The VOICE of northeast Montana!!!
News Links: | Local News | Regional News | Obituaries | Valley Happenings | News Archives | Obituary Archives | Ag News | Live Under The Big Sky | Community Kudos |

Ag Partners, LLC

Bakers Jewelry

Edward Jones, local agent Bryan Krumwiede

Glenn's Automotive Repair & Wrecker Service

Helland Agency

Ezzie's Midtown

Oasis Lounge Eatery & Casino

Park Grove Bar & Grill

Pehlke's Furniture & Floor Coverings

Robyn's Nest Home Decor and Fine Gifts

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Shelly George

Triple A Glass

Will's Office World

Gysler Furniture & Appliance in Wolf Point

AgLand Coop, Glasgow

Latest Local News

Filing Deadline For Municipal Offices Is Monday

Saturday, June 19th 2021

The filing deadline to run for city and town offices in Valley County is Monday at 5pm. There are shaping up to be some competitive races in Valley County.

In the City of Glasgow, there are two candidates for Mayor. Current City Council Member Rod Karst is running as is former Council Member Todd Young. Current Mayor Becky Erickson has withdrawn and will retire when her term ends January 31st.

There are 3 positions open on the Glasgow City Council:

Ward 1: Incumbent Stan Ozark has filed for re-election and faces opposition from Adam Hooper.

Ward 2: No candidates have filed as of Friday.

Ward 3: Incumbent Dan Carr has filed for reelection.

For Peck Town Council:

Burt Johnston and Glenn Guenther have filed to fill two 4-year positions on the council. Mitch Willett has filed for the position on the council that is an unexpired term.


Doug Bailey has filed for Mayor.

Virgil Nelson has filed to run for Alderman in Ward 2.

Scott St. John has filed to run for Alderman in Ward 1.


JoAnna Turner and Larry Potter have filed to run for Mayor.

Mike Merideth has filed to run for one of the two positions available on the Nashua Town Council.

American Rescue Plan Providing Direct Financial Support To Local Governments

Friday, June 18th 2021

The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed by President Biden will bring millions of dollars to local governments and schools in Montana.

Montana Cities and Towns will receive $86,377,829 in direct financial payments while counties in Montana will receive$207,597,597.

There are strict regulations on how the money can be spent with a emphasis on public health and infrastructure.

Here are the payments for each local government entity in Valley County:

Valley County: $1,436,586
City of Glasgow: $848,569.43
Town of Nashua: $73,311.09
Town of Opheim: $21,201.46
Town of Fort Peck: $61,050.00

City Of Glasgow To Expand Search For Police Chief

Friday, June 18th 2021

At a work session on Wednesday, the Glasgow City Council agreed to advertise for a new Chief of Police outside the personnel currently employed by the Glasgow Police Department.

All current personnel with the GPD are welcome to apply for the job but the council agreed during the work session to see what interest there is outside the department.

The council will officially vote on the plan for seeking a new police chief at the regular monthly meeting on June 21st.

The person selected as Chief of Police will replace former chief Brien Gault.

Tyler Edwards is the Acting Chief of Police.

Valley County With NO Active COVID Cases

Thursday, June 17th 2021

Active cases: 0
Number of persons recovered/no longer infectious: 895
Total cases: 913
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 18

0 positive persons since our last report on 6/8/2021

With our 913 cases, we have had 64 persons hospitalized.

COVID-19 Vaccination rate for Valley County:
The eligible population to be vaccinated in Valley County is 6,313 persons. We have 2,280 persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19, which gives Valley County a vaccination rate of 36.1% fully vaccinated.
Our Montana map shows 1,643 deaths from COVID-19 to date. Nine (9) Montanans have died from COVID-19 since 6/8/2021.

DPHHS released key findings from March 2020 through March 2021:
From March 2020 through March 2021- nearly one-third (30%) of reported COVID-19 cases were among persons aged 30–49 years, 25% were among persons aged 50–69 years and 22% were among persons aged 18–29 years.

Beginning in July 2020, the monthly incidence of COVID-19 was consistently higher among persons aged 18–29 and 30–49 years compared to other age groups.

For every 1,000 reported cases of COVID-19 there were 46 persons hospitalized and 14 deaths in Montana.

Valley County had 18 deaths from 902 cases of COVID-19, so we are above the state death rate. We have achieved zero cases for the first time since July 2020 due to the people who have been vaccinated. Please get vaccinated at our walk-in clinics every Wednesday in June and July starting at 4pm.

At Valley County Health Department, our efforts at COVID-19 prevention are to accomplish these three equally important goals:
PROTECT THE VULNERABLE (elderly/compromised immune system/other underlying health conditions).

Lynn Miller, RN
Director, Valley County Health Department
Direct phone # (406) 228-6206

City Of Glasgow To Pay Household Landfill Fees This Saturday

Thursday, June 17th 2021

In coordination with another clean-up day in Glasgow, from 8 a.m. until noon this Saturday, the City of Glasgow will cover landfill fees for household garbage such as appliances, furniture, yard debris and metals. This is for Glasgow residents only.

This will not cover tires, roofing materials, cement or asphalt.

Missouri/Milk River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited Fundraiser Is Saturday Night

Thursday, June 17th 2021

Attention Ducks Unlimited Supporters:

Your Missouri/Milk River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is pleased to announce that they will be conducting a fundraising event on June 19, 2021 beginning at 5 P.M. at the Kiwanis Park Downstream Shelter #1.

This event is being held in lieu of last Fall’s Firearm Frenzy and our March Sponsor event. The Chapter Committee felt that by moving to Shelter #1, people could better social distance at their discretion. This Event is open to the public!! There will be no attendance restrictions, but RSVP will be appreciated!!

There will be plenty of guns to be won at this event. The Committee will be offering: 1. Sponsors only gun raffle. 2. Unlimited Guns and Gear raffle opportunities. 3. Live Auction with Guns and 4. Silent Auction with Guns. Ducks Unlimited will also be providing a great line-up of merchandise to be taken home via Live and Silent auctions as well as raffles.

The committee is pleased to announce that the Cottonwood Inn will be providing full catering services for this event. For Dinner, they will be serving their famous fish fry and providing a cash bar for those who wish to enjoy. Please bring your favorite outdoor chair to relax in!!

Ticket prices are $30 Single, $50 Couple, $275 Single Sponsor and $300 Couple Sponsor. If you are unable to attend, you may still contribute to the Great Cause of Ducks Unlimited. Please go to glasgowdu.org to buy your tickets or donate online.

For Questions, please contact Ken Jansa at 228-2031 or 263-8030 OR Evan Guenther at 406-690-6782.

Free Walk-In Vaccination Clinic Today (June 16, 2021)

Wednesday, June 16th 2021

The Valley County Health Department is offering a free Walk-In vaccination clinic for all vaccines on Wednesday, June 16, 4-7pm.

All vaccines will be available whether it is for kindergarten, middle school or 18 and over Covid vaccines. It is being held at the Health Department office at 500 4th Avenue South in the Courthouse Annex.

Both the Johnson and Johnson as well as the Moderna vaccines are available for Covid. If you would like further information please call 228-6261.

Glasgow Downtown Association Season-Starting Alive At Five

Wednesday, June 16th 2021

The Glasgow Downtown Association is teaming up with area businesses again this summer for a four-part, family-friendly “Alive at Five” series. All are welcome to join them from 5-8 this Wednesday.

The event is being co-hosted by Robyn’s Nest and First Community Bank and will take place in their shared parking lots just south of the underpass. Drop down for live music from the “Sideways” band out of Plentywood, drinks, games, sidewalk sales, raffles, and a no-host meal featuring Sam Waters’ pulled pork sandwiches. The Jump-N-Buck Ice Cream Truck is also making it to the scene.

Contact Haylie Shipp with questions at 228-9336 and don’t forget to check out the “Hump Day Deals” at several businesses throughout the day leading up to the event.

Federal Judge Blocks Biden's Order On Federal Oil And Gas Leasing And Drilling

Wednesday, June 16th 2021

A federal judge today halted the Biden administration's moratorium on federal oil and gas leasing and drilling permits that threatened the livelihoods of rural Montana families and would have cost the state millions in lost tax revenue.

United States District Judge for the Western District of Louisiana Terry Doughty issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the provisions of President Biden's Executive Order 14008 that blocked oil and gas leasing operations on federal lands. The order came days after the U.S. Department of the Interior halted development and exploration of existing leases.

The Court enjoined and restrained the Bureau of Land Management and others from implementing the pause of new oil and natural gas leases on eligible lands.

An ongoing lease moratorium would lower employment by 210 jobs, reduce personal income by $13 million, and cost $4 million in oil and gas taxes in Montana this year, according to a University of Wyoming study published in December 2020. The cumulative effect to the state would be 702 fewer jobs, $170 million reduced person income, and $199 million in foregone oil and gas tax revenue by 2025.

Gov. Gianforte Issues Executive Order Declaring Disaster In Five Eastern Counties

Wednesday, June 16th 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today issued an executive order declaring a disaster in five Eastern Montana counties: Dawson, Garfield, McCone, Richland, and Roosevelt.

“Recent severe thunderstorms downed power poles and lines in Eastern Montana, leaving too many residents without power. I appreciate the robust efforts the region’s electric coops made to restore power to affected communities. Today’s disaster declaration is a first step to help residents and electric coops in the area recover,” Gov. Gianforte said. “The State of Montana is requesting federal disaster assistance on behalf of the impacted communities and the electric coops that serve them.”

On June 10, 2021, a series of severe thunderstorms – with hail as large as three inches in diameter, recorded wind speeds of 70-90 mph, and winds up to 115 mph – caused damages to over 800 power poles and lines across the East Central portion of Montana.

With the disaster declaration issued, the State of Montana will proceed with requesting federal disaster assistance on behalf of the affected counties and electric cooperatives.

Applications Available For Theo And Alyce Beck Foundation Trust Scholarship

Wednesday, June 16th 2021

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, 12 1st Avenue North or from Edward Jones, 317 Klein Avenue. An electronic version can be requested at hannah.barras@edwardjones.com. Applications musts be mailed and postmarked no later than July 15, 2021. 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 year 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, all most every year. Shortly before Alyce passed away, she generously decided to set up the Theo and Alyce Foundation Trust for the benefit of people in Valley County.

New Record High Recorded In Glasgow For June 15th

Wednesday, June 16th 2021

The official high temperature recorded in Glasgow yesterday by the National Weather Service was 103 degrees. That beat the 102 degree mark set for the date in 1933.

Also, the low temperature of 73 was the warmest June low since June 24, 1900. June 23-24 of 1900 both had lows of 73 degrees. The warmest low was earlier that month: 76 degrees on June 15, 1900.

MSU-Northern’s Spring 2021 Semester Dean’s List

Wednesday, June 16th 2021

Students Named to MSU-Northern’s Spring 2021 Semester Dean’s List

The Montana State University-Northern’s Spring semester Dean’s List contains 318 students. To be included in the Dean’s List, students must carry a minimum of 12 credits and earn a grade point average of 3.25 or better. Students that received an incomplete or “F” during this semester are not included on the honor roll listing.

Local area students on the list:

Glasgow MT
Bailee A. Holstein
Micah A. Tweten
Cordell J. Younkin

Hinsdale MT
Dalton W. Kaasa

Saco MT
Brady A. Albus
Jada E. Sudbrack

Latest Municipal Election Filings

Tuesday, June 15th 2021

Rebecca Erickson filed a Withdrawal of Candidacy so she will no longer be on the ballot for Mayor of Glasgow.

Todd Young has filed to run for Mayor of Glasgow.

Glenn R Guenther has filed to run for one of the 4-year terms for the town of Fort Peck Alderman.

Virgil L Nelson has also filed to run for Alderman in Opheim’s Ward 2.

JoAnna Turner has filed to run for Mayor of Nashua

Filings list:
Glasgow Mayor- Rod Karst
Glasgow Mayor- Todd Young
Glasgow City Council Ward #1- Stan Ozark
Glasgow City Council Ward #3- Danny Carr
Town of Fort Peck 4-year term- Burt Johnston
Town of Fort Peck 4-year term- Glenn R Guenther
Town of Fort Peck Unexpired term- Mitch Willett
Town of Nashua Mayor- Larry Potter
Town of Nashua Mayor- JoAnna Turner
Town of Nashua Alderman- Mike Merideth
Town of Opheim Mayor- Doug Bailey
Opheim Ward #2- Virgil L Nelson

The Primary Election, if needed, will be held September 14th and the General Election will be held November 2nd.

Yard Of The Week

Tuesday, June 15th 2021

Lee and Penny Murch were selected as the first Yard of the Week as recognized by the Glasgow City Council.

The Murch's live at 99 Heather Lane and received Chamber Big Bucks for their efforts.

Severe Weather Recap From Last Week

Monday, June 14th 2021

Severe Thunderstorm Event Review for NE Montana- June 8, 9 and 10, 2021

A large upper level low pressure system off the west coast created a series of events for three days across eastern Montana that led to severe weather with large hail and damaging winds as well as flash flooding.

June 8 2021:

The event started with thunderstorms kicking off north of I-94 in Dawson and Wibaux Counties with storms moving in a northerly direction. The largest reports of hail were four inches in diameter, 9 miles east of Glendive, and baseball size hail (2.75”) 15 miles north of Wibaux. Numerous reports of quarter to golf ball size hail were received in Wibaux, Dawson, Richland and Roosevelt Counties. As the storm moved north, downburst winds caused minor to moderate damage to buildings in the Fairview, MT area, and uprooted some large pine trees, and damaged large branches on other trees. Strong to severe thunderstorm winds of 55 to nearly 80 mph were reported.

Additional storms started forming in Garfield, Valley and Phillips Counties, eventually extending into Western Roosevelt County. Winds were in the 40 to 60 mph range with a report of golf ball size hail at the Hell Creek Marina in northern Garfield County.

Storms trained (followed the same path over and over) in western Roosevelt County, leading to flash flooding as water came up and over US Highway 2 about 5 miles west of Wolf Point as well as Highway 13 North of Wolf Point. Some stated they had never seen water that high in over 50-85 years of being in the region. Rainfall estimates and spotter reports indicated the totals were 3 to 6 inches in under 90 minutes.

Although the area is in a D2/D3 moderate to extreme drought, the soils could not handle that much water in a short time. Reports also indicated that low water crossing in sparsely populated areas of northern McCone County also had excessive rainfall.

