Wolf Point Herald

Distant Wildfires Bring Blanket Of Smoke


Thick smoke casts a haze over Wolf Point about one mile east of town on Montana Hwy. 25 Friday, Aug. 28, about 3:30 p.m.  (Photo by John Plestina)

Smoke is in the air and no it’s not the lyrics of a song.
Raging wildfires several hundred miles away in western Montana, Idaho and Washington produced a thick blanket of smoke and unhealthy conditions across northeastern Montana over the weekend.
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality alert Saturday, Aug. 29.
The high school cross country meet that was scheduled at Poplar and several football games were canceled across Montana Saturday because of unhealthy air quality from the smoke.
Glasgow National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Mickelson said visibility dropped below one mile Saturday and got down to as low as three-quarters of a mile at Wolf Point. Visibility was reported at one-half mile at Glasgow.
“Now things have improved quite a bit,” Mickelson said Monday.
A severe thunder storm with high winds Sunday night brought a silver lining, blowing a substantial amount of unhealthy smoke out of the region.
That storm, which brought one-half-inch hail and 65 mph winds in Garfield County, was not nearly as severe at Wolf Point.
“That storm really scoured out that smoke,” Mickelson said.
“Winds could still bring in smoke from wildfires,” he said.

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Poplar Indian Days This Week

The 23rd annual Poplar Indian Days celebration will be held, Friday through Sunday, Sept. 4, 5 and 6 under the arbor in American Legion Park.
A Labor Day weekend tradition in Poplar since 1993, Indian Days is an annual celebration of Native American dance and culture. It was formerly the Iron Ring Celebration, held annually in Poplar in July until 1992.
Grand entries will be Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3 will be camping day and a community feed and youth powwow will be held.
Spotted Bull Recovery Resource Center will present a candlelight ceremony Friday at dusk.
Dance categories will include: adult; teen, ages 13-17; junior, ages 7-12; and tiny tots.
There will also be a run/walk Saturday.
Alcohol and drugs are not permitted.

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Commissioners OK Preliminary Plat For Subdivision Near Wolf Point

The Roosevelt County Commissioners approved a preliminary plat for the five-plot Prairie View subdivision near Wolf Point Tuesday Sept. 1.
The subdivision would be located in the Macon area near Montana Hwy. 13 and Indian Highway. The developer is Ken Luckow, a part-time Wolf Point resident who is from Arkansas.
In other business, the commissioners approved $1,418,939 to Century Companies Inc., of Lewistown for the now completed construction on McCabe Road north of Culbertson.
The commissioners also approved the replacement of the server for sheriff office at a cost of $4,539.
In another matter, the commissioners appointed Fort Peck Tribes Health Department director Dennis Fourbear to the Roosevelt County Board of Public Health. He will replace Julian Shields on the board.

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Man Alleged To Have Picked Up Large Quantity Of Meth At Post Office Indicted

A federal grand jury handed down a three-count indictment on Aug. 21 against Lionel Lee Weeks, 50, of Wolf Point, the man alleged to have retrieved a large quantity of methamphetamine from the Wolf Point Post Office in July.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Bureau of Indian Affairs and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents arrested Weeks picking up a 2.1-pound package at the post office counter containing what has been called $240,000 worth of methamphetamine on July 24.
The three charges are conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and use of a communication facility [post office] in causing and facilitating the commission of felonies under the controlled substances act.
The charges carry a combined potential of  life in prison, $250 million in fines and five years supervised release.
The federal indictment alleges conspiracy dating to January 2013.
Weeks pleaded not guilty to all charges during an arraignment before Magistrate Judge John Johnston Wednesday, Aug. 26, in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.
Weeks, now in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, was held in the Fort Peck Tribes Adult Correctional Facility in Poplar.
He was scheduled for an arraignment in Fort Peck Tribal Court in late July. A tribal prosecutor declined to tell The Herald-News if Weeks was arraigned, what the charges or pleas were.
Sheriff Jason Frederick said in July that there was a single tribal charge of possession with intent to distribute.
U.S. District Court records show a petition of habeas corpus filed on Weeks’ behalf on Aug. 12, challenging the validity of his then detention by the Fort Peck Tribes.
Claims made in the challenge include that the Tribes denied Weeks’ attorney Sharon Avery access to court records, motions for discovery and a bond hearing. It is also alleged that the Tribes denied attorney-client privilege.

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Poplar Man Indicted On Drug Charges

David Quinn Grainger of Poplar pleaded not guilty to six drug charges during an arraignment before Magistrate Judge John Johnston Wednesday, Aug. 26, in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.
A federal grand jury indicted him on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and multiple counts of distribution of methamphetamine.
Court charging documents allege conspiracy between January 2014 and April of this year.
The charges combined could carry more than 100 years imprisonment.

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