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Chancey Williams To Headline Middle Of Nowhere Music Fest

Posted (Friday, March 1st 2024)

GLASGOW, MONTANA – March 1, 2024 –The Middle of Nowhere Music Fest is pleased to announce that they have secured Wyoming country artist Chancey Williams to join them in Glasgow on August 17, 2024.

Chancey is a saddle bronc rider turned country music sensation. He has played with artists like Parker McCollum and Ian Munsick, also performing at the National Finals Rodeo. With hits like “Meet Me in Montana”, “A Cowboy Who Would” and “Rodeo Cold Beer” this cowboy is sure to have the whole town dancing and singing along.

Also taking the stage is Tigirlily Gold, a sister duo from our neighboring state North Dakota with songs like “Shoot Tequila”, “Somebody Does” which topped the iTunes chart in 2021 and their newest hit single “I Tried a Ring On”.

32 Below, a local crowd favorite, will be opening and again we will be hosting the widely enjoyed after-party in the beer gardens following the main concert.

Vouchers will be available March 4 at the Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture. Adult tickets are $50. Children ages 12 and under will receive free admission.
For more information…
Lisa Koski or Morgan Ellis, Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, 406-228-2222

Grant Funding Awarded To Native American Owned Businesses

Posted (Friday, March 1st 2024)

The Montana Department of Commerce is awarding $320,000 in grant funding to 26 Native American-owned small businesses across the state.

The funding comes from the Indian Equity Fund (IEF) Small Business Grant Program, and it’s meant to help businesses grow. This year, businesses in Helena, Browning, Billings, Box Elder, Ronan, Polson, Crow Agency, Harlem, Ekalaka, Wolf Point, Floweree, Butte, Great Falls, Lame Deer and Busby will get grant funding.

Businesses can get up to $14,000 in funding through the grant program with a minimum dollar-to-dollar or in-kind match. Funding can be used for a variety of activities, including the purchase of new equipment or the development of new product lines.

The IEF grant program is one of four financial assistance programs offered by the Montana Department of Commerce’s Office of Indian Country Economic Development, and a total of $320,000 in funding is available each year through the program. Eligible applicants include enrolled members of the eight federally recognized tribes in Montana.

Businesses awarded grants on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation:

Hi-Line ATM in Wolf Point will receive $14,000 to purchase and install machines.
G10 Enterprises in Wolf Point will receive $14,000 to purchase building materials to improve real estate.
Nakoda Direct in Wolf Point will receive $12,000 for the purchase of furnishings, technology and selected working capital.

Two Trustee Positions On The Ballot For May Glasgow School Election

Posted (Thursday, February 29th 2024)

There are two positions open for the Glasgow School District Board of Trustees this year. Ryan Fast’s and Chrissa Nelson’s terms are set to expire. Ryan Fast has indicated he will not seek reelection. Chrissa Nelson has filed as an incumbent and Derek Beadle has also declared his intent to run. The annual school election will be held Tuesday, May 7, 2024 by mail ballot.

For anyone else wishing to run for the Glasgow school board, the Trustee Declaration form is located on the school board page of the district website at www.glasgow.k12.mt.us and is also available at the School Administration Office located at 229 7th Street North. The deadline to apply is Thursday, March 28, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. For further information regarding the election, contact Kelly Doornek at 228-2406.

Brad Moore Selected As Lewistown Superintendent

Posted (Thursday, February 29th 2024)

The Lewistown News-Argus is reporting that the Lewistown Public Schools Board of Trustees voted unanimously to recommend Brad Moore as the district's next superintendent at a special meeting Tuesday night.

Moore currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent and Business Manager for Havre Public Schools. Prior to his time in Havre, Moore was the Superintendent of the Stanford School District.

There were 3 candidates interviewed for the position including Wade Sundby the current Superintendent of the Glasgow School District.

The Lewistown School Board authorized the Kaleva Law Firm to negotiate a contract with Brad Moore. The board had authorized an annual salary of $115,000 to $125,000 for the next superintendent.

Sundby has been the Superintendent in Glasgow since 2019.

Fort Peck Tribes Receive $5 Million Dollar Grant To Improve Herd And Grassland Health

Posted (Wednesday, February 28th 2024)

An ongoing project that aims to help Indigenous people prosper alongside buffalo at the Fort Peck Indian Reservation has received a four-year, $5 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes. The grant was awarded by the America the Beautiful Challenge program, with funding support from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Robert Magnan, director of the Fish and Game Department of the Fort Peck Tribes and grant leader, said he is thrilled with what this award will generate in improved herd and grasslands health, as well as expanded acreage and workforce for the Fort Peck Turtle Mound Buffalo Ranch.

The award also supports an ongoing, comprehensive, grassroots effort to engage members of the tribes in community-building initiatives intended to rejuvenate connections with buffalo. With Magnan’s support and leadership, part of those efforts has led to the establishment of a trail on the southern end of the ranch that is home to transferred Yellowstone National Park buffalo; the new grant will expand the existing .6-mile trail to nearly 11 miles.

Montana State University is one of a number of a collaborators on the project. MSU’s portion of the grant, which will go toward trail design and buffalo and native plants science education, is approximately $1 million. Other core partners include Fort Peck Community College and Defenders of Wildlife.

The project originated through discussions by and with the Pté Group, a grassroots organizing initiative at Fort Peck that includes Magnan and a dozen other community leaders, said Elizabeth Bird, principal investigator at MSU and project development and grants specialist in the College of Education, Health and Human Development.

“When the Pté Group formed, one of the themes that came out fairly early in discussions was that they and other tribal members needed ways to connect with buffalo physically,” Bird said. “(They needed to) be in their presence, see them, smell them, hear them, pick up sloughed fur.”

A couple of years later, MSU architecture professor Michael Everts was looking for a project for his students to work on designs integrating environmental, public health and socioeconomic issues, Bird recalled. MSU colleagues soon connected him with the Pté Group, and in the spring of 2016, Everts and the first group of MSU architecture students to work on the project were able to speak with members of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, tour the area and discuss potential projects.

“Fairly early in those conversations, the idea of a trail emerged as something that would be a really good way to connect people to the land and the buffalo up there,” Bird said. With broader community input, the Pté Group named the trail Pté Bahá Oc??gu. (In Nakoda, Pté Bahá Oc??gu means “buffalo hills,” and in Dakota, Wamákhaška?ška? means “all that moves on the land.”)

In addition to the trail itself, the group also discussed plans to place interactive story poles – or structures that visitors can engage with in culturally meaningful ways – along the trail, and the School of Architecture organized several independent design courses for students to collaborate with community members to design the story poles. Bird said one story pole is currently in place, and four or five more will be added. The first pole is designed to catch fur that comes off buffalo when they rub against the pole, so that people can gather the fur. A second story pole will channel the wind to make tones, and people will be invited to place their hands over apertures to generate different sounds. A third story pole will feature an internal stairway that children can climb to gain a different perspective on the surrounding area. A fourth story pole may be related to stargazing, Bird said.

The group has received several smaller grants since 2018 that enabled the work to begin, resulting in trail design and environmental and cultural review, development of roughly a half-mile of completed ADA-accessible trail, along with a parking lot, toilet, picnic and bench facilities and the first two story poles. The new grant will not only lengthen the trail but also help restore the buffalo ranch grasslands, expand the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes’ capacity to manage buffalo herds through increased wildlife-friendly fencing and workforce development and expansion; fund educational programs to foster a deeper connection between tribal youth, buffalo and their culture; increase eco-tourism capacity, including dark-sky programming, led by Jonny Lee Bearcub Stiffarm; and enhance Fort Peck Community College science faculty Steven Coon’s and Joanne Stewart Kloker’s and their students’ collaborations with the ranch. The education and eco-tourism initiatives are also key Pté Group aspirations, Bird said. Stiffarm has advocated for the Pté Group aim of buffalo-related educational programming for all ages. Another partner, Kai Teague, will help lead access to augmented native plants along the trail.

An overarching goal is to strengthen ecosystem and community resilience and support tribally led conservation and restoration.

Bird, who has collaborated with partners at Fort Peck for more than a decade, is leading MSU’s involvement with the project. She will engage citizen science experts with Fort Peck partners in developing lessons for K-12 students, and she will help Everts and students in MSU’s School of Architecture deliver planning and constructability services for the trail, as well as design and fabrication of story poles.

Other MSU collaborators include Suzi Taylor, director of the Science Math Resource Center, and Jill Falcon Ramaker, assistant professor in the Department of Food Systems, Nutrition and Kinesiology and director of the Buffalo Nations Food System Initiative.

Bird hopes that by the time the grant concludes in 2027, more people – especially youth – will be involved and that infrastructure will be in place to enable the work and connections to continue.

“My hope is that by the time this grant ends it will be multi-generational and robust and those people will be able to carry the work forward,” she said. “To me the goal of this grant is to firmly establish the infrastructure for achieving the intentions of the Pté Group. If we can establish strong infrastructure and a set of lessons for and connections to (Fort Peck Community College) and (local) schools, that will go a long way.”

Turnbull, co-chair of the Pté Group and key partner for the grant, said that all the proposed work “helps ensure that our wonderful, restored Yellowstone buffalo herd also advances the cultural, physical and economic health of our Fort Peck communities.”

Glasgow Ice Dawgs Competing At State High School Hockey Tournament In Billings

Posted (Wednesday, February 28th 2024)

The Glasgow Ice Dawgs High School hockey team will be playing in their state tourney this weekend in Billings. Good Luck!

With a regular season record of 15-3-0, they secured the 2nd seed in the East Division. First game is Thursday at 6:15PM

Sundby Finalist For Superintendent Position In Lewistown

Posted (Tuesday, February 27th 2024)

The Lewistown News-Argus in Lewistown is reporting that Glasgow Superintendent Wade Sundby is one of three finalists for the Superintendent position in the Lewistown School District.

Last week the Lewistown School Board chose 3 finalists including Sundby. The other two finalists are Gerald Chouinard, Superintendent of Hot Springs School District and Brad Moore, Assistant Superintendent and Business Manager of Havre Public Schools.

A forum and meet and greet with the three candidates took place Monday at the Fergus Center for the Performing Arts.

Tuesday, the three candidates will participate in walk throughs at each of the district’s buildings and meet with district staff. That same day, the board will conduct candidate interviews beginning at 5 p.m. before closing with its hiring decision.

Sundby has been the Glasgow Superintendent since 2019.

VCCF 2024 Grant Applications Open

Posted (Tuesday, February 27th 2024)

The Valley County Community Foundation would like to announce to the community that the 2024 grant application is currently open until March 31st. New this year, organizations can apply online at our website at valleycountycf.net, or paper applications can still be mailed to PO Box 304, Glasgow MT 59230.

Community groups, such as 501c(3) organizations, schools, and government entities, who are working to complete a project and looking for capital funds to assist in their project are encouraged to apply.

In 2023, the Valley County Community Foundation awarded over $34,000 to 9 projects around the community. A few of those included installing new lighting at the Northeast Montana Veterans Memorial in Fort Peck, reroofing and insulating the Boy Scout food booth at the fairgrounds, upgrades school garden at the Glasgow Middle School, and new team tents for the Glasgow Kiwanis Swim Team.

The Valley County Community Foundation is a steward of a community savings account through which private assets, entrusted by donors, are invested to meet the challenges of contemporary life. The Foundation is the guardian of a permanent endowment where the income is used to help fund economic, cultural and charitable projects in Valley County.

Deadline for applications is March 31 , 2024.

Former Nemont Employee Charged With Multiple Offenses Of Defrauding Company

Posted (Tuesday, February 27th 2024)

Story credit to Northern Plains Independent in Wolf Point:

At an initial appearance Feb. 15 in 15th Judicial District Court, Jennifer Leischner (formerly Cromwell) of Scobey pleaded not guilty to 111 felony counts. Stemming from her term as an employee at Nemont Telephone, she is charged with multiple alleged offenses of defrauding the company within nine defined felonies.

Present in the Daniels County Courtroom were Daniels County Attorney Logan Olson representing the State and Leischner. Present via Zoom were Judge Cybulski and attorney for the defendant, Terry Toavs.

Also representing the State, as a Special Deputy County Attorney is former Assistant United States Attorney, W. Adam Duerk of Missoula. He was not present for the initial hearing.

The court was reminded the defendant’s surname had been restored to Leischner in court proceedings on Feb. 14.

Toavs asked that the defendant be released on her own recognizance. Olson requested $75,000 bail be imposed. After considering arguments and testimony presented by the State, defendant and her attorney, Judge Cybulski agreed to her release on her own recognizance subject to conditions requested by Olson and agreed upon by all parties.

The 111 individual felony counts (offenses) are the sum concerning the following.

Count 1: Theft (Conspiracy); Count 2: Deceptive Practices (Conspiracy); Count 3: Deceptive Practices (Conspiracy); Count 4; Money Laundering

(Conspiracy); Count 5; Theft (Common Scheme); Count 6: Deceptive Practices (Common Scheme); Count 7; Deceptive Practices (Common Scheme); Count 8: Deceptive Practices (Common Scheme); Counts 9 through 111, Money Laundering (Common Scheme).

When asking Olson for clarification, “It might be confusing, but charges are for 111 separate felony counts,” he said.

The allegations cover a period from 2014 to 2020 while Leischner was a marketing specialist employed by Nemont Telephone.

During that time period, ostensibly under her direction, Nemont’s funds were intended to be used for advertising and marketing services provided and/or acquired by M.C. Marketing of Billings. Charges claim a large portion of the Nemont funds earmarked for these purposes (approximately $646,000) was funneled to the defendant individually and to Leischner’s shell company, JC Media Group, with the assistance of an uncharged co-conspirator of Billings, with M.C. Marketing.

Investigators believe that between May 2018 and January 2020, on average over $18,000 per month from Nemont’s marketing budget was going to Leischner in the form of kickbacks and fictitious advertising purchases.

Charges allege Nemont was never advised by Leischner that cooperative funds had been routed into individual bank accounts and put towards credit card payments for her personal benefit.

Included in Leischner’s 12 conditions of release include that she obey all orders of the court; she shall not engage in the sale of any property, real or personal, without prior permission of the court if the property is worth more than $1,500, except to pay attorney fees; not engage in any business transactions except those associated with her job in Scobey; supply detailed information and notification to Daniels County Sheriff’s Department if leaving the county; shall not leave the State of Montana unless receiving prior permission from the court, excluding trips to Williston, N.D.; surrender her passport; sign a waiver of extradition; appear at all proceedings in this matter; submit to any search of her home, vehicle, or person upon the request of law enforcement or officer of the Court; have no contact with any victims or witnesses; check in with the Daniels County Dispatch Center every Monday morning with a current phone number and physical address.

Two co-conspirators remain unnamed and uncharged.

A case management hearing has been scheduled for May 15.

Southern Montana Amtrak Route Clears Hurdle From Federal Government

Posted (Monday, February 26th 2024)

A Chicago-to-Seattle passenger rail route that passes through some of Montana’s most populous counties has been included in a list of 15 long-distance routes tapped for restoration by the federal government.

The development marks the second time federal regulators have spotlighted the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority’s efforts to bring additional passenger train service to Montana.

During a meeting on Feb. 8, the Federal Railroad Administration also provided a bit more detail on where the North Coast Hiawatha service might stop if Amtrak ultimately restores the route, landing on service through Helena rather than Butte.

Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority, which was formed in 2020 under an obscure, century-old piece of Montana law to advocate for expanded passenger rail service through southern Montana, said the development is a “very strong signal” that federal authorities are invested in a restoration of the North Coast Hiawatha route.

“There’s a lot of momentum building behind restoring this route,” BSPRA vice chair and Dawson County Economic Development Council member Jason Stuart told Montana Free Press. “We’re really excited about where we’re at.”

Stuart said the North Coast Hiawatha Route was one of the strongest candidates for restored service because it stands to benefit sparsely populated communities with few options to connect with hospitals, colleges, urban centers and veteran services beyond “getting in a car and driving hundreds of miles.”

“In terms of connecting rural, disadvantaged communities and tribal communities, it shows the best performance metrics of any of the routes in achieving those goals,” Stuart said. “This is going to be such an enormous boost for rural communities to have this service restored.”

Stuart, who also serves on the Glendive City Council, noted that the North Coast Hiawatha route was the only one identified in the long-distance study that was also chosen for the FRA’s Corridor Identification and Development Program, which came with $500,000 of initial funding that will enable BSPRA to start getting a handle on the logistical, financial and ridership details required to restore the route, which was discontinued in 1979. Stuart said the BSPRA’s inclusion in that program puts BSPRA in the funding pipeline for millions of dollars of funding as the project advances.

Put those two developments together, he said, and “it means a lot.”

Stuart said he anticipates that the FRA will present its report on the long-distance study to Congress by the end of the year.

“That’s very important because this is the Federal Railroad Administration — the agency that handles both passenger and freight rail traffic — telling Congress, ‘We think you should restore this route,’” he said.

Both the Amtrak Daily Long-Distance Service Study and the Corridor ID program are funded by the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which included more than $8 billion for passenger rail projects.

Once completed, the report will demonstrate the economic and social benefits of new and restored Amtrak service and provide guidance on implementation, according to FRA spokesperson William Wong.

There’s been some uncertainty as to the precise location the North Coast Hiawatha route might take as it travels between Glendive and Missoula, and that piece of the puzzle is coming into focus. Per the FRA’s presentation, which includes a further-analysis-is-needed disclaimer, the preferred route will pass through Helena rather than Butte. The line east of Butte, over Homestake Pass, has been out of service for decades, meaning it would be a heavier lift to get that section of railroad in shape for regular use.

Stuart said BSPRA intends to continue to advocate for rail service to Butte as part of a larger goal to “bring passenger rail service to as many Montana communities as possible.”

“At the end of the day, we won’t consider our work completed until both Helena and Butte have access to rail service, and we would even include Great Falls and Shelby on that list, as well,” Stuart said.

The North Coast Hiawatha route isn’t the only proposal expanding Montanans’ access to passenger rail that was incorporated in the FRA’s presentation: a route between Billings and El Paso, Texas, also made the cut.

Stuart said he anticipates that the Long-Distance Service Study Working Group will meet again within the next four months. The FRA is taking comments on its list of preferred routes through March 8 at contactus@fralongdistancerailstudy.org.

Zachary Silflow Sentenced In State District Court On Felony Sex Charge

Posted (Friday, February 23rd 2024)

Zachary Silflow was sentenced in State District Court in Glasgow on a charge of Felony Sexual Abuse of a Child.

Judge Yvonne Laird sentenced Silflow to 20 years in the Montana State Prison system with 15 years suspended. He also received a parole restriction of requiring the first phase of any sex offender treatment program before consideration for release.

A second count of Felony Sexual Abuse of a Child was dismissed as per a plea agreement.

In Gallatin County, the 34-year old Silflow was sentenced to 5-years in prison with 15 years suspended on 2 counts of felony arson after two attempts at burning down the Heritage Christian School in Bozeman. The sentencing occurred in 2015.

Silflow admitted to attempting to burn the school down in 2012 and again in 2014.

He was also ordered to pay $4.6 million in restitution for the arson crimes.

The Felony Sexual Abuse of a Child sentence will run concurrently with the arson sentences.

Fort Peck Summer Theatre announces 2024 Local Auditions

Posted (Friday, February 23rd 2024)

Fort Peck Summer Theatre will be holding auditions for local actors on Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 10 a.m. –12:00 p.m. at the Glasgow Middle School, Room 310. A variety of opportunities are available in all shows, especially:

The large, multi-aged ensemble of Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat
Great acting roles and two leading roles for kids in Bonnie & Clyde
An extravagant dance ensemble and young puppeteers for the animals in Cinderella.

Rehearsal begins May 25 / Performances June 14 – June 30
Directed by Danny Durr
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.

Rehearsal begins June 15 / Performances July 5 – July 21
Directed by Andy Meyers
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.

