May 22 -- The graduating class of 2020 certainly had a unique graduation ceremony. Superintendent Aaron Skogen delivered the commencement address to the students who were seated in the Schillinger Stadium - with the proper “social distancing” limits imposed. Immediate family members were seated in the grandstands and friends and other family members lined the fence of the stadium to listen to the ceremony and to cheer on the graduating class. Our local radio station, KFLN, sponsored a live broadcast of the ceremony and the NFHS network streamed the event. There were four Valedictorians, Katie Wang, Caleb Ploeger, Alissa Schell and Rachel Rost, and one Salutatorian, Lena Kennel. The remaining Top Ten of the Class of 2020, Shelby Moore, Halle Burdick, Mattie Mastel, Macee Hadley and Javan Kesinger, were recognized for their dedication and commitment to their education. After the local police department and fire department led the Senior Graduation Parade throughout the town. . .For Jade Melby, the end of decades working in the Industrial Arts program at Baker won’t be an ending now that he is retiring from teacher. He plans to keep busy with his business, Melby’s Seamless Gutters. . .Fallon County will be hosting the state high school rodeo championships starting June 1, as long as the event complies with state guidelines established by the governor and state health officials. . .There will be no Memorial Day services at Bonnivale Cemetery or Union Cemetery this Memorial Day due to social distancing from Coronavirus. . .Both the county and city offices opened back up to the public May 11 as the state of Montana continues to reopen in stages after the Covid-19 hit the Treasure State. . .Governor Bullock announces Montana to enter Phase Two of reopening plan on June 1. . . High temperature May 19 was 83. Low temperature May 14 was 43. . . Will Rost was named Montana’s MOS-Word Champion. It is the first time that a student from Baker was earned this award.
May 29 -- Headline: Budget forces city to close Recreation Department. At its May 20 city council meeting the City of Baker announced that in addition to recent layoffs, the Recreation Department would be closing on May 22. . .Cindy Quade will be retiring at the end of the school year from the Baker School District. Quade has spent decades working as a school counselor in southeastern Montana. She worked for 24 years in Ekalaka and another 15 years in Baker. . .Picture: Linda Rost, 2020 Montana Teacher of the Year was on CNN on May 21 to discuss how the coronavirus is impacting education. . .Montana High School Rodeo 2020 State Finals in Baker will begin May 31. . .High temperature May 20 was 81. Low temperature May 26 was 40.
June 5 -- Fallon County Primary Election Unofficial results for County Commissioner District I were: Kevin J. Braun (R) 286, Sandra N. Kinsey (R) 193, Justin Owen Klauzer (R) 146, Brian G. O’Connor (R) 256, JoDee Pratt (R) 38, Melissa “Missy” Thielen (R) 30, Bill Wyrick (R) 122, Steven P. Zachmann (R) 111. . .The swimming pool at Baker High School prepares to open. The pool as gone through repairs and cleaning and has been closed because of Covid-19. Darby Waldbillig hopes the pool will be open within two to three weeks. . .High temperature May 31 was 92. Low temperature May 30 was 51. . .Fallon Medical Complex was presented recognition by the Montana Health Research & Education Foundation HIIN Project (MHREF) together with the American Hospital Association Center for Health Innovation for diligent work and authentic collaboration with patients, clinicians and partners resulting in unprecedented impact on patient safety in Montana Hospitals.
June 12 -- Headline: Darlene Hornung honored as Baker’s Citizen of the Year. At the June 3 City Council meeting Mayor JoDee Pratt made the presentation. . .City Council puts water main project up for rebid. At the June 3 meeting, the council members unanimously decided to reject the only bid they have gotten on the project. Instead, it will be put out for a rebid with the hopes of getting more savings with multiple bidders. . .The Montana High School Rodeo Championships closed the 2020 season in style in Baker Saturday. Colton Turbiville of nearby Rhame, ND, was able to claim a state championship with a win by one point in cow cutting. . .High temperature June 5 was 79. Low temperature June 9 was 44. . . Classic Cruisers Car Club yearly car show was canceled due to Covid-19. So they decided to go on a short cruise. They had 21 cars participate, and it was a very enjoyable cruise. . .Five Baker High School golfers competed in the 2020 Junior Golf Tournament that was held June 3 at the Town and Country Club in Miles City. Konner Flint place 1st (76); Jaxson Tronstad placed 2nd (95); Camryn Collins place 2nd (98); Rory Lingle placed 2nd (99) and Hallie Flint placed 2nd (119).
