Written by The Herald-News
The Montana Department of Justice and the Office of Public Instruction are working together to give Montana students the opportunity to participate in state and national poster contests which focus on the theme: “Bring Our Missing Children Home.”
“This program will allow Montana fifth-graders to compete in state and national poster contests while giving schools the opportunity to teach students about personal safety,” said Jennifer Viets, Montana’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse manager. “We know Montana has very talented fifth-graders and we hope one of them wins a free trip to Washington, D.C.” The national poster contest winner, along with his/her parents and teacher, will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Missing Children’s Day ceremony in May.
Posters must be original, handcrafted artwork; 8½ x 14 inches in size, with the words “Bring Our Missing Children Home” appearing on the poster. Posters with digitally produced images, collages, cut-outs and stamping will not be accepted. Poster artwork will be judged on originality, creativity, use of color and materials, and reflection of contest theme. A written poster contest student application form must be submitted along with each poster and the application will be judged on the level of understanding of the subject, clarity, and grammar appropriate for the fifth-grade. The poster contest student application form is available on the Montana Department of Justice website at http://doj.mt.gov/missing-persons.
The winning student will attend an award ceremony with Attorney General Tim Fox in Helena and receive a $100 cash prize. The winning Montana poster will then be submitted to the national contest.
This is the sixth time Montana has participated in the annual national “Bring Our Missing Children Home” poster contest. The 2013 state contest winner was Emma Kuoppola from Ramsay Elementary School. To view her winning poster, visit the Montana Department of Justice Missing Persons website at http://doj.mt.gov/missing-persons.
This website also allows the public to view a list of the persons currently missing in Montana and to get more information on Montana’s AMBER Alert and Missing Persons programs. The Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse and the Montana AMBER Alert Program are programs operated by the Division of Criminal Investigation at the Montana Department of Justice.
To compete in the state contest, the poster and student application form must be received by Feb. 14. Send posters to: Montana Department of Justice; Missing Persons Clearinghouse; 302 N Roberts – Room 470A; PO Box 201406; Helena MT 59620.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:31
Written by The Herald-News
Missouri River Country has cooperative marketing funds available for communities in northeast Montana, designed to promote an area or event on a cooperative basis with a nonprofit tourism-related organization.
The intent of this program is to encourage the development of new or expanded marketing projects outside the local community, thereby increasing the tourism travel to the region and extending the traveler’s stay in Missouri River Country.
The cooperative marketing funds are a 50/50 split between Missouri River Country and nonprofit tourism organization. The funds are made possible by bed tax dollars generated in the Missouri River Country tourism region and are offered annually by Missouri River Country through an application process.
Projects that Missouri River Country has helped fund in the past are brochures for different communities and museums, billboards, signage and advertising events.
For an application and guidelines, visit their website at www.missouririver.visitmt.com or contact the Missouri River Country tourism office, 800-653-1319 or write to PO Box 118, Fort Peck, MT 59223.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:30
Written by Al Stover
With December here, the weather can be cold at times to the point where you cannot be outside without covering yourself in layers of clothes and coats.
If you’re stuck indoors during the holiday season, one of the ways you can enjoy the day is to delve into a book. If you are unsure what books you would like to read, here are 10 books that can be found at bookstores or at the Roosevelt County Library.
1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: One of the classic stories by acclaimed author Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol is a tale that revolves around rich businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley on Christmas Eve. Throughout the night Scrooge is visited by three more specters, who take him on a journey throughout past, present and future. Once the evening is over, Scrooge’s life will be changed.
2. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson: If you are looking for a thriller set during the holidays, Merry Christmas, Alex Cross catches up with famous detective Alex Cross as he spends Christmas Eve chasing a robber who has stolen from the church’s poor box. Cross’ day escalates as he must diffuse a hostage situation, all while trying to get home to spend Christmas with his family.
3. Christmas in My Heart by Joe Wheeler: In Christmas in My Heart, Joe Wheeler has compiled some of the most heartwarming Christmas stories that readers can enjoy by themselves or with their loved ones. If you’ve have already read the first Christmas in My Heart anthology, there are three more editions to check out at the library.
4. The Christmas Child by Max Lucado: Formerly known as The Christmas Cross, The Christmas Child is a novella that takes place in a Texas town on Christmas Eve with a journalist from Chicago who comes across a hand carved manger. This encounter turns into a journey that will lead him home. In 2004, The Christmas Child was made into a holiday movie titled Christmas Child.
5. How Do Dinosaurs Celebrate Christmas? by Jane Yolen: If you have children who like dinosaurs, How Do Dinosaurs Celebrate Christmas? is a good way to gather the children around the fireplace and learn how dinosaurs get into the spirit of Christmas.
6. Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine and Leslie Meier: The authors have put together three holiday murder mysteries into one book. In addition to dead bodies, all three stories have gingerbread cookies at the crime scenes. In addition to the stories, Gingerbread Cookie Murder also includes gingerbread cookie recipes.
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Families can relive the tale of one of Christmas’ most beloved characters, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, in book form. Due to a blizzard coming through the North Pole, Santa Claus will not be able to ride his sleigh on Christmas Eve. There is only one red-nosed reindeer that can help guide Santa and his sleigh.
8. The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever by Steven Kroll: Another children’s book, Steven Kroll crafts a tale of Clayton, the town mouse, and Desmond, the country mouse, who both embark on a quest to find the biggest Christmas tree and bring the spirit of the holiday to their home in Mouseville.
