KLTZ/MIX-93 March 2001 News


Highway 2 Four-Lane Bill Passes House Preliminary Vote (3/30)

Teacher Suspended; Principal Finalists Down To Two (3/30)

Senator Kitzenberg Weekly Newsletter (3/28)

Roy Snyder Among Tourism Award Recipients (3/28)

Water Pipe Break Closes Down One Lane Of Main Street (3/28)

Several St. Marie Condo Association Members Picket (3/28)

Amnesty International Calls For Pepper Spray Investigation (3/28)

Highway 2 Four-lane Bill Passes House Committee (3/27)

Mississippi River Governors Oppose Missouri River Plan (3/27)

Glasgow Elementary Teach Convicted Of Misdemeanor (3/26)

St. Marie Residents Worry About Control (3/26)

Jeff Pattison Update (3/22)

Corps Spring Informational Meeting Set For Thursday Night (3/22)

Waitchies Not Optomistic About Four Lane Bill (3/22)

Valley County Population Drops In Census (3/21)

Important School Board Decisions Coming Up (3/21)

Committee Passes Education Funding Increase Out Of Committee (3/21)

Kitzenberg Co-sponsors WINGS Bill (3/19)

Senator Kitzenberg Update (3/18)

Valley County Students Among Bumper Sticker Design Winners (3/15)

Poplar Man Guilty Of Evidence Tampering (3/15)

School Board Filings (3/14)

Committee Endorses Rice For Supreme Court (3/14)

Signup For The Wool And Mohair Market Loss Assistance Program (Wamlap II) (3/12)

Representative Jeff Pattison Weekly Update (3/12)

Glasgow Man Reappointed To Board Of Livestock (3/12)

Unemployment Down In Valley County (3/11)

Jeff Pattison Update (3/11)

Kitzenberg Update (3/11)

Big Game Counts Up in Hunting Districts 621, 622 and 623 (3/10)

Meeting Regarding Nelson and Fresno Reservoirs Set (3/10)

Meeting Set for Review of Fresno Forage Fish EA (3/10)

Fort Peck Summer Theatre Profits Invested in Endowment (3/10)

North Dakota Waits For Corps Decision On Downstream Navigation (3/7)

Glasgow School Board Hosts Public Budget Meeting (3/7)

School Board Holds Public Meeting On Budget Cuts (3/6)

Pine Hills Youth Center Defends Pepper Spray Use (3/6)

Dr. Charles Wilson Only School Board Applicant So Far (3/3)

Teen Driver Convicted In Traffic Deaths (3/1)

Lack Of Leads Frustrates Investigators In Disappearance Of BC Man (3/1)

FWP Signs Agreement With Corps To Speed Up Hatchery Construction (3/1)

Highway 2 Four-Lane Bill Passes House Preliminary Vote (3/30)

Senator Sam Kitzenberg's bill that would make U.S. Highway #2 a four lane highway has passed the State House of Representatives 60-39 on a preliminary vote.

The legislation will have one more vote probably tomorrow in the State House before having to go back to the Senate for another vote because the legislation was amended in the House.

Teacher Suspended; Principal Finalists Down To Two (3/30)

Glasgow elementary school teacher Julianne Collins has been suspended with pay by the Glasgow School Board.

Thursday, March 23rd, Collins was convicted of unlawful transaction with children which is an misdemeanor. According to the court documents, Collins provided a bottle of wine to two 15 year old females.

After the conviction in City Court the school board suspended her with pay pending an investigation by the Montana School Board Association. The Glasgow School Board has retained their services to do an investigation and make a recomendation on which direction the board should take.

According to Superintendent Glenn Monson a hearing should be held within a month on the Collins case.

Monson also told Kltz/Mix 93 news that a special search committee has narrowed down the choices for a new principal at the high school to just two applicants. A final contract offer could come as early as next week for one of the men to replace the retiring Bob Farrell.

Senator Kitzenberg Newsletter (3/28)

"This Highway will pave the way for trade into the 21st Century" - Senator Sam Kitzenberg, House Transportation Committee Testimony, March 26th.

GOOD NEWS! The House Transportation Committee passed SB 3 (4 for 2) on a 17-2 vote. The bill goes to the floor of the House. Peerless students were there for support. Rep. Karl Waitschies will present the bill on the floor of the House. Two amendments have been added to the bill: (1) The word "generally"; and (2) "consult with the Salish Kooteni Tribe". Since the amendments have been added, the bill will also have to go back to the Senate for another vote. Area legislators, like Rep. Frank Smith and Rep. Don Hedges, will help with the bill. Reach out and touch you representatives in Helena with your support for this bill.

THANK YOU, JORY! When my daughter was back in Washington, D.C. last week, she asked Sen. Burns, Sen. Baucus and Rep. Rehberg about (4 for 2) since it will need federal funding.

BABY COLE IS BETTER! I went down to Billings this weekend to see my new grandson, Cole Jacob Kitzenberg, who had contracted meningitis. He went back into the hospital, was on oxygen and had three tubes plugged into him - one in the head, one in the chest and one in his foot. After "fighting for his life for three days", he was released on Saturday and went home. He is doing better! Praise The Lord!

HOUSE OUT SPENT THE SENATE! Last Friday, when my good friend, Senator Don Ryan D-Great Falls, tried to pull SB 500, the Senate Education bill, from the Appropriation Committee, I gave a speech on the Senate floor where I was asked: "Where is the $40 million extra coming from?" that the Senate Education Committee had requested. When I presented sources for $69 million I quit, but I did make the point that we had "other options".

Then, on Saturday, the House out spent the Senate Committee and appropriated $43 million for education - which was referred to the House Taxation Committee. A good job by the House Members. Be sure to thank your House representatives.

The House Taxation Committee will hear my Ethanol Bill (SB 411) on Thursday which gives a $500 credit to each gas station that puts in one ethanol pump.

The Senate Finance Committee tabled my parks bill , SB 497. The Scobey kids - 60 strong -came to the committee to support me. They were "so well-behaved" the committee chairman, Senator Bob Keenan, (R-Bigfork) complimented them on their behavior. I did call the Scobey radio station "to thank the parents and school for such good ambassadors!" Thanks, Scobey. The bill was tabled but I did try unsuccessfully to "blast" the bill out of committee today.

A short newsletter? Impossible? But here it is!
Serving you in Helena,
Sam Kitzenberg www.kitzenberg.net

Roy Snyder Among Tourism Award Recipients (3/28)

Roy Snyder, Lake Manager for the Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Peck Lake, for going above and beyond his job description to develop recreational opportunities in the communities and counties surrounding Fort Peck.

Gayle Fisher was honored with the Tourism Person of the Year Award and Lewistown received Montana's Community of the Year Award at the 27th Annual Governor's Conference on Tourism and Recreation in Helena. Governor Judy Martz and the Governor's Tourism Advisory Council (TAC) presented these awards at a Tuesday, March 27 closing banquet. The Governor and the TAC also awarded two other Montanans with recognition awards.

Fisher was recognized for her tireless commitment to create innovative ideas to promote Montana tourism. In announcing Fisher's award, chair of the Governor's Tourism Advisory Council, Betsy Baumgart of Helena, praised Fisher for her willingness to assist the state's other five tourism regions with their organizational and marketing efforts.

Fisher has served as the Executive Director of the Russell Country Tourism Region for 8 years. She was also appointed by the TAC to serve on the Bed Tax Futures Task Force in 1998. The group was created to review and recommend improvements on how to best use "bed tax" revenues.

Lewistown received the Montana tourism industry's Community of the Year Award. The gem in the heart of Montana was touted for organizing the Charlie Russell Chew-Choo Dinner Train, the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the Chokecherry Festival and the Lewis and Clark Festival.

One other individual was honored with recognition awards at this year's Governor's tourism conference:

Jack Clarkson, owner of the Madison Arm Resort in West Yellowstone, for his ability to cooperatively work with Federal Agencies to attain a sustainable environment and economy in the West Yellowstone area.

Tourism is one of Montana's leading basic industries. In 2000 the 9.4 million people visiting Montana spent $1.6 billion during their stay. 26,000 jobs are directly supported by nonresident travel with an annual payroll of $395 million annually.

Water Pipe Break Closes Down One Lane Of Main Street (3/28)

Part of 2nd Avenue South, main street in Glasgow, was closed Tuesday and part of Wednesday as water pipe repair was underway.

Several St. Marie Condo Association Members Picket (3/28)

An estimated dozen members of the St. Marie Condo Association today picketed Glasgow businesses who have ties to the Valley Park Liquidating Trust.

