Written by The Herald-News
The Region 5 Job Service Workforce Centers, (Miles City, Glasgow, Wolf Point, Sidney and Glendive offices), in cooperation with the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes and Action for Eastern Montana, will be hosting a Veterans Stand Down in Poplar Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cultural Center.
What is a Stand Down?
In times of war, exhausted combat units requiring time to rest and recover were removed from the battlefields to a place of relative security and safety. At secure base camp areas, troops were able to take care of personal hygiene, get clean uniforms, enjoy warm meals, receive medical and dental care, mail and receive letters, and enjoy the camaraderie of friends in a safe environment.
Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community-based intervention program designed to help the nation’s estimated 200,000 homeless veterans “combat” life on the streets. Homeless veterans are brought together in a single location for one to three days and are provided access to the community resources needed to begin addressing their individual problems and rebuilding their lives.
In the military, Stand Down afforded battle-weary soldiers the opportunity to renew their spirit, health and overall sense of well-being. Today’s Stand Down affords the same opportunity to all veterans and soldiers.
What happens at a Stand Down?
Hundreds of homeless veterans are provided with a broad range of necessities including food, clothing, medical, legal and mental health assistance, job counseling and referral, and most importantly, companionship and camaraderie. It is a time for the community to connect with the homeless veteran population and address this crisis that affects each and every town, city and state in this country. The hand up — not a handout — philosophy of Stand Down is carried out through the work of hundreds of volunteers and organizations throughout the nation.
For more information, call 406-765-7907 or your nearest Job Service office.
Volunteers are needed. To volunteer, contact Kim Kittelson at 765-7907.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 08:31
Written by The Herald-News
The Fort Belknap Tribes and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks signed an agreement that will allow the translocation and care for up to 35 Yellowstone bison, currently on the Fort Peck Reservation.
The bison will be transferred from the Fort Peck Tribes bison ranch to Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. These bison were among the 61 that were moved from a quarantine facility near Gardiner, north of Yellowstone National Park, last year.
The animals are a part of a quarantine feasibility study that began in 2004, which was aimed at creating a group of bison free of the brucellosis bacteria, a disease that causes miscarriages in pregnant cattle, bison and elk.
The population of the bison has grown since last year. There are currently 76 bison at the ranch: 51 adults, eight yearlings and 16 calves. There was a fire last September that resulted in the death of eight adult bison and nine calves. The male to female ratio of the bison is unknown following the fire.
Fort Peck wildlife officials and officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service recently tested the bison for brucellosis by taking blood from each animal’s tail.
The bison were recently moved from a pasture of 4,800 acres to a pasture of 2,400 acres, from where the bison were herded into corrals. The crew, who are relatively new at herding bison, had trouble getting the animals to go into the designated area for testing, possibly due to the hot weather and the animals’ intelligence.
In an effort to create a visual barrier, crews put up a snow fence Tuesday to attempt to convince the bison to go into the corral. As of presstime, the crew was able to herd some of the animals into the designated area using ATVs and pickups. Crews had tried four times unsuccessfully Monday to round up the bison.
The blood samples were to be flown to Bozeman, where the tests will be conducted. Officials will not move the bison until test results are received. These bison, excluding the calves, have previously tested negative.
Fort Belknap was evaluated as a potential site for the bison in an environmental assessment in 2010. The animals will be placed in a 965-acre pasture, which is separated from other pastures that are currently grazed by the tribes’ herd of 450 bison and cattle. The tribes recently finished a fencing project around the pasture that meets the standards for bison containment.
In addition to transferring the bison, the FWP and the Assiniboine and Sioux of the Fort Peck Reservation and Gros Ventre tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation agreed to continue to test for diseases on the bison, properly contain the animals, immediately respond to any escape, take sole responsibility for damage caused by the escaped bison and provide Montana with disease-free bison for future conservation efforts. Follow-up testing will continue through 2017.
