Early Morning Thefts In Downtown Dickinson, North Dakota

I spent a good part of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during daylight hours, working on vehicles, getting things done, making progress.  Each night I looked on the internet for parts, vehicle problems that were similar to what I had, and repairs that other people had done.

This morning, Memorial Day, when I went outside my apartment building to go to my truck, I saw that someone had tried to steal my mountain bike from the bed of my truck.  I had a cable lock going through the bicycle frame and front wheel, because the front wheel has a quick-release lever.  The front wheel was removed and hanging there, and the bike was pulled out and hanging there.

This really made me angry, for a whole bunch of reasons.  I keep a lot of tools and equipment in my vehicles.  I use these tools and equipment regularly, and they need to stay in my vehicle.  Things like a battery jump start box, battery charger, digital multi-meter, compressed air tank, socket set, cordless tool set, dremel tools, other tools, spare tires, shop jack, and so forth.  This truck got stolen in Dickinson in 2016, and $2,000 worth of tools and equipment were removed from it.

When this truck got stolen in Dickinson in 2016, the tools and equipment that were taken from it, plus the four new tires that were taken off of it, plus the time and money that I spent driving around from Richardton to New England to Belfield looking for my truck and handing out flyers, this all cost me a loss of about $3,000.

The person who stole my truck and later abandoned it, he is a long-time, well-known car thief in the Dickinson area, and a drug addict.  He spends most of his time in jail and in prison.  Getting arrested, being placed in jail, and going to prison are not a deterrent to him, nor will he ever, ever be able to pay any restitution for what he stole.

So now, I have a cable lock going through my truck steering wheel, a cable lock going through my spare tires, and a cable lock going through my mountain bike.  I have to double check that my tool box is locked, and I have to double check that anything of value is locked inside of a locked chest, which is cable locked to the seat frame.

But all of this locking everything up, all of this worry about locking up everything that I own, trying to keep the tools and equipment that I use and need, it’s like a losing battle here in Dickinson.  Living in Dickinson, it’s always, always one step forward, and two steps back.

Low-life, scum-of-the-earth thieves still roam the streets of downtown Dickinson at night trying to steal things out of people’s vehicles.  They aren’t afraid of the Police, they aren’t afraid of going to jail, and they aren’t afraid of going to prison.  The Police, the Judges, the jail, and prison aren’t bad enough or severe enough for them to be afraid, these things aren’t a deterrent to them.

I have to be careful about what I say, but I would like to kill the next person that I catch trying to steal something from me or vandalize something that I own.  I know that I would probably get caught, that I would go to prison for years, maybe life, maybe get the death penalty.  The thieves in Dickinson have no fear of getting caught, they will keep on stealing because their punishment is never severe enough, so I would just like to kill them right on the spot.

I called the Dickinson Police this morning, and an officer came and he looked at what I had going on.  The Police Officer suggested to me that I get a trail camera.  I went to Menards and I bought a high-definition security camera system for $190.  I mounted the outdoor weatherproof high-definition security camera on my apartment balcony, aimed at where I park my vehicles.

The power and video cable from the outdoor camera go to a DVR inside my apartment that has a 1 terabyte hard drive.  The default operation of the outdoor camera and DVR is to record video whenever motion is detected.  However, I changed the settings so that the outdoor camera video is recorded continuously.  There is enough memory for the camera video to be recorded continuously for eighty hours before the DVR automatically begins overwriting the older video.

Now, I sit here in my living room glancing at my television screen, which shows what is going on in the apartment building parking lot and out on the street.  This afternoon, I went over to one of my neighbor’s house to tell him what had happened, and he and his wife told me that a luggage carrier had been stolen off of a truck one block away earlier this week.

The second neighbor that I spoke to this afternoon, he told me what else had been stolen this past week in this neighborhood.  The third neighbor that I spoke to, he showed me the Nissan car that had been broken into last week.  The first two neighbors that I spoke to this afternoon, they had an idea where the thieves are coming from, and this area is where I thought they were coming from too.

