KLTZ/MIX-93 April 2001 News


Two Die In Collision Near Medicine Lake (4/30)

Long Run Responds To Three Calls (4/28)

Baucus Blasts Corps (4/27)

Wolf Point Economic Seminar Wraps Up (4/27)

Police Department Still Looking For Evidence Claims (4/26)

School Board Keeps South Side Open (4/26)

Glasgow Teacher Sentenced (4/26)

Chamber Releases Tournament Info (4/25)

Fish, WildLife & Parks Spring Summary (4/25)

Dry Prairie Rural Water System Representatives To Hold Meeting (4/24)

School District To Run Mill Levy (4/24)

Chamber Collects Money Toward Fireworks (4/23)

Competing Condo Owners Like Judge's Decision (4/23)

Governor Martz Signs Highway 2 Legislation (4/22

Search Of Powerhouses Turns Up Nothing (4/19)

Clean-up of Old Napa Site Continues (4/19)

Kitzenberg Expects Governor To Sign Highway 2 Bill Soon (4/19)

Rock Creek Fishing Access Site Boat Ramp Closed (4/19)

Senator Kitzenberg Weekly Newsletter (4/19)

Chouinard Retires From Fire Chief Position (4/18)

No Burning On CRP (4/18)

Police Department Searches For Vandals (4/17)

Jeff Pattison Weekly Update (4/17)

Body Of Missing Canadian Man Found In Idaho (4/13)

Karst Steps Down As Volleyball Coach (4/12)

School District Could Save Money On Election; Principal Search Continues (4/12)

Missouri River Tops Annual Rating Of Threatened Waterways (4/12)

Victims Identified (4/12)

Nebraska Girl Found Safe (4/12)

Former District Judge Langen Dead At 86 (4/10)

Two Killed Near Brockton (4/10)

Senator Kitzenberg Responds To Great Falls Tribune Editorial (4/10)

Representative Jeff Pattison Legislative Update (4/10)

Senator Baucus' State Director Speaks On Hatchery and Interpretive Center (4/9)

The Montana Department Of Transportation Emphasizes Work Zone Safety (4/8)

Bear Identification Training Website Available (4/8)

No Wake Zone At Hell Creek Marina (4/8)

State Income Tax Assistance Available From Department Of Revenue (4/8)

DNRC Lead State Agency For One Of Montana's Largest Water Projects (4/8)

Glasgow Resident Charged With Unlawful Transaction With Children (4/5)

Multi-Purpose Facility Land Lease Agreement Reached (4/5)

Back To The Drawing Board For Principal Search (4/5)

Monica Garten And Headquarters To Hold "Fun" Fundraiser (4/5)

Corps May Shorten Missouri River Navigation Season (4/5)

Legislature Passes Bill For Expanded Hi-Line Highway (4/5)

Chinook Salmon Head To Fort Peck Reservoir (4/4)

Garage Sale Raises Over $1,000 Toward Fort Peck Summer Theatre (4/4)

FMDH Buys Clinic (4/3)

Spring Storm Hits Montana (4/3)

Two Valley County Towns Up For Grant Money (4/3)

Drought Alert Issued For All Of Montana (4/2)

Graze-Out Payments (4/2)

WAMLAMP II Sign-Up Available Through April 13 (4/2)

Ending Of 2000 Crop Year Transition Period For Marketing Loan Gains And Loann Deficiency Payments (4/2)

School Board Filings (4/2)

Theft Victims May Reclaim Possessions (4/2)

Jeff Pattison Weekly Update (4/2)

Highway Fatality Near Poplar (4/2)

Meeting Scheduled This Week In Washington On River Levels (4/2)

Two Die In Crash Near Medicine Lake (4/30)

(AP) A pickup pulling a flatbed trailer struck a car head-on on Montana Highway 16 north of Medicine Lake yesterday, killing the drivers of both vehicles.

Sheridan County Coroner Dave Fulkerson says the southbound pickup pulled into the path of a northbound car about five miles north of Medicine Lake. The driver of the pickup -- 23-year-old Jonelle Nicholson of Big Beaver, Saskatchewan -- and the driver of the car -- 65-year-old Albert Batterman of Glendive -- died on impact.

The Montana Highway Patrol says both were ejected from their vehicles. There were no passengers in either vehicle.

The deaths raise the state highway fatality toll to 57, seven fewer than on this date last year. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Long Run Responds To Three Calls (4/28)

The Long Run Fire Department responded to three calls this past week. The first was on Monday around five pm to a grass fire three miles east of Nashua, which was burning between the highway and railroad tracks.

They responded to the same fire at around 1:30 am after it restarted.

On Tuesday evening 2 units responded to a call between Frazer and Oswego. Wolf Point also was called. After a couple of hours of serching no fire was found.

Baucus Rips Corps On Funding (4/27)

(AP) Senator Max Baucus has criticized the Army Corps of Engineers, for not requesting money for the Fort Peck fish hatchery in its 2002 budget.

Baucus made the comments during a hearing yesterday, of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. He's the ranking Democrat on the panel. Baucus says he'll ask Congress to provide three million dollars in fiscal year 2002 to get the 20 million dollar project started.

Working with Senator Conrad Burns and Congressman Denny Rehberg, Baucus says he hopes to include the funds as part of an energy and water spending bill.

He hopes to see the hatchery completed by 2004. Baucus acknowledges, getting 20 (m) million dollars from Congress won't be an easy task, but says spreading it out over the next three years will increase chances for full funding. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Wolf Point Economic Seminar Wraps Up (4/27)

(Wolf Point-AP) -- A three-day summit on economic recovery for the Fort Peck Reservation is over, ending yesterday in Wolf Point.

About 150 people attended the conference to discuss jobs, affordable housing, education and health care.

The event marked the first time non-tribal agencies participated with tribal partners to discuss the area's problems.

Organizers say they will take their ideas to Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana during a tribal summit in Great Falls May 31st, and during an economic summit beginning June 29th.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Police Department Still Looking For Evidence Claims (4/26)

The Glasgow Police Department still has evidence from a burglary spree that took place in the summer of 1997.

If some of this evidence is yours you are asked to call either Mike Sukut or Vern Buerkle at the Law Enforcement Center at 228-4333.

All evidence that is unclaimed will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. No date has been set but they will have one in the near future and people will have plenty of time to check out the evidence to see if it is their possessions.

School Board Keeps South Side Open (4/26)

The Glasgow School Board has decided to keep the South Side Elementary School open for another school year.

The school district is facing declining enrollment and several school board members commented on the fact that it might be only another year or two before financial conditions dictate the school be closed.

With increased funding from the legislature the school district doesn't have to close the south side school to balance the budget but cuts will still have to be made in many areas of the budget. The board met today to discuss staffing and it appears that 5 teaching positions will be eliminated for the next school year. School Superintendent Glenn Monson told the board that enrollment is down 76 students from this time last year. Budget cuts will also be made in the athletic budget, supply budget, school food program, equipment and contracted services. The cuts though won't be as severe as previously thought because of the increased funding from the legislature.

The 2001 Montana Legislature also passed legislation that allows school districts with declining enrollments to run a mill levy to fund the 2001-2002 general fund budget up to the amount of the 2000-2001 general fund budget.

Even though the legislature increased funding for K-12 education by $31 million dollars the Glasgow School District was left with a decrease in budget authority of $56,668 for the 2001-2002 school year.

Last Wednesday the Glasgow School Board decided to run a mill levy to allow the approval of the increased budget. At Thursday's meeting the board discussed how to budget that money if the mill levy passes. Superintendent Monson suggested using the money to make the school buildings more energy efficient or taking the money and starting an alternative school which could possibly increase enrollment. No decision will be made on that funding until after the mill levy election on May 8th.

Glasgow Teacher Sentenced (4/26)

Glasgow elementary teacher Julianne Collins has been sentenced for her conviction of the misdemeanor supplying liquor to minors.

Collins was fined $300 and given a 2-day suspended sentence. She was also ordered to apy $1,383.80 in court costs.

On March 21st, Collins was convicted of buying a bottle of wine for two minor girls. She pleaded innocent but was convicted by a jury in city court.

Collins has been suspended with pay from her job as an elementary teacher at Irle School and is awating a decision by the Glasgow School Board on the status of her job with the Glasgow School District.

Chamber Releases Tournament Info (4/25)

The Glasgow Chamber has released information on the costs of hosting three high school basketball tournaments this school year.
According to the information released by the chamber, they had expenses of $5149.85 to host the girls District 2-B tourney, the boys District 3-C tourney and the boys Eastern C Divisional tourney.

Expenses included paying for ticket sellers and janitors, EMT Services, printing of tickets, security at the tournament, and paying for two coaches meetings that were held before the tourney.

Breaking down the expenses for the three tournaments:
Workers: $3958.33
EMT Services: $434.64
Printing of tickets: $903.00
Security: $2101.89

The Chamber did have an opportunity to save on expenses this year by working the concessions stand and also doing some of the clean up after the tourney games. Because of the this volunteer labor the chamber did make $3338.50 from their share of the concession proceeds. So instead of having to pay out over $5,000 to host the three tournaments the actual cost of having the tournaments in Glasgow was $1811.35.

Fish, WildLife & Parks Spring Summary (4/25)

The winter elk survey on hunting district 690 suggests a healthy population but not enough to recommend changing the tentative quota of 60 antlerless permits and 10 either-sex permits for the upcoming hunting season.

Observed were a total of 150 cows/calves and 26 bulls within a 10 miles radius of the Sawtooth Mountains. An additional 7 bulls were seen in the Bullwhacker and Cow Creek areas. This survey was done by airplane on three consecutive mornings in late February. To be as accurate as possible, landowners were contacted prior to the flights to gain any additional information on the locations of elk in the areas.

Ryan Butte and Flying A Butte areas were flown, but no elk were observed. From elk tracks observed, it was estimated that approximately 50 elk were using the area. A prior ground survey observed 49 cows/calves and 8 bulls located in this area by the people at the IX ranch.

In summary, the minimum number of elk in this area based on the flight survey and landowner sightings is 199 cows/calves and 41 bulls.

Aerial Elk Surveys Completed in South Valley County

Aerial elk surveys were conducted in South Valley County during March. Surveys were flown in a Piper Super Cub and took four flights to complete. Elk are counted and classified to age and sex, and locations are taken. In addition, locations and numbers of mule deer and antelope are also recorded. Surveys of elk revealed a steep increase over the numbers found in the last few years. In 2001, nearly 550 elk were observed in Hunting Districts 631 and 632. Over the past several years, survey numbers have generally been between 300 and 375 elk. The greatest increase occurred in the adult cow segment of the population. Bulls numbers were similar to past years and resulted in a ratio of 28 bulls per 100 cows. Production in the South Valley elk herd continues to be high with 50 calves per 100 cows. Hunters receiving permits this fall can expect to see plenty of elk.Aerial Mule Deer Surveys Completed for Valley and McCone Counties
Winter mule deer surveys were completed in Valley and McCone Counties during early-January 2001. Surveys showed that the several years of low mule deer populations are over. Surveys on two trend areas in McCone County were at the highest levels since the inception surveys on the areas in the mid-80’s. Two trend areas in South Valley County showed mule deer populations above the long-term averages. The Bitter Creek Census Area in North Valley County had a count of over 750 mule deer. This is also above the long-term average. Buck to doe ratios across all of the areas was excellent. They varied from a very good 28 bucks per 100 does to an astounding 73 bucks per 100 does. Production was considered fair to good with a range of a fairly poor 35 fawns per 100 does to a high of 71 fawns per 100 does.

