A cowboy stays on top of
a bucking saddle bronc during the Bucking Horse
Tuesday, May 21
updated on dike
By Elaine Forman
The study of possible solutions to fix or replace the
dike, thereby lowering flood insurance requirements for
residents, is moving slowly until grant money is received.
Flood Plain Adminstrator Samantha Malenovsky and Public
Utilities Director Allen Kelm explained where the city
is on dike issues at the May 14 Miles City Council meeting.
Malenovsky said if some of the work is started earlier,
the city takes the risk of not getting a grant.
Kelm said the city had a meeting with the Army Corps of
Engineers about doing some studies on the dike.
The city wants to incorporate a contract it has with engineers
Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson (KLJ) with what the Corps is
going to require.
For the study, Malenovsky said there will be a 50-50 match
with the Corps, and the city’s match can include
The study can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000.
Both the Corps and the city/KLJ are doing a study.
The Corps study is more of a technical study, Malenovsky
said. The city’s study with KLJ is also a technical
study but will have a lot of public involvement.
The city’s study cannot begin until the grants begin
to open up.
Councilman Dwayne Andrews said there is no money available
until mid to late August.
He expressed frustration that nothing will be done until
Mayor Butch Grenz said if KLJ does its study sooner, it
will not count as part of an in-kind match.
Malenovsky said that is true of the Community Development
Block Grant, which is one of the funding sources.
Kelm said if the city has “all its ducks in a row,”
it can use all the grant dollars and in-kind services.
If the Corps decides it is a worthwhile project, the Corps
will pay 65 percent of the project costs (which has to
be approved by Congress), and the city will have to come
up with 35 percent.
The Corps and Federal Emergency Management Agency work
hand in hand on these types of projects.
The Corps and Carl Jackson of KLJ are working together.
Malenovsky added that Jackson has done some work free
of charge up to this point.
“That’s been very generous of him to do that,”
Also at the meeting:
— Linda Wildman announced she will retire from the
city clerk’s office on June 14 after 38 years in
the department. She had previously retired but came back
to work part time to help out the city.
Wildman also welcomed the new city clerk, Lorrie Pearce,
in her comments.
“Thank you very much, Linda, for your service,”
Andrews said during the council comment period, which
was met with applause.
— Jean Stewart and Spencer Haynes were appointed
to the Planning Board.
— Jerry Smith, Carol Hardesty Cherry, Sandy Hays
and Mike Schmitz were appointed to the Miles City Housing
— The Safety Culture Committee had existed in the
past, and the council voted to start it up again with
a $1,000 budget.
Miles City Fire and Rescue Chief Dale Berg said the Montana
Municipal Insurance Authority requires the city to have
The committee’s role is to promote a safe work environment
for city employees and to put together and review the
safety policy handbook, promote training, review accident
claims, determine how the claims could have been prevented
and try to keep the number of claims down.
Berg said 2010 was the last time the city had a safety
Kelm said the committee is required by the Montana Department
of Labor, and every department has a representative on
Councilwoman Susanne Galbraith was elected to serve on
— Work on Strevell Avenue is moving along well,
Engineer for the project, Andy Marum, said the subgrade
(dirt base) of the street was much worse than expected,
so more dirt had to be removed to build it back up again.
The condition of the subgrade helped explain why the street
had so many problems over the years.
That problem increased the costs about $34,000, which
was considered minor for the $2.4 million project.
Marum said the rest of the water main work was going along
according to schedule and sometimes ahead of schedule.
He added that he thought Jackson Contractors had been
overly optimistic when they submitted the expected time
— Kelm reported the new roof trusses are up on the
city’s pool house and Seabolt Construction expects
all the improvements to be completed by the end of the
June 3 is the tentative opening date for the pool.
— The new Haynes Avenue lift station is completed
and is working.
Kelm said Anderson Construction did “a super job.”
The station is located on Valley Drive East and Haynes
Grenz said the city received a letter from Mac’s
Frontierland, which has land adjacent to the lift station,
saying the crew was very professional and were appreciated
for how the workers conducted themselves.
Work continues on the influent building at the waste water
treatment plant and is expected to be done in July or
Williams Brothers Construction is working on that project.
