2019 Declamation Contest for Gallatin County’s rural schools

The 68th Annual “Patriotic Declamatory Contest For Rural Schools” will be held on Thursday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Gallatin County Courthouse.

Sponsored by the Gallatin County Bar Association and American Legion Post 14, the Declamation Contest is a patriotic essay/oratory competition held exclusively for middle school students in Gallatin County’s rural schools. Participating schools include Anderson, Gallatin Gateway, LaMotte, Monforton, Pass Creek and Springhill.

To compete, contestants must research a patriotic theme and either write a 600-word essay or prepare a 3- to 5-minute memorized speech to be delivered at the event. Contestants also take a written exam on flag knowledge as part of their score.

This year’s theme is “Ellis Island, Border Walls, and Sanctuary Cities: American immigration policies past, present, and future.”

In existence since 1951, the contest is officiated by local dignitaries and members of the Bar Association and is emceed by retired District Court Judge Mike Salvagni.

Trophies, cash prizes and American flags are awarded to the top finalists. The top two finishers in each category will then present their winning declamations at Law Day on Friday, May 3, at the Gallatin County Law & Justice Center.

For more information, contact the Gallatin County Superintendent of Schools at 406-582-3090

 

Fourth annual Law Enforcement DUI Awards Ceremony

The fourth annual Law Enforcement DUI Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Gallatin County DUI Task Force, will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

The event will honor the top three officers from each law enforcement agency in Gallatin County who made the most DUI arrests in 2018. Officers are given prizes and certificates to thank them for their efforts.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox will be this year’s keynote speaker. The event will also include a guest speaker who will share a personal story of loss due to DUI.

Light refreshments will be served. The event is free and open to the public.

The awards ceremony will start at 6:30 p.m. and be held in the community room of the Gallatin County Courthouse, located at 311 W. Main St. in Bozeman.

Media contact:
Kelley Parker-Wathne, DUI Task Force coordinator
Kelley.Parker@gallatin.mt.gov
406-585-1492

Photos from 2018 DUI Awards Ceremony, courtesy of the DUI Task Force

Gallatin Local Water Quality District to conduct Well Awareness Courses

The Gallatin Local Water Quality District will be conducting Well Awareness Courses designed to educate private well owners on best practices for protecting their drinking water. The courses, held in April 2019, are $20 each. Registration and more information is online at www.glwqd.org.

Homeowners will learn how to conduct an assessment of their well’s condition, identify potential contaminant sources, and discuss factors that can affect their water quality.  Proper septic system maintenance and potential impacts on groundwater will be discussed along with how to test your drinking water and what to test for.

Informational packets and well assessment forms will be provided. Once participants have conducted their own well assessment, GLWQD staff will follow up after the course to provide recommendations.

Choose one of the following courses:

  • Intro Course – Belgrade: April 9 at the Central Valley Fire Department Training Center, 95 N. Davis, Belgrade, MT
  • Advanced Course – Belgrade: April 10 at the Central Valley Fire Department Training Center, 95 N. Davis, Belgrade, MT
  • Intro Course – Bozeman: April 24 at the Bozeman Public Library, 626 E. Main St., Bozeman, MT
  • Advanced Course – Bozeman: April 25 at the Gallatin County Courthouse Community Room, 311 W. Main St., Bozeman, MT.  All events are from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

If you would like more information about these courses, please call Christine Miller at (406) 582-3148, or email christine.miller@gallatin.mt.gov.

The Gallatin Local Water Quality District is a non-regulatory department of Gallatin County located in Bozeman, Montana. The District is focused on the protection, preservation and improvement of groundwater and surface water. The District strives to accomplish this through water quality monitoring and special investigations, educating residents of all ages in the District, and collecting and disseminating water information to the Gallatin community. To learn more about your water quality or to register for one of these courses please visit us online at www.glwqd.org.

Media contact:
Christine Miller, GLWQD
406-582-3148
Christine.Miller@gallatin.mt.gov

Road reopens in West Yellowstone following federal investigation

Teams from multiple agencies that responded to help with a federal investigation in West Yellowstone were released Friday.

This week, the West Yellowstone Police Department investigated a felony stalking complaint. When the suspect was taken into custody, officers suspected violations under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were present. The ATF was called in and additional steps had to be taken with suspected hazardous materials in a local residence.

Numerous other agencies were called in to assist ATF, West Yellowstone PD and Hebgen Basin Fire District as part of the investigation on the 500 block of Firehole Avenue in West Yellowstone on Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29.

During the course of the investigation, Firehole Avenue was closed between Geyser Street and Hayden Street to facilitate parking for the agencies’ vehicles. The street was reopened to the public on Friday morning. There continues to be no threat to public safety at this time.

Agencies that assisted as part of the investigation included the Bozeman Fire Regional Hazmat Team, the Lewis and Clark County Bomb Squad, the 83rd Civil Support Team, Gallatin County Emergency Management, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Yellowstone National Park rangers and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement.

