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Leighton Hughes found guilty on charge of possession of methamphetamine

Friday, March 22nd 2019

Glasgow resident Leighton Hughes was found guilty in State District Court this week on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine.

On June 22nd of 2018, Hughes was arrested at his residence at 1002 5th Avenue South in Glasgow by the Glasgow Police Department. Hughes was originally arrested for a misdemeanor outstanding warrant when during the arrest, officers with the GPD found suspected methamphetamine on his person. Officers also found that methamphetamine was being used in the home and obtained a search warrant for the home.

Officers with the Glasgow Police Department and Montana Department of Justice DCI searched the home on June 23rd.

As a result of the search, Hughes was originally charged with 6 felony drug charges and 2 misdemeanor drug charges.

The charges include:
Criminal possession of dangerous drugs-suspected meth
Criminal possession of precursors to dangerous drugs
Criminal production of dangerous drugs- suspected marijuana
Criminal production of dangerous drugs- suspected meth
Endangering the welfare of a child
Operation of a unlawful clandestine laboratory

The misdemeanor charges include criminal possession of dangerous drugs-marijuana and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.

Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen told Kltz/Mix-93 News that Hughes was only tried on the possession of methamphetamine charge due to the fact that the other charges were dismissed by Jensen. Jensen said he dismissed the charges after an adverse suppression hearing ruling that made the evidence relating to the operation of the lab as inadmissible.

Hughes will be sentenced on May 6th.

Chicago, Illinois man arrested and charged with Negligent Arson

Thursday, March 21st 2019

Glasgow Police Chief Brien Gault told Kltz/Mix-93 that 34-year old Joey Mcgauvran of Chicago, Illinois has been arrested after allegedly starting a fire in a motel room at the LaCasa Motel in Glasgow.

The Glasgow Fire Department and the Glasgow Police Department were called to the LaCasa at 5:11am Thursday morning and found a motel room on fire. No injuries were reported but the motel room was gutted and there was smoke and water damage to several other rooms at the LaCasa.

Mcgauvran was arrested and is currently incarcerated at the Valley County Detention Center.

He apparently was booted off the Amtrak train on Wednesday and had been causing problems around Glasgow that evening before allegedly starting the fire at the LaCasa early Thursday morning.

Wolf Point man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Federal Court

Thursday, March 21st 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man has admitted to charges in the death of one of his passengers after he drove drunk and caused a single-car rollover.

The Billings Gazette reports 32-year-old Andrew Preston Martell, of Wolf Point, pleaded guilty Monday to involuntary manslaughter in U.S. District Court.

There is no plea agreement in the case.

Martell was driving on Oct. 1, 2018, with his girlfriend and another woman as passengers.

The government's offer of proof says Martell drove off a straight county road on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, and came to rest in a ditch.

A crash investigation shows the car rolled end over end, landing on the driver's side and trapping all three occupants.

The fire department had to extricate each person, but 33-year-old Krystal Karol Brown died at the scene.

Sentencing is set for June.

Flood Warning Issued

Thursday, March 21st 2019

The National Weather Service in Glasgow has issued a Flood Warning for snowmelt in East Central Phillips County and West Central Valley County. until 2:45 a.m. MDT Saturday.

At 2:48 a.m. Friday, reporting gauges indicated flooding on Beaver Creek due to snow melt. The gage west of Hinsdale has risen to 16.6 feet at 230 am. Ice jams are also possible.

Flooding is also occurring on Larb Creek south of Saco.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Saco and Hinsdale.

Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.

Bowhunter Education Class Offered in Havre for Youth and Adults

Wednesday, March 20th 2019

A Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Bowhunter Education course date has been set for the Havre area. There will be a regular youth classroom course starting on April 22, and an adult online “field day” course on April 27.

Archery hunters must have purchased a Montana bow and arrow license prior to hunting during the archery-only season. To purchase a bow and arrow license an individual must meet one of the following requirements:
· show completion of a bowhunter education course
· show proof of purchase of a previous year’s bow and arrow license from Montana or another state

The youth classroom course will be held at the Hill County Electric Training Room in Havre. All registrants for the classroom course must be 11 years of age by April 22. To hunt during the archery only season, youth need to be at least 12-years old by January 16, 2020.

For the adult online field course, adults must pass the online bowhunter education course and receive a Field Day Qualifier Certificate. This Field Day Qualifier Certificate and a picture ID are necessary to obtain entrance into the field course.

The adult field course will be held from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, also starting at the Hill County Electric Training Room.

Both classroom students and adults need to pick up the “Today’s Bowhunter” manual from the FWP office in Havre. Students are to read each chapter and complete all chapter review exercises before the start of class.
To register and learn more about the bowhunter education classes offered, please go to the FWP website at www.fwp.mt.gov and look under the “Education” tab. If there are any questions, please call course coordinator Nick Siebrasse at 406-390-0402.

Legislation would legalize sports betting in Montana

Wednesday, March 20th 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A legislative committee heard testimony on a bill that would legalize sports gambling in Montana as long as the betting was done in bars with full liquor licenses.

Supporters told the Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs committee Tuesday that passing the bill would allow the state to legalize, regulate and tax activity that is already happening. The computerized wagering would be run by sports book companies with a percentage going to the bars.

The committee did not vote on the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Mark Blasdel of Kalispell. It was drafted in consultation with the state Department of Justice, companies that provide gambling machines to casinos and the Montana Tavern Association.

The bill follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows states to legalize sports gambling.

NRCS Montana Sets April 19 Funding Application Deadline for Easement Program

Wednesday, March 20th 2019

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana is accepting applications for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) Wetlands Reserve Easements.

While NRCS accepts easement applications on a continuous basis, NRCS has set a deadline of April 19, 2019, to apply for 2019 funding.

“Easements are sometimes a perfect fit for a landowner who is looking to protect his or her land from future development or to protect and improve wetlands or provide critical habitat for wildlife,” said Erik Suffridge, NRCS assistant state conservationist for easement programs in Montana.

Wetlands reserve easements allow landowners to successfully restore, enhance and protect habitat for wildlife on their lands, reduce damage from flooding, recharge groundwater and provide outdoor recreational and educational opportunities. Eligible landowners can choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement. Tribal landowners also have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts.

To learn about ACEP and other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS, visit your local USDA Service Center or www.mt.nrcs.usda.gov .

Chris Richter named Valley County Undersheriff by Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer

Tuesday, March 19th 2019

Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer has announced that after careful consideration he has named Chris Richter as Valley County Undersheriff. Richter is a veteran officer in the VCSO.

Richter has been employed with the Valley County Sheriff's Office for the past 5 years and also worked 8 months with the Great Falls Police Department.

Sheriff Boyer has operated without an Undersheriff since taking over as the top law enforcement officer in Valley County on January 1st. Boyer told Kltz/Mix-93 that he is excited about the future of the VCSO and Deputy Richter will be an excellent leader to work with.

Shopko announces store closures including Glasgow

Tuesday, March 19th 2019

Wisconsin-based retail chain Shopko Stores plans to close its remaining 120 department stores by mid-June.

Shopko said Monday the company was unable to find a buyer for its business. The company plans to begin winding down its retail operations this week.

WLUK-TV reports those closings will affect an additional 5,000 employees.

Fifty-four employees will be laid off at the Billings location, said Michelle Hansen, manager of public relations at the Shopko Foundation.

Hansen didn’t have any information on how many employees the closure would affect statewide.

In Helena, 48 employees will be losing their jobs. Of those, 20 percent are full-time employees. The optical department will remain open until the store closes.

Bankruptcy court documents show 11 Montana stores will close in June: in Billings, Dillon, Glasgow, Helena, Kalispell, Libby, Livingston, Lewistown, Missoula, Sidney and Shelby.

In Wyoming, seven stores will close: in Afton, Buffalo, Douglas, Newcastle, Powell, Torrington and Wheatland.

Shopko says it will not move forward with an auction that was scheduled Tuesday. The liquidation is expected to take 10-12 weeks.

The retailer, headquartered near Green Bay, filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing excessive debt and ongoing competitive pressure, and began announcing store closings.

Court Upholds Ruling That Bars Keystone XL Pipeline Work

Saturday, March 16th 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a Montana judge's ruling barring construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

TransCanada had asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to put the ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris on hold while its appeal is pending, and allow the Calgary-based company to begin building the pipeline.

