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Latest Local News
Thursday, January 17th 2019
Confirmed Mountain Lion sighting near Glasgow
Region 6 is home to mountain lions, so it wasn't a big surprise this week when there was a confirmed mountain lion sighting near Glasgow. This is not a real rare occurrence, as mountain lions can be found across the state of Montana (see map below)…basically anywhere there is deer or elk, which is their primary food source. However, they are rarely seen due to their elusive nature. So, we felt this was a good time to remind/inform folks about mountain lions and living with/near mountain lions.

Mountain lions (also known as “catamounts, cougars, panthers, pumas, or mountain screamers”) are known to have established populations in the Missouri River breaks and the island ranges of Region 6. Over the years, however, mountain lions have often been reported across the Hi-Line near many communities and likely will continue to be. They have large home ranges and can travel long distances, often preferring river/creek corridors for both cover and food resources.

A typical male mountain lion’s territory in Montana is usually more than 100 square miles, while a female's territory is usually less than 50 square miles. Subadult lions may not be able to immediately find an unoccupied territory. In these cases, subadults become transient, covering very large areas in search of an unoccupied territory.

As part of managing mountain lions in Montana, there is a hunting season harvest quota in all regions of Montana, including in Region 6. Please pick up a copy of the mountain lion hunting regulations if you are interested in harvesting a lion.

Knowing what to do if you do encounter a mountain lion can reduce the potential for a conflict. The following tips have been shown to be effective when encountering a lion:

-Do Not Approach a Lion
Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

-Do Not Run from a Lion
Running may stimulate a mountain lion's instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Do not turn your back. Make eye contact. If there are small children nearby, pick them up if possible so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.

-Do Not Crouch Down or Bend Over
A person squatting or bending over looks a lot like a 4-legged prey animal. When in mountain lion country, avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up children.

-Appear Larger
Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Again, pick up small children. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice. The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey and that you may be a danger to it.

-Be Vocal
Talk calmly and regularly.

-Teach Others How to Behave.
Anyone who starts running could initiate an attack.

-If a Lion Attacks:
If you are unarmed, you can use bear pepper spray to deter the lion. Many potential victims have also fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking animal.

If you have a firearm, and know how to use it safely and effectively, Montana law allows you to kill a mountain lion to defend yourself, another person, livestock or a domestic dog. If you do kill a lion in self-defense you must report it to FWP within 72 hours.

-Defend Other People
If you need to defend other people, be aggressive.

In mountain lion country, there's no way to completely guarantee safety from a mountain lion attack. However, you can significantly reduce the chance of a lion incident by becoming knowledgeable of lion habits and behavior.

-Bring Pets and Children in at Night
Predators are usually much more active at night and dawn/dusk
Do not leave food/attractants out

-Do Not Hike Alone
Go in groups, with adults supervising children

-Keep Children Close to You
Observations of captured wild mountain lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children. Keep children within your sight at all times.

-Do not let pets run unleased

-Minimize your recreation during dawn and dusk

-Carry a deterrent device (bear pepper spray). Know how to use it and keep it within easy reach.

Thursday, January 17th 2019
Legislation would revise statute of limitations for sex crimes
HELENA — A slew of bills introduced in the Montana Legislature would revise the statute of limitations for sex crimes.

House Bill 109, which would eliminate time limits for child sex abuse cases completely, drew 11 proponents and no opponents during the House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday. The bill is carried by Rep. Mary Ann Dunwell, D-Helena, one of a group of Democratic lawmakers sponsoring the package of six bills that deal with the issue.

John Heenan, an attorney from Billings, represents 31 survivors of child sex abuse from Miles City, where retired high school athletic trainer James Jensen admitted last year to sexually abusing students for years. Heenan said because of the time limit, they could only bring a civil case against him.

“I think it’s so important we don’t have a statute of limitations,” Heenan said. “Where pedophiles and child molestors can circle a date on a calendar and know they can get away with it.”

James Jensen’s daughter Kristen Newby spoke in support of the bill Wednesday, saying survivors of sexual abuse usually don’t come forward until they are adults.

“He was able to get away with his crimes for a very long time because of a system that was set up to protect him more than it was set up to protect the students,” she said.

Thirty-seven states have already lifted the statute of limitations on child sex crimes.

Three bills revising statutes of limitations are still in draft form. But House Bill 188 and House Bill 202, sponsored by Rep. Kimberly Dudik and Rep. Shane Morigeau, are scheduled for committee. Both bills cover the extension of the statute of limitations for civil cases.

Tim Pierce is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association, the Greater Montana Foundation and the Montana Newspaper Association.

Thursday, January 17th 2019
Mid-Rivers Communications sells cellular network assets to Verizon
Mid-Rivers Communications has agreed to sell its cellular network assets to Verizon.

Included in the deal are the Mid-Rivers mobile wireless sites in areas where Verizon does not currently have coverage. Mid-Rivers' retail cellular operations will end when the cellular network is turned over to Verizon sometime later this year.

The sale only includes the Cooperative’s cellular network and does not include the cellular customers or other landline or broadband network assets or services. All current Mid-Rivers cellular customers will need to choose a new mobile wireless provider by a deadline later in the year, which is yet to be determined. Full service providers with coverage in the area include AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Closing of the sale and the final network transition will take place over the coming months.

Mid-Rivers began providing cellular services in Eastern Montana in 1997, using “fill-in” licenses to build towers where the large cellular carriers had no coverage.

“Today, the cellular market is very different, and there are other providers who can better meet your mobile wireless needs,” said Mid-Rivers General Manager/CEO Michael Candelaria. “The substantial amount of roaming dollars from other carriers that helped build the network and keep it going are drying up. The sale of our cellular network assets now will help insure that quality modern wireless services remain available in this region into the future.”

Less than 10% of the Cooperative’s overall customer base, or about 1,700 customers, were subscribed to the Cooperative’s cellular service. With the increase in customer demand for broadband in recent years, the Cooperative has been taking steps to focus its resources on extending broadband facilities to its rural customers.

Customers who are impacted by the sale will receive notice from Mid-Rivers and should contact the Cooperative at 1-800-452-2288 or visit www.midrivers.com for more information.

Wednesday, January 16th 2019
Legislators Agree Volunteer Firefighters Should Have Workers’ Comp, But Not How To Pay For It

By Shaylee Ragar
Community News Service
UM School of Journalism

HELENA -- Two bills being heard in the Montana Legislature this week focus on workers’ compensation insurance for volunteer firefighters. However, the bills’ sponsors don’t agree on how it should be paid for.

House Bill 28, sponsored by Dave Fern, D-Whitefish, would create a tax on fireworks to help pay for workers’ compensation coverage for volunteer firefighters. Leonard Lundby, of the statewide Volunteer Firefighter Association, said about 2,000 Montana volunteer firefighters are uninsured. He spoke in support of the bill at a hearing on Tuesday..

“It is only meant to help the poorest of the poor fire departments,” Lundby said.

Lundby said this is a needs-based funding program, and that many fire departments already provide workers’ compensation insurance for volunteers. Others cannot afford it, he said.

Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, is carrying Senate Bill 29, which would require volunteer fire departments to carry workers’ compensation insurance. But, he opposes the fireworks tax. Thomas said rural firehouses should find ways to build workers’ comp into their budgets.

Mike Maeder, owner of Liberty Fireworks in Great Falls, spoke against the fireworks tax.

“We’re going to get kicked in the teeth, we really are,” Maeder said.

Thomas’ bill gets its initial hearing on Wednesday. He said he usually disagrees with government mandates, but in this case, it’s necessary.

