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Saturday, August 30th 2014
Latest On Flooding From Last Weekend

from the Billings Gazette

A deluge that soaked much of the Montana Hi-Line with as much as eight inches of rain earlier this month caused record flooding that had some areas still under water on Friday.

"The good news is things are not getting worse," said Tanja Fransen, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Glasgow. "They are gradually improving."

From Aug. 21 through 25, heavy storms dropped four to eight inches of rain from Glasgow to Malta, swelling streams and rivers to the point of spilling over their banks and into the surrounding areas, including over roads and into homes and buildings.

"As far as the flood goes nothing tragic happened that I know of except for lots of dollars in damage," said Paul Tweten, Valley County road supervisor.

The flooding on the Milk River started in tributaries before spreading to the river itself.

According to the NWS, Beaver Creek at Hinsdale set a new record when it reach 19.52 feet, breaking the old record of 19.44 feet set in 2011.

Fransen said that the Milk River at Nashua normally flows at about 250 cubic feet per second this time of year and that the record before this year was 2,240 cfs, set in 1990.

"This week we saw it hit 12,400 cfs," she said. "We're at about five times what the previous record was."

While the flood waters blocked and washed out roads across the region and damaged numerous bridges, officials said that most residents could, in one way or another, access their property by Friday.

Tweten said that a number of roads remain closed in Valley County, especially ones that aren't paved.

On Thursday, the Bureau of Land Management issued an assessment of damage in Blaine, Phillips and Valley counties with a focus on road conditions.

"Roads are wet, but drying has improved with sunshine the last few days," said Stanley Jaynes, BLM field manager in Havre. "To prevent getting stuck or stranded, motorists should avoid dirt roads a few more days, if possible. This will also reduce further road damage."

Fransen said flooding hit at least 13 roads in Fergus County, although most have since reopened.

In Petroleum County, Sheriff Bill Cassell — who is also the county Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator — spent much of the week scouring county roads, searching out flooded areas, helping residents and assessing damage.

As of Friday, he'd counted at least 22 road sites impacted, along with four bridges that were either damaged or destroyed, and said some roads were so bad that he couldn't even get through them in a full-sized Humvee.

"If a stream crossed underneath the road, it went over the top of the road with the rains," he said. "And that's the whole county. This is pretty much a countywide flooding event."

Past the roads, the rain and flooding also filled basements and crawlspaces with water, damaged crops and isolated livestock.

Fransen said that the state weekly crop report indicates that 80 to 90 percent of the Montana's wheat crop hasn't been harvested, meaning that plenty of the expected annual yield expected in northern Montana was exposed to the storm and floods.

"The huge impact could be on the crops," she said. "When you put five inches of rain on top of your wheat crop, what does that do to it?"

Officials in each county said on Friday that it was too early to get an exact estimate on the damage, with portions of many roads still under water and inaccessible for evaluation.

However, at least two of the counties — Valley and Petroleum — have already submitted a request to Montana Disaster Emergency Service for Gov. Steve Bullock to declare it a disaster.

Steve Knecht, deputy administrator of the state DES, said that early, rough figures estimate damage in Valley County at around $250,000 while it could be between $500,000 and $750,000 in Petroleum County.

"There's still a lot of water out there," he said. "It's fairly flat so it takes a while for that water to flush through. We're hoping by early to mid next week we'll be able to make some final determinations and lay it on the line for the governor's office. When you get up to eight inches of rain in just a couple of days, it just takes a long time for that water to go down."

Officials said that while the flooding is severe, it's not quite up to the levels of 2011, when record rains and higher-than normal snowpack combined with late, quick spring runoff to chew the region for much of the spring and parts of the summer.

Cassell said the floods have cause plenty of damage and headaches but that people the region mostly know how to deal with them. However, he cautioned everyone to still be careful, and patient, on the roads while advising ones impacted by flooding be avoided if possible, especially since many are in rural areas without cell phone service.

"There's a lot of basements flooded but no houses lost or anything like that," he said. "A lot of farmers lost some crop or have critters stranded. Please be careful driving around on the county roads.

"It's all manageable. We're kind of practiced in this. We've had several years of it now. But it takes time to get stuff built back up after something like this."

from the Billings Gazette

Friday, August 29th 2014
Judge asked to toss statement in oil-patch slaying

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge will decide if a suspect's alleged confession to his involvement in the slaying of a woman jogger should be suppressed because the defendant is mentally disabled.

District Judge Richard Simonton has scheduled an Oct. 1 hearing in Sidney in the case of 25-year-old Michael Spell of Parachute, Colorado.

