Written by Herald-News
Not all wilderness in Montana is high in the mountains. The Montana Wilderness Association is leading outings to explore some wilderness-quality backcountry right here in eastern Montana.
Sept. 13-14, the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act will be celebrated at Fort Peck with hikes, barbecue, local landscape artists, poetry and music. The event is co-sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Montana Wilderness Association.
Starting on Saturday, Sept. 13, volunteers with the Montana Wilderness Association will guide hikers to Sand Arroyo, an area known for its unusual rocks and fossils. It provides a rare example of a continuous record of the end of the dinosaur age and the beginning of the age of mammals.
Sand Arroyo is located southeast of Fort Peck and includes land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the CMR National Wildlife Refuge.
The hike is free, but to participate, hikers will need to register on the Montana Wilderness Association website, www.wildmontana.org. Hikers will also be treated to a barbecue upon their return.
“Since 1964, the Wilderness Act has helped Montanans conserve our most special places for hunting, hiking, horseback riding and camping,” said Guy Bateman, a volunteer with the Montana Wilderness Association from Poplar. “Some of Montana’s public wildlands are famous, like the Bob Marshall Wilderness, but prairie wildlands have a quiet, timeless, and scenic allure all their own — and places like the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge provide some of the best elk hunting in the state.”
In the evening, entertainment will be provided by Montana’s award winning troubadour/story-
smith Jack Gladstone from the Blackfeet Nation, who has created 15 critically acclaimed CDs.
Joining Gladstone will be Montana Poet Laureate Tami Haaland who grew up near Rudyard.
The evening concert will be held at the historic Fort Peck Theatre and is free and open to the public. The event will also feature the work of local landscape artists courtesy of Wheatgrass Arts and Gallery in Glasgow.
On Sunday, Sept. 14, hikers will head to the Burnt Lodge Wilderness Study Area, located southwest of Glasgow. In this remote and scenic river breaks country, the eroded terrain is covered with scattered stands of pine and broken up with exposed sandstone, sheer walls and castle-like formations.
To learn more about the event, call Mark Good, Montana Wilderness Association, at 406-453-9434.
The Jack Gladstone tour is sponsored by The Wilderness Society, U.S. Forest Service, Montana Back Country Horsemen, Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front, and Montana Wilderness Association.
Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s Note: The following blotter is a partial list of activities involving the Wolf Point police and volunteer fire departments between Aug. 25 and 31. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
2 a.m., officers responded to Arlo’s Bar for a report of a man causing a disturbance and refusing to leave, and arrested Ocean Deserly, 20, of Wolf Point, for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.
12:15 p.m., police responded to a request by the district juvenile probation officer to locate a 16-year-old Wolf Point female who had violated conditions of probation. She was charged Friday, Aug. 29, and given notice to appear.
7:04 p.m., officers responded to the parking lot at Town Pump for a report of a juvenile male with no driver’s license driving a vehicle. Police conducted a traffic stop on the 300 block of Front Street and cited a 15-year-old Wolf Point male for driving without a license and unlawful possession of dangerous drugs [marijuana]. Two other Wolf Point males, ages 16 and 17, were cited for unlawful possession of dangerous drugs.
10 a.m., officers took a report at the police station of a stolen and forged check that a local business had cashed with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continues.
5:05 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Anaconda Street for a report of people about to fight. Officers dispersed the individuals.
7:37 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 500 block of Fairweather Street for a report of juveniles throwing rocks at a garage with no reported damage. Officers transported four male juveniles, ages nine and 10, to their guardians.
5:09 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Helena Street for a report of a former spouse attempting to gain entry into a residence. The investigation continues.
11:30 p.m., officers responded to Town Pump for a report of a disturbance in progress and arrested Shannon Bigleggins Jr., 23, of Wolf Point, for severe domestic physical abuse.
10 a.m. [time approximate], firefighters responded to a fire that destroyed a combine and 146 acres of grain off Montana Hwy. 13, a little less than 30 miles north of Wolf Point with one truck.
11:20 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Main Street for a report of a theft of a tool box from a vehicle and vandalism to another vehicle belonging to the complainant with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continues.
6:20 a.m., officers responded to Albertson’s for a report of a theft with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continues.
2:24 a.m., officers responded to a residence on the 500 block of Custer Street for a report of a theft with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continues.
3:27 a.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on the 300 block of Fifth Avenue South and arrested Keith Higgins, 32, of Wolf Point, for driving under the influence.
