Mountrail County Spelling Bee Held

Mountrail County Spelling Bee at the Stanley High School on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The Spelling Bee is open to fifth through eighth grade students in the county with students from New Town, Plaza and Stanley competing this year. Students first compete in the written test, which determines the place winners from each grade. The top twelve spellers advanced to the oral competition portion to determine who would place at the top and earn the right to advance to the State Spelling Bee. The State Spelling Bee is set for Monday, Mar. 20 at the Ramkota in Bismarck. In the oral round, the first round was tough on the spellers as all but two fell after taking on words like charismatic, prodigious, quandary and crustaceans. Left standing were Stanley’s Kaisa Mortensen and Dakota Jackson with Dakota first spelling incognito correctly, while Kaisa missed on chalupa. After Dakota missed her next word, the two returned to competition as a speller must get their word right and if their opponent misses spell the next word correctly. Eventually Kaisa would spell altruism correctly and then thesaurus to claim first place with Dakota placing second. Based on their written test scores, Jersey Rynestad of Plaza claimed third place to serve as alternate for the spelling bee. Individual grade winners for each grade were as follows: Fifth grade: Avery Cloud of New Town, first place; Abby Wing of   Login or Subscribe to view full stories.

Special Meetings Continue On Bond Vote

With the special election date on the school bond issue getting closer, the Stanley School Board held a third special meeting on Sunday, Feb. 19. Not on the original schedule of meetings, questions had been raised at the February 13 meeting and the board set this meeting as more of a question and answer session rather than the presentation and tour format that had been held for the first two meetings. The meeting opened in the same way with Superintendent Holte giving an overview of how the district has gotten to the point where they are calling for a bond vote. With the oil boom and population growth, student population has gone from a low of 340 in 2004 to 686 now, putting a strain on buildings. The district hired an engineer and architect looking for plans to address the needs. Surveys were conducted and the greatest needs were identified in a multiphase approach. In 2012 phases one and two at the elementary and high school were completed. The board called a halt to phase three. The next board reviewed the needs to see if they were the same or had changed. Surveys were again conducted and at that point the greatest need was identified to be the elementary and that addition was done. There are still needs at the high school and that brings the district to ask for a bond vote for a $21.6 million project. With $2.1 million set aside in the building fund, the bond issue is for $19.5 million of the cost with a 20 year term. The floor was then opened to questions, many of them on the funding aspect of the building. The first dealt with how the elementary project was funded. With a $10 million low interest loan through the state that was approved previously, the board felt they could move forward with the elementary project. That loan essentially needed to be used or the funding source would be lost. This along with phases one and two were done without increasing taxes or mill levies. When asked about costs, the board said that if the project were to come in over that estimate of $21.5 million, they would not be able to move forward. They also say that they believe this is a high estimate and they hope that once the project is bid costs will be lower. Existing debt is also a key topic with voters as they wonder if the district should be adding another $19.5 million to a current debt of $17,915,000. The district has paid off some of their loans and cannot pay off any more of the outstanding bonds earlier than 2019. Over the past three years, they have paid off $5 million in debt, saving over $770,000 in interest. The $19.5 million from this project would be a $10 million low interest loan through the state and $9.5 million in the sale of general obligation bonds. Financial questions were not just limited to debt, but also included  Login or Subscribe to view full stories.


Chili Cookoff Raises Funds For Food Pantry

The Mountrail County Farm Bureau held their annual chili cookoff at The Leader in Stanley on Saturday, Feb. 18. Twelve teams participated this year in the event that raised $1,720 for the Mountrail Community Food Pantry. The funds raised came from free-will donations at the door from the public and all winners donated their prize money back to the cause. The event kicked off early in the afternoon as cookers got to work making their “best” chili recipe hoping to impress the judges. This year’s judges were Leanne Zietz, Jenny Gaaskjolen, Jesse and Rita Locken, and Shane Aadnes. They were also looking to earn the People’s Choice award once the doors opened to the public. First place this year went to the MRC team, with second going to the Mountrail County Farm Bureau team and third to the Morgan Family Circus. People’s Choice went to the Mountrail County Farm Bureau team as well.   Login or Subscribe to view full stories.

Stanley First! Spring Campaign To Kick Off

As part of a pilot program Go Local!, ND, facilitated by Vision West to create awareness about the economic and social advantages of planning, shopping and promoting your own community, the Stanley Commercial Club kicked off their Stanley First! campaign over the Christmas season. The goal of the initiative is to help create thriving local economies throughout western North Dakota. As part of Stanley’s campaign goals, they have asked shoppers to shift 10% of their spending back to Stanley. The Spring Campaign will start in March and run through June. Organizers are looking at featuring a punch card promotion good at participating businesses where shoppers will again be eligible to win $250 in Stanley bucks for every $100 spent in Stanley. The campaign will also include a weekly “Button Bustin” promotion. People “busted” wearing their Stanley First Button will receive $5 in Stanley bucks with a total of $550 to be given away during the campaign. Commercial Club members have the opportunity to promote the campaign by participating in the $10   Login or Subscribe to view full stories.

Mountrail County Farm And Ranch Day Is Tuesday

The Mountrail County Ag Improvement Association will be hosting their annual Farm and Ranch Day program on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Mountrail County South Complex. The day will kick off with registration deadline for the Annual Desert Contest that is held each year from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.. Anyone who is interested in entering the contest, can get an application from the Mountrail County Ag Agency office. The program will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with Ryan Peterson of Vision Ag Research speaking about the research trials that were conducted in the county for Mountrail Ag Improvement. Following his presentation, we will be having Kyle Okkie of Winfield United presenting on the Scab Dilemma and how it affects producers from many different aspects. Kyle has spoken throughout the area and has a very practical approach to the problems we deal with in raising small grains and scab. At the noon break Mountrail County Ag Improvement will sponsor a noon meal served by the local county FFA Chapters along with a Pie Social by the Stanley FFA. Following lunch we will be awarding the Distinguished Service Award to a worthy county citizen who has helped to make Agriculture a better program for the people of Mountrail. Following that we will also be having the results of the annual desert contest and auction them off for the scholarship program.   Login or Subscribe to view full stories.