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Latest Local News

Supreme Court Rules Ballots Must Be Returned By 8pm Election Day

Thursday, May 28th 2020

The Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday said the deadline for receiving mailed, absentee ballots in Montana’s primary election will remain at 8 p.m. Election Day, next Tuesday – thus blocking a district judge’s order that said the ballots need only be postmarked by Tuesday.

The 5-2 decision said the high court will consider an appeal of last Friday’s ruling by District Judge Don Harris of Billings, but that the current deadline law will remain for the primary election.

The court majority noted that ballots mailed to 600,000 Montana voters in early May, in Montana’s first statewide all-mail election, had instructions that said the ballots must be returned by 8 p.m. Election Day to be counted.

Because of those instructions, “we conclude that there is good cause to maintain the election-day deadline for this primary election in order to avoid any voter confusion and disruption of election administration,” Justice Beth Baker wrote for the majority.

Secretary of State Corey Stapleton had asked the court to block Harris’s order, while it heard his appeal of the case.

Attorney General Tim Fox also asked the court this week to take control of the case and rule quickly, before the primary election.

The court, however, rejected that latter request and said it would allow a regular appeal of Harris’s order to proceed and decide the case before the general election in November.

In a statement Wednesday, Fox said he's pleased that the Supreme Court maintained Montana's "long-standing" ballot receipt deadline of 8 p.m. on Election Day, and noted that some counties are using prepaid return envelopes that are not postmarked.

"Ten days before an election is not an appropriate time to upend an important and widely known voting deadline," he said.

Montana is holding an all-mail-ballot election because of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, closing polling stations on June 2 to avoid putting voters or election judges in danger.

The Montana Democratic Party and others filed suit in March, challenging the law that said mailed absentee ballots must be received by election day to be counted and saying they need only to be post-marked by that date.

Last Friday, Harris granted a request by the plaintiffs to block the current law while the case is decided, saying ballots must be counted if they are post-marked by June 2.

Stapleton and Fox, both Republicans, quickly appealed Harris’ order to the Supreme Court and asked the court to block the order.

Chief Justice Mike McGrath and Justice Dirk Sandefur dissented from Wednesday’s order, saying they would not have blocked it.

“Given the fundamental right of voting, I would not grant a stay,” McGrath wrote. “Allowing ballots to be counted in the same manner as military ballots is not a significant distinction from the current system.”

Ballots cast by Montanans in the military and overseas can be received until June 8 and still be counted.

Glasgow Police Department Arrests Two Individuals And Charge With Felonies

Wednesday, May 27th 2020

On May 24, 2020, at 10:18 p.m. the Glasgow Police Department received a report of an assault that had happened at a bar. During the course of the investigation, an officer located the suspect a short distance from the bar walking. When the officer attempted to place the suspect under arrest, she ignored the officer’s commands and started to fight with the officer. As a result of the incident, Amiee Lynn Bryson, 38, was arrested and remanded to the Valley County Jail for Assault, Resisting Arrest and Assault on a Peace Officer (Felony). The officer later received medical treatment for injuries received during the incident.

On May 25, 2020, at 11:02 p.m. the Glasgow Police Department and the Valley County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report made by a female stating her husband had just threatened her with a gun in the parking lot of a downtown business. During the investigation, the female stated that she and her husband had gotten into an argument. The husband then took out a gun and pointed it at the female. The male identified as Scott Myron Gunderman, 41, was arrested and remanded to the Valley County Jail for Partner or Family Member Assault and Assault with a Weapon (Felony).

These two incidents are still under investigation but believed to be closely related.

GHS Educational Trust Application Reminder

Wednesday, May 27th 2020

Glasgow High School graduates who are attending college or trade school are reminded that the application deadline for financial aid from the Glasgow High School Educational Trust is July 1, 2020. All students who have completed one year of college or one semester of trade school, are in good academic standing, are attending full-time, and are showing progress toward the completion of a degree may apply. Students enrolled in on-line or correspondence programs full-time (12 credit minimum) also may be eligible. The application is available on the trust’s website at www.ghsedutrust.org. The site also lists certain other requirements that must be met, such as the inclusion of a student’s signed Financial Aid Acceptance letter (FAFSA) if the student applied for financial aid. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the trust will accept reference letters submitted electronically as long as they include the reference’s email address for verification. Also, if students have difficulty getting paper copies of their official transcripts sent to them, they may request that the institution send them directly by email to daniander@nemont.net.

Applications must be complete and submitted on time to be considered. Students should contact Danielle Anderson at daniander@nemont.net or at 406-230-0153 if they have any questions.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust was established by the GHS Class of 1938. Since its inception in 1964, it has awarded a total of $2,325,000.00 to 736 different students. Students who receive grants may reapply for up to a total of eight semesters if they continue to meet the eligibility requirements. Now, more than ever, with so many families facing unprecedented economic pressures, the costs of higher education escalating each year, and student debt at all-time highs, all eligible students should apply for this generous opportunity made possible through the contributions of hundreds of faithful trust supporters.


Unemployment Rate In Valley County Surges To 7.5% In April

Sunday, May 24th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced Montana’s unemployment rate was at 11.3% in April due to impacts created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montana unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 14.7% in April.

“Montana took early and aggressive action to combat the virus and save lives, allowing us to be one of the first states in the nation prepared to reopen,” Governor Bullock said. “While we are not immune to the significant economic challenges facing the nation, we are working every day to safely reopen and ensure Montana stays on a path to long-term economic recovery. There is still a lot of work to do, and we are dedicated to maintaining a healthy workforce, while continuing to provide immediate economic relief for Montana families and businesses who are hurting.”

Montana’s unemployment rate for the month of April was captured on April 12 during the stay at home order. Total employment, which includes agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, decreased by 55,766 jobs in April. Since the unemployment rate was calculated in April, a significant number of Montanans are returning to work. Nearly 18,000 Montanans have already returned to work since the state began reopening.

DLI has issued $376 million in unemployment benefits since March 16 to ensure Montanans can continue to provide for their families during the emergency.

Montana was among the first states in the nation to begin processing claims for those who are self-employed. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has worked diligently to process an unprecedented number of unemployment insurance claims and implement new programs issued by the federal government to provide an extra $600 a week benefit, to extend the length of time individuals can receive benefits, and offering unemployment insurance for self-employed and other individuals typically not eligible for benefits.

Leisure activities, which includes hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and other entertainment and recreation businesses, was the hardest hit, with losses approaching nearly half of their total employment and exceeding 32,000 jobs. All industries posted losses except the federal government.

The most up-to-date claims and economic information, including county impacts, can be found at DLI’s job tracking website at lmi.mt.gov/home/job-tracking.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) fell 0.8% in April, with the sharpest decrease in gasoline prices. Prices for apparel, airline fares, lodging away from home, and vehicle insurance also contributed to the decline. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, fell by 0.4%.
###

Unemployment figures are seasonally-adjusted. Seasonally-adjusted numbers remove the effects of events that follow a more or less regular month-to-month pattern each year. These adjustments make non-seasonal patterns easier to identify. The margin of error for the unemployment rate is plus or minus 0.6 percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level. All questions relating to the calculation of unemployment rates should be directed to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry’s Research and Analysis Bureau at 406-444-4100.

The next Labor Situation Report for the month of May will be released on Friday, June 19.

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INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET
Visit our website at www.lmi.mt.gov for additional information and analysis, including industry employment levels, background on the unemployment rate, and wage rates by occupation.



* COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES ***
The unemployment rate and ranking for each of Montana’s 56 counties is provided below for your convenience. County unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted and should be compared to the unadjusted statewide unemployment rate of 11.9%.

Unemployment Rate Employment
Rank County Current Unemployment Rate Change over Year Current Employment Job Change from Last Year
1 Liberty 2.8 0.8 918 -31
2 McCone 3 1.4 871 -57
2 Petroleum 3 0.1 255 -15
4 Carter 3.2 0.3 606 -5
5 Daniels 4.3 2.9 799 -71
6 Garfield 4.4 2.8 689 -35
7 Treasure 4.6 1.9 310 -15
8 Powder River 5.3 3.6 879 -43
9 Blaine 5.4 2.2 2,225 -190
10 Fallon 5.9 4.4 1,483 -178
11 Chouteau 6 3.6 2,214 -145
12 Prairie 6.2 2.8 411 -43
13 Golden Valley 6.8 2.7 328 -24
13 Sweet Grass 6.8 4 1,588 -125
15 Teton 6.9 3.8 2,431 -223
16 Beaverhead 7.2 4.3 4,395 -499
17 Dawson 7.3 5.2 3,919 -603
18 Judith Basin 7.4 4.6 951 59
18 Pondera 7.4 3.7 2,331 -232
20 Valley 7.5 4.7 3,525 -385
21 Rosebud 7.7 3 3,238 -367
22 Phillips 7.8 3.9 1,665 -148
23 Meagher 7.9 4.5 833 -85
24 Roosevelt 8 3.3 3,730 -592
25 Toole 8.1 6.3 1,821 -232
26 Custer 8.3 5.7 5,127 -724
26 Madison 8.3 5.8 4,497 -460
28 Fergus 8.4 5.6 5,088 -822
28 Sheridan 8.4 6.6 1,546 -174
30 Hill 8.7 5.4 6,432 -876
31 Stillwater 9.4 6.4 4,685 -277
32 Jefferson 9.5 6.4 4,842 -626
33 Musselshell 9.6 5.9 1,933 -249
34 Lake 9.7 5.7 11,221 -1,268
35 Powell 10.2 6.1 2,455 -339
36 Deer Lodge 10.5 7.3 4,265 -602
36 Wibaux 10.5 7.4 394 -42
38 Big Horn 10.6 3 3,896 -621
39 Lewis and Clark 10.7 8 30,309 -4,196
39 Ravalli 10.7 6.8 17,330 -1,982
41 Yellowstone 11.1 8.2 70,945 -8,324
42 Broadwater 11.2 7.4 2,182 -260
43 Richland 11.3 8.7 4,856 -790
44 Cascade 12.1 9 32,481 -4,313
44 Wheatland 12.1 9.1 717 -34
46 Gallatin 12.3 10.2 58,770 -6,817
47 Carbon 12.4 9.1 4,813 -478
48 Glacier 13 5.4 4,507 -535
49 Missoula 13.1 10 56,316 -5,316
50 Sanders 13.8 7.5 4,062 -440
51 Silver Bow 13.9 10.2 14,254 -2,197
52 Granite 16.4 10 1,434 -155
53 Flathead 16.6 11.6 39,811 -4,811
54 Park 16.9 13.5 7,493 -839
55 Mineral 18.3 12.7 1,441 -203
56 Lincoln 18.5 10.8 6,459 -892

Judge: Ballots Postmarked On Or Before June 2 Will Be Counted

Sunday, May 24th 2020

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

With the state's primary election just over a week away, a Montana judge has temporarily suspended a state law that says absentee ballots must be received in a county election office by 8 p.m. on election day in order to be counted.

“All absentee ballots postmarked on or before election day shall be counted, if otherwise valid,” District Judge Donald Harris wrote Friday. The ballots must be received by the Monday after election day, which is the deadline for receipt of federal write-in ballots for military and overseas voters.

Montana’s June 2 primary is being held by mail because of the coronavirus.

The disparity and inconsistency in how long it takes the U.S. Postal Service to deliver a mailed ballot is a significant burden to absentee voters, Harris said. Delivery times around the state can vary by as much as two weeks, and people who mail their ballot before this year's June 2 primary have no guarantee it will be delivered in time to be counted, he said.

Harris’ ruling came in a challenge filed by former state Sen. Robyn Driscoll of Billings, the Montana Democratic Party and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the law firm Perkins Coie LLP said.

Harris also granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of a voter-approved referendum called the Ballot Interference Protection Act, which limits one person to turning in a maximum of six absentee ballots and asks that they fill out a form saying whose ballots they are returning.


District Judge Jessica Fehr on Wednesday had issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the same ballot collection law in a challenge filed on behalf of Native American tribes and two get-out-the-vote groups. She had set a hearing for May 29 to consider a preliminary injunction.

The Democratic groups challenged both the absentee ballot deadline and the Ballot Interference Protection Act. Harris found the laws would significantly suppress voter turnout by disproportionately burdening voters who are Native American, elderly, disabled, poor, parents working low-wage jobs, college students, first-time voters and those who have historically relied on ballot collection services.

The judge also noted the ballot collection and receipt deadline “will only exacerbate voter suppression because of the COVID-19 pandemic” because the collection law eliminates the use of secure ballot drop boxes and the receipt deadline could lead later voters to turn in ballots in person, possibly causing lines that would violate the social distancing recommendations meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The state argued the laws are needed to prevent voter fraud and ensure quick and accurate results.

However, Harris said, the state presented no evidence of any absentee ballot collection fraud in Montana and noted that even an election clerk characterized it as the “Voter Suppression Act of 2018.”

Montana election clerks count federal write-in ballots for military and overseas votes until the Monday after election day and can count absentee ballots postmarked by June 2, as long as they are received by June 8, and still "accurately and timely certify election results without disenfranchising the thousands of eligible voters whose ballots are now ignored under the receipt deadline,” Harris wrote.

Governor Bullock Signs Proclamations Honoring Victims Of Coronavirus And Memorial Day Holiday

Sunday, May 24th 2020

I hereby order all flags flown in the state of Montana to be displayed at half-staff until sunset on Sunday, May 24th, 2020 out of respect for the victims of the novel coronavirus pandemic and their families.

Together, we mourn every life that has been claimed by the novel coronavirus in Montana and around the Nation. To date, 93,061 Americans have lost their lives to this horrific disease and it continues to claim more than 1,000 American lives each day. Each of those deaths leaves behind countless loved ones who mourn the loss of a parent, sibling, child, or friend.

My heart and the hearts of all Montanans go out especially to the 16 Montanans whose deaths were caused by COVID-19 and to their families and friends.

Dated this 22nd day of May 2020.

STEVE BULLOCK
Governor

Governor’s Proclamation

I hereby order all flags flown in the
state of Montana to be displayed at half-staff on Monday,
May 25th, 2020 until noon and then raised to full-staff in honor of Memorial Day.

On this day, we mourn the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms and liberties we cherish. Though we are in mourning, at noon the flag is raised to full-staff to honor the heroes still among us and symbolize that we are a living nation—resilient when faced with loss.


Dated this 22nd day of May 2020.

STEVE BULLOCK
Governor

TC Energy Completes First Piece Of Keystone XL Pipeline In Montana

Friday, May 22nd 2020

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

A Canadian company has built the first piece of the disputed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline across the U.S. border and started work on labor camps in Montana and South Dakota. But it has not resolved a courtroom setback that would make it hard to finish the $8 billion project.

The 1,200-mile pipeline from Alberta to Nebraska was stalled for much of the past decade before President Donald Trump was elected and began trying to push it through to completion.

Environmentalists and Native American tribes are bitterly opposed to the line because of worries over oil spills and that burning the fuel would make climate change worse.

Work finally started in April at the border crossing in remote northern Montana. That 1.2-mile section has now been completed except for some site reclamation activity, TC Energy spokeswoman Sara Rabern said.

The Calgary-based company has started site work for labor camps near Baker, Montana, and Philip, South Dakota, but it has not set a date to occupy them.

Montana officials have not yet received plans requested from the company to make sure it can prevent the camps from spreading the coronavirus, said Erin Loranger, a spokesperson for Montana Gov. Steve Bullock. The state expects to receive the plans before the camps are occupied, she said.

The company's three-year construction timeline was put into doubt following a May 15 ruling from a federal judge in Montana that cancelled a key permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The permit is needed to build the line across hundreds of streams, wetlands and other water bodies along its route.


The ruling affected all new oil and gas pipeline construction and was appealed by the Trump administration and TC Energy.

"We look forward to a resolution that allows us to advance our construction in 2020 without any further delay," Rabern said.

The work in South Dakota began amid high tensions between South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and two Native American tribes that have been outspoken opponents of the pipeline.

The governor is trying to force two tribes — the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes and the Oglala Sioux Tribe — to remove coronavirus checkpoints they have set up on federal and state highways in an attempt to keep infections away from their reservations.

The highways that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes are monitoring connect to several potential construction sites of the proposed pipeline route, which skirts tribal lands. The tribe has a policy of not allowing vehicles from any oil company on the reservation and with the checkpoints set up, they would stop those vehicles.

Noem initially threatened to sue the tribes. This week she appealed to the White House to investigate the matter.

Members of several tribes in Montana and North Dakota traveled to the border crossing for a small protest against the pipeline earlier this month, said Angeline Cheek, an activist from Montana's Fort Peck Tribe and organizer for the ACLU of Montana.

Large protests against Keystone XL had been anticipated following the months-long protests, sometimes violent, against another oil pipeline project several years ago near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on the North Dakota-South Dakota state line.

Cheek said TC Energy appeared to be taking advantage of the pandemic "to run all over us" while public attention was focused on the virus.

National Weather Service Confirms Tornado Touchdown Near Whatley On May 20th

Friday, May 22nd 2020

Whately Tornado...

Rating: EF-0
Estimated Peak Wind: 80 mph
Path Length: 0.8 miles
Path Width: 50 yards
Fatalities: 0
Injuries: 0

Survey Summary: A brief tornado touched down just southeast
of Whately on the south side of Highway 2 around 9:17 PM on May 20th.
The first building it hit was a metal barn where the barn
doors were blown in and part of the roof was then lifted
with metal roofing thrown around 100 yards. A house next
to the barn lost some siding and a Cottonwood tree was
snapped.

A second house was hit on the north side of Highway 2. The
house suffered minor roof damage were part of the metal roof was
peeled back. A south facing carport next to the house had the
roof completely ripped off with most of it being thrown to the
north. Some roofing was also found to the east of the house.
An aluminum boat located between the house and carport was moved
about 100 feet to the southwest. There was nothing but open
field beyond this house, but radar suggests it lifted shortly
after and was on the ground for no more than five minutes.

EF Scale: The Enhanced Fujita Scale classifies tornadoes into the
following categories:

EF0...Weak......65 to 85 mph
EF1...Weak......86 to 110 mph
EF2...Strong....111 to 135 mph
EF3...Strong....136 to 165 mph
EF4...Violent...166 to 200 mph
EF5...Violent...>200 mph

Reduced Hours Will Continue At Opheim Port Of Entry

Friday, May 22nd 2020

SWEETGRASS, Mont. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to operate six ports of entry in Montana and one in Idaho at reduced hours due an agreement signed by Canada and the United States to extend the “essential only” travel restrictions through at least June 22, or until the administration lifts the current travel restrictions.

With the “essential only” travel restrictions first imposed March 21 in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, cross-border travel significantly declined. Reducing the hours of operations at ports of entry along both land borders allows CBP to continue to provide service to these communities as the agency works to keep its employees safe from exposure and community spread.

The affected ports of entry include: Raymond, Opheim, Morgan, Turner, Del Bonita and Piegan in Montana, and Porthill in Idaho. The listed ports will continue to operate on the following temporary reduced hours:

• Raymond, Montana POE: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week

• Opheim, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.

• Morgan, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.

• Turner, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.

• Del Bonita, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.

• Piegan, Montana POE: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

• Porthill, Idaho POE: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

Additionally, CBP delayed the resumption of the summer hours schedule at the port of Wild Horse, Montana. Wild Horse will continue to operate on its’ winter hours schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

The opening of the seasonal port of Chief Mountain, Montana has also been delayed due to the current travel restrictions.

“Non-essential” travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature.

The United States and Canada recognize it is critical they preserve supply chains between both countries. These supply chains ensure that food, fuel, and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border. Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this new measure. Americans and Canadians also cross the land border every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons, and that travel will not be impacted.

California Man Admits Sending Methamphetamine Hidden In Peanut Butter Jar To Brockton, Montana

Friday, May 22nd 2020

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

A California man on Thursday admitted to sending almost two pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a peanut butter jar and a piñata that were bound for the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Don Fred Baldwin, 47, of Merced, California, pleaded guilty Thursday in the U.S. District Court of Montana to a distribution of meth charge after mailing the drug in a package last November.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris accepted the plea and set sentencing for Sept. 17. Baldwin was detained, according to a press release from U.S. Attorney for Montana Kurt Alme.

Baldwin faces a minimum mandatory 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and at least five years of supervised release.

Baldwin mailed a package on Nov. 7, 2019, from California to Brockton, located on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Law enforcement officers intercepted the package, obtained a search warrant and found meth hidden inside a jar of peanut butter and a piñata, according to court documents. The amount of meth totaled 776 grams, which is about 1.7 pounds and the equivalent of approximately 6,208 doses.

Baldwin told law enforcement when he was interviewed that he mailed the meth. He clarified later that he provided the meth to another person who mailed it to Montana.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassady Adams is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Fort Peck Tribal Criminal Investigators and the Merced, California, Police Department.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, violent crime in Montana increased by 36% from 2013 to 2018. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

American Legion Urges Public To Honer Country's Fallen By Lighting Of Candles Of Remembrance For Memorial Day

Friday, May 22nd 2020

-- American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford is urging the public to honor the country’s fallen military heroes at dusk on Memorial Day by lighting candles of remembrance and placing them on front porches.

“As we continue to follow stay-at-home guidance during the coronavirus pandemic, we must not fail to remember the men and women who fought for our freedoms,” Oxford said. “Memorial Day observances around the country and beyond are certain to be much different this year, but we can show our respects by lighting and displaying candles to remind everyone why we must never forget the meaning of this sacred holiday.”

The commander also suggests that families make signs expressing their gratitude for military sacrifice, photograph friends and family holding up the signs and sharing the images on social media. “We can remind everyone by showing our candles and sharing our messages that no matter the circumstances, we will never forget those who are no longer among us.”