Bitter Creek Management Study

The first year of the Bitter Creek Study was completed in February. This 4-year study has already provided some unexpected results. Mule deer does were trapped in February of 2000 and 1/3 of the trapped animals were 10 years old and older. This is a very high percentage of older animals. After finishing the winter period on the study area, _ of the does moved off of the area to spend the summer of 2000 in other areas. What was surprising is the distance that they moved. These does moved as much as 60 miles from the locations they were trapped. Some were as far as 35 miles into Canada. Farther than anyone would have predicted, eh? Not surprising was their eventual return to the wintering area in October and November. It was also not unexpected that we would be losing deer to mortality. Through March 15, 2001, nine does were lost to mortality, about what was expected. Similar to mule deer populations in the mountains, late-March and April can be periods of high natural mortality. Between March 15 and April 5, 2001 six more deer were lost to mortality. The majority of those dying are the very old does. Basically, Mother Nature gave the deer herd a younger age structure as we enter the summer of 2001. Several of the deer have already started their trek north to the prairie of southern Saskatchewan. Stay tuned for another update this fall.

Sage Grouse Lek Surveys
Once again, FWP, BLM, CMR and DNRC personnel are spending the wee hours of the morning surveying sage grouse strutting grounds or “leks”. This annual rite of our native grouse is a spectacle everyone who is interested in wildlife should witness. For the third consecutive year, all of the known leks in Valley County will be surveyed. In 2000, 52 separate leks were surveyed resulting in over 1,350 sage grouse males. Early counts in 2001 indicate that numbers will be even higher this spring. In addition, personnel are making an effort to document and count sage grouse leks in McCone County. Several newly found and historic leks have been surveyed. This work will continue into early-May when the breeding season ends.

Region Six has started its enrollment process for the 2001 Block Management Program. For the first time since 1996, the program grew significantly within the region in 2000. More funding has been made available for the 2001 season to provide opportunity for enrollment of more landowners.

Although we currently have a waiting list of some interested landowners, any landowner interested in block management is urged to contact the FWP Region 6 office (228-3700) or their local FWP department personnel and fill out a block management proposal to be considered for the program.

All potential ranches must be evaluated to see if they meet the criteria for enrollment into the program. Ranches meeting the criteria (or ranches ranking highest when there are more qualified ranches than available funding) will be offered the opportunity for enrollment into the program.

Block Management Areas (BMA's) can be tailor-fitted to meet ranch needs (within sideboards of the program statutes and rules). Landowners can enroll their ranch as a singular BMA, or several neighboring landowners can enroll their ranches as an aggregate BMA. Aggregate BMA's are treated as one hunting area, as permission to hunt and a common set of rules apply to all ranches enrolled within the aggregate BMA. There are different types of permission methods that landowners can utilize, and several options for ranch rules that can help landowners cut down on problems they may have encountered in the past, or that can provide hunters the opportunity to have a higher quality hunting experience.

Because of the persistence of winter snows resulting in a late spring, upland bird and deer surveys are behind schedule. Recently, we have been able to get into the field looking for sharp-tailed grouse dancing grounds. Initial counts of a few grounds reveal sharptail numbers will be down from levels observed last spring, but not as much as might have been suspected after the tough winter. Since sharptails are native species, they are better adapted to handle tough winters when compared with exotic species such as pheasants and Hungarian partridge.

FWP biologists utilize numerous federal and state habitat programs to conserve, protect, and enhance wildlife habitat throughout Region 6. One of the most widely used federal programs to create and conserve wildlife habitat in Region 6 is the Conservation Reserve Program. Created in 1985, CRP has been instrumental in converting thousands of acres of cropland back into grassland, which has provided valuable habitat for numerous wildlife species.

Over the years competition for acceptance into CRP has become quite competitive. Each parcel of land that is submitted by landowners for enrollment into CRP goes through a scoring system. The parcel of land is awarded Environmental Benefit Index (EBI) points, based on soil type, erosive nature of the site, wildlife benefits, etc. and is ranked according to the number of EBI points it is given. One of the criteria that earns a parcel of land EBI points is it proximity to water and the willingness of the landowner to restore drained wetlands.
The closer the parcel is to water the more EBI points it earns. If water exists on the parcel being submitted, it will rank higher than if it contained no water at all. Many parcels submitted for enrolment contain drained wetlands. FWP works with landowners to reestablish these wetlands using state and federal habitat funds. These restored wetlands increase the chances of being enrolled in CRP, provide valuable habitat for wildlife and can be a valuable asset to landowners down the line if they decide to graze expired CRP and use the restored wetland for livestock water. If you are interested in this type of habitat project or any other habitat development project, please call the Glasgow FWP office and they can provide the name of the local FWP Biologist in your area.

In December, the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission and the State Land Board approved the Cowell Conservation Easement in South Phillips County.

This ranch comprises 4489 acres of land bordering the Missouri River Breaks and is home to a variety of wildlife species.

During a 30-day public comment period, which included a public meeting in Malta, a total of 41 comments were received regarding this easement. Only four comments were opposed to the project. Two of the comments stated the conservation easement resulted in too much control of the land, while the other two comments believed the easement restrictions did not go far enough to protect wildlife and habitat on the ranch. The other 37 comments were in favor of the provisions regarding the easement.

The next phase of this project will be to implement a three-pasture rest-rotation grazing system on the ranch. This will involve building a new interior fence, replacing existing fence in poor condition, and developing a well and pipeline. The BLM and the Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) are also partners in this project since 5285 acres of BLM and 640 acres of state land will be included in the grazing system. Under rest-rotation grazing more cover will be left for wildlife and the range condition will improve over time so wildlife, hunters, and the livestock operator will all benefit.


Ron Stoneberg
Historically, the swift fox (Vulpes velox) was found throughout the prairie grasslands of eastern Montana. However, their numbers were severely reduced during the early part of the twentieth century as they became unwitting casualties of the predator and prairie dog/ground squirrel poisoning programs. Habitat changes and competition from other mid-sized predators (coyotes and red fox) probably finished off the swift fox on the northern ranges. Swift fox were declared extinct in Montana in 1969.

Beginning in 1983, the Canadian government released over 800 swift fox in Alberta and Saskatchewan just north of the Montana border. In 1996/97, the Canadians developed survey techniques they hoped would give a reliable estimate of the current Canadian swift fox population and be repeatable some time in the future.

Swift fox have been sighted, trapped, and hit by cars in northcentral Montana since shortly after the first releases in Canada. In 1996, graduate student Amy Zimmerman started a Master’s study and documented wild-born swift fox breeding in Montana north of Chinook.
Plans were made to repeat the survey in Canada during the winter of 2000/01. An invitation was extended to Montana agencies to join in this effort. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MFWP) agreed to pursue funding and staff for such an undertaking. One reason for us to join the survey was the fact the swift fox had been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act. It was felt that any new population data would help forestall a listing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) denied the petition in early 2001.

Funding was secured and Biologist Ron Stoneberg, FWP, was asked to oversee the fieldwork. Two teams consisting of Stoneberg, Marc Kloker, Dave Fuller, and Jason Flaten were assembled. The crews traveled to Calgary, Alberta in early November 2000 for training in the handling of foxes. A unique aspect of this study is that the foxes were handled (aged, sexed, tattooed, etc) without the benefit of anesthesia.

BLM and MFWP personnel familiar with the area delineated potential swift fox habitat north of the Milk River extending from Havre on the west to Opheim on the east. The total study area included 80 townships. Sixty of these townships were randomly selected for the survey. The procedures previously established in Canada were followed. One trap line was set up in each township. Each line consisted of six live traps that were placed one kilometer apart along a five-kilometer segment of trail or road, preferably near the center of the township. Another constraint was that each line had to be at least six kilometers from all the adjacent lines. Traps were set at dusk, checked at midnight and checked and tripped at dawn. Each township was trapped for three nights. Enough traps were available so that each team could do three townships at a time.

Trapping began north of Havre in mid-November and ended by the cutoff date of February 15, 2001 with all 60 townships sampled. In addition, the teams trapped eight townships that were not included in the official survey. The survey was also extended by one week when six lines were run on the Fort Belknap Reservation. Fortunately, the weather during January and February did not slow our progress. The guidelines called for closing the traps if the temperature dropped below –20 C (~ 0 F). Wind and/or snow raised the temperature at which trapping was to cease. We only pushed these limits on a couple of nights.

Trapping got off to a slow start north of Havre as we came up empty on our first nine lines. However, we did sight a swift fox while driving between lines just south of the Canadian border. The first foxes trapped were north of Chinook, and in both cases it was a memorable event. Fuller and Flaten caught an old male that had been previously tattooed (it was the only previously tattooed animal caught during the survey). According to all accounts, this was the wildest and feistiest of any of the foxes subsequently captured. Apparently, it was quite a handful! Stoneberg and Kloker faired better as their first fox was a comparatively docile juvenile female. However, when she was finally released and the equipment was picked it was discovered that everything from the pickup to Kloker’s face was covered in tattoo ink.

Several swift fox were trapped north of Chinook between the storms in November and December. We caught more fox in this area than Zimmerman had in 1996 and 1997. The first of the year we moved operations to Turner and Harlem. Results were spotty until we got close to Loring where eight fox were captured during a three-night trapping session. One team moved to Whitewater while the other started west from Opheim. Success was surprisingly low in the Whitewater area. Most residents reported seeing swift fox over the years but several noted the sightings had dropped off recently. Four fox were captured on one line northwest of town. Snow limited mobility from Opheim to Frenchman Creek but the crew persevered and caught six fox in the Thoeny area.
Overall, we caught 34 swift fox in the 60 survey townships and handled 33 of them (one escaped while being transferred from the trap to the handling bag). Their sexes and ages were as follows: 10 adult males, three juvenile males, seven adult females, and 13 juvenile females. In addition, four swift fox were captured on townships that were not in the official survey unit. No swift fox were caught on the Fort Belknap Reservation.

The raw data was sent to Canada where it will be analyzed and incorporated into an International report on the status of this northernmost population of swift fox.

Parks Division
New Region 6 Parks Manager, Woody Baxter, is here but has no Parks... sounds like the ideal job. Besides a couple top priority projects, Woody is beginning the search for potential State Park sites and extension of the Fishing Access Site (FAS) program in the Region.

Woody is in the process of forming a citizen advisory group that will assist in the exploration of possible State Park sites within the region. The criteria to be used in order to determine new park designation is described in the following Montana State Park system's mission statement:

"...to preserve, enhance, and interpret a diverse representation of Montana's most outstanding natural, cultural/historic, and recreational resources, for personal, social, and economic benefit of present and future generations."

Currently, Region 6 has a total of thirteen designated FAS's. Besides upgrading and raising the maintenance standards of these sites, Parks and Fisheries Divisions are looking for additional river and lake access for the public. There is a great deal of potential in the Missouri River below the Ft. Peck Dam to the state line.

Woody is asking for your help on three issues:
suggestions on citizen candidates for the R-6 State Park Search Committee
suggestions on potential State Park sites
suggestions on potential FAS's
Thank you...
To contact Woody: phone: 228-3700, e-mail: gwbaxter@state.mt.us

Fisheries Division

Fort Peck/Glasgow
The Fort Peck Fisheries crew began its annual walleye span on Fort Peck Lake in early April. Operations for the walleye egg-take began in February to prepare for a challenging year. Traps are set in the Nelson and McGuire Creek areas on the Big Dry Arm. Low water levels this year will create a more difficult effort for the spawn. The spawning shack can not be used this year at Nelson Creek so operations have been moved up the dry arm into deeper water. The walleye spawn is a volunteer driven program that provides the entire state with walleye to be planted in selected lakes and reservoirs.

Bill Wiedenheft, Region 6 Fisheries Manager, is continuing his work on the Fort Peck Management Plan. The advisory committee is now working on the draft plan to be reviewed by the public for a 30-day comment period. The advisory committee will review the comments and then make appropriate changes to the draft. This draft will be once again made available to the public for another 30-day comment period. The comments will be reviewed and necessary changes will be made for the completion of the management plan set for September. The public will have two opportunities to be involved in the writing of the management plan and are highly encouraged to participate for this effort. The anticipated date for the first draft is to be out to the public by the beginning of May.

The major concern is low water levels. Many projects have resulted from the drought conditions of last year and the continuing conditions this year.

