Written by John Plestina
The first picture was taken Saturday afternoon when it was 73 degrees in Wolf Point and the forecast was calling for snow Monday. The second photo is Firemen's Park about Monday morning, about 40 hours after the first picture was taken. (Photos by John Plestina)
Record-setting high temperatures Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, have given way to cooler weather with high temperatures expected to rise no higher than the 40s Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with possibilities of snow and freezing rain.
Some people were clad in t-shirts and shorts in Wolf Point when temperatures reached 73 degrees. Highs Sunday were in the 60s.
The warmer weekend weather brought concerns of an ice jam and flooding on the Poplar River north of Poplar.
The National Weather Service in Glasgow reported Monday, March 16, that there were law enforcements that the ice jam had broken up and that flooding was no longer occurring.
Written by Darla Downs
The Wolf Point Walleyes Unlimited 29th annual banquet will be held Saturday evening at the Wolf Point Elks Club. The social hour starts at 5 p.m. with dinner beginning at 7 p.m.
This year’s main door prize is a Traeger grill.
There will be the usual assortment of games for youth and adults alike, as well as drawings for door prizes and other fundraising activities.
This year’s main fundraiser drawing has three prizes, with the first-drawn winners present at the banquet able to make their choice for their prize. Prizes include a TroyBilt yard and garden package, valued at over $2,600; a DeWalt home improvement package, valued at over $1,600; and $500 cash. Winners need not be present at the banquet to win.
Other chances to win for those attending the banquet include a Browning X-Bolt Composite Stalker 22-250 with 4-12x40 Vortex scope, Savage Model 11 Trophy Hunter Muddy Girl .243 and a Stoeger M3500 Max Camo 28” 12 gauge shotgun.
Also on the program is the annual award recipient announcements for Angler of the Year and Hall of Fame.
Tickets can be purchased at The Herald-News office, Western Bank or from Walleyes Unlimited members.
Walleyes Unlimited of Montana is the largest sport fishing organization in Montana with over 4,000 members. It was formed and incorporated in 1983 to inform and educate the public about the importance of warm water sport fishing in Montana and to support building and maintaining suitable warm water fish hatcheries and develop a hatchery program which can accommodate the needs of warm water fishing.
Montana Walleye’s Unlimited-sanctioned tournaments require that you be a member of WUM to fish these tournaments in order to collect prize money. WUM has no administrative authority for any tournament; they are administered by a separate board of directors.
The mission of Walleyes Unlimited Of Montana, according to their website, www.montanawalleyesunlimited.net, is:
•The organization is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, educational, and/or scientific purposes or to foster national or international sports competition under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code.
•Improve and conserve walleye and other warm water fish in suitable bodies of water.
•Organize and educate fishermen to promote walleye and warm water fishing.
•Support any worthwhile fishing, hunting, wildlife or recreational program organized for pleasure, or other non-profitable purpose.
•Develop and maintain forage fish programs in suitable bodies of water.
•Support building and maintaining suitable warm water fish hatcheries and develop a hatchery program which can accommodate the needs of warm water fishing.
•Dedicate its members by social and educational means to the conservation and propagation of warm water fish; to support true sportsmanship in a lawful and legal manner among those who fish; to promote and encourage good fellowship among sportsmen; to encourage support of fish and game laws; to work for the respect and knowledge of the just rights of property owners’ and to work for, support and encourage a close, friendly relationship between property owners and sportsmen:
•Dedicated to introducing youths to fishing; educate them to become ethical and responsible sportsmen that respect and conserve fish and wildlife, respect and preserve our public lands and public access and abide by fish and game laws and acknowledge the just rights of property owners.
•Have a positive presence in our local Chapter communities through participation in worthwhile projects and activities.
Written by John Plestina
The Fort Peck Tribal Court is now one of only five in the nation with criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians in crimes of domestic and dating violence where a tribal member is a victim.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Montana announced earlier this month that the U.S. Department of Justice selected the tribal court in Poplar to become one of only five tribal courts in the nation to qualify for a pilot project for implementation of the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which partially reversed a 1978 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that stripped Native American tribal courts of criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians on reservations.