“You can light a red candle to remember those who shed their blood in combat and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. A white candle can remind us all of the POWs and MIAs who are not yet home from wartime service. A blue candle can symbolize our eternal love of those who did come home but have since left us. Any way you choose, light a candle of remembrance, or three, for the fallen to let the world know that Memorial Day matters deeply to The American Legion, even if ceremonies and public observances are significantly changed this year.”

Stories and images from such Memorial Day observances can be posted on legion.org/legiontown as well as social media channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, tagging The American Legion National Headquarters. Participants are asked to use the hashtag #candlesofhonor so images and messages can be aggregated in social media.

The American Legion, www.legion.org, is the nation’s largest and most influential veterans organization.

Mainwaring Back In Custody In Billings

Thursday, May 21st 2020

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

A man who walked away from the Alpha House prerelease center was apprehended Tuesday.

Jonathan Mainwaring was booked into the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on suspicion of felony escape.

Mainwaring was one of two men who walked away from the Billings prerelease center Monday night. He had been at the prerelease center as part of his sentence for a 1999 homicide in Glasgow for which he received a mitigated deliberate homicide conviction. Mainwaring was 16 at the time of the crime.

He had been paroled before, but his parole was revoked in July 2019 for absconding.

Details on the circumstances under which Mainwaring was taken back into custody were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.

Alternatives Inc., the company that operates Alpha House, issued a brief press release at 1:16 p.m. Wednesday. The press release said that Mainwaring "was apprehended/self-surrendered on May 19, 2020, and is currently in custody."

Sundby, Enebo and McGee Included As Members of Task Force To Provide Feedback And Guidance On How To Reopen The 2020-2021 School Year

Thursday, May 21st 2020


HELENA— Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen announced today that she has formed two task forces to provide feedback and guidance on how to open the 2020-2021 school year this fall in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Montana families and educators are looking forward to the new school year this fall with optimism,” Superintendent Arntzen said Wednesday. “As state leaders, we must support them. The Montana Learn and Montana Flex 2020 Task Forces will bring together students, parents, educators, and state and local leaders to provide families and schools with the resources that they need to succeed in the coming school year.”

The Montana Learn 2020 Task Force is made up of students, parents, educators, and community partners to assess what resources families and educators need to be successful in learning and teaching in distance or mixed-delivery models.

Local members of the Montana Learn 2020 Task Force:

Laurie Enebo – Glasgow Middle School Social Studies Teacher
Kristina McGee – Glasgow High School English Teacher


The Montana Flex 2020 Task Force is made up primarily of school administrators, education associations, and the Board of Public Education to review state and federal rules and statutes that need updating to provide schools with more flexibility.

Glasgow Superintendent Wade Sundby is a member of the Montana Flex 2020 Task Force.

The two committees will meet four times through Zoom in May and June to draft guidance to the Office of Public Instruction and education partners. The Montana School Safety Advisory Committee will review recommendations related to health and safety then provide guidance related to creating safe learning conditions for students and teachers.

Ultimately, the OPI will issue guidance this summer for a comprehensive approach to opening the new school year in the fall. Task force meetings will be recorded through Zoom and posted along with additional information on the OPI’s website. Members of the public can send questions and comments to OPICOVID19@mt.gov.

A list of task force members and additional information can be found at: http://opi.mt.gov/Families-Students/School-Topics/Re-Opening-Montana-Schools-2020


Concrete Drop Structure Fails On St. Mary Canal

Wednesday, May 20th 2020

Story From https://www.krtv.com/news/montana-and-regional-news/concrete-drop-structure-fails-on-the-st-mary-canal

GREAT FALLS — The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said in a news release that on Sunday, May 17, a concrete drop structure failed on the Bureau of Reclamation’s Milk River Project at St. Mary Canal, northwest of Browning on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

The agency says that when the damage was reported, the canal was flowing approximately 200 cubic-feet-per-second (CFS) which is about 1/3 of the canal’s total capacity of approximately 600 CFS. No injuries were reported, and canal flows have been shut off.


This concrete drop structure is the last of five drop structures that use gravity and siphons to convey water through the 29-mile long St. Mary Canal to the North Fork of the Milk River. Water is diverted into the canal from the St. Mary River, near Glacier National Park.

The Bureau of Reclamation, along with stakeholders of the Milk River Project, are assessing the situation to determine the impacts to the water users and options for restoring canal operation. Currently, Fresno Dam and Nelson Reservoir are both at full storage levels and will be used to provide continued irrigation deliveries. Once a plan and schedule for the repair of the canal are developed, water deliveries will be assessed and communicated.

The majority of construction of the Milk River Project was completed between 1906 and 1940. The canal was constructed between 1907 and 1915 and is the primary water source for eight irrigation districts tribes, contract pumpers, and several municipalities downstream of Havre serving approximately 110,000 acres of land.

The agency website provides the following information:

The St. Mary's Diversion Dam, located on the St. Mary River 0.75 downstream from Lower St. Mary Lake, is a 6-foot-high concrete weir and sluiceway with a length of 198 feet and a total volume of 1,200 cubic yards. The St. Mary Canal begins at the St. Mary Diversion Dam on the west side of St. Mary River and crosses the river 9.5 miles below the diversion through a two-barrel steel-plate siphon 90 inches in diameter and 3,600 feet in length. Eight miles below the St. Mary crossing a second two-barrel steel-plate siphon, 78 inches in diameter and 1,405 feet long, conveys the water across Hall's Coulee. A series of five large concrete drops at the lower end of the 29-mile canal provide a total fall of 214 feet to the point where the water is discharged into North Fork Milk River. Design capacity of the canal is 850 cubic feet per second.

Valley County Refuse Board Votes To Assess Fees On People Who Use Refuse Containers Incorrectly

Wednesday, May 20th 2020

The Valley County Refuse Board voted to assess fees on people who use landfill containers incorrectly. The Refuse District is limiting the use of the container sites to the dumping of household garbage only. If a load contains any items other than daily household garbage, the scale and landfill must be used to dispose of those items. If a load weighs less than 400 pounds, a flat rate of $5.00 per load will be assessed. Anything in excess of that amount will be charged based upon tonnage.

Individuals not using the scale when required will be assessed fees according to the following schedule adopted by the Refuse District:

Pickup, single axle trailer- $100.00 per load
Tandem axle trailer, single axle farm truck- $200.00 per load
Tandem axle farm truck, triple axle trailer- $400.00 per load

The fees for not using the container sites properly will begin on June 1st.

After notice of a fee being assessed is given, failure to pay in a timely manner it may be deemed a theft of services and will be referred to the Valley County Sheriff's Office and could result in prosecution.

The following are not considered household garbage items:
Railroad Ties
Construction Material
Shingles/Roofing Material
Tires

Landfill hours are Monday through Friday from 7am to 4pm and Saturdays from 8am to 12pm.

If you have any questions you may contact the Refuse District at 228-4730 or call landfill manager, Brian Austin at 263-2879.

Glasgow Man Convicted Of Deliberate Homicide Walks Away From Pre-Release Center In Billings

Tuesday, May 19th 2020

Story from Billings Gazette: https://billingsgazette.com/news/local/billings-prerelease-walkaway-was-serving-sentence-for-1999-homicide/article_8153b129-6271-5e4c-86b9-c9d66306878f.html

One of two men who walked away from the Alpha House pre-release center in Billings Monday night was serving a mitigated deliberate homicide sentence out of Valley County for the killing of a man in 1999.

The man who walked away has been identified by the pre-release center as Jonathan Mainwaring. In 1999 Mainwaring killed Randy Detienne. Mainwaring beat Detienne to death after finding him in bed with Mainwaring's mother in Glasgow, The Gazette previously reported.

Mainwaring and another man, Jeramey Hill, both walked away from the Alpha House pre-release center in Billings on Monday night roughly within 15 minutes of each other, according to escape notification emails sent out Monday night by Alternatives Inc., the company which operates Alpha House.

Mainwaring was convicted of mitigated deliberate homicide for the 1999 killing of Detienne. Under Montana law, mitigated deliberate homicide occurs when "the person purposely or knowingly causes the death of another human being or purposely or knowingly causes the death of a fetus of another with knowledge that the woman is pregnant but does so under the influence of extreme mental or emotional stress for which there is reasonable explanation or excuse."

At the time of the crime, Mainwaring was 16. He was sentenced in 2005 to 30 years after violating the terms of his probation.

Hill is one of two men who walked away Monday night from the Alpha House pre-release center in Billings. Hill was serving the remainder of a sentence for burglary.

Alternatives stated that Hill walked away at approximately 9:17 p.m. and that Mainwaring walked away at approximately 9:32 p.m. Monday night.

The public should not approach either man, who could face a 10 year sentence for felony escape, according to Alternatives Inc. Information concerning either man's whereabouts should be reported to law enforcement immediately.

Mainwaring was also sentenced in Yellowstone County in 2005 for assault on a minor according to the Montana Department of Corrections. Gazette records show the assault on a minor conviction came after Mainwaring hit his girlfriend's 20-month-old infant hard enough to fracture the baby's skull. Mainwaring had been recently released from state custody when the assault occurred, according to Gazette records.

Hill was serving out a Cascade County burglary sentence, according to Alternatives. Hill's information page on the Montana Correctional Offender Network website shows he was convicted of burglary five times from 2014 to 2016. Four of his burglary convictions came out of Cascade County, with the fifth coming from Gallatin County.

Mainwaring arrived at Alpha House on March 3 and Hill arrived there in February.

Mainwaring is described as a Native American man standing 6 feet tall and weighing 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and was born in Glasgow.

Hill is described as a Caucasian man standing 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes and was born in Great Falls.

Governor Bullock Announces Montana Will Move To Phase Two of the Reopening Of The Big Sky Plan on June 1st

Tuesday, May 19th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced the state will move to Phase Two of the Reopening the Big Sky plan and will lift the 14-day out-of-state travel quarantine beginning June 1 as Montana continues to have the lowest number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations per capita.

“Montana has been an example for the rest of the nation in our response to this global pandemic. I have no doubt that we can continue to be that example, but only if Montanans, businesses, and visitors alike continue to take seriously the responsibility we all have in protecting others,” Governor Bullock said. “As we continue with the next phase in our reopening, our goal together as Montanans for the foreseeable future is to mitigate the spread of the virus.”

“The individual actions of Montanans have collectively made a difference. Staying 6-feet away, washing hands, wearing masks while in public, and staying home when sick, have all contributed to us being able to move forward with the plan to reopen Montana. We are at an important milestone and if each of us continues to do our part to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading, we’ll stay on the path to fully reopen Montana,” John Felton, Yellowstone County Health Officer and President/CEO of RiverStone Health, said.

“Since this COVID-19 emergency began Governor Bullock has consistently listened to city and county governments around the state as he has formulated a strategy to respond. And that strategy has worked. Thanks to Governor Bullock's leadership, Montana has escaped the tragedies other states have experienced. We are fortunate to have him at the helm as we reopen Montana. We are thankful for his commitment to ensure we will keep Montana safe during the summer months as we rebuild our economy,” Cynthia Andrus, Deputy Mayor, City of Bozeman, said.

“We are grateful for Governor Bullock’s diligence as he works to reopen Montana safely and continues to and consider the unique concerns and challenges in tribal communities including a large population of elderly Montanans and families in multi-generational households. The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council appreciate Governor Bullock has respected tribal sovereignty and decisions to put in place more restrictive measures to keep tribal communities safe and has supported our efforts to contain the virus through increased testing,” said the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council.

In consultation with public health and emergency response officials, Governor Bullock outlined the following indicators which allow Montana to move into Phase Two beginning on June 1:
• A downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period.
• The current ability to contact and trace, along with plans to add additional contact tracers to the existing workforce.
• Ensuring that health care workers have the supplies they need to treat COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
• Ramping up testing capacity to eventually meet a target of 60,000 tests a month and prioritizing testing for vulnerable Montanans and tribal communities. A total of 5,600 tests were conducted last week. Increased testing continues with sentinel testing efforts in nursing homes and assisting living facilities, testing events in tribal areas, and drive through testing being conducted at a few sites.

Under Phase Two, effective June 1, avoid gatherings in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. Groups larger than 50 people should be cancelled unless physical distancing can be maintained. It is recommended to continue to social distance in gatherings of any size.

Under Phase Two, effective June 1, restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos remains in the same operations status as Phase One, but with an increase to 75% capacity. Gyms, indoor group fitness classes, pool, and hot tubs can operate at 75% capacity and only if they can adhere to strict physical distancing and they exercise frequent sanitation protocols. Concert halls, bowling alleys, and other places of assembly may operate with reduced capacity and if they adhere to strict physical distancing guidelines.

All businesses are required to follow the social distancing and sanitation guidelines established in Phase One, and Montanans are strongly encouraged to continue sanitation practices, including hand washing and wearing masks in public places like grocery stores.

“Social distancing, wearing a cloth mask, washing your hands, and sanitizing are all part of our new normal. If not for you, do it for others, especially for the most vulnerable among us,” Governor Bullock said. “Not following these guidelines could put us in a position where we have to go backward, instead of being able to continue to move forward.”

Vulnerable Montanans should still continue to stay home when possible during Phase Two. Visitation at nursing home and assisted living facilities remains suspended except for certain compassionate care situations.

Effective June 1, the 14-day travel quarantine for out-of-state travelers and residents arriving from another state or country to Montana for non-work-related purposes will be lifted. The Montana National Guard will continue to conduct screenings in airports and train depots and refer anyone with COVID-19-related symptoms to local public health officials.

To support Montana’s destination communities, the state will assist with establishing the following protocols:
• Surveillance testing of employees.
• Enhanced contact tracing resources deployed to these areas as requested by local authorities.
• Ability to surge personal protective equipment to impacted health care systems.
• Guidelines for operation for business that see high-tourist activity.

Montana’s gradual and phased plan to reopen began on April 26 with Phase One which allowed schools, places of worship, main street and retail businesses, and restaurants, breweries, and bars to reopen under social distancing guidelines. Governor Bullock also provided additional guidance to allow gyms, movie theaters, and museums to reopen under the first phase on May 15.

Governor Bullock and his Coronavirus Task Force will continue to monitor cases closely and carefully to analyze Montana’s work to contain the virus.

The Directive and its Appendix with reopening guidelines are attached and are posted online at covid19.mt.gov.

Valley County Refuse District Expected To Start Enforcing New Landfill Rules This Week

Monday, May 18th 2020

The Valley County Refuse District is expected to approve the assessing of fees upon Valley County residents who dump items other than household garbage into container sites at the Valley County Landfill.

The new rules limit the use of the container sites to the dumping of household garbage only. If a load contains any items other than daily household garbage, the scale and landfill must be used to dispose of those items.

When a resident takes the garbage across the scale and weighs less than 400 pounds, a flat rate of $5.00 will be assessed. Anything in excess of that amount will be charged based upon tonnage.

Individuals not using the scale when required will be assessed fees according to this schedule:
Pickup, Single Axle Trailer- $100 per load
Tandem Axle Trailer, Single Axle Farm Truck- $200 per load
Tandem Axle Farm Truck, Triple Axle Trailer- $400 per load

After notice of a fee being assessed is given, failure to pay in a timely manner it may be deemed a theft of services and will be referred to the Valley County Sheriff's Office and could result in prosecution.

What is Household Garbage- It is waste which is generated in the day to day operations of a household. Solid waste comprising of garbage and rubbish (such as bottles, cans, clothing, compost, disposables, food packaging, food scraps, newspapers, magazines, yard trimmings, etc.) that originates from private houses and apartments.

The following items are not considered household garbage items:
Railroad Ties
Construction Materials
Shingles/Roofing Material
Tires

The Valley County Refuse Board will be meeting at 5pm on Tuesday to make the final decision on assessing fines on those residents who don't follow the new guidelines.

The picture accompanying this story is from the Fort Peck Container Site this weekend. A person or persons dumped this non household garbage in the container site on Sunday. Each time this happens it costs the taxpayers of Valley County because the Refuse District then has to pay to have the container dumped. The non-household garbage put in the container site should of been brought across the scale at the Valley County Landfill.

Governor Bullock Orders Flags Flown At Half-Staff On Friday

Friday, May 15th 2020

Governor’s Proclamation

I hereby order all flags flown in the State of Montana to be displayed at half-staff on Friday, May 15th, 2020 to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week.

Montana’s peace officers are dedicated public servants who work tirelessly each and every day to serve our communities. On this day, we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to protect our loved ones and the citizens of Montana.

Dated this 14th day of May 2020.

STEVE BULLOCK
Governor

Essential Items To Be Given Away Thursday Night To People Affected By Covid-19

Thursday, May 14th 2020

There will be donations of totes filled with essential items Thurs. May 14th from 4 – 7p.m. at the Glasgow Fire Department located on 3rd Ave. South. These are available for pick-up for anyone affected by the COVID-19 emergency such as seniors on fixed incomes, low-income families & anyone in need of the items in the totes.

The totes will have such items as laundry soap, dish soap, bleach, household cleaners, paper towels & hygiene items such as shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath soap as well as a first aid kit.

Please stay in your vehicle & totes will be delivered to you & please follow the marked designated pick-up line. This is made possible through generous donations from TC Energy, MARCO & various community members.

If you have any questions contact Becky Erickson at 263-8119

Glasgow School District Reaches Wage Agreement With Teachers And Certified Employees

Thursday, May 14th 2020

The Glasgow School Board voted to approve wage agreements with certified and classified staff at a board meeting on Wednesday evening.

Last Tuesday, Glasgow School District voters approved a General Fund Levy increase of $124,940.89. This money will be used in part to increase salaries for employees of the district.

The wage agreement for teachers and classified staff looks like this:

Certified :
1. One time payment of $780 per teacher
2. 3.75% increase on the base wage
3. One time payment of unspent money due to COVID savings from the 2019-20 budget. That one-time money will be using the calculations on the salary matrix as to how it will be distributed to teachers.

Classified:
1. One time payment of $365 per staff member
2. 3.75 % increase on the base wage.
3. Have the option to roll over 2 personal days into the next school year.

Incorrect Primary Election Ballots Mailed To 56 Voters In Valley County

Wednesday, May 13th 2020

Valley County and the State of Montana have identified a systemic error that has resulted in 56 primary election voters receiving an incorrect primary ballot. The 56 voters are within a limited geographic area, that includes all active voters residing along the Glasgow city limits, from Fair Street up through Kilty Drive, on the SW side of Highway 2 only.

The impacted voters will be contacted directly by the Valley County Election Office and issued a corrected ballot. None of the ballots have been counted at this time, and the issue will have no effect on the validity of the primary election.

Tester, Daines Back Bills To Aid Montana Ranchers On Meat Prices

Wednesday, May 13th 2020

Story From KTVQ.Com

https://www.ktvq.com/news/montana-news/tester-daines-back-bills-to-aid-montana-ranchers-on-meat-prices?fbclid=IwAR2MJz8yjmcTOWsnUIXI1morSo6x0jEGTsnrnwR5bjwF9Dy15towyo4hBos

Montana’s two U.S. senators are behind efforts to boost the prices paid to Montana ranchers, who’ve been hit hard by market forces during the Covid-19 crisis.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is a lead sponsor of a bill introduced Tuesday to require large meat-packers to buy at least 50 percent of cattle on the cash market – a move he says will make it harder for the packers to manipulate prices and will raise overall prices paid to feed lots and, ultimately, ranchers.

“This is something Sen. (Chuck) Grassley and I have been working on for a long time,” he said of the other lead sponsor. “There is too much consolidation in the packing industry and I think this gives (us) the ability to really moderate those prices better.”

Montana’s other senator, Republican Steve Daines, is a co-sponsor of the bill.

“As fewer cattle are sold on a negotiated cash basis, this bill will help support price discovery and increase transparency in the cattle markets and help ensure that Montana ranchers are treated fairly in the marketplace,” Daines said.

Daines, like Tester, also is on board with language to allow Montana meat processors to sell their product across state lines and reinstatement of country-of-origin labeling for meat, which was abolished in 2015.

Yet whether any of these measures advance in the Senate remains to be seen.

Tester told MTN News that he hopes bipartisan pressure on the GOP leadership can help bring these bills or language to the floor for consideration.

“This helps everybody,” he said. “This not only helps the cattleman and the small- to medium-sized feeder, in particular, in every state of the union, but it also helps the consumer. It’s about putting pressure on leadership so they’ll take it up.”

Tester said there will be a bipartisan bill this week to reinstate country-of-origin labeling for meat.

Claims from the big meat-packers that they can’t track meat from other countries when it’s processed is “a bogus argument,” he said.

“Now, more than ever before, it’s time to reinstate COOL,” Tester said. “Consumers have the right to know, and cow-calf feeders and operators have the ability to make some profit off that. …

“You can look at me; I eat a lot of meat. And if I knew it was coming from the United States versus Brazil or Argentina, I’m picking up that package that has `made in the USA’ every time.”

GNDC & Missouri River Country Tourism Local Challenge Bingo Game

Wednesday, May 13th 2020

Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC) has partnered with Missouri River Country Tourism on the “Local Challenge” to encourage Northeast Montana residents to support local businesses while practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the GNDC Local Challenge is to also encourage supporting small businesses.

GNDC Local Challenge Bingo encourages everyone to safely support local businesses at a distance in a new and creative way. Participants who complete a bingo on the 5x5 card become a “Local Champion” and can enter to win one of three Staycation Prize Packs featuring event tickets, gift cards to local establishments and a staycation in the 6 county region (Daniels, Garfield, McCone, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Valley).

Here’s how to play!
Download your bingo card on the Great Northern Development Corporation website, www.gndc.org then follow Great Northern Development on Facebook on social media for daily inspiration.
Every time you safely support local businesses in the 6 county region (Daniels, Garfield, McCone, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Valley) in the select categories through June 1, 2020 you can check a square off your bingo card. Be sure to post your purchase on social media and say “I support (name of business)”. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #GNDCLocalChallenge and challenge three friends to do the same.

