Written by Herald-News
First picture: The Wolf Point High School Choir are (first row, from left to right) Delia Dumont-Clark, Jakilyn Harada, Ashley Cochran, Bree Jackson, Miexel DeWitt, Kaiyan Northington, Markell Blount, Madison Kinzie, Samantha Goodman, Alecia Macdonald, Alexandria Rodriguez, (second row) Lindsay Dahl, Erin Presser, Maria Vega, (third row) Destinee Rowe, Alexis DeWitt, Siera Perry, Christina Dahl, Charles Doney, Austyn Juve, Dalton Hafner, Ty Nygard, Shelby Hanks, Roxanne Vermette, Trinity Whitmus, Thea Smith, Rebekah Kuszmaul, (back row) Jami Welch, Aeryn Martin, Elizabeth Zimmer, Drew Thompson, Devin Northington, Logan Flynn, Mahala Shawl, Rayna Warmbrod and Savannah Wozniak. Not pictured are Jacob Boysun, Samantha Dumont, Anamarie Long, Danielle Vermette, Jeremy Birkoski, Cale Evans and Logan Nefzger. (Photos by John Plestina)
Second picture: The Wolf Point High School Band are (first row, from left to right) Christina Dahl, Rheanna Wetsit, Delia DuMont Clark, Lindsey Dahl, Rebekah Kuszmaul, Savannah Wozniak, Ryan Barnett, Jaymee Stiff-arm, Jakilyn Harada, (second row) Sarah Wagner, Kaiyan Northington, Roxanne Vermette, Gillian Medicine Clark, Trevor Davis, Haron Eymard, Chelysa Owens-Cyr, Rayna Warmbrod Aeryn Martin, LaRae Dahl, (third row) Dillon Wetsit, Devin Northington, Isaac Remington, Jordan Clark, Jacob Miller, Drew Thompson, Brady Babb, Kenny Boos, (back row) Dennis White Eagle, Calvin Adams, Jeromy Azure, Gage Bostick, Alexandria Bostick and Kiana McConnell. Not pictured are Jacob Boysun, Cale Evans, Jeremy Birkoski, Keelia Brock, Mercadeez Clark, Samantha Dumont, Celina Leggett, Jeremiah Paine, Sierra Summers, Danielle Vermette and Taylor Williams.
Several Wolf Point High School music students will advance to State Music Festival in Billings, May 1 and 2, after performing at the District Music Festival held in Malta on Friday and Saturday, April 10 and 11.
Ensembles, which are groups of 16 or less advance as well as solos.
Bands and large choirs do not advance.
Accompanists for these students are Sharon Kolstad, Lynne Monson and the Swing Band: Gage Bostick, Sarah Wagner, LaRae Dahl and Savannah Wozniak.
The following superior results were announced: WPHS Men’s Chorus, vocal ensemble, advancing to the State Music Festival; WPHS Ladies’ Ensemble, vocal ensemble, advancing to the State Music Festival; WPHS Band; WPHS Women’s Chorus; Swing I, vocal ensemble, advancing to the State Music Festival; Swing II, vocal ensemble, advancing to the State Music Festival; Swing III, vocal ensemble advancing to the State Music Festival; Women of Swing, vocal ensemble, advancing to the State Music Festival; Chelysa Owens-Cyr, trumpet solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Alexandria Rodriguez and Devin Northington, vocal duet, advancing to the State Music Festival; Christina Dahl, vocal solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Jeremy Birkoski, vocal solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Gillian Medicine Cloud, Clarinet solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Jaki Harada, Alto Saxophone solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Alex Rodriguez, vocal solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Ty Nygard, vocal solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Jami Welch, vocal solo, advancing to the State Music Festival; Devin Northington, vocal solo, advancing to the State Music Festival.
Earning excellent status: WPHS Jazz Band; Men of Swing, vocal ensemble; Jacob Boysun, Trumpet Solo; Jami Welch and Anamarie Long, vocal duet.
Written by John Plestina
The Photos [in order of placement] Chopper, Picard, Styer and Naasz.