The two biggest impacts on this day was the hail in Dawson/Wibaux Counties and the flash flooding in western Roosevelt County over highways.

June 9, 2021:
A supercell thunderstorm formed in central Montana and built over the Little Rocky Mountains along Blaine/Phillips County and a portion of the Fort Belknap Reservation. This was one storm, and was the only storm in the region, so it was well documented by storm chasers. The hail was anywhere from quarter size (1”) up to 3” in diameter in the Zortman area. Impacts were minimal due to the rural nature of this storm.

June 10, 2021:
This event was the most significant of the three days. Warm, moist air had been building in eastern Montana and a cold front was coming in from the west. Thunderstorms started forming in the Yellowstone River Valley from Wibaux to Sidney and then moving in a NNE direction into North Dakota. The storms had rotation in them, triggering tornado warnings along the Montana and North Dakota border numerous times.

As far as could be ascertained from reports from storm chasers, weather spotters, the public and DES Coordinators, the first actual tornado most likely actually occurred in North Dakota, but could easily be seen from Montana. No reports of damage were received from tornadoes in Montana or North Dakota.

Further north, storms moved into northern Roosevelt/Daniels and Sheridan County. Some isolated damage occurred from what on video looks to be a gustnado. In reviewing the radar data, there were no storms in the Flaxville area when this damage occurred.

To the west, thunderstorms starting in south-central and central Montana drifted northward. While they initially weren’t very significant, as they moved northeastward, they moved into more unstable air, and a cold front coming in from the west helped cause them to increase in intensity by early evening. These storms moved across northwest Prairie County all the way through the Sidney/Fairview and Bainville areas several hours later. They had hail as large as three inches in diameter and winds from 70 to 90 mph measured, with a damage survey showing support for up to 115 mph in the area about 6 miles northwest of Sidney. This caused damage to homes and buildings, took down 75 year old spruce trees, and snapped approximately 1000 power poles in Terry, McCone, Dawson, Prairie and Williams Counties. These poles were owned by either McCone Electric, Lower Yellowstone Rural Electric or DOE/Western Area Power Administration.

Three Area Students Attend Boys State

Monday, June 14th 2021

(Pictured: Cole Taylor, Kyler Hallock, Dalton Sand and counselor Joe Yeoman) American Legion Boys State was held June 6 through June 11, 2021 in Helena. Dalton Sand and Kyler Hallock from Glasgow High School and Cole Taylor from Opheim High School attended.

Dalton ran for Mayor, City Council, County Commissioner, Party Chairman, Lt. Governor, Senator and Senate Whip. He was elected to the City Council, County Commissioner, Party Chairman, Senator and Senate Whip.

Kyler Hallock ran for Municipal Judge and lost. He then ran for Chief of Police and won. Then he ran for State Public Service Commissioner and won.

Cole ran for City Mayor, County Auditor, Governor, Senator and President of the Senate. He won City Mayor, County Auditor, Senator and President of the Senate.

Dalton and Cole were also elected to attend Boys Nation in July. Cole also won the Samsun Scholarship.

Grobel Scholarship Trust Winners Announced

Saturday, June 12th 2021

The trustees of the Grobel Scholarship Trust are pleased to announce this year’s scholarship recipients. They are:

Teagan Fossum of Glasgow, nursing student at the University of Mary;

Sophia Koessl of Nashua, nursing student at MSU-Bozeman;

Brooke Westby of Opheim, nursing student at Carroll College.

Each student will receive a scholarship in the amount of $2,750 to be applied to the costs of their professional education.

Swimming Pool To Open Monday

Saturday, June 12th 2021

The swimming pool WILL be open on Monday, June 14th. The mechanical issue has been taken care of, and it will open at 6:00 a.m. for lap swim and for the rest of the day’s activities, including swimming lessons.

GHS Educational Trust Announces Bequest From Phyllis E. (Moen) Sanguine

Saturday, June 12th 2021

There remains much truth today in the old adage: “Children learn what they live.” As evidence of this truth, the Glasgow High School Educational Trust recently received a bequest from the estate of Phyllis E. (Moen) Sanguine, Glasgow native and graduate of the GHS Class of 1954. Her gift follows the path her mother, Eunice (Burrus) Moen, set forth when she made a gift to the trust in 2013 in honor of Phyllis and in memory of Phyllis’ sister Lila (Moen) Sanders.

They also shared a commitment to education and professional excellence. After receiving her two-year teaching certificate from Northern Montana College (now MSU-Northern) in 1956, Phyllis began her career in education in Kalispell, Montana, serving as a second-grade teacher. She later worked as an elementary school librarian in Eureka, Montana, and eventually as a librarian in the Acquisitions Department of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. In between those positions, she transcribed depositions and court testimony for a court reporter in Walla Walla, working from home.

In 1957, Phyllis married Bill Sanguine, a young man she had met at NMC. They shared 63 years of marriage, three children, and exciting careers. Bill was an engineer with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. His assignments took him from Great Falls to Glasgow Air Force Base to Walla Walla to overseas postings in Oman, Bahrain, and Egypt. Everywhere Bill went, Phyllis went, too, and she became a highly skilled executive secretary with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla, and with the Office of Military Cooperation, American Embassy, Manama, Bahrain, positions in which she received numerous commendations for her outstanding performance.

Phyllis and Bill Sanguine retired in the Kalispell area in 1994 and continued their adventures together via pickup and fifth wheeler until her passing in November of 2020 from a fourth round of cancer. She kept detailed daily journals of those travels everywhere they went, each entry reflecting her curiosity, astute observations, insight, and joy of living.

Phyllis E. Sanguine’s bequest, like all donations to the trust, will be invested. The interest earned on the corpus, which now exceeds $9.5 million dollars, is awarded to eligible GHS alumni pursuing post-secondary education at trade school or college through a semi-annual application process administered by the trustees. Students may apply by July 1st of each year for both semesters of the upcoming year, or by October 15th of each year for the spring semester only. Since its inception in 1964, the trust has given $2,551,000.00 to 756 different students in very diverse disciplines attending schools across the country.

Students may reapply for additional aid for a total of eight semesters if they continue to meet all of the eligibility requirements. Many students have received multiple awards from the trust over their courses of study. The application, eligibility requirements, and additional information about the trust are available at www.ghsedutrust.org.

Whenever the trust receives donations in the name of a particular individual that total $500, a gift is made to a student in honor, memory, or recognition of that person. Donations to the trust in the name of a particular individual that total $10,000 or more entitle the donor to an ongoing naming opportunity on a regular basis. All donations are tax deductible, and no gift is too small.

The Glasgow High School Educational Trust is honored to add Phyllis E. Sanguine’s name to its list of ongoing designees. Her life, work, and generous spirit exemplify the very best of Glasgow’s graduates.

City to pick up the tab on garbage drop off

Wednesday, June 9th 2021

The Glasgow City Council decided at their meeting on Monday, June 7th, to pick up the tab at the Valley County Landfill on Saturday, June 12th and June 19th. What this means is that Glasgow residents can take any of their garbage that does not fit in their normal garbage pickup receptacle to the landfill, run it through the scale, and the City will pick up the tab. Landfill manager Brian Austin said that the scale will be open from 8:00 a.m. to noon on each of those days to accommodate people with their clean up.

Montana State Parks See Record Visitation So Far In 2021

Monday, June 7th 2021

Mild weather during the first quarter of 2021 contributed to a record number of visitors for Montana State Parks.

MSP recorded 393,175 park visitors in the first quarter, a 20.2% increase over 2020 and a 78% increase over the same period in 2019. Of the 40 state parks that were seasonally open during this period, 80% experienced an increase in estimated visitation compared with last year.

Day use and camping occupancy are projected to rise across the state during the spring and summer months.

“As our parks prepare to welcome people from across our state, the country and the world, we continue to prioritize unparalleled customer service and public safety for our guests and staff,” said Beth Shumate, parks division administrator with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “Our 55 parks, including seven National Historic Landmarks, truly tell the story of the Treasure State. We look forward to a successful season and hope that our parks create lasting memories for all our visitors.”

The top five most visited state parks in Q1 2021 were:
1. Giant Springs State Park Great Falls - 81,979 visits (up 7.8%)
2. Spring Meadow Lake State Park, Helena - 33,606 visits (up 18.2%)
3. Flathead Lake State Park (All Units), Flathead Lake - 28,921 visits (down 2.4% )
4. Cooney Reservoir State Park, Roberts - 28,820 visits (up 50.3%)
5. Lake Elmo State Park, Billings - 27,316 visits (up 13.4%)

Visitation snapshot for the first quarter of 2021:

Below is a list of the most highly visited state parks in each of FWP's administrative regions:

Northwest Montana (Kalispell): Flathead Lake State Park (all units) had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 28,921 visits, a decrease of 2.4% over the same time period last year.

West Montana (Missoula): Milltown State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 17,358 visits, an increase of 116.1% over the same time period last year.

Southwest Montana (Bozeman): Missouri Headwaters State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 9,200 visits, a decrease of 11% over the same time period last year.

North-central Montana (Great Falls): Giant Springs State Park had the highest visitation in the region, with an estimated 81,979 visits, an increase of 7.8% over the same time period last year.

South-central Montana (Billings): Cooney Reservoir State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 28,820 visits, an increase of 50.3% over the same time period last year.

Eastern Montana (Miles City): Makoshika State Park had the highest visitation in the region with an estimated 20,248 visits, an increase of 32.3% over the same time period last year.

Deadline Approaching In Montana For SBA Working Capital Loans Due To Drought

Monday, June 7th 2021

SBA Disaster News Release –

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West today reminded small nonfarm businesses in six Montana counties and neighboring counties in North Dakota of the July 6, 2021, deadline to apply for an SBA federal disaster loan for economic injury. These low-interest loans are to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought in the following primary counties that began Sept. 15, 2020.

Primary Montana counties: Roosevelt and Sheridan;
Neighboring Montana counties: Daniels, McCone, Richland and Valley;
Neighboring North Dakota counties: Divide, McKenzie and Williams.

According to Garfield, small nonfarm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. “Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact,” said Garfield.

“SBA eligibility covers both the economic impacts on businesses dependent on farmers and ranchers that have suffered agricultural production losses caused by the disaster and businesses directly impacted by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the applicant suffered any property damage,” Garfield added.

The interest rate is 3 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for private nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

By law, SBA makes Economic Injury Disaster Loans available when the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture designates an agricultural disaster. The Secretary declared this disaster on Nov. 6, 2020.

Businesses primarily engaged in farming or ranching are not eligible for SBA disaster assistance. Agricultural enterprises should contact the Farm Services Agency about the U.S. Department of Agriculture assistance made available by the Secretary’s declaration. However, nurseries are eligible for SBA disaster assistance in drought disasters.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Fort Peck Reservoir Water Levels To Remain Steady Through June

Sunday, June 6th 2021

Below-average precipitation and dry soil conditions persist in the upper Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa (upper Basin).

The updated 2021 upper Basin runoff forecast is 17.9 million acre-feet (MAF), 69% of average. If realized, this runoff amount would be in the 22nd driest year in the upper Basin since 1898. The May upper Basin runoff was 64% of average. May runoff in the Fort Peck and Garrison reaches, where much of the upper Basin runoff from mountain snowmelt originates, was 60% and 68% of average, respectively.

“Per our June 1 upper Basin forecast, we expect runoff to continue to be well-below average through the summer and fall,” said John Remus, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Basin Water Management Division.

“The June 1 reservoir studies indicate the navigation service level, based on the July 1 System storage check, will be reduced by approximately 1,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) for the second half of the navigation season. The studies also indicate that the winter release from Gavins Point will be at minimum levels, which is 12,000 cfs.”

System storage is currently 55.2 MAF, 0.9 MAF below the base of the Annual Flood Control and Multiple Use Zone. System storage is expected to remain in the Carryover Multiple Use Zone during 2021.

Mountain Snowpack:
Mountain snowpack in the upper Basin was below the June 1 average and is melting rapidly. The mountain snowpack peaked above Fort Peck in late March at 86% of average, while the mountain snowpack in the Fort Peck to Garrison reach peaked in late April at 96% of average. Mountain snowpack normally peaks near April 15.

Fort Peck Dam
Average releases past month – 8,400 cfs
Current release rate – 9,500 cfs
Forecast average release rate – 9,500 cfs
End-of-May reservoir level – 2233.0 feet
Forecast end-of-June reservoir level – 2233.1 feet
Notes: Releases will be maintained at 9,500 cfs through August.

Catfish Classic Days Are This Weekend

Saturday, June 5th 2021

4 PM-Auzzy's Cook Shack– on 1st Ave. South
7:00-9:00 PM Auction off Catfish Classic teams on stage in front of Montana Bar on 1st Ave. So.
5-7 PM & 10 PM-1 AM-Live Music and Street Dance by "Plowed Under Band"

8 AM-6 PM-Catfish Crazy Days (Contact Haylie Shipp with GDA).
8 AM– 6 PM Vendors/Crafts/Homebased Businesses on 2nd Ave So. (Contact Juanita Morehouse).
All Day-Auzzy's Cook Shack downtown
Jump N Buck Ice Cream Truck downtown
9 AM-Noon- Kid's Fishing Tournament at Home Run Pond sponsored by Glasgow/Fort Peck Chapter Walleyes Unlimited
9 AM (sign ups at 8 AM)- Catfish Crawl-1 mile and 5K Run/Walk starting at Busted Knuckle
9 AM-2 PM- Bloody Mary's & Breakfast Burritos Brunch at the Elks Club
10AM-3 PM-Flatland Cruisers Car Show– on 2nd Ave. South
12 PM-School's Out Carnival and Waterslide-in front of Children's Museum of NE MT
12 PM (signups at 11 AM)- 32 Adult Team Cornhole Tournament with Calcutta in front of Elks
1pm (signups at 12pm)Youth Cornhole Tournament – 5th Street South– sponsored by Glasgow Wrestling Club
3 PM– Montana Bar Dart Tournament
4 PM release—(check in at 3 PM) 22nd Annual Catfish Classic Fishing Tournament Begins
1-3 PM & 5-10 PM– Live Music with "Plowed Under Band"at Elks Parking Lot
Midnight- Weigh ins for Catfish Classic on stage at Elks Parking Lot

Structure Fire Claims Life

Saturday, June 5th 2021

From Valley County Sheriff Tom Boyer:

Friday, at 1135 hours, a structure fire was reported on Fox Farm Road between Glasgow and Nashua. Long Run Fire department responded to the scene with multiple units and volunteers. Additional properties were compromised from embers including the surrounding fields. The structure was a complete loss. Currently the fire has been extinguished.