Access to Nelson Reservoir is already a concern. The fisheries crew is currently working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Malta Walleye Unlimited Chapter to install a low water boat launch at Nelson Reservoir.

Also with the help of the Malta Walleye Unlimited Chapter we hope to stock the Malta area kids pond to once again offer youth a quality fishing opportunity.

The transplanting of adult pre-spawn perch to Fresno Reservoir will be provided to help boost the population that was diminished due to the drop in water elevation last year. The fish will be transported to Fresno Reservoir from local sources as well as from a perch reduction program at Lake Mary Ronan, which is 350 miles away.

Wind power aerators installed last fall in area reservoirs seemed to have been a success. Winterkill in some waters seemed to have been avoided as a result of the aerators.

Conservation Education

Renovation has begun on the quonset hut behind the region 6 headquarters to provide a class/meeting room. The room will be large enough to hold approximately 30 people. Regional meetings, sportsmen’s club meetings, hunter/bowhunter education and aquatic education classes can all be held in the new room. The department will financially benefit from the renovation as most meetings require a room to be rented in town for the day. New tile, paint and sheetrock work is underway. Previously the area was being used for storage. With the additional staff that has been added recently, two additional offices will also be located in the quonset hut. This will provide adequate room for all employees.

Progress is being made for the new kids fishing pond to be located at Sullivan Park. A soil sample taken 12 feet deep was found to be sufficient in holding water without any additional costs of a liner. A lease agreement with the city of Glasgow as well as a memorandum of understanding with all cooperative parties is currently being drawn up. Jon Bengochea, engineer for the City of Glasgow, is tuning up the figures as the specifics for the pond are beginning to finalize. Funds will be pursued through the Futures Fisheries Program to cover costs required for construction. A meeting with FWP’s engineer Tom Hanson, Jon Bengochea and Valley County road maintenance engineer Rick Seiler was held at the site to discuss excavation and construction for the pond. A CTAP committee formed last fall applied successfully for a $10,000 grant that will be directed towards the pond. This is a true community effort with many people willing to promote and work towards an addition to our community. The goal is to complete the pond and have kids fishing in 2002. Volunteer angler education instructors will be needed to conduct the fishing clinics for the youth. Please consider becoming a volunteer instructor as it will be necessary for the success of the program. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer angler education instructor, please contact the Glasgow FWP office at 228-3700. Keep your fingers crossed and thank those community members who have been devoted to this effort.

The Bitter Creek Mule Deer school project will wrap up with a final visit this May. A total of six classes were presented this year at the Hinsdale, Opheim and Glasgow schools. Students have been learning about mule deer and the process and importance of the four-year study currently being done by Wildlife Biologist Pat Gunderson. Recently, students operated and found radio collars hidden near the schools using radio telemetry equipment. The final visit will focus on the variation of habitat that the deer live in during the winter and summer months.

A regional Hunter/Bowhunter Education workshop was held March 24th at the Cottonwood in Glasgow. A total of 41 instructors attended. The workshop included a training session, statistical background on the programs, and a question and answering session. Thomas Baumeister, coordinator for the state of Montana hunter/bowhunter education program, was impressed with the showing and the enthusiasm of the instructors in Region 6. Plans have been made for another workshop to be held next year. Anyone interested in becoming a hunter or bowhunter education instructor please contact the Glasgow FWP office at 228-3700.

Dry Prairie Rural Water System Representatives To Hold Meeting (4/24)

Representatives of the Dry Prairie Rural Water System will be holding an informational meeting at the Glasgow Civic Center on May 1st at 7pm.

This meeting will be an opportunity for the representatives of the project to explain their proposal for supplying drinking water for residents of the City of Glasgow.The Dry Prairie Rural Water Project is a $193 million dollar project that will provide resident of northeastern Montana with clean, safe drinking water, something that is not a reality in numerous communities in eastern Montana. This is an undertaking that entails 3,200 miles of water line to be put in place around and through the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

The system design specifications call for 13 million gallons of water to be extracted from the Missouri River, through an intake near Poplar, treated and then shipped via the corresponding water lines on a daily basis. The system will provide water to residents of Sheridn County, Daniels County, Roosevelt county, a portion of Valley county and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The water will be piped to both the existing municipal systems for distribution and directly to rural residents.The city of Glasgow has already made an initial payment of $7500 to the Dry Prairie Project and they were informed that this money would take the city through the initial completion of engineering for the project.

Dry Prairie though has come back to the city and has asked them to sign a 40 year contract that would have Dry Prairie supply the drinking water for Glasgow. According to Glasgow Public Works Director Jon Bengochea, the numbers provided by Dry Prairie have some discrepancies including the amount of water that they could supply and the amount of water the city actually uses on a daily basis. Bengochea also stated that the rates that have been proposed by Dry Prairie need to be modified as well.

The City Council has yet to make a decision on whether to enter into the 40 year contract and hope many questions can be answered at the meeting on May 1st. The meeting is open to the public.

School District To Run Mill Levy (4/24)

The 2001 Montana Legislature passed legislation that allows school districts with declining enrollments to run a mill levy to fund the 2001-2002 general fund budget up to the amount of the 2000-2001 general fund budget.

Even though the legislature increased funding for K-12 education by $31 million dollars, the Glasgow School District was left with a decrease in budget authority of $56,668 for the 2001-2002 school year.

Last Wednesday the Glasgow School Board decided to run a mill levy to to allow the approval of the increased budget.

According to figures from the Glasgow School District the estimated property tax increase:

A house with a market value of $100,000-$15.57 $75,000 -$11.86 $50,000 -$7.91

The polling place of the election will be the Valley County Courthouse with polls open between the hours of noon and 8pm. The election is set for May 8th.

Absentee ballots can be obtained at the District Administration Office or by writing and requesting one to: District Clerk, Box 28, Glasgow, Mt 59230. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is noon on May 7th, 2001.

Chamber Collects Money Toward Fireworks (4/23)

The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture on Friday collected $3,047.62 in community donations to go toward Independence Day fireworks. The Chamber still needs another $1,500 to pay for the fireworks show; donation cans are set up at various businesses if you didn't get a chance to donate on Friday.

Also, the Chamber is raffling tickets for a quilt as a fireworks fundraiser. Tickets are available from Chamber officers and directors.

Competing Condo Owners Like Judge's Decision (4/23)

(AP) -- A Great Falls bankruptcy judge has ordered absentee owners at the Saint Marie retirement community to form their own association, independent of the resident owners' condo association.

Marvin Bethea is the manager of Valley Park Liquidating Trust, which represents Valley Park creditors in past bankruptcies and is awaiting the outcome of Great Falls landlord Larry Wright's bankruptcy reorganization. Bethea says Wright and developers want their units to be sold as townhouses, not condos. He explained that townhouses are individually owned, as opposed to condos, which are owned in common by the condo association.

Bethea says his group can finally move forward, after trying to set up its own association for more than a year. He says he was hindered by the Condominium Declaration, bylaws, and even state laws. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Governor Martz Signs Highway 2 Legislation (4/22)

Montana Governor Judy Martz on Friday signed legislation that could conceivably turn U.S. Highway #2 into a four lane highway.

Senate Bill #3 was shepered through the Montana Legislature by Senator Sam Kitzenberg and was hoping the Governor would sign the bill before the legislature adjourned for this session.

The legislation requires the Montana Department of Transportation to study the idea of making Highway #2 a four lane highway. The original bill was watered down considerably and as it reads now no money can be taken from other state highway projects to pay for any part of the project.

Kitzenberg believes though that federal money is available and is ready to start working with Montana's Congressional delegation to find the money to start the work on Highway #2.

Search Of Powerhouses Turns Up Nothing (4/19)

According to a story in the Good Evening Glasgow on Wednesday, a K-9 crew was flown in from Malstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls to check out a suspicious vehicle parked by the Fort Peck Dam powerhouses on Tuesday.

An unidentified truck without license plates was parked close to the powerhouse building and according to Paul Johnston, Public Relations Director for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, the investigation was "the prudent thing to do."

The K-9 unit and Valley County Sheriff's Department did a thorough search but turned up nothing.

Officials at government agencies are on special alert this week, due to the anniversaries of the Oklahoma City Federal Building and the Waco Davidian Compound fire on April 19th.

Clean-up Of Old Napa Site Continues (4/19)
Workers are replacing soil that was contaminated from fuel tanks at the old Cal's Napa location on Highway 2 in Glasgow this week. (click the small pix for a larger view)

Kitzenberg Expects Governor To Sign Highway 2 Bill Soon (4/19)

State Senator Sam Kitzenberg said Thursday morning in an on-air interview on KLTZ that Governor Judy Martz is expected any day to sign the legislation that would make U.S. Highway #2 a four lane highway.

Kitzenberg said that he talked to the Governor earlier this week and she had no problems with the legislation and will sign the authorization for the four lane highway.

Both the state House and the state Senate approved the measure earlier this year by wide margins.

Rock Creek Fishing Access Site Boat Ramp Closed (4/19)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has announced the closure of the Rock Creek Fishing Access Site boat ramp due to low water levels on Fort Peck Lake.

The current water level is below the existing ramp making it inaccessible and a safety concern. The site is not closed for recreation or fishing. A low water boat ramp is still available west of the Rock Creek FAS for boaters to launch their boats.

Any questions concerning this issue please contact the Glasgow Region Headquarters at 228-3700.

Sam Kitzenberg Weekly Newsletter (4/19)

Senate Majority Leader Fred Thomas said today: "We will be done Saturday, April, 21st." He also said we may have a "special session" later on energy. However, the legislature has been known to fool folks?
Energy Bills: The Legislature has been confronted with over 90 energy bills during this session. Not all of them have survived. Legislators presently have approximately 25 of the most acceptable energy and energy tax bills in conference committees. The majority of the bills will need to be altered or fleshed out. I am worried that the major energy companies will make their influence felt this week - and consumers will pay!

MY ENERGY PLAN: The State of Montana goes into the energy business. We use the state owned coal at Ashland and we buy back or construct our own generating plants from the Coal Tax Trust and offer it to Montanans at cost. Also, we offer low cost energy to any business wanting to do business in Montana. This is not one of the alternatives because the legislature hallways are thick with energy lobbyists. Four lobbyists to each legislator. Last year, PPL Montana reported $87 million in profits. How much do you think those full page ads have been costing PPL? And, who do you think will pay for them? YOU!

SENATE BILL 390 (An education boost for small schools): 1. Provides an allocation method for distributing one time money through "flexible spending accounts." It's a good idea because each school district is different and has different needs. 2. Provides a school district transitional allowance, contingent upon voter approval, that will allow school districts to better adjust to and meet the challenges of both growth and shrinkage. The transitional allowance of up to $250 per student would, if approved by the voters, allow a district to use the funds approved to meet the specific costs associated with consolidation, annexation, opening a school, closing a school, or replacing a school. 3. Provides a measured method for school districts to adjust their budgets downward when in a state of declining enrollment by allowing up to 5 years for the district to implement gradual reductions in their budget when facing a declining enrollment. 4. Provides a 1 week extension of election deadlines so that school districts can set their levies this year with a better idea of the amounts available in the schedules.

ACTUALLY, what is being done is that the economically growing parts of Montana with their subsequent increasing enrollments gather the funding forcing the rest into consolidation, teacher layoffs and school closures.

We have the money but it is not being spend to prevent this! Instead the state will be assured larger than ending balances. What for? Possible forest fires in the Western part of Montana. $15 million extra in the Workman Compensation Trust Fund. It wouldn‚t surprise me if, after the schools have been closed, there isn‚t a special session to give tax money back. Teacher friends have told me that even if the budget held extra monies, teacher's would never be given a pay raise. We would give the money back as a tax rebate!
Senate Bill 3 (4 for 2): The Governor still has not signed it. I checked on it Monday and her staff informs me that she has no problems with it.

