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The Billings County Pioneer
Beach, North Dakota
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January 1, 2009     The Billings County Pioneer
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January 1, 2009
 

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+.J.PlIglKmtlajal]IE+Plt jqll.ll II'II l[llXJllilOlilil + The of I Centers closed :+ The visitor centers at Theodore Roosevelt National {{ Park and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site will be closed on Jan. 1. Theodore Roosevelt National Park wilt still be open on the holiday and prim- {} Rive camping is avail{tble. :} Full story on page 2. ililiil ! • Southwest Water Authority board of directors meeting, Monday, Jan. 5,2009, beginning at 9 a.m., at the Elks Lodge in Dickinson. The board meets reg- ularly to discuss the operations, management and future progress of the Southwest Pipeline Project. • Southwestern District Health Unit's Women, Infants and Children (WlC) clinic, pub- lic health nurse's office in Beach, Wednesday, Jan. 14, 9- noon and 1-4 p.m. For further information call 483-017 I. • Beach Boys basketball, Linton Tournament, Jan. 1-3, TBA. • Beach girls basketball vs. Dickinson Trinity at Dickinson, 4 p.m., Jan. 2 (A, B and C). • Beach girls basketball vs. Lambert, Mont., at Lambert, 6 p.m., Jan. 5 (B squad). • Heart River boys basketball vs. Bowman, at Bowman, 4 p.m., Jan. 6 (A,B,C) • Beach boys basketball vs. Mott-Regent, away .games, 4 p.m., Jan. 6 (A,B,C). • Beach girls basketball vs. Scranton, at Scranton, 5:45 p.m., Jan. 8 (A and B). • Heart River girls basketball vs. Hettinger, at South Heart, 5:30 p.m., Jan. 8 (A and B). • High school wrestling, Hettinger Multiple, Jan. 9-10, TBA. • Boys basketball, Beach vs. Heart River, at Beach, 4 p.m., Jan. 9 (A,B,C). • Heart River girls basketball vs. Mott-Regent, an away game, 5:30 p.m., Jan. 12 (A and C). Belfield Legionnaires, from left, Larry N, Johnson, C.C. "Sonny" Thompson, Pete Malkowski, Bill Haverluk and Ray Thompson pose with the framed artwork the Legion received from retir- ing Belfield Postmaster Rita Plegge and her husband, Joe. (Photo by Richard Volesky) Belfield Post Office employees retire By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter BELFIELD - Postmaster Rita Plegge decided to do a turnabout of sorts for her retirement. Instead of receiving a gift or a plaque, she and her husband gave something to the community. "We wanted to do it (the retire- ment) a little differently," said Rita Plegge. "The town has been good to me." She and her husband purchased four framed U.S Postal Service pic- tures that include illustrations of the changes in military uniforms over the generations. Each of the items relate to the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force. With Belfield's William C. Blair American Legion Post being a major part of the community, the Plegges decided that donating the artwork to the local Legion Post would be a way to give back to the town. "These are very nice," Legionnaire C.C. "Sonny" Thompson said, referring to the gilts. Plegge, whose maiden name is Heck, grew up south of Belfield. She has been Belfield's postmaster for the past six years, and worked for a'total of 28 years for the postal service. She previously worked in Bismarck, Dickinson, South Heart and New England. Her husband, Joe, is retired from the computer industry. Rita Plegge said they have many ideas for their retirement, but have no concrete plans yet. She said memories of the people from the Belfield area, and the good team of carriers and clerks she has worked with will be long lasting. Bruce Baer, left, visits with Postmaster Rita Plegge, center, and Tammy Luhman, sales and service associate, at the Belfield Post Office. (Photo by ichard Volesky) "The town has been good to me." Rita Plegge, Her retirement took effect on Dec. 31. Also retiring the same day was Tammy Luhman, sales and service associate at the Belfield Post Office. Luhman worked in Belfield for the past 10 months, and like Plegge, had been with the postal service for a total of 28 years. Luhman pointed out that she and Plegge began working for the postal service on the same day 28 years ago and were retiring the same day. Luhman previously worked as a rural carrier in the Dickinson area, and also worked at post offices in Williston, Mandan and Bismarck. She said she plans to continue farming and ranching in the Dickinson area with her husband, Dale, in her retirement. Plegge said the federal govern- ment has been offering early retire- ment to postal service employees who have been with the service for more than 25 years. Meanwhile, there is a nationwide freeze on per- manently filling postal service posi- tions until the retirements are sort- ed out. Marie Deibert, New England's postmaster, will serve as the officer in charge of the Belfield Post Office until a new postmaster is named. © 2007 BCP DSU to break ground for Badlands Activities Center Dickinson State University will hold a ground breaking ceremony and celebration t"o1" the Badlands Activities Center (BAC) on Monday, Jan. 5 at 1 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. The public is invited to attend this free event, which will include a mock ground breaking ceremony in the ball- room and a program featuring com- ments from city, county and state offi- cials. Stadium-style refreshments will be served. There also will be displays of memorabilia and photographs of DSU athletic events including those held during the past 38 years at Whitney Stadium. The BAC will replace Whitney Stadium with a $16 million athletic facility that includes multipurpose space for commtmity events. The new field will u artificial turf" and a com- prehensive drainage system to ensure sporting events can take place as scheduled. The new Huff'man Track will be an Olympic standard, eight- lane track with state-of-the-art elec- tronic information and scoring. The facility also will house a train- ing/medical room, handicapped- accessible restrooms, and locker rooms for the three home teams: