The best cake I'll ever taste

No cake I’ve ever had or will ever have can compare to the birthday cakes my Grandma Helen made.

These were delicacies baked in a Dickinson kitchen that could have brought top dollar in France. They were moist, fluffy concoctions that melted in your mouth and featured frosting that was always perfect — not too sugary and just the right amount of creamy. Every once in a while, they even featured elaborate designs.

On Friday, we said goodbye to our baker. Grandma Helen, my mom’s mother and a one-of-a-kind woman who showed her love for family and mental toughness to the very end, passed away at age 93.

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Larger facility helps Stevensons grow: Moving into 20,000-square-foot building in September a big step for funeral home

Nic Stevenson, left, and his father, Jon Stevenson, are two of the owners of Stevenson Funeral Homes in Dickinson. The family business moved into a new 20,000-square foot facility in September, a building they say was built with the community and its families in mind. The Stevensons stand next to the fireplace in the funeral home’s entryway on Dec. 11.

Jon Stevenson remembers coming to the Mischel-Olson Funeral Home as a child.

His father, Dale, was a funeral director in Miles City, Mont., and they would sometimes visit Dickinson and his friend, Marlin Olson, one of the owners.

“We’d get together and tromp through the funeral home, never knowing one day I’d end up living here and purchasing that,” Jon said with a smile.

In 2000, Jon and Marlys Stevenson expanded their business from Baker, Mont., and bought the funeral home in downtown Dickinson. Within a decade, the building had become too small for the Stevensons’ needs, Jon said.

Their son, Nic, had joined the business in 2005 and the family had hired more funeral directors to fill the business’s needs. Eventually, the Stevensons began to wonder what their next step should be.

In September, the Stevensons took that step when they moved into a 20,000 square-foot funeral home at 2067 First St. W. The old building, which had stood since 1957, was purchased by Charbonneau Car Center for a new lot and was razed in November.

“We always looked at opportunities to expand our existing building or what we needed to do to grow,” Nic said.

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Into the Blue: Sanford AirMed ready to take off in Dickinson

Adam Parker, a lead flight paramedic, talks about the operations inside of Sanford AirMed’s King Air B200 medical airplane on Thursday during a fl ight for media members.

Josh Zellers has been piloting airplanes out of Dickinson for eight of the past nine years.

On Monday, however, he will officially begin what he calls a “more fulfilling position.”

Zellers is one of eight pilots Sanford AirMed has placed in Dickinson to operate its King Air B200 fixed-wing medical plane that can transport patients throughout the upper Midwest.

“It’s incredibly exciting,” said Zellers, who left a management job with Western Edge Aviation for the position with Sanford. “The opportunity for the pilot group, the medic group, the service for the community — it’s all really exciting.”

Sanford hosted a media tour and flight Thursday afternoon before an afternoon ribbon-cutting event at Western Edge Aviation’s hangar. The plane offi – cially begins operations at 7 a.m. Monday.
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A SPECIAL DELIVERY: Baby boy born 1 hour after St. Joseph’s hospital opens doors

Liam Rajala was seemingly late to arrive. It turns out, however, he was right on time to be the first baby delivered at the new CHI St. Joseph’s hospital. Dickinson’s newest resident — a 21½-inch boy weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces — was born at 9:09 p.m. Monday. Liam was delivered by Dr. Thomas Arnold a little more than an hour after the hospital officially opened.

“He was a week late. I thought he’d be born in the old one,” Lorina Rajala, Liam’s mother, said Tuesday afternoon as her husband, Brad, held their son in their postpartum room.

Brad said when his wife went into labor at home Monday afternoon, she had to call the hospital to determine where she’d have to go for the birth. They sent her to the new facility on Fairway Street.

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Dickinson's wait for Wings ends

Bartenders at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill and Bar cut lemons and limes shortly before opening at 11 a.m. Monday, the restaurant’s opening day in Dickinson.










The wings are ready and the beer is flowing at Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar in Dickinson.

The long-awaited restaurant officially opened its doors Monday after a weekend training opening that packed its roughly 8,300 square foot facility in the West Ridge Development on Saturday night and whet the community’s appetite for the city’s first new national chain restaurant in more than a decade.

“We’re expecting this to be one of the busiest Buffalo Wild Wings in the franchise,” said Ken Herslip of Minot, who along with his family owns the Dickinson, Minot and Williston franchise locations.

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Our watchful protector and not-so-silent guardian

Last week, I worked the afternoon and evening shift while my news editor, page designer and all-around nighttime showrunner April Baumgarten took a well-deserved vacation.

That meant I had to get into the habit of sleeping in, working until around 11 p.m. or later and staying awake into the early-morning hours — something that until early 2013 was entirely normal for me after spending the previous decade working in newspaper sports departments.

It sounds kinda fun, right? Sleep in and stay up late! Well, it wasn’t so bad when I was a single guy. Now, with a wife and dog at home waiting for me, it’s not so fun.

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‘REAL’ CHRISTMAS: Tradition, ‘the smell’ keep holiday shoppers coming back for live trees

John Kempenich and his daughter, Lexi, of Dickinson, check to see if the Christmas tree they picked out at the Dickinson State University Rodeo Club’s sale on Wednesday evening at the DSU Ag Building is the one they want.

For John Kempenich, it’s about tradition, family and, of course, the smell.

Kempenich spent several minutes Wednesday night at the Dickinson State University Agriculture Building carefully examining the fir trees lining the walls until he found one that caught his eye.

He fluffed the tree and inspected it some more. After seeking the advice of his daughters, who each performed the same meticulous study of the tree, the decision was made. The Kempenich family had found their Christmas tree.

They have been coming to DSU to pick out a Christmas tree sold as a fundraiser by the university’s rodeo club since before their 18-year-old daughter Lexi was born.

“It’s just one of them things that you like — that smell and the familiness of coming together and picking out a tree for the year,” Kempenich said as the smile on his face grew.
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