Rehearsal begins July 6 / Performances July 26 – August 11
Directed by Rob Watson
The treasured fairytale comes to life in this magical stage production. Featuring all the famous songs from the televised specials, originally starring Lesley Ann Warren and later Whitney Houston, including: ‘Impossible’, ‘My Own Little Corner’, ‘Do I Love You?’ and ‘A Lovely Night’. Full of special effects and beloved characters, it is perfect time to share this ageless story and music with a new generation.

Please note: if you will be participating in JJMT that weekend and cannot attend audition in person, please contact Kari at 406.228.9216 by March 10, 2024.

Also a Reminder: The 27th Annual Performing Arts Camp will be held July 30 – August 8, culminating in a showcase performance. Registration is now open on the website: Fortpecktheatre.org

New Driver Services System In Place For Montana

Posted (Friday, February 23rd 2024)

The Montana Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has served over 75,000 customers since the launch of the new driver services system in November, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced today. Same-day appointments are available at most exam stations across the state for Montanans who cannot complete their appointment online. Previously, it could take almost two months to get an appointment.

The new system increased the number of online services offered and significantly decreased the overall appointment times for customers, expanding in-person appointment availability across the state. Since the implementation of the new Credentialing and Registration System (CARS), MVD has served 76,349 customers, including over 58,000 appointments and over 18,000 walk-ins.

“The new system has far surpassed our expectations. At most exam stations, Montanans can walk in without an appointment and be done in about 10 minutes,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “I’m proud of what MVD has accomplished and the excellent customer service our examiners are providing to make everyone’s MVD experience as pleasant as possible.”

“The results following the transition have been overwhelmingly positive,” MVD Administrator Laurie Bakri said. “We are making it easier than ever for Montanans to take care of their business at MVD. On January 1 alone, a day that MVD offices are closed to the public, 77 customers were able to complete their transactions online – just one example of how we are moving to make MVD a user-friendly experience.”

Nearly one-third of the customers served were able to complete their transaction online. Online transactions at MVD have increased by 750 percent and appointment times have been cut by 68 percent. Customers also receive their credentials within seven to ten days compared to the four to six weeks with the previous system.

Efficiency has improved for in-person visits as well. The time between a customer entering and exiting any given exam station has decreased from an average of 22 minutes to less than seven minutes per transaction. The wait time to schedule in-person appointments has gone from an average of 48 days to less than two weeks, with many locations having next-day availability. In the state’s larger offices, availability for written-test appointments or driver examinations has decreased 92 percent, from 79 days to six. For individuals needing to renew their driver license or ID card in person, wait time has decreased 93 percent, from 45 days to three.

CARS is part of a multi-phase, multi-year effort to improve customer service and efficiency for Montanans at MVD exam stations across the state. The third phase, which is expected to launch in March 2025, will overhaul the title and registration process, improving functionality for law enforcement, car dealerships, insurance companies, and simplifying county operations.

Two Candidates File Paperwork To Be Candidates For Glasgow School Board

Posted (Thursday, February 22nd 2024)

There are 2 positions up for election this year on the Glasgow School Board and two candidates filed the necessary paperwork this week to stand for election.

Incumbent Chrissa Nelson and Derek Beadle are the 2 candidates who have filed paperwork to be School Trustee candidates for the election set for May 7th of this year. Ryan Fast is an incumbent and has indicated he will not be a candidate for re-election to the Glasgow School Board.

The Glasgow School Board on Wednesday passed a resolution calling for the May 7th election. The purpose of the election is to elect two trustee's, for 3-year terms and to seek approval of additional levies to operate and maintain the District. Those levies could include a general fund levy, safety levy and building reserve levy. The School Board will decide which if any of those levies will be put forth for the voters approval.

The resolution passed by the school board appointed Lynne Nyquist, Diane Peterson and Sandra Swenson as election judges. The Valley County Election Office will conduct the school election for the Glasgow School District.

Roosevelt County Law Enforcement Uses K9 To Help Apprehend Two Suspects Who Allegedly Stole Vehicle

Posted (Thursday, February 22nd 2024)

Press Release from Roosevelt County Sheriff's Office:

At approximately 17:00 hrs on February 20th, 2024, RCSO K9 Hati and her handler assisted the McCone County Sheriff's Office, Montana Highway Patrol, and the Wolf Point Police Department with apprehending two suspects who allegedly stole a vehicle from a Wolf Point business.

The suspects fled Wolf Point to Hwy 528 in McCone County where they traveled west for several miles before abandoning the vehicle after crashing through two fences. The two suspects then reportedly fled in different directions.

K9 Hati was deployed and successfully tracked one of the suspects for nearly a mile. Once the suspect was in view, she surrendered and was taken into custody without incident.

The suspects were eventually identified as Wolf Point residents Coreen Smith and Jalen Robinson.
Robinson and Smith are currently being held in the Roosevelt County jail on several charges related to the alleged vehicle theft. The charging agencies in this case are the Wolf Point Police Department and the McCone County Sheriff's Office.

Montana judge dismisses high-profile child protection case and contempt hearing for Glasgow couple

Posted (Wednesday, February 21st 2024)

Story credit to Montanafreepress.org

A highly public child protection case involving a transgender teenager that has stirred up online conservative outrage, created blowback for Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte and sparked legal challenges at the Montana Supreme Court was dismissed on Tuesday.

The decision on Feb. 20 to dismiss the case by state district court Judge Yvonne Laird, a copy of which was reviewed by Montana Free Press, comes after the child’s placement earlier this month with their biological mother in Canada over the objection of their father and stepmother, Todd Kolstad and Krista Cummins-Kolstad. MTFP is withholding the teen’s name out of respect for the minor’s privacy.

The order also vacated a Feb. 21 contempt hearing over the Kolstads’ repeated public comments about confidential proceedings in violation of Laird’s orders, bringing immediate Montana state agency involvement with the fraught situation to an apparent end.

“[T]he contempt by the father and the stepmother is undeniable. However, the damage and harm inflicted by their actions cannot now be undone and is therefore moot,” Laird wrote in her Tuesday order. “Given the mootness of the contempt, and the unlikelihood of self-reflection and self-accountability or repentance by either father or stepmother, proceeding to a contempt hearing would be an exercise in judicial futility and most likely bring further negative attention to the Youth.”

In Facebook comments about the latest installment in the case, the Kolstads lamented the placement of their 14-year-old but claimed victory over escaping fines and potential jail time related to the contempt proceedings. The couple also continued to link their battle with state child protection workers to the Gianforte administration, which had previously defended the state’s handling of the case in an online response to critics.

“The Governor’s corrupt system backed down. We are continuing to fight for all families’ rights and for our [child] to be returned home. We can not as a community allow this overstep of the government to ruin the nuclear family, violate our first amendment rights, and the right to choose our religion,” Cummins-Kolstad wrote Wednesday morning.

While confidential under state law, details and allegations about the Glasgow-based child protection case and related court proceedings shared by the Kolstads have created a public firestorm in recent months. Critics in Montana and nationwide have accused state workers with the Department of Public Health and Human Services of wrongly taking the 14-year-old into custody because the teen’s father and stepmother did not support their child’s transgender identity.

That narrative has been promoted by the Kolstads in several interviews with national and international outlets about the case. But according to court records shared with MTFP over the course of several months, state workers emphasized that the removal hinged on the parents’ resistance to sending their teen to an out-of-state psychiatric facility last August to be treated for suicidal thoughts. The parents feared, the records show, that the minor could access gender-affirming medical care upon leaving Montana’s borders.

As MTFP has previously reported, the Kolstads’ concern was based on an inaccurate understanding that a Montana law barring gender-affirming care for transgender minors was in effect. That law, Senate Bill 99, was not slated to take effect until Oct. 1, a typical effective date for many pieces of legislation passed in the most recent legislative session. The law was temporarily blocked in court in September while litigation over its constitutionality continues.

After spending a month in the Wyoming Behavioral Institute at the recommendations of Glasgow medical staff, the teenager in the case was transferred to a group home in Montana while custody negotiations with the Kolstads continued. There, the Kolstads took issue with the teen being able to “socially transition” by using their chosen name and pronouns and wearing preferred clothing and hairstyles.

Court filings and email correspondence between the Kolstads, state child protection workers, and attorneys on the case show that these fights and other disputes over a state-issued treatment plan for the family derailed the family’s reunification, with the Kolstads claiming they were being forced to accept their child’s gender identity and the state contesting that the parents were being uncooperative.

The state made a motion to dismiss the case in mid-February, weeks after the minor was transferred to the biological mother’s home. In that filing, Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen reiterated the state’s interests and sought to create more distance between the state health department and the minor’s transgender identity.

“The youth’s gender identity has not, and is not, of any concern to the department. The department was only involved because the youth was deemed to be acutely suicidal and in need of care [the youth] was not receiving. The youth is no longer at risk of self-harm or suicide, and in placing the youth with [their] Mother the emergency situation giving rise to the department involvement has been resolved,” Jensen wrote.

Laird reinforced that stance in her Tuesday order dismissing the case.

“Unfortunately, during the pendency of this matter, the youth’s father and stepmother chose to focus on the youth’s struggle with gender identification rather than addressing the issues in the family home and ensuring a safe and supportive environment for the youth to return to after receiving necessary mental health services to address the youth’s suicidal ideation,” the order stated.

In the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s scheduled contempt hearing, the Kolstads repeatedly appealed to the Montana Supreme Court to override Laird’s order prohibiting them from speaking about private aspects of the case. In those filings, the couple claimed they would be penalized for publicly responding to the Gianforte administration’s comments on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. The state Supreme Court denied and dismissed those appeals, later applying the same treatment to another effort by the Kolstads to stay the Wednesday hearing altogether.

Reached through her court assistant Wednesday, Laird declined to comment on the case. The youth and the biological mother have not replied to requests for comment from MTFP.

Jensen, the county attorney, declined to speak about the specifics of the case Wednesday morning but noted that such heightened attention about any child welfare proceedings, such as what state workers have experienced in recent months, is far out of the ordinary in Montana proceedings.

Asked if he would like to reply to any of the comments the Kolstads have publicly made about the case, Jensen said no, citing a desire to avoid what he described as the couples’ “provocation.”

“Even if I could comment on it, I would resist the impulse to go point for point with them on anything,” he said.

Lawsuit Filed Against City Of Glasgow And Glasgow Police Department

Posted (Tuesday, February 20th 2024)

Glasgow resident Todd Kolstad is suing the City of Glasgow along with Glasgow Police Officers Robert Weber and Tyler Edwards and former Glasgow Police Officer Josh Nolan.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Billings and according to court documents is a civil rights action arising from the GPD’s use of excessive force, violation of policies and procedures, assault and battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The court documents filed by Kolstad’s attorney claim the allegations occurred on or about December 4, 2021. The allegations state that Kolstad was at his home in Glasgow with wife and daughter when his daughter called 911 and reported her parents were fighting and that she was scared.

Documents state that Officer Edwards and Officer Nolan arrived at the home approximately 2 minutes after the 911 call. Kolstad claims he was put in handcuffs and the placement of the handcuffs was too tight and caused Kolstad to suffer extreme pain and numbness. Kolstad also claims that Officer Nolan forcefully slammed him to the ground causing him to fall on his head and face. The documents state that he was helped to his feet and spit blood out of his mouth as officers moved him to the front door. He was put in the police car and transported to Valley County Detention Center where he was booked into the jail. Kolstad claims he received no medical treatment in jail and sat for at least two days covered in blood from his injuries.

The lawsuit also states that Kolstad was charged with Partner Family Member Assault and Resisting Arrest and Kolstad is still awaiting trial for the resolution of the criminal charges. Kolstad claims he suffered injuries because of the brutal attack and excessive use of force on him by members of the Glasgow Police Department.

Kolstad claims his constitutional rights protected by the fourth and fourteenth amendments were deprived because of the incident. Those rights include the right to be free from unreasonable seizure, excessive and unreasonable force, and unlawful deadly force.

The court documents allege negligence, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress by members of the Glasgow Police Department.

Kolstad is asking the court to rule in his favor and award all past and future medical expenses, all past and future physical and mental pain and suffering, all out of pocket expenses, all past and future wage loss, punitive damages, plaintiff’s cost of suit, and reasonable attorney fees. The lawsuit is asking for a trial by a jury.

The lawsuit was filed in December of 2023 and as of February 20th none of the defendants in the case had filed any court documents in answer to the charges.

Demolition Of Glasgow Swimming Pool Beginning In March

Posted (Tuesday, February 20th 2024)

The Valley County Community Pool Campaign is thrilled to announce the anticipated mobilization of Corland Construction on March 11th, weather permitting. This marks a pivotal moment in our endeavor to rebuild our community pool.

On March 12th, Corland Construction will begin the demolition process of the pool site, including the bathhouse. Additionally, we're proud to confirm that the designs for the new bathhouse have reached 100% completion.

However, before proceeding with the bidding phase, it's imperative that we secure additional funds to ensure the successful completion of the bathhouse. We urge our generous community members and diligent supporters to join us in this crucial, final phase of our campaign. While we will continue to apply for grants, we can’t finish this project without you!

Over the past 5+ years, this project has signified more than just a recreational area for Valley County; it symbolizes the unwavering spirit and commitment of our community to create a vibrant and welcoming space for everyone. Together, we will witness this much awaited pool and bathhouse become a reality.
For further inquiries or to learn how you can contribute to the Valley County Community Pool Campaign, please visit www.valcopool.com or contact any Board Member.

116 Bison Moved To Fort Peck Indian Reservation From Yellowstone National Park

Posted (Monday, February 19th 2024)

During the week of February 5, 2024, the National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) moved 116 bison from Yellowstone National Park to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation in Poplar. The bison transferred to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation included 108 males, four females, and four calves.

The NPS said in a news release: “The Bison Conservation Transfer Program continues to make history, having relocated the largest number of live Yellowstone bison to American Indian Tribes in the world.”

Since 2019, a total of 414 Yellowstone bison have been transferred to the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes at Fort Peck. The tribes started their Yellowstone herd by accepting bison that completed the 2005-2012 pilot study. The number of bison transferred each year includes:

2019: 93 bison
2020: 11 bison
2021: 50 bison
2022: 28 bison
2023: 116 bison
2024: 116 bison

Nearly all of those bison and their offspring have then been further distributed to 26 Tribes across 12 states in partnership with the InterTribal Buffalo Council.

This recent transfer is the result of several agencies working together, including the NPS, Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, APHIS, the State of Montana, InterTribal Buffalo Council, Yellowstone Forever, Defenders of Wildlife and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

Glasgow City Council Meets Tuesday

Posted (Monday, February 19th 2024)

The Glasgow City Council will meet on Tuesday in the council chambers of the Glasgow Civic Center. The meeting will be on Tuesday due to the President's Day Holiday.

Glasgow School Board Set To Meet Wednesday

Posted (Monday, February 19th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will have their regular February Board meeting on Wednesday at 6pm. Following the regular meeting will be a negotiation session with the School Superintendent.

Crazy Woman Quilts Competing In 7th Annual Local Quilt Shop Contest

Posted (Friday, February 16th 2024)

Crazy Woman Quilts needs your support as they compete in ByAnnie.com’s Local Quilt Shop Contest. This annual contest is dedicated to support local economies and the timeless tradition of sewing. Each year sewists around the world vote for their favorite local quilt shops and share what makes them special.

Crazy Woman Quilts is proud to be a member of the “Middle of Nowhere” gang, offering quality quilting fabric, long arm services and lots of advice and inspiration. CWQ staff is currently gearing up for the spring class schedule and venturing into uncharged territory on social media. They, and all local quilt shops, are counting on your support for a chance to win major prizes that can help Crazy Woman Quilts to thrive, as well as develop their reputation among the community.

Vote for your favorite shop in ByAnnie’s 7th Annual Local Quilt Shop Contest by following, http://www.LQSContest.com/VOTE. Voting is open through Thursday, Feb. 29.

Local quilt shops are the lifeblood of a community and are important because they offer classes, resources and inspiration for millions of dedicated sewists.

According to recent data gathered, there are 85 million people who actively engage in crafts and creative projects. They generate $35 billion in sales annually to stimulate economies and keep creativity alive. A total 30 million of these creatives are active sewists. According to polls, these quilters overwhelmingly prefer to shop at their local quilt shops.

If you would like more information about this topic, visit LQSContest.com or please call Crazy Woman Quilts at 406-228-9665 or email crazywomanquilts@nemont.net .

Glasgow Couple Have Second Request Denied By Montana Supreme Court

Posted (Thursday, February 15th 2024)

A Glasgow couple, Todd Kolstad and Krista Cummins-Kolstad have had their second request for supervisory control of their teen-age daughter denied and dismissed by the Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday afternoon.

The issue stems from a dispute between the parents and the state’s Child Protective Services division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The Kolstads will appear before Valley County District Court Judge Yvonne Laird on February 21 in Glasgow at a hearing in which they will have to testify about why they decided to violate a gag order in place regarding the custody of their child.

Glasgow Elks Lodge Makes Donation To Local Food Bank

Posted (Thursday, February 15th 2024)

Pictured are (L) Max Knodel the Exalted Ruler of Glasgow Elks Lodge #1922, and Food Bank Board member Jory Wall (R).

Glasgow Elks Lodge #1922 recently made a $2,000 donation to our local Valley Community Emergency Food Bank.

The Glasgow Lodge applied for the funds for the donation from the Elks National Foundation through their Gratitude Grant Program.

Gratitude Grants are the ENF's way of saying thank you to every Lodge that meets the Elks National President's per-member-giving goal for giving to the ENF. Glasgow met that goal for the 22-23 year to be eligible for this grant and hopes to meet that goal again for the 23-24 year which ends on March 31.

All ENF grants must serve specific populations in the Lodge’s community. Such as people experiencing homelessness, families facing food insecurity, survivors of abuse, students and families who are under-resourced, Veterans in need of assistance, or individuals facing other barriers.

If you would like to donate to the ENF via the Glasgow Elks, or if you would like more information about the Elks or to become a member, please give the Glasgow Elks a call at 406-228-2233, or stop by for a visit at 309 2nd Ave S. in Glasgow.

Keep an eye out for more news on grants that the Glasgow Elks has been using in our community coming soon!

DOJ’s OCP Warns Of Scammers Targeting Montana Non-Profits

Posted (Thursday, February 15th 2024)

HELENA – The Montana Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is warning non-profit organizations of scammers who are targeting them with fake donations and then asking for a portion of the money back, Attorney General Austin Knudsen announced today.

OCP has received reports that individual(s) under fake pseudonyms including, ‘Barrington Blythe,’ are making donations to non-profit organizations on behalf of a recently deceased family member for $191,250 with fraudulent cashier’s checks. The checks appear to be legitimate as they come from a US Bank account, but once the checks are received and cashed by the non-profit organization, the scammer follows up, asking for $91,000 of the donation back claiming accountant error hoping the non-profit will send the requested portion of the money back to the scammer before realizing that the check is fraudulent.

Montanans should keep in mind that this is also a common scam that fraudsters use to steal money from individuals.

The Office of Consumer Protection offers a few tips to Montanans and non-profit organizations to avoid falling for this scam:

Do your due diligence; research the individual(s) or entity named on any check you receive in the mail.
Never return money to an individual immediately after cashing a check.
Verify all donors by asking for multiple forms of identification before accepting donations.
Reach out to neighboring organizations to find out whether they have received similar communication, and always trust your gut.

To report an attempted scam, you may call to speak with an investigator at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500, visit OCP’s homepage at https://dojmt.gov/consumer/, or call your local law enforcement agency.

Montana State doctoral student receives two payloads from International Space Station

Posted (Tuesday, February 13th 2024)

BOZEMAN – Montana State University doctoral student Hezekiah Austin recently received two packages with a unique return address: that of the International Space Station.

Each box contained a computer specially developed by MSU researchers to withstand the unforgiving environment imposed by outer space, known as RadPC.

