Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Commissioners discussed moving forward in the near future with a four-county partnership to share a human resources professional, during the weekly commission meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 21.
Roosevelt, Valley, Daniels and Sheridan counties would share the employee.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said a lawsuit could have been avoided if the county had a human resources person in place when former sheriff Freedom Crawford fired a deputy a few years ago.
Commission chairman Duane Nygaard said that situation was an example of the need for a human resources person.
Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen will look into legal issues related to the county participation.
To date, only Roosevelt County has not approved the agreement.
The commissioners accepted a recommendation from Sheriff Jason Frederick to reinstate the terminated employee, named on the commission meeting agenda as Steve Barr.
In other business, the commissioners approved a one-year interlocal law enforcement agreement with Bainville, Culbertson and Froid.
The agreement provides the three communities with a minimum of 24 hours of combined law enforcement services per week. A little more than half of that time is to be spent in Culbertson.
The annual fees the county is assessing each municipality is as follows: Bainville, $10,000; Cul-
bertson, $22,000; and Froid, $7,500.
Macdonald said Sheriff Jason Frederick told him he would not oppose the agreement for one year but he wants it revisited after one year.
The commissioners also awarded a contract to Shane Bishop of Malta for $3.50 per ton to crush gravel.
Written by John Plestina
A woman riding a skateboard on U.S. Hwy. 2, just west of Poplar, died after being struck by a car, Monday, Oct. 13.
The Montana Highway Patrol identified her as Jaimee Sweet, 20, of Poplar.
MHP trooper Steve Nard identified the driver as Elizabeth Chase, 35, of Brockton. She was traveling westbound on U.S. Hwy. 2 in a Chevrolet Malibu and legally passed another vehicle while Sweet was westbound in the eastbound lane when the accident occurred, Nard told The Herald-News.
He said Sweet was not wearing reflective material when she was struck from behind.
Nard said Chase performed CPR on Sweet until an ambulance arrived. Sweet was transported to Northeast Montana Health Services - Poplar Campus where she was pronounced dead.
Nard said Wednesday, Oct. 15, that no citations had been issued, but an investigation was continuing.
Written by Herald-News
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced Thursday, Oct. 16, that state wildlife officials decided against shipping some of the 145 bison captured from Yellowstone National Park to the Bronx Zoo in New York and several other locations across the nation, choosing to send all the bison to the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
The Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to transfer all the bison to the reservation instead of following a recommendation to divide the animals among the reservation, a New York-based wildlife consortium, Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation and the State of Utah.
The bison are now being held on a ranch owned by media mogul Ted Turner under a five-year agreement that comes to an end next month, adding urgency to finding them a new home.
Commissioners said they are confident in the Fort Peck Tribes’ ability to manage the bison after successfully handling the one previous relocation of 63 Yellowstone bison in 2012. Commissioners also wanted to keep the animals in the state in anticipation of a Montana bison conservation plan to be completed next year.
Commissioner Larry Wetsit, a Fort Peck tribal member, said he is certain the tribes will work with the other groups interested in the bison.
“It’s always been the intent of the tribe to re-establish buffalo somewhere,” Wetsit said. “It’s always been our goal, and we will always work with others to ensure that does happen.”
An environmental analysis of the relocation proposal is pending. The recent vote is conditional on the completion of that analysis.
Yellowstone bison are considered extremely valuable because they are one of the few wild herds left that have no cattle genes. These 145 bison were captured a decade ago under an experimental program to start new herds using the genetically pure Yellowstone animals.
They spent years in quarantine to make sure they weren’t carrying the disease brucellosis, which has caused problems for the cattle industry.
The FWP agency recommendations The Herald-News previously reported would have given the Wildlife Conservation Society 10 bison for zoos in the Bronx, Queens and Ohio. That recommendation was in recognition of the Bronx zoo being the founder of the American Bison Society, Montana Wildlife Division Administrator Ken McDonald said.
The society was instrumental in conserving the last bison before they were wiped out in North America.
The state agency recommended only 70 of the bison go to Montana’s Fort Peck Indian Reservation, with 35 to Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation and the remaining 30 to Utah’s Division of Wildlife.
A fifth applicant, the private American Prairie Wildlife Reserve in north-central Montana, was dropped from consideration after wildlife officials said they wouldn’t relocate bison to non-tribal lands in the state until the bison conservation plan is completed.
Written by Herald-News
The Roosevelt County/Fort Peck Tribes 911 Center received 718 reports of domestic violence incidents during the one-year period between Oct. 1, 2013, and Sept. 30, 2014. It is not known how many more incidents might not have been reported.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
An estimated 50 percent of men who frequently assault their wives also frequently abuse their children. Studies suggest that between 3.3 and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Only about 55 percent of domestic violence incidents are reported.
There is a belief that up to 10 million children are being set up to become either victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. People tend to gravitate to what is familiar, even if that familiarity is abuse.
Abuse is about power and control, not about love.
Domestic violence is a cycle that can be broken by teaching young men and women what a healthy relationship looks like. Anger should be discussed, and not expressed with violent words or actions.
Victims may be embarrassed and ashamed, and might protect the abuser and blame themselves for causing the abuse. Abusers are often remorseful and promise to never do it again, until it happens again.
Anyone knowing a victim of domestic violence may contact the Fort Peck Tribes Family Violence Resource Center at 653-1494 or the Northeast Montana Victim/Witness Program at 653-2999. After hours, or if an incident of domestic violence is occurring, call 911.
For additional information, contact the Domestic Abuse Hotline at 800-799-SAFE  or www.thehotline.org.
Written by Herald-News
Public notices — the means by which government announces day-to-day activities important to citizens — are now easier than ever to find, thanks to a new statewide website supported by member newspapers of the Montana Newspaper Association.
Notices such as public budgets, meeting agendas, sample ballots, court actions, construction projects and public hearings published in most Montana newspapers are available on the website.
The free site is available at mtnewspapers.com (click on helpful links) or directly at montanapublicnotices.com. Visitors may search by selecting key words or by selecting content for a specific newspaper. Notices will be archived on the website for 90 days after the publication date.
Weekly and daily newspapers across Montana have made a significant financial investment to bring greater access to public notices, said Jim Rickman, MNA executive director.
"This new website is a value added service that extends the reach of our members' printed pages," said Rickman. "We believe the website will help government keep important information in front of the public, and will increase awareness and understanding of their local governments."
Far more than the value it adds for government and newspapers, however, is the accessibility it delivers for information seekers in the general public.
Rickman said the new service has been found to be useful for construction and engineering firms looking for bidding opportunities all across the state. People wanting to know about trustee sales of property can find those notices with a few search terms. Folks who want to know when their county commissioners will be accepting comment on adopting a budget can also find answers on the website.
The service is made possible through new, advanced technology involving digital imaging of newspaper pages.
MNA represents 85 Montana newspapers and is celebrating its 129th year of service. The mission of MNA is “to advance and sustain the news publishing industry in Montana."