Written by John Plestina
Nearly two years after four individuals executed a robbery of Northern Lights Casino, two men accused in the case were arraigned in U.S. District Court in Great Falls.
Donelle Parker, 43, and Olyn Payne, 35, both of Wolf Point, pleaded not guilty to all charges during an arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston in Great Falls Tuesday, March 10.
A federal grand jury recently indicted both.
Both men are charged with robbery and face maximum sentences of 20 years in federal prison if convicted, $250,000 in fines and three years supervised release.
Patrick Beauchamp, 35, of Wolf Point was also indicted, but has not yet been arraigned.
A fourth man, John Myrick, 43, of Wolf Point was indicted on a federal robbery charge in August 2014.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced Jan. 13 to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons with court recommendation that he participate in a Bureau of Prisons’ 500-Hour Residential Drug Treatment Program in Oregon, if eligible. He was also ordered to pay $1,358 restitution.
The Herald-News reported in June 2013, that two men wearing masks assaulted a 19-year-old female cashier with a bat inside the casino and stole over $1,000.
The Wolf Point Police Department, Roosevelt County Sheriff Office, Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice and Montana Highway Patrol all responded to a 911 call. Officers arrested the four men that had fled in a car shortly after the robbery.
The injured cashier was transported by ambulance to Northeast Montana Health Services - Wolf Point Campus, treated and released.
Written by Herald-News
Shopko has announced that the former Alco store in Wolf Point has completed its much anticipated conversion to Shopko Hometown and will celebrate with a grand opening next week. The store, located at 600 U.S. Hwy. 2 East will open to the public Sunday, March 22.
The entire community is invited to join the Shopko team and community leaders for the grand opening and ribbon cutting event on Friday, March 27, at 8:45 a.m.
The grand opening event will be highlighted by a $2,500 check presentation to Wolf Point High School from the Shopko Foundation prior to the ribbon cutting.
“At Shopko Hometown, we want to help make each of our store communities a great place to live. By supporting schools and 501c3 organizations, we contribute to the continued well-being of the community,” Shopko CEO Peter McMahon said.
In addition, the first 100 customers in line will receive a free $10 Shopko gift card. A number of prizes will also be given out through “register to win” events. Customers will also be encouraged to sign up for Shopko’s loyalty rewards program to receive exclusive offers, including a $10 off coupon on their birthday and membership anniversary, additional coupons each year and advance notice of sales. Every customer who uses their loyalty member card on the day of the grand opening will be entered into a drawing for a $1,000 shopping spree. Refreshments will be served inside the store.
“There has been a great deal of excitement in the community through the conversion process we’re excited to finally be bringing the Shopko Hometown experience to Wolf Point,” McMahan said. “I’m confident that the community will love what they see and appreciate the great merchandise selection, brands, value and service. We look forward to being part of the local community for years to come.”
Shopko Hometown combines Shopko’s strong reputation for customer service with a broad and dynamic offering of strong national brands and high-value private label brands of apparel, home furnishings, toys, consumer electronics, seasonal items and lawn and garden products — all in attractive, well laid out, easy-to-shop store format.
The store will be open Mondays through Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 pm.
Shopko is owned by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., a leading private investment firm focused on leverage buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies.
Founded in 1962 and headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC is a $3 billion retailer that operates 328 stores in 23 states throughout the Midwest, Mountain, North Central and Pacific Northwest regions. Retail formats include 131 Shopko stores, providing quality name-brand merchandise, great values, pharmacy and optical services in small to mid-sized cities; 5 Shopko Express Rx stores, a convenient neighborhood drugstore concept; 4 Shopko Pharmacy locations; and 188 Shopko Hometown stores, a smaller concept store developed to meet the needs of smaller communities.
Written by John Plestina
The third of a trio of Wolf Point men charged in a marijuana growing and distribution case has withdrawn previously entered not guilty pleas and entered a plea averting a jury trial in 15th District Court, Wednesday, March 11.
Pryce Paulson, 20, pleaded no contest to a single charge of criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs.
The state has companion cases against Dougal McMorris, 19, and Dustin Kinzie, 20.