June 19 -- Brandon Schmidt, formerly of Baker, is at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles waiting for a heart transplant. It will be his second. He is also waiting for a visit by his mother and other family members because visitation is not permitted under California’s current COVID-19 rules. . . New signs have been placed along Highway 7 and Highway 12 giving directions to some of the many recreation options surrounding Baker Lake. . .High temperature June 13 was 94. Low temperature June 10 was 39. . .Baker Lions Club planted flowers at Centennial Park.
June 26 -- Although the City of Baker has suspended its Recreation Department in a cost-cutting battle with the loss of revenues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it still was supported by members of the City Council and almost two dozen residents attending the June 17 meeting in the Fallon County Courthouse. The closure of the recreation department will be a hardship for the community, especially with the families that have children. . .Parkview Retirement Complex residents learn about renovation plans and found out they have some decisions to make. . .Picture: COVID-19 drive thru testing was done in Baker on June 23 in the Fallon County Health Department parking lot. They completed 116 tests. . . The Tri Area Racing Association hosted the first 2020 sanctioned race by Montana Short Course Off Road Racing on June 20. . .High temperature June 23 was 85. Low temperature June 19 was 36. . .Former Baker resident Brandon Schmidt has received a new heart. The transplant operation took place June 21 after a donor heart was located and passed an inspection before it was transported to Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. . .Picture: Centennial Park is beautifully maintained by Carl Hepperle of the Lions Club. Angie, Sadie and Sylvia Rabbitt volunteered their time to paint the cement pillars as a surprise for Carl. . .Congratulations to these seniors who received the “High School Hero Cord Award”. They were Katie Wang, Trinity Dietz and O’Connell Qualley. . .A retirement party was held on June 22 for Joe Janz and Chuck Lee.
July 3 -- A multi-million dollar project to repair and renovate the oldest portion of the Parkview Retirement Complex will be moving forward, according to a Fallon County official. Identified as Parkview 1, the project will be started once the current residents are relocated. . .Fallon Medical Complex was blessed on the morning of June 25 with a gift from the Classic Cruisers Car Club from Baker. The members of this club commissioned Baker Metal to construct a beautiful bench. . .There will be no sponsored events as part of the Independence Day Celebration. The fireworks display will be set up by the baseball complex south of the lake. The show will start after dusk. . .Local band has strong rodeo flavor. Breaking Eight a group of North Dakota and Baker musicians (Jerilyn Wiseman) have already played in Las Vegas at the Professional Bull Riding Championships. . .High temperature June 27 was 97. Low temperature June 26 was 49. . .Congressman Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) recognized Linda Rost of Baker with his Spirit of Montana commendation for her commitment to education, her exceptional, engaging science instruction, and her lasting impact on students. . .The 2020 St. Jude’s Ride was held June 21 at the Fred and Ann Hoff ranch. Coordinator, Doug Bruha noted that 28 riders enjoyed the beautiful countryside and cool day. . .There will be a Miss Montana 2020. Local Alissa Bohle, Baker, is one of the contestants competing for the title of 2020 Miss Montana.
July 10 -- Sizzling temperatures prompted a big holiday splash at Baker Lake over the Independence Day weekend, but it was a strong late afternoon storm which actually postponed the man-made fireworks show until Sunday. . .Marmarth’s population more than doubled as the celebrated on the Fourth of July with games, music, a parade and rodeo. . .A massive solar energy project planned for an area north of Baker has moved a step forward with the recent announcement that the company has lined up a customer. . .While Montana continues to increase its number of positive COVID-19 test results, Fallon County is on a different track. The eastern Montana county of more than 3,000 people still has zero positive cases. . .High temperature July 3 was 95. Low temperature July 2 was 50. . .Kennedy Lyson was the 2019-2020 NILE Merit Heifer recipient. . .In yet another blow to Keystone XL, Supreme Court rejects bid to revive key water crossing permit.