Some easy ideas for the Local Challenge are ordering takeout or delivery from a local restaurant, purchasing gift cards from local retailers or restaurants online, purchasing season passes to our local attractions and museums, booking future services at salons and spas in the 6 county region (Daniels, Garfield, McCone, Roosevelt, Sheridan and Valley) — and more! The ways to support local businesses safely from your home are endless.

When you get a Bingo (5 in a row – vertical, horizontal or diagonal), you become a Local Champion and can complete the GNDC Local Challenge Bingo Contest redemption form (email info@gndc.org) and your entry will be completed. GNDC will hold a live Facebook drawing on June 1, 2020 at 5:00pm.

Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board Reschedules Community Covid-19 Testing

Wednesday, May 13th 2020

The Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board has determined that the rapid anti-body testing that was available to the Tribes did not provide the accuracy and reliability necessary to adequately serve the constituents of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Due to these issues, the schedule for Community Covid-19 testing by the Fort Peck Tribes will be rescheduled to the month of June.

The Fort Peck Tribes are working to identify alternative tests so that the Fort Peck Tribes can facilitate widely available, reliable and accurate testing for Covid-19 within the community. This includes continued collaboration with Northeast Montana Health Services, and exploring the potential use of the test available through Abbott Labs in a continuing response to the risks posed by Covid-19.

Recount In Frazer School Election Has Been Cancelled

Tuesday, May 12th 2020

The Valley County Election Administrator has told Kltz/Mix-93 News that the recount in the Frazer School Election has been cancelled.

The results of last Tuesday's election will stand with Lillie Cox and Jewel Ackerman Four Star winning 3-year terms on the Frazer School Board.


Frazer School Election Results

Trustee Election (vote for 2)

Yancy Beston-53
Lillie Cox-55
Jewel Ackerman Four Star-54
Michael Redstone-50
Brockie Standing -37

New Pipelines Including Keystone XL Need More Review, US Judge Says

Tuesday, May 12th 2020

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

A U.S. judge on Monday revised a recent court ruling that held up numerous utility projects crossing streams and wetlands, but left in place a requirement for new oil and gas pipelines to undergo further environmental review.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris means the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can again use a disputed permitting program to approve electrical lines and other utility work through streams and wetlands. Maintenance and repair work on existing pipelines also would be allowed, but not construction of new pipelines.

The Army Corps program, known as Nationwide Permit 12, was blocked by Morris last month. In a lawsuit over the Keystone XL pipeline, the judge sided with environmentalists who argued companies were using the program to skirt water protection laws and ignore the cumulative harm from thousands of stream and wetlands crossings.

But attorneys for utility industries and the government said Morris' original ruling hampered thousands of construction projects across the U.S. They urged him to reconsider.

In response, Morris agreed to limit the scope of his ruling but stopped short of a full reversal. He said the Army Corps "committed serious error" in failing to adequately consult with wildlife agencies before reauthorizing the permitting program in 2017.

"To allow the Corps to continue to authorize new oil and gas pipeline construction could seriously injure protected species and critical habitat," Morris wrote.


The Army Corps has broad jurisdiction over U.S. waterways. It uses the blanket permit to approve qualifying pipelines and other utility projects after only minimal environmental review.

State Of Montana Secures Additional COVID-19 Tests And Plans To Ramp Up Testing

Tuesday, May 12th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock Monday announced he secured 19,500 swabs and 9,000 viral transport medium that have arrived from the federal government to support the effort to continue testing symptomatic Montanans and ramp up testing to protect vulnerable Montanans in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and in tribal communities.

“As we continue on the path of reopening, it’s critical we have consistent access to supplies to identify new cases and ambitiously contact trace to remove chains of transmission and continue to contain the virus,” Governor Bullock said. “I will continue to work with the federal government and private suppliers to ensure we receive the consistent supply chain we need to reach our testing targets.”

Governor Bullock recently announced a framework to boost testing over the next several months, including a goal to eventually conduct 60,000 tests per month and prioritize testing for vulnerable Montanans in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, tribal communities, and ensure there are enough supplies to continue testing Montanans with COVID-19 related symptoms.

Last week, the state worked with nursing homes and assisted living facilities on logistics for testing and is working with facilities to schedule testing over the next several weeks.

To continue testing symptomatic Montanans and perform contact tracing and to scale up Montana’s ability to test vulnerable Montanans, Governor Bullock has consistently participated in phone calls with the nation’s governors and the President, Vice President, and Senior Administration Officials to reiterate Montana’s need for a consistent supply chain of swabs to collect samples and other supplies including viral transport medium to protect the sample during its transportation to a lab for testing.

Clarence And Charlotte Fuhrman Memorial Scholarship Now Available

Monday, May 11th 2020

College and trade school students from Valley County who have completed one year of post-high school study are encouraged to apply for the Clarence and Charlotte Fuhrman Memorial Scholarship.
To qualify, students must have completed at least one year of study at an institution of secondary education such as a university, trade school or an institution of specialized study. They must have been a resident of Valley County for the last three years, attended a Valley County high school for three years, and received a high school diploma, a home school certificate, or a GED. Information on this year’s requirements and applications are found on the Valley County Community Foundation website: www.valleycountycf.net.

Applications are due on June 19. They must be received on, or postmarked by that date to be considered. Requirements are clearly outlined on the application form. Missing information will make the application incomplete and it will not be considered.
VCCF will accept only paper copies of the applications. Complete applications include an official transcript. Please note that the coronavirus situation is making it difficult for some students to get paper copies of their transcripts. Because of this, students may request that transcripts be sent directly to vccf@valleycountycf.net.

The Fuhrmans, who farmed and ranched in the Opheim area, established the scholarship with the VCCF to benefit students from throughout the county. “The annual scholarship is a wonderful legacy to the dedication to family and community which the Fuhrmans exemplified throughout their lives,” said Doris Leader, who chairs the VCCF.
For more information, contact her at 406-228-8231.

Semi Overturns Near Saco

Friday, May 8th 2020

Traffic was down to single lane this afternoon on Highway 2 near Saco, due to an overturned semi.

The incident happened on U.S. Highway 2, three miles east of Saco. The accident occurred around noon on Friday; first responders were on scene but at this point we have no reports of serous injuries.

Reduced speeds and single lane traffic were in effect Friday afternoon until the semi could be safely removed.

Burglary At VFW Post 3107

Friday, May 8th 2020

On May 02, 2020 at around 1:45 A.M. officers with Glasgow Police Department responded to a report from a citizen in the area of Valley Drive who stated that they heard what sounded like glass breaking and a fence being drug behind a car. After arriving in the area, officers located broken liquor bottles and a hoodie on the 900 block of Valley Drive. Officers patrolled the area but were unable to located anything else out of the ordinary.

At around 11:58 A.M. that same day, the Glasgow Police Department received a report that someone had broken into VFW Post 3107, located at 1222 Highway 2 West. When an officer arrived at the Post he was able to review security camera footage of the incident.

The footage shows a male suspect, whom was wearing a hoodie matching the one found earlier, gained access by breaking a window in the rear door of the bar. Once inside the suspect took approximately $250 worth of liquor and then left.

The incident is currently under investigation and the Glasgow Police Department is attempting to locate a person of interest in the burglary.

Frazer Graduation Procedures

Friday, May 8th 2020

Frazer graduation will be held May 22nd at 6pm in the school gymnasium.

Each graduate is limited to 10 guests who will receive a ticket from the graduate themselves. You must have this ticket verified at the door to enter the school building and also be 18 years of age or older.

Frazer schools will be following strict social distancing guidelines and we are also asking everyone to wear a mask during this event. Immediately following the ceremony there will be a parade around town with the graduates for all to see.

Also RezKast Radio and Nemont may be broadcasting the ceremony for all to watch.

Recount Set For Frazer School Election

Thursday, May 7th 2020

The Valley County Election Administrator will hold an official recount in the Frazer School Election. The recount is set for May 13th. The election was very close and 3 votes separated the top 3 candidates. And just 5 votes separated the top 4 candidates.


Frazer School Election Results

Trustee Election (vote for 2)

Yancy Beston-53
Lillie Cox-55
Jewel Ackerman Four Star-54
Michael Redstone-50
Brockie Standing -37

Census Return Rates Low In Area Communities

Thursday, May 7th 2020

Story from www.krtv.com

GREAT FALLS — The 2020 Census could prove to be an especially important one for Montana, as the Treasure State is on the cusp of expanding its representation in Congress. The COVID19 pandemic threw a wrench into the Census Bureau’s operations the last few months, but there’s optimistic news this week.

After previously holding out hope for a return in early June, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday that some states will resume limited operations this week

Montana will be one of 13 states resuming update/leave operations, which is where census workers visit addresses to leave packets that contain information to help residents respond.

Update/leave is especially important for Montana’s rural areas and tribal nations. According to the bureau, more than 100,000 homes in Montana haven’t gotten their packet yet.

Despite that, the Treasure State’s self-response rate is now at 48%, up from 43% about two weeks ago.

Response rates vary among counties and cities and towns in eastern Montana:

Valley County- 29.5%
Roosevelt County- 15.8%
Phillips County- 13.6%
Daniels County- 21.5%

Glasgow- 58.7%
Fort Peck- 33.9%
Opheim- 6.6%
Nashua- 18.4%


If you have received your packet, you can use that information to respond to the census online, by-phone, or mailing in the questionnaire.

Mobile Home Taxes Due On Or Before June 1st

Thursday, May 7th 2020

First half of the 2020 Mobile Homes taxes levied and assessed are due and payable on or before 5 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, or within 30 days after the tax notice is postmarked, whichever is later and unless paid prior to that time the amount due will be delinquent and will draw interest at the rate of 5/6 of 1% per month from the time of delinquency until paid and 2% will be added to the delinquent taxes as a penalty. Taxes will be considered delinquent on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, and will be charged penalty and interest.

Second half of the 2020 Mobile Home taxes levied and assessed are due and payable on or before 5 p.m. on November 30, 2020, unless paid prior to that time the amount due will be delinquent and will draw interest at the rate of 5/6 of 1% per month from the time of delinquency until paid and 2% will be added to the delinquent taxes as a penalty. Taxes will be considered delinquent on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 and will be charged penalty and interest.

Payment may be made at the Valley County Treasurer’s Office in the Valley County Courthouse during regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, placed in the red drop-boxes outside the front and side doors of the Courthouse, or mailed to Valley County Treasurer, 501 Court Square #3, Glasgow, Montana 59230

2nd Half Of Real Estate Taxes Due On Or Before 5pm, June 1st

Thursday, May 7th 2020

Second half of the 2019 Real Estate taxes levied and assessed are due and payable on or before 5 p.m, Sunday, May 31, 2020, or unless paid prior to that time the amount due will be delinquent and will draw interest at the rate of 5/6 of 1% per month from the time of delinquency until paid and 2% will be added to the delinquent taxes as a penalty. Because May 31, 2020, is on a Sunday, taxpayers have until 5:00 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, to pay the second half of the 2019 Real Estate taxes without penalty or interest. Taxes will be considered delinquent on Tuesday, June 2, 2020 and will be charged penalty and interest.

Payment may be made at the Valley County Treasurer’s Office in the Valley County Courthouse during regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, placed in the red drop-boxes outside the front and side doors of the Courthouse, or mailed to Valley County Treasurer, 501 Court Square #3, Glasgow, Montana 59230

Glasgow High School Graduation Set For May 24th

Thursday, May 7th 2020

Glasgow High School has set May 24th as the date for graduation ceremonies. Glasgow School Superintendent Wade Sundby gives us the tentative plans for the graduation ceremony.

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/wade-grad

Governor Announces $123.5 Million Available For Emergency Grants

Wednesday, May 6th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock Tuesday announced that families, small businesses, non-profits, health services centers and individuals across Montana hardest-hit by impacts of COVID-19 will be eligible to apply for grants through nine new programs created in response to the emergency.

Guided by more than 1,400 public comments and his Coronavirus Relief Fund Advisory Council, Governor Bullock is making $123,550,000 available in the first round of emergency grants funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“Montanans have made it clear it’s imperative that we step in and do everything possible to ensure small businesses can responsibly reopen, non-profits continue to serve our vibrant communities, homeowners can stay in their homes, and Montanans most in-need have access to services,” Governor Bullock said. “We’re all in this together and I know Montana will emerge from this challenge even stronger than before.”

Beginning Thursday, May 7, Montanans out of work, families with limited resources, small businesses, non-profits and others can apply for financial relief for things like rental and mortgage assistance, business and non-profit grants, grants to serve seniors and those living with a disability, food banks and local food producers.

The following new programs join the state’s suite of existing support services and direct federal appropriations:

• The Montana Business Stabilization Grant program will provide working capital for Montana-owned small businesses with 50 or fewer employees that have sustained a loss of revenue due to COVID 19. Current funding available is $50 million, the maximum award amount per business is $10,000.
• The Montana Innovation Grant program is intended to help companies scale up, improve capabilities, or drive expanded distribution of products or services developed in response to COVID-19. Non-profit and for-profit businesses of less than 150 employees with primary operations in Montana that have created an innovative product or service intended to directly confront the COVID-19 emergency can apply for grants of up to $25,000. Current funding available is $5 million.
• Montana Food and Agriculture Adaptability Program grants are available to food and agriculture businesses to help increase community resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other economic disruptions. Examples of eligible projects include those focused on accessing new markets, projects which strengthen and expand local food systems, and other business adaptations that decrease food and agricultural waste. Current funding available is $500,000, with a maximum grant award of $10,000.
• Emergency Housing Assistance Program will provide rent, security deposit, mortgage payment, and/or hazard insurance assistance as-needed for Montanans who have lost a job or substantial income loss as a result of COVID-19. Initial payments may include up to three months assistance where the eligible household can demonstrate arrears for April and May, with continuable inability to make their June payment. Montana Housing will pay the difference between 30 percent of the household’s current gross monthly income and their eligible housing assistance costs, up to $2,000 a month. Household income limits range from $75,000-$125,000 based on family size. Montanans receiving other forms of housing assistance are not eligible. Total funding available is $50 million.
• Public Health Grants are available to local and tribal health departments and urban tribal clinics to help in the response to COVID-19 and to meet the needs of their communities. Each organization is eligible to apply for funding. Current funding available is $5 million.
• Stay Connected Grants ranging from $500-$2,000 per applicant are available to reduce social isolation among Montana’s seniors. Eligible applicants include area agencies on aging, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and tribal elder services. Grant funds can be used to fund technologies and other efforts to encourage physically distant forms of social interaction for elderly Montanans during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Current funding available is $400,000.
• Food Bank and Food Pantry Assistance of up to $50,000 per applicant are available to increase food security for Montanans hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible applicants include community organizations providing food assistance to Montanans with limited resources, food banks, food pantries, community cupboards, and entities with infrastructures already in place to begin new food distribution programs. Current funding available is $2 million.
• Social Services Nonprofit Grants of up to $10,000 per applicant are available for nonprofit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency to retain existing programs and services, employees, or organizational viability for provision of future services and operations. Eligible applicants are registered, Montana-based social service nonprofits that were operating prior to February 15, 2020. Current funding available is $10 million.
• Telework Assistance Grants of up to $1,000 per individual will go towards purchasing equipment to assist Montanans with disabilities access telework equipment. DPHHS will partner with a local non-profit organization to assess and support assistive technology needs of individuals with disabilities during COVID-19. This assistance will help ensure people with disabilities have the equipment needed to adapt to the change in working environment due to COVID-19. Current funding available is $650,000.

A comprehensive information resource and application portal is available at COVIDRELIEF.MT.GOV. The application portion of the website will go live at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 7. To prepare for the application, businesses and non-profits should have their tax ID, proof of business registration, a brief description of how the grant will be spent, and a brief description of how COVID-19 has impacted operations. Homeowners and renters should have bank account information available and verification of job or income loss.

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Lawsuit Against Boy Scouts Montana Chapter Alleges Sexual Abuse Including In Glasgow According To Billings Gazette

Wednesday, May 6th 2020

Story From Billings Gazette:
https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/crime-and-courts/10-more-men-sue-montana-boy-scouts-ahead-of-deadline/article_a2e0c472-685e-57b1-ba6e-8b392e90f6d2.html

Ten more men have leveled a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts' Montana chapter alleging sexual abuse during their times in troops across the state, the latest in a string of lawsuits filed as the one-year window for claims outside of the statute of limitations closes after Wednesday.

The lawsuit filed in Cascade County District Court, carrying all 10 claims, follows last week's filings by three men who brought individual suits against the Scouts' Montana Council. Two others filed separate lawsuits six months ago. Each alleges abuse at the hands of the adults in charge of their care during time as scouts and claims the Boy Scouts of America was negligent in protecting children within the program.

Andrew Van Arsdale, an attorney with Abused In Scouting, said Monday his organization represents 3,000 men across the country with claims against the Boy Scouts of America. Abused in Scouting represents the 10 men in Monday's filing, as well as 15 other men who are residents of Montana but allege abuse elsewhere, Van Arsdale said.

Dirk Smith, CEO of the Boy Scouts for America Montana Council, did not return an email on Tuesday seeking comment on the lawsuit and how the bankruptcy at the organization's national level will affect the local chapter.

The men included as plaintiffs in the newest lawsuit allege they were abused as troops in Libby, Babb, Great Falls, Helena, Hamilton, Sidney, Glasgow, Forsyth and Missoula. The lawsuit names the accused scoutmasters and supervisors — including John McBride, a former Libby scoutmaster who was arrested in 1974 and convicted of molesting 15 boys — although only the Montana Council is listed as a defendant.

For now, Monday's filing can be seen as a placeholder, Van Arsdale said. Any lawsuits against the local chapters is currently on hold until the Boy Scouts' federal bankruptcy is settled out.

"It's our expectation the bankruptcy process will play out by end of year, 2021," Van Arsdale said. "So by the end of next year, we plan to have this matter totally resolved."

The Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February in order to engineer a compensation plan for the several thousand men who say they were molested as scouts by scoutmasters, men who now have a route to recourse as states adjusted statute-of-limitation laws for victims, now adults, to come forward. The 2019 Montana Legislature propped that window open as well after revelations came to light about a Miles City high school trainer who was convicted of abusing dozens of boys over the course of three decades.


Montana's Boy Scouts chapter has not filed for bankruptcy, but is currently protected by the national bankruptcy. At the same time, the Boy Scouts of America Montana Council said in February that, as a linked-but-separate entity, none of its assets, such as Melita Island on Flathead Lake, are a part of the national organization's bankruptcy. Nonprofit tax records show Montana Council's assets totaled more than $27 million at the end of 2018.

Smith, the CEO of the Montana Council, said in an email to the Billings Gazette after the bankruptcy filing in February the state council is "separate and distinct" from the national organization.

Abused In Scouting contends the local and national organizations should be legally considered the same entity.

"Is it a separate corporation? Yes, but is it just the left hand of the what the national BSA’s right hand is? That is also yes," he said.

Montana's window overriding the statute-of-limitations closes after Wednesday, meaning a flurry of lawsuits coming in as clients and attorneys hurry to bolster their filings before the deadline, such as the lawsuit filed Monday. Claims can still be filed within the bankruptcy proceeding for the compensation plan.


"The reason we filed the lawsuit, we want to make sure that Montana Council does something to one, compensate our clients that were hurt in their care, and two, change the practices to protect future children," Van Arsdale said. "If they are unwilling or unable to come to the bankruptcy court in Delaware, then whenever they’re done, we’ll still be able to litigate.”

Kltz/Mix-93 Makes Donation To Valley Community Food Bank

Wednesday, May 6th 2020

Haylie Shipp and Stan Ozark present Pat Hallett with a $500 check for the Valley Community Food Bank. Kltz and Mix-93 used a portion of their proceeds from the Community Kudos promotion which aired last month. Hallett is a volunteer with the Valley Community Food Bank.

School Election Results

Tuesday, May 5th 2020

Glasgow School Election Results

Trustee Election (vote for 2)

Lynsey Eberle-131
Brianna Overbey-402
Angie Page-1454
Blaine White-1225

Levy Request of $124,940.89

Yes: 1072
No:846

Frazer School Election Results

Trustee Election (vote for 2)

Yancy Beston-53
Lillie Cox-55
Jewel Ackerman Four Star-54
Michael Redstone-50
Brockie Standing -37

Water Restrictions To End Tuesday Evening

Tuesday, May 5th 2020

The City of Glasgow has repaired the water transmission line nut needs a few hours to produce water to fill up the water supply in the city.

Water restrictions which have been in place since Saturday will end at 5pm tonight.

The City of Glasgow thanks residents for their understanding during this time of water restrictions.

MTANG Planning Flyovers In Recognition Of COVID-19 Support

Tuesday, May 5th 2020

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Two C-130 aircraft from the 120th Airlift Wing, Montana Air National Guard, will perform flyovers throughout Montana Wednesday, May 6, 2020. The event is part of the Air Force Salutes flyover program with similar events planned throughout the nation.

The purpose of the flyovers is to demonstrate the Department of the Air Force’s continued readiness during the national COVID-19 response, while saluting the American heroes at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19. The flyovers are also intended to lift morale in towns, cities and states across America due to the severe health and economic impacts that have resulted from COVID-19.

“The Montana Air National Guard salutes each Montanan serving on the frontlines in our combat against COVID-19,” said Col. Buel Dickson, commander, 120th Airlift Wing. “These flyovers are a small gesture of appreciation to the heroes across the state. You epitomize the ethos as Montanans helping Montanans. We are indebted to your service and appreciate your efforts in trying to keep our state safe.”