The Big Bill (HB 124). I voted "no" on it last week because two of my three counties wanted me to. I was asked by County Commission Bill Tande of Daniels County if we would still get the in lieu of money for State Land if this bill does not pass. The answer is "yes". I successfully put this in statue four years ago - and this would stay in place. A lot of questions remain about this bill that is currently in conference committee. One plagues me: Would we get all our money back after sending it to Helena? Could we continue to pay for this bill in the future - and with what? Advise me.

GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE: It is counter productive to waste much time worrying about the editorial in the Great Falls Tribune, but their editorial on Monday, April 9, 2001: "Sorry, Sam, but four-land fantasy should come to end" was not factual or visionary. Thanks for all the supportive letters!
Serving you in Helena, Sam Kitzenberg

Chouinard Retires From Fire Chief Position (4/18)

Glasgow Fire Chief Neil Chouinard is retiring from the Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department and the Glasgow firefighters have elected Ed Stein as the new fire chief.

Results of the latest elections show Ed Stein as the new chief with Clem Lemieuw as first chief and Kent Murr as the second chief.

The Glasgow City Council will have to confirm these selections at the next council meeting.

No Burning On CRP (4/18)

The state FSA and NRCS offices have determined that because of the prolonged drought, burning is NOT permitted on CRP acreage statewide unless conditions improve substantially. Due to the extremely dry conditions and the continued forecasts of severe drought statewide this summer, it has been agreed it would be too dangerous this year to permit burning of CRP. Failure to follow this policy could result in contract termination. If you have any questions contact your local FSA or NRCS Office.

Police Department Searches For Vandals (4/17)

The Glasgow Police Department is looking for vandals who damaged the police department shooting range west of Glasgow sometime last week.

According to Police Chief Lynn Erickson, an individual or individuals caused an estimated $500 damage to the shooting range.

Erickson told Kltz/Mix 93 that the vandalism included damage to a door to the firing range shed when someone tried kicking the door in and when that didn't work they tried shooting out the lock on the door. Both efforts failed and access was denied to the shed.

The vandals also damaged a junk car used for training purposes at the firing range. They apparently were able to get the car started and then rolled the car down a coulee where it became more damaged then it already was. Erickson told Kltz/Mix 93 news that the police department was unaware that the car could even be started.

The Police Department has no leads and looking for any information on the vandalism that took place last week. If you have any information please contact the Glasgow Police Department at 228-4333.

In other news from the Police Department, Erickson said he is awaiting final approval to hire two interns for the summer months. Tasha Morehouse and Ryan Fisher would work with the department this summer as interns and then head to college in the fall. The Police Commission has already approved the interns and the City Council will take action at their next meeting.

Also, the department wants to let the public know that representatives for the police department will be calling area residents, selling tickets to this summer's fundraiser performance of the Magic of Jay Owenhouse.

Jeff Pattison Weekly Update (4/17)

Hi folks,

just a quick note to say we are waiting for the conference committees to make the amendments to several bills.

At this time there are over 60 bills in the works to be conferred in.

HB 2, the funding bill, is still in the works. We are holding the line and so far so good.

On a positive note, HB 529 was signed by the Governor. This is my bill to work over the overweight tolerances and change the speed limit from 40 mph to the current truck speed limit. This will really help at harvest especially.

HJR 37 is a resolution to study and educate cyclists and motorists in bicycle safety. This resolution has passed the senate with flying colors. Soon it will be in the pile to be voted upon for study.

HB 644 was in conference committee today and had the amendments pass unanimously. Now onto the house floor and then the senate. It looks pretty promising. This bill will drop the price of ethanol fuel, gas and diesel, by 4 cents a gallon. Hopefully this will help create a demand for our renewable fuels and possibly add value to our crops. This has been a long hard fight, but looks like patience has its rewards as well.

The energy debate is still raging and won't be decided until this weeks ending. I will give an update and an wrap-up when it's over.

We are still in a structural imbalance as far as the budget is concerned so trying to keep the funding to necessities will be a top priority. We all want to see Helena in the rear view mirror so hopefully the debates will become a little more sensible in time and content.

I want to say thanks for your patience and support. I have learned a lot and feel there is more to learn as well as contribute. Most of all I thank you for your prayers and help back at the ranch while I am gone. I will continue to work hard on behalf of our district through the biennium.

You can still reach me at my email address: jpattison95@hotmail.com., or until session ends call here at 444-4800.

Again we are in a waiting mode here until the conference committees are wrapped up.

Honey, keep the light on! It won't be long now before I'm home.

Yours, Representative Jeff Pattison

Body Of Missing Canadian Man Found In Idaho (4/13)

(AP) -- The body of a Canadian man -- missing since he delivered a vehicle to Malta in December -- has been found.

The body of 61-year-old Philip Pugliese was found in Idaho, a mile south of the Canadian border.

A highway crew found Pugliese and his car at the bottom of a steep embankment. He had apparently been thrown from his vehicle, and died on impact.

Pugliese had delivered a vehicle to Malta, and was driving back to Canada when the accident happened. He had been missing since December 30th. Foul play has been ruled out. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Karst Steps Down As Volleyball Coach (4/12)

Glasgow High School is in the market for a new head volleyball coach. Rod Karst has resigned from the position after just one year on the job.

Karst took the job last year after serving for 13 years as the top assistant coach and led the Scotties to the State Class B Volleyball Tourney. The Scotties finished the year with a record of 37-11 and won the District 2-B tourney along with a 2nd place tourney at the Northeast B divisional tourney.

Karst cited the fact that he just wasn't enjoying the coaching aspect anymore but would continue to officiate varsity volleyball something he has done for the past 12 years.

Karst was a part of two state championships as an assistant coach with the Scottie program. He will also continue to coach in the Scottie system as the head coach for the boys and girls cross country program.

School District Could Save Money On Election; Principal Search Continues (4/12)

The Glasgow School Board could possibly save $900 in election costs if there are no write-in candidates for the school board election set for May 8th. Dr. Charles Wilson is the incumbent school board member and the only person to file before the deadline.

If no one files as a write in candidate before April 18th the district will not have an election on May 8th and this will save the district $900.

In other school news, the school board continues to look for a high school principal to replace the retiring Bob Farrell. The special search committee had narrowed down the applicants to three but two of the applicants chose to stay in their respective schools and another took a different job.

The board decided to re-open the process until the end of this month. The advertised salary for the high school principal job is $50,000.

Missouri River Tops Annual Rating Of Threatened Waterways (4/12)

(AP) An environmental group has named the Missouri River the most-threatened waterway in America.

The group -- American Rivers -- says barges carrying grain to the Gulf are pushing native species to the brink of extinction. American Rivers says dams and channels built for navigation and hydropower have made it straighter, shorter, narrower and deeper. In doing so, the group says, nesting habitats were eliminated and fish breeding grounds were destroyed.

The report also criticizes efforts nationwide to increase energy production. The organization says among those are the proposed natural gas wells in Wyoming's Powder River Basin, which threaten waterways in that state. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Victims Identified (4/12)

(AP) Two men killed in a one-car crash near Brockton Tuesday have been identified as Adam Brooks Black Dog and Brandon Long Hair, both 20 years old and from Fort Kipp.

They were killed about 4:30 Tuesday morning when their car ran off U-S Two about one and a half miles east of Brockton and overturned.

The Highway Patrol said their east-bound vehicle went off the road, hit a rock and overturned. Both men were ejected. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Nebraska Girl Found Safe (4/12)

(Rollins, Montana-AP) -- Authorities say a Nebraska teen-ager is safe after being abducted nearly a week ago.

The man accused of kidnapping the 17-year-old girl from a mall parking lot surrendered to authorities early today in the small town of Rollins -- along the west shore of Flathead Lake.

Fugitive Anthony Zappa had been holed up with the girl in a cabin in Rollins since yesterday, when police surrounded the home. Authorities say Anne Sluti of Kearney, Nebraska is being checked out at a hospital. Zappa surrendered peacefully.

He was wanted on assault, theft and illegal gun possession charges in Nebraska -- and on similar counts in Louisiana, Iowa and Wisconsin (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Former District Judge Langen Dead At 86 (4/10)

(AP) Former District Judge Leonard Langen is dead at age 86.

Langen was elected to the bench in 1976, and served as district judge for Blaine, Phillips and Valley counties until his retirement in 1993.

He died Saturday at the Valley View Nursing Home in Glasgow. Before entering law practice in Glasgow, Langen served as a special F-B-I agent from 1941 to 1953 in Butte, New York, New Jersey, Indiana and Michigan. He earned a law degree in 1940 from the University of Montana in Missoula. Langen spent two years between undergraduate school and law school in Glasgow, serving as secretary of the local grazing district, and the Cooperative State Grazing Districts Association.

Langen was involved in his family's ranch and was active in the Montana Stock Growers Association and Montana Wool Growers Association. A full obituary will appear on the website on Wednesday. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Two Killed Near Brockton (4/10)

(AP) The Highway Patrol says two people were killed in a one-car crash near Brockton early Tuesday morning.

T wo 20-year-old men were killed when their car ran off U-S Highway Two, at about 4:30 Tuesday morning. It crashed into a rock and overturned, throwing them out.

One man was from Brockton, the other from Culbertson. Their names are being withheld.

The deaths raise Montana's traffic toll for the year to 43, compared with 49 at this time last year.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
FBI Releases Photos of Fugitive (4/10)
Anne Sluti Anthony Steven Zappa

(Kearney, Nebraska-AP) -- The F-B-I says new photos of a man suspected in the kidnapping of a 17-year-old Nebraska girl, may finally give police a chance to catch up with the elusive fugitive.

The F-B-I is also examining evidence from a Chevy Suburban believed to be used in Friday night's abduction of Anne Sluti, and from a cabin near Livingston where the girl called 9-1-1 for help on Sunday.

Authorities are distributing photos of the lead suspect in the case: Anthony Steven Zappa. He's wanted in Colorado, Minnesota, Louisiana, Iowa and Wisconsin on several counts, including for car thefts, assaults and illegal gun possession.

The F-B-I says no motives have been determined as to why he took the girl.

(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Kitzenberg Responds To Editorial (4/10)

(Webmaster note: The following is a response from State Senator Sam Kitzenberg to an editorial in the Great Falls Tribune that blasted the idea of a four-lane highway across the Hi-Line. If you wish to respond to the editor of the Tribune story, here is the e-mail address: tribletters@sofast.net)

The four-lane highway along U.S. 2, which would pave the way for economic development along Montana's northern tier, is a vision by many - not one man 's fantasy. It is an idea that came from people all across the Hi-Line and their idea is long over due. Yes, the whole of Northern Montana's wide expanses of wheat, range and forests is big country. Still, it is a part of Montana that would like an economic chance to compete and improve its economy by becoming part of an important East-West trade corridor. A corridor that local folks can rely on for safe travel, for access to area shopping and markets, and for interstate business opportunities.

Other states on the country's northern border share the vision. Minnesota is completing Highway 2 as a four-lane from Duluth to the North Dakota border. North Dakota is two-thirds finished with their part of four-laning U.S. 2. A completed system through Montana will yield a four-lane transportation corridor that potentially spans ports from Duluth on the Great Lakes accessing the Atlantic to Seattle and the Pacific coast. The possibilities for trade and development along such a corridor are unlimited. In today's global economy transportation defines trade corridors.

As to the argument of "build it and they will come," it is a proven fact that highway development traditionally stimulates economic activity and population growth. Growth is most often reactive, not proactive. One need only look at change in travel patterns across North Dakota and Montana with the development of the Interstate System. Highway 2 held almost 70% of the east-west traffic coming into Montana from North Dakota before I-94 and I-90. The traffic has now shifted and that same 70% now follows the Interstates. People do seek the fastest and safest transportation routes. With the increase in tourism in Montana, even more so for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, one can see the loss of opportunity from lack of good highway infrastructure on the Hi-Line. I'm sure Great Falls businesses and surrounding areas would benefit too.

