CS Masthead

Cutbacks On Days At Culbertson Food Bank

Due to finances and a lack of food bank volunteers, the Culbertson Food Bank will be cutting back on the days of food distribution.
Several area churches, generous organizations and individuals have helped keep the doors open financially. The Culbertson Schools also had their annual Cats/Griz food collection competition which collected a couple hundred pounds of food just before Thanksgiving.
With the Culbertson Food Bank being the only food bank in the county, the monthly demands have nearly tripled from previous years.
During the month of November, the food bank fed 180 families.
The volunteers distributing food are aging and it is difficult during the winter months to find enough people to adequately man the food bank as some volunteers move to other areas during winter months and others safely avoid walking on icy streets etc.
The food bank is very grateful for the wonderful volunteers and generous donors, but are having to cut back to Tuesdays, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Roosevelt County Property Values Going Up While Statewide Decreases

Roosevelt County real estate values are going up while statewide values are going down, according to the Montana Department of Revenue.
The Department of Revenue reported following the recent reappraisal that statewide values of residential property dropped by 2.85 percent from 2008 to 2014.
The average market value of residential property increased by 55 percent during the 2008 reappraisal cycle.
The Department of Revenue also reported that residential property values grew the most in the recent reappraisal in eastern Montana. Oil and gas development was cited as the main reason.
The biggest gain was in Richland County with a reported 102.13 percent increase. Roosevelt and several other eastern Montana counties showed gains above 60 percent. In Roo-sevelt County, the gains in the Culbertson and Bainville area were considerable higher than in Wolf Point. Specific figures for Wolf Point were not made available.
In contrast, residential property values in Flathead County dropped 14.84 percent, 13.2 percent in Gallatin County and 10.84 percent in Ravalli County.
Taxpayers are expected to receive their new assessment notices from the Department of Revenue in the summer of 2015.

School Board Meetings Recapped

(Editor’s Note: This is a recap of recent meetings from minutes approved at the last board meeting.)
In a special meeting on Oct. 13 the board approved the travel and attendance of the Student Council Members to travel to the State Student Council Convention in Laurel for Oct. 19-21, 2014.
Boundary maps between Culbertson and Bainville were presented with horizontal and vertical oil wells located in three of the sections.
Bainville and Culbertson will amiable split the boundary lines so Bain-
ville can have a separate elementary and high school boundary. Bainville could potentially increase their oil revenues by splitting their districts into K-8 and 9-12 grade districts instead of their current K-12 district.  Culbertson wants to hold claims on sections 35 and 2, and 11, while Bainville would share the remaining half sections. Any changes in the boundaries will take effect for the fiscal year 2016.
In other news, the football team lost their first round playoff game in Ennis on Nov. 1.
Volleyball finished their season at the district tournament.
Eight cross country runners competed at the state meet in Helena.
The Cowboys captured their fourth state title in six years. Michael Azure and Tristan Sun Rhodes earned all-state honors.
Speech and drama is placing in every meet.
High school basketball practice has started with 14 girls and 17 boys participating with their first games held in Wolf Point Dec. 12-13.  
The junior high basketball season wrapped up on Dec. 13 with the boys qualifying for the Final Four Tournament in Fairview.
In the technology report, the second drive cage for the was purchased. This will allow for expansion on the memory of the server.
The north gym addition finishing work continues.  The classroom is now being used. The east side addition stem wall is complete with the west side stem wall schedule to be poured the first part of December.
When the board met on Nov. 20, the student council members gave a presentation on their leadership conference noting a speaker from the conference will be in Culbertson to speak to the students in March. Ideas include the council members within the school are broadcasting CNN student news during breakfast and lunch in the lunch room, having a new student orientation and tour as well as addressing student needs such as food backpacks for the weekends and a school food bank.
Hannah Bawden, in conjunction with Larry Gondahl and Dakota Fence have presented a proposal for new playground equipment to replace the 10- to 20-year-old equipment in use. The cost would be around $100,000, including the installation. This new equipment will replace the main structure and merry go round. Projected installation would be next summer.
The boundary remapping was approved at this meeting with split sections going to the Bainville school for elementary and the Culbertson school for high school except for Culbertson retaining sections 35 in 28N57E and sections 2 and 11 in 27N57E.
Brad Adams was hired as co-high school Speech and Drama coach, sharing the stipend with Jeri Gustafson. Shawn Harkins was hired as junior high head track coach with Elizabeth Harkins as his assistant. Elizabeth LeMay will be the elementary boys' basketball coach, Cassie Williams as the elementary girls' basketball coach and Karen Toavs as National Honor Society advisor.
At the Dec. 16 meeting project updates were heard. The bus barn now has four exterior walls and a roof. Insulation and liner panels for the interior walls will be put up next week by Clausen and Sons Construction.
The north gym edition painting is complete, the plumbing has been connected and the handrails, wood trim and clean up will begin in the next week.
A temporary teacher contract was approved for Jennesy Taberna to cover music teacher, Lana Hekkel’s maternity leave at the end of January.
The Science Olympiad team took 10 junior high and 20 high school students to Bozeman, Nov. 24-25. Both groups earned the small school trophy. High school students placed fourth and the junior high students placed eighth out of the ninety schools that participated.  Three students were in the top ten and placed in two separate divisions.
The December meeting adjourned after a closed session for the annual evaluation of Superintendent Larry Crowder.
The next regular school board meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m.