Austin, who has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MSU, was introduced to the RadPC project when he applied to pursue his Master of Science in electrical engineering, which he earned this past spring.

“Brock LaMeres interviewed me,” said Austin. “He mentioned that he had multiple grants available, one was going to the ISS. He eventually put me on that project.”

LaMeres, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, originally designed RadPC as an alternative to the large and expensive computers that are standardly used on spacecraft. The standard space computers can cost around $250,000, explained Austin, due to the parts inside them requiring special materials to withstand the radiation in outer space.

“RadPC is looking at a price somewhere between $5,000 to $20,000,” said Austin.

This difference in cost is due to the nature of the computer’s design. RadPC uses a processor that could be found in normal desktop computers, but it’s running special MSU-developed software that allows the machine to continue to function even when struck by a disruptive radiation particle whizzing through space.

Throughout the project, MSU researchers and students worked closely with San Mateo, California-based Stottler Henke, a company focused on artificial intelligence development for aerospace applications. During his research on the project, Austin outfitted RadPC to successfully interface with the company’s hardware and software.

Two payloads containing RadPC were sent to the ISS while Austin was working on the project. The first payload was in orbit for five months before it was sent back to Earth. Upon the computer's return to MSU’s campus, Austin and the team began to study the data from the computer's trip.

“This is the first time that RadPC has been used in a stressful environment as a full computer,” said LaMeres. “The unique part of it is that the payloads came back in time for Hezekiah’s master’s degree. It’s rare that you get anything back.”

The data presented from the ISS told the MSU researchers that their recovery mechanism was good, but that the computer’s design was not well-suited to be programmed by anyone other than members of the MSU team, explained Austin. He used that feedback to streamline things so that RadPC could be programmed more easily by anyone.

Soon after, Stottler Henke informed the researchers of another opportunity that would allow them to send this new iteration of RadPC back to the ISS.

“Naturally, we said yes,” said Austin.

This time, RadPC stayed in orbit for 13 months, and it took an additional seven months to get the payload back after its return. But, despite the long wait, the ISS payloads are both home and can be viewed in Norm Asbjornson Hall 324 inside the window display.

“By this upcoming August, we are looking to get RadPC as a commercially viable product that can be sold,” said Austin. “Long term I’ll be doing my Ph.D. research on adding in the capability of in-flight image processing.”

Valley County Commissioners Meeting Agenda For February 14

Posted (Monday, February 12th 2024)

Valley County, Montana
Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 10:30 am

1. Additions/Deletions

2. Public Comment on agenda items

3. Action on Employment/Termination Notices.

4. Approve Montana Dept of Transportation FY25 Rural/Intercity Operating/Capital Application in the amount of $562,985 for operating funding and $135,000 for capital funding.

5. Public Comment on non-agenda items.

6. Adjourn

FWP Announces Changes To The Reservation Processes At State Parks

Posted (Monday, February 12th 2024)

HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will implement changes this year to the reservation process for state park sites. The changes will create more opportunities for recreationists to enjoy state parks and comply with legislation passed by the 2023 Legislature.

Starting this year, visitors will have up to three months prior to their planned arrival date to make campsite and lodging reservations or purchase tour tickets. This is a change from the six-month booking window in the past. Visitors need to be aware that the maximum stay per site changed from 14 consecutive nights to 7. The last change allows at least 20 percent of state parks’ campsites to be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sites are reservable from the?third Friday in May?through the third Sunday?in September. People can start making reservations on Feb. 17 at 9 a.m. by visiting fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/ or calling the call center at 855-922-6768.

Frazer, Scobey Men Among 24 New Inductees Named To Montana Cowboy Hall Of Fame

Posted (Monday, February 12th 2024)

Full Story From KTVQ

GREAT FALLS - Twenty-four cowboys were inducted into the Montana Cowboy Hall Of Fame on Saturday at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls.

Each year, 24 cowboys and cowgirls are inducted into the MCHF. These individuals are recognized for their contributions to Montana’s Western way of life, landscape, ranches, and wildlife.

2024 Inductees
District 1
Henry "Gary" Danelson, Scobey

David C. Funk, Frazer

USACE Solicits Public Comments For A New Waterline For The Fish Hatchery At Fort Peck Dam, Montana

Posted (Sunday, February 11th 2024)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District is soliciting comments regarding the proposed implementation of a new waterline at the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery.

USACE Omaha District has determined that the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery water intake pipeline modification would entail an alteration to the federal project, and therefore requires permission under Section 408.

The project proposes tapping into an existing penstock drain line leading from the reservoir into to the hydropower turbines at the Fort Peck powerhouse, installation of a 14” water line along the northern and western side of Yellowstone Road and connection into the Fort Peck Hatchery.

The purpose of the proposed action is to increase production levels at the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery. Production levels at the Fort Peck hatchery are currently limited by the amount of water that can be pumped from the water supply pond into the hatchery. Currently, approximately 900 gallons per minute can be pumped from the water supply pond into the hatchery due to the degraded condition of the intake screens. To return production levels at the hatchery back to the original design levels, approximately 3,600 to 4,000 gpm are required. The purpose of the proposed action is to provide a consistent supply of water to the hatchery. This volume of water would be used as process water for all internal hatchery operations. Only project elements that would alter the federal project are within the review scope for the Section 408 permission request.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS: Comments pertaining to this public notice must be submitted via email or conventional mail on or before February 28, 2024, and must include the 408 reference number above. All comments received will become part of the administrative record and are subject to public release under the Freedom of Information Act, including personally identifiable information such as names, phone numbers and addresses.

All email comments should be sent to: section408nwo@usace.army.mil

Conventional mail comments should be sent to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Omaha District
Planning Branch, CENWO-PMA-A
ATTN: Section 408 Coordinator
1616 Capitol Avenue Omaha, NE 68102

Six Valley County Organizations Recieve Grants From Theo And Alyce Beck Foundation Trust

Posted (Sunday, February 11th 2024)

Six Valley County organizations received grants from the Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust. Recipients include the City of Glasgow for the Valley County Community Pool, Hinsdale School for Montana Literature Comes To Life, Irle Elementary School for MooZoom, Opheim Youth Organization for Opheim Park, Milk River Inc. for a commercial washer, and Valley View Home for CPR education.

Theo and Alyce Beck were northeast Montana people who cared about the communities they lived in. Before she passed away, Alyce graciously set up the Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust to help fund projects that promote better living through nonprofit organizations.

This is the fourteenth year that the grants have been awarded.

DPHHS Urges Consumers to Dispose of Recalled Dairy Products

Posted (Sunday, February 11th 2024)

FDA conducting Listeria monocytogenes outbreak investigation

Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) officials announced today that Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. has issued a nationwide voluntary recall of multiple dairy products due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

The recalled products were sold at Costco, Albertsons, Safeway, and Whole Foods stores in Montana. A complete list of recalled products can be found here: Outbreak Investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Queso Fresco and Cotija Cheese (February 2024) | FDA

“Our message to Montanans is to take time to check if these products are in their possession, and if so, discard them,” said Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek, Public Health Physician at DPHHS.

Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and fatigue, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women and serious illness or death in newborns. A consumer with symptoms of listeriosis should contact their health care provider to report their symptoms and receive care.

Twenty-six illnesses have been linked to the recalls nationwide, including 23 hospitalizations and two deaths. There are no confirmed illnesses or deaths in Montana linked to these recalls.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been notified of additional recalls for products made with or containing recalled dairy products from Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc.

Recalled food items confirmed to have been sold in Montana stores are summarized below:

Simply Fresh Rojo’s Black Bean 6- and 7-Layer Dip 2-20 oz Club were sold at Costco stores in Montana. Simply Fresh Llc. Voluntarily Recalls Rojos Black Bean Layer Dip 2/20oz Product Because of Possible Health Risk | FDA

Fresh Creative Foods cremas, everything sauces, cilantro cotija dressing, poblano Caeser dressing, cilantro dressing, and one taco kit were sold at Costco, Albertsons, and Safeway stores in Montana. Fresh Creative Foods Announces Voluntary Recall of Dressings and Taco Kit Due to Risk of Listeria in Ingredient From Cheese Supplier: Rizo-Lopez Foods, Inc. | FDA

365 Whole Foods Market ricotta whole milk cheese and ricotta part skim milk cheese were sold at Whole Foods stores in 15 oz. packages. All dates through 04/2/2024 have been recalled.

A sample of Rizo Bros Aged Cotija tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes during sampling conducted by the Hawaii State Department of Health’s Food and Drug Branch in January 2024. In response to that finding, Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. voluntarily recalled one batch of Rizo Bros Aged Cotija Mexican Grating Cheese (8oz) on January 11, 2024.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and FDA reopened the investigation in January 2024 after new illnesses were reported in December 2023. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis of the cotija cheese sample showed that it is the same strain of Listeria that is causing illnesses in this outbreak.

Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. issued an expanded voluntary recall on February 5 in response to the investigation.

The FDA urges consumers not to eat, sell, or serve recalled brands of cheeses, sour creams (cremas), or yogurts manufactured by Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc. or products made with recalled dairy products.

Consumers should check their refrigerators and freezers for any recalled products and throw them away. Consumers who purchased these products may take them back to the store for a refund or discard them.

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers who purchased or received recalled products, including wholesale products, should carefully clean and sanitize any surfaces or containers that it touched. Listeria can survive in refrigerated temperatures and can easily spread to other foods and surfaces. Follow FDA’s safe handling and cleaning advice to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Attorney General's Office Public Safety Roundup

Posted (Sunday, February 11th 2024)

Attorney General's Office

During Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Attorney General Austin Knudsen encouraged Montanans to learn the signs of human trafficking and to report it when they see it to do their part to combat the heinous crime.

Attorney General Knudsen also joined Governor Gianforte and local enforcement officials to raise awareness of human trafficking at a press conference in Bozeman.

The fentanyl crisis continues to wreak havoc on communities across Montana. Since 2017, fentanyl overdose deaths have gone up 1,700 percent and in the first three quarters of 2023, anti-drug task forces in Montana seized two times more fentanyl than they did in all of 2022. Attorney General Knudsen discussed the fentanyl crisis with NBC Montana.

The Attorney General’s Office prosecutes criminals across the state and assists local county attorneys in many of their most complex cases and homicide cases. Prosecution Services Bureau Chief Dan Guzynski spoke with KLTZ to discuss recent cases and the bureau’s role in holding criminals accountable. Listen here.

Prosecutors in the Attorney General’s Office secured a 60-year prison sentence with 20 years suspended in the case of a Forsyth man who pleaded guilty to charges of sexual intercourse without consent and sexual assault.

Prosecutors in the Attorney General’s Office secured a 50-year prison sentence for a Butte man who shot at law enforcement officers after they arrived on the scene where he was breaking windows and setting his apartment on fire.??

Prosecutors in the Attorney General's Office secured a guilty plea of mitigated deliberate homicide from a man in the United States illegally for stabbing a man to death in July 2022.

Montana Highway Patrol (MHP)

In December, during National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, MHP Colonel Steve Lavin reminded Montanans to never get behind the wheel impaired.

In January, MHP Trooper Thomas Tafoya received the Medal of Valor for mitigating a hostage situation involving armed robbery suspects, and then providing aid to a hostage who was shot in the incident by the suspect.

MHP troopers and canines assisted in a drug bust that resulted in the seizure of 10,000 fentanyl pills near Anaconda. The suspects are now facing felony drug charges.

MHP Trooper Thomas Kruse and his canine partner Ringo stand ready to keep Montanans safe especially as the state has experienced bomb threats in recent months.

As Montana continues to experience winter weather conditions, MHP is reminding Montanans to travel with an emergency kit that includes blankets, a flashlight, and food and water.

MHP assisted in the investigation of three Montanans who admitted to trafficking fentanyl in the Missoula and Helena areas. The Division of Criminal Investigation also assisted.

MHP supported an investigation that led to the sentencing of a Browning man who fatally struck a woman with his vehicle on the Blackfeet Reservation.

MHP investigated a Missoula man for illegal possession of firearms, resulting in a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

So far this year, traffic fatalities are up from last year. As of January 26, there had been eight roadway fatalities which is four more than the same time last year. Please, remember to follow all traffic laws and stay safe on the road.

Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI)

As hoax threats are on the rise, DCI Administrator Bryan Lockerby discussed the threats received at Montana government buildings.

The Montana Department of Justice has an online database for missing persons that is updated in real time which can be a helpful tool for the public to help law enforcement find missing persons and bring them home. During the search for Eva Prather, Administrator Lockerby reminded Montanans to familiarize themselves with the tool.

DCI assisted in the investigation of a Whitehall man arraigned on charges of conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute meth and fentanyl.
DCI investigated the case of a Washington man who pleaded not guilty to numerous charges for possessing and intending to distribute fentanyl, heroin, and meth.

DCI and MHP are investigating a hit-and-run crash that ended with the death of a 53-year-old man from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

DCI investigated an incident in Broadwater County in which the suspect was killed on impact when the suspect's vehicle struck a sheriff’s deputy vehicle head on, following a pursuit. The deputy had minor injuries from the collision.

DCI and MHP assisted in the investigation of a Wyoming man who admitted to trafficking methamphetamine in the Miles City area and recently received a 12-year prison sentence.

Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA)

Sixty-six officers who will serve in 15 agencies across the state graduated from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy within the Montana Department of Justice. MLEA provides basic and advanced training for state, county, city, and tribal law enforcement officers throughout the state.

Superintendent Arntzen Releases Montana’s 2023 Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results

Posted (Sunday, February 11th 2024)

HELENA – Superintendent Arntzen has released the statewide results for the 2023 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which assesses six health-risk behaviors that result in the most significant morbidity, mortality, and social problems among students. All public schools in Montana with students in grades 9 through 12 were eligible to be selected for inclusion in the sample. The 2023 Montana YRBS was completed by 4,467 students in 50 public high schools during the spring of 2023. The school response rate was 100%, the student response rate was 85%.

“It is important to allow our Montana students to let their voice be heard,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “There are still challenges with the mental well-being of our children. Through my Montana Hope initiative, I have focused on improving the well-being of our students by adding school climate and family and community engagement to our school quality rules.”

The 2023 YRBS consisted of 97 questions that assessed the following behaviors:

unintentional injuries and violence
tobacco and nicotine use
alcohol and other drug use
sexual behaviors
nutrition and dietary behaviors
physical activity
According to the survey:

43% of high school students reported feelings of sadness or hopelessness for two or more weeks in a row (32% males; 54% females). This percentage has been increasing over the last 10 years, with 2021 to 2023 being the lowest increase at 1.4%.
In the 30 days before the survey, just over 31% of students reported that their mental health was not good most of the time or always. Females were more likely than males to experience poor mental health, including stress, anxiety, and depression (44% females, 21% males). This percentage remains unchanged from last year.
26% of students seriously considered suicide, which is the highest percentage since 1991 at 27%.
22% made a plan and 15% attempted suicide. The percentage of students who made a plan and attempted suicide is the highest in the last 32 years.
Among students who attempted suicide, 32% had an attempt that required medical treatment. This percentage has not changed from last year and is the third lowest since 1993.
The survey shows that:

58% of students reported texting or e-mailing while driving, which is the highest percentage in the last 10 years.
54% of students reported using the Internet or apps on their cell phone while driving, which has increased by eight points in the last four years.
72% of students reported spending three or more hours on “screen time” per day. This percentage remains unchanged from last year and is six points higher than in 2021.
In the 30 days prior to the survey:

9% of students smoked a cigarette, which is the highest percentage since 2017 at 12%.
45% used an electronic vapor product, which is the lowest percentage in the last eight years
6% used smokeless tobacco, which is the second lowest percentage since 1991. The lowest was 5% in 2021.
6% smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars, which is the second lowest percentage since 1991. The lowest was 5% in 2021.
29% drank alcohol, which is the lowest since 1993.
21% used marijuana, which is virtually unchanged in the last 20 years.

School-level data was released to schools before the statewide data release and is not publicly available. To protect the information of Montana children, student-level data is not available. County and regional data are available on the OPI website.

Governor Gianforte Expands Public Access Along Yellowstone River

Posted (Sunday, February 11th 2024)

Governor Visits new North Wildcat Coulee WMA in Rosebud County
FORSYTH, Mont. – As chair of the Montana Land Board, Governor Greg Gianforte yesterday welcomed the state’s purchase of the 328-acre North Wildcat Coulee Wildlife Management Area (WMA) along the Yellowstone River and celebrated its opening.
“For too long, public access to the Lower Yellowstone River has been a challenge for anglers, floaters, hunters, and hikers alike,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Boosting access along the Lower Yellowstone is a top priority, and the new North Wildcat Coulee Wildlife Management Area will unlock Montanans’ access to a coveted stretch of the river and conserve critical wildlife habitat.”
In November, the Land Board approved the acquisition of the WMA located approximately two miles upstream of the Far West Fishing Access Site to provide public access for hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
In 2019, a group of Eastern Montana residents formed the Lower Yellowstone River Coalition to expand outdoor recreation opportunities along the lower Yellowstone River with the goal of boosting tourism for communities along the river from Hysham to Fairview.
In 2021, in support of the coalition’s mission, the Montana State Legislature allocated Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) up to $4 million to acquire, develop, and improve recreation access sites on the lower Yellowstone River. That year, the governor authorized FWP to convene a 12-member citizen advisory committee (CAC) to develop recommendations for access and to ensure habitat protection.
This acquisition was identified by the CAC as a high priority for habitat conservation. A large number of wildlife species inhabit this property including mule and white-tailed deer, wild turkey, pheasants, sharp-tailed grouse, waterfowl, and songbirds.
The property that is now open to public use provides boat-in and walk-in access to anglers, hunters, hikers, and other recreationists.
Joining the governor for the visit to the WMA were landowners, commissioners, and members of the Lower Yellowstone River Coalition.
Visiting with one of the co-landowners, Bill Schwarzkoph, the governor heard of his hopes of a lasting legacy the new WMA will have for generations to come.
“We’ve owned this land for over 30 years, it’s been a real joy – my son, grandson, and two granddaughters have all harvested deer here,” Schwarzkoph said. “It was hard to sell, but we wanted to have a legacy. And that legacy is that my grandkids can still come out here to hunt on the property they grew up on.”
Increasing public access to public lands is a top priority for the governor. Since the governor took office, Montanans gained access to new WMAs in the Big Snowy Mountains and Bad Rock Canyon, expanded access at Mount Haggin, and a new state park at Somers Beach. 

City Of Glasgow Set To Pick Up Snow

Posted (Thursday, February 8th 2024)

Glasgow Public Works would like to notify City of Glasgow residents that winter operations will be taking place over the next few days. The City will be wind rowing emergency routes and primary routes first, followed by snow removal and pick-up on those routes and the downtown area. After those areas are clear the City will be focused on secondary routes and neighborhoods. Along with these activities, the City will be regularly sanding hilly areas to keep them as passable as possible.

The City asks motorists and pedestrians to take extra care and the following precautions.

1. If at all possible please avoid areas crews and equipment are working. If you give them some space they will be done and out of the way more quickly.

2. Never attempt to drive over a wind row.

3. If at all possible remove parked cars from the curb line, and

4. Thank you for your cooperation and patience while we clean up.

For more information please see the City’s snow removal plan posted on the City’s web page https://www.cityofglasgowmt.com/

Montana Department Of Public Health And Human Services, Child And Family Services Division, Through Valley County Attorney Dylan Make Statement Regarding Kolstad Case

Posted (Wednesday, February 7th 2024)

A Statement was released on Tuesday afternoon from the Office of the Valley County Attorney regarding the Todd and Krista Kolstad case.

The release is from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Child and Family Services Division, through Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen.

The limited statement is regarding the accusations leveled by Todd and Krista Kolstad and the State of Montana's involvement with their family.

The press release was emailed to Kltz Radio on Tuesday afternoon from Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen.

