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Latest Local News

Children's Museum Benefits From T-Mobile Grant

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

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

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

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

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

Valley View Home Community BBQ Is Today

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

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

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

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

Montana Department Of Commerce Allocates Planning Grants To 8 Montana Communities

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

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

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

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

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

The following communities and districts will receive CDBG Planning grants:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bowhunter Education Classes Scheduled In Glasgow

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Two Rivers Economic Growth Launches New Website

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

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

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

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

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

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Applications Available For Theo And Alyce Beck Foundation Trust Scholarship

Posted (Thursday, June 20th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Wednesday, June 19th 2024)

From The Daily Montanan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The following from nbcmontana.com:

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

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

Commerce Allocates Grants to Support Montana Businesses

Posted (Wednesday, June 19th 2024)

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

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

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

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

The following Montana businesses will receive BSED loan funding:

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

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

First Hump Day And Alive At Five Of The Season

Posted (Tuesday, June 18th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Tuesday, June 18th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Valley County Commissioners To Meet Wednesday

Posted (Tuesday, June 18th 2024)

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

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

Rain Expected Over Northeast Montana

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

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

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

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

Montana Schools Race To Spend Covid Money

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glasgow received 1.336 million and has a zero balance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Monday, June 17th 2024)

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Political practices commissioner rules that AG candidate was ineligible

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Craig Smith Selected As New President Of Fort Peck Community College

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glasgow School Board Meeting Notes

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

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

Action items from the meeting:

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

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

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

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

Posted (Friday, June 14th 2024)

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

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

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

Posted (Thursday, June 13th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Thursday, June 13th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Northeast Montana Fair Schedule Released

Posted (Thursday, June 13th 2024)

Corps Of Engineers Seeking Information Regarding Vandalism At Kiwanis Park

Posted (Wednesday, June 12th 2024)

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

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

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

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

Posted (Wednesday, June 12th 2024)

Press Release from Siding 45 Skatepark:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Explosion Near Bainville Seriously Injures One

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

Press Release from Roosevelt County:

Dated Monday, June 10th.

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

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

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

Tom And Linda Stathos Receive Yard Of The Week Honors

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

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

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

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

Posted (Tuesday, June 11th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Havre Man Dies In Rollover Crash In Phillips County

Posted (Monday, June 10th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Monday, June 10th 2024)

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

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

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

Births In Montana Decrease From 2022

Posted (Monday, June 10th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dodson Man Arrested On 1984 Murder Warrant Out Of Texas

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Gregg Hunter Receives Welcome To Montana State Senate

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

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

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

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

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

Supporters of the Milk River Project had this to say:

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

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

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gasoline Prices Fall Across United States And Montana

Posted (Friday, June 7th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Knierim Family Scholarships

Posted (Thursday, June 6th 2024)

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

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

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

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

Posted (Thursday, June 6th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department Responds To Structure Fire

Posted (Thursday, June 6th 2024)

Press release from the Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department

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

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

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

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

Election Results Available after Polls Close At 8pm

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

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

Local and Statewide Results will be available here:

https://electionresults.mt.gov/

Body Recovered From Missouri River Near Poplar

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

Press Release from Roosevelt County Law Enforcement

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

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

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

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

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

Today Is Election Day

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

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

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

Glasgow City Council Votes To Place Skate Park At Hoyt Park

Posted (Tuesday, June 4th 2024)

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

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

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

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

Fire Departments Respond To Fire Sunday Evening

Posted (Monday, June 3rd 2024)

Release from Glasgow/Long Run Fire Department:

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

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

Fire and smoke was found throughout the entire bunker.

Cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday

Posted (Monday, June 3rd 2024)

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

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

Valley County Sheriff's Office Seize Methamphetamine And Fentanyl

Posted (Monday, June 3rd 2024)

Press Release From Valley County Sheriff's Office:

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

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

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

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

Posted (Sunday, June 2nd 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daines’ opposition was earlier reported by Bloomberg Law.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press Release From Roosevelt County Law Enforcement

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Following The Sunshine Boys the 2024 season continues with:

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

Hudyma Named Glasgow Irle School Principal

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

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

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

She will replace Ed Sugg as the Irle School Principal.

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

Absentee Ballot Returns Hit 49% In Valley County

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

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

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

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

Voter turnout in Valley County for past Primary Elections:

2022- 45%

2020- 60%

2018- 56%

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

Posted (Friday, May 31st 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Sentenced For Making Threats To Blow Up Dodson School

Posted (Thursday, May 30th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Catfish Days This Weekend In Glasgow

Posted (Wednesday, May 29th 2024)

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

Posted (Wednesday, May 29th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Posted (Wednesday, May 29th 2024)

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

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

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

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

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

Marijuana Sales Drop In Valley County

Posted (Tuesday, May 28th 2024)

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

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

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

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

City Of Glasgow Requesting Public Input On Proposed Location Of Skate Park

Posted (Friday, May 24th 2024)

The City of Glasgow City Council is requesting public input on the proposed location of a new skate park. The city council met at a work session on Monday May 20, 2024 and are proposing the new skate park be located in a portion of Hoyt Park.

Residents of the city can submit letters of support or opposition for this location to the Glasgow City Clerk’s Office, 319 3rd Street South, Glasgow, MT 59230. Letters for the council’s review should be received by Wednesday May 29th at 12:00 p.m. to be included in the council packet for the June 3, 2024 regular council meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The public will also have the opportunity to talk during public comment on any agenda item at this meeting.

Hinsdale Ambulance Service Honored By Governor Gianforte

Posted (Thursday, May 23rd 2024)

On Wednesday, Montana leaders gathered at the State Capitol to honor emergency medical services across the state.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services held its annual EMS awards, recognizing emergency responders, dispatchers and ambulance services.

“Emergencies occur at all times of day and night, and when those calls happen, you are being pulled away from your family, your job or a special event – and the list goes on,” said Gov. Greg Gianforte. “Thank you for being there when you're most needed and for making those sacrifices.”

One of the winners was Hinsdale Ambulance Service, an all-volunteer service from a small Hi-Line community. Dorothy Jensen, an advanced EMT and co-manager, said they largely fund their programs through fundraisers like auctioning pies.

The EMS for Children Supporter Award, the Hinsdale Ambulance Service. This award recognizes an individual whose actions contributed to saving a life and who remained calm in the face of a crisis.
This nomination was made by the DPHHS EMS for Children Program.

The Hinsdale Ambulance is a volunteer ambulance service and an affiliate of Valley County Stat Ambulance Service. They are being recognized for the emphasis they put on being prepared for the smallest of patients. They first applied to become a Pediatric Ready EMS service in 2019 and they were recently renewed by the EMS for Children Program - a recognition of their commitment to pediatric care.

To be recognized as Pediatric Ready, an EMS agency must have a designated Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator. The Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator acts as a pediatric advocate making sure the agency is ready to care for children by carrying appropriately sized equipment and holding annual training focusing on the care of sick and injured children.

In addition to renewing their pediatric recognition, the Hinsdale Volunteer Ambulance prioritized pediatric education and training by requesting the Montana EMS for Children pediatric airway manikin to practice inserting an oral airway and ventilation skills so that they would be prepared for pediatric emergencies as a rural volunteer EMS agency.

As the agency’s Pediatric Emergency Care Coordinator, Dorothy Jensen states: “We tend to get comfortable with adult patients, but when we are faced with children it adds a higher level of stress. Our service strives to be the best we can be. We continue to train for the one time we will need to use a skill.

We had a call last fall when an eight-year-old child had a horrific 4-wheeler crash. When we arrived, this child was having a difficult time breathing and unconscious. We received almost the same scenario from the SIM-MT truck not once, but twice! Going through that scenario and TBI training saved this child’s life.”

The other award winners recognized Wednesday were:

Volunteer EMS Provider of the Year Lowell Strissel, of Hill County Ambulance

Career EMS Provider of the Year Steve Emerson, of Big Sky Ski Patrol and Gallatin Gateway Volunteer Fire Department

EMS Service of the Year Madison Valley Ambulance Service

911 Dispatcher of the Year Brandon Skogen, of the Great Falls/Cascade County Emergency Communication Center

EMS Supporter of the Year Garnee Erickson, of Glendive

Gianforte also signed a proclamation recognizing EMS Week. This is the 50th anniversary of that annual event, intended to educate the public about EMS and honor the people providing the services.

Lawsuit Filed Against Valley County Commissioners

Posted (Thursday, May 23rd 2024)

On May 10, 2024, a complaint and demand for jury trial was filed in Valley County District Court by Brian Austin, who currently holds the position of Valley County Landfill Supervisor.

The Valley County Board of Commissioners is named as defendant in the filing. Also listed individually are Commissioners Mary Armstrong, John Fahlgren and Paul Tweten.

Several allegations are included in the filing, including constitutional rights violations, invasion of privacy and failure to release public records upon request and in a timely manner.

Austin alleges that in mid-late 2022, Valley County released personnel, private and confidential information to Sandra Guenot, an agent for New York Life Insurance. According to the filing, a number of things occurred on September 14, 2022, that prompted a public records request from Austin and ultimately led to the complaint filed on May 10, 2024.

Firstly, Guenot contacted landfill employee Darcia Schindler to discuss whole life insurance. Schindler expressed to Guenot that she, and other landfill employees, were not interested in the insurance policies. In response, Guenot indicated that meeting with her was mandatory and “any employee not wishing to purchase insurance was to sign a form indicating such.” Schindler again denied interest in the insurance and ended the conversation. In a similar interaction with Guenot the same day, Austin expressed no interest in purchasing the insurance and also ended the conversation.

That same day, Fahlgren contacted Austin and requested a meeting with him at the commissioner’s office. According to the filing, the meeting’s purpose was to discuss disciplinary action against Schindler for “abruptly ending the phone conversation with Guenot.” Austin questioned the appropriateness of such action and expressed to the commissioners that “Valley County employee personnel records and private, confidential information were being disclosed without permission or consent to Guenot and New York Life Insurance.” Tweten stated that employee personnel records and employee’s personal, private and confidential information were public information and therefore no permission or consent was required to disclose.

In the filing, it is alleged that on September 22, 2022, Austin requested access to the minutes from the September 14, 2022 meeting. His request was denied by Fahlgren because the “meeting was closed and the minutes were sealed.” In May, 2023 a formal request for multiple public records, including the meeting minutes from September 14, 2022, was made by legal counsel for Austin.

The filing indicates that “some” of the records requested were produced following multiple communications and requests between Austin’s counsel and Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen, but not the meeting minutes in question. Jensen indicated that the meeting minutes were “confidential and not a public record,” and “the meeting minutes are not subject to inspection except pursuant to a court order.”

KLTZ will continue to follow this story and provide information to the community as it becomes available.

Glasgow couple sends ‘cease and desist’ letter to Montana’s lieutenant governor

Posted (Wednesday, May 22nd 2024)

As part of a now ongoing lawsuit that has spanned both state and federal courts, a Glasgow couple has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Montana Lt. Gov. Kristen Juras, demanding that the second-highest ranking executive in the state stop making false statements and issue an apology letter to them.

Todd and Krista Kolstads’ attorney, Matthew Monforton of Bozeman, sent the letter on Monday, the same day the Kolstads filed a case in federal district court in Billings alleging that social workers with the State of Montana’s Child Protective Services deceived a state court judge in order to seize the Kolstads’ 14-year-old child without a warrant, and, in the process, ignored their religious freedoms.

The cease-and-desist letter asks Juras to apologize for comments she made during the state court hearings earlier in the year about the Kolstads, as well as preserving records that may come into play in the federal case.

The Daily Montanan reached out the Juras’ office on Tuesday morning, but had received no response as of the time of publication.

The court case involves a 14-year-old child who was removed from the Kolstads’ home last summer after threatening suicide. The Kolstads and the child were at odds about whether the 14-year-old should be allowed to transition from female to male. The Kolstads have maintained that their deeply held religious beliefs prohibit “transgenderism,” and that state officials disregarded that freedom.

