CS Masthead

CHS Seniors Travel To Regina


On April 14, nine Culberson seniors visited the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly building in Regina to learn more about the structure and function of Canadian government. The students were able to visit with a member of the Legislative Assembly “MLA” and gained valuable insight into the issues facing Canada. Pictured are (front row, from left to right) Madalynn Raab, Sheridan Martin, Emily Neilsen, (middle row) Mariah Machart, Samantha Fellman, Hannah Bawden, (back row) Michael Melbourne, Tristan Sun Rhodes and Joe Hanson.    (Submitted photo)

Cub Scouts


Cub Scouts
Cub Scouts Colin Purvis, Tyler Friede, Nyreece Halvorson, Dawson Bowland and Matthew Portra are pictured with their cakes that were auctioned off after the derby races. Purvis and Halvorson’s cakes sold for over $100 each. The other cakes sold for between $50 and $80 each.  (Submitted photo)

Race Cars
These race cars belong to Tyler Friede, Nyreece Halvorson, Matthew Portra, Dawson Bowland and Colin Purvis. Anyone interested in joining the Cub Scouts or helping with their meetings should contact Kara Halvorson at 787-6236.    (Submitted photo)

School Board Candidates Field Questions

The Searchlight sent questionnaires to school board candidates.
Bainville candidate Tyler Traeger responded to the questions. The other three Bainville candidates had not by Tuesday afternoon. They are Ron Butikofer, John Gilligan and Michael Keefner.
Brockton candidate Darren Long Hair responded to the questions. Candidates Leonard Boxer and Rodney Burshia had not.
All three Froid candidates responded. They are Lynda Labatte, Scott Westlund and Rick Williams.
Q. Why did you declare yourself a candidate for the school board? What do you hope to accomplish as a school board member?
Tyler Traeger: I ran as a way to give back to the school and community I was raised in. As a board member I hope to maintain a quality educational experience in a time where we could be facing lower revenues.
Q. What do you see as being the major issues facing the school district?
Tyler Traeger: Obtaining and retaining quality staff and maintaining a sensible budget with possible lower revenue.
Q. What other areas of the school system do you feel are the most in need of improvement?  How would you address those areas?
Tyler Traeger: As a board member, I think it would be our duty to try to improve all aspects of a quality education.
Q. What areas do you feel have the most and least needs for spending by the school district?
Tyler Traeger: I think together as a board we would need to address the issues of increasing or decreasing spending in any areas as they arise, always having in mind our available revenue. We would also need to think about the future of our school district, with possible increasing or decreasing enrollment ahead of us.
Q. If any programs need to be cut in the future due to a budget shortfall, what would you cut first, second and third?
Tyler Traeger: I don’t think it’s as simple as just cutting any certain programs. If we face a budget shortfall, the board needs to work hard to keep all our programs, as they are all important.  If that means decreased spending in several areas to keep all our programs in place, then that is what we would need to work on.
Q.  Why did you declare yourself a candidate for the school board? What do you hope to accomplish as a school board member?
Darren Longhair: As a graduate of Brockton High School, I’ve grown interested into getting experienced with the educational school system. I highly respect the team of board members whose sole purpose is to ensure that their students get the best education possible and I would be more than honored to be a part of that team. As a school board member, I’d hope to provide a comfortable and save environment where students feel free to be themselves.
Q. What do you see as being the major issues facing the school district?
Darren Longhair: I realize that there are a few issues at hand, but, lack of funding and student enrollment are issues I’d acknowledge first.
Q. What other areas of the school system do you feel are the most in need of improvement? How would you address those areas?
Darren Longhair: The accessibility to the proper educational tools needed to give the students the best possible instruction and guidance for their future endeavors. To address this problem, I would research and communicate with fellow constituents, and commit my time to our school by putting in the same effort as the students do to achieve our goal: being the best that we can be.
Q. What areas do you feel have the most and least needs for spending by the school district?
Darren Longhair: In order to accurately disburse funds in the school’s best interest, past and present budget plans would have to be reviewed and further dissected to give an adequate plan of action.
Q. If any programs need to be cut in the future due to a budget shortfall, what would you cut first, second, and third?
Darren Longhair: Due to Brockton’s minimal student body, there is already a minimal amount of programs available to the students. Instead of cutting programs, I think it’d be beneficial to introduce programs that, not only challenge, but teach in different aspects along with the basic courses. If there were to be a budget shortfall, corrective action could be taken with the courses that don’t qualify as “essential” so no required courses would have to be cut.
Q. Why did you declare yourself for school board? What do you hope to accomplish as a school board member?
Lynda Labatte: Froid Public Schools has had a reputation of excellence in academics for many years.  I declared myself as a candidate because I felt that my teaching experience would add a different perspective to the board. In 2013 I retired from Froid School after 38 years of teaching experience. I have taught all grades as well as special education. I currently hold a valid Montana K-12 teaching certificate in elementary education as well as special education. I plan on re-certifying because I have a passion for education and I like to take classes that keep me informed of new trends. I hope to help maintain our excellent reputation.
Scott Westlund: The first step was that I was being asked to do so. Personally I feel the need to serve the community in some fashion, where I can assist a team in making a difference.
Rick Williams: Having children in the school district, I wanted to ensure proper decisions are being made about our children’s  education.  I hope to keep the education of our children top priority in the Froid School district.
Q. What do you see as being major issues facing the school district?
