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The Loaded Toad

Posted (Wednesday, July 24th 2024)

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen announced that 398 Montana school districts will receive over $72 million in federal Title funding for fiscal year 2025. This is an increase of $744,000 from the previous fiscal year. Federal Title funding is used to provide supplemental services to boost academic success in students who are:

• From low-income families
• Homeless
• Neglected and delinquent
• English language learners
• Migrant

“Federal, state, and local tax dollars are precious,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “The flexible use of these funds reflects the unique needs of our communities. Utilizing these federal dollars through local control strengthens the opportunity for all Montana students to achieve educational excellence.”

In 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) established federal Title funds to provide extra support and educational opportunities for underprivileged students across the country. The majority of funding comes through the Title I, Part A program which provides supplemental support to low-income students who are behind academically. Other Title funding programs serve specific student groups. Funds are generally used for additional staff to provide pull-out services, tutoring, or supplemental classroom support. Districts can also use some of their funding for supplies, equipment, or technology.

Students who attend private or home schools but meet eligibility requirements can also be served through their local educational agency using set-aside Title funds. During the 2023-2024 school year, Montana school districts utilized Title funds to support over 10,400 students.

To view the federal funding for Montana School Districts click here:


https://opi.mt.gov/Leadership/Academic-Success/Federal-Programs/Federal-Allocation-Bulletin

Valley County Searching For Refuse District Manager

Posted (Wednesday, July 24th 2024)

The Valley County Commissioners are searching for a Manager for the Valley County Refuse District.

According to a release from the Valley County Commissioners, the Refuse District Manager is responsible for the operation and management of the Valley County Refuse District.

The person selected for this position, will replace Brian Austin, who had his employment terminated by the Valley County Commissioners last week.

The release states that the position requires a valid driver's license, operation and maintenance experience, administrative and communication skills. The pay is $26.50 to $28.50 per hour depending on experience with a full county benefits package.

The job description and application are available in the Valley County Commissioners Office and online at valleycountymt.gov

Nemont Announces Sale Of North Dakota Telecom Properties

Posted (Wednesday, July 24th 2024)

Nemont Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Nemont) and Northwest Communications Cooperative (NCC) are pleased to announce the sale of Nemont’s North Dakota telecom properties to NCC. Nemont’s customers in Williston, Trenton, Fortuna, Ambrose, and East Westby will now be served by North Dakota-based NCC, a 100% fiber-to-the-home internet service and communications provider.

Nemont and NCC share the same values and vision in providing the best technology and customer service. For decades, Nemont and NCC leadership have worked together on communication issues affecting rural America and share some technology resources. The sale provides these North Dakota-based customers with services from a North Dakota-based cooperative with operations much closer to their homes and businesses.

“In today’s everchanging broadband industry, the benefits of being hyper-local are clear. NCC is an excellent company and shares our core goals,” said Mike Kilgore, CEO, Nemont.

“As an industry partner with Nemont, we are honored to continue their vision to provide the best internet and voice services available today. Together we are working on a plan to transition these customers to the NCC network. With our proximity to these North Dakota-based homes and businesses, both cooperatives believe this is a great fit for these customers,” said Jeremy Becker, CEO, NCC.

Once the purchase is finalized and approved by the state and FCC, NCC will be reaching out to each customer to share information on transition of services and answer any questions. Both Nemont and NCC are committed to making the transition as seamless as possible. This decision was made by both cooperatives with customers’ best interest in mind.

About Nemont
Nemont is a telecommunications service provider serving northeastern Montana, south central Montana, and northern Wyoming. Nemont is committed to connecting rural customers to the world through innovative wireline and wireless broadband services. Nemont was organized in 1950 and is headquartered in Scobey, Montana. nemont.com

About NCC
NCC was formed in 1951 and brings reliable telecommunication services to the homes and businesses in 17 exchanges in northwest North Dakota with headquarters in Ray, ND. NCC offers fiber-based Internet, Video, Telephone, North Dakota Long Distance, Security/Video Surveillance Systems and Business Phone Systems; and, is an owner company of Dakota Carrier Networks (DCN). In addition to a commitment to consistently provide members with cutting edge communications, NCC finds great importance of being part of the communities we serve by providing student scholarships, grants, and sponsoring community and school events. Visit nccray.com for more information.

Northwestern Energy Warns Of Possibility That Montana Could See Rolling Blackouts

Posted (Tuesday, July 23rd 2024)

Northwestern Energy is warning about the possibility that they'll shut off power in portions of Montana on Thursday due to potential of critical fire weather.

Due to extreme weather conditions, NorthWestern is monitoring weather forecasts in Montana. At this time, we are closely watching weather forecasts calling for high winds combined with high temperatures and low humidity forecasted for Thursday afternoon, July 25.

We have entered the 1.1 Monitoring Stage of our Public Safety Power Shutoff Plan. There are no planned power outages at this time. This is the earliest stage of the plan. If extreme weather conditions threaten our ability to safely operate the electrical grid, we will turn off power to help protect public safety.

This is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff, or PSPS. At this time, NorthWestern Energy will closely monitor the weather forecast. If a customer’s power is going to be shut off, we will contact you directly via email and/or phone at the email address or phone number we have on file. We continue to watch the forecasted wind event. If a planned power outage is needed for public safety, it is most likely in wildfire-prone areas outside Butte, Helena, Great Falls or Bozeman.

Air Quality Diminishing In Montana Due To Smoke From Canadian Wildfires

Posted (Tuesday, July 23rd 2024)

While most of the Canadian smoke may get pushed out of eastern Montana through this morning, it looks like smoke from the Pacific Northwest may move in during the afternoon tomorrow and be just as bad as yesterday.

The smoke is causing diminishing air quality all across Montana. This morning as of 5am, air quality at the Malta monitoring station had air quality as moderate.

To see the latest air quality in Montana: https://gis.mtdeq.us/portal/apps/experiencebuilder/experience/?id=000f42b119c44c7f9c3b4336470c721e

Verizon-Cellular Plus Giving Away Free Backpacks

Posted (Tuesday, July 23rd 2024)

Verizon-Cellular Plus in Glasgow will be giving away free backpacks filled with school supplies on Saturday, July 27 from 10 am to noon.

“We are delighted to support our local community by providing students with new backpacks and essential school supplies,” said President Adam Kimmet. “We hope this event eases some financial challenges for families. It's incredibly rewarding to see children leave the store sporting a new backpack, and ready to start the school year with confidence.”

The Verizon-Cellular Plus Backpack to School program is supported by contributions from employees, customers, and vendor partners. An internal employee donation drive was organized, and stores are also accepting donations from customers to assist as many families as possible. All donations stay within the local community, ensuring that each backpack donated at a specific location is given to a child in that area.

The backpack and school supplies are completely free; no purchase is necessary to qualify. A child must be present with an adult to claim their free backpack. Supplies are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cellular Plus is located at 54147 US-2, next to the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Cellular Plus is a Verizon authorized retailer, founded in 1998, and headquartered in Billings, MT.

Valley County Road Department Spraying Dust Control On Skylark Road

Posted (Tuesday, July 23rd 2024)

On Wednesday 7/24 and Thursday 7/25 the Valley County Road department will be prepping the road surface and spraying dust control from Highway 2 to the bridge on Skylark Road.

Skylark Road will remain open but during this process traffic flow may be stopped, slowed, and or delayed temporarily. Avoid this area if possible.

Valley County Health Department Encouraging Residents To Be Prepared Proactive During Heat Wave

Posted (Tuesday, July 23rd 2024)

Notice from the Valley County Health Department:


"With the current and upcoming heat wave, the Valley County Health Department encourages residents to be prepared and proactive to stay safe in the heat. The National Weather Service recommends citizens: wear light and loose-fitting clothing, drink water and stay hydrated, avoid strenuous outdoor activities, rest in the shade, seek air conditioning, and check on loved ones. NEVER leave people or pets inside vehicles. If you or a loved one experience signs of heat illness such as: nausea, dizziness, or fainting, seek medical attention immediately. Stay safe and stay cool."

Excessive Heath Watch Issued For All Northeast Montana

Posted (Monday, July 22nd 2024)

An upper level ridge holding steady over the region will lead to high temperatures this week to approach 100°F, and by Thursday, as high as 110°F in some of the lower valleys of the Milk/Missouri/Yellowstone rivers.

As such, an Excessive Heat Watch has been issued for all of northeast Montana. If possible, limit time outdoors during these days, stay hydrated, and never leave kids unattended in vehicles.

Valley County Schools Receive Accreditation Status From Office Of Public Instruction

Posted (Monday, July 22nd 2024)

Superintendent Arntzen released historic accreditation statuses for Montana schools during last week's Board of Public Education (BPE) meeting. The 2023-2024 accreditation status includes 833 Montana public, state funded, and private accredited schools.

To be an accredited school in Montana means that the state officially recognizes that school as a place where a student can reasonably be expected to get a quality education.

Some schools have a status of “advice”, which means the school exhibits serious and/or numerous deviations from the standards. Staying in “advice” status for two years means that the school district in question will be considered deficient, which can lead to a school losing accreditation.

There are four accreditation determinations outlined in Administrative Rules of Montana 10.55.605:

Regular - the school has met the assurance standards and student performance standards as defined in ARM 10.55.606, and the Licensure Endorsement Requirements Related to Teaching Assignments

Regular with Minor Deviation - the school does not meet all the requirements of regular accreditation. Schools have three years to remedy the deviation, or a lower category of accreditation will be assigned.

Advice - the school exhibits serious and/or numerous deviations from the standards.

Deficiency - the school is in advice status for two years, has not complied with the required corrective plan, and continues to have serious and/or numerous deviations, or has substantially increased the seriousness of deviations over the previous year.

According to Montana Office of Public Instruction here are the accreditation statuses for Valley County public schools:

Glasgow Irle School- Regular
Glasgow Middle School- Regular
Glasgow High School- Advice

Hinsdale Elementary- Regular MD
Hinsdale 7-8- Regular MD
Hinsdale High School- Regular MD

Opheim Elementary- Regular MD
Opheim 7-8- Regular MD
Opheim High School- Regular

Nashua Elementary- Advice
Nashua 6-8- Advice
Nashua High School- Advice

Frazer Elementary- Regular
Frazer 7-8- Regular
Frazer High School- Advice

Northwestern Energy Requesting Rate Increase For Electric And Natural Gas Customers

Posted (Monday, July 22nd 2024)

NorthWestern Energy submitted a request to the Montana Public Service Commission asking to raise rates for electric and natural gas customers.

An official with NorthWestern Energy said they’re requesting the increase because of inflation and the rising cost of materials.

If approved by the Public Service Commission, electric customers will see an increase of $2 per month. Customers using natural gas will see an increase of $5 per month.

The company is also looking at additional increases in 2025, which would amount to an increase of $9 per month for both electric and natural gas.

Throughout the state, over 40,000 NorthWestern customers use electric service, and over 200,000 use natural gas.

“We understand that there are other pressures. Just like our costs have gone up, our customers’ costs have gone up,” said Jo Dee Black, NorthWestern Energy public relations specialist.

Another challenge for NorthWestern is the billion-dollar investments in infrastructure. Black noted the Yellowstone County Generating Station, which could produce 175 megawatts. It’s a bonus for the company to produce locally, which she says could lesson costs in the future.

“We’ll be able to purchase less energy on the market, which is typically very high priced,” Black said. “It’s supply and demand when that is very high priced.”

A recent study released by personal finance company WalletHub ranked Montana fourth overall in the country for how much money is spent on energy per month.

Diana Polk, communications manager with WalletHub, said using annual data from 2022 collected from U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Federal Highway Administration, American Automobile Association and more, they pieced together a formula that incorporates how much is spent on electricity, natural gas, home heating oil and motor fuel. Energy consumption and price contributed to the cost.

Polk used Montana as an example to demonstrate the calculation:

Electricity: 1107 kWh $0.1133 = $125.06

Natural Gas: 8.43 units $10.42 = $88.03

Home Heating Oil: 84.46 gallons $4.69 = $396.18

Motor Fuel: $3.60 (49.63 miles / average motor-fuel consumption) = $178.00

Adding these together gives Montana a total average monthly energy cost of $787.

Iowa total energy cost is $798, North Dakota is $840 and Wyoming is at the top of the list with $1,591.

Black said it’s not easy to make the requests for higher rates.

“To make the substantial investments required for essential energy service, we have to be a financially healthy company,” Black said.

The Public Service Commission will consider the price increase request in October.

106 Degree High Temperature Forecast For Glasgow On Thursday

Posted (Sunday, July 21st 2024)

Widespread high temperatures in the 100s are expected for much of northeast Montana this Wednesday and Thursday. Glasgow could reach a high of 106 degrees on Thursday.

Zora Holt Named Montana State University Provost Scholar

Posted (Friday, July 19th 2024)

Thirteen high school graduates from throughout the state and country, including six from Montana, have been named 2024 Montana State University Provost Scholars.

The award is one of MSU’s most prestigious scholarships.

“We are honored that these students have chosen to attend Montana State University,” MSU provost Robert Mokwa said. “We know they will impact our community, state and nation in significant ways.”

The MSU Provost Scholarship awards are based on scholastic achievement, demonstrated leadership and exemplary public service. Recipients of the Provost Scholarship also receive an annual stipend plus a tuition waiver. The scholarship is for four years if the students maintain superior academic standing at MSU.

“This scholarship reflects these students’ extraordinary accomplishments, hard work and potential to make significant contributions to society,” said Durward Sobek, interim dean of the MSU Honors College.

“We celebrate their success and look forward to welcoming them to the Bobcat family as they embark on this exciting new chapter in their educational journey.”

One of the six Montana recipients is from Hinsdale, Mt. Zora Holt is a graduate of Hinsdale High School and plans to study pre-veterinary medicine. She participated in 4-H, FFA, band, choir, basketball and track and field all four years of high school and held offices in her 4-H club and FFA chapter. She was also involved in National Honor Society and cross-country. Notable accomplishments include winning the 2022 Montana FFA Star State Secretary award, breaking Hinsdale’s 3,200-meter record during her senior track season and graduating as valedictorian. Her parents are Jason Holt and Sierra Stoneberg Holt.

Valley County Commissioners Terminate Employment Of Valley County Refuse District Manager

Posted (Friday, July 19th 2024)

A 30-year employee with the Valley County Landfill, Brian Austin, saw his employment with Valley County terminated on Wednesday.

Austin has been the Valley County Landfill Manager and Valley County Refuse District Manager for 25 years and has been employed by Valley County for 30 years.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the Valley County Commissioners voted unanimously to terminate Austin's employment. No discussion took place between the 3 commissioners before the vote took place.

Valley County Commissioner Mary Armstrong stated during the meeting that Austin had been sent a due process letter stating alleged violations of the county personnel policy. Armstrong noted that Austin replied to the due process letter last week and the purpose of the meeting was to consider whether any disciplinary action was warranted.

A motion was made to terminate Austin's employment and the motion was seconded. No discussion took place and the vote was unanimous with Commissioner Paul Tweten, John Fahlgren and Mary Armstrong all voting yes.

A turbulent relationship has existed between the commissioners and Brian Austin since the commissioners disbanded the former Valley County Refuse District Board comprised of members of the public. After disbanding the board, the Valley County Commissioners took over management of the Valley County Refuse District and appointed themselves as the governing board.

Austin has a lawsuit pending against the Valley County Commissioners claiming invasion of privacy, breach of public duty and constitutional violations. The lawsuit was filed in May of this year and is in the early stages of moving through the judicial process.

None of the alleged violations of the personnel policy were made public at the meeting on Wednesday and the commissioners didn't release the reply made by Austin to the alleged violations.

Valley County Commissioner Paul Tweten told Kltz/Mix-93 that August Aho has been named interim Valley County Refuse District Manager and will fill that role for the foreseeable future.

To view a audio and video recording of the Wednesday meeting:

https://www.valleycountymt.gov/board-county-commissioners/pages/video-recordings-discussion-and-decision-meetings

Hot Weather Forecast For Northeast Montana

Posted (Thursday, July 18th 2024)

Highs will be in the 90s most of the time across NE Montana for the next 7 days.

There will be chances for showers and thunderstorms at times between this afternoon and Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, look for clear to partly cloudy skies for the next week.

Marijuana Sales Increase In Valley County

Posted (Thursday, July 18th 2024)

The Montana Department of Revenue is reporting that marijuana sales in Valley County increased in the month of June compared to May.

Sales in Valley County totaled $144,103 in the month of June. This includes $121,923 in adult use sales and $22,179 in medical sales.

This compares to sales of $141,105 in May and $137,577 in the month of April.

Sales in Montana totaled $26,945,439 in the month of June.

Montana Ranks high In Fatal DUI Rates And Per Capita Alcohol Consumpion

Posted (Thursday, July 18th 2024)

A new analysis by injury lawyers Bader Scott reveals that eight of the ten states with the highest fatal DUI rates also report some of the highest alcohol consumption levels nationwide.

The study analyzed the latest NHTSA data on the number of deadly crashes involving drivers under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication. This was then compared to the alcohol consumption rates per state, as per the World Population Review.

Montana tops the list as the state most affected by DUI deaths, with almost one-third (32.5%) of fatal crashes involving impaired drivers.

This high rate of fatalities could be linked to Montana's annual alcohol consumption of 3.3 gallons per capita, which is 32% higher than the national average of 2.5 gallons.

Vermont follows, with more than one-quarter of deadly crashes involving intoxicated drivers (26.5%). The state also consumes 29% more alcohol than the national average.

Idaho is third on the list for fatal DUIs at 23.8%. However, unlike other states in the top ten, alcohol consumption in Idaho is lower than the average at 2.1 gallons per capita.

Colorado is the fourth biggest DUI offender, with more than one in five fatal crashes involving a driver under the influence (21.5%). The state also reports an alcohol consumption rate that’s 19% above the national average.

Delaware completes the five worst states, with 19.7% of deadly collisions involving intoxicated drivers. Delaware residents also consume alcohol at a rate that’s a huge 60% above the national average.

Notably, eight of these states—Montana, Vermont, Colorado, Delaware, Nevada, Wyoming, California and New Hampshire—are also among the top ten for highest alcohol consumption per capita in the U.S.

While some states exhibit high rates of impaired driving, others report lower percentages of intoxicated drivers involved in fatal crashes. Virginia stands out as the least-affected state, with just 3.8% of fatal crashes involving intoxicated drivers.