In a Friday ruling, a two-judge panel said Morris carefully considered all factors in his decision to prevent the company from working on the proposed 1,184-mile (1,900 kilometer) pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska.

TransCanada attorneys had said an injunction issued by Morris in November could cause it to miss the 2019 construction season.

Morris allowed TransCanada to perform some activities outside the pipeline's right-of-way, including the construction of pipe storage yards.

Glasgow School District to run General Fund Levy request for May 7th Election

Friday, March 15th 2019

The Glasgow School Board has voted to put a General Fund Levy request on the May 7th ballot in the amount of $104,074. If approved by voters this would be used to increase teacher and support staff wages. Passage of this proposal would increase the taxes on a home with the market value of $100,00 by approximately $8.91 and on a home with a market value of $200,000 by $17.82.

Voters in the Glasgow School District have rejected the last 3 General Fund Levy requests made by the Glasgow School Board. In 2018 voters rejected the levy request by a vote of 808-986.

Get Ready For Spring Flood Season

Friday, March 15th 2019

With warmer temperatures expected, spring snowmelt season is quickly approaching. We at the National Weather Service wanted to take this opportunity to remind folks of things they can do to prepare themselves for the upcoming spring runoff/flooding season.

Consider buying flood insurance if you don’t have an active policy, especially if you live in a flood prone area. Policies generally take effect 30 days after purchase, so the time to get a policy is now.

Visit https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program for more information from FEMA on the National Flood Insurance Program on options available to you.

Make sure snow and ice is cleared from drains, window wells, ditches, and culverts under driveways. Creating a flow path for runoff away from your home/property is one of the best ways to prevent flooding or other water drainage related issues.
Check to make sure your basement sump pump is operable
xMove equipment, hay, and livestock away from low lying areas prone to flooding
Find out what resources such as sandbags may be available in your community by calling your local County Disaster and Emergency Services Coordinator
Anchor any fuel or waste tanks so that in the event of a flood they remain in place

Due to frigid temperatures in February and the first half of March, rivers and streams across the area have rapidly accumulated thick ice cover. The possibility for river flooding due to ice jams has increased substantially in recent weeks and will remain elevated for weeks to come.
Ice Jam Safety Tips:

NEVER walk out onto an ice covered river, especially if there is evidence of an ice jam
Avoid the entire area if an ice jam is present as water levels can rise rapidly and unexpectedly
Be prepared to move to higher ground on short notice should flooding from an ice jam occur
If there is water over a roadway remember, “Turn around, don’t drown!”
Call Law Enforcement and the National Weather Service to report ice jams

Follow the National Weather Service in Glasgow for current, up-to-date information on our website at www.weather.gov/Glasgow as well as Facebook and Twitter. If you have photos, videos or questions related to ice jams or flooding, please e-mail the Glasgow Weather Service at ggw.wxreport@noaa.gov.

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Lawmaker Wants To Offer Grants To Entice Workers to Rural Montana

Tuesday, March 12th 2019

HELENA — Rep. Joel Krautter, R-Sidney, said Montana’s urban counties are rapidly expanding and spearheading the state’s economic growth while rural counties are being left behind.

“But for Montana’s other 44 counties—our rural areas—we are seeing a population flatlining. Where are we going to be in 15, 20, 30 years? Are we just going to be a state of seven urban booming areas and 44 ghost counties?” he said.

Krautter is sponsoring House Bill 405, which would appropriate about $1 million from a special state fund every year in grants to bring skilled workers into rural areas.

How much money is given to workers would depend on experience and location, but wouldn’t be more than $15,000. The state would only pay half the amount, with local governments and employers matching the other half. Krautter said different people have different needs and they can use the funding however they like, whether it’s to pay back student loans or for a down payment on a house.

Krautter also said he wants people to stay in these communities, so those getting funding would be forced into a five-year commitment.

“Five years also gives enough time to establish roots and relationships in a community. And that’s ultimately what we want. We want people who are going to stay beyond the five years.” he said.

The bill had 12 supporters and no opponents when it was heard before the House Business and Labor Committee Monday.

Deadline to file for Glasgow School Board is March 28th

Monday, March 11th 2019

Those residents in the Glasgow School District who are interested in being a candidate for the Glasgow School Board have until March 28th to file the necessary paperwork.

There is one 3-year term available on the Glasgow School Board with the election set for May 7th.

The incumbent is Mona Amundson who is completing a 3-year term as Trustee.

As of last week there were no candidates for the position.

Valley County unemployment rate at 4.4%

Monday, March 11th 2019

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana’s unemployment rate ticked up to 3.8% for the month of January, up 0.1 percentage points from December, likely reflecting impacts from the federal government shutdown. The national unemployment rate also increased by a tenth of a percentage point up to 4.0%.

“It’s clear that the federal government shutdown negatively impacted our economic growth and the federal workers who had to go without their paychecks,” said Governor Bullock. “Despite this, we continue to add jobs to our economy, and we will continue to ensure businesses can find skilled and trained workers and Montanans can access the good jobs needed to climb the ladder of opportunity.”

Total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, indicated a small increase of 229 jobs in January. Payroll employment indicates a small decline in employment, with declines in federal government and professional and business services. The low changes in employment levels likely reflect decreased economic activity during the January federal government shutdown.

In addition, the Department of Labor & Industry has released revised and updated statewide unemployment and employment growth numbers for the previous five years. Unemployment rate and employment estimates are revised each year in February in a process called benchmarking, which typically results in more accurate estimates and a smoother data series. Updated estimates suggest employment growth of 0.8% for 2018, or roughly 4,250 jobs. This employment growth rate is slightly slower than in previous years, but paired with continued output growth, simply reinforces that Montana businesses are struggling to find sufficient workers to support growth. Montana’s preliminary GDP estimates suggest growth faster than the U.S. during 2018.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in January, with a decline in the energy index offsetting increases in other items. Gasoline prices decreased by 5.5% over the month. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.2% in January.

The unemployment rate in Valley County was 4.4%

Missing snowmobiler found Monday morning by search and rescue personnel

Monday, March 11th 2019

A Glasgow man was found by search and rescue personnel Monday morning after being reported missing on his snowmobile on Sunday.

Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer told Kltz/Mix-93 that the man was found southeast of the Cox Ranch in Phillips County after being reported missing after shed hunting in the area.

Boyer said that the man is reported to be ok but is being transported to FMDH to be checked by medical personnel.

The man spent the night on his snowmobile with temperatures at 0 degrees.

Valley County Search and Rescue was instrumental in finding the man according to Sheriff Boyer.

A Message Regarding Measles

Thursday, March 7th 2019

A message from the State Medical Officer and your Local Health Department:

As of February 28, 2019, 206 cases of measles have been reported to CDC from 11 states. There currently are no cases of measles in Montana. Most cases in 2019 are part of a large outbreak in Clark County, Washington. Given the proximity of this outbreak to Montana, we may have travelers to and from the area, which could increase the risk of exposure to Montana residents. Measles is an extremely contagious virus that can be dangerous, especially for young children. The measles virus can survive in a room for up to two hours after an infected person leaves the space. If exposed to the virus, anyone who is not immune is likely to get measles. Public health authorities are recommending a proactive approach to prepare for the possible introduction of measles into our state. One important activity includes reviewing the immunization status of staff and students. While immunizations are required for students, unless a medical or religious exemption is on record, there are no immunization requirements for staff members.

People are considered immune to measles if any of the following are true:
?• You are a pre-school age child with one measles vaccine (MMR – measles, mumps, rubella)
?• You are a school-age child (K-12) who has had two measles vaccines (MMR - measles, mumps, rubella).
?• You were born before 1957, or have received at least one-dose of measles vaccine.
?• You have had measles disease (diagnosed by a health care provider and confirmed with a lab test).
?• You have had a blood test that shows you are immune to measles.

If a case of measles occurs in a school setting, the local health department will work closely with the school to assess evidence of immunity for students and staff and determine potential risks of exposure to measles. Conducting assessments of staff and students now will save critical time in the event of a
case impacting your school. If a confirmed measles case impacting your area is identified, recommendations may include post-exposure prophylaxis, and unvaccinated staff or students may be excluded from school until the risk of measles has passed or the individual receives a dose of MMR vaccine. In the event a case of measles is suspected or confirmed, public health officials will help determine key response activities necessary to confirm the illness and/or guide the response to potential exposures. In addition, measles communications to students and parents/guardians should be coordinated with your local public health department to avoid potential issues with inconsistent information or instructions. Several instances of miscommunication have already occurred based on rumors and incorrect information being shared regarding “measles” cases. These issues can be avoided by speaking to your local public health department. Please be sure to have your local public health agency contact information readily available.
Up to date information on measles activity can be found at the DPHHS website. Visit www.dphhs.mt.gov and select the measles banner to access our updates. In the event of a case in Montana, we will immediately update the website and issue a Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory through your local public health department.

