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Valley County Jail Roster
State of Montana Sexual and Violent Offender Web Site
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Latest Local News
Monday, October 15th 2018
Valley County Sheriff's Deputy Luke Strommen charged with Felony Sexual Abuse of a Child
Valley County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Strommen is being charged with Felony Sexual Abuse of a Child according to court documents filed in District Court in Glasgow on October 11th.

Strommen has been on paid administrative leave since June 15th when the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation started an investigation into an incident that occurred in 2014. DCI was called to investigate by Valley County Sheriff Vern Buerkle.

The court document states that in May of 2018 DCI was called to investigate alleged improprieties by Deputy Luke Strommen. During the investigation, DCI identified a possible victim. The alleged victim was 17 at the time of the incident according to court documents.

The victim confirmed she met Strommen in 2014 while he was on duty during a traffic stop. The victim confirmed she had an intimate relationship with Strommen which lasted for approximately one year; during which time the two would communicate via phone, text and email and meet for sexual encounters.

The victim confirmed that much of their communication was sexually explicit and that a majority of the time that whey would meet for sexual encounters, Strommen would be in uniform and on duty.
The victim described Strommen as “very sly, conniving, and power hungry,” however the victim confirmed that her intimate involvement with Strommen was consensual.

The court documents also state that during their relationship, Strommen encouraged the victim via phone, text, and email to send him sexual images of herself. Strommen also allegedly encouraged her to engage in sexual conduct and send him photographs of that conduct.

The victim provided investigators the iPhone she utilized in 2014 to communicate with Strommen. A Cellbright phone extraction was completed with her consent. The extraction found several conversations between the victim and defendant including images.

According to the court documents, an agent with DCI corroborated Strommen’s tactics and behavior with statements by multiple witnesses and other involved parties.

Based on the facts submitted in the court documents, DCI believes probable cause exists to charge Luke Strommen with Felony Sexual Abuse of a Child.

As of Monday morning, a summons had been signed by District Court Judge John Larson of Missoula. Judge Larson will preside over the case as Judge Yvonne Laird has recused herself. Strommen has not been arrested but will appear in District Court in Glasgow Tuesday at 1:15pm.

Valley County Sheriff Vernon Buerkle told Kltz/Mix-93 that Strommen is still on paid administrative leave but Valley County has been in contact with Montana Association of Counties to begin the process of changing the employment status for Strommen. MACO is the insurer for Valley County.

Saturday, October 13th 2018
Senator Tester introduces legislation to provide funding for St. Mary's Project
Big Sandy, Mont.)—U.S. Senator Jon Tester has introduced legislation to provide critical funding for the Milk River Project in northcentral Montana.

After Tester spoke to the St. Mary’s Working Group this week, he drafted a bill to ensure the federal government picks up 75 percent of the tab for the major water project. Currently, the federal portion of the project is 26 percent, burdening local jurisdictions with a hefty bill.

“This legislation ensures that local taxpayers won’t be stuck with the enormous cost of this project,” said Tester. “Investing in this infrastructure will provide water for families, businesses and farmers and ranchers in the region.”

Tester’s St. Mary's Reinvestment Act will cover 75 percent of the cost of Sherburne Dam and Reservoir, Swift Current Creek Dike, Lower St. Mary Lake, St. Mary Canal Diversion Dam, and the St. Mary Canal.

The entire project is estimated to cost $41.9 million. It will provide water to 18,000 Montanans and irrigate enough cropland to feed one million people.

Tester recently secured $1.9 million for this project in the 2019 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act.

Friday, October 12th 2018
Hunters Against Hunger
In conjunction with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, hunters who legally harvest big game during the hunting season can donate all or part or their meat to feed hungry Montanans. To help with processing charges, anyone purchasing a Montana hunting license has the opportunity to make an on-the-spot donation to Hunters Against Hunger.

A hunter who applies for or purchases a deer, antelope, elk, moose or wild buffalo license may donate $1 or more in addition to the price of each license. These contributions help pay for processing and distribution of the donated game to feeding programs statewide.

There is no cost or processing fees for donated meat. Legally harvested big game animals can be donated to our participating local processors, Treasure Trail Meat Processing and Hi Line Meats. Donations received locally will benefit the Valley County Emergency Food Bank and the Valley County Council on Aging.

Hunters Against Hunger is sponsored locally by First Lutheran Church with the support of the Valley County Ministerial Association. For further information contact First Lutheran Church at 228-4862.

Thursday, October 11th 2018
Two Rivers Announces Leadership Changes
The Board of Directors of Two Rivers Economic Growth, a local nonprofit development organization serving Valley County, Montana, is announcing changes to its executive team.

First, its newly appointed Officers include President Doris Ozark of Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, Vice President Melissa Sigmundstad of Cottonwood Inn & Suites, Treasurer Lisa Koski of the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Secretary Jennifer Robley of the Fort Peck Town Office, and Past President Michelle Tade of Housing Authority of Glasgow.

Keegan Morehouse will continue to serve as Executive Director and additional 2018/2019 Board Members include: Betty Stone, Bob Connors, Becky Erickson, John Fahlgren, Mary Henry, Jean Depuydt, and Brenner Flaten.

Directors are considered key partners in the planning and growth of Valley County and its communities. The Board meets every first Tuesday of the month at noon at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow which is open to the public. If you’re interested in serving on the Board of Directors or in becoming a Member, please contact Keegan Morehouse at (406)263-GROW (4769), email trg2@nemont.net stop into the Two Rivers office located at 313 Klein Ave., Glasgow, MT 59230 or visit our website at GrowValleyCounty.com .

We would like to offer a heartfelt thanks to our wonderful community members that donated dessert for the auction- Dyan Carlson, Jason Myers, Alison Nickels and Winky Kochendorfer.

Also a big thank you to our local Albertsons & Reynolds for helping to provide a wonderful meal!

Thursday, October 11th 2018
Hospital fires nurse hired despite child porn conviction
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A small eastern Montana hospital has fired a nurse it recently hired even though she had a child pornography conviction.

Officials with Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson said Denise Carlson started work on Oct. 1.

Hospital leaders invited community members to a meeting two days later, where many residents criticized the move.

CEO Audrey Stromberg tells The Billings Gazette the hospital board voted Tuesday to fire Carlson. Stromberg declined further comment.

The Gazette reached Carlson's daughter, who said her mother wasn't available for comment.

Federal prosecutors alleged Carlson downloaded child pornography over a period of nine years until investigators caught up with her in 2008. She was sentenced to six years in federal prison.

The Montana Board of Nursing issued Carlson a probationary license after evaluations determined she was at low risk to re-offend.

Thursday, October 11th 2018
Wind And Cold Headed To Northeast Montana On Friday Night
(from the National Weather Service in Glasgow)
Windy conditions Friday Night will transition to cold conditions mainly Saturday and Saturday night. Temperatures are expected to struggle to the 30s Saturday then fall into the teens and 20s Saturday night. It'll remain cool Sunday with a return to more seasonable conditions Monday.

Windy conditions are expected Friday Night with a cold front dropping into the area from Canada. Colder air will filter into the area Saturday that will be more than 20 degrees below normal.

Mainly dry conditions can be expected through Saturday, but a passing snow shower or two may reduce visibility briefly. Waters on area lakes will be rough and hazardous.

Thursday, October 11th 2018
Glasgow School enrollment declines from September to October
The latest numbers for school enrollment in the Glasgow School District show an enrollment of 847 students in pre-school through grade 12.

This is a drop of 21 students from the last enrollment count conducted in September of this school year. In September the student count was 868.

In October of 2017 the school enrollment for Glasgow was 867 students.

Thursday, October 11th 2018
National Weather Service Winter Weather Observation Training Is October 16
The National Weather Service in Glasgow, MT will be doing an online CoCoRaHS training with an emphasis on winter season weather observing. The training will be held next week on Tuesday October 16, 2018, with further details below.

If you are interested in reporting your daily precipitation, or you know someone who is, check out the details below on how to attend the training. CoCoRaHS is an excellent way to make a difference in your community! Your data is not only used by NWS meteorologists, but also by researchers, mosquito control, insurance adjusters, ranchers and farmers, as well as those in education or academia, and many more! If you would like to learn more about the program, check out the main CoCoRaHS webpage.

If you're a current weather observer for CoCoRaHS, or even someone recently new to the program you are also welcome to attend the training if you'd like to go over the basics once more.

Wednesday, October 10th 2018
Roosevelt Medical Center criticized for hiring nurse with child porn record
CULBERTSON, Mont. (AP) — A small Montana hospital is facing criticism from the community after announcing that it had re-hired a nurse who was convicted of receiving child pornography on her computer.

The Billings Gazette reports the Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson announced in a post last month on its Facebook page that it had hired Denise Carlson, who was released from federal prison in 2016 after admitting to downloading sexually explicit images and videos of minors and serving more than six years.

Roosevelt Medical Center CEO Audrey Stromberg defended the board's unanimous decision to retain Carlson, saying the nurse had worked for seven years as a "casual status employee" who picked up other nurses' shifts prior to her conviction.

Attempts by the Billings Gazette to reach Carlson at her most recently listed home phone number were unsuccessful.

Wednesday, October 10th 2018
Absentee Ballots to be sent out October 12th in Valley County
The Valley County Election Office will send out absentee ballots for the November General Election on October 12th.

There are currently 4814 registered voters in Valley County. That number compares with 4767 registered voters in the June Primary Election.

Here are the number of registered voters in Valley County for the past 3 General Elections:

2016 General Election: 4845

2014 General Election: 4720

2012 General Election: 4790

Tuesday, October 2nd 2018
TransCanada is set to begin construction on the Keystone XL oil pipeline next year.
Preparation is underway to begin construction in a few months. TransCanada first proposed the $8 billion project 10 years ago.

TransCanada spokesperson Robynn Tysver says it likely is the most studied pipeline project in history. The State Department recently updated its 2014 environmental impact study of Keystone XL.

