- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Judge David Cybulski heard arraignments and initial appearances in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Oct. 15.
Kyle Fuchs, 32, of Culbertson was arraigned for disorderly conduct, partner/family member assault, assault with weapon, unlawful restraint and criminal endangerment. He pleaded not guilty to all five charges.
Cybulski said in court that Fuchs is accused of pointing a shotgun at his wife.
A trial is scheduled for Dec. 11.
Kelly Marie Severson, 47, of Saco made an initial appearance, but not an arraignment and no pleas were entered because her attorney was not present.
Severson, who is lodged in the Roosevelt County Jail, is charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
She was ordered to appear in court for an arraignment Oct. 29.
Bruce Johnson made an initial appearance on a petition to revoke probation.
His attorney was not present. Cybulski advised him to speak to his lawyer before admitting or denying allegations that he violated probation conditions.
Johnson was ordered to appear in court for a hearing Wednesday, Oct. 29.
- Written by Jason Frederick
Dear friends and neighbors of Roosevelt County:
Our jail is in dire need of replacement and we have the opportunity on Nov. 4 to make it happen. The importance and urgency of this matter can’t be overstated. If we fail to act soon, the financial impact our taxpayers will face in the near future could be enormous and far above the relatively minor cost of replacing the structure now.
Our jail is woefully outdated and has been at capacity or above for a long time. The problem was compounded following a legal action recently brought forward by the American Civil Liberties Union, resulting in our bed capacity being cut nearly in half. Simply put, we don’t have the room to accommodate all the offenders we’re bringing in. Felony arrests, particularly for narcotics-related offenses, have risen sharply in the last five years and continues to climb.
When we exceed our capacity, overflow Roo-sevelt County inmates are housed in other facilities, some as far as 400 miles away. The financial burden this puts on our taxpayers is enormous and the costs are only going up. The detention officers and deputies do a commendable job, but there are limits to what can be accomplished with the resources available. Plus, a lot of the costs associated with housing inmates in other facilities are completely out of control.
We are working hard to remain in compliance with federal guidelines, but our jail is old and some issues just can’t be corrected without building a new facility. If Roosevelt County lost a lawsuit stemming from the inadequacies of our jail, we would be required to build a new jail on top of paying out to satisfy a judgment against us. We are between a rock and a hard spot here, folks; one way or another, we have to build a new jail.
The projected cost of building a new 60-bed facility is approximately $11.86 million.
The building would be constructed on property the county already owns, near the existing courthouse in Wolf Point. Estimated cost for a residential taxpayer on your primary house at $100,000 would be around $47 per year. The greatest share of the cost of the expanded jail would be born by the 15 largest taxpayers of the county, including utilities, pipelines, oil production equipment and commercial agriculture entities.
In the event Roosevelt County didn’t need all 60 beds, those extra beds would be leased out to neighboring counties, thereby offsetting a large amount of the operating costs of the jail. Several other counties in Montana operate this way and their taxpayers see a huge savings as a result.
The majority of the voters during the June primary voted in favor of building a new jail, but since the voter turnout was relatively low, a 60 percent majority was required for it to pass. We missed out by only a few percentage points last time, so it won’t take much to put us over the edge. I’m asking everyone to please pass the word to your neighbors, family and friends to come out on Nov. 4 and vote in favor of building this new jail.
Sheriff Jason Frederick, jail administrator
(Paid Letter To The Editor)
- Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Commissioners discussed moving forward in the near future with a four-county partnership to share a human resources professional, during the weekly commission meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 21.
Roosevelt, Valley, Daniels and Sheridan counties would share the employee.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said a lawsuit could have been avoided if the county had a human resources person in place when former sheriff Freedom Crawford fired a deputy a few years ago.
Commission chairman Duane Nygaard said that situation was an example of the need for a human resources person.
Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen will look into legal issues related to the county participation.
To date, only Roosevelt County has not approved the agreement.
The commissioners accepted a recommendation from Sheriff Jason Frederick to reinstate the terminated employee, identifieded on the commission meeting agenda as Steve Barr.
