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The Westerfield family has an interesting hobby. Every year, around the start of the new year, Bob and Jen Westerfield produce a map of the United States, a dart and a blindfold. They throw, and when the dart lands—where the dart lands—that's when they know where they'll be going for their next vacation. These "dart vacations" have seen the family of five travel south, east, west and now north as they strive toward a goal of visiting every single U.S. state. This year, their dart has brought them to Dickinson and North Dakota.
Dickinson State University showcased its alumni last weekend from across the generations as the university continues its year-long centennial celebration, an event which has brought the city, community and student body together.
Horses whinny while a strong summer breeze draws metal groans from the towering bleachers that overlook the Stark County Fairgrounds. It's a cloudless morning and boys and girls of various ages wait on horseback for their turn to step into the arena. This is the 2018 Stark-Billings County 4-H Horse Show, where area 4-H students to put their horsemanship skills to the test—and according to Stark/Billings County Extension Agent Kurt Froelich, it will instill valuable life lessons as well.
On a pristine morning in the grassy fields skirting Dickinson, a gathering of families patrolled a pasture, sweeping nets across the knee-high forests at their feet. They were fishing for flea beetles, the natural nemesis of the ever-present irritant known as leafy spurge.
Church bells and truck horns filled the Belfield air Thursday morning, heralding the passage of David Schmidt's final haul as a funeral procession left the town en route to Mandan—Schmidt's casket, his truck and a caravan of over 20 other semi trucks and their drivers. They were sending off a man who never said a bad word about anybody.
The Dickinson Elks Lodge has been closed for construction since December, but it will soon be opening its doors once more, first to its members and then once again to the community at large—albeit in a smaller space than before. Though diminished in size and membership, the Elks Lodge will continue to offer community favorites under the leadership of 24-year-old Shannon Schweiger, who hopes to see membership grow and seats fill as the restaurant and bar opens this summer at 501 Elks Drive near the Ramada.
The Dickinson Public School Board bid farewell to outgoing board member of six years Tanya Rude as well as faced the aftermath of losing a ballot measure to increase the mill levy cap for building construction in the June 12 election. For Rude, it was an emotional farewell. "The things I'm going to miss the most are the people," she said. "This board, all of the employees, the kids and everybody in the community, so ... thank you." School Board President Brent Seaks offered a statement on behalf of the board thanking Rude for her service.
Rural fire departments thrive on community support and dedicated volunteers. Captain Kevin Berger has spent 24 years with Dickinson Rural Fire and Rescue, becoming trained not only in battling blazes, but in handling rescue operations and working on their dive team.
Dickinson State University had to sacrifice its rodeo grounds to make way for what was going to be the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library—but with the library gone now to Medora, what remains is an unkempt field, neglected logs and and a looming cost.
The school resource officer for the Stark County Sheriff's Department, Ron VanDoorne, was involved in a disorderly conduct incident May 27 at his residence, where Dickinson Police responded to a frantic phone call that said VanDoorne was in the house with a gun. No criminal charges have been filed, but VanDoorne will face disciplinary action, including two days suspension and he will be required to undertake an alcohol evaluation.