“Most recently, the Department of State put out a draft environmental assessment report. That report said that the Keystone XL pipeline poses minimal risks to groundwater and the environment,” Tysver tells Nebraska Radio Network.

TransCanada expects to begin laying pipe first in Montana and South Dakota next year with construction in Nebraska not beginning until 2020.

Keystone XL is a 36-inch pipeline which would run from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska where it would connect to the southern portion of Keystone XL. TransCanada says the pipeline will move crude made from oil sands in western Canada to refineries along the Gulf Coast in Texas.

The pipeline has been delayed a number of times.

A federal judge ordered the State Department to update is environmental assessment of Keystone XL after the Nebraska Public Service Commission approved the route, but not the route proposed by TransCanada.

President Barack Obama denied TransCanada the presidential permit it needed to cross the border. President Donald Trump reversed the decision and approved the project.

Tuesday, October 2nd 2018
National Coffee with a Cop Day set for Wednesday in Glasgow
Come join your neighbors and police officers for coffee and conversation on National Coffee with a Cop Day, Wednesday, Oct. 3, from 7 to 9 a.m. Glasgow Police Officers, Valley County deputies and Montana Highway Patrol officers will be at the Loaded Toad, 527 2nd Ave. S., and Hot Shots Espresso, 319 Klein Ave.

The mission of Coffee with a Cop is to break down the barriers between police officers and the citizens they serve by removing agendas and allowing opportunities to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers in your neighborhood.

For any questions, contact the Glasgow Police Department at glasgowpd@nemont.net or 406-228-8050.

Tuesday, October 2nd 2018
City of Glasgow awards bid for Water System Improvement Project
The Glasgow City Council has voted to award Sletten Construction Company the bid for the Water System Improvement Project. The bid totaled $6,944,595 with construction on the project estimated to start later this year and be completed by the end of 2010.

The project includes a complete retrofit of the city water filtration plant along with some components of the water distribution system in the city of Glasgow.

The total cost of the project is $8,854,500. Just over $7.1 million of the funding for the project will come from loans from USDA Rural Development. Rural Development has also awarded the city a grant in the amount of $813,600 and the city was awarded a $500,000 TSEP grant. An estimated $400,000 was contributed by the city of Glasgow using the water enterprise fund.

While construction of the project will cost nearly $7 million, engineering the project will cost over $1.4 million.

Friday, September 28th 2018
Name of possible homicide victim released by Valley County Sheriff's Office
According to Valley County Sheriff Vern Buerkle, at 5:49 p.m. Thursday evening, a Valley County Deputy responded to the call of an altercation in the Fort Peck area between two family members.

According to the Billings Gazette, John Ersness, a 58-year-old North Dakota man, was arrested and is being held on a deliberate homicide charge. Bond has been set at $500,000.

As the deputy arrived at the home in the cabin area of Fort Peck, he spoke to Ersness, who was just leaving the residence. Upon trying to contact the other family member at the residence, the deputy discovered the other complainant was deceased.

The name of the deceased has been identified as 62-year old Corwin Ersness. An autopsy will be performed today.

The Montana Highway Patrol later arrested Ersness, who is a family member of the alleged victim. the alleged homicide occurred at a cabin on Stonebroke Drive in Fort Peck.

The investigation is ongoing from both the Valley County Sheriff's Department and the Montana Highway Patrol.

Thursday, September 27th 2018
Frazer Man Dies In Single Vehicle Accident
18-year old Brayden Jackson of Frazer died in a single vehicle accident 18 miles north of Frazer on Wednesday night at approximately 6:45 p.m.

Jackson was with 3 other people when the vehicle rolled and Jackson was pinned underneath the vehicle. The other occupants also suffered injuries and were transported to area hospitals. The driver and two other passengers were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries, and later released.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol, they were reportedly driving through a field chasing deer. The driver attempted to turn too quickly, and the vehicle rolled, coming to rest on its side, and trapping one of the occupants inside.

The MHP says the driver was a 19-year old man; the other passengers were a 25-year old man, and a 13-year old girl. All four people are from the town of Frazer.

The MHP believes that speed was a factor in the crash; there are no indications of alcohol or impaired driving.

Wednesday, September 26th 2018
2018 Homecoming Schedule Released
The 2018 Homecoming schedule has been released - you can download it here
Wednesday, September 26th 2018
Glasgow Woman Killed By Train in Wolf Point
A Glasgow woman died after she was hit by a train in Wolf Point on Monday.

The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office says the victim has been identified as Lexis Synan of Glasgow.

According to BNSF, the woman was struck near the Wolf Point Amtrak station at around 5:45 p.m. on Monday.

Wolf Point Police say the 22-year old woman was taken to the Northeast Montana Health Service.

She was pronounced dead at hospital.

The rail line through the area was closed for several hours as authorities investigated.

Tuesday, September 25th 2018
Scottie Homecoming Notes From Glasgow Chamber
The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture will once again be hosting the Saskatoon Police Pipes & Drums during the 2018 Glasgow Scottie Homecoming Festival weekend. The band will be a part of the Scottie Homecoming Parade on Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 2:30pm, the Scottie Booster Club tailgate party at GHS at 6:00PM, and performing during half time of the Scottie vs. Cut Bank Wolves football game.

On Saturday morning, the Band will perform in Fort Peck at 9AM for the Scottie Cross Country meet in Kiwanis Park. They will then head to the Kiwanis Pancake breakfast at the Senior Citizens center at approximately 10:30AM continue onto Valley View Home @ 11:00AM, Nemont Manor @ 11:30AM and to Prairie Ridge @ 12:00PM.

At 5:30PM the annual Pub Crawl will begin at Cottonwood and end at Sam & Jeffs.

The Pipe Band is sponsored by the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce, Scottie Booster Club, GHS Student Council, Kiwanis Club & Local Area Merchants.

The Chamber will also be awarding chamber big bucks for the best class float, community float, organizational float, as well as best business window display. This years’ homecoming theme is “Conquer Cut Bank”.

Bring the family and enjoy one of the many opportunities to watch the Saskatoon Police Pipe Band perform and enjoy Scottie Homecoming 2018. Show your Scottie Pride and decorate your windows.

Tuesday, September 25th 2018
Montana FWP will present waterfowl identification workshop in Glasgow
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks will present a waterfowl identification workshop on Tues., Sept. 25, in Glasgow. This class is free, open to all ages, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Valley Event Center upstairs mezzanine.

Oftentimes, there can be barriers that keep interested folks from becoming waterfowl hunters. Duck identification can be one of those barriers, but it may not be as big an obstacle as one might think.

Jim Hansen, FWP’s Central Flyway Migratory Bird Coordinator from Billings and other FWP staff will present a video, identification tips, and provide hands-on practice and quizzes at identifying ducks and other waterfowl, using a combination of ID guides, wings, skins, and expertise. In addition, presenters will also explain and answer questions about Montana’s waterfowl hunting seasons and regulations and provide some tips and tactics.

There will be something of interest for everyone; from new to experienced waterfowl hunters, birdwatchers, and anybody interested in nature. All those attending will receive a free waterfowl identification booklet and leave with more knowledge about Montana’s waterfowl. Youth under age 12 are expected to be accompanied by an adult.

Montana’s duck and goose hunting seasons open Sept. 29, following a special two-day youth waterfowl season for hunters ages 10 to 15 on Sept. 22 and 23.

FWP ensures that its meetings are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. To request special accommodations for this meeting, or if there are any questions, please contact 406-228-3700.

Tuesday, September 25th 2018
FWP to hold CWD Public Information Sessions across Region 6
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is hosting three public information sessions across Region 6 regarding Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and planned surveillance efforts for the upcoming hunting season. Sessions will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the following locations:

Oct. 9, Glasgow, Cottonwood Inn Conference Room
Oct. 15, Scobey, Nemont Friendship Room
Oct. 16, Havre, Hill County Electric Hospitality Room

Last year, FWP discovered CWD in deer south of Billings and north of Chester. This contagious neurological disease can infect deer, elk and moose. It is always fatal and there is no known cure. Because of the new discovery, transport restrictions are in place for deer harvested in locations where CWD has been detected.

FWP will conduct extra surveillance during the general fall hunting season in high-priority areas in parts of northern and western Montana, including Hunting Districts 640, 670, 630, 620, 611, and 600 in Region 6.

Check stations for collecting CWD samples from deer and elk will be in operation over the weekends and located in Havre, the Malta area, and shifting between the Scobey and Glasgow areas. Check station locations are subject to change depending upon sampling priority, and locations will be updated weekly on the Region 6 Facebook page.

All hunters must stop at all check stations, but submission of CWD samples is voluntary. Deer heads may also be submitted at the FWP Region 6 Headquarters in Glasgow and the Havre Field Office.

Join FWP biologists and others at the information sessions to ask questions and learn ways to help FWP with CWD surveillance this fall. To learn more visit fwp.mt.gov/cwd . FWP ensures that its meetings are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. To request special accommodations for this meeting, or if there are any questions, please contact 406-228-3700.

Monday, September 24th 2018
Hi-Line Sportsmen seek participants for Valley County deer-hunting initiative
Members of the Hi-Line Sportsmen are seeking beginning Valley County hunters interested in teaming up with experienced mentors to learn the basics of deer hunting this November.

The initiative is part of Hi-Line Sportsmen’s “Field to Freezer” campaign designed to harvest deer and contribute venison to hunt participants as well as the local food bank.

The mentoring portion of the project will pair volunteer mentors from the Hi-Line Sportsmen with beginning hunters of any age. The beginning hunters are welcome to do the harvesting themselves, with the assistance of their mentors, or they may simply tag along on a hunt with a mentor to observe a hunt in action. Mentors will help educate the beginning hunters with everything from gear to shot selection to field dressing and butchering of the harvested animals.

The first-time hunters are encouraged to take their meat home, or they can donate their harvest to the local food bank for distribution to local households in need of wholesome protein.

