Written by John Plestina
The Wolf Point School board approved the hiring of several teachers, other staff and coaches following a closed executive session during a special school board meeting Monday, July 27.
Approval of new hires and coaching appointments are usually routine and executive sessions are only held if an issue concerning an individual is discussed. It is not public who was discussed.
In open session, the trustees voted to hire: Jeanine Granada, teacher; Roberta “Bobbi” Munger, Northside School fifth- grade teacher; Kristi Raap, Northside School librarian; Marvin Bullchief, assistant high school custodian; Jason Brock. assistant football coach; Cody Larson, assistant volleyball coach; Nicole Paulson, junior high volleyball coach; Robert Manning, junior high basketball coach; and Ty Nygard, a high school student to work as a temporary custodian.
Cody Larson, recently hired to be a Southside School physical education teacher and high school head girls’ basketball coach, resigned as assistant football coach.
AJ Allen has resigned as a Southside School paraprofessional.
All new hires are pending satisfactory background checks.
District 1 trustee Cor-ey Reum took aim at the frequent use of profanity by Wolf Point High School student athletes.
Reum, who officiates games, said he has heard it on the football field and the basketball court. He said the problem escalates during rivalry games against Glasgow and Poplar.
Reum said he wants coaches to end the practice of cussing by students.
“I want our kids to be respectful and brought back to a higher standard,” he said.
“The kids are talking smack to each other,” Reum said. “I wasn’t raised that way.”
In other business, the board accepted a quote from Gary Brink, Inc., Hobart Sales and Service of Billings for to purchase a Vulcan Endurance 60-inch natural gas heavy duty range for $4,900 with installation at $1,700 and an additional $389 for a quick disconnect. The range is expected to be installed at the junior/senior high school before school starts.
In another matter, the trustees reviewed and approved continuation of a school wellness policy the district adopted in 2004. It is mandated by federal law for all schools participating in school nutrition programs including the National School Lunch Program. The Healthy Hunger Free Act of 2010 includes new provisions for the local wellness policy that include emphasize implementation, evaluation and public reporting on the progress of the school wellness policy goal.
The board also approved the junior/senior high student handbook and several policies that the Montana School Boards Association has recommended.
The trustees also approved 38 out-of-district admissions. They are: McCone County students, 12 elementary, four high school; Valley County, seven elementary, four high school; Poplar, three elementary, three high school; and Frontier School District, five K-8 students.
Written by John Plestina
The man who authorities say was drunk and caused the death of another man riding on a towed deck near Culbertson June 21, pleaded not guilty to five charges in 15th District Court Wednesday, July 15.
William Flynt, 36, of Tucson, Ariz., pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide while under the influence, driving under the influence - fourth offense, criminal endangerment and failure to remain at accident scene involving another person or deceased person, all felonies and misdemeanor failure to carry proof of insurance.
District Court Judge David Cybulski granted a bail reduction from $40,000 to $10,000 and permitted him to return to Arizona.
An arrest warrant will be issued if Flynt fails to sign up for the court services in Arizona and he was required to sign a waiver of extradition.
David Penski, 30, of Vail, Ariz., fell off the deck. He was transported by ambulance to Roosevelt Medical Center in Culbertson. From there, he was flown to a Billings hospital where he died.
Montana Highway Patrol trooper Seth Adams said in June that the single-vehicle accident happened near the rodeo grounds. He said alcohol and drugs are considered a factor in the crash and that the deceased man was riding on a deck for a house that was being towed with a chain by a 2013 Ford F150 pickup.
Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick said Penski died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Adams said Flynt and Penski worked for a construction company in Culbertson. Both are listed as Arizona residents.
Written by Herald-News
This semi missed the corner First Avenue North and U.S. Hwy. 2 and slid over an embankment on the road leading to the elevator Monday, July 27, a little after 3 p.m. Wolf Point police did not cite the driver. (Photo by John Plestina)
Written by John Plestina
The Wolf Point School District Facilities Committee prioritized needed repairs to all school buildings Tuesday, July 21.
Replacements of the Wolf Point High School gym floor and bleachers, and parking lot repaving were discussed. Voters rejected a levy in May 2014, which would have funded those projects. Potholes were filled in the parking lot for safety reasons, but complete repaving remains necessary.
The gym and most of the junior/senior high school building is aging. The current school was built during the late 1960s to replace the original building that was destroyed by fire.