Janna Hoehn is on a mission and the efforts by the Maui, Hawaii, resident to locate photos of two of the four Vietnam War casualties from Roosevelt County were fulfilled last week.
Hoehn, a 25-year resident of Hawaii, visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., with her husband six years ago planning to bring home a rubbing of one of the 58,300 names etched on the memorial wall. She did not know anyone who was killed in Vietnam, but the war and its losses touched her as she was in high school at the time, far from Vietnam. She brought home a rubbing of the name Gregory John Crossman, an MIA. She eventually located a college photo of Crossman.
A television news story two years later about “Faces Never Forgotten” for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund that has posted an online memorial with a goal of including a photo of every American listed on the memorial wall caught Hoehn’s attention. She submitted the photo of Crossman. She was asked to locate the photos of more U.S. soldiers listed on the memorial.
Hoehn contacted The Herald-News in early April inquiring about two of the four Vietnam War casualties from Roosevelt County. She asked if this newspaper could locate photos of Pvt. 1st Class Franklin Delano Chopper of Brockton. American Legion Post No. 61 was named in his honor. The other is Sgt. Michael W. Picard of Bainville. They were the first and second local casualties respectively.
Hoehn had already located photos of the third and fourth casualties, Army 1st Lt. Emil John Naasz of Wolf Point and Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Edward Styer of Phoenix Ariz., who was born in Wolf Point and graduated from Wolf Point High School.
The deaths of all four were on the front page of The Herald-News within one week of their deaths.
Chopper died at 22, at or near Binh Duong, Vietnam on June 13, 1967.
The Herald-News reported the following week that he was killed by accidental friendly fire from a U.S. Army tank while searching an enemy bunker.
Chopper, who was born in Poplar and lived in the Brockton area most of his life, enlisted in October 1966, was home on leave in March 1967 and was sent to Vietnam following his leave, assigned to Co. A, 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry Division.
His funeral with full military rites was held at Fort Kipp Presbyterian Church. He was buried in Fort Kipp Cemetery. He would be 70 years old today.
Chopper has siblings living in Fort Kipp, but efforts were unsuccessful to contact them.
Picard, who grew up on a grain and stock farm 11 miles north of Bainville, became the second casualty from Roosevelt County on Feb. 20, 1968, when the 22-year-old was killed by fragments from an enemy mine in or near Lai Khe, Binh Duong province, Vietnam.
Picard attended Assumption Abbey, a Catholic school in Richardton, N.D., his first two years of high school. He then attended Bainville High School his final two years, graduating in 1963.
Picard served in light weapons infantry with 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, C Company.
He received the National Defense Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Purple Heart, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.
Picard, who would now be 70 years old, was one of the older of seven children and a role model to his brother, Joe Picard, who is 10 years younger.
“I remember I was in the sixth grade,” Joe Picard said. “He was killed five days before his birthday [would have been 23].”
“I had two brother that were over there,” Joe Picard said.
The other brother who served in Vietnam is Paul Picard of Arizona. He enlisted in the Marine Corps shortly before his brother was killed.
“He was in boot camp when Mike was killed. We wondered if he was going to get home for the funeral. He did,” Joe Picard said.
Before entering the military, Michael Picard played football at Eastern Montana College, now Montana State University Billings.
His mother, Patricia Picard, 92, lives in Arizona.
Picard is buried in Bainville.
Styer was the third casualty with ties to Roose-velt County. He died at age 40, on Jan. 12, 1970, in a collision between two planes on the ground at an airfield in Guam while leaving on a mission.
Styer, who served from 1951 until his death, had been an Air Force aviator and was a former base commander.
He is buried in St. Francis Cemetery in Phoenix, Ariz.
Naasz was the fourth fatality, killed by an explosive device on Sept. 6, 1970, at Quang Ngai, Vietnam.
He served in the Army from 1968 until his death and was a unit commander in the 1542 Infantry.
He was a Wolf Point High School graduate. Naasz is buried in Wolf Point.
