Written by John Plestina
With 54 families living outside the Frontier School District, most in Wolf Point, having to transport their children to and from school because of a shortage of bus drivers, the school board addressed filling the positions as soon as possible, Monday, Oct. 6.
A bus driver retired at the end of the last school year, leaving a void that the district could not fill. Bus drivers work part-time split shifts unless they do other jobs at the school.
The school district has only been able to provide bus transportation within the Frontier district.
Adding to Frontier’s woes, Mike Maples, who was hired in April to become the new principal at the start of the current school year, resigned. He relocated to Wolf Point and began working during the late summer, as did his wife, music teacher Debbie Maples. Both resigned due to health reasons in late September and will return to Tennessee, where they are from.
School board member James Jerome and teacher Sheryl Estes also both resigned in September. The reasons for those resignations were not stated.
It appears that the bus driver position is now filled, as well as a new principal and teacher, pending background checks for new hires.
Jack O’Neil, a veteran principal with more than 30 years experience in Colorado and South Dakota, was recently promoted to principal. O’Neil was hired as clerk and business manager over a year ago.
The board approved the hiring of: Tina Strauser, long-term substitute teacher [replacing Debbie Maples for the current school year]; Bif Loucks, substitute for all personnel; Heather Snell, bus driver and substitute for all personnel; and Jeremy Azure, grades five and six boys’ basketball coach. All are pending background checks.
The school board meeting, Monday, Oct. 6, was held early because of the need to fill positions and replaces the regular meeting that had been scheduled for Monday, Oct. 13.
Following the adjournment of the meeting, the board reconvened the meeting to appoint Bill Pew to fill an open position on the board. Pew will serve until the school election in the spring, at which time he would need to run for election.
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 10.
Written by Herald-News
The Highway 2 Association fall meeting has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 17, at the Cottonwood Inn in Glasgow.
Montana Department of Transportation director Mike Tooley will be the speaker.
“We are pleased that Director Tooley will be the guest speaker as he is our connection to Governor Steve Bullock,” Highway 2 Association president Bob Sivertsen said.
The Highway 2 Association has been a strong proponent of 4 For 2 [four lanes on U.S. Hwy. 2] since its inception in 2001. The purpose is to achieve the upgrading of U.S. Hwy. 2 to enhance economic development and improve safety.
“An adequate transportation system has never been more important than now. Energy development and a strong ag sector has increased traffic dramatically on Hwy. 2,” Sivertsen said. A prime rib sandwich with grilled asparagus, potatoes, salad and dessert, will be served at noon. There will be a fee for the meal.
Those attending should RSVP by Monday, Oct. 13, by calling 262-2346.
More information is available at www.Hwy2MT.org.
Written by Herald-News
Fall Clean Sweep continues through Saturday, Oct. 11. Northside Elementary School Junior Optimist Litter Critters (left to right) Penny Comes Last, Laci Ackerman and Alexis Baker remind Wolf Point residents that a few people working for less than an hour can make a big difference in the appearance of our community. They clean trash after school once or twice each week. (Submitted photo)
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.