The event begins in Great Falls Wednesday morning with a two-ship flyover of Benefis Hospital. Then the aircraft will split off with one taking an eastern route and the other covering the western part of Montana. Together they are scheduled to fly over more than 20 cities and towns Wednesday, focusing on health care facilities in the regions they visit. A detailed list of towns and times will be released on our Facebook account at https://www.facebook.com/120Vigilantes/

Flyovers such as these are conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as training for aircrews. In addition to this event, the Montana Air National Guard has deployed 72 Airmen throughout the state to help defend against the pandemic.

Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board Amends Reservation Curfew

Tuesday, May 5th 2020

The Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board has changed the curfew in place for the Fort Peck Indian Reservation from 10pm to 5am to 12am to 5am. The curfew had been put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

City Playgrounds Now Open To The Public

Sunday, May 3rd 2020

Effective immediately: All City of Glasgow playgrounds and basketball courts are open to the public. The City of Glasgow will be disinfecting playgrounds and equipment on a daily basis. Enjoy the parks and please continue to practice social distancing guidelines.

Opheim Reunion Postponed Until 2021 Due To Covid-19 And Travel Concerns

Sunday, May 3rd 2020

Because of Covid 19 and travel concerns, the Opheim Reunion Committee is postponing this year’s school/town reunion until 2021. The Reunion Committee has tentatively set the reunion for June 25 & 26, 2021. The Rodeo will be on Sunday, June 27th.

Restaurants/Bars/Breweries/Distilleries/Casinos Set To Reopen On Monday

Sunday, May 3rd 2020

Restaurant/Bar/Brewery/Distillery/Casino Guidance: Phase One????

o All patrons must be out of bars, restaurants, and casinos by 11:30 p.m. Breweries and distilleries shall follow existing laws on closing time.

Can I open my establishment to full capacity on May 4, 2020?
• No. You may open your establishment under strict physical distancing and reduced capacity protocols in accordance with State guidelines.
• Capacity must be limited to 50% of normal operating capacity to allow for adequate group spacing.

Can a group of 10 be seated together if they are comfortable being that close with each other and trying to follow social distancing guidelines?
• No, tables must be limited to six people per table.

Can my bar serve food at the counter?
• No. drinks and food must be served to customers at a table.

Can my establishment self-service salad bar be open?
• No, self-service buffets must be closed.

My establishment offers self-service drinks. Can my customers still serve themselves fountain drinks?
• Yes, customers may still serve themselves, however cups, straws, and lids should be behind a
counter and handed to customers.

Can I keep condiments on the table between customers?
• No, table items including, condiments, menus, napkins, and decor, should be removed from the table unless they can be adequately cleaned between customers.

Can my bar/brewery still fill growlers
• Yes, however growlers and refillable or reusable containers must be cleaned prior to being refilled.

Where can I find the proper sanitation practices for my restaurant?
• Materials will be available on the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) food and consumer services website.

What does my establishment need to clean between customers?
• All surfaces occupied must be cleaned including tables, chairs, booths, and highchairs.
• Table items including condiments, menus, napkins, and decor should be removed from the table unless they can be adequately cleaned.

How can my establishment provide for 6 feet of physical distancing between groups or tables?
• Increase table spacing, removing tables, or marking tables as closed;
• Provide for a physical barrier between tables; or
• Back-to-back booth seating provides adequate separation.

If I have different “sections” in my establishment including indoor and outdoor seating, are all sections in my establishment included in that 50% maximum capacity?
• Yes. The 50% capacity applies for the entire establishment.

Can my establishment sell drinks in glass or do they still have to be in to-go containers?
• You can go back to serving in glass.

Can my establishment serve food on plates or still to-go boxes?
• Yes, you can go back to serving on plates.

I am a small bar owner where the bar takes up most of the interior. Can I still allow customers into my establishment within the capacity guidelines if they cannot follow the 6-foot social distancing rule?
• No. Bars must remain closed if they cannot comply with social distancing guidelines, including the 6-foot distancing rule.

Phase one states that drink refills are not allowed. Can my establishment servers offer customers drink refills in a new glass or cup?
• Yes, refills may be served only if it is a new glass or cup.

Will alcohol takeout service/delivery still be allowed?
• Yes, the ‘expansions for delivery and takeout services, as provided both in the March 24 and March 26 Directives, are extended through the end of the emergency.’

I own gaming machines. How often do we have to clean machines?
• Gaming machines must be adequately cleaned between each customer.

How many gaming machines can my establishment have to safely comply with the social distancing guidelines?
• Gaming machines that are operational must be spaced 6 foot apart. Machines must be placed out of service if adequate spacing cannot be assured.

Link To Governors Directive: https://covid19.mt.gov/…/…/Stay%20at%20Home%20Directive.pdf…

This Directive is mandatory, not optional. It can be enforced by DPHHS, the Attorney General, county attorney or other local authorities at the direction of a county attorney.

Corps Of Engineers Announce Fort Peck Day-Use And Multi-Purpose Recreation Areas Will Open May 1st

Friday, May 1st 2020

FORT PECK, Montana --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced day-use and multi-purpose recreation areas around Fort Peck Lake will open May 1 to normal activities, following physical distancing and group limitations to reduce spread of COVID-19.

The opening applies to all USACE-managed sites, such as: McGuire Creek, Nelson Creek, Devils Creek, Crooked Creek, Fourchette Bay, Bonetrail, Pines and multi-use recreation areas near Fort Peck Dam, including Kiwanis Park. The Fort Peck Interpretive Center, Downstream Campground and Westend Campground remain closed. New reservations for camping and group use shelters are not being accepted at this time. USACE is working with federal, state and private partners to provide consistent recreation openings in Montana.

In keeping with Governor Bullock’s directive, the public is asked to adhere to Montana’s guidelines for quarantine. Gatherings of more than ten people should be avoided. Frequent hand washing or sanitizing is strongly recommended. Montana COVID-19 directives can be found at https://covid19.mt.gov/.

The health and safety of the public, as well as USACE employees, contractors and volunteers are our top concern. Recreational use and COVID-19 health recommendations will continue to be monitored. Site management may change to address groups gathering, public health and safety, USACE employee safety or resource impacts.

Hinsdale School District To Continue Off-Site Instruction

Friday, May 1st 2020

Hinsdale Public Schools End of Year Plan

Topic
• Off-site Instruction Continues
o The Hinsdale Board of Trustees voted on April 28th to continue with off-site instruction.

• Graduation
o Graduation has been set to occur on May 17th. The Trustees are currently planning for an outdoor graduation.
o Nemont will be providing a live webcast of the graduation ceremony.
o If restrictions continue to be lifted, the Trustees may consider the possibility of having a limited indoor, 50-person graduation ceremony. Gubernatorial and Valley County Health directives and guidelines will directly affect any decisions and graduation ceremonies.

• Grab & Go Meals
o The Hinsdale School District Meals continues to provide and disburse grab & go meals weekly for any children ages 1-18.

• Student Check Out
o Parents will be contacted in May and arrangements for times and dates will be made for families to pick up personal items and return students' electronic devices and textbooks.
o Students are expected to turn in completed, late, or reassigned work by Tuesday, May 19th.
o Senior Class is done May 7th .

Governor Bullock Outlines Framework To Ramp Up Testing Capacity For Covid-19

Thursday, April 30th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today outlined a framework to ramp up testing capacity in Montana over the next several months with a goal to eventually conduct 60,000 tests per month and prioritize testing for vulnerable Montanans in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, tribal communities, and those with COVID-19 symptoms.

“As we enter phase one, we are committed to further ramping up our testing capacity in the state,” Governor Bullock said. “Among our core preparedness responsibilities is ensuring our ability to test symptomatic people for COVID-19 and trace contacts of COVID positive results, which we have been doing effectively. Additionally, we are ramping up efforts to support testing for vulnerable Montanans, our tribal communities, and those with COVID-19 symptoms as we continue to suppress the virus.”
“Montana's nursing homes and assisted living facilities have worked tirelessly to protect our vulnerable seniors during this very challenging time and we welcome and appreciate Governor Bullock's initiative to assure availability of testing for our staff and residents. There is widespread support for this effort among our facilities and we are happy to collaborate in every way we can,” said Rose Hughes, Executive Director, Montana Health Care Association.
“We appreciate the governor’s support for tribal sovereignty and partnership in protecting tribal communities. We are vigilant in our efforts to keep our communities safe and the testing approach outlined by the governor will help support our efforts,” said President Andrew Werk of the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council.
“This testing framework will provide the support needed for our Montana citizens, moreover, this will provide our nurse practitioner and physician led, independent rural health care clinics, the ability to provide the much needed care directly to those patients. This allows these rural patients to receive healthcare within their rural communities,” said Vicky Byrd, Chief Executive Officer, Montana Nurses Association.
Governor Bullock also established five strike teams made up of a certified nurse and National Guard Members to be deployed across Montana to respond to COVID-19 cases in nursing homes and long term care facilities or to provide training and assistance with proper infectious disease control protocols as requested.
Using funds from the CARES Act, Governor Bullock is establishing a $5 million grant program available to local health departments, tribal public health, and urban Indian clinics to enhance existing COVID-19 contact tracing programs, support local businesses in developing plans to safely reopen and adhere to social distancing guidelines, and increase education or enforcement activity.

The testing framework outlined by Governor Bullock will be supported by both federal and private partnerships. The federal government recently committed to supplying states with 12.7 million swabs each month beginning in May.

Last week the state received 5,000 swabs from FEMA and 10,000 more swabs on Tuesday to begin ramping up testing. Another 7,000 swabs from FEMA are expected to arrive this week. Governor Bullock also sourced an additional 3,000 swabs from a private vendor that arrived this week.

With a consistent supply chain of swabs and other testing materials such as reagents, Montana can quickly scale up its ability to test. The state lab will prioritize processing tests for those experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 and will continue to have a quick turnaround. Other testing devices could include the rapid Abbott machines, equipment in hospitals, and partnerships with private labs will assist the state in boosting capacity.

Testing protocols will be scaled based upon availability of swabs and other testing supplies. Anyone with one or more symptoms of COVID-19, including the CDC’s recent expanded list of symptoms, will be prioritized for testing. Governor Bullock continues to urge providers to test any Montanan with one or more symptoms.

Additionally, the state will begin a process to test residents and employees in nursing homes and assisted living facilities and will continue enhanced surveillance in those facilities. The state will also partner with tribal communities to perform enhanced surveillance testing.

As more testing becomes available, the state will begin partnering with community health centers for testing frontline workers and engaging in general population surveillance testing.

Glasgow High School Graduate Blake Wiedenheft Receives Grant From National Institute Of Health

Wednesday, April 29th 2020

Montana State University researcher Blake Wiedenheft is a recognized expert in one of today’s hottest science fields, so it’s natural to wonder what discoveries may be in store now that he received a $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health earlier this year.

And because the NIH’s Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award is designed to provide flexibility to delve deeply into research that could generate breakthroughs, Wiedenheft himself is looking forward to seeing where the five-year funding will lead in his study of the complex interactions between bacteria and the viruses that attack them, with potential applications for treating COVID-19 and a wide range of other diseases.

“An ideal outcome would be stumbling on something entirely unexpected,” said Wiedenheft, associate professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology in MSU’s College of Agriculture. “This grant really provides a new dimension of intellectual freedom for pursuing ideas as they evolve.”


“Dr. Wiedenheft’s award is well-deserved and highly prestigious,” said Jason Carter, MSU’s vice president for research, economic development and graduate education. “These MIRA grants are indicative of sustained, high-impact research by accomplished scientists.”

The grant will allow Wiedenheft to significantly expand his lab’s capacity, adding up to six doctoral students, four postdoctoral researchers and a lab technician. Wiedenheft has made major contributions to the field in recent years, including high-profile papers in Science, Nature and other journals about CRISPR, the bacteria immune system that wields sophisticated molecules to grab and slice strands of invading viral DNA to render them harmless.

The grant “is an impressive achievement for Blake, and it represents tremendous recognition within a very competitive field of science,” said Montana University System Regents Professor Mark Jutila, head of the microbiology and immunology department. “His efforts in the study of CRISPR have had major impacts in the field as well as at MSU, in terms of mentoring and training students in the lab and teaching in the classroom.”

Although CRISPR is often used as a general term for CRISPR-Cas9 and a few other proteins that have been repurposed for curing genetic disease, those CRISPR systems “represent a very small fraction of bacterial immune systems found in nature,” Wiedenheft said. “CRISPRs are very diverse,” and many — perhaps most — haven’t been studied in detail, he said.

The NIH grant will allow Wiedenheft’s team to explore the frontier of CRISPRs and other immune systems in bacteria, which, scientists are increasingly finding, in many ways resemble those of more complex organisms, including humans.

“Some of these immune systems are incredibly complicated,” Wiedenheft said. “To understand how they work and which parts are most important, we look to the viruses for help.” That’s because viruses have often evolved elegant mechanisms to thwart the bacterial defense, he explained. In one recent study, Wiedenheft showed that a virus produced a protein molecule — called an anti-CRISPR — that mimics the CRISPR’s alert system, creating a decoy that distracts the bacteria’s response.

Peering inside of bacteria with an extremely powerful microscope to see CRISPR molecules is a bit like encountering a complex machine like a car and trying to figure out how it works, Wiedenheft said. Because viral anti-CRISPRs target parts of the “car” that are important or vulnerable, “a virus can point you directly to the ignition switch, or the gas pedal or the steering wheel,” he said.

“Viruses can teach us about the immune systems we’re studying, and sometimes even point us to new immune systems that we didn’t even know about,” Wiedenheft said. “We anticipate that anti-CRISPRs, like CRISPRs themselves, are incredibly diverse. By understanding that diversity, we think we’ll gain a much better understanding of how these immune systems work.”

Recent trials with human patients have shown success with using CRISPR-Cas9 to treat and potentially cure sickle cell disease, a serious disorder affecting millions of people around the world. The CRISPR treatment involves surgically correcting a genetic defect by cutting the DNA and repairing it in a way that restores gene function. Diseases like sickle cell, Beta thalassemia and other blood diseases are the easiest to treat because the cells in blood are relatively easy to access. But many labs, including Wiedenheft’s, are working to develop new treatment methods that direct the CRISPR-Cas9 treatment to specific cells within the body, according to Wiedenheft.

In responding to the coronavirus pandemic, some scientists have also repurposed other CRISPR proteins, Cas12 and Cas13, to rapidly diagnose COVID-19 in experimental medical tests — yet another indication of the far-reaching potential of precisely mapping CRISPRs and developing an understanding of how they might be applied, according to Wiedenheft.

Wiedenheft is the second person at MSU to receive the NIH’s Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award. Last year, Joan Broderick, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in MSU’s College of Letters and Science, won the five-year grant in the amount of $1.77 million for research on a large family of enzymes called radical SAMs.

Fish, Wildlife And Parks Updates Status Due To Covid-19

Wednesday, April 29th 2020

People looking to get outside and enjoy spring will continue to have ample opportunities with Gov. Steve Bullock's phased approach to reopening the state, which was announced April 22.

Most of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ sites typically open and operational at this time of year remain so. This includes all FWP fishing access sites, most state parks and those wildlife management areas that don’t have seasonal closures.

People heading outside still need to keep in mind Montana’s social distancing directives. Per Gov. Bullock’s “Reopening the Big Sky” plan, all who recreate outdoors should “avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.” They are further asked to “exercise frequent sanitation protocols if public facilities are open” and continue to follow all previously established hygiene measures. For more information on Gov. Bullock’s plan, please visit COVID19.mt.gov.

The following FWP updates are in response to Gov. Bullock’s plan:

Overnight camping opportunities will resume at most FWP fishing access sites and state parks on May 1.

Campers between May 1-15 may encounter reduced amenities or limited services that are typical for the opening of early-season recreational sites. Please check the FWP website for specific site restrictions or closures.

Group sites, including fishing piers, will open May 1.

At all sites, as in other aspects of life, social distancing guidelines must be strictly followed.

Visitor centers, park offices and FWP lobbies are still closed to the public at this time.

Bannack State Park will remain closed until further notice.

Float recreation on the Smith River will resume May 5. Between now and then, FWP staff will continue to work with local and federal partners on ways to safely allow recreation in this popular state park and river corridor once recreation activities resume.

Out-of-state travelers are still required to follow the governor’s 14-day quarantine directive when they come to Montana, as they carry the risk of spreading COVID-19 to Montana residents. Guidance for those directives can be found at fwp.mt.gov/covid19. The directives include the requirements that those in quarantine cannot leave for groceries, recreation, work or any other activity.

Paddlefish season (yellow tag) closures on the Yellowstone and Lower Missouri rivers are still in effect.

Paddlefish season (white tag) on the Upper Missouri River will run as usual from May 1 through June 15. However, this year there will be no snag-and-release opportunity. Visit fwp.mt.govfor information about other paddlefishing opportunities later in the year.

Most wildlife management areas will remain under their normal seasonal closures until the standard May 15 date.

The suspension of nonresident spring hunting for turkey and black bear expired April 24. As in other circumstances, out-of-state travelers must follow the governor’s 14-day quarantine directive.
Hunter education class closures will extend through at least May 7. FWP is working to develop other class opportunities to meet the needs of students, and still align with social distancing guidelines and restrictions on the size of gatherings. As those logistics are finalized, more information will be available.

Opheim And Frazer School Districts To Continue On-Line Instruction

Wednesday, April 29th 2020

School Boards in Opheim and Frazer have voted to continue on-line instruction rather then go back to in-school instruction after May 7th.

Governor Steve Bullock left it to local school districts to decide how they would run the last month of school due to COVID-19.

The Glasgow School Board voted this past weekend to continue with the on-line learning platform and virtually all school districts in the state have made the same decision.

In related school news, 48% of the ballots have been returned in the Glasgow School District Election while 14% have been returned in the Frazer School Election. Ballots must be returned by 8pm on May 5th.

Governor Bullock Asks USDA To Expand Local Meat Processing

Tuesday, April 28th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock sent a letter U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to allow some local processing in order to avoid food waste and get local meat to Montana food banks for Montanans hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19.

The USDA recently denied a request by the Montana Department of Livestock to consider modified protocols that would allow selected processors to process some local demand from Montana producers and farmers, instead of continuing to require that product be processed at facilities that are increasingly reaching capacity.

“I believe the request by our state meat inspection authorities is a reasonable step that should be approved,” Governor Bullock wrote in the letter. “Our proposed protocols would enforce the intent of our food safety regulations and ensure that food is not wasted at a time when many Montanans need access to food during this crisis.”

Allowing custom processing under USDA modified guidance would cut down on food waste and allow Montana-produced food to go to local food banks, getting local meat and food to families hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19.

Governor Bullock also asked the USDA to encourage new ideas to reduce barriers for Montana meat processing capacity and improve markets for rural producers in Montana over the long term.

Valley County Food Bank Has 30% Increase In Food Distribution But Remains Well Stocked

Tuesday, April 28th 2020

The Valley County Food Bank will be open for its regular monthly distribution May 19th at 1020 1st Ave. North. Distribution will occur from 12p.m. - 4p.m. If you need food, regardless of eligibility, before May 19th, please contact Pat Hallett, 263-3353. The Valley County Food Bank thanks the community for all the monetary & food donations over the past month. There has been a 30% increase in food distribution but the Food Bank is well stocked, & volunteers are ready to help anyone in need.

School Ballots Must Be Returned By 8pm May 5th.

Monday, April 27th 2020

School Election ballots for Frazer and Glasgow must be turned in by 8pm on May 5th. The school elections are mail-ballot elections so there will be no polling places open on election day which is May 5th.

The Valley County Courthouse is now open for voters who wish to turn in their ballot by hand. You need to take the ballot to the Valley County Clerk and Recorders Office.

There is still time to put your ballot in the mail for it to arrive at the courthouse in Glasgow by May 5th.

38% of ballots have been returned in the Glasgow School Election. Only 7% have been returned in the Frazer School Election.

Dr. Millard Discusses Her Thoughts On Why Valley County Has Zero Covid-19 Positive Cases

Monday, April 27th 2020

Stan Ozark and Haylie Shipp interviewed Valley County Health Officer Dr. Anne Millard on Friday. Dr. Millard was asked to explain her thoughts about Valley County having no positive cases of Covid-19 as of 4/24. Valley County still has zero positive cases as of 4/27.

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/dr-millard-427

Valley County Courthouse Is Now Open

Monday, April 27th 2020

The Valley County Courthouse will be open beginning Monday, April 27th. Conducting business by phone or mail when appropriate is greatly appreciated.

The Health Department will continue operate by appointment only.

The Senior Citizen Center will remain closed until further notice. Meals on Wheels continues to operate. Grab n’ go meals are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 60+. There is a $5.50 suggested donation, please call 228-9500 by 9:00 a.m. to reserve a grab n go meal.

Glasgow School Board Votes To Continue Distance Learning Rather Then Go Back To On-Site Education

Saturday, April 25th 2020

Glasgow School Board votes to continue distance learning rather then go to on-site learning for remainder of school year. Governor Bullock had given school districts the opportunity to send students back to on-site learning after May 7th.

Glasgow School Superintendent Wade Sundby announces that GHS graduation will take place on the date and time as originally scheduled. Specifics are still being worked out. Attendance will be limited and the ceremony will be broadcast with video and audio.

TC Energy Donates $20,000 To Help Those In Need In Valley County

Friday, April 24th 2020

During these challenging times, with local charities under stress, Keystone XL is working with the City of Glasgow and Valley County in Montana to help put together baskets of essential items for those in need.

The $20,000 donation in Montana is part of our long history of partnering with local communities along the route in both Canada and the U.S., whether it’s helping to combat childhood hunger in Montana or upgrading communication equipment for first responders in Alberta.

The donation in Montana will help support the needs of the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 emergency, including seniors on fixed incomes and low-income families. Totes filled with household cleaners and hygiene products, such as toothpaste, dish and laundry soap and shampoo, will be distributed during the third week of May to families in need. They will be able to drive up and receive the products.

