Written by Herald-News
Several people appeared for law and motion hearings before District Judge David Cybulski in 15th District Court Wednesday, July 15.
Daniel Amos Bridges, 39, of Wolf Point withdrew previously entered not guilty pleas and pleaded guilty to felony forgery. Other charges will be dismissed at a later date.
Bridges, who had been free on bond, did not appear for a scheduled appearance on May 13 and has been lodged in the Roosevelt County Jail, held on a criminal contempt warrant.
Kyle Travis Crusch, 51, of Bainville was sentenced to seven years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections, all suspended, with 29 days credit for time served and a $10,000 fine for felony criminal endangerment.
A felony charge of assault with a weapon was dismissed.
Crusch will have to pay a public defender fee of $800.
He originally pleaded not guilty to assault with a weapon, intimidation, felony criminal endangerment and disorderly conduct during an arraignment in August. He has been free on bail.
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office reported in July 2014 that Crusch was alleged to have been in a bar fight and that a complainant said Crusch had a shotgun outside a bar.
Cybulski ruled against Joseph Frederick, 43, of Poplar in an evidentiary hearing, finding that a Montana Highway Patrol trooper had probable cause for a traffic stop.
Frederick was arraigned in March and pleaded not guilty to felony driving under the influence - fourth offense, driving with a suspended or revoked license, operating without liability insurance and failure to stay on the right side of the roadway.
Jason Fridge, 30, of Williston, N.D., was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to felony driving under the influence, fourth or subsequent offense and a misdemeanor stop sign violation.
Randy Knoble, 37, of Froid was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to felony driving under the influence - fourth or subsequent offense and driving a motor vehicle while privilege to do so is suspended or revoked and speeding on non-interstate highway, exceeding the day limit of 70 mph, both misdemeanors.
Randall Lehner, 55, of Wolf Point failed to appear for a hearing to rescind the appointment of the public defender.
He pleaded not guilty to felony partner or family member assault June 24.
The Wolf Point Police Department reported Lehner’s arrest at the Homestead Inn on April 12 following a report of a domestic dispute.
Charles Pinner, 59, Detroit, Mich., was granted a bond reduction from $50,000 to $5,000 with a requirement that he have a GPS monitoring system before he is released, have standard conditions and to stay in contact with his attorney at all times.
Pinner is an Amtrak employee and is alleged to have committed a kidnap and sexual assault onboard an Amtrak train that was passing through Roosevelt County April 19. He is charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexual intercourse without consent, both felonies.
Jamie Vert, 36, of Minot, N.D., was sentenced to five years in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections and a $10,000 fine, all suspended, for felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested her, Brandon Bigham, 30, and Melinda Bibb, 31, all of North Dakota, following a traffic stop U.S. Hwy. 2 near Bainville Sept. 20, 2013.
Methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and weapons [no firearms] were found in the vehicle, according to charging documents.
Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s Note: The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office distributes an inmate roster each week with charges and communities of residence to The Herald-News and The Searchlight to help keep the public informed and to illustrate that the jail has been dealing with overcrowding issues in the 17-bed facility.)
As of Monday, July 27, 10 inmates were housed in the Roosevelt County Jail. Fort Benton Detention Center was holding one male and the Valley County Detention Center was holding four females to alleviate overcrowding.
