Articles from the January 27, 2022 edition

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  • Lite tackle holds up to monster pike

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – "All I saw was the tail and it covered all eight inches of the opening in the ice," Seeley Lake 17-year-old Klayton Kovatch recalled after getting the first glimpse of a monster pike through the ice Monday, Jan. 17. After more than a half an hour fighting the fish, he landed the 20.5-pound, 40.25-inch northern pike on his lite action, 24-inch jigging rod, spooled with four-pound test line and tipped with a sixteenth ounce tungsten jig. "This type of setup would typically be used t...

  • At-home COVID tests available, steps to take if test is positive

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    With the White House launching a program to deliver half a billion COVID-19 tests straight to Americans’ homes and Governor Greg Gianforte securing 650,000 at-home COVID-19 tests for Montanans, the Missoula City-County Health Department offered guidance on what residents should do if they test positive at home. Every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests. They can be ordered online at and usually ship in 7-12 days. The website also provides information about other testing resources i... Full story

  • The making of a combat medic

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SWAN VALLEY – Bill Jones was in college in 1969 working on his degree in psychology when he was drafted. Apparently psychology was close enough to a medical degree for the Army. They gave him 10 months of training, proclaimed him a Combat Medic and whisked him off to Vietnam. Jones recalled Jan. 3 was the day he had to leave for the war zone. Though he was with his wife and her parents he said, "I remember being just kind of numb, sitting and staring at cartoons on the TV, which was kind of a r...

  • Feeling the warmth for 25 years

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – Saturday, Jan. 22 new and long-time residents of Seeley Lake gathered for the 25th annual Christmas Tree Bonfire in The Filling Station parking lot. Hosted by Filling Station owners Kris Martin and George Welch, attendees visited with their neighbors, met new people and the children loved playing on the huge snow bank as the blaze of the fire kept them warm. The Seeley Lake Chamber of Commerce dubbed the Christmas Tree Bonfire as the "kick-off event for Winterfest" in the 1998 P...

  • Can the vaccine prevent virus spread to the non-immune? Understanding "Compartments" of immunity

    John Farrar PhD, Ovando, Montana|Jan 27, 2022

    It is very awkward for me to do this, but to lend credibility to what I have written below, I will state my background. I have a doctorate degree in immunology from The University of Notre Dame. I spent a career at the National Institutes of Health and in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry studying the regulation of the immune response. I have authored or co-authored over 70 scientific research publications on the same. Enough said. In the past two years, I have spent hundreds of hours monitoring and studying scientific reports on the...

  • Dark matter and psychology

    Ken Silverstro PhD|Jan 27, 2022

    What does dark matter have to do with psychology? Most likely not much but it does enable us to take a new approach to understanding the unconscious (our hidden psychology). Dark matter is everywhere in the universe and makes up a large percentage of physical matter but it cannot be seen. It is considered to be over six times more abundant than the matter we can see, but, again, it does not reflect light. Scientists discovered the existence of dark matter by its affects; that is, its gravitation...

  • Letter approved requesting reopening of the Clearwater RV Dump Station

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    MISSOULA – At their Jan. 20 meeting, the Missoula County Commissioners approved a letter addressed to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks that encouraged FWP to prioritize the repair and reopening of the Clearwater Junction RV Dump Station. Also at the meeting, the Commissioners appointed Swan Valley resident Dr. Helene Michael to the Open Lands Committee. The Seeley Lake Community Council’s letter to FWP requesting the Clearwater Junction RV Dump Station was discussed and approved by the Commissioners at the Nov. 18 meeting. The Commissioners als...

  • Missoula County to recruit more than 600 election judges

    Missoula County Elections Office|Jan 27, 2022

    The Missoula County Elections Office is encouraging civically engaged community members to serve as election judges for the 2022 primary and general elections. The office hopes to recruit more than 600 election judges, poll book judges and polling place managers for the upcoming election year. Election judges greet voters, issue ballots, operate equipment, answer questions and hand out “I Voted” stickers. They are paid for their service and their training. “It takes a community-wide effort to conduct fair and organized elections,” said Electio...

  • Seeley-Swan valley real estate is white hot

    Kevin Wetherell, Clearwater Montana Properties, Inc|Jan 27, 2022

    5 - THE REAL ESTATE BREAKOUT The past year has seen intense buyer pressure in the local real estate markets. Montana buyers primarily from Missoula, Helena, Bozeman and Great Falls continued buying in the Seeley-Swan Valley. Many of the Montanans coming here are seeking weekend and summer homes to bring families together for recreation. Others are seeking homes or land for their retirement. Out of state buyers primarily from Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado, Texas and the southeast...

  • Crescent Mountain Builders legacy continues

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – After purchasing Crescent Mountain Builders in late 2021, Jeremiah Covert looks forward to continuing founder and owner Jason Ayers' legacy of honesty and quality construction in the Seeley Lake area under the Refined Matters LLC umbrella. With a larger team than Crescent Mountain Builders, Covert said Seeley Lake and the surrounding area can expect an increased presence, better final construction execution and an expeditious construction schedule while offering customers the b...

  • Snow Joke returns live for 2022

    Montana Snow Joke|Jan 27, 2022

    The Snow Joke Half Marathon returns in-person to Seeley Lake Saturday, Feb. 26. The largest winter road race in Montana, traditionally is held on the last Saturday of February. The iconic race celebrates its 43rd anniversary this year. “We’re excited that we’ll be live again,” Missoulian and Ravalli Republic publisher Jim Strauss said. “Last year, we held it virtually. We heard from a lot of people who missed that tradition of the Seeley Lake winter road race.” This year’s race will be 13.1 miles, as is tradition. The long-standing...