“This is so important because volunteers, firemen, really put their livelihood on the line to take care of their neighbor,” Thomas said.

The senate bill would allow fire departments three years to buy insurances. Thomas said if departments find they cannot afford the insurance, the bill could be repealed in two years.

Shaylee Ragar is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

Wednesday, January 16th 2019
Glasgow store not listed for closure as Shopko announces it has filed for bankruptcy
GREEN BAY, WI – January 16, 2019 – Shopko (“the Company”), a leading operator of general
merchandise stores throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions of the U.S., today
announced that it, along with its subsidiaries, has filed voluntary petitions for a court-supervised
financial restructuring under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

The Company is seeking to facilitate the restructuring as a result of excess debt and ongoing competitive
pressures. The petitions have been filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nebraska. During
the restructuring process, Shopko will continue to operate and serve its customers, vendors, partners
and employees.

Shopko has obtained up to $480M debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing from certain of its prepetition
secured lenders, led by Wells Fargo, N.A. as administrative agent, to help fund and protect its operations
during the Chapter 11 process. This incremental liquidity will ensure that suppliers and other business
partners and vendors will be paid in a timely manner for authorized goods and services provided during
the Chapter 11 process, in accordance with customary terms.

“This decision is a difficult, but necessary one,” said Russ Steinhorst, Chief Executive Officer. “In a
challenging retail environment, we have had to make some very tough choices, but we are confident
that by operating a smaller and more focused store footprint, we will be able to build a stronger Shopko
that will better serve our customers, vendors, employees and other stakeholders through this process.”
In order to position the Company for future success, Shopko has announced that it will be closing an
additional 38 stores, relocating over 20 Optical centers to freestanding locations, and conducting an
auction process for its pharmacy business. Throughout this process, all Shopko Optical centers and
pharmacies remain open and continue to deliver the high-quality products and services to which its
customers are accustomed. All other stores remain open as the Company continues to optimize its store
footprint. Parties interested in receiving additional information about the Company’s pharmacy auction
process should send inquiries to shopko@hl.com.

Additionally, encouraged by the performance of the four freestanding Optical centers that were opened
in 2018, Shopko plans to continue to grow its optical business by opening additional freestanding Optical
locations during 2019.

Shopko is also filing customary first day motions that, once approved by the court, will allow the
Company to smoothly transition its business into Chapter 11, including, among other things, granting
authority to pay wages, salaries, benefits, and pay vendors and suppliers in the ordinary course for
authorized goods and services provided on or after the filing date.
Additional information is available on the Company’s restructuring website at http://info.shopko

For a list of store closures:
http://info.shopko.com/closing-locations.pdf

Monday, January 14th 2019
Former Valley County Sheriff's Deputy appears in court on Sexual Intercourse without Consent charge.
Former Valley County Sheriff’s Deputy Luke Strommen appeared in State District Court in Glasgow on Monday to face an additional charge of Sexual Intercourse without Consent. It was back in October when Strommen was charged with Sexual Abuse of Children but in late December the Montana Attorney General’s Office amended the charges and included a charge of Sexual Intercourse without Consent.

Strommen appeared in court with Judge John Larson of Missoula presiding over video conference. Strommen was represented by Jason Holden from Great Falls. The State of Montana was represented by David Buchler an Assistant Attorney General for Montana.

Strommen did plead not guilty to the additional charge of Sexual Intercourse without Consent.

The Attorney General’s office was requesting Strommen be required to post bond in the case and also be required to wear a GPS unit while awaiting trial. But Strommen’s attorney effectively argued that the community is supervising Strommen and that a GPS unit was not necessary, and bond wasn’t necessary as Strommen is not a flight risk and is unnecessary for the safety of the community.

Judge Larson agreed with Strommen’s attorney and basically reverted to conditions that were first applied to Strommen in October including allowing him to possess a cell phone and access the internet. He will still be allowed to pick up and drop off his children from school with the condition that he do so 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after school.

A trial date had been set for May 15th but that date has been vacated and a new trial will be scheduled later possibly in June, July or August according to Judge Larson.

Strommen was not required to post bail and will have to follow conditions set by the court. If convicted on the Sexual Intercourse without consent charge he could be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Monday, January 14th 2019
Colder Temperatures Moving In This Week
The mild and dry weather will end on Wednesday. There will be a cold front moving through Northeast Montana Wednesday Night which will bring much colder temperatures starting Thursday and continuing until at least Saturday.

Some locations could see lows below zero on Thursday and Friday nights.

Snow is expected for parts of the region Thursday and Friday as a low pressure system moves across Wyoming. The heaviest snow in our area is expected to be around Zortman and Winnett with 3 to 4 inches.

Little or no snow accumulation is expected in the northeast corner of the state.

Monday, January 14th 2019
Glasgow man arrested and charged with Partner/Family Member Assault and Felony Assault with a Weapon
On the morning of January 12, 2019, Officers with the Glasgow Police Department received a report from a female victim who stated her husband threatened her with a gun at their residence located on Glasgow’s North Side.

The victim was able to leave the residence but was followed to her place of employment where the suspect was involved in an altercation with another male. The suspect then took off before law enforcement was notified. A search ensued and the suspect was apprehended at a different residence on the North Side of town by members of the Glasgow Police Department and Valley County Sheriff’s Office without incident.

The suspect identified as Dale Hintt 31, of Glasgow was remanded to the Valley County Detention Center on the charges of Partner/Family Member Assault and Felony Assault with a Weapon.

Thursday, January 10th 2019
Hi-Line Sportsmen Banquet is Feb. 23
Save the date and plan to attend the 3rd annual conservation fundraising dinner hosted by the Hi-Line Sportsmen on Saturday evening, Feb. 23 at Glasgow’s St. Raphael’s Parish Center gymnasium.

Tickets for the banquet are limited in number and are available from more than a dozen members of the local chapter committee. Deadline to purchase early-bird tickets—which include a chance to win two tickets to the Sawyer Brown concert at this summer’s Northeast Montana Fair—is Feb. 11.

Doors open on Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m. for drinks and games. A prime rib dinner with all the trimmings will be served starting at 6 p.m.

Single tickets cost $30 and couples tickets are $50. Sponsor couples tickets are $200, and include a chance at a sponsor gun. Or get a group of friends together and buy a sponsor table for 8 for $800. Sponsor tables get a gun to give away to tablemates.

The banquet features a wide variety of art, home furnishings and décor, raffle prizes for women and youngsters, and plenty of sporting goods on the general raffle. In addition, over a dozen guns and hunting bows will be auctioned or raffled over the course of the evening. Special items include the final team spot in this summer’s Milk River Catfish Classic fishing tournament, a custom rifle with the Hi-Line Sportsmen logo, and a semi-guided youth turkey hunt in Nebraska.

All funds from the banquet stay in the local community. Hi-Line Sportsmen is a non-profit conservation group committed to improving wildlife habitat, sportsmen access, and passing on sporting traditions in Valley County and neighboring counties.

Proceeds from last year’s inaugural banquet were used to fund scholarships for college-bound Valley County students, purchase docks at the Fort Peck Marina, help 4-H with trash collection at Vandalia Dam, electrify camping areas at Boy Scout Park, contribute several hundred pounds of venison to the Glasgow Food Bank, and pair beginning hunters with experienced mentors.

For more information on the Feb. 23 banquet and Hi-Line Sportsmen, visit the group’s Facebook page, or call Jennifer Jackson at 263-7339, Jace Ball at 230-0833, Andrew McKean at 263-5442, or Arron Franzen at 406-925-0777.

