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Latest Local News
Wednesday, April 22nd 2015
Nashua Talent Show Is Sunday
Contestants for Nashua Lions Club “We’ve Got Talent!” Show on April 26, 2015 at 2:00 pm in the Nashua School Gym Admission is $5 for adults and $1 students for a fun filled afternoon.

11 and under
1. The Explosions -- 4th Grade, Nashua School - Kaitlyn Miller, M. E. Cunningham, Tia Dees, Carly Tihista, Bryce MacDonald, Alexis Murdoch

2. The Strommen Sisters -McKenna, Summer, and Kinley Strommen
3. Kalyn Kolstad............................................................. "Peace In The Valley"
4. Adylyn Elverud, vocal
5. Reannah Hopstad........................................................ "Suds in the Bucket"
6. Gracyn Sibley - fiddle solo ............................................................. "Allegro"
7. Courtney Tolzien, vocal
8. Laura Cooper, vocal........... "Like I'm Going To Lose You" by Meghan Trainor
9. Marlo Schulte, Vocal.................................................................... "Lost Boy"

12 through 15
1. Cerenity Olson
2. The Sixth Grade Bandits:
Fletcher Clampitt, Devin Fromdahl, Dillon Yoss, Mayson Phipps, Trace Laumeyer, Kaydin Sibley, Toby Glasoe, and Jace Nickels, Mrs. H., Director

16 and over
1. Jenna Johnson - flute solo............................................... Syrinx by Debussy
2. Zylyha Muryagdyyeva
3. Colleen Forrester........................................ "All the Glory Belongs To Jesus"
4. Brooke MacDonald and Shaylin Barnett, vocal
5. Hailey Stone, Rachel Sigmundstad, Zach Miller..... "If It Means A Lot To You"

While the judges tally the results, there will be an auction with Brian Austin as the auctioneer. Many fine items for auction.

Wednesday, April 22nd 2015
Cuisine For The Cure Menu
The 4th Annual Cuisine for the Cure is set for Thurs. April 23rd from 6 - 7:30p.m. at the Glasgow Elks Lodge. Enjoy an evening of foods from around the world & help to raise money for the Northeast Montana Relay For Life.

Select from the following: Creole, Italian, British, Greek, Texas Grub, Filipino foods & more.

Tickets are $20 apiece & allow you to sample from 4 different regions of the world.

Tickets are available at: KLTZ/KLAN, BS Buzz Office or by calling 263-8757. Only 150 tickets will be sold!

British cuisine prepared by Sandi Mason
Scotch Eggs (breaded hard-boiled egg in sausage)
Toad in the Hole (sausage in Yorkshire pudding)
Banoffee pie (toffee and banana pie)

Creole cuisine prepared by Michelle Eliason
Red beans and rice
Can Jan Pasta
Banana Foster

Greek cuisine prepared by Jason Myers
Souvlaki (grilled meat on a skewer)
Tzatziki sauce
Pastitsio (baked pasta dish)
Rizogalo (dessert) (Greek rice pudding)

Mexican cuisine prepared by Wayne Hamilton
Chipotle Chicken Tostada with cilantro lime slaw
Spanish rice

Bacon Bacon Bacon cuisine prepared by Cindy Taylor & Holly Hunziker
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Stuffed Jalapenos (made on the Green Egg)
Bacon and Egg Salad
Bacon & Corn Dip
Bacon Cupcakes
Bacon Cookies

Italian cuisine prepared by Amber Swindler
Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

Cutie Pies prepared by Allison Nichols and Beth Flynn
Banana Cream Pie
Coconut Cream Pie
Apple Pie
Sour Cream Raisin Pie
Pecan Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Summer Berry Pie

Gluten-free Deserts prepared by Kim Lacey and Beth Simeniuk
Flourless Chocolate Cake
Pudding Pops
Margarita Cheesecake
Strawberry Soup Mousse
Lemonade Dessert

Filipino cuisine prepared by Phoebe Schack and Rose Kolstad
Stir fry noodles
Sticky rice cake

Texas Grub cuisine prepared by Cindy Swanson
Barbecue Ribs

Mexican cuisine prepared by Brandy Loran
Black Bean Chicken Chili

German cuisine prepared by Amber Swindler

Tuesday, April 21st 2015
Over $27,000 Raised For Long Run
The Long Run Fire Department fund-raiser held on Saturday was a huge success.

According to Long Run Fire Chief Chris Knodel, more than $27,000 was raised. The donations will help the department replace outdated safety equipment and also go toward the building addition project.

Knodel expressed great appreciation to Valley County residents and businesses for the donations.

Tuesday, April 21st 2015
CASA Meetings Set For This Week
There will be special Meet & Greets for CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Tues. April 21st at the Glasgow City/County Library from 5-7p.m. & Wed. April 22nd & 29th at Hot Shots Espresso from 9-10:30a.m. both days & at the Valley County Courthouse from 1-3p.m. both the 22nd & 29th.

This is an organization that trains people to speak up for abused & neglected children in the courtroom & the community. Pre-service training will begin the week of May 11th, with the location, times & dates of classes to be determined by those who join the class.

For more information contact Mark Douglass, 406-265-6743.

Tuesday, April 21st 2015
Jason DeShaw In Glasgow This Thursday
Glasgow show info: 7 p.m. at the GHS auditorium on Thursday, April 23
HELENA — There is hope and there is help.

That’s the message that national award-winning mental health speaker and accomplished country musician Jason DeShaw will impart during a 10-city Montana tour this spring.

Presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana and the Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University in Bozeman, the “Serenity in the Storm” tour opens April 14 in Butte and, after stops all across Montana, culminates May 7 in Missoula. Many of the performances are in middle and high schools and all are free and open to the public.

DeShaw will present in Butte, Great Falls, Havre, Glasgow, Sidney, Miles City, Billings, Helena, Bozeman and Missoula.

“Jason is a beacon of light in the dark world of mental illness,” said John Doran, director of public relations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana. “Mental illness and suicide are all too real in Montana and there is no better message of hope than from Jason. This tour can make a real difference in preventing tragedy and breaking the stigma of mental illness.”

DeShaw, 33, grew up on the Hi-Line and his music resonates with Montana’s rural way of life. For the past decade, DeShaw has toured across 35 states, Canada and Europe singing his original country music. In 2010, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and alcoholism. Since then he has advocated for mental health and addiction recovery as both a speaker and a singer. His presentation combines his story of recovery with original songs of hope.

In 2014, DeShaw received the Champions Award in Washington, D.C., from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), recognizing an individual with a mental illness who reduces stigma by “exhibiting courage, leadership and service on behalf of all people living with mental illness.”

“Jason has an incredible musical gift that he combines with a powerful message of hope for personal recovery from mental illness and a broad victory over mental illness stigma,” said Matt Kuntz, executive director of the Montana chapter of NAMI, which is also supporting the tour.

Mental illness and addiction are an epidemic in Montana. Many people face their struggles alone, afraid to speak to others about their experiences. Open communication can have a positive effect on reducing the stigma and encouraging individuals who are not in good mental health to seek help.

DeShaw’s authenticity gives people permission to feel and acknowledge those who struggle with mental illness as valued members of society.

“My goal is to reach out to others who are looking for help and give them hope,” DeShaw said. “I'm excited at the potential this tour holds for broadening my message to a larger Montana audience.”

For more information, contact Joy Novota at (406) 317-2270 or at joyofmontana@gmail.com. For tour updates, go to http://www.facebook.com/jasondeshaw or http://www.jasondeshaw.com.

Friday, April 17th 2015
Hunters waiting to hear if they drew a deer or elk permit can check the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website now for drawing results.

The first big game resident and nonresident hunting permit and license drawings of the year were complete on Wednesday, April 15, at 1 p.m.

Hunters can visit FWP's website for drawing results. Click "Drawing Status" or MyFWP to enter your ALS number.

Any remaining nonresident combination licenses will be available via a first-come first-served sale set to begin May 4.

Other important application deadlines for hunters are May 1 to apply for moose, bighorn sheep, bison and mountain goat licenses; and June 1 for antelope, deer B and elk B licenses.

Thursday, April 16th 2015
Absentee Ballots Available For Glasgow School Election
Absentee ballots for the May 5, 2015 Glasgow School District 1A annual election are now available at the School Administration Office located at 200 7th Street North in Glasgow. A qualified elector, who is not a permanent absentee voter, may obtain an absentee voter application by stopping by the office or by calling 228-2406. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is noon on May 4, 2014.

1723 absentee ballots were mailed on April 15th to those voters who have signed up as permanent absentee voters, provided they have returned their address confirmation form to the County Election Administrator. Ballots can be mailed or returned to the School Administration Office. The deadline to return absentee ballots is the close of polls on Election Day, which is May 5, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 15th 2015
FWP lifts fish-consumption advisory
BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has lifted its consumption advisory for fish caught on the Yellowstone River near where an oil pipeline broke west of Glendive.

On Jan. 17, 2015, the Bridger pipeline broke where it crossed the Yellowstone River upstream from Glendive, dumping 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the water. FWP advised anglers to use caution when deciding whether to eat fish caught downstream from the spill until biologists could test for petroleum in the edible muscle tissues.

Sampling for contaminated fish – as well as cleanup of the spilled oil – was hampered by ice that covered most of the river downstream from the spill site. After the ice left the river in March, FWP fisheries biologists were able to catch 213 fish representing species known to live in the river between the spill site and the North Dakota border.

Laboratory tests of those fish showed no detectible levels of petroleum contamination in the edible muscle tissues. As a result, FWP has lifted its fish-consumption advisory.

Tuesday, April 14th 2015
Blaine County Reaches Agreement To House Inmates At Valley County Detention Center
Blaine County has reached an agreement with Valley County to house inmates at the Valley County Detention Center.

The agreement calls for Blaine County to pay for 6 beds at the facility at a cost of $60 per day. The 6 beds will be guaranteed for the next year and Blaine County will pay $360 per day to Valley County.

Custer County had been paying for 6 beds at the facility but they will remove their prisoners today as they have opened a new Detention Center in Miles City. The contract with Custer County had last for nearly 2 years at the same price of $60 per day.

Tuesday, April 14th 2015
Court Appointed Special Advocate Meetings Set
CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, is an organization that trains ordinary folks who do an extraordinary thing: they speak up for abused and neglected children in the courtroom and in the community. Because they do, children who have a CASA Advocate are more likely to find a permanent home, spend less time in the state’s care, and do better in school and in life.

There have been children’s advocates speaking in these courts for more than 30 years, but right now there are more than 30 children in Valley County with no one to speak for them. I have been tasked with bringing this traditional back to life, and I am actively seeking folks throughout Valley County who will stand up for abused children.

Public meet-and-greets will be held at the Glasgow Public Library, April 21, 5-7 pm, at Hot Shots Espresso, April 22 & 29, 9-10:30 am, and at the Valley County Courthouse, April 22 & 29, 1-3pm. We will begin pre-service training the week of May 11th, with the site, days, and times of the classes to be decided by those who join the class.

Monday, April 13th 2015
Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
The 2014 Farm Bill authorized the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) to provide benefits to livestock producers for livestock deaths in excess of normal mortality caused by adverse weather.

Producers who suffer livestock death losses should submit a notice of loss and an application for
payment to the local FSA office that maintains their farm records. To be eligible, the notice of loss must be submitted the earlier of:

* 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent to the producer; or
* 30 calendar days after the end of the calendar year in which the loss of livestock occurred

Please contact the Valley County FSA Office at 406-228-4321 and ask for Sheri.

Thursday, April 9th 2015
Pilot Project Opening BMAs along Milk River for Spring Turkey Season
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Glasgow is conducting a pilot project to open Block Management Areas (BMAs) for spring turkey hunting along the Milk River.

Up to 9 BMAs could be open for the spring turkey season, beginning April 11, and running through May 17. Most of the properties are located along the Milk River between Hinsdale and Nashua.

According to Tim Potter, Jr., Region 6 BMA coordinator, the idea of spring turkey hunting on BMAs has been in the works for awhile. “I have been contacted by landowners and sportsmen about this for some time,” Potter said. “Considering that most available turkey habitat and populations are on private land, this is a step in the right direction to getting more access for turkey hunters in Valley County.”

The pilot project will determine how much use these areas get by turkey hunters. If participation is high enough, this could become a permanent addition to many of the area BMAs. Normally, the BMA season runs from the beginning of September (opening of upland bird and archery) until January 1 (the closing of upland birds).

BMA access will be granted through a traditional sign-in box on the properties, and will be advertised by a green sign titled “2015 Spring Turkey BMA Pilot Project.” Signing in will allow hunters access only for turkey hunting.

Other activities such as shed hunting, fishing, or small game hunting are not allowed. Permission for such activities must be separately allowed by the landowner.

All BMA rules and expectations in place during the general season will still apply. These include, but are not limited to, leaving gates as they are found, areas of walk-in hunting only, parking in designated parking areas, using caution around livestock, taking care not to drive on muddy roads, and more. Hunters should refer to the individual rules associated with each BMA, found on the back of the BMA maps.

Property boundaries may not be well marked, so hunters need to be aware of their location. “Participating landowners are offering up their property for this pilot project,” Potter said. “To get this project to move forward, we need hunters to respect both the landowner’s wishes and their property.”

As a reminder, prospective turkey hunters can also hunt on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), such as the Hinsdale and Vandalia WMAs, other public land, and on other private land with permission. Hunters must also be aware that there are several BMAs that are not participating in this pilot project, and permission would be needed to hunt on these properties.

A list of participating landowners and properties is available from FWP’s Region 6 headquarters in Glasgow, by calling the office at 406-228-3700, or by going to our regional webpage at http://fwp.mt.gov/regions/r6/.

Thursday, April 9th 2015
Apply now for GHS Educational Trust Awards
Glasgow High School graduates who are attending college or vocational/technical school are reminded that the deadline for financial assistance from the Glasgow High School Educational Trust for both semesters of the 2015-2016 school year is July 1, 2015. The deadline for assistance for the Spring 2016 semester only is October 15, 2015.

