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Newspaper Archive of
Golden Valley News
Beach, North Dakota
March 24, 2016     Golden Valley News
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March 24, 2016
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J m | By Richard Volesky Editor/Reporter MEDORA Sheila Schafer, known colloquially as "First Lady of Medora," and who was the widow of North Dakota businessman and Medora Musical founder Harold Schafer was on the minds of many local residents and people across the state in recent days. Schafer, 90, passed away in Bis- marck on Wednesday, March 16. A memorial service was held on Satur- day, March 19, at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Bismarck. Sheila Chinn Limond married Harold Schafer in 1965, and the Medora Musical opened for the first time just days after they returned from their honeymoon. They were the faces of the new, family-friendly show and of Medora. Together with their family, Sheila and Harold re- built many parts of historic Medora by investing large sums of their for- tune, and in 1986, donated their Medora holdings for the creation of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. "It's definitely the end of an era. She'll be sorely missed," said Ed Sahlstrom, assistant site supervisor at the Chateau de Mores State Historic Site. Schafer supported all of Medora, not just what the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation operated, said Sahlstrom. "She was so supportive of the Chateau. She always used to bring guests," said Sahlstrom. "She could virtually do her own tour of the Chateau. She was a great promoter of the whole town ..." "When Sheila came (back to town for the season) you knew summer was here," said Sandy Baertsch, manager at First State Bank. "When there were celebrations or events, Sheila was there. Her love of the town just showed." "Sheila always made you feel im- portant .... " said Beth Clyde, an owner of the Cowboy Cafe and a friend of Sheila's. "She was good, and good for our community. I don't think she had any enemies." Sheila helped soften Harold's business persona - "made him a bet- ter man," said Clyde. Sheila was also known to be gen- erous. She'd buy several dozen tick- ets for the musical, and then given them out during the summer as the need arose, such as when a family or someone was dealing with an illness, said Clyde. Others just remember Sheila's personality and smile. "I'll always remember her smile," said resident Bev Wilhelmi. "I've known her to always be happy." Norma Myers recalled often see- ing Sheila driving by, with a window down, and waving. "I'll certainly miss seeing her go by," said Myers. "I'm really grateful that Medora was built up (by the Schafers)." Leona Odermann and her hus- band, James, published the Golden Valley and Billings County newspa- pers in the late 1970s, and later "It's definitely the end of an era. She'll be sorely missed." Ed Sahlstrom Leona became the CEO of the Sheila was a great partner to MedoraArea Convention and Visi- Harold Schafer, a North Dakota tors Bureau, a position from which Rough Rider award recipient, and she has retired. She said they became continued to advocate for the state in friends with the Schafers while run- his spirit following his death in 2001. ning the newspapers. She will be sorely missed." "Because of deadlines with the "With the passing of Sheila paper we were unable to attend the Schafer, North Dakota has lost a media day so Sheila and Harold had great friend," said Sen. Heidi us come the next day to their home," Heitkamp, D-N.D. "For years, Sheila said Leona Odermann. "They were was the lifeblood of Medora - revi- such engaging and positive people, talizing the way North Dakotans and welcoming us to their home and the nation understand Medora's his- made us feel like part of their family tory, and gathering generations of and the Medora family. Most re- families from near and far to cele- cently, Sheila's smile and 'hello brate and preserve its culture. Her en- friend' ,was always an uplifting mo- ergy and charm that drew so many to ment when she would stop at the Medora will live on in the traditions Medora Area Convention and Visi- she helped build, and in the commu- tors Bureau office. She was so gen- nity of Medora." uine and always made one feel Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and special." his wife, Mikey, extended condo- Public officials also released lences to Sheila's family and friends. statements following word of Sheila "Mikey and I extend our sincerest Schafer's death, condolences to the family and friends "Betsy and I are saddened to learn of Sheila Schafer during this difficult of the passing of Sheila Schafer, a time," said Sen. Hoeven. "For years, tireless promoter of the state of North Sheila worked tirelessly to promote Dakota and especially western North North Dakota, especially the city of Dakota," said Gov. Jack Dalrymple. Medora. The love that Sheila had for "Countless people know of her corn- her family, her state and her commu- mitment to Medora, Theodore Roo- nity has created a legacy that will live sevelt National Park, the on for years to come, and will be car- communities of Bismarck and Dick- fled on by the countless people that inson, and dozens of causes around she touched throughout her life." the state. In this undated photo, Harold and Sheila Schafer are shown on the stage of the Burning Hills Amphitheatre. (Photo Courtesy of TRMF) The North Dakota Game and Fish Department's annual bighorn sheep survey revealed a minimum of 292 bighorn sheep in western North Dakota, up 8 percent from last year and 3 percent above the five-year av- erage. Altogether, biologists counted 88 rams, 160 ewes and 44 lambs. Not in- cluded are approximately 30 bighorns in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Big game biologist Brett Wied- mann said the survey is good news after an all-age die-off