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Latest Local News
Friday, February 5th 2016
Reservoir System Prepared For 2016 Runoff Season
OMAHA, Neb. – The full flood control capacity of the Missouri River mainstem reservoir system is available for the 2016 runoff season. All 2015 stored flood waters have been evacuated from the reservoir system, according to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Missouri River Water Management Division.

“For most of January, Gavins Point releases were set at 24,000 cubic feet per second to complete the evacuation of stored flood water and prepare the reservoirs for the upcoming runoff season. The last remaining 2015 flood water was evacuated by late January when the combined storage in the reservoirs reached 56.1 million acre feet (MAF), the base of the flood control zone,” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

“Releases from Gavins Point were reduced from 24,000 cfs to the normal winter release rate of 17,000 cfs starting in late January,” said Farhat. “The entire flood control capacity of the mainstem reservoir system is ready to capture runoff in the spring, reducing flood risk while providing good support to the other authorized project purposes.”

As of Feb. 1, the mountain snowpack was 92 percent of average in the reach above Fort Peck and 72 percent of average in the reach from Fort Peck to Garrison. Normally 64% of the total mountain snowpack accumulation has occurred by Feb. 1. Mountain snowpack will continue to accumulate over the next few months and normally peaks in mid-April.

View the mountain snowpack graphic here.

January runoff above Sioux City, Iowa, was 114 percent of average. Based on the current soil moisture and mountain and plains snowpack conditions, 2016 runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, is forecast to be 23.3 MAF, 92 percent of average. Average annual runoff is 25.3 MAF.

During the winter, the Corps will closely monitor conditions throughout the basin and make reservoir regulation adjustments to lessen the impact of river ice formation. “Ice conditions on the Missouri River will be monitored below Garrison, Oahe, and Gavins Point dams, and releases will be adjusted if necessary.”

Flow support for Missouri River navigation will likely be at full service levels for the first half of the 2016 season. The actual service level will be based on the total volume of water stored in the reservoir system on Mar. 15, in accordance with guidelines in the Master Manual. The Missouri River navigation season will begin on Apr. 1 at the mouth. Flow support for the second half of the navigation season, as well as the navigation season length, will be based on the actual July 1 system storage.

The Corps will continue to monitor basin conditions, mountain snow and plains snow accumulation, and fine tune the regulation of the reservoir system based on the most up-to-date information.

Reservoir Forecasts
Gavins Point Dam releases averaged 22,400 cfs in January. Releases were reduced from 24,000 cfs to 17,000 cfs beginning on Jan. 28. Releases are expected to average 17,000 cfs through February.
The reservoir behind Gavins Point Dam ended January at elevation 1206.0 feet. The reservoir will rise slightly at the beginning of February, before ending the month back near elevation 1206.0 feet.

Fort Randall Dam releases averaged 20,800 cfs in January. Releases will range from 14,000 cfs to 17,000 cfs during February as necessary to maintain the elevation at Gavins Point. The reservoir ended January at elevation 1345.4 feet, up 5.6 feet during the month. The reservoir is expected to rise more than 4 feet during February. The refill of the reservoir is designed to increase winter hydropower generation at Oahe and Big Bend.

Big Bend Dam releases averaged 22,500 cfs during the month of January. Releases are expected to average 19,700 cfs this month. The reservoir will remain near its normal elevation of 1420.0 feet during February.

Oahe Dam releases averaged 24,800 cfs during the month of January. Releases are expected to average 18,600 cfs this month. The reservoir ended January at elevation 1607.5 feet, down 1.7 feet during the month. The reservoir level is expected to remain near its current elevation in February.

Garrison Dam releases were gradually increased from 15,000 cfs to 20,000 cfs during January averaging 17,400 cfs for the month. Releases are expected to average 19,000 cfs in February.
Garrison ended January at elevation 1838.8 feet, down 1.2 feet from the end of December. The reservoir level is expected to decline about 1 foot during February.

Fort Peck Dam releases averaged 6,800 cfs in January. Releases were reduced to 6,000 cfs in early February. The reservoir dropped 0.5 foot during January, ending the month at elevation 2233.8 feet. The reservoir level is forecast to rise slightly during February.

The forecast reservoir releases and elevations discussed above are not definitive. Additional precipitation, lack of precipitation, or other circumstances could cause adjustments to the reservoir release rates.

The six mainstem power plants generated 741 million kilowatt hours of electricity in January. Typical energy generation for the month of January is 708 million kWh. The power plants are projected to generate 9.3 billion kWh of electricity this year, compared to the normal of 10 billion kWh.

To view the detailed three-week release forecast for the mainstem dams, go here.

Friday, February 5th 2016
2 People Express Interest In Serving On Glasgow School Board
The Glasgow School Board currently has a vacancy and as of this week, 2 people have expressed an interest in serving as a Glasgow School Board Trustee.

Trustee, Nick Dirkes resigned his seat in December and the school board has been accepting letters of interest since last month.

At a work session on Wednesday, the board opened up the letters of interest from 2 people.

Those expressing interest in serving as a Trustee include Mike Kaiser and James Rickley.

The board is set to meet later this month and have on their agenda an action item to fill the vacant trustee position.

Tuesday, February 2nd 2016
Valley County To Consider Opening Of Satellite Election Offices On Fort Peck Indian Reservation
Helena, MT— Secretary of State and Chief Elections Officer Linda McCulloch announced today the establishment of five satellite election offices with the potential of more on American Indian Reservations in Montana for the upcoming 2016 elections. This follows a directive issued by the Secretary in October, ordering counties to provide satellite offices if necessary to ensure compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act.

Satellite offices offer services that are otherwise only available to voters at the county headquarters, namely late registration and in-person absentee voting, which are available in the 29 days preceding the election.

“These offices will ensure American Indians’ ability to participate effectively in the electoral process is protected. I applaud the counties and Tribes that have worked together to create expanded access to the voting process; this type of collaboration is what makes Montana a great state to live in,” Secretary McCulloch said. “I have long been an advocate of expanding voting access on Reservations, and will continue to work with counties and Tribes to make them successful.”

Under the collaborative agreements, Tribes have agreed to provide office space and certain basic services such as phone and internet, and counties have agreed to devote county staff and resources.

“This makes Montana a national leader in ballot access for American Indians,” McCulloch said. “Montana has one of the largest per capita American Indian populations, and we now have the greatest number of satellite election offices.”

As of Monday morning four counties have confirmed that they will be opening satellite offices to serve voters during the upcoming 2016 primary and general elections.

Roosevelt County

Glacier County

Rosebud County

Big Horn County (opening two satellite offices)

In addition, Choteau, Pondera, Blaine, Lake, Hill and Valley counties are still in discussions with Tribal Governments.

Both Big Horn and Glacier Counties previously opened satellite offices to provide election services for the 2014 elections. Both counties are planning on re-opening their satellite offices again for this year’s Primary and General elections, with Big Horn indicating they will open a second satellite office in Busby for the 2016 elections.

“The right to vote is monumentally important and is one of the things the Voting Rights Act protects for minority populations,” Secretary McCulloch said. “I’m committed to ensuring there are no barriers to the elections process for any Montanan, and applaud each of Montana’s county election administrators for the work they do to keep our elections secure, accurate and accessible to all voters.”

Monday, February 1st 2016
Save The Date: Hi-Line Gobblers 10th Annual Conservation Banquet Slated For Feb. 27
Glasgow, MT — The Hi-Line Gobblers 10th annual fundraising banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, at the St. Raphael’s Parish Center gymnasium on Glasgow’s north side.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and a prime rib dinner catered by the VFW and the VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary will follow at 6 p.m.

The annual banquet presented by the local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is the premiere upland bird event of the year in northeastern Montana. A wide variety of wildlife art, wildlife-themed home furnishings and décor, and nearly two dozen firearms will be auctioned or raffled at the event, all to raise funds to support wildlife conservation along the Hi-Line and upland bird habitat across Montana.

The NWTF, both nationally and locally, is committed to wildlife habitat, assisting beginning hunters of any age, and ensuring that recreational access remains accessible to the public.

All dinner tickets include an annual membership in the NWTF. Single tickets cost $55, couples tickets $75, and youth tickets cost $20. Or you can buy a sponsor couples ticket for $300. Sponsor tables for 8 cost $1,000.

In addition to a wide variety of hunting guns, the NWTF will auction or raffle a number of handguns, tactical firearms, and even air rifles for the youngest members of the audience.

For the third year, a special gun will be raffled to raise funds for the annual Barb Marsh Memorial Scholarship. The late Barb Marsh and her partner Joe Younkin have been supporters of the Hi-Line Gobblers from the group’s inception, and proceeds from the firearm funds an annual scholarship to a college-bound Valley County student. This year’s Barb Marsh Memorial Scholarships will be awarded at the Feb. 27 banquet.

The early-bird deadline for ticket purchases is Feb. 20. Tickets may be available at the door, but to ensure a spot, reserve advance tickets from any Hi-Line Gobblers committee member.

For more details on the Hi-Line Gobblers and the Feb. 27 banquet — including how you can donate, volunteer, or otherwise help the conservation cause — check out the group’s Facebook page or call Scott Billingsley at 406-263-7161 or Jenn Jackson at 263-7339.

Monday, February 1st 2016
Two Scotties Place At State Speech And Drama Meet
Congratulations to Morgan Miller and Mariah Holter, who both finished in 5th Place at the State B Speech and Drama meet in Ennis last weekend!
Friday, January 29th 2016
FWP Seeking Comment on Draft EA for Purchase of Conservation Easement in Phillips Co.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comment on a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed action of purchasing a conservation easement on 1,760 acres from Wetlands America Trust Inc., a division of Ducks Unlimited (DU). This property, called Pintail Flat, is located as a single parcel approximately 14 miles south of Dodson in Phillips County.

The proposed easement would continue to conserve and enhance wetland and grassland habitats, perpetuate agriculture as the principle use, and maintain public access. The property is located in a priority area for conservation of migratory and upland game birds and their habitats. The Pintail Flat acreage provides habitat to a number of waterfowl species and grassland birds, and a portion of the property is identified as sage grouse core area.

FWP plans to purchase the easement and implement the easement terms, including maintaining the present use of the pasture land on the property as livestock grazing. A rest-rotation grazing system would be implemented to maintain and improve range and wildlife habitat on the property.

