January 6 — Fallon County Times gets new look. . .The old east side Washington School is taking on a new life. Josh Cuppy and Dave Stevens have been working to build their dream of establishing a microbrewery in Baker. . . .Roy Rost, County Commissioner, Jeraldine Newell, District Clerk of Court and Keli Bertsch, District Deputy Clerk, were sworn into office by County Commissioner Steve Baldwin, Dec. 30. . .Seventh grade class in Baker did their Uncle Jerry’s T’s Fundraiser again this year and donated over $300 in items to the Christmas Wishes Program. . .Baker National Honor Society makes donation to Tyler Johnson family. Tyler is a fifth grade student who is struggling with complications from epilepsy.
January 13 — Headline: An invisible weakness: Learning with dyslexia. Discussion on dyslexia needs to happen now, Jan Stickney, retired Plevna teacher says. . .Despite the rumors, Montanans will be able to use their state issued ID to board aircraft until Jan. 22, 2018. . .Picture: Baker’s icy roads. Last week saw another round of snowfall for southeast Montana but this time the roads weren’t just snow covered, they froze over. . .The BHS Speech & Drama Team competed in an A, B, and C Meet against Sidney Jan. 7. The Speech Team took 1st place and Drama Team took 3rd place overall. . .Avery O’Connor, a 2nd grader at Plevna School participated in Punt, Pass, and Kick National Competition. She was recognized during halftime of the Bronco and Patriots football game on Dec. 18. . . Success Story was Griffith Excavating. For 45 years, Griffith Excavating plays role in changing region’s landscape.
January 20 — Headline: Create your own masterpiece at Corky Canvas, now open in Baker. Kayla Heiser and Sarah Helgoth are hoping to tap into the creative side of Fallon County with their new business, Corky Canvas. . .Fallon/Carter Extension Office, Little Beaver Conservation District and the Fallon County NRCS collaborated to host an Innovative Ranching Workshop Jan. 5. . .Former Marmarth auditor embezzled funds from city. Vernice Martin, pleaded guilty to one Class C felony count of misapplication of entrusted property. . .Picture: Close call: Icy roads force a commercial semi truck belonging to Runnings off road in downtown Baker.
January 27 — Toby Reissig recently donned a new uniform for the city of Baker. Reissig was sworn in Jan. 9 as the city’s new police officer. He previously worked as a dispatcher and later as an officer at the Fallon County Detention Center. . .Water main issues plague city. A portion of Highway 12 was closed Tuesday while the city of Baker addressed a water main break on the west side of town. The water main break occurred about three blocks west of the intersection of Highway 12 and 7, adjacent to Cenex and Prairie Manor apartment complex. . .Picture: 2016 March for Life. Young and old gathered at the railroad crossing north of Baker for the 2016 March for Life on January 22. . .Keystone XL Pineline authorization good for Montana. . .The Missoula Children’s Theater along with the students from the Plevna School presented the community with the play Peter and Wendy.
February 3 — The 2016-17 Speech, Drama and Debate season ended in Havre on Jan. 28. The team is proud to bring home a two time state champion in Humorous Solo, sophomore Devon Solberg and a 2nd place finish in Original Oratory for our exchange student from Sweden, Ellen Widell. . .Baker’s PRCA rodeo honored for having best large rodeo in state. . .Cub Scouts Pack 256 sold over $25,000 of Trails End Popcorn. . .On Jan. 17, Medicine Rocks State Park in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 7 was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Medicine Rocks now joins a list of ten state parks that enjoy this nationally recognized status. . .The third annual Baker Science Fair was held on Jan. 25 for students in grades 10-12. The projects were divided into three topic categories: Psychology, Biology and Physical Science. The grand prize wins in each categories and their projects were: Psychology – Maddie Reddick and Amber Durden – “Gender Differences in Body Interpretation; Biology – Ellen Widell and Katelynn Afrank “Hearing Aid”; Physical Science – Samantha Smith and Taiken Goerndt “Protection Against Heat and Light by Cotton Fabric”.
February 10 — Headline: Local EMS outgrows current facility. Director hopeful for future new building. . .BHS Speech and Drama Coach Carole Bettenhausen was named the Eastern Division Coach of the Year at the Eastern Divisional Class B-C tournament held in Culbertson on Jan. 20. . .Fallon County District Court sentences two men. Robert Lee Wood, was sentenced to four years in Montana State Prison after pleading guilty to felony sexual assault. Scott Matthew Thum was sentenced to ten years in prison for criminal endangerment. . .Picture: Will Rost captured this photo of deer going through town on his way to school Mon. Feb. 6. . .Baker High School Seniors, Luke Gonsioroski and Angus Lund, signed their letters of intent on Feb. 1 to play NCAA College Football. . .Baker Schools celebrate 100th Day of School. . .Seven Baker Spartan wrestlers earn their way to compete in the State Class “B” tournament in Billings: Dalton Lecoe, Trevor Griffith, Terrel Koenig, Keegan Kary, Dalton Herbst, Paul Wang and Summitt Wiman.
