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Latest Local News

Chamber Community Cash Kick-Off Is Friday

Friday, October 22nd 2021

The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture is holding its community cash kick-off is this Friday (October 21).

The Chamber will pay the $10 application fee this Friday only at First Community Bank in Glasgow/Hinsdale, Independence Bank in Glasgow, and Bank of Glasgow.

Community Cash participants may borrow up to $1,000 at participating institutions; the loan is payable in 10 monthly installments and there is NO interest charged. The money may be used until December 31st, 2021. Unused script will need to be turned in to the bank by January 7, 2022 to receive full credit.

National Weather Service Releases October Drought Briefing And Winter Outlook

Friday, October 22nd 2021

The National Weather Service on Thursday released their October Drought Briefing and Winter Outlook. The current forecast is calling for some decent moisture in western Montana within the next week, but eastern Montana is expected to just receive a few showers.

The long-range forecast into the winter is cautiously calling for a little more moisture for eastern Montana, but, many variables are in the mix.

You can view the full briefing here.

Guidelines For Hunting, Fishing, Trapping Or Recreating On State Trust Land

Friday, October 22nd 2021

GLASGOW – With the upcoming general hunting season, many people will likely hunt State Trust Land at some point. These lands, which can provide great recreational opportunity, are managed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC).

Although State Trust Land is generally considered “public land”, specific rules and regulations apply to these lands that hunters and other outdoor recreationists need to follow. Below are some general guidelines for hunting, fishing, trapping and recreating on State Land. For more information, go to http://dnrc.mt.gov/divisions/trust/recreational-use-of-state-land or contact one of your local DNRC offices (see contact info below)

What are “State Trust Lands”?
• State Trust Lands, often called just “state land”, are properties managed by the DNRC for the sole purpose of generating income for public schools and other public institutions. Typically, most state parcels are the sections 16 and 36 of each township. However, some areas such as north of Glasgow and western Daniels Co. have large blocks and/or many other pieces of state land beyond the typical 16 and 36 sections.

Hunting, fishing or trapping on State Land
• By agreement between DNRC and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), persons who possess a valid Montana Conservation License from FWP will be authorized to engage in hunting, fishing, and trapping on legally accessible state trust lands that are not closed or restricted to such use.
Prior to trapping on state trust land, all persons 12 years old and older must first apply for and be issued a “Special Recreational Use License for Trapping” (SRULT) from a DNRC office.
Recreating on State Land
• Persons desiring to conduct all other types of noncommercial and/or nonconcentrated types of activities falling within the definition of "general recreational use", such as camping, hiking, skiing, sight-seeing, horseback use, etc., unless such activities are conducted in conjunction with and incidental to hunting, fishing, and trapping, will be required to possess a "State Land Recreational Use License", which is available from any authorized FWP license agent or through FWP's online license service.
Access to State Land
• Legally accessible state land is state land that can be accessed by dedicated public roads (roads usable by the public under state or federal law, or which are under the jurisdiction of the State Department of Transportation, or a county or municipal government); public rights-of-way or easements; by public waters such as rivers and streams that are recreationally navigable under Section 23-2-302, MCA; by adjacent federal, state, county or municipal land if the land is open for public use, or by adjacent private land if permission to cross the private land is secured from the land owner.
• A good idea is to have land ownership topographic maps and/or a GPS system that can help identify the state land you wish to hunt. The FWP Hunt Planner map is a good, free resource: https://fwp.mt.gov/gis/maps/huntPlanner/?species=muledeer&showOwn=true&showRef=true
• Entry from state land onto private land, regardless of the absence of fencing or proper notice by the landowner, without permission from the landowner, is trespassing!
• Most state land boundaries are not marked, and many are not fenced. Please refer to area BLM or USFS maps for land ownership patterns, or consult with the adjacent landowner or lessee, to determine the boundary locations on the ground. A land ownership GPS can help with this as well.
• Posting of state land with orange paint or signs such as "No Hunting" or "No Trespassing" is illegal. Lessees may post state land with blue paint to signify no unauthorized use. However, if such land is legally accessible, and has not been closed or restricted to recreational use by rule or by DNRC, recreational use by individuals with a proper recreational use license is permitted.
• Motorized Vehicle Use is restricted to federal, state, and dedicated county roads or other roads regularly maintained by the county, or to other roads which have been designated open by DNRC.
• Off road travel is prohibited.
• Snowmobile use is allowed on roads if permitted by local traffic laws or regulations.
• On leased lands, snowmobile use is restricted to the roads mentioned above.
• On unleased lands, snowmobile use is allowed in all areas except where it is expressly prohibited.
• Disabled Hunters who possess a permit to hunt from a vehicle issued by FWP are authorized to drive on any road on state land, except a road closed by the department by sign or barrier.
• Parking by recreationists on state land is allowed within 50 feet of a customary access point; on federal, state and county roads in accordance with local traffic laws or regulations; or within 50 feet of a road designated open by DNRC. Parking must not block other vehicle access to the tract, damage the land or a lessee’s improvements, or otherwise create a hazard.
• Discharge of Firearms must be conducted in a careful and prudent manner.
• Firearms may not be discharged within 1/4 mile of an inhabited dwelling or outbuilding without permission from the inhabitant; or on state land where DNRC has restricted firearms.
• Discharge of firearms not in conjunction with licensed hunting may require prior notification to the lessee. (See Notification of Activities).
• Open Fires on leased or licensed state land are restricted to designated campgrounds.
• Pets must be kept on a leash or otherwise under the control of the recreationist.
• Interference with a lessee's or recreationist's legitimate use of state lands is prohibited. Remember, respect each others' rights.
• Block Management Areas and Wildlife Management Areas, administered by the FWP, may include state land. Recreational use of state land in these areas must be conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations specific to that management area. A Recreational Use License is still required for recreational use of state trust lands enrolled in these areas.
• Overnight use (camping) on leased or licensed state land outside of a designated campground is allowed within 200 feet of a customary access point but is limited to two consecutive days. Recreational overnight use of state lands is limited to 16 days in a 30-day period in a designated campground and on unleased or unlicensed lands outside a designated campground unless otherwise allowed by the department.
• Overnight horseback use for more than two consecutive days on leased or licensed lands or for more than 16 days within a 30-day period for unleased and unlicensed lands is prohibited without a Special Recreational Use License. Horses may be kept overnight on state lands with the following constraints: 1) the horses do not remain in a stream riparian zone for more than 1 hour; 2) horses are to be fed with only certified noxious weed seed free forage; and 3) the horses must be restrained.
• Fireworks are prohibited.
• Littering is prohibited.
• Fish Wildlife and Parks game wardens enforce the laws and rules pertaining to recreational use of state lands for hunting and fishing. DNRC personnel and other state and local law enforcement personnel may also be involved in the enforcement of these laws and rules.
• To Report Violations, contact a Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife & Parks warden or call 1-(800) TIP-MONT
For more information or specific questions on state land, please contact an office in your area.
Central Land Office
(406) 458-3500
Eastern Land Office
Miles City
(406) 232-2034
Northeastern Land Office
(406) 538-7789
Northwestern Land Office
(406) 751-2240
Southern Land Office
(406) 247-4400
Southwestern Land Office
(406) 542-4200

Glasgow School Superintendent Talks About Voluntary COVID Testing Program In Place In Glasgow School System

Thursday, October 21st 2021

Glasgow School Superintendent Wade Sundby appeared on Live Under the Big Sky on Wednesday and talked about the voluntary COVID Testing Program currently in place in the Glasgow School System. Glasgow received a $25,000 grant to put the testing program in place and tests are currently being conducted with students and staff.


Block Of Bucks Returns For 2021

Wednesday, October 20th 2021

The Glasgow Soroptimists announce the annual Block of Bucks collection day on Friday, December 3rd, 2021.

The annual program provides clothing for Valley County children from infant to 17 years of age. Parents may sign up at the Thrift Store, located at 227 4th St. S. Sign up begins Monday, November 8th, and continues through Friday, November 19th at 4:00 p.m. Parents must sign up in person. Calls will not be accepted. No applications will be accepted after Friday, November 19th at 4:00 p.m. Applications MUST be picked up and returned to the Thrift Store. There will be no other location where forms may be picked up or turned in.

Donations are needed to fund the clothes shopping event and are deeply appreciated. They may be mailed prior to collection day to: Soroptimists of Glasgow, Box 961, Glasgow, MT 59230.
Volunteers are also needed to help families shop on Saturday, December 4th.

Please call Linda Sundby at 480-5339 if you are willing to help, or if you have any questions.

Glasgow City Council Meets October 18th

Tuesday, October 19th 2021

The Glasgow City Council met in regular session on October 18th.

Action items approved by the city council:

Approved a recommendation from the Wage Compensation Committee to pay $31.29 per hour to the new Glasgow Chief of Police, Robert Weber. Weber was sworn in as Chief of Police on September 28th and he will serve a one-year probationary period. The council also approved a salary for Captain Tyler Edwards of $30.29 per hour.

Approved a recommendation from the Personnel Committee to keep the current City Court Clerk employed until December 31st and leave the City Judge wage at $21.11 until she passes her certification in December of 2021.

Approved a recommendation from the Personnel Committee to offer a moving stipend of $3000 to a potential employee in the City Water Department. The council also approved the hiring of Jonathan Brewer to the position of Water Operator.

Approved a recommendation from the Water Committee to approve the revised scope of service for a sewer separation project in Glasgow and the engineering fees for the project of $93,600.

Approved a recommendation from the Water Committee to proceed forward with the funding package from the USDA Rural Development for the Water Transmission Main Project.

Approved the hiring of Renee Jones for the Administrative Assistant Position at the Glasgow Police Department.

Glasgow School District Ready To Begin Voluntary COVID Testing Program

Friday, October 15th 2021

Glasgow School Superintendent Wade Sundby announced on Thursday the Glasgow School District will begin COVID testing program for students and staff. The COVID testing is not mandatory and consent form will need to be completed before students are tested. Here is the letter informing residents of the Glasgow School District of the testing program.

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

We know that last year was tough, but we’re excited to get back in the classroom. We are committed to taking the steps necessary to help us have a safe return to school. As part of steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our school open for in-person learning, we will offer a free COVID-19 Testing Program for students and staff at Glasgow School District. Regular testing will help protect our students, staff, family members, and others against COVID-19 or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19.

Through this program, we will be able to identify COVID-19 cases quickly and early, which can help us stop an outbreak before it happens. This will help us keep students in the classroom and able to take part in the school activities they love.

We are working with our Valley County health department and are joining other school districts throughout the state that offer this program.

Who will be tested? We will offer testing to everyone—all students and staff—even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.

How is the testing done? The COVID-19 testing is free, quick, and easy. Members of our school staff will oversee testing with Bionexnow rapid test, which includes:
Gently swabbing the inner part of the lower nostril. This test is not painful. We do not use the longer swabs that reach higher into the nose.
A saliva sample.

Where and when is the testing done? Our school’s testing site will be in the boardroom at Central Office, Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 am -11:00 am, Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment. These times may change throughout this process. You may also text or call to make an appointment when needed. Results will be available within 30 minutes.

How can I be sure that my child’s information will be protected? Sharing of information about your child will only be done for public health purposes and in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data.

This letter asks your permission for us to:
regularly test your child as part of a free COVID-19 testing program at school, and
test your child if they show symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 while in school.

To learn more, please call (406).228.2406 or email: wsundby@mail.glasgow.k12.mt.us.

To schedule an appointment please call or text Nancy Hamilton at 406-230-0922 or email: nhamilton@mail.glasgow.k12.mt.us

We are extremely grateful to our committed families and staff who continue to show great flexibility and resilience as we work together to contain the spread of this virus. If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 Testing Program, please reach out to Wade O. Sundby.

Wade O. Sundby


Glasgow School District To Modify School Calendar Due To Staff Shortage

Thursday, October 14th 2021

Fort Peck Reservoir Water Level 8 Feet Lower Than In January

Thursday, October 14th 2021

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

The dire dry conditions in the upper Missouri River Basin continued in September with 88% of the region experiencing some form of abnormally dry conditions or drought, a 6% increase from the end of August.

September runoff in the basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 0.8 million acre-feet, 67% of the long-term average, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for managing dams along the river. Soil conditions in the region continue to be very dry. According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, October is not predicted to provide much relief with drought forecast to persist across much of the western United States and the northern Great Plains.

The center's monitoring showed most of Montana was about 3 inches below normal for precipitation in September, singling out Eastern Montana for special recognition by noting that portion of the state had "received less than half of their normal precipitation for September."

Much of Wyoming also suffered through a dry September, with the state ranking as one of the top in the nation for the biggest increase in drought-affected land, climbing almost 10% last month.

In Montana, extremely dry conditions were centered around the Fort Peck region down toward Glendive and in southwestern Montana near Dillon.

