CS Masthead

Jury No-Shows Tell The Judge Why They Were Not There

Four people appeared before Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 24, ordered to show cause why they didn’t show up for jury duty.
They were among the 60 people who had been called for jury selection for a scheduled trial for Malinda Bibb, Thursday, Aug. 14. Too few showed up and Cybulski declared a mistrial. A new trial for Bibb has been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 16.
Numerous others who had been called for the same jury pool could not be located.
Cybulski did not fine any of the four people but ordered them to fill out the questionnaires that are required of all perspective jurors and to furnish current addresses.
Some said they didn’t receive the letter and one said he forgot.
Jury pools are chosen randomly from voters, driver’s license and state identification card lists.
The Montana Code allows for a maximum fine of $50 for people who are summonsed for jury duty who willfully [and not excused by the court] fail to show up.
The jurisdiction of state courts does not include tribal members, but tribal members are called for District Court jury duty.

Trio From N.D. Facing Drug Charges Appear In Court

Three people from Minot, N.D., facing related charges, appeared before Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a car carrying Malinda K. Bibb, Brandon J. Bigham and Jamie D. Vert on U.S. Hwy. 2, near the North Dakota state line, Sept. 20, 2013. Vert was driving, according to the charging documents.
Methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and weapons [no firearms] were found in the vehicle, according to charging documents.
All three were subsequently arraigned on felony charges.
Malinda Bibb
Bibb, 31, pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and was released on $20,000 bond, Wednesday, May 28.
Bibb was scheduled with an original trial date of Aug. 14. Fifteenth District Judge David Cybulski declared a mistrial because not enough potential jurors showed up for jury selection. A new jury trial is scheduled for Thursday Oct. 16.
Bibb faces new charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, carrying dangerous drugs on a train, both felonies, and misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from her arrest by Wolf Point Police Department officers onboard the Amtrak Empire Builder train, Monday, Sept. 8, on a warrant for alleged bail condition violations. According to charging documents, she was attempting to travel to Washington. She appeared before Cybulski, Wednesday, Sept. 24, to answer a petition to revoke bail.
“I’m not inclined to squash the warrant,” Cybulski told Bibb.
He denied a defense request to reduce bond and kept it at $50,000.
Brandon Bigham
Bigham, 30, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor criminal possession of dangerous drugs, felony criminal possession with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.
Police in North Dakota arrested him recently while out on bail. Cybulski added $20,000 to $10,000 bond Bigham previously posted for a total of $30,000 during a recent court appearance.
Bigham withdrew his previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony possession of dangerous drugs intent to distribute. The county attorney has agreed to recommendation that other charges be dismissed. The recommendation in the plea agreement is for eight years confinement to the Montana Department of Corrections with four years suspended.
Bigham entered his plea behind closed doors in Judge David Cybulski’s chambers with his attorney and Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen present.
Jamie Vert
Vert, 36, entered a change of plea under a plea agreement.
She withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
The original charges contained in the charging documents were felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, misdemeanor criminal possession of dangerous drugs and required motor vehicle insurance.

Public Invited To Missouri River Operations Meeting At Fort Peck Lake

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division will hold a public meetings to discuss the draft 2014-2015 Annual Operating Plan for the Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System in the Fort Peck Lake Interpretative Center, Monday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m.
The Corps will hold four similar meetings in late October in North and South Dakota, Missouri and Iowa.
The public meetings will include a presentation from the Corps regarding 2014 operations and plans for managing the reservoir system in 2015, followed by a question and answer session.
There will also be an opportunity for members of the public and stakeholders to speak one-on-one with Corps officials.
The reservoir system will start the 2015 runoff season at the base of the annual flood control pool, providing the full 16.3 million acre-feet (MAF) of flood control storage. The base of the annual flood control pool is the desired operating zone for the system because it allows the Corps to provide good levels of service to all eight of the congressionally authorized purposes.
“As a result of this fall’s increased water supply, the Missouri River navigation season length has been extended by 10 days and the service level increased in accordance with the guidelines in the Missouri River Master Manual,” said Jody Farhat, chief of the Missouri River Water Management Division. “Current releases from Gavins Point Dam will evacuate the stored flood waters in the reservoirs and fully prepare the system for the 2015 runoff season.”
The draft 2014-2015 Annual Operating Plan anticipates serving all of the authorized project purposes, including flood control, navigation, hydropower, water supply, water quality control, irrigation, recreation and fish and wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. The draft Annual Operating Plan is available on the Corps’ website at:  http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc/reports/pdfs/draftAOP2014-2015.pdf
Comments on the draft plan will be taken during the series of public meetings. Written and email comments will be accepted through Nov. 21. Email comments should be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
View daily and forecasted reservoir and river information on the Water Management section of the Northwestern Division homepage at http://www.nwd-mr.usace.army.mil/rcc.

Guilty Plea Entered In Drug By Deception Case

One half of the Michigan couple, accused of attempting to obtain narcotics by deception in Culbertson, withdrew not guilty pleas he entered in July and pleaded guilty to felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs under a plea agreement.
Jesse Allan Gottschalk, 22, of Algonac, Mich., and North Dakota, also signed a waiver of extradition. Gottschalk has been free on bond since August.
He admitted allegations against him in court
Judge David Cybulski found Gottschalk guilty and ordered a pre-sentencing report.
Gottschalk and Shelby Rider, 22, also of Algonac, Mich., and North Dakota, are alleged to have attempted to obtain drugs from Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson by making false claims.
Both entered not guilty pleas to felony possession of dangerous drugs, attempting to fraudulently obtain dangerous drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia in 15th District Court Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Rider is also free on bond. She had not withdrew her not guilty pleas as of Monday, Sept. 29.

Hwy. 2 Association Meeting Next Week

The Highway 2 Association fall meeting has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 17, at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow.
Montana Department of Transportation director Mike Tooley will be the speaker.
“We are pleased that Director Tooley will be the guest speaker as he is our connection to Governor Steve Bullock,” Highway 2 Association president Bob Sivertsen said.
The Highway 2 Association has been a strong proponent of 4 For 2 [four lanes on U.S. Hwy. 2] since its inception in 2001. The purpose is to achieve the upgrading of U.S. Hwy. 2 to enhance economic development and improve safety.
“An adequate transportation system has never been more important than now. Energy development and a strong ag sector has increased traffic dramatically on Hwy. 2,” Sivertsen said.
A prime rib sandwich with grilled asparagus, potatoes, salad and dessert, will be served at noon. There will be a fee for the meal.
Those attending should RSVP by Monday, Oct. 13, by calling 262-2346. More information is available at www.Hwy2MT.org.