“Deer densities on the landscape are currently in really good shape, especially mule deer,” says Drew Henry, Valley County wildlife biologist for FWP and also a member of the Hi-Line Sportsmen. “Hunters have the ability to purchase surplus doe licenses, representing a great opportunity for doe harvest and filling a freezer.”

The Field to Freezer campaign is designed to capitalize on the above-number of deer in the county this fall. Hi-Line Sportsmen members plan to use surplus deer tags to harvest does and donate the meat to the Valley County Food Bank. The mentoring campaign takes the initiative one step further, serving as an invitation to beginning hunters who might not have the means or assistance to get out in the field by themselves this season.

“On a national basis but also locally, we’re seeing the number of hunters in decline,” says Andrew McKean, a founding member of Hi-Line Sportsmen. “The number one reason people don’t hunt or stop hunting is that they don’t have someone to take them or show them how. We hope to solve that by helping with both of those needs.”

The focus for the November hunts is on antlerless deer, but participants can use whatever valid tags they possess. If they don’t hold a valid deer tag, they are encouraged to accompany their mentors on the hunt and to learn about the basics of deer hunting. Either way, the mentors are committed to serve as unpaid guides, assisting with all aspects of the hunt, from finding a place to go to locating deer to making the shot, field dressing, and converting the animal to healthy, wholesome venison.

“That’s the definition of a mentor, to serve as a trusted guide who can answer questions, offer assistance, and help with all aspects of a new experience,” says McKean. “Glasgow and Valley County are full of hunting mentors, and it’s our goal to activate them to help a new generation of hunters.”

If you are interested in participating, either as a mentor or as a hunter, contact either Andrew McKean at 406-263-5442 or Drew Henry at 406-230-0133 or leave a message on Hi-Line Sportsmen’s Facebook page. The Hi-Line Sportsmen will be compiling rosters and pairing mentors with hunters over the next month. Mentors will be in contact with their apprentices to schedule sight-in and hunt days. Additionally, the Hi-Line Sportsmen and Fish, Wildlife & Parks plan a community sight-in day on Sunday, Oct. 14, to ensure that hunting rifles are safe and accurate and that all participants can demonstrate safe gun-handling skills.

At the end of the hunting season, organizers plan to host a wild-game feast where all participants can come together, enjoy a meal, and swap stories and pictures of their experience.
Monday, September 24th 2018
Upcoming USDA Farm Service Agency Deadlines for Farmers and Ranchers
Montana agricultural producers are reminded of the following USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) dates and deadlines:
• Sept. 4: First day of Market Facilitation Program Signup for Corn, Dairy, Hog, Sorghum, Soybean and Wheat producers
• Sept. 30: 2018 Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Managed Harvesting Period Ends
• Oct. 1: 2019 Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) Application Closing Date for Annual Fall-Seeded Crops, Perennial Forage and Grazing, Mixed Forage Crops (including spring seeded annual types of mixed forage), Rye, Speltz, Triticale, Wheat and Garlic
• Nov. 1: 2018 Emergency Assistance for Livestock Fish Program (ELAP) Application for Payment Deadline
• Nov. 5: County Committee Election Ballots will be mailed to Eligible Voters
• Nov. 12: All Hay Bales Must be Removed from Conservation Reserve Program acreage
• Nov. 15: 2019 Acreage Reporting Deadline for Apiculture, Perennial Forage, Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) including Native Grass, Fall Wheat (Hard Red Winter), and all other Fall-Seeded Small Grains. Please note that this is the final date that FSA can accept late-filed 2018 reports for these crops.
• Dec. 1: 2019 NAP Application Closing Date for Honey Producers
• Dec. 3: Last Day to Return Voted County Committee Election Ballots to local FSA Offices
For more information, call or visit your local FSA office at 228-4321, ext. 2 in Glasgow.
Friday, September 21st 2018
49-year old Nashua man charged in sex case
A 49-year old Nashua man has been indicted by a grand jury on three felony charges related to two sexual assault charges.

Roger Dean Fisher has pleaded innocent to two charges of Abusive Sexual Contact and one count of Aggravated Sexual Abuse.

Fisher appeared in Federal Court in Great Falls on September 11th and was released on his own recognizance. A trial date has been set for November 13th.

Count 1 of the charges state that Fisher allegedly knowingly engaged in a sexual act with a person by using force against the person and threatened and placed the person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury and kidnapping. This allegedly occurred in or about 2013 to 2015 near Nashua.

Count 2 of the charges in the indictment state that Fisher, in or about 2013 to 2015 near Nashua knowingly engaged in sexual contact with a person without the persons permission.

Count 3 of the indictment states that between in or about 1990 to 1993 at Frazer that Fisher knowingly engaged in sexual contact with a person who had not yet reached the age of 12 at the time.

The trial is set to be held in Great Falls Federal Court.

Friday, September 21st 2018
Unemployment rate in Valley County falls to 2.3% in August
MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana’s unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month, down to 3.6% for the month of August. The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9%.

“It’s a great time to be a worker in Montana. Household income is growing faster than any state in the country, and we lead the nation in middle-class growth,” said Governor Bullock. “Over the last six years we’ve made significant progress in creating opportunities for businesses, employees, and communities to grow and thrive. Our strong economy reflects that work.”

Payroll employment posted a gain of 700 jobs in August, with 600 of those jobs in the private sector. Total employment, which includes agricultural and self-employed workers in addition to payroll employment, added 400 jobs.

In addition, Governor Bullock shared yesterday that Montana had the fastest growing median household income among states from 2016 to 2017, driven by higher wages and more entrepreneurial activity.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2% in August with price increases in shelter and energy. Gasoline prices increased 3% over the last month. Over the last year, the energy index has increased by 10.2%. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.1% in August, with a change of 2.2% over-the- year.

The unemployment rate in Valley County is 2.3% which is down from 2.8% in August of 2017

Thursday, September 20th 2018
Fuhrman Scholarship Recipients
Graduates of three Valley County high schools are recipients of this year’s Clarence and Charlotte Fuhrman Scholarships, according to Doris Leader, who chairs the Valley County Community Foundation. VCCF is steward of the gift from the Fuhrmans that established the scholarship.

Nashua graduate Chloe Koessl, Rose Reyling from Glasgow High School and Gwynn Simeniuk, an Opheim graduate, will each receive $1,200 for the upcoming school year.
After working this summer as a certified nurse assistant and emergency medical technician at the hospital in Glasgow, Koessl will begin her second year of study at MSU Bozeman studying cell biology and neuroscience. Her ultimate goal is to become a physician and return to Glasgow.

Rose Reyling will complete the final year of her graduate program at Purdue University with a master of science in speech language pathology with a minor in nutrition. She hopes to work in a healthcare/medical setting as a member of an interdisciplinary team working with patients and their families.

Gwynn Simeniuk will begin her first year in the master’s in science education program with the Western Governor’s University, a nonprofit, on-line school. She will work toward an endorsement to teach biology. A second time recipient of the Fuhrman scholarship, she is currently employed as the program and events manager at the Montana FFA Foundation in Bozeman.

The Fuhrmans, who farmed near Opheim, provided the scholarship to benefit high school graduates from Valley County. Among the requirements are a three-year residence in Valley County, graduation from a Valley County high school, home school or GED, participation in school and civic organizations, completion of at least one year of study beyond the high school level and a 2.8 scholastic average. Since 2011 when the first Fuhrman scholarships were awarded, 17 students have received a total of $25,150 in help to achieve their educational goals.

More information, including a notice of the 2019 due date, is available next spring through the VCCF website, www.valleycountycf.net , local media and high school guidance counselors.

Wednesday, September 19th 2018
NAP Deadline is October 1, 2018
The Farm Service Agency would like to remind producers that Monday, October 1, 2018 is the deadline to apply for 2019 Noninsurable Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) for all 2019 annual fall seeded crops, perennial forage and grazing.

NAP coverage is available only on crops for which Federal Crop Insurance (FCIC) is not available with the exception of pilot programs such as pasture, rangeland and forage (PRF) for hayed and grazed crops.

NAP coverage fees are $250 per crop per administrative county, not to exceed $750 per administrative county.

If you are eligible as a limited resource farmer, beginning farmer or underserved, the service fee may be waived.

If you have any questions, please contact the Valley County Farm Service Agency at 228-4321, prior to October 1, 2018.

Wednesday, September 19th 2018
Watercraft in Montana still need to be inspected
Many folks have transitioned from “fishing season” to “hunting season,” but Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks would like to remind watercraft users that “inspection season” is not over.
In addition to late-season anglers, hunters are currently utilizing watercraft for bowhunting and sheep hunting, and in the next few weeks, perhaps waterfowl hunting. Watercraft users need to remain Clean.Drain.Dry. and continue to follow all laws and regulations related to Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) inspections.
Montana law requires everyone transporting motorized or nonmotorized watercraft to stop at all AIS inspections stations. This includes rafts, drift boats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, personal pontoons, and sail boats. In addition, ALL watercraft that are coming into Montana from out-of-state are REQUIRED to be inspected before launch.
Currently, inspection stations are still in operation in many areas of the state. Locations can be found at cleandraindry.mt.gov/Watercraft-Inspections. In Region 6, inspection stations are currently operating at Nashua and Fresno Reservoir. In addition, out-of-state watercraft that did not encounter an open inspection station can be inspected at any regional FWP office, including the FWP Region 6 Headquarters in Glasgow and the Havre Field Office.
Remember, your watercraft must be inspected if:
? You encounter an open inspection station.
? You are coming into Montana from out-of-state (you need to be inspected before launching).
? You are traveling west over the Continental Divide into western Montana (the Columbia River Basin).
? You are coming off Tiber or Canyon Ferry Reservoirs.
? You are launching anywhere within the Flathead Basin and your watercraft last launched on waters outside of the Flathead Basin.

If there are any questions concerning watercraft inspections, please contact the FWP Region 6 Headquarters in Glasgow at 228-3700 or AIS coordinator Sean Flynn at 230-1746.

