Fallon County Times (Baker, Mont.) 1916-current, March 25, 2016, Image 1
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FALLON County email@example.com 406-778-3344 VOLUME 100 ISSUE 13 BAKER, MONTANA 59313 $1.00 FRIDAY, MARA 25, 2010 Baker's economy takes a hit as prices drop By Sherry Vogel Oil prices are about two-thirds lower than they were two years ago and Montana's wheat and cattle prices are rapidly deflating, causing Baker's economy to take a severe nose dive. County oil and gas revenue payments are 54 percent lower for the 2015 tax year as com- pared to monies received in 2014. The annual projected maximums paid to the county are distributed in four quarterly payments. Barb Ketterling, Fallon County Treasurer, compared each quarter's decline in percents. First quarter 2015 was 58.7 percent less than first quarter 2014. Second quarter 2015 was less 49.2 per- cent than second quarter 2014. Third quarter 2015 was 53.8 percent less than third quarter 2014. The County will receive the final pay- ment for 2015 in May. County schools are also being affected ad- versely as their oil revenue payments have plummeted at around 48 percent. Baker Super- intendent Don Schillinger reports that Baker Schools will receive approximately $2,600,000 in oil and gas revenue in 2015- 2016 as compared to the $4,781,528 received in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. He added, \Therefore the shortfall for Baker and neigh- boring schools is at least 53.132.007. Our schools need oil prices to go up: . Plevna School Superintendent Jule Walker reports that oil and gas payments dipped from $1,023,417.15 in 2014-2015 to a low of $526,539.89 in the 2015- 2016 school year. She shared that $343,400 was ; required for their Gen- eral Fund which meant they would have less money to place in other budgeted funds for the operation of their school. The budgeted funds in- clude building reserve. technology, flexibility, transportation, and bus depreciation. Walker says they have always been frugal and conscientious with their budget, but may cut facilty maintenance projects for the sum- mer to tighten their belts further. She shared a few of the ways schools main- tain stability in periods of low economic times. Schools will choose not to replace curriculum every three years as is common, but instead ro- tate out every five years. Some schools will combine their elementary classes to cut costs. Other districts also begin to look at ordering supplies based out need versus want. Many Montana schools have gone to a four day school week to save money. Ekalaka and Wibaux are on this schedule and Terry is cur- rently exploring this transi- tion. The local economy isn't only affected by a downturn in the oil/gas industry, but on the agriculture front as well. The value of the state's wheat crop has slid below SI billion for the second time in the past nine years, according to the U.S. Department of Agricul- ture. At $938 million, wheat val- ues were $300 million lower than they were in 2014. This is significant for Montana because approximately one -seventh of the state's econ- omy is derived from agriculture. These losses in value aren't exclusive to wheat. All Mon- tana crop values have dropped from the 2013 %aloe to about $600 million less, to $2.13 bil- lion in 2015. By the end of 2015, wheat prices. which have a huge impact on our local econ- omy. had dropped below $5 a bushel, a point in which some farmers begin worrying about breaking even. The reason for the price drop is two fold, record global production and a strong U.S. dollar. The world's appetite for grain has declined and roughly 80 percent of Montana's grain is sold to other countries. In addition, cattle prices which had been strong are recently seeing some decline as well. With a shortfall in both oil/gas revenue and on the agricultural scene, how are local busi- nesses coping? Local restauranteurs report sltmet activity in people eating out. Pam Ow ens, ins 11ff of Big Game Casino & Tavern, reports averaging 80 customers a day in comparison to 200 cus- tomers a day last year at this time. She says. \We are doing all right in serving food because people still need to eat\ but feels people have less money in their pockets so they are cutting back on entertainment and gaining. Dustin Varner, Corner Bar. agreed that people are