Thank you for your help to ensure that our students stay healthy and safe!
Dr. Greg Holzman, MD, MPH
State Medical Officer
Department of Public Health and Human Services

Tester Fights to Protect Trade & Travel Across Northern Border

Wednesday, March 6th 2019

U.S. Senator Jon Tester is pushing back on U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) recent proposal to cut hours of operation at four of Montana’s 16 ports of entry, limiting trade and travel across the northern border.

In a letter to CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, Tester called the agency’s plan to slash hours at the Morgan, Opheim, Raymond, and Scobey Ports of Entry “disappointing” and noted that its consequences would disproportionately affect rural America.

“Reducing port hours always disadvantages rural America and harms our agricultural competitiveness,” Tester wrote. “This abrupt decision and lack of feedback from farmers and ranchers, shippers, local communities, and our neighbors in Canada represents a deep misunderstanding of the needs of agricultural producers in rural states like Montana.”

Under CPB’s proposal, the Port of Raymond—which is currently open 24 hours—would be closed between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. The Port of Scobey—which is open from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. between June and September to accommodate increased travel in the summer—would be open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. year-round. And the Ports of Morgan and Opheim—which are open from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. in the summer—would be open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. year-round.

“By reducing hours at these ports, some farmers and ranchers will be forced to divert their shipments by significant distances,” Tester continued. “This change will be costly for these producers and could make their products less competitive in the marketplace.”

Tester has repeatedly beat back proposals by CBP to cut hours of operation at Montana’s Ports of Entry. In 2016, after more than a year of advocacy, Tester successfully convinced CBP to scrap its plan to cut the hours of operation at the Port of Raymond, one of only three 24-hour ports in the state.

As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Tester also fought to secure funding for 600 additional border patrol agents in last month’s budget deal.

Valley County Health Department reports Influenza is spreading throughout community

Wednesday, March 6th 2019

Influenza is spreading in our community. It's important for everyone to know that if you have symptoms or have tested positive for Influenza A or B, you can be contagious for up to 5-7 days (adults and children), you can shed the virus over a period of 7 days. Please be cautious returning to work and/or school. If you or your child are presenting symptoms of fever, fatigue, cough, or sore throat, stay home to prevent influenza from spreading.

The State of Montana reports there have been 14 confirmed cases of Influenza in Valley County.

Montana House passes legislation allowing people on probation or parole in Montana to use medical marijuana.

Monday, March 4th 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana House passed a bill to allow people on probation or parole to use medical marijuana if they suffer from a debilitating medical condition.

The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Jade Bahr passed 60-39 Friday before lawmakers took their mid-session break. The bill moves to the Senate.

Bahr argued on the House floor that Montana residents have twice voted in favor of allowing the use of medical marijuana and that people on probation or parole wouldn't be denied access to other prescribed treatments such as chemotherapy, insulin or dialysis.

A 2011 bill that sought to put tighter restrictions on the medical marijuana industry said people on probation and parole couldn't hold medical marijuana cards.

A probation and parole officer who attended the Feb. 21 committee hearing didn't testify against the bill

Local Legislators all voted for HB 498. State Representative Casey Knudsen, Rhonda Knudsen and Bridgett Smith all voted for the legislation which will now move to the State Senate for consideration. .

Feda Scholarships Available

Monday, March 4th 2019

High school seniors with plans to attend a trade school are encouraged to apply for the Feda Scholarship for the Trades. Applications will be accepted through April 19. The scholarship is administered by the Valley County Community Foundation.

All applicants must be residents of Valley County. First-time applicants must be graduating from a Valley County high school this spring or receiving a home school certificate or a GED and pursuing a post-secondary education in the trades. In addition, students who have received a Feda Scholarship previously may apply for a second scholarship, providing they have successfully completed one semester of study.

Applicable course work includes, but is not limited to plumbing, electrical, drafting, mechanics, welding, carpentry, medical technology, computer technology or criminal justice.

Gerry and Audrey Feda of Glasgow established the scholarship with the Valley County Community Foundation in 2007. Since that time, 19 scholarships have been awarded to students studying welding, agronomy, aviation mechanics, electrical and computer technology, diesel mechanics, respiratory care and radiology technology

All Valley County high schools have information on the scholarship requirements and applications. They are also available on the VCCF website: www.valleycountycf.net.

VCCF will accept only paper copies of the applications. They must be postmarked by the deadline of April 19. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Sam Waters of Glasgow chairs the scholarship committee for the VCCF. Contact him at 228-8231 for more information.

Region 6 Volunteer Hunter and Bowhunter Education Instructors Honored

Friday, March 1st 2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks honored the service of its Region 6 Hunter and Bowhunter Education volunteer instructors at the annual workshop, which was held on Sat., Feb. 9 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, demonstrations of new equipment and ideas, and most importantly, honoring years of service.

Receiving awards at this year’s workshop were numerous instructors with service ranging from 5 to 25 years (please see the list below). All service award recipients receive a plaque, with other milestones receiving special awards, including: 10 year, an engraved knife and 20 year, an FWP belt buckle. Highlighting this year’s awards were Gifford Fjeld of Hinsdale, who has been a hunter education instructor for 20 years, and Donald Holden of Havre, who has been a hunter education instructor for 25 years.

“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. Gifford Fjeld and Don Holden, and others like them, work tirelessly 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.”

Also receiving a special award, for the Region 6 instructor of the year, was Joe Yeoman of Valley Co. “I have seen Joe’s dedication and commitment to hunter education firsthand, because I get the pleasure of teaching with him here in Glasgow,” says Kloker. “Joe demonstrates all aspects of safe and responsible hunting, and there is no instructor that is more dedicated to the kids and being there for every aspect of every class.”

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 in Region 6, please contact Marc Kloker at 406-228-3704, or go to the website at fwp.mt.gov/education/hunter/instructors/ to learn more and apply.

Region 6 Hunter and Bowhunter Education Award List

5 Year Hunter Ed
Tom Escarcega, Roosevelt Co.
Tyler Hillman, Valley Co.
Bryan Shennum, McCone Co.
5 Year Bowhunter Ed
Kevin Hunter, Phillips Co.
Dirk Monson, Valley Co.
10 Year Hunter Ed
Alex Burke, Valley Co.
15 Year Hunter Ed
Douglas Shennum, McCone Co.
Scott Thompson, Valley Co.
20 Year Hunter Ed
Gifford Fjeld, Valley Co.
25 Year Hunter Ed
Donald Holden, Hill Co.

February 2019 Was Eight Coldest Month On Record

Friday, March 1st 2019

From the National Weather Service Glasgow office
Feb 2019 in Glasgow averaged -3.4 degrees making it the 2nd coldest Feb, and 8th coldest month on record. It was 22.6 degrees below normal. It was the coldest month since Jan 1982 and first month to average below zero since Jan 1996. It was also the snowiest February on record and 5th snowiest all time with 28.2 inches.

Montana Legislature considers legislation that would loosen restrictions around requirements for vaccinations.

Thursday, February 28th 2019

Story from Helena Independent Record

The Montana Legislature is considering a handful of bills that would loosen restrictions around requirements for vaccinations.

Last month, nearby Washington state declared a state of emergency after 66 people there were diagnosed with measles. Three cases of mumps were confirmed in Bozeman just two weeks ago. Vaccinations protect against both diseases.

Many people who testified Monday in support of the bills said their children had suffered harm after being given routine childhood vaccinations or said they had suffered after receiving vaccinations as a child, adding their opposition should not be looked at through the lens of what's happening in other states.

Opponents to the bills said children who are not vaccinated for religious reasons put those who are too young or medically unable to be vaccinated at risk, pointing out diseases are just a car ride away.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccines help protect against serious diseases. Vaccination also prevents disease from spreading to others, according to the CDC. All vaccines go through testing with the CDC and federal Food and Drug Administration. While severe or long-lasting side effects are rare, there are sometimes minor side effects that are short-lived, such as soreness where the shot was given, according to the CDC.