All GHS graduates who are pursuing higher education at an accredited school full time (12 credit minimum) and who are in good academic standing may be eligible for a financial gift if they have completed one year of college or one semester of vocational school. This includes non-traditional students who are enrolled full time in online or other correspondence courses. The application and an explanation of the other requirements are available on the trust’s website at http://www.ghsedutrust.org. All applications must be complete and submitted on time to be considered.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust was established by the GHS Class of 1938 in 1964 to help GHS graduates finance their educational dreams. Interest on the trust’s corpus, which now totals over $4.2 million dollars, is used to make student gifts through a semi-annual application process administered by the trustees. To date, 2030 grants valued at $1.7 million dollars have been awarded to hundreds of different GHS alumni. Students may reapply and may be awarded gifts for succeeding terms after an initial award, and 89% of recipients have done so.

With educational costs rising significantly each year, every eligible GHS alumni is encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to minimize student debt and promote access to a brighter future through higher education.

Thursday, April 9th 2015
April Is STD Awareness Month
April is STD awareness month, an annual observance to raise awareness on the impact of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s) in the lives of Americans. In this effort to increase awareness we would like to stress the importance of individuals discussing sexual health with their health care provider and if sexually active, their partners.

STD’s are a major public health concern. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15-24 account for nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases each year in the United States.

Teens are at an increased risk with an estimated 1 in 4 that will become infected. Adolescents who have multiple sexual partners and have unprotected sex are at greater risk of contracting infections.

Many of those who are infected are unaware and have no symptoms. These communicable diseases are spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The health consequences of sexually transmitted disease can be life altering. If left untreated, they can lead to infertility, pregnancy complications, organ damage and even death.

The only way to know for sure whether you have an STD is to get tested at your local health department. Some STD’s can be cured easily with antibiotics when caught early; and others have no known cure but are 100% treatable.

Throughout the month of April, help us protect our community by educating yourself and others about STD’s and promote well-being by getting tested. For low cost, confidential testing please call Valley County Health Department to make an appointment @ 228-6261.

Working together to build awareness will help us prevent the spread of STDs in our community.

Wednesday, April 8th 2015
Suicide Prevention Class Is Monday Night; Suicide Loss Support Group Facilitator Training Workshop
The Montana Chapter of AFSP, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, will have a free class Mon. April 13th from 6-9p.m. at the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital.

“safeTALK” is a training that prepares anyone to identify persons with thoughts of suicide & connect them to suicide first aid resources.

Space is limited to 30 participants, pre-registration is required & you must be age 16 or older.

safeTALK is a training that prepares anyone to identify persons with thoughts of suicide and connect them to suicide first aid resources. Most people with thoughts of suicide invite help to stay safe. Alert helpers know how to use these opportunities to support that desire for safety.

Sponsored by (a) Montana Mental Health Trust and (b) AFSP Montana Chapter, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

To pre-register call or text Joan Nye, 406-321-0591 or email joannye@iwks.net.

Also, a free suicide loss support group facilitator training workshop will be held on Tuesday, April 14th from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow.

Preregistration is required: Joan Nye, 406-321-0591 or email joannye@iwks.net. Space is limited to 15 participants, so register now!

Who should attend: Counselors, pastors, and survivors of suicide loss, to learn how to facilitate support group for suicide loss bereavement. Survivors of suicide loss also will benefit from and are needed for this workshop, even if they don’t think they could facilitate a support group, because they learn that they are not alone, learn why they feel the way they do, and learn some things that have helped other survivors of this loss along the journey of healing after suicide loss.

*Sponsored by (a) Montana Mental Health Trust and (b) AFSP Montana Chapter, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Tuesday, April 7th 2015
Safety board says oil train tank cars need urgent upgrades
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. safety officials say tank cars carrying oil or ethanol by rail urgently need to be retrofitted to make them more fire-resistant after a spate of explosive accidents in recent months.

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a series of recommendations Monday calling for tank cars to be fitted with protective systems better able to withstand fire than the bare steel construction now widely in use.

The board also said a decade-long retrofit timeline suggested by the tank car industry was too long to wait.

The industry in 2011 voluntarily adopted rules requiring sturdier tank cars for hauling flammable liquids such as oil and ethanol. But cars built to the new standard split open in at least four accidents during the past year.
(Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Tuesday, April 7th 2015
Annual Fort Peck Reservoir Walleye Spawning Operation Gearing Up, Volunteers Welcome
Jeff Brost with one of the first green female walleye of the season
Warmer temperatures and melted ice mean the annual walleye spawning operation on Fort Peck Reservoir is beginning early this year and will soon be in full swing. Volunteers are always welcome, and needed, for the success of this operation.

According to Heath Headley, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Fort Peck biologist, agency staff and volunteers will again be trapping fish and taking eggs from areas in the upper Big Dry Arm of the reservoir. “The reservoir is about 11 feet higher than last year,” Headley said, “so we will focus the operation near Nelson Creek.”

FWP staff have been working on setting up spawning barges, holding pens, and test nets since March 30. Headley hopes to be in full operation by April 6. “If the test nets have enough ripe walleye in them to start spawning, we will begin a full operation immediately,” Headley said. “We plan on needing full crews (including volunteers) from the beginning of April through the end of April, but we have gone into May in the past. We are looking to continue until we have our goal for this year, which is 50 million eggs.”

Walleye spawning activity on Fort Peck Reservoir usually doesn’t pick up until the second or third week of April, and the peak typically takes place somewhere between April 18 - 21. However, the timing and success of the spawn is heavily dependent on water temperature, which can fluctuate greatly. Headley noted, “The activities of fish are very dependent on water temperatures. And you never know what is going to happen with spring weather in eastern Montana.”

Last year, FWP staff and volunteers captured 18 different fish species for a total of 6,949 fish from April 17-May 5. Of that total, 1,670 were walleye. Female walleye collected averaged 6.9 pounds, with males averaging 2.5 pounds. The biggest walleye measured was 14.5 pounds and 31.2 inches.

62 million walleye eggs were collected from the ripe females. From those eggs, 2.2-million fingerlings and 14.7-million fry were stocked back into Fort Peck Reservoir. Various other walleye waters throughout the state are also supplied with fish as a result of this annual egg-taking effort.

Volunteers, Headley says, are key to the operation. “We wouldn’t be able to set all the trap nets, collect fish, and spawn them on a daily basis unless we had help,” he explained. “Volunteers are the main reason this has been so successful over the years.”

Prospective volunteers who contact Headley at 406-526-3471, EXT 206, will receive an information packet containing a self-addressed envelope and volunteer form, which must be completed and signed. Parents or guardians must sign the form for minors.

“Folks are asked to supply their preferred dates to volunteer, so they should list the dates they desire,” Headley said. “We will call to confirm the dates, so it’s important for volunteers to provide us with phone numbers where they can be reached both day and night. It should be noted that most weekends are nearly full.”
FWP will supply waders, raincoats, and cotton gloves, but volunteers should bring the following:
· Warm clothing, preferably in layers
· Food for cold lunches
· Camera equipment

Each day of the operation starts at 8 a.m. in the conference room at the Fort Peck Hatchery. FWP will provide transportation from the hatchery to the spawning sites and back.

For those folks not able to volunteer, but who still want to keep up with the spawning activity, there will be a new avenue of outreach. Marc Kloker, Region 6 Information and Education Program Manager, will be posting frequent updates from Headley about the walleye spawn to the Region 6 Facebook page. Updates will include current efforts and status, data on fish and eggs collected, and photos and videos.

“This will be a great way to keep the interested public updated on our egg-collecting efforts on a daily basis,” Kloker said. “Providing photos and videos of the fish, volunteers, and the operation in general will give everyone a virtual first-hand experience. We even hope to get a GoPro camera set up with the nets to give everyone the full-fish experience!” Please “like” and “follow” by going to the Region 6 Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MontanaFWP.R6.

Tuesday, April 7th 2015
Corps decreases runoff forecast due to lower than normal mountain snowpack
Omaha, Neb. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division is decreasing the annual runoff forecast for the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, to 20.3 million acre feet (MAF), which is 80 percent of normal and 4.9 MAF less than average. The decreased forecast is due to below normal mountain snowpack and the lack of plains snow in the basin.

“While below normal runoff is expected, the reservoirs are well positioned to meet all of the authorized purposes this year,” says Jody Farhat, chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “The Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System is designed and operated to provide the Corps with the necessary flexibility to adjust for varying conditions.” The total volume of water stored in the reservoir system is 57.6 MAF, 1.5 MAF into the 16.3-MAF annual flood control and multiple use zone.

Above normal temperatures coupled with below normal precipitation patterns have stalled mountain snowpack accumulation and melted the plains snow. As of April 1, mountain snowpack was 68 percent of normal in the reach above Fort Peck Dam and 74 percent of normal in the reach between Fort Peck and Garrison dams. Mountain snowpack appears to have peaked nearly a month earlier than normal this year in the reaches above the Fort Peck and Garrison dams. The mountain snowpack typically peaks in mid-April, and runoff from the melting snow enters the reservoir system from May through July. View mountain snowpack graphic here: http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/snow.pdf.

In mid-March, Gavins Point Dam releases were increased from 17,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to approximately 28,000 cfs in support of the navigation season, which began April 1 near St. Louis, Mo. “Flow support for the first half of the navigation season will be full service,” said Farhat. Full service navigation flow support is generally sufficient to provide a 9-foot-deep by 300-foot-wide channel. Flow support for the second half of the navigation season as well as the season length will be determined following the system storage check on July 1.

Steady-to-rising reservoir levels during the forage fish spawn at the three, large upper reservoirs (Fort Peck, Garrison and Oahe) are preferred but may be difficult to accomplish without significant rainfall in the Missouri River Basin during the coming weeks. If the runoff distribution allows, the Corps will set releases to result in steady to rising pools at Fort Peck and Oahe dams. The forage fish spawn generally occurs from early April through mid-June. The Corps will continue to monitor the plains and mountain snowpack, basin soil conditions and rainfall events to fine tune the regulation of the reservoir system based on the most up-to-date information.

Monday, April 6th 2015
Nature Conservancy Purchases Conservation Easement On Cornwell Ranch
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — The Nature Conservancy has purchased a conservation easement that will preserve another 256 acres of Milk River cottonwood forest on the Cornwell Ranch in northeastern Montana.

The easement is the fourth the family has completed with the Conservancy, bringing the total to more than 12,000 acres.

The Nature Conservancy says the ranch west of Glasgow includes some of the largest blocks of cottonwood forest remaining on the Milk River.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that the Cornwells have wintered cattle on the property and will continue to do so under the terms of the easement.

The family has operated a cow-calf operation since 1947.

The amount of the purchase was not disclosed.

Monday, April 6th 2015
Real fossilized T. rex to be featured in new Museum of the Rockies exhibit
BOZEMAN – Exactly one year after the Wankel T. rex left Montana for Washington, D.C., the Museum of the Rockies will open a new permanent exhibit featuring a towering dinosaur from northern Montana and six T. rex skulls.

“The Tyrant Kings” exhibit will open Saturday, April 11, in the Siebel Dinosaur Complex of this Montana State University museum in Bozeman.

Visitors will see a real fossilized T. rex skeleton that’s approximately 12 feet tall and 38 feet long. Called “Montana’s T. rex,” the skeleton is about 60 percent real bone and one of the most complete specimens ever discovered. It is the only T. rex skeleton to have been found with floating ribs in its abdominal cavity. It would have weighed nearly seven tons when it lived 65 million years ago.

Visitors will also see time-lapse video of how museum staff assembled Montana’s T. rex. They will see a series of T. rex skulls, all from Montana, that show how T. rexes grew. The skulls range from one of the smallest T. rex skulls ever found to the largest T. rex skull in the world. “Chomper” is 13.5 inches long, while the Custer T. rex skull is 60 inches long.

With the opening of the exhibit, administrators said the Museum of the Rockies joins an elite group of museums around the world that display actual T. rex skeletons instead of replicas or casts.

“The science and research behind this exhibit is remarkable, MOR Executive Director Shelley McKamey said in an MOR press release. “It’s every bit as impressive as the exhibit itself.”

Montana’s T. rex was discovered in 1997 by Louis Tremblay near the town of Fort Peck, thus its original name of “Peck’s Rex.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture transferred ownership to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which then named the Museum of the Rockies as the repository. Montana’s T. rex entered the museum’s paleontology collection in 1998. It is the first mounted real bone skeleton to be displayed from America’s Public Trust. It is owned by the people of the United States.

“The people of Montana, as well as the entire country, now have a T. rex specimen that is owned by them and displayed for them,” McKamey said. “The exhibit not only fulfills a promise made by MOR to all of Montana, but also the mission of MOR to inspire life-long learning and advance knowledge through collections, research and discovery.”

The Wankel T. rex, which left the MOR on April 11, 2014, is on loan to the Smithsonian Institution for 50 years. It will be the centerpiece of a new paleontology exhibit that’s scheduled to open in 2019 in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. It’s predicted that at least 7 million people a year will view the Wankel T. rex.

Kathy Wankel of Angela discovered her namesake dinosaur in 1988 on federal land near the Fort Peck Reservoir in northeast Montana. Twenty-six years later, the 65-million-year-old T. rex headed for Washington, D.C. in a customized FedEx truck.

The Museum of the Rockies is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Summer hours – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily -- will begin on Memorial Day.

Monday, April 6th 2015
National Volunteer Week Is April 12-18
Volunteers are the heart of Valley County 4-H, and we salute the many volunteers who give of themselves to benefit our area youth.

National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities,” said Valley County 4-H Agent Roubie Younkin. “It’s about demonstrating that by working together, communities have the ability to meet challenges and accomplish goals.”

The Points of Light Foundation sponsors National Volunteer Week, and the 2015 theme, “Celebrate Service,” aligns with the focus of Montana 4-H Volunteers who are engaged in taking action and encouraging 4-H members to provide service to others and their community. National Volunteer Week encourages people to be engaged in their community. 4-H volunteers are actively engaged in their communities by impacting the lives of Valley County youth, sharing time and talents with youth through 4-H clubs, Special Interest clubs, after-school programs and camps, Younkin said. Today’s 4-H youth are engaged in learning activities in the three mission mandate areas of citizenship/civic engagement; healthy lifestyles; and science, engineering and technology.

Thursday, April 2nd 2015
State Senate Committee Changes House Budget Bill And Adds Money For Schools
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Republican-led Senate panel has passed the state's main budget bill after adding millions in funding through a deal negotiated with the Democratic governor's office.