It has been confirmed that a single person was found deceased. This case remains under investigation by the Valley County Sheriff’s Office and Long Run Fire Command. The identity of the decedent is pending and will remain confidential pending the notification of family and the continued investigation.

Thank you to the men and women who responded and fought to contain this fire preventing further damage to the area.

Glasgow City Council To Meet June 7th

Friday, June 4th 2021

Report: Montana sees 25.6% increase in construction spending since COVID

Friday, June 4th 2021

More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the biggest economic stories has been the red-hot residential real estate market. Housing inventory is at all-time lows, but low interest rates, government stimulus, increased household savings, and a growing number of first-time millennial homebuyers have led to strong demand nearly everywhere. Stories of fierce competition, bidding wars, and sales that close well above listing price are becoming common in markets all across the country.

When housing supply is low and demand is high, residential construction inevitably picks up as builders and developers try to meet demand. The same is true now. While disruption to global supply chains has driven up the price of building supplies like lumber, residential construction is booming.
Like many other sectors of the economy, residential construction took a sharp dip early on in the pandemic, when lockdowns and the accompanying economic uncertainty paused many activities. Since then, however, spending on residential construction has spiked. The seasonally adjusted annual rate hit a low of $547 billion in May 2020, recovered to pre-lockdown levels around $600 billion by August, and has topped $700 billion in every month since December.

While this trend of growth is evident nationwide, some areas are seeing the effects more so than others. In particular, the Midwest region of the U.S. has experienced the greatest increase in the value of new residential construction. From the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, the value of new residential building permits in the Midwest was up 38.1%.

One reason for this might be the relative value of real estate in different regions. Homes are already more expensive on the coasts, which means fewer people can afford those markets even before factoring in the high demand and low inventory seen over the last year. In cheaper areas like those found in the Midwest, however, current housing market conditions have increased values by greater percentages, including for new builds. And these markets have taken on new appeal, with more people moving to locations where living space is less expensive after months of social distancing restrictions and with more employers transitioning to permanent work-from-home arrangements.
The two states that most strongly exemplify these trends are Wyoming and South Dakota, where the total value of new residential building permits is up 116% and 99%, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, the list of states with the lowest growth in the value of new residential construction includes California, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts—some of the most expensive states for home values in the U.S.

Similar conditions hold at the metro level, as many lower-cost cities are experiencing increased interest in the housing market and new construction rushes to fill the demand. To find the locations where construction spending has increased the most during the pandemic, researchers at Construction Coverage analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permits Survey to rank the percentage change in value of new residential building permits authorized from Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.

The analysis found that the total value of new residential building permits issued in Montana during Q1 2021 amounted to approximately $240.5M—up 25.6% from $191.5M in Q1 2020. Here is a summary of the data for Montana:
• Percentage change in value of new residential building permits: +25.6%
• Total change in value of new residential building permits: $48,994,000
• Value of units authorized in 2021 Q1: $240,516,000
• Value of units authorized in 2020 Q1: $191,522,000

For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:
• Percentage change in value of new residential building permits: +27.4%
• Total change in value of new residential building permits: $18,831,856,000
• Value of units authorized in 2021 Q1: $87,499,909,000
• Value of units authorized in 2020 Q1: $68,668,053,000

For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Construction Coverage’s website: https://constructioncoverage.com/research/cities-with-biggest-increase-in-construction-spending-2021

Ducks Unlimited Fundraising Banquet Set for June 19th

Friday, June 4th 2021

The Missouri/Milk River chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be hosting its 35th Annual Fundraising banquet in support of DU’s 84 years of existence on Saturday, June 19 at Shelter #1 at the Downstream
Campground at Kiwanis Park beginning at 5:00 P.M. The Cottonwood Inn will be serving their famous Fish Fry dinner at 6 P.M. Live auction to begin at 7 P.M. with the silent auction closing off by 8:30 P.M.
There will be an outstanding line-up of Guns and other DU memorabilia.

Some of the prizes to be take home by way of Live Auction, Silent Auction and Fun Raffles are: DU’s Shotgun, Rifle, Pistol, Decoy and Knife of the year; a pair of round trip tickets with Cape Air; an AR/15 along with Terry Redlin Merchandise. And Ladies…there are a ton of prizes just waiting just for you!!
The money banquet attendees spend at this event is put to work in the local area. For every $1 raised in Montana, DU sends back $3 for local projects. In Montana in 2019, over 100,037 acres were impacted by DU and over 85,508 acres were provided technical assistance. Phillips and Valley Counties are primary benefactors of DU’s work.

We truly are lucky to be a benefactor of DU’s great conservation work….which benefits over 900 species of wildlife.

Please reserve your tickets by June 11 by going online at glasgowdu.org or by calling Ken Jansa at 228-2031 or 263-8030. For more information about Ducks Unlimited, please go to www.ducks.org

Todd Young To Resign From Glasgow City Council

Thursday, June 3rd 2021

Todd Young will resign from the Glasgow City Council on June 7th according to a letter to members of the city council. Young has represented Ward #1 on the Glasgow City Council since being elected to the position in 2019.

In his letter to members of the city council, Young states he must resign from the council since moving out of the boundaries of Ward #1 after selling his home.

The Glasgow City Council will need to accept the resignation and then will seek applications from residents living in Ward #1 interested in serving on the council. The person selected to take Young's position on the council will served the remainder of the term which will end December 31st of 2023.

The council will next meet on June 7th when they will take up Young's resignation letter.

Wind Farm Slated For Construction In Garfield County

Thursday, June 3rd 2021

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Puget Sound Energy announced Wednesday an agreement to buy power from an eastern Montana wind farm as the Washington state utility that co-owns the Colstrip power plant seeks to reduce its carbon emissions.

PSE signed a 20-year agreement with a NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary to purchase 350 megawatts of power from the Clearwater Wind Project proposed about 60 miles north of Colstrip, utility officials said.

The agreement allows PSE to use existing transmission lines from the Colstrip plant to deliver electricity to customers in western Washington.

The amount of electricity being purchased by PSE is enough to power about 140,000 households, spokesperson Andrew Padula said.

Clearwater Wind is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and would generate 750 megawatts from turbines in Rosebud, Garfield and Custer counties.

PSE sought to sell its stake in one of Colstrip's four power-generating in 2019, but the deal fell through last year after utility regulators in Washington recommended the sale be rejected.

Colstrip's two older units, co-owned by PSE and Talen Energy, shut down last year.

The southeastern Montana coal plant has strong political support in the state and in the community of Colstrip, which depends heavily on the plant’s jobs. The plant has been buffeted by changing energy markets as natural gas, wind and solar power generation grow and coal plants across the U.S. close.

Free Walk-In Clinic For COVID-19 Vaccination Is Today

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021

The Valley County Health Department is offering a free Walk-In vaccination clinic for the Covid-19 Vaccine, today (June 2) from 8:30a.m. – 12Noon.

It is being held at the Health Department office, 500 4th Ave. South in the Courthouse Annex.

Both the Johnson & Johnson as well as the Moderna vaccines are available.

Anyone 18 or older is invited, this will be the last vaccination date before the FMDH trip for two to Hawaii contest drawing.

If you would like further information, please call 228-6261.

Near Record Heat Projected For This Week

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021

From the National Weather Service office in Glasgow:

Near record heat is expected with highs in the 90s for Thursday and Friday, raising the risk of heat-related stress. Do what you can to keep cool to beat the heat and check on vulnerable groups, as well as pets & livestock.

Thunderstorms with strong winds and very little rain are possible on Friday, and Fire Weather Watch has been issued for Friday afternoon.

MDT To Hold Public Open House On Malta-South Project June 15

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021

MALTA, Montana - The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) is conducting a public open house meeting for a proposal to improve approximately 9.5 miles of MT Highway 191 in Phillips County. The project spans from the south end of Malta at the Dodson Canal bridge to approximately S. Alkali Creek Road.

The open house will be held in-person from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on June 15 at the Milk River Pavilion at 47243 US Highway 2, Malta, MT. Project team members will be available to discuss the project. Members of the public are encouraged to come at any time to visit exhibits and discuss the project.

More information may be found at the project web page: http://www.mdt.mt.gov/pubinvolve/maltasouth .

Proposed work includes widening the roadway to 36 feet, pavement rehabilitation and intermittent reconstruction to address dips and rises in the roadway, bridge end pavement replacement, multi-use path from Secondary 363 to Malta, new guardrail and culverts, and snow slopes.

New right-of-way and relocation of utilities will be required. MDT staff and their consultants will contact all affected landowners as a component of the Public Involvement Plan for this project. Staff will again contact landowners prior to construction regarding property acquisition and temporary construction permits.

An important part of properly planning for future projects is partnering with the community. MDT welcomes the public to provide ideas and comments on the proposed project.

The public is encouraged to contact Nik Griffith at nikg@strategies360.com or 406-868-3602 with questions or comments.

Alternative accessible formats of this document will be provided on request. The Department of Transportation will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this Malta-South Public Meeting or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Transportation no later than 6/12/21 to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact the Office of Civil Rights, P.O. Box 201001, Helena, Montana 59620; telephone (406) 444-5416; Montana Relay 711; facsimile (406) 444-7243.

Public Hearing Set For June 23 On Road Designation

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021

A public hearing will be held by the Board of County Commissioners at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, in their office at the Valley County Courthouse, 501 Court Square, Glasgow, Montana.

The purpose of this hearing is to obtain public comments regarding declaring the segment of North River Road from its intersection with Highway 117 east to junction with Ball Road a County road.

For further information, please contact the Valley County Commissioners at 406-228-6219.

Downtown Traffic Notes For Catfish Days

Wednesday, June 2nd 2021

Second Avenue South in downtown Glasgow will be barricaded and closed at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 5th.

Please have all vehicles cleared from this area before this or they will be blocked in for rest of day once barricaded and Catfish Days activities are set up.

2021 Glasgow Memorial Day Program Now Available Online

Monday, May 31st 2021

The Glasgow Memorial Day Program which was broadcast from the Kltz Studio is now available online:


Glasgow Police Department Seeks Community’s Help With Mission Statement

Monday, May 31st 2021

The Glasgow Police Department would like the community's assistance to shape and mold the foundation for your department by helping us create a short mission statement or motto. This mission statement will be the building block for your police department’s future.

Community policing is of the utmost importance and we would like your assistance in tailoring our mission statement. Some examples of a possible mission statement are: "Commitment to Community", "We are the Community", "Guardians of the Peace" etc.. Please feel free to speak with officers when you see them out and about to discuss what they believe community policing is or what it means to them.

Please feel free to stop by the Police Department to speak with an officer about any ideas you may have by July 01.2021. The Glasgow Police Department will be moving locations to the old National Guard Armory, located at 80 Airport Road, Glasgow, Montana, on June 06, 2021.

Wolf Point Man Sentenced For Sexually Abusing A Minor

Monday, May 31st 2021

GREAT FALLS – A Wolf Point man who admitted he sexually abused a minor on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation was sentenced on Thursday to five years in prison and to seven years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said today.

Christopher George Follette, 33, pleaded guilty on Feb. 18 to sexual abuse of a minor as charged in an indictment.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris ordered Follette detained.

The prosecution said in court documents that in 2019 and 2020, Follette sexually abused a minor, identified as Jane Doe, who was over the age of 12 but had not yet reached 16 years of age, on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared C. Cobell prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Fort Peck Law Enforcement Services and Wolf Point Police Department.

Governor Opposes Fort Peck Dam Changes To Aid Imperiled Fish

Friday, May 28th 2021

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

Gov. Greg Gianforte is objecting to a U.S. government proposal to alter water releases from a huge reservoir in northeastern Montana to help an ancient and endangered fish species — the dinosaur-like pallid sturgeon.

With two-thirds of the state in drought, the Republican governor said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal risks damaging croplands and irrigation systems downstream of Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River.

The plan to manipulate river levels “could flood water users in late spring and deprive water users during the hot summer months when moisture is most critical,” Gianforte told Army Corps officials in a Tuesday letter provided to The Associated Press.

The proposal would alter the Missouri's flows on a test basis between Fort Peck and North Dakota’s Lake Sakakawea. More water would be released in the spring to attract fish to move upstream and spawn, with reduced releases later in the year after new sturgeon hatch.

The idea is to mimic natural conditions present before the earthen dam was completed in 1940. Sturgeon larvae would have a better chance to grow into free-swimming fish and avoid drifting down to Lake Sakakawea, where they currently settle to the bottom and die.

Army Corps officials said Thursday they were working on a detailed response to Gianforte's concerns, but had no plans to allow additional public comment as the governor had requested.

A final decision is expected in November, said Army Corps project manager Aaron Quinn. The agency last year delayed the process to do ground surveys on irrigation intakes that could be affected, Quinn said in a statement provided by officials.

Pallid sturgeon live in the Missouri and Mississippi River basins and can grow up to 6 feet long. They’ve been around for tens of millions of years, but saw dramatic population declines after Fort Peck and other dams were built along the Missouri.

They were designated as endangered by extinction in 1990. The proposal to alter Fort Peck's releases is part of a broader effort by numerous state and federal agencies to revive the species.

The opposition from Gianforte, who took office in January, marks an abrupt shift from previous efforts by state officials to persuade water users to get behind the proposal, said Bruce Farling, a consultant for Trout Unlimited and former state director for the fish advocacy group.

Biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have broadly supported flow tests at Fort Peck, saying in 2019 comments to the Army Corps that more naturalized flows would benefit sturgeon and other animals along the river.

Pallid sturgeon have not been documented successfully spawning in the wild since dams were built blocking their upstream migration and creating reservoirs where their larvae apparently die.

Gianforte said the Army Corps lacks authority to conduct the test flows from Fort Peck Dam because it has no legal right to the Missouri River's water. He also faulted federal officials for not detailing how they would make up for any damages from the altered releases when they published an environmental study of the project in March.

The study found that under a worst-case scenario, higher flows in the spring could annually cost up to $7.5 million in lost farm income and $8 million in additional irrigation maintenance work across four counties, an area that includes the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

A 2009 study estimated only about 125 wild, adult pallid sturgeon remained along the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers between Fort Peck and Lake Sakakawea. Scientists say the fish would likely disappear from several stretches of the Missouri without artificial stocking efforts by wildlife agencies.

