Wolf Point Herald

Wolf Point Police And Fire Blotter For April 16, 2015

(Editor’s Note: The following blotter is a partial list of activities involving the Wolf Point Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department between April 6 and 12. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
April 6
2:57 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Eureka Street and arrested Michael Beston, 25, of Frazer on a warrant.
April 7
2 p.m., officers responded to the Homestead Inn for a report of vandalism to the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
April 8
8:10 a.m., officers conducted a traffic stop on U.S. Hwy. 2 and cited Joy Reddig, 46, of Frazer for speeding.
10 a.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Indian Street for a report of attempted financial fraud with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
2:23 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Eureka Street for a report of vandalism to the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
3:46 p.m., officers responded to First Community Bank for a report of an attempted theft by fraud with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
4:35 p.m., officers responded to Shopko Hometown for a report of a theft with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
8:15 p.m. officers responded to the 500 block of Custer Street for a report of a dog-at-large and cited Jesse Baker II, 45, of Wolf Point for dog-at-large.
10:23 p.m., officers responded to High Plains Motors for a report of a suspicious individual in the area. The incident remains under investigation.
April 9
2:56 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Benton Street for a report of a burglary with a loss valued over $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
3:24 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Custer Street for a report of vandalism to the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
4 p.m., officers cited Isaac Irizarry, 43, of Wolf Point with disorderly conduct as a result of an incident that occurred on March 31.
4:55 p.m., officers responded to Town Pump and arrested James Craft, 42, of Wolf Point on several outstanding warrants.
April 10
12:57 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Custer Street for a report of a domestic dispute and arrested Norman Owens, 43, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse.
7:30 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Benton Street for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued over $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
2:32 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Eureka Street for a report of a theft by fraud with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
April 11
1:11 a.m., firefighters responded to a structure fire east of Poplar as mutual aide to assist the Poplar Fire Department. An unoccupied single-family house was destroyed.
3:30 a.m., firefighters responded to a structure fire at Second Avenue West and D Street West in Poplar as mutual aide to assist the Poplar Fire Department. A mobile home was completely destroyed and a family was displaced. There were no injuries.
8:47 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Dawson Street for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
April 12
7:33 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Fallon Street for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
3:43 p.m., officers responded to Northside School for a report of disorderly conduct by an adult. The incident remains under investigation.
4:50 p.m., officers responded to the Homestead Inn for a report of a domestic dispute and arrested Randall Lehner, 55, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse.
5:21 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Second Avenue South and arrested James
Lehner, 21, of Wolf Point on an outstanding warrant out of Prairie County.
6:17 p.m., firefighters responded to a shed and rubbish fire on the 300 block of Third Avenue South.
Other Calls
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between April 6 and 12: checks of wellbeing, 12; civil standby, two; domestic disturbance, eight; public assistance, 15; motor vehicle accidents, one; removal of unwanted individuals, five; animal complaints, six; medical assistance, one; alarm, five; assist other agency, two; unfounded reports, eight; driving complaints, four; and school requested assistance, two.

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Easter Bunny Makes Appearance At 18th Annual Egg Hunt

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The 18th annual Wolf Point Police Department and Wolf Point Optimist Club Easter egg hunt was held on the lawn in front of Faith Home Saturday, April 4, with 3,700 candy-filled  eggs for children up to age 11 to pick up. The Easter Bunny made an appearance and enjoyed holding one-month-old Zayliana Buckles of Wolf Point.  (Photos by John Plestina)

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Labor Negotiations Crawl With Election Looming

Collective bargaining negotiations between the Wolf Point School District and the two unions representing district employees that have been ongoing for about two months were headed for a possible make or break situation Tuesday, April 7.
What some people said could be the final meeting between representatives of the unions and the current school board was held Tuesday evening, after The Herald-News went to press.
The Wolf Point School board negotiations committee, consisting of superintendent Joe Paine and representatives of the current school board, has met frequently with the Wolf Point Education Association, the union that represents teachers, and the Wolf Point Educational Support Staff Association, which represents classified school district employees that include non-certified aides, cafeteria workers, clerical staff and bus drivers.
With an apparent impasse between the two sides, school district representatives discussed the possibility of the district hiring an outside negotiator during a negotiations meeting on March 24.
The board will likely address that possibility during the last scheduled meeting of the current school board Monday, April 13.
Reasons cited for possibly hiring an outside negotiator included that the two sides appeared to remain far apart on some issues with the entire six-member school board being up for election in newly redistricted single-member districts with only one incumbent seeking election and a district superintendent who has given notice to resign for another position in mid-June.
A new school board will take the reins at the May school board meeting, likely to be held Monday, May 11. That board may or may not include the incumbent board member or either of two people running for board positions with school board experience. A possible scenario could be a new school board seated in May with no experience and a new superintendent taking the helm July 1, possibly someone with little or no knowledge of the Wolf Point district or the local area.
One issue is the school district and unions are not in agreement on a possible change of health insurance carriers for staff. The district wants to negotiate health insurance and met with representatives of the current provider, the Montana Unified School Trust [M.U.S.T.], and Brad Solberg, a licensed agent with Cassco Insurance Inc., during past negotiations meetings. Solberg presented alternatives to M.U.S.T.
During a negotiations meeting held Monday, March 30, current school board chairman Martin DeWitt told union representatives he wanted to see actual dollar figures for health insurance proposals, not percentages.
Paine cited an inequality with the district paying the same amount for insurance for single employees and those with families.
There was a discussion that current health insurance coverage is not age-banded, where the district pays a composite rate for all employees, regardless of age and apart from whether they are single or have families. With age-banded insurance, rates for younger employees would be low and much higher for those in their 50s and 60s.
DeWitt also said, “I think if we can hammer through insurance, we can hammer through everything.”

