Supports Rail Bill (Posted Thursday, July 31, 2003 07:12 AM)
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) joined in a press
conference today to introduce the American Rail Equity Act (AREA).
This bill would overhaul Amtrak helping to transform Amtrak into
an efficient national passenger rail system. The legislation will
reauthorize Amtrak for 6 years and make significant infrastructure
In rural areas like we have in Montana, transportation options
can be few and far between," said Burns. "Amtrak offers
us options that are not there otherwise, and these options are
extremely important to maintain. The goal here is to give Amtrak
the resources to be self-sufficient and this reauthorization
will provide those tools. I know that many Montanans are dependent
on rail transportation and I will continue to work to make sure
the rail option is maintained and improved for use all over the
AREA addresses problems by providing for sweeping capital improvements, imposing
on-time standards that will make rail more appealing to riders, and grading
the system for efficiency.
This bill will:
* Provide a plan for Amtrak over the next six years, including an allocation
of $12 billion in operating expenses
* Establish a national passenger rail system from Amtrak's current routes
* Create an independent non-profit organization, the Rail Infrastructure Finance
Corporation (RIFCO), to underwrite $48 billion in government-backed tax credit
bonds and administer a trust fund to repay the bonds over twenty years
* Create a rail office at the Department of Transportation to be responsible
for recommending capital projects for funding by the RIFCO
* Provide a framework for dispute settlement between freights and Amtrak with
the condition that freights accepting federal funds for improvements must allow
Amtrak to meet its schedule
This bill will allow Montana's Empire Builder route to maintain current levels
of service as well as give the route an opportunity to flourish under new resources.
The Empire Builder is a part of our history and our economy, and something
we need to work to keep in top shape, and this bill will help do just that."
Burns is senior member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
Says He Will Fight Amtrak Funding Changes (Posted Thursday, July
31, 2003 07:09 AM)
U.S. Senator Max Baucus today told the nation’s
top transportation official he’ll fight proposed funding
changes to Amtrak, saying changes proposed by the Bush Administration
would jeopardize Montana’s Empire Builder train service.
The Bush Administration announced Monday it is seeking to restructure Amtrak,
including shifting Amtrak funding responsibility from the federal government
to the states. Baucus said requiring the state of Montana to pay for Amtrak
service would “essentially kill Amtrak in Montana.”
In a July 30 letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, Baucus
said he will fight to keep Amtrak a federally funded program.
“ Abandoning the federal government’s responsibility to support Amtrak
will mean certain doom for passenger rail service in Montana, as well as having
devastating economic affects on the Montana communities Amtrak serves,” Baucus
wrote to Mineta. “I cannot and will not stand idly by and let that happen.”
In his letter to Mineta, Baucus stressed that states are not in a position
to carry the heavy financial burden of funding the operation of Amtrak, calling
the Administration’s intent to shift funding to cash-strapped states,
like Montana, “unrealistic.”
“At a time when states are carrying a heavy financial burden, shifting
funding responsibility for the operation of Amtrak from the federal government
to cash strapped states is unrealistic,” Baucus wrote. “Montana is
facing substantial deficits and can’t afford to take on these additional
Baucus also noted the Empire Builder in Montana serves 12 communities along
the Hi-Line, contributing an estimated $13 million per year to the economy
of those communities.
“ That is a significant contribution to Montana’s struggling economy,” Baucus
wrote. “Because of their rural location, thousands of Montanans depend
on Amtrak not only for their everyday needs, but, more importantly, this route
serves as the only feasible connection to the rest of the country. If the route
is eliminated the many small towns that depend on its service will suffer another
Baucus said in addition to fighting the new Bush Administration proposal, he
is working in Congress to boost funding for Amtrak to ensure Montanans are
adequately served by the nation’s public rail system.
“ I’m committed to boosting our state’s economy and creating
more good-paying jobs,” Baucus said. “Cutting a major transportation
service to our state would be a real setback to our efforts. I’m not going
to let that happen. I’m committed to fighting for Amtrak.”
Fantasticks Opens This
Weekend (Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2003 08:01 AM)
A musical about young love, The Fantasticks,
opens Aug. 1 at the Fort Peck Theatre with J.P. Dooley and Christen
Etchart in the lead roles. The musical plays in Fort Peck for two
weekends only, with performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings
through Aug. 10. Curtain time is 8 p.m.
Despite their youth, both actors bring several years of theatre training to
their roles. Etchart is a volunteer performer and started at Fort Peck in 1997
as a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz. Three years later she was cast as Annie
in the musical of the same name. Her strong performances as Annie helped to
bring sell-out crowds to the Theatre on two nights. The daughter of Joe and
Patt Etchart of Glasgow, she will begin her first at Glasgow High School this
Dooley is a member of the professional company and hails from Raynham, Mass.
This fall he will return to Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts for
his sophomore year. There, he had major roles in Educated Women, Mrs. Glennville’s
Musical Melodrama and was a member of the chorus in Gilbert & Sullivan’s
The Mikado. At Fort Peck this summer, he appeared as Adam Pontipee in the Theatre’s
production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Mary Sunshine in Chicago.
This is the second presentation of The Fantasticks at Fort Peck and many will
remember it from the start of the 1971 season. It is filled with graceful and
distinguished musical numbers such as Try to Remember and Soon It’s Gonna
The music helps to tell a simple story about love between a boy and a girl.
They are separated by a wall and climb trees on each side of the wall to have
their secret meetings and to plot behind the backs of their mothers. In reality,
their mothers are the best of friends who fondly hope they will marry. They
have forbidden meetings of the children, certain that youngsters will do the
contrary. They expand this wisdom in one of the show’s hit numbers, Never
Say No, which states that children will do what is forbidden.
To find a way in which their pretended objections can be overcome, the mothers
hire actors to stage an attempted abduction of the girl in the moonlight. Then,
The Boy can gallantly rescue her. This will make the girl see her suitor in
an even more romantic light than ever, and will force the reluctant parents
to consent to the match.
After this moonstruck episode goes off as planned, the musical transfers to
a world of bright, disillusioning sunlight. Youngsters and mothers grow irritated
with one another. The Boy and The Girl find happiness after they discover the
world is not composed entirely of moonlight and honeysuckle. The musical develops
the theme that, "without a hurt the heart is hollow."
Playing the parts of the mothers are company members Nina Buck and Tory Seiter.
Other company members in the production are Nick Grobel, Alison Booth, Scott
McGee and Katie Truscott. Artistic Director Christopher Kristant is assisted
by Shawn Newton, associate artistic director, lighting and sound designer Alan
Hanson, musical director Ty Lundman, costume designer Dana Donovan and scenic
designer Russ Mulligan.
Tickets for The Fantasticks will be available at the Theatre box office the
night of the show and reserved seats are available for an additional $5. An
adult admission is priced at $12, seniors $10 and students $7.
To reserve seats, call the Theatre at 406-526-9943.
Director Stops In Glasgow (Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2003 06:27
Amtrak's Director of Governmental Affairs was
in Glasgow on Tuesday updating concerned citizens on the status
of the passenger railway.
Ray Lange who hails from Chicago met with a group of people which included
representatives from the City of Glasgow, Valley County and Two Rivers Growth.
The meeting focused on efforts being made by the Bush administration to
restructure Amtrak. The Bush plan being proposed today would eliminate long
distance routes and would give states the responsibility to form regional railroads
that would hire Amtrak or other operators to run the trains.
Glasgow is a stop on the Empire Builder route which runs from Chicago to Seattle.
The Empire Builder serves eight states across the northern tier.
Congress is now debating funding levels for Amtrak and Ray Lang said today
that Amtrak needs 1.8 billion dollars for the next fiscal year to survive.
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee is proposing to give Amtrak $900 million.
Lang said today that if Amtrak doesn't get the full amount that the passenger
railroad could go insolvent.
Lang also said that Amtrak is committed to the long distance routes including
the Empire Builder but help is needed to convince Congress and the Bush Administration
that Amtrak is a viable service to rural areas.
He is urging a coalition to be formed comprised of representatives of the various
communities served by the Empire Builder. The mayor of St.Paul Minnesota has
already committed to serve as chairman of that coalition. Lang said he will
be in contact with Glasgow Mayor Willie Zeller to see if Glasgow is interested
in being in the coalition.
This coalition would work to make sure that the Empire Builder long distance
route continues to survive action by Congress and the President.
The latest figures show that Amtrak served 4,800 passengers if fiscal year
2002. Malta had ridership of 2,821 and wolf Point 6,674. The busiest Amtrak
stop in Montana was Whitefish with 49,004.
As of December of 2002, Amtrak employed 59 Montana residents with wages totalling
over 2.3 million dollars.
Lang urged those in attendance at the meeting to contact members of Congress
urging full funding of Amtrak services.
Event Center Update (Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2003 06:23 AM)
The Hi-Line Youth Hockey Association has reason
to celebrate. A dream the group has had and nurtured for several
years is finally becoming a reality. Construction will begin soon
on the Valley Event Center, a multi-use building. Preparation of
the site will begin immediately and the building is scheduled to
arrive in late September or early October. A groundbreaking ceremony
will be held on Thursday, July 31 at 5:30pm at the building site
near the fairgrounds.
A land exchange agreement was signed on July
21 that allowed HYHA to exchange land it owned along Hwy 2 (across
from the Holiday Station) for the land at the fairgrounds where
the building will be constructed. The Valley County Commissioners
voiced unequivocal support for the Valley Event Center at the recent
public hearing. Commissioner Dave Pippin stated that it is “one
of the most positive and exciting things to happen to this area
in the last 50 years!”
The Valley Event Center will be used as an indoor
hockey facility during the winter months. The remainder of the
year the building will be available for various other functions:
car shows, concerts, boat shows, reunions, horse shows, auctions,
livestock judging clinics, the list goes on….
Clausen and Sons, Inc. from Havre has been awarded
the bid for construction of the building. This includes pouring
the foundation and erection of the 120’ x 256’ convex building.
There will also be a 40’ x 100’ addition that will house a mechanical
room, a Zamboni room and some locker rooms. Costs for the first
phase of the project, which includes dirt work to prepare the site,
foundation, erection of the building, concession area, locker rooms,
lighting and some electrical are estimated at approximately $500,000.
Final cost for the entire facility, which could take approximately
5 years to complete, is $900,000.
Local banks will be providing interim financing
that will be replaced long-term by revenue bonds. This financing
is in addition to the myriad of projects that the HYHA has undertaken
to raise funds for this project. Currently, the HYHA has $300,000
in donations and pledges to their building fund. Additionally,
grants are being written and fundraising activities continue. Donations
are still welcome and needed. For more information about the Valley
Event Center, please contact Mitch Hughes at 228-2014 or Bob Meiers
Relay For Life Set For August 8 (Posted Wednesday,
July 30, 2003 06:16 AM)
On August 8, 2003, volunteers from northeast
Montana will meet to begin the 2003 Relay for Life walk/run against
cancer. Luminaries will be lit around the Glasgow High Track, the
fields lights are turned off and around 10:00 p.m. we observe a
moment of silence during the luminary ceremony in honor of the
hundreds of loved one and friends who have been taken by or have
survived cancer. Team members will continue their course around
the track lit only by these special lights and the Luminaries continue
to burn throughout the evening .
Luminaries are available for a minimum donation of $10.00 per bag, from any
team member, committee member, or contact Brenda Leckie at 228-4246. The name
of the person being honored or in memory of is printed on the bag. You can
also personalize any of the luminaries purchased, and you will receive a bag
in advance of the relay to be turned in by August 1.