Wednesday, January 9th 2019
Wolf Harvested in Region 6 Near Glasgow
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, a wolf was legally harvested Jan. 7, 2019, by a local hunter near Glasgow in Valley Co. FWP officials have inspected and tagged the animal. This is the first wolf to be harvested in Region 6, which is part of wolf management unit 400, since wolves were removed from the endangered species list in Montana in 2011.

FWP manages wolves across Montana under a statewide management plan, including eastern Montana. FWP is committed to responsibly managing Montana’s wolf population while addressing conflicts with livestock and other wildlife populations. Although wolf populations and management activities are largely focused on western Montana, all the same wolf management tools are in place across eastern Montana.

Hunting and trapping wolves:

Wolves may be hunted throughout the state, with a season from Sept. 2-Sept. 14 (archery) and Sept. 15-March 15 (rifle). Hunting wolves requires a wolf license, which can be purchased over the counter for $19 (resident) or $50 (nonresident). Proof of hunter education must be presented at the time of purchase.

Wolves may also be trapped ($20 resident, $1 resident landowner, $250 nonresident) from Dec. 15-Feb. 28. Completion of either the Idaho or Montana wolf trapping certification class is mandatory. Persons could take a combination of up to five wolves via hunting and/or trapping.

According to the 2017 Montana Gray Wolf Program Annual Report, population estimates suggest there are approximately 900 wolves in Montana, with an annual wolf harvest that averages about 225 animals per year. During the 2017-2018 wolf season, 255 wolves were harvested: 65 percent hunting, 35 percent trapping. Approximately, $380,000 was generated for wolf conservation and management by wolf license sales.

Wolves and people:
Wolf sightings do periodically happen in eastern Montana, but currently no wolf packs are known to exist in the eastern side of the state.
Many folks may be concerned that this wolf was harvested so close to Glasgow, and that it maybe could have posed a threat to human safety. Though curious, wolves generally fear people and rarely pose a threat. However, there have been many cases of human injuries and a few deaths due to wolves in North America over the last 100 years. The main contributing factors were habituation to people, conditioning to human foods, rabies infections, and the presence of domestic dogs. Overall, wolf attacks on people have been rare compared to other wildlife species, both large and small. Most are preventable.
It is also unusual for wild wolves to associate or interact with people, linger near buildings, livestock, or domestic dogs. This behavior is more typical of a habituated or food-conditioned animal, a released captive wolf, or a released wolf-dog hybrid.

Wolves and livestock:
Another aspect of wolf management includes increased emphasis on proactive prevention of livestock depredation. Montana law and administrative rules (MCA 87-3-130; ARM 12.9.1301-1305) allow a person to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing, or threatening to kill livestock or domestic dogs.
no permit is required and FWP must be notified within 72 hours of take or attempt to take
preserve the scene and leave the carcass where it was killed; carcass is surrendered to FWP
physical evidence of the wolf attack or that an attack was imminent is required (injured or
dead livestock, broken fences, trampled vegetation and wolf sign) that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the attack was imminent
wolves cannot be intentionally baited, fed, or deliberately attracted
Wolves may be opportunistically hazed or harassed

This same law also allows private citizens to kill a wolf that is seen in the act of attacking, killing or threatening a domestic dog or another human. Again, FWP must be notified within 72 hours of take or attempt to take.

Livestock depredation by wolves during 2017 was approximately 25 percent of what it was in 2009, when it was at a peak. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services confirmed 80 livestock losses to wolves in 2017, which included 49 cattle, 12 sheep, and 19 goats during 2017. One dog was also killed by wolves. This total was up compared to 53 livestock losses during 2016. During 2017 the Montana Livestock Loss Board paid $64,133 for livestock Wildlife Services confirmed as probable or certain wolf kills.

FWP would encourage anyone who believes they see a wolf in Region 6 to contact your local biologist, game warden, or call the Glasgow Region 6 FWP Headquarters at 406-228-3700.

To learn more about Montana’s wolf population, visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov, or go directly to this link: fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/management/wolf/ .

Wednesday, January 9th 2019
Fort Peck Fine Arts And City Of Glasgow Among Grant Recipients
Commerce Announces Nearly $830,000 in Grants for Tourism and Recreation Infrastructure and Marketing Projects

HELENA, Mont. – The Department of Commerce today announced 26 of Montana’s vibrant and charming towns will receive grants to help them attract visitors to their communities. In 2017, visitors from out of state added $3.4 billion to Montana’s economy.

Funds totaling $829,644 will be awarded through the Tourism Grant Program at the Department of Commerce, Office of Tourism and Business Development.

“In Montana, you’re never far from world-class recreation and visitor experiences,” said Jenny Pelej, interim division administrator for the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development at Commerce. “Tourism is an industry with a statewide impact, and these grants help communities both large and small maximize their ability to bring customers into Main Street businesses and support jobs.”

The Tourism Grant Program awards funds to projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism and recreation industry. Eligible projects include arts, culture and heritage preservation; visitor facility upgrades and construction; and niche product development.

Full List of Grant Recipients:

Big Sky Skating and Hockey Association, Inc. in Big Sky is awarded $65,000 to purchase and install refrigeration upgrades for its ice arena in the Town Center of Big Sky.

The Big Sky Visitor Center in Big Sky is awarded $21,333 to purchase an executive restroom on a portable trailer that will supply three additional restrooms for guests.

Billings-Yellowstone County Metropolitan Planning Organization in Billings is awarded $6,627 to add and brand more bike racks in the downtown business district.

Our Montana in Billings is awarded $6,750 to develop an app that offers a guide to river access sites, history, points of interest, community parks and trails, equipment rentals, and bird-watching opportunities along the Yellowstone River Corridor.

Art House Cinema and Pub in Billings is awarded $55,000 for the marquee and signage of newly renovated spaces of the theater.

Bridger Ski Foundation in Bozeman is awarded $74,000 to install a snowmaking system at Sunset Hills that will guarantee reliable, consistent Nordic skiing and increase winter recreation opportunities.

Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture in Bozeman is awarded $5,573 for a digital directory and information board in the lobby.

Butte Local Development Organization in Butte is awarded $27,500 to develop videos to showcase tourist amenities and to purchase and install signage to direct visitors.

Butte Center for the Performing Arts in Butte is awarded $13,700 to complete essential upgrades and to purchase new audio equipment for the theater.

Mainstreet Uptown Butte, Inc. is awarded $25,000 to support professional marketing services and media productions in out-of-state markets for the Montana Folk Festival.

Cut Bank Trails Inc. in Cut Bank is awarded $10,000 to provide interpretation and historical information along the Cut Bank Coulee Trail System.

Powell County Museum and Arts Foundation in Deer Lodge is awarded $50,400 to assist in the repair of the Administration Building roof.

BikeWalk Southwest Montana in Dillon is awarded $9,900 to assist in developing a bike/walk camp and advertising to distribution points along trans-American routes.

Ennis Area Chamber of Commerce is awarded $1,717 to redesign and upgrade its website.

Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, Inc. in Fort Peck is awarded $20,000 to upgrade the Fort Peck Summer Theatre sound system.

The City of Glasgow is awarded $33,700 to construct and install wayfinding signage on the highway and in downtown areas.

Great Falls Montana Tourism is awarded $8,000 to develop video assets that showcase unique experiences in the Great Falls area.

C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls is awarded $10,000 to purchase and install exhibition components of Nancy Russell business space within the house/museum.

