Articles written by Nathan Bourne


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  • Board of health transparency

    Nathan Bourne|Feb 29, 2024

    I attended the Feb. 15 Missoula County Board of Health meeting in regards to the “new policy” Missoula Public Health, Environmental Health has for Seeley Lake. While the Missoulian and Pathfinder covered the presentation, both presented the changes to the Special Management Area (SMA) requirements as “proposed.” The chair of the board of health stated there would be a public process before the board implements new regulations. However, based on my experience, the health department is already enforcing the new policy that functions more like a n...

  • Sky High

    Nathan Bourne|Feb 16, 2023

  • Seeley-Swan soars over Lynx

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder Staff|Dec 22, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Swan Blackhawks and Lady Blackhawks defeated the Lincoln Lynx with ease in front of the home crowd Dec. 16. The Boys dominated the first half scoring 17 points in each quarter while only allowing the Lynx 13 points total. The Blackhawks breezed through the second half to a 54-38 victory. Sean Mercado topped the scoreboard for the Blackhawks with 17 points. Connor Matthew also broke into the double digits with 12 points. The Lady Blackhawks started off in similar fashion...

  • Bournes turn over the "reigns"

    Andi and Nathan Bourne, Owners Emeritus|Oct 6, 2022

    The first headline, "Bournes Take Pathfinder Reigns," announcing our ownership in the Nov. 29, 2012 issue had an error in the headline. Literally, four words into our journalism careers and we already printed a mistake. Nathan, a custom cabinet maker, and Andi, a wildland firefighter in the summer and substitute teacher/bus driver in the winter, turned journalists had many in the community baffled. But we knew many of you and we launched on this new adventure together. We made mistakes. Some wer...

  • Holland Lodge expansion proposal discussed at Council

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - Dozens of residents filled the Swan Valley Community Hall Sept. 20 for the Swan Valley Community Council meeting. While the Holland Lake Lodge expansion proposal was merely a side note on the agenda, it consumed half of the two and a half hour long meeting. Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling and Planning Team Lead Shelli Mavor were present to represent the United States Forest Service (USFS) and answer questions. Flathead National Forest Supervisor Kurt Steele, who is the deciding official on the Lodge expansion issue, was...

  • Garage destroyed in fire

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake Fire Department responded to a garage fire that was called in around 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. A half dozen volunteer firefighters responded within 15 minutes. With help from bystanders they were able to keep the fire from spreading to the house and wildland. The cause of the fire was unknown at press time....

  • Solution sought for emergency boat launches on Holland Lake

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 29, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley Community Council hosted a discussion on the poor condition of the Holland Lake boat launch and lack of emergency access at its Sept. 20 meeting. Members of the Swan Valley Emergency Services (SVES), Swan Lake District Ranger Chris Dowling and Holland Lake Lodge owner Christian Wohlfeil were on hand for the discussion. Dowling said he received a letter from SVES regarding the unusable condition of the boat launch at the Holland Lake Campground. SVES cannot safely...

  • Proposal sought from engineer, new monitoring wells approved

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 22, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their Sept. 15 meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board followed their committee’s recommendation to seek a proposal from Water & Environmental Technologies (WET) and voted to install up to 14 additional monitoring wells. The Board’s committee heard presentations from two engineering companies, WET and Morrison & Maierle and two manufactures, SepticNET and AquaTech Systems, that responded to the District’s Request for Qualifications. District Manager Bill Decker said he reached out to a third engineering company multipl...

  • Lady Blackhawks sweep Prospectors and Bobcats

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 22, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – The Lady Blackhawks added a pair of victories last week defeating the Granite Prospectors on the road Sept. 15 and the Superior Bobcats at home Sept. 17. After a close first set against the Prospectors, the Lady Blackhawks had a strong second set and cleaned up in the final set: 25-22, 25-17 and 25-7. Back on their home court, the Lady Blackhawks faced fierce competition from the Bobcats that kept fans on the edge of their seats right up to the final point. Neither team could build...