Members of the Valley Park Liquidating Trust are Skip Erickson, Carlo Porteen, Richard Wiens, and Dennis Garsjo as well as Marvin Bethea who acts as manager of the bankruptcy assets of Valley Park.

According to one of the picketers, Eleanor Lindsey, they plan to protest outside of United Insurance, CHMS, the law office of Jim Rector and the offices of Dennis Garsjo.

According to documents handed out by the protesters they appear to be victims of a hostile takeover by the Valley Park Liquidating Trust and absentee owners of vacant, run-down buildings, who have never been assessed fees or insured by the Condo Association, nor have they voted in any prior membership meetings.

Eleanor Lindsey told Kltz/Mix 93 News that the protesters feel that the Valley Park Liquidating Trust railroaded a meeting which was held on March 24th that the homeowners don't feel was legally called.

According to documents handed out by the protesters the meeting that Lindsey is talking about occurred Saturday, March 24th and was chaired by local attorney Jim Rector who was hired by Valley Park Liquidating Trust. The three board members removed were Chairwoman Florence Burshnick, Vice President Bill Silver, and Treasurer Joy Fahrner. According to the documents handed out the three board members removed have been advised that they are to continue in their positions until a resolution comes from a pending court hearing.
Lindsey said the three members were removed illegally from the board because Marv Bethea was carrying a number of proxy votes for absentee homeowners that never have been considered members of the Condo Association.

According to Eleanor Lindsey the protesters would like the community to understand what's happening and if they feel like they can give the Condo Association support they would like that too.

Kltz/Mix 93 News also spoke with Marv Bethea who is the manager of the bankruptcy assets for Valley Park and we asked him to comment on the protesters. He said that the Liquidating Trust is not trying to take over the Condo Assocation and that it's important to understand that the protesters are a small part of people who claim to represent the entire Condo Assocation. He said the protesters don't represent the majority of the community and he said many people in the community are dissatisfied with the conditions at St.Marie.

Amnesty International Calls For Pepper Spray Investigation (3/28)

Amnesty International is calling for an impartial investigation, into the use of pepper spray on juveniles at the Pine Hills school in Miles City. And the group says pepper spray should no longer be used at the youth correctional center.

Javier Zuniga is a regional director for Amnesty International. In a letter to Governor Martz he says that, in some cases, the use of pepper spray appears to be cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, in violation of international standards.

State Corrections Director Bill Slaughter says there has already been an internal investigation. He says it found that, in all cases where pepper spray was used at Pine Hills, it was used properly, and only when necessary.

Last month, Republican Senator Sam Kitzenberg, of Glasgow, introduced a bill to outlaw pepper spray in state juvenile centers. The bill has since been tabled. Kitzenberg sponsored the measure after an independent study by a Glasgow minister. He found 41 incidents in one year, in which guards used pepper spray on boys at the reform school.

On the Net: Amnesty International: www.amnesty.org Montana Department of Corrections: www.cor.state.mt.us (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Highway 2 Four-lane Bill Passes House Committee (3/27)

According to Senator Sam Kitzenberg, his bill to make Highway 2 a four-lane across Montana passed the House Transportation Committee 17-2 on Monday. Students from Peerless showed up to voice their support on Monday.

The bill now goes to the floor of the house, where Representative Karl Waitschies will present it.

Two amendments have been added to the bill: the word "generally" and "consult with the Salish-Kooteni Tribe." Since amendments have been made, the bill must also go back to the Senate for another vote.

Mississippi River Governors Oppose Missouri River Plan (3/27)

(Jefferson City, Missouri-AP) The governors of nine Mississippi River state oppose any plans to change the seasonal flow of the Missouri River. They have written to President Bush, saying a lower level on the Missouri would hurt shipping on the Mississippi River.

The Army Corps of Engineers is considering plans to raise reservoir levels on the upper Missouri -- including Montana's Fort Peck Reservoir.

The nine governors say that would shorten the navigation season by 27 days, and reduce the reliability of navigation in the late fall.

Missouri Governor Bob Holden initiated the letter. It was signed by the governors of every state bordering the Mississippi River -- except Iowa, which also borders the Missouri. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Glasgow Elementary Teach Convicted Of Misdemeanor (3/26)

A Glasgow elementary school teacher has been convicted of unlawful transaction with children. According to Valley County Deputy County Attorney Dave Gorton, Julianne Collins was convicted of the misdemeanor on Thursday after a two day trial in Glasgow City Court.

According to Gorton, on June 10th of 2000, Collins provided alcohol to two 15 year old females. The two girls testified that Collins purchased a bottle of wine for them from the Albertsons Grocery Store in Glasgow.

Collins testified that the two females stole the wine from her home.

After a trial that lasted two days, a 5-woman and 1-man jury deliberated 3 hours and found Collins guilty of the charge; sentencing is set for April 19th.

The maximum penalty allowed by the State of Montana for this charge is a fine of $500 or six months in jail or both.

Collins was represented by Glasgow Attorney David Irving while the proscuter was Deputy County Attorney David Gorton.

St. Marie Residents Worry About Control (3/26)

(AP) -- Residents of St. Marie say outsiders are trying to take control of the community north of Glasgow that was built from the long-abandoned Glasgow Air Force Base.

Seattle developer Terry Parks bought about half of the 12-hundred housing units in 1996.

Many units remain unsold, and many are owned by people who don't live there. Those absentee owners contend they are voting members of the St. Marie Condominium Association and have called a meeting for today.

Some of the residents, most retired, fear the absentee owners could raise special assessments, elect their own board of directors and force the association to provide insurance on all the units, occupied or not.

Jeff Pattison Update (3/22)

Hello from your legislative capitol Helena.

This week has been a very, very, busy week. I had a bill up HB 529, which passed the senate transportation committee and will be on the senate floor soon. I have a committee bill to study bicycle safety up soon on the floor and Sam wants me to carry a bill or two for him on the house side dealing with ethanol.

Speaking of ethanol, I have a bill, HB 644, that's up in house tax at 3:00 pm on Friday. This will reduce the tax on E-10 and B-20 by half or 13 cents a gallon. Hopefully the cost incentive will encourage a greater demand. Montana will benefit in many ways. First we will be cleaning up the air with fewer emissions and helping to keep the water clean with the elimination of MTBE's, which is proven to contaminate ground water.

Second we can use a tax break that won't break the state. And last but not least we are working to stimulate the economy by adding value to agriculture. It is estimated that we can use 25% of the small grain crop in Montana after ethanol production gets under way. The by products are going to feedlots as a high protein ration, and hopefully jobs will be created in the process. The Dept. of Transportation is going to oppose this bill but I feel it will be worth the stress to hopefully get ethanol up and going.

I thought I'd bring you up to date on HB 2 action.

First let me give you the big picture and work down from there. General fund provides 39.4% and federal funds provide 46.8% of total HB 2 funds.

Federal funds increase $657.6 million, or 31.5%. This equals 79% of the total HB 2 increase as follows:

$386.6 million for human services
$93.1 million for the transportation program
And increased federal grants for education and other programs
State special revenue funds increase $23.1 million, or 3%, most of which is $19.0 million for highways construction and maintenance...

HB 2 appropriations for the 2003 biennium now are 2.3 billion general fund and 5.9 billion total funds. This HB 2 budget provides for biennial increases of:

149.9 million general fund or 6.9 % before HB 13 and 8.3% after HB13.
834.7 million total funds, or 16.6% (8.3% per year)

The increases to the general fund budget major categories are:

K-12 and higher education 55.0%
Human Services 21.8%
Corrections and Public Safety 8.5%

Together these total 85.3% of the total HB 2 general fund budget. The general fund budget increases are primarily due to the following: Human Services increases (42.9 million) are due mostly to:

1) increased caseloads and annualization of costs for Medicaid (including the Mont. State Hospital), foster care, and providers; and
2) provider rate increases.

Correction and Public Safety increases ($17.2 million) are due to:

1) increased projections for pre-release and contract beds;
2) annualization of the cost of pay exceptions and additional FTE implemented in the 2001 biennium for correctional officers and probation and parole officers; and
3) the addition of a DUI unit. The cost of the DUI unit should result in net savings when an estimated additional $4 million of reduced incarceration costs are removed from the budget.

Higher education increases ($20.6 million) are due to an increase of 4100 per student in state support, an increase in resident enrollment projections, and replacement of 6-mill levy reductions. In addition, the lump sum appropriation was decreased to reallocate funds to the community colleges and the Baker Grant Program.

Public schools increase ($20.6 million) due to a 3%, $14.4 million BASE aid increase in fiscal 2003, an additional $5.3 million of undesignated BASE aid increases, and $1.6 million for school block grants, partially offset by projected reductions in enrollment.