The lack of moisture, only recently offset by a storm arriving with snow and rain this week, is also illustrated by low flows in Montana's rivers. The Musselshell River at Mosby had climbed up from a low of 10 cubic feet per second last week to 28, still far below the 68 cfs average for this time of year. The Yellowstone River at Sidney had climbed from a low of 4,000 cfs last week to 6,100 cfs on Wednesday, still below the 7,800 cfs average for this time of year.

“Upper basin runoff was below average in September and is expected to stay low through the remainder of the calendar year," said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. "Lower basin runoff has been below average as well."

Despite the low flows, releases from Gavins Point Dam along the Nebraska-South Dakota border will continue to be set at 32,000 cfs to maintain barge navigation downstream. The navigation flow support season ends on Dec. 1.

The 2021 calendar year runoff forecast for the upper basin, updated on Oct. 1, is 14.8 million acre feet, 57% of average. Average annual runoff for the region is 25.8 MAF. If the weather continues its dry pattern, this runoff amount would be the 10th lowest in 123 years of Corps record-keeping.

Low inflows have dropped Fort Peck Reservoir to an elevation of 2,227.7 feet – 8 feet lower than in January and about 10 feet lower than at this time last year – and is predicted to drop another half foot this month.

Lower reservoir levels is also reflected in power generated by turbines at the upper Missouri's six dams. Last year by October the dams had generated 874 million kilowatt hours compared to 771 million kWh so far this year. One kWh is enough to run six laptop computers for one work day.

A public meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25 at 10:30 a.m. at the Fort Peck Interpretive Center providing an opportunity for the Corps to update the public about planned dam operations for the coming year. For those who can't attend, a video recording will be posted online.

Residents and Businesses May See Changes in Refuse District Fees

Thursday, October 14th 2021

Valley County residents and businesses may see changes in Refuse District Fees on their November tax statement. Refuse District fees are currently $145 per residence while commercial and governmental customers pay the base rate plus tonnage based on a schedule. These fees pay for the operation of the landfill and the 12 remote container sites.

The Valley County Refuse Board and staff have completed a detailed review (using the current fee schedule) of fees paid by residential, government and commercial customers. It has been several years since the last review. The review findings identified numerous residences and a few businesses that were not being billed for the refuse district fees. Some government facilities were also not being billed.

Additionally, business and government entities in Valley County pay base rate plus additional fees for actual tonnage. The tonnage information was also updated. For some entities the cost will go up, for others it will go down.

Going forward, the Refuse District is evaluating the current fee structure and may consider changes as appropriate through a public hearing process.

We thank you for your patience on these issues. If you have any questions, please call the Landfill office at 228-4730 or the Valley County Refuse Board at 228-6219.

United States To Reopen Land Borders To Nonessential Travel In November

Wednesday, October 13th 2021

The U.S. will reopen its land borders to nonessential travel next month, ending a 19-month freeze due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the country moves to require all international visitors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Vehicle, rail and ferry travel between the U.S. and Canada and Mexico has been largely restricted to essential travel, such as trade, since the earliest days of the pandemic. The new rules, to be announced Wednesday, will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the U.S. regardless of the reason for travel starting in early November, when a similar easing of restrictions is set to kick in for air travel into the country. By mid-January, even essential travelers seeking to enter the U.S., like truck drivers, will need to be fully vaccinated.

Senior administration officials previewed the new policy late Tuesday on the condition of anonymity to speak ahead of the formal announcement.

Both Mexico and Canada have pressed the U.S. for months to ease restrictions on travel that have separated families and curtailed leisure trips since the onset of the pandemic. The latest move follows last month's announcement that the U.S. will end country-based travel bans for air travel, and instead require vaccination for foreign nationals seeking to enter by plane.

Both policies will take effect in early November, the officials said. They did not specify a particular date.

The new rules only apply to legal entry to the U.S. Officials cautioned that those seeking to enter illegally will still be subject to expulsion under so-called Title 42 authority, first invoked by former President Donald Trump, that has drawn criticism from immigration advocates for swiftly removing migrants before they can seek asylum. One of the officials said the U.S. was continuing the policy because cramped conditions in border patrol facilities pose a COVID-19 threat.

According to the officials, travelers entering the U.S. by vehicle, rail and ferry will be asked about their vaccination status as part of the standard U.S. Customs and Border Protection admissions process. At officers' discretion, travelers will have their proof of vaccination verified in a secondary screening process.

Unlike air travel, for which proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required before boarding a flight to enter the U.S., no testing will be required to enter the U.S. by land or sea, provided the travelers meet the vaccination requirement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. will accept travelers who have been fully vaccinated with any of the vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization, not just those in use in the U.S. That means that the AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in Canada, will be accepted.

Officials said the CDC was still working to formalize procedures for admitting those who received doses of two different vaccines, as was fairly common in Canada.

The delay in the vaccination requirement for essential cross-border travel is meant to provide truck drivers and others with additional time to get a shot and minimize potential economic disruption from the vaccination mandate, officials said.

All told, the new procedures move toward a policy based on the risk profiles of individuals, rather than less targeted country-based bans.

The vaccination requirement for foreign nationals comes as the White House has moved to impose sweeping vaccination-or-testing requirements affecting as many as 100 million people in the U.S. in an effort to encourage holdouts to get shots.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor completed the initial draft of an emergency regulation that will require employers of 100 workers or more to demand their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly. The Office of Management and Budget is now reviewing the order before its implementation.

Mexico has not put in place any COVID-19 entry procedures for travelers. Canada allows entry of fully-vaccinated individuals with proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as well as proof of a negative test conducted within 72 hours of entry to the country.

American Red Cross Facing Emergency Blood Shortage

Wednesday, October 13th 2021

The American Red Cross continues to experience an emergency blood shortage that has caused the blood supply to drop to the lowest post-summer level in at least six years.

With less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks, the Red Cross asks donors of all blood types – especially type O ? to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible to ensure patients can receive the lifesaving transfusions they rely on. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds from summer blood shortages, but a surge in COVID-19 cases across the U.S. due to the delta variant has contributed to the lowest donor turnout of the year. To shore up inventory, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week this month to meet hospital and patient needs.

Donors are asked to make an appointment
All those who come to donate in October will receive a link by email to claim a free Zaxby’s® Signature Sandwich reward or get a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. Plus, all those who come to give Oct. 11-31 will receive a bonus $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice.*

Blood donations help those with breast cancer
During Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Red Cross is reminding donors of the importance of blood to those undergoing treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, roughly 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year, and more than 281,000 of those individuals will have breast cancer.

Patients with breast cancer and other cancers may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. In fact, nearly 25% of the blood supply is used by cancer patients.

People across the country depend on the kindness of blood donors. Donors are urged to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-73-2767).

Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and?additional precautions?– including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are?asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

Zoom Open House to Discuss Hunting Regulations Changes in Region 6

Tuesday, October 12th 2021

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will be hosting a virtual open house on Tuesday evening to discuss proposed changes to hunting regulations in Region 6.

The open house will take place on Zoom from 5:30-7 PM on October 12th. The public will be able to hear directly from FWP staff and ask questions.

The changes will reduce the number of hunting districts, simplify season structures and reduce the number of license and permit types. FWP says the changes are meant to improve management of deer, elk and other species.

Final regulations are expected to be adopted in early February.

Information on joining the meeting is available on the FWP Website or the Region 6 Facebook page.

Anyone with questions can contact the FWP Region 6 Headquarters at 228-3700.

EHD Found In Several Areas In Eastern Montana

Tuesday, October 12th 2021

GLASGOW-Over the last several weeks, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has received reports of dead or dying white-tailed deer in the major river drainages in eastern Montana. Early indications showed patterns and symptoms similar to epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), and several dead deer had samples submitted for testing. Early results indicate that at least some of the sampled deer tested positive for EHD.

In northeast Montana, the furthest western extent of the disease appears to be along the Milk River near Saco, then east along the Milk and Missouri Rivers to North Dakota, with varying degrees of whitetail mortality in between.

In southeast Montana, the most severe areas have been reported on the Yellowstone River between Glendive and Sidney as well as many areas throughout Carter County.
Impacts to local populations can be highly variable, with some areas seeing high mortality rates and others seeing minimal impacts. Hunters should plan accordingly if they plan to hunt in one of the affected areas. Furthermore, surplus whitetail B-license (699-00) in Region 6 were decreased by 2,000 in response to the disease. FWP staff will continue to monitor the situation and keep the public updated on the extent of the outbreak.

How you can help!
FWP would like to get an idea of the distribution and severity of this disease. If you find dead or dying white-tailed deer, please contact your area biologist or FWP office. If possible, provide information on the species, number of individuals, behaviors and symptoms observed, and a general location.
What is EHD?
EHD is an infectious, sometimes fatal virus that is usually spread by a virus-carrying gnat or midge. Many animals affected with EHD lose their appetite, often are drawn to water, lose their fear of people, grow weak, and typically die. This disease is often confused with “blue tongue,” which is a separate, but similar, disease. EHD is not transmissible to humans.

EHD is not uncommon in central and eastern Montana in late summer or early fall. The disease mostly impacts white-tailed deer, but also shows up occasionally in mule deer and antelope. EHD outbreaks typically occur in river bottoms and large creek bottoms, likely due to higher concentrations of white-tailed deer and the insects that transmit EHD. These outbreaks often end when a hard frost kills the insect vectors that carry the disease.

With cooler temperatures forecasted across the state, biologists are hoping the weather will slow down the insect vectors. However, there may be more transmission of the disease until a hard frost eliminates the adult insects, and FWP will not know the full extent of the outbreak until then.
Can hunters harvest deer with EHD?

Hunters usually do not harvest animals infected with EHD because animals typically die within 8 to 36 hours from the onset of disease. In most years, the majority of deer are harvested during the Montana general (rifle) hunting season, which is long after a killing frost marks the end of EHD for the year.

If a hunter does harvest an animal that is symptomatic with EHD, it may not be fit for consumption due to the hemorrhages within in the body. Contact your local FWP office if concerned about the consumption of a harvested animal.

Valley County Health Department COVID Update

Saturday, October 9th 2021

VCHD confirms the death of a woman in her 70s. We extend our sympathies to her family and friends. This is the fifth (5th) death since 9/1/2021 bringing our total loss in Valley County to 23 persons who faced this untimely end due to COVID.

New cases since last update on 10/5: 52
Active cases now: 120
Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 1025
Total cases: 1168
Hospitalizations since last update: 3
Total hospitalizations to date: 90

Male: 18
Female: 34
Age less than 1 year: 2
1-9: 3
10-19: 11
20-29: 3
30-39: 4
40-49: 7
50-59: 8
60-69: 6
70-79: 5
80+: 3

Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications:
Valley County: 23
Montana: 2079

COVID-19 vaccine:
Valley County vaccination rate as of 10/4/2021: 42.5% (2686 persons fully vaccinated out of 6313 eligible Valley County residents). 62 COVID vaccines were given on 10/06/2021 at VCHD.

Rain Will Impact Northeast Montana Friday And Saturday

Friday, October 8th 2021

Parts of Northeast Montana will have rain tonight and Saturday as a low pressure system moves through Southeast Montana. Here is a map of forecast rain totals.

Valley County Combined Campaign Inviting Non-Profit Organizations To Join 2021-2022 Campaign

Friday, October 8th 2021

The Valley County Combined Campaign is celebrating its 40th year of giving with an invitation to Valley County non-profit organizations to join the 2021-2022 campaign.

There is one opening available this year for rotating member positions. Any Valley County nonprofit organizations who desire to apply must have a 501 (c)3 nonprofit status and will not be allowed to do any other soliciting for contributions during the year(s) they are members of the campaign.
Please submit a letter of interest indicating your organizations mission and needs via email to leilaseyfert@live.com or lclager@nemont.net. Your email must be received no later than Monday, October 11th. Your organization will then be required to provide a brief presentation about your organization, including what, specifically, you will be designating your monies towards at the October 12th meeting of the Valley County Combined Campaign board of directors on October 12th at 5:30 pm at the Loaded Toad.

If you have any questions, please contact Leila Seyfert at 263-0321 or Candy Lagerquist at 263-4512.
The Valley County Combined Campaign consists of seven permanent non-profit organizations and one temporary position from the Valley County community. The VCCC was formed in 1982 so that community members and businesses would only be contacted once during the year for donations.

The 2021-2022 campaign will take place from April 23 to May 7, 2022. The generosity of the residents of Valley County in 2021 greatly impacted our participating organization, and their missions to improve life in the county.

COVID Update From Glasgow School Superintendent Wade Sundby

Thursday, October 7th 2021

New Mining Claims At Zortman Prompt Push For Investigation

Thursday, October 7th 2021


The Fort Belknap Indian Community and three conservation groups are petitioning the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General to investigate the cause of the department’s failure to keep a mineral withdrawal — a regulatory tool that blocks federal agencies from approving new mining claims — in force at the Zortman-Landusky reclamation area near the Fort Belknap Reservation. As a result of a 48-hour gap in protections on Oct. 5 and 6, 2020, 10 new mining claims were filed in an area still grappling with an acid mine drainage clean-up that has cost more than $77 million to date and is expected to continue for generations.