The Senate Finance and Claims Committee passed an amended House Bill 2 by a vote of 16-3. It's tentatively scheduled for debate on the Senate floor April 9.

The committee passed a slew of amendments to House Bill 2 that adds about $26 million in funding for items including raises for corrections workers, money for crime victim services and money for investments in mental health care.

The committee also added about $25 million from a supplemental appropriations bill tabled in the House Appropriations Committee last week. The bill was requested by the governor to make up for low-budget estimates made last session.

The supplemental appropriations bill included funding for Montana public schools. Due to action by the Montana House of Representatives, Valley County schools would of lost over $90,000 in funding. The Senate Finance and Claims Committee put that funding into House Bill 2.

Wednesday, April 1st 2015
Glasgow Man Charged With Killing Golden Eagle
HELENA — A Glasgow man told a fish and wildlife agent that his trap that snared and strangled a golden eagle was aimed at catching coyotes and foxes and that he didn’t intend to kill the eagle, “but it was the cost of doing business.”

It is a violation of federal law to kill a golden eagle. If convicted, Morehouse could be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison.

Keith Morehouse told the agent that he was unaware that the golden eagle had been killed and that "he is out to make money," according to an affidavit to establish probable cause, filed March 24.

“The snare was about five feet from a bait station in violation of state trapping regulations, which require a 30-foot setback from bait stations visible from above,” according to the affidavit.

The agent found the dead eagle on Feb. 23 near Glasgow. While on patrol, he noticed magpies and a golden eagle near a bait station where an eagle had been snared a year earlier. The agent also noticed footprints in the snow leading to “numerous snare sites” he was familiar with. The bait station was marked with a copper tag with Morehouse’s name and phone number.

An exam of the eagle found a “loop of wire with a spring-like mechanism” around its neck and determined that it died from “trauma-trap snare w/strangulation.”

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/glasgow-man-charged-with-illegally-killing-golden-eagle/article_7a03cfaf-3cbe-5b03-879d-eae68a1d25a2.html#ixzz3W3jp7QK4

Wednesday, April 1st 2015
Valley County Schools Could See Over $93,000 In Less State Money After Action By Montana House Of Representatives
HELENA — The state’s top public school official Tuesday informed schools statewide of the specific cuts they face in the next three months, totaling $9.4 million, because of House action killing a supplemental funding bill this week.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau sent the notice, outlining cuts totaling $3.6 million alone for the state’s seven largest school districts, including nearly $1 million for Billings, $521,000 for Missoula, $483,000 for Helena and $260,000 for Butte.

Valley County Schools could see cuts over $93,000 if the money isn't inserted into the state budget. The Glasgow School District would see $51,884 in less money for this budget year.
Other Valley County School Districts:

Frazer- $12,028
Hinsdale- $8757
Opheim- $6805
Nashua- $11,476
Lustre Elem-$2275

A key GOP senator said Tuesday the Senate may look for ways to consider inserting the spending in a different bill.

“We respect the work of the House, but we’ll take a look at it, and see if we can address it,” said Sen. Llew Jones, R-Conrad, who chairs the Senate Finance and Claims Committee.

The committee starts voting on key budget bills this week.

Republicans in the Montana House this week voted to kill House Bill 3, which contained $31 million to cover state budget overruns in the current fiscal year. The so-called “supplemental funding” bill usually is routinely passed by the Legislature.

Republican leaders in the House said the Bullock administration had spent unauthorized money on some programs in the past year, and should have managed its spending more closely.

Within HB3 was $9.4 million in state aid for public schools.

Madalyn Quinlan, chief of staff for Juneau, said the state owes the additional money because of a new law allowing districts to request more funding tied to enrollment increases of 4 percent or 40 students.

The state aid for schools in HB3 is slightly less than 1 percent of schools’ general fund budgets.

Juneau said if the money isn’t funded by the Legislature, schools across the state will have to make cuts in the next three months, which are the end of the current fiscal year.

“It will likely be staff and programs,” she said.

School districts do have reserve funds, but that money is supposed to cover unexpected expenses, she said — not a shortage in state aid that’s required by law.

Juneau said the votes killing HB3 came as a surprise, because the Legislature had voted with big, bipartisan majorities to pass the session’s main school-funding bill.

“To start playing political games with this year’s school funding is just sort of a surprise,” she said. “The Legislature is going to have to figure out how to get this money to schools.”

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/government-and-politics/opi-chief-informs-schools-of-budget-cuts-bouck-we-are/article_bffb4285-25bd-5a3a-b9da-400cc860cc1c.html#ixzz3W3s0lsUl

Tuesday, March 31st 2015
Bowhunter Education Classes Offered in Glasgow and Saco
The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Bowhunter Education course dates have been set for Glasgow and Saco.
All first time bowhunters, regardless of age, must complete a bowhunter education course to purchase an archery stamp in Montana. State law requires that anyone using an archery license, or hunting with archery equipment, must show either a previous year’s archery license or a certification from a bowhunter education course to buy a stamp. Students must be at least 11-years old on the first day of class to be eligible for certification. The course is free of charge.

The Glasgow course is set for April 6-11. Classes will run from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Civic center
in Glasgow. A field day will be held on Saturday, April 11, from 8-11:00 a.m. Prospective students need to pick up their Bowhunter Education book “Today’s Bowhunter” at the FWP office in Glasgow. Please read and answer the questions in the back of book before the first day of class. At the time of this news release, there were still three spots available. If you have any questions, contact the course coordinator Carmen Corey at 406-230-1266.

The Saco course begins on April 13 from 4-4:30 p.m. at the Saco Fire Hall meeting room. Further course dates will be established at that time. Please pick up a manual for the course from Pete Forbes at 406-527-3569 or from Howard Pippin at 406-527-3284. At the time of this news release, there are still 25 spots available. Please call Mr. Forbes or Mr. Pippen if you have any questions.

To register for the Bowhunter Education classes, please go to the FWP website at http://www.fwp.mt.gov. Look under the “Education” tab, go to the “Hunter Education” heading, and click on the “Hunter education programs” link. On the next screen, click on the “Find a class or field course”, click “Register for a Bowhunter education classroom course” and follow the directions from there. Make sure to print out all necessary material and sign all necessary forms! If you have any questions, or do not have access to a computer, please call the Glasgow FWP office at 228-3700.

Friday, March 27th 2015
Information Sought in Waste of Game Case
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking information on the wasting of two deer near Glasgow.

FWP Warden Todd Tryan said the deer, a mule deer and whitetail, were found in a ditch near the Willow Creek Block Management Area just south of Glasgow on Britzman road. The deer’s heads were removed, they were skinned, and the only meat taken was one back strap off of the mule deer. The deer were covered in mold and showed other signs of decomposition. They are a complete waste.

“These deer were probably harvested during the fall hunting season and were left hanging in a garage,” Tryan said. “The person or persons responsible never removed the meat from these deer, and they went to waste. On top of that, they then decided to dump them near a road right in from of a Block Management sign-in box. If a hunter does not want the meat from a harvested animal, they need to donate it to programs such as Hunters against Hunger.”
Anyone with information about the crime is encouraged to call Warden Tryan directly at 406-263-0067 or 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.

This information and more can be found on our website at http://fwp.mt.gov/regions/r6/, or on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MontanaFWP.R6.

Friday, March 27th 2015
BLM requests input on application to graze bison year-around at Flat Creek Allotment
(MALTA, Mont.) – The Bureau of Land Management Malta Field Office is seeking public input for an environmental analysis regarding a grazing permittee’s application to change their class of livestock and to change the livestock use and management on the Flat Creek Allotment (15439).

The American Prairie Reserve has applied to change the class of livestock from cattle to indigenous bison on their permit to graze public lands on the Flat Creek Allotment in south Phillips County.

In addition, they are seeking permission to remove interior fencing and manage their private lands along with the public lands as one common pasture. They are also requesting to change the allotment grazing season to year-round from the current May 1 – Nov. 15 grazing season.

The allocated animal unit months (AUMs) and carrying capacity of the public lands would remain unchanged. All regulations for grazing public lands would apply and all grazing management would continue to adhere to the Standards for Rangeland Health.

For more information, please call B.J. Rhodes, Rangeland Management Specialist, at (406) 654-5120. Substantive comments about this application must be in writing and can be sent to the Malta Field Office, 501 South 2nd St. East, Malta, MT 59538 or [L=mailto:email brhodes@blm.gov]email brhodes@blm.gov[EL].

Comments must be received by April 30 to be considered.

Friday, March 27th 2015
Region 6 Volunteer Hunter and Bowhunter Education Instructors Honored
Photo Caption: Dwain “Fritz” Prellwitz received 10-year Bowhunter education and 35-year Hunter education awards. Shown left to right is Sara Smith, Administrative Assistant of the state Hunter Education program (Helena), Marc Kloker, Region 6 Information and Education Program Manager (Glasgow), Dwain “Fritz” Prellwitz, hunter and bowhunter education instructor (Malta), and Wayde Cooperider, Outdoor Skills and Safety Supervisor (Helena).
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks honored the service of its Region 6 Hunter and Bowhunter Education volunteer instructors at the annual workshop held on Saturday, March 14th, at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow.

The workshop is an annual event that invites all the volunteer instructors across the region for a day filled with visiting, updates to the program, possible legislative changes, demonstrations of new equipment, and most importantly, honoring years of service.

Receiving special awards at this year’s workshop were numerous instructors with service ranging from 5 to 35 years (please see the list below). All service award recipients receive a plaque, and some reaching certain milestones received gifts of appreciation including engraved knives and belt buckles.

“As evidenced by the decades of service our instructors give to our programs, there’s an incredible amount of dedication and commitment out there in our communities,” said FWP Region 6 Information and Education Program Manager Marc Kloker. “These volunteers play a key role in shaping future Montana hunters by providing training in safety, ethics, conservation, and the proper use of firearms and archery equipment. They all work very hard to pass the state’s rich hunting heritage on to the next generations. Please be sure to thank your local hunter and bowhunter education instructors when you see them.”

In addition to the awards, many door prizes were also given away. Donations from Glasgow businesses Markle’s Ace Hardware, D&G Sports and Western, and Shop-Ko made almost everyone a winner. The grand door prize, donated by FWP, was a special framed print depicting a group of elk.

FWP is thankful to have hundreds of qualified instructors across the state, and always welcomes new additions. For information on becoming a Hunter or Bowhunter Education instructor, please contact Wayde Cooperider, FWP Outdoor Skills and Safety Supervisor, at 406-444-9947, or go to the website http://fwp.mt.gov/education/hunter/instructors/ to learn more and apply.

The full list of winners is available [L= http://www.kltz.com/images/news/fwp.pdf]here.[EL]

Friday, March 27th 2015
Unemployment Rate Falls To 3.8% In February For Valley County
– Montana’s unemployment rate continued its decline in February, down 0.1 percentage points to 4.3 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 percent in February.

“With strong job creation in the first two months of this year, Montana’s economy continues the growth we saw throughout last year,” Governor Steve Bullock said. “I’m committed to building on our economic strength to ensure all Montana communities feel the benefits of our growing economy.”

“Job creation in the state continues to be good news for Montana,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. “Two years ago, our focus was to find jobs for workers. With our strong economy, our task is now to find workers for jobs.”

The unemployment rate for Valley County was 3.8% which is down from the rate of 4.1% in January of this year. The total labor force was 4443 for February which is down from 4490 in January.

Montana’s total employment levels increased by 2,921 jobs in February. Over-the-year employment growth of roughly 7,700 jobs indicates strong job growth of 1.6 percent. Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment estimates indicate a gain of 2,000 jobs over the month.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in February with stabilization in energy prices after several months of sharp decline for gasoline prices. The CPI-U is at the same level as February 2014, indicating no inflation over the past year. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose 0.2 percent in February.

Friday, March 27th 2015
Unemployment Rate Falls To 3.8% In February For Valley County
– Montana’s unemployment rate continued its decline in February, down 0.1 percentage points to 4.3 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 percent in February.

“With strong job creation in the first two months of this year, Montana’s economy continues the growth we saw throughout last year,” Governor Steve Bullock said. “I’m committed to building on our economic strength to ensure all Montana communities feel the benefits of our growing economy.”

“Job creation in the state continues to be good news for Montana,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. “Two years ago, our focus was to find jobs for workers. With our strong economy, our task is now to find workers for jobs.”

The unemployment rate for Valley County was 3.8% which is down from the rate of 4.1% in January of this year. The total labor force was 4443 for February which is down from 4490 in January.

Montana’s total employment levels increased by 2,921 jobs in February. Over-the-year employment growth of roughly 7,700 jobs indicates strong job growth of 1.6 percent. Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment estimates indicate a gain of 2,000 jobs over the month.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in February with stabilization in energy prices after several months of sharp decline for gasoline prices. The CPI-U is at the same level as February 2014, indicating no inflation over the past year. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose 0.2 percent in February.

Thursday, March 26th 2015
3 Person Race For Glasgow School Board
The list of candidates who have filed for the Glasgow School Board has now grown to 3 with the filings of Shawn Andersyn and Nick Dirkes.

Alison Molvig had filed her paperwork last month as she is seeking another 3-year term on the school board. Dirkes is also seeking another 3-year term while Andersyn is a newcomer to the school election process.

The election is set for May 5th.

Thursday, March 26th 2015
North Dakota oil rig count drops below 100 for first time in 5 years
ISMARCK, N.D. — The number of drill rigs in western North Dakota’s oil patch has slipped below 100 for the first time in five years due to the sagging price of crude.

There were 98 rigs drilling in North Dakota on Wednesday. That’s exactly 100 fewer than on the same day one year ago and the lowest since March 2010.

North Dakota is the nation’s No. 2 oil producer behind Texas. North Dakota has been producing about 1.2 million barrels of oil daily.

Industry officials say about 115 rigs need to be drilling to keep that level of production.

Thursday, March 26th 2015
State Representative Austin Knudsen Sponsors Bill Funding Charter Schools In Montana
HELENA (AP) – House Republicans on an education panel passed a bill funding charter schools Wednesday night.

Speaker of the House Rep. Austin Knudsen said charter schools offer a free and inclusive option for students who want or need a more rigorous public education. After hearing testimony, members of Montana's House Education Committee voted 9-6 along party lines to put House Bill 596 on the floor of the House.

