Public comment on federal congressional interest to remove a Lewistown area wilderness study area filled the fergus county courtroom Wednesday evening.

The pros and cons that could possibly affect the Snowy mountains were the main topic of concern.

US Supreme Court awards damages in Mont-Wyo water dispute

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has ordered the state of Wyoming to pay Montana over $38,000 in damages and $67,000 in court costs in a long-running dispute over water rights that affect farmers and ranchers on both sides of the border.

Attorneys general for the two states said Tuesday's decree provides more clarity for implementation of the Yellowstone River Compact as it applies to the Tongue River.

The order says Montana must place a "call" for water from Wyoming when it does not believe it is receiving adequate water under the compact or does not believe the Tongue River Reservoir will fill to capacity before the end of the water year.

Montana has spent more than $5 million on the case since it sued Wyoming in 2007 over allegations it was being shorted on water.

Walleye make an exciting sport, and at this time of year a tastee banquet.

An inspiration retreat for women in Lewistown is scheduled for mid-March.  Kathie Bailey at SMDC, and Kellyanne Terry from the Lewistown Public Library have more on this event:  

On February 15th, 2018, at approximately 0546 hours, Central Montana Dispatch received a call of a rollover accident at approximately 7000 Tyler Cutoff Road south of Grass Range.

Montana schools are faced with funding problems.

Lewistown school district Business Manager Rebekah Rhoades unravels the many problems facing local districts.

The Council on Aging in Lewistown is an organization serving all of Fergus county.  The Council is an active organization with a variety of services as Director David Daly points out:

The city of Lewistown and the fire department are asking for your help to clear snow around all fire hydrants.  

The deep snow has created a lot of concerns for emergency services and burying fire hydrants and other utilities throughout the area.

There’s still time to file as a candidate for Lewistown School Board Trustee.  

Music in the public schools was discussed by Lewistown parents at the most recent school board meeting.  The elementary school music teacher position held by Rachael Schwaller, and possibly other positions, might be cut to balance the budget.

Parents attending the meeting offered comment and praise for Schwaller saying she has great rapport with her students, and if cut the community would lose a caring and valuable teacher.     

HELENA – On Friday, a Federal District Court Judge upheld the constitutionality of Montana’s prohibition on automated political phone calls (robocalls). In the case of Victory Processing LLC. vs. Montana, Judge Charles Lovell of Helena ruled “…Montana’s robocall statute is a constitutionally permissible content-based regulation of speech.”

Attorney General Tim Fox, whose office defended the Montana law, applauded the ruling. “Through their representatives in the legislature, the people of Montana have made clear they don’t want robocalls in our state,” Fox said. “This ruling upholds the will of the people, and I’m proud of my team for successfully defending the law.”

Fundraising and planning are progressing for Creekside Park. Those plans indicate the facility will be ready for use by late summer.

Fergus County Commissioners met Thursday for a scheduled meeting that was shortened by the weather.  Chairman  Ross Butcher reviewed that session.  

BOZEMAN, Mont., Feb. 7, 2018 – The snowpack across Montana remains in good shape starting the month of February with all basins in the state at near to above normal for the date. In fact, Montana is the only state in the 12 western U.S. states where the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service measures snowpack in which all basins in the state have at least normal snowpack conditions on Feb 1.

“La Nina weather patterns this year have favored the northern tier states across the western U.S and so far Montana and Wyoming have been the big winners,” said Lucas Zukiewicz, NRCS water supply specialist for Montana.”

Central Montana Medical Center was recently named one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“This achievement is very gratifying and validates our daily commitment to providing the best healthcare possible to our community, while maintaining an efficient and effective facility,” said Mike Dowdy, CEO.

The Fergus County Sheriff’s Office received several complaints regarding a phone scam that was occurring in and around Lewistown. The person conducting the scam is calling residence around Lewistown and Fergus County stating that he is a law enforcement officer with the Fergus County Sheriff’s Office. He then proceeded to tell them that there was a warrant for their arrest. The caller would advise them that if they paid the fine the warrant would be taken care of.

The 73rd Montana Winter Fair was a huge success, with fantastic participation from across the Central Montana community and far beyond.  We saw great turnout and engagement for all 25+ events this year – from the new educational presentations and events, to the traditional events everybody knows and loves.  Here is a recap of many of the results from the fair that was held in various Lewistown locations from January 24th through the 28th.