Over the last three years, Keystone XL has donated more than $1.6 million to communities in three states and two provinces.

This donation is part of a broader giving effort across North America by TC Energy, the company that’s building Keystone XL.

TC Energy has also launched the TC Energy Giving Portal, to further help organizations across the United States and Canada to support people and communities affected by COVID-19.

This initiative is fundraising for incredible causes in the U.S., Canada or Mexico, as they are working hard to provide relief for COVID-19, including Feeding America, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, UNICEF Mexico and United Way Centraide Canada.

The best part? Anyone can donate! And TC Energy will match donations to 100 per cent up to $500,000.

We’re also matching donations through our employee giving program, Empower. We are actively encouraging our employees to give to causes in our project and operations areas, including the Valley County Communication Foundation Inc. in Montana.

Every dollar donated by our employees will be matched at 200 percent.

Valley County Health Officer Rescinds Previous Orders And Puts New Order In Place

Friday, April 24th 2020

Dr. Anne Millard put in place a new order for Valley County basically mirroring the orders implemented by Governor Steve Bullock this week.

All of Valley County will have to abide by the orders signed by Governor Bullock.

Dr. Millard rescinded all previous orders and put in a new order that does address people leaving and coming to Valley County. The order signed by Dr. Millard is attached.

Glasgow School Board To Conduct Special Meeting On Saturday

Thursday, April 23rd 2020

The Glasgow School Board will conduct a special board meeting on Saturday to consider the Governor's directive allowing Montana public schools to reopen for in-class instruction on May 7th.

The Board meeting will begin at 10am and will be a Zoom meeting.

Hinsdale and Frazer will also have board meetings to decide on a plan of action for the remaining school year. The dates of those board meetings haven't been determined as of Thursday morning.

Valley County Community Pool Campaign Raises $687,284

Thursday, April 23rd 2020

The Valley County Friends of Glasgow Pool (Valley County Community Pool Campaign) would like to update everyone on our fundraising progress to date.

Unfortunately, our two spring fundraisers planned had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The good news is we are planning on rescheduling the Wine Flight & Charcuterie Night for this fall. To those that have already bought tickets, we thank you. Your tickets are still valid and you will be notified when we have solidified a new date for our event. You are still entered into our grand prize raffle for the Zerbe Bros generator and Baker’s Jewelry diamond ring. We also have received donations from local businesses for the Wine Flight & Charcuterie Night silent auction which we are grateful for, and will keep those items safe until our fundraiser! The Donkey basketball event will hopefully take place at another date.

We are excited to announce that as of March 31, 2020 we have raised $687,284 of the $2,775,000 needed. We are continuing to apply for grants as they become known to us as well as soliciting donations from donors. The blue boxes that are in circulation at both grocery stores and a few other places have taken in over $5,300 so please keep donating your change when possible!
Over the winter months, the committee and the City of Glasgow selected the engineering firm that will design and oversee the project. The chosen firm is Interstate Engineering. It has a local office based in Fort Peck.
I
f you have any questions regarding donating to the pool, please contact a committee member or visit with your accountant or tax preparer.

The committee invites you to like our Facebook page - Valley County Community Pool Campaign or go to our website www.valcopool.com where you can learn all about the project. Finally, you can e-mail us at:valleycountyfriendsofpool@gmail.com or call us at 406-228-8341.

Valley County Food Bank Is Well Stocked Thanks To Donations

Thursday, April 23rd 2020

The Valley County Food Bank will be open for its regular monthly distribution May 19th at 1020 1st Ave. North. Distribution will occur from 12p.m. - 4p.m. If you need food, regardless of eligibility, before May 19th, please contact Pat Hallet, 263-3353. The Valley County Food Bank thanks the community for all the monetary & food donations over the past month. The Food Bank is well stocked, & volunteers are ready to help anyone in need.

Governor Bullock Releases Plan For Reopening Montana

Wednesday, April 22nd 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced a gradual and phased reopening of the state beginning Sunday for individuals, and extending to businesses on Monday.

“There are very few states in the country that can say they have seen the number of positive cases decline over these past weeks. Montana can say that because, together, we have made that decline in cases possible,” Governor Bullock said. “While there is reason for optimism this is not a time for celebration. I am going to ask Montanans to continue to go to great lengths to protect one another, to continue looking out for our neighbors who need it the most, and to continue being vigilant in every step we take.”

The plan to reopen gradually was is based on the latest scientific evidence and data, and in consultation with public health experts, health care providers, business leaders, and emergency management professionals. The Governor’s plan is detailed in a Directive and accompanying Appendix with guidelines for certain industries.

“The Montana business community appreciates the Governor’s leadership over the course of the COVID19 pandemic. The Montana Chamber of Commerce supports a phased approach to re-opening our economy, while still maintaining health standards and containing the spread of COVID-19. Montana businesses are capable of being flexible and partnering with our colleagues and employees to address the challenges that this may pose, and are eager to open our doors once again,” Todd O’Hair, President/CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, said.

“Local public health continues to work closely with Governor Bullock and our state partners to work towards a systematic reopening of Montana that minimizes the risk of viral spread. We appreciate the partnerships we have all across the state, which in no doubt, will continue to serve Montanans,” Hillary Hanson, Public Health Officer at the Flathead City-County Health Department, said.

“Montana and its hospitals moved swiftly and thoughtfully to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and the results of this effort is demonstrated by a lower incidence of the virus in Montana when compared to our neighboring states. Our hospitals responded to this public health emergency and remain prepared to serve our patients and communities and assist in restarting our economy,”Rich Rasmussen, President and CEO of the Montana Hospital Association, said.

“Because of Montana’s aggressive approach of shutting everything down early in the pandemic, we are in the fortuitous position of having a very low viral burden in the state. With that being said, I feel assured that a cautious, vigilant, and step wise approach to opening up our healthcare, commerce, and education sectors could be attempted. Keep in mind that for every two steps forward we might need to take a step back, but it is in everyone’s best interest that we try,” Dr. Marc Mentel, president of the Montana Medical Association, said.

Montana’s plan to reopen relies on Montanans to adhere to social distancing guidelines whenever possible and to continue to limit gatherings. Guidance remains in place for members of vulnerable groups to continue to shelter at home, though it is no longer mandatory. Additionally, visitation at nursing homes will continue to be suspended and older Montanans and those who are immunocompromised should continue to follow the stay at home directive.

“Our new normal is going to look different. This virus isn’t gone from Montana. So as we turn to support our main street businesses and get more families back to work during this time – as we should – we must also be sure to continue looking out for those around us and protecting everyone around us,”Governor Bullock said. “Once we begin to reopen, we want to be able to stay open. Our personal responsibility to protect those around us – particularly those most vulnerable – remains just as important as any time during this pandemic.”

The stay at home order will expire on April 26 for individuals and April 27 for businesses. Main street and retail businesses can become operational on or after April 27 if they can adhere to requirements to limit capacity and maintain strict physical distancing. Employers are directed to develop policies to keep employees and customers safe including teleworking when possible, enforcing social distancing protocols, and other measures as provided in an appendix of reopening guidelines.

Places of worship can become operational on April 26 in a manner consistent with social distancing between people who are not members of the same household. Restaurants, bars, breweries, and distilleries can begin providing some in-establishment services beginning May 4.

Businesses where groups gather without the ability to social distance including movie theaters, gyms, and other places of assembly remain closed.

On May 7, all schools will have the option to return to in-classroom teaching delivery at the discretion of local school boards. The Directive does not preclude school boards from declaring local emergencies to continue to receive all appropriate state funding to continue to provide remote learning.

Montana’s travel quarantine will remain in effect and out of state travelers and residents arriving from another state or country back to Montana for non-work related purposes are required to quarantine for 14 days.

The Directive does not prohibit more restrictive local ordinances, and encourages local officials to work regionally and make local adjustments as local needs demand.

Montana has aggressively managed the virus with a series of actions including suspending nursing home visitation, closing schools, closing higher risk businesses such as bars, restaurants, gyms and movie theaters, and enacting a stay at home order. As a result, Montana has the lowest percentage of positive cases per capita when compared to its population and the lowest number of hospitalizations per capita in the nation.

The plan includes several phases and details the factors that will determine when it is appropriate to move to the second phase of reopening. This decision will be driven by conditions on the ground and the latest data. Governor Bullock and his task force will continue to monitor cases closely and carefully to analyze Montana’s work to contain the virus.

The Directive and its Appendix with reopening guidelines are attached and posted online at covid19.mt.gov.

https://covid19.mt.gov/

State Of Montana To Begin Processing Unemployment Insurance Benefits For Self-Employed

Wednesday, April 22nd 2020

HELENA – Montana Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Brenda Nordlund today announced Montana's self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits can begin filing claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits expanded under the recently passed CARES Act.

“Our new web portal is now live and ready to process claims for self-employed Montanans. Our state boasts a high rate of entrepreneurialism, which means these benefits will help a wide swath of Montanans,” Nordlund said. “We’re focused on getting unemployment assistance in the hands of those that need it as quickly as possible and this new technology is a big step in helping Montanans during this time of uncertainty.”
Those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others impacted by the coronavirus are now able to file online at mtpua.mt.gov. DLI had previously directed those that are self-employed to start a claim at MontanaWorks.gov. Those individuals will receive correspondence directing them to the new PUA web system. With this new application, Montanans are now able to simply fill out their claim, request payment and follow their claim status in one place.
DLI expects to start issuing payments under this program to approved claimants within the next 10 days. Eligible claimants may receive payments backdated to the week of March 15, consistent with the onset of local and state social distancing directives, school closures and Governor Bullock’s “Stay at Home” directive.
In conjunction with this morning’s web portal roll-out, a new phone line is available for individuals without internet access to file their PUA claim, or for those with claim-specific questions at (406) 444-3382. A new email address is also available to those with questions at PUAclaims@mt.gov. A resource guide with answers to frequently asked questions, details on the new filing process and other resources is available at dli.mt.gov/self-employed-contractors.
Programs included in the CARES Act legislation:
• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – Provides an additional $600 per week to any individual eligible for any of the Unemployment Compensation programs. This benefit is retroactive for those who had a claim beginning the UI filing week of March 29 through April 4, 2020.
• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) - Allows for an additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances.
• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - Provides unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them, including the self-employed.

Under the CARES Act legislation, those eligible for PUA benefits, are also eligible for the additional $600 per week stimulus payment. The payment is added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount. The payments will be made for eligible weeks beginning the UI week ending April 4 through July 25, 2020.
The Department must finish system changes before it can implement the additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits under the PEUC program.

DLI is encouraging anyone who believes they may be eligible for UI to file a claim online at MontanaWorks.gov, or at mtpua.mt.gov for those that fall under the PUA eligibility guidelines.

In addition to the expansion of UI benefits under the CARES Act, Governor Bullock has issued directives to waive the one-week waiting period to minimize the time Montanans await UI benefits, and waived the requirement that claimants search for a job during this time.

DLI is providing daily updates for Montana employers and individuals impacted by COVID-19 at dli.mt.gov/covid-19. Montanans can also follow DLI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for timely updates.


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Notice Regarding School Election Ballots And Drop Boxes For Valley County Treasurer

Tuesday, April 21st 2020

The preferred method of returning your school election ballot is to mail it in the pre-addressed envelope. Alternately, you can drop it off at the Valley Co. Courthouse, but because the doors are locked, you will have to call the number on the door to alert the election office that you are there with your ballot. The ballots need to be returned by 8pm on May 5th. It is illegal to have an unmanned drop box for ballots so you will need to either mail in your ballot or call the Clerk and Recorders Office to have them get your ballot at the door of the Valley County Courthouse.

Valley County Treasurer’s Office now has Drop Boxes located outside the front and side entrances of the Valley County Courthouse (just left of the door). It is a red box marked Valley County Treasurer. This is for Motor Vehicle and Tax Payments ONLY. The box will be checked daily. For Motor Vehicle Payments, we will mail the registration out to you once it is processed. For Tax Payments, we will not send a receipt unless you include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

If you have any questions, please call the Treasurer’s Office at 406-228-6230.

FMDH Announces Glasgow Clinic Primary Care Is Now Open To Care For Most Non-Respiratory Patients

Tuesday, April 21st 2020

With much planning and many precautions in place, the FMDH Glasgow Clinic Primary Care is now open to care for most non-respiratory patients. This is not “back to business as usual,” as staffing is still limited and we continue to monitor conditions daily. We take our responsibility to care for our community members very seriously and are committed to taking care of patients with chronic conditions and those who need regular evaluation in order to address any health concerns and insure early detection and treatment.

While we systematically reopen please keep in mind:
• Patients MUST have an appointment.
• Doors will continue to be locked and monitored.
• Patients must wear a mask when entering the facility. If you have your own mask at home, please wear it.
• Patients will be monitored for respiratory symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) at the door, and the appointment will be rescheduled if symptoms are present.
• Patients may be escorted from the entrance to your destination.
• Visiting restrictions have not changed. No visitors are allowed unless:
? You are accompanying a minor
? You are a support person for a laboring maternity patient
? The patient cannot physically attend the appointment without assistance
• FMDH Staff will be wearing masks at work while in the presence of other people. Staff will also be following distancing guidelines at work


437 Positive Cases Of Covid-19 In Montana Including 7 Now In Roosevelt County

Tuesday, April 21st 2020

Montana reached 437 cumulative cases of COVID-19, on Tuesday, with 273 people recovered and 14 actively hospitalized.
That's a gain of four new laboratory-confirmed cases since Monday. From Sunday to Monday, Montana reported gaining no new cases from 153 tests run at the state laboratory.

The lab processed 190 tests between Monday and Tuesday mornings. That number does not include tests run at private labs, but positives from private labs are generally reported within 24 hours.

On Monday, two more deaths were reported, bringing the statewide total to 12.

Roosevelt County added one new positive case and they now have 7 positive cases of COVID-19.

According to the State of Montana, in Roosevelt County the 7 cases are broke down like this:

Two cases between the age of 20-29. Both these cases are female.

One case between the age of 40-49. This case is a female.

One case between the age of 50-59. This case is a female.

One case between the age of 60-69. This case is a female.

Two cases between the age of 70-79. One female and one male.

Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Releases Statement Regarding Financial Condition

Monday, April 20th 2020

While hospitals nation-wide are issuing furloughs to their employees in response to the financial deficits from providing limited services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital currently has no plans to lay off staff. To date, our revenue is down 51% due to the cancellation of nonessential surgeries and appointments. FMDH has always operated under a strong focus of stewardship and maintaining financial stability, and because of these practices we are able to keep staff employed.

FMDH is also participating in the Payroll Protection Plan, which allows the hospital to be in a position to offer compensation to all employees while adjusting to changes and new norms as the pandemic develops.

With the addition of the Respiratory Clinic, located outside of the FMDH facility, our plan is to gradually reopen service lines. This will be done systematically to minimize risk for both patients and staff.

We again thank the community for their patience and understanding while some service lines were minimized. As this pandemic progresses, some plans may change, but FMDH will remain dedicated to our number one priority - safeguarding the health and well-being of the community and our staff.

GHS Educational Trust Application Reminder

Monday, April 20th 2020

Glasgow High School graduates who are attending college or trade school are reminded that the application deadline for financial aid from the Glasgow High School Educational Trust is July 1, 2020.

All students who have completed one year of college or one semester of trade school, are in good academic standing, are attending full-time, and are showing progress toward the completion of a degree may apply. Students enrolled in on-line or correspondence programs full-time (12 credit minimum) also may be eligible.

The application is available on the trust’s website at www.ghsedutrust.org. The site also lists certain other requirements that must be met, such as the inclusion of a student’s signed Financial Aid Acceptance letter (FAFSA) if the student applied for financial aid. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the trust will accept reference letters submitted electronically as long as they include the reference’s email address for verification. Applications must be complete and submitted on time to be considered. Questions should be addressed to Danielle Anderson at daniander@nemont.net or at 406-230-0153.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust was established by the GHS Class of 1938. Since its inception in 1964, it has awarded a total of $2,325,000.00 to 736 different students. Students who receive grants may reapply for up to a total of eight semesters if they continue to meet the eligibility requirements. Now, more than ever, with so many families facing unprecedented economic pressures, the costs of higher education escalating each year, and student debt at all-time highs, all eligible students should apply for this generous opportunity made possible through the contributions of hundreds of faithful trust supporters.

Glasgow Fire Department Called To Fire On Friday

Sunday, April 19th 2020

The Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department was called Friday morning for a report of smoke billowing out of an apartment in Glasgow.

Upon arriving it was determined the source of the smoke was coming from an oven.

The response include 14 fire department members with Fire Command, Engine 1, Engine 3, Ladder 5 and Truck 719. We were assisted by Glasgow Police Department, Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol and FMDH Stat Ambulance.

FMDH Thanks Local Heroes

Friday, April 17th 2020

In a letter released on Friday afternoon, Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital expressed their sincere appreciation of the work that is currently being done.

Roosevelt County Reports 6th Positive Case Of COVID-19

Friday, April 17th 2020

COVID-19 SITUATION UPDATE
FROM ROOSEVELT COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

This is a situation update as of 1:00 p.m. April 16, 2020 in Roosevelt County, Montana on Coronavirus Disease-19 (also called COVID-19).

At this time, there are 6 reported cases of Coronavirus Disease-19 in Roosevelt County. One has recovered.

All of the preventative measures put in place over the past weeks take on new importance now that we know COVID-19 is in our communities. It is extremely important for all Roosevelt County residents to follow recommendations from the Health Department and the Governor to stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with others outside of the home, especially if you are not feeling well. This includes non-essential travel outside of Roosevelt County.

Federal Judge Cancels Permit For Keystone Pipeline

Thursday, April 16th 2020

A U.S. judge canceled a key permit Wednesday for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that's expected to stretch from Canada to Nebraska, another setback for the disputed project that got underway less than two weeks ago following years of delays.

Judge Brian Morris said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately consider the pipeline's effect on endangered species such as pallid sturgeon, a massive dinosaur-like fish.

The ruling, however, does not shut down work that has begun at the U.S.-Canada border crossing in Montana, according to attorneys in the case. Pipeline sponsor TC Energy will need the permit for future construction across hundreds of rivers and streams along Keystone's 1,200-mile route.

A spokesman said TC Energy was reviewing the ruling.

"We remain committed to building this important energy infrastructure project," spokesman Terry Cunha said.

Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers did not have an immediate response to the ruling.

Morris is holding a court hearing Thursday on two other lawsuits against the $8 billion pipeline. American Indian tribes and environmental groups want him to halt the construction at the border while a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump's approval of the pipeline last year works its way through the courts.


The pipeline was proposed in 2008 and would carry up to 830,000 barrels (35 million gallons) of crude daily to Nebraska, where it would be transferred to another TC Energy pipeline for shipment to refineries and export terminals on the Gulf of Mexico.

It was rejected twice under the Obama administration because of concerns that it could worsen climate change, then Trump revived it.

TC Energy's surprise March 31 announcement that it intended to start construction amid a global economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic came after the provincial government in Alberta invested $1.1 billion to jump-start the work.

Tribal leaders and some residents of rural communities along the pipeline's route worry that thousands of workers needed for the project could spread the virus.

As many as 11 construction camps, some housing up to 1,000 people, were initially planned for the project, although TC Energy says those are under review amid the pandemic.

Valley County Commissioners Release Statement Regarding Out Of County Visitors

Wednesday, April 15th 2020

The Valley County Commissioners would like to apologize, and issue clarification, regarding the current health orders and obligations that apply to visitors from outside Valley County.

In response to significant public concern regarding out of county contractors who are present in our communities for essential work purposes, one of the companies partnered with the County Health Officer to wear pink wrist bands following their 14- day quarantine. This was implemented to help alleviate community concerns about the potential spread of COVID-19. These bands are not government issued and are not a part of any of the current health orders in place. Rather, they are a good faith effort by these contractors to try to put the community at ease.

In a break-down of our internal processes, a flier went out to local business owners seemingly indicating such wrist bands are required for out of county individuals, and that local business owners were obligated to report violations of the health orders. That is not the intent of Valley County, and that flier has been rescinded.

We apologize, again, for any confusion this has caused. We are addressing our internal processes, and want to thank all community members for continuing to work with us during this unprecedented time.

Paul Tweten
John Fahlgren
Mary Armstrong

Fort Peck Summer Theater Restructures 2020 Season Due To COVID-19

Wednesday, April 15th 2020

Determined to safely overcome the obstacles set by COVID-19, FPST has restructured the 2020 season, with the continued goal to bring enriching and exciting entertainment to Northeast Montana audiences. Though some difficult decisions had to be made, the company is proud to be moving ahead with the following line-up:

THE SUNSHINE BOYS: July 3 – July 12
Rivalry, memories and lots of laughs are certain to resurface when a former vaudeville team grudgingly re-unites for a Television Special! The classic Neil Simon comedy will star original Fort Peck Summer Theatre company member Neal Lewing.

Ed Asner in GOD HELP US: July 17 - 19
8-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe winning legend Ed Asner stars in this comedy, examining love and politics. Mr. Asner starred as Carl in Pixar’s UP! and as Santa in the Will Ferrell hit, ELF. He is best known for his comedic and dramatic talent as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on the landmark TV newsroom comedy, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and continued in the newspaper-biz drama Lou Grant. We have added two more showings, due to the overwhelming response. Season Ticket vouchers do not apply for this show.

WORKING: July 24 – August 9
Celebrating the extraordinary lives of ordinary people! Grammy winner James Taylor, and Broadway composers Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) and Lin-Manual Miranda (Hamilton) are just a few of the eclectic artists who contributed material to this celebration of American life! Starring many audience favorites, this award-winning musical, based on the book by Studs Terkel, makes its FPST debut.