All team members should turn in their luminary forms as soon as possible either
to their captain or to Brenda Leckie. Luminaries will continue to be sold up
to and including the time of the Relay, but we do need to get started printing
the labels and filling the bags with sand and candles.
Supported by 32 corporate sponsors, the 2003 Northeast Montana Relay will be
held August 8 & 9 at the Glasgow High School Track. Following the survivor
registration, reception and opening lap, over 30 teams will participate in
this year's event. In addition to the hundreds of people walking, jogging,
running or strolling around the track for 18 hours, there will be a variety
of entertainment including a Relay Idol Talent Contest. The luminary ceremony
will take place at dark followed by fireworks.
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a unique, challenging and fun
way to raise money as well as awareness of cancer and the work of the ACS.
Relay for Life is a celebration.
In May 1985, Dr. Gordon Klatt, a colorectal surgeon and avid runner, took the
first step of his 24-hour walk/run around a track in Tacoma, Washington. He
clocked 83 miles, raising $27,000 to support the American Cancer Society. The
following year, 220 supporters on 19 teams joined Dr. Klatt in this overnight
event, and the American Cancer Society Relay For Life was born. In 1992, Relay
became the signature vent for the ACS. This celebration is more than a fund-raiser,
it's an event that reaches into the community to bring friends, neighbors,
work associates and families together to celebrate those who have survived
cancer and to remember those who have not.
To participate, whether as a volunteer, a survivor or on a team, contact Rod
Karst at 228-8757/263-8757, Mona Amundson at 228-2522/263-4176, Terri Ellsworth
at 364-2232 or Joan Steffani at 228-2823.
FWP Proposes Increases In Several Antlerless
Permit Quotas (Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2003 06:13 AM)
Thanks to good fawn production
last year, strong overwinter survival and another good production
year this spring, deer and antelope populations in northern Montana
are abundant, so abundant that wildlife biologists are recommending
higher harvest quotas for this fall’s seasons.
Hunters should have ample opportunities to harvest antlerless mule deer, white-tailed
deer and antelope this fall, if Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks
Commission approves recommended permit quotas at their meeting next week.
“ We’re seeing spikes in deer and antelope production across the
region,” says Harold Wentland, Region 6 wildlife manager. “There
are a lot of critters out there.”
In order to keep the population in line with the carrying capacity of the habitat,
and to minimize nuisance problems with landowners, FWP is recommending increasing
harvest quotas, especially for antlerless mule deer across the region.
Biologists have recommended increases from last year in antlerless mule deer
quotas in the central and western portions of Region 6. Specific increases
over 2002 quotas are:
HUNTING DISTRICT 2002 QUOTA 2003 RECOMMENDATION
600 50 100
630 100 300
650 100 200
652 50 75
670 50 200
680 100 200
690 300 500
Increasing numbers of white-tailed deer, particularly on the Milk River from
Saco east, has prompted FWP to propose increasing the regionwide antlerless
whitetail permit quotas. The number of 698-00 permits, valid for non-residents,
would increase from 500 to 750, if the recommendation is accepted. A similar
increase, from 500 to 750, is proposed for 699-00 permits, which are sold to
resident hunters. Both 698 and 699 permits are valid regionwide, but hunters
will be encouraged to use them in areas with high populations of whitetails.
Antelope populations are also booming, according to biologist Pat Gunderson,
who says this spring’s fawn production was quite high.
“ Across the region, antelope average 81 fawns per 100 does,” he
says. “This compares to 44 per 100 does in 2002. Bucks per 100 does averaged
43 in 2003, compared to 47 bucks per 100 doe antelope in 2002.”
Biologists are recommending increases in antelope tags. In Hunting District
620, the proposal is to increase doe/fawn permits from 25 to 200, increase
either-sex permits in District 630 from 200 to 300, and increase either-sex
permits in District 640 from 100 to 150.
The FWP Commission will finalize permit quotas at their meeting Aug. 7 in Helena.
The drawings for limited-entry permits will begin later next week and drawing
results should be available by the third week in August.
New Hantavirus Publication Released
(Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2003 06:09 AM)
Montana State University
Extension has just released a revised edition of a fact sheet
entitled, "Hantavirus: What is it? What can be done about
Hantavirus--short for Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome--is a serious cardiopulmonary
infection that can cause death. The virus that causes HPS is passed to humans
by such rodents as the deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, which is common
As of June 30, according to the Centers for Disease Control, there had been
339 confirmed cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in the U.S. since the
disease was recognized in 1993. Twenty-three of those cases were in Montana.
Nationwide, HPS has caused 129 deaths, five in Montana.
According to the authors, MSU professors Mike Vogel, housing specialist, and
Jim Knight, wildlife specialist, the people who are most likely to contract
the disease live in rural areas and work, play or live in closed spaces with
active rodent infestation. Among those at elevated risk are people whose occupations
expose them to rodents and their wastes: farmers and ranchers, maintenance
workers, field biologists, mill and grain elevator and feedlot workers, and
construction and remodeling workers.
The authors point out that hantavirus is a rare disease and explain that eliminating
rodents and their nesting sites, preventing rodents from entering homes, and
taking preventative measures when handling and disposing of rodent wastes and
dead rodents can reduce the already small risk of contracting hantavirus considerably.
The larger part of the four-page publication is taken up with explaining how
to prevent HPS by eliminating rodents, rodent-proofing homes and other structures,
and disinfecting areas that have harbored rodents. The publication provides
a useful list of online and other resources for further information.
" Hantavirus...," publication No. MT 199404 HR, can be read on and
downloaded from the Web at www.montana.edu/wwwpb/pubs/mt9404.html/.
Paper copies are free at all tribal and county Extension offices in Montana or
may be ordered by sending a $1 handling fee to MSU Extension Publications, PO
Box 172040, Bozeman MT 59717-2040 or, for credit card orders, by calling (406)
Baucus Negotiating On
River Water Levels (Posted Wednesday, July 30, 2003 06:05 AM)
U.S. Senator Max Baucus today said he will hold
up the nomination of a top Bush Administration official until Montana
is treated fairly in the management of the Missouri River.
During a meeting in his Washington, D.C. office today, Baucus told JP Woodley
-- who has been nominated to serve as the civilian head of the Army Corps of
Engineers -- he is blocking Woodley’s confirmation until he receives
specific assurances the official “will devise and release a management
plan that keeps more water in Fort Peck Lake and takes into consideration the
devastating effects of the current management plan on Montana’s economy.”
Extended drought and unfair rules governing Missouri River flows have dropped
water levels in Fort Peck Lake to near-record lows, stirring fear of declining
fish populations and damage to the recreation industry and economy in northeast
Montana, Baucus said.
Baucus said the current rules governing flows on the Missouri River are unfair
because they take into account only the needs of downstream economic interests,
and not upstream recreational and agriculture interests. For years, Baucus
has urged the Corps to revise its so-called Master Manual, the management plan
for the entire river system. But, as Baucus put it, the Corps has “dragged
their feet for more than a decade, bowing to the downstream barge industry
at Montanans’ expense.”
Baucus invited Woodley, who is being considered to serve as Assistant Secretary
of the Army for Civil Works, to visit Montana and see “firsthand how
badly the drought and the current rules are impacting our jobs and the economy
in northeast Montana.”
“ We’re adamant about changing the rules to keep more water in Fort
Peck Lake,” Baucus said. “What’s fair is fair. And, sending
Montana water downstream to float barges is simply not fair. The downstream states
just don't seem to suffer like the upstream states when water is scarce. It’s
time for action and answers. And that’s why I’m holding up this nomination.”
Woodley told Baucus he would do his best to resolve the ongoing dispute over
managing the Missouri River. For Baucus, that wasn’t enough.
“ I’m tired of excuses,” Baucus said requesting a report in
writing from Woodley on his plans if confirmed by the U.S. Senate. “I’ve
been hearing the same thing for over ten years. Nothing has changed. Deeds count,
not words. I want a commitment Montana will be treated fairly before you move
Baucus said he is currently working on legislation to restore balance to the
Missouri River. Baucus hopes to have the bill ready to introduce in September.
“ If the Corps refuses to do what’s right, we’ll force them
to,” Baucus said.
Former Deputy Firing Hearing Held Monday (Posted Tuesday, July 29,
2003 06:56 AM)
Former Valley County Sheriff's Deputy Sterling Silver had a hearing
Monday in District Court on his lawsuit against Valley County regarding
his termination from his job in September of 2002.
Silver filed the suit against Valley County, Valley County Sheriff
and former Valley County Sheriff Dick Wessler.
He is contending that the defendants in the case wrongfully terminated
his employment because he had filed grievances against former Sheriff Wessler
just weeks before Wessler terminated his employment.
Valley County has countered saying that Silver was a probationary
employee and that the Valley County Sheriff acted within the law
by firing Silver before his one probationary period had ended.
The hearing on Monday was expected to result in a summary judgement
from the judge and result in the case to be completed.
District Court Judge Kathy Irigoin from Sidney presided over the
hearing. Before she heard arguments on the summary judgement the
judge wanted to go through several motions filed by the respective
attorneys in the case. Valley County is being represented by Sidney
attorney Jacque Best and Silver is represented by Wolf Point attorney
It wasn't long yesterday before the two attorneys were sparring over
an effort by Sterling Silver to have oral witnesses give testimony
during the hearing. The Valley County attorney vigorously opposed
the effort by the plaintiff to have oral witnesses and told the judge
that Silver's attorney had plenty of time to take depositions and
get written testimony. John's had wanted to bring several local officials
in and put them on the stand. Those officials included Glasgow Police
Chief Lynn Erickson, GPD officers Dave Watson and Bruce Barstad,
Sheriff's Deputy Doug Wixson along with Juvenile Probation officer
The judge offered to give Silver's attorney more time to take depositions
from those people and the hearing was then vacated and will be scheduled
at a later date.
The first motion in the case was fired in October of 2002.
Senator Baucus Gets State-Of-The-Art Video Conferencing Hookup
In Capital Office (Posted Monday, July 28, 2003 04:09 PM)
On Tuesday July 29, Montana Senator Max Baucus
will launch a new state-of-the-art video conferencing system as
he conducts a virtual meeting from his Washington, D.C. office
with VisionNet representatives in both Billings and Great Falls.
VisionNet, based in Great Falls, is a consortium of five telephone
cooperatives, including Nemont Telephone Cooperative, that use
the Internet to conduct real-time video conferences. The company
built a video conferencing network across Montana that will allow Baucus to conduct
meetings, chats, and work sessions with Montanans in more than 95 locations.
Baucus will launch the project Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. MST and said the technology
will help him better serve his “900,000 bosses.”
“I’m excited to launch this new project,” said Baucus, who
has used similar video conferencing technology in the past to talk with students
in rural Montana communities. “Having a VisionNet hookup in my Washington
office will really help me to better understand the needs of Montanans and reach
out to more folks. VisionNet is an excellent home-grown Montana company providing
an important service to Montana communities.”
Baucus said he will put the new service to use right away by holding a meeting
in August with health care service providers on the Medicare and prescription
drug legislation pending before Congress.
VisionNet was established in 1995 with the goal of providing innovative advanced
services, and support for community, educational and business development in
rural and urban communities throughout Montana. VisionNet is used today to “link” remote
rural schools together to provide “real time classes” and as a tool
for private businesses to conduct “virtual meetings.”
