They call it geocaching but, in common layman's terms, it is called a giant treasure hunt, according to Hazen resident Cole Grinsteinner.
Grinsteinner, a senior at South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, S.D., became involved in the latest fad about four or five years ago.
"It is a giant treasure hunt outside to get people to the outdoors," he said. "It is basically finding new locations you never knew existed."
Geocache boxes are filled with trinkets, coins and just about anything not of value, and are hidden all over the country. Once a box is hidden, the GPS coordinates are loaded onto an application called c:geo.
"There are multiple ways of finding the boxes," Grinsteinner explained. "The easiest way is to use the app because it shows a map of all the locations of boxes. Then you just go about finding them."
Once a geocache box is found, players can remove anything they want from the box, but they have to replace the trinkets for the next hunter.
Biological. Adoptive. Foster. Step. It's not the word before parent that defines, but rather the love and dedication in their heart.
Dakota Central Social Services is in need of foster families in the four counties they serve McLean, Mercer, Oliver and Sheridan.
Dan Foster, supervisor of child welfare services, said, "If there is anything you could do to spend your time here on earth, this would be it. (A foster parent) impacts the world for the better and I can't think of anything more substantive."
Licensed social worker Jenna Lahr agreed with Foster and described what she said she feels is the most rewarding part of being a foster parent. "Getting to see kids develop and grow, going through the ups and downs with them and just being supportive."
Foster said, "Along with the social workers, you become a highly valued part of our team working with that child. We appreciate our foster parents."
Tower plans advance
Garrison's proposed new water tower will have four times the capacity of its two predecessors.
Garrison City Council's Utilities Committee met with officials from Moore Engineering July 16, to discuss the planned above-ground water storage structure. The group didn't stop there. The group also went over plans for proposed major infrastructure improvements around the city.
At the table were Utilities Committee members Mayor Shannon Jeffers and Alderman Dave Reinarts. Representing Moore Engineering were Brian Julius and Kent Ritterman. Also at the meeting were Maintenance Supervisor Allan Beyreis, Alderman Glenn Nygard and Auditor Diane Affeldt.
The proposed water tower would be a 400,000-gallon tank, estimated to cost $1.8 million. The current two-tower capacity is 90,000 gallons.
Julius and Ritterman said that if things continue to move forward, a bid opening for the new water tower could come as soon as September. And if favorable bids are received, construction could begin in May. "That's our hope," Ritterman said.
The proposed tower would be a single leg structure 126 feet tall. It will be placed in the footprint of the present "Cold" water tower. The "Hot" tower would remain in service until the new tower is ready, then it will be demolished.
The site was chosen because nearly all piping is presently in place, which would be a cost saving. The plan is to install the foundation and erect and paint the structure in one construction season.
Following a successful bid opening in Oakes, Ritterman is optimistic that bids will come in close to estimates. Engineers think securing bids this fall will put the Garrison project at or near the top of the list when construction season arrives in the spring.
Happy Birthday Plaza
On July 20, the community of Plaza celebrated its 108th anniversary.
The celebration actually began on July 19 with hometown musicians Harlan and Steve Helgeson providing music throughout the afternoon. Country Crossing Day Care provided hotdogs, inflatable bouncy castles and games for the young at heart. For those looking for less strenuous entertainment, bingo was available. And no celebration would be complete without ice cream and popcorn. The delicious treats were served by Makoti and Plaza High School Seniors Close Up group. Funds will be used for their Washington, D.C., trip. A silent auction was held with everyone trying to score their favorite item. Proceeds will go toward a new roof for the mini-mall. Donations are welcomed for that as well.
The back-seat driving contest provided more than its share of laughter for the day. A Honda Pioneer drawing was held in the early evening. A Wisconsin man was the winner. No name was disclosed. Proceeds will go toward a park pavilion. Donations will also be accepted for the project.
Mountrail County Record
Water woes prompt meeting
Underwood's city commissioners took an informal poll amongst themselves recently following an informational meeting with representatives of Moore Engineering (the firm that has proposed a water drainage plan for the city), the Falkirk Mining Company, Pam Link of the McLean County Commission, and representatives of the McLean County Water Resource Board.
Following late June's approximate eight inches of rain within a few days, with several homeowners finding themselves pumping water from their basements for several days, and the city having to pump water from the Repnow slough along Lincoln Avenue to get the overabundance of water into the natural drainage area through town, commissioners felt a renewed urgency to do something about the water problems that have been plaguing Underwood during "wet years."
When asked if the county would help with the water project, Lynn Oberg of the water resource board said it is unlikely, but possible.
"My recommendation is that you guys move ahead with the project," said Oberg. "The water board and commission could decide there is something they can do where they would come in with additional funds, but we need to look at what kind of project you have, (so we can decide) if we can go to the state and get more funding."
Buffalo meets sad end
Initial reports had a buffalo near Ruso, and by the middle of the week, it was roaming the fields just south of Velva. Eventually, the buffalo made its way to the Souris Valley Care Center on South Main Street of Velva, and then down into town.
As the creature began strolling the streets of the Prospect Hills Addition on July 18, the call went out to local law enforcement. Sheriff Marv Sola, accompanied by McHenry County Commissioner Harry Bergstad and Velva Mayor Scott Blotter responded. As the large bull presented a danger to local residents and it appeared ill, the decision was made to put it down.
Velva Area Voice