- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
District Judge David Cybulski heard several cases during Law and Motion proceeding in 15th District Court Wednesday, Feb. 11.
Joel Campos, 37, of Las Cruces, N.M., withdrew a previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony possession of dangerous drugs.
Campos admitted to felony possession of dangerous drugs in Roosevelt County on Dec. 27, 2013.
Cybulski found him guilty and denied a request by Campos to waive a pre-sentencing investigation and report and be sentenced immediately. Campos said he wanted to go to treatment for substance abuse.
Cybulski said he could not waive the PSI because the plea agreement calls for a five-year sentence to the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with two years suspended.
Scott Crain, 27, of Froid was released from the Roosevelt County Jail on his own recognizance after he withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
He had pleaded not guilty Sept. 24 to criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Crain admitted in court that he possessed methamphetamine in Froid Aug. 27.
Bruce Johnson, 57, of Poplar was sentenced to a commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections for 653 days and taken into custody immediately.
Johnson had appeared for an disposition hearing for alleged probation and parole violations during late January. At that time Cybulski found him in violation and continued the hearing to allow Johnson to get his affairs in order.
Johnson was originally sentenced in 2008 and had numerous violations during 2014 that included the Montana Highway Patrol charging him with driving under the influence and other incidents where he was caught with marijuana, methamphetamine and other drugs, and driving on a suspended license.
Kandace Poole, 26, of Williston, N.D., withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
She admitted in court that she was in possession of methamphetamine and a glass pipe in Roosevelt County on Dec. 27, 2013.
She had entered her not guilty pleas in May 2014.
Cybulski found her guilty.
He ordered that she be released on her own recognizance following a defense motion for release.
Cybulski had denied a defense request for a reduction in bail nine months ago, that had been set at $50,000.
At that time, Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen cited a previous drug offense in North Dakota as a reason the request should be denied.
Carroll Wells, 35, of Fairview appeared for an arraignment on felony charges of burglary and theft. He said he had not spoken to his defense attorney. He will enter pleas Wednesday, Feb. 25.
Wells had been wanted in Roosevelt County on a warrant and was transferred last week from the jail in Dickinson, N.D., where he had been held for about a year for a North Dakota case.
- Written by Culbertson Searchlight
A Whiting Petroleum well near Watford City, N.D., blew Friday, Feb. 13, and was reported to have spilled 200 barrels of oil per hour by the next morning.
No injuries were reported.
According to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources the cause was a failure of the bottom piece of a three-part blow out preventer.
- 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.)
As of Tuesday, Feb. 17, 17 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, Feb. 9, and Monday, Feb. 17:
•Amos Bridges, 38, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs; criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest;
•Joel Campos, 37, Las Cruces, N.M., felony possession of dangerous drugs;
•Dale A. Cooper, 38, Wolf Point, arrested on Roosevelt County warrant;
•Ben Deacon, 24, Anchorage, Alaska, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Rebecca Deacon, 22, Anchorage, Alaska, driving under the influence, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Kyle Fuchs, 32, Cul-
bertson, disorderly conduct, partner/family member assault, assault with weapon, unlawful restraint, criminal endangerment;
•Christopher Hovey, 25, Lansing, Mich., felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs;
•Bruce Johnson, 57, Poplar, sentenced and awaiting to be transported to Montana State Prison;
•Jason Knight, 37; Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Darryl Lewis, 45, San Bernadino, Calif., criminal contempt warrant;
•Robert Lindquist, Chattoroy, Wash., 41, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence;
•Anthony Miller, 22, Wolf Point, contempt of court, bonded out Feb. 14.
•Timothy Oglesby, 31, Wolf Point, sexual intercourse without consent and incest, awaiting sentencing;
•Jeremy Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, awaiting transfer to the Montana Department of Corrections and Sheridan County hold;
•Brian B. 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;
•Deneen Swifteagle, 39, Wolf Point, driving a motor vehicle while suspended; and South Dakota warrant;
•Kouchi Wagner, 44, Kalispell, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Carroll G. Wells, 35, Fairview, criminal contempt warrant.
- Written by Jaimee Green
The opinions and feedback of community members recently collected through a mailed Community Needs Assessment Survey conducted by Roosevelt Medical Center is being compiled to help RMC continue to improve its’ services in the community, while identifying healthcare strengths and gaps.
“This survey is the perfect opportunity for the community to have their voices heard,” said Sharon Schmitz, Better Health Improvement Specialist for RMC, as part of the Frontier Medicine Better Health Partnership.
The brief, random survey was designed to assist RMC in understanding both the healthcare needs and assets of their community while collaborating to make measurable improvements in community health and well being.
The survey was conducted in early December and completed in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a requirement for all non-profit 501 (c) 3 status healthcare organizations desiring to maintain their tax-free exemption.
“RMC can only guess at what the community would like. The survey is a collaborative effort that involves educating the community about the local services offered by RMC, while learning about the improvements they would like to see made,” said Schmitz.