Along the Yellowstone River, the Army Corps is building a new diversion dam for irrigation water near Glendive that will include a side channel to allow sturgeon to swim around the dam. Environmental groups concerned the channel wouldn't work fought the project for years in federal court but lost.

Latest Filings For Municipal Offices In Valley County

Thursday, May 27th 2021

Filing for municipal offices in Valley County is open until Monday, June 21st. The Primary Election, if needed, will be held September 14th and the General Election will be held November 2nd.

Elections will be held in incorporated communities in Valley County including Glasgow, Fort Peck, Opheim and Nashua.

Current filings:

Glasgow Mayor-Becky Erickson
Glasgow Mayor- Rod Karst
Glasgow City Council Ward#1- Stan Ozark
Glasgow City Council Ward#3- Danny Carr
Town of Fort Peck 4-year term- Burt Johnston
Town of Fort Peck Unexpired term- Mitch Willett
Town of Nashua Mayor- Larry Potter
Town of Nashua Alderman- Mike Merideth
Town of Opheim Mayor- Doug Bailey

Opheim School District Voters Approve Levy To Replace Boiler System

Wednesday, May 26th 2021

Opheim School District Voters have approved a levy request of $1.1 Million to replace the aging boiler system in the Opheim School.

The vote was 89-51 for the election which was held May 25th.

The current coal boiler system is outdated and unreliable and continually shuts down multiple times every year, creating a cold and uncomfortable learning environment.

The new Design-Build system will replace the obsolete coal-fire boiler and controls system and will have the addition of a back-up emergency generator.

Valley County Covid Update

Tuesday, May 25th 2021

5/24/2021 5:00 pm
Active cases: 2
Number of persons recovered/no longer infectious: 888
Total cases: 908
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 18

2 positive persons since our last report on 5/17/2021 – Cases 907 and 908
age 11 – 80: 2
Female: 1
Male: 1
With our 908 cases, we have had 64 persons hospitalized.

COVID-19 Vaccination rate for Valley County:
Because Pfizer has now been approved for persons age 12 and older, the eligible population to be vaccinated has changed to 6,313 persons. We have 2,211 persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19, which gives Valley County a vaccination rate of 35.0% fully vaccinated.
Our Montana map shows 1,603 deaths from COVID-19 to date.

From DPHHS on 5/21/2021: To date, over 32 million cases of COVID-19, including at least 584,975 deaths, have been reported in the U.S., with community-wide transmission identified across the nation. The percent of adults with at least one vaccination is 60.5%.

Montana is reporting 111,161 cases of COVID-19 as of 10:00 am 05/21/2021. Of these, 5,201 individuals have been hospitalized and 1,603 have died.

As of 05/21/2021, Montana is reporting 788,507 total doses administered and processed into imMTrax. The total number of fully vaccinated persons is now 377,927.

At Valley County Health Department, our efforts at COVID-19 prevention are to accomplish these three equally important goals:
PROTECT THE VULNERABLE (elderly/compromised immune system/other underlying health conditions).

Main phone (406) 228-6261

Pfizer Vaccine Available For Ages 12+ In Valley County Next Month

Monday, May 24th 2021

Pfizer vaccine has been approved for ages 12+. Pharm406 from Billings, MT will be at the Cottonwood Inn with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as follows:

June 12 – 9 am – 5 pm
June 13 – 9 am – 3 pm

They will return for second doses:

July 10 – 9 am – 4 pm

Consent from a parent or guardian is needed for anyone under age 18.

Please share and promote this vaccine being available in our community. It will likely be the closest opportunity for children age 12+ to receive the vaccine.

Pharm406 will also have Moderna vaccine and will administer to anyone over age 18.

Anyone who gets the vaccine on that day will receive a free soda or root beer float and persons over age 21 may choose a free beer.

The vaccination rate for Valley County is currently 35%
Phillips County 34%
Roosevelt County 29%
Daniels County 33%
Sheridan County 47%

Valley County Health Department wishes to express our deepest gratitude to FMDH, St Raphaels Parish Center, Valley County DES, Road Department, and Maintenance, and to all the wonderful volunteers who have made it possible for us to reach 35% fully vaccinated in Valley County. All of the people involved with working the immunization clinics have provided an efficient and safe process to achieve the vital goal of vaccinating to prevent COVID-19. Our county has benefitted from everyone’s hard work and dedication to the health of others.

We will have our last clinic at St. Raphaels on May 26. Please continue to call VCHD at 228-6261 to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine.

We will be giving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at our office at 500 4th Avenue South.

We will give first and second doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on June 2 from 9-11:30 am. We will accept walk-ins for COVID-19 vaccine at this time!

For the remaining Wednesdays in June – 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th – we will accept walk-ins for ALL VACCINES – COVID-19, back-to-school, infant, toddler, teen vaccines, kindergarten vaccines, adults – ALL VACCINES from 4-7pm on those days.

Full Service Offered By Amtrak Starting May 24th

Monday, May 24th 2021

Amtrak has announced that its will resume full service for the Empire Builder on Monday, May 24. That means that the Empire Builder is available for travel either East or West starting Tuesday, May 25, on a daily basis.

“Offering daily long distance service represents a vital step in our road to recovery,” Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn said in a press release. “Recognizing the immense value of our employees, we’d like to thank Congress for enabling service restoration and helping us recall furloughed employees.” Amtrak is also returning to full service for the California Zephyr, Coast Starlight and Texas Eagle on May 24. Full service will return for the Capitol Unlimited,

Sen. Jon Tester’s bill to restore service and reinstate furloughed employees cleared the Senate on March 6. Tester’s legislation reinstated furloughed Amtrak employees and returned complete long-distance service to routes like the Empire Builder, which passed as a part of the Senate’s COVID-19 relief package.

Tester’s legislation reverses cuts imposed by Amtrak late last year, which furloughed Montana jobs and reduced service on the Empire Builder from seven days per week to three — a move that Tester opposed.

Montana's Aquatic Invasive Species Program Preparing For Busy Season

Monday, May 24th 2021

Montana’s aquatic invasive species program is preparing for a busy season.

Watercraft inspectors have intercepted 21 mussel-fouled boats so far; the latest boat was stopped at the Broadus watercraft inspection station on Wednesday, May 19. Inspectors found dry and dead mussels on a commercially hauled outboard motorboat from Ohio that was destined for Washington state.

On May 18, an outboard motorboat from Lake Michigan was intercepted at the Wibaux inspection station. The boat owner had recently purchased the used boat and intended to launch in Washington state the next day.

Inspectors conducted a hot water decontamination on each boat before releasing them and notifying officials in Idaho and Washington.

When boat owners follow the practice of “Clean-Drain-Dry” they can prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Invasive zebra and quagga mussels can be transported on boats in the adult or larvae life stage. Adult mussels have hairs called byssall threads that allow them to attach to structures under water, such as boat hulls and motors. Adult mussels can survive out of water for 30 days. Microscopic mussel larvae can float unseen in water found in bilges, ballast tanks and live wells.

Boaters must stop at all watercraft inspections stations they encounter. All watercraft (motorized and non-motorized) coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected. This includes Montana residents returning from a fishing or boating excursion out of state. Failure to stop at inspection stations could result in a fine of up to $500.

U.S.-Canada Border To Remain Closed Another Month But Talks Have Started To Outline Conditions For Easing Travel Restrictions

Monday, May 24th 2021

Justin Trudeau’s government began to outline the conditions for easing travel restrictions at the Canada-U.S. border.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc said Friday that U.S. and Canadian officials are discussing how to move forward with reopening the world’s longest international border, which has been closed to most non-essential traffic for more than a year to curb the spread of coronavirus.

“We recognize that in the coming weeks, when the number of vaccinated people grows and if we continue to see a reduction in Covid cases and hospitalizations, that we may be in a position to progressively loosen these measures,” Leblanc told reporters.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the government is assessing the situation both in Canada and abroad, focusing on metrics including the number of infections and hospitalizations, the spread of variants and vaccination rates. The government has also imposed restrictions on some non-U.S. travel, such as a ban on direct flights from India and Pakistan that was extended by a month on Friday.

The comments come after Trudeau’s government began holding internal discussions about options available to loosen travel rules as vaccination rates rise and Covid-19 case counts drop on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

“We are working with the Biden administration to -- as much as possible-- to align our measures at the border with the United States. These discussions are ongoing,” Leblanc said.

Canada closed the border it shares with its largest trading partner to non-essential travel in March 2020. It also imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone entering the country from abroad. Travelers must now present a negative Covid-19 test and foot the bill for additional tests --- and, if they fly in, go through a three-day hotel quarantine before being allowed to leave confinement.

“Eventually we’re going to start opening up travel,” Alghabra said at the same Ottawa press briefing. “But right now we’re focused on the third wave.”

Trudeau, speaking to reporters Tuesday, flagged a 75% vaccination rate as key threshold when asked about potentially reopening the border.

Almost 40% of Canadians have received a first dose, but just over 3% are fully inoculated, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. By comparison, more than 48% of Americans have had their first shot and 38% are fully vaccinated.

Pfizer Vaccine Available For Teens Age 12-17

Friday, May 21st 2021

Pfizer vaccine has been approved for teens as young as age 12 as of 5/12/2021. Valley County Health Department is now taking names of teens age 12-17 for Pfizer vaccine.

Valley County is working with DPHHS and with pharmacy contractors to bring Pfizer vaccine to our county so that it is available to persons age 12 - 17. If you are the parent or guardian of a teen age 12-17 and you would like this teen to receive the Pfizer vaccine, please call VCHD at 228-6261.

A second dose of Pfizer is planned for 21 days (or more) after the first dose. Pfizer vaccine should be available to us in Valley County in JUNE.

Valley County Health Department also have Moderna and Janssen/J&J available to everyone age 18 and older.

Recent Surveys Show Abundant Deer In Northeast Montana, Biologists Encourage Hunters To Harvest Deer

Wednesday, May 19th 2021

Plenty of opportunities available for antlerless licenses in Region 6 for 2021

GLASGOW – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists completed 2021 winter and spring aerial surveys of deer populations across Region 6 in northeastern Montana. The surveys indicate above-average numbers for mule deer and stable populations of white-tailed deer across the region. With the high population numbers, especially mule deer, biologists encourage hunters to play a role in helping manage herds by utilizing the numerous antlerless deer license opportunities.

Mule Deer
The 2021 spring surveys of trend areas showed region-wide populations at 84 percent above long-term average and a 28 percent increase from the previous survey. The region-wide fawn-to-adult ratios were about average, with 55 fawns to 100 adults.

According to Ryan Williamson, Outlook-area biologist, “The winter of 2020-2021 was generally mild and very favorable for wintering deer. No significant mortality events were reported in the region for mule deer.” Williamson went on to say that the favorable winter, combined with already high deer numbers observed the last few years, has led to the well above-average numbers.

White-tailed deer
The 2021 spring surveys for white-tailed deer show a density of 9.8 deer per square mile across the trend areas. This is just below the long-term average of 10.7 deer per square mile.
“White-tailed deer densities were slightly below average across much of the region, but we are seeing a recent increase in some places, especially in the Havre area,” said Williamson.
“The western trend areas remain below long-term average, but the white-tailed deer populations along the Milk River have shown the largest increase in the last decade,” added Williamson.

Obtaining licenses
Beyond the either-sex general deer license (also known as the “A” tag), many options are available to obtain additional antlerless deer licenses (also known as “B” tags). Both mule and white-tailed deer licenses can be acquired through the drawing, surplus drawing list, over-the-counter, and surplus over-the-counter. Hunters may hold a total of seven deer B licenses.

Deer B drawing- Application due June 1
Antlerless Mule deer- Hunters can apply for one mule deer B license by applying to a specific district for antlerless mule deer licenses. There are liberal numbers of licenses available in all hunting districts (HDs) in the region.
Antlerless White-tailed deer- Hunters can apply for the antlerless white-tailed deer license 699-00, which is valid in all HDs in Region 6.

Surplus license list
Like last year, there will be a “surplus license list” to begin allocating leftover licenses after the June 1 drawing is complete. This will open June 21. Hunters must go to their myFWP account on the FWP website to sign up for the surplus list. Please watch for information, updates and deadlines for this opportunity.

Over-the-counter licenses
Hunters can purchase the 006-00 single-region antlerless white-tailed deer license (one per hunter) over the counter starting Aug. 9. This license is valid in all HDs in Region 6.
Surplus over-the-counter licenses
Hunters will be able to purchase over-the-counter surplus licenses (that are left over after the surplus license list is complete), starting Aug. 9.

“We encourage hunters to take advantage of the high deer numbers to help fill your freezer this fall,” says Williamson. “If you don’t need the extra venison, you can donate your deer to a friend, family member, interested church, or to the food bank through the Hunters Against Hunger program at your local participating game processor.”

For any questions on license opportunity, please refer to the 2021 deer, elk, and antelope regulations or call your local FWP office:
Glasgow office: 406-228-3700 (open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. M-F)
Havre field office: 406-265-6177 (open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. M-F)

Be Ready For Cold, Rain, And Even A Little Snow This Week

Wednesday, May 19th 2021

The National Weather Service says to be ready for a cold front moving through the state starting late Wednesday night.

Showers and thunderstorms will increase from west to east beginning after midnight and periods of steady rainfall will last through the rest of the week. Temperatures will gradually cool to near freezing Friday morning and rain will transition to snow for some areas.

A wintry mix is also possible along the Canadian border and the Little Rockies on Friday morning with the potential for slippery locations, such as bridges and elevated surfaces. Allow extra time if traveling.

Check back for updates as details on precipitation type and location may change.

One Active COVID Case In Valley County

Tuesday, May 18th 2021

5/17/2021 5:45 pm
Active cases: 1
Number of persons recovered/no longer infectious: 887
Total cases: 906
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 18

1 positive persons since our last report on 5/11/2021 -- Case 906
age 11 – 80: 1
Female: 0
Male: 1
With our 906 cases, we have had 64 persons hospitalized.

COVID-19 Vaccination rate for Valley County:
Because Pfizer has now been approved for persons age 12 and older, the eligible population to be vaccinated has changed to 6,313 persons. We have 2,170 persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19, which gives Valley County a vaccination rate of 34.4% fully vaccinated.

DPHHS is working closely with Vital Statistics and with each county to reconcile cause of death from COVID-19. Our Montana map shows 1,598 deaths from COVID-19 to date.

