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Bakers Jewelry

Brian Gregory, Computer Consultant (406-230-0643)

Edward Jones, local agent Bryan Krumwiede

Glenn's Automotive Repair & Wrecker Service

Helland Agency

Ezzie's Midtown

Oasis Lounge Eatery & Casino

Park Grove Bar & Grill

Pehlke's Furniture & Floor Coverings

Robyn's Nest Home Decor and Fine Gifts

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Shelly George

Triple A Glass

Will's Office World

Gysler Furniture & Appliance in Wolf Point

Latest Local News

Area COVID-19 Update

Saturday, November 28th 2020

Valley County 11/27
COVID-19 update
MASK MANDATE IS IN EFFECT
Active cases: 43
Recovered cases: 503
Total cases: 552
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 6

19 positive persons since 11/23/2020 -- Cases 534 - 552
NEW ACTIVE CASES ONLY
Age less than 10: 2
10-19: 0
20-29: 2
30-39: 5
40-49: 0
50-59: 5
60-69: 2
70-79: 3
80-89: 0
90-99: 0

Female: 7
Male: 12
With our 549 cases, we have had 39 persons hospitalized.


Phillips County
11/25
Active Cases: 37
Recovered: 229
Total Cases: 272
Active Hospitalizations: 4 (Total: 22)
Deaths: 6

Roosevelt County
As of 11/25
38 Active Cases
44 deaths due to or related to COVID 19

Sheridan County
11/27
45 Active Cases
4 Hospitalized
2 Deaths

Daniels County 11/28
CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 21
NEW ACTIVE CASES: 2
NEWLY RECOVERED: 5
CURRENTLY ISOLATED AT HOME: 19
CURRENT HOSPITALIZED: 2
TOTAL RECOVERED: 88
TOTAL DEATHS: 4
CUMMULATIVE CASES: 113
Mask Mandate in Effect


Montana Legislature Committee Assignments

Saturday, November 28th 2020

Earlier this month the Montana Legislature announced committee assignments for the 2021 Legislative Session which will begin on January 4th.

Here are the committee assignments for local members of the State Senate:

Senator Mike Lang:
Chairman of Senate Agriculture Committee
Member of Senate Finance Committee
Vice Chair of Senate Legislative Administration Committee
Member of Senate Natural Resources Committee

Senator Mike Fox:
Member Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee
Member Senate Highways and Transportation Committee
Member Senate State Administration Committee

Here are the committee assignments for local members of the House of Representatives:

Representative Casey Knudsen:
Member of House Agriculture Committee
Member of House Transportation Committee
Vice-Chair of House Rules Committee

Representative Rhonda Knudsen:
Member of House Taxation Committee
Member of House Rules Committee
Member of House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee
Vice-Chair of House Natural Resources Committee

Representative Frank Smith
Member House Agriculture Committee
Member House State Administration Committee

Representative Jonathan Windy Boy
Member of House Appropriations Committee

Governor Bullock Appoints Andrew McKean To Fish And Wildlife Commission

Friday, November 27th 2020

Journalist and author Andrew McKean of Glasgow was appointed by Gov. Steve Bullock to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission Wednesday.

McKean is the former editor-in-chief of Outdoor Life and currently an independent journalist and project manager, director of Powerderhook, Inc. and an optics industry consultant.

McKean's appointment fills a vacancy created by the resignation of former Commissioner Logan Brower last month. Brower, a school teacher, moved from Scobey located in northeast Montana's commission District 4 to Helena, making him ineligible to continue to serve.

The appointment means McKean may serve the remainder of Brower's term until 2023, however, he faces confirmation in the Montana Senate when it meets early next year.

The five-member commission has final say over major Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ decisions including hunting and fishing regulations, wildlife transplants and conservation easements.

McKean will serve along with Shane Colton of Billings, Richard Stuker of Chinook, Patrick Byorth of Bozeman and Tim Aldrich of Missoula.

Governor Bullock Announces Additional Coronavirus Funding For Montana Public Schools

Wednesday, November 25th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that the state’s Coronavirus Relief Funds have been redistributed to provide additional funding for K-12 schools to cover remaining expenses incurred due to COVID-19 through December 30.

“School administrators and educators are working diligently to provide educational opportunities for Montana’s students during challenging times – and we must do all we can to support them in sustaining safety measures in classrooms,” said Governor Bullock. “While this additional funding will serve our schools with continued needs through the end of this year, our schools head into the new year empty handed and Congress must come together to pass additional relief to support our students and teachers.”

In July, Governor Bullock directed $75 million from the state’s Coronavirus Relief Funds to Montana K-12 schools to assist with safely reopening schools and the resulting extra expenses incurred due to COVID-19. A total of $10 million was reserved to cover incremental transportation costs, and $65 million was distributed based on the fiscal year 2021 budgeted ANB of each district.

In late October, the Governor’s Office sent a questionnaire to all school districts requesting information on funds utilized to determine unspent funds and if additional COVID-19 relief funding was needed. School districts that responded to the survey and had requests that could be accomplished by the December 30, 2020 deadline were eligible for additional funding.

Approximately $13 million is being allocated to schools with remaining needs and the funds are only available for expenditures through the CARES Act deadline on December 30, 2020. This funding includes transportation reserves, unspent funding from districts, and new Coronavirus Relief Funds. All funds distributed to schools must be used for COVID-19 related costs, such as for transportation, personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfectant, and incremental staffing. In addition to public K-12 schools, private schools and special education coops were also eligible to request additional funding.

Additionally, technology funding is being provided to schools that indicated need to acquire computers and digital devices.

Valley County Schools:

Glasgow K-12 $266,746
Frazer Elementary $7706
Frazer High School $2622
Hinsdale Elementary $15,390
Hinsdale High School $12,893

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan Formulated By State Of Montana

Wednesday, November 25th 2020

Credit to Billings Gazette for this story:

www.billingsgazette.com

Getting a vaccine to frontline health care workers is the first step in the state’s plan for distributing an anticipated COVID-19 vaccine.

The draft plan was discussed during the first COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Coordination Team meeting held Tuesday on Zoom.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services announced the creation of the team on Monday. The team is comprised of more than 60 members across the health sector, tribal governments, and representing minorities and people with disabilities.

As approval of a vaccination looms closer in the United States, Montana is preparing to administer those vaccines through a phased approach.

When, or which, vaccines become available, and how much will be initially sent to Montana, is still unclear, said Bekki Wehner of DPHHS.

Globally, there are 13 vaccines in Phase-3 large-scale efficacy trials, six that have been approved for limited use and none that have been approved for widespread use, according to the New York Times coronavirus vaccine progress tracking website.

No COVID-19 vaccine has yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.

On Friday, Pfizer requested emergency use authorization from the FDA. Pfizer has reported its vaccine is more than 90% effective.

Moderna is also reportedly on track to make the same request to the FDA.

Both vaccines require an initial shot and a booster about three weeks later.

A third major COVID-19 vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca, may also become available soon.

DPHHS is also waiting to hear recommendations on how to administer the vaccines and who should take priority from the FDA and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP).

Distribution
The state has drafted a three-phased plan to begin distributing vaccines out, first targeting health care workers until culminating in phase three, where every Montanan could choose to be vaccinated.

Phase 1, taking place in the first two months after a vaccine rolls out, would focus on distribution to people at the highest risk of life-threatening infection and those in Montana's "critical infrastructure workforce."

Current estimates put Montana at having anywhere between 45,000 and 60,000 health care workers, including those who work in the hospital settings but are not care providers — meaning the state is estimating it would need roughly 90,000 to 100,000 doses of a vaccine for frontline health care workers.

Phase 2, three to six months after the state begins to distribute vaccines, will continue to target critical workforce, provide second dose vaccines and begin to expand vaccinations to prioritized groups.

Who exactly falls into those groups is still being ironed out, but includes those with underlying health conditions, those 65 years and older and populations who have been disproportionately affected by the virus — like Native Americans.

“None of those populations have been formally created,” Wehner said.

According to the initial draft, populations of focus for COVID-19 vaccinations may fall into five tiers:

Tier 1: Critical infrastructure workforce including health care personnel
Tier 2: People at increased risk for severe COVID-19 infections
Tier 3: People at increased risk of acquiring or transmitting COVID-19
Tier 4: People with limited access to vaccination services
Tier 5: Healthy adults with limited or no underlying medical conditions
The state's third phase will reach Tier 5 Montanans, otherwise healthy adults, and a tentative timeline puts the state reaching Phase 3 after six months.

Vaccines will currently not be recommended for anyone under 18 years old, Wehner said.

For more of this story visit www.billingsgazette.com

Fort Peck Fine Arts Council Announces Upcoming Events

Wednesday, November 25th 2020

Despite the continuation of this aberrant year, Fort Peck Fine Arts Council is over-joyed to announce two upcoming events, with hope to provide cheer for the community and celebrate the holidays.

A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play
Thursday, December 17 @ 6:30pm and Friday, December 18 @ 6:30pm. Teaming up with KLTZ, members of the summer theatre company, including audience favorite Pam L.Veis, will perform a nostalgic radio program, to be broadcast live. Complete with a Foley Artist and much of Dickens’ original dramatic narration, this program is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to enjoy from the comfort and safety of home. In lieu of tickets for this broadcast, FPFAC is asking if listeners are so inclined, please make a dDespite the continuation of this aberrant year, Fort Peck Fine Arts Council is over-joyed to announce two upcoming events, with hope to provide cheer for the community and celebrate the holidays.

Living Nativity
On Sunday, December 20, Fort Peck Summer Theatre will stage a living nativity, at the theatre in Fort Peck. Visitors are encouraged to drive by or park; concession stand will be open, so everyone can enjoy some hot chocolate and popcorn while reflecting on this timeless symbol of joy, praising the true meaning of the season. Complete with live animals and a trademark FPST design, the living nativity will be active from 4:30pm – 7:00pm.

Additional information about both programs will be released closer to the event dates, as well as updated on theatre website: fortpecktheatre.org

Finally, stay tuned for an exciting announcement about the 2021 summer season, coming ASAP. Despite many beloved theatres across the country being forced to permanently shutter their doors due to the pandemic, returning Artistic Director Andy Meyers is happy to be moving ahead with plans. Although the productions may showcase smaller cast sizes, and safety protocol will be strictly monitored and updated, FPST is determined to get a broad roster of shows open, featuring something for everyone!

FPST cannot wait to fire up the popcorn machine and say ‘Welcome Back’ to our loyal supporters.
onation that is meaningful to them, to help the theatre cover production and royalty costs for the performance.

Valley County Community Pool Campaign Raises Over $1,000,000!

Wednesday, November 25th 2020

The Valley County Community Pool Campaign blew past the $1,000,000 mark in the middle of November thanks to a generous grain donation through our bushel drive program! This comes a month after the committee had another successful fundraising event. The Wine & Charcuterie drive-by event at the fairgrounds raised $20,670 between selling raffle tickets, an online mini-auction, and matching funds received. Interstate Engineering completed the preliminary site survey and base map over the summer. They are now working on the preliminary design phase. Our next fundraiser will be Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2020. This has become a popular online event so watch for details on our social media accounts at Facebook and, now also, on Instagram.

Throughout December we will also have our “Splish Splash Spotlight” series where various community members will be sharing how they’ve been positively impacted by the pool and the difference it has made in their lives.

The committee would like to remind everyone of the many different ways they can contribute to the pool fund so we can continue our quest to get a new pool.

• Keep donating your change. The “Every Drop Counts” blue boxes have raised $8,584 to date! They are located at Albertsons, Reynolds, Eugene’s Pizza and The Loaded Toad.
• Cash/Check Donations – Print out the donation form found on our website (www.valcopool.com). Your donation can be dropped off or mailed to the City Office at 319 3rd St. S. in Glasgow.
• Online Donations – Go to our website (www.valcopool.com) and donate through PayPal. On the Home Page, click on the “Donate” button, then “Donate Online” and enter your contact information. “Finish Online Donation” is where you enter the payment information – either PayPal account or debit/credit card.
• Donations in Honor or Memory of a Loved One – If you don’t know what to buy someone for Christmas, you can donate money to the Pool Campaign in their honor. Memorial gifts are a tangible way to honor a deceased loved one. Go to our website (www.valcopool.com) and click on “Donate”, then print the “In Honor Of” or “In Memory Of” card.
• Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) – If you are at least 70 ½ years of age and have an IRA, you can donate all or part of your required minimum distribution (RMD) to the Pool Campaign – tax free! The trustee of your IRA can direct up to $100,000 per year to the Pool Campaign and there is no tax liability. If you file a joint tax return, your spouse can make a QCD and donate up to $100,000 pre-tax, as well. The Cares Act included some changes to RMD, but QCD’s can still be made even in years when no RMD is required.
• Donation of appreciated assets – If donors have appreciated stock or mutual funds, the pool committee have partnered with Valley County Community Foundation to make that a reality. Please contact Margareta (Maggan) Walstad for details.
• Agricultural Commodities Donations – Farmers and ranchers can gift grain and/or livestock to the City of Glasgow, instead of making a direct cash donation to the Pool Campaign. This results in significant tax savings for the agricultural producer because they don’t have to claim the commodity donated as income for tax purposes. Therefore, no federal or state income tax or self-employment tax is due on the commodity donated. However, the producer is able to deduct the expenses associated with producing the commodity. The easiest way to donate agricultural commodities is to deliver to the buyer (elevator or livestock sales yard) and designate the quantity of the commodity being donated in the name of the City of Glasgow for the new pool. The “Bushel Drive” is ongoing so please consider donating grain at EGT, LLC, Pro- Coop and CHS Farmers Elevator.
If 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, our new Instagram page @valcopool, or go to our website www.valcopool.com where you can learn all about the project. You can e-mail us at valleycountyfriendsofpool@gmail.com or call us at
406-228-8341. Committee members are Jory Casterline, Kathy Granger, Ruth Ann Hutcheson, Rod Karst, Ann Kulczyk, and Maggan Walstad.

Superintendent Arntzen Announces Fall Enrollment Numbers

Wednesday, November 25th 2020

Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen announced Montana’s fall 2020 student enrollment numbers today along with how COVID-19 may have impacted enrollment. The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) collects enrollment data from school districts each October and February.

“Montana has seen a drop in public elementary school enrollment and an increase in public high school enrollment,” Superintendent Arntzen said Wednesday. “The OPI is still working with local school administrators to analyze this data and determine what if any impact COVID-19 has had on student enrollment. Montana’s public schools have responded strongly to the COVID-19 pandemic and so have parents to determine the best way to ensure their child continues to receive educational services during these unprecedented circumstances.”

Montana saw a 3.8% decrease in K-8 public school enrollment and an increase of 2.1% public high school enrollment for a cumulative decrease of 1.8% (due to rounding) public school enrollment. That translates to 2,749 fewer students enrolled in public schools statewide. Private schools also saw a decrease of 9% or 708 students enrolled. Students identified as homeschooled increased by 62.3% or 3,639 students.

This data is considered preliminary and may change slightly over the next few weeks as school districts have until December 31st to change or certify their data.

Montana's Economic Recovery Slowed In October

Monday, November 23rd 2020

BILLINGS (AP) — The growth of Montana's economy slowed in October after signs of recovery in months prior.

Federal job figures released Friday showed that the growth in non-farm payroll employment was 1,200 jobs, the lowest month of recovery since May, the Billings Gazette reported. There were 470,200 non-farm payroll jobs in the state in October.

About 64,300 non-farm payroll jobs were lost in the state during the first two months of the pandemic, according to the labor bureau. Many of those jobs returned when businesses reopened with some restrictions and widespread stay-at-home orders were lifted in May. That month, 18,500 non-farm jobs returned to the state. In June, another 14,500 jobs returned to the state.

But increases in payroll jobs after June have been more modest. In July, the state added 2,900 jobs and in August Montana added another 3,600 jobs. In September, the state gained 4,400 non-farm payroll jobs.

There were 19,200 fewer payroll jobs in Montana in October than there were in February, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics data on employment, hours and earnings. February marked the last month of growth before the start of a recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"If it wasn't for COVID and the election, this economic story would be the headline," said Paul Polzin, Bureau of Business and Economic Research director emeritus. "We had a good, strong recovery in May and June, but it has just faded since then."


The number of farm-related and self-employed workers increase by 2,500 people in Montana in October.

FWP To Consider New Rule Pertaining To Banning Use Of Drones While Fishing

Monday, November 23rd 2020

The Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing via a telephonic Zoom platform on December 1st, at 10 AM to consider a new rule pertaining to banning the use of remote-controlled devices and drones while fishing.

Currently, Montana law does not specifically address remote-controlled devices or drones, and gives the commission discretion to allow or prohibit this activity. Possible uses of remote-controlled devices and drones while fishing include transporting bait and hooks long distances beyond where anglers can physically cast, transporting bait and hooks to areas that normally are unable to be accessed such as closed areas near dams, scouting large areas above water quickly for fish and filming fish in real time, dropping hooks or bait with exceptional accuracy, and landing fish.

The proposed rule represents a proactive approach in regulating this activity and would make it clear that the use of remote-controlled devices for the purposes of fishing is prohibited. To view the proposal notice and submit written comments online please visit http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/rules/.

Public comment will be taken during the public hearing. Written data, views or arguments may also be submitted to: Phil Kilbreath, FWP Enforcement Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana, 59620-0701; or e-mailed to pkilbreath@mt.gov. Comments must be received no later than December 4th, 2020.

To participate in the telephonic public hearing, call 1-646-558-8656, enter the meeting number: 956 6313 6821, followed by the password: 198904.

Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs & Resort Receives State Grant To Bring Employees Back To Work

Monday, November 23rd 2020

Eleven small Montana businesses have been awarded Workforce Recovery grants to bring employees back to work who were laid off due to impacts of the pandemic. The Montana Department of Commerce announced the businesses will share $195,000 to support the rehiring of 31 full-time employees.

“Commerce’s temporary Workforce Recovery program was launched to support businesses that are ready to bring jobs back,” Commerce Director Tara Rice said. “Businesses will be reimbursed for rehiring workers and sustaining those jobs into the future.”

The Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund Workforce Recovery program will reimburse a business for the wages of full-time, permanent jobs that are created and retained for at least six months, up to a maximum of 25 jobs per business. Businesses apply directly to the program. A reimbursement of up to $7,500 per job is available to businesses in high-poverty counties. The business must match $3,750 per job. A reimbursement of up to $5,000 per job, with a $5,000 match, is available for businesses in all other counties.