“We deserve an explanation,” FBIC President Andrew Werk Jr. said in a press release about the petition. “Whether the Department’s failure to properly implement the closure was an honest — albeit careless — mistake or the result of intentional misconduct, the consequences are enormous for the health and wellbeing of our people. With stakes this high, we must have accountability.”

In the 1980s and 1990s, 2.5 million ounces of gold were mined from the Zortman and Landusky mines with cyanide heap leaching. In 1998, the mines’ owner Pegasus Gold filed for bankruptcy, leaving federal and state agencies with a massive clean-up effort. As a result of past gold and silver mining operations, the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes have been dealing with surface and groundwater pollution as well as metals pollution throughout the Little Rocky Mountains in north-central Montana for more than 20 years.

In the complaint, the groups argue that given the research and planning that’s required before a person or corporation can stake and file a mining claim, it’s suspicious that Bozeman-based Blue Arc, LLC was able to take advantage of the 48-hour window between the expiration of the old order and the implementation of a new one to stake the 10 new claims.

In 2000, to facilitate ongoing reclamation work, the Interior Department issued a five-year order preventing entities from filing new mining claims on the site’s 3,530 acres of public land. After three subsequent five-year extensions, the department was preparing to issue a 20-year mineral withdrawal to go into effect in October 2020. But because notice of the 20-year order was published in the Federal Register three days after the expiration of the preceding 5-year order, there was a two-day gap during which new mining claims were not prohibited. The Federal Register is a government log book where rules, proposed rules and executive orders pertaining to federal agencies are publicly noticed.

Conservation groups Montana Environmental Information Center, Earthworks and Trout Unlimited also signed on to the FBIC letter. The petitioners are asking the Interior Department’s Inspector General to investigate why the 20-year ban on claims wasn’t filed in a timely manner, who was responsible for filing the order, if there was communication between the Bureau of Land Management or the Interior Department and Blue Arc or its executives, and what steps are being taken to address the lapse. They also want to know why the new 20-year mineral withdrawal order applies to a smaller geographic area than the preceding order, and who made that decision. The new withdrawal area applies to 842 fewer acres than the previous one.

“The public has spent tens of millions of dollars to reclaim and control the pollution at the former Zortman-Landusky mine site. The fact that someone went up there and staked new mining claims is a slap in the face to the taxpayer, the Fort Belknap Tribe, and the clean water of the area,” Montana Environmental Information Center staff attorney Derf Johnson said in a release.

In the early 2000s, Luke Ployhar, who owns Blue Arc with his wife, purchased mining claims totaling more than 1,000 acres from the Pegasus bankruptcy trustee. Ployhar now owns much of the former mine. He told Montana Free Press Wednesday that Blue Arc isn’t currently mining the site, but that records he obtained from Pegasus indicate there is mineralization on his new claims. Part of the reason he staked the claims on public property, he said, is to “secure a buffer zone” around the land he owns. Ployhar said there is potential for future gold mining at the site based on the outcome of an application for mineral exploration that’s currently before the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and the results of future sampling.

Ployhar added that as far as he knows the claims were processed by the Bureau of Land Management without issue.

“[The withdrawal] lapsed. We did what we were allowed to do,” he said “My understanding is that [BLM] has gone through and everything is good.”

Ployhar said he wasn’t aware that the agency was planning to implement a 20-year mineral withdrawal order once the preceding five-year order expired.

Blue Arc recently applied for a mineral exploration license from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to remove 1,000 tons of rock from the site of the former mine at Zortman. The FBIC, Earthworks and MEIC sued DEQ to challenge that application, arguing that the agency failed to consult with tribes and properly consider the impacts of new mining operations.

Blue Arc proposes to use an excavator with a hydraulic hammer to remove material from an exposed rock face in an area that was mined for gold and silver in the 1980s and 1990s. If the application is approved, Blue Arc would build 2,400 feet of road to access the 1.4 acre excavation site. The collected rock would then be shipped to a facility in Nevada for testing.

Ployhar said that to the best of his knowledge DEQ is still evaluating the application.

Glasgow Mayoral Candidates Appear On Live Under The Big Sky

Wednesday, October 6th 2021

Glasgow has a municipal election approaching on November 2nd. Ballots for the election will be mailed on October 15th.

Current Glasgow Mayor Becky Erickson is retiring at the end of the year and Glasgow will have a new Mayor for the first time in 8 years. The two candidates running to replace Erickson are Rod Karst and Todd Young. Both candidates appeared on Live Under the Big Sky on Tuesday and both were asked why they are running for Mayor.



Haunted Hayride Set For October 24th

Wednesday, October 6th 2021

The students of Glasgow High School will host their annual Haunted Hayride on Sunday, October 24th at Sullivan Park. The course has been shortened, but will be packed with plenty of scares!

The cost is $1/body and the proceeds from the event will be donated to the Children's Museum of Northeast Montana. Starting time is 5:30 p.m. and runs until 7:30 p.m. The not so scary time will run from 5:30 - 6:15 and then from 6:15 - 7:30 will be for the not weak of heart or bladder.

If you would like to help the students, then please contact Rod Karst or Kristina McGee at Glasgow High School. (406-228-2485)

Beginning October 24, All Local Calls In Montana Must Be Dialed With The 406 Area Code To Connect

Tuesday, October 5th 2021

Beginning October 24, 2021, all local calls in Montana must be dialed with the 406 area code to connect.

Montana’s 406 area code currently allows seven-digit dialing to complete local calls. That will change this month due to a Federal Communications Commission order designating 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Some seven-digit phone numbers in Montana’s 406 area code begin with 988. To prevent misdialing the 988 Lifeline, all local calls in Montana must be dialed with the area code beginning October 24.

The 10-digit dialing requirement applies to all area codes that use 988 as a working prefix, including 83 area codes across 37 states. Calls that are currently considered local for billing purposes will continue to be billed as local calls.

Existing seven-digit phone numbers will not change, but will require the 406 area code to connect. Three-digit dialing services, like the 911 emergency number, will continue to work as a three-digit number with no need to dial an area code.

Along with manually dialed calls, all services that use automated dialing will need to be updated to include 10-digit phone numbers, including contact lists on mobile phones. Fire alarm systems, security systems, life-saving systems, medical monitoring devices, call forward settings will need also to be updated. Users of these systems should contact their service provider to ensure their devices are ready for 10-digit dialing.

The North American Numbering Plan Administrator has worked with industry providers to develop a plan for impacted area codes to transition to mandatory 10-digit dialing.

The 988 number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be available beginning July 16, 2022. Prior to that date, customers may continue to use 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) to reach the Lifeline for suicide prevention and emergency mental health counseling.

Montana Department Of Transportation Issues New Load Listings For Indian Service Canal Bridge In Valley County

Tuesday, October 5th 2021

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) recently issued new load postings for the Indian Service Canal Bridge on US 2 in Frazer, in Valley County. The postings are part of a multi-year effort to update load ratings and postings on Montana bridges as mandated by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The FHWA mandate is in response to changes in the trucking industry over the last decade. Truck manufacturers are building specialized hauling vehicles (SHVs), which are capable of legally carrying heavier loads than typical vehicles have in the past. SHVs are single-unit, short-wheelbase, multiple-axle trucks commonly used in the construction, waste management, bulk cargo and commodities hauling industries. Often one or more axles can be raised or lowered as needed to comply with statutory weight limitations.

These SHV configurations concentrate heavy loads over a short length, and they have been found to overstress bridges beyond what was previously modeled by standard commercial vehicles. To account for their increasing presence and ensure safe operation, FHWA has determined that all states must include these new, short, heavy vehicles when evaluating the safe limits of bridge capacity.

To comply with the mandate, MDT is currently updating load ratings for 4,500 public bridges across the state, including approximately 2,500 owned and maintained by MDT. This effort is expected to take about four years to complete.

Bridge weight restrictions are required when the engineering analysis of a bridge, known as a load rating, indicates that it cannot carry standard, legal loads. Load ratings provide information about how much distributed weight can safely pass over a bridge. Load posting signs show maximum weight limits for different vehicle types, depending on their axle configuration. A posted bridge is safe to use, but the weight of certain vehicles must be limited accordingly.

The new posting on the Indian Service Canal Bridge applies to SHVs; it limits the maximum gross vehicle weight of single-unit vehicles with 5, 6, or 7 axles to 27 tons.

Valley County Health Department Confirms Deaths Of Two Valley County Residents Attributed To COVID-19

Tuesday, October 5th 2021

Valley County Health Department confirms the deaths of two Valley County residents from Covid-19:
-A man in his 70s
-A man in his 60s

Our team sends our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. Please take measures to protect yourself, your family, neighbors, and our community.


New cases since last update: 52
Active cases now: 78
Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 1016
Total cases: 1116
Hospitalizations since last update: 3
Total hospitalizations to date: 87

Male: 17
Female: 35
Age less than 10: 2
10-19: 6
20-29: 6
30-39: 7
40-49: 8
50-59: 5
60-69: 7
70-79: 4
80+: 7

Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications:
*Valley County: 22

Opportunity Bank Of Montana Reaches Agreement To Purchase First Community Bank

Monday, October 4th 2021

Eagle Bancorp Montana, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBMT), (the “Company,” or “Eagle”), the holding company of Opportunity Bank of Montana, last week announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire First Community Bancorp, Inc., and its subsidiary, First Community Bank (“First Community”). The transaction is Eagle’s fourth announced acquisition of a Montana-based bank since 2017, and its largest transaction to date. Headquartered in Glasgow, Montana, First Community is the largest bank headquartered in Northeast Montana with $374 million in total assets. First Community currently operates nine branches and two mortgage LPOs, including commercial-focused branches in Helena and Three Forks (Gallatin County). The acquisition will further solidify Eagle’s position as the fourth largest Montana-based bank with over $1.7 billion in pro forma assets and add $307 million in deposits and $220 million in gross loans, based on June 30, 2021 information. Upon completion of the acquisition, Opportunity Bank of Montana will have 32 retail branches in key commercial and ag markets across Montana.

The board of directors for both companies unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to the approvals of bank regulatory agencies, the shareholders of First Community, and Eagle, and other customary closing conditions.

“We are thrilled to welcome First Community, and its employees to the Eagle team,” stated Peter J. Johnson, President and CEO of Eagle. “First Community is an experienced agriculture and commercial lender with a 130-year operating history in Montana and deep roots in the communities it serves. This transaction expands our presence across the state of Montana and builds on our reputation as an experienced and preferred agricultural lender across the state. The combination of our two companies is a complementary fit with our banking culture and provides the ability to create revenue and cost synergies while offering First Community Bank customers broader product offerings, increased lending limits, and an expanded branch delivery system that stretches throughout the state of Montana. I am also pleased to announce that at the closing of the transaction, Sam Waters, the Chairman and President of First Community, will join the boards of Eagle and Opportunity Bank of Montana, and that Kris Simensen, the CEO of First Community Bank, will serve as our Northeast Montana Regional Market President.”

“Being able to partner with a strong community bank that is focused on providing great customer service and has a deep commitment to the communities where it operates, is a great opportunity for us,” said Kris Simensen, CEO of First Community Bank.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement signed by the parties, First Community shareholders will receive 37.7492 shares of Eagle common stock and $276.32 in cash for each share of First Community common stock. In aggregate, First Community shareholders will receive 1,396,721 shares of Eagle common stock and $10.2 million in cash, for a total transaction value of approximately $41.3 million, based on the Eagle common stock closing price of $22.25 on September 27, 2021. In addition, First Community shareholders shall be entitled to a special dividend at closing equal to the amount tangible common shareholders’ equity exceeds $29.5 million, subject to certain conditions.

The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021. Eagle was represented by Nixon Peabody LLP as legal advisor and D.A. Davidson & Co. as financial advisor and First Community was represented by Ballard Spahr LLP as legal advisor and ProBank Austin as financial advisor.

Environmental Impact Statement Finalized for Test Releases from Fort Peck Dam

Monday, October 4th 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released the finalized Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for test releases from Fort Peck Dam.

The release of the Final EIS does not constitute a decision, as the EIS is being reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency until October 25th. At that point, the Army Corps could issue a Record of Decision to select an alternative for implementation and other commitments.

The purpose of the EIS is to assess the capacity of test flows from the Fort Peck Dam to promote the growth and survival of the pallid sturgeon, a fish species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

According to the plan, when water levels at Fort Peck allow, increased releases would take place between April and July to test the theory that the mimicking of spring runoff would attract pallid sturgeon into the Missouri River.