The Culbertson Republican said some Montanans desire primary, elementary and secondary schooling outside the jurisdiction of the state Board of Public Education, which adopted the federal Common Core standards in 2013.

"I won't deny that one of the main thrusts of this is to remove significant oversight from the Board of Public Education," Knudsen said. "I think, in exchange of that, what you're getting is a system that can function both more efficiently and with a lot more accountability than traditional public schools."

Charter schools have been established in 43 other states. They are privately managed and typically hold students accountable through goals outlined in a contract with the state.

Opponents on Wednesday said charter schools would divert public dollars to educational institutions over which the state would have little control.

Dennis Parman, deputy superintendent of public instruction, said HB 596 would allow public charter schools to adopt preferences for admittance, including siblings of previous students and children of board members. "Charter schools do not ensure equal access," Parman said.

Opponents also said charter schools have been shown to attract fraudulent activities since they were first established in 1991. Earlier this month, the founder of a charter school in Michigan went to trial on fraud and tax charges.

Dan Nicklay, principal at Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy in Idaho, said fraud is the exception to what he has seen to be a successful school system.

"But they're high profile of course," Nicklay said of charter school fraud cases. "There are a lot of people out there who want them to fail and want there to be scandal."

Jim Molloy, senior policy adviser to Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, said that, on the whole there, there is no persuasive evidence that charter schools perform better than public schools.

"These are experimental schools," Knudsen said. "It hasn't been done in the state of Montana before, and if they don't live up to our expectations, we can close them down."

The Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning estimates that funding charter schools would cost about $1 million annually.

Knudsen's proposal is a revised version of his 2013 charter school plan and another proposed in 2011. Republican Rep. Debra Lamm of Livingston said she wrote those three proposals while working at the Montana Family Foundation, finishing the latest bill before she was elected this year.

Thursday, March 26th 2015
St. Marie Man Arrested On Drug Charges By Valley County Sheriff's Office
On January 30th, 2015 the Tri-Agency Drug Task Force, assisted by the Valley County Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant at the residence of 234A Country Club in St. Marie, Montana. During the search eleven (11) marijuana plants, marijuana, methamphetamine, prescription Adderall pills, and various items of drug paraphernalia were seized.

As a result of the evidence seized during the search warrant, a felony District Court arrest warrant for Raymond Scott Smith was obtained.

On March 23rd, 2015, Raymond Scott Smith was arrested by the Tri-Agency Drug Task Force and remains in the custody of the Valley County Detention Center on $5,000.00 bail. Smith was charged with the following offenses:

Count 1: Criminal Production or Manufacture of Dangerous Drugs, marijuana, a felony
Count 2: Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs, Marijuana, a misdemeanor
Count 3: Criminal Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a misdemeanor
Count 4: Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs, Methamphetamine, a felony
Count 5: Criminal Possession of Dangerous Drugs, Adderall, a felony

Wednesday, March 25th 2015
Nashua Man Facing Federal Drug Charges To Receive Mental Evaluation To Find If He Is Fit To Assist With His Defense
JEFFERY JOHN HELM, a 60-year-old resident of Nashua is facing charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and morphine, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and morphine, and distribution of oxycodone and morphine.

Helm was arraigned in Great Falls on February 10th. He had been arrested by the Valley County Sheriff's Office on February 9th and turned over to the DEA. Helm is currently incarcerated in Great Falls.

Helm allegedly distributed the drugs in a period from July of 2014 to November of 2014. Helm allegedly sold the prescription drugs in Nashua and Billings.

At his arraignment, Helm pleaded not guilty to the charges. But a plea agreement was reached where he will plead guilty to the first count of the six count indictment. Helm will plead guilty to the charge of possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone and Morphine.

Federal Judge Brian Morris vacated the change of plea hearing on March 16th and instead granted a motion which will allow Helm to undergo a Psychiatric or Psychological Evaluation.

The evaluation will determine whether Helm is suffering from a mental disease or defect which renders him incompetent to assist property in his defense. Helm will be evaluated at a federal facility and then a report will be made to Judge Morris.

Wednesday, March 25th 2015
Longest Dam Race Is June 20
Tired of the long winter? Then think Summer! Think of getting into shape by taking a walk or run enjoying the sounds and smells of the great outdoors with family and friends. Think about a day at Kiwanis Park at Fort Peck Lake, MT. Think about signing up for the 21st Annual Longest Dam Race to be held June 20, 2015 at Fort Peck Dam, Fort Peck MT.

The race offers something for everyone. The race begins with the 10k run and will cross 1.8 miles of the Fort Peck Dam. The 5k run/walk begins at the top of Fort Peck Dam, which participants are bused to the start, and will go down a gravel road for approximately 1K and finish at Kiwanis Park. The one-mile run/walk will be will be on the Nature Trail at Kiwanis Park, which is a flat course that is paved. This course is perfect for all ages and is very fun for the whole family.

The bike route begins at Kiwanis Park. The novice bike route is an out and back course over flat terrain for approximately 10 miles, and finishes at Kiwanis Park. The bike course has flaggers in the front and rear to ensure safety on the road.

All races are assisted by FMDH EMT’s, local law enforcement, the Montana Army National Guard and dozens of volunteers.
The race concludes with an awards ceremony at Kiwanis’s Park. Early Bird registration is $20.00 for each participant and $5.00 for each additional event, and must be postmarked by May 31, 2014. The entry fee is $22 starting June 1st.

Participants 14 years old and younger the fee is $10.00. The first 75 entries will receive a free ticket for the Saturday June 20th performance of One Man Two Govnors at the Fort Peck Summer Theatre. Fort Peck offers other activities for families and visitors, fishing, the Fort Peck Interpretive Center, Warm Water Multi-Species Fish Hatchery, swimming and watchable wildlife tours.

The Longest Dam Race is sponsored by the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture. For more information call 406-228-2222 or http://www.glasgowchamber.net

Wednesday, March 25th 2015
Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture announces launches the annual Longest Dam Race T-Shirt Contest
The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture is launching its annual Longest Dam Race T-Shirt contest. The 21st Annual Longest Dam Race will take place on June 20, 2015 at Kiwanis Park in Ft Peck, MT. The annual logo contest is meant to spur the imaginations of the young and old alike in the area.

The Chamber is calling all artists to create a concept design that uses the events of the longest dam race along with the power houses as the theme. The events of the race include a 5 mile bicycle race, 10K & 5K run, along with a 5K walk and 1mile walk/run. The logo must include the race name & date: 21st Annual Longest Dam Race 2015, Fort Peck, Montana.

We encourage all entrants to be as creative as they wish and use a hand drawn logo. We will accept computer art, however, the design will be limited to two colors. The winner of the contest will receive a free t-shirt and a complimentary entry to the race. The final t-shirt design consideration will be at the discretion of the Chamber. May 1st @ 3:00p.m. is the contest deadline.

For more information contact the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture at 406-228-2222 or chamber@glasgowmt.net.

Wednesday, March 25th 2015
New Report Has Valley County Ranked In The Middle For Being Healthy
An new report rank Valley County near the middle for Montana counties when it comes to being healthy.

The 2015 County Health Rankings, an annual collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, were released Wednesday and include detailed health rankings of counties across the United States.

For the complete report visit http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/

Tuesday, March 24th 2015
New Montana law could mean clemency for Barry Beach
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A bill signed by Montana's governor could pave the way to clemency for Barry Beach, who is serving a 100-year prison sentence for a 1979 murder he says he didn't commit.

Gov. Steve Bullock signed the measure Friday after it passed the Legislature with wide bipartisan support. It allows the governor to grant clemency to prisoners even if the state parole board recommends against it.

Beach's attorney Peter Camiel said Monday he plans to apply for a clemency hearing on the first day possible. The law takes effect Oct. 1.

Bullock has voiced support for commuting Beach's life sentence and giving him a chance for rehabilitation outside prison.

The governor declined to comment specifically on Beach's case Monday. But he said in a statement he takes the new responsibilities seriously and will exercise them judiciously.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Tuesday, March 24th 2015
Montana SBDC Hosting Conference April 29-30 In Helena
The Montana Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network will be hosting their sixth annual Invest in Success small business conference on April 29 and 30, 2015 in Helena at the Great Northern Hotel. The Montana Small Business Development Centers are a statewide network of ten regional centers serving all 56 counties in Montana. The SBDC staff offer professional business counseling to emerging and growing small businesses in all stages of business.

The Montana SBDC Invest in Success conference’s theme “Be the Best at What Matters Most” will focus on what effective leaders do and how they think to create and sustain success. The diversity and number of renowned speakers lined up for the 2015 conference should make the event very appealing for small business owners, who are often limited in the amount of time spent on professional development.

One of the highlights will be the Shark Tank Competition on April 30 where entrepreneurs will pitch their business idea to a panel of investors, lenders and business consultants. The first prize winner will receive $5,000 and the second prize winner will receive $2,500.

The Montana SBDC is excited to have Joe Calloway, business author, consultant and international speaker for 30 years, as the keynote speaker for the conference. Joe has worked with companies like Coca Cola, IBM, Cadillac, and American Express as well as with small to mid-sized business groups including franchisees, medical practices, law firms and a range of professional services groups.

On April 29, the conference will kick off with a behind-the-scenes tour of Boeing, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners. There will be a networking reception that evening at the Holter Museum of Art. Space is limited, so attendees should register in advance to ensure a spot.

Brandon Orr, Conference Committee Chair and SBDC Director at Helena College in Helena, is excited to host the 2015 conference. In particular, Orr feels that “Joe Calloway is a great choice as a keynote presenter since all business owners need to master the habits of effective leadership to grow their businesses.” Orr comments that the 2015 conference will “focus on building small businesses and providing resources that will help bring entrepreneurs to the next level of business.”
The Montana SBDC continues to build on the success of past conferences in Butte, Great Falls, Billings and Missoula, and has high hopes that this will be the most exciting conference yet.

Interested individuals are encouraged to register early to take advantage of the early bird registration discount. Early bird deadline is April 15, 2015. For more information, visit the conference registration website at http://www.regonline.com/investinsuccess2015 or contact Brandon Orr at 406-447-6376.

Tuesday, March 24th 2015
Pictures Of Construction Of New Glasgow Elementary School
Construction continues on the new k-4 elementary school being built in Glasgow. The new school is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2015-2016 school year in August.

Here is a link to pictures of the construction of the new school which is located adjacent to the current Irle Elementary School.


Monday, March 23rd 2015
"Slam The Dam" Is A Success
Saturday, March 21, 2015 dawned sunny and clear with temperatures in the mid-30’s. The "SLAM THE DAM" walk/run committee quickly determined the wind to be coming from the east. The registration and starting set-up was at the east end near the shafts at light pole “88”. Finish line was on the west end, near light pole “1”.

Sixty-plus brave walkers and runners began registering at 9:00 a.m. Participants were from as near as Fort Peck and as far away as South Carolina and Idaho. The youngest participant was just eight weeks old (attached to mom’s chest in a carrier); older participants were close to eighty. Law enforcement from McCone County and Valley County were present to help with traffic control. Numerous Fort Peck Senior Citizens Association members were on hand to register people, monitor participants, hand out goodies at the end, and drive participants back to their vehicles upon completion. Two porta-potties were set up—one in the parking lot above the shafts, and one midway on the dam. Those who walked or ran were glad those were there☺ Participants received a special "SLAM THE DAM" bumper sticker, water and mandarin oranges.

By the time the walkers and runners were halfway across the dam, the wind had died down and most were shedding gloves, hats, and extra coats. It was a beautiful morning! At the finish area, people cheered as others completed the four miles and stayed around to visit with each other. It was an awesome accomplishment for those involved—now when they look at the dam they can say they have walked or run that distance. Many were heard to say how much fun it had been and want another one…some even said there should be a walk/run on the fall equinox, also. One ambitious person finished the 4-mile route, turned around and ran back, so got an 8-mile run in.

As for the Fort Peck Senior Citizens, they were thrilled that the inaugural event went so well. Over $400.00 in entry fees and donations was raised toward their current table/chair project to purchase 8-foot tables and chairs for the Rec. Hall that can be rented for personal use. A special thanks to all involved with making the 1st “SLAM THE DAM” (Run With the Wind) event a success!

Monday, March 23rd 2015
Valley County Annual Child Find Screening
The Valley County Comprehensive Child Find Screening will be held March 31st and April 1st, at the First Lutheran Church in Glasgow. Hours of the screening will be 9:00 to 12:00 and 1:00 to 3:00.
The Glasgow School District will work in conjunction with other county schools and Hi-Line Home Programs to screen children and determine their health needs and developmental progress.

The screening is for all children from birth to school entry age. The purpose of this screening is to find children who may need special help at an early age and enable educators and health care professionals extended time to assist those children and families with special needs.

*ALL children who will be entering kindergarten in the Glasgow School District this fall will be required to attend this child find screening/registration.

The screening assessments include the following areas:
Vision for children four years old and older.
Hearing for children of all ages
Speech for children three years old and older.

The Valley County Health Department will be giving preschool immunizations at the health department on the days of preschool screening, Tuesday, March 31stfrom 9:00-5:00, and on Wednesday, April 1st from 9:00 – 3:00. Though immunizations are also available Mondays from 2:00-5:45, the health department would like to give kindergarten immunizations on the days of preschool screening, if at all possible. It is mandated that children entering kindergarten have these immunizations prior to the start of school. Please bring your child’s immunization record and insurance card to the health department. No one will be turned away due to the inability to pay.

The Irle School will be taking appointments for the Child Find Screening beginning March 23, 2015. The phone number is 228-2419. We look forward to seeing you at the screening.

Monday, March 23rd 2015
MDT proposes sidewalk improvements for the Valley County Fairgrounds in Glasgow -Valley County

Glasgow -The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) would like to notify the public and seek comments on a proposal to improve handicap and pedestrian accessibility within the Valley County Fairgrounds in Glasgow, MT, Valley County. The proposed project includes:
. constructing new handicap parking along the southwest side of the commercial/grandstands building; and . constructing approximately 1900-lineal ft. of sidewalk within the fairgrounds.

