Written by John Plestina
Construction of a second grain terminal at Macon junction is in the early stages with completion scheduled for July 2016. (Photo by John Plestina)
With the addition of an additional terminal allowing for one million bushels of grain storage, the CHS facility at Macon Junction east of Wolf Point will accommodate about 100,000 bushels an hour.
CHS Wolf Point general manager Mark Dreesen confirmed that a second grain terminal is under construction and said the anticipated completion date for the project is July 2016.
“When finished, load-out should be about 100,000 bushels an hour,” Dreesen said.
“It will be a state-of-the-art computerized facility. It should help us stay relevant for the future,” he said.
Two rigs are currently core drilling west of the existing terminal.
“The majority of our locations are almost always in some stage of enhancement — reviewing, planning or in process. Macon, in particular, has been doing ongoing improvements for a couple of years now,” CHS spokesperson Lisa Graham-Peterson said.
“This one [at Macon junction] has site activity, but since it isn’t scheduled for completion until next summer, I think of it as being in its early stage,” she said.
“We are adding a million bushels of grain storage with two 20,000 bushels-per-hour grain dumps. When finished, load-out should be about 100,000 bushels an hour — a tremendous time improvement for farmers delivering to this location, especially during peak seasons,” Graham-Peterson said.
Inver Grove Heights, Minn., headquartered CHS is a diversified global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States focusing on energy and grains.
Written by Angela Rose Benson
Over 60 community members gathered at the town hall in Culbertson Thursday, June 11, to weigh in on the pros and cons of a proposed radioactive waste disposal landfill.
The proposed landfill would be located seven miles north of Culbertson and be situated on 149-acres of a 160-acre site on the west side of Montana Hwy. 16 near 18 homes located within a two-mile radius of the proposed site.
“The biggest concern is that this landfill is in their backyard. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality says it is going to be a contained landfill with no leakage, but 40 to 50 years from now, we do not know what it will be like,” said Gordon Oelkers, mayor of Culbertson.
If the MDEQ issues a five-year permit to Clay Butte Environmental of Minnesota, the company would be able to accept low radiation soil, salt water waste and petroleum dirt at a capacity of some 10-million cubic yards.
Oelkers stated he is not concerned about the science behind the landfill, but rather, is concerned about the close proximity to a largely populated area.
“I would say relocate the landfill three to four miles into the prairie, as opposed to around those homes, and move it away from the highway where people want to live,” he said.
Several attendees were also concerned with the potential for fumes coming off the landfill that might lower those residents quality of life. At the meeting, the MDEQ addressed this issue citing that any fumes present should not reach the residential home sites.
The MDEQ stressed that ground water and surface water would be contained safely through proper soil liners and disposal procedures. They would periodically test for radiation levels to ensure they are not exceeding maximum thresholds.
Oelkers acknowledged there is always a benefit to bringing more businesses to the area, noting, the landfill would bring two or more employees that would be paying taxes. He noted there are always economic benefits that come with new businesses.
“Are the drawbacks bigger than the benefits? That’s the question,” he said.
If the MDEQ determines the landfill would be safe to the environment, they will issue a permit within the next 30 days. Clay Butte Environmental has up to five years to get the landfill up and running. Oelkers noted that with little drilling currently taking place, there would not be a large demand for its use.
At this time, no further meetings are slated on this issue.
Written by Herald-News
A long-standing tradition in Frazer, the annual Red Bottom Celebration will be held Thursday through Sunday, June 19-21.
With more than 100 years of celebrating native culture and traditions through dancing, food, crafts and fellowship, the annual pow wow is said by many to be the oldest on the Fort Peck Reservation. Stories vary about how and when Red Bottom started, but organizers of the event said it dates to either 1902 or 1903. Some people say annual powwows in Frazer date to the 1880s.
The Red Bottom Celebration will be held along U.S. Hwy. 2, east of Frazer, beside the highway.
The Montana Office of Tourism took pictures of native dancing at the Red Bottom Celebration last year for use in a statewide tourism brochure
The public is welcome.
Written by John Plestina
Wolf Point School trustees approved the purchase and installation of two school crossing signs with pedestrian activated beacons for Northside Elementary School Tuesday, June 9.
Northside principal Hannah Nieskens brought the proposal to the board as a safety issue for children needing to cross Fourth Avenue North.
The trustees voted to obligate funds for the project pending more information.
The Wolf Point City Council gave final approval for installations of the crossing signs and beacons to the school district with the caveat that the WPSD pay the entire $8,878 cost of equipment and installation.
Nieskens told the board the money is available.
The equipment would be purchased from Traffic Safety Corporation of Sacramento, Calif.
She said the solar powered flashing beacon would be push button-activated and visible from more than a block away.
Nieskens cited traffic that does not always stop when children are present in the crosswalks and speeding motorists are a concern.
“If the cars would just slow down, we wouldn’t have to do this,” Nieskens said.
In other business, the board approved independent contractor agreements for: Nancy Jos-
celyn, school psychologist services, $450 hourly per evaluation and mileage reimbursement, $75 per hour for other special education services; Nancy Braaten, occupational therapist services, $590 per four hours.
In another matter, the board approved the hirings pending satisfactory background checks of Jana Elliott and June
Petrik as Northside School summer school substitutes.
The following resignations were accepted: Linda Cacopardo, junior high science teacher; Michael Contreras, junior high and high school assistant custodian; Esther Rodgers, Northisde School assistant custodian; and Rebecca Fritz, Southside School teacher.
The trustees also appointed incoming district superintendent Gary Scott as authorized representatives for all school district projects and Title IX representative.
The board also approved the renewal of the district’s property and liability insurance for the next school year for $87,881 with the Montana Schools Group Insurance Authority, an increase of $4,053 from the last renewal.
In another matter, an unnamed district employee was terminated following a closed executive session. No other information was given.
Written by John Plestina
School district trustees gave away Chelly Harada’s job as Wolf Point High School’s speech and drama coach the past three years, despite her telling the board she wants to continue during the monthly school board meeting Tuesday, June 9.
Harada had not applied to be rehired when the position was recently advertised in The Herald-News and The Journal.
Harada said the students that participate in the speech and drama program want her to fight to retain the position.
She said she knows the students on the team and knows their needs.
“I hope you will reconsider putting me back in the position because that’s what the kids want,” Harada told the board.
Superintendent Joe Paine said only former school board member Jaronn Boysun applied when the speech and drama position was advertised.
“The other person [Harada] who was here did not apply,” Paine said.
The board approved Boysun by a 5-0 vote. District 1 trustee Corey Reum was absent from the meeting.
Boysun and Harada are both parents of students that participate in speech and drama.