- Written by John Plestina
The Montana Supreme Court handed down a 4-3, 68-page decision May 5 rejecting former Poplar resident Barry Beach’s petition be re-sentenced for his conviction of a 1979 beating death, a crime Beach denies any guilt for.
Beach’s attorneys filed the petition in October and Montana’s highest court heard oral arguments Feb. 4.
Beach sought relief from a 100-year prison sentence he had received in 1984 for the 1979 murder of Kimberly Nees, a Poplar High School classmate.
His attorneys argued that Beach, now 53, was 17 years old when the murder occurred 36 years ago and that a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision created limits on life sentences given to juveniles.
The high court, however, ruled that the 2012 federal Supreme Court decision could not be applied to cases prior to 2012.
While the Supreme Court petition failed to garner a new sentencing and Beach has tried unsuccessfully twice for clemency before the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole, including in 2014, his possible freedom might have been legislated in the halls of the Montana State Capital earlier this year with the passage of House Bill 43 that Gov. Steve Bullock signed into law, granting governors final authority in clemency decisions.
The new law that will take effect Oct. 15 will grant the governor clemency powers similar to those held by a majority of governors and allow the governor to release state prisoners, even if the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole previously denied clemency applications.
Currently, Montana’s Board of Pardons and Parole is one of only eight in the nation that have the final say on clemency petitions.
Bullock wrote to that board in April 2014 while a clemency application was pending for Beach saying he believed Beach deserved an opportunity for rehabilitation outside of prison.
- Written by Jaimee Green
A long-time provider who has treated thousands of local youngsters, adults and elderly community members is leaving Roosevelt Medical Center after nearly a decade of service.
Jay Lambert, a PA-C at RMC since March 2005, made the announcement recently that he and his wife, Kayleen, have made the decision to return to their home state of Utah to be near their aging parents, while enabling Kayleen to pursue and complete a degree in occupational therapy.
Lambert’s announcement will give RMC three to six months to aggressively begin the search for a replacement mid-level provider, a process that can be lengthy and challenging for frontier hospital systems.
“We will undoubtedly miss the community when we leave. They have been welcoming and accepting and have made Culbertson home for us,” Lambert said. “The decision to leave has been one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made,” he added.
Lambert and his wife grew up near Salt Lake City, Utah, and will relocate near the area, along with their six children.
The organization will immediately begin recruiting for a mid-level provider through national medical recruitment agencies and will use traveling providers to cover patient needs while RMC locates a new provider. Lambert is currently putting plans in place to ensure that continuity-of-care for every patient will continue seamlessly, making the transition smoother for both patients and staff.
He will continue seeing patients for several months and hopes to be able to return to the area periodically to see patients. His ability to do this will depend on where he finds employment.
“I am taking my time with this process because we are not in a hurry to leave. I want to find a place where I can envision myself staying for a long period of time, much like I did here at RMC. Those perfect-fit career paths take time to locate and I am being very selective,” he said.
Lambert first came to the area after graduating from Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, Calif., in 2004. After receiving his degree, he returned to Utah to study for his medical boards and began searching for a job that could assist him with student loan reimbursement. Culbertson was his first choice.
A community-wide celebration and good-bye event will be planned.
“We are not just losing a wonderful healthcare provider the community has grown to trust and love, but we are also losing a dear friend and colleague. We are sad and reluctant to see him go, but we wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” said Audrey Stromberg, administrator for RMC.
- Written by Jaimee Green
Today, it’s possible to conduct business with colleagues anywhere in the world without leaving the comfort of your office, with the right technology. Roosevelt Medical Center is opening the doors of its Tele-Medicine Conference Room to the community and encouraging use of their SMART interactive display boards technology.
A class will be taking place Tuesday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to noon to allow community members to learn about how to use the technology for their own business needs.
Liz Cunningham, an employee of T.E.S.T., Inc., of Missoula will conduct the training session.
“This is an underutilized tool everyone can benefit from. The technology can be used for video-conferencing meetings, as a large display monitor for people to see and many other applications,” RMC Information Systems Director Brian Fordyce said.
The large SMART interactive display board and two smaller portable boards can also be used remotely by downloading the necessary Bridgit software, from any web browser.
Together, the boards, valued at over $18,000, were funded through the Frontier Medicine Better Health Partnership.
There is no fee for use of the Tele-Medicine Conference Room or the boards.
To schedule a meeting at RMC, contact Vicky Grimsrud at 787-6479. Due to a busy schedule, it is recommended the room be reserved two weeks prior to the meeting to ensure availability.
- Written by John Plestina
The former Wolf Point High School teacher and athletic director who was slated to return to become district superintendent turned down an offered contract Wednesday, April 29, two days after he interviewed, leaving the school district with a probable third round of advertising, applicant screenings and interviews.
Jim Baldwin, originally from Culbertson and currently of St. John, Wash., was the top finalist among the three people interviewed.
Monte Silk, the second choice among the applicants, also withdrew from consideration.
- Written by Jaimee Green
Men of all ages have a lot going on. From family commitments, school and work, to staying fit and tackling those weekend warrior projects, or enjoying recreation during retirement. As a result, thoughts about their health often fall into last place until an illness or injury leaves them down for the count.
If you’ve been meaning to take that first step at becoming a healthier, more active man, a good place to start is Roosevelt Medical Center’s first annual Men’s Health Main Event.
The open-forum discussion is taking place Thursday, May 21, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Culbertson.
The casual, hour-long event is an opportunity for men to have a comfortable discussion with Dr. Don Helland, M.D., at RMC and Jay Lambert, PA-C, about men’s health issues and concerns relevant to men in their 20s through their 90s.
“By attending this event, men can get the facts that can help them have an informed conversation with their primary care provider about how to improve their overall health,” Helland said. “The goal of this is to get men talking about their concerns, so they can become an active player in their own fight for overall wellness,” he added.
The planned topics for discussion are maintaining muscle mass through the years and a look into the media hype that has zeroed in on testosterone.
“I have many patients who come to me concerned with testosterone-related issues and I think some of those concerns could be addressed with a simple conversation,” said Lambert.
There will also be a general question and answer session.
There is no need to RSVP.
Attendance is free and there will be a chili potato bar, refreshments, dessert and door prizes.
For more information, contact Jaimee Green at 787-6476.