Volume 134 Number 41 14 pages Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 Single Copy Price: $1
Oldest Weekly Newspaper in North Dakota • Established in 1879 • HILLSBORO, NORTH DAKOTA 58045
Foo travel tball team in place g to farawa s next y year PAGE 5
HBA campaign alive and well after 25 years; Christmas Cash promotion starts Monday
Changing weather patterns have accompanied the 2012 Red River Valley sugar beet harvest.
says. “You’ve worked all year to try and get this crop and now it’s pay day.”
The 2012 Hillsboro Business Association Christmas Cash campaign will mark the 25th year of the promotion designed to encourage Hillsboro community residents to shop at home. While the mission of the holiday promotion hasn’t changed in the last 24 years, the campaign that starts Monday has grown to where it has averaged nearly $150,000 in the last five years. The interest-free holiday loans were first dispersed in 1988, when 22 HBA-member stores welcomed the Christmas Cash. More than 20 Hillsboro businesses are expected to participate in the 2012 promotion. “Christmas Cash has been good to us,” said Jode Sorum of Sorum Oil, one of the original businesses participating in the 1988 promotion. The annual holiday promotion, Sorum is convinced, “has helped many Hillsboro businesses over the years.” The fact that the Christmas Cash campaign continues to be a success speaks volumes, added Sorum, who along with husband Brad have been strong supporters of the HBA-coordinated promotion. The Sorums, like many others in business, encourage their customers to take advantage of the interestfree loans. “It’s a no-brainer,” said Jode. “You pay no interest, you have 10 months to pay it back, plus you get some extra free money in the deal.”
PhotoS by Cory Erickson
Beet harvest: 24 / 7 operation
By CORY ERICKSON
As dull gray clouds roll overhead, masking a rising sun, Jason Siegert stands in a soggy sugar beet field Tuesday morning, tinkering with the cutting height of an Alloway BT267 rotobeater. “Just a little early morning adjustment,” he says with a wide grin. Siegert, 51, checks various settings on the machinery as he shuffles around a low spot in a freshly rained-on section of land. “It’s been one extreme to another,” says Paul Kozojed, Siegert’s business partner, of the 2012 American Crystal Sugar Co. harvest. “Wet to dry and dry to wet.” Siegert climbs into the John Deere 8225R tractor pulling the rotobeater, also called a topper, which is used to scalp the foliage from sugar beets prior to harvest. With a rev of the engine, he continues his run across the field. Kozojed, meanwhile, acts as a spotter, analyzing the machine’s performance from a nearby pickup. The duo keeps a continuous dialogue of radio chatter, including Siegert’s suggestion of bypassing the muddy section of beets altogether after equipment begins to act up from wet soil
Generally, by the end of the day, Paul Kozojed and Jason Siegert are dog-tired.
conditions. “How about we just make another pass and get it done,” the 42-year-old Kozojed dryly responds to the recommendation. Of his partner, Siegert mentions jokingly, “If he was my brother I wouldn’t have to listen to him.” Across the Red River Valley, October opened with a fanfare of diesel engines as farmers near and far had one topic occupying their thoughts. “Beets,” says Siegert, a rural Hillsboro resident and part-owner of SK Farms, the pair’s business entity. “Twenty-four hours. The only thing that’s on your mind is ‘get the crop out.’” “Beets,” he reiterates with a
nod. The annual American Crystal beet harvest opened at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 3 as farmers began coordinating teams of trucks, harvesters and rotobeater operators for the two-to-three-week operation. The harvest was set to begin Oct. 1 but became delayed due to heat. A week later, farmers were forced to adjust their harvest practices to accommodate freezing temperatures and occasional snow flurries. “It’s harvest,” Kozojed continues. “Every day there’s something different.” The horticultural hoedown is a paradox to many. It can both
“The only thing that’s on your mind is ‘get the crop out.’” — Jason Siegert Hillsboro farmer
bolster and strain relationships. It can tire as well as thrill the most seasoned workers. It’s also big business for those associated with it. “I look forward to it,” Siegert
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Fire destroys Hillsboro home By COLE SHORT
Lynn Schultz had barely stepped out of the house Sunday when the first window exploded. Rushing her teenage sons out the front door, Schultz turned back to see the raging fire spread across her onestory rental home along Fifth Street in Hillsboro. Black smoke billowed from the building as flames leapt out a side window. “We knew there was nothing we could do at that point,” Schultz said. “We just had to get out.” The fire at 22 5th St. NE directly east of Hillsboro High School destroyed the home, leaving Schultz and her sons, Sam and Wyatt, temporarily homeless. Authorities received a 911 call reporting the fire shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday. Hillsboro Fire Chief Jamie Reed said firefighters were paged at 10:54 a.m. Sunday and arrived at the scene in six minutes. However, the blaze swept through the house so quickly there was little firefighters could do to stop the flames from engulfing the home, he said.
Photos by CoLE SHORT
Minutes after Hillsboro’s fire department received the call, fire had spread throughout the Schultz home.
“From the sounds of things, it was all they could do to get out of the house,” Reed said. “The fire was well on its way by the time they noticed it and when we arrived.” Veteran firefighter Tom Olsen labeled the fire “freaky” for how fast it spread. It appeared to race from one end of the home to the other within five minutes. “It was the fastest-moving fire I’ve ever seen,” he said. Schultz was still coming to terms Tuesday with how life had changed from two days earlier. The eligibility worker at Traill County Social Services
said Sunday was uneventful at first. Schultz was home feeling sick, sitting on the family’s couch with Sam while Wyatt was in the shower, getting ready for a church-sponsored youth retreat in Bemidji, Minn. Buddy, the family’s 6-yearold black Labrador and Springer Spaniel cross, was whining on the couch as Lynn and Sam visited. “She kept nudging me on the couch and being annoying,” Schultz said. “I think she knew something wasn’t quite right.” Schultz had water boiling on the stove, so when she and Sam
smelled something burning, they immediately rushed to the kitchen. From the kitchen, they could see black smoke coming from the laundry room. Inside, flames were visible from the back of the dryer. “The flames were coming from right behind the dryer, but the fire wasn’t huge yet,” said Sam, a senior in Hillsboro. “Within a minute it was huge,” his mother said. Schultz didn’t panic, walking swiftly to the bathroom to
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Firemen could do little but monitor the fire.
Supportive community gives Schultz family hope By COLE SHORT
Lynn Schultz didn’t need a reminder about why she never plans to leave the area. Schultz still recalls how supportive her friends and neighbors were in 2009 when she battled malignant melanoma. Moments after her home was destroyed in a fire Sunday, those same supporters were back in action, rallying around Schultz and her family. “After the cancer, I wanted
it to be my turn to give to other people,” said Schultz, wiping away tears in an interview Tuesday. “But here we are, being taken care of again. I think it reinforces why we live here,” she said. “I moved around my whole life. I never planned on staying in Hillsboro originally — and now I would never leave.”
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