Meanwhile, state officials claimed that they were trying to find a psychiatric placement for the suicidal teenager when they took custody of the child, identified in court documents as “H.K.” The state sent H.K., to a Wyoming facility and later a Billings group home. Since then, H.K.’s mother in Canada has been the custodian of the youth.

However, the Kolstads have filed the federal suit against the state’s two social workers involved in the case, as well as sending a demand to Juras, who became involved in the case when Gov. Greg Gianforte appointed her to look into the matter after some degree of public concern when the Kolstads took their case to the media and social media.

The Gianforte administration during the previous two legislative sessions has supported proposals to limit youth access to medical care, and has been seen as largely hostile to advancing LGBTQ+ rights.

However, Juras, a former law school professor and conservative who once ran for the state Supreme Court in part on a platform of religious freedoms, told media that she had personally reviewed the details of the case, and supported the state’s social workers.

“You have said that CPS’s seizure of the Kolstads’ daughter was lawful and have repeatedly accused the Kolstads of lying about their daughter’s seizure,” said the letter sent to Juras by Monforton. “You have it exactly backwards — it is your statements about the Kolstads that are unfounded, malicious and slanderous under Montana law.”

The letter makes three requests of Juras including to stop defaming the Kolstads, apologize for slandering them, and preserve all written communications between Juras and any other person relating to the Kolstads.

The letter goes on to state that the CPS social workers told the court that they needed to seize H.K., who was in immediate harm. However, at the time they told state court Judge Yvonne Laird that H.K., was in immediate danger, the child was already at a hospital, with round-the-clock, one-to-one observation, according to court documents.

“CPS workers instead seized the Kolstads’ daughter and took her to Wyoming against her parents’ will. CPS did this because they believed the Kolstads’ objections to transgenderism made them unfit parents. They told the Kolstads that their daughter would not be returned to them until they accepted her transgenderism. When the Kolstads refused to compromise their faith, CPS workers took their daughter to her biological mother in Canada,” the letter said.

On Jan. 29, Gianforte confirmed on social media that he was appointing Juras to look into the matter, and that she had, confirming that DPHHS followed state policy.

“The case documents, however, demonstrate precisely the opposite,” the Kolstads’ letter said. “You and Governor Gianforte could have stopped this injustice, but instead you allowed CPS to trample on the Kolstads’ civil rights…Rather than respond to the Kolstads’ plea for help (or refrain from saying anything at all about the case), you have chosen to slander them for the past several months by calling them ‘liars’ and claiming that CPS was justified in seizing their daughter.”

The case also demonstrates the interconnectedness of politics in a smaller state like Montana. Monforton, a former Republican lawmaker who has claimed a series of victories in state court, finds himself sending a letter to a former colleague, Juras — a Republican and conservative attorney. Monforton and Juras both originally were co-counsel in one of the largest class-action lawsuits in the state when the City of Billings illegally charged “franchise fees” to water and wastewater bills. Juras and Monforton worked the case for the first two years until Juras left as co-counsel to campaign as Gianforte’s running mate. At the conclusion of the franchise fees case, Monforton was the sole successful attorney.

Glasgow couple sue Child Protective Services, accusing them of deceiving court

Posted (Tuesday, May 21st 2024)

The family of the teenager who was taken by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services’ Child Protective Service has sued in federal court, alleging several civil rights violations when the social workers placed the teen in a psychiatric facility in Wyoming, barring the parents from communicating with the child.

Todd and Krista Kolstad of Glasgow have filed suit in Billings against DPHHS social workers Cyndi Baillargeon and Crystal Whitmore for taking their child without due process and a warrant and interfering with their religious freedoms.

The Montana DPHHS was not immediately available for comment when the suit was filed late Monday afternoon.

Kolstad’s child, who is identified as “H.K.” throughout the court documents, said he identifies as transgender and wanted to transition to a male. However, because of the Kolstads’ strong religious beliefs, they objected and refused to let their child transition, believing it was a sin.

When their 14-year-old became suicidal, H.K., was taken to a hospital for in-patient psychiatric care, waiting for a more permanent bed in a psychiatric hospital. However, because of the Kolstads’ understanding of Montana law, they did not want their child to be placed out of state for fear that medical professionals elsewhere would allow the transitioning process to begin. They believed that Montana law barred medical support to youth who want to transition, an issue that is still being litigated in courts.

However, the federal lawsuit says that the DPHHS, through Baillargeon and Whitmore, denied the Kolstads’ due process rights, and that the workers lied to the court. They also claim that state workers abused the law by not having a judge sign off on a warrant removing the child from their custody.

Meanwhile, the state contends that it had the right to remove the child because of imminent harm and immediate danger. H.K. had originally been admitted to the hospital after claiming to have consumed an overdose of ibuprofen and toilet bowl cleaner. H.K.’s hospital tests results showed neither were ingested. The State of Montana said it was concerned with the risk of suicide.

Court documents filed Monday also allege that the Kolstads had been supportive of finding a hospital bed for H.K., in Montana, and believed the teen would be taken to Billings Clinic. However, they said with little notice, the state switched plans, sending H.K., to a psychiatric treatment center in Casper and then forbade contact. The Kolstads also maintain that both the in-patient Wyoming hospital and the youth group home in Billings allowed their child to be addressed by a male name, allowed male clothing and toiletries as well as provided chest binders — all things to which they objected.

The teen’s birth mother now lives in Canada, where H.K. resides.

Attorney Matthew Monforton, who represents the Kolstads, argues in court filings that the child was “not in any danger of serious bodily harm when CPS seized her.” Moreover, according to the doctor’s notes in the court documents, H.K. was “not an active threat” of suicide or harm when moved to Wyoming.

However, the lawsuit argued that CPS workers falsely testified in an affidavit that the teenager faced “an imminent risk of physical harm.” Monforton said that Child Protective Services was also silent about the Kolstads’ deeply held religious beliefs.

“This omission was material because, under Montana law, a finding of child neglect cannot occur ‘for the sole reason that a parent or legal guardian, because of religious beliefs, does not provide adequate health care for a child,’” the court documents said.

The Kolstads also claimed in the court filing that they were told by Child Protective Services that they would not regain custody “of their daughter unless they accepted her transgenderism.”

According to documents filed as part of the case, the state described its concerns for the physical health of H.K.:

“The cause, as far as is possible to ascertain, are allegations of physical neglect — the youth was suicidal and needed acute psychiatric care and the birthfather and stepmother refused to sign paperwork for the youth to receive the care that was recommended by the medical professionals.”
At the conclusion of the court case, though, Valley County District Court Judge Yvonne Laird was sharply critical of the Kolstads’ handling of the case, and questioned whether they truly had the best intentions for H.K.

“Unfortunately, during the pendency of this matter, the youth’s father and stepmother chose to focus on the youth’s struggle with gender identification rather than addressing the issues in the family home and ensuring a safe and supportive environment for the youth’s suicidal ideation,” the judge wrote.

The documents filed by Monforton said that statement, which the court relied on to make a determination, didn’t tell the full story: That the Kolstads were supportive of some psychiatric care, but objected to transitioning because of their religious beliefs.

He argued that federal law demands parental consent for medical procedures that are essential. Furthermore, he said that federal law only provides a narrow exception for seizing children without a warrant, and the burden wasn’t met in the Kolstads’ case.

“Seizing a child without a warrant is excusable only when officials have reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to experience serious bodily harm in the time that would be required to obtain a warrant,” the complaint said.

According to the case filing, at the time, H.K., was being held on 24-hour, one-on-one observation, making it unlikely it was a warrantless situation.

“(CPS) knew that H.K. was no facing an imminent substantial risk of serious harm when they seized her on Aug. 22,” the filing said. “Defendants’ deceit of the state court made the court’s proceedings against the Kolstads a sham from start to finish.”

Six Valley County High-School Graduates Receive 2024 Jeff Jurgens Memorial Scholarships

Posted (Tuesday, May 21st 2024)

Six Valley County high-school graduates have received 2024 Jeff Jurgens Memorial Scholarships to enable their studies at colleges, universities, and trade schools.

The scholarships are awarded annually by the Scottie Booster Club in memory of the late Jeff Jurgens, Glasgow student and rabid sports fan whose namesake basketball tournament is the source of the funds. The Jeff Jurgens Memorial Tournament, presented by the Scottie Booster Club and widely supported by the community, is held annually in March and attracts dozens of youth basketball teams in grades 4-8 from across eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

In order to be eligible for a Jeff Jurgens scholarship, students must be 2024 graduates of a Valley County high school and either played varsity basketball or are entering a medical or health-related field of study at a college, university, or trade school. This year, the Scottie Booster Club selected six scholarship recipients with a wide range of accomplishments and future plans.

Applicants’ sports backgrounds are considered, along with academic achievement, community service, citizenship, and financial need.

The six 2024 JJMT Scholars are:

Jordan Cook – Glasgow High School’s Jordan Cook plans to attend Montana State University-Billings, where he will pursue a degree in business administration. As a Scottie, Cook played varsity basketball for two years, ran cross country for two years, was vice president for JMG, and volunteered at Special Olympics events.

Eli Feezell – Feezell, a 2024 Glasgow High School graduate, plans to attend Grand Canyon University in Arizona and study biology on his way to pursuing a degree in physical therapy. Feezell was a standout golfer for the Scotties and also ran cross country for three years. He served as president of the local Business Professionals chapter, participated in student government all four years of high school, and helped coordinate food drives for the local food bank.

Zora Holt – A 2024 graduate of Hinsdale High School, Holt will attend Montana State University-Bozeman and study pre-veterinary medicine, then attend veterinary school. Holt played four years of basketball for the state-champion North Country Mavericks and ran cross country for HHS, taking all-state honors her senior year. She’s been involved in 4-H, FFA, National Honor Society, Honor Band, and student government, serving as student body president her senior year.

Vaughn Miller – A 2024 graduate of Glasgow High School, Miller will attend Dickinson State University, where he plans to pursue a degree in biology on his way to becoming a radiology technologist. Miller, a standout football, basketball, and track athlete for the Scotties who was state champion in the javelin, will throw javelin and discus for the Blue Hawks’ track program. Miller participated in concert band, G Club, and student council at GHS and volunteered with Special Olympics, at the Governor’s Cup Walleye Tournament, and at the Jeff Jurgens tournament.

Eve Stone – Scottie track-and-field standout Eve Stone plans to attend Southern Oregon University, where she’ll pursue an English degree. Stone is a multiple all-state placer in pole vault, high jump, and long jump, and also ran cross country and played basketball for two years for the Scotties. A member of National Honor Society and Book Club, Stone has volunteered for the Chamber of Commerce’s Beautifying Glasgow project, where she painted murals and flower pots in front of local businesses.

Ty Westby – Ty Westby will attend Western Oklahoma State College, where he’ll participate in rodeo and pursue a degree in farm and ranch management. Westby, a 2024 graduate of Glasgow High School, played two years of Scottie basketball, four years of high school rodeo, and was active in student council and served as a class officer. He was also actively involved in 4-H.

The Scottie Booster Club raises funds to assist with the promotion and equipment/uniform needs of extracurricular activities associated with the Glasgow School District. In addition to presenting the Jeff Jurgens Memorial Basketball Tournament, the Boosters conduct 50/50 raffles at football games, coordinate sponsorship signage at various Scotties athletic venues, and host a year-end banquet and recognition ceremony for GHS athletes and coaches. If you’re interested in donating time, funds, or energy to the Boosters, contact club president Mike Pehlke at 263-9899 or club secretary Ruth Ann Hutcheson at 263-8392. Other Scottie Booster Club members include Ryan Fast, Gil Johnson, Andrew McKean, Jace Ball, Amber Kirkland, and Wade Sundby.

Glasgow City Council Votes To Rescind Motion To Sell Portion Of Hoyt Park To FMDH

Posted (Tuesday, May 21st 2024)

The Glasgow City Council has voted to rescind a passed motion two weeks to sell a portion of Hoyt Park to Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital for $550,000.