The VAWA now permits the Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice to investigate and the tribes to prosecute non-Indians who are married to or in a dating partnership with a tribal member for domestic violence, dating violence and violations of restraining orders. Any non-Indian prosecuted under the new law must either live or work on the reservation.
Persons convicted of domestic violence in tribal court have a right to appeal to the tribes’ Court of Appeals, and if appeals are exhausted, defendants may appeal to federal court.
Prior to this change, Indian women who were beaten or otherwise abused by non-Indian husbands or partners on tribal land had nowhere to turn for protection. Tribal authorities had no authority to intervene if the perpetrator was a non-Indian and the state could not prosecute because the victim was an Indian with the crime occurring on a reservation. It was rare that the federal government would prosecute those cases.
The federal law mandates that the presiding judge, prosecuting attorney and defense attorney must be lawyers. Until recently, tribal public defender Anna Sullivan had been the only attorney on the court staff.
The tribes recently hired Stacie Crawford as a special prosecutor to for the VAWA cases. She is a tribal employee and will be able to prosecute in both tribal court and U.S. District Court.
The tribes’ executive board hired attorney Eldena Nicole Bear Don’t Walk in November. She is a private practice attorney in Saint Ignatius in western Montana and an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe.
Bear Don’t Walk, 41, has a juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law. She has about eight years experience as an attorney, is an appellate justice for the Rocky Boy’s Reservation and serves other tribes as a judge. She was also a state public defender in Montana.
The U.S. Attorney’s office will review more serious crimes of violence against women that might qualify for federal prosecution.
Fort Peck tribal attorney Rene Martell told The Herald-News that Monday, March 16, was the implementation day for the tribes’ participation in the pilot project.
“The tribes were authorized to do it on March 7,” he said.
There are no cases yet.
“We don’t know exactly what numbers we are going to have in the next year. In a large percentage of criminal cases, things settle out,” Martell said of potential plea agreements.
He said it is likely that there might be prosecutions during the coming months, but he did not know when there might be a jury trial.
Martell said non-Indians convicted of domestic violence under the pilot project would be jailed in the Fort Peck Tribal jail.
The Fort Peck Tribes joins the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota and the Umatilla Tribes of Oregon with the special criminal jurisdiction.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office congratulates Fort Peck for its hard work in earning pilot project status,” Montana U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter said in a prepared statement. “This is a significant win for public safety and tribal sovereignty for the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes.”
John Dossett, general counsel for the National Congress of American Indians, also said in a prepared statement: “From the beginning of the Violence Against Women Act tribal working group, we wanted to see Fort Peck succeed in the pilot because it is a large rural reservation with a larger criminal case load. They have provided a very good model for other large tribes and it will increase justice and safety for those reservations. Hats off to Fort Peck.”
President Barack Obama signed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on March 7, 2013, and said, “tribal governments have an inherent right to protect their people, and all women deserve the right to live free from fear.”
Obama signed a measure in December to extend VAWA’s tribal provisions to Alaska.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, American Indian women suffer from domestic violence at rates more than double national averages, and sometimes at the hands of non-Indian men.
Other tribal governments in Montana and across the nation may gain the authority to prosecute non-Indians under the VAWA.
Written by Herald-News
Smoke from a HVAC unit located on the roof of the Wolf Point Albertson’s near the entrance forced a temporary evacuation of customers and employees. The Wolf Point Volunteer Fire Department responded about 10 a.m. There was no structure fire and no damage. (Photo by John Plestina)
Written by Herald-News
This car left the gravel roadway on Swimming Pool Road 2.8 miles north of Listerud Street sometime late Monday or early Tuesday, March 16 or 17. The driver and any occupants left the scene. A passerby reported it early Tuesday. The Montana Highway Patrol responded to the scene. No other information was available Tuesday. (Photo by John Plestina)