Tuesday, January 27, 2015

New Foster County Sheriff Is Sworn In: Ian Mattice

Foster County Commissioner Bill Bauer Swears in Sheriff Ian Mattice

Here's a big THANK YOU to Auditor Casey Cables for providing some photos of our new sheriff, Ian Mattice,.. being sworn in today - January 26, 2015 - at the Foster County Courthouse. 

Pictured here is Sheriff Mattice with his wife, Hazel, and son, Xavier. They will have four boys going to Carrington schools, two at the elementary level and two at a higher level. 

Several other county officials were onhand to welcome Mattice to his official capacity as Foster County Sheriff. Hopefully, someone will plan a nice community event to welcome all our new office-holders, as well as thank everyone who kept our county running smoothly during this important transition period.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Murder Is in the Air at The Old Church Theatre

Here are a few scenes from Murder Is in the Air, now showing at The Old Church Theatre in New Rockford.

Hopefully, I captured photos of the entire cast without giving away the solution to the murder mystery. The performers (Jared Killes, Jon Johnson, Erin Greiner, Jessica Dillon, Natasha Woitzel-Kolles, Joel Schock, Elliott Schwab and Kerstin Allmaras) did an excellent job of involving the audience... and the four-course meal was scrumptious. Immense applause for all involved!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Faces at the Foster County Courthouse

Meet Pat Copenhaver, our new Foster County Commissioner... being brought uptodate on County business by Assistant Auditor, Heather Martin. Pat was appointed and sworn in by the Commission today, Tuesday, January 20, 2015, and will finish the remaining two-year term brought about by the resignation of ex-commissioner Les Greger.

The commissioners explained that they had interviewed several candidates for Emergency Manager and Clerk of Court and had decided on the two people they thought would be best for the jobs. They announced that Jess Earle will take the position of Emergency Manager, and Leasa Lura will be the new Clerk of Court.

Bill Bauer welcomed the new Clerk of Court for the County, Leasa Lura. Leasa was on hand taking notes for the Foster County Independent where she currently writes articles for the newspaper and where she is also very busy working with their ads and graphics.

Chairman Bauer reiterated that they were happy to appoint a replacement for ex-Sheriff Mike Tufte who resigned without giving notice to the community. Our new sheriff, Ian Mattice, comes to Foster county with an excellent background and great recommendations from Lamore where he was working as Chief of Police. Commissioner Carr said that he had talked to the Mayor of Lamore who said they hated to lose him. Mattice will start work in Foster County on January 26, 2015.

The commissioners thanked the Carrington Police Department for helping out the county while they were trying to find a new sheriff and deputy. Also, they were grateful to Eddy County which had supplied police assistance when needed. With everyone working together with Deputy Sheriff Henry Head, Bauer said that things had "gone well" so far during this important transition.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Glowing Courthouse

While driving by the Foster County Courthouse at dusk - January 15, 2015 - I noticed that it had a special "glow" due to the light from the setting sun.  I love to take pictures of the courthouse in different lights and at different angles, so I have quite a few photos of this magnificent building.  However, I've never seen it in this special light before.  I didn't have my camera with me, so I took these photos with my phone.  They don't really do justice to the real event, but for phone pictures, they're not too bad.  :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Foster County Commission: New Year - New Beginnings

The Foster County Commissioners met on Tuesday, January 6, 2014, and addressed a long agenda of items to start off the new year.  Chairman Bill Bauer and Commissioner Jim Carr brought the community uptodate on issues concerning the vacant positions which need to be filled at the county level. They each nominated a person to fill the third seat of county commissioner to replace the recently resigned Les Greger.  Both Carr and Bauer agreed that the third commissioner should come from the eastern part of the county, since  the two of them are from the Carrington area.  However, they could not agree on the same person for the job.

Jim Carr nominated Josh Dreher for the position, stating that he felt Josh was well educated as to how the county ran, he had taken an interest in County business, had attended almost every commission meeting, had put a lot of effort into running for the office and was committed to doing a good job.  

Bill Bauer nominated Leo Gauderman, Jr. and said that after much investigation, he felt that the community wanted another farmer on the commission, that Gauderman came highly recommended by the people he interviewed from the eastern part of the county, and that Gauderman was interested in having the position.

According to the North Dakota Century code, Noreen Barton, Foster County treasurer, was brought in to break the obvious tie, and instead recommended Pat Copenhaver. She stated that he was the third biggest vote-getter in the election and she felt that he should get the appointment.  

Community member Dunn suggested that there be a special election so the community could choose the third commissioner. State's Attorney Paul Murphy was instructed to find out if a special election was feasible and to look into what it would take to have one.

In other important business, the commission announced their choice for the next Foster County sheriff, who is currently Chief of Police Mattice from Lamour. They agreed to offer him a $48,000 salary and are waiting to see if he will accept the offer.  In the meantime, Henry Head, Deputy Sheriff, is overseeing the duties of the Sheriff with help from the Carrington Police Department and from nearby Eddy County Sheriff's Department when needed.  The commission agreed to pay Head an additional $2,500 for his extra duties.

