CS Masthead

Letter About Stipend

Dear Editor:
Elected officials are entrusted with representing the voters and doing what is in the best interest of county taxpayers. This includes the best use of discretionary funds to benefit all county residents/taxpayers. Resolution 2015-4 used Oil Severance Tax money to raise almost all county employees by $300 per month/$1.73 per hour/$3,600 per year or totally about $360,000 county-wide. This resolution specifically states this stipend is for help with temporary housing during peak oil production in the County. Only county employees get this monetary benefit. I find it very hard to believe that all county employees are having difficulty finding housing, but I wouldn’t turn down a salary increase if I was handed one either.
What about the rest of the taxpayers in Roosevelt County? Are they not in the same situation as county employees? Shouldn’t this money benefit all taxpayers in the county, not just a privileged few?
The compensation board is being convened to consider giving this stipend to elected officials. How can any one of the elected officials justify needing more money for housing assistance? The salaries they are receiving seem adequate. They range from $109,272.40 year/$52.53 hr. to $61,218.80 year/ $29.43 hr. This includes the $9,718.80 they receive yearly for health insurance. In addition to this, they get an additional 8.17 percent of their gross salary paid into each of their retirement funds.
Why can’t the rest of the county taxpayers get some assistance with this “extra” money? I have talked to business owners and they have the same problem recruiting and retaining employees but they can’t just give everyone a raise. They have no pot of gold. Maybe a tax rebate to taxpayers might be a better solution so everyone can get a piece of the pie.  
This Oil Severance Tax money should be used to reduce taxes or fix infrastructure that need addressing. I have tried for the last five years to get one mile of road adequately repaired, it has never happened. No money, no people, no equipment, no materials! I was told years ago that there was going to be a fund set up to address the repairs, but this has never happened.
The taxpayers have been asked to increase taxes to provide more sheriff’s deputies. Now the commissioners want more money to fund a new jail. Also, there is concern that the tax base may be lowered because of the Cobell buyback program. Would it not be a better use of this money to save it for upcoming expenses or fixing current needs rather than giving the privileged few a raise?
Bill Juve, Taxpayer
(Editor’s Note: The above letter was presented at the compensation board meeting to the board members and reprinted here by request of Bill Juve.)

Sentencing Completed In BNSF Truck Theft

The man who admitted stealing a Burlington Northern/Santa Fe truck in Poplar and leaving it in the Walmart parking lot in Williston, N.D., was sentenced in 15th District Court Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Kyle Lee Stevens, 36, of Tomball, Texas, withdrew not guilty pleas he had entered in May for felony theft and criminal mischief and pleaded guilty to the theft charge with the second charge dismissed under a plea agreement.
A trial had been scheduled for July 17.
Stevens admitted stealing the truck and trailer from BNSF in Poplar on Aug. 18, 2012, and leaving it at the Williston Walmart undamaged, except for a window Stevens broke when he entered the tractor and hotwired it.
Defense attorney Frank Piocos asked the court to impose sentence without a pre-sentence investigation.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Stevens to five years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with two years suspended, credit for time served and a $5,000 fine and fees.
Stevens has several prior convictions and had been on parole in Missouri.

Democrats Choose Unknown Freshman Legislator To Replace Walsh In Race

The Montana Democratic Party chose a freshman state representative from Butte to replace Sen. John Walsh as the party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate seat Walsh withdrew his candidacy for during a nominating convention in Helena, Saturday, Aug. 16.
Amanda G. Curtis, 34, is a math teacher at Butte High School and represents House District 76.
Curtis has less than three months to convince Montana voters to choose her over Republican Steve Daines, who serves as the state’s only congressman.
Daines had been heavily favored to win over Walsh. The GOP has not held the seat since 1913.
Curtis gained notoriety for a pierced nose and uploading video updates of the Montana House onto YouTube and Facebook.
Curtis is on record supporting expanded background checks for firearms purchases at gun shows.
Walsh, 53, announced his withdrawal from the race following accusations of plagiarism and an investigation by the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., where he had obtained his master’s degree in 2007. The New York Times reported in July that portions of Walsh’s thesis had been plagiarized without attribution.
Gov. Steve Bullock appointed Walsh [then lieutenant governor] to the Senate in February when Sen. Max Baucus resigned to become ambassador to China.
Walsh is a former adjutant general of the Montana Army National Guard.
Walsh will continue to serve in the Senate until his appointed term expires in January, 2015.
There was no representation from Roosevelt County at the special nominating convention.

Roosevelt County Jail Roster For Aug. 21

(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 illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Monday Aug. 18, 14 inmates were incarcerated, Valley County Detention Center was holding two females and the Fort Benton Detention Center was holding three males to alleviate overcrowding. One female inmate bonded out.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail as of Monday, Aug. 18: Adam Alonzo, 31, Williston, N.D./San Bernadino, Calif., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell; Michael Conant, 34, McCabe, partner/family member assault, felony criminal mischief, felony assault on a peace officer; Kyle Crusch, 50, Bainville, assault with a weapon, intimidation, felony criminal endangerment, disorderly conduct; William Debbs, 43, Casper, Wyo., probation violation; Jesse Gottschalk, 22, Algonac, Mich., criminal possession of dangerous drugs; Gary Jones, 44, Mesa, Ariz., assault on a peace officer with injury; Jason Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of drug paraphernalia; Nicholas Marino, 25, Williston, N.D., carrying a concealed weapon, possession of dangerous drugs, firearm possession by convicted felon, sale of dangerous drugs; Timothy Oglesby, 31, Hot Springs, Ark., out-of-county warrant; Jeremy Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, forgery, theft, obstruction of a peace officer; Kyle Stevens, 36, Tomball, Texas, felony theft; Amber Taylor, 29, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs; Hilrio Velasquez, 33, Riverside, Calif., possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia; and Cameron Watson, 19, Malta, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, marijuana; criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drugs paraphernalia.