There is a very wretched and distressed apartment building, and several very distressed houses that have been subdivided into little cubby holes for the drug addicts to live in, that pretty much guarantee that we will always have crime in this neighborhood downtown.  The drug addicts come out after midnight and wander around the neighborhood looking for things to steal.

Though these drug addicts wandering the streets at night in Dickinson attract the attention of the Police, what are the Police going to do besides asking them a few questions about what they are doing and where they are going?  The way that Dickinson is now, probably 25% of the people living downtown have had a drug conviction in the past.  With all these drug addicts walking the streets after midnight, each claiming that they are going somewhere, what are the Police going to do?

The Truth About What Is Going To Happen To Dickinson, North Dakota

It is tiring, frustrating, and upsetting to me, to continue to see people in Dickinson refusing to recognize and acknowledge what is going to happen to Dickinson, North Dakota.  I don’t want to see anyone being taken advantage of, and that is the way that I look at what people are attempting to do in Dickinson, to deceive others for financial gain.

Why can’t everyone just accept and admit, that Dickinson already experienced an oil boom in the 1950s and the late 1970s, and that after each of these oil booms Dickinson experienced a contraction in the economy, many people losing high paying jobs, businesses closing, people moving away, property decreasing in value and becoming difficult to sell.  This most recent oil boom ended in 2015, there will be a continued decrease in the population of Dickinson, but no one will admit this, and everyone is pretending that this isn’t going to happen.

The very wealthy owners of the local banks in Dickinson, most of whom do not live in Dickinson, have already put in place lending policies that show that they understand what is going to happen in Dickinson: many people losing their jobs, many people moving away, properties decreasing in value, and properties becoming difficult to sell.  I will give three brief example of these local bank lending policies:

I wanted to purchase a manufactured home in Belfield on its own 75’x140′ lot that was for sale for $20,000 to $25,000.  This treed and grass corner lot with water, sewer, and electric to it was probably worth $20K, without even considering the 3br, 1ba fully furnished home in good condition with new siding, added enclosed porch, and added open deck.  I contacted five local banks, and each one of them said that they had been instructed to not make any loans on manufactured homes, no matter how much land was involved.

A neighbor of mine who is 53 years old, wanted to purchase a home in our neighborhood that was for sale for $130,000.  This neighbor had made about $45,000 per year for the past eight years with his current employer.  He is single, and he had just finished paying about $900 per month in child support for the past fifteen years.  If he continued to allocate this $900 per month toward house payments, he could have paid off this house mortgage in fifteen years.  The bank told him no, as if his income and eight year job history at the same company in Dickinson didn’t mean anything, like they were expecting him to lose his job and not be able to get another job.

Another neighbor of mine who is in his forties and single, he has made about $42,000 per year for the past four years with his current employer.  He wanted to buy a house, so he completed a mortgage application with a local bank.  The bank approved him for a mortgage of up to $80,000.  If you go on the internet and use a mortgage calculator, this $80,000 mortgage would have a monthly payment of less than $400 per month.  With a single man having a take-home pay after taxes of $2,700 per month, why would the bank calculate that he could only afford $400 per month on housing?  It’s like the bank didn’t expect him to keep his job, or be able to get another job.

From the three examples above, the local bank lending policies indicate that they don’t expect local people to keep their job, be able to get another job, and the banks don’t want to foreclose on properties in order to sell them to recover the unpaid balance on loans, because these properties will not be worth the unpaid loan amount, and these properties will not sell.

There are people and groups in Dickinson that like to talk about how Dickinson is growing, which isn’t going to happen the way that they say it is.  Dickinson is going to shrink and contract for at least the next several years.  I am tired of hearing about several specific examples of growth and prosperity in Dickinson, which in my opinion, these examples are hoaxes, as they aren’t going to happen any time soon:  the Davis Refinery, the Odyssey Theaters Cinema Complex, and the Dickinson Hills Shopping Center.

