Written by John Plestina
A hunter from Minneapolis, Minn., encountered caring people from Wolf Point when he ran into misfortune twice during a recent duck hunting trip.
Peter Beck has frequently hunted and fished in Montana for about 20 years and has come to Wolf Point for more than a decade, renting a hunting cabin along the Missouri River near Oswego from the Fort Peck Tribes.
During a pheasant and waterfowl hunting trip in October, two unrelated events at first appeared to create major hurdles for Beck.
Two local men made those mountains into molehills.
Beck said generous help way beyond the call of duty from Northern Prairie Auto Sales service manager Baron Wiens and Bill Rusche at Nemont Communications reminded him why he loves Montana.
The 67-year-old Twin Cities commercial photographer had driven his
Subaru Outback to Wolf Point. Multiple flashing warning lights came on while Beck was navigating a remote two-track trail.
“As I had just ventured onto a fairly rugged two-track, I thought I may have damaged parts of the car’s undercarriage. I quickly found that the brakes seemed to be functioning normally, despite the flashing indicator, though the cruise control was clearly not working. I checked the oil level and it was normal but the check engine light would not go off,” Beck said.
Subaru is a make of car with no local dealership for service.
“I drove slowly back to Wolf Point and drove into Northern Prairie’s lot. Baron explained he was not a Subaru dealer and that there likely wasn’t one closer than Billings. He asked me to bring the car in the next day and he’d have a look at it to assess what might be wrong. I followed through with that offer of help. I returned to the dealership later the following day and Baron handed me the keys and said everything seemed to be working fine again. He said he disconnected the electrical system and allowed it to reset itself. Everything did indeed work perfectly again,” Beck said. “When I asked what I owed him, he said, ‘No charge, happy to be able to help.’”
Beck said he thanked Wiens and told everyone he ran into how grateful he was for his help.
“You just always have to help people that are in need. You just do your best to help anybody you can,” Wiens said.
Beck’s challenges were not over. A few days later, he realized he did not have his iPhone; that he had dropped it in a field while pheasant hunting.
“It was noon when I discovered the absent phone. I had roamed over four different fields that morning,” he said.
The next day he contacted Nemont in Wolf Point to find out if the local cooperative could replace his i-
“I had the very good fortune of talking with Bill Rusche, a customer service manager for Nemont in Wolf Point. I explained my predicament,” Beck said.
Beck went into the Wolf Point Nemont office on Benton Street. Customer service representative Courtney Berglee was helping him. Rusche heard the conversation and asked Beck if he had the ‘Find My Phone’ application on his iPhone. He did.
Beck had hoped Nemont could replace his lost i-
Phone, but with his service from Minnesota being with AT&T, Nemont could not replace it, but finding the missing phone was doable for Rusche.
“Bill patiently used one of his computers to triangulate the specific place I had dropped my phone the day before. Remarkably, he knew the field, as his family had once owned the 40-acre parcel. Bill gave me a small printout, using Google Earth, of the phone’s position. He encouraged me to return to the field and patiently search carefully in a 100-foot area around the indicated spot,” Beck said. “He said he would try to get the phone to emit an audible chirp to help me find it.”
Rusche located the signal for the missing phone and knew it was in a field near Oswego.
Beck searched about 45 minutes in windy weather with environmental noises distracting him. He finally heard faint beeps.
“I saw nothing but got down on all fours and literally put my ears close to the ground. Again, I saw nothing but could hear the beeps now a bit louder. I used my fingers for a few minutes to move leaf and grass cover and was truly astonished and delighted to unearth my iPhone. It was in perfect condition,” Beck said.
He called Rusche who told him he was happy to have been able to help.
“He was pretty happy. He wanted to compensate us. I said, ‘No,’” Rusche said.
He explained that going the extra mile to help was something he and Berglee wanted to do.
“These two experiences have given me additional reasons to remember why I love to return to Wolf Point each fall; a remarkable community set in a very beautiful part of Montana. When the subject of visiting Montana arises, you can be assured I’ll be recalling these experiences,” Beck said.
Written by Herald-News
A new food pantry will soon open in the former Boys and Girls Club building on Main Street at Fifth Avenue South. It will fill a void in Wolf Point, as the nearest food pantry currently operating is in Culbertson.
Opening during mid- or late-December is hoped for.
The steering committee for the food pantry envisions people come into a waiting room, registering on a computer to verify qualifications, and then given a grocery list in which they go around the shelves and put their own groceries into a cart. The atmosphere would be that of a friendly grocery store. People would be treated with respect and a helping hand. The Food Pantry would be open five days per week and would serve all surrounding communities.
Volunteering would be an opportunity for all religious congregations, service groups, local businesses and local citizens of all walks of life and ethnicities to join hands and help the needy.
The Missoula Food Bank was used as an example with about 500 volunteers that include high school and college students, working people and retirees. No volunteer would be committed to long periods, maybe one shift a week or month.
The steering committee plans to request time to do presentations to churches, businesses and service organizations. Commitments will be sought from schools, churches and local businesses.
Help needed includes long-term volunteers to do intakes on a computer, stocking shelves, scheduling volunteers and repacking items that could weigh as much as 50 pounds. There is also a need for short-term volunteers to paint, clean and move heavy objects.
The food pantry also needs board members. There would not be a large time commitment, possibly two meetings per month. Most communication would be by email.
Donations of equipment are needed including metal shelving, glass door refrigeration and freezer units, grocery carts, stainless steel tables and sinks. The food pantry is also in need of a battery-operated fork lift or pallet mover.