cutting back on eating out and gaining. Ilc SEE ECONOMY, PAGE 6 Queen Makenzy Shipstead and King Spencer Losing 2016 Baker High School prom royalty Isaac Rost . junior class president, and his date Taiken Goemdt led the March 19,2016 Grand March at the Baker High School Prom - \Eternal Elegance\. Fifty-seven couples enjoyed a night of dancing and socializing. Queen candidates were Alycia Conroy (Kirk and Rochelle), Elisa Hautala ( host parents Nate and Libby Solberg). Makenzy Shipstead (Arlin and Lana), and Madison Varner (Dennis and Sherry). King candidates were Nic Bohle (Kalyn and Leslie), Ben Fujimori (Andy and Karen), Spencer Losing (Jerry and Jill), and Zane Tunby (Randy and Amanda). Following the Grand March, Isaac Rost crowned the king - Spencer Losing, and Spencer in turn crowned the queen - Makenzy Shipstead Worship correction Last week's information on Easter services at the American Lutheran Church in Baker was incorrectly given to the Times Office. It should have read as follows. Maundy Thursday - 7 p.m.; Good Friday - 7:00 p.m.; Easter Sunday Worship with holy Communion - 7:00 a.m.; Easter breakfast - 80)-9:30 a.m. served by junior/senior youth; Worship with Holy Communion - 10:(K) a.m. . Russell's 1 1 Easter Sale -7.\ Clothing 20% OFF All Apparel & Shoes Baker, Montana Now \Ihru March 26 406-778-24 2 7 The Cross - A Symbol or Salvation By Pastoriim Biswell Medicine Rocks Church I believe with coriction that most all of us, if not all, have dumb -downed the meaning of the cross. Think cc ith me a mo- ment, if a sinner really understood the central meaning of the cross they would run to it and .confess their sin. If the saints Fully appreciated the cross it would cause us to live differently!! The cross is not two pieces of wood on our churches or jewelry, the cross is our identity! Paul would clearly summarize !Corinthians 1:18-25 as say- ing, that though some stumble and discredit the fact that Jesus was born, lived on this earth, died and was raised again ... it really did happen. The world is offended by the cross: The Living Bible translates 1 Cor. 1:23 Oil. w ••2; Si' when we preach about Christ dying to save them, the lo% are offended and the Gentiles say it's all nonsense.\ The world is convicted by the cross: Note how the Living Bible reads in 1 Cor. 1:18a. \I know very well how foolish it sounds to those who are lost. when they hear that Jesus died to save them.\ The world is redeemed by the cross: Note how the Living Bible reads in 1 Cm. 1:18b, \But we who are saved recognize this message as the very power of God.\ Jesus destroyed Satan at the cross. The word destroyed comes from the Greek word meaning \to make of none effect\. It does- n't mean he was obliterated; it means he was wiped out; he was put out of business. On Friday about sundown, when they took Jesus off the cross, it appeared that Satan had won the battle. But on Sunday morning. Christ walked out of the grave, alive! Redemption was accomplished ... Satan was defeated! It is my sincere hope you will find a church to attend this Sun- day, not because of some religious duty or sonic symbol of the cross, but to have your life completely transformed by a per- sonal encounter with the living Christ!! , \ , ‘ t R1SJ Community Evening of Prayer Ily Sherry Vogel The Baker community c, II be celebrating a Community Evening of Prayer Thursday. March 31, 2016. at 7:00. This event is being held in place of World Day of Prayer which was held the first Friday of March. This 45 minute event, filled with great family music, will be hosted by Christian believers and local churches from the sur- rounding area. Based on the premise shared in Philippians 4-6 which states, \Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything\. Believers will encourage one another in an attitude of gratitude. This is all important in this day of community eco- nomic down turn. A speaker will encourage the community to count our blessings and will encourage everyone in their rela- tionships with one another. Psalm 23 will be the focus of scriptural reading as its meaning is shared line by line. This event will take place in the Baker Senior Center building. Everyone is invited and families are encouraged to attend. The night will conclude with lemonade and homemade goodies. Visit Our Website at www.FallonCount Extra.com