Dan Rather’s news team and High Plains Films were on hand to capture footage of the roundup.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 08:29
Written by The Herald-News
The City of Wolf Point held a special meeting Aug. 12 to adopt the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
The council first looked at Resolution 879-2013, which determined salaries and compensation for the fiscal year.
City clerk and treasurer Marlene presented two options, one of which gave 5 cent per hour longevity increase to employees with seven or more years of service to the City of Wolf Point as of July 1, 2013. The option also came with a 3 percent cost of living adjustment, figured on all salaries, which amounts to 49 cents per hour per employee.
The alternative proposal had a 1 percent longevity and/or a 3 percent COLA and one grade change.
Mayor Dewayne Jager said it was the Policy and Wage Committee’s recommendation to take the 5 cent per hour longevity with 3 percent COLA. Councilman Chris Dschaak added that the committee had not met to determine the new raise structure. He recommended that the committee be given time to meet to discuss and research both options. Mahlum said there are monies in the reserves to adjust the budget. Jager asked who had authorized the proposal.
Mahlum said the committee authorized her to work up the figures and create the proposal. At subsequent meetings, she made amendments to her original proposal and worked up new figures. She said she was never given the opportunity to present the figures to the committee to show the actual increase.
After Mahlum looked into the budget and saw the budget could afford it, she was directed to put in the 5 cent longevity and 3 percent COLA. She said she would take responsibility for the proposal. Mahlum said she wanted to present the council a fair step for employees to retain employees. She said she implemented a similar method used by the police department.
Jager said he would have liked to have been in the “drift of things.” Councilman Lee
Redekopp said he could take part of the responsibility. He said that there had been a situation a couple of years ago where
Redekopp wanted to be equitable to the rest of the employees as the committee had paid a raise to one employee. He told Mahlum to come up with some figures to see where it would “fall in.”
Dschaak made a motion to approve the first option, with the knowledge to all city employees that the committee will meet and consider the alternative proposal, while still looking at current option. He said the committee will meet before the city council meeting in September. If the committee decides to switch to the alternative proposal, the budget will be amended.
Once that was approved, Mahlum brought to the Council’s attention the 2013 taxable valuation, which was $1,255,890, and the levied funds for the fiscal year. There will be no increases to the special assessment funds, which include street maintenance and lighting, and the enterprise funds, which are water, sewer and solid waste.
The second resolution that was considered was Resolution 880-2013, a resolution to adopt the budget as listed for the fiscal year, based on the value of a mill of $1,255 as provided in the 2013 certified taxable certification as provided by the Montana Department of Revenue and the authorized mill levy under Section 15-10-420 MCA in the amount of 272.23 mills amounting to $341,648 as the authorized property tax revenue and the mills required for those funds not subject to 15-10-429 MCA, which amount to 3.658 mills for the permissive medical levy and the 18.331 mills for the swimming pool general operating fund.
Before the council approved the resolution, Roosevelt County Library board member Laurie Evans asked why only $50,000 had been budgeted in the oil and severance tax when they have already been paid $52,000 for the fiscal year.
Mahlum said she did it in case they did not get any more payments, but she can raise it if desired.
Mahlum also said she can transfer money from the general fund or different departments if council so wished.
The council approved Resolution 880-2013.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 15:21
Written by Al Stover
The Roosevelt County Commissioners held a special public meeting Friday to approve several items.
Commissioners adopted Resolution 2014-4, which establishes a rotation for the rural fire departments to receive up to $24,500 toward the purchase a new fire truck. The commissioners will take money from the county building, machinery and equipment line item and transfer it to the appropriate rural fire department machinery and equipment line item, after a truck has been located. If necessary, the rest of the cost will come from a transfer of funds to machinery and equipment line item from the individual purchased services line item.