Following behind, Missouri has a relatively low percentage of 5%, and South Dakota comes in third with 5.1%. These states could serve as models for other states looking to improve road safety and reduce impaired driving fatalities.

Between 2018 and 2022, more than a quarter of a million (278,799) drivers were involved in fatal crashes across the United States. Out of these, 30,677 drivers were found to be under the influence, representing 11% of all deadly collisions.

Seth Bader, spokesperson for injury lawyers Bader Scott, highlights the gravity of the situation, saying: "The correlation between high alcohol consumption and increased DUI fatalities indicates the need for intervention. States like Montana, Delaware, and New Hampshire, which have some of the highest alcohol consumption rates in the nation, also report some of the highest rates of DUI-related fatalities.

“This data shows that there is an urgent need for support in states with high alcohol consumption. Enhanced law enforcement efforts, such as increasing the number of sobriety checkpoints in drink and drug driving hot spots, could be the way forward.

“Public awareness campaigns can also go a long way in educating local communities about the dangers and legal consequences of driving under the influence. It won’t take just one solution but a combination of education, enforcement, and better support systems that will make a real difference.”


Grant Money Awarded To Montana School To Provide Services to Homeless Students

Posted (Wednesday, July 17th 2024)

Superintendent Elsie Arntzen is pleased to announce that 12 Montana school districts will receive $424,800 in reallocated funds from the American Rescue Plan Homeless Children and Youth (ARP-HCY) program through the U.S. Department of Education. Districts across Montana will receive funds to provide meaningful services to over 1,000 homeless students, helping them stay on track with their educational goals and aspirations. Districts may use ARP-HCY Funds to:

Identify homeless children and youth
Provide comprehensive wraparound services in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Provide needed assistance to enable homeless children and youth to attend and participate fully in school activities, such as:
In-person instruction
Spring and summer learning
Enrichment programs


The 12 districts that received reallocated funds are:

Anaconda - $7,500
Bonner - $2,000
Bozeman - $55,000
Florence-Carlton - $2,000
Glendive - $88,800
Hardin - $30,000
Kalispell - $98,000
Lockwood - $5,000
Missoula - $65,000
Ronan - $8,000
Townsend - $49,000
Vaughn - $14,500

Homeless students is an issue in Montana according to the Montana Office of Public Instruction. In the 2022-2023 school year there were 5261 homeless school students in Montana compared to 4730 in 2021-2022.

The Montana OPI has a district by district count of homeless students. The data can be found here:
https://gems.opi.mt.gov/student-data

National Weather Service Confirms Tornado Near Baylor In Valley County

Posted (Tuesday, July 16th 2024)

The National Weather Service Office in Glasgow confirmed a tornado near Baylor in Valley County on July 12th. The NWS produced a graphic on Monday and released this short statement.

A strong thunderstorm moved through Valley county on July 12th, and produced a tornado near Baylor. The damage path stretched for over 15 miles, and tore up a barn along the way.

Alive@5 Wednesday In Downtown Glasgow

Posted (Tuesday, July 16th 2024)

Wednesday from 5-8:00, It's another Alive@5 by Elle Boutique in downtown Glasgow.

Live music from SIDEWAYS, plus Miki’s Food Truck, yard games, drinks, another fire truck pull, and children’s activities provided by The Children’s Museum.

Don't miss another Alive@5 Wednesday in downtown Glasgow!

Glasgow City Council Meeting On Monday

Posted (Monday, July 15th 2024)

The Glasgow City Council will have their regular meeting tonight at 5pm in the council chambers at the Glasgow Civic Center.

Valley County Pool Committee Awarded $324,471 In Funding To Build Bathhouse

Posted (Monday, July 15th 2024)

Press Release from Valley County Pool Committee

The City of Glasgow is thrilled to announce a significant boost to the Valco Pool Committee’s Project. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has awarded $324,471 to the City, propelling the Valco Pool Committee closer to their fundraising goal. This additional grant from the LWCF brings the Pool Committee approximately $220,000 away from having the bathhouse fully funded. Since 2018, the Valco Pool Committee has raised $3,979,665.

With this generous grant, enough has been fundraised to initiate the bidding process. However, to award a bid, the full amount will need to be raised. Mayor Karst has added an agenda item for the City Council meeting on July 15 to vote on starting the bidding process.

"This is a tremendous step forward for our community," said Maggan Walstad, Valco Pool Committee President. “The bathhouse is an essential part of our project, and we are hopeful that this final fundraising push will enable the bathhouse to be ready at the same time the pool, which will be finished May 31, 2025. We encourage everyone who has considered donating to the project to do so now. Every contribution helps us get one step closer to making the bathhouse a reality."

The Valco Pool Committee has been working tirelessly to bring this project to fruition since 2018, and community support has been vital. Now, more than ever, your donations can make a difference.
If you are interested in donating to help complete the bathhouse, now is the time. Contributions can be made online at valcopool.com, in person at the City Office or by contacting a Valco Pool Committee member.

We are proud to see the hard work and contributions from our community come together to provide a bright future for upcoming generations.

Glasgow School Board, Valley County Commission And Glasgow City Council Begin Recording Meetings As Required By Montana Law

Posted (Monday, July 15th 2024)

Monday, July 1, was the effective date for a new state law that leaders say is intended to give the public a clearer picture of the work their local government is doing.

House Bill 890, sponsored by Rep. Brad Barker, R-Luther, requires many local government boards to record their meetings and post the recordings online within five business days.

Under HB 890, cities with more than 5,000 residents, counties with more than 4,500, most school districts with more than 1,000, and local health boards have to record the audio and video of their meetings. Smaller counties and cities with between 1,000 and 5,000 residents will only need to record audio.

The law requires the Glasgow School Board, Glasgow City Council and the Valley County Commission to record their meetings.

All other school districts in Valley County and the Town of Nashua, Town of Fort Peck and Town of Opheim arent affected by the new law and aren't required to record meetings.

The City of Glasgow has to record the audio of all City Council meetings while Valley County and the Glasgow School District have to record audio and video.

Video of Glasgow School Board meetings can be found here: https://www.glasgow.k12.mt.us/page/school-board

Audio of Glasgow City Council meetings can be found here:
https://www.cityofglasgowmt.com/

Video of Valley County Commission meetings can be found here:
https://www.valleycountymt.gov/board-county-commissioners/pages/video-recordings-discussion-and-decision-meetings

Valley County Commission Weekly Meeting

Posted (Monday, July 15th 2024)

The Valley County Commissioners are set to hold their weekly meeting on Wednesday at 10:30am at the Valley County Courthouse.

Governor Gianforte Visits Glasgow Touts Block Management Program

Posted (Monday, July 15th 2024)

Joining Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), Governor Greg Gianforte last week visited with a longtime partner of the Block Management Program in Valley County to thank him for his partnership and celebrate increasing hunting access for Montanans.

“Through Block Management, Montanans have access to nearly 8 million acres of private land to hunt and recreate, and even more when considering the access those acres provide to adjacent or isolated public lands,” Gov. Gianforte said. “I’m grateful for all our landowner partners in the Block Management Program who increase access and hunting opportunities for Montanans.”


Gov. Gianforte surveying the Swenson Block Management Area with Leonard Swenson and FWP administrators

The Block Management Program is a cooperative program between private landowners and FWP that provides the public with free hunting access to private land and helps landowners manage hunting activities.

As a block management program participant for nearly 25 years, Leonard Swenson is one of over 382 cooperators in Region 6 who provide public access to over 1.25 million acres of land.

Visiting with Swenson on his property west of Glasgow, the governor and FWP Region 6 administrators met with Swenson to learn about his family’s history of homesteading, the property, and his participation in the program.

Known to hunters as the Swenson Block Management Area, the property, in combination with land deeded by the Wittmayer Grazing Association, unlocks over 51,000 acres of public land which is frequented by over 1,000 hunters each year.

“I am glad to provide an area for folks to come to hunt. A lot of people come from out of state and don’t know where to start, so it’s great to have FWP as a resource for them to ask,” Swenson said.

Surveying the land, the governor joined Swenson for a drive around the property to view its location next to the Milk River as prime habitat for white tailed deer.

Joining the governor for the visit was FWP Region 6 Supervisor Drew Henry, who shared, “Landowners like Leonard and partners like the Wittmayer Grazing Association are critical to the success of Block Management programs. Landowners play a crucial role in supporting hunting traditions, wildlife management, and conservation efforts on both public and private lands in northeast Montana.”

To support landowners like Swenson, last spring the governor was proud to sign into law Senate Bill 58 to double the payment cap for landowners participating in Block Management from $25,000 to $50,000.

“Public access is one of the department’s top priorities,” FWP Director Dustin Temple said. “We respect private property rights and work collaboratively with landowners to manage Montana’s resources and the public’s opportunity to enjoy them.”

“Without good landowner relationships, we simply can’t do our jobs effectively whether that deals with public access, habitat enhancement, or wildlife management,” Henry added. “These relationships enhance FWP‘s effectiveness in managing and conserving Montana’s resources on behalf of the public.”

Tornadoes Touch Down In Northeast Montana

Posted (Saturday, July 13th 2024)

Severe weather hit portions of northeast Montana on Friday night, with confirmed tornadoes near the Larslan area. There were several reports of hail, but no injuries reported so far.

More info is on the National Weather Service Facebook page.

DNRC Report Says Drought Still A Major Concern

Posted (Friday, July 12th 2024)

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) has released its 2024 Montana Drought Outlook Report. According to the report, much of Montana is facing abnormally dry to severe drought conditions resulting from low snowpack and below-average precipitation during spring and early summer. Depending upon accumulated precipitation and temperatures over the next four to six weeks, the net deficits in June could result in the onset of widespread drought by late July.

According to the report, 40 percent of the state is classified in moderate to severe drought, with another 57 percent showing abnormally dry conditions.

“Following the warm and dry winter, May’s cooler temperatures and above-average precipitation provided a boost for areas nearing extreme to severe drought by late April. Unfortunately, June has been much drier than average, and the consequences of a hot and dry July could be severe,” said Michael Downey, DNRC’s drought program coordinator.

In the southern half of the state, drought conditions were milder than average last year with most of the area drought-free by fall. Those conditions provided a buffer against this winter’s warmer and drier conditions. Soil moisture indicators for much of Montana are average, however, areas of dryness are beginning to appear in the west, south-central and southeast regions of the state.

Lack of snowpack in the mountains during this past winter also resulted in low streamflow. Most state and federal reservoirs did manage to fill this spring as a result of proactive reservoir management. However, without at least average rainfall in the next month, streamflow and surface water levels will likely decrease across the state.

The Montana Drought Outlook Report is an annual report compiled by water planning staff at the DNRC.

Governor Gianforte Scheduled To Visit Glasgow Thursday Morning

Posted (Thursday, July 11th 2024)

GLASGOW, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today will continue his 56 County Tour in Valley County.

Beginning the day in Glasgow, the governor will visit a worksite and meet with Dales Heating and Plumbing employees and apprentices to hear more about their work to train the next generation of workers.

Under Gov. Gianforte’s leadership, a record number of new apprentices were added in Montana in 2022, surpassing the number for 2018, 2019, and 2020 combined.

While in Glasgow, the governor will join Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) to highlight their Block Management Program to increase public access and hunting opportunities.

A cooperative program between private landowners and?FWP, Block Management helps landowners manage hunting activities and provides the public with free hunting access to private land, and sometimes to adjacent or isolated public lands.

The governor will join FWP officials and the landowner to discuss the benefits of the program, both for participating landowners and Montanans.

Senator Steve Daines Meets With Valley County 4-H Students

Posted (Thursday, July 11th 2024)

Members of Valley County's 4-H clubs met with Senator Steve Daines on Thursday.

From the Senator's office:
Senator Daines enjoyed today’s visit with Valley County 4-H students! They discussed ways to support Montana ag, including lowering prices and increasing access to telehealth for farmers and ranchers.

Heat Advisory Issued For All Of Northeast Montana

Posted (Thursday, July 11th 2024)

From the National Weather Service:

With a ridge continuing to bring hot temperatures, a Heat Advisory has been issued for Thursday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Friday for all of northeast Montana.

Expect hot conditions with highs reaching 100-105 for many locations. Make sure to stay hydrated, take frequent breaks with outdoor activities, or schedule them for later in the evening or earlier in the morning.

Student Registration Details Released For Glasgow School District

Posted (Thursday, July 11th 2024)

From Glasgow Superintendent Of Schools Brenner Flaten:

We are gearing up for an outstanding year at the Glasgow Public School System! If you have a child that would like to attend this coming school year, please take the time to get them properly registered before we hit the month of August. We are welcoming everyone to our District and we are proud of what we will be able to offer each individual and their families.

If your child will be NEW to our district and did not attend school with us this past year, please visit our school website at www.glasgow.k12.mt.us and click on the "IC Online Registration" Icon on the home page. The direct link is:
https://mtdecloud2.infinitecampus.org/campus/apps/olr/application/login/kiosk-app-type?configGroupID=3

With the recent passage of House Bill 203; "Open Enrollment" now goes into effect across Montana for the 2024-25 school year. If you are currently living OUTSIDE of the Glasgow School District attendance area, but are still interested in your child attending Glasgow Schools please print and fill out the student attendance agreement at the link below:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1n02s2WSVJF4Q3sOc8MZDR1CePz73QFyh/view

The attendance agreement can be returned via email to: gsd1a@glasgow.k12.mt.us or dropped off at the Glasgow School Administration Office (229 7th St. N.) in Glasgow.

Dalton Reid Hired As Activities Director Of Glasgow Public Schools

Posted (Wednesday, July 10th 2024)

Glasgow High School announces the hiring of Dalton Reid as the school’s new Athletic Director. Reid will assume the leadership role in August, taking over for Brenner Flaten, who spent 10 years as AD of the Scotties. Flaten was hired as the District’s Superintendent of Schools last month.

In addition to his role as K-12 Activities Director, Reid will join the school’s Physical Education department as lead Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Dalton Reid is a Miles City, MT. native and a 2012 CCDHS graduate; who was a multi-sport athlete for the Cowboys. Miles City won Class A State Football Championships during his Freshman and Junior years and he played in the Shrine Bowl and MonDak game in 2012. After High School, he enjoyed a 5-year College Football career at Dickinson State. His playing career at Dickinson State included two conference championships for the Blue Hawks.

He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Management from DSU (16’) and later returned to the school to earn his Master of Sport Administration in Athletic Leadership (22’). He spent two years (2020-2022) on the Dickinson State staff as Director of Football Operations / Wide Receivers Coach; where the team captured two Conference Championships and qualified for the NAIA playoffs both years.

For the past two school years he has served as Custer County High School’s Athletic Director in Miles City.

Montana abortion petition group alleges Secretary of State wrongfully tossing signatures

Posted (Wednesday, July 10th 2024)

Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights, the group behind the petition to get an amendment enshrining abortion access in the state constitution, accused the state Secretary of State’s Office on Tuesday of inappropriately discarding signatures from registered, but inactive, voters and is threatening legal action.

But the Montana Secretary of State’s Office said the group is misreading the law and that a legal challenge would be misguided and slow down the validation process for county election administrators, who have just 10 days to finish doing so for Constitutional Initiative 128.

At issue is whether inactive, but registered, voters in Montana are considered to be “qualified electors” who are allowed to sign ballot petitions and when the Secretary of State’s “guidance” about inactive voters changed between administrations.

In Montana, a voter can be moved to being “inactive” by an election administrator if they failed to vote in the previous federal general election and failed to return a notice sent to them confirming their current address.

The Secretary of State’s Office said it is following the law and had to clarify to election administrators that previous guidance about counting inactive voters toward ballot petitions was incorrect.

The Secretary of State’s Office said that state law says an inactive voter cannot be a “qualified elector” until they become an active voter again beforehand by, for example, showing up to a polling place and becoming active again in order to vote.

To become active again, an inactive voter must either show up to a polling place to vote, submit an absentee voter application, vote in a mail ballot election, notify the election administrator of their current residence, or complete a reactivation form with their current address, according to state law.

A voter’s registration can be canceled altogether if they are inactive and then either don’t vote in two consecutive federal general elections or fail to meet standard voter qualifications.

“It was imperative that the incorrect guidance provided by previous administrations be corrected to accurately reflect Montana law,” a spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s Office said in an email late Tuesday morning.

Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights has gone to the Montana Supreme Court several times during the past seven months in fights with Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen and Attorney General Austin Knudsen, both Republicans, over CI-128’s language and to get it certified so the group could start gathering signatures in the first place.

Now, 10 days before the window closes for county election administrators to finish tallying valid signatures, the group claims the Secretary of State’s Office’s stance on inactive voters could cost them thousands of signatures. The group submitted 117,000 and needs a little more than 60,000 to make the ballot in November.

“Since last November, Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights has fought to ensure a fair, transparent, and lawful ballot initiative process. Unfortunately, at every turn, extremists have attempted to block this initiative, mislead voters by rewriting the language, disrupt the signature collection through intimidation, and interfere with the right of registered Montanans to sign the petition,” the group said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights attorney Raph Graybill, also the Democratic lieutenant governor candidate in November, obtained through a public records request last week emails that show the Glacier County election administrator asking Jacobsen’s office on June 27 if it “came to a decision” on whether administrators should be counting signatures only from active registered voters or from inactive registered voters as well.

On June 28, Clay Leland, an attorney for the Secretary of State’s Office, wrote back that he had told administrators on June 25 the office did not believe an inactive, but still registered, voter could have their signature count toward a petition.

“The signature of an ‘inactive elector’ that is in ‘inactive status’ does not appear to fit within the category of a ‘qualified elector,’ and thus, would not meet the requirements of Section 13-27-102(1), MCA. (‘A petition may be signed only by a qualified elector of the state of Montana.’) (emphasis added),” Leland wrote.

He further cited an Oregon Supreme Court decision from 2021 that found that inactive voters in Oregon were not “qualified voters” and said that case law would also apply in Montana.

The Glacier County election administrator then shared that guidance with other administrators, the emails show.

“I emailed to confirm with SOS that we can accept signatures of inactive voters who sign a petition, at first, I was given the OK to accept those signatures of an inactive voter. I than (sic) got a second response from Clay, who quoted MCA’s stating that we cannot accept signatures of inactive voters. Later that day, Stuart called to advise me to stop entering petitions as they were discussing this matte(r) at state level,” the administrator wrote.