All other increases ($48.5 million) are mainly due to an increase of $39.3 million for local government reimbursements.

Just a brief wrap of House floor action; Increases of $1.1 million over the House Appropriations committee were realized for special spending perks. Here's how it came about: Funding for a Teacher Loan Program, $1.0 million Reduce vacancy savings at MT School for Deaf and Blind to 2%, $42,000 Increase BASE Aid Public School Funding, $5.3 million. Increase general fund match for National Guard Challenge Program form 25% to 40%, $0.8 mill. Reduce block grants (HB121) for public schools, $0.8 million. Increase funds for direct care workers, $0.8 million.

I will give you a comparison and an update for my House Appropriations next week along with an update of other action. The weather is still nice but the temperature is really heating up in the capitol. There are all kinds of limitations here that are starting to become more and more evident. R's that are not are the most frustrating. Oh well we all try to do the best we can in the time we have.

Take care. Thanks for your prayers and letters. Remember to email me here by jpattison95@hotmail.com.

Till next week, keep in Focus.

Corps Spring Informational Meeting Set For Thursday Night (3/22)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be hosting a spring informational meeting Thursday night at the Cottonwood Inn. According to Roy Snyder the Lake Manager for the Corps, this meeting is an informational meeting to discuss predicted lake levels, boat ramps and the fish hatchery and interpretive center.

Snyder said the lake level at Fort Peck currently is at 2222.3 feet which is about 12 below levels from last year. Most boat ramps on the lake are capable of being used during low water levels with the exception of the Nelson Creek boat ramp and the Crooked Creek boat ramp. It doesn't appear that these ramps will be used at all this year.

The Corps is currently hauling gravel to improve the roads to the low water ramps at the Pines, Rock Creek, Bone Trail and Devils Creek.

The Fort Peck Interpretive Center design is almost completed and the construction contract should go out for bid sometime in May. Snyder said he hopes that construction can begin sometime this year on the Interpretive Center.

Waitchies Not Optomistic About Four Lane Bill (3/22)

State Representative Karl Waitchies spoke with Kltz/Mix 93 News on Thursday and didn't seem overly optimistic about the chances of Senate Bill # 3, the legislation which would have the State of Montana make U.S. Highway #2 a four lane highway.

Senator Sam Kitzenberg sponsored the bill in the State Senate and it passed last month; a hearing is set on the legislation on Monday.

Waitchies is sponsoring the bill in the House and sits on the committee that will hear the merits of the legislation, but didn't think the bill had a very good chance of passing.

The highway bill hearing is set for Monday at 3pm in front of the House Transportation Committeee.

Valley County Population Drops In Census (3/21)

The U.S. Census Bureau today released the official Census 2000 Redistricting Data Summary File for Montana. Montana's 2000 population released in December for U.S. congressional apportionment was 902,195, up 12.9% from 799,065 in 1990.

The Public Law 94-171 data are the first population counts for small areas, and the first race, hispanic origin and age data released from Census 2000. Data are given for Montana, its counties, municipalities, census tracts and census blocks. The redistricting data will be used to realign state legislative districts.

"On initial review of the numbers, there are few surprises," said Governor Judy Martz. "The data verify population growth in Montana's western counties and a decline in population in our northeastern counties - a decline that has occurred over the course of the 1990s. But, with these important demographic characteristics from Census 2000 in hand, the state as well as local governments can move forward with our planning. Also, the Public Law data include data for Montana's reservations - the first 'new' data for reservations since the 1990 decennial census."

"The census literally hits all of us in the pocketbook," said Mark Simonich, Director, Montana Department of Commerce. "In addition to being the tool for redistricting and apportionment for the Montana Legislature and local jurisdictions, over 90 federal programs base the distribution of funds all or in part on local population. Our better than national average participation in the Census 2000 process positions us to receive federal funds for everything from highway construction and entitlement programs to grant money."

Valley County saw a decrease in numbers from Valley 8,239 in 1990 to 7,675 in 2000, a drop of 564 people or a loss of 6.85%. Glasgow saw a loss of 8.9% over the 10 year period, a total of 319 people.

A brief profile of the rest of Montana based on Census 2000 shows:

* Five counties with the largest numerical population growth between 1990 and 2000 are: Gallatin, Missoula, Yellowstone,Flathead, Ravalli
* Five counties with the greatest numerical population loss between 1990 and 2000 are: Rosebud, Richland, Hill, Deer Lodge, Sheridan
* Counties having the highest percent population growth from 1990 to 2000 are: Ravalli, Gallatin, Broadwater, Jefferson, Lake
* Counties having the highest percent population loss from 1990 to 2000 are: Garfield, Prairie, Sheridan, McCone, Powder River
* Native Americans identifying themselves as being of one Race increased 17.6% to a total of 56,068, up from 47,679 in 1990
* Racial makeup of Montana: Of the total population, persons identifying themselves as being of one race 90.6% White, 6.2 % Native American (American Indian/Alaska Native), 0.5% Asian, 0.3% Black/African American, 0.1% Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, 0.6% Some Other Race, 1.7% Being of Two or More Races

More state census statistics are available at: http://ceic.commerce.state.mt.us

Important School Board Decisions Coming Up (3/21)

Glasgow School Superintendent Glenn Monson told Kltz/Klan news that the school board will be making some very important decisions next month regarding possible budget cuts for the school district.

Glasgow schools are facing a $244,333 budget deficit for the next budget year and are looking at making some drastic cuts in school programs. At a meeting earlier this month the board indicated they are pursuing an estimated $71,130 in non-salary budget cuts and $157,500 in salary cuts which includes an elimination of 5 and 1/2 salaried positions.

Monson told Kltz/Klan news that the board will have to make the decisions on the budget cuts and the possible closure of the south side elementary school by the end of April.

The biggest decision concerns the south side school. The board can still balance the budget without closing the school but could also save $100,000 with the closure. The school is also in need of some repairs including the possibility of purchasing a new boiler. Monson said the school is not very energy efficient and has very little insulation. If the school were to be kept open the ceiling would have to be lowered, the windows sealed and more insulation installed plus the possibility of a new boiler.

The board will have to take these possibilities under consideration when deciding whether to keep the school open.

The enrollment has decreased 34 students this year and will decrease approximately 50 students next year.

Personel decisions will also have to be made in April as the board is looking at eliminating 5.5 teaching positions. The preliminary plan is to have 2.5 positions eliminated in K-3, a half a position in grades 4-5, 1.5 positions in grades 7-8, and one full time position in grades 9-12.
In other school news a special committee has narrowed down the list of finalists for the high school principal job to three. Earlier this year Bob Farrell announced his retirement after 10 years as principal at the high school and 29 years with the Glasgow system.

The three finalists are Randy Moore who currently is the principal with the Shields Valley school system, Dave Mahn the Assistant Principal and Activities Director at Baker and Greg Mcnary the superintendent in Glenburn, ND.

The finalist will be interviewed next week and the school board will make a decision in April on who will be the next principal at the high school.

Committee Passes Education Funding Increase Out Of Committee (3/21)

State Senator Sam Kitzenberg was part of a majority on the State Senate Education Committee that passed legislation that increased state funding for education by $40 million dollars.

The original by sponsored by Senator Bill Glaser would have increased state funding by $25 million but Kitzenberg joined with three other Republicans to pass the bill out of committee with the additional funding. The final vote tally was 8-6.

Kitzenberg told Kltz/Klan news that the extra funding is necessary for education and the committee wanted to make a statement about proper funding for education. Included in the $40 million increase was $7 million in a two-year rolling average plan that would help the damage declining enrollments inflict on school districts.

Critics have assailed the increase in money for education saying that the state doesn't have the money to increase education funding.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee passed legislation increasing education funding by just 1.5 percent for the first year of the biennium and a 3 percent increase in the second year. The committee also killed a bill that would of provided a $67 million dollar increase to schools.

The House Appropriations Committee voted 13-5 for House bill 121 which provides a $6.9 million increase in 2002 and a $13.2 million increase in 2003.

This legislation also has the backing of Governor Judy Martz and is the primary vehicle moving through the House to fund schools.

Kitzenberg Co-sponsors WINGS Bill; Hearing Is Tuesday At 8am (3/19)

Rep. Monica Lindeen (D-Billings), Rep. Bill Price (R-Lewistown), Rep. Tom Dell (D-Billings), Senator Jon Ellingson (D-Missoula), Senator John Cobb (R-Augusta), and Senator Sam Kitzenberg (R-Glasgow) are joint sponsors of a new bi-partisan bill, HB 641, that would provide $5 million a year to help unemployed workers, under-employed workers, and workers at risk of losing their jobs to enroll in school and retrain for new jobs in growing industries.