According to Glasgow Mayor Rod Karst, the decision to terminate the sale has to do with a grant received by the City of Glasgow to build the new swimming pool. If the city were to sell a portion of Hoyt Park to FMDH, the city would default on the grant and the city would have to repay $150,000 already spent on the pool.

The grant is from Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Land, Water and Conservation Fund in the amount of $250,000. The grant does not allow the city to alter and restrict recreational facilities on the Hoyt Park property.

The City Council voted to rescind the sale of the property to FMDH but that now leaves a $600,000 deficit in completing the pool. The council's intention was to use the proceeds from the sale for completion of the bathhouse for the new pool.

Karst said the city is looking on staying on the time schedule for the construction of the pool and to build a new bathhouse. Enough money has been raised for the completion of the pool but there isn't enough money at this time to complete the bathhouse. The Swimming Pool Committee which has raised the money for the new pool, will look at options so the city can go to bid on the bathhouse.

After the regular council meeting, the council held a work session on the proposed skate park for Glasgow. After discussion, the council reached a consensus to build the skate park at Hoyt Park in the southwest corner of the park. An official vote on the Hoyt Park location and a MOU between the city and the skate park committee will take place at the next council meeting on June 3rd.

National Weather Service Reports Rain Totals In Northeast Montana

Posted (Monday, May 20th 2024)

From National Weather Service:

Here are the automated rain gauge totals for the last 24 hours in northeast Montana as of 1AM Monday morning. Looks like Plentywood got the most with 0.44" of rain.

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday

Posted (Monday, May 20th 2024)

Senator Tester Calls On Customs and Border Protection To Extend Hours Of Operations At Montana Ports Of Entry

Posted (Monday, May 20th 2024)

U.S. Senator Jon Tester sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) calling on the Biden Administration to extend the hours of operations at ports of entry in Montana, citing the effects on Montana’s economy.

In his letter to CBP Commissioner Troy A. Miller, Tester specifically calls on the Administration to extend the summer hours of operations at the Port of Wild Horse.

“The Port of Wild Horse and travel across the northern border is essential for farmers, ranchers, businesses, and families in northcentral Montana… for years, the Port of Wild Horse has extended its hours from May to September to account for the warmer weather and increased travel during the summer season. These extended hours are critical for the agricultural sector, tourism, and everyday trade and travel between the U.S. and Canada.”

Tester concluded his letter by calling on the Administration to reconsider the decision against extending hours during the summer season: “Actions like this show just how out of touch bureaucrats in Washington D.C. are with life in rural America. I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision and immediately expand summer hours at the Port of Wild Horse.”

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

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

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

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

Law Enforcement Increasing Patrols During Memorial Day Weekend And Through The Summer

Posted (Friday, May 17th 2024)

Montana Law Enforcement increasing patrols in (Valley County and Glasgow) during Memorial Day Weekend and through the summer. Montanans are strongly encouraged to click it or ticket.

Local law enforcement and the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) are increasing patrols and presence from the end of May through the beginning of June as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Click It or Ticket Enforcement.

While non-seat belt use is a secondary offense in Montana, wearing a seat belt is still required by law.

Seat belts are one of the most effective ways to increase your chance of survival in a crash, reducing the risk of death for a front seat occupant by about 45% and serious injury by about 50% per NHTSA.

Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department, Valley County DUI Task Force, and the Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) encourage all Montanans to buckle up, even for short trips or when driving slowly. Increased patrols and enforcement of seat belt laws will be underway across the state to ensure the safety of all road users. Valley County Sheriff’s Office, Glasgow Police Department, Valley County DUI Task Force, and MHP, and the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) are committed to public safety, including seat belt safety.

Montana law requires all vehicle occupants to be properly restrained with a seat belt or in a child safety restraint. A ticket can be issued if the driver or any passenger is found to not be wearing a seatbelt. Additionally, if a person in a vehicle who is under six years of age and weighs less than 60 lbs. is believed not to be restrained properly, law enforcement agents may require a driver to stop.
"Fastening a seat belt takes less than two seconds," Valley County Undersheriff Chris Richter . "It's the simplest and most crucial way to reduce your risk of serious injury or death in a crash. There’s a misconception that trucks provide more safety. But seat belts are proven to be even more effective at reducing serious injury and death in a light truck, pickup, or van.”

In fact, in 2021, 61% of pickup truck occupants who were killed weren't wearing a seat belt. Of the 73 fatalities due to being ejected from their pickup in 2020, 67, or 92%, were not wearing a seatbelt. Seat belts have a proven record of keeping occupants inside the vehicle, increasing the likelihood of survival in a serious crash.

"Please make a habit of always buckling up," Glasgow Police Chief Rober Weber. “The more it’s second nature, the easier it is to do it all the time. For those driving with children, it's important to model positive behavior by buckling up before starting your vehicle. This encourages children to adopt the habit of wearing a seatbelt and increase their likelihood of surviving a crash."

Absentee Ballots Mailed Out For June Primary Election

Posted (Friday, May 17th 2024)

Voting has started for Montana's June Primary Election. Over 450,000 absentee ballots have been mailed to voters in Montana who prefer to vote from their home rather than going to a polling place.

In Valley County, 3494 absentee ballots were mailed last week. 70% of voters in Valley County prefer to vote absentee instead of voting at a polling place on election day. There are 4937 registered voters in Valley County.

Voter turnout in Valley County has been dropping for the June primary election. In 2018 voter turnout was 64%, 2020 turnout was 60% and in 2022 the turnout was just 45%.

The general election turnout in Valley County also dropped significantly in 2018 with turnout just 66%. This compares to 84% in 2020 and 80% in 2018.

U.S. Senate Passes Legislation Reauthorizing Essential Air Service Program

Posted (Thursday, May 16th 2024)

U.S. Senator Jon Tester successfully included his priorities for increasing affordable air service in Montana in legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that passed the Senate last week.

“Reliable and affordable air service is essential for Montanans to run their businesses, see their friends and families, and stay connected with the rest of the country, but too often rural airports fall through the cracks,” said Tester. “That’s why I was proud to see my Small Community Air Service Enhancement Act clear the Senate to ensure Montana airports have more flights that cost less – and I’ll keep working to ensure folks in rural America is have a seat at the table.”

Tester advanced several big wins for Montana through the Senate in the must-pass FAA reauthorization bill, including his Small Community Air Service Enhancement Act that will helpsmall airports compete for grants to attract new air carrier service to their communities. The Senator’s Small Community Air Service Enhancement Act increases available funding for the Small Community Air Service Development Program and ensures airports who have experienced a significant reduction in air service are prioritized for selection.

Tester worked to reauthorize the Essential Air Service program (EAS) to ensure Montana’s rural communities continue to have airline service options connecting them to larger hubs. Currently the Essential Air Service provides service to five eastern Montana communities: Glasgow, Glendive, Havre, Sidney, and Wolf Point. The Essential Air Service is also responsible for commercial flights in Butte and West Yellowstone.

Tester also fought to strip a provision from the final FAA bill that would have required Montana communities to fund 5% of EAS contract costs annually. This requirement would have been detrimental to Montana, costingcommunities hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, and likely leading to airlines services leaving areas that could not bear the weight of that cost.

Finally, Senator Tester worked to ensure that Montana’s fastest growing airports will be able to keep up with growing demand by providing resources for proper staffing and necessary infrastructure.

“As Montana’s busiest airport, Bozeman Yellowstone is stretched thin trying to meet the growing demand while providing the top quality service folks have come to expect from our airlines and airport staff,” said Brian Sprenger, President & Chief Executive Officer, Bozeman Yellowstone Int’l Airport. “This bill will alleviate that strain by helping us staff up, add flights, and improve our operations across the board. We want to thank Senator Tester for keeping his foot on the gas to get this bill passed, and we look forward to continuing to work together to get these much-needed improvements done.”

“Montana’s rural airports are the gateway to some of the Treasure State’s greatest treasures – our national parks and public lands,” said Rob Ratowski, Airport Director, Glacier Airport. “With more visitors making their way to Glacier every year, we need all the help we can get keeping up with the rise in tourism while protecting critical routes that serve the local community. This funding will go a long way in ensuring we’ve got the resources we need to attract new air service, update critical technology and infrastructure, and support the recreational economy here in Flathead County. We’re lucky to have a partner in Senator Tester, who understands the need to invest in rural communities and lay the foundation for economic development well into the future.”

“We’re grateful to Senator Tester for his continued leadership in promoting economic growth and supporting transportation infrastructure,” said Brian Ellestad, Airport Director, Missoula Montana Airport. “Enhancing the Small Community Air Service Development Program is critical to ensuring that travelers have continued access to the nation’s air transportation system. Missoula has successfully utilized this program to create new air service that has reduced air fare and created economic opportunities and good-paying jobs for our community.”

“On behalf of the Billings Chamber of Commerce, I want to thank Senator Tester for his efforts to support and expand Montana’s transportation infrastructure,” said John Brewer, President & CEO, Billings Chamber of Commerce. “Aside from being the front door to Montana’s biggest city, Billings Logan Airport is a significant revenue generator for Yellowstone County, boosting local businesses and creating good-paying jobs for folks in our community. This money will improve operations and secure flights in and out of Billings, drive economic growth, and ensure that the Magic City prospers for generations to come.”

Daniels County Attorney Appears To Be Unqualified To Run For Montana Attorney General Position

Posted (Thursday, May 16th 2024)

Attorney General Austin Knudsen’s opponent in the Republican primary race, Daniels County Attorney Logan Olson, appears to be unqualified to run as he has not been practicing law in Montana for five years, as is required by law.

A spokesperson for the Secretary of State confirmed Olson filed a form candidates are required to sign affirming he is qualified to run.

Knudsen’s primary against Olson is under scrutiny after the Daily Montanan reported he told a crowd during the weekend he recruited Olson to run against him in order to raise more money, and referred to campaign laws as “ridiculous.”

The office of the Commissioner of Political Practices Chris Gallus said it could be a violation of Montana law for one person to recruit another to run for office for the purpose of raising more campaign funding.

Olson graduated from the University of Montana Law School in May of 2020, according to his LinkedIn page; a spokesperson for the school confirmed Tuesday someone with his name graduated that year. The Montana State Bar member directory shows he’s been an active attorney since September 2020.

To qualify to run, attorneys have to be in good standing, admitted to practice law in Montana and have actively practiced for five years before election. Olson would be about nine months shy of qualifying if he were to assume office. Candidates also must be at least 25 years-old, a U.S. citizen and Montana resident for at least two years.

Montana candidates also sign an oath of candidacy affirming they “possess, or will possess within constitutional and statutory deadlines, the qualifications prescribed by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the State of Montana.”

Engaging in deceptive election practices by affirming an oath the signer knows to be false is illegal in Montana and can result in a fine of up to $500, or up to six months in a county jail, or both.

Neither Olson nor his campaign treasurer responded to a request for comment in time for publication.

Weekly Test Flow Updates Are Each Wednesday

Posted (Wednesday, May 15th 2024)

Beginning Weds., April 24, the Missouri River Water Management Division will host weekly virtual meetings to provide updates on the status of test flows from Fort Peck Dam in Montana. Test flows to comply with the 2018 Biological Opinion will begin Fri., April 26.

The 2018 Biological Opinion requires the test under the Endangered Species Act for operation of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host weekly virtual meetings during the flow test to update the public on test progress and planned operations.

Calls will be held each Wednesday, at 1 p.m. Central Time, (12 p.m. Mountain Time)

Information on accessing the public meetings can be found at https://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/MRWM/Public-Meetings/Meetings or at the end of this News Release.

Calls will include information on flows into the Fort Peck reservoir, recent releases, current releases and forecast releases.

When the test starts, releases from Fort Peck Dam will be adjusted until a peak flow of 18,000 cubic feet per second is achieved at Wolf Point, on or about May 1 and held for approximately three days. This peak flow is intended to attract pallid sturgeon up the Missouri River for spawning.