“…Hope this isn’t a bomb shell, and that I was the only confused. I just wanted to share this in case some other counties are accepting those signatures of inactive voters.”

On July 2, the state elections website underwent maintenance to update software to automatically reject signatures from inactive voters, according to an email provided by Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights.

Graybill last Friday sent Jacobsen’s chief legal counsel, Austin James, a letter telling the office to reverse the change by 10 a.m. Tuesday and restore any signatures that were tossed out from inactive voters or face legal action.

The letter said that for years, the written guidance from the office to election administrators has been to accept inactive voter signatures since they are legally registered and meet the definition of a “qualified elector.” Graybill said inactive voters can vote if they show up to a polling place and cast a ballot in-person.

“Qualified electors have a constitutional right to participate in the initiative process in Montana by having their signatures counted; the new guidance unlawfully denies Montanans this right,” Graybill wrote in his letter to James.

He further said that issuing the new guidance in the middle of the four-week window in which administrators must verify the submitted signatures introduced “constitutional problems” because petition sheets verified before the guidance was issued could result in different counts than on days after the guidance was issued.

“This is unacceptable; constitutional rights may not be defeated on such arbitrary characteristics,” Graybill wrote.

Graybill also told James that the group would seek a temporary restraining order if Jacobsen did not restore the signatures from inactive voters.

In response, however, James told Graybill in a letter Tuesday the Secretary of State issued no guidance to election administrators, but “directly answered an email inquiry with the answer that corresponds with Montana law.”

James says that Montana Code Annotated 13-19-313 is the statute that says that inactive voters are not qualified electors and says the letter of the law should lead to “obvious logic” that becoming an active voter makes a person a qualified elector.

That statute says that if a voter is placed on the inactive list, they will remain so “until the elector becomes a qualified elector.”

James also said that Graybill’s understanding of how inactive voters can vote was incorrect; rather, he said, those voters must first activate their registration at a polling place before they cast a ballot.

James did acknowledge that an archived PowerPoint from the office suggested counties count inactive voter signatures and said it was “not the burden of the SOS or election administrators to prevent non-registered electors from signing a petition.”

“I think we both agree that county and state election officials have a duty to ensure only qualified elector signers are certified, even if we (at least at this point) disagree as to whether an inactivated registrant is a qualified elector,” James wrote.

He said the documents Graybill cited were previously “heavily criticized” by the Montana Supreme Court “due to deviating from the plain language of the law.”

The letter said Graybill’s threat to seek a temporary restraining order “doesn’t add up under the facts” because the Secretary of State has certified every petition in the same manner during this election cycle. And it said the group’s decision to hand in 117,000 signatures on the final day of signature gathering “has caused numerous challenges for election officials.”

James also warned litigation would only further hamper signature verification.

“Unnecessary litigation will brew confusion in the process and slow down the processing of petitions during the final days of statutory period given to counties to certify petitions to the state,” James wrote. “I heed warning that litigation on this topic is premised on incorrect facts, wrong on the law, and will likely frustrate the pace of processing your clients petitions within the statutory period allotted to counties to do so.”

The Secretary of State’s Office did not respond to further questions asking for clarification on when the “incorrect guidance provided by previous administrations” had been “corrected.”

Montanans Securing Reproductive Rights said Tuesday afternoon litigation is still on the table.

“The Secretary of State’s response to our concerns does nothing to correct their unlawful actions and attempts to silence Montana voters by discounting citizens’ qualified petition signatures,” the group said in a written statement. “…Every registered Montana voter who added their name to a petition should have their signature count.”

Bureau Of Reclamation Plans Complete Replacement Of St. Mary Canal Siphon

Posted (Wednesday, July 10th 2024)

The Bureau of Reclamation continues to work closely with the Milk River Joint Board of Control, the Blackfeet Tribe, and the state of Montana to rebuild the St. Mary Canal Siphon following the catastrophic failure on June 17. Reclamation has authorized an emergency extraordinary maintenance determination and is working with partners to identify the next steps that are cost-effective and ensure a timely solution.

A technical team comprising Reclamation, Milk River Joint Board of Control, the Blackfeet Tribe, the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs was set up after the breach and met on site to assess the condition of the siphon and to explore repair solutions and alternatives shortly after the site was secured. The team determined that pursuing a partial restoration of service to the St. Mary Canal Siphon would serve to slow progress toward the needed complete replacement of the siphon and is therefore not advisable.

“Reclamation is committed to this community and are grateful for the partnership from the Joint Board, the Blackfeet Nation, the state of Montana, and the Montana Congressional delegation as we move expeditiously,” said Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton. “Reclamation has authorized an emergency extraordinary maintenance determination in order to quickly respond to urgent infrastructure needs at St. Mary Canal. This mechanism allows us not only to expedite essential repairs to the St. Mary Canal Siphon, but also the Halls Coulee Siphon, which is also at risk of failure, in addition to our work to rebuild the St. Mary headgates and Fresno Reservoir. We will continue to work in close collaboration with our partners to support this community and our water delivery needs to the area.”

“Due to the time and costs associated with a temporary solution that would deliver only a fraction of normal diversions, Reclamation has decided to focus all efforts on complete replacement of the St. Mary Canal Siphon and Halls Coulee siphon as expeditiously as possible,” said Ryan Newman, Reclamation’s Montana Area Office manager.

Reclamation and the project beneficiaries will share the total cost for replacement of both sets of siphons, currently estimated at approximately $70 million. Reclamation secured initial federal funding to begin site remediation activities, and the state of Montana made available approximately $32 million for the Milk River Joint Board of Control to begin work on the siphon replacement.

As part of a planned replacement project, Reclamation and the Milk River Joint Board of Control initiated designs for replacement of the siphons in early 2023 with HDR Engineering, Inc. leading the design.

“Having designs started, even at 30% to 60% design stage, will allow the project to move forward in an expedited fashion,” said Jennifer Patrick, Milk River Joint Board of Control’s project manager. “We still expect replacement to take into late summer or early fall of next year. Continued collaboration with Reclamation, the state of Montana, the Blackfeet Nation and a host of other agencies is critical as we all work towards returning this key piece of infrastructure to service.”

The St. Mary Canal Siphon suffered a catastrophic failure Monday, June 17, 2024, requiring Reclamation to stop water diversion to the St. Mary Canal. The St. Mary Canal is a vital component of the Milk River Project. It provides 60% to 80% of the water for irrigation and potable uses in northern Montana through a trans-basin diversion from the Hudson Bay watershed to the Missouri River basin.

The St. Mary Canal Siphon consists of two 90-inch riveted steel barrels that traverse the valley from the inlet, transition to an 84-inch diameter pipe at the river crossing, and then back to a 90-inch diameter pipe as they ascend the valley slope to the outlet. It was constructed in two phases, with the downstream barrel completed between 1912 and 1915 and the upstream barrel after 1925.
The siphon has undergone extensive repairs over time due to seepage, corrosion, and buckling. A cathodic protection system was installed in the 1950s to address these problems. However, unstable valley sidewalls have caused further movement of the steel barrels and concrete supports, leading to additional damage.

Reclamation previously awarded a contract for $88 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the repair of the St. Mary Diversion Dam, another feature of the Milk River Project.

Local Small Business Development Center Regional Director Wins National Award for Excellence

Posted (Wednesday, July 10th 2024)

HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Department of Commerce and the Montana Small Business Development Center Network announced today that SBDC Regional Director Quincy Walter of Wolf Point is the 2024 Montana “State Star,” a national honor that recognizes outstanding performers from SBDCs around the country.

Walter will be honored in September at the national America’s SBDC conference in Atlanta. Award nomination criteria names exemplary performance, significant contributions to the program and a strong commitment to small businesses as top qualifiers for the award.
“Quincy’s experience and perspective bring great value to her clients,” said Chad Moore, SBDC State Director. “She’s an asset to the entrepreneurs and small business owners in Northeast Montana, we’re thrilled to have her on our team.”

Walter joined the SBDC in 2021, hosted by Great Northern Development Corporation, providing confidential one-on-one consulting and training for entrepreneurs and small business owners across the seven-county Wolf Point region. She set a record in loan closings using innovations to help small regional businesses grow under her guidance and has hosted countless training sessions, covering a wide range of topics.

Walter has also helped other SBDC centers across the state by reaching out and collaborating, which has increased communication and efficiency, as well as prompted more SBDC clients to get the help they need to succeed. Additionally, due to her dedication to a local “Minnow Tank” competition, $5,000 dollars was awarded to each local start-up and existing small business which proved they had the best business idea.

In 2023, Walter counseled 103 clients, supported over 313 jobs and helped clients secure over $6 million in funding.

"I’m honored to receive the Montana State Star Award from the SBDC network. Thank you to my colleagues who submitted my name for this honor. To find a career where I get to continually help individuals start or grow their small businesses in northeastern Montana is a dream come true for me,” Quincy Walter said. “This recognition reflects not only my dedication, but also the collective efforts of our incredible team at Great Northern Development Corporation to make success possible for all small businesses in our region.”

The SBDC network is comprised of ten statewide regional SBDC offices overseen by the lead center at Commerce. The SBDC program is funded under a cooperative agreement between Commerce and the U.S. Small Business Administration, in partnership with local host organizations.
For more information on SBDC services and to find regional centers, visit sbdc.mt.gov.
###

Bad Checks Being Passed In Valley County

Posted (Wednesday, July 10th 2024)

Press Release from Valley County Law Enforcement:

Please be aware that we have received information that a male subject is passing bad checks around Valley County using a fake name of Chris Goetz. The phone number he is giving is out on the check is for a police department out of Wisconsin. Please do not accept any checks from this subject and if you see a check with the name Chris Goetz, please contact Law Enforcement at 406-228-4333 #2. 

Glasgow School Board To Meet Tonight

Posted (Tuesday, July 9th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will meet in regular session on Tuesday, July 9, 6 p.m., in the Gary F. Martin Board Room, 229 7th Street N, Glasgow.

‘Quick construction’ on tap for broken St. Mary canal siphons

Posted (Monday, July 8th 2024)

Repairs to the broken St. Mary Canal pipes that are part of the Milk River Project can begin immediately through an emergency authorization with the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s office announced Friday.

The St. Mary Canal near Babb diverts water from the St. Mary River to the Milk River. The river provides 18,000 people with municipal drinking water and feeds one million people annually, according to the Milk River Joint Board of Control.

It also supports industrial uses, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

Without the canal, the Milk River would run dry six out of 10 years, according to the Joint Board of Control, made up of eight irrigation districts.

The river runs into Canada and then back into Montana near Havre.

On June 17, a couple of the canal’s aging siphons failed, and Montana’s political leaders, including its Congressional delegation, have been advocating for urgent action from the Biden Administration.

In a news release, Tester said the Bureau of Reclamation agreed Friday to fund the repairs through its emergency authority.

“This is an important step forward for north-central Montana water users who rely on the Milk River Project to support their farm operations that feed the world and to keep their small businesses running,” said Tester, a Montana Democrat, in a statement.

In a newsletter Friday, Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke’s office shared a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Interior and Bureau of Reclamation from him and the rest of the delegation, Tester, Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, and Republican Rep. Matt Rosendale.

“We urge you to take immediate action to authorize federal funds to replace the siphons under the authority granted in Public Law 111-11,” the letter said. “A swift federal response is critical to restore the lands damaged by the catastrophic failure and to return water to the Milk River.”

A contact in the Bureau of Reclamation office in Montana could not be reached Friday by voicemail.

In a phone call, Jennifer Patrick, project manager for the Milk River Joint Board of Control, said the funding package has moved quickly, which will make a difference in work on the ground.

“That will allow us to move forward into construction a lot quicker,” Patrick said.

The cost of fixing the breached St. Mary siphon and another piece of infrastructure in need of replacement, the 100-year-old Halls Coulee siphon, is $70 million together, Patrick said.

So far, Montana irrigators aren’t impacted this year partly because of the rain and full reservoirs, although Patrick also said it’s a “compressed irrigation season.”

If the winter is strong, that will help storage for Montana, she said, but it won’t make construction easy. Montana holds water in the Fresno and Nelson reservoirs on the Hi-Line.

“We’re really, really trying to have water running back into the Milk River by the fall of 2025,” Patrick said.

Patrick, however, also said Alberta, Canada, likely will be affected because it doesn’t have water storage like Montana does.

She said Milk River irrigators are working closely with landowners, the Blackfeet Nation, and state and federal government, and the cooperation and partnerships are “incredible.”

“We’re moving quickly. You might not hear from us that often, but our goal is to have water back in the Milk River in 2025,” Patrick said.

The entire congressional delegation has been “turning over rocks” for funding, emergency authorizations, and whatever “works best for the state of Montana,” she said. And she said local representatives and state legislators have been on the job as well.

Kwebb Galbreath, water director for the Blackfeet Nation, also said politicians and decision-makers have been moving quickly, which is key to fixing the problem.

“The problem is that this has been something that’s been left unattended for 100 years,” Galbreath said. “It should have been replaced probably 75 years ago.”

He described the current situation as “chaos, but I think right now it’s controlled chaos.” And he said a plan is in place that he believes will lead to repairs made to both siphons by 2025.

“I do believe that they’ll both be fixed, and next year in August, we’ll have good water flowing,” Galbreath said.

The St. Mary Diversion Dam and Canal is “dilapidated” and has long been in need of repair, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act set aside $100 million for facilities that have failed in a way that prevented water delivery for irrigation, and the St. Mary canal is the only project that fit the criteria, according to a project overview on the Bureau of Reclamation website.

Bozeman company NW Construction was recently awarded a more than $88 million contract to complete the canal and dam replacement project, part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Warmer Weather Anticipated In Extended Forecast

Posted (Wednesday, July 3rd 2024)

The National Weather Service is projecting warmer weather for eastern Montana.

Current outlooks favor a return to hot and dry conditions starting around the 10th of July. Get ready for the heat!

Army Corps Of Engineers Offering Concrete Corn Hole Games

Posted (Wednesday, July 3rd 2024)

Corn Hole anyone? Camping at Fort Peck and don’t want to bring your boards? Did the dogs eat the bags? Come enjoy one of three new sets of concrete corn hole games in Fort Peck. Bags are available (free) from the campground hosts! Games are located here:

1. Kiwanis Park horseshoe pit by shelters three and four

2. Downstream Campground group loop area

3. West End Tent and Trailer campground. Remember-we also have a portable pickleball court with accessories, horseshoes, volleyball, basketballs, fishing poles and more available to sign out (free) at the Downstream Campground gatehouse. Call 406-526-3224 for more information.

Two Glasgow Downtown Businesses Receive Grants According To Glasgow Downtown Association

Posted (Wednesday, July 3rd 2024)

Backing Small Business Grants through Main Street America grants have been awarded to two downtown Glasgow businesses.

Press release from the Glasgow Downtown Association:

We are so excited to let you know that The Busted Knuckle Tap House and Elle Boutique were each awarded $10,000 in grant money to help improve their businesses!

What is Busted Knuckle Taphouse doing with their money?

This grant will help us to complete a variety of different projects we have been wanting to accomplish so we can continue to provide a comfortable & welcoming space for our community to gather. We plan to use these funds to update all of our lower seating inside, exterior building repair & maintenance, adding signage to our building, and SO MUCH MORE! Stay tuned to watch our progress as we complete these tasks over the summer!

What is Elle Boutique doing with their money?

This grant will help us create an online presence to grow our sales and expand our business footprint in Montana. We plan to purchase a new ops system and new fixtures for the store. Items such as a real check out stand, new racks for our clothing and fitting rooms. We would buy a retail trailer to have a traveling store for local events like our rodeos, and county fairs.

We so look forward to seeing these improvements and more!

This is so exciting. Only 10 businesses in Montana got the grant and TWO are Glasgow Downtown businesses! This puts us on the radar for more grants in the future from Main Street America. There will be another opportunity next year and we will let you know when and how to apply when it's time. They award 500 grants per year. Thank you to everyone who put in for the grant. You are able to reapply next cycle, so keep trying.

And thank you to all of our Downtown Businesses. Everyone is doing such a fantastic job. We have a thriving Downtown and it's because you all work so hard to make your business great. We appreciate you.

Tradition, Trial, and Targeted Implementation

How one multigenerational Montana ranch continues to ensure long-term viability.

Posted (Wednesday, July 3rd 2024)

From Ranchers Stewardship Alliance:

Beneath wispy clouds set in a blindingly blue sky where Montana and Saskatchewan become indistinguishable from one another sits the Louie Petrie Ranch, an exemplary model in ranch tradition, innovative trial, and targeted implementation. It’s on this land outside of Turner where you’ll find multiple generations strategizing for the long-term viability of the ranch originally homesteaded in 1901.

“If you improve the resource, you’re improving your bottom line,” says Tyrel Obrecht, a fifth-generation member. “At the end of the day, these have to be viable businesses to bring families home.”

Obrecht followed the path of his father, Sam, to Montana State University, where he graduated in 2013 with a degree in agricultural economics. After spending some time in the finance industry, he came back to the family ranch with a money mindset. The numbers matter. Any approach towards the adoption of new practices at the Louie Petrie Ranch is vigorously vetted before implementation. What will it cost? What will it save?

Among those practices is a technology relatively new to the prairie landscape: virtual fencing. Using GPS technology and radio frequencies, it’s one tool the Louie Petrie Ranch has utilized with relative success in allowing for better grazing management. Where high-input electric cross fences were once strung to manipulate cattle into high-intensity grazing, sound cues and animal-safe electric pulses via cattle collars can now be used. As with any new technology, the world of virtual fencing has its hiccups. However, coupling the on-the-ground knowledge of rotational grazing benefits with this new management approach is something they will continue to further develop.

Other strategic practices implemented by the ranch have included calving later to be more in tune with Mother Nature and converting farmland to grass, allowing for more grazing flexibility in the spring and fall. Seeing opportunity in carbon markets, they quickly began their research. Research turned to action, and the ranch is now monitoring their carbon and getting paid for conservation practices beneficial to its sequestration. In a region highly susceptible to drought, a keen focus has been placed on water improvements, further developing springs and reservoirs, inputting water tanks and pipeline, and implementing solar panels for water utilization assistance in remote areas. Along with adding resilience for the ranch, it has improved water availability for wildlife along a key migration corridor.