The following 11 businesses are the first to access the new temporary program and will rehire 31 employees:

Montana Monster Munchies, Bozeman, $20,000

Mountain Property Management, Inc., Bozeman, $15,000

Eagle Bear Inc., Browning, $22,500

Savvy LLC, Busby, $15,000

Enbar, Inc., Great Falls, $7,500

Rockwell Scales, Inc., Great Falls, $7,500

Koller, Inc., Kalispell, $5,000

Judy Niemeyer Quilting, Kalispell, $25,000

The Murray Condominium Association Inc, Livingston, $10,000

Sleeping Buffalo Hot Springs & Resort, Saco, $30,000

Clarks Family Restaurant, Shelby, $37,500

The Workforce Recovery program is in direct response to supporting businesses impacted by the economic effects of the pandemic. The ability to create the temporary program has been made possible by a governor’s directive which allows for flexibility in the Big Sky Economic Development Trust Fund program. Funding for the temporary program comes from reverted BSTF Job Creation awards, it is not a replacement for or pausing of the well-established business development program.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been committed or December 31, 2020; whichever comes first. Apply at MARKETMT.COM/BSTF/WorkforceRecovery.

Theo And Alyce Beck Foundation Trust Offering Grants To Nonprofit Organizations And Governmental Entities

Monday, November 23rd 2020

Grant applications are now being accepted for nonprofit 501©3 organizations and governmental entities such as schools and municipalities for projects that promote better living in Valley County, from The Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust.

Applications may be picked up from Ruth Ann Hutcheson at 12 1st Avenue North, or Edward Jones at 317 Klein Avenue in Glasgow. An electronic application is available by emailing hannah.barras@edwardjones.com. Applications must be mailed and postmarked no later than December 20, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust was established with the mission of bettering life in Valley County. It creates income for higher education and to help fund projects that promote better living in Valley County through non-profit organizations.

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

Shortly before Alyce passed away, she generously decided to set up the Theo and Alyce Beck Foundation Trust. This will be the twelfth year the trust will award grants.

17th Annual Festival Of Trees Is A Go!

Sunday, November 22nd 2020

The 17th Annual Festival of Trees is back on! Through the efforts of Kevin Taylor, Holly Hunziker and Taylor Storage, they will be bringing us an online version! Kevin didn't want to see us skip a year, and Holly had her tree stuff ready, so they decided to offer up their services to the Valley County HOPE Project. The offer was quickly accepted and it is a go for 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 5th.

Kevin will livestream an auction of items on the Taylor Auction Services Facebook page. He is not charging anything for his time or services. And ALL proceeds will go to the Valley County HOPE Project to help Valley County residents with their medical expenses. Up to 30 items (trees, wreaths, centerpieces or wall hangings) can be sold.
Teams/individuals can start dropping items off at the Taylor Auction building (behind the State of Montana High Department building on Hwy 2 West on Wednesday, December 2nd. Taylor said they can accommodate up to three teams at a time coming in and setting up their items on Wednesday, Dec. 2nd from 6 - 8; Thursday, Dec. 3rd from 6 - 8 and Friday, Dec. 4th from 5 - 7 p.m. (Other times can be arranged with Kevin and/or Holly.) Please bring an extension cord with your item if it needs to be plugged in.

As items are added, they will be photographed and added to the Taylor Auction Services Facebook page and the Valley County HOPE Project Facebook page. People will be allowed to send in pre-bids prior to the event by emailing Holly @ hollywood_46@hotmail.com
They need to include the item number, their name and the maximum amount they will bid. (we will not run up the bid to their max if bidding doesn't go that high).

We will accept cash, check and credit card for payment.

If you have any questions, then contact Rod at 263-8757, Willie at 23-4480 or Holly at 406-599-3805.

Man Dies Of Accidental Drowning At Dredge Cuts Trout Pond Friday Morning

Friday, November 20th 2020

According to Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer, part-time Valley County resident Carl Mann died of accidental drowning Friday morning at the Dredge Cuts Trout Pond north of Fort Peck

Sheriff Boyer told Kltz/Mix-93 that Mann was at the Trout Pond at 9:40am with his dog when the dog went out on the ice and fell through the ice. Mann then went after the dog and the ice broke and Mann went into the water. Mann and the dog succumbed to the cold water and drowned according to Sheriff Boyer.

Mann's body and the dog were recovered at 11:25am with help from several agencies including Valley County Search and Rescue.

Mann's death has been ruled accidental drowning according to Sheriff Boyer.

Dr. Fauci Confirms Santa Is Immune From COVID-19 :)

Friday, November 20th 2020

Story from USA Today:

Santa Claus is coming to town. And he's not bringing COVID-19.

At least, that's the word from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert.

"Santa is exempt from this because Santa, of all the good qualities, has a lot of good innate immunity," Fauci told USA TODAY this week.

It should come as no surprise. As children already know, Santa is superhuman. He flies around the world in one night, delivers millions of toys and eats his weight in cookies.

But with millions of Americans already sick with COVID-19, children have been worried about Santa, especially this Christmas Eve when he visits millions of homes. And there's no denying that Santa, because he is older and overweight, would at first glance appear to be at higher risk of developing severe disease from COVID-19.


Fauci is telling kids not to worry, though. "Santa is not going to be spreading any infections to anybody," he said.

Valley County Unemployment Rate At 3.4%

Friday, November 20th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana’s unemployment rate declined to 4.9% in October, down from 5.4% in September, due to strong job growth over the month.

“As Montana’s economy continues to recover, the health of the economy depends on our ability to reduce the spread of the virus,” said Governor Bullock. “Montanans must take seriously public health measures in order to curb the spread of the virus, and to keep our businesses and schools open and workforce on the job.”

Montana’s unemployment growth remains lower than the national rate of 6.9% for October.

Montana continued to post strong job growth in October. Total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, gained 3,700 jobs from September to October. Total employment has regained approximately 51,500 jobs since the April recession trough. Payroll employment also posted a gain of 1,200 jobs over the month. Employment growth in the leisure and hospitality sector has been the main driver of payroll employment growth over the month, adding 2,200 jobs.

The unemployment rate in Valley County was 3.4% in October compared to 3.2% in October of 2019.

U.S.-Canada Border To Remain Closed Until At Least December 21st

Friday, November 20th 2020

DETROIT – The U.S.-Canada border will remain closed to non-essential travel for another month, according to reports.

The current extension of the border crossing restrictions was set to expire Nov. 21, 2020. That has been extended until at least Dec. 21, CBC News reports. A formal announcement is expected later this week.


The restrictions were first announced on March 18 and were extended in April, May, June, July, August, September, October and now again in November.


Essential cross-border workers like healthcare professionals, airline crews and truck drivers are still permitted to cross. Truck drivers are critical as they move food and medical goods in both directions. Much of Canada’s food supply comes from or via the U.S.

2021 Legislature Selects Leadership

Thursday, November 19th 2020

Members of the 2021 Legislature Selected leadership for the upcoming legislative session which will start in January.

Area State Representative Casey Knudsen was elected Speaker Pro Tempore by the Republican Caucus. Knudsen, who represents a portion of Valley County defeated State Representative Rhonda Knudsen, who also represents a portion of Valley County. The Speaker Pro Tempore is the recognized officer of the House who presides over the chamber in the absence of the Speaker of the House.

Here are the comments from Casey Knudsen as he sought the position of Speaker Pro Tempore:

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/casey-knudsen

House
Speaker of the House: Rep. Wylie Galt
Majority Leader: Rep. Sue Vinton
Minority Leader: Rep. Kim Abbott
Speaker Pro Tempore: Rep. Casey Knudsen

Minority Caucus Chair: Rep. Marilyn Marler
Majority Whips: Rep. Seth Berglee, Rep. Dennis Lenz, Rep. Lola Sheldon-Galloway, Rep. Derek Skees, Rep. Barry Usher
Minority Whips: Rep. Tyson Runningwolf, Rep. Laurie Bishop, Rep. Derek Harvey

Senate
President: Sen. Mark Blasdel
Majority Leader: Sen. Cary Smith
Minority Leader: Sen. Jill Cohenour
President Pro Tempore: Sen. Jason Ellsworth

Majority Whips: Sen. Doug Kary, Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, Sen. Gordy Vance
Minority Whips: Sen. JP Pomnichowski, Sen. Pat Flowers, Sen. Diane Sands

Governor Bullock Announces New Public Health Measures to Curb COVID-19 Cases

Tuesday, November 17th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced new public health measures to limit capacity in bars, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and casinos, to limit public gatherings to 25 individuals where social distancing is not possible, and to require face coverings in all counties regardless of case count beginning on Friday, November 20 to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Montana. Governor Bullock also announced he would direct unspent Coronavirus Relief Funds to aid businesses impacted by the restrictions and provide $200 a week in additional unemployment benefits to Montanans for four weeks.

“We must find a way to make it through these coming winter months. We need all Montanans to recognize that there is widespread community transmission, and your risk of becoming infected with the virus increases the more you engage in gatherings of any kind,” Governor Bullock said. “We all have to collectively recognize that this virus won’t stop spreading through our communities on its own. If we come together and follow the restrictions, we can curb some of the spread we are seeing.”

Governor Bullock’s directive places new restrictions to limit gatherings as cases in Montana and across the nation have spiked over the last several weeks. Restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos can operate at a maximum of 50 percent capacity, and can close no later than 10 p.m. Tables will be limited to six people per table and establishments are still required to maintain social distancing.

Governor Bullock’s directive also modifies the requirements described in the July 15 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face coverings in certain settings and the August 12 Directive providing for the mandatory use of face coverings in all K-12 schools to apply in all counties statewide, whether or not a county has identified four active cases.

Public gatherings will be limited to 25 individuals where social distancing is not possible or observed. The directive exempts places of worship which remain subject to the 50 person limit provided in phase two where social distancing can be maintained. Leaders are encouraged to ensure social distancing and encourage virtual services where possible. The directive does not alter current requirements for schools.

Governor Bullock also strongly encouraged Montanans to limit their involvement of any private in-person gatherings of 15 or more people, as private social gatherings are a significant contributor to the spread of the virus.

To support businesses impacted by restrictions, the Governor will be providing another round of the Business Stabilization Grants to the existing businesses that have been vetted through the process and have received prior funding. A total of $75 million will be available to businesses. Businesses who have already received Business Stabilization Grants will receive an email inviting them to accept a third round of funding. To be eligible for funding, businesses must agree to comply with all state and local COVID-19 orders including requiring masks, social distancing, capacity, and closing time restrictions.

Governor Bullock will also be providing $25 million to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry to provide eligible Montanans who are unemployed or partially unemployed due to COVID-19 disruptions with a supplemental payment of $200 a week for four weeks beginning on the week ending November 28 and ending December 19. To receive this support, eligible recipients do not need to apply separately. Individuals will receive the benefit if they keep filing their regular payment requests in montanaworks.gov or mtpua.mt.gov.


Local Little Christmas Rewards Shoppers for Staying Local

Tuesday, November 17th 2020

“Local Little Christmas” is back! A program from the Glasgow Chamber, Local Little Christmas rewards shoppers for keeping their money local. From now through December 31st, bring your receipts in to the Chamber. For every $100 you spend at participating businesses, you’ll receive one entry into the Local Little Christmas giveaway. Thousands of dollars worth of prizes will be given away in the form of local gift certificates and Chamber Big Bucks. Receipts need to be turned in by noon on January 6, 2021. Some restrictions apply. Drawings will be held in January. Make sure to use the hashtag #LocalLittleChristmas on social media to help spread the word!

Valley County Board Of Health Approves Health Order 2020-08

Tuesday, November 17th 2020

The Valley County Board of Health quickly approved Valley County Health Order 2020-08 at a special meeting on Monday evening. The health order was approved unanimously by the Health Board and is put in place to control the COVID-19 Virus in Valley County. Valley County Health Department Director Lynn Miller told the board that there are 45 active cases in Valley County.

Here is Health Order 2020-08:

Effective at 12:00 a.m. on November 18, 2020 and continuing until January 12,
2021. At this time the Board will reassess said order and either continue, revise, or
revoke based on case incidence trend and local hospital’s capacity to admit both
COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients so that necessary care can be maintained.
The following shall be required subject to any noted exceptions contained herein:

1. All group physical gatherings, assemblies and events, including but not limited to
all business, organizations, clubs, and private gatherings, shall not exceed 50
individuals in attendance, and regardless of whether the ability to socially distance
exists or whether such gathering occurs outdoors, shall require face coverings and
social distancing, except as follows:

-Houses of worship may exceed the 50-person cap for gathering, but only up to 75%
of the capacity of the facility in which they commune and must still comply with
social distancing and face covering requirements.

-Food service establishments serving a population dependent on such food as its soul
source of food, including school cafeterias, hospital and care facilities, may continue
to operate using only personnel such as is necessary to fulfill the needs of their
service.

-Local school districts and affiliated activities (whether academic or extracurricular)
shall be governed by the local districts.

-Youth activities shall remain compliant with all directives currently in place by the
Governor of Montana.

-Childcare facilities may continue business and operation as currently allowed.

2. Pursuant to Section 50-2-124, MCA, upon complaint or discovery and verification
of individuals violating this order, individuals may be subject to criminal citation
and if convicted, penalized by a fine of not less than $10 or more than $200.
Further, individuals and entities, upon complaint or discovery and verification of
violating this order may be subject to legal action otherwise provided for by Title
50, Part 2 of Montana Code Annotated.

Motor Vehicle System At Valley County Treasurers Office Will Be Unavailable November 20th Through November 23rd

Tuesday, November 17th 2020

The Montana Motor Vehicle Division will perform a major system upgrade beginning Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 7:00pm. During the upgrade, vehicle services will be unavailable, but customers may still mail-in renewals.

Services will gradually return starting November 23 with full services expected to resume by November 30. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patience during this process. - MVD Team”

Montana Receives Settlement From Tobacco Companies

Tuesday, November 17th 2020

HELENA — Attorney General Tim Fox announced Monday that Montana will recover all funds wrongfully withheld from the state by tobacco companies under the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA), as well as a premium and protection for Montana’s future MSA payments.

Under Fox’s direction, the Department of Justice took on the largest tobacco companies for wrongfully withholding $3 - $4.5 million from Montana each year from 2006 through the present under the MSA. The settlement will return more than $49 million to the Tobacco Trust, Children’s Health Insurance Program, critical public health programs, and, as per statute, a percentage to the State General Fund.

The settlement will also generate nearly $10 million for the General Fund and protect Montana from the tobacco companies’ withholding owed funds in perpetuity. Importantly, Fox obtained the tobacco companies’ waiver going forward of any right to recover the approximate $4.5 million per year through 2030, protecting forever an additional estimated $55 million. Consequently, the value of this settlement to Montana through 2030 and beyond is well over $100 million.

“I am pleased to achieve immediate payment of the funds rightfully due Montana and forever protect the remedy struck over twenty years ago when Montana entered into the Master Settlement Agreement,” Attorney General Tim Fox said. “Montana needs these resources now more than ever to pursue its work in smoking prevention and cessation, help the disabled and seniors, fund critical public health programs, and insure Montana’s children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This is an historic settlement no other state has been able to accomplish,” Fox added. Fox went on to praise the work of Chief Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion, Consumer Protection Chief Mark Mattioli, Assistant Attorney Generals Anne Yates and Chris Abbott on the case, as well as Paoli & Leisher and Morgan & Morgan.

Montana was previously forced by the tobacco companies to individually litigate these wrongfully withheld payments for the years 2003 and 2004. Montana received full payment after the defendants conceded, but only after substantial cost and effort. In 2018, the state’s lawyers discovered the tobacco companies had overwhelming evidence that Montana had completely and faithfully complied with the MSA yet had jointly agreed to withhold 10% or more of each of Montana’s annual payments under pretense. As a result of the conspiracy and wrongful withholdings, the tobacco companies deprived Montana of more than $49 million owed dating back to 2005. After Montana discovered these highly profitable and cash-rich companies had acted in bad faith, it filed this lawsuit, now resolved by this settlement.

The case was settled while on appeal to the Montana Supreme Court by the tobacco companies. The Montana Supreme Court previously ruled that Montana’s enforcement of MSA can be litigated only in Montana court, a ruling — like today’s groundbreaking settlement — no other MSA state has been able to achieve. The tobacco companies sought again in the current case to have Montana’s claims arbitrated nationally in an expensive forum far from Montana rather than face a Montana jury. District Court Judge Mike McMahon agreed with the state that the case should be tried in Montana, and the tobacco companies appealed his ruling. As part of the settlement, the tobacco companies have agreed to withdraw that appeal; in doing so, the district court opinion stands.

Roosevelt County COVID-19 Update

Tuesday, November 17th 2020

Roosevelt County COVID-19 Update

This is the most recent COVID report for Roosevelt County. The numbers for the past week include:

Nov. 10 87 Active Cases
Nov. 11 85 Active Cases
Nov. 12 89 Active Cases
Nov. 13 96 Active Cases
Nov. 14 97 Active Cases
Nov. 15 100 Active Cases

"It is with deep sadness that we report the 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, and 39th deaths of Roosevelt County residents due to COVID-19 over the last week and a half."

Valley County COVID-19 Update

Monday, November 16th 2020

Valley County COVID-19 Update:

Valley County Health Department confirms the death of a Valley County man in his 90s from COVID-19. Our deepest sympathies are extended to his family and loved ones.

11/13/20 at 9:15 pm
COVID-19 update
MASK MANDATE IS IN EFFECT
Active cases: 52
Recovered cases: 420
Total cases: 478
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 6

30 positive persons since 11/09/2020 -- Cases 449 -- 478
NEW ACTIVE CASES ONLY:
Age less than 10: 1
10-19: 8
20-29: 2
30-39: 1
40-49: 4
50-59: 7
60-69: 4
70-79: 1
80-89: 1
90-99: 1

Female: 17
Male: 13
With our 478 cases, we have had 39 persons hospitalized.

Phillips County COVID-19 Update

Monday, November 16th 2020

Phillips County COVID-19 Update
Saturday/Sunday 11/14 and 11/15
Covid-19 Update:
PCHD received notification of 4 new cases of Covid-19 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. These individuals are isolated and contact tracing is ongoing. 5 individuals have met the criteria to be considered recovered. We currently have 3 active hospitalizations due to Covid-19.

Mask mandate is still in effect for Phillips County.

Phillips County
Active Cases: 30
Recovered: 196
Total Cases: 230
Active Hospitalizations: 3 (Total: 15)
Deaths: 4

Valley County Health Department Zoom Meeting Set For Monday

Saturday, November 14th 2020

The Valley County Health Department has set a special meeting for November 16 at 5:15 pm through Zoom. The Zoom meeting will allow 1,000 attendees. The meeting will also be aired on KLTZ AM 1240.

