Written by The Herald News
The Wolf Point City Council made no decision on a request to develop a trailer court at the former site of Gospel Fellowship Church on the corner of Hill Street and Second Avenue North Monday, May 16.
The planning board and board of adjustment will hear the full proposal by Mark Armstrong Thursday, May 26, at 7 p.m. and make a recommendation to the council.
Written by Bill Vander Weele
With the goal of working together to reduce criminal activity on the Fort Peck Reservation, tribal chairman Floyd Azure organized a meeting for area law enforcement that took place on Tuesday, May 10.
“There was a lot of discussion,” Azure said about the meeting. “We all realize there is a drastic need for more police officers.”
Attending the meeting were representatives from the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Wolf Point Police Department, tribal law enforcement, highway patrol, the mayors of Wolf Point and Poplar, Brockton Town Council and other tribal council board members. It was agreed to have meetings on a monthly basis.
“I want everybody on the same page. I want the right hand knowing what the left hand is doing,” Azure said.
After an abduction of a young girl in Wolf Point during late February and the believed murder of a 13-month-old in Poplar during April, Azure received the backing of the tribal committee to talk with area law enforcement and try to curb the drug problem.
“Basically, the meth problem is the center of it,” Azure said at the meeting. “But other crimes also pop up because of the meth problem.”
The tribal chairman was very pleased with the attitudes of the people at the meeting.
“It was very positive,” Azure said. “Everybody is of the same opinion that we need to do something and the only way to do it is to work together.”
Wolf Point Chief of Police Jeff Harada noted, “The agencies agreed to work cooperatively and aggressively to eliminate the number of drug dealers in our communities.”
Harada said it’s a positive to increase communication among the agencies. He feels the officers on the street do a better job of communicating with other agencies.
“It went well,” Harada said of the meeting. “Improving lines of communication is always a positive.”
Written by Bill Vander Weele
The Roosevelt County Local Emergency Planning Committee planned upcoming events during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 10, in Wolf Point.
Lee Allmer, chairman of the committee, made sure that participants knew that Lindsey McNabb is the county’s new disaster and emergency services director.
“We try to make it the right environment for everyone to have a say,” Allmer, deputy DES director, said.
McNabb said DES didn’t receive the homeland security grant this year, partly because she didn’t have much time to complete the grant after being selected as director.
She hopes that she can spend more time on the grant in future years.
Allmer urges all officials to be pro-active and get a head start before grant items come up.
Summer activities for the committee include having booths at the county fair, Wolf Point Stampede and other events. Allmer explained volunteer hours at such activities translate into more funding through the pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant and less burden on taxpayers.
The hospital in Culbertson will have a health fair on Saturday, July 23, at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.
Another important upcoming event is crisis management training for school-based situations. Rusty Boxer, the Fort Peck Tribal DES coordinator, is organizing the event to be held in Poplar.
Allmer said he’s pleased that school officials from Wolf Point, Frontier, Froid and Bainville have attended recent LEPC meetings. “They know we’re out there and trying to do something,” Allmer said.
Lori Reed, FEMA, EPA preparedness unit, spoke about how outreach group has plans to become more available in eastern Montana.
She said she is willing to answer any questions dealing with grants. “We don’t want to leave any of the money on the table,” Reed said.
The next LEPC meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14, at 2 p.m. in Poplar.
Written by Bill Vander Weele
Rob Osborne, the current superintendent of schools in Broadview, has agreed to become Wolf Point's new superintendent of schools.
Wolf Point School Board chairman Mark Kurokawa said he was told of Osborne's decision late Thursday, May 12. Kurokawa said they just needed to agree to final contract terms early this week.
Osborne has seven years of experience as superintendent in Broadview. Osborne previously served as a teacher, coach and athletic director in the Lockwood School District. He received his bachelors degree from Eastern Montana College in Billings and earned his master of education in administration from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ariz.
When asked during the interview process what makes him the best candidate, Osborne mentioned his track record in Broadview where test scores improved greatly during his tenure.
