Written by John Plestina
Recent Culbertson High School graduate Hendrickson sings Anyway by Martina McBride during the KVCK Country Showdown at Wolf Point High School, Wednesday, July 9. She will advance to the Montana Eastern State Finals at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Friday, Aug. 1. (Photo by John Plestina)
Elizabeth Hendrickson is flanked by the other four winners Sean-Paul Schulte of Wolf Point, third place; Al Bets His Medicine of Poplar, fifth place; Sarah Morales of Opheim, second; and Randy Stensland of Williston, N.D., formerly of Wolf Point, fourth. (Photo by John Plestina)
Recent Culbertson High School graduate Elizabeth Hendrickson won first place at the 14th annual KVCK Country Showdown and Talent Korral, held in Wolf Point High School auditorium, Wednesday, July 9.
Hendrickson performed Anyway by Martina McBride and Footloose by Kenny Loggins. The 2014 Culbertson High School graduate recently performed in New York City.
She will advance to the Montana Eastern State Finals at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Friday, Aug. 1.
The other winners were: Sarah Morales of Opheim, second place, performing Blue by Leann Rimes and Walkin’ After Midnight by Patsy Cline; Sean-Paul Schulte of Wolf Point, third, performing two of his original songs, Johnny Fast Back and When September Comes; Randy Stensland of Williston, N.D., formerly of Wolf Point, fourth, performing That Summer by Garth Brooks and Red Dirt Road by Brooks and Dunn; and Al Bets His Medicine of Poplar, fifth, performing two of his original songs, Gettin’ Down and Taking Back My Life.
Other contestants were: Justiss Firemoon of Poplar, third place winner in 2013, performing I Fall To Pieces by Patsy Cline and Rockin’ To The Rhythm Of The Rain by The Judds; Rebecca Grubbs of Wolf Point, performing Pontoon by Little Big Town and Suds In A Bucket by Sara Evans; and Allison Salveson of Williston, N.D., performing Breakdown Here by Julie Roberts and Things that Never Cross A Man’s Mind by Kellie Pickler.
Brian Salveson [Allison Salveson’s father], 2013 Showdown winner, sang several songs after the competition while judges were making decisions.
Major sponsors included American Legion Club, Agland Co-op, Farmer’s Union Oil of Circle, Fox Ford, McDonalds, Northeast Montana Health Services, Northern Prairie Auto Sales, Southside Jet Wash, Swap Shop and Western Bank.
Other sponsors included Buckhorn Bar and Cafe, Dad’s Bar, Don Whitmus Insurance, Fleming & Long Insurance Agency, Fort Peck Community College, High Plains Motors, Main Street Grocery, Nemont Weedbusters, Robyn’s Nest, Sherman Inn, State Farm Insurance - Nathan Lee, Wolf Point Insurance and Wolf Point Warehouse Flooring.
Two grants obtained by the Wolf Point Elks Lodge No. 1764 from the Elks National Foundation doubled the prize money and the number of cash winners. The Elks applied for and received a Promise Grant and a Beacon Grant, each for $2,000, to benefit the Country Showdown. With that funding, the number of cash winning places increased to five from three last year and the amounts of the top three prizes doubled to $600 for first place; $400, second place; and $300, third. The prizes for the new fourth and fifth places were: $200, fourth; and $100, fifth.
The Elks used a portion of the grant funds to pay for the pulled pork and chicken dinner that was catered by the Elks Club and served at Wolf Point High School. The dinner was free and open to all.
Written by John Plestina
After repairs to McCabe Road north of Culbertson had been put off for about 20 years, the Board of County Commissioners voted, Tuesday, July 15, to call for bids to make the road once again
Commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said the road should be saved. It remains open, but in poor condition.
The plan is to use recent technology where a milling machine would grind removed pavement, emulsions would be added and it would be put back on the roadway. A chip seal would be needed.
The commissioners said this could be an affordable solution to a problem the county otherwise couldn’t afford to fix.
There is heavy truck traffic on the already damaged road and new oil wells are going to be drilled in the area.