This meeting is open to the public. Its intention is for the betterment of Valley County residents and their health. We ask that persons who are not residents of Valley County stream this meeting through kltz.com or app. Thank you.

Here is the order that will be considered by the Board of Health at Monday's meeting:

Effective at 12:00 a.m. on November 18, 2020 and continuing until January 12,
2021. At this time the Board will reassess said order and either continue, revise, or
revoke based on case incidence trend and local hospital’s capacity to admit both
COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients so that necessary care can be maintained.
The following shall be required subject to any noted exceptions contained herein:

1. All group physical gatherings, assemblies and events, including but not limited to
all business, organizations, clubs, and private gatherings, shall not exceed 50
individuals in attendance, and regardless of whether the ability to socially distance
exists or whether such gathering occurs outdoors, shall require face coverings and
social distancing, except as follows:

-Houses of worship may exceed the 50-person cap for gathering, but only up to 75%
of the capacity of the facility in which they commune and must still comply with
social distancing and face covering requirements.

-Food service establishments serving a population dependent on such food as its soul
source of food, including school cafeterias, hospital and care facilities, may continue
to operate using only personnel such as is necessary to fulfill the needs of their
service.

-Local school districts and affiliated activities (whether academic or extracurricular)
shall be governed by the local districts.

-Youth activities shall remain compliant with all directives currently in place by the
Governor of Montana.

-Childcare facilities may continue business and operation as currently allowed.

2. Pursuant to Section 50-2-124, MCA, upon complaint or discovery and verification
of individuals violating this order, individuals may be subject to criminal citation
and if convicted, penalized by a fine of not less than $10 or more than $200.
Further, individuals and entities, upon complaint or discovery and verification of
violating this order may be subject to legal action otherwise provided for by Title
50, Part 2 of Montana Code Annotated.


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Meeting ID: 939 5824 8175

Block Of Bucks Cancelled

Friday, November 13th 2020

Due to the increase of COVID 19 cases in Valley County, Glasgow Soroptimist will be unable to publicly collect for Block of Bucks this season. Monetary donations are welcome which will be deposited into the Block of Bucks account.

Donations can be mailed to Glasgow Soroptimist,
PO Box 961, Glasgow, Montana 59230. Plans are being formed on how we can support the children in our community in early 2021.

Process Starts To Make Recreational Marijuana Cultivations and Sale Licenses Available By October Of 2021

Friday, November 13th 2020

MISSOULA, Mont. — The Montana Department of Revenue has begun the process to make recreational marijuana cultivation and sale licenses available by Oct. 1 2021.

"Under the new law, the department will license and regulate the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products, will inspect premises where marijuana is cultivated or sold, and will collect the 20 percent tax on the retail sales of the products."

The following was sent out by the Montana Department of Revenue:

The Montana Department of Revenue has begun the process to make licenses available for recreational marijuana cultivation and sale by October 1, 2021, following the recent voter approval of Initiative 190.


“There’s a lot of work ahead before the first legal sale of non-medical marijuana in Montana, and before the first license is issued,” said Gene Walborn, director of the department. “We look forward to working with the public and all interested parties as we develop guidelines around this new industry to move it forward, while also protecting public safety and raising revenue for the state of Montana.”

Under the new law, the department will license and regulate the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana and marijuana-infused products, will inspect premises where marijuana is cultivated or sold, and will collect the 20 percent tax on the retail sales of the products.

Only currently licensed providers in the Montana Medical Marijuana Program may apply for the new non-medical licenses for the first 12 months they are available.

The Montana Legislature is expected to further address some aspects of the initiative at its upcoming session.

Notice To Valley County Taxpayers With Property In The Glasgow City Limits

Friday, November 13th 2020

There was a mill calculation error on your original tax bill that was dated on October 26th, 2020. We were notified of this error and made the correction immediately. The Revised Tax Bills were mailed out on November 12, 2020.

The amount due on the Revised Tax Bills will have decreased slightly.

If you have already paid your taxes in full, you will receive a refund.

If you have any questions, please contact the Valley County Treasurer’s Office at 406-228-6230

Valley County Health Board To Take Up Health Order On November 16th

Friday, November 13th 2020

The Valley County Board Of Health held a meeting on November 12th and addressed a proposed Health Order that would be implemented in Valley County to address the COVID Pandemic.

The Board of Health addressed the proposed Health Order and made changes which will need to be approved at another meeting on November 16th.

The changes included removing recommendations from the order and leaving in the restrictions which basically mirror the Phase 2 Guidelines implemented by Governor Bullock in May of this year. The recommendations removed included those dealing with working remotely, limiting the number of close, non-household contacts and for citizens to limit the number of trips that they take. These are all recommendations from the Health Department and it was suggested to remove them from the Health Order as to not confuse the public on what was mandatory and what was just a recommendation.

The Board of Health also put the Health Order in place until January 12th when they will reassess the COVID situation in Valley County. The board will meet again on November 16th to take up the revised Health Order.

Here are the restrictions that will be part of the revised Health Order:


1. Occupancy for all restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffee houses, bars brew pubs, taverns, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, casinos, gyms, and movie theaters:
- Shall close any inside business activities no later than 12:30 AM as previously required by the Governor’s directives.
- Shall continue maintaining all other current requirements related to Phase Two and current Mask Directives, including but not limited to ensuring patrons socially distance and adhere to face covering requirements.
- Shall operate at 75% or less of maximum occupancy for their business.
- May provide drive-through and delivery of food and goods past 12:30 AM.

2. All group physical gatherings, assemblies and events, including but not limited to all business, organizations, clubs, and private gatherings, shall not exceed 50 individuals in attendance, and regardless of whether the ability to socially distance exists or whether such gathering occurs outdoors, shall require face coverings and social distancing, except as follows:
-Houses of worship may exceed the 50-person cap for gathering, but only up to 75% of the capacity of the facility in which they commune and must still comply with social distancing and face covering requirements.
-Food service establishments serving a population dependent on such food as its soul source of food, including school cafeterias, hospital and care facilities, may continue to operate using only personnel such as is necessary to fulfill the needs of their service.
-Local school districts and affiliated activities (whether academic or extracurricular) shall be governed by the local districts.
-Youth activities shall remain compliant with all directives currently in place by the Governor of Montana.
-Childcare facilities may continue business and operation as currently allowed.

There was discussion during the meeting about enforcement of the Health Order. Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen spoke during the meeting about the enforcement issue:

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/dylan-jensen

Mainwaring Incarcerated In Valley County Jail

Wednesday, November 11th 2020

A man who was convicted of killing a Glasgow man in 1999 is back in custody in Glasgow at the Valley County Detention Center.

Jonathon Mainwaring was convicted of killing Randy Detienne in 1999. Mainwaring was 16 at the time of the incident and spent a short time in incarceration.

In 2005 he was convicted in Yellowstone County of assault on a minor when struck his girlfriends 20-month old infant hard enough to fracture the baby's skull.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison on that charge but was out on parole in July of 2019 when he absconded and had his parole revoked.

In May of 2020, Mainwaring and another man walked away from a pre-release center in Billings and eluded authorities until the next day. He is facing a felony escape charge now in Yellowstone County.

So how did Mainwaring end up back in Valley County? According to Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer, Mainwaring is being housed in the Detention Center as part of a prisoner swap with Yellowstone County. Boyer said there is reason that he was sent to Glasgow other then Yellowstone County and Valley County swapped out prisoners. The Montana Department of Corrections is paying Valley County to host Mainwaring and several other state prisoners.

Great Falls Tribune Reports Fort Peck Tribal Chairman Responds To Tribal Council's Decision To Suspend Him

Wednesday, November 11th 2020

Story from Great Falls Tribune:

Fort Peck Tribal Chair Floyd Azure released a statement Monday in response to the tribal council's decision to suspend him Nov. 5, saying charges against him were "without any grounds."

Azure is suspended until a Dec. 3 hearing, and Vice-Chairman Charlie Headdress is acting chairman.

According to a Nov. 5 news release from the tribes, a statement of charges alleges Azure "acted in a manner prejudicial to the Tribes, including inappropriate official action on behalf of BP Construction."

In his letter, Azure writes, "I have never ever been charged with a felony nor have I ever been charged with anything let alone any that is prejudicial to the Tribes. ... this council does not have due cause to suspend the chairman because there aren't any provisions for suspension in the constitution. So what they are doing is again violating the (Tribes') Constitution under the direction of the in-house counsel."

Full story:
https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2020/11/11/montana-fort-peck-tribal-chair-floyd-azure-suspension-response-letter/6237961002/

Valley County COVID Update

Tuesday, November 10th 2020

Valley County COVID-19 Update:

11/9/20 at 5:45pm
COVID-19 update
MASK MANDATE IS IN EFFECT
Active cases: 53
Recovered cases: 390
Total cases: 448
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 5

24 positive persons since 11/02/2020 -- Cases 425 – 448
ACTIVE CASES ONLY:
Age less than 10: 2
10-19: 5
20-29: 2
30-39: 3
40-49: 4
50-59: 2
60-69: 4
70-79: 0
80-89: 2
90-99: 0

Female: 16
Male: 8
With our 448 cases, we have had 39 persons hospitalized.
457 of our Montanans have died from this virus.
Face coverings or masks are recommended at all times in Valley County, regardless of the number of active cases.

Phillips County COVID-19 Update

Tuesday, November 10th 2020

Phillips County COVID-19 Update

Monday, November 9
Covid-19 Update:
We received confirmation of 1 positive Covid-19 case. This individual is isolated and contact tracing is complete. 6 individuals met the criteria to be considered recovered. 1 individual remains hospitalized.
Mask mandate is still in effect for Phillips County.
Phillips County
Active Cases: 31
Recovered: 178
Total Cases: 213
Active Hospitalizations: 1 (Total: 13)
Deaths: 4

Roosevelt County COVID-19 Update

Tuesday, November 10th 2020

Valley County Health Board Scheduled for Thursday

Monday, November 9th 2020

In a Valley County Health Board meeting to be held Thursday, the Board will be looking to adopt an order in regards to Valley County's COVID policies. The order and subsequent meeting agenda are posted below:

###

ORDER OF VALLEY COUNTY
BOARD OF HEALTH 2020 - 08

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization has declared the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus a pandemic;
WHEREAS, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) recognizes COVID-19 as a threat to the residents of Montana, including Valley County;
WHEREAS, the Valley County Board of Health Department through the Valley County Health Officer have taken measures to limit exposure to Valley County residents;
WHEREAS, proactively implementing mitigation and containment measures to slow the spread of the virus is in the best interests of Valley County and its constituents;
WHEREAS, the circumstances of this outbreak may exceed the capacity of the services, personnel, equipment, supplies and facilities of Valley County;
WHEREAS, the County of Valley’s Board of Health has the duty to protect the public from the introduction and spread of communicable diseases or other conditions of public health importance, including through actions to ensure the removal of filth or other contaminants that might cause disease or adversely affect public health;
WHEREAS, the Valley County Health Officer has determined that the potential spread of COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency and actions must be taken to alleviate and minimize the outbreak of this communicable disease;
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 50-2-118 of the Montana Code Annotated, a local health officer in carrying out the purpose of the public health system, shall take steps to limit contact between people in order to protect the public health from imminent threats, including but not limited to ordering the closure of buildings or facilities where people congregate and cancelling events; and the Valley County Board of Health adopting said steps;
WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 50-2-116(1)(g) of the Montana Code Annotated, local boards of health shall, in order to carry out the purposes of the public health system issue orders necessary to abate, restrain, or prosecute the violation of public health laws, rules, and local regulations;
WHEREAS, as of November 5, 2020, there have been over 9 million cases and 230,000 deaths in the United States attributed to COVID-19;
WHEREAS, as of November 5, 2020, there have been 36,968 confirmed cases in the State of Montana, with 407 deaths resulting, 414 currently hospitalized patient and 13,621 active cases. The number of new positive cases on November 5, 2020, of 1103 is the highest number of new cases for the State of Montana to have occurred during the entirety of the pandemic;
WHEREAS, as of November 5, 2020, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Valley County has reached 424, with 71 active cases;
WHEREAS, the Valley County Health Department has activated response plans and protocols to prepare for cases of COVID-19 in Valley County;
WHEREAS, the Valley County Health Department has worked to identify, contact, and test individuals in Valley County who may have been exposed to COVID-19 in coordination with the State of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the CDC;
WHEREAS, proactive implementation of mitigation measures to slow the spread of the virus is in the best interest of Valley County residents;
WHEREAS, COVID-19 is a respiratory disease often resulting in serious illness or death and is a new strain of virus not previously identified in humans that is easily spread from host-to-host;
WHEREAS, the CDC identifies the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 globally and in the United States as “high” and has advised spread will continue to occur;
WHEREAS, the Valley County Health Department and Public Health Officer for Valley County are required by law to take steps to protect the public from the introduction and spread of communicable disease or other conditions of public health importance, including through actions to ensure the abatement of circumstances that may cause disease to adversely affect public health within the County;
WHEREAS, the Public Health Officer has determined the spread of COVID-19 constitutes a public health emergency and actions must be taken to abate and minimize the outbreak of the disease;
WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Montana, in consultation with public health authorities, has implemented a phased plan for reopening Montana’s private sector (Plan);
WHEREAS, the Plan provided circumstances under which the State of Montana may move toward opening previously closed or restricted businesses, organizations, and workplaces;
WHEREAS, the Plan provides local Health Officers the ability to analyze the spread of COVID-19 within communities and adjust the Plan as may be necessary to address the unique circumstances of individual jurisdictions;
WHEREAS, the current protocols have seemingly been insufficient to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Valley County in any meaningful way, if at all;

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED
Effective at ( )a.m. on November ( ), 2020, and continuing until up to and until the rate of new COVID-19 infections in Valley County is at or below four active (4) cases for four (4) consecutive weeks, the Following shall be required subject to any noted exceptions contained herein:

1. Occupancy for all restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffee houses, bars brew pubs, taverns, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, casinos, gyms, and movie theaters:
- Shall close any inside business activities no later than 12:30 AM as previously required by the Governor’s directives.
- Shall continue maintaining all other current requirements related to Phase Two and current Mask Directives, including but not limited to ensuring patrons socially distance and adhere to face covering requirements.
- Shall operate at 75% or less of maximum occupancy for their business.
- May provide drive-through and delivery of food and goods past 12:30 AM.

2. All group physical gatherings, assemblies and events, including but not limited to all business, organizations, clubs, and private gatherings, shall not exceed 50 individuals in attendance, and regardless of whether the ability to socially distance exists or whether such gathering occurs outdoors, shall require face coverings and social distancing, except as follows:
-Houses of worship may exceed the 50-person cap for gathering, but only up to 75% of the capacity of the facility in which they commune and must still comply with social distancing and face covering requirements.
-Food service establishments serving a population dependent on such food as its soul source of food, including school cafeterias, hospital and care facilities, may continue to operate using only personnel such as is necessary to fulfill the needs of their service.
-Local school districts and affiliated activities (whether academic or extracurricular) shall be governed by the local districts.
-Youth activities shall remain compliant with all directives currently in place by the Governor of Montana.
-Childcare facilities may continue business and operation as currently allowed.

3. All public meetings conducted by, staffed by, or held in facilities of the city, county, or school district will comply with State and Local guidelines for indoor gathering. Individuals with medical, religious, or other reasons for not wearing masks shall participate through telephonic or electronic means.

4. Additionally, it is the recommendation of the Valley County Health Department that the following control measures be adopted and implemented in recognizing of the need to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Valley County:
-When possible and feasible, Valley County employers should encourage and allow employees to work remotely.
- Valley County residents should limit their number of close, non-household contacts to no more than six (6) persons per week, as well as limiting the duration of close, non-household contacts to less than fifteen (15) minutes when possible.
- When possible, Valley County residents are encouraged to utilize contact-free services of businesses, including drive-through and take-out food service, grocery delivery where available, and the like.
-When leaving home, Valley County residents are encouraged to limit the amount of trips, locations they visit, and time in which they are leaving home to the greatest extent possible.

5. Pursuant to Section 50-2-124, MCA, upon complaint or discovery and verification of individuals violating this order, individuals may be subject to criminal citation and if convicted, penalized by a fine of not less than $50 or more than $200.

Further, individuals and entities, upon complaint or discovery and verification of violating this order may be subject to legal action otherwise provided for by Title 50, Part 2 of Montana Code Annotated.

###

The agenda of Thursday meeting has been set:

Valley County Board of Health • Thursday, November 12, 2020 5:15pm

• This meeting will be broadcast on KLTZ AM 1240.
• This Zoom meeting will allow 1,000 participants.
• All participants will be muted upon entry to Zoom.
• Participants who comment during public comment will “raise their hand” in the Zoom meeting, state their name, and will be limited to three (3) minutes.

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• Meeting ID: 967 3643 8271
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• Meeting ID: 967 3643 8271

Special Meeting Agenda
1. Call to order – Chairman Clay Berger

2. Roll Call of Board of Health Members to establish a quorum – Chairman Clay Berger

3. Approval of previous minutes deferred to regular meeting 12/8/2020 (6/9/2020 quarterly meeting, 10/21/2020 special meeting 10/28/2020 special meeting)

4. Valley County Board of Health Order 2020-08. Board member discussion. If Health Order 2020-08 is approved, it takes effect on _ at __.

5. Vote on Valley County Board of Health Order 2020-08.

6. Public Comment: Each public participant may “raise their hand” in Zoom, must state their name for the record, and will be allowed three (3) minutes for their comment.

7. Adjourn

Further public comments will be accepted in the following formats:
• Through the Zoom Chat room during the meeting.
• Email to lmiller@valleycountymt.gov.
• Mail comments to Valley County Health Department, 501 Court Square Box 11, Glasgow, MT 59230. Mailed comments for the next regular meeting of the Board of Health must be received by 12/12/2020.
• Fax to (406) 228-6242 by 5:00pm on 12/12/2020.

The next regular meeting of the Valley County Board of Health is 12/8/2020 at 5:15 pm. This will be available through Zoom.

4 Students Test Positive In Glasgow School System

Monday, November 9th 2020

On November 8, 2020, the Glasgow School District was notified that four students have tested positive for COVID-19.

The positive tests were confirmed on November 8, 2020. According to the Valley County Health Department, the District’s staff and students were/were not in contact with the students during the period of possible exposure.

However, the students last attended in-class or had person-to-person contact with fellow students/staff at Irle, GHS, and GMS on November 5, 2020. Working with the Valley County Health Department, we do not need to close down the school at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.
If any staff or students are at risk of exposure, the Valley County Health Department will be in contact with that person to determine a safe and appropriate course of action. It is still recommended that any person who feels sick or ill, seek out their medical provider for specific instructions.