The Draft EA, and opportunity to comment, is available online at fwp.mt.gov. Printed versions of the document can be obtained by contacting the Region 6 office at (406) 228-3700. A public meeting to describe the proposed easement and collect comments will be held in Malta in the basement of the Phillips Co. Library on Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. Written comments can also be mailed to: Pintail Flat EA Comments, MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 1 Airport Road, Glasgow, MT 59230, or emailed to katsmith@mt.gov. The deadline to submit comments is no later than 5 p.m., Feb. 26.

To see a map of the area, click here

Thursday, January 28th 2016
2016 Hunting Licenses On Sale Monday With Change In Fees
HELENA— Montana’s 2016 hunting and fishing licenses go on sale Monday, Feb. 1, under a new fee structure passed by the state legislature. Licenses will be available at all Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks license outlets.

This year hunters must purchase a new “base hunting license” that is a prerequisite to buying any state hunting license. The $10 resident license includes the hunting access enhancement fee that was charged separately for $2 last year. The new base hunting license was created in lieu of adjusting license fees for individual species.

A season-long Montana resident fishing license will increase by $3 this year to $21. Fishing licenses will no longer be sold in combination with a conservation license – which is required for any hunting or fishing license purchase. The price of a resident conservation license will remain at $8 for all ages.

Under the new structure, most licenses that were free or discounted in 2015 will be charged at half of the standard license cost. Previously, free licenses or a variety of discounted prices were offered to some youth, seniors and disabled sportsmen. In 2016, only military recognition and block management cooperator combination licenses will remain free. FWP is reimbursed by the state general fund for military recognition licenses and block management cooperators provide hunting opportunities for all sportsmen.

Starting Feb. 1, the new fee structure will standardize the definition of youth as those between 12 and 17 years old. This language replaces a number of age categories.

The price of all other resident tags, licenses, drawing fees and permits will remain the same as in 2015.

Wednesday, January 27th 2016
Nick Murnion One Of Three Applicants To Be Considered By Governor Steve Bullock For Vacant Judgeship Based In Miles City
The Judicial Nomination Commission has submitted the following names to the Governor for consideration for appointment to the vacant judicial seat in the 16th
Judicial District (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Garfield, Powder River, Rosebud, and Treasure Counties):

• Wyatt Arthur Glade
• Nickolas Clarke Murnion
• Kevin Ray Peterson

The Commission’s action follows the close of a 30-day public comment period. Before recommending the nominees to the Governor, Commission members interviewed the applicants. The Governor must fill the position within 30 days of receipt of the nominees from the Commission. The person appointed by the Governor is subject to election at the primary and general elections in 2016. The candidate elected in 2016 will serve until January 2019.

Nickolas Murnion is the current Valley County Attorney.

Judicial Nomination Commission members are District Judge Richard Simonton of Glendive; Janice Bishop of Missoula, Karl Englund of Missoula, Elizabeth Halverson of Billings; Hal Harper of Helena; Lane Larson of Billings; and Nancy Zadick of Great Falls.

Tuesday, January 26th 2016
Applications Now Available For This Year’s Valley County Community Foundation Grants

The Valley County Community Foundation (VCCF) will award its annual grants this spring, grant committee chair Sam Waters announced this week. The average dollar amount for last year’s grants was just over $1,775, with grants ranging in amounts from $1,000 to $2.875.

Application forms and guidelines are available at the VCCF website, http://www.valleycountycf.net, and at First Community Bank in Glasgow. Applications must be hard copy and postmarked by March 11, 2016. Only applications that are complete and received on time will be considered. Following completion of the project, grantees are required to submit a summary report that includes receipts for purchases and pictures of the project.

VCCF provides grants to non-profit organizations working on projects in five areas: arts and culture, basic human needs, economic development, education, and natural resources and conservation. Grants have been awarded to projects in all parts of Valley County, Waters said, adding that over the years, competition for grant dollars has increased.

Annual grants are funded by earnings from the Foundation’s endowment, which is invested with the Montana Community Foundation (MCF). MCF is a statewide organization that helps local communities and non-profit organizations raise and administer charitable gifts.

Tuesday, January 26th 2016
Chisholm Christensen of Hinsdale Involved In Montana Stockgrowers Leadership Series
Montana is home to a growing group of young professionals in the farming and ranching communities. These aspiring Millennials and younger Generation Xers are passionate about the lifestyle and impact they can have on the industry. To succeed in their careers on multi-generation ranches or by providing industry services, they’ll need tools in leadership, networking and business management.

During 2016, fourteen young ranchers are taking on this challenge through the Stockgrowers Leadership Series - a 12-month program hosted by the Montana Stockgrowers Association to help our future leaders succeed through their endeavors. The Leadership Series consists of workshops each month that will provide participants an opportunity to improve their skills in leadership, policy, business management, networking, communication and understanding of issues important to beef consumers.

Speaking with the Northern Ag Network, class member Heather Fryer of Hobson described the Leadership Series as a well-organized program and opportunity to work with a diverse group of her peers. “Everyone is busy, but we are the voice of Montana ranching and it is important to be involved as the industry evolves. The Leadership Series is a perfect opportunity to learn how to do that.”

On January 20-21, the Leadership Series met in Helena, Montana for a two-day workshop to kick off the program. 2016 participants come from all corners of the state and areas of the ranching communities. The class heard from leadership of Montana Stockgrowers, Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Department of Livestock. Representatives each offered an overview of their organization’s structure, role working with Montana ranchers and shared advice from their experience on becoming influential leaders in the industry.

Leadership coach, Sarah Bohnenkamp, worked with the class in a five hour workshop, helping identify their strengths and roles in leading others, whether at home on the ranch or as organization members. The class worked through a number of activities to identify their personal leadership brand, how to leverage those strengths, and learn more about potential to have a leadership legacy. Each month this year, the class will continue building on leadership strengths through webinars and at-home assignments with Bohnenkamp.

While in Helena, the Leadership Series also toured the Montana state capitol, walking through the legislative process and viewing important committee rooms, as well as chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives, where they may one day participate in the legislative process by attending committee meetings or testifying on important bills that influence the ranching industry.

During the Capitol tour, the class visited the Governor’s office and met with Tim Baker, Policy Advisor for Natural Resources. Baker offered insight into all the areas of policy involved with his role in the Governor’s office. He also shared advice with the group on being aware of these important issues and their path to being strong leaders in the industry.

The next meeting for the Leadership Series will take place in March in Helena as the class focuses on the policymaking process, learning how effective policy can be used to address issues faced by ranchers across the state. The class will also learn more about operating a Board of Directors meeting and hear from speakers on industry topics.

2016 is the inaugural year for the Stockgrowers Leadership Series, which is aimed at helping Montana’s next generation (ages 25-45) become stronger leaders of the ranching community. The Leadership Series is organized by Ryan Goodman of Helena with the help of Lacey Ehlke, Young Stockgrowers Chair from Townsend, and Tyrel Obrecht, Young Stockgrowers Vice-Chair from Lewistown

This year’s participants include Bo Bevis of Winnett, Trina Bradley of Valier, Chisholm Christensen of Hinsdale, Cole Cook of Miles City, Julia Dafoe of Havre, Katelyn Dynneson of Sidney, Heather Fryer of Hobson, Justin Iverson of Potomac, Tony Johnson of Dillon, Casey Knudsen of Malta, Weston Merrill of Buffalo, Shaelyn Meyer of Conrad, Brenda Ochs of Great Falls, and Lacey Sutherlin of Stevensville.

Tuesday, January 26th 2016
GHS Educational Trust Announces New Trustee And Spring Gifts
The Glasgow High School Educational Trust is pleased to announce the election of Beth Goldberg Knodel to the Board of Trustees. She brings an extensive background in bookkeeping and a long history of community service to the board.

Following her graduation from GHS in 1986, Beth studied accounting at Northern Montana College, (now MSU-Northern) for two years. She returned to Glasgow in 1988 to marry Sam Knodel and began working as a bookkeeping assistant at Markles, Inc., a position she held until 2002. When her husband became a partner in Eugene’s Pizza in 1991, Beth became the bookkeeper and secretary for the business; she continues in that capacity today. Since 2002, she has also been employed full-time as a Billing Representative for Nemont Telephone.

Beth is currently serving her second term as secretary to the Executive Board of the Ft. Peck Fine Arts Council, Inc. (1991 to 1997 and 2011 to date). In 1991, she joined the sisterhood of Beta Sigma Phi where she has made lifelong friends and remains an active member. She was a member of the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Guild from 2003 to 2013 serving as both treasurer and a member of the scholarship committee for the entire 10 years. A member of the First Lutheran Church, Beth has taught Sunday school and was the treasurer of the First Lutheran Preschool from 2000 to 2005. In the fall of 2014, she acquired another volunteer job as the scheduler for the Valley Event Center.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust was established by members of the GHS Class of 1938 in 1964. Its primary mission is to assist GHS alumni with the financial costs of post-secondary education. Over nearly 52 years, donations of cash, stocks, and real estate, have grown the trust’s corpus to over $5 million dollars. The interest it earns is awarded to eligible students attending either vocational/technical school or college through a semi-annual application process administered by the trustees. Full-time nontraditional students taking online or correspondence courses are given equal consideration if they meet all of the requirements listed on the application. To date, the trust has awarded 2,079 financial gifts to hundreds of different GHS alumni. The total value of these awards is over $1.7 million dollars.

In addition to the gifts made to students, the trust also purchases equipment and programs for Glasgow High School that cannot be financed within the regular budget. Every department of GHS has received awards which benefit all students across the curriculum. The general public benefits from these gifts as well when it attends events at the school or uses the school’s facilities. The total value of these gifts to date is $205,055.03.

Whenever the trusts receives donations in the name of a particular individual or group that total $500 in value, a gift is awarded to a student or GHS in honor, memory, or recognition of that person or group. Donations to the trust of $10,000 or more in the name of a particular individual or group provide an annual naming opportunity in perpetuity.

At its November 2015 semi-annual meeting the trust made awards for the Spring 2016 semester to five students. These are in addition to the awards given to 44 students at the July 2015 meeting. The five most recent recipients are: First time recipients -- Whitney Billing, Western Governor’s University, IHO the Class of 1964; Grant Legare, Montana State University, IMO Cecil and Chloe Toftness; Rose Reyling, Purdue University, IHO the Class of 1965; Ellen Walstad, University of North Dakota, IMO Don and Bunny Daggett;
Second time recipient -- Misty Heringer Raup, Liberty University, IHO Everett & Elizabeth Breigenzer.