  • County to Condon - You get more than you pay for

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 25, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - Officials from Missoula County presented information on property taxes, how taxes fund road maintenance and answered questions about the quality of maintenance in the area at the Swan Valley Community Council meeting Aug. 16. The Council also discussed the open Council seat and how it will be filled. New Council member Grace Siloti questioned some of the Council’s recent activity and transparency. Missoula County Treasure Tyler Gernant explained that property taxes are the primary source of funding for local governments in M...

  • Board passes assessment

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Aug 4, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their July 28 hearing and regular meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board passed the annual assessment method and discussed drilling additional monitoring wells. The Board received just one written protest. The landowner was opposed to the assessment in part because they owned two lots and would have to pay twice even though they only have one residence. They also felt that their land was not necessary to be in the District in the first place as it is not near the lake or the contaminated groundwater monitoring well. M...

  • Board opts to use reserve to reduce tax burden

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 23, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their June 16 meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board adopted next year’s budget and selected the equal assessment method to spread the assessment among landowners in the District. The Board adopted their fiscal year 2023 budget of $116,805. Of that, the District will use $84,397.98 from their reserves, money collected last year but not spent, and only assess landowners for $32,407. This will result in a significant break on landowner’s tax bill. The Board also voted to use the equal assessment method of spreading the tax...

  • Raises and bonuses approved

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 23, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley School Board voted for raises and bonuses for its staff at their June 13 board meeting. The Board considered three options for the certified and classified staff salary schedules including no change (which has a 1.5% raise already built in), 4% raise and 5.5% raise to the base pay. The Board opted for giving the 4% raise in the base pay for all staff citing the desire to leave a little room in the budget for other things that might come up. Year-end staff bonuses were then discussed. Business Manager/District...

  • McDonald signs to throw for University of Montana

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 9, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – Seeley-Swan High School senior Walker McDonald has seen a lot of success throwing for the Blackhawks during his high school career including setting a new State record in Discus a few weeks ago. Now he looks forward to continuing his throwing career at the University of Montana next fall after signing with the Griz Track & Field team. "I've always wanted to throw in college since I realized I had some sort of talent," McDonald said. "Plus it is in Missoula which is where I wanted t...

  • Seeley-Swan Boys win State, Girls take third and records fall

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jun 2, 2022

    GREAT FALLS – Seeley-Swan's Boys earned the top spot on the podium for the second time in the school's history at the State C Track Meet in Great Falls May 28. The Boys accumulated 84 points to beat out Manhattan Christian with 62.5 and third place Belt with 40 points. The Girls earned 52 points putting them in third behind Manhattan Christian with 65.5 and Plentywood with 74. Seniors Walker McDonald and Sariah Maughan both set new state records. The last time the Seeley-Swan Boys won the g...

  • Seeley-Swan finishes strong at Western C

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 26, 2022

    FRENCHTOWN – Seeley-Swan’s Boys earned first place and the Girls took second at the Western C Divisional Track Meet May 20-21. The Boys earned 100 points to put them ahead of Manhattan Christian with 96.5 while the Girls accumulated 60 putting them behind Manhattan Christian’s girls with 89. Eight Seeley-Swan High School athletes advance to the State C meet this week in individual events. The Boys and Girls advance with both the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams. For the Boys, Owen Hoag, Sawyer Shelmerdine, Chase Haines, Walker McDonald and K...

  • Area students compete at Meet of Champions

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 26, 2022

    MISSOULA – On May 18, athletes from Seeley Lake Elementary, Swan Valley School and Potomac School competed at the Meet of Champions, the final middle school track meet of the season. To qualify for the meet the athletes had to finish in the top five of the Copper League Qualifier the previous week. Many of the athletes set personal records (PR) at the meet. Seeley Lake Eagles: Sixth Grade • Trey Good 10th in 800-meter 3:00.31 PR • Tully Good 4th in 1600-meter 6:17.14 PR • Tim Garland 2nd in Jave...

