- Written by Jaimee Green
Roosevelt Medical Center has recently promoted Karla Hunter, a clinic nurse, to serve as the new clinic coordinator. With her new job title, she will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the clinic and it’s staff.
Hunter replaces Amber Bond, who recently relocated to Louisiana.
“The best part of working in healthcare is making a difference in the lives of the patients. It’s that reaction you get from them when you know they are feeling better and, in part, it is because of you,” Hunter said.
She attended several colleges and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Miles City College in 2005. She was employed at Sidney Health Center for 10 years and has worked in obstetrics, medical surgery, and the clinic. At Glendive Medical Center she also worked in psychiatric care.
“One of my long-term goals for the clinic at RMC is to ensure we are contacting patients after they leave to check on how they are doing with their care plans and treatments,” Hunter said. “We want people to know how much we truly care about their health and well being.”
Hunter began at RMC in 2012 as a traveling nurse and was hired in 2014 to work full-time as a staff member.
She has three children, Emily, 18, Kade, 12 and Beau, 9. This January she is getting married to Dr. Michael Fink, a chiropractor, in Sidney.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
The Culbertson Town Council held their monthly, regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the city office.
Those in attendance included: KT Northington, city clerk/treasurer; mayor Gordon Oelkers; Bruce Houle; Mark Nelson; and city attorney Greg Hennessy, of Williston, N.D.
Bob Petersen, airport board member, reported on the slow movement from the county on the airports fence project. The stalemated project, a year-and-a-half in the process, was first quoted at costing $4,400 to replace 100-yards of fence and fix 600-yards of pre-existing fence around the tarmac. Since then, little has been done to fix and continue the fenced-in parameters of the airport.
Petersen expressed his concerns about the potential for fines from the Federal Aviation Administration if the area is not made more secure. Currently, he stated there are residents using the airstrip as a jogging path, a potentially hazardous liability.
A motion was made by Houle and seconded by Nelson for the city to pay 50 percent of the cost of the project, up to $5,000 with Roosevelt County absorbing the other half of the costs, which are projected to have increased since the original projections were made nearly 18 months ago. Northington will address the commissioners about putting the project to bid.
Don Davis, an engineer with WWC Engineering, reported on the city’s sewer project, while answering all of the questions from the council. He reported on the amount of dust kicked up from the sand being placed under the pool liners to serve as a cushion that will help minimize the chances for protrusions. The wet-well has been installed and the buildings trusses, sheet metal and roofing construction are just days away from beginning. Specialist divers from Minot, N.D., came to the area to assist with punching in the discharge pipe along with the grouting. Once the project is complete, it will be electrostatic tested for seam leaks and later, the Department of Environmental Quality will hydrostatic test for leaks.
“I am very pleased with the progress we are making but am frustrated by the government regulations which require us to purchased American-made steel when it’s difficult to locate,” Davis said.
Currently, he is having difficulty getting steel joints and valves delivered in a timely manner because of the lack of American-made steel.
“What’s important is where the metal was smelted, or rolled into pipe, and in the U.S., we aren’t doing this anymore,” he said.
The sewer project is supposed to go on-line in mid November. However, this date may have to be pushed back if the steel can’t be located and delivered in a timely manner.
Hennessy and the Oelkers both reported that they have been contacted by an unidentified person involved with the abandoned man camp who has said they have $3,000 to use for weeding the area. They are currently looking for a company to do the job.
Oelkers has appointed Amber Fox, Amanda Alandt and Chris Peterson to serve as participants in a local government review study, which is required to be completed once every 10 years following it’s addition to the 1972 Constitution. The participants will look at the structure of Culbertson’s government and submit recommendations about any potentially more appropriate structures that would better serve the needs of the community.
Oelkers said he met with Amtrak officials who are still trying to locate funds to bring an Amtrak station to Culbertson. Oelkers said the $3 million needed to fund the project would need to come from the federal government.
“The project hasn’t been forgotten. It could still happen,” Oelkers said.
A motion was made by Nelson and seconded by Houle to adopt the city budget through Resolution 430. The budget for fiscal year 2015-2016 weighs in at $7,797,985 in expenses and $7,674,657 for revenues. The budget is high because of the sewer project and the loans and grants expenses that are already included in the budget.
Through resolution 431, several minimal changes to wording were made in the city’s personnel policy.
The council reviewed Resolution 332 setting sewer rates to match the debt owed on the project. Once the wording is finalized by the city’s attorney, the resolution would mandate new water and sewer hook-up fees to cost $1,250 and $3,000 respectively. Existing lines would be charged by the rate incurred and owed on the property, or by the new hook-up fee rates, whichever one is less.
- Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force was told that the recent Montana Department of Revenue liquor law training class in Wolf Point was successful and informative during the local task force meeting in Wolf Point Wednesday, Sept. 2.
The law enforcement training session was held Wednesday, Aug. 26, with members of the Wolf Point Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Highway Patrol taking the half-day class.
Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada said information was provided about how state law relates to bar closing times on dates of changes between daylight savings and standard time.
