Wolf Point Herald

Teen Remains Missing After Pickup Breaks Through Ice

A 15-year-old Poplar girl has been missing since Wednesday, Dec. 17, when a pickup truck she was a passenger in broke through the ice on the Missouri River about five miles south of Poplar.
The Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice did not identify the missing girl but the Fort Peck Journal and others identified her as Jessica Keiser.
FPTDLJ supervisory criminal investigator Ken Trottier said, Tuesday, Dec. 30, that she was still missing.
FPTDLJ officers arrested the driver, Wyatt Cameron Montclair, 20, of Poplar. He has been charged in Fort Peck Tribes Tribal Court with manslaughter and driving under the influence.
Trottier said Montclair’s blood-alcohol level was 0.197, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 at which a person is considered legally intoxicated.
Montclair was arrested on a U.S. Marshal’s warrant, held temporarily in the Roosevelt County Jail, and transferred to federal custody in the Cascade County Regional Jail.
“At the time the incident happened, he was on pre-sentence release. He was charged with burglary a while back,” Trottier said.
At the time the Ford truck went into the river, Montclair was free on pretrial release after pleading guilty to a federal burglary charge. Sentencing was set for March 18. His pretrial release was revoked during a recent hearing in U.S. District Court in Great Falls. A revocation hearing is set for Jan. 8.
Trottier said the missing girl was one of four juvenile passengers –– three females and one male –– who accompanied Montclair when he drove the pickup onto the river that was not completely frozen shortly after 8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17. He said the pickup traveled about three-quarters of a mile before breaking through the ice and beginning to sink.
“All of them made it out of the vehicle. The three juveniles and the driver made it onto the shore and were able to get up on the bank, and the female juvenile was swept away buy strong moving current,” Trottier said.
Local cold water divers who assist law enforcement searched unsuccessfully for the girl.
“We searched the whole next day and we were out there on three other occasions,” Trottier said.
A diver spotted the pickup the day after it went through the ice, about 200 yards downstream from where it went into the river.
“The vehicle was located in the water but we weren’t going to make an attempt to make a recovery. It’s just not going to happen. It will be there permanently. The diver confirmed the vehicle and that there was nobody inside the vehicle,” Trottier said.
“We will keep our hopes up,” he said.

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Tribal Chairman Hurt In Crash

Fort Peck Tribes chairman A.T. “Rusty” Stafne was injured in a five-vehicle crash on Interstate 94 crash near Forsyth, Sunday, Dec. 21.
Stafne was transported by ambulance to a Billings hospital with what were reported to be non-life- threatening injuries.
According to reports, a car in front of Stafne lost control striking a guardrail and resulting in Stafne hitting that car. Three other vehicles ran into Stafne’s car.

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Two Bodies Found Downtown Morning After Christmas

The Wolf Point Police Department responded to a 911 call that led to the discovery of two deceased people Friday, Dec. 26.
Police chief Jeff Harada said the male and female, both 58 and both of Wolf Point, might have frozen to death.
“It was 10 degrees between 4 and 5 a.m.,” Harada said.
A passerby saw the pair lying on the ground behind the former VFW building on Main Street and called authorities at 10:26 a.m. An officer responded for a welfare check.
Harada said the two people could have been there since late Dec. 25 or early morning Dec. 26.
The WPPD referred the investigation to the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice.

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Roosevelt County Property Values Going Up While Statewide Decreases

Roosevelt County real estate values are going up while statewide values are going down, according to the Montana Department of Revenue.
The Department of Revenue reported following the recent reappraisal that statewide values of residential property dropped by 2.85 percent from 2008 to 2014.
The average market value of residential property increased by 55 percent during the 2008 reappraisal cycle.
The Department of Revenue also reported that residential property values grew the most in the recent reappraisal in eastern Montana. Oil and gas development was cited as the main reason.
The biggest gain was in Richland County with a 102.13 percent increase. Roosevelt and several other eastern Montana counties showed gains above 60 percent. In Roosevelt County, the gains in the Culbertson and Bainville area were considerable higher than in Wolf Point. Specific figures for Wolf Point were not available.
In contrast, residential property values in Flathead County dropped 14.84 percent, 13.2 percent in Gallatin County and 10.84 percent in Ravalli County.
Taxpayers are expected to receive their new assessment notices from the Department of Revenue in the summer of 2015.

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100 Club Month 5283

Wolf Point Mayor Chris Dschaak (seated) signs a proclamation that January is 100 Club membership month. The Wolf Point 100 Club has raised and given nearly $560,438 for the purchase of medical equipment for the Northeast Montana Health Services hospital, Listerud Rural Health Clinic and Faith Lutheran Home, since 1980. Standing are 100 Club members (from left to right) Irene Tjon, Shirley Zimmerman, John Carlbom, James Johnson, Irene Rathert, Catherine Wylie and Bill Rensvold. Memberships cost $100 and are good for the calendar year.  (Photo by John Plestina)

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