More information about the trust and the application for gifts are available on the trust’s website: http://www.ghsedutrust.org

Tuesday, January 26th 2016
Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Lottery Tag Applications Available February 1
Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Lottery Tag Applications Available February 1

Paddlefish anglers planning to fish in the Upper Missouri River (From Fort Peck Dam to Fort Benton) will need to apply for an Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Tag. Applications for this drawing will start beginning Feb. 1, and will be available to apply by mail, online at fwp.mt.gov, or by stopping by any regional or area FWP offices. Applications must be received no later than March 31, 2016.

This regulation change was approved by the FWP Commission in 2015, and was in response to extreme crowding that has occurred annually since 2007 when FWP implemented the 500 fish quota for the Upper Missouri River.

“Nearly a thousand anglers showed up to fish opening weekend in 2015 hoping to harvest a paddlefish before the quota was filled,” says Steve Dalbey, Region 6 Fisheries Manager in Glasgow. “In 2014, 500 fish were harvested in only four days and many anglers did not have the opportunity to harvest a fish,” Dalbey says.

For 2016, a total of 750 tags will be available for the drawing. Successful applicants may harvest a fish anytime during the season, from May 1 through June 15. Those anglers not successful in drawing a harvest tag may still participate in the snag and release fishery with their in-hand receipt from the drawing. Anglers, both resident and nonresident, are required to purchase a fishing and conservation license prior to submitting their applications. Party applications (up to five anglers) are available and encouraged.

Additionally, anglers that did not participate in the tag drawing that want to participate in the snag and release fishery can still purchase an Upper Missouri River Paddlefish Snag and Release License at any FWP office.

As in the past, anglers may only select one area to fish for paddlefish in Montana: Upper Missouri River (White Tag), Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Dam (Yellow Tag), and the Fort Peck Dredge Cut archery only season (Blue Tag).

Tuesday, January 26th 2016
Joe Horn Files To Run For Valley County Commission
The 2016 election season has started with candidates filing for political offices at the county level and at the statewide level.

In Valley County, there is an opening on the Valley County Commission and the position of Valley County Clerk of District Court is up for election this year.

Long time Valley County Commissioner Dave Reinhardt has indicated he will not run for re-election. Leroy Kountz and John Fahlgren filed recently for the position. Joe Horn is the latest candidate to file for Valley County Commissioner.

Shelly Bryan is the incumbent Valley County Clerk of District Court and she filed for re-election on Thursday.

Candidates have until March 14th to file for office.

Friday, January 22nd 2016
Appointment Scheduling Changes For the Glasgow DMV Office
Log on to http://www.doj.mt.gov/driving
24 hours a day and 7 days a week to schedule an appointment for all knowledge testing, road testing,
license transfer, and other services.

The service is fast, easy to use, and mobile friendly.

Or you can call 1-866-450-8034
Monday through Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Appointments are required for all services except driver’s license renewals and replacements.

Appointments are optional for those two, but are highly recommended.

The office is open:
Mondays 9:00-4:30 closed 12:00-1:00
1st 3 Tuesdays of the month 8:00-4:30 closed 12:00-1:00
Fridays 8:00-4:30 closed 12:00-1:00

Thursday, January 21st 2016
Shelley Mills Receives Del Strommen Ag Award At New Trends Conference
2016 New Trends in Ag Seminar was held on January 13th, 2016 at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow. The 2015 Trend Setter/Del Strommen Ag Award was presented to Shelley Mills of Glasgow in front of an audience of over 100. Ryan Fast, chair of the New Trends in Ag committee explained the award goes to someone who shows innovation in agriculture and community involvement. Fast said that the committee meets three to four times over the year and they look at several nominations and discuss and narrow down the choice. He said Valley County Extension agent Shelley Mills plays a huge role in not only organizing the event but knowing those in the ag industry locally.

Shelley Mills was born in Ronan Montana, graduating from Ronan high school in 1981. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from Montana State University in 1986. In the fall of that year she moved to Glasgow and went to work for the Montana Department of Agriculture as a Pesticide Specialist, enforcing pesticide laws and regulations in a thirteen county district in northeastern Montana. She held that position for 23 years with the exception of a short 8 month period in 2000 that she worked for Monsanto as a regional sales representative. Realizing that sales were not her forte’, she went back to the MDA with a renewed sense of purpose in educating growers in environmental protection while seeking their compliance.

She became Valley County’s first female MSU Agricultural Extension Agent in January of 2010. Shelley has worked with Marvin Tarum and Dick Fulton as well as her Extension colleagues to expand the Richland pulse production plot to one of the premier crop field days to attend. She has worked with Bill and Myrna Lauckner, and Will and Peggy Lauckner in the continuation of the wheat and durum variety trial plot located on their farm north of Nashua.

Shelley has provided Master Gardener classes to area residents; helped Dave Pippin to continue Free Tree Day; established a research orchard at Dave and Lora Reinhardt’s; began wheat blossom midge, wireworm, and cutworm surveying in Valley County; helped to establish the community garden at the Milk River Activity Center; is testing grape varieties throughout the County; and ensures that there are opportunities for private applicators to receive continuing education points. Shelley was accepted to and began the online graduate program through the Land Resource and Environmental Sciences department of Montana State University in August of 2014.

She is currently in her fourth semester and hopes to graduate with a Master of Science in December of 2016. Her area of research is narrow leaf hawksbeard in range, pasture, CRP and waste areas. Her goal is to provide landowners viable options for control of this invasive weed.

Thursday, January 21st 2016
Chamber Calls Seasonal Community Cash Program A Success
The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture had a very successful holiday season with its Annual Community Cash program.

The Community Cash Script was available starting on October 23, 2015 at First Community Bank in Glasgow/Hinsdale, Valley Bank and Independence Bank. The purpose of the Community Cash program is to encourage people in our area to “Shop Locally”. The Glasgow merchants offer a variety of quality products along with outstanding customer service.

In 2015, 61 Chamber business members participated in the program with 97 loans totaling $88,099 from Valley Bank, 39 loans totaling $33,400 from FCB, and 15 loans totaling $14,000 from Independence Bank for a total of $135,499 dollars spent locally.

The Chamber Big Bucks program was also very successful. In November/December 2015 alone over $16,025 of Chamber Big Bucks was purchased from the Chamber office. With both programs $151,524 was spent locally during the 2015 Holiday season in Glasgow.

The Chamber thanks everybody for participating in these programs and supporting our local merchants.

Wednesday, January 20th 2016
Mary Strand Pleads Not Guilty To Embezzlement And Money Laundering Charges
Mary Strand, former Executive Director of the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to her tenure as the employee of the council.

Strand was charged with 4 counts of theft of property by embezzlement and one count of money laundering. All charges are felonies.

She appeared in District Court on Tuesday for an initial appearance in front of Judge John McKeon.

Judge McKeon elected to release Strand on her own recognizance and set a date of March 7th for an omnibus hearing in the case.

The maximum punishment for the charge of embezzlement in Montana is prison term to be not less than 1 year or more than 10 years and a fine not to exceed $50,000.

The maximum punishment for the crime of money laundering is a fine not to exceed $50,000 or be imprisoned in a state prison for a term not to exceed 20 years, or both.

The investigation conducted by the Valley County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI is alleging that Strand embezzled $83,261.37 from the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council. Strand served as the Executive Director of the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council from 2010 to December of 2013.

Court documents allege that Strand used Fort Peck Fine Arts Council credit cards for her own personal use including credit cards from First Security Bank of Malta and First Community Bank of Glasgow. The documents also allege that Strand used the Valley Bank to cash business checks for her own benefit, debit cash withdrawals, checks written to herself and a check payable to her own American Express card. The documents also allege that Strand used a company account at Independence Bank to put cash deposits into her own personal checking account and used USPS money orders to launder funds.

This investigation started in March of 2014 by the Valley County Sheriff's Office and was then joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Fort Peck Fine Arts Council is the parent organization of the Fort Peck Summer Theatre.

Wednesday, January 20th 2016
Public Service Commission Approves Rate Hike For Northwestern Energy Customers
HELENA — The Public Service Commission has approved a temporary rate increase for NorthWestern Energy after revenue fell short of the company's forecast with its purchase of 11 hydroelectric dams in 2014.

PSC spokesman Eric Sell says the commission voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve the interim increase of $31.6 million to electricity customers in Montana. NorthWestern says the increase will raise the average customer's bill by about $4 per month.

NorthWestern planned to sell excess power from the dams on the spot market, but the market price fell short of the company's projections. Sell says NorthWestern was allowed to seek the rate increase due to the revenue shortfall.

The commission plans to further investigate whether NorthWestern made any errors in calculation that would merit reversing the rate hike and refunding customers.

Wednesday, January 20th 2016
Region 6 Citizen Advisory Committee Meets January 26 at Fort Peck Hatchery
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Region 6 Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) will meet from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery, located at 277 Montana Highway 117, just north of Fort Peck, MT.

The meeting is open to the public and will include the induction of the newest CAC members including Perri Jacobs, Dirk Monson, Brian Olson, and Jay Crandell. There will also be department updates, a summary of 2015 hunting season and 2016-2017 season-setting changes, license fee changes, and fisheries and law enforcement updates.

Each of FWP’s seven administrative regions has a volunteer CAC to help guide policies and programs. The Region 6 group meets three times a year. For more information about the Region 6 Citizen Advisory Committee, visit the FWP Web site at http://www.fwp.mt.gov/regions/r6/cac/.

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

Wednesday, January 20th 2016
Man Wanted For Connection To North Dakota Shooting Incident Has Surrendered
A man wanted by authorities in connection to a shooting incident over the weekend is in custody.

The McKenzie County Sheriff's Department reports 33-year-old Kyle Fuchs contacted authorities and said he wanted to give a statement and surrender himself peacefully to law enforcement.

Fuchs was later taken into custody Monday by the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Department in Montana.

Authorities say he will be extradited back to McKenzie County to speak with authorities.
Investigators say a male with a gunshot wound told deputies he was shot during an altercation at a home south of Watford City on Saturday.

Fuchs is charged with Aggravated Assault, a class C felony.

Wednesday, January 20th 2016
John Fahlgren Files Paperwork To Run For Valley County Commissioner
The 2016 election season has started with candidates filing for political offices at the county level and at the statewide level.

In Valley County, there is an opening on the Valley County Commission and the position of Valley County Clerk of District Court is up for election this year.

Long time Valley County Commissioner Dave Reinhardt has indicated he will not run for re-election. Leroy Kountz filed last week and on January 20th, John Fahlgren filed for the position.

Shelly Bryan is the incumbent Valley County Clerk of District Court and she filed for re-election on Thursday.

Candidates have until March 14th to file for office.

