- Written by Angela Rose Benson
Attending the LEPC meeting in Bainville Tuesday, Oct. 13 were: (from left to right) Mandy Hickel, town of Bainville and emergency medical services; Benjie Butikofer, town of Bainville; Chuck Hyatt, Bainville Fire Department; Kyla Traeger, Roosevelt Medical Center disaster preparedness coordinator; Lyle Lambert, Bainville Fire Department; Lee Allmer, chairperson; and Jaimee Green, secretary/treasurer. (Photo by Angela Rose Benson)
The Roosevelt County Local Emergency Planning Committee held their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Oct. 13, in
Bainville at the fire hall with light attendance.
During the meeting, Lee Allmer was elected to serve another two years as the chairman and Jaimee Green was elected to serve another term as the secretary and treasurer for the committee. With Green’s reluctance to serve another term, citing her busy schedule, it was noted that, should another person come forward with an interest in taking over, she could be relieved of this duty.
Minutes were approved for the months of July and September. With the absence of Roosevelt County Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator Dan Sietsema, no updates were given on the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant.
Committee member Chuck Hyatt of Bainville introduced Mandy Hickel, a Bainville council member and EMT, to the committee, and said she is another member of the community who will be attending the meetings. Allmer noted that a copy of the LEPC membership roster needs to be filed with the State’s Emergency Response Commission. Green said she will send the information once she receives the appropriate contact’s email information.
In an effort to create more dialogue during the meetings about potential threats faced by the county’s communities, a topic is selected at each meeting. This time, the scenario discussed involved Bainville and a train derailment. The two biggest concerns shared by those in attendance who reside in Bainville were the abandoned grain elevator and the limited number of accessible routes for emergency responders and community members to use for evacuation when a train is blocking roads.
“In many instances you are going to have to put yourself in harm’s way, to get out of harm’s way with the options we have for evacuation routes,” said Hyatt. “In the case of the elevator, the heat would be too intense to cross any of the roads to get out of town.”
It was noted that the grain elevator was acquired by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and that it is not maintained. Children and transients have been found in the elevator, with one group using a camping stove inside the building where volatile grain dust in likely present.
“We just don’t know how to tackle this situation. Those buildings are deteriorating and this is a legitimate concern,” said Lyle Lambert, of the Bainville Fire Department.
Allmer said that through the LEPC, a letter could be drafted and sent to BNSF requesting information about what materials are located inside the abandoned grain elevator. This would give emergency responders a better understanding of what they could potentially be dealing with in the event of an emergency situation. It was mentioned that some time ago, there were plans underway to deal with the dilapidated elevator but the project ended.
The discussion wrapped up with many noting that an easement or purchase of property might make evacuations from Bainville easier. Another thought was to improve and maintain the Road 1011 crossing.
The next meeting is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the Roosevelt County Health Department in Wolf Point.-
- Written by Eric Killelea
Members of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes must soon choose among five candidates to replace the current chairman.
Chairman AT “Rusty” Stafne plans to retire on Monday, Oct. 26, after serving his two-year term. He was elected chairman in 2013 by defeating incumbent Floyd Azure and former chairman John Morales.
Azure and Morales are two of five candidates now vying for chairman.
Also on the ballot are Councilman Garret Big Leggins, Larry Dean Wetsit and Barry Bighorn Sr., according to the list of candidates the tribes released.
The 2015 election is scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Winners will be announced that night and take their oaths of office Nov. 2 during a scheduled tribal board meeting.
Also on the ballots, incumbents Vice Chairwoman Patt Iron Cloud and Sgt.-at-Arms John Weeks compete for their seats.
Twelve of the 12 tribal board members are also seeking re-election. A total of 51 enrolled tribal members filed to run for the board seats.
In 2013, about 2,000 of 3,900 registered voters cast ballots, according to The Associated Press. Thirty-six tribal members filed for board seats. Several incumbents retained their seats, while six new candidates were freshly elected. Top vote-getters included Stacey Summers with 773 votes, Grant Stafne with 750 votes and Terry Rattling Thunder with 715 votes.