The RCSO reported that the following individuals were incarcerated at the jail between Monday, July 20, and Monday July 27:
•Amos Bridges, 39, Wolf Point, criminal contempt warrant;
•Daryl Buckelk, 47, Culbertson, driving without a valid license, speeding and seatbelt violation, bonded out;
•Betty Cantrell, 21, Poplar, driving under the influence and driving without a valid license, transferred to Valley County;
•Jason Daugherty, 37, Wolf Point, criminal possession of dangerous drugs [two counts], criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, attempted assault on a peace officer or judicial officer and resisting arrest;
•Tyrule Davis, 43, Los Angeles, Calif., assault on peace officer or judicial official;
•Jason Fridge, 30, Williston, N.D., driving under the influence of any drug;
•Matthew Gustafson, 29, Wolf Point, out-of-county warrant, bonded out;
•Kevyn Johannesson, 26, Williston, N.D., fleeing or eluding a peace officer, criminal endangerment, obstructing a peace officer;
•Nicodemus Kupka, 19, Watford City, N.D., criminal possession of dangerous drugs and out-of-county warrant;
•Joseph Laturell, 52, Bainville, partner or family member assault, sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated kidnapping;
•Morgan Long, 29, Wolf Point, out-of-county warrant, bonded out;
•Lawrence Pederson, 53, Wolf Point, driving under the influence, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and speeding, bonded out;
•Cody Twomey, 21, Wolf Point, probation violation;
•Amanda Walton, 32, Poplar, violation of a protective order, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of a child, transferred to Valley County Detention Center;
•Monte Walton, 35, Poplar, endangering the welfare of a child, violation of a protective order, first offense, criminal possession of dangerous drugs and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia;
•Carroll Wells, 34, Fairview, theft and burglary.
Written by Herald-News
(Editor’s Note: The following blotter is a partial list of activities involving the Wolf Point police Department and Volunteer Fire Department between July 20 and 26. All those arrested or cited are presumed innocent.)
9:11 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Johnson Street for a report of a domestic disturbance with minor injuries to a Wolf Point female. Charges are pending against a Wolf Point male.
1:25 a.m., firefighters responded to a grass fire on the 300 block of East Dawson Street.
7:21 a.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Alder Street for a report of vandalism to the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
5:14 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Dayton Street for a report of trespass with no reported damage or loss. The incident remains under investigation.
5:22 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Fifth Avenue North for a report of a theft from the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
8:57 p.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Granville Street for a report of a domestic disturbance and arrested Randall Burshia, 31, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse.
10:58 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Eureka Street for a report of criminal trespass with no reported damage or loss. The incident remains under investigation.
3:07 a.m., officers responded to the 300 block of Custer Street for a report of a disturbance in progress and arrested Trevor White, 23, of Wolf Point for simple assault and criminal mischief.
2:36 p.m., officers responded to Triangle Park for a report of a fight and arrested Garrett Gray, 43, of Wolf Point for disorderly conduct.
Time not stated, police cited Kenneth Spotted Elk Jr.,, 45, of Poplar for a previously reported hit and run motor vehicle accident with failure to report an accident, driving without a license, careless driving and driving without insurance.
8:15 p.m., officers conducted a traffic stop in the intersection of First Avenue South and Indian Street and cited Verner Sears, 52, of Wolf Point for careless driving.
12:23 a.m., officers responded to Northern Lights Casino for a report of a fight and cited Kirsten Cantrell, 27, of Wolf Point for simple assault.
3:04 a.m., officers responded to Fourth Avenue South and Fairweather Street for a report of a domestic disturbance and arrested Michael Williams, 28, of Wolf Point for domestic abuse and carrying a concealed weapon.
5:36 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Eureka Street for a report of vandalism to the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
11:20 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Indian Street for a report of vandalism to a residence with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
11:50 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Cascade Street for a report of a theft from the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
1:35 p.m., officers responded to the 200 block of Granville Street for a report of a three-vehicle motor vehicle accident with minor injuries to one person and cited Ryan Moran, 29, of Wolf Point for driving without a license and a right-of-way violation.
8:10 p.m., officers responded to the 700 block of Fifth Avenue North for a report of theft from the property with a loss valued over $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
1:37 p.m., firefighters responded to a two-vehicle motor vehicle accident at Second Avenue South and Granville Street.
8:16 p.m., officers responded to Cenex West for a report of shoplifting with a loss valued under $1,000. Charges are pending against a Wolf Point male.
