CS Masthead

DEQ, Oelkers Agree To Resolve Underground Storage Tank Act Violations

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced that Oelkers, Inc. has agreed to resolve violations of the Montana Underground Storage Tank Act that occurred at Oelkers Service Center in Culbertson.
According to the DEQ, Oelkers failed to conduct a compliance inspection in a timely manner, conduct leak detection monitoring, and correct violations within the allotted timeframe established by DEQ.  
Shasta Steinweden of DEQ’s Enforcement Division explained that without proper leak detection, regulated substances could be released into the environment without the owner’s knowledge.
Oelkers has agreed to conduct leak detection monitoring, submit results of the leak detection monitoring to DEQ, obtain a reinspection and pay a $960 penalty.

Several Appear In 15th District Court May 27

Several people appeared before Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court Wednesday, May 27.
Alexandros Ganas
Alexandros Nicholas Ganas was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and misdemeanor criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
A trial was scheduled for Aug. 13.
Darryl Lewis
Darryl James Lewis, 45, appeared for a change of plea hearing and pleaded no contest to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs and guilty to misdemeanor DUI - second offense. Lewis has residences listed as Williston, N.D., San Bernadino, Calif., and Powell, Wyo.
He pleaded not guilty to five drug-related charges in July.
Cybulski denied a motion for evidence suppression in January.
There is a companion case. Lewis was arrested with his wife April Dawn Frost, 36. She has residences listed as Evansville, Wyo., and Williston, N.D.
Frost entered pleas of not guilty in July on three counts that included criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
John Mincey
John Mincey, 47, of Poplar was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to felony theft.
A trial was scheduled for Aug. 13.
Charles Pinner
Charles Henry Pinner, 59, of Detroit, Mich., pleaded not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated kidnapping, both felonies that carry maximum penalties of 100 years imprisonment.
Pinner is an Amtrak employee who was working onboard the eastbound Empire Builder route. He is alleged to have committed a kidnap and sexual assault onboard the train that was passing through Roosevelt County April 1.
Pinner made an initial appearance in 15th District Court Wednesday, May 13.
The court set bail at $50,000. Cybulski denied a bond reduction to $20,000.
David Rogers
David Rogers made an initial appearance.
He is charged with felony DUI - fourth or subsequent offense and misdemeanor counts of driving while license is suspended or revoked, operating a motor vehicle that has not been properly registered, driving without insurance and a seatbelt violation.
Rogers will enter pleas Wednesday, June 24.
Jared Weyrauch
Jared Weyrauch, 30, of Wolf Point appeared for a revocation hearing for violations of conditions of a sentence for a drug charge that was imposed March 26, 2014.
Weyrauch admitted to three violations in court. They were: failure to seek and maintain employment; purchasing, possessing or consuming illegal drugs; and failure to submit monthly reports.
Cybulski found Weyrauch in violation.
A disposition hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 24.
Wolf Point Police officers arrested Weyrauch April 24 on a warrant following a foot pursuit on the 300 block of Custer Street.
The WPPD arrested Weyrauch in July 2013 with a substance that was identified as methamphetamine.

Governor Signs Indian Youth Suicide Prevention Bill At Tribes’ Buffalo Ranch


Gov. Steve Bullock chats with elder Pearl Nation of Poplar at the Fort Peck Tribes’ Buffalo Range Surveillance Pasture north of Poplar, Wednesday, May 27.  (Photos by John Plestina)

Gov. Steve Bullock signs the youth suicide prevention bill at the Fort Peck Tribes’ Buffalo Range Surveillance Pasture north of Poplar, Wednesday, May 27. Seated are:  (from left to right) Rep. Bridget Smith, D-Wolf Point; the tribes’ vice chairwoman Patt Iron Cloud; Bullock; the tribes chairman A.T. “Rusty” Stafne; Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder; (standing) the tribes Language and Culture Department program director Ramey Growing Thunder; Executive Board member Roxanne Gourneau; and Executive Board member Ed Bauer.

