Wolf Point Herald

Drug Offender From Wyoming Sentenced

A Wyoming woman who had been accused in a drug case will serve time in Montana, despite pleas by her family to send her back to Wyoming.
Michelle Parker, 41, of Rock Springs, Wyo., also has listed residences in Williston, N.D., and San Diego, Calif. She was arrested on a bench warrant and held in the Roosevelt County Jail on a petition to revoke bond.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Parker to five years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with three years suspended with credit for 174 days served and inpatient substance abuse treatment that must be completed before she would be eligible to be transferred to Wyoming probation.
Probation and parole officer Wayne Bye testified that he recommended a sentence of three years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections with no time suspended.
He said Parker was uncooperative during the pre-sentencing investigation.
Since that time, Parker pleaded guilty to possession of dangerous drugs in Wyoming.
Parker was sentenced by a Wyoming court to three years probation with two years suspended and an order for outpatient substance abuse treatment.
Parker’s father, Jack Cranford of Rock Springs, Wyo., testified that his daughter has lived most of her life in Rock Springs and has an 18-year-old son.
Parker’s son, Tristan Parker, 18, of Rock Springs, testified that he and his mother moved from Rock Springs to Williston, N.D., when her oil industry employer transferred her there.
He said it would be hard on his family if his mother receives a sentence where she would have to remain in Montana.
According to court documents, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Parker and Dale Bertram of Washington in Culbertson in July 2013 following a report that two people were attempting to break into a mini storage unit in Culbertson. Parker was later found to have been the renter of the storage unit.
Parker was found in possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and arrested.
Parker was transferred to the Fort Benton Detention Center Thursday, Jan. 15, where she is being held until the Department of Corrections transfers her.

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Buckles Indicted In Sexual Abuse Case

Brandon Ray Buckles, 27, of Poplar appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston in Great Falls, Wednesday, Jan. 14, for an arraignment following a federal grand jury indictment.
Buckles pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse and false statement to a federal officers.
If convicted of the most serious charges contained in the indictment, he faces life in prison, $250,000 in fines and lifetime supervised release.  
The Fort Peck Tribes Department of law and Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.

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Wolf Point Police And Fire Blotter For Jan. 22, 2015

(Editor’s Note: The following blotter is a partial list of activities involving the Wolf Point Police Department and Volunteer Fire Department between Jan. 12 and 18. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
Jan. 12
3:19 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of Third Avenue South and Main Street for a report of a minor motor vehicle accident with no reported injuries and cited Caleb Pendleton, 24, of Wolf Point for following too close, driving after privilege suspended, operating with an expired registration and no insurance.
8:26 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 400 block of Custer Street for a report of a domestic disturbance in progress and Darrin Badhawk Sr., 51, of Wolf Point was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
Jan. 13
9:15 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Fallon Street and cited Shayne Lee, 42, of Wolf Point for dog at large.
7:28 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Fallon Street for a report of a disturbance in progress and arrested Jordan Stafne, 27, of Wolf Point for disorderly conduct. Stafne was also charged with theft as a result of a previously reported beer theft at Git-N-Go.
8:06 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Dayton Street for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. Charges are pending.
Jan. 14
12:05 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Main Street for a request to remove an unwanted male from a residence and arrested Mike Magnan, 51, of Frazer for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
5:46 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Hill Street for a report of a theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
9 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Dayton Street for a report of an attempted theft from a trailer with no reported loss. The investigation continued at press time.
9:50 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Johnson Street for a report of a theft of prescription drugs with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
12:07 p.m., officers responded to Town Pump for a report of a credit card theft with a loss valued over $1,000. Charges are pending.
1:17 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Eureka Street for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
7:01 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Front Street for a report of a domestic disturbance in progress and arrested Linda Williams, 32, of Wolf Point for neglect of a child.
Jan. 15
9:09 a.m., officers responded to a report of a theft from a residence [location not available] and cited Isaac Irizarry, 43, and Janet Irizarry, 42, both of Wolf Point for theft.
Jan. 16
9:39 a.m., officers responded to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and arrested Amelia Hackmann, 32, of Scobey on an outstanding warrant. Officers also arrested her in the jail the next day on a Sheridan County warrant.
3:13 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of First Avenue South for a report of theft with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
7:35 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Cascade Street for a report of theft from a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
7:39 p.m., officers responded to Albertson’s for a report of shoplifting with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
Jan. 17
9 a.m., officers assisted Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice officers on the 200 block of East Granville Street and arrested Patrick Mitchell, 38, of Poplar on an outstanding warrant.
Jan. 18
5:03 a.m., officers responded to Town Pump for a report of shoplifting with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
10:56 a.m., Officers responded to The Herald-News office on the 400 block of Main Street for a report of a burglary with a loss valued over $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
11:26 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Front Street for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
9:17 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Benton Street for a report of a domestic disturbance in progress and arrested Doug Kawasaki, 28, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse.
11:36 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Custer Street for a report of a suspicious male in the area. The investigation continued at press time.
Other calls
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between. Jan. 12 and 18: checks of wellbeing, five; civil standby, one; domestic disturbance, three; public assistance, 10; motor vehicle accidents, one; removal of unwanted individuals, four; animal complaints, one; medical assistance, three; fire assistance, none; alarm, seven; assist other agency, one; unfounded reports, eight; fireworks complaint, none; driving complaints, one; school requested assistance, two.

