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August 26, 2012     Sidney Herald
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I ! 2A WEDNESDSAY, Aus. 29, 2o002 From page one SIDNEY HERALD Redistricting committee tentatively agrees to make cou own house district BY LOUISA BARBER SIDNEY HERALD Looks like public com- ments worked. The 2011- 2012 legislative-appointed redistricting committee tentatively voted to make Richland County a house district by itself, invoking a sigh of relief to local leaders and legislators who worried about being divided. As it stands now, Rich- land County is alone, while Dawson County, rather than being split in three, will be combined with Wibaux County. If the recommenda- tion makes it through a final vote after the legislative session, the new districting takes effect in time for the 2014 elections. Committee member Jon Bennion told the Herald last week that as far as Richland's concerned, he doesn't expect any changes. The house district requires around 9,894 residents, and the county sits within the deviation. Part of the crite- ria is following county lines if possible, he said. "We heard from several people that counties are communities, so don't split us," Bennion said. "This makes it very easy for elec- tion officials. People in east- ern Montana really feel the county is their community." Because house lines are tentative, the public can still submit input. The corn- Farm: Challenges caused by we r FROM PAGE IA between Brockton and Mona where farmers didn't bother to combine. Commissioner Shane Gorder, meanwhile, esti- mates there was a 50 percent loss of crop for wheat in the county. Officials estimate a loss of 95-99 percent in the county for grass hay. "It's close, close to 100 (percent)," Young said. "The ones that are re- ally getting it are the cattle farmers with their hay." Along with crops, the area also suffered weather dam- age to grain bins, transmis- sion lines and other build- ings. Tammy Lake, county executive director for the Sidney FSA office, estimates that two-thirds of the county was affected by the weather. The state emergency board was scheduled to meet Tuesday. Lake estimates the county should hear back re- garding the disaster funding within the next month. Engagement I IIIIIII III 1 ,'t ANSETH - GREGERSEN Elizabeth Anne 'knnie" Anseth and Casey Gregersen announce their upcoming wedding on Sept. 8, 2012, in Billings. Annie is a graduate of Billings Senior High School and Rocky Mountain College in Billings. She graduated with a degree in elementary education. Casey is a graduate of Big Horn High School in Sheri- dan, Wyo., Rocky Mountain College in Billings and the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Annie and Casey live in Houston, Texas, where Casey is a petroleum engineer with Shell Oil, and Annie teaches kindergarten and is an NFL cheerleader with the Hous- ton Texans. Annie is the daughter of Alan and Sandy Anseth, Bill- ings. Her grandparents are Muriel Anseth and the late Don Anseth. Casey is the son of Steve Gregersen, Douglas, Wyo., and Jana Gregersen, Sheri- dan, Wyo. mittee will meet again in November prior to the 2013 Montana Legislature to pair house districts to senate districts that are required to have as close to 19,788 people as possible with a 3 percent deviation rate. One plan is to make Richland, Dawson and Wibaux one senate district, but as Bennion said, "that's not a foregone conclusion." Richland County could also be paired with its north- ern counterparts of Roos- evelt and Sheridan counties. "But I think it makes more sense to put Richland with Dawson and Wibaux," he said. The commissioners, tasked by law to re-evaluate legislative districts every 10 years after the U.S. Cen- sus, began work last year by presenting proposals, some of which put a scare in legislators representing rural areas. One plan had proposed to split Richland in three with Sidney at the center point. The plan was proposed by Democratic rep- resentatives who Bennion, a Republican-appointed commissioner, said have been successful in pushing their plans in urban areas like Great Falls and Helena. "Those look exactly like the proposal," he said. Back east, legislators seem to be sighing, at least for now. Rep. Austin Knudsen, R-Culbertson, representing northern rural Richland County currently, will likely lose that portion and will extend his representation westward toward Glasgow into Valley County. 's far as Richland County, obvious- ly I don't like losing north- ern Richland County. It's close to home for me, and I kind of like being their representative," he said. Senate District 18, cur- rently represented by John Brenden, R-Scobey, is now the largest district in the state and will likely grow even more so after losing the most population in the state; his territory will likely extend as far west as Havre while covering six counties. The public can submit .... B, ql Garei 3udith Basin, t  .......... ! ! The commission's plan for northeastern Montana. comments by emailing the commission at districting@ mt.gov or view proposals by visiting the Montana Legislative Services website and clicking on the commit- tee underneath the Interim Committees tab. Once the commission takes a vote, maps are presented to the full legisla- ture for suggestions and the final plan submitted to the Secretary of State around March 2013. Knudsen encourages the I Dawson public to continue making comments. "Public pressure is always a good thing, and at least it lets the commissioners know people are still paying attention," he said. mnumml-i tlIlliliiOM $200 OFF m flllU00E Im]r S575 hUqlinll