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Sidney , Montana
December 16, 2009     Sidney Herald
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December 16, 2009

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DEC. 16, 2009 101st year, No. 100 Sidney, Montana 75 CENTS mis year's Creative Kids. Special section. SERVING RICHLAND COUNTY AND THE SURROUNDING AREA FOR OVER 100 YEARS Bulletin Board III Right to Life The Richland County Right to Life will hold its annual Christmas bake and craft sale Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Village Square Mall. Donated items for sale are welcome. Lighting contest Community members are asked to vote for the best dec- orated home for the Sidney Herald's holiday lighting con- test. A People's Choice award of $100 in Chamber bucks, sponsored by the Sidney Her- ald, will be given to the top decorated residence. Make your vote at www.sidneyher- Farewell coffee hour Lonsdale United Methodist Church invites everyone to its farewell coffee hour for Pastor Gene Erickson on Dec. 27, following worship service which ends at 11:30 a.m. Pas- tor Gene will move to Grass Range where she will be an interim pastor for the congre- gation there. Please join Lonsdale members as we bid farewell to Pastor Gene and wish her well. Please contact Elaine Stedman at 488-4390 if you have any questions. Christmas concert The Sidney High School Christmas concert fs 7 p.m, Monday in the high school gym. Predator hunt The McCone County preda- tor hunt is Friday through Sunday Registration for three-man teams is 7 p.m. Fri- day at the Brockway Supper Club. There is a 100 percent payoff. Call 406-485-2036 for more information. Newsmaker ............................ II Gun rights U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D- Mont., has thrown his support behind a bipartisan measure that will protect and strengthen gun rights in the Senate's health care reform bill. If passed, the amendment forbids companies from rais- ing health insurance premi- ums or denying health care coverage to law-abiding Americans who keep guns in their homes. It also forbids the federal government from collecting private information about guns, ammunition or "lawful storage" of firearms under the health care reform bill. Deaths Verna Elizabeth Mkhelson, 91 Kristie Lee Salsbury, 39 Page 3A Inside Around Town ...2.A Classifieds ... 4-1B Deaths ........ 3A Here's My Card.6-7B Homespun ..... 8B Opinion ...... IOA Public Notices...7B Sports ....... 1-2B Food bank sees growing need area BY LOUISA BARBER SIDNEY HERALD LOUISA BARBER I SIDNEY HERALD From left, Noah Thiel, Marlyssa Ledgerwood and Seth Beyerle, members af the Assembly af God Children's Bell Chair, play "Away in a Manger" and "Go Tell it an the Mauntain" at the Christmas at the ManDak event Sunday. If a dramatic rise of people in need isn't a sign of the times, it's hard to say what would be. For the volunteers at the Richland County Food Bank, that's exactly what they've seen. "The uses this year have been, I would say, up dramati- ' cally. Probably 30 percent within the last three months we've been averaging 3,000 pounds of food out the door here," said Candy Markwald, president of the food bank board, who spoke generally about the increase in the numbers they serve. The bank's been averaging 45-85 adults a month within the last several months and an aver- age of 36-38 children per month as well. "We're seeing people right now that we've never seen before," she said. Many of those served are staying in local inns and mo- tels (some of whom have fam- ily in the area) as they look for jobs they heard were here. MonDak Heritage Center helps area residents celebrate holiday season BY LOUISA BARBER SN)NEY HERALD Christmas was in full swing at the MonDak Heritage Center Sunday, which lured hundreds of visitors to take a trip back in time while celebrat- ing the holiday What used to be "Ethnic Christmas" became "Christmas at the MonDak," and from early observations, the pub- lic seems quite taken with the change. Visitors were treated to Christmas car- ols from young and old, a bake sale, dutch auction and a guided historic tour along the Northern Pacific rail- road. The" two-and-a-half hour event fea- tured several musical groups as part of the entertainment segment. Starting with the youngsters of the Heart Prints and Hand Prints Children's Choir and Assembly of God Children's Bell Choir, the entertainment contin- ued with a group whose members in- cluded Alton Hillesland and Jim and Jeff Tibbett playing Christmas tunes with the help of Doris Norby and Petra Candee. , Then the Sidney Carolers sang songs such as "Let it Snow" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Following that group were Deniece Schwab, Leslie