The Official Newspaper for Foster County

Articles written by Marvin Baker


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  • Upside Down Under: Pembina's unique history...

    Marvin Baker|May 27, 2024

    Anyone who has studied North Dakota history knows that Pembina was the first settlement in what is now North Dakota in 1797. But there’s a lot about Pembina that isn’t common historical knowledge. Most of this history can be found in the Pembina State Museum and it proves that Pembina, and the surrounding area have had a colorful past that actually goes back long before Dakota Territory existed. One example is there is reference to the Red River ox carts that transported goods from St. Paul to...

  • Upside Down Under: Australian muralist coming to Minot

    Marvin Baker|May 20, 2024

    A year after an announcement was made to paint murals on the side of a downtown Minot grain elevator, it appears the project is going forward. Australian artist Guido Van Helten was in Minot recently to survey the premises and get a better idea of what exactly he will be doing. A specific timeline hasn’t been announced, but originally, Van Helten was going to work through last summer to paint the elevator. One thing is certain. The Minot Council on the Arts got the right guy to take on this j...

  • Upside Down Under: Teddy's time in Tampa...

    Marvin Baker|May 13, 2024

    A post on Facebook about Theodore Roosevelt revealed a piece of history that was quite shocking mostly because I’ve never seen anything about this while there are multiple articles, TV spots and museum entries in south Florida. Roosevelt and his Rough Riders spent some time in the Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa before disembarking for the Spanish-American War in Cuba in 1898 where the famous San Juan Hill battle took place. The Rough Riders were in Tampa just a short time, but while there m...

  • Upside Down Under: Food deserts are increasing...

    Marvin Baker|May 6, 2024

    There was a report in North Dakota newspapers a couple of weeks ago regarding the closure of a Crosby grocery store. For months there were efforts to save it, but the closure happened and forced the closing of several other Jason’s Super Foods stores on the northern tier. Crosby is a community of more than 1,000 people and is the Divide County seat. The residents are now faced with having to travel if they want to visit a bonafide grocery store. Crosby has a Dollar General and another b...

  • Upside Down Under: Putting on a different spin...

    Marvin Baker|Apr 29, 2024

    Editor’s note: This article is educational and is not intended as medical advice. It simply explains the two types of vertigo and the various ways vertigo affects people. Most people don’t like to talk about medical issues, although in some cases, those issues are brought into the public domain as people suffer from conditions manifested by the disease or condition. One of them is vertigo. Simply put, vertigo is uncontrollable dizziness that can last a few minutes up to a week in some severe cas...

  • Upside Down Under: Faith in the next generation...

    Marvin Baker|Apr 22, 2024

    There seems to be a lot of talk among the baby boomer generation about the generation of young Americans today who are just making their way in the world. Unfortunately, the talk isn’t so good and it’s mostly about alleged lack of motivation, lack of social skills and mostly about not wanting to work, but rather playing video games and living with parents. I’m a baby boomer too and recently retired from the professional world. In my career, I’ve worked with all kinds of young people and I still...

  • Upside Down Under: Pet peeves...

    Marvin Baker|Apr 15, 2024

    We all have pet peeves that drive us absolutely nuts, right? It might be a wet dog shaking itself off on the couch or a delivery driver consistently delivering your packages to your neighbor. Let’s admit, we all have some. I have some too, 10 in fact, that I’ll share with you in this article. 1.) Motorists not using blinkers: For some reason, people don’t use blinkers any longer, and I’m talking in heavy traffic. The biggest issue is when I want to turn left on a highway and someone is coming...

  • Upside Down Under: Drake Landing...

    Marvin Baker|Apr 8, 2024

    Have you ever heard of a place called Drake Landing? I didn’t either until I read a recent news article about it. Drake Landing is perhaps the most unique community in North America because more than 90 percent of the power to heat the 52 homes in Drake Landing is solar. What’s even more unique is that this community isn’t in south Florida, Texas or Arizona. It’s right in the middle of oil country in Alberta. Drake Landing is part of the city of Okotoks, situated 30 miles south of Calgary...

  • Upside Down Under: A model for business...

