- Written by John Plestina
Two men from Florida and Williston, N.D., that Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested on July 7 following a high-speed chase that started in Culbertson, faced arraignments on a host of felony and misdemeanor charges in 15th District Court Wednesday, July 29.
Julian Tyler Baughman, 32, of Tampa, Fla., pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony theft, criminal endangerment, fleeing from or eluding a peace officer and two counts of criminal mischief during the arraignment.
He is being held in the Valley County Detention Center in Glasgow.
Arrested with Baughman was Kevyn Alan-Addison Johannesson, 26, of Williston, N.D. He pleaded not guilty on the same date to three counts of felony theft, criminal endangerment, fleeing from or eluding a peace officer and two counts of criminal mischief.
According to charging documents, a RCSO deputy pursued Baughman who driving a van reported stolen in Williston on U.S. Hwy. 2 in Culbertson. Baughman attempted to elude the deputy and later exited the van and got into the passenger side of a pickup truck driven by Johannesson, who took the deputy on a chase with speeds reported as high as 80 mph that ended in a field outside Culbertson after one deputy fired three shotgun blasts and another discharged two rounds with a rifle into the tires to disable the vehicle. Over $30,000 worth of stolen tools and equipment was recovered from the van, according to court documents. Both the van and the pickup were reported stolen from Williston.
The Montana Standard of Butte reported in April that Baughman was arrested with a woman from St. Louis Mo., for attempting to steal a pickup truck in Butte, being in possession of a car that was reported stolen in Billings that contained between $2,000 and $3,000 worth of stolen items. The Montana Standard reported that Baughman and the woman attempted to pawn electronic items at a Butte pawn shop, but were denied because neither produced identification.
Baughman also had previous felony charges in Florida.
The Williston Herald reported in January that Johannesson was arrested and charged with felony possession of contraband after he was released from the Williams County Jail in Williston.
The Williston Herald also reported that Johannesson admitted to stealing a four-wheeler and is facing two counts of burglary, one count of felonious possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, two counts of felonious theft of property in North Dakota.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
On Aug. 3, the Culbertson Town Council approved a resolution establishing personnel wages, compensation and health insurance for the 2015-2016 fiscal year for all city employees.
Full-time employees will continue receiving 100 percent health insurance, paid by the town, for themselves, their spouse, and family with members up to five.
The public works director will receive $24.92 per hour, the wastewater operator will receive $22.13 per hour and the solid waste/maintenance operator will receive $20.83 per hour.
The clerk/treasurer will receive $20.09 per hour and the utility clerk will receive $17.40 per hour.
The justice of the peace will receive $370 monthly for municipal court. With 63 hours per month, the library assistant will receive $11.89 per hour.
Janitorial services cleaning the senior citizen center will receive $13.11 per hour.
The swimming pool manager will receive $12.50 per hour and the assistant swimming pool manager will receive $12 per hour. At the beginning of the season, lifeguards with 100 or more hours of experience with receive $10.50 per hour and lifeguards with less than 100 hours of experience will receive $10 per hour.
The mayor will receive $3,300 paid bi-yearly and council members will receive $2,300paid bi-yearly.
According to council member Bruce Houle all personnel wages are paid through services paid by residents of Culbertson.
The city budget will tentatively be approved during the regularly scheduled September council meeting.
- Written by John Plestina
A decision by the Roosevelt County Commissioners to deny additional compensation to three county elected officials during a special administrative meeting Monday, Aug. 3, has all three raising questions.
The commissioners voted 3-0 to deny the jury commissioner and the justices of the peace in Wolf Point and Culbertson up to $2,000 in annual compensation above base salary.
The Montana legislature passed a bill earlier this year allowing for the added compensation for the three positions.
Jeri Toavs, who serves as clerk of 15th District Court, jury commissioner and Roosevelt County superintendent of schools, said the matter should have gone before the Compensation Board first for a recommendation. That action is not required.
When asked the reason for the decision, commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said, “no additional workload.”
“I would second that, exactly,” commissioner Allen Bowker of Culbertson said.
Toavs said she met with Nygaard and Bowker Thursday, Aug. 6.
“I told them, ‘You have no idea what I put into this,’” Toavs said.
“There is additional workload and we’ve had more juries than in the past. We’ve had to pull more people into our [jury] pool because of the number of juries that we’ve had,” she said.
“I’m disappointed, of course,” Culbertson Justice of the Peace Penny Hendrickson said.
“There was nothing to tell us why they were denying it,” she said.
Hendrickson and Wolf Point Justice of the Peace Traci Harada met with the commissioners July 1, asking that compensation be approved.
“We had asked for Judge Harada and I to sit in [when the decision was made] and we were never notified. It was a public meeting,” Hendrickson said.
She cited the work load for both justices and said she thought the justices had a substantial case when they met with the commissioners on July 1.
“We are the only elected officials that are required to take certification,” Hendrickson said.
“It’s kind of frustrating when the commissioners will give themselves compensation,” she said.
“I sent in a claim for mileage for coming to Wolf Point [to meet with the commissioners on July 1] and they denied it. They claimed it was personal business,” Hendrickson said.
“I believe my right to participate was violated because I received no notice,” Harada said. “I saw no posting, was not notified by email or phone.”
She said she had asked specifically when the meeting would be held when she and Hendrickson met with the commissioners July 1.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Culbertson resident Gene Marchwick asked the Culbertson City Council if a neighbor’s horse barn could be relocated away from his rental property, due to the smell it was producing. He did not ask that the horses be moved outside the city limits.
- Written by Jaimee Green
Pictured is Roosevelt Medical Center nurse Terrie Turbiville displaying some of the donated quilts. (Photo by Jaimee Green)
The seven residents who call Roosevelt Medical Center’s Alzheimer’s Unit home are enjoying the warmth of colorful blankets following the recent donation of hand-stitched quilts made by Linda Sorensen. Her father, Russell Oelkers, called Roosevelt Medical Center home for about one year before his passing.
“Older people are often cold and many of them are chair-bound. I thought this was a way I could honor my father, while also making the residents more comfortable,” said Sorensen, of the McCabe area.
Wanting little recognition for her efforts, Sorensen stated she simply wanted to make sure the quilts were used and enjoyed by the residents.
“The quilts are amazing. We are always inspired by the thoughtful donations given to our facility. They enhance the lives of our residents and continue to show the strong support we have from our community,” said Audrey Stromberg, administrator for RMC.