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County May Take VFW Building For Taxes Eight Years After Fire

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Eight years after a fire destroyed the former VFW Club on the 100 Block of Main Street, the burned out shell remains with a temporary wall in front of it that was erected several years ago.  (Photo by John Plestina)

Eight years after fire destroyed the former VFW Club on the 100 Block of Main Street, Roosevelt County may seize the burned out structure for unpaid taxes with the goal of demolition and redevelopment.
The property remains privately owned and appears that it might be abandoned. Taxes have not been paid since May 2007, four months after the fire. The owner of record left Wolf Point several years ago and attempts to locate her have been unsuccessful.
County Commissioner Gary Macdonald said the property qualifies as an Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields site for environmental cleanup funding and redevelopment.
That federal program funded the cleanup of the burned out now Wolf Point city-owned former Gysler Furniture and Appliance store on Anaconda Street that began in October with help from Great Northern Development Corporation and Newfields, a Missoula environmental consultant. Completion of that project is on hold until spring due to weather.
The VFW building is believed to contain asbestos and mold.
Roosevelt County Treasurer Betty Romo said the earliest the county could take ownership of the property would be September because tax sales are held in March and September.
The VFW Club, which included a bar, restaurant and dance floor, and a bowling alley in the basement, closed over a year prior to the fire.
Romo said her records show that a Malta man purchased the property before the fire and sold it about four months after it burnt to a Louisiana woman who had relocated to Wolf Point. That woman is believed to have left Wolf Point within a few months of purchasing the property.
The Montana Cadastral lists the sole current owner as Miranda Coleman. Her address is shown as the address of the VFW Club.
Romo said she has tried to locate Coleman but has had no luck finding her.
The Herald-News reported April 19, 2007, that Louisiana transplants Don and Miranda Hancock purchased the former VFW building and planned to reopen the bowling alley and the upstairs into a youth-orientated game room with pool tables and arcade games, and that they had planned to rename the building the Phoenix Lanes and Game Room. There was no mention of a Miranda Coleman.
According to the news story, the couple identified as Hancock, had moved to Wolf Point with a small child after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
Three months later, the Wolf Point Police Department issued a nuisance violation notice for the property.
Police chief Jeff Harada said a police report is on file for a Miranda Coleman, then 23, who was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident in the Albertson’s parking lot in late 2007.
The Herald-News searched online records for Miranda Coleman and Miranda Hancock, and Don Hancock. Several records exist for all three names with locations in Louisiana, Texas and Wolf Point. No telephone numbers or email addresses were located. There are records for a Miranda Walker in Louisiana and Texas with some of the same relatives shown for Miranda Hancock.
The fire during the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 21, 2007, destroyed the restaurant and bar and left about a quarter-million gallons of water in the basement bowling alley.
The Wolf Point Volunteer Fire Department saved neighboring buildings, including the adjoining Montana Health and Human Services building that suffered minor water and smoke damage.
The burned out structure has attracted vagrants and people looking for a party place for years, according to several sources, including the Wolf Point Police Department.
The WPPD responded to a 911 call, Friday, Dec. 26, 2014, that led to the discovery of two deceased people behind the building. They were later reported to have died from hypothermia late Dec. 25 or early morning Dec. 26.

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Cuts Possible To Fund Remedies For Math, Security And Truancy

Whether or not the Wolf Point School District might cut more jobs or programs is not known at this time, but money must be found if the school board implements remedies for slumping math testing results, above average truancy rates and security concerns that could cost more than $230,000.
The district’s finance committee discussed options during a meeting Monday, Jan. 12, that included one additional teacher in each of the district’s three school buildings and a school resource officer from the Wolf Point Police Department. They also considered potential cuts to adjust the budget that could include a loss of personnel and programs.
Superintendent Joe Paine said the average salary and benefits of teachers in the district is $62,965.
“If we were to look at bringing in three additional people to our district — in each building — would be roughly $189,000,” Paine said.
The addition of a school resource officer would add about $49,000, for a total of about $238,000.
Paine said he recently discussed the possibility of adding a school resource officer with Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada. The WPPD has had SROs from the WPPD in the past and discontinued the program when the school district pulled their share of the funding.
The dollar amounts could very because of the number of years experience individual teachers have and the possibility that one school administrator might ask for a part-time teacher while another might request full-time.
A question from several administrators was: would placing additional math teachers and cutting other teachers and programs result in other subject areas suffering.
School board chairman Martin DeWitt, who expressed concern about slumping math test scores during past school board meetings, said the issue must be addressed.
“Our students are not college- ready. They are not life-ready,” he said.
“It’s not all about cuts,” DeWitt said and added that it is not about jobs going away. “It’s about making ourselves efficient.”
Northside Elementary School principal Hannah Nieskens cautioned that the district should not rob Peter to pay Paul.
“It would be a real shame if we cut something [that we need],” Nieskens said.
She said the administrator of each school should present a proposal for the individual school because of different needs.
“I don’t know how we can do any more [cuts] and still do our jobs,” WPHS principal Kim Hanks said.
The district cut jobs and programs that included the preschool program in May.
The monthly school board meeting, usually held the second Monday, was scheduled to immediately follow the finance committee meeting. It was postponed from Jan. 12 because there would not have been enough members present for a quorum to conduct business. That meeting is rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Wolf Point High School library.
It was not known at press time if a proposal to address slumping math testing results and security would be presented to the board Jan. 19.
The issue is expected to be brought to teachers district-wide for individual recommendations.

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