- Written by Nancy Mahan
Principal Mike Olson informed the Culbertson School Board, Tuesday, Sept. 23, of the latest cigarette craze, which is hookah pens. These pens resemble the E-cigarettes but with tobacco instead of water vapor. Any student caught with a hookah pen on school grounds or at school functions will be disciplined in accordance with the tobacco guidelines in the student handbook.
Other business the school board addressed included Student Council president Nica Granada explaining some of the events for Culbertson’s Homecoming week, which started with a week of collecting coins in jars for each of the secondary grades [penny wars]. The winner was the class with the most coins collected.
Minions and the world’s greatest villain, Gru, hammed it up for spirit week, dressing as minions and posing for an all school photo. Plans for a haunted house at the Old Armory are in the works.
Granada also talked about the leadership conference, Oct. 19-21. She and several students are interested in going to the conference as representatives for eastern Montana. The school board was impressed and eager to have the students step up to represent this area.
Board Chairman Paul Finnicum informed Granada of the need for Student Council members to broaden their knowledge of how legislation and schools work hand-in-hand to better the education of its pupils.
Finnicum was asked to sit on the board for MUST, Montana Unified School Trust. He is the president of the Montana School Board Association as well as the chairman for the school board. Finnicum and superintendent Larry Crowder have been working with the legislation to support and represent small schools in rural areas. Crowder is on the board for the Montana Rural Education Association.
Game time for all Saturday home basketball games will be 1 p.m.; junior high teams, 4 p.m.; for junior varsity games and 5:30 p.m., for varsity games. The time change will help teams get home earlier than in past years.
The board has suggested goals for this school year that include the A.C.T. Scholarship for students scoring 30 points or more on their A.C.T. could receive a $1,000 scholarship and scores of 25-30 would receive a $750 scholarship. This goal was tabled until the next meeting.
Chris Dunphy, JOM Coordinator, requested the go ahead for an Indian Club to be formed. This club would be open to all students and explore the heritage of the surrounding Native American tribes, customs, art, culture and language. Dunphy also requested to have fundraiser for the club to pay for field trips, etc. This was tabled for the next meeting to give Dunphy a chance to write a plan of action.
The coach for junior high boys’ basketball team will be Gordon Oelkers; for the girls’ junior high basketball team, Valli Hauge; and the high school BPA advisor assistant is Elizabeth Harkins.
Nemont requested an easement on the Nay property which was approved with the stipulation that the school can use the Nay property for teacher housing in the future.
Requests by custodian supervisor Norine Haugland to hire Steve Steege, Dani Green and Jennie Steege for full-time employment were approved pending successful background checks.
The north gym addition is progressing with brick being finished including the awning entrance, classrooms received suspended ceilings, lights, windows and flooring. The sheetrock has been started on the second floor. The elementary addition work has begun. Footings, stemwalls, etc are completed. The bus barn concrete should be poured by the month’s end with boring for the ground source heat also being completed by month’s end.
Future remodeling will include the outdated playground equipment. The goal is to have a proposal for new playground equipment and layout ready for board approval by December.
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
The Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture and the Richland County Farm Bureau have announced that U.S. Senate and House of Representative candidates will debate at the Richland County Fair Event Center in Sidney in October.
U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Amanda Curtis and Republican Steve Daines both agreed to face each other in a debate, Tuesday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m.
Questions from the audience will be submitted to a moderator and presented to the candidates.
U.S. House of Representatives candidates Democrat John Lewis and Republican Ryan Zinke have been invited to debate Monday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. Zinke has confirmed.
- 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 Sept. 29, 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 Tuesday, Sept. 17 and Monday, Sept. 29:
•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;
•Kyle Fuchs, 32, Culbert-
son, disorderly conduct, partner/family member assault, assault with weapon, unlawful restraint, criminal endangerment;
•Paul Harkin, 38, Billings, criminal trespass, obstructing a peace officer and criminal mischief. Bonded out.
•Gary Jones, 44, Madisonville, Tenn., assault on a peace officer;
•Jason Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Timothy Oglesby, 31, Hot Springs, Ark., out-of- county warrant;
•Alvin Scherrill, 61, Culbertson, serving sentence;
•Jeremy Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, forgery, theft, obstruction of a peace officer;
•Kalob Trowbridge, 22, Wolf Point, assault on a peace officer;
•Hilrio Velasquez, 33, Riverside, Calif., possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Written by John Plestina
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Hilario Velasquez to a 10-year commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections with five years suspended and a $30,000 fine on drug charges in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Velasquez, 34, of Williston, N.D., and Riverside, Calif., is eligible for the DOC-operated Treasure State Correctional Training Center, a 90- to 120- day military-style boot camp program located near Deer Lodge, and a 90- to 120-day aftercare program in a secure facility in Great Falls.
“The problem is you have a criminal history as a drug dealer in California and North Dakota while you were on probation,” Cybulski said.
He said he reserves the right to suspend part of the fine if the probation officer makes that recommendation. Cybulski also warned Velasquez that he could put him in prison for the full 10 years if there is any drug use after the five years have been served.
Probation and Parole Officer Trevor Newman completed the pre-sentencing investigation and report that recommended the sentencing Cybulski imposed.
Newman said the boot camp fail rate in 2012 was 38 percent.
He said Velasquez has a past substance abuse and criminal history in California that includes distributing marijuana.
Velasquez owes more than $7,000 to the state of California.
A jury convicted Velasquez, Friday, Aug. 1, of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute [methamphetamine], a felony, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
Velasquez was arrested with Adam Lucatero Alonzo, 31, of Williston, N.D., and San Bernardino, Calif., and a Poplar woman who was not charged. Alonzo withdrew a not guilty plea and pleaded guilty in August to criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, after signing a plea agreement.
Judge David Cybulski accepted the plea and found Alonzo guilty.
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s office reported that shortly after midnight, Sept. 25, 2013, a deputy observed a black Saturn Ion traveling as much as 15 mph under the posted speed limit and weaving on U.S. Hwy. 2 eastbound, between Bainville and Cul-
bertson. The car crossed the center line three times and then stopped. The driver, later identified as Alonzo, was unable to provide a driver’s license or any identification, vehicle registration or insurance card, and told a deputy his name was Adam Lucatero. Lucatero is reported to be his middle name.
The deputy stated in a written report that there was an odor of marijuana in the car.
The deputy reported that both men were uncooperative, resulting in the officer removing his duty weapon from his holster. The deputy also had to threaten Velasquez with pepper spray.
The deputy wrote in his report that Velazquez told him he is on felony probation in California and was not supposed to leave that state.
Alonzo has an extraditable parole warrant out of North Dakota for another drug case.
The car was impounded. Judge David Cybulski granted a search warrant for the car, where authorities found a substantial amount of syringes [several used], other drug paraphernalia, a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, digital scale, 10 cell phones and $991 in cash.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Several people appeared before Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Michael James Conant, 34, of McCabe charged with partner/family member assault, felony criminal mischief and felony assault on a peace officer, withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and a misdemeanor assault charge.
Cybulski found Conant guilty, ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and report, and approved a bond reduction.
Wesley Clarence Stearns 42, Williston, N.D., withdrew a previously entered not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to issuing bad checks by common scheme, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Stearns admitted to possession of methamphetamine and issuing four bad checks on July 4, 2013.
He has been free on bond.
Scott Darlan Crain, 27, of Froid was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to separate felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
A trial date was set for Dec. 11.
Cameran Lee Watson, 19, of Wolf Point was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to separate felony and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
A Dec. 11 trial was scheduled.