February 17 — Headline: Baker Spartan wrestlers medal at State. Watch for state wresting results in next week’s paper. . .TransCanada Keystone to pass through Baker. . .Students from SADD met Feb. 9 to decorate cookies for the American Legion Auxiliary to distribute to veterans in the area. . .The third through eighth graders in Plevna participated in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition. Jaeda Paul, sixth grade, and Madison O’Connor, third grade, both received a plaque for making the most free throws. . .The Baker Senior Citizen hosted their first pinochle tournament Feb 11. Winners were 1st – Marvin Gookin, 2nd – Levi Hlebechuk, 3rd – Robert Rusley and 4th Lorraine Meschke. Carla Peterson of Rapid City, S.D. came the farthest. The oldest player was Gwen Setine, 93. . .Success Story was Baker Metal & Recycling. For well over a half century Baker Metal and Recycling has found it necessary to evolve for its customer’s and community’s needs.
February 24 — On Feb. 7, residents of Baker gathered in the Longfellow Gymnasium to celebrate the 53rd annual Americanism Program. The program, which honors patriotism in America, was centered this year on paying tribute to the American flag. . .Wanda Pinnow, of rural Baker, was elected to the leadership team of the American National CattleWomen, Inc. in Nashville, Tenn. at their convention on Jan. 30-31. . .Heads turned as a very eye-catching and mouth-watering vehicle drove down Main Street in Baker on Feb. 21. The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was sighted in Baker. . .Fallon Medical Complex was recently granted access to the newly created “End-of-Life Registry” by the MT Department of Justice. The registry was authorized by the 2015 Montana Legislature to store advanced directives online and to give authorized health care facilities access to them. . .Cleet Wrzesinski competed in Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho. Cleet placed second in the 60m high hurdles with a personal best of 8.27 seconds.
March 3 — Headline: Growth of Big Sky Mini Barns leads to expansion. Big Sky Mini Barns in Baker doesn’t just construct sheds any longer. Over this past year, owner Thad DeBuhr has launched a new division to his company. He is now offering residential building and remodeling. . .Bulls, Broncs and Barrels attracts thrill seekers. This years annual event held on Feb. 25 in the Fallon County Fairgrounds indoor arena, welcomed approximately 575 thrill seekers. . .On Feb. 14, the Plevna FCCLA Chapter and Mrs. Benner, Advisor, handed roses out to Senior Citizens of the community. . .The Fallon/Carter County Extension hosted a “Building Better Beef” Workshop for 4-H and FFA youth on Feb. 11 at Clayton Graham’s indoor area. There were 18 youth that attended.
March 10 — Headline: Jerrod Niemann to headline 2017 Fallon County Fair. . .The Baker community has an opportunity ‘to-pay-it-forward’ on March 26 when a free will offering medical benefit breakfast to help a local resident defray his medical expenses. Herb Uecker, 65 year old Baker resident, will be traveling to the Lung Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz. to receive two separate stem cell treatments for a lung condition that has left him totally disabled since 2016. . .Local American Legion Post #35 will celebrate its 98th birthday on March 15 at the clubhouse banquet room here in Baker. . .John Nowak of Baker has received his Master of Education in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University. . .On Feb. 21-27, the Plevna Elementary celebrated I Love to Read Week featuring Dr. Seuss. . .Picture: Local Black Gold Chapter, of the National Mule Deer Foundation, hosted their first annual fundraising banquet in the exhibit hall at the Fallon County fairgrounds on March 4. . .Eastern Star Chapter #60 of Baker provided outstanding third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students with a certificate and pizza as part of the Pull Up Grades (PUGS) honor roll. Fifty-seven students qualified for the Pugs honor roll for the second quarter.
March 17 — Picture: The 3,460 sq. ft. food concession stand at the Fallon County Fairgrounds is scheduled to be completed by May 1, 2017. The new food court offers a covered seating area that will accommodate 130 people. . .Lawler’s is the new location of open Art Studio. This open brush time is free of charge and will be held one day a month. . .Picture: Mary Stark, 90 yr. old Baker resident proudly wears the green as she waves a flag wishing everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day. . .Local leprechauns gathered to celebrate Baker’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Leapin Leprechaun Race on March 11. This annual St. Paddy’s Day celebration is sponsored by Fallon Medical Complex (FMC) to fund medical education scholarships. 1st place team – “Dropkick Murphy”, 2nd place team – “Irish You Were Beer”, 3rd place team – “Dublin Our Luck”. . .Fallon County 4-H members presented their best dishes at the 4-H Foods Festival held on March 5 at the Plevna Senior Center. Fifteen youth presented their dished that ranged from One Pot Cheesy Chicken Alfredo to Cream Puff Cake. . .Jessica Paul was inducted into Plevna’s National Honor Society on March 9. . .Success Story was Rolling Rubber Point S. Rolling Rubber is a one stop automotive shop. In addition to selling high quality tires and alignment services, they offer oil changes, check and repair brakes and service u-joints and shocks.