The Fort Peck releases will be adjusted depending on the runoff and reach conditions downstream of Fort Peck during this period. The test will likely require spillway releases from Fort Peck. The test releases will not affect river stages downstream of Gavins Point Dam.

“This flow test has been extensively coordinated with local stakeholders and was discussed in depth a public meeting held in Poplar, Montana on March 28, 2024,” said John Remus, chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

Test releases from Fort Peck to assess the potential benefits of alternative management scenarios for the pallid sturgeon includes two higher Fort Peck release periods, in late April and June. River stages and flows will be measured at Wolf Point, Montana.

During the flow test a number of monitoring activities will be conducted to include fish monitoring, lidar and aerial photography, physical surveys, cultural resource surveys, and water quality sampling. Interested parties can also provide information through a web-based application that can be found at https://hydroviz.ca/fort-peck-feedback.

Call details are below:

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Meeting number (access code): 2828 416 1213
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Glasgow School Board Reaches Contract Agreement With Brenner Flaten

Posted (Monday, May 13th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board has reached a 2-year contract with Brenner Flaten to become the next Superintendent of the Glasgow School System.

Flaten will replace Wade Sundby as the superintendent of the Glasgow School System in July.

The school and Flaten agreed on a 2-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $120,000 per year, a $15,000 yearly stipend to be Special Education Coordinator for the district plus work a 240 day contract.

Flaten currently is the Vice-Principal at the Irle School and Activities Director for the district.

The search continues for a principal at Irle School and the closing date for that job is May 27th and the school board will review applications on May 28th.

The board voted to hire Sierra Legare as Speech Language Pathologist/Special Education Teacher.

FWP Announces Public Comment Opportunities

Posted (Monday, May 13th 2024)

HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment on several draft proposed projects, environmental assessments (EAs), conservation leases and other items. For more information, including how to submit comments, click on the links provided or visit fwp.mt.gov/public-notices.

Private Fish Pond License – Vaccaro Victor Draft EA

FWP administers private fish pond licensing. Regulations are intended to allow the stocking of private fish ponds while ensuring that public resources are not adversely affected by unwanted fish or fish diseases, that nuisance aquatic species are not planted into ponds where they can escape or be introduced into state waters, and that habitat of wild fish is not harmed.

Greg Vaccaro has applied for a private fish pond license for a pond located at 784 Fred Burr Road in Victor. The applicant is seeking to be licensed to plant rainbow trout and/or westslope cutthroat trout into the pond for personal use and enjoyment.

Comments due May 14.

Montana Great Outdoors Conservation Easement Phase 1 Draft EA

FWP proposes to purchase a 32,981-acre conservation easement. More specifically, the Montana Great Outdoors Conservation Easement – Phase 1. This is the first phase of a two-phased project totaling 85,792 acres of important timberland and fish and wildlife habitat currently owned by Green Diamond Resources Company in northwest Montana.

Comments due May 15.

Draft EA Cree Crossing WMA Habitat Improvement Projects

FWP is seeking public comment on four proposed habitat projects on Cree Crossing Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Saco. The proposed projects intend to restore and enhance ground nesting bird habitat, as well as improve cottonwood tree recruitment on Cree Crossing WMA over the next five years. Improving habitat on the WMA is expected to increase wildlife use of the WMA for the benefit of the recreating public.

Comments due May 15.

71 Ranch Prairie Dog Conservation Contract Draft Supplemental EA Checklist

FWP recently issued a draft EA for a proposed 10-year Prairie Dog Conservation Lease Agreement in Garfield County and Rosebud County, Montana. The proposed lease encompasses 2,975 acres near Ingomar.

We have further determined that a habitat conservation lease is not necessary for this specific agreement, and that a Conservation Contract is more appropriate. As such, we have issued a supplemental EA checklist (SEA). This SEA tiers from the original EA and specifically considers a change in the agreement type that wasn’t part of the original analysis contained in the draft checklist EA. For those parts of the Prairie Dog conservation agreement that remain unchanged, FWP considers the earlier analysis to be sufficient. All terms within the agreement will apply to the contract.

Comments due May 16.

Draft EA Wetland Restoration on North Willow Creek

FWP is seeking public comment on a draft EA for the implementation of a low-tech process-based restoration in the Musselshell River Basin. The proposed project intends to build in-stream beaver dam analogs and/or post-assisted log structures on two tributaries of North Willow Creek in the Musselshell watershed. This project aims to improve in-stream and wetland health by increasing in-stream physical complexity and channel-floodplain connectivity. The applicant anticipates the project to begin July 2024.

Comments due May 17.

Draft EA Martinsdale Land & Cattle Pond License

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond License and proposes to stock brown trout, rainbow trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout. FWP is required to review the potential impacts of issuing a Private Fish Pond License. The pond was originally permitted in 2020 for rainbow trout and brown trout. A new permit is required to add Yellowstone cutthroat trout to the species allowed to be stocked in this pond. The pond is located approximately 300 feet from RM 6.1 of the North Fork Musselshell River on the abandoned Gillis (Sandeno) Ditch in HUC6-Lower North Fork Musselshell River/HUC5-North Fork Musselshell River/HUC4-Upper Musselshell River. Rainbow trout and brown trout are both present in the North Fork Musselshell River drainage.

Comments due May 21.

EA for Zeliff Private Pond License Review

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond License and proposes to stock rainbow trout in an unnamed private pond southwest of Gallatin Gateway. Rainbow trout are not native to the drainage, but the Gallatin River already contains rainbow trout and brown trout. The 1.25-surface-acre pond is along Gateway South Road southwest of Gallatin Gateway, about 0.3 miles west of the Gallatin River.

Comments due May 22.

EA for Dykema Private Pond License Review

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond License and proposes to stock westslope cutthroat trout in an unnamed private pond near Bozeman. Westslope cutthroat trout are native to Bridger Creek. However, Bridger Creek contains brook, brown and rainbow trout. The 0.25-surface-acre pond is at 1433 Bridger Woods Road in Bozeman, about 1.3 miles east of Bridger Creek.

Comments due May 22.

EA for Belcher Private Pond License Review

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond License and proposes to stock rainbow trout in an unnamed private pond in Bozeman. Rainbow trout are not native to the East Gallatin drainage. However, the East Gallatin River already contains brown and rainbow trout. The 1.25-surface-acre pond is at 671 Nelson Road in Bozeman, about a half mile east of the East Gallatin River.

Comments due May 22.

EA for Finkle Private Pond License Review

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond license and proposes to stock rainbow trout in an unnamed private pond near Bozeman. Rainbow trout are not native to this area. However, Elk Creek already contains brook, brown and rainbow trout. The 0.9-surface-acre pond is off Highway 84, about 0.3 miles north of Elk Creek, west of Bozeman.

Comments due May 22.

EA for Liebman Private Pond License Review

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond License and proposes to stock rainbow trout in an unnamed private pond near Bozeman. Rainbow trout are not native to the drainage, but Canyon Creek likely contains brook and rainbow trout. The 0.8-surface-acre pond is at 1323 Mount Ellis Lane east of Bozeman near Canyon Creek, a tributary to the East Gallatin River.

Comments due May 22.

EA for RLBH, LLC Private Pond License Review

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond License and proposes to stock rainbow trout in an unnamed private pond near the Madison River. Rainbow trout are not native to the drainage, but the Madison River already contains rainbow and brown trout. The 1.14-surface-acre pond is near Varney Road, about 0.5 miles east of the Madison River.

Comments due May 22.

Sportsman's Bridge FAS Draft EA

FWP proposes to re-locate Sportsman’s Bridge FAS to the west side of the Flathead River to facilitate the Montana Department of Transportation’s replacement of Sportsman’s Bridge over the Flathead River on Highway 82.

Comments due May 22.

EA for Wells Private Pond License Review

A private landowner is applying for a Private Fish Pond License and proposes to stock rainbow trout in an unnamed private pond near Bozeman. Rainbow trout are not native to the drainage, but the Gallatin River already contains brown, brook and rainbow trout. The 0.4-surface-acre pond is off Highway 84 west of Bozeman, about 0.3 miles west of the Gallatin River.

Comments due May 22.

Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area Floodplain and Slope Wetland Restoration Draft Checklist EA

FWP in partnership with the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, propose to implement an array of restoration techniques to restore degraded floodplains and slope wetlands on the Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area (SDWMA)

The ultimate project goal is to restore and enhance the interconnected web of streams, wetlands, riparian areas and floodplains that are critical to overall ecosystem function on SDWMA and on the larger landscape of which SDWMA is a part.

Comments due May 23.

Draft EA Culbertson Bridge FAS Parking Area and Campsite Construction

Due to shoreline erosion, the Culbertson Bridge FAS currently does not have adequate parking for vehicles towing a trailer. The project proposes to reroute the current parking and turn around access trail to incorporate a parking area for vehicles towing a trailer. The project also proposes to develop designated campsites within the FAS boundary. This project would increase camping and recreational opportunities in eastern Montana.

Comments due May 24.

Beaver Tracking Study Taking Place In Valley And Phillips County

Posted (Monday, May 13th 2024)

Researcher asking area landowners to be involved

GLASGOW– Do you live in Valley or Phillips County and have beavers on your property? Curious about what they do when water sources start to dry out in the summer? Reach out to Colleen Piper, PhD student at University of Montana, to become part of cutting-edge, prairie beaver research.

Beavers play an important role in the prairie environment, with their ability to dam and store water. Beavers rely heavily on water as an escape route from predators and depend on woody plants as a food source and building material. However, there is virtually no published information on what these handy critters do in hot, seasonally dry areas on the prairie with limited available woody materials. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is partnering with Piper on this important study to find out where beavers go and what they do.
Piper plans to attach GPS transmitters to beavers in the northern Great Plains from May through August of 2024 and 2025 to track their movement, behavior, and survival when water begins to dry in the hot, summer months.

If you have beavers on your property and want to track their movements, or if you want more information about the project, please contact Piper at colleen.piper@umontana.edu . As a bonus, you will get to “name” any beavers caught on your land!

Montana Dead Last In Average Starting Teacher Salary According To National Education Association

Posted (Friday, May 10th 2024)

A new teacher salary report shows Montana last in the nation in starting teacher salary and 42nd when it comes to average teacher salary.

The National Education Association is reporting that the average starting teacher wage in Montana is $34,476 which is 51st in the nation. The average salary for a teacher in Montana is $55,509 which ranks 42nd.

Nationwide, the average starting salary for a teacher is $44,530 and the average salary for an educator is $69,544.

The starting salary for a teacher in Glasgow is $35,662 and the average salary is $53,571 according to the Montana School Boards Association.

Even with record-level increases in some states, average teacher pay has failed to keep up with inflation over the past decade. Adjusted for inflation, on average, teachers are making 5% less than they did 10 years ago.

At 3.9%, the increase in the average starting salary was the largest in the 14 years that NEA has been tracking teacher salary benchmarks. However, when adjusted for inflation, the starting teacher salaries are now $4,273 below the 2008-2009 levels.??

Flaten Offered Glasgow Superintendent Position

Posted (Thursday, May 9th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board voted unanimously on Wednesday to offer a contract to Brenner Flaten to be the next Superintendent of the Glasgow School System.

Flaten currently serves as the Vice-Principal of the Irle Elementary School and Activities Director for the Glasgow School District.

Contract negotiations are currently ongoing between Flaten and the Glasgow School Board and a negotiating meeting has been set for Monday, May13th at 8am. Flaten would replace Wade Sundby who has accepted the Superintendent position in Cut Bank.

Glasgow School Board To Meet Wednesday Evening

Posted (Wednesday, May 8th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will meet on Wednesday evening at 6pm at the Central Office of the school district.

There will actually be 3 different meetings on Wednesday. The first meeting will be the reorganization of the board including the swearing in of board members Derek Beadle and Chrissa Nelson. The board will then elect a new chairman and vice-chair and make committee assignments. The board will also appoint a clerk of the board and canvas the election results from the May 7th election.