LOVE LETTERS: August 14 - 16
Audience favorite Pam L. Veis and Andy Meyers star in AR Gurney’s comedy, a unique and imaginative theatre piece which is presented, as suggested by the playwright, with scripts in hand. It is comprised of letters, frequently funny and touching, exchanged over a lifetime between two friends.

WAIT UNTIL DARK: August 21 – September 6
In the Oscar-nominated film version, Audrey Hepburn stars as Suzy Hendrix, a blind woman who must use her wits to outsmart crooks and solve a mystery unfolding right before her eyes. The climax has been heralded as “one of the most thrilling moments of theatre to hit the Broadway stage!” Local teen actor Tarin Vandall co-stars as Gloria.

FRACTURED FAIRY TALES will continue the successful touring program for FPST’s Theatre for Young Audience series. Performances: Tuesday, July 21, 10:00am at Greet the Dawn Auditorium, Poplar; Tuesday, July 21, 2:00pm at Glasgow County Library; Wednesday, July 22, 11:00am at Sheridan Library, Plentywood; Wednesday, July 22, 2:00pm at The Rex Theatre, Scobey; Thursday, July 23, 2:00pm at Phillips County Museum, Malta; Saturday, July 25, 10:00am at Fort Peck Interpretive Center.

The annual Performing Arts Camp will take place from August 4 – 13, culminating in a showcase performance on Thursday, August 13 at 7:00pm.

Regular season performances are Friday & Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 4:00pm

Box Office Information:
CANCELED SHOWS and CHANGED SHOW DATES: Purchased tickets may be exchanged, credited or refunded.
SEASON PASSES: May be used for 5 tickets during the 2020 season or exchanged for a 2021 season pass.
“GOD HELP US”: Two additional show dates have been added. Previously purchased tickets may be exchanged for the Saturday or Sunday performance.
Ordering tickets online will be suspended for two days to allow FPFAC to update all events. Online ticket ordering will resume Friday, April 17, 2020.

Please call 406-228-9216 to redeem, exchange, credit, or forward your season pass to 2021, if the phone line is busy, leave a message or send an Email fptheatre@nemont.net.

If you are unable to attend a rescheduled show and would like to donate the value of your canceled tickets to the Fort Peck Summer Theatre, please email fptheatre@nemont.net and let us know that is your intention. Your donation is vital in helping us weather these uncharted waters.


Senator Tester Announces Funding For Montana Airports Including Wokal Field In Glasgow

Wednesday, April 15th 2020

Big Sandy, Mont.) – With Montana airports struggling to keep up with costs after the COVID-19 pandemic brought air travel to a standstill, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today successfully secured nearly $74 million to help 71 airports across the Treasure State cover operational expenses, staffing, and certain development projects during the crisis.

“Montanans rely on our small regional airports to connect our state to the rest of the country, and the COVID-19 pandemic has shut them down almost entirely,” Tester said. “I’m glad to have helped secure this funding at a critical time—it’ll help local airports across the Treasure State keep up with their day-to-day operations so that when this crisis is over, they can continue serving their communities and driving our economy.”

Montana airports have seen an 80 percent drop in passengers since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the vast majority of Americans to shelter-in-place. On top of this, airports are facing new demands on operations, uncertainties about their ability to pay down debt obligations or complete projects, doubt about their ability to retain staff, and increased pressure to reduce costs.

Tester successfully got this funding included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act after he pressured the Trump Administration to ensure rural airports did not get left behind in any COVID-19 relief packages. Airports will be able to use this funding for any purpose that airport revenue may legally be used, including operational expenses and certain development projects. This funding will also require small hub airports receiving funding to retain 90 percent of employees through the end of the year.

Area Airports received funding:

Glasgow- $30,000
Malta- $20,000
Wolf Point- $30,000
Scobey- $30,000
Plentywood- $20,000
Culbertson- $20,000
Circle- $20,000

Nine Montana airports will receive more than $1 million in grant funding:

• Billings Logan International Airport - $12,721,011
• Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport - $15,446,029
• Bert Mooney Airport in Butte - $1,143,102
• Great Falls International Airport - $3,960,216
• Helena Regional Airport - $2,999,713
• Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell - $11,572,182
• Missoula International Airport - $5,616,102
• Sidney-Richland Regional Airport - $1,041,372
• Yellowstone Airport in West Yellowstone - $17,889,095

Governor Bullock Releases Reports Analyzing COVID-19 Cases In Montana

Wednesday, April 15th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today released a report produced by state epidemiologists examining 377 cases of COVID-19 in Montana that helps the state understand who is impacted by the new virus, how it spreads, and patient outcomes. The report will help the state continue to make data driven decisions to aggressively respond to COVID-19 in Montana.

“The report released today sheds light on how this virus is impacting Montanans and provides data we can use to examine what’s working to slow the spread and what our next steps should be,” Governor Bullock said. “I want to thank the public health officials who diligently track and report this information to help us understand this new virus and do everything we can to protect Montanans.”

The summary examines the rate of Montana’s new cases over time, which counties are impacted the most, who is impacted, and how the virus is spreading in Montana. The month of data summarized in the report offers early signs that measures to slow the spread including, social distancing and Governor Bullock’s stay at home order, are working.

Montana's first COVID-19 case was reported on March 11th and since then, the number of new cases has climbed to 377 cases. It took 13 days to reach 100 reported cases. After the first 100 cases, growth has remained steady and increased by another 100 cases for every 5 days. An even slower rate of growth had been detected for most recent case reports and although it's too soon to tell if this slow growth will continue, it’s could be an early indicator of the effectiveness of staying home.

The data indicates 30% of reported cases were likely acquired through travel-related exposure and 26% of cases were likely acquired in the community. While travel-related cases contributed to the majority of outbreaks early on, new cases attributed to travel are declining. Contact and cluster investigations have increasingly added to the case counts, indicating that disease control efforts through local public health staff is identifying those infected and isolating them appropriately.

Other highlights include:

There are 28 counties with reported cases. Gallatin County reports the most cases (36%), followed by Yellowstone (15%), Flathead (9%) and Missoula (8%) Counties.
In the last two weeks, the laboratory processed an average of 370 specimens daily, reaching an average positivity rate of about 4.5%
While the virus can be especially dangerous for older Montanans, 20 to 29-year-olds make up 20% of cases and the second most common age group are those between 50 and 59 at 17%. The median age for all cases is 48 years of age with a range between 1-91 years of age and 50% of cases are between 31-62 years of age.
Of Montana's total cases, 50% are male and 50% are female.
Of 86% of cases with known race, 94.4% of persons identify as white and 3.7% as Native American. Other cases identify as 0.3% African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% Hispanic, 0.3% Hawaiian and 0.6% as other race.
169 people have recovered.
The summary includes specific information on COVID-19 in Gallatin County, which accounts for 36% of the state’s total cases. In Gallatin County, 27% of cases are considered community acquired and 20% are associated with travel outside of Montana prior to onset of symptoms.

Additionally, 13% of cases were part of five clusters occurring in different settings. These include a worksite, two office settings, and two social events that occurred prior to Governor Bullock’s Stay at Home Directive. There is no evidence that spring break or visitors to ski areas contributed significantly to the cases in Gallatin County.

https://news.mt.gov/governor-bullock-releases-report-analyzing-covid-19-cases-in-montana

Valley County Public Information Officer Clarifies Health Department Order Regarding Shoppers Or Visitors From Out Of County

Tuesday, April 14th 2020

Kltz/Mix-93 spoke with Todd Young, the Public Information Officer for Valley County on Tuesday afternoon. Todd clarified an order released 2 weeks ago detailing the restrictions on people visiting Valley County for extended periods of time or for shopping purposes for the day.

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/todd-young-out-of-county-shoppers

Here is the order signed by Valley County Health Officer Dr. Anne Millard two weeks ago:

In addition to the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, the VC Health Officer Order 2020-02 states:

• Persons who newly enter Valley County, resident or non-resident, including snowbirds

• Persons who exited Valley County for any length of time for a non-essential work-related purpose, resident or non-resident

• New Essential Service Contractors staying for any amount of time

• Persons passing through or staying for any amount of time

1. Must abide by the self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days upon arrival.

2. Must maintain six (6) feet of separation from all other people within the County.

3. If a person will be present in Valley County for fewer than 14 days, that person must self-quarantine for the duration of the visit—but they can leave at any time.

4. You may go to work if you are an essential employee, only interacting with other co-workers as needed, but separate from all others after work.

5. You may use hotel lodging, service stations, curbside, drive up, or restaurant delivery, and laundry services /laundromats, then proceed on your journey without delay. You may not enter any essential service establishments including grocery, drug, or hardware stores during the 14-day quarantine but must utilize curbside service or delivery.

6. A person who departs and then returns to Valley County will self-quarantine for another 14-day time period upon returning. This includes leaving the county prior to your essential services work being completed.

7. During any period of self-quarantine, the individual subject to the same shall remain indoors to the greatest extent possible and shall limit all interactions with individuals. When interacting with any individuals, such interaction should occur in a way that accommodates at least six (6) feet of distance between the individuals.

Governor Bullock Addresses Public School Closures

Tuesday, April 14th 2020

Will Montana public school children get to go back to school this school year? Or will the online learning continue through the end of the school year? Will there be high school graduations? These are all questions that many people in Montana have as the state deals with COVID-19.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock held a town hall meeting by telephone on Monday and he was asked about his closure of the public school system. Governor Bullock refused to rule out sending the students back into the schools and said he will continue to monitor the situation on a 2-week basis. His closure order is in place until April 24th.

Here is the audio of Governor Bullock commenting on the public school closure:

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/bullock-schools

Stimulus Payment Information From Internal Revenue Service

Tuesday, April 14th 2020

Who is eligible for the Economic Impact Payment?
U.S. citizens or resident aliens who:

Have a valid Social Security number,
Could not be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer, and
Had adjusted gross income under certain limits.
Who will receive the Economic Impact Payment automatically without taking additional steps?
Most eligible U.S. taxpayers will automatically receive their Economic Impact Payments including:

Individuals who filed a federal income tax for 2018 or 2019
Individuals who receive Social Security retirement, disability (SSDI), or survivor benefits
Individuals who receive Railroad Retirement benefits

If you meet any of these criteria your stimulus check will be deposited in your bank account you have on file with the Internal Revenue Service.


Who needs to go to IRS.GOV to input your information:

Eligible U.S. citizens or permanent residents who:

Had gross income that did not exceed $12,200 ($24,400 for married couples) for 2019
Were not otherwise required to file a federal income tax return for 2019, and didn't plan to
You can provide the necessary information to the IRS easily and quickly.

We will use this information to determine your eligibility and payment amount and send you an Economic Impact Payment. After providing this information you won’t need to take any additional action.


Montana Department Of Labor And Industry Announces They Have Begun Paying $600 Weekly Unemployment Insurance Benefit

Tuesday, April 14th 2020

HELENA – Montana Department of Labor & Industry Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund today announced that Montana has begun paying the additional $600 Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefit established with the passage of the recent federal stimulus package, or CARES Act.

DLI began paying the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit on the evening of Monday, April 13, issuing $20,520,000 in FPUC payments. Montanans using direct deposit should expect to see the funds within two to three days, if not sooner. Claimants who receive checks should expect to see their benefits within the week. At this time, these funds are not being issued to the population expanded under the CARES Act, which includes those that are self-employed. DLI will begin processing those claims as soon as possible and benefits will be backdated as provided under the law.

DLI issued a combined total of $30,770,721 in FPUC and regular UI payments on April 13.

“We understand the difficulties of many Montanans who are out of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we know that these benefits are providing relief,” said Nordlund. “We are working as hard as we can to make sure that everyone receives their benefits as quickly as possible. This is an important step in employing the assistance provided as part of the CARES Act. We continue to urge patience, as the department works to implement all the components of this vital legislation.”

Under the legislation, anyone receiving unemployment compensation benefits is eligible for the additional $600 a week stimulus payment. The payment is added to the recipient’s state weekly benefit amount. The payments will be made for eligible weeks beginning the UI week ending April 4 through July 25, 2020.

Programs included in the CARES Act legislation:
• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) - Provides an additional $600 per week to any individual eligible for any of the Unemployment Compensation programs. This benefit is retroactive for those who had a claim beginning the UI filing week of March 29 through April 4, 2020.
• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) - Allows for an additional 13 weeks of benefits added to the end of regular unemployment benefits. This means claimants may collect unemployment benefits for a longer period of time than under normal circumstances.
• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) - Provides unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them, including the self-employed.

The department must complete a review of detailed federal guidance on PEUC and PUA before it can implement changes to IT systems to process claims for self-employed Montanans and those who have exhausted their regular UI benefits. DLI will start processing these claims as soon as possible.

DLI is encouraging anyone who believes they may be eligible for these programs to file an Unemployment Insurance claim online at MontanaWorks.gov. Those who already have an active claim, or who have already filed a claim, do not need to refile to be eligible for these benefits.

In addition to the expansion of UI benefits under the CARES Act, Governor Bullock has issued directives to waive the one-week waiting period to minimize the time Montanans await UI benefits, and waived the requirement that claimants search for a job during this time.

Five Mule Deer Dead/Injured Near Fort Peck; Wardens Seeking Information

Monday, April 13th 2020

Photo tagline: two of the mule deer does lie dead- courtesy of FWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 game wardens are seeking any information regarding five mule deer doe that were found, with one of them alive, approximately two miles north of Fort Peck in Valley Co. this week.

On April 9, Fort Peck-area warden John Huberty received a call about an injured deer near the intersection of Fullerton and Galpin roads just north of Fort Peck. Huberty responded, found the injured deer, and upon further investigation located four dead deer just east of the intersection and south of Fullerton rd. The deer appear to have been shot with a small caliber firearm and likely around April 6 or 7.

Wardens are reaching out to the public for any information about the person or persons responsible for this crime.

Anyone with information about this crime is encouraged to call warden Huberty directly at 406-263-0068 or call FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where one can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

Governor Bullock To Hold Tele-Town Hall To Answer Questions On Covid-19

Monday, April 13th 2020

HELENA – Monday at 3:00 p.m., Governor Steve Bullock and members of his COVID-19 Task Force will host a tele-town hall to answer questions from Montanans on public health and economic health response efforts related to COVID-19.

Who: Governor Steve Bullock;
Lt. Governor Mike Cooney;
Adjutant General Matthew Quinn;
Department of Public Health and Human Services Director, Sheila Hogan;
State Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Greg Holzman;
Department of Labor & Industry Director, Brenda Nordlund;
Department of Commerce Director, Tara Rice
What: Tele-Town Hall for Montanans on COVID-19
When: Monday, April 13, at 3:00PM

Town Hall Number: (888) 375-5956

Montana School Officials Recommend Public Schools Continue Distance Learning Through School Year And Plan On Not Having In-Person Graduation Ceremonies.

Monday, April 13th 2020

This is a memo sent to all public schools in Montana on Friday from public school leaders. It should be noted that Governor Bullock will make the final decision on if and when public schools will go back into the schools for education.


DATE: April 9, 2020

TO: District and County Superintendents

FROM: The Office of Public Instruction

The Board of Public Education

The Montana Public Education Center

RE: Graduation and School Year-End Recommendations

Dear District and County Superintendents,

We are writing to offer guidance as you plan for school year-end activities including graduation ceremonies. At this time, the Governor is making public policy decisions in two-week timeframes based on the best available advice from public health officials. As school leaders, we know that you would like additional certainty in planning the rest of your academic year.

At this time, national health authorities are stating that social distancing recommendations will be in place at least through May and possibly into the summer. We can expect that even if the Governor’s “Stay At Home” and “School Closure” directives are lifted after April 24th, that social distancing guidelines will still be recommended.

Therefore, we advise that you plan to continue your distance learning plans through the remainder of this school year and also plan to not hold large-scale in-person graduation ceremonies. We encourage you to postpone graduation ceremonies until later in the year or come up with alternative plans to honor your graduates, ensuring equity in recognition for all students, including special education students.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Elsie Arntzen, Superintendent of Public Instruction

Darlene Schottle, Board of Public Education

Kirk Miller, School Administrators of Montana

Lance Melton, Montana School Boards Association

Dennis Parman, Montana Rural Education Association

Eric Feaver, Montana Federation of Public Employees

Dianne Burke, Montana Quality Education Coalition

Denise Williams, Montana Association of School Business Officials

COVID-19 Information From Surrounding States And Saskatchewan.

Saturday, April 11th 2020

While we diligently keep Valley County residents informed regarding the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in our area...what about neighboring states and provinces?

Wyoming.
253 positive cases and zero deaths as of 4/10/2020
https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-map-and-statistics/

North Dakota.
278 positive cases and 6 deaths as of 4/10/2020
https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

Saskatchewan.
284 positive cases and 3 deaths as of 4/10/2020. 17,634 tests have been given in Saskatchewan.
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

South Dakota
536 positive cases and 6 deaths as of 4/10/2020. 7647 tests have been given in South Dakota.
https://doh.sd.gov/news/coronavirus.aspx#SD

Roosevelt County Reports Third Case Of COVID-19

Friday, April 10th 2020

This is a situation update as of 11:00 a.m. April 10, 2020 in Roosevelt County, Montana on Coronavirus Disease-19 (also called COVID-19).

At this time, there are three reported cases of Coronavirus Disease-19 in Roosevelt County. One has recovered.

All of the preventative measures put in place over the past weeks take on new importance now that we know COVID-19 is in our communities. It is extremely important for all Roosevelt County residents to follow recommendations from the Health Department and the Governor to stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with others outside of the home, especially if you are not feeling well. This includes non-essential travel outside of Roosevelt County.

At this time, there are 365 reported cases in the State of Montana.

Symptoms of the disease are fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

Travel information is available online at cdc.gov/travel.

Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact.
Your healthcare provider will determine if testing for COVID-19 is appropriate for you.

Governor Bullock issued a directive, extended through April 24, pertaining to restrictions on food and beverage services and casinos that requires no on-premises use. Restaurants and bars are able to utilize delivery and/or take-out to continue serving their customers.

All Roosevelt County schools have dismissed students and are providing lessons remotely through April 24 in response to Governor Bullock’s directive.

Nursing homes are closed to visitors except for certain situations such as end of life.

All Roosevelt County Buildings will remain open; however, public access is limited. Members of the public who need services at a Roosevelt County Building need to call and make an appointment. For immunization needs, please call 653-6223.

Please practice social distancing:
? With exceptions outlined in the Governor’s March 28 directive, all individuals currently living within the State of Montana are directed to stay at home or at their place of residence to the greatest extent possible. Homes or residences include hotels motels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities.
? In addition, the governor, on March 30, 2020, set in place a directive stating, “All travelers, including Montanans, arriving in Montana from another state or country for a non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days or for the duration of the person’s presence in Montana, whichever is shorter.” You may read the entire directives at www.mt.gov under “news releases.”
Some people may be experiencing mental health problems related to the Stay at Home and Social Distancing requirements. For behavioral health related resources please see https://dphhs.mt.gov/amdd/covid19

At this time, Roosevelt County Health Department’s recommendations for the public are to:
• Stay home if you’re sick
• Avoid contact with sick people when possible
• Cover you cough and sneezes with the crook of your elbow or a tissue
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth and wash your hands frequently
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
• Follow CDC recommendation to wear cloth face covering while in public

It is important for older adults and people who have serious long-term health problems to take special precautions to reduce their risk of getting ill from COVID-19:
• Stock up on supplies
o Extra medications.
o Over-the-counter medications and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms.
o Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home for a period of time.
o Albertson’s in Wolf Point has reserved 7 am to 9 am on Tuesdays & Thursdays for senior citizens, immune compromised patrons, and pregnant women.
o Albertson’s is also limiting the number of patrons to 30 in the store at one time.
• Take everyday precautions to keep 6 feet of space between yourself and others.
• When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
• Parents should avoid placing children for childcare with grandparents over the age of 60, or immunocompromised persons
• During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.

Please do not go out of state for shopping. Travel outside of Montana is the #1 source of transmission for the COVID-19 cases in Montana, according to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, go to dphhs.mt.gov. For further questions, call Roosevelt County Health Department at (406) 653-6223.

Governor Bullock Deems Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Other Magical Creatures Essential :)

Friday, April 10th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today issued a Directive designating the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, unicorns, friendly dragons and other magical creatures as essential ahead of the upcoming Easter holiday weekend.

“I recognize this is a difficult time for families across Montana. Right now, parents are having to explain the many recent changes and challenges in their children’s lives,” Governor Bullock said. “I believe it’s especially important we remember to find ways to bring joy into our homes. We must look for the goodness that surrounds us in each day all throughout this crisis.”

The Directive specifically states, “The Easter Bunny performs the essential services of hiding Easter eggs, supporting the chocolate-egg industry, and bringing springtime joy to Montanans all over the state.”

The Directive also specifies that, “all dental services, including magical ones, are considered essential services, especially during a time of increased consumption of chocolate eggs, yellow Peeps, and other related spring treats.”

Under the Governor’s Directive, visits to homes for magical purposes are considered essential travel. In addition to the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy, other magical entities, including but not limited to elves, unicorns, and friendly dragons, are also considered essential workers, provided they maintain a comfortable six-foot distance.

The Directive puts in place the following measures effective immediately and for the duration of the emergency:

• Magical entities, including but not limited to the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, may freely travel into and through Montana to perform services essential to Montanans.
• Magical entities must leave behind a gift—for example, eggs, chocolates, or the fair market value of a baby tooth—at every home they visit, and must follow social distancing guidelines.
• This Directive does not modify, abridge, or limit the effect of any other statute or administrative rule regulating magical entities.

Town Pump Providing $1M To Montana Food Banks Including Valley County Food Bank

Friday, April 10th 2020

Responding to the severe strain on the state’s food banks during the coronavirus pandemic, the Town Pump Charitable Foundation is providing $1 million in immediate grants to its food bank partners.

