September 7th, 2012
Located in a bean field atop a hill southeast of Valley City is a mechanical piece of alternative energy that farmer Jeff Wurzer hopes will cut his electricity bill in half.
Wurzer had a wind turbine installed on his farmland by Enterprise Sales of Valley City.
The turbine, which converts wind to energy, generating electricity, took under two months to install and is expected to have paid for itself within four years, according to Jack Hanson, solar and wind energy consultant at Enterprise Sales.
Barnes County is one of 16 in the state that have been declared an agricultural disaster by the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this week.
David Shea, of the USDAâ€™s Farm Service Agency office in Valley City, said the declaration is based on the countyâ€™s drought level and drought conditions, and opens the door for area farmers to apply for low-interest loans through the FSAâ€™s farm loan program.
â€śTheyâ€™re eligible for emergency loans but they have to qualify for them,â€ť Shea said.
A Barnes County-owned buyout house along the Sheyenne River south of Valley City will serve a special purpose before it is eventually dismantled.
At Tuesdayâ€™s meeting the county commission moved to allow the regional SWAT team to use the building for training exercises.
The exact time and location of the training will not be made public because the team wishes to keep its methods a secret from the criminals who will be subject to them.
Valley City officials officially announced Monday their plans to work with the Economic Development Corporation to purchase land for the National Guard. The announcement came during the regular city commission meeting.
The 70 acres of land the city is looking to purchase for the National Guard is east of John Deere and includes the home and outbuildings of Valley City resident Stan Ryan.
A few years ago, Kasey Skalicki, Safe Communities coordinator at the Valley City-Barnes County Health District (CCHD), found a young woman working in a gas station whom she always observed with a black eye. She also saw many people in the store but no one ever asked the woman about her injuries.
On August 17 Robert Lynds, Valley City, was the victim of severe smoke inhalation when his house caught fire, causing smoke to fill the entire house, located on 11th Avenue Southeast, almost from floor to ceiling.
Lyndsâ€™ girlfriend Janet Peterson of Valley City, said Lynds was 99.9 percent dead when police officers arrived.
Lyndsâ€™ doctors said one more breath and it would have been his last.
Valley City Police Officer Dave Swenson was the first to arrive at the scene, where he pulled Lynds out of the house.
Valley City police officers will soon start checking in on local drinking establishments to make certain things are going smoothly and underaged persons are not being served.
Last week Fred Thompson, Valley City police chief, said when he came on board several months ago he was surprised to discover regular checks had not been done for several years.
In July, Thompson said, he met with all licensed owners of liquor licenses in Valley City and filled them in on the new plans.
Barnes County will begin advertising for the vacant position of County Auditor effective today.
Normally an elected position, the chosen candidate for the job will be appointed for a term that will expire on March 31, 2015. Elections for the position will be held in November, 2014.
â€śAny Joe Blow could run for this office, but we have the opportunity to be a little more selective, and that doesnâ€™t mean in two years theyâ€™re still going to have that job,â€ť said Commissioner Cindy Schwehr.
Valley Cityâ€™s local Disabled American Veterans Chapter is seeking applicants for itâ€™s long-running, twice-a-year scholarship program, said Jim Verwey, a chapter member and Barnes County Veterans Service Officer.
Verwey said Friday the scholarships are reserved for relatives of chapter members â€“ â€śsons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters.â€ť
Valley Cityâ€™s chapter is the Clarence â€śTomâ€ť Lemley Chapter 24.
Many of todayâ€™s farms are equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System)-powered tractors with houses filled with efficiency appliances, like refrigerators and stoves, but it wasnâ€™t always this technologically-advanced.
This weekend, people have the opportunity to see what life was like on a farm during early days during Fort Ransomâ€™s Sodbusters Days held Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.