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An IR View: East Helena High School, recent break-ins, deputy of the year

An IR View: East Helena High School, recent break-ins, deputy of the year

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Aug. 26, 2020, marked one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of East Helena Public Schools.

Despite numerous obstacles including legislative and financial barriers as well as a global pandemic, the school district was able to open East Helena’s very first high school building last week.

This momentous occasion fulfilled a longtime dream that many thought was impossible.

Thanks to the East Helena taxpayers for providing the funding to build this new school.

And thanks to school district Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer, EHHS Principal Dan Rispens, the school board and countless others who have been working so hard to make their dream a reality. 

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A recent rash of break-ins has prompted the Helena Police Department to issue two public safety notices urging residents to be cautious and secure their homes.

In one case, police took reports of a stranger wearing all black clothing and a mask entering an open window to a home on East Broadway Street while the resident was asleep. On Tuesday evening, officers took a report of a similar incident in the same area.

Police believe these cases might be related to similar incidents in that area in July and August, all while residents were home.

It’s not uncommon for these types of incidents to turn violent or even deadly, and we hope anyone with information will help prevent that from happening by contacting Crimestoppers at (406) 443-2000 or via

In the meantime, don’t forget to keep your windows and doors locked when you leave home or go to bed at night.

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Congratulations to Sgt. Eric Gilbertson of the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office for receiving the 2020 deputy of the year award from the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association.

In his nomination letter, the sergeant of the Criminal Investigations Division was praised for his ability to work with other divisions, the administration and the county attorney’s office. The letter also described him as a humble and selfless leader, which he demonstrated by giving the credit to others even after receiving the award.

We are grateful for Gilbertson’s service to the sheriff’s office, the community and his family. Amid the current controversy over law enforcement around the country, it’s great to know we have high-quality deputies like Gilbertson serving us here in Lewis and Clark County.

This is the opinion of the Independent Record editorial board. 



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