  • Board discusses process of finding alternative solution

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Sewer District Board brought on its new manager and discussed how to move forward to identify and implement a solution to Seeley’s wastewater issues at its Jan. 20 meeting. The Board was also informed that Missoula County would no longer provide some of the services formerly given to the District. Vice President Pat Goodover presented an idea to put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to the various manufacturers who have presented their products to the Board in the last few months. The manufacturers would be giv...

  • Who am I?

    Kapp L. Johnson, Retired pastor living in Seeley Lake|Jan 27, 2022

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor in Nazi Germany, was a staunch critic of Hitler and a resistor of Hitler's euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. In April 1943, he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison in Berlin for a year and a half. He was then transferred to the Flossenburg concentration camp. On April 4, 1945, the diaries of Admiral William Canaris, head of the Abwehr, were discovered. In a rage after reading them, Hitler ordered that the Abwehr...

  • Public comments, Chief's report shared

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – With no old or new business listed on the agenda for their Jan. 18 meeting, the Seeley Lake Fire Board heard public comment asking about the status of the mill levy, hiring and community discussions regarding the vision for the department. They also received updates from Fire Chief Dave Lane regarding call volume, membership and the paramedic/EMT positions. During public comment, Seeley Lake resident Kristy Pohlman asked the board about the status of hiring a firm to come in and help with mill levy communications. She said the boa...

  • Rocky Joe Houtchens Jan. 9, 1956 - Jan. 15, 2022

    Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – Rocky Houtchens was born Jan. 9, 1956 in Missoula. He moved to Seeley Lake and enjoyed playing sports for Seeley-Swan High School. His senior year, he was voted all conference in basketball and was the school president. He graduated from SSHS in 1974. After high school he worked as a logger and guide. He also was a woodworker making furniture and other interior finish work. In his free time, Rocky loved to spear pike and hunt. He shot a five-point elk in the Seeley Lake area in t... Full story

  • John David Sterling March 29, 1936 - Jan. 22, 2022

    Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE - John David Sterling born March 29, 1936 in Baltimore, Maryland, died of natural causes Jan. 22. The Chesapeake Bay, Patapsco River and the Maryland swamps were Dave's childhood haunts. In 1959 Dave was honorably discharged from the United States Navy after four years of service. Shortly thereafter he packed his bags and headed for the big skies of the Treasure State. With Dave's two-year-old son Johnny in tow, Dave married Roxie Irene Bower on Feb. 17, 1962. Clay Sterling, Leanna... Full story

  • Board offers superintendent contract extension

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Elementary School Board offered a three-year contract extension to Superintendent Josh Gibbs at its Jan. 18 meeting. Gibbs has been the Superintendent at SLE for two school years and his current contract ends in June of 2022. In the negotiations at the meeting Gibbs had just two requests, four-day workweeks in July so he could have a little more time off in the summer and Thanksgiving and Christmas break off. His current contract is for 260 days (five days a week for 52 weeks per year) so he has to use his v...

  • AAI Giving Trees raise funds for art supplies

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE & SWAN VALLEY – In its fourth year raising funds for art supplies for local schools, the Alpine Artisans, Inc. (AAI) Giving Tree raised $295 total for Seeley Lake schools and around $230 for Swan Valley School. The $295 will be split between Seeley Lake Elementary and the Seeley-Swan High School. In the past three years, the AAI Giving Tree has raised more than $2,600 for both SLE and Swan Valley Elementary Schools. "We will be exploring other avenues for timing to raise more money,"...

  • 20/35 Year Look Back

    Jan 27, 2022

    In celebration of 35 years of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, each week we will run parts of articles that appeared in the issue 35 years ago and 20 years ago. The entire issue will be uploaded to our website for you to enjoy. We hope you will enjoy the journey with us as we follow our community through the past 35 years as documented by the Pathfinder. 35 years ago: Jan. 29, 1987 issue The "pros" ski Mount Henry Story Suzanne Vernon What do you get when you mix backcountry skiers... Full story

  • Seeley-Swan clashes with Pirates

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    The Lady Blackhawks and Blackhawks headed to Victor to take on the Pirates Jan. 22. The Ladies brought home an easy victory while the Boys fell just short. The Lady Blackhawks made quick work of the Pirates allowing just one point to their 17 in the first quarter. They added 11 points to their lead by halftime and finished them off 73-28. Emily Maughan scored a season high of 25 points followed by a season high of 21 points for Kyla Conley. E. Maughan sank three three-pointers while Tegan Mauldin had 2 and Conley had 1. Also scoring: Sariah Mau...

  • Tenth annual Skiesta draws largest field in race history

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jan 27, 2022

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Nordic Team hosted their largest turnout for their 10th annual SLE Outside Skiesta Jan. 22. Ninety-two skiers from around the area registered for the 20K, 10K, 5K, 3K and 1K races topping their previous record of 83 skiers set in 2018. Seeley Lake Nordic Team Head Coach and Race Director Bridget Laird was excited about the race and said the Nordic Team is working hard and having a lot of fun this year. Skiesta History The first Skiesta was held in 2013, the same y...

  • Community Briefs

    Jan 27, 2022

    Seeley Lake Book Club interest sought SEELEY LAKE – Plans to re-start the Seeley Lake Book Club at the Seeley Lake Community Library are in motion. Please call the library, 406-677-8995, or stop in to sign up. The Seeley Lake Community Library is located in the Seeley-Swan High School and is open Mondays and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. History Wintertime Walk n’ Talk, Jan. 29 SEELEY LAKE - Join the Seeley Lake Historical Society for their annual wintertime Walk N’ Talk Saturday, Jan. 29 from 1 – 3:30 p....