Written by John Plestina
Roosevelt County’s new DUI Task Force discussed asking 15th District Court to establish a DUI Court sentencing diversion program Wednesday, May 7.
The DUI Court Program, in existence nationwide since the 1990s, uses substance-abuse interventions and treatment, and is dedicated to changing the behavior of alcohol and drug dependant offenders arrested for driving under the influence. DUI Court uses a premise that most repeat offenders are alcoholic.
So far, the Fort Peck Tribal Court is the only court in Roosevelt County that has embraced the DUI Court program and orders participants to attend 12-step recovery meetings and obtain attendance verification signatures.
Seventh District Court which includes Dawson, McCone, Prairie, Richland and Wibaux counties uses the DUI Court program.
An increasing number of judges across the nation have accepted that they cannot jail their way out of the ever-increasing drunk driving problem and are sending people convicted of DUI to the DUI Court program.
DUI Court was modeled after the Drug Court program, established in Miami-Dade County, Fla., in 1989. Today, Drug Court is used in many locations across the nation and there are hybrid DUI/Drug Court programs in use in several judicial districts in Montana.
Fort Peck tribal members who have felony status DUIs enter the DUI Court program, locally administered as a 12-month, four-stage program that includes substance abuse treatment, daily check-ins, positive activities and required attendance of 12-step recovery meetings.
Failure to comply with the requirements result in sanctions that could include jail.
“The inn is full will major criminals,” Roosevelt County Sheriff Freedom Crawford said.
The aging Roosevelt County Jail cannot accommodate the current volume of offenders. Roosevelt County voters will consider a bonding measure Tuesday, June 3, asking for authorization for the commissioners to issue and sell $11.86 million in general obligation bonds to be repaid within 20 years that would fund a modern and larger jail.
“Hopefully, after June 3, we’ll have another inn,” Crawford said.
“They need help. They don’t need jail time,” Roosevelt County Commissioner Gary Macdonald said during the last DUI Task Force meeting.
“I want to get our judges to do it,” he said, referring to a possible DUI Court in 15th District Court.
Fort Peck Tribes probation officer Courage Crawford said if 15th District Court establishes a DUI Court, services for clients who are not tribal members would be available through Spotted Bull Recovery Resource Center in Poplar.
Medicine Wheel, a cultural-based spiritual healing circle, is a spin-off of the DUI Court program. The group that addresses alcohol, drug and other addictions meets every Friday in both Wolf Point and Poplar and is open to the public.
“We talk about the reasons why they drink,” Courage Crawford said.
In addition to Medicine Wheel, there are 12-step recovery program meetings in Wolf Point and Poplar.
The Montana Department of Transportation funds the DUI Court program.
Written by Herald-News
Wolf Point Police are investigating a possible attempted kidnapping of a child that occurred Monday, May 5.
Officers responded to the 200 block of Benton Street at 4:44 p.m., when a woman reported that a man attempted to kidnap her nine-year-old son.
Police reported that the unknown male subject tried to coax the child into his car. The boy ran and his mother reported the incident to police.
Police are continuing to investigate the incident. No other similar incidents had been reported to Wolf Point Police as of Monday, May 12.
Written by Herald-News
Wolf Point Police arrested a 10-year-old boy for arson after responding to a structure fire to assist firefighters with traffic control in the 300 block of Fairweather Street Tuesday, May 6.
The fire, which was reported at 6:30 p.m., destroyed a shed. Nearby houses were not damaged.
The WPPD did not know as of presstime whether the incident was connected to other arson fires in April.
Written by Herald-News
Wolf Point voters rejected two levies and returned two incumbent trustees to the school board in a record high voter turnout Tuesday, May 6.
A $200,000 continuous elementary general fund levy failed by two votes, 392-390. The failure of that levy left the future of the district’s preschool program in jeopardy.
The other levy, a $250,000 levy that would have run for one year, would have increased the building reserve and provide funding for parking lot and gym floor repairs at the high school. It failed 409-370 with voters in the city and 49-37 among Frontier School District voters.
The pothole-laden parking lot has not been resurfaced for more than a decade. The gym floor has not had major repairs since the current high school opened in 1969.
Incumbent Wolf Point School board members Martin DeWitt and Tracy Juve Miranda were reelected. DeWitt garnered the most votes with 518. Miranda was reelected with 476 voted.
The counts for the five challengers were Lee Allmer, 144; Juanita Cantrell, 119; Perry Scott Lilley Jr., 87; Lance Elliot Four Star, 83; and Yvonne Smoker Bashay, 82. Two ballots were listed as rejected on the election judges’ return sheet.
Poplar voters returned school trustee Doug Marottek to office and voted incumbent James DeHerrera out.
Marottek received 194 votes and Ken Norgaard was elected with 150 votes.
The counts for the other four candidates were Emerson Young, 86; Thomas Brown, 79; Don Moran, 73; and DeHerrera, 38.
Frontier Elementary School Distric voter rejected two proposed levies.
A $50,000 per year 15-year building reserve levy failed 32-21 and a 10,000 per year 10-year technology levy failed 29-24.
Written by John Plestina
Frontier Elementary School trustees authorized staff raises as a means of retaining employees Monday, May 12.
The school board approved classified staff compensation for 10 employees that includes pay increases of $1 per hour and a $3.50 raise to the lowest-paid employee.
Superintendent Christine Eg-gar said pay increases are necessary to retain staff.
“It’s a big raise, but I feel they can go to work somewhere else [if not given the raise],” she said.
Total pay raises for classified staff (non-teaching) total $17,230.
Eggar said total pay increases, including teachers and the offer the board extended in April for the new principal who will start before the beginning of the 2014-15 school year put the district a little over budget, but the district could work through it.
In another matter, the trustees approved contracts for independent contractors Kris Hubeek and Dave Riggin, both counselors.
Hubeek, a counselor at Culbertson School, will come in as needed to oversee the special education program and independent education plans at $500 per day to keep the school in compliance until a teacher receives certification for special education.
Riggin will receive a $750 raise to $14,750 and a gas stipend.
The board also approved classified staff contract renewals for the next school year for Jeremiah Eggar, Bev Elgie, Sheryl Estes, Renee Goodman, Janece Houg, Verda Huber, Kathy Nichols and John Rabenberg.
The board was informed of the resignations of a library aide and music teacher as an informational item only.
The board also voted to accept the results of the May 6 election and reappointment of unopposed board members by acclamation.
Brandon Babb will continue as board chairman, Mark Zilkoski will become vice chairman and Ann Landsrud will continue as clerk.