2:45 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Main Street for a report of a person laying in the street and getting up when vehicles would stop and attempting to panhandle. Officers cited Nathan Dumont, 46, of Wolf Point, for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
4:40 p.m., officers responded to the railroad crossing on Sixth Avenue South for a report of a person sitting or laying on the tracks and arrested a 15-year-old Wolf Point female for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and minor in possession of alcohol.
5:18 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 200 block of Idaho Street for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continues.
8:28 p.m., an intoxicated 16-year-old Wolf Point male walked into the police station with a belligerent and uncooperative attitude and was arrested for disorderly conduct and minor in possession of alcohol.
2:38 a.m., officers conducted a traffic stop at Third Avenue South and Main Street, and cited Mark Charette, 41, of Oswego, for driving without a driver’s license, driving without insurance and possession of drug paraphernalia and Evelyn Bottoms, 36, of Oswego, for possession of drug paraphernalia.
10:40 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Main Street for a report of a person sleeping on the steps of The Nook and cited Steven Douglas, 35, of Wolf Point, for public intoxication.
3:10 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 700 block of Second Avenue North for a report of a domestic disturbance and arrested Isaac Irizarry, 43, of Wolf Point, for partner/ family member assault.
4:09 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 200 block of Garfield Street for a report of a theft with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continues.
4:26 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 300 block of Custer Street for a report of a 13-year-old Wolf Point female who left her residence saying she would not return. Police located her Monday, Sept. 1, and arrested her for youth in need of supervision and aggravated disorderly conduct.
6:05 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Second Avenue South for a report of an assault on a 34-year-old intoxicated Wolf Point male who was transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services Wolf Point Campus. The investigation continues.
9:18 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 200 block of Granville Street for a report of a juvenile female not returning home. The investigation continues.
10:58 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Helena Street for a report of a cell phone with a loss valued at less the $1,000. The investigation continues.
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between Aug. 25 and 31: checks of wellbeing, one; civil standby, one; domestic disturbance, four; public assistance, 15; motor vehicle accident, one; removal of unwanted individuals, 17; animal complaints, one; medical assistance, eight; alarm, eight; assist other agency, one; unfounded report, 11; fireworks complaint, one; and driving complaints, one.
Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s Note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to The Herald-News and The Searchlight to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Tuesday, Sept. 2, 11 inmates were incarcerated, Valley County Detention Center was holding two females and the Fort Benton Detention Center was holding four males to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail as of Tuesday, Sept. 2: Adam Alonzo, 31, Williston, N.D./San Bernadino, Calif., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell; Michael Conant, 34, McCabe, partner/family member assault, felony criminal mischief, felony assault on a peace officer; Scott Crain, 27, Froid, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing a peace officer and misdemeanor criminal mischief; Andrew Giles, 32, Wolf Point, criminal contempt warrant and driving without a valid driver’s license; Gary Jones, 44, Mesa, Ariz., assault on a peace officer with injury; Jason Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of drug paraphernalia; Timothy Oglesby, 31, Hot Springs, Ark., out-of-county warrant; Jeremy
Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, forgery, theft, obstruction of a peace officer; Amber Taylor, 29, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs; Hilrio Velasquez, 33, Riverside, Calif., possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia; and Cameron Watson, 19, Malta, criminal possession of dangerous drugs [marijuana], criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Written by John Plestina
This artist’s rendering shows one of the house designs for the project. The graphic is the site plan for the first 20 houses built on circular streets, creating a village environment.
A charitable organization that was born out of the devastation created by Hurricane Katrina is partnering with the Fort Peck Tribes to build the first 20 houses in Poplar of what could be 100 new energy-efficient homes for tribal members during the coming years.
The first phase of the project is on a 5.2-acre site at the former Poplar Airport along the north side of U.S. Hwy. 2.
Long-range plans include construction of a total of 100 houses in Poplar, Wolf Point, Brockton, Fort Kipp, Frazer and Oswego. Timelines for construction beyond the first 20 houses and specific locations have not been disclosed.
The nonprofit Make It Right Foundation, headquartered in New Orleans, La., says on its website that it plans to build solar-powered homes with three-to-four bedrooms and two-to-three bathrooms that will be available to tribal members whose income levels are at or below 60 percent of the area median income. Some of the homes will be dedicated to senior adult and disabled veteran housing.
Homeownership will be available to tribal members and structured through a low income housing tax credit rent-to-own program with ownership transferring to tenants after 15 years of renting.
The homes will have angular shapes and are built with the “cradle to cradle” method, which means building with safe and reusable construction materials. Renewable energy is utilized and Make It Right says on its website that the houses use 70 percent less energy than conventional homes of the same size.