Both projects are part of the waste water treatment plant
Grenz said the city received a $500,000 construction grant
from the Transportation State Endowment Program for the
waste water treatment plant upgrades.
— Councilman Jerry Partridge said it appears nothing
is being done with the site of the former Miles City Ready
The site has been discussed before and safety concerns
Grenz said the police chief sent out a letter two or three
days ago. If the landowner does not comply, it could become
a court issue.
— Galbraith commended Kelm for wearing so many hats
and getting so much done for the city.
— Councilman John Uden said dirt is being hauled
in for problem areas on the dike.
— The council unanimously approved changing the
words on the “jake brakes” signs to “un-muffled
compression brakes prohibited,” and placement of
the signs in town, if the Montana Department of Transportation
has no objection.
— The council unanimously approved moving a no parking
sign in front of 121 S. Center Ave. to the other side
of the driveway. Currently people are parking in a way
that is blocking the driveway.
Monday, May 20
rain on BHS Saturday
By Amorette Allison and Elaine Forman
People got in nearly three days of Bucking Horse Sale
festivities before a torrential downpour early Saturday
evening put a little wrench in things.
A new record for precipitation for that date was set with
1.32 inches. Of that, nearly one inch, .96 of an inch,
fell in just 20 minutes, according to the National Weather
Service. The previous record for May 18 was set two years
ago when .51 inches of rain fell in one day.
The rain started shortly before 6 p.m., just as Saturday’s
activities were close to wrapping up at the Eastern Montana
The r ain caused the last horse race, the feature race,
and all of Sunday’s horse races to be postponed
until next Saturday, according to Don Richard of the Bucking
Horse Sale Board of Governors. The Wild Horse Race was
still held in the sloppy conditions.
“The horse races went really good,” Richard
said. “The pari-mutuel handle (total amount people
bet) was a little over $35,000 and was headed for a record.”
Richard believes that if the last race on Saturday had
been run, they would have broken the record of $43,000
for a day.
Before the rains hit Saturday, one race horse unfortunately
broke its leg and had to be put down.
There will be no admission charged for Saturday’s
rescheduled races, but programs will be for sale. Saturday
will have a number of thoroughbred races, which are always
“The Bucking Horse Sale futurity had really good
horses - top breeding,” Richard said, referring
to the event introduced this year.
There were 36 horses featured in a sanctioned futurity
through the World Class Bucking Horse Association showcasing
top breeding stock.
The weather also affected activities elsewhere around
town. The Main Street underpass was closed early Saturday
evening, flooding with water nearly up to the sidewalks,
making it difficult to navigate the downtown area. Several
intersections were flooded briefly.
The moisture woes have decided to stay past Bucking Horse
Sale weekend. There are flash flood and high water warnings
throughout southeastern Montana for today and tonight,
particularly in areas burned by wildfires last year.
Although the rivers in the area have already reached their
maximum flows, the National Weather Service expects some
smaller creeks and streams to experience rises.
Rain fall is expected to continue throughout the day,
but clearing weather will begin on Tuesday.
For more results on Bucking Horse Sale, see today’s
Sports section, and continue to watch for coverage in
this week’s editions of the Miles City Star.
Friday, May 17
added to BHS Saturday
By Josh Samuelson
While there are plenty of other rodeo activities involved
in the World Famous Miles City Bucking Horse Sale, the
sale itself remains the bedrock of activities on Saturday
at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds.
More than 75 horses will take their turn in the arena
before the action is done. Some are untried stock, some
have bucked out a few times, and others are spoiled saddle
horses. The sale will be the proving ground to see if
they have potential in the rodeo world. It’s also
a chance for cowboys to get on a lot of horses and see
if they have what it takes to advance in the sport.
Immediately after the rides, the horses are auctioned
and the cowboys are scored for their efforts.
This year, the Bucking Horse Sale will feature a sanctioned
Futurity for the World Class Bucking Horse Association.
That event will feature 36 horses and is a qualifier for
the finals. According to the WCBHA website, the futurities
“are an incredible avenue initiated to give breeders
and contractors, large and small, a remarkable option
to showcase their top-of-the-line bucking horses and the
breeding programs they came from.”
Following the Futurity will be the open Bucking Horse
There will be around 40 horses bucked out in the open
sale. Those horses are coming from Canada, North Dakota
and around Montana.
