Written by Herald-News
Thick smoke generated by about 200 wildfires burning hundreds of miles north in Canada continues to be a problem in northeast Montana.
Smoke has invaded the area for more than a week.
The National Weather Service in Glasgow has contacted several county and tribal health departments in the region about ongoing smoke issues.
NWS reports that it anticipates smoke will continue on and off with different levels of severity for several weeks.
At one mile or less visibility, NWS will issue dense smoke advisories.
NWS reported that 3,678,884 acres were burning in northern Saskatchewan, northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories Tuesday, July 7. It has also been reported that about 318,000 acres were burning in British Columbia, resulting in some smoke invading northern Montana.
Smoke has been reported as far south as Oklahoma and Arkansas and as far east as Illinois.
Health precautions include staying inside an air-conditioned building with windows closed. N95 masks are recommended for people who have to be outside. Cloth painting masks are not going to help.
Written by Herald-News
Jordan World Circus of Las Vegas, Nev., returned to Wolf Point Wednesday, July 1, producing the annualShrine Circus for two shows at Marvin Brookman Stadium. Proceeds benefit the projects of the Eastern Montana Shriners. (Photos by Jessica Smith)
Written by John Plestina
Winds that destroyed a pole barn and caused other damage for people living on Montana Hwy. 528 in northern McCone County Wednesday, July 1, were not a tornado, according to the National Weather Service in Glasgow.
Rita Hardy, who lives on Hwy. 528 about two miles [not by road] from Wolf Point, said Thursday, July 2, that she believed a tornado blew her pole barn into pieces, with debris scattered over a three-quarter mile area. Some pieces of the barn hung from trees.
A neighbor of hers lost a roof from an out building.
The damaging wind, which was during a hail storm, had straight line winds recorded as high as 95 mph, according to Glasgow NWS warning coordination meteorologist Tanja Fransen.
The McCone County Sheriff’s Office reported that there were calls about a possible tornado.
The wind event occurred at a time when a severe thunder storm warning was in place. There was no tornado watch at the time.
NWS meteorologist Patrick Gilchrist said the Glasgow office had reports of gusty winds reaching 50 mph near Oswego and several reports of pea size hail.
Written by Herald-News
The Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture held the third annual Brewfest, at the Stampede Grounds June 27. The annual features breweries and wineries from throughout Montana. (Photos by Stuart Conner)
Written by John Plestina
A man accused of incest and rape of a juvenile girl will spend at least a decade in Montana State Prison following a sentencing hearing in Wolf Point Monday, July 6.
Seventh Judicial District Judge Katherine Bidegaray of Sidney sentenced Timothy Earl Oglesby, 32, of Wolf Point to a 40-year commitment to Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge with 20 years suspended and a minimum of 10 years to serve before eligibility for parole. Oglesby must also complete phases I and II of sex offender treatment before he could become eligible for parole. He was given credit for 355 days served in the Roosevelt County Jail. The sentence followed state recommendations contained in a plea agreement.
Bidegaray was appointed to hear the case because 15th District Judge David Cybulski was disqualified in July 2014, after a defense motion for substitution of district judge.
A jury trial was averted when Oglesby signed a plea agreement in January. He appeared before Bidegaray by video conference and withdrew two previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of incest. A second charge of sexual intercourse without consent was dismissed. A conviction for incest carries a maximum life sentence.
Oglesby was charged following an investigation by the Wolf Point Police Department for incidents authorities said occurred during 2012 when the victim was 13 and 14 years old. She was 14 at the time the incident was reported, according to the charging documents.
While allegations of sexual assault at a south side residence were reported to the WPPD on Nov. 18, 2012, Oglesby was not taken into custody until summer 2014 because he left Wolf Point and was living in Hot Springs, Ark.
The charging documents allege that the victim told WPPD investigators that the incidents had been going on for a long time.
The female victim, now 16 years old, testified during the sentencing hearing that the sexual abuse began when she was about 10 years old. Living in Arkansas at the time, she reached out to a school counselor, but the allegations were dropped. She said the abuse continued.
She told the court her family moved to Williston, N.D., soon after, then to Brockton and finally to Wolf Point.
Several members of the victim’s family became choked up with tears when she answered hard questions from Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen that the sexual abuse continued in each place they moved to, that the frequency was about every other day, there was penetration and that condoms were not used.
She told of the aftermath of her reporting the abuse. She was removed from her home and placed in protective custody with Child and Family Services for almost a year, lodged in several foster homes and group homes.
Knudsen asked the victim what she felt would be an appropriate sentence. She responded that Ogelsby should be incarcerated for a minimum of 10 years to allow her enough time to recover from what she had been through and move on with her life without fearing that he would try to reenter her life.
She later said while testifying that incarceration would keep other potential victims safe. She also reiterated that she wants more than anything for Oglesby to be away from her.
Wolf Point Police Lt. Brian Erwin, who was in charge of the investigation, testified that a search warrant was executed at the home where the girl lived and evidence was collected that included a bed sheet and the girl’s clothing.
The victim was given a sexual assault examination at Northeast Montana Health Services - Poplar Campus hospital. The sexual assault exam kit was sent to the Montana Crime Lab for forensic analysis.
Erwin said he believes Ogelsby committed the assaults. He said Ogelsby denied guilt and said the girl had accused him of sexual abuse in the past.
Knudsen presented exhibits that were documented evidence from the crime lab that match Ogelsby’s DNA to items collected when the search warrant was executed.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Corey Reum testified that the RCSO has evidence from surveillance cameras of several county jail inmates sneaking out of their cells at a time when protocol was broken with cell doors not properly secured and a jailer sleeping on the job in June. Reum said they stole food from the kitchen and entered a property room where it is suspected that a cell phone, cigarettes and a lighter were taken.
Reum called Ogelsby the “ringleader” of several inmates involved.
“Every jail has a pecking order and Mr. Ogelsby might have been at the top of the pecking order,” Reum said.
The incident at the jail was later cited as a reason Ogelsby should not be allowed to earn his freedom soon and be trusted to attend sex offender therapy sessions while not incarcerated.
Probation officer Pam Heikens conducted the pre-sentence investigation and report. She testified that Ogelsby minimized his culpability and only acknowledged some of his actual responsibility.
Assistant Attorney General Ole Olson, the special prosecutor appointed for the case, told the court that sexual offenses committed by Ogelsby were more than he admitted to and that the victim needs at least 10 years to feel safe and get her life together.
“This is really a heinous case of incest,” Olson said.
Olson was provided through the Prosecution Services Bureau and served as a special deputy Roosevelt County attorney for the case.
A psychiatric professional who conducted a psych evaluation testified that Ogelsby was sexually abused as a child and that incidents that occurred early in his life could have influenced his behaviors as an adult. She also called him socially awkward.
Ogelsby was arrested in Arkansas on July 17, 2014, on a Montana district court warrant issued in Roosevelt County. RCSO deputies drove to Arkansas, picked him up and returned him to Wolf Point where he has been lodged in the county jail since Aug. 9, 2014.
Ogelsby declined to make a statement before Bidegaray pronounced sentence.
The Roosevelt County Commissioners approved a request by Knudsen for the Montana Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor on Dec. 30.