- Written by Angela Rose Benson
Culbertson Town Council member Bruce Houle brought solar-powered radar speed displays as a possible means of averting speeding near Culbertson School to the council agenda Monday, Oct. 5.
He said he does not know the cost but believes they would be something the council should invest in during the lightly attended, regularly scheduled meeting.
“The speed limit is 25 through town, but vehicles fly down Broadway and past the school along Hwy. 2, seemingly unaware of the set speed limit,” Houle said.
These display signs would show “your speed” on the top of the digital sign, with the set speed limit shown on the bottom. The council plans to find out more information on the radar speed displays and discuss whether or not to install them within the city limits at the council meeting in November. If the council approves the purchase of these signs, they would be placed on Broadway and on U.S. Hwy. 2 west of Culbertson Public Schools.
“There are students near the school, so we can’t have people speeding through there,” Mayor Gordon Oelkers said. “It’s a concern on Broadway as well where there are always pedestrians and some traffic.”
Rob Eaton, of Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads, will be meeting with the council on Nov. 4 in Culbertson to discuss the possible Amtrak stop.
“We will basically need his blessing in order to proceed with our plans,” Oelkers said.
All ponds are lined on the Water Phase II project. Don Davis, of WWC Engineering, gave updates and said that they are waiting for stainless steal products and new valves.
Houle inquired about purchasing temporary valves until the new valves arrive, though, the council is concerned on the costs of the temporary valves. “Purchasing the temporary valves may be out of the pocket for us,” said Greg Hennessy, town attorney.
Davis plans to ask the questions needed to answer the council’s concerns at his next planning meeting.
“Other than waiting on those shipments, everything is looking sharp. B & B are doing a top rate job,” he said.
United Grains is looking to construct new bins at their offload facility. The company requested a building permit, along with several other Culbertson residents whom are planning to build sheds or a modular home. All permit requests were approved by the council.
- Written by Eric Killelea
Rep. Bridget Smith, D-Wolf Point, flies Cape Air services in and out of Billings for business and personal meetings.
She is among the declining number of passengers using the Essential Air Service program that offers flights to Billings from Glasgow, Glendive, Havre, Sidney and Wolf Point since 2013 and has been awarded a new subsidized contract by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The new contract continues service over the next four years at a 3 percent increase in annual subsidy. The current annual subsidy is $11.9 million.
Smith says the airline service is needed despite the number of passengers having dropped over the past year due to the slowdown in the Bakken oil fields of eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
The latest federal data shows most airports suffered declining figures between August 2013 and August 2014: Glasgow at 0.8 percent to 4,847 passengers; Glendive at 8.9 percent to 2,835; Sidney at 11.7 percent to 13,376; Wolf Point at 1.3 percent to 5,030. Havre increased its numbers by 0.3 to 3,029.
“Still, we need our airline service,” Smith said. “It’s one of the areas – besides roads – that we need help with here.”
Flights cost $52 each way, including all taxes and fees. The airline’s nine-passenger plane departs from the Wolf Point airport at 6:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on its flights to Billings, and arrives back in Wolf Point at 12:16 p.m. and 7:11 p.m.
Richard Isle, director at the Wolf Point Public Works Department with general administrative power over the airport, said passengers can take the early morning flights and return home in the same day and others can use the service to catch connecting flights elsewhere.
“The oil patch has settled down, but the airline service is going well for all of us,” Isle said. “It’s a huge benefit. People fly out for business and medical reasons. The elderly love it. They don’t have to drive for their doctor’s appointments.”
To meet federal requirements the city airport has undergone several projects over the past decade: installment of the new aerodrome beacon and airport wind socks; expansion of the terminal for Transportation Security Administration screenings; construction of a fire equipment building and the runway.
Cape Air also serves markets in the northeast, Midwest and Caribbean. Its Montana Essential Air Service predecessors include Big Sky Airlines, Great Lakes Aviation and Silver Airways. Congress created the EAS program after deregulation of the airline industry in the late 1970s to help small communities maintain regular air service.
- Written by John Plestina
The nation dodged a bullet Wednesday, Sept. 30, with congressional passage of a 10-week funding bill that averts a government shutdown, keeping federal agencies operating and services in place until Dec. 11.
If Congress does not pass a budget by then, another shutdown would cripple government services and force the furloughs of thousands of federal workers across the nation at the end of this calendar year.
If the threatened shutdown had not been avoided last week, local impacts would have halted recreation and federal programs.
The Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge would have closed to hunting, fishing access and other recreational uses at all of Fort Peck Lake and parts of the Missouri River, the federal Food Stamp program and other government programs and services would have been suspended, and most federal employees would have been furloughed and others required to work without pay.
President Barack Obama signed the funding bill into law about four hours before the midnight Sept. 30 deadline, which was the end of the fiscal year.
The Senate passed the bill 78-20 earlier on Wednesday. It does not include a controversial provisions to defund Planned Parenthood. Funding Planned Parenthood in the federal budget has irritated some conservative senators, including Tea Party members.
During the October 2013 shutdown that lasted 15 days, about 3.3 million federal law enforcement and other essential employees across the nation remained on the job without pay. According to Standard & Poor’s financial services company, the shutdown cost the U.S. economy about $24 billion.
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
While reading The Searchlight archives from 1915, one would find articles published about anything from discoveries to the intelligence of beavers. Though these publications are no longer relevant in 2015, seeing what was being read and printed to the public 100 years ago in Culbertson may be interesting. Some articles have been pulled from the Oct. 8, 1915 publication of The Searchlight and are listed below.