Lynda Labatte: As in most school districts, funding is always a major problem. We need adequate funding in order to comply with continually changing government requirements as well as giving our students every opportunity for a quality, well-rounded education. Our district is the only one in the immediate area that does not have an abundance of oil money. This does put us at a disadvantage; however our community has continually supported the school district and has helped us immensely in achieving our goals.
Scott Westlund: Experience for one as I have never served on a Board. Secondly, I feel a need  to become a member of the Machine that is the Froid School system assisting with decisions that affect our current and future students. Thirdly, Currently I have a grandson in Kindergarten that my wife and I raise, so I have skin in the game as I look out for his future.
Rick Williams: I see a couple of the major issues of the school district as  being able to operate efficiently with the budget we are given, and getting the good teachers we’ve got to stay longer.
Q. What other areas of the school system do you feel are the most in need of improvement?  How would you address those areas?
Lynda Labatte: A. One area that we seem to be behind in is technology. In today’s world we put a student at a serious disadvantage if they are not familiar with most of the new technological devices. We need to have the most up to date equipment and make sure that both the teachers and the students receive training in how to put them to use. I feel that we must continually look for available grants and alternative incomes to help offset the costs.
Scott Westlund: Communication, established hierarchy [who reports to whom?], the need to get to “root causes” versus round and round discussions going nowhere.
In the past few weeks I have found apparent deficiencies in communication, between board members, teachers, and community. We always need to remember that it all comes down to people in the end. People who need to know what is going on, people who need to have the opportunity for input, people who need to be led. Leading through listening is a trait shared by very few, and only Leaders posses this quality. Managers are a “dime a dozen,” while leaders are harder to come by. We need leadership.
Established hierarchy: Again, in the past few weeks I have seen confusion within the ranks of our school system. Maybe I am naive, but I see no real structure to a systems that requires one. There should be clear cut descriptions of who reports to whom. We should be able to list it on the board, and we should know it. With this comes clear cut expectations required from each level of the organization, who can do what and when. Its really a simple process to retrain ourselves to understand where we fit into the machine.
Finding root causes: This last one is my favorite because I come from a Process background. Putting best practices into place and always finding a root cause of any problem, is the environment I thrive in. The work “can’t” should always be a dirty word that should never come into a conversation. There is always a way. Root cause analysis is a way of life for me, finding the best power to solving any problem is through the use of a team of people. These teams of people have always had the answer to the issue but lacked someone removing the obstacles, empowering them to fail or succeed, while all the time moving forward. I do not believe in going backwards, unless we are uncovering a root cause to a problem. In that case the layers of the onion need to be peeled back until you find the reason, then move forward, all the while empowering people.
Rick Williams: As a whole, I believe most areas of the school system are in great shape, I just would like to be a voice for our community, trying to improve the overall quality of our school.
Q. What areas do you feel have the most and least needs for spending by the school district?
Lynda Labatte: When looking at areas that have the most needs for spending we must always make sure that the students are our priority. We need to make sure we have well-trained teachers, up to date materials and technology, as well as adequate salaries and housing to attract and hire good teachers. As for areas that need to have the least needs for spending, I don’t see any areas where the present board and administration are spending more than they need to. I feel that our present leaders are choosing wisely when deciding where each dollar goes.
Scott Westlund: In my mind, teachers are the core to any successful school system. It is common knowledge that teachers teach for the love of teaching, and not for the money. I challenge this mindset to think about the possibilities of a teacher who loves to teach, and yet does not have to worry about where the cheapest apartment will come from for a roof over their head. Teachers are the core of the school system deciding the fate of our legacy, it’s not the stuff on our desks, or the titles we bare. We need to challenge this to keep, attract, and groom some of the best school teachers in the state. As I stated in the beginning, I have a stake in this school system, let’s look deep at what the right thing to do is.
The least will be the spending for an extravagant restroom system that I have been hearing about. The board meeting the other night was on the right track to watch expenses by doing the project in steps.
Rick Williams: I believe the most important part of our children’s education is having good teachers and keeping classroom technology current.
Q. If any programs need to be cut in the future due to a budget shortfall, what would you cut first, second and third?
Lynda Labatte: This is a most difficult question to answer.  If the time came where we needed to cut spending and assess needs I would obviously make sure that we provide all core classes that the students need to graduate as well as preparing them for a higher education.  If that were the case, then it would leave out extra-curricular programs.  I honestly would not want to put a ranking on any of these programs without looking for alternative methods to fund them first.  All of the programs and classes that we offer are effective and necessary in my opinion.
Scott Westlund: This one is hard for me to answer as I do not have the programs in front of me. These decisions will have to be made in an orderly fashion amongst the company of the fellow board members and Superintendant. One thing I will say is that out of all the places I have lived, I have never seen such strong transcripts as the ones I see out here. Being in charge of the scholarships with Sheridan Electric, I see the quality of young people we turn out. I would preserve this to my fullest extent to curriculum, and the scheduling process.
Rick Williams: I can’t answer what programs to cut if it needed to be done, the board member would need to discuss that issue with other board members, the Superintendent, teachers, and the community before they could make that decision.