Tuesday, September 18th 2018
City of Glasgow raises street maintenance fee by 5%
The Glasgow City Council voted 5-1 to increase taxes on the Glasgow Street Maintenance District by 5%.

The 5% increase would will generate a total of $482,257.07 to be used for maintenance and improvement of city streets. This is an increase of $22,964.62.

The City Council also gave tentative approval for the city to tentatively move ahead with the purchase of a newer street sweeper for the street department.

Monday, September 17th 2018
Upcoming USDA Farm Service Agency Deadlines for Farmers and Ranchers
Valley County has been approved for Emergency Grazing of Conservation Reserve Program acres. The authorization extends to September 30. Producers interested in emergency grazing of CRP acres must sign up at the Valley County Farm Service Agency office and receive approval prior to starting any grazing on CRP land.

For more information, call the Valley County local FSA office at 228-4321, ext. 2 or visit the office at 54059 Highway 2 in Glasgow.

Monday, September 17th 2018
Montana FWPWill Present Waterfowl Identification Workshop In Glasgow
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks will present a waterfowl identification workshop on Tues., Sept. 25, in Glasgow. This class is free, open to all ages, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Valley Event Center upstairs mezzanine.

Oftentimes, there can be barriers that keep interested folks from becoming waterfowl hunters. Duck identification can be one of those barriers, but it may not be as big an obstacle as one might think.

Jim Hansen, FWP’s Central Flyway Migratory Bird Coordinator from Billings and other FWP staff will present a video, identification tips, and provide hands-on practice and quizzes at identifying ducks and other waterfowl, using a combination of ID guides, wings, skins, and expertise. In addition, presenters will also explain and answer questions about Montana’s waterfowl hunting seasons and regulations and provide some tips and tactics.

There will be something of interest for everyone; from new to experienced waterfowl hunters, birdwatchers, and anybody interested in nature. All those attending will receive a free waterfowl identification booklet and leave with more knowledge about Montana’s waterfowl. Youth under age 12 are expected to be accompanied by an adult.

Montana’s duck and goose hunting seasons open Sept. 29, following a special two-day youth waterfowl season for hunters ages 10 to 15 on Sept. 22 and 23.

FWP ensures that its meetings are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. To request special accommodations for this meeting, or if there are any questions, please contact 406-228-3700.

Monday, September 17th 2018
Glasgow Chamber's Last Hump Day Of The Season Is Wednesday
Our last Hump Day for the summer season is this Wednesday, September 19th.

Customers from the sponsors listed below can bring their receipts in for that day to the Chamber by Noon on Friday for a chance to win $50 Chamber Big Bucks.

Participating merchants; Hi Line Med Spa; Shippwrecked; 5th Avenue Pharmacy; Busted Knuckle Brewery; Prewett Interiors; Baker's Jewelry; Town & Country Furniture; Red Barn Gifts; NE MT Children's Museum; The Fashionette; United Insurance & Realty; City/County Library; Little Campers; Robyn's Nest; Busy Bee Embroidery; D&G Sports & Western; Glasgow Flower & Gift Shop; Markle's Warehouse; C&B Operations; Eugene's Pizza; Pehlke's Furniture; Western Drug; Sam & Jeff's; Markle's Ace Hardware.

Wednesday, September 12th 2018
FWP properties in Blaine, Hill and Sheridan Co. will no longer have fire restrictions
Following county officials’ recommendations, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fishing access sites (FASs) and other properties in Blaine, Hill, and Sheridan Co. will no longer have Stage 1 fire restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. This also follows Phillips Co., which went out last week. In summary, there are no more Stage 1 restrictions in any county in Region 6. Where normally allowed on FWP property, campfires will again be permissible.

Please heed all signs posted on FWP properties on whether fires are permissible. For updates on restrictions and closures around the state, go to fwp.mt.gov and under the “news” tab, click on “drought and fire.”
Wednesday, September 12th 2018
Hunter Education Classes Offered Across Region 6
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Hunter Education course dates have been set for many areas across Region 6. All hunter education classes are free of charge. In the next month, classroom courses (for youth) are being held in:
Box Elder: starting Mon., Sept. 17
Plentywood: starting Tues., Sept. 18
Bainville: starting Sun., Sept. 30 (currently full)
Malta: starting Mon., Oct. 1
Glasgow: starting Thurs., Oct. 4

All students must register online at the FWP website: fwp.mt.gov; click on the education tab, then click “hunter education programs”. Next, “Find a class or field course” and search for the available class in your area. Detailed instructions on dates, times, and other information will be found at each class’ registration page.

For youth to be eligible to hunt and be fully certified during the 2018 season, hunters must be 12-years old by January 16, 2019. Students aged 10 and 11 can take a course and hunt as an apprentice, but will not be fully certified until the year they turn 12. Preference will be given to 11 and 12-year olds (or older) if the class becomes full. All registrants for these events must be 10 years old by the first day of class.
An Adult online field course will be held in the next month as well in:
Havre: Sat., Sept. 15 (currently full)
Glasgow: Sat., Oct. 6

For the adult online field course, adults must complete the online hunter education course and receive a Field Day Qualifier Certificate. Adults looking to complete the online course can find instructions at fwp.mt.gov, and will also need to go there to register for the field day course. The Field Day Qualifier Certificate and a picture ID are necessary to obtain entrance into the field course. A written test needs to be successfully passed during the course to obtain a certificate.

If there are any questions, please call the Glasgow FWP office at 228-3700.

Wednesday, September 12th 2018
Montana Department of Transportation Proposes Upgrades to American with Disabilities Act Pedestrian Features in Eastern Montana Communities
GLASGOW - The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) would like to notify the public and seek comments on a proposal to upgrade pedestrian facilities on roadways in Glasgow and Glendive.

The project locations include:

Glasgow: U.S. Highway 2 from Airport Drive to the end of the sidewalk between Schott Lane and Lasar Lane, 1st Ave South from 6th Street South to 1st Street South, 6th Street South between 1st Avenue South and 2nd Avenue South, and 2nd Avenue South from 6th Street South to 11th Street South.

Glendive: Merrill Avenue from Power Street to Griswold Street.

Proposed work includes replacing existing sidewalk corners at intersections along with some approaches and limited amount of deteriorated sidewalk between the intersections. The purpose of the project is to upgrade existing American with Disabilities Act facilities to current standards and improve accessibility.

The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2019, depending on completion of all project development activities and availability of funding. New right-of-way is not anticipated but some construction permits may be necessary for the project.

For more information, please contact Glendive District Administrator Shane Mintz at (406) 345-8212 or Construction Contracting Bureau Chief Jake Goettle at (406) 4446015. Members of the public may submit written comments to the Montana Department of Transportation Glendive office at PO Box 890, Glendive, MT 59330-0890, or online at:


Tuesday, September 11th 2018
Glasgow Fire Department remembers 9/11
The Glasgow Fire Department remembered 9/11 today as they displayed their ladder truck with a huge American Flag flying at half-staff.

This ladder truck has special significance as it was purchased from the New York area and actually was on scene at the World Trade Center during 9/11.

Tuesday, September 11th 2018
Region 6 Citizen Advisory Council Meets Sept. 20 at the Fort Peck Multispecies Fish Hatchery in Fort Peck
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Region 6 Citizen Advisory Council (CAC) will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 20, at the Fort Peck Multispecies Fish Hatchery in Fort Peck.

The meeting is open to the public and will include wildlife, fisheries, communication-education and law enforcement updates from FWP, and a roundtable discussion with CAC members.

Each of FWP’s seven administrative regions has a volunteer CAC to help guide policies and programs. The Region 6 group meets three times a year.

FWP ensures that its meetings are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. To request special accommodations for this meeting, please contact 406-228-3700.
Tuesday, September 11th 2018
FWP properties in Phillips Co. will no longer have fire restrictions
Following county officials’ recommendations, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fishing access sites (FASs) and other properties in Phillips Co. will no longer have Stage 1 fire restrictions as of 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. Where normally allowed, campfires will again be permissible.

Please heed all signs posted on FWP properties on whether fires are permissible. For updates on restrictions and closures around the state, go to fwp.mt.gov and under the “news” tab, click on “drought and fire.”
Tuesday, September 11th 2018
Lawsuit claims Trump ignored tribes' rights in approving Keystone XL pipeline
Native American tribes in Montana and South Dakota sued the Trump administration on Monday, claiming that approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline did not adequately analyze potential damage to cultural sites from spills and during construction.

Attorneys for the Fort Belknap and Rosebud Sioux tribes asked a federal court in Great Falls to rescind the line's permit issued by the U.S. State Department.

The tribes argue President Donald Trump ignored the rights of tribes when he reversed a prior decision by President Barack Obama and approved the project last year.

The $8 billion TransCanada Corp. pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude daily along a 1,184-mile route from Canada to Nebraska.

It would pass through the ancestral homelands of the Rosebud Sioux in central South Dakota and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation in northcentral Montana. Fort Belknap is home to the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes.

"All historical, cultural, and spiritual places and sites of significance in the path of the Pipeline are at risk of destruction," attorneys for the tribes wrote in the lawsuit.

They also said a spill from the line could damage a South Dakota water supply system that serves more than 51,000 people including on the Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Lower Brule Indian Reservations. A separate TransCanada pipeline suffered a spill last year that released almost 10,000 barrels of oil near Amherst, South Dakota.

State Department representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The agency is involved in the pipeline because it would cross the U.S.-Canadian border.

Calgary-based TransCanada does not comment on litigation and was not named as a party in the case.

In August, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris ordered the State Department to conduct a more thorough review of Keystone XL's path through Nebraska. The move came in response to litigation from environmentalists and after state regulators changed the route.

In yet another lawsuit involving the line, the American Civil Liberties Union and its Montana affiliate sued the U.S. government last week for the release of details related to preparations for anticipated protests against the line.

