A cowboy stays on top of
a bucking saddle bronc during the Bucking Horse
Thursday, May 23
graduates receive diplomas Sunday
By Denise Hartse
The students in the Class of 2013 at Custer County District
High School will walk across the stage Sunday, May 26,
receive their diplomas and leave their high school days
CCDHS Commencement will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday in the
The processional will be played by the CCDHS Band members
as the graduates enter the gym.
CCDHS principal Jamie Ogolin will present the honor students.
Valedictorians Alexis Gruba and Jonathan Sutton will speak.
Tom Albers will present the Custer County Educational
Foundation Scholarship awards. The CCDHS Band will then
perform “The Cowboys.”
Ogolin will introduce this year’s graduation speaker,
Michelle Miller, adjunct faculty member for the Federal
Bureau of Investigation and a former CCDHS student.
Following Miller’s speech, the CCDHS Choral Department
seniors and Chorale will sing “Seasons of Love”
and “Some Nights.”
Ogolin and Terry Annalora, assistant principal at CCDHS,
will present the Class of 2013. Members of the Board of
Trustees will award the diplomas. Trustees for 2012-2013
are: Carol Bartholomew, Jeff Donnelly, Eric Doeden, Dave
Fiechtner, Ted Herzog, Donald Hofmann, Erin Hould, Monty
Lesh, Jack McNamee, Scot Robinson and Bob Wagner.
The CCDHS Band will then play “Loyalty” and
Officers of the Senior Class are Elizabeth Williams, president;
Savanah Leidholt, vice president; and Ellen Geary, secretary-treasurer.
The class motto is “It all seems impossible until
the end.” Class colors are lime green, hot pink
and zebra and the class flower is the Alstroemeria.
Students who will receive their diplomas Sunday are:
Andrew M. Abel, Magna Cum Laude (3.5+ grade point average);
Austin Allery; Bryce A. Anderson, Summa Cum Laude (3.75+
GPA); Heather K. Anderson; Jesse James Anderson, Cum Laude
(3.25+ GPA); Eleanor J. Armstrong, National Honor Society
(gold neck braid) and Summa Cum Laude; Shelby L. Arnold,
National Honor Society and Cum Laude.
Garrett V. Baldry; Riley D. Banta; Kenneth Beckman; Devin
J. Begger, Cum Laude; Melissa L. Beyer; Brett Michael
Birkeland, Honors (3.0+ GPA); Steven Boross; Anthony Brown;
Camron Brown; Matthew Buford; Natalie A. Buness, Cum Laude.
Tasha A. Cain, Magna Cum Laude; Devin D. Chamberlin; Ariel
M. Chapman, Magna Cum Laude; Brinne M. Chappell; Matthew
Robyn Clark; Montana W. Clouse; Lane L. Clute; Chance
R. Conley; Kurtus A. Cool.
Cynthia Louise DeCock; Joren N. Defries; Jared Y. DeVault;
Chance M. Dickman; Brett D. Dobie; Josh L. Dunning; Dominic
J.R. Emeline; Danielle J. Finn, Summa Cum Laude; Mathew
Daniel Garza; Ellen F. Geary, Cum Laude; Allisa V. Graber;
Kassidy M. Gran; Alexis LeeAnn Gruba, National Honor Society
and Summa Cum Laude; Chase L. Gunther, Magna Cum Laude;
Emma J. Haley, Magna Cum Laude; Trevor Lynn Harbaugh;
Jordan David Harris, Cum Laude; Justice Dana Harris, National
Honor Society and Summa Cum Laude.
Caleb J. Heidel; Olivia Irene Helland, National Honor
Society and Magna Cum Laude; Presley Marie Herman, National
Honor Society and Magna Cum Laude; Tulsa Marie Irene Herzog;
Savannah Kay Hill; Whitney Hilliard, National Honor Society
and Cum Laude; Quinn Hopkins; Ashlee Sue Hyatt, National
Robert Kenitzer; Brooke Nicole Kennedy; Laci J. Kirkland;
Kimber W. Krausz; McKeelyn Shae Kron; Lane F. Krutzfeldt;
Austin G. Laitinen; Taylor Lane, Magna Cum Laude; Ciera
Kate Larsen, Magna Cum Laude; Savanah Lee Leidholt, National
Honor Society and Summa Cum Laude; Shawn Robert Leidholt,
Magna Cum Laude.