The board will then adjourn and open up the regular May meeting of the Glasgow School Board. One item on the agenda is the selection of a new superintendent to replace Wade Sundby. Last week the board interviewed current Irle Elementary Vice-Principal Brenner Flaten for the superintendent job.

Following the adjournment of the regular meeting, the board will meet to conduct negotiations on a contract with the person selected as the new superintendent.

Frazer School Election Results

Posted (Wednesday, May 8th 2024)

The Frazer School District had a Trustee Election on Tuesday. The top 2 individuals receiving the largest amount of votes were elected to the Frazer School Board. Landon Olfert and Daryl Quilty were elected to 3-year terms on the Frazer School Board.

United Nations Association of the USA Recognizes Youth Leaders Delivering Progress Toward The UN Sustainable Development Goals

Posted (Wednesday, May 8th 2024)

Glasgow High School is delighted to announce 3 students are being recognized by the United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) and InnerView in the seventh Annual Community Service Impact Awards.

This program, open to all U.S. students, has been designed to connect student community service activities, skill development, and commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world. The Kroger Co. is presenting the fifth annual Zero Hero Awards to students for taking action to help create communities free of hunger and waste.

Glasgow High School Honorees—
Ambassador Awardees: Emmah Mix and Connor Whitmer
Merit Awardees: Ashlyn White
Zero Hero Awardees: Ashlyn White

Hearts Of HOPE

Posted (Wednesday, May 8th 2024)

It was a beautiful day on April 26 for the Valley County HOPE Project to set up the Hearts of HOPE display at Heritage Park in Glasgow.

Community members from all over the county are welcome to purchase a Heart in memory, honor or service of a loved one. Hearts will be displayed through Saturday, June 1.

This display couldn't occur without the support of those purchasing the hearts as well as Todd Aune who provided the concrete blocks, NE Montana Beverage for the banner and Ben and Connie Boreson for use of the space to display the hearts.

Valley County HOPE Project's mission is to give financial support to residents of Valley County who are experiencing financial difficulties due to medical/health situations. Order forms are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, Expressions, by clicking the link on our Facebook page, from any board member or call 406- 263-4673.

Election Results

Posted (Tuesday, May 7th 2024)

Here are the unofficial results of the School and Special District elections that were held on Tuesday, May 7, 2024:

Glasgow School Student Safety Building Levy
For 675
Against 880

Hinsdale Elementary School General Fund Levy For 83
Against 26

Hinsdale High School General Fund Levy
For 82
Against 27

Lustre Elementary School General Fund Levy For 32
Against 5

Nashua School Trustees
Mark Bengochea 228
Tim Bellon 157
Sharon Merideth 104
Kayla Thievin 164

Fort Peck Rural County Water District Directors
Mary Kaercher 88
Josh Kittleson 233
Samuel Morehouse 249
Debra Steffani 84

These results are unofficial until the canvass.

GNDC and SBDC Announce Winners of the 3rd Minnow Tank Business Plan Competition

Posted (Tuesday, May 7th 2024)

Wolf Point, Montana - May 3, 2024—Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are thrilled to announce the winners of the 3rd Minnow Tank Business Plan Competition. This event, which aimed to foster economic growth in Northeastern Montana, attracted entrepreneurs and existing businesses from the region.

After careful consideration and evaluation, the judges and live audience have selected the following winners:
Startup Category Winner: Wolf Point Mercantile (Roosevelt County)
Existing Business Category Winner: Highway 2 Inn (Valley County)

Each winner received a $5,000 cash award to help implement their business plans of starting or growing and further contribute to the economic development of their communities.

The competition, which unfolded across seven counties, including Valley, Garfield, McCone, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, and Daniels, showcased Northeastern Montana's entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas. On May 3rd, the finalists presented their business plans to a live audience and a panel of judges at the Great Northern Development Corporation Conference Room in Wolf Point.

"We are incredibly proud of all the participants and finalists of this year's Minnow Tank competition," said Quincy Walter, SBDC Director. "The dedication and creativity demonstrated by each entrepreneur are truly inspiring. We believe that these businesses have the potential to make a significant impact on our local and regional economy."

The success of the Minnow Tank Business Plan Competition would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Montana Department of Commerce, Ag Partners LLC, Beagle Properties, Cottonwood Inn, Daniels County Chamber of Commerce & Ag, Farmers Union Oil Co., Fox Ford, KLTZ/Mix 93 Radio, Nemont, PRO Co-OP, Grassland Federal Credit Union, Opportunity Bank, and Richland Federal Credit Union for contributing to the award prizes for each of the winners.

For more information about the Minnow Tank Business Plan Competition and other initiatives by GNDC and SBDC, please visit https://gndc.org/minnow-tank/.

About Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC):
Great Northern Development Corporation (GNDC) is a Certified Regional Development Corporation serving a six-county region of Northeast Montana. Certified by the United States Economic Development Administration and the State of Montana, GNDC is committed to fostering entrepreneurship and supporting businesses in the region.

Glasgow City Council Meeting Tonight

Posted (Monday, May 6th 2024)

The Glasgow City Council will meet tonight at 5pm in the council chambers at the Glasgow Civic Center.
The main item on the agenda will be the proposed sale of a portion of Hoyt Park to FMDH for use as a parking lot. The council will vote on this agenda item tonight.

School Election Ballots Due Tuesday

Posted (Monday, May 6th 2024)

The Valley County Clerk and Recorder’s Office will be running five elections, four School Districts and the Fort Peck Rural County Water District.

These five elections are all mail-ballot elections. The ballots were mailed to voters on Friday, April 19, 2024. Voted ballots must be received back in the election office by Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at 5 pm. Ballots postmarked May 7 but not received until after will not be counted.

Glasgow School District ballot will have a Building Reserve Fund Safety Levy.

Hinsdale School District ballot will have two General Fund Levy propositions, one for additional funding for the Elementary School and one additional funding for the High School.

Lustre Elementary School District has an additional General Fund Levy proposition.

Nashua School District will not have a levy election, but has four candidates running for the two open seats on the School Board. The candidates are Sharon Merideth (incumbent), Tim Bellon (incumbent), Mark Bengochea, and Kayla Thievin.

Fort Peck Rural County Water District, Inc. has four individuals running for two vacant seats on that board. The candidates are Josh Kittleson (incumbent), Samuel Morehouse (incumbent), Mary Kaercher, and Debra Steffani.

Frazer School is running their own election. They do not have a levy proposition, but they have six candidates running for the two open positions on their School Board. The candidates are Dori Talks Different, Jewel Fourstar, Mary Sue Jackson, Landon Olfert, Darryl Quilty, and Michael Redstone. The Frazer School election is a polling place election; the polling place is the red annex building behind the Frazer School. Polling place hours are 12 noon to 8 pm.

Opheim School has neither a levy nor a trustee election this year.

Fort Peck Water Levels Expected To Drop In Month Of May

Posted (Sunday, May 5th 2024)

As warmer weather moves into the Missouri River Basin, spring precipitation brought some much-needed moisture throughout the basin. For the month of April, runoff was 2.1 million acre-feet, 71% of average, for the basin above Sioux City, Iowa.

“While the calendar year forecast remains below average, the runoff forecast continues to improve thanks to higher-than-expected rainfall in April,” said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division. “We hope to see the precipitation trend continue to provide the much needed moisture for the region.”

The annual runoff forecast for the upper Missouri River Basin above Sioux City is 19.2 MAF, 75% of average, and 1.7 MAF higher than last month’s forecast. Soil moisture is above normal in South Dakota, below normal in eastern Montana and western North Dakota, and near normal for the rest of the upper Basin. Drought or abnormally dry conditions are currently present in 52% of the Basin. Drought conditions in most of the upper Basin are likely to persist during May.

“Despite the additional moisture, much of the upper basin remains in drought and is expected to remain in drought through the month of May. However, drought conditions in the lower Basin are expected to improve or be removed during May. The System is still recovering from drought as we continue to serve all Congressionally authorized purposes,” said Remus.

System storage is currently 49.9 MAF, 6.2 MAF below the top of the carryover multiple use zone. Basin and river conditions continue to be monitored and System regulation will be adjusted based on the most up-to-date information.

Mountain Snowpack:

The mountain snowpack was below normal all season long and peaked approximately one week earlier than normal. The Fort Peck reach peaked at 73% of normal on April 9 and has 88% of the peak remaining as of May 1. The Garrison reach peaked at 82% of normal on April 10 and has 89% of the peak remaining as of May 1. The mountain snowpack graphics can be viewed at: http://go.usa.gov/xARQC.

Fort Peck Flow Test:

Test releases from Fort Peck to assess the potential benefits of alternative management scenarios for the pallid sturgeon began on April 26 and will be completed by September 1. The test includes two higher Fort Peck release periods, in late April and June, with target flows at Wolf Point, Montana. Releases were made from the Fort Peck spillway in late April and early May as part of the first higher release period. The Fort Peck releases will be adjusted depending on the runoff and reach conditions downstream of Fort Peck during the test period. The flow test may need to be modified with lower flows and a lower second peak due to the low runoff forecast. The test releases will not affect river stages below Gavins Point Dam. The flow test has been extensively coordinated with local stakeholders and was discussed in depth at a public meeting held in Poplar, Montana on March 28, 2024. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host weekly virtual meetings during the flow test to update the public on test progress and planned operations. Information on accessing the public meetings can be found at https://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/MRWM/Public-Meetings/.

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

Fort Peck Dam
Average releases past month – 6,200 cfs
Current release rate – 17,500 cfs
Forecast average release rate – 12,800 cfs
End-of-April reservoir level – 2231.3 feet
Forecast end-of-May reservoir level – 2229.3 feet
Notes: Releases will be adjusted in accordance with the Fort Peck flow test

Hydropower:

The six mainstem power plants generated 723 million kWh of electricity in April. Typical energy generation for April is 694 million kWh. The power plants are expected to generate 8.4 billion kWh this year, compared to the long-term average of 9.4 billion kWh.

Rain In The Forecast

Posted (Sunday, May 5th 2024)

Significant rainfall is expected this week across much of Northeast Montana. Probability for over one inch of rain from tonight through Wednesday is high (80-100%) with the minor chance of more than 3 inches (up to 20%).

The heaviest rainfall is expected on Monday and Tuesday. Travel will be difficult on gravel roads and minor flooding in low level areas is expected, including along Beaver Creek in Phillips Co and the Milk River.

CDC Recommending Additional COVID-19 Dose For 65 Plus

Posted (Friday, May 3rd 2024)

(From the Valley County Health Department)

The CDC and ACIP now recommend that all persons aged 65 years or older receive 1 additional dose of any updated (2023–2024 Formula) COVID-19 vaccine – the same vaccine that they might have received in fall 2023.

Anyone with an immune system compromising illness and adults aged 65 years old should receive an additional dose of the updated (2023–2024 Formula) COVID-19 vaccine to enhance their immunity and decrease the risk for severe COVID-19–associated illness. SARS-CoV-2 virus circulates throughout the year, and adults aged 65+ years all persons with chronic immune compromise have increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

VCHD is carrying only a limited supply of COVID vaccine at this time. Please call ahead at 406-228-6261 to schedule.

Valley County Free Tree Day Is May 10th

Posted (Friday, May 3rd 2024)

Valley County Free Tree Day is Friday May 10th, with 1000 trees to be given away.

This is funded by area businesses, & people of Valley County and the Nashua Gumbo Gals & MSU Extension also contribute.

The list of trees is as follows; Ohio Buckeye, Common Lilac, Horse Chestnut, Saskatoon Berry, Red Twig Dogwood, Golden Currant, Villosa Lilac – with a limit of 5 trees per household. The trees will be distributed on the east lawn of the Valley County Courthouse, on a first come basis – no holds – beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Heavy Rain Possible Sunday Night Through Wednesday Morning

Posted (Friday, May 3rd 2024)

The National Weather Service is forecasting possible heavy rain from Sunday night through Wednesday morning next week.

There are high probabilities of rainfall amounts over one inch through Wednesday morning, and scattered showers are in the forecast for Thursday and Friday.