The money will be sent directly to 100 food banks, food pantries and shelters in 83 Montana communities. These grants do not require any community matching funds.

“This is Montanans helping Montanans,” Foundation Director Bill McGladdery said. “Town Pump recognizes the urgency to help out our neighbors now as food insecurity grows in this unprecedented emergency.”

Food bank representatives said the pandemic has put additional financial strains on families who were already vulnerable and needing food assistance. They also said monetary donations allow for needed versatility, allowing them to purchase what food they need.

In the past three weeks, Helena Food Share Executive Director Bruce Day said, the number of families served with emergency food boxes grew 30 percent. At the same time, he said, food banks are experiencing gaps in the sources of food available to distribute.

“Having the resources to be able to purchase food and ensure a steady supply is so important now,” he said.

Many local food banks and Town Pump collaborate with the Montana Food Bank Network. The network’s purchasing power equals about $5 in food for each $1 spent by a food bank.

Grants awarded during the fall annual “Be A Friend In Deed, Help Those In Need” campaign will not be impacted by today’s grants.

Area Food Banks receiving grants:

Valley County Emergency Food Bank - Glasgow, MT

Malta Food Bank - Malta, MT

Food Pantry Inc. - Wolf Point, MT

Fort Peck Lake Water Levels To Remain Stable

Friday, April 10th 2020

Full story available from Billings Gazette: https://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/missouri-river-runoff-forecast-reduced-but-still-above-average/article_8391b0d1-7ff0-5892-996b-2c2c22f4f47b.html

Wet soils in much of the upper Missouri River Basin are increasing the possibility of above-average runoff, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

In its April report the agency said "the potential for flooding remains, particularly in the lower river due to continued high river stages on many of the uncontrolled tributaries downstream of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System."

The Corps manages six dams on the Missouri, including Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana. Fort Peck is forecast to rise less than a foot in April. The lake's elevation was 2,235.7 feet at the end of March and is predicted to rise to 2,236.4 feet by the end of this month.

Releases from the dam were 7,800 cubic feet per second in March but have been cut back to 7,500 cfs.

March runoff above Sioux City, Iowa, on the Missouri River was 5.5 million acre feet, which is almost two times average, the Corps said. The above average runoff was attributed to plains snow melting over heavily saturated soils.

“The warmer-than-normal temperatures melted most of the plains snow in the eastern and central Dakotas,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps' Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. "Along with the steady, but near average, rate of snow accumulation in the mountains, the projected upper Missouri River basin runoff for 2020 has been slightly reduced."

The Missouri River Basin mountain snowpack normally peaks near April 15. On April 5 the mountain snow water equivalent above Fort Peck was 17.2 inches or 106% of the April 5 average. The SWE in the Fort Peck to Garrison reach was 15 inches which is 105% of the April 5 average.

Based on current soil moisture conditions, current plains and mountain snowpack, and long-term temperature and precipitation outlooks, the 2020 runoff forecast is now 35.5 MAF.

That's a drop of 1.4 MAF from the March 1 forecast, but is still in the top 10% of the 122 years of runoff records. Average annual runoff for the upper basin is 25.8 MAF.

Unemployment Claims Jump In Valley County

Thursday, April 9th 2020

The number of people filing for unemployment in Valley County increased substantially for the week ending April 4th according to State of Montana.

There were 100 initial unemployment claims in Valley County for the week ending April 4th. That is quite an increase when you compare with 7 claims for the week of February 8th before the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were 192 continuing claims as of April 4th and that is compared to 51 continuing claims as of February 8th before COVID-19.

Those numbers indicate as of April 4th there would be 292 people seeking or receiving unemployment in Valley County. That compares with 58 people receiving unemployment as of February 8th.

The numbers for Montana are even more startling. In Montana there were 26,457 initial claims statewide for the week ending April 4th along with 50,213 continuing claims.

On February 8th there were 11,266 people on unemployment in Montana compared to almost 77,000 claims for the week ending April 4th.

Message From The Fort Peck Tribes

Wednesday, April 8th 2020

Public Notice

Residents of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation,

The Fort Peck Tribes have been formally notified by the Northeast Montana Health Services that two healthcare employees at Riverside Family Clinic, located within the boundaries of the Fort Peck Reservation have tested positive for the Coronovirus COVID-19. Further details of these cases are not available but, consistent with standard protocols, an investigation is underway to identify any persons who may have been in contact with the persons that tested positive to provide appropriate instructions for self-quarantine or other measures.

Northeast Montana Health Services will issue a public statement regarding the confirmed COVID-19 cases with additional information.

The positive tests reinforce the necessity of all residents of the Fort Peck Reservation to comply with the April 3rd, 2020 Fort Peck Tribes Shelter in Place Order issued to correspond with the State of Montana’s Shelter in Place Order.

The Fort Peck Tribes remain committed to the efforts of the Unified COVID-19 Task Force comprised of the Fort Peck Tribes, the Fort Peck Indian Health Service, the Northeast Montana Health Services, and Roosevelt County to best inform area residents and mitigate the transmission of COVID-19.

FMDH Releases COVID-19 Testing Numbers

Wednesday, April 8th 2020

The following press release was distributed by FMDH Wednesday afternoon:

Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital would like to thank the public for your commendable efforts to protect and serve our community. While social distancing may feel like an inaction, it most assuredly is not. As you sit at home you are protecting yourself, along with everyone else in our beloved community. The number of COVID-19 tests that FMDH has submitted to the state thus far is a direct result of that commitment.

As of April 8, 2020 we have submitted 30 tests for people that meet coronavirus CDC testing guidelines, and all tests have returned negative. Additionally, you can rest assured that while following these CDC guidelines, Montana has been implementing more tests per capita than 30 other states. This reinforces our confidence in the results provided by these tests, and reassures us that the social distancing measures put into place are working and should be continually followed to see these good outcomes in the future. We are also encouraged by the recent updated statewide “curves” of known and predicted cases, which show less cases than expected.

It is the professional opinion of the FMDH Medical Staff that these measures the community is taking are working to decrease the spread of COVID-19. They encourage everyone to wear a cotton mask in public as recommended by the CDC and to continue to comply with the directives put out by Governor Bullock as well as Valley County Health Officer Dr. Anne Millard as we continue standing together, while apart.

Governor Bullock Extends Directives For Schools And Montana Residents and Valley County Health Officer Clarifies Quarantine Order

Tuesday, April 7th 2020

Governor Steve Bullock extended the state's stay-at-home order, as well as public K-12 school closures, for another two weeks, saying its a necessary step to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The directives are now set to expire April 24th. Their previous expiration date for both was this Friday.

In addition to the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order, the VC Health Officer Order 2020-02/Clarification to Order 2020-02 states:

• Persons who newly enter Valley County, resident or non-resident, including snowbirds. (OR FOR MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS ETC.)
• Persons who exited Valley County for any length of time for a non-essential work-related purpose, resident or non-resident
• New Essential Service Contractors staying for any amount of time
• Persons passing through or staying for any amount of time

1. Must abide by the self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days upon arrival.
2. Must maintain six (6) feet of separation from all other people within the County.
3. If a person will be present in Valley County for fewer than 14 days, that person must selfquarantine
for the duration of the visit—but they can leave at any time.
4. You may go to work if you are an essential employee, only interacting with other co-workers as needed, but separate from all others after work.
5. You may use hotel lodging, service stations, curbside, drive up, or restaurant delivery, and laundry services /laundromats, then proceed on your journey without delay. You may not enter any essential service establishments including grocery, drug, or hardware stores during the 14-day quarantine but must utilize curbside service or delivery.
6. A person who departs and then returns to Valley County will self-quarantine for another 14-day time period upon returning. This includes leaving the county prior to your essential services work being completed.
7. During any period of self-quarantine, the individual subject to the same shall remain indoors to the greatest extent possible and shall limit all interactions with individuals. When interacting with any individuals, such interaction should occur in a way that accommodates at least six (6) feet of distance between the individuals.

Montana COVID-19 Response Webpage Undergoing Cosmetic And Technical Changes

Tuesday, April 7th 2020

Montana Department Of Labor And Industry Announces Over 24,000 Unemployment Insurance Payments Were Issued March 29 through April 5th

Tuesday, April 7th 2020

HELENA – The Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) today announced that over 24,000 UI payments were issued over the week of March 29 through April 5, providing benefits to Montanans impacted by COVID-19. Over that time, over 22,000 new or reactivated claims were filed.
“We’re all in this together. Over the last week alone, we put more than $7.8M into people’s pockets and Montana’s economy,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “We are committed to helping Montanans retain economic stability for their families and for our communities through Unemployment Insurance.”

Below is a data breakdown of Unemployment payments created for the week of March 29 through April 5:

Date payments created Total payments - $ Total # of payments
30-Mar $5,584,716.06 17061
31-Mar $915,402.43 2883
1-Apr $572,753.94 2139
2-Apr $438,636.65 1374
3-Apr $381,740.87 1189
Total $7,893,249.95 24646

A landing page for easy access to relevant Labor Market Information, including daily UI claims is available here: dli.mt.gov/labor-market-information.

DLI wants to remind the public that the week a person becomes unemployed, that person should file an application for unemployment benefits. Individuals should read the frequently asked questions and watch the instructional videos before they apply at MontanaWorks.gov.

DLI is encouraging those with technical, eligibility, or benefits questions regarding the UI claimant portal on MontanaWorks.gov to view the COVID-19 resource website at dli.mt.gov/covid-19. A variety of information for both Montana workers and employers are available, in addition to resources to help claimants navigate the unemployment process.
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Corps Of Engineers To Shutdown All Corps Managed Campgrounds Around Fort Peck Lake

Tuesday, April 7th 2020

FORT PECK, Mont. --
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday it will begin the orderly shutdown of all USACE-managed campgrounds around Fort Peck Lake to protect against the further spread of COVID-19, effective Wednesday.

The Interpretive Center, powerhouse tours, group shelters, playgrounds, fishing piers and designated swim beaches at USACE-managed sites have also been closed and/or put on hold until further notice.

Individuals with paid camping reservations at the Downstream Campground impacted by this orderly closure will receive a cancellation via email and a full refund. No new reservations are being accepted at this time.

At this time Fort Peck Project is keeping day-use facilities and lake access areas open, such as boat launches, picnic areas, trails and viewing areas. Bathrooms at many locations may be limited due to public and employee safety concerns. Recreation areas may be further limited due to evolving conditions related to COVID-19.

Day-use only operations also apply to all remote USACE-managed sites, such as McGuire Creek, Rock Creek, Nelson Creek, Devils Creek, Crooked Creek, Fourchette Bay, Bone Trail and the Pines. Camping will not be allowed in these areas for the foreseeable future to help slow the spread of COVID-19, discourage group congregations, and to support Governor Bullock’s Stay-at-Home Directive; these are strictly preventative measures.

Please observe physical distancing from other recreationists and follow all mandated travel restrictions. The health and safety of the public, as well as USACE employees, contractors and volunteers is our top concern. USACE will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate actions based on federal, state and local recommendations for public health and safety.

COVID-19 Numbers From Neighboring States And Provinces

Tuesday, April 7th 2020

While we diligently keep Valley County residents informed regarding the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in our area...what about neighboring states and provinces?

Wyoming.
212 positive cases and zero deaths as of 4/7/2020
https://health.wyo.gov/publichealth/infectious-disease-epidemiology-unit/disease/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-map-and-statistics/

North Dakota.
225 positive cases and 3 deaths as of 4/6/2020
https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

Saskatchewan.
253 positive cases and 3 deaths as of 4/7/2020
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

South Dakota
288 positive cases and 4 deaths as of 4/7/2020
https://doh.sd.gov/news/coronavirus.aspx#SD

TC Energy And Contracted Employees Will Self-Quarantine For 14 Days

Monday, April 6th 2020

TC Energy and their contractor Barnard Construction will now self quarantine all employees scheduled to work on the Keystone XL Pipeline in Valley County and Phillips County. Those employees who have already completed the 14 day quarantine will be allowed to leave their residence and will be wearing pink wristbands to distinguish that they have quarantined for 14 days. Those workers who have quarantined for 14 days are also able to go to work if they are doing essential work as defined by Governor Bullock's Directive from last month.

TC Energy and Barnard Construction have an estimated 100 employees stationed in Valley County and Phillips County starting work on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Work has started on the pipeline in northern Phillips County.

Here is a press release from TC Energy on the steps being taken to respond to COVID-19. Following the press release is a release from the Valley County Health Department regarding contractors in Valley County and COVID-19.

TC Energy: With the current and evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we’ve provided some insight as to how Keystone XL is responding to this situation. And, as safety is our number one value, we extend our sincerest well-wishes to the families affected, and we recognize the tremendous efforts of first responders and health professionals worldwide.

The following measures have been implemented for safety as we continue to progress the Keystone XL project:

Protecting our teams, partners and communities

Throughout TC Energy, we’ve established policies and protocols for employees, contractors and visitors to manage their health risk and quell the spread of infection, including:

Staying connected to various levels of health and government agencies to ensure we’re aligned with recommended standards to meet risk levels.
Proactively closing our major metropolitan offices and having our employees work remotely, canceling non-critical travel and holding meetings with partners, where possible, via phone or video conferencing.
Requiring that only employees who are critical to the safe and reliable operations are permitted to work in our offices and in the field.
Requiring all our workers to follow safe practices including hygiene, avoiding large public gatherings, adhering to travel restrictions, and staying away from work if they are sick.
Implementation of screening protocol for all workers and a detailed pre-access COVID-19 questionnaire.
Implementing safety protocols at our Montana construction site

Keystone XL and its prime contractor have taken proactive steps to manage the health risk and prevent the spread of the infection as we begin work in northern Montana on the first U.S. segment of the project.

We have put into place policies and protocols that follow all guidelines from applicable regulatory agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have communicated our policies to local health agencies in Montana near our work site. We are committed to working closely with these agencies, keeping them informed of conditions at our work site.

The policies and protocols established for employees to our Montana work site include:

All suppliers, employees and subcontractors will be required to complete a questionnaire about their health and their travels before being allowed on the site. We are also taking the temperature of incoming employees.
Travel in and out of the site will be minimized to essential personnel.
All gatherings and meetings will be limited to 10 people or fewer and our personnel will maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and others whenever possible. We will reduce the participants in essential meetings to the fewest people possible.
Transport vehicles will be sanitized/disinfected/cleaned after each trip. Hand wash facilities and hand sanitizer will be available at all locations.
A log will be maintained daily at all locations to account for personnel in/out to all sites, the log will be all inclusive with visitors included.
COVID-19 training will be provided to all employees upon arrival to the site.
Any person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated from other personnel immediately and removed from the project. We will also notify local health departments of any person who tests positive for the coronavirus.
Together, we will ensure our workforce and local communities remain safe, and that our important work continues.

Press Release from Valley County Health Department:

Any person currently living in Valley County as of 12:01 am March 28th (they have the pink bands), OR any Essential Services Contractor who has completed the 14 consecutive days of self-quarantine, may also perform the following essential activities:

1. Go to work at any business allowed to remain open as defined by essential critical infrastructure workers by the Department of Homeland Security.
a. If you work out of town and must travel to other counties to perform usual work duties, you must do so in a manner that minimizes time out of Valley County and maintains six (6) feet of separation from other persons except as required to carry
out their usual work duties.
b. The one important exception is if you were in direct contact with someone with positive COVID-19 diagnosis, you need to do a full self-quarantine. Public Health follows up on all direct contacts to all presumptive positive cases and you would have been contacted by Valley County Public Health Department.

2. Engage in activities essential to your health and safety, or to the health and safety of your family or household members, partners, or significant others (including, but not limited to,
pets). This includes obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies needed to work from home.

3. Obtain necessary services, supplies, or food for yourself and family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others. This includes groceries, pet supplies,
household products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.

4. Care for a family member or pet in another household.
As defined in the Best Practices Supplement, all businesses that are identified as essential/critical must limit access inside their doors.
1. Restaurants must only allow pickup (curb side) outside of business or by drive through window. Customers will not be allowed inside any restaurant; they must wait outside in
their vehicle for their order.
2. Hardware stores and grocery stores must continue to keep customer levels below twenty (20) people at any given time. These stores must limit one shopper per household.
3. Convenience Stores must limit access to their buildings and maintain 6-foot separation between customers. They also need to limit one person per family/vehicle to enter the
store.
4. All other essential/critical businesses must also maintain the 6-foot requirement.

Tribes Worry Keystone Pipeline 'Man Camps' Will Further Spread Coronavirus

Sunday, April 5th 2020

Tribes Worry Keystone Pipeline 'Man Camps' Will Further Spread Coronavirus

This is the headline from a story done by Montana Public Radio. The story has quotes from Dr. Anne Millard, Rob Brunelle of the Cottonwood Inn and Darrell Morehouse of D&G Sports and Western along with Governor Steve Bullock.

Read the story here:
https://www.mtpr.org/post/tribes-worry-keystone-pipeline-man-camps-will-further-spread-coronavirus

Montana Army And Air National Guard Members Begin Screening Public At Train Stations And Airports Throughout Montana

Saturday, April 4th 2020

Fort Harrison, Mont. – Seventy three Montana Army and Air National Guard men and women have been activated for State Active Duty by Montana Governor Steve Bullock in response to COVID-19. The Soldiers and Airmen will be used in 11 cities and 17 locations within those cities around the state and began their duties on Friday.

The Guardsmen will be tasked to screen individuals arriving in Montana from other states and countries through our airports and train stations. The Soldiers and Airmen are located at airports in: Bozeman, Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and Butte. Screening will include all arriving passengers at the airport terminals and most privately owned fixed base operations located at these major airports. They will also be screening individuals entering Montana by train at stations in: Whitefish, Havre, Shelby and Wolf Point.

Additionally, each location will have a Montana National Guard liaison officer to work with local Disaster and Emergency Services representatives, public health officials, airport management and Transportation Safety Administration officials. The liaison will work with each team to monitor inbound flight and train arrivals.

Customs And Border Protection To Reduce Hours At Six Ports Of Entry In Montana Including Opheim

Saturday, April 4th 2020

Due to a significant reduction in privately owned vehicle and pedestrian traffic along our northern border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will temporarily reduce the hours of operation at six ports of entry in Montana beginning Monday, April 6.

With the “essential only” travel restrictions imposed on March 21 in response to the COVID 19 pandemic, cross-border travel has significantly declined. Reducing the hours of operations at ports of entry along both land borders will allow CBP to continue to provide service to these communities as we work to keep our employees safe from exposure and community spread.

The affected ports of entry include: Raymond, Opheim, Morgan, Turner, Del Bonita and Piegan.

The Port of Raymond is currently open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The temporary hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. Current hours at the Port of Opheim are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. Temporary hours will be reduced to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday. Hours at the Port of Morgan are currently 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Temporary hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday. At the Port of Turner the hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Its hours will be temporarily reduced to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday. The port of Del Bonita’s current hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. The temporary hours for Del Bonita will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday. Finally, the Port of Piegan is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Under the temporarily reduced hours it will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

Travelers considered essential should adjust their travel according to the new hours of operation.

These reduced hours will remain in place until April 30, or until the Administration lifts the current travel restrictions. CBP will return to previous hours once the COVID-19 emergency has subsided.

All City Playgrounds, Including Tennis And Basketball Courts Are Closed Until Further Notice

Friday, April 3rd 2020

Effective immediately: All City of Glasgow playgrounds, including tennis and basketball courts are closed until further notice due to public health concerns.

A recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that the COVID-19 virus may live on hard surfaces, like materials used for playgrounds, for up to three days.

City parks, spaces and trails remain open for public use but park users should observe CDC recommended social distancing practices.

Montana Department Of Labor And Industry Distributes Over 35,000 Unemployment Payments From March 23rd Through April 1st

Friday, April 3rd 2020

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry Thursday announced that over 35,000 Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments were distributed from March 23 through April 1, providing benefits to Montanans that have lost their job, or have had to reduce work hours due to COVID-19.

“This number shows our ability to make adjustments to support our customer needs and the expansion of UI eligibility moving forward,” Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund said. “I want to encourage all Montanans with UI questions to first visit our website as most questions can be answered by reviewing the wide range of information posted on our COVID-19 resource guide. While our call volume is high, there are still options for Montanans with UI questions.”

From March 23 through April 1. DLI’s UI phone line received over 473,829 phone calls. This unprecedented volume of calls has led to difficulties for some Montanans to access answers to their specific questions. To help alleviate this level of call volume, DLI has trained 70 Job Service and Employment Relations employees to assist with commonly asked phone inquiries, including PIN resets, security word, and job attachment questions. Additionally, DLI is in the process of reassigning other current agency employees and bringing back retired staff members with UI experience.

DLI is encouraging those with technical, eligibility, or benefits questions regarding the UI claimant portal on MontanaWorks.gov to first view the COVID-19 resource website at dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19 before calling. There are multiple FAQ documents that may be able to answer questions. In addition, Montanans with access to computers can apply for UI online at MontanaWorks.gov to ensure that the phone lines are open for people who have been specifically instructed to call DLI or for those people who do not have internet access.

On Friday, federal lawmakers agreed to a significant expansion of the nation’s unemployment insurance program. Once Montana receives guidance from the U.S. Labor Department, DLI will work to implement the CARES Act programs as quickly as possible.

“Help is on the way, and we are working to implement the changes as soon as possible ,” said Nordlund. “We appreciate people being patient as we work through the details with our federal partners.”

DLI is implementing programmatic changes to the UI system to allow claims filed within the new eligibility requirements under the new stimulus package, or CARES Act. Additional claimant guidance on the package, and what it means for Montanans filing for UI can be found here.

When guidance has been received, funds made available and programming changes are complete, and DLI will be able to process the applications, an announcement will be made by press release, on dli.mt.gov, and social media.

