CS Masthead

DUI Task Force Considers Culbertson Alcohol Server Training

The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force discussed a recent alcohol server training class in Wolf Point and a need to offer the class in Culbertson during the July meeting of the Task Force, held at the Roosevelt County Health Department in Wolf Point, Tuesday, July 1.
Twelve people — all employees of Wolf Point bars and restaurants — attended the alcohol server class in Wolf Point, Tuesday, June 2.
It was presented at no charge by the Glasgow-Wolf Point Work Force Center.
They offered to present the same training in Culbertson if the DUI Task Force would request that they do so.
County Commissioner Gary Macdonald said the same training program should be offered to alcohol servers in Culbertson. Then he issued what could have been a warning to bar owners on the east side of the county. Macdonald said if there isn’t a good turn-out for a class in Culbertson, a sheriff’s deputy could conduct compliance checks on Culbertson establishments that serve alcohol.
Task Force member Mary Vine suggested purchasing drink coasters for bars with the DUI Task Force name and a “drink responsible” message. Vine’s suggestion was received favorably and she was asked to obtain prices.
Task force member John Carlbom asked if there were statistics on a recent law enforcement sobriety check stop. Vine said she would ask for numbers of DUI arrests.
The DUI Task Force will next meet Wednesday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m., in the conference room at the Health Department.

New Housing


New housing of single or doublewide mobile homes is making progress in the new development just east of the Stage Coach Bar and Grill in Culbertson.  (Photo by Nancy Mahan)

CHS Construction Progress


Progress is being made on the new addition to the Culbertson High School wing.    (Photo by Nancy Mahan)

Froid Park Playground Fundraiser Planned

A fundraiser is planned for the new Froid Park playground equipment, Saturday, July 12, in Froid.
There will be music and fun with the Northern Lights GIA. There will also be a costume kiddie parade down Main Street at 5 p.m. A night of family fun will follow in the community center that will include kids carnival, volleyball, snow cones, kettle corn. cotton candy, hay rides and more.

The Searchlight Enters New Era ~ 112 Years Of Publication

In its 112 years of existence, The Searchlight has come from the days of hot lead, Linotypes and a black and white printed product to today's computerized layout and design, electronic transmission to the printer and the ability to publish a full-color newspaper to accommodate full- color advertising and an online website, as well.
The concept of the newspaper has changed little over the years — putting out a quality product, which is accurate and meaningful, is the goal of all in the business of publishing community weekly newspapers.
The community has been very supportive over the years and the backing of the merchants in this town and area are invaluable.
The Searchlight converted to offset printing in 1973. Prior to that time, all type was set on Linotypes using hot lead. This was a much dirtier job than today's computerized page layout.
The Searchlight rightfully claims the title of oldest continuously published newspaper in eastern Montana.
Frank S. Leed came from ownership of the Lisbon, N.D., Searchlight to establish The Searchlight in Culbertson on April 24, 1902. Russell Oelkers Sr. worked for Reed and he walked eight miles to work every week from his farm home in Dane Valley.
Reed is credited with much of the early and rapid growth of Culbertson. The town boomed in the homestead era; the 1906 Fourth of July celebration attracted more than 1,500 people.
Reed wrote his valedictory Oct. 29, 1920, after selling the paper to Edgar Erickson and Dale Curran. William Hagen and E.J. Buckingham Jr., together with Harry E. Polk of Williston, N.D., became owners in 1940. Palmer
Sondreal became editor and manager, followed by J.V. Lawson and Hazel Smith. D.W. Robinson took over the paper in 1943. He was followed by D.W. Robinson Jr. as manager in 1949. The next sale, by Robinson Sr., was to Mike Vukelich and Harry Downs Sr. of Wolf Point in 1954. Vukelich later went to Cody, Wyo.,
Harry Downs Sr., who was a past president of Montana Press Association, died in 1974. The family continues to operate The Searchlight and The Herald-News. He was inducted into the Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame in 1999.
His wife, Mamie, continued to publish the newspaper while management was taken over by Harry "Skip" Downs, her son. Harry "Skip" served on the board of the Montana Newspaper Association, and its predecessor the Montana Press Association, from 1985 to 1991. He was honored with a Master Editor/Publisher  Award in 1994.
Culbertson had another paper for about six years  the Republican came in 1907. Judge G.H. Coulter was publisher and Joe Hocking was editor. The Republican was sold to The Searchlight on July 13, 1913. Coulter and Hocking had parted political ways in the presidential election when Republicans split over the candidates of William Hovstad and Theodore Roosevelt. Each newsman used part of the Republican editorial page to express his views.
Ila Mae Forbregd served as editor of The Searchlight for over 42 years until her death in 2008. She was named to the Montana Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2009.
In January 1981, The Searchlight's sister paper, The Herald-News, purchased  Compugraphic typesetters, which could set eight type-styles in 12 sizes without changing film strips.
The Searchlight is now composed using Adobe InDesign with limitless fonts, sizes and graphics available.
One concept has remained true over the years  is that ever since volume number one, The Searchlight has striven to serve the community as an accurate, informative news source and provide our advertisers with a comprehensive, complete medium to make the public aware of their merchandise and services.
This policy will continue as The Searchlight moves towards our 115th anniversary. When this changes, we will have failed the people we are here to serve — our customers and friends — and most of all, we have failed ourselves.
The Downs family celebrated their 50th year of ownership of The Herald-News in 1995 and went on to sell the newspaper to John Stanislaw on March 1, 1999.
Harry "Skip" and his daughter Darla Downs continued working for the new owners, with Darla being named as publisher in 2006. Darla has since went into partnership with Stanislaw as owner of The Herald-News and The Searchlight.
Darla was elected third vice president of the Montana Newspaper Association at their annual convention in June and plans to follow in her grandfather's footsteps as president of the association. She served as president of the Montana Newspaper Advertising Service for several years and still serves on that board.
The current employees are very capable and understand what is necessary to publish a weekly newspaper. They are a devoted and loyal staff.
Darla's daughter, Katie Smith, works in advertising sales and design, as well as printing prepress operations in Wolf Point. Harry "Skip" continues to help on "press day," as does his wife, Ina, who also maintains the subscriber list.
Nancy Mahon currently serves as part-time reporter and ad sales in the
Culbertson office. John Plestina is the editor of The Herald-News and The Searchlight and works from the Wolf Point office. Garrett Pronto is helping in the Wolf Point office this summer before heading off to college in August.