Glasgow School Board To Vote On Hiring Superintendent May 8th

Posted (Thursday, May 2nd 2024)

The Glasgow School Board interviewed Brenner Flaten for the open superintendent position on Wednesday afternoon.

Flaten is currently the Vice-Principal at the Irle Elementary School and also serves as Activities Director for the school district.

He was the only candidate interviewed for the position and after Flaten’s interview, the school board went
into executive session for nearly an hour.

Upon opening the meeting back up, Board Chair Angie Page praised Flaten for his interview, stating that Flaten did an outstanding job and thanked him for his candid answers.

Page announced the board will make a decision on the superintendent position at its regular meeting May 8th.

No other interviews have been scheduled by the Glasgow School Board for the superintendent position.

Pearl Nickels Scholarship, Part Of The FMDH Foundation, Established To Honor Legacy Of Colorful Life

Posted (Thursday, May 2nd 2024)

Pearl Nickels, whose vibrant life was characterized by a passion for music, art, education, and unwavering friendships, has left a lasting legacy through the establishment of the Pearl Nickels Scholarship through the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Foundation. This scholarship, established in her honor, aims to support aspiring nurses, and other medical professionals, in achieving their educational goals.

Throughout her life, Pearl Nickels embodied resilience, determination, and an insatiable curiosity about the world around her. Despite not being tech-savvy, Pearl's resourcefulness shone through as she relied on phone books, road atlases, and an extensive collection of reference books to quench her desire for knowledge and engage in conversations spanning a wide array of topics.

In her final days, Pearl experienced firsthand the compassionate care provided by the nurses at FMDH. Deeply moved by their dedication and professionalism, she was inspired to give back to the nursing community by empowering future generations of caregivers.

The Pearl Nickels Scholarship stands as a testament to Pearl's values of hard work, reverence for land and livestock, and fearlessness of trying new things. It serves as a beacon of hope for those pursuing careers in the medical field, reflecting Pearl's enduring legacy of compassion and generosity.

“We are honored to establish the Pearl Nickels Scholarship to commemorate the remarkable life of a beloved individual who touched the hearts of all who knew her,” said Taylor Hohlen, FMDH Foundation Coordinator.

“Through this scholarship, we aim to uphold Pearl's legacy of kindness and support aspiring nurses, and other medical professionals, in their educational journey.”

The Pearl Nickels Scholarship will provide deserving candidates with the financial assistance they need to pursue their dreams of becoming skilled healthcare professionals. It is a fitting tribute to a woman whose impact will be felt for generations to come.

For more information about the Pearl Nickels Scholarship, including eligibility criteria and application details, please visit fmdh.org/scholarships .

Skywarn Training Class Is Tonight

Posted (Thursday, May 2nd 2024)

The National Weather Service will host a Skywarn Storm Spotter Training Class Thursday, May 2nd in the courtroom at the Valley County Courthouse.

The class will begin at 6 p.m. Individuals will learn how to detect severe weather & will receive a certificate at the conclusion of the class.

Name Released Of Man Involved In Officer Involved Shooting South Of Saco

Posted (Wednesday, May 1st 2024)

The Valley County Sheriff's Office has announced that Michael John Wiederrich of Saco is the man who died in an officer involved shooting south of Saco on April 28th.

Press Release from Phillips County Sheriff's Office:

At 7:39 p.m. on Sunday, April 28th, Phillips County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an address south of Saco for a person who had been shot. The suspect was reported still to be armed and threatened that anyone coming into the yard would get shot. Deputies and ambulance personnel responded to the scene. The suspect was confronted, resulting in a pursuit.

During the pursuit, the suspect rammed his vehicle into a deputy's car, disabling it. The deputies responded with deadly force and the suspect was killed. The original gunshot victim was transported to a Billings Hospital with serious injuries, and the suspect was declared deceased at the scene.

At Sheriff Lytle's request, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation has been asked to conduct an independent investigation and the Valley County Coroner has been asked to conduct the death investigation.

After the completion of the investigation, a public Coroner's Inquest will be held, as required by Montana Statute.

Phillips County Deputies were assisted by Valley County Sheriff's Deputies, Blaine County Deputies and the Glasgow Police Department.

Office Of Public Instruction Releases Montana School Enrollment Numbers

Posted (Wednesday, May 1st 2024)

Superintendent Elsie Arntzen released the final 2023-2024 public and non-public school enrollment data. Montana public schools are required to send enrollment data, per Montana statute, to the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) to calculate school funding. These enrollment numbers are part of the Average Number Belonging (ANB) calculation, through our state public school funding formula.
“This data reflects families that are moving out of state and parents that desire more engagement in their children’s education through homeschooling,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “Like all Montana families, our public school districts are facing budget constraints due to increasing costs and inflation. Montana schools must prioritize student learning in their budgets as this decrease leads to fewer state dollars.”

From the 2010-2011 through the 2022-2023 school years, public school enrollment consistently increased with a slight decrease during the current year. Public school enrollment during the 2023-2024 school year shows:

• The total K-12 student enrollment of 148,585 students is a decrease of 1,988 students or 1.3% from the previous year.
• The elementary student enrollment of 103,439 students is a decrease of 1,827 students or 1.7% from the previous year.
• The high school student enrollment of 45,089 students is a decrease of 154 students or 0.3% from the previous year.
• The Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility and the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind combined enrollment of 57 students is a decrease of 7 students or 10.9% from the previous year.

Non-public student enrollment includes both private school and homeschooled students. The 2023-2024 non-public student enrollment shows:
• A total of 17,108 students, which is an increase of 403 students or 2.4% from the previous year.
o There were 8,584 private school students, which is a decrease of 382 students or 3.6% from the previous year.
o There were 8,524 homeschooled students, which is an increase of 725 students or 9.3% from the previous year.

Montana Supreme Court Reverses Strommen Conviction

Posted (Tuesday, April 30th 2024)

The Mt Supreme Court today has reversed the conviction of former Valley County Sheriffs Deputy Luke Strommen. A 4-2 decision by the Supreme Court. Strommen’s case is now remanded for a new trial.

Luke Strommen was found guilty after a Valley County jury determined he had initiated a non-consensual sexual relationship with the victim when she was 14 and that he continued the non-consensual sex for years while working as a Valley County Sheriff's deputy.

Strommen was charged in December of 2018 with sexual intercourse without consent. He was found guilty after a week long jury trial in Glasgow in July of 2020.. In December of 2020, Judge John Larson sentenced Strommen to 40-years in the Montana State Prison and ruled he wouldn't be eligible for parole for 10 years.

He has been incarcerated in the Montana State Prison since July of 2020. Strommen's attorneys appealed the conviction in February of 2021 to the Montana Supreme Court. The appeal process took well over 3 years before the court issued a ruling this week.

Here is a synopsis of the ruling from the Montana Supreme Court:

In the lower courts, the State of Montana sought to present the testimony of a sexual assault behavioral psychologist, Dr. Sheri Vanino, remotely via two-way video conferencing due to her unavailability to travel to Montana for the trial. The defense objected, asserting that personal in-court cross-examination was essential. The District Court granted the State's motion, allowing Dr. Vanino to testify remotely. The trial resulted in Strommen being found guilty of SIWC and sentenced to a 40-year prison term.

In the Supreme Court of the State of Montana, Strommen appealed his conviction, arguing that the District Court erroneously allowed the State to present adverse expert testimony remotely via two-way video conferencing at trial. The Supreme Court agreed with Strommen, holding that the allowance of Dr. Vanino's remote testimony violated Strommen's fundamental right to personal face-to-face confrontation of adverse prosecution witnesses in the courtroom at trial, as guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment and Mont. Const. art. II, § 24. The court reversed Strommen's conviction and remanded the case for a new trial.

https://juddocumentservice.mt.gov/getDocByCTrackId?DocId=389352

Glasgow School Board To Interview One Candidate For Superintendent Position

Posted (Tuesday, April 30th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board reviewed 5 applications for the open superintendent position on Tuesday and the consensus was to move forward and interview one candidate on Wednesday.

The candidate the board chose to interview was Brenner Flaten, the current Vice-Principal at Glasgow Irle Elementary School.

The five applicants included:

Brenner Flaten Glasgow, MT Vice-principal- Irle Elementary School

Jon Hewitt Kalispell, MT N/A – most recently Campus Principal-Music Teacher, OneSchool Global-Kalispell (06/2017 – 2/2024)

Jeffrey Schaum Gainesville, GA AHC, Teacher – Riverside Military Academy

Joseph Vaughn Foley, AL School Food Service Consultant

Nicola Campagna Harrellsville, NC N/A – most recently Principal Arapaho High School, WY (2014-15)

The five members of the Glasgow School Board agreed that outside of Flaten, the other 4 applicants were not good fits for the school district and not viable candidates.

The school board will interview Flaten at 1pm on Wednesday in the school administration building. The interview is open to the public.

Kulczyk Trial Set For June 5th In Glasgow

Posted (Tuesday, April 30th 2024)

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

At a status hearing on Tuesday, Judge Laird confirmed that Ronald Kulczyk will take his case to trial with the start date set on June 5th at the Valley County Courthouse.

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

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

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

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

The charging documents are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Applications Now Available For 2024 Jeff Jurgens Memorial Scholarships

Posted (Tuesday, April 30th 2024)

The Scottie Booster Club is currently accepting applications for 2024 Jeff Jurgens Memorial Scholarships. The competitive annual scholarships are awarded to Valley County’s graduating seniors (Class of 2024) who played basketball in high school or who plan to pursue a degree in a medical or health-related field. Other considerations for scholarship awards are community service, academic achievement, and financial need.

Applications for 2024 scholarships must be postmarked no later than Monday, May 13 in order to be considered. Applications are available from guidance counselors in Glasgow, Hinsdale, Nashua, Frazer, Lustre, and Opheim schools. Prospective applicants can also request an application directly from Andrew McKean by emailing montanamckean@gmail.com or calling 406-263-5442.

The Jeff Jurgens Memorial Scholarships are funded by proceeds from the annual Jeff Jurgens Memorial Basketball Tournament, the booster club’s largest fundraiser. The 25th annual JJMT was held in mid-March in Glasgow, and hosted over 60 youth basketball teams from across eastern Montana.

Besides awarding JJMT Scholarships, the Scottie Booster Club helps purchase team uniforms, equipment, and otherwise supports Glasgow School District athletics and extracurricular activities. For information about becoming a Booster Club member or the benefits of membership, contact president Mike Pehlke at 406-263-9899.

Jacob Renner Sentenced In District Court

Posted (Tuesday, April 30th 2024)

A Glasgow man who was charged in October of 2022 with 2 counts of sexual abuse of a child was recently sentenced in State District Court by Judge Yvonne Laird.

Jacob Renner entered into a plea agreement with Valley County Attorney Dylan Jensen in October of 2023. Renner agreed to plead guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a child. In November, at a change of plea hearing, Judge Laird ordered a sentencing hearing which was held April 11th of 2024.

In the sentencing order, Judge Laird wrote the court has been troubled by this case because it must weigh the Defendant's particular situation, which involves cognitive deficits, social awkwardness and disabilities others do not have. Judge Laird also wrote that does not negate the Defendant's culpability or his responsibility to conduct himself as a law abiding citizen.

Judge Laird sentenced Renner to 20 years in the Montana State Prison with all time suspended. The Defendant shall be credited for 60 days jail time previously served. Renner is also required to register as a sexual offender and be designated as a Tier 1 sex offender. He is also required to enter and successfully complete sexual offender treatment/programming.

Renner is prohibited from having access to the internet without prior permission from the Probation and Parole Officer. He is also ordered to not be involved in any type of employment, service or recreational pursuit which involves the supervision of children.

Judge Laird also stated that she expects Adult Probation to closely monitor the defendant and his compliance, because if he violates the court's judgement, it will not hesitate to revoke this sentence.

As part of the plea agreement, the second count of sexual abuse of a child was dismissed by the court.

Judge Laird announced sentencing on April 11th and the paperwork was dated April 19th.