Realizing power in collaboration, the ranch has partnered with Ranchers Stewardship Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, Western Sustainability Exchange, Pheasants Forever, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bolster ranch projects. These relationships bring tremendous resources, both in financial contributions able to magnify the ranch’s investments and scholarly investigation. With a holistic approach at the forefront, all parties actively seek solutions workable for the land, livestock, and wildlife.

As Obrecht stands beside his father discussing ranch logistics, it’s hard to miss the sparkle in his eye when the conversation turns to his children. The twinkle is matched by that of his daughter as she, the ranch’s sixth generation, poses before a crisp spring rainbow, not knowing yet the blessing of the moisture behind it.

“Most of our considerations are long-term,” Obrecht says. “Agriculture’s a long game, so I think if you’re making business decisions on a year-to-year basis, you’re going to miss out on long-term opportunity.”

This unique blend of respect for the past and innovation for the future has allowed the ranch to thrive through the decades. As the ranch continues to evolve, it remains a shining example of how preserving heritage can coexist with progressive advancements and collaborative conservation, ensuring its legacy will stay intact for generations.

The Ranchers Stewardship Alliance (RSA) is a rancher-led, grassroots organization, dedicated to improving the quality of life for rural communities throughout the Northern Great Plains. Through collaborative conservation projects, rancher education events, and local community outreach, Ranchers Stewardship Alliance works to strengthen our rural community, economy, and culture for generations to come.

City Of Glasgow Providing Curb, Gutter And Sidewalk Improvements

Posted (Tuesday, July 2nd 2024)

Attention Glasgow residents! Is your curb, gutter, or sidewalk in need of replacement? The City of
Glasgow is here to help!

Here’s how it works:

Contact the Public Works Department at 406-228-2476 ext. 8 or email rdees@cityofglasgowmt.com and
tell us what you need.

We'll assess your request and provide a competitive price.

We'll get bids from local contractors and select the best value.

You'll receive a clear estimate for the work on your property.

If you approve, just sign an agreement with the City.

We’ll handle the payment directly with the contractor.

You can pay over 10 interest-free installments added to your taxes.

Upgrade your property hassle-free with the City of Glasgow’s support! Contact us today!

No Fireworks On US Army Corps of Engineers Property

Posted (Tuesday, July 2nd 2024)

Press Release from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

Just a reminder for all visitors this Independence Day holiday: Federal Guidelines prohibit all fireworks on US Army Corps of Engineers property.

This includes all recreation areas, shorelines, open waters and marinas. It also includes cabin areas at Fort Peck, Park Grove, The Pines, Rock Creek and Hell Creek. If it burns, snaps, cracks or ignites, take it off the Project. Thank you and be Safe!

Fort Peck Summer Theatre presents award-winning musical Bonnie and Clyde

Posted (Tuesday, July 2nd 2024)

The tale of Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, two of the most infamous criminals of America’s Great Depression and the subject of much speculation and fascination. The couple took the country by storm, reaching celebrity status as they robbed banks, shops, and even funeral homes. This is their rebellious love story, complete with a suite of stunning, jazz-and-gospel-infused show tunes.

Rachel Franke and Benjamin Sellers star in the title roles, with local actors Gwen Turner of Glasgow and Harper Anderon of Culbertson as their younger counterparts. Sellers was last season on the FPST stage to much acclaim as Hank Williams.

The cast also features Brittany Archambeault, Jay Michael Roberts, Brandon Santos, Jon Svingen, David Hopson, Dan Hance, Gabriel Proctor, Alicia Bullock-Muth, Jenny Smith, Shelby Art-Koljonen, Rachel Lynn Pewitt, Jarret Buchholz, Lucy Schindler, Shy Iverson and Mikayla Kay.

FPST Artistic Director Andy Meyers serves as director, with Scott Koljonen as Musical Director and Luree Green-Chappell leading the live band (Chris Pippin, Bergen Miller, Carter Pippin, Hayley Nybakken, Emma Whitmer). Designers include: Debra Griebel (Costumes), Sydney Hayward (Props) and Shy Iverson (Scenic).

Bonnie and Clyde runs July 5 – July 21: Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm.

For Tickets and info 406-526-9943 or visit fortpecktheatre.org

Following Bonnie and Clyde the 2024 season continues with:
• Cinderella: July 26 – August 11
• Honky Tonk Laundry: August 16 – September 1

Fort Belknap man admits stabbing woman on Fort Belknap Indian Reservation

Posted (Tuesday, July 2nd 2024)

A Fort Belknap man accused of stabbing a woman multiple times during an argument admitted to an assault charge Monday, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Leon Boyd Messerly, 63, pleaded guilty to assault with a dangerous weapon. Messerly faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for Nov. 2. Messerly was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that on July 13, 2023 in their home on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, Messerly and the victim, identified as Jane Doe, got into a fight. Jane Doe stated that Messerly was angry at her for not protecting his son and punched her in the face. Messerly also grabbed a chef’s knife and stabbed Jane Doe multiple times in her neck, back and left arm. Messerly then went to a friend’s house and told the friend that he had stabbed Jane Doe. The friend checked on Jane Doe, saw her with stab wounds and drove her to the emergency room. Jane Doe was transported to a hospital in Great Falls where she underwent multiple surgeries.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. The FBI and Fort Belknap Police Department conducted the investigation.

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday

Posted (Monday, July 1st 2024)

The Glasgow City Council will meet Monday at 5pm in the Council Chambers at the Glasgow Civic Center.

Wet And Cool For Independence Holiday

Posted (Monday, July 1st 2024)

The National Weather Service is predicting unseasonably cold temperatures and precipitation for 4th of July holiday.

Gas Prices Surge Ahead Of Independence Day Holiday

Posted (Friday, June 28th 2024)

The national average price of regular unleaded gasoline shook off nearly three weeks of stagnation, moving a nickel higher since last week to hit $3.50. The move came as the cost of oil crossed the $80 per barrel mark, putting upward pressure on pump prices. With oil costs accounting for about 54% of what you pay at the pump, more expensive oil usually leads to more expensive gas.

“Summer got off to a slow start last week with low gas demand,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “But with a record 60 million travelers forecast to hit the road for the July 4th holiday, that number could pop over the next ten days. But will oil stay above $80 a barrel, or will it sag again? Stay tuned.”

Several states will adjust fuel taxes and fees starting Monday, July 1. Indiana is increasing the tax on gasoline/gasohol by a cent to 35cts/gal. Virginia increased the tax on gasoline, gasohol, and alternative fuels such as CNG and LNG by a penny to 30.8cts/gal. However, Michigan will keep the current gas tax rate at 18.8cts/gal while reducing the clear diesel fuel and kerosene tax from 21.3cts/gal to 20.4cts/gal.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand fell 9.38 million b/d to 8.96 last week. This demand level is about 240,000 b/d below the same week of last year. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks rose from 231.2 to 233.9 million barrels. Low gasoline demand and increasing supply may help counter higher oil costs, slowing any rise in pump prices.

The average price of gasoline in Montana is $3.45 per gallon and $3.41 per gallon in Valley County according to AAA.

Fireworks Ordinance In Glasgow

Posted (Friday, June 28th 2024)

Glasgow City Ordinance does allow the possession of fireworks and the discharge of fireworks over the 4th of July holiday.

The ordinance allows the possession and storage of fireworks from June 24th through July 5th of each year in the city limits of Glasgow.

From the period of July 3rd through July 5th of each year, permissible fireworks may be fired, set off, exploded or discharged within the city limits, but aerial projectiles may not have the ability to exceed 10 feet in the air.

the use of fireworks shall be permitted between the hours of 12:30pm and 12:30am each day.

Severe Thunderstorms Possible Thursday

Posted (Thursday, June 27th 2024)

Message from the National Weather Service:

Severe thunderstorms are favored between 9am and 10pm on today across northeast Montana. Hail up to 2.5" in diameter, wind gusts to 80 mph, an isolated tornado, and locally heavy rainfall are possible. Make sure to have multiple ways to receive warnings.

Valley County To Receive Nearly A Million Dollars In Federal PILT Funding

Posted (Thursday, June 27th 2024)

The Department of the Interior today announced more than 1,900 state and local governments around the country will receive a total of $621.2 million in Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funding for 2024. Because local governments cannot tax federal lands, annual PILT payments help to defray the costs associated with maintaining important community services.?

PILT payments are made for tax-exempt federal lands administered by the Department’s bureaus including the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In addition, PILT payments cover?federal lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission. Payments are calculated based on the number of acres of federal land within each county or jurisdiction and the population of that county or jurisdiction.?

“The Biden-Harris administration is committed to boosting local communities,” said?Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Joan Mooney.?“PILT payments help local governments carry out vital services, such as firefighting and police protection, construction of public schools and roads, and search-and-rescue operations. We are grateful for our ongoing partnerships with local jurisdictions across the country who help the Interior Department fulfill our mission on behalf of the American public.”?

Since PILT payments began in 1977, the Department has distributed nearly $12 billion to states,?the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.?

The Department collects more than $22.2 billion in revenue annually from commercial activities on public lands. A portion of those revenues is shared with states and counties. The balance is deposited into the U.S. Treasury, which in turn pays for a broad array of federal activities, including PILT funding.?

Individual payments may vary from year to year as a result of changes in acreage data, which are updated annually by the federal agency administering the land; prior-year federal revenue-sharing payments reported annually by the governor of each state; and inflationary adjustments using the Consumer Price Index and population data, which are updated using information from the U.S. Census Bureau.?

Valley County has over 1.1 million acres of federal land so receives a substantial PILT payment yearly. In 2024, Valley County will receive $984,349 in PILT money. This compares to $1,335,959 in 2023.

Montana Attorney General Announces Appointments To Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force

Posted (Wednesday, June 26th 2024)

Attorney General Austin Knudsen this week announced appointments to the Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force. The task force’s main goals are to break down jurisdictional barriers and identify causes that contribute to missing and murdered Indigenous persons.

During the 2023 legislative session, Attorney General Knudsen supported Rep. Tyson Running Wolf’s House Bill which extended the task force for 10 years and provided for a full-time program coordinator. The 10-year extension will help the task force members set and achieve long-term goals to better address the missing Indigenous persons crisis in Montana.

“I’m looking forward to working with this task force to find a solution to end the missing Indigenous persons crisis in Montana,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Today’s meeting was productive and I’m confident the members are ready to take on this challenge. Together, we can find the missing and bring them home.”

The following individuals were appointed or reappointed to the task force:

Alan Doane, representing the Montana Attorney General’s Office
Yolanda Fraser, representing the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Brian Frost, representing the Montana Department of Justice
Stacie FourStar, representing the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes
Chrystal Hickman, representing the Montana Office of Public Instruction
Cheryl Horn, representing Fort Belknap Indian Community
Iris Kill Eagle, representing the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe
Danielle Matt, representing the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
Amanda Myers, representing the United States Attorney’s Office
Haley Omeasoo, At-large member
Dr. Alan Ostby, representing the Indian Health Services
Derek Werner, representing Montana Highway Patrol
Jonathan Windy Boy, representing the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation
Sarah Wolftail, representing the Blackfeet Nation

Valley County Sets Elected Officials Salaries

Posted (Wednesday, June 26th 2024)

The Valley County Commissioners last week passed a resolution setting elected officials salaries for the 2024/2025 fiscal year.

The Valley County Compensation Board held hearings reviewing the compensation for elected officials and make a recommendation to the Valley County Commissioners.

Salaries for Valley County Elected Officials for 2024/2025:

Valley County Commissioner: $57,088.91

Valley County Clerk and Recorder: $65,352,25 (The Clerk and Recorder also receives salary for being election administrator and County Superintendent of Schools/Assessor

Valley County Clerk of the District Court: $57,088.91

Valley County Treasurer: $57,088.91

Valley County Sheriff: $57,088.91

Valley County Coroner: $15,000

Valley County Attorney: $138,009.45 (The State of Montana pays $82,805.67 of this salary)

Valley County Justice of the Peace: $34,253.35

Poplar man sentenced to 15 months in prison for assaulting woman on Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Posted (Tuesday, June 25th 2024)

A Poplar man who admitted to beating a woman on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was sentenced on June 20 to 15 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said today.

The defendant, Thomas Ivan Reese Larson, 25, pleaded guilty in February to assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

The government alleged in court document that in January 2021 in Poplar, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Larson assaulted the victim, identified as Jane Doe, during an argument while he was intoxicated. Larson held the victim by her throat and struck her in the face, causing multiple injuries to her face and neck.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. The FBI and Fort Peck Law Enforcement conducted the investigation.

Malta man admits illegal possession of silencer

Posted (Tuesday, June 25th 2024)

A Malta man admitted last week to illegally possessing a silencer after law enforcement served a search warrant at his residence and found numerous firearms, a suppressor, drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said last week.

Deric Ron Welch, 36, pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered silencer. Welch faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for Oct. 23. Welch was released pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that on May 27, 2023 in Malta, law enforcement responded to a domestic violence call at Welch’s residence, and a state search warrant was obtained for the residence. Law enforcement recovered numerous firearms, one suppressor, drug paraphernalia and meth. An investigation determined that the silencer found in the search was a device for silencing or muffling a firearm and was not registered as required by federal law.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Phillips County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.

Valley County Unemployment Rate At 2.3%

Posted (Tuesday, June 25th 2024)

Governor Greg Gianforte today announced that Montana’s unemployment rate remained at 3.1% in May, near the historic, all-time low of 2.3%.

Montana’s unemployment rate remains nearly one percent below the national rate of 4%.

Total employment and the number of people in the labor force were mostly unchanged in May, leading to no change in the unemployment rate. Payroll employment showed strong gains, adding 3,000 jobs in May, with the Leisure Activities sector, which includes accommodations, food service, and recreation, leading private sector gains.

Valley County had an unemployment rate of 2.3% with total employment at 3831 which is down 79 from last year at this time.


Montana Fish, Wildlife And Parks Discuss Status Of Montana Mule Deer

Posted (Tuesday, June 25th 2024)

Monday, alongside Wildlife Manager Brett Dorak, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Dustin Temple held a press conference to address the status of eastern Montana’s mule deer.
“Our job at FWP is to manage Montana’s wildlife resources by providing full contextual, transparent, accurate data with full context,” Director Temple said. “Across the state, we are making the effort to ensure our management of mule deer is based on the best science and data.”

FWP biologists have completed annual spring surveys. For Region 5, the numbers are below the long-term average but are trending higher. Quotas for B licenses are already at the low end of the approved quota, so there is no change. As for Region 6, where spring survey results are 16 percent below long-term average, FWP is reducing B licenses by 54 percent. Lastly, Region 7 spring survey results show an increase of 20 percent over the last year, but total numbers are still 40 percent below long-term average. Just like Region 5, B licenses are already at the minimum of the approved quota range, so there is no B license change.

“Improved weather and habitat conditions across eastern Montana had led to increased fawn ratios observed this spring in eastern Montana and some increases in total mule deer observed, as well,” FWP Region 7 Wildlife Manager Brett Dorak said. “Currently though, most mule deer populations are below their long-term average.”

A few other major changes to this year’s hunting season regarding mule deer are:

• Antlerless mule deer in Regions 6 and 7 can only be harvested on private property this coming fall, which is a change from years past.

• Beginning in the 2024 hunting season, only antlered buck mule deer may be harvested with a General Deer License in all Region 5 hunting districts. In six of the 10 Region 5 deer and elk hunting districts, youth hunters aged 10-15 may harvest either sex mule deer with a General Deer License.

• Nonresidents may only purchase one Deer B License unless they drew a combo, which allows them to purchase two total. Before this year, nonresident hunters could purchase up to seven Deer B Licenses.

Mule deer populations across eastern Montana are somewhat variable in their trends. The three main drivers for mule deer populations are weather, habitat and disease. Mule deer populations across eastern Montana have decreased mainly due to unfavorable weather patterns with multiple years of extreme drought conditions and some hard winter. Drought conditions have had major impacts on habitat for mule deer. In response to mule deer population decreases, FWP has decreased B licenses in eastern Montana and in some cases to historically low quota numbers. More specifically, Region 7 has decreased B licenses by 91 percent over the past couple years, and Region 6 had recently decreased their B licenses by 54 percent in response to mule deer numbers.


Montana VA Summer Vet Fest Is Wednesday

Posted (Monday, June 24th 2024)

Montana VA Summer Vet Fest 2-day event is in Glasgow June 26th & 27th. Day 1, Wednesday, is at the Glasgow VA Clinic from 9am – 3pm with My HealthVet, Eligibility/Enrollment, Toxic Exposure Screening & more.

Day 2, Thursday, is at the Cottonwood Inn from 9am – 4pm with Homeless/HUD-VASH, Eligibility/Enrollment, PACT Social Work, Veterans Benefits Administration, Peer Support, Community Partners, & more. Veterans from all communities are invited to attend.

For more information, call 406-265-4225.

Valley County Combined Campaign Raises $33,939

Posted (Monday, June 24th 2024)

The Valley County Combined Campaign has announced that $33,939 was donated during the 2024 campaign. The total amounts contributed to this year's organizations were higher than previous years.

2024- $33,939
2023- $27,574
2022- $26,993
2021- $26,940
2020- $21,405

The 2024 donations were distributed to these organizations:

Nashua Senior Citizens: $5882
Montana Council of Boy Scouts of America: $4019
Girl Scouts of the USA: $3645
Glasgow Head Start: $4065
Scottie Day Care: $6765
Valley Event Center: $5420
Hi-Line Home Programs: $4139

Senators Successfully Pass Act For Milk River Project Repair

Posted (Friday, June 21st 2024)

(U.S. Senate) — Following a major siphon burst on the Milk River Project near Babb, Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today took to the Senate floor to successfully pass the Fort Belknap Indian Community (FBIC) Water Rights Settlement Act which would provide critical funding for repairs on the Milk River Project. The legislation is led in the Senate by both Tester and Senator Daines.

The FBIC Water Settlement – the final Indian Water Rights Water Settlement in Montana – will ratify the FBIC Water Rights Compact with the State of Montana, provide resources for critical water infrastructure development like the completion of the Milk River Project, give certainty to both Tribal and non-Tribal irrigators and restore FBIC lands to federal trust ensuring their preservation for years to come.

“The siphon failure caused thousands of gallons of water to flood the surrounding area, leading to extensive damage to local businesses in that area, and will damage irrigation opportunities for 120,000 acres… It is a vital source of water for North Central Montana water users and to so many farmers that feed the world. The timing of this could not be worse, because there are literally hundreds of farmers and ranchers who are currently depending on the Milk River Project to irrigate their crops,” said Tester during his remarks on the Senate floor.