12:36 a.m., officers responded to the area of Borge Park for a report of suspicious individuals and cited two 17-year-old males, one for criminal possession of dangerous drugs and the other for criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and minor in possession of alcohol. Police also cited Maria Vega, 18, and Jessica Bauer, 20, both of Wolf Point for minor in possession. Also cited were Clay Reum, 21, and Jacob Bressette, 26, both of Wolf Point, for contributing to the delinquency of minors.
2:46 a.m., firefighters responded to a dumpster fire that spread to a fence on the alley between Dawson and Edgar streets.
3:26 a.m., officers conducted a pedestrian stop on the 300 block of Fairweather Street and cited George Ryder Flynn, 23, and Melvin Lilley Jr., 40, of Wolf Point for theft.
6:40 a.m., officers responded to the 400 block of Eureka Street for a report of vandalism to the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The incident remains under investigation.
12:40 p.m., officers responded to the 500 block of Eureka Street for a report of an assault with minor injuries to a Wolf Point female. Charges are pending against a Wolf Point male.
3:35 p.m., officers responded to the 600 block of Fourth Avenue North for a report of a theft from the property with a loss valued under $1,000. The items were later recovered and returned.
8:31 p.m., officers responded to the area of the underpass for a report of a fight and arrested Kori Runkel, 24, and Tasha Whitehawk, 35, of Wolf Point for simple assault.
10:01 p.m., officers conducted a pedestrian stop at Cenex West and arrested Mike Martell, 37, of Wolf Point on a warrant.
11:33 p.m., officers responded to Town Pump for a report of shoplifting with a loss valued under $1,000. The items were later recovered and returned. Charges are pending against a Wolf Point male juvenile.
11:39 p.m., firefighters responded to a grass fire near the sewage lagoon that was caused by a fisherman’s fire pit.
10:28 p.m., officers responded to the 900 block of Fourth Avenue North for a report of a theft from a vehicle with under $1,000 damage and loss. The incident remains under investigation.
In addition to the above calls, the WPPD responded to the following calls between July 20 and 26: checks of wellbeing, 10; civil standby, three; domestic disturbance, four; public assistance, 10; motor vehicle accidents, three; removal of unwanted individuals, 10; animal complaints, four; medical assistance, two; fire assistance, none; alarm, four; assist other agency, eight; unfounded reports, 11; fireworks complaint, none; driving complaints, one; school requested assistance, none.
Written by Angela Rose Benson
These wrecked tanker cars remain on the ground as a nearby crew from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway work to clean up the derailment east of Culbertson that dumped about 35,000 gallons of Bakken crude oil on the ground. It was the second BNSF derailment in eastern Roosevelt County within two days. (Photos by Angela Rose Benson)
Approximately 30 residents who were evacuated from their homes east of Culbertson following the derailment of 22 Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tanker cars carrying Bakken crude oil Thursday, July 16, returned to their homes Friday evening.
According to Michael Cole, public affairs specialist for the Federal Railroad Administration, “The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is conducting investigation of the incident.”
Since the incident, the scene has been contained, traffic has resumed and cleanup is underway.
U.S. Hwy. 2 travel has resumed following a road closure which occurred immediately following the derailment and lasted until Friday afternoon.
According to Matt Jones, BNSF director of public affairs for the Montana and Wyoming Region, the 106-car westbound train consisted of full crude oil tankers and two buffer cars filled with sand.
The train derailed at approximately 6:05 p.m., five miles east of Culbertson, leaching about 35,000 gallons of crude oil.
According to Lee Allmer, Roosevelt County public information officer, while no fires occurred, a power line was involved in the incident leaving a number of people without power once electricity was shut off in an effort to maintain safety. Several community members were supplied with generators from BNSF until their power was restored.
“Roosevelt County sees more Bakken crude oil traffic than any other county in the nation,” said Allmer. “This is because BNSF trains are going either west or south, and in order to break off towards their destination, they must past through our county.”
Crude oil was released from derailed cars but was contained and is being removed from the scene under the supervision of BNSF environmental specialists.
“We are currently cooperating with the Federal Railroad Administration on the investigation into the cause of the incident,” Jones said.