Norm Braaten Receives Award From Montana Weed Control Association

Posted (Wednesday, February 7th 2024)

Norm Braaten of Fort Peck, recently received the Weed Fighter of the Year award from the Montana Weed Control Association.

Braaten was nominated by Levi Capdeville, the Valley County Weed and Mosquito Coordinator.

In his speech announcing Braaten as the recipient of the Weed Fighter of the Year, Capdeville noted that Braaten has been working for Valley County since 2015 and is a valued, dependable and hard-working employee.

Capdeville said Braaten showed him the ropes of running the department when he took over the job as Coordinator in 2023. He said he would not have had near the success he had in his first year as Coordinator if not for Norm Braaten. He said Braaten isn't afraid to try new things and has embraced new technology.

Capdeville also noted that Braaten is a firm believer in a team mentality and there are few people he respects more than Norm Braaten.

Norm Braaten works for the Valley County Weed Department in the summer and is a retired educator of the Nashua School District.

Montana Supreme Court rejects plea from Glasgow couple regarding child custody case

Posted (Tuesday, February 6th 2024)

Story credit to Daily Montanan:

In a short, but quick response the Montana Supreme Court has ruled that it will not overturn a district court judge’s gag-order against a Glasgow couple fighting with the state over custody of their child.

On Tuesday, the day after Todd Kolstad and his wife, Krista Cummins-Kolstad, filed an emergency petition with the state’s highest court, a five-justice panel, led by Chief Justice Mike McGrath, said that the couple had presented no evidence that Valley County District Court Judge Yvonne Laird had made mistakes while handling the child custody case. Furthermore, the Supreme Court order said the motivation for the emergency appeal was likely because the couple could face jail time for violating Laird’s gag-order, but the judge had not issued any findings of contempt.

The justices said that because the process is still playing out, the Kolstads would have all legal defenses available to them to justify why they shouldn’t be held in contempt. Also, the judge has yet to make findings that an appellate court could review.

The ruling sets up a confrontation in which the Kolstads will appear before Laird on Feb. 21 in Glasgow at a hearing in which they will have to testify why they decided to violate a gag-order in place regarding the custody of their child. They had also asked the state’s Supreme Court to take “supervisory control” of the case, but the court declined to do that as well.

“First (the Kolstads) provide nothing of record in support of their petition regarding the proceeding or the orders entered by the district court,” the Supreme Court order released Tuesday said. “No mistake of law or emergency factors have been demonstrated. After the hearing, the parties may pursue any post-contempt remedy they consider necessary.”

The issue stems from a dispute between the parents and the state’s Child Protective Services division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. The case has drawn national and international attention, including the comments of Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, a Republican, who defended the department.

In August 2023, the Kolstad’s child was removed from the home because of suicidal thoughts and actions. The state had located an in-patient psychiatric bed in Wyoming to help stabilize the 14-year-old. The Kolstad’s child identifies as a male, but the Kolstads said their religious beliefs reject that and consider transitioning a sin. They have stated they do not agree with their child’s identity.

Originally, the Kolstads rejected a placement in Wyoming, fearing that medical officials there would encourage or even begin allowing their child to transition. In court records, they told the Supreme Court they were motivated because they believed Montana had protected families who were not supportive of their children transitioning, and feared sending the child to a state that didn’t have the protections.

The protection they understood was the controversial Senate Bill 99, which prohibited families and youth from receiving gender-affirming care in the state by licensed medical providers. However, that law was challenged and enjoined, never in effect.

The Kolstads were placed under a gag-order after they began posting information to social media. They have appeared on national conservative news outlets, and their story went viral on the Canadian social media site, Reduxx.

The state has been awarded temporary custody of the child, who is currently in a group home in Billings, according to court records.

Glasgow City Council Meeting Notes

Posted (Tuesday, February 6th 2024)

The Glasgow City Council met in regular session on February 5th.

The Council approved the sale of city property. Lots 3 and 4, Block 004, Mahon Original Townsite which is located at 415 Francis Street. The city had put the property up for bid and the lone bid was for $15,250 which was accepted by the City Council.

The council passed a resolution calling for an election of the question of conducting a local government review. The Montana Constitution mandates all local governments to put forth to the voters, the question of whether or not they want to review their current form of government. The election for the City of Glasgow will be in June of this year.

The council approved the paying of annual dues to Great Northern Development in the amount of $3,192.00.

The council also approved a collective bargaining agreement between the City of Glasgow and the Teamsters Local Union No. 2. The agreement is a 3-year contract which will provide a 4.1% increase in pay the first year, 4.5% the second year and 4.5% the third year of the contract. The contract also increases the city contribution for health insurance by $100 the first year, no increase the second year and another $100 the third year. The city will now pay $1000 per month for union employees as their contribution for health insurance.

$2000 First Place Prize Awarded During Glasgow Chamber Ice Fishing Derby

Posted (Monday, February 5th 2024)

The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture held the 26th Annual Ice Fishing Derby February 3, 2024. The Derby was held at the Fishing Access Site - Dredge Cuts Trout Pond located on Highway 117. They sold 134 holes with 71 participants. 68 fish were brought to the weighmaster during 12pm - 3pm, however, there were many more caught.

GUARANTEED $2,000 FIRST PLACE was Trevor Adams of Nashua, MT. Trevor caught a 6.76 pound northern at 1:30pm.

2nd Place for $600 was Wes Phillips from Opheim, MT with a 5.46 pound northern caught at 2:06pm.

3rd Place for $300 was Colton Danielson from Plentywood, MT with a .32 pound rainbow trout caught at 12:38pm.

4th Place for $100 was Dave Nordella from Livingston, MT with a .3 pound rainbow trout caught at
12:33pm. He was tied by Larry Branson from Wolf Point, MT but Dave caught his fish first.

Smallest fish for $50 in chamber big bucks was caught by Jeff Yoss & Teagen Overcast with a .06 pound rainbow trout.

The tournament is sponsored by Nemont Beverage, Agland Coop, T&R Trucking, Cape Air, Scottie
Express Wash, Coca Cola, D&G Sports and Western, Edward Jones, Ezzies Wholesale,
Independence Bank, JR’s Party Store #24, Lakeridge Lodge & Bait Shop, Fort Peck Marina & Bar,
Northern Prairie Auto Sales, Cottonwood Inn & Suites, KLTZ Mix 93, Bank of Glasgow, Opportunity Bank, Hi-Line Ford, Nemont, Reynolds, Prairie Travelers, Glasgow Auto Sales, Thompson & Sons, The Gateway, Interstate Engineering, and Farm Bureau Insurance/Shane Gibson.

The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture would like to thank ALL the Sponsors and our volunteers for making this event happen.

Glasgow Parents file emergency appeal at Montana Supreme Court to remove gag order

Posted (Monday, February 5th 2024)

Story credit to Daily Montanan:

A Glasgow couple would seem to be a perfectly made case for the controversial Senate Bill 99, passed by the Montana Legislature in 2023, which prohibited medical care for youth transitioning from one gender to another.

However, that couple now finds themselves looking at possible jail time, contempt, as well as losing a child to a parent in another country.

The parents, Todd Kolstad and Krista Cummins-Kolstad, filed an emergency appeal to the Montana Supreme Court on Monday morning, asking it to take control of the case, and stop — or vacate — the gag order imposed by Valley County District Court Judge Yvonne Laird.

They claim the State of Montana has unfairly taken their child, imposed a gag order, meanwhile it has violated their rights to make medical decisions for their child; and public officials, including Gov. Greg Gianforte himself, have taken to a public smear campaign online to discredit them. They claim that they’ve opposed efforts to allow their 14-year-old child to transition from female to male, but never stood in the way of getting psychiatric help for suicidal thoughts.

The case began when their child threatened suicide, then escalated when the couple refused to send her out of state for treatment. The state’s Child Protective Services has stepped in, received temporary custody, and the couple said the judge imposed a gag-order on them. The Kolstads said on social media that while they support the need to get their child mental health resources, they don’t agree to let their daughter transition to a male.

Neither Gianforte’s office nor a spokesperson for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services were immediately available for comment when contacted on Monday morning. However, should those departments comment, the Daily Montanan will update this story with those.

The story has drawn attention both nationally and internationally, especially among conservative websites. The court appeal notes that a Canadian online magazine, Reduxx, story about the situation has been viewed more than 1.4 million times during the past week.

For now, the 14-year-old, who identifies as a male, is in a group home, after completing an emergency stay in a Wyoming facility after expressing suicidal thoughts. The state has granted the Montana Department of Health and Human Services a six-month custodial term for the youth, and has also approved a plan for him to live in Canada, with a birth parent.

Attorney Matthew Monforton represents the parents, Todd and his wife, Krista, who is the step-mother. The court brief, called a “petition for a writ of supervisory control,” is rare motion that asks the Montana Supreme Court to take over the case, and issue new decisions, including a request to stay — or set aside — the gag-order so the parents can respond and talk about the case.

Meanwhile, Laird has set a contempt hearing in her courtroom for Feb. 21, where Monforton says in the filing that his clients likely face jail time or other punishment.

The state’s involvement in the case stems back to Aug. 22, 2023, according to court documents, when a person notified the the Department of Public Health and Human Services that the Kolstads’ child was suicidal, and the state recommended placing him in a facility in Wyoming.

While the Kolstads admitted that the child needed mental health help, they objected to sending their child to the Wyoming facilities, fearing that the state did not have protections that would allow them to stop treatment aimed at his request to transition. They relied on Senate Bill 99, which was passed, signed into law, then enjoined by the state’s courts, which would have given protection to parents who didn’t want their child to transition, as well as outlaw medical treatment of transgender patients less than the age of 18.

The parents, according to the court filings, are conservative Christians who believe that transitioning to a different gender is a sin, and said they’re just exercising their rights as a parent to determine what’s best for their child.

The Kolstads also told state officials that their child was at the top of the waiting list for a treatment facility in Billings, and preferred to wait until that spot opened up.

According to the court documents, when the parents declined to send their child to Wyoming, “approximately 15 minutes after the call ended, a Child Protective Services agent and a police officer arrived at the parents’ home and seized their daughter. She was taken to the Wyoming facility the next day.”

The Kolstads say that kicked off a five-month fight that’s still ongoing while trying to get their child back.

On Jan. 18, when they posted a video to Facebook, pleading for help, the district court issued a gag order, while also telling them to remove the video.

“A week later, Gov. Greg Gianforte, his communications director, and his allies in the press initiated a smear campaign against the parents. The parents have responded by speaking with the press,” the brief said.

In the brief, Monforton argues that the Kolstads are at a huge disadvantage because of the gag order: The governor and his staff have taken to social media, while they face possible jail time for responding.

Moreover, Monforton says the governor and state staff have smeared them, damaging their reputation, because the Kolstads say that their child was removed just because of suicidal thoughts, not for any other reason; however, social media posts, made by Gianforte, seemed to hint at other reasons.

“As stated in the state’s petition (for seizing the child, which is under seal and publicly unavailable), the sole basis for the removal (of the child) was the parents objections to being taken to Wyoming for treatment,” the court brief said.

The Kolstads are also concerned because they say after their child was released in September from the Wyoming facility, the child has been living in a group home in Billings.

“Staff members there are addressing H.K. by her preferred male name. They allow her to use men’s toiletries and wear men’s clothes and a chest binder. (The child) attend all-boy group sessions at the group home. A therapist at the group home is counseling (the child) to reach a goal of accepting her chose gender 80% of the time. The parents have objected to all of these messages, but to no avail,” the court brief said.

The Kolstads were told on Jan. 26, in a conference that included a county attorney, Dylan Jensen, and a child protection specialist, Crystal Whitmore, that in order to be reunified with their child, the couple would be required to “participate in marriage counseling and accept (their child’s) gender identity.”

“The parents stated their marriage was fine and they did not accept the state’s claim that (their child) was now a male,” the court brief said. “Jensen and Whitmore both laughed and told the parents, ‘You don’t understand. You have to accept the services.’”

Gianforte, as well as other members of the state, addressed the growing concerns on social media last week. Gianforte said that he had personally charged Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras to review the case. Juras is an attorney who has taught at the University of Montana School of Law and run for the Montana Supreme Court.

Gianforte said that Juras determined that DPHHS and the court have followed state policy and law, according to his posts on Twitter/X.

“What makes the gag order against the parents particularly odious is the Gianforte Administration’s smear campaign against them,” the brief said. “Gov. Gianforte and his staff are publicly insinuating that (the child’s) seizure was necessitated by some horrifying fact, such as the parents’ ‘living in absolute filth,’ operating ‘meth labs,’ or being ‘dealers and addicts.’ But the parents risk jail time by responding to the governor’s lies.”

In the court filings, Monforton references the Child Protective Services report which found that the four-bedroom home was clean and stocked with food. Moreover, the reason for removing the Kolstads’ child was because of suicidal thoughts and the availability of the bed. However, because those documents are contained in a court filing which involves the health of a minor, they are unavailable for access.

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday

Posted (Monday, February 5th 2024)

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

Accumulating Snow Probable On Thursday For Northeast Montana

Posted (Monday, February 5th 2024)

The next chance of precipitation is on the way by midweek.

Temperatures will cool down late this week for rain transitioning to snow on Wednesday.

Accumulating snow is probable across most of the region on Thursday. Allow extra time if traveling, and take steps to protect young livestock.

Fort Peck Reservoir Water Levels To Remain Steady

Posted (Monday, February 5th 2024)

The updated 2024 calendar year runoff forecast for the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, continues to be below average.

January runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City was 0.4 million acre-feet, 56% of average. Runoff was well-below-average due to much-below-normal temperatures over the whole Missouri River Basin and below-normal precipitation over most of the upper basin.

“The runoff into the reservoir system was well-below average for the month of January,” said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “This fact in conjunction with the below-average plains and mountain snowpack indicates a below-normal runoff year for the basin.”

The 2024 calendar year runoff forecast above Sioux City is 18.8 MAF, 73% of average. The runoff forecast is based on current soil moisture conditions, plains snowpack, mountain snowpack, and long-term precipitation and temperature outlooks.

At the start of the 2024 runoff season, which typically begins around March 1, the total volume of water stored in the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System is expected to be 52.7 MAF, 3.4 MAF below the top of the carryover multiple use zone.

To conserve water in the System, releases from Gavins Point Dam are scheduled to be 13,000 cfs this winter while still serving the needs of the municipal, industrial and powerplant water intakes along the lower river.

“While the target winter release from Gavins Point Dam is 13,000 cfs, releases were increased to 15,000 cfs in mid-January to mitigate some of the effects of the much colder temperatures across the lower basin,” said Remus. Releases were reduced to 13,000 cfs at the end of the month and will be held at that rate through February.

“With weather conditions and river stages forecast to be more seasonal over the next few weeks, System releases are returning to the target winter rates,” said Remus.

Basin and river conditions continue to be monitored, including plains and mountain snow accumulation, and System regulation will be adjusted based on the most up-to-date information.

Mountain and Plains Snowpack:
Mountain snowpack in the upper Missouri River Basin is accumulating at well-below average rates. The Feb. 1, mountain snowpack in the Fort Peck reach was 51% of average, while the mountain snowpack in the Fort Peck to Garrison reach was 64% of average. By Feb. 1, about 60% of the total mountain snowfall has typically accumulated. Mountain snow normally peaks near April 17. The mountain snowpack graphics can be viewed at: http://go.usa.gov/xARQC.

Fort Peck Flow Test:
Test releases from Fort Peck that would assess the potential benefits of alternative management scenarios for the pallid sturgeon are currently planned to be implemented in 2024. The test includes two higher Fort Peck release periods, in late April and June, with target flows at Wolf Point, Montana. The Fort Peck releases will be adjusted depending on the runoff and reach conditions downstream of Fort Peck during this period. The test will likely require spillway releases from Fort Peck. The test releases will not affect the regulation below the reservoir system.

Monthly Water Management Conference Calls for 2024:
The February 2024 monthly conference call will be held Thursday, Feb. 8, to inform basin stakeholders of current weather and runoff forecasts and the planned operation of the reservoir system in the coming months. Presentation materials will be available via webinar. The call is intended for Congressional delegations; Tribes; state, county and local government officials; and the media. It will be recorded in its entirety and made available to the public on our website at https://go.usa.gov/xARQv.
Reservoir Forecasts:

Fort Peck Dam
Average releases past month – 5,600 cfs
Current release rate – 5,000 cfs
Forecast average release rate – 5,000 cfs
End-of-January reservoir level – 2229.4 feet
Forecast end-of-February reservoir level – 2229.7 feet
Notes: Releases will remain at 5,000 cfs in February.

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

The six mainstem power plants generated 540 million kWh of electricity in January. Typical energy generation for January is 707 million kWh. Forecast generation for 2023 is 8.6 billion kWh compared to the long-term average of 9.4 billion kWh.

Glasgow High School Educational Trust Announces Donation in Recognition of Don and Beryl Pehlke

Posted (Monday, February 5th 2024)

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust is honored to announce the recent receipt of a donation of $100,000 from Don Pehlke, long-time Glasgow resident and businessman. In making his gift, Pehlke said, “Community service and education have always been important to our family, and I want to continue to support them.” His late wife, Beryl Pehlke, a passionate educator, and community volunteer, is also recognized in this designation, as well as in one made previously by her family.

Beryl (Arnold) Pehlke graduated from Glasgow High School with the class of 1950 and continued her education at Northern Montana College (now MSU-Northern) where she earned a degree in Education. While at Northern, she met Don Pehlke, a graduate of Havre High School in the Class of 1948. After Don completed two years of active duty in the United States Army, Beryl and Don were married and moved to Missoula where he enrolled in the University of Montana, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1955.

Following his graduation, the Pehlkes moved to Glasgow. Don was employed by the first contractor to begin construction on the Glasgow Air Force Base. He later worked for Morgan and Oswood Construction, both in Glasgow and then Great Falls, and, subsequently, the Pehlkes returned to Glasgow where Don formed a partnership with his friend, Virgil Braden, in 1967.

Braden and Pehlke Construction, Inc., grew with the community, building many public structures, such as the Valley County Courthouse, Opportunity Bank of Glasgow (originally First National Bank), and several additions and major projects at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital. The firm also built the Glasgow Public Swimming Pool, completed in 1974, where three of the four Pehlke children worked as lifeguards, swim instructors, and in cleaning and maintenance.

Virgil Braden and Don Pehlke also owned and successfully operated B & P Rentals in Glasgow for many years.

While Don was busy building, Beryl was busy teaching. She taught third grade then fifth grade at the South Side School for several years, and later taught kindergarten in her home. She co-founded the first school in Glasgow for children with special needs, called the Opportunity School, in the basement of the First Lutheran Church. In addition, she was a long-term substitute for the Glasgow Public Schools.

The Pehlkes’ children all attended Glasgow schools and were very active in music, drama, sports, and other extra-curricular activities. Don and Beryl were very supportive of these endeavors and made it a priority to be present at all events. Reflecting on their experiences growing up in Glasgow, the Pehlke children commented that they were blessed to have such devoted parents and to live in such a supportive community.

There is ample evidence of the Pehlkes’ commitment to others, as well. With roots deep in the Montana prairie, their adult lives were invested not only in their careers and family, but also in improving opportunities for all and in strengthening bonds within the community. They also were engaged in the larger world, serving as a host family for an exchange student through the American Field Service (AFS) in 1973.

Beryl was an active member of the First United Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School for many years. In addition, she served as a Girl State teacher and advisor and as a Girl Scout leader. She was a devoted and enthusiastic member of Soroptimists, Beta Sigma Phi, and the American Legion Auxiliary, where her children attended classes in patriotism and service.

Don, despite his demanding work schedule, served on the Glasgow School Board, and was an active member of the American Legion, Glasgow Kiwanis, Shriners, Sunny Side Golf Club, and the Elks. He enjoyed these activities and the many friends he made through them.

