Written by Darla Downs
Jim Baldwin – Baldwin currently serves as the Interim Superintendent in the St. John/Endicott School District in St. John, Washington. Prior to this, he was Superintendent in Choteau, Montana. Baldwin also served as Superintendent, Principal, and Athletic Director in Alberton, Melstone, and Roy, Montana. He earned his Bachelor degree in Broadfield Health and Physical Education and Elementary Education from Minot State in North Dakota, and his Masters degree in Educational Administration from University of Mary in Bismark, North Dakota. Baldwin worked in the Wolf Point school district from 1985-1994 teaching English and Drivers’ Education, and as Dean of Students and Athletic Director.
Monte Silk – Silk served as the Superintendent in Corvallis, Montana from 2009-2014. Prior to this, Silk was Superintendent of Schools in Snowflake, Arizona. He served as Superintendent in Bullhead City, Arizona, and Assistant Superintendent in the Bullhead Elementary School District. He served as the Staff Development Coordinator/Trainer, Curriculum Coordinator, and Principal in Green River, Wyoming. He served as Alternative School Principal at Missoula Sentinel Alternative High School and Assistant Principal at Missoula Sentinel. He was an Assistant Principal and Teacher at Park High School in Livingston, Montana, and a Teacher at Clarke County High School in Osceola, Iowa. Mr. Silk earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Westmar College, LeMars, Iowa. He holds a Secondary Teaching Certificate in History-Government from Iowa State University. He earned his Masters of Education in Education Administration from Montana State University-Bozeman, and his Educational Specialist Degree from the University of Wyoming-Laramie.
Carl Somers – Somers currently serves as a mentor in the School Administrators of Montana Superintendent mentor program. Prior to this, Somers served as the Superintendent and Principal in Ryegate from 2010-2013. He has also served as Human Resources Director for the Browning Public Schools and for the Lower Yukon School District in Mountain Village, Alaska. He served as Superintendent in Bainville, Fort Benton, and Froid school districts. He earned his Bachelor degree from the University of Montana – Western and his Masters degree in Education from Montana State University - Bozeman.
Written by John Plestina
This 1979 Mercury Marquis, wrecked when it was driven into a tree in an alcohol-related crash in Poplar in January, remained at the entrance to the Wolf Point High School campus off Sixth Avenue South much of last week, including prom night. The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force placed the car at WPHS as a deterrent to teens driving under the influence with the support of all area law enforcement agencies and permission from principal Kim Hanks. Pictured are Wolf Point Police Chief Jeff Harada (right) and WPPD animal control and reserve police officer J.T. Szymanski. (Photo by John Plestina)
A nearly human head-size hole in the windshield with hair in the broken glass that had been ripped from the scalp of a young female driver might have been more shocking to impressionable teenage prom-goers than the staved-in front of the wrecked car.
The horrific site at the entrance to the Wolf Point Junior/Senior High School campus off Sixth Avenue South greeted students coming and going from school last week with a harsh reminder of dangers associated with the mix of alcohol and driving and potential devastating consequences. It also provided sobering prom night shock therapy Friday, April 17.
WPHS became the latest of many high school across the United States and Canada that have displayed crashed cars on prom and graduation nights as a deterrent to drinking and driving.
A sign attached to both sides of the car informed people that it was wrecked in a drunk driving crash and provided statistics about DUI crashes.
The Roosevelt County DUI Task Force came up with the idea of placing a DUI wreck at WPHS for prom week and at other local schools next year. The task force obtained permission from WPHS principal Kim Hanks to put the car on school property for prom.
The name of the driver of the car and some details about the crash remain confidential. It was a non-fatal crash.
Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice chief investigator Ken Trottier provided some information about the wrecked 1979 Mercury Marquis.
A young woman from Poplar, about four years older than current high school seniors, crashed that car into a tree on the 200 block of D Street East in Poplar during the wee hours of a weekend morning in January. The intoxicated and injured young woman left the scene of the crash, limping from the wreck leaving a trail of blood drops in a residential neighborhood.
She left hair in the broken windshield where her head went nearly through the glass and more of her hair on the dashboard.
Trottier said FPTDLJ officers bagged some of the woman’s hair as evidence because she left the scene of the crash. He said the car was not registered to the driver, but was not reported stolen.
Wolf Point Junior High eighth-grader Tra Taylor was looking in the windows of the wreck Thursday, April 16.
“Don’t drink and drive,” Taylor said.
“I can see where someone lost some hair,” he said and added that he doubted if anyone in that car survived.
With that comment, Taylor was told the driver did survive.
Several other junior high students spoke to The Herald-News shortly after in the school’s auditorium.
Some said their parents told them to make sure they saw the car.
“My mom told me that car was put there as an example of what could happen,” seventh-grader Jed Boysun said.
“I think it’s kind of good. Then people see what kind of damage they can do; that they can get hurt,” seventh-grader Daniel Kuszmaul said.