In other business, the commissioners approved a one-year law enforcement agreement with Bainville, Culbertson and Froid.
The agreement provides the three communities with a minimum of 24 hours of combined law enforcement services per week. A little more than half of that time is to be spent in Culbertson.
The annual fees the county is assessing each municipality is as follows: Bainville, $10,000; Cul-
bertson, $22,000; and Froid, $7,500.
Macdonald said Sheriff Jason Frederick told him he would not oppose the agreement for one year but he wants it revisited after one year.
The commissioners also awarded a contract to Shane Bishop of Malta for $3.50 per ton to crush gravel.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
The Roosevelt County/Fort Peck Tribes 911 Center received 718 reports of domestic violence incidents during the one-year period between Oct. 1, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014. It is not known how many more incidents might not have been reported.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
An estimated 50 percent of men who frequently assault their wives also frequently abuse their children. Studies suggest that between 3.3 and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Only about 55 percent of domestic violence incidents are reported.
There is a belief that up to 10 million children are being set up to become either victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. People tend to gravitate to what is familiar, even if that familiarity is abuse.
Abuse is about power and control, not about love.
Domestic violence is a cycle that can be broken by teaching young men and women what a healthy relationship looks like. Anger should be discussed, and not expressed with violent words or actions.
Victims may be embarrassed and ashamed, and might protect the abuser and blame themselves for causing the abuse. Abusers are often remorseful and promise to never do it again, until it happens again.
Anyone knowing a victim of domestic violence may contact the Fort Peck Tribes Family Violence Resource Center at 653-1494 or the Northeast Montana Victim/Witness Program at 653-2999. After hours, or if an incident of domestic violence is occurring, call 911.
For additional information, contact the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800-799-SAFE  or www.thehotline.org.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
(Editor’s Note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to The Herald-News and The Searchlight to help keep the public informed and to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Monday, Oct. 20, 18 inmates were housed in the Roosevelt County Jail. Valley County Detention Center was holding two female inmates and the Fort Benton Detention Center was holding one male to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail between Thesday, Oct. 14 and Monday, Oct. 20:
•Adam Alonzo, 31, Williston, N.D./San Bernadino, Calif., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell;
•Malinda Bibb, 31, Minot, N.D., arrested on a warrant for bail condition violation, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Brandon Bigham, 30, Minot, N.D., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell; criminal possession of dangerous drugs;
•Scott Crain, 27 Froid, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing a peace officer and misdemeanor criminal mischief;
•Kristy L. Daugherty, 29, Wolf Point, arrested on warrant;
•Heather Fuchs, 29, Culbertson, obstructing a peace officer;
•Kyle Fuchs, 32, Cul-
bertson, disorderly conduct, partner/family member assault, assault with weapon, unlawful restraint, criminal endangerment;
•Gary Jones, 44, Madisonville, Tenn., assault on a peace officer;
•Jason Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Alexander Jirone, 33, Rapid City, S.D., criminal endangerment, fleeing or eluding a peace officer, speeding on non-interstate-exceed night speed limit, operating with expired registration, operating without liability insurance;
•Dustin Kinzie, 20, Wolf Point, criminal production/manufacture of dangerous drugs, criminal endangerment, criminal possession with intent to distribute, criminal endangerment;
•Dougal McMorris, 19, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell, criminal production/manufacture of dangerous drugs, criminal endangerment, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Timothy Oglesby, 31, Hot Springs, Ark., out of county warrant;
•Jesse Antonio Rodriguez, 20, Wolf Point, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal production/manufacture of dangerous drugs, criminal possession with intent to distribute, criminal endangerment;
•Jeremy Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, forgery, theft, obstruction of a peace officer;
•Kelly Severson, 47, Saco, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Kalob Trowbridge, 22, Wolf Point, assault on a peace officer;
•Scott Varner, 22, Crawfordville, Fla., criminal possession with intent to distribute;
•Hilrio Velasquez, 33, Riverside, Calif., possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.