The groups cited confrontations between law enforcement and protesters, including many Native Americans, which turned violent during construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through South Dakota.

Tuesday, September 11th 2018
Governor Bullock orders all flags flown at half-staff in Montana in honor of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001

Governor’s Proclamation

I hereby order all flags flown in the State of Montana to be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, in honor of all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and in observance of Patriot Day and National Day of Service.

Each year, September 11th reminds us of how much we lost, but also what brought our nation together in the face of tragedy and what binds us all as Americans. We owe an enormous debt to our men and women in the Armed Forces and to our first responders. We are truly blessed to live amongst these heroes who are willing to give so much to ensure the safety of our communities and that the freedoms and ideals of the United States are upheld.

Dated this 10th day of September 2018.


Monday, September 10th 2018
Glasgow Elks Lodge announces winners of "Middle of Nowhere" BBQ Cook-Off
Here are the results for Saturday's “Middle of Nowhere” BBQ Cook-Off:

Grand Champion (1st). Beer Belly BBQ
Reserve Grand Champion (2nd). Team Kastet
3rd Place. Baby Got Back BBQ
4th Place. Hawgnutz BBQ
5th Place. Stinky Water BBQ

1st. Beer Belly BBQ
2nd. Hawgnutz BBQ
3rd. Second Hand Smoke
4th. Hard Meat to Beat!
5th. Baby Got Back BBQ

1st. Baby Got Back BBQ
2nd. Team Kastet
3rd. Treasure Trail.
4th. Hawgnutz BBQ
5th. Stinky Water BBQ

1st. Baby Got Back BBQ
2nd. Hawgnutz BBQ
3rd. Team Kastet
4th. Beer Belly BBQ
5th. Hard Meat to Beat!

1st. Beer Belly BBQ
2nd. Team Kastet
3rd. Stinky Water BBQ
4th. Treasure Trail
5th. Hard Meat to Beat!

The winner of the 50/50 drawing was Chad Reddick. Chad then made a generous donation of $200 back to the Elks. Thank you Chad!

The winner of the Green Mountain Grill raffle was Janette Glasoe.

Thank you to all of the teams for all the time and hard work they put in to turn out such great food. Thank you to our judges for taking time to judge the contest. Thank you to everyone to stopped down to check out the contest and grab a bite to eat. Thank you to all of our volunteers and the Elks staff for working so hard to put this event on. Thank you to all of our great sponsors for your support in making this event a success. Thank you to Prairie Travelers for letting us invade some of their parking lot space. Thank you to Lisa, Danelle, and Joyce at the Chamber for your time and helping us out with getting organized and taking in applications. Thank you to Hi-Tech Electric for the donation of putting in new outlets in our lot and helping us out with our electric issues. Thank you to Nemont Beverage for providing their cooler trailer. Thank you to Louise and Iceman ice for providing the ice trailer.

Thank you again to everyone who made this event a success. I apologize if I missed anyone.

See you all next year!

Monday, September 10th 2018
Plentywood volleyball team bus, car collide at intersection
Story from www.greatfallstribune

A bus carrying members of the volleyball team from northeastern Montana's Plentywood was involved in a collision Saturday with another vehicle whose driver may have been under the influence of alcohol.

The crash occurred at 5:40 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 16 and Highway 258, which is commonly called the Reserve Highway because it's near the town of Reserve, about 15 miles south of Plentywood, said Undersheriff Scott Nelson with the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office.

The bus was traveling north on Highway 16 when a passenger vehicle traveling south turned in front of it as it attempted to turn left onto Highway 258.

"As far as we understand speed was not a factor but alcohol was a factor with the driver of the passenger car," Nelson said.

The driver of the car was transported by ambulance to Sheridan Memorial Hospital in Plentywood. The man was in stable condition Saturday night, Nelson said. His name was not released.

About 20 members of the volleyball team in addition to coaches were on the bus, Nelson said.

Three students had minor injuries and were either cleared at the scene or the hospital, Nelson said.

The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident and will make any determination regarding charges, Nelson said.

Members of the volleyball team were returning from the Froid-Medicine Lake invitational volleyball tournament, Nelson said.

The bus pushed the passenger car off the road and the bus also ended up off the road, Nelson said.

Neither vehicle rolled, said Nelson, who credited the driver of the bus for not swerving, which could have caused the bus to tip.

The Medicine Lake Fire Department, Sheridan County Sheriff's Office, Plentywood Fire Department, the local Quick Response Unit and ambulance service from the Sheridan Memorial Hospital responded.

Saturday, September 1st 2018
Reminder in the Field this Hunting Season: Be a Good Steward of the Land
Although most hunters respect the land, property, and wildlife they are hunting, many others do not. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks would like to remind hunters and all outdoor enthusiasts to be good stewards of the land, and respect both private and public property. The FWP Region 6 Citizens Advisory Committee, recognizing that this is an ongoing issue, raised the need for more public outreach.

Every hunting season, there are reports of vandalizing of Block Management Area (BMA) boxes, hunters driving off road, illegal trespassing, hunters being shot over, littering, and livestock being shot.

With upland bird, dove, and archery seasons beginning over the Labor Day weekend, we encourage everyone to be good stewards of the land. Below are just a few of the things that hunters and all outdoor enthusiasts should be aware of when enjoying our resources:

Littering- not only is littering careless and unsightly, it is against the law. This includes toilet paper, and the proper management of human waste.

Leave gates as you find them- If a gate is closed, close it behind you. If it is obviously open (pulled all the way back to the fence), leave it open. If you are unsure, contact the landowner or public land agency.

Know your target and beyond- Hunters must be sure of what they are shooting at (species, sex, etc.), and know what lies beyond their target (houses, outbuildings, livestock, vehicles, other hunters).

Be aware of fire danger at all times and use precautions.

Be weed free- Check clothes, dogs, ATV’s, and vehicles for weeds and weed seeds to help prevent the spread to other private and public lands.

Avoid driving on muddy roads- Unless it is a well-graveled road, walk.

Avoid ridge driving and driving to overlooks- Not only is this a poor strategy while hunting, it is considered as driving off road if it is not already an established trail.

Ask for permission to hunt- Montana law requires permission for all hunting on private land. Even if the land is not posted, hunters must have permission from the landowner, lessee, or their agent before hunting on private property.

Completely fill out BMA slips- If a hunter doesn’t correctly fill out a block management slip, they are hunting without permission.

Know where you are located- Whether you are hunting public land, private land, or land enrolled in an access program such as block management, it is every hunter’s responsibility to know where they are to avoid trespassing. Maps are always available, as are GPS chips and cell phone apps to aid in orientation.

Driving off road- While hunting on private property, a person may not drive off established roads or trails without landowner permission. Off-road travel on public land, including game retrieval, is prohibited unless designated as open. Consult appropriate land agency or land maps for specifics.

Accessing public lands- Access to public lands (on a private road) through private land requires permission of the private landowner, lessee, or their agent.

Camping- camping is allowed on most public lands (see agency regulations), but permission is needed to camp on private property and BMAs.

Know the rules- Consult BMA maps for specific rules on block management property, including: driving on roads, parking areas, no shooting zones, walk-in only areas, camping, number of hunters allowed, game retrieval, etc. Rules for most land agencies can be found on maps and/or on brochures. Go to the appropriate agency website or local office for information.

Report violations- report any hunting and fishing, trespassing, vandalism, or other criminal activity you see to 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668).

The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where one can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

Also remember that the fall is a very busy time for landowners. Cattle and other livestock are being moved from their summer and/or fall pastures and are often brought near the home site for winter feeding and care. Please use common sense and respect when around these activities.

FWP also offers a free online program called The Montana Hunter-Landowner Stewardship Project. This project is an information program for anyone interested in promoting responsible hunter behavior and good hunter-landowner relations in Montana. The program is delivered through an interactive website utilizing questions, videos, and feedback as well as opportunities for you to test your knowledge on a variety of practical topics related to hunter-landowner relations and responsible hunter behavior.

Please go to http://fwp.mt.gov/education/hunter/hunterLandowner/ to learn more and complete the program.

Saturday, September 1st 2018
Endangered Person Alert





Friday, August 31st 2018
FEMA approves major disaster declaration request for flooding in several Montana counties including Valley County
U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the State of Montana’s major disaster declaration request following this year’s severe flooding. The announcement comes after Daines and Gianforte sent a letter to the Administration in support of the declaration request.

“This is great news. I’m pleased the Administration respond to our request,” Daines said. “This year’s flooding devastated communities and infrastructure across our state. This funding will help expedite cleanup and recovery efforts and will help restore the way of life for some of Montana’s most impacted communities.”

“The Trump administration’s response to our request will provide our communities with resources they need to recover and rebuild from this year’s flooding,” Gianforte said. “The administration’s decision is welcome news to our impacted communities.”

The funding will provide federal funding to assist in cleanup and recovery efforts needed to support Montana’s communities and economy.


As a result of heavy flooding earlier this year, the State of Montana requested a major disaster declaration on June 18, 2018.

If the request is granted, “Public Assistance,” which repairs and replaces disaster-damaged facilities, would be available for the following counties: Blaine, Carbon, Golden Valley, Hill, Liberty, Missoula, Musselshell, Petroleum, Pondera, Powell, Toole, and Valley. "Hazard Mitigation Assistance," which supports efforts for actions taken to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from future flooding, would be available statewide.

Daines remains committed to ensuring Montana receives critical funding and resources to support communities impacted by flooding.

On August 22, Daines discussed the impacts of flooding with FEMA Deputy Administrator nominee Peter Gaynor at a Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.

On August 14, Daines and Gianforte sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Brock Long to urge the approval of Montana’s major disaster declaration request.