Jordan Leigh Lemelin; Kyle Lewis; Megan Marie Licht; Simone
I. Loegager; Sydnee Marie Lohrke; Nathaniel Lee Lowry;
Jordan D. Mackey; Ashley MaKay Merical; Katherine Elizabeth
Monroe; Andersen Moody; Kelly Marie Muggli; Tanner Niklas
Muggli, Magna Cum Laude; Alec Myhre.
Kyle V. Nelson; Heather J. O’Brien, National Honor
Society and Summa Cum Laude; Payton O’Connor; Ashly
A. Prete; Brooke M. Regan, National Honor Society and
Cum Laude; William J. Reil; Raylee Renee Reinhart; Nicholas
F. Reynolds; Haley D. Roberts; Braden Rolandson.
Koreena Dawn Schultes; Erik Alexander Schwarzkopf; Jalen
E. Seminole; Drew J. Senger; Alex A. Silk; Marissa Nicole
Singleton; Sydney Janine Slabodnik; Katelin McKenzie South;
Jonathan Earl Sutton, National Honor Society and Summa
Cum Laude; Shawnee M. Swanson, Honors.
Hanne Tiset; Shyler Torstenbo; Tanner N. Treu; Gavin K.
Ueland; Jesse J. Van Hook; Elais Chavez Vera; Matthew
Robert Warn, Summa Cum Laude; Zoe Whicker; Katlan R. White;
and Elizabeth Kate Williams, National Honor Society and
Summa Cum Laude.
CCDHS student becomes highly trained scientist, agent
From the Custer County District High School
Michelle Miller, a former student at Custer County District
High School, is the graduation speaker at the CCDHS Commencement
on Sunday afternoon, May 26.
Miller has had extensive experience in forensic science,
criminal, counterterriorism and more in high-profile world
events. She is a FBI special agent.
Miller, who attended CCDHS starting in 1986, relocated
to Pendleton, Ore., during her senior year of high school
in the fall of 1989 and graduated there in the spring
Miller received her bachelor of science degree in biology
from the University of Portland in Oregon in 1995. In
1998, she began her studies in the field of anthropology
at the University of Tennessee and worked as an autopsy
technician for the state medical examiner at the UT Medical
Center, regional Forensic Center.
Miller was accepted into the graduate program at UT in
1999. At that time, it was one of only two graduate programs
in the United States specializing in forensic anthropology.
During that time, Miller worked as a graduate research
assistant under Dr. William Bass and Dr. Murray Marks,
at the Anthropological Research Facility, known to most
as the original Body Farm, located at Knoxville, Tenn.
At this research facility, human decomposition in various
settings is studied. In this setting, information from
human remains can be extracted, including circumstances
and time of death.
Miller worked as a Bio-Archaeology Field School supervisor
in 2001 in northern Jordan. There she excavated early
Byzantine tombs for Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan.
She was deployed to New York City following the attacks
of 9/11. There she worked with the Office of the Chief
Medical Examiner (OCME), identifying human remains of
the victims of 9/11 and the American Airlines Flight No.
Miller received her master of arts degree in physical
anthropology with a concentration in forensic anthropology
in 2002. Her primary focus of research was on the effectiveness
of using Ground Penetrating Radar in the search for and
detection of human remains in clandestine burials.
She was accepted into and entered the doctoral program
in forensic anthropology at UT in the fall of 2002. Her
concentration was on the application of bio-systems engineering
and three-dimensional imagery to forensic anthropology.
During this time, she often instructed and/or gave presentations
to groups, which included other anthropology students,
medical personnel and members of the law enforcement community.
Throughout her years in academia, she appeared in several
documentaries about forensic anthropology. Two of them
were produced by National Geographic and focused on her
specific research: “Anatomy of a Corpse” and
“Biography of a Corpse.”
Regarding her academic research, publications by Miller
appear in the “Journal of Environmental and Engineering
Geophysics” and the “Journal of Forensic Sciences.”
Miller joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2005
and since then has been a Special Agent assigned to the
Washington Field Office in Washington, D.C. There she
has worked counterterrorism, criminal and counterintelligence
After she graduated from the FBI Academy, she was assigned
to the National Capital Response Squad. NCRS prepares
for and responds to national security threats to the National
Miller was assigned to work criminal and extraterritorial
matters in 2007. These include violent crimes in the area
of Washington, D.C., in addition to violent crimes committed
against Americans in foreign countries, primarily Africa
and the Middle East.