March 24 — Headline: Stranded – along a winter highway. A trip home to Baker, on Christmas morning, started out blissfully for the Rick and Bryon Wiman families. Then suddenly without warning, thirty miles west of Macintosh, they popped up over a hill and found themselves in the middle of a major blizzard. Story continued next week. . .The 2017 Baker High School Prom King and Queen Candidates were selected by the BHS Student Body. They are Cleet Wrzesinski (Jon and Michele), Treston Erickson (Jim and Nicole Benefiel), and Paul Wang (Dean and Karen), Samantha Smith (Jake & Wendy Wagner and Margo & Kenny Smith), Megan Greiff (Everett), Trevor Griffith (Jon and Billie Jo) Brooklyn Ridenhower (Mark Ridenhower and Kimberly Ridenhower), and Ellen Widell (host parents Nate and Libby Solberg). . .Ekalaka, Montana was presented Montana’s 2017 ‘Event of the Year’ award, at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism and Recreation banquet on March 13. This small community was recognized for their annual ‘Dino Shindig’, a celebration of everything dinosaur. . . Chace JRandy Wyrick, a 25-year-old Baker man is in custody and facing accusations of assault with a weapon. The incident took place on Feb. 26. . . .An educator that serves as a Jr. High teacher, BHS girls basketball coach, and sports complex assistant manager has been suspended with pay, pending allegations of misconduct. . .High temperature March 18 was 71 degrees.
March 31 — Headline: Scam Alert: Baker Police warns of IRS Scams. The Baker Police Dept. continues to warn area residents to guard against scan phone calls from thieves intent on stealing their money or their identity. Local residents have again begun to get phone calls claiming to be IRS personnel to trick victims out of their money or personal information. . .Three BHS basketball players were named to the 3-B All-Conference basketball teams. They are Daniel Rost, Luke Gonsioroski and Madison Reddick. Daniel was also selected to the All-State team. . .Brandon Schmidt, former Baker resident, received his heart transplant a little over a month ago. His mother Diana reports, “He is happy to have a pulse again since he had no pulse with his Livad, the heart pump. There is no signs of rejection. We hope it continues that way. He is happy with his progress and we are too”. . .Farmers Union Oil in Baker is excited to be mailing out $35,290 in annual patronage checks to loyal customers. They are also pleased to announce that $52,927 worth of stock has been issued out to local members. The total dividend distributed is $88,216. . .Congratulations to Darlene Hornung for 30 years of service at the Fallon County Times. . .Alivia Schultz was awarded the Clayton Hornung Memorial Scholarship for $250.
April 7 — Help clean up Baker — You can make a difference. The City of Baker will be hosting “Baker Proud” Clean-Up Days starting on April 23 and running through May 15. . .The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) Aeronautics Division, along with the Montana Aeronautics board, awarded over $600,000 in loans and grants to various Montana airports as part of its annual loan and grant programs. Bakers’s Municipal Airport, which its land is owned by the city, but is managed by Fallon County, was awarded a grand for $6,764. The money will be used toward pavement maintenance. . .Sixty-five couples attend Baker High School 2017 Prom. The annual prom theme was “Enchanted Altantis” and was held on April 1. Cleet Wrzesinski was crowned king, and Megan Greiff was crowned queen. . .A task force of four separate law enforcement agencies: Fallon County Sheriff’s Dept., Baker Police Dept., Montana Highway Patrol and the Drug Task Force worked together to recover stolen property and seize illegal drugs in three covert operations carried out between March 13 and March 30 in Fallon County. Two of the seizures were in Baker, while the third happened in Plevna.
April 14 — The City of Baker presented the 2017 Citizen of the Year Award to Kelly and Angela Heiser on April 5. The Heisers have performed a number of acts of goodwill over the years. The community Thanksgiving Dinner is an annual event in which the Heisers open their business free of charge to anyone who has nowhere to go for the holiday. This past year they stood out because after last summer’s tornado they assisted the clean up efforts by supplying volunteers with food and refreshments which kept up their morale. . .The 2017 Plevna Prom has held April 8. The theme for this year was Neon City, New York. The Grand March started at 8 p.m. with five couples walking down the promenade. Picture: King Layne Silver-Farris and his date Hanna Wiedmer. . .Congratulations to Baker High School music students for qualifying for the State Music Festival. . .Plevna FFA chapter attended the State FFA Convention March 22-25 in Great Falls. . . Success Story was J&M Lumber. J&M Lumber was opened on May 1, 2003. J&M Lumber was built on the concepts that relationships with the customer and quality service would set them apart from the competition.
April 21 — The Saturday of Easter weekend on April 15, saw nearly one hundred area children scrambling for thousands of candy and toy filled Easter eggs at the Gamma Beta Sorority’s annual Easter Egg Hunt held at the fairgrounds. The eggs were stuffed by the Easter Bunny’s helpers at Superior Care Villa. . .Fallon County Fair Board creates new website. Lani DeBuhr, fairgrounds manager, is announcing a new website which she states, “Is a “one stop shop” for all things related to the fairgrounds and the fair.” . .Leonel Collazo Jr., of Plevna, was sentenced for Aggravated Assault, a felony, by Judge Nickolas C. Murnion on April 11 in the 16th Judicial District Court in Baker. . .The Baker Education Association (BEA) will be hosting a public forum for candidates running for the positions of school board on April 27. Three locals: Quintin Burdick, Anna Straub and Pete Rising will be vying for two seats, presently held by Johnna Koenig and Scott Rabbitt, who will also be running to maintain their positions. . .The Baker Lions Club recently sold raffle tickets to provide funds to purchase a generator for the emergency shelter at the fairgrounds. The drawing was held March 19, winners were: third place prize $400 meat bundle from Hanging W Meats, Monica Stark; second place prize 50 quart and 12 quart Yeti coolers, Neil Moore; first place prize three rifles, Dave Breitbach. . .Dakotah Rusley from Baker is interning this semester at NASA – National Aeronautics and and Space Administration Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. . .On April 12, the 1st Annual Autism Awareness Walk was held at Baker High School. April is Autism Awareness month. . .The annual Faithweavers Easter Parade sponsored by the American Lutheran Church was held on April 6 down Main Street in Baker.