HB641 will be heard March 20 at 8 am in Room 102 in House Appropriations Committee. The title of the bill spells WINGS, Workers and Industries for New Growth Solutions. Its focus is to directly assist workers and also to help towns hit hard by industry closures. It provides business start-up help for new businesses, and awards training funds to existing businesses to upgrade current workers' skills and make the business more competitive. WINGS would serve unemployed workers who often "fall through the cracks" in Montana's job training programs, such as farmers and ranchers who lose their land, or workers who lose jobs in small businesses when a large industrial plant closes down in the area.

According to Senator Ellingson, "This bill will help working families by creating and protecting good-paying jobs in Montana and by training our workers so they can take advantage of job opportunities in growing industries. HB 641 does not increase taxes for employers, and it provides substantial benefits for workers and communities at a time when more and more workers are facing the grim prospect of losing their jobs. Everyone wins."
The legislators reviewed 20 years of fund-flow into and out of the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund that created its year-end 2000 balance of $172 million. Committed to finding ways the Fund could support more services to unemployed workers -- beyond just paying out 26 weeks of benefits to eligible workers - they sought a solution to keep the fund stable and not raise taxes for employers. This bill is their answer - it reduces employers' UI tax rate by 1/10th of one percent, and replaces it with an "assessment" of equal value earmarked for the special account to help workers and towns impacted by closures and unfavorable economic trends. Due to the positive ratio between annual wages paid and the balance of $172 million in the Trust Fund, employers in Montana currently pay UI taxes at the lowest rate available under the law, Schedule I. To counter expected criticism by some who remember back to the 1980's when the Fund required a bailout, HB 641 includes a "trigger-off" that stops the assessment before the Fund balance drops and requires an increase in unemployment insurance taxes.
Around the nation, 6 states with solvent UI Trust Funds have enacted similar programs, diverting collections to retrain workers and help businesses. Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Iowa, New York, Texas, and Washington each reduced collections into their similarly already-flush UI Trust Funds to create training accounts. Then-Governor Bush used a UI Trust Fund diversion to help Texas businesses retrain their workers, and neighboring Washington State provides millions from a UI diversion fund to keep its economy thriving by improving workers' skills.
Rep. Lindeen is looking to the Governor to support HB 641. "This bill meets Governor Martz's standards for zero tax increase. No tax will go up and it doesn't spend money from the general fund, so it's not competing with education or public safety for dollars. Montana is experiencing layoffs and business shutdowns at the highest level since the early 1980's. The state's existing training funds are not sufficient to address the needs of this severe economic slowdown. This is a plan to give workers and businesses the skills they need to compete in today's economy."

Senator Kitzenberg Update (3/18)

Legislative Report 10
Senator Sam Kitzenberg
SD 48

BY A SLIM MARGIN OF 16 VOTES, my legislative intern this session, Andy Parker, was elected Student Body President of Montana State University last Thursday. Who knows? He may be Governor of Montana someday.

Speaking of a close vote, I lost on a tie vote this week - seven to seven - a MAJOR, LONG-RANGE EDUCATION BILL to deal with potential teacher shortages in Montana. Only 29% of all new teachers are staying in Montana! I'm not done yet. I'm amending it into another bill for another run at it. Here I go on the outside for an end run! Where are my blockers??!!

Who will teach Montana's Children?

ENERGY Speaking of getting closer, Rep. Doug mood, R-Seeley Lake has introduce a bipartisanship bill (HB 632) aimed at protecting consumers and helping Montana industries by allowing them to buy electricity from Montana Power Company under "temporary lifetime rates" to be set by the state Public Service Commission. His bill is viewed as a significant measure that could gain affordable power for industries at less cost than what they are paying in the open market. Utilities and electrical suppliers selling power at temporary lifeline rates would get tax relief.

I asked Mike Dennison, of the Tribune Capitol Bureau, who has done a series of excellent background stories on utilities, which was the best bills to deal with this crisis, and he mentioned Mood's HB 632. Keep your eyes on it and advise me. I hate high utility bills too!
EDUCATION Speaking again of closer, two education bills have advanced in the House to increase money for schools - HB 121 and HB 31.

Meanwhile in the Senate Education Committee - of which I am a member - is putting together an education funding plan that could route $60 million in new money to public schools and the university system - but its funding source may depend largely on public votes (LC 896) - see my web page: www.kitzeberg.net.

Sen. Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork and Sen. Bill Glaser R-Huntley have put together a plan financed by higher taxes on cigarettes and telephone services and more investment revenue from the state's education trust fund. This plan will be debated in the Senate Education Committee this week.

Testimony on financial aid to Montana’s students was revealed in the Senate Education Committee:
2000-01 Resident College Costs:
Tuition/Fees $3,079
Room/ Board $4,650
Books/ Supplies $750
Personal/ Miscellaneous $2,300
Total: $10,779

The average student that borrows leaves the Montana University System with a debt of $17,000

It takes a starting annual salary of $31,000 to pay back a debt of $17,000.

This is an increase of 24% from since 1994 ($13,000)

Montana's educational loan default rate 9.4% is one of the highest in the nation.

8 years ago we had one of the lowest default rates in the nation (5.1%)

Tuition has increased by 102% in the last 8 years

Loans make up 75% of financial aid.

Memorial Service, April 8, 2001. Each session of the Legislature, a Memorial Service is held to remember legislators who have passed awayfollowing the last session. I have been asked to share some words on former State Representative Manson Bailey (D-Glasgow) who served from 1963-1970.

HB 294 (Teacher's Retirement System) increases minimum benefits from $500 to $600 for a retired teacher with 25 years of service passed the Senate. I voted YES!

The House Transportation Committee will hear SB 3 ( 4 for 2) on, Monday, March 26, 2001 at 3p.m. in Room 472. The bill is being carried by Rep. Waitschies. Please come and support this bill again. Our future depends on it!

Scobey High School students will be here on March 19th and 20th. Dodson will be here March 22nd. Peerless will be here March 26th and 27th. I'm looking forward to your visits.

My new grandson - Cole Jacob Kitzenberg - arrived safely, Monday, March 12, 2001, at 8:03 a.m., 8 lbs, 13 ounces. Life is good!

Serving you in Helena,

Sam Kitzenberg

Valley County Students Among Bumper Sticker Design Winners (3/15)

Governor Judy Martz recognized the eight winning bumper stickers designs chosen from the Agriculture in Montana Schools Bumper Sticker Contest. Contest winners presented their winning entries to Governor Martz on Tuesday, March 13 at the Agriculture Appreciation Legislative Luncheon in the Capitol Rotunda in Helena.

Agriculture in Montana Schools is an organization whose goal is to educate Montana students and promote a greater awareness of the contribution of agriculture to their lives. Agriculture in Montana Schools students also learn about nutrition, education, the national economy and American society, ultimately to become better informed citizens.

The Agriculture in Montana Schools Bumper Sticker Contest has been showcasing the creativity of Montana's youth for more than 10 years.

Students submit bumper sticker designs from kindergarten through sixth grade classes, and those drawings are sent to the superintendent of schools of the county, who selects a winner from each category. Winning drawings from the county level are forwarded on to statewide competition. This year 36 counties participated and 179 drawings made it to the state level for judging.

This year's winners are:
Kindergarten: Seth Robertus of Carbon County;
First grade: Maverick Cady of Liberty County;
Second grade: Amber Christensen of Dawson County;
Third grade: Jana Tihista of Valley County;
Fourth grade: Chisholm Christenson of Valley County;

Fifth grade: Anne Flowers of Teton County;
Sixth grade: Hilary Lynch of Carbon County;
Overall winner: Sarah Tramp of Custer County.

The presentation was part of the Agriculture Appreciation Legislative Luncheon, a precursor to National Agriculture Week, March 18 - 24, 2001. National Agriculture Week is a time to recognize the importance and value of agriculture.

The winning drawings are printed as bumper stickers and are made available through the Montana Department of Agriculture and through Agriculture in Montana Schools.

For more information about the Agriculture Appreciation Legislative Luncheon or Agriculture in Montana Schools, contact Michael Sullivan at the Montana Department of Agriculture at (406) 444-3144, or by e-mail at: agr@state.mt.us <mailto:agr@state.mt.us> .

Poplar Man Guilty Of Evidence Tampering (3/15)

HELENA -- A Helena jury on Wednesday convicted a Poplar man of tampering with physical evidence for presenting a falsified floor plan at a liquor license revocation hearing in Helena in October 1999, Gambling Investigation Bureau chief Jeff Bryson said.

