Wolf Point Herald

Meetings This Week Will Address Needs For New Tribal Housing In Wolf Point, Frazer

A public meeting will address needs for new tribal housing in Wolf Point at the Fort Peck Tribes’ new community center on Sixth Avenue South in Wolf Point, Thursday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m.
A similar meeting will be held at the senior center in Frazer, Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m.
The nonprofit Make It Right Foundation, a New Orleans, La., based charitable organization that was born out of the devastation created by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is set to soon begin building the first 20 houses in Poplar of what could be 100 new energy-efficient homes for tribal members during the coming years.
The meetings in Wolf Point and Frazer are to hear what the housing needs are in each of the communities. A meeting was held in Brockton earlier this week.
The first phase of the project is on a 5.2-acre site at the former Poplar airport along the north side of U.S. Hwy. 2.
Long-range plans include construction of a total of 100 houses in Poplar, Wolf Point, Brockton, Fort Kipp, Frazer and Oswego. Timelines for construction beyond the first 20 houses and specific locations have not been disclosed.
Make It Right Foundation’s webpage says homes it will build on the Fort Peck Reservation would be available to tribal members whose income levels are at or below 60 percent of the area median income. Homeownership will be available to tribal members and structured through a low income housing tax credit rent-to-own program with ownership transferring to tenants after 15 years of renting.

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Beach’s Mother Hoping Legislation Giving Governor Clemency Powers Frees Her Son

The mother of long incarcerated former Poplar resident Barry Beach told The Herald-News Friday, Sept. 12, she is hopeful a bill that will come before the Montana Legislature in January will help free her son.
The legislation would grant Montana governors clemency authority over inmates regardless of recommendations of the Board of Pardons and Parole, a power governors of several other states have.
Gov. Steve Bullock wrote a letter in April asking the board to focus on Beach’s worthiness for parole and not on whether he is guilty or innocent.
The parole board received about 500 letters from people supporting clemency with approximately 25 letters opposing Beach’s release.
A three-member panel of the parole board announced Wednesday, June 11, that it rejected Beach’s request for a full clemency hearing by the seven-member board.
That latest clemency bid sought to commute Beach’s 100-year sentence with no eligibility for parole based on a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision that juvenile offenders can no longer be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Beach, now 52, was 17 when the crime occurred. The board rejected that position, saying the Supreme Court decision did not apply in this case.
The recent bid for clemency marked the fourth time since 1994 that the panel declined to hold a full clemency hearing for Beach.
The draft bill passed out of the bipartisan Law and Justice Committee by a 9-3 vote, Wednesday, Sept. 3, and is expected to be heard by the full legislature in January.
“I’m hoping so. I’m hoping the full legislature will pass it. I feel it’s real sad that it will take legislation to make that change,” Beach’s mother, Bobbi Clincher of Laurel, said.
“It’s not only just for Barry, but in the future other people are going to be able to benefit from it, hopefully,” she said.
“We’re lobbying the legislature from both sides of the aisle to be sure to vote and support the legislation,” Clincher said.
Accused of the 1979 slaying of Poplar High School classmate Kim Nees and dumping her body in the Poplar River, Beach was 22 years old when he was convicted in 17th District Court in Glasgow in April 1984.
Beach has maintained his innocence for 35 years.

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Hwy. 25 Crash Injures Two

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The Montana Highway Patrol believes this pickup truck struck the rear of an SUV carrying a family, injuring two people. The crash remains under investigation.    (Photo by John Plestina)

What authorities believe was a rear-end crash on Montana Hwy. 25 near the Wolf Point airport, Friday, Sept. 19, sent two people to the hospital.
Montana Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Kent said the MHP, a Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputy and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice officers responded to the crash that was reported at 1:24 p.m.
Kent said a white 1997 Ford F150 pickup truck driven by a 29-year-old Wolf Point man struck the rear of a black 2013 Lincoln Navigator driven by a 63-year-old Brockton woman. MHP has not identified either driver.
Kent said Monday, Sept. 22, that the accident remained under investigation and citations had not been issued.
A 28-year-old woman and a 10-year-old girl were transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Wolf Point Campus where they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies, Fort Peck Department of Law and Justice officers and NEMHS EMS
volunteers responded.
The Wolf Point Volunteer Fire Department responded with several firefighters and two trucks and cleaned up a small fluid spill.
The Wolf Point Police Department’s animal control officer was called to the scene where he picked up a dog that had been riding in one of the vehicles.

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Crash That Injured Woman, Child Remains Under Investigation

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Two people were injured when a Ford Freestar minivan that was traveling westbound on U.S. Hwy. 2 crossed the eastbound lanes and struck a sign pole at Peters’ Auto, Thursday, Sept. 18. Pictured are Wolf Point Police Sgt. Ryan Michaelsen and NEMHS EMS volunteers tending to two injured people inside the minivan.   (Photo by John Plestina)

Wolf Point Police Department officers and EMS volunteers responded to Peters Auto on U.S. Hwy. 2 for a single-vehicle motor vehicle accident with two people injured, Thursday, Sept. 18.
Wolf Point Police Sgt. Ryan Michaelsen said a westbound Ford Freestar minivan crossed the eastbound lanes at 1:19 p.m. went onto the Peters’ Auto property and struck a sign pole, knocking it over.
The WPPD identified the driver as Holly Toavs, 29, of Wolf Point.
Toavs and a 4-year-old Wolf Point male were transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Wolf Point Campus were they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Michelson said the accident remains under investigation and charges are pending. He was not specific about what possible charges might be or what is suspected but he said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

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Dumpster Arson



The latest of several intentionally set fires in city-owned dumpsters was reported to the 911 dispatch center Monday, Sept. 22, at about 7:15 p.m. Wolf point Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Kahlil Wehbe hits the burning, melted dumpster with the first blast of water. Wolf Point Mayor Chris Dschaak, who is also a firefighter, said the plastic dumpsters cost the city over $300 and the total cost of the fire department’s response and dumpster replacement is about $1,000. Wehbe is the newest member of the WPVFD, which is building its membership and needs new firefighters.  (Photos by John Plestina)

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