9. Snow Angels by Michael Fern: Michael Fern’s anthology titled Snow Angels, brings together stories about love and miracles centered around the holiday season. Other contributors to the anthology include authors such as Marie Bostwick, Janna McMahan and Rosalind Noonan.
10. The Joy of a Peanuts Christmas by Charles Shultz: This book features a collection of Charles Shultz’s famous Peanuts comic strip. Readers are treated to 40 years of holiday stories featuring Charlie Brown, Linus Van Pelt, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:26
Written by The Herald-News
The American Red Cross of Montana is encouraging everyone to go beyond giving to their loved ones and give to those in need this holiday season.
For anyone having trouble on what gifts they should give during the holidays, the Montana Red Cross has several suggestions.
Volunteer Your Time
One of the best gifts anyone can give is to volunteer their time. Whether it is helping at a soup kitchen or dedicating a portion of your day to help mentor a child, your time is not only one of the best gifts, but also it can impact a person’s life.
For more information on volunteering opportunities, you can visit the Red Cross of Montana’s web site at www.redcross.org/montana to learn how.
Support Disaster Relief And Survivors
The world is hit with several natural disasters every year, from floods in the United States to the recent Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines. Many of the survivors end up losing their homes and possessions. You can submit a financial donation to the various charities that help with disaster reliefs or you can give a donation directly to the Red Cross.
Remember Soldiers And Their Families
There will be many soldiers who will be overseas during the holidays. The Red Cross of Montana has provided the service where you can send thank you or Christmas cards to members of the Armed Forces through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes Program. The mailbox closes Dec. 6. If you would like to mail a card to a soldier, send to the following address: Holiday Mail for Heroes; P.O. Box 5456; Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456.
With everyone getting ready for the holidays, hospitals and blood banks have a difficult time collecting blood during the season. You can donate blood and save many lives.
Purchase Tax-Deductible Gifts
If you do not have much time to spare during the holidays or prefer to do your shopping online, you can purchase gifts from the Red Cross of Montana gift catalog, www.redcross.org/montana. You can buy items such as infant care kits for babies, comfort kits for soldiers, or water containers for natural disaster survivors.
You can also purchase greeting cards. Purchases from the website are tax-deductible and benefit the American Red Cross.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:24
Written by The Herald-News
The FBI issued a press release to help prevent shoppers from being victims of cyber criminals and scammers who will try and steal their money and identity.
Criminals and scammers are known to use several techniques in an attempt to fool shoppers, such as reselling merchandise with a stolen credit card and promoting merchandise while attempting to acquire personal information.
Below are different types of scams used by cyber criminals during the holiday season.
Fraudulent Classified Ads or Auction Sales
Scammers will sometimes post classified ads or auctions for products they do not have. If you receive an auction product from someone other than the seller, the item may have been purchased with a stolen credit card number. You should always contact the seller to verify the account used to pay for the item belongs to you.
Another tip is to check each merchant’s number of sales, dates of sales, rating and feedback. One example of a suspicious seller could be if they have low number of sales with 100 percent positive feedback and all of the feedback was posted from around the same time period.
Customers should take caution and not provide any credit card or bank account information directly to the seller. Scammers will use your information and money to purchase items for their scheme. The FBI suggests to always use a legitimate payment service to protect your purchases.
Gift Card Scams
The FBI recommends that customers always purchase their gift cards directly from the business or authorized merchant. If you purchase your gift card from another source or it was obtained illegally, the business will deactivate the gift card and will not allow you to redeem it.
Phishing and Social Networking
Customers should be wary of any text messages or emails they receive about a problem regarding their bank, credit card or other financial accounts.
Scammers will request you to follow a link to update your account or correct the problem. This will often lead to a fraudulent website. Some emails will sometimes request you call a phone number to solve the problem. If you give any personal or financial information on these sites or phone numbers, such as your personal identification number, it will be stolen.
The FBI also encourages you to be wary of emails advertising special promotions for recognized brands or websites. Scammers will use popular merchandise and advertise with a bargain deal, to lure consumers into providing credit card information. You should also be on the lookout from bargain emails from websites you do not recognize.
With the popularity of businesses using social networks and text messaging to advertise their products, you should be careful of messages and postings as they may lead to fraudulent websites.
Here are some tips from the FBI that you can use to avoid becoming a victim of cyber criminals
1. Do not respond to unsolicited or spam e-mail.
2. Do not click on any links contained in the unsolicited or spam e-mail.
3. Be wary of emails containing attached files as they may contain viruses. Only open attachments from people you know and always run a virus scan before opening the file.
- Avoid filling out forms contained in emails that require personal information.
- Always compare the link in the e-mail to the web address link you are directed to and determine if they match. A Google search can help in this.
- Log on directly to the official website for the business identified in the email, instead of clicking on the link provided in an unsolicited email. If the email appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with, your statements or correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information.
7. Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify that the message is genuine.
8. Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to act impulsively. If the email wants you to act quickly or there is an emergency, it may be a scam.
- If you receive a request for personal information from a business or financial institution, always look up the main contact information for the requesting company on an independent source such as a phone number or a search engine. Use that contact information to verify the legitimacy of the request.
10. Remember that if an offer appears to be “too good to be true,” then it probably is.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:23