Written by Jaimee Green
Right, left, right. Or, left, right, left? Which way a child chooses to look first before crossing the road doesn't really matter. All that counts is that they look.
With a new school year underway, it is important for returning students, parents and motorists to remember to use caution when driving.
In an effort to help ensure a safe return to school this year, several members from the Northeast Montana Health Services Emergency Medical Services staff volunteered two days of their time to visit with youth, teachers and parents just before the first day of school. On Aug. 19, they visited the Northside School during a back-to-school barbecue and, on Aug. 20, they went to Southside School.
Nick Kallem, EMT, and Kahlil Wehbe, EMS supervisor, passed out various safety activity books, and allowed youth to look at medical equipment such as blood pressure cuffs, a defibrillator and other diagnostic devices. They also gave ambulance cot rides to willing participants.
“We decided it was important to participate in something like this because we see children run into the street when we are out and we wanted to improve their awareness about safety when they are walking or riding their bikes to and from school,” said Kallem.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 09:20
Written by Al Stover
A 62-year-old Utah man died Aug. 25, at 2:45 p.m., after his motorcycle drifted off Montana Hwy. 24 near Fort Peck.
According to the Montana Highway Patrol, the man had been driving southbound on Highway 24 when his 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle went into another lane and into the east ditch. The handlebar of his motorcycle apparently hit a mile marker post and he was flipped, said MHP.
The driver was not wearing a helmet. He was pronounced dead at the scene by McCone County authorities.
The Billings Gazette has identified the man as Timothy Woodward of Orem, Utah.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 09:16
Written by The Herald-News
Law Enforcement Warns Of Extra Patrols Over Labor Day Weekend
Summer is coming to an end, but before fall arrives, people will be enjoying Labor Day weekend. It is a time to enjoy the last days of summer and travel to see Montana sights. The Montana Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for impaired drivers over Labor Day weekend. They will be stepping up patrols to keep everyone safe on the roadways.
“Labor Day can be a dangerous time of year on the roadways,” said Colonel Kenton Hickethier, Chief Administrator of the Montana Highway Patrol. “All of us in law enforcement want everyone to enjoy the last weekend of summer, but we want people to know we will be pulling over anyone who appears to be driving while under the influence.”
In Montana, the last three Labor Day weekends (Thursday through Monday) five people died due to impaired driving. During the same time period, there were 793 crashes. “We would like to see this number at zero this year. Drinking and driving is not worth the risk,” said Col. Hickethier.
Impaired driving is not just a problem in Montana. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during Labor Day in 2011, a total of 138 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 g/dL or higher.
During traffic stops, law enforcement officers also will be on the look out for people not wearing a seatbelt. “Montana does have a seatbelt law, and we will ticket you if you are not wearing one. We want everyone in the car to wear their seatbelt because a seatbelt can protect you from serious injury or death. They are your first line of defense against unsafe drivers,” Col. Hickethier stated.
The public can help keep the roads safe for travelers. If anyone sees a driver who appears impaired, call 855-MHP-3777 or 911.
For interesting videos and more safety-related information, access the Montana Department of Transportation’s website www.plan2live.mt.gov.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 08:45
Written by The Herald-News
A dangerous chokepoint that migrating antelope encounter each year just west of Nashua now has one less hazard to hinder the animals.
Old woven-wire and barbed wire fencing strung for about a mile along U.S. Highway 2 has long served as a potential barrier for pronghorn and other wildlife trying to cross the busy road and get over an adjacent set of Burlington Northern-Santa Fe train tracks.
In fact, ground on both sides of the old fence — which was removed by a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 crew and others on Aug. 11 and 12 — is littered with skulls and skeletons of all sizes of antelope that didn’t make it through the man-made gauntlet.
Instead of jumping fences, most pronghorn prefer to go under them whenever they can. But that’s not possible with sheep-style fencing that has heavy-gauge wire panels right to the ground.
“Recent research conducted by Andrew Jakes, in cooperation with FWP, shows that migrating pronghorn are prone to being delayed in specific locations — usually by fence lines — during their migration,” said FWP Glasgow-area biologist Drew Henry. “We especially saw that during the harsh winter of 2010-11, when hundreds of pronghorn died across Region 6 because of impassable fences, deep snowdrifts, and getting hit by cars, trucks and trains.”
Henry said the Nashua location was identified through that research, and also by travelers along Highway 2, where the halted antelope were often forced to stage.