Tuesday, January 19th 2016
Valley County Attorney Nick Murnion To Interview For Vacant District Court Judgeship
On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Judicial Nomination Commission will interview the following applicants for the position of district court judge for the 16th Judicial District (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Garfield, Powder River, Rosebud, and Treasure counties):
• Wyatt Arthur Glade
• Nickolas Clarke Murnion
• Kevin Ray Peterson

Interviews will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the Rosebud County Library meeting room (201 North 9th Avenue) in Forsyth. Deliberations will follow the last interview. The interviews and deliberations are open to the public; however, public comment regarding the applicants will not be taken because the comment period has closed.

The Commission will forward the names of nominees to the governor for appointment. The person appointed by the governor is subject to election at the primary and general elections in 2016. The candidate elected in 2016 will serve until January 2019.

Judicial Nomination Commission members are District Judge Richard Simonton of Glendive; Janice Bishop of Missoula; Karl Englund of Missoula; Elizabeth Halverson of Billings; Hal Harper of Helena; Lane Larson of Billings; and Nancy Zadick of Great Falls.

Tuesday, January 19th 2016
N.D. Police Seek Shooting Suspect Who May Be Headed To Montana
WATFORD CITY, N.D. — The McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a potentially dangerous suspect in a weekend shooting that left one man injured.

Deputies responded to the McKenzie County hospital shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday for a report of a male with a gunshot wound.

The victim said he was shot during a fight with a man later identified as Kyle Richard Fuchs at a residence south of Watford City, authorities said.

Investigators believe Fuchs fired a gun during the fight and later fled the scene. He was last seen in Dickinson early Saturday afternoon. Sources told police Fuchs may be fleeing to Montana.

A warrant has been issued for Fuchs for aggravated assault, a Class C felony, the sheriff’s office said.

He is described as white, 33 years old, 6 feet 1 inch tall, 180 pounds with brown hair that is about chin length, and blue eyes. Fuchs is driving an older model dark blue Ford pickup with dark tinted windows and a cream-colored hood or stripe. His truck possibly has a license plate number MKV570.

Fuchs is believed to have facial wounds from the altercation and may have trimmed his hair to change his appearance, the sheriff’s office said.

Authorities say Fuchs is possibly armed and considered to be extremely dangerous, with a criminal history of terrorizing and fleeing law enforcement. The public is encouraged to call the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division at (701) 444-3654 with information.

During the investigation, deputies also arrested Robert Gabler on suspicion of simple assault domestic violence and Jessica Allen on suspicion of hindering law enforcement.

Friday, January 15th 2016
2016 Election Season Begins With Candidate Filings
The 2016 election season has started with candidates filing for political offices at the county level and at the statewide level.

In Valley County, there is an opening on the Valley County Commission and the position of Valley County Clerk of District Court is up for election this year.

Long time Valley County Commissioner Dave Reinhardt has indicated he will not run for re-election. Leroy Kountz officially filed on Thursday and is the only candidate as of Friday morning to file for the office of Valley County Commissioner.

Shelly Bryan is the incumbent Valley County Clerk of District Court and she filed for re-election on Thursday.

Candidates have until March 14th to file for office.

Friday, January 15th 2016
Fort Peck Summer Theatre Company Members to perform THE GLASS MENAGERIE
Following the popularity of last winter’s production of Love Letters, starring Pam L. Vies and Andy Meyers, the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council is pleased to present a brief Montana tour of a Tennessee Williams classic, The Glass Menagerie. Performed in the style of a nostalgic radio broadcast, the cast will again feature Vies and Meyers, as well as Sydney Hayward and Jay Michael Roberts.

Veis is an audience favorite with the company, who most recently starred in Always…Patsy Cline, Driving Miss Daisy and Steel Magnolias. Meyers is the Artistic Director for Fort Peck Summer Theatre, currently spending the winter months performing and directing at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Phoenix. Glasgow native Hayward has made numerous appearances on the FPST stage, including the leading role of Anne in Cheaper by the Dozen. Roberts has worked in the summer company as a scenic designer and actor, and is currently designing a new project for Glasgow’s Pioneer Museum.

All proceeds and donations will benefit the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, whose mission is to save and preserve the historic Fort Peck Theatre; To entertain through the arts, especially the performing arts; to educate and encourage youth in the arts; and to provide a forum for local and regional artists.


THE COTTONWOOD INN: 45 First Ave NE, Glasgow, MT
Friday, February 26
Includes: Light Appetizers & Decadent Desserts
Price: $25
Doors open at 6pm. Reading starts at 7pm.
Special appearance by GHS Swing Choir members

Saturday, February 27
Includes: Beer/Wine & Menu items available for purchase
Price: $15
Doors open at 6pm. Reading starts at 7pm
Special appearance by GHS Swing Choir members

MONTANA ACTOR'S THEATRE:  MAT Theatre at MSU-Northern Campus, Havre, MT
Sunday, February 28, 7:30pm. $15

Friday, January 15th 2016
National Park Service Proposing To Quarantine Disease-Free Yellowstone Bison On Fort Peck Reservation
The National Park Service is proposing to quarantine disease-free Yellowstone bison on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation for possible relocation to other herds.

The proposal is contained in an environmental assessment by the Park Service for which the agency is taking public comment.

The purpose of a quarantine program for Yellowstone bison would be to establish or augment new conservation and cultural herds of plains bison; conserve a viable, wild population of Yellowstone bison; maintain the low risk of brucellosis transmission from bison to cattle; reduce the need for shipment of bison to meat processing facilities to limit population growth; and provide cultural and nutritional opportunities for Native Americans, according to the EA.
The EA analyzes three alternatives:

• Alternative 1 is no action. Bison operations would continue as they currently are with no quarantine of bison.
• Alternative 2 includes conducting a quarantine program within Yellowstone National Park.
• Alternative 3 includes conducting a quarantine program on the Fort Peck Reservation and is the NPS preferred alternative.
The EA can be found online at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/BisonQuarantine. To request a hard copy of the EA, call 307-344-2015.

Respondents can submit their comments online through the Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at www.parkplanning.nps.gov/BisonQuarantine. Comments may also be hand-delivered to the park administration building, or mailed to: Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park, WY, 82190. Comments will not be accepted by fax, e-mail, or in any other manner. The deadline to submit comments is midnight on Feb. 15.

Once comments are analyzed, a decision on whether to implement the plan will be made by the regional director of the Intermountain Region of the NPS. If approved in time, the NPS may implement a quarantine program during the 2016 bison management operations period.

Thursday, January 14th 2016
Glasgow High School Graduation Rate Increases
Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced Wednesday that more Montana high school students are graduating than ever before, setting those students up for success as they take their next steps in life and adding tangible benefits to Montana’s economy.

Montana’s 2015 Graduation and Dropout Report finds the state’s graduation rate has increased to 86 percent, breaking the previous record of 85.4 percent. Montana’s dropout rate has been cut by more than a third since 2009.

“I’m proud to say the community-building work of Graduation Matters Montana is making a difference,” Juneau said. “Now, 53 Montana communities place an emphasis on the importance of graduating from high school and it’s clear that students across this state understand that a diploma is their key to a successful future.”

Glasgow High School saw its graduation rate incrase from 86% in 2010/2011 all the way to 92.54% in 2014/2015.

View the report here:http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/education/montana-high-school-graduation-rates-improve-billings-schools-dip-slightly/article_ff6d4fc4-887a-5849-b0c4-20a27eb724e2.html

Over the last seven years, Montana’s dropout rate has declined from 5 percent to 3.4 percent, resulting in 851 fewer dropouts in 2015 compared to 2009.

Data show high school seniors are far more likely to drop out of school than freshmen. Males are more likely to drop out than females. It’s also true that low-income and American Indian students are more likely to drop out.

“The number of American Indian students dropping out of school is still too high, but we have made great strides in decreasing that number,” Juneau said. “The number of American Indian students dropping out of high school has declined by nearly a third since 2008. We are on the right path to continue that progress.”

According analysis by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Montana is likely to see significant economic gains as a result of more students graduating from high school. The Alliance estimates Montana will see a $6 million annual boost to the state’s economy because 540 more students graduated in 2015 than in 2009. Those graduates will contribute an additional $10.3 million in spending on homes, and a $700,000 increase in car sales.
“I often tell people the most important piece of paper I ever received was my Browning High School diploma,” Juneau said, “because when Montana students succeed, each and every one of us benefits.”

2015 Graduation and Dropout Report Quick Facts
• Montana’s 2015 graduation rate was 86 percent, the highest it’s ever been since the Office of Public Instruction began calculating the rate in 2000.
• Montana’s 2015 dropout rate was 3.4 percent, declining more than one-third since 2009.
• The share of American Indian students dropping out of high school has declined by nearly one-third since 2009.
• More than 11,000 Montana students have taken the pledge to graduate from high school.
• 53 Montana communities are part of Graduation Matters Montana.
• Private businesses and foundations have donated more than $1.3 million to the Graduation Matters Montana effort since it launched in 2010.

Thursday, January 14th 2016
R-CALF USA Asserts BLM Overstepped Its Authority On Recent Decision Involving American Prairie Reserve
Billings, Mont. - In a formal protest submitted yesterday to the Malta, Montana, field office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), R-CALF USA asserts the agency overstepped its authority.

On December 28 the BLM provided notice of its proposed decision to allow the American Prairie Reserve (APR) to graze bison on the Flat Creek Allotment located in Phillips County, Montana. Currently, the grazing permit for the allotment designates cattle as the approved species.

In addition to allowing the APR to graze bison, the BLM also proposed to allow the APR to remove all interior fences within the allotment and to allow year around grazing.

R-CALF USA states that information contained in the American Prairie Reserve's Website reveals that its purpose is to 'maintain a fully-functioning prairie-based wildlife reserve,' and it intends to combine both private and public lands for that purpose.

According to the BLM notice, the decision to grant APR's entire request would become final unless the agency receives a written protest.

R-CALF USA's protest points out that BLM regulations exclude bison from the list of animals eligible to be included as livestock on BLM grazing permits. Only cattle, sheep, horses, burros and goats are listed as species considered livestock.

The group also states that "the American Prairie Reserve's stated goals clearly indicate it does not intend to maintain its bison as if they were livestock. Instead, it intends to maintain its bison as wildlife."

The group contends the BLM has no authority to approve grazing permits for wildlife or for the purpose of establishing wildlife reserves.

"It is clear the Proposed Decision exceeds the BLM's scope of the authority to manage livestock grazing on federally-controlled lands," the group wrote.