I commend you for your fine Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. I voted for funding it. I also commend you for the recent improvements to 10th Ave. South. I voted "yes" on that too! I have also been very active in seeking and supporting an Ethanol Plant in Great Falls that would help wheat producers. I have always supported economic development for other regions of the state. Highway 2 doesn't pass though just Eastern Montana!

I see my efforts as economic development. For a Great Falls publication to wish my efforts ill-will editorializes about opportunities for your near neighbors to the north. I don't understand? Many of Montana‚s northern routes lead to Great Falls, but not all of them. And Great Falls has many fine people, but there are good folks struggling out here on the Hi-Line as well. There are some that would program us to death because of our smaller population and great expanses of grass and wheat, and leave us to wither. Yes, "the Hi-Line is struggling to hold its head above water . . . ". Why the push into "deeper waters." Where is your life line? Neighbors lend a hand in Montana.

In addition, you are correct in noticing that "we are in the middle of a public education crisis." Currently, $25 million is budgeted in HB 2 for K-12 Education. It's not enough. As you well know, I have tirelessly gone to bat for education. We are creating a crisis!
Your Sunday editorial, April 8, on "Don't add teachers to jobless rolls" was excellent! Monday's . . . lacked facts and vision.

Senator Sam Kitzenberg Senate District 48

Representative Jeff Pattison Legislative Update (4/10)

Hi folks! This week in Helena a mad dash and scramble is about to swing into full gear. HB 2, the major funding bill is in conference committee consisting of 3 senators and 3 house members. 2 Republicans and a Democrat from each house. Several other conference committees are in meetings and trying to resolve the differences that exist in the form of amendments.

The energy issue continues to dominate the closing days of the legislative session. Leadership had high hopes of adjourning before Easter, but those hopes faded as the avalanche of bills dealing with the energy crisis mutated to the point that their original intent was all but lost.

HB 474 would have imposed first a big increase in the wholesale energy, or WET tax, then it was changed to an excess profits tax on generators who were charging customers in excess of twenty or more times their production costs. HB 474 is a classic example of what we call a "hammer" up here, a weapon that is used to persuade the suppliers to negotiate more reasonable prices for the Montana consumers.

The problem is that for some reason that has not been explained to those of us in the House, the Senate Energy Committee amended the punitive tax provisions out of the bill. I am for sure no fan of tax increases, but taking this tax out of the bill didn't make much sense at this time. The Legislature needs to keep the pressure on the generators right now, not let them off the hook. This may be my first session up here, but even the greenest freshman can tell that this is the time when the deals are made, and policy is set. We need to hold the line for consumers.

There is one really bright light there. Every one from the Consumer Council to the Public Service Commission to the Legislative leadership on both sides of the aisle are very much aware of the special challenges facing agriculture in the energy dilemma, particularly irrigators. Their interests are on everyone's mind. So I am at least hopeful that as the whole mess gets sorted out that irrigators will be protected.

As far as the other energy bills go, the concept of the power pool seems to really be picking up steam. There is no opposition, and the details are being sorted out as fast as the Public Service Commission and the Northwest Power Planning Council can work. We hope that large industrials and their employees will be back on the job soon. Northwestern Energy, the group that is buying Montana power, did us a real favor by pledging 80 megawatts to the pool to be available by October of this year. Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL) is kicking in 20 megawatts, starting immediately. So the pool could be up and running in a remarkably short time, compared to the snail's pace that usually characterizes these type issues. So there is some reason for optimism.

The main question is whether the Montana Public Service Commission will have its authority upheld by the Courts. It very well may be, and then it will be up to those five individuals to sift through the claims and counterclaims to get to the solution that will be the bedrock of a vibrant economy that will surely founder if the situation veers out of control.

Education update: SB 493, SB 495, and SB 511 are on the way to help the cries of education.

SB 493 proposes a constitutional amendment that would allow investment of a portion of the School Trust Fund in private stocks. The state constitution currently allows investment only in fixed-income bonds. SB 493 passed both houses and you will be able to vote on it in the November election.

SB 495 Would authorize an irrevocable loan to no more than $75 million from the Coal Tax Trust Fund. The money would be used to purchase the mineral royalties from active coal, oil, and gas leases on school trust lands. The loan would be repaid within 30 years, and all surplus royalties would be used to benefit our kids and classrooms.
SB 495 would yield about $10.4 million for schools over the next two years.

SB511 would route about $1.5 million to state universities over the next two years by allowing distribution of revenue from timber harvesting on school trust lands. One direct advantage of this bill is that it could bolster the suffering wood-products industry by tying an increase in funding for higher education to an increase in timber harvesting.

Well that's a quick look at this week's action. I am really looking forward to getting home. Don't forget to call at 444-4800; email at jpattison@hotmail.com; or fax at 444-1865. Thanks for your support, prayers and help. God bless.
Sincerely, Representative Jeff Pattison.
Senator Baucus' State Director Speaks On Hatchery and Interpretive Center (4/9)

Sharon Peterson, State Director for Senator Max Baucus, was is in the area last week and updated Kltz/Mix 93 News on two local projects that will greatly benefit the economy of eastern Montana.

Peterson told Kltz/Mix-93 that Montana's congressional delegation is starting to work on getting a $3 million dollar appropriation to design the warm water fish hatchery at Fort Peck. Last year the United States Congress authorized $20 million dollars to design and build the hatchery but Peterson said it's not feasible at this time to get all $20 million dollars. Instead the delegation will try and get the $3million now and work on the remaining dollars in later years.

The $3 million will be used by the Army Corps of Engineers to design the hatchery. Currently Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Corps of Engineers are working on an agreement that would have the Corps use monies from the sale of the warm water fishing stamp to begin design work on the hatchery. No agreement has been reached yet but it is expected and all monies from the stamp will be paid back when the federal appropriation is completed.

Peterson said work on federal appropriations has begun in the House and will begin shortly in the Senate and the money for the hatchery could be available as soon as October 1st.

Another project that is getting federal attention is the Fort Peck Dam Interpretive Center and Museum. Peterson told Kltz/Mix-93 that they will be opening bids on the construction of the museum on July 3rd, select a contractor on July 18th and groundbreaking on the Interpretive Center will be held in August. The Museum should be completed in January of 2003.

The Interpretive Center received a $6 million dollar appropriation from the federal government but only had $5.3 million dollars actually earmarked. This leaves the Museum about $700,000 short in money to be used for exhibits. The Congressional delegation will be seeking that $700,000 in another appropriation to help purchase and build exhibits. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also be spending $500,000 for exhibits on the history of that agency.

The Montana Department Of Transportation Emphasizes Work Zone Safety (4/8)

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), the Montana Highway Patrol and the Montana Contractors’ Association have joined together with the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to emphasize Work Zone Awareness Week, April 9-12, 2001.

As another construction season begins and visitors swell traffic volumes, MDT and the other officials want to stress driver safety in construction work zones. MDT and contractors will be working on over 150 construction and maintenance road projects across the state this summer. Drivers can expect workers on and close to the road, performing grading, paving and painting operations.
MDT is dedicated to preventing work zone accidents this summer, and encourages drivers to pay attention, heed posted signs while approaching and traveling through work zones, and allow extra time for trips.

To assist travelers in planning for delays and detours, MDT provides comprehensive information on statewide construction projects. Visit their website at www.mdt.state.mt.us/travinfo or call 1-800-226-ROAD.

Bear Identification Training Website Available (4/8)

A voluntary educational program aimed at ensuring black bear hunters are able to successfully distinguish black bears from grizzly bears is now on line on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks web site. The new training site is free and can be accessed at fwp.state.mt.us.

Hunters or anyone interested in learning to accurately identify bears are able to print a certificate of completion if they score 80% or better on the training. The questions are randomly selected from a large pool of possible questions, so no test is identical and taking the same test twice is nearly impossible. A pre-test and post-test are taken to help assess their progress. The program also provides instant feedback, including an explanation of the correct answer so the user can learn from mistakes.

Making a positive identification of bears is not an easy task. So if you are looking to hunt black bears or just want to test your identification skills, go to fwp.state.mt.us and click on bear id. For more information or to comment on this new training approach, contact Thomas Baumeister at 406-444-4046 or by email: tbaumeister@state.mt.us.

No Wake Zone At Hell Creek Marina (4/8)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission has adopted a no wake zone at Hell Creek Marina on Fort Peck Reservoir. All watercraft must operate at no wake speed within 300 feet of docks or marked buoys under the new rule. The commission believes the adoption of the rule is necessary to prevent accidents, protect private property and prevent potentially serious environmental problems near the Hell Creek Marina. If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of the ruling, please contact the Region 6 Headquarters in Glasgow 228-3700 and the Region 7 Headquarters in Miles City 232-0900.

State Income Tax Assistance Available From Department Of Revenue (4/8)

If you have an income tax question or need tax forms, the Department of Revenue is ready to assist you. The department has a Customer Service Center in Helena, as well as local offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Glasgow, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula.

"Our Customer Service Center and local offices offer statewide taxpayer assistance on a variety of tax matters," said Kurt Alme, Director of the Montana Department of Revenue.

The Customer Service Center, located in Helena, assists callers Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. The line is staffed by customer service consultants who are trained to assist taxpayers on a variety of individual income tax matters. The telephone number is (406) 444-6900.

"One call, that's all" is the premise for the center. Tax information and assistance are just one phone call away.
The Customer Service Center will offer extended call-in hours on April 12, 13, 14 and 16 as follows:
Thursday, April 12 - hours extended until 8 p.m.
Friday, April 13 - hours extended until 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 14 - open 11a.m. - 4 p.m.
Monday, April 16 - hours extended until 8 p.m.

Taxpayers also are invited to visit the local offices during normal business hours. A trained staff is available to provide general information on a variety of income tax issues. In addition, the offices stock the most popular state tax forms, schedules and instructions.

Taxpayers preferring to get information through the Internet may visit the Department of Revenue's web site at www.state.mt.us/revenue. The site contains basic income tax information as well as downloadable forms and instructions.
# # #
Field Office Locations
Billings: 175 North 27th Suite 1400
Bozeman: 151 Evergreen Drive, Suite E
Butte: Butte Courthouse, Second Floor
Great Falls: 300 Central Avenue, Suite 520
Glasgow: 501 Court Square #7
Helena: Sam W. Mitchell Building, 125 North Roberts
Kalispell: 690 North Meridian Street, Suite 206
Missoula: 2681 Palmer Street

DNRC Lead State Agency For One Of Montana's Largest Water Projects (4/8)

There is a venture underway in Montana that, upon completion, will have constructed and put in place enough water-main pipe to stretch from one end of the United States to the other. It will intake, process, and deliver millions of gallons of water per day for 28,000 Montana residents. In addition, it will be self-sustaining, generating its own income. This engineering endeavor is the Fort Peck Regional Water System. The system has within it two separate entities, the Assiniboine and Sioux Rural Water System (on reservation) and the Dry Prairie Rural Water Authority (DPRWA--off reservation). Its purpose is to provide residents of northeastern Montana with clean, safe drinking water, something that is not a reality in numerous communities in that part of the state.
An undertaking of enormous size, its plans entail 3,200 miles of water line to be put in place around and through the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. System design specifications call for 13 million gallons of water to be extracted from the Missouri River, through an intake near Poplar, treated and then shipped via the corresponding water lines on a daily basis. The system will provide water to residents of Sheridan County, Daniels County, Roosevelt County, a portion of Valley County and the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. The water will be piped to both the existing municipal systems for distribution and directly to rural residents.

The importance of the system is unquestioned, as it will provide water to rural residents that meets EPA Safe Drinking Water Act requirements, something many communities are currently struggling to maintain. "In many of these areas the water that is being provided to residents is unfit for drinking," stated Rick Duncan, regional water systems coordinator with the DNRC. "This is due to the high concentrations of nitrates, sulfate, alkaline salts, and other dissolved minerals. This element in conjunction with deteriorating intake, treatment and delivery systems has spurred the need for the DPRWA system. There is a real need in some of these areas for this type of drinking water system and has been for some time. Long time residents have been forced to accept the reality of low-quality drinking water, or the high cost of hauling water long distances."

