Monthly Archives: July 2013

Heser gets a surprise

Photo Credit: Al Stover – Herald-News

Even when you are reporting on the news and happenings in a small town, there are some things happening that tend to lead into a bigger story and make you reflect on your life. Less than a month after being at the Wolf Point Herald News, I had the opportunity to take some pictures of a special ceremony.

Wolf Point resident and basketball enthusiast Kevin Heser did not know what to expect when he walked into his home and saw several friends and family who yelled, “Surprise!” It was a scene you would find at a birthday party or any other special occasion with family and friends.

But it wasn’t Heser’s birthday party or anniversary his loved ones were celebrating. No, they were there to celebrate his “Wish Day.” Heser was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumor at the Children’s Hospital Colorado in Denver in December 2011. He was born along with his twin brother Andrew in 1997 in Great Falls, Montana.

Heser and his family were visited by the Make-A-Wish Foundation on July 30. Heser, a Wolf Point High School student who is also a fan of the Denver Nuggets NBA basketball team, received several gifts including a basketball that was autographed by Denver players, a Nuggets jersey with his name on the back and a personal note from the team’s executive director.

When a friend asked him what he thought of everyone being there, he didn’t really have words. He just threw up his hands and smiled.

It was a heartwarming event and it’s one of those moments you wish you could go back and capture more of. Part of the problem was I was so new and shy to the area, I didn’t really know how to approach people. Heser was a good kid and I was humbled to be a part of his special day, even if I’m just in the background.



Library Hosts Second Lewis And Clark Camp

Students Look Back At History

As several Wolf Point children entered the basement of the Roosevelt County Library, they were taken back to the time and when Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their group traveled through the Midwest.

The library is holding their second annual Lewis and Clark camp from 11 a.m. to noon. The final day of the camp will be held on Aug. 2. The reason why the library centers the curriculum of the camp on the Lewis and Clark expedition is because the group came through the Wolf Point area in 1805.

According to Sharri Vandall, who works for the school district and teaches the camp, the activities for this year’s camp are different than those in the previous year.

“We wanted to it to be more hands-on and have it be different activities that anyone can do,” Vandall said.

On the first day of camp, Vandall educated the children about the origins of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which stemmed from Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase and Jefferson’s request of Lewis to lead an expedition west of the Mississippi River.

Besides learning about the origins of the journey, Vandall told about other people who had an impact on the expedition like York, who was Clark’s slave; Sacajawea, who acted as an interpreter and guide during the adventure; and Napoleon Bonaparte, who the children learned had led one of the greatest armies in Europe, despite being shorter than most military commanders during his era.

“You don’t have to be big to do great things,” Vandall said.

After the lesson, Vandall and the children created lap boards on the back of their posters where they put information about what they learned that day. Another craft, the children created were specimen boxes, similar to the boxes Lewis and Clark used during their expedition when they found a new animal or plant.

In addition to the lessons and crafts, the children were given lunch, which was provided by the Fort Peck Tribes. Their names  were entered into a drawing for gift certificates donated by local businesses.

Emily Eggar, 12, and Taryn Johnson, 12, came to camp for the first time. While both girls enjoyed the crafts, they also learned about the cost of the supplies for the expedition, which cost $2,000.

For Vandall, the camp gives her a chance to interact with children and help keep their minds engaged during the summer.

“They’ve been out of school for a while,” Vandall said. “It gives them something to do.”

The camp was made possible by a grant from the Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation.  This is a joint project of the California Chapter of the LCTHF and the Roosevelt County Library.

A Lemongrass Stalk A Day Can Keep Mosquitoes Away

Tips For Preventing And Treating Mosquito Bites

One of the not-so fun things summer seems to bring every year are the dozens of mosquitoes roaming around outside until they find a bare arm or leg for their next meal. I arrived in Wolf Point a couple of weeks ago; I’ve had eight mosquito bites and I still continue to find ones I didn’t even know I had.

Sometimes you may not know you have been bitten by a mosquito until the next day when you get a slight itchy tingling feeling on your body. When you find that spot, you will see there is a small circular or oval shape lump with a tiny hole in the center. Before you know it, you are draggin your fingernails back and forth across your skin in a fast pace, hoping the itching goes away.

Although mosquitoes can seem harmless, some of them can carry diseases like the West Nile Virus, malaria and Dengue Fever.

Here are some tips that I have found that help prevent mosquito bites, or at the very least keep you from scratching them:

Wear protective clothing: While it can get hot in the summer time, wearing long sleeves, pants and socks can protect you from being bit by mosquitoes. If you still end up getting bit, the clothes will cover up the bites you already have, which prevents you — at least for a moment — from scratching.

Insect repellent: The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends spraying insect repellent on areas that are unclothed. However, it may be best to wear light-colored clothes since mosquitoes are attracted to heat sources and dark clothes would easily be attracted to their radar.

Keep your mind occupied: It seems like the more we focus on a problem, the more irritating it becomes and mosquito bites can be no different. If you can distract yourself with something like a catchy tune that you won’t be able to get out of your head for days you will be less focused on the bite and more focused on ways of getting rid of the song.