The World Class Bucking Horse Futurity is set to begin
at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by the Bucking Horse Sale.
Action gets started at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds
at 1 p.m. with the first horse race. The rodeo grand entry
will be held at 1:15 p.m., followed by the first Wild
The second Wild Horse Race will be held following the
open Bucking Horse Sale.
Horse Race bigger and better this year
By Josh Samuelson
For years the Wild Horse Race has been one of the more
popular events at the World Famous Bucking Horse Sale.
This year, the Wild Horse Race is bigger and better.
The field has expanded to 16 teams, and there will be
a total of five Wild Horse Races on the weekend.
Friday and Saturday will feature two races, one to start
the action and one to end the action, at the Eastern Montana
Each of the 16 teams will be guaranteed two races, one
each on Friday and Saturday. The top eight teams from
the four races will advance to the finals on Sunday, where
they will compete for the Casper Schaefer Championship
The Wild Horse Race is simple in its idea, but difficult
in execution. Each team consists of three members, who
have to saddle and ride the horse around the track and
back into the arena. But several other teams are trying
to do the same thing at the same time, and the horses
Contestants in the Wild Horse Race come from all over
the West, including teams from Nebraska, Wyoming, Arizona,
Colorado and South Dakota.
Teams from Montana include: Glasgow, Wolf Point, two from
Frazer, Brusett, Forsyth and Jordan.
The first Wild Horse Race will be held tonight at 5:45,
with the second starting after the second round of Mutton
On Saturday, the first Wild Horse Race is set for 1:30
p.m., and will end the day’s action at 6:30 p.m.
The finals is set for 6 p.m. on Sunday evening.
Flight vets to serve as parade marshals
By Denise Hartse
When the annual Bucking Horse Sale Parade heads down Main
Street on Saturday morning, there will be a change in
the lineup at the beginning of the parade.
This year, instead of only one grand marshal of the parade,
there will be several. Each is a Miles City or area resident
who served in the armed forces during World War II and
had the opportunity to participate in one of the three
Big Sky Honor Flights. These flights have transported
WWII veterans from Montana to Washington, D.C., to view
the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. This monument
is the newest memorial on the mall.
The local and area veterans who have participated in the
honor flights and who have been invited to serve as grand
marshals of the 2013 BHS Parade are Dennis Scranton, Lawrence
Shipp, Ruben Oberlander, Paul “Casey” Stengel,
Tom Hanel, Pete Mangen, Paul Ringling, Robert Tillery,
Theo Norgaard and Robert Frankforter.
The Big Sky Honor Flight program’s mission is to
recognize American veterans for their military sacrifices
and achievement by flying them, at no cost, to Washington,
D.C., so they can view their memorial. Veterans receiving
top priority are those who served in World War II and
veterans from all wars who are terminally ill.
The veterans who will ride in the parade will gather on
Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Iron Horse
Restaurant to board their float, which will be pulled
by the Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home Clydesdales, driven
by Chet Holmes.
Thursday, May 16
Bring on the Bulls
By Josh Samuelson
Friday evening at the World Famous Miles City Bucking
Horse will be plenty busy at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds.
Action gets started on Friday night with the coronation
of Miss Southeastern Montana Rodeo Royalty prior to the
Grand Entry at 5:30 pm
Grand Entry at 5:30 p.m. The first of two Wild Horse Races
kicks things off at 5:45 p.m.
The highlight of the evening will be the popular Bucking
Bull Sale, which begins around 6 p.m.
The bull riding will have roughly 50 bulls. Half of those
bulls will be in the open bull sale, and half will be
in the Bull Showdown.
The Bull Showdown, in its third year at the Bucking Horse
Sale, has bulls that are entered by stock contractors
and compete against the other bulls.
Bull riders are also scored by judges, similar to a standard
bull riding event.
The Open Sale, following the Showdown, will feature another
25 bulls that will be sold, in the same manner as the
bucking horse sale on Saturday.
Friday night will also feature two sections of Mutton
Bustin’. The Mutton Bustin, for kids aged 4-6, will
run between the Bull Sale. For more information on the
Mutton Bustin’, see page 11 of today’s edition.
The action concludes on Friday night with another Wild
Horse Race, at approximately 7 p.m.
