The Sidney Herald

April 20, 2014

Sidney Herald - Sidney Montana Local News, Events and Sports - Newspaper

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Transportation plan Richland County will hold a public meeting on Tuesday from 5:30-7 p.m. at the MSU Extension Richland County Office in Sidney to discuss transportation plan updates. This will be the second of three public meetings held in conjunction with the county-wide master trans- portation plan, which also includes Sidney and Fair- view. The meeting will be facilitated by KLJ and will discuss the current status of the study, as well as relevant data collected. Carnival The Sunrise Child Care Association will hold a carnival on April 27 from 2-4 p.m. at the Richland County Fair Event Center. There will be a lot of car- nival games, face painting, a bouncy house, cupcake walk, fireman, firetruck and ambulance on site, an ob- stacle course and popcorn. There will be a photo booth set up so parents are encour- aged to bring their cameras. This is a family event for families with children ages 1-7. 3 prize drawings will be held. A free will offer- ing will be accepted but not required for attendance. Early release As a reminder to parents, the Sidney School District has started implementing Professional Learning Com- munities at the building level. Every Wednesday, stu- dents the end of the school year so teacher teams can work with student data, curriculum and needed interventions. Busses will run at 2:10 p.m. Sewing guild The American Sew- ing Guild will be meeting Thursday at the MSU Exten- sion Building at 7 p.m. Con- tact Laurie at 701-481-9900. XNLV151671 Insurance Agency See us for all your insurance needs. "Serving the Mon-Dak Area since 1961" 406-433-1411 • 114 2nd Ave. S.E., Sidney Jim Duffey Jeremy Norby Bulletin Board Deaths Doris Norby, 79, Louise Tyree, 97 Page 3A Inside Drilling rig count Source: Baker Hughes sponsored by Montana 7 N.D. 178 Agriculture .........5A Around Town .....2A Classifieds .... 7-10B Deaths ...............3A Learning ............9A Religion .............4B Sports ................1B Rev. Backhaus Community Spotlight - 10A GoveRNoR Announces aid package - 11A XNLV137813 1914 2014 Published for Richland County and Larry Gamache Sunday, aPRiL 20, 2014 ~ 106th yeaR, no. 32 ~ Sidney, Montana ~ www.SidneyheRaLd.CoM ~ 75 CentS By BiLL VANDEr WEELE Sidney Herald Whether it's T-shirts, bracelets or signs, the Fairview community has showed its support for a second-grade girl who has fought cancer with a ton of courage. "I never knew what bravery was until I saw it in my daughter," Michelle Jensen mother of Allison Jensen, who turned 9 at the end of January, and is winning her fight against cancer. After having a kidney and six lymph nodes, including one that was cancer- ous, removed in August, Allison had a cancer free scan Jan. 6. Earlier this month, her three-month scan since fin- ishing chemotherapy was also clean. "They say everything looks good," Michelle noted of the reaction of Al- lison's medical team. For the next three years, Allison must have a scan every three months. "After that, they will lengthen it out a little more, as long as everything looks good," Shaun Jensen, Allison's father, added. Aside from those check-ups, Allison is enjoying the life of a normal second- grade student, although with more courage and faith than most young- sters. After being home-schooled for the first semester of the school year, Allison started attending classes on Jan. 13. Her arrival including welcom- ing signs and a photo of her with the student body wearing "Team Allison" shirts. "Our schools have been so great," Michelle said, and mentioned teacher Ed Wiltzen, elementary principal Luke Kloker and superintendent Matt Schriver. "I can't say enough about them." Shaun noted, "Letting her fail wasn't an option. They did everything they could possibly do." Allison made a smooth transition to being back in the classroom. "She really went right back in like she was never gone," Michelle said. The Jensens are looking forward to taking part in the Ribbon Walk scheduled for June 27 at Sidney High School. "I'm excited to go because all the money stays local," Michelle said. The parents are thankful for all the support that they have received. "It's By BiLL VANDEr WEELE Sidney Herald When meetings are held this week to discuss the future of the Lower Yel- lowstone Irrigation Project, national and state legisla- tors will take notice. Dawson County High School's gym is the location for Wednesday's meeting that starts at 6 p.m. For area residents wanting to attend, busses will leave Fairview High School at 4 p.m. and Sidney High School at 4:30 p.m. On Thursday, Sidney High School will host the meeting at 6 p.m. Because of the Endan- gered Species Act and