Two of the bills are carried by Rep. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton.

House Bill 575 would prohibit day cares from denying enrollment to children whose parents have religious exemptions to vaccines. State health department rules say a Montana day care facility must be provided with documentation a child has been immunized with a basic childhood series. It allows medical exemptions.

Corrie Meza, who is co-leader of Montanans for Vaccine Choice, said she had to quit her job because no licensed day care facility would accept a religious exemption for her children.

Hannah Danzer, who runs a Helena day care facility with 50 children, opposed the bill, saying it put children under her care in danger, especially children too young to be vaccinated or those who can't be for medical reasons.

"By passing this bill you make keeping them safe even harder to do," Dozer said.

House Bill 574 also deals with religious exemptions and would stop the health department from prohibiting foster families to take in children if one of their own children is not vaccinated because of a religious exemption. This is also in a department rule that Manzella says goes beyond the scope of what the Legislature intends. Manzella also said with a record number of children needing foster care, the state should not be limiting places they could be placed.

Rep. David Dunn, a Republican from Evergreen, is carrying House Bill 564.

All 3 bills cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and will now go to the full House for consideration.

Senate Bill 23, from Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, says employers must accommodate employees who do not get vaccinated for religious or medical reasons, along with any other reason. Regier's bill cleared the Senate on a 29-20 vote and will have a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.

Senate Bill 99, from Sen. Cary Smith, a Republican from Billings, would require that when schools communicate to parents or guardians about immunizations, they must provide information about exemptions. It is likely dead after a failed 24-25 vote in the Senate.

Murphy said Montana already requires fewer vaccines than in other states.

And while others who supported the bills insisted repeatedly what was happening in Washington had nothing to do with Montana, "that's pretty close. That's just a car ride away, not a plane ride away."

Tester Delivers for Eastern Montana Head Start

Thursday, February 28th 2019

$1 Million Grant will help fund Classrooms in Malta, Glendive, Miles City & Glasgow

(U.S. Senate) – As part of his ongoing support for early childhood education, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $1.1 million in funding for Eastern Montana’s Head Start program.

“Head Start ensures children across Montana have the educational, physical, and emotional support they need to thrive,” said Tester, a former teacher and School Board member. “These resources will help pave the way for Montana’s next generation and support strong families across Eastern Montana.”

The funding, which comes from the Administration for Children & Families, will help fund Action for Eastern Montana’s Head Start program this year. The program serves around 150 children from Malta, Glendive, Miles City, Glasgow and the surrounding communities each year.

“We’re thankful for Senator Tester’s relentless support of Head Start and our mission of getting kids ready to learn,” said Action for Eastern Montana CEO Clint Wynee. “This grant will make sure Action for Eastern Montana can continue providing kids and families with the education and resources they need to be successful.”

Tester has been an ardent supporter of Head Start, which provides educational, nutritional, and social services to help children hit the ground running in kindergarten and beyond. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Tester worked with Republicans and Democrats to secure more than $10 billion for the program this year. He also recently announced $2.8 million for Head Start in Missoula and $2.2 million for Helena-area Head Start programs.

Rosendale Advises Montanans To Consider Flood Insurance Before It’s Too Late

Wednesday, February 27th 2019

HELENA, Mont. — As winter weather continues to dump large amounts of snow throughout Montana, Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale is advising Montanans to consider flood insurance and start preparing for floods right now, before it’s too late.

Flood insurance policies typically do not take effect until 30 days after purchase, so people should plan ahead for properties at risk of flooding.

“We’re getting a ton of snow throughout the state right now, and the cold temperatures are creating ice jams on the Madison River and other places, increasing the risk of imminent flooding for people living near rivers and streams ,” Rosendale said. “Waiting until all this snow starts to melt is too late for purchasing flood insurance. Montanans—including those who might not usually experience flooding—need to start planning now.”

“As we saw last year in Missoula, Helena, and other places, flooding can wreak havoc on people’s homes and other property. Because of the waiting period on flood insurance policies, everyone needs to be looking at their options right now, before the weather warms up,” Rosendale added.

Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States and there are many misconceptions about flood insurance. There is no guarantee that floods will be declared a disaster to open up federal assistance. Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flood insurance, and about 20 to 25 percent of all flood claims come outside of a high-risk flood area.

“Everyone should consider themselves susceptible to flooding and take steps to be prepared for that risk,” Rosendale said. “Every property owner should consider their options to purchase standalone flood coverage to protect their assets.”

Just a few inches of water can cost thousands of dollars in damage to walls, floors, furniture, carpets and other personal property. The average flood claim in Montana is nearly $13,000. Statistics indicate there is a one-in-four chance that a homeowner will experience a flood over a span of 30 years. 25 percent of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk flood areas.

Most flood policies are secured from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP program is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which serves as the federal backstop for flood disasters. There is typically a 30 day waiting period when purchasing a new policy before it becomes effective, which can be a factor as flood season approaches.

Montana also has more private flood insurance options than ever. In 2015, the Montana legislature passed House Bill 94, which opened the marketplace to consumers by allowing a multi-peril insurance product that protects against flood, landslide, and earthquake. These programs are often more affordable and can provide better insurance protection to consumers. Many of these policies have only a 10 day waiting period before becoming effective.

“The time to purchase flood insurance for 2019 is now,” Rosendale said. “Waiting until you see the water rushing is too late to be thinking about flood insurance.”

More information on the available options for flood insurance is available on the CSI website here.

For a more comprehensive overview of flood insurance, visit www.FloodSmart.gov .

Montana Senate passes legislation to allow EMTs and paramedics to offer community health care in non-emergency situations

Tuesday, February 26th 2019

HELENA — The Montana Senate voted unanimously Monday to advance a bill that would allow EMTs and paramedics to offer community health care in non-emergency situations.

Bob Drake, Tri-Lakes Volunteer Fire Department fire chief, supported Senate Bill 38 during its public hearing in January. He said his volunteer-only department often responds to emergency calls that drain resources and wouldn’t happen if they were able to offer care beforehand.

“We don’t have the ability to be proactive. We’re always being reactive, and reactive costs way more money. And it costs us in volunteer hours that we just don’t have,” he said.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Margie MacDonald, D-Billings, said remote communities with far-away hospitals can expanded already-burdened emergency rooms. She said EMTs and paramedics could offer expanded medical services if they weren’t restricted to only responding to emergency calls.

“Particularly in rural areas, we can get some services to people and keep them out of the emergency room. Right now, this group of folks is prohibited from doing anything except moving someone from an emergency to the emergency room.,” MacDonald said.

The bill will face another vote in the Senate before it moves to the House.

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

Individual Responsible for Two Bull Elk Shot in Blaine County Has Been Identified, Wardens Thank the Public

Monday, February 25th 2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 game wardens affirm that due to good people coming forward with good information, the individual responsible for the two bull elk killed in Blaine Co. last week has been identified and interviewed. Charges are pending in the case.

Region 6 wardens would like to thank the public for their TIP-MONT phone calls, comments, and Facebook shares, and would also like to thank media outlets for helping to spread the word on this crime.
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.

On Feb. 14, 2019, Region 6 Havre wardens had received a TIP-MONT call about a dead bull elk approximately two miles north of Cow Creek Reservoir off Lloyd Road in Blaine Co., about 30 miles south of Chinook. Wardens responded to the area and located a seven-by-seven bull elk. Another dead six-by-six bull elk was then found nearby. Wardens determined both elk were shot and left to waste on the hillside, and continued the investigation while seeking help from the public for information.

Try Not to Stress Wildlife at this Time of Year

Monday, February 25th 2019

Late winter is a difficult time for wildlife. After using fat reserves through most of the winter, along with trying to find what food is available, many animals are at their most vulnerable. In addition, this has been a snowy and cold late winter along the Hi-Line. That’s why Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, along with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), are asking shed hunters and other recreationists to give wildlife their space until the snow melts and the animals are less stressed.

Shed hunting – looking for antlers shed each year by male members of the deer family – has become increasingly popular and competitive in recent years. Shed hunting is a good way to get some fresh air and exercise and is encouraged as an activity. However, shed hunters, along with snowmobilers, skiers, and snowshoers should avoid areas where deer, elk and antelope are currently wintering. It is safest to admire these animals at a distance.

