Written by The Herald-News
The Montana Department of Transportation is seeking comments on a proposal to replace the bridge over Butte Creek on Four Buttes Road (reference post 1.2) located approximately 1½ miles north of Four Buttes in Daniels County.
The project is anticipated to extend approximately 600 feet in each direction of the bridge replacement.
The proposed work includes replacing the existing structure with a two-lane bridge on the existing alignment and upgrading signage and guardrail. During construction traffic will be maintained using existing county roads in the area.
New right-of-way and/or temporary construction permits may be required. If new right-of-way and/or temporary construction permits are required, MDT staff will again contact landowners prior to construction regarding property acquisition and temporary construction permits.
For more information, contact Glendive District administrator Shane Mintz at 406-345-8212 or the project engineer Scott Walter at 406-444-6252. For the hearing impaired, the TTY number is 406- 444-7696 or 800-335-7592, or call the Montana Relay at 711.
The public may submit written comments to the Montana Department of Transportation Glendive office at PO Box 890, Glendive MT 59330-0890 or online at www.mdt.mt.gov/mdt/comment_form.shtml. Note that comments are for project UPN 8095000. Alternative accessible formats of this information will be provided upon request.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:15
Written by Kristie Smith - Montana Budget and Policy Center
More Than 130,000 MontanansTo See A Cut In Food Assistance
Beginning Nov. 1, 131,000 people in Montana saw their food assistance benefits cut, when a temporary boost to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps) expired. This boost took effect in 2009 and aimed to strengthen the economy and ease hardship.
However, Congress chose to end the increase early, before struggling families have fully recovered. For a household of three, the early reduction will mean a loss of $29 in benefits each month, the equivalent of nearly two days’ worth of meals.
These cuts will have harmful impacts for thousands of Montana families who depend on SNAP to make ends meet during difficult times.
Genoa Carver of Billings said her family relied on SNAP after her mother experienced a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized and unable to work.
“SNAP kept food on the table while my family was struggling. It allowed my sister and me to focus on school and allowed my mom to focus on recovering. Without SNAP, I'm sure there would have been days we didn't eat,” Carver said.
Carver said that cuts to the SNAP program will have a devastating effect on families like hers.
In addition to helping feed hungry families, SNAP is one of most effective ways to stimulate a struggling economy.
“Every $1 increase in SNAP benefits generates about $1.70 in economic activity,” said Jackie Semmens, policy analyst at the Montana Budget and Policy Center. “Because SNAP benefits increase farm production, create agricultural jobs and help give business to small grocery stores and local farmers’ markets, this cut will be felt in households and small businesses across the state. The cut will total a loss of $13 million to Montana over the next 11 months.”
On top of these reductions, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation cutting $40 billion from SNAP, potentially eliminating assistance for at least 12,000 people in Montana. The legislation would provide strong financial incentives for states to reduce their caseloads, targeting families who are already struggling. This proposal, coupled with these cuts, unfairly targets millions of the most vulnerable Americans and places a massive burden on community resources.
“Food banks across the nation continue to be stretched to the limit as they struggle to keep up with unprecedented demand in a weak economy,” said Kate Devino, chief policy officer of the Montana Food Bank Network. “Our ability to meet this need became even harder today and additional cuts to SNAP would further increase hunger and hardship for many Montanans. Montana’s emergency food providers simply cannot compensate for cuts to SNAP at a time when resources are already stretched so thin. Expecting private organizations to fill the gap is unrealistic, and devastating for the families and individuals who will bear the brunt of the cuts.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:12
Written by Al Stover
Mark Alan Vaughan appeared in Montana 15th Judicial Court Oct. 30 to change his plea from not guilty to ‘no contest’ on the felony charge of theft and the misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol (second offense) and driving without a valid driver’s license.
Pleading ‘no contest’ is similar to a plea of guilty in that the defendant concedes the charges alleged without disputing or admitting guilt without offering a defense.
Vaughan had appeared in court, Oct. 16, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges listed above.
Vaughan had been arrested by the Wolf Point Police Department after officers stopped to assist him. The vehicle Vaughan was driving matched the description of a 2001 black Dodge Stratus that had been stolen, in front of the Southside Jet Wash.
Officers also found a Gerber fixed-blade knife on Vaughan’s person during the arrest. Later in the evening, officers noticed a red Chevorlet Aveo in the parking lot of the Fort Peck Community College Dumont Building with its alarm activated. The owner of the vehicle reported that a Gerber fixed-blade knife was missing from the glove box of the vehicle.
During his booking process, Vaughan showed signs of impairment while trying to perform field sobriety tests. He was transported to Northeast Montana Health Services where a blood sample was obtained and sent to the Montana State Crime Lab for analysis.