There was also discussion of a weight limit and, according to Culbertson area residents who were at the meeting, weight limit signs have been removed.
“We need to get out to bid right away. The longer we put it off, the less likely we are to get it done this year,” commissioner Gary Macdonald said.
Written by John Plestina
Roosevelt County Commissioners approved a resolution, Tuesday, July 15, that increases salaries for all county department heads.
That includes the Board of Commissioners, who have been earning $48,000. Their increase will put their compensation at $53,000.
The commissioners acted on recommendations from the Roosevelt County Compensation Board.
All raises are effective July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year, and will include retroactive pay from July 1.
“They [Compensation Board] didn’t do a percentage. They don’t like to do percentages. They passed a motion to give clerk and recorder a $1,500 raise,” commission administrative assistant Brenda Redfield said.
The new salaries were set at: clerk and recorder/public administration, $53,000; clerk of the district court, county superintendent of schools, $54,000; treasurer/assessor, $53,000; sheriff/coroner, $56,000; justice of the peace [posts No. 1 and 2], $38,250 for a three-quarter time position.
The commissioners approved second resolution setting the county attorney’s salary at $101,053 for fiscal year 2014-2015. The deputy county attorney will receive $85,895.
Written by John Plestina
Roosevelt County Commissioners delayed a final decision for one week after discussing offering all county employees a stipend between $200 and $300 monthly — above and beyond their salaries — as an incentive to remain on the job during the weekly commission meeting.
“What we’re looking at is it’s been real tough to keep employees, especially on the east end of the county,” commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said.
He added that it is difficult to compete with oil industry salaries and very low unemployment in the Culbertson, Bainville and Froid areas.
The proposal is to offer the monthly stipends as bonuses to all employees, working in all departments and in all parts of the county. Fourteen people work for the county on the east end, including sheriff’s deputies. The stipend for part-time workers would be prorated.
Oil and gas severance revenue would fund the stipends.
“If that [severance funding] goes away, this would go away,” commissioner Gary Macdonald said.
“If our oil and gas revenue drops below a certain point, the stipend would go away,” Nygaard said, adding that if that happened the oil boom would be over and the stipends might not be necessary in that event.
In response to a question about county employees in the Wolf Point area, Nygaard said, “We have several positions that are open on this end of the county, too.”
Nygaard responded to a question that the commissioners would also receive the stipend.
“We based this on what the Culbertson School District has done with their employees,” he said.
Tina Bets His Medicine, a Sheriff’s Office employee, said a deputy employed on the east end of the county had to move because a rental house was sold and an affordable rental cannot be found. That deputy has four children.
“A deputy’s salary is not going to be enough,” Bets His Medicine said. “It’s $2,800 a month for a house [on the east end].”
The commissioners will make a decision Tuesday, July 22.
In other business, the commissioners approved a Fair Board request to accept the lowest bid to build a new wash bay for animals at the fairgrounds in Culbertson.
Bainville Concrete Construction submitted the low bid of $5,650, with the understanding that volunteer labor would help. The highest bid was $9,500.
The commissioners also approved a planning department request to life agricultural only restrictions on the Lodahl property near Froid.
The commissioners must approve lifting agriculture only restrictions every time such a property is slated for development.
Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Froid held a kiddie parade down Main Street Saturday, July 12, and then sold a meal of burgers or hot dogs with all the fixings, a beer garden, a mini donuts stand and a dance later from 5 to 9 p.m., with music from Exit 53 at the Froid Community Center. All money raised went to the purchase of replacement playground equipment for the Northern Lights Park. Some pieces have been in the park since the 1960s. Established in 2008, Northern Lights Park and the committee has steadfastly devoted themselves to preserving the atmosphere of the city park. The purpose of this fund is to give the children a safe and exciting outdoor area that promotes wellness and creativity. Donations may be sent to Northern Lights Park, 3681 Hwy. 344 East, Froid, MT, to the attention of Shonny Stentoft, or at http://www.gofundme.com/.
(Photo by Nancy Mahan)