Articles from the January 21, 2021 edition

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  • Commissioners discuss concerns regarding Seeley Lake Ambulance

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    MISSOULA – At their Administrative Meeting Jan. 14, the Missoula County Commissioners discussed a letter regarding complaints they have received concerning the medical care being provided by the Seeley Lake Ambulance. The letter was sent to the Board of Medical Examiners and Seeley Lake Fire Board Chair. Missoula County Chief Administrative Officer Chris Lounsbury introduced the letter and explained the commissioners have received complaints about the medical care being provided by the Seeley Lake Ambulance. He explained that while the C...

  • OSCR unsupported, other cross country ski races canceled

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual cross country skiing races Skiesta and the Biathlon have been postponed to next year while the 25k and 50k OSCR will take place unsupported. Seeley Lake Nordic Club organizes the Biathlon and OSCR while Seeley Lake Elementary organizes Skiesta. Lynn Carey, club vice president and race director, said the Biathlon had to be canceled because it required every shooting station to have a handler which would be impossible with social distancing....

  • Wind whips through valley, topple trees and power lines

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    With winds gusts reaching nearly 50 miles per hour around the area Wednesday, Jan. 13, downed trees caused widespread power outages, blocked roads and damaged property. While emergency personnel responded to several calls throughout the day, Missoula Electric Cooperative (MEC) crews worked into the weekend restoring power and community members helped neighbors cut out roads, driveways and remove trees from buildings and vehicles. The Seeley Lake Remote Automatic Weather Station (RAWS) located at...

  • Politicians, by nature, are oddsmakers, calculators, bettors, bookies

    Bill Lombardi, Helena and Seeley Lake, Montana|Jan 21, 2021

    They bet on winning and losing all the time. Sen. Steve Daines bet on President Trump. But following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Daines changed his wager. That day a pro-Trump mob attacked the Capitol, erected a gallows, killed a Capitol policeman, and searched like terrorists for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence. They tried to stop Congress from doing its constitutional duty to certify the presidential election. Hidden with senators from the marauders in a Capitol basement “secure room”, Daines mad...

  • Montana State legislators aim to weaken Montana

    Mike Marshall, Seeley Lake, Montana|Jan 21, 2021

    Well, the Montana Legislature is in session, and some of the bills put forward are pretty strange. It is easy to go to and let your opinion be known. Go to HOME and choose Send a Web Message to Legislator/Committee...then just follow instructions. Here is one of mine. I am going to post them in case anyone wants to use them as a skeleton for another letter. You can also leave comments at I am opposed to HB121, which would require elected officials to approve local health board and officer actions. This bill...

  • Welcome to the Valley

    Sydney Young, FWP Game Warden|Jan 21, 2021

    I've heard that phrase several times since moving back to the area and starting my position as the Seeley Lake Game Warden. I'd like to thank everyone I've met, from the bottom of my heart, for being so welcoming! This monthly column will be a place I can inform the community about important Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks information, dates and opportunities, as well as an expression of my creative side. I hope you enjoy! As the sun dips beneath the lodgepole horizon, I smile. It's the end of ye...

  • Reversing the trend

    Representative Mike Hopkins, House District 92|Jan 21, 2021

    It's week three here at the Legislative Session and things are off and running. For the last 16 years, the bureaucracy in Helena has been told from on high that the best way for them to affect positive change in the lives of Montanan's was to be intimately involved in most of the decisions we make as individuals, towns and communities. You see it every time you interact with government, these days it almost feels like you need to get a permit to sneeze. We are looking to reverse that trend in He...

