Dickinson Charities shuts down bingo after 33 years, citing declining interest

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Dickinson Charities Manager Carol Klemm sits inside the group’s vacant bingo hall in north Dickinson. Sunday was the final day of bingo at the hall after 33 years.

As Carol Klemm turned on the lights in the large, empty hall Monday, she got an “eerie feeling.”

The spacious room in the Dickinson Charities building on 21st Street East hosted its final bingo games Sunday. After 33 years, Dickinson Charities has decided to end its bingo nights due to a decline in participation.

“Everything runs its course,” Klemm said.

The bingo hall has been affected by the aging population of its players and additional opportunities to play bingo in the city, she said, as well as trouble finding consistent help.

In the end, it was a financial decision. Dickinson Charities also runs blackjack, pull tabs and raffles throughout the city. It had been holding bingo on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

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Technology changing how grain elevator operates

RURAL TAYLOR — When he first began working for Southwest Grain several years ago, Kent Candrian said there were days when he would walk about a mile or more at work — all of it in a 20-square-foot area.

Manning toggles and switches on a large wall switchboard, Candrian would make sure grain hauled to the Boyle Terminal between Gladstone and Taylor made it to the proper bins.

These days, Candrian still does that job. Instead, he sits in front of a bank of computer screens and does the majority of his work with the click of a mouse.

“I do everything in one spot,” said Candrian, a longtime driveway attendant for the CHS Inc. elevator. “Basically, it eliminates walking.”

Like many elevators, Southwest Grain has converted to automated systems that speed up its daily unloading of farmers’ trucks, its own loading of rail cars and also makes the lives of its employees easier.

“In the last four or five years, technology has advanced to the point where it just makes more sense because of the volume we do anymore,” Southwest Grain General Manager Delane Thom said. “It gets rid of some employee fatigue. It makes their job much easier and you can manage the whole system from one spot.”

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For New England, reaching state tournament is ‘dream come true’

NEW ENGLAND — The party didn’t stop after the post-game celebration.

In New England, the revelry for winning the Region 7 boys basketball championship game last Thursday night in Dickinson lingered until the team and fans got home. Then it spilled over onto the city’s Main Street, led by fire trucks blasting sirens, a stream of cars honking horns, and the hoots and hollers of fans in this town of about 650 people relishing something that hasn’t occurred in nearly a generation.

New England, with only 69 kids in high school, will be both the smallest school and community participating in this year’s Class B state tournament, which begins today at the Bismarck Event Center.

“For us, this is the ultimate,” said Daryl Jung, the school’s longtime athletic director. “It’s actually a dream come true.”

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Safety first: MBI offers unique training program — slowly

BELFIELD — Troy Ohlhausen never lets the needle on his pickup’s speedometer go beyond 10 mph when he’s on an oilfield site — even if the site where he’s driving is nothing more than a simulation.

As Ohlhausen drove slow and steady around MBI Energy Services’ training facility Thursday, he pointed out truck drivers training to haul crude oil by first spending time in classrooms, tank batteries set up to show employees proper safety techniques, and even one trucker undergoing a quality control check on how to properly put chains on his truck’s tires.

“You can do training out in live operations, but it’s so fast,” said Ohlhausen, MBI’s director of training. “Everything is fast-paced. We slow it down out here.”

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Dickinson Investments names former management company operator of Hawks Point

The management company that ran Dickinson’s Hawks Point at its inception will soon be in charge once again.

Dickinson Investments LLC — the group that owns the senior living community on the Dickinson State University campus — announced Thursday that, beginning April 1, Senior Services of America will take over management of the facility.

Senior Services of America managed Hawks Point from its inception in 2007 until 2013, when the company was terminated by Dickinson Investments. From that time forward, the DSU Foundation managed the facility.

However, Dickinson Investments has been searching for a new management company since last November when North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem forced the Foundation into financial receivership.

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Trial Runners continues to expand

Few Dickinson businesses felt the impact of the Great Recession.

As stock prices fell, the national housing market crashed and consumer confidence dipped, southwest North Dakota largely weathered the storm.

Trial Runners tells a different story.

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Listening to fulfill a need

Do you read?

I’m not talking about this column and newspaper, or the Facebook news feed some of you probably scrolled through to get here. Yes, that is reading, but it’s a different type of reading than I’m talking about.

Really, my question should be: Do you read books?

For me, the answer is … kinda. Let me explain …

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