The train was traveling at approximately 40 miles-per-hour at the time of the derailment. Two of the railcars in the incident were government issued newer-style tanker car created to improve railroad safety.
“It is the county’s hope that these cars will be included in a study to see if the design changes are an improvement from the more standard style of railcar,” Allmer said.
The Culbertson Fire Department was initially on scene and served as the incident command until BNSF was able to get to the scene and assume that control. Multiple response agencies were involved in the response efforts, including the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Montana Highway Patrol and Roosevelt Medical Center Emergency Services Department. No injuries were reported.
“All of the response agencies worked very well together on this incident. Everyone knew to follow the instructions of the incident commander and also when to turn that authority over to BNSF at the appropriate time,” said Dan Sietsema, Disaster and Emergency Services coordinator for Roosevelt County.
Earlier this year, response agencies completed oil train derailment response training given by Justin Piper, a Hazmat trainer for BNSF out of Seattle, Wash.
“This derailment response was handled successfully in part because of this training,” Sietsema added.
Written by John Plestina
The first photo is Smiley Johnson, exalted ruler of Glasgow Elks Lodge No. 1922, with Wolf Point Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler and new Montana State Elks Association President Darla Downs in front of Johnson’s 1957 Chevy with the elk hood ornament at the MSEA summer convention in Wolf Point Friday, July 17. The second picture is Wolf Point Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler and Montana State Elks Association first vice president Darla Downs (center) presenting the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Ronald Hicks (left) of Fredericksburg, Va., with a Montana Silversmith belt buckle to commemorate his trip to Montana during the MSEA’s Grand Exalted Ruler’s banquet Friday, July 17. Hicks was installed as the national GER in Indianapolis, Ind., two weeks ago. Past Exalted Ruler Gene Pronto (right) served as emcee for the evening. Downs was elected and installed as Elks state president Saturday.
(Photos by John Plestina)
Wolf Point Elks Lodge No. 1764 hosted the Montana State Elks Association Summer Convention for the first time Thursday through Saturday, July 16-18.
A highlight of the convention was the election and installation of Wolf Point Lodge No. 1764 exalted ruler and Herald-News and Searchlight publisher Darla Downs as Montana State Elks Association president. She becomes the youngest MSEA president in its 113-year history.
Another first for Wolf Point was the official visit of Elks 2015-2016 Grand Exalted Ruler Ronald Hicks and wife Nancy Hicks of Fredericksburg Va., making their first stop in Wolf Point on their official road trip since his installation as GER two weeks ago in Indianapolis, Ind. It was their first trip to Montana.
Hicks’ theme for the coming year is “Elks pride and community focus,” which he stressed during the convention.
“I applaud Montana,” he said, thanking Montana Elks lodges for community service across the state.
Hicks called community service the “great heart of Elkdom.”
He urged a can-do spirit from each lodge.
“Every lodge across this country has issues. I know you’re working to make your lodge a success,” Hicks said.
He stressed that boosting membership must be a priority for a lodge to be a success.
“One person can make a difference. One person can be a spark in your lodge,” Hicks said.
“Don’t dwell on the negative,” he said.
Hicks urged to Elks to communicate.
“So much depends on the exalted ruler and the lodge secretary. Let them know who you are. Put a face on your lodge,” he said.
Hicks reminded the people attending the convention that the only requirements to join the Elks are being 21 year old or older, a belief in God and to pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States.
Downs, who was unopposed for state president, was unanimously elected along with two other people seeking offices without opposition.
Those people were Fred Barrett of Thompson Falls, first vice president; and Bob Stephens of Kalispell, secretary/treasurer.
Susie Larson of Bozeman defeated Dan York of Stevensville for second vice president.
Dennis Cooper of Deer Lodge was reelected as a trustee, defeating Marcus Burnham of Hamilton.
The 2016 summer convention will be held in Deer Lodge. The annual summer convention has been held in the past in Glasgow and in Sidney in 2014, but never before in Wolf Point. The local lodge hosted a mid-winter state Elks meeting in 1985.