Filter sock site reverts to county

Divide County officials got an early Christmas present last week. It’s a gift they didn’t want.

The former Noonan gas station that doubled as an illegal oilfield waste dumping ground has reverted back to Divide County for $500 in back taxes, Gayle Jastrzebski, the county's auditor, told commissioners last week.

In 2014, county officials were tipped off to what turned out to be radioactive oilfield waste in the form of filter socks hidden inside the building. Removal was handled by Secure Energy. More than $12,000 was spent for removal and disposal of materials. The money came from the state’s abandoned well fund.

Commission Chairman Gerald Brady said it’s possible more aid could come from the state.

"They have skin in the game,” he said. “They helped get the cleanup started; now maybe they should help us finish it.”

Jody Gunlock, the county's emergency manager, said he doesn’t believe the remaining debris contains “significant contamination,” but he did express concern about a fuel tank buried on site.

Brady said, besides cleaning up any contamination, initial plans call for the structure to be torn down.

-- The Journal, Crosby

Dispute surrounds Tioga plant

An executive session held by the Tioga City Commission addressed possible litigation over disputes relating to the unfinished Tioga Waste Water Treatment Plant.

After the executive session was closed, the commission announced it would suspend all pay to the project while the parties involved, which include Rice Lake Construction and AE2S, discuss solutions outside of court.

The special meeting was called as a result of a bill of more than $450,000, which AE2S submitted to the Tioga Commission for work it had performed on the project.

According to Abby Salinas, the city's auditor, the city was unaware of the bill until it was submitted.

-- Tioga Tribune

Electronics store opens in New Town 

Gregory Keates, a South African, has recently opened Buy and Cell in the mini mall on Main Street in New Town.

Consumers can expect to find Keates putting his electronics background and expertise to work repairing cell phones, TVs, computers and laptops.

A second part of the business will involve buying, selling and trading electronics, gold and silver. The business will also buy and sell gold and silver.

Keates is emphatic that the business is not a pawn shop.

“I do not want to be in that kind of business,” he said.

Keates gained his expertise while serving in the  South African military, where he trained as an electronics engineer. Keates also holds master’s degrees in electro mechanical and hydraulics, and is also Microsoft certified.

-- New Town News