Like any activity, shed hunting requires permission of the land owner/agency and special rules may apply. For instance, the BLM is especially concerned that mule deer wintering areas, such as the Bitter Creek Wilderness Study Area (WSA) in northern Valley Co., are targeted for shed hunting with snowmobiles.

Snowmobiles are not permitted off-road in the Bitter Creek WSA, and folks who are violating this law will be fined. Please know the rules of public land agencies regarding winter recreation, and always ask permission on private land including property that is in Block Management.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reminds folks to not feed wildlife

Thursday, February 21st 2019

It seems like there is almost no end in sight to February, 2019, with record snowfall and record low temperatures across the Hi-Line. When wildlife experience these conditions, they will often seek new areas for shelter and food resources, many times near residences or communities.

With the best intentions, concerned members of the public may feel the obligation to feed wildlife in these difficult conditions. However, it illegal to knowingly feed wildlife (particularly deer, elk, antelope, moose, wild turkeys, bears and mountain lions). It is also illegal to continue to “attract” animals by failing to properly store attractants such as garbage, dogfood, bird seed, grain, etc.
Not only is it illegal, but artificial feeding is not recommended for the wellbeing of wildlife (or humans) for many other reasons:
· Supplemental feeding encourages wildlife to become dependent on handouts that are not part of their natural diets.
· Human foods and livestock feed are usually nutritionally inadequate for wildlife and may lead to subsequent health problems.
· Young animals that are taught to depend on humans sometimes never develop normal foraging behavior and could starve if the artificial food sources are removed.
· Wildlife lose their fear of humans and learn that they can boldly forage for human food. Consequently, conflicts, nuisance behavior, and risks to human safety are sure to occur.
· Wild animals being fed by humans may congregate in unnaturally high numbers, and this is the perfect opportunity for diseases, such as CWD in deer, to spread.
· Artificial feeding increases wild animal populations, which in turn increases stress. Such stressful conditions increase the incidence of fighting and injury among animals.
· Feeding wildlife, especially prey species such as deer, squirrels and rabbits, often causes a domino or food chain effect. Due to such feeding, the prey densities increase, which in turn attracts predators such as coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions.

Please do your wildlife friends a favor and let them get through winter on their own. These animals have adapted to survive these types of winter conditions, and likely will be just fine.

Message From Superintendent Bob Connors regarding bus stops in St. Marie

Tuesday, February 19th 2019

Friday, February 15, due to the snowy road conditions in St. Marie, the school buses that service that area released students as close to their homes as possible, not at designated stops. We apologize for the lack of communication on the District’s part.

These commitments are for all routes that the school district travels.

Our Transportation Department will:
-make sure the superintendent and principals are aware that alternative stops are being utilized.
-make sure we will have contact information for all students on each bus.
-attempt to contact parents/guardians/emergency contact prior to changing the drop off area. If we cannot contact the parent/guardian, we will bring the students back to the Central Office/Bus Barn.
We contact parents/guardians/emergency contact to pick up their children at the Central Office/Bus Barn.
-we will drive the routes prior to releasing buses to get a visual on the roads, if we are aware of a snow storm.

Here is what we ask of bus parents/guardians:
-Please make sure your contact information is up to date with your child’s school. This includes emergency contacts, so we can have a secondary contact for your child.
-If you have weather come into your area, please contact the bus barn (228-9222), Central Office (228-2406), Irle (228-2419), Middle School (228-8268), or the High School (228-2485).
-Please make sure your child, all ages, is dressed appropriately for the weather.

It takes a village to raise a child. If you see something that we should address, please be proactive and contact the district. Our routes go from St. Marie to western Fort Peck area to the county roads towards Tampico. We appreciate any proactive communications.


Missouri-Milk River Glasgow Ducks Unlimited Sponsor Banquet Is March 9

Tuesday, February 19th 2019

On March 9, 2019 the Missouri/Milk River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will once again be holding its annual fundraising banquet at the Cottonwood Inn with doors opening at 5:30 P.M. We hope to begin serving dinner by 6:45 PM. This year’s March banquet will be somewhat different than banquets of past years.

As you know, we have over 90 Sponsors of our Chapter. These are people or businesses who donate at a minimum $250 to the DU Conservation Cause. The $250 sponsorship conserves, enhances and protects 1 acre of Wetland Habitat. Previously, we held one HUGE banquet at the Cottonwood Inn at an overflow capacity.

Due to increasing memberships and the demand to attend a DU function, we now feel it is necessary to split our banquets into Two Events!! The Chapter would like our Functions to be more enjoyable and comfortable for you “OUR SUPPORTER.”

This event on March 9th will be a “Sponsor Only” event with the traditional sit down served Prime Rib Dinner. This event will provide a Live Auction, Silent Auction and a limited number of gun raffles.

You are receiving this email as your invitation to this event. Though we would like for all attendees to be sponsors, we realize that there will be logistics to work through in terms of attendance. If you have invited others in past years to attend the event with you, you are welcome to do so for this event hoping that you will encourage them to become sponsors as well.

As a sponsor, you will still receive a small gift compliments of DU and a 1:5 chance to win off of the Sponsor Table (which includes guns).

We would like to thank you in advance for your consideration this year. Hopefully, you will be able to support this cause again with your donation. Please invite someone to become a sponsor at this year’s event!!

If you would like to attend this event and become a 2019 sponsor with the Missouri/Milk River Chapter please click the "Buy Tickets" button below and purchase your tickets online right now OR call Ken Jansa at (406) 228-2031 or (406) 263-8030 for your tickets today!

Please join us at the Missouri Milk River (Glasgow) Sponsor Banquet on Saturday March 9th, 2019.

To purchase your tickets online please click the Buy Tickets link below.

For more information on this event, click here

Order Tickets

Two Bull Elk Shot in Blaine Co., Wardens Seeking Information

Tuesday, February 19th 2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 game wardens are seeking any information regarding a two dead bull elk found south of Chinook in Blaine Co. last week.

On Feb. 14, 2019, Region 6 Havre wardens received a TIP-MONT call about a dead bull elk approximately two miles north of Cow Creek Reservoir off Lloyd Road in Blaine Co., about 30 miles south of Chinook. Wardens responded to the area and located a seven-by-seven bull elk. Another dead six-by-six bull elk was then found nearby. After further investigation, wardens determined both elk were shot and left to waste on the hillside.

Wardens are reaching out to the public for any information about the person or persons responsible in this wanton waste of two bull elk. This is not hunting, this is a crime that occurred well outside of established hunting seasons. These elk are believed to have been shot anywhere from Sunday, Feb. 11 to Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call Chinook-area Warden Haden Hussey directly at 406-942-2191 or call FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where one can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

Hunter Education Classes Offered Across Region 6 for Youth and Adults

Tuesday, February 19th 2019

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Hunter Education course dates have been set for many areas across Region 6. All hunter education classes are free of charge. Many classes are being held prior to the March 15 application deadline for special permits for deer and elk. Future application deadlines include May 1 for moose, sheep and goat, and June 1 for deer B, elk B and antelope. In the next few months, classroom courses (for youth) are being held in the following towns, with the start date listed:
Malta: Feb. 25
Hinsdale: Feb. 25
Glasgow: Feb. 28
Bainville: March 9
Havre: April 4
Saco: April 15
Havre: May 9

All students must register online at the FWP website: fwp.mt.gov; click on the education tab, then click “hunter education programs”. Next, “Find a class or field course” and search for the available class in your area. Detailed instructions on dates, times, and other information will be found on the registration page. Many classes require students to pick up a manual and complete chapter quizzes before class begins.

For youth to be eligible to hunt and be fully certified during the 2019 season, hunters must be 12-years old by January 16, 2020. Students aged 10 and 11 can take a course and hunt as an apprentice, but will not be fully certified until the year they turn 12. Preference will be given to 11 and 12-year olds (or older) if the class becomes full. All registrants for these events must be 10 years old by the first day of class.

Adult online field courses are set for:
Great falls: March 2
Glasgow: March 12

For the adult online field course, adults must pass the online hunter education course and receive a Field Day Qualifier Certificate. Adults looking to complete the online course can find instructions at fwp.mt.gov . The Field Day Qualifier Certificate and a picture ID are necessary to obtain entrance into the field course.

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

USDA Farm Service Agency Reminder on Livestock Inventory Records

Tuesday, February 19th 2019

Montana livestock producers are reminded to keep updated livestock inventory records. These records are necessary in the event of a natural disaster.