I have written about, and explained the proposed Davis Refinery west of Belfield twice before.  The original proposed cost of the Davis Refinery was $900 million, twice the cost of the Dakota Prairie Refinery west of Dickinson which was built by the huge utility company Montana Dakota Utilities.  How was the proposed $900 million Davis Refinery going to be built, by an investor group who had never built a refinery before, who were in fact seeking initial investments to help cover the cost of permitting and planning?  My personal opinion is that the proposed Davis Refinery developers have only raised $10 million to $40 million.

A year or two ago the City of Dickinson sold a public parking lot located behind the U.S. Post Office to Odyssey Theaters, supposedly so that they could build an 8 cinema movie theater complex.  Most people in Dickinson have noticed that there is a shortage of parking downtown, even more so now that the City of Dickinson sold a public parking lot that was almost always full.  Where are the customers of this proposed 8 cinema movie theater complex going to park?  Construction was supposed to start this Spring, meaning now, but I don’t think that construction will start this year.

The developers of the proposed Dickinson Hills Shopping Center asked the City of Dickinson about a year ago if the City would pay for the extension of Fairway Street into their development.  The City agreed to pay for this $1.3 million road extension if the developers could show that they had lease commitments from tenants.  A few months ago the City Attorney Jan Murtha did look over signed lease agreements from Hobby Lobby, T.J. Maxx, Shoe Department Encore, and Dollar Tree.  My opinion, is that although these four tenants signed valid lease agreements, there was no penalty to the developer if they did not move forward with construction.  My opinion, is that the developer wanted the access road into their proposed development, so that they could sell this property, and not move forward with construction at this time.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, his Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, and Wayne’s cousin Stephen Stenehjem CEO and president of First International Bank & Trust, have all had to deal with embarrassing business fiascoes in Dickinson many times in the past several years:  Dickinson State University awarding degrees to foreign students who did not complete the required curriculum;  the DSU Foundation having to be dissolved and held in receivership to determine what was going on and where the money went;  Hawks Point Assisted Living Facility on the DSU campus failing to repay their loan from First International Bank & Trust;  DSU and the DSU Foundation failing to repay their loans for the construction of the Biesiot Activities Center.

People in Fargo and Bismarck are very aware of the business practices and outcomes in Dickinson, North Dakota.  The Catholics collected and spent over $75 million in Federal grant money and donations to construct a new hospital in Dickinson, shutting down the old hospital.  Many knowledgeable health care employees and residents in Dickinson came to realize that the old hospital that was shut down, had more emergency medical care capabilities, more critical care capabilities, more medical treatment services, and a building with a basement that could withstand a tornado.

Therefore, when a group business people and Dickinson State University people got together and created the Theodore Roosevelt Foundation in order to raise funding to build a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Dickinson, the Governor of North Dakota stepped in and stopped that, No Way.  The people in Fargo and Bismarck are fully aware of how the people in Dickinson are.  No way were they going to allow a group of people in Dickinson to collect millions in government grants and donations, obtain construction loans, overpay contractor buddies to perform work, get a substandard inadequate facility, not repay the construction loans, and not be able to account for where all of the money went.

It’s not just the business practices in Dickinson that the rest of the state takes notice of, it’s how the people in Dickinson behave and treat other people.  This is another reason why the Governor of North Dakota intervened to not allow the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum to be built in Dickinson, because of how the visitors would be treated in Dickinson and how the people behave in Dickinson.  Here are some examples:

  • During the oil boom, the people in Dickinson quadrupled the rent that they charged the out-of-state workers.
  • During the oil boom, the people in Dickinson voted to not allow “Man Camp” temporary worker housing in the county to alleviate the housing shortage.
  • Though many, many people in Dickinson received windfall sums of money from oil wells on their property, the people in Dickinson deliberately refused to construct a homeless shelter.  Out-of-state workers who could not afford the quadrupled rent, slept in their cars, underneath bridges, in the bushes along the railroad tracks, on the embankments of drainage ditches, or outside behind the truck stop.
  • When the ratio of men to women in Dickinson was 3:1, the Dickinson Police made a fake advertisement for a woman offering sex on the internet. When a man called to arrange to meet her, the fake woman made up the statement that she was under 18.  The Dickinson Police then tried to charge the man with Commercial Sex Traffic of a Minor, a twenty year sentence, and he never even met the woman.
  • The bars and restaurants in Dickinson hire methamphetamine addict and heroin addict criminal women from Spokane, Seattle, and Coeur D’Alene to work as servers, performing no background checks.
  • The employers in Dickinson hire drug addict felons with multiple convictions, performing no or inadequate background checks.