Messer, Colleen Fischer and Kelly Bousquet, who also sang songs that in- cluded "What Child is This" and "Oh Holy Night," which brought the audi- ence to its feet. "It's always fun to come to listen to LOUISA BARBER I SIDNEY HERALD Arch EIIwein serves as the conductor for the historic train ride. the music," said Sandy Nypen, who's been attending the event for the last few years and whose husband, Jerry, sings with the Sidney Carolers, "and it's usually beautiful music that this town provides.,.It's a good time." Across the building, tables were set up to hold the dozens of bake sale items provided by members of the MonDak Heritage Center. Brownies, cookies, breads, pizzelles, apple sauce cake and chocolate eclairs were among the items that sold.for $10 or less Vol- unteer and member Janice Norby manned the bake sale and said hall the items were sold less than halfway through the event. "Everybody looks forward to coming here every year," she said. A dutch auc- tion was also held in which gift baskets were the featured items. Money from the event goes to the heritage center for programming, historical preserva- tion and research. Exiting coordinator Sandy Turner said she was pleased with the event af- ter months of preparation. "With cold weather being below zero and snow [Saturday], we had about 325 people show up so far," she said Sunday, "so that's very good. Usually we get about 350, but usually it's much nicer weath- er." Numbers were up significantly over last year when a blizzard came through; just 110 patrons attended.' This year revolved around the area's history and focused on the Northern Pacific railroad in early 20th century Sidney. Guided by Arch Ellwein as the "conductor," groups boarded the "train,' and went back in time to briefly learn tidbits of historical infor- mation from the area starting with an original homesteaded house with au- thentic and original items from the time period. The groups walked through "down- SEE CHRISTMAS I PAGE 12A LOUISA BARBER I SIDNEY HERALD Food bank volunteer Gloria Yockim stocks materials. "They're in desperate need," she said. "We're filling that need." Just north in Fairview there's a similar story Food bank volunteers say that al- though they've also seen an increase of people needing as- sistance, it's not as dramatic as the one in Sidney. The food bank is serving about five new families. Thanks goes to the county residents who support the food bank because without them, volunteers say it would be much harder on those who struggle to make ends meet. They recently finished shelv- ing 700 pounds of food donat- ed by a local church. The county food bank is housed in cramped quarters but no less shows evidence of SEE FOOD 1 PAGE 12A Sidney schools prepare to unveil new Web site to improve communications BY BILL VANDER WEELE SIDNEY HERALD Parents and students of Sidney Public Schools will soon have a new Web site to go to for complete informa- tion about the school dis- trict. "I'm hoping the Web site becomes the one-stop place for information about the schools," Steve Yockim, dis- trict technology director, said. Yockim's goal is for the site to be up and running by the start of the second se- mester, at least by Jan. 18, 2010. The new address hasn't been designated yet. "The old Web site address ( will be directed to the new one so they won't have to change their links unless if they want to," Yockim said. He explains the biggest difference is each staff member can keep their page updated with information for students and especially parents. "I would think most of the teachers would put up les- son plans, and some will put up assignments and maybe links to pages they think will be valuable to the par- ents," Yockim said. Parents will also have the option of being notified by e-mail or text or~ the cell phone when school is being closed due to weather. The site will include an updated calendar of events with each different school color coded. "The advantage there is that it will be up to date," Yockim said. "The mail-out calendars are out of date the day you get it. Events change, get added or moved." The site will allow parents and students to gain access to scholarship forms, school board minutes and other school forms. Such tradi- tional information as the Parental Access and Sup- port System and activity up- dates will be available. Yockim says it's taken two to three weeks of hours to move information from the current site to the new site. "It's been a learning curve. It's going tobe a lot smoother program when we get it going.'" Steve Yockim, district technology site for Sidney schools. BILL VANDER WEELE SIDNEY HERALD director, works an the new Web Extended Sho ng Hours Q OPEN Dec. 6, 13, 20 Noon-4 p.m. Dec. 21, 22, 23 until 7 p.m.