Also, voters passed a referendum to elect Tribal Court judges. They were previously hand-picked by the tribal council.
Associate Judge Dana Runs Above and Stacie Crawford are competing for the vacant position of Chief Judge. Associate Judge Marvin Youpee, Jr. is competing against seven candidates for his position.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., (at right) visits with local people at Me Too Pizza in Culbertson Tuesday, Oct. 13. (Photo by Angela Rose Benson)
Between Monday, Oct. 12 and Thursday, Oct. 15, U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., traveled 1,004 miles to visit with towns across the state, including Culbertson and Bainville.
He made 15 stops and hosted 12 public events.
“There is a lot of frustration across Montana and there is a lot of frustration across rural America. It’s our country and we are all stakeholders. My job is to get out there and listen to people and be honest,” Zinke said.
Tuesday, Oct. 13, Zinke visited Glasgow and Wolf Point, and then stopped in Culbertson where he held a brief meeting heavily attended by locals at Me Too Pizza.
During his stop in Culbertson, Zinke spoke on statewide issues such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget and the forest service budget.
He also discussed how important it might be to lift the ban on crude oil exportation.
Zinke both spoke to and listened to all those in attendance.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
The Roosevelt County-Fort Peck Tribes 911 Center received 738 domestic violence related calls from October 2014 through this September. That is an average of more than 60 calls per month, or two calls per day.
October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Roosevelt County Health Department says domestic violence needs to be seen for what it is — violence — and never accept it as something that is OK.
According to the RCHD, humans tend to gravitate to what is familiar, even if that familiarity is abuse and our community has a responsibility to each generation to teach young men and women what a healthy relationship looks like.
Anger should be discussed, and not expressed with violent words or actions. Unfortunately, 50 percent of men who frequently assault their wives also frequently abuse their children, according to evefoundation.org. Studies suggest that between 3.3 and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually, also according to evenfoundation.org. These statistics are startling and it could be argued that up to 10 million children are being set up to become either victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a cycle that can be broken.
Domestic violence tends to be a silent crime. Only about 55 percent of all domestic violence incidents are reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Often called a crime of shame and guilt, domestic violence victims are embarrassed and ashamed by their abuse. Often they protect their abuser and blame themselves for causing the abuse. Abusers are often remorseful and promise to never do it again — until the next time.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than three women and one man are “loved to death” by their intimate partners in this country every day.
Abuse is about power and control, and never about love.
If you, or someone you know, are a victim of domestic violence, help is available.
Victims should know that abuse is not their fault and there is no need for silence.
Immediate help during an incident of domestic violence is available from the Wolf Point Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice by calling 911.
The Family Violence Resource Center in Wolf Point is available for help at 653-1494. After hours, victims or people knowing victims of domestic violence may call 911 to be connected to a victim advocate.
The Domestic Abuse Hotline is also available by calling (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visiting their website at www.thehotline.org.
Teens can call the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at (866) 331-9474, or visit their website at www.loveisrespect.org.
- Written by John Plestina
In what was called a shake up of the Roosevelt County Museum Board, county commissioners accepted two resignations and appointed three new board members Tuesday, Oct. 20.
Keith Bryan and Joann Stensland resigned from the board.
No reason was given for the resignations.
The commissioners then appointed David Arndt, Jim Marmon and Ralph Rigsby to the board.
The commissioners also accepted the resignation of long time county sanitarian Ron Smith and expressed appreciation for his years of service.
The commissioners also accepted the resignation of road department employee David Toavs and thanked him for his years of service.
In other business, the commissioners accepted three bids for new vehicles for the Sheriff’s office.
Two pickups will be purchased from Northern Prairie Auto for $38,700 each. They are fully equipped including light bars.
The county will also purchase a Ford Expedition SUV from Fox Ford for $42,800.
All three Wolf Point new car dealerships, one dealership in Bozeman and one located in Illinois submitted bids.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said he prefers to buy from local businesses.