- Written by Jaimee Green
The opinions and feedback of community members recently collected through a mailed Community Needs Assessment Survey conducted by Roosevelt Medical Center is being compiled to help RMC continue to improve its’ services in the community, while identifying healthcare strengths and gaps.
“This survey is the perfect opportunity for the community to have their voices heard,” said Sharon Schmitz, Better Health Improvement Specialist for RMC, as part of the Frontier Medicine Better Health Partnership.
The brief, random survey was designed to assist RMC in understanding both the healthcare needs and assets of their community while collaborating to make measurable improvements in community health and well being.
The survey was conducted in early December and completed in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a requirement for all non-profit 501 (c) 3 status healthcare organizations desiring to maintain their tax-free exemption.
“RMC can only guess at what the community would like. The survey is a collaborative effort that involves educating the community about the local services offered by RMC, while learning about the improvements they would like to see made,” said Schmitz.
In an effort to increase the level of participation throughout the surveyed area, and ensure the needed return rate, the names of everyone who completed the survey were placed into a drawing for a chance to win one of two $100 VISA gift cards.
The winners were Darcia Larsen and Alfred Heup-
el, both of Culbertson.
Surveys were randomly mailed to 880 residents living within the service area of Froid, Medicine Lake, Fort Kipp, Bainville, Brockton and Culbertson. The information collected will assist RMC with their strategic planning and help them determine what focus their plan will take.
The surveys are being compiled by the Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education Center in Bozeman and contracted through the National Rural Health Resource Center of Duluth, Minn.
Once the survey is completed, it will be made available to the public for review through the Culbertson Library and the RMC website. A copy of the survey will also be available at RMC for the public to look at.
“Rural healthcares future will greatly depend on the community and healthcare organizations working together to succeed,” Schmitz said.
- Written by John Plestina
Newly hired Shopko employees draped this canvas sign announcing that Shopko will open on the front of the former ALCO store on U.S. Hwy 2 in Wolf Point, Thursday, Feb. 5. ALCO, which has been in bankruptcy since October 2014, closed the Wolf Point store Friday, Jan. 30. A Shopko Hometown store will open at the site by the end of March. (Photo by John Plestina)
An opening date has not been made public, but Shopko announced Friday, Feb. 6, that it will open during late March in the now shuttered ALCO building at 600 U.S. Hwy. 2 in Wolf Point.
“We were able to announce it today because we were waiting for the final paperwork to be signed,” Shopko manager of public relations Michelle Hansen said.
She could only estimate when the store will open.
“We’re hoping by the end of March “We’ve got some painting. We’ve got to get our merchandise in, so the end of March is our target date,” Hanson said.
Shopko has hired local employees and a canvas sign announcing that a Shopko Hometown store will open at that location was draped on the front of the building Thursday, Feb. 5.
The conversion to Shopko Hometown will include new interior and exterior signage, carpet, paint, updated and supplement fixtures and lighting, and a new easy to shop store layout, according to a Shopko press release.
Shopko is a 53-year-old, $3 billion, 320-store retail chain operating in 21 states and headquartered in Green Bay, Wisc.
With the addition of the Wolf Point location, there will be 175 Shopko Hometown stores, which are designed for communities with populations under 10,000. The remainder of the Shopko locations operate in larger cities. Shopko is one of the nation’s largest retailers serving smaller communities.
Shopko acquired the former Pamida chain in 2012, which allowed for the expansion into Glasgow.
“The Shopko Hometown retail format, developed to augment Shopko’s larger store model and focused on serving the needs of smaller rural communities, provides a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, every day consumable items and lawn and garden products – all in an attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store format,” Shopko said in a prepared statement.
“We’re excited to bring Shopko Hometown to Wolf Point,” Shopko CEO Peter McMahon said in the prepared statement.
“The Shopko Hometown store format, featuring our unique merchandising strategy and improved store design, is an ideal fit for the location with its exceptional service and community-minded approach. We understand that consumers in smaller towns are looking for value and convenience without having to travel outside the community. Customers of our Hometown stores tell us they appreciate the vastly improved shopping experience and access to a broad, differentiated selection of merchandise, including products and brands previously not available in their community,” he said.