Tester concluded his remarks by calling on the House to move swiftly to send the bill to the President’s desk: “I want to be clear: the House needs to pass this bill. The House needs to put aside politics and pass this bill. Farmers’ operations that have been generational in this region’s livelihood are on the line. Water for municipalities is on the line. This is no time to play politics. The siphon bursts that we saw earlier this week have left Montana families reeling. Congress can do its job. The Senate will do its job. It’s time for the House to act responsibly too. So let’s get this done so we can repair the Milk River Project and give water users in North Central Montana the certainty and predictability they need to survive.”

Senator Daines issued a statement after the bill cleared the Senate: “This is a huge win for the Tribe, farmers and ranchers and the entire state of Montana. As the final Indian water rights settlement in Montana, this bill will help provide clean drinking water to Montanans on the Hi-Line, invest in critical ag irrigation and help prevent costly litigation by codifying existing water rights. Especially after the catastrophic siphon failure at St. Mary’s this week, we must get this done. After years of hard work with the Fort Belknap Indian Community and local leaders on the ground, I’m glad to see this come one step closer to becoming law.”

The Fort Belknap Indian Community Water Rights Settlement Act will provide $1.3 billion to improve infrastructure and economic development for the FBIC and improve the efficiency of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Milk River Project, which furnishes water for the irrigation of about 121,000 acres of Tribal and non-Tribal land. The bill specifically includes $275 million to rehabilitate the St. Mary’s canal. The bill will also restore Tribal management to 38,462 acres of state and federal land for the FBIC. Tester and Daines successfully passed the FBIC Water Compact through the Senate earlier this Congress as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but Speaker Mike Johnson and House Republicans stripped it from the final package.

After more than a decade of negotiations, the FBIC Tribal Council approved its Water Compact with the State of Montana in 2001. The Montana Legislature approved the Compact later that spring. FBIC and Montana’s Senators worked to bring together partners to advance this critical settlement.

Supporters of the bipartisan bill include:
Blaine County Conservation District
Hill County
Phillips County
Valley County
St. Mary Rehabilitation Working Group
Milk River Joint Board of Control
Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council
The Wilderness Society
Montana Farmers Union
Bear Paw Development Corporation
Blaine County
Montana Farm Bureau
Montana Stockgrowers Association
Wild Montana

Earlier this week after the first siphon burst, Senator Tester called on the Biden Administration to provide immediate support for the local community, small businesses, and irrigators impacted by the failure, which caused thousands of gallons of water to flood the surrounding area. The siphon burst has already caused extensive damage to local businesses, and will impact vital irrigation to farmland in the surrounding area. Tester also called on President Biden to include the Milk River Project in his Administration’s domestic supplemental package, which would make federal funding available to assist in the reconstruction of the St. Mary’s canal.

Earlier this month, Tester announced that a more than $88 million contract was awarded to Montana-based NW Construction to complete the St. Mary Diversion Dam Replacement project. The contract is part of the up to $100 million Tester secured for the Milk River Project through his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which he negotiated and helped pass into law. Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to support the legislation, and to support additional improvements to the St. Mary’s canal.

Wolf Point Man Killed, Child Injured in Roosevelt County Wreck

Posted (Friday, June 21st 2024)

From the Billings Gazette
A Wolf Point man was killed Wednesday and a child injured in a wreck along a Roosevelt County highway.

The rollover crash was preceded by a Roosevelt County deputy attempting to initiate a traffic stop, according to a statement from Montana Highway Patrol.

The 30-year-old man and 10-year-old boy were riding in a Ford pickup truck just east of Wolf Point. The two were traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 2. When a deputy tried stopping the truck, it went off the left side of the road, per MHP.

The truck overturned several times. The force ejected the 30-year-old, who was reportedly not wearing a seat belt. Emergency crews pronounced him dead at the scene. The boy, who was wearing a seat belt, survived the crash but was taken to a hospital in Wolf Point.

Although MHP investigators were not immediately available to comment on what instigated the traffic stop, intoxication and speeding are suspected to be factors in the crash.

Fatalities on Montana’s roads are up in 2024 when compared to this same time last year. As of mid-June, 72 people have died in vehicle wrecks. Intoxication is consistently a factor in roughly half of all fatalities in Montana. Last year ended with 203 people killed in crashes across the state, with an uptick in speeding being a factor in fatal crashes.

Ranchers Stewardship Alliance Honors Jacquelyn (Jacquie) Evans With 2024 Gold Star Award

Posted (Friday, June 21st 2024)

Malta, MT – The Ranchers Stewardship Alliance (RSA) is proud to announce Jacquelyn (Jacquie) Evans as the recipient of the 2024 Gold Star Award. Evans, the Science Integration Specialist with the Prairie Pothole Joint Venture (PPJV), received this prestigious accolade on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at the Matador Ranch Science Symposium.

The Gold Star Award is presented annually by the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance to individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and achievement in conservation efforts.

Evans has showcased noteworthy dedication to working lands conservation, significantly benefiting wildlife habitat on a landscape scale. That commitment has translated into tangible benefits for regional ranchers, helping to direct $13.5 million in NRCS funds to on-the-ground projects.

In a supportive role to the RSA Conservation Committee, Evans’ scientific knowledge and programmatic leadership have assisted in collaborative momentum in converting expired Conservation Reserve Program land to grazing land, adding reliable livestock water sources to the landscape, actively restoring cropland to perennial vegetation, addressing conifer encroachment, and assisting with drought recovery initiatives.

These conservation efforts add complementary benefits for ranchers and wildlife alike, enhancing both the sustainability of working lands and the well-being of regional ecosystems and communities. It’s a win for the ranchers working alongside RSA and the populations of waterfowl, shorebirds, other waterbirds, and prairie landbirds that the PPJV strives to protect.

"We are honored to work beside Jacquie and are immensely grateful for her constant dedication," said Martin Townsend, Conservation Coordinator of Ranchers Stewardship Alliance. "Her attention to detail and collaborative thinking have made a profound impact on our conservation efforts, and this award is a testament to her outstanding contributions."

Going above and beyond her role as a member of the Conservation Committee, Evans also recently assisted in the job search and subsequent hiring of a mapping specialist at RSA. Her active role in the selection and interview process showcases her dedication to the mission of our nonprofit.

For more information about the Ranchers Stewardship Alliance and their ongoing conservation initiatives, please visit www.RanchStewards.org.

About Ranchers Stewardship Alliance The Ranchers Stewardship Alliance is a grassroots organization dedicated to promoting sustainable ranching practices and conservation efforts in the Northern Great Plains. By working together with ranchers, conservationists, and other stakeholders, the Alliance aims to enhance the health of the land and the livelihoods of those who depend on it.

Children's Museum Benefits From T-Mobile Grant

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

Today, T-Mobile announces Glasgow as one of its latest 25 Hometown Grant recipients. The $43,303 grant will go toward revitalizing the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana, including new hands-on science exhibits, repairs to the building’s roof, improvements to the public restrooms and the addition of a washer and dryer, to help maintain a clean, safe environment.

Through Hometown Grants, people in communities nationwide are kickstarting projects that make a real difference and help their towns thrive. Since launching its five-year commitment to small towns in April 2021, T-Mobile has awarded a whopping 300 communities across 47 states and over $13 million in funding.

­­Each quarter, T-Mobile awards 25 Hometown Grants to small towns with populations of 50,000 or less. To apply for a Hometown Grant, visit here.?To learn more about this quarter’s recipients, visit our newsroom.
T-Mobile and the Children’s Museum hosted a check presentation yesterday, Wednesday, June 19 at 5 p.m. local time, outside of the museum located at 702 2nd Ave South, Glasgow, MT 59230 during the Alive @ 5 live music and food event.

Revitalize the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana, including new hands-on science exhibits, repairs to the building’s roof, improvements to the public restrooms and the addition of a washer and dryer, to help maintain a clean, safe environment.

Valley View Home Community BBQ Is Thursday

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

Valley View Home will be hosting their Free Community BBQ Thursday, June 20th from 4 - 7pm.

They will be serving burgers, hotdogs, sides, & more. There will be water slides, snow cones, & activities.

Free-will donations will be accepted with all proceeds directly benefiting the residents’ fill a stocking fund, which is utilized for the purchase of gifts for the residents during the holiday season.

Montana Department Of Commerce Allocates Planning Grants To 8 Montana Communities

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

Over $317,000 of grant funding to support planning Montana towns, cities and counties

HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced today that eight Montana towns, cities and counties will share more than $317,000 of grant funding to help plan significant community development projects. The funding is through Commerce’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Planning Grant program.

“Through Commerce’s CDBG programs, we can help eligible counties, cities and towns prepare for vital community development projects,” said Paul Green, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce. “This funding will help local governments advance projects that will provide services in our communities while creating and retaining jobs.”

The CDBG Planning Grant program is designed to help communities plan by supporting the implementation of growth policies, capital improvement plans, subdivision and zoning regulations, downtown plans, housing plans, and preliminary architectural and engineering reports.

The following communities and districts will receive CDBG Planning grants:

The City of Dillon will receive $30,000 of CDBG planning grant funding for a growth policy update.

The City of Hardin will receive $25,000 of CDBG planning grant funding for a comprehensive economic development strategy plan.

The Town of Hysham will receive $50,000 of CDBG planning grant funding for a comprehensive school facility master plan and professional architectural report for Hysham Public School.

Lake County will receive $50,000 of CDBG planning grant funding for an affordable housing development and constructability study.

The City of Lewistown will receive $50,000 of CDBG planning grant funding for a library master plan and preliminary architectural report for the Lewistown Public Library.

The Town of Saco will receive $50,000 of CDBG planning grant funding for a levee feasibility study.

The Town of Superior will receive $39,500 of CDBG planning grant funding for a preliminary architectural report for the Town of Superior’s swimming pool.

The City of White Sulphur Springs will receive $23,377 of CDBG planning grant funding for a comprehensive recreation master plan.

In 2022, Anaconda-Deer Lodge County was awarded $35,000 of CDBG planning grant funds to complete a housing site redevelopment plan.

“The planning process made us realize the need and opportunity to modernize all three public housing sites in Anaconda: Cedar Park Homes, Mount Haggin Homes and PJ Hagan Manor,” said Kaitlin Leary, Executive Director of Anaconda Housing Authority. “Without this CDBG planning grant, such a large scale of modernization may not have been identified.”

Eligible applicants for CDBG planning grants include Montana counties, cities, and towns. Local governments may apply on behalf of special purpose districts, unincorporated areas or on behalf of non-profit organizations such as a human resource development council, an area agency on aging, a local domestic violence shelter, a boys and girls club, local food bank, hospital, nursing home or a similar non-profit agency. Counties may also apply for planning grants on behalf of tribal utility authorities.

For more information about CDBG planning grants, visit comdev.mt.gov.

Bowhunter Education Classes Scheduled In Glasgow

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

(Both an in-person class and online field day will be offered)

GLASGOW- Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Bowhunter Education course dates have been set for Glasgow, with an in-person course taught by volunteer instructors starting June 24, and a field day for online students on June 27.

The in-person class will be held at the FWP headquarters in Glasgow and will take place from 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m. June 24-27.

In addition, instructors are offering an in-person field day for any students aged 12-17 who completed the online course. The field day will be offered on Thursday, June 27, from 3:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
To find out more and register, please go to: www.fwp.mt.gov

If there are any questions, please see the registration page and/or contact course instructor Marc Kloker at 406-228-3704 (office) or 406-942-2974 (cell).

Two Rivers Economic Growth Launches New Website

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

We're excited to announce that Two Rivers Economic Growth has launched a newly redesigned website!

While the web address remains the same, you'll find a fresh look, improved navigation, and updated content.

We invite you to check it out and explore all the new features and resources. Whether you're interested in local business development, community events, or learning more about our programs, our revamped website has everything you need. Take a moment to visit and see what's new, at https://www.growvalleycounty.com/

Attorney General Knudsen Announces Appointments To The Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

GREAT FALLS – Attorney General Austin Knudsen on Wednesday announced appointments to the Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force. The task force’s main goals are to break down jurisdictional barriers and identify causes that contribute to missing and murdered Indigenous persons.

During the 2023 legislative session, Attorney General Knudsen supported Rep. Tyson Running Wolf’s House Bill which extended the task force for 10 years and provided for a full-time program coordinator. The 10-year extension will help the task force members set and achieve long-term goals to better address the missing Indigenous persons crisis in Montana.

“I’m looking forward to working with this task force to find a solution to end the missing Indigenous persons crisis in Montana,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “Today’s meeting was productive and I’m confident the members are ready to take on this challenge. Together, we can find the missing and bring them home.” 

The following individuals were appointed or reappointed to the task force:
Alan Doane, representing the Montana Attorney General’s Office
Yolanda Fraser, representing the Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Brian Frost, representing the Montana Department of Justice
Stacie FourStar, representing the Fort Peck Assiniboine & Sioux Tribes
Chrystal Hickman, representing the Montana Office of Public Instruction
Cheryl Horn, representing Fort Belknap Indian Community
Iris Kill Eagle, representing the Little Shell Chippewa Tribe
Danielle Matt, representing the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes
Amanda Myers, representing the United States Attorney’s Office
Haley Omeasoo, At-large member
Dr. Alan Ostby, representing the Indian Health Services?Derek Werner, representing Montana Highway Patrol
Jonathan Windy Boy, representing the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation?
Sarah Wolftail, representing the Blackfeet Nation.      

Indigenous persons go missing at a higher rate than other races in Montana. Indigenous persons cases made up 31 percent of 1,386 total missing persons cases reported by law enforcement last year. However, thanks to the work of Montana law enforcement agencies, the 2023 clearance rate for missing Indigenous persons is currently 99 percent. Of the 693 Indigenous persons reported missing last year, five are still actively missing.

Attorney General Knudsen also supported Rep. Running Wolf’s House Bill 18 during the 2023 legislative session which established a missing persons response team training grant program to bolster the Montana Department of Justice’s response to missing and murdered Indigenous people across the state.

In 2021, Attorney General Knudsen launched a new online missing persons database to help law enforcement agencies and the public find all missing persons and bring them home. The enhanced database is easier to use and provides accurate and timely information from agencies across the state as they submit updates to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database of missing persons.

For a complete list of missing persons in Montana, visit https://dojmt.gov/missing-persons/.

Applications Available For Theo And Alyce Beck Foundation Trust Scholarship

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

Applications are now available for the Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust Scholarship. These scholarships are for Valley County graduates who are past their first year of education with a GPA of at least 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 and considered full-time status in a college, university or vocational-technical institution.

Applications can be picked up from Ruth Ann Hutcheson, 54229 US HWY 2 or from Edward Jones, 317 Klein Avenue. An electronic version can be requested at hannah.barras@edwardjones.com. Applications must be mailed and postmarked no later than July 22, 2024. Incomplete applications will not be considered for the scholarship.

Theo and Alyce Beck were northeast Montana people who cared about the communities they lived in, whether it was Baylor where they farmed, or Glasgow where Alyce spent her retired years after Theo passed away.

Alyce was active in 4-H and Homemakers Club, as well as entering plants, sewing projects and homemade baked goods in the Northeast Montana Fair almost every year. Shortly before Alyce passed away, she generously decided to set up the Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust for the benefit of people in Valley County.

Officials Still Trying To Figure Impacts Of St. Mary Siphon Failure

Posted (Wednesday, June 19th 2024)

From The Daily Montanan

The Milk River Project, which is part of a system that delivers drinking water to 18,000 people and more than 700 farms, will shut down early this year following the breach of 110-year-old pipes near Baab.

Christopher Gomer with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday the irrigators along the Hi-Line will have about 30 days of water left from Frenso and Nelson reservoir storage but after that will have an early shutdown this year.

“Depending on where we align with the fix, will point us in the direction of what future impacts will be,” Gomer said.

On Monday both of the St. Mary River siphon barrels failed, both 90-inch riveted steel barrels built between 1912 and 1926, with massive amounts of water gushing out. The Blackfeet Tribe closed Camp Nine Road to near the Hooks Hideaway Motel in Babb, with exceptions for residents, and emergency personnel and prohibiting water recreation until June 24, according to the Blackfeet Tribe’s Facebook page.

Gomer told the Daily Montanan that engineers are still assessing the damage and have yet to determine whether there can be a short-term fix, like repairing the less damaged barrel, or completely replacing both. He said this assessment could take anywhere from days to weeks. He said how quickly they can get materials is the biggest unknown right now.

“We will have a large engineering team on site next Tuesday and hopefully, within a couple of days to a week after that, we’ll have some idea of which direction we’re headed,” he said.

The bureau said in a press release Monday the breach “caused local flooding and erosion, with some areas resulting in washout areas estimated to be 30 to 50 feet deep.” The department said while water was diverted back to the St. Mary River, flows are expected to continue for as long as 24 to 36 hours while the canal drains.

Since 1915 the St. Mary Canal has diverted water from the St. Mary River to the North Fork of the Milk River, the release said, and sends water to 120,000 acres of irrigated land and 14,000 municipal users.

Top political leaders in Montana, including Gov. Greg Gianforte, Sen. Jon Tester, Rep. Matt Rosendale and Rep. Ryan Zinke all posted on social media to say they are keeping tabs on the situation.

The following from nbcmontana.com:

Malta-area farmer Wade Jones, who serves as the president of the Milk River Joint Board of Control, tells NBC Montana the Fresno and Nelson reservoirs on the Hi-Line are mostly full.

The concern regarding agriculture isn’t about 2024 but what happens in 2025 if a quick fix can’t be found.
A town hall meeting is scheduled to take place in Malta on July 9. At that time, members of the public will get a full rundown of the situation and what comes next, which could include temporary solutions and how upcoming water deliveries and demands will be handled.

Commerce Allocates Grants to Support Montana Businesses

Posted (Wednesday, June 19th 2024)

$8 million of revolving loan funding to help grow Montana’s economy

HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced today that 16 Montana economic development organizations will share $8 million of grant funding to support economic growth in Montana. The funding is through Commerce’s Big Sky Economic Development (BSED) Revolving Loan Fund Grant Program.

"Through the BSED Revolving Loan Program, this grant funding will help build strong partnerships between local economic development organizations and the State to help spur sustainable growth for Montana’s economy,” said Paul Green, Director of the Montana Department of Commerce.

