CS Masthead

Unofficial Local And Statewide Election Results

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Ballot counting in Roosevelt County was completed after 11 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4, with only provisional ballots remaining to be counted on Monday, Nov. 10. Clerk/recorder Cheryl Hansen reported that 2,728 ballots were cast countywide, with 5,738 registered voters, for a 47.58 percent turnout at the polls.
The following  unofficial results were reported.
The jail bond was approved 1,502-1,149.
Allen Bowker defeated Frank Smith 645-368 for the County Commission District 1 seat that is currently held by Jim Shanks.
Interim sheriff Jason Frederick defeated recently resigned sheriff Freedom Crawford 2,433-223.
Republican Austin Knudsen of Culbertson was reelected to state House District 34, defeating Gene Hartsock of Glasgow 698-154.
Republican Steve Daines held a commanding 210,509 to 145-338 lead over Democrat Amanda Curtis for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by John Walsh with over 99 percent of the statewide vote counted. Libertarian Roger Roots trailed with 7,689 votes. In Roosevelt County, Daines defeated Curtis 1,331 to 1,255. Roots had 56 votes.
Republican Ryan Zinke led Democrat John Lewis 200,633 to 145-939 for the at-large U.S. House of Representatives seat currently held by Steve Daines with over 99 percent of precincts reporting. Libertarian Mike Fellows received 15,033. In Roosevelt County: Zinke, 1,256; Lewis, 1,251; Fellows, 116.
Nationally, Republican candidates won control of the Senate and added to the number of GOP held House seats.
Montana Supreme Court Justice 1: Jim Rice over W. David Herbert 233,301 to 64,229 with over 99 percent of precincts reporting. Rice won 1,761-422 in Roosevelt County.
Montana Supreme Court Justice 2: Mike Wheat over Lawrence VanDyke 192,066 to 132,823 with over 99 percent of precincts reporting. Wheat won in Roosevelt County 1,402 to 922.
Legislative Referendum No. 126, which would have ended Election Day voter registrations, failed 202,081 to 153,547 with over 99 percent of precincts reporting. LR 126 lost 1,448 to 1,149 in Roosevelt County.
Constitutional Amendment No. 45, which would have changed the name of the state auditor to commissioner of securities and insurance failed 174,716 to 163,883. Roosevelt County voters voted down the measure 1,381 to 1,092.
In State Senate District 19, Republican Frederick Davis Moore defeated Democrat Bill McChesney 5,216 to 2,438.
In State House District 31, Democrat Bridget Smith was reelected unopposed with 1,797 votes.
In State House District 37, Republican Lee Randall defeated Democrat Dixie Rieger 3,622 to 902.
For Public Service Commissioner District 1, Republican Travis Kavulla was elected unopposed with 48,967 votes. He received 1,882 votes in Roosevelt County.

Ready For Trick Or Treat

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First Community Bank employees in Culbertson were ready for trick or treat, Friday, Oct. 31. Pictured are (from left to right) Brittny Marchwick-Wix, Tara Nickoloff, Jaci Davidson, Pamela Arneson and Sarah Murray.  (Photo by Nancy Mahan)

Repeat Felony Offender Sentenced To Prison In County Drug Case

A Minot, N.D., man with four previous felony convictions was sentenced in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Brandon J. Bigham to 12 years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with eight years suspended six months on each of two misdemeanor charges, suspended, a $25,000 fine and credit for 231 days previously served.
The recommendation in the plea agreement was for eight years confinement to the DOC with four years suspended.
Cybulski cited that the 30-year-old had four felony convictions over an 11-year period, including a drug-related conviction in Oklahoma as justification for the 12-year sentence with time suspended, allowing for longer probation supervision.
Probation and Parole Officer Trevor Newman completed the pre-sentencing investigation. He testified during the sentencing hearing that he did not agree with the sentencing recommendations in the plea agreement Bigham signed during early October and recommended commitment to the Montana State Prison for 10 years with five years suspended.
“In the initial interview, he [Bigham] was against [substance abuse] treatment of any length of time,” Newman testified, and also said that Bigham later said he would go to a 60- or 90-day treatment program.
He cited previous incarceration.
“The fact is, he has not stayed sober outside of being incarcerated his whole adult life,” Newman told the court.
He went on to say that the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office told him detention officers had trouble with Bigham in the jail. Fighting with other inmates was cited.
“He’s young and I like to think younger people are more amenable to redirection,” defense attorney Allison Moulton said.
She asked the court to impose sentencing in accordance with the plea agreement.
During a redirect, Roosevelt County Attorney Ralph Patch cautioned that there could be problems if a stricter sentence is imposed than is called for in the plea agreement. He said a Montana Supreme Court ruling could allow Bigham to withdraw his plea agreement if the agreement is not followed.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a car carrying Bigham, Malinda Bibb, 31, and Jamie D. Vert, 36, all of Minot, on U.S. Hwy. 2 near Bainville, on Sept. 20, 2013. Vert was driving, according to the charging documents.
Methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and weapons [no firearms] were found in the vehicle, according to charging documents.
All three were subsequently arraigned on felony charges. Bigham and Vert pleaded not guilty to all charges and both later withdrew guilty pleas under plea agreements.
Bigham pleaded not guilty in 2013 to felony criminal possession with intent to distribute and two misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police in North Dakota arrested Bigham in September while out on bail. Cybulski added $20,000 to $10,000 bond Bigham previously posted. He remained lodged in the Roosevelt County Jail until his sentencing.
Bigham withdrew his previously entered not guilty pleas and entered guilty pleas, Wednesday, Oct. 15, behind closed doors in Judge David Cybulski’s chambers with his attorney and Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen present. The reason stated by an officer of the court for the closed hearing was that Bigham did not want to plead in public.

Poplar Man Charged With DUI After Rollover Crash Near Brockton

A man who rolled a pickup truck carrying five passengers on Montana Secondary Hwy. 480 just north of the bridge that leads into Richland County was charged with DUI.
The Montana Highway Patrol identified the driver as Nolan Hendrickson, 26, of Poplar. He was also charged with seatbelt and no liability insurance violations.
MHP trooper Steve Nard said the five passengers were four adults and one child.
He said four people were transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Poplar Campus were they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Nard said the 1996 Chevrolet 1500 was northbound, went off the east side of the roadway, overcorrected and rolled.

Fire Near Culbertson Displaces Family Of Six

Culbertson fire chief Alan Aspenlieder credited a working smoking detector for saving a family of six from a house fire early Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Aspenlieder said the smoke detector woke family members about 1 a.m., who were able to escape from the fire that completely destroyed the trailer house and everything the family owned.
Aspenlieder said a couple and four children were displaced by the fire on Roosevelt County Road 1054, about eight miles northeast of Culbertson.
The cause is believed to be electrical.