Thursday, December 24, 2015



A vote will be taken on February 16, 2016, regarding whether or not citizens of Carrington/Foster County want to build a new elementary school and sports complex at a site east of the current high school. This is a serious topic for our community and every property owner to consider because it involves a vast amount of taxes distributed over a 20-year period.   

We are attempting to obtain all of the new tax assessments for every land and property owner in Foster County to be able to calculate each individual's tax liability if this tax initiative passes.  That way each tax payer of Foster County and we can better understand exactly what passing this tax initiative will mean to our finanial committment for the future.  Specific facts/information can help each citizen/property owner determine whether or not they wish to encumber their property for whatever amount for the next 20 years. 

We have included a copy of a letter from Russ Heidt, a Carrington resident, who explains what he thinks this initiative will mean to each of us if passed.   We've also included an article from the Foster County Independent which sees the initiative from the school district's perspective.  We understand that a Facebook site has been established in support of this initiative at:   Also, you can read very detailed information at the Carrington School District site:

We hope you will take time to thoroughly study and understand what it means to either vote yes or no on this initiative in February.  We invite all comments - for or against - this initiative.   

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Parade of Lights - December 7, 2015

The Parade of Lights is a December tradition that takes place during "Christmas around the Town" in Carrington, North Dakota.  Many shops around town have extended hours and invite the community to visit and to have drinks and goodies while they browse.  

The Parade of Lights, lead by fire engines and ambulances,  usually starts around 5:30 p.m. and moves along Main Street till it ends with a police car. 

This year the weather was great, so we had quite a few nice floats and community-spirited people marching along with them.  It was fun to see so many people working together for a common cause.  Way to go, Carrington!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Veteran's Day Celebration in Carrington, ND - 2015

Roland "Pete" Peterson celebrates Veteran's Day at CrossRoads in Carrington

We had a wonderful Veteran's Day luncheon in our small town of Carrington, North Dakota, to honor our local veterans and their families. 

Marlene Boyer talks to the community about supporting our veterans

The event was sponsored by the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, along with help from other thoughtful ladies in the Carrington community. 

Holly, Marlene & Jen help serve the veterans, their families and the community

Marlene Boyer, president of the North Dakota American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, who helped coordinate the event, introduced some very special veterans who live in our area. It was an honor and privilege to hear from Carrington's three World War II veterans, Roland Peterson, Lorraine Schroeder, and Adam Malinski, as well as have lunch and visit with other veterans from the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Desert Storm and Afghanistan.

Roland Peterson - Lorraine Schroeder - Adam Malinski
Lorraine waves as the community applauds her
Adam Malinski - WWII Vet

God's blessings on all our veterans!!!

Click on this link for an album of photos that were taken at the Veteran's Day Luncheon.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Hagel Files for Restraining Order against Foster County

On September 2, 2015, a complaint and a motion for a restraining order was filed against Foster County regarding a county shop project.  The case is entitled Hagel Construction vs. County of Foster - Case No. 16-2015-CV-00037.  The attorneys involved are Paul Murphy, representing Foster County, and Elizabeth Lee Alvine, representing Hagel Construction.

As we all know, years back the voters approved the building of a new county shop.  The location and the type of shop were issues of contention between then Chairman Jim Carr and Commissioner Paul Straley.  The shop project stayed in limbo  until Bill Bauer became chairman of the commission.  The shop was put out for bid, and that's when the controversy was renewed.

The controversy centered around whether or not an architect was required to overview and approve the project.  Another issue was the type of building structure that the County wanted a bid on.  Apparently, the original architect-approved plans required the building of an all-steel structure, in other words,  not just simply steel on the exterior or roofing, but a steel building consisting of I-Beam type construction.

Somehow in the process, the commissioners gave the decision to move ahead with a none-architecturally-approved structure.  Their choice was to substitute a steel structure for a pole-barn-type structure.  

According to the complaint filed by Kelly Hagel, he submitted two bids.  One bid was for a wood structure and one was for a steel structure.  The complaint goes on to state that he was $20,000 lower than the accepted bid for a pole-barn-type structure.

As well, Mr. Hagel alleges that the bid process involved favoritism in the awarding of the contract, because the winning bidder agreed to buy all the materials for the project in Foster  County.  Whereas, Mr. Hagel informed the commission that he intended to buy his materials from an out-of-county source.

According to Chairman Carr, at a recent commission meeting, Mr. Hagel withdrew his bid and informed him that he had no intention to filing an action against the county.

However, as you can see Mr. Hagel, filed his complaint and motion for a restraining order on Wednesday, September 2, 2015.  

We are wondering if Mr. Schroeder intends to continue working on the shop in light of Mr. Hagel's request for a restraining order stopping all construction.

It should be noted that if you examine all these issues, all these problems, all the missteps, all the confusion and all the controversy...  they all center around our States Attorney's total inability to do the job that he's been paid to do.  That is to counsel our elected officials on how to avoid breaking the law.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What do you think of SA Murphy's advice to the Foster County commissioners?