Because of the end of the oil boom, the population of Dickinson will continue to decrease for years to come.  The people in Dickinson refuse to acknowledge this, and they even point to signs of growth which are actually hoaxes, that will not happen.  The very wealthy successful people like the local bank owners know what is going to happen in Dickinson, and they have practices in place that indicate they expect an out migration.

The Governor of North Dakota, the Attorney General of North Dakota, other wealthy successful people in North Dakota know all about the business practices in Dickinson, the business schemes of the people in Dickinson, what they do with government grant money and donations, how they don’t repay loans, how they are unaccountable for money, how the people in Dickinson treat other people, and how the people in Dickinson behave.  Not only did they intervene to prevent the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum from being built in Dickinson, they wanted to close down the Women’s Correctional Facility in New England, and they will probably seek the closure of Dickinson State University before long.

In the near future, Dickinson will begin to change more toward what New England, Belfield, and Richardton are like.  You don’t understand, this is what the wealthy, successful, influential people in Bismarck and Fargo want.  They do not want Dickinson to grow, they want Dickinson to shrink.  Not only do they not like Dickinson, and do not believe in Dickinson, they don’t want the oil revenue money from western North Dakota being wasted on improving Dickinson.  As far as they are concerned, they would like to see Dickinson as just unimproved grassland, and all of you Dickinson people gone, because you just can’t seem to change and get with the program, you remain backwards.

Sophia Totterman, The Smartest And Fiercest Girl On YouTube

Late last night I clicked on a YouTube video showing a very small girl, barely in her teens, and I was shocked.  In this video, she was going on a rant about how YouTube had disabled comments to all of her videos in order to protect her from possible pedophiles, which was punishing her, not the pedophiles.  She was using profanity, making sexual references, saying things that would be offensive to many people, and acting quite fierce, even though she was about 4′-11″, 90 lbs, and twelve years old.

I had never seen this girl before, and I had never heard anything about her.  Her YouTube channel name was “Soph”, and her name was Sophia.  I quickly watched three or four more of her other videos, which were even more elaborate and more impressive social commentaries than the first video of hers that I watched.

I was shocked and amazed, I had never seen a person or YouTuber like Sophia before.  I am 50 years old, for 40 years I have seen stand-up comedians who tried to become famous for their edgy, off-color, offensive, mean, profane, crude, vulgar, shocking monologues.  I have watched entertainers, journalists, television hosts, and politicians try to be witty, insightful, funny, and attention getting when it is their chance to speak.  I would say that Sophia could out do all of them.

Sophia was born in September of 2004.  She is 14 years old now, and a freshman in high school in Marin County, California.  In 2015 when Sophia was 11 years old, her parents helped her create a YouTube channel called “LtCorbis”.  From what I read on the internet, after uploading videos to her YouTube channel “LtCorbis” for roughly a year, a more popular and established YouTube channel featured one of her videos, which led to her channel quickly growing to 400,000 subscribers.

With 400K subscribers to her YouTube channel, and perhaps 500,000 to 1,000,000 views to some of her videos back in 2016 and 2017, this could have earned Sophia $200,000 to $400,000 from YouTube, when she was 12 or 13 years old.

Then, YouTube began to act very strangely toward its YouTube channel creators.  Some of the most provocative, shocking, and outrageous YouTube channel creators like Sophia had their channels grow to more than 500K subscribers, with some of their YouTube videos receiving millions of views.  According to the formula used by YouTube to determine how they paid the YouTube channel creators based on their number of subscribers and video views, each of these most popular channel creators would have been owed several hundred thousand dollars.  But YouTube began trying to not pay channel creators by using a policy called “demonitization”.