The School District is in contact with the Health Department and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control guidance to complete cleaning the school and other related facilities. The other steps taken by the School District include temp checks, handwashing stations, sanitization of classrooms, and a deep clean of the room(s). Contact Wade Sundby for details about these measures. School officials
will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information if and when it becomes available.

At this time we will not be closing the school or the district. The students(s) involved will begin remote learning on Monday, November 9, 2020.

Currently, we have 12 active cases, 44 recovered for a total of 56. Contacts of positive cases are 92 released and 21 not released from quarantine for a total of 113.


Respectfully submitted,
Wade O. Sundby
Wade O. Sundby
Superintendent

Valley County Covid-19 Update

Friday, November 6th 2020

Valley County Covid-19 Update

11/5/20 at 5:45pm
COVID-19 update
MASK MANDATE IS IN EFFECT
Active cases: 71
Recovered cases: 348
Total cases: 424
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 5

24 positive persons since 11/02/2020 -- Cases 401 -- 424
ACTIVE CASES ONLY:
Age less than 10: 2
10-19: 2
20-29: 4
30-39: 3
40-49: 1
50-59: 5
60-69: 4
70-79: 2
80-89: 1
90-99: 0

Female: 10
Male: 14
With our 424 cases, we have had 36 persons hospitalized.
407 of our Montanans have died from this virus.
Face coverings or masks are recommended at all times in Valley County, regardless of the number of active cases.

The DPHHS map today reflected 5 more cases that were found to belong to another county.

We usually get most positive test results 2-3 days after the tests are collected from each person. On Saturday and Sunday, our testing partner Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital does not collect COVID-19 tests except for emergency diagnosis. Mondays and Tuesdays are usually only those positive COVID results from persons who were seen in the Emergency Room at FMDH over the weekend. Positive results from persons who tested M-F through contact tracing, at a clinic appointment, or in the Emergency Room are usually available Wednesday-Sunday each week. This is why we don’t see many positives on the DPHHS map on Monday or Tuesday. Federal holidays also slow the test results by at least one day.

As many of you know, the negative test results are absolutely frustrating. First we must actively search for those results. Next, the negative results often do not get “pushed” through to our state database if the tests were not done at the state lab in Helena. As with all test results, everyone wants an answer. We thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we work to obtain every lab result.

Lynn Miller, RN
Director, Valley County Health Department
Direct phone # (406) 228-6206
lmiller@valleycountymt.gov

Valley View Nursing Home And FMDH Give COVID-19 Update

Friday, November 6th 2020

Valley View Nursing Home COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 Update
Confirmed Residents: 13
Active Residents: 1
Pending:0
Confirmed Staff: 12
Active Staff: 1
Pending: 1
We are still testing staff and residents every 3-7 days. We are taking small steps to reopen our facility and thank you for your patience. We have been working on a plan to allow visits safely in our facility, follow us for updates.
We also want to thank everyone who helped on Halloween! Thank you for wearing your masks and bringing light to our residents lives during this pandemic!


Current FMDH Inpatient Status 11/05/2020
+ 11 Inpatients Total
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
+ 5 Confirmed Covid Positive Inpatients
+ 1 Confirmed Covid Negative Inpatients
+ 1 Recently Recovered Covid Positive Inpatient
+ 4 Pending Covid Results Inpatients

Fort Peck Tribal Executive Board Suspends Chairman Floyd Azure

Thursday, November 5th 2020

Social Security Benefits To Increase 1.3% In 2021

Thursday, November 5th 2020

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021, the Social Security Administration announced today.

The 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 31, 2020. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $142,800 from $137,700.

Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Security account. People may create or access their my Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.

Information about Medicare changes for 2021, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2021 are announced. Final 2021 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center.

The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Student Tests Positive For COVID-19 At Glasgow Middle School

Thursday, November 5th 2020

On November 4, 2020, the Glasgow School District was notified that a student had tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test was confirmed on November 4, 2020. According to the Valley County Health Department, the District’s staff and students were not in contact with the student during the period of possible exposure. However, the student last attended in-class or had person-to-person contact with fellow students/staff at GMS on October 29, 2020. Working with the Valley County Health Department, we do not need to close down the school at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.

If any staff or students are at risk of exposure, the Valley County Health Department will be in contact with that person to determine a safe and appropriate course of action. It is still recommended that any person who feels sick or ill, seek out their medical provider for specific instructions. The School District is in contact with the Health Department and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control guidance to complete cleaning the school and other related facilities. The other steps taken by the School District include temp checks, handwashing stations, sanitization of classrooms, and a deep clean of the room(s).

At this time we will not be closing the school or the district. The students involved will begin remote learning on Thursday, November 5, 2020. If there are any questions concerning remote learning Mr. Zoanni at GMS at 406.228.8268. If there are any other questions please contact Wade Sundby at
the central office at 406.228.2406.

Currently, we have 2 active cases, 42 recovered for a total of 44. Contacts of positive cases are 73 released and 36 not released from quarantine for a total of 109.

Respectfully submitted,

Wade O. Sundby

Superintendent

Roosevelt County COVID-19 Update

Thursday, November 5th 2020

Montana Voters Approve Ballot Measure That Legalizes, Regulates, and Taxes Marijuana For Adults 21 And Over

Wednesday, November 4th 2020

Helena, MT — Montana voters have approved two complementary ballot initiatives that legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults 21 and over. Montana joins 14 other states that have enacted marijuana legalization laws.

“By legalizing marijuana, Montanans have adopted a policy that is good for public health, good for public safety, and good for public finances,” said Ted Dick, New Approach Montana campaign manager and co-founder. “The initiatives will free up law enforcement to focus on serious crime, as Montana ends the practice of arresting otherwise law-abiding adults for personal use of marijuana. At the same time, 118 and 190 will expand access to medical marijuana for many patients, including veterans, and provide a new funding source for important state programs.”

Initiative 190, which establishes state laws to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, was approved by an initial reported margin of 57%-43%. Constitutional Initiative 118, which amends the state constitution to allow state law to set a minimum legal age of 21 for marijuana, was approved by a margin of 58%-42%.

“This is the culmination of a two-year campaign and belongs to the people of Montana,” said New Approach co-founder and political director Pepper Petersen. “During that time, we heard from thousands of Montanans who were demanding commonsense marijuana policy for our state. Now, thanks to their effort and their votes, we have that.”

According to a report published in September by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, the initiatives will generate an estimated $236 million in new tax revenue over the first six years.

“Montana is facing serious fiscal challenges in the years ahead, and marijuana revenue can help ease the pain,” said Dave Lewis, policy advisor to New Approach Montana, former budget director for three Montana governors, and former Republican state senator. “In addition, there will be new jobs created both directly and indirectly by marijuana legalization. These initiatives have significant fiscal and economic benefits for Montana.”

Initiative 190 allocates funds to revenue accounts in support of public lands programs, veterans services, community and home healthcare services, substance abuse treatment and prevention programs, and local governments.

“Today is a victory for the public lands and conservation communities in Montana,” said the Public Lands Coalition for 190 and 118, a group of leading conservation groups that backed both of the initiatives. “These additional funds will help address the state’s backlog of repairs to campgrounds, trails, and wildlife habitats and help open access to our public lands. This is a win-win for the conservation community and all Montanans.”

The initiatives were supported by a range of organizations including the SEIU.

“We are thrilled with the passage of CI-118 and I-190. These two initiatives will not only enable the funding of much needed long-term healthcare for Montanans, but also reform broken policies that target low-income people and communities of color,” said Jacquie Helt, Montana State Director for SEIU 775.

Starting January 1, 2021, Montanans aged 21 and over will be permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana with no more than eight grams in concentrated form. Montana adults will also be permitted to grow up to four plants and four seedlings at home, provided there is no more than eight of each at any single residence. Legal sales are expected to begin in February 2022.

Valley County COVID-19 Update

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020

Valley County COVID-19 Update

11/2/20 at 5:55pm
COVID-19 update
MASK MANDATE IS IN EFFECT
Active cases: 57
Recovered cases: 338
Total cases: 400
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 5

33 positive persons since 10/29/2020 -- Cases 368 -- 400
ACTIVE CASES ONLY:
Age less than 10: 0
10-19: 3
20-29: 3
30-39: 8
40-49: 5
50-59: 3
60-69: 4
70-79: 3
80-89: 2
90-99: 2

Female: 14
Male: 19
With our 400 cases, we have had 36 persons hospitalized.

Chicken Ordinance Goes Down And GOP Sweeps Valley County

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020

Voters in the City of Glasgow soundly rejected a proposed ordinance that would of allowed chickens to be raised in the city. The final vote was 720-1049.

Voters in Valley County voted GOP in all races that had a partisan flavor. President Donald Trump secured 73% of the Valley County vote while Senator Steve Daines scored 69% of the vote in Valley County.

Full Valley County Election Results can be found here:

https://electionresults.mt.gov/

Valley County Board Of Health Meeting Postponed To November 11th

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020

Press Release From Valley County Board Of Health:

We have rescheduled the public health meeting for this week to Wednesday November 11, 2020 at 5:15pm. We are still working on a possible public health order (mandate) and the drafting of this is taking longer than what was anticipated. We will have the order put out in detail by November 9 and will be accepting public comment up to and at the meeting on November 11.

I apologize for the delay in this, but we want to insure the public has ample opportunity to comment prior to a health board vote on any public health order affecting Valley County. The current Governor’s Phase II and mask mandates are in effect. Business and individuals will have to follow these mandates. And these are enforceable by public health.

If you have any questions, please contact me. Please get this change of meeting time out to your members.

Thank you. Clay Berger, Chairman
Valley County Board of Public Health

Governor Bullock Announces Nursing Teams From Federal Government Will Assist With Montana Hospitals Including Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock Monday announced that nursing teams secured last week from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are now assisting hospitals in Central and Eastern Montana communities.

“Healthcare workers throughout the state are working tirelessly to care for Montanans hospitalized due to COVID-19 while performing their additional duties,” said Governor Bullock. “These nursing teams are stepping up to fill in the gaps with staffing shortages and help ensure that together as Montanans we can work to save lives. I ask that all Montanans do their part in taking precautions to slow the spread and support our healthcare workers.”

The five teams, with at least five medical professionals per team, are on site and beginning to provide much needed assistance at the following hospitals:

Eastern Montana
Sidney Health Center, Sidney, MT
Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital, Glasgow, MT
Billings Clinic, Billings, MT

Central Montana
Benefis Health System, Great Falls, MT
Marias Medical Center, Shelby, MT

Teams may be deployed elsewhere depending on need.

Last week, Governor Bullock announced that Montana had secured five teams to support the state with nursing shortfalls due to the increasing number of healthcare workers testing positive or quarantined due to COVID-19. These teams will provide medical support to these key regional hospitals through temporary staffing.

The state requested the teams be in Montana for up to 30 days and operations are being coordinated through the Montana State Emergency Coordination Center (SECC).

Phillips County COVID-19 Update

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020

Phillips County COVID-19 Update

Monday, 11/2 Covid-19 update:
Monday we received confirmation of an additional COVID-19 case. The individual is isolated and contact tracing is complete. 1 individual met the criteria for recovery.
Mask mandate in effect
Phillips County
Active Cases: 37
Recovered: 156
Total Cases: 194
Active Hospitalizations: 2 (Total: 13)
Deaths: 1

Significant Snowfall Expected For Northeast Montana This Weekend

Tuesday, November 3rd 2020

The National Weather Service is watching a significant winter storm system that could bring large amounts of snow to northeast Montana.

The NWS is projecting possible record breaking warm temperatures through Thursday and then rain starting on Friday and changing to snow Saturday and Sunday.

Temperatures drop from well above normal to well below normal.
Precipitation chances start Friday morning, beginning as rain.
Precipitation changes to snow Saturday and Sunday, significant accumulations possible.

4 National Guard Soldiers Deployed To Scobey To Help With COVID-19

Friday, October 30th 2020

PUBLIC NOTICE
Thursday, October 29, 2020
RE: National Guard deployed to Scobey, MT

On October 26, Bridget Norby, Hospital Preparedness Manager, contacted local DES Mary Nyhus about a request for the staffing shortage due to the current COVID situation. Mary then sent the request letter to Jeff Gates, the State DES, on October 27.

On the afternoon of October 27, a Sergeant with the National Guard contacted Bridget about the facilities status and situation. On October 28, a team of 4 soldiers deployed for Scobey and began work in the facility on October 29.

These Soldiers will be here for 14 days, dependent on the situation, and could be here for up to 20 days. They will assist in any department needing help, from Environmental Services to assisting on the nursing floor, aiding staff and providing some much needed relief.

Daniels Memorial Healthcare continues to provide quality care to all patients and are taking every precaution to keep everyone safe. Our staff appreciates the support from the community and has faith we will get through this together.

Please join us in welcoming the National Guard to our community and show them our utmost appreciation. God Bless, stay safe, and please take the necessary precautions around town. Please help us, help you. If you have any concerns we encourage you to please reach out and we would be happy to help you in any way we can.

Bridget Norby
Hospital Preparedness Manager
Daniels Memorial Incident Command

7 Inpatients At Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital

Friday, October 30th 2020

Current FMDH Inpatient Status 10/30/2020
+ 7 Inpatients, + 1 Baby Total
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
+ 2 Confirmed Covid Positive Inpatients
+ 3 Recently Recovered Covid Positive Inpatients
+ 2 Not Tested / Obstetric / Newborn

Roosevelt County Reports 31 Deaths Due To COVID-19

Friday, October 30th 2020

3513 Ballots Cast In Valley County In Advance Of November 3rd General Election

Friday, October 30th 2020

Valley County Voters are returning their ballots in advance of the November 3rd General Election. 3513 ballots have been turned in to the Valley County Election Administrator as of October 29th.

This constitutes 72% of the 4866 ballots that have been turned out to registered voters in Valley County.

Statewide, 471,519 ballots have been returned which is 72% of the ballots turned out to voters statewide.

Roosevelt County has 63% of ballots returned and Phillips County with 72%.

Ballots must be turned in by 8pm November 3rd.

2 Additional Students In Glasgow School District Test Positive For COVID-19

Thursday, October 29th 2020

On October 28, 2020, the Glasgow School District was notified that two students had tested positive for COVID-19.

The positive tests were confirmed on October 28, 2020. According to the Valley County Health Department, the District’s staff and students were not in contact with the student during the period of possible exposure. However, the student last attended in-class or had person-to-person contact with fellow students/staff at the GHS and GMS on October 14, 2020. Working with the Valley County Health Department, we do not need to close down the school at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.

School officials will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information if and when it becomes available.

At this time we will not be closing the school or the district. The classroom(s)/students(s) involved will begin remote learning on Monday, October 26, 2020. If there are any questions concerning remote learning at GHS, please call Mr. Huntsman at 406.228.2485 or Mr. Zoanni at GMS at
406.228.8268. If there are any other questions please contact Wade Sundby at the central office at 406.228.2406.

Currently, we have 3 active cases, 41 recovered for a total of 44. Contacts of positive cases are 53 released and 47 not released from quarantine for a total of 100.

Valley County Reports Additional Death Due To COVID-19

Thursday, October 29th 2020

Report from Calley County Health Department:
Valley County confirms the death of a woman in her 80s. Our sympathies are extended to her family.
10/29/20 at 5:55pm
COVID-19 update
Active cases: 73
Recovered cases: 289
Total cases: 367
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 5
20 positive persons since 10/26/2020 -- Cases 348 -- 367
ACTIVE CASES ONLY:
Age less than 10: 0
10-19: 3
20-29: 1
30-39: 2
40-49: 3
50-59: 3
60-69: 4
70-79: 3
80-89: 0
90-99: 1
Female: 10
Male: 10
Towns involved in Valley County:
For cases 1-350: 67% reside in Glasgow, 15% reside in Frazer, 10% reside in Nashua, the remaining 8% are from Hinsdale, Fort Peck, St. Marie, Larslan, and Richland. Our COVID situation can change overnight with an increase or decrease. Of these 350 cases, we have a 10% hospitalization rate, and it will be years before all of the long-term effects, disease complications, or disabilities of this virus are known or understood.

Valley County Board Of Health Considers Enforcement Of Phase 2 COVID Restrictions

Thursday, October 29th 2020

The Valley County Board of Health met on Wednesday to discuss enforcement of restrictions in place to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Stan Ozark has the story:

https://soundcloud.com/kltz-glasgow/board-of-health-10-29

2nd Avenue South Paving Project To Begin Thursday

Wednesday, October 28th 2020

Due to a break in the weather, Century Construction will begin work on the 2nd Avenue South paving project Thursday and progress thru Wednesday, November 4th.

Weather dependent, the company hopes to do milling work thru Saturday and asphalt paving to start on Monday, November 2nd.

Work will start on the south of the Avenue and progress across the street, only one side of the street will be open to traffic, with no parking while the work is progressing.

The project includes 2nd Avenue South from D&G to Western Drug. It's a 2 block project.

CFAP 2 Program Pays Out More Than $7 Billion To Agricultural Producers Including $145 Million In Montana

Wednesday, October 28th 2020

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that in the first month of the application period, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) approved more than $7 billion in payments to producers in the second round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. CFAP 2 provides agricultural producers with financial assistance to help absorb some of the increased marketing costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

7139 applications have been approved in Montana and a total of $145,632,409 has been paid out to agricultural producers in Montana under the CFAP 2 program. This includes over $66 million to cattle producers and over $45 million to wheat producers.

Festival Of Trees Cancelled For 2020

Tuesday, October 27th 2020

The organizing committee of the Festival of Trees regret to announce that the 16th annual Dinner and Tree Auction has been cancelled.

This event has typically started the holiday season in Glasgow, and has been a staple fundraiser for the Valley County HOPE Project. Tax deductible donations can be made to the HOPE Project by visiting our website (www.valcohope.com) or our Facebook page.

Thank you for your past support, and we look forward to being back in 2021!

