- Written by John Plestina
The first photo is Smiley Johnson, exalted ruler of Glasgow Elks Lodge No. 1922, with Wolf Point Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler and new Montana State Elks Association President Darla Downs in front of Johnson’s 1957 Chevy with the elk hood ornament at the MSEA summer convention in Wolf Point Friday, July 17. The second picture is Wolf Point Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler and Montana State Elks Association first vice president Darla Downs (center) presenting the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Ronald Hicks (left) of Fredericksburg, Va., with a Montana Silversmith belt buckle to commemorate his trip to Montana during the MSEA’s Grand Exalted Ruler’s banquet Friday, July 17. Hicks was installed as the national GER in Indianapolis, Ind., two weeks ago. Past Exalted Ruler Gene Pronto (right) served as emcee for the evening. Downs was elected and installed as Elks state president Saturday. (Photos by John Plestina)
Wolf Point Elks Lodge No. 1764 hosted the Montana State Elks Association Summer Convention for the first time Thursday through Saturday, July 16-18.
A highlight of the convention was the election and installation of Wolf Point Lodge No. 1764 exalted ruler and Herald-News and Searchlight publisher Darla Downs as Montana State Elks Association president. She becomes the youngest MSEA president in its 113-year history.
Another first for Wolf Point was the official visit of Elks 2015-2016 Grand Exalted Ruler Ronald Hicks and wife Nancy Hicks of Fredericksburg Va., making their first stop in Wolf Point on their official road trip since his installation as GER two weeks ago in Indianapolis, Ind. It was their first trip to Montana.
Hicks’ theme for the coming year is “Elks pride and community focus,” which he stressed during the convention.
“I applaud Montana,” he said, thanking Montana Elks lodges for community service across the state.
Hicks called community service the “great heart of Elkdom.”
He urged a can-do spirit from each lodge.
“Every lodge across this country has issues. I know you’re working to make your lodge a success,” Hicks said.
He stressed that boosting membership must be a priority for a lodge to be a success.
“One person can make a difference. One person can be a spark in your lodge,” Hicks said.
“Don’t dwell on the negative,” he said.
Hicks urged to Elks to communicate.
“So much depends on the exalted ruler and the lodge secretary. Let them know who you are. Put a face on your lodge,” he said.
Hicks reminded the people attending the convention that the only requirements to join the Elks are being 21 year old or older, a belief in God and to pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States.
Downs, who was unopposed for state president, was unanimously elected along with two other people seeking offices without opposition.
Those people were Fred Barrett of Thompson Falls, first vice president; and Bob Stephens of Kalispell, secretary/treasurer.
Susie Larson of Bozeman defeated Dan York of Stevensville for second vice president.
Dennis Cooper of Deer Lodge was reelected as a trustee, defeating Marcus Burnham of Hamilton.
The 2016 summer convention will be held in Deer Lodge. The annual summer convention has been held in the past in Glasgow and in Sidney in 2014, but never before in Wolf Point. The local lodge hosted a mid-winter state Elks meeting in 1985.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway employees work near Fort Kipp Wednesday, July 15, to restore rail service following the first of two BNSF derailments in eastern Roosevelt County within two days. (Photo by Angela Rose Benson)
Little information was available from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway following the derailment of an eastbound mixed merchandise train near Fort Kipp, which created little incidence and no injuries. The derailment occurred Tuesday, July 14, at approximately 4:30 p.m. 10 miles west of Culbertson.
The train originated in Washington state.
All cars remained upright and nothing was spilled. The track returned to service on Thursday, July 16, at 12:15 p.m.
According to Lee Allmer, public information officer for Roo-sevelt County, Amtrak passengers waited for nearly 36 hours in Wolf Point before BNSF was able to get the rails open and running.
According to reports, about a mile of track was damaged.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
The Bainville Town Council approved the ordering of street signs for every corner in town, which will read street names during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday, July 20, in a warm, packed room.
Old business included discussing the purchase of a JET trailer and a power washer for cleaning sewer lines.
The decision of whether or not it is financially possible to make this purchase will be decided during the next budget meeting.
Also discussed was that the automatic generators for the lift station are still not working due to complications with wiring. Currently, a manual system is being used.
A resolution was approved for preliminary appropriations on the Fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.
The farmer’s market in Bainville was said to be doing good for the economy of the town and the council approved it until the end of August. It will then be reevaluated.
Mayor Dennis Porta discussed the events that took place on July 4, saying that the parade and all meals served went well and they plan to continue the celebration next year.
“This was our first year doing the Pig in the Park fundraiser. We didn’t raise as much as we had hoped for, but in years to come, we may have a different outcome with this fundraiser,” Porta said.
New business on the agenda included the approval of a massage therapy business to move into Bainville. Owner and licensed massage therapist Abby Frank of Williston is currently running a massage therapy business in Sidney and would like to relocate her business to Bainville.
“I have so many customers who come from Williston to Sidney, so moving to Bainville may lessen their travel and bring more business to the town,” said Frank.
The next budget meeting is slated for Monday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.
- Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Commissioners passed a vicious dog ordinance on a required first of two readings Tuesday, July 14.
The commissioners are likely to pass it into law with approval on a second reading next week.
Under the new ordinance, an owner of a dog that bites or attempts to bite will face a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum fine of $250 and possible destruction of the dog or the mandatory implantation of an identifying microchip. It becomes mandatory that biting dogs be euthanized on second offenses. The fines for an owner after a second offense goes to $500.
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s office or any other local law enforcement agency will be authorized to impound and quarantine any dog that bites.
The Roosevelt County Attorney requested the ordinance after several people asked for stricter laws addressing vicious dogs.
In other business, the commissioners authorized the County Road Department to purchase two front end disks for $32,500.
The commissioners also approved electrical work at the fairgrounds in Culbertson at a minimum cost of $2,700.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Cross Petroleum Service, a Montana distributor with locations in Sidney, Glendive and Billings, has settled a lawsuit that alleged sales of bogus Chevron products over a period of several years.
Cross was also accused of marketing itself as a Texaco distributor long after its business association with Texaco ended in 2001.
Cross and Chevron entered a stipulated consent judgment in U.S. District Court in Billings in May, requiring Cross to cease claiming it is an authorized Chevron distributor or using any Chevron registered trademarks. Violations of
the consent judgment would be contempt of court.
Cross Petroleum Service offers lubricants, additives, fuel and propane and has been servicing the commercial, industrial and energy fields for over 30 years.