April 28 — Headline: National Day of Prayer – May 4. The theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer is “For Your Great Name’s Sake, Hear Us…Forgive Us…Heal Us!. . .The FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, to enhance public awareness of an ever-growing drug problem that is facing our nation. The film was shown to the general public in Baker on April 19. The film is scheduled to be shown at Baker High School to students 7-12 grades. . .On April 22, the Baker Fire Dept, held their annual Ladies Night along with the department awards. This year’s Chief Award went to Scott Anderson, Firefighter of the Year Justin Reese and Service Award went to Marvin Schopp with 48 years of dedicated service. . .Baker auctioneer, J. K. Kinsey, of Kinsey Auctioneers & Real Estate, recently completed his training at the prestigious Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI). Kinsey joins an exclusive group as there were approximately 860 current CAI designation holders in the world. . .On April 23 at the Baker Senior Citizen Center, the Baker Homecraft Club hosted the Senior Girls’ Tea. They honored the Baker Class of 2017 though a celebration with their mother or a woman close to them. . .Author Annika Plummer visited the Plevna School grades K-5 on April 11.
May 5 — The St. Anthony Catholic Church in Plevna has stood on a firm foundation for over 100 years as they have proclaimed the gospel of Christ. The original church building is still in use today for 10-15 families. . .Marvin Schopp, a volunteer firefighter, was awarded a plaque for 48 years of dedicated service to the Baker Fire Department at their annual awards night on April 22. . .The unofficial tallies have been totaled, the two candidates receiving the most votes for the two (three year term) positions on the Baker Public School Board are incumbent Johnna Koenig and candidate Quentin Burdick. . .Fifty-one students qualified for the PUGS honor roll for the third quarter.
May 12 — Headline: Bruha retires after 30 years of teaching music. Teresa ‘Terry’ Bruha began teaching in Plevna in 1987. In retirement, Mrs. Bruha plans to spend time with family, travel to more rodeos and quilt shows around the country. . .Fifteen Baker residents, traveled 2,668 kilos (1,658 miles) south of the border to the country of El Salvador to volunteer their time and talents to help the impoverished people of that country. . .Fifty some people flooded the County Commissioner’s office on May 9 to attend the public meeting to voice their comments and concerns regarding the Dewatering project that is being scheduled to drain the Baker Lake. . .Picture: 1,800 pinochle hand. Delbert Schweigert and Levi Hlebechuck hold a once in a lifetime 1,800 pinochle hand. . .Glendive Medical Center (GMC) is pleased to announce that pediatrician John Harris, MD will be providing outreach services at Fallon Medical Complex starting May 18. . .The community came out in force as 747 members of the community, both adults and students attended “Spring into Health” at the “biggest little health fair” in Montana. The fair took place on April 26 in the Baker High School Gymnasium. A highlight of the day for third-sixth graders was the opportunity to enter into a drawing for two new bicycles. The fortunate winners were Megan Varner, 3rd grade and Zander Rost, 4th grade. . .The Baker Fire Dept., held their 3rd annual Mondak Fire Academy on April 28-30. Fifty fire fighters from all around eastern Montana and western North Dakota attended. . .Dickinson State University student Jalyn Klauzer will address the graduates at the 97th spring commencement ceremony May 13. Jalyn is from Baker and is the daughter of Barb Klauzer. . . Success Story was Trendline Equipment. Greg and Judy Gunderson, of rural Baker, decided to “make hay while the sun was shining” some 19 years ago, when in 1998 they ventured to buy Trendline Equipment, an established agricultural equipment sales business in Baker.
May 19 — Headline: Baker Lady Spartan Tennis Team clinched 1st place at Divisionals. Baker Spartan Boys and Girls Track Teams captured 1st place at Districts. . .Rachel Brockel has purchased the Townsend Accounting Firm, from Jerry and Jan Townsend as they retire. . .Fourteen senior citizens gathered at the Senior Citizen’s Center on May 10 to claim one of the free Evacuation Grab ‘N Go Bags to better equip community residents, 60 years and older, with emergency equipment, in the case of a local disaster. The bags that were made available through a grant received by the Governor’s office of Community and Services are packed with a blanket, flashlight and batteries, radio and batteries, and a first aid kit. . .Last week the Baker High School Student body elected their student body officers for the 2017-18 school year. The officers are Dalton Herbst – President, Andrew Craft -Vice President, Amber Durden – Secretary, and Sheyanne Janeway – Treasurer. . .On May 10, Mrs. Bruha was honored at a Retirement Party for her 30 years of dedication to teaching Music – Band/Choir. . .Plevna High School Graduation was held May 14 at the Plevna Gymnasium. Lisa Rieger presented Layne Silver-Farris with his diploma. . .Goldie Collie Sparks was surrounded by numerous family and friends as she blew out the candles on the birthday cake commemorating her 95th year.
