Laurel — Havre Police Detective Sgt. Jason Barkus was honored with Montana's Outstanding Victim Advocate Award last week for his conscientious efforts in behalf of victims of sexual and domestic abuse. He was nominated by the people at the domestic violence unit of District IV Human Resources Development Council. The effort against domestic violence is making some headway. Some abusers seem to be getting the message that society won't tolerate violence in homes. There is an awful lot yet to be done, but if people like the HRDC staff and Barkus keep up their work, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
Laurel — The board and staff at the H. Earl Clack Museum have completed the renovation work, and the museum is now officially open to the public. Hill County has a long, exciting history. Much of it is unknown, even to longtime residents. The museum has done a good job of making the history interesting and easy to understand. Stop by, take a look at what the museum has to offer, and thank the staff, board members and volunteers for their work.
Dart — Some nutjob brought a crude display to a spot right outside the state Republican convention in Missoula on Saturday. It was an outhouse that derides President Barack Obama and his policies. It had a big sign urging people to call first lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi if they wanted a "good time." It brought up again the discredited rumor that Obama was born in Kenya. And for an added touch, bullet holes were painted on the side of the outhouse. The screwballs who put this up have every right to do so. And the public has every right to be offended. What was worrisome was the casual attitude of the Republican leadership. State Republican Chair Will Deschamps reacted with a shrug of the shoulders. He should have been outraged, condemned the whole display and distanced the party of Lincoln and Reagan from this despicable nuttery.
Dart — And while we're at it, Democrats can hardly be proud of the conduct for some party loyalists at a debate Saturday at the Montana Newspaper Association convention. While most of the crowd observed the debate and properly cheered their candidate when they spoke, some yelled out crude, derogatory comments at Rehberg. Others posted insulting, anti-Rehberg signs outside the debate hall. And after the debate, one Tester supporter got into an altercation with Rehberg's wife. Wish we could have heard some condemnation for these actions from Democrats.