Are Criminal Justice/School Board Candidates Ready For The Critical Coverage Of Zoom Chron?

by Travis Mateer

UPDATE: Since I can be a real idiot with names, I got the spelling of Jeremiah Petersen’s name wrong, therefore used the wrong image in this post. Whoops.

This post is a friendly heads-up to the candidates hoping to influence the Missoula County School Board and Montana Criminal Justice System: I’m going to scrutinize the fuck out of you.

One of the candidates for the school board I was excited to highlight, Bracha Tenenbaum, decided to wuss out, which is too bad, because I was curious to see how the wife of the State Representative who snuck into a church to secretly record its parishioners would handle a local political campaign.

Here’s a partial list of the candidates, including the ones who filled out the withdrawal form:

On the criminal justice side, there is currently NOT a plethora of candidates to choose from in races like the Missoula County Sheriff’s race, so unless another candidate materializes, the scrutinizing will be of the person who likely to be the victor. Like this guy:

NOT actually the Jeremiah Petersen running for Sheriff

Yes, the man packing the belly fat on the left is now the chiseled hunk on the right. What an AMAZING transformation! I can only speculate how this dude, who is currently running the Missoula County Detention facility, will apply this inspirational bod to the job of being Sheriff.

DO THE WORK, right Jeremiah Peterson?

Next up we have a Missoula County Sheriff Deputy, Bill Burt, along with another candidate, Daniel Kaneff, hoping to take the Justice of the Peace job away from Alex Beal. There is SO MUCH great info on Bill, more than one post can address.

One good place to start is Bill Burt’s eagerness to play cop for the camera on LIVE PD. Here’s a screenshot from his LIVE PD profile:

I’ve talked to Bill Burt a handful of times, since we both participated in a weekly Zoom meeting for awhile. Most recently Bill told me LOTS of information about the Rebekah Barsotti missing person case, like the alleged fact that the infamous 911 call–a call Mineral County STILL REFUSES TO RELEASE–was made by an Oregon family.

I have different information than that, so if that OTHER narrative checks out (that the call was made by two locals), that means Bill Burt was less than honest with me. File this under “things that make you go HMMMMM….”

Another thing to file away under TTMYGHmmm is Bill Burt’s GUSHING adoration for Lowell Hochhalter, the Missoula County Sheriff chaplain AND head savior for the LifeGuard Group.

If you aren’t familiar with my examination of this group, I have several posts to choose from, like this one: Who Are These “Lifeguards” And How Will They Work With Town Pump To Combat Human Trafficking

And this one: In An Ocean Of Trauma, Life Guards Must Be Better Than Well Intentioned, Or Else They Risk Paving A Serious Path Toward Hell;

And this one: Does Chaplain/LifeGuard CEO/Dad Lowell Hochhalter Need A Hatrack For All His Hats?

After reading those posts, you will be properly piqued for this nomination of Lowell as Chaplain of the year for the National Sheriff’s Association. And who nominated Lowell for this award? That’s right, Bill Burt. Here are some highlights:

Chaplain Lowell Hochhalter has been with the Missoula County Sheriffs Office since 2015 and is a vital component to our operation. Our law enforcement community has endured its share of critical and traumatic incidents over the past 4 years and we’ve kept Lowell quite busy. He is the calming voice of reason and counsel when things haven’t gone well and, simply put, doesn’t miss an opportunity to help our deputies get through the tough times.

Yes, our poor Sheriff Deputies do have some tough times, and that’s why it’s so great to have Lowell around, I guess. At least, according to Bill Burt. Here’s some more of Bill’s praise I think is worth noting:

I really can’t say enough about Lowell and his value to this office and the community. That alone would earn him this nomination but there is so much more. Several years ago, Lowell became involved with a pastor that had gone to India to work with victims of human trafficking. When this colleague returned, he and Lowell believed they needed to get into the schools to start early education. They did this through various and numerous school assemblies from 2009 through 2016 and did them all over the country.

Lowell felt that there were many successes but believed he needed to do more. School assembly presentations were creating awareness but not much prevention or assistance for those already in the grips of the terrible crimes associated with human trafficking. There were many instances where young girls were simply being thrown into jail for prostitution when there was so much more to the issue. Lowell and his colleagues went on to start education programs with law enforcement and did presentations as far away as Louisiana and Mississippi. This was a major step in turning the ship and attention to the real criminals, those who were forcing these girls into these situations.

Moving on, the final race I’ll highlight today is in the County next door to Missoula, and that’s the Mineral County Sheriff race between Ryan Funke and Wayne Cashman. I’m especially interested in the role Funke has played in the absolutely PATHETIC investigation of the Rebekah Barsotti missing person case.

I suspect this face will have less to smile about when I’m done scrutinizing him:

For some surface level responses to questions posed by what constitutes the media in Mineral County, here’s the QandA with Ryan Funke and the one with Wayne Cashman.

I’ll leave it there, for now. Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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