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Sidney Herald
Sidney , Montana
May 18, 2014     Sidney Herald
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May 18, 2014

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2C TRACK MEET Results - 3B 1914 2014 COMMUNITY. spotlights - 12A Published Richland County and Dale & Bey Edam SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014 ~ 106TH YEAR, NO. 40 ~ SIDNEY, MONTANA ~ WWW.SIDNEYHERALD.COM ~ 75 CENTS Bulletin Board High Valley High Valley will present its faith, family and country acoustic tour at 7 p.m. May 25 at the Sidney Middle School auditorium. A free-will offer- ing vill be accepted. Ebene- zer Congregational Church is sponsoring the event. Bible school Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church SonTrea- sure Island Vacation Bible School is June 2-6, 8:30 a.m. to noon each day, for ages 3 to sixth grade. Register online at or call the church office at 406- 433-7479. Commodities Senior commodity distri- bution will be from 9 a.m. to noon May 30. Use the back door of the Nutter Build- ing at 123 W. Main. Message phone is 406-433-4353. Medical account In response to several inquiries the family has received concerning ways to help or assist Jordan Tyler, an account has been set up at Stockman Bank called the Jordan Tyler Medical Account. Sherry's tournament Sherry's third annual softball tournament is June 14 at South Meadow field. The event is open to all ages. Prizes will be award throughout the day. Entry fee is $100 per team. For more information or to register a team, contact Tammy Pedersen at 489-0451 or at sherrystournament@ You can also like the tournament's Facebook page - Sherry's softball tournament. Brorson registration Brorson School will have its registration from 8-11 a.m. Wednesday. For more information, call Karen at 406-798-3361. Drilling rig count Source: Baker Hughes sponsored by Inside Agriculture ......... 5A AroundTown ..... 2A Births ................. 3A Classifieds .... 7-10B Learning ............ 7A Religion ............. 4B Sports ............. 1-3B I1!!!!!!1!!!1!15oo7s BILL VANDER WEELE I SIDNEY HERALD U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., greets area officials during the meeting in Sidney Wednesday afternoon. ttling crime Congressman listens to enforcementconcems During visit to ',;i( BY SUSAN MINICHIELLO SIDNEY HERALD U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., met with area officials in Sidney Wednes- day to discuss ways to combat crime in the Bakken oilfield. The largest issues, identified by Sidney Chief of Police Frank DiFonzo, were drug crimes and lack of resourc- es. "It takes so much to organize and run a complicated drug investigation that I can't do that with my manpow- er," DiFonzo said. "We have enough challenges just maintaining the issues on the streets, but we can't ignore it either." DiFonzo was thankful for working with the Montana Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investi- gation, the Drug Enforcement Admin- istration (DEA) and the FBI. "Drug enforcement's extremely im- portant, and any kind of effort that we can get in federal assistance or state assistance, we would welcome here," DiFonzo said. Daines asked what could be done to make law enforcement better in the BILL VANDER WEELE I SIDNEY HERALD Sidney police chief Frank DiFonzo reads current crime statistics to U.S. Pep. Steve Daines. BakJen. "The state of North Dakota has done a lot more for their people than we have from our side," DiFonzo said. "The state of Montana needs to put more into this end of the state. Not just in infrastructure; it has to be in capability to hold our own now." Daines noted that Richland, Roos- evelt, Sheridan and Daniels counties have seen a 228 percent crime increase from 2008-2012. "I'm guessing your staff did not in- crease proportionally to that," Daines said. In Sidney, DiFonzo noted there was a 52 percent increase in drug arrests in the first three month of this year compared to the first three months of last year, and a 54 percent increase in partner or family member assault arrests. A Drug Enforcement Administra- tion (DEA) agent in attendance agreed drugs crimes in the Bakken have increased. The agent said in the last three years, methainphetamine found in Montana has been 80 to 100 percent pure, and most likely from Mexico. Daines inquired about human traf- SEE DAINES, PAGE 12A After moving to Sidney, seniors taK positive steps c ,,;cl00oo ..,,...o,,w,,,, Mark 00rans000000o,, to re00a*00onsh,00 