As with all donations to the Glasgow High School Educational Trust, the Pehlke gift will be invested. Income on the trust’s assets (now valued over $11 million dollars) is used to award financial aid to qualified GHS alumni pursuing higher education at colleges or trade schools throughout the nation, and/or online, through a semi-annual application process administered by the trustees. Since its inception in 1964, the trust has given over $2.9 million dollars to hundreds of different students. Many of these students have received multiple awards over their courses of study.

Students enrolled in four-year programs must have completed one year of study to be eligible. Those who are enrolled in two-year programs, must have completed one-fourth of the time and credits required for certification or for a two-year degree. All applicants must be enrolled full-time (12 credit minimum) and be in good academic standing. The application is available online at www.ghsedutrust.org. It lists all the additional requirements that must be met, as well as the deadlines--July 1st and October 15th of each year. Students who apply by July 1st may be eligible for financial aid for both semesters of the upcoming academic year. Those who apply by October 15th may be eligible for financial aid for the upcoming spring semester only.

The awards made by the GHS Educational Trust are not traditional scholarships only for those with very high grade-point averages. All students in good standing who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. They should log on to the trust’s website now to begin to organize the required documentation. Applications will not be considered if they are late or if directions have not been followed.

In addition to the financial aid given to students, the Glasgow High School Educational Trust also purchases enrichment programs and materials for GHS that cannot be financed through traditional, taxpayer funding. Every department of the school has benefitted from these purchases, as does the public at large when it uses the school’s property or attends events held at the school. The total dollar value of gifts to the school now exceeds $312,000.

Donations to the GHS Educational Trust may be made in honor, recognition, or memory of a specific individual, organization, or event. Contributions that total $500 or more in the name of a specific individual or organization allow for a one-time gift to be awarded in that name. Donations of $10,000 or more allow for an ongoing naming opportunity on a regular basis. More information about the trust, (its history, mission, past recipients, and donor forms, etc.) is available on its website at www.ghsedutrust.org.

At its regular semi-annual meeting last November, the trustees gave financial aid for the Spring 2024 semester to the eight students listed below in honor, recognition, or memory of the name(s) listed after theirs. These students are in addition to the 22 students who were awarded financial aid in July 2023 for both semesters of the 2023-2024 academic year.

First-time recipients:

Tyann Graham, Miles Community College, IHO Beryl Pehlke; Kyler Hallock, Dickinson State University, IMO Lois Wilson Markle; Michael Hoyer, Montana Technological University, IHO Dorothy Kolstad; Kate Parks Knight, Utah State University, IRO Tom and Flora Coghlan Family; Bergen Miller, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Leonard H. & Kathryn L. Langen; Wilson Overby, BYU-Idaho, IMO Mary Jean Combs Mahugh; Blaire Westby, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Bill and Peggy Pattison Endowment.

Third-time Recipient: Elijah Zeluff, Montana Technological University, IHO Carl L. Dix.

The first award in recognition of both Don and Beryl Pehlke will be given in the summer of 2024. Their devotion to family, country, and community, and their generosity and service to others, will long be remembered and will stand as a model for all those who proudly call themselves Glasgow Scotties.

Glasgow Kiwanis Club Presents BUG Awards

Posted (Friday, February 2nd 2024)

BUG Honor Roll certificates were presented by Kiwanis for those students at the irle School bringing up their grades between the first and second grading period.

Fourth grade students were Serenity Archdale, Ella Clark (absent), Knoxsen Harris, Carson Hoerl (absent), Whit Ozark, Emmalyn Schaefer, and Parker White. Fifth grade students were Anders Aune, Vernon Hetrick, Ava Nickels, Campbell Youngman and George Zumbuhl.

Ice Cream provided by Kiwanis was served by Builders Club students Saunten Gamas and Bethany Bras with their advisor Nicole Boos. Kiwanis Preident. Wade Sundby, and Kiwanis Secretary Dr. Charles Wilson presented the awards printed by the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce. Kiwanis International is a worldwide service organization emphasizing serving children, and BUG is one of those programs.

Valley County Property Taxpayers To See $500,000 Increase

Posted (Friday, February 2nd 2024)

Last week, the Valley County Commissioners passed a resolution amending the county mill levy for state equalization, county high school equalization and the county elementary equalization mill levy authority for this fiscal year.

The Montana Supreme Court sided with the Gianforte administration in December when it ruled that counties must calculate 95 mills for the states school equalization fund.

Most counties including Valley County levied 77.9 mills, as opposed to the full 95 mills, as part of a local solution to help homeowners with anticipated increases in property taxes. This resulted in a tax reduction of $500,000 for Valley County property taxpayers.

But in December, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that counties must levy 95 mills as ordered by the Montana Department of Revenue.

This will result in an increase in property taxes in May of 2024 as Valley County will send out bills to make up the $500,000 that was not collected in the fall of 2023.

Coroners Inquest Related To Death Of Dennis Ray Wing Held Wednesday In Glasgow

Posted (Thursday, February 1st 2024)

A Coroner’s Inquest related to the death of Dennis Ray Wing in 2022 was held Wednesday, January 31st at the Valley County Courthouse. Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton presided over the proceeding.

A coroner’s inquest is an investigative process used to determine the causes of - and circumstances surrounding - the death of a person, conducted by the coroner before a coroner's jury. While Wing did not die while in the custody of law enforcement, the unusual circumstances surrounding his death justified and prompted the inquest.

Wing was detained on March 13th, 2022, while in the company of his father, Robert Wing, Sr., who was under investigation at the time for distribution of methamphetamine.

The bulk of the proceeding focused on evidence and questions presented by Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen, although members of the jury and Sheriff Dutton also had the opportunity to pose questions to the witnesses. During the proceeding, Jensen played video and audio evidence from the night of Wing’s detainment, including several minutes of audio captured from within the patrol vehicle where Wing and his father were placed together.

The evidence showed that while in the patrol vehicle, the younger Wing ingested an illicit substance(s) later determined to be methamphetamine. Although both men were handcuffed in the back of the patrol vehicle, they were able to effectively maneuver enough for the elder Wing to pass the methamphetamine to his son, who ingested it. At one point, the younger Wing was heard saying, “I’m going to have to go to the ER,” to which his father replied, “Better to go to the ER than eight years in prison.” When law enforcement pulled the men out of the patrol vehicle prior to transporting them to the detention center, they noticed blue pills and some other items in the back seat of the vehicle. Both subjects were transported to the detention center.

Although Dennis Wing was not placed under arrest, he was taken into custody for a urine sample at the direction of the probation department. While at the detention center, it was noted that he began to manifest strong symptoms of overdose. Narcan was deployed twice and the ambulance was summoned to transport him to the hospital. Wing died there in the early morning hours of March 14th after going into cardiac arrest.

Following testimony from four witnesses, including law enforcement personnel and the forensic pathologist that conducted Wing’s autopsy, a coroner’s jury of seven determined Wing’s death was not due to any criminal action of another.

Gianforte Rebuts Far-Right accusations About Child Protection Case Involving Glasgow Child

Posted (Wednesday, January 31st 2024)

Story credit: https://montanafreepress.org/2024/01/30/montana-governor-publicly-rebuts-far-right-accusations-about-child-protection-case/

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is defending the state health department’s actions in an active child protective case against a wave of online criticism from conservative groups, including some far-right, anti-LGBTQ social media accounts, an unusually public commentary from the state’s highest elected official about confidential child welfare proceedings.

In a series of Monday afternoon posts on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Gianforte responded to direct call-outs from prominent anti-transgender commenters who alleged that the state’s child welfare division had “kidnapped” a Glasgow teenager last fall and sidestepped the state’s new law against minors receiving gender-affirming care in Montana by allowing the youth to seek those services in another state.

While there is a current child protective case and related court proceedings involving a teenager who identifies as transgender and was removed from their parents’ custody last fall, the narrative fanned by online anti-transgender groups is largely unsupported by court records and email communication examined by Montana Free Press over the course of several months.

Conservative groups have drawn attention to the case in recent weeks after the child’s father and stepmother, Todd Kolstad and Krista Cummins-Kolstad, posted a video on Facebook in early January describing their views about their child being placed in state custody last August. The video, in which the couple rejects their child’s identity as a transgender boy and details the teenager’s mental and physical health conditions, has continued to circulate online despite the couple removing it from Facebook under a Jan. 18 order from a Valley County judge.

MTFP is withholding the teenager’s name out of respect for the privacy of a minor. An attorney representing the teen has declined to comment or acknowledge the case’s existence, citing confidentiality about child abuse and neglect proceedings.

The video has fueled media attention and sparked criticism of the state’s actions by the parents’ supporters, with some calling for an explanation and intervention from the state’s Republican governor, who signed a law last year curbing gender-affirming medical access for transgender minors. In his Monday posts on X, Gianforte confirmed that his office has reviewed the matter and, without describing the case in detail, said the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, or DPHHS, acted correctly in taking the child into protective custody.

“To give them their best shot at reaching their full potential, children deserve to grow up in happy, healthy homes with loving families. Sadly, this ideal is not always realized,” the thread said. “… Upon hearing recent allegations related to a child welfare case, I asked Lieutenant Governor Kristen Juras — an experienced attorney, constitutional conservative, mother, and grandmother — to review it. Consulting with the director of DPHHS and personally examining case documents, Lieutenant Governor Juras has concluded that DPHHS and the court have followed state policy and law in their handling of this tragic case. I have asked the lieutenant governor to continue monitoring the case as it progresses.”

In a later statement, the governor’s spokesperson Kaitlin Price clarified that “broadly speaking, the state does not remove minors from homes to provide gender transition services or use taxpayer funds to pay for those services while a minor is in the custody of the state.”

Price also said the governor has asked the state health department to “codify a formal policy and/or develop a regulation to clarify and ensure the definition of abuse or neglect does not include a parent’s right to refuse to provide gender transition services to his or her minor child.”

In his Monday statement, Gianforte also touted his signing of Senate Bill 99, the 2023 Montana law that bans gender-affirming medical treatments for minors with gender dysphoria.

That law, confusion over which is central to the Kolstads’ case, has never taken effect. It was slated to do so on Oct. 1, 2023, but was enjoined last September while a legal challenge against it proceeds in state district court in Missoula.

According to an affidavit filed in state court by child protective workers last fall and later shared with MTFP by the Kolstad parents, state child protective workers and local police originally responded to two confidential callers in August who expressed concern that the teenager living at the Kolstad residence was depressed and suicidal. Both reported that the youth had begun publicly identifying as transgender in 2021 and had not been supported by their parents. After arriving at the house to interview the minor and the parents, child protective workers determined that the reported concerns about the youth’s mental health were justified and asked that the minor be transported to the local hospital. The Kolstads agreed and proceeded to drive the child there.

Once at the hospital, the affidavit stated, the medical team recommended the youth be admitted to a residential psychiatric facility anywhere in the region as soon as a bed became available, based on a medical assessment of the minor’s continued suicidality.

Four days after admitting the teenager, on Aug. 22, hospital staff told child protective workers that a bed had become available at a psychiatric facility in Wyoming, according to the legal filing, but reported that the parents were not allowing the minor to be transported out of concern that the neighboring state does not have laws prohibiting gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth.

When child protective workers went to the Kolstad’s home to discuss the situation, the affidavit stated, the parents reiterated their objections.

“Stepmother and Birthfather became upset very quickly and voiced concern of the state of Wyoming mutilating [the teenager’s] body and giving [the minor] medication” for transition-related care, the affidavit read.

After that interaction, child protective workers said, they notified the parents that the state was taking temporary legal custody of the minor and proceeded to fill out paperwork to transport the teenager to Wyoming to receive mental health care.

At the time of the Montana hospital’s referral to the psychiatric facility in Wyoming, no law was in place in either state banning gender-affirming care for minors. And, as health care providers have testified in state legislatures and court proceedings, receiving a prescription for medications such as puberty blockers or hormone therapy typically takes several months, if not years, and multiple referrals from mental health therapists and other medical providers, in consultation with the minor’s family or guardian.

In interviews with MTFP, Todd Kolstad and Krista Cummins-Kolstad have said they have never been opposed to their child receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment for suicidal thoughts, but affirmed that their opposition to the transfer to Wyoming arose from the belief that their child might access gender-affirming medical care without parental consent if they were to cross state lines.

Since then, the Kolstads have expressed their continued opposition to other medical providers, lawyers or care providers supporting their child’s social transitioning — non-medical actions that include the adoption of different names and pronouns, cutting or growing out their hair, or wearing gender-aligned clothing.

“Basically, what I think they’re trying to force us into is letting [our child] socially transition,” Cummins-Kolstad said in a January phone interview following a court hearing. “But we’re not OK with that. We’re not comfortable with that.”

The case over the Kolstads’ parental custody remains in active litigation. The teenager, who returned to Montana after roughly a month at the Wyoming facility, is living in an out-of-home placement while the parents dispute the terms of the state-directed treatment plan, which is aimed, ultimately, at reunification of the family. Without a firm plan for the teenager to return to their home, Cummins-Kolstad said, she and her husband have opted to make their case in the court of public opinion.

“You’ve already ruined my family,” she said in reference to state child protective workers and the judge overseeing the case. “So all I can do is fight for other people’s families and mourn my family in private.”

In a Tuesday phone call, a senior official from the Gianforte administration described the decision to issue a public statement about the case as an effort to “set the record straight to the greatest extent possible” as allegations pile up about the child being wrongly removed from their family and taken across state lines to receive gender-affirming care.

The official, who requested anonymity to explain the administration’s strategy candidly, said the governor is limited in what he can say about a confidential case, but wanted to communicate to constituents that his administration had looked into the matter.

“Frankly, we’re mostly concerned that this child is still alive,” the official said. “And that’s what I would argue is in the best interest of the administration and the state.

Shooting In Downtown Wolf Point Injures One

Posted (Wednesday, January 31st 2024)

Press Release from Fort Peck Tribal Law Enforcement:

Serious incident:

January 31, 2024, A shooting has occuried downtown Wolf Point in front of Bryan’s store. One person was shot and transported to local hospital. Suspect has been detained.
Anybody with information regarding this incident please contact 911 or Fort Peck Tribes Law and Justice at 406 768-5565.

Missing Sidney Girl Located According To Sidney Police Department

Posted (Wednesday, January 31st 2024)

Law enforcement located a Sidney girl Tuesday who was reported missing earlier this week.

Luna Delisle, 12, was last seen Sunday morning walking in a residential neighborhood of her hometown, according to a previous statement from the Sidney Police Department. SPD announced Tuesday afternoon that Luna had been found and was safe after a joint effort involving multiple agencies.

IRS Accepting Tax Returns Starting Monday

Posted (Tuesday, January 30th 2024)

The IRS started accepting tax returns on Monday, kicking off the 2024 tax season with a pledge to provide better service for taxpayers. For most tax filer, the top questions are whether they'll see a bigger tax refund — and how long will it take the IRS to send them their money.

More than half of Americans plan to file their taxes early this year so they can get their hands on their refund as soon as possible, according to a new study from Intuit Credit Karma. The average refund check last year was just shy of $3,200 — an amount that typically represents a family's biggest check of the year.

One of taxpayers' biggest concerns is the timing of their tax refund, something that became a pain point during the pandemic when millions of refunds were delayed by IRS backlogs. But this tax season, the IRS is tapping billions in new funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, allowing it to hire more customer service reps and improve apps like its "Where's My Refund?" service.

"The earlier you file, the earlier you get your money," Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at Jackson Hewitt, told CBS MoneyWatch. "Frankly, there are other benefits to filing early."

Chief among them: Locking up your data from fraudsters, he said. Some scammers try to file early in the tax season by fraudulently using taxpayers' Social Security and work data, hoping to claim those refunds before the taxpayers themselves have had a chance to file, he noted.

Here's what to know about the 2024 tax season before you file.

When is the 2024 tax filing season?

The IRS started accepting tax returns on January 29, and will continue to accept federal tax returns through April 15.

Taxpayers in Maine and Massachusetts have until April 17 to file their taxes because of state holidays. People living in federally declared disaster areas can also get more time to file.

If you need more time, you can also ask for a filing extension. That will give you until mid-October to file your tax returns.

When will the IRS issue refunds in 2024?

The IRS says that most taxpayers receive their refunds within 21 days.

That means that if you file your taxes on January 29, the earliest day possible, you should receive your tax refund by February 19.

However, that is a guideline, not a guarantee, and the tax agency warns that some returns may take more time to review, extending the period beyond 21 days.

It's also important to understand that the 21-day turnaround applies to people who file their taxes electronically. Paper returns can take much longer for the IRS to process.

Can I see the status of my tax refund?

The best way to check the status of your refund is to visit Where's My Refund? online at IRS.gov or on the IRS2Go app.

The IRS on Monday said that it is updating the "Where's My Refund?" tool to provide more details about a taxpayer's refund, rather than the typical message that the returns are being processed and to check back later. This season, taxpayers will see whether the IRS needs more information from them, as well as other details, the agency said.

What is happening with the Child Tax Credit?

Right now, there is a deal to expand the Child Tax Credit (CTC), which includes the possibility of making some changes retroactive to 2023 — the tax year that people are currently filing for.

That deal could provide a more generous refund amount to millions of parents.

Should I wait to file my taxes due to the Child Tax Credit?

Tax experts tell CBS MoneyWatch that you shouldn't hold off on filing your taxes in the hope that Congress will greenlight a more generous Child Tax Credit.

"I can emphatically say, without a question, never wait to file your taxes for possible pending D.C. legislation," Steber said. "It's just not an equation that works."

If the expanded CTC becomes law and is retroactive to 2023, the IRS will likely send you a check to make up the difference, Steber noted. And the CTC tweak could impact your tax refund by only a few hundred dollars, which Steber said isn't worth a delay in receiving your tax refund, which will likely represent a much bigger amount.

What is different with 2023 and 2024 tax brackets?

The IRS has adjusted its tax brackets for inflation for both 2023 and 2024.

In 2023, the tax brackets were adjusted upward by about 7% to account for last year's high inflation. To see those brackets, click here.

The IRS also adjusted its tax brackets upward for 2024, pushing the limits by about 5.4% higher this year. To see those brackets, click here.

Will I get a bigger tax refund in 2024?

Some people could see bigger refunds this year, with some potentially receiving 10% more than a year earlier, Steber said.

Those taxpayers receiving bigger refunds are most likely to be workers whose income didn't keep up with inflation. For instance, if your wages rose 4% last year, that's below the 7% IRS adjustment to its tax brackets. The difference could result in a bigger refund.

About 3 in 4 Americans say they expect to receive a tax refund this year, while about 1 in 4 believe that they'll get more money in their check from the IRS, Credit Karma found.

Sidney, Mt Police Department Asking Public To Help In Search For Missing Girl

Posted (Tuesday, January 30th 2024)

The Sidney Police Department is asking the public to help find a missing 12-year-old girl.

Police say Luna Marie Delisle was last seen on Sunday around 9 a.m. on the 1100 block of 16th Street Southwest near Lyndale Park.

Luna is a white female, 5?10? tall, 160 pounds, with hazel eyes, long blonde/brown hair and a nose ring. She was last seen wearing a pink sweatshirt, boot-cut blue jeans, gray sneakers and possibly a pink-colored necklace.

In a release Monday evening, police say they want the public in the area to review any security footage between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon on Sunday for any potential leads.

Contact the Sidney Police Department at 406-433-2210 if you have any information.

Fort Peck Tribal Law Enforcement Reports Murder In Wolf Point

Posted (Monday, January 29th 2024)

Press Release From Fort Peck Tribal Law Enforcement:

Serious incident:
On Jan 27, 2024 a murder occurred in west-end of Wolf Point. All suspects have been detained. This is an ongoing investigation with FBI and Fort Peck Tribes.

If anyone has information regarding this please contact 911 or Fort Peck Law and Justice at 406 768-5565.