The owner of YouTube, which is Google, began to claim that the provocative, shocking, and outrageous videos were causing complaints from advertisers, parents, religious groups, organizations, schools, law enforcement, and so on. YouTube began to inform channel creators that their videos were being “demonitized” because they showed acts of violence, minors being exploited, racism, nudity, etcetera.  Keep in mind that these videos were still available to watch on YouTube and they received millions of views, but YouTube had found a way to get out of paying the channel creators for these videos.

Currently, Sophia’s YouTube Channel “Soph” has 900,000 subscribers.  With the amount of views her videos receive, the amount of people on YouTube who watch her videos, the amount of advertising that her viewers watch, Sophia should have been paid more than $1 million over the past several years from YouTube, but her videos have been demonitized.

In May of 2019, it was reported that the Police had to conduct an investigation of 14 year old Sophia after she posted the following comment about Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube:

“Susan, I’ve known your address since last summer, I’ve got a Luger and a mitochondrial disease. I don’t care if I live. Why should I care if you live or your children? I just called an Uber.  You’ve got about seven minutes to draft up a will. … I’m coming for you, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.”

In total, I have watched about ten of Sophia’s videos.  Below I am including one of the “worst” of Sophia’s videos.  I am warning viewers about the bad language and sexual references in this video, though she makes many good points and observations:

Like me, many men would like to leave antagonizing, irritating, and mean comments to Sophia’s videos in order to make her mad, but in order to not allow things to get even more out of control, YouTube won’t allow comments to any of her videos.

I continued to watch more of Sophia’s videos to hear what she had to say, and to learn more about her.  I learned that she was a student at Redwood High School in Marin County, California, probably the most expensive and affluent area in the United States.  She recorded one of her videos on the porch of her family’s home, which showed miles of undeveloped forests behind her porch, which in California would certainly be a multi-million dollar home.

In another one of Sophia’s videos, she was doing her homework on a thick pad of green engineering form paper, which is expensive, and usually the only people who use this special grid paper are professional engineers or engineering students in their last couple of years in college.  I thought that her father must be a very successful engineer to live in Marin County, and leave engineering form paper pads laying around for his daughter to use.

Here is a video where I began to get a little more insight into how intelligent Sophia is, what she has been through, and what her parents are like, where she does admit that her father had “some kind of engineering degree”.  This video below would lead me to look for and find out who her father is:

Sophia’s father is Mikael Totterman, a very successful bio-medical engineer with a Bachelor of Science in engineering from Stanford University in California, and a Master of Business Administration from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.  He has founded and been the CEO of several large successful medical technology companies:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/totterman

Sophia’s mother is Alexandra “Sasha” Latypova.  Sasha was born in Ukraine, and she met Mikael Totterman while enrolled at the MBA program at Dartmouth College in the late 1990s.  They became married in 2000.  If you look on the internet, Sasha is listed as co-founder and director of the medical tech company Clerio Vision, and she also appears to be a painter.

Remembering Being Around People Who Could Drink And Remain Civil

When I was kid growing up in a small town on the east coast of Florida, which was about the same size as Dickinson, I remember being around people who could drink alcohol and remain civil.

The circle of friends of my mother and father were mostly attorneys, accountants, appraisers, real estate brokers, insurance brokers, business owners, salespeople, and a few farmers.  Back then, most of these people only worked eight hours per day.  When their work day was done, all of these people would go visiting, socializing, and drinking.

Whether at a bar, restaurant, the beach, someone’s boat, someone’s home, someone’s vacation home, hobby farm, or a private club, this circle of people always adhered to a code of conduct:  no physical fighting, no threatening arguments, no outright personal insults, no vulgar or crude language in front of other people’s wives or children, no getting out of control and becoming dangerous.

From when I was about 3 years old, to when I was about 30 years old and moved away, I can’t remember anyone of this group of people ever going too far out of bounds on these rules of behavior.  Especially, there was never any physical fighting.