Limit Angling To Mornings, Evenings At Home Run
Pond (Posted Monday, July 28, 2003 03:46 PM)
The prolonged dry, hot weather that’s baking northeastern
Montana has been especially hard on trout in Glasgow’s Home
Run Pond. Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials confirmed Monday
that several dozen rainbow trout in the pond had died over the
weekend, probably victims of hot water temperatures and low dissolved
The water temperature was 78 degrees on Monday,” says Bill
Wiedenheft, fisheries manager for FWP. “That’s reaching
lethal limits for trout.”
Youth anglers are encouraged to either refrain from fishing Home
Run Pond during this heat wave, or to fish in the mornings and
the evenings, when water temperatures are lower and fish are less
stressed by the activity. The pond, on the east side of Glasgow,
is open from sunrise to sunset daily.
The morning bite has been more consistent than mid-day fishing,” says
Andrew McKean, angler education coordinator for Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
He offers a few suggestions for anglers fishing during the warm
First, don’t play the fish for long,” he says. “Land
and release the fish as quickly as possible, or keep the fish if
it looks like it won’t survive. Second, try fishing a worm
on the bottom to appeal to perch and crappie, which aren’t
as stressed by the warm water.”
Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ next angler education class at
Home Run Pond is Tuesday, Aug. 5, and one of the topics that will
be discussed is proper release of fish. The class runs from 9 a.m.
Any fish, especially trout, that is played for a long time and
is released roughly in this warm water is probably going to die,” says
McKean. “We encourage catch-and-release fishing at the pond,
but if you’re fishing over the next month, you should consider
keeping and consuming fish.”
Limits at Home Run Pond are the same as most waters in the Eastern
Fishing District: 5 trout daily and in possession, 15 crappie daily
and 30 in possession. There is no limit on perch, which were recently
defined as a game fish.
Bush To Submit Plan To Restructure Amtrak (Posted
Monday, July 28, 2003 11:03 AM)
-- President Bush wants to restructure the nation's passenger railroad.
The president's plan would eliminate Amtrak's unprofitable long-distance
routes -- and force states to spend more on services between cities.
The plan goes to Congress tomorrow. It's intended to solve Amtrak's
continuing financial problems. Amtrak has been having annual operating
deficits of one (b) billion dollars. The plan would give states
the responsibility to form regional railroads that would hire Amtrak
or other operators to run the trains. The federal government would
help pay for some of those services, but the goal would be to ease
the government subsidies. Critics say the railroad's troubles stem
from years of too-little investment in rails and equipment. They
say all passenger railroads need government subsidies. Supporters
of the plan say if it's put in place properly, it would improve
service and encourage private investors to build railroads. (Copyright
2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Balloon Rides And Women's Derby Added To Fair
(Posted Monday, July 28, 2003 07:05 AM)
Hot Air Balloon rides and a Women’s Demolition
Derby have been added to the 2003 Northeast Mt Fair line-up.
Kris Hlebechuk with Dakota Skies Hot Air Balloons will have his
balloon at the fair Monday and Tuesday for tethered and untethered
rides. A tethered ride allows four people to go up at least 50
feet in the sky; it could be more depending on the wind. An untethered
ride takes 3 people for an hour ride, completely at the whim of
The untethered rides will be early mornings while the tethered
rides will be in the evening. Balloons need fairly calm winds to
operate safely. If the winds are calm and the temperature is not
too hot, the balloon will be standing during the day. The Fair
Board is selling raffle tickets for an untethered ride on Wednesday
Also new this year, a Women’s Demoliton Derby has been added
between the consolation and final rounds of the main derby on Wednesday
Man Arrested On Meth Charges (Posted Monday,
July 28, 2003 06:59 AM)
James H. Burrus, Special Agent in Charge, Federal
Bureau of Investigation, Salt Lake City Division, announced that
on July 25, 2003, Mario Eucebio Morales, age 49, was arrested by
the FBI in Wapato, Washington. Morales had been charged in United
States District Court in Montana with conspiracy to distribute
methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, and distribution of methamphetamine
The arrest of Morales is part of an ongoing long-term drug conspiracy
investigation on the Fort Peck Reservation. Since February, 2003,
twenty-one individuals have been indicted and arrested on drug
conspiracy charges as a result of this investigation. The investigation
is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort
Peck Tribes Department of Law & Justice, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s
Office, Wolf Point Police Department, Big Muddy Drug Task Force,
Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department
and Montana Highway Patrol.
Chamber Looks For
New Director (Posted Monday, July 28, 2003 06:52 AM)
Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture is looking for
a new executive
director after Jill
she will be leaving the position after serving as executive director
for the past four years.
Hamilton wrote the executive board of the chamber that she is
leaving the position to spend more time with her family. She
that she is proud of the work that the chamber has accomplished
in her tenure and will stay on the job until a suitable replacement
The executive board of the chamber has already started the process
of finding a new executive director and the position is being
Glasgow-area Hunting Education Class Scheduled (Posted Monday,
July 28, 2003 06:33 AM)
Sign up now for what is likely to be the last Hunter Education
class in the Glasgow area for this year. The class will be held
from 5:30 to 8 p.m. from Aug. 18-22 in the basement of the Elks
Lodge, 309 2nd Ave. S. in Glasgow.
A field day, with live-fire training, will be held at the Valley
County Rifle & Pistol Club on Saturday, Aug. 23.
To register for the course and to learn more about specific class
schedules, visit the Fish, Wildlife & Parks office on Highway
2 East in Glasgow or call 228-3700. Parents can sign up their children,
but youngsters under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent when
Graduation from Hunter Education is required of all 12- to 17-year-old
hunters in Montana. Youth between 12 and 17 are eligible to receive
their first hunting license for free, but they must be Hunter Ed
graduates in order to receive this premium. The law, passed earlier
this year, provides a free Combination License, which includes
fishing, upland birds, conservation license plus Deer A and general
elk license, to qualified first-time youth license buyers.
FWP Responds To Vida-Area Mountain Lion Incident (Posted Monday,
July 28, 2003 06:23 AM)
Following an incident in the Vida area
of McCone County earlier this month, Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds residents that even
if much of eastern Montana doesn’t look like mountain lion
habitat, the big predators can be present.
FWP Game Warden Dave Loewen confirmed that a mountain lion attacked
a horse about a mile north of Vida during the week of July 21.
The horse survived the attack, and Loewen says it appears to be
an isolated incident. FWP wardens searched the vicinity for two
nights with the assistance of local landowners and a houndsman.
The lion was never located.
Loewen encourages area residents to be vigilant.
We’d like to hear about any sightings, and keep in mind that
if a lion is harassing livestock, the owner has the right to kill
that lion,” says the warde. “But I strongly discourage
people from killing this or other mountain lions unless they act
aggressively toward people or livestock. Remember, they are a game
animal and there is an established hunting season.”
Drought and high temperatures may be causing lions, as well as
other wildlife, to behave differently than normal. In most cases,
even where lions exist in close proximity to humans, there’s
little danger from the big predators. But there are a few common-sense
precautions you can take to minimize contact.
Closely supervise children when they’re playing outdoors.
Make sure that children are home before dusk and are not outside
before dawn, the times mountain lions are most active.
Landscape or remove vegetation to eliminate hiding cover for lions.
You don’t have to remove all vegetation, but remove enough
that a lion can’t enter your yard undetected.
• Do not attract wildlife, especially deer, into your yard by feeding
or salting them. Use native plants that are less palatable to deer
in landscaping projects.
Roaming pets are easy prey for lions. Bring pets in at night. If
they’re left outside, confine them to a kennel with a secured
top. Do not feed pets outside if you suspect a lion is nearby.
Place domestic livestock in an enclosed shed or barn for the night.
• Encourage your neighbors to follow these simple precautions.
Mountain lions are opportunistic predators, meaning they select
the most vulnerable prey. They’re unlikely to attack or pursue
a victim, and they will normally avoid a confrontation. Learn these
few basic behaviors to follow if you encounter a lion:
• Make sure that children are with you and not straggling behind
the main group. Pick all children up off the ground immediately
if you encounter a lion.
• Never approach a lion. All wildlife is unpredictable, and most
lions will flee when confronted, but give them a way out of any
• Stay calm. If you encounter a lion, talk to it in a confident yet
• Do not run. Move slowly and try to back away from the lion slowly.
Sudden movement or fleeing behavior often triggers instinctive
predatory attacks by lions.
• Do all you can to enlarge your profile. Stand up straight. Do not
crouch or try to hide.
• If a mountain lion attacks, fight back aggressively. Throw rocks,
beat it with a stick or your fists. Many people have survived lion
attacks by fighting back with anything at their disposal.
If you do sight a mountain lion, call Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ regional
headquarters in Glasgow (228-3700) or the McCone County Sheriff
(either 911 or 485-3405).
Blazes 70 Percent Contained (Posted Friday, July
25, 2003 09:29 AM)
(Brusett-AP) -- Light
rain fell today in the Missouri River Breaks and firefighters
are making fast progress on containing the huge range and forest
Fire lines are now around about 70 percent of the fires that
have burned across 131-thousand acres in and around the C.M. Russell
Wildlife Refuge. Fire and wildlife biologists don't expect the
fires to have much effect on hunting. The Missouri Breaks draw
hunters every year because of the trophy elk and mule deer. Governor
Martz plans to visit the area tomorrow. (Copyright 2003 by The
Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
River Lawsuits Transferred To Minnesota Federal
Court (Posted Friday, July 25, 2003 06:25 AM)
Competing court rulings over the flow of the Missouri River
Yesterday's judicial panel decision takes U-S
District Judge Gladys Kessler off the case. Kessler had ordered
Army Corps of Engineers to lower water levels downstream for
the protection of upstream wildlife species.
A Nebraska court had
higher downstream levels for barge traffic. The corps had refused
to follow Kessler's order because of the Nebraska ruling. So,
now, the Justice Department has asked the Minnesota court for
emergency stays while the matter is being reviewed.
A total of
River lawsuits were transferred to U-S District Judge Paul
Magnuson by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation. (Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Fire Nearing Containment (Posted Friday, July
25, 2003 06:18 AM)
(Jordan-AP) -- In north-central Montana, a 131-thousand-acre
cluster of fires remained the biggest in the state but is nearing
containment. Officials are preparing to reassign some firefighters
and equipment. A small portion of the fire complex burned down
to Fort Peck Lake yesterday, and four old buildings were destroyed
on the south end of one fire, west of Jordan. Incident commander
Jim Gray says firefighters turned the corner yesterday and now
have things going their way, adding: "We're on the
downhill slide." (Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Erickson Named New Principal (Posted Thursday,
July 24, 2003 01:39 PM)
The Glasgow School District has hired Rachel Erickson as the new
K-6 principal for the 2003-2004 school year.
On July 14th the school board offered a contract to Brent Leibach
of Sidney to be the new principal but he informed Superintendent
Glenn Hageman this week that he couldn't get out of his contract
with the Sidney school district.
Hageman told Kltz/Klan that the search committee had ranked the
four finalists for the position in order and Erickson was the 2nd
ranked candidate. She was offered the job on Wednesday and accepted
and will begin her position next month.
Mainline Open Again (Posted Thursday, July 24,
2003 10:47 AM)
(Whitefish-AP) -- The northern
mainline for Amtrak and the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railway
is open again.
Railroad spokesman Gus Melonas (muh-LOHN'-us)
says the line at a derailment west of Whitefish reopened this morning
after crews worked through the night to bring in new track. Melonas
says that freight traffic is now moving and Amtrak will resume
normal schedules through the area tonight.
