A century of shaping Scranton: More than just an elevator, Scranton Equity Exchange enters 100th year as successful independent cooperative

Scranton Equity Exchange General Manager Roger Goodfellow, who retires in April, stands in front of the elevator.

SCRANTON — Mike Wedwick chuckles when asked about what this small town would be like without the Scranton Equity Exchange.

“It’d be just like Bucyrus. How about Gascoyne?” said Mike Wedwick, the Equity’s grain manager, evoking a similar chuckle from general manager Roger Goodfellow.

Wedwick’s assumption of Scranton turning into a ghost town may not be far off — at least not in the eyes of the Equity’s employees.

“It’s basically the community,” said Kim Hodell, the Equity’s truck shop manager and an employee of 32 years.

Continue reading “A century of shaping Scranton: More than just an elevator, Scranton Equity Exchange enters 100th year as successful independent cooperative”

Time to fix DHS exit onto State Avenue

The other day, there was a three-car accident on State Avenue next to Dickinson High School.

I don’t remember exactly what day it was, but does that really matter? This happens far too often for it to be news.

Is it time for accidents like this to be a thing of the past?

A little crowdsourcing says it is.

Continue reading “Time to fix DHS exit onto State Avenue”

Democrats can’t afford to wait for candidates

The way things are shaping up, western North Dakota’s legislative elections are going to be one-horse races.

There is a little more than two weeks remaining until the April 7 filing deadline for party candidacy in the 2014 election and the Democrat-NPL party hasn’t had a single person announce their candidacy in western North Dakota’s five legislative districts — including the three that encompass much of The Dickinson Press’ coverage area.

If for nothing else than the sake of democracy, North Dakota Democrat’s need to get candidates lined up in the west and get them on the campaign trail.

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Larsens handle ‘controlled chaos:’ Watford City family-owned drug store sees benefits, challenges of boom

Pharmacist Larry Larsen, right, works with his daughter and pharmacist Jenna Wahlstrom on Feb. 13 at their store, Larsen Service Drug on Main Street in Watford City.

WATFORD CITY — Larry and Debbie Larsen know the benefits and pitfalls of owning a small business in an Oil Patch boomtown.

Despite being flush with new clients and busier than ever, Larry said keeping up can be “a struggle.”

“A lot of times, we just call it controlled chaos,” he said.

Continue reading “Larsens handle ‘controlled chaos:’ Watford City family-owned drug store sees benefits, challenges of boom”

Perkins leads off ‘The Voice,’ picks Levine as coach

Scranton native Kat Perkins got the leadoff spot and a lengthy introduction segment on Monday night’s episode of NBC reality singing show “The Voice.”

It was for a good reason, too.

Perkins sang “Gold Dust Woman” by Fleetwood Mac and got three of four coaches to turn their chairs. Country star Blake Shelton was, ironically, the lone holdout. Perkins began her career in country music before turning to the rock genre.

The 33-year-old singer’s love of rock influenced her choice. She picked Levine, the lead singer of rock band Maroon 5, to be her coach.

Perkins said, “This is crazy” while making her choice before picking Levine.

Levine, Usher and Shakira praised Perkins’ performance.

“The end of your performance, that note, that seared the entire audience,” Levine said.

Usher said that while he isn’t much of a rocker, he hoped to add to her talent.

“I could only imagine how incredible of a performer you could be with the type of encouragement and help to be great,” Usher said.

Shakira, a Grammy-winning Latin pop singer,  all but begged Perkins to choose her.

“I want you desperately,” Shakira said. “… I’d like for you to be the architect of your own destiny.”

After leaving the stage, host Carson Daly asked Perkins why she picked Levine.

“His pitch. He was so determined to get the rocker chick,” Perkins said.

Perkins’ rendition of “Gold Dust Woman” can be purchased on iTunes.

The B.A.R. strives to be ‘town’s bar’ in New England

Carol and Steve LaFramboise stand behind the bar at The B.A.R. in New England on Feb. 9. The owner of The B.A. bowling alley and restaurant, Steve partnered with Randy Schwartz and several volunteers to open the new business in the town’s old lumber yard building.

NEW ENGLAND — Steve LaFramboise had a nice little thing going inside his bowling alley. He had turned a small corner section of The B.A. restaurant into a bar and lounge area where bowlers could gather.

It turned into the place to go in New England for those wanting to socialize while enjoying an adult beverage.

But, LaFramboise said, it was never anything more than a hole in the wall. In fact, he acknowledges, it wasn’t even much of a bar.

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Questions aside, Trinity will be fine

Like many people in southwest North Dakota, I’m a Lutheran who is friends with a lot of Catholics.

For me, it goes back to high school when I met a handful of Trinity kids and found that, despite what us small-towners had heard, they weren’t the arrogant “big city” kids some thought they were. A few of those guys have become lifelong friends and, through them, I’ve met many other great friends and people along the way.

One of those guys woke me up Monday with a text message while I was laying in a hotel bed on vacation. He asked if I had heard about the fire at Trinity High School. He didn’t have many details but knew school was canceled. Wondering just how serious it was, we theorized it was something small — maybe an electrical fire — that could probably be dealt with. He had driven by and said the outside of the building looked OK.

So, I assigned the story to one of our reporters and got back to the last day of my vacation.

Continue reading “Questions aside, Trinity will be fine”