The group also asserts that managing wildlife contradicts the BLM's regulatory objective of sustaining the western livestock industry. It also states the BLM's proposal to remove all interior fences contradicts best rangeland management practices, particularly rotational grazing.

"R-CALF USA believes the BLM's Proposed Decision is contrary to the BLM's stated objective of promoting the improvement of rangeland ecosystems for the purpose of sustaining the western livestock industry.

"Instead, the Proposed Decision constitutes defiance of the agency's stated objectives and will facilitate the demise of the western livestock industry by removing rangeland ideally suited for livestock enterprises from the purview of the Phillips County, Montana, livestock industry," concluded the protest.


Thursday, January 14th 2016
RuthAnn Hutcheson Recognized For Her Community Service From Governor Steve Bullock
The Governor’s Office of Community Service and the Montana Commission on Community Service are proud to present the ServeMontana Awards. The purpose of these awards is to recognize individuals of all ages and backgrounds who, through their dedication and commitment to community service, have greatly enhanced civic life in Montana.

ServeMontana Awards are presented to individuals and organizations who:

Volunteer in ways that cause a lasting change in people’s lives
Demonstrate a strong commitment to serving their community
Engage in service that greatly benefits others
Exhibit leadership in their service
Represent determination and perseverance

These awards represent the best in positive community change through service, volunteerism and community leadership.

2016 ServeMontana Awardees:

Lily’s Lovebirds, Missoula: Lily and her little sister Maizy sew fabric-scrap lovebirds and sell them to help girls in Nepal and around the world go to school.

Dick and Linda Juvik, Helena: The Juviks have dedicated countless hours bringing awareness to Montana’s 55 POW/MIA through the Montana Ride to Remember and more.

Schylar Canfield-Baber, Butte: Schylar serves as a committed foster care advocate for students, and serves on a number of boards to improve the lives of foster kids.

Carla Parks, Thompson Falls: Carla is actively engaged in improving the community of Thompson Falls through her roles on the Chamber of Commerce, Playground Committee, Parks Committee, the High Bridge Project, and more.

RuthAnn Hutcheson, Glasgow: RuthAnn has planned, organized, and run the Valley County Thanksgiving Day Dinner for the past 25 years, in addition to other volunteer work such as the Scottie Booster Club.

Crowley Fleck, PLLP, statewide: Crowley Fleck is a statewide law firm that donates countless hours of its attorneys’ time to increase access to justice through its in house pro bono program.

St. Peter’s Hospital Volunteer Department, Helena: More than 150 volunteers provide valuable time and personal support at the hospital through the Nobody Dies Alone program, at the Cancer Treatment Center, and more.

The 2016 ServeMontana Award ceremony will take place on Friday, February 12 in the Old Supreme Court Chambers at the Montana State Capitol beginning at 11:00am. The awards will be presented by Governor and First Lady Bullock and the Montana Commission on Community Service. The public is invited to attend. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 12th 2016
Glasgow School Board Looking To Fill Vacant Position On Board
The Glasgow School Board is looking to fill an open position that will run through May, 2018. This position was vacateddo to a resignation by Nick Dirkes.

The School Board will make the appointment of the new Board member. To be considered by the
Board, please submit a letter of interest c/o Alison Molvig, Board Chair – 229 7th Ave N – Glasgow, MT 59230.

All letters will receive consideration from the Glasgow School Board.

Tuesday, January 12th 2016
New Trends In Agriculture Seminar Set For Wednesday In Glasgow
The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce, Glasgow Implement Dealers and Montana Wheat & Barley Committee present New Trends in Agriculture seminar, January 13, 2016 to be held in Glasgow. This will be the tenth Agriculture seminar sponsored by the Chamber Agriculture committee. We are able to book nationally recognized keynote speakers and provide regional, national and global trends with agriculture producers and industry representatives from Iowa, North Central, Nebraska, Kansas, Northeastern MT and Western ND. The seminar is sponsored annually by the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, MT Wheat & Barley Committee, Farm Equipment Sales, Border Plains Equipment, Zerbe Bros, Hi-Line Ford, Newton Motors, Pro-Coop and 28 additional sponsors representing financial institutions, insurance companies, chemical companies, seed companies, real estates and BNSF.

Keynote speakers for 2016 are Damian Mason and Matt Roberts. “Trends, Topics and Tomorrow” will be the focus of Damian Mason’s presentation. Damian has a degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. He is a professional speaker with a message for the people of agriculture. He has also studied comedy writing and improvisation at The Second City in Chicago. He understands the business of food, fuel, and fiber production because he’s lived it. He had his first job at the age of 8, bottle feeding calves on the Indiana dairy farm where he was raised. Since 1994, he’s spoken to over 1,600 audiences in 50 states and 8 foreign countries.

Our other keynote speaker is Matt Roberts. “Grain, Petroleum & Biofuel Markets will be Matt’s focus in his presentation. Matt is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture, Environmental and Developmental at the Ohio State University. Dr. Roberts is a nationally renowned expert and speaker on grain and energy markets. He is an active speaker, appearing approximately 50 times per year around the nation on grain, petroleum, and biofuels markets, and he is also an active consultant to the commodity industry. He has been at the Ohio State University since 2001.

Janet Knodel has been the Extension Entomology and Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Dakota State University in Fargo. She provides program leadership for the North Dakota integrated pest management program and co-edits the NDSU Crop & Pest report.

The seminar will be held January 13, 2016 from 8:00A-3:30P at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow, MT. Registration is $20.00. For more information contact the Chamber at 406-228-2222 or chamber@nemont.net

Monday, January 11th 2016
Powerball Jackpot Over 1.3 Billion Dollars
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- $1.3 billion. That's the new Powerball jackpot.

Another Powerball drawing failed to produce a winner on Saturday after reaching a staggering $900 million jackpot earlier in the day -- by far the largest ever.

Now lottery officials estimate the jackpot is already at $1.3 billion ahead of the next drawing on Wednesday night.

Officials with the Montana Lottery say that while no tickets sold in Montana matched enough numbers to win a second-tier prize of $1 million on Saturday, more than 44,000 players did win prizes ranging from $4 to $300.

The biggest winning jackpot was in 2012 with a MegaMillions game that was worth $656 million.

The current jackpot has been growing since November 7. It first broke into the top 10 largest jackpots ranking last weekend, when it hit $400 million. Since then ticket sales have only taken off.

It hit $700 million on Thursday after nobody won on Wednesday night -- the 18th drawing without a winner.

The buying frenzy continued all day Saturday. A few hours before the drawing, the Texas Lottery reported that $5,838,152 in Powerball tickets were sold in a one-hour period.

According to USA Mega, if there is only one winner of a $1.3 billion jackpot, and that person chooses to take a lump-sum payout, it would be about $806 million. The initial federal tax bite from the winnings is 25% — removing $201.5 million. Now our winner has $604.5 million left to spend. If the winner is a Montana resident, state taxes will eat up about $55 million, leaving a grand total of $548 million.

The odds of winning are 1 in 292 million.

Powerball is sold in 44 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Friday, January 8th 2016
Statement From Cordillera Communications Regarding Loss Of Local Channels On Dish Network
St. Paul, MN – January 7, 2016) Cordillera Communications, owner of network-affiliated TV stations in mid-to-small markets across the country, announced that its stations have gone dark on Dish Network as of this afternoon. The contract impasse follows months of negotiations over carriage terms, including the fee the satellite company must pay Cordillera to retransmit its signals.

“Unfortunately, Dish Network has refused to reach a fair, market-based agreement with Cordillera even as we offer terms similar to those of existing agreements with every other cable and satellite provider,” said Terrance Hurley, President of Cordillera Communications. “Dish believes it is entitled to significantly better terms than its peers and has a consistent record of disputes with broadcasters. In fact, in 2015 alone, Dish forced blackouts that affected more than half of the 210 television markets in America.”

The previous agreement expired at noon CST today (January 7, 2016), following a week extension offered by Cordillera from the original December 31, 2015 deadline. Subscribers to Dish Network can no longer watch the following local stations:

KTVQ-CBS for Billings, Montana
KXLF/KBZK-CBS for Butte-Bozeman, Montana (plus CW-affiliated subchannel)
KOAA-NBC for Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colorado
KRIS-NBC for Corpus Christi, Texas (plus CW-affiliated subchannel and independent station KDF)
KRTV-CBS for Great Falls, Montana
KBGF-NBC for Great Falls, Montana
KXLH-CBS for Helena, Montana
KTVH-NBC for Helena, Montana (plus CW-affiliated subchannel)
KATC-ABC for Lafayette, Louisiana
WLEX-NBC for Lexington, Kentucky
KPAX/KAJ-CBS for Missoula/Kalispell, Montana (plus CW-affiliated subchannel)
KSBY-NBC for Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, California
KVOA-NBC for Tucson, Arizona
“Dish may not recognize the value of our market-leading TV stations, but its subscribers do. Viewers depend on our local news and weather coverage, demand our top-rated network and syndicated programming, and support these local stations that in turn support their local communities,” said Hurley. “We remain committed to working tirelessly to negotiate a new agreement with Dish Network and sincerely apologize to our viewers who are impacted by this business dispute.”

About Retransmission Consent:

Since 1992, under Federal law, cable and satellite providers must obtain broadcaster consent to redistribute broadcast programming over their multichannel distribution systems. The law prohibits cable operators and satellite companies from carrying broadcast stations without entering into an agreement to do so, and other business contracts prohibit satellite and cable providers from carrying replacement network and syndicated programming from sources outside of your market area. This “retransmission consent” requirement was put in place by Congress to protect local broadcasters and to insure that the substantial local news and public service efforts of local broadcasters are maintained for the public good. Broadcasters and the satellite and cable providers that carry them negotiate new retransmission consent agreements every few years that generally include a programming fee, among other provisions.

Dish Network subscribers are urged to call Dish at 1-800-333-DISH to request Dish return Cordillera stations to its lineup in these markets and provide compensation for content not provided during the blackout.

About Cordillera:

Cordillera Communications, LLC is a subsidiary of Charleston, SC-based Evening Post Industries, LLC. Evening Post is a family-owned company founded in 1896 with diverse media holdings including network-affiliated TV stations, digital media properties, advertising agencies, and newspapers. Long committed to community service, among EPI’s newspapers is Charleston’s Post & Courier, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in Journalism.

Friday, January 8th 2016
FWP Seeking Comment on Draft EA for Purchase of Road Easement in Phillips Co.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has developed a Draft Environmental Assessment
(EA) for the proposed action of purchasing a 30-foot wide permanent road easement in northern Phillips County, and is seeking public comment on the proposal.