Havre Trails, Inc. in Havre is awarded $5,020 to construct and install welcome signage at the trailhead and to develop a marketing brochure of trail and area highlights.

The Conrad Mansion Museum in Kalispell is awarded $12,000 to preserve the integrity of the Mansion through the replacement of worn carpet and carpet runners.

Lakeside-Somers Chamber of Commerce is awarded $2,500 to complete upgrades on an outdoor tourism information center and to install a wire/pulley system above the highway for banners/signage.

The Heritage Museum in Libby is awarded $26,704 to complete the restoration of the "fire box" for the original boiler of the 1906 Shay #4 Steam Locomotive.

Kootenai Cross Country Ski Club in Libby is awarded $43,144 to construct a multi-purpose visitor and event center.

Blackfoot Pathways: Sculpture in the Wild in Lincoln is awarded $13,800 for purchase of wheelchair accessible picnic tables, to upgrade and develop new walkways that are wheelchair accessible, to create flora/fauna information panels, and to purchase and install bike racks at the entrances.

The Livingston Depot Foundation, Inc. in Livingston is awarded $35,000 to replace the air conditioning cooling tower and three aging boiler units.

The Missoula Downtown Foundation is awarded $15,810 to complete a Heritage Tourism Interpretive Plan for Downtown Missoula, including exhibit development, outreach and education.

Montana Natural History Center in Missoula is awarded $10,500 to improve interpretive exhibits at the History Center and at the Ravalli County Museum.

Miracle of America Museum in Polson is awarded $10,288 to replace clapboard siding on the 106-year-old Green Mountain School House and to enhance the playground.

Red Lodge Area Chamber of Commerce/Convention Visitors Bureau is awarded $34,934 to construct and install planned wayfinding signs in the downtown area.

Seeley Lake Community Foundation is awarded $11,356 to replace the southern “Welcome to Seeley Lake” sign.

Stevensville Main Street Association is awarded $4,000 to develop a year-long digital marketing campaign targeting niche markets of history/cultural travelers.

Mineral County is awarded $64,388 to replace the Superior rodeo bleachers and for advertising the improved bleacher seating to the northwestern states region.

City of Thompson Falls is awarded $46,000 for development of Ainsworth Community Park, including construction of a pavilion and amphitheater.

Yellowstone Historic Center in West Yellowstone is awarded $30,000 for authentic replacement of windows in the historic 1925 Union Pacific Dining Lodge.

The City of Whitefish and Whitefish Legacy Partners is awarded $20,000 to add to the wayfinding network throughout the developed Whitefish Trail bike path system.

Learn more at the Tourism Grant Program Website.

Tuesday, January 8th 2019
$163,055 spent locally during Christmas season through Community Cash program and Chamber Big Bucks
The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture had a very successful holiday season with its Annual Community Cash program.

The Community Cash Script was available starting on October 16, 2018 at First Community Bank in Glasgow/Hinsdale, Valley Bank and Independence Bank. The purpose of the Community Cash program is to encourage people in our area to “Shop Locally”. The Glasgow merchants offer a variety of quality products along with outstanding customer service.

In 2018, 62 Chamber business members participated in the program with 75 loans totaling $66,255 from Valley Bank, 30 loans totaling $27,000 from FCB, and 24 loans totaling $22,300 from Independence Bank for a total of $115,555 dollars Spent Locally!

The Chamber Big Bucks program was also very successful. From October 16th thru December 31st, 2018 alone, $47,500 of Chamber Big Bucks was purchased from the Chamber Office. With both programs $163,055 was spent LOCALLY during the 2018 Holiday season in Glasgow. The Chamber thanks everybody for participating in these programs and supporting our local merchants! “BUY LOCALLY AND THE BUCK STAYS HERE”

Thursday, January 3rd 2019
Glasgow December Climate Data
December was warmer and wetter than normal.

Temperatures had the normal see-saw through the month with only a couple of minor cold blasts where the temperature dropped below zero. That occurred on the 6th through the 8th, then again on the 31st. The lack of cold was a bit unusual given the thick snow layed down early in the month. A record high minimum temperature was set on the 19th with a minimum of 29.

The greatest precipitation event came on the 1st and 2nd, where 5.1 inches of snow fell. the next event came at the end of the month where an inch of snow fell. total liquid precipitation for the month totaled 0.70 inches, with 6.9 inches of snow.

The wind wasn't too unusual with strongest wind gust of 40 mph occurring on the 21st from the west.

Looking ahead to January, normal highs start out at 23 and end with 25 at the end of the month. normal lows begin with a 4 on the 1st and end with 6. Normal liquid precipitation is 0.37 inches and normal snow is 8 inches.

Thursday, January 3rd 2019
2018 Glasgow Climate Data
2018 started off on a roller coaster ride in the temperature department, when an unprecedented string of cold days occurred from February 15th until April 14th. Daily highs never reached above normal (58 days). This string of cold weather was punctuated by a record low temperature of just 4 degrees for the day, set on April 6th.

Temperatures then followed closer to normal, but more records were set in August. Three days set record highs with a 101 on the 9th of August, and a 107 on the 10th and 11th.

For monthly averages, February was the coldest with respect to normal, averaging 18.2 degrees below normal. May was the warmest with respect to normal, coming in at 7.6 degrees above normal.

Precipitation for the most part was near normal, but a noticeable dry period occurred from about July 11th until August 26th. Only 0.03 of an inch fell in that period. Normally, over 2 inches of rainfall would occur.

2018 Glasgow MT Climate Summary

Climate Normal Period 1981 to 2010
Climate Record Period 1893 to 2019

TEMPERATURE (F)
RECORD
HIGH 113 07/31/1900
LOW -59 02/15/1936

2018
HIGHEST 107
LOWEST -31
MEAN 41.8

PRECIPITATION (INCHES)
RECORD
MAXIMUM 22.96 2011
TOTALS 11.28 11.66 -0.38

SNOWFALL (INCHES)
RECORDS
TOTAL 83.4 2011
TOTALS 62.6 34.8


Thursday, January 3rd 2019
Bring In Little Christmas Receipts By Friday 4 p.m. Friday
You can still bring your receipts into the Chamber Office for the Local Little Christmas promotion until Friday January 4th at 4p.m.

The receipts must be dated December 1-31, 2018 & be from participating businesses.

The Chamber will draw the winners during the 2nd week of January.

Thursday, January 3rd 2019
Johnny Holm Band To Play Friday Night
The Johnny Holm Band will be back in Glasgow, playing at the Civic Center this Friday night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show goes from 8-11:30 p.m.

Ticket prices: $30 advance and $40 at the door. $300 for reserved table of 8.

Tickets available at the Glasgow Chamber office.

Wednesday, January 2nd 2019
208 People Given Rides With New Year's Eve Program
Valley County Search & Rescue along with the local wrecker services, Thompson & Sons, Glenn's Automotive and Hi-Line Collision, gave 208 rides on New Year's Eve.

The DUI Taskforce donated to Search & Rescue for each ride given, up to $500.

Monday, December 31st 2018
Charges Amended Against Former Undersheriff Strommen
Late last week, the State of Montana altered charges against former Valley County Undersheriff Luke Strommen. Whilst still including the offense of sexual abuse of children, a felony, related to an alleged knowing possession of a visual or print medium of a child engaged in sexual content, they’ve also now added a second count. A felony as well, this count is for sexual intercourse without consent.