Northern Lights 4-H To Hold Virtual Halloween Party

Tuesday, October 27th 2020

The Northern Lights 4-h club has made the hard decision not to host their annual Halloween party this year due to recommendations from FMDH and the Valley County Health Department. In hopes of still creating some fun for the kids the club will have goodie bags to hand out and will do their costume contest , cake decorating contest , and pumpkin carving contest virtually. Photos can be submitted via text or email by 5 pm Sunday evening November 1 to any of the following:
Britt: 406.209.0915 brittanyallestad@hotmail.com
Jody: 406.581.9297 Fossumjo@hotmail.com
Lori: 406.724.7179 loriwestby@hotmail.com

Goodie bags will be handed out Thursday the 29 after school. School age students will also be given bags for their siblings. Winners of the contests will be contacted and announced Monday November 2 and prizes will be handed out after school for the following categories:
-Best costume boy and girl:preschool and under
-Best costume boy and girl :K-2
-Best costume boy and girl :3-6
-Best costume boy and girl: 7-8
-Best costume boy and girl: 9-12
-Best costume boy and girl :adult

-Best Cake 9th-adult and 8th and under
-Best Pumpkin 9th-adult and 8th and under

We are excited to see everyone's submissions!
Northern Lights 4-h Club

FMDH With 9 Inpatients As Of 10/26

Tuesday, October 27th 2020

Current FMDH Inpatient Status 10/26/2020 ????
+ 9 Inpatients Total
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
+ 7 Confirmed Covid Positive Inpatients
+ 2 Confirmed Covid Negative Inpatient

Valley County COVID-19 Update

Monday, October 26th 2020

10/26/20 at 5:55pm
COVID-19 update
Active cases: 66
Recovered cases: 277
Total cases: 347
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 4
32 positive persons since 10/23/2020 -- Cases 316 – 347
ACTIVE CASES ONLY:
Age less than 10: 2
10-19: 0
20-29: 2
30-39: 1
40-49: 8
50-59: 3
60-69: 10
70-79: 4
80-89: 2
90-99: 0
Female: 24
Male: 8
Towns involved in Valley County: 6

Strommen Sentencing Postponed Again

Monday, October 26th 2020

Former Valley County Undersheriff Luke Strommen was set to be sentenced on October 27th but Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer announced the sentencing has been postponed. No new date has been scheduled for the sentencing.

This is the 3rd time that Strommen's sentencing has been postponed. He was originally set to be sentenced August 28th. That was postponed to October 7th and then was postponed to October 27th.

Strommen remains incarcerated in the Roosevelt County Detention Center in Wolf Point.

A Valley County Jury found Strommen guilty on the charge of Sexual Intercourse without Consent on July 17th.

He faces life in prison or a sentence of no more than 100 years or no less than four years.

Valley County Board Of Health To Meet On Wednesday

Monday, October 26th 2020

The Valley County Board of Health has set a special meeting for Wednesday, October 28 at 5:15pm through Zoom. No Zoom invitations will be sent. The Zoom meeting will allow 1,000 attendees. The meeting will also be aired on KLTZ AM 1240.

This meeting is open to the public. It’s intention is for the betterment of Valley County residents and their health. We ask that persons who are not residents of Valley County stream this meeting through the KLTZ AM 1240 website or app. Thank you.

Agenda:

Board of Health Special Meeting Agenda October 28, 2020 at 5:15pm

1. Call to order – Chairman Clay Berger

2. Roll Call of Board of Health Members to establish a quorum – Chairman Clay Berger

3. Approval of previous minutes deferred to regular meeting 12/8/2020 (6/9/2020 quarterly meeting and 10/21/2020 special meeting)

4. Current status of Valley County related to COVID issues – Update from 10/21/2020 Special BOH meeting if needed at this time. Each representative will “raise their hand” in Zoom, must state their name for the record, and will be allowed three (3) minutes for their update.
a. Trends in Valley County – Health Officer, BOH, VCHD
b. City of Glasgow
c. Medical – FMDH, VVH, PRV
d. Responders – StatAir, Law enforcement, Jail, EMS, Fire, Mortuary
e. Schools in Valley County – Frazer, Glasgow, Hinsdale, Lustre, Nashua, Opheim
f. Chamber of Commerce and/or businesses since last meeting

5. Review authority of Health Board – County Attorney Dylan Jensen

6. Review the Governor’s Directive: Phase 2 – County Attorney Dylan Jensen

7. Abatement measures.
a. Review current county abatement measures – County Attorney Dylan Jensen
b. Discussion of additional abatement measures – Board of Health members and Health Officer

8. Call for a motion to set time and date for a meeting to vote on additional abatement measures.

9. Call for motion(s) outlining detailed abatement measures on which the Board of Health will vote at the date and time set in agenda item #8.

10. Public Comment: Each public participant may “raise their hand” in Zoom, must state their name for the record, and will be allowed three (3) minutes for their comment.

11. Adjourn

Further public comments specific to abatement measures will be accepted in the following formats:
• Through the Zoom Chat room during the meeting until the end of agenda item #10 public comment.
• Email to lmiller@valleycountymt.gov until 5:00pm the day prior to the next meeting.
• Mail comments to Valley County Health Department, 501 Court Square Box 11, Glasgow, MT 59230. Mailed comments related to abatement measures must be received prior to the next meeting.
• Fax to (406) 228-6242 by 5:00pm the day prior to the next meeting.

This meeting is open to the public. Its intention is for the betterment of Valley County residents and their health. We ask that persons who are not residents of Valley County stream this meeting through the KLTZ AM 1240 website or app. Thank you.

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- Passcode: 662294
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GHS Students Trick Or Treating For Food Bank

Monday, October 26th 2020

Glasgow High School students (Student Council, Key Club and Leadership Class) will be trick or treating for the Food Bank on Saturday, October 31st from 5 - 7 pm.

They ask that if you have food items to donate, then please put them in a bag and leave them on your doorstep.

This will eliminate any face to face contact with the public.

Thank you for your support.

Irle School Student Tests Positive For COVID-19

Monday, October 26th 2020

On October 25, 2020, the Glasgow School District was notified that a student had tested positive for COVID-19. The positive test was confirmed on October 25, 2020. According to the Valley County Health Department, the District’s staff and students were in contact with the student during the period of possible exposure. However, the student last attended in-class or had person-to-person contact with fellow students/staff at Irle on October 7, 2020.

Working with the Valley County Health Department, we do not need to close down the school at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.

If any staff or students are at risk of exposure, the Valley County Health Department will be in contact with that person to determine a safe and appropriate course of action. It is still recommended that any person who feels sick or ill, seek out their medical provider for specific instructions. The School District is in contact with the Health Department and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control guidance to complete cleaning the school and other related facilities. The other steps taken by the School District include temp checks, handwashing stations, sanitization of classrooms, and a deep clean of the room(s). Contact Wade Sundby for details about these measures.

School officials will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information if and when it becomes available.

The Glasgow School District along with the Valley County Health Department will be reaching out to families involved. Please follow the guidelines presented. At this time we will not be closing the school or the district.

The classroom(s)/students(s) involved will begin remote learning on Monday, October 26, 2020. If there are any questions concerning remote learning at Irle, please call Mrs. Erickson at 406.228.2419. If there are any other questions please contact Wade Sundby at the central office at 406.228.2406.

Currently, we have 2 active cases, 40 recovered for a total of 42. Contacts of positive cases are 38 released and 54 not released from quarantine for a total of 92.

Respectfully submitted,

Wade O. Sundby
Superintendent

56% Of Valley County Voters Return Ballots

Monday, October 26th 2020

56% of Valley County Voters have returned their ballots in advance of the November 3rd General Election.

4998 ballots have been issued with 2611 ballots returned to the Election Administrator in Valley County.

1950 ballots have yet to be returned to the Election Administrator.

Irle School Back To Resume In-Class Instruction

Thursday, October 22nd 2020

In a letter from Glasgow School Superintendent Wade Sundby, it's been announced that Irle School will resume in-class instruction on Monday, October 26, 2020. Click on the image to read the full letter.

Amtrak Urged To Reconsider Temporary Reductions Made To Daily Rail Service

Thursday, October 22nd 2020

Story from www.greatfallstribune.com

A business leader from the Hi-Line joined Montana's two senators on Wednesday in urging a top Amtrak official to reconsider temporary reductions made to daily rail service in the Treasure State, saying it is a critical lifeline for rural residents.

And they got some help from a “neighbor,” a senator from Washington who argued that daily train service is a big benefit to help people enjoy Montana’s Glacier National Park.

But Amtrak President William J. Flynn told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, that the current ridership rates, which took a 97% hit in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, could not sustain service levels and also said the passenger rail provider was seeking $4.89 billion in COVID-19 relief funds from Congress to reassess the situation in February and hopefully return service levels.

“But I want to be very clear, these adjustments are temporary, there is no plan or agenda to make these adjustments permanent,” he said. “Many of your states benefit from long distance service … I have heard the concerns very loud and clear.”

He said the board is 100% committed to the long distance network and its future.

They both said the Empire Builder is “essential” to Montana’s local economies and access to health care. They were joined by Paul Tuss, executive director of Havre-based Bear Paw Development Corp., a 17,811-square-mile economic development district that includes five counties and two Indian nations. He said many of the communities the district serves are not only rural, but considered frontier.

“And running through it all, is the Empire Builder, one of Amtrak’s most successful long-distance routes,” Tuss said.

The Empire Builder has stops in 12 communities and has proven to be a lifeline for residents. He said it is used for access to advanced medical care in Minnesota and Washington. He said it also takes people to work and brings families together.

Tuss said it also brings out-of-state residents to Montana for vacations and other reasons that significantly help Montana’s economy.

He said it hauls 55,000 people annually to Whitefish, which is the busiest stop for the Empire Builder in the state, adding to the area’s tourism trade. He noted the stop’s proximity to Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake.

Tuss said in 2019, the 12 stations handled 121,429 passengers who boarded or disembarked from the Empire Builder.

“This level of activity is significant, especially for a rural state,” he said.

Tuss said it has been estimated that the Empire Builder adds $327 million to the economies of the states in which it operates and the federal government spends about $57 million to keep it running.

He said that is a $270 million return on the investment.

He said the reduction in service would hurt Montana residents, making few options available and he feared the route would not return to its pre-pandemic level. He said the cuts will be reflected in less ridership and justify future cuts.

“Our real concern at this juncture is that the current reduction in service will become permanent and Amtrak in our state and elsewhere will be a less reliable and more inconvenient travel option for Americans,” Tuss said.

“Now is not the time to shrink from a commitment this nation has historically had to connect our people and places through a robust passenger rail system,” he said.

William Flynn, president and chief executive officer of Amtrak, testifies Wednesday before a Senate subcommittee.

Flynn said Amtrak carried 80,000 daily passengers in February, and by April it was 4,000 a day. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Amtrak was on its way to a record year in 2020. He said on Tuesday there were 17,000 passengers.

He said the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Ac helped Amtrak get through 2020.

Flynn said Amtrak expects needing $4.9 billion in 2021 to invest in the network and address congressional priorities as employee furloughs and daily long-distance service.

He said Congress has not passed an FY 2021 appropriations bill. He said the House has provided $2.4 billion for Amtrak, but it awaits Senate approval.

“However, given that nothings has been enacted, we need to be prudent and address the situation at hand,” Flynn said, adding the company is adjusting service and workforce levels.

Flynn said Amtrak is committed to returning furloughed workers as soon as possible and has provided no-cost health coverage during this period.

At the beginning of the hearing, Tester called the Empire Builder the backbone of Montana's rural communities.

"The truth of the matter is our state cannot afford to lose the critical services that Amtrak provides," he said.

He said the Trump administration "fought to end long-distance service which would have meant the end to the Empire Builder in Montana. Since then, they have attempted to cut the budget in half, leading to where we are today as Montanans lose service. This is unacceptable and is hurting our economy.”

Daines said he also was concerned about the impact of the reductions.

“In Montana, the Empire Builder is essential to the local economy and provides folks along the Hi-Line their only access to the national transportation network," he said.

He said he led a bipartisan effort opposing the reductions in June, which included support from both labor unions and passenger associations.

Daines said he sent a letter to Senate leadership last month noting the Empire Builder is essential to providing Montanans access to world-class health care and is critical to local economies.


Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said she was at a Glacier National Park hotel and saw a group of people come in the door.

"Where are all these people coming from?" she wondered. "Oh they just got off Amtrak."

"So, if you don't have Amtrak service to Glacier National Park you're going to have a problem," she said, adding she would not like to see service cut and then it takes 15 years to reestablish.

The committee did not take a vote Wednesday.

Valley County Board Of Health Considers Additional Restrictions To Curb COVID-19

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

The Valley County Board of Health received a recommendation from Dr. Anne Millard to implement additional restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. In a virtual meeting on Wednesday evening, Dr. Millard told the Board of Health that Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital is getting overwhelmed with COVID patients and is starting to restrict non-emergent services in some of their departments in order to redeploy staffing to support needs due to the current COVID surge.

Millard, who is the County Health Officer, said patients are coming in very sick and in some cases need to be hospitalized up to 10 days due to COVID-19. FMDH in some cases is unable to fly patients to other facilities because many other facilities are also full and aren't accepting additional patients.

Dr. Millard is recommending that the Board of Health impose additional restrictions in Valley County including going back to Phase 1 restrictions or to a stay at home order similar to what was imposed back in March and April of this year. Valley County has been in Phase 2 since May of this year.

The Board of Health heard many people speak last night who opposed additional restrictions particularly on businesses who feared getting shut down again for an extended time.

The Board of Health agreed to hear additional comment from the public before a decision is made and will meet in the near future to consider additional restrictions.

Members of the Valley County Board of Health:

Clay Berger
Megan Walstad
Bronwin Hanshew
Amber Swindler
Darcel Wesen
Mary Armstrong
Dr. Anne Millard
Public Health Director Lynn Miller

Valley View Nursing Home COVID Update

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

COVID-19 Update
Valley View Home is still experiencing an outbreak.
Residents confirmed: 10
Residents recovered: 2
Resident pending: 1
Staff confirmed: 11
Staff recovered: 7
Staff pending: 1
Hospitalizations: 0
Deaths: 0
Our isolation unit is currently full. Staff and resident testing is every 3-7 days.

FMDH COVID Update

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

Current FMDH Inpatient Status 10/21/2020 ????
+ 15 Inpatients Total
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
+ 11 Confirmed Covid Positive Inpatients
+ 2 Suspected Covid Positive Inpatients (awaiting results)
+ 1 Confirmed Covid Negative Inpatient
+ 1 Suspected Covid Negative Inpatient (awaiting results)

Amtrak Cuts Service To 3 Days A Week For Empire Builder Long Distance Route

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

Due to COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decrease in travel demand, most Amtrak long distance routes will operate tri-weekly beginning this October.

The Empire Builder had provided daily service between Chicago and Seattle with stops along several Montana communities including Glasgow. But effective this week the service will go to 3 days a week.

Effective Week of October 19, 2020

Empire Builder
Train #7 (Westbound) departs Chicago Monday/Thursday/Saturday
Train #8 (Eastbound): departs Seattle: Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
Train #27 (Westbound) departs Chicago: Monday/Thursday/Saturday
Train #28 (Eastbound) departs Portland, OR: Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday

Montana Judge Denies Request By Native American Tribes To Halt Construction Of Keystone Oil Pipeline

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

A federal judge has denied a request by Native American tribes to halt construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada over worries about potential spills and damage to cultural sites.

Work started this spring on the long-stalled pipeline that would carry oil sands crude from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

The Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Community in Montana and Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota have challenged President Donald Trump's 2019 permit for the project.

The tribes say Trump's permit violated their rights under treaties from the mid-1800s.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said in an Oct. 16 ruling that the tribes did not show they would suffer irreparable harm from the work that's been done so far.

Morris said he had "serious questions" about the legal claims being made by the tribes. He did not make a final ruling, and invited further arguments.

More than 1,000 people are working on the $9 billion project including building 12 pump stations for the 1,200-mile line, said Terry Cunha with TC Energy, the Calgary-based company behind the project.

However, work on much of the pipeline itself remains stalled. That's because the U.S. Supreme Court in July upheld a lower court ruling that invalidated a permit needed for the pipeline to cross hundreds of rivers and other water bodies along its route.

Keystone XL was first proposed in 2008 and rejected under former President Barack Obama. It was revived by Trump as part of the Republican's efforts to boost fossil fuel industries.

Hunter Check Stations To Be In Operation Across Montana Beginning This Weekend

Wednesday, October 21st 2020

GLASGOW, HAVRE – Hunter check stations will be in operation across Montana beginning this weekend and continue through the general rifle season with a few changes in protocol related to COVID -19 safety.

The only continuous hunter check station in Region 6 (northeast Montana) is located a few miles east of Havre on Highway 2 and operates during daylight hours on Saturday and Sunday throughout the general season. In addition, wardens may also occasionally set up hunter check stations throughout the region at any time. Please remember that all hunters are required by law to stop as directed at all designated check stations on their way to and from hunting, even if they have no game to be checked.

General big game season runs from Oct. 24 through Nov. 29. At check stations, public safety as it relates to the spread of COVID-19 will be important. FWP staff will be working to reduce crowding at the stations this season and for hunters the check station process will be streamlined as much as possible.

However, each check station may handle this process a bit differently, depending on staff, check station logistics and traffic flow. Please follow all directions and signs from FWP staff as they work diligently to check game, answer questions and get you on your way. If social distancing is difficult, please be ready to wear a mask.

Additionally, in the northwest, eastern and southwest parts of Montana, FWP will be operating CWD sampling stations where staff priority will be collecting samples rather than the traditional game check station process. Again, please follow site-specific directions and signs from FWP staff. Locations near northeast Montana include:
• Flowing Wells Junction of Hwy 200 and Hwy 24- Fri and Mon, 10 am.-dusk
• Sidney, Town Pump on the South side of town- Sundays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
FWP is also ready to help hunters sample their deer, elk or moose for CWD at our offices:
• Glasgow Region 6 Headquarters-M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (406-228-3700)
• Havre Region 6 Field Office-M-F, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (406-265-6177)
For more information on CWD, and to find other CWD sampling stations across the state, please look online at fwp.mt.gov/cwd.

Montana Unemployment Rate At 5.3% In September

Tuesday, October 20th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana’s unemployment rate returned to a near-normal level of 5.3 percent in September after dropping from 5.6 percent in August. Economists typically consider normal unemployment levels to be between 4 percent to 5 percent.

“While Montana’s unemployment rate continues to decline, this public health crisis is far from over. We must come together to get our hands around this virus by following the public health measures already in place to keep Montanans safe and healthy,” Governor Bullock said. “If we do so, we can keep businesses and schools open and support parents in the workforce to maintain our economic recovery.”

The national unemployment rate has remained higher than Montana’s, at 7.9 percent for September. Montana has the 9th lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

In September, total employment posted strong employment gains of 4,250 over the month. Total employment includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers. Total employment has regained over 48,000 jobs since the April recession low. Payroll employment also posted gains of 3,100 jobs over the month, with retail and leisure activities, which saw some of the most significant impacts from the pandemic, posting the largest gains and adding 1,200 jobs each. Payroll employment has increased by 42,600 jobs since April.