When disasters strike, the USDA Farm Service Agency can assist producers who suffered excessive livestock death losses and grazing or feed losses due to eligible natural disasters.

To participate in livestock disaster assistance programs, producers will be required to provide verifiable documentation of death losses resulting from an eligible adverse weather event and must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent. For grazing or feed losses, producers must submit a notice of loss to their local FSA office within 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent and should maintain documentation and receipts.

Producers should record all pertinent information regarding livestock inventory records including:

• Documentation of the number, kind, type, and weight range of livestock
• Beginning inventory supported by birth recordings or purchase receipts

For more information on documentation requirements, contact your local FSA office at 406-228-4321 Ext. 2 and at 54059 Highway 2 in Glasgow. For more information you can also visit www.farmers.gov/recover.

USDA Farm Service Agency Reminder to Montana Livestock Producers

Tuesday, February 19th 2019

As winter continues and the 2019 calving season near or underway, the USDA Farm Service Agency reminds Montana livestock producers about the importance of record keeping and reporting your livestock losses to FSA within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.

A Notice of Loss can be filed with FSA via email, phone, fax or office visit.

For more information on the Livestock Indemnity Program and other disaster programs, contact your local FSA office today at 406-228-4321 Ext. 2 and at 54059 Highway 2 in Glasgow. For more information visit online at www.farmers.gov/recover .

USDA Farm Service Agency Reminder To Montana Livestock Producers

Tuesday, February 19th 2019

As winter continues and the 2019 calving season near or underway, the USDA Farm Service Agency reminds Montana livestock producers about the importance of record keeping and reporting your livestock losses to FSA within 30 calendar days of when the loss of livestock is apparent.

A notice of loss can be filed with FSA via email, phone, fax or office visit.

For more information on the livestock indemnity program and other disaster programs, contact your local FSA office today.

Three Day Snowfall Total Not Far From Record

Wednesday, February 6th 2019

The 3-day snowfall total for Glasgow for Sunday through Tuesday was 13.5 inches.

That is just 1.5" shy of the all-time greatest 3-day total of 15" which was set several different times.

The most recently was just last winter, from March 3rd through March 5th, 2018.

Foster Care Meetings Coming Up

Wednesday, February 6th 2019

There are some meetings coming up regarding something very important: foster care.

Bryon Gustafson, youth minister at the Glasgow Evangelical Church, has been helping to spread the word about the need for foster care in Valley County.

Bryon said that, according to Child Protective Services, 55 children in valley county are in foster care right now, with 17 new placements this month alone.

There are just 20 homes available to house them, and at least 20 homes are needed to fully answer the needs for our Valley County alone. This does not include anything outside of the county, so if we were to include Wolf Point, the numbers would jump incredibly!

Meetings coming up, all at the Glasgow Evangelical Church:

Saturday, Feb 9th from 9am-5pm - this is annual training that is required of all families that are full time foster families.

Sunday, Feb 10th @ noon - information meeting for everyone interested in being a part of this movement. Questions answered from many guests that we could team up with to help these children and families

Sunday, Feb 17th @ noon - paper work day for anyone that is signing up to be a foster family. fingerprinting, scheduling home inspections, filling out paperwork, meeting case workers, etc...

If you are interested or have any questions about the meetings, email Bryon at bryon@glasgowec.church or text him at 1-406-403-4081.

Poplar Man Pleads Guilty To Involuntary Manslaughter In Death Of Six-Month-Old

Wednesday, February 6th 2019

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Poplar man has pleaded guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of a 6-month-old infant in his care.

The Great Falls Tribune reports that 28-year-old Dennis Lloyd Red Boy will be sentenced on June 5 for the 2017 death of the baby girl. The maximum sentence he faces is eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors say Red Boy was taking care of children in the Fort Peck Indian Reservation town of Poplar when the 6-month-old baby girl would not stop crying.

Red Boy told investigators he turned the baby over onto her stomach and placed a heavy blanket over her. He later returned to find that she had stopped breathing and then sought help.

An autopsy found no signs of assault, but it did not determine whether the cause of death was accidental or homicide.
(Copyright 2019 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Too Little, Too Late: Late January Snowfall Not Enough in Some Montana River Basins

Wednesday, February 6th 2019

BOZEMAN, Mont., Feb. 6, 2019 - Periods of high-pressure during January resulted in sunny skies and above average temperatures in Montana, causing snowpack percentages to decline in many river basins, according to snow survey data collected by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This pattern broke down late in the month, and significant snowfall occurred across most of the state of Montana.

This much needed system of storms added 1.5 to 3.5 inches of Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) to the snowpack, helping some basins in central, south-central and southwest Montana to remain or improve to near to above normal for Feb. 1. Although the basin-wide snowpack percentages in Gallatin and Upper Yellowstone indicate near to above normal snowpack conditions, there are some areas in southern Montana that have been largely missed by this winter’s storms.

“The late month storms really helped some of the towns in southern Montana where tourism from snowmobiling is critical to the local economies,” said Lucas Zukiewicz, NRCS hydrologist for Montana. “The snowpack in both Cooke City and West Yellowstone was the lowest it’s been in quite a few years in mid-January, and news gets out.” Fortunately, he said, the storms helped these areas to recover some by February 1, although snowpack remains below normal. Almost all basins east of the Divide have improved snowpack percentages from January 1, but some regions remain below normal for snowpack on February 1.

The western half of the state also benefited from the late January storms, but the river basins experienced decreases in snowpack percentages since January 1 and remain below normal for this date. “The storms just weren’t enough in the western half of the state to make up for the deficits we’d experienced early in the winter,” Zukiewicz said. “Even with the impressive totals from the late month storms, snowfall ended up being below normal for the month of January.”

River basins in the northwest region of the state typically experience their “wettest” months of the year from early November through the end of January. Below normal snow totals in these areas for this date make recovery to “normal” snowpack conditions before runoff begins less likely. “For example, the Flathead River basin would need to receive around 135% of normal snowfall between now and when the snowpack reaches peak accumulation, which typically occurs sometime in April,” Zukiewicz said. “While that’s not impossible, it would certainly take a major pattern shift from what we’ve seen so far this winter.”

Similar to last month, mountain temperatures were above average in January, and could be one of the impacts the region is experiencing from the weak El Nino that is occurring this year. Whether it strengthens or weakens into the summer of 2019 is still to be determined, but long-range forecasts issued by NOAA continue to indicate above average temperatures for the February – April time-period.

“That’s something we’ll be keeping an eye on,” Zukiewicz said. “Early runoff doesn’t benefit anyone, so hopefully spring is cooler than anticipated.”

Official NRCS streamflow forecasts for April 1 – July 31 will begin on March 1 and will offer a glimpse into what we could expect this spring and summer.

Monthly Water Supply Outlook Reports can be found at the website below after the 5th business day of the month:


2019 Ice Fishing Derby Results

Monday, February 4th 2019

(Glasgow Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture Press Release)
February 4, 2019
The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture held its 21st Annual Ice Fishing Derby at the Dredge Cuts Trout Pond at Fort Peck Lake on February 2nd, 2019. The contest had 41 participants and 92 pre- drilled ice holes were sold. The contestants came from Glasgow, Sidney, St. Marie, Poplar, Wolf Point, Richey, Nashua, Fort Peck, Malta, Glendive, Hinsdale, Froid, Homestead, and Minot, ND. An estimated 50 more people came to observe the tournament and enjoy one of Chef Zak Peterson Famous brats & onions.

A total of over $3,000.00 in cash, prizes and raffles were awarded to the participants. The 50/50 was won by
Jeff Alsberg in the amount of $415.00. Jay Saiz won the Yeti Cooler raffled off.

The results were: 1st-$2000.00 Ivy O’Connor of Poplar-3.58 pound Northern - 2nd $100.00 James & Robin Martin of Glasgow 3.48 pound Northern, 3rd-$50.00 Dave Combs of Froid 3.21 pound Northern. Additional door prizes were provided by the tournament sponsors.

The cash and prizes were awarded at The Gateway Club in Fort Peck following the derby. The 2019 Ice Derby was sponsored by: Edward Jones, JR’s Party Store #24, Cottonwood Inn, Nemont Telephone, Coca-Cola, KLTZ/KLAN, First Community Bank, D & G Sports & Western, Thompson & Sons, T&R Trucking, Reynolds Market, Ezzie’s Wholesale, Westend, Midtown, Nemont Beverage, Hi-Line Ford, Northern Prairie Auto, The Gateway Club, Valley Bank, Independence Bank, Lakeridge Lodging & Bait Shop, Scottie Express Wash, Glasgow Distributors and the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture.

