fighter for the family farmer.  Kelly Shockman of rural Grand Rapids, North Dakota, passed away on Dec. 11, 2021.  He was 96 years old.  He died at home on the farm, surrounded by family.  Kelly was born…
January 11, 2022

Just Simplify

Stuff costs more than money  Many are beginning to recognize the emotional, spiritual and financial weight of consumerism. That is why there is a surge in blogs, Facebook pages and websites that encourage and extol minimalism and non-consumerism.  Fifty years ago, Americans consumed half of what they do today. Advertising convinces…
January 10, 2022

Challenges for My Side of the Aisle in Upcoming 2022 Elections 

 Editor’s note—The Dakotan has asked one legislator from either side of the aisle to answer the following question: “What challenges do you foresee on your side of the aisle as we enter a new campaign season in 2022?” What follows is the response we received from Rep. Sebastian Ertelt, R-Dis.…
January 7, 2022

What Challenges Face the Democratic Nonpartisan League in North Dakota? 

Editor’s note—The Dakotan has asked one legislator from either side of the aisle to answer the following question: “What challenges do you foresee on your side of the aisle as we enter a new campaign season in 2022?” What follows is the response we received from Rep. Marvin Nelson, D-Dis. 9, Rolla.   We also…
January 7, 2022

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World 

Stretching Yourself  I am not sure if it's a sign of how last year went, but I’m not quite certain how I should start the new year. Part of the reason for my delay is today I am writing about stretching myself and in all honesty, I can’t tell you…
January 5, 2022

What We’ve Accomplished So Far 

In my end-of-year editorial, I stated I would not write a “year-in-review” piece because others would cover that idea better than I ever could. Nevertheless, as we ring in the New Year, it’s worth reviewing at the very least what we’ve specifically accomplished at The Dakotan in the last ten…
January 4, 2022

For the Farmer

The One Ingredient to Make Your 2022 Diet Work As you are seeing ad after ad of all the easy claims to lose a lot of pounds in no time, and ad after ad of what superfoods to eat to build muscle and cut fat, and every new online group…
January 4, 2022

Setting Goals

Last week, I gave you a quiz to see how prepared you are. Did you see anything that concerned you? January is the month of new beginnings and fresh perspective. This is the time to start getting prepared. After evaluating how prepared you are for a crisis, it's time to…
January 3, 2022

Challenges for 2022

The lingering agronomic issue from 2021: drought hangover MOHALL—2022 is upon us, and farmers cannot afford to sit back and wait to see what happens for this coming year.  It is true nobody knows what the weather will bring in the new year, but we do know what it brought last year (or what it didn’t bring – rain).  It was dry in 2021. …
December 31, 2021

For the Farmer

Roundup MOHALL—Unfortunately, in our society today, if you say something enough or the major media sources say something enough, it becomes true in the minds of many people.  This has proven true because for some reason, one of the safest pesticides in the history of the planet, glyphosate (the chemical ingredient name of Roundup) has been villainized.  Glyphosate was discovered in…
December 28, 2021

Will 2022 Be Any Better? 

Not unless we make it so  The easy editorial to write this week would be a list of New Year’s resolutions. To be honest, I’ve never been all that excited about making New Year’s Resolutions. I could also have written up a 2021 year-in-review. But I know others could, and will, do a much…
December 28, 2021

Evaluate Your Preparedness 

It's the end of the year and a good time to evaluate how prepared you are and maybe start considering if or how you want to be more prepared in the year to come. Start by taking this self-evaluation quiz:   General Preparedness Do you have a family Emergency Plan? If there…
December 27, 2021

A Coach’s Christmas Dream

What does a coach want for Christmas?  I think a dream recruit that changes your program forever would be an ideal gift for any coach.  Coaches are always looking for that once-in-a-generation recruit that can change their program and possibly get them their next contract.  What would the perfect recruit look…
December 25, 2021

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World

It's a Gift This week is Christmas. Many of you have all your shopping done, and it’s just a matter of waiting for the big day to come. Others of you are frantically trying to get the last gifts bought and arrangements made. And I know there are a handful of you that…
December 22, 2021

Traditions and Customs Ground Us

Christmas is upon us. It’s the time of year in which we commonly remember and participate in a variety of customs and traditions. These are wonderful things, our traditions, and they should be celebrated whenever possible.  Not only during the various holidays of the year, but more commonly in our…
December 21, 2021

For the Farmer

Stand your ground when talking to non-farmers this holiday season MOHALL—Here in rural North Dakota, agriculture is a big part of our way of life. It is our life. Our state is the nation’s number one producer of many crops.  According to recent reports from the United States Department of Agriculture,“North Dakota led…
December 21, 2021

Illness Prevention

Wintertime brings out all sorts of coughs, colds, and nasty bugs. Now that we've added COVID to the mix, it's even more important to take steps to prevent winter bugs from taking you down.  Prevent illnesses:  Wash your hands. Frequently. Most winter illnesses can be avoided with proper hand washing.…
December 20, 2021

For the Farmer

Rethink your plan for 2022 MOHALL—As farmers have already been making many preparations for the 2022 season, we are finding out that while 2021 was a unique year, 2022 will be a challenging one as well. The first thing we know is that we cannot go into 2022 thinking that we will just…
December 14, 2021