Court documents obtained by KLTZ/Mix-93 describe a roughly two-year period between September 2009 and December 2011 when Strommen allegedly had sexual intercourse with a minor. In Montana, individuals aged 15 or younger are not legally able to consent to sexual activity.

For the first count, sexual abuse of children, the offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not more than 10 years and/or a fine not to exceed $10,000. Punishment is more extreme if found guilty on the second count of sexual intercourse without consent. Information from the Montana 17th Judicial Court explains that, if found guilty of this offense, Strommen could face life imprisonment or face imprisonment in the state prison for a term of not less than four years or more than 100 years. He may also be fined not more than $50,000.

The alleged victim in this newest count against Strommen told officials that she had sexual intercourse with the defendant approximately 50 times. Most of those interactions reportedly occurred in the defendant’s Valley County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle. Court documents also describe a call reportedly made recently to the victim’s mother by Strommen expressing his apologies.

Strommen has been summoned to appear before the Montana 17th Judicial District Court at the Valley County Courthouse at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, January 14.

Friday, December 28th 2018
Ex-Police Officer Accused Of Spending Tribal Funds At Bars
(Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former tribal police officer in Montana who was supposed to be running a program to keep young Native Americans out of trouble spent tribal money at casinos, a strip club, bars and other places.

The Billings Gazette reported Thursday that 44-year-old Willard Wilson White faces charges of wire fraud, theft from an Indian tribal organization and income tax evasion.

No one answered a phone number listed for White on Thursday. He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the Fort Peck Assiniboine (uh-SINN'-uh-boyn) and Sioux tribes provided White with $40,000 to run the program when he was a temporary officer for the two tribes.

If convicted of all charges, White faces up to 30 years in prison and $600,000 in fines and would be required repay the $40,000.

Thursday, December 27th 2018
New Year's Eve Rides Available
Valley County Search & Rescue along with the local wrecker services, Thompson & Sons, Glenn's Automotive and Hi-Line Collision, will be giving rides again this New Year's Eve.

Names & Numbers of those donating their services are:
Search & Rescue and Fire Department:
Randy Isakson 263-2193
Shyanne "Whisky" Isakson 263-2505
Jeron Wesen, SAR, 263-0265

Tom & Dawn Thompson, Thompson & Sons, 263-7265

Tom Pewitt, Hi-Line Collision, 263-2154

Doug Cook, Glenn's Automotive, 263-1249 (Park Grove & Fort Peck Area)

The DUI Taskforce will be donating to Search & Rescue for each ride given, up to $500.

Wednesday, December 26th 2018
2018 Community Cash Program Still Underway Through December 31st, 2018
The 2018 Community Cash program is still underway thru December 31st, 2018

Borrow up to $1,000.00 at these participating financial institutions:
First Community Bank, Glasgow
First Community Bank, Hinsdale
Valley Bank, Glasgow
Independence Bank, Glasgow
Equal Opportunity Lenders, Members’ FDIC

Here’s How:
1. Fill out a loan application at one of the four participating financial institutions.
2. The loan is payable in 10 monthly installments. You pay NO INTEREST, only a $10 fee to cover a portion of the paperwork.
3. The script can be used until December 31st, 2018. Thereafter, you have until January 5, 2019 to turn in your unused script to the bank for full credit.
4. When your loan is approved, you will receive special Community Cash script which you can spend in any of the participating Community Cash businesses.
5. The last day to apply for Community cash is December 30, 2018.
6. Wells Fargo will accept Community Cash deposits from the MEMBER merchants.
7. Merchant MUST be a paid Chamber member to accept Community Cash Script.

Community Cash Participants

Sunday, December 23rd 2018
Becoming an Outdoor Woman Ice Fishing Class Offered Near Fort Peck
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program is sponsoring an ice fishing class near Fort Peck, over Jan. 4-5.

The event will begin with an evening “classroom” portion on Fri., Jan. 4 from 6-8 p.m., at the Fort Peck Interpretive Center. Anglers will learn about ice fishing gear, tactics, dressing to stay warm, how to be safe on the ice, and more.

On Sat. morning from 8 a.m.-12 p.m., anglers will be on the ice where they can try out ice augers, fishing shelters, tip-ups, electronics, and hopefully catch some fish! The exact fishing location is yet to be determined but will be in the Fort Peck area.

All ice fishing equipment will be provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment if they have it available and/or want to learn more about it. Please note that both women that are brand new to ice fishing and women who are experienced but want to learn more about safety and tips are encouraged to attend.

This class is designed for women. Class size is limited, so please get your applications in as soon as possible. Snacks and drinks will be provided, and there will be a $15 fee to offset costs.

The registration forms will be available on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov ; click "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" under the Education tab. Forms can also be picked up at the Fort Peck Interpretive Center, at the FWP Region 6 Headquarters in Glasgow, or by emailing Lawana Grewe at lgrewe@mt.gov. Call the R6 FWP headquarters at 406-228-3700 with any questions.

Friday, December 21st 2018
Valley County unemployment rate 3%
MONTANA – Montana’s unemployment rate remained steady at 3.7% for the month of November, gaining roughly 2,000 jobs over the month. The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%

“As the holidays approach, Montana workers and families can enjoy a prosperous holiday season reaping the benefits of our strong economy,” said Governor Bullock. “Businesses and communities continue to experience a thriving job market, positive wage, and optimism for more economic growth in the new year.”

Payroll employment posted even larger job gains of 2,000 jobs, with job gains of 1,900 in the private sector. Private industry job gains were posted across most industries, with professional services, construction, and leisure and hospitality posting the strongest growth. Total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, indicated a strong increase of 1,203 jobs in November. The unemployment rate remained steady due to a similar increase in the labor force of 1,332 people.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in November, with a decline in gasoline prices offsetting increases in shelter and vehicles. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.2% in November, with a change of 2.2% over-the- year.

The unemployment rate in Valley County was 3%.

Wednesday, December 19th 2018
Ice Fishing Season is Beginning, Anglers Encouraged to Practice Safety
It’s that time of year when ice anglers will be heading out to Montana's waters for the ice fishing season. Ice fishing is a great winter activity that the entire family can enjoy. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reminds anglers that safety should be the number one concern during a day out on the ice. While the first ice of the year often offers some of the best fishing, it also can be quite variable from location to location and from day to day.

Anglers should be familiar with the water body they plan to fish. The safest ice anglers are those who pay as much attention to the changing conditions of the ice as they do to the fishing conditions.

In FWP Region 6, there are dozens of water bodies that have windmills operating to keep dissolved oxygen flowing to fish and other aquatic life through the long winters. However, according to Havre-area Biologist Cody Nagel, it can also change the ice conditions.

“Anglers need to be extra careful about venturing onto any ice where these windmills are operating because the action of the aerators can weaken or thin the ice,” Nagel said. “A good rule of thumb is that if you see a windmill operating out on a pond or reservoir, you should use extreme caution.”

And when on the ice, remember: if you have even the slightest doubt about the safety of the ice—stay off it. No fish is ever worth a fall into frigid water.

Blue ice is usually hard. Watch out for opaque, gray, dark or porous spots in the ice that could be weak, soft areas. Ice also tends to thin more quickly at the shorelines.

The following are MINIMUMS needed with ice thickness:
4 inches: 1 person with gear
5 inches: small group spread out
6 inches: snowmobile or ATV
9 inches: small automobile*
12 inches: pickup truck or SUV*
*not recommended, but if you must, proceed at your own risk!
Watch for pressure ridges. These are areas of open water or thin ice where the ice has cracked and heaved due to expansion from freezing.
Test the ice ahead of you with an ice spud bar or an auger.
Don’t leave children unsupervised on the ice.
Lakes and ponds do not freeze at the same thickness all over.
Moving water—rivers, streams and springs—weaken ice by wearing it away from underneath. Avoid ice on rivers and streams, or where a river or stream enters a lake, pond or reservoir.
The least safe ice usually occurs early and late in the season, when the weather is warmer.

