Wolf Point Herald

Governor Gives Comments On Proposed Clean Air Rules

Gov. Steve Bullock submitted comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Dec. 1 regarding the agency’s proposed clean air rule changes that would address climate change.
Bullock said that while we need to address climate change, he has some concerns about the impacts of the proposed rules on Montana. His administration has identified a number of changes to the rules that would be required in order to create the potential for new jobs and economic opportunities in the state.
Bullock also called upon the Obama administration to dedicate more funding to low-carbon coal research, saying: “We’re going to be relying on coal resources for decades and we need to
invest now in ways to make coal generation cleaner.”
He highlighted three of the state’s comments to the proposed rules that, if the rules go forward, are vital to Montana’s interests.
One is flexibility for how the state could develop innovative solutions to comply with the rules. Also, to ensure that Montana is credited with renewable energy generated here, even if that energy is exported to other states, and developing a more accurate baseline for setting emissions targets.
“Montana is going to be an energy leader for generations to come and we’re poised to create thousands of new jobs while protecting the ones we have,” Bullock said. “I’m looking for realistic and commonsense solutions that work for Montana, expand our economy and protect our clean air and water.”
In September, Bullock released a white paper developed by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, which outlines five possible scenarios that result in compliance with the EPA’s proposed rate-based emission targets as well as Montana’s estimated mass-based target.
“Some have suggested that we should not substantively weigh in on this rule and rather just hope the discussion goes away. Others say that we should end our use of coal tomorrow. Neither of those extremes are going to result in a brighter future for Montana,” said Bullock. “I’m committed to a made-in-Montana solution that balances our energy needs while protecting our environment for future generations.”

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Holliday Happenings

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Santa and Mrs. Claus made their first visit to Wolf Point this season. The third annual Northeast Montana Health Services Charitable Foundation Festival of Trees and the first Get Lit In Wolf Point Festival of Lights and Stroll were a success. That event, sponsored by the Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, replaced the Festival of Lights Parade that had less participation in recent years. Photographer Nicole Huber took pictures with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Grinch in the ballroom in the Elks Club and donated the proceeds to the NEMHS Charitable Foundation. Paige and Peyton Gray Hawk of Poplar were among the first children to meet Santa Claus.  (Photos by John Plestina)

The Church of Christ in Wolf Point and Poplar Assembly of God Church presented a live nativity inside the front window of the Blessing Shop on Main Street during the first Get Lit In Wolf Point Festival of Lights and Stroll. Pictured are (from left to right) Aisha Spotts, Charlie Spotts, Christopher Spotts, Rachel Pew and Marita Iron Bear-Spotts.

Rosie Kurokawa (left) and Kerry Hanks, both volunteer fundraiser ticket sellers for the NEMHS Foundation Festival of Trees, admire the “Mr. Snowman Tree,” donated by Squires Insurance. 

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Complaint Filed Against County Over Jail Bond

One month after nearly 57 percent of Roosevelt County voters approved bond funding for a new jail and office space for the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s office, a Wolf Point man filed a complaint with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices alleging misuse of county funds in support of the ballot measure that he said violated an opinion by the Montana Attorney General.
Billy “Bill” Juve, who filed the complaint Wednesday, Dec. 3, was a vocal opponent of the bonding measure prior to the Nov. 4 general election.
In the complaint, Juve cited a 2005 opinion by former Montana Attorney General Mike McGrath that public officials may express opinions about issues, but may not do so if the expression uses the public’s time, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel or funds.
Juve’s complaint asserts that the county commissioners hired a consultant with county funds to support the jail bond and that a paid political letter to the editor [published in The Herald-News and The Searchlight] and signed by Sheriff Jason Frederick, jail administrator Melvin Clark and the Roosevelt County Commissioners, and a pamphlet inserted in the newspapers supporting the ballot measure were paid for through the county commissioners, which Juve asserted is a violation of the 2005 Attorney General’s opinion.
Juve did not have a detailed comment when The Herald-News contacted him Tuesday, Dec. 9.
“That our elected officials abide by the rules of the State of Montana,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens.”
Commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard called Juve a “ disgruntled taxpayer.”
He said he doubted if anything would come of the complaint and said he could not comment on whether a decision in Juve’s favor by the Commissioner of Political Practices could nullify the vote.
Vanessa Sanddal, an investigator for the Commissioner of Political Practices, said she could not say what might happen.
“That’s something the commissioner would have to speak to after we gather the facts,” Sanddal said. “Anyone can file a complaint.”
She said Commissioner Jonathan Motl would render a decision on the complaint, possibly after Christmas.
Voters in November approved the measure with a 47.58 percent voter turnout. A lower, 34.88 percent voter turnout prevented passage of a similar measure in June.
The approval authorizes the county commissioners to issue and sell $11.86 million in general obligation bonds to be repaid within 20 years.
The current jail is under-sized and does not meet current jail standards.
Legal action brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2013 forced Roosevelt County to reduce the number of jail beds by nearly one half.