Finding Noise That Least Annoys
“The question of different kinds of noises from a practical point of view, and with special reference to alto-mobile horns, was considered by Professor Marage at a recent meeting of the Academy des Sciences. He investigated the subject executing pieces of music upon ancient and modern instruments before a number of persons chosen from all professions.
The general result was that high-pitched sounds produced a more disagreeable impression than those of low-pitch, and since it appears that the grave sounds are more agreeable to the ear, he recommends that such sounds be used for signals as much as possible.
In fact, the use of the siren has been prohibited in many European towns.
He thinks that automobiles should have two kinds of signals; one a grave sound for city use which does not annoy the passers, and a low and shrill sound for use in the country, which sound will carry to a long distance.”
Intelligence of a Beaver
“The life history of a beaver discloses a succession of episodes in each of which a reasoning faculty is employed. Unlike other animals, the beaver’s intelligence consists not only in doing the same things over and over again, but in the ability to deal understandingly with novel situations. Certain of its’ actions probably arise from the same instinct that governs the rest of the lower animals, but the orderly sequence in which they are performed leads many to believe that the beaver shares with man a claim to reasoning faculties.”
Some events also took place 100 years ago this week. Several are listed below.
“There will be a big dance in the Opera Hall in Culbertson next Tuesday night. Music will be furnished by the famous Vida Orchestra and a good time is promised.”
“Miss May of Des Moines, Iowa., was here Wednesday and Thursday morning trying to get a guarantee for a lyceum course before this winter, but with no success.”
One-Hundred-year-old ads are as follows.
“Furniture and Stoves- Our stock in these lines is complete; iron, brass and wood beds; dressers; commodes; buffes; dining tables and chairs; springs and mattresses.
The Famous Monarch Range: Coles Hot Blast Ranges and Heaters. Now on display. Your inspection invited. No trouble to show goods.
Tanner & Best Co., Culbertson, Montana.”
This is a portion of a poem that was published in The Searchlight in 1915. The author is not listed.
“The Beautiful Snow- An Old Poem
Oh, the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and earth below,
Over the housetops, over the streets,
Over the heads of people you meet;
Dancing, flitting, skimming along,
Beautiful snow, it can do no wrong;
Flying to kiss a fair lady’s cheek,
Clinging to lips in frolicsome freak,
Beautiful snow from Heaven above,
Pure as an angel, gentle as love.
Oh, the snow, the beautiful snow,
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go,
Whirling about in madding fun;
Chasing, laughing, hurrying by
It lights on the face, and sparkles the eye;
And the dogs with a bark and bound
Snap at the crystals as they eddy around,
The town is alive, and the heart in a glow,
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.
How wild the crowd goes swaying along,
Hailing each other with humor and song;
How the gay sleighs like meteors flash by,
Bright for a moment then lost to the eye;
Ringing, swinging, dashing they go,
Over the crest of the beautiful snow.”
- Written by Angela Rose Benson
When a blood drive is taking place in the community, many want to know if they can help. Blood drives have a list of extensive requirements that must be met in order to give blood. Some of the basic requirements, according to the American Red Cross website, are listed below.
Healthy and feeling well means that you can perform normal activities while being in good general health.
Anyone with an acute infection should not donate. The reason behind antibiotic use must be evaluated to determine if the donor has a bacterial infection that could potentially be transmitted through blood.
If you have finished your prescribed oral antibiotics for a bacterial or viral infection, your blood donation will be accepted. You may donate blood if you finished your last pill on the date of donation.
If you have received an antibiotic by injection for an infection, you must wait 10 days after the last injection before donating.
Donating is acceptable if you are taking antibiotics to prevent infection, though, the responsible medical director must still complete an evaluation of the donor before the donating process begins.
If a donor’s temperature is above 99.5 Fahrenheit, they can not donate.
Diabetics whom are controlled on insulin or oral medications can donate.
Those with high blood pressure are eligible to donate as long as their blood pressure is below 180 systolic and below 100 diastolic at the time of blood donation.
If you have low blood pressure, you can donate as long as you feel well and your blood pressure is a minimum of 80 systolic and 50 diastolic.
If a donor has a cold or flu, they are advised to wait if they have a fever or a productive cough that brings up phlegm, have completed any antibiotic treatments for sinus, throat or lung infections and simply do not feel well.
A donor with heart disease is allowed to donate as long as they have been medically evaluated and treated, have not had any heart related symptoms, such as chest pain, for six months and have no limitations and or restrictions on their normal daily activities.
If an episode of angina has occurred, a heart attack, bypass surgery or angioplasty or a change in your heart condition that resulted in a change to your medications, you must wait six months before donating blood.
Donors with pacemakers can donate as long as their pulse is between 50 and 100 beats per minute with a small number of irregular beats, while meeting the other heart disease criteria.
If a donor has HIV or AIDS, they can not donate. If a donor feels they have done something that puts them at risk for becoming infected with HIV, they are advised not to donate blood.
In most cases, a donor on medications will not be disqualified as a blood donor. Eligibility will depend on the reason why medications were prescribed. If the condition is under control and the donor is healthy, donation is acceptable.
If you have the sickle cell trait, you can donate. Those with sickle cell disease will not be able to donate.
Those with tattoos and piercings are eligible to donate blood if they are positive all piercings were done with sterile instruments or single-use equipment and all tattoos were applied in a state-regulated entity using sterile needles and ink that has not been reused.
If you are pregnant, you can not donate blood. You must wait six weeks after giving birth before donating.
A Culbertson Community Blood Drive will be taking place at the American Legion Hall on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 1 to 5 p.m. Anyone interested in finding out when a blood drive happens within their community or more information can go to redcrossblood.org.