The Fort Peck Tribes hosted Gov. Steve Bullock at the Tribes’ buffalo range surveillance pasture north of Poplar Wednesday, May 27, for a ceremonial signing of legislation expanding Native American youth suicide prevention efforts.
Joined by tribal leadership, Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, Rep. Bridget Smith, D-Wolf Point, and others, Bullock signed the measure passed during the recently ended legislative session to expand efforts to offset the growing problem of suicide among Indian youth.
The legislation provides $250,000 over the next biennium to bolster Indian youth suicide prevention efforts in Montana.
According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 30.5 percent American Indians students in urban schools have seriously considered attempting suicide during the past 12 months, and 20.6 percent of American Indian students in urban schools have attempted suicide.
“This community isn’t unique in that it has been hit by loss of life. Each loss of life touches the entire state,” Bullock said.
“We know the statistics too well,” he said.
Those statistics include that Montana has ranked in the top five in the nation for youth suicides over the last 30 years.
“I certainly commend leaders here for what they have done and continue to,” Bullock said.
Tribal Executive Board member Roxanne Gourneau spoke about how youth suicide impacted her family when a close family member took his live.
“I celebrate this day,” Gourneau said.
“Let’s put it on the table. Let’s talk about it,” she said. “We don’t want to be No. 1 in suicides anymore.”
Buffalo grazed in the distance as Bullock penned his signature to the bill.
The signing was held at the site where bison from the Yellowstone National Park herd that was quarantined on Ted Turner’s ranch near Bozeman was transferred to the care of the tribes last year.
Fort Peck Tribes Chairman A.T. “Rusty” Stafne thanked Bullock and state Sen. Jonathan Windy Boy, D-Box Elder, who was present for the signing, for their efforts that led to the transfer of the herd to the Fort Peck Reservation.
“Without your help, they [the bison] wouldn’t be here,” he said.

Justice For Montana; Then Onto The Miss America Pageant


Justice Firemoon of Poplar  sings during the KVCK Country Showdown in the Wolf Point High School auditorium in July 2014.   (File photo, John Plestina)

Justice Firemoon wants to be the first woman from the Fort Peck Reservation to win the Miss Montana Pageant since Yvonne Dehner won the year Firemoon was born ― 1994.
Firemoon, 20, of Poplar will be the sole representative from the Hi-Line among 14 contestants vying for the title of Miss Montana in Glendive. The pageant begins Thursday, June 11, with the crowning Saturday, June 13.
There is far more than bragging rights for the winner. If Firemoon becomes Miss Montana, she will represent the state in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., in September.
“Oh gosh I sure hope so,” Firemoon said of the possibility she could be the lucky winner.
She has been working to prepare for the Miss Montana Pageant.
“I lost 20 pounds. I’ve studied like crazy. I’m so ready,” Firemoon said.
She said there are things she must know, including that each point on the Miss Montana crown means something.
Firemoon is better prepared this year having competed for the Miss Montana crown in 2013.
“The first time I was 18, just out of high school. I was a little naive,” she said. “I made the top seven.”
Firemoon’s family is helping her by doing fundraisers to cover entry fees.
Becoming Miss Montana has rewards.
Dehner is today a physician in California.
“So that just goes to show what a push the pageant can give,” she said.
She is the daughter of Fort Peck Tribes Executive Board member Marva Chapman-Firemoon and Thomas Firemoon.
Firemoon is a Poplar High School graduate. She went to Wolf Point High School her freshman year.
Firemoon has worked at Independence Bank in Poplar almost three years.
She attended Montana State University Billings for one semester and hopes to eventually return to college.
A talented singer, Firemoon has competed in the KVCK Country Showdown several times, including in 2014. She said she hopes to compete this year, but doesn’t know if she will be able to.

Commissioners Reluctantly Let Architect To Apply To Design Jail

The Roosevelt County Commissioners reluctantly voted unanimously to enter into negotiations with a Bismarck, N.D., architect to design the new county jail Friday, May 29.
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.
Architects 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.
“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.
He said the county would allow Klien McCarthy to make an offer.
“If we feel it is high cost-wise or the service is not what we expect, then we can offer it to No. 2 on the list,” Macdonald said.
The second highest finisher in the point selection process was Stevenson Design of Miles City.
The other two of the four architectural firms were Slate Architecture of Bozeman and Epic of Williston, N.D.