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Articles written by Erik Sietsema

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 By Erik Sietsema    News    October 20, 2021 

Food Bank Trick-or -Treating Drive, Oct. 20

With Halloween fast approaching, an annual Big Sandy trick-or-treating tradition is approaching: the youth group food drive. This Wednesday, October 20th the youth groups of Big Sandy Church of God and Christ Lutheran Church will be going door to...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    October 20, 2021 

The Church of God Celebrates 100 years

Big Sandy Church of God held its 100th Birthday and 10th annual Brisket Cook-Off on Sunday, October 10th. The worship service was particularly well attended. The church used the occasion to baptize 9 young people. A 30-minute video created by Craig...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    Opinion    October 20, 2021 

Patching Cracks

In college, I was in a production of “12 Angry Men.” A few weeks before our show date, I struggled with the lines for my mid-sized part. I just hadn’t put in the time and effort to memorize my lines. A few of the other guys began to complain...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    October 13, 2021

There's been a murder at the Library!

October is upon us and it has brought a murder to the Big Sandy Library! A killer is on the loose, and the game is afoot, and by game, I mean Clue. The Library will be running a game of Clue for the c...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    October 13, 2021

A little Trivia, a bit of everything

While reading earlier this month, I came across a bit of information that prompted a question I passed around to friends and coworkers. It was interesting enough that I thought I would share it with the Mountaineer readers. There are some other bits...

 

Patching Cracks

Last year, while appearing on Saturday Night Live, Comedian John Mulaney told a joke that I will find funny for the rest of my life: ““It’s hard to make friends when you’re an adult. I think that’s the greatest miracle of Jesus. He has 12...

 

Monica Winderl, Art teacher extraordinaire

Monica Otto Winderl has been introducing Big Sandy students to the fine arts for three years, which has rounded out her 22 year career as an art teacher. Though she isn't from Big Sandy, Monica spent...

 

Patching Cracks

This week, I finished reading a biography of Joseph Stalin. I learned a great deal, but the one thing that stood out to me more than anything else in the book was about during Stalin’s early days as an activist before the revolution. The author...

 

The Public House has delicious BBQ in Fort Benton

If you're looking for delicious barbecue in the area, you can't go wrong visiting The Public House in Fort Benton. The Public House offers a range of smoked meat options, prepared by their resident...

 

Shamrock Hotel a part of Big Sandy History for over a 100 years

After 9 years in the town of Big Sandy, my family and I took a major step toward becoming permanent Big Sandy residents by purchasing a house of our own. We feel particularly blessed to have bought...

 

Erik is fundraising for kids' cancer research

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about my upcoming participation in the Great Cycle Challenge. I am about a week away from finishing my fourth year of riding in the largest cycling event in...

 

Patching Cracks

The first pastor I remember knowing was at the church I started attending as a teenager. Pastor Mike was very down to earth. He drove a beat up old car that I remember him having to push start on more than one occasion. When I was 13 or 14, I heard...

 

Patching Cracks

I am currently reading a book on speed reading. I have tried to learn speed reading in the past, but have struggled with the discipline and practice elements of the process. An interesting element of the process set for in the book I’m currently...

 

The Church of God Celebrates 100 years

Big Sandy Church of God is preparing for its 100 year birthday celebration, which will be held October 10th at the Church of God. The congregation is planning on celebrating the day by inviting the...

 

Chandee Bomgardner catering, a fair favorite for 32 years

This year marked the 28th year that Chandee Baumgardner has sold Indian Tacos at the Choteau County Fair. I spoke with Chandee while she was cooking flatbread in the deep fryer. It was obvious that...

 

Patch Cracks

As a child, I lived near the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico at different ages. One of my favorite things to do at the beach was building sandcastles. On many occasions, I remember hurrying to finish our sand fortresses in the afternoon as the...

 

Patching Cracks

A few months ago, during our church’s family camp event at Beaver Creek State Park, I had the opportunity to spend a large amount of time studying and reading in preparation for my sermon. Because we were in the mountains, I had no access to...

 

Autumn Stauffer's Heart Surgery

Autumn Stauffer, the four month old daughter of Caleb & Hannah Stauffer, underwent a second heart surgery August 23rd to treat a heart condition she was diagnosed with in utero. Most people...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 25, 2021

Chouteau County "Pullin for the Fair" had something for everyone

The 2021 Chouteau County Fair drew some of its largest crowds ever after the 2020 hiatus. “It’s been very good. We’re happy to have the fair back again. We didn’t do it last year because of the Covid issue. Everybody seems to be happy to be...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 25, 2021

Casten Heppner & Demolition Derby

Casten Heppner's 2002 Crown Victoria made an impact on the competition while he represented Box Elder/Big Sandy in the Chouteau County Fair's demolition derby last weekend. "We are at the Mayhem on...

 

Patching Cracks

While researching the history of the home my family bought this summer, I came across a series of articles by Pastor John Bruington. Pastor John worked in Havre and wrote for our local paper for several years. One article in particular jumped out at...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 18, 2021

Staffing Shortages hit Big Sandy

Big Sandy businesses are feeling the effects of the national labor shortage, particularly the larger employers in the area. The school system, the Medical Center, and Big Sandy Activities are all dealing with staff shortages, which is a particular...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 18, 2021

Liana Heimbigner starts new school year as Head Cook

With the start of a new year for Big Sandy Schools, there has been a staff change that will be noticed by students and staff at every level: Lianna Ophus Heimbigner is the new head cook for the...

 

Patching Cracks

“We have become a nation of thoughtless rushers, intent on doing before thinking, and hoping what we do magically works out. If it doesn’t, we rush to do something else, something also not well thought-out, and then hope for more magic.” Len...

 
 By Erik Sietsema    News    August 18, 2021

Jacobi talks about Nursing staff shortage

“It’s like a family. I spend as much time with my nurses as I do with my kids and my husband. They’re part of the reason I want to go to work. Knowing that you have a good crew on at the start of your day, just makes your day start better,...

 

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