Some other common ice-safety reminders to keep in mind include:

Dress warm and waterproof to help prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
Consider changes in the weather (and ice conditions) during the prior 24 hours.
It's OK to wear a life jacket (PFD) or carry a throwable floatation device while out on the ice — safe ice-anglers do it all the time.
Before you head from home, tell someone where you plan to fish and when you plan to return.
Carry a pair of ice picks (long spikes on a heavy string around your neck). If you break through the ice, you can use the spikes to grip the ice and pull yourself out of the water.

FWP wishes all anglers a safe, adventurous, and successful ice fishing season!

Monday, December 17th 2018
Montana Broadcasters Association recognizes Kltz/Mix-93
The Montana Broadcasters Association and the Montana Army National Guard recently toured Montana introducing members of the National Guard to Montana Broadcasters and recognizing radio stations across the state for being a part of the "Something Greater" campaign.

Dewey Bruce with the MBA along with SGT Pennington of the National Guard in Glasgow presented Hootch Vegge and Stan Ozark of Kltz/Mix-93 with a gift for being a part of the marketing efforts of the Montana Army National Guard.

Friday, December 14th 2018
Tester Secures $600 Million Investment to Expand High-Speed Internet in Rural America
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today applauded a $600 million investment to expand high-speed internet in rural communities across the country.

Tester helped secure the investment in a budget bill in March, and he was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to support the funding for this new initiative.

“Schools, families, and businesses all need reliable access to high-speed internet to thrive,” Tester said. “This funding will specifically help the country’s most rural areas close the communication gap and bring new opportunities to folks across our state.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will administer the new $600 million initiative, known as the “ReConnect Program,” through loans and grants to local telecommunication companies, tribes, and municipalities.

Communities with fewer than 20,000 residents will be eligible for the new funding to expand high-speed internet access. The first round of grants applications will be due to USDA by the end of April 2019.

Montanans can access assistance from USDA during the grant application process by visiting the ReConnect Program’s resource portal at https://reconnect.usda.gov/.

Tester earlier this week led the charge to pass a bipartisan Farm Bill that included development grants to expand access to high-speed internet in rural areas.

Tuesday, December 11th 2018
Valley County High School Seniors Encouraged To Apply For Hi-Line Sportsmen Memorial Scholarships
All Valley County high school seniors are eligible to apply for substantial college scholarships that will be awarded in February by the Hi-Line Sportsmen.

Scholarship winners will be announced at the conservation group’s annual fundraising banquet, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019 at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church’s parish hall in Glasgow. Over the past four years, a total of $11,000 has been awarded to 13 seniors headed for additional education, whether technical and trade schools or 2- or 4-year universities.

In keeping with the wildlife-conservation mission of the Hi-Line Sportsmen, scholarship applicants must possess a valid Montana hunting license. Other considerations are community service and participation in hunting and conservation-oriented activities. Application deadline for the scholarship is Feb. 1, 2019.

In previous years, the scholarship has been presented in memory of Barb Marsh, a longtime supporter of wildlife conservation and local youth, who died unexpectedly in January 2014. This year, a second benefactor, Karen Jackson, has provided support for the memorial scholarship, in memory of her husband and longtime Valley County sportsman Mark Jackson, who died in 2015. Because of the combined contributions, the scholarship has been renamed Hi-Line Sportsmen Memorial Scholarship.

Both Karen Jackson and Joe Younkin, Barb Marsh’s longtime partner, are donating a memorial gun to this year’s HLS banquet. The guns will be auctioned, and proceeds from the memorials will fund next year’s scholarships. The amount of the scholarship varies from year to year since it is dependent on funds raised by the auction, but in previous years, multiple $1,000 scholarships have been awarded to college-bound Valley County high schoolers.

For details about eligibility and other information about the scholarship, students are encouraged to visit with career counselors at high schools in Glasgow, Nashua, Frazer, Hinsdale, Opheim, and Lustre.

Call Jenn Jackson at 263-7339 or email Jackson at jennjenn910@gmail.com for information about both the scholarship and the banquet, which raises funds for local wildlife conservation, outdoor recreation, youth events, and our hunting heritage.
Saturday, December 8th 2018
Homicide charge dismissed against ND man in brother's death
(Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Prosecutors in northeastern Montana have dismissed a deliberate homicide charge filed against a North Dakota man in the death of his brother this fall.

The Billings Gazette reports Valley County investigators have determined it was unlikely John Ersness of Sawyer, North Dakota, killed 62-year-old Corwin Ersness at his residence on Fort Peck Lake on Sept. 27.

John Ersness was arrested shortly after his brother's body was found by officers responding to a call from Corwin Erness. Corwin said he was concerned that his brother was in the area. Officers found evidence of an altercation at Corwin's house.

However, Sheriff Vernon Buerkle said a search of John Ersness' vehicle and a partial autopsy don't support the homicide charge.

Buerkle says Corwin Ersness' cause of death is still being determined.

Wednesday, December 5th 2018
47-year old Glasgow man charged with arson and burglary
47-year old Glasgow resident Kory Amundson has been charged with with arson and burglary as the result of an incident that occurred December 2nd.

According to a press release from the Glasgow Police Department, on December 2nd at approximately 5:38am, the GPD responded to a report of a house fire located at 229 1st Avenue South in Glasgow. It was determined the house was empty after the flames were extinguished. Upon further investigation the Glasgow Fire Department believed the circumstances of the fire were suspicious and the State Fire Marshall's Office was contacted for consultation.

Later that day, the GPD was informed by the Valley County Sheriff's Office that they had taken a male into custody on another incident who might know something about the fire. Investigators with the VCSO and GPD then conducted a interview with the male individual. During the interview, the male individual confessed to starting the house fire. Upon completion of the interview, Kory Amundson was remanded to the Valley County Detention Center on charges of Arson and Burglary.

Amundson is still incarcerated in the Valley County Detention Center with bond set at $100,000.

Wednesday, December 5th 2018
Post Office and other federal agencies closed Wednesday to mourn the death of former President Geroge H.W. Bush
Wednesday will be an effective federal holiday as the nation mourns the death of former President George H.W. Bush. President Donald Trump declared it a National Day of Mourning, meaning that nearly all federal workers would be excused from work and their agencies would be closed.

The former president will be given a state funeral Wednesday at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. After the ceremony, his body will be moved to Texas, where he will be buried at his presidential library. Mr. Bush died Friday evening at the age of 94.

National Day of Mourning: Post offices closed
Even though it's busy time of year for mailing holiday cards and gifts, United States Postal Service locations will be closed on Wednesday to "honor [the former President's] vast contributions to our country during his lifetime," the USPS said in a statement. The post office will also suspend regular mail delivery and administrative office activities on Wednesday.

But some packages still may be delivered. USPS plans to provide limited package delivery on Wednesday to stay ahead of the busy holiday season.

Major U.S. stock markets closed
Major U.S. markets, including the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, will be closed on Wednesday in observance of the National Day of Mourning. SIFMA, an influential financial trade group, also recommended that bond markets close on Wednesday, which would include Treasury bonds, corporate debt, and municipal bonds.