The BSED Revolving Loan Fund Grant Program provides funding to economic development organizations to create new or support existing revolving loan fund programs that assist businesses in local economies across Montana.

The following Montana businesses will receive BSED loan funding:

Anaconda Local Development Corporation will receive $500,000 of BSED loan funding.
Bear Paw Development Corporation will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Beartooth RC&D Area, Inc. will receive $500,000 of BSED loan funding.
Big Sky Economic Development will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation will receive $200,000 of BSED loan funding.
Gallatin Development Corporation, Inc. will receive $500,000 of BSED loan funding.
Great Falls Development Authority, Inc. will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Great Northern Development Corporation will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Headwaters RC&D Area, Inc. will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Jobs Now, Inc. will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Lake County Community Development Corporation will receive $500,000 of BSED loan funding.
Montana Business Assistance Connection, Inc. will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Montana Community Development Corporation will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
North Central Montana Economic Development District, Inc. will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.
Southeastern Montana Development Corporation will receive $500,000 of BSED loan funding.
Snowy Mountain Development Corporation will receive $530,000 of BSED loan funding.

For more information about Commerce’s business technical and finance assistance programs, visit business.mt.gov.

First Hump Day And Alive At Five Of The Season

Posted (Tuesday, June 18th 2024)

The first Hump Day and Alive At Five of the season are this Wednesday, June 19th in Glasgow.

During the day, enjoy special savings at many retail locations in Glasgow, and then get set for Alive At Five, from 5-8 p.m.

The Glasgow Downtown Association and Nemont invite you downtown for live music, food & drink, a firetruck pull, kids activities, games and more!

Entertainment will be from Jolie Blue, and Nemont will be selling burgers too!

Great Northern Development Corporation Celebrates 30 Years of Economic Development and Community
Transformation in Northeast Montana

Posted (Tuesday, June 18th 2024)

Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC) is proud to announce the celebration of its 30th anniversary. Since its inception, GNDC has been dedicated to fostering economic growth and revitalizing the local economy across the six counties it serves: Valley, Daniels, Sheridan, Roosevelt, Garfield, and McCone.

Over the past three decades, GNDC has played a pivotal role in transforming the communities within Northeast Montana. Through a variety of initiatives and programs, GNDC has successfully supported small businesses, facilitated job creation, and enhanced the overall quality of life for residents in the region.

Key Highlights of GNDC’s Impact:
Economic Growth: GNDC has assisted in the birth and expansion of numerous businesses, providing essential support from initial ideas to successful, sustainable operations. Our efforts have led to significant job creation, contributing to the economic vitality of the region.

Community Revitalization: By working closely with local governments, businesses, and community organizations, GNDC has been instrumental in various community development projects. These initiatives have improved infrastructure, increased access to essential services, and created vibrant community spaces.

Business Support: Our comprehensive services, including confidential business counseling, access to low-interest loans, and technical assistance, have empowered entrepreneurs and small business owners to thrive in a competitive environment. GNDC’s support has been crucial in helping businesses navigate challenges and seize growth opportunities.

Education and Training: Through programs such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Minnow Tank competition, GNDC has provided valuable education and training to aspiring entrepreneurs and established business owners. These programs have equipped participants with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in today’s complex business landscape.

As we celebrate this milestone, GNDC remains committed to driving economic development and enhancing the prosperity of Northeast Montana. Our ongoing efforts will continue to focus on fostering innovation, supporting local businesses, and building strong, resilient communities.

“Reflecting on the past 30 years, we are incredibly proud of the positive changes we have made in our communities. Our success is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, partners, and the people of Northeast Montana. We look forward to continuing our mission of economic development and community transformation for many years to come,” said Tori Matejovsky, Executive Director of Great Northern Development Corporation.

For more information about GNDC and our services, please visit www.gndc.org or contact us at (406) 653-2590.

About Great Northern Development Corporation:
Great Northern Development Corporation is a Certified Regional Development Corporation and Community Development Financial Institution committed to fostering economic growth and community development in Northeast Montana. We provide a range of services to support small businesses, enhance infrastructure, and improve the quality of life for residents in our region.

Great Northern Development Corporation
Phone: (406) 653-2590
Email: info@gndc.org
Website: www.gndc.org

Valley County Commissioners To Meet Wednesday

Posted (Tuesday, June 18th 2024)

The Valley County Commissioners will meet in regular session on Wednesday. On the agenda:

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Discussion and Decision Meeting
Valley County, Montana
Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 10:30 am
1. Additions/Deletions
2. Public Comment on Agenda items
3. Action on Employment/Termination Notices
4. Consider Title VI Plan for Valley County Transit
5. Consideration of Resolution No. 12-2024 setting elected officials salaries with a 4%
increase
6. Consider 4% cost of living increase for all permanent county employees
7. Public comment on non-agenda items

Rain Expected Over Northeast Montana

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

Widespread rain with isolated to scattered thunderstorms will move into northeast Montana this morning and remain over the area through Tuesday. Gusty winds and small hail are possible with any thunderstorms that occur. The rain will diminish Tuesday evening.

Falling Gasoline Demand Is Dropping The Price Of Gasoline According To AAA

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

Gas prices continue to fall in the United States according to AAA. The main reasons for the decline are lackluster gasoline demand and burgeoning supply.

“Gasoline demand has trailed 2023 for most of this year, and analysts believe economic uncertainty may suppress demand this summer,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “So, is the typical robust summer driving season a thing of the past? Or is gas demand just taking longer to pick up steam? We may not know until autumn.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand crept higher from 8.94 million b/d to 9.04. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks jumped from 230.9 to 233.5 million barrels as production increased, averaging 10.1 million barrels per day. Mediocre gasoline demand, increasing supply, and stable oil costs will likely lead to falling pump prices.

Another week, another slide in gas prices as the national average for a gallon of gasoline dipped two cents since last Thursday to $3.46. The main reasons for the decline are lackluster gasoline demand and burgeoning supply.

“Gasoline demand has trailed 2023 for most of this year, and analysts believe economic uncertainty may suppress demand this summer,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “So, is the typical robust summer driving season a thing of the past? Or is gas demand just taking longer to pick up steam? We may not know until autumn.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand crept higher from 8.94 million b/d to 9.04 last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks jumped from 230.9 to 233.5 million barrels as production increased last week, averaging 10.1 million barrels per day. Mediocre gasoline demand, increasing supply, and stable oil costs will likely lead to falling pump prices.

Today’s national average is $3.44, 15 cents less than a month ago and 13 cents less than a year ago.

In Montana, the average price is $3.39 per gallon compared to $3.48 a month ago and $3.70 a year ago.

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

Montana Schools Race To Spend Covid Money

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

As part of the federal government's plan to help schools across the nation and Montana work their way through the Covid Pandemic, federal funding was issued to public schools.

In Montana, over $593 million was distributed to schools under the ESSER program. ESSER 1 and ESSER 2 monies have already been required to be spent by the schools.

ESSER 3 monies have a deadline of September, 2024 to be spent.

Many schools across Montana have yet to spend some or all of their ESSER 3 monies which totaled over $382 million in Montana.

For more information on the ESSER money you can access the OPI website here:

https://opi.mt.gov/COVID-19-Information/ESSER#10664912075-esser-state-and-district-plan

Locally, here is the status of Valley County schools as of the month of May according to OPI.

Glasgow received 1.336 million and has a zero balance.

Hinsdale received $344,449 and has a balance of $25,344

Frazer received $2.098 million and has a balance of $2.08 million

Nashua received $219,248 and has a balance of $64,895

Lustre Elementary received $103,925 and has a zero balance

Saco received $287,000 and has a balance of $100,410

Water Releases Increasing Today From Fort Peck As Part Of Fort Peck Flow Test

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

Releases from Fort Peck will begin stepping up as part of the second peak of the Fort Peck flow test starting today.

Releases from Fort Peck will be gradually increased, starting today, June 17, to reach a peak flow of 20,000 cubic feet per second at Wolf Point, Montana, on Sunday, June 23.

These releases will include flows from the Fort Peck spillway, beginning today around 9:00 a.m. (Mountain Time).

The second peak flow was scheduled to begin on June 13, but was delayed due to the stage forecast at Williston, North Dakota being above 22.0 feet. https://water.noaa.gov/gauges/WLTN8

“Forecast flows on the Yellowstone River continue to decline and the river gage at Williston has dropped below 22.0 feet supporting a decision to proceed with the second peak flow beginning today, June 17th,” said John Remus, chief of the Missouri Basin Water Management Division.

The rate of increase and decrease for the second peak will follow the original increase and decrease schedule. However, the peak flow measured at Wolf Point will be approximately 20,000 cfs, instead of the originally planned 22,500 cfs.

Releases will be made to hold at flows at Wolf Point of 20,000 cfs for three days, and then reduced by 1,000 cfs for 10 days, reaching 10,000 cfs on July 5.

On July 6, releases will be reduced to maintain a flow of 8,000 cfs at Wolf Point.

During the flow test a number of monitoring activities will be conducted to include fish monitoring, lidar and aerial photography, physical surveys, cultural resource surveys, and water quality sampling.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Playing At Fort Peck Summer Theatre

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

An international hit, this modern entertaining and inspiring spectacle musical tells the age-old Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. As young dreamer Joseph rises from being outcast by his jealous brothers to becoming advisor to the Pharoah, a kaleidoscope of song and dance bursts onto this stage.

The cast is led by Royce McIntosh as Joseph and Darci Monsos as Narrator.

Local cast members include: Dan Hance as Jacob, Tommi Prewett as Gad and Tanner White as the Baker, along with Mackenzie Bigelbach, Bryten Clark, Henry Holte, Camryn Kemmis, Annika Smith, McKay Youkam, Isla Belakjon, Mylee Clark, Hayven Fox, Sebastian Gregg, Arrow Henry, Eva Hlad, Kjel Bea Markle, Shelia Mason, Kinley Overby and Fallan Pinder.

Joseph is directed by Danny Durr who choreographed last season’s hit Matilda. Durr will also be creating this year’s touring production of Bremen or Bust.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs June 14 – June 30: Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm.

For Tickets and info 406-526-9943 or visit fortpecktheatre.org

Following Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat the 2024 season continues with:
Bonnie & Clyde: July 5 – July 21
Cinderella: July 26 – August 11
Honky Tonk Laundry: August 16 – September 1

Political practices commissioner rules that AG candidate was ineligible

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

The Montana Commissioner of Political Practices has ruled that Republican Attorney General candidate and Daniels County Attorney Logan Olson was not qualified to run for Montana Attorney General in the 2024 primary election, but stopped short of saying he knowingly violated the law.

Commissioner Chris Gallus said that even if he had found that Olson knowingly violated the law, he lacked the enforcement to do anything about it. Only a court could, he said as part of the opinion issued Thursday. Because Gallus could not prove that Olson broke the law, he dismissed the complaint against him.

Olson was defeated by incumbent Attorney General Austin Knudsen. Olson filed for candidacy on the last day of eligibility. Knudsen told a crowd of supporters at a Dillon gathering that he had recruited Olson to run against him so that he could raise more money. Montana law prohibits enticing another candidate to run for office for financial gain. And campaign finance records show that Olson hired the same company to handle his campaign as Knudsen, and seemed to spend little money besides the required filing fees and finance reporting.

Knudsen bested Olson in the primary, rendering part of the issue moot because only Knudsen, not Olson, will advance to November’s general election to face Democrat Ben Alke.

Knudsen beat Olson, 148,435 to 32,059. Still, Olson garnered 18% of the primary Republican votes.

Sheila Hogan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party, filed complaints against both Olson and Knudsen for campaign violations. A different but related case against Knudsen remains ongoing.

In a 25-page ruling, Commissioner of Political Practices Chris Gallus said the information that Olson provided to his office, including proof that he was working under the student practice rule — a state rule that allows third-year law students to do some work under a supervising attorney — proved that Olson was under the belief that he was qualified, even though Gallus’ analysis showed he was not.

The case zeroes in on the state requirements for attorney general versus those for a judge or county attorney. And the decision also hinges on the differences between phrases such as “active practice” and “admitted to practice.”

Gallus determined that Olson had worked under the student practice rule during the 2019-2020 academic year. He also found that the Montana Supreme Court has previously said that practicing law did not mean that a person had to be admitted to the state bar.

“Olson relies on the assertion that he has been admitted to practice law for five years as the dispositive element determining his qualifications for attorney general,” the decision said. “However, the constitutional requirements do not specify ‘admitted to practice for five years,’ but ‘admitted to practice law in Montana who has engaged in the active practice thereof for at least five years.’”

Gallus determined that while he met the practice rule, he had not been admitted for the full time, by legal definition.

“Mr. Olson’s response suggests that the inquiry ends here, based entirely on (the Montana Supreme Court case) Shapiro,” the decision said. “However, this position lacks merit because the Shapiro ruling specifically addressed admission rather than active practice since active practice is not a qualification for the position of county attorney.”

But, Gallus said that Olson likely believed he met the criteria for the office when he signed an affidavit that certified he was eligible for the office. Gallus said that since Olson filed for the office on the final day of eligibility, it was likely hasty. Furthermore, even though Olson is a county attorney, he probably did not research the nuances of the qualifications, and therefore Gallus could not prove that Olson acted with intent, or even knew about the differences.

“The evidence here, while pointing to a hasty and minimally researched decision on the part of Mr. Olson, does not allow me to conclude that Mr. Olson knowingly made a false declaration in violation of (Montana law),” Gallus wrote. “While under the current circumstances I would not find evidence to support a violation of (Montana law), it is worth noting that if I do find a violation based on a false Oath of Candidacy, another provision of Montana election law leaves me unable to pursue enforcement.”

Gallus pointed out that Montana law must presume the oath is valid, unless proven different by a court of law, not the commissioner.

“Without action by a court of law, an Oath of Candidacy is presumed valid and COPP is unable to enforce a violation, even where patently false declarations are at issue,” Gallus said in the opinion.

If anything, Gallus determined through the evidence and a reading of the law that while Olson should have known more about the qualifications for attorney general, the oath may have been hastily signed, and found no conclusive evidence of intent.

“Although Mr. Olson’s legal argument supporting the assertion that he is qualified to serve as attorney general is faulty, he does offer a reasonable argument and supports it with verifiable facts,” the conclusion states. “Mr. Olson consciously engaged in conduct and formed conclusions that upon further inspection would have demonstrated to Mr. Olson that he was incorrect. But, ultimately, like other commissioners, I cannot reach a finding that Mr. Olson knew his declaration was untrue or that he intentionally acted deceptively. While I could comfortably render a determination Mr. Olson acted negligently here, I cannot support a claim he intentionally submitted his declaration knowing it was false.”

Craig Smith Selected As New President Of Fort Peck Community College

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

The board of directors at Fort Peck Community College have selected long-time employee Craig Smith as the new president of FPCC at their May 23 board meeting.

Smith is the college’s seventh president in the history of the institution, which was chartered by the Fort Peck Tribes in 1978 and is located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Poplar.

Smith was most recently the Vice President for Institutional Development & Research at FPCC for the past 14 years.

He is an enrolled member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, born and raised on the reservation. He was raised and educated in Poplar, before transferring to Wolf Point, for his senior year, graduating in 1983 from Wolf Point High School.

Smith received his bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Montana in Missoula in June 1988 and received his masters in business administration from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., in May 2005.

He has over 35 years of experience in the business, agriculture, education, community and economic development areas. He was the economic development specialist for the Fort Peck Tribal Planning Department for over a decade, the Tribal Business Information Center director at FPCC, the FPCC Bookstore & Gift Shop manager,and has been in his current position as Vice President for Institutional Development for the past 14 years.

Smith was named the 2004 SBA Minority Business Advocate of the Year of Montana for the work he did while at the TBIC. He has participated on many boards of directors and advisory councils for various organizations, businesses and agencies on the local, regional, state and national levels.

Amongst other activities, he currently sits on the board of directors for Fort Peck Tech Services and Fort Peck Manufacturing, Inc., both tribally-owned manufacturing companies owned by the Fort Peck Tribes.

Smith also sits on the Assiniboine & Sioux Rural Water Supply System board of directors, as well as the Assiniboine and Sioux Mineral Development Corporation board of directors. He is also a long-time member of the Montana Officials Association and referees high school football and basketball.

“I’m very honored and humbled to be selected the next president of Fort Peck Community College,” stated Smith. “I’ve been associated with the college for the past 35 years, serving on the board for 10 years and an employee for the last 25 years, so I am very familiar with FPCC and have developed a strong network in higher education on the local, state and national level. I hope to build upon and strengthen the achievements and milestones of the administrations before me and continue to provide quality higher education opportunities for the residents of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and northeast Montana.”

Glasgow School Board Meeting Notes

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board met in regular session on June 12th.

Action items from the meeting:

Approved a 4% increase in pay for district bus drivers. Route drivers will start at $23.93 per hour and the most experienced route drivers will earn $29.14.

Approved the purchase of a 2015 27-passenger shuttle bus at a cost of $86,055. This bus will be used for Glasgow School District activities.

Approved naming the Glasgow School District Boardroom after long time superintendent Gary Martin.

Marijuana Sales In May For Valley County Total $141,105

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

The Montana Department of Revenue is reporting that marijuana sales in Valley County for the month of May totaled $141,105.

This included $113,858 in adult use sales and $27,247 in medical sales.

Backers say they have signatures to qualify nonpartisan primary and majority vote initiatives for fall ballot

Posted (Thursday, June 13th 2024)

Backers advancing a pair of constitutional initiatives that would overhaul how Montana voters elect state and federal candidates said Wednesday that they have collected enough signatures to have the measures placed on the November ballot.

The first initiative, CI-126, would replace Montana’s current party-based June primary elections with a fully open primary that sends the top four vote-getters from a party-agnostic ballot onward to November general elections. The second, CI-127, would specify that candidates must receive at least 50% of the November general election vote in order to be declared a winner, as opposed to the current system where the winner is simply the candidate who receives the most votes.

If formally qualified for the ballot and backed by a majority of Montana voters this fall, CI-127 would also require the state Legislature to pass a law determining what happens in general election contests where no candidate wins an outright majority. Initiative backers say the Legislature could adopt either an Alaska-style ranked-choice voting system or Georgia-style runoff elections.

Speaking at an event organized by the backing committee, Montanans for Election Reform, at the state Capitol Wednesday, former Republican lawmaker Frank Garner argued that the two measures would adjust Montana’s elections to empower independent-minded voters and nudge the state’s politics away from extreme partisanship.

