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  • January Newsletter 2019
    Posted On: Dec 31, 2018


    Happy and Prosperous New Year!  Make them Big! Make them plentiful!  Your New Year’s Resolutions that is…. In the past I often stated out loud what I would like to get done in the New Year, thinking that is what is required for a New Years’ resolution.  This year as I look back, I only accomplished a few of my goals, but in the past I always kept them fairly modest, so I wouldn’t let myself down if I failed to get them done.  New approach this year… Make them huge and make a bunch, I mean it’s all those things you would really like done, GO for it!  Why not? 

    So here are mine:

    1. Get the OMS/Mobile Dispatch people the contract they deserve.
    2. Other than #1 these go in any order - I think we need more space at the Hall, maybe expand up or out with current building.  With that we also need to update our technological capabilities.
    3. I want to see the Brotherhood Fund reach $25,000 and have the RENEW Committee take on 7 projects that will benefit the Local.
    4. I want Rob Buhl to write his own damned hunting and fishing column. (I told you, some of these were big!)
    5. I want broader and bigger representation on all our Committees; let’s get Warehouse, Telecom, Office Personnel, Dispatch and others involved!  (Any Volunteers?)
    6. Beat Ronny Davis in a game of golf.  (Ok, some are not so hard)
    7. Get a System/Program set up that will let the Hall know every time a member retires.  (I will need tech help with this.)
    8. Personally give out every service pin to members with 50 years’ of service or more, shake their hand and tell them thanks.
    9. Provide more opportunities for education and upgrade for our members.
    10. I resolve to do the work to earn the respect that you have placed in me.  It is truly an honor to work for you.  The men and women of IBEW Local Number 44 are the greatest people on earth.  The best to you in the New Year.

    November 2018 was a tuff month on me and more so on Montana.  I lost four former pole partners; Montana lost 5 damn fine men.  I mentioned Dave Pippin in our last newsletter.  Well as I added that to the last month’s letter, I received a call that Evaine Hamilton passed away. Evaine was a Local 532 member but he was so much more than that.  He worked across the entire State, working construction, running jobs and doing whatever needed to be done.  He was an Officer in his Local for many years and a damn fine hand, rest in peace Brother Hamilton.  The very next day I got a call that Steve Frank passed away, this was almost more than I could take.  We worked together for years, hunted, fished and partied together, plainly said he was part of my life and many others in Local 44.  Then, as I looked for Steve’s obit online, another name was in the paper, Journeyman Lineman Bill Thomas.  Bill was on the very first crew I worked on.  He was a big guy and had everybody’s respect.  His work ethic and talent were unsurpassed.  So watch the sky, check the stars or brightness of the sun, something is going on!  God just called for a four-man Crew, and he got a good one.  I would be remiss if I did not mention Brother Scott McKnight.  Scott passed away too early, a young man with a bright future and beautiful family. Scott worked in the Gas Dispatch, was a true professional, a Union Brother and he will be missed.  I hope each and every one of you will take just a moment to offer your thoughts and prayers to the families who have suffered losses this past year.  Let them know how much you care.

    On a lighter Note: Rob Buhl our fishing and hunting editor, says, it is a New Year and time to ICE FISH!  The sun, the moon and the stars are aligned for big fish!  As a matter of fact, he wants to host an ice fishing derby!  It’s going to be a funfest of a fishing derby, time and location yet to be set.  The derby will be run a little different than most.  See Rob for details!

    Hope your Holiday was good!  See you in the New Year and Be Safe!         Bill


    Happy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had a great Holiday Season and that you received a little something special.  I am looking forward to a safe and productive work year and that we help our employers move forward.  I am going to try and make more union functions, not only ours but the other trades as well and spend a little money for a good cause.  It looks like there will be plenty of work this year, but I have seen this before so keep your fingers crossed.  I am looking forward to seeing you at the Unit Meetings.  Have fun and be safe out there.




    The following classes have been booked by Local 44:

    Stewards Classes:

    Construction Steward Training                      8am - 3pm       Jan. 31, 2019               Butte, MT

    P & I Steward Training                                  8am - 3pm       Feb. 01, 2019              Butte, MT

    The classes will be held at the Local 233 Office at 156 W. Granite Butte, MT.  If there is not at least 10 people for each class they will be combined, and that class will be January 31, 2019.  Hotel rooms are available.  Please contact me if you need a room.


    Bargaining Training                           8am – 5pm      Feb. 11-13, 2019         Butte, MT             

    8am – 3pm      Feb. 14, 2019              Butte, MT

    This class will be held at the Local 233 Office at 156 W. Granite Butte, MT.  If you are interested in this class please contact me.  Hotel rooms can be made available as well.

    It is that time of the year to reflect, to see what you did, accomplished, what you can do better for next year.  For me I will always be there to help my Brothers and Sisters out as best as I can.  I will try to make as many meetings as possible, get to know more members of Local 44!  To assist and make IBEW Local 44 the best it can be and to help the RENEW Officers make THEIR Committee the best in the west!

    As always please register for the website (www.ibew44.org), after membership is verified you will have full access to the website.  IBEW 44 has social media accounts.  Visit the web page to access the social media accounts and PLEASE feel free to add content, appropriate content please!


    Dwight Rose                                      





    RENEW Officers most recently gathered at the Annual Christmas Party in Great Falls.  A Ruger 10/22 gun was raffled to benefit RENEW, which was a great success.  RENEW members would like to thank the membership for support and words of wisdom.

    P.S. Mike LaFountain won the rifle but as always he is looking out for the Membership, he donated the rifle back and it was sold at auction with all the proceeds going to RENEW!  Thanks Brother!

    We are currently selling raffle tickets to benefit the 44 Brotherhood Fund.  The raffle items include a Henry .357 and Smith and Wesson .357, both of which were generously donated.  If you are interested in purchasing a raffle ticket or helping us sell tickets, you may contact any RENEW Officer.  Raffle tickets will be available at Unit Meetings for purchase.  The drawing will be held on March 4th.

    We are still looking for the involvement of young members.  Currently the only units represented include Construction and Great Falls and we are looking to expand.  If you are interested in getting involved, or have questions feel free to contact me, Shane Bykonen at 406-750-0511.  

    I wish everyone a Happy New Year and am excited to see what 2019 has in store for RENEW!

    Shane Bykonen


    Local 44 would like to congratulate the following members for achieving Journeyman status:

    Jon MacMillan – Journeyman Lineman

    Richard Morris – Journeyman Lineman

    Great job and best wishes for a great career!


    Local 44 would like to congratulate the following members who have retired from the trade:

    Roger Thill – Journeyman Gasman

    Jim Thompson – Journeyman Operator/Maintenance Hydro

    Best wishes for a long and happy retirement!


    Great Falls                  Jan. 07, 2019               7:00 PM          Great Falls Labor Temple

    Havre                          Jan. 08, 2019               6:00 PM          Elks Lodge     

    Malta                          Jan. 09, 2019               5:30 PM          Stretch’s Pizza Restaurant

                Billings                       Jan. 10, 2019               5:30 PM          NWE Service Center

    Helena                         Jan. 14, 2019               5:30 PM          NWE Service Center

    Bozeman                     Jan. 15, 2019               5:00 PM          Bozeman Labor Temple

    Missoula                     Jan. 16, 2019               6:00 PM          Missoula Labor Temple

    Butte                           Jan. 24, 2019               5:30 PM          Local 44 Office

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