Spell is accused of killing 43-year-old Sherry Arnold during an attempted abduction. The high school teacher disappeared while jogging in Sidney in January 2012. Her body was found more than two months later in North Dakota.

Spell's attorney says he was not mentally capable of waiving his rights to remain silent and have an attorney present for the FBI interview.

Prosecutors say Spell's statements were lawfully obtained.

A second defendant has pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors.

(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Friday, August 29th 2014
Officials say oil ill effects reach MT reservation

POPLAR, Mont. (AP) — Tribal officials say eastern Montana's Fort Peck Indian Reservation is feeling the adverse effects of the drilling boom on the nearby Bakken oil fields.

Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes chairman Rusty Stafne says crime has increased but the reservation isn't seeing the economic gains of neighbors in North Dakota and far eastern Montana. He spoke at a listening session hosted by U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.

Several members of North Dakota's Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation attended the meeting. Their Fort Berthold Indian Reservation produces 300,000 barrels of oil a day. The oil has brought money to the reservation, but Jodi Lee Spotted Bear says it has also come with violence and drugs.

She says the impact on Fort Peck is now just "a drop in the bucket" of what it could be.
(Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Thursday, August 28th 2014
Valley County Passes 2-Mill Disaster Resolution

On Wednesday the Valley County Commissioners passed a resolution to levy 2 mills during fiscal year 2014/2015 for expenses incurred due to the recent flooding.

This will allow Valley County to generate $44,394 to be used as a fiscal match to acquire financial aid from the state and federal government to repair county infrastructure damaged due to the flooding.

The resolution states that the county has committed all available resources, taken all possible action to combat and to alleviate the situation, and local resources are not adequate to cope with the situation. Expenditures for road and bridge repairs necessary to protect life and property continue to be beyond the financial capability of the county.

Valley County passed another 2-mill levy in 2011 to cope with the record flooding and extensively used state and federal resources to repair county infrastructure damaged by flooding.

Wednesday, August 27th 2014
Verda Hoffarth Stewart Honored by Grandsons with Gift to GHS Educational Trust


Drew (Ashley) and Dirk (Bonnie) Markle’s recent gift to the Glasgow High School Educational Trust in memory of their beloved maternal grandmother Verda Hoffarth Stewart does more than honor her many talents and life achievements. It reflects her lessons on family and community, learning and service, hard work and responsibility, values that the brothers are carrying forward in their own lives.

Verda Torgerson Hoffarth Stewart was born and raised on a farm near Dagmar, Montana, and graduated as valedictorian of her class at Medicine Lake High School in 1941. She married Roy P. Hoffarth in 1942, and together they farmed in Raymond, Montana, before moving to Plentywood. Like so many of her contemporaries, Verda’s experiences during the Great Depression and World War II remained vivid throughout her lifetime and shaped the woman she would become--resilient, determined, and devoted.

Roy passed away after a long illness in 1961. Verda then moved her family to Glasgow where she worked for the J.C. Penny Co. from 1962 through 1979 in the business office and as the catalog supervisor. During these years, three of her children (Shannon Hoffarth, Vernita Hoffarth Ares, and Jeanine Hoffarth Markle) graduated from Glasgow High School. In 1979, she transferred with the company to California, where she worked until her retirement.

Although Verda resided in California for the remainder of her life, her roots in the Montana prairie and her love of her extended family and large circle of friends who live there brought her back to the state as often as possible. Always curious and engaged, she enjoyed interests from gardening to ballroom dancing to writing to sewing, and shared them enthusiastically with all she met.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust is honored to add Verda Hoffarth Stewart’s name to its permanent list through the love and generosity of her grandsons, extended family, and friends.

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


The Glasgow High School Educational Trust was established in 1964 by members of the GHS Class of 1938. Their dream 50 years ago was to establish a fund that could significantly help GHS graduates pursue higher education and thereby a better way of life. With assets now totaling over $4.2 million dollars, it is safe to say that their dreams have been realized.

Since its inception, the trust has granted 2026 gifts to hundreds of different GHS graduates to help pay tuition, fees, and other expenses. The overwhelming majority of students receive multiple gifts. To date, the total value of student gifts is $1,728,650.20.

In addition to the gifts made each year to individual students, the GHS Educational Trust also makes gifts to GHS to purchase enrichment programs and equipment that cannot be financed within the regular school budget. Every department of GHS has received such gifts, which benefit all students as well as members of the community at large when they attend events at the school or use its resources. Ninety-nine gifts totaling $190, 308. 33 have been granted to the school.