There were more than several reasons why these people all behaved themselves, even after drinking alcohol for hours:  They were doing well professionally and they didn’t want to jeopardize their career by alienating other people;  they could possibly be disbarred or lose their professional license for misconduct;  they could lose their professional position for misconduct; they had or were beginning to accumulate a large amount of financial assets which they could lose if they ever had a lawsuit judgment against them for injuring another person.

In Florida, most people had the attitude towards life, that if they didn’t have to work, they wouldn’t.  If they didn’t have to work, they would gladly spend the rest of their life fishing, sailing, boating, surfing, playing golf, playing tennis, and walking on the beach.  People sought to have as much free time for recreation, having fun, and socializing as they possibly could.

As a kid, my parents and their friends would spend all day on the weekends and vacation, at the beach, on the river, on the ocean, at a vacation home, or a hobby farm, eating, cooking out, and drinking alcohol, drinking all day.  I could swim, fish, surf, play with animals, eat, or help do something.  I was sometimes asked to make drinks, which were mostly rum and coke, with sugar, and lime.

I was welcome to drink any alcohol that I wanted, and I was given beer from when I was about eight years old, but I didn’t like alcohol or beer when I was a little kid, or even when I was a teenager.  My sister on the other hand, she liked to drink alcohol from when she was about 13 or 14 years old.  But keep in mind, that I am trying to explain that all of the adults, and even their teenage children, were drinking alcohol all day long.

In this group of my parents friends and their children, with everyone drinking alcohol all day long, for days in a row on vacation, there were no physical fights, there were no out of control arguments, there were no angry drunks, there wasn’t any exchange of nasty insults, there was no crude or vulgar behavior, there were no vehicle accidents, and there were only minor physical accidents that were usually funny, like someone falling off a boat dock into the water, or someone falling over backward in a lawn chair from laughing too hard, which just added to the entertainment and laughter.

In Dickinson, North Dakota on the other hand, living here for me is like the movie Planet Of The Apes, Deliverance, or The Grapes Of Wrath.  I could say that I don’t know what is wrong with the people here, but that isn’t true, I do know what is wrong with the people here.  When the people in Dickinson get a hold of alcohol, the majority of them turn mean, they become hostile, confrontational, and wanting to physically fight people.

Here is the difference:  instead of being around people who feel that they are doing well professionally, most of the people here are just hourly workers who feel powerless, vulnerable, taken advantage of, and they are angry.  Instead of being around professional people who do not want to alienate others, most of the people here are just hourly workers who do want to alienate others because they are tired of being told what to do and they are angry.

Instead of being around people who are being careful in order to not lose their professional license or position through misconduct, most of the people here are just hourly workers who feel like they want to misbehave when they are not at work because they are tired of being told what to do and they are angry.  Instead of being around people who have a large amount of financial assets and are fearful of being sued, most of the people here are just hourly workers who feel that they have nothing, they are angry about it, and they want to fight somebody because they are angry.

One more thing about Dickinson that is so different from where I grew up, the Police in Dickinson feel like they have the right, and that it is their job to stalk everyone in Dickinson to try to arrest them for something, anything, especially DUI.  But since most of the people in Dickinson are just hourly workers, they pretty much are just like livestock or prisoners as far as the Police are concerned.

Missing Life Elsewhere, What I Think Jan Is Going Through

Today in the Dickinson Press Newspaper, I read an article about Dickinson City Attorney Jan Murtha giving her resignation.  Over the past year and a half of having Jan Murtha as City Attorney, I think that she has done a very good job, probably better than any City Attorney that Dickinson has ever had before.

Never once in the past year and a half, did I read or hear about the City of Dickinson being involved in a dispute that got out of hand, where things were not handled correctly.  This is almost unheard of, the City of Dickinson not being in a dispute that got worse and worse over time.  Smaller towns like Belfield and Watford City seem to have legal fiascoes regularly, like Dickinson used to have before Jan Murtha was hired.

What I came to notice, was not only did Jan Murtha handle legal issues for the City of Dickinson, but she became involved in helping Human Resources and Personnel management, just in order to help things get done.  Jan appeared to be one of those people, typically women, who ended up doing way more work than was supposed to be part of her job.

