Written by John Plestina
Forty-six years on the job, Dave Wemmer has officially retired from Columbia Grain Inc., the current operator of the grain elevator in Wolf Point, but the longtime familiar face at the elevator remains part-time.
Wemmer began working for Peavey Company in Miles City in 1968, when he was just 19 years old. After starting in the feed plant and holding nearly every position at the Miles City elevator, he worked his way up to sales representative, a position he held for 3½ years. Not liking working on commission and having to take a weekly draw to live on that he would have to repay, Wemmer transferred to Wolf Point in 1979 to become assistant manager. Two years later, he advanced to manager of the Wolf Point facility, a position he held 33 years until Sept. 19.
Does he regret retiring four years short of 50 consecutive years of employment?
“No, I’m going to enjoy it,” Wemmer said.
He said the grain dust was bothering him and he had developed an allergy to it, so he decided, at age 65, it was time to retire.
The job also required him to be outdoors for long periods.
“I just decided I don’t want to spend another winter outside,” Wemmer said.
He said he wants to travel with his wife and will continue to live in Wolf Point.
“I like gardening. I like having a real nice garden,” Wemmer said.
“I’ve had a great life. I’ve worked with a lot of great people,” he said.
Wemmer currently works half days answering phones and visiting with customers, at least for now, having passed the torch to Charles Redfield, who has become manager after working under Wemmer for 17 years at the elevator.
“He’s a hard working guy and he’ll take care of the customers,” Wemmer said.
“It was a good time for me to retire because they’re all computerized and I can’t do computers,” Wemmer said. “I’m still a country kid as far as computers go.”
The downside of his career came while dumping a truck load of grain in 1991. A loose truck ran over Wemmer, breaking both legs and crushing one.
He wanted to return to work with crutches as soon as he could.
There were many pluses d7uring this time.
“We made records with this elevator that nobody has ever done before,” Wemmer said.
Raised on a ranch in Garfield County, Wemmer moved to Miles City when he started high school and remained there until he moved to Wolf Point when he was about 30 years old.
After graduating from high school, he went to work nearly full-time at the Miles City elevator while going to college.
“It was a great job because I could get all the hours I needed,” Wemmer said.
Over the years, Wemmer turned down numerous offers from other elevator operators.
“I’m one of those guys who is loyal to the company,” he said. “To me, it didn’t seem right [to accept an offer].”
While Wemmer has not changed employers for 46 years, he has worked for several corporate bosses and seen many changes in the business.
F.H. Peavey & Company was founded in Sioux City, Iowa, in 1874; became Peavey Company in 1962; was acquired by ConAgra Foods, Inc., in 1982; acquired by Gavilon Grain in 2008; and by Japan’s Marubeni Corporation in 2013.
Written by John Plestina
DUI Court Graduation -- Fort Peck Tribal Court Judge Danna Runs Above presents a certificate of DUI Court graduation to Loyd Lambert of Poplar. (Photo by John Plestina)
The Fort Peck Tribal Court DUI Court 12-month alternative sentencing diversion program held a graduation Thursday, Oct. 2.
DUI Court uses a premise that most repeat drunk driving offenders are alcoholic and need treatment and support that might include 12-step recovery meetings. The program keeps offenders out of jail as long as they comply with the requirements of DUI Court.
Completion of the program, which includes more than one year of continuous sobriety, can expunge felony DUI convictions from a person’s record.
The Fort Peck Tribal Court DUI Court is a multi-phased alternative sentencing program for felony drunk driving offenders, which includes monitored sobriety and required classes at Spotted Bull Recovery Center. Failure to comply with the requirements result in sanctions that could include jail.
“It’s a 12-month program, but they have to reach all of the goals,” Fort Peck Tribes probation officer Courage Crawford said.
Judge Danna Runs Above presides over DUI Court. Each person in the program approaches the bench separately when their name is called. Runs Above asks them questions, including what phase of the program they are in and how their week went. If a participant did not do everything he or she was supposed to, an explanation is necessary. Excuses are only accepted if they are for legitimate reasons. An example is one man told Runs Above he has no daycare for his children and his wife works.
“How are you today?” Runs Above asked another man.
“I’m alive,” he said.
“We’re all alive,” Runs Above said, and asked him more questions.
Loyd Lambert of Poplar graduated with 13 months in the program.
Several people congratulated Lambert for completing the program and for his sobriety. Several, including an aunt, told him they were proud of him. Some told Lambert he has changed in a positive way.
With Lambert graduating, nine currently remain in the program. Six are from Poplar and three from Wolf Point.
Four graduations are anticipated in November.
The court places new people in DUI Court as necessary.
So far, the Fort Peck Tribal Court is the only court in Roosevelt County that has embraced the DUI Court program and orders participants to attend 12-step recovery meetings or other programs with a requirement for attendance verification signatures.
The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force has had several discussions since May about the possibility of 15th District Court and both justices of the peace [Wolf Point and Culbertson] participating in a DUI Court program.
Crawford said if 15th District Court and the justice courts in Wolf Point and Culbertson establish DUI Court, services for clients who are not tribal members would be available through Spotted Bull Recovery Resource Center in Poplar.
Crawford said it could easily be done and state courts would retain jurisdiction over non-tribal members.
Court administrator Rita Weeks said grant funding is available for a joint tribal/state DUI Court.
Seventh District Court which includes Dawson, McCone, Prairie, Richland and Wibaux counties uses the DUI Court program.
The nationwide DUI Court Program, modeled after the Drug Court program, has been in existence since the 1990s. Drug Court was first established in Miami-Dade County, Fla., in 1989. Today, Drug Court is used in many locations across the nation and there are hybrid DUI/Drug Court programs in use in several judicial districts in Montana.
