Written by Herald-News
Abby Julio of Wolf Point walks her two Dachshunds along Main Street Friday, Oct. 16. Julio has taken Dudley (on the right) trick or treating for six years. The other wiener dog, Toven, is a more recent addition to Julio’s household. She said both will be in costume for trick or treat this Halloween. (Photo By John Plestina)
Written by Eric Killelea
Members of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes must soon choose among five candidates to replace the current chairman.
Chairman AT “Rusty” Stafne plans to retire on Monday, Oct. 26, after serving his two-year term. He was elected chairman in 2013 by defeating incumbent Floyd Azure and former chairman John Morales.
Azure and Morales are two of five candidates now vying for chairman.
Also on the ballot are Councilman Garret Big Leggins, Larry Dean Wetsit and Barry Bighorn Sr., according to the list of candidates the tribes released.
The 2015 election is scheduled on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Winners will be announced that night and take their oaths of office Nov. 2 during a scheduled tribal board meeting.
Also on the ballots, incumbents Vice Chairwoman Patt Iron Cloud and Sgt.-at-Arms John Weeks compete for their seats.
Twelve of the 12 tribal board members are also seeking re-election. A total of 51 enrolled tribal members filed to run for the board seats.
In 2013, about 2,000 of 3,900 registered voters cast ballots, according to The Associated Press. Thirty-six tribal members filed for board seats. Several incumbents retained their seats, while six new candidates were freshly elected. Top vote-getters included Stacey Summers with 773 votes, Grant Stafne with 750 votes and Terry Rattling Thunder with 715 votes.
Also, voters passed a referendum to elect Tribal Court judges. They were previously hand-picked by the tribal council.
Associate Judge Dana Runs Above and Stacie Crawford are competing for the vacant position of Chief Judge. Associate Judge Marvin Youpee, Jr. is competing against seven candidates for his position.
Written by John Plestina
Holiday plans in Wolf Point are beginning to take shape with the fourth annual Northeast Montana Health Services Charitable Foundation Festival of Trees raffle set for Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m., at the Wolf Point Elks Club on the corner of Main Street and Third Avenue South.
The NEMHS Charitable Foundation is beginning to solicit donations of trees and wreaths. The plan is to have donated trees displayed around the dance floor on the main level at the Elks for viewing for three weeks beginning Nov. 20.
This year will be the second year the fundraiser for the NEMHS Charitable Foundation has been held at the Elks. The event was held in 2012 and 2013 in the former Bryan’s store location that is now the home of Gysler’s Furniture and Appliance.
Last year, the third annual Festival of Trees and the first Wolf Point Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture “Get Lit In Wolf Point Festival of Lights and Stroll” were held the first Friday in December and were a combined success.
The chamber asked downtown businesses to turn on Christmas lights at 5:30 p.m., so the public could stroll the downtown area, viewing the lights and holiday displays. The Sherman Park gazebo and large tree were lit up. It was a cold night, but chili was available from the Wolf Point Lions Club and hot chocolate from the Junior Optimist Club, both in the gazebo.
The chamber event replaced the Festival of Lights Parade that was discontinued because of diminishing participation in recent years. The combined events, held on the same night, kicked off the 2014 holiday season in a new direction.
It remains undetermined at the beginning of this week if part of or the entire chamber event will happen this year.
Aaron Kurokawa, who is heading up the chamber’s holiday plans, said last week that there are no concrete answers yet but hoped “Get Lit In Wolf Point Festival of Lights and Stroll” would happen again in some capacity.
He also said it remained unknown whether the event, if held, would happen on Dec. 4 or Dec. 11.
It also remained unknown whether there would be a photographer available for pictures of children with Santa Claus, who, last year, listened to requests from delighted children as they sat and smiled for the camera. Pictures were available the previous four years.
Last year, Santa and Mrs. Claus made their first visit to Wolf Point at the Elks during the Festival of Trees, along with another holiday favorite, Dr. Seuss’ Grinch walking around, greeting the young and not-so-young, handing out fun items for the children, and posing for pictures with admirers.
The NEMHS EMS and Marketing Department handed out complementary trinkets, toys and coloring books.
“It would be nice if someone could step up and have a Santa or do a Santa thing,” Kurokawa said. “Seventy-five percent of the people were downtown because of Santa.”
“I’ve let the chamber know that Santa pictures are up for grabs that night if anyone wants it,” said Beth Pickthorn, executive director of the nonprofit NEMHS Charitable Foundation.
