CS Masthead

Gas Prices Fall To Near $2 Per Gallon

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The lowest pump price in Wolf Point Monday. Jan. 12, was $2.09.9 at Town Pump.  (Photo by John Plestina)

How low will it go?
Prices at the gas pumps in eastern Montana and across the nation have been dropping at a rapid pace.
The lowest price in Wolf Point Monday, Jan. 12, was $2.09.9 per gallon at Town Pump. Agland Co-op reported a lowest price of $2.15.9 per gallon at the Cenex stores in Wolf Point. Oelkers’ Service Center in Culbertson reported a lowest pump price of $2.27.9.
Prices below $2 in some states have been reported for more than a week.
All three fuel dealers said there have not been noticeable increases in gallons sold with the lower prices.
The rapid decline in pump prices begs the question: Will the next drop be below $2, a price reported in some states for more than a week.
“ I really don’t know. We don’t know until we get an email. I’m expecting it to be soon,” Town Pump’s Wolf Point manager Tammy Traeholt said.
While the dropping prices might be good for consumers, but is the rapid price decline a good thing for the economy?
Crude oil prices dipped below $50 per barrel in December 2014, for the first time since 2009, a decline of more than 50 percent in crude prices in 2014. When crude oil prices go up or down, gas prices tend to follow.
Is something sinister behind the drop in crude prices? Maybe not.
There are numerous reasons reported to be behind the fall in oil process, including increased U.S. crude production and an outlook for weaker growth in global oil demand.
With market forces forcing prices lower, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, made a decision in late 2014 not to reduce oil production.
Oil prices were high for about a decade, around $100 per barrel since 2010, due to an increased demand with oil consumption in China and other developing nations increasing and wars and political conflicts in some oil producing nations.
But as oil prices increased, many energy companies found it profitable to begin extracting oil from difficult-to-drill places. In the United States, companies began using techniques like fracking and horizontal drilling in shale formations in North Dakota and Texas.
It is not known how far prices could fall before most shale oil, which may account for up to 55 percent of U.S. production, becomes unprofitable. The process of fracking through rock and using horizontal drilling to retrieve crude is costly.

East End Residents Tell Snow Plowing Concerns To County Commissioners

Several people from Culbertson and Bainville expressed concern about snow plowing on rural county roads to the Roose-velt County Commissioners Tuesday, Jan. 13.
At issue are open roadways for school buses and safety issues, that include motorists and access for medical emergencies.
Newly elected commissioner Allen Bowker of Culbertson requested a discussion about snow removal, particularly on Roosevelt County Road 2051, north of Brockton and Culbertson and west of Froid.
“I got a call from a bus driver in Froid concerning the snow removal,” Bowker said.
“It’s the scheduling, not the road conditions,” he said. “We don’t want to point fingers or make anybody the bad guy.”
Bowker said he has spoken to the school superintendents in Bainville, Culbertson and Froid about the situation.
One issue that was repeated several times is that Roosevelt County is a large county that lacks enough manpower in the road department, and it sometimes takes three days to clean up after a heavy snowfall.
School bus routes are given a priority.
Culbertson School su-
perintendent Larry Crow-der suggested that county road department supervisor Ken Norgaard evaluate each road for priority needs for repairs.
Bowker said he liked the suggestion. He added that he would like to talk to county plow drivers for help coming up with priorities. Bowker said sometimes just a small section of a road needs to be rebuilt.
“All our roads need complete makeovers,” Nor-gaard said. “We’re trying, but, then again, we’ve got lots of roads and not enough manpower.”
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy Cory Reum said he felt that Norgaard had come under attack by some people. Reum praised Norgaard for doing a good job. He asked people to be willing to work with Norgaard.
Culbertson School principal Mike Olson called for a questionnaire to be sent to residents of rural county roads to learn where the most need is.
Bowker said he wants to find a solution. He suggested better communication between county drivers.
One man said there are culverts that need to be repaired or replaced on rural county roads in the eastern part of the county.

Coyote Trails

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Darold Rollman from Butte was in Culbertson Tuesday, Jan. 13, to purchase coyote carcasses shot by local hunters. He pays top dollar for the animals then takes them back to Butte to skin them. He had over one hundred coyotes in his truck and trailer.  (Photo by Nancy Mahan)

Suspect In Gold Dust Burglary Arrested In North Dakota

A man lodged in the Williams County Jail in Williston, N.D., accused of several burglaries in North Dakota, is a leading suspect in the recent burglary of the Gold Dust Casino east of Bainville.
Roosevelt County Undersheriff John Summers said Monday, Jan. 12, that the RCSO was not ready to identify the man because he had not been charged with the burglary at the casino located on U.S. Hey. 2, just inside Montana.
The burglary was reported Wednesday, Jan. 7, and occurred between 6:18 and 6:45 a.m.
A suspect authorities believe is the man jailed in Williston fled the casino with another man in a newer model, four-door, dark colored pickup, possibly a Toyota Tacoma. That pickup crossed into North Dakota and was reported to have been traveling south on North Dakota Hwy. 5.

Country Showdown Moving To Stampede Grounds

The 2015 KVCK Country Showdown will be held in Marvin Brookman Stadium at the Stampede Grounds for the first time in several years.
Held in the Wolf Point High School auditorium the past few years, the talent contest, which is the annual Wild Horse Stampede kick-off event, will be held in the larger venue Wednesday of Stampede week in July.
“It was [at Marvin Brookman Stadium] twice when the [Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture] sponsored a band and we had the Showdown beforehand,” KVCK owner Larry Corns said.
He said opening ceremonies for the Wolf Point Centennial Celebration, which will be held in conjunction with Stampede, will follow the showdown.
Corns said he did not know if the larger venue would result in better attendance.
No alcohol will be sold during the Showdown. Bottled water will be available from 4-H. Alcohol has never been available during the Showdown.
“It was open to all entertainment last year and we didn’t get any extra talent. We’re probably going to go with just singers this year,” Corns said.
He said the WPHS auditorium will probably be a backup location in the event of rain.
Prize money increased for the 2014 Country Showdown with two grants obtained by Wolf Point Elks Lodge No. 1764 from the Elks National Foundation, which doubled the prize money and the number of cash winners. The Elks applied for and received a Promise Grant and a Beacon Grant, each for $2,000, to benefit the showdown.
With that funding, the number of cash winning places increased to five from three in 2013 and the amounts of the top three prizes doubled to $600 for first place; $400, second place; and $300, third. The prizes for the new fourth and fifth places were: $200, fourth; and $100, fifth.
The Elks used a portion of the grant funds to pay for a free pulled pork dinner that was catered by the Elks Club and served at WPHS before the start of the showdown.