At Valley County Health Department, our efforts at COVID-19 prevention are to accomplish these three equally important goals:
PROTECT THE VULNERABLE (elderly/compromised immune system/other underlying health conditions).

(406) 228-6261

Valley County Designated As Primary Natural Disaster Area Due To Drought

Monday, May 17th 2021

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 13 Montana counties as primary natural disaster areas due to a recent drought.

Primary Counties: Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, McCone, Phillips, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Sheridan, Valley & Wibaux.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, these counties suffered fromm a drought intensity value during the growing season of 1) D2 Drought-Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks, or 2) D3 Drought-Extreme, or 4) D4 Drought-Exceptional.

Six additional counties were named as contiguous disaster areas. Contiguous Counties: Blaine, Fergus, Garfield, Petroleum, Powder River & Rosebud.

A Secretarial disaster designation makes farm operators in primary counties and those counties contiguous to such primary counties eligible for assistance provided through the Farm Service Agency (FSA), including emergency loans. Producers in affected areas are encouraged to work with their local FSA office to receive more information and apply.

North Dakota Oil Production Surges

Monday, May 17th 2021

Story from www.willistonherald.com

North Dakota is closing in on a new production record for the number of wells operating at any given time, according to the state’s top oil and gas regulator.

North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said the record was 16,280, and in March the state was 73 wells shy of that figure at 16,207.

Meanwhile, Helms reported that overall crude oil production rose by 25,000 barrels per day in March, or about 2 percent, to 1.108 million barrels per day and natural gas production jumped by 174 million barrels per day, or 6.4 percent, to 2.88 billion cubic feet per day.

These figures are in line with what the state’s budget forecast predicts, and gas capture was at 94 percent, Helms said.

Prices, meanwhile, have exceeded what’s in that forecast. March prices averaged $56.19, Helms said, which is 12.5 percent ahead of the forecast.

Rig counts are continuing to inch upward and were at 18 Friday. In March, there were six hydraulic fracturing crews, but today there are nine.

Given that a production increase was possible with the jump from four to six crews in March, Helms is hopeful the jump from six to now nine crews working in May will mean production increases continue, especially since the state’s DUC inventory remains healthy.

“That will put us tracking well ahead of revenue forecasts,” he said, “and really a nice, gentle recovery in terms of oil and gas activity.”

Workers for these additional hydraulic fracturing crews are so far coming out of Colorado and Oklahoma, Helms added — though not Texas, where activity is also gathering steam.

However, based on the “intel” he was able to gather during the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference, Helms said big improvements to the state’s production figure are unlikely until next year.

“As you heard in quite a few of the presentations, the Bakken, if it continues to operate the way it is today, is a great place to allocate (exploration and production) capital,” Helms said.

But the world still has about 77 million barrels of oversupply due to the twin effects of the pandemic, which crushed demand 30 percent, and a Russia-Saudi price war that oversupplied an already oversupplied market, Helms noted.

Glasgow City Council To Meet Monday at 4:30p

Monday, May 17th 2021

Brazil and India Variants Of COVID Virus Found In Montana

Monday, May 17th 2021

Montana’s latest COVID-19 variant update shows a total of 216 variant cases but no additional confirmed cases of the P.1 or B.1.617.2 variants, also known as Brazil and India variants.

New on the report is a section that shows how many of Montana’s 159 breakthrough cases are attributed to variants. Breakthrough cases are COVID-19 cases confirmed in people at least two weeks out from full vaccination. All three cases of the P.1 strain in Montana are in people who are fully vaccinated. 30 others are confirmed to be other variants, including B.1.1.7, also known as the U.K. variant.

Valley County has had 1case of a variant virus found in the county, the variant is classified as being from California. Roosevelt County has had 9 variant cases and Phillips County 2.

There are a total of 159 breakthrough cases, which includes 16 hospitalizations and two deaths. 33 out of 39 cases had subtyping performed to determine if they were variant strains of the virus.

The P.1 strain has so far been detected in Big Horn, Gallatin and Meagher counties. The B.1.617.2 strain showed up in Lewis and Clark County.

The Associated Press reports that scientists have been watching P.1 closely, as it shows some level of resistance to antibodies, whether produced in the body through vaccine or a previous infection. Brazilian studies have shown the strain to be up to 2 1/2 times more contagious than the original strain.

In April, NBC News reported that an alarmingly high number of babies and children are dying of COVID-19 in the South American country.

Monday, the World Health Organization upgraded the B.1.617 strain as a “variant of concern.” A new report shows it has transmissibility at least as high as B.1.1.7, the U.K. variant.

34% Of Eligible Valley County Citizens Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Monday, May 17th 2021

2170 Valley County residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 according to the State of Montana. Valley County has a vaccination rate of 34% with an eligible population of 6313. The eligible population has increased after the vaccine has been approved for teenagers 12-17.

Valley County is working with DPHHS and with pharmacy contractors to bring Pfizer vaccine to our county so that it is available to persons age 12 - 17. If you are the guardian of a teen age 12-17 and you would like to sign up for the Pfizer vaccine, please contact the Valley County Health Department. A second dose of Pfizer is planned for 21 days after the first dose.

Here are the vaccination rates for surrounding counties:

Phillips 34%
Daniels 32%
Sheridan 47%
McCone 19%
Garfield 21%

Families of 88% of kids in US to start receiving child tax credit payments July 15

Monday, May 17th 2021

There have been important changes to the Child Tax Credit that will help many families receive advance payments starting this summer. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 expands the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for tax year 2021 only.

The expanded credit means:

The credit amounts will increase for many taxpayers.
The credit for qualifying children is fully refundable, which means that taxpayers can benefit from the credit even if they don't have earned income or don't owe any income taxes.
The credit will include children who turn age 17 in 2021.
Taxpayers may receive part of their credit in 2021 before filing their 2021 tax return.
For tax year 2021, families claiming the CTC will receive up to $3,000 per qualifying child between the ages of 6 and 17 at the end of 2021. They will receive $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6 at the end of 2021. Under the prior law, the amount of the CTC was up to $2,000 per qualifying child under the age of 17 at the end of the year.

The increased amounts are reduced (phased out), for incomes over $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return and qualifying widows or widowers, $112,500 for heads of household, and $75,000 for all other taxpayers.

Advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit will be made regularly from July through December to eligible taxpayers who have a main home in the United States for more than half the year. The total of the advance payments will be up to 50 percent of the Child Tax Credit. Advance payments will be estimated from information included in eligible taxpayers' 2020 tax returns (or their 2019 returns if the 2020 returns are not filed and processed yet).

The IRS urges people with children to file their 2020 tax returns as soon as possible to make sure they're eligible for the appropriate amount of the CTC as well as any other tax credits they're eligible for, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Filing electronically with direct deposit also can speed refunds and future advance CTC payments.

Eligible taxpayers do not need to take any action now other than to file their 2020 tax return if they have not done so.

Eligible taxpayers who do not want to receive advance payment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit will have the opportunity to decline receiving advance payments. Taxpayers will also have the opportunity to update information about changes in their income, filing status or the number of qualifying children. More details on how to take these steps will be announced soon.

The IRS also urges community groups, non-profits, associations, education groups and anyone else with connections to people with children to share this critical information about the CTC. The IRS will be providing additional materials and information that can be easily shared by social media, email and other methods.

The IRS will provide more information about advance payments soon.

Valley County Health Working To Offer COVID Vaccine To Teens Age 12-17

Friday, May 14th 2021

Pfizer vaccine has been approved for teens as young as age 12 as of 5/12/2021. VCHD is now taking names of teens age 12-17 for Pfizer vaccine.

We also have Moderna and Janssen/J&J available to everyone age 18 and older. Please use the link here to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Valley County is working with DPHHS and with pharmacy contractors to bring Pfizer vaccine to our county so that it is available to persons age 12 - 17. If you are the guardian of a teen age 12-17 and you would like to sign up for the Pfizer vaccine, please enter your information and indicate the teen's age. A second dose of Pfizer is planned for 21 days after the first dose.

We hope to schedule Pfizer vaccine in JUNE.

Remember that you must not receive another vaccine 14 days prior or 14 days after a COVID vaccine. (Tetanus vaccine is the only exception as it must be given after a wound or injury.)

Rod Karst Files To Run For Mayor Of Glasgow

Thursday, May 13th 2021

For the first time since 2013, Glasgow will have a contested race for Mayor. On May 11th, Rod Karst filed to run for Mayor setting up a contested race with current Mayor Rebecca Erickson.

Erickson is completing her 2nd term as Mayor after winning election in 2013. Karst is a long time Glasgow City Council member who represents Ward #3 on the City Council.

Filing is open until Monday, June 21st. The Primary Election, if needed, will be held September 14th and the General Election will be held November 2nd.

Other filings for municipal offices in Valley County:

Glasgow City Council Ward#1- Stan Ozark
Glasgow City Council Ward#3- Danny Carr
Town of Fort Peck 4-year term- Burt Johnston
Town of Fort Peck Unexpired term- Mitch Willett
Town of Nashua Mayor- Larry Potter
Town of Nashua Alderman- Mike Merideth

Valley County Covid Update

Wednesday, May 12th 2021

5/11/2021 5:45 pm
Active cases: 1
Number of persons recovered/no longer infectious: 886
Total cases: 905
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 18

4 positive persons since our last report on 5/02/2021 -- Cases 902 – 905
Three (3) of these new positive persons are “presumed positive” after known exposure to positive persons and symptomatic. While VCHD has been allowed to include presumed positive persons throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have only included two (2) other presumed positive persons in our county’s tally of positive persons.
ages 11 – 80: 4
Female: 2
Male: 2
With our 905 cases, we have had 64 persons hospitalized.

COVID-19 Vaccination rate for Valley County:
With an eligible population of 5,917 persons and 2,093 persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19, Valley County is 35.4% vaccinated.

Valley County Community Foundation Awards $33,473 In Grants

Monday, May 10th 2021

Work will begin soon on improvement projects and orders will go out for much needed items, all paid – in full or in part – by grants from the Valley County Community Foundation. The amount of this year’s grants totaled $33,473, said Board Chair Doris Leader.

During a regular meeting on March 30, the VCCF board awarded these nine grants:

• City of Glasgow, $10,000 for continuing engineering costs in the design process for the future swimming pool
• Fort Peck Fine Arts Council, $4,595 to help replace exit doors on the south side of the Fort Peck Theatre
• Glasgow Wrestling Club, $3,000 to purchase 3-tier aluminum bleachers
• Glasgow Reds American Legion Baseball, $2,600 to help buy a new batting cage
• Porcupine Booster Club, $1,800 to purchase a display case for class portraits of Nashua School graduates
• The Connection, $3,841 to replace the roof at the food concession building they own at the Valley County Fairgrounds
• Town of Fort Peck $3,137 to help pay to reseal the main basketball court at the recreation center
• Two Rivers Growth for AM Theatrical, $1,500 to create educational performing arts opportunities for youth
• Two Rivers Growth, $3,000 for the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to purchase a sound system for use at community events

While total costs on some projects are greater than the amount granted, each VCCF grant fulfilled the amount requested by the organizations with the exception of the Glasgow Reds, which received half of the requested amount.

During the meeting, the Board also welcomed the newest board member Stacy Albus, representing the Hinsdale area. Other board members are Vice President Sam Waters, Treasurer Maggan Walstad, Secretary Darla Larson, Jean Carlson, Ken Jansa, Cindy Markle, Jeff Sanders, Whitney Tatafu, and Gary Wageman.

Financial gifts to the VCCF from local residents, and others who treasure life here, are invested with the statewide Montana Community Foundation. Earnings from VCCF funds provide money for these grants, along with two separate scholarship programs. From 1999 to the present, VCCF has awarded $292,587 in grants for 156 projects and given $74,000 in scholarships.

Non-profit organizations with 501 (c) (3) tax status, educational institutions, and government entities, all within Valley County, are welcome to apply for grants. Applications for the annual grants are available in January and due in March. For information, visit www.valleycountycf.net.

VCCF is an independent, non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization, established in 1999. It is sometimes confused with the Valley County Combined Campaign, which is also an independent organization. The two are separate entities.

Fort Peck Summer Theatre Ready For A Full Summer Of Productions

Monday, May 10th 2021

Optimistically navigating out of the pandemic and last year’s cancellations, Artistic Director Andy Meyers, returning for his 11th season, is happy to be moving full steam ahead with for the 2021 Fort Peck Summer Theatre season. Although the productions showcase smaller cast sizes, and safety protocol will be strictly monitored and updated, FPST is presenting a broad roster of shows, featuring something for everyone! Andy cannot wait to fire up the popcorn machine and say ‘Welcome Back’ to our loyal supporters.

The season will mark the debut of the theatre’s innovative new stage (featuring many thrilling bells & whistles), refurbished dressing rooms, a brand-new roof and state-of-the-art sound system upgrade.

June 4 – June 20: Dames at Sea. A star is born in this the tap-dancing musical extravaganza about a young chorus girl who, with help of some energetic sailors, saves the day and proves the show must go on! Don’t miss the debut of FPST’s new stage!

From June 25 – August 15, FPST will initiate a repertory season, meaning multiple shows performing on a rotating schedule (to be posted soon)! The three revolving productions are:

• You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: Perfect for the entire family, all the iconic Peanuts characters we adore, including Snoopy, Lucy and lovable Charlie Brown, come to life in this highly entertaining, Tony Award winning musical!

• The Spitfire Grill: This heart-warming blues & folk tinged musical celebrates second chances, following a young woman who dreams of a new start in a small Wisconsin town. Her unique idea to save the struggling local diner takes the town on a journey of self-discovery while stories, good coffee and a hot breakfast are all served up at The Spitfire Grill. The cherished film version stars Oscar winners Marcia Gay Harden and Ellen Burstyn.

• Baskerville!: Playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor) turns the classic stories of Sherlock Holmes upside down in this fast paced who-dunnit comedy, featuring 3 actors playing over 100 roles!

August 20 – September 5: Terms of Endearment: Based on the novel by Pulitzer Prize winning author Larry McMurtry, as challenges test the resilience of a mother-daughter relationship, this bittersweet and touching ‘drama-comedy’ captures the delicate bonds of family ties. The 1983 film starring Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger and Jack Nicholson was nominated for a record high 11 Oscars, winning Best Picture and multiple other categories.

Also, please stay tuned for special announcements regarding these additional summer offerings:

• Ed Asner in God Help Us. Legendary Oscar nominated, Emmy & Golden Globe winning actor Ed Asner, best known as Lou Grant, Carl in Pixar’s Up! and Santa in Will Ferrell’s ELF, makes his FPST debut!