The New York Stock Exchange said it would lower its American flag to half-staff to and U.S. traders held a moment of silence on Monday prior to the market open. The last time U.S. markets were closed to honor a late president was on January 2, 2007 for the funeral of former President Gerald Ford.

Most federal employees will be excused from work
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that most federal workers will be excused from work on Wednesday "to allow Federal employees to join their fellow citizens in remembering our 41st President of the United States." However, employees whose absence would undermine national security, defense or essential public business will still report to work.

Nearly all federal offices will be closed
As part of President Trump's executive order, nearly all federal offices will be closed on Wednesday, with limited exceptions for national security purposes.

All Social Security field offices and hearing offices will be closed Wednesday, but the agency's online presence will be available to consumers.
The National Passport Information Center, as well as all passport agencies and centers, will be closed on Wednesday. All appointments scheduled for December 5 must be rescheduled.

Wednesday, December 5th 2018
City of Glasgow approves 2018-2019 budget
The Glasgow City Council approved a $2,326,602 general fund budget at the regular December 3rd meeting. This budget is for the 2018-2019 fiscal year which began in July of this year.

This budget is larger then the last fiscal year when the budget for the general fund was $2,264,812.

The general fund is the budget that funds most of the general operations of the City of Glasgow including the Glasgow Police Department, Glasgow Recreation Department and the Glasgow Fire Department.

The Glasgow Police Department is the largest part of the general fund with a budget of $1,146,182. The Glasgow Recreation Department has a budget of $427,147 and the Glasgow Fire Department with a budget of $121,713.

The city budget actually encompasses a total of $15,061,925 with the operations of the city water department the largest at $9,592,032 and the sewer operations of $799,221. The city also has a budget of $507,664 for street maintenance and solid waste with a budget of $490,130. These departments are outside of the general fund budget.

The City of Glasgow also has $568,726 in reserve funds.

Tuesday, December 4th 2018
Block Of Bucks Is This Friday
Friday is predicted to be one of the colder days this week by the weather forecasters. But Soroptimist members believe they will feel the warm generosity of the community once again.

Volunteers will be collecting donations for the Block of Bucks on Friday, December 7th beginning at 7 a.m. The collection boxes will be at the corners of D& G and the U.S. Post Office. They will be in operation until 5 p.m. All money collected is used to purchase warm clothing for children, infant to 17 years.

Soroptimists, with the assistance of volunteers, oversee the shopping spree on Saturday, December 8th. Volunteers are needed to help on this day as well. Any amount of volunteered time given would be greatly appreciated. Volunteers are asked to please report to the Elks Lodge on December 8 at 8:45 a.m. Shoppers, it would be very helpful for you to have your own pen, paper & calculator. A clipboard comes in handy too.

Please contact Block of Bucks committee chairman, Denise Forbes Kegel at 406-230-2489 for any questions or to volunteer.

Tuesday, December 4th 2018
General Big Game Season Ends in Region 6, Elk Shoulder Season Starts Soon
For the third year, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 has a shoulder season that allows antlerless elk hunting with a specific B-license. The past two years, the shoulder season was two weeks long, but this year the season has been extended 15 days and will run from Dec. 15-Jan. 15, 2019. Elk licenses (general elk or B-licenses) valid during the archery and general seasons are not valid for the shoulder season in Region 6. Hunters must have previously applied for this opportunity during the June 1 license drawing, and received their elk B-license that is only valid during the R6 shoulder season, either a:
699-00 Elk B-license-valid in HDs 620, 621, 622, 630, 631, 632-on all public and private lands, not including CMR National Wildlife Refuge

696-00 Elk B-license-valid in HDs 680 & 690 on all public and private lands

A shoulder season is a firearms season that occurs outside the general season and is focused on antlerless elk harvest. Shoulder seasons are not intended to replace harvest during the archery or general seasons, but aim to provide additional antlerless elk harvest to bring elk populations closer to objectives.

Shoulder seasons have specific objectives, and the Fish and Wildlife commission and department will monitor the success of shoulder seasons in each hunting district to ensure they are meeting the fundamental objectives.

Even though a shoulder season occurs outside the general season, all hunting regulations apply, including (but not limited to): obtaining landowner permission to hunt on private lands, properly validating your tag, wearing 400 square inches of orange above the waste, following legal shooting times, not shooting across a public road or right of way, leaving evidence of sex/species of the animal, and not shooting from a vehicle.

FWP suggests that hunters contact private landowners as early as possible, and to please be respectful during the holiday season. Shoulder season licenses are also valid on legally accessible public lands (except CMR Wildlife Refuge), and in participating Block Management lands.

Block Management cooperators were given the opportunity to opt out of the shoulder season, and four Block Management Areas (BMAs) in the shoulder season districts are not participating in the shoulder season for elk: #1 Springer, #21 Thorstad, #191 Wortman, and #48 Burke Ranch. These BMAs are, however, still open for upland bird hunting through Jan. 1. Permission for the participating shoulder season BMA’s are the same as they were for the general season, which can be found in our Hunting Access Guide.

Biologists would like to remind license holders that this is not a “damage hunt,” with elk stacked up in concentrated areas. Hunters should prepare to hunt hard for elk, no different than any other hunting season. Expect variable weather conditions to possibly include deep snow, cold, and/or muddy conditions. Hunters should have means to retrieve elk over potentially long distances.

Region 6 will not have any shoulder season hunt information coordinators. If there are any general questions concerning the shoulder season in Region 6, the FWP website contains a wealth of information at fwp.mt.gov/hunting/seasons/elkShoulder/ , or please contact the following:

Questions about the 699-00 license can be directed to the FWP Region 6 headquarters in Glasgow at 406-228-3700.

Questions about the 696-00 license can be directed to the FWP Region 6 field office in Havre at 406-265-6177.

Tuesday, December 4th 2018
Region 6 Havre-Area Check Station Results for the 2018 Season
The final results are in at Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Havre check station for the 2018 hunting season. The check station was open for eight weeks; from Oct. 6 (the open of general antelope) through Nov. 25 (the end of the deer/elk general season). Overall, both hunter numbers and most big-game harvest increased from last year, with mule deer numbers being the highest in over 10 years.

Biologists gather a lot of valuable information and biological data on game animals brought through check stations, in addition to sampling for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) this year. FWP appreciates all hunters’ cooperation in this effort. Note that the harvest data described below includes only animals that were brought through the Havre check station and is only a partial representation of the region-wide harvest.

Hunter numbers (1,945) were up 8% from 2017, and 17% above the recent average. Havre-area biologist Scott Hemmer, who manages the station, said “Hunter numbers and harvest were below average during the upland bird and antelope seasons, but they rebounded during the general big game season. Weather conditions this year were not a major obstacle to hunter participation or success.”

And hunter success for big game was good, especially for mule deer. “The most noteworthy statistic this year was the high number of mule deer checked,” said Hemmer.

Mule deer brought through the check station totaled 713 for the year, which was up 8% from last year, and 46% above the long-term average. The total mule deer harvest numbers were the highest seen since 2007, and the second most in over 20 years.

For the year, 142 white-tails were brought by the station, which is 19% higher than 2017, but still 10% below the long-term average.

“Hunters reported seeing increasing white-tailed deer numbers this year and enjoyed the opportunity to harvest a white-tailed doe with both the one-thousand region-wide 699-00 licenses, in addition to the unlimited single-region B tags,” said Hemmer.

Antelope, whose general season ended on Nov. 11, were 26% below 2017 and 78% below the long-term average. 63 antelope were brought by the check station this year.