Condolences to the family

MDT Plans Improvement To U.S. Highway #2

Posted (Monday, January 29th 2024)

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) would like to announce and invite the public to comment on a proposal to rehabilitate and widen approximately six miles of US Highway 2 (US 2), west of Glasgow. The project begins at the intersection with Tampico Road North, 12 miles east of Hinsdale, and extends southeast, ending roughly nine miles northwest of Glasgow.

Proposed work includes rebuilding the roadway, including flattening slopes, 8-foot-wide shoulders with rumble strips, new drainage structures, upgraded signage and new pavement markings. The purpose of the project is to bring this section of US 2 up to current standards, enhancing safety features and reducing maintenance costs.

A construction date will be determined based on the completion of all design activities and funding availability. Right-of-way acquisition or temporary construction permits will likely be required for this project. Relocation of utilities may also be necessary. MDT staff will contact affected landowners prior to survey work. Landowners may be contacted again prior to construction regarding temporary permits.

Partnering with the community is an important part of properly planning for future projects. MDT welcomes the public to provide ideas and comments on the proposed project. Comments may be submitted online at www.mdt.mt.gov/contact/comment-form.aspx or in writing to Montana Department of Transportation, Glendive office, PO Box 890, Glendive, MT 59330-0890. Please note that comments are for project UPN 10368000.

The public is encouraged to contact Glendive District Preconstruction Engineer Jim Frank at 406-345-8214 or Project Design Engineer Steve Heidner at 406-345-8247 with questions or comments about the project.

Road Closure In Valley County

Posted (Monday, January 29th 2024)

Message from the Valley County Road Department:

Baylor Road from Highway 24 going east to Wildrose Road is closed in order to do maintenance on the bridge.

The estimated time frame of the closure is Jan 29th until Feb 8th 2024.

Any questions please contact the Valley County Road Department at 406-228-4233.

GNDC Offering Business Writing Class February 7th

Posted (Sunday, January 28th 2024)

The Great Northern Development Corporation is hosting a two-hour class, “The Blueprint For Business Prosperity: Business Plan Writing.” The class will be offered at several locations throughout eastern Montana, including Glasgow from 10 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, February 7th, and later that day in Wolf Point from 2-4 p.m.

The GNDC is also hosting a Minnow Tank Competition – with chances for one of two $5,000 awards! For more information on the classes and the competition, visit GNDC.org or call 406-653-2590.

Two men convicted of poaching deer and elk in Blaine and Hill Counties

Posted (Friday, January 26th 2024)

During the fall of 2022, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wardens received a 1-800-TIP-MONT call detailing unlawful hunting activity in the Bears Paw Mountains. After an extensive investigation, Michael J. Dess (20), of Havre, and Lane T. Allen (22), of Harlem, had charges filed in Blaine and Hill Counties alleging their involvement in the unlawful take of deer and elk, out of season, in 2021 and 2022.

The charges involved the take or attempt to take nine antlered deer and four bull elk, some of which qualify for trophy restitution. Charges included violations of hunting during a closed season, hunting without a license, waste of game, over limits, the use of artificial light, and the unlawful possession of game animals.

Dess was charged with 13 misdemeanors and one felony in Blaine County, and 22 misdemeanors and two felonies in Hill County.

Allen was charged with 10 misdemeanors and two felonies in Blaine County and nine misdemeanors in Hill County.

In January 2024, Dess and Allen entered into plea agreements on separate felony and misdemeanor cases for unlawfully killing elk and deer from roadways, after dark, with the use of artificial light.
Dess’s plea agreements in Hill and Blaine Counties resulted in fines and restitution totaling $16,010, and the loss of his privilege to hunt, fish, and trap in the state of Montana and all other states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, for a period of 10 years.

Allen’s plea agreements in Hill and Blaine Counties resulted in fines and restitution totaling $8,210, and the loss of his privilege to hunt, fish, and trap in the state of Montana and all other states that are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, for a period of 10 years.

Region 6 game wardens would like to thank hunters and landowners for their assistance in helping solve this case. A special thank you goes to Blaine County Attorney Kelsie Harwood for prosecuting both cases.

Judge Rules In Cases Involving Roosevelt County Attorney Office

Posted (Thursday, January 25th 2024)

Story credit to Northern Plains Independent:

District Judge Michael G. Moses has denied former county attorney Frank Piocos’ appeal seeking relief. The ruling was filed in district court on Monday, Jan. 22.

Piocos was looking for a judgment to acknowledge he was not lawfully removed as county attorney, having his salary reinstated, having his salary paid from Feb. 4, 2023, to the present, having attorney’s fees paid and other supplemental relief.

In his ruling, Moses stated, “Frank Piocos is not qualified to be the Roosevelt County Attorney based upon the admitted facts contained in the complaint, and the final order of the Montana Supreme Court dated Sept. 19, 2023, in Downs v. Piocos.”

The judge concluded, “As he is not qualified, he has no claim, and his declaratory judgment action fails to state a claim and cannot under the circumstances state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Moses noted that Piocos’ arguments ignored the facts, ignored the statute and ignored the final decision of the Montana Supreme Court.

Moses wrote that “Piocos was not qualified to be the Roosevelt County Attorney at lease as of Nov. 8, 2022. On Feb. 3, 2023, he was not qualified. He has no claim to the County Attorney’s Office at the courthouse in Wolf Point. He has no claim to pay or benefits as the Roosevelt County Attorney, and last but not least, he has no claim for attorney’s fees. Piocos and only Piocos held the keys to the County Attorney’s Office and entitlement to pay and benefits. All he had to do was comply with the residency statute. Because he did not comply, he is not qualified.”


Moses also filed his ruling regarding a motion for partial summary judgment in a case involving Roosevelt County Attorney Janet Christoffersen v. Roosevelt County.

Resolution 2024-2, which was approved by commissioners on July 25, 2023, set the county attorney’s salary at $119,215.60 and deputy county attorney’s salary at 85 percent of the county attorney’s pay. The resolution also made the county attorney a part-time position and kept the deputy county attorney’s position at full-time.

Christoffersen argued that it was impossible for the county attorney to approve the changes because she was removed from office in late June 2023.

The county argued that deputy county attorney Thomas Bleicher had authority to consent to the resolution. Attorney Stephanie Oblander notes that statutes make it clear that activities and duties of county offices can continue seamlessly and without interruption, regardless of the temporary absence of the principal officer.

Moses ruled that the provisions of Resolution 2024-2 that relates to a salary increase for fiscal year 2023-2024 are valid and enforceable.

The judge rules that the clause that relates to making the county attorney position a part-time position is invalid and unenforceable.

Moses wrote that because there is no declaration or affidavit of the deputy county attorney submitted by either party, the record is not complete and there remains a material issue of fact as to whether Bleicher did consent to the part-time position change event if he could. “This court find that the consent is required by ‘the’ county attorney, not the deputy or even a special deputy appointed by the attorney general.”

Valley County Receives Planning Grant From Montana Department Of Commerce

Posted (Thursday, January 25th 2024)

The Montana Department of Commerce announced today that 20 Montana towns, cities and counties will share $947,000 of grant funding to help develop and plan infrastructure projects to increase area health and safety. The funding is through Commerce’s Montana Coal Endowment Program (MCEP).

“For over 30 years, Commerce’s MCEP program has made it more affordable for Montana communities to develop local infrastructure projects by providing grant funding that lowers the cost of public facility construction,” said Galen Steffens, Commerce’s Community MT Division Administrator.

“The grants we’re announcing today will help improve the health and safety of our neighbors who live in these areas.”

The State-funded MCEP program is designed to help address the affordability of local infrastructure projects by providing grants to lower the cost of constructing public facilities.

The following communities and districts will receive MCEP planning grants:
• The City of Big Timber will receive $32,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a capital improvements plan and $40,000 to complete a wastewater system preliminary engineering report.
• The Town of Broadview will receive $28,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a capital improvements plan.
• The City of Choteau will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a capital improvements plan.
• The Town of Circle will receive $30,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a water system preliminary engineering report and $24,000 to complete a capital improvements plan.
• The Town of Dutton will receive $35,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a water system preliminary engineering report.
• The Town of Fairfield will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a wastewater system preliminary engineering report (PER) and $40,000 to complete a water system PER.
• The Town of Hysham will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a water system preliminary engineering report.
• The City of Malta will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a water system preliminary engineering report.
• The Town of Melstone will receive $35,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a wastewater system preliminary engineering report.
• Park County will receive $28,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a bridge preliminary engineering report.
• The City of Plentywood will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a water system preliminary engineering report.
• Powder River County will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a capital improvements plan and $24,000 to complete a bridge preliminary engineering report.
• The City of Red Lodge will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a stormwater preliminary engineering report and $40,000 to complete a capital improvements plan.
• The Town of Richey will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a wastewater system preliminary engineering report and $20,000 to complete a capital improvements plan.
• The Town of Saco will receive $32,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a capital improvements plan.
• The City of Scobey will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a wastewater system preliminary engineering report.
• The City of Shelby will receive $36,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a water system preliminary engineering report.
• Valley County will receive $28,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a capital improvements plan.
• The City of White Sulphur Springs will receive $40,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a stormwater preliminary engineering report (PER) and $40,000 to complete a wastewater system PER.
• The Wilsall Water District will receive $35,000 of MCEP planning grant funding to complete a water system preliminary engineering report.

In 2021, the Town of Bearcreek received a $15,000 MCEP planning grant to complete a water system preliminary engineering report. The funding helped them assess issues within their water system that needed to be addressed.

“Without the MCEP grant, the Town of Bearcreek couldn't have completed a preliminary engineering report (PER) on our drinking water system, which is 56 years old. With only 68 active water accounts, we try to ensure safe and healthy water for each of our consumers by doing continual small maintenance,” said Jane Swanson-Webb, Clerk and Treasurer of the Town of Bearcreek. “The MCEP grant allowed us to proceed with a PER furthering our education on the proposed necessary maintenance, ensuring a good future for the Bearcreek Water System.”

Eligible applicants for MCEP planning grants include incorporated cities or towns, counties, consolidated governments, tribal governments and county or multi-county water, sewer or solid waste districts. Program funding comes from revenues earned on the interest from coal severance taxes.

Glasgow Chamber Ice Fishing Derby

Posted (Thursday, January 25th 2024)

The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture will hold the 26th Annual Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday February 3, 2024. The Derby will be held at the Fishing Access Site-The Dredge Cuts Trout Pond located on Highway 117. Registration is from 11AM-1P. Fishing is from 12-3PM, the ENTRY FEE is $50 per Hole or 3 Holes for $100. Cash and prizes will be awarded at 4:00pm at the Gateway Club. There are over 150 holes pre-drilled for the anglers.

First place is GUARANTEED for $2,000. The first and largest fish of walleye, northern pike, yellow perch, carp, sucker, burbot, lake trout or bass weighing in wins. You must have a current MT fishing license to participate. A YETTI cooler will be raffled off and will be drawn for at the Gateway Club. Hot cocoa, coffee, hot dogs and bratwursts, onions & kraut will be for sale during the Derby. The ladies will also be holding the 50/50 drawing.

The tournament is sponsored by Agland Coop, Bank of Glasgow, Coca-Cola, Cottonwood Inn, D&G, Edward Jones, Ezzie’s Wholesale, Opportunity Bank, Glasgow Auto Sales, Hi Line Ford, Interstate Engineering, Independence Bank, JR’s Party Store, KLTZ/Mix 93, Lakeridge Lodge & Bait Shop, Farm Bureau Insurance-Shane Gibson, Nemont, Nemont Beverage Corporation, Northern Prairie Auto Sales, Prairie Travelers, Reynolds, Scottie Express Wash, T&R Trucking, The Gateway, Thompson & Sons and the Fort Peck Marina.

Entry forms are available at the Glasgow Chamber office, 406-228-2222 or online at www.glasgowchamber.net. Bring the kids, sleds, skates, and bait for a fun Ice Day at Fort Peck Lake MT. Join us for an afternoon of fishing and fun.

High Speed Chase Ends In Valley County And Results In Two Arrests

Posted (Wednesday, January 24th 2024)

A high speed chase resulted in the arrest of two individuals Wednesday morning in Valley County.

Press Release From Phillips County:

High Speed Chase Ends In Valley County And Results In Two Arrests

Posted (Wednesday, January 24th 2024)

A high speed chase resulted in the arrest of two individuals Wednesday morning in Valley County.

Press Release From Phillips County:

Montana FWP Region 6 Citizen Advisory Council To Meet

Posted (Tuesday, January 23rd 2024)

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Region 6 Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) will meet from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31, at Fort Peck Multispecies Fish Hatchery in Fort Peck. The public is welcome to attend.

FWP will give updates on current Region 6 fisheries, wildlife, enforcement, education, and parks and outdoor recreation happenings.

Each of FWP’s seven administrative regions has a volunteer CAC to help guide policies and programs. The Region 6 group meets three to four times a year.

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

GHS Speech And Drama Team With Two Individual Champions At Divisional Meet

Posted (Monday, January 22nd 2024)

The GHS Speech and Drama team finished in 3rd place in Speech Team Sweeps this weekend at the Divisional Meet. GHS also had two individual champions!

Connor Whitmer first place in Spontaneous Oral Interpretation.
Gabe Proctor first place in Humorous Oral Interpretation.
In 2nd place is Kai Combs in DOI
In 3rd place is Harley (Leon) Edwards in DS
In 10th is Olivia Helland in HS

The Scotties will travel to Choteau this Friday and Saturday for the State Speech and Drama meet.

Carney Files For County Commissioner Making It A Two Person Race

Posted (Monday, January 22nd 2024)

Last week, Mike Carney filed all the necessary paperwork and officially became a candidate for Valley County Commissioner.

Carney joins Jerald "Juice" Fischer as the only 2 candidates that have officially for the county commission position.

Filing continues through March 11th.

Mary Armstrong announced she will retire from her County Commission seat when her term ends on December 31st of this year.

Glasgow Kiwanis Presents Bring Up Grade (BUG) Awards

Posted (Sunday, January 21st 2024)

Full pictures on the Glasgow Middle School Facebook page

Glasgow Kiwanis presented Bring Up Grade (BUG) Awards at the Glasgow Middle School for 23 students improving grades between the first two grading periods.

Receiving awards from Grade 6 were: Quincy Iwen, Oliver Kemp, Sarah Mattox and Lakelyn Olson (absent).

Grade 7 students recognized were Blaine Brandt (absent), Ava Schultz, Trusten Stringer, Kylie Aho, Grace Cornwell, Violet Thompson and Aiden Wixson.

Grade 8 students were Taidyan Demarrias, Ainsley Loftsgaard, Kolby Marsh (absent), Brayden Potter, Autumn Squires, Levi Stanley, Cash Stulc, Aaron Zoanni, Lucas Tatafu, Aurora Thompson, Ernest Vandall and Alexander Earll (absent).

Kiwanis President Wade Sundby, Kiwanis Secretary Charles Wilson presented the awards, assisted by Nicole Boos, Laurie Enebo and Ashley Markle. Middle School Builders Club students Riley Pattison and Saunten Gamas helped serve the ice cream provided by Kiwanis. Kiwanis is an International organization whose motto is Serving the Children of the World, and BUG is one of those programs.

State Of Montana Now Taxing Tips Earned By Employees

Posted (Friday, January 19th 2024)

Among several changes to Montana’s income tax system that took effect at the beginning of the year is a provision that makes income from tips subject to state taxes.

The shift aligns Montana with the federal tax system, in which tips have long been taxed alongside salaries and wages. It also means that many service-sector workers will likely have their state income tax obligation increased by hundreds of dollars a year.

The change was made by the 2021 Legislature as part of Senate Bill 399, a comprehensive reform measure that reshaped many parts of Montana’s income tax system, including repealing a variety of tax credits and collapsing the state system into just two income tax brackets. Many of the bill’s provisions, including the tipped income change, didn’t take effect until the beginning of this year.

Montana’s top-bracket tax rate, which now applies to annual taxable incomes over $20,500, is 5.9%. That means that many service sector workers will owe an additional $5.90 in state taxes for every $100 of tip income they report on their tax filings.

According to the Montana Department of Revenue, about 22,300 Montana taxpayers reported a combined $105.4 million in exempt tipped income in 2021. If that income were to have been taxed at 5.9%, those taxpayers would have paid a combined $6.2 million more in taxes, or $279 more per taxpayer, on average.

As the bill was debated on the Senate floor in April 2021, sponsor Sen. Greg Hertz, R-Polson, argued that it isn’t fair to let waiters and waitresses, for example, take their tip earnings home without paying state income taxes while colleagues who are compensated entirely on a wage basis do pay.

“It’s just not fair — it makes no sense for these individuals to not have to pay their fair share of taxes on just a particular type of income that they get,” Hertz said.

Democrats pushed to keep the exemption, saying it is unfair to increase taxes on workers who are in many cases scraping to get by.

“We’re talking about our lowest-income Montanans here,” said then-Senate Minority Leader Jill Cohenour, D-East Helena.

The broader bill, which Hertz described as an effort to make it simpler to file Montana income taxes by minimizing the differences between state and federal tax codes, ultimately passed the Legislature with support from nearly all Republicans and opposition from nearly all Democrats.

Montana remains one of seven states that doesn’t credit tip income against its minimum wage, according to the Pew Research Center, meaning restaurants and other service businesses can’t pay tipped workers less than minimum wage if tips make up the difference. While the state’s tight labor market has put pressure on many employers to increase their pay above minimum wage in recent years, Montana’s current legal minimum wage is $10.30 an hour.

Kulczyk Case Set To Go To Trial On June 5th In Glasgow

Posted (Friday, January 19th 2024)

District Court Judge Yvonne Laird has set a trial date for a Glasgow man who is facing 2 counts of Sexual Abuse of a Child in State District Court.

Ronald Kulczyk will take his case to trial with the start date set on June 5th at the Valley County Courthouse.

On December 30th, 2022, Kulczyk was charged with 2 counts of Sexual Abuse of a Child by Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen.

In April of 2023, Kulczyk and his attorney Jeremy Yellin filed a motion to dismiss the felony charges. The defendant and his attorney argued that the statute in which he was charged is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad as applied to him. He also argued that the state's decision to bring two separate charges violate the Montana Constitution and the United States Constitution.

On December 20th, Judge Laird dismissed both arguments made by Kulczyk and his attorney.

With the dismissal of the motion, the case against Kulczyk will now proceed to trial on June 5th.

Fischer Files For Valley County Commissioner

Posted (Thursday, January 18th 2024)

Filing for political office in Montana opened last week and will continue until Monday, March 11th.

On the local level, Shelly Bryan has completed the paperwork to run for another term as Valley County Clerk of District Court.

Jerald "Juice" Fischer this week filed paperwork to be a candidate for Valley County Commissioner. Fischer is the only candidate to have completed the paperwork and will be on the ballot for the June Primary Election.

Mary Armstrong, who is the incumbent Commissioner, told Kltz/Mix-93 that she will retire from Valley County when her term ends on December 31st of this year.

Area Schools Report Threats Of Attack Made By Email

Posted (Wednesday, January 17th 2024)

Area schools including Glasgow and Nashua reported receiving emails sent to employees regarding the threat of attack against the schools. According to Glasgow Superintendent Wade Sundby, the emails were sent by an individual representing a terror organization in the Middle East.

Sundby has been in contact with law enforcement and the Glasgow Police Department determined the message was a hoax. School in Glasgow and Nashua will go as scheduled on Wednesday.

According to news reports across Montana, the message was sent to many schools in Montana.

Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer had this message:

The Valley County Sheriff's Office and Glasgow Police Department have been made aware of two bomb threats made to local schools in Valley County. These threats have been made to school administrators across the state. In cooperation with the Montana Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, thee threats are found to be a mass email hoax with no level of credibility.

Here is the message sent by Glasgow Superintendent Wade Sundby:

Glasgow School District Families, at 9:15 PM we received reports of emails sent to employees regarding attacks to our schools by an individual representing a terror organization in the Middle East.
This message has been sent to across the state. The Glasgow Police Department has determined that this message is a hoax. Normal school tomorrow.