The Shopko Hometown in Glasgow includes a pharmacy and sells some groceries.
Hanson said a pharmacy is not planned for the Wolf Point store at this time. She said the Wolf Point Shopko will sell some grocery items.
ALCO, which has been in bankruptcy since October 2014, closed the Wolf Point store Friday, Jan. 30.
All 198 ALCOs in 23 states across the nation began a going-out-of-business sale in November 2014, less than six weeks after it’s Texas-headquartered parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The court approved a chain-wide liquidation sale of more than $260 million of inventory and fixtures in late November.
The Wolf Point ALCO was a ghost of what it once was with little merchandise remaining on the shelves by late January.
Only some of the closed ALCO stores are becoming Shopko locations.
Oppidan Investment Company, a Minnetonka, Minn., commercial developer, is developing 14 former ALCO locations for Shopko in four states that include Montana and North Dakota.
The developer confirmed that Shopko was wanting to locate in Wolf Point at least two months prior to the ALCO bankruptcy filing. After ALCO’s parent company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Oppidan’s focus shifted from developing 10 acres of the 25-acre former Great Northern Railroad roundhouse site owned by the Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture to purchasing the 25,000-square-foot ALCO building.
An affiliate of the Boca Raton, Fla., headquartered Sun Capital Partners Inc., owns Shopko. Sun Capital Partners is an international private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt and other investments in market-leading companies, according to a Shopko press release. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in more than 330 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $45 billion since its inception in 1995.
More information about Shopko is available at www.shopko.com.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Culbertson FFA takes first place in the Big Muddy. (Submitted photo)
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
Esther Loomer of Culbertson celebrated her 100th birthday with friends and family at Roosevelt Medical Center, Sunday, Feb. 1. Loomer was a long time resident of Glasgow and moved to Culbertson four years ago. Pictured are (from left to right) Loomer and her daughter, Jill Herness. (Submitted photo)
- Written by John Plestina
A burglary at the Gold Dust Casino east of Bainville Wednesday, Jan. 7, has been linked to a Williston, N.D., crime ring.
Seven people ― five men and two women ― are alleged to have stolen from 15 businesses and are facing a total of 169 charges in Williams County District Court in North Dakota. According to a North Dakota court affidavit, the thefts include a safe, vehicles, a jackhammer and a drone.
Additional charges in Montana are expected following an investigation by the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office.
RCSO undersheriff John Summers said the RCSO is working with North Dakota authorities.
“We collected some evidence. A cash drawer was thrown into a ditch,” Summers said. “Video from the Gold Dust Casino showed a pickup. We’re building our case.”
The RCSO sent the video to be enhanced and the cash drawer was sent to a forensics lab for additional fingerprints to be lifted.
RCSO Sgt. Tim Lingle has interviewed a male suspect in the Williams County Corrections Center who is believed to be part of the crime ring.
“Williams County detectives invited him to come down to do an interview,” Summers said.
He said Lingle will conduct a follow-up interview soon.
Summers said Lingle is also working with North Dakota police and Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement with an investigation of a burglary of a smoke shop just east of the state line that occurred shortly before the Gold Dust burglary. Summers said he believes the BIA is involved because the smoke shop might be owned by a North Dakota tribe.
Following the Gold Dust burglary, that occurred between 6:18 and 6:45 a.m., a witness saw two people flee in a Toyota Tacoma pickup east on U.S. Hwy. 2 into North Dakota.
Williams County Sheriff’s Capt. Verlan Kvande said Friday, Feb. 6, that four of the seven individuals were lodged in the Williams County Corrections Center, two had bonded out and there was an outstanding warrant for one person.
Kvande identified the seven individuals as: Brian Campbell of Oklahoma; Ernesto Difabio of Pennsylvania; Justin Johnson of Williston, wanted on an outstanding warrant; Connie Kritikos of Williston; Jesse Kritikos of Williston; Shawn Kritikos of Williston; and Bridget Whritenour of Williston.
Some of the people involved are also facing drug charges in North Dakota.
Neither Summers, nor Kvande, identified which of the seven individuals are suspects in the Gold Dust Casino burglary.
Summers said the investigation is continuing and charges will be filed at some point in the future. Those individuals would face charges in 15th District Court in Wolf Point.