July 17 -- Fallon County had been untouched by COVID-19 which has claimed the lives of more than 130,000 Americans – until Friday, July 10. The Fallon County Department of Health announced on its Facebook page that it has recorded one positive COVID-19 result. . .The Baker School District is making plans for how to start school in just over a month, but they will have to be flexible, according to the school’s superintendent. The fall athletic programs will follow the COVID guidelines established by the Montana High School Association, the superintendent added. . .Time has run out for the partnership between the City of Baker and the Baker School District - at least as far as the after-school program is concerned. Baker Superintendent Aaron Skogen stated that his plan is to present and meet with the Fallon County Commissioners and see if they can help subsidize the program and work with them. . .Plevna School District has completed one step in planning for the coming school year after a public survey was completed. The next step is for the teachers and others to come up with plans, then have public hearings before a completed plan is sent to the school board. . .Photo: On July 7, in the early evening, a severe storm came through Baker. . .High temperature July 12 was 97. Low temperature July 14 was 44.
July 24 -- Headline: Spaying, neutering seen as a Fallon County feral cat solution. Brittany Bertsch has created a non-profit that is focused on providing spay and neutering with a local veterinarian. . .There will be a Fallon County Fair, starting Aug. 12, at the fairgrounds. The fair will be a little quieter, with the usual noisy and crowded carnival Midway not a part of the 2020 fair because of the problems keeping it sanitized, according to Shyla Hadley, the fair manager. The presence of the Coronavirus in Fallon County could end up with masks being required, she said. That would happen if the county has four cases, as the fair follows the guidelines issued by Gov. Steve Bullock. . .High temperature July 17 was 96. Low temperature July 15 was 45. . .On July 14, Vitalant blood drive went over their goal with 44 units of blood.
July 31 -- Rexall Drug Store in Baker is being sold, it has been run by the same family for almost 70 years. The new owners will be Matt and Alyse Webber. . .The Montana High School Association has released its guidelines to return to fall activities. Schools must adhere to the MHSA guidelines, as well as directives from the state and local health departments. . .Kennedy Lyson of Baker emerged as the High Point winner for the weekend, also taking the Youth All-Around title at the Eastern Montana Horse Show in Baker. . . High temperature July 23 was 99. Low temperature July 28 was 50. . .Alissa Bohle of Baker recently finished as the second runner up in the recent Miss Montana competition in Glendive. Alissa is the daughter of Kalyn and Leslie Bohle. . .The Plevna School district has a plan for how to start school and presented it Tuesday at a public feedback meeting. For the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year the district intends to offer two educational choices - onsite education with physical distancing and real-time off-site instruction, according to the information posted online. . .Picture: Baker Lions Club Members Rolph Tunby, Carl Hepperle and Dan Lagasse trimming trees at the Lions Club Park.
August 7 -- Headline: Denbury Resources agrees to restructuring plan. In addition to eliminating its $2.1 billion in bond debt, Denbury Resources filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of a pre-packaged plan designed to lessen the financial burden on the company. . .More than 50 businesses in Fallon County have received assistance from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Bank of Baker has made loans throughout the region, totaling about $6 million. . .Grasslands Federal Credit Union has donated more than $25,000 to help local non-profits with funds generated from processed fees tied to the federal Paycheck Protection Program. . .High temperature July 28 was 93. Low temperature Aug. 2 was 49. . . The second annual Crazy Days 3 on 3 basketball tournament took place July 31 - Aug. 1. The two-day tournament jumped from 13 teams in 2019 to 29 this year. . .Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive to provide flexibility for local school districts to provide remote or offsite education in order to protect students and teachers from the spread of COVID-19 when schools reopen this fall. . .Dawson Community College announced partnership with Mid-Rivers Communications in support of the Dawson esports team. Mid-Rivers donated gaming equipment and funds totaling approximately $97,500 to the brand-new Dawson esports team. . .TC Energy notified the City of Baker and Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation (EPEDC) that the City of Baker received a $3,000 donation to the Baker Fireworks Fund. These funds will be used to continue to promote the annual Fourth of July Event.