Written by Keith Anderson
There are hundreds of beautiful towns in the United States. And each of them has a claim to fame. Whether it’s the Fire Hydrant Capital of the world in Albertville, Ala., the giant statue of Paul Bunyan welcoming visitors to Brainerd, Minn., or the giant ice cream sundae statue in LeMars, Iowa, every city has a desire to be known for something.
It’s part of what makes living in a community so special. Everyone wants to have a sense of home, a place where they can be involved and where getting to know neighbors is a blessing, not something to be avoided.
It does take some effort to create a sense of community, though. It doesn’t happen without the investment of people who care. And it’s always more difficult when there isn’t a unifying bond, that one source that will always be there to offer a place to share ideas, offer constructive criticism, examine difficult topics, share accomplishments, remember loved ones, experience setbacks and revel in victories.
Community journalism has played this role for decades. And in the places where it exists, you will most certainly find people who care about others and are willing to invest their time and talents to improve their communities.
A few years ago a Lions club in a small town in rural Minnesota decided it would cover the expense to send any World War II veterans from the area, who were interested, to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. The one-day trip to the memorial did not cost the 100+ veterans a dime. But the planning and fund-raising for this trip took months of effort and involved hundreds of people, including school children, local businesses, parents, churches, an airline, a hospital and dozens of volunteers. It was the community’s way of thanking those proud, fragile veterans for the tremendous sacrifices performed so long ago.
The local newspaper covered the event; from the moment the idea was announced, through all the fund-raising efforts, to the day veterans boarded buses for the airport. The paper was there during the eerie silence on the airplane during the journey to our nation’s Capitol, and finally at the memorial, where old men wept, and leaned on thick slabs of granite where names of fallen soldiers were etched. A lifetime of captured emotion flowed that day as men were reduced to children and silent pride was replaced with protected tears. It was the type of story that few reporters ever have a chance to share or experience, but more importantly, it was the kind of story that parents, school children, volunteers, businesses owners, doctors and nurses and perhaps most importantly, those veterans, wanted to share.
They needed a way to experience this event that crossed generations and created strong bonds. Veterans may not have realized they needed to share their stories and accept the appreciation of an entire region — until that day. It was a perfect moment in time where a community was able to reach out and change the finals days of life for tired men who had given so much and asked for so little.
The paper was naturally the place where a community turned to share its stories, to announce its fundraisers, to share goals that had been met, to list the names of those making the trip, to thank donors, to detail travel plans, to seek volunteers, to plan welcome home events and finally to share the event through photos, letters and messages.
Newspapers have a tremendous role in small and large communities across this country. We hold elected officials accountable so they truly represent the best interests of our communities. We demand transparency in a time when often it seems much easier for some decision-makers to operate in the margins. We offer insight on political races and we seek advice from local experts who can share experience with our readers. We report on and lead discussions that seek to improve our schools and we share stories of selfless leaders who otherwise go unnoticed. We are a target when it’s necessary and a beacon in darkness. It is a tremendous responsibility, but one that journalists embrace because we know there is so much at stake when it comes to our communities.
Community journalism isn’t about paper and ink or websites and unique visitors. It’s not about awards for writing or quotes that sting.
Community journalism is a living, breathing, shared connection of people that propels us to take chances, to realize that life is not always safe, clean and tidy, but that through our connection there is plenty to celebrate and adventures to explore.
There are challenges ahead, just as there have been obstacles in the past. But there is also tremendous opportunity just waiting to be shared.
Together, we are community.
Written by John Plestina
A crime victim expressed dissatisfaction with the way a case was handled when he testified at the sentencing for Darryl Wayne Hansen in 15th District Court Wednesday, Sept. 24.
Judge David Cybulski
sentenced Hansen, of Wolf Point, to a five-year deferred imposition of sentence with credit for one day served in the Roose-velt County Jail, $10,000 fine and ordered him to pay $11,936 in restitution within two years.
Hansen has been free on bond since October, 2013.
He pleaded no contest under a plea agreement to forgery by common scheme, Wednesday, May 28. A pre-sentencing investigation and report followed.
Hansen admitted he stole eight checks from a truck his former employer owned.
His restitution includes two banks.
The victim, a Wolf Point man, testified that he was not happy with the way the case was handled.
“I was never kept in the loop. Maybe that’s the way the county attorney works. That’s not right,” the victim said.
The victim alleged that a handgun was stolen from him and never recovered.
Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s Note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to The Herald-News and The Searchlight to help keep the public informed and to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Monday, Oct. 6, Valley County Detention Center was holding two female inmates and the Fort Benton Detention Center was holding one male to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail between Tuesday, Sept. 30 and Monday, Monday, Oct. 6:
•Adam Alonzo, 31, Williston, N.D./San Bernadino, Calif., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell;
•Malinda Bibb, 31, Minot, N.D., arrested on a warrant for bail condition violation, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Brandon Bigham, 30, Minot, N.D., criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell; criminal possession of dangerous drugs;
•Scott Crain, 27, Froid, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing a peace officer and misdemeanor criminal mischief;
•Kyle Fuchs, 32, Culbert-
son, disorderly conduct, partner family member assault, assault with weapon, unlawful restraint, criminal endangerment;
•Gary Jones, 44, Madisonville, Tenn., assault on a peace officer;
•Jason Knight, 37, Spokane, Wash., criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Timothy Oglesby, 31, Hot Springs, Ark., out-of- county warrant;
•Jeremy Sepanski, 30, Plentywood, forgery, theft, obstruction of a peace officer;
•Kalob Trowbridge, 22, Wolf Point, assault on a peace officer;
•Hilrio Velasquez, 33, Riverside, Calif., possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
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 Sept. 29 and Oct. 5. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
10:57 a.m., officers responded to Wolf Point High School for a request to remove a student causing a disturbance and arrested a 12-year-old male for youth in need of supervision and disorderly conduct.
1:04 p.m., officers responded to Lucky Lil’s Casino for a report of a fight in progress and cited Brandy Schindler, 30, of Wolf Point, for simple assault.
9:50 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Anaconda Street for a report of a fight in progress and cited Ronald Brunelle, 42, Jordan Jackson, 23, and Charlie Garfield, 31, all of Wolf Point, for simple assault.
12:35 p.m., officers responded to the 100 block of Fairweather Street for a report of theft from a residence with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
4:59 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Helena Street for a report of vandalism to a vehicle with no reported permanent damage. The investigation continued at press time.
5:16 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Granville Street for a report of a restraining order violation. The investigation continued at press time.
2:55 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 500 block of Idaho Street for a report of a lost or stolen wallet with a loss valued under $1,000. The investigation continued at press time.
7:37 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 300 block of Custer Street for a report of a male causing a disturbance. While at the residence, police took a report of an assault. The suspect had left prior to police arrival. The investigation continued at press time.
Time not available, officers cited Lucas Hamilton, 18, of Wolf Point, for criminal mischief resulting from a vandalism incident that was reported Sept. 3. Charges are pending against another Wolf Point male.
1:14 a.m., officers responded to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office for a report of a male causing a disturbance and refusing to leave, and arrested Royce Birdsbill Sr., 45, of Wolf Point, for disorderly conduct.
10:04 p.m., firefighters responded to a shed fire behind a vacant residence on the 200 block of Helena Street with five firefighters. The shed was fully involved when the WPVFD arrived and was a total loss. The cause is unknown but deemed suspicious.
4:01 p.m., officers responded to the Roosevelt County Jail to assist the Northeast Montana Health Services ambulance staff.
9:50 p.m., officers responded to Fifth Avenue South and Benton Street for a report of a motor vehicle accident with no reported injuries and arrested Darrick Clancy, 37, of Wolf Point, for driving under the influence.
10:57 p.m., officers responded to Arlo’s Bar for a request to remove an unwanted person and arrested Larry Long Jr., 41, of Wolf Point, for disorderly conduct.
12:56 a.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Anaconda Street for a report of two females fighting outside Arlo’s Bar.
Chrystina Brock, 24, of Wolf Point, was arrested on a warrant.
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5: checks of wellbeing, one; civil standby, one; domestic disturbance, four; public assistance, 15; motor vehicle accidents, two; removal of unwanted individuals, 11; animal complaints, none; medical assistance, four; fire assistance, none; alarm, 10; assist other agency, two; unfounded report, 12; driving complaints, three; and school requested assistance, one.
Written by Herald-News
The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on three parcels nominated for oil and gas leasing in Roosevelt and Powder River counties for a 15-day scoping period which ends Oct. 21.
The preliminary parcel list, as well as recommended stipulations, is available on the BLM Montana/Dakotas website at http://blm.gov.llld. Information, environmental assessments and lease sale notices can also be found.