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Sidney , Montana
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April 15, 2015     Sidney Herald
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April 15, 2015
 

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P 12A WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2015 From page one SIDNEY HERALD BY MIKE FRANCINGUES SIDNEY ffERALD Since 1970, Sidney has lost about 50 percent of its tree coVer and is facing the loss of up to 30 percent of what is left, but Re-Tree Richland County is hoping to start pushing things in the op- posite direction. "In 2013, I got a~ree inven- tory done with the state and we came up with just over 2,100 trees in public right of ways, so that's in city parks and up and down streets:" said Stephanie Rid], Sidney superintendent of parks and secretary of the Richland County Tree Board. '~kt the last inventory (in the late '70s), there were over 4,000 trees." The main issue, Rid] said, is a lack of diversification that led to widespread tree mortality. Dutch ell disease wiped out a large number of American ells in the area, which made up a large por- tion of Sidney's tree popula- tion. In Veterans Memorial Park, for example, what is now an open field, used to be dense tree cover. "No one thought 80 years ago when they were planting one type of tree that there would ever be such a thing as Dutch ell disease that would clear cut our whole canopy," she said. "We have essentially lost over half of our canopy. Most of that I can attribute to Dutch elm disease." Seeing those devastating numbers led Rid] to want to help make a change in Richland County by pushing for tree diversification and care by homeowners. She began the Richland County Tree Board and the Re-Tree program. Funded largely by grants from the Arbor Day Asso- ciation and the DNRC Tree City of the Year grants, she held the first re-tree work- shop last year where she gave away 32 free trees. Last year's workshop was re- stricted to Sidney residents, but this year she has opened it to the entire county, not- ing it Wasn't only Sidney that lost trees. She is hoping to give away up to 50 trees this year to residents from across Richland County. "I'm trying to give back to homeowners who have had MIKE FRANCINGUES I SIDNEY HERALD Stephanie Ridl, superintendent of parks, examines bare ground where a sick elm tree was removed at Veterans Park. to cut down all of their bou- levard trees due to Dutch elm disease," Rid] said. "I see what homeowners are having to put up for tree removal and stump grind- ing. It leaves a bad taste in their mouth. It is city right of way and public property, but it's the financial burden "We have essentially lost over half of our canopy. Most of that I can attribute to Dutch elm disease." Stephanie Ridl Superintendent of parks of the homeowner. I think by doing a free program it will give a jumpstart to the re-tree effort." Sixteen different types of trees will be g~-~" " at the workshop on t~ay 16 in order to help Rid] meet her goal of not having more than 10 percent of the tree population based on a single species. Currently, elms still make up 36 percent of the tree population, many of which are old or already sick. The next largest group, ashes, makes up 29 percent of the population, which poses another threat as the emerald ash bore, a beetle that kills all types of ash trees, makes its way throughout the U.S. "Thirty percent of trees are ash, and we could lose all of them," Rid] said. "What scares me about Sidney is the main line of transport for freight. We've got people bringing in firewood and pallet products from infected areas across the country. It's my worry that if we're going to get (emerald ash bore) in Mon- tana, there's a good chance that we'll see it first." It's important to start diversifying now, she said, be.fore we lose another leirge swath of the tree popula- tion. Rid] is having people who are interested in the trees fill out an application, available at Sidney City Hall, to ensure those who receive the trees, worth " between $70 and $270, are willing to put in the time to care for the trees once they are planted. Applications are due by May 1 to have to process them before the workshop. "Things haven't changed. People. are still planting the same types of trees," she said. "I'm trying to open peoples minds, to show them there aren't only six trees tb *rill row in this area. ~ uearcl s[orles allfl seen pictures of what these the streets used to look like, and they were completely canopied," she continued. "rt was this beautiful thing, and now it's all gone." The free workshop is scheduled for May 16 at the Sidney Country Club. It will cover planting, treat- ing