Written by John Plestina
The Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Reservation were saddened by the death of Tribal Executive Board vice chairwoman Annette “Ann” Lambert, Friday, June 20.
Lambert, 62, was in her second term on the board. She was reelected in October 2013.
A prepared statement from the Fort Peck Tribes said Lambert dedicated her life to the service of her people, including as one of the founders of Fort Peck Community College, working for the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C., as a 20-year volunteer member of the Tribes Higher Education board of directors, director of A&S Oil and Gas, as assistant to the tribal chairman, and managing a joint venture construction company which assisted in the construction of facilities on the Northern Border Pipeline which runs through the Fort Peck Reservation, various highway projects, and the construction of the Chief Redstone Clinic in Wolf Point.
Fort Peck Tribes chairman A.T. Stafne expressed his thoughts on Lambert’s passing: “Ann was our friend and colleague. Her leadership and commitment to the advancement of our tribal members has been an inspiration to the young men and women of our reservation. Today is a sad day. We extend our condolences to Ann’s family. Ann was a great lady and helped her tribes all her life.”
Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, issued the following statement: “Ann was a good friend and a strong leader for her Nation. She served as a role model for many in the Fort Peck Tribes and throughout Indian Country. Ann’s legacy of increasing economic development and education for all Native Americans will live on in children and the people of the Fort Peck Reservation. I want to express my condolences to Ann’s family and the entire Fort Peck Tribe.”
Lambert held degrees in business and education from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.
Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Several firearms calls last weekend kept law enforcement busy on the east end of Roosevelt County. No injuries were reported in any of the incidents.
Two calls came in nearly simultaneously at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday, June 22, in Culbertson.
The first call was to the Montana Bar for a report of a male with a weapon. The establishment was not open, but patrons were standing outside. A Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded and no charges were filed.
The second call was to Twight’s Bottom, a local party/fishing spot south of Culbertson on the Roosevelt County side of the Missouri River. The caller reported that a male had been threatening others with a shotgun, but that they were holding the male down and had taken the firearm away.
The RCSO arrested Cody Twomey of Culbertson for felony assault with a weapon and possession of an intoxicating substance under the age of 21 but over the age of 18.
At 6 a.m., the RCSO assisted the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice with a possible domestic violence call with a weapon in Brockton. No charges were filed and no one was taken into custody.
Later that evening, the RCSO assisted the Brockton City Police and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice.
Three male suspects had gotten into an altercation and had barricaded themselves, reportedly with a firearm, into a residence on Circle Drive in Brockton.
Two males came out of the house and were not arrested. The third was located by law enforcement and was arrested on a tribal warrant.
The incident reportedly started over a fight call a short distance away from the home. No firearm was located by law enforcement.
Additional charges are pending.
Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Nearly 5,000 miles and over 15 hours of flight time from Culbertson, 24 local people toured Peru on a 10-day excursion.
The group of 24 adults and Culbertson High School students joined six people from Minnesota on the 30-person trip that was sponsored by Education First, which arranges educational travel for student groups.
The group left Culbertson lMonday, June 9, and flew to Lima, Peru’s capital. From there, they toured several cities in the South American nation and the Amazon basin. They returned home Thursday, June 19.
Tara Nickoloff took the trip with her two oldest daughters, Bailey, who is a junior in college, and Erica, who just graduated from Culbertson High School.
“Short of having my children, it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever done,” Nickoloff said.
“We walked and walked and walked,” she said, and added that it was so hot and humid.
“We had to raise our own money,” Nickoloff said.
“It was $3,000 for everything; really an amazing price,” Culbertson Mayor Gordon Oelkers said.
That included airfare, hotels and tours.
Oelkers and his daughter Renee, also a 2014 Culbertson graduate, took the trip together.
“It was a good experience for [the students} to see people who don’t have toilets or good water,” he said.
Oelkers said the average income in Peru is about $400 per month.
Other people from Culbertson who took the trip included CHS teacher Jeri Gustafson, Laura Kristofferson and her daughter Emily Nielsen.
Written by John Plestina
The board of county commissioners said Monday, June 16, that the unsuccessful public safety bonding measure that would have funded a replacement for the aging Roosevelt County jail will reappear on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.
The bonding issue failed at the polls Tuesday, June 3, after receiving 57.93 percent [986-716] of the votes cast because it did not receive a minimum of 60 percent, a state requirement when voter turnout is between 30 and 40 percent of registered voters. The voter turnout was 34.88 percent.
