Unheralded

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Mystical Horizons

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner’s recent road trip took him to Mystical Horizons, a unique and fascinating place in north-central North Dakota on the Scenic Byway of state Highway 43 near the town of Carbury. This “21st century Stonehenge” is an unusual yet fully functional solar calendar made of stone structures. It was built in 2005 from the vision of …


Unheralded

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Swedish Zion Lutheran Church

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner took to the roads of rural North Dakota and the Turtle Mountains and came across Swedish Zion Lutheran Church in northern Bottineau County. The historic rural church, built in 1903, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 2013. The stone (granite) church, which had its origins starting in 1896, when a group …


DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Badlands Trip Series No. 4

“Milky Way Night In The Badlands,” that’s what Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner calls these images, taken from 11 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. one recent day in the North Dakota Badlands. He was fortunate to have no clouds in the sky with no wind and a clear cool night with no heat waves to get a nice view and these images …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Congratulations, Jocelyne And Monique

The Lamoureux twins, Jocelyne and Monique, who led the U.S. Women’s hockey team to a gold medal in the 2018 Winter Olympics, have been named recipients of the North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt  Rough Rider Award, the state’s highest honor. Finally. They are the first and only North Dakotans ever to win Winter Olympic Gold. And they did it in a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Nobody Ever Got Rich Betting Against Doug Burgum

Four years ago, on the morning after the 2016 North Dakota Primary Election, I wrote a column with the headline “What The Hell Just Happened?” Doug Burgum pulled off one of the biggest upsets in North Dakota political history, giving Wayne Stenehjem a sound beating in their race for the Republican nomination for governor. Burgum did it by spending a …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Miss Peggy Lee

Today some of us will take a moment to celebrate the centennial of singer/songwriter/North Dakota native Peggy Lee, born on this date in 1920. One of her most popular albums is called “Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown North Dakota.” It’s front cover is a typical Peggy Lee glamour shot. The back cover, an image of a map of North Dakota. She was …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A ‘Good New Boys’ Network?

Four years ago today, Doug Burgum was criss-crossing North Dakota in a motor home with “Burgum for Governor” in big letters on the side, running against Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem in the Republican primary election just a few weeks hence. His campaign theme: Get rid of the “Good Old Boys” network in Bismarck. In what was generally viewed as a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — This Is Just F**king Stupid

The newspaper stories this morning said “North Dakota Gov.Doug Burgum said he intends to allow closed businesses to reopen Friday, May 1.” Well, isn’t that special. A great big May basket for North Dakota. Happy May Day. The rest of the story: “The State Health Department on Monday also announced 75 new cases of COVID-19, marking the second-highest single-day total …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — My Heart Friend, Bart

Wednesday’s April blizzard gifts me with the time to sit down and write about my heart friend, Bart Koehler. Bart came to be my friend by the actions of my friend and colleague at Dickinson State University, Steve Robbins. Steve was a charter member of Badlands Conservation Alliance  and his brain is always problem-solving, generating bright ideas. BCA was in …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Every Penny Out Of My 401(k)’

As construction season approaches, albeit a little bit delayed by Mother Nature this week, we’ll be watching closely to see if any work begins at the Meridian Energy Group’s Davis Refinery site next door to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. I’ve been doing a little digging myself, not of the physical nature, but I encountered a couple of stories to share …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Solitude in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground,” so we took those words to heart and stole away to the Bad Lands on Tuesday. My sisters and I traveled to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in our separate cars and maintained our social distance. The fresh air and time on the trail greatly renewed …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Live Smart But Keep Living

I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to arrange a flight home from West Virginia University for India. As I write, West Virginia is the only state in the union without a documented case of the Coronavirus, still things feel a little safer out here in our prairie isolation. It feels a little like it did in the days …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Elections And Things

Some politics today. Caucuses, conventions, initiated measures and great PR work. Caucuses and Conventions A letter writer in The Forum on Friday morning expressed his displeasure with Tuesday’s North Dakota caucuses saying, “I can remember when we voted in a primary election by using one side or the other of the ballot to vote our party preference. Republicans and Democrats …

RON SCHALOW: Ukrainian Family Freaks Out Burleigh County Corgis

How many Ukrainian refugees can move into the city of boring blank walls without riling up the usual small pack of those yappy little territorial Burleigh County Corgis the corrupt president enjoys lying to? Zero. They’re banning light bulbs. No, it’s murals. Bismarck is banning murals or morals to the story. It’s extreme vetting for everyone to mayoral standards, nowadays. …

RON SCHALOW: A Mural Of Greta Versus The Mob

Well, that’s just great. A few villagers got wind of a yet-to-exist innocuous mural with a whiff of science implied, and now we have to inspect all of the art in the state for depictions of Swedes wearing Native jewelry. It seems the mere thought of a mural featuring a 17-year-old girl got a handful of North Dakota wankers so …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated’

