CS Masthead

Who Pays The Most Taxes?

For most, it would be easy to say, “Not me,” if asked who pays the highest taxes in their counties.
For Roosevelt County, the oil industry in the eastern part of the county pays the lion’s share. Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railway, Montana-Dakota Utilities and Nemont are among the top taxpayers.
Topping the top-10 list is Northern Border Pipeline at $5,136,106, according to Roosevelt County Treasurer Betty Romo. The second through 10th largest taxpayers are: BNSF, $1,345,490; Bridger Pipeline, $498,129; MDU, $494,368; Basin Electric Power Cooperative, $403,166;  Nemont, $207,612; Hiland Operating, $204,088; ONEOK Bakken Pipeline, $195,806; United Grain Corporation of Oregon, $193,994; and Sheridan Electric Cooperative, $152,467.

Culbertson, Froid Youths Awarded Buckle From Red Angus Association

McKade Mahlen of Froid was awarded a buckle from the Montana Red Angus Association for his reserve champion breeding beef.
Tessa Larsen of Culbertson was awarded a buckle for her reserve champion breeding beef.
Also awarded a buckle was Emily Nielsen of Culbertson for her reserve champion carcass beef.
Every year, the Montana Red Angus Association awards youth who win grand or reserve champion at their county fair. Their winner must be a purebred or a red angus influenced beef project in one of three categories: market, carcass or breeding.
This year, the Montana Red Angus Association awarded 44 buckles to youth throughout Montana. The buckles are presented each year during the Red Angus NILE activities.

ALCO Stores Across Country Begin Going-Out-Of-Business Sales


The going-out-of-business sign on the Wolf Point ALCO was visible from U.S. Hwy. 2 Friday, Nov. 21.  (Photo by John Plestina)


Just under six weeks after it’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Wolf Point ALCO store and all 198 ALCOs in 23 states across the nation began a going-out-of-business sale, Friday, Nov. 21.
The Coppell, Texas-headquartered ALCO Stores, Inc., announced its chain-wide liquidation sale, Thursday, Nov. 20.
ALCO Stores Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 12.
The court approved the liquidation sale last week of more than $260 million of inventory and fixtures.
Shortly after that, The Wall Street Journal reported that ALCO had plans to liquidate or sell the retail chain and that ALCO officials have approached potential buyers for the chain.
The international news service Reuters reported that ALCO is hoping to sell better-performing stores while liquidating others. The Wolf Point ALCO is reported to be one of the better-performing stores.
ALCO operates 198 discount, general merchandise stores in 23 states, mostly in the Midwest and a few stores in Florida and Georgia. There are three ALCOs in Montana, besides the Wolf Point location, in Cut Bank, Dillon and Sidney. The next nearest location is Watford City, N.D. There are about 3,000 employees nationwide. The company operates a distribution center in Abilene, Kan.
ALCO began in 1901 as Duckwall, a chain of five and dime stores in Kansas. The company expanded into discount retail when it founded the ALCO chain 46 years ago. In 1989, the company known as Duckwall-ALCO filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and emerged with new financing two years later.
The company closed the last 44 Duckworth five and dime stores in 2010.
ALCO Stores, Inc., reported assets of about $222 million and debts of about $162 million. A substantial amount of the debt is owed to Wells Fargo Bank. ALCO’s debt includes over $415 million in capital leases and about $2 million in monthly rent.
There are unconfirmed reports of at least three major retail chains that have at least made inquiries about the 25,000-square-foot ALCO building in Wolf Point.

Fort Peck Reservation Soon To Be One Of Few Allowed To Prosecute Non-Natives For Domestic Violence

The Fort Peck Tribal Court will soon be one of just four
tribal courts in the nation permitted to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence where a tribal member is a victim.
The federal Violence Against Women Act allows tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians for domestic abuse, but there is a
caveat — both the presiding judge and defense attorney must be lawyers. Currently, none of the tribal judges are lawyers, but tribal public defender Anna Sullivan is an attorney.
The tribes’ executive board hired attorney Eldena Nicole Bear Don’t Walk earlier this month. She is a private practice attorney in Saint Ignatius in western Montana and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe.
Bear Don’t Walk, 41, has a juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law. She has about eight years experience as an attorney, is an appellate justice for the Rocky Boy’s Reservation and serves other tribes as a judge. She was also a state public defender in Montana.
She is the daughter of Urban Bear Don’t Walk, one of the first Native American attorneys in the United States and a former tribal judge. He remains in private practice in Billings.
The executive board hired Bear Don’t Walk on a permanent and temporary basis to serve on the bench one week per month. She will begin working in January.
Domestic violence cases will be scheduled for her court, but she also will adjudicate other types of cases.
“I’m excited for this to happen. She’s going to bring our whole court system into the 21st century,” vice chairwoman Patricia Iron Cloud said.
She added that the three judges who currently serve the tribal court are knowledgeable and proficient, but none hold the required law degree to adjudicate domestic violence cases the tribes would prosecute under the Violence Against Women Act.

Four Members Of Brockton Family To Plead Guilty In Alleged Theft From Town

Four members of a Brockton family alleged to have stolen $132,563 from the town have filed motions this month to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Great Falls to charges in a federal indictment. Some of the defendants will plead guilty to all charges and others to some counts.
Named in federal court documents are Bernard John Lambert, Desiree Lambert, Kaycee Dinard Lambert and Kayla Lou Lambert.
Federal court documents allege that between Jan. 15, 2013 and March 26 of this year, the town’s then business manager, Desiree Lambert, wrote illegal checks drawn on an account at Independence Bank in Poplar to herself, her husband, daughters and others. There are allegations of forgery of the signature of a municipal official.
The charges also allege that $129,352 in U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services [commonly known as COPS] grant funds were used to replenish the general fund.
Original charges in an indictment filed Aug. 22 include theft from a local government, receiving federal funding and aggravated identity theft.