Winter Storm Drops Ten Inches Of Snow On Glasgow

Monday, February 4th 2019

The winter storm that brought 10 inches of snow to Glasgow by Monday morning is moving out of the region, but very cold Arctic air behind it will stay with us through the week.

The east-bound lanes of I-94 were closed from Glendive to Dickinson, North Dakota on Sunday night. The interstate was re-opened early Monday morning, but travelers will encounter snow-covered roadways throughout most of the region.

There is still a chance of more snowfall the next couple days, but the bitter cold will be with us for awhile. The high temperature in Glasgow on Saturday was 37 degrees, but temperatures fell well below zero early in the day on Sunday. High temperatures aren't expected to get above zero until Friday in Glasgow, while lows will drop to around 20 below. And the wind chill will drop to between -20 and -30 at times.

US Government Appeals Ruling That Blocked Keystone Pipeline

Saturday, February 2nd 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is appealing a court ruling that blocked the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Justice Department attorneys on Friday appealed the November ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris that blocked a construction permit for the 1,184-mile (1,900-kilometer) pipeline.

The line sponsored by Calgary-based TransCanada would begin in Alberta and shuttle as much as 830,000 barrels a day of crude through a half dozen states to terminals on the Gulf Coast.

It was rejected by former President Barack Obama in 2015. That decision was reversed in 2017 by President Donald Trump, who has promoted the $8 billion project as part of his effort to boost American energy industries.

After environmental groups sued, Morris said the administration had not fully considered potential oil spills and other impacts and that further reviews were needed.

January 2019 Was 10th Warmest On Record

Friday, February 1st 2019

January 2019 was much warmer than normal: the National Weather Service office in Glasgow reported that we averaged 22.2 degrees, 8.4 degrees above average. That was enough to make it the 10th warmest January on record.

The warmest was an average of 29.2 in 2006, followed by 1992’ 26.6. January2012 came in just slightly warmer than this year, at 22.2 degrees. We set a record high of 50 degrees on January third.

Precipitation was slightly below normal, at just .29 and snowfall was well below normal with only 3.7 inches.

The highest wind gust of the month occurred on the 27th, at 51mph.

JSEC Offering Scholarships

Thursday, January 31st 2019

The Glasgow Job Service Employers’ Committee (JSEC) is offering scholarships to Valley County high school seniors who wish to further their education after graduation.

Funding is provided by Valley County employers who share the JSEC desire to educate future workers.

Applications may be picked up from any of the county’s five high school counselors or the City of Glasgow, at 319 3rd street south. Applications are due in the City of Glasgow office by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019. Award amounts vary, depending on donations received, but typically are about $500.

For more information, contact Stacey at 228-2476, Ext. 1.

Auditions For Fort Peck Summer Theatre Will Be February 10

Thursday, January 31st 2019

Fort Peck Summer Theatre has many roles open for actors of all ages this summer, specifically in Mamma Mia, Peter Pan and On Golden Pond (only need to fill one role, Billy Ray, a typical teenager, who has come to spend the summer at Golden Pond). We also have potential opportunities to perform in our Theatre for Young Audiences Alice. We are always thrilled to include many local actors in the cast of summer productions, especially young performers!

Rehearsal schedules for each show are: Mamma Mia begins June 1; Performances June 21-July 7. Peter Pan begins July 6; Performances July 26-Aug. 11. On Golden Pond begins Aug. 3, Performances Aug. 16-Sept. 1. Alice (Theatre for Young Audiences) begins June 10; Performances June 26-30.

At the time of auditions, there will be an opportunity to specify interest in a particular role and/or play. If cast, an individual may be offered as many as three roles, depending on need and talent pool. Everyone should come prepared a one-minute monologue and sing the “Tender Shepherd”. This song can be found on our website www.fortpecktheatre.org. Upon being cast, rehearsals will occur 3 weeks prior to opening night of each play and typically take place on the weekends (10am-4pm) and weekday evenings. Not all actors are called to every rehearsal, depending on the role.

Local Auditions will be held at the Glasgow High School Auditorium on Sunday, February 10th, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. The minimum age requirement is those entering 3rd grade fall of 2019.

For further details and information please contact Executive Director Jennifer Fewer at (406) 228-9216 or by email at fptheatre@nemont.net , or visit our website at www.FortPeckTheatre.org .

Legislation Would Criminalize Doctor-Assisted Death

Wednesday, January 30th 2019

HELENA -- Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would invalidate consent as a legal defense for doctor-assisted deaths, meaning doctors could be charged with homicide if they help a terminally-ill person die.

Under current law, patient “consent” in these cases is invalid if a person is legally incompetent, coerced, cannot make reasonable judgement, or if the action taken is against public policy. House Bill 284, sponsored by Rep. Carl Glimm, R-Kila, would make doctor-assisted death against public policy.

“This bill is an opportunity to send a consistent message about suicide from young to old, from healthy to sick -- that it’s not a good option,” Glimm said during the bill’s initial hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Missoula, sponsored the same bill in 2017 but it failed to pass through the House on a 50-50 vote.

A 2009 ruling from the Montana Supreme Court, Baxter v. Montana, made doctor-assisted death a legal option in the state. Essentially, the ruling found that nothing in state law prohibited a doctor from prescribing medication to hasten a patient’s death. The case was brought by an ex-Marine and retired truck driver, Robert Baxter, who was suffering from leukemia and wanted the right to an assisted death.

Justice John Warner, appointed by former Republican Gov. Judy Martz to the Montana Supreme Court, wrote a concurring opinion in which he said “suicide” is a pejorative term and that it should not be used to describe doctor-assisted death.

But, like Glimm, supporters of the bill say allowing doctor-assisted death still sends the wrong message about suicide. Executive Director of the Montana Catholic Conference Matt Brower was one of the bill’s supporters Tuesday, saying doctor-assisted death could also harm patients’ trust for doctors.

“Legalized assisted suicide represents misguided public policy and would have harmful implications for all of society,” Brower said.

Six other people spoke in support of the bill, including representatives from Montanans Against Assisted Suicide, the Montana Family Foundation and the Montana Right to Life.

Baxter’s daughter testified in opposition of the bill. Roberta King, from Missoula, says her dad told her many times he wanted aid in dying, but it wasn’t legal yet.

“This made his suffering and death much more painful and difficult than they otherwise could have been and deprived him the right for himself to decide how much suffering he would endure before he died,” King said.

King said two years ago, her 36-year-old nephew also died with a doctor’s help while suffering from pancreatic cancer. King said she and her sister drove to Helena to testify against the 2017 version of this bill two days after his death.

Nine others testified in opposition to HB 284, including two registered nurses and a doctor. Many said doctor-assisted death should be a matter of privacy and personal choice, not of the government.

The committee will now decide whether to move it to the House Floor for debate, or to table it.

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

Firefighter Protection Act Would Offer Workers’ Comp Coverage for Cancer, PTSD

Wednesday, January 30th 2019

HELENA -- Firefighters with conditions like cancer, heart disease and post-traumatic stress disorder could have their treatment covered by worker's compensation insurance under a new bill in the Montana Legislature.

President of the Montana Fire Chiefs’ Association Rich Cowger said during a public hearing on the bill Tuesday that firefighters face many hazards and should be covered for illnesses that might come with the job.

“‘Workers’ comp’ is designed to fight against catastrophic injuries,” Cowger said. “A heart attack is a catastrophic injury. A diagnosis of cancer is a catastrophic injury.”

Sen. Nate McConnell, D-Missoula, is sponsoring Senate Bill 160, referred to as the Firefighter Protection Act, which would also require firefighters to take a physical at least once every two years.

“The physicals are one of the linchpins of the Firefighter Protection Act,” McConnell said. “Catch it early. It’s easier to treat and the firefighter can recover.”

Opponents of SB 160 say new claims would cause insurance rates to rise. Larry Jones with the Montana Self Insurers’ Association said it would be difficult for insurers to refute claims.

“How does an insurance company disprove a presumptive illness claim? All the evidence has been destroyed,” Jones said.

The Firefighters Protection Act has time limits on coverage depending on the disease, extends 10 years after a firefighter retires, and covers 13 different occupational illnesses.

