Wolf Point Herald

Commissioners Remove TV District Exemption

Roosevelt County commissioners voted Monday, June 16, to eliminate the exemption from paying the $15 Wolf Point Television District fee.
All taxpayers will be required to pay the fee.
Taxpayers not using antennas had been eligible for the exemption. Few applied for it.
Commission presiding officer Duane Norgaard said more expensive equipment and increased channel availability has made the elimination of the exemption necessary.
In other business, the commissioners amended the plat for the Prairie South Subdivision north of Bainville. Four lots of the existing 40-lot subdivision will accommodate 16 duplex units.
There was a discussion about site cleanup. A consensus among the commissioners was that the builder would comply with a request to clean up the construction site. No conditions were added to the amended plat.
The commissioners also approved a claim for $68,793, the county’s share of the $137,587 a U.S. District Court judge ordered the county and the Wolf Point High School District to pay to the American Civil Liberties Union for court fees and costs in the settlement of the lawsuit that redistricts the board of school trustees.
It stems from a consent decree approved by a federal magistrate in April, after the ACLU filed a motion for summary judgment that mandates the Wolf Point High School District to reduce the number of school board members to six, creating five districts with nearly the same number of residents and one at-large position.
The commissioners took the funds from county superintendent of schools Pat Stennes’ budget.
In another matter, the commissioners approved $1,700 the county recently received from the state to become a revenue line item for the DUI Task Force.
The board also approved a $25,000 home visiting grant from the Department of Public Health and Human Services as a revenue line item.
In other business, the commissioners reappointed hospital district trustees Dallas O’Connor and Jim Albertson.

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Frontier Board Oks Out-Of-District Enrollments

The Frontier School board approved several new out-of-district enrollments for the 2014-15 school year during the monthly board meeting, Thursday, June 12.
The new students, several of whom live in Wolf Point, will attend kindergarten, first, fourth and eighth grades.
The trustees also approved offering an opportunity to return to out-of-district students who attended Frontier Elementary School last year.
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of district clerk Ann Landsrud and thanked her for her years of service. She will remain on the job until June 30. A new district clerk has not been named.
In another matter, the trustees approved hiring Debbie Maples as a teacher for the coming school year. She will teach music and other classes. Maples has more than 30 years teaching experience and is the wife of incoming principal Mike Maples.
The board also approved the hiring of summer janitor Austin Wortman.
In other business, the board approved a grant from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers to fund an afterschool program.
The federal grant program provides academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours.
The board also approved policies and procedures for American Indian students. Board approval is required before the start of every school year. The policies and procedures address grievances.
In another matter, the board approved $15,144 for the Montana Schools Group Insurance Authority for liability insurance. The rate reflects a $455 increase.

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Tires Slashed On At least 18 Vehicles

A Wolf Point Police officer discovered 18 vehicles with slashed tires on and near the 200 block of Custer Street Saturday, June 14, at 6:16 p.m.
The WPPD estimates combined losses total well in excess of $1,000. The incidents remain under investigation.
“It appears one or more suspects intentionally slashed numerous tires,” Lt. Brian Erwin said.
“We made contact with 95 percent of [the vehicles’ owners] prior to the owners noticing it,” Erwin said.

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Fowler Pleads Not Guilty To New Drug Charges

A man facing previous drug-related charges was arraigned on new charges in 15th District Court, Wednesday, June 11.
Robert Dale Fowler, 60, of Wolf Point, pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, second or subsequent offense, and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia. He also pleaded not guilty to driving on a suspended or revoked license and driving with no insurance.
Bail was set at $25,000. Assistant county attorney Jordan Knudsen opposed a defense request for a reduction in bail, citing that Fowler has other similar cases.
The new charges are for offenses alleged to have occurred Friday, May 16.
Just two days earlier, Judge David Cybulski denied a motion to suppress evidence in an October 2013 case against Fowler, rejecting a defense argument that a police search of a bedroom in a Wolf Point residence where Fowler lives was unlawful.
When Fowler appeared in court on that defense motion in May, he had been free on bail since he pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs seven months earlier. Charging documents identified the drug as methamphetamine.
He was also charged at that time with misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, alleged to be marijuana, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Fowler is seeking release to a Veteran’s Administration substance abuse program.
Knudsen said he wants to present a motion that would stipulate that Fowler could not walk away from a VA facility.
Fowler’s trial date is scheduled for Sept. 18.

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Herriot Sentenced To Five Years

James Lee Herriot pleaded guilty in 15th District Court, Wednesday, June 11, to a felony charge of possession of dangerous drugs and a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia
Five other charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Herriot testified that he had methamphetamine in his possession Nov. 21, 2013.
Judge David Cybulski sentenced Herriot to five years commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections for the felony charge and six months confinement for the misdemeanor, to run concurrently.
Cybulski said the sentence not specifying confinement in the Montana State Prison gives the DOC flexibility to place Herriot in prison, a pre-release center or release him on probation.
Knudsen and defense attorney Allison Moulton both agreed to proceeding with sentencing with no pre-sentencing report.

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