In the meantime, laid-off workers should apply for benefits at MontanaWorks.gov, even if they are not sure they qualify. A tutorial on how users can apply for benefits on MontanaWorks is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEYaWXATES4&t=19s. New or enhanced payments will be backdated as provided under the act.

DLI wants to remind the public that the week a person becomes unemployed, that person should file an application for unemployment benefits. Individuals should read the frequently asked questions and watch the instructional videos before they apply at MontanaWorks.gov.

Montana Expands Online Driver License Renewal and Moves Deadlines for Registering Vehicles

Friday, April 3rd 2020

HELENA – At the request of Attorney General Tim Fox, Thursday the governor's office issued a directive temporarily suspending certain requirements for online driver license renewal and extending deadlines for vehicle registration. Issued in response to COVID-19, these changes will help protect the health of Montanans.

“The Motor Vehicle Division provides essential services to the people of Montana,” Attorney General Fox said. “The changes we made today will allow Montanans to continue receiving these services, but from the safety of their homes.”

Driver Services

During this time, citizens needing a driver’s license renewal will be allowed to self-certify their ability to drive instead of requiring forms signed by medical and vision professionals.
Online and mail-in renewals will be good for a maximum of two years and will be offered for the duration of the declared state-of-emergency.
While exam stations will remain open, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) asks Montanans to utilize the online or mail-in renewal option if able. Additional options are available for main-in renewals, please see our website, https://dojmt.gov/driving.

A few reminders:
• All Montana-issued Class D driver licenses that expired on March 1, 2020 until May 30, 2020, remain valid for an additional 90 days after their expiration date.
• Class D driving tests have been suspended until at least 4/18/2020.
• To help with social distancing, customers in our driver license station waiting areas will be limited.
• Commercial driver licenses and medical cards will be given an extension until 6/30/2020 if the card expired on March 1, 2020 or later.

“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our customers and staff,” said Sarah Garcia, MVD Administrator. “The online and mail-in options give MVD another way to minimize exposure to the public and MVD employees.”

Vehicle Services

A 90-day extension will be provided to dealerships to submit paperwork to county offices and vehicle owners to title and register any vehicles transferred after March 16, 2020.

Renewals may be completed online up to 30 days past the month shown on the vehicle’s registration tab.

For more information about MVD services go to www.dojmt.gov/driving.

Seventy Three Montana Army And Air National Guard Men And Women Activated In Response To COVID-19. They Are Being Asked To Screen Individuals Arriving In Montana Through Airports And Train Stations.

Thursday, April 2nd 2020

Fort Harrison, Mont. – Seventy three Montana Army and Air National Guard men and women have been activated for State Active Duty by Montana Governor Steve Bullock in response to COVID-19. The Soldiers and Airmen will be used in 11 cities and 17 locations within those cities around the state and will begin their duties on Friday, 3 April.

“Per the Governor’s directive, the Guardsmen will be tasked to screen individuals arriving in Montana from other states and countries through our airports and train stations. The Soldiers and Airmen will be located at airports in: Bozeman, Billings, Kalispell, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls and Butte. Screening will include all arriving passengers at the airport terminals and most privately owned fixed base operations located at these major airports. We will also be screening individuals entering Montana by train at stations in: Whitefish, Havre, Shelby and Wolf Point,” said Major General Matthew Quinn, the Adjutant General and Montana COVID -19 Task Force Leader.

Additionally, each location will have a Montana National Guard liaison officer to work with local Disaster and Emergency Services representatives, public health officials, airport management and Transportation Safety Administration officials. The liaison will work with each team to monitor inbound flight and train arrivals.

Prior to being staged at the airports and train station, all Guardsmen will be trained in how to properly screen, wear protective equipment and be fully versed on the Governor’s directive for execution.

“At the request of the Governor, Montana National Guardsman volunteers are stepping forward across the state to assist in the on-going effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In this time of need, the National Guard team will conduct screening with professionalism and will always treat Montana citizens and visitors with the dignity and respect they are entitled to. We are preparing our Soldiers and Airmen to respond to all future requests for assistance to support communities across the state,” said Quinn.

Montana Public Schools To Receive Funding From CARES Act Stimulus Bill

Thursday, April 2nd 2020

HELENA— The Montana Office of Public Instruction released preliminary estimates for how much funding Montana’s K-12 public schools will receive from the federal CARES Act stimulus bill that was passed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Of the $13.5 billion allocated to education, Montana’s K-12 public schools will receive $41.2 million through their Title I formula which is for economically disadvantaged communities. Another $8.8 million will be available through the Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund. School districts are also eligible to apply for $100 million in competitive Project SERV grants.

“Montana’s teachers and families are continuing to ensure that our students receive a high-quality education under unprecedented circumstances,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen said Thursday. “These federal funds will help students and teachers receive the tools that they need to engage in distance learning while give local school leaders flexibility and local control over how the funds are used.”

The $41.2 million will flow through local districts Title I formula but districts have flexibility in how they use the funds. Superintendent Arntzen is using a portion of the state set aside from the CARES Act to ensure that every district receives at least $10,000.

Here are the estimates for how much Valley County Public Schools will receive:

Glasgow K-12 School- $148,261.74

Frazer Elementary: $164,306.78

Frazer high School: $82,153.39

Hinsdale Elementary: $28,257.92

Hinsdale High School: $10,000

Opheim K-12 School- $20,000

Nashua K-12- $25,033.74

Lustre Elementary- $10,560.76

Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Receives Medical Supplies From Strategic National Stockpile

Thursday, April 2nd 2020

Thus far, FMDH has received two shipments from the Strategic National Stockpile via The State of Montana Public Health and Safety Division containing personal protective equipment.

The first shipment from earlier this week contained one box of large gloves (50 pairs), one box of x-large gloves (50 pairs), 2 boxes of surgical masks (50 per box), 15 each gowns, 5 boxes of small N95 masks, 20 each standard N95 masks.

The second shipment arrived Wednesday and contained 140 N95 masks, 50 Surgical masks, 1 box of large gloves (50 pairs), and 15 each gowns.

“FMDH is dealing with unprecedented challenges in our efforts to meet the health and safety needs of our staff and community during this COVID – 19 emergency. I am proud and thankful to our staff and our public agency partners at the County and State levels for helping us obtain the resources to fulfill our mission to the community. We are still early in this response and will be leaning on each other as we face the operational situations that seem to change daily. I have great confidence that the support of our staff, community, and agency partners will assure our ability to meet these challenges.” – Randy Holom, FMDH CEO

Current Demographics Of MT COVID-19 According To McCone County Public Health

Thursday, April 2nd 2020

Here are the current demographics of MT COVID-19 cases according to McCone County Public Health

Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Releases Statement On Testing For COVID-19

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital is following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) clear guidelines for prioritizing COVID-19 testing. This ensures that both state and local testing supplies are used responsibly and in a way that ensures we have them when we need them. It is important that we balance the need to perform tests for purposes of establishing the presence of the disease in our community with the ability to provide diagnostic information to health care providers caring for patients that are very sick.

We are committed to taking care of our community in the present, as well as looking at ways to preserve our ability to care for patients as this pandemic progresses over the next several weeks to months. Tests are based on a case-by-case basis. Specific criteria (established by the CDC) is used to determine which patients are tested. People who are considered a priority have two things: symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as fever of over 100.4 degrees, cough and loss of breath, and exposure to someone with a confirmed case or recent travel to a high risk area. People who have symptoms severe enough for hospitalization or other significant medical illnesses are also considered part of the high risk group. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, please call our free triage line at 406-228-3509 and our healthcare providers will evaluate your symptoms and explain your best course of action.

Press Release From Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

The Valley County Sheriff’s Office is working closely with the County Commissioners, County Attorney, County Health Department, and the County Health Official during this COVID-19 virus pandemic. We ask that you continue to follow the directives from the County Health Officer and the Governor. Please stay informed with the most recent recommendations from the County Health Department. You will find this information on Facebook @Valley County Health Department, @KLTZ Glasgow, and @Glasgow Courier. Additionally, the Valley County Sheriff App provides updates from the CDC as well as posting local notifications. You can download the app on the iPhone App store or on Android platforms via Google Play. Look for - Valley County MT Sheriff

That being said, I want to say that the Valley County Sheriff’s Office will not be unlawfully stopping citizens to ask where they are going or to ask for proof that their travel is essential. Currently the county is open, including all roads and highways. Additionally, you may see, in Montana, a National Guard presence in urban locations. The National Guard will be stationed at select airport terminals to assist in taking the temperature of those arriving. This will not affect the Valley County Airport in Glasgow.

Lastly, the Valley County Sheriff’s Office is committed to serving all citizens by ensuring the safety and protection of people and property. All freedoms guaranteed under the U.S. and Montana Constitution will continue to be upheld.

Thomas Boyer
Valley County Sheriff

FWP Region 6 Office Number Change

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

If you are trying to reach the Region 6 Glasgow office for a Region 6-related question, our main phone number (228-3700) is currently being forwarded to a state-wide Licensing Call Center to help with the large abundance of calls received since our office doors closed due to COVID-19 directives. This will remain in effect for some time.

If you need to talk directly to a R6 staff person, you can either call Marc Kloker at 406-228-3704 or send an email to: LaWana Grewe lgrewe@mt.gov , Heather Dulaney heather.dulaney@mt.gov or Marc Kloker mkloker@mt.gov, or you can also message this Facebook page. In the email/message, please state your question. If you would like us to call you back, please leave your phone number.

In addition, if you need to talk directly with a biologist, warden, block management coordinator or other FWP staff member, their contact information can be found here.

FWP thanks people for their patience and understanding during FWP office closures. The Licensing Call Center is experiencing an unusually high volume of calls ahead of the April 1 application deadline, so please anticipate wait times. That number is 406-444-2950.

People also may apply online at fwp.mt.gov . At this point all carcass tags are being mailed to customers who apply online. If you need a carcass tag for spring bear or turkey opener, you may want to get those at a license provider.

Governor Bullock Announces Measure to Keep Smaller Hospitals Open

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock Tuesday announced a Directive that allows Montana hospitals and related facilities to receive financing to remain open and acquire the supplies needed to respond to COVID-19.

“For weeks both urban and rural hospitals have served on the frontlines of this crisis and they need our support to continue protecting Montanans,” Governor Bullock said. “Today’s Directive offers resources to keep hospital doors open, purchase supplies, and will ensure health care workers provide lifesaving care across the state.”

Governor Bullock’s Directive will allow health care, medical, and related facilities to receive financing under the Montana Facility Finance Authority Act for operating expenses connected to COVID-19. The Directive will allow facilities to receive immediate financial support to continue operating during the emergency.

In an effort to meet surge in needed COVID-19 medical services, Montana health facilities have delayed non-critical procedures and pushed back appointments, such as outpatient surgery and physical therapy, which have resulted in a loss of revenue. In addition to losing revenue, Montana health facilities are scrambling for necessary supplies, leading to escalating expenses. While the combination of lost revenue and increasing expenses is difficult for all Montana health facilities, those located in rural Montana face particularly severe impacts. Multiple rural hospitals report having either no cash on hand, or not enough cash on hand to fund operations into April.

The federal stimulus package, the Coronavirus Aide, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will provide support for operating expenses, but the funding may not arrive for months. Many Montana health facilities have an immediate need for lending support and waiting for federal funds to arrive could put the health of Montanans at risk.

Funding from the Montana Facility Finance Authority will provide low-cost funding to allow facilities to purchase supplies, pay staff, and remain open during this challenging time.

Several Region 6 Block Management Areas Open For 2020 Spring Turkey Season

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and participating landowners will open some Block Management Areas (BMAs) for spring turkey hunting along the Milk River and in one area south of Zortman.

Twelve areas will be open for the spring turkey season, beginning April 11, and running through May 17. Most of the properties are located along the Milk River between Hinsdale and Nashua. One additional property is located just south of Zortman in Goslin Flats, which is a portion of the Square Butte BMA.

All these BMAs will be accessed with sign-in boxes. However, with the social distancing and stay at home directives from Gov. Steve Bullock, it’s important that hunters consider how they may secure other lands to hunt. Hunters should look to gain permission through phone calls, rather than in-person requests. Also, hunters should try to hunt as close to home as possible, and even within their own county if required.

“The BMA spring turkey hunt worked well for both landowners and hunters the last few years, and landowners are looking forward to opening their property again this spring,” said Tim Potter, Jr., Region 6 FWP Hunting Access Coordinator. “We are very pleased that we are able to provide this opportunity again. Just remember that many of these properties are in the middle of calving and other farming activities during the spring.”

“There also may be flood waters and muddy areas from spring runoff along the Milk River and other drainages,” added Potter. “Please be cautious and respectful, especially with muddy roads, around these properties as well as with other landowners not in the program.”

BMA access will be granted through a traditional sign-in box on the properties and will be advertised by a green sign titled “Spring Turkey.” Signing in will allow hunters access only for turkey hunting. Other activities such as shed hunting, fishing, or small game hunting are not allowed. Permission for such activities must be separately allowed by the landowner.

All BMA rules and expectations in place during the general season will still apply. These include, but are not limited to, leaving gates as they are found, areas of walk-in hunting only, parking in designated parking areas, using caution around livestock, taking care not to drive off road or on muddy roads, and more. Hunters should refer to the individual rules associated with each BMA, found on the back of the BMA maps.

Property boundaries may not be well marked, so hunters need to be aware of their location. “For this opportunity to continue to move forward, we need hunters to respect both the landowner’s wishes and their property,” said Potter.

As a reminder, prospective turkey hunters can also hunt on Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) that are open, such as the Hinsdale and Vandalia WMAs, other public land, and on other private land with permission. However, some facilities, like bathrooms, may be closed or not cleaned as frequently given a shortage of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment. Hunters must also be aware that there are several BMAs that are not participating in this spring hunting opportunity, and permission would be needed to hunt on these properties through appropriate social-distancing means.

A list of participating landowners and properties is available from FWP’s Region 6 headquarters in Glasgow, by calling the office at 406-228-3700, or by going to the regional webpage at fwp.mt.gov/regions/r6/. Spring turkey opportunities will also be listed, and maps are available, on the Hunt Planner on the fwp.mt.gov website.

Montana FWP Closes Fishing Piers, Group Use Sites

Wednesday, April 1st 2020

As a reminder to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing guidelines should be followed at all Fish, Wildlife & Parks sites. Keep your distance from fellow recreators. FWP has closed group-use sites. This includes all fishing piers at Montana state parks, fishing access sites and wildlife management areas due to the risk of high congregation.

While state parks, fishing access sites and a few wildlife management areas (check for seasonal closures) remain open at this time, maintenance at FWP facilities will be cut back and public opportunities limited:

Overnight camping will not be allowed. Campgrounds will be systematically closed to give current campers 72-hour notice.
Group use sites will be closed, including playgrounds and fishing piers.
Visitor center closures will be extended at least through April 10.
Bathrooms may be limited.
Sites will be regularly patrolled by enforcement staff.
If a parking lot at a fishing access site or state park is full, consider another place to recreate. Also, it is a good idea to recreate in your local area.

For more information on FWP’s response to COVID-19, visit https://fwp.mt.gov/covid19.

Dr. Anne Millard Addresses Differences Between Influenza And COVID-19

Tuesday, March 31st 2020

What is the difference between Influenza and COVID-19? Why are we shutting everything down over COVID-19 when Influenza has more fatalities? Dr. Anne Millard was addressed this question on a Facebook Live program this past Saturday. Here is her answer to those questions.

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/anne-flu

TC Energy To Proceed With Construction Of Keystone XL Pipeline Project

Tuesday, March 31st 2020

TC Energy Corporation (TSX, NYSE: TRP) (TC Energy or the Company) today announced that it will proceed with construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project (the Project), resulting in an investment of approximately US$8.0 billion into the North American economy.

“We appreciate the ongoing backing of landowners, customers, Indigenous groups and numerous partners in the U.S. and Canada who helped us secure project support and key regulatory approvals as this important energy infrastructure project is poised to put thousands of people to work, generate substantial economic benefits and strengthen the continent’s energy security,” said Russ Girling, TC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we thank U.S. President Donald Trump and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney as well as many government officials across North America for their advocacy without which, individually and collectively, this Project could not have advanced.”

At 1,210-miles (1,947-kilometres) in length, the Project will be capable of safely delivering 830,000 barrels per day (Bbl/day) of crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska where it will connect with TC Energy’s existing facilities to reach U.S. Gulf Coast refiners to meet critical needs for transportation fuel and useful manufactured products. With pre-construction activities underway, the pipeline is expected to enter service in 2023.

“During construction, we will continue to take guidance from all levels of government and health authorities to determine the most proactive and responsible actions in order to ensure the safety of our crews and community members during the current COVID-19 situation. Construction will advance only after every consideration for the health and safety of our people, their families and of those in the surrounding communities has been taken into account,” said Girling.

The Project is underpinned by new 20-year transportation service agreements for 575,000 Bbl/day with a group of strong, credit-worthy counterparties which are expected to generate approximately US$1.3 billion of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) on an annual basis. In addition, once the Project is in service, current contracts for 115,000 Bbl/day from Hardisty to the U.S. Gulf Coast on the existing Keystone line will shift to the new facilities under renewed 20-year contracts. Subject to terms and conditions outlined in the agreements, 50 per cent of any difference between the estimated capital cost and final cost of the Project are subject to a sharing mechanism and will be reflected in the pipeline tolls.

As part of the funding plan, the Government of Alberta has agreed to invest approximately US$1.1 billion as equity in the Project, which substantially covers planned construction costs through the end of 2020. The remaining capital investment of approximately US$6.9 billion is expected to be largely made in 2021 and 2022 and funded through the combination of a US$4.2 billion project level credit facility to be fully guaranteed by the Government of Alberta and a US$2.7 billion investment by TC Energy.

The Company’s capital investment will be funded through a combination of internally generated cash flow, hybrid securities and common equity through the activation of its dividend reinvestment program in 2021 and 2022. To provide additional financial flexibility in support of its credit metrics and capital program, including the Project, the Company intends to also file a $1.0 billion equity shelf to enable an at-the-market equity issuance program which will be utilized if and as deemed appropriate. Once the Project is completed and placed into service, TC Energy expects to acquire the Government of Alberta’s equity investment under agreed terms and conditions and to refinance the US$4.2 billion credit facility in the debt capital markets.

“Strong commercial and financial support positions us to prudently build and fund the Project, along with our existing $30 billion secured capital program, in a manner that is consistent with maintaining our strong financial position and credit metrics,” added Girling. “Once completed, approximately 98 per cent of the Company’s consolidated EBITDA is expected to come from regulated or long-term contracted assets.”

Project highlights

Thousands of well-paying jobs during construction
Advances continental energy security
Tens of millions in property and income taxes through every year of operation
Six comprehensive scientific reviews by the U.S. Department of State over the past decade concluding that the project can be built and operated in an environmentally sustainable and responsible way
Safer and less-GHG intensive than current methods of transporting crude oil to market
Thousands of stakeholders engaged, including landowners, community members and Indigenous communities
For additional information on the project, visit Keystone-XL.com

Stan Ozark visits with Mayor Becky Erickson and Valley County Commissioner Mary Armstrong

Tuesday, March 31st 2020

During these turbulent times of COVID-19, its important to understand the role and response of local government. Stan Ozark visited with Glasgow Mayor Becky Erickson along with Valley County Commissioner Mary Armstrong on Tuesday and discussed the actions taken by local government in Valley County. We stayed 6-feet apart during the interview*

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/city-and-county

Governor Orders Post-Travel Quarantine

Tuesday, March 31st 2020

Governor Steve Bullock Monday directed that travelers arriving from another state or country to Montana for non-work-related purposes undergo a 14-day self-quarantine. The Directive follows the governor’s prior travel advisory and last week’s Stay at Home Directive.

“While we love our visitors, we would ask that you not come visit while Montanans are watching out for one another by staying at home,” said Governor Bullock. “This is important not only to protect our health care system, but also to protect against the spread of COVID-19.”

“As of today, travel from another state or country is the most common known source of COVID-19 infections in Montana. I am asking anyone who is in Montana and has recently traveled from another state or country to do the right thing and self-quarantine for 14 days,” continued Governor Bullock.

The Directive applies both to Montana residents and non-residents entering the state for non-work-related purposes. It requires a self-quarantine for 14 days, or the duration of a non-work trip to Montana—whichever is shorter. The Directive also instructs the Montana Department of Commerce to advise vacation listing and rental sites that they must notify potential out-of-state renters about the quarantine requirement. Health care workers are excluded from the Directive.

Further, the Directive authorizes the Montana National Guard to conduct temperature checks at Montana airports and rail stations and screen for potential exposure history for travelers arriving in Montana from another state or country.

Governor Bullock Statement on the 2nd COVID-19 Death in Montana

Monday, March 30th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today issued the following statement regarding the 2nd death of a Montanan to COVID-19 in the state.

“I’m saddened to hear that a second Montanan has died from COVID-19. No matter in which community we live, the impact of each loss of life has a ripple effect all throughout the state and serves as a reminder of how serious this disease is. Our hearts go out to the family, friends, and community of this Montanan.”

Notification of the death was provided by the Madison County Public Health Department today and confirmed by the Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force.

Montana Gasoline Prices Fall 19 Cents Per Gallon In Last Week

Sunday, March 29th 2020

AAA is reporting that the Montana average price per gallon of gasoline is now $2.07 per gallon which is down 19 cents since last week.

One week ago the average price was $2.26 per gallon and one month ago the average price was $2.42 per gallon.

The falling price of oil worldwide is dropping the price of gasoline in the United States. The nationwide average is now $2.02 per gallon and below $2 in many states including $1.58 in Oklahoma.

AAA is reporting the average price of gasoline in Valley County is now $2.06 per gallon. In Fallon County the average price is down to just $1.88 per gallon according to AAA.

For more information visit https://gasprices.aaa.com/