The year 2022 was full of news in the Wolf Point area. Here are some of the interesting stories in the area for each month of the year.
1. Northeast Montana Health Services’ EMS enjoyed an impressive showing at the EMS World Expo held in Atlanta. James Wilson and Amanda Schock teamed up in the EMS World Clinical Challenge to earn first place.
2. Wolf Point School resource officer Corey Reum was commended by the Wolf Point Police Department after he helped rescue a girl on the railroad tracks after she injured a knee. Later, officers Jeff Harada and David Dale received letters of recognition regarding the incident.
3. Lance Fourstar was sworn onto the Wolf Point City Council after running unopposed in the election. Later in the month, Carrie Manning was appointed to the council.
4. The Roosevelt County commissioners approved a request from the City of Wolf Point for use of American Rescue PLan Act Fund for a storm water improvement project. Total cost of the project is $432,000.
5. The Wolf Point Police Department reports officers responded to 6,144 calls of service during the 2021 calendar year.
1. Wolf Point students Daniel Sears and Del Eymard earned the state championship in humorous theater at the Class B state speech and drama meet.
2. Roosevelt County approved a new resolution regarding cattle guards and the installation of cattle guards.
3. Jairo Tumonong, a sixth-grader, earned first place at the Wolf Point Spelling Bee. He went on to earn the county title as well.
4. The Wolf Point School Board approved a new contract for superintendent Loverty Erickson. The three-year contract called for Erickson to have a salary of $115,000 for the first two years and $118,000 for the final year.
5. The City of Wolf Point started the process of hiring a new police chief after the retirement of Jeff Harada as chief.
1. County commissioners announced that they will put on the ballot a proposal to add taxation to marijuana sales in the county. The increase would be 3 percent.
2. A fire destroyed an uninhabited apartment building on the corner of Fifth Avenue South and Custer Street in Wolf Point. The building was owned by the City of Wolf Point and was scheduled for demolition.
3. Melvin Azure Sr., 58, lost his life in a rollover crash just outside of Wolf Point on March 31.
4. During a facilities committee meeting, Wolf Point school officials discussed improving the high school’s lobby area, expanding the weight room and adding tennis courts.
5. Frontier School hired Patrick Drapeau as its new superintendent starting on July 1, 2022. He was in his first year as the principal at Southside Elementary School.
1. Operating hours were set for the food bank in Wolf Point to assist those struggling with food insecurity in the community. The pantry is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month.
2. County officials discussed the deadly impact of fentanyl in the community. A spokesman for the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office estimated that three have been about a dozen overdoses in the county including some deaths from fentanyl during the last two years.
3. Fort Peck Tribes and Health Promotion Disease Prevention hosted a dedication ceremony for the new Thundering Buffalo Wellness Center on April 20.
4. Governor Greg Gianforte traveled to Poplar to return the first Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribal flag to fly over the tribal flag plaza at the state capital. Gianforte explained the first tribal flags are being retired and returned to each of the reservations.
5. In a span of a week, the two Agland Co-op stores in Wolf Point were broken into three times. Agland plans to spend about $30,000 to update security measures such as updating alarms, removing some of the glass windows or putting up a mesh screens to deter vandals.
1. The Wolf Point Police Department responded to a shooting in downtown Wolf Point on May 3. The case was turned over to Fort Peck Tribes Criminal Investigators and then became a federal investigation.
2. Wolf Point residents voted Keith Higgins and Bif Loucks to the school board. Jaronn Boysun and Roxanne Gourneau tied with 36 votes in District 2. A drawing later put Gourneau on the board for a one-year term.
3. The Northern Plains Independent hosted a candidates forum involving the candidates for county commissioner and sheriff. Candidates for commissioners included Edward Bach, Ken Hentges, Craig Karge and Robert Toavs. Sheriff candidates were Jason Frederick, David Gonzales, Brent Nygard, William Black Dog and Coretta Grey Bear.
4. Jan Bryan was announced as the grand marshal for the 99th Wolf Point Wild Horse Stampede.
5. Wolf Point students displayed improvements in testing during the school year. At the start of the school year, only 11 percent or 26 of Southside’s students had reached standards at their grade level. In May, the figures were 42 percent or 97 of Southside’s 231 students have reached their grade level. In addition, 32 students or 14 percent have surpassed their grade level.
1. The Wolf Point High School graduation ceremony featured 48 graduates. Josette Kolstad was valedictorian and Hamyanie Campbell was salutatorian.
2. Doratello “DJ” Juan Fischer, 37, of Wolf Point who admitted to fatally shooting Cody Weeks-Combs was sentenced in federal court In Great Falls. Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris sentenced Fischer to 16 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.
3. The Wolf Point City Council hired Sgt. Alisha Morales as the city’s new police chief.
4. The Wolf Point Police Department reported that an individual was hit by a train and died on June 7. The individual was Jessica Failing, 28.
5. Wolf Point lifeguard Joshua Bushman saved a juvenile male swimming by using CPR at the city’s swimming pool. “I’ve never been through a situation like that. I was just really glad that I was there,” Bushman said.
July 1. Roosevelt County experienced a lift from increased oil activity. Taxes from oil production for the quarter that ended in September 2021 resulted in a payment of $681,000 for the county.
2. The crisis of human trafficking was addressed during a conference held in Poplar on July 20. The Fort Peck Tribal Court Human Trafficking Conference attracted speakers from across the state and also included closed sessions for law enforcement personnel.