“We know Montanans are fed up with divisive politics, inflammatory rhetoric and an unwillingness to work across the aisle to find solutions to the real challenges facing Montana’s families,” Garner said. “It’s time for a change.”

Garner said Wednesday that the group has collected more than 200,000 signatures for the two initiatives, including support from all 56 Montana counties. In order to qualify constitutional initiatives for the ballot, backers must collect signatures from 10% of Montana’s registered voters, including 10% of voters in at least 40 of the state’s 100 House districts. This year, that equates to a 60,359-signature threshold each of the initiatives must clear.

Because many signatures submitted by initiative backers are either deemed illegible or can’t be verified as matching a registered voter, initiative campaigns generally try to over-collect their target. Signatures are submitted to county election administrators, who review them before forwarding verified signatures to the Montana secretary of state, who makes a formal determination about whether enough have been collected.

Under Montana’s current election system, June primary elections advance a single candidate from each qualified political party to the general election. While primaries are open to all registered voters, voters must pick a single party primary to participate in.

If CI-126, the top-four primary measure, passes, all voters would instead receive an identical primary ballot that would include Republican, Democratic and third-party candidates for each race. Candidates would be able to appear on the ballot without their political party’s endorsement but could, at the Legislature’s discretion, be required to qualify for the ballot by gathering signatures. Voters would cast primary ballots for a single candidate, and the top four candidates would advance regardless of party affiliation.

Similarly, under the current system, the November general election winner is simply the candidate who receives the most votes. That occasionally means candidates are elected with a plurality of the vote rather than an outright majority of 50% or more in races with more than two candidates, as was the case with Sen. Jon Tester’s 2006 and 2012 general election victories.

If the majority vote initiative, CI-127, passes, the Legislature would be tasked with determining what happens if no candidate receives an outright general election majority. Garner said Wednesday that the two likely options would be an Alaska-style ranked-choice voting system or a Georgia-style runoff.

Under Alaska’s system, adopted for general elections in 2020, voters rank candidates instead of casting single votes. If no candidate wins an outright majority based on first-choice votes, vote counters eliminate the worst-performing candidate from the tally and distribute the second-choice votes from that candidate’s supporters to the remaining candidates. If there still isn’t a majority winner, that redistribution process is repeated until there is one.

Under Georgia’s runoff system, an additional election is held featuring only the two candidates who led in the initial vote.

Garner said Wednesday that the majority vote requirement complements the top-four primary model by preventing situations where a multi-candidate race divides the electorate, making it possible for candidates to win power with a relatively small share of the vote.

He pointed to this year’s primary election for Montana’s heavily Republican-leaning eastern congressional district as an example, noting that GOP victor Troy Downing is on a presumably clear path to Congress after winning a plurality in the district’s nine-way Republican primary. Downing advanced on June 4 with 36% of the GOP primary vote, winning about 36,200 votes in a district where 215,700 people cast general election votes in 2022.

Garner also said Wednesday that advancing four candidates to general elections would keep races from being decided in primary elections, which typically see lower voter turnout.

Taken together, Garner argued, the changes would make it more difficult for minority political interests to control Montana’s politics.

“Voters deserve more choice, more competition,” he said.

The Montanans for Election Reform push has drawn support from a coalition of moderate-leaning Montana Republicans and mainstream Democrats. While serving in the state Legislature, Garner was a prominent member of the Republican party’s comparatively moderate Solutions Caucus, as were fellow initiative backers and former lawmakers Rob Cook, Bruce Tutvedt and Bruce Grubbs.

Former Democratic lawmaker Mary Sheehy Moe also spoke in favor of the initiatives at Wednesday’s event.

“The Montana I love cannot survive the ineffective leadership that has been the result of the current primary system,” Moe said.

Montana’s official GOP party apparatus has, however, opposed the top-four primary initiative, calling it a “backdoor” scheme to force the state to adopt ranked-choice voting and arguing the measure would “be destructive to our elections process, cause confusion and disenfranchise Montana voters.”

In a March op-ed column, Montana GOP chair Don “K” Kaltschmidt argued that de-emphasizing party affiliation in primary elections would force voters to do more research and allow candidates to “self-identify as conservatives,” potentially deceiving voters.

“CI-126 proponents claiming to be “Republicans” are being used by out-of-state liberal elites,” Kaltschmidt wrote.

According to financial forms filed with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, Montanans for Election Reform has raised $4.2 million and spent $3.4 million backing its initiatives so far. Major contributions to that effort include a nearly $2 million total from Article IV, a national group that says it supports efforts to “give citizens more choice and agency in how their government is run,” and $1.7 million from Unite America, which describes itself as “a philanthropic venture fund that invests in nonpartisan election reform.” The group has also received $362,000 from Action Now, an advocacy group set up by John and Laura Arnold. (Arnold Ventures is also a major donor to Montana Free Press.)

The state’s top election administrator, Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobson, is also on record as being skeptical of changes to Montana’s election system. In a statement published Wednesday by a regional free-market think tank, Jacobsen expressed explicit opposition to ranked-choice voting and pointed to an ongoing effort to repeal Alaska’s ranked-choice voting system.

“I have serious concerns with the efforts funded with dark money to impose Ranked Choice Voting,” Jacobson said. “It is a very deceptive practice and would undermine all of our efforts to secure our elections in Montana. It would also create serious voter confusion and frustration.”

Garner, though, said the group’s success at signature gathering is evidence of widespread public enthusiasm for reworking how the state’s elections are conducted.

“CI-126 and CI-127 are truly by Montanans, for Montanans,” Garner said. “The response we’ve seen in every Montana county throughout our signature-gathering process proves that Montana voters are ready to see their election system put voters first again.”

Beau Malnaa Sentenced In State District Court On Charge Of Felony Sexual Abuse Of A Child

Posted (Thursday, June 13th 2024)

District Court Judge Yvonne Laird sentenced Beau Malnaa on June 10th for the charge of sexual abuse of a child. Laird sentenced Malnaa to 20-years with the Montana Department of Corrections with time suspended. Malnaa was credited with 96 days of previously served jail time and was ordered to serve another 84 days as part of a condition of the sentencing to serve 180 days in jail.

Malnaa had been charged with 2 counts of felony sexual abuse that occurred in July of 2023.As part of a plea agreement, one count was dismissed.

Earlier this year, Malnaa had changed his plea from not-guilty to guilty and Judge Laird sentenced him on June 10th.

In her sentencing order, Judge Laird noted that the defendant's behaviors seem to be escalating, though as the defendant's counsel has noted the defendant has not yet fully developed and his father testified to his immaturity and lack of understanding of how his behavior impacts others. Judge Laird also wrote that she construed the sentencing in the hope the defendant can rehabilitate himself and receive necessary treatment to help him refrain from re-offending and provide adequate supervision to assist him reintegrating safely into the community.

Judge Laird recommended that Malnna be screened for placement in a Department of Corrections facility or program and suggested he be placed in a sex offender treatment program.

Malnna was also ordered to register as a sex offender. He is also facing another unrelated charge of vehicle theft and that case is pending in District Court.

Northeast Montana Fair Schedule Released

Posted (Thursday, June 13th 2024)

Corps Of Engineers Seeking Information Regarding Vandalism At Kiwanis Park

Posted (Wednesday, June 12th 2024)

The US Army Corps of Engineers at Fort Peck is seeking any information regarding the recent vandalism that took place at Kiwanis Park. Several structures were spray painted including a cement picnic table and a large playground. The removal of the paint will be both expensive and labor intensive, if it can be removed from these resources.

The vandalism was first noticed on Monday June 3rd, 2024. A report with the Valley County Sheriff’s office was completed on Tuesday June 4th, 2024.

If you have any information regarding the vandalism incident, please contact the Natural Resource Office at the Corps of Engineers by calling (406) 526-3411 or the Valley County Sheriffs Office at (406) 228-4333.

Siding 45 Skatepark Receives $50,000 Donation From Montana Skatepark Association

Posted (Wednesday, June 12th 2024)

Press Release from Siding 45 Skatepark:

We are so excited to announce that we received a generous donation of $50,000 from the Montana Skatepark Association!

Immediately after confirming the future location of the skatepark, I emailed MSA to tell them the good news. After a lovely phone call with MSA secretary Andy Kemmis, he offered to not only help us meet our goal of $200,000, but surpass it!

Now that we’ve reached this goal, there are some other loose ends to tie up (planting grass, signage, etc.) and maybe some future goals to think about (a bathroom at the skatepark? Benches?), so your donations are still very welcome. All donations will go towards making the skatepark site comfortable and beautiful.

A statement from MSA:
“The MSA is committed to improving rural outdoor spaces through building world-class skateparks and connecting youth in communities throughout Montana in the process. Having supported funding, design, and construction of over 30 skateparks in Montana’s rural and native communities for over 20 years, we have seen firsthand the community benefits and revitalization that arises through construction of these parks and look forward to lending our expertise and experience to the town of Glasgow.

The MSA is proud of the contributions we have made to skateboarding throughout Montana for over two decades. In every community that we have supported via a free, concrete, public skatepark there has been a positive impact to the lives of those who choose to take advantage of the facility. Additionally, beyond just creating better skateboarders, the parks have blown the doors wide open to those seeking an outlet for their creativity, independence, burgeoning self-confidence, and overall physical and mental well being. We look forward to impacting these kinds of positive changes in your community.”

Customs And Border Protection Announces Extension Of Summer Hours At Port Of Wild Horse

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

Following direct pressure from U.S. Senator Jon Tester on the Biden Administration, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that they will extend the summer hours of operation at the Port of Wild Horse.

“Expanding the summer hours of operation at the Port of Wild Horse is great news for Montanans along our northern border who rely on access with our number one trading partner to keep their businesses running, make a living, and support their families,” said Tester. “I told the Biden Administration that reduced hours of operation simply would not cut it during this busy season, and I’m glad to see they got the message. I’ll keep fighting until the hours of operation are restored at all of Montana’s northern ports of entry.”

In response to pressure from Tester, CBP announced that beginning June 9, the Port of Wild Horse will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. These seasonal hours will remain in effect until Sept. 30 when they revert to the winter schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

In May, Tester sent a letter to CBP Commissioner Troy A. Miller urging the Administration to immediately expand summer hours for the Port of Wild Horse.

Tester has consistently been an outspoken critic of the Biden Administration’s refusal to reinstate pre-pandemic hours of service and extend summer hours at Montana’s northern ports of entry. Last July, Tester introduced bipartisan legislation to require CBP to match or exceed pre-pandemic hours at northern ports of entry.

Last year, Tester also led a bipartisan letter to CBP pressing the agency to return the hours of operations at northern ports of entry to pre-pandemic hours or, at minimum, match the operating hours of Canadian ports. He also sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging an extension of the hours of operations at ports of entry in Montana.

Tester also called on the Biden Administration to fully reopen all ports of entry in Montana to pre-pandemic hours and terminate the vaccination requirements for Canadian truck drivers entering the United States through land ports of entry. His letter came directly after meeting with Montana farmers and business owners who rely on trade and travel across the northern border via Ports like Raymond, Opheim, and Morgan.

Montana shares a 545 mile border with Canada and is home to many border towns whose economies rely on Canadian trade and commerce. According to the Canadian Trade Commissioner, Canada is Montana’s top international trading partner, buying more from the state than the next six states combined. Reports by the U.S. Trade Representative estimate that Montana exported $692 million in goods to Canada is 2018, representing 42 percent of the state’s total goods exports.

Explosion Near Bainville Seriously Injures One

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

Press Release from Roosevelt County:

Dated Monday, June 10th.

At approximately 10:30am this morning a saltwater containment facility operated by Clean Solutions LLC near Bainville Montana experienced the explosion of one of their containment tanks.

Estimated area of effect of the explosion was approximately 100 feet. As a result of this explosion one person sustained serious injuries and has been transported to Williston North Dakota for medical treatment.

Bainville, Culbertson and Froid Fire departments are on scene containing the fire that remains active at four containment tanks. Fire suppression and containment efforts are expected to continue into the evening.

Tom And Linda Stathos Receive Yard Of The Week Honors

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

Tom & Linda Stathos of 619 5th Ave. South in Glasgow have received Yard of the Week Honors.

Yard of the Week is sponsored by members of the Glasgow City Council.

Glasgow School Board To Consider Naming Board Room For Gary F. Martin

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will consider naming the Glasgow School District Boardroom after Gary F. Martin who was a longtime superintendent of the school district.

The naming of the board room is an action item on the agenda for the school board during its regular June meeting on Wednesday.

Martin served as superintendent for 27 years from 1972-1999. Martin passed away on May 15th at his home in Glasgow.

Here is an excerpt from Martin's obituary listing his accomplishments as the leader of the Glasgow School District:

In 1972 Gary was named the Superintendent of Schools in Glasgow. He served as Superintendent there for 27 years until the summer of 1999. During this time North Star School was opened at the Glasgow Air Force Base serving the Air Force, Mountain Plains programs and later the Family Training Center families. Enrollment in the Glasgow School System exceeded 2000 students.

During this time the HS football field was moved from the Fairgrounds to its present location along with an all-weather track, lights, bleachers, concession stands and restrooms. Additional classrooms were added to the Eastside Elementary School along with remodeling to transfer that school into a Middle School concept. The grade organizational pattern was changed to a K-5, 6,7,8 and a 9-12 grouping. New shops were constructed at the High School. The old Jr. High School was demolished for safety purposes. The old shop facilities were remodeled into a boardroom, administrative offices and district warehouses along with bus barns. New bleachers were added at the High School, remodeled locker rooms, additional restrooms were added in the gymnasium area and two new scoreboards installed. Gary was proud of these accomplishments.

Gary was also very proud of the Glasgow Community support and tradition of the schools, the best school song and the reputation of the Glasgow School System. He appreciated the dedicated school board members, his administrative staff, the teachers, coaches, and all of their efforts for the Glasgow students.

Havre Man Dies In Rollover Crash In Phillips County

Posted (Monday, June 10th 2024)

A 39-year old man from Havre died in a rollover crash in Phillips County on Friday, June 7, 2024, according to the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP).

The MHP says it happened at about 5:25 a.m. along US Highway 2 near mile marker 462, between the towns of Dodson and Malta.

The man was driving west in a pickup truck and drifted off the right side of the road, hitting a delineator.

He over-corrected and got back on the road, but the vehicle went into a skid and rolled several times.

The man died at the scene. His name has not been released at this point. He was the only occupant of the vehicle.

According to the MHP, the man was not wearing a seatbelt, and alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Blood Donors Are Critically Needed Right Now To Combat Drastic Shortfall In Donations

Posted (Monday, June 10th 2024)

As World Blood Donor Day approaches on June 14, the American Red Cross stresses that blood donors are critically needed right now to combat a drastic shortfall in donations over the last several weeks. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with type O blood and donors giving platelets.

Record-breaking summer travel and severe weather conditions are expected to persist all season long, which may prevent donors from being able to give. When fewer people donate, less blood is available for hospital patients. Make a blood donation a priority this summer. Book a time to give now by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

World Blood Donor Day
June 14 is World Blood Donor Day, a day meant to raise awareness of the need for a safe, diverse and stable blood supply, and to recognize volunteer blood donors. This is the perfect time to give, especially for those who haven’t given in a while, or who have never given before.

Births In Montana Decrease From 2022

Posted (Monday, June 10th 2024)

Births continued a historic slide in all but two states last year, making it clear that a brief post-pandemic uptick in the nation’s birth numbers was all about planned pregnancies that had been delayed temporarily by COVID-19.

Only Tennessee and North Dakota had small increases in births from 2022 to 2023, according to a Stateline analysis of provisional federal data on births. In California, births dropped by 5%, or nearly 20,000, for the year. And as is the case in most other states, there will be repercussions now and later for schools and the workforce, said Hans Johnson, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California who follows birth trends.

“These effects are already being felt in a lot of school districts in California. Which schools are going to close? That’s a contentious issue,” Johnson said.

In the short term, having fewer births means lower state costs for services such as subsidized day care and public schools at a time when aging baby boomers are straining resources. But eventually, the lack of people could affect workforces needed both to pay taxes and to fuel economic growth.

Nationally, births fell by 2% for the year, similar to drops before the pandemic, after rising slightly the previous two years and plummeting 4% in 2020.

“Mostly what these numbers show is (that) the long-term decline in births, aside from the COVID-19 downward spike and rebound, is continuing,” said Phillip Levine, a Wellesley College economics professor.

To keep population the same over the long term, the average woman needs to have 2.1 children during her lifetime — a metric that is considered the “replacement” rate for a population. Even in 2022 every state fell below that rate, according to final data for 2022 released in April. The rate ranged from a high of 2.0 in South Dakota to less than 1.4 in Oregon and Vermont.

In Montana, there were 11,069 births in 2023 compared to 11,175 births in 2022.

Dodson Man Arrested On 1984 Murder Warrant Out Of Texas

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

The Phillips County Sheriff's Office assisted a Texas Ranger with an arrest warrant for a homicide that took place in 1984.

The Phillips County Sheriff in Malta announced the arrest on Thursday on social media.

Gordon Parsons, a Dodson resident, was taken into custody without incident shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday at the Phillips County Courthouse.

Parsons will be held on $2 million bond pending an extradition hearing.

Parsons is currently incarcerated at the Valley County Detention Center in Glasgow

Gregg Hunter Receives Welcome To Montana State Senate

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

Glasgow resident Gregg Hunter received a welcome to the Montana State Senate on Thursday as the Senate President congratulated Hunter for winning the Republican Primary on Tuesday. Hunter has no Democrat opposition in November and will be considered elected to the Senate seat.

Hunter will represent Senate District #15 and defeated Rhonda Knudsen in the Republican Primary. Senate District #15 includes Glasgow, Scobey, Plentywood, Culbertson and Sidney.

Senate President Jason Ellsworth said senate staff will be reaching out to Hunter to start preparing him for the 2025 legislative session in January.

Hunter will be sworn in officially in January at the Montana State Capitol as the beginning of the legislative session.

$88 Million Dollar Contract Awarded To Complete St. Mary Diversion Dam Replacement Project

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

U.S. Senator Jon Tester this week announced that a more than $88 million contract that is funded through his bipartisan infrastructure law has been awarded to Montana-based NW Construction to complete the St. Mary Diversion Dam Replacement project.