May 26 — The 102nd commencement ceremony for Baker High School in honor of the Class of 2017 was held on May 21 in the Longfellow Gymnasium. The class of 2017 comprised of 42 graduates. Co-Valedictorians were Haylee Barkley and Daniel Rost and Co-Salutatorians were Melissa Breitbach and Taiken Goerndt. Commencemnt Speaker was Jay Shumaker. . .Baker to host Montana High School Rodeo Finals for the second year. This year’s finals are scheduled to run from June 5-10. . .Picture: C. Ivan Stoltzfus, Honey Brook, Pa., stops in Baker on May 15, as he makes a 4,000 mile trek across America on his 1948 John Deere Model A to raise awareness and funds for American’s wounded veterans. . .Miss Mia’s preschoolers joyfully sang “Off to Kindergarten” on May 17 at their end-of-the-year program. This ceremony honors the 10th graduating class from ToyBox.
June 2 — Headline: Spartans participate at State Track. Baker Spartan Boys and Girls Track Teams earned second place trophies at State last weekend in Butte. . .Picture: Bugler Sheila Wang and Fallon Post #35 Honor Guard paid tribute to our Veterans at Memorial Day Services. . .There were 49 units of blood donated at the Baker blood draw on May 24. Savannah Davis, a graduate of Baker High School has been awarded the “High School Hero Cord Award” from the United Blood Services for her donations at local blood draws. Savannah is the daughter of Tiffany and Mike Davis. . .Haylee Barkley, daughter of Todd and Molly Barkley of Baker was awarded the MECA (Montana Electric Cooperative Association) Scholarship. Haylee will be furthering her education at MSU Bozeman.
June 9 — Picture: Farmer’s Union Oil Company/Cenex of Baker, which was built in 1959, was demolished this past week. They will be constructing a new facility including tank field, dispensers and a 5,000+ sq. ft. convenience store. They plan on being open for business late fall/or early winter. . .The queen competition for the Montana State High School Rodeo Finals began June 5 as three Montana High School cowgirls vie for the title of 2017 Montana High School Rodeo Queen. The contestants are Sierra Belvin, Amanda Russell and Rylee Anderson. The finale will be at the Fallon County Fairgrounds arena as one will win the title of Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, or the coveted title of 2017 Montana High School Rodeo Queen. . .At a glance it looks like someone installed a new telephone booth on the edge of the Bank of Baker parking lot, on the north shore of the Baker Lake. This is the new community information booth (kiosk) that the City of Baker had constructed a few years back. The information kiosk is available to display any event that will be taking place in the local area. . .Drought conditions in Northeast Montana have developed rapidly since the end of April.
Reports that producers are selling off cattle due to concern over available forage in Dawson, Richland, McCone, Roosevelt, Prairie Wibaux and Fallon counties. . .Success Story was Russell’s Clothing. Opened as one of the first clothing stores in Baker. Don and Merri Beck, current owners, purchased the store on Oct. 1, 2004. Russell’s Clothing has stood the test of time, having celebrated their 10 Jubilee Anniversary in 2016.
June 16 — Fallon County wrapped up its second year hosting the Montana High School Rodeo Finals with a confirmation from the MHSRA to play host again next year. Quentin Wheeler, Baker, placed third in the state in Tie Down. He will advance to Nationals in Tie Down Roping in Gillette, Wyo. Wyatt Gaskin also competed in the Boys Cutting and will be advancing to Nationals. . .The Baker Lions Club has tasked themselves with giving the Senior Citizen’s Centennial Park a crucial facelift. Carl Hepperle, long time Lions Club member, is spearheading the project. He has been working on restoring the title sign. The park benches are in the process of being sanded and boards replaced. The gazebo is also scheduled to receive a new coat of paint. . .The 18th annual Baker Car Show sponsored by the Classic Cruisers car club had a splendid showing of 77 cars and pickups as exhibitors and enthusiasts gathered at the Baker Lake Gazebo on June 3. . .The high temperature June 9 was 89 degrees.
June 23 — Headline: One-year anniversary of tornado disaster. Baker has changed, the people have changed, and the landscape has changed. Although there is much to mourn, there is more to celebrate and remember. A year later we are strong, we are hopeful and we are more than buildings, we are home. . .Filing for the City of Baker and the Town of Plevna municipal elections closed June 19. . .In a hearing that took all of seven minutes Dale Duwayne Buerkle, 66 pleaded not guilty to federal charges June 11 in Billings. Buerkle, a long time resident of Plevna, is accused of illegally killing a bald eagle and a hawk with pesticide. A trial date has been set for Aug. 8, 2017. . .Picture: Twenty-five participants enjoyed the 2017 St. Judes Trailride on June 18, at the Fred and Ann Hoff ranch.
June 30 — Headline: New location for 4th of July celebration. Fallon County’s 4th of July festivities have been moved from its usual location on the lake to the fairgrounds due to work currently in progress around the lake. . .Twenty-seven minors given citations. On June 24 law enforcement responded to a noise complaint at a house on South First Street West in Baker. After officers performed breathalyzer testing six minors were cited for Minor in Possession (MIP). An hour later officers responded to another complaint at a building location on Highway 7 and Sewell Ave. After the appropriate testing officers issued 21 MIP citations. . .Semi-retirement in the numbers for Townsend. Jerry Townsend and his wife Jan sold Townsend Accounting in February to Rachel Brockel. He stayed to work through the busy season and to offer any help needed during ownership transition. Jerry intends to continue working when needed but has plans to spend time with his wife at their homes in Baker and in Sturgis, S.D. “Jan is currently on kidney dialysis and I want to be there for her as much as I can,” said Jerry. . .The sixth annual Tom McGonigal Kids’ Fishing Day was held at South Sandstone Reservoir June 17. One hundred thirty kids attended the event, sponsored by the Sons of American Legion Post #35. After the children completed the workshop stations they were given bags filled with fishing tackle, lanyards, water bottles, sunscreen and bug spray. Two hundred fifty-eight participants, volunteers, friends and family also enjoyed a free lunch. . .Both the Baker Minors and Majors baseball teams finished their seasons last weekend at the Grand Slam Tournament in Miles City with trophies. The Minors, took first place after winning four games. The Majors, took second place in the tournament with two game wins and two losses to the Twins of Miles City. . .The Tri-Area Racing Association (TARA) hosted the 18th annual Bump-n-Run at the motor sports complex west of Baker on June 25.