    Marvin Baker|Apr 1, 2024

    Several weeks ago my wife and I met a friend from New Zealand who was visiting North Dakota. We agreed to meet in Bismarck and chose the downtown restaurant Pirogue Grille. Several years ago we frequented that restaurant, but because we live on the northern tier of the state, it’s hard to get to Bismarck on a regular basis. But, when we met Kiwi Kate there, it was as if nothing had changed. The restaurant looked the same, the staff was nearly the same and the menu which was new each time you w...

  • Upside Down Under: Losing a childhood friend...

    Marvin Baker|Mar 25, 2024

    My intent this week was to write about a special restaurant in downtown Bismarck and the people who operate it. However, there is a more pressing issue that needs to be addressed. Another friend was lost to cancer last week and what appears to be remarkable about his case, is that it could have been preventable. A family friend from back home, who we called “Soup Bone” when we were kids because he was so skinny, died last week at the age of 62 from kidney cancer that had spread to his lun...

  • Upside Down Under: Celebrating local foods...

    Marvin Baker|Mar 18, 2024

    Excitement is mounting and those of us involved in the North Dakota Farmers’ Market & Growers Association, are counting down the days until the local foods conference. This celebration of all things local foods is how a small, but determined group of individuals set out to make sure this year’s conference is something special. We started planning this event last November and we only recently put the lid on the schedule. It will be held March 21-23 in the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck...

  • Upside Down Under: How is this possible?

    Marvin Baker|Mar 11, 2024

    Do you remember the TV show The Incredible Hulk? It was a weekly series about a muscle-bound guy who would suddenly completely change into some sort of a green monster. As the narrative stated in the show, a strange metamorphisis occurs that transforms this man into the incredible hulk. It seems weeds are like that. This past week I was cleaning the greenhouse to get it ready for the spring season and discovered some interesting finds, that quite frankly, I can’t believe are possible. To f...

  • Upside Down Under: Rural North Dakota at its best...

    Marvin Baker|Mar 4, 2024

    This winter in North Dakota has been remarkable for a lot of reasons and because of it, I took advantage and did some traveling across the state. The farmers’ market manager in Wahpeton contacted me about the lack of vendors at her market. It seemed like a desperate situation and because of Wahpeton’s size, I decided to take a trip and meet with her about those issues. But, this isn’t about that meeting. Unlike most others who would go across the state on an interstate or U.S. highway, I travele...

  • Upside Down Under: Creating a better product...

    Marvin Baker|Feb 26, 2024

    For the past several months, and even going back a couple of years, I’ve noticed some interesting changes in radio across North Dakota. I researched and found the official answer to this, but there’s all kinds of speculation surrounding these changes on a national scale. In any event, there have been a number of AM radio stations that have started broadcasting their signals from FM translators. These are most often low power signals that reach only a few miles. The official answer to this is...

  • Upside Down Under: Missing the human element...

    Marvin Baker|Feb 19, 2024

    There’s a situation happening right now that could have a long-term effect on the human psyche, and it doesn’t appear that too many people are concerned about it, at least not publicly. If you’ve gone to a fast-food establishment lately, you may have noticed that some have completely replaced actual employees with kiosks where you order your food. Some of them have gone so far as to make you start an email account or you can’t order. Supermarkets have gone to self checkout some time ago, bu...

  • Upside Down Under: Gaining a whole new respect...

    Marvin Baker|Feb 12, 2024

    Minot was a busy place over the weekend. There were three major events going on so there were a lot of people in town. First, the KMOT Ag Expo was happening. This has become one of the largest events of its kind on the northern Great Plains. Second, there was a farmers’ market symposium at the NDSU Research Extension Center and third, the North Dakota Association of Dance and Drill hosted the state dance competition in the Minot State University Dome. Thirty-eight teams from across the state w...

  • Upside Down Under: Natural Products Expo West...

    Marvin Baker|Feb 5, 2024

    From March 12-16, there’s an event happening in Anaheim, Calif., that is unlike any other in the United States, except for a parallel event that happens each September in Baltimore. It’s called Natural Products Expo West and it brings tens of thousands of exhibitors, guests, media and sponsors together to look at the latest innovations in everything organic from retail to farming. A number of entrepreneurs from North Dakota have made the trip to Anaheim over the years in an effort to make a dif...