Foster County, ND State's Attorney Paul Murphy


The letter below is another example of State’s Attorney Paul Murphy's illegal advice, costing Foster County money once again.
Please understand that it was Mr. Murphy’s advice to former Commissioner Bill Bauer and the other commissioners that they proceed on the shop -- notwithstanding the law. He then repeated this advice to the current commissioners at the August 4, 2015, commission meeting.
Read the letter from Kelly Hagel's attorney and judge for yourself if Mr. Hagel has a case against Foster County.

If this case is filed and Mr. Hagel prevails (which we believe he shall), he will most likely be awarded attorney’s fees. Our question to you, the taxpayers of Foster County, is who should be responsible for these attorney’s fees?
Is it Foster County's insurance policy once again? Is it the commissioners, themselves? Is it the taxpayers of Foster County? Or, is it the person who seems the most responsible, the person behind the bad legal advice, who encouraged the commissioners to break the law – our very own State’s Attorney Paul Murphy.
We invite any and all comments regarding Mr. Hagel's claim. Agreeably, shortcuts in the law on the surface make for a less expensive process. In the long run, however, they may be the paved road to Hell for a small county’s finances.
We ask the community what you think of this claim, and do you agree that this problem rests solely on State’s Attorney Paul Murphy’s bad advice to go ahead and violate the law?!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Coffee with Dolly Footitt (A Centenarian)

Dolly Footitt is one of my favorite people in the world... a very dear friend who will turn 101 years old on October 4, 2015. No one can ever believe that Dolly is that age... and you can see why when you listen to her on this tape. The sparkle in her eye and her quick, funny comments let you know that you're dealing with someone whose mind is sharp and ready to have fun with you.
This spur-of-the-moment tape came about one day when I was having coffee with Dolly. She is well-known in our Carrington community for sharing her wonderful pies, cookies and doughnuts with friends who come to her house for coffee. She also shares her goodies with her church, the hospital, the fair, the neighborhood and various fundraisers in the community.

Lucky for me, Dolly and I became great friends, so I often go to her house for coffee, and we chat about all kinds of subjects that are interesting to us. I've often thought about recording some of our conversations and sharing them with our community, because I think people are really missing out if they don't know Dolly. In addition to enjoying her personality, you can imagine the great storehouse of knowledge about our area that she has to offer.
After Dolly got such a kick out of this spur-of-the-moment recording, I've decided (with her permission) to record more coffee visits with her to share with everyone. If you have any special questions that you would like to ask Dolly, please let me know, and I'll record her answers for you.
So, here's to having fun with Dolly and hearing the opinion of someone who has lived for over a century!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Result of Death Threats toward Foster County Recorder Lynelle Hoppe

Result of Death Threats toward Recorder Lynelle Hoppe

I personally appeared before the Foster County Commission on Tuesday, August 4, 2015, to discuss the death threats which were texted to a county cell phone about Recorder Lynelle Hoppe on June 4, 2015.   I was, and still am, concerned about what is being done to address this situation.

The seven or eight ex-employees, who were discussing or "joking" about ways to kill Recorder Hoppe, no longer work for Foster County.  However,  one of the texters still works at the courthouse in an office located on the floor above Recorder Hoppe.

One would think that the employee would have been disciplined in some way right after the messages with death threats were discovered.   However, after Sheriff Mattice made his report to State's Attorney Paul Murphy, nothing seemed to happen.  It was as if the event did not take place.

However, since the issue of texted death threats was  published in the Foster County Independent, and published on, I had had numerous inquiries from the public wanting to know the status of this investigation and/or prosecution.  

So, on July 8, 2015, I decided to write some letters to find out what was going on and to shed some light on this situation.

I had already written a letter to Joel Lemer, since Ms. Hesch is his secretary, and sent a copy to the North Dakota State University Extension Office, his employer, but had received no response from them.  Since I had been led to believe that Ms. Hesch was also an employee of North Dakota State University,  I wrote a letter to the legal counsel of NDSU.  I enclosed copies of the texted death threats, as well as a copy of my letter to Joel Lemer and the NDSU Extension office.

That letter eventually ended up in the office of the North Dakota State Attorney General who replied (on July 27, 2015) that Melanie Hesch was NOT an employee of NDSU, that she was an employee of Foster County.  Therefore, NDSU's policies have nothing to do with this situation and  that it needed to be taken care of locally. 

I also received a phone call from Governor Dalrymple's office and a letter from Representative Chet Pollert who expressed the same opinion as the Attorney General -- that the issue needed to be handled by the appropriate personnel in Foster County.

Then I received another letter from the State Attorney General's office.  This time they enclosed a "Letter of Concern" which had been written by Joel Lemer to Melanie Hesch on July 21, 2015 - over a month and a half since the death threats took place and almost two weeks after I wrote a letter to his boss, NDSU.  Mr. Lemer basically told Ms. Hesch that she could no longer text personal messages or use Facebook during office hours, that she would have to do that during her breaks.