Suspect Killed In Phillips County Shooting

Posted (Monday, April 29th 2024)

The following is from a press release from the Phillips County Sheriff's Department

At 7:39 p.m. on Sunday, April 28th, Phillips County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to an address south of Saco for a person who had been shot. The suspect was reported still to be armed and threatened that anyone coming into the yard would get shot. Deputies and ambulance personnel responded to the scene. The suspect was confronted, resulting in a pursuit.

During the pursuit, the suspect rammed his vehicle into a deputy's car, disabling it. The deputies responded with deadly force and the suspect was killed. The original gunshot victim was transported to a Billings Hospital with serious injuries, and the suspect was declared deceased at the scene. There is currently no threat to the public.

At Sheriff Lytle's request, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation has been asked to conduct an independent investigation and the Valley County Coroner has been asked to conduct the death investigation.

After the completion of the investigation, a public Coroner's Inquest will be held, as required by Montana Statute. The Valley County Coroner will release the name of the suspect after all notifications have been made.

Phillips County Deputies were assisted by Valley County Sheriff's Deputies, Blaine County Deputies and the Glasgow Police Department.

Hunter Education In-Person Classes, Online Field Days Offered In Glasgow

Posted (Monday, April 29th 2024)

GLASGOW- The last two Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Hunter Education courses have been set for the Glasgow area.

In person courses:

An in-person classroom course will take place in the evenings May 8-9, and May 15-16 from 5:15 p.m.-8:45 p.m., with a field day on May 19.

The third and final Glasgow in-person course will be held the week of August 12-17.

In-person, instructor-led hunter education classroom courses are available to anyone age 10 and older and provide new hunters with a hands-on learning experience. In-person courses are led by volunteer instructors who are passionate about preserving Montana’s hunting tradition, teaching firearm safety, ethics, and other outdoor skills.

For youth to be eligible to hunt and be fully certified during the 2024 season, hunters must be 12 years old by January 16, 2025. Students aged 10 and 11 can take an in-person course and hunt as an apprentice but will not be fully certified until the year they turn 12.

Online field days:

A field day for students ages 12-17 who have completed an online course will take place on May 19. The online course (course fees apply) needs to be completed before signing up for the field day. Students aged 18 and over are not required to attend a field day but are welcome to if space allows.

There will be another field day for online students scheduled the week of August 12, and possibly another one later in the fall if there is interest.

During the in-person field day for online students, participants receive instruction, practice, and then demonstrate their skills and knowledge in two key areas: firearm safety and hunting ethics. Instructors provide hands-on instruction and present realistic scenarios, then evaluate students on their understanding and competency. All hands-on firearms training is done with a variety of inert firearms. Instructors will pass or fail students based on their overall performance. Students who fail the field day must pass a future field day to receive certification.

Registration:

Students must be registered prior to attending a class or field day. To find a class and register, or to take the online course, go to https://fwp.mt.gov/education/hunter-education. Make sure to print, read and sign any necessary paperwork ahead of the class. The links for these documents can be found in the “required files” section of the class information web page.

Classroom students need to pick up a manual at the Glasgow FWP office. Students need to read the chapters and complete chapter quizzes before class begins.

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

Paddlefish Season Opens May 1 On Upper Missouri River

Posted (Sunday, April 28th 2024)

HELENA – This year’s Montana paddlefish season kicks off on May 1 with the opening of the Upper Missouri River section from Fort Benton downstream to Fort Peck Dam. Anglers must have a White Harvest Tag to participate in catching and keeping a paddlefish from this section of the river.?These tags are issued through a lottery system. FWP mails these tags to successful applicants.

Unsuccessful paddlefish drawing applicants will be issued a snag-and-release only license for the Upper Missouri River. Others may also purchase snag-and-release tags for this fishery, even if they are not part of the lottery.

The paddlefish season on the Missouri River below Fort Peck Dam and in the Yellowstone River below the mouth of the Bighorn River opens May 15, and the archery fishing season for paddlefish in the Fort Peck Dredge Cuts below Fort Peck Dam opens July 1. As in the past, anglers may only select one area to fish for paddlefish in Montana: Upper Missouri River (White Harvest Tag), Yellowstone River and Missouri River downstream of Fort Peck Dam (Yellow Harvest Tag) and the Fort Peck Dredge Cut archery-only season (Blue Harvest Tag).

All harvested paddlefish must be immediately tagged and reported within 48 hours. Reporting options include: on-site where fish were harvested (at check points like Intake Fishing Access Site or roving creel staff along the Missouri), on the phone hotline at 1-877-FWP-WILD (877-397-9453) or 406-444-0356, or online at MyFWP at?fwp.mt.gov.

Deadline Reminder For Hunting Applications

Posted (Sunday, April 28th 2024)

HELENA – The deadline to apply for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and bison is Wednesday, May 1; the deadline to apply for elk B, deer B, and antelope is Saturday, June 1. All applications must be completed online or at an FWP office. Most FWP offices with license sales are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

USDA And Montana Department Of Agriculture Offer Funding

Posted (Sunday, April 28th 2024)

HELENA, Mont. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Montana Department of Agriculture partnered to award $1 million to strengthen food supply chain infrastructure.

The second round of Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program (RFSI) funding will support technology to increase production of agricultural products.

The funding will also build cold storage capacity across the state and expand food distribution lines.

Applications to receive a sub-award are due June 3. Applications are encouraged for new farmers and underserved producers.
Click here for full details

Brockton Woman Admits To Stealing Firearm And Vehicle

Posted (Friday, April 26th 2024)

A Brockton woman on April 24 admitted to stealing a firearm and a vehicle in a residential burglary on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said this week.

The defendant, Avis Big Track, 32, pleaded guilty to burglary. Big Track faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Sentencing was set for Aug. 28. Big Track was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged that on Sept. 26, 2022, two homeowners reported a burglary of their home in Brockton, which is on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. During the burglary, Big Track took a .45-caliber pistol and keys to a 2014 Chrysler, which she used to steal the Chrysler. Big Track was seen driving the stolen Chrysler, and she eventually admitted that she took the vehicle and had given the firearm to another individual, who put it in a safe with drugs. Law enforcement searched the safe and found the pistol and methamphetamine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda L. Myers is prosecuting the case. Fort Peck Tribal Law Enforcement conducted the investigation.

Governor Gianforte Endorses Eric Albus For Montana Legislature

Posted (Friday, April 26th 2024)

Governor Greg Gianforte this week endorsed 58 strong, conservative leaders who are running for the state legislature.

“We need strong conservative partners to continue building on our successful pro-jobs, pro-growth, pro-family agenda. I’m proud to support these 58 proven community leaders who include experienced legislators, small business owners, farmers, ranchers, veterans, law enforcement officers, nurses, and educators. They share my commitment to make our state the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” Governor Gianforte said.

“They’ll work with me to make it more affordable and easier for Montana families to thrive, despite Joe Biden’s rampant inflation and rising prices,” Gianforte continued. “And I know they’ll work with me to cut taxes so Montanans can keep more of what they earn, reform our property tax system and rein in property taxes, support law enforcement, make our families stronger, support apprenticeships and trades education, fund our public schools, and improve education for our kids and grandkids.”

Governor Gianforte endorsed the following candidates:

Sen. Carl Glimm, Senate District 3
Sen. Greg Hertz, Senate District 7
Rep. Josh Kassmier, Senate District 13
Rep. Sue Vinton, Senate District 20
Sen. Tom McGillvray, Senate District 26
Former Rep. Ray Shaw, Senate District 35
Former Rep. Wylie Galt, Senate District 39
Rep. Denley Loge, Senate District 45

Rep. Neil Duram, House District 1
Thomas Jenkins, House District 2
Lyn Bennett, House District 4
Rep. Braxton Mitchell, House District 5
Rep. Amy Regier, House District 6
Rep. Courtenay Sprunger, House District 7
Rep. Tony Brockman, House District 8
Rep. Terry Falk, House District 10
Rep. Linda Reksten, House District 13
Rep. Paul Fielder, House District 14
Rep. Zack Wirth, House District 17
Rep. Llew Jones, House District 18
Rep. Ed Buttrey, House District 21
Rep. George Nikolakakos, House District 22
Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, House District 24
Rep. Steve Gist, House District 25
Eric Albus, House District 28
Morgan Thiel, House District 30
Rep. Brandon Ler, House District 33
Rep. Gary Parry, House District 35
Rep. Greg Kmetz, House District 36
Rep. Greg Oblander, House District 38
Mike Vinton, House District 40
D.A. Wallowing Bull, House District 41
Bill Hodges, House District 42
Rep. Larry Brewster, House District 43
Rep. Katie Zolnikov, House District 44
Starr Emery, House District 46
Stephanie Moncada, House District 47
Curtis Schomer, House District 48
Rep. Sherry Essmann, House District 49
Anthony Nicastro, House District 50
Rep. Jodee Etchart, House District 51
Rep. Bill Mercer, House District 52
Rep. Lee Deming, House District 54
Rep. Brad Barker, House District 55
Rep. Marty Malone, House District 57
Jason Gunderson, House District 58
Rep. Jedidiah Hinkle, House District 67
Former Rep. and Former Sen. Scott Sales, House District 68
Rep. Ken Walsh, House District 69
Rep. Marta Bertoglio, House District 75
Rep. John Fitzpatrick, House District 76
Kyle McMurray, House District 77
Randyn Gregg, House District 78
Rep. Julie Dooling, House District 84
Rep. Michelle Binkley, House District 85
Rep. David Bedey, House District 86
Greg Overstreet, House District 88
Curtis Cochran, House District 90

Two Valley County Men Selected For Mule Deer Citizen Advisory Committee

Posted (Thursday, April 25th 2024)

The new Montana Mule Deer Citizen Advisory Committee will meet twice this spring and help the department identify important issues in mule deer management and goals for the new mule deer management plan. This is an early step in the planning process with multiple opportunities for public input before the plan is finalized in time to inform the 2026-2027 hunting season-setting process.

“Most Montanans have a familiar appreciation for mule deer, given their statewide distribution,” said FWP Director Dustin Temple. “Hearing concerns and questions about population levels and disease, we are going to make the effort to ensure our management is based on the best contemporary science and consistent with Montanan’s expectations. This diverse citizen advisory committee is going to kick-start that effort.”

The advisory committee is comprised of 16 members, which were selected from a pool of 100 applicants. Members were selected based on their familiarity with issues involved with mule deer management and their willingness to work with a team and engage in productive discussions. They represent each FWP region and come from diverse backgrounds. The decision on committee members was made by FWP’s director and reviewed by the governor’s office. A complete list of members and more information can be found at fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/commission-councils-committees/mule-deer-citizens-advisory-committee.

The committee will meet twice before June 15, and their work is expected to be completed by June 30. Both meetings will be multi-day with the first meeting scheduled for May 6-8 in Helena and the second meeting dates and location to be determined.

These meetings will be open to the public via Zoom. Those who wish to provide public comment during the first meeting can register at fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/commission-councils-committees/mule-deer-citizens-advisory-committee; registration deadline is noon on May 6. There will be other opportunities for public engagement as the plan is developed.

Members of the committee:

Beau Albright, Kalispell

Eric Albus, Hinsdale

Rob Arnaud, Gallatin Gateway

Gwendolyn Cooper, Bozeman

Cory Danreuther, Loma

Jeremy DeHerrera, Billings

Rick Douglass, Butte

Mitchell Griebel, Glasgow

Arthur Hayes, III, Birney

Tom Herzog, Broadus

Mike Mershon, Billings

Bill McKinley, Jr., Conrad

Ian Wargo, Kalispell

Joel Webster, Missoula

Levi Eric Newton of Bainville is facing charges in U.S. District Court.

Posted (Thursday, April 25th 2024)

Levi Eric Newton of Bainville is facing charges in U.S. District Court.

Newton, 29, of Bainville appeared on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine recently in Great Falls, reported the U.S. Attorney’s office.

According to court documents, Newton is accused of possessing 50 or more grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute between Feb. 1, 2023, and Feb. 2, 2024.