Thirty-nine cars of
a 74-car freight train derailed from unknown causes 85 miles
of Whitefish Tuesday night. (Copyright 2003 by The Associated
Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Frazer Man Faces Drug Charges (Posted Thursday,
July 24, 2003 10:42 AM)
Three felony charges have been filed against
a Frazer man for his role in the burglary of a grocery store in
Nashua on May 20th. Nineteen year old Kerby Follet has been charged
with felony burglary, felony criminal mischief and felony theft.
According to court documents, Follet and two other individuals
broke into B&B Foods in Nashua and took more than a $1000 in
liqour and cigarettes. In the process of entering the building
they also damaged the building with damages exceeding $1000.
Bail for Kerby Follet has been set at $5000. The other two individauls
involved were Sloan Follet and Loren BigLeggens.
Burns Announces Federal Firefighting Funds (Posted
Thursday, July 24, 2003 09:56 AM)
U.S. Sen. Conrad Burns announced
today that federal funds have been
Missouri Breaks Complex fire burning about 35 miles northwest
of Jordan, Montana.
" We all know the destruction that fires
can cause, and we ' re watching that destruction right now, " said
Burns. " Whether you see it on TV, or in your own backyard,
it is clear that these fires are too close to home. I am glad to
see this funding authorized to help with this particular fire,
and I know there are similar needs across the state. I will continue
to work to make sure we get the necessary funding to allow our
firefighters to respond in a safe and timely manner so we can manage
these fires before they get out of control. "
Breaks Complex fire started on July 16, 2003, and has consumed
more than 117,570 acres and forced the evacuation of more than
This authorization makes Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) funding available to pay 75 percent of the state
' s eligible firefighting costs under an approved grant for
managing, mitigating and controlling designated fires.
assistance is provided through the President's Disaster Relief
Fund and made available by FEMA to assist in fighting fires
that threaten to cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting
costs covered by the aid can include expenses for field camps;
equipment use, repair and replacement; tools, materials and
and mobilization and demobilization activities. FEMA is part
of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Fire Burns Close To Cabin (Posted Thursday, July
24, 2003 09:10 AM)
officials say that Alan Drain is lucky to be alive, after he was
nearly trapped by
a blaze that burned on both sides of his cabin. Drain and four
firefighters were at his cabin two days ago near the big fires
in north-central Montana. They were removing stacks of wood and
trees near the cabin, when a fire burning in the distance flared.
The blaze headed up the canyon and started burning around the cabin.
Everyone piled into a dusty sports utility vehicle, and sped down
the long, narrow driveway from the cabin north of Brusett (Broo-SET').
Fire was on both sides of the road. Just then, an air tanker dropped
fire retardant on the cabin. Firefighter Polo Rodriguez says, and
we quote, "We lucked out." (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.
All Rights Reserved.)
Firefighters Make Progress (Posted Thursday, July 24, 2003 06:07
(AP) Firefighters making progress on three large
wildfires in east-central Montana are hoping for the best today
despite "red flag" forecasts for more 100-degree heat and gusty winds. The fires
have burned on about 122-thousand acres near Brusett but were considered 40 percent
contained last night. However, firefighters still have 18 miles of line to build.
Incident Commander Jim Gray says things are looking up but the big question is
the wind, if it develops later today as expected.(Copyright 2003 Associated Press.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
Six To Eight Outbuildings Burned, Four Cattle Dead In Refuge Fires
(Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2003 04:07 PM)
(AP) In east-central Montana, a complex of wildfires
on the Charles-M Russell Wildlife Refuge has burned six to eight
outbuildings, including a horse shed. And at least four head of
cattle have died.
One of the fires spread into the Lost Creek
area last night.
The fire management officer for the wildlife
-- Mike Granger -- says four homes are threatened, and the
area presents the potential for the fire to make big runs.
a top-level fire management team has moved in to help with
Wedge Canyon Fire in extreme northwestern Montana, where
winds up to 20 miles per hour are forecast today. The fire has
42-hundred-50 acres, just west of Glacier National Park.
It threatens dozens of homes. (Copyright 2003 by The Associated
Stage I Fire Restrictions Ordered (Posted Wednesday, July 23,
2003 02:22 PM)
Due to the continuing hot weather, Stage 1 fire restrictions will go into effect
on all federal, state and private lands in Liberty, Hill, Blaine, Phillips,
Valley, Daniels, Sheridan, Roosevelt, Chouteau, Judith Basin, Fergus, Petroleum,
Wheatland and Golden Valley counties beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, July
26, 2003. Stage 1 restrictions went into effect for the entire Lewis and Clark
National Forest on July 21, 2003.
Fire-fighting resources are already deployed to fight fires in Montana and across
the nation. The public is asked to honor the restrictions to decrease the chance
of human-caused fires and avoid resource and property damage. Anyone who causes
a wildland fire intentionally or through negligence may be held accountable for
damage and suppression costs.
Under Stage 1, the following acts are prohibited:
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire or campfire, except within a
developed recreation site, or improved site.
Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation
site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren
or cleared of all flammable materials.
Exemptions to the above prohibitions are allowed for persons using a fire solely
fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG; for a federal, state, or local officer, or
member of an organized law enforcement, rescue, or firefighting force in the
performance of an official duty; or persons with a permit or written authorization
allowing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
The Lewistown Area Restrictions Group coordinates fire restrictions on federal,
state and private land in the Lewistown Restrictions Area, covering north-central
and extreme northeastern Montana. The group includes representatives from the
Forest Service; Bureau of Land Management; Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S Fish
and Wildlife Service, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation;
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the counties of Liberty,
Hill, Blaine, Phillips, Valley, Daniels, Sheridan, Roosevelt, Chouteau, Judith
Basin, Fergus, Petroleum, Wheatland and Golden Valley.
For more information, please contact the Bureau of Land Management at 406-538-7461;
C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge at 538-8706; Lewis and Clark National Forest
at 406-791-7700; Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at
406-538-7789; your local office of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
or your local fire department or sheriff’s office.
Train Derailment Slows Traffic Across Hi-Line
(Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2003 08:41 AM)
(Whitefish-AP) -- The northern main-line route for Burlington
Northern-Santa Fe is closed, after a train derailed last night
85 miles west of Whitefish.
Railroad spokesman Gus Melonas says
no one was injured and no hazardous materials were involved in
the seven p-m derailment. No cars are in the river.
busing passengers between Spokane, Washington and Whitefish
to avoid the derailment, while B-N-S-F was detouring some train
traffic via Montana Rail Link's southern route.
expected to be out of service for at least 24 hours.
35 trains in a 24-hour period use the northern mainline route
Melonas says initial reports indicate up to seven multiple-trailer
units and four single trailer cars derailed. The cause
of the derailment is under investigation. (Copyright 2003 Associated
Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Unfavorable Weather Predicted For Wildlife Refuge
Fires (Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2003 08:35 AM)
-- Firefighters are preparing for potentially dangerous conditions,
as they battle a complex of wildfires on the Charles-M Russell
Wildlife Refuge in east-central Montana.
Fire behavior analyst
Gary Olsen is predicting gusty winds, temperatures topping 106
degrees and very low humidity. His forecast drew groans from
firefighters getting their assignments this morning. One of the
into the Lost Creek area last night.
The fire management officer
for the wildlife refuge -- Mike Granger -- says four homes
are threatened, and the area presents the potential for the fire
to make big runs. Granger says he does not expect fire to jump
However, fire engines are stationed on the
opposite side of the river, just in case. Engines are also
the U-L Bend area, where black-footed ferrets have been reintroduced.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Chouinard Named To Council; Water Rates Increase
(Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2003 08:29 AM)
Glasgow Mayor Willy Zeller gave the oath of office to new city
council member Neil Chouinard on Monday and Chouinard then sat
in on his first council meeting that evening. Chouinard was selected
by the council to replace Gary Stidman who resigned his position
on July 7th.
The city council is taking steps to increase water and sewer rates
for city consumers. This increase won't take effect until November
and will include a $1 increase in the base water rate and .80 cent
increase in the base sewer rate. There will also be a small
increase on the water usage rate for city consumers. The council
hasn't increased water or sewer rates since 1999. This increase
will help pay for a new water meter system for the city. The current
water meters are outdated and the city can't get any new ones to
replace the broken meters. The estimated cost of the new system
is $400,000. The new meters will be able to be read from the city
office and will eliminate the need for a meter reader. The city
currently pays $750 a month for a person to manually read all the
water meters in Glasgow. The new system is also tamper proof and
would cut down on water flowing for free to Glasgow consumers.
The city council also approved a new legal services contract with
city attorney Dave Gorton. The contract will pay Gorton $27,204
per year on a two year contract.
New labor agreements were also ratified with the teamster
union and the police union.
The police officers will receive a .35 cent per hour increase and
the teamsters will receive .40 cents per hour more.
Glasgow Man Arrested On Drug Charges (Posted
Wednesday, July 23, 2003 08:22 AM)
As a result of an investigation by the Glasgow
Police Department, Big Muddy Drug Task Force and the Roosevelt
County Sheriffs Department
a 47 year old Glasgow resident has been arrested and charged
with two misdemeanor and one felony drug charge.
Larry Turner was arrested on Monday July, 14th and charged with
felony criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs. He
was also charged with misdemeanor possession of dangerous drugs
and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Turner has pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor charges and is
awaiting sentencing in City Court. He will make his first appearance
in district court on the felony charge on August 4th. Turner posted
bond of $2500 and was released from custody on July 21st.
As the result of this investigation the Valley County Sheriff's
Department and the Big Muddy Drug Task Force seized 119 marijuana
plants in a rural area between Glasgow and Fort Peck. Law enforcement
groups also executed a search warrant at a residence in the Fort
Peck area but made no arrests were made. According to the VCSO
this investigation is continuing.
Fair Notes From Valley County Senior Center (Posted
Wednesday, July 23, 2003 08:21 AM)
July 29 & 30 2003,TUESDAY NOON & WEDNESDAY
P.M., BINGO IS CANCELLED AT VALLEY COUNTY SENIOR CENTER IN GLASGOW.
Bingo is also cancelled at the Fort Peck Senior Citizens
noon meals next week.
SEE YOU at the NORTHEAST MT FAIR! BINGO UNDER THE GRANDSTANDS FROM
2-6 P.M. Sunday-Wednesday, July 27-30. Sponsored & volunteered
by the Valley County Senior Citizens, the proceeds go to the Valley
County Council on Aging.
AARP volunteers and the Valley County Food Bank Board will be accepting
canned donations at the Valley County Sheriff’s booth next to the Grand
Stands during the Northeast Montana County Fair. Approximately 1700 pounds of
food are needed each month for distribution.
Many area churches set aside the first Sunday of each month to collect food items
for the local Food Bank. Some community organizations have sponsored “Food
Raising” events where participants each bring an item of food for the Food
The Food Bank is supported by those who can make a donation of canned or packaged
food, empty egg cartons, and brown paper bags. If you can provide other assistance,
please contact Terry at the Public Assistance Department at 228-4022 in the Courthouse
The Council on Aging will have a special treat for you to bid on at the Valley
County booth during the Northeast MT Fair. A silent auction will be held for
Ruthie’s ten-inch homemade pies! You can bid on one pie per month for one
year (12 pies) or a pie for one month.