Superintendent Gary Scott said he wants to find out if the bleachers could be repaired.
Some seating would need to be removed to make the gym handicapped accessible.
He said new bleachers could cost about $400,000.
“We need to do this parking lot and, if we’ve got the money, we need to get it done,” school district trustee Brandon Babb said.
Work on the gym ceiling has begun. The floor will be refinished as a temporary fix.
The possibly of the district borrowing to fund replacement of the gym floor was discussed.
School building priorities the committee set were: No. 1, WPHS parking lot and sidewalk drainage; No. 2, Northside School fifth- and sixth-grade restrooms; No. 3, repair of bricks at the high school; No. 4, roof leaks at Northside School; No. 5, repair or replacement of boilers and air handlers; No. 6, red moss on the roof of Southside School; No. 7, replacement of gym floor and repair or replacement of bleachers; No. 8, subsidized teacher housing; No. 9, doors and entries; No. 10, floors.
Scott will obtain quotes for costs of all 10 proposed projects.
Scott will determine how much the district could spend on facilities.
The district has some funding available and state impact aid has grown over the past several years. A recommendation to the school board would be needed with board approval before impact aid could be used for facilities.
The committee also discussed a need for subsidized housing for teachers. Several other school districts including Poplar, Culbertson and Bainville own houses and apartments that are rented to teachers for lower than market rent.
“One of the big problems we have is teachers can’t find housing,” Scott said. “It’s [housing provided by the school district] a real benefit for beginning teachers.”
Addressing another issue, Scott said a surplus equipment sale is needed. He said the district owns seven weedeaters and many desks.
What cannot be sold would be disposed of.
“It would warrant having [auctioneer] Robert Toavs come in and do an auction,” Babb said.
Scott discussed some of the needs at the various buildings.
“At Southside School, for one thing, there is red moss growing on the roof,” Scott said.
The exterior of Southside School was recently painted.
Needs at Southside include replacement of carpeting in three rooms, a hot water heater, uneven sidewalks and repainting entrance doors.
At the junior/senior high school, needs include sidewalk drainage where slippery conditions exist during winter months, light fixture replacement in the gym, repairs to showers and shower stalls in locker rooms, one new toilet, new seats in the auditorium, sanding and sealing of the auditorium stage, exterior lights by the southwest entrance to the auditorium, new ceiling tiles in the woodshop, repairs and replacement of interior exit signs and emergency lighting, repairs to junior high rest room exhaust fans, concession stand exhaust fan, large lights at top of gym for parking lot illumination, water main line leaks, replacement of a gas range in the lunchroom kitchen, sheetrock repairs, removal of graffiti and carpeting in the conference room.
At Northside School, there are roof leaks in parts of the main building, repairs are needed to ceilings, sinks and toilet, and eaves on the main building are rotting or missing. A new kitchen range and painting the building are also on the list.
Scott also wants every custodian to study for and obtain a boiler license.
Mosquitoes are also a problem on the football field and for spectators in the stands.
“The football players tell me the mosquitoes are terrible Scott said.
He also wants the district to dismantle the old crow’s nest on the west side of the football field as a safety measure.
Scott addressed dangers associated with nearby railroad tracks.
“That railroad over there is a huge threat to the school,” Scott said of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail line that is located a few hundred feet from the junior/senior school.
Scott said he estimated the speed of an oil train at about 65 mph while passing the school and entering Wolf Point.
Scott said oil tanker cars could explode and possibly propel to the school building.
Written by Herald-News
With the filing period now closed for the November Wolf Point City Council election, no races are contested.
Filing for reelection and running unopposed are Laurie Evans, Craig Rodenberg and Judy Page. All would be elected for four-year terms.
Ward 2 council member Ashley Moran did not file and said she missed the June 3 filing deadline. No one else filed. Moran, or whoever is elected in Ward 2, on the south side of the city, will be by write in.
Mayor Chris Dschaak appointed Moran to fill a vacancy during April 2014. The Ward 2 seat became vacant three months prior when Dschaak resigned to become mayor.
Dschaak also appointed Vivian Schultz to the council in November to fill a vacancy in Ward 1, also on the south side. She recently resigned because she moved outside the city limits. Schultz was appointed after former Ward 1 councilman Travis Braaten resigned in July 2014 because he moved outside the city limits. No one filed to run for the two-year position by the deadline. Dschaak said he will make an appointment.