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

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

“These deer were probably harvested during the fall hunting season and were left hanging in a garage,” Tryan said. “The person or persons responsible never removed the meat from these deer, and they went to waste. On top of that, they then decided to dump them near a road right in from of a Block Management sign-in box. If a hunter does not want the meat from a harvested animal, they need to donate it to programs such as Hunters against Hunger.”
Anyone with information about the crime is encouraged to call Warden Tryan directly at 406-263-0067 or FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668).

The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where one can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments must be received by April 30 to be considered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The election is set for May 5th.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://glasgow.k12.mt.us/District/Department/34-Irle-Elementary-228-2419/Gallery/

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have Fun, Be Safe, and Come Back!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not everyone would choose to drive faster, Sales said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

DEADLINE LOOMS FOR LANDOWNERS' ACCESS PROGRAM TAX CREDIT
Landowners have until March 15 to submit applications to Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks for enrollment in a unique public-access program that may qualify them for up to $2,000 in annual tax credits.

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

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

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

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

SIGN-UP TIME FOR 'OPEN FIELDS' ENROLLED IN FEDERAL CONSERVATION PROGRAM
It's time for landowners in a select list of counties to enroll in the state-sponsored "Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters," a voluntary extra incentive offering aimed at further conserving productive game bird habitat enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


REMINDER: THINK WATCHABLE WILDLIFE AT TAX TIME
The annual nongame income tax check-off fund on state tax-return forms, helps Montana's wild creatures and offers Montana tax-payers a tax deduction.

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

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

TAKE CARE AS BEARS BEGIN TO STIR
Some of Montana's hibernating black bears and grizzly bears are beginning to stir.

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

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

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

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

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

SPRING BLACK BEAR HUNTING SEASON COMING SOON
Montana's spring black bear hunting season opens April 15.

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

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

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

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

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

SPRING TURKEY SEASON OPENS APRIL 11
Montana's spring male turkey hunting season begins April 11 this year.

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

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

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

HELP TAKE CARE OF THE OUTDOORS - CALL 1-800-TIP-MONT
Montana's TIP-MONT "crimestopper" program is at work year round to help stop wildlife crimes and vandalism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Billings (406) 896-5266

Butte (406) 441-1115

Dillon (406) 683-8006

Glasgow (406) 228-3777

Lewistown (406) 538-1939

Malta (406) 654-5112

Miles City (406) 233-2830

Missoula (406) 329-3825

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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