- Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Commissioners approved two small subdivisions about 11 miles north of Bainville Monday, April 13.
Glenn and Lloyd DeTienne requested approval of two adjoining identical minor subdivisions of five residential lots each, carved out of 80 acres.
Subdivisions exceeding five lots are classified as major subdivisions and require planning board approval.
In another matter brought to the commissioners, Clayton Stevenson Memorial Chapel made a second request that the county pay for an indigent burial of a woman who died in Faith Home in March.
The commissioners approved the request.
When first brought to the commission in March, Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen said he had not seen any solid evidence that the woman was indigent and recommended that the commission delay a decision.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
In a hearing in Billings Friday, April 10, U.S. District Judge Susan Watters sentenced Ryan Edward Lee, 32, of Fairview to more than 22 years in federal prison for drug and firearms offenses.
Lee was sentenced to 270 months in prison followed by five years supervised release.
He pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense.
In pleadings filed at the time of his guilty pleas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Whittaker told the court that from November 2013 to Jan. 9, 2014, agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation investigated drug trafficking in the Bakken oil fields, including allegations of methamphetamine distribution in and around Sidney.
Using informants and law enforcement controlled exchanges, agents observed Lee deliver methamphetamine to another individual on two separate occasions.
After the first sale, Lee was pulled over by the Montana Highway Patrol for traffic violations. Lee provided false identification and received a warning for the traffic violations.
After the second sale, the MHP again conducted a traffic stop of Lee’s vehicle. Following a pat down search, law enforcement found $2,500 in cash in Lee’s pocket. Once placed in the back of the patrol car, Lee kicked out a window and attempted to escape by fleeing on foot.
After a chase, Lee was apprehended. During a search of Lee’s vehicle, law enforcement officers discovered a metal flip container with a digital scale and approximately two ounces of methamphetamine among other items and drug paraphernalia behind the driver’s seat.
They also discovered, lodged between the seat and center console, a loaded .380 semi-automatic pistol.
A trace on the handgun revealed that Lee had purchased it several months earlier using a false identification and a false name, which was the same stolen identity he used multiple times with the MHP.
In addition, after his arrest and while in custody in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility, it was discovered that Lee had attempted an escape by breaking out the window of his cell and that he had been chipping away the wall outside the window for at least three months.
The prosecution was part of Project Safe Bakken, a cooperative effort between federal and state prosecutors and federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in Montana and North Dakota.
Drug crimes in the Bakken area have increased dramatically since the oil boom began in the region several years ago.
Parole has been abolished in the federal system and although Lee may be entitled to good time credit of up to 15 percent of his sentence, the sentence imposed will be the sentence served.
- Written by John Plestina
An infrastructure bill that would benefit eastern Montana and is stalled in the Legislature, along with talk of eastern Montana being left out when it comes to state appropriations, highlighted the Great Northern Development Corporation quarterly board meeting, Tuesday, April 14.
“This past quarter has been busy with travel, mostly to testify in Helena,” said GNDC executive director Martin DeWitt, who is resigning for a new position in Billings.
DeWitt’s last day will be Friday, April 17.
DeWitt said the month of January was spent keeping up with the pulse of the Legislature.
“I also traveled to Helena to testify on House Bill 402, which is an infrastructure bill for eastern Montana that will provide funding totaling $55 million into energy impacted communities,” DeWitt said.
HB 402, which affects all of eastern Montana, passed the third reading with a 59-39 House vote and was been transmitted to the Senate, where the Senate Finance Committee tabled it.
Roosevelt County Commissioner Gary Macdonald said HB 402 was tabled because it is similar to Senate Bill 416 by Sen. John Brendan, R-Scobey, but Brendan’s bill is more of a statewide bill that doesn’t focus on eastern Montana.
“Brendan’s bill doesn’t address eastern Montana like 402 does,” Macdonald said.
He said he will be going to Helena soon and that an effort must be made to get HB 402 off the table.