The contract is part of the up to $100 million Tester secured for the Milk River Project through his bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which Tester negotiated and helped pass into law. Tester was the only member of Montana’s Congressional delegation to support the legislation.

The $88,321,400 project award to NW Construction, Inc. out of Bozeman, Montana, will ensure water users along the Milk River have a reliable water source while protecting Bull Trout through the Endangered Species Act.

The first round of funding, $2.5 million, was announced in January and was used for planning and project design in 2022. Tester directly negotiated and wrote the provision of his legislation that provides up to $100 million to rehabilitate the Milk River Project, and in December 2020, he urged Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton to make the St. Mary’s diversion a top priority and get the resources out the door as quickly as possible.

Supporters of the Milk River Project had this to say:

This essential project will not only upgrade the dam but also introduce fish-friendly features to help the threatened Bull Trout population. We’re thrilled to collaborate with NW Construction, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Blackfeet Tribal Nation to bring this project to life.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Starts Next Weekend At Fort Peck Summer Theatre

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

An international hit, this modern entertaining and inspiring spectacle musical tells the age-old Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. As young dreamer Joseph rises from being outcast by his jealous brothers to becoming advisor to the Pharoah, a kaleidoscope of song and dance bursts onto this stage.

The cast is led by Royce McIntosh as Joseph and Darci Monsos as Narrator.

Local cast members include: Dan Hance as Jacob, Tommi Prewett as Gad and Tanner White as the Baker, along with Mackenzie Bigelbach, Bryten Clark, Henry Holte, Camryn Kemmis, Annika Smith, McKay Youkam, Isla Belakjon, Mylee Clark, Hayven Fox, Sebastian Gregg, Arrow Henry, Eva Hlad, Kjel Bea Markle, Shelia Mason, Kinley Overby and Fallan Pinder.

Joseph is directed by Danny Durr who choreographed last season’s hit Matilda. Durr will also be creating this year’s touring production of Bremen or Bust.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs June 14 – June 30: Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm.

For Tickets and info 406-526-9943 or visit fortpecktheatre.org

Following Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat the 2024 season continues with:
Bonnie & Clyde: July 5 – July 21
Cinderella: July 26 – August 11
Honky Tonk Laundry: August 16 – September 1

Gasoline Prices Fall Across United States And Montana

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

Gasoline prices took another trip south this week, falling eight cents since last Thursday to $3.48. It marks the largest weekly drop of the year.

“This drop in pump prices appears to have some sticking power for now,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “More states should see their averages dip below $3 a gallon in the coming weeks.”

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand dipped from 9.14 b/d to 8.94 last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks jumped from 228.8 to 230.9 million bbl. Tepid gasoline demand, increasing supply, and falling oil costs will likely lead to falling pump prices.

Today’s national average is $3.47,17 cents less than a month ago and eight cents less than a year ago.

The average price of regular unleaded gasoline in Montana is $3.42 per gallon compared to $3.65 a year ago.

In Valley County the average price of gasoline is $3.49 per gallon according to AAA.

Knierim Family Scholarships

Posted (Thursday, June 6th 2024)

The Knierim family is offering scholarships to students currently enrolled in higher education, either in Montana or out of state, if the student is from Valley, Daniels, Sheridan or Roosevelt counties.

Information and applications are available at knierimfamilyscholarships.com. Applications may be sent to Box 29, Glasgow before the July 15, 2024 deadline.

The scholarships were established by the Knierim family as a memorial to Dr. & Mrs. FM Knierim, a doctor who came in the early days of building Fort Peck Dam & treated men who were injured while constructing the Dam. Dr. Knierim was one of the first physicians in Fort Peck & went on to serve as Chief of Staff at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital for over 40 years. Mrs. Knierim was active in community concerns like the Library Board, Girl Scouts & was the organist at the Episcopal Church for many years.

Valley County Law Enforcement Requesting Assistance In Finding Suspects In Acts Of Vandalism

Posted (Thursday, June 6th 2024)

The VCSO and the GPD are requesting the assistance from the community on reporting suspicious behavior regarding vandalisms.

The Glasgow Police Department has been investigating vandalism cases near the east side of Glasgow by the baseball field. There have been multiple fires causing property damage in the same area within the last month.

The believed suspects are a group of juvenile males between the ages of 10 and 14 years old.

As the investigations continue, the Valley County Sheriff's Office and Glasgow Police Department are dedicated to putting an end to the string of vandalisms and charging the ones responsible, but need assistance from the community.

If you have any information regarding the vandalisms or fires, or see suspicious behavior, please contact Valley County Law Enforcement at 4-6-228-4333.

Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department Responds To Structure Fire

Posted (Thursday, June 6th 2024)

Press release from the Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department

Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department was paged to a structure fire in Glasgow on Wednesday at 12:53pm.

Upon arrival, fire was observed on the exterior of the residence with smoke showing from the eaves. A trooper with Montana Highway Patrol was first on scene and immediately started using a fire extinguisher on the exterior of the residence. Fire crews then began fire suppression.

There was moderate damage to the exterior of the home and minimal damage to the inside. We had 13 fire personnel on scene with Fire Command, Engine 3, Engine 2 and 719.

We’d like to thank Valley County Dispatch, Montana Highway Patrol, Glasgow Police Department, FMDH Stat Ambulance, Valley County Sheriff’s office, MDU and Northwestern Energy for assisting us.

Election Results Available after Polls Close At 8pm

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

The polls will close at 8pm for Tuesday’s Primary Election.

Local and Statewide Results will be available here:

https://electionresults.mt.gov/

Body Recovered From Missouri River Near Poplar

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

Press Release from Roosevelt County Law Enforcement

At about 1:30 PM today, June 3rd, 2024, searchers found and recovered Vinson Cooper's remains from the Missouri River, approximately 1.5 miles downstream from where he disappeared.

From the beginning, this search was a collaborative effort. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following for helping us return Vinson to his family:

All of Vinson's many friends and family members
Richland County MT Sheriff's Office
MT Fish and Game
Montana Highway Patrol
Ft. Peck Tribal Roads Dept.
Poplar Volunteer Fire Department
Poplar EMS

An autopsy will be conducted at the state crime lab in Billings. Results will not be available for several weeks.

Lewis Matthews
Ft. Peck Tribes Chief of Police
Jason Frederick
Roosevelt County Sheriff

Today Is Election Day

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

Montana's Primary Election is today and polls are open in Valley County until 8pm this evening. If you are voting at the polls, you have until 8pm and if you are returning an absentee ballot it must be returned by 8pm tonight.

The Valley County Courthouse is where all the polling places are located and where all absentee ballots must be returned.

Glasgow City Council Votes To Place Skate Park At Hoyt Park

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

The Glasgow City Council voted unanimously on Monday to place a new skate park in Hoyt Park next to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital.

All that remains to be done before construction will start is a signed memorandum of understanding between the City of Glasgow and the Skate Park Committee.

The Skate Park Committee has raised all the money for the construction of the park and will turn the park over to the City of Glasgow when completed.

The Skate Park will be located in the southwest corner of Hoyt Park.

Fire Departments Respond To Fire Sunday Evening

Posted (Monday, June 3rd 2024)

Release from Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department:

Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department was paged at 7:37pm Sunday evening for smoke showing behind Arch’s Tire and Service on Highway 2 in Glasgow.

Upon arrival, heavy black smoke was showing from an underground bunker behind Arch’s.

Fire and smoke was found throughout the entire bunker.

Cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Response included Fire Command, Engine 1, Engine 2, Engine 3, Truck 719, 718, and 734 with 16 fire department personnel. Assisted by FMDH Stat Ambulance, Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department, Valley County DES, MDU, and Northwestern Energy.

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday

Posted (Monday, June 3rd 2024)

The Glasgow City Council will meet at 5pm on Monday in the council chambers at the Glasgow Civic Center.

Action items on the agenda include bid opening for the gas and diesel for the city, bid opening for the animal contract for this coming fiscal year, voting on skate park location.

Valley County Sheriff's Office Seize Methamphetamine And Fentanyl

Posted (Monday, June 3rd 2024)

Press Release From Valley County Sheriff's Office:

The Valley County Sheriff's Office recently served and executed a Search Warrant in Valley County, Glasgow Montana, that resulted in the apprehension and seizure of approximately 1 ounce of methamphetamine, 200 Fentanyl pills, over $2,500 in US dollars, a loaded firearm, and various other items of contraband. The suspect will have charges filed locally with the County Attorney for distribution and possession of dangerous drugs. This is part of an 18 month long investigation involving FBI, BIA, and the Glasgow Police Department, and this investigation remains ongoing.

In Montana, over the last 10 years there have been 1,557 drug overdose related deaths. Since 2020 there have been 183 Fentanyl drug overdose deaths with 95 coming in 2022 alone. The Fentanyl problem as it relates to drug cartels in Mexico, Chinese Fentanyl and related components flowing into Mexico, and processed Fentanyl pills flowing across the US Mexico border continues to be an ongoing political problem the United States is facing. The remoteness of Valley County has protected us, for a time. Now, Fentanyl, is finding its way into our community.

This is the first Fentanyl seizure in Valley County to date and is a testament to the collective efforts of our local law enforcement's diligence in keeping these dangerous drugs out of our county and out of the hands of it's vulnerable citizens. The Valley County Sheriff's Office remains committed to the seizure of these extremely dangerous contraband substances and eliminating drug distribution in this area.

Senator Daines Blocks Native American Woman To Be Federal District Court Judge

Posted (Sunday, June 2nd 2024)

A Republican lawmaker from Montana blocked a Biden administration judicial nominee who would have been the state’s first Native American federal district court judge, officials said Wednesday.

Attorney Danna Jackson with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes had been nominated last month by President Joe Biden. The post requires Senate confirmation.

Sen. Steve Daines blocked Jackson from consideration because the administration never sought his consent prior to her nomination, said Rachel Dumke, a spokesperson for the lawmaker.

“Senator Daines believes confirming federal judges with lifetime tenure is among the most important decisions he will make and that these individuals must be trusted to not legislate from the bench,” Dumke said in an emailed statement.

A White House spokesperson refuted Dumke’s assertion and said members of Daines’ team had interviewed Jackson last year but that the senator refused to meet with her.

“This claimed lack of consultation seems to be little more than pretext, and it’s shameful that Senator Daines is depriving Montana of the talents of a principled, fair, and impartial jurist like Danna Jackson,” said Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates.

Daines’ opposition was earlier reported by Bloomberg Law.

The overwhelming majority of federal judges are white men, according to the American Bar Association.

Out of more than 1,400 federal judges as of late last year, only four were Native American and two others identified as partially Native, according to the association. That’s less than 1% of federal judges, whereas Native Americans make up almost 3% of the U.S. population.

Jackson did not immediately respond to a voice message seeking comment left with the Salish and Kootenai legal department.

She previously served as an attorney in the U.S. Department of Interior and as chief legal counsel for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

Her nomination was supported by Montana’s senior U.S. senator, Democrat Jon Tester, and representatives of the National Congress of American Indians and the Native American Rights Fund. Tester said Jackson was well qualified.

The Senate last week confirmed the 200th federal judge of Biden’s tenure, about a month earlier than when former President Donald Trump hit that mark in his term.

Press Release From Roosevelt County Law Enforcement

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

On May 27, 2024, at approximately 4:41 pm, The Fort Peck Tribes Law & Justice responded to New Bridge and the Missouri River on Highway 480 South of Poplar, for a male who had fallen off the bridge. The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Poplar EMS, and the Poplar Volunteer Fire Department responded to assist.

It was determined that 31 year old Vinson Cooper had entered the water and had not resurfaced according to a witness.

Cooper is 5’ 9" tall and weighs approximately 150 pounds. Cooper was last seen wearing a gray shirt and black shorts.

The Fort Peck Tribes Law & Justice and Roosevelt County put boats in the water that evening but were unable to locate Cooper.

Boats from the Fort Peck Tribes Law & Justice and the Sheriff’s Office continue to search the water daily. We have been fortunate to have several volunteers come out with boats including Bad Lands Search and Rescue out of North Dakota, Tribal Chairman Grey Hawk, and several others.

Unfortunately, at this point we have transitioned our efforts to a recovery mission. This may take several days depending on several factors including water temperature, body weight, alcohol, etc.
We ask that anyone who may come across anything, please call dispatch at 406 653-6240. Please do not touch anything.

Please keep the family in your prayers.
Lewis Matthews Jason Frederick
FT. Peck Tribes Chief of Police Roosevelt County Sheriff

Fort Peck Summer Theatre opens 55th season with The Sunshine Boys

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

Hurray! At last Neil Simon’s hit comedy will make its long awaited FPST debut, after being cancelled just 3 days before opening night in 2020 due to COVID.

Rivalry, memories, and lots of laughs are certain to resurface when a former vaudeville team grudgingly re-unites for a CBS Television Special! George Burns and Walter Matthau famously starred in the Oscar winning film adaptation.

The classic comedy will be directed by original Fort Peck Summer Theatre company member Neal Lewing who also takes a leading role, alongside Louis Jepson, Mike Gillpatrick, Jarret Buchholz and Karen Lewing (who also serves as Costume Designer). Eric Marsh is Scenic & Lighting Designer, with sound by Jesse Worley. Shelby Art-Koljonen is Stage Manager.

Neal and Karen Lewing run Port Polson Players on Flathead Lake and met at Fort Peck Summer Theatre when they were both company members in the 1970s.

The Sunshine Boys runs May 31 – June 9: Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm.

For Tickets and info call 406-526-9943 or visit fortpecktheatre.org

Following The Sunshine Boys the 2024 season continues with:

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: June 14 – June 30
Bonnie & Clyde: July 5 – July 21
Cinderella: July 26 – August 11
Honky Tonk Laundry: August 16 – September 1

Hudyma Named Glasgow Irle School Principal

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

The Glasgow School Board interviewed and then hired Linda Hudyma as the Irle Elementary School Principal on Thursday evening.

Hudyma is a long time teacher in the Glasgow School System and currently teaches at the Glasgow High School.

She will replace Ed Sugg as the Irle School Principal.

Hudyma will start her new job in August and will earn a salary of $87,880 per year.

Absentee Ballot Returns Hit 49% In Valley County

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

The Montana Secretary of State is reporting that 49% of the ballots for the June Primary Election have been returned to the Valley County Election Administrator. All absentee ballots must be returned by 8pm June 4th.1682 ballots have been returned as of Thursday, May 30th.

There are 4943 registered voters in Valley County and 3427 have requested absentee ballots.

Polling place voting will take place on Tuesday at the Valley County Courthouse.

Voter turnout in Valley County for past Primary Elections:

2022- 45%

2020- 60%

2018- 56%

Roy Strope Reaches Plea Agreement With Valley County Attorney On Felony Sex Charges

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

Glasgow resident Roy Strope has reached a plea agreement with the Valley County Attorney on two felony sex charges.

Court documents allege that in October of 2022, Strope used electronic communications to encourage a female he believed to be 14 years of age, to send him nude photographs.

The court documents also allege that in February of 2023, Strope traveled to a location to meet a female believed to be 14, for the purpose of sexual intercourse.

Strope originally pleaded not guilty to both felony sex charges but on May 21st changed his plea to guilty and reached a plea agreement with Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen.

The plea agreement sentences Strope to 15 years in prison with 10 years suspended on each of the 2 felony counts. The sentences will run concurrently meaning Strope could end up serving less then 5 years in prison.

Sentencing will take place on September 3rd by Judge Yvonne Laird.

Man Sentenced For Making Threats To Blow Up Dodson School

Posted (Thursday, May 30th 2024)

A man who admitted making threats to blow up the Dodson school was sentenced today to one year and one month in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said Wednesday.

Jacob Edwin Wilson, 40, a transient, pleaded guilty in January to false information and hoaxes as charged in an indictment.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court also ordered $7,000 restitution.

The government alleged in court documents that on Aug. 29, 2023, Wilson called both the Blaine County 911 emergency number and the Dodson school, located near the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, and said he was “about to blow Dodson school up.” Law enforcement responded, and the superintendent and principal evacuated students and staff from the school to a nearby church parking lot. Phillips County Sheriff’s Office first responders, the Malta Fire Department and U.S. Border Patrol responded, set up security around the school and searched the school for an explosive device. No explosive device was found. Wilson called 911 again and asked for someone to give him a ride off the reservation, said he was at an individual’s house and that he needed a ride from anyone except the Fort Belknap police. Officers located Wilson and arrested him.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey K. Starnes prosecuted the case. The FBI, Fort Belknap Tribal Police, Phillips County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Border Patrol and Malta Fire Department conducted the investigation.

Catfish Days This Weekend In Glasgow

Posted (Wednesday, May 29th 2024)

FWP Seeking Information On Vandalism At Glasgow Base Ponds Fishing Access Site

Posted (Wednesday, May 29th 2024)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 game wardens are seeking any information regarding vandalism that took place at the Glasgow Base Ponds FAS north of Glasgow near Saint Marie.

Damage occurred by vandals firing both rifle and/or pistol bullets and shotgun pellets at signs and the on-site latrine, resulting in significant expense to replace and/or fix those items.

The damage was first recorded by Warden Wyatt Pickens on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Anyone with possible information about this is encouraged to visit https://myfwp.mt.gov/fwpPub/tipmont to provide details, call the FWP violation reporting hot line at 1-800-TIP-MONT, or call Warden Pickens directly at 406-263-0067. Folks with information may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Glasgow School Board To Interview One Candidate For Irle School Principal Position

Posted (Wednesday, May 29th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board had a work session on Tuesday to review applications for the Irle School Principal position.

The board reviewed 4 applications for the position including from a teacher in the Glasgow School District, Linda Hudyma.

Hudyma, currently is a teacher at the Glasgow High School.

After reviewing all the applications, the board agree to interview Hudyma. The interview will take place on Thursday at 7pm at the central office of the school district.

If selected by the board, Hudyma would replace Ed Sugg who requested a transfer to a teaching position at the Glasgow Middle School.

Marijuana Sales Drop In Valley County

Posted (Tuesday, May 28th 2024)

The Montana Department of Revenue is reporting that estimated sales of marijuana in Valley County dropped in the month of April compared to March of 2024.

The DOR reports that April sales in Valley County totaled $137,577 which compares to $145,272 in the month of March, 2024.

Roosevelt County had sales of $413,116 while Sheridan County had sales of $103,434.

The county with the largest amount of sales in April was Yellowstone County with sales of $4,511,097.

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