In May, Daines pressed Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on the need to assist communities in Montana impacted by severe flooding. In July, Daines’ bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program was signed into law.
Thursday, August 30th 2018
Finalists Announced For Minnow Tank Business Plan Cometition
GNDC would like to congratulate our finalists for the 2018 Minnow Tank Business Plan Competition. Finalists will present their business plan ideas at the live finale on September 22, 2018 at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow, MT. A start-up business and an existing business will each be awarded $5,000 that evening! The live event is open to the public; tickets are $10 which includes a drink and appetizers and can be purchased in advance by calling (406) 653-2590 or at the door. Come support your favorite business, your vote counts!
Start-Up Finalists

Bainville Meats; Kevin South and Shawn Bilquist (Roosevelt)

Rubicon Cookshack; Rone Kendall and Claudia Scott (Roosevelt)

Cobbs Medical; Larry and Suzan Cobb (Roosevelt)

Rose and Marie's; Ashley Stentoft (Daniels)

Busted Biscuts; Connie Boreson (Valley)

The Gladrock; Ed Morelock (McCone)

Existing Finalists

Wheatland Lodge; Twyla Holum (Daniels)

BCS Consulting; Carrie Schumacher (McCone)

Baby Got Back BBQ; Cubby Damon (Roosevelt)

CEG Sports; Michael and Jamie Nielson (Sheridan)

Prairie Breeze Equestrian Center; Karla Christensen (Garfield)

Farver Farms; Shauna Farver (Daniels)

Missouri Brewing Breaks; Mark Zilkoski (Roosevelt)

Gorilla Heating and Air; Virgil and Michelle Smith (Roosevelt)

Sam and Jeff's; Sam Knodel (Valley)

Monday, August 27th 2018
Medical Marijuana big business in Montana
Montana collected $1.8 million over the first 13 months of collecting taxes on medical marijuana sales.

The Billings Gazette reports that marijuana providers have been paying an initial 4 percent tax on their gross revenues since July 2017.

The new tax is part of a regulatory overhaul passed by state lawmakers last year in response to a successful 2016 ballot initiative that resumed commercial sales of medical marijuana.

Providers' revenues now will be taxed at 2 percent after the initial 4 percent tax. The money will go toward funding the program and state oversight.

The state Department of Publican Health and Human Services reports 26,549 registered medical marijuana users and 420 providers.

Valley County has 96 residents with a medical marijuana card and 1 provider listed in the county.

Monday, August 27th 2018
Beck Scholarships Announced
The Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust has announced its 2018 scholarship recipients. There were a total of twenty one scholarships awarded this year.

Kaleb Cole, son of Jeff and Julie Cole, in his final year at Montana State University – Bozeman majoring in Chemical Engineering.

Edwin Dagget, son of John and Sheri Daggett, in his final year at Montana State – Bozeman majoring in Electrical Engineering.

Mary Fewer, daughter of Jennifer Fewer, in her junior year at University of Montana majoring in Accounting and Management Information Systems.

Lane Herbert, son of Craig and Doreen Herbert, in his final year at University of North Dakota majoring in Civil Engineering.

Trent Herbert, son of Craig and Doreen Herbert, in his second year at North Dakota State College of Science majoring in Welding and Precision Machining.

Sara Jimison, daughter of Roy and Cindy Jimison, in her third year at Montana State University – Northern majoring in Nursing.

Khloe Krumwiede, daughter of Bryan and Dean-Marie Krumwiede, in her second year at University of North Dakota majoring in Biology.

Bethany Lacock, daughter of Steve and LaMae Lacock, in graduate school at University of Montana majoring in Physical Therapy.

Gage Legare, son of Robert and Lisa Legare, in his final year at Montana State Unversity – Bozeman majoring in Finance with a minor in Accounting.
Grant Legare, son on Robert and Lisa Legare, entering graduate school May of 2019, pursuing a Master’s Degree in School Counseling.

Karissa Liebelt, daughter of Greg and Shannon Liebelt, in her third year at North Dakota State University, majoring in Nursing.

Alex Page, daughter of Greg and Jill Page, in her final year at Skaggs School of Pharmacy, pursing a Doctorate of Pharmacy Degree.

Jacob Page, son of Greg and Jill Page, in his third year at University of Montana, majoring in Accounting.

Benjamin Phillips, son of Tim and Yvette Phillis, in his second year at North Dakota State University, majoring in Exercise Science.

Alexa Shipp, daughter of Cam and Kim Shipp, in her third year at Montana State University – Billings, majoring in Elementary Education.

Madison Sibley, daughter of Kirk and Jenny Sibley, in graduate school at University of Mary, pursing a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy.

Alexandrea Simensen, daughter of Kris and Leslie Simensen, in her third year at Montana State University – Bozeman, majoring in Architecture Environmental Design.

Mariah Stein, daughter of Tony and Becky Stein, in her final year at Missouri Valley College, majoring in Exercise Science with a minor in Business.

Kendra Vaughn, daughter of Kendall and Tracie Vaughn, in her third year at Montana State University – Billings, majoring in Biology.

Laurel Wageman, daughter of Gary and Annette Wageman, in graduate school at Boise State University, pursing a Master’s of Business Administration Degree.

Luke Zeiger, son of Dan and Shantel Zeiger, in his final year at Montanan State University – Havre, majoring in Welding and Plumbing.

Rachael Zeiger, daughter of Dan and Shantel Zeiger, in her final year at University of South Dakota, majoring in Nursing.

The Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust was set up to create income for two purposes. 1. To benefit people who would better themselves through higher education. These scholarships are for Valley County Graduates who are past their first year of education. 2. To help fund projects to promote better living in Valley County through non-profit organizations.

Theo and Alyce Beck were Northeast Montana people who cared about the communities they lived in, whether it was Baylor where their lives began, Opheim where they farmed, or Glasgow where Alyce spent her retired years after Theo passed away.

Alyce was active in 4-H and Homemakers Club as well as entering plants, sewing projects and homemade baked goods in the Northeast Montana Fair.

This is the ninth year that the Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust has awarded scholarships.

Sunday, August 26th 2018
Senator Tester Secures $150,000 in funding for Valley County Sheriff's Office
(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester is delivering on his promise to secure the border, combat drug trafficking and strengthen local law enforcement in Montana.

Tester, as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, secured Operation Stonegarden grants worth over $1.5 million to communities across Montana.

Tester used his leadership position to increase Stonegarden funding by 55 percent. These grants are issued to local governments and federally-recognized tribal governments to defend the country's borders from terrorism, intercept illegal drugs, and combat human trafficking.

“Nothing is more important than keeping our borders secure and our communities safe,” Tester said. “These resources will boost local law enforcement’s ability to stop dangerous drugs from coming through our ports and ensure there are no weak links along our border.”

Montana law enforcement agencies use Operation Stonegarden grants to increase preparedness, coordination, and effectiveness along the state's 545-mile northern border.

Last year Montana communities received $1,058,250 in Stonegarden grants. This year thanks to Tester’s language in the government funding agreement, there has been a dramatic increase in Montana grants.

“We are excited for this funding to continue our mission of supplementing the security of the Northern Border. Having extra eyes and ears on the ground is essential to our National Security,” said Hill County Sheriff Jamie Ross. “We thank Senator Tester for all the work he’s done to ensure we receive these funds.”

Fourteen Montana communities will receive Operation Stonegarden funding this year, including two *counties that did not receive these funds in FY2017:
• Blackfeet Nation: $197,145
• Blaine County: $70,000
• Glacier County: $100,000
• Hill County: $88,224
• Roosevelt County: $82,533
• Phillips County: $90,467
• Sheridan County: $138,520
• Toole County: $110,000
• Dawson County: $78,362
• Valley County: $150,000
• Flathead County/Kalispell: $200,000
• Lincoln County: $150,000
• Lake County: $100,000*
• Mineral County: $100,000*

Friday, August 24th 2018
GHS Educational Trust Announces Markle Memorial Gift and Recent Awards
Throughout their long and distinguished lives in Glasgow, Montana, Orval (O. E.) and Lois Wilson Markle epitomized three fundamental values: commitment to family, faith, and friends; commitment to integrity in their businesses; and commitment to community service. These values were instilled in their children on a daily basis and are reflected in the lives they have lived as well. Clear evidence that these lessons were fully absorbed was made obvious recently by a donation of $100,000.00 to the Glasgow High School Educational Trust in memory of their parents by Tom (Cindy) Markle, Jack (Jeanine) Markle, Dick (Janet) Markle, Janet (Meredith) Reiter, and their families.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust was a cause particularly close to the hearts of both O. E. and Lois Markle. As GHS alumni and strong believers in the transformative power of higher education, they were present at and a part of its creation in 1964 by the GHS Class of 1938, of which Lois was a member. Orval, Class of 1934, was one of the first to step up and donate to the new trust, and Lois was a founding trustee. She became the first chief executive officer and a tireless promoter of the trust by encouraging students to apply for financial aid, supporters to donate, and the GHS administration to enhance the opportunities it could offer all students with the trust’s support. By volunteering her expertise and countless hours to its development, Lois oversaw the growth of the trust’s corpus to exceed $1 million dollars by the time of her retirement as CEO in 2000. In thanks for her unselfish support of education, the Glasgow High School auditorium was named the Lois Wilson Markle Auditorium at that time.

As children of The Great Depression, the founders of the trust knew how hard it was to find money for higher education. Both O. E. and Lois felt fortunate that they had been able to go to college, and they wanted the same opportunity for others. From the beginning, financial aid from the trust was a gift-- a grant given with the understanding that what enhanced the life of one benefitted all, and financial need was and still is a primary consideration. This philosophy has been widely embraced by hundreds of generous supporters across the nation through donations of cash, stock, and real estate, which have built the current corpus of the trust to over $6 million dollars.

Whenever the trust receives donations in memory, honor, or recognition of a specific individual that total $500 or more, a gift is made to a student or to Glasgow High School in that person’s name. Donations of $10,000 or more entitle the donor to an annual naming opportunity in perpetuity.