July 7 — Headline: County Scenes and Children’s Dreams…in abundance at the 2017 Fallon County Fair. The Fallon County Fair and Rodeo in Baker will be a five-day event to be held Aug. 16-20. . .High speed crash. Twenty-eight year old Matthew Monck of Baker escaped with minor injuries from a car accident June 27 despite his car being “totaled”. According to local law enforcement Monck was driving in excess of 50 miles per hour when he failed to stop at the intersection of First Street and Highway 12 traveling north. Police said due to a high rate of speed Monck lost control of the vehicle after hitting a bump at the intersection. . .Eugene “Gene” Vennes was honored for his 45 years of service as a Hunter Ed instructor in Fallon County. . .Kruger family reunion was held on June 16-17. . . Supervisory Deputy United States Marshal Tim Hornung accepted the American Legion Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award at the American Legion Department Convention in Billings on June 23. Each year, The American Legion gives its Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to a well-rounded law enforcement officer who has exceeded the duty requirements expected of his or her position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement. The award especially takes into account heroic acts. . .The Miles City Youth Baseball Association has selected its 12U All Star team, which will compete at the Montana Cal Ripken State Tournament in Belgrade. Rory Lingle, who lives in Baker and played on the Baker Majors team this season, was selected to the team. . .Pictures: Draining Baker Lake has begun.
July 14 — Kyle Lang from Wisconsin ran through Plevna and Baker on July 6 on his 2,967 mile run across the United States from North Cove, Wash. to Coney Island, N.Y. When Kyle ran through Baker, he was on day 32 of his estimated 75 day run. Kyle is raising money to give back to nonprofits in three communities that have had a impact on his life. These include Great Rivers United Way, Special Olympics New Jersey and Every Hand Joined. . .A criminal drug trial that was scheduled for the end of June was vacated when 20-year-old Alysa Prather changed her plea to guilty in District Court June 27. Prather was charged with two felony counts of criminal distribution of dangerous drugs in January. . .Baker 11U All Stars place 4th at 11U Cal Ripken State Baseball Tournament. . .High temperature July 5 was 102. . .Even though the 4th proved to be particularly hot, it didn’t stop residents from joining in the celebration at the Fallon County Fairgrounds. Around 700 people came throughout the day to partake in the tournaments, inflatables, Bar-B-Que and concerts. A wonderful firework show performed by the Baker Fire Department ended the day with a bang. . .Fire season begins abruptly. Unfortunately it is that time of year when the fires are more prominent, but this year the lack of precipitation early on has made the danger even higher. . .Success Story was Baker Furniture. Baker Furniture has been part of this community for 81 years. The store was first opened in 1936 by Leif Holmlund near the Baker Lake Theatre on Main Street. Orville Stevens began working for Leif while in high school. In 1966 Orville became the sole owner of Baker Furniture. Tom and Dave Stevens took over the main responsibilities of the store in 1998.
July 21 — Tyler Travis, 32, of Baker was found guilty on four separate charges in a jury trial, July 11-13, presided over by the Honorable Nickolas C. Murnion of the Montana Sixteenth Judicial District court, Fallon County. The defendant was charged with one count of misdemeanor partner or family assault, one count misdemeanor disorderly conduct, one count felony assault with a weapon and one count felony criminal endangerment in January. . .Drue Domagala, granddaughter of Darlene Domagala, competed at the HOSA (Future Health Professionals) National Competition in Orlando, Fla and won 1st place. . .Effective July 18 at 12:01 a.m., Fallon County entered Stage 1 fire restrictions. Stage 1 restrictions means that people cannot build or maintain a campfire. People also may not smoke except with an enclosed vehicle or building. . .Picture: Bohle Family Reunion – 100 years on the ranch. . .Picture: Debris covered in dried string algae and baked on mud give the illusion of partially excavated dinosaur bones. Some tornado debris makes its way to the shoreline as the lake water vanishes.