Write down your name and bid with your phone number. Then check back to see if
you are the highest bidder or bid again. The winner picks a flavor of pie and
a date when to pick it up each month at the Valley County Senior Center.
Preservation of the Fort Peck Theatre’s
History (Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2003 08:18 AM)
For 34 summer seasons, the Fort Peck Theatre has entertained thousands
with a wide variety of plays. How to preserve those years; be
it costumes, printed materials, pictures, etc., is going to be
presented to the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council board members and
to anyone else that is interested in the history of this organization.
The Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, Inc. will host Montana Committee
for the Humanities Speakers Bureau program Collections Management
for Montana Museumns with Janet Sperry on Saturday, July 26, 2003.
The program will be at the Fort Peck Hotel conference room at 4:00
p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public. Partial funding
for the MCH Speakers Bureau program is provided by a legislative
grant from Montana’s Cultural Trust.
Museum workers carry real passion for the story they are trying
to tell. In this workshop presentation, areas of concern identified
by the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council will be addressed in preserving
the Fort Peck Summer Theatre, be it costumes, printed materials,
pictures etc.. Subjects covered may encompass everything from writing
descriptions of objects to developing risk management goals.
Janet Sperry was employed by the Montana Historical Society in
Helena from 1981 through 2001 - first as museum cataloguer and
later as registrar/collections manager. A member of Museums Association
of Montana (MAM), Mountain Plains Museum Association (MPMA) and
the Registrars Committee-MPMA, she especially enjoyed consulting
with and learning from museum people from all over the west. Sperry’s
main interests have always been music (she’s a flutist) and
history. She recently combined the two to research and write a
history of Helena’s State Capital Band.
For more information, please call the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council
at 406-526-9943 or contact David Irving.
Commissioners Vote To Increase Elected Officials
Salaries In Valley County (Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2003 03:01
The Valley County Commissioners have voted 2-1 to increase the
salaries of elected officials in Valley County by 7%.
The commissioners followed the recommendation of the Valley County
Compensation Board which recommended the 7% increase after meeting
The compensation board is comprised of all of the elected officials
along with 4 members of the public.
Commissioners Dave Reinhardt and Dave Pippen voted for the increase
and Ron Gilbertson voted against the measure. Gilbertson said the
increase was excessive and a slap in the face for the taxpayers
of the county.
Here are the new salaries for elected officials in Valley County.
County Commissioner: $30,518
Clerk and Recorder: $28,518
Justice of the Peace: $17,820
County Attorney: $69,381
Government Asks Court To Modify Order On Water
Levels (Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2003 08:27 AM)
(Washington-AP) -- The federal government has asked a Nebraska
federal court to modify an order for higher downstream Missouri
The Nebraska court's order conflicts with a July
12th ruling in favor of higher levels in upstream states such
as Montana. The Justice Department asked the Nebraska court yesterday
to alter its ruling to comply with the new order.
The U-S Army
Corps of Engineers has ordered barge shippers and other river
to secure vessels for lower flows.
The legal maneuver came
on the eve of today's scheduled contempt hearing before U-S District
Gladys Kessler in the District of Columbia. She wants to
know why the corps is refusing to obey her order for lower flows
Missouri. Conservation groups are suing the corps and say
upstream will help preserve endangered fish and bird species. (Copyright
2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Fires Continue To Burn On CMR (Posted Tuesday,
July 22, 2003 08:23 AM)
(Jordan-AP) The four fires burning in and around
the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge became three yesterday,
nearly doubled in acreage. Fire information officer Pat McKelvey
says the fires, now called the Missouri Breaks Complex, have burned
about 105-thousand acres.
The Germaine fire grew from 30-thousand
acres to 83-thousand acres partially because it burned together
with the 12-thousand Indian Springs Fire.
The Big Coulee Fire
grew from 18-thousand to 21-thousand acres.
The Ghost Coulee
shrunk to one-thousand acres after officials remeasured it.
McKelvey says yesterday's hot temperatures, low
humidities and winds blowing
at 27 miles per hour helped push the fires. The blaze has
forced about 50 people to evacuate from ranches as it blackened
of ponderosa pine and charred pastures and hayfields. McKelvey
says he's not aware of any buildings burning, but crews
and air tankers protected the Pine Grove School and a radio repeater
site near the school. (Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All
rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.)
Field Station Open For Tours (Posted Tuesday,
July 22, 2003 06:24 AM)
Fort Peck Paleontology, Inc. (formerly Fort Peck Dam Interpretive
Center and Museum, Inc.) would like to announce that their FORT
PECK FIELD STATION OF PALEONTOLOGY at 40 Deer Born Road, in Fort
Peck, is open for tours on Wednesday thru Sunday, from 10 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m.
They would also like to impress that this is not at the new Interpretive
Center – it will not be open until next year, but they still
have lots to offer at the Field Station. The summer dig program
is in full swing, and work continues on the prepping of Peck’s
Rex in the lab.
Case Of Hantavirus Found In Valley County (Posted Thursday, July
17, 2003 06:22 AM)
A serum sample from a Valley County woman tested positive at the
state lab for hantavirus on Tuesday. The woman was undergoing
treatment at a Billings hospital and is expected to recover.
State officials say the woman, in her twenties, was likely exposed
in either Phillips or Valley County.
The number one cause of hantavirus is prolonged human exposure
to rodent droppings and mice nests in homes. The state has confirmed
23 cases of the virus in the past 10 years, including four this
year. Five Montana residents have died from the disease.
County Hires Outside Attorney In St. Marie Bankruptcy
Case (Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2003 05:24 PM)
The Valley County Commissioners have hired an outside attorney
to represent the county in various bankruptcy proceedings regarding
properties at St.Marie.
The commissioners have hired Billings attorney Stephen Mackey to
look out for Valley County's interests in the bankruptcy proceedings.
The commissioners stressed that they aren't looking at legal action
against any of the parties but want to make sure that Valley County
is at the table if any decision is made on any of the St.Marie
properties. The county currently is owed over $380,000 in property
taxes on bankrupt properties at St. Marie.
School Board Hires Lybeck As New Elementary Principal
(Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2003 05:23 PM)
The Glasgow School Board has hired Brent Lybeck as the new Elementary
Principal for the Glasgow school system. Lybeck is a native of
Medicine Lake and has spent the past 21 years in the Sidney school
system including the last three years as K-3 principal.
Lybeck will be the K-6 principal in Glasgow and will supervise
the Irle school and the former Middle school which is now known
as the East Side Elementary school.
The school board has also retained all the head coaches for Glasgow
extra-curricular activities including speech and drama. They also
hired Rosalie Nelson as cheerleading advisor for the 2003-2004
Baucus Helps Secure $8 Million For Hatchery (Posted Wednesday,
July 16, 2003 05:11 PM)
D.C.) Montana Senator Max Baucus has helped advance an additional
$8 million in federal funding to help build the new multi-species fish Hatchery
at Fort Peck Lake.
The Senate's Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee today approved the
funds as part of a spending bill for fiscal year 2004.
This is the first hurdle
the funds must clear in the annual appropriations process. The bill will now
go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for review. Baucus put funding
for the hatchery as his "top
priority" in the spending bill because, he said, the
project will help "create jobs and boost the economy
in northeastern Montana."
"I'm glad Max put the hatchery as his number
one priority," said Chuck Lawson, chairman of Citizens for
Fort Peck Fish Hatchery. "From the beginning, Max and the delegation have
been a driving force in Congress for the hatchery. Max clearly
understands how important
this hatchery will be to jobs, recreation,
and the economy in this area and all of eastern Montana. Getting these funds
is great news, and we're hopeful we can get the hatchery finished as soon
Baucus has been urging Energy and Water
Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Ranking Member Harry Reid (D-Nev.),
to include funds
for the hatchery.
"This funding has been put to good use
on the ground as the project moves into its construction phase,"
in a July 14 letter
to the leaders of the
panel. "This year, I ask that the committee fund as much as possible
$12.5 million needed to finish
Reid, the top Democrat on the panel, said
Baucus has been "doggedly determined for years to get this
project done." "Max has been all over us for the past three years to get funds
for the Hatchery," Reid said. "Folks in Montana, and proponents of the Fort Peck
Fish Hatchery in particular, have real asset in Max. He's working extremely hard,
and today's vote shows he's been effective. This project sill has a long way
to go, but
you can count on Max to work together to get it done."
To date, Baucus and Montana's
Congressional delegation have secured $7.5 million -- $1.5 million
in fiscal year 2002 and $6 million in fiscal year 2003 to design
and build the $20-million
Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery. Roughly $12.5 million is needed to complete
"This is the first big step," Baucus said.
"Geeting these funds in the early stages of the bill will help
of them being signed into
law by President Bush. Now it will be up to Conrad, Denny, and
I to defend these funds as they go through the process."
member of the Senate Environment
and Public Works Committee, Baucus was instrumental in getting
hatchery project approved by Congress as part of the 2000
Water Resources Development Act. Once
completed, the Peck Fish Hatchery will support native fish recovery
and warm-water fish such as walleye and small-mouth bass,
as well as other species that have
been hit by heavy fishing pressure and low water levels in recent
years. The hatchery will be located on 100 acres of federal
land south of the Dredge Cuts
area in Fort Peck and is a partnership between the Army Corps
of Engineers, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks,
Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery,
and Montana Walleyes Unlimited.
Dirty Shame Belles To Perform July 25 (Posted
Wednesday, July 16, 2003 06:57 AM)
A performance by the Dirty Shame Belles at the
Fort Peck Theatre promises to be a memorable highlight of the summer
Betty Truscott of Glasgow, a leader of the Summer Theatre Board.
The Belles will perform on July 25 at 7 p.m., one hour before the
start of the evening’s production of Chicago.
The Dirty Shame Dixieland Band will accompany the Belles, and will
play for each performance of Chicago.
Crowds are expected to be large for all performances of Chicago,
and the heaviest demand for tickets is the evening of July 25 when
the Belles appear, Truscott reports. She is the volunteer in charge
of reserved seating for the Theatre.
In anticipation of the crowds, the Theatre Board has increased
the number of reserved seats. The cost of a reserved seat is $5
Chicago, which has a mature theme, plays for two weekends only:
July 18, 19, 20 and July 25, 26 and 27. All performances start
at 8 p.m., except the 7 p.m. start for the Belles. General admission
prices are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for students.
For more information, call the box office at 406-526-9943.
Chicago Opens Friday At Fort Peck Summer Theatre (Posted Wednesday,
July 16, 2003 06:55 AM)
Subtitled ‘a musical vaudeville,’ Chicago
is the story of Roxie Hart, who murders her lover and with the
help of her fast-talking
attorney Billy Flynn, capitalizes on pre-trial publicity to be
acquitted and begin a stage career. The production carries a
mature theme, advises Artistic Director Christopher Kristant.
Performances are scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings
through July 27. Curtain time is 8 p.m. Tickets are sold at the
box office, and reserved seating is available for an additional
charge of $5. Call the box office at 406-526-9943. An adult admission
is priced at $12, with seniors $10 and students admitted for $7.
Tory Seiter stars as Roxie, with Scott McGee as Billy Flynn and
Paula Swenson as Velma Kelly. Seiter and McGee are Los Angeles
residents and members of this
summer’s professional company. Swenson, who hails from Williston and has
family roots in Opheim, is a volunteer performer in her first year at the Theatre.
The cast is full of the following talented young people from throughout the area:
Marie Fahlgren, Glenn Bratz, Alexa Etchart, Adam Parker, Rory Rosencrans, Kelly
Jo Hagfeldt, Taylor Strommen, Jenna Novak, Holly Taylor and Anneva Uphaus. Popular
radio personality Stan Ozark shines as the Master of Ceremonies.