The unemployment rate in Valley County is 3.6%. This is an increase of 0.4% over the previous year.

Senator Tester Protests Cut In Amtrak Service

Tuesday, October 20th 2020

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester Monda released the following statement as Amtrak’s cuts in service to the Empire Builder line, which crosses the entire state of Montana along the Hi-Line, go into effect. Those cuts reduce the number of trains running along the route from seven days a week to three.

“I’ve been sounding the alarm for months that this reduction in service will be devastating to Hi-Line communities, economies, and families who use the train to visit family across the country. It’s unacceptable, and I will be pushing Amtrak for clear answers about why they’re cutting service and when it will be returned during my oversight hearing in the Commerce Committee on Wednesday.”

Tester’s Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing on Amtrak will be held on Wednesday, October 21st at 8am MT. Havre’s Paul Tuss, Executive Director of Bear Paw Development Corporation, will testify before the panel.

Tester personally requested the hearing in a letter sent to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) earlier this year, urging them to listen to community members who have been devastated due to service cuts, low ridership, and decreased revenue. The hearing will discuss the oversight of funding allocated to Amtrak in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the future of long-distance rail services across the country.

Amtrak operates 15 long-distance routes in 47 states across the country, connecting rural and urban centers and providing inter-state mobility to underserved communities and populations. Earlier this year, Amtrak announced that it would cut jobs and reduce service in rural communities on the Empire Builder Long-Distance Line beginning in October, which includes 12 stations along the Montana Hi-Line that served 121,429 passengers who boarded or disembarked in the state in 2019.

Dr. Millard Addresses COVID-19 And Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital

Monday, October 19th 2020

Dr. Anne Millard appeared on a Facebook Live program on October 19th and talked about the impact COVID-19 is having on Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital.

On October 19th, FMDH had 10 in-patients all with COVID-19.

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

U.S./ Canadian Border To Remain Closed Until November 21st

Monday, October 19th 2020

WASHINGTON/OTTAWA, Oct 19 (Reuters) — The United States' land borders between Canada and Mexico will remain closed to all non-essential travel until Nov. 21, the U.S. Homeland Security Department said Monday.

The extension comes as the United States remains one of the worst affected countries in the world and is reporting the second highest number of new cases daily.

"To continue to limit the spread of COVID, the US, Mexico, & Canada will extend the restrictions on non-essential travel through Nov 21. We are working closely with Mexico & Canada to identify safe criteria to ease the restrictions in the future & support our border communities," said U.S. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Twitter.

Canada's Public Safety Minister Bill Blair earlier disclosed the latest one-month extension on Twitter, confirming a policy put in place in March to control the spread of COVID-19.

"We'd love to have the border open ... but we can't do that unless we're comfortable that Canadians are being kept safe," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview on AM 900 CHML Hamilton radio earlier on Monday.


"Right now, the situation in the United States continues to be of concern," Trudeau added.

Last month, on the day the border extension was confirmed, U.S. President Donald Trump said it would open "pretty soon" because Canada wanted the restrictions lifted. But Canada's government has made it clear it does not want the restrictions removed until COVID-19 is under control in both countries.

The restrictions are particularly painful for U.S. and Canadian towns along the border that are tightly intertwined.

Statistics Canada said earlier U.S. visits to Canada by automobile had plummeted by more than 95% in August compared with August 2019.

COVID-19 Testing Site Moves To Glasgow Senior Citizens Center

Sunday, October 18th 2020

Message From Valley County Health Department:

NEW COVID-19 TESTING SITE:

Beginning Monday, the test site is moving indoors.

We cannot thank Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital enough for their commitment to testing!

# The Glasgow Senior Center is located at 328 4th Avenue South. BEHIND the Senior Center, on East Court Street, you may park in the gravel parking lot. FMDH staff will be at the marked door.

# Five (5) people are scheduled each 15 minutes. DO NOT ARRIVE more than five (5) minutes early. Five (5) people will be allowed inside to have their nasal swab obtained, those five (5) people will leave, and then the next five (5) people will be allowed to enter.

# FMDH staff will not test anyone who does NOT have a lab form filled out in advance by the Valley County Health Department.

No drop-ins will be allowed.

Irle Elementary School To Continue Remote Learning For Another Week

Saturday, October 17th 2020

Statement from Glasgow School Superintendent Wade Sundby

In visiting with Lynn Miller and the pressure the Valley County Health Department is having with the uptick in positive COVID cases. We will be closing the doors and moving to our remote learning platform for another week at the Irle School grades K-5 only, due to the increase in COVID positive students and staff as well as quarantine. We will continue remote learning on Monday October 19, 2020.

A possible date to return will be Monday October 26, 2020 this will be dependent upon the COVID positive/negative test results returning to the Valley County Health Department.


Students will be expected to logon to the Google Meets at the beginning of the day, as well and follow the teachers directions on how to proceed in their own classroom.

Admin, Teachers, paraprofessionals, and secretaries will be able to return to the building on Monday October 19, 2020, to continue instruction from their classroom if they are not quarantined.


Students are expected to check their Google Classroom and email daily. Teachers need to invite students to the classes (Google Meet/Hangouts) through their email.

The Glasgow School District does understand the strain that this puts on families during this time. We are working diligently to make sure our staff, students and community are safe. We continually evaluate the situation to make the best possible decision we can during this time. We are running into a situation where our teachers and paraprofessionals are becoming limited because of exposure to COVID. We are unable to fully staff our school for in class instruction. If you have any questions please contact Rachel Erickson at 406-228-2419 or Wade Sundby at 406-228-2406 or email wsundby@mail.glasgow.k12.mt.us. Thank you and stay safe.

Respectfully submitted,

Wade O. Sundby Superintendent

St. Mary's Project Completed

Friday, October 16th 2020

https://www.ktvh.com/news/montana-and-regional-news/completion-of-milk-river-project-celebrated

With the sun shining on the Milk River, a ribbon was cut Thursday to mark the official completion of the Milk River Project.

"This is a huge celebration for everyone,” said Jennifer Patrick, the Milk River Joint Board of Control program manager.

The project, which cost about $8 million dollars, rebuilt the fifth drop in a canal that carries water from the St. Mary River into the Milk River. The drop collapsed in May, leaving the more than 100,000 people who rely on the river for water without a sustainable source of water.

"We have storage facilities. Milk River Alberta had enough storage to get them to where they're at right now. We have Fresno Reservoir for Havre, Chinook, Harlem and the Fort Belknap Agency. But everything else, all the stock water and everything this canal supports, and the land owners and the ranchers up here, they were completely without water for the season,” Patrick explained.

She explained, “It's huge because all of the commodities coming out of this Milk River basin also depend on it. It goes down to Nashua. So, we're running this 700-mile stretch of river for all of these different entities, the fish, wildlife, everything. When you talk about the Hi-Line, this is the lifeline of the Hi-Line.”

Blackfeet Tribe Water Department Director Jerry Lunak said the completion of the project brings new opportunities for the reservation along with the water. "We have 5,000 acre-feet of water within this project we can use for future marketing," said Lunak.

U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte, U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester, and Montana Lt. Governor Mike Cooney were all at the celebration and say perhaps just as important as the life the project brings is the message it sends.

"It's a testimony to federal government, state government, tribal government, Canadian government coming together,” said Daines.

"This is a prime example of folks working together,” said Tester.

"Back in Washington, I've been saying the St. Mary Project is the number one infrastructure project that needed repair in the state of Montana,” Gianforte said.

"I have to say, the people in this part of the country just really stepped up,” said Cooney.

Valley View Home Experiencing Outbreak Of COVID-19

Thursday, October 15th 2020

Valley View Home is currently experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19. We currently have residents and staff confirmed positive in our facility. All symptoms at this time are mild and closely monitored. Valley View Home initiated a lockdown to prevent further spread of the virus. We are happy to say that at this time our staff and residents are doing fine. Valley View Home is able to maintain good staffing during this outbreak while sharing optimism. All staff and residents are tested every 3-7 days until we have gone 14 days without a positive test result. Until then we will remain in lockdown. Window visits are allowed but the window must remain closed. Only other visits allowed at this time are FaceTime visits. Please call 228-2461 and ask for DeVon Palmer, social services director, and schedule a FaceTime visit today!

In the meantime, we at Valley View Home are preparing to introduce our new resident visitation that is authorized from CMS. We already placed a temporary parking lot in the back of the facility for access to our new visitation room where families can visit their loved ones safely, privately and with the ability to hold hands and hug one another! This process is not going to be easy however and the visits will be appointment based only due having to dedicate staff members for visitation facilitation. The new visitation procedure will commence once our isolation lockdown is complete and we thank you all for your patience.

Montana State University Poll Finds Major Races Close

Thursday, October 15th 2020

BOZEMAN – Montana State University on Wednesday released the results of its Treasure State poll weighing Montana attitudes for the 2020 general election set for Nov 3. The poll, one of the most extensive publicly available polls on the state’s voter preferences for the upcoming election, is administered by members of the MSU Department of Political Science.

All the major races are close and the poll has a 3.9% margin of error, according to David Parker, MSU political science professor and one of three architects of the poll, which was conducted between Sept. 14 and Oct. 2.

In all, 1,787 Montanans responded to the mail-in poll that consisted of about 80 questions. Parker termed the return rate of about 20% as a good return rate. The professors weighted the responses to ensure the survey sample accurately represented the population of Montana’s registered voters. He said, per industry practice, they weighted the responses by gender, education, age, 2016 vote for president and place of residency. The Treasure State poll of the 2018 U.S. Senate election between Jon Tester and Matt Rosendale closely aligned with final results.

“Who turns out will be a key to these elections,” said Parker, who led a team that also included fellow MSU political science professors Eric Raile and Elizabeth Shanahan. Data analysis was provided by the MSU HELPS Lab, which Raile directs.

“For instance, younger voters disproportionately prefer Bullock to Daines,” Parker said. “If there is not a high turnout of younger voters, the GOP will win some of the races.”

Poll results by race follow.

U.S. Senate

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock leads incumbent Sen. Steve Daines by two points in the race for the U.S. Senate with 49% from likely and active registered voters compared to 47% for Daines. Only 3% were undecided.

The pre-election poll found that Bullock is the only Democrat to lead in the key races on the Montana ballot for 2020.

A key statistic in the race is that of loyalty from the two voting bases, Parker said. Bullock received 97% of support from Democrats compared to Daines’ 88% from Republicans. Another 67% of independent voters also said they preferred Bullock, compared to 29% for Daines, a margin that Parker called “overwhelming.”

“For the Democrats to win this race, they need to have their base behind them, a big solid lead from independent voters and hope for Republican defectors, all of which we see,” Parker said. “Bullock has gained some ground. That’s why the race is close, and he is in the lead.”

Parker said that the race between Bullock, a Democrat who has termed out as Montana’s governor, and Daines, a Republican freshman senator who was previously the state’s lone U.S. House Representative, has all the signs that it will be the most expensive race in state history.

Presidential race

The Treasure State poll found that while Donald Trump leads Democratic challenger Joe Biden, 51% to 44%, that 7-point lead is considerably less than the 20-point margin Trump carried the state with in the 2016 election.

The poll showed President Trump’s support remains strong among Montana Republicans with 94% of GOP voters favoring him. Similarly, Biden’s support among Democrats is 97%. However, Montana’s independent voters prefer Biden 56% to 29% for Trump, a nearly 30-point disparity.

Parker called President Trump’s 20-point Montana lead in the 2016 election falling to a 7-point margin in the 2020 election “an incredible cratering of support” in the state. Parker said that could have down-the-ballot implications in Montana.

“Voters don’t seem excited with the record of the Trump administration,” Parker said. However, he pointed out that since 1948, Democratic presidential candidates have won Montana’s Electoral College votes only twice, and it looks likely that Montana voters will again support the GOP candidate in this election.

U.S. House of Representatives

In the race for the open seat for Montana’s U.S. Representative, Matt Rosendale leads Kathleen Williams by two points, 48% to 46%, with 5% undecided. Parker said the results break down largely along partisan lines.

“However, more Republicans intend to vote for Williams (8%) than Democrats who intend to vote for Rosendale (1%),” Parker said. He said independents and voters with other partisan affiliations favor Williams by large margins of 28% and 33%, respectively.

However, Raile pointed out that independent voters often prefer not to vote a straight party ticket, and a ballot with strong Democratic candidates in other races could serve as a detriment for Williams.

“I do think independents like to split their ticket and vote for a GOP candidate somewhere on the ballot,” Raile said.

Montana Governor

Current U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte leads Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney by five points, 47% to 42%, with 7% of voters undecided.

Parker said the state’s governor race is the contest on the ballot with the most potential for upset.

“Lots of independent voters (14%) don’t know whom they’ll vote for, so there’s potential for movement,” he said.

Republicans support for Gianforte is 88% while 95% of Democrats are aligned with Cooney.

“It is likely that voters still don’t know who Mike Cooney is, while Congressman Gianforte has spent considerably not only in this race but in three previous statewide races and is well known as a result,” Parker said.

“Cooney cannot win without a high voter turnout and levels of support among young voters similar to those enjoyed by Gov. Bullock in the Senate race,” Parker said.

Legalized marijuana initiatives

In the two ballot initiatives pertaining to marijuana legalization, 49% of respondents said they would vote to support the initiatives supporting legalization, and 39% said they would oppose. Another 10% were uncertain how they would vote on this issue.

There are two initiatives that deal with marijuana legalization on the ballot (CI-118 and I-190), so the poll asked the following question: “The state ballot will ask about legalizing recreational marijuana in Montana. Will you vote to support or oppose legalization?”

Raile said of all the ballot-related questions in the poll, the response to this question was the only one outside the poll’s 3.9% margin of error. Seventy percent of Democrats said yes to legalization compared to 27% of Republicans. However, 13% of voters in each party were undecided or did not intend to vote on the issue. A majority of voters from ages 18 to 59 favor the measures with a majority of voters age 60 and above saying they will vote no to legalization.

Parker said the marijuana initiatives could draw young voters to the election, which would help Democrats all the way down the ballot.

“I think it is important to think about a ballot as a complete organic entity,” Parker said. “Young voters strongly are in favor of the measure, and they tend to be Democratic leaning.”

Elected official approval ratings

The Treasure State Pre-Election Poll also asked respondents to rate five elected officials: President Trump, Gov. Bullock, Sen. Daines, Sen. Tester and Rep. Gianforte. Bullock’s approval rating of 60% is the highest among the group. Tester follows with 55%, Daines with 52% and Trump with 51%. Gianforte is fifth with a 47% approval rating.

“Gov. Bullock’s job approval ratings clarify why Daines is trailing in the race,” Parker said, noting the 8-point difference in the pair’s approval ratings. “It’s not that the voters don’t like Daines, they just like Bullock more.”

Both Parker and Raile say that Gallatin County will be a key to this year’s elections. The county is the home to candidates running in races for the Senate, House and governor. It is also the fastest growing in the state with rapidly changing demographics.

“We know how Yellowstone and Missoula counties will vote,” Raile said. “Gallatin is a little less certain. Gallatin is going to matter a lot.”

American Association of University Women Decides To Discontinue

Thursday, October 15th 2020

The local branch of the American Association of University Women decided at a September gathering of membership to cancel its long-standing annual Community Bazaar. Begun in the early seventies, it has been held at the Civic Center the Saturday before Thanksgiving for more than thirty years of its existence.

Although Covid-19 and the ability of hosting the event safely and productively were the pivotal reasons, the small, and for the most part, aging membership rendered it more ambitious than they could execute well.

The women also regrettably decided unanimously that the viability of the group had come to a conclusion. The group will meet once more after researching the necessary steps to dissolve the organization that has been a Glasgow force for women for at least sixty years.

At that final meeting, assets will be distributed to worthwhile community projects and scholarships. The scholarships have been a part of its existence since its origin in Glasgow.

David Leininger, Westby and Terry Linn Fast, Wolf Point To Be Inducted Into Montana Cowboy Hall Of Fame

Wednesday, October 14th 2020

Tuesday the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center (MCHF & WHC) announced the 13th class of inductions into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. The inductees were chosen from a field of candidates nominated by the general public. Inductees are honored for their notable contributions to the history and culture of Montana.

“The Hall of Fame exists to honor those who have made an impact in their part of the state and represent Montana’s authentic heritage for future generations,” said Bill Galt, MCHF & WHC President. “Our volunteer trustees around Montana vote on nominations that come from the district in which they reside. This process gives the local communities a strong voice in who will represent them in the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame.”

The MCHF & WHC board of directors has designated 12 trustee districts across the state from which up to 20 trustees may be appointed. Nomination criteria established by the board for the Class of 2020 inductions allowed the election of one Living Inductee and one Legacy Inductee from each of the 12 districts.
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The 2020 inductees into the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame are:
· District 1 (Daniels, Phillips, Roosevelt, Sheridan, & Valley Counties): Living Award – Robert David Leininger, Westby. Legacy Award – Terry Linn Fast, Wolf Point.
· District 2 (Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Prairie, Richland, & Wibaux Counties): Living Award – William ‘Bill’ Dutton, Jordan. Legacy Award – Deane William Copping, Glendive.
· District 3 (Carter, Custer, Fallon, Powder River, Rosebud, & Treasure Counties): Living Award – Wallace ‘Wally’ McRae, Forsyth. Legacy Award – Tooke Bucking Horses, Ekalaka.
· District 4 (Blaine, Chouteau, Hill, & Liberty Counties): Living Award – Lzetta Martha (Combes) Halingstad, Turner. Legacy Award – Duane Daniel Werk, Chinook.
· District 5 (Cascade, Glacier, Pondera, Teton, & Toole Counties): Living Award – Lewis & Roselynn Carroll, Sun River. Legacy Award – Forrest ‘Scotty’ Zion, Great Falls.
· District 6 (Fergus, Golden Valley, Judith Basin, Musselshell, Petroleum, & Wheatland Counties): Living Award – Leland ‘Red’ Cade, Lavina. Legacy Award – Jesse Calvin & Ruth (Lane) Garfield, Ryegate.
· District 7 (Big Horn, Carbon, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, & Yellowstone Counties): Living Award – Peter E. ‘Pete’ Olsen, Molt. Legacy Award – Walter F. ‘Walt’ Linderman, Belfry.
· District 8 (Broadwater, Jefferson, & Lewis and Clark Counties): Living Award – Kent Mosher, Augusta. Legacy Award – Gary Murphy, Wolf Creek.
· District 9 (Gallatin, Meagher, & Park Counties): Living Award – Calvin Hochstrat, White Sulphur Springs. Legacy Award – Arthur W. ‘Spike’ Short, White Sulphur Springs.
· District 10 (Flathead, Lake, Lincoln, & Sanders Counties): Living Award – Berniece Arlene ‘Lady Long Rider’ Ende, Trego. Legacy Award – Wilderness Worn – A Government Packers Legacy, Eureka.
· District 11 (Mineral, Missoula, & Ravalli Counties): Living Award – Raymond Paul ‘Ray’ Rugg, Superior. Legacy Award – Leonard Moore, Condon.
· District 12 (Deer Lodge, Beaverhead, Silver Bow, Granite, Madison, & Powell Counties): Gary Donald Clark, Ennis. Legacy Award – Lee Martinell Co., Dell.

