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Connie Bracken

Connie Gail (Engelke) Bracken was born on Aug. 4, 1955, to Charles and Delores Engelke and was raised west of Froid, Mont., on the family farm.

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Betty Lambert

Betty Lambert, 80, of Williston, N.D., passed away Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, at Bethel Lutheran Home in Williston, N.D.

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Culbertson High School Hosts Divisional Speech And Drama Meet

​Culbertson High School hosted the Eastern BC Division Speech and Drama Tournament Friday, Jan. 20. One hundred seventy-six students representing 15 schools competed for the coveted State berth in 16 Montana High School Association sanctioned events.

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Amtrak Employee Sentenced To 60 Years

Charles Henry Pinner, who was found guilty of sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated kidnapping, was sentenced to 60 years in prison Wednesday, Jan. 18, in 15th Judicial District court in Wolf Point.



The 60-year-old was given 50 years for sexual intercourse without consent and 10 years for aggravated kidnapping. These sentences are to run concurrent according to deputy county attorney Anna Rose Sullivan. Sullivan also said that Pinner provided a statement to the court that included the phrase, “I tried to provide excellent service.”
Pinner was found guilty Friday, Sept. 23, in a trial by jury. The former Amtrak employee was charged with sexual intercourse without consent and aggravated kidnapping, both felonies. 
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered at this time and was completed prior to sentencing. The maximum possibly penalty for Pinner’s crimes was 100 years in prison. 
The crime happened on April 19, 2015, as an eastbound Amtrak train passed through Roosevelt County. Because the crime happened while the train was passing through, Pinner was tried in Roosevelt. Neither Pinner, who is from Detroit, Mich. but based in Chicago, nor the victim are Montana natives but just happened to be passing through when the crime was committed.
According to Roosevelt County Undersheriff John Summers, Pinner was working onboard Amtrak’s eastbound Empire Builder route that stops in Wolf Point. A woman who was a passenger onboard that train made the allegations to Amtrak. The federal Amtrak Police Department detained Pinner in Chicago, Ill. APD transported Pinner to Fargo, N.D., where he was held temporarily. 
Summers said APD contacted the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office about the allegations April 30, 2015. The Roosevelt County Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Pinner, May 1, 2015.
Sheriff Jason Frederick and jail administrator Melvin Clark drove to Fargo and brought Pinner back to Wolf Point Tuesday, May 12, 2015. 
Pinner would go on to make his first appearance before Judge David Cybulski, May 13, 2015, where his charges were read. 
RCSO Sgt. Patrick O’Connor and federal APD detectives based in Havre and California worked on the investigation.
Pinner had been free on bail since July 15, 2015, when District Judge David Cybulski granted a bond reduction from $50,000 to $5,000 with a requirement that he have a GPS monitoring system attached before he was released, have standard conditions and to stay in contact with his attorney at all times.
Charges were dismissed against Pinner in 15th District Court Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The charges were dismissed without prejudice, meaning that charges could be refiled. Further investigation was the reason given for the dismissal.
Pinner was recharged Dec. 15, 2015, after an extensive investigation. Bail was issued Dec. 17 and then reduced Feb. 26, 2016. Pinner was out on bail until he was found guilty by a jury of his peers Friday, Sept. 3, 2016.
Pinner was 59 years old at the time of his arrest and had been an Amtrak attendant for over 25 years.