Governor Greg Gianforte has expressed opposition to this plan, saying it could damage cropland and irrigation downstream of the Dam. The plan could also lead to decreased recreation at Fort Peck due to low water levels

Hallock And Graham Crowned Scottie Homecoming King And Queen

Friday, October 1st 2021

Kyler Hallock and Tyann Graham were crowned Scottie Homecoming Royalty at Scottie Coronation on Thursday. The Scottie Homecoming Parade is set for today at 2:30pm.

Valley County Transitions From Stage 1 Fire Restrictions To Regular Fire Season Restrictions

Thursday, September 30th 2021

Valley County has been under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions due to the excessively dry conditions since Friday July 1, 2021.

The Valley County Commissioners addressed fire restrictions in Valley County at their regular weekly meeting on Wednesday. A motion was made by Commissioner Armstrong and seconded by Commissioner Tweten to transition from Stage 1 Fire Restrictions to Fire Season effective at 12:01 am on Friday October 1, 2021.

Co-Fire Wardens, Bob Hansen, and Robert Brunelle recommended the move from Stage 1 Fire Restrictions to regular Fire Season, during which time no person shall set any forest fire, slash-burning fire, debris-burning fire, or open fire within the County protection area without having obtained an official permit to ignite or set fire from the Valley County Sheriff or Dispatch Office - 228-4333 Opt. 2.

The motion passed unanimously.

Scottie Homecoming Royalty

Thursday, September 30th 2021

Scottie Homecoming Coronation is set for Thursday at 3;25pm in the Glasgow High School Auditorium. King candidates include Nik Burke, Kyler Hallock and Gage Siefert. Queen candidates include Iris McKean, Klaire Krumwiede and Tyann Graham.

The Scottie Homecoming Parade will be held Friday at 2:30pm.

USPS mail delivery is about to get permanently slower and temporarily more expensive

Wednesday, September 29th 2021

Americans who have been frustrated with the slow service of the U.S. Postal Service since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic probably won’t be thrilled to hear this:

The service is about to get even slower.

Starting Friday, the Postal Service will “implement new service standards for First Class Mail and Periodicals,” spokeswoman Kim Frum said in an email to USA TODAY.

The changes mean an increased time-in-transit for mail traveling long distances, such as from New York to California. Frum said that “most first class mail (61%) and periodicals (93%) will be unaffected” by the changes. Single-piece first-class mail traveling within the same region will still have a delivery time of two days.

The Postal Service defines first-class mail as “standard sized letters and flats,” Frum said. That’s different from first-class packages, which are typically used for shipping smaller, lightweight packages. Currently, first-class mail and first-class packages have the same delivery standards, but that will change beginning Friday.

Starting Friday, the U.S. Postal Service will employ “new service standards" that will result in slower delivery for mail traveling long distances, such as from New York to California.
The changes to service standard times are part of the Postal Service's 10-year strategic plan, which was announced by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in March. The plan has drawn heavy criticism from elected officials.

DeJoy took his position in June 2020 despite no previous Postal Service experience. The position of postmaster general is not appointed or nominated by a president but rather appointed by the independent Postal Service Board of Governors.

The Postal Service has been riddled by financial problems for years, and the coronavirus pandemic has only worsened the situation.

By making this change, Frum said, “the Postal Service can entrust its ground network to deliver more First-Class Mail, which will lead to great consistency, reliability and efficiency that benefits its customers … whether it’s 300 miles or 3,000 miles, the current standard for (first-class packages) require 3-day service for any destination within the contiguous U.S. with a drive time greater than six hours. This is unattainable and forces us to rely on air transportation, yielding unreliable service. With this change, we will improve service reliability and predictability for customers while also driving efficiencies across the Postal Service network.”

Additionally, starting Oct. 3 through Dec. 26, the Postal Service will temporarily increase prices on all commercial and retail domestic packages because of the holiday season and its increase in mail volume. Those price increases will not affect international products, Frum said.

Report: Unvaccinated in Montana 5 times more likely to be hospitalized, 3 times more likely to die from COVID-19

Tuesday, September 28th 2021

The Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS) on Monday released a report that it says highlights the best tool against serious illness from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated.

The number of people currently hospitalized in Montana due to COVID-19 is 415. The cumulative number of hospitalizations in Montana due to the virus is 7,445. The number of Montanans who have died due to COVID-19 is now 1,973, an increase of 28 since Friday, according to DPHHS.

The DPHHS report reviewed Montana data from February 2021 to September 2021, and found that 89.5% of the cases, 88.6% of hospitalizations, and 83.5% of the deaths were among people who were not fully vaccinated, including those not yet eligible for vaccination.

A news release from DPHHS says the report also examined the eight-week period from July 11, 2021, to September 4, 2021, and found that among all cases reported in persons eligible for vaccine, Montanans who were not fully vaccinated contracted COVID-19 at a rate 4.4 times greater than fully-vaccinated persons.

The COVID-19-associated hospitalization and death rates were 5.1 and 3.3 times greater, respectively, among not fully-vaccinated persons as compared with fully vaccinated persons.

DPHHS public health experts also noted the impact of COVID-19 disease on younger age groups. Adults aged 18-39 had the highest number of COVID-19 cases compared with other age groups among both the fully vaccinated and unvaccinated. However, adults in this age group who were not fully vaccinated experienced case rates 4.4 times higher than fully vaccinated persons in this age group.

DPHHS data also show a notable age gap between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with severe COVID-19 related outcomes, with severe outcomes occurring at younger ages among those not fully vaccinated compared with fully vaccinated individuals. In a recent eight-week period, the median age for COVID-19 hospitalizations was 60 years for not fully vaccinated and the median age among those fully vaccinated was 75 years.

COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated persons are called “breakthrough” cases. A breakthrough COVID-19 case is defined as a COVID-19 infection which occurred 14 or more days after completing the primary COVID-19 vaccine series. Depending on the specific vaccine administered, completion of series could be one or two doses of vaccine.

“In addition to encouraging vaccination, DPHHS encourages all Montana residents and visitors to exercise personal responsibility and take precautionary measures to slow the spread of the virus, including wearing a face covering when appropriate, avoiding large crowds, staying home when not feeling well, and washing hands frequently,” said DPHHS acting State Medical Officer Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek.

“The data are overwhelming. The COVID-19 vaccine offers the best protection against infection and at preventing severe illness,” said DPHHS director Adam Meier. “Clinical trials have found that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe COVID-19-related outcomes. If you haven’t gotten vaccinated and still have questions, I encourage all eligible Montanans to consult with their healthcare provider or pharmacist.”

An estimated 53% of eligible Montana residents are now vaccinated, with 485,319 Montanans now considered fully vaccinated. If you want to get vaccinated, contact your county health department.

Valley County With 58 Active COVID Cases

Tuesday, September 28th 2021

Valley County Health Department confirms the death of a male in his 70s from COVID-19. Our sympathies are with his family and friends. Valley County has lost 20 persons to COVID-19.


New cases since last update: 30
Active cases now: 58
Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 987
Total cases: 1065
Hospitalizations since last update: 3
Total hospitalizations to date: 84

Male: 16
Female: 11
Age less than 10: 3
10-19: 7
20-29: 4
30-39: 6
40-49: 3
50-59: 3
60-69: 3
80+: 1

On September 28, VCHD was notified of 20 persons who were diagnosed positive. Of the 10 persons age 0-19, 8 of them attend school in Glasgow and 2 are too young to attend school.

Red Cross Experiencing Emergency Blood Shortage

Monday, September 27th 2021

The American Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage and must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month for the blood supply to recover and meet hospital and patient needs. Donors of all blood types – especially type O – and are urged to make an appointment to give now and in the weeks ahead to overcome this current shortage.

Blood donor turnout has reached the lowest levels of the year as many delayed giving amid a return to the workplace and in-person learning, as well as a recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country because of the delta variant. As cases spiked in August, blood donor participation decreased about 10 percent, but blood product distributions to hospitals have remained strong, significantly outpacing blood donations in recent weeks.

The national Red Cross blood inventory is the lowest it’s been at this time of year since 2015, with less than a day’s supply of certain blood types in recent weeks. The supply of types O positive and O negative blood, the most needed blood types by hospitals, dropped to less than a half-day supply at times over the last month ? well below the ideal five-day supply.

“Fall is typically a time when the blood supply rebounds as donors are more available to give than during the busy summer months, but this year has presented a unique and serious challenge,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “While it’s clear the pandemic continues to weigh heavily on our minds, the Red Cross asks the public to remember donating blood is essential to the many patients who rely on lifesaving transfusions every day.”

Don’t wait. People across the country depend on the generosity of blood donors. Make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Medical Providers Challenge Law Banning Vaccine Requirements

Friday, September 24th 2021

Medical providers and Montana residents with compromised immune systems are challenging a state law that prevents employers from mandating vaccines for employees.

They argue the law passed by the 2021 Legislature violates federal requirements for safe workplaces and reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.

They want a federal judge to rule it doesn’t apply to hospitals and other medical providers.

The Montana Medical Association, private physician groups, a Missoula hospital and five individuals filed the complaint in U.S. District Court in Missoula on Wednesday. Montana is the only state with such a law.

Valley County COVID Update

Friday, September 24th 2021


New cases since last update three days ago: 18
Active cases now: 43
Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 973
Total cases: 1035
Hospitalizations since last update: 2
Total hospitalizations to date: 81

Male: 11
Female: 7
Age less than 10: 2
10-19: 2
20-29: 1
30-39: 2
40-49: 2
50-59: 1
60-69: 4
70-79: 2
80+: 2

Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications:
Valley County: 19
Montana: 1930 (Montana has added 43 persons to the total deaths in the last 3 days)

Frazer School Closed Until Monday

Thursday, September 23rd 2021

Montana Fish, Wildlife And Parks Completes Two Law Enforcement Cases

Thursday, September 23rd 2021

Two Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks law enforcement cases from the fall of 2020 were completed, including an unlawfully killed bull elk in Blaine County, and a bull moose in Phillips County.

Lucas Sterling, 42, of Columbia Falls, plead guilty to charges of hunting without a license and unlawful possession of a bull elk. Sterling killed the elk during the 2020 archery season in the Bear Paw Mountains in Blaine County. Sterling was hunting without the required special permit for the hunting district. He was ordered to pay $460 in fines, $1000 in restitution, and lost his privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for two years in Montana along with the other member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

Tyrus Brockie, 22, of Harlem, plead guilty to charges of hunting without a license, waste of a game animal, and hunting without landowner permission in November 2020 for shooting and mortally wounding a bull moose west of Malta.

“This was a case of someone carelessly shooting an animal with limited harvest opportunity in the region and just left it to waste,” said Malta-area warden Chase Sanderson.

Brockie was ordered to pay $1040 in fines, $1000 in restitution, and lost his privileges to hunt, fish, and trap for two years in Montana along with the other member states of the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact.

In both investigations, the meat from the unlawfully killed animals was donated in the local communities.

As the 2021 hunting season begins this is a good time to remind hunters that hunting bull elk in most of the Region 6 hunting districts requires a special draw permit and all moose hunting in Region 6 requires a moose license which are issued through the drawing process. As hunters plan their hunt this year, be sure to read the regulations. If hunters have questions, please contact an FWP office.
Anyone with information about crimes involving fish, wildlife or park regulations is encouraged to call FWP’s 24-hour wildlife tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

United States Extends Border Closure On Canadian Border

Wednesday, September 22nd 2021

The United States has announced that it will be extending the restriction on non-essential travel at its land border with Canada. Originally, the land border travel ban was set to expire on September 21. The announcement was made Monday by White House Covid-19 coordinator Jeff Zients. The U.S. ban on non-essential travel at land borders continues even though the Canadian government has opened its land border to vaccinated Americans as of August 9, 2021.

The announcement to continue the restrictions at Canada-U.S. land borders comes just as the U.S. announced that it will ease travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international air travelers (including travelers from countries like the U.K., China and India) in early November. “International travel is critical to connecting families and friends, to fueling small and large businesses, to promoting the open exchange of ideas and culture,” said Zients regarding the plans to lift restrictions on fully vaccinated international travelers. “That’s why, with science and public health as our guide, we have developed a new international air travel system that both enhances the safety of Americans here at home and enhances the safety of international air travel.”

Woman Dies Of COVID-19

Tuesday, September 21st 2021

The Valley County Health Department has confirmed the death of a woman in her 70's from COVID-19 illness. We express our sympathy to her family and loved ones. Valley County has lost 19 persons to COVID-19.


New cases since last update one week ago: 25
Active cases now: 36
Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 962
Total cases: 1017
Hospitalizations since last update: 4
Total hospitalizations to date: 79

Male: 11
Female: 14
Age less than 10: 0
10-19: 4
20-29: 6
30-39: 3
40-49: 5
50-59: 2
60-69: 3
80+: 2

Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications:
Valley County: 19
Montana: 1887
US rolling 7-day average death rate from COVID-19 infection: 1,448 people ARE DYING EVERY DAY on average in the U.S.. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/

COVID-19 vaccine:
Valley County vaccination rate: 41.0% (2594 persons fully vaccinated out of 6313 eligible Valley County residents). 35 COVID vaccines were given on 9/15/2021 at VCHD.

