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 Feb. 2 and 8. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
3:22 p.m., officers responded to Fox Ford for a report of a new vehicle with a ding on the hood, possibly caused by a BB gun. It is unknown if the incident is related to previous incidents that remain under investigation.
6:59 p.m., officers responded to Git-N-Go for a report of shoplifting with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
7:01 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 300 block of Fairweather Street for a report of vandalism to a residence. The suspect left prior to police arrival. Charges are pending.
10:34 a.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Listerud Street for a report of a minor motor vehicle accident involving the Wolf Point Police Department’s animal control truck and cited John Szymanski, 40, of Wolf Point for interfering with traffic while backing.
11:15 a.m., officers responded to a residence on the 200 block of Custer Street for a report of a theft from the back of a pickup with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
11:40 a.m., officers responded to a residence on the 400 block of Fifth Avenue North for a report of an assault and arrested Tyler Desjarlais, 26, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse and possession of dangerous drugs.
7:59 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 100 block of Helena Street for a report of trespassing and arrested Jonas Burshia, 29, of Wolf Point on a warrant.
8:45 a.m., police took a report of a theft that occurred Feb. 3 at Dad’s Bar with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
2:09 p.m., police took a report of a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident that occurred Feb. 3 in the Albertson’s parking lot. The investigation continued at press time.
3:07 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Main Street for a report of a minor motor vehicle accident and cited Jonathan Magnan, 34, of Poplar for driving without a driver’s license and driving with no insurance, and Eleanor Wilson, 72, of Wolf Point for interfering with traffic while backing.
2:42 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Alder Street for a report of an assault. The adult male victim was uncooperative and no further action was taken.
12 p.m., a residence on the 300 block of Fifth Avenue South for a report of a theft of a motor vehicle with a loss valued over $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
10:59 p.m., officers responded to Arlo’s Bar for a report of a fight and removed two females from the establishment.
11:11 p.m., officers responded to Town Pump for a report of a theft by an employee with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
4:32 a.m., officers responded to a residence on the 100 block of Edgar Street for a report of an assault. The suspect left prior to police arrival. The investigation continued at press time.
12:42 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 500 block of Dayton Street for a report of a theft with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between Feb. 2 and 8: checks of wellbeing, two; civil standby, four; domestic disturbance, three; public assistance, 14; motor vehicle accidents, two; removal of unwanted individuals, nine; medical assistance, three; alarm, nine; assist other agency, one; unfounded reports, seven; driving complaints, two; and school requested assistance, one.
Written by John Plestina
The cause of the collapse of the former Peavey Company grain elevator on Front Street in Wolf Point was unknown as of press time Tuesday. No one was injured in the collapse which occurred early Sunday, Feb. 1.
The collapse of a Columbia Grain elevator, formerly Peavey Company, in Wolf Point early Sunday, Feb. 1, remains undetermined.
The collapse of the grain elevator on the 100 block of Front Street that spilled an estimated 20,000 bushels of grain on the ground happened sometime before 7:32 a.m., when a passerby saw that the elevator had collapsed and called 911. The Wolf Point Police Department and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice responded. No injuries were reported.
The WPPD secured the scene and assisted with security.
There had been no determination early this week what caused the collapse of the 33-year-old elevator. There was no explosion.
Columbia Grain leases the elevator from the Omaha, Neb.-headquartered Gavilon Grain, a subsidiary of Japan’s Marubeni Corporation.
“It’s too early to determine [the cause]. There was a bin failure,” Columbia Grain senior vice president Jeff Van Pevenage said.
“I would estimate about 20,000 bushels are on the ground,” he said.
“We’re still doing a lot of investigation. Yesterday, it collapsed and we’ll be working to get it cleaned up,” Van Pevenage said Monday, Feb. 2.
The spill only impacted a spur rail line on Gavilon property. Van Pevenage said it did not block the Burlington Northern/ Santa Fe Railway main line and has not interfered with the passage of BNSF freight or Amtrak passenger trains.
Local Columbia Grain employees were not permitted to comment about the collapse.
Some of the elevators in Wolf Point have stood for many years. ConAgra Foods, Inc., acquired Peavey Company in 1982, the year the elevator that collapsed was built. Gavilon Grain purchased the site in 2008 and Marubeni Corporation that company in 2013.
Written by John Plestina
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office is taking over law enforcement services in Poplar with the disbanding of the municipal police department. The county commissioners approved an interlocal law enforcement agreement with Poplar during a special commission meeting Friday, Jan. 30.
The commissioners and Sheriff Jason Frederick said the Poplar City Council had agreed to the RCSO providing services.
The commission approved a resolution allowing Frederick and commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard to sign an interlocal agreement with Poplar municipal officials for the remainder of 2015 and a separate agreement for 2016. The 2015 agreement was set to begin Sunday, Feb. 1, or as soon as the Poplar City Council approves it. Both parties signed the agreement Monday, Feb. 2.