“Any other group or organization might want to do it,” she said.
The Festival of Trees started in 2012 and had 15 trees on display last year.
“However many trees we get donated to us. I hope to hit 20 at least this year and make it bigger and better,” Pickthorn said.
All proceeds from the Festival of Trees go toward medical services and equipment for the Wolf Point and Poplar hospitals of Northeast Montana Health Services. More information is available at www.nemhscharitablefoundation.org.
Written by Herald-News
The Roosevelt County-Fort Peck Tribes 911 Center received 738 domestic violence related calls from October 2014 through this September. That is an average of more than 60 calls per month, or two calls per day.
October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Roosevelt County Health Department says domestic violence needs to be seen for what it is — violence — and never accept it as something that is OK.
According to the RCHD, humans tend to gravitate to what is familiar, even if that familiarity is abuse and our community has a responsibility to each generation to teach young men and women what a healthy relationship looks like.
Anger should be discussed, and not expressed with violent words or actions. Unfortunately, 50 percent of men who frequently assault their wives also frequently abuse their children, according to evefoundation.org. Studies suggest that between 3.3 and 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually, also according to evenfoundation.org. These statistics are startling and it could be argued that up to 10 million children are being set up to become either victims or perpetrators of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a cycle that can be broken.
Domestic violence tends to be a silent crime. Only about 55 percent of all domestic violence incidents are reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Often called a crime of shame and guilt, domestic violence victims are embarrassed and ashamed by their abuse. Often they protect their abuser and blame themselves for causing the abuse. Abusers are often remorseful and promise to never do it again — until the next time.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than three women and one man are “loved to death” by their intimate partners in this country every day.
Abuse is about power and control, and never about love.
If you, or someone you know, are a victim of domestic violence, help is available.
Victims should know that abuse is not their fault and there is no need for silence.
Immediate help during an incident of domestic violence is available from the Wolf Point Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice by calling 911.
The Family Violence Resource Center in Wolf Point is available for help at 653-1494. After hours, victims or people knowing victims of domestic violence may call 911 to be connected to a victim advocate.
The Domestic Abuse Hotline is also available by calling (800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visiting their website at www.thehotline.org.
Teens can call the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at (866) 331-9474, or visit their website at www.loveisrespect.org.
Written by Eric Killelea
U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., attends a ceremony honoring the late Michael Bell of Wolf Point, a former Navy SEAL. (Submitted photo)
A delegation of officials accompanied by U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., arrived in Wolf Point last Tuesday to honor Navy SEAL Michael Bell, a member of the Fort Peck Tribes who was stabbed to death here in 2006.
“This was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Ryan, also a SEAL, said in a statement. “Michael Bell was a warrior’s warrior. He makes me proud as a Montanan and a Commander.”
Zinke, of Whitefish, who has recently shown an interest in running for Speaker of the House, made a three-day visit across the Hi-Line last week stopping at cities including Glasgow, Wolf Point, Culbertson and
Another Navy commander and tribal leaders from Montana and North Dakota greeted Zinke and presented the Bell family with a folded flag and pin.
In a statement, Zinke’s office said the congressman was a SEAL instructor who helped see Bell through Basic Underwater Demoliton Seal training. Bell’s father presented Zinke with a traditional name – Great SEAL Leader – along with a name song and a handmade quilt.
“I am humbled by the love and friendship I was welcomed with by Ted Bell and the rest of the Fort Peck family,” Zinke said in a statement. “They can always count on me. The quilt will hang in my office in [Washington] D.C. to remind me every day of every man and woman who puts on the uniform to defend our country.”
The Associated Press reported in April 2006 that Bell, 22, had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was home in April 2006 visiting family and friends here between deployments. Nearly 400 people had packed the local high school gym for the funeral. Some 20 Naval members walked the mile and a half from the high school gym where the funeral was held to the Wolf Point Cemetery.
A federal jury later found Gerald Littlehead Jr., of Wolf Point, not guilty of second-degree murder but guilty of voluntary manslaughter. Bell got into an argument with Littlehead and his brother, David Zephier, at a local bar. Bell threw a punch at Zephier and Littlehead came from behind and stabbed him, according to The Associated Press. Bell was flown to a Billings hospital, where he died during surgery.
Littlehead was sentenced to 10 years and released in April, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons under the U.S. Department of Justice.