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Shot-Out Windows Lead To Thousands In Damages

The Wolf Point Police Department is offering a $500 cash reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for at least 12 separate shooting incidents during the past week with thousands of dollars in reported damages.
Most of the incidents occurred on the north side of Wolf Point.
Lt. Brian Erwin said Monday, Dec. 8, that the WPPD has investigated eight shootings of windows in houses and four involving parked vehicles, all with one or more windows damaged. One of the vehicles was a motorhome.
Erwin described the weapon police believe was used as a low-power rifle, possible a BB gun.
“We believe that one or more individuals are responsible for these acts,” Erwin said. “This is a multi-thousand dollar loss.
The WPPD is offering the $500 reward seeking information leading to whoever is responsible.

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WPHS Hosts First Speech And Drama Tournament In 15 years

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The Wolf Point High School speech and drama team claimed several medals at the first home meet in 15 years, held Saturday, Dec. 6. They are  Devin Northington, Jhett Tiernan, Haron Eymard, Jaki Harada, Jeremy Birkoski and Jami Welch.

The Poplar Speech and Drama Team.

Miming it up are the Wolf Point and Poplar mimes during the Wolf Point meet. They are (from left to right) Poplar’s Alexandria Smith, Wolf Point’s Jaki Harada and Poplar’s Andrew Moran.   (Photo by John Plestina)


Wolf Point High School hosted the first speech and drama tournament in Wolf Point in 15 years, Saturday, Dec. 6.
For all events, class B/C rules applied. Competition comprised of seven schools from classes B and C. The Wolves had five competitors in speech and two in drama.
Competing in serious oral interpretation was sophomore Haron Eymard. She stepped up her performance by choosing excerpts from The Coming Out Monologues. In the preliminary rounds, she scored second, fifth and third, for a score of 10, qualifying her for finals. In the final round, she scored fourth, fourth and second, for a final score of 20. Eymard was quite surprised when it was announced that she took second-place.
Competing in humorous oral interpretation were freshman Jacob Boysun, senior Jeremy Birkoski and Jami Welch. In the preliminary rounds, Boysun scored third, first and fourth, for a score of 8; Birkoski scored fifth, second, and first, for a score of 8; Welch scored second, fourth and third, for a score of 9. All three qualified for finals. Boysun scored third, fourth and sixth, for a final score of 21, taking fourth- place. Welch scored fourth, seventh and eighth, for a final score of 28, taking seventh-place.
Birkoski crushed the competition in the final round by scoring first, first and second. With a final score of 12, he took first.
Competing in spontaneous oral interpretation was junior Devin Northington. In the preliminary rounds, Northington scored third, second and second, for a score of 7, qualifying him for finals. In the final round, he scored first and second, for a final score of 10. Competition was intense in the final round. Rachel Sigmundstad from Glasgow also scored first and second. When the scores were finally tabbed, Northington took second- place.
Competing for the first time in humorous solo was senior Jhett Tiernan. He wrote his own comedy monologue. Despite scoring sixth and seventh in the first two preliminary rounds, Tiernan was unable to finish competing in the third round.
Competing in pantomime was freshman Jaki Harada. In the preliminary rounds, she scored second in all three rounds, for a score of 6, qualifying her for finals. Mimes from all schools put on their best performances in the final round vying for placing position. Harada scored fifth and second, for a final score of 13. Harada took second place.
The Wolf Pack did quite well in their home den. In Class B, they scored third in drama, with Malta taking second and Glasgow claiming the first-place trophy. For speech, Poplar took third, the Wolves took second and, again, Glasgow claimed the first- place trophy. In Class C, it was Circle taking home the first-place trophies in both speech and drama. Froid/Medicine Lake took second in both speech and drama.
Coach Chelly Harada said she would like to thank all those who volunteered to judge the speech and drama events. It was much to ask of them to take time out of their busy schedules.
“The team appreciates all the teachers for allowing the use of their classrooms for competition; [Karla] McGill for handling the early morning registration; and [Mike] Erickson for all his help with planning the meet and ordering the medals and trophies.  [Lynne] Monson was awesome for her assistance with the auditorium and for opening Wolf Mart for the competitors to purchase snacks throughout the day,” said Harada, who also noted that Leah Strauser took care of breakfast and prepared lunch for all the coaches, judges and bus drivers. The speech and drama coaches stated their competitors had lots of fun and all expressed support for a meet in Wolf Point next year. Overall, the meet was a great success.

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