  • Revised COVID-19 mitigation requirements recommended for restaurants, bars and casinos

    Missoula City- County Health Department|Jan 21, 2021

    At its meeting Jan. 21, the Missoula City-County Board of Health (MCCHD), will consider adopting revisions to current COVID-19 mitigation requirements for restaurants, bars, breweries, distilleries and casinos. These revisions have been under careful consideration since early November 2020, after a group called Revive Missoula’s Bars and Restaurants – a coalition of about 70 bar and restaurant owners – approached MCCHD hoping to find a suitable solution that would allow bars to be open later at night. The coalition told MCCHD that bars tend... Full story

  • Incident Management Team will coordinate vaccination efforts

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    MISSOULA COUNTY - Missoula County's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) announced their development of a Type III Incident Management Team to coordinate Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine administration throughout the county during a press conference Thursday, Jan. 14. OEM Director Adriane Beck will oversee the effort. The Western Montana All Hazard Incident Management Team is comprised of members from local public agencies including fire and law enforcement. According to a press release, the... Full story

  • Closing a chapter and welcoming the next

    Bebe Crouse, The Nature Conservancy|Jan 21, 2021

    As we welcome the New Year, The Nature Conservancy was glad to end the last one with some good news. On Christmas Eve, we finalized another sale of more than 12,000 acres of land to the U.S. Forest Service. Together with a previous sale, more than 28,000 acres of former industrial timberland are now secure for wildlife habitat and public use. “I’ve been involved with this project since the beginning,” said Todd Johnson, representative for Pyramid Mountain Lumber and Blackfoot Challenge board member. “I even went to Washington, D.C. to help ma...

  • RAC votes to increase site fees

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    POWELL COUNTY - The Tri County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) voted to increase recreation site fees for 11 sites across the Lolo National Forest during a virtual meeting on Tuesday, Jan 12. Sites that saw increases were located in the Seeley Lake Ranger District (Powell County) as well as Missoula Ranger District (Granite County). Monture Guard Station Cabin's nightly fee increased from $60 to $75 while Big Nelson Campground went from no charge to $10. Jeff Ward, U.S. Forest Service...

  • Community leaders present plans for 2021

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake Community Council listened to presentations from multiple community leaders during their virtual meeting Monday, Jan. 11. Speakers included Missoula District Administrator Bob Vosen who presented Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) projects expected to take place in the upcoming year; Claire Muller, Seeley Lake Community Foundation executive director, who presented the Foundation’s accomplishments in 2020 and their plans for 2021; and Seeley Lake District Ranger Quinn Carver who spoke about the U.S. Forest S...

  • Our God is a God of covenants

    President Sherman Smith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints|Jan 21, 2021

    God makes and keeps His covenants. The scriptures record, preserve and reveal God's covenantal nature. God covenanted with our ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He promised them property, posterity and prosperity (see Genesis 12, 15, and 17). He acted through mighty acts of wonder to save our ancestors from Egyptian bondage. At Mount Sinai He invited our ancestors, and by extension all of us, to covenant to be loyal to Him (see Exodus 20 and the Book of Deuteronomy). God's recorded...

  • Board supports sewer bond, discusses residency program

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – At their Jan. 12 meeting, the Seeley-Swan Hospital District Board voted unanimously to designate Chair Twyla Johnson as the special district agent to vote in favor of the sewer bond that is being voted on Feb. 23. They also learned more about the possibility of the Seeley-Swan Medical Center being included in the residency program through Partnership Health Center. Board member Walt Hill provided background information on the letter the Hospital District received from the Sewer District. Hill also serves as a director on the Sewer...

  • Lady Blackhawks recognized seniors

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley-Swan High School recognized their senior Lady Blackhawk athletes along with their families and friends at their home game Saturday, Jan. 16....

  • Community Briefs

    Jan 21, 2021

    Fall prevention workshop, Feb. 3 and March 3 Join Missoula Aging Services and Stephanie Markin for a virtual Falls Prevention Workshop Feb. 3 starting at 10:30 a.m. or March 3 starting at 11 a.m. This one-hour workshop is designed for older adults, care partners or anyone else with an interest in falls prevention. The session will review preventative measures that any person can take to prevent falls. This includes strengthening exercises, home modifications and strategies to build self-confidence. Falls can be harmful for anyone in the...

  • Board discusses mask enforcement at January meeting

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    POTOMAC - Members of the Potomac School Board discussed the continuation of their 1900 series policies which includes requiring masks in school facilities at their Jan. 11 meeting. The series also maintains student cohort groups throughout the school day and encourages social distancing as much as possible inside the buildings. Given Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s recent announcement of his intentions to remove the statewide mask mandate following vaccine distributions, Principal John Rouse recommended that the school maintain its current l...