Walk-in vaccine clinic for COVID-19 and FLU vaccine ONLY every Wednesday from 11:30am – 5:30pm (we close at 6pm!) at VCHD. COVID-19 vaccine – Moderna and J&J – for age 18+ are available.

At Valley County Health Department, our efforts at COVID-19 prevention are to accomplish these three equally important goals:

It is essential for everyone that if you have ANY symptoms – fever, chills, muscle aches, runny nose, sore throat, change or loss of taste or smell, headache, fatigue, cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite – you STAY HOME and isolate from others in your household. PLEASE protect others through isolation and by getting vaccinated.

It takes six (6) weeks from your first Moderna vaccine to achieve maximum immunity with 94% effectiveness. That will be November 3 if you could get vaccinated today.

The CDC recommends masks for all persons when indoors around others. Valley County has substantial transmission levels of COVID-19 infection and masks are recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

FWP Removing Goldfish From A Private Pond Near Zortman

Tuesday, September 21st 2021

ZORTMAN-Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will be using the chemical rotenone to remove invasive goldfish from an unnamed private pond on upper CK Creek, approximately one mile from Zortman. Rotenone will be applied to the pond on September 21, and the chemical will remain in the water and slowly degrade for four-five weeks.

Signs will be placed around the pond and at nearby access locations, including the Square Butte Block Management Area (BMA). FWP encourages recreationists and their pets to stay away from the pond until the signs are removed. FWP will monitor the pond for several weeks until the Rotenone has completely degraded.

Goldfish are an aquatic invasive species that are capable of surviving in Montana waters. It’s important for the public not to release goldfish into Montana waters, as removal efforts are expensive and use fishing license dollars that instead could be used to stock fish and improve fishing opportunities.

“We attempted a non-chemical effort to remove the goldfish in 2016, when they were first confirmed, but it failed to remove all the fish,” said fisheries biologist Cody Nagel “By removing all fish from this pond we will eliminate the risk of goldfish spreading to downstream locations, including Fort Peck Reservoir, where we definitely don’t want them.”

The environmental assessment and public comment process for this action was completed in July-August 2020. However, treatment plans included waiting for the right conditions.

“Now is the ideal time to treat the pond as the cattle have been removed from this pasture and there is no inflow or outflow of water from the pond,” Nagel adds. “The treatment will only take a couple hours on the 0.13 surface-acre pond, but FWP will continue to monitor the pond for several weeks to ensure that all the goldfish have been removed.”

The chemical rotenone is a naturally occurring substance derived from the roots of tropical plants in the bean family. It has been used by native people for centuries to capture fish and has been used in fisheries management in North America since the 1930s.

Rotenone is applied to the water and enters the fish through the gills, where it affects a fish’s ability to breath. It is effective at very low concentrations because it is readily absorbed into the bloodstream through the thin cellular layer of the gills. Mammals, birds and other non-gill breathing organisms do not have this rapid absorption route into the bloodstream and are not affected by consuming treated water or dead fish at the concentrations used in fisheries management.

Goldfish are the only species of fish in the pond. This pond has historically been fishless, and there are no plans to stock fish after goldfish are removed due to the pond’s small size.

For more information or questions, please contact biologist Cody Nagel at 406-265-6177.

Glasgow Sets Record High Temperature On Saturday

Monday, September 20th 2021

Glasgow reached a high of 99 degrees on Saturday afternoon, setting a new daily record. The old record was 96 set in 1928. That 99 degree mark was among the warmest of September temperatures recorded in Glasgow history. The hottest recorded was 103 on September 1, 1983, followed by 102 on Sept. 10 1945, 102 on Sept. 10 1940 and 100 degree readings in 1950, 1931 and 1922.

Also on Saturday, the 99 degree mark was the second latest of those top ten records. Only the 100 degree mark on Sept. 20, 1922 was later than Saturday's mark. All other readings in the top ten occurred within the first 6 days of the month.

Flu Vaccines Available At Valley County Health Department Starting September 22

Friday, September 17th 2021

Walk-in Wednesdays for COVID-19 vaccine continue each week at the Valley County Health Department, with both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in stock.

Also, beginning 9/22/2021 the flu vaccine will also be available. The health department has 600 doses of regular flu and 400 High-dose, but please don't overload them the first week!

Hours are: 11:30 am - 5:30 pm on Wednesdays at the Valley County Health Department.

They are also scheduling flu clinics in Fort Peck, Hinsdale, Lustre, Nashua, Opheim, and St. Marie and will be there as soon as possible.

National Weather Service Releases Latest Drought Briefing

Friday, September 17th 2021

Here is the link to our latest Drought Briefing and Climate Outlook:

Montana Drought Impact Reporter

Additional Precipitation information

MSU Pesticide Education Program To Visit Eastern Montana

Thursday, September 16th 2021

BOZEMAN —The Montana State University Pesticide Education Program, with assistance from the Montana Department of Agriculture, is offering a pest management tour for pesticide applicators at 10 locations across eastern Montana from Oct. 4 through 8.

Those in the state’s Private Applicator Training District 4 need to earn six private applicator credits before Dec. 31 to avoid losing their certification, according to MSU Extension Pesticide Education Specialist Cecil Tharp. District 4 includes Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Phillips, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Treasure, Valley and Wibaux counties. Applicators can check their credits at https://mtplants.mt.gov/PesticideApplicator/ApplicationExternalSearch.aspx or contact their county MSU Extension office for license information.

There will be 10 onsite locations total, two for each day. Speakers will present on a variety of topics, including managing rodents; managing herbicide-resistant weeds; drought considerations when using pesticides; drought and weed management; preventing weed spread from hay shipments; and more. Presentations vary by location.

Representatives speaking on the tour include Tharp; MSU Extension Forage Specialist Hayes Goosey; MSU Crop Weed Specialist Tim Seipel; MSU Associate Extension Specialist Noelle Orloff; MSU Associate Extension Plant Pathologist Uta McKelvy; and MDA Vertebrate Pest Specialist Stephen Vantassel.

Private applicators can attend morning or afternoon sessions for three credits or both sessions for six credits. More information, including commercial applicator credits, can be found at [https://www.pesticides.montana.edu/events/2020PMT.html].

All locations will follow MSU and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policies requesting mask use while indoors. Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the two weeks prior to the event or who are experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms should not attend.

The tour stops are as follows:

Monday, Oct. 4

Newmont Friendship Room at the Daniels County Museum, 720 2nd Ave., in Scobey. Register by contacting Inga Hawbaker, Daniels County Extension agent, 406-487-2861 or inga.hawbaker@montana.edu. Register by Sept. 30. No fee and lunch is not provided.
Civic Center, Sheridan County Fairgrounds, 4262 MT-16, in Plentywood. Register by contacting Amy Bowser, MSU pesticide education technician, 406-994-5178 or amy.bowser@montana.edu. Register by Sept. 30. No fee and lunch is not provided.

Tuesday, Oct. 5

Elks Lodge, 309 2nd Ave. S., in Glasgow. Register by contacting Shelley Mills, Valley County agriculture agent, 406-228-6241 or smills@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 1. No fee and lunch is not provided.

Great Northern Hotel, 2 South 1st St. E., in Malta. Register by contacting Marko Manoukian, Phillips County agriculture agent, 406-654-2543 or acxxmm@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 1. The fee is $12 and lunch is provided.
Wednesday, Oct. 6

MSU Extension Office, 1499 N. Central Ave., in Sidney. Register by contacting Tim Fine, Richland County Extension agriculture agent, 406-433-1206 or tfine@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 2. No fee and lunch is not provided.
McCone County Fairgrounds, 14 Fairgrounds Rd., in Circle. Register by contacting Ken Nelson, McCone County Extension agriculture agent, 406-485-2605 or ken.nelson@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 2. The fee is $10 and lunch is provided.
Thursday, Oct. 7

American Legion, 112 S. Logan Ave., in Terry. Register by contacting Sharla Sackman, Prairie County Extension agriculture agent, 406-635-2121 or sackman@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 3. No fee and lunch is not provided.
Wibaux County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall, 7900 Highway 7 in Wibaux. Register by contacting Danielle Harper, Wibaux County Extension agent, 406-796-2486 or danielle.harper@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 3. No fee and lunch is not provided.
Friday, Oct. 8

Custer County Event Center, 42 Garryowen Rd., in Miles City. Register by contacting Mike Schuldt, Custer County Extension agriculture agent, 406-874-3370 or custer@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 4. The fee is $10 and lunch is provided.
Rosebud County Fairgrounds, Exhibit Hall, 513 N. 16th Ave., in Forsyth. Register by contacting Marley Manoukian, Rosebud/Treasure counties Extension agent, 406-346-7320 or marley.manoukian@montana.edu. Register by Oct. 4. The fee is $10 and lunch is provided.
To register, contact the county Extension office where the event will occur (see details above) or online at https://www.pesticides.montana.edu/events/2020PMT.html.

A detailed program agenda is available online at https://pesticides.montana.edu/events/2021pmt.html . Information is also available from local Extension agents. For other questions, contact Tharp at 406-994-5067 or ctharp@montana.edu.

The MSU Extension Pesticide Education Program is an educational program promoting the proper use of pesticides to protect public health and the environment. The program supports all applicators, businesses and homeowners by combining educational resources and knowledge from scientists, governmental agencies and the public.

Final Alive At Five Of The Year Is Tonight

Wednesday, September 15th 2021

Get ready for the final Alive @ 5 of the season, from 5-8p.m. Wednesday night. It's hosted by the Glasgow Downtown Association & Cherry Creek Gear Shop and will feature live music from Miles City’s Jake Elwood, food from Auzzy’s Cookshack, drinks, games, raffles, & a ton of family friendly fun.

It's also "Hump Day" with many businesses offering flash sales throughout the day, so don’t forget to shop local on Wednesday & bring your receipts into the Glasgow Chamber for a chance at winning Chamber Big Bucks.

COVID Walk-In Clinic Today At Valley County Health Department

Wednesday, September 15th 2021

Valley County Health Department has a walk-in clinic for the Moderna vaccine, for COVID-19 vaccine ONLY, from 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. today.

All other vaccinations by appointment only, call 228-6261.

Valley County With 17 Active Cases Of COVID-19

Tuesday, September 14th 2021


New cases since last update: 12
Active cases now: 17
Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 956
Total cases: 991
Total hospitalizations to date: 75

Male: 7
Female: 5
Age less than 10: 2
10-19: 0
20-29: 3
30-39: 3
40-49: 1
50-59: 1
60-69: 2
70-79: 0
80-89: 0
90-99: 0

Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications:
Valley County: 18
Montana: 1842

COVID-19 vaccine:
Valley County vaccination rate: 40.7% (2572 persons fully vaccinated out of 6313 eligible Valley County residents). 30 COVID vaccines were given on 9/8/2021 at VCHD.

Walk-in vaccine clinic for COVID-19 vaccine ONLY every Wednesday from 11:30am – 5:30pm (we close at 6pm!) at VCHD. COVID-19 vaccine – Moderna only – for age 18+ is available.

GHS Educational Trust Announces Gift From Karen (Swenson) Combs Family

Tuesday, September 14th 2021

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust is honored and grateful to announce a gift of $20,000 from the Karen (Swenson) Combs Family. Karen, the very first recipient of a gift from the trust in 1966, said her donation was a “… way of saying thank you and paying forward a blessing.”

She added:
“I have many fond memories of my high school years at Glasgow High School that set the foundation for continuing my education at Eastern Montana College in Billings, Montana, now known as Montana State University, Billings. At that time, $500 was huge and paid tuition for a quarter of college. I began my schooling the summer after my graduation from high school in 1965 and graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Special Education. I taught my first year in Great Falls as a second-grade teacher and then married Ronald Combs of Glasgow in June of 1970. I spent my years teaching in both Great Falls and in Lewistown, Montana, until retiring in 2010 after 25 years of teaching. My education has been a rewarding journey, and I have learned every step of the way. It is my time to pay it forward, and it is a blessing to share.”

As with all donations to the trust, Karen (Swenson) Combs’ gift will be invested. The interest earned on the corpus, which now exceeds $10 million dollars, is awarded to eligible GHS alumni pursuing post-secondary education at trade school or college through a semi-annual application process administered by the trustees. Students may apply by July 1st of each year for both semesters of the upcoming year, or by October 15th of each year for the spring semester only. Since its inception in 1964, the trust has given over $2,700,000 to over 750 different students in very diverse disciplines attending schools across the country. Students may reapply for additional aid for a total of eight semesters if they continue to meet all of the eligibility requirements. Many students have received multiple awards from the trust over their courses of study. The application, eligibility requirements, and additional information about the trust are available at www.ghsedutrust.org.