There will be razzle-dazzle in abundance at the Fort Peck Theatre when Chicago
opens for a two-weekend run this Friday night. The song and dance spectacular
features the Dirty Shame Dixieland Band from the Scobey area for all performances.
Other members of the professional cast in the production are J.P. Dooley, Nick
Grobel, Shawn Newton, Katie Truscott, Katie Kramer, Allison Booth, Dana Donovan
and Nina Buck. Daren Eastwold has done the choreography on the production, and
Alan Hanson the lighting and sound. In addition to performing on stage, Donovan
designed and created the costumes, and Newton is the associate artistic director.
An added attraction for the run of Chicago is an appearance by The Dirty Shame
Belles on the evening of Friday, July 25. They will perform at 7 p.m., one hour
before the show. There is no extra charge for the Belle’s show, and crowds
are expected to be large. Reservations are recommended, especially for that evening.
The Fort Peck Fine Arts Council has produced summer theatre at the historic theatre
since 1970. Chicago is one of the most ambitious productions in the Council’s
Producers Urged To Check on LDP's (Posted Wednesday,
July 16, 2003 06:47 AM)
Producers should check with FSA before harvest
to see what crops may have LDP’s available. LDP’s are
earned when the local posted county price drops below the county
loan rate for
the commodity. Some crops are currently earning, or becoming close
to earning, an LDP.
If a harvested crop is delivered directly to a buyer, beneficial
interest is often lost at time of delivery. A producer can protect
their LDP eligibility by filing a CCC-709 before harvest.
For questions, please call your local FSA Office.
Corps Refuses To Reduce Water Levels (Posted Wednesday, July 16,
2003 06:45 AM)
(Washington-AP) -- The U-S Army Corps of Engineers refused to
reduce water levels on the Missouri River, despite orders from
a federal judge to cut flows to protect endangered birds and fish.
Instead, the corps launched formal talks with the U-S Fish and
Wildlife Service intended to result in a new "master manual" for
the river's flow by Spring 2004.
The new plan of operations was
due in 2002, but the Bush administration postponed it last summer.
The corps says the administration will ask Congress for 42-(M)
million dollars next year for an unprecedented effort to restore
the Missouri River ecosystem.
The agency says the judge's order
-- issued Saturday -- placed it under conflicting rulings.
The U-S District Court for the District of Columbia
on Saturday ordered
the low flows to comply with the Endangered Species Act.
But the U-S District Court for the District of Nebraska ruled last
the river must have enough water for barges to navigate and
power plants to operate. (Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All
rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.)
Web Site Will Link Hunters, Landowners (Posted Tuesday, July 15,
2003 07:19 AM)
could soon be helping hunters and landowners in a new way. An
extension wildlife specialist at Montana State -- Jim Knight --
a Web site. It will link hunters who want meat for the freezer,
with landowners who want hunters to help cull does and cows from
deer, elk and antelope herds.
Knight says he hears every year
from hunters who've tried unsuccessfully for antlered animals;
like to take a female, rather than end the season with an unused
tag. And many landowners are troubled by game that feed on
alfalfa fields, hay stacks and cattle pasture during winter. That
Knight hopes the free Web site will improve
the situation. The site is expected to be up and running by early
September. ------ On the Net: doecowhunt.montana.edu (Copyright
2003 by The
Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Officials Cautious On Water Ruling (Posted Tuesday,
July 15, 2003 07:00 AM)
(Helena-AP) -- Montana wildlife officials are cautiously applauding
a federal court ruling that will keep more water in Fort Peck Lake.
They say limiting the Missouri River's flow may be the only way
to save Montana's population of the pallid sturgeon.
celebrating until the matter has gone through the courts. This
weekend a judge ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to release
less water from Fort Peck Dam. Yesterday, the Bush administration
asked for a delay in that ruling.
Last year a Nebraska federal
court ordered the corps to increase the Missouri's flow.
Fisheries biologist Mike Ruggles says the pallid sturgeon could
in 15 years if nothing changes. Studies have found no natural
reproduction among the fish in 19 years. (Copyright 2003 Associated
Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Baucus Pushes For Hatchery Funds (Posted Monday,
July 14, 2003 03:49 PM)
Calling the project a "prime example of folks working together
to boost Montana's
economy," Senator Max Baucus is pushing to secure federal dollars to finish building
the new multi-species fish hatchery at Fort Peck Lake.
In a July 14 letter to
Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.),
Baucus highlighted the hatchery as his "number one priority" in the fiscal
year 2004 energy
and water spending bill. Domenici's committee is expected to approve the spending
bill Wednesday, sending it to the full Senate Appropriations Committee for
review. To date, Baucus and Montana's Congressional delegation
have secured $7.5 million
-- $1.5 million
in fiscal year 2002 and $6 million in fiscal year 2003 to design and build
the $20-million Fort Peck Fish Hatchery. Roughly $12.5 million is needed to
complete the project.
Baucus said getting the funding included
in the first stage of the
bill will boost its chances of being
signed into law by President Bush. "This funding has been put to good use on
as the project moves into its construction phase," wrote Baucus, referring
to the $7.5 million already
invested in the project.
"This year, I ask that the committee fund as
much as possible of the $12.5
million needed to finish the project." Once completed, the Peck Fish Hatchery
will support native fish recovery and warm-water fish such as walleye and small-mouth
bass, as well as other species that have been hit by heavy fishing pressure
and low water levels in recent years.
A senior member of the Senate
Public Works Committee, Baucus was instrumental in getting the hatchery project
approved by Congress as part of the 2000 Water Resources Development Act. Baucus
said he will continue to work together with Senator Conrad Burns and Representative
Denny Rehberg to secure the additional $12 million needed to complete construction
of the hatchery.
In his letter, Baucus said the hatchery will
"provide much-needed economic benefits to eastern Montana, an area
of my state that has been hit
hard by extended
drought and low water levels at Fort Peck Lake." The hatchery will be located
on 100 acres of federal land south of the Dredge Cuts area in Fort Peck.
The hatchery project is a partnership between the Army Corps of
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Citizens for
a Fort Peck Hatchery, and
Montana Walleyes Unlimited.
"The Fort Peck Fish Hatchery is an extraordinary
example of Montanans working together to move our
state forward," Baucus said. "We've come a long way.
Folks can bet I'll keep up the fight and continue to work hard to secure funds
for the Hatchery."
Principal Candidates Narrowed To Four (Posted
Monday, July 14, 2003 03:41 PM)
The Glasgow School District has narrowed down to four the number
of candidates for the vacant position of K-6 Principal.
Glasgow Superintendent Glenn Hageman told Kltz/Klan that the four
candidates are current Glasgow educator Rachel Erickson, Craig
Sands of Eureka, Henry Mack of Jamestown, ND and Brent Lybeck of
The person chosen for the job will replace Marj Markle who has
been reassigned to the position of Principal at Glasgow High School.
The Glasgow School Board will make a final decision at Monday's
school board meeting.
Judge Rules To Reduce Water Flows (Posted Monday,
July 14, 2003 06:14 AM)
(AP) A judge in Washington D-C has sided
with conservation groups who went to court to get the Corps of
Engineers to reduce flows on the Missouri River the rest of the
The ruling issued Saturday means keeping more
water in the upstream reservoirs and sending less downstream for
and other uses.
American Rivers, the National Wildlife Federation
and other groups asked the judge for a preliminary injunction
that would require low flows by mid-July. North Dakota Attorney
Wayne Stenehjem sued the corps in state court in April, claiming
that its river management plan during the summer would cause
water pollution, and damage Lake Sakakawea's attractiveness as
fishery. The state and conservation groups argued that high
water flows threaten two species of birds and one type of fish
must be protected under the Endangered Species Act.
Rivers spokesman Eric Eckl says the new ruling applies only to
but that the same groups will seek to make the order permanent.
He says the judge's ruling will require lower river flows
from July 15th to September First.
Kiwanis Notes (Posted Sunday, July 13, 2003 10:21 PM)
|Tanya Fransen, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
from the National Weather Service Office in Glasgow, presented
a program at a recent Kiwanis luncheon meeting. The same evening
members and guests attended the launching of the weather balloon
on location at the station. Julie Adolphson, Meteorologist
In Charge, along with Brad Temeyer, Intern Meteorologist and
Andrew Kimball, Student Employee, were on hand to explain the
process and release the balloon. Glasgow Kiwanis is a community
service organization focusing on the welfare of the world's
children. For membership information call Lila at 228-4346
or Bill at 228-9225.
Governor's Cup Winners include
Glasgow Man (Posted Sunday, July 13, 2003 06:05 PM)
A team from Helena and Glasgow won the 16th annual
Montana Governor's Cup Walleye Tournament on Fort Peck Lake Friday
Denny Mailey of Helena and Dan Wetzel of Glasgow won $10,000 for their efforts
as they caught 47.38 pounds of walleye over the course of the two day tourney.
The pair had been sitting in second place after the first day of fishing and
brought in just over 23 pounds on Saturday to hold off a strong finish from
last years champions Robert Martin and Chuck Lawson of Glasgow.
Martin and Lawson had been in 10th place on Friday but brought in almost 30
pounds on the final day but it wasn't enough and they ended up in 2nd place.
Martin and Lawson did make history by becoming the first pair of Montana anglers,
in the 16 years of the event, to win the Governor's Cup portion of the tournament.
Each year the state's represented in the Governor's Cup are asked to designate
one team to represent their state in a competition tallied separately from
the cash prize events.
The largest walleye caught during the tournament was brought in Saturday by
Gene Moore of Fort Peck, a 15.08 pound walleye.
184 teams competed in the tournament with over $45,000 in cash and prizes awarded
County Forms Board To Look At Salary Increases
For Officials (Posted Thursday, July 10, 2003 06:01 AM)
The Valley County Commissioners have formed
a county compensation board to recommend what if any increase in
salary elected officials
in Valley County should receive this fiscal year.
The committee is required by state law and includes the Sheriff,
Clerk and Recorder, Treasurer, County Attorney, and the three commissioners.
The committee also includes four members of the public. Those members
include Kim Enkerud, Tom Klotz, Madelyn Cornwell, and Lorrie Sampson.
The committee has already met and will meet again on July 15th
in the hopes of forming a recommendation for the commissioners
on what sort of salary increase the elected officials will receive.
The current salaries for elected officials in Valley County:
Valley County Commissioner: $28,652.61
Valley County Treasurer: $26,652.61
Valley County Clerk and Recorder: $26,652.61
Valley County Clerk of Court: $26,652.61
Valley County Sheriff/Coroner: $31,472.96
Valley County Attorney: $64,843
Property Taxes Going Up (Posted Wednesday, July
9, 2003 07:34 AM)
(Helena-AP) -- State Revenue Department officials
by the 2003 Legislature should soften the blow of increased property
values in new tax assessments being mailed this week.
reappraisal results in residential property values increasing
an average of about 21 percent, while commercial property climbs
an average of about 23 percent. However, those increases will
be phased in over the next six years under legislation passed
earlier this year.
Senate Bill 461 offsets the rising property
values by reducing the tax rate from three-point-46 percent to three-point-01
percent over the next six years. The exemption for business property
will increase from 13 percent to 15 percent. If property has declined
in value, the law requires those decreases to take effect immediately.