On top of that, Jan had three children and one husband.  I believe that she probably had to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work, cook, do laundry, help with homework, help with school projects, and take care of sick kids.  I felt bad for Jan, I don’t think that this is the life that she had planned.

Jan’s husband Tom was from Dickinson.  I think that Jan understood why Tom wanted to move back to Dickinson, and she was O.K. with that.  While living in Dickinson, Jan used to drive to Bismarck to work as an Assistant Attorney General.  Then Jan ran for an open position on the Supreme Court of North Dakota, but she didn’t get it.

At the time, it probably seemed like not that bad of a compromise, to accept the position as City Attorney of Dickinson, so that she could spend more time in Dickinson with her children and her husband.  But being in Dickinson all of the time, and being involved with the people in Dickinson all the time, Jan could probably feel that it was bringing her down further and further, slowly killing her.

Someone like Jan was probably a bright young girl, with all kinds of hopes and dreams about her future, her career, her husband, her family, her home, what life would be like.  Because she was intelligent and willing to work hard, she got into college, graduated from college, went on to law school, graduated from law school, passed the bar exam, and began working as an attorney in her first jobs.

In her early career, she probably saw herself eventually being a judge, state’s attorney, assistant attorney general, or attorney general of a state.  Why wouldn’t she think this, she was willing to work hard, learn her job, and she had just as much ability as anyone else.

Instead of what Jan had planned, she found herself reviewing contracts to determine whether or not the Dollar Tree discount store and T.J. Maxx discount store were coming to Dickinson, and having to sit through a City Commission meeting for the fifth or sixth time to hear about whether the City could afford to buy Bernie and Paulette Marsh’s spooky store front building.  This already drove the Downtown Dickinson Association Director Jennifer Strange to resign six months ago, she couldn’t take it anymore.

Jan was probably sitting there at her desk more and more often, thinking about where she went wrong, how did her life turn out like this, the only department store that she would ever be able to shop for clothes, in all of western North Dakota will be T.J. Maxx discount store.

More than anything else in the World, at the end of the day Jan probably would have liked to have gone to a nice restaurant with some professional peers, had several margaritas, or several glasses of wine, laughed, joked, and not go home yet to the sobering reality of kids, a husband, and being stuck.

But there aren’t any professional peers in Dickinson, and there aren’t any nice restaurants to go and have drinks in Dickinson.  There are only dirty construction workers, dirty oil field workers, meth addict waitresses, and young Police Officers from the Police Academy in Minnesota stalking the streets trying to arrest everyone for DUI.

Card Readers Not Working And Refund Not Given At Lucky’s Tesoro In Dickinson North Dakota

A year ago I began trying to use Lucky’s Tesoro gas station at the corner of Villard Street and 10th Avenue East in Dickinson, North Dakota.  For several consecutive fueling stops at Lucky’s Tesoro, the gas pump card readers would not read my Wells Fargo debit card.  This was very frustrating because my Wells Fargo debit card works absolutely everywhere else, and I didn’t like standing outside in the cold wind at the gas pump, wasting my time inserting my debit card again and again.

I quit trying to use this Lucky’s Tesoro because I could not get their gas pumps to read my debit card.  A month ago, I began trying to use Lucky’s Tesoro again, and I found that one of their gas pumps would accept my debit card.  A couple of weeks ago, my debit card wouldn’t work at Lucky’s Tesoro gas pumps again, but my American Express credit card would work.  A week ago, neither my debit card nor my American Express credit card would work at Lucky’s Tesoro gas pumps, so I went inside and paid cash.

I telephoned the manager of Lucky’s Tesoro in Dickinson, Damien Bearden, and I explained to him that I would like to use this gas station, but it was angering me that the gas pumps would not read my Wells Fargo debit card nor my American Express credit card, when both of these cards work everywhere else.  Part of the reason why I was angry, was because the cashiers at Lucky’s said to me, “No one else has complained that their cards don’t work at the gas pumps”, and I don’t see how this could be true.