The trust has two gift naming opportunities (i.e., named in honor, in recognition, or in memory of an individual, family, organization, or event). An outright or cumulative donation, or other revenue source, of $500 or more, is eligible for a one-time naming. An outright or cumulative donation, or other revenue source of $10,000 or more, is eligible for an on-going naming opportunity on a regular basis.

The trust also purchases equipment and enrichment programs for Glasgow High School that cannot be financed within the regular budget. Every department of GHS has received such awards, which benefit every student across the curriculum at some time. These additions and improvements also benefit the general public when they attend activities at the school or use the school’s facilities for special events. To date, the trust has spent over $250,000 on these items.
At its recent semi-annual meeting, the Glasgow High School Educational Trust awarded over $200,000 in financial aid to the 45 different students shown below enrolled in 20 different schools for both the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters. These awards include the very first in recognition of the 1966 Scholarship Gift to Karen Anne Swenson, whose name will long be remembered as someone to whom the expression “pay it forward” is obviously much more than a slogan.

First-time Recipients: Isaac Braaten, South Dakota School of Mines, IMO Phyllis E. Moen Sanguine (fall semester), IMO Audrey and Arthur Parke (spring semester); Ali Cunningham, Dickinson State University, IMO Ardis Parke Fuhrman (fall semester), IMO Harry Rybock (spring semester); Dillon Godwin, Brigham Young U-Idaho, IMO Robert “Bob” E. Rennick, Jr. (fall semester) IMO Vern and Edna Richardson (spring semester); Salomon Hansen, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Judith “Judy” Rorvig Saindon (fall semester), IMO Stan and Eva Kalinski (spring semester); Benjamin Miller, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Ronald A. Combs (fall semester) IRO Paul and Joyce Ruffcorn Jacobson (spring semester);Tanner Overby, Brigham Young U-Idaho, IMO Harold H. and Irene W. Smith (fall semester), IMO Hovland Family (spring semester); Lauren Padden, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Lois Wilson Markle (fall semester), IMO Maxine Fiedler (spring semester);Taylor Pederson, Williston State College, IMO Lila Moen Sanders and IHO Phyllis Moen Sanguine (fall semester), IHO Stan Andersen Family (spring semester);
Anika Peters, South Dakota School of Mines, IRO Tom and Flora Coghlan Family; Brennan Peters, Minot State University, IHO Everett and Elizabeth Breigenzer; Paige Schmitt, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Dean Rusher; Rachel Sigmundstad, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Brenna Billingsley Sundby; Eli Sisson, University of Cincinnati, IMO O. E. and Lois Wilson Markle; Tim Wageman, MSU-Bozeman, IRO Glenn R. and Carolee Grina Wallem; Elijah Zeluff, Montana Technological University, IHO Dorothy Kolstad.

Second-time Recipients: Kaden Fossum, City College Billings, IMO Leonard H. and Kathryn L. Langen; Brett Glaser, Carroll College, IHO James and Ailene Dokken Olk Family; Katherine Kaiser, Colorado State University, IRO Ione and Phyllis Kleppin (fall semester), IRO Herb and Lucille Friedl Family (spring semester);
Garrett Lloyd, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Kurt Breigenzer; Ellis McKean, University of Montana, IMO Dr. F.M. and Bernice Knierim; Merlin McKean, MSU-Bozeman, IHO Gayle Wagenhals Sage; Cordelia Nickels, MSU-Billings, IHO Sever and Esther Enkerud; Alexus Nistler, MSU-Billings, IMO John and Lois Wesen; Hayley Nybakken, University of Montana, IHO Carl L. Dix; Elizabeth Page, University of Mary, IMO Leslie L., Lillian, and Mary Margarette Hanson; Alexandria Pehlke, University of Montana-Western, IHO Charlotte Bruce; Natosha Sand, Dickinson State University, IRO Stannebein Family; Trevor Shipp, Mitchell Technical College, IMO Richard “Dick” and Mary Lou Alley Wagenhals; Micah Tweten, MSU-Northern, IMO Cecil and Chloe Toftness; Brooke Westby, Carroll College, IHO Bill and Peggy Pattison Endowment; Amari Zeluff, Minot State University, IMO Verda Hoffarth Stewart.

Third-time Recipients: Alexander Fransen, Dickinson State University, IMO James F. and Anne Hoffmann; McKenne Gagne, Minot State University, IMO Gary and Idella Mott; Bailee Holstein, MSU-Northern, IRO Beatrice Trites and Family; Anthony Kaiser, University of North Dakota, IMO Donald “Don” J. Baker; Jesi Kennedy, Montana Technological University, IMO L. J. and Jean Baker; Madison Knodel, MSU-Bozeman, IRO 1966 Scholarship Gift to Karen Anne Swenson;
Sophia Koessl, MSU-Bozeman, IMO Horace O. and Emma C. Gamas; Bryce Legare, MSU-Bozeman, IMO James “Jamie” K. Fewer; Benjamin Phillips, North Dakota State University, IMO James “Jim” A. Parke; Deann Rasmusan, Minot State University, IMO Karen D. Newton.

Fourth-time Recipients: Teagan Fossum, University of Mary, IMO Marsha Cotton Hall; Jordan Kulczyk, Presentation College, IHO Beryl Pehlke; Karissa Liebelt, MSU-Northern, IMO Aaron “Chappy” Chatten (fall semester) IMO Wallace L. Johnson (spring semester); Taylor Padden, MSU-Bozeman, IRO Willard and Charlotte Bruce Family.

The trust also purchased six books (25 copies of each) for the English Department of Glasgow High School, IMO Dean Rusher.

Wolf Point man struck by train while crossing tracks in Oswego

Monday, September 13th 2021

Story credit to www.kulr8.com

A Wolf Point man was killed early Sunday morning when crossing railroad tracks on a 4-wheeler.

According to Montana Highway Patrol (MHP), the incident happened around 1:00 am Sunday, near 6th St. and C Ave. in Oswego.

A Honda 4-wheeler was reportedly driving southbound across the railroad tracks when it was struck by a westbound train.

The driver, a 27-year-old man from Wolf Point was pronounced deceased on the scene.

There are unknown factors at this time MHP said, and an investigation is ongoing.

City Of Glasgow Spends $251,504 On Street Improvement Projects

Monday, September 13th 2021

According to the City of Glasgow, the city spent over $251,000 on street improvement projects during the summer of 2021.

The streets involved in the project include 10th Street South, 5th Avenue South and Kolstad Drive.

This does not include any of the work done by the Glasgow Street Department which does continual maintenance on city streets.

Flags To Be Flown At Half-Staff On September 11th

Saturday, September 11th 2021

Flags in Montana have been ordered to be flown at half-staff on Sept. 11.

The Governor's Proclamation says flags will be flown from sunrise to sunset in memory of the lives lost in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and in honor of all who answered the call to protect and defend the United States against terrorism.

All Montanans are also being asked to observe a statewide moment of silence starting at 6:46 am MDT to honor the innocent lives lost that day as the first terrorist attack occurred at 6:46 am MDT.

Fort Peck Tribal Elections Set For October

Saturday, September 11th 2021

The window to file as a candidate for Fort Peck Tribal Office is rapidly approaching. September 15th is the final day to file as a candidate for Tribal Office.

Chinook Man Appointed To Farm Service Agency Committee

Friday, September 10th 2021

The USDA Farm Service Agency has announced appointment of Ryan Lankford of Fort Belknap to serve on the FSA state committee in Montana, which ensures the effective and efficient delivery of FSA federal farm programs to the state’s agricultural producers.

Members of the FSA state committee are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture and are responsible for the oversight of farm programs and county committee operations, resolving program delivery appeals from the agriculture community, maintaining cooperative relations with industry stakeholders, keeping producers informed about FSA programs and operating in a manner consistent with USDA equal opportunity and civil rights policies.

Lankford, of Chinook, produces conventional and certified organic small grain, pulse and seed crops. He is a veteran of the United States Army and an active member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community.

More appointments will follow as USDA seats the three to five member FSA state committees for each state and Puerto Rico.

The state committee chairperson will be named when all committee members have been appointed.

Robert Weber Recommended For Next Glasgow Police Chief

Thursday, September 9th 2021

A committee comprised of members of the Glasgow City Council and 2 members of the Glasgow Police Commission will recommend Robert Weber to be the next Glasgow Police Chief.

Weber was one of 3 candidates interviewed by the committee over the past 2 weeks.

He still needs to be confirmed by the full Glasgow City Council and his appointment will be on the agenda for the next meeting on September 20th.

Weber is a long time member of the Glasgow Police Department and will replace Brien Gault as Chief of Police.

Four Valley County Graduates Receive Feda Scholarships

Thursday, September 9th 2021

Careers in aviation, radiology, cosmetology, and transportation are on the horizon for four graduates of Valley County high schools who received scholarships from the Feda Scholarships for the Trades.

Doris Leader of Nashua, chair of the Valley County Community Foundation, which administers the scholarship endowment, announced the awards.

The four recipients bring resumes of academic achievement along with school and community involvement:

Nashua graduate Trace Laumeyer will attend Williston State College to study transportation technician technology. His career plans include working in an automotive or agriculture-based shop including doing on-demand repair work on farms. During high school, he was involved in basketball, track, and band, serving several terms as a class officer. He was also active in 4-H taking leadership positions as a club officer, and was active in church and community projects.
Danika Soper, a Hinsdale High School graduate, will study cosmetology at the Avenue Five Institute in Austin, Texas. During high school, she was active in music and sports, student council, H-Club and National Honor Society. In FFA, she placed at the state level in multiple public speaking competitions, taking first place in creed speaking. This took her to national competition, where she received a bronze pin.

Tristin Vandall of Glasgow has completed an online independent study program and in May graduated from Excel High School. He will enter the aircraft maintenance technician program at Southern Utah University in Cedar City. His goal is to work on supercub type airplanes and eventually start his own company, building and working on custom planes. An outdoor enthusiast, he enjoys hunting and hiking. He is helpful to others with yard work, home repairs, mechanics and he enjoys helping at the Fort Peck Theatre.

Previous Feda Scholarship recipient Sara Boucher, a Hinsdale High School graduate, will continue her studies in radiologic technology at Flathead Valley Community College. Following completion of the remaining three semesters, Sara plans to work in a rural hospital in Montana. During high school, she was active in sports earning varsity letters in basketball and volleyball all four years, serving as an officer of FFA and she was active in community service.

Audrey and Gerry Feda of Glasgow established the scholarship with an endowment to the Valley County Community Foundation in 2007. It benefits current-year Valley County high school graduates who pursue an education in the trades, and previous recipients who continue their studies in the trades.

Earnings from the endowment fund the annual awards, with the first scholarship given in 2009. Since then, 31 students have received a total of $46,900. Previous recipients have pursued many different careers, some of which include respiratory care, agronomy, welding, and diesel and computer technology.

Applications for 2022 scholarships will be available in the spring. Notice of requirements and the application deadline are given through the VCCF website: www.valleycountycf.net, local media, and high school guidance counselors.

Norval Electric Cooperative Cancels Annual Meeting

Thursday, September 9th 2021

After consultation with our Cooperative Counsel and recommendations from the Valley County Health Director, we have been advised that the combination of both an increasing COVID infection rate and low vaccination rate in our northeast Montana service area presents a substantial risk of community spread through in-person gatherings such as Norval Electric’s Annual Meeting.

Out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of our members and employees, the Board of Directors of Norval Electric Cooperative, Inc. have decided to cancel the 2021 Annual Meeting of Members originally scheduled for October 27, 2021 in Glasgow.

In accordance with the Bylaws of Norval Electric Cooperative, Inc., these actions will not adversely affect the Cooperative’s legal existence or standing. Members will receive adequate notice of any change in conditions or the time set for future annual meetings of members.

Valley County COVID Update

Wednesday, September 8th 2021

New cases since last update: 25

Active cases now: 27
Male: 11
Female: 14

Age less than 10: 1
10-19: 3
20-29: 4
30-39: 8
40-49: 3
50-59: 3
60-69: 2
70-79: 2
80-89: 0
90-99: 1

Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 934
Total cases: 979
Total hospitalizations to date: 75

Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications:
Valley County: 18
Montana: 1814
US rolling 7-day average death rate from COVID-19 infection: 1,047 people on average in the U.S. ARE DYING EVERY DAY. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/

COVID-19 vaccine:
Valley County vaccination rate: 40.3% (2543 persons fully vaccinated out of 6313 eligible Valley County residents). 61 COVID vaccines were given on 9/1/2021.

Walk-in vaccine clinic for COVID-19 vaccine ONLY every Wednesday from 11:30am – 5:30pm (we close at 6pm!) at VCHD. COVID-19 vaccine – Moderna only – for age 18+ are available.