Does anyone besides me think that is a rather weak consequence for texting death threats during office hours, or during any time, for that matter?!!

Since I did not receive any kind of response from the letters I wrote to State's Attorney Paul Murphy or the state's attorney to whom he had given the case, I decided to appear before the Foster County Commission to find out if the County was going to do anything at all about the death threats. 

After all, I think the public has every right to know the facts about this situation.  As county taxpayers, we are paying the salary of Melanie Hesch, an employee who was texting death threats during her office hours when she was supposedly working on county business for us.

Watch the video to see the reactions of the commissioners and State's Attorney Paul Murphy.  Also, the meeting was taped by DakTel, so you can see the entire meeting on Channel 17 at various times during this week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Trees snapped and uprooted during last night's winds...

July 29, 2015 -- Trees snapped and uprooted during last night's winds... Fallen branches and debris along the streets of Carrington, ND....

We didn't have to go far this morning to see some intense damage from last night's high winds. Just across the street in Kelly Hagel's yard a tree was literally snapped in two. Luckily it landed away from his house! Down the street a large tree fell completely across the road, completely blocking traffic. By the time we drove by for a second look, a crew was already there with equipment to assess the situation and remove the tree. Foster County Emergency Manager Jess Earle tells me that she is out taking pictures and assessing damage all around the county. She will share those photos with us later.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Case Closes on State vs. Roger Schlotmann

After almost two years, (complaint filed October 31, 2013) the State and Roger Schlotman entered into  a plea agreement.  Former County Auditor Schlotman was formally charged after a preliminary hearing with three counts of misapplicaiton of entrusted property and two counts of criminal conspiracy. In the end Mr. Schlotman plead guilty to one count of a public servant refusing/failing to perform his duty --  with no fine and a reimbursement of the $900 in question plus $100 court costs. 

This case is a testament to prosecutorial misconduct.   Prosecutor Murray stalled and delayed this case for almost two years.  On the eve of trial, August 3, 2015, she played "Let's make a deal with Mr. Schlotman."  One's examination of the file shows that all the delays were caused by Ms. Murray's incompetence.  

Why the delay of bringing this case to trial? One can only speculate that Ms. Murray felt that  the lack of any hard evidence would be apparent to a Foster County jury.  

The best example of Ms. Murray's dilatory tactics can be found in HER motion for a change of venue.  She requested that the Court move the trial to Ramsey County because of the pretrial publicity (almost exclusively from this website).  Apparently, Ms. Murray failed to take any type of Constitutional law classes while attending law school.  Her motion for change of venue lacked any real legal authority since the 6th Amendment to the United States Constitution requires all criminal trials to occur in the district in which the offense is alleged to have occurred.

Ms. Murray engaged in a battle of attrition. Her numerous frivolous motions for continuances and her unsuccessful motion for change of venue and joinder of Commissioner Carr's case obviously cost Mr. Schlotman tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.  

What was the final result?  As mentioned above, Former Auditor Schlottman has to repay the $900 that was authorized for payment by the commission and $100 in Court fees.

This website has repeatedly demanded that Ms. Murray disclose to the public her billable hours in this case and in the case of State vs. Carr.  To this date no such response has been provided by her.  Now that the case is closed, we intend to demand that Ms. Murray provide all of the billing records regarding this case.  Once those records are revealed, we believe that it will show the incompetence of the Foster County State's Attorney's office.

This entire case was initiated by our own State's Attorney Paul Murphy.  We taxpayers can thank Mr. Murphy for wasting all the taxpayers' money in this case.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Old Time Tractor Trek from Carrington to Bordulac

What a great idea... an old time tractor trek!  All kinds of awesome old tractors and their owners gathered at the City Park in Carrington, North Dakota.  Their destination?   To have a nice meal at the Bordulac Bar & Grill about 10 miles away...   

Trekking along a  pleasant country road on a beautiful sunny day with the goal of visiting with friends over a great meal...  What an outstanding way to spend the evening!  Simply delightful!

Although I didn't go on the trek, I had a huge amount of fun with my friend, Dolly Footitt.  We tried to park far enough away from the park so we could film everyone who drove by on the way to Bordulac.  Dolly was thrilled to see everyone waving at the camera.  For someone who is over a hundred years old, she gets the biggest kick out of such small pleasantries. That's probably why she is the wonderfully positive person that she is!  I hope all the trekkers saw Dolly waving back at them!

I wish the faces of all the trekkers showed up better on the video.  However, because of the evening shadows, the twilight, the position of the camera, etc., most of them aren't that recognizable.  I'll try to do better next year!