The last of the assessment notices will be mailed
by Friday. Revenue
officials want property owners to understand that the increases
in appraised value, doesn't mean taxes will go up by corresponding
amounts. Officials also noted that taxpayers have 30 days from receipt
of the notice to contact the department if they think their property
was incorrectly appraised.
Valley County taxpayers will see an
average home value increase of 6 percent with the new tax reassessments.
The percentage of homeowners who will pay the same or lower taxes
is 61 percent. These numbers are considerably lower than what
taxpayers in other counties will pay with the reassessments. Residents
Blaine County will see an average home value increase of 38%,
Phillips County residents will see an increase of 16% and residents
County will see an increase of 18%.
Skywarn Training In Glentana Wednesday Night
(Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2003 06:04 AM)
The National Weather Service, in conjunction with the Valley County
Department of Emergency Services will conduct a Severe Weather
Spotter Training Session (SKYWARN) in Glentana. The session will
be on July 9th, 2003 at the Glentana Hall. The training will start
at 7 p.m., and lasts about 2 hours.
The training includes an introduction
to severe weather identification, and also as a refresher to
the already active SKYWARN spotters. The presentation has many
and video from around the region to show people what to look
for, how to be safe during severe thunderstorms, and also how to
The training is open to anyone with an interest
in what Mother Nature can dish up. For more information contact
Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator Rick Seiler at
406-228-6224, or Tanja Fransen, Warning Coordination Meteorologist,
Weather Service Glasgow, 406-228-2850.
City Council Notes (Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2003 11:21 AM)
The Glasgow City Council met in regular session on Monday evening
and opened up bids for the demolition of the Coleman Hotel building
on 1st Avenue South in Glasgow.
The city council had given the owner of the building Pam LaRouque
until June 1st to demolish the building but no such effort has
taken place. The building has been deemed hazardous by city officials
and is in danger of collapsing at any time. The city will pay for
the demolition and the cost will be put on the tax bill of the
building. There were four bidders for the project with the low
bid submitted by J&J Scanlan of Miles City. The low bid was
$17,500. The other three bids were submitted by Fossum Ready Mix
for $19,928, Bighorn Construction for $28,925 and Plains Construction
Work on the demolition is expected to start quickly and the $17,500
bid doesn't include $5000 in landfill costs that the city will
In other action the city council set an application deadline of
July 11th for those interested in applying for the vacant position
on the city council for Ward #1. Gary Stidman resigned his position
on July 7th. Those interested in applying have until July 11th
at 5pm and interviews will be held the week of July 14th through
The city council also appointed Stan Ozark to a term on the Glasgow
Housing Authority through August of 2004.
Crews Contain Refuge Fire; Hope To Control It
Tonight (Posted Monday, July 7, 2003 03:34 PM)
-- Firefighters have completed their lines around a grass and
timber fire on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge.
say the blaze should be fully controlled by tonight; and fire
crews are beginning to stand down today.
The fire burned just over
acres of ponderosa pine, juniper trees and grass. It was started
by lightning last Wednesday, east of the Hell Creek recreational
area, about 18 miles north of Jordan in northeastern Montana.
The fire was nearly all on the wildlife refuge, but included some
amounts of Bureau of Land Management land and five acres of state
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Upland bird prospects bright for fall hunters
across Region 6 (Posted Sunday, July 6, 2003 09:41 PM)
Thanks to abundant moisture last year and this spring, plus a couple
of easy winters, upland bird populations across much of northeastern
Montana appear to be at high levels.
That should be good news for this fall’s upland bird hunters,
but wildlife officials stress that good springtime populations
don’t automatically translate into birds in the bag.
There are still lots of pitfalls,” says Region 6 Wildlife
Manager Harold Wentland. “The drought conditions can return
and impact chick survival. Summer storms can kill birds with hail,
and often haying operations will impact late nesting attempts.”
Still, prospects are bright, especially for northeastern Montana’s
Spring breeding populations of sage grouse appear to be at a 15-year
high,” says Wentland. “We’re documenting some
very strong populations. The sage grouse roosters observed in our
Block Survey Area averaged 23.3 per ground from 1989 through 2002.
This year the average was 36.9 roosters per ground. That’s
58 percent above the long-term average and 52 percent above the
counts taken last year.”
This year’s nesting-success surveys indicate that considerably
more than half of the nesting sage grouse hens were last year’s
chicks, evidence of good production last spring and good overwinter
survival. Wentland notes that this spring’s lush vegetation
growth has frustrated efforts to get a good count of brood sizes,
but that broods appear to average 8 chicks, which is “exceptionally
good,” he says.
Nest success this year is likely related to the carryover of good
residual vegetation, or nesting cover, from last year,” Wentland
adds. “Chick survival this year is undoubtedly related to
good moisture, good vegetation growth and the consequent abundance
of food in the form of insects and succulent young plants.”
The pheasant outlook in Region 6 is also good. Pheasant crowing
counts indicate that breeding populations were high this year.
Counts are made by driving a standard route, stopping and documenting
the number of rooster crows heard at each stop.
The number of pheasant crows we have heard per listening stop along
11 crowing routes has averaged 14.5 crows per stop from 1999 through
2003,” says Wentland. “This year we recorded an average
of 18 crows per stop. The good residual nesting cover from last
year, this year’s excellent plant growth and abundance of
insects should result in good nest success and chick survival.”
Biologists didn’t get good sharp-tailed grouse information
this year, but Wentland says that sharptail populations are probably
tracking the trend that characterizes sage grouse and pheasant
Reports from many landowners support a positive forecast for sharptails,
as well as Hungarian partridge,” says Wentland.
Border Patrol Increases Number Of Agents (Posted
Thursday, July 3, 2003 07:57 AM)
The U-S Border Patrol will increase the number of agents patrolling
the border with Canada by more than half, to help keep out terrorist
weapons, drugs and illegal immigrants.
That word today from the
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection. Spokesman Mario Villarreal
says about 375 veteran agents will be shifted -- on a voluntary
basis -- from current assignments along the southwestern border
to the northern border by the end of this year. That will bringing
the total to one-thousand permanently assigned agents.
the Border Patrol's more than ten-thousand agents are assigned
to the southwestern border. (Copyright 2003 Associated Press.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.)
Government says lower flows violate goal of Missouri River operations
(Posted Thursday, July 3, 2003 07:55 AM)
(AP) Government attorneys say lower flows in the
Missouri River would violate the primary goal of operations for
the river system. That's what the government lawyers told a federal
judge in Washington, D-C, yesterday.
Their arguments came in
a lawsuit by conservation groups, who want the court to order lower
water flows in the Missouri this summer. Their goal is to protect
birds and fish, listed as federally endangered species.
Department is defending the Army Corps of Engineers, and was
by officials from Missouri and Nebraska. The government argues
the primary goal of operations on the Missouri are barge, navigation
and flood control.
Attorney James Maysonett says the corps
does not have the discretion to implement the low summer flows
plaintiffs are seeking. (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press.
Malta Teen Wins Junior Miss Award (Posted Wednesday,
July 2, 2003 08:12 AM)
Chelsea Watts, Montana's Junior Miss from Malta, sang her way
to the overall talent award - and a $10,000 scholarship - at the
America's Junior Miss National Finals in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday.
Watts, 17, is the daughter of Eugene Watts and Paige Juliano. She
has been accepted into the Davidson Honors College at the University
of Montana. She says opera and musical theater are career goals.
She has received numerous awards for music, speech, drama and sports
at Malta High School. She's also been an active community volunteer.
All contestants were judged in five categories: fitness, scholastics,
poise, talent and interview.
Tribe And Valley County Law Enforcement Reach
Agreement (Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2003 08:09 AM)
The Fort Peck Tribal Council
has amended its cross-deputization agreement with off-reservation
to include Valley
County, the Wotanin Wowapi reported.
Tribal police officers now can arrest non-Indians on the west end
of the reservation in Valley County, and Valley County deputies
can arrest tribal members.
Prior to last week's change, Valley County sheriff's deputies couldn't
go into Frazer to respond to calls, said Tom Christian, chairman
of the tribe's Law and Justice Committee.
Supporters said the action will beef up needed law enforcement
on the reservation's west end.
But two tribal council members, Walter Clark and John Pipe, opposed
Long Run Puts Out Another Fire (Posted Wednesday,
July 2, 2003 08:03 AM)
After a busy Monday, the Long Run Fire
Department and CMR fire
units responded to a fire on the Maxness road on Tuesday afternoon
around 1:30pm for a swather and hay land fire. The swather caught
fire, which in turn started the field on fire around it.
Two CMR fire crews assisted Long Run as they were just returning
from the south Valley County fire from Monday. No injuries were
reported. The bi-directional tractor with swather attachment was
a total loss, however.
Fish, Wildlife & Parks seeks comment
on proposed elk quotas in 631, 632
Should Fish, Wildlife & Parks reduce
the either-sex permit quota for elk in south Valley County? Or
is the number of rifle
bull tags about right?
Those are questions the department is asking area sportsmen as
it considers management of the herd in hunting districts 631 and
632. The FWP Commission has proposed leaving the either-sex quotas
the same for this fall’s hunting season as were in place
last year: 30 either-sex rifle permits in 631, 15 in 632.
But the Commission also wants to get comments from the public before
those tentative quotas are finalized at their August meeting. Commissioners
are interested in viewing additional data and hearing from hunters
before they reduce any hunting opportunity.
There’s a range of opinions on the elk situation,” says
Harold Wentland, Region 6 wildlife manager. “Personnel from
the CMR National Wildlife Refuge have expressed concern that the
distribution of age classes among the bull segment of the elk population
in those two hunting districts is not balanced. In other words,
the bull segment contains a disproportionate number of younger
animals. In May, personnel from the CMR and FWP met to discuss
the south Valley elk quotas, and the joint recommendation was to
decrease the either-sex permits from 30 to 20 in 631 and from 15
to 10 in 632 for the 2003 season.”
FWP aerially surveys the elk in these hunting districts every year
during the winter. Elk are classified by sex and age as brow-tined
bulls, spike bulls, cows or calves. In the 2003 survey, 460 elk
were observed in south Valley County. This is above the average
since 1992. With regards to the bull segment, flights since 1992
have shown an average of 40 brow-tined bulls in these districts
combined. During the 2003 survey 41 brow-tined bulls were observed.
The most brow-tined bulls ever observed were 84 seen just last
year. The 2003 survey found the highest number of yearling bulls
(68) in the last 12 years. In other words, as these bulls reach
two years of age, the 2004 survey should find increased numbers
of brow-tined bulls. The cow and calf numbers continue to be very
In response to the high number of brow-tined bulls in 2002, the
Commission raised the combined quota by 10 either-sex permits.
In 2003, with the decrease in the brow-tined bull segment, FWP
initially recommended decreasing the permits by 10. After discussion
with CMR personnel, FWP recommended decreasing them by 15.
The Commission feels that more public comment should be taken before
these either-sex permits are lowered by 15. They would like to
know what you think about reducing the either-sex quotas in HD
631 from 30 to 25, or further to 20, and in HD 632 from 15 to 10.
Please share your opinions by calling FWP’s Glasgow office
406-228-3700 or write MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks, attn. Harold
Wentland, route 1-4210, Glasgow, MT 59230. You can email
or contact the department through its web site at fwp.state.mt.us.
Your comments will be passed on to the commission. Deadline for
comments is the end of July.