The proposed Joiner Coulee Access Easement would allow the public to cross approximately one-mile of an existing road on private land, off of the North Dodson Road, to allow access to both BLM and State land. The easement would be granted by Wetlands America Trust Inc., a division of Ducks Unlimited (DU), and would be held by FWP.

The proposed easement road has been used predominately by the hunting public to access BLM and DNRC lands adjacent to the Cottonwood Creek drainage through private land enrolled in the FWP Block Management Program since 2004.

The public comment period on the draft EA will extend through 5:00 pm, Feb. 5, 2016. The Draft EA, and opportunity to comment, is available online at fwp.mt.gov. Printed versions of the document can be obtained by contacting the Region 6 office at (406) 228-3700. Written comments can also be mailed to: Joiner Coulee EA Comments, MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks, 1 Airport Road, Glasgow, MT 59230, or emailed to katsmith@mt.gov.

Thursday, January 7th 2016
Duck Season Closes Jan. 7 in Central Flyway, Geese to Close, Then Reopen
For the Central Flyway, which includes all of the counties in Region 6 east of Hill County, duck and coot season will close on Jan. 7.

Goose season in the Central Flyway will close Jan. 10, and then reopen for five days, Jan. 16-20.

For the Pacific Flyway, which includes Hill County, duck, coot and goose seasons will close Jan. 10, and then reopen for five days, Jan. 16-20.

For complete rules, regulations and exceptions refer to the 2015 Montana migratory bird regulations.

Thursday, January 7th 2016
Montana To Issue Newly Designed Driver License And Identification Cards
HELENA – The Montana Department of Justice announced today that its Motor Vehicle Division is busy rolling out Montana’s newly designed driver license and identification cards. The cards have undergone a complete re-vamping on the look, feel, and design of the card, and also include new security features that will help reduce driver license fraud and identity theft. Additionally, the new cards feature a more durable laminate.

“The Montana Department of Justice’s Motor Vehicle Division is always looking for new ways to enhance the security of our driver license and protect the privacy of citizens’ information,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “The redesigned license does all of those things. Our staff has invested considerable time into this effort and I am grateful for their hard work on behalf of Montanans.”

The new cards are now available in several driver exam stations across the state, including Missoula, Superior, Great Falls, Choteau, and Fort Benton. They will be available at Helena’s exam station today; Bozeman will start tomorrow, and Billings will begin on Friday. It is anticipated that the remaining locations across Montana will be issuing the new cards by the end of February.

“The 2015 Legislature appropriated funds for updating the three Driver License Bureau computer platforms,” said Motor Vehicle Division Administrator Sarah Garcia. “The antiquated systems were still operating on Microsoft Windows XP software and were in need of replacement. One of these platforms included the driver’s license and identification card. This update included a computer system upgrade and a card redesign. We are working with two separate vendors who are in various stages of implementing the new equipment statewide, station-by-station.”

The design of the new card is representative of the beauty of Montana. The background graphic was based upon a photo taken in Glacier National Park by Donnie Sexton, a photographer with Travel Montana. Some of the embedded optically variable security features found on the new card are also recognizable elements of Montana, including our state flower, our state bird, the word “Montana,” and ponderosa pine trees.

Since November, the Motor Vehicle Division has been reaching out to businesses, law enforcement agencies, and other key stakeholders to inform them of the new license design. That outreach process will continue.

In accordance with a state law passed by the legislature unanimously in 2007, Montana is not compliant with the federal REAL ID Act.

Wednesday, January 6th 2016
Billings Gazette Reports That Cape Air Cancelled Flights Is Due To Pilot Shortage
Story Credit Goes To Billings Gazette:


Cape Air officials said Tuesday that a pilot shortage is the cause of a spate of recent flight cancellations at Billings Logan International Airport.

Hyannis, Mass.-based Cape Air provides $52 flights between Billings and five other Montana communities — Sidney, Glasgow, Glendive, Wolf Point and Havre. According to its online schedule, five daily flights are offered from Billings to Sidney, and two each to the other four destinations.

Trish Lorino, Cape Air’s vice president for marketing and public relations, said 16 flights have been cancelled in recent days due to the pilot shortage. The airline has brought in pilots from other markets it serves and is teaming with Jet Blue and seven universities to get pilots the hours they need to receive certification aboard Cape Air Cessna aircraft.

“We are sorry for the impact this has had on the community,” she said. “We have had some challenges here. The pilot shortage is truly a significant one — not only for Cape Air, but for all carriers. It is definitely something that has affected our completion rates.”

Lorino said she’d just completed a conference call with the company’s pilot group and others to discuss the continuing ramifications of higher co-pilot qualification standards implemented by the Federal Aviation Administration following a 2009 crash near Buffalo, N.Y., that killed 50 people.

Ensuing rule changes designed to boost safety have increased the qualification requirements for first officers, also known as co-pilots, who now must earn an Airline Transport Pilot certificate and have logged 1,500 hours total time as a pilot.
Before the rule, announced in 2013, first officers were required to have a commercial pilot certificate, which requires 250 hours of flight time.
It can be arduous for young pilots to log that much flight time, Lorino said.
“It is truly leading to pilot attrition,” she said. “People don’t want to pursue it because it is expensive and time-consuming.”
As part of the federal government’s Essential Air Service program, Cape Air and others have been, since airline deregulation in 1978, subsidized to provide air service to what would otherwise be underserved communities.

Kevin Ploehn, the city’s aviation and transit director, said that low salaries paid by the nation’s smaller, regional carriers “are a disincentive for people to go get their (commercial pilot’s) license.”

“Flight school might cost you $200,000, but you start at $20,000 a year,” Ploehn said.
He said Essential Air Service airlines put a premium on not cancelling their flights
“If they are not flying, they are not getting paid the subsidy,” he said, “and that’s way more than the ticket price.”

A recent study projects more than 14,000 pilots reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 between 2015 and 2022, Ploehn said.

“The good news is that the major airlines are making tons of money,” so they’ll be able to fill those retirements, Ploehn predicted.
“The bigs can fill those, but it’s killing the regionals,” he said. Some pilots at smaller providers, he said, will elect to move into the cockpits of the nation’s major regional airlines, including SkyWest Airlines and Republic Airways.

Cape Air flights in Montana always have a first officer on board, Lorino said.
The airline’s Gateway Program partnership with Jet Blue allows first officers to log the time they need on Cape Air flights before going on to a career at Jet Blue.

“We did it proactively,” Lorino said, “in light of the shortage coming on hard.”
In some cases, management pilots have “left their desks” to help fill the pilot gap, and some officers have been allowed to pick up extra flights on their day off, she said.

People concerned about pilot shortages should write their congress member, Lorino said.
“Write your congressperson and ask them to take a look at first officer qualifications,” she said. “It is so limiting. It’s affecting the big carriers and it’s putting a crimp on air travel.”

Sunday, January 3rd 2016
2015 Is 3rd Warmest Year On Record According To National Weather Service













Tuesday, December 29th 2015
Free Rides Available For New Year's Eve
Glenn’s Automotive, Thompson & Sons & Valley County Search & Rescue will be providing rides on New Year's Eve: Doug Cook – 263-1249, for the Fort Peck, Park Grove & Nashua Areas; Josh Thompson – 263-8726; Chris Moore – 263-2689; Rob Brunelle – 263-7621; Jaron Wesen – 263-0265; Sandy Carpenter – 939-4657; Shyanne Isakson – 263-2505. The Glasgow DUI Task Force is supporting these efforts so everyone may have a safe & happy new year.
Tuesday, December 29th 2015
Valley County High School Seniors Encouraged To Apply For Hi-line Gobblers’ Barb Marsh Memorial Scholarship
All Valley County high school seniors are eligible to apply for a substantial college scholarship that will be awarded in February by the Hi-Line Gobblers chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Scholarship winners will be announced at the Hi-Line Gobblers’ 10th annual fundraising banquet, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church’s parish hall in Glasgow. This is the second year the Barb Marsh Memorial Scholarship will be presented to qualifying high school seniors; last year two $1,000 scholarships were awarded. Applicants must possess a valid hunting license in order to be eligible for the scholarship; other considerations are community service and hunting participation. Application deadline for the scholarship is Jan. 20, 2016.

The scholarship is presented in memory of Barb Marsh, a longtime supporter of wildlife conservation and local youth, who died unexpectedly in January 2014. Each year since her death, Barb’s partner, Joe Younkin, has sponsored a special rifle that is auctioned at the Hi-Line Gobblers’ annual banquet. Proceeds from the previous year’s auction are distributed to eligible high school students the following year. The amount of the scholarship varies from year to year since it is dependent on funds raised by the auction.

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

Younkin has donated another firearm to the Hi-Line Gobblers’ 2016 banquet that will fund 2017 scholarships. Plan to attend the Feb. 27 banquet to bid on the special scholarship gun as well as other firearms and wildlife art, and to congratulate the winner of the 2016 Barb Marsh Memorial Scholarship.

Call Scott Billingsley at 263-7161 or Jenn Jackson at 263-7339 or email Jackson at jenn.stein@nemont.net for information about both the scholarship and the banquet, which raises funds for local wildlife conservation, youth events, and our hunting heritage.

Saturday, December 26th 2015
Four Meetings Planned for Northeast Montana to Gather Comments on 2016-17 Hunting Season Proposals
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will hold four public meetings in northeast Montana in January to gather comments on proposed hunting seasons and rules for the next two years.

The tentative rules and regulations, available for review and comment online now at fwp.mt.gov, were approved by the Fish and Wildlife Commission at their December meeting, and include statewide and local hunting regulations for antelope, black bear, bighorn sheep, bison, deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, mountain lion, and upland game birds.

Every two years FWP considers changes to all hunting seasons, proposes changes from the previous biennium, and encourages public comment before the FWP Commission makes its final decisions in February. Meetings are held across the state to present the proposed seasons and accept public comments. FWP and its commissioners will also accept written, online or emailed comments through Jan. 22.

Some of the proposed hunting season and rules, relevant to Region 6, include the establishment of late elk shoulder seasons and antlerless elk permits in the Missouri River Breaks and Bears Paw Mountains, establishment of mule deer and white-tailed deer antlerless hunting opportunities in the region, an increase in antelope quotas in the Glasgow area, and expanding quota ranges for bighorn sheep in the Breaks hunting district 622.