True Grit

Adaptive Sports Replace Boring Therapy MINOT—My day at the YMCA was done. My pool workout was over, and I was headed home. Distracted a bit by a friend saying hello on her way into the YMCA, I turned back toward the doors leading into the parking lot and found myself…
December 13, 2021

Provident Home Companion

Preparing a winter safety kit for your vehicle Last week a couple readers suggested a column on winter safety, particularly for cars. The importance of this topic was made even more clear to me as I made the 4½ hour drive from Casselton to Minot just after our last snow…
December 13, 2021

Outdoor Lessons for the Real World

Looking Back The last couple of years have been a little crazy to say the least. We’ve all dealt with personal loss in ways most would say was unpredictable just two years ago. As an author, I’ve been working on planning my articles for 2022. Part of this process involves looking back…
December 8, 2021

A Tribute to Robert Hale

A Friend, Mentor, and Man with a Vision for North Dakota Robert Hale loved North Dakota. More than anyone, he helped me see the extraordinary potential that exists in North Dakota. That realization led me to be involved in dozens of campaigns and in organizing grassroots citizens around numerous causes.…
December 7, 2021

Provident Home Companion

Importance of being prepared for life's uncertainties For close to twenty years, I have been teaching, writing about, and advocating for being prepared for all kinds of emergencies. It started when we moved to our place in the country in 1996. Battered by dozens of blizzards and an ice storm that left us without…
December 5, 2021

Under-the-Radar School Bond Election

MPS bond election needs more exposure and better arguments In recent years elections have become a thorny topic simply by virtue of their contested nature in the context of an increasingly polarized society. In the last year, accusations of fraud have brought feelings about elections to a fever pitch. Election coverage usually seems to approach saturation point, but this current Minot Public…
December 4, 2021

Say a Special Prayer

It is not hard to write this editorial, as Thanksgiving week is all about giving thanks for our family, our friends, and the freedom we have in the United States, guaranteed by those who serve in our military in the U.S. and around the world. Some of our military friends…
November 25, 2021

Can Thanksgiving Survive?

We still all celebrate a national Thanksgiving holiday, but what is the nature of our celebrations? Do we settle for food, family, and football? If that is all we celebrate, can this watered-down holiday of Thanksgiving survive?
November 25, 2021

What I'm Thankful for has Changed Over the Years

When I was little, I loved Thanksgiving. We would always travel to my grandparents’ house for Thanksgiving – Nana and Papa as we called them.  I looked forward to seeing them and my cousins – all three of them were older than me:  Shauna, Eric, and Todd.  I always thought Todd was the coolest person in the world.…
November 25, 2021

Minot's Own "Coach Carter"

I have been gone a few years since being the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Minot State University.  I am back in Minot now and wanted to tell a story about Minot State athletics that many may not know.  There is a considerable amount of “winning” going on within the…
November 24, 2021

The Dakotan Welcomes Letters to the Editor

Here at The Dakotan, we are pursuing our desire to become a full-service media organization serving the great state of North Dakota. We want to take the best of all the media worlds and combine them together. We want to take the best of the written word, but without the…
November 23, 2021

Is Hard Work the Best We Should Expect from Our Legislature?

North Dakotans value hard work. A recent analysis by WalletHub, using ten key indicators, placed North Dakota as the 2nd hardest working state in the U. S., trailing only Alaska. Most North Dakotans teach their children at an early age the value of hard work, and that instilled training tends to last a lifetime.  I think…
November 16, 2021

A Case for the Constitution and a Better Conversation for Every American Citizen

In February of 2015 North Dakota made it a requirement to have a civics examination where students must get at least 70 questions right to pass and gain eligibility for graduation. It's hard at the time of such a change to know if it is suiting the purpose it was…
November 11, 2021

Grassroots Involvement Yields Powerful Results

Editorial / opinion  With a special session of the North Dakota legislature approaching on Monday, Nov. 8, many North Dakotans may find themselves in one of three primary camps.  Camp #1:  “Our elected leaders do whatever they want all the time. I’m frustrated by governmental overreach, and I want to see things change,…
November 4, 2021

It's Time to Stand Up for Our Kids

I walk by the picture probably 50 times a day. It’s framed on my kitchen wall—an aproned mother hen, hands on hips, looking down at the small yellow chicks gathered at her feet. The group is flanked by five words, all caps: “I’M THE MOMMY, THAT’S WHY!” Parents, it’s time…
October 27, 2021

ND Elections - A Way Forward

Voters in North Dakota and around the country are demanding election reform.  While many other states are passing meaningful election bills, North Dakota legislators seem to be reluctant to make the sweeping changes that would be required to secure our processes. The 2016 and 2020 general elections prompted an unprecedented…
October 24, 2021

The Way I See It

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution Gun control. Get rid of the second amendment. After all, it’s so outdated anyway. Really? Change the Bill of…
October 24, 2021

The Dakotan - We Bring You the Truth

In a world filled with news organizations, why would we need one more? Because the news that you are receiving every day is polarized. News organizations used to pride themselves on bringing you the truth, which included researching both sides of an issue. But the obvious polarization of even our…
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