A couple of days ago at Lucky’s Tesoro, the card reader at the gas pump wouldn’t read my debit card, so I went inside and I paid the cashier $20 cash for fuel on pump #6.  I went back outside, I pumped 5 cents of gas, and then the gas nozzle would not activate to give me the remaining $19.95 of gas that I had paid for.  I had to go walk back inside the store, talk to the cashier, go walk back out to the pump, try to restart the fuel pump, fiddle with it some more, and it still wouldn’t work.  I was now running late for work, the store cashier was busy with other customers, so I told him I would call Damien Bearden the manager to arrange getting my money back.

On the drive to work, I telephoned Damien the manager of this Lucky’s Tesoro, I explained what had happened, and that I would come back to the store at this same time tomorrow to get $19.95 in gas, or cash back.  Damien said O.K.

The following day I went back to Lucky’s Tesoro, the cashier remembered me, and he knew that I was there for my refund from yesterday.  He said that he had to call Damien, which was a surprise to me, why couldn’t I just get the $19.95 in cash or gas as was agreed upon yesterday when I spoke to Damien?  I heard the cashier’s phone call with Damien, and I was surprised even more when the cashier said to me, “Damien has to call me back.”  I said to the cashier that this was ridiculous, I would wait a few minutes, but why couldn’t I just get $19.95 in cash or gas, why is this such a big deal, you know that I didn’t get the gas that I paid for yesterday.

I wasted a few more minutes waiting, and then I had had enough, I was going to be running late for work again.  I told the cashier to tell Damien that I was going to write an article about everything that had happened,  which at that time they probably could not have cared less, and I left.

I began asking people in Dickinson who owned this Lucky’s Tesoro, and they did not know.  I found one person who did know that many people had had problems with the gas pumps not working at this Lucky’s Tesoro on Villard Street, though the cashiers denied that anyone else besides me had problems with their gas pumps.

I searched on the internet for a while, and I found a Dickinson Press newspaper article from 2016 that was about who owned this Lucky’s Tesoro, it was a local group of investors operating under the name Legacy 7 Group.  In this Dickinson Press newspaper article, they interviewed one of the Legacy 7 Group investors who was acting as their spokesperson, his name was Tim Lantz.  Here is the link to this newspaper article: https://www.thedickinsonpress.com/news/3951277-kum-go-has-new-owners-and-new-name-gas-station-purchased-legacy-7-group

I read some more information on the internet about the Legacy 7 Group and their other Lucky’s gas station in Dickinson.  There are two reviews on the website Yelp which describe an experience similar to mine at Lucky’s Tesoro, here is the link, and the two reviews:  https://www.yelp.com/biz/luckys-tesoro-dickinson-2

“Absolutely the worst Tesoro station I have ever visited, high priced, dirty and service is terrible.  When Don H. Owned this place it was first class and clean.
I was waiting in line for a car wash and they let a guy go ahead of me not very observant at this facility.”  …..from Michael

“I just got ripped off for $14 at the car wash. Absolutely worthless. Lesson learned, I will not be back.” …..from Monica

What do people need to do in order to get their money back from Lucky’s Tesoro in Dickinson?  Do they need to file a small claims case with the court in Dickinson?  Who and where do they serve the small claims notice?  I spent some more time on the internet trying to look up “Legacy 7 Group” in order to find out who was listed as the president of this corporation or owner of this LLC, and their mailing address, but this information did not come up.

I tried to find Tim Lantz’s information, and it appears that Tim’s wife is Dr. Cheryl Lantz, the Nursing Department Chair at Dickinson State University.  I am including the link to Dr. Cheryl Lantz because this gives her phone number and e-mail, so that you can contact her in order to find out where to get the small claims court papers served: https://www.dickinsonstate.edu/about/directory/dr-cheryl-lantz.html

Whoops, Cheryl Lantz changed jobs recently, she is now the executive director at CountryHouse Assisted Living in Dickinson, so this is her new e-mail address: clantz@chresidences.net.