• Godspell Jr! The stars of tomorrow take to the stage in this special event, as a host of young talent from Northeast Montana and beyond star in this musical. Primarily based on the Gospel of Matthew, a group of disciples perform parables by using a wide variety of theatrical tactics, including mime, clowning, multiple styles of dance, puppetry, and a hefty dose of comic timing. The eclectic blend of music ranges from pop to vaudeville. Performances July 28 – July 31.

• Around the World in 80 Days…. or 37 Minutes: This original musical comedy perfect for the entire family will perform in various Montana communities throughout July, as part of FPST’s acclaimed touring Theatre for a Young Audience series.

• The Annual Performing Arts Camp will take place August 2 – August 12, culminating in the much-anticipated Showcase Performance.

Please continually visit our website, fortpecktheatre.org, for updates, ticket information and published schedules.

News Release From Valley County Health Department Regarding Deaths In Valley County Related To COVID-19

Thursday, May 6th 2021

In recent weeks, DPHHS has been working with Montana’s Vital Statistics Analysis Unit to reconcile and verify Montana residents who died either 1) directly from COVID or 2) COVID played a role in the death of the individual.

Throughout this review process, VCHD has been diligent that the data for a COVID related death does not include persons who were near death -- due to long-term illness or significant injury -- and also had COVID. Valley County has one person who was near death and did have COVID at the time of his/her death. This person is not counted in the statistics and COVID is not listed on his/her death record.

VCHD has been reporting 11 deaths due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications. After a thorough review of death records, and in coordination with DPHHS and the Vital Statistics Analysis Unit, Valley County Health Department confirms that 18 Valley County residents died directly from COVID or that COVID played a role in the death of the individual. Seven (7) additional deaths of Valley County residents were discovered upon review of death records.

The additional deaths occurred November 2020 – January 2021. The persons with a COVID related death are as follows:
A man in his 70s.
A woman in her 90s.
A man in his 80s.
A man in his 50s.
A woman in her 80s.
A woman in her 90s.
A woman in her 80s.

We at VCHD express our deepest sympathies to the families for the loss of each of these loved ones.

Breigenzer Wins Election For Valley View Home Hospital District Trustee

Wednesday, May 5th 2021

Unofficial election results for the 05/04/2021 Valley View Home Hospital District Trustee Election:

Karen J Breigenzer 1,081 votes
Gina Williamson 392 votes

Approximately 30.28% of ballots were returned.

Frazer School Election Results

Wednesday, May 5th 2021

Frazer School Election:

1 Year Term
Michael Cole 84
Angie Toce Blount 53

3 Year Term
Michael Redstone 83
Sonya Smoker 52

Governor Gianforte Announces Measures To Address Severe Workforce Shortage And Incentivize Montanans To Reenter Labor Force

Wednesday, May 5th 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte Tuesday announced two measures to address the state’s severe workforce shortage and incentivize Montanans to reenter the labor force.

The State of Montana will launch a return-to-work bonus program, utilizing federal funds authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act. Return-to-work bonuses will be paid to unemployed individuals who rejoin the labor force and accept and maintain steady employment for at least one month.

The governor also announced the State of Montana will end its participation in federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs and transition to pre-pandemic unemployment insurance (UI) eligibility and benefits by the end of June.

“Montana is open for business again, but I hear from too many employers throughout our state who can’t find workers. Nearly every sector in our economy faces a labor shortage,” Gov. Gianforte said.

“Incentives matter,” Gov. Gianforte continued, “and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to reenter the workforce. Our return-to-work bonus and the return to pre-pandemic unemployment programs will help get more Montanans back to work.”

Across Montana, employers struggle to find workers, particularly in the health care, construction, manufacturing, and hospitality and leisure industries.

Returning to pre-pandemic unemployment eligibility and offering return-to-work incentives will encourage workers to reenter the workforce and help ease a critical labor shortage across Montana.

“Montana’s unemployment rate is at just 3.8% – near pre-pandemic lows – and statewide there are record numbers of new job postings each week. But today, despite an influx of new residents into Montana over the last year, our labor force is some 10,000 workers smaller than it was before the pandemic,” Commissioner of Labor and Industry Laurie Esau said. “Our labor shortage doesn’t just affect employers and business owners. Employees who are forced to work longer shifts, serve more customers or clients, and take on more duties have been paying the price.”

Montana will be the first state in the nation to fully opt out of the federal unemployment benefit programs enacted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Requirements that unemployment insurance claimants actively seek work and be “able and available” for work will be reinstated effective June 27, as well.

Specifically, Montana’s Department of Labor & Industry announced the following changes to the unemployment insurance (UI) program:

• Starting June 27, 2021, claimants who have exhausted their traditional UI benefits but had continued to receive them through the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will no longer be eligible for UI payments.

• Beginning June 27, 2021 Montana will no longer be issuing supplemental $300 weekly payments to claimants under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.

• Beginning June 27, 2021, Montana will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA presently provides benefits to the self-employed, the underemployed, independent contractors, and individuals who have been unable to work due to health or COVID-19 affected reasons.

• Starting June 27, 2021, Montana will no longer participate in the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) program, which offers supplemental payments to individuals who had both traditional W-2 income as well as self-employment income.

• Requirements that claimants be able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work in order to be considered eligible for benefits will be reinstated effective June 27, 2021. These requirements had previously been suspended under emergency rule-making authority in March of last year. More information about work-search and “able & available” requirements is available in the UI Claimants handbook.

Unemployment insurance claimants will be receiving information soon about how these changes affect them individually. Until then, claimants with questions about their future eligibility are encouraged to visit MontanaWorks.gov or contact the Department of Labor & Industry at 406-444-2545. Claimants receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) should contact 406-444-3382.

The Return-to-Work Bonus initiative will offer $1,200 payments to individuals receiving unemployment benefits as of May 4, 2021, who subsequently accept employment and complete at least four paid weeks of work. Individuals eligible for the bonus will be contacted by the Department of Labor and Industry and informed of their eligibility, as well as more information about how to ensure they receive the payment after they complete four weeks of employment.

Win A Trip To Maui, Hawaii By Receiving COVID Vaccine By June 4th!

Wednesday, May 5th 2021

Win a trip to Maui, Hawaii! Round trip tickets for 2; 5 nights of accommodation; airport/hotel transportation included.
Drawing date: June 4th, 2021
How to Enter: Be vaccinated against COVID-19!
1. You are automatically entered if you have been vaccinated by the Valley County Health Department for COVID-19.
2. Have your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by June 4th. Call 228-6261 to sign up for vaccine.
3. If you are a Valley County resident, but received your vaccine outside of Valley County, email community@fmdh.org with your name and phone number.
Questions? Email community@fmdh.org

Giveaway rules and regulations:
Winner must be 18 years or older
Winner must have received their 1st dose of COVID-19 before June 4, 2021 and supply proof of vaccination
Winner must be a resident of Valley County, MT
-Vacation arranged by Magic Carpet Travel and subject to availability.
-Magic Carpet Travel acts only as an agent and is not the actual supplier of booked travel services
-Travel insurance is optional and the winner’s responsibility
-Black out dates may apply
-In lieu of trip, the winner may elect to take $1,000
-Trips are non-transferable and must be taken by the winner and must be booked within 6 months of the drawing.
-Winner must be 18 years or older
-Winner must pay applicable taxes.
-Do not need to be present to win.
-In case of a dispute, all decisions by Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital are Final.
-Winner may be required to pay resort fees.
-Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital Employees are not eligible to win.

-Travel Safety Warning: Due to the fact that travel and tourism are constantly in a state of flux, the Winner shall consult the U.S. State Department’s website at travel.gov and enter the where they plan to visit for the latest information concerning traveler safety, security, and health advisories. All guests are responsible for checking the travel and entry protocols for the destination that they are travelling to before they depart and ensuring that they fully understand and comply with any such protocols. For example, for some destinations, may require obtaining a negative PCR Covid-19 test a certain number of days before and on return travel. The Sponsor and/or Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital shall not be responsible for any additional costs incurred for any required test or any other pre-travel or post travel requirements.

34% Of Eligible Valley County Residents Vaccinated For COVID-19

Tuesday, May 4th 2021

Valley County COVID-19 Update
5/03/2021 5:45 pm
Active cases: 8
Number of persons recovered/no longer infectious: 882
Total cases: 901
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 11

COVID-19 Vaccination rate for Valley County:
With an eligible population of 5,917 persons and 2,013 persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19, Valley County is 34.0% vaccinated.

Phillips County-35%
Roosevelt County- 30%
Daniels County- 33%
Sheridan County- 48%
McCone County- 19%
Garfield County- 22%

Wolf Point Man Sentenced To Prison After Conviction On Rape, Child Abuse And Assault Crimes

Tuesday, May 4th 2021

GREAT FALLS – A Wolf Point man convicted by juries in two separate trials of rape, child abuse and assault crimes was sentenced today to a total of 20 years and five months in prison, followed by a total of 10 years of supervised release, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

A jury convicted Luke John Scott, Sr., 33, on Jan. 28 of aggravated sexual abuse and of assault by striking, beating or wounding, a misdemeanor, in a July 2017 rape and assault of a woman. On Nov. 19, 2020, a separate jury convicted Scott of felony child abuse that began in July 2018 and of assault resulting in serious bodily injury for an assault on the same minor child in March 2019. The crimes in both cases occurred on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

Chief Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

In the aggravated sexual abuse and assault case, Chief Judge Morris sentenced Scott to 10 years and five months in prison and to 10 years of supervised release. In the felony child abuse and assault case, Chief Judge Morris sentenced Scott to 10 years in prison and to three years of supervised release. Chief Judge Morris ordered the prison sentences in the two cases to run consecutively, for a total of 20 years and five months, and for the terms of supervised release in the two cases to run concurrently, for a total of 10 years of supervised release.

“Mr. Scott’s violent conduct not only seriously harmed the victims in these two cases but also endangered the entire community. These sentences will hold Mr. Scott accountable for his crimes, while protecting the community from further violence by him. Those who rape women and abuse children will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Acting U.S. Attorney Johnson said.

In the aggravated sexual abuse case, the government alleged in court records and through evidence presented at trial that on July 7, 2017, Scott approached the victim, identified as Jane Doe, on the street, told her he had a bottle of vodka and that a relative was fishing by the Poplar river. The victim went with Scott to the river, where he threatened to kill her, tried to strangle her and then raped her. Jane Doe reported the assault to law enforcement and was transported to the hospital in Poplar.

In the child abuse and assault case, the government alleged in court records and through evidence presented at trial that for approximately eight months, beginning in July 2018, Scott abused and injured a minor child in Wolf Point. The abuse culminated in a March 2019 assault in which the Scott assaulted the child by repeated blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation. The victim was treated for serious injuries.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kalah A. Paisley prosecuted the cases, which were investigated by the FBI and Fort Peck Law Enforcement Services.

Glasgow City Council Conducting Public Meeting To Brief Residents On Current Water System Planning Efforts

Monday, May 3rd 2021

A public meeting will be presented to the residents of Glasgow to inform them of the current water system planning efforts and solicit input on the pursuit of water system upgrades, repairs and funding.

The City of Glasgow is preparing a preliminary engineering Report (PER) to address deficiencies in the raw water transmission and water distribution system. Aging infrastructure has contributed to several failures in recent years resulting in costly repairs for the City. The purpose of the PER is to evaluate alternatives available for addressing system deficiencies so that the city staff and its residents may decide which alternatives best suit their needs. The PER will then be used to the city pursue funding for the selected alternative(s).

Fish And Wildlife Service Considering Reintroducing Wild Bison To Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge

Friday, April 30th 2021

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials said they will consider in coming years whether to reintroduce wild bison to a million-acre federal wildlife refuge in central Montana, a move that would be at odds with Republicans in the state who want to limit where bison can roam.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans beginning in July “to engage Tribes and stakeholders on the topics of bison and bighorn sheep reintroductions” on the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, a remote landscape of badlands and prairie bisected by the Missouri River, according to an Interior Department statement.

Bison historically roamed the region but were wiped out across most of North America by overhunting in the late 19th century. Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature have sought to make it harder to reintroduce bison to new areas.

Many ranchers in the state, including around the refuge, oppose efforts to restore bison to the landscape, fearing they could compete with livestock for public grazing space and spread the disease brucellosis. That’s an infectious disease carried by Yellowstone National Park bison that can cause animals to prematurely abort their young.

Gianforte last week announced the cancellation of a state bison management plan that would have made it easier to reintroduce the animals. His administration settled a lawsuit with a property rights group that claimed that then-Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, had been scheming to establish a free-roaming herd within the Charles M. Russell refuge, named for the western artist whose work captured the area’s rugged beauty.

A group of Native American state lawmakers on Tuesday asked the Biden administration to craft a plan to reintroduce bison to the refuge and on public lands adjacent to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, including Glacier National Park and the Rocky Mountain Front.

Rep. Tyson Running Wolf, a Blackfeet member from Browning, said it was “awesome” that bison could be considered for the refuge. He urged the administration to also look at bison for the Glacier area.

Interior Department officials provided no specifics on their plans beyond a statement saying the wildlife service was in the final planning stages before launching a “multiple year” process to consider bison and bighorn sheep reintroductions. Other wildlife and habitat issues also would be considered.

The refuge already has bighorn sheep and it is uncertain if their inclusion by the agency refers to plans to bolster existing populations or put them into more areas.

Senator Tester Believes U.S. Can Convince Canada To Re-Open Border If More People Follow Through On Getting COVID Vaccine

Friday, April 30th 2021

Senator Jon Tester believes the U.S. can convince Canada to re-open its borders to normal traffic if more people follow through on getting their COVID shots.

Sen. Tester says it has also impacted his farming operations in Big Sandy, showing the business impact.

“I always tell folks that oftentimes Montanans have more in common with the folks north of the border than we do with people east of the Mississippi and it's true. And not only seeing relatives but you know for trade. I mean, I would love to run up there and get some certified seed," Sen. Tester told MTN News.

"But getting across the border and getting back into the United States as a as a real task right now. And so we've got to work with Canada. We got to work with our Customs and Border Protection and the CDC and get it so we can start doing business as usual with our friends to the North and they can do business with us," he continued.

Canadian restrictions have gotten even tighter, with case counts up and hard travel restrictions in place across British Columbia.

