The Three Affiliated Tribes at Ft. Berthold have a cozy, symbiotic relationship with Eloise Ogden, Regional Editor for the Minot Daily News. The tribes grant her interviews -- she writes sympathetic articles -- the articles are posted intact on the tribes’ website and used in their public relations. The tribes have an ambivalent message about the oil boom. On one hand, the tribes and their members receive millions of oil royalties and taxes each month -- the key to a prosperous future. They want more wells. The other story line is they are devastated by the oil boom -- costs outweigh benefits. The tribes contend that since the state has a budget surplus it should give them more help and a larger share of oil taxes. It is safe to say that every other reservation in the Dakotas envies Ft. Berthold and its oil.
Jarret Van Berkom of Bismarck wrote a letter of tribute to Jim Kleinsasser saying: “Not one time in his 13 years as a professional football player did you hear of him being arrested, whining and crying about not getting paid enough or complaining about not getting the ball enough. He always kept a low profile and did his job.” Van Berkom added “Jim has definitely been one of the few professional athletes that I point to when I teach my boys how to conduct themselves on and off the field.” Kleinsasser was an unheralded, valuable athlete for the Vikings, but he meant something to Nodaks that went beyond celebrity. ND is still essentially a farm state with modest, practical values -- Kleinsasser symbolized those quiet, hardworking themes.
Does the end justifies the means? Former president Joseph Chapman did a lot of good for NDSU, but his overreach and sense of entitlement ruined his career and damaged the university. The Fargo Forum, always his supporter, credits Chapman’s forward-thinking for advancing NDSU into Division 1 athletics and this year’s national championship game. The Bison won that game, beating a Texas team in Texas -- over half the 20,000 plus in attendance were NDSU fans.
I’m not sure why I’m including this item, but it’s horribly fascinating. It involves two men and a woman in the Devils Lake area and has dramatic elements -- whipping, stabbing and gunshots on Christmas eve. Something for everybody! It begins with the woman extinguishing a cigarette on one man’s cheek -- he began beating her. Her boyfriend, hiding nearby, rushed out and was shot in the face with a BB gun by the first man, who also stabbed the boyfriend in the lung. While the two men fought, the woman repeatedly hit the first man with a gun, stabbed him with a large nail, and whipped him with a chain. By this time, both men were ready for the emergency room. All three were arrested for fighting and the first man charged with a range of drug offenses.
May I take you back a little over six years -- Chris Magnus was police chief in Fargo in a year in which there was one murder -- a pickup backed over a drunk. In January 2006, Magnus was hired as police chief of Richmond, California, a city similar in size to Fargo, but with a reputation as a “murder capital.” Richmond has 40-50 murders a year and it was thought an outsider was needed to shake up the department. Magnus did just that and was promptly charged with racial discrimination by seven black police officers. Richmond lawyers argue that change-resistant officers wrote Magnus off “because he was white, gay, progressive and, worst of all, an outsider.” While Magnus was cleared by an internal investigation, he is a target in a civil trial expected to last two months.
“Giants in the Earth” is a classic prairie saga by Ole Rolvaag about Norwegian immigrants in South Dakota. Little did Rolvaag know, there were real giants on the ND prairie. Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty describes Carl Rauk of Buxton. He was 6 feet, 10 inches tall and weighed 530 pounds when he died at age 36. He had three brothers and three sisters, each about 300 pounds. He was exhibited in a circus side show as “THE LARGEST MAN IN THE WORLD.” Forum columnist Curtis Erkismoen described John Aasen who grew up in Foster and Eddy counties, became 8 feet, 9 inches tall and was exhibited in a carnival as “THE TALLEST MAN IN THE WORLD.” Aasen died at age 48 and is noted for his friendship with a dwarf.
Mike Jacobs has a new job. The editor and publisher of the GF Herald will lead a news service being formed by Forum Communications (the Herald’s parent) from its publishing and broadcasting business in four states. Jacobs will keep the Herald publisher position and, yes, his bird column.
What is a “Wipfli?” It’s the name of a Milwaukee CPA and consulting firm which will merge with ND’s largest CPA firm, Eide Bailly of Fargo. The combined firms will have 41 offices and 2,300 personnel. The new firm will have the even stranger name of “EB Wipfli.”
You will be hearing more along this line. The editor of the Crosby Journal wants the state to declare the region “an economic disaster area” because of the ill effects of the oil boom. A GF Herald article by Chuck Haga discusses the pro and cons of oil development, and raises the question of whether the state needs to put on the brakes.
Quote of the week: “It is a great time to be in the business there” -- a Canadian Pacific Railway spokesman describing the delights of hauling Bakken oil.
Forum reader Jon Abel claims to have watched YouTube videos of accidents, suffering and death in ND -- his conclusion, due to the influence of the Oil Patch, ignorance and greed appear to have taken over the state.
Is there a connection between oil and guns? The FBI reports that background checks for gun purchases in ND are up 30 percent; a Bismarck gun dealer says his business is up 25 percent. He thinks some people in the Oil Patch want to protect themselves against strangers.
Grandma Pat broke into the record books -- according to an item on the Sports Illustrated website, Pat Hanzlik (87) is believed to be the oldest fantasy football league winner. Pat lives in Northfield, Minnesota, but grew up as Pat Ebentier in Carrington, ND.
DAKTOIDS: The floods are past, but Minot residents should be aware of a potential new source of terror -- thieves broke into the Ward County Historical Society and stole antique guns and a Civil War sword . . . Jamestown is considering a demonstration project to produce about 4.5 million heads of greenhouse lettuce per year -- about 7 percent of the annual lettuce consumption of ND and Minnesota . . . Keeping little heads warm -- the Jamestown Regional Medical Center Auxiliary knits caps for babies born during the holidays.
Monday, January 16, 2012
TREASURE ISLAND - COINS AND PRECIOUS METALS