Putnam House Summer Concerts

Alison Schumann Singing "Black Horse in a Cherry Tree"

This summer the Putnam House is featuring local singers in a Summer Concert Series. The first performance took place on June 30, 2015, with singers Brian Duursma, Dillon Boehmer and Alison Schumann. Although the skies were overcast, and it even sprinkled a little, the community brought out lawn chairs, blankets, kids and dogs to enjoy the show.

We're looking forward to more concerts at Putnam House this summer!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

CONGRATULATIONS to Josh Dreher! Our New Foster County Commissioner

Foster County Commissioner Josh Dreher and Commission Chairman Jim Carr

CONGRATULATIONS to Josh Dreher! Our New Foster County Commissioner
The Foster County Commission had a special meeting today, July 9, 2015, at the Carrington Courthouse to appoint a new commissioner to the seat vacated by Bill Bauer. Chairman Jim Carr officiated at the meeting and Commissioner Pat Copenhaven attended telephonically. Carr moved to appoint Josh Dreher as the new commissioner, and Copenhaven seconded the motion. 

Commissioner Dreher will be seated at the Commissioner's table at the next meeting of the commission on July 21, 2015. Congratulations, Josh! We look forward to having you as a commissioner!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Retirement Party for Foster County Commissioner Bill Bauer

On Thursday, June 25, 2015, well-wishers gathered at the Foster County Courthouse for Commission Chairman Bill Bauer's retirement party. While people took pictures for keepsakes, I decided to take pictures for the Foster County community and Carrington News viewers. I think it's important to recognize and appreciate the people who serve us at the courthouse, so this was a great time to get their pictures.
Before the party started, Bill was having what I would call a "policy" meeting with some of the personnel who work at the courthouse. It was a privilege to witness the positive way they focused on items that needed to be addressed. One could see from Bill's leadership at this meeting, why he is considered to have been such a good commission chairman and why he is going to be missed.
We want Bill to know how much we have appreciated his service and leadership, and that we wish him a happy and healthy retirement from the commission.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Bill Bauer Submitted His Resignation to the Foster County Commission
At the June 16, 2015, Foster County Commissioners Meeting, the current commissioners voted to give all qualified Foster County residents a chance to become the next commissioner.

As you know, and sad to report, Chairman Bill Bauer has recently had to resign his position because of serious health issues, The community is lucky that Bauer has served this long, because since his election in Novermber, 2014, Commissioner Bauer has managed to help straighten out many of the problems which were taking place at the Courthouse. Commissioner Jim Carr expressed his appreciation for Bauer's exceptional service and asked if he could possibly stay until November. Bauer explained that he would like to stay on, but his doctor has encouraged him to resign because of recent health issues, and his family agrees that he should resign and focus on getting well.

After some discussion about how to choose the next Foster County commissioner, Jim Carr and Pat Copenhaver voted to let community members who are interested and qualified have a chance to serve as commissioner until the next election. All a person has to do is submit an up-to-date resume giving their qualifications for the position and turn it in to Auditor Casey Cables' office at the courthouse. The commissioners will review the resumes, make a decision, and announce the person of their choice as soon as possible.

As Jim Carr expressed, this method takes away the stress of the present commissioners trying to find a qualified candidate,and talk them into taking the job. This way, they will know that the applicants are truly interested in being a commissioner.... without someone pressing them take the position.

So, if you are truly interested in becoming a Foster County commissoner, here's your chance! More details about how to apply for this position will be posted in the next Foster County Independent.

NOTE: As someone who has applied for professional jobs and has served on hiring committees, I would like to suggest that you attach a personal letter to your resume, explaining why you would like to be a Foster County Commissioner. I don't know if the commission will ask for that, but it's an excellent thing to do. (Just be sure to have someone proofread it for you.) Express some of your personal values and tell what you would like to accomplish for the community. And... best wishes to you! ~Judy Keller

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UPDATE June 16, 2015: Texted Threats against Foster County Official

On Saturday, June 6, 2015, posted an article about death threats being made against Foster County Recorder Lynelle Hoppe.  To summarize, those threats were made by a group of people texting each other, while their messages were going to an official Foster County phone number previously used by Ex-Auditor/Emergency Manager Teresa Risovi.  The texters were past employees of Foster County who had either resigned or were fired from their positions at the Courthouse, as well as one elected officer who had resigned recently.

On June 6, 2015, we published part of this public record which included the texted death threats and phone numbers of the people who made them. Many members of the Carrington community reacted strongly to these threatening texts, and wanted to know what was going to be done about the situation. 

Foster County Sheriff Mattice conducted an investigation and gave his report to State's Attorney Paul Murphy whose job it is to prosecute matters of this nature - if necessary.  Mr. Murphy informed us that due to the fact that this matter "involved courthouse personnel as victim and alleged defendant, the Foster County States Attorneyss office must turn the matter over to a conflict attorney"  - meaning that he could not prosecute the case.

