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Highlights of 2011

By Staff | Jan 6, 2012

Every dawn of a new year, it is good to take a look back at the news in the year just past. It helps to reflect on the many blessings this area received. No doubt some negatives happened, as well, but those just bring out the best of people in the midwest.

Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of the first six months of the year. The second six months will be reviewed in next week’s paper.

January

The first month of the year showed the city of Rugby sitting well with a huge increase in sales tax revenue from the year before. In fact, it was the largest amount in many years at $542,092.24. This money was used to pay 50% of homeowners special assessments. So for all of the homeowners who paid sales tax all year, some of it came back to you. The savings for citizens who aren’t homeowners, but still paid sales tax, is that they did not have to come up with the other 50% of the special assessments.

Snow was everywhere last year in January. This made snowmobilers very, very happy. Road crews were not as happy about the huge amount of snow as the snowmobilers although the overtime pay was good. Overtime pay did cause a problem for Pierce County as their budget was stretched to the max.

District 7 legislators headed to Bismarck for the 62nd Legislative Session. In just 180 days, residents would hear what new laws had passed.

The city of Rugby passed new tax exemption incentives for new residential construction and one for professional builders.

Rugby’s school addition and renovation project starts with bid opening. Leevers Grocery store begins a renovation process that will add 30’x100′ to the store including 25 new freezers, and a widening of aisles with a more open look. A new service center is part of the project.

Rugby is the only small town with two ambulance services. Talk about merging the two into one more efficient service starts taking place.

February

Curry Mund, longtime teacher and coach reaches the milestone of coaching his 800th game of his career.

RHS Alumnus Joe Heilman serves his first term in the North Dakota Legislature as a representative from District 45.

Police Chief Luis Coca submits resignation to retire from his law enforcement career of 44 years. Later in the year, he will create a special security force of volunteers to help with law enforcement when needed.

JDA Housing study is complete. Shows a dropping population, but still a need for housing and housing availability for those wishing to move to this area.

tive director of Rugby’s Prairie Village Museum.

Infrastructure is the hallmark of the 62nd legislative session, so far.

March

Dr. Alana Knudson, Washington, DC, formerly of Towner speaks on the medicare program at Rugby Senior Center.

March 11 brought a blizzard to Pierce County which added 3 1/2 inches of snow to add to the 48 inches already here. Governor Jack Dalrymple issued a winter storm emergency and called out the National Guard to help stranded motorists. No loss of life or serious injury was attributed to the storm.

The rotary assembly from a wind turbine at the Rugby Wind Farm fell to the ground unexpectedly. The Wind Farm was shut down while investigators searched for the cause and checked all 70 other turbines on the wind farm.

Rugby Lions Club raises funds for Japan for the tsunami disaster relief.

Another blizzard hit the area on March 22. Just as snow was beginning to melt, the county received about five more inches.

U.S. Census Bureau releases population figures from the 2010 Census. Rugby’s population dropped by only 63 people. Pierce County was down 318 people in 2010.

April

Heart of America Medical Center installs a digital mammogram machine. It was purchased with a $432,052 grant from the Harry B. and Leona M. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

The $7.9 million school renovation project continues at Rugby’s junior and senior high school.

Architect lays out seven possible locations for the proposed new fire hall for Rugby.

City Council approves tax abatement for new $8 million elevator expansion.

Rugby’s Glory Monson publishes her first novel. “Huldre Journey of the Hidden Ones” is a historical/fiction mainstream novel of 563 pages.

Farmers are ready to plant but Mother Nature has other plans as the fields are too wet to get into them.

Pierce County is inundated with water. County Commissioners asks drivers to limit traffic on all county roads. Many are closed completely. Between the heavy snow and spring run-off, there is overland flooding everywhere.

Railroad washout near Minot brings Amtrak’s Empire Builder back to Rugby to dispatch passengers. Helpful Rugby residents gave passengers a ride to Minot. BNSF Railroad makes decision to have seasonal shutdown which diverts Amtrak route away from Rugby, temporarily.

Rugby continues to prepare for Quasquicentennial Celebration in July along with an All-Class Reunion.

Heart of America Medical Center Hospital updates emergency services with new ways of monitoring vital signs, new defibrillators, four new telemetries for ambulatory patients, a Central Station in the ER, capnography, and other up-to-date equipment.

May

FEMA visits Pierce County’s sites damaged from overland flooding.

Spring planting may be the latest recorded for this area. A few farmers started this week in the drier areas. More should follow in the second or third week of May.

Rugby welcomes new Police Chief John Rose.He is originally from Fergus Falls, Minn. and has 14 years of law enforcement experience.

Muskrats by the hundreds cause damage to roads. County will issue permits to shoot them.

Rugby School holds groundbreaking for $7.9 million renovation and addition project on Friday, May 13.

Rugby upgrades water meters with an electronic reading system. Many of the water meters in the city were overdue for replacement. With the new meters, leaks will be easier to detect and homeowners won’t be surprised with a big bill they didn’t expect.

Spring planting in county is a mixed bag. Commissioners approve repairs of farm to market roads. Water is standing in the pastures so finding places for cows to pasture is limited. An estimate was offered by County Commissioner Joe Bohl that 15-20% of the Wolford area won’t be able get seed in. Farms close to Rugby seem to be in an oasis compared to other surrounding communities.

June

Pierce County Fair is gearing up to put out the welcome mat for alumni and others. The 125th Celebration and All-Class Reunion will be held in conjunction with the fair from June 30- July 4.

Lady Panthers Track and Field Team are state champions!

Pierce County Commissioners hold tax equalization meeting. Ag land values increase by 8%; Commercial property decreases by 6%.

City approves Renaissance Zone application for renovations for new business, Hometown Quilting ,which should be up and running in September at 127 S. Main.

Pierce County ag land is 85% planted by the week of June 11.

Plans to restore Amtrak service to Rugby are in the works this month.

At long last, welcome 125th Celebration visitors. Rugby’s population doubles for four days.

The Rugby

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