Written by Sheridan Shumway
The Wolf Point Volunteer Fire Department responded to a grass fire west of Sixth Avenue South Monday afternoon, April 14. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze before it threatened any structures.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:34
Written by John Plestina
The message from several speakers during a public meeting held in the Fort Peck Lake Interpretive Center Thursday, April 10, was that flooding along the Missouri River in eastern Montana is unlikely this year unless there is substantial rainfall.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations project manager John Daggett said there were 53.2 million acre feet of water in the total system on April 1.
There were 62.7 MAF in the total system on the same date in 2011.
Fort Peck Lake is 9.2 feet below annual flood control.
The Corps of Engineers is looking at potential mountain snowpack runoff during May and June, but there is not expected to be enough moisture to cause flooding without significant rainfall.
Snowpack water content is not as high as it was in 2011 when flooding impacted several communities along the Missouri River, including Wolf Point and Poplar.
The April 1 forecast was 32 million acre feet of water, 127 percent of average.
Mike Swenson of the Corps of Engineers reservoir control office in Omaha, Neb., said run-off started with an additional 5.5 MAF of flood control storage along the six-dam system due to the 2012 drought.
Fort Peck Lake’s share of that was 9.2 feet below the flood control level on April 7.
Record-high runoff and flooding in June 2011 damaged the spillway at the dam. A $42.9 million repair project has been ongoing.
Col. Bill Leady, deputy commander in the Corps of Engineers Northwest Division in Portland, Ore., said the spillway is usable, if needed, but use would add to contractors’ costs.
Fort Peck Dam, built during the 1930s, is the oldest of the six dams along the main stem reservoir system of the Missouri River Basin between Montana and St. Louis, Mo., and the second largest in capacity. Only Garrison Dam in North Dakota is larger.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:43
Written by John Plestina
Wolf Point Police arrested two young adults and three juveniles during the early morning hours of Friday, April 11, following a report by a citizen that youths had been entering parked cars in the 200 block of Edgar Street.
Lt. Brian Erwin said the arrests were the result of officers responding to an area where several individuals were reported to be walking and entering unlocked vehicles at 3:41 a.m.
Officers arrested Kaylob Trowbridge, 22, of Wolf Point, for theft, criminal mischief, criminal trespass to a vehicle, unlawful transaction with children and disorderly conduct; and Valen Manternach, 19, of Wolf Point, for theft, disorderly conduct, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, and contributing to the delinquency of minors.
The three arrested juveniles were a 13-year-old Wolf Point male for theft, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and curfew violation; a 13-year-old Wolf Point female for theft, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief and curfew violation; and a 15-year-old Wolf Point male for theft, disorderly conduct, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and curfew violation.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:28
Written by John Plestina
Wolf Point School trustees voted to pay $36,000 to Professional Computer Services Tuesday, April 8, resolving a bill that had been outstanding since October.
After meeting with Professional Computer Services prior to the school board meeting, the trustees voted to pay $36,000 for labor and equipment.
In other business, the board accepted the resignations effective the end of the school year of Southside Elementary School teacher Shanna Hopson and junior high math teacher Sharon Kolstad, who is retiring.
In another matter, the trustees voted to hire the following people pending satisfactory background investigations: Brenda Dionne, Northside paraprofessional; Thomas Buckles, high school custodian; Patrice MacDonald, high school drama productions; Bethany Long, high school assistant track coach; John Sweet, elementary boys’ basketball coach; and Jason Brock, volunteer track coach.
The board also voted to sell or dispose of a bus.
In other business, the board authorized the district to pay an invoice for $15,383 to Associated Cleaning for the clean-up after the Southside School music room fire.
Superintendent Joe Paine told the board that the district’s insurance rates will increase because of claims for the Southside School fire and flood damage to a district building.
The board also approved out-of-state travel for a sixth-grade JOM-sponsored field trip to Mandan, N.D.
The board addressed a personnel issue during the public session because the employee said she didn’t want it discussed in a closed executive session.
After a lengthy meeting with Southside School teacher Connie Zimmerman, the trustees voted to deny her request by remove a letter from her personnel file. It relates to videos she showed students that depicted the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, and a dragon video.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:27
Written by John Plestina
The Frontier Elementary School board voted to offer a contract to an applicant for the principal’s position, which will be vacant after the current school year, during the monthly board meeting Thursday, April 10.
Mike Maples of Tennessee was the top choice by a committee that narrowed the field of applicants to seven and chose four finalists to interview. One accepted another position before an interview could be held.
Maples has 11 years experience as a principal and has worked in Montana, but not in the northeastern part of the state.
“I think he would be a good fit for the community,” board member Jim Jerome said.
If Maples does not accept the position, the district will extend an offer to Mark Lee of Post Falls, Idaho. The board approved Lee as the second choice.
Maples’ salary would be about $54,000 annually plus benefits based on a base of $45,000, plus $3,000 for his degree and additional compensation for each year of experience as a principal. If Maples does not accept the position, Lee, who has not previously worked as a principal, would earn $48,000.
The new principal will begin working before the start of the 2014-15 school year and will replace dean of students Jeff Whitmus, who tendered his resignation for the end of the current school year.
In other business, the board voted to ask voters to renew the building reserve levy for 15 years and the technology levy for 10 years. If voters approve both levies Tuesday, May 6, renewals would be offset by five years.
With renewal of both existing levies, there would be no tax increase.
The two levies bring in $60,000 annually. One, for the building reserve fund, nets $50,000 each year and the district gets $10,000 per year for technology.
There is a 10-year limit on renewals of the technology levy and 20 years on the building reserve levy.
The board voted 2-1 to approve a request by teacher Rebecca Houg for reimbursement for classes she needs for certification for special education. Board chair Brandon Babb cast the dissenting vote and Mark Zilkoski was absent.
Houg said she wants to take the courses in a shorter amount of time requiring the school district to change policy. The reimbursement would be the same amount of money as taking classes over a longer period.
“This is a good happy medium, I think. She would like more money. It would allow her to do a huge chunk in the summer when she is not working,” superintendent Christine Eggar said.
Houg must remain employed by the district for at least two years after completing the courses.
In other business, the board approved a housing policy where the district would lease houses and sublet them to teachers.
“If we could get good people and keep good people, that’s worth something,” Eggar said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 12:26