The public is encouraged to visit the FWP website for the full proposals or attend a public meeting. In northeast Montana, all public meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

Glasgow Wed., Jan. 6, at the Cottonwood Inn
Plentywood Thurs., Jan. 7, at the Jubilee Room in the Sheridan Co. Courthouse
Havre Tues., Jan. 12, at Hill County Electric
Malta Wed., Jan. 20, upstairs at First State Bank

Comments may be submitted at these public meetings, online at fwp.mt.gov or by mail to: FWP Wildlife Division, “attn: hunting season proposals,” PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620. Comments are due by 5 p.m. on Jan. 22, 2015.

Tuesday, December 22nd 2015
Donna Combs Wins $200,000 Montana Cash Jackpot!!!!
HELENA – Bob Combs was a dedicated Montana Lottery player for more than 20 years, playing the same games with the same numbers right up until he passed away this January. His wife, Donna, couldn’t bring herself to let Bob’s lottery dedication fade away. She has continued to play Bob’s numbers since his passing.

Comb’s commitment to her husband’s passion paid off last week when she won a $200,000 Montana Cash prize on the Dec 16. She purchased her ticket at Reynold’s Market at 213 Klein St. in Glasgow.

Combs never misses a Lottery play, but doesn’t always check her numbers to see if she won. After last week’s Montana Cash drawing, a friend at the store called Combs to see if she was a winner. Combs joked that she knew she’d won, but was so surprised when she actually did, she had her friend text the numbers to her just to make sure.

Combs had retired to take care of Bob. Her son, who now lives in Nashville, said the Lottery win was “Dad’s Christmas gift” to her. Her prize winnings will help her in retirement and allow her do some traveling. She’s going to visit her son in April -- to celebrate Bob’s “Christmas gift.”

The Montana Lottery was created by referendum in 1986. Since then, it has paid over $497 million in prizes and returned approximately $224 million to the State of Montana.

Tuesday, December 22nd 2015
Former Glasgow Residents Gift $100,000 To Valley County Community Foundation
A gift of $100,000 to the Valley County Community Foundation from former Glasgow residents Jim and Marilyn Parke will benefit charitable efforts within Valley County for years to come, Board Chair Ken Oster announced this week. “Over the years, the Parkes have given to many organizations in Glasgow and this year decided to do something different and chose the Community Foundation.”

“I am not in Glasgow enough to know the needs,” he said. “It seemed the Community Foundation is in a better position to decipher the community’s current needs.”

“The Foundation is able to accomplish what the Parkes intend for this gift,” Oster explained. “We are grateful for this wonderful gift to the endowment and its earnings will have a great impact to the community.”

The Parkes’ gift is given in memory of his parents, Audrey and Arthur Parke, both lifelong residents of Glasgow. Born and raised here, his mother was active in First Lutheran Church, worked in various positions at the courthouse and served at various times as both county and city treasurer. His father moved to Glasgow at age 7 and worked for First National Bank, which is now First Community Bank, from 1944 to 1973.

Both Jim and Marilyn (Southland) graduated from Glasgow High School in 1964. An Eagle Scout, he was active at GHS, serving as student body president, governor of key club his senior year, and a Scottie football player all four years. He graduated from Concordia College in Moorehead, Minn., with majors in history, political science and economics. In 2005, he retired from a career that spanned over 37 years with General Electric. He started in finance for the industrial businesses and in 1989, he was named chief financial officer of GE Capital, GE’s financial services businesses.

The couple values lessons learned while growing up in Montana and they treasure lifelong friendships that began here. Together with five classmates, they meet each year at one of their homes to catch up and reminisce.

“Growing up in Glasgow, I didn’t know what kind of education I was getting. Would it stand up to the competition at college and a career?” he said. “I found that it had been great and it served me well through the years.”

As with other gifts to the Foundation, the Parke’s gift will be invested in the endowment. Since 2000, annual earnings have funded $144,679 for projects within Valley County. “With this gift, the amount of grant dollars will grow substantially each year,” Oster added. “The lives of many will be touched.”
Through an annual grant application process, the Foundation has funded projects for 51 organizations. The list of this year’s grant recipients is typical: Valley View Home, the Glasgow Recreation Department, Kiwanis Swim Team, City-County Library, Glasgow School District Prairie Ridge Village, Hinsdale FFA, Fort Peck Senior Citizens and the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council. Six of the nine projects were fully funded.

The Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, affiliated with the Montana Community Foundation. With the addition of the Parke’s $100,000 gift, the Foundation has assets of $696,245. It is also steward of two scholarship endowments. More information is available at www.valleycountycf.net or by calling board member Jean Carlson at 526-3245.

Monday, December 21st 2015
Nick Dirkes Resigns From Glasgow School Board
Glasgow School Board Trustee Nick Dirkes resigned from the board last week opening up a position that will be filled as soon as possible according to Glasgow Superintendent Bob Connors.

Dirkes was just elected to a 3-year term last May and the person appointed to the position will fill out the remainder of the term.

Connors told Kltz/Mix-93 that Dirkes cited added responsibilities with his job as the main reason for his resignation.

Those interested in filling the remaining 2 1/2 years of the term on the school board should send a letter of interest to Superintendent Bob Connors at the Central Office of the Glasgow School District.

Monday, December 21st 2015
Continuance Granted In Case Against Mary Strand
District Court Judge John McKeon has granted a continuance in the case against Mary Strand. Strand was set to make an initial appearance on Monday in Glasgow.

Strand has been charged with 4 counts of embezzlement and 1 count of money laundering in a case involving her time as Executive Director of the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council. Strand is being charged with embezzling $83,261.37 from the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council.

She has been ordered to appear in court on January 19th of next year.

Thursday, December 17th 2015
Montana Cash Jackpot Lottery Ticket Purchased At Reynolds Market In Glasgow
A $200,000 Montana Cash lottery ticket that was purchased at Reynolds Market in Glasgow has won the $200,000 jackpot!

The numbers drawn were 6 7 15 19 27.

The drawing was held on Wednesday evening.

Thursday, December 17th 2015
Billings Gazette reports that State of Montana OKs idea to leave Hell Creek State Park in 2021
This story from Billings Gazette

The state parks board threw down the gauntlet to state legislators, federal and private partners, as well as the users of Hell Creek State Park on Thursday: Either come to the table with proposals to help out with the park’s infrastructure funding requirements within the next four years or the state will walk away in 2021.

“Basically, we’re leaving unless we can make some progress,” Chas Van Genderen, Montana State Parks administrator, said during the Montana State Parks and Recreation Board meeting in Helena.

“You’re holding everyone’s feet to the fire,” clarified board member Mary Sexton.

“And ours, too,” Van Genderen said.

Generating revenue
The proposal to possibly leave the popular site located north of Jordan on the shores of Fort Peck Reservoir in 2021 passed unanimously. But first it was modified to direct the parks division to come back to the board in February with possible ideas on how to increase funding to keep the park. That idea also ran into a snag.

Board chairman Tom Towe suggested increasing camping funds substantially to build revenue. But Van Genderen said the parks division has never dedicated a park’s user fees to that park alone, it has always gone into the parks division’s general fund.

“We’ve been careful not to do that,” Van Genderen said, because only a few places like Lewis and Clark Caverns and Big Arm State Park on Flathead Lake generate revenue. Heritage sites like Elkhorn State Park — a few old buildings from an 1800s mining town in the mountains between Helena and Boulder — provide no income.

“The revenue we generate in the park system goes to the whole system,” Van Genderen explained.

Altering that structure could cause complications for the parks division down the road, he added.

Corps takeover
One reason the parks division feels confident in its proposal to possibly leave by 2021 is that the Army Corps of Engineers, from which it leases Hell Creek State Park at no cost, could take over operations, said Doug Habermann, regional Montana State Parks manager in Billings.

“We are not looking to abandon this site to nobody,” he told the board.

But a Wednesday email from John Daggett, operations project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Peck, said his agency can’t guarantee anything.

“The Corps currently does not have funding to run Hell Creek,” Daggett wrote in the email that he copied to Habermann and The Gazette. “It is not a given that we would operate Hell Creek at its present service level. We may have to close it or reduce services significantly. It would all depend on funding, which is very difficult in our Rec Program.”

Cash needed
Habermann said the price tag for infrastructure improvements at Hell Creek is about $4 million. The state Legislature, in its last session, authorized $1.5 million for some of those fixes. With the change in direction, though, the parks division is choosing to spend only $500,000 to improve the park’s sewer system. The other $1 million would be returned to the state with a request that the parks division be allowed to spend the money elsewhere in the parks system.

The idea behind that move is not to spend a lot of money improving the park if it is going to be turned over to the Corps of Engineers. State law, however, requires the park to meet certain public health and safety standards, which the sewer improvement would achieve.

Under the new direction, the parks board and division will have until 2019 to explore ways to keep the park before the state’s existing lease expires in 2021.

Wednesday, December 16th 2015
Authorities Looking For Suspects In Slaying Of Man In Miles City
MILES CITY (AP) — Authorities are looking for suspects in the slaying of an elderly man in Miles City.

Police Chief Doug Colombik tells the Miles City Star that 78-year-old Ed Martin was found dead in his home after officers and Custer County Sheriff's deputies responded to an initial report of a hostage situation Monday night. A woman identified as Helen Martin was found beaten and was taken to a nearby hospital. Her condition hasn't been released.

Colombik says investigators are looking for more than one suspect, but he did not release their names or a possible motive.

On Tuesday morning, Miles City's public schools were placed on a "soft lockdown," which means students weren't allowed to go outside for recess. Superintendent Keith Campbell says access is already controlled through a system by which visitors have to be buzzed in.

Wednesday, December 16th 2015
Four Individuals Charged With Unlawfully Killing Eight Buck Deer in Hill County
Four individuals were charged in Hill County Justice Court for violations that resulted in the killing of eight buck deer in Hill County in Sept. and Oct. of this year.

Elisha Rulison, 21, of Plains, and Tyler Adams, 20, of Havre, plead guilty to multiple counts of unlawful possession of a game animal, unlawful hunting from a public road, hunting during a closed season, unlawful use of artificial light while hunting, and a single count of killing an over limit of a game animal.

Janelle Baird, 20, of Zurich, and James Rulison, 20, of Plains, plead guilty to unlawful possession of a game animal, hunting during a closed season, unlawful hunting from a public road, and unlawful use of artificial light while hunting.

Based on several reports of suspicious activity in southern Hill County, wardens conducted a nearly month-long investigation which involved a tremendous amount of field work and information gathering. It was discovered that several people were involved and that multiple violations had occurred. On Oct. 20, 2015 Warden Sergeant Shane Reno, Criminal Investigator Dirk Paulsen, and Warden Andy Matakis interviewed the individuals connected with this poaching incident.

