CS Masthead

Driver Accused Of Causing Death Of Man Riding On A Towed Deck Pleads Not Guilty To Charges

The man who authorities say was drunk and caused the death of another man riding on a towed deck near Culbertson June 21, pleaded not guilty to five charges in 15th District Court Wednesday, July 15.
William Flynt, 36, of Tucson, Ariz., pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide while under the influence, driving under the influence - fourth offense, criminal endangerment and failure to remain at accident scene involving another person or deceased person, all felonies and misdemeanor failure to carry proof of insurance.
District Court Judge David Cybulski granted a bail reduction from $40,000 to $10,000 and permitted him to return to Arizona.
An arrest warrant will be issued if Flynt fails to sign up for the court services in Arizona and he was required to sign a waiver of extradition.
David Penski, 30, of Vail, Ariz., fell off the deck. He was transported by ambulance to Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson. From there, he was flown to a Billings hospital where he died.
Montana Highway Patrol trooper Seth Adams said in June that the single-vehicle accident happened near the rodeo grounds. He said alcohol and drugs are considered a factor in the crash and that the deceased man was riding on a deck for a house that was being towed with a chain by a 2013 Ford F150 pickup.
Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick said Penski died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Adams said Flynt and Penski worked for a construction company in Culbertson. Both are listed as Arizona residents.

Man With Gas Mask And Gun In A Fanny Pack Allegedly Threatens Judge In Culbertson

An incident outside the office of Culbertson Justice Court Judge Penny Hendrickson Monday, July 27, is construed by law enforcement as a possible threat to the safety of the judge.
Sheriff Jason Frederick told the Roosevelt County Commissioners that security must be stepped up.
Frederick said a man entered the justice court office and asked if he could park in the parking lot while he would be in the nearby library. A court employee told him it would be OK.
“He got in the truck, put on a gas mask and backed up to the judge’s window,” Frederick said.
The court staff called 911 and Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded and arrested the man who Frederick said had a concealed handgun in a fanny pack.
Frederick identified the man as Daniel Boyle, 66, of Culbertson. He is charged with unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.
Boyle remained lodged in the Roosevelt County Jail Tuesday morning.

Vicious Dog Ordinance, New Mosquito Spraying Truck OK’d By Commissioners

The Roosevelt County Commissioners passed a vicious dog ordinance on the required second of two readings Tuesday, July 28, passing the measure into law.
Under the new ordinance, an owner of a dog that bites or attempts to bite will face a misdemeanor charge that carries a maximum fine of $250 and possible destruction of the dog or the mandatory implantation of an identifying microchip. It becomes mandatory that biting dogs be euthanized after second offenses. The fines for an owner on second offense goes to $500.
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s office or any other local law enforcement agency will be authorized to impound and quarantine any dog that bites.
The Roosevelt County Attorney requested the ordinance after several people asked for stricter laws addressing vicious dogs.
In other business, the commissioners authorized the purchase of a 2011 Chevrolet ½-ton pickup from High Plains Motors for $19,000 and the purchase of new spraying equipment giving the mosquito board a second pickup and spraying unit.
The commissioners voted to accept responsibility for electrical problems at the Roosevelt County Library in Culbertson. The city bonded $400,000 to build the library and electrical issues surfaced after it opened. The likely cost to the county to correct deficiencies is about $2,500.
In other business, the commissioners accepted a $9,700 bid from Alan Engelke to relocate fire hydrants at the fairgrounds in Culbertson.
The commissioners also authorized the purchase of chairs for the health department for $569 from Will’s Office World. Will’s matched a lower bid by Costco.

Commissioners Switch Jail Architects

Nearly two months after a contract was offered to a Bismarck, N.D., architectural firm to design the new county jail, the Roose-velt County Commissioners voted Tuesday, July 28, to extend a new offer to a Miles City architect.
Stevenson Design will be offered the contract after the commissioners became disillusioned with Klien McCarthy.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said telephone calls to a Bismarck, N.D., phone number for Klien McCarthy were answered by someone in Minneapolis, Minn.
On May 29, the commissioners reluctantly awarded a contract to Klien McCarthy because the county was required to use a selection process based on points for each of four architectural firms that were finalists.
The commissioners complied with a requirement to apply for an interest-free loan from the United States Department of Agriculture that could offset the cost of construction of the jail. The maximum amount the loan could be is $5 million. If the county receives the loan at no interest, it would offset the amount owed for bond repayment. Klien McCarthy came out on top in the point selection process.
“I didn’t feel that the selection process ― the scoring process ― returned the results we wanted,” commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said May 29.
“We did what we did so we will be eligible for a grant,” he said.
“In order to comply with the feds, we don’t have a choice,” commissioner Gary Macdonald said at the same meeting.

Federal Snafu Delaying Land Buy Back Payments

A snafu by federal appraisers has delayed land buy-back program payments for an estimated 5,000 Fort Peck Tribes members.
At issue is the failure to properly appraise mineral leases on 880 parcels resulting in the suspension of payments. Only land owners with mineral rights are affected.
Land buy-back department director Debra Colgan said letters will soon be mailed to tribal members impacted by the federal mistake. They need to sign the letter and send it back. They will receive another offer with those tracts appraised. Colgan said she does not know when the next offers will be made.
“They weren’t supposed to offer to purchase mineral tracks with leases because if it had a mineral lease it had potential [for considerably higher value] underneath it,” Colgan said.
The program was only offering $7.50 per acre for mineral tracts that did not have leases.
“So the buy-back program typically does not make offers on tracts because it is possible that tracts with leases have more than a nominal mineral value. There should have never been an offer made on a mineral tract with an active lease on it. We found out by looking at some of the offers that the opposite happened,” Colgan said.
She said mineral appraisals, including leases, will be conducted during the next few months.
Colgan said she does not know how long the process will take because it involves the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations in Washington, D.C.
The buy-back program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing individual landowners at fair market value. Consolidated interests are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.