Vaughan testified to the facts of the offenses and the court accepted the plea after the judge found it was voluntary.
The defense and the prosecution filed an ‘own recognizance’ to allow Vaughan to be free while he awaits his trial. Cybulski advised Vaughan to stay clean and keep in contact with his attorney.
A pre-sentence investigation has been ordered.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 November 2013 09:54
Written by The Herald-News
Tanya Maria Hilliard appeared in Montana 15th Judicial Court Oct. 16 and pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of criminal possession with intent to distribute and to the misdemeanor charges of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
According to court documents, Roosevelt County Deputies Patrick O’Connor and Curt Holum were conducting a business check at the Gold Dust Casino in Bainville. O’Connor noticed a green pickup truck with a person inside the vehicle appearing to be attempting to hide from officers. Deputies ran the plates through dispatch. Dispatch told the deputies registered owner had outstanding warrants for his arrest. When officers returned to the vehicle, the individual in the pickup was gone.
Deputies went into the casino and made contact with William Francis Dupree and arrested him for the outstanding warrants. Holum attempted to identify the female with Dupree. The woman provided Holum with a name that was different from the name Dupree gave O’Connor. The female, identified as Tanya Maria Hilliard, was arrested for a California probation warrant.
O’Connor went back to the pickup to make sure it was secured. He searched the vehicle and found a hunting rifle in the cab and a glass marijuana pipe on the passenger seat.
Both Dupree and Hil-liard were advised of their Miranda rights. Dupree was asked about the pipe and he said it was his pipe he used to smoke marijuana and that there was a gram of marijuana in the pickup. He refused to allow O’Connor to remove the contraband. During transport, he stated that any other drugs or contraband in the vehicle belonged to Hilliard.
During Hilliard’s booking process, she had over $1,000 in her possession.
The vehicle was towed to Wolf Point and a search warrant was obtained. The vehicle was secured in the sally port of the sheriff’s office. O’Connor located a coffee can in the front passenger floor board.
When the coffee grounds were removed, there was a white plastic container that replaced the bottom of the can. The container contained a tied plastic baggie of suspected crystal methamphetamine. There was also folder paper bindle containing a white powdery substance consistent with methamphetamine. A green leafy substance, similar in appearance and odor to marijuana, was located in a pouch of the vehicle.
Judge David Cybulski advised Hilliard of her rights and the charges filed against her prior to her plea.
The defense made a motion for reduction of bond, which was denied.
Hilliard’s trial is scheduled for Dec. 12.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:59
Written by Al Stover
Adam Joseph Meyer appeared in Montana 15th Judicial Court Oct. 16.
Meyer pleaded not guilty to the felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol (fourth offense) and to misdemeanor charges of displaying license plates assigned to another vehicle, failure to provide proof of compliance of insurance and fleeing or eluding a peace officer.
According to court documents, the Roosevelt County 911 Center received a phone call from a woman who reported a possible drunk driver in a white Ford Bronco in the Wolf Point area. Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Deputy Clay McGeshick responded to the area and found the vehicle and observed it swerving all over the road.
McGeshick activated his lights and siren, but the vehicle did not stop and continued toward Rodeo Road.
The Bronco nearly hit the ditch several times. It finally stopped when it arrived at VR 2 Drive. The deputy told the driver, identified as Meyer, to get out of the vehicle. Meyer exited the car and stumbled following directions. McGeshick ordered the driver to the ground and placed him in handcuffs.
McGeshick noticed the smell of alcohol coming from Meyer. He asked the defendant why he did not stop and Meyer said he did not want to pay for towing and wanted to drive the vehicle to his father’s house. When the deputy asked the defendant how much he had to drink, Meyer said he had a six pack of beer.
McGeshick asked Meyer if he would perform the standard field sobriety tests. Meyer was hesitant at first, but he complied.
McGeshick placed Meyer under arrest for driving under the influence. Meyer was transported to the Roosevelt County Detention Center by Officer Heather Daniels of the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice. After Meyer refused to provide a breath sample, McGeshick applied for a telephonic search warrant to obtain a sample.
Meyer was transported to the Northeast Montana Health Services by Officer Drew Acheson of the Fort peck Department of Law and Justice. A blood sample was taken, sealed and sent to the Montana Crime Lab.
Judge David Cybulski advised Meyer of his rights and the charges filed against him, prior to the defendant’s plea.
The defense made a motion for release on own recognizance. Attorney Mark Epperson explained that Meyer has lived in Wolf Point for 15 years and currently works for Mr. Wire Electric, which shows that Meyer has ties to the community. The prosecution objected given the nature of the charges and the defendant’s history; however, Cybulski reduced the bond to $5,000.
Meyer’s trial is scheduled for Dec. 12.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:29