“We’re trying to do whatever we can to clear away obstructions so pronghorn don’t waste costly days during their annual migrations,” Henry explained.
The property where the old fencing was removed is owned by Valley County, Jim Strodtbeck and Jason Sauer, who gave their permission to proceed with the project.
The FWP crew was assisted by Glasgow-area residents Darvin Henry, Bob Kemp Jr., and Andrew McKean and his son, Merlin, as well as Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation employees Matt Poole and Marc Kloker.
Nearly 7,000 feet of woven wire and about 3,000 feet of four-strand barbed wire fence — along with scores of metal posts — were taken down and hauled out of the area. All the wire and posts will be recycled.
“Special thanks to everyone who participated,” Drew Henry said. “It’s the type of project that benefits wildlife right from the start, and for years to come.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:18
Written by Al Stover
The City Council met with Environmental Protection Agency officials to exchange information and discuss the possibility of Wolf Point receiving water from the Wambdi Wahachanka Water Treatment Plant east of Wolf Point.
By receiving water from the treatment plant, Wolf Point would be getting surface water instead of ground water, which through wells system, they currently get from the city’s current well water treatment facility.
Julie DalSoglio, EPA director for region 8, gave a report on the plant’s first year in operation. DalSoglio said the EPA was pleased with how the system has been operating and the plant’s operation is overseen by four operators. According to DalSoglio, one of the differences in switching from ground water to surface water is how the system is operated in terms of the filter system.
DalSoglio also went into detail about the excessive amount of sediment that came from the Missouri River from the high spring runoff back in June.
Due to the high amount of sediment that went into the system, the filters clogged. This resulted in the shutdown of the system, leaving Poplar without water.
The system was back up after a couple of days and Poplar citizens could take showers and flush toilets, but there was still an order not to drink the water until the sediment was flushed out of the system. During this time, the EPA provided the city with bottlewater. They also brought in operators from Colorado to help with the situation.
Once the system was operational, the EPA asked Poplar to develop a communication plan in case a similar situation happened. They also asked the city to turn off their wells to prevent contamination while the system is running, but still have the wells ready to turn back on in case the system needs to be shut down.
Wolf Point City Councilman Chris Dschaak said the runoff may have been the worst that northeast Montana had seen in five years and that the committee would need to know what the EPA is going to do to mitigate problems in the future. He said as soon as the EPA presented them with a plan of action for all of northeastern Montana, the city would sit down and look at all options.
HOME requested the council to authorize a request for proposal for the preliminary architect review and advertise for an architect. The council will advertise for two weeks and then review or award the position. The city will have to pay for the cost up-front, but they will get reimbursed through the HOME Grant. Wolf Point city clerk Marlene Malhum said the cost may be $17,500 to match, but it may be more.
The council also voted for the approval of the HOME Grantee/Developer Agreement, pending legal review, as well as a loan to Jonathan Reed without interest.
Brianna Vine of the Great Northern Development Corporation presented her final report of the Community Development Block Grant housing revitalization project. She gave the council a spreadsheet that detailed all the projects and demolitions completed over a period of five years. Mayor Dewayne Jager thanked both Vine and Tori Matejovsky, who also represented the corporation for their help on different projects.
Prior to DalSoglio answering questions, a citizen addressed the $77.28 citizens pay in street maintenance. Malhum assured her that they are trying to build up the money to repair the streets. Jager said he would refer the request the streets and alleys committee and he would have an answer for her.
The city will begin issuing violations to property owners that did not respond to article in The Herald-News regarding the weeds.
The CTEP project for the gazebo project is currently under review and construction could begin starting next spring.
Eldon Porras was promoted to maintenance supervisor, effective July 29 and Nicholas Ahneman was hired as SW maintenance worker II, effective Aug. 13.
The council approved the claims and payroll for July, as well as the minutes of the meetings and special hearings that took place on June 17, & 27, July 8, 15, & 31 and Aug. 7.
The 100th annual Firemen’s Ball will be held Oct. 12. The fire department is planning on feeding the community. Tickets will cost $25. There will be both silent and live auctions, as well as a fundraiser drawing for a trip to Las Vegas.
Wolf Point Police Officer Joey Olsen has been accepted into the Montana State Law Enforcement Academy Officer’s Basic Course #151 and will spend 12 weeks in Club Helena.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 15:27