The Grafton Community Endowment Fund is now accepting grant applications with distributions scheduled for late summer 2014. Applications are available at Bremer Bank and are due in by June 30, 2014.
Any organization designated at a non-profit organization under IRS code 501(c)3 qualifies for a grant as well as schools, park districts and organizations with a formal city government relationship. The Grafton Community Endowment Fund is a permanent endowment fund, meaning that all gifts to the Fund are invested permanently and only the earnings being used on an annual basis to make grants. The Grafton Community Endowment Fund was created in 1981 for the purpose of establishing a source of funding for local organizations. Since its inception, over $145,000 has been given away in the form of grants. In 2013, grants were approved for six local organizations totaling $14,218.00. A local Advisory Board reviews grant applications and makes recommendations on funding amounts. Advisory Board members include Keith Zikmund, Dawn Keeley, Bob Meyer, Patty Leighton, and Amy Vollrath. For more information or questions, please call Keith Zikmund at 352-2410.
Park River native and local author Ben Hylden will be at the Grace Free Lutheran Church in Edinburg on Sunday at 7PM speaking about his book "Finding Faith in the Field." The twenty-three year old Hylden says that his faith changed after being seriously injured in a car accident when he was sixteen years old. He says he was given less than a 5% chance of survival after the crash and that his faith in God gave him the strength to fight through his struggles. Hylden's book was released on April 6th of this year which was the seventh anniversary of his accident. He says that he enjoys speaking with other people about his story. Over 2,000 copies of his book have already been sold.
The Valley Edinburg School District will be electing one director for a 3 year term for the Valley area and one director for a 3 year term for the Edinburg area this year. Polls will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00p.m. on June 10th. Polling places will be the Crystal City Hall, Hoople City Hall and Valley-Edinburg Highschool. The positions up for election this year are those currently held by Dan Johnson and Janne (yawna) Myrdal. Johnson has filed for the Valley area while Myrdal has filed for Edinburg. Applications for absentee ballots are available at the Valley Edinburg High School office in Edinburg, the grade 5-8 school in Crystal and PK-4 school in Hoople. Ballots must be received by Business Manager Eileen Rinde at the Edinburg office the day prior to election.
Absentee/Mail Ballot Applications have been mailed to persons who voted in the 2010 and 2012 General Elections. If you did not receive an application in the mail, you can contact the County Auditor’s office at 352-2851 to request an application Voters should return their completed applications to the County Auditor’s Office and their ballots will be mailed to them. Voters are asked to check the boxes for the June Primary Election and the November General Election if they plan on voting in both or to check all statewide elections. The Auditor's office reminds voters to fill in the ID number for the North Dakota ID type they are using. Any applications received without the ID number are considered incomplete,and ballots will not be sent to those applicants. Also, Ballots will not be sent out to anyone with unsigned applications. As a“Vote by Mail” election, there will be only one polling place open on Election Day, June 10 at the Farmers Room of the County Courthouse in Grafton from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
The 2nd Annual First Care Hospital Auxiliary Rhubarb Fest will be held on Saturday June 7th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Park River American Legion. The Auxiliary will be making pies for the event and are asking anyone with any extra rhubarb that they'd be willing to donate to call Ruth Jelinek at 331-1806 before noon today to make a donation to the festival.
Kristi Brintnell, County Executive Director at the Walsh County FSA Office would like to inform farmers that their 2014 Acreage Reporting Maps are prepared, with the exception of farms with changes. If you have not already received your maps via email, and you would like to have them emailed, please contact the Walsh County FSA office. Otherwise, farmers may stop by the office to pick up their maps. The deadline to report your 2014 acreage is July 15, 2014. Farmers may contact the Walsh County FSA office to schedule their acreage reporting appointment.
A blaze has destroyed the former Terra Cotta Ballroom in Pisek. About 30 volunteer firefighters from two communities battled the fire from about 6 a.m. Monday until the afternoon. Jerry Slinger is the owner of the building. He estimates his loss between $250,000 and $500,000. The source of the fire has not been determined. Slinger bought the ballroom from the city of Pisek about six years ago. He says he had been working on rehabilitating the building as it was in disrepair when he purchased it. The building was used for weddings, meetings, school productions and other events while under ownership of the city.
The Pembina County Historical Museum will begin its summer hours of operation May 26. Museum grounds are open from 11 to 5 daily this summer; tours and special events can be arranged for other times. The Museum’s meeting facilities are also available for use by the public. Visitors can explore all twelve buildings on the Museum grounds, such as the restored St. Anthony Church originally located in Bathgate and the second oldest frame church in North Dakota. Two other buildings of the same era include the McKenzie-McKechnie Granary and the Paton Homestead House. Antique tractors and other farm implements are also located in three exhibit buildings. The museum is also looking for volunteers to act as Society directors and members prepare for the Annual Pioneer Machinery Show September 6-7. For further information about the Society and its activities, call the Museum at 701-265-4941 or email at email@example.com.
People cleaning cabins or other buildings that have been closed for the winter should protect themselves against hantavirus, a disease transmitted by infected mice, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. Hantavirus is a viral infection that causes severe lung disease. Infected rodents spread the virus in their urine, droppings, and saliva. The virus is transmitted to people when they breathe in air contaminated by the virus. The deer mouse is the primary carrier of the virus. The Department of Health says to prevent hantavirus infection to ventilate the space in a rodent-infested building by opening the doors and windows for 30 minutes, do not stir up dust by sweeping or vacuuming up droppings, urine or nesting materials, wear gloves and use disinfectant when cleaning up dead rodents, and to use disinfectant on all countertops, cabinets, and drawers.
The soil saga continued at the Walsh County Commission meeting yesterday morning. Land owners in some parts of the county have had concerns over steep valuation increases of agricultural land; with some townships seeing increases as great at 80 percent. Up to yesterday, none of the proposed valuations had taken affect. The commission has tried for months to find a proposal that would be fair to all land owners in the county. Landowners in the West say their land generates far less income than land in the East and that recent proposals have not considered this properly, and set their valuations too high. Commissioner Jack Karas said he wasn't giving up on the issue and wanted to get the right plan in place before finalizing anything. With a number of land owners from Western Townships in attendance, the commission decided it would not move forward with any of the current proposed valuations. By roll call vote, with Luther Meberg the lone dissenter, the commission voted to set the agricultural land valuations to 2013 levels with the 8% increases that had been set by the commission earlier this year. As a result of the vote, the county is now out of compliance with State law and will be penalized with a temporary hold back of 5% of its state funds. The County will receive the money once it's found in compliance. In the meantime the county will work with state representatives to find the best solution.
Later the commission selected Galen Cariveau with Cariveau Workforce Services of East Grand Forks to complete a market study of current county employees. Cariveau will be comparing the demographics of Walsh County with similar sized counties in this state and others if necessary to create a new compensation plan which he says will be easy to understand and support. The study should be completed by July. If approved, the plan would be in place for 3 years before a review would be conducted. Cariveau said he would be working with the commission and department heads during the process and that all numbers would be presented to the commission for review before making a final decision.