Drew and Dirk both benefited from the gifts made to GHS to support all students, and they appreciate the trust’s mission. Their mother, Jeanine Hoffarth Markle, a trustee since 1985, is the current Chief Executive Office of the trust, and their paternal grandmother, Lois Wilson Markle, was a founding trustee and administrator for 36 years. The brothers have observed firsthand what a difference 50 years of devoted community service can make.

GHS graduates who are pursuing higher education at the baccalaureate or vocational/ technical level may apply for financial assistance through a semi-annual application process administered by the trustees. All applicants must have completed at least one year of college or one semester of vocational school, be full-time students in good academic standing, and fulfill other requirements listed on the application available on the trust’s website at www.ghsedutrust.org. Financial need has always been a primary consideration. Application deadlines are July 1st and October 15th of each year. The next semi-annual meeting will be held in November. The trustees would like to encourage all qualified graduates of Glasgow High School to apply.

At its regular semi-annual meeting, the trustees reviewed 35 applications for gifts from students and three requests from the school. It was the consensus of the Board that more students should be applying. Trustees awarded the following gifts for the Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters:

First Time Recipients:

Danielle Belleau – Dakota College at Bottineau – Fall - IHO Everett & Elizabeth Breigenzer – Spring – IHO Everett & Elizabeth Breigenzer
Griffin Bengochea –Bismarck State College-Fall- IMO Verda Hoffarth Stewart – Spring – IMO Verda Hoffarth Stewart
Alaina Cole-Montana State University-Bozeman – Fall – IHO Bill and Peggy Pattison – Spring – IHO Bill and Peggy Pattison
Debra Griebel – University of North Dakota – Fall – IHO – Men’s Morning Fellowship Group – Spring IRO Tom and Flora Coghlan Family
Jami Johnson – Montana State University – Bozeman – Fall – IMO James “Jamie” Fewer – Spring – IHO Class of 1958
Jessica Mehling – University of Great Falls – Fall – IHO Class of 1992 and Friends – Spring – IMO Cecil and Chloe Toftness
Taylor Odenbach – Montana State University-Bozeman – Fall – IRO Valley Bank – Spring – IMO Peter J. Grobel
Alex Page – University of Montana – Fall – IMO Arthur and Audrey Parke – Spring – IMO Arthur and Audrey Parke
Rachel Pewitt - Montana State University - Bozeman - Fall 2014 - IHO Charlotte Bruce - Spring 2015 - IRO Willard & Charlotte Bruce
Kristina Rauscher – University of Great Falls – Fall – IMO Rosalie Holding – Spring – IHO Stan Andersen Family
Taylor Strommen – Western Governors University – Fall – IHO Beryl Pehlke – Spring – IRO Herb & Lucille Friedl Family

Second Time Recipeints:

Devyn Bell – Gonzaga University – Fall – IHO Ken R. Gilbert – Spring – IRO Russel & Arlene Heacox
Kirsten Bense – Montana State University-Northern – Fall – IMO Robert “Bob” Farrell – Spring – IMO Robert “Bob” Farrell
Emily Etchart – University of Montana – Spring – IMO Dr. F. M. & Bernice Knierim
Joshua McIntyre – Carroll College – Fall - IHO Randy Andersen – Spring – IHO Mitch McCleery
Samantha Arneson Metcalf - Carrington College – Fall – IMO Lila Moen Sanders & IHO Phyllis Moen Sanguine – Spring – IMO Maxine Fiedler
Tyana Rasmusan – Montana Tech UM – Fall – IHO Dorothy Kolstad – Spring – IHO Dorothy Kolstad
Samuel W. Smith – University of Utah – Fall – IRO Glenn & Carolee Grina Wallem – Spring – IRO Paul & Joyce Ruffcorn Jacobson
Shelby Stormer – University of Montana – Missoula – Fall – IHO James & Ailene Dokken Olk – Spring – IMO Erik Walstad
Melissa Unger – University of Montana – Missoula – Fall – IHO O. E. & Lois Markle Family – Spring - IMO Marsha Cotton Hall

Third Time Recipients:

Sarah Cassel - North Dakota State University – Fall - IHO Sever & Esther Enkerud – Spring – IHO Sever and Esther Enkerud
Sienna Dailey – Minot State University – Fall – IHO Bill & Peggy Pattison – Spring – IMO Leonard H. & Kathryn L. Langen
Marina Hansen – Montana State University – Bozeman – Fall – IMO Dr. Nancy Lee Etchart – Spring – IMO L. J. & Jean Baker
Jeffrey Irving – Montana State University - Bozeman – IRO Ione & Phyllis Kleppin - Spring – IRO Stannebein Family
Ethan Kliewer – UM-College of Technology – Fall – IMO Richard “Dick” & Mary Lou Alley Wagenhals – Spring – IRO Beatrice Trites Family
Dara Morehouse – University of North Dakota – Fall – IMO Carla Leistiko Murphy – Spring – IMO Ardis Parke Fuhrman
Ashley Roness – University of Montana – Fall – IMO Ivy and Millie Knight – Spring – IRO Vern & Edna Richardson Family
Tiffany Wetzel – Montana State University – Billings – Fall – IMO Arthur & Audrey Parke – Spring - IRO John & Catherine Etchart Family