Water Flows From Fort Peck Dam Reduced

Tuesday, September 7th 2021

Despite some heavy rainstorms in August, flows from Fort Peck Dam will be reduced from 9,500 cubic feet per second to 5,000 cfs this month as managers respond to persistent drought.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the changes after examining August inflows and forecasts for the remainder of the year.

“Reservoir inflows in August were much lower than average,” said John Remus, chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. "We expect below-average inflows into the system through the rest of 2021."

Heavy rainfall was localized throughout the Upper Missouri River Basin during August, allowing drought conditions to expand across the basin due to the exceptionally dry soils, the Corps reported. August runoff in the upper basin was 54% of average. The 2021 calendar year forecast for the upper basin, updated on Sept. 1, is 14.7 million acre-feet, 57% of average. The average annual runoff is 25.8 MAF.

As of Sept. 2, the total volume of water stored in Corps' dams along the Missouri River was 52.1 MAF, which is 4 MAF below the base of the system’s flood control zone.

Fort Peck Reservoir's water level is 16 feet lower than it was in 2019, and 10 feet lower than at this time last year. By the end of September the lake level should drop another foot to a predicted elevation of 2,227.8 feet.

As reservoir levels continue to decline through the fall, system storage is expected to be more than 8 MAF below the base of flood control at the start of the 2022 runoff season.

According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, drought degradation is occurring across much of the upper basin. As of Sept. 2, approximately 83% of the Missouri River basin is experiencing some form of abnormally dry conditions or drought.

The National Weather Service climate outlooks indicate the likelihood of persistent warmer-than-normal and drier-than-normal conditions for the upper basin during the fall and winter.

The Corps will hold its annual fall public meeting in the Fort Peck Interpretive Center on Oct. 25 at 10:30 a.m. Fall meetings provide an update on the current year's runoff and reservoir operations as well as planned operations for the next year's runoff season. The Annual Operating Plan for the next year's runoff season is released for public comment in September, presented at the public meetings and finalized at the end of the calendar year.

Glasgow City Council Agenda

Tuesday, September 7th 2021

City Of Glasgow Continues Search For Chief Of Police

Friday, September 3rd 2021

A committee comprised of the Glasgow City Council along with 3 others are in the process of interviewing 4 candidates for the position of Chief of Police.

On Wednesday, the committee interviewed 2 candidates who are currently employed by the Glasgow Police Department. Robert Weber and Tyler Edwards both sat down with the committee for interviews explaining their vision for the department.

Next week, 2 other candidates from outside the department will interview with the committee. One candidate is from Montana and the other from Texas.

The committee is comprised of the Glasgow City Council along with former Chief of Police Emery Brelje, City Attorney Anna Rose Sullivan and former council member Todd Young.

MHP Increasing Patrols Over Labor Day Weekend

Friday, September 3rd 2021

The summer travel season may be coming to an end but that doesn't mean Montana law enforcement is relaxing their efforts to keep you safe.

So far this year, there have been 133 fatal crashes in the state, and Montana Highway Patrol is asking everyone to keep safety in mind when you hit the road.

Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, which means more people will be traveling these next few days. Montana Highway Patrol says holiday weekends are typically when they see an increase in fatal crashes.

Labor Day is the second deadliest holiday weekend for motorists. According to the 2020 report from MHP, from 2016 to 2020 there were 14 fatalities on the unofficial end of summer weekend.

They say one major factor behind fatal car accidents is speed.

“This year alone over 559 citations issued by the highway patrol for people speeding above 100 miles per hour. So speed is a huge factor," Sgt. Jay Nelson, with MHP, said.

The second biggest factor is people driving under the influence. Sgt. Nelson says if you’re smoking marijuana or drinking alcohol don’t get behind the wheel.

“Just this year alone: a 43% increase over the last two years of alcohol being a factor of fatality crashes,” he said.

In 65% of fatal crashes, Sgt. Nelson says a seatbelt was not used.

As Labor Day approaches, he says they’re gearing up for one of the most deadliest weekends on the road.

“We’re going to have additional shifts not only with overtime funded by the department of transportation as well as local dui task force where those troopers are going to be out looking for those people under the influence specifically,” he said.

Sgt. Nelson says there are three ways you can keep yourself and others safe this holiday weekend; Wear your seatbelt, slow down and do not get behind the wheel if you've been under the influence.

Being safe doesn't mean you can't have fun, but it could just save your life.

Lawsuit Filed Against Montana Secretary Of State Accusing SOS Office Of Double Charging Customers

Thursday, September 2nd 2021

A new class action lawsuit filed Wednesday accuses the Montana Secretary of State's Office of knowingly making more than $120,000 off double charging customers without notifying them of the error, saying the office’s policy for resolving overcharges violates Montana law.

“In Montana, the Secretary of State has a side hustle,” the first line of the lawsuit against Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen reads.

The suit says the overcharging stems from a technical glitch but claims Jacobsen knew about the problems and carried on her predecessor’s policy of not refunding money unless requested in writing.

Attorneys claim the SOS didn’t notify those affected.

The suit says an SOS employee created a spreadsheet to document duplicate charges and shared it with then-Secretary of State Corey Stapleton and then-Deputy Secretary of State Jacobsen, alleging Jacobsen has known about this issue since 2019.

“While businesses in Montana hung on by a thread as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, while other arms of government did all they could to route money to keep small businesses afloat, the Secretary of State’s Office was skimming—to the tune of more than $120,000 in fiscal year 2020. A lucrative side hustle, to say the least,” the lawsuit reads.

The plaintiffs in the case include several Montana businesses, including Purple Snow Promotional, Backslope Brewing, Pine Street Rentals, Essential Mountain Products, Black Dog Farm, The Mental Health Update and Wicked Good Handyman Service.

The lawsuit goes into further detail about the technical problems causing the overcharging. It says the Secretary of State’s Office contracted with a firm to use Catalyst, a platform that processes payments on the SOS website.

The lawsuit says if a customer pressed submit or pay on the website more than once, it resulted in multiple payments.

The filing says in some instances customers would submit their payment information, but a glitch prevented it from being recorded. The lawsuit says the customer would then get notification of nonpayment and would pay again, even though they had already been charged the first time.

The lawsuit calls for the practice to be stopped, a declaration that the policy is unlawful and an order requiring the SOS to inform potentially affected people. Plaintiffs also want refunds on behalf of everyone this has affected and attorney’s fees covered.

June, July And August Warmest 3 Month Period On Record For Glasgow

Thursday, September 2nd 2021

The Glasgow National Weather Service Office is reporting that August brought some relief with cooler temperatures and precipitation.

The months of June, July and August combined were record warmest for Glasgow with 74.3 degrees, beating 1936 of 74.2.

Glasgow Underpass Getting A Paint Job

Thursday, September 2nd 2021

Glasgow resident Cathryn McIntyre is leading the effort in painting the underpass in downtown Glasgow. McIntyre along with many volunteers have been busy painting a mural on the underpass and its a large undertaking at 21,000 square feet!

Glasgow Mayor Becky Erickson helped obtain a grant from the Montana Arts Council and several community organizations have provided support for the project. McIntyre stated that volunteers from across the community have helped the project including art students from Glasgow High School.

Gov. Gianforte Announces DPHHS Emergency Rule to Promote Parental Rights Regarding Masking in Schools

Wednesday, September 1st 2021

Governor Greg Gianforte Tuesday announced the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) issued an emergency rule to promote the role of parents as the ultimate decision makers on matters pertaining to the health of their children, including on the issue of wearing masks in schools.

“Montana students deserve to be back in their classroom in as normal and safe an environment as possible. Montana parents deserve to know their voices are heard in schools when health-related mandates for their children are being considered. They also deserve to know that schools are reviewing reliable data and scientific research about the impacts of mask mandates on students,” Gov. Gianforte said.

“Unfortunately, mandating masks for students is based on inconclusive research that fails to prove masks’ effectiveness in reducing the incidence of COVID-19 in the classroom. Simply put, our children shouldn’t be subject to arbitrary mask mandates when schools can’t follow the science because there’s a lack of meaningful, reliable research. On the other hand, some scientific studies we’ve carefully reviewed undoubtedly reveal the adverse impacts of masking on a child’s health, wellbeing, and development,” Gov. Gianforte continued. “This emergency rule ultimately directs schools to recognize the fundamental rights of parents, and because each child is unique and may face unique challenges, this rule urges schools to empower parents to do what’s best for their children.”

The emergency rule, issued by DPHHS, reads in part,

In order to provide for the health, well-being, rights, and educational needs of students, schools and school districts should consider, and be able to demonstrate consideration of, parental concerns when adopting a mask mandate, and should provide students and/or their parents or guardians, on their behalf, with the ability to opt-out of health-related mandates, to include wearing a mask or face covering, for reasons including:
(a) physical health;
(b) mental health;
(c) emotional health;
(d) psychosocial health;
(e) developmental needs; or
(f) religious belief, moral conviction, or other fundamental right the
impairment of which could negatively impact the physical, mental,
emotional, or psychosocial health of students.

Underscoring the detrimental impact that universal masking may have on children, the rule cites a body of scientific literature that shows side effects and dangers from prolonged mask wearing.

After signing the emergency rule, DPHHS Director Adam Meier said, “A number of scientific studies indicate that universal mask use among children can adversely affect their health and development, particularly among children with learning or developmental disabilities. DPHHS respects the authority of parents to make health-related decisions in the best interest of their children, including whether wearing a mask in school is appropriate. DPHHS would encourage schools to take into account all of these factors and implement any mitigation strategies in the least restrictive means as possible to maximize learning outcomes for Montana children.”

Glasgow Man Arrested And Charged With Sexual Intercourse Without Consent

Tuesday, August 31st 2021

In November 2020, the Glasgow Police Department received a report from a concerned citizen of an alleged ongoing sexual relationship between an adult male and a juvenile female. After completing the intial investigation into the report, Officers uncovered circumstantial evidence that allegation had taken place. The investigation was placed in a pending status until more information came to light.

In May 2021, the Glasgow Police Department received new reports that the alleged relationship was still going on. After completing another in depth investigation into the allegations, Officers submitted a request to the County Attorney’s Office for prosecution. In August 2021, a warrant was issued for the suspect out of Valley County District Court for Sexual Intercourse Without Consent.

After the arrest warrant was issued, Justice Meland, age 22 of Glasgow, was arrested without incident and remanded to the Valley County Detention Center on charges of Sexual Intercourse Without Consent and a $50,000 bond.

Poplar Constructs $23 Million Dollar Wellness Facility

Tuesday, August 31st 2021

Story credit: https://dailymontanan.com/2021/08/29/the-only-community-center-like-it-in-montana-poplar-constructs-23-million-wellness-facility/

POPLAR – The idea for a new $23 million recreation, education, wellness and community center for the headquarters of the Fort Peck Tribes came from an unexpected place.

Put bluntly, the youth of this reservation community in Eastern Montana were tired of watching their family members die. They told the tribal council there must a be different way.

Now, 20 years and more than $23 million later, a community wellness center that will have indoor swimming pools, areas for education, a teaching kitchen, rooms for occupation and physical therapy, a nearly 5,000 square feet gymnasium, basketball court and walking track are nearing a finish for an opening toward the end of 2021.

When it opens, it won’t only be a model for how tribal communities can fund larger community projects using Montana’s tax-credit incentive program, but it remains an example of how Poplar persevered during the course of years as it wrestled with the still-unchanged fact that tribal members die a full 20 years earlier – or one generation – before their counterparts living elsewhere in the state.

Tribal leaders told the Daily Montanan it’s not enough just to preach the gospel of lifestyle changes, there has to be the opportunity, and the new wellness center will give residents options for physical, mental, spiritual and social health.

Maureen Dionne, planner for the Fort Peck Tribes, knows what this 50,000 square-foot space will mean to the reservation, the tribes and the community. She’s lost five brothers, mostly due to alcoholism or heart disease before the age of 50.

“I try to help my nieces and nephews and show them the right way, but if I don’t take care of myself, too, who will be there for them?” she wondered aloud while touring the building.

The community and wellness center doesn’t guarantee success or healthier living for the Poplar community, but it provides an opportunity. As it stands, distance, cost, access and education all act as barriers to healthy lifestyles, said Kenneth Smoker, Jr., director of the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program. The center and its programming will help remove those obstacles.

And it gives the youth of the community a place to go and healthy alternatives for this community, which has been devastated by drugs, alcohol, suicide and disease, and remains among the poorest in the United States. One in four people in the county is living in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Prevention not intervention
Smoker said the problem is generational – from the trauma that many tribal members endure in childhood to the ongoing loss.

On a recent Monday, Smoker sat at his computer and pulled up the latest death certificates from his town and read them off. At first, they sounded like bingo or lottery numbers.

“47, 35, 30,” Smoker said.

Those are the ages of the most recent dead.

“People experience it as a way of life, and many people die in a tragic way. And then in a following week or two, there’s another,” Smoker said. “It’s sad that we just kind of have accepted it, but the youth, they don’t.”