Today, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at the Foster County Commission meeting, community-member Ted Keller reminded the commissioners that one of the texters who had threatened Recorder Hoppe was still working upstairs at the courthouse where she had threatened to throw Ms. Hoppe "over the railing."  Called the "Stalker" by this group (whose members wanted to "hit the bitch in the parking lot" and "lay on the overpass" and "sniper her"), this is the employee who said in the text  "Maybe i should follow her over noon hour!!!!"

Listen to Ted Keller in the video as he asks the commission what is being done about this employee.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Elected Foster County Official Subject of Threatening Text Messages

Foster County Recorder Lynelle Hoppe

Around last Thursday, June 4, 2015, new Emergency Manager Jess Earle received a text message thread from a group of people.  The phone she received the messages on was the Foster County Emergency Manager's cell phone which was previously used by Emergency Manager Teresa Risovi.  These messages became a public record when they were transmitted to a County-owned phone.

Although the person being threatened was never referred to by name, it's easy to conclude that the only person they could be referring to is County Recorder Lynelle Hoppe.  

One party In these messages refers to throwing Recorder Hoppe over the railing in the Courthouse. "I hope so. Shoulda threw her over the railing. Dangit."  This message was sent from phone number 701-307-0741.

The next message in this thread referred to hitting Recorder Hoppe with a vehicle. "I cud always hit the bitch in the parking lot!"  This message was sent from phone number 701-652-5790.

The next threatening message referred to shooting Recorder Hoppe from the overpass near the courthouse. "I could sniper her.... I'll lay on the overpass."  This text threat was sent from 701-652-5725.

Carrington News called the numbers above in an attempt to get statements from the people who were texting these messages.  We were hoping to identify the texters and give them a chance to explain themselves.   Only one person answered her phone, and she immediately hung up when we explained what we were investigating.  

Note:  We apologize for the poor quality of the public record below.  This is how it was given to us. There are many other pages in the thread, and more participants involved in the texting which was sent to nine phone numbers.  However, we are publishing only the pages with threatening messages.  The entire texting conversation can be obtained at the Foster County Courthouse.

The following comments are from my Facebook site.  Some viewers and members of the Carrington Community are expressing what they think about the above texted comments and the people who wrote them.

Jacob Earl - Time to call Fargo FBI. seeing as how cyber crimes are a federal offense. Maybe instead of calling them yourselves the Sheriff and the deputies should get involved also? If they are saying these things the last thing I would do is try to figure it out on your own especially if they are talking murder and vehicle homicde.
Unlike · Reply · 4 · June 7 at 7:57pm

Ted Keller - Makes sense to me

Ted Keller - Was this a crime? Here is the Century Code: 12.1-17-04. "Terrorizing.
A person is guilty of a class C felony if, with intent to place another human being in fear for that human being's or another's safety or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious disruption or public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror, disruption, or inconvenience, the person:
1. Threatens to commit any crime of violence or act dangerous to human life; or
2. Falsely informs another that a situation dangerous to human life or commission of a crime of violence is imminent knowing that the information is false.
12.1-17-05. Menacing.
A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if he knowingly places or attempts to place another human being in fear by menacing him with imminent serious bodily injury.
1. Threatens to commit any crime of violence or act dangerous to human life; or
2. Falsely informs another that a situation dangerous to human life or commission of a crime of violence is imminent knowing that the information is false.
12.1-17-05. Menacing.
A person is guilty of a class A misdemeanor if he knowingly places or attempts to place another human being in fear by menacing him with imminent serious bodily injury."

Doug Heinitz   - Why not just call the proper authorities instead of being the Snoop Sisters and do it the right way. They'll determine if a crime has been committed and let them deal with it. It beats calling the phone numbers and what is that going to accomplishment anyway? Nothing! It would be like calling Duck Twacy, the famous duck detective. Be smart and let the authorities handle the problem. How my home town has changed since I was born and raised there. Sad!
Like · Reply · 6 · June 7 at 9:34pm

Ted Keller - This text is a public record since it was sent to a Foster County cell phone. The victim and the public have a right to know.
Like · June 7 at 9:48pm

Jacob Earl - Doug, I lived there for almost a year. I loved the small town feel. Not the drama though
Like · 1 · June 7 at 11:13pm

Mark Oster - Mr Keller. Most folks understand that. For the most part the posts of this nature are nothing more than entertainment. Do you really think the texts are a diabolical plan to actually hurt someone? Or are the texts a couple of people...just plain texting? Common sense should be used.
Like · 3 · June 8 at 10:43am

Hope Bretzman Carr - Yes i do think this is a clear threat. I know for a fact at least one person involved who is not mentally stable. Looking at this... Maybe more. For those who think this is entertainment you obviously have not been the subject of threats like many of us have. If you find any of this entertaining--- go check yourself. These people are out of control and should be stopped.
Unlike · 4 · June 8 at 11:05am

Ted Keller - Mr. Oster, I suggest that you test your idea of "entertainment" out with the victim being the president and see how it entertains the secret service. Hmm. How long would it take for the cuffs to come on?
Like · June 8 at 11:25am