DSU, Dickinson High School and Trinity High School. Included in the design is a multi- purpose space intended to allow year- round uge, expanded food service options, and space for community and other special events. Appreciation event set for Jan. 10 BELFIELD - The 15th Annual Jan. 10. The event is for landowners free dinner starting at 6 p.m. Belfietd Landowners Appreciation from Billings County and the There will also be door prizes. and Fun Night will be held at the Belfield and South Heart areas. The The Belfield Sportsmen's Club Belfield Memorial Hall on Saturday, doors will be open at 5 p.m., with a organizes the event. ?iii;iii:i!i iiiii i i!! .... '++ ++ + ...... { + + Area's drought downgraded By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter While the recent snow and ice has made working outdoors and getting around more difficult, there is a silver lining. The U.S. Drought Monitor, a mapping system that involves the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and others, now places much of south- western North Dakota in the moder- ate drought category. The region previously had been in the severe drought category. So what do the next couple of months hold? Meteorologists often say the most reliable forecast is one that covers the next few days. The longer outlooks are more difficult to predict, and in terms of drought, snow usually isn't considered to be a "drought buster," while springs rains are. Witlt the absence ofLa Nifia and E1 Nifio in the equatorial Pacific Ocean this season, predicting weather patterns on seasonal timescales becomes increasingly challenging, according to the winter outlook published by the High Plains Regional Climate Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. La Nifia are climate pat- terns that give forecasters clues about potential weather events months in advance. This season, however, other climate patterns over the Arctic and North Atlantic regions may play a significant role in influencing U.S. winter weather. "These patterns are only pre- dictable a week or two in advance and could persist for weeks at a time," Michael Halpert, deputy director of the Climate Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md., said in a prepared statement. "Therefore, we expect variability, or substantial changes in temperature and precipi- tation across much of the country." Drought (Continued on Page 6) 2008: A year of news in review Uranium exploration, a new U.S. secretary of agriculture and the sales of government land were among the stories that made headlines during the first three months of 2008. These are some of the top stories among the hundreds of news items that the Billings County Pioneer brought to its readers over theyear. Stories from the other months will be reviewed in an upcoming issue. aamla - The Belfield City Council at a special meeting on Dec. 28 arranged for additional funding for a new fire hall. - Work on Badlands Ministries' new site is ongoing, but the new buildings at the site have taken shape. - The North Dakota Geological Survey says it is planning a meeting in Belfield to discuss rules for the possibility of in situ leach uranium mining in the area. - As many as 30 to 40 post office boxes may have been affected by break-ins here in recent weeks, • postal officials and the local police chief say. A juvenile was taped while stealing the mail. The inci- dents started prior to Christmas. Bill and Caryl Haverluk of Belfield are named Malanka 2008 at a Ukrainian banquet that was held on Jan. 20. - Bryon Richard of Belfield was elected president of the North Dakota Grain Growers Association. The Medora Chamber of Commerce reviewed, but took no action on a resolution recommend- ing that the Painted Canyon Visitor Center and Theodore Roosevelt National Park's loop road be open all winter, Information is sought in the case of a number of cats that were apparently taken from Belfield and later killed at an oil well site north- west of the town. - Former North Dakota Gov. Ed Schafer was confirmed as the new U.S. secretary of agriculture. February - A new daycare center, operated by Cindy Kordonowy, opens in Belfield. Information is sought in the case of a number of cats that were apparent- ly taken from Belfield and later killed at an oil well site northwest of the town. -The moving or razing of build- ings to make way for the expansion of the Rough Rider Hotel in Medora is approved. - District 39 voters pick Mitt Romney and Barack Obama as their Choices during the 2008 Presidential Preference Caucuses. - The U.S. Forest Service/Dakota Prairie Grasslands has begun the Process of selling approximately 5200 acres of selected parcels of national grasslands to the private sector as agreed upon in the Elkhorn ranchlands acquisition. - A cache of Clovis artifacts found in Golden Valley County has become a unique addition to the col- lections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Plans are being made for Medora's Anniversary Ball on April 26, which is a part of the town's 125th anniversary celebration. March Roughrider Electric Cooperative provides a $500,000 gift to the development of the Badlands Activities Center on the Dickinson State University campus. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the greater sage grouse will receive additional review to determine if the species warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act. - The Belfield City Council at its monthly meeting voted to abolish the municipal judgeship position. The current judge, Ken Stoppleworth, previously indicated Review (Continued on Page 6) • , - : + + ++, We wxsh you a wonderful New Year! As one year ends and a New Year begins, we d like to simply say thank you for your friendship and business. As your "Hometown Bank" we look forward to  assisting you in any way we can during the coming year.  We hope you have a happy and prosperous New Year: " • First State Bank" Beach 872-4444 • Golva 872-3656 Medora 623-5000 24 r. ATM in Beach & Medora lobby Medora Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m I1 Member FDIC • t ........... i  I I I  ,1 ',