July 28 — Three congregations welcomed Pastor Scott Kiehn at an installation service at American Lutheran Church July 2. Pastor Kiehn will be serving the United Trinity Lutheran Parish, which includes Peace Lutheran-Plevna, American Lutheran-Baker and St. Elizabeth Lutheran in Ekalaka. Pastor Kiehn says Baker is the biggest town they have ever lived in. . .The Fallon County Sheriff’s Department reports that on June 22 multiple agencies including the Baker Police Department, Fish and Game, Wibaux County Sheriff’s Department and the Highway Patrol aided them in raiding an underage drinking party. The party took place in a remote area north of Baker. Approximately 30 minors received multiple citations. . .Federal and Stage Agencies inspect Baker Lake on July 19. The purpose of the visit was to view the extent of the debris laying on the surface of and embedded in the surface of Baker Lake and to develop consensus on the actual extent of the debris as deposited by the tornado. . .Leroy Cunningham, pleaded not guilty to eight separate charges. . .Aaron Warner, pleaded not guilty to five separate theft and drug charges. . .Kayla Kloetzke, pleaded not guilty to six separate charges. . .Eric Mitchell, pleaded not guilty to drug charges. . .Medicine Rocks to mark 60th anniversary July 30. . .Maranda Hastig of Baker has received her Master of Education in Learning and Technology from Western Governors University (WGU). . .Governor Steve Bullock has issued an executive order declaring a fire emergency in Montana. . .The Tri-Area Racing Association (TARA) hosted the second Bump-n-Run of the season on June 22. . .Junior Chippers Golf Camp had a successful second year at the Lakeview Country Club. There were 56 campers ranging from 1st grade up to 8th grade.
August 4 — Fifteen year old Taylor and nine year old Brooklyn Miller took part in an amazing adventure with their grandmother Dee Miller in July. They became part of the Rim-to-Rim Club after they completed the arduous journey from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to the South Rim in four days. Only one percent of the millions of yearly visitors to the Grand Canyon actually hike into it. . .Every year the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) commissions the building of a plane that is given to one lucky member pilot. This year they’ve asked Baker Air Service team Roger Meggers, Darin Meggers and Jon Anderson to build the plane. The aircraft will make its debut at the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo in 2018 before traveling the country and being given away in 2019. . .Steven Hurley has 18 years of experience in the automotive industry and has opened a new business in Baker. Hurley’s Automotive officially opened July 1 in the Woody’s Trucking building north of Baker on Red River Lane.
August 11 — Last May Baker Tennis Coach Tom Kendall was notified that he had been voted Girls Tennis Coach of the Year for Class B/C by the Montana Coaches Association. Coaches are voted by their fellow MCA members for their respective sport. Kendall was honored at the MCA Awards Program on Aug. 3 in Great Falls. He received a plaque and a “Super Bowl” sized ring. . .Fallon County Library is excited to announce the arrival of two Mobility Scooters. . .Baker hires two new teachers for 2017-2018 year. Ashley Schwartz will begin her first full year as a teacher in Lincoln Elementary. Sheila O’Connor will be teaching second grade at Lincoln Elementary. . .Alysa Prather was sentenced Aug. 8 in District Court for drug charges. Judge Murnion sentenced Prather ten years to Department of Corrections. . .By some accounts, one of the greatest events of the century will happen on Aug. 21, 2017. That event is a total solar eclipse. . .Dale Buerkle enters plea deal in bald eagle case.
August 18 — Plevna School District hires four new teachers. Marcia Oberlander will be teaching second grade. Carol Spencer will be the new fifth grade teacher. Stephanie Robertus will be teaching FCS and Math classes. Becki Wagnon will become the new music teacher. . .The Big Sky State Games has teamed up with the Character Counts! Coalition and Kenco Security and Technology to recognize the importance of sportsmanship and character in Montana student athletes. Skyler Robinson, Baker High School senior was recognized as one of this year’s four recipients of the Character Counts! Scholarship. Skyler is the daughter of Tim and Jamie Robinson. . .Producers in Montana affected by drought are now eligible to participate in the first ever hay lottery. . .Aiden Rabbitt, 14, of Baker was the only Boy Scout from eastern Montana to attend the National Jamboree in West Virginia July 15-29. President Donald J. Trump visited the Jamboree. Aiden stated, “My feelings have nothing to do with politics but it was really neat to actually be in the same place as the President of the United States. Not a lot of students ever get to say that. We were only about six rows in, so very close.”
August 25 — Headline: Local residents experience solar eclipse near and far. . .The Baker Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture has hired Cheryl Niemerg as their Executive Director. . .Many family and friends take time off to come to Baker to visit during the fair. With so many activities and shows it is easy to have an extremely busy weekend. Fair goers may have noticed how full the exhibit hall was this year. There were 2,763 entries and 102 more exhibitors than last year. The number of vendors doubled from last year and ten of them were new to the Fallon County Fair. . .Clayton Sears, 28, changed his plea to guilty in drug case in front of District Court Judge Nickolas Murnion. . . Success Story was Spiffy’s Mobil 1 Lube Express & Wash. The Quenzers opened Spiffy’s Mobil 1 Lube Express & Wash in May of 2008. Spiffy’s services many company vehicles while managing to keep local individuals a priority.
September 1 — The Baker Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture is proud to announce this year’s Fall Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 9. . .Caroline’s Cart makes debut at Reynolds Market. Caroline’s Cart was created for special needs individuals. It provides caregivers a viable option to transport a special needs individual through a store without having to maneuver a wheelchair and a traditional shopping cart at the same time. . . Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton completed a two-day visit to Fallon County as part of his Things that Matter outreach tour. Stapleton was impressed with Fallon County’s vision to retain existing residents, provide amenities that improve quality of life, promote sustainable growth, diversify the local economy to minimize impacts during economic downturns and mitigate impacts of rapid growth. . .High temperature Aug. 29 was 96, year to date moisture 3.94 inches. . .Connie Lang and Berdie Rieger receive recognition. The Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Program extended congratulations to the Plevna School District for having two of the best food service employees in the state of Montana. . .Baker couple Del and Jan Kenitzer, celebrate 60th wedding anniversary. In honor of their anniversary their children gave them a yorkie. . .Picture: Carson Sander caught a 20 lb. salmon on a recent fishing trip. Picture: Dylan Sander caught a 22.5 lb. salmon.