  • Race to the Sky canceled

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    LINCOLN - For the second time in its 36-year run, the annual mushing competition, Montana Race to the Sky, has been canceled. Pam Beckstrom, 35 year volunteer, said after much deliberation, the event's board decided on Jan. 10 that the event would be postponed to next year. They made the announcement the next day. Beckstrom said there were several reasons behind their decision. The biggest one was limited gathering size due to COVID-19. Restrictions prevent the event from not only having spectat...

  • Lady Blackhawks dominate Tigers, down Prospectors

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley-Swan Lady Blackhawks added a pair of wins to their record last week decimating the Darby Tigers on the road Jan. 15 and defeating the Granite Prospectors on their home court Jan. 16. The Lady Blackhawks showed no mercy to the Tigers scoring more than enough points in the first quarter to win the game. But the Lady Blackhawks didn't stop there. They added another 27 points in the second quarter to lead 60-13 going into the second half. The final score was 79-27. Nearly al...

  • Rough week for Blackhawks

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 21, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley-Swan Blackhawks came up short in both their games last week falling to Darby at home Jan. 15 and Granite on the road Jan. 16. The Blackhawks had their hands full taking on Darby's Tigers and found themselves trailing early in the game. By the half they were down 13 to 27. While they had a better second half they couldn't close in on the Tigers. The final score was 38 to 59. Oskar Murphy, Chase Haines and Jason James lead the Blackhawks with 9 points each. Murphy put up...

  • Congratulations Caleb Maughan

    Jan 21, 2021

    On Jan. 15, Seeley-Swan High School 2020 graduate Caleb Maughan graduated from the first phase of the Navy Nuclear Engineering program. After completing four months of 15-hour school days and extra work on the weekends, he finished 12th in his class and ranked up to E4. He will resume the next phase of schooling in March.... Full story

  • Concealed carry bill passes House

    James Bradley, Legislative News Service UM School of Journalism|Jan 21, 2021

    HELENA -- A controversial bill that expands where concealed weapons are allowed passed the Montana House of Representatives Thursday. Legislators voted along party lines, with 66 Republicans voting for the bill, and 31 Democrats voting against it. Three lawmakers did not vote. House Bill 102 allows Montanans to carry a concealed firearm without a permit anywhere they would normally be allowed to open carry, including inside banks. During a tense debate in the House Wednesday, the bill’s sponsor, Representative Seth Berglee, R-Joliet, said h... Full story

  • Lawmakers consider limiting authority of local health officials

    Chris Aadland, Montana Free Press|Jan 21, 2021

    Wading into a public debate that has grown heated on social media, the House Local Government Committee held a hearing Thursday afternoon for House Bill 121, which would limit the authority of public health officers and health boards, and give elected bodies more power in setting public health policies and orders. The measure is part of a broader effort by Republican lawmakers, telegraphed after the November elections, in response to local health department directives and former Gov. Steve Bullock’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. Opponents t... Full story

  • Legislative Roundup - Week 2: Concealed carry bill, local health boards face scrutiny in Legislature's second week

    Austin Amestoy, Legislative News Service UM School of Journalism|Jan 21, 2021

    Tense Standoff Between Legislators Disrupts First Gun Bill Debate in Montana House The Montana Senate will now consider a bill that would greatly expand where concealed weapons can be carried in Montana after the House of Representatives passed House Bill 102 along party lines. The debate over the bill briefly ground to a halt last week as one lawmaker shut down another’s comments as a violation of decorum. Members of the Montana House of Representatives were debating HB 102 when Rep. Jim Keane, D-Butte, who opposed the bill, asked Rep. Seth Be... Full story

  • Vaccine website, call center launch as County starts transition to Phase 1b

    Missoula City- County Health Department|Jan 21, 2021

    As COVID-19 vaccine providers in Missoula County start the transition to vaccinating individuals in Phase 1b, residents can now find up-to-date information about vaccine options by visiting online or calling 258-INFO if they do not have Internet access. The Missoula County Vaccine Information page on the website contains information on vaccine providers in the county, including how, when and where each provider is administering the vaccine. Residents with regular healthcare providers should look for that...