“This was not an instance where a single deer was killed by a person who made a minor mistake. This was a group of people who killed eight large bucks, some of them trophies, over the course of 23 days. This took a great deal of harvest opportunity away from the sportsmen of Montana,” Matakis said. “All of these deer were killed with a rifle prior to the general season, with the use of artificial light, and most of them were shot from a county road.”

Elisha Rulison was ordered by the Hill County Justice of the Peace to pay $1,157 in fines and $2,120 in restitution for the four deer he killed. Tyler Adams was ordered to pay $877 in fines and $1120 in restitution for the two deer he killed. Both men lost privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for life in Montana, as well as all 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. They were also sentenced to serve jail time in the Hill County Detention Center.

Janelle Baird was ordered to pay $490 in fines and $500 in restitution for the one deer she killed and, with her involvement with other deer taken in the case, lost her privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for life in Montana and all 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

James Rulison was ordered to pay $305 in fines and $500 in restitution for the one deer he killed. He lost his privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for 11 years in Montana, as well as all 48 states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact.

Anyone with information about crimes involving fish, wildlife or park regulations is encouraged to call FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

Tuesday, December 15th 2015
One Person Killed Monday Afternoon When Amtrak Train Strikes Vehicle Near Kremlin
One person was killed Monday afternoon when Amtrak’s eastbound Empire Builder struck a vehicle obstructing a crossing near Kremlin at about 12:50 p.m., according to Amtrak.

The Havre Daily News reported that the train collided with a white pickup truck, killing one person and injuring two.

There were no reported injuries to the 108 passengers or crew on board, said Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesman.

The train was released by local authorities and departed at 2:58 p.m., after a delay of about two hours, Magliari said.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol, troopers were dispatched around 1 p.m. Monday and are still investigating.

The crash occurred near U.S. 2 and Kremlin High Grade Road, according to the MHP. No other information was immediately available.

Friday, December 11th 2015
Former Employee Of Fort Peck Fine Arts Council Charged With Embezzling And Money Laundering
A joint investigation by the Valley County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI has resulted in criminal charges being filed against a former Executive Director of the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council.

Valley County Attorney Nick Murnion filed the charges on December 8th against Mary Strand. Strand is the former Executive Director of the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council.
Strand has been charged with 4 counts of theft of property by embezzlement and one count of money laundering. All charges are felonies.

District Court Judge John McKeon has ordered Mary Strand to appear before District Court in Glasgow at 10am on December 21st.

The maximum punishment for the charge of embezzlement in Montana is prison term to be not less than 1 year or more than 10 years and a fine not to exceed $50,000.

The maximum punishment for the crime of money laundering is a fine not to exceed $50,000 or be imprisoned in a state prison for a term not to exceed 20 years, or both.

The investigation conducted by the Valley County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI is alleging that Strand embezzled $83,261.37 from the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council. Strand served as the Executive Director of the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council from 2010 to December of 2013.

Court documents allege that Strand used Fort Peck Fine Arts Council credit cards for her own personal use including credit cards from First Security Bank of Malta and First Community Bank of Glasgow. The documents also allege that Strand used the Valley Bank to cash business checks for her own benefit, debit cash withdrawals, checks written to herself and a check payable to her own American Express card. The documents also allege that Strand used a company account at Independence Bank to put cash deposits into her own personal checking account and used USPS money orders to launder funds.

This investigation started in March of 2014 by the Valley County Sheriff's Office and was then joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Fort Peck Fine Arts Council is the parent organization of the Fort Peck Summer Theatre.

Friday, December 11th 2015
New Parking Ordinances Go Into Effect
Glasgow Police Chief Bruce Barstad is reminding Glasgow residents that a new parking ordinance in now in place which changes parking laws in the city.

Previously, the ordinance allowed a vehicle to be parked on a street or alley for no more than 60 consecutive hours. This has been increased to a period of 5 days. Extension permits are available for up to 14 days.

Another seasonal change in the parking ordinance went into effect on December 1st and will go through the end of March. For snow removal purposes over the winter, the parking of campers, Rvs and watercraft will not be allowed on city streets or alleys.

If you have any questions please contact the Glasgow Police Department.

Wednesday, December 9th 2015
Fork Peck Resident and Washington Man Charged With Unlawful Taking of Trophy White-tailed Buck
Jordan Keys, 19, of Fort Peck was charged with violations involving hunting from a public highway, unlawful possession and transportation of a game animal, and using a rifle in a weapons-restriction area. The driver of the vehicle, Robert Greenfield, 46, of Chinook, WA, was charged with unlawful possession and transportation of a game animal.

On Nov. 13, 2015, Glasgow Game Warden Todd Tryan received a call from Valley County Sherriff’s office dispatch stating an eyewitness had just observed an individual shoot a white-tailed buck from the road with a rifle in a weapons-restriction area, below the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Administration building near the town site of Ft. Peck. The deer was loaded in a vehicle and field dressed elsewhere.

With help from the Montana Highway Patrol and the Valley County Sherriff’s office, authorities were able to locate the vehicle and conduct an investigation into the unlawful killing of the buck.

“There have been multiple calls of concern regarding this deer, as many people have observed it around Ft. Peck over the years,” Tryan said. “This buck qualified as a trophy deer.”

Keys was ordered by Valley County Justice of the Peace to pay $505 in fines and $500 in restitution. He lost his privileges to hunt and trap for 24 months in Montana and all 48 states that are members of the Interstate wildlife Violator Compact.

Greenfield was ordered to pay $335 in fines. He also lost his privileges to hunt for 24 months in Montana and all 48 states that are members of the Interstate wildlife Violator Compact.
Warden Tryan wants to thank the eye witness for calling in to report the violation, as well as the Valley County Sherriff’s office deputies Luke Strommen and Alex Esteves for their assistance in the investigation.

Anyone with information about crimes involving fish, wildlife or park regulations is encouraged to call FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

Wednesday, December 9th 2015
Fort Peck Summer Theatre’s Artistic Director, Andy Meyers Nominated in 4 Categories
2015 Broadway World Phoenix Awards November 20, 2015

Artistic Director, Andy Meyers will be returning to The Fort Peck Summer Theatre for his 6th Season in 2016, where he has previously directed and/or choreographed Big River, Leading Ladies, All Shook Up, Willy Wonka, Gypsy, Hairspray, Ring of Fire, Greater Tuna, The Buddy Holly Story, One Man, Two Guvnors, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Disney’s Tarzan, and Steel Magnolias. As an actor, his many appearances at FPST include Harold in The Music Man, Boolie in Driving Miss Daisy, Reverend Moore in Footloose, the title role in Shrek, Frances Henshall in One Man, Two Guvnors and Tarzan’s Father in Disney’s Tarzan.

Andy works tirelessly in bringing the performing arts to our area year-round. In 2015, he sat opposite the talented Pam L. Veis for a winter reading of Love Letters by A.R. Gurney, and they will return once again to showcase The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, February 26 & 27, 2016, along with Sydney Hayward.

Andy performs in the most esteemed venues available, including the Tony Award Winning McCarter Theatre, Missoula Children’s Theatre, Paper Mill Theatre, Shawnee Playhouse, and Arizona Broadway Theatre where he directed The King and I, The Secret Garden, Annie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and The Wonderettes.

It comes as no surprise that Andy was most recently nominated for Best Actor, Director, Supporting Actor, and Choreographer at the 2015 BroadwayWorld Phoenix Awards! Please show your support and help to ensure continued success for this very talented and driven artist by casting your vote today at http://www.broadwayworld.com/phoenix/vote2015region.cfm.

We are so proud to have Andy Meyers as Artistic Director of the Fort Peck Summer Theatre and ask for your added support! He is truly making history in Northeastern Montana!

Wednesday, December 9th 2015
Missing And Endangered Person Warning Issued For Valerie Bullen Who May Be Headed For Fort Peck Indian Reservation
The Montana Department of Justice has issued a missing and endangered person warning for a 17-year-old girl out of Missoula.

According to a bulletin released by the department, Valerie Bullen was reported missing on Tuesday afternoon. The bulletin said that she requires medication for mental and emotional issues and has a history of drug abuse.

Bullen is 5-feet-4-inches tall with brown eyes and black hair. She wears glasses and was last seen wearing a maroon sweatshirt, black leggings and Converse sneakers with studs.

The bulletin says that she may be headed for the Fort Peck Reservation. Anyone with information is urged to call the Missoula Police Department at 406-552-6300.

Tuesday, December 8th 2015
Northwestern Energy Raising Electrical Rates Due To Large Tax Increase
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — NorthWestern Energy officials say they won't appeal a big increase in the company's Montana property taxes after last year's $900 million purchase of 11 hydroelectric dams.

Instead, the company's customers will pay for most of the nearly $23 million tax hike.

Public Service Commission members questioned NorthWestern and Department of Revenue officials about the taxes Monday. They expressed frustration about the amount and the utility's ability to simply pass most of it on to its customers.

NorthWestern underestimated the final tax increase by about $5 million. Attorney John Alke says the utility decided against an appeal because the Montana Tax Appeal Board does not favor corporate taxpayers.

Alke says the hikes will amount to about a 4.5 percent increase in the typical electricity customer's bill and a 4.9 percent average increase for natural gas customers.

Tuesday, December 8th 2015
Valley County Attorney Nick Murnion Applies For Vacant District Court Judgeship In District Number 16
Valley County Attorney Nick Murnion has applied for a vacant District Court Judgeship in Montana Judicial District #16. The 16th Judicial District covers Carter, Custer, Fallon, Garfield, Powder River, Rosebud and Treasure Counties.

There are 3 applicants for the position including Murnion, Wyatt Glade and Kevin Peterson. The Montana Judicial Nominating Commission is currently soliciting public comment on the 3 applicants. Comments will be accepted until 5pm on Sunday, January 3, 2016.

The Commission will forward the names of nominees to Governor Bullock for appointment after reviewing the applications and public comment and interviewing the applicants. The person appointed by the governor is subject to election at the primary and general elections in 2016.

The candidate elected in 2016 will serve for the remainder of Judge Huss's term, which expires January 2019.

Nick Murnion has served as Valley County Attorney since of August of 2009 when he was selected to replace the retiring Ken Oster.

Murnion is a graduate of Garfield County High School in 1971, Montana State University in 1975 and University of Montana School of Law in 1978. He also served previously as Garfield County Attorney from 1979 to 2009.

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