Ted Keller - Freedom of speech is not death threats against anyone let alone an elected public official.
Like · June 8 at 11:27am

Ted Keller - Mr. Oster did you read the part about these people sending the text to a county used cell phone?
Like · June 8 at 11:30am

CarringtonNews .Com - Mark, do you think Lynelle Hoppe feels "entertained" when she reads texts like this from her co-worker and a past employee who used to flip her off and call her a b#### because she wouldn't go along with the underhanded stuff that was going on at the courthouse in the past? It may be entertainment for the textters, but why should Lynelle have to put up with a co-worker who is actually spying on her (for some reason) for this group. In another part of the texts, this Mel is actually referred to as "That's why we luv u stalker" by one of the textters (Phone 701-307-0178), and Mel says, "Maybe I should follow her over noon hour." These people may not have a "diabolical plan" to actually hurt Lynelle physically, but do you think bullying like this in the workplace should be allowed without any repercussions? I like your common sense comment above, and would truly like to hear more from you now that you have more details about the situation. ~Judy Keller
Like · 1 · June 8 at 11:35am · Edited

Joshua Dreher - I think the fact that a county owned cell number was involved in this is very disturbing. A person can only come to one of two logical conclusions: 1. The previous emergency manager most likely participated in conversations of this nature on her county cell phone in the past and found it to be permissible ...or ... 2. The people involved in this conversation chose to include this county number intentionally with hopes of the content reaching and intimidating the Recorder . Either way these actions are inexcusable.
Unlike · 3 · June 8 at 10:02pm · Edited

CarringtonNews.Com - Doug Heinitz - I notice that Sheriff Mattice likes what you have to say, and I do too, for the most part. This whole situation has been turned over to him, and I know he will do a thorough job of investigating. He came to Foster County with high recommendations and has been doing an excellent job. We want to apologize to Sheriff Mattice for "jumping the gun" with our article before he could finish his investigation. We just wanted to make sure that the community knows what is STILL going on at the Courthouse. Lynelle Hoppe continues to be the target of a past disgruntled employee who was fired. As well, that employee has been joined by others (a current courthouse employee called "Stalker," various other people who resigned from their positions at the courthouse, and some unknown entities) all texting seemingly vicious intent toward Ms. Hoppe. She does not deserve to be the victim of their terrorizing threats, and we want something to be done about the situation.
Like · Reply · 3 · June 7 at 11:46pm · Edited

Doug Heinitz -  I must agree with Mr. Ted Keller that the residents do have a right to know what happens in Foster County. To me, if in fact a crime was committed here that all the info gathered should have been turned over to Sheriff Mattice instead of posting it here. It gives those involved a heads up and time to get their stories straight to cover their butts in case a crime was committed and when confronted by law enforcement. It hinders Sheriff Mattice when the kitty is let out of the bag before it can be properly investigated. I know everyone here has good intentions and love their community. When laws may have been broken and a life is threatened by assassination and being run over by vehicle the party that received the threats should have on receipt of messages turned them over to Sheriff Mattice. This is serious business and should be treated as such. Nothing funny about the whole situation and those that think it is, well that's another situation that needs to be addressed. I was born and raised in Carrington and left when I was 19. I have such fond memories of Carrington and hate to hear of this type of stuff going on there. By the way, love the website Carrington News, keep up the great work.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


At the Foster County Commission meeting today, May 19, 2015, newly appointed Sheriff Ian Mattice requested and received funding for a taser gun for the officer on duty. He explained that a taser gun is essential in the use of non-deadly force. With the influx of unknown, out-of-area people going to the oil fields, police officers are being faced with more and more dangerous incidents that have not happened in the past. For example, an incident took place in Foster County on Friday, May 15th, just a few days ago, where a taser gun could have come in handy in the apprehension of a wanted felon who had numerous warrants out for his arrest.

Please read the report that Sheriff Mattice submitted to us after the commission meeting today, concerning the incident that took place on Friday:

"On 5-15-2015, approximately 1130 hours, Deputies from the Foster County Sheriff's Department attempted to pull over a vehicle for not having a muffler. The vehicle fled and led the Deputies on a high speed pursuit with speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The suspect led the Deputies on gravel roads into Eddy County, and ended up pulling on to a farmyard where the driver got stuck in the mud. The vehicle continued to try to get out, rocking back and forth while Deputies approached. Eddy County Sheriff's Department arrived and assisted the Deputies along with the North Dakota Game & Fish. The driver of the vehicle refused to open the doors upon commands and continued to try to get unstuck. The Deputies smashed the windows out and forcibly removed the driver who resisted arrest. During this altercation, a pit bull from the suspect vehicle came out and bit one of the Deputies twice. The pit bull was eventually taken into custody by the Eddy County Sheriff's Department. The driver of the vehicle was charged for fleeing a peace officer, resisting arrest, as well as possession of Methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, and ammunition by a felon. The suspect also had federal arrest warrants by the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. There were also two other people in the vehicle including a pregnant female. They were taken to the Carrington ER to get medically cleared after the incident. While at the hospital, the Eddy County Deputy accidently let the pit bull out of the Eddy County vehicle. Suspect was transferred to Stutsman County Corrections. Throughout the weekend, the Carrington PD received numerous calls about the pit bull. On 5-18, Foster County Sheriff's Department received word that the Carrington PD had seen the dog on the north end of town. Carrington PD shot the dog. The dog didn't die, but was wounded, wandering around town, and growling at people. Sheriff's Deputies located and dispatched the pit bull in the city of Carrington, removing the threat to the public and relieving the suffering of the dog."