McMorris withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas to several charges, Wednesday, Feb. 25, and pleaded guilty to a single count of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, which was possession of the opiate pain killer Vicodin for which he did not have a prescription.
Kinzie withdrew several not guilty pleas on Feb. 11 and pleaded guilty to a single charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
All three were arraigned Nov. 12.
At that time, McMorris pleaded not guilty to criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to sell, criminal production/manufacture of dangerous drugs, criminal endangerment and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.
Kinzie pleaded not guilty to criminal production/manufacture of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal endangerment.
Also in November, Paulson entered a not guilty plea to the single felony count of criminal production or manufacture of dangerous drugs.
Kinzie, McMorris and Paulson were three of six people arrested following a joint operation by the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Peck Tribes Department of Law and Justice that resulted in county and tribal officers entering Kinzie’s residence on the 400 block of Custer Street, across from Southside Elementary School with a search warrant on Oct. 14.
The officers found five marijuana plants, growing equipment, about one half pound of marijuana packaged in one-ounce baggies in a backpack, two ounces of marijuana in a black air vault, several pipes and bongs, several digital scales, small unopened jeweler’s bags that are commonly used to package drugs, marijuana seeds, paraphernalia, a .25 caliber pistol, an empty box and receipt for a Mossberg pump shotgun, $783 in cash and marijuana growing equipment, according to the charging documents. There was a young child present in the house.
Criminal possession with intent to sell, gun complicity with a drug crime, felony child abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia charges were filed in Fort Peck Tribal Court in the same case against Arlyn “A.J.” Headdress Jr., Tyler Nygaard and Nevaeh Yellowrobe, all of Wolf Point.
Assistant Roosevelt County Attorney Jordan Knudsen said in November that Montana law allows for a separate felony charge for dealing drugs near a school.
Montana has a drug-free school zone law with a prohibition on sales and distribution of illegal drugs within 1,000 feet of any school.
So far, no federal charges have been filed against anyone charged in the case.
Written by John Plestina
The Wolf Point City Council discussed the likely scenario that they would have to authorize spending between $75,000 and $100,000 for an engineer to develop a capital improvement plan, which must be in place to obtain some grants, during the monthly council meeting March 16.
Engineer Jed Kirkland of Interstate Engineering of Nashua presented a report detailing what a plan would consist of.
“This would be a comprehensive plan. We can look at every department within the city,” Kirkland said.
“We look at everything. Your buildings to see when they need to be replaced; your pool, your streets, your landfill,” he said.
Kirkland said the plan would let the council know where rates need to be set and assist in the annual budgeting process.
Mayor Chris Dschaak called the cost of the plan “substantial.” He said the council would have to find a mechanism to fund it.
City clerk-treasurer Marlene Mahlum asked Kirkland if the plan could be completed in phases. He responded that it could.
Written by John Plestina
The future of the Wolf Point Village apartment complex project remained in limbo when Great Northern Development Corporation housing specialist Brianna Vine informed the Wolf Point City Council Monday, March 16, that she had not heard from developer Jonathan Reed of Colorado, Springs, Colo., for more than a month.
“We’re pretty much at a standstill right now. We have not heard from the developer for more than a month,” Vine said.
She said GNDC is still working on the project.
Mayor Chris Dschaak said he had not heard from Reed for more than a month, either.
Two rounds of construction bidding during 2014 came in over budget.
The project was $450,000 to $500,000 short, Reed told The Herald-News in October.
Reed also said he had received 26 letters of support from Wolf Point residents.
Plans remain in place to build four one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units on the north side of Wolf Point, within walking distance of Borge Park, the swimming pool, Northside Elementary School and the Northeast Montana Health Service - Wolf Point Campus.
The complex will be targeted to families with incomes between 40 and 60 percent of the area median income. A family of four with a household income between $23,240 and $38,860 would qualify for these apartments. Rent will range from $354 to $767 monthly.
The apartments will include energy efficient air conditioning, heating and appliances and single-car garages. The complex will include common area with barbecue, gazebo, computer learning center and library.