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Commissioners Delay Decision On McCabe Road Repairs

The Roosevelt County Commissioners listened to appeals from 11 people who live on or near McCabe Road for the county to fix the eight-mile county road north of Culbertson.
The commissioners delayed a decision on repairs to a future meeting.
Repairs to McCabe Road north of Culbertson have been put off for about 20 years and there is heavy oil truck traffic on the already damaged road that serves nine oil wells.
Several people said the state should fund repairs because oil industry trucks have ruined the road and that it is not a farm-to- market road any more.
“The oilfield is ruining these roads and paying very little back to the county,” commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said.
County road department supervisor Ken Norgaard said he met with engineers and the only thing that has saved the road that was built during the 1950s is the base.
Norgaard said costs to fix McCabe Road could run between $3.2 and $3.4 million.
An alternative, he said, would be scrub sealing with a chip seal on top with no lift in the roadway at a cost of about $500,000 that could last eight to 10 years.
Scrub sealing is similar to a chip seal where asphalt emulsion and crushed rock are placed on an asphalt pavement surface.
With scrub sealing, asphalt emulsion is applied to the road surface through a series of brooms placed at different angles, guiding the asphalt emulsion into cracks.
There is currently about $1.72 million in a county road account that is earmarked for McCabe Road only. The commissioners add money to that account in every annual budget. The commissioners put $461,800 into the account last year. It is unknown how much they might put in with the next fiscal year budget.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said a contractor will do a chip seal project on Montana Hwy. 16 in the Culbertson area so that contractor might give a lower cost for work on McCabe Road.
The commissioners also discussed spending a small part of the money this year to improve the road while building up the fund each year to fix the road correctly in a few years.
While some people want to move forward with extensive repairs on an assumption that the base of the roadway is good, the engineer advised against that. Both Macdonald and Nygaard said they do not want to go against the advice of the engineer.
Several people said the right way to fix the road is to tear it up and rebuild the base.
A woman who lives on McCabe Road asked if oil trucks could be kept off the road.
Nygaard said there is a weight limit, but it is difficult to enforce.
Macdonald said the commissioners could enact an ordinance to prohibit truck traffic on McCabe Road.
He said one problem is heavy trucks servicing the oil industry coming out of North Dakota and using Roosevelt County roads to bypass scales.
Commissioner Allen Bowker of Culbertson said County Road 1007 in the Bainville area is in worse condition than McCabe Road. Bowker, who is in the garbage business, said he almost rolled a garbage truck on Road 1007.
“There will be a funeral for 1007 before there is a funeral for McCabe Road,” Bowker said.
Bowker said he does not agree with the engineer’s assertion that the base is no good. He suggested repairing as much of the road this year as the county can afford.
Bowker likened a cheaper temporary fix to putting lipstick on a pig or spray painting an old car.
The commissioners are likely to revisit the issue as early as Tuesday, April 14, or later in April.

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Centennial Celebration Will Expand Stampede Events

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Plans continue to develop for Wolf Point’s Centennial Celebration, which will be held during the 2015 Wild Horse Stampede in July, as the Centennial Committee is meeting almost weekly.
Plans were formulated during the meeting, Monday, March 9, for the opening night.
Plans have developed during recent months for four nights of live music, and three street dances downtown are likely, a return of Good Neighbor Days, which has been absent from Wolf Point summers for decades and a step outside the box with a bed race in downtown Wolf Point.
The opening day, Wednesday, July 8, will begin with a dinner at 5 p.m. at Marvin Brookman Stadium consisting of steak, potato, salad, baked beans and something that would not melt in the expected summer heat, possibly a brownie.
The annual KVCK Country Showdown will follow at 7 p.m. The popular talent contest will be held at the Stampede grounds this year after being held at Wolf Point High School for the last several years.
A dance at the Stampede grounds will follow the Country Showdown with the Colorado-based band Ryan Chrys and the Roughcuts, playing from 9 p.m. until midnight.
Tickets will be available that would include all events for one price, including a historical book about Wolf Point by Marvin Presser.
Aaron Kurokawa reported to the committee that a mobile stage for use by bands that the committee had considered renting would cost $16,000 and therefore be too expensive.
Duane Kurokawa will represent the centennial committee at a Stampede committee meeting next week and will discuss common events, the dinner, stage and a need for helpers for pitchfork fondue and other events.

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