And it was youth of the tribe who spoke repeatedly and consistently, even when tribal leaders didn’t.

Smoker and Dionne, along with Jackie Weeks, give plenty of credit to tribal Chairman Floyd Azure, who has helped shepherd the project through. Without him, they said, the wellness center would have likely died several other times.

All seem to agree that the uncertain and sometimes unstable tribal politics makes the wellness center even more of an accomplishment. Every two years, the tribal council, the governing board of the indigenous nation, turns over. In its 20-year sojourn to becoming a reality, different tribal councils have vacillated, making the center a priority to dismissing it altogether.

“It’s been dead three different times,” Connie Thompson said. She was a member of the small committee that shepherded the project through to completion.

It took a development committee, commitments from the tribal government, grants from the Department of Energy, along with new-markets tax credits, to get the project literally off the ground.

The new building is a solar-paneled, brick and steel building that sits on the north side of U.S. Highway 2, a famous stretch of mostly two-lane highway that crosses Montana’s Hi-Line, through mountains, prairies and rivers. Poplar sits just about 50 miles south of the United States-Canadian border, and just a little more than that to North Dakota.

The uncertain rollercoaster of tribal politics wasn’t the full extent of the opposition. Tribal members scoffed at it, too.

“Everyone thought it was just a fitness center or gym,” Dionne said. “But this is wholistic wellness that people are going to receive.”

That means there are areas for public health officials and practitioners to provide therapy – from the telemedicine capabilities to the therapy swimming pool. Cardiac rehabilitation can take place in Poplar, rather than Wolf Point, 18 miles away, or Glasgow, which is more than 70.

“There’s so much grief and loss here,” Dionne said. “And for me, it’s about the approach.”

The center gives residents the option to do something different, to make a change. It’s also state-of-the-art. It may be the only building in Montana currently being built with so many options, most of which will be free to community members.

“The younger generation is excited, and they’re fighting for it,” said Christine Bauer. “They want to see cleaner communities.”

The youth in the community were so adamant and fought so hard that they sat in the tribal council meeting as a sign of support and solidarity until the measure passed. And those same students have been instrumental in the design of the facility, down to the basketball courts and pools.

“It’s important for the students to take ownership and let them have ownership. They did this. This is theirs,” Smoker said.

Azure doesn’t flinch when he talks about drugs, health problems or other issues on the reservation. A spate of youth suicides in 2010 led tribal leaders to declare a crisis on the reservation then.

“We need something. We have a lot of problems on this reservation, including suicide, drugs and alcohol,” he said. “We want a place where they can go to live healthier.”

While peer pressure can be a bad thing, the tribal chairman said it can also work for them.

“A lot of it is peer pressure,” Azure said. “We hope that some students come over to do things here and bring a lot of their friends with them. This is a safe and healthy environment.”

It’s also one that seeks to bridge the generations. In addition to several swimming pools, it has a sauna that can fit nearly two dozen people, and the elder lodge, an expanded room for older adults, is right next to the day care.

Smoker remembers the first time the issue was broached, nearly 20 years ago.

“Our children were crying and they were tired of seeing their relatives die,” Smoker said. “And we said, ‘So what do you want us to do?’ And, then they said, ‘We’ll tell you what we want,’ and this was it.”

That’s helped Smoker keep going, growing from a patch of land and concrete pad to become what is likely going to be the largest building in the community, complete with a 30-foot sign.

“It’s a mindset. The mindset here has to be changed,” Weeks said.

Smoker has another ambitious goal – 40 certified nurses assistants that will be trained through the high school program. Those will provide the trainers and educators for the center. Right now, five different activity coordinators will help with the programming, from riding horses to riding bikes.

“You have to meet people where they are, and do what they can do,” Bauer said.

That could be pilates, yoga or even learning how to cook with traditional foods, like turnips or berries for a more healthy diet. And if the physical benefits are good, so, too, are the social ones, Azure said.

“Right now, we can’t go somewhere and socialize. We don’t have a theater. We don’t have a bowling alley or a pool,” Azure said.

Hopefully, residents come into the center and leave feeling better.

“Maybe they don’t lose weight, but they’ll feel better about themselves and their community,” Bauer said.

As tribal officials and some students toured the facility recently, walls, steel and glass had begun to give the building shape and character. Several “rez dogs” roamed the halls, seemingly just as much at home as the crews in orange vests and hard hats. Work on the project, despite COVID-19, construction material and labor shortage, is still on schedule for the end of 2021.

“This just blows me away,” said Azure walking through it.

August 30th Valley County COVID Update

Tuesday, August 31st 2021

Valley County COVID Update 8/30 from Valley County Health Department

New cases since last update: 15
Male: 6
Female: 9

Age less than 10: 1
10-19: 1
20-29: 2
30-39: 4
40-49: 0
50-59: 2
60-69: 3
70-79: 2

Active cases now: 24
Recovered cases/no longer infectious: 911
Total cases: 953
Total hospitalizations to date: 71

COVID-19 vaccine:
Valley County vaccination rate: 39.8% (2511 persons fully vaccinated out of 6313 eligible Valley County residents). 52 COVID vaccines were given on 8/25/2021.

Walk-in vaccine clinic for COVID-19 vaccine ONLY every Wednesday from 11:30am – 5:30pm (we close at 6pm!) at VCHD. COVID-19 vaccine – J&J and Moderna – for age 18+ are available. The J&J expiration date has been extended to 9/21/21,and we have 5 doses in stock at this time. On 9/1/2021 ONLY, we will have 12 doses of Pfizer vaccine for ages 12+. First come, first administered.

Watercraft Inspectors In Nashua Intercept Mussel Infected Boat Headed To Kalispell

Saturday, August 28th 2021

On Thursday, Aug. 26, watercraft inspectors at the Nashua station intercepted the 50th mussel-bound boat this year, surpassing 2020's total of 35.

The motorboat had mussels on the transducer, gimbal and other areas of the transom. According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, it was traveling from Lake Erie to Kalispell.

Statewide, 94,800 watercraft inspections have been conducted this year, slightly down from the 112,300 number of inspections conducted at this time last year.

FWP reminds anyone transporting motorized or nonmotorized boats into Montana that an inspection is required before launching, and stopping at ALL open watercraft inspection stations is required.

Failing to stop at an inspection station can result in a fine of up to $500.

Boaters should ensure their watercraft, trailer and all equipment that is in contact with water (anchor, lines, swim ladder, etc.) is clean, drained of water and dry.

You can learn more at CleanDrainDryMT.com or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.

Fort Peck Tribal Health Board To Address COVID-19 After Delta Variant Discovered On Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Saturday, August 28th 2021

Governor Gianforte Orders Flags In Montana To Be Flown At Half-Staff

Friday, August 27th 2021

HELENA, Mont. - Governor Greg Gianforte has ordered flags in Montana be flown at half-staff until sunset on Monday, Aug. 30 to honor our service members who made the ultimate sacrifice today in Kabul.

“I hereby order all flags flown in the State of Montana to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Monday, August 30, 2021 to honor our servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice today in Kabul,” the Governor’s proclamation reads. “May God bless them, their families, all who serve our country in our armed forces, and our United States of America.”

Valley County With 22 Confirmed COVID Cases

Thursday, August 26th 2021

Valley County now has 22 confirmed active and infectious COVID-19 persons. And we are aware of numerous others who are currently sick and staying home.

While it is important for anyone who is sick to remain away from others - thank you for that - anyone confirmed to have COVID:
(1) Was spreading it two (2) days before symptoms started and
(2) Was spreading the virus in the several days that they thought was just a cold or allergies but it was actually COVID.

If your allergies "flare up" or you think you have a cold, stay home! Please don't wait until the bigger symptoms occur - the day you lose your taste or smell is 5-7 days of spreading the virus. Seek medical treatment when you need it - otherwise yes, stay home with the sniffles.

Gianforte: Montana will not impose mask or vaccine mandates

Wednesday, August 25th 2021



Amid rising COVID-19 delta variant cases locally and across the country, Gov. Greg Gianforte on Tuesday encouraged Montanans to get vaccinated, but he said emphatically that the state would not be shutting down businesses or imposing vaccine or mask mandates.

In his first scheduled press conference at the Capitol in months, Gianforte acknowledged the heightened contagiousness of the delta variant, which accounts for 90 percent of COVID-19 samples sequenced in the state. He said repeatedly that unvaccinated Montanans were at greater risk of serious illness, hospitalization and even death from the virus.

“There couldn’t be a more important time to get vaccinated,” he said. “The vaccines have been researched, they’ve been rigorously tested, they are safe and they work.”

However, he said that the decision to get vaccinated needs to arise from a conversation between an individual and their doctor, not from a government order or a news story.

“Montanans trust their medical provider,” Gianforte said. “When it comes down to it though, people who are hesitant to get the vaccine don’t want a lecture. They don’t respond to sanctimony or virtue signaling.”

Montana has made slow progress in getting vaccines in arms. Just this week, the state announced it had fully immunized 50 percent of eligible Montanans, but officials say the daily vaccine administration rate is increasing.

“It’s a higher rate than we’ve seen all summer,” the governor said. “4,300 Montanans received the vaccine this weekend.”

Medical experts say a region needs a 70 percent to 90 percent vaccination rate to achieve herd immunity, and despite the progress, Montana lags behind many other states — even some much larger ones, like New York — en route to that goal. Missoula County has the highest vaccination rate in the state, at above 60 percent, while Garfield County has the lowest, at just over 20 percent. Flathead County, which has the highest number of active cases in the state at 690, has a full immunization rate of 41 percent.

Cases in Montana began to steadily rise in July following a summer plateau, and they haven’t tapered off since. The seven-day average for new cases has grown from 50 on July 1 to nearly 400 on Tuesday.

Montana reported more than 700 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the highest daily case count since winter, and a weekly report released by the state department of health showed that hospitals are increasingly struggling with occupancy as the delta variant fills beds across the state.

The hospitalization occupancy report, compiled and released by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, showed there were only 870 available staffed beds across the state as of the beginning of the week. Of Montana’s 10 large hospitals, six reported that from 70 percent to 90 percent of staffed beds were occupied, and Kalispell Regional reported it was more than 90 percent occupied with only four available staffed beds.

Gianforte on Tuesday said the state’s collective efforts were focused on administering as many vaccines as possible and providing resources to hospitals and medical providers to deal with the delta variant. However, he pre-empted any talk of renewing a statewide mask or vaccine mandate.

“The state of Montana will not impose mandates,” he said. “One of the things we learned over the past 18 months is government mandates don’t work.”

Gianforte signed several bills this session that limit government responses to public health emergencies. Two in particular have especially broad implications: HB257, sponsored by Rep. Jedediah Hinkle, R-Belgrade, effectively blocked enforcement of local mask mandates and business closures, and required health boards to get approval from elected officials on a variety of matters; HB702, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Carlson, R-Manhattan, prohibits vaccine requirements, with some exceptions for hospitals and congregate-care settings.

The web of new public health laws has left local officials scrambling to make sure they’re in compliance while still working to stave off the virus. While Gianforte bemoaned Tuesday that public health has become “politicized,” COVID-19 has proven over and over again to be a political flashpoint. Montana’s school boards, which are exempt from HB257, have held a number of emotional debates around mask mandates as the school year approaches. And as Gianforte spoke on Tuesday, the Missoula City-County Board of Health met to address concerns that its quarantine protocol for close contacts of a person who tests positive for COVID-19, which is different for vaccinated and unvaccinated people, may conflict with HB702, which specifically bans discrimination based on vaccine status. The board ultimately decided to keep its current policy, which follows CDC guidelines.

Galen And Karla Zerbe Donate $50,000 To Valley County Community Pool Campaign

Wednesday, August 25th 2021

The Valley County Community Pool Campaign wants to thank Galen and Karla Zerbe for their continuous support in the effort to build a new aquatics center. This donation amount is one that has grown over time. When asked why commit funds to building a new pool, Galen and Karla were quick to respond with fond memories of their childhoods.

“Growing up in North Dakota, the city pool was the social hub for the summer! Mornings were spent at swimming lessons and afternoons spent hanging out with friends around the pool,” said Karla. During the summer, Karla’s family lived at the lake at their cabin in Minnesota and their parents were thankful they knew how to swim.

Galen grew up near Fort Peck Lake and spent summer days slalom skiing along the face of the dam. It was important to Galen and Karla that their kids learned how to swim because of all the time they spent as a family on Fort Peck Lake. All three of their children took lessons at the Glasgow pool. They said that learning to swim is a building block to so many things and a skill that can be used for one’s entire life!

As a prior business owner, Galen mentions how Glasgow has been a hub in NEMT for many years serving the surrounding area. “When people are job searching, it is valuable to have a pool to draw new families to this community.”

If you would like to donate to the VALCO Pool Campaign, please visit us online, www.valcopool.com, on social media or talk to one of our Committee Members