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. 24 and 31. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
12:13 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Fifth Avenue North for a report of a suspicious male in the area with no reported loss or damage. The incident remains under investigation.
12:50 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Garfield Street for a report of a disturbance in progress with no reported loss or damage. The incident remains under investigation.
7:58 a.m., officers responded to the Homestead Inn for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
12:45 p.m., officers responded to the Homestead Inn for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
2:01 p.m., officers responded to the Amtrak depot and removed an unruly passenger from a train. There was no arrest.
2:05 p.m., officers responded to Second Avenue South and Main Street and arrested Mark Gustafson, 29, of Wolf Point on a warrant.
8:15 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Helena Street and arrested Anthony McClendon, 56, of Fort Kipp on two warrants.
10:47 a.m., officers responded to the Homestead Inn for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
2:27 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Front Street for a report of an assault with no major injuries. The incident remains under investigation.
6:49 p.m., officers responded to Shopko for a report of shoplifting with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
9:09 p.m., officers conducted a pedestrian stop on the 300 block of Main Street and arrested Dennis Martell Jr., 30, of Wolf Point for disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.
12:57 a.m., officers responded to the 800 block of Fourth Avenue South for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
5:59 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Custer Street for a report of a disturbance in progress and cited Jory Blackeagle, 27, and Brenden Lee, 22, of Wolf Point for disorderly conduct and simple assault.
No specific time, police cited Leonard Wetlin Jr., 44, of Wolf Point for theft from a previously reported incident.
10:50 p.m., officers responded to the 1000 block of Sixth Avenue North for a report of suspicious individuals in the area with no reported damages or losses. The incident remains under investigation.
11:02 p.m., officers responded to Third Avenue South and Main Street for a minor accident involving a vehicle and a pedestrian with minor injuries. No citation was issued.
11:20 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Eureka Street for a report of vandalism to property. Charges are pending against a Wolf Point male.
7:50 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Hill Street for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
3:54 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Dayton Street for a report of a disturbance in progress and arrested Thomas Flynn Jr., 32, of Wolf Point for disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.
4:30 p.m., officers responded to the underpass area for a report of a hit-and-run motor vehicle accident with damage to the victim vehicle and no reported injuries. The incident remains under investigation.
7:18 p.m., officers responded to Triangle park for a report of a disturbance in progress and arrested Cory Schlinder, 28, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse and disorderly conduct and Elvis Follet Jr., 36, of Wolf Point for disorderly conduct.
1:11 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Dayton Street for a report of a disturbance in progress and arrested George Rider-Flynn, 23, of Wolf Point on a warrant.
8:26 a.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Third Avenue South for a report of a theft from a residence with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
5 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Main Street for a report of an intoxicated male and arrested Nathan Dumont, 47, of Wolf Point for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
11:07 a.m., firefighters responded to a grass fire just south of the Sherman Inn.
10:56 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Eureka Street for a report of a theft from a residence with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
3:46 p.m., officers responded to Arlo’s Bar for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between Aug. 24 and 31: checks of wellbeing, nine; civil standby, three; domestic disturbance, 10; public assistance, 11; motor vehicle accidents, one; removal of unwanted individuals, 13; animal complaints, three; medical assistance, three; fire assistance, one; alarm, eight; assist other agency, six; unfounded reports, eight; driving complaints, one; and school requested assistance, two.
Written by Herald-News
Northside Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders give a cheer for the start of their first day back from summer vacation Monday, Aug. 24. The children pictured are from two classes, both with teachers that are new to the Wolf Point School District. The new teachers are pictured in the back in front of the doors. They are: Dezi Adams, fourth grade, who is from Wolf Point and taught in Arizona for several years; and Bobbie Munger, fifth grade, who relocated from Bozeman. (Photo by John Plestina)
Written by John Plestina
Frontier School District trustees adopted the final fiscal year 2015-2016 budget during a special meeting Monday, Aug. 24, one day in advance of the Aug. 25 state-imposed deadline.
Final adoption was delayed during the monthly school board meeting Tuesday Aug. 18, due to concerns by superintendent Christine Eggar that the totals might not have been correct.
She said the difference could change the amount of property tax home and business owners in the district pay.
The final adopted budget [total of all district funds] was $1,506,756. Before the recalculations, the total budget was presented at $1,630,309, a difference of $123,553.
The new calculations reduced bus depreciation from $164,522 to $72,225 and retirement from 151,200 to 119,993.
In other business during the special meeting, the board approved the admission of three out of district students, two in first grade and one in second.
The trustees also approved the renewal of the contract with Marianne Rees to renew her contract as athletic director.
In another matter, the board approved a rental housing contract with new district clerk Angela Hernandez, allowing her to move into a subsidized rental the district leases.