“There were some minor reductions in antelope quotas this year that may have contributed to the lower antelope numbers, but hunter numbers were also down in districts where no quota changes occurred,” said Hemmer.

For the year, 48 elk were brought by the check station, which is one elk above last year’s number and 20% above the long-term average.

Upland bird harvest this year was down. For the eight weeks that the check station was open, the pheasant harvest of 424 birds is below last year (-17%) and the long-term average (-49%). Sharp-tailed grouse (47 birds) harvest was about half of last year’s total, and well below the long-term average. Hungarian partridge harvest (19 birds) is well below last year’s numbers and the long-term average.

“The lower upland bird numbers is likely due to the impact of drought conditions in the summer of 2017 along with the hard winter of 2017-18,” said Hemmer. “Bird hunters focusing on good habitats were still getting into some birds, but most bird hunters reported that this was a tough year for upland bird hunting.”

“Overall, it appeared to be a good season for hunters this year,” said Hemmer. “We sure appreciate and enjoy visiting with the hunters that come by the check station, and it’s great to see the smile on their face after a successful hunt.”

Friday, November 30th 2018
Winter Storm Warning Issued
The National Weather Service in Glasgow has issued an advisory for a freezing rain mixing with snow generally east of Fort Peck Lake, and a Winter Storm Warning for 6-10 inches of snow generally west and northwest of Fort Peck Lake.

The wintry mix is expected to begin near the Yellowstone River Valley this evening, then change over to all snow near midnight, then spreading toward the northeast through the remainder of the area through most of Saturday.

Snow Amounts: 6-10 inches are possible west and northwest of Fort Peck Lake, 2-5 inches elsewhere.

There could be some light ice accumulations from freezing rain mainly through Richland, Dawson, Prairie, and eastern McCone counties before midnight tonight.

Travelers may encounter slick and widespread snow-covered roads and significantly reduced visibility as this system moves through.

Visit the National Weather Service office website in Glasgow or dial 5-1-1 for more information.

Friday, November 30th 2018
2018 Christmas Stroll
Trolling for Christmas is the theme for Holiday Saturday – Dec. 1st. A free matinee at Valley Cinemas with Trolls (sponsored by FMDH & Albertsons). Santa arrives in town at 12noon with stops at Shopko, Valley View Home, Nemont Manor, & Prairie Ridge Village, then off to Pehlke’s Furniture from 2:30 – 4:30p.m. There will be Hay Rides by Cornwell Ranch from 2:30 – 5p.m., the Tree Lighting Ceremony is at 5p.m. & the 15th Annual Parade of Lights begins at 6p.m.
Friday, November 30th 2018
2018 Christmas Stroll Schedule
The Christmas Stroll is this weekend, and it's full of family-fun events! Download the schedule here
Thursday, November 29th 2018
Missouri River Country Cooperative Marketing Funds Available
Missouri River Country has Cooperative Marketing funds available for communities in Northeast Montana, designed to promote an area or event on a cooperative basis with a nonprofit tourism-related organization. The intent of this program is to encourage the development of new or expanded marketing projects that attract visitors outside the local community, thereby increasing the tourism travel to the region and extending the traveler’s stay in Missouri River Country.

The cooperative marketing funds are a 50/50 split between Missouri River Country and nonprofit tourism organizations. The funds are made possible by bed tax dollars generated in the Missouri River Country tourism region and are offered annually by Missouri River Country through an application process.

Projects that we have helped fund in the past are brochures for different communities and museums, billboards, signage and advertising events.

For an application and guidelines, please visit our website at www.missouririver.visitmt.com or contact the Missouri River Country tourism office, 1-800-653-1319 or write to P.O. Box 118, Fort Peck, MT 59223.

Thursday, November 29th 2018
Judge Allows Preliminary Work On Keystone XL Oil Pipeline
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge says a Canadian company may continue preliminary work on the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline while his order blocking construction is in effect.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said Wednesday he will clarify his Nov. 8 injunction to allow TransCanada to conduct engineering and planning activities, confirm shipper contracts, meet with different groups and acquire equipment, permits and land rights.

On Nov. 8, Morris blocked TransCanada's permit to build the pipeline from Alberta's oil sands through a half-dozen U.S. states to the Gulf of Mexico.

The judge ordered a new environmental review after saying the Trump administration had not fully considered the effects of the pipeline.

TransCanada had argued it wants to keep that preliminary work on schedule that that it can be prepared to start pipeline construction as early as mid-February.

Tuesday, November 27th 2018
Pipeline builder asks judge to allow pre-construction work
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The company that wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline is asking a Montana judge to change his order blocking the project so that pre-construction work can continue.

Attorneys for TransCanada will argue on Wednesday that U.S. District Judge Brian Morris should clarify or amend his ruling to say the injunction does not apply to activities such as finalizing contracts, purchasing materials, conducting land surveys and discussing federal permits.

On Nov. 8, Morris blocked TransCanada's permit to build the pipeline from Alberta's oil sands through a half-dozen U.S. states to the Gulf of Mexico.

The judge had ruled the Trump administration had not fully considered the environmental effects of the pipeline.

TransCanada's attorneys say the company wants to continue preparing for construction while it considers an appeal.

Monday, November 26th 2018
Block of Bucks Grateful to Serve Valley County
This worthwhile project would not be possible without the generosity of the Valley County residents and businesses. A prime example is D.R. Durell Construction. Dan and Kevin Durell are pictured here in the process of restoring the collection boxes for Block of Bucks.

Volunteers are needed to help on collection day Friday, December 7th. Please contact Denise Forbes Kegel at 406-230-2489 to sign up for a shift. Each shift is one hour. The collection boxes will be at the corners of D& G and the U.S. Post Office.

All money collected is used to purchase warm clothing for children, infant to 17 years.

Soroptimists, with the assistance of volunteers are in charge of the shopping spree on Saturday, December 8th. Volunteers are needed to help on this day as well. Any amount of volunteered time given would be greatly appreciated. Volunteers are asked to please report to the Elks on December 8 at 8:45 a.m.

Friday, November 23rd 2018
Two Vehicle Accident East of Glasgow
GLASGOW, Mont. (AP) — Authorities say two people were killed and two were injured in a collision in northeast Montana.

The Montana Highway Patrol says a sedan was making a U-turn on U.S. Highway 2 when it pulled in front of a pickup Friday morning just east of Glasgow.

The Great Falls Tribune reports a 72-year-old man and a 71-year-old woman in the sedan were killed. A 46-year-old man and 28-year-old woman in the pickup suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening.

The 72-year old male has been identified as Anthony Curley from Nashua and the 71-year old woman has been identified as Joan Swails of North Glasgow.

The patrol says the sedan was southbound on Montana 24 where it intersects with U.S. 2 when it attempted to turn around.

Wednesday, November 21st 2018
Two Mule Deer Bucks Shot South of Wolf Point, Wardens Seeking Information
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 game wardens are seeking any information regarding two mule deer bucks that were shot and left south of Wolf Point sometime over opening weekend of the general deer season, and likely on the evening of Sun., Oct. 21. The incident occurred on private property along Hwy 528 about six miles west of Hwy 13.

Warden John Huberty responded to a call on Mon., Oct. 22, and the two deer were found roughly 100 yards south of Hwy 528, lying about 50 yards apart in a stubble field. The deer were shot in the head and neck area, and all the meat was left to waste. Sometime later, the likely suspects attempted to come back to the kill site to remove the antlers.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call Warden John Huberty directly at 406-263-0068 or call FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 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.

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