School Board Approves Madora Trip

The Culbertson School Board met in regular session on April 16. Highlights were the request by Student Council members to take a field trip May 20 for the seventh through 11th grades to Medora, N.D., to discover the history behind the city. All total, 90 students will spend the day in Medora with a cost of around $1,000. The board approved the field trip and will pick up the $1000 tab.
The Science Olympiad students brought home a first place trophy for their efforts with advisor Stacy Herson. Wanting a show- and-tell day set up for all the school clubs to display their winning hardware, medals and certificates.  The board agreed to pick a day and open the lunchroom to the public so they can show off their hard work and awards.
The board accepted a stipend increase for the FFA advisor from $4,000 to $5,000.
Also approved were the minutes from the last board meeting, the 2013-14 audit report, the 2015-16 teacher assignments, with new hires Jennesy Taberna as part-time music teacher and Hayley Swain, the new Spanish teacher.
Coaching positions were also approved. Cody Steppler will be the boys basketball head coach, Tiffany Marchwick will be the cheerleaders coach, Jeri Gustafson will continue her position as Speech and Drama head coach and the school will advertise for a girls’ head basketball coach.
Chris Dunphy was hired for one of the regular evening janitorial openings  and Jacob Crowder was hired for the summer janitorial position.
Other business approved were the MHSA activities, the contract with
Interquest Canine Detection Services for the 2015-16 school year, the football cooperative with Bainville for three more years and the technology budget.
The board approved the class schedule for the 2015-16 school year.
A closed executive session was held with district clerk Lora Finnicum to conduct her evaluation. The board approving a contract renewal for her in open session.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m.

Several Appear In District Court 4.23.15

District Judge David Cybulski heard several cases during Law and Motion proceeding in 15th District Court Wednesday, April 15.
Joel Campos
Joel Campos, 37, of Las Cruces, N.M., was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with two years suspended, credit for 403 days served in the Roosevelt County Jail and screening for inpatient treatment followed by possible prerelease center during the two years of incarceration.
He withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony possession of dangerous drugs on Feb. 11. At that time, he admitted to felony possession of dangerous drugs in Roosevelt County on Dec. 27, 2013.
Campos said in court last week that he would like to go to substance abuse treatment. He also said it is easier to get a good job if he is on probation and not on parole.
He said he has four children and three live in Idaho. He asked the court if he could be sent to Idaho under an interstate compact.
Robert Lindquist
Robert Lindquist, 41, of Chattoroy, Wash., was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with three years suspended, and substance abuse treatment and prerelease.
During a preceding in February, Lindquist withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs. At that time, he admitted in court to possession of methamphetamine in Roosevelt County in November 2014.
He was originally charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence.
During December 2014, Lindquist was sentenced for the DUI to six months in jail with 60 days suspended, credit for 65 days previously served in the Roosevelt County Jail and a $5,000 fine with $4,000 suspended.
Lindquist was arrested with Jennifer Lea Johnshoy, 29, of Crookston, Minn. and Williston, N.D., Nov. 1 following a traffic stop in Wolf Point by the Montana Highway Patrol. The Wolf Point Police Department assisted.
Johnshoy pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, misdemeanor criminal possession of dangerous drugs and a misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia. She is free on bond and has not yet gone to trial.
Dakota Kinzie
Dakota Kinzie, 23, of Wolf Point withdrew a previously entered not guilty plea to attempted assault of a peace officer and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault under a deferred prosecution that is contained in a plea agreement.
Cybulski sentenced Kinzie to 10 days in jail and a $100 fine, both suspended.
According to charging documents, Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick and Chief Deputy Corey Reum arrested Kinzie in the courthouse lobby Nov. 11 after a county employee told Reum that Kinzie placed a bat inside the clerk and recorder’s office and said he would wait for Justice Court Judge Tracy Harada. Kinzie then sat in the lobby.
Kinzie has been free on own recognizance release since December 2014.
Robert Yohe
Robert Yohe, 64, of Bainville appeared to an extradition hearing on a fugitive complaint out of Williams County N.D., for failure to appear.
He signed a waiver of extradition in court.
Yohe is lodged in the Roosevelt County Jail.
North Dakota authorities have two weeks from April 15 to pick up Yohe or he will be released from jail.

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