September 8 — Jade Boggs of The Insurance Store named a 2017 Young Gun by Insurance Business America. . .The Baker Recreation Center is now offering extended hours for their cardio/weight room. Once a person has purchased a membership they will have the option to check out a key fob for $25. The key fob will allow use after regular hours. . .Tyler Travis, was sentenced Tuesday to sixty days in jail for felony assault with a deadly weapon and felony criminal endangerment in District Court. . .The 2017 Positive Choices Youth Conference is Sept. 19. The speaker this year is Kevin Honeycutt. . .Morgan Rising, son of Pete and Carol Rising recently completed in the Mandan, North Dakota High School Rodeo. He placed fourth in the saddle bronc riding and first in the bull riding. . .Community Church Youth sell lemonade to help others. In addition to selling lemonade, the youth also held a garage sale and sold candy. After all their events, the youth group raised a total of $420. They will be dispersing this earnings to six individuals.
September 15 — The new owners of the Plevna Bar and Grill will be hosting their grand opening on Sept. 16. Local cattle ranchers, Nolan Verke and Jerrid Geving, bought the Plevna Bar this summer and have been remodeling ever since. . .Patients may recognize the face of a new provider at Fallon Medical Complex from her time previously working there as a nurse. Carrie Haar, FNP-C recently rejoined the staff of FMC and will be seeing patients one day a week in the clinic and covering the emergency department periodically. . .Area residents ventured downtown Sept. 9 to partake in the Fall Festival. . .One local business has created a new way to help non-profit organizations in the area. Reynolds Market announces its Friends of Reynolds program. . .Plevna’s First Baptist Church celebrates 100th Anniversary. . . Success Story was Quality Transportation. In 1985 Mike Griffith and his wife, Anna, took a leap of faith and partnered with brothers Al and Mark Heller to form Quality Transportation, Inc. Quality Transportation is a leading truckload carrier that specializes in flat bedding with Independent Owner Operators.
September 22 — Headline: Verizon says ‘Hit the road Jack and don’t ya come back’ – ‘Well unless you live in our service area’. . .The covered patio at the Fallon Medical Complex Long Term Care facility was named the Hinton Memorial Terrace, in memory of Leslie Hinton, during a dedication at the Lights of Life ceremony Sept. 17. . . Picture: Homecoming candidates: Andrew Craft, Dalton Herbst, Javon DeGrand, Jon Weimer, Mariah Miller, Amber Durden, Sheyanne Janeway and Maddie Reddick. . .For the third year The World Fast Draw Association (WFDA Index Championship was held at the Fallon County Shooting Range Sept. 16-17. . .Tadej Birtic of Vrnika, Slovenia, formerly Yugoslavia, visited his family in Baker during the month of August. Tadej is a cousin of all the Birtic descendents of Baker. . .On Sept. 15 we received 1.89” of moisture. . .St. John’s Backyard Carnival offered great old fashion fun as visitors moved from game to game. There were pig, boat and minnow races. . .Baker auctioneer J. K. Kinsey, of Kinsey Austioneers & Real Estate attended the National Auctioneers Association’s Day on the Hill event in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 6.
September 29 — Runnings has confirmed that work will begin in the next few weeks on a new store just west of the Baker fire hall on Highway 12. The 50,000 sq. ft. store will be more that four times larger than the current store. It is scheduled to open fall of 2018. . .2017 Spartan homecoming queen and king are Maddie Reddick and Jon Weimer. Crown bearers were Ashley Burdick and Lukas Rost. . .Verizon changes cancellation terms for Montanas from Oct. 17 to Dec. 1. . .A Baker man has pleaded not guilty to having sex with a minor without her consent. Issac Rohr, 20, entered his plea Aug. 29. . .Farmers Union Cenex on target to open Nov. 1. . .
October 6 — Headline: Area residents survive Las Vegas massacre. Doug and Rosanne Varner, Bob and Selena Nelson, Alice Parker and Jeff Varner were attending the Route 91 Harvest Musical Festival in Las Vegas where Stephen Paddock shot and killed 59 people and wounded over 500 people. . .Baker Lake cleanup and dredging project began this week. Estimated date of completion of this project is June 1, 2018. . .The Baker Youth and Community Center is proud to announce that the basketball court located on their property is now open. The court is open to the community. . .4-H this year’s ambassadors for Fallon County. Sophomores, Mattie Mastel and Jolyn Rost, and senior Bo Rost will serve their ambassadorship from Oct. 1 of this year through Sept. 20, 2018. . .Two Fallon County Fair Board positions have been appointed. Rachel Brockel and Jeff Greenlee will serve three year terms until Oct. 2020. . .Gina Cantalupo, RN, ICU, was selected as the Sept. DAISY Award recipient at the Billings Clinic in Billings. The DAISY Award is a national award used to recognize nurses for their excellence in patient care. Cantalupo is the daughter of Rick and Mona Madler of Baker. . .This year’s Positive Choices speaker Kevin Honeycutt had a positive message for parents, teachers and students about digital legacy and what that means.
CONTINUED NEXT WEEK