"The people who know me, I think, will tell you I'm professional. I expect that in return," Osborne said. "I support teachers, I support staff. I guarantee you that you won't be disappointed."
During the public interview, Osborne said school board members shouldn't be involved in day-to-day operations unless if there's an issue. "That's why you hire good people." The school board should play a key role, however, in long-term planning such as facilities and curriculum.
When asked how to handle a negative situation, Osborne answered, "You can always take a negative and make it a positive." He says he gets his ducks in a row before making decisions.
He said a superintendent's work can vary from day to day and could regard child discipline one day and bus repairs the next. "I think the most important thing is just being the best leader. You have to make decisions that some people aren't going to like."
Osborne said not being afraid to make decisions is a strength for him as an educator. "They aren't hard decisions when you do your homework. Decisions should be based on what's best for kids."
He said a professional weakness of his is that he handles stress well on the outside but inside it can tear him up. He noted his strengths as a person include being caring and loyal.
Osborne will replace Gary Scott, who came out of retirement to serve as the school district's superintendent for one year. Scott is resigning from the position effective June 30.
Written by Bill Vander Weele
Although Wolf Point native William Yellow Robe Jr. has written many plays that have received much more recognition, perhaps his very first play was the most important one in his life.
That play was written by Yellow Robe when he was only in the sixth grade after teacher Dorothy Grose encouraged him to complete the creative writing.
“She provided me the need to express myself in a different way that was more positive,” Yellow Robe said.
The encouragement led Yellow Robe to graduating from Wolf Point High School in 1978 and going on to study writing and performing arts at the University of Montana.
When Yellow Robe was experiencing his first professional reading at the Native American Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles, he received an envelope from his former teacher with his plays written in the sixth grade.
“They weren’t bad, they weren’t great,” Yellow Robe said of his sixth-grade efforts. “I was thankful for the opportunity.”
Many plays and several awards later, Yellow Robe continues to make area residents proud of his accomplishments. Yellow Robe, a member of the Assiniboine and Sioux tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, finished writing five new one-act plays in January.
“They are all first drafts,” Yellow Robe explained. During March, one of the plays was performed by the Native American Theatre in Minnesota.
He said all of his plays are about humanity. “I’ve always been interested to see how people’s humanity changes. The whole issue of if your humanity changes if you are treated badly.”
Yellow Robe said how his plays are received can be a mystery. “Sometimes a play that I didn’t particularly like, people really enjoy.”
His definition of a commercial success is writing a play that either wins a Pulitzer Prize or is nominated for Tony awards. “I have friends who have done that,” Yellow Robe said. His inspirations include authors August Wilson and Suzan-Lori Parks.
“My goal is basically to entertain and educate people,” Yellow Robe noted. “The bottom line for me is to tell a story.”
One of his favorite plays is “Sneaky” where he wrote about three brothers taking their mother’s body from a morgue in order to have a traditional Native burial.
Another favorite is “Independence of Eddie Rose,” which deals with a young man’s struggles with alcoholism in his family.
Yellow Robe’s list of awards include the Princess Grace Foundation Theater Fellowship, The Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellowship, Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas First Nations Book Award for Prose and the New England Theater Conference Special Award.
But near the top for Yellow Robe is receiving the ABC Better Community Award in Poplar during the late 1980s. “I really cherish that,” he said.
He also mentions that while he was attending Northern Montana College, he received an eagle feather from a non-traditional student who was a Vietnam War veteran. “And I never forgot that.”
Yellow Robe also hasn’t forgotten the beauty of Wolf Point. He said he misses going up to the water tower and walking to the swimming pool in the summer. “I also enjoyed being in that area and watching the thunderstorms come in,” he added. He has fond memories of watching the Northern Lights from Wolf Point’s baseball field and fishing on the Missouri River.
He is grateful for the support and encouragement from not only his family but friends and relatives in Wolf Point. “It’s their support that made my life possible.”
A goal is to have a professional theater company come to Wolf Point and perform one of his plays. “I hope to do that when I’m still alive,” Yellow Robe said.