Glasgow City Council Notes

Posted (Wednesday, January 17th 2024)

The Glasgow City Council met in regular session on January 16th.

Action items approved by the City Council:

Passed 2nd reading of an ordinance that would lower the age from 21 to 18 for those employed by the Glasgow Police Department.

Hired a new officer for the Glasgow Police Department. Monica Vines previously served as the Daniels County Sheriff and will begin work with the GPD.

Appointed Jerald "Juice" Fischer to the Glasgow Police Commission for a three-year term.

Approved a resolution appointing Bryon Messig as a Fireman with the GFD for a probationary period of 6 months.

Valley County high school seniors: Hi-Line Sportsmen scholarship applications available

Posted (Tuesday, January 16th 2024)

High school seniors across Valley County are encouraged to check with their guidance counselors for information about and applications for the annual Hi-Line Sportsmen Memorial Scholarships. Over the past nine years, the conservation group has awarded over $23,000 to the county’s graduating seniors.

Multiple sizable scholarships will again be awarded at the conservation group’s annual banquet, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 24 at Glasgow’s St. Raphael’s Catholic Church parish center gymnasium.

The scholarships honor the memory of the late Barb Marsh and Mark Jackson, both longtime supporters of the community and local youth. To memorialize their commitment to the community, each year Barb’s partner, Joe Younkin, and Mark’s wife, Karen Jackson, sponsor a special gun that is auctioned at the HLS banquet. Proceeds from last year’s commemorative guns are tapped for scholarships for this year’s recipients.

All Valley County high school seniors are eligible to apply for the scholarships, which are designed to aid in recipients’ pursuit of a college or trade-school degree. Application materials are available from career counselors at these county high schools: Glasgow, Nashua, Opheim, Hinsdale, Frazer, and Luster Christian. Deadline to receive applications is Thursday, Feb. 8.

In keeping with the wildlife-conservation mission of Hi-Line Sportsmen, scholarship applicants must possess a current Montana Conservation License, and submit a copy of the license with their application. Other considerations are a short essay in which applicants discuss their interest in hunting and community service as well as submission of two personal letters of recommendation.

Scholarship winners will be announced at the conservation group’s annual fundraising banquet on Feb. 24, during which additional memorial guns will be auctioned to provide funds for next year’s scholarships.

Over the past nine years, HLS has awarded a total of $23,500 to 22 Valley County seniors headed for additional education, whether technical and trade schools or 2- or 4-year universities.

For details about eligibility and other scholarship details, students are encouraged to visit with career counselors at their schools, or applicants can call Jenn Jackson at 263-7339 or email jennjenn910@gmail.com.

For information on the Feb. 24 banquet, contact a Hi-Line Sportsmen member or visit the group’s Facebook page. The banquet raises funds for local wildlife conservation, outdoor recreation, youth events, and to support our hunting heritage.

Glasgow City Council To Meet Tuesday

Posted (Tuesday, January 16th 2024)

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

Weather Disturbance Could Bring Accumulating Snow To Region

Posted (Tuesday, January 16th 2024)

National Weather Service Release:

A winter weather system moves through the region tonight. Through Thursday, areas south of a line from Malta, Glasgow, and Wibaux will see accumulating snow of 2-4 inches, and areas in southern Phillips, western Garfield, and Petroleum Counties with up to 4-7 inches. If traveling, make sure to use extra caution and delay travel if possible.

Local Little Christmas Winners Announced By Glasgow Chamber Of Commerce

Posted (Tuesday, January 16th 2024)

The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the Local Little Christmas promotion on Live Under the Big Sky today.

Twelve winners were announced splitting $2025 in gift certificates and chamber big bucks.

The Local Little Christmas promotion awards shoppers for shopping locally. For every $100 you spend at participating businesses you receive one entry into the Local Little Christmas giveaway. The receipts needed to be dated November 20-December 31st, 2023.

57 merchants participated and their were 1650 entries totaling $165,500 in spending locally during the Christmas season.

The 12 lucky winners may pick up their prize packages at the Chamber Office in Glasgow.

Here are the winners:

Sue Kinzell
Maureen Piersak
Roberta Barstad
Donnie Elletson
Eric and Jayme Seyfert
Karen Fauth
Sandy Maczka
Kathy Bell
Janae Simpson
Sara Fauth
Aileen Olk
Dede Skolrud (Grand Prize Winner)

MDT Proposing To Resurface Eleven Miles Of Highway 2 Near Saco

Posted (Tuesday, January 16th 2024)

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) would like to announce and invite the public to comment on a proposal to resurface about 11 miles of US Highway 2 (US 2). The project begins at Bowdoin Road and extends east, ending near Stevens Street in Saco.

Proposed work includes milling the existing surface, applying a new overlay, and finishing with a seal and cover (chip seal), upgraded pavement markings, signage, rumble strips, bridge deck repair, and guardrail. Rehabilitation or replacement of culverts in poor condition throughout the project area will also occur. Taylor Street, located next to and parallel with US 2 in Saco, will receive new surfacing and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) upgrades. The purpose of the project is to extend the service life of the pavement, enhance roadway safety features, and reduce maintenance costs.

Construction will be scheduled depending on completion of design and availability of funds. No new right-of-way or utility relocations will be needed.

Partnering with the community is an important part of properly planning for future projects. MDT welcomes the public to provide ideas and comments on the proposed project. Comments may be submitted online at www.mdt.mt.gov/contact/comment-form.aspx or in writing to Montana Department of Transportation, Glendive office, PO Box 890, Glendive, MT 59330-0890. Please note that comments are for project UPN 10365000.

The public is encouraged to contact Glendive District Preconstruction Engineer Jim Frank at 406-345-8214 or Project Design Engineer Joy Fleming at 406-406-345-8221 with questions or comments about the project.

Montana Lottery News Including A $12k Winner In Wolf Point

Posted (Tuesday, January 16th 2024)

HELENA – The Montana Lottery today released sports wagering data for the week ending January 13th. Sports Bet Montana is Montana's sports wagering product.

Handle: $1,421,639
Payout: $1,375,377
Gross Gaming Revenue: $46,262
Sales Agent Commissions: $42,600

The top three sports by percent of total handle were:

Football (60%)
Basketball (32%)
Hockey (4%)

The Montana Lottery’s sports wagering product, Sports Bet Montana, launched after legislation passed in 2019 became law.

The Montana Lottery has awarded $164,406 in high-tier prizes since January 8.

A high-tier prize is any prize of $600 or more. Winners of $5,000 or more are listed below and on our website.

A Fort Benton winner, playing Mega Super Hot 7’s, claimed their prize of $77,777 on January 9. The winning ticket was purchased at the Joyco in Fort Benton.

A Townsend winner, playing Big Sky Bonus, claimed their prize of $60,359 on January 11. The winning ticket was purchased at the Bob’s Supermarket in Townsend.

A Wolf Point winner, playing Doubling Red Bingo, claimed their prize of $12,000 on January 9. The winning ticket was purchased at the Town Pump of Wolf Point on 401 Cascade.

The Montana Lottery was created by a citizen's referendum in 1986. Since then, it has paid over $853 million in prizes and returned approximately $320 million to the State of Montana and $90 million in sales agent commissions.

Former Valley County Sheriff's Deputy Named Deputy Of The Year In Yellowstone County

Posted (Monday, January 15th 2024)

A notice from the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office noted that a former Valley County Sheriff's Deputy was named Deputy of the Year in Yellowstone County.

Matt Remmich is a native of Hinsdale and spent over 7 years with the Valley County Sheriff's Office including time as Chief Deputy. Remmich served with the VCSO until 2018.

Remmich currently serves as a Corporal with the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office.

Congratulations to the following for receiving the 2023 annual awards for the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office.

Commander of the Year (YCSO): LT Frank Fritz
Commander of the Year (YCDF): SGT Dan Rickett
Deputy of the Year: Corporal Matt Remmich
Detention Officer of the Year: Officer Brooke Miller
Reserve Deputy of the Year: Billy Neale
Daily Operational Support Staff of the Year (YCSO): Nikki Olson
Daily Operational Support Staff of the Year (YCDF): Anja Silvesan

2024 Political Season Underway

Posted (Monday, January 15th 2024)

The first day to file for political office for the 2024 election season started January 11th.

2024 will be a busy election season with many statewide offices on the ballot including Senator, Congress and Governor.

Locally, there is a County Commission seat up for election and Valley County Clerk of Court is on the ballot.

Shelly Bryan, the current Clerk of Court has filed for reelection. Valley County Commissioner Mary Armstrong told Kltz/Mix-93 that she will not be running for reelection meaning there is a open seat on the commission.

On the legislative level, all 100 seats in the Montana House of Representatives and 25 seats in the Montana Senate are on the ballot this year.

Term limits and redistricting will change the look of the 2025 Legislature. Locally, State Senator Mike Lang and Representative Casey Knudsen are both term limited in their respective positions.

Filing for Senate District #15 is Rhonda Knudsen a Republican from Culbertson.

Filing for House District #28 is Eric Albus a Republican from Hinsdale.

Filing for House District 29 is Miles Knudsen a Republican from Culbertson.

Filing For House District #31 is Lance Fourstar a Democrat from Wolf Point.

Montana Snowpack At Record-Low Levels

Posted (Thursday, January 11th 2024)

Snowpack in many areas of Montana is at record-low levels to start 2024, and above normal precipitation is needed through the rest of the winter in order to get the state back in line with median levels, according to state and federal forecasters.

The statewide snowpack sat at 4.7 inches of snow water equivalent as of Wednesday, which is 0.8 inches below the lowest average snowpack seen since 1991 statewide, according to data from the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. That is also more than 3 inches below the median snowpack for Jan. 10 since 1991.

While a multi-day blast of Arctic air will bring below-zero temperatures across the state for the next several days, and a few inches of snow, particularly in western Montana, forecasters said in a report released on Jan. 1 that most mountain ranges’ snowpack was only about 30 to 60% of normal for this time of year, and an ongoing lack of precipitation could have dire consequences for the ski industry this winter and water supply moving into the summer.

“There are 3-4 months remaining in the normal snowpack accumulation season. Current snow water equivalent deficits are generally about 2-4 inches below normal, with several upper elevation locations in Montana having deficits of about 7-9 inches,” forecasters wrote in the monthly Montana Water Supply Outlook Report produced by NRCS. “It would take a major change in what the last couple months brought for weather, but the current deficit could be recovered in a couple large storms.”

While 92% of Western data sites that measure snow were below median levels as of last weekend, Montana, northern Wyoming and parts of Idaho have seen the worst of it so far.

“Very little precipitation fell over the past 30 days, and temperatures were 3-8 °F above normal. At lower-elevation stations, what little snow was present melted during the long stretch of dry and warm weather,” NOAA forecasters said in a report released Wednesday. “Significant snowfall is in the forecast over the next week, which will help to improve conditions but likely will not erase the seasonal deficits.”

In the Jan. 1 report, forecasters noted that Montana has seen other years that had low snowpacks to start January, most recently in 2016 and 2017. The report noted that in 2017, the southwest Montana snowpack recovered by the spring because of record-high snowfall in February. But they cautioned that 2017 seemed like a bit of an outlier.

“The snowpack wasn’t quite as low as it currently is and to rely on record high precipitation isn’t ideal,” the forecasters wrote. “Winter weather needs to arrive soon so the snowpack can recover. The further winter progresses with below normal precipitation, the harder it will become to make up from a snowpack deficit.”

After a cold and heavy snowstorm in October hit most of the western half of Montana, temperatures have been above normal and precipitation below normal in the months since, except for a wet bout in northwest Montana in November and December. While east of the Continental Divide, the river basins have held onto the snow from the October storm, most of the areas west of the Divide were not so lucky.

“Currently 14 low-elevation SNOTEL sites and Snow Courses are snow free in Montana and its northern Wyoming river basins and about 110 are reporting their lowest snowpack or second lowest snowpack on record,” NRCS forecasters wrote in the Jan. 1 report.

Soil moistures are at or below normal in most of Montana as well, and nearly all of the state west of the Continental Divide is now experiencing moderate drought conditions.

This winter’s El Niño has performed about as expected in Montana, with above-average temperatures and below-normal precipitation so far. The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting below-to-nearly normal temperatures and normal precipitation for the next 1-2 weeks, before warming back up in the 3-4 week outlook.

“Needless to say, seasonally normal temperatures and well above normal precipitation would be welcomed across the entire region,” forecasters said earlier this month.

Meanwhile, several Montana ski areas, including Discovery and Showdown, have been partnering with other local ski areas that do not have enough snow to open to allow passholders to come ski at their mountains until the snow starts falling.

In addition to the winter recreation that brings in millions to Montana each year, this winter’s snowpack is likely to have major ramifications on drought that has plagued western Montana in recent years as well as on water levels and temperatures in Montana’s river basins.

That is particularly the case in the Jefferson basin, where studies are underway to figure out why trout are dying in record numbers and streamflows have been lower than normal, and in northwest Montana, where a fast-melting snowpack led to record low levels at Flathead Lake this year and political turmoil.

Glasgow BPA Students Compete At Regionals In Lambert, Montana

Posted (Thursday, January 11th 2024)

BIG shout out to the following GHS Business Professionals of America (BPA) students for placing in the following competitions at Regionals in Lambert, MT. They will be able to move on to State competitions in March!

#1 Connor Whitmer
#4 Daniel Berry
#9 Rowen Kloker

#2 Abigail Kulczyk/Emmah Mix/Riley Evenson Glasoe

#1 Connor Whitmer
#5 Rowen Kloker
#6 James Seekins

#2 Connor Whitmer

#2 Daniel Berry
#5 Kolbi Ross
#6 Riley Evenson Glasoe
#9 Riley Clampitt
#12 Kyler Whitman
#13 Gabriel Munroe

#2 Daniel Berry
#14 Rowen Kloker
#16 Connor Whitmer
#17 Kyler Whitman

#2 Daniel Berry
#14 Rowen Kloker

#3 Daniel Berry
#12 Gabe Monroe

#3 Gabe Monroe

#5 Daniel Berry
#7 Connor Whitmer
#9 Harley Edwards

#2 Daniel Berry
#16 Alexys Whitmeyer
#17 Mary Dykema

#2 Mary Dykema

#2 Harley Edwards
#4 Alexys Wittmeyer

#1 Rowen Kloker
#2 Connor Whitmer
#8 Mary Dykema

#11 Alexys Wittmeyer
#12 Harley Edwards

#2 Emmah Mix

#6 Connor Whitmer

#10 Eli Feezell

#4 Drew Simensen

#3 Kolbi Ross

#3 Connor Whitmer
#7 Rowen Kloker
#8 Kyler Whitman

#1 Tanae Baker

#5 Niyoka Harris

#4 Rowen Kloker
#6 Connor Whitmer
#7 Mary Dykema

#5 Drew Simensen

#1 Mary Dykema
#4 Connor Whitmer

#1 Daniel Berry
#10 Connor Whitmer

#6 Rowen Kloker

#3 Rowen Kloker
#4 Connor Whitmer
#5 James Seekins
#12 Kyler Whitman

#4 Laynee Simpson
#6 Kolbi Ross
#12 Kyler Whitman

#5 Harley Edwards
#6 Kyler Whitman

#1 Daniel Berry

National Weather Service Releases Wind Chill Chart

Posted (Thursday, January 11th 2024)

The National Weather Service has released a NWS Wind Chill chart that includes the amount of time before frostbite sets in on exposed skin.

With wind chill temperatures expected to drop to 40 below zero this weekend this is a helpful resource if you need to be outside.

Preferred Location For Glasgow Skatepark Now Hoyt Park

Posted (Thursday, January 11th 2024)

The location for the Siding 45 Skatepark appears to be Hoyt Park after a work session of the Glasgow City Council on Wednesday.

Members of the Siding 45 Skatepark Committee met with the Glasgow City Council to work out a location for the skatepark. The committee is offering to donate to the City of Glasgow a $300,000 professionally designed and built concrete skatepark. The park will be owned and insured by the City of Glasgow.

The preferred location for the committee was Bundy Park near the Glasgow Irle Elementary School but that ran into opposition from residents in the Bundy Park area. Members of the Glasgow City Council were hearing the concerns from the residents and didn't fully support the skatepark located at Bundy Park.

But at the meeting on Wednesday, members of the City Council offered up the location of Hoyt Park next to the Glasgow Civic Center. The skatepark would be located behind the current Glasgow Swimming Pool with 12,500 square feet of property behind the pool.

The Skatepark Committee had concerns about construction coinciding with the planned new swimming pool which construction will begin this year. The Skatepark Committee has plans to start construction on the skate park in March of this year.

City Council members said there should be no problems or concerns with construction of both a skatepark and swimming pool.

Supporters of the skate park said there is plenty of space behind the pool for a skate park, which would create a fun, active park with lots of activities.

The City Council told the supporters of the skate park they would need to get approval from the Army Corps of Engineers because the park would be in close proximity to the levee protecting the city from Milk River flooding.

No official vote was taken by the city council but the consensus from the council and supporters of the skate park is that the park will be built at Hoyt Park behind the Glasgow Swimming Pool.

Arctic Air Rushes Into Northeast Montana Dropping Temperatures Drastically

Posted (Wednesday, January 10th 2024)

Temperatures will fall throughout the day today into tonight as arctic air rushes into northeast Montana. Isolated snow is expected across the area today.

A new wave of snow is expected to come Thursday night and Friday morning with a stronger cold front. Rough totals are expected to be anywhere between a trace and 3 inches.

Wind chill concerns will hit maximum Saturday as cold air and light winds make conditions hazardous outside for exposed skin.

A slow warm up is expected Sunday through early next week with highs above zero for most areas arriving Tuesday. Wind chill hazards including frostbite will be the main threat over the next 7 days. Dress warmly and limit your time outside, especially on Saturday.

Candidate Filing For Political Offices Opens Thursday

Posted (Wednesday, January 10th 2024)

Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen and the Secretary of State's Office will open the 2024 candidate filing period on Thursday, January 11, 2024, at 8 a.m.

"Our office looks forward to serving candidates from across Montana," said Secretary Jacobsen. "It's an honor to assist candidates during this exciting time as they prepare to represent their constituents and fellow Montanans."

For more information about candidate filing, visit the "Candidate Filing" page on the Secretary of State's website. Montana's 2024 election calendars are also available online.

First Pediatric Influenza Death for 2023-24 Season Confirmed in Montana

Posted (Wednesday, January 10th 2024)

The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) is reporting Tuesday the untimely death of a Big Horn County resident under the age of 18 years due to influenza.

DPHHS confirms that this is the 11th influenza-related death in Montana, as of January 5, 2024, and the first pediatric death of the 2023-2024 influenza season.

In Montana, the last flu-related pediatric death occurred during the 2022-2023 influenza season when one person under the age of 18 died.

Montana is currently experiencing widespread influenza activity with cases and outbreaks reported in 49 of the 56 counties (88%).

Montana reported 5,759 confirmed cases of influenza and 304 influenza-related hospitalizations between October 1, 2023, and December 30, 2023.

COVID-19 is also circulating widely in the state. Between October 1, 2023, and December 30, 2023, 9,094 COVID-19 cases have been reported, including 530 hospitalizations and 55 deaths. Montanans of all age groups have been getting ill due to COVID-19; however, individuals over the age of 60 years have higher rates of hospitalization and death due to COVID-19.

The number of people ill due to respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continues to increase across the state.

Vaccination remains the best form of protection against serious outcomes of these diseases, such as hospitalization or death due to infection. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems and other chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease) are at greatest risk for hospitalization and death due to infection, but healthy children and adults can still experience severe disease.

Vaccines are available for COVID-19, influenza, pneumococcal pneumonia, and RSV. To find vaccine locations, visit vaccines.gov, or contact your local health department or health care provider.