“They made a recommendation for us to take over,” Frederick said.
“There is a substantial amount in the city budget for law enforcement,” Nygaard said. “Poplar has agreed to turn over their [law enforcement] budget.”
Frederick said that budget is $210,000 annually.
Frederick said two members of the Poplar City Council contacted him about providing law enforcement services.
“They just can’t field a police force,” he said.
That includes hiring and retaining certified officers.
The Poplar Police Department recently got down to one member, a police chief who had been hired recently.
Poplar resident Don Gudgell said there has been constant turnover with Poplar police, with residents relying on the RCSO and FPTDLJ for protection.
“He was able to hire a couple of guys who were uncertified,” Frederick said.
Both left the department within a short time. One is now working for the FPTDLJ.
Frederick said the funding would allow the RCSO to provide deputies and vehicles for Poplar.
Two deputies will be hired and the RCSO will take over a small office the Poplar Police Department used.
The Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice provides law enforcement services in Poplar, however Montana law mandates that incorporated cities maintain police services. Contracted services with county sheriffs are permitted.
The RCSO has been contracting to provide services for eastern Roosevelt County communities including Culbertson and Bainville.
Questions have been raised recently about the level of funding from cities on the east side of the county with increasing crime due to Bakken oil exploration.
“We can go to cities on the east end that are paying and say, ‘Look what Poplar is doing,’” commissioner Gary Macdonald said.
He added that if the county is proactive rather than reactive, maybe the RCSO could do more about the crime problem.
The RCSO has made numerous drug-related felony arrests in the Culbertson and Bainville areas, including violent offenders. There have been recent incidents of violence directed toward deputies. Fifteenth District Court in Wolf Point has been jammed with felony drug cases from the east end of the county and the jail has a majority inmate population of drug offenders that are not from the area.
Written by John Plestina
At least two of several window shooting vandalism victims said they are frustrated that no one has been charged more than two months after the first incidents were reported and they wonder if there will ever be restitution.
Numerous incidents were reported to the Wolf Point Police Department during November and December that left several thousand dollars in damages from holes in windows in houses, cars, trucks and at least one motorhome. Glass was broken on several sliding glass doors.
Authorities say the weapon is believed to be a BB or pellet gun and all or most of the shootings were done from a passing vehicle. The majority of the incidents occurred on the north side.
The WPPD acknowledged in December that four male Wolf Point juveniles had been identified as suspects.
Police chief Jeff Harada said Sunday, Feb. 1, that WPPD officers have interviewed more people and that the case is nearing resolution.
Brandon Babb owns a pickup truck that was parked in the Wolf Point High School parking lot when a hole was shot in a back window, leaving him with a $359 repair bill.
“I’d sure like to get it reimbursed — absolutely,” Babb said.
“I haven’t heard a single thing about it since I filed the complaint two months ago. We reported it that night,” he said. “I’ve seen this kind of thing through the years; all the tires that have been slashed,” Babb said and added that he wondered how many incidents were ever reported to police.
North side resident Bruce Knerr said pellets damaged two vehicles he owns that were parked on Fourth Avenue North.
The most serious damage was to a pickup Knerr owns. “My pickup has a custom paint job. You can’t put a price on that,” he said. A pellet caused a quarter-size paint chip. Knerr said the custom paint job cost job cost nearly $5,000. The back window of an SUV Knerr owns was also damaged during the same incident. Knerr said he does not believe any pellets struck his house.
Written by John Plestina
Former Brockton Post Office employee Jana Nygard was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Great Falls Friday, Jan. 23, to 14 months incarceration followed by three years supervised release.
Nygard was accused of stealing $50,392 from the Brockton Post Office between May and August 2013 while working in the position of post master relief.
U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris ordered Nygard to serve the first seven months in prison and the last seven months in home detention, allowing her to begin paying restitution. Full restitution was ordered.
Nygard had entered into a plea agreement to plead guilty to embezzlement of government property. Seven charges related to the post office embezzlement case were dismissed.
According to charging documents, the U.S. Attorney accused Nygard of embezzlement by issuing about 145 money orders for personal use and to customers, and failing to provide payment for the money orders. Nygard was also accused of stealing $1,606 in stamp revenue.
She pleaded not guilty in federal court in October.
“The majority of U.S. Postal Service employees are dedicated public servants who take great pride in ensuring the sanctity and security of U.S. Postal Service property and its funds,” U.S.P.S. Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Pete Gately said. “Unfortunately, Jana Nygard betrayed the trust placed in her by the Postal Service and the public she was sworn to serve. Her actions resulted in deserved consequences for such behavior.”
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Laura Weiss prosecuted the case.