Interest earned on the trust’s investments is distributed to eligible GHS graduates through a semi-annual application process administered by the trustees. Applicants must have completed one year of college or one semester of trade school, be full-time students (12 semester credits or more) either on campus, online, or in another correspondence program, in good academic standing, and showing progress toward completion of a degree or certification. The application is available on the trust’s website at www.ghsedutrust.org Additional requirements listed on the application must also be met. Students seeking aid for both semesters of the academic year must apply by July 1st of each year, and those seeking aid for spring semester only must apply by October 15th of each year. Recipients of financial aid from the trust may reapply for additional grants for a total of eight semesters if they remain eligible under all other conditions. Applications must be complete and submitted on time to be considered.

The dreams that O. E. and Lois Markle and the other founders put on paper and began to promote in 1964 in the hope of making a significant difference in the lives of Glasgow students have perhaps succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. To date, the Glasgow High School Educational Trust has awarded an astounding $2,182,500.00 in financial aid to 721 different GHS graduates. Many of these students have received multiple awards over their courses of study, reducing their need for loans and allowing them to focus on their studies.

In addition to the awards made to students, the Glasgow High School Educational Trust has made 119 gifts to Glasgow High School for equipment and programs which total $241,015.80. Every department of GHS has benefitted from the trust’s support, and thereby every student, as does the community at large when it attends events at the school or uses its facilities. These awards are made at the summer semi-annual meeting.

As lifelong residents of Glasgow, Montana, O. E. and Lois Wilson Markle left their marks on numerous and varied institutions and causes through their leadership, service, and financial contributions. Their long-term commitment to improving the lives of others in their community is perfectly illustrated by their support for the Glasgow High School Educational Trust, which has been reaffirmed by their children. This gift will benefit generations to come, thanks to the shared vision of the O. E. and Lois Wilson Markle family

For that purpose and in that spirit, the Glasgow High School Educational Trust recently awarded financial assistance for the 2018-2019 academic year to the following students in memory, honor, or recognition of the individuals designated:

First time recipients: Kiauna Barstad, Rocky Mountain College, IHO Bill and Peggy Pattison Endowment; Luke Breigenzer, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Erik Walstad; Des’Rea Dible, MSU-Bozeman, 1st semester – IMO Vern and Edna Richardson, 2nd semester – IRO Beatrice Trites and Family; Chase Fossum, Carroll College, IMO James “Jim” A. Parke; Teagan Fossum, U. of Mary, IHO Gayle Wagenhals Sage; Trent Herbert, ND State College of Science,1st semester – IMO Ronald A. Combs, 2nd semester – IRO Glenn and Carolee Grina Wallem; Anthony Kaiser, U. of North Dakota, IMO Lois Wilson Markle; Khloe Krumwiede, U. of North Dakota, - IMO Dean Rusher; Jordan Kulczyk, Williston State College, IMO Verda R. Stewart; Taylor Padden, MSU-Bozeman, IMO O. E. and Lois Wilson Markle; Matthew Phillips, Lake Area Technical Institute, IMO Richard “Dick” and Mary Lou Alley Wagenhals.

Second time recipients: Mary Fewer, U. of Montana, IHO James and Ailene Dokken Olk Family; Andrea Hansen, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Sever and Esther Enkerud; Kerry Hoffman, U. of North Dakota, IMO Ivy and Millie Knight; Karissa Liebelt, North Dakota State U., IMO Dr. Nancy Lee Etchart; Amy Nelson, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Beryl Pehlke; Jacob Page, U. of Montana, 1st semester – IMO Leonard A. and Margery A. Bollinger, 2nd Semester - IHO Phyllis Moen Sanguine and IMO Lila Moen Sanders; Brett See, MSU-Bozeman, 1st semester – IHO Charlotte Bruce, 2nd semester - IRO Willard and Charlotte Bruce Family; Alexa Shipp, MSU -Billings, IMO Karen D. Newton; Alexandrea Simensen, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Donald J. “Don” Baker; Jason Thibault, Dickinson State U., IMO Don and Bunny Daggett; Kendra Vaughn, MSU-Billings, IMO L. J. and Jean Baker;

Third time recipients: Josie Braaten, Minnesota State U. – Mankato, 1st semester - IRO Paul & Joyce Ruffcorn Jacobson, 2nd semester – IMO Harold H. and Irene W. Smith; Amy Breigenzer, U. of North Dakota, IMO Arthur and Audrey Parke; Kaleb Cole, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Aaron “Chappy” Chatten; Edwin Daggett, MSU-Bozeman, 1st semester - IMO Horace O. and Emma C. Gamas, 2nd semester - IMO Wallace L. Johnson; Jake Hentges, MSU-Northern, IMO Harry Rybock; Gage Legare, MSU-Bozeman, IMO James “Jamie” K. Fewer; Abby Mehling, Northern Michigan University, 1st semester - IMO James F. and Anne Hoffmann, 2nd semester - IMO Maxine Fiedler; Tamrah Pewitt, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Ardis Parke Fuhrman; Samuel Schultz, MSU-Bozeman, 1st semester – IMO Hovland Family, 2nd semester – IRO Herb and Lucille Friedl Family; Luke Zeiger, MSU-Northern, IMO Robert “Bob” E. Rennick, Jr.

Fourth time recipients: Lane Herbert, U. of North Dakota, 1st semester – IMO Leonard H. and Kathryn L. Langen, 2nd semester – IRO Tom and Flora Coghlan Family; Ethan Kliewer, MSU-Bozeman, IRO Stannebein Family; Alex Page, UM Skagg’s School of Pharmacy, 1st semester - IMO Dr. F. M. and Bernice Knierim, 2nd semester – IRO LeRoy and Bess Lockwood Family; Mariah Stein, Missouri Valley College, IHO Everett and Elizabeth Breigenzer; Rachael Zeiger, U. of South Dakota, IMO Marsha Cotton Hall.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust also agreed to purchase a Lifetime Cylinder Lease with Gas for the Industrial Technology Department at Glasgow High School IMO Cecil and Chloe Toftness.

Tuesday, August 21st 2018
Glasgow City Council votes down chicken ordinance
The Glasgow City Council rejected an ordinance that would of allowed backyard chickens in the city limits of Glasgow.

The proposed ordinance would of allowed up to 6 hens to be raised by residents in Glasgow. Current city regulations do not allow chickens to be raised in the city.

Over 70 people attended the council meeting to either express their support or opposition to chickens in Glasgow.

The City Council voted 1-4 to support the ordinance. Council member Stan Ozark was the lone council member who supported the ordinance. Council members Rod Karst, Dan Carr, Doug Nistler and Butch Heitman voted against the ordinance.

Monday, August 20th 2018
Keystone XL Company Moves To Condemn South Dakota Land
BUFFALO, S.D. (AP) — The company planning the Keystone XL oil pipeline is moving to condemn private land in northwestern South Dakota's Harding County.

The Rapid City Journal reports TransCanada Corp. has filed eminent domain condemnation petitions in state court against parcels of land owned by two families.

At least one of them plans to fight. Jeffrey Jensen says he'll take the matter to court if necessary.

The $8 billion, 1,179-mile (1,897-kilometer) pipeline would deliver oil from Canada to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. It still faces several hurdles along with intense resistance from environmental groups and Native American tribes.

South Dakota's Supreme Court in June dismissed an appeal from pipeline opponents including the Cheyenne River Sioux of a judge's decision last year upholding regulators' approval for the pipeline to cross the state.

Monday, August 20th 2018
R6 FWP Urges Hunters To Check Fire Status, Make Safety A Priority
With our region of northeast Montana beginning to dry out and with the increasing threat of wildfires, hunters and other recreationists taking to the field must be aware of local fire restrictions and take precautions.

Montana archery antelope hunters are already hunting with their 900-20 hunting licenses. Montana’s upland game bird season (and mourning doves) open Sept. 1, along with the archery-only hunting season for deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, black bear, wolf and mountain lion.

Hunters and other recreationists should:
· Drive only on established roads.
· Avoid roads with tall vegetation in the middle track.
· Never park over dry grass and other vegetation.
· Carry a fire extinguisher—or water-filled weed sprayer—shovel, axe, and, a cell phone for emergency calls.
· Restrict camping activities to designated camping areas.
· Build campfires only in established metal fire rings, if allowed (note restrictions).
· Smoke only inside buildings or vehicles.
· Check on any fire restrictions in place.

When it comes to site-specific fire restrictions, FWP follows the lead of the county where the site is located.

As of Friday, Aug. 17, counties in Stage 1 Restrictions in Region 6 include Hill, Blaine, Choteau, Phillips and Sheridan counties. Please be aware that these restrictions change weekly, and by the time this article is published there may be more counties in restrictions.

Stage 1 restrictions ban campfires except where specifically exempted, allow cooking fires on propane devices that can be shut off and allow smoking only in vehicles and areas three feet in diameter that are cleared of flammable materials.

Stage 2 restrictions start with regulations delineated by Stage 1 restrictions. In addition, Stage 2 restrictions ban welding, explosives, driving off established roads and use of internal-combustion engines, except for vehicles on established roads, between 1 p.m. and 1 a.m. each day. Generators used in enclosed buildings or in an area cleared of vegetation specifically are exempted from Stage 2 restrictions. Currently, there are no counties in Stage 2 in Region 6.

FWP sites that could be impacted by fire restrictions include fishing access sites, wildlife management areas and state parks.

Private landowners along with land enrolled in Block Management or other private land access programs may also have restrictions or closures. Be sure to ask when securing permission.
BMAs fire restrictions and closures will be updated as changes occur at fwp.mt.gov/export/sites/FwpPublic/hunting/hunterAccess/blockman/region6/.

For up-to-date details on state-wide FWP property fire and drought-related restrictions and closures, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov. Click Restrictions & Closures under the “News” tab. In addition, you can go to https://firerestrictions.us/mt/ to see restrictions statewide.

Always be prepared to prevent or extinguish fire starts. Your assistance during this time will be appreciated.

