The I-O reviews the year 2010

36_orpheum-1983MOVIE GOERS  — Fourth and fifth graders line up to get in the Orpheum Theatre just before Christmas to see the movie Despicable Me. Students from Sunburst School also came down to view the flick. All the students donated food items for the Food Pantry in order to see the movie. Photo courtesy of PVS Principal Greg Jensen


By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor and Deanna Wakkinen, I-O Reporter

JANUARY: The New Year kicked in with city official, Mayor John Shevlin and Councilwomen Wendy Judisch and Karla Breding taking the oath of office.


Icy tracks caused a BNSF grain train to derail in Conrad. There were no injuries, train or track damage.


Katie Waldner, born Jan. 11, at 1:45 p.m. was the Pondera County New Year’s baby. She is the daughter of Lydia and Will Waldner.


It was announced that former assistant county attorney and entertainer Mark Staples would keynote the annual CofC banquet in February.


LCDR Blake Tornga is serving aboard the carrier US Nimitz, contributing to the effort of the war in Afghanistan. He is the son of George and Cheryl Tornga of Conrad.


The high school is getting ready to bid on post season volleyball and basketball games.



Cowboy wrestler Luke Schlosser, 105, won his weight class and the Quick Pin award at the Choteau Classic.


Jacob Bosner and John Friede from Cub Scout Pack 531 used “Scout Bucks” to purchase food for two families in Conrad. The annual Dupuyer breakfast was set for the end of the month and the date of June 4-6 was set for the 70th annual Lions Club Whoop-Up Celebration.


The Pondera Medical Center held that annual employee recognition dinner. A 25-year pin went out to Carolyn Widhalm and the PMC/CEO’s Award of Excellence went to the hospital’s ambulance crew.


Carol Kaldor received a 15-year award for service with the Easter Seals. Tim Tharp was named the Athletic Director of the Year at Dutton/Brady School and Logan Lee, a CHS grad now attending Augustana College, was on tour with their choir group.


The CHS Speech and Drama team was heading out to Missoula for their state tournament.


FEBRUARY: Funding for the county Growth Policy was tentatively approved by the county. Their share would be $15,000. Although giving the motion a second, Commissioner Joe Christiaens said it was against his better judgment.


The Conrad Lions Club presented the Pondera Arts Council with $1,000 to help pay for a new theatre marquee. Reta Rae Weisgram was honored by the PMC board of trustees after retiring from 11 years of service on the board. The Cowboy wrestlers were heading off to their divisional meet in Malta. They would come home with their 17th Divisional title and get ready to go to the state meet in Billings. Luke and Johnny Schlosser, Colt Harris and Kyle Judisch all took first places. The team is coached by Kevin Moritz.


Rep. Llew Jones filed for the State Senate seat, SD-14, held by Sen. Jerry Black. Black cannot run again because of term limits. A free grain marketing workshop was scheduled to be in Conrad. The CofC had a ceremonial ribbon cutting for a new business on Main St., Prairie Fire Pottery, owned by Wayne and Laurie Anderson and their daughter Katie.


The CHS science whiz kids were getting ready to take off to Billings under the direction of Phil Springer for the annual Big Sky Regional Science Bowl.


Glen and Ruby Bouma were recognized as being “Super Fans” for their attendance to high school sporting events. At the state wrestling meet, Luke Schlosser won his second title, Johnny Schlosser placed second and Kyle Judisch was fourth.


Mark Bergstrom was selling his photo art work to raise relief funds for earthquake victims in Haiti. Jamie Ford, a bestselling author, paid a visit to the library, sponsored by The Friends of the Library.


The Cowgirl basketball team placed at the district meets and was moving on to divisional. The Cowboy team saw their season end at their district meet.


Donna Sanders was recently hired by the PMC to be a lactation and childbirth educator.


MARCH: George Tornga was named the Unsung Hero at the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce banquet at the end of February. Gary Brown was named the Business Person of the Year.


A number of different phone scams were being reported, most notably, “Grandma, this is your grandson, I’m in jail in Canada and I need bail money....”. VFW Patriot Pen winners were Sydney Slezak 1st, Johnny Schlosser 2nd and Rachel Lamb 3rd.


Becky Brown of Conrad placed first in the Pondera County Spelling Bee. Jake Bender was 2nd, Morgan VanDyke 3rd, Zack Momchilovieh of Valier 4th and Austin Brauer of Conrad 5th. Johnny Schlosser was 2nd in the Tournament of Champions in Great Falls.


A public hearing was set for a permissive medical levy so the city could offer a health insurance program to city employees. Letha Ashworth was the new executive secretary for the CofC. Rob Cook, a managing partner at ITB was gearing up to make a run for the State House of Representatives, HD-27.


Sisters Katey and Erika VanderVeen will both be playing on stage with the Great Falls Youth Symphony.  The city has passed a medical levy on a 4-0 vote, without having a city election. The levy is to help pay for city employee’s health insurance and will raise taxes on city residents.


CHS school teacher Cheryl Schlepp has been nominated as Student Council Advisor of the Year. Bill Conrad has been named to Regional VP Insurance Services for Northwest Farm Credit Services.


The deadline for filing for office has passed. County Commissioner Sandy Broesder has filed for re-election. She will face a challenge from Amanda Younce. Other office holders getting a free ride back into office include Janice Hopers Clerk and Recorder; Treasurer, Jeanne Moon; County Attorney Mary Ann Ries; Sheriff Tom Kuka; Superintendent of Schools Jo Stone; Justice of the Peace Audrey Brown; and Public Administrator Bill May.


