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6-6-20 Letters to the Tribune

By Staff | Jun 5, 2020

Missing the Lyric marquee

I would like to thank everyone who volunteers for the operation of the Lyric Theater in Rugby. The Friends of the Lyric is a nonprofit organization formed in January 2013. Since that inception, the organization has improved the building and fixtures to update this 1922 historic building. Nobody can say enough good things that these volunteers have contributed to the success of this organization.

I am not alone in wishing the marquee on the Lyric building would return. This marquee at the Lyric has as much nostalgia as the Geographical Center of North America.

The Rugby Job Development Authority (JDA) bought this building in January 2013. It leases the building to the nonprofit organization called The Friends of the Lyric for a payment of $0. The contract says the Friends of the Lyric may use the property if they are updating and/or renovating the building with Rugby JDA approval.

In a special meeting of the Rugby JDA on Feb. 2, 2018, the Lyric was presented with a $10,000 check to match a $10,000 grant. During the meeting it was stated that the Lyric’s intentions were to apply the funds to fixing the marquee.

The grant included a digital billboard to be mounted on the marquee. When the billboard arrived, it was not going to fit onto the marquee. The billboard may have been too large, too deep, or maybe just too heavy. The historic building is dated as being built in 1922, and the logic would conclude that the marquee would need to be updated to accept a new digital billboard as stated in the February 2018 JDA minutes.

The decision to remove the marquee for safety reasons was not made by a structural engineer. The decision to remove the historic marquee needed to be approved by the Rugby JDA, as the lease agreement states. A new marquee needs to be constructed for historical reasons. To this day, the billboard has been anchored onto the same wall that the marquee could have been anchored.

The local metal fabricator gave the Lyric a price of $10,000 to make a new marquee with the billboard mounted flush inside the new marquee. I am sure that painting, lighting, and other costs would bring this price higher.

This building is on our Main Street and now looks like a rundown building in the devastated part of a city. The Friends of the Lyric have a cash balance close to $60,000. This is a great savings account for a nonprofit to attain.

I have not had a single person tell me that this building looks better with the billboard on the wall. No person that has talked with me would ask board members of the Lyric about the marquee.

This letter represents the wishes of many people concerned about the historical Lyric. We all know that this is a feel-good operation and do not want to hurt any feelings of volunteers.

This letter is not about hurting anyone’s feelings, but placing a marquee and updating the face of the Lyric. It is not hard to do things the right way.

Neil Lotvedt,


Why is the Republican Party ripping itself apart?

Why is my Republican Party ripping itself apart? Thomas Beadle is out there saying the Treasurer’s office is being mismanaged, and Kelly Schmidt, the sitting Treasurer of Mr. Beadle’s own party has to get out there and defend herself against her own party that elected her four times in a row. What is going on in this state? Why doesn’t Beadle run as a Democrat if he thinks his party has mismanaged the office so badly?

And why does Doug Burgum want Mr. Beadle to be State Treasurer enough to spend hundreds of thousands of his own money to make it happen? What is Doug Burgum trying to do? Split the Republican Party?

It’s pretty clear that Doug Burgum thinks Mr. Beadle will be his puppet. In buying his own personal State Treasurer, Burgum can have an easy supporting vote on the various boards that the Treasurer sits on: State Board of Equalization, State Historical Board, State Investment Board, Teacher’s Fund for Retirement Board, Board of University and School Lands, and the State Canvassing Board.

Instead of finding consensus and working within the system, Doug Burgum has decided that he will use his personal wealth to install his own crony government to support his policies. This includes state legislators and the state treasurer.

Republicans need to wake up to what is happening in our party.

Rockne Earles,


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