- Written by John Plestina
Bainville School Trustees discussed going to a seven-period school day Wednesday, April 9.
With no decision, the board tabled the issue until Wednesday, May 14.
Concerns were raised about students not being able to take electives they want and that music, agriculture and other elective programs could be negatively impacted. Music is a four-year commitment.
An eight-period school day, four-day week and block scheduling were discussed. With block scheduling, students take classes every other day, allowing them to take more electives.
Retaining or abandoning early-release Fridays was also discussed.
Board member Chanon Romo made a motion to try a seven-period day for two years.
The board did not vote on the motion and tabled the issue until the May school board meeting.
- Written by Sidney Herald
(Editor’s Note: Exerpts reprinted by permission of the Sidney Herald.)
When Culbertson High School senior Elizabeth Hendrickson took to the big stage in New York City on April 2, she received not one, but two standing ovations.
Hendrickson was one of seven invited to perform at the SeriousFun Children’s Network Gala — a benefit that was this year attended by the likes of Tony Bennett, Sara Bareilles, Robin Roberts, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Miss America and New York Amanda Mason.
“It was unreal. It didn’t really feel like reality,” Hendrickson said. “It didn’t really hit me that I was performing in New York, performing on stage until I was on stage singing.”
Hendrickson’s performance, in which she sang Anyway by Martina McBride, moved listeners. After her act, she went backstage and found even more praise. As Bennett was about to walk on stage to sing, his attention quickly focused on the previous act. He started clapping and pointed at Hendrickson.
“I’m like, ‘who is he applauding,’ and he points and looks right at me and gives me two thumbs up,” Hendrickson said. “It felt like a dream.”
The six others invited to perform with Hendrickson came from all over the country, all united in hardship. They all overcame early-life diseases or disorders. Hendrickson was diagnosed as having ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency disorder when she was just 5 years old.
She battled the disease for a decade before she received a liver transplant.
Hendrickson was sent brochures on a summer camp ever since she had her transplant. At first, the incoming mail was, while interesting, pushed aside. But what she and her family didn’t know at first was that she was being offered summer camp without a price tag.
Hendrickson attended Roundup River Ranch in Eagle, Colo., where she enjoyed activities like horseback riding, archery and music and theater activities.
Roundup River Ranch is one of 30 summer camps offered in all seven continents around the world. The camps are all part of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, founded by Paul Newman in 1988.
It was at camp that Hendrickson felt like a kid again. For her, it’s something she hasn’t quite felt in years. She said she and the other campers never talked much about their health or transplants — they just had fun.
“You just treated each other like normal kids,” Hendrickson said.
Music has always been her escape. Ever since she was talking, she held a microphone, eager to perform for whoever was willing to listen.
“It’s kind of just an escape I guess. It’s hard to put into words,” Hendrickson explained, and she recalled one of her favorite quotes. “Music is a language of its own … And I mean it really is. You don’t even have to put words in the song to explain an emotion, or portray a story. That’s why I like music. I can put myself into the song. And that certain song can express every single emotion I’m feeling.”
Hendrickson will attend Minot State University in the fall, and wants to major in music education with a minor in musical theater. “I’m excited for that,” Hendrickson said.
- Written by John Plestina
The Culbertson Town Council discussed what to do with the water treatment plant during the April council meeting Monday, April 7.
The council discussed Dry Prairie Rural Water delaying disconnection from the city water system because Dry Prairie doesn’t have a signed agreement with the Fort Peck Tribes to transport water by pipeline from the water treatment plant in Wolf Point, delaying the date when they will stop obtaining water from the city.
The city is pondering what to do with the municipally-owned water treatment plant.
Mayor Gordon Oelkers said he would like to see a private entity lease it.
“It’s an asset the city owns that we should be making some money on instead of shutting the doors on it and walking away,” he said.
“We’ve got to do something with it,” Oelkers said. “We need to get the word out that this is for lease.”
In other business, the council discussed the Phase 2 expansion of the wastewater treatment plant lagoons and setting up a discharge of grey water. The public comment period with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality ends Thursday, April 17, on a permit for the lagoons. The DEQ will finalize a discharge permit at a later date. Grant funding is possible for the project.
In another matter, the council discussed the upcoming replacement of the city’s 80-year-old water main, which is a $400,000 project. Of that, $183,000 is what Oelkers called “free money,” a United States Department of Agriculture grant.
Oelkers said the city’s portion of the cost would impact water bills by about $2.
The water main project is in addition to the ongoing street, curb and gutter and sewer project that has several blocks of Broadway torn up and closed to traffic.
The council also approved resolutions to annex the 30-acre Wheatland Hills property and approved the conditional use permit for the Wheatland Hills Subdivision. The council also approved a resolution to amend the city’s land use map
- Written by John Plestina
The Culbertson Area Community Foundation met at the RC Complex Monday, April 7, to recognize endowment donors and distribute awards to this year’s grant recipients. Because of contributions from individuals and businesses in the area, the CACF was able to grant $3,400 to organizations which completed the applications and met the criteria.
The community organizations receiving grants this year are the Culbertson Saddle Club and the Culbertson Women’s Club.
The Culbertson Saddle Club will use the grant money to purchase sound equipment to be used during the summer events at the saddle club grounds. The Culbertson Saddle Club carries on traditions a half-a-century old to the community of Culbertson. The mission of keeping the west alive for future generations is one they strive to continue in their events. The Culbertson Area Community Foundation is pleased to support the club with a $1,400 check to continue these traditions for years to come.
The Culbertson Women’s Club will use the grant funding to help with their community improvement project to convert the Culbertson wading pool into a splash deck.
A splash deck is an aquatic feature that has no standing water, but is a concrete surface with water spray attractions installed to entertain the pool patrons.
An engineer has been hired to evaluate the pool and provide a breakdown of necessary improvements, such as new bath houses that are handicap-
accessible and a lift for easy access into and out of the pool. The pool is currently used to provide physical education, such
- Written by John Plestina
A woman arrested on drug charges at the Gold Dust Casino near Bainville six months ago was sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison in 15th Judicial District Court Wednesday, March 26.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Tanya Marie Hilliard eight years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with three years suspended.
Hilliard was charged with criminal possession with intent to distribute, a felony, and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies arrested her Oct. 3, 2013, in a pickup in the parking lot of the Gold Dust Casino on a California probation warrant.
A male companion was arrested inside the casino. A search warrant was executed on the vehicle and revealed crystal methamphetamine, a gram of marijuana, glass marijuana pipe and a high-powered rifle.
Hilliard was sentenced as a “persistent felony offender,” mandating a minimum five-year sentence.