Roosevelt County Fair Livestock Sale Deemed Successful For Buyers, Youth

CS.8.14.14.FAIR 7550-WEB


Sadie Ullmer, 9, of Bainville, unloads her pig from a trailer. (Photo by John Plestina)

Tiara Whitmus, Grand, 135, $4.00, $540.00, Netzer Law Office
Trinity Whitmus, Reserve, 127,  $3.75, $476.25,     Common Denominator LLC
Quinn Whitmus, Blue, 129, $3.25, $419.25, Scoops
Kaitlyn Adkins, Blue, 153, $4.00, $612.00, Western Ranch Supply
Chloe Tolbert, Blue, 129, $5.25, $677.25, Scoops
Brett Stentoft, Blue, 172, $4.25, $731.00, Schnitzler Corporation
Carly Bowker, Blue, 129, $6.00, $774.00, Sidney Livestock
Macala Adkins, Blue, 136, $6.00, $816.00, Oasis Petroleum
Carson Solem, Blue, 124, $7.50, $930.00, Common Denominator LLC
Sadie Ullmer, Blue, 139, $5.25, $729.75, Mahlen Rentals
Olivia Tolbert, Blue, 107, $4.00, $428.00, Orvis Nelson
Hunter Bowker, Blue, 143, $3.75, $536.25, TrimWorks
Ryley Beery, Blue, 106, $5.75,     $609.50, Native Energy
Derek Bowker, Blue, 136, $4.75, $646.00, Williston Saddlery
Tessa Larsen, Blue, 133, $3.75, $498.75, Pastor Gretchen
Ave, 1998.0; Ave, $4.75; $9,424.00
Abby Reidle, Grand, 1401, $4.50, $6,304.50,    BW Concrete
Somer Reidle, Reserve, 1420, $5.50, $7,810.00, Hurley’s Oilfield
Jordan Anderson, Blue, 1178, $5.00, $5,890.00, Native Energy
McKade Mahlen, Blue, 1198, $8.25, $9,883.50, Ag Partners, Brockton
Carly Bowker, Blue, 1085, $7.00, $7,595.00, Agland Co-op
Ashton Handy, Blue, 1223, $6.00, $7,338.00, American State Bank/Basin Brokers
Allie Romo, Blue, 1105, $5.75,     $6,353.75, Native Energy
Chase Kilzer, Blue, 1238, $7.75, $9,594.50, First Community Bank - Culb & Froid
Paytyn Wilson, Blue, 1178, $6.00, $7,068.00, Farm Equipment Sales
Emily Nielsen, Blue, 1227, $14.00, $17,178.00, Common Denominator    
Ave 942.5384615; Ave, $5.37, $85,015.25     
Chase Kilzer, Grand, 89    $5.00, $445.00, Scoops
Rachael Gilbert, Reserve, 75, $6.50, $487.50, BW Concrete
Ave, 82; Ave, $5.75, $487.50    
Brett Stentoft, Grand, 277, $17.00, $4,709.00, Farmers Elevator
AJ Ullmer, Reserve, 257, $10.50, $2,698.50, Macon Construction
Carson Ullmer, Blue, 239, $7.50, $1,792.50, Common Denominator LLC
Logan Ullmer, Blue, 230, $7.00, $1,610.00, Hi-Line Service
Gus Spradley, Blue, 270,     $7.75, $2,092.50,     BW Concrete
Paytyn Wilson, Blue, 295,     $6.50, $1,917.50, WCCU
Allie Romo, Blue, 236, $8.50,     $2,006.00, Williston Saddlery
Braeden Romo, Blue, 269,     $8.00, $2,152.00, First Community Bank - Culb & Froid
Trinity Whitmus, Blue, 284,     $7.50, $2,130.00, Hurley’s Oilfield
Will South, Blue, 220, $7.50,     $1,650.00, TD Consulting
Ty Schneekloth, Blue, 259,     $12.50, $3,237.50, Scoops
Kaitlyn Adkins, Blue, 301,     $7.75, $2,332.75, Native Energy
Halle Vareberg, Blue, 220,     $10.50, $2,310.00, Schnitzler Corporation
Tiara Whitmus, Blue, 275,     $7.50, $2,062.50, High Plains Motors
Macala Adkins, Blue, 286,     $6.00, $1,716.00, Native Energy
Hunter Bowker, Blue, 229,     $5.50, $1,259.50, Schnitzler Corporation
Derek Bowker, Blue, 260,     $4.75, $1,235.00, Christoffersen Law
Jordan Anderson, Blue, 303,     $6.50, $1,969.50, Common Denominator LLC
Carly Bowker, Blue, 252,     $6.50, $1,638.00,     Nortana
Quinn Whitmus,
Ave, 280, $5.50, $1,540.00,     Agland Co-op; Ave, $11.44, $42,058.75     
Anderson Memorial Scholarship
Steer - Tony Anderson, N/A, 1225, $15.50, $18,987.50, Farmers Elevator
Hog - Tony Anderson, N/A, 278, $10.00, $2,780.00, Handy Angus
Hog - Eldon Krogstad, N/A, 250, $10.00, $2,500.00, Native Energy