In an effort to increase the level of participation throughout the surveyed area, and ensure the needed return rate, the names of everyone who completed the survey were placed into a drawing for a chance to win one of two $100 VISA gift cards.
The winners were Darcia Larsen and Alfred Heup-
el, both of Culbertson.
Surveys were randomly mailed to 880 residents living within the service area of Froid, Medicine Lake, Fort Kipp, Bainville, Brockton and Culbertson. The information collected will assist RMC with their strategic planning and help them determine what focus their plan will take.
The surveys are being compiled by the Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education Center in Bozeman and contracted through the National Rural Health Resource Center of Duluth, Minn.
Once the survey is completed, it will be made available to the public for review through the Culbertson Library and the RMC website. A copy of the survey will also be available at RMC for the public to look at.
“Rural healthcares future will greatly depend on the community and healthcare organizations working together to succeed,” Schmitz said.
- Written by John Plestina
Newly hired Shopko employees draped this canvas sign announcing that Shopko will open on the front of the former ALCO store on U.S. Hwy 2 in Wolf Point, Thursday, Feb. 5. ALCO, which has been in bankruptcy since October 2014, closed the Wolf Point store Friday, Jan. 30. A Shopko Hometown store will open at the site by the end of March. (Photo by John Plestina)
An opening date has not been made public, but Shopko announced Friday, Feb. 6, that it will open during late March in the now shuttered ALCO building at 600 U.S. Hwy. 2 in Wolf Point.
“We were able to announce it today because we were waiting for the final paperwork to be signed,” Shopko manager of public relations Michelle Hansen said.
She could only estimate when the store will open.
“We’re hoping by the end of March “We’ve got some painting. We’ve got to get our merchandise in, so the end of March is our target date,” Hanson said.
Shopko has hired local employees and a canvas sign announcing that a Shopko Hometown store will open at that location was draped on the front of the building Thursday, Feb. 5.
The conversion to Shopko Hometown will include new interior and exterior signage, carpet, paint, updated and supplement fixtures and lighting, and a new easy to shop store layout, according to a Shopko press release.
Shopko is a 53-year-old, $3 billion, 320-store retail chain operating in 21 states and headquartered in Green Bay, Wisc.
With the addition of the Wolf Point location, there will be 175 Shopko Hometown stores, which are designed for communities with populations under 10,000. The remainder of the Shopko locations operate in larger cities. Shopko is one of the nation’s largest retailers serving smaller communities.
Shopko acquired the former Pamida chain in 2012, which allowed for the expansion into Glasgow.
“The Shopko Hometown retail format, developed to augment Shopko’s larger store model and focused on serving the needs of smaller rural communities, provides a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items, every day consumable items and lawn and garden products – all in an attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store format,” Shopko said in a prepared statement.
“We’re excited to bring Shopko Hometown to Wolf Point,” Shopko CEO Peter McMahon said in the prepared statement.
“The Shopko Hometown store format, featuring our unique merchandising strategy and improved store design, is an ideal fit for the location with its exceptional service and community-minded approach. We understand that consumers in smaller towns are looking for value and convenience without having to travel outside the community. Customers of our Hometown stores tell us they appreciate the vastly improved shopping experience and access to a broad, differentiated selection of merchandise, including products and brands previously not available in their community,” he said.
The Shopko Hometown in Glasgow includes a pharmacy and sells some groceries.
Hanson said a pharmacy is not planned for the Wolf Point store at this time. She said the Wolf Point Shopko will sell some grocery items.
ALCO, which has been in bankruptcy since October 2014, closed the Wolf Point store Friday, Jan. 30.
All 198 ALCOs in 23 states across the nation began a going-out-of-business sale in November 2014, less than six weeks after it’s Texas-headquartered parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The court approved a chain-wide liquidation sale of more than $260 million of inventory and fixtures in late November.
The Wolf Point ALCO was a ghost of what it once was with little merchandise remaining on the shelves by late January.
Only some of the closed ALCO stores are becoming Shopko locations.
Oppidan Investment Company, a Minnetonka, Minn., commercial developer, is developing 14 former ALCO locations for Shopko in four states that include Montana and North Dakota.
The developer confirmed that Shopko was wanting to locate in Wolf Point at least two months prior to the ALCO bankruptcy filing. After ALCO’s parent company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Oppidan’s focus shifted from developing 10 acres of the 25-acre former Great Northern Railroad roundhouse site owned by the Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture to purchasing the 25,000-square-foot ALCO building.
An affiliate of the Boca Raton, Fla., headquartered Sun Capital Partners Inc., owns Shopko. Sun Capital Partners is an international private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt and other investments in market-leading companies, according to a Shopko press release. Sun Capital affiliates have invested in more than 330 companies worldwide with combined sales in excess of $45 billion since its inception in 1995.
More information about Shopko is available at www.shopko.com.