The revocation hearing resulted from Jerome B. Seaman's conviction in Roosevelt County for transporting more than three gallons of liquor purchased in North Dakota to Montana, in violation of state law, and keeping liquor not purchased in Montana on his licensed premises, Bryson explained.

According to documents filed in Helena District Court by Deputy County Attorney Michael Menahan, investigators with the Montana Department of Justice Gambling Investigation Bureau visited the Depot Bar on April 17, 1996, and subsequently seized a quantity of alcohol that had been purchased in North Dakota. Seaman was convicted of the offenses following a jury trial in justice court in Wolf Point.

He has appealed those convictions.

According to court records, Seaman's defense was that the area where the investigators seized the liquor was actually part of a private living area not subject to inspection by the investigators.

Based on the justice court convictions, the Montana Department of Revenue moved to revoke Seaman's liquor license. Seaman contested the revocation and requested an administrative hearing. At an October 1999 hearing in Helena, Seaman submitted a floor plan showing that the area where the illegal liquor was seized was a private apartment.

Hearings examiner Howard Heffelfinger and Department of Revenue attorney Roberta Cross Guns both became suspicious when they compared the floor plan with copies of the Depot Bar's floor plans on file with the departments of Justice and Revenue. After the hearing, Department of Revenue licensing specialist Amber Carpenter requested that the Gambling Investigation Bureau conduct an investigation into the apparently altered document. That investigation led to the evidence tampering charge against Seaman.

Seaman could face 10 years in prison, a $50,000 fine, or both.

School Board Filings (3/14)

The deadline for school board member applications is Thursday, March 29th in Montana. As of Monday, March 12th, Charles Wilson was the only person to file for the one open position on the Glasgow school board.

In Nashua, two positions are open and as of Monday no one had filed. Opheim has one position open, with Bill Tarum filing for that spot. In HInsdale, 2 positions are open, with Maxine Corman and Lyle Lacock filing. In Frazer, there are 2 openings, and both Harold Gleed and Philip Fourstar have filed.

School board elections will be held on May 8th.

Committee Endorses Rice For Supreme Court (3/14)

(AP) The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today to confirm Helena attorney Jim Rice as Supreme Court justice. The decision was made after a chorus of praise for the nominee as honest, fair and nonpartisan.

The Senate was scheduled to vote on his nomination Wednesday -- a day before Rice is scheduled to be sworn in as the newest member of the high court.

Rice is a former conservative Republican legislator and was a G-O-P candidate for attorney general last year. He was chosen by Republican Governor Judy Martz to fill the vacancy created when Justice Karla Gray was elected chief justice in November.

The only hint of controversy came when Democratic Senate Minority Leader Steve Doherty of Great Falls asked Rice about his view of Montanan's constitutional right to privacy. That right was cited by the Supreme Court in 1999 as the basis for the strict protection given to a woman's right to abortion in Montana. Rice adhered to the long-standing mandate that judicial candidates not take positions on issues that may come before them, and did not talk about his view of abortion. However, he did say Montanans' right to privacy is a proper restriction on government interference into the private lives of its citizens. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Signup For The Wool And Mohair Market Loss Assistance Program (Wamlap II) (3/12)

WAMLAP II is available to wool or mohair producers who produced and sheared wool or mohair from January 1, 2000, through December 31, 2000. Farm stored wool is eligible and the producer can certify the quantity. There will be no payment on unshorn lambs. Payment rate will be determined at the close of the application process. The rate will be determined based on the factoring of the available funds divided by the total pounds of eligible wool and mohair reported on each approved application and shall not exceed $0.40 per pound for wool and mohair.

The signup period is from March 5, 2001 through April 13, 2001. Producers may apply at the FSA Office, by fax, by telephone, or by mail. A multi-county wool and mohair producer should apply for WAMLAP II benefits in the county where their headquarters is located.

All applications must be submitted to the applicable County Office by COB April 13, 2001. Late-filed provisions do not apply to this program.

Representative Jeff Pattison Weekly Update (3/12)

Hello from Helena. I feel I must clear the air this week on what I do and do not support, and how I feel legislators are going to come to some sort of agreement on what will and will not work for all Montanans.

First and foremost I feel the purest form of economic development is letting you the taxpayer spend your own money on what you think is necessary. To do this we need to decrease taxes that grow government and not increase its size. There are a lot of programs. Each one comes with a price. The payment for each one is taxes that you and I pay. What you think is important, someone else will not, and vice-versa.

In NE Montana we have a strong sense of values and beliefs. We are hard workers and feel there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Second I am doing everything within my power to represent you here in Helena. There has to be a balancing of ideas with cost effective solutions. I am working to help our hurting schools but I will not cave in to untrue propaganda.

If you want to turn prisoners loose and give the money to education you will not find me receptive. I have postcards along with emails with this demand from home. The funding on the state level is based on ANB or average number belonging. This formula works well in an increasing enrollment, but as we all know has some very tough effects on a declining enrolment.

The latest figures show another drop in enrolment of close to 1000 students. Based on the ANB formula there should be 1.9+ million less going to education. In appropriations Wednesday, we made the decision to leave the 1.9+ in and to allow a 2.4 million grant to fund HB121, thus giving education another 4.3 million.

I will continue to look for other sources of education funding that we can all fiscally live with.

Other action for our area allowed Malta's irrigation project to move up three ranking places.

Ike Knutson said it well,"There are big advantages to being on the appropriations committee." If two projects fall off we will be eligible for the grant money. According to John Tubbs this is a very possible situation. As I see these opportunities to help our area I will work hard to make them happen.

HB 2 is a long ways from being signed into its final form so keep praying and looking for changes.

On the theme of help for our area, my HB529 that helps our farmers, ranchers, and truckers, will be heard on the Senate side March 20 at 3:00 pm.

Also the bill I have on reducing the tax on ethanol and biofuels will be coming out very soon. This will have a great economic impact on the whole state. I will write more about it later.

Just as a side note, I have the honor of being placed on the Legislative Audit Committee. This committee audits various departments and programs the state has.

Lastly I feel that I must apologize if I have sounded a little too partisan. I feel if progress is to be made here or anywhere both the minority and majority will have to work together. It does get a little frustrating with the constant bickering that goes on here. I sometimes turn my ear the other way when day after day the same old song is played. I know what the problems are; let's work to find some real solutions.

First, this starts with getting the facts straight and recognizing what honestly can be done to help solve the problems not only for now but long term as well.

So with that in mind let me give you my address‚ here in Helena.

Email: jpattison95@hotmail.com

Call me at 444-4800

Write to me at Representative Jeff Pattison, Capitol Station, Box 200400, Helena MT.59620- 0400.

Thanks for your continued prayers and comments. Keep in touch and I will keep in FOCUS.
Sincerely Rep. Jeff Pattison

Glasgow Man Reappointed To Board Of Livestock (3/12)

(AP) Governor Judy Martz has reappointed Lee Cornwell and John Paugh to six-year terms to the Board of Livestock.

The seven-member Board of Livestock directs the state Department of Livestock and represents the cattle, sheep, swine and dairy industries of Montana.

Cornwell of Glasgow, is one of four members representing the cattle industry.

Paugh of Bozeman is the lone member representing the sheep industry. The swine and dairy industries also have one representative each.

This will be the second six-year term for both Cornwell and Paugh. The board meets every other month, with the next meeting scheduled for today at the Department of Livestock conference room.

Unemployment Down In Valley County (3/11)

Unemployment in Valley County was down in January 2001, compared to January 2000. Our rate this year was at 5.2%, down from 6.1% a year ago. Valley County saw 3,884 of 4,095 labor force workers on the job in January.

Sheridan County was down from 6.4% in 2000 to 4.0% in January 2001. Roosevelt County was down to 8.8% from 12.1% in 2000. Richland County was down almost a point, from 5.8% to 4.9%. Phillips County held the same at 6.8%, McCone County was down a point from 4.7% in 2000, and Garfield County's unemployment rate was down from 5% in 2000 to 4.2% in January 2001.

The state rate was 5.6% in January, compared to 6.2% in 2000.

Jeff Pattison Update (3/11)

Focus 3/6/01
Hi folks, We are working on HB2 this week. Some of you wanted an update on the current budget status so here are the latest figures.