Conrad snagged three tournaments for the new gym, the Class B girls’ volleyball divisional, the 6C girls volleyball tournament and the 10C boys and girls district tourneys.


Nikki Linn received the Gianarelli grant of $1,000 for the People to People program. Melissa Habets and her husband Kent have opened a pet grooming business, Pet Paws Grooming, in the Pondera Village Shopping Mall.


The royal court for the CHS prom consisted of King Queen Grant Grubb and Kara Bandow along with Amber Stenson, Taylor Johnson, Olivia Campbell, Kyle Ellis, Johnny Schlosser and Sam Knobel.


APRIL: Cowboy Designs, owned by Rachel and Terry Kinamon, had a ceremonial ribbon cutting as a new business on Main St. They do vinyl signs, decals, jackets, hats and other sports apparel. Brady petitioners have filed an appeal on land transfer decision. Danyelle Townsend donated 10-inches of her hair to the Locks of Love.


Lydia Mild, a Dupuyer School teacher has been named Montana Rural School Teacher of the Year. Commissioner Broesder told the I-O that the county was the recipient of a $200,000 American Recovery Act grant. It will be used to remodel the community center on Virginia St.


Athena Mosxona of Valier also is making a big run for the open seat in HD-27. Stockman Bank will have representatives at CHS as part of “National Teach Children to Save Month.”


Keith Melhus will be a candidate for the House of Representative, HD-27. Winter did not want to go away yet as Conrad and the area received a number of inches of snow. Ava Killion, Natalie Broesder, Kaitlyn Gouchenour and Caitline Bosner were winners in an I-O coloring contest for Easter.


The Pondera Players were presenting the play Play On! Mayor John Shevlin appointed Kevin Moritz to Fire Chief and Bryan Jones to Assistant Fire Chief. Kyle Judisch, Alyssa Keil, Kody Marksbury and Brandon Perkins were honored for their finance knowledge in a national quiz bowl.


Quality of Life Concepts in Conrad will be participating in the Special Olympics in Great Falls and members got new uniforms.


MAY: High winds blew down the top of an old-unused grain elevator. Karen Lee was named the District 10 Teacher of the Year and Tammy Totdahl was named the School Employee of the Year. Peggy Berthelson celebrated her 100th birthday at the Mormon Church.


Nikki Linn and Rachel Lamb will be representing CHS and Conrad at Girls’ State in Helena at Carroll College. Wells Fargo was named number one Ag lender for 14 years running.  Harold Olson, president of the Economic Development Council presented a check from the EDC to Superintendent of Schools Lynn Utterback for $5,000 for the public schools with $1,000 going to bid on post season tournaments.


Kara Bandow and Rachelle Johns combined to pitch a no hitter for the Cowgirl softball team. High school golf, tennis, softball and track and field squads were getting ready to head out to respective district and divisional tournaments.


Dogs were causing a holdup in mail delivery on N. Maryland. Until the situation was fixed some residents had to go to the Post Office to get their mail. The NuKeil Park project received a boost of $1,000 from 3 Rivers Communications. Mike Mills presented the check to Karen Burditt. Conrad Police officers held a bike safety program at Meadowlark School.


Mayor John Shevlin, and city employees Dru Gunderson, John Callahan and Rich Anderson planted a tree in Legion Park for Arbor Day. The Ringling Five were making a return engagement to Conrad at the Orpheum Theatre/Wiegand Auditorium. Cortni Jones, the daughter of Clark and Tammy Jones, has been accepted to attend the London School of Economics.


JUNE: Cowboys and Cowgirls were converging in Conrad for the 70th Lions Club Whoop-Up Trail Days Celebration. Grand Marshals for the general parade were Jake and Martha Egeler.


The VFW and American Legion posts presented Memorial Day services at the local cemetery. Conrad High School held their first graduation ceremony in the new gym.  Ron and Debbie Ries, owners of Superior Welding, were named the CHS Business of the Year by members of the Business Professionals of America club.


Bert Paulsen was named the Outstanding fifth grade Athlete and Danielle Moritz was named Sportsman of the Year at PVS school.


Jayleen Harris was honored as the Whoop-Up Rodeo Queen. First runner up was Jacklyn VanDyke and Katie Dulmage was second runner up.


Landon Lee is a member of a four person band that won the “Next Folgers Jingle Star” award and $25,000. The band wrote and performed a new jingle for the Folgers coffee company and received their award in New York City. He is the son of Roland and Karen Lee of Conrad.


Mayor Shevlin, Finance Officer Agnes Fowler and councilwoman Wendy Judisch attended an officials training institute workshop in Bozeman.


CHS graduate Carmen DeVries spent the last year in Papua, New Guinea and was back to talk about her experience at the Conrad Library.


Golden West Lutheran Church was set to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Work was progressing on the I-15 Conrad interchange project. Joe’s Family Steakhouse owners, Bill and Joe  Campbell, presented a check for $713 to Terry Syvertson for the Caring for Kids program.


The Conrad beautification committee of Stephanie Moerkerke, Bev Widhalm, Catherine Kellogg and Betty Olson  put out new aggregate flower planters on Main St.


Calvin Ophus rode to second place at the state high school rodeo. Golfers Joe O’Brien, Austin Fowler and Justin VandenBos teamed up to win the Pondera Medical Center scramble at the Pondera Golf Club.


Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two part series. The year in review 2010 from July to December will be published in next week’s issue of the Independent-Observer.