that began in 2014. "This year's number was encour- aging given the ongoing effects of bacterial pneumonia throughout most of the badlands," Wiedmann said. The northern badlands population, which was hit the hardest from the die-off, increased 13 percent from last year. However, the southern bad- lands population was down 19 per- cent. "Overall, rams, ewes and lambs all increased from last year," Wied- mann said. "We were also pleased to see that 76 percent of lambs counted during last summer's survey survived the winter, which is above average. The recruitment rate of lambs per adult ewes was 31 percent, equal to the long-term average." Game and Fish Department biolo- gists count and classify all bighorn sheep in late Summer, and then re- count Iambs the following March, as they approach one year of age, to de- termine recruitment. "Adult mortality slowed signifi- cantly in 2015, and we had a good number of lambs survive in 2014 and 2015 to compensate for most of the adult losses," Wiedmann said. "The bad news is that many bighorns are still showing signs of pneumonia, so Sheep (Continued on Page 8) Co-ops meet with senator From left, Ray Tescher of Beach with McKenzie Electric; Claire Vigessa; Lars Nygren; Bruce Carlson of Velva with Verendrye Electric; Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., Luther Meberg of Park River with Nodak Co-op; and Chris Vandeventer meet in Heitkamp's Washington. D.C. office on March 15, where they discussed the Clean Power Plan, Waters of the United States (WOTUS), and concerns facing rural electric co-ops. Vigessa, Nygren and Vandeventer are also with the Midwest Electric Con- sumers Association. (Courtesy Photo) By Jason Nordmark statewide office and certainly has Of the Turtle Mountain Star name recognition," Nelson said. "If ROLLA - No matter what hap- someone else were to beat him in the pens between now and Nov. 8, Mar- primary, that would be impressive vin Nelson will consider himself the enough. I would imagine even then I underdog, would still be considered the under- Nelson announced his candidacy dog." for the North Dakota governorship Beyond prognosticating about the last week. The Rolla resident and polls, Nelson said his decision to run current District 9 representative in was based on a never-ending string the N.D. House of Representatives of contacts from people who had said his first obstacle in the upcom- been treated unfairly by the state. ing race is clear. "The one that convinced me was a "The biggest thing is to convince fireman who had lost his house, his people I am a viable candidate," Nel- business and spent a lot of time in a son said. He guessed that current wheelchair over the years," Nelson : Marvin Nelson N.D. Attorney General Wayne Stene- said. "After we talked for a few hours hjem will be the likely Republican he shook my hand and thanked me pening currently under the decades- candidate. The other two GOP candi- and I ha'd to ask what there was to long majority of Republican leader- dates for governor are State Repre- thank me for. He said I was the first ship in the state. sentative Rick Becker and former person who listened to him." "It needs to change," Nelson said. Microsoft executive Doug Burgum Nelson said every North Dakotan As Nelson's campaign kicks into "Stenehjem has many years in deserves a voice and that isn't hap- high gear, he said the key portion of his platform will initially revolve competition in those races, given While three Republicans are bat- around what he considers a hurtful District 9's overwhelming Democrat tling for the governor nomination, government and environmental con- majority, which is nearly the direct the Democrats didn't have a front- cems. opposite of the state's current politi- runner after Sarah Vogel pulled back "I want to talk about the injury cal landscape. Still, he is ramping up from what appeared to be a serious current government does to people, the campaign each day with help look at a campaign. Sometimes it's passive by not help- from his party's leadership. Nelson said that made the De- ing, other times, it seems more ac- "I'm sure they will continue in mocrats a bit late to the party, but tive," Nelson said. "Also the land, we some capacity. They help in a lot of didn't really impact his plans. cannot let happen to the Bakken area ways but there is no 'thanks for run- "There was Sarah Vogel running what happened to the land in the last ning here is a bunch of money to get and then she wasn't. That kind of got oil boom with thousands of acres of you started.' As things get rolling the things out of their normal pace," Nel- land basically destroyed. It will cer- majority of work will be taken over son said. "Personally, it wouldn't tainly take hundreds of millions to re- by my staff," Nelson said. "I have a have happened any earlier anyway. I store the land. We cannot allow the manager hired but can't share who he was waiting on a new granddaughter same thing to happen this time." is right now due to him needing to and since she came along on Febru- Running for office isn't some- finish a previous commitment." ary 29, things have been happening thing new for Nelson. He was first Nelson said the Democratic party pretty fast." elected in 2010 to serve District 9 in did not formally pursue him to run, Nelson is the first person with Ro- the North Dakota House of Repre- but added that he was asked by sev- lette County ties to seek the nomina- sentatives and was reelected in eral people. He said the upcoming 2014. convention is where he will offer Nelson However, Nelson has never faced himself up for approval. (Continued on Page 8) Our bank is run by people who live here and know this area. We provide a safe place to keep your money. We make loans to help our community grow and prosper. First State k Golva Medora Beach 872-3656 623-5000 872-4444 Member FDIC ATM in Beach & Medora lobby We will be closing at 2 p.m. on Good Friday, March 24.