From this: To this, in just one week: I’m pretty sure that is the biggest headline ever in the Adams County Record. And well it should be. Just a week after the paper announced Nov. 29,  “This is the final issue of the Adams County Record” because its corporate owner was shutting it down, a local neighboring publisher picked it …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — An Angel Named Jill

“It’s been a nice warm week with a high of 57 degrees on Sunday, Looks like more cold winter weather is headed this way, so we better enjoy the balmy days. “There were more replacement surgeries this week. Ron Jenson and Kelly Britton got new hips on Monday and Ron Floyd got a new knee. Thankfully, it sounds like everything …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Refinery Company Slapped With $2 Million Lien For Nonpayment Of Bills

On Monday. I posted a story here about the financial woes of Meridian Energy Group, triggered by the filing last week of a huge construction lien against the company by one of its contractors. There were some things in it I just couldn’t figure out, and I probably should have held off for a day or two until I got …

NICK HENNEN: Now I See — Dakota Magic

Despite how this looks, and I suppose partially because of it, North Dakota is a beautiful place. I sometimes miss the wide openness and wildness of a good blizzard. The whole world shuts down and you can crawl under the covers with a good book for hours unnoticed. Stopping to listen to the wild wind. Appreciating the warmth of your …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — It’s OK To Skip This Meeting — That’s What They Want

NDCC CHAPTER 61-29 LITTLE MISSOURI STATE SCENIC RIVER ACT The purpose of this chapter shall be to preserve the Little Missouri River as nearly as possible in its present state, which shall mean that the river will be maintained in a free-flowing natural condition, and to establish a Little Missouri River Commission. NDCC 61-29 Little Missouri Scenic River Commission Meeting Tuesday, …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — Fairview Bridge And Cartwright Tunnel

One of the things to see on photographer Dave Bruner’s bucket list was the Fairview Bridge and Cartwright Tunnel. Located near Cartwright, N.D., and east of Fairview, Mont., the bridge was built by Gerrick & Gerrick of Steele, N.D., for the Great Northern Railroad as part of a plan for its never completed Montana Eastern Railway. Unused since 1986, the bridge’s …

RON SCHALOW: Armstrong Sells Out America, Part II, ‘The Wrath Of Chuck’

Soon after his impossibly fat pitch got hit into the center-field stands by the former director of the CIA, Kelly Armstrong found himself talking to NBC’s Chuck Todd. He was near giddy. Kelly figures war hero Bob pulled a fast one with his special council report and he can’t wait to tell skeptical Chuck. Baghdad Bobby Barr isn’t even spinning …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Undocumented’; ‘Unlocated’; ‘Unfound’; ‘Somewhere’

I’m not quite sure what to think of this young fellow named Josh Gallion, North Dakota’s elected state auditor. But two newspaper articles about him in the last couple of days got me to chuckling a little bit. The first was Mike Jacobs’ column in Tuesday’s Grand Forks Herald about the recent history of the state auditor’s office. Gallion’s election …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — A Thousand Trucks A Day Moves One Step Closer To Reality Today

Sometime today, Thursday, June 13, 2019, I expect to receive some of the worst news I’ve had in many years. I expect to receive an e-mail from a friendly fellow at the North Dakota Department of Transportation who’s just doing his job, who means no ill will, who doesn’t want to be the bearer of what I will receive as …

RON SCHALOW: Republicans Are Working Against Our Future

A weird child tells Piers Morgan the darndest things about his just-funny-to-him meeting with Prince Charles: “I think I was yeah, we had a great conversation and it was about you would call it climate change but yeah I think we had a very very good conversation.” — Donald J. Trump We “all” call it climate change, Fonzie. Global warming is …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Let’s Not Let Bad Politics Ruin Our Chance To Honor Theodore Roosevelt

Senate Bill 2001, passed by the 2019 North Dakota Legislature, is the appropriations bill for the North Dakota governor’s office. It’s eight sections long and contains an appropriation of about $4.5 million to pay the governor and lieutenant governor and their staff, their travel expenses and their office supplies. It has a line item with the governor’s salary and a …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Comments Are In: What Should We Do About The Bice Bridge?

There’s this fellow who works in the Montana office of the Bureau of Land Management named Seth Jackson who’s as good at his job as anyone I’ve ever known who works for the U.S. government. I haven’t met him, but I’ve e-mailed back and forth with him at least a dozen times, And I always get the information I need …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Worst Threat To The Little Missouri State Scenic River EVER!

