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April 3, 2019     Sidney Herald
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April 3, 2019
 

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SIDNEY HERALD, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2019 A7 AROUND THE AREA, STATE BY RENI~E JEAN rjean@willistonherald.com Although they were not part of a multi-agency forum Saturday for families affected by flooding in the Fairview-Cart- wright area, the Red Cross is also here in Richland County to help. "We can connect them to existing ser- vices," said Matt Ochs- ner, a spokesman for the Red Cross. "And if they need things like cleanup kits going forward." The cleanup kits con- tain gloves, cleaning solutions, and other items needed to clean up after a flood. The Red Cross also may be able to offer limited assistance for those needing a place to stay. The nonprofit will also help connect victims with food pan- tries, thrift stores, and other services that may help them. The best way to reach the Red Cross is through the 24-hour emergency assistance hotline, 844-292-7677. That is a national num- ber, but will allow Red Cross to dispatch local teams to flood victims, whether on the Mon- tana or the North Da- kota side. The Red Cross has stationed a mobile shelter unit in Sidney, so that it could open a shelter at a moment's notice, if requested. "This is a cross:state event," Ochsner said. "The dispatcher will take down names, phone numbers and addresses, and our di- saster action volun- teers will follow up and assist in any way we can." The recovery process is likely to be a long one, Ochsner acknowl- edged. The agency will follow up on long-term needs with flood vic- tims requesting assis- tance, as well as more urgent, immediate needs. "All our services are free, and available to those who need them," Ochsner said. "We are able to do this because of our dedicated and well-trained volun- teers, who are already on the ground and ready to help." BY HUNTER PAULI Montana Free Press HELENA -- April is the final month of this year's legislative ses- sion. Lawmakers are hearing legislation to end suspension of driv- er's licenses for unpaid fees, ban telling people precisely where the best elk are, and let legislators carry pis- tols on state property. Two other bills aim to study the feasibility of controlling the weather and Native American access to voting. Hidden pistolsfor capitol lawmakers only Senate Bill 304, re- cently passed by the Senate on party lines, would exempt legisla- tors from a prohibition on carrying concealed pistols on state proper- ty, including the cap- itol. House and Senate sergeants-at-arms and their deputies would also be granted the privilege, but the bill does not extend it to the general public. The bill would also bar local municipal- ities from enforcing local ordinances pro- hibiting senators and representatives from carrying concealed handguns on state property. The bill was intro- duced by Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings, and no proponents spoke in favor during its Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in February. Opponents criticized the bill as dangerous and argued it unfair- ly carved out special privileges for legis- lators not available to other Montanans. The Senate committee modified the bill to re- quire concealed carry permits. A similar bill was passed in the 2017 ses- sion but was vetoed by Governor Steve Bull- ock. SB 304 will be heard by the House Ju- diciary Committee at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3, in Room 137. Aweather study on maldng it rain Fear of drought and low snowpack has led the Legislature to consider studying weather modification, also known as cloud seeding. There has been ef- fectively no commer- cial cloud seeding in Montana since 1993, despite weather mod- ification programs in North Dakota, Wyo- ming, Idaho and Al- berta. According to the North American Weather Modifica- tion Council, spraying clouds with chemicals such as silver iodide increases precipita- tion, which in the win- ter adds to the snow- pack for spring melt, and in warmer sea- sons can help farmers by reducing hail and drought. Scientists say there's no consensus on how well cloud seed- ing works. In 1993, the Montana Legislature passed a law requiring anyone looking to seed clouds to put up a $10 million surety bond to cover possible damages. That law was in response to a lawsuit brought by Montana against North Dakota. Montana farm- ers felt that North Da- kota, which had been seeding clouds on the Montana side of the border, was stealing their water during drought. The judge in the case found in favor of North Dakota. House Joint Resolu- tion 40, introduced by Representative Ray Shaw, R-Sheridan, would commission an interim legislative study for presentation at the 2021 legislative session. The resolution has its first hearing in the House Agriculture Committee at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, in Room 137. animal has reached the House after near-unan- imous approval in the Senate. Senate Bill 127 is sponsored by Sen. Jill Cohenour, D-East Hel- ena, who said during a Senate Fish and Game Commi.ttee hearing that technological ad- vancement threatens the equal opportunity of hunters to hunt game through fair chase. The bill would re- quire up to six months in jail or up to a $1,000 fine for advertising or selling "geographical coordinates of the lo- cation of the animal or any maps, drawings, illustrations, or other documents that show the location of the ani- mal; and photographs, drawings, descriptions, or other information that identify the ani- mal." Hunting, fishing Helping Yellowstone River flooding relief efforts iii iiiii!i!iiii ii ii i ii! !ii i iiii! i i i i ! !iii!i!i i i ! ! ! i7 PHOTO COURTESY OF MERCHANT'S BANK Banning sales and trapping licenses Merchants Bank, Fairview, has donated $5,000 to support the Yellowstone River would also be forfeited, flooding relief efforts. of hunting info The law would not A bill to prohibit the apply to landowners on '~ ~]:~: advertisinginformation allowing cUr sale of licensed outfitters andtheir own property or I Visit .acliona h /slmlodge] a m /Au* HEALTH CENTER Exceptional Care for Life M~ 21614th Ave SW Sidney, Montana Michel Herr s, Agent 216 S Central Avenue Suite B Sidney, MT 59270 Bus: 406488-2400 michele@herresinsurance.oom Please stop by and say, "Hg" I'm looking forward to serving your needs for insurance and financial services. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. 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