Proposed work includes a network of sidewalk that will connect the main parking lot and new handicap parking area to the main grandstands, commercial building, office, stage, concessions, restrooms, needlework bldg., culinary bldg., 4-H building, livestock barns and existing sidewalk leading to the Valley Event Center.

The project is tentatively scheduled for construction in 2015 depending on completion of all project development activities and availability of funding.

No new right-of-way or utility relocations will be needed.

Friday, March 20th 2015
Glasgow's Two Elementary Schools Ranked In Top 15 Of Montana Elementary Schools.
Best Public Elementary Schools ranks 40,403 elementary schools based on key student statistics and 4.6 million opinions from 280,000 students and parents. A high ranking indicates that the school is an exceptional academic institution with a diverse set of high-achieving students and faculty, and the students are very happy with their experiences.

The Glasgow Irle Elementary and East Side School were ranked in the top 15 in Montana. To see the rankings visit this website: https://k12.niche.com/rankings/public-elementary-schools/best-overall/s/montana/?source=fb_e_mt

Thursday, March 19th 2015
Glasgow Kiwanis Club Donates $1000 To Scottie Stem Program-Project Lead The Way
The Glasgow Kiwanis Club recently made a $1000 donation to the Scottie STEM Program-Project Lead The Way.

Glasgow School District is bringing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) teaching and PLTW (Project Lead the Way) to Glasgow students starting in August of 2015..

These curricula are activity-, project-, and problem-based methods of teaching STEM subjects.

Classroom instruction will begin at the newly remodeled East Side Middle School and the brand new K-5 elementary school in August, 2015!

Initially, the classes offered will be: Automation & Robotics; Design & Modeling; Green Energy; Science of Technology.

If you have any questions about the STEM Program contact Jim Stone at GHS at 228-2485.

Glasgow Kiwanis Club President Lisa Olk presented a $1000 check to Jim Stone at the Wednesday meeting of the Glasgow Kiwanis Club.

Thursday, March 19th 2015
BLM HiLine District to hold Wildfire Education Day at Glasgow On April 8
(GLASGOW, Mont.) – The HiLine Wildfire Education Day will be held at the Valley Event Center, Glasgow, Montana, April 8.

The morning session is designed for local 6-8th grade students and is closed to the general public. The afternoon session is open to the general public.

The student session will be 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Classes from Valley and Roosevelt counties have been invited. Students will be able to participate in informative, entertaining hands-on activities at educational stations teaching: fire prevention; wildland fire suppression; wildland fire ecology; fire weather; wildlife; fire behavior; firefighting equipment, and how to prevent human-caused fires.

The 2-4 p.m. general public session will have booth presentations with a demonstration of fire behavior at 3 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to attend to learn about wildland fire and all it encompasses.

The HiLine Wildfire Education Day is sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management in conjunction with firefighters and managers from City of Glasgow; Valley County Fire Wardens; Long Run Volunteer Fire Department; Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation; Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; National Weather Service; and U.S. Border Patrol.

“With a little warm weather our countryside will certainly green up and some of that vegetation will become potential wildfire fuel later this summer and fall. If this wildfire education day helps prevent one fire or helps one person stay safe around a fire, the effort will have been a huge success,” offers Karly DeMars, a BLM fire mitigation and education specialist and chair of this year’s event.

For more information, call Jody Mason at the BLM’s Glasgow Field Office (406) 228-3761 or Karly DeMars (406)538-1991.

Wednesday, March 18th 2015
Corps Advises Caution This Spring
Spring has arrived at Fort Peck Reservoir and the Missouri River. The US Army Corps of Engineers have installed boat docks along the Missouri River at Floodplain and Roundhouse Point this week, and the dock Nelson Creek on Fort Peck Reservoir will be installed within a week.

Docks at the remaining recreation areas with boat ramps will be installed as Fort Peck Lake becomes ice free. We want you to come out and enjoy these resources, but we also want to remind you to be safe. The air may be warm, but the water this time of year is still very cold.

An accident can lead to dire circumstances:
Sudden drowning – initial immersion will cause cold shock and gasping for air.
Physical Incapacitation – loss of hand control can occur in less than one minute, loss of arm control can occur in three to five minutes.
Hypothermia – can occur in approximately 30 minutes.
Circumrescue collapse – drop in cardiovascular function during or after a rescue can lead to fainting or cardiac arrest.

Remember: dress for water temperature, not air temperature; wear a personal flotation device; file a float plan; and bring spare clothes, a blanket, and other safety gear in a dry bag.

Have Fun, Be Safe, and Come Back!

Wednesday, March 18th 2015
Valley County Unemployment Rate Increases To 4.1%
Montana’s unemployment rate continued its decline in January, down 0.1 percentage points to 4.4 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 5.7 percent in January.

“Montana started 2015 with strong job growth, with the economy adding over 3,000 jobs in January,” Governor Steve Bullock said. “With strong wage growth last year, and low inflation because of falling fuel prices, more Montanans are employed and have more money in their pockets.”

“Montana’s economy continues to add good-paying jobs,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. “We must continue our efforts to train workers with the skills needed by businesses in order to continue job growth in today’s low unemployment environment.”

Montana’s total employment levels increased by 3,230 jobs in January. Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment estimates indicate a gain of 300 jobs over the month.

The unemployment rate for Valley County increased to 4.1% which is an increase from the 3.1% in December of 2014. The labor force in Valley County totaled 4490 which is an increase from 4338 in December of 2014.

Tuesday, March 17th 2015
Montana Legislature Considers Repealing Common Core Education Standards
HELENA — Teachers, school officials and lawmakers are debating whether to repeal national education standards that Montana enacted in 2013.

Republican Rep. Debra Lamm presented House Bill 377 on Monday in the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee. The proposal would remove the Common Core initiative and strip the Montana Department of Public Education of the ability to set future accreditation standards.

The move would likely undermine a supreme court ruling against transferring any supervisory duties away from the board.

Those in favor of the bill say national standards require one-size-fits-all curriculum that doesn’t work for every student and inhibits local control.

Opponents say Common Core is more rigorous than Montana’s former standards and provides goals, not curriculum.

The measure passed out of the House last month on a vote of 54-46.

Monday, March 16th 2015
4 family members get prison in Fort Peck corruption case
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Four members of a Montana family have been sentenced to federal prison for the embezzlement of more than $132,500 from the town of Brockton on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced 59-year-old Desiree Lambert to almost four years in prison during a recent hearing in Great Falls.

Lambert pleaded guilty in November to fraud, embezzlement and aggravated identity theft.

Her husband, Bernard Lambert, received a 20-month prison term, daughter Kaycee six months and daughter Kayla five months. The three had previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the embezzlement.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Monday, March 16th 2015
Record Warmth Gives Way To Winter Advisory
Glasgow set a new record high on Saturday, with a temperature of 75 on Saturday afternoon. That broke the 63 degree mark set on March 14th in 1995.

Also, the low temperature on Sunday, 41 degrees, broke the old record minimum temperature for March 15th. It was 36 degrees, set in 1938.

The record warmth gave way to colder temps on Sunday night. A Winter Weather Advisory was issued for rain, isolated freezing rain and snow from 1-2 inches in some areas.

Monday, March 16th 2015
Fire Destroys Home North Of Glasgow
The Valley County Long Run Fire Department responded to a house fire north of Glasgow on Saturday. The home of Curt and Becky Holter was engulfed by flames by the time the Long Run Fire Department arrived at the scene.

The home and structures were a complete loss and all possessions of the Holters were destroyed in the fire.

A fundraising effort is underway to help Curt and Becky Holter. http://www.gofundme.com/holter

Friday, March 13th 2015
House narrowly endorses proposal to update immunizations
Lawmakers narrowly endorsed a bill Thursday to add the chickenpox vaccine to those required for public school students in Montana.

Ten Republicans voted with all 41 House Democrats in advancing a version of House Bill 158 that also requires the whooping cough vaccination for all students, removing a previous exception for children over 6.

Rep. Margie MacDonald, D-Billings, introduced the bill at the start of the 2015 legislative session to allow the state health department to set vaccine requirements, acknowledging that federal recommendations change.

It was amended in the House to list varicella and pertussis requirements instead of giving discretion to the department, which MacDonald said did not change her original intention.
The sponsor later opposed other amendments by House Republicans that added personal beliefs as a reason parents could choose not to vaccinate their children. Existing exemptions involve medical and religious reasons.

House representatives also removed penalties that come with falsely claiming an exemption.
That version passed the House with little opposition in early February because, MacDonald said, she did not yet understand or voice to her colleagues that allowing personal exemptions could result in fewer immunized children.

"I didn't see at the time that personal beliefs could open the floodgates for every childhood disease to re-enter the population," MacDonald said.

The measure was amended in the Senate to remove the personal exemption that MacDonald called an apple to her orange of a bill. When it passed back to their chamber, a handful of House Republicans contested the latest version.

"Many of us voted for this on the floor specifically because the personal exemption was in there and otherwise would not have supported it," Rep. Nancy Ballance said before voting against the bill.

MacDonald reminded the House that Montana is the only state that does not require chickenpox vaccinations to attend public school. Representatives then sent it forward on a vote of 51-49.
The bill, which no longer touches the issue of vaccination exemptions, must pass a final vote before heading to the governor's desk.

Friday, March 13th 2015
North Dakota Oil Production Declines 3 Percent
North Dakota oil production declined 3 percent in January to just shy of 1.2 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Thursday.

Low oil prices are prompting operators to postpone completion work to avoid having wells with high initial production at very low prices, Director Lynn Helms wrote in his monthly update.

Crews completed 47 wells in January, according to the preliminary numbers, compared with 183 wells that were completed in December. An estimated 825 wells are drilled and waiting for hydraulic fracturing crews.

The percent of natural gas flared in North Dakota decreased to 22 percent in January.

Natural gas production declined 6.2 percent in January, the preliminary figures say.

Thursday, March 12th 2015
Gardening Classes To Start April 1
Junior Master Gardening classes will begin April 1st in Glasgow. These classes are being offered to area students in grades 4, 5, or 6. Registration forms are located at the East Side School office or the Extension Office located in the Valley
County Courthouse. Please register by March 25th.

Call the Valley County Extension Office at 228-6241 for more information.

Thursday, March 12th 2015
Meeting On Downtown Planning Set For April 7
Two Rivers Growth has received a grant for downtown planning and Land Solutions has been hired to create a Downtown Master Plan.

This is a collaborative effort between the City, Two Rivers, the Chamber, TBID, CTAP, and other local organizations/groups.

A public meeting will be held at Soma Dis on April 7th from 5:00-7:00pm.

Please complete the survey at http://www.planglasgow.com and plan on attending April 7th.

It is important for local citizens to provide feedback throughout this process!

Wednesday, March 11th 2015
Montana House Endorses Bill That Would Ban Texting While Driving
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The state House has endorsed a bill that would ban texting while driving.

The House voted 53-46 to endorse House Bill 297 Wednesday. Montana is the only state that does not ban at least some drivers from texting.

Rep. Virginia Court's bill, as amended, would prohibit drivers from using any wireless communications device to write, send or read a written communication while driving on a highway or stopped at a traffic light or stop sign. It does not apply to navigation devices, technology integrated into the vehicle or citizens' band radios. Fines range from $50 to $200.

Supporters say people need to focus on driving. Opponents say it unnecessarily limits freedom.

State Representatives Bridgett Smith and Mike Lange voted for the legislation to ban texting while driving. Representative Austin Knudsen voted against the legislation.

The legislation now goes to the Montana State Senate for consideration.

Wednesday, March 11th 2015
House panel hears bill to give counties say on bison
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's Legislature is again considering whether county officials should have a say in the relocation of wild bison.

Republican Sen. John Brenden of Scobey proposed Senate Bill 284 in the House Agriculture Committee Tuesday to require authorization from county commissioners before wild bison can be released in a county.

County commissioners from around the state testified in favor of the proposal.

They say it would give local governments the same veto power tribal governments have over reintroduction of the animals.

Bison, also known as buffalo, can weigh 2,000 pounds and were driven to near-extinction in the 19th century.

Opponents of Brenden's bill describe the animals as gentle giants that have not been shown to transfer the disease brucellosis as supporters purported.

Similar proposals died in 2013 and 2011.
(Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Wednesday, March 11th 2015
Legislature Passes Clemency Bill And It Could Be Good News For Barry Beach
- A bill granting Montana's governor the final say when it comes to issuing executive clemency has now passed both the Montana House and Senate, clearing its path to the governor's desk.
The clemency bill, House Bill 43, won unanimous approval from the state Senate on Tuesday afternoon on a vote of 50 to 0.

Previously, it passed the state House on a vote of 88 to 12.

Currently, the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole determines whether clemency petitions can be considered in any case not involving the death penalty.

House Bill 43 changes that, allowing for a recommendation from the Board, but the final decision rests with the governor.

The bill came out of a interim legislative study that took a fresh look at the role the state Board of Pardons and Parole has in Montana's justice system.

Fueling the fire behind the bill is Barry Beach, a state prison inmate who claims he was wrongfully convicted of murder.

House Bill 43 could pave the way to Beach's freedom after he has spent more than 30 years in prison.

The governor would play judge and jury if he decides Beach should receive clemency. Beach and his supporters said Tuesday that this bill could be a light at the end of a very long tunnel.

Beach's case has been well documented in Montana for the past 32 years. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1979 murder of Kimberly Nees.

Beach has advocated many times in the past for his freedom, but this bill could be his best chance yet.

Beach said Tuesday that he's cautiously optimistic, and is grateful for the prayer and support he's received.

Wednesday, March 11th 2015
First Community Bank Board Appointments
First Community Bank has appointed Kris Simensen to its board of directors. Gil Johnson is the new secretary to the board. They join Sam Waters, Tim Newton, Mike Mitchell, Randy Holom, Darrell Morehouse, Marc Breigenzer, Steve Grobel and Lori Viste.

Simensen went to work for FCB in 2012. He grew up in Wolf Point and graduated from Montana State University. He is currently a Senior Vice President, CFO and Manager of the Glasgow branch. Simensen works with commercial and agriculture customers along with his managerial duties.

Johnson also joined the First Community Bank team in 2012. He is a graduate of Glasgow High School and Minot State University. He is currently a Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer for the bank. His duties include credit review and overlooking the loan portfolio.