During the meeting, Commissioners Bauer and Carr reviewed the applications for two other offices, Emergency Manager and Clerk of Court.  They narrowed the selection down, and instructed Auditor Casey Cables to set up a special meeting for interviewing the candidates and notice that in the local newspaper and inform others who have asked for notification.  In the meantime, Lynelle Hoppe, County Recorder, is overseeing the Clerk's office and taking care of those responsibilities. 

Heather Martin, Assistant Auditor, reported that the Game & Fish account is over $5,500 in the red. She stated that, because of missing records,they haven't been able to pinpoint the reason for the deficit.
Chairman Bauer emphasized that good records need to be kept, and new auditor, Casey Cables, said that they are doing that now.

The commission discussed that the Water Board is short one person and that a notice will be put in The Independent for anyone who might be interested in applying for that position.

The commission emphasized that they want to add a polling place in the eastern part of Foster County so that people don't have to drive so far to Carrington. State's Attorney Murphy will look into the requirements to do that.

Note:  If you were not able to attend the meeting, you can see the televised edition on DakTel's Channel 17 at various times during the coming week.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

New Commission Meeting Standards - New Auditor

The Foster County Commissioners met on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. in the Foster County Courthouse in Carrington, North Dakota.  The newly elected commission chairman, Bill Bauer, announced standards which he wants the commission meetings to follow under his chairmanship.  He specifically mentioned the following standards: A person must be on the agenda to speak at a meeting.  There will be no bashing during the meetings, and no outbursts will be allowed.   Issues must be personal to the speaker, and no hearsay statements about others will be allowed.  Criminal issues should be reported to law enforcement, not to the commissioners meetings.  Complaints about a commissioner should be addressed through the recall process, or speak to that commissioner personally.  Complaints about a hired employee should be addressed to the person's supervisor, not to the commission.  Bauer emphasized that the commissioners have a lot of business to cover during the meetings and a lot of decisions to make.

After the minutes from past meetings were read and signed, Chairman Bauer introduced Casey Cables as the newly elected auditor of Foster County and officially gave her the oath of office.  The commissioners welcomed Casey aboard, and Bauer said he looked forward to working with her and her assistant, Heather Martin.

Overall the meeting went very well - other than an outburst from Dean Tracy who was escorted from the meeting for not following the standards announced by Chairman Bauer.

At the end of the meeting, after a lot of county business was taken care of and all the bills were paid, Commissioner Les Greger turned in his resignation from his official capacity as commissioner of Foster County.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday Train Performs for Huge Carrington Crowd

Quite a crowd turned out to see the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train arrive in Carrington.  Santa made an appearance, much to the delight of the small children, and even though it was COLD, the children didn't seem to mind. 

Not only were the performances great by Kira Isabella and Home Free, but it was impressive to see the generous donation to the local Carrington Food Pantry - $3,500!  Since the program first launched in 1999, it has raised $7.4 million and 3 million pounds of food for local communities.  

Carrington High School Students hold check presented by Canadian Pacific

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Foster County Press Conference - Part 2

Foster County (North Dakota) State's Attorney Paul Murphy and Commission Chairman Bill Bauer answered submitted questions from the news media regarding the state of Foster County after five officials resigned from their jobs. 

Murphy and Bauer both kept a positive attitude, basically telling us to not dwell on the past, but to "move forward" and apply ourselves toward creating a good future for Foster County.  

Foster County Press Conference - Part 1

Foster County Commission Chairman, Bill Bauer, and State's Attorney, Paul Murphy, called a press conference to give more information relating to the recent resignations of five Foster County officials.  Members from the following news media were present: Valley News Live - Jamestown Sun - WDAZ TV - Foster County Independent and CarringtonNews.com. 

Basically, Murphy and Bauer professed to not really knowing why anyone resigned.  They emphasized that we don't need to concentrate on that.  We need to "move forward" and work with all the positive elements that are available to us now and in the future.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Most likely these Foster County resignations are part of a scripted plan by soundly-defeated Auditor Risovi as payback to the voters for solidly rejecting her in the November 4th election (2 to 1). Her confidants at the Courthouse are the ones who are resigning. One may speculate that the resignations are Risovi's planned punishment for all the voters of Foster County. One could also speculate that these resignations were a direct result of Paul Straley being defeated and no longer having control over the Foster County government. Therefore, the perks and privileges that these "public servants" enjoyed under the Straley/Risovi administration will soon be coming to an end under the new chairman, Bill Bauer. In other words, the Straley/Risovi party at the Foster County Courthouse is now over.

Another reason for quitting may have been that Bill Bauer would require them to come before the commission on a regular basis and answer his questions, as well as the questions of the citizens themselves. He had announced that he would like to have regular meetings of the department heads and employees so the Foster County community could see how their taxes were being used. This idea was obviously revolting to this Risovi group.

Lastly, Risovi blames the resignations on a hostile work environment which apparently is the opinion of those who resigned. It's easy to see that these "public servants," when held accountable by the taxpayers, can't stand the scrutiny. Risovi and this group believe that being held accountable is analagous to being in a hostile work environment. Good-bye and goodluck to all of them. We hope they try their luck in the private sector and see how well they fare with these attitudes.

Once it is thoroughly realized that the Bill Bauer administration intends to hold every single County employee accountable to the taxpayers, we speculate there will be other vacancies to fill.