“I have already been talking to the Administration about how we can work with Canada to get the border open. I've been doing that for the last several months because they are such an important trading partner," Sen. Tester noted.

But while a political solution develops, Sen. Tester believes vaccinations are key. He recognizes there's resistance by some, but says the border opening hinges on proof of COVID-19 safety.

“And it gives us a real tool if we can say ‘you know what guys? 70% of people in Montana are vaccinated we need to open this border up," Sen. Tester said. "And I think it gives a tool and it will help us get that border open and get life back to normal. Get this pandemic in a rearview mirror and it sets a great example to the world that the United States can lead on this issue.”

British Columbia recently extended its province-wide restrictions through May 25th.

“Since President Biden took office, the southern border has been wide open to the flow of illegal drugs and a surge of illegal immigrants," Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said in a statement provided to MTN News. "Meanwhile, Montanans continue to be impacted as the northern border remains locked down. Montana small businesses and communities depend on cross-border tourism and travel to support jobs. With vaccinations on the rise and covid cases on the decline, It’s time for Biden to acknowledge this and reopen the northern border.”

In March, Senator Daines wrote a letter urging the Biden Administration to allow non-essential travel between Montana and Canada to boost Montana jobs, Montana agriculture and Montana small businesses.

Area Projects Receive Tourism Grant Funding

Thursday, April 29th 2021

MONTANA – The Montana Department of Commerce today announced $750,000 in Tourism Grant Award funding to strengthen local economies in 26 communities by enhancing tourism and recreation assets.

The awards will serve 35 tourism and recreation projects across Montana, including unincorporated small towns, rural communities and areas of known attractions to non-resident visitors.

“Montana boasts world-class tourism and recreation destinations in every corner of our state,” Commerce Director Scott Osterman said. “These funds will facilitate development of tourism and recreation assets, supporting good-paying jobs in communities across Montana.”

The Tourism Grant Program at the Montana Department of Commerce awards funding annually to projects that strengthen Montana’s economy through the development and enhancement of the state’s tourism and recreation industry. Eligible entities based in Montana that may apply for a tourism grant include city and county entities, non-profit organizations and tribal entities.

Area projects that received grant funding:

The City of Glasgow will receive $16,833 for phase 3 of Glasgow’s wayfinding project

McCone County will receive $6,000 for McCone County Museum building repairs

The Saco Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture will receive $32,410 to develop the Saco Chamber rodeo grounds and arena

Glasgow Man Sentenced To Montana State Prison On Three Counts Of Incest

Thursday, April 29th 2021

Glasgow resident, Sacramento Juan Dominguez Jr, has been sentenced in State District Court to 60 years in prison after being found guilty of 3 different counts of incest during a jury trial in Glasgow in February.

Dominguez was charged in July of 2019 with the 3 counts of incest dealing with incidents that occurred in Valley County in August of 2018.

District Court Judge Yvonne Laird issued the final judgement on Dominguez on April 28th sentencing him to 60 years in prison with 10 years suspended on each of the 3 counts of incest. He will also be credited with 117 days in jail already served. The sentences will run concurrently with each other on all 3 counts. Dominguez is ordered to complete sex offender treatment at the Montana State Prison, pay $875 for counseling services for the victim and pay $5000 in future restitution to the victim. He will also have to register as a sex offender when his prison sentence is completed.

According to court documents, Dominguez has a lengthy criminal record including a criminal mischief conviction in Valley County from 2019. He was sentenced to 60 months in prison with all time suspended by Judge Laird. Dominguez also has two misdemeanor assaults against intimate partners and two misdemeanor DUI convictions.

Dominguez is currently incarcerated at the Valley County Detention Center awaiting transfer to the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.

Valley County Commissioners Hire Brian Austin As Refuse District Manager

Thursday, April 29th 2021

The Valley County Commissioners have hired Brian Austin as the Valley County Refuse District Manager. Austin has spent nearly 30 years as the manager of the Valley County Landfill but now he will be in charge of the entire refuse district which includes the landfill and all container sites located throughout Valley County. Austin will earn a salary of $25 per hour in his new position.

The commissioners had a big crowd on hand for their weekly meeting on Wednesday as county residents expressed their displeasure with the recent action of the commissioners replacing the refuse district board with themselves. Over 30 people were on hand for the meeting asking questions and giving their opinions on the refuse district issue. The commissioners stressed that they will act as the interim board until various assessment issues are solved.

The commissioners were guests on LUBS on Wednesday and the majority of the program was focused on the Valley County Refuse District. Here is a link to the program:


Montana Legislature Passes Marijuana Implementation Law

Wednesday, April 28th 2021

From www.krtv.com

HELENA — The Montana Legislature’s major bill to implement marijuana legalization is now on its way to Governor Greg Gianforte’s desk. On Tuesday, the Montana House endorsed the Senate’s version of House Bill 701 62-38 in a preliminary vote. Less than an hour later, the bill passed again on a final vote, 67-32.

“We will walk out of this session having delivered forward to the people of Montana something that works,” said Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, who sponsored HB 701.

It’s the end of a wild journey for the bill, which was officially introduced less than a month ago. Since that time, it has gone through the House and Senate, been heavily amended twice and been tabled in a House committee and then immediately revived.

On Monday, the House initially rejected the Senate’s amendments to HB 701, which would have sent the bill to a conference committee to attempt to find a version the two chambers could agree on. However, House members voted to reconsider that action later the same day.

Hopkins said he understood why House members had concerns about the bill and wanted to do more work on it, but he said HB 701 was the best option for implementing recreational marijuana, and it would have been a mistake to reject the amendments.

“The ramp that we have to the end of the legislative session, the work that the Senate had already done and the agreements that they had already come to meant that sending this bill back to a conference committee wouldn’t outright kill it, but would go about as far towards killing it as you could go without killing it,” Hopkins said. “It was a bad idea.”

HB 701 still drew opposition Tuesday from conservative Republicans in the House. They had concerns about how marijuana tax revenues would be used, and about whether it would encourage more black-market operations.

Rep. Bill Mercer, R-Billings, said he doubted legal marijuana sales would raise enough revenue to support the programs laid out in HB 701. He also criticized a provision that would allow counties to ask voters for a local-option marijuana tax of up to 3%.

“In future sessions, when we hear why a local-option sales tax has proven to be an effective way to generate money for local communities, plant your flag on this day,” said Mercer. “Because this was the day that we opened the door to this new tax that will find its way into communities as that argument gets traction, and we will rue the day that we did this.”

Hopkins said an illicit market for marijuana already exists in Montana, so the state’s goal should be to pull as many of those customers as they can into the legal market.

“I think that out of every program that I’ve throughout the United States, this one is best situated to do exactly that,” he said.

Hopkins thanked all the legislators and staff members who put long hours into putting HB 701 together over the last few weeks.

HB 701 would extensively revise the framework for recreational marijuana set up in Initiative 190, the voter-approved legalization measure. It would allow existing medical marijuana providers to get licensed to sell to recreational customers, with the first legal sales starting Jan. 1, 2022. For the first 18 months, only current providers would be allowed to enter the market.

In counties where the majority of voters supported I-190, recreational marijuana businesses could operate unless a county or city voted to “opt out” of allowing them. In counties where most voters rejected I-190, recreational sales wouldn’t be allowed unless a local election was held to “opt in.”

Valley County voters favored legalization of marijuana in the November election 51% to 49%. Voters in Phillips County and Daniels County rejected the legalization while voters in Roosevelt County and Sheridan County voted in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

In a statement to MTN on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the governor’s office said Gianforte was “encouraged by the progress of HB 701, and will carefully review the bill when it reaches his desk.”

Valley County COVID Update

Tuesday, April 27th 2021

Valley County COVID-19 Update
4/26/2021 5:45 pm
Active cases: 10
Recovered cases: 874
Total cases: 895
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 11

COVID-19 Vaccination rate for Valley County:
With an eligible population of 5,917 persons and 1,950 persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19, Valley County is 33.0% vaccinated.

Area Vaccination Percentages:
Phillips County 34%
Daniels County 32%
Sheridan County 46%
Roosevelt County 28%
Garfield County 22%
McCone County 17%

Release from Valley County Health Department regarding vaccinations:

COVID-19 vaccine is available each Wednesday through May by calling Valley County Health Department at 228-6261/

Don't miss this convenient opportunity to get vaccinated. Our clinics will be getting less and less frequent as more of our population is vaccinated and as fewer people are signing up for their first dose. By the end of May, we will be offering COVID-19 vaccine at most every two weeks and possibly only once a month, depending on demand.

It's possible that certain businesses and programs such as colleges, healthcare facilities, and even travel (airlines, cruise ships, etc.) may require vaccination. If something comes up in your life - you or a loved one is hospitalized and one or both of you aren’t vaccinated, you may not be allowed to see each other. Or maybe you must, or you want, to travel somewhere - you may need to show proof of vaccination (it must be at least 14 days after your second vaccine/first vaccine if J&J). This could put you in a pinch if our vaccine clinic is only once a month.

Valley County Health Department also continues to do contact tracing daily. For those who are fully vaccinated, your chances of contracting COVID-19 virus are very slim, therefore there is no mandatory quarantine if you are exposed to someone positive for COVID-19. Vaccination helps to stops the spread of COVID in our community and allows people to more freely do the things they'd like without worry of spreading the virus to their loved ones.

And if none of that is enough of a reason to get vaccinated, do it for yourself. After a 2nd dose of Moderna, the vaccine is 95% effective! Nobody wants to get COVID. For some, yes it can be just a mild cold, but for others it can make you severely ill, have long-term and life-altering symptoms, or even cause death. Maybe you've already had the COVID-19 virus? You can get it again and get even more sick than the first time. Please get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Montana Gains Additional Seat In U.S. House

Tuesday, April 27th 2021

HELENA — Starting in 2023, Montana will once again have two representatives in the U.S. House, according to results from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau made the announcement Monday afternoon during a virtual news conference to release the first results from last year’s census.

Every 10 years, the Census Bureau is tasked with counting the country and states’ populations. States are then awarded seats in the House based on their proportion of the national population.

Montana previously had two U.S. House members between 1913 and 1993. It will be the first state in U.S. history that had two seats in the House, lost one, and then got it back.

The Census Bureau also announced Texas will gain two seats, and that Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Oregon will gain one each. California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each lose one seat.

For the last 30 years, Montana has been the most underrepresented state in the House, with by far the largest population in any single congressional district in the country. The state is currently estimated to have more than 1 million residents.

The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission will now be tasked with dividing the state into two congressional districts. The first elections for the new seats would be held in 2022.

However, this may not be the final word. Some states that lost seats in this apportionment may file legal challenges over the census data.

Reduced Hours Will Continue At Six Ports Of Entry In Montana

Tuesday, April 27th 2021

WEETGRASS — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to operate six ports of entry in Montana and one in Idaho at reduced hours through May 21, 2021.

The U.S. has reached agreements with both Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across borders to limit the further spread of COVID-19.

The measures were implemented on March 21, 2020, and were originally in place for 30 days, subject to reevaluation and further extension. On April 22, 2021, these measures were extended for an additional 30 days.

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

Raymond, Montana POE: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week
Opheim, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.
Morgan, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.
Turner, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.
Del Bonita, Montana POE: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.
Piegan, Montana POE: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.
Porthill, Idaho POE: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.CBP has also delayed the resumption of the summer hours schedule at the port of Wild Horse, Montana. Wild Horse will continue to operate on its’ winter hours schedule of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.

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

Legislation Prohibiting Services Or Employment Based On Vaccination Status Gets Pushback From Medical Groups

Tuesday, April 27th 2021

MISSOULA, Mont. — Health care leaders across the state are concerned that decades of medical research could go out the window if the Montana Legislature and governor pass House Bill 702.

The bill would prohibit business and government agencies from denying services or employment based on vaccination status.

In a joint statement from the Montana Health Care Association, Montana Hospital Association, Montana Medical Association and Montana Primary Care Association, they emphasize it wouldn’t just prohibit the requirement of the COVID-19 vaccine but others as well, such as MMR, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (chicken pox) and hepatitis B.

“House Bill 702 upends 50 years of medical science and compliance and practices that health care facilities have used to protect their employees, patients and visitors,” said Rich Rasmussen, the president and CEO of the Montana Hospital Association.

Supporters of the bill argue that requiring the COVID-19 vaccine violates their freedom of choice and threatens their employment.

“We need to have the right to make our own choices, especially with an experimental vaccine. They can fire me before I get it, and there are other nurses who feel the same way,” testified one nurse at a hearing for the bill.

Health officials say, if passed, the bill would do one of two things: Pandemic operations would be permanent, requiring everyone in the hospital to wear a mask and restricting visitors, or it could cause avoidable harm to patients and staff. On top of that, they point to potential conflict between federal regulations and state law.

“We are being told by federal guidance and law that we must differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated, and yet this law says we can’t, so we’re going to be in the position of being out of compliance, either the state law or federal law, in one fashion or the other,” said Rose Hughes, executive director of the Montana Health Care Association.

The Montana Hospital Association says they make accommodations, typically requiring masks, for people who deny the vaccine on medical or religious grounds. Officials at those facilities say their ability to know who is and isn’t vaccinated and their ability to treat circumstances differently depending on vaccination status is important to get back to normal. With this bill, they would treat everyone as unvaccinated.

Montana Senate Signs Off On Latest Legislation To Legalize Marijuana

Monday, April 26th 2021

HELENA — The Montana Senate has signed off on the latest version of the bill to overhaul the state’s recreational marijuana laws.

Senators voted 35-15 for House Bill 701 in a preliminary vote Friday. The bill was then sent immediately to the Finance and Claims Committee, which returned it for a final vote on the floor. The Senate then passed the bill again, 34-16.

“Whether or not deep down inside you want to see this marijuana industry happen in Montana, the fact of the matter is, it’s been voted on, it’s going to happen,” said Sen. Jason Small, R-Busby. “This is the most responsible bill we could have put together that should work out the best for everyone.”

On the final vote, the bill’s support and opposition were both bipartisan. 18 Republicans and 16 Democrats voted for it, while 13 Republicans and three Democrats voted no.

HB 701, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hopkins, R-Missoula, is the last major bill seeking to make changes to the recreational marijuana system set up by voter-approved Initiative 190. This week, a Senate select committee extensively revised the bill.