3. A recognition wall was added in the Wild Horse Saloon for the Wild Horse Stampede. One wall displays the many awards that the Stampede has earned. The other wall honors grand marshals. The 99th Stampede in Wolf Point was well attended and enjoyed by area residents and visitors.
4. With the goal of improving safety on area’s railroads, officials from BNSF Railway, the Fort Peck Tribes and the City of Wolf Point took part in a video conference meeting on July 21. Since August 2021, there have been six deaths on railroads in Roosevelt County. 5. The Wolf Point School board voted to spend an additional $120,000 for new playground equipment at Southside and Northside elementary schools.
1. A celebration was held for the new playground equipment and back to school at Borge Park. Wolf Point Lions Club members decided to start the project of raising funds for much-needed new playground equipment for the park about a year and a half ago. The Wolf Point Community Organization donated $20,000 for the project. Other commitments included $10,000 from the city. By the end of 2021, there was $71,000 in the fund.
2. The Roosevelt County commissioners approved a bid from Pyramid Network Services for a radio tower. The tower will handle services for many emergency services including the sheriff’s office, highway patrol, fire departments, Wolf Point Police Department, ambulances and tribal law enforcement.
3. Citing a personal matter, Loverty Erickson resigned as Wolf Point school superintendent.
4. The Wolf Point Volunteer Fire Department fought a fire at an apartment complex on the corner of Custer Street and Second Avenue South on Aug. 25. After responding to the first in the early morning hours, firefighters were still on the scene throughout the day to hose down the building.
5. Montana Highway Patrol trooper T’Elle Evans of Wolf Point was recognized for her heroic action with the Hedstrom Award. On May 3, Evans put herself in harm’s way to protect, secure and provide lifesaving aid to a gunshot victim in Wolf Point. She immediately provided medical assistance using her individual First Aid kit and applying a chest seal to the gunshot victim.
1. Long-time Fort Peck Executive Tribal Board member Grant Stafne turned in his resignation in order to be a deputy superintendent for the Fort Peck Agency, Bureau of Indian Affairs. Dana Buckles defeated Kaci Wallette in a special election to fill Stafne’s spot.
2. Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills provided positive messages to students during assemblies at Wolf Point, Frazr, Poplar, Brockton and Culbertson schools.
3. The Wolf Point Elks Lodge #1764 made a $2,500 donation to the Bigger Sky Kids. The funds came from a national gratitude grant.
4. A live museum parade was hosted at Legion Park in Poplar by the Fort Peck Tribes cultural resource department staff. 5. Andre Jean Reum, 24, of Wolf Point pleaded guilty in federal court to attempted possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.
October 1. Six individuals were charged with kidnapping a female under the age of 18. They are also charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to a minor charges. The alleged incident occurred in Wolf Point during September 2021. Facing the charges in U.S. District Court are Cheri Cruz Granbois, Elmarie Amelia Weeks, Dylan Troy Jackson, Lavanchie Patricia Goodbird, Kaylee Jade Jackson and Patti Jo Annunciata Mail.
2. Roosevelt County hired Thomas Bleicher as its new deputy county attorney. He is scheduled to begin his duties in Jan. 3. He is a graduate of the University of Wyoming’s law school.
3. Nearly 200 individuals participated in Wolf Point Schools’ Suicide Awareness Walk. Goals were to raise awareness and create a culture of support.
4. Wolf Point’s speech and drama program reported a turnout of 20 students — the most participants since the 1990s.
5. James Johnson, dealer at High Plains Motors, was nominated for the 2023 TIME Dealer of the Year award. He was one of 48 dealer nominees from across the country.
1. Roosevelt County voters re-elected Jason Frederick as sheriff and Robert Toavs as commissioner during the Nov. 7 general election.
2. The Wolf Point Education Association and Wolf Point School District agreed to a new three-year contract. The three-year agreement calls for a 6.5 percent base salary increase for the 2022-2023 school, a 2 percent increase for 2023-2024 and a 2 percent increase for 2024-2025.
3. Frank Smith was re-elected as a representative for House District 31. The Democrat received 54 percent of the votes in the race against Republican Arlie Gordon.
4. Resident Darla Downs filed an affidavit of individual challenging an elector with the Roosevelt County clerk and recorder that claimed county attorney Frank Piocos falsely filed as an elector for the 2022 election. After an investigation by the clerk and recorder’s office, Piocos’ voter registration was revoked.
5. Rachel Aileen Goodbird, 29, of Poplar admitted to a charge stemming from the death of a passenger when the vehicle she was driving crashed on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.
1. The Roosevelt County commissioners approved floodplain regulations despite hearing complains from the public. Commissioners agreed the information is confusing, but the goal is to make the procedure easier when landowners face problems.
2. Independence Bank announced that it will open a Wolf Point branch on the est side of the community. Tentative opening date is May 1.
3. The Wolf Point School District hired former superintendent Eileen Karge to serve as interim superintendent for the rest of the school year.
4. Dr. Sarah Ruff left her position as the Wolf Point school district’s curriculum director to become the senior curriculum coordinator for technical assistance and learning with Synergy Enterprises in conjunction with the Office of Indian Education.
5. Wolf Point was represented well by high school seniors Julianna Garfield and Rebekah Landsrud during the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu, Hawaii, earlier this month. The event, through Varsity Spirit, featured 800 of the top cheerleaders in the country.