Nine years ago this week, Hurricane Katrina became the nation’s worst natural disaster on record, displacing about 770,000 people in the Gulf Coast region and completely destroying or making uninhabitable an estimated 300,000 homes, many of which were in New Orleans, La. As a result, actor Brad Pitt co-founded the nonprofit Make It Right Foundation in 2007.
Last year, Make It Right reported that the organization had built 90 of 150 safe, energy-efficient and affordable homes for families from New Orleans.
Since 2007, Make It Right has partnered with housing programs in Newark, N.J., and Kansas City, Mo., as well as the Fort Peck Tribes.
Make It Right views its work in post Hurricane Katrina New Orleans as a laboratory for cost-effective green building.
“Our work in New Orleans has led to innovations in affordable homebuilding – proof that high-quality, healthy homes can and should be available for everyone,” the Make It Right website reads.
Make It Right’s work on the Fort Peck Reservation began in June 2013 with meetings with tribal leaders, potential tenants/homeowners, architects and designers.
At that time, the Fort Peck Tribes Housing Improvement Program hired Poplar native Felix McGowen, now of Post Falls, Idaho, as a consultant for the program.
He coordinated the public meetings in Poplar.
“The public was involved and that created a desire for a new housing community,” McGowen said.
“The community wants to have houses in the old village fashion in a circular fashion,” he said.
He said state low income tax credits will help for the first 20 houses.
“There is a three-phase plan to build up to 100 homes,” McGowen said.
He said construction in Poplar and other communities beyond the first 20 houses will not happen immediately.
“Right now that plan was done for Poplar for the retired airport property,” McGowen said.
Currently, there is no infrastructure present at the airport site. Roads, power, water and sewer will soon be put in. That, McGowen said, will begin in early September.
He said foundations for the first 10 houses are scheduled be poured in late September or October and the first 10 homes will be completed by late spring 2015 with the second 10 finished by July or August 2015.
McGowen said public meetings will be held in all communities where homes could eventually be built. Dates have not been set.
A telephone call to the Make It Right Foundation requesting comment was not returned.
The organization’s website is http://makeitright.org/.
Written by John Plestina
Skipping out on jury duty might seem to be a way to evade responsibility and go on with their daily lives for some people. It also is sometimes a hindrance for 15th District Court to proceed with trials.
The problem became acute, Thursday, Aug. 14, when Judge David Cybulski declared a mistrial when not enough people showed up for jury selection for a scheduled trial for Malinda Bibb.
As a result, the practice of calling 60 potential jurors for jury selection for trials has been abandoned. Cybulski has decided to call 100 people for every future trial.
Of the 60 called for Bibb’s first scheduled trial date, 28 showed up after some were excused for reasons that included harvest and planned vacations, and two people on the list were found to be deceased. People who are excused by the court will have to serve jury duty another time. Twenty-eight people is fewer than the court considers an acceptable number to choose from.
“We did the dentist thing as the judge called it,” district court clerk Jeri Toavs said of calling every person who had been called for the selection process.
“We’re not hard to deal with. We’re just trying to get our jury so we can get on with our trial,” she said.
Toavs said of 60 people called for typical trials in the past, 10 percent are excused and a few don’t show up, but the average turnout is about 45 potential jurors.
A new trial date is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 16, for Bibb, 31, of Minot, N.D. She is charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Another trial is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 11, for Shane Stephen Kennedy, a felony child support case.
Jury pools are chosen randomly from voters, driver’s license and state identification card lists.
Cybulski is issuing orders to show cause to each of the people who did not show up for jury selection for the Bibb trial and had not been previously excused.
The Montana Code allows for a maximum fine of $50 for people who are summonsed for jury duty who willfully [and not excused by the court] fail to show up.
The jurisdiction of state courts does not include tribal members, but tribal members are called for District Court jury duty.
Jurors and potential jurors are paid 56 cents per mile for travel, $25 per day for service on a jury and $12 if they show up and are not picked for a jury.
Toavs said company policies may address jury duty and pay.
“Often employees are requested to turn in their pay, but that is between them and the company,” she said.
For state, county, municipal and public school employees, they could either waive their jury pay or turn it in, Toavs said.
In all cases, persons called for jury duty are allowed to keep mileage pay.
“We will issue separate mileage and juror checks when requested,” Toavs said.
“Do your civic duty,” she said. “It makes a lot of work for the [court] clerks.”
Toavs added, “Look at the people who did show; it took time out of their day.”
She said the attorneys on both sides have to prepare for trials and the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office provides a bailiff, who might otherwise be on patrol.