Written by John Plestina
With an unanticipated vacancy in the District 1 seat on the Roosevelt County Commission, applicants are sought for an appoint for an interim term.
Allen Bowker submitted his resignation from the commission Monday, Aug. 17, just over nine months after he was elected in November 2014. The resignation is effective Monday, Aug. 31.
Bowker, 52, of Culbertson was elected to a six-year term, defeating Frank Smith of Poplar 645-368 in the general election for the seat formerly held by Jim Shanks of Brockton, who did not seek another term.
District 1 covers the eastern part of the county from the east end of Poplar to the state line.
“I have been thinking about it for the past several months,” Bowker said. “Between my garbage business and the farm, I have bitten off too much.” Bow-ker owns Bowker Sanitation & Roll Off of Culbertson and a farm east of Culbertson.
“I wanted to get things done but I didn’t have enough time,” he said.
“Everybody on this end [of Roosevelt County] already knows. I pretty much spread the word around,” Bowker said.
He said he wanted to get roads improved on the east end of the county when he ran for the commission seat.
“I’m still looking forward to working with the commissioners down here on road issues,” Bowker said. “Just because I’m not a commissioner doesn’t mean I can’t work with them.”
Assistant County Attorney Jordan Knudsen said the person the commissioners appoint would serve through 2016. If the person appointed chooses to run for the seat, that individual would have to run for a four-year term [to complete Bowker’s six-year term] in the June 2016 primary and win the November 2016 general election.
Commission presiding officer Duane Nygaard said Bowker’s position will be advertised for two weeks. Interested persons will be interviewed and the commissioners will make an appointment on a undetermined date, likely in mid- or late September.
Written by John Plestina
It is not yet clear whether Wolf Point taxpayers will suffer sticker shock or just minor heartburn when new tax bills are mailed at the end of October.
One thing that is clear is a dire need to repair several streets, a lack of available funds and no grant monies currently available. Municipal officials want to double both the street and street maintenance assessments to fund street construction projects.
The proposal is to raise the assessment from $39.60 to $79.20.
Interstate Engineering of Nashua has prioritized proposed street projects and estimated costs.
The Wolf Point City Council scheduled a public hearing in City Hall Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m., to provide more information about the final city budget, including street assessments, and to hear public comments.
The council is expected to adopt the full budget Monday, Aug. 30.
Roosevelt County and the Wolf Point and Frontier school districts adopt their own budgets. Taxes for all taxing entities appear on tax bills.
Wolf Point’s clerk/treasurer Marlene Mahlum said Thursday, Aug. 20, that a tax increase is expected, but she did not know how much.
She cited the needed repairs of city streets and the voter approval in November 2014 authorizing the county commissioners to issue and sell up to $11.86 million in general obligation bonds to be repaid within 20 years for a new county jail as possible drivers for a tax increase.
The current jail is outdated and under-sized for current needs. It does not meet current state and national jail standards.
Legal action brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2013 forced Roosevelt County to reduce the number of jail beds by nearly one half.
“They [tax bills] have to be mailed out by Oct. 31 because we have to give them 30 days [prior to due dates],” Roosevelt County treasurer Betty Romo said.
“I’m really hope people don’t see too bad of a sticker shock,” she said.
“I don’t know how the mills are going to relate to individual taxpayer’s properties,” Mahlum said. “The bottom line is the taxes are going to go up in Wolf Point.”
She said she does not foresee a large overall tax increase.
“There are no increases for water, sewer and garbage at this time,” Mahlum said.
“The police department has requested another officer,” she said.
Mahlum said last week that she did not know if the department would get an additional officer.
Police chief Jeff Harada has said that an additional officer is needed.
Harada told the council Monday, Aug. 17, that city police responded to 533 complaints during July, which was 4 percent increase over July 2014. The WPPD responded to 27 percent more calls for service in June than they did for the same period last year.
A looming question for Mahlum has been the new tax evaluation by the Montana Department of Revenue that was conducted statewide during fall 2014. It resulted in Roosevelt County real estate values increasing substantially, but more so in Culbertson and Bainville, which are Bakken Oilfield-impacted. In Wolf Point, taxes doubled for some homeowners, increased only slightly for others and remained static for some.
Taxable values recently became available to Mahlum.
“The taxable values went up to $395 per mill, which is not a lot,” Mahlum said.
She was uncertain last week how that would relate to individual residential property taxpayers. The mill value last year was 304.86.
“We’re looking at less mills this year. We’re probably looking at about 245 mills less because the mill value is more, so as a result I need less mills,” Mahlum said.
Mahlum said the Oil, Gas, Coal and Natural Resources Distribution from the state to county and municipal governments could decrease.
“The Bakken money — we’re seeing a decrease in those funds,” Mahlum said.
For the last quarter, a total of $67,555 went to various governmental entities in Roosevelt County with Wolf Point receiving $24,212.