Written by Herald-News
A long-standing tradition in Frazer, the annual Red Bottom Celebration will be held Thursday through Sunday, June 19-21.
With more than 100 years of celebrating native culture and traditions through dancing, food, crafts and fellowship, the annual pow wow is said by many to be the oldest on the Fort Peck Reservation. Stories vary about how and when Red Bottom started, but organizers of the event said it dates to either 1902 or 1903. Some people say annual powwows in Frazer date to the 1880s.
The Red Bottom Celebration will be held along U.S. Hwy. 2, east of Frazer, beside the highway.
The Montana Office of Tourism took pictures of native dancing at the Red Bottom Celebration last year for use in a statewide tourism brochure
The public is welcome.
Written by John Plestina
Wolf Point School trustees approved the purchase and installation of two school crossing signs with pedestrian activated beacons for Northside Elementary School Tuesday, June 9.
Northside principal Hannah Nieskens brought the proposal to the board as a safety issue for children needing to cross Fourth Avenue North.
The trustees voted to obligate funds for the project pending more information.
The Wolf Point City Council gave final approval for installations of the crossing signs and beacons to the school district with the caveat that the WPSD pay the entire $8,878 cost of equipment and installation.
Nieskens told the board the money is available.
The equipment would be purchased from Traffic Safety Corporation of Sacramento, Calif.
She said the solar powered flashing beacon would be push button-activated and visible from more than a block away.
Nieskens cited traffic that does not always stop when children are present in the crosswalks and speeding motorists are a concern.
“If the cars would just slow down, we wouldn’t have to do this,” Nieskens said.
In other business, the board approved independent contractor agreements for: Nancy Jos-
celyn, school psychologist services, $450 hourly per evaluation and mileage reimbursement, $75 per hour for other special education services; Nancy Braaten, occupational therapist services, $590 per four hours.
In another matter, the board approved the hirings pending satisfactory background checks of Jana Elliott and June
Petrik as Northside School summer school substitutes.
The following resignations were accepted: Linda Cacopardo, junior high science teacher; Michael Contreras, junior high and high school assistant custodian; Esther Rodgers, Northisde School assistant custodian; and Rebecca Fritz, Southside School teacher.
The trustees also appointed incoming district superintendent Gary Scott as authorized representatives for all school district projects and Title IX representative.
The board also approved the renewal of the district’s property and liability insurance for the next school year for $87,881 with the Montana Schools Group Insurance Authority, an increase of $4,053 from the last renewal.
In another matter, an unnamed district employee was terminated following a closed executive session. No other information was given.
Written by John Plestina
School district trustees gave away Chelly Harada’s job as Wolf Point High School’s speech and drama coach the past three years, despite her telling the board she wants to continue during the monthly school board meeting Tuesday, June 9.
Harada had not applied to be rehired when the position was recently advertised in The Herald-News and The Journal.
Harada said the students that participate in the speech and drama program want her to fight to retain the position.
She said she knows the students on the team and knows their needs.
“I hope you will reconsider putting me back in the position because that’s what the kids want,” Harada told the board.
Superintendent Joe Paine said only former school board member Jaronn Boysun applied when the speech and drama position was advertised.
“The other person [Harada] who was here did not apply,” Paine said.
The board approved Boysun by a 5-0 vote. District 1 trustee Corey Reum was absent from the meeting.
Boysun and Harada are both parents of students that participate in speech and drama.
Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Commissioners discussed the needs for ordinances addressing vicious dogs and heavy trucks using county roads to avoid scales Tuesday, June 16.
No action was taken. Both proposed ordinances were tabled and could be passed as early as next week.
Several had asked the Roosevelt County Attorney for a dog ordinance that would impose penalties of $250 for first offenses for owners of dogs that bite and break skin. Second offenses would carry a $500 fine.
The commissioners also delayed a decision on an ordinance that would establish weight limits for commercial trucks and prohibit through traffic on county roads.
The proposed ordinance is a response to numerous complaints that oil industry truckers from North Dakota use McCabe Road in the Culbertson area to avoid state scales, resulting in damage to the roadway.
During a recent meeting where construction on McCabe Road was discussed, a woman who lives on the road asked the commissioners if oil trucks could be kept off the road.
Written by John Plestina
Mayor Chris Dschaak expressed concern to the Wolf Point City Council Monday, June 15, about the current condition of the small park with basketball hoops and an abundance of weeds located next to the Roosevelt County Library.
Dschaak said it has become a hangout for intoxicated adults and teenagers behaving disrespectfully, including the placement of graffiti. Dschaak acknowledged that some youths are using the park properly.
He said he cleans up the area daily, often filling a full 33-gallon trash bag.
“It is getting to a point where if we don’t address this, it’s going to get worse,” Dschaak said.
Police chief Jeff Harada said he will have officers increase patrols in the area.
The council will address the park during a future meeting.
In other business, Harada said 911 calls for police service have increased during recent months and reached 476 calls in May.
The council also approved the use of Sherman Park for Art in the Park during the Wild Horse Stampede/Wolf Point Centennial celebration Saturday, July 11.
The council also discussed plans by the Wolf Point Centennial Committee to include bed races and three days of parades during Stampede.
The council also discussed closing Main Street only for the parade and bed race and not from noon until 5 or 6 p.m., which had been previously considered.
In other business, Dschaak told the council that Wolf Point Village developer Jonathan Reed of Jonathan Reed & Associates of Colorado Springs, Colo., recently contacted him saying he might try to revive the project. Reed withdrew from his plans to build the proposed 24-unit rental complex, that could have provided affordable rental housing.
Dschaak said the city paid out about $25,000 in engineering fees and environmental assessments for Wolf Point Village and that Reed should reimburse the city if the project is revived.
In another matter, Dschaak said the environmental cleanup of the former site of Gysler Furniture and Appliance on Anaconda Street will be completed at the end of this week.
Dschaak said the now city-owned site will be advertised for sale in the future. A fire destroyed both Gysler buildings in March 2014.
The council also accepted the resignation of Ward 1 council member Vivian Schultz who told the council she is resigning because she bought a home outside the city limits.
Schultz, a teacher at Wolf Point High School, was appointed to the council in November, replacing Travis Braaten who resigned in July, also because he moved outside the city limits.
Dschaak will appoint a replacement for the Ward 1 position at a later date.
Ward 1 extends east from Third Avenue South to the city limits east of First Avenue South and from the railroad tracks to the southern boundary of the city.