At an estimated $193 million dollars (in 1997), the DPRWA will be receiving funding from several entities, including the state. DNRC has provided approximately $70,000 to date. Additionally, over ninety-nine thousand dollars has been requested through DNRC in each year of the next biennium, and at least $8.75 million will be the state's matching portion of the overall funding formula to see the DPRWA to completion. Upon completion, the DPRWA will generate operating and maintenance income from the sale of the water to the municipalities and the individuals using the system.

An equally important aspect is the economic value of the systems to the region, both short and long term. With an estimated completion date of 2014, the construction phase will provide high-paying jobs for residents of northeastern Montana for at least a decade. "Not only will these systems provide jobs during the construction phase, but also long-term jobs for continued maintenance and administration of the water system," stated DNRC Resource Development Bureau Chief John Tubbs. Tubbs also sees the impact that quality water will have on the economic development of the area due to higher quality water. "There are tremendous opportunities for outside businesses that want to relocate to that area, but may now be hesitant due to the poor water quality," he said. The anticipated economic growth and viability is believed to be across the board, to include agriculture. "Those involved in agriculture will benefit greatly from this water system, as well. Stock growers will soon have access to high quality water for their stock. With declining prices, it is imperative that stock growers utilize every avenue to ensure their animals are as heavy and healthy as possible before shipping. This system will provide them with that resource," Tubbs explained.

"There are twenty-two communities in northeastern Montana that are struggling to maintain compliance with current state and federal drinking water standards. As those standards become more strict, it will inevitably force those communities to continually upgrade their water systems at an expensive price tag," stated DPRWA Coordinator Clint Jacobs. "In order for the people of northeast Montana to continue to have clean, safe drinking water, we need an alternate source of high quality water. That source is the Missouri River. We need to develop that resource, as it is virtually untapped right now." Under the current proposal, the amount of water that will be extracted from the Missouri river will be approximately one-tenth of one percent of the total river flow.

Currently, the Authority has about sixty-five percent of the rural residents signed on to the system and is working to complete agreements with all the communities in the DPRWA area. Each of those municipalities currently on board with the project has paid a "good intent fee" to access the system. "When we request funding from Congress we can then demonstrate that clean, safe water is both needed and wanted by the residents of northeastern Montana," Jacobs continued.

"It's important to remember that years ago those who homesteaded this area needed telephone service and electric power, and each community and rural resident developed and owned their own local system. However, they saw the need and value in uniting their efforts and working together. They could provide better, more reliable service as a whole than they could individually. This is how telephone and electric cooperatives were developed. It's the same approach we are taking with the drinking water issue in this area, a holistic approach that will benefit everyone in the area," Jacobs explained.

Although new to Montana, regional water systems are not new to neighboring states. North Dakota and South Dakota both have several regional water systems. "Our neighbors saw the need years ago for systems like this. They took the lead and received the support needed, on the local, state and federal levels. Now the residents of the rural areas in these states are beginning to see the benefits of a quality water supply," Tubbs explained. "This is what we are striving for here in Montana."

As the lead state agency, the Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) has numerous roles in ensuring the project is successful. "We are involved in the planning, the scoping, and the fiscal aspects of the DPRWA portion of the system," stated Tubbs. "The main purpose for DNRC's involvement is to help make it (the systems) affordable to the residents, or end-users, of the water system. If it isn't affordable for the residents, what have we accomplished?" he said.
For more information contact Clint Jacobs at 406-787-5382 or Rick Duncan at 406-444-1879

Glasgow Resident Charged With Unlawful Transaction With Children (4/5)

Another Glasgow resident has been charged with unlawful transaction with children.

30-year old Juan Vincente Varela pleaded guilty in City court to giving alcohol to people under 21, a misdemeanor.

According to the Glasgow Police Department, on the night of February 14-15, a group of juveniles was at Varela's north side home watching tv. Several of them were given alcohol.

One girl, age 15, drank rum and coke at the house. Later when she went home, her mother called the police when she believed the girl had been drinking.

The Police Department investigated and issued four IP citations to underage people who had been drinking at Varela's house.

Varela was sentenced on March 6th and was fined $300. He was also given a 15-day suspended sentence and was instructed not to allow certain juveniles into his home while he is there.

Multi-Purpose Facility Land Lease Agreement Reached (4/5)

The Hi-Line Youth Hockey Association has announced that a land lease agreement has been reached with the Fair board and the County Commissioners.

The hockey association plans to build a steel, insulated, free-span building 125 feet wide by 250 feet long, on the fair grounds, on and around the area of which the show arena currently is located. Plans include as indoor ice skating rink, with locker rooms, concession area and a heated viewing area. The current plan is for the building to be used from October through March for skating and the other six months the county would be able to use it for such purposes as indoor rodeos, exhibition space during the fair and so on.

According to Tim Volk, president of the association, the building will be constructed in three phases. The first phase is getting the building up and insulated and have water, sewer, and some electrical wiring in place. The projected cost of phase one would be $280,000. The projected total cost of the entire project would be $700,000.

The construction of the first phase will not be started until all the money is raised for that phase. The Hockey Assoociation has a building fund in place, and is accepting all financial contributions including stocks and bond transfers. All construction funding will be done by Hi-Line Youth Hockey through fundraising, grant writing, and private donations.

The group anticipates that when the project is complete it will draw people to town for weekend games and tournaments, and will increase motel, restaurant and other business activity. This will be a multi-purpose facility, not just a hockey arena. They noted their apprecaition for the outstanding support of the community in the past and hope it continues in the endeavor to complete this multi-purpose facility.

If you have any questions, you may contact any of the following board members:
Tim Volk 367-9376
Bob Meiers 228-9436
Brad Warren 526-3519
Mike Dale 228-2106
Alison Molvig 367-5328
Bruce Glennie 228-8498
Mike James 367-5451
Annette Vegge 228-2834
Dan Enebo 228-4238
or contact Fair Manager Jenny Reinhardt 228-8221 ext. 14

Back To The Drawing Board For Principal Search (4/5)

The Glasgow School District is still searching for a High School Principal to replace the retiring Bob Farrell.

Superintendent Glenn Monson told Kltz/Mix 93 News that the search committee formed to find a new Principal had narrowed down the applicants to three finalists. All three finalists were brought to Glasgow and interviewed but due to circumstances that had nothing to do with the Glasgow School District the applicants all withdrew their applications.

The special search committee formed to find a new Principal will re-open the process for another two weeks in the hopes of finding qualified candidates for the position.

Monica Garten And Headquarters To Hold "Fun" Fundraiser (4/5)

Monica Garten, who has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, will take part in a fun fundraiser this Saturday at Headquarters in Glasgow.

Monica says she is very apreciative to the staff at the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital for offering the treatments here in Glasgow, so she does not have to travel and be away from her family. Monica says she wants to provide a fun event to raise money for the Chemo Department at FMDH.

The Monica Make-over will be this Saturday, April 7th, from 10-4 at Headquarters. Since Monica will begin losing her hair due to the treatments, she is having a hair cutting party. Stop by between 10-4 on Saturday and you can cut a piece of her hair for a donation. All money will go to the FMDH Chemo Department.

If you are unable to make it during the event, you may call 263-1112 to find out more information about making a donation.

Corps May Shorten Missouri River Navigation Season (4/5)

(AP) The Army Corps of Engineers says it may shorten the navigation season on the Missouri River this summer, to conserve water.

The corps says the magic number is 52 (m) million acre-feet. It says if storage in the big lakes along the river is less than that on July 1st, the navigation season will be shortened by 14 to 25 days, depending on the amount stored.

An acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover an acre one foot deep. The corps says the mountain snowpack that usually fills the river is only 62 percent of normal from Montana's Fort Peck to North Dakota's Garrison Dam.

The corps says the six main stem Missouri River power plants are expected to generate nearly eight (b) billion kilowatt hours of electricity this year -- compared with a normal of more than ten (b) billion kilowatt hours. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Legislature Passes Bill For Expanded Hi-Line Highway (4/5)

(AP) The Senate has approved a bill that instructs the transportation department to plan a four-lane highway across northern Montana.

Senate Bill Three passed on a vote of 45-to-three, and now goes to Governor Judy Martz for approval.

Republican Senator Sam Kitzenberg of Glasgow says his bill would create a motorist-friendly route across the Hi-Line, from the North Dakota border to Idaho on the current path of two-lane U-S Two.

The bill drew statewide attention because the Legislature rarely tries to dictate highway projects -- and the 20-year price tag of this one was over one (b) billion dollars.

Kitzenberg says work could begin as soon as next year, if the federal government pitches in. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Chinook Salmon Head To Fort Peck Reservoir (4/4)

More than 115,000 chinook salmon will soon be headed to Fort Peck Reservoir, courtesy of Giant Springs state fish hatchery.

“We can raise up to 200,000 chinooks for Fort Peck, depending on how many eggs we can get,” says Bruce Chaney, Giant Springs hatchery manager.

The eggs came from a federal hatchery in North Dakota. An additional 50,000 chinooks are being raised at FWP’s Miles City hatchery for
stocking in May.

Giant Springs’ fish are fin-clipped in early April, when they are 3 inches long. Fin clipping will help identify the Giant Springs chinooks from those raised in Miles City. Clipping a fish’s fin does not impair its ability to swim. Next, the salmon are trucked to Fort Peck and put into holding pens for a couple weeks in the reservoir near the dam.

“We put them into holding pens to acclimate them to the water,” says Gary Bertelloti, FWP hatchery bureau chief. “And so they come back to that point when they are adults.”

Chinook salmon don’t spawn in Fort Peck, but they will reach sexually maturity, normally in three years. At that point they will return to where they were released, and fisheries crews will take eggs and milt from them to produce another generation of chinook salmon.

Garage Sale Raises Over $1,000 Toward Fort Peck Summer Theatre (4/4)

Garage sale enthusiasts filled the lobby of the Glasgow Elk’s Club to capacity on Saturday morning, long before doors opened on the annual Fort Peck Summer Theatre sale. When shoppers entered, they found a ballroom full of good, used items, from furniture to children’s toys.

The sale was a great success, raising $1,020 for the summer theatre, reports Jim Smrcka of Glasgow, who chaired the event. The Theatre Board uses proceeds from the sale in the general work of the Theatre, which includes salaries for the professional staff, set construction, royalties and advertising.

Smrcka expressed gratitude to people from the community for support of the sale. “Each year the sale becomes more successful, thanks to those who come to buy and to those who donate items,” Smrcka said. “The Summer Theatre is a treasure in this part of the state and the sale is one way the entire community participates. We are grateful to all who help.”

The Summer Theatre Board plans another sale next spring.

FMDH Buys Clinic (4/3)

Randy Holom, CEO at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, announced that the hospital has purchased the Glasgow Clinic.

"We have been working with Dr. Bell on this transaction for several months," Holom said. "The transaction is as a joint purchase and donation of stock. Dr. Bell made a generous stock contribution to both the hospital and the community. The Glasgow Clinic employees became employees of the hospital as of March1 and the remaining medical provider's contracts were signed this week," Holom concluded.

While the look and name of the Glasgow Clinic will not change, it is expected that the patients will realize a more streamlined experience when receiving care from both the clinic and hospital. One example of this is prior to the purchase patients being referred from the Clinic to the hospital had to endure the admissions process from each facility. In time, patients will be electronically admitted and the process will be simpler. "This streamlining will occur over time as the hospital and clinic personnel work together to identify process improvements," Holom said.

"We are not anticipating any change in the billing process. The bills that the patients receive will continue to look the same; because of the requirements of Medicare and insurance companies we deal with, we have to continue to bill the same way as we did before.

"There will be no loss of jobs because of this merger and we will continue to assess the two organizations to determine ways we can streamline the operations," Holom said.