The current version of the bill would:

· Require a local election to approve recreational marijuana businesses in any county where most voters rejected I-190.
· Allow existing medical marijuana providers in counties that allow recreational sales to immediately begin selling to recreational customers on Jan. 1, 2022; they would have to get an adult-use license at their next license renewal.
· Allow counties to put a local-option marijuana tax of up to 3% before voters.
· Limit home growing of recreational marijuana to two mature plants and two seedlings per person, and four per household.
· Designate a specific court for handling expungement petitions for people convicted of marijuana offenses that would now be legal.
· Provide one recreational marijuana license for each of Montana’s tribes, allowing them to have growing sites and dispensaries up to 150 miles from their reservation.
· Direct $6 million to Gov. Greg Gianforte’s “HEART Fund” for mental health and substance abuse treatment, and eventually providing some additional funding for conservation programs.

“I think we crafted something that represents all of Montana, something I was proud to vote for,” said Sen. Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula. “I think it includes all of our communities across the state of Montana, including Indian Country.”

Now that HB 701 has cleared the Senate, it will go back to the House. House members will decide next week whether to accept the latest version of the bill. If they reject the changes, the bill will go to a conference committee that will have to hammer out a compromise.

The select committee’s changes to HB 701 brought the bill somewhat closer to the original language of I-190. However, Pepper Petersen, president and CEO of the Montana Cannabis Guild and one of the leaders of the I-190 campaign, said that didn’t change his belief that the Legislature hadn’t taken the will of voters as seriously as they should have.

“In the end, this is not what the citizens voted for,” he said. “They’re reducing the count of plants; half of the state is going to be a marijuana desert – these counties that they’ve arbitrarily decided will not receive marijuana. That’s not what the people voted for.”

Despite that, Petersen said he was pleased with some of the amendments, particularly one restoring a requirement that new marijuana growers start their operations small and increase them gradually – as existing medical providers had to.

“Montanans have put a tremendous amount of work into the medical marijuana market,” he said. “They’ve done the work from the ground up, and they’ve taken the chances. We wanted to make sure that those people are first in line for recreational marijuana and that Montanans are the ones benefiting from this – not out-of-state corporations.”

Also on Friday, the Senate approved House Bill 663, sponsored by Rep. Brandon Ler, R-Savage, which would use some of the money from marijuana taxes to increase state funding to school districts – allowing those districts to lower property taxes.

Governor's Office Releases 2021 Montana Water And Supply Drought Outlook Report

Monday, April 26th 2021

HELENA, Mont. – The Office of the Governor today released the 2021 Montana Water and Supply Drought Outlook Report.

According to data in the report, 42 percent of the state is classified as abnormally dry, with another 18 percent of the state in severe to extreme drought conditions. May and June are historically the two wettest months of the year in Montana.

“Following an unusually mild winter, the conditions we see for the next eight to ten weeks are going to be critical as we head into growing season in Montana,” Gov. Gianforte said. “I am tasking state agency directors to begin reviewing authorities and options to support our agricultural producers as some battle extreme drought conditions.”

According to the report, persistently dry conditions through the fall and much of the winter have created the deficit, especially at middle and lower elevations. As of April 15, 2021, mountain snowpack at high elevations has remained near or slightly below average in most basins, with the exception of southwest Montana, where the Upper Madison, Jefferson, and Ruby rivers are likely to see below-average flows this year. The report projects reservoir storage at state and federal projects to be near average.

If spring precipitation is below average, producers in eastern Montana may face challenges ensuring adequate water supply for livestock throughout the summer.

Amanda Kaster, director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC), added that elevated fire risks are possible if current conditions persist.

“We’re keeping a close watch on fuel conditions throughout the state as we continue our preparations for the 2021 fire season,” Kaster said.

The governor’s office will be monitoring conditions closely in 12 eastern counties – Phillips, Daniels, Sheridan, Valley, Roosevelt, McCone, Wibaux, Prairie, Dawson, Richland, Fallon, and Carter – where drought conditions are most severe.

The Water Supply and Drought Outlook is an annual report compiled by water planning staff at the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

Mayor Becky Erickson Files For 3rd Term As Mayor Of Glasgow

Sunday, April 25th 2021

On the first day of filing for municipal offices in Valley County, Glasgow Mayor Becky Erickson filed the necessary paperwork to run for a third term as Glasgow's top elected official.

Erickson was first elected Mayor in 2013 defeating incumbent Mayor Dan Carney and was reelected without opposition in 2017. As of Friday morning, Erickson was the only candidate to have filed for Mayor in Glasgow.

Filing for municipal offices started on Thursday and will end June 21st.

Other filings included:

Stan Ozark in Ward #1 on the Glasgow City Council

Burt Johnston has filed to run for the Fort Peck Town Council

Bill to End Seasonal Time Changes Passes Legislature

Thursday, April 22nd 2021

HELENA — Lawmakers have tried to exempt Montana from switching between standard time and daylight saving time nearly a dozen times in the last two decades. Now, a bill heading to the governor’s desk could actually make it happen.

Senate Bill 254 passed out of the legislature Monday. It would stop the state from falling back an hour in November if three other states in the region pass similar legislation. The federal government also needs to give Montana its blessing.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 28 states considered legislation to stop seasonal time changes, including several western states. Idaho and Utah passed similar legislation in 2020, meaning only one more state needs to do away with their time change for Montana to make the switch, provided the federal government allows them to.

Rep. Katie Zolnikov, R-Billings, spoke in support of the bill during its debate last week on the House Floor.

“This is good for the children,” Zolnikov said. “It is estimated by the American Journal for Public Health … that 901 fewer fatal crashes could occur if the nation adopted permanent daylight savings time.”

But Dennis Lenz, R-Billings, explained his opposition to the bill.

“I finally decided I like the clock change twice a year because it only happens twice a year as opposed to the half dozen or eight times we’ve heard this,” Lenz said.

The bill passed its last vote in the House with bipartisan support and opposition, with 19 Republicans and 13 Democrats voting against the measure.

James Bradley is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association, the Montana Newspaper Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

USDA Announces Schools And Childcare Centers Will Offer Free Meals To Students Through The 2021-2022 School Year

Thursday, April 22nd 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Tuesday that it will continue to reimburse schools and childcare centers for free meals provided to all students through the 2021-2022 school year.

The USDA says it has granted a nationwide waiver that allows the serving of food outside of standard meals times for several of its child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO), which is typically only available during the summer months

The USDA says schools that choose the SSO option will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for every meal they serve, which will support them in serving nutritious meals while also managing increased costs associated with the pandemic.

The Biden administration says the waiver will allow schools to provide healthy meals free of charge to children as the pandemic continues to threaten nutrition security for the most vulnerable in the country.

“USDA will remain relentless in ensuring our nation’s children get the critical nutrition they need,” wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “States and districts wanted waivers extended to plan for safe reopening in the fall. USDA answered the call to help America’s schools and childcare institutions serve high quality meals while being responsive to their local needs as children safely return to their regular routines. This action also increases the reimbursement rate to school meal operators so they can serve healthy foods to our kids. It’s a win-win for kids, parents and schools.”

According to the USDA, up to 12 million children are currently living in households where they may not always have enough to eat during the pandemic. And some of these kids rely on these programs for as many as three meals a day.

“Students’ success in the classroom goes hand in hand with their ability to access basic needs like healthy and nutritious meals,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “It’s critical that our efforts to reopen schools quickly and safely include programs that provide access to free, healthy meals for our most vulnerable students, particularly those whose communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic. This program will ensure more students, regardless of their educational setting, can access free, healthy meals as more schools reopen their doors for in-person learning.”

COVID-19 Update For Valley County

Wednesday, April 21st 2021

Valley County COVID Update:

4/20/2021 4:00 pm
Active cases: 8
Recovered cases: 869
Total cases: 888
Death due to COVID-19 and/or COVID-19 complications: 11

5 positive persons since our last report on 4/15/2021 -- Cases 884 - 888

COVID-19 Vaccination rate for Valley County:
With an eligible population of 5,917 persons and 1,762 persons fully vaccinated for COVID-19, Valley County is 29.8% vaccinated.

Surrounding County Vaccination Rates:
Phillips County- 33%
Daniels County- 31%
Sheridan County- 45%
Roosevelt County- 27%
McCone County- 17%
Garfield County- 22%

U.S. Canadian Border To Remain Closed Through May 21st

Wednesday, April 21st 2021

HOULTON, Maine — The United States extended the closure to Canada to at least May 21 late Monday, continuing the more than year-long travel ban across the world’s largest land border due to COVID-19 concerns.

The move, announced by the Department of Homeland Security, came just before the expiration date of April 21 for the ban on non-essential travel. The U.S. has renewed the restrictions every month since the border first closed in March 2020.

“These restrictions will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 21, 2021,” the DHS said in a statement released late on April 19. “We are maintaining cross-border activities with Canada and Mexico that support health security, trade, commerce, supply security and other essential activities while taking critical steps to protect our citizens and to curb spread of the virus.”

The move comes as Canada has had a surge of COVID-19 cases, particularly in the province of Ontario, which reported more than 4,000 new cases Monday. Canada’s vaccination rate has been slower than in the United States, with 24 percent of its population receiving just one dose of a vaccine, compared to more than 40 percent in the United States.

Although Canada has allowed family members of Canadian citizens and people holding dual citizenship to enter Canada followed by a mandatory quarantine period, the province of New Brunswick, located on the border with Maine, has barred family members from traveling and allowed only essential workers to travel. New Brunswick has had some of the lowest COVID-19 case counts amongst Canadian provinces, as well as some of the tightest restrictions.

With the extension, the border closure will last at least one year and two months, an unprecedented amount of time between the two countries that traditionally have had an open border policy. Debates have stirred in both Ottawa and Washington on whether a “vaccine passport” would be required in order to reopen the border.

Valley County Health Department Receives Women Of Distinction Award

Wednesday, April 21st 2021

Back row left to right: Soroptimist member Maggan Walstad, Administrative Assistants Teri Long and Angie Peterson, Billing Specialist Michelle Norcutt, RN Jan Kaiser, and Soroptimist President Maridene Johnson.
Front row left to right: RN Ella Tweten, AmeriCorps volunteer Emmaline Keesee, AmeriCorps volunteer Sarah Schmidt, Director Lynn Miller

Resilience and perseverance are two words that well describe this year’s recipients of the Soroptimists of Glasgow Women of Distinction Award.

The Valley County Health Department has worked tirelessly for the last year to keep all of us in Valley County as healthy as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. The department led critical efforts in risk mitigation, education of disease prevention and contact tracing, and vaccine administration.

In addition to their unique responsibilities related to the pandemic, the department continues to provide Immunizations, Family Planning, Fluoride Varnish, Cardiac Ready Community, Tobacco Use Prevention Program, Emergency Preparedness, Maternal Child Health and Environmental Health Inspections.

The club wanted to recognize all the women at VCHD for their distinguished service to the community.

Last Day Of School For Glasgow Now June 3rd

Tuesday, April 20th 2021

Governor Gianforte Signs Legislation Ending Same Day Voter Registration In Montana

Tuesday, April 20th 2021

Story from www.billingsgazette.com

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Monday he has signed a pair of GOP-sponsored bills increasing restrictions on voter identification required to vote in Montana’s elections and ending same-day voter registration.

Both measures were identified as top priorities by Republican Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, who advocated for them as ways to boost “voter integrity” in the state’s elections. Democrats and Native American groups have argued that both bills would simply make it harder for people to vote — especially Indigenous people living on reservations and college students.

“Montana has a long history of secure, transparent elections, setting a standard for the nation,” Gianforte stated in a press release Monday. “These new laws will help ensure the continued integrity of Montana’s elections for years to come.”

Under Senate Bill 169, sponsored by Sen. Mike Cuffe, R-Eureka, voters who show up to the polls on Election Day must furnish two forms of identification if they don’t have a "primary" form of photo ID, which the bill defines as a Montana driver’s license or ID card, tribal photo ID, military ID or a concealed carry permit.

Previously, student IDs and membership cards with the voters’ photos were sufficient to cast a ballot, as well as voter registration cards or any other official documents showing their name and address. Now, a voter who only has a student ID must also bring a utility bill, bank statement or some other document containing their current address.

The measure also adds similar requirements for registering to vote, although voters will still able to provide the last four digits of their social security numbers in lieu of photo ID for that process.

The photo ID bill has generated substantial controversy, and was amended on the House floor last month to specifically exclude student IDs from the list of “primary” photo identification. Democrats opposed the change as aimed at disenfranchising college students, while Republicans have argued that voters should bear the responsibility for bringing multiple forms of identification in order to vote. The bill passed both chambers on predominantly party-line votes.

House Bill 176, sponsored by Rep. Sharon Greef, R-Florence, ends same-day voter registration in Montana, a practice that has been in place since 2005. Under the new law, voters must submit their registration by noon on the Monday before the election.

A previous attempt by Republicans to end same-day registration was voted down in a 2014 referendum. Voters rejected the legislative referendum, proposing to set the registration deadline on the Friday before the election, 57.1% to 42.9%.

Native American lawmakers and organizations argued that the change would disproportionately affect Indigenous people in Montana — particularly those on rural reservations, many of whom face long distances to register or vote in person and would have to make the trip twice. A number of other groups, including Disability Rights Montana and liberal organizations like the Montana Public Interest Research Group, also opposed the measure.

Republicans noted, however, that registration and voting can be done through the mail, and that people can register and vote via mail ballot during the 30 days prior to the election.

“It's extremely hard to put the information of all of the voters into the system, get their ballots counted and keep the numbers correct while you're still registering people to vote the same day you're having an election,” Dana Corson, the elections director in the secretary of state’s office, told a House panel during a hearing on HB 176 in January.

In the 2020 general election, held by mail in most of the state because of public health concerns, 3,352 voters registered to vote on Election Day, according to information Corson provided to the House State Administration Committee in January.

That’s a decline from the 2018 midterm elections, when 8,053 voters submitted their registration on Election Day, according to data from the secretary of state’s office. For the 2016 presidential election, that number was 12,055.

The 2014 midterms saw 4,677 same-day voter registrations across the state, and in 2012 there were 8,053.

For election administrators, that’s a lot of potential instances on Election Day that they’ll have to explain to residents why they won’t be able to vote. The Montana Association of Clerk and Recorders did not take a position on HB 176, but Regina Plettenberg, the group’s legislative director and the top election official in Ravalli County, said her counterparts across the state will be especially focused on getting information about the changes out to voters ahead of the next elections.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of voter education,” Plettenberg said Monday. “This is going to be something new, and voters are going to want to be sure before these big elections.”