Legislators Ranked By Teachers (Posted Tuesday,
July 1, 2003 03:30 PM)
The Montana Education Association and the Montana Federation of
Teachers have released their legislative report card for Montana
The MEA-MFT compiled a list of 12 selected votes on issues related
to education. A total of five legislators in the House of Representatives
received 100% scores while the lowest score was 8%. State Representative
Karl Waitschies received a 42% grade while State Representative
Jeff Pattison scored a 33% score.
In the State Senate, Senator Sam Kitzenberg recorded a 100% score
and was among 14 senators receving a perfect grade. Six Senators
received a 0% score.
Busy Day For Long Run (Posted Tuesday, July 1,
2003 03:28 PM)
The Valley County Long Run Fire Department was
busy on Monday fighting fires in south
With the temperature soaring to nearly 100 degrees the fire department
was called at about 1:30pm to a grass fire 10 miles south on the
Willow Creek road and east of the Pines road. The fire was
contained at about 5pm with 8 fire trucks on the scene and 16 firemen.
It appears that a swather caused the fire.
While that fire was being controlled the department was called
out to a fire on the Willow Creek road towards Bone Trail. This
fire consumed an estimated 200 acres of grass. Four fire trucks
and 8 firemen were on the scene along with CMR units form Fort
Peck, Jordan and Sand Creek. Help was also received from the Page-Whitem
Ranch crews. This fire blazed from 4pm to 10pm.
The department was also called to a fire in Oswego at about 8:30pm
but before the crews could get to the fire it was extinguished
by the rain in the area.
Pearl A. Schmidt
Pearl A. Schmidt, 83, passed away on Thursday, July
31at Our Replace Retirement Home in Glasgow from natural causes.
Services will be Thursday, August 7th at the Assembly of God Church
in Glasgow at 10am with Reverend Dave Rogenes and Reverend Emil
Schmidt officiating. The burial will be at the Highland Cemetery
in Glasgow. Bell Mortuary of Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.
Pearl was born on May 9, 1920 in Lustre to Frank
P. Quiring and Anna Ratzlaff Quiring. She was raised in Lustre
on the family homestead. After graduating from high school she
attended college in Seattle at the Kirkland Business College. Pearl
worked for Buttrey's until she and Andy were married. Pearl married
Andrew Schmidt on June 20, 1947 in Glasgow. They lived on the family
farm for two years, then moved to Glasgow in the fall of 1949.
After moving to Glasgow Pearl worked at Markles, the Valley County
Clerk and Recorder's Office and Montana Power where she retired
as office manager in 1985. She was very active with the Assembly
of God Church and served as the Church Secretary-Treasure for 30
years. She enjoyed embroidering, genealogy and being a homebody.
Survivors include: husband, Andrew Schmidt of Glasgow;
duaghter, Deborah Kaye White of Miles City; brother, Pete F. Quiring
(her twin brother) of Lewistown; grandchildren, Paul E. White Jr.
of the US Navy on the USS Nashville and Naomi Ruth Erickson and
(Thad) of Boise, Idaho.
She was preceded in death by her duaghter, Diana
Faye Scmidt; brothers, Albert Quiring, Alfred Quiring and Walter
Helene M. Diedrich
Helene M. Diedrich, 73, passed away from natural
causes at the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow on Monday,
July 14th. Services will be Thursday, July 17th at 10a.m. at the
First Lutheran Church in Glasgow with Reverend Martin Mock officiating.
The burial will be at the Fort Peck City Cemetery. Bell Mortuary
in Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.
Helene was born on September 4, 1929 in Williston,
ND to Edwin C. Olson and Mabel Johnson Olson. She was raised in
Williston also. On June 7, 1952 she married Edwin D. Diedrich at
Williston. They lived in Wolf Point for 4 years and were in Santa
Barbara, CA from 1956 - 1961. They lived in Glasgow from 1961 to
1973 when they moved to Fort Peck and built their home on Poverty
Ridge, where they have lived since. Helene was active in Glasgow
Elks, gardening, golfing and enjoyed going to Arizona in the winters.
Survivors include: husband, Edwin D. Diedrich of
Fort Peck; daughter, Diane LaRoque of Williston; 1 grandchild,
Heather LaRoque of Williston; brothers, Elvin Olson, Clarence Olson
and Kenneth Olson all of Williston; sisters, Irene Hilstad, Maxine
Nelson and Marion Olson all of Williston; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by Floyd Olson, Morris
Olson and Jim Olson.
Pallbearers include: Jerry McPherson, Sam Sylvester,
Johnny Johnson, Gilbert Bruhn, Al Martin and Tom Ramsbacher.
Honorary Pallbearers are Cliff Hagen and Edwin Swanson.
Gladys Lenora Christensen, 94, passed away from natural
causes on Saturday, July 12 at the Country Home in Malta. Services
will be Wednesday, July 16 at 10a.m. at the Saco Lutheran Church
with Reverend Martin Mock officiating. The interment will be at
the Reitan Cemetery in Reitan, MT. Bell Mortuary in Glasgow is
in charge of arrangements.
Galdys was born on February 3, 1909 in Willow City,
ND to John M. Tollefson and Gemelia O. (Livedalen) Tollefson. Her
father, John, came to Montana to homestead in 1910 along with her
Uncle Tom. Her family movd out to join them in 1912, north of Saco.
On November 27, 1932 Gladys married Emanuel Christensen in Saco.
He passed away on April 14, 1994. Gladys enjoyed rock hunting,
playing cards, was an avid pinochle player, baking cookies, hunting,
embroidery and crocheting. She had a great sense of humor and never
complained about anybody or anything.
Survivors include: Son-In-Law, Ben Albus of Hinsdale;
Grandson, Loran Albus and his wife Sandi of Hinsdale; Granddaughters,
Ramona Doebler and her husband Don of Hinsdale, Nancy Malnaa of
Billings; Great Grandsons, Eric Albus and Jared Albus of Hinsdale,
Nathan Malnaa and Ethan Malnaa of Billings; Great Granddaughter,
Mandy Kubis of Fairbanks, Alaka; Great Great Grandsons, Cole Albus
and Kyle Albus of Hinsdale; Brothers, Oliver Tollefson of Saco,
Berton Tollefson and his wife Jean of Spokane, WA; Sister, Vivian
Knapp of Malta; numerous Nieces and Nehpews.
She was preceded in death by her husband Emanuel
and only daughter Erma Albus and 4 sisters and 2 brothers.
Pallbearers include: Eric Albus, Jared Albus, Loran
Albus, Ben Albus, Don Doebler and Rocky Tollefson.
Richard H. Zimmer
Richard Zimmer passed away, 70, from complications
of cancer, Wednesday, July 9th, 2003. Services will be held at
the Holy Family Catholic Church in Glentana, Montana Saturday,
July 12, 2003 at 13:30pm with Father Rob Oswald officiating. The
burial will be held at the Glentana Cemetary. Bell Mortuary will
be in charge of arrangements.
Richard H. Zimmer was born November 27th, 1932 to
Peter Zimmer and Elizabeth Zimmer Niehoff. Richard touched the
lives of many people with his generous help and kindness. Besides
family, Richard loved to build things, garden, hunt, fish, and
Richard is survived by his 2 brothers, Paul Zimmer
of Chicago, IL and Raymond Zimmer of Livermore, CA and his two
sisters, Dorothy Zimmer of Spokane, WA and Leonie Pehan of Glasgow,
MT. He was preceded in death by his parents Peter & Elizabeth,
and his sister Louise Lucas.
Margaret Lois Skyberg
Margaret Skyberg, 81, passed away Tuesday, July 8th,
2003. Services will be held at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in
Nashua, MT on Tuesday, July 15th, 2003 at 1:00pm with Reverend
Martin Mock officiating. The burial will be held at the Fort Peck
Cemetary in Fort Peck, Montana. Bell Mortuary will be in charge
Margaret Lois Skyberg was born July 5th, 1922 on
the family homestead in McCone County, MT to Melvin C. and Thora
Skyberg. She graduated from Nashua High School in 1941 and from
nurses training at Trinity Hospital in Minot, North Dakota in March
of 1948. In 1951 she was commissioned as a missionary nurse to
West Pakistan and in 1952 she took training to be a mid-wife. Her
nurses training was put to use in various hospitals in Pakistan,
and later while working in a school for Pakistani Christina children.
She retired in 1987 after 36 years as a missionary. She also enjoyed
Margaret is survived by 2 brothers; Kristian Skyberg
of Townsend, MT, Allyn and his wife Dorothy Skyberg of Fort Peck,
MT; a sister in law; Borghild Skyberg of Fort Peck, MT. Her parents
and a brother, Melvin Skyberg, preceded her in death.
Leona V. Bardell
Leona Bardell, 100, passed away Tuesday, July 1st,
2003. Services will be held at the First Methodist Church in Glasgow,
MT on Tuesday, July 15th, 2003 at 9am with Reverend Dave Hodsdon
officiating. The burial will be at the Highland Cemetary in Glasgow.
Bell Mortuary in Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.
Leona Bardell was born May 10, 1903 in Dusneith,
North Dakota to James A. and Isabel Borland. Leona was raised in
Dusneith, North Dakota. After attending Minot State she taught
one year in a rural school and then moved to Glasgow, MT and received
her nurses training. Leona worked as a RN at the Frances Mahon
Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow. Leona married John Stephen Bardell
in Glasgow on July 10, 1926. She was an avid bridge player and
was a member of several bridge clubs. She was also a member of
the Sun Flower Art Club, sang in the church choir for many years,
and was very active in the First Methodist Church. She always had
something nice to say about everybody.
Leona is survived by her 3 daughters; Carol Gamas
and her husband Warren of Glasgow, MT; Joan Fletcher of Denver,
CO, and Helen Peterson. Leona also preceded in death by one son,
Borland Bardell, in 1983.
Ruth Louella Fast
Ruth Fast, 87, passed away Sunday, July 6th, from
natural causes. Services will be held at the First Luthern Church
in Glasgow, MT on Tuesday, July 8th, 2003 at 10am with Reverend
Martin Mock officiating. It will be a private family burial. Bell
Mortuary in Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.
Ruth Louella Fast was born April 16, 1916 at rural
Nashua, MT to Louis and Pearl Johnson. She attended grade school
at Grand Prairie north of Frazer, MT, and high school in Nashua
and Frazer. Ruth attended college in Havre, MT for two years, graduating
with a teachers degree. After college she taught at the Star and
Church Schools in Lustre District #23 and Frazer Disctric #2. Ruth
married Ervin Fast on June 27, 1940 in Wolf Point, MT. They lived
in the Lustre Community and Shelby, MT. Ruth substitute taught
school in Shelby and Frazer until the 1960's. Ruth and Ervin raised
their family in Frazer and then moved to Glasgow in the 1980's.
She loved the outdoors, gardening, crafting, and her 4 grandchildren.
Her husband Ervin passed away in September of 1998.
Ruth is survived by her two children; Don Fast and
his wife Sheila of Glasgow and Sharon and her husband Ed Hopkins
of Bigfork, MT, two sisters; Opal Buchanan of Helana, MT and Ruby
Eliason of Glasgow, four grandchildren; Ryan and his wife Stacey
Fast of Glasgow, Danny Fast and his fiance Darcie Black of Glasgow,
Maridee Hopkins of Seattle, WA, and Janelle Hopkins of Missoula,
and a great grandchild Colten Fast of Glasgow.
Pallbearers will be Steven Berge, Tim Volk, Terry
Fast, Lynn Cornwell, Debbie Bethen, and Pete Pederson.