The incident remains under investigation by the ATF.

 

Correction on Travis W. Atkins Week press release

The proclamations that the City of Bozeman and Gallatin County will be making declaring Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins Week will be for the week of March 25-29.

An earlier press release incorrectly stated the dates of the week. Apologies for the error.
– Whitney Bermes, Gallatin County Communications Coordinator

CORRECTED PRESS RELEASE BELOW

Officials in Bozeman and Gallatin County will join the nation in honoring and recognizing the sacrifice of a Montana soldier who will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor next week.

The Bozeman City Commission and the Gallatin County Commission will adopt proclamations declaring the week of March 25-29 as Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins Week in Bozeman and Gallatin County.

Atkins, of Bozeman, was killed on June 1, 2007 when he tackled a suicide bomber who detonated his vest. Atkins’ actions saved the lives of three of his fellow soldiers.

At a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, March 27, President Trump will present Atkins’ family with the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest honor.

In their proclamations, commissioners from Bozeman and Gallatin County recognize the valor of Atkins’ actions that day, and throughout his time in the U.S. Army. They hope the recognition is a small way to show their gratitude for Atkins and their sincere appreciation for his ultimate sacrifice.

“Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins’ selfless acts deserve to be recognized and honored by all citizens of Gallatin County, Montana and the nation. We are humbled by his service to our country,” said Gallatin County Commissioner Don Seifert.

“Sergeant Atkins gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Not only do we honor Sergeant Atkins this week, we are proud to write his life story into the history of Bozeman. His legacy is great and will not be forgotten,” said Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus.

The Bozeman City Commission will make its proclamation at its weekly public meeting on Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. in the City Commission Room at City Hall, 121 N. Rouse Ave. (Agenda here.)

The Gallatin County Commission will then make its proclamation at its weekly public meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 9 a.m. at the Gallatin County Courthouse Community Room, 311 W. Main St. in Bozeman. The Montana State University ROTC Color Guard will also be helping pay respects to Atkins by presenting the colors at the Gallatin County Commission’s Tuesday meeting. (Agenda here.)

Officials to declare March 25-29 as Travis W. Atkins Week in Bozeman, Gallatin County

Officials in Bozeman and Gallatin County will join the nation in honoring and recognizing the sacrifice of a Montana soldier who will posthumously receive the Medal of Honor next week.

The Bozeman City Commission and the Gallatin County Commission will adopt proclamations declaring the week of March 25-29 as Staff Sergeant Travis W. Atkins Week in Bozeman and Gallatin County.

Atkins, of Bozeman, was killed on June 1, 2007 when he tackled a suicide bomber who detonated his vest. Atkins’ actions saved the lives of three of his fellow soldiers.

At a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, March 27, President Trump will present Atkins’ family with the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest honor.

In their proclamations, commissioners from Bozeman and Gallatin County recognize the valor of Atkins’ actions that day, and throughout his time in the U.S. Army. They hope the recognition is a small way to show their gratitude for Atkins and their sincere appreciation for his ultimate sacrifice.

“Staff Sergeant Travis Atkins’ selfless acts deserve to be recognized and honored by all citizens of Gallatin County, Montana and the nation. We are humbled by his service to our country,” said Gallatin County Commissioner Don Seifert.

“Sergeant Atkins gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Not only do we honor Sergeant Atkins this week, we are proud to write his life story into the history of Bozeman. His legacy is great and will not be forgotten,” said Bozeman Mayor Cyndy Andrus.

The Bozeman City Commission will make its proclamation at its weekly public meeting on Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. in the City Commission Room at City Hall, 121 N. Rouse Ave. (Agenda here.)

The Gallatin County Commission will then make its proclamation at its weekly public meeting on Tuesday, March 26 at 9 a.m. at the Gallatin County Courthouse Community Room, 311 W. Main St. in Bozeman. (Agenda here.) The Montana State University ROTC Color Guard will also be helping pay respects to Atkins by presenting the colors at the Gallatin County Commission’s Tuesday meeting.

(Photos courtesy of the Atkins family.)

 

 

Belgrade VFW to present donation to Gallatin County Treatment Court

This Friday, the Belgrade VFW Post will present Gallatin County Treatment Court and the Friends of the Treatment Court (FOTC) with its largest single donation in the programs’ history.

Jim Matters, Jr., Commander of the VFW Nicholas Bloem Post 12112 in Belgrade, will attend the bi-weekly Treatment Court session on Friday, March 15 where he will present a $1,100 donation to Treatment Court’s FOTC program.

Friends of the Treatment Court is a group of volunteers who donate time and funding to help participants in the Treatment Court program.

Gallatin County Treatment Court is an 18-month voluntary program that can be an alternative to incarceration for adult offenders whose crimes were motivated by substance abuse.