1. General Government had a reduction of 2.8 million from the Martz budget but still ended up with an increase of 1.54 million increases over the base budget.
2. Health and Human Services took a reduction of 4.2 and ended up 4.07 over base.
3. Natural Resources and Conservation actually increased 800K over MartzÇs and ended up 1.51 million in increases.
4. Corrections and Public Safety lost 5.58 on the budget but increases brought the dept. to a 5.72 increase.
5. Education took a reduction on the budget of 3.34 and only had an increase of 23.9 million dollars.
The total increases to the budget in new proposals were 36.78 million. No department suffered a cut. There was only a reduction of the increases.

In house appropriations we passed an amendment to reduce the full time employees by 1% and travel by 25% resulting in a savings to the general fund of 10.3 million. I will continue to work hard to reduce the fat, while protecting the meat.

I was successful in passing an amendment that gave $200,000 dollars for equipment to the five rural hospitals in Eastern Montana. This will help the rural hospitals with telemedicine. A program called FORTH that deals with fiber optic telemedicine for rural hospitals needed equipment in order to use the technology in place.

In light of the debate on education we had on Saturday I voted to give 20 million a year for the next two years, 40 total, to education in HB 277. This would go directly into k-12. The bill passed on second reading with a vote of 57-43. It seems strange that every democrat voted against it. This bill will not pass third reading unless it has a three quarter vote since it uses the 610 million dollar Coal Trust money for funding.

I guess I don't have to say anymore about who's for what. The only other source of money right now would be from a big raise in your taxes. So...

We have had really nice weather here lately. The break was nice and it was a pleasure to meet with many of you while I was back. I will let you know how HB 2 is coming next week; till then keep the letters and calls coming.
Thanks for your prayers and support. Sincerely, Representative Jeff Pattison

Please contact me with any concerns you may have. Let me know if your business brings you to Helena. I would welcome any hometown faces. You may contact me at 406-444-4800. http://www.jeffpattison.com/

Senator Kitzenberg Update (3/11)

With the critical issues of utility prices and educational funding still far from a clear solution, last Saturday, the 49th day of the 2001 Legislature, saw more than 2500 people crammed into the Capitol for a raucous rally for public education. I was there! Glasgow's bus was one of the first to arrive around 9:30 a.m.

The crowd applauded most of the 15 speakers, but when Senate President Tom Beck, R-Deer Lodge and Martz's Budget Director Chuck Swysgood told the crowd that they do have plans to save the schools - a possible tobacco tax, investing trust funds in the stock market, and tapping the permanent coal tax trust fund - some of the audience hissed or heckled.

Talk of the coal trust came just as an attempt to tap it was failing to get the necessary support of three-fourths of the House. After a two and a half hour debate, on mostly party line votes, the GOP-controlled House voted 57-43 in favor of House Bill 277, by Rep. Gay Ann Masola, R-Townsend, to take $20 million in each of the next two years out of the state's $610 million permanent, 26-year-old coal tax trust - 57 votes was well shy of the 75 needed. Finding 18 votes from Democratic ranks on an issue like the coal tax trust is about as close to impossible as you'll get in the Montana Legislature.

Republicans argued Montana schools are at a crisis point and Democrats said the trust must be preserved for future generation as it was intended and the money for schools should come out of the state's general fund or checking account.

Thousands of education backers from across Montana were largely backing HB 31, by Rep. Carol Juneau, D-Browning, to increase school entitlement by $67 million, but where will the money come from?

Other options: Governor Judy Martz's proposed budget (HB 121) provides 0% the first year and 3% the second year - or 1.4% over the coming biennium. Taking enrollment changes since 1999 into account, the governor's budget proposal for 2001-03 actually reduces total state aid for schools by $1.7 million compared to state aid budgeted for 1999-2001.
In the Senate, a bill comes from Sen. Bill Glaser, (SB 70), which would increase direct state aid to schools by $37 million in 2002 and $48 million in 2003. Where does his money come from?

A huge increase in the cigarette tax from 18cents a pack to 54 cents, which would raise $47.5 million in the biennium. Aproposed bill-draft, LC 896, by Sen. Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork, would take new funding, possibly the cigarette tax and give 50% to K-12, 30% to the University system and the remaining 20 % would be set aside for the Legislature's appropriation committees to use for their highest priorities.

Priorities make a difference! $31 million dollars allocated for K-12 schools for 1999-2001 was never spent because of declining enrollment. The legislature committed this money to public schools, and it should remain with public schools. The $31 million could fund almost half of the 4% and 7% increases requested by the educational community. (HB 31)

Other options: This next week several members of the Senate Education Committee, including myself, Sen. Don Ryan (D-Great Falls) , may try to build "a committee bill" that would include among other things: "The Savage Amendment"- which would increase the cap on school funding.

My LC-1423 is a 4% Sales Tax -1% K-12, 1% University System, 2% Personal Property Tax Relief.

House Majority Leader Paul Sliter, R-Somers, introduced HB 474 "that would make the state tax on power production 33 times greater than it is now, and use the resulting millions to subsidize electric rates. He said the bill attempts to ensure that potential abuses in the energy industry "are not practiced on the backs of our citizens".

Senator Mack Cole (R-Hysham) has energy bills by the co-ops that are coming. He gave me a booklet on their future plans. Most of them are attempts "to serve the public" rather than to gouge them (see www.kitzenberg.net).

In the Saturday, March 3, 2001, issue of the Helena Independent Record was an article by Charles S. Johnson outlining a "host of options, including the possibility of an excess or windfall profit tax on power generators, to obtain affordable electricity for consumers and industrial customers". It's worth reading. (@ www.kitzenberg.net)
A short term solution: SB 398 by Sen. Kien Miller, which allows for the operation of temporary power generation facilities.

OTHER WEEK HIGHLIGHTS:SB 3 ( 4 FOR 2) has been referred to the House Transportation Committee, Room 472, and should be heard soon. Watch my web site for details. Rep. Karl Waitschies will carry it in the House.
SB 411, providing a limited tax incentive of 5 cents a gallon (up to $500 per pump) for a fuel retailer to install or modify pumps to dispense ethanol-blended fuel passed the Senate on Friday. Rep. Jeff Pattison will carry it in the House.

Big Game Counts Up in Hunting Districts 621, 622 and 623 (3/10)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists recently completed an elk survey in Hunting Districts 621, 622 and 623. Eleven individual flights were flown in a helicopter from February 8th–14th under good to excellent survey conditions. A total of 2077 elk were observed during the survey, an increase of 432 elk from 1999. Each hunting district reflected an increase in all sex and age classes of elk. Branch antlered bulls increased from 171 bulls to 245, an increase of 45% from 1999. For all three hunting districts a total of 47 bulls per 100 cows and 45 calves per 100 cows were observed.

Before the recent survey, elk numbers in the three hunting districts had remained stable between 1997-1999. The increase in numbers is probably the result of steady growth of this population since 1999 and higher observability of elk due to good-excellent survey conditions this winter. Cows and calves were also concentrated in large herds making them more easy to locate, but difficult to classify (see table).

Incidental observations of mule deer and bighorn sheep were also noted in the three districts during the survey. Counts suggest mule deer have doubled in number, increasing from 910 in 1999 to 1857 in 2000. The total number of mule deer in these hunting districts would actually be much higher since only elk habitat is surveyed and mule deer are more difficult to spot than elk. A total of 93 bighorn sheep were also sited, 25 of which were on Mickey and Brandon Buttes, while the other 68 were in the Iron Stake Ridge/Larb Hills region.

Hunting District Year Bulls Cows Calves
*Unclassified Total
621 1998-99 107 370 179 656
621 2000-01 119 396 180 151 846
623 1998-99 95 240 126 461
623 2000-01 175 126 59 196 556
622 1998-99 120 261 147 528
622 2000-01 122 355 156 42 675
TOTALS 1998-99 322 871 452 1645
2000-01 416 877 395 389 2077

Unclassified count for 2000-01 is a result of elk found in large herds. Since most bull elk were in smaller bachelor groups, almost all the unclassified elk were cows and calves.

Meeting Regarding Nelson and Fresno Reservoirs Set (3/10)

Fish, Wildlife and Parks invites local anglers and other interested members of the public to an open meeting Thursday, March 22nd at 6:30 p.m. at the First State Bank in Malta. Topics include: Nelson Reservoir Creel Census and Population Estimate, 2002-2003 Fishing Regulations and Fresno Reservoir Forage Fish Environmental Assessment. Fisheries personnel from Glasgow and Havre will provide information and take comments.