Monday, August 20th 2018
2018 Upland Bird Outlook For Region 6
(Photo: A dedicated male sage grouse on a lek early this spring. Photo by FWP biologist Drew Henry)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 biologists have been compiling data about upland bird numbers in the area. Biologists conduct spring surveys to determine trends of adult numbers, including lek counts for sharp-tailed and sage grouse, and crowing counts for pheasants. These surveys provide a general idea of adult numbers in those respective survey areas compared to other years and long-term averages.

Although spring numbers provide an estimate of the breeding populations heading into nesting season, weather, habitat conditions, and disease during the spring and summer have a big impact on fall hunting potential, as younger birds are typically the ones harvested.

Incidental observations of mid-to-late-summer broods for pheasants, sharp-tails, sage grouse and huns look promising; however, biologists do not currently have region-wide brood-rearing success data for all species.

Across the region, above average snowfall throughout the winter along with spring rains greatly helped to produce good nesting and brood-rearing cover. These habitat conditions should be conducive to better production this year, but hunters must keep in mind that all populations will be recovering from the drought of 2017. Hunters should also be aware that habitat conditions in certain areas across the region still show impacts from the drought. Additionally, CRP acreage continues to decline across the Hi-Line. Locating areas of good habitat will be the key to locating birds this fall, and hunting should be fair or slightly better than 2017.

Pheasant adult numbers, according to spring crowing counts, show quite a bit of variability across the region. The west end of the region, including Hill, Blaine, and a portion of Chouteau counties, indicate numbers at 40-50% below long-term average (LTA) in those areas. Phillips county is above LTA, while Valley and McCone counties are 10-24% below. The northeast corner, including Daniels, Sheridan, Roosevelt and portions of Richland and Dawson counties, indicate numbers at average to 10% below average.

Pheasant distribution will vary across portions of each county, and most birds will be found in optimal habitat including river-bottoms, riparian areas and other moist areas that produce adequate cover.

Sharp-tailed grouse
Sharp-tailed grouse adult numbers are 25-40% below the LTA across the region where surveys are conducted. Sharp-tailed grouse distribution may vary dramatically across the region, and the greatest numbers will be found in optimal habitat.

Sage grouse
Sage grouse lek counts indicate 10-24% below LTA in the western portion of the region, including Hill, Blaine, Phillips, and a portion of Choteau counties. Both Valley and McCone counties indicate numbers that are above LTA. There are no formal surveys of sage grouse in the northeast corner of the region, as numbers are historically very low because of inadequate habitat.

Core sage grouse habitat primarily exists south of Highway 2 in mixed grass and Wyoming big sagebrush rangeland. Birds will be distributed sparsely across the expanses of sage brush, but may concentrate in certain areas.

Hungarian partridge
There are no formal surveys conducted for Hungarian (gray) partridge within Region 6. Partridge populations are always “spotty” across the region. Based on incidental observations, partridge populations saw similar decreases to pheasants and sharp-tailed grouse last year. However, the good nesting and brood-rearing conditions should help them recover similarly to the other species. In good habitats the outlook for huns is fair this year, but hunters may need to cover a lot of ground to find habitats favored by the species.

Improving Upland Game Bird Habitat and Access
To improve habitat for upland game birds, landowners can apply to enroll in a variety of cost-share programs under the Upland Game Bird Habitat Enhancement Program (UGBHEP) to develop, enhance, and conserve Montana's upland game bird habitats. Part of the agreements for these programs is that the land in the project area remains open to reasonable public hunting. Generally, up to 75% of the cost of the landowner's UGBHEP project can be reimbursed.

One of the UGBHEP options to secure habitat and provide hunting opportunity is the Open Fields program. Open Fields started in 2012 and is a grant program that combines Farm Bill funds with state hunting license dollars. The program works with landowners to manage CRP in a wildlife-friendly way that provides important cover for Montana’s game birds. Conservation-incentive programs like Open Fields are geared to help landowners keep some land enrolled in CRP and to provide public game bird hunting opportunities.

Open Fields enrollment in Region 6 has been very successful this year. For the 2018 season, the program added 21 contracts totaling over 8,000 acres across the region, including 4,606 CRP acres and 3,484 additional acres of access. 13 of these contracts are in the northeast corner, six are near Havre, and two are near Hinsdale and Saco. Combined with previous enrollments, the program now offers about 39,000 acres of conserved habitat and access to bird hunters in Region 6.

Interested hunters can find the locations of Open Fields and other UGBHEP projects in the annual Montana Upland Game Bird Guide Enhancement Program Access or through the “hunt planner” on the FWP website.

In addition, the Block Management Access guides, which recently arrived at FWP offices, are another great resource to find places to hunt for upland birds.

Monday, August 20th 2018
Valley County unemployment rate at 2.5%
MONTANA – Montana’s unemployment rate dropped again for the third straight month, down to 3.7% for the month of July. The U.S. unemployment rate was at 3.9% in July.

“With Montana’s unemployment rate at the lowest in over a decade, and as Montana’s economy continues to grow with more good-paying jobs, we have a lot to be excited about,” said Governor Bullock. “This is a reflection of our strong business climate and entrepreneurialism, as well as efforts in both the public and private sectors to build a more diverse workforce that’s ready to take on the jobs of today and the future.”

Payroll employment posted a gain of 900 jobs in July, for a total of 3,400 jobs added in the last three months. Local government again posted the largest over-the-month growth, with the Administrative Support industry also posting a large increase. Total employment levels posted insignificant growth over the last month, despite increases in payroll employment, indicating workers switching from self-employment to payroll jobs.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2% in July, with most of the increase coming from an increase in shelter prices. The acceleration of inflation continued, with the over-the-year increase in the CPI-U hitting 2.9% for the second month in a row. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.2% in July, with a change of 2.4% over-the- year, the largest over-the-year increase since September 2008.

The unemployment rate in Valley County is 2.5% compared to 2.9% last year at this time.

Thursday, August 16th 2018
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions Take Effect On FWP Properties In Phillips And Sheridan Counties
In response to dry, warm weather that could increase the danger of human-caused wildfires, under the recommendations of county officials, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fishing access sites (FASs) and wildlife management areas (WMAs) are now under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in Phillips co. and on Brush Lake State Park in Sheridan co. Both counties will enter Stage 1 restrictions beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 17. These Stage 1 restrictions join both Hill and Blaine counties, who went into restrictions last week.

County officials in those counties enacted the Stage 1 restrictions, which ban campfires except where specifically exempted. Landowners and agencies in those counties may or may not exempt specific sites. Stage 1 restrictions also prohibit smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, and in areas at least three feet in diameter that are cleared of all flammable materials.

Under Stage 1 restrictions, persons may use a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 ft. of the device.

Many FAS’s (both day-use and overnight) under no fire restrictions allow campfires in steel grates. Please be aware, however, that fires are NEVER allowed on WMA’s and at some FAS’s.

Because Brush Lake State Park in Sheridan County has an on-site caretaker, fires will continue to be allowed in steel fire grates in the park under these Stage 1 restrictions.

Per FWP policy under Stage 1 restrictions, however, NO campfires will be allowed, even in steel grates, at any FAS in Phillips, Hill, and Blaine counties. To be specific, campfires are prohibited at the following FAS sites:
-Faber Reservoir FAS, Blaine Co.
-Bailey Reservoir FAS, Hill Co.
-Bear Paw Reservoir FAS, Hill Co.
-Fresno Tailwater FAS, Hill Co.
-Bjornberg Bridge FAS, Phillips Co.
-Cole Ponds FAS, Phillips Co.
-Alkali Creek FAS, Phillips Co.

For updates on restrictions and closures around the state, go to fwp.mt.gov and under the “news” tab, click on “drought and fire.”

Thursday, August 16th 2018
Judge orders new federal review of Keystone XL pipeline
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the U.S. State Department to conduct a more thorough review of the Keystone XL pipeline's proposed pathway after Nebraska state regulators changed the route, raising the possibility of further delays to a project first proposed in 2008.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris of Montana said in a ruling Wednesday that the State Department must supplement its 2014 environmental impact study of the project to consider the new route. Morris declined to strike down the federal permit for the project, approved by President Donald Trump in March 2017.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission rejected pipeline developer TransCanada's preferred route in November 2017, but approved a different pathway that stretches farther to the east. The "mainline alternative" route is five miles longer than the company's preferred route, cuts through six different Nebraska counties and runs parallel to an existing TransCanada-owned pipeline for 89 miles.

State Department officials "have yet to analyze the mainline alternative route," Morris wrote in his ruling. The State Department has "the obligation to analyze new information relevant to the environmental impacts of its decision."

Last month, the State Department declared the pipeline would not have a major impact on Nebraska's water, land or wildlife. The report said the company could mitigate any damage caused.

It's not clear whether the additional review will delay the 1,184-mile project. TransCanada spokesman Matthew John said company officials are reviewing the judge's decision.

Environmentalists, Native American tribes and a coalition of landowners have prevented the company from moving ahead with construction. In addition to the federal lawsuit in Montana that seeks to halt the project, opponents also have a lawsuit pending before the Nebraska Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the Nebraska case aren't expected until October.

Critics of the project have raised concerns about spills that could contaminate groundwater and the property rights of affected landowners.

Pipeline opponents cheered the decision and said they were confident that the courts would find other violations of federal law raised in the lawsuit.

"We are pleased that Judge Morris has rejected all of the excuses raised by the Trump administration and TransCanada in attempting to justify the federal government's failure to address TransCanada's new route through Nebraska," said Stephan Volker, an attorney for the environmental and Native American groups that filed the Montana lawsuit.

A State Department spokesman said the agency was still reviewing the judge's order but declined to offer additional comments.

The pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would connect with the original Keystone pipeline that runs down to Texas Gulf Coast refineries.

The State Department's new report noted two major spills in South Dakota involving the original Keystone pipeline, which went into operation in 2010, but added that TransCanada has a lower overall spill rate than average in the oil pipeline industry.

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