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Belfield's First Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 125th anniversary on Sunday, Dec. 20. At the same time, the church is closing and the congregation is handing over the keys to the Belfield Baptist Church. The celebration begins at 3:30 p.m. at the church. All members, former members and friends are invited to celebrate the life of the church. Alice Berger, an elder of the church, said the Presbyterian pastors from Bismarck-Mandan will conduct the services.
Larry Bernhardt, director for Stark County Social Services, is leaving the agency to take a new position in Fargo. His last day at the Dickinson office is Friday. "I'm retiring from public service and I'm going into private human services. I'm the new executive director for Catholic Charities North Dakota," he said. He said Catholic Charities has a staff of 48, with offices in Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot and Bismarck.
Students from four area high schools have taken on the role of Santa's elves for a Christmas project this month. Ag students and FFA members enrolled at South Heart, New England, Belfield and Dickinson high schools have been making pieces for 25 "Farmyards for Kids" sets that will be given toward the Salvation Army's Angel Tree project. The idea is credited to Marcus Lewton, South Heart's FFA advisor and ag teacher. He applied for a $400 grant from the North Dakota FFA Association to cover expenses.
The Choral Union is presenting Handel's "Messiah" at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in the St. John Lutheran Church of Dickinson. The performance is directed by Dr. Bruce Southard, assistant professor of music education and director of choral activities at Dickinson State University. The Choral Union consists of DSU Chorale members and people from the community, who have been rehearsing Monday evenings since October for the single performance. "It's a wonderful experience," said Southard.
Leroy Boespflug picked up a new carpentry skill in the summer of 2009. He built a 25-by-10-foot log cabin that's located in his backyard. "It's a playhouse, that's what it is. It's Leroy's playhouse," he said. As an avid hunter, the log cabin is the perfect place to display his trophies, and it's a hangout for the boys when they come over for a social experience, said Boespflug. It started out as a little cabin used by a car dealership in Dickinson.
Leroy Boespflug looks for the beauty embedded in a block of wood. Using his skill as a wood turner, the block emerges into a bowl, lamp or hollow form. "Everything I turn is in the mind's eye. I don't do patterns. I think if you start doing patterns, it becomes sterile," he said from his home in Dickinson. Analyzing a piece of wood, Boespflug said, "I try to maximize what's in the wood. You bring out the life within the grain in the wood, and therefore, the wood has another life." As a young man, he was drawn to wood and art.
The Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau is preparing to host the 14th annual Old Fashioned Cowboy Christmas on Friday and Saturday. "It's an opportunity to bring people into town during the month of December," said Pam Reinarts, event chairperson. "Secondly, it allows the ranching community to share old traditions and fun with everybody else." The event draws visitors from Montana, South Dakota and a large share of North Dakota, she said. Friday features a wreath ceremony.
Larry Skwarok's leader dog, Argus, greets visitors with a wag of the tail and friendly curiosity. Things change when Larry puts on his harness. "Park Time" is the queue that signals Argus is about to take Larry, 48, for a walk. Blind since the age of 23, Larry lives independently with Argus, who is his third leader dog. He rents an apartment in Subiaco Manor in northwest Dickinson. Larry wasn't always blind. Adopted at age 3, he lived with his parents, Dr. Walter and Ann Skwarok in Hebron.