One can see from the incident above that a situation like this could have become deadly, especially with the type of suspect that our Sheriff and deputies were trying to apprehend. Chairman Bill Bauer stated that our police officers need the proper equipment to protect themselves in their service to our community, and the other commissioners agreed that a taser gun should be purchased.

Note: Once again, the commission made a good decision in appointing Ian Mattice as our sheriff. Thanks to him, his deputies and other Carrington city law enforcement officers, our citizens were protected from harm.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Jamestown Home & Garden Show - 2015

Ted and I had fun showing our walk-in tubs at the Jamestown Home & Garden Show today. I took pictures of all the booths so everyone in our area could see what was being displayed at the show. We met lots of nice people and really enjoyed visiting with everyone and sharing our "Aging in Place" products.

The more people I talk to at these shows the more I realize how important it is to plan ahead... especially to plan for life changes.   By that, I mean planning for the way our bodies change as we age.  We all hope that we will be able to get around as easily in old age just as easily as we did in our youth.  But, in most cases that just isn't the case.

Today at the Home Show I met two families who are wisely remodeling their bathrooms to include either a walk-in tub or a barrier-free shower.  Not that they actually need them now. They all appeared to be in good health and were moving around with ease.  But, they are thinking ahead for the days when they might not be able to climb into a regular bathtub so easily without worrying about falling.  

Statistically speaking, we all have good cause to be concerned about this.  I did a little research and found out that, "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized.  More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering."  According to the Center, the bathroom is the most dangerous room in a house.

I think it's about time that we all started thinking about how to make our bathrooms safer.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Foster County ND "HIGH"-LIGHTS: Repairing the Very Top of the Courthouse Dome

We need to thank Foster County's new custodian, Russ Heidt, for discovering some serious damage that needed to be repaired at the very top of our Courthouse dome.  The large gold sphere had a hole in its top big enough for pigeons to enter and nest in the actual dome-area below it.  In fact, before repairing the dome, Russ spent the previous week cleaning out many years' worth of pigeon droppings and dead/decomposing pigeon bodies, and accessing the amount of water/dry-rot damage to the interior.

In the video, you will see Russ at the top of the courthouse where he waited to help direct Leo Straley in making repairs to the sphere.  Down below, you can see Leo giving Scherbenske's crane operator some last-minute directions before climbing into the basket for his upward trip. 
By the way, not just any person would attempt such an acrobatic repair at such impressive heights!   Not only was Leo willing to hang above the Courthouse dome, but he also possessed all the intricate skills necessary to do an excellent job. 

In case you don't know, Leo is a very exceptional, experienced metal-fabricator who owns a local standing-seam metal roofing business.  When asked if he had done any other jobs comparable to this one... which seemed terribly precarious to onlookers... Leo said with a smile that he had actually  worked on a very tall church steeple where he "feared for his life."  Compared to that, this job he said "was a cinch."  He actually enjoyed it!

At the end of the video, you will see our Foster County Commission chairman, Bill Bauer, walking over to congratulate Leo on a successful trip and confer with him about his findings.  Other onlookers waited to say hi to Leo and ask about his experience at the top of the Courthouse.  One onlooker in particular had a big smile on his face... Leo's dad.  He had watched the whole event from beginning to end, and  from the expression on his face, you could tell that he was very proud of his son. 
So, here's a big THANK YOU, to Russ Heidt for discovering the damage and cleaning up the Courthouse dome... to Leo Straley for braving the elements to repair the hole at the top of the world... and to Bill Bauer and the Foster County Commission for being good caretakers of our beautiful Courthouse... so the community can enjoy it for many, many years to come.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Another Taxpayer Ripoff Discovered in Foster County, ND

Another Taxpayer Ripoff Discovered in Foster County, ND

During the Foster County Commission Meeting on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, Ted Keller asked questions about the 3% pay increase that county employees and officers received on January 1, 2015. His questions were based on payroll reports that all employees got a 3% increase with one exception - that being Foster County Treasurer, Noreen Barton.

It appeared on the surface that Ms. Barton had received a 10% increase. When the commissioners were questioned, no one had an explanation for the discrepancy, so they requested Ms. Barton to join the meeting.