First Community Bank was established in Glasgow in 1891. It is locally owned with $292,000,000 in assets. Branches are located in Glasgow, Hinsdale, Wolf Point, Culbertson, Froid, Ashland, Three Forks and Helena. The bank employs over 85 employees who provide a full range of financial services with pride, knowledge, experience and friendliness. First Community Bank specializes in agriculture and residential real estate loans.

Wednesday, March 11th 2015
Hinsdale Cooperative Community Scholarships Are Available
The Hinsdale Cooperative Community Scholarship committee announces the availability of five $1000.00 scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year. These scholarships are available to any student who has completed at least one year of study at an accredited college, university, business or vocational school. The applicant must be a graduate of Hinsdale High School.

Scholarships will be awarded on an objective basis without regard to sex, age, race, religion or physical disability. Awards are made on the basis of academic achievement, financial need, participation in community and school activities, educational goals as written by the applicants in their application for scholarships.

Applicants must complete an application and submit it along with a transcript and letters of recommendation to Linda Lacock at First Community Bank, PO Box 127, Hinsdale MT or to Amy Capdeville, Guidance Counselor at Hinsdale High School by June 1, 2015. Applications are available at the Hinsdale High School guidance counselor’s office or First Community Bank of Hinsdale. Applications may be emailed upon request.

Tuesday, March 10th 2015
Valley County Farmer wins $2,500 for Opheim High School FFA through America's Farmers Grow Communities
Mrs. Myra Gundermann of Valley County, MT has been selected as a winner in America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The program enrolls farmers for a chance to win $2,500, which is then donated to the farmer’s nonprofit of choice. Myra Gundermann selected Opheim High School FFA to receive the donation.

The presentation ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. today at the Opheim High School.

America’s Farmers Grow Communities launched in 2010 and has grown to include 1,324 eligible counties in 40 states. Sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, the program is part of the America’s Farmers initiative, which highlights the important contributions farmers make every day. For a complete list of Grow Communities winners and more program information, please visit GrowCommunities.com.

Tuesday, March 10th 2015
BLM Central Montana Fire Zone Plans Prescribed Fire Projects
(LEWISTOWN, Mont.) – The Bureau of Land Management is planning three prescribed burns in the HiLine and Central Montana Districts to be implemented during the spring months when weather permits.

The Central District Lewistown Field Office is planning to implement the Tin Can Hill Unit F prescribed fire project in an area located about 15 miles northeast of Winnett. This project will treat approximately 6,500 acres. The primary objective of the Tin Can Unit F prescribed fire project is to reduce fuel loads while improving wildlife habitat and grazing forage vegetative conditions. Operational objectives include a reduction in stand density and pine and juniper encroachment on adjacent rangelands.

In the HiLine District, fire and resource specialists are planning two prescribed fire projects.

The North Valley County Habitat Restoration Project, administered by the Glasgow Field Office, will use prescribed fire to remove existing surface vegetation on approximately 500 acres of BLM administered rangelands in northern Valley County. The objective of the burn is to remove all surface fuel to enhance the effectiveness of subsequent non-fire treatments in converting decadent stands of crested wheat grass to rejuvenated healthy stands comprised of native species.

The Malta Field Office also plans to implement the Henry Smith prescribed fire project on approximately 320 acres located near Malta. A unique objective of this prescribed fire project is to use fire to remove old, decadent vegetation obstructing a clear view of a centuries old rock-formation cultural site, so that it can be better studied and documented.

All of these prescribed burns are designed to reduce hazardous fuels and improve forest and rangeland health conditions.

If fuel moisture and weather conditions allow, these burns will be conducted by qualified fire personnel from several federal, state and local agencies as well as BLM resource staff from the local area field offices.

For more information, call BLM Fuels Program Manager Steve Knox at (406) 538-1976.

Tuesday, March 10th 2015
Corps invites public to Missouri River operations meetings
OMAHA, Neb. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Basin Water Management Division will hold five public meetings in early April to update stakeholders on current hydrologic conditions and the planned operation of the Mainstem Reservoir System.

The public meetings will include a presentation from the Corps regarding operations and plans for managing the reservoir system in 2015, followed by a question and answer session. There will also be an opportunity for members of the public and stakeholders to speak one-on-one with Corps officials.

The public meetings will be conducted at the following times and locations:

Tuesday, April 7 – Pierre, SD Start time: 11 a.m. Capitol Lake Visitor Center 500 E. Capitol Ave.

Tuesday, April 7 – Bismarck, ND Start time: 6 p.m. Bismarck Civic Center 315 S. 5th St.

Wednesday, April 8 – Fort Peck, Mont. Start time: 11 a.m. Fort Peck Interpretative Center Lower Yellowstone Road

Thursday, April 9 – Smithville, Mo. Start time: 11 a.m. Jerry Litton Visitor Center 16311 DD Hwy

Thursday, April 9 – Council Bluffs, Iowa Start time: 6 p.m. Western Historic Trails Center 3434 Richard Downing Ave.

The presentation materials for the public meetings will also be posted on the Corps’ website at http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/.

The Corps is congressionally authorized to manage the six dams on the Missouri River for the benefit of the American people serving flood control, navigation, hydropower, irrigation, water supply, water quality control, recreation, and fish and wildlife.

Tuesday, March 10th 2015
Brockton Family Sentenced In Federal Court On Embezzlement Charges
GREAT FALLS—Four members of a Brockton family were sentenced to federal prison terms today for their role in the embezzlement of over $130,000 from the Town of Brockton on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, the latest development in the ongoing probe into public corruption involving federally funded programs known as the Guardians Project.

The United States Attorney’s Office announced that Desiree Lambert, 59, Bernard Lambert, 66, Kaycee Lambert, 35, and Kayla Lambert, 30, were all sentenced to prison during a federal court hearing on March 5, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris.

The Lambert family was indicted in August of 2014 by a federal grand jury for wire fraud, public corruption, and aggravated identity theft. At the changes of plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon outlined the embezzlement scheme spearheaded by Desiree Lambert, then the Business Manager for the Town of Brockton. In her role as Business Manager, Desiree Lambert handled the municipality’s finances, books and records. Beginning in December 2012, Desiree Lambert began writing illegitimate checks to herself, her husband (Bernard Lambert), and her daughters (Kaycee and Kayla Lambert) and forging the signature of the Mayor of Brockton. The embezzlement scheme netted the Lamberts $132,563 over approximately a year-and-a-half time period. When interviewed, the Lamberts admitted to spending the money on gambling and other household items.

At sentencing, Weldon requested stiffer prison sentences for Bernard and Desiree Lambert due to their previous criminal history. In 2006, Bernard and Desiree Lambert embezzled $12,000 from the Department of Education while Bernard Lambert was the Superintendent of the Brockton School District and Desiree Lambert was the Director of the Fort Peck Department of Education. Desiree Lambert authorized four payments to her husband for writing ten grant applications on behalf of the Ft. Peck Department of Education. The alleged grant applications were for grants from various corporations and a 21st Century Grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). Investigation revealed, through contact with the various corporations and the DOE, that none of the grant applications that Bernard Lambert was paid to write were ever received or funded. As a result of their past fraud, Bernard and Desiree Lambert each served a year in federal prison. After the pair was released from federal supervision in 2011, Desiree Lambert was hired to handle the finances of Brockton.

Weldon told the Court that “[u]ndeterred, this time the Lamberts regrouped and increased their criminal efforts with more vigor. As a result, they embezzled $132,563.95—many times more than that of the first conviction. Worse yet, they used their children to move money and feed their gambling addictions.”

Judge Morris sentenced Desiree Lambert to 44 months of prison, and Bernard Lambert received 20 months of prison. Desiree Lambert received an increase in her sentence, in part, because she abused and used her position with the Town of Brockton in order to embezzle public funds. Judge Morris also ordered Desiree and Bernard Lambert to serve three years of supervised release and to repay $132,563.95 in restitution.

Kayla Lambert and Kaycee Lambert facilitated the embezzlement and public corruption scheme by cashing fraudulent checks on behalf of their mother and father. Judge Morris sentenced Kayla Lambert to 5 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Of the two years on supervised release, Kayla Lambert must spend 5 months in home confinement. Kaycee Lambert was sentenced to one more month in federal prison than Kayla. As a result, Kaycee received a federal prison sentence of 6 months, which will be followed by two years of supervised release. Of the two years on supervised release, Kaycee Lambert must spend 6 months in home confinement. Kayla Lambert was ordered to pay $93,656.00 in restitution, and Kaycee Lambert was ordered to pay $39,774.07 in restitution.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the truth in sentencing guidelines mandate that the Lamberts will serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, Bernard and Desiree Lambert do have the opportunity to shorten the term of custody by earning credit for good behavior. However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General.

Tuesday, March 10th 2015
Nashua Man Reaches Plea Agreement On Federal Drug Charges
JEFFERY JOHN HELM, a 60-year-old resident of Nashua is facing charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute oxycodone and morphine, possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and morphine, and distribution of oxycodone and morphine.

Helm was arraigned in Great Falls on February 10th. He had been arrested by the Valley County Sheriff's Office on February 9th and turned over to the DEA. Helm is currently incarcerated in Great Falls.

Helm allegedly distributed the drugs in a period from July of 2014 to November of 2014. Helm allegedly sold the prescription drugs in Nashua and Billings.

At his arraignment, Helm pleaded not guilty to the charges. But a plea agreement has been reached where he will plead guilty to the first count of the six count indictment. Helm will plead guilty to the charge of possession with intent to distribute Oxycodone and Morphine.

The next hearing for Helm is March 16th in Great Falls where the Judge will rule on the plea agreement.

Monday, March 9th 2015
Second Straight Month of Below Normal Snowfall, Above Average Temperatures Cause Declines in Snowpack Percentages, Many Basins Still Near Normal
BOZEMAN, Mont., March 6, 2015—For the second straight month Montana has seen a decline in snowpack percentages of normal due to the lack of significant snowfall and above normal temperatures, according to snowpack data from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Basins west of the Continental Divide have seen the most substantial change since Feb. 1 with basin snowpack percentages declining 9 to 16 percent during the month. East of the Continental Divide most of the basins saw a decline in snowpack percentages, but not to the extent of the western part of the state. One basin that feeds Montana rivers from the south in Wyoming saw an increase in snowpack during the month (Lower Yellowstone).

“As disappointing as the declines and below normal snowpack percentages may be, Montana is in good shape snowpack wise compared to most of the West this water year,” said Lucas Zukiewicz, NRCS water supply specialist for Montana.

What do these changes mean for water users across the state as we approach runoff season this spring? “It is important to remember that many basins were above to well above normal on January 1st, and the abundant early season snowfall has helped to keep many of our basin percentages near normal for this time on March 1st,” Zukiewicz said. “Winter is not over; many basins east of the Divide are favored in the coming months regarding snowfall, and a pattern change would certainly be welcome at this point.”

A few basins have been below normal for the entire water year and February didn’t improve conditions in those basins. West of the Divide, the Kootenai and Lower Clark Fork River basins are well below normal for this time of year, 60% and 65% respectively. East of the Divide, the St. Mary-Milk basin and the Madison River basin are below normal, 65% and 80% respectively. Zukiewicz said in order for these basins to recover before spring runoff a major pattern change will be needed in order to receive near average water yield from the snowpack.

Zukiewicz said if the snowpack numbers decline through the month, generally streamflow prospects will follow suit. “This month our forecasts have dropped in almost every basin due to the declining basin percentages of normal snowpack,” he said. Streamflows have declined the most west of the Continental Divide dropping 2 to 12 percent over the month. While they have fallen slightly, most forecasts west of the Divide are still near normal for the April-July time period.

East of the Divide April-July streamflow prospects are slightly lower and are slightly below average for the period. In this region Zukiewicz said there are a few sub-basins of concern, the Red Rocks Valley feeding Lima Reservoir and the Ruby River Valley feeding Ruby Reservoir. Both of these basins have been well below normal for the entire year and streamflow forecasts reflect the lack of snow so far this season.

“There is still two to three months left for snowpack to accumulate and the future snowfall, or lack therof, will have an impact on the streamflows this spring,” Zukiewicz said. “It is not too late to make improvements before snowmelt, but Old Man Winter better make his appearance again sooner than later.”

Below are the averaged River Basin streamflow forecasts for the period April 1 through July 31. THESE FORECASTS ASSUME NEAR NORMAL MOISTURE AND RUNOFF CONDITIONS FEBRUARY THROUGH JULY.

Friday, March 6th 2015
80 Mph Speed Limit Proposed For Montana
HELENA (AP) – A Republican senator from Bozeman has proposed higher driving speeds and higher fines for speeding on Montana's highways.

Sen. Scott Sales introduced Senate Bill 375 in the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee on Thursday.

Under the proposal, trucks would be allowed to drive 70 mph on all highways, up from 60 mph on two-lane highways and 65 mph on interstates. It would increase the maximum highway speed for passenger vehicles from 75 mph to 80 mph.

Not everyone would choose to drive faster, Sales said.

"I think the highways are built for a higher speed," he said. "I think we can safely drive five miles an hour more effectively and save some people time if they choose to."

Speeding tickets in Montana are currently $20 or $40 depending on how fast the driver was traveling. Sales' proposal would increase fines incrementally from $20 to $200.

The additional state revenue from speeding fines would total about $50,000 annually, according to a fiscal note compiled by the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.

Montana Highway Patrol Chief Col. Tom Butler said the fine increases would bring Montana up to speed with seven surrounding states that on average charge $102 for driving 1 to 10 mph over the limit, and $137 on average for driving 11 to 20 mph over the limit.

Butler favored Sales' bill after state troopers opposed two proposals for an 85-mph speed limit earlier this session.

Butler said a 5-mph increase is more reasonable than 10 mph, but the patrol primarily supports Sales' bill because it includes research before implementation.

Dwane Kailey, chief engineer at Montana Department of Transportation, said his department would consider road curvature, accident history, access points and existing speed limits before giving the go-ahead to increase road segments to 80 mph.

Representatives of truck drivers and insurance agencies opposed the bill, saying it would be unsafe no matter how much research is conducted beforehand. "I don't want to see a bunch of kids hurt or killed because we have to go faster," said Bob Gilbert of the Montana Tow Truck Association.

