Written by John Plestina
“Sheriff” Dan Hutchinson is locked and loaded with his powderhorn in hand except he left his side arm in his car because he had stepped into a public building for a meeting of the “High Plains Drifters,” a Wolf Point-based Old West reenactment group Saturday, May 9. Hutchinson’s sidearm is a colonial replica flintlock pistol. (Photo by John Plestina)
An Old West gunfight reenactment group that was recently formed in Wolf Point will stage scripted gunfights during the Wild Horse Stampede and Wolf Point Centennial Celebration in July.
The “High Plains Drifters,” not to be confused with High Plains Drifter, the 1973 Clint Eastwood movie, is a growing group of Wolf Point “gunslingers” with eight members so far.
At least three members of the group — Dan Hutchinson, John “Johnny O” Olson and Lester Warby — have experience as “guns for hire” with Old West reenactment groups. Olson and Warby, who have lived in New Mexico and Arizona respectively, have both performed with gunfight groups.
Olson moved to Albuquerque, N.M., after he graduated from Wolf Point High School and lived there about five years. It was in Albuquerque that he met other people who were involved with a gunfight reenactment group and he joined the group, learning his trade.
Now, decades later, Olson wants to put that trade to use on the streets of Wolf Point.
About two weeks after the 2014 Stampede, Olson and Hutchinson brought a proposal to the Wolf Point Centennial Committee to stage gunfights on downtown streets as a sanctioned event of the Centennial Celebration.
“We have several skits that we’ve put together,” Hutchinson said Saturday, May 9.
“High Plains Drifters” hope to become “guns for hire” throughout the year.
They are seeking a few more good “gunslingers” to join the group.
Olson said he would like to see at least 30 members in the group.
Anyone who is interested should contact Hutchinson at Montana Job Service in Wolf Point, Warby at Wolf Point Federal Credit Union or Olson at 650-5247.
Written by John Plestina
Threats made to a psychiatrist to kill people in Bainville resulted in the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office locking down Bainville School Monday, May 11.
The RCSO responded to the school following information from the Williams County, N.D., Sheriff’s Office that an “unstable male” who lives in Bainville had made threats that included using a gun or knife, said RCSO Chief Deputy Corey Reum.
Reum responded to Bainville.
“I locked down the school as a precaution,” he said. “This guy has been in prison for threats.”
In the end, Williams County deputies arrested the man. He was reported to be lodged in the Williams County Jail in Williston, N.D.
Attempts to gain information from the Williams County Sheriff’s Office were unsuccessful.
RCSO undersheriff John Summers identified the man as Brian G. Corntassel. His age is listed as both 49 and 54. Corntassel is believed to be from Missoula and information obtained online shows previous addresses in Montana, Washington, Arizona and California.
Summers said Corntassel has been living with a girlfriend in Bainville.
“He had a meltdown in Williston. He told a psychiatrist in Williston he was going to start killing people in Bainville,” Summers said.
He said the Williams County Sheriff’s Office is holding Corntassel on a Missoula County warrant.
“He threatened to shoot a judge in Missoula four months ago,” Summers said.
In addition to that, a report published in The Spokesman-Review, a daily newspaper in Spokane, Wash., in 2010, Corntassel threatening to kill a Spokane judge and appeared in Washington Superior Court on a single felony charge of intimidating a judge. The Spokane newspaper reported that Corntassel threatened to shoot the judge in the head.
Written by John Plestina
After laying dormant for a few years, the former offices of the Wolf Point School District on Third Avenue South near Main Street will become a Montana Highway Patrol station.
The building has sat empty since 2011 after the school board voted Aug. 8, 2011, to move the district offices to the high school.
The school board had sought to sell or lease the building by sealed bid during the monthly school trustees meeting Monday, May 11.
Ed Hennessy of Associated Rental of Wolf Point offered $147,250, the only bid for purchase.
The school board opted to accept an alternative bid from the state to lease the building for $1,500 monthly for 10 years.
Trustee Ed Bach said that adds up to $180,000 revenue for the school district over 10 years and the district could sell the building in 10 years.
The board voted unanimously in favor of the MHP bid.
The board approved the invitation to bid during the April board meeting and set the minimum bid at $130,000 for a sale and the minimum duration for a lease at five years.
An attempt was made by the Fort Peck Tribes in 2012 to buy the building for $125,000 or, alternatively, lease the building for $8,000 a month on a six-month lease. Both options were rejected by the board at that time.
Written by Herald-News
“Experienced kindergarteners” at Frontier Elementary School took the lead as role models for next year’s kindergarten class that will replace them when they move up to first grade in August. All incoming four- and five-year-old future kindergarteners were invited to spend the morning in Cathy O’Neil’s class, Thursday, May 7. The all-day kindergarten class has expectations that include identifying 100 words and knowing how to use a computer, and there is play time. Pictured on the jungle gym during a recess are (from left to right) Miliyna Smoker-DeWitt, Evan Yant, Hailey Ward, Suzie Symington, Keauni Strikes Many, Garrett Toavs, Jazz Azure and Jett Azure. (Photo by John Plestina)
Written by John Plestina
The outgoing Wolf Point School board voted unanimously to reinstate the preschool program for the next school year during the monthly school board meeting Monday, May 11.
The same board cut the preschool program and approved $296,309 in additional cuts, including teachers and other jobs May 28, 2014, to offset financial woes.
Voters had rejected two levies in the May 2014 school district election, including one that would have funded the preschool.
The preschool program is largely funded by federal Title VII funds. Cutting it one year ago, saved the district about $120,000 for the last school year.
Superintendent Joe Paine recommended that the board reinstate the preschool program. He said the district lost other Title VII funding when the preschool was discontinued.
The old board also voted unanimously to rescind its April vote approving five-year copier lease agreements for Southside and Northside schools and the junior high/high school with Marco Inc. for copier services that include equipment, service, purchase and delivery of initial supplies, installation and training at a total cost for the junior high/high school is $1,302 per month, $1,286 monthly for Southside School and $256 per month for Northside School. Copier services had not been put out to bid.
The board also voted to advertise and solicit bids for copier services.
In another matter, the board voted to not offer educational assistance to district employees due to a lack of funding.
The board also approved membership in the Montana High School Association for the 2015-2016 school year.
In other business, the board addressed two student personnel issues in a closed executive session. One student will be readmitted with a behavioral contract and the other will return to school half days with a readmittance hearing in August.