Copies of the Fresno EA are available at the Glasgow Regional Headquarters, Havre Area Office, or can be downloaded off the MFWP web site. Contact the Glasgow Area Office (228-3700) or the Havre Area Office (265-6177) with any questions concerning the meeting.
Meeting Set for Review of Fresno Forage Fish EA (3/10)

A public meeting regarding the Fresno Forage Fish Environmental Assessment will be April 3rd from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Duck Inn Olympic Room in Havre. Included in the meeting will be public comment concerning the 2002-2003 Fishing Regulations. Fisheries biologists from Havre and Glasgow will be in attendance for the meeting.

Copies of the Fresno EA are available at the Glasgow Regional Headquarters, Havre Area Office, or can be downloaded off the MFWP web site. If you have any questions contact the Havre Area Office (265-6177) or the Glasgow Area Office (228-3700).

Fort Peck Summer Theatre Profits Invested in Endowment (3/10)


On the wings of last year’s successful summer at the Fort Peck Theatre, a portion of the season’s profits has been invested in the organization’s endowment.

Members of the executive board of the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, Inc., voted to put $2,500.00 into the Fort Peck Theatre Preservation Foundation, announced Immediate President Sharon DeWit of Opheim. The Foundation helps to care for and maintain the building and grounds.

The 2000 season was one of the most successful ever at the Theatre, breaking all previous attendance records, DeWit reports, adding that performers enjoyed playing to three sold-out evenings

The Council’s gift brings the balance on the endowment to $29,078.87 as of the end of last year, explains Cynthia. Markle of Glasgow, who chairs the Foundation committee for the Council. The Foundation is held in trust by the Montana Community Foundation. The endowment is held in perpetuity and 5 percent of earnings are returned to the Council for its use.

“It is our dream that some day earnings will cover all the needs of the property,” Markle said. “We’re working to build the endowment so that becomes a reality.” The Council uses earnings to preserve the building and make it safer. Two projects have been completed to date. Last spring, a fire exit door was installed in the basement under the stage.

“Actors assemble here when they are not needed on stage and quick exit is essential,” Markle emphasized.

Earnings in 1999 were used to do touch-up painting on the wooden siding. Previous preservation efforts restored the exterior to its original condition, and the painting was done as regular maintenance on the building.

The Council is looking at several options for use of this year’s earnings and will identify a project this spring. Everyone can help to build the Foundation, Markle said. For more information, contact her at 228-8090.

North Dakota Waits For Corps Decision On Downstream Navigation (3/7)

(AP) North Dakotan officials are waiting for the U-S Army Corps of Engineers to decide on shortening the downstream navigation season this year.

The corps has discussed the shortened season to conserve water in the three main reservoirs -- North Dakota's Lake Sakakawea, South Dakota's Lake Oahe, and the Fort Peck Dam in northeastern Montana.

Todd Sando is the development director for the North Dakota State Water Commission. He says the snowpack is the worst its ever been -- about 40 percent below normal. He adds that if projections hold true for lower-than-normal runoff conditions, Lake Sakakawea could reach record-low levels by March 2002. Sando has also suggested legal action if the situation worsens. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Glasgow School Board Hosts Public Budget Meeting (3/7)

The Glasgow School Board hosted a public meeting Tuesday evening to gather public input regarding possible budget cuts for the school district.

Over 100 people attended the meeting held at the Glasgow High School Auditorium and heard from members of the board along with Superintendent Glenn Monson.

Monson started the meeting out by explaining why the school board has to make the necessary budget cuts. The Glasgow District enrollment has declined by 177 students since 1992. This decline has reduced the school budget by $457,153 since 1992. The school board has reduced school staff by 17 positions since 1992 this includes 10.5 teaching positions, 3.5 administrative positions, 2.5 custodians, and half a secretary position.

The school enrollment has decreases by 34 students this year and will decrease approximately 50 students next year. The district will face a budget decrease of $147,233 for the coming school year plus face a $60,000 increase in the cost of utilities and longevity pay raises of $36,000 for teachers. This gives the district a total budget deficit of $243,333 for the coming school year.

The school board has come up with some preliminary budget cuts to help make up this deficit.

The activity budget would be cut $19,430. Board member Ted Mcintyre explained that no extra-curricular activities would be eliminated but there would be a $10 increase in activity fees for each student and activity tickets would also see an increase of $10. Middle School students would also start paying a fee to participate in activities. Another suggestion would be to increase the gate admissions for school activities by $1 per ticket.

Other budget cuts would inclue a $3000 cut in school food which would feature a raise in lunch tickets for Glasgow students. General supplies would be cut $17,5000, Equipment purchases by $11,2000 and contracted services by $20,000.

The total non-salary cuts would be $71,130.

The largest item in the districts budget is salaries which totals $3,300,000. The board is looking at making substantial cuts in school teaching staff. Preliminary recomendations include 2.5 teachers at the Irle School for a savings of $73,500, a half position at the South Side School for a savings of $14,000 and 1.5 positions at the Middle School for a reduction of $44,000. 1 position would be reduced at the high school for a savings of $26,000.

The total staff reductions would be 5.5 positions for a savings of $157,500.

Monson explained that with these savings the South Side Elementary School would not have to be closed. It was thought that to meet the budget deficit the school could be closed for a savings of $100,000. He told the audience that if they don't close the school substantial money would have to be put into the school for a new boiler which would cost an estimated $30,000 and also a retrofit would be needed to make the school energy efficient.

The school board will have to make a decision in the coming weeks on whether or not to close the school. Monson did say that once the school is closed it will never be opened again.

If the south side school is closed the fourth grade students would be moved to the Irle School and the fifth grade students would be moved to the Middle School.

Even with all the budget cuts and savings the district still would be short $7,730 in its budget. Much though is depending on if there will be an increase in state aid for education. The Montana Legislature is currently debating how much money education should receive in the next fiscal year.

Final decisions on all of these budget cuts will be made by the school board in the coming months.

School Board Holds Public Meeting On Budget Cuts (3/6)

The Glasgow School Board will be holding a public meeting Tuesday evening as they look for public input regarding potential budget cuts for the school district.

The board is facing a budget shortfall of over $160,000 in the next budget year and potential budget cuts will be discussed.

Among the items that could be on the chopping block, the activities budget, school personnel, closure of the south side school, equipment purchases and increases in the cost of the school food program.

The board is looking for public input into these decisions. The meeting will be held at the Glasgow High School Auditorium at 7pm.

Pine Hills Youth Center Defends Pepper Spray Use (3/6)

(Miles City-AP) -- Staff at the Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility are defending their use of pepper spray on residents, which at least one expert calls excessive.

Last month, Republican Representative Sam Kitzenberg, of Glasgow, introduced a bill to outlaw pepper spray in state juvenile centers. The bill has since been tabled.

Kitzenberg sponsored the measure after an independent study by a Glasgow minister. He found 41 incidents in one year, in which guards used pepper spray on boys at the reform school.

David Roush is director of a juvenile detention research center at Michigan State University. He says there are no national standards, but usage of pepper spray at Pine Hills seems excessively high. Guards say pepper spray is necessary for them to handle some of the violent teens, with the least amount of harm to staff and inmates. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Dr. Charles Wilson Only School Board Applicant So Far (3/3)

Dr. Charles Wilson is the only applicant to date for an open trustee position on the Glasgow School Board. Wilson is an incumbent trustee on the board and is running for his third three year term.

According to Kelly Doornek, school district cler,k March 29th is the final date to file for the open position on the school board.

Application forms may be picked up at the school administration office.

Teen Driver Convicted In Traffic Deaths (3/1)

(Great Falls-AP) -- An 18-year-old driver, in an auto wreck that killed two other teens, has been found guilty on two counts of involuntary manslaughter, in U-S District Court in Great Falls.

Leeann First Smoke, of Dodson, was charged in the August 17th crash that killed 16-year-old Alden Werk and 16-year-old Gerard Healy.

It happened south of the Fort Belknap Agency, in an area known as Three Mile Coulee.

According to testimony, the teens had been driving around the reservation all night, drinking beer and listening to music.

The crash occurred on a stretch of Montana 66 at about 6:30 a-m. Another passenger -- Werk's older brother, Patrick -- survived the multiple-rollover wreck. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Lack Of Leads Frustrates Investigators In Disappearance Of BC Man (3/1)

(Great Falls-AP) Investigators are frustrated by the lack of leads, in the disappearance of a British Columbia man. Phillip Pugliese was last seen December 29th, when he dropped off a pickup truck at a dealership in Malta.

Then, 61-year-old Pugliese apparently headed back to Canada, driving a 1995 teal four-door Saturn, with a broken front fender. He hasn't been heard from since.

Pugliese is a driver for Truck City U-S-A in Kelowna, B-C. He delivers vehicles to dealerships, and has made many trips across Montana's Hi-Line.

