MACOMB, Ill. — Call it the Widow Maker Tour. Call it silly for a middle-aged man to do. Call it immature. Or just plain dumb. Also, call it delicious. And call somebody else with your complaints. In Macomb to cover the North Dakota State football game at Western Illinois, I had free time Friday to pursue one of life’s great culinary pleasures, the pork tenderloin sandwich, in the heart of the Tenderloin Belt (a swath of Middle America that cuts through Iowa, Illinois and Indiana).
South Dakota State University sent a strong message with its handling of football coach John Stiegelmeier’s DUI. The message is this: DUIs are no big deal. Stiegelmeier, in his 22nd year as Jackrabbits coach, was arrested in January when a Brookings police officer found him trying to get his car out of a ditch. Stiegelmeier had trouble keeping his feet, was unsteady and the officer smelled alcohol on the coach’s breath, according to the police report. Stiegelmeier told the officer he’d had too much to drink at home on an empty stomach before he went to get food.
ORTONVILLE, Minn. — “Thousands to tens of thousands” of fish in Big Stone Lake died recently, but Minnesota Department of Natural Resources area fisheries manager Chris Domeier says anglers probably won’t notice. The die-off happened a little over a week ago at the southern tip of the 27-mile long Minnesota-South Dakota border water near the city of Ortonville, about 2 1/2 hours south of Moorhead. Domeier said the fish-kill was likely triggered by a “perfect storm” of a extremely warm weather, a massive algae bloom and a wind that blew the algae into the south end of the lake.
If James Madison of the Football Championship Subdivision has a secret sauce for scheduling an FBS opponent, the Dukes aren’t sharing. After announcing it had secured a 2022 contest with Louisville of the Atlantic Coast Conference, along with a tidy paycheck for $600,000, the school turned down a request from me to interview Kevin White, the associate athletic director of sports programs who handles football scheduling. An athletic department spokesman said JMU prefers to all things scheduling close to the vest.
There was a time not so long ago when Republicans looked at a government bailout as socialism. There was a time not so long ago when Rep. Kevin Cramer viewed farm country’s skittishness over President Donald Trump’s trade war as “hysteria.” And by not so long ago we mean , like, Monday.
Maybe marijuana is the one thing that can bring this divided country together again, uniting the coasts with the heartland, the urban with the rural, the Democrats with the Republicans. If the good folks of North Dakota need to find something in common with the crazy liberals of California or the big-city swamp creatures of Washington, D.C. -- people and regions residents of the Flickertail State seem to view with contempt and distrust -- it might just turn out to be weed.
The message posted to Sen. John Hoeven’s Twitter account July 4 featured a gloriously patriotic photograph of the U.S. Capitol at night, fireworks exploding above, along with the text “Happy Independence Day.” The Republican senator from North Dakota also wrote a sentence about history, heritage and veterans.
Controversial former North Dakota University System chancellor Hamid Shirvani has withdrawn as a candidate for the president’s job at the University of Guam, according to media reports. The Guam Daily Post reports Shirvani told the University of Guam presidential search committee Tuesday, June 5, he will “not be visiting the campus.”
PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. — This Minnesota lakes country town is swapping burgers. After losing its McDonald’s restaurant this spring, the Park Region Cooperative convenience store/gas station at the south end of Broadway is replacing it with a Burger King. “The Whopper replaces the Big Mac in Pelican Rapids,” said Greg Larson, general manager of the co-op.
All is quiet on the shores of beautiful Star Lake in Otter Tail County. There is no noise from slot machines, no flashing lights from signs, no hum of generators from RVs. The casino proposed to be built on the 4,700-acre lake east of Maplewood State Park, an idea generated by the White Earth Band of Chippewa, is apparently no closer to being built today than when it was first proposed nearly three years ago. But opponents are not resting.