The Searchlight Remembers 2014 News

January 2014 brought a new  design option to the Montana drivers license. Veterans could now add a “Veteran” designation to the front of their drivers license or identification cards.
 A Brockton man, David J. Lewis,  was charged with the murder of Armon Boyd.
 Reports of an increase in Influenza related hospitalizations raised pleas from the State Department for people to get their flu shot.
 The National Propane Gas Association worked at all levels to seek relief from the current supply, distribution and infrastructure problems facing American propane customers, prompting the Department of Transportation to issue a regional order allowing transporters to move the propane more freely throughout the most impacted regions totaling 10 Midwest states and 14 Eastern states.
Dr. Michael Fink, a chiropractor, starts service in Culbertson.
Jeri Gustafson, Cul-
bertson  Speech and Drama Coach, received the Speech and Drama Coach of the Year award.
Sheriff Freedom Crawford updates commissioners on plans for a new jail.
Jason Frederick files for sheriff.
There was a shake up in the sheriff’s department with John Summers replacing Jason Frederick as under sheriff.
Twelve new troopers were commissioned for the Montana Highway Patrol.
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and food company, invested $20 million in 2014 to strengthen refined fuels supply dependability and flexibility for its customer network. This funded the final phase of an ongoing replacement of the company’s refined fuels pipeline between Billings and Glendive and a new pipeline connection at Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Shane Cochran of Culbertson, signed with the Montana Grizzly football team. He had multiple offers from Montana and North Dakota colleges. With rushing 1,589 yards, scoring 28 rushing touchdowns and a total of 2,346 all purpose yards in the past season, he felt the Grizzlies was his best fit.
Two more Honor Flights were flown in 2014 to make the total in the past year of seven flights with over 600 World War II veterans being flown to Washington D.C. to see their world War II Memorial.  Monies were raised by school children and donations came from strangers, and corporations to help fund the flights.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced funding in the sum of $11 million dollars for Fort Peck/Dry Prairie Rural Water System and Rocky Boy’s/North Central Montana Regional Water System to use toward completion of their water projects.
Culbertson High School was one of two Roosevelt County schools to receive state grant money as an oil and gas impacted school. The grants ranged from $16,541 up to $75,000. Culbertson received $60,000. and Wolf Point’s Southside School was awarded $69,955.
Culbertson detoured traffic around Broadway as the town dug up the streets to replace all the old water pipes. Construction lasted through July.
Commissioners approved the realignment of Jct. 327 near Bainville.  The project included paving a bypass of Bainville and bridge replacement over the Little Muddy Creek from U.S. Hwy 2 to the North Dakota border.
Culbertson Mayor Gor-don Oelkers declared April 24 Pay It Forward Day.
Culbertson Graduate, Elizabeth Hendrickson, performed on stage in New York City for the Serious-Fun Children’s Network Gala. She got two thumbs up from Grammy winning Tony Bennett after her performance.

Montana Cowboy Hall Of Fame Challenges Montanans To Build On $100,000 Gilhousen Gift In 2015

The Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center looks to kick off 2015 in a big way by challenging Montanans to match the $100,000 gift made by Klein and Karen Gilhousen of Copper Spring Ranch in Bozeman to the Homesteaders Campaign.
The Homesteaders Campaign funds the construction and endowment of the MCHF’s cultural education center. As the statewide headquarters for the MCHF educational programing, the center will inspire future generations through the examples of those that have contributed to our rich cultural heritage.
“We understand the importance of creating momentum to launch a fund raising campaign,” said Karen Gilhousen. “We are excited to realize the building of this center as a tribute to those that have come before us and as a resource to the next generation as it carries on the great traditions of our Montana way of life.”
“History often overlooks the hardworking members of our communities who have selflessly contributed to the day-to-day improvement of our hometowns while providing leadership for the next generation,” said director of finance Aaron Lyles. “The hall of fame exists most notably to celebrate and pass forward these examples.”
Board member Mike Gurnett observed, “This is truly an idea for which the time has come. Each day we lose more of our heritage and it is our responsibility to act now. How many of us regret not capturing the stories of our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors before they were lost forever?”
Officially designated by
the Montana state legislature, the MCHF is a 501c3 non-profit organization.  Having selected the strategic location of Big Timber for its building site, organizers have worked with nationally renowned firms Storyline Studio and ConsultEcon to complete the exhibition design and operations planning for the center. The announcement of the Homesteaders Campaign marked an important milestone for the organization as it works to realize its vision of building Montana’s premier western heritage destination attraction.
Gilhousen adds, “It is our hope that this initial challenge encourages others to become examples of leadership, and to inspire those who cherish our Montana way of life to invest in the promise it holds for the next generation.”
Looking ahead to 2015, the MCHF will host its ninth annual Circle the Wagons Gathering, Cowboy Ball & Auction Feb. 6-7 in Helena at the Great Northern Best Western Hotel. On Jan. 19, Headwaters Livestock in Three Forks will hold a special benefit cattle auction for the MCHF. Producers who would like to donate cattle to the sale should contact Lyles at 406-600-8231.
For more information about the Homesteaders Campaign and the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center, visit www.MontanaCowboyFame.org.

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