The bill is accompanied by Senate Bill 171, sponsored by Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, R-Great Falls, which would mandate firefighters hired after Jan. 1, 2020 to be tobacco-free, and current firefighters who use tobacco to go to treatments to help them quit.

“If we’re going to assume that all cancer is caused by a presumptive disease, we can’t have guys using tobacco,” Fitzpatrick said.

The Senate Business, Labor and Economics Committee did not immediately take a vote on the bill Tuesday.

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

Valley County Transit Adds Security Cameras

Wednesday, January 30th 2019

Valley County Transit has installed security cameras in their buses. The cameras were acquired through a grant provided through the Federal Transit Administration Section 5311 funds.

These cameras will record both sound and video so please be aware that you are being recorded when aboard. They will be used on an as needed basis for a variety of situations that arise.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Colleen Pankratz, the Valley County Transit Manager at 228-8744.

Applications Now Available For This Year’s VCCF Grants

Wednesday, January 30th 2019

Applications for this year’s grants from the Valley County Community Foundation are now available on the organization’s website, board member Sam Waters announced this week. All applications are due by March 15.

VCCF grants go a long way to completing a project.

“Many organizations receive full funding for their projects and others receive a substantial amount of the dollars requested,” Waters said. In the past five years, the average dollar amount of grants was $1,889, with the smallest grant at $691 and the largest, $3,627.

Last year, VCCF awarded $13,481 in grants to seven organizations, bringing the total of all grants given since 2000 to $191,715, he said, adding that projects in all parts of Valley County have received grants.
VCCF provides grants to organizations within Valley County with the charitable 501(c) 3 IRS designation, along with local government and educational institutions. Organizations with projects that will be completed by Oct. 1, 2019 are welcome to apply.

VCCF awards grants in five areas: arts and culture, basic human needs, economic development, education, and natural resources and conservation. The board places lower priority and discourages funding to annual or capital campaigns, grants to endowment funds, debt retirement and religious purposes.

Application forms and guidelines are available at the VCCF website, www.valleycountycf.net . Hard copy applications are required.

“Over the years, competition for grant dollars has increased, making complete and timely grant applications a necessity,” Waters said. Incomplete applications and those received or post marked after March 15 will not be considered.

Funding for the grants comes from earnings on the VCCF endowment. It is invested with the Montana Community Foundation, a statewide organization that helps local communities and non-profit organizations raise and administer charitable gifts.

VCCF is also caretaker for two annual scholarships. The Feda Scholarship for the Trades is awarded each May to a graduating senior from a Valley County high school and the Charlotte and Clarence Fuhrman Memorial Scholarships are awarded in the summer to students who have completed a year of college or trade school. Feda applications are due April 19 and Fuhrman applications on June 21. Check the VCCF website for applications.

Ice Fishing Derby Is Saturday

Wednesday, January 30th 2019

The Glasgow Chamber’s 21st Annual Ice Fishing Derby is Saturday, February 2nd from 12noon – 3p.m. at the Fort Peck Dredge Cuts Trout Pond.

Registration is from 11a.m. – 1p.m. Entry fee is $50 per hole or 3 holes for $100, with 1st place guaranteed $2000.

Must have valid Montana Fishing license in possession
1. Must be 18 or older
2. Children may fish with a parent.

Largest Fish– Walleye, Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Burbot, Bass, Yellow Perch, Carp, or Sucker wins.
If a tie occurs, first fish wins!

To enter, contact the Glasgow Chamber, 228-2222, or email chamber@nemont.net.

Proposed Legislation at Montana Legislature targets plastic straws and plastic bags

Monday, January 28th 2019

HELENA — If two bills in the Montana Legislature aimed at reducing plastic waste become law, diners would need to request a plastic straw at a restaurant and shoppers would have to pay 4 cents for a plastic bag at retail stores.

Program Director for Montana Conservation Voters Whitney Tawney was one of seven supporters testifying for Senate Bill 120 and 121 in committee Friday. She said plastic is harmful, often overused and pollutes Montana’s waterways.

“If we continue to allow plastic pollution into our streams, rivers and lakes, we will threaten what makes Montana great,” Tawney said.

Opponents said the new regulations will be too hard on small businesses. Helena Chamber of Commerce representative Ronda Wiggers, one of the four people who spoke in opposition Friday, said businesses are already working to reduce plastic themselves.

“These are business decisions,” Wiggers said. “This is not something we need to legislate from the state down.”

Sen. Sue Malek, D-Missoula, is sponsoring the two bills. She said one of the biggest complaints in her community is a lack of recycling options.

“It’s becoming even more of an urgent problem,” she said.

The revenue collected through the 4-cent plastic bag fee in SB 121 would be put into a special account specifically used for waste reduction and recycling. The money would be for grants to promote recycling efforts.

The Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee didn’t take immediate action on the bills.

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

Glasgow City Council gives preliminary approval to ordinance allowing Glasgow Police Department to arrest persons within a 5 mile radius of City of Glasgow

Thursday, January 24th 2019

The Glasgow City Council gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would allow the Glasgow Police Department authority to arrest persons within a 5 mile radius of the City of Glasgow.

This ordinance will allow the GPD have arresting authority and jurisdiction within that 5 mile radius of Glasgow and would include areas such as the Northeast Montana Fairgrounds, Scottie Pride Drive and areas by Sunnyside Golf Course and El Cor Del Lanes.

Chief Brien Gault promoted the ordinance saying many communities have ordinances such as this including Great Falls, Hamilton, Billings, Kalispell, Miles City and Bozeman.

Gault stated with passage of this ordinance the GPD can continue to enhance the quality of life of citizens of Glasgow and will allow the department to responsibly address crime while travelling through county jurisdiction.

He also stated that the city officers will not be allowed to conduct traffic control within that 5 mile radius.

Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer supported the ordinance and talked to the city council about the new spirit of cooperation between the GPD and the Valley County Sheriff's Office.

The ordinance will have another vote by the Glasgow City Council and if approved would go into effect 30 days after passage.

Also at the Glasgow City Council meeting, the council approved the hiring of Scott Runningen for the job of Street Supervisor for the City of Glasgow Street Department.

Senate Panel Hears Bill on Increasing Penalties for Aggravated DUI

Wednesday, January 23rd 2019

HELENA -- A bill in the Legislature would change DUI laws in Montana, making it legal for officers to take a blood sample from someone who refuses a breathalyzer on first offense and increasing penalties for aggravated cases.

Sen. Keith Regier, R-Kalispell, is carrying Senate Bill 65 and says there is a parallel between drunk driving and terrorism.

“While DUI offenders don’t intend to kill, they do kill indiscriminately,” Regier said.

State Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion says his office supports the changes and mentioned a Mothers Against Drunk Driving ranking that identified Montana as having the nation’s “most ineffective drunk driving laws.”

Rebecca Sturdevant spoke in support of the bill at a Senate committee hearing Tuesday. Her son, Evan Schneider, was killed in a drunk driving accident at 29-years-old. Sturdevant has been lobbying for stricter DUI laws for 10 years.

“You have a responsibility to the state of Montana to stop this.This is a totally preventable death,” Sturdevant said.

The only testimony against the bill came from the ACLU of Montana, which opposes the added penalties for an aggravated DUI.

The bill has a fiscal note of $3.2 million for the added legal fees it would create.

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

Representative Casey Knudsen sponsors bill to repeal statewide ban on switchblade knives

Tuesday, January 22nd 2019

HELENA — The House Judiciary Committee is considering a bill that would repeal the statewide ban on switchblade knives.

Rep. Casey Knudsen, R-Malta, is sponsoring House Bill 155, and said 14 states have already repealed the ban. Knudsen also said EMTs, firefighters and people with disabilities often use spring-activated knives because you can open and close the blade with one hand.

“They’re honestly one of the safest knives on the market,” Knudsen said.

SK Rossi, the advocacy and policy director of ACLU Montana, spoke in support of the bill during the committee hearing on Monday. Rossi said the ban, which was enacted in 1957, unnecessarily criminalizes people and originally came from sensational fear.

“It definitely was because of hysteria on ‘West Side Story,’ to be perfectly honest,” Rossi said.

The bill drew several opponents for not allowing local governments to ban switchblades in certain buildings like courthouses or jails. But, Knudsen said he is drafting an amendment to allow those restrictions.

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

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