Photos of Naasz and Styer are on the “Wall of Faces” online memorial with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The photos of Chopper and Picard will be added to the memorial.
The Herald-News contacted Franklin D. Chopper American Legion Post No. 61 in Brockton and Picard’s brother in Bainville and obtained photos. Both have been forwarded to Hoehn for inclusion on the memorial.
Photos on the online memorial will also be included in the future Education Center that will be adjacent to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C.
Hoehn said about 39,500 photos have been obtained but nearly 19,000 are yet to be found.
She is also seeking volunteers to help with the effort
Information about efforts to build the Education Center at the memorial in Washington, D.C., is available at www.vvmf.org/thewall.
Written by John Plestina
Wolf Point School board chairman Martin DeWitt voted against new contracts for teachers and principals after announcing his resignation from the school board during the monthly board meeting Monday, April 13.
DeWitt announced his resignation from the board effective April 21. He is one of five of the six trustees not seeking reelection in the May 5 school board election. DeWitt has accepted a new job in Billings.
He did not state a reason for voting against the contract renewals.
The trustees voted 3-1 in favor of contract renewals with board members Ed Bach and Tracy Juve-Miranda absent from the meeting.
The board approved hiring: Michael MacDonald, high school student council advisor; and Stacey Summers, high school head cross country coach.
The board also voted 3-1 to renew the contracts for the following teachers and other certified staff for the next school year: Kathy Adkins, Edith Allen, Rainey Azure, Kim Beckers, Connie Bergen, Vicki Bisbee, Melanie Blount-Cole, David Booke, Vicky Boysun, Amanda Campbell, Melissa A. Cromwell, Melissa DeWitt, Daisha Douglas, Jana Elliott, Mike Erickson, Ashley Fleming, Erin Fosland, Rebecca Fritz, Holly Girard, Emily Hamilton, Robin Hayes-Hernandez, Dianne Hoversland, Jane Janssen-Huber, Connie Lambert, Judy Leddige, Kristi Lepper, Michael MacDonald, Patrice MacDonald, William Macdonald, Cathy Madison, Jim Marmon, Karla McGill, Jeffrey McMorris, Jennifer Medicine Cloud, Lynne Monson, Pamala Murawski, Barbara Olson, Joelle Page, Robert C. Page, Jocelyn Peters, Catherine S. Peterson, Eric Peterson, June Petrik, Maureen Piersak, Joyce “Cookie” Ragland, Kathy D. Rauch, Teresa Romo, Keri Sansaver, Vivian Schultz, Dannielle Solberg, Rona N. Stevens, Maxine Strader, Jessica Sweet, John Sweet, Diane Taylor, Martin Toavs, Patricia Toavs, Lee Vandall, Sharri Vandall, Kelli Vine, Myrle Zilkoski and Connie Zimmerman.
The board also voted 3-1 with DeWitt casting the lone dissenting vote to renew the contracts of the four building administrators. They are Southside School principal C. Susan Brown, Northside School principal Hannah Nieskens, Junior/Senior High School principal Kim Hanks and Junior/Senior High School assistant principal Brett Scott.
The trustees unanimously accepted the following resignations: Richard Desch, curriculum, data, testing coordinator; Stephanie Paine, Southside School physical education teacher; Bruce Knerr, high school head football coach, head wrestling coach and assistant junior high track coach; and Kelly Nieskens, high school head boys’ basketball coach.
In other business, the board voted to enter into five-year copier lease agreements for Southside and Northside schools and the junior high/high school with Marco Inc., for copier services that include equipment, service, purchase and delivery of initial supplies, installation and training.
The total cost for the junior high/high school is $1,302 per month and $1,286 monthly for Southside School. Both schools would receive multiple color copier machines. For Northside School, the cost is $256 per month for a single black and white copier. The monthly total is $2,844. Service would be provided from Plentywood.
“I know it seems like a hefty amount,” superintendent Joe Paine said and added that in a perfect world there would be no need for service contracts and purchases of toner and other supplies.
Copier services were not put out to bid.