Herbs: In addition to the chemical-ridden sprays, there are several plants and herbs that can keep mosquitoes away. Rosemary, marigolds, lemongrass and garlic can be placed around areas like a deck or a patio to keep the bugs away.

Lemongrass can also be a repellent after it is crushed and rubbed on the skin. The stalks can also be crushed and mixed with rubbing alcohol to make a spray to keep the bugs away.

Household items: If you have trouble finding herbs, or just do not have the time or resources to head to the store, there are several household items that can help against a mosquito bite. Items like toothpaste, vinegar and salt and water — which may sting on contact — can be applied to the area around the bite. This will help reduce the itching and swelling.

Banana peels: Yes, banana peels. Before throwing it in the trash, the remainder of a freshly-devoured banana can help you treat a mosquito bite. By rubbing a banana peel on a mosquito bite, or any other bug bite for that matter, it can stop the itching. They can also help remove splinters and relieve the pain from a burn or a scrape.

Bertram Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges


Dale Bertram appeared in the Montana 15th Judicial Court, July 24.

He revoked his previous not guilty to the felony charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and the misdemeanor charge of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia and changed his plea to guilty to both charges after reaching a plea agreement. Judge David Cybulski advised Bertram of his rights upon entry of the guilty plea before the defendant gave his statement of guilt.

According to court documents, Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Deputies Vernon First and Patrick O’Connor responded to a report about two people trying to break into Al’s Mini Storage in Culbertson.

The officers observed a black Dodge Charger and Dodge Ram pickup parked near storage unit #35 and the individuals were identified as Dale Bertram and Michelle Parker, who were both from Washington.

Court documents said that after the deputies advised Bertram of the report of suspicious activity, Bertram said he and Parker were trying to break into a unit in hopes getting Parker some furniture, except the lock had been changed. Parker told officers that the unit belonged to her and the storage unit was in her name. Officers later confirmed the story after they had talked to a Williston, N.D., man named Anthony, who loaned Parker money to pay to rent the unit. Anthony also said he did not change the lock.

O’Connor noticed Bertram’s behavior to be similar to someone under the influence of methamphetamines. After O’Connor advised Bertram of his rights, Bertram agreed to speak to the deputy and sign a waiver of his rights. He told O’Connor that he has a methamphetamine addiction and he ingested the drug earlier. The deputy later found a clear plastic baggie in Bertram’s front coin pocket, which appeared to have a small amount of clear, crystalline substance.

He later found an Altoids tin that contained, a soft spongy material that was damp, which Bertram said was used to clean his methamphetamine pipe. When O’Connor searched Bertram’s Dodge Charger, he found a glass smoking pipe with burnt residue and a used syringe. Bertram confirmed the pipe was for smoking marijuana and the syringe was used to inject methamphetamine.

O’Connor also noticed Parker’s behavior to be similar to Bertram’s. After advising her of her rights per Miranda, Parker agreed to speak to O’Connor and said she was a methamphetamine addict and recent had smoked the drug. She also signed a search waiver and O’Connor found a small plastic case in her purse, which had similar contents to the baggie on Bertram. O’Connor also found a green, hard plastic tube, which contained a clear, glass smoking pipe wrapped in a paper towel. The pipe had scorch marks on the outside and white residue inside the bowl, which Parker confirmed  was methamphetamine. Both she and Bertram were arrested and transported to the Roosevelt County Detention Center for arrest processing.

Cybulski told Bertram that the penalty for criminal possession of dangerous drugs is a fine up to $50,000, or imprisonment up to five years, or both. The penalty for the misdemeanor charge of drug possession of drug paraphernalia is a prison sentence up to six months, or a fine up to the amount of $500 or both.  A pre-sentence investigation was also ordered.

Stephanie McMahon has the moves like dos Santos

For anyone who has known me for a long time, they know I grew up watching professional wrestling. They also know that I had a HUGE crush on Stephanie McMahon. Yes the same Stephanie McMahon who is the Boss’ daughter, is married to Triple H and is vice president of the company.

Whenever I used to play WWE video games, I would use one of my Create-A-Wrestler slots to make the same model as Stephanie, though rather than give her a “slap” or a “pedigree” as her finisher, I would equip her with the “Closeline from Hell,” which she used to knockout opponents – male and female – and win numerous WWF and WWE championships in the Playstation/Nintendo universe.

As I grew up, I put away the boyhood dream sharing a life with the Billion Dollar Princess, which would have consisted of us traveling in a van solving mysteries, and focused on writing on combat sports. I recently saw a video of her wearing some 4-ounce gloves and doing some quick handwork with some pads.

Like many fans, I was impressed the speed of her jabs, though I noticed some people commented “oh, just because she has quick hands, doesn’t mean she has power.”

True, speed doesn’t necessarily equal power, but there are some fighters who have demonstrated power behind their quickness. One fighter that comes to mind is former UFC Heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who is able to go take advantage of small openings and blast his opponents with his power.

There is also the argument that women do not have the power in their fists, which is ture…except if you don’t count fighters like Sarah Kaufman, Sheila Gaff and Cris Cyborg. Even prospect Veronica Rothenhausler, who is also known as “The Heartbreaker” has demonstrated that crisp one-punch knockout power.