SIDNEYHERALD Peterson, eased when she joined the They then resides in volleyball team. "Since I did went to a The paths that Rylee Pe- terson and Reanna Peterson, who are not related, took to becoming Sidney High School graduates were dif- ferent, but the two seniors will graduate right after each other this Sunday afternoon. Rylee came to Sidney from New Mexico in the eighth grade. "There were multiple reasons. The economy in New Mexico, and my mom wanted me to go to high school in Sidney," the son of Ron and Lori Peterson said. Reanna, meanwhile, moved to Sidney from Dickinson, N.D., prior to her junior year because her mother, Tanya, married Casey Candee. Reanna's South Da- kota. "I was not excited at all," Reanna remembers. Reanna "New place, new school, new family -- they didn't have a tennis team." But both of them adjusted and became two of the lead- ers in the Class of 2014. Rylee served as the presi- dent of Leo Club during his senior year. He was also one of the top performers on Sidney's boys basketball squad. In the spring and summer, he's busy playing catcher for the Miles City Outlaws. For Reanna, she said the that, everything fell in place. They were very accepting of the new kids." Reannna went on to be- come involved in Leo Club (vice president), National Honor Society, Close-up and student council. With a grade point average of 4.0, she is one of the class' valedictorians. Although Reanna dis- played good athletic hands on the volleyball court, a miscue helped improved the lives of herself and Rylee. With her locker next to Rylee's, Reanna dropped her calculator. Rylee was there to return the calculator on that October day in 2012. "That was that," Rylee said of the start of their dating football game together and have been dating since despite hav- Rylee ing the same last name. "We made sure we weren't related, don't worry," Rylee joked. Reanna added, "It was nice having him there. He helped me transition to actually liking it here." Although missing some of the plusses of a larger city such as a greater variety of restaurants, the two have positive statements to make about Sidney. "It's definitely one of the best schools in SEE GRADUATES, PAGE 12A Judge: Spell's fit for trial BY BILL VANDER WEELE SIDNEY HERALD District Judge Richard Simonton ruled Friday that Michael Keith Spell, one of the two men charged with killing Sidney teacher Sherry Arnold, is fit to stand trial. In a 16-page document, Simonton noted that even though Spell was found incompetent to stand trial in Colorado when he was younger, that doesn't mean Spell is incompetent now. "Dr. (Virginia) Hill believes Spell has matured, his frontal lobes have had time to develop, and he has been off drugs for two years." Simonton added that Dr. Hill testified, "He does not have to have perfect and complete full understanding, he just needs to have adequate un- derstanding of his case." A scheduling conference is scheduled for Tuesday to determine a date for trial as well as other appropriate deadlines. A two-day hearing was conducted in March to de- termine if the Colorado man was fit for trial. On March 24, Dr. Gregory Olley and Dr, Craig W. Beaver testified for the Defense. During the testimony, Beaver stated Spell has a third-grade read- ing level and an even lower comprehension level. On March 25, Hill, a state psychiatrist at the Montana State Hospital, testified Spell was fit to stand trial. "He was quite a social patient," Hill testified about the time Spell spent being evaluated at the hospital. She noted that he played cards, board games and video games and that "he gravitated towards more higher functioning peers on the unit." Hill also described Spell as very polite and rational during his time at the state hospital. "We were surprised by his adaptive functioning." She said that while Spell was at the state hospital, he didn't display evidence of disorganized thoughts or major mood disorder. Hill noted Spell ate, slept and so- cialized well at the hospital. The judge also believed that Spell was "undoubt- edly guarded" while in the presence of his attorneys and psychologists."One would expect less control in a 24/7 setting such as Warm Springs." In his ruling, Simonton referred to the State v. Kitchens case of 1955 where the argument pertained to whether a man who was insane and committed to a hospital was also insane when he committed a crime. Simonton wrote, "To the extent necessary, this Court concludes that for purposes of standing trial, the defen- dant's competency has been restored."