  • Boys take first and Girls second at District Meet

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 19, 2022

    MISSOULA – Eighteen of Seeley-Swan's athletes placed in the top five at the 13C District Meet May 13-14 and will advance to Western C Divisional this week. The Boys won the meet earning 154 points to beat out Drummond with 140. The Girls took second with 137 points behind Drummond with 154. The top Seeley-Swan Boys included Owen Hoag, Sawyer Shelmerdine, Chase Haines, Walker McDonald, Klayton Kovatch and Connor Matthew. Hoag won the 100, 200 and 400-meter races. His 200-meter time of 22.34 i...

  • Hoag and McDonald take Seeley Swan to top at KLH

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 12, 2022

    MISSOULA – Seeley-Swan's Owen Hoag and Walker McDonald won the "Outstanding Male Track Athlete" and "Outstanding Male Field Athlete" awards at the Kim L. Haines Memorial track meet May 7. The pair's performance helped propel the Seeley-Swan Boys to first place in the team points ahead of Broadwater and Loyola. The Seeley-Swan Girls took second at the KLH behind Broadwater and ahead of Drummond. Hoag dominated the short distances on the track winning the 100, 200 and 400-meter events. He cut h...

  • Records fall at Top 10 and Great Falls

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 5, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - A pair of school records and several meet records fell over the past week as athletes from Seeley-Swan High School competed in the Russ Pilcher Top 10 in Missoula April 26 and the Fairfield Belt State Preview in Great Falls April 30. Junior Emily Maughan has had her eyes on Seeley-Swan's Long Jump record of 17 feet 4 inches for several years. She recalled that she first felt it was attainable when she was in eighth grade and was jumping around 16 feet. This year, Coach Mike Haines...

  • Board delays RFP, cuts taxes

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 28, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – At their April 21 meeting, the Seeley Lake Sewer District Board plans to put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) but delayed when they would be due. They also voted to expend money from the District’s reserves for much of next year’s budget to reduce the burden on taxpayers for a year. District Manager Bill Decker reported that there were two replies to the District’s Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that came in on time with the required number of copies, one that came in on time but was missing the number of copies and another...

  • Hoag breaks school 200-meter record

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 28, 2022

    MISSOULA - Seeley-Swan's Owen Hoag set an unexpected school record while Seeley-Swan's Boys took third and the Girls took fourth at the Seeley-Swan Invite track meet April 23. Beaverhead County and Bigfork took the top spots in both the boys and girls points while Superior edged out Seeley-Swan's Girls for third. "For the 200 [school record], it really wasn't even a goal for me. I hadn't even considered breaking it," said Hoag. Hoag has been focused on the 400-meter this season where he is less...

  • Seeley-Swan shines in the snow

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 21, 2022

    MISSOULA - The Missoula County Public School Invitational fell victim to Montana's spring weather April 16. The meet was canceled after just five events on the track but the cold and snow didn't keep Seeley-Swan's athletes from shining. In the first event on the track, Hunter Coyle ran his season's fastest 3200 with a time of 14:18.21. Chase Haines shaved nearly a half second off his personal record (PR) in the 110-meter hurdles, crossing the line in fourth place with a time of 16.43. Zach Best...

  • Seeley-Swan takes second in Polson

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 14, 2022

    POLSON - Seeley-Swan’s Boys and Girls track teams both took second place at the 50th Annual Dave Tripp Memorial Track Meet in Polson April 8. The Boys earned 83 team points putting them ahead of Drummond with 69 points and Loyola with 63. Class B Jefferson took the top spot with 175. Seeley-Swan’s Girls earned 72 points behind Drummond with 97 and ahead of Superior and Anaconda with 65 and 62 respectively. Seeley-Swan’s Boys burned up the track. Owen Hoag won the 200-meter in 23.02 seconds and won the 400-meter in 51.07, more than five secon...

  • Blackhawks compete at Frenchtown

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 7, 2022

    FRENCHTOWN - Mother nature provided a mixture of weather for the Frenchtown Invitational April 2 including sprinkles of rain, flurries of snow, wind and sunshine in no particular order. Seeley-Swan High School athletes took the weather in stride as they competed against hundreds of athletes from 18 schools. However, a few of the top runners were a little blue to learn that the event's automatic timing system was not functioning. Relying only on hand times, nobody could auto qualify for state or...

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