An interesting little item buried on Page 4 of a long April 30 North Dakota Industrial Commission meeting agenda read: “Overview of Oil and Gas Development in western North Dakota along the Little Missouri River.” (approx. 3:30 pm) Piqued my curiosity, so I went. What I learned is that I should have been paying more attention to some things my …

RON SCHALOW: North Dakota Delegation’s Oil Pipe Dream

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s office recently received a terse letter from Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, the most powerful set of unrelated triplets in North Dakota. The crowd roars. I don’t think Inslee honestly gives a rip, but he might admire their optimism. The super important envelope is surely somewhere on the governor’s desk, likely …

RON SCHALOW: The Fictional Senators Of North Dakota

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.” — Charles E. Weller, who authored the words to be a typing exercise. Many times I hammered out that seemingly patriotic sentence on an old clacking Smith Corona during typing class in the 10th grade, not once without peeking. Currently, I couldn’t tell to you …

RON SCHALOW: This Is The Worst Reality Show I’ve Ever Been In

It’s terrible. The president is an asshole and his poll numbers go up in unison with his every act of ignorant cruelty. That’s one of those “known knowns.” And maybe, “known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.” And I thought Donald Rumsfeld was a dick. Now, this odd character just entered. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Remembering Albert Sickler

Albert Sickler died last week. He was 94. You maybe didn’t know Albert. Let me tell you a little about him. The first time I met Albert (at least that I can remember) was in the summer of 2004, on the front steps of his aging house on a farmstead in Dunn County, N.D., some 25 miles northeast of Dickinson. …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Looks Like The Illegal Bridge Is Going To Stay (If You’ve Got Enough Money, You Can Get Away With Most Anything)

It seems like the threats to our Bad Lands never cease. Let’s go back and revisit Wylie Bice. He’s the rogue rich rancher up in Dunn County, on the eastern edge of the Bad Lands, who’s built himself a private bridge on public land, without permission, over the Little Missouri State Scenic River. Now it appears he is going to …

RON SCHALOW: Abortion Pill Reversal Law A Scam of Misinformed Consent

“You create a law based on no science — absolutely zero science.” — Dr. Mitchell Creinin, OB-GYN; NPR March 22, 2019 I am not a woman, so I have no idea what it would feel like to even ponder the prospect of terminating a pregnancy. And neither does North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who disappoints me once per week and signed …

RON SCHALOW: Mr. Marcil, Tear Down Port’s Hate Speech Wall

Unless Forum Communications has some bizarre legal stipulation on page 63 of a contract with “a blogger” whereby FCC has no control over anything related to Sayanythingblog and Rob Port, a Minot legend for refusing to shovel his socialist sidewalk, then pay attention. Undiluted Hate Wall “Homosexuals corrode society from within and their degenerate heads deserve to be swinging at …

RON SCHALOW: Is Rob Port Really A Cambodian Water Buffalo?

We can’t discount the possibility. I know you’re saying, “I wouldn’t read his shoe size.” Or, “Who cares about Rob Snort,” but somebody has to keep an eye the scamp, so he doesn’t totally get away with personal shots of venom. Like his sucker punch of Jim Shaw. Shaw’s Saturday column in the Fargo Forum was an unambiguous middle finger …

RON SCHALOW: Bismarck Grabs More Local Control

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to choose. So far, because the Legislature said so, no city can conduct a gun buyback, set a minimum wage, take a pistol from a depressed man, ban plastic bags or hold a gay pride parade. The last one is still on their wish list. Kevin Cramer’s office calls every day to complain …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — What Does A State Treasurer Do, Anyway?

There’s an old joke North Dakota Republican legislators tell about their worst nightmare: They’re walking down the Great Hall in the Capitol heading for the cafeteria on their short lunch break and they see Secretary of State Al Jaeger coming toward them. Knowing they’re going to get stuck in a boring 15-minute conversation, they pretend they forgot something back at …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — DAKOTA

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin. They’re all kind of half-ass friends of mine. And I’m not sure I …

RON SCHALOW: There’re No Guns In Baseball

The gun activists in North Dakota are feeling the cattle prod after losing out on carrying a sidearm to “99 percent of everywhere” due to the unpatriotic nay votes in the Commie Republican Legislature. The guy who publishes the MinuteMan Blog is really steamed. How dare a legislator vote closer than usual to their conscience or as their constituents want? …

RON SCHALOW: Who Is The Loneliest Patriot?

This one has been in crisper for weeks and it still feels fresh to me. So the great patriot whips the bag of snacks to the ground, stomps the delicious Doritos into dust, then pours a can of motor oil on the mess. Because a kooky bill didn’t pass. “Is there any patriots in the North Dakota House? This pro-gun …

RON SCHALOW: The Braveheart Of Bismarck

So, in the early half of Sunday the 10th, doctor and Rep. Rick Becker posted a meme on Facebook. Memes are evidently photos that convey what you’re thinking but could never find the words, or ever thought of one. Like a greeting card that punches you in the balls. Or provides a message of affirmation, whether you want one or …