When Ms. Barton was asked for an explanation as to why she received a 10% increase in pay, she answered by stating that she had assumed a "new" additional position from the County. According to her, she had assumed the position of Risk Management, and former officials Straley/Risovi/Greger had penciled in $3,000 for this position in the 2015 budget.

It's interesting to note that up until this time, there was no such position budgeted because it had always been part of the Auditor's office and duties. It is simply the job of making sure that insurance gets paid and proper payroll reports are made to WSI. This responsibility was part of the Auditor's job and covered by her regular salary.

How convenient that Straley/Risovi were able to pad one of their friend's payroll for such a nice sum of $3,000, a job which previously cost the taxpayers nothing.

Along with the missing $5,500 Game & Fish money, what other unethical, perhaps corrupt, actions will the present Foster County Commission find as they continue to investigate what took place during the past Straley/Risovi administration?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Avery Gets a Bath at Pampered Paws

It was fun taking Avery to Pampered Paws to get a bath.  Katie Geske, who runs the business, obviously likes her furry clients and does a good job of caring for them!  

Katie had quite a few critters in her care... for different reasons.  There were several waiting to be groomed, some were being cared for while their parents were on vacation,  and some like Avery needed a bath and nails clipped.

I stayed for a while and watched Katie do some hair-clipping.  The pup she was grooming at the time seemed very happy with what she was doing and actually stretched at different times so Katie could get better access to all his parts.

Since this was Avery's first time to a groomer, he was a little concerned about getting up into the bath area.  He objected fairly strongly at first and turned into a 110 pound slippery eel, but Katie was insistant, and her experience won out.  Once Avery was in the tub, he accepted his fate and became very docile while Katie ran warm water over his back.  That was when I left.  When my husband and I returned about two hours later, Avery was prancing around with some of the other pups looking very sleek, shiny and happy.

While I was at Katie's shop, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Geske, Katie's grandmother.  She came in for a moment to see which dogs wanted to walk with her to the mailbox which was located about a half mile away at the end of their driveway.  Katie said that her grandmother liked to walk to the mailbox on pretty days, and the dogs loved to follow her.  At this point about six dogs happily took off after Anne, obviously looking forward to the walk.

If anyone asks my husband or me about our experience with Pampered Paws, we would both give Katie a big 5 stars.  Our community is lucky to have such an exceptional person to help us take care of our furry family members.  Thank you, Katie, for putting so much effort and energy into your much-appreciated service!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Deuces Wild (Dueling Pianos) Performs at CrossRoads

Saturday night at CrossRoads was LOADS of FUN! The entertainers, Deuces Wild (Dueling Pianos) had the crowd going wild from the moment they started their show till the very end. Right now I want to apologize profusely to anyone who was there who may not like the pictures I took! But please, I'm praying you have a sense of humor when you see yourself in a variety of rather abnormal positions with all kinds of interesting expressions on your faces. I mean, there are laughing faces, scrunched up faces, puzzled faces, hiding faces, frowning faces, mischievous faces, hysterical faces, maniacal faces, inebriated faces... all kinds of WONDERFUL faces having a good time. I really did try to sort through and pick out a few photos to represent the night's entertainment, but in the end I published all of them but the blurry ones. I hope you find a picture you like... one that makes you smile.

Personally speaking, I really enjoyed all the fun and laughter last night and watching everyone have a good time. The thing that impressed me most though, was when everyone just spontaneously stood up and gave Dolly Footitt a big round of applause when she was introduced. Deuces Wild was trying to think of a song to play for her era, gave up and settled on "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which was written in 1939. For those of you who don't know, Dolly was born in 1914, so you can understand why they had a problem thinking of a special song written during her first decade here on Earth. What the guys didn't know, though, and what was so perfect about their choice, was that it was the special song that was played at her daughter Joanne's memorial service this last year. When I was driving Dolly home later, that was the first thing she wanted to talk about, about how surprised and pleased she was that they chose that song to play for her. As far as I'm concerned, I wouldn't be surprised if Joanne didn't have a hand in it... 

As someone who bought a ticket for the show, I just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who made Saturday night such a big success. Not only were the entertainers, Dave Elchholz and Ted Manderfield, absolutely amazing, but there were so many local people who contributed to the festivities. The CrossRoads board and Sue Fangman, the manager, chose well when they selected the entertainment. Brenda Gorseth from Woodward Farm and her crew did a great job of catering the event. They even had excellent help from local high school students who are members of the CHS Golf Club. Thanks to them, the meals were served quickly to approximately 200 people. Quite an effort on everyone's part! And, last but definitely not least, I want to applaud all the people in the audience who didn't hesitate to get up front and become part of the entertainment. You were funny and crazy and talented, and your sheer enjoyment of being there was absolutely contagious.

Congratulations to all of you who participated in helping CrossRoads become an even more exceptional golf course that can be enjoyed, not only by our whole community, but by visitors from all over the state and country.