Watkins and Shepard Trucking Owner Ray Kuntz said his insurance company doesn't cover truckers driving over 65 mph.

Butler said cars may be less likely to attempt passing trucks on two-lane roads if the trucks are driving faster than 60 or 65 mph.

Friday, March 6th 2015
FWP News
March 16 is the deadline to apply for Montana's 2015 deer and elk hunting permits. An easy-to-use 12-page application packet is available online at fwp.mt.gov. Paper applications are also available from most license providers and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks offices.

All deer and elk regulations became final in February. The 2015 deer and elk regulations are online at fwp.mt.gov. Hard copies of the hunting regulations will be on the shelf at FWP offices and local license providers in April.
Nonresidents who wish to apply for big game combination, elk combination or deer combination licenses and deer and elk permits for the 2015 fall Montana hunting season can also apply online or download an application from FWP's website.

To request an application by mail, write to: Licensing Section; Montana FWP; P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT; 59620-0701; or call: 406-444-2950. The application deadline is March 16. Successful applicants will receive their permits in mid-April.
The state's black bear and spring turkey hunting regulations are also available online, and have been shipped to FWP offices and license providers across the state.

May 1 is the deadline to apply for moose, bighorn sheep, bison and mountain goat licenses available through a drawing. Applications must be in by June 1 for antlerless deer B, elk B, antelope and antelope B licenses.

Montana's applications for nonresident deer and elk hunting licenses and permits are due March 16.
Deer and elk hunting license and permit applications and information are available online at fwp.mt.gov; click "March 16—Deer & Elk Permits".
Nonresidents seeking to apply for big game combination, elk combination or deer combin
ation licenses and deer and elk permits for the 2015 Montana hunting seasons can apply online or download an application from FWP's website.
To request an application by mail, write to: Licensing Section; Montana FWP; P.O. Box 200701, Helena MT; 59620-0701; or call: 406-444-2950.

May 1 is the deadline to apply for moose, sheep, goat and bison licenses and June 1 for antlerless deer B and elk B licenses and antelope and antelope B licenses.

Landowners have until March 15 to submit applications to Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks for enrollment in a unique public-access program that may qualify them for up to $2,000 in annual tax credits.

Through the "Unlocking State Lands" program a landowner who enters into a contractual agreement with FWP to allow public recreational access across private land to reach a parcel of otherwise inaccessible state land is entitled to receive a $500 annual tax credit per contract—with a maximum of four contracts per year.

The innovative Unlocking State Lands program is a product of House Bill 444, introduced in the 2013 Legislature by Representative Tom Jacobson from Great Falls.

"The concept of offering a tax credit in exchange for public access across private land to reach state land is a first of its kind in the nation, as far as we've been able to determine," said Alan Charles, FWP coordinator of landowner/sportsman relations.

In 2014, the first year of the new program, two landowners in central Montana enrolled in the program, providing access to four separate parcels of isolated state land and qualifying for a cumulative total of $2,000 in tax benefits.
More information about the program, including enrollment criteria and the application form, can be found at fwp.mt.gov/hunting/hunterAccess/unlockingStateLands/; or contact Charles by phone at 406-444-3798 or via email at acharles@mt.gov.

It's time for landowners in a select list of counties to enroll in the state-sponsored "Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters," a voluntary extra incentive offering aimed at further conserving productive game bird habitat enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program.

The $5-per acre incentive, offered through Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program, is available to private landowners with existing CRP that have a minimum of three years left on their federal contract.
The following counties will receive priority for Open Fields enrollment: Cascade, Chouteau, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Fergus, Glacier, McCone, Pondera, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Teton, Toole, Valley, and Wibaux.

"Nearly 14,000 acres of CRP have been enrolled in Open Fields since 2012," said Jeff Hagener, FWP director in Helena.
Hagener noted that landowners enrolled in Open Fields have donated access to an additional 19,000 acres for a total of 33,000 acres of walk-in game bird hunting.

Open Fields leases do not allow for emergency haying or grazing that is in addition to scheduled maintenance. All enrollments must be on private land that is legally accessible for free walk-in game bird hunting without further permission.

Up to 160 CRP acres per landowner may be enrolled. In return, participating landowners receive $5-per-acre each year the land is enrolled in CRP. Enrolled lands must be clearly posted to allow for walk-in game bird hunting. Because this program is intended to expand areas open to the public for game bird hunting, lands that are already enrolled in FWP's Block Management Program or the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program do not qualify.

Applications for enrollment in Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters may be submitted through March 30. For more information and an application, visit FWP online at fwp.mt.gov; and then click "Open Fields Application".

For details, contact FWP at 406-444-2612, or by e-mail: fwpwld@mt.gov.

Owners of motorboats, sailboats or personal watercraft who still need to get their free 2014-2017 validation decals for their watercraft can get them online from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Boaters who have permanently registered their boats, sailboats, or PWC must obtain two free boat validation decals every three years at FWP regional and area offices, or by going to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov; click Boat Validation Decals.

Owners who order validation decals on the FWP website will receive the decals in the mail. A current boat registration receipt issued by the county treasurer is needed to obtain the decals in person or on FWP's website.

For new boat or PWC owners, the county treasurer's office will provide the first set of validation decals when the watercraft is registered. Boat owners will obtain subsequent sets of validation decals at an FWP regional or area office, or online.

For more information, visit FWP's webpage or call FWP at 406-444-2535.

The annual nongame income tax check-off fund on state tax-return forms, helps Montana's wild creatures and offers Montana tax-payers a tax deduction.

The tax check-off fund goes to nongame wildlife management and activities that encourage awareness and enjoyment of birds and small mammals—think wildlife monitoring, habitat improvement projects and the publication and distribution of educational materials.

Every $10 donated is matched one to three times with federal dollars.

Some of Montana's hibernating black bears and grizzly bears are beginning to stir.

Adult males usually emerge first from winter dens in mid-March. When bears emerge from their dens they are physically depleted and food is a priority.

Bears are often tempted to go where raccoons and domestic dogs are getting into garbage. If these animals are already causing problems nearby, consider it an early warning that food attractants are available and need to be removed.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' bear experts stress that conflict prevention steps can greatly reduce the chances of attracting black and grizzly bears.

FWP recommends bear resistant bins in communities and on ranches; electric fence systems to protect bee yards and sheep bedding grounds; random redistribution of livestock carcasses each spring; and educational programs in schools and communities.

FWP's Be Bear Aware website at fwp.mt.gov is an easy way for homeowners and landowners to assess what they need to do now to prevent bear conflicts. Go there for tips and tools on obtaining and using bear spray, safe camping and hiking, access to bear resistant products and a guide to other items that attract bears to a property.

Montana's spring black bear hunting season opens April 15.

Hunters may purchase black bear hunting licenses online at fwp.mt.gov, at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks license providers, or print a paper license application and mail it in to FWP. Licenses issued through the mail may take two weeks to process.

Black bear hunting licenses purchased after April 14 may not be used until 24 hours after purchase. Black bear hunters are limited to one black bear license a year.

All black bear hunters are reminded that they must successfully complete Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' bear identification test before purchasing a black bear license.

Take the bear identification test online at fwp.mt.gov; click the Education tab, then click "Bear Identification Program".
Complete the training and test, and then present the printed on-line certificate to purchase a license. The training and test can also be obtained on paper, with a mail-in answer card, at FWP regional offices.

The 2015 black bear regulations are available online on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov , at FWP region offices and license providers.

Montana's spring male turkey hunting season begins April 11 this year.

Turkey hunters can purchase a turkey license in a general area at FWP offices, license providers or online. The application deadline for western Montana's spring gobbler season permits has passed.

The 2015 spring turkey regulations, with details on turkey hunting in the general area, are available at FWP offices and license providers and online at fwp.mt.gov.

Hunters should remember when transporting a spring turkey within the state of Montana, one leg and foot must be left naturally attached for evidence of sex. Montana law requires permission for all hunting on private land.

Montana's TIP-MONT "crimestopper" program is at work year round to help stop wildlife crimes and vandalism.

It's a good idea to keep the TIP-MONT number handy—1-800-TIP-MONT, or 1-800-847-6668.

The TIP-MONT program rewards callers who report natural resource crimes, hunting and fishing violations, or vandalism
on public lands.

The caller may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information provided leads to a conviction for violations that may include: poaching, hunting or fishing out of season, trespassing, exceeding bag limits, nonresidents purchasing resident licenses, vehicles in non-motorized areas, littering, and theft or destruction of natural resources.

To report violations or suspected violations, call 1-800-TIP-MONT, or go to the FWP website's online report form. For more information, visit FWP at fwp.mt.gov and look for TIP-MONT on the Enforcement page.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is again offering college students an opportunity to gain practical experience working as interns in a variety of capacities.

College students are urged to contact their career placement office immediately for current postings of all internship announcements, or visit the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov., then click "Jobs" to learn more about available internships, application deadlines and other details.

For more information or questions about the intern program, contact Debbie Cheek, statewide intern coordinator, at 406-439-8299.

Thursday, March 5th 2015
Sen. Schumer: Set strict limit on volatility of railcar oil
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Senator Charles Schumer is asking federal regulators to set a strict standard for the volatility of crude oil shipped by rail to help reduce destruction from accidents like a fiery derailment in West Virginia last month.

Schumer says Wednesday he's particularly concerned about oil from the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota and Montana because it has more volatile gases and higher vapor pressure than some other crude.

North Dakota has adopted a standard for removing gas to a certain level before shipping. But Schumer says it's too low and the regulation should be federal.

He says such a limit isn't included in still-unreleased draft oil train rules the federal transportation department developed in response to accidents, including the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, wreck that killed 47 people.

The American Petroleum Institute says studies show Bakken crude doesn't present a greater transportation risk than other flammable liquids.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, March 5th 2015
Hoeven: Keystone backers will find way to approve pipeline
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Republican U.S. Senator John Hoeven (HOH'-ven) says a failed attempt to override the president's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline will not deter him from pushing to get the project approved.

The Senate voted 62-37 Wednesday to override President Barack Obama's veto of the bill. Proponents needed a two-thirds majority.

Hoeven, the chief sponsor, says pipeline supporters didn't win the battle Wednesday but will "win the war" because they will find another bill to which they can attach the pipeline project.

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says the failure to override the veto is clear evidence that more work remains to gather additional support for the project. She says in the last session she successfully recruited 10 Democrats to support the bill and will continue to try and get more on board.
(Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Thursday, March 5th 2015
Valley County Gives Approval For Construction Of 2 Workforce Camps In Valley County In Anticipation Of Keystone XL Pipeline
The Valley County Commissioners have voted to approve 2 Workforce Camps in Valley County in advance of the possible construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

On Wednesday the commissioners voted to approve the construction of the camps. One will be built between Nashua and Fort Peck and the other camp will be located north of Hinsdale.

A public meeting was held Tuesday in Glasgow as officials with TransCanada presented information about the proposed camps and took questions from the audience.

Nearly 30 people attended the meeting. The camps are set to have 838 dorm style beds and 300 recreational vehicle spots.

The Keystone XL Pipeline has yet to receive approval from the United States. This is a pipeline that will run from Canada to the Gulf Coast of the Untied States. Because the pipeline crosses an international border the project needs approval from the government of the United States.

Wednesday, March 4th 2015
BLM Reminds Recreationists about Rules as Spring Returns
(LEWISTOWN, Mont.) – As whispers of spring grow louder public lands will experience an increase in activity from fishermen, floaters, recreational vehicle users, hikers, campers and other users.

Americans of diverse backgrounds from a variety of locations around the country will be forging lifelong memories while enjoying their public lands in the rugged beauty of Montana. Some people have a longstanding, multi-generation family tradition of recreating on public lands, others may be venturing out for the first time. Knowing the right way to enjoy BLM Managed lands can ensure a satisfying experience, however some users may not know the rules.

The increased activity on public lands during the spring and summer seasons often leads to increased incidents of unauthorized off-road vehicle travel, unattended campfires, camping over established time limits, littering and other associated resource damage.

Generally, dispersed camping is permitted on Bureau of Land Management managed public lands that have not been developed as a campsite. Campers must have legal access to the campsite. Campers may drive up to 100 yards off-road to establish their campsite. The maximum stay in a dispersed site is 16 days. After 16 days the camp site must be relocated at least a half-mile away from the previous campsite.

In Montana off-road travel for recreational purposes is prohibited on Bureau of Land Management managed public lands, unless you are recreating in a specific area designated as open to off-road motorized vehicle use. Vehicular use is limited to roads and existing trails. Off-road travel is not legal for shed antler hunting, game retrieval or any other recreational use on public lands.

If you observe any violations on public lands, please contact any BLM Field Staff Ranger near you:

Billings (406) 896-5266

Butte (406) 441-1115

Dillon (406) 683-8006

Glasgow (406) 228-3777

Lewistown (406) 538-1939

Malta (406) 654-5112

Miles City (406) 233-2830

Missoula (406) 329-3825

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (406) 622-4017

Get as much information as you can; include the date, time, location and a description of the suspected violation along with a physical description and a license plate number. Please do not contact the user, but instead make observations and report them to the appropriate ranger as soon as possible.

Wednesday, March 4th 2015
Major Drug Bust In Williston Area
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a trooper who stopped an erratic driver on U.S. Highway 2 in the Williston area made a large drug bust.

Authorities say a search of the suspect car on Saturday yielded more than half a pound of methamphetamine as well as drug paraphernalia. The street value was estimated at $45,000.

The 25-year-old Williston man was jailed on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and for driving with a suspended license.

Monday, March 2nd 2015
Man Rescued From Ice Of Fort Peck Lake After Falling Off Bicycle
The Valley County Search and Rescue had to use their air boat to rescue a man who had fallen off his bike on the ice of Fort Peck Lake.

Sheriff Glen Meier told Kltz/Mix93 News that the man, who was not identified, was riding his bike on the ice of Fort Peck Lake and headed to the Pines Recreation Area when he fell of the bike. He then had to call 911 and search and rescue efforts were mobilized.

Valley County Search and Rescue used the air boat to get to the man and then transported him to the Duck Creek Area. Sheriff Meier said the man apparently fractured his hip and was transported by ambulance to FMDH.

Sheriff Meier said BLM, FWP and the VCSO assisted in locating the man on the ice of Fort Peck Lake. The man was riding his bicycle with studded tires and apparently was headed in the direction of the Pines Recreation Area of Fort Peck Lake.