Back to Stephanie, I also remembered watching the 1000th episode of RAW where during a segment between her husband and Paul Heyman, she took him down and delivered some shots to the head and body. Sure, Heyman sold the beating, but Stephanie showed she could deliver some vicious strikes.

Who knows, Stephanie McMahon, who is billed at 135 pounds, could someday be a star in MMA, if she decides to leave the WWE and concentrate on becoming a full-time fighter. Yes, she is in her later 30’s, but some women fighters have come into MMA at a later age.

Daniel Cormier deserves light heavyweight title shot

Who does Daniel Cormier (12-0) think he is?

If he defeats “Big Country” Roy Nelson (19-8) in what will be his last fight at heavyweight, he wants to drop down to 205 pounds and cut ahead to get a shot at the championship?

Well you know what I say? He certainly deserves it.

Even before he came into the UFC, Cormier had talked about fighting for the UFC Light Heavyweight championship.

Although he won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament and was unofficially recognized as the promotion’s final heavyweight champion, Cormier had talked about dropping weight after his AKA teammate Cain Velasquez (12-1) won back the heavyweight title from Junior dos Santos (16-2) back in Dec. 2012. Cormier has also been trading verbal bars with current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (18-1).

Also, it is not like this is the first time a fighter has dropped a weight class and received a title shot. Besides former UFC champions like Randy Couture (19-11), B.J. Penn (16-9-2) and Frankie Edgar (16-4-1), who were given championship matches after dropping weight classes, Anthony Pettis (16-2) had been given a title shot against featherweight champion Jose Aldo (22-1) before he had to pull out of the fight due to injury.

As for his fight with Nelson, this will surely be a brawl if the fight is kept standing. Both men have power and have an appetite for punishment. While Nelson may have an iron chin, Cormier may have to break his hand trying to knock him out, though it would not be the first time the Strikeforce champion has broken his hand during a fight. If the fight goes to the ground, it will be Cormier’s wrestling against Nelson’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

If Cormier does indeed beat Nelson and the UFC grants him a title shot at the light heavyweight title, then the next question is who will he face? Jones or Alexander Gustafsson (15-1)?

What do you think of Cormier getting a crack at the UFC Light Heavyweight championship if he beats Nelson? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover.

Update Sept. 18, 2017 – Cormier has since won the UFC light heavyweight title. He recently regained the belt after Jon Jones was stripped of the belt following testing positive for steroids.

Chas Zimdars Pleads Not Guilty To Felony, Misdemeanor Charges

Chas Douglas Zimdars appeared in Montana’s 15th Judicial District Court July 11.

Zimdars was charged with the misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass, fleeing from or eluding peace officer and driving without a valid driver’s license. He was also charged with criminal endangerment and criminal mischief.

According to charging documents, Fort Peck Department of Law and Justice Lieutenant James Summers responded to the 200 block of East Helena Street in Wolf Point to a report of a person who had his truck stuck, although differing reports have been circulating.

When Summers arrived in the area, he saw the truck, which was later revealed to be a four-door Ford with Montana license plates, in a ditch. The male, who had been outside the vehicle, jumped back into the truck and started to drive back and forth. This led to the vehicle getting unstuck.

Documents said that the truck drove south, then turned west on Idaho Street. Summers activated his emergency lights to initiate a stop, but the truck sped north on First Avenue South, turning west on Helena Street. Summers had watched as people, who were on the street, moved to get out of the way of the truck.

The vehicle turned south on Second Avenue South and then east onto Idaho Street, back to where the pursuit started. The truck was parked east of the sewage treatment building, and was once again stuck in the mud. The driver exited the truck and walked to the rear.

Summers ordered the driver to get away from the truck and to drop whatever he was holding. The driver told

Summers to shoot him. He then dropped the object and walked toward the officer.

The driver secured in handcuffs was identified as Chas Zimdars, who said he was protecting everyone and preventing everyone from getting killed because the water treatment plant was poisoned and going to kill everyone, so he had to stop it. Zimdars was asked if he had done any drugs recently, to which he responded that he had just done some meth and he had a small amount he was using in his truck.

Charging documents stated that a witness approached Summers and told the officer that the male had been hitting a power box of the sewage treatment plant. Summers noticed the gate to the plant was open and an electrical box was visibly damaged. A witness also explained the driver had been using a big wrench, hit the box and exploded. Documents also stated the box was blackened, as if it had been on fire. Summers located a large pipe wrench on the ground behind the truck. Zimdars, who stated he felt tingly from being electrocuted by the box, was transported to the hospital for treatment for his injuries.

According to charging documents, Zimdars told Summers that, earlier in the day, he had taken a portal under the underpass in Wolf Point to another area, where he had spent most of the day. He also said he was just trying to stop the poison that was released from the water treatment center to the people.

Zimdars was medically cleared and incarcerated at Roosevelt County Detention Center with a $50,000 bond, which he posted June 14. He currently released on bail.

Zimdars pleaded not guilty to all five charges. He is scheduled to have an omnibus hearing Aug. 14 and his trial is set for Sept. 26.