  • Upside Down Under: Doing a major rebranding...

    Marvin Baker|Jan 29, 2024

    On May 4, 2023, one of my employees and I attended the annual North Dakota Farmers’ Market and Growers Association local foods conference in Bottineau. When we arrived at the hotel on schedule, nobody else was there. The following morning people started to trickle in, but overall, the conference was poorly attended. The venue for the conference, Dakota College, was just the right place, but the timing was completely off. That’s the very weekend that most vegetable producers in North Dakota beg...

  • Upside Down Under: Touting the unusual...

    Marvin Baker|Jan 22, 2024

    When I worked as ag reporter for the Minot Daily News, I did an annual report on the crops in North Dakota. This was generally a fairly long article because as you know, this state produces a lot of agricultural products. We produce a lot, but many of those crops and livestock don’t get the recognition they should. As an example, you’ve most likely seen a report that comes out from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture outlining the 11, No. 1 crops that put North Dakota at the top of a nat...

  • Upside Down Under: Expanding into the states...

    Marvin Baker|Jan 15, 2024

    There have been some new developments regarding Canadian Football League expansion, developments that could spawn teams in North Dakota and South Dakota. I’ve written about this topic in the past, but this time there seems to be a bit more urgency. For the past seven years, the CFL has been looking to expand to Halifax, Nova Scotia. However, shortly after the season ended in late November, the deal fell through and Atlantic Canada won’t be getting a professional football team. That said, the...

  • Upside Down Under: Too small or just right?

    Marvin Baker|Jan 8, 2024

    Because we aren’t most people who go to Grandma’s house for Christmas, it was a traveling holiday to Rapid City, S.D., and back. It’s a long trip, nearly 1,000 miles round trip and just to do something different, we took U.S. Highway 85 from Watford City to Spearfish, even though it’s a little out of the way. We did that just to break up the monotony of the road, basically from Reeder to Sturgis. Along the way, we came upon Amidon and there is a sign on the outside of town that says “Nation’s sm...

  • Upside Down Under: Too much Christmas...

    Marvin Baker|Jan 1, 2024

    I think most people will agree that Christmas was around too long and now that it’s in the rear-view mirror we wonder where the time went. Honestly, I could have written this article two months ago, but I refused, waiting until Christmas was past before voicing my opinion about said holiday. I get why retailers start with Christmas early. They aren’t going to win the lottery, but will get some trickle sales leading up to Christmas. But before Halloween? I won’t name the retailers that had Chris...

  • Upside Down Under: A Christmas to remember...

    Marvin Baker|Dec 25, 2023

    It was late November 1995 and I had just been hired as editor and publisher of the Cavalier County Republican in Langdon. Then, my entire world was turned upside down. The very day I was supposed to start my new job, we attended my mother’s funeral in Hazelton. I was devastated and my siblings were devastated. At that point in time, I wondered how I would cope. The people who owned the newspaper told me to report the following week and there was a nice bouquet from them at the funeral. A week l...

  • Upside Down Under: New Hardiness Zone map reveals changes

    Marvin Baker|Dec 18, 2023

    When you first look at the 2023 USDA Hardiness Zone map that was recently published, you’ll see subtle changes for those of us who live in North Dakota. The biggest changes are on the southern tier of the state. Richland, Dickey, LaMoure, with parts of Stutsman, Dickey, LaMoure,Logan, McIntosh, Sioux, Grant, Bowman, Slope, Stark, Billings and Golden Valley counties having changed from Zone 4a to 4B. It also includes parts of Sheridan and McLean counties and a tiny spot around the city of M...

  • Upside Down Under: Our personal affairs are important...

    Marvin Baker|Dec 11, 2023

    There was a recent funeral I attended and before the service, I was chatting with the funeral director, who has been a friend for many years. He was telling me that he was dealing with a separate situation in which the deceased didn’t have a will, didn’t have a life insurance policy and the loved ones didn’t have any money to bury the deceased. Mak-ing it even more complicated is the family members weren’t close at all. He said those kinds of situations put an emotional and financial strain...

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