She is currently working counterintelligence and counterespionage
Miller has several ancillary duties in addition to her
She is a member of the FBI Washington Field Office Evidence
Response Team, specializing in three-dimensional crime
scene reconstruction. She has been deployed to many crime
scenes and supported several high profile events around
the world, including, but not limited to:
— 2005 — Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans;
—2006 — Operation OVERT, restricted liquids
on planes (International Terrorism);
— 2007 — Virginia Tech shooting in Blacksburg,
Va.; Presidential mansion in Monrovia, Liberia (Torture
and War Crimes); and Bagram Air Force Base and Jalalabad
FOB, Afghanistan (International Terrorism);
— 2008 — Plane crash at Mexico City, Mexico,
in which the vice president of Mexico was killed;
— 2009 — Holocaust Museum shooting (Domestic
Terrorism/Hate Crime); and D.C. Metro train crash;
—2010 — Shootings at the Pentagon and five
other military installations;
— 2011 — Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Presidential
— 2009 and 2013 Presidential inaugurations.
Miller also is an adjunct faculty member for the FBI,
regularly conducting training to law enforcement personnel
around the United States and internationally. She has
taught classes in Niamey, Niger; Belize City, Belize;
Accra, Ghana; Gaboromne, Botswana; and Moshi, Tanzania.
Throughout her career she has contributed to numerous
high profile and high priority cases. Among the accolades
and recognitions she has received for her efforts are:
— 2002 — Special recognition by Kenyon International
for her contributions as a forensic anthropologist after
the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
— 2007 — Recipient of the Federal Law Enforcement
Officers Association National Award for her contributions
during the response and subsequent investigation of the
Virginia Tech shooting.
— 2008 — Nominated for the FBI Director’s
Award for her contributions during the investigation,
trial and conviction of Charles Taylor Jr., Monrovia,
Liberia. (First American to be convicted of Torture and
War Crimes in another country).
— 2012 — Recipient of the Anti-Defamation
League Shield Award for her contributions during the investigation,
trial and conviction of Yonathan Melaku, who shot at several
military installations in the Washington, D.C., Metro
area; and recipient of the United States Attorney General
Distinguished Service Award for her contributions during
the investigation into the use of enhanced interrogation
techniques on detainees at Abu Ghraib prison.
Wednesday, May 22
Passion: Man ends 54-year career as shearer, but family
follows in his footsteps
By Steve Allison
Reaching the age of 72 and having spent most of his life
as a working and competitive sheep shearer, Fred Wyatt
decided the time had come to retire. But Wyatt also decided
one more shearing contest was needed as a finale to his
career. Wyatt chose the contest at this year’s Miles
City Bucking Horse Sale.
Miles City is fairly close to his home in Oregon, and
the contest has a good reputation for a high level of
competition and running smoothly. With the reigning US
champion set to be here, plus a four-time US champion,
two New Zealand and one Australian champion signed up
for the boards, six renowned instructors and three United
States world shearing team members, the competition was
guaranteed to be top notch. This was what Fred Wyatt was
As the emcee counted down Saturday, 3..2..1.., the crowd
shouted “Shear!” After 54 years in the business,
it’s a call that’s very familiar to Wyatt.
He switched on his shears and his final round in a shearing
contest was underway.
After you see one round of younger shearers in action,
their bodies exhausted and covered with sweat after shearing
just four sheep, you know this is a young man’s
When Fred Wyatt takes to the boards, you notice the shift
from strength to style and grace. With his feet always
in the right place to easily maneuver the animal, few
strokes are wasted as sheep and wool are gently separated
and a few short or second cuts complete the job. Wyatt
turns the act of shearing into a graceful dance. One look
at the finished sheep, and you feel it has been to a stylist
instead of a shearer.
Unfortunately, the level of competition kept Wyatt from
moving to the championship rounds, so only four sheep
got to experience this royal treatment. After he finished
his round of shearing, all the other top professional-level
shearers lined up to congratulate Fred Wyatt on his 54
years in the shearing business. All but one shook his
hand, wished him luck in the future and complimented him
on his style and technique. That one gave him a big hug
and a kiss, an extra liberty granted to his daughter.
When Wyatt’s family heard about his decision to
retire, four of them, a daughter and two grandsons, decided
to come and share the experience with Fred. Coming from
a shearing family, they are shearers also. Two are top-level,
professional-class competitive shearers and one is just
at the intermediate level, for now. This one man’s
decision at 15 years of age has started three generations,
and maybe more in the future, down the path of being professional
shearers. Fred Wyatt’s example of hard work and
competitive spirit has guided this family into a career
path where both a good work ethic and sense of competition
can provide one with a living and an adventure including
world travel, if you want it to.
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.