The charges stem from work by the Big Sky Safe Trails Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional task force investigating drug trafficking and violent offenders on Indian reservations across the state.

According to court documents, Newton was identified by a confidential source as the person who had sold the CI methamphetamine. The documents also state that Newton had prior felonies and was a registered violent offender in the State of Montana and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

During the investigation, it was learned that Newton was likely traveling back from Spokane, Wash., with drugs. At several times along U.S. Highway 2 on Jan. 23-24, Newton’s vehicle was located and traffic stops were attempted by law enforcement. Each time, Newton fled at high rates of speed. He was finally stopped Valley County Sheriff’s Deputies deployed a controlled tire deflation device and Newton was stopped near mile marker 532.

At the scene, according to court documents, law enforcement recovered 301 grams of methamphetamine and nearly 106 grams of fentanyl. Following a search of Newton’s residence in Bainville and a search of the vehicle he was traveling in, numerous firearms, ammunition and additional drugs and paraphernalia were found.

If convicted of the most serious crime, Newton faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison, a $20 million fine and five years of supervised release.

Newton was detained pending further proceedings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation; Valley County Sheriff’s Office; Phillips County Sheriff’s Office; Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice; and Williston, N.D., Police Department conducted the investigation The charging documents are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Press Release From Glasgow School District Regarding Budget Shortfall

Posted (Wednesday, April 24th 2024)

Press Release from Glasgow School District:

The Glasgow School Board of Trustees continues to address the budget shortfall to the general fund, the main source of funding for the District. On April 23rd the Board met in a work session and made the decision to move forward with the elimination of a principal position, after the Irle School Principal requested to be transferred to a teaching position. One principal position will be absorbed by attrition, saving the district nearly $84,000. This is in addition to $160,000 in cuts previously made, also through attrition, including three teachers and one paraprofessional aide. These cuts, along with the Safety & Security Building Reserve Levy request of $197,500 currently being put to a public vote, will allow the District to successfully meet the needs of students during these trying times. As previously communicated, the Safety & Security levy is asking for the additional $197,500, but with decreases in other permissive levies, the net increase will only be $58,152.

The process of public-school funding is a hard topic for many people to understand. Schools have different buckets of monies including permissive (non-voted) funds for transportation, bus depreciation, retirement, tuition, & adult education that can only be used for specific expenses as their name indicates. Another component of school funding includes levies that are voted on by the public including the technology fund and the debt service fund (bonds). Then there are the general fund and the building reserve funds that have a combination of voted and permissive levies. The building reserve fund is generally for the improvements to buildings, but recently the security levy has been added and can be used as a tool to not only cover expenses for safety, but also give relief to the general fund. The general fund includes expenses for all the other costs it takes to run a school including staff salaries & health insurance, textbooks, utilities, etc. The general fund is the main funding for the district and includes the “general” day to day operations of the District. The general fund is also funded by State monies and is based on a formula using enrollment numbers, and when enrollment drops, funding can be greatly affected. This is what the District is now faced with and the need to make budget cuts.

The public’s support of schools is very important to the trustees, staff members, and students. Thank you for your continued support.

Glasgow School Board Continues Search For Superintendent

Posted (Wednesday, April 24th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will review applications for the open Superintendent position next week and also conduct interviews next week. The School Board has received 5 applications for the open position including 3 from out of state and 2 from Montana including an application from a current district employee. The person selected will replace Wade Sundby who has accepted a position in Cut Bank and will complete his employment at the end of June.

The School Board was also informed at a work session yesterday that Irle Elementary Principal Ed Sugg has requested a transfer to a teaching position at the Glasgow Middle School. This opens another administrative position in the school district and the school board has opened that principal position and it is currently being advertised.

The Glasgow School Board will have a virtual meeting on Tuesday of next week to review applications for the superintendent position and have scheduled interviews for Wednesday.

Glasgow School Board Continues Search For Superintendent

Posted (Wednesday, April 24th 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will review applications for the open Superintendent position next week and also conduct interviews next week. The School Board has received 5 applications for the open position including 3 from out of state and 2 from Montana including an application from a current district employee. The person selected will replace Wade Sundby who has accepted a position in Cut Bank and will complete his employment at the end of June.

The School Board was also informed at a work session yesterday that Irle Elementary Principal Ed Sugg has requested a transfer to a teaching position at the Glasgow Middle School. This opens another administrative position in the school district and the school board has opened that principal position and it is currently being advertised.

The Glasgow School Board will have a virtual meeting on Tuesday of next week to review applications for the superintendent position and have scheduled interviews for Wednesday.

Two Rivers Economic Growth's Valley County Clean Up Week Concludes

Posted (Tuesday, April 23rd 2024)

Press Release from Two Rivers Economic Growth:

It's fantastic to see businesses in Valley County coming together to support initiatives like Clean Up Week!

Community events like this not only contribute to the beautification of the area but also foster a sense of pride and camaraderie among residents.

Kudos to Valley Builders Glasgow, Baker's Jewelry, Robyn's Nest, D&G Sports and Western, Eugene's Pizza, and the Cottonwood Inn & Suites for their generous support. And a big shoutout to Prairie House Gardens for incentivizing cleanup efforts with cash prizes.

It's partnerships like these that truly make a difference in keeping our communities clean and vibrant.

We had a wonderful turnout of participants, and we are excited to announce the following prize winners:

Jax Braaten: Cottonwood Pool Party

Hadley Flaten: Eugene’s Gift Certificate and Hat

Karen Breigenzer: Scottie Money Clip and Key Chain, courtesy of Baker’s Jewelry

Randon Stormer: Outdoor lights and Hats, courtesy of Valley Builders Glasgow

Tess Fahlgren: Robyn’s Nest gift bag

Hudson Flaten: D&G Gift Certificate

Prizes can be claimed at the Two Rivers Economic Growth office.

Tester Fights Against Federal Minimum Staffing Mandate For Nursing Homes

Posted (Tuesday, April 23rd 2024)

U.S. Senator Jon Tester Monday issued the following statement reiterating his longstanding concerns after the Biden Administration finalized on Monday the first-ever minimum staffing mandate for nursing homes:

“I have repeatedly made it clear to President Biden and his Administration that one-size-fits-all mandates won’t work for Montana, and I have serious concerns that this burdensome staffing requirement will be unworkable for rural nursing homes. Long-term care facilities across Montana are already facing severe workforce shortage issues and rural seniors are struggling to access the care they need. While well-intentioned, I believe this federal staffing mandate could cause facilities to shut their doors and fails to address the concerns I have heard from local providers and Montanans.”

Tester has led the charge to block the Biden Administration’s staffing mandate and ensure Montana seniors have access to quality long-term care. Tester introduced his bipartisan Protecting Rural Seniors Access to Care Act to prohibit the finalization of this same rule.

In September, Tester led a bipartisan letter demanding the Biden Administration abandon their proposed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) staffing rule, arguing that he is “deeply concerned that now is the worst possible time for the United States to establish the nation’s first federal staffing mandate for long-term care facilities.” He also wrote to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure in June to express concerns about the Administration’s intent to issue staffing mandates for nursing homes. Tester also sent a letter calling on Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough to evaluate the impact of this proposed rule on veterans’ access to long-term care, especially in rural areas, and work to ensure their access.

In recent years, staffing issues and nursing home closures have limited access to senior care in rural communities. Since 2021, Montana has seen the closure of 11 nursing homes, and in 2022 alone, the state lost more than 850 nursing home beds, according to the Montana Health Care Association.

Glasgow School Board Work Session

Posted (Tuesday, April 23rd 2024)

The Glasgow School Board will have a work session Tuesday at 10am.

Items on the agenda include a strategy in the search for a new superintendent of schools, school budget deficit and future district clerk position.

The meeting will be held in the school district central office.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers To Conduct Flow Test At Fort Peck

Posted (Monday, April 22nd 2024)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a flow test at Fort Peck starting no sooner than April 26, 2024, with a scheduled completion date of no later than September 1, 2024.

When the test starts, releases will be adjusted until a peak flow of 18,000 CFPS is achieved at Wolf Point on or about May 1st, and held for about 3 days. The peak flow is intended to attract pallid sturgeon up the Missouri River for spawning. Releases will then be lowered to about 12,500 cfps and held until about June 15th. Flows will then be increased again until about July 1st.

This test is in accordance with the 2018 Biological Opinion, required under the Endangered Species Act for the operation of the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System.

Spring Clean-Up Continues

Posted (Monday, April 22nd 2024)

The City of Glasgow is partnering with T&R Trucking to make it easier for you to tidy up. The cleanup has been extended through Monday, April 29th: dumpsters are available in the parking lot on 7th Street North, near the bus barn.

Meanwhile, Two Rivers hosted Valley County Clean Up Week, which ended on April 21st. They will draw for prizes, which were generously donated by Eugene’s Pizza, Robyn’s Nest, Valley Builders Glasgow, Baker’s Jewelry, Cottonwood Inn & Suites, and D&G Sports and Western. Prairie House Gardens also generously sponsored trash collection from the Coca-Cola plant to Sullivan Park for $5 cash per bag.


Remember to apply for the Valley County Storefront Beautification and downtown Glasgow Signage grants! Click the link or stop by the Two Rivers office for an application.

Montana’s Unemployment Rate Remains Near Historic Low

Posted (Monday, April 22nd 2024)

Nearly 41,000 jobs created since January 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Today, Governor Greg Gianforte announced that Montana’s unemployment rate was 3.3% in March as employment levels increased.

“Montana’s economy is thriving thanks to our pro-jobs, pro-business policies,” Gov. Gianforte said. “While we continue to battle inflation, many businesses are hiring and providing good paying jobs. Our administration will continue to develop workforce opportunities so every Montanan has a chance to fulfill the American dream.”

Since Gov. Gianforte took office in January 2021, nearly 41,000 jobs have been created in Montana. Under his leadership, total employment reached an all-time high in December.

Montana’s unemployment rate of 3.3% remains below the national rate of 3.8%.

In March, total employment in Montana increased by 480 workers, while the labor force fell by about 150 workers. Payroll employment increased by 1,700 jobs with the strongest job gains in the healthcare and construction industries.

In March, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4% over-the-month. Increases in the shelter index and the gasoline index comprised over half of the monthly increase. The 12-month change in the all-items index was 3.5%. The index for all items minus food and energy, or core inflation, rose 0.4% in March.

According to the U.S. Joint Economic Committee, President Joe Biden's inflation tax has driven up costs for Montana households by 21.6% since he took office, making it harder for Montanans to make ends meet. Hardworking Montanans are paying about $1,110 more per month today for the things they need than when Biden took office.

Fort Peck Summer Theatre Jake Etchart Scholarship

Posted (Monday, April 22nd 2024)

The Fort Peck Summer Theatre proudly announces the opening of the Application process
for the Jake Etchart Scholarship.

Jake Etchart grew up spending summers at Fort Peck Lake, with much of his time spent around the Fort Peck Theatre where his family was actively involved as volunteers. He loved watching his sisters, Alexa and Christen, perform on the Fort Peck stage.

Jake's family and friends established a theatre scholarship fund in his memory which is invested within the Fort Peck Theatre Preservation Endowment of the Montana Community Foundation. The interest from this investment provides up to two scholarships per year for undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a career in the Fine Arts. To be eligible, applicants must have a history of volunteering, or participating in some program sponsored by the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, and they must be at least a full-time undergraduate at an accredited university with at least a 2.50 GPA. Priority will be given to undergraduate applicants.

Visit our website www.fortpecktheatre.org for complete instructions and an application.

Applications must be postmarked by July 15th and mailed to the Fort Peck Fine Arts Council at P.O. Box 973, Glasgow, MT 59230. Questions may be directed to 406.228.9216 or via email: fptheatre@nemont.net.

Jake's family and the Fine Arts Council would like to thank the donors who have made this scholarship
possible.

Scholarships will be awarded at the Fort Peck Summer Theatre's Performing Arts Camp Showcase on August 8, 2024.