The MCHF & WHC tentatively plans to honor these inductees during the MCHF Annual Induction Ceremony & Western Heritage Gathering February 12 - 13, 2021, in Great Falls at the Heritage Inn. More information on this event will come later in the year.

Full biographies for past inductees are available on the MCHF & WHC’s website, http://www.montanacowboyfame.org. This year’s inductees will be added to the website soon.

Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration To Shut Down 2020 Census Ahead Of Schedule

Wednesday, October 14th 2020

https://www.krtv.com/u-s-supreme-court-allows-halt-of-census-count
By: Mike Dennison

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Trump administration can shut down the 2020 Census ahead of schedule, possibly leaving part of Montana undercounted.

If Montana is undercounted – and it’s not clear yet whether that will occur – the state could lose its chance to gain a congressional seat, during reapportionment.

“It was worrisome to begin with, and (this decision) makes it more worrisome,” said Sheila Stearns, chair of the Districting and Apportionment Commission, which draws new legislative districts in Montana according to the Census.

The Supreme Court order Tuesday overruled a lower-court decision, which had extended the counting effort until Oct. 31 – the original deadline before the Trump administration announced it planned to stop counting on Sept. 30.

Montana officials had hailed the extension and said it allowed Census workers to visit many undercounted rural areas in the past two weeks.

“The extra 13 days has been hugely helpful for counting Montana,” said Kendra Miller, a member of the Districting and Apportionment Commission. “None of our seven Indian reservations were done on Sept. 30, or huge swaths of eastern Montana. We’ve made a ton of progress in those 13 days.”

But Census workers just received authorization to begin working Wednesday on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, the last area of the state where numerous non-responding households remained, Miller said.

It’s not clear if Tuesday’s order will stop that effort, she said.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., denounced the ruling and said the Senate needs to take up his bill that would extend the counting period.

“This is a disappointing act of judicial activism from the Supreme Court, which will allow this administration to undermine the Census and disadvantage Montanans and rural America for the next decade,” he said. “Every Montanan needs to be counted because funding for our schools, hospitals, emergency services—even a second congressional seat—hangs in the balance. Congress must step in and prevent this abuse of executive power.”

State Commerce Department spokeswoman Emilie Saunders said Tuesday that Montana’s self-response rate is 60.3 percent, below the national average of 66.8 percent and among the lowest of the states.

The Census Bureau has been following up with non-responding households since August, she said.

Saunders also said that if you haven’t been counted, you still may be able to self-respond by going to www.my2020census.gov.

Glasgow City/County Library Temporary Closure

Wednesday, October 14th 2020

Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Valley County, the Glasgow City-County Library will temporarily close on the inside. They will be offering curbside services starting October 14th. They want to continue to serve the public as safely as possible, with as many resources as we can. To contact the library to set up arrangements for curbside services, email through the website: www.glasgowlibrary.org, or call 228-2731. For Online Holds, patrons may place holds on materials for pick-up through their online account, they will fulfill online holds & contact patrons when items are ready.

Roosevelt County COVID-19 Update

Tuesday, October 13th 2020

Roosevelt County COVID-19
October 13, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:
Patty Presser, Director, Roosevelt County Health Department.
406-653-6227
Roosevelt County COVID-19 Update

Wolf Point, Mont - On Monday, October 12, 2020, the Roosevelt County COVID-19 Task Force met again as they continue to provide coordinated guidance for the region’s COVID-19 response. The Task Force consists of representatives from key healthcare institutions across the County and Fort Peck Tribes.

Roosevelt County Health Department posts daily updates on COVID numbers. Please note that the discrepancy between the County and State numbers are due to lags in reporting on the statewide Montana database. The numbers provided by the County are currently the most accurate for Roosevelt County, including the Ft. Peck Tribes. It is not possible to report the number of currently hospitalized county residents as all residents needing hospitalization are transferred out of the County. This can include transfers outside of the State of Montana due to the current lack of adequate hospital beds across the State.

At this time there are multiple outbreaks of COVID-19 in Roosevelt County directly related to certain facilities and communities. These outbreaks are being jointly managed by health officials and the Roosevelt County COVID-19 Task Force.

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the public is encouraged to conduct business online, by telephone, or by fax. Please continue to follow the Governor’s directive by maintaining social distance, practicing proper hand hygiene, wearing a mask, and staying at home if you have any symptoms related to COVID-19. COVID-19 symptoms can include cough, fever, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and a new loss of taste or smell. Per the governor’s July 15th directive, since Roosevelt County has 4 or more active COVID cases, face masks are mandatory in any indoor space, open to the public, for people ages 5 years and older. For children 2-4 years of age, face coverings are strongly encouraged. A drape may be used for babies. Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19. All positive cases will be required to isolate and all close contacts will be required to quarantine. These are official public health orders and are enforceable by law.

If you are concerned about residents of local nursing homes, please contact the nursing homes directly to find out if visitors are allowed or to obtain more information on their specific COVID-19 situations. Roosevelt County Senior Centers remain closed until further notice. Senior meals are available on usual days at each center for pick-up. Roosevelt County Health Department is open. Eastern Montana Community Mental Health Center is open and can be reached at 653-1872 to set up an appointment. Other Roosevelt County Buildings are open.

IHS is open at both Wolf Point and Poplar (Chief Redstone and Verne E. Gibbs). IHS is conducting COVID testing at the Poplar IHS Monday through Friday 1:00 to 2:00 pm, Wolf Point IHS Monday through Thursday 1:00 to 2:00 pm and Friday 9:00 to 10:00 am.

For more information please visit the RCHD Facebook page or visit the State COVID-19 website at covid19.mt.gov. The Roosevelt County Task Force is available to answer your questions. Please reach out to us via the RCHD Facebook page, email covid19taskforce@rooseveltcounty.org.

GHS Student Tests Positive For COVID-19

Monday, October 12th 2020

Valley County Commissioners Issue COVID Statement

Monday, October 12th 2020

The following statement was issued Monday, October 12 by the Valley County Commissioners:

It’s time……..

Our county is experiencing a large uptick in active Covid-19 cases. It’s in the schools, the nursing home and FMDH, in addition to our businesses and government offices.

It’s time to take social distancing recommendations seriously. Mask up, stay six feet away and wash your hands. If we can all do that, we will contain this virus and allow our essential service personnel to continue to provide our residents with the critical services we all need.

When our hospital and clinic personnel contract the virus, or are required to quarantine, it leaves medical service providers short to deliver critical services to us to and to our loved ones.

When our educators and students contract the virus, it requires partial or full school closures. This means our children are required to get online to get their education which most of us agree is not a good long-term solution. Many parents are forced to stay home to care for their kids, and many of these parents perform essential services for all of us.

When our nursing home staff get the virus, they cannot come to work to take care of our most vulnerable citizens. Our parent, grandparent and other loved ones are not getting the care they need, besides being already being deprived of our presence regularly at their side.

And finally when our business and government employees get the virus, they cannot open to provide the basic services we need to avoid further disruption to our lives.

So, Valley County residents, it’s time. It is our responsibility to get this virus under control by following social distancing recommendations every day, every place, every time.

Paul Tweten
John Fahlgren
Mary Armstrong

Glasgow School District To Limit Spectators At Football And Volleyball

Monday, October 12th 2020

Do to the recent surge in Covid cases within Valley County, the Glasgow School District will be limiting spectators for at least the next 2 weeks at Football and Volleyball events.

Home athletes/coaches will receive 4 ticket vouchers each.

Visiting schools players/coaches will receive 2 ticket vouchers each.

We will not be limiting student attendance. Glasgow High School (and co-op) students will NOT need a ticket voucher. Pre K to 8th grade WILL need a ticket voucher.

If you’re attending to watch from your vehicle or to sit in the grandstands/gymnasium you will need to present a ticket voucher to our ticket sellers in order to gain admittance.

Following Tester Demands, Farm Service Agency Promises Relief Details for Montana Farmers Facing Quality Losses

Monday, October 12th 2020

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – Following an aggressive push last week by U.S. Senator Jon Tester to secure answers for Northeastern Montana farmers who have waited nearly a year for disaster relief for last year’s quality losses, Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce today announced that FSA will soon provide details about how they can apply for relief.

“Better late than never, but when it comes to providing relief to Northeastern Montana farmers who have been waiting nearly a year for FSA to get its act together, this is unacceptable,” said Tester. “I shouldn’t have to hold FSA’s feet to the fire just to get them to follow the law and do right by folks in production ag, but you better believe I’m keeping the coals hot and ready so Montana farmers don’t get left out in the cold. Disaster relief needs to make it into the pockets of these producers immediately—no more delays.”

Late last week, Senator Tester blasted the USDA in a letter to FSA Administrator Fordyce for delaying payments to Montana farmers for more than a year and demanded answers about when Montanans could expect payments.

“What is the latest date that Montana farmers should expect payments from the WHIP+ program related to 2019 quality loss, excessive moisture, or drought?” Tester wrote. “I am disappointed in Farm Service Agency’s inability to administer this program as Congress intended, and deliver WHIP+ payments to producers impacted by excessive moisture. I look forward to receiving your action plan as to how FSA can correct this situation for Montana farmers, and ensure that going forward WHIP+ does not experience a one-year delay before paying producers.”

Since September 2019, Tester has been fighting to get relief for producers in Eastern Montana facing quality losses due to excessive rain and flooding in the region, and he repeatedly pushed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to use his authority to support these farmers through the existing WHIP+ guidelines. When Secretary Perdue refused, Tester used the 2019 omnibus appropriations bill to expand the WHIP+ program to include quality loss, drought, and excessive moisture and increased its funding by $1.5 billion to cover the new categories.

Tester was the only member of Montana's delegation to vote for the legislation containing the fix.

Following Tester’s fix, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a disaster declaration for 17 Montana counties, including Cascade, Chouteau, Pondera, Glacier, Teton, Dawson, Prairie, Toole, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Wibaux, Daniels, Rosebud, Sheridan, Treasure, and Valley. The FSA opened signup for disaster assistance on March 23, 2020 for producers to apply for eligible losses of drought (D3 or above) and excessive moisture, but this sign-up did not include folks who faced quality losses.

Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Minimum Wage for 2021

Monday, October 12th 2020

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced Montanans earning minimum wage will see the rate increase to $8.75 per hour beginning January 1, 2021.

"By tying the minimum wage to inflation, we can ensure Montanans earning the minimum wage see a modest increase and have the same buying power, instead of falling further behind,” Governor Bullock said. “We must continue to do more to help working families succeed by bringing in quality jobs, supporting Montana businesses, and investing in education and workforce training, especially as we continue to work toward economic recovery due to the pandemic.”

In 2006 as a private citizen, Bullock led ballot initiative I-156 to raise the minimum wage and require that it be adjusted annually for inflation. Approved by Montana voters, Montana Code Annotated 39-3-409 requires the Montana Department of Labor & Industry to adjust the Montana minimum wage for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Montana workers, or 2 percent of the workforce, received hourly wages less than $8.75 per hour in 2020 and are likely to receive higher wages due to the 2021 minimum wage increase. In 2019, the industry with the largest number of workers earning minimum wage was the accommodations and food services industry. Many minimum-wage workers are front-line workers who are at the greatest risk of COVID-19 exposure.

The minimum wage is determined by taking the current minimum wage of $8.65 and increasing it by the CPI-U increase from August of 2019 to August 2020. The CPI-U increased by 1.31% (unadjusted) over the year ending August 2020. To keep the minimum wage at the same purchasing power as the prior year, the wage should increase by $0.11 per hour. However, since state statute requires the wage to rounded to the nearest 5 cents, the 2021 minimum wage rate will be $8.75.

In 2020, the District of Columbia and 29 U.S. states, including Montana, have minimum wage rates that exceed the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.

Prairie Ridge Restrictions

Monday, October 12th 2020

Due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases, Prairie Ridge has decided to stop all visitation for their residents to ensure their safety. All deliveries must go through the front door. Prairie Ridge understands how difficult it is for family members but their concern is for the health and safety of their residents.

Valley County Health Department Message On Contact Tracing

Saturday, October 10th 2020

VCHD has been unable to reach four (4) positive persons from Thursday and Friday we have ten (10) more. We simply can't keep up.

We are going to try a new process for the contacts to a positive person:

If you have been notified by your doctor that you are positive for COVID-19, please direct your close contacts (15 minutes or more at 6 feet or less) from two (2) days prior to onset of symptoms through today to this link:

https://valleycountyhealthglasgowmt.formstack.com/forms/contacttracinginformation_1?fbclid=IwAR0vUf8nyWwcYM2H2kettgV8FMu8MMUjvVOwUM4sgwMx-OBTMspUNYjkVUk

This will provide the information needed to complete the lab form so that your family and close contacts can get tested. Information for quarantine and how to protect your family and others can be found in our photos.

The close contact will receive instructions for testing after the form is filled out.

We will trial this online method. Please be patient with us; we want to get your results to you as much as you want to receive them.

FMDH Employees Test Positive For COVID-19

Friday, October 9th 2020

Over 5000 Ballots Mailed Out Today To Registered Voters In Valley County

Friday, October 9th 2020

HELENA (AP) — A final effort to block most Montana counties from mailing general election ballots to active voters was denied Thursday, a day before the ballots are to be mailed.

Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan rejected a request for an emergency injunction filed by Republican state House candidate Joe Lamm of Livingston, the Ravalli County Republican Central Committee and Republican voters.

They wanted to block a Sept. 30 ruling by U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen that upheld a decision by Gov. Steve Bullock to give counties the option to hold the Nov. 3 election mostly by mail due to the pandemic.

Forty-five of Montana's 56 counties decided to do so. People also can vote in person early and on Election Day in all counties.

Lamm argued that Bullock overstepped his authority. Bullock said he had the authority, under the emergency declaration made for the pandemic, to suspend a state law that says regularly scheduled federal elections cannot be conducted by mail ballot.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday denied a request for a similar emergency order to block Christensen's order, pending appeal. The court said it would still hear the appeal and set a schedule for filing briefs starting in January,

Attorney Emily Jones of Billings, who is representing Lamm, did not answer a phone call Thursday seeking comment.

The re-election campaign of President Donald Trump and several Republican Party groups also challenged Bullock's suspension of the state election law but have not not separately appealed Christensen's ruling.

Valley County will send out over 5000 ballots today to registered voters in the county. Already, 36 ballots have been filled out in Valley County and turned over to election officials. Montana law allows you to vote in person at the Election Office if you don't want to wait for your ballot to arrive in the mail. Montana has already seen 3,863 ballots cast in the 2020 election.

Trump's campaign argued a mail ballot would be subject to widespread voter fraud. Christensen said the plaintiffs could not offer any evidence of voter fraud in Montana in the past 20 years and that the June primary had been held via mail without any reported fraud.


Water Again Flowing Through St Mary System

Friday, October 9th 2020

Story courtesy:
https://hilinetoday.com/water-once-again-flowing-through-st-marys-system/

CUT BANK, Mont. (NMB) – 22 weeks after the catastrophic collapse of Drop 5 of the St. Mary Canal and Conveyance Works System, water is once again flowing through the system.

Milk River Joint Board of Control Project Manager Jennifer Patrick says water began running through the system at around noon on Thursday.

“We started Sherburne Reservoir on Monday, and then we started diverting into the actual canal (on Thursday). It takes about 2 1/2 days to get to the drops, so we’ll see that over the new structure. Then we’ll see water probably into Fresno Reservoir and the Milk River in 10 days, is usually the travel time. It’s a little bit dryer than normal years when we do start up, so it may be a day longer, but we should be seeing it in the Milk River soon.”

A small amount of work is still being completed, including seeding work on drop 2 and drop 5. All work on the current project will be done by next week, allowing the flow of water to increase to 600 cubic feet/second.

Patrick says this moment is the culmination of months of hard work, but it’s not over quite yet.

“It’s kind of one of those pretty cool moments. But once it gets over the structures, then I’ll take that sigh of relief and see how our structures do. But I’m confident the engineering team and the contractors nailed it. We’re just excited to see them run.”

As of Thursday afternoon, Fresno Reservoir was at 15,664 acre-feet, or 16.9 percent capacity. The pool elevation was 2,547.7, or 27.3 feet below full pool. Patrick says they are projecting that they will be able to double the current acre footage before having to turn the system back off at the end of the month.

“It’s going to bring up the elevation of Fresno going into winter, and we’re pretty excited about that possibility and being able to run water for the next couple weeks.”

The St. Mary Canal and Conveyance Works System provides supplemental irrigation water along the Milk River, as well as water to the Fort Belknap Indian Community, the Blackfeet Nation and many towns along the Hi-Line.

Fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex, Nicknamed Stan, Sells At Auction For $31.85 Million

Thursday, October 8th 2020

A fossilized Tyrannosaurus rex, nicknamed Stan, sold at auction for $31.85 million, becoming the most expensive dinosaur fossil ever sold.

The 67-million-year-old specimen, one of the most famous T. rex fossils because of its good condition, crushed its original sale estimate of $6 million to $8 million.

The anonymous buyer at Tuesday’s auction conducted by Christie’s was a telephone bidder. The sale showed broad interest among rich collectors of dinosaur bones and reflected a strong market for rare trophy works despite the global coronavirus pandemic.

Stan is one of only about 50 T. rex fossils ever discovered, with most displayed in museums. It has been on display for years at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City, South Dakota. It is one of the most complete T. rex fossils ever found, with 188 bones, its head in pristine condition and over 11-inch long teeth. It has often been used as the model for T. rex figurines and depictions.

The last complete T. rex to come to auction was in 1997, when a specimen nicknamed Sue was sold by Sotheby’s for $8.36 million. It was sold to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, with funding help from Disney, McDonald’s and other companies and individuals.

The fossil that sold Tuesday was found in 1987 by amateur paleontologist Stan Sacrison, hence the fossil’s name, in the Hell Creek Formation, part of an area known as the Cretaceous Badlands.