• Updated COVID-19 vaccines are available for Montanans ages six months and older.
• Several flu vaccines are available for Montanans ages 6 months and older. One dose offers protection for the full season (October – June).
• Pneumococcal vaccines help protect against a deadly form of bacterial pneumonia, which is the most serious form of pneumococcal disease. Older persons and those with chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, existing lung disease) are at higher risk for contracting this disease and experiencing serious health outcomes.
• Adults 60 years and older are eligible to receive RSV vaccines after discussion with their health care provider.
• Infants and young children under 24 months old may be eligible to receive a monoclonal antibody product that offers protection from severe RSV infection.

Montanans are encouraged to consult with a health care provider to determine their recommended vaccine options heading into this respiratory season.
In addition to vaccination, Montanans can take everyday precautions to help stop the spread of respiratory illness. Those precautions include:

• Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness. If you have a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours until after the fever is gone without the use of fever reducing medication, unless you need to seek medical care.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol in it.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

• Cover your mouth with your inner elbow or a disposable tissue anytime you cough or sneeze.

• Avoid contact with people experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness.

Symptoms of COVID-19, flu, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses are similar and may include a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body aches, and low energy. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult with your medical provider. Your provider may recommend that you get tested to confirm a diagnosis. Antiviral medications are available for certain individuals with influenza or COVID-19 infections.

Anyone experiencing symptoms such as trouble breathing, shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new onset of confusion or disorientation, inability to stay awake, or other severe or concerning symptoms should seek immediate medical evaluation.

Man Admits To Making Threats To Blow Up Dodson School

Posted (Wednesday, January 10th 2024)

A man accused of making threats to blow up the Dodson school admitted to a hoax crime on Jan. 8, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said today.

Jacob Edwin Wilson, a transient, pleaded guilty to false information and hoaxes as charged in an indictment. Wilson faces a maximum of five 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. The court set sentencing for May 9. Wilson was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that on Aug. 29, 2023, Wilson called both the 911 emergency number in Blaine County 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 because school was in session that day, the superintendent and principle evacuated students and staff from the school on buses to a nearby church parking lot. First responders from the Phillips County Sheriff’s Office, 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 in the school.

In the meantime, 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. The 911 operators traced the call to the individual’s residence, which was located on the Fort Belknap Reservation. Officers located Wilson and arrested him.

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

The Glasgow School Board To Meet Tonight At 6pm

Posted (Wednesday, January 10th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will hold their regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 6 p.m., in the District Board Room, 229 7th St. North, Glasgow.

Glasgow City Council Meets For Skatepark Work Session Tonight

Posted (Wednesday, January 10th 2024)

The Glasgow City Council will have a work session tonight to discuss proposed skate park location options. The meeting will begin at 5pm in the city council chambers at the Glasgow Civic Center.

Marijuana Sales In Valley County Total $148,204 In December

Posted (Tuesday, January 9th 2024)

The Montana Department of Revenue is reporting $148,204 in marijuana sales in Valley County in December of 2023. $116,63 in adult-use sales and $31,541 in medical sales.

The State of Montana reported $26.8 million in marijuana sales in December and since marijuana became legal in Montana in January of 2022 sales have totaled over $622 million with $99.8 million in taxes generated.

Valley County collects a 3% tax on marijuana and that is distributed between Valley County, City of Glasgow, Town of Nashua, Town of Opheim and Town of Fort Peck.

Arctic Cold Front To Hit Eastern Montana Bringing Coldest Temperatures Of The Season

Posted (Monday, January 8th 2024)

An arctic cold front will slam into Eastern Montana Wednesday morning.

Bitter cold temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills will develop as temperatures fall during the day on Wednesday.

The bitter cold temperatures and wind chill will continue through the weekend. The coldest temperatures are expected between Thursday night and Saturday night.

Four Arrested And Charged As Result Of Stolen Vehicle And Chase That Ended In Valley County

Posted (Sunday, January 7th 2024)

Four people were arrested as the result of that incident that took place in Valley County late Saturday and Sunday morning. Those arrested include:

Jesse Hank Baker age 23. Baker was charged with speeding, reckless driving, fleeing from or eluding peace officer, criminal endangerment and theft.

Clayton Montclair age 25. Montclair was charged with theft and fleeing from or eluding peace officer.

Talissa Montclair age 45. Montclair was charged with theft and fleeing from or eluding peace officer.

Hunter Jade Lambert age 25. Lambert was charged with criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, theft, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and fleeing from or eluding peace officer.

1010 on 1.7.24 LAST UPDATE: The fourth and final suspect has been apprehended. Thank you again for your assistance.

0943 on 1.7.24 ADDITIONAL UPDATE: We have received word that there is a fourth suspect who is still at large. The suspect is an adult male, wearing a white backpack with tattoos on his hands. Suspect was last seen in the Porcupine Creek on Roosevelt Trail Road. Attempts to apprehend this suspect are still on-going at this time. Reminder, please be vigilant and should you see this suspect, please do not approach as we are still considering him armed and dangerous. Please call 911 or 406-228-4333 option #2 if you have any information.

0849 on 1.7.24 UPDATE: All three suspects have been apprehended. We wish to thank you for your assistance in this matter.


Last night a report was received that three suspects stole a vehicle from Culbertson. Law Enforcement initiated a pursuit which came into Valley County. A Valley County Deputy continued the pursuit across the Porcupine Creek onto Roosevelt Trail where the three suspects fled on foot. Law Enforcement has continued to attempt to find the three subjects and have currently deployed a drone using thermal imaging but at this time the suspects are still at large.

Based on the information we have received the suspects are believed to be young adults, two males and one female. We have no further description on the suspects at this time.

Anyone who may have buildings or vehicles with keys in them please be vigilant. It is imperative that you DO NOT APPROACH THESE SUSPECTS, based on the information we have been given, they are considered armed and dangerous. Please call law enforcement either at 911 or 406-228-4333 option 2 if you have any information or see anything suspicious.

Glasgow Man Sentenced In District Court On Felony Sex Charge

Posted (Friday, January 5th 2024)

Scott Cook of Glasgow was sentenced by Judge Yvonne Laird this week to 15 years in prison with 10 years suspended on a charge of Felony Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

Cook was arrested in Glasgow on December 2nd of 2022 when he encouraged a female he believed to be 14 years of age to meet with him for the purposes of engaging in sexual intercourse.

Cook had reached a plea agreement late last year and Judge Laird followed the terms of the plea agreement in her sentencing. Cook will serve time in the Montana Prison System and will also receive credit for 127 days already served in jail. He will also have to complete the first phase of sexual offender treatment before he is released from prison.

Cook was remanded to the Department of Corrections after the sentencing.

A defendant in another case, Jacob Renner of Glasgow, has also reached a plea agreement with the Valley County Attorney. Renner's case is similar to Scott Cook's in that he was originally charged with 2 counts of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

Renner was arrested on October 4th of 2022 in Glasgow after he encouraged a female he believed to be 14 years of age to meet with him for purposes of engaging in sexual intercourse in Glasgow.

The plea agreement with Renner states that he will plead guilty to one count of Felony Sexual Abuse of a Minor and be sentenced to the Montana State Prison for 15 years with 10 years suspended. He will also be required to complete phase 1 of sex offender treatment programming prior to his release.

Jacob Renner will be sentenced by Judge Laird on March 4th.

$30,000 Montana Lottery Scratch Ticket Sold In Glasgow

Posted (Friday, January 5th 2024)

The Montana Lottery has awarded $2,091,455 in high-tier prizes since December 26.

A high-tier prize is any prize of $600 or more. Winners of $5,000 or more are listed below and on our website.

A Great Falls winner, playing Montana Millionaire, claimed their prize of $1,000,000 on January 2. The winning ticket was purchased at the Heidelberg Lounge & Casino in Great Falls.

A Kalispell winner, playing Montana Millionaire, claimed their prize of $1,000,000 on January 2. The winning ticket was purchased at the Town Pump of Kalispell.

A Billings winner, playing Crossword Wizard, claimed their prize of $30,000 on December 29. The winning ticket was purchased at the Westend Convenience in Glasgow.

A Pablo winner, playing Shake A Day, claimed their prize of $19,255 on January 2. The winning ticket was purchased at the Broadwater Doc & Eddy’s Liquor Store.

A Billings winner, playing MT Slots, claimed their prize of $5,511 on December 28. The winning ticket was purchased at the Asian Nites Casino in Billings.

A Victor winner, playing $3 Buck Buck Doe, claimed their prize of $5,000 on December 29. The winning ticket was purchased at the Lucky Fox in Florence.

The Montana Lottery was created by a citizen's referendum in 1986. Since then, it has paid over $853 million in prizes and returned approximately $320 million to the State of Montana and $90 million in sales agent commissions.

Dry conditions expected to persist for the Missouri River Basin

Posted (Friday, January 5th 2024)

For the 2023 calendar year, Missouri River Basin runoff above Sioux City, Iowa totaled 30.4 million acre-feet (MAF), 118% of average. Despite the above average runoff last year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting below-average runoff into the mainstem reservoir system this year. For 2024, runoff in the Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa is forecast to be 20.1 MAF, 78% of average.

The 2024 forecast is based on current runoff trends, drier than normal soil conditions, and below-average plains and mountain snowpack. At the start of the 2024 runoff season, which typically begins around March 1, the total volume of water stored in the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System (System) is expected to be 53.3 MAF, 2.8 MAF below the top of the carryover multiple use zone. The System is designed to use the water contained within the carryover multiple use zone to support the eight Congressionally authorized purposes during extended droughts. Those purposes are flood control, navigation, water supply, irrigation, hydropower, recreation, water quality control, and fish and wildlife.

“Releases from Gavins Point Dam were reduced to the winter release rate of 13,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) on Dec. 9 and are forecast to remain at that level through the winter season. While releases are 1,000 cfs higher than last year, winter releases remain low in order to conserve water in the System,” said John Remus, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

There is enough water in the river for all water supply needs. Access to the water remains the responsibility of the facility owners and operators. “Weather and river conditions continue to be monitored and releases from Gavins Point Dam will be adjusted to the extent practical to help mitigate any negative effects of the cold weather. We know the importance of our operations to water supply,” added Remus.

Mountain snowpack in the upper Missouri River Basin is accumulating at below-average rates. The January 1, mountain snowpack in the Fort Peck reach was 47% of average, while the mountain snowpack in the Fort Peck to Garrison reach was 62% of average. More than half the mountain snowfall typically occurs from January 1 to mid-April, and normally peaks near Apr. 17.

Fort Peck Dam reservoir forecast:

Average releases past month – 5,300 cfs
Current release rate – 5,000 cfs
Forecast average release rate – 5,000 cfs
End-of-December reservoir level – 2229.4 feet
Forecast end-of-January reservoir level – 2229.6 feet
Notes: Releases will remain at 5,000 cfs in January and February.

Wind power set to overtake coal generation capacity in Montana

Posted (Thursday, January 4th 2024)

Story credit to Montana Free Press:

Montana has long been an energy exporter, sending power generated with Montana-based resources to markets in other states. Between its snowmelt-fed rivers, plentiful coal reserves and abundant wind, the state has ample energy resources to power utilities here and elsewhere.

Since Units 3 and 4 of the Colstrip power plant came online in the mid-1980s, coal has comfortably claimed the state’s No. 2 spot behind hydroelectric power for generating capacity. But in recent years, wind has been on the rise as coal-fired facilities shutter and investment in Montana’s sizable wind resource — the state is ranked the No. 2 in the nation for wind potential — accelerates.

According to an MTFP analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, “nameplate” wind generation capacity is likely to outstrip “nameplate” coal capacity when the Clearwater Wind East and Clearwater Wind II projects under construction east of Billings are complete.

Glenn McGrath, a senior analyst with the EIA, said in an interview that the rise of wind and decline of coal nationally are largely a function of economics. Coal plants are “getting chased out of the market” by cheaper resources, he said — namely combined-cycle natural gas plants and renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

“It’s either a problem or not a problem, depending on your perspective,” McGrath said. “If I was a coal plant, I probably wouldn’t be happy about it.”

According to preliminary data from the EIA, conventional steam coal plants provided 1,631 megawatts of “nameplate capacity” in October. Nameplate capacity refers to the amount of power a plant can produce under ideal conditions, i.e., when the water, steam or wind spinning a turbine is running at an optimal level.

During the same period, wind capacity in Montana clocked in at 1,479 megawatts. The Clearwater projects, owned by Florida-based NextEra Energy, are slated to add another 311 megawatts when they come fully online, for a total of 1,790 megawatts.

The additional generation capacity and NextEra wind turbines that are already online will deliver up to 775 megawatts of power, according to a spokesperson. Much of that power will go to utilities like Portland General Electric and Western Washington’s Puget Sound Energy, out-of-state utilities that are planning to exit the Colstrip coal plant by the end of the decade but retain an ownership stake in the high-voltage transmission lines leading out of it.

Much of the power produced by Montana hydroelectric dams, coal plants and wind farms goes to utilities in Washington and Oregon via high-voltage transmission lines.

Climate-oriented laws in Washington and Oregon directing utilities to divest from coal have played a large role in Montana’s transition from fossil fuel energy sources to wind-generated power, as have the retirements of Colstrip’s first two units in 2020.

Montana Department of Environmental Quality spokesperson Moira Davin noted that nameplate capacity is a helpful metric, but it’s not the only one worth highlighting. In an email to Montana Free Press, Davin wrote that coal has a higher “capacity factor,” meaning coal plants can hit their maximum generating capacity more reliably. ­

“The actual energy output of coal fired power plants remains significantly higher than wind output, given that coal plants generally operate at a higher capacity factor than wind farms,” Davin wrote. “In 2022, coal fired generators produced approximately 43% of the electricity generated in-state, whereas wind generated approximately 15% of the total energy.”

Still, energy developers have big plans for Montana wind. Nearly all of the Montana-based projects included on EIA’s planning list are wind-based. That includes Beaver Creek Wind, a four-phase Stillwater County project that pairs wind turbines with batteries. The first phase of that project is under construction and is expected to come online in 2025, delivering up to 248 megawatts of energy to Puget Sound Energy and an estimated $150 million to Stillwater County’s tax rolls. The Jawbone wind project, an 80-megawatt wind farm under construction near Harlowton, is also on EIA’s list of planned projects.

McGrath, the EIA analyst, added that although onshore wind projects are very competitive price-wise, they face challenges related to a mismatch between supply, demand and transmission. In situations where there is more wind-generated power than demand for it — or transmission available to move it — wind farm managers can be asked to “curtail” their generation. That comes to the detriment of their bottom line, McGrath said.

Max Greene with renewable advocacy organization Renewable Northwest said in an interview the whole region is transmission-constrained, and that will have a bearing on a variety of power projects moving forward.

Greene added that many utilities in Washington and Oregon are in “constant procurement mode.” Between its low cost relative to other power sources and financial incentives for carbon-free projects incorporated into the Inflation Reduction Act, Greene said he anticipates there will be continued interest in Montana wind projects, provided that the transmission to move the resulting electricity falls into place.

“Most of that east-to-west transmission is pretty well subscribed at this point,” he said. “We’re going to have to look at what opportunities will be out there for other ways to develop this important resource.”

Warm Weather and Lack of Precipitation Results in a Slow Start to Winter

Posted (Thursday, January 4th 2024)

Warm temperatures and lack of precipitation over the last couple months have resulted in a bleak start to the seasonal snowpack in Montana and northern Wyoming river basins,” said Eric Larson, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Water Supply Specialist. Water year 2024 began with a mid-October snowstorm that brought about two to five inches of precipitation to part of northern Wyoming and southern Montana. Totals from that storm were less across the rest of Montana, particularly in the northwest where river basins such as the Kootenai, Lower Clark Fork, Flathead, and Saint Mary only received less than an inch of precipitation and less than half of their normal October precipitation.

“Precipitation was largely absent during November and December, except in northwest Montana which received reasonable precipitation during the first half of November and December,” said Larson. Two-month precipitation in that region was about 75% to 100% of normal. SNOTEL sites in the northern Whitefish Mountain Range received about 130% of normal precipitation over the two months. Across the rest of the region November and December precipitation was about 40% to 60% of normal, except in the Bighorn Mountains and Helena area where precipitation was about 35% to 45% of normal.

Water year precipitation currently ranges from about 55% to 80% of normal on the west side of the Continental Divide to about 100% to 115% of normal in the Bighorn, Powder, and Tongue River basins, “which is only above normal because of the large mid-October storm,” said Larson. Water year precipitation has been lowest in the Sun, Teton, and Marias River basins at about 50% of normal. Central, southcentral, and southwest Montana have received about 65% to 80% of normal precipitation since October 1.

As of January 1, 2024, Montana’s seasonal snowpack ranges from about 25% of normal in Sun, Teton, and Marias River basins to about 75% of normal in the Bighorn, with most basins reporting less than 60% of normal snowpack conditions. The maximum snow depth across the region is currently about 36 to 38 inches in Glacier and Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas, which is about 10 to 12 inches of snow water equivalent and is 60% to 80% of normal. In addition, “about 110 of 175 NRCS snow stations measured on January 1 are reporting their lowest or second lowest snowpack on record. Some of those records date back nearly 90 years,” said Larson.

There are three to four months remaining in the normal snowpack accumulation season. Current snowpack deficits are generally about two to four inches, with a couple exceptions at upper elevations in Montana where deficits are closer to seven to nine inches of snow water equivalent below normal. “It would take a major change in what the last couple months brought for weather, but it’s still early and current deficits could be recovered in a couple large storms,” said Larson. Regardless winter weather needs to arrive soon. The further winter progresses with below normal precipitation, the more challenging it will become to make up from a lack of snow.

District Court Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss Felony Charges Against Ronald Kulczyk

Posted (Wednesday, January 3rd 2024)

District Court Judge Yvonne Laird has dismissed a motion put forth by Ronald Kulczyk to dismiss 2 felony charges filed against him by the Valley County Attorney.

On December 30th, 2022, Kulczyk was charged with 2 counts of Sexual Abuse of a Child by Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen.

In April, Kulczyk and his attorney Jeremy Yellin filed a motion to dismiss the felony charges. The defendant and his attorney argued that the statute in which he was charged is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad as applied to him. He also argued that the state's decision to bring two separate charges violate the Montana Constitution and the United States Constitution.

On December 20th, Judge Laird dismissed both arguments made by Kulczyk and his attorney.

With the dismissal of the motion, the case against Kulczyk will now proceed and Judge Laird has ordered a conference on January 16th to set a date for trial.

2023 Climate Summary For Glasgow

Posted (Tuesday, January 2nd 2024)

The National Weather Service office in Glasgow has released its climatological report for 2023. Records date back to 1893.

The hottest temperature recorded in Glasgow is 113, set back on July 31, 1900. Last year's highest temp was 107 degrees.

The coldest temperature recorded in Glasgow is -59, recorded on February 15, 1936. The coldest this past year was -18 degrees.

We received 11.90 inches of moisture in 2023, 1.54 inches below the average. The record is 22.96 inches from 2011.

Glasgow has 83.4 inches of snow in calendar year 2011; this year, we received 46.5 inches, about 6 inches above normal.

January and February were near-normal months, though January was drier than normal. March 2023 finished with 18.3 inches of snow, the third snowiest March on record. It was 14.8 degrees colder than normal, and was even colder than February!

April had large temperature swings, and May was warm and wet, with 3.89 inches of precipitation. It was the 14th wettest May on record.

The next 4 months were warmer and drier than normal, allowing some drought impacts to return.

October was cooler and snowier than normal. The storm system that brought 14 inches of snow from October 24-26 set a record for the greatest 3-day snowfall total in October, passing the 2008 record of 13.6 inches. It was the snowiest October on record.

With the global El Niño climate pattern in place, November and December were warmer and drier than normal; December was the warmest on record.

There were 17 daily temperature records broken in 2023; 15 were warm ones and 2 were cold temperature records.