In mid-January, a Havre business owner said a man fitting Pugliese's description came into his store, at the end of December, to have his glasses fixed. He was with a younger man, in his 20s, about six feet tall with shoulder length, sandy colored hair, who might have been a transient. (Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

FWP Signs Agreement With Corps To Speed Up Hatchery Construction (3/1)

The Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks has signed an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that could speed up the actual construction of the Warm Water Fish Hatchery at Fort Peck.

Darlyn Dascher, a member of the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission announced Tuesday night that the department has signed an agreement with the Corps to use $157,000 raised by the sale of the warm water fishing stamp for engineering and planning for the hatchery.

With this funding planners can now get started on the actual engineering work without waiting for an actual appropriation from the United States Congress.

Dascher said this will allow the hatchery to be built two years sooner than they thought.

Congress has authorized $20 million for the construction of the hatchery but the money has yet to be appropriated. The actual appropriation is not expected to be approved until later this year.

George C. Johnson

George C. Johnson passed away March 20, 2001 at age 89 of natural causes at Valley View Nursing Home in Glasgow. Funeral services are scheduled Monday, Mar. 26 at 11:00 AM at Opheim Methodist Church. Burial will take place at Thoeny Cemetery. Bell Mortuary of Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.

Johnson was born April 14, 1911 in Gary, MN to Joseph Johnson and Elvina Benson Johnson. George was raised in the Opheim area, his family homesteaded 6 miles northeast of Opheim. He worked in the ship yards in California then on the construction of Fort Peck Dam. He also worked at the Hungry Horse Dam and at the aluminum plant in Columbia Falls. He also did carpentry work for JC Penney stores in the northwest United States. He married Ruby Stuber, December 2, 1966, in Boise, ID. They lived in Sumner, WA for 30 years before moving back to Glasgow in 1997. Johnson enjoyed playing Bingo and Aggravation and he enjoyed working with wood.

He is survived by his wife, Roby, of Glasgow; sistes, Jenimae Dahl of Opheim and Eunice Crisp of Russelville, AK; along with many nieces and nephews.

Esther Thornton Abern

Esther Thornton Abern, 77, of Glasgow, MT passed away Friday, Mar. 16, 2001, at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, MT of natural causes.

Graveside services will be at 1:30 PM Tuesday, Mar. 20 at Highland Cemetery in Glasgow. Services are slated Saturday, Mar. 24, 1:30 PM, at Kingdom Hall in Glasgow. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

She was born June 7, 1923 in Avondale and grew up in Glasgow. Esther married Wayne Abern in Wolf Point June 7, 1941.

Her husband was in the civil service and the couple had lived in Great Falls while he worked at Malstrom and in California, before returning to Glasgow.

Her life was centered on her Jehovah's Witness faith and she enjoyed house decorating and her family.

A son, Bob preceded her in death. She is survived by her husband; a daughter, Linda Molzhon of Glasgow; a sister, June Slattum of Glasgow; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Edith Lucy Hosterman

Edith Hosterman, age 85, died of natural causes Saturday, Mar. 17, 2001 at Valley View Nursing Home in Glasgow. Funeral services are set for Friday, March 23, 2:00 PM, at the First United Methodist Church in Glasgow with Rev. Dave Hodsdon officiating. Burial will take place in Highland Cemetery. Bell Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.

She was born in Amidon, ND December 4, 1915 to Frederick Gellett and Mabel Hayes Gellett. Edith was raised and attended schools in Amidon, ND. She moved to Wheeler, MT during the construction of the Fort Peck Dam. She met Lloyd Hosterman at a circus at the Valley County Fairgrounds. Edith married Lloyd Hosterman on May 30, 1937 in Billings, MT. They lived in Wheeler, Fort Peck, Glasgow, Red Lodge, Hardin, Miles City and then moved back to Fort Peck in 1963. They retired and moved to Glasgow in 1970 where she has resided since. She was a great cook and always canned her food. She was active in gardening and with the Church Ladies Circle. She was a member of the Rebeccas and was always "Grandma". Her husband passed away in 1998.

Survivors include two sons; Duane Hosterman and Jeaneen of Ukiah, CA, Arthur Hosterman and Doris of Glendive, MT; one daughter, Donna Humphries and Dennis of Glasgow; and 7 grandchildren.

Pallbearers include Scott Hosterman, Dean Hosterman, Pamela Hosterman, Jody Hosterman, Michael Hosterman, Wade Humphries, Dennis Hunphries, Donna Humphries, Duane Hosterman and Arthur Hosterman.

Erma V. Albus

Erma V. Albus of Hinsdale died at age 72 on March 14 at the Billings Deaconess Hospsital. Services will be held Monday, Mar. 19, 10:00 AM at the Hinsdale American Legion Hall. Rev. Chris Flohr will officiate services. Burial will take place at Hillview Cemetery in Hinsdale. Bell Mortuary of Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.

Erma was born December 16, 1928 on the family farm north of Saco to Emmanual and Gladys Christianson. She attended the Tollefson School and Saco High School. Erma married Bennie K. Albus on June 28, 1945. They lived on the family farm until 1981 when they moved to Hinsdale to enjoy a well-deserved retirement. Erma was a fighter up until the end. She will always be remembered for her beautiful cakes and the fact that she always called a spade-a-spade,

She is survived by her husband Ben Albus; one son, Loran (wife Sandi) Albus of Hinsdale; two daughters, Romona (husband Don) Doebler of Fairbanks, Alaska and Nancy (husband Rory) Malnaa of Victor, MT; 5 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, mother Gladys Christianson of Hinsdale along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Douglas V. Whitaker

Douglas Vernon Whitaker funeral services are Monday, Mar. 19, 2:00 PM, at the Saco United Methodist Church. Rev. Kent Gordon will officiate the services. Interment will take place at Grandview Cemetery in Saco. Bell Mortuary of Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.

Whitaker, a long-time Saco rancher, passed away March 12, 2001 in San Pablo, CA. He was born in Saco March 8, 1935 to Omer and Grace Garrison Whitaker.

He is survived by his wife, Gayle; three daughters, Elizabeth Gayle and her husband Russell Marshall of LaCenter, WA, Virginia Gay and her husband Bruce Newell of Chanute, Kansas and Jodi Grade and her husband Steve Barnard of Hinsdale. Doug was the much beloved grandfather of Cody, Jesse, Shane and Bo Newell, Eric and Benjamin Marshall and Seth and Katherine Barnard. Whitaker is also survived by his brother Tom and sister-in-law Judy Whitaker of Cypress, Ca; brother, Don and sister-in-law Barbara Whitaker of Saco; sister Beverly and brother-in-law George Allison of Helena; brother Richard and sister-in-law Donna Whitaker of Helena; and sister Ann and brother-in-law Fred Napier of Stanton, CA.

His parents, his brother Robert Whitaker and an infant sister, Imogene, preceded Doug in death.

Helen Louise (Arndt) Mavencamp

Helen Louise (Arndt) Mavencamp, 60 years, died Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2001 at the Phillips County Hospital from lung cancer. Funeral services will be Saturday, Mar. 17, 1:00 PM at the Adams Memorial Chapel with burial in the Forks Cemetery at Whitewater. Adams Funeral Home of Malta is in charge of arrangements.

Helen was born April 18, 1940 in Malta, the daughter of Robert and Edith (Johnson) Arndt. She was educated at the Genevieve School, Snake Creek School and graduated from Glasgow High School in 1957. She married Monte Mavencamp in Malta November 27, 1957. They lived northeast of Whitewater on the ranch where she made a home for her family for the remainder of her life.

She was a member of the Women's Club and served as secretary for many years. She was a leader of the Cross Country 4-H Club. After her children were raised, she enjoyed spending her free time crocheting.

Survivors include her husband, Monte of the home; her mother, Edith Arndt of Hinsdale; sons, Fred (Gail) Mavencamp, John (Marie) Mavencamp; Mary Ann (Chet) Barnard, June Mavencamp, Jean Mavencamp, Charlene (Bob) Sunford all of Phillips County; sisters, Marion (Walt) Frost of Tacoma, WA; brother, Jim Arndt of Flathead; grandchildren Cindy, Tami and Wendy Barnard, Heather, Samantha, Justin andJessica Wiese, Devin, Karly Brooks, Randi and Eric Sunford and Mikal Mavencamp.

Clarence J. Philippi

Clarence J. Philippi, 82, of Nashua, died Thursday, March 1, 2001, at Holy Rosary Health Center in Miles City.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 8, at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Nashua. Burial will be in Highland Cemetery in Glasgow. Bell Mortuary of Glasgow is in charge of arrangements.