Save for the Wild Horse Race, there won’t actually
be any bucking horses in the arena until Saturday and
Sunday, and they will be interspersed among sections of
tickets sales steady
By Amorette Allison
Bucking Horse Sale tickets are “right where we typically
are at this point,” according to Terri Newby of
the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce. While sales are
going well, Newby has noticed fewer foreign visitors requesting
All tickets are still available at the Chamber office
at 511 Pleasant and will be through noon on Friday, says
Newby, or by calling 234-2890 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
General seating is $12 and reserved seat tickets are $17.
For exact location of available seats, go to the Bucking
Horse Sale website, click on TICKETS and check seating
availability for Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets for the Jerrod Niemann concert are also still
available through the Chamber or at Stockman Bank, Murdoch’s
Ranch and Home or the Texas Club. Tickets are all general
admission and are $30. Andy Wemmer is the warm-up act
starting at 5:50 p.m. on Thursday, with Copper Mountain
Band the opening act at 6:30 and the main concert starting
Concert tickets can also be ordered at email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 15
city clerk hired on a tie-breaker vote
By Elaine Forman
Montana Department of Transportation’s local payroll
benefits technician, Lorrie Pearce, was appointed as the
new city clerk at the Miles City Council meeting Tuesday
night after Mayor Butch Grenz broke a tie vote.
“She had everything we were looking for,”
Four council members voted to hire Pearce, the lone applicant
by the posting deadline, but the remaining four council
members opposed the hiring on qualifications. The mayor
tipped the scales in Pearce’s favor.
Councilwoman Susanne Galbraith questioned the decision,
saying she went over Pearce’s application and the
job description, and “she doesn’t meet the
minimum qualifications for the job.”
Among the requirements for the job, the clerk must have
a working knowledge of administrative and financial practices
and procedures, accounting procedures, state and local
laws, personnel management, procurement duties and budget
preparation and implementation.
Also, the clerk must have the education and experience
equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in accounting,
business administration and/or public administration with
a minimum of four years experience in public finance and
municipal administration or an equivalent combination
of education and experience.
Galbraith said a month and a half ago the city had two
internal applicants who didn’t meet the qualifications
for the Public Utilities Director position, so the city
Councilman Mark Ahner immediately made a motion to appoint
Pearce as the city clerk, and Councilwoman Roxanna Brush
Councilman Jerry Partridge noted that Pearce had no accounting
“How can you have a city clerk without accounting?”
he asked. “You’re going to hire her and then
expect the city clerk staff to train her? Mayor, you don’t
seem to like those people, and yet you’re putting
the full city into the hands of two people. How can you
hire someone with no accounting?”
Grenz said the last two city clerks had no previous training
Galbraith said former city clerk Becky Stanton had a degree
in accounting and worked many years as an accountant at
Peabody Coal, which Galbraith called “tons of experience.”
Councilman John Hollowell agreed that he didn’t
understand how the city is looking at hiring someone who
doesn’t meet the minimum requirements.
Ahner said Pearce had more experience with government
accounting, with claims, with auditing, with complicated
software in regards to budgeting than did the previous
city clerk, prior to her hiring.
Ahner said Pearce’s references were “very
generous as far as her performance and in what she’s
done working for the State of Montana, especially with
He added that the two internal applicants for the Public
Utilities Director position have been interviewed twice
and will be interviewed a third time.
Galbraith asked the mayor why the council just went through
the whole process of writing a job description. “What’s
the purpose of it?”
She said her second problem is that “anyone familiar
with the job wasn’t even on the interview board,”
Galbraith said, noting that no one from the clerk’s
office was on the hiring committee.
“It’s a complicated job,” Partridge
said, adding that if she had experience, she didn’t
put it on her resume. “I guess it all boils down
to the job of the people that are here now to train. And
that’s not right. ... Dog-gone-it, they have a tough
Hollowell said Pearce “sounds like a very capable
and extremely hard-working person, but we turne down people
who are qualified (for other jobs) and hire someone who
isn’t qualified. I think we’re setting ourselves
up for something.”
Voting in favor of Pearce were Ahner, Roxanna Brush, Bill
Melnik and John Uden. Ahner, Brush and Uden were on the
hiring committee, along with the mayor.
Voting against were Hollowell, Dwayne Andrews, Galbraith