and pruning techniques as well as advice on how to plant around infrastructure power lines and traffic signs. The free trees must be plant- ed on city right of ways in Sidney, Fairview, Savage, Lambert or Crane. Rural applicants can speak to Rid] for more information. reporte~sidneyherald.com class to hold graduation April 29 hip of Dynneson Ranch, Lora things. We keep up You SIDNEY HERALD Sundheim of Sidney Sugars, can't have the samebld Margo Zervis of Securitythings on the shelf every The 17th leadership class Abstract, Missy Smies oftime. If customers want in the Sidney Area Chamber District II Alcohol and Drug, something we bring it in. of Commerce and Agricul- Nichole Peters of Holiday Each year, the leadership ture's program will have its Inn Express and Sherry members put together a graduation on April 29 from Turner of MSU-Eastern Agclass project. This year's noon to l:30p.m, at Pella' Research Center. project is adding 12 dog Lutheran Church. Blaine "Chip" Gifford, co- waste disposal sites along Cost to attend is $12 and owner of Johnson Hardware the bike/walking path. Class can be paid at the Sidney and Furniture, will serve as members are looking for Chamber. Leroy Strasheim the keynote speaker. John- financial assistance from lo- will cater the meal. son Hardware is celebrating cal businesses and individu- This year's leader- its 100th year in Sidney. "We als. Cost is expected to be ship class includes Jes- have a unique product mix $1,600. To make a financial sica Davies of the Sidney that you can't find anywhere donation for the dog waste Chamber, Karli Johnson anymore," Gifford told the disposal project, contact the of R&J Supply, K~rolyn Herald earlier this year. Sidney Chamber, 406-433- Schultz of Microtel Inn and "People come in because 1916. Suites, Katelyn Dynneson they're going to see new ~Tm ten BY BILL VANDER WEELE SIDNEY HERALD The sentencing hearing of Michael Spell, one of two men involved in the kidnap- pIng and murder of Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold, will take place Friday at 10 a.m. in Richland County. If Spell is sentenced'to the maximum prison time of I00 years, he could be eli- gible for parole in 22 years Spell pleaded guilty to deliberate homicide as part of a plea agreement in Octo- ber 2014 regarding the 2012 death of Arnold. During that court appearance, Spell said, "I didn't know at the time, but now looking back, ard: Teachers ing on Spell. I do know that I did some- thing wrong and I'm s0'rry." After Spell was evaluated by state officials regarding his mental capacity, District Judge Richard Simonton ruled Spell fit to stand trial in May 2014. Spell was ruled incompetent to stand trial in an earlier case by a Colo- rado judge. Siraonton wrote, "Dr. (Virginia) Hill believes Spell has matured, his fron- tal lobes have had time to. develop, and he has been off drugs for two years. He does not have to have perfect and complete full understand- ing, he just needs to have adequate understanding of his case." Lester Waters Jr the other man involved in the homicide, was sentenced to t for Friday 100 years in the Montana State Prison, with 20 years suspended, for accountabil- ity to deliberate homicide. At his sentencing in De- cember 2014, Waters told Ar- nold's family members and friends that he was sorry. Defense attorney Greg Jackson added that during his 41 years of practice, he has never had a client as remorseful as Waters. "I've never seen anybody so guilt- ridden." At Waters' sentencing, Sllonton said although he doesn't believe Waters committed the actual murder, "He set into motion those events that led to her death." edito~sidneyherald.com resign from schools FROM PAGE IA doesn't feel that all student- athletes are given the same opportunities. Board chair Kelly Dey thanked McGlothlin for his comments and for giving trustees something to think about. Trustees approved the rec- ommendation not to renew the contracts without cause of Deb Denowh as Central librarian and Anil Kara as physical education instruc- tor. Denowh told trustees that being a librarian is "her passion." She provided examples of her dedication to the job. She also noted that because she taught a typing class she wasn't allowed to be a full-time librarian. Teachers turning in their resignations included Virginia Dschaak, Bernie Braden, Juliana Evans, Lynn :~ :J~:" 3teffan and Bonnie Vang. Because of lack of candi- dates, Sidney will not have a trustee election this spring. Dey and Craig Steinbeisser will each serve another term. The school board will need to appoint a trustee for the outlying high school distrfct. *y ReJds' quality HARDWARE & FURNITURE 406-433-1402 111 S. Central Ave Sidney www.johnsonhardwareandfurnilm.com L