the pursuit to save the pallid sturgeon, some officials have stated their preference for the complete removal of the existing Intake Diversion Dam. This would mean the irrigation project would be forced to turn to pumping the water from the river into the canal system, requiring roughly $2.2 million in elec- tricity per year. According to a comprehensive economic study, the economic impact over 10 years would equate to $5.2 billion in losses. "Steve is strongly commit- ted to working with the Sid- ney community and the BoR (Bureau of Reclamation) and Corps to ensure the allo- cated funds are utilized in a way that ultimately supports the community's and the irrigation district's long- term needs," Alee Lockman, spokesperson for U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., told the Herald. Daines will be continu- ing conversations with the relevant federal agencies to ensure that the community's needs are supported. "We too are deeply con- cerned by the ongoing uncertainty, and we will support and work toward solutions that continue to provide the Sidney region with much-needed and reliable irrigation and is done in an environmentally sound way that protects the region's needs for the long term," Lockman added. U.S. Sen. John Walsh, D- Mont., will have a represen- tative at the meetings. "The senator has been following the Lower Yel- lowstone Irrigation Project development. He recently met with the Army Corps of SuBmitted allison Jensen during her trip to disney world through the Make a wish Foundation. Fairview girl receiving positive news from medical tests on the right track Bill Vander Weele | Sidney Herald allison Jensen shows photos taken of herself when she was at the children's hospital in denver, Colo. legislators keeping eye on irrigation project debate SEE MEETiNg, page 11a SEE ALLiSON, page 11a By SuSAN MiNiChiELLO Sidney Herald James Brower, project manager of the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project, spoke with a sense of urgen- cy to a crowd of residents, farmers and a couple county commissioners about the rocky future of the Intake Diversion Dam (also known as the Yellowstone River Diversion Dam) during Monday's meeting. The reason for his urgency: fed- eral funding to ensure the future of the dam, $35 million from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, won't be available after fiscal year 2014. Without public support, funding will disappear and a series of nega- tive economic, political and social consequences could domino. Brower listed two obstacles the dam faces. First, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and U.S. Corps of Engi- neers sent a letter to the Lower Yel- lowstone Irrigation Project inform- ing officials the dam is in violation of the River and Harbors Act of 1899, one of the oldest environmen- tal laws in the country. Annual rock piling across the river, a necessity to protect the dam from ice jams, has not been approved by the Corps of Engineers since. Second, pallid sturgeon, an endan- gered species, must be prioritized due to the Endangered Species Act. Brower said Fish, Wildlife and Parks would prefer the complete removal of the dam. Brower emphasized that removing the dam would have negative eco- nomic consequences. The Lower Yel- lowstone Irrigation Project would have to turn to pumping water in the canal system. "It's a huge loss of jobs," Brower said. More electricity would have to be used, and more money would have to be spent — about $2.2 mil- lion in electricity a year. Brower shared a study that estimated $5.2 billion would be lost in 10 years. Instead of removing the dam, Brower proposed modifying the dam to better allow pallid sturgeon to thrive. Some modification has already been made. In October 2010, new main canal headworks and fish screen installations began and have been completed. The second part of the dam's modification, including a concrete weir and durable fish bypass, is being reviewed. Brower hopes it will serve as a compromise between irrigators, the Bureau of Reclama- tion, the Corps of Engineers and Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Brower emphasized the impor- tance of water for the purpose of agriculture and food production. There are two public meetings this week that could potentially serve as a catalyst for action on the future of the Intake Diversion Dam. Input at the public meetings could impact whether or not the Lower Yellow- stone Irrigation Project receives the $35 million from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. On Wednesday, there is a meeting at Dawson County High School in Economy could change with project's decision 'it's a huge loss of jobs.' James Brower lyip project manager SEE PrOJECT, page 11a

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