Monday, March 2nd 2015
Two Openings On Glasgow School Board
The annual school election will be held Tuesday, May 5, 2015. There will be two three-year openings for the Glasgow School District Board of Trustees this year, as Alison Molvig’s & Nick Dirkes’ terms are set to expire.

Petitions are available at the School Administration Office located at 200 7th Street North. The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. For further information regarding the election, contact Kelly Doornek at 228-2406.

Friday, February 27th 2015
BNSF To Build Double Track Outside Of Glasgow

BNSF Railway will spend $124 million on track and improvements in Montana in 2015, pushing its infrastructure investment in the state to a half-billion dollars over four years.

"This is a long-term investment for future growth. These investments aren't being driven by short-term fluctuations in volume," said Matt Jones, BNSF spokesman. "Overall, we see potential for growth in all our broader business categories."

Announced Tuesday, the investment includes four more miles of double track from the Glasgow region to Minot, N.D. BNSF has spent several years constructing 114 miles of double track between those communities so that trains traveling the route connecting Seattle to Chicago can pass without pulling over. Oil, crops and freight containers have driven up demand on the nation's northernmost line.

Traffic volume is trending upward for all BNSF freight, Jones said. Most recently, a nationwide shortage of truck drivers has diverted interstate freight to BNSF.

All told, the railroad will resurface 1,227 miles of track, replace 52 miles of rail and 345,000 railroad ties, Jones said.

Along BNSF's southern Montana line, the railroad will replace 70,000 ties and remove track irregularities in the Forsyth area so trains can safely travel faster. The Big Horn rail line from Hardin into Wyoming will receive 89,000 new rail ties.

Coal trains are the primary use of the Big Horn line, and despite plummeting coal prices, BNSF shipments of coal in 2014 increased 3 percent year over year.

The railroad will also upgrade its Sidney line connecting its north and south routes across Montana. The route includes a depot for loading oil tankers in Dore, N.D.

The Sidney line includes sections of rail that are bolted together, an old technology that's been replaced by 1,600 foot sections of rail that are welded into a solid piece for a safer ride. The company will also improve several bridges along the route, which runs between Sidney and Glendive.

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/bnsf-to-spend-million-on-montana-track-in/article_2c79d723-0c3e-5c00-a3fe-d693e037fe94.html#ixzz3Sx8fHnXF

Friday, February 27th 2015
BLM Glasgow Field Office Fence Modification Project Aids Pronghorn
Jason Snellman (on ATV) and Rich Hayner unspool smooth wire to replace the bottom row of barbed wire during a fence modification project February 10, 2014. The purpose of the two-week project was to make the fence wildlife friendly for pronghorn antelope, which negotiate fences by crawling under them. (BLM Photo by Jonathan Moor)
(GLASGOW, Mont.) – The Bureau of Land Management Glasgow Field Office conducted a fence modification project over a two-week period during February 2015.

More than five and a half miles of fence was modified by Wildland Firefighters Jason Snellman and Rich Hayner along a section of Highway 2, west of Glasgow.

“They replaced the bottom barbed wire with smooth wire and modified the fence bottom wire height to 16 inches off the ground,” explained BLM Glasgow Field Office Wildlife Biologist Abel Guevara. “Replacing the bottom barbed wire with smooth prevents the pronghorn antelope from rubbing and losing any hair that would expose their skin to frostbite or injury.” Pronghorn antelope most often negotiate fences by crawling under them.

In 2009 a pronghorn antelope migration study was conducted in this area. Data from pronghorn antelope fitted with GPS radio collars showed significant migration within the Buggy Creek and Chapman Coulee areas west of Glasgow.

Most fences in the area were 5-wire with a barbed bottom wire often no more than 12 inches off the ground.

Because the work was being done within the Highway 2 right-of-way BLM coordinated the fence modification project with Montana Department of Transportation (MDT).

“This project was coordinated with our local MDT contacts Kevin Gower and Carson Buffington as well as MDT Wildlife Biologist Larry Sickerson,” said Guevara.

“We had some great consultation with our partners on this project and we would not have been able to be get this work done without the support of MDT and BLM permittees,” Guevara added.

About $2,500 of wire and fuel was purchased locally for the fence modification project.

Approximately two more miles of fence along Highway 2 are slated to be modified later this summer with a Montana Conservation Corps crew. Additionally, other fences that are immediately adjacent to the highway will be considered for modification to maintain connectivity across the migration corridor.

Friday, February 27th 2015
School Elections Set For May 5
The annual school election will be held Tuesday, May 5, 2015. There will be two three-year openings for the Glasgow School District Board of Trustees this year, as Alison Molvig’s & Nick Dirkes’ terms are set to expire.

Petitions are available at the School Administration Office located at 200 7th Street North. The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 26, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. For further information regarding the election, contact Kelly Doornek at 228-2406.

Thursday, February 26th 2015
Effort to acquire Nebraska land for pipeline remain on hold
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The company trying to build a pipeline to carry Canadian oil south to the Gulf Coast says its efforts to force Nebraska landowners to agree to the project remain on hold because of several pending lawsuits.

Earlier this month, a Holt County judge blocked TransCanada's eminent domain efforts there. Company spokesman Mark Cooper says TransCanada will agree to a similar order in York County at a hearing Thursday.

Cooper says TransCanada plans to ask judges in seven other Nebraska counties to delay action on its other eminent domain cases until the lawsuits are resolved.

The proposed pipeline needs presidential approval before it could be built across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska to connect with existing pipelines. It would carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Thursday, February 26th 2015
Montana Supreme Court Rules On Glasgow Kidnapping Case
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Supreme Court has rejected a Glasgow man's arguments that he should not have to pay restitution for his kidnapping victim's mental health counseling because it is being paid for by state-assisted programs.

The court, in a 5-0 ruling Tuesday, found that Richard Joseph Jenkins should be held responsible for $18,000 in potential counseling costs for Connie Sharp.

Jenkins was convicted in April 2012 of kidnapping, assault with a weapon and intimidation for cutting Sharp with a knife, burning her with cigarettes, tying her up and threatening to throw her into the river if she refused to drive him to Kalispell.

Sharp was able to escape in Havre.

The court ruled that when Jenkins starts paying restitution, the state programs that covered Sharp's counseling costs can seek to recover that money from Sharp.

Thursday, February 26th 2015
Hunter Education Classes Offered in Malta and Saco
The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Hunter Education course dates have been set for the Malta and Saco areas. To be eligible to hunt during the 2015 season, hunters must be 12-years old by January 16, 2016. To be eligible for certification, students must be at least 11-years old on the first day of the class.

The first class in Malta will be held the week of March 9-13 from 6:30-9:00 pm at the Malta High School cafeteria.

The Saco class will first meet on Wednesday, March 18, from 4:00-4:30 pm at the Saco Fire Hall. Other dates and times for the rest of the course will be set on the 18th.

For the Hunter Education classes, please go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov to register. Look under the “Education” tab, go to the “Hunter Education” heading, and click on the “Hunter education programs” link. On the next screen, click on the “Find a class or field course” and follow the directions from there.

Please make sure to print out all necessary material, and sign all necessary forms! If you have any questions, please call the Glasgow FWP office at 228-3700.

Wednesday, February 25th 2015
Defying GOP, Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has vetoed a Republican bill forcing construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The White House sent notice of the veto to the Senate on Tuesday, shortly after the bill was received at the White House. It's the third veto of Obama's presidency.

The move puts a freeze on a top GOP priority, at least for now. It also reasserts Obama's authority over a project that's become a flashpoint in the national debate about climate change.

Congressional Republicans may try to override Obama's veto, but have yet to show they can muster the two-thirds majority in both chambers that they would need. Sen. John Hoeven, the bill's chief GOP sponsor, says Republicans are about four votes short in the Senate and need about 11 more in the House.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, February 25th 2015
Employers Offer Scholarship
Scholarship applications are now available from the Glasgow Job Service Employers’ Committee (JSEC) to any Valley County high school senior who is going on to college, technical school or other training after completing their high school education or equivalency.

Funding is provided by Valley County employers who share the JSEC desire to educate future workers. Applications can be picked up from any high school counselor or the Job Service Office at 74 4th Street North. You can also download an application here.

Applications are due in the Job Service Office by 5:00 pm Monday, March 2. Award amounts vary depending on donations received, but typically are about $500 according to Stacey Amundson, JSEC Chair. For more information, contact Stacey at 228-2476 or the Glasgow Job Service at 228-3926.

Wednesday, February 25th 2015
Farm Bureau Scholarship
The Valley County Farm Bureau will be awarding a scholarship(s) to a graduating senior whose parents are members of the Montana Farm Bureau. In addition, two Valley County applications will be submitted to Bozeman to compete for two (2) Montana Farm Bureau $1,000.00 scholarships.

Applications can be obtained from the Guidance Counselor or Principal/School Administrator in Hinsdale, Glasgow, Nashua, Lustre, Opheim and Frazer.

Applications must be postmarked April 1, 2015, and mailed to Scott Cassel, P O Box 772, Glasgow, MT 59230.

Please contact Robyn Cassel at 367-5145 for further information or any questions.

Tuesday, February 24th 2015
Oil patch murder defendant to be sentenced in April
SIDNEY, Mont. (AP) — A Colorado man who pleaded guilty to killing a Montana teacher in an oil boom town will be sentenced this spring.

District Judge Richard Simonton scheduled an April 17 sentencing hearing for 25-year-old Michael Keith Spell of Parachute, Colorado.

Spell pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide for the January 2012 death of Sidney High School math teacher Sherry Arnold. Her body was found more than two months later in a shallow grave in North Dakota.

Spell told Simonton in October that he and co-defendant Lester Van Waters Jr. had smoked crack cocaine before grabbing Arnold while she was jogging and that he wasn't sure who killed her.

Spell's attorneys have said they will seek a sentence to the state health department, which could allow him to serve his time in a facility for the mentally disabled. Waters is serving 80 years.
(Copyright 2015 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Tuesday, February 24th 2015
Montana House Votes Down Bill That Would End Capital Punishment In Montana
HELENA (AP) – Representatives have voted down a bill that would end capital punishment in Montana.

Members of the House of Representatives voted 50-50 on Monday to fail House Bill 370 on second reading. Three Democrats and 47 Republicans voted against the measure and 12 Republicans joined 38 Democrats in voting for it.

Republican Rep. David Moore of Missoula introduced the proposal in the House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 13. Committee members passed the bill 11-10.

State Representatives Austin Knudson and Mike Lang who represent Valley County voted against the legislation that would end capital punishment in Montana.

Representatives debated the repeal for more than 20 minutes. Supporters called for life imprisonment over death. Opponents said repealing the death penalty would be unfair to victims.

Similar bills have survived the Senate, but in the last two sessions have failed in the House.

Two men currently imprisoned in Montana have been sentenced to die.

Tuesday, February 24th 2015
FWP News
Montana's spring male turkey hunting season begins April 11 this year. The deadline to apply for a Montana spring turkey permit available in some Montana counties is March 5.

Applicants, must have a 2015 conservation license to be eligible to apply, will find the spring turkey permit areas in FWP Regions 2, 3, and 4 listed on the application. There is a $5 application fee.

Resident and nonresident spring turkey permit application forms will be available Feb. 23 on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov. Go to the Hunting page, click "Licenses and Permits" then "Paper Applications".

March 16 is the deadline to apply for Montana's 2015 deer and elk hunting permits. An easy-to-use application packet is available from all hunting license providers, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks offices and online at fwp.mt.gov.

FWP urges hunters to apply online. "It's fast, convenient and accurate," said Ron Aasheim, FWP spokesman in Helena.
Resident hunters need a 2015 conservation and elk license to apply for a special elk permit but everything else needed to apply is in the application and information packet, Aasheim said.

Hard copies of the hunting regulations will be on the shelf at FWP offices and local license providers in April.
Nonresidents who wish to apply for big game combination, elk combination or deer combination licenses and deer and elk permits for the 2015 Montana hunting season can also apply online or download an application from FWP's website.

To request an application by mail, write to: Licensing Section; Montana FWP; P.O. Box 200701, Helena MT; 59620-0701; or call: 406-444-2950. The application deadline is March 16.

Aasheim said May 1 is the deadline to apply for moose, sheep, goat and bison licenses and June 1 for antlerless deer B and elk B licenses, antelope and antelope B licenses.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds all black bear hunters of the responsibility to avoid mistakenly shooting a grizzly bear during the state's upcoming spring black bear hunt. Montana's spring black bear hunting season begins April 15.

Before first-time bear hunters can purchase a black bear hunting license, they must be certified by successfully completing FWP's bear identification training. FWP offers a bear identification training course on its website under the Education tab at fwp.mt.gov. Click "Hunter Education," and then "Bear Identification Program".

FWP urges bear hunters to take advantage of the free bear identification training and to ensure they have the required certification before purchasing a hunting license. There are multiple ways to obtain and take the test—go online or pick up a mail-in test from any FWP office. Bear identification tests can also be obtained by writing to: FWP Bear Test, 1420 E. 6th Ave., Helena, MT 59620-0701.

Hunters may purchase black bear hunting licenses online at fwp.mt.gov, at FWP license providers, or download and print a paper license application and mail it to FWP. Licenses issued through the mail may take two weeks to process.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks offers hunter education on the Internet to anyone 18 years and older.

State law requires anyone born after Jan. 1, 1985 to take a hunter education course and complete a field course before purchasing a hunting license in Montana. The $25 online course allows adults to take the required hunter education course at their convenience.

Following the online coursework, students must sign up for a scheduled field day. There are field days available throughout Montana every spring and fall.

For more information go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov. Click on the Education tab and then click "Hunter Education".

Montana's annual income tax check-off fund for wildlife benefits the state's small wildlife species including birds, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and it provides a fast, convenient tax break.

The wildlife income tax check-off fund also goes to activities that encourage awareness and enjoyment of birds and small mammals—think wildlife monitoring, habitat improvement projects and the publication and distribution of educational materials.

Every $10 one donates is matched up to three times with federal dollars.

For details on the ways FWP uses non-game check-off funds to help small mammals and birds, go to the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov and look under the Fish & Wildlife tab.

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