CS Masthead

Winter’s Last Gasp? Maybe? Maybe Not?

Perhaps it’s too early to put away our shovels and extension cords for our engine block heaters. It’s like a crap shoot whether or not the balmy 50-plus degrees predicted for this coming weekend means the current two-day Arctic blast is winter’s last gasp.
That could be the case, according to Glasgow National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Tanja Fransen.
“We’re going to warm up by the end of the week,” she said Tuesday, March 3, at a time when the mercury had struggled to climb out of single digits to 10 degrees.
“The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center is that it’s going to warm up. The six- to 10-day and 8- to 16-day outlook has us above normal and that takes us out to the 16th of March,” Fransen said.
“We still have a chance of seeing snow,” she said. “Usually mid-January to mid-February is our rock bottom.”
Then she added, “One of the reasons we can warm up so quickly is the lack of snow on the ground.”
Fransen cast doubt on the possibility that we could be headed into a drought due to a lack of moisture.
“We’re actually above normal for precipitation. Just because there is no snow on the ground doesn’t mean there isn’t enough moisture,” she said. “You’re about a quarter inch for the winter season below normal.”
With spring coming, more moisture is likely.

Froid School Supports Ray, N.D.

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Students from Froid School wore lime green and showed support to Ray, N.D., after the deaths of three members of the Ray boys’ basketball team when a pick-up they were riding in crossed through the median on U.S. Hwy. 2 east of Williston and collided with a semi. The boys were identified as senior Tanner Garman, 18, and juniors Dalen Dorval and Waylyn Mcrae, both 17.  (Photo by Shele Christoffersen)

Highway 2 Fireball Driver Pleads Not Guilty

The oilfield worker authorities say was drunk behind the wheel of a pickup truck when he created a fireball with a shower of sparks coming from a bare rim on U.S. Hwy. 2, a few miles west of Bainville, entered seven not-guilty pleas in 15th District Court Wednesday, Feb. 25.
Brian Suggs of Mesa, Ariz., is charged with a single felony count of criminal endangerment and six misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence, operating a vehicle while the privilege to do so is suspended or revoked, failure to carry proof of insurance, failure to remove injurious material from a highway following a motor vehicle crash, failure to give information to the other driver in a motor vehicle crash and failure to give notice by the quickest means of apparent damage over $500.
According to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Suggs was driving with a suspended Arizona driver’s license.
District Judge David Cybulski agreed to reduce bail from $50,000 to $10,000, allowing him to return to an oil field job in Williston, N.D.
A trial is scheduled for June 11.
Two RCSO deputies arrested Suggs near mile marker 656 at 12:42 a.m., on Jan. 31 after the driver of a semi reported that a white pickup truck sideswiped his trailer, resulting in extensive damage.
The RCSO reported that deputies observed a shower of sparks coming from the front end of the pickup when they initiated a traffic stop and performed a field sobriety test.
Undersheriff John Summers said debris left on the highway from the collision between Suggs’ vehicle and the semi trailer punctured a hole in the gas tank of an RCSO patrol vehicle that was responding to assist the two deputies that were at the scene. That vehicle had to be towed.
A passenger in Suggs’ vehicle was not charged.

Several Appear In District Court Feb. 25

Several people appeared before District Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court Feb. 25.
Joshua Jones
Joshua Wayne Jones, 36, of Williston, N.D., did not appear for a scheduled court appearance.
He has been free on bond since Feb. 12, one day after Cybulski agreed to reduce bail from $25,000 to $5,000 with a waiver of extraction.
Jones was arraigned on a felony charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Jones and Melissa Jewett, 32, also of Williston, Jan. 19 in a casino near Bainville. Methamphetamine and a knife were found in Jones’ pockets.
Scott Varner
Scott Austin Varner, 22, Crawfordville, Fla., withdrew a previously entered not-guilty plea to a charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and pleaded guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Varner admitted in court that he was in possession of marijuana in excess of 60 grams.
He was arrested by the Montana Highway Patrol Oct. 13.
Carroll Wells
Carroll Gregg Wells, 35, of Fairview, entered not- guilty pleas to charges of burglary and theft.
He said he had not spoken to his defense attorney when he appeared for an arraignment Wednesday, Feb. 11.
A trial is scheduled for June 11.
Wells had been wanted in Roosevelt County on a warrant and was transferred in early February from the jail in Dickinson, N.D., where he had been held for about a year for a North Dakota case.

Waller Now Missing Over Two Years

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Authorities are hoping  to learn what became of Nicole “Nicky” Waller of Kalispell, who disappeared on Valentines Day 2013.
Waller was 32 when she disappeared and her vehicle was found in Roosevelt County Feb. 14, 2013.
Her maroon 1999 Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer Edition SUV was found abandoned on the shoulder of the westbound lane of U.S. Hwy. 2 west of Poplar. Authorities found Waller’s belongings and pet guinea pigs inside the vehicle.
The Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation processed the vehicle.
“We confirmed that the vehicle was brought here by someone other than Nicole Waller,” FPTDLJ chief investigator Ken Trottier said. “We don’t believe for a minute she was ever on the reservation.”
He said he cannot say more about the investigation or suspects.
“Waller is basically a Fairview/Sidney case,” Trottier said.
Waller’s disappearance followed what other media has reported as an extended visit with her boyfriend in Fairview.
It was also reported that hwe disappearance has been investigated as a possible homicide.
“We haven’t heard anything,” Roosevelt County Undersheriff John Summers said.
“We were kind of heighten [in February 2013] in case she wandered off and froze,” he said.
The FBI assisted local investigators with the case for about eight months, but turned it over to the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation at the end of October.
Friends of Waller posted a Facebook page dedicated to finding her at www.facebook.com/FindNicoleWaller.
The page has more than 2,950 followers.
(Editor’s Note: The Searchlight and other newspapers have published a telephone number for Montana DCI in Helena where information about Waller’s disappearance could be provided. Attempts to call that number last week resulted in a quagmire of automated lines and voice mail with no returned telephone calls. Information about the disappearances of Waller or Red Star could be given to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office at 653-6216 or the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice at 768-5332.)


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