Among a number of things, participants are required to attend addictions counseling, mental health therapy and support groups, as well as submit to frequent drug and alcohol testing and report weekly to a case manager.

The five core values Treatment Court attempts to instill in the participants are honesty, integrity, responsibility, sobriety and service.

Friends of the Treatment Court was formed nearly 20 years ago to support the program’s participants. Over the years, that support has ranged from donating furniture and kitchenware to participants moving into a new home, to buying gifts for participants, birthday cards and Christmas gifts.

“Just little things to make them feel appreciated and a part of the community,” explained Steve Ette, Treatment Court coordinator.

The donation will be presented during Treatment Court’s regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, March 15 at 10:30 a.m. in Gallatin County District Court Judge John Brown’s courtroom at the Law and Justice Center, located at 615 S. 16th Ave. in Bozeman.

Media contact:
Steve Ette, Treatment Court coordinator
582-3706

Verizon 911 issues in Gallatin County resolved

The issues between telecommunication companies that were causing 911 calls from Verizon Wireless phones in Gallatin County to go to nonemergency lines have been resolved.

Emergency calls from Verizon phones are now going to the correct emergency lines at the Gallatin County 911 Center.

Due to an issue between Verizon Wireless, CenturyLink and Zayo, telecom companies that provide services for the Gallatin County 911 Center, 911 calls from Verizon phones were being diverted to the center’s nonemergency lines.

The issue began intermittently over the weekend, then all calls from Verizon phones were being sent to the nonemergency lines starting on Tuesday.

Jim Anderson, director of Gallatin County 911, reported that on Wednesday afternoon the issues had been resolved and calls were going to the correct lines. He thanks Gallatin County 911 Center dispatchers and staff for their diligence in efficiently working around these issues the last few days.

 

Issues with Verizon calls to the Gallatin County 911 Center

Due to issues with telecom companies that provide services for the Gallatin County 911 Center, calls to 911 in Gallatin County from Verizon Wireless phones are currently being re-routed to the center’s non-emergency lines.

This is not due to any technical issues at the 911 center, but rather it is a telecommunications company issue between Verizon Wireless, CenturyLink and Zayo. Regardless, Gallatin County dispatch is doing all it can to mitigate the problems.

These issues began intermittently over the weekend, but now all calls to 911 from Verizon phones are being re-routed to the center’s two administrative lines.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Until further notice, if you have an emergency and call 911 from a Verizon phone, be ready to IMMEDIATELY tell dispatch that it’s an emergency AND provide a location as calls to the non-emergency lines don’t provide location data.
  • Because there are only two administrative lines, the center can only take two calls from Verizon phones simultaneously. If you get a busy signal, hang up and try again until your call is answered.
  • There is no time frame as to when these issues will be resolved.

The staff at the Gallatin County 911 Center is working diligently to work around these issues as efficiently as possible.

Media contact:
Whitney Bermes, Gallatin County Communications Coordinator
595-8963
whitney.bermes@gallatin.mt.gov

New security screening process at Law and Justice Center starting next week

After three weeks of practicing, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office personnel will begin a new screening process at the Law and Justice Center starting Monday, Feb. 25.

To increase safety for everyone who uses the Law and Justice Center, there will now be one entrance for the public coming into the building, located at 615 S. 16th Ave., where people will be screened for weapons, which are not allowed in the facility.

The list of prohibited weapons includes:

  • Firearms – with or without a permit, and including ammunition or replica firearms
  • Sharp objects – knives, scissors, cutting tools or arrows
  • Tools – including all construction tools
  • Disabling chemicals – mace or pepper spray
  • Stun devices – Tasers or stun guns
  • Club-like items – Billy clubs, baseball bats or batons

That entrance will be on the southwest side of the building. There, people will be greeted at a window by security, staffed by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. Bags will be put through a scanner, and people will walk through a metal detector.

Folks unable to use the stairs will be screened at the building’s north entrance.

The main entrance will be staffed Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For anyone wishing to come to the Law and Justice Center after hours, on weekends or on holidays, they can push a button at the entrance and someone will come screen them.

Signs have been posted around the building to remind people of these new protocols.

People are encouraged to get to the Law and Justice Center at least 10 minutes early to be screened. Around 8 a.m. is the busiest time at the building, so if possible, the public is also asked to try to find alternate times to visit the facility.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin said the new process is bound to include some growing pains and inconveniences at first.

But, the sheriff said, “Most importantly, it’s the right thing to do.”

Gootkin said the new security measures have been a team effort between the sheriff’s office, the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office and the Gallatin County Commission.

There have been serious security incidents in the building in the past, and this new screening process will hopefully keep similar or worse incidents from happening in the future, the sheriff said.

“We’re being preventative,” Gootkin said.

In addition to the new screening process, additional electronic surveillance has been added throughout the Law and Justice Center.

The Law and Justice Center is the only county courthouse in Montana with this level of security.