In another matter, the board voted to give Paine the authority to review and sign a five-year contract with the Fort Peck Tribes Education Department for participation in the 21st Century Grant program if he determines that grant requirements meet the district’s requirements and do not over extend the district.
The grant would fund after school and Friday educational programs that include math, meals and snacks.
The Wolf Point district would be signing onto the grant with the Brockton and Poplar school districts for the program administered by the tribes. It is for all students, tribal and non-tribal members. Frazer School participates in the program separately from the grant for Wolf Point, Brockton and Poplar.
The trustees also approved advertising the sale of the former district office building on Third Avenue South in downtown Wolf Point by sealed bid with a minimum acceptable bid of $130,000. The building appraised at $150,000. Bids will be opened during the May 11 school board meeting.
In other business, the board held a 40-minute closed executive session where student disciplinary hearings were held. In open session, three students were expelled for the remainder of the current school year with readmittance hearings required for admittance for the 2015-2016 school year.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 11, at 6 p.m.
Written by John Plestina
Negotiations that have been ongoing since February between the Wolf Point School District and the two unions representing district employees will go to mediation due to impasses that have not been resolved.
Continuing stalemates over wages and employee health insurance have recently resulted in discussions of hiring an outside negotiator to help settle the issues.
The Wolf Point School board negotiations committee, consisting of superintendent Joe Paine and representatives of the current school board, has met frequently with the Wolf Point Education Association, the union that represents teachers, and the Wolf Point Educational Support Staff Association, which represents classified school district employees that include non-certified aides, cafeteria workers and others.
The WPESSA requested the mediation.
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry assigned Max Hallfrisch of Great Falls, a member of the Department of Labor and Industry’s Board of Personnel Appeals, to mediate the Wolf Point negotiations.
Hallfrisch has been a Teamsters Union Local 2 steward, business representative and executive board member for about 35 years and currently serves as the political coordinator for the local.
The WPPD’s current two-year collective bargaining agreements with the two unions expire June 30. The district hopes to have new agreements in place before that.
Neither side would be bound by a mediator’s recommendations.
Paine responded to a question of whether a strike could be possible if the next school year begins in August with no new agreements in place.
“I would sure hope we can come to an agreement before that,” he said.
A date for a mediation meeting has not been set. Paine said possible dates are Tuesday, April 21; Thursday, April 23; Thursday, April 30; or Friday, May 1.
It is unknown if mediation would take more than one meeting.
“I have no idea. Sometimes it takes one time. Sometimes it takes more than one,” Paine said.”
“You don’t have to agree. If you say, ‘We don’t agree with this,’ it’s at a standstill,” he said.
Paine has given notice to resign as district superintendent for another position in mid-June. The entire six-member school board is up for election in newly redistricted single-member districts with only one incumbent seeking reelection.
A new school board will take the reins at the May school board meeting, likely to be held Monday, May 11. The new board may or may not include the incumbent board member or either of two people running for board positions with school board experience. A possible scenario could be a new school board seated in May with no experience and a new superintendent taking the helm July 1, possibly someone with little or no knowledge of the Wolf Point district or the local area.
Written by Herald-News
Great Northern Development Corporation is honoring Handran’s Home Center of Scobey as “Business of the Year” for 2014.
Liana and Stephen Handran, formerly of Wolf Point, received an award plaque, registration to the “Invest in Success” small business conference and a $500 stipend for lodging and travel to Helena April 29-30.
Handran’s Home Center is a locally-owned business started in 2008. The business offers outstanding, quality service and and exceptional selection of furniture, appliances, interior decorations, flooring and cabinetry. They recently moved some of the business to the Fjeld’s building and have incorporated doors, windows and siding into the business. Since it is their goal to continually improve the quality of the products they sell, it is not unusual for customers tell them they have an excellent selection of merchandise from which to choose.
The shop supports many community organizations and school functions. In addition, Liana Handran has several years of experience in business management and also operates an insurance agency and small bakery in the facility.
The Handrans said, “We feel we couldn’t do this without the support of our local community.”