“If you give someone an extra hour at a tavern, he could go from .24 to .3 in an hour,” Wolf Point police chief Jeff Harada said.
He said he will write letters to bar owners clarifying the law.
There was also a discussion about higher fees for people getting DUIs and drugs becoming more of a problem with impaired drivers.
Montana Highway Patrol trooper Derek Werner said 70 to 80 percent of DUI arrests are people impaired by drugs.
Roosevelt County received $10,950 for the task force as funding allowed by House Bill 132 that Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law in April. It reallocates unspent special revenue funds from driver’s license reinstatement fees collected in counties that do not have task forces and distributes those monies on an equal basis to Roosevelt and the other counties that have task forces on July 1 of each year.
County commissioner Gary Macdonald, who also chairs the DUI Task Force, initially anticipated about $18,000 for Roosevelt County, but that amount has shrunk because of an increase in the number of DUI task forces in Montana from 34 to 38. The increase is due to the passage of HB 132 and funding it created.
The task force is a citizens group appointed by the county commissioners that includes representatives of several law enforcement agencies and members of the public plans and funds public education, awareness and enforcement projects to reduce the number of alcohol and drug related crashes and deaths in Roosevelt County.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
The Culbertson Chamber of Commerce held their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, Sept. 2, in the senior center.
Directors in attendance included: Bruce Houle, president; Larry Crowder, secretary; and directors, Ken Forbregd, Gordon Oelkers and Wayne Hendrickson.
The members discussed ways to make next year’s summer parade bigger, with more participation. They felt it was necessary to give the parade a theme and will discuss ideas in upcoming meetings. Houle liked the idea of potentially giving the parade a farming and ranching theme in an effort to get more large equipment and horses into the parade.
Discussion ensued about the status of creating an webpage that directs area students to scholarship opportunities. It is tentative to go live in November with Crowder anticipating one of the student organizations would be interested in helping maintain and update the site with the assistance of school counselor Courtney Hagadone.
The treasurer’s report, given by Crowder, was approved as presented with an ending August cash balance of $2,994. Some of their recent expenses included the fair meal, several donations and a roll of stamps. Houle gave a brief description of the costs for putting on the fair meal, noting that during the feed they ran out of several items, including pork and potato salad. He said they will use this sheet next year to help determine how much to order to ensure they don’t run out of food.
Upcoming events in Culbertson include the Northeast Montana Threshers Association Threshing Bee Sept 26-27. There is also a Ports to Plains Alliance meeting slated for Oct. 6-8 in Williston, N.D. Also, the Roosevelt Memorial Healthcare Foundation will host their first annual Fall Fest fundraiser, formerly known as Harvest for Health and Pheasant Phest, Sunday, Oct. 11, at the high school gym.
The chamber’s annual Christmas open house will tentatively take place Monday, Dec. 21, to ensure it coincides with the elementary school Christmas program. The Lion’s Club will provide their annual stew feed.
Directors each gave reports on their respective topics with Culbertson Mayor Gordon Oelkers reporting on city business. He said the sewer project is coming along with the discharge line now in the river. The building construction has begun and sand has been put in underneath the pond liners. One hiccup in the process has been locating American-made steel for the joints and valves needed to complete the project.
Oelkers also reported that an unidentified man contacted him to tell the city there are plans to manage the weeds located at the abandoned man camp location. Those involved in the legal matter, reportedly have some $3,000 to get the job completed, and are trying to locate someone to do the weeding.
Forbregd reported that the Sun Room window at Roosevelt Medical Center is nearly completed.
Crowder reported on the school, noting that while construction continues, there are some funding issues related to the slowing of the oil industry that may cause the project to take longer. Currently, the goal is to button up and complete the outside of the building, and work on the inside, as funding allows. He also reported that between June and July, the school received five resignations, of which they have only hired one new staff member. In the interim, they have shuffled other staff members into those needed positions.
Crowder also said there are about 278 students enrolled in the school, with 66 students in high school, down six students from last year, 51 students in the junior high, up 15 from last year, and 161 elementary students, down 20 from last year. Lastly, he reported the new gym is open for public use and key cards can be obtained once the proper background check is conducted on those requesting access.
Crowder also reported on the fire department. He said they are looking into funding to build a new hall to better accommodate their size. They have also started a new cadet program with area students.
“Students who show aptitude and interest are getting an opportunity to take part in our department. This is part of our grown-your-own philosophy,” Crowder said.
The next chamber meeting is set for Wednesday, Nov. 4 at noon in the senior center.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
The Culbertson Museum is hosting it’s annual Pie Social Friday, Sept. 18 through 20. A variety of homemade pies will be served on those days.
In past years choices included, apple, rhubarb, pumpkin, blueberry and several others. Mark those days on the calendar for pie and coffee. This is a change from previous years where the Pie Social was held during Threshing Bee.
In addition, the museum is having a silent auction of Coca Cola memorabilia that has been donated to the museum for this purpose. There are groupings available to bid on. Items include sets of dishes, figurines, tins, games and many other items.
The museum will be closing for the season on Friday, Sept. 25, at 4 p.m., and will reopen in May 2016.