The purchase does not change the scheduling process, name, location or medical providers at Glasgow Clinic. You may make appointments at the Glasgow Clinic by calling 228-3400

Spring Storm Hits Montana (4/3)

A spring storm brought snow, high winds and very welcome precipitation to Montana on Monday. Winds gusted up to 46 miles per hour in Glasgow, but the city missed most of the snowfall.

Lindsay, located between Circle and Glendive, did get 6 inches of snowfall in the storm.

Some north side Glasgow residents were without power for several hours on Monday night, probably due to the high wind gusts in the area.

Two Valley County Towns Up For Grant Money (4/3)

Two Valley County communities could be the recepients of over $820,000 in state grant money to help with their wastewater systems.

The State Senate on Monday gave preliminary approval to the Treasure State Endownment Program which provides grant monies to Montana communities to help with infastructure projects.

The town of Nashua is slated to receive $500,000 for their wastewater system and the Hinsdale Water and Sewer District is expected to receive $329,000 for a wastewater system.

The Montana House of Representatives gave approval to the projects earlier and the legislation has another vote in the Senate and has to be signed into law by the Governor before becoming reality.

Drought Alert Issued For All Of Montana (4/2)

Lt. Governor Karl Ohs, Chairman of the Governor's Drought Advisory Committee, announced today that all 56 Montana counties have been assigned a Drought Alert status in accordance with the state's Drought Response Plan. The Drought Advisory Committee recommended the Drought Alert after a complete review of water supply and moisture data showed they are below average.

"Even though it's snowing today in most parts of Montana, the shortfall of snowpack water content will mean well-below average spring runoff to reservoirs and rivers," Lt. Governor Ohs said. "Our river basins have snow water content only 50 - 65 percent of average, and 20 -40 percent below last year's numbers at this same time," he added.

The announcement follows a letter to all Montana county commissions in which the Lt. Governor urged commissioners to consider convening local drought committees to bring together representatives of affected interests to share information and develop local drought mitigation strategies.

Lt. Governor Ohs said, "The most effective approach over the years has been local planning and participation, along with technical and funding support from the state and federal governments. We are starting preparations early in order to make sure assistance programs will be funded and available to Montanans who need them."

A number of watershed groups were successful in implementing drought plans last summer, and county drought committees were creative in coordinating and securing assistance for agricultural producers and municipalities with water supply shortages.

For more information about relief and assistance programs, current conditions, and examples of local planning initiatives and successes, visit the committee's Drought 2001 Internet site at: http://nris.state.mt.us/drought, or call Jess Aber at the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at (406) 444-6628.

The Governor's Report On The Potential For Drought will be released at the Committee's next meeting on April 19th in Helena. Lt. Governor Ohs and the Drought Advisory Committee emphasize that recreational and tourism opportunities still abound in Montana.

Graze-Out Payments (4/2)

The Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000 (ARPA) provides for GRAZE-OUT payments instead of loan deficiency payments (LDP’s), for the 2001 crop year only, to eligible producers who elect to use acreage planted to wheat, barley, or oats, for grazing by livestock and agree to forgo any other harvesting of the commodity on this acreage during the 2001 crop year.

GRAZE-OUT is available to producers who are otherwise eligible for marketing assistance loans and LDP’s, who graze 2001 crop acreage planted to wheat, barley, or oats, and who do not harvest the same crop on the same acreage. Eligible acreage for GRAZE-OUT purposes is any acreage of wheat, barley, or oats that is planted on a farm having PFC, is certified on an acreage report as intended for grazing only, and is not harvested by any means other than grazing.

NOTE: Any acreage certified as grain is not eligible for any GRAZE-OUT payment and any acreage certified for grazing is not eligible for disaster benefits, as applicable.

WAMLAMP II Sign-Up Available Through April 13 (4/2)

The signup period for the Wool and Mohair Market Loss Assistance Program (WAMLAP II) is from March 5, 2001 through April 13, 2001.

Producers may apply at the FSA Office, by fax, by telephone, or by mail. A multi-county wool and mohair producer should apply for WAMLAP II benefits in the county where their headquarters is located.

All applications must be submitted to the applicable County Office by COB April 13, 2001. Late-filed provisions do not apply to this program.
WAMLAP II is available to wool or mohair producers who produced and sheared wool or mohair from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2000. Farm stored wool or mohair is eligible and the producer can certify the quantity.

Ending Of 2000 Crop Year Transition Period For Marketing Loan Gains And Loann Deficiency Payments (4/2)

A new rule for 2000 crop year beneficial interest provisions was issued November 16, 2000. This allowed for a producer, who was otherwise eligible to receive a loan or LDP, to receive a marketing loan gain or LDP on any eligible crop produced in 2000, even though the producer had already marketed the commodity.

The ending date of this transition period is April 12, 2001. Producers who marketed wheat, barley, oats, canola, crambe, flaxseed and rapeseed on or before April 2, 2001, must request LDP or marketing loan gain on any quantity that was already marketed by April 12, 2001. (NOTE: Since March 31, 2001, final availability date falls on a non-workday, the final loan availability date will be the next workday, which was April 2, 2001.)

For any commodity marketed after April 12, 2001, with a final loan availability date of May 31, 2001 (corn, grain sorghum, mustard seed, safflower seed, soybean, and sunflower seed), the producer must have beneficial interest in the commodity on the day of the LDP request.

The producer will be eligible for marketing loan gain only on the quantity that is actually being repaid on the day of repayment.

School Board Filings (4/2)

3 year term
Charles Wilson

2 year term
Frank Vinton
Elmer "Red" Whitten
3 year term
Peggy Lauckner
Carla Tihista

3 year term
Dale Tarum

Two 3 year terms
Loren Albus
Maxine Korman
Lyle Lacok

Two 3 year terms
Phillip Fourstar jr
Hareld Gleed sr
Rodger Fisher
Joe Howard
Joe Rainningbird jr

Theft Victims May Reclaim Possessions (4/2)

If you were victim of a burglary in the mid to late summer of 1997 the Glasgow Police Department and Valley County Sheriffs Department might have some of your possessions.

According to Glasgow Police Office Mike Sukut, Law Enforcement is in possession of recovered evidence from a burglary spree that occurred in the summer of 1997.

They will be auctioning the evidence off in about a month so if you are interested in any of this evidence you are encouraged to contact either Mike Sukut or Vern Buerkle at the Law Enforcement Center.

Any evidence that isn't auctioned will be disposed of.

Representative Jeff Pattison FOCUS (4/2)
Well here we are on day 73 of the 57th legislature. Things are really starting to get, well shall we say, heated? The posturing and game playing is a big part of wrap-up. Looks like we might head home early and save a few days for a later to be announced session. I think the energy crisis will be the topic of this later session. After a long week on the floor I had HB 644 pass third reading, HB 529 go to the Governor, for signing, and SB 318, and SB 320 which I carried, pass third reading as well. Not to complain but I have been fighting a terrible cold which has taken about all of my voice. Saturday we had our first Legislative Audit Meeting. After 5 audit reports I can see the States computer system is in big trouble, the POINTS system in particular. Thanks, John B. for the heads up.

Here are the latest changes to HB 2 after senate floor action:

Section A- Restore 1% general fund FTE reduction- Dept of Rev. $431,397.00 Energy cost contingency fund- Governors office $3,299,912.00

Section B- Child welfare: In home services $100,000.00 Direct Care worker wages Senior/Long-term care $180,000.00

Section C- Weed control prgm. Dept. of Ag. ($202,678 funds switch) $ 0

Section D Nat‚l Guard Scholarship Program $250,000.00 Forensic Scientist 0.5 FTE Dept of Justice $55,033.00

Section E Education (none) $0 Net Increase in General Fund Appropriations $4,316,342.00

The Legislative Fiscal Division General Fund Status Sheet as of 03/30/01 shows an ending fund balance of $28.451 million. Along with this though, there is a structural imbalance projection of -$56.403 million based upon the anticipated on-going revenues of the 2003 biennium ($2,397.453 million) minus the anticipated on-going disbursements of the 2003 biennium ($2,453.856 million).

Here's a look at the California Crisis that is affecting our power demand. The Calif. Public Utilities Comm.. Approved electricity rate hikes as high as 46% for PG&E and So Cal Edison. These two utilities serve about 10 million homes and businesses in CA. This rate hike is in addition to the January hikes of 9-15% and a 10% hike to take place next year. This rate hike equates to a Kilowatt-hour increasing from 7.2 cents to 12.5, and 6.5 cents to 10.5. A tiered rate plan will penalize customers who do not conserve energy. This rate increase comes on the heels of California's first statewide rolling blackouts. Officials say the problem is supply not demand. With the severe drought in the northwest, and an expected hot summer, the state will likely face further rolling blackouts later this year. Speaking of energy, Northwestern Corporation, a South Dakota based utility buying Montana Power Co.'s electric transmission and distribution systems had a press conference last Tuesday, and announced they plan to build a $140 million generation plant in Montana. The project is intended to provide low-cost power to large industrial customers in the state. Mike Hanson, President and CEO said no decision yet has been made as to where the natural gas-powered plant will be located. Access to gas supply and easy connections to pipelines are the primary considerations in choosing a site. I was able to talk to Paul Wyche VP and chief communications officer, and talked to him about our area. After we were done he asked for a card and hopefully will be in touch later. They want to start with an 80 megawatt unit right away and increase it to a 240 megawatt plant Lets hope this will work out for our area. .

Well that about gives a brief look at the week. We went through a lot of bills and it looks like HB 121 is still alive to give education more money, about 42 million more. We will see what happens in the senate. Around here anything can happen. I will give an update on education funding next week when the numbers settle in a little better. Until then call me here at 444-4800 or send an email to jpattison95@hotmail.com. I will keep working hard to keep government from eating away all our freedoms.

Highway Fatality Near Poplar (4/2)

(AP) A tribal police officer responding to a report of a drunken driver saw a vehicle go off U-S Highway Two and overturn Saturday night.

The crash killed a Wolf Point man and injured two others.

The officer said the car went off the road seven miles west of Poplar at about eleven-thirty Saturday night. The driver overcorrected, the car went into the left hand ditch and rolled. All three occupants were ejected.

A 31-year-old Wolf Point man died and two 38-year-old Wolf Point men were injured. The patrol says it was unclear who was driving, since all three men were ejected from the vehicle. The men's names were being withheld until family members could be notified.

The Montana Highway Patrol said the tribal police officer was not in pursuit of the vehicle when it crashed.

The death raises the state highway fatality toll to 33, eight fewer than a year ago. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Meeting Scheduled This Week In Washington On River Levels (4/2)

(AP) Officials from Montana, and others in the Missouri River Basin Association, are headed for Washington, D-C, this week to meet with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Wednesday's meeting will include discussion of water levels on the Missouri, and lower-than-normal mountain snowpack in Montana.

Montana and other upper-basin states want the corps to shorten the navigation season downstream, to conserve water in the upper basin reservoirs. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

James Byron Granbois, "Consh-Kah Duzonhon" (swift hawk), from Poplar died on April 21 at the age of 48. Services will be on Wednesday April 25 at 10:00a.m. in the Fort Peck Cultural Center, wake services will be held on Tuesday evening at the Fort Peck Cultural Center in Poplar. Rev. Enright Bighorn will officiate with music by the Gray Hawk Singers. Burial will take place in the Poplar Cemetery. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

James was born on April 25 1952 in Poplar too Phillip Harris Granbois Sr. and Beulah Ula Melbourne Greanbois. He was a life long resident of Poplar. He attended school in Poplar and also at Dawson Community College for two years. He was certified in handling hazardous materials. James worked for the BIA Road Department, was a Executive Council Member of the Fort Peck Tribal Council. On September 3 1999 he married Kimberly Matthews at Poplar. James was a member of the Presbyterian Church, a Traditional Dancer and a Sun Dancer. James enjoyed attending and dancing at pow-wows, carpentry work, leather work, reading, camping, fishing and listening to Indian and Country music and coffee with family and friends. He liked to help people in anyway he could.