Several reports were presented at the GNDC meeting. No votes were taken as the board lacked a quorum.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
(Editor’s Note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to The Herald-News and The Searchlight to help keep the public informed and to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Tuesday, April 14, 15 inmates were housed in the Roosevelt County Jail. Fort Benton Detention Center was holding one male to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail between Monday, April 6, and Tuesday, April 14:
•Joel Campos, 37, Las Cruces, N.M., felony possession of dangerous drugs;
•Sara Darnell, 39, Poplar, U.S. Marshal’s warrant, rransferred to federal custody;
•Jason Daugherty, 37, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs [two counts], criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, attempted assault on a peace officer or judicial officer, and resisting arrest;
•Dale Fowler, 61, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs;
•Alex Ganas, 28, Sacramento, Calif.,criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, released;
•Joseph Laturell, 52, Bainville, partner/family member assault, sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated kidnapping;
•Randall Lehner, 55, Wolf Point, partner/family member assault - first offense;
•Robert Lindquist, 41, Chattoroy, Wash., criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence;
•Blake Martinez, 22, Wolf Point, federal probation violation;
•John Mincey, 47, Poplar, theft - first offense;
•Samantha Nation, 32, Poplar, theft - first offense;
•Timothy Oglesby, 31, Wolf Point, sexual intercourse without consent and incest, awaiting sentencing;
•Wesley Stearns, 42, Havre, contempt of court;
•Brian Suggs, 33, Mesa, Ariz., driving under the influence, criminal endangerment, failure to carry proof of insurance, driving a motor vehicle while the privilege to do so is revoked and fail to stop immediately at property damage accident;
• David Toavs, 27, Wolf Point, negligent endangerment, serving time, released;
•Robert Yohe, 64, Bain-
ville, out-of-county warrant;
•Carroll Wells, 34, Fairview, felony theft and burglary.
- Written by Jaimee Green
Dr. Don Helland was honored April 7 as part of Roosevelt Medical Center’s celebration of Doctor’s Day. (Submitted photo)
In recognition of National Doctor’s Day, staff at Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson, gathered for a potluck luncheon Tuesday, April 7, in which Dr. Don Helland was honored for his contributions to RMC.
There, Helland was presented with a personalized travel-bag and a card signed by all staff members.
“Dr. Helland has a timeless commitment to excellence in healthcare. As a physician, he is a wealth of knowledge and also maintains certification in radiology, which allows him to read ultrasounds. This enables us to get vital information back to our patients without having to send away the results to be read,” said Amber Bond, RMA, and clinic coordinator for RMC.
Originally from Cul-
bertson, Helland grew up in the 1950s just south of the river on a farm. After college, he worked for a number of healthcare organizations in California including Madera Community Hospital in Madera, Sierra Kings District Hospital in Reedly, the California Department of Corrections in Delano and Visalia Community Hospital in Visalia. He returned to the area four years ago and joined RMC as a primary care provider.
He didn’t originally plan on a career in healthcare, but after time developed an interest in preventative medicine. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Montana State University in 1978 before going on to receive his medical degree from Loma Linda School of Medicine in 1983. He has also been certified by the American Board of Radiology since 1988.
“When I was in my first year of college, I helped the brick layers put up the walls of this hospital building. Now, 41 years later, I look back and am glad I have been able to return and contribute to my hometown,” he said.
Today, Helland splits his time between Culbertson
and Visalia, where his wife, Stephanie lives. They have three children.
“This is a career path that is challenging, interesting and ever changing. With each patient, there is an opportunity to learn and grow as not only a physician, but as a person,” he said.
National Doctors’ Day is held every year on March 30, marking the date that Crawford W. Long, M.D., of Jefferson, Ga., administered the first anesthetic for surgery in 1842, according to www.asanq.org, the American Society of Anesthesiologists’ website.
On that day, Long administered anesthesia to a patient and then operated to remove a tumor from the man’s neck. Later, the patient would swear that he felt nothing during the surgery.
The first Doctors’ Day was first observed March 30, 1933, in Winder, Ga., when Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor physicians. This first observance included mailing greeting cards to doctors and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors.
On March 30, 1958, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution commemorating Doctors’ Day. Then in 1990, legislation was introduced in the House and Senate to establish a National Doctors’ Day, and President George Bush signed S.J. RES. No. 366 on Oct. 30, 1990, designating March 30 as National Doctors’ Day.