Written by John Plestina
While attending a Lions Club meeting at the Sherman Inn two weeks ago, a man from Glasgow, who has lived in Wolf Point for more than 40 years, announced he had a presentation. Then, to my surprise, he asked me to stand. He presented me with a liquorish Scottie. He or somebody else at the meeting reminded me that with the Homecoming game with Glasgow coming up, Scotties are not “snotties,” as some Wolf Point people unaffectionately call them.
When I moved here in February and heard that the Hi-Line rival is the Scotties, I thought that was an unusual sports team name. There are only two other high schools in the United States that are Scotties. But considering that Glasgow was named for Scotland’s largest city, it makes sense.
I have heard other even more unusual team names, two of which when I was a daily newspaper sports editor in Vermont. There was a private academy that was a conference opponent for a local school that called its football and basketball teams the “Hilltoppers.” Those kids had to endure their rivals calling them “pillpoppers.” Also, a local school hosted boys’ and girls’ basketball teams from a Canadian school about 30 miles away that called its teams the “Pipers.” I asked one of the coaches how they came up with that name and she explained that it is short for “Bagpipers.” They were from Quebec and most of the minority English speaking people in their town were of Scottish decent.
Now, about the rough haired Scottish Terriers [average about 10 inches tall and not much more than 20 pounds soaking wet] that are indigenous to Scotland and long accepted by Glasgow High School as its mascot. Scotties are not to be confused with snarly ankle biters of the same size, yet their namesake football team bites.
Scotties [terriers] in Scotland of long ago were hunters of vermin; rats, foxes and other critters, but not Wolves.
Officially the Glasgow/Hinsdale/Nashua Scotties, because of co-op agreements that allow players from Nashua and Hinsdale to be Scotties, are 2-0 in the Northern 2B district and 6-0 overall. They have beaten Colstrip, Dawson, Baker, Shelby, Harlem and Malta.
While the Scotties are unbeaten so far this season, they have several less than undefeated and mediocre seasons behind them, including 9-2 in 2013, 7-3 in 2012 and 2-6 in 2010 and 11.
The Wolves’ Homecoming game opponent is one of four schools in the United States that uses the Scotties name, and the only Scotties high school team that is undefeated.
The Glasgow, Ky., Scotties are 5-2 so far this season. The Southmoreland High School Scotties in Alverton, Pa., are 4-2. The other school using the Scotties name is Highland Community College in Highland, Kan.
The Wolves are going into the Homecoming game 1-0 in Northern 2B and 3-3 overall, the best Wolf Point football record in several years, bettering 1-7 finishes each of the last three seasons for a positive turnaround for the Wolf Point football program. Hopefully, they will put some points on the board for Homecoming.
Also in the Wolves favor is that some, but not all injuries that have plagued the team this year are healed. Josh Nieskens will return Friday night after missing two games. He was injured in the Forsyth game.
After what hopefully will not be a Scottie attack Friday night, the Wolves have two remaining conference games that are likely to be winnable. Wolf Point visits Malta, Wednesday, Oct. 15; and Plentywood comes to town, Friday, Oct. 24, both at 7 p.m.
In their last game, the Scotties bit hard, demolishing Malta/Whitewater/Saco (1-1, 2-3 and 5-3 last year), leaving speculation that the Oct. 15 game could be winnable for the Wolves. Plentywood (0-2, 0-6) should be beatable for the senior night game. The Wolves beat them 25-8 in the zero week game and the Wildcats have lost every game since.
Unfortunately, when I was going to eat the Scottie, the small piece of liquorish was not in my pocket. I must have left it on the table at the Sherman Inn.
Written by John Plestina
The Centennial Committee considered entertainment, food, street dances, pie-eating contests and a dunk tank during the monthly meeting Thursday, Oct. 2.
The Centennial Celebration will be held during the 2015 Wild Horse Stampede.
Plans for the celebration include an old-fashioned “gunfight.”
The committee discussed the possibility of four nights of entertainment, three days of the Stampede parade, a likely Wolf City Rods and Rides car show and poker run and cleanup.
The committee also discussed painting a mural on the east side of the Wolf Point Elks Lodge building.
The possibility of offering cleanup for pay to Wolf Point High School sports teams was discussed.
The committee also considered inviting both U.S. Senators and the representative to Congress to speak briefly during the opening ceremony.
Billboard advertising on U.S. Hwy. 2 and possibly on Interstate 94 at Terry to attract people to Wolf Point for the celebration was also considered.
The Wolf Point City Council authorized a $20,000 donation Monday, Aug. 11, to help fund the Centennial celebration. Funding will come from oil severance money.
Written by Herald-News
Of the 15 classrooms at Southside Elementary School, there was perfect attendance 10 times during the four-day school week of Sept. 22-25. Kindergarten teachers Rebecca Fritz, Jennifer Medicine Cloud and Kathy Rauch each had one day of perfect attendance. First-grade teachers Kelli Vine and Paige Vinton each had one day of perfect attendance. Second-grade teachers Dianne Hoversland had one day and Daisha Douglas had two days. For third-grade, Maureen Piersak and Connie Bergen each had one day. Southside School recognizes Douglas’s class as the Super Class of the Week. Pictured (front row, left to right) Chase Adams, Navarjo Escarcega, Kevan Hentges, Harmony Hanson, (middle row) Audrey Weinberger, Cherish Lussier, Raquel Gautier, Rebel Mays, Aubrey Alvstad, Makeshia Burshia, (back row) teacher Daisha Douglas, Keely Blount-Henderson, Claira Ettner, Cyanne Bearhill, Ameliya Doney, Amaya Steele, Emma Martell and Jack Bow. (Submitted photo)