“I think the car is a good example to show that drinking and driving is bad,” seventh-grader Bryor Smith said.
“Drunk driving is bad. You could get hurt and killed,” seventh-grader Kylee Four Bear said.
“Whenever you drink and drive, you can get killed or really injured,” seventh-grader Rylee Northington said.
“Drinking and driving is bad and you could get really hurt. It’s good that people can understand how bad it is,” seventh-grader Mystic Baker said.
“I think it shows what a horrific thing drinking and driving could be and it shows what can happen if you drink and drive,” seventh-grader Jacob Weinberger said.
The DUI Task Force obtained the car with help from the Montana Highway Patrol and Richard Comes Last of Eagle Boy Towing of Wolf Point who had the car in his custody.
The task force is considering placing vehicles wrecked in drunk driving crashes at Poplar, Culbertson and Bainville high schools for prom and graduation next year.
The Roosevelt County Commissioners established the task force in April 2014 partly to raise awareness of drinking and driving. The task force includes representatives of the county commission, Wolf Point Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol, Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice, Fort Peck Tribal Court and members of the community.
Written by John Plestina
Three Wolf Point youth between 14 and 16 years old were injured, two seriously, after illegally boarded a freight train in Wolf Point after midnight Monday, April 13, and jumping off near Poplar while the train was traveling at more than 60 mph.
Roosevelt County Undersheriff John Summers said Tuesday afternoon that a 14-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy were in critical condition in a Billings hospital. They were flown from Poplar by an air ambulance.
Another 14-year-old girl was injured, but not as severely.
Authorities know the two most seriously injured teens jumped from the train while it was traveling at high speed.
“We’re guessing between 60 and 65 miles an hour,” Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice chief investigator Ken Trottier said.
“One young lady who jumped was able to walk to a residence,” he said.
The injured 14-year-old girl, who had been walking on RY Road east of Poplar, was taken to Northeast Montana Health Services - Poplar Campus with non-life-threatening injuries.
Trottier said she told officers while at the hospital that her two friends had jumped but not with her.
“The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad was contacted and the train was stopped in Williston,” Trottier said.
The train was searched and the youths were not found, leaving the likelihood that the youths jumped off the train in the Poplar area.
“One of the track inspectors for BNSF located both a male and female at 8:10 a.m. Both were alive but had significant injuries and were flown to Billings,” Trottier said.
He said he believes the boy is 16 and the girl 14.
“From what we know their plan was to hop the train in Wolf Point and get off in Poplar. We don’t know what they were going to do once they were in Poplar,” Trottier said.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Corey Reum said the Roosevelt County Dispatch Center received the initial 911 call that the youths were missing between 2 and 3 a.m.
Reum said the girl told authorities that two others jumped off the train, but not when she jumped, when a FPTDLJ officer made contact with her. She had been on walking on RR Road, about two miles east of Poplar.
Written by John Plestina
A Lions Tradition
There is a saying in Lion Clubs International: “Lions Serve.” These Wolf Point Lions cook pancakes in the Elks Club kitchen for the third annual Pancake Day, May 7, 1960. The money raised from the 1960 Pancake Day benefited the maintenance of Lewis and Clark Park (also known as Bridge Park), which the Wolf Point Lions took care of for many years. This picture was on the front page of the May 5, 1960, Herald-News. Pictured are (from left to right) Kenny Voss, John Witte (at the grill), Bob Reed, Art Zervas, Earl Maltby and Doug Mahlum. All are deceased. (Photo courtesy of Marvin Presser)
The Wolf Point Lions Club will hold its 58th annual Pancake Day breakfast fundraiser at the Elks Club Saturday, May 2.
One of the Lions’ major fundraisers, the annual breakfast has been in tradition in Wolf Point since the first Pancake Day in 1958. It typically serves between 250 to 450 people and raises between $1,000 and $1,500 after expenses to put back into the community.
The proceeds help fund several Lions’ programs, including two $500 scholarships for the male and female Wolf Point High School graduates with grade point averages behind the valedictorian and salutatorian.
The Lions have also helped fund youth baseball and soccer programs, the Lord’s Table soup kitchen, and vision and hearing programs.
Volunteers from the Lions Club and family members cook, serve, clean up and run between the kitchen and serving line delivering pancakes and little smoky sausages, and cleaning tables.
The longtime breakfast fundraiser has been held in the Elks Club most years. Trinity Lutheran Church hosted it for a few years.
The Lions held the first Pancake Day Saturday, May 17, 1958.
Breakfast will be served from 6-11:30 a.m.
Tickets are available from any Lion.
Written by Herald-News
Jhett Tiernan and Octavia Reum were named Wolf Point High School king and queen during the annual WPHS prom Friday, April 17. This year’s theme was Moonlight Masquerade. (Photo by John Plestina)