Initially, the bones were misidentified as a more common triceratops. But in 1992, paleontologists from the institute recognized it as a T. rex. It took more than 30,000 hours to carefully excavate, and it was later installed and displayed at the institute.

Paleontologists say Stan would have weighed 7 to 8 tons at his peak and showed signs of a difficult and violent life. He suffered a broken neck, with two of his vertebrae bonding together and a third immobilized. He also had a puncture in his skull and ribs.

Below Average Runoff Continues In The Upper Missouri River basin. Fort Peck Reservoir Water Levels Expected To Drop Just Over A Half Of A Foot

Tuesday, October 6th 2020

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September precipitation was well-below normal in the Missouri River Basin. As a result, September runoff in the upper Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa was 69% of average.

Since January 1, precipitation in the upper Basin is well-below normal. The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting that below-normal precipitation will continue in October. The 2020 calendar year runoff forecast for the upper Basin, updated on Oct. 1, is 30.2 million acre-feet (MAF), 117% of average. Average annual runoff for the upper Basin is 25.8 MAF.

“Upper basin runoff was below average in September. We expect runoff to be below average during the remainder of the calendar year. Lower basin runoff has been below average as well,” said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “Releases from Gavins Point Dam are being made to meet full service Missouri River navigation flow targets”, Remus added.

The navigation flow support season ends on December 1 at the mouth of the Missouri River.

As of Oct. 5, the total volume of water stored in the System was 58.6 MAF, occupying 2.5 MAF of the System’s 16.3-MAF flood control zone. System storage peaked at 61.8 MAF on July 16 and will decline during the fall. All 16.3 MAF of flood control storage is expected to be available prior to the start of the 2021 runoff season. If fall and winter runoff continues to be below average as forecasted, System storage will be about 0.8 MAF below the base of the annual flood control zone by the start of the 2021 runoff season.

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), drought conditions continue to worsen across much of the upper Basin. Wide-spread areas of drought classified as Extreme are evident in Colorado and Wyoming. Moderate to Severe drought conditions are present in large areas of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

Navigation

The July 1 System storage check indicated flow support for the second half of the navigation season would be at least at the full service level for a full-length 8-month flow support season. Full service flow support is designed to work in tandem with the Missouri River Bank Stabilization and Navigation Project to provide a 9-feet deep by 300-foot wide navigation channel from Sioux City, Iowa to the mouth of the river near St. Louis, Missouri. Gavins Point releases will be reduced to winter levels beginning around Nov. 22.

Reservoir Forecasts:

Gavins Point Dam
Average releases past month – 32,200 cfs
Current release rate – 32,500 cfs (as of October 1)
Forecast release rate – 33,000 cfs (month of October)
End-of-September reservoir level – 1207.5 feet
Forecast end-of-October reservoir level – 1207.5 feet
Note: Releases will be adjusted as necessary to meet all downstream navigation targets.

Fort Randall Dam
Average releases past month – 30,500 cfs
End-of-September reservoir level – 1353.5 feet
Forecast end-of-October reservoir level – 1344.6 feet
Note: Releases will be adjusted as necessary to maintain the desired reservoir elevation at Gavins Point. The Fort Randall pool is normally drawn down to 1337.5 feet in the fall to provide space for winter hydropower generation at Oahe and Big Bend. The annual drawdown will continue in October and November.

Big Bend Dam
Average releases past month – 28,500 cfs
Forecast average release rate – 20,200 cfs
Forecast reservoir level – 1420.7 feet

Oahe Dam
Average releases past month – 28,900 cfs
Forecast average release rate – 20,300 cfs
End-of-September reservoir level – 1610.4 feet
Forecast end-of-October reservoir level – 1608.5 feet
Notes: Oahe will undergo a full powerplant outage during the day on October 13 to conduct scheduled maintenance. Zero releases, though not unusual from Oahe, will be scheduled during the daylight hours so that the work crew can complete maintenance in the tailrace area.

Garrison Dam
Average releases past month – 17,900 cfs
Current release rate – 14,000 cfs
Forecast average release rate – reduce to 13,000 cfs on 8 October
End-of-September reservoir level – 1839.7 feet
Forecast end-of-October reservoir level – 1839.3 feet

Fort Peck Dam
Average releases past month – 8,400 cfs
Current release rate – 6,000 cfs
Forecast average release rate – 6,000 cfs
End-of-September reservoir level – 2237.7 feet
Forecast end-of-October reservoir level – 2237.1 feet


Hydropower:

The six mainstem power plants generated 875 million kWh of electricity in September. Typical energy generation for September is 905 million kWh. The power plants are projected to generate 10.1 billion kWh of electricity this year, compared to the long-term average of 9.4 billion kWh.

2020 Scottie Pride Button Winners

Tuesday, October 6th 2020

The Glasgow Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture has announced the winners of the Scottie Pride Homecoming Button Drawings:

Congratulations to our Scottie pride button winners for Homecoming 2020

Monday $200 each- Josh Sillerud & Michelle Ozark

Tuesday $200 each- Paul McColly & Sam Waters

Wednesday $200 each - Rhonda Evenson & Mandy Rasmussan

Thursday $200 each - Mary Falhgren & Shelby Stormer

Friday $500 each - Cody Donniaquo & Christine Donniaquo

The Chamber started this fundraiser in 2019. With the proceeds, 120 Scottie flags and poles were purchased to be place within the business community. New buttons can be purchased at the Chamber for $10, or you can renew your previously purchased button for $5. Winners do not need to be present to win and any age can purchase a button.

Irle School to Move to Distance Learning Wednesday

Monday, October 5th 2020

In a press release from Glasgow Superintendent of Schools Wade Sundby, new plans are unfolding for Glasgow's Irle School. According to the release, Tuesday will be used to prepare students for a temporary move to distance learning.

Valley View Nursing Home Has Confirmed Positive COVID Case

Monday, October 5th 2020

This is a press release from Valley View Nursing Home:

Valley View Home regrets to inform Valley County that we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 with one of our staff members and that we have a preliminary COVID-19 positive case with one of our residents.

We are standing by for the County Health Department to test and confirm this case. Due to these unfortunate events we are currently in isolation protocols with an end date to be determined later."

Federal Judge Orders Census To Continue Until October 31st

Monday, October 5th 2020

A federal judge has issued an order to clarify that, for now, the U.S. Census Bureau must continue counting for the 2020 census through Oct. 31 after finding the bureau made multiple violations of an earlier order that extends the national head count's schedule.

The latest ruling by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh — who issued the order late Thursday in California — comes after days of confusion sparked by a one-sentence tweet from the Census Bureau that Koh called "[perhaps] the most egregious violation" of the preliminary injunction order she issued last week.

The bureau released the tweet minutes before the judge began a virtual conference Monday for a lawsuit over the Trump administration's push to cut the census short. It said that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the bureau, had announced Oct. 5 as a "target date" for ending all counting efforts.

Internal emails and other documents show that Ross chose that date to deliver the first set of census results, the latest state population counts, to President Trump by Dec. 31 — even though the judge issued an order last week that prohibits the administration from implementing Dec. 31 as a deadline.

Earlier this week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Trump administration's request to set aside Koh's preliminary injunction while it is on appeal. A hearing has been scheduled for this Monday, and the administration has signaled it's prepared to go to the Supreme Court if the appeals court does not rule in its favor.

In her new order, Koh spelled out that last week's ruling suspended Sept. 30 as the bureau's revised end date for counting until Trump officials "cure all the legal defects" specified in the previous order. That, in turn, required the agency to reinstate Oct. 31 as the end date it had previously announced in response to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

3 Additional Students Test Positive For COVID-19 In Glasgow School District

Monday, October 5th 2020

On October 4, 2020, the Glasgow School District was notified that three students have tested positive for COVID-19. The positive tests were confirmed on October 4, 2020. According to the Valley County Health Department, the District’s staff and students were in contact with the students during the period of possible exposure. However, the students last attended in-class or had person-to-person contact with fellow students/staff at Irle on September 28/October 1, 2020. Working with the Valley County Health Department, we do not need to close down the school at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.

If any staff or students are at risk of exposure, the Valley County Health Department will be in contact with that person to determine a safe and appropriate course of action. It is still recommended that any person who feels sick or ill, seek out their medical provider for specific instructions. The School District is in contact with the Health Department and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control guidance to complete cleaning the school and other related facilities. The other steps taken by the School District include temp checks, handwashing stations, sanitization of classrooms, and a deep clean of the room(s). Contact Wade Sundby for details about these measures. School officials will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information if and when it becomes available.

The Glasgow School District along with the Valley County Health Department will be reaching out to families involved. Parents, please check your email for more important notifications and material pick up time and procedure. Please follow the guidelines presented. At this time we will not be closing the school or the district. The classroom(s)/students(s) involved are remote learning. If there are any questions concerning remote learning at Irle, please call Mrs. Erickson at 406.228.2419. If there are any other questions please contact Wade Sundby at the central office 406.228.2406.

City Of Glasgow Prepares For $138,000 Downtown Paving Project

Monday, October 5th 2020

The City of Glasgow will be rehabilitating and resurfacing a 2 block stretch of downtown Glasgow on 2nd Avenue South this month.

The paving project is the two city blocks on 2nd Avenue South, between 4th Street South and 6th Street South. Weather dependent, the work on 2nd Avenue South is scheduled to begin on October 14th and occur through the following week of October 19th. During that period of time, while work is occurring, travel will be limited to one-way traffic and limited access as necessary. A traffic control plan will be released to the surrounding businesses so they can plan accordingly.

The 2 block project is estimated to cost $138,000 depending on if any subgrade issues come up during the work.

Contact Tracing Information From Valley County Health Department

Sunday, October 4th 2020

Due to the very large volume of contacts to the many positive COVID-19 persons at this time, Valley County Health Department will be sending the following text message to named contacts to a positive:

"This is the Valley County Health Dept. You have been named as a contact to someone who is positive for COVID-19. Please refer to our Facebook page for instructions about testing and quarantine."

If you receive this text message from 406-263-8194, please arrive at the Health Department, 500 4th Avenue South, on October 5, 8:00 - 8:45 am. STAY IN YOUR CAR. We will fill out paperwork, including a lab form. From there you will get tested for COVID-19 at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital beginning at 9:00am.

You must have your lab form from the Health Dept. to be tested at that time.

Testing is recommended for all named contacts. Quarantine is required. Do not go into any public place during quarantine. Protect others, including those with whom you live. Wear a mask, stay more than six (6) feet away from everyone, hand hygiene over and over, and disinfect all surfaces.

Thank you for your efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

2 Glasgow School District Staff Members Test Positive For COVID-19

Friday, October 2nd 2020

On October 1, 2020, the Glasgow School District was notified that 2 staff members had tested positive for COVID-19. The positive tests were confirmed on October 1, 2020. According to the Valley County Health Department, the District’s staff and students were in contact with these staff members during the period of possible exposure. However, the staff members last worked in person-to-person contact with fellow students/staff at Irle on September 25, 2020, 6 days prior to the diagnosis.

If any staff or students are at risk of exposure, the Valley County Health Department will be in contact with that person to determine a safe and appropriate course of action. It is still recommended that any person who feels sick or ill, seek out their medical provider for specific instructions. The School District is in contact with the Health Department and reviewing the Centers for Disease Control guidance to complete cleaning the school and other related facilities. The other steps taken by the School District include temp checks, handwashing stations, sanitization of classrooms, and a deep clean of the room(s). Contact building principals for details about these measures. School officials will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information if and when it becomes available.

The Glasgow School District along with the Valley County Health Department will be reaching out to families involved. Please follow the guidelines presented. At this time we will not be closing the school or the district. The classroom (s) involved will begin remote learning on Monday, October 5, 2020. Mrs. Erickson will be contacting those families involved. If there are questions concerning remote learning please contact Mrs. Erickson at Irle School 406.228.2419. For other questions please contact the central office 406.228.2406.

Voting Starts Today In Montana

Friday, October 2nd 2020

Those wishing to vote early in the November 3rd General Election may cast their ballot starting today. Valley County will mail ballots on October 9th but voters may go to the Valley County Courthouse and cast their ballot in person starting October 2nd.

Those who choose to vote in person will not receive a ballot in the mail. If you choose to vote in person after ballots are mailed you will need to bring your mail ballot to the courthouse so elections workers can void the ballot.

Ballots will be mailed on October 9th, if you don't receive your ballot within a week you need to contact the Valley County Election Administrator in the Valley County Courthouse.

Strommen Sentencing Postponed To October 26th

Friday, October 2nd 2020

Former Valley County Undersheriff Luke Strommen is now set to be sentenced on October 26th after a sentencing date of October 7th was postponed by court officials.

This is the 2nd time that Strommen's sentencing has been postponed. He was originally set to be sentenced August 28th. That was postponed to October 7th and now postponed to October 26th.

Strommen remains incarcerated in the Roosevelt County Detention Center in Wolf Point.

A Valley County Jury found Strommen guilty on the charge of Sexual Intercourse without Consent on July 17th.

He faces life in prison or a sentence of no more than 100 years or no less than four years.

Valley County Commissioners Implement Burn Ban For Valley County

Thursday, October 1st 2020

With the return of cooler weather, local management has rescinded Stage I Fire Restrictions effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, October 2, 2020, for all lands within Blaine and Valley Counties.
Easing of restrictions means that public land visitors can again use campfires outside of developed campgrounds and posted recreation sites. Burn bans will be in effect for any debris or agricultural burning and may have additional limits. Check with your local sheriff’s office for fire department for information on burn permits.

A burn ban would mean: no open burning or burn permits, campfires would still be allowed if they are attended, fire pits and charcoal are also allowed. No open field fires or junk pile burning would be allowed.

The public is reminded that we are still in fire season and vegetation is dry as fall approaches. Please carry a shovel, water, a bucket or a fire extinguisher when recreating outdoors. Campfires and vehicles are two primary causes of preventable fires. Always drown and stir fires to ensure they are dead out before leaving camp and keep vehicles in good working order. Anyone who causes a wildland fire intentionally or through negligence will be held accountable for damages and suppression costs.


Recreational Marijuana Could Raise Up To 52 Million In Tax Revenue For Montana

Wednesday, September 30th 2020

If Montana voters approve the ballot initiatives that legalize recreational marijuana this November, it could raise between $43.4 and $52 million dollars in tax revenue for the state.

That’s according to a new report by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, or BBER.

The report, authored by BBER director Patrick Barkey and associate director Robert Sonora, found that legalized recreational marijuana could bring in over $236 million in tax revenue in the five years between 2022 and 2026.

The total market sales for retail marijuana, if legalized, could be as much as $217 million in 2022 and increase to $260 million in 2026. Those figures follow trends set by other states that have legalized the drug.

The report was commissioned by New Approach Montana, the group behind CI-118 and I-190, the initiatives to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Montana.

BBER does not endorse or oppose any ballot initiatives, including the marijuana initiatives. The report, the authors said, exists to answer the financial “what if” questions that arise from the potential implementation.

“Our independent research utilized the extensive survey-based data that is publicly available, detailing the frequency of cannabis use of both Montana residents and visitors to give us a good understanding of potential tax revenue on legalized retail cannabis sales,” Barkey said in the news release.

The two initiatives would set the minimum age for buying marijuana at 21 and would set the tax rate for marijuana purchases at 20%. That 20% tax is what could bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue, potentially even more than the tax on alcohol.

BBER assessed the way the recreational marijuana markets began and evolved in states that have legalized to inform the report. It also used information from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to predict how many people, both residents and tourists, would be potential customers of recreational marijuana.

According to the NSDUH, adults in Montana use marijuana recreationally at slightly higher rates than adults nationwide. In its 2017-2018 survey, 14.3% of Montanans over 21 said they used marijuana in the past 30 days. That’s higher than the national rate of 9.8%.

Those figures don’t differentiate between medical marijuana, which is legal in the state and has grown exponentially since 2016, and recreational marijuana, which is not legal. Medical marijuana has a 4% tax, which is expected to drop to 2% in 2021.

The report found that more than 15% of adult tourists are likely to visit dispensaries when visiting states with legal recreational cannabis sales. The legalization of recreational marijuana in Montana could also support other adjacent industries, like marijuana-cooking classes and weed-friendly bed and breakfasts, as it did in states like Colorado.

Montana Supreme Court Rejects Lower Court's Order Requiring Any Ballot With An Election Day Postmark To Be Counted

Wednesday, September 30th 2020

The Montana Supreme Court has stayed a lower court's order requiring any ballot with an Election Day postmark to be counted.

Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton had argued that the shift away from counting only ballots election officials receive by Nov. 3 would cause confusion. For 35 years, Montana law has required that ballots be in the election official's possession by the time polls closed.

"Having reviewed the District Court's order, the Court agrees with the Secretary that the injunction disrupts the status quo, is likely to cause voter confusion, and interferes with the ability of the State to administer an orderly general election process already underway," the seven justices concluded unanimously.

The lower court's ruling was less than a week old. Yellowstone County District Judge Donald Harris ruled Sept. 25 that ballots in the mail by Election Day should be counted regardless of whether elections officials received the ballot when polls closed.

A similar ruling concerning postmarked ballots in Montana's June primary election was also rejected by the Montana Supreme Court for the same reason.

Additionally, the secretary of state has informed the Supreme Court he intends to appeal both the postmark ruling and a ruling removing the state limits on how many ballots one person can deliver to the elections office on behalf of others. However, Stapleton isn’t asking that the lower court’s collection ruling on ballot gathering be stayed.

The safe bet is to plan on mailing ballots not later than 7 days before the Nov. 3 general election, said the Brett Rutherford, Yellowstone County Elections officer. The United States Postal Service doesn’t guarantee delivery by Election Day of ballots mailed with less than a week go spare, the same terms USPS used for the June primary.

“If you still don’t trust the Postal Service, you can drop off your ballot at the Metra,” Rutherford said.

Other reasons for getting a ballot returned early are numerous. They include election workers concerns about handling freshly licked ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. For safety reasons whenever possible ballots were allowed to sit for a couple days during the spring primary before being handled by election staff Rutherford said.

People are still getting used to pandemic safety precautions. It wasn’t unusual for a voter to lick their election ballot shut at the counter of the elections office and submit the envelope wet.

In counties that settled on all-mail ballot elections, early voting starts Friday. A person with valid identification can go to their polling area, request a ballot and vote on the spot. Doing so with nullify the ballot that in-person voter receives in the mail.

In Montana, it’s important to remember that mail ballots be submitted in a signed signature envelope, so election officials can compare the signature to the one on record for that voter. Ballots submitted without a signed envelope don’t count.