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Looking back

The year 2020 started off like many before it, with scholarships, sports and wild weather.

But that would soon change completely when a pandemic hit the world and the nation.

January 2020

Southwestern North Dakota was hammered by winds of nearly 70 miles per hour as a storm front moved through the region over the weekend.

Local Bison were put to a taste test at Grazers restaurant Jan. 23 as part of a menu-tasting event. They passed the test and have become part of the new menu at the Bowman Lodge and Convention Center.

February 2020

For Chad Welch, it was a perfect night. At least when he went on a streak most bowlers’ only dream about. Playing with his Crook Creek #1 teammates, the man with a 15 handicap found perfection (300 score) on an alley in the Elusive Pocket.

Slope County may be the least populous county in the state, but it will also be playing a key role in a pilot project for electronically posting land access for hunters. If successful, Slope County land as far west as Marmarth and the Montana border would have hunters able to see if they are welcome or if they would be trespassing.

At 94, William Mason Sr. is still saving lives. He has been doing that for almost 40 years. Mason has been donating blood since the 1980s. According to Camille Jones, the donor recruitment representative at Vitalant’s Bismarck office, Mason received a certificate of achievement Monday for donating 69 units of blood.

March 2020

Hettinger-Scranton earned its second Region 7 tournament crown in a row when they pulled away in the fourth quarter for a decisive 64-51 victory. The co-op team from the southern border of the state earned its second straight trip to the Class B state tournament, which starts Thursday in Grand Forks.

Bowman County coach Nick Walker was named Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the Region 7 tournament March 12 in Dickinson. Walker guided the Bulldogs to a 17-7 season record, a three-way tie for third in Region 7 play with Beach and Hazen (all with 8-3 records) and a fourth place finish in the tournament.

A closure by Gov. Doug Burgum’s executive order has students, teachers and staff at Bowman Public School still scrambling to keep up with the schoolwork. According to a letter sent out to parents earlier in March, the district schools are following the guidance and recommendations from the North Dakota Department of Health and other agencies.

April 2020

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum praised two rural communities for the way the people responded to a pilot project announced April 3. During his press conference Monday, the governor said that 367 people were able to be tested Saturday in Amidon. Slope County was the first to be tested under “Operation Drive Up”, with the state staffing a test site at the county fairgrounds.

The City of Bowman is facing a funding crisis, which could lead to cuts in programs and services. Not only is the community being hit by the collapse of tax income after local restaurants, beauty shops and other businesses were hit by executive orders issued by Gov. Doug Burgum in response to the COVID-19 pandemic... but the collapse of the oil prices will also hit Bowman hard.

May 2020

The schools in North Dakota will remain closed for the remainder of the spring semester, the governor announced Friday. In his daily press conference, Gov. Doug Burgum announced the schools would stay closed while at the same time the state moves to reopen and lessen some of the restrictions.

Anna Allard celebrated May Day in a new way. It was “Freedom Day” when she reopened the Mo’s Bunker Bar in Amidon for business May 1. The North Dakota governor recently gave approval for the reopening of some businesses after closing them more than a month ago because of the pandemic..

The North Dakota High School Rodeo Association Board of Directors has decided to cancel the 2020 NDHSRA State Finals Rodeo, which was to be hosted in Bowman starting June 10. The uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic was cited as the cause.

It was a small but memorable ceremony for the graduating class of nine Sunday. It started in the late afternoon in the Scranton gymnasium in front of family members, but ended with the newly minted graduates walking down Main Street from the school waving to dozens of cars and friends who were lining the street, shouting and waving signs.

June 2020

As of Monday, with slightly more than 24 hours remaining before the ballot drop box closed, approximately 80 percent of the people who requested mail-in ballots have returned them. According to the Bowman County Auditor Sandi Tivis, it showed a strong interest in voting. “A little more than 800 (ballots) we have received. We had 1,020 requests and 813 actual ballots received.”

A large thunderstorm hammered North Dakota Saturday, causing property damage, power outages and hail damage throughout the southwest region of the state. The heaviest reported damage so far has been to the roof of the West River Health Services building in Bowman.

Fossils are big in western North Dakota. Also South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. So big that even a national television network has brought even more attention with a three-episode series which will be concluding July 1 on PBS.

The Dakota Western Bank in Bowman was evacuated and closed Thursday afternoon for several hours after strong winds caused an electrical short. The Bowman Fire Department responded with four units, according to Chief Chad Welch.

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