Other items sought include two flexible exercise machines, three weight resistance systems, two portable basketball backboards, pool table, miscellaneous sports equipment, tumbling mats,
Questions or offers of donations should be directed to Rose Neumiller Green at 650.5667. The steering committee welcomes all comments and suggestions.
Written by John Plestina
A Wolf Point woman accused of violating court-imposed conditions of a deferred imposition of sentence was freed without bail from the Roosevelt County Jail, Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Fifteenth District Court Judge David Cybulski released Kristy L. Daugherty, 29, on her own recognizance. Reasons cited were that Daugherty is a lifelong resident of Wolf Point and would live with her mother.
Daugherty entered general denials of alleged probation violations on her lawyer’s advice. Daugherty will appear for another hearing Wednesday, Nov. 12.
When she was released, Daugherty had been lodged in the jail nine days since Wolf Point Police arrested her on a warrant after conducting a traffic stop on the 200 block of Anaconda Street, Monday, Oct. 20.
Daugherty previously appeared before Cybulski
in May on a petition to revoke probation. At that time, he reinstated six- and four-year deferred imposition of sentences to run concurrently with no credit for time served between Sept. 29, 2010, and Feb. 5, 2013, mandated immediate entry into substance abuse treatment and follow through with all probation conditions.
Daugherty was charged March 31, 2010, with criminal possession of precursors to dangerous drugs, operating an unlawful clandestine laboratory and endangering the welfare of children, all felonies.
Probation and Parole officer Pam Heikens of Glasgow alleged in an affidavit that Daugherty failed to contact her when she was released from jail following her revocation hearing in May, did not provide a current address or telephone number, did not pay fines and fees, missed appointments and was late arriving for an appointment.
Heikens recommendations in the affidavit included that if found by the court to be in violation of the deferred sentences, Daugherty’s sentences should be revoked and she be sentenced to the Montana Department of Corrections for an unspecified period. Heikens concluded by writing that Daugherty needs more structure than is available in the community.
Written by John Plestina
A Minot, N.D., man with four previous felony convictions was sentenced in 15th District Court, Wednesday, Oct. 29.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Brandon J. Bigham to 12 years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with eight years suspended six months on each of two misdemeanor charges, suspended, a $25,000 fine and credit for 231 days previously served.
The recommendation in the plea agreement was for eight years confinement to the DOC with four years suspended.
Cybulski cited that the 30-year-old had four felony convictions over an 11-year period, including a drug-related conviction in Oklahoma as justification for the 12-year sentence with time suspended, allowing for longer probation supervision.
Probation and Parole Officer Trevor Newman completed the pre-sentencing investigation. He testified during the sentencing hearing that he did not agree with the sentencing recommendations in the plea agreement Bigham signed during early October and recommended commitment to the Montana State Prison for 10 years with five years suspended.
“In the initial interview, he [Bigham] was against [substance abuse] treatment of any length of time,” Newman testified, and also said that Bigham later said he would go to a 60- or 90-day treatment program.
He cited previous incarceration.
“The fact is, he has not stayed sober outside of being incarcerated his whole adult life,” Newman told the court.
He went on to say that the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office told him detention officers had trouble with Bigham in the jail. Fighting with other inmates was cited.
“He’s young and I like to think younger people are more amenable to redirection,” defense attorney Allison Moulton said.
She asked the court to impose sentencing in accordance with the plea agreement.
During a redirect, Roosevelt County Attorney Ralph Patch cautioned that there could be problems if a stricter sentence is imposed than is called for in the plea agreement. He said a Montana Supreme Court ruling could allow Bigham to withdraw his plea agreement if the agreement is not followed.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a car carrying Bigham, Malinda Bibb, 31, and Jamie D. Vert, 36, all of Minot, on U.S. Hwy. 2 near Bainville, on Sept. 20, 2013. Vert was driving, according to the charging documents.
Methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and weapons [no firearms] were found in the vehicle, according to charging documents.
All three were subsequently arraigned on felony charges. Bigham and Vert pleaded not guilty to all charges and both later withdrew guilty pleas under plea agreements.
Bigham pleaded not guilty in 2013 to felony criminal possession with intent to distribute and two misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police in North Dakota arrested Bigham in September while out on bail. Cybulski added $20,000 to $10,000 bond Bigham previously posted. He remained lodged in the Roosevelt County Jail until his sentencing.
Bigham withdrew his previously entered not guilty pleas and entered guilty pleas, Wednesday, Oct. 15, behind closed doors in Judge David Cybulski’s chambers with his attorney and Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen present. The reason stated by an officer of the court for the closed hearing was that Bigham did not want to plead in public.
Written by John Plestina
The Montana Supreme Court has ordered the state Department of Justice to respond to assertions in a petition filed by an attorney representing former Poplar resident Barry Beach.
The petition was filed Thursday, Oct. 23, and asks that Beach be re-sentenced. Wednesday, Oct. 29, the highest state court ordered the DOJ to respond within 30 days, by Nov. 28.
DOJ attorneys must answer allegations in the petition that Beach’s 100-year sentence that was handed down in 1984 is not legal because Beach was a minor at the time the crime was committed and the sentence does not provide an opportunity for him to obtain his freedom.
A 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling requires judges who impose sentences to take into consideration that minors are not as responsible for crimes as adults and more likely than adult offenders to be reformed.
The petition asks the Supreme Court to order that Beach, 52, be re-sentenced with consideration that he was 17 years old at the time of the offense he was convicted of.
Beach was convicted in 17th District Court in Glasgow in April 1984 of the 1979 beating death of Poplar High School classmate Kim Nees and dumping her body in the Poplar River. Beach has maintained his innocence for 35 years.
In June, the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole rejected an application from Beach for a full clemency hearing.