The county commissioners have clarified that they were incorrect by previously saying a minimum of 35 percent of registered voters must cast ballots for passage.
“Without a doubt, we will run it again,” commissioner Gary Macdonald said.
He said one problem he saw with the language on the primary election ballot was that it did not explain the cost of the new jail to voters.
Instead, Macdonald said, “We went out and explained to them what it would cost [at several public meetings]. It wasn’t on the ballot.”
The bonding measure asked voters to authorize the commissioners to issue and sell $11.86 million in general obligation bonds to be repaid within 20 years with an estimated annual fixed interest rate of 10 percent.
If the June 3 bonding measure had passed, the costs to taxpayers for construction-related costs would have been $46.06 per year for residential properties valued at $100,000 and $11.18 annually for operational expenses.
Macdonald said the commission will hold public hearings earlier than during the month leading up to the election, which is what was done before the primary election.
“We might have to do evenings,” he said.
“[Previous meetings prior to the election were] in the middle of seeding and farmers aren’t going to come out during seeding,” commissioner Jim Shanks said.
With the bonding measure not approved June 3, the county is at risk of being forced to close the aging jail because of potential liability and the cost to the taxpayers could be substantially higher than a mill levy increase that would be necessary to fund construction and operational costs.
All three commissioners said they are expecting a larger voter turnout for the general election.
The commissioners must file with the county clerk’s office for a new jail bond measure no later than Aug. 11.
The proposal is to remodel the existing sheriff’s office and jail facility behind the Roosevelt County Courthouse with an addition, a less expensive option than building a completely new facility at a different site because it would reduce construction expenses and eliminate site acquisition costs. It would also retain the jail in close proximity to courtrooms, minimizing transportation costs
The addition would provide a 60-bed jail that would be compliant with all standards.
The bonding includes the costs of designing, building, equipping and furnishing the jail and office space for the sheriff’s office that would be included. The proposed facility would include an “eyes-on” master control center, booking area, medical isolation area and several Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant cells. An E-911 communications center would be included in the facility.
The larger jail could generate revenue by accepting inmates from other counties and would be large enough to handle a much higher volume of local offenders as increases in crime are projected.
The current 17-bed jail has a rated jail capacity, per state standards, of only 11 beds. The jail averaged 15 inmates per day in 2012, with occasional peaks as high as 20.
Written by John Plestina
There will be no shortage of things to do this weekend with Frontier Days in Culbertson, Wild West Days in Poplar and the Red Bottom Celebration in Frazer.
Rodeos are planned at the events in Culbertson and Poplar.
The 52nd annual Frontier Days rodeo will be this Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, in the Culbertson Saddle Club Arena.
Performances are scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Friday and 7 p.m., Saturday.
The estimated purse is $18,000.
Slack will be at 9 a.m., Saturday and the parade will follow at noon.
The Culbertson Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a meal Saturday, June 21 after the Frontier Days parade.
Shredded pork sandwiches, chips, and water will be served by the Culbertson Women’s Club at the High School parking lot for $5. All proceeds will go towards the funding of the new Splash Pad at the swimming pool.
Wild West Days
Poplar’s annual four-day Wild West Days celebration kicks off Thursday, June 19, at 11 a.m.
The rodeo begins at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22.
Friday, June 20, events include: kids parade at 10 a.m., kids day races, kids carnival games, duck pond, bike rodeo, dunk tank, children’s crafts, petting zoo, face painting, bounce house, magician, horseshoe tournament, magic show and pig mud wrestling at 6 p.m.
Saturday, June 21 events include: rummage sale, street vendors, community pie social, arm wrestling tournament at 6 p.m., and the Class of 2004 reunion and dance.
Sunday June 22 events include: Cowboy Church service at 9 a.m., and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” parade at 11 a.m.
Red Bottom Celebration
With more than 100 years of celebrating native culture and traditions through dancing, food, crafts and fellowship, the annual Red Bottom Celebration in Frazer is the oldest pow wow on the Fort Peck Reservation.
The four-day event opens with a feed at 5 p.m., Thursday, June 19, followed by a youth pow-wow beginning about 7 p.m. Festivities begin at 7 p.m., Friday, June 20. The hours for Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22, will be 1-7 p.m. Each day will open with a grand entry. Intertribal contests will be held.
The Red Bottom Celebration will be held along U.S. Hwy. 2, east of Frazer, beside the highway.
The public is welcome.