Fourth Time Recipients

Walter Belleau – Montana State University –Billings – Fall – IMO Horace O. & Emma C. Gamas – Spring – IMO Harry Rybock
Alacia Cole – UM Skagg’s School of Pharmacy – Fall – IHO James F. & Anne Hoffmann – Spring – IRO LeRoy & Bess Lockwood Family
Simon Helland – University of Montana-Missoula – Fall – IMO Cecil and Chloe Toftness – Spring – IMO Cecil and Chloe Toftness

Gifts to Glasgow High School

Scanner for Science Department – IRO James & Eleanor Wedum Family
PLTW Laptop for Industrial Arts Department – IMO Ron Combs
Adobe Creative Suite Software for Business Department – IHO of Class of 1972.

Tuesday, August 26th 2014
Former Glasgow Resident Daniel Burns Dies In Montana State Prison Infirmary

A man serving a 25-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of children has died.

Montana State Prison spokeswoman Linda Moodry said Daniel Burns, 76, died Monday at about 6:30 a.m. from an extended illness. Burns was housed in the Lewistown Infirmary when he died.

Burns was serving a 60 year prison sentence, with 35 years suspended, for the offense in Roosevelt County. He was eligible for parole in November, and his discharge date was 8-18-2033.

Monday, August 25th 2014
Valley County And City Of Glasgow Pass Emergency Resolution Due To Flooding

The Valley County Commissioners and Glasgow Mayor Becky Erickson have signed off on a emergency resolution due to extensive flooding in Valley County and the City of Glasgow. There have been reports of 5 to 7 inches of rainfall in Valley County for a period from August 21-24. Glasgow reported 5.26 inches of rain for that period which is the most total rainfall that Glasgow has seen in a 4 day period in the history of weather reporting from the National Weather Service.

The resolution passed by the Valley County Commissioners and Mayor Erickson will allow Valley County and the City of Glasgow to work with other governmental agencies to obtain equipment to help mitigate the damage occurring because of the flooding.

The Milk River at Glasgow is currently flooding and the Milk River at Nashua is expected to hit flood stage on Tuesday. Beaver Creek near Hinsdale is also flooding.

Glasgow Mayor Becky Erickson said that the levee protecting the City of Glasgow from the flood waters of the Milk River was in no danger of failing but the emergency was declared so the city will be prepared if flood waters continue to rise.

Valley County Commissioner Bruce Peterson told Kltz/Klan that the county had 13 county maintained roads that either had or have water running over the top.

Peterson said county road crews are currently assessing the damage to present to Montana Disaster and Emergency Services.

Monday, August 25th 2014
Valley County Sheriff's Office Confiscates Marijuana With A Street Value Of $80,000

The Valley County Sheriff's Office along with the Tri-Agency Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on August 22nd at 43 Mallard Drive in the cabin area of Fort Peck Lake. Officials found a marijuana growing operation and confiscated marijuana with a street value of an estimated $80,000.

No arrests were made but Sheriff Glen Meier said the investigation continues by the VCSO and the Tri-Agency Drug Task Force.

Sunday, August 24th 2014
Roads Closed In Valley County Due To Flooding

ATTENTION!!! The following roads in Valley County are CLOSED!! Please do not drive on roadways that have running water over them!! If you find a road that has water on it and is not on the list please call Dispatch.

Nelson Road
Riverside Drive
Kirwin Road
Billingsley Road
Cherry Valley Road
The old Tampico Road 3 miles east of Vandalia
Whatley Road
Larb Creek Road
The dirt track going under the tracks east of the crossing in Nashua
Cutacross Road
Skylark Road
Granada Road

Farm Equipment Sales
Cottonwood Inn
D & G
Helland Agency
Valley Bank
Northern Prairie Auto Sales
Reynolds
Sand Electric
Dale Plumbing & Heating
Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital
Fort Peck Summer Theatre
United Insurance & Realty
Hi-Line Ford
Tire-rama Glasgow
First Community Bank
Prairie Ridge
Bakers Jewelry
Big Sky Water
Cape Air