James is survived by wife Kimberly, 1 son, 1 daughter, 3 step daughters, 1 grandson, 3 sisters, and 2 brothers


Clarence Stratton from Glasgow died at the age of 67 from cancer in the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital. Services will be on Saturday April 21 at St. Raphael's Catholic Church. Father Robert Fox will be officiating, burial will follow in the Highland Cemetery. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Clarence was born on December 12 1933 in Plentywood MT to Samuel and Irene Stratton. He was raised in north Valley County and graduated from Opheim High School. Clarence worked on the construction of the Glasgow Air Base, farmed in the Shelby area, and worked on construction of missile silos. He worked for Heberly Engineering for many years, retiring in 1984. ON November 26,1988 Clarence married Darlene Riggin in Nashua. They lived in Nashua since. Clarence was an avid fisherman, collected precision die-cast model automobiles, and was a dedicated Yankee fan.Clarence is survived by wife Darlene, son Danni, and daughter Sheri, 4 step children Darla, Nancy, Marc, and Jodi. 2 grandsons, 10 step grandchildren, 4 brothers, and 4 sisters.

Zettie Ray Castleberry of Glasgow died at the age of 102 on April 16 in the Valley View Nursing Home of natural causes. Services will be on Thursday April 19 at 11:00 a.m. in the Bell Chapel. Rev. Lonnie Eidson will be officiating, burial will follow in the Highland Cemetery. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Zettie was born on February 21 1899 to James Greenlee Harkins and Mary Elizabeth Fuchs Harkins in Texas. She moved to Oklahoma at an early age. Her family traveled to Oklahoma in a covered wagon, as her father was part of the Oklahoma Land Rush and homesteaded there. Around 1916 they moved to Montana and homesteaded on land near Chalk Buttes (Ekalaka area) Montana. She was the 4th of 10 children. Zettie married Leslie Osgood in 1916. A son, Vernon Lee was born in 1917 and Zettie was widowed in 1918 when Leslie died of influenza. Zettie married Leslie's cousin, Charley Castleberry, in 1918 and a son Charles Faxton Castleberry was born in 1922. They moved to Grants Pass Organ in 1937 and returned to Montana in 1951. They lived east of Glasgow where Zettie loved rural living and gardening. She worked at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital laundry department for over 20 years. After 48 years of marriage Charley died in 1967. Zettie moved to the Nemont Manor in Glasgow in 1985 and to the Valley View Nursing Home in 1993. Her son Vernon died in June of 2000 and her son Faxton Castleberry died in 1995.She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Glasgow. Zettie loved to garden and her flowers. Most of all Grandma Zettie loved her family, and knitted for each and every one plus for many other people. She knitted baby sets, slipper socks, mittens, hats, sweaters, and afghans. Memorials may be sent to the First Baptist Church Building Fund Box 608 Glasgow MT.Zettie is survived by 3 daughter in laws, 9 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, and 19 great great grandchildren.Margie E. Simonsen, age 79, died April 13 at Valley View Home in Glasgow. Services are scheduled at 2:00 PM Monday, April 16 at the Hinsdale American Legion Hall. Pastor Chris Flohr will officiate. Interment will be in Hillview Cemetery in Hinsdale. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

Margie was born on a farm near Oberlin, Kansas to Elmer and Esther Bogart. The family were members and attended rural Prairie Chapel Methodist Church. A country school afforded the first 8 years of schooling for her. In 1939, she graduated with honors from Normal Training for teachers at the Oberlin High School and then taught for 3 years. During this time Margie married James Plotts and together, near Oberlin on a farm, they raised three children: Mary E., James W. and Gene T.
In 1960 she enrolled in a McCook, Nebraska College, attending 2 years. Then went on to finish a 4-year Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Kansas State Teacher's College in Hays, Kansas; graduating in the spring of 1963. In 1963, she launched into a teaching career teaching 2 years in Cedar Bluffs School near Oberlin after which she moved to Valley County, Montana. Beginning in 1965 Margie taught for 9 years at Snake Creek Rural School 28 miles north of Hinsdale--sharing the weekly country school goings on in a regular newspaper column that graced the pages of The Hinsdale Tribune. For the next 11 years she taught in the Hinsdale Special Education Resource Room and for some years taught 7th and 8th grade art classes. She retired from teaching in 1985.
She married Sidney Simonsen July 1, 1969. They worked together with the farm-ranch operation north of Hinsdale. She enjoyed helping with chores, fencing and especially working with cattle. She appreciated Sidney's help in the home and garden. Many flower beds gave her enjoyable work. She liked to do housework and cooking and took pride in pie baking. She liked to go fishing and knew Sidney would be right there by her side assisting and as she has said, with a twinkle of eye and humor of vice, he'd do the work readying the fishing gear and she'd cheer him on as he cleaned the fish.
Survivors include husband, Sidney Simonsen, Hinsdale; daughter, Mary (husband Roger) Bennett of McCook, Nebraska; son, James Plotts (wife Carolyn) of Norcatur, Kansas; son Gene Plotts (wife Mary Lou) of Oberlin, Kansas; 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and sister, Maurine (husband Paul) Skoda of Oberlin, Kansas.

Max Garbe of Glasgow died at the age of 92 from natural causes on April 12 at the Valley View Nursing Home . Services will be on Tuesday April 17 at 2:00 p.m. in the Bell Chapel. Pastor Chris Flohr will officiate. Burial will take place in the Highland Cemetery. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Max was born on December 28 1908 in Kramer North Dakota to Frank and Martha Grabe. Max Came with his parents when they homesteaded north of Nashua in the Grain Community. Max lived his entire life on the family farm until he moved to Nemont Manor in 1989. He enjoyed his farming and visiting family and relatives. He was a member of the Grain Community Church.
Max is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, and sister Anna Hinerman of Larsland. He preceded in death by sisters Clara, Elsie, and Frieda.

Emma B. Edwards age 95 from Ophiem MT died on April 11 at the Valley View Nursing Home in Glasgow of natural causes. Services will be held on Saturday April 14 at 11:00 A.M. in the Bell Chapel in Glasgow. Rev. Evert Gustafson will officiate. Burial will follow in the High Land Cemetery. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Emma was born on January 5 1906 in Fergus Falls MN to Joseph and Anna Bergtoll. She moved out with her family in 1912 where her family homesteaded 8 miles southwest of Ophiem MT. She came on the train and was met by her older brother Harry, and they went in a wagon to the north country. On December 5 1923 Emma married Graydon Edwards in Scobey, MT. He passed away in 1992. She lived on the family farm until 1994 when she moved to the Nemont Manor in Glasgow and she has lived the last year and a half at the Valley View Nursing Home. She was a member of the Methodist Church in Ophiem and Enjoyed crocheting, embroidering, and her family. She was one of fourteen children and has no surviving brothers of sisters.
Emma is survived by 7 children, 29 grand children, 44 great grandchildren, and 4 great great grandchildren.

Judge Leonard H. Langen 86, native of Glasgow retired after 23 years as a practicing lawyer and 17 years as District Judge of the 17th Judicial District Court, died of natural causes Saturday Aapril 7 at the Valley View Nursing Home.
Viewing is now open to friends and family through Thursday at Bell Mortuary in Glasgow. Church funeral services in 2 p.m. Friday April 13 at the Congregational Church followed by burial at the Highland Cemetery. A reception for family and friends will then be held downstairs at the Congregational Church. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Leonard H. Langen is the son of Ione V and Bertram P. Langen, an early day sheep rancher in the area. Judge Langen graduated from Glasgow High School in 1932 and earned a juris doctor degree from the University of Montana at Missoula in 1940. Langen took two years between undergraduate school and Law School to stay in Glasgow where he served as secretary of the local grazing district and as the first secretary of the Cooperative State Grazing Districts Association. After the passage of the Tylor Grazing Act of 1934 the livestock ranchers of Valley County, through the two Valley County Grazing Associations took the lead in setting up a viable means whereby the previsions of the act could be locally and efficiently administered. Before that time the public lands were up for grabs. Some called it a war between the sheep and cattlemen. The Tayler Grazing Act of 1934 was passed to eliminate anarchy as a means of determining who should use the public lands and to substitute management to be administered pursuant to the rules of law. Langen felt these two years were some of the most challenging and instructive years of his life.
He served 12 years as an FBI Agent, after which he returned to Glasgow where he practiced law for 24 years until he became District Judge if the 17th Judicial District for 17 years.
He married Kathryn Louise Loper in May 19 1942 during his years as a special agent with the FBI. They shared a full and active life together for 59 years.
Langen was active in the community work. He served as Chairman of the City County Library Board 1954-1970. He was the recipient of the Trustee of the year award from the Montana Library Assn. In 1970. He served on the Glasgow City Police Commission 8 years, the City Airport commission 4 years. He was the lawyer delegate to the U.S. 9th Circuit Judicial Conference for many years, President of the Montana Legal Services, and in 1987 he was elected president of the Montana Judges Association.
He was a member of several legal and judicial associations and included in Who's Who in American Law. He was especially proud of his election to the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1970. He was recognized by the Montana Bar Association with a Presidents Excellence Award in 1993 and presented a picture drawn by Don Greytak showing a court scene with Langen on the bench, the artist in the witness chair, the president District Judge of Hill County Judge Warner and other familiar faces.
During his legal and judicial career he was loyally supported by two special co- workers, who made his work possible; Olga Ronessn now deceased, for 35 years, and Marlynn Cambell for 16 years.
In 1975 Langen bought the former the former First National Bank building where he had his offices. He had a special kinship with the building, as his uncle James Wedum was one of the founders in 1902, and Langen father Bert was an officer in the bank when the new building was constructed in 1914 and served until 1920 when he entered the sheep ranching business. David Irving bought the building in the late 1990's.
He has been involved with the Langen Ranch since the death of his father and was active in the U.S. Department on Interior Bureau of Land Management, the Montana Stock Growers Association and the Montana Wool Growers Association. Langen Ranch is now leased by Lynn and Lee Cornwell. The ranch has always been a key part of Langen's life. And seeing it develop under the Cornwell's management was vital to him.
Langen also had a special kinship with the First Congregational Church. His maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Leonard were among the founders of the church in 1909. William Leonard had a fine singing voice. His second wife's daughter Rhoda Jane Dickenson, was ordained as a minister in this church in 1921. One of her fondest memories was performing the wedding ceremony when her widowed mother Ela Jane Dickenson became the wife of William Leonard a deacon of the parish.
Langen was a well known speaker, dealing with serious subjects, yet with humor. He was a Master of Ceremonics for the Glasgow Chapter of the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America.
Langen enjoyed the challenge of learning. He learned how to fly an airplane which was helpful in his law practice. He learned to sail a sailboat on Fort Peck Lake. He learned to scuba dive. He exercised, swam and biked all his life. He was an avid reader. But he is especially remembered for his sense of fun, which he brought to every facet of his life and to the lives of others.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, and his younger brother Robert Langen. Survivors include his wife Kitty Lou, three sons, John and his wife Gail, Eric and Peter, and a daughter Susan and her husband Jerry Zieg. He leaves four grand children and three great, great grand children

Robert Kent died at the age of 54 from kidney failure at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow. There will be no service pending. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Bob was born on June 4, 1946 in Jamestown North Dakota to Rudolph and Thelma Kent. Bob attended school and graduated from Fergus County High School in Lewistown, MT in 1964. He graduated from Eastern Montana College and earned his masters degree in North Dakota in guidance counseling. Bob taught in Newtown ND, then came to Glasgow and has been a teacher and councilor since. He enjoyed computers, music, and remote control airplanes. He was a Scout Master in Newtown and worked with the Hot Line in Glasgow. Bob was a member of the Elks and American Legion. He was in the Army Reserve.
Bob is survived by his brother Bill of Yakima WA, nephew Bill, niece Teresa, both of Yakima WA, and long time family friend Pat Hood of Lewistown.