The fire chiefs will determine the rotation order of the five active departments. Each year, the selected department may locate a truck chassis. If they don’t, they will lose their turn in the rotation and the next department will move up. The rotation is as follows: Poplar, 2013-2014; Froid, 2014-2015; Bainville, 2015-2016; Culbertson, 2016-2017; and Wolf Point, 2017-2018.
Commissioner Jim Shanks said that the rotation does not include the DNRC trucks.
The commissioners also approved the purchase of a new vehicle. Out of the five bids presented to them, they chose a five-seat Ford Edge at a cost of $30,129.
Prior to adopting Resolution 2014-4 and purchasing the Ford Edge, the commissioners approved the minutes for the meeting held Aug. 1.
During public comment, Wolf Point resident Bill Juve asked about the set of plans and documents relating to the easement for the waterline that was discussed at the meeting two weeks ago. He asked if the commissioners had received them and commissioner Duane Nygaard replied they had not.
Commissioner Gary Macdonald said Sabrina Labatte, who works for the Roosevelt County Conservation District, may have already requested plans but she had not gotten them yet. Brenda Redfield, administrative assistant to the commissioners, said Labatte had talked to the engineer about the documents, but she had not received them yet.
Juve said he would like for someone to follow up on it, so it doesn’t “die in the weeds.” Macdonald said they would follow up on it. Nygaard said they would be getting a 2-inch line to the shop to fill the tankers. The county will also be getting a hydrant.
After, county resident George Budak said the only bad thing is that they can’t use their wells. Macdonald said by law they cannot and that the wells need to be disconnected to prevent contamination.
In personnel matters, the commissioners also approved pay raises for Pam Clark, Jenna Harthan and Sam Redfield. Harthan will move up to G2R1 while Redfield and Clark were approved for six-month one-half step pay raises.
The commissioners also tabled the decision to move Tarrah Poitra from part-time to full-time until they speak with county health nurse Bonnie Wemmer. Macdonald also said they needed to check with the clerk and recorder to see how this would affect the budget.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 09:23
Written by Al Stover
Inside First Lutheran Church in Wolf Point, patients lie in a chair before phlebotomists begin the procedure.
Wolf Point citizens donate for the blood drive, Aug. 7. The church is working with the American Red Cross, which comes to Wolf Point five times a year for blood drive.
The blood collected is tested for diseases such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV. Blood that does not test positive for these diseases will be given to patients, as well as used for medical research.
Prior to the procedure, phlebotomist Leanne Hedstrom said prospective donors will read a pamphlet to determine if they are candidates to give blood. They will be asked questions about their health history to determine whether or not they are healthy enough to donate. The whole process, including the blood drawing, takes up to 30 minutes.
Hedstrom said every phlebotomist who works with donors at the blood drive has been trained by the American Red Cross.
Dave Wall, who grew up in Wolf Point, has been a phlebotomist for three years. He said he fell into the profession because he needed a job and it related to his major of microbiology, which he studied at Montana State University.
Wall said he likes to work the blood drive in Wolf Point because it gives him a chance to see his parents. He also likes traveling to different towns and meeting people.
Leslie Regan has been a phlebotomist for five months. This is her first time doing the blood drive in Wolf Point. She said the donors were all happy and good people.
Lois Dyck has been donating blood for what she said was “a long time.” She said she does it for the community.
“I have a heart for the wounded warriors who need it,” Dyck said.
Laurie Evans of Wolf Point has been donating blood for several years. Although she had fallen out of donating, she began after her mother had back surgery and needed a blood transfusion.
[After the transfusion], it changed her complexion, Evans said. “It makes a difference.”
According to Evans, the American Red Cross has implemented a system where they email donors and tell them where their blood went and who received it.
Cecilia Parker, a recent Wolf Point High School graduate, donated blood for the second time. Although she was light-headed during the procedure, which she said was a result of her walking to the church, the medical personnel were quick to make it okay.
a Donors must be 18 years old, 16-year-olds can donate if their parents fill out a consent form.
aRepeat donors can donate every 56 days.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 August 2013 19:31