Articles from the March 11, 2021 edition

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  • Trixi's Antler Saloon entering a new chapter

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    OVANDO - Trixi's Antler Saloon will venture into a new phase as co-owners Cindy and Ray Francis pass the bar and restaurant to their son Ryan Zavarelli and his wife Tiffanie April 1. Cindy said they are excited for Ryan and Tiffanie to take over because it will allow the business to stay in the family for the third generation in a row. The saloon has been operating in Ovando since 1960. The building was originally an old barrack from Fort Harrison that the original owner Trixi McCormick paid $1...

  • Potomac teacher named environmental educator of the year

    Sigrid Olson, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    POTOMAC - Potomac teacher Kristina Davis received the Montana Environmental Educational Association's (MEEA) Formal Educator of the Year Award. She will be officially recognized virtually March 25 at the MEEA's annual conference. Davis has taught math and science at Potomac School for the last 12 years. When Davis was a young student herself, she loved field trips and even more so now as an educator. She said it is a great way to teach her first love, wildlife biology, to the students and...

  • SSHS graduate signs with University of Providence

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley-Swan High School 2020 graduate Terra Bertsch recently signed with the University of Providence in Great Falls to compete in track and basketball. Bertsch took a semester of classes at Montana State University in Bozeman before deciding to transfer to the University of Providence in the fall 2021. As part of agreeing to compete for both teams, she was offered a full-ride scholarship. She was happy that she could work her schedule around both sports so she could remain...

  • Dissolve the sewer board and start over

    Don Larson, Seeley Lake, Montana|Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Sewer District voters have spoken....again....loudly and clearly. They do NOT want a $35 million sewer to grow the community for a half dozen developers who have touted the proposal. If the board is listening it should: 1. Return any unused taxpayer funds to the taxpayers. 2. Fire itself and disband. We can re-constitute the board down the road as a COMBINED sewer / water district if we elect to move in a new direction....

  • Take responsibility for your pet

    Carleen Gonder, Seeley Lake, Montana|Mar 11, 2021

    Excellent article on pet care (“Plan ahead for your pet” March 4 issue of the Pathfinder) if the owner dies or is otherwise incapacitated. The article should apply to all pet owners, not just the elderly. Additional considerations: • I always carry a small laminated card on me and will permanently attach one to my canine kid’s halter that gives the name and phone number of where she is to go if something happens to me. Plus I’ll update that card with contact information of the person who will be responsible for getting her there. One is on my p...

  • Rigging the system

    Mike Marshall, Seeley Lake, Montana|Mar 11, 2021

    The Missoulian on Feb. 4, 2021 reported, “There is also no evidence of voter fraud or lack of integrity in Montana’s elections. Republicans who brought a lawsuit over the security of Montana’s election held by mail last November were forced to admit that point in court last fall.” And yet, if you can’t win elections based on your unpopular policy positions, you might as well cheat and restrict people’s access to voting to try and win, right? After losing the White House and the Senate, Republicans are looking for a path back to power in 20...

  • Mad bear at mid-day

    Dale Terrillion|Mar 11, 2021

    Gett'n back to that other bear story ... check'n my records it was not Admiralty this wild scare took place but near Sitka, Chichagof Island. To set this here thing up right, we'll look at timber cutters' handles up and down the coast. In California they're "choppers." On the Oregon-Washington coast they're "timber fallers." And in Alaska they're "bushlers" cause we worked mostly by the thousand board feet - tak'n the name from farm workers that worked by the bushel. Anyway, with that out of...

  • Join us in the political process

    Senator Shannon O'Brien, D - Senate District 46|Mar 11, 2021

    The legislative process is a fast and furious one in our state. Senators and representatives only come together for 90 days every two years and we are just over halfway through our time this session. In the upcoming weeks, I strongly encourage you to visit to look up bills by any topic: education, taxes, transportation, you name it! From that website, you can email legislators who are on the committees that you might be interested in and you can also sign up to speak to any bill...

  • Care for creation

    Ryan Dailey, Assistant Director at Camp Utmost|Mar 11, 2021

    Lilies and Sparrows... That most likely means nothing to you right now, but it will soon. I've been using the phrase "lilies and sparrows" for years now to encourage myself and my wife. Whenever hardship comes up, I say this to myself. To explain why, I encourage you to read Jesus' words in Matthew 6:25-31 and 10:29-31. Are we not worth more than the lilies and sparrows Jesus mentions in Matthew? Absolutely we are! We have been made in the image of God! Even the language used in the creation...

  • Decision issued on the Westside Bypass Wildfire Resiliency Project

    Lolo National Forest|Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Lolo National Forest issued a decision on the Westside Bypass Wildfire Resiliency Project on the Seeley Lake Ranger District. The project area is located on National Forest lands about two miles northwest of Seeley Lake. The project will help address existing fuel and vegetation conditions that contribute to an increased risk of severe wildfire in areas adjacent to state and private lands. “Implementation of portions of this project could begin as soon as this spring season,” said Quinn Carver, Seeley Lake District Ran...

  • Public invited to review Clearwater River Floodplain Maps

    Missoula County|Mar 11, 2021

    Missoula County and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation will host an open house for the public Thursday, March 18 to review the new FEMA Clearwater River preliminary floodplain maps. The virtual open house will take place from 6 -7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Anyone interested in attending the open house can register online at At the open house, staff will provide an overview of the preliminary maps, discuss proposed changes and answer questions about flood insurance, mapping and regulations. The...

  • Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing now available for some

    Missoula City- County Health Department|Mar 11, 2021

    The Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) is now offering asymptomatic testing to certain occupations at the Flynn Lane Clinic and Mobile Testing Clinic. As of Monday, March 8, Missoula County residents in the following occupations may sign up for testing: healthcare workers; school personnel (including teachers, aides, janitors, etc.); first responders; grocery store, food service and gym employees; public transit employees (includes school bus drivers); personal care workers (hair stylists, massage therapists, tattoo artists, etc.);... Full story

  • Invasive mussels found in aquarium moss balls

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Mar 11, 2021

    Invasive zebra mussels found another avenue for potential infestation of Montana waters. Montana, Fish, Wildlife & Parks was notified Wednesday that zebra mussels were detected in aquarium moss balls sold at a pet store in Washington state. FWP immediately checked pet stores around Montana and found invasive mussels in moss balls at multiple locations. It appears these moss balls were imported from the Ukraine to a distributor in California and were shipped to pet stores nationwide. The facility that imports the moss balls has been quarantined...

  • Public access and wildlife connectivity maintained

    Matt Hart, Vital Ground Foundation|Mar 11, 2021

    Before the pandemic, 2019 saw Glacier National Park host more than three million visitors. In 2020, Montana's housing market boomed, with a recent Housing Heat Index report from Bankrate ranking the state second nationally behind Utah for market growth. Combine these pressures-tourism and new real estate development-and the region's rural character and wildlife can quickly lose out. As valleys fill and recreation hotspots clog, the pace and impact of human activity intensifies and animals are...

  • Spring forestry tidbits from DNRC

    Brad French, Service Forester, DNRC Clearwater Unit|Mar 11, 2021

    Being an owner of forested property can bring many upkeep duties. Thinning, burning, road work and monitoring for health can keep a property owner pretty busy. Windstorms this winter have damaged many trees and can make a mess. Unfortunately, these trees become a "buffet" for beetle activity and the insects can spread to healthy trees if not dealt with in a timely fashion. Most forest insects occur naturally throughout Montana, but with some careful planning and cleanup, you can prevent the spre...

  • Debra 'Debby' Magstadt Dec. 6, 1957 - Feb. 23, 2021

    Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - On Feb. 23 our sweet Mama Debra 'Debby' Magstadt passed away at her home surrounded by her family. She fought a courageous battle with cancer for 10 months but succumbed to complications from chemotherapy. Debby was born Dec. 6, 1957 in Missoula. She grew up on the Northside. Debby worked at Double Front at a young age but eventually worked most of her life doing janitorial work at the University of Montana and some small businesses. Later on, she worked at Deanos and the last few... Full story

  • Dealing with isolation during COVID-19

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - As the anniversary of COVID-19 coming into the U.S. passes, the majority of its citizens have experienced an unprecedented period of social isolation. The threat of the virus makes it difficult for certain institutions to be fully functional and for individuals to socialize how they normally would. Local Therapist Kim Heninger LCPC, LAC, LLC said there is an “insidious depression” that sets in over time as a result of extended isolation. This can result in a “void” that needs constant fulfillment. “I don’t want to make a gene... Full story

  • Open Book Club Zooms back

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – One of the Alpine Artisans'(AAI) programs formerly on COVID-19 hiatus Zoom-ed back to life March 6. The first Zoom Open Book Club event featured critically acclaimed author Russell Rowland with his newest book "Cold Country." Pre-COVID, Grizzly Claw Trading Company provided the venue for area residents to gather and listen to authors read from their latest works and respond to audience questions. While the Zoom format may have dampened what many author guests have described as t...

  • Freshies Built runs full throttle

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – Riding a snowmobile before he could walk and driving his own at age three, Kyle Huestis was hooked on horsepower at a young age. After opening Freshies Built with his wife Lee in 2016 and moving to Seeley Lake in December 2018, they have grown from a mechanic shop of favors to shipping customized snowmobiles across the country to now offering guiding, clinics and a vacation rental for their guests. They strive to offer the best, all inclusive snowmobile and backcountry service t...

  • SSHS graduates receive Reach Higher Montana scholarships

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    HELENA – Seeley-Swan High School graduates Gabrielle "Gabby" Sexton and Nicole Williams were among 81 Montana students who received a $1,000 Reach Higher Montana Scholarship for use in the 2021-2022 academic year. Scholarships were awarded to Montana students and must be used at accredited Montana colleges. Reach Higher Montana Programs Manager Rhonda Safford said this year they had more than 800 applicants for the 81 scholarships. "It is quite competitive," Safford wrote in an email. More t...

  • Seeley Lake Nordic Team wraps up season

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 11, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Nordic Team wrapped up their 2021 cross-country ski season by competing in their second race, the Nordic Dance Invitational Saturday, Feb. 27. Normally the team would compete in five to seven races, including three at home. However, due to COVID-19, many were postponed to next year. Head Coach Bridget Laird said this was the first iteration of the Nordic Dance Invitational. There were only two teams involved, one from Missoula and one from Seeley Lake. To avoid...

  • Community Briefs

    Mar 11, 2021

    Seeley Lake Community Council seeks applicants for vacant term MISSOULA - The Missoula County commissioners are accepting applications for one vacant term on the Seeley Lake Community Council. The term runs through May 31, 2021. Because the remainder of the vacant term is so short and election filing deadlines have passed, the appointed member’s term will automatically renew to a new three-year term. If the commissioner-appointed member would like to continue serving beyond May 31, 2024, they must file as a candidate in the 2024 s...

  • As 2021 Legislature Wraps First Half, Here's What's Moving Forward

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Mar 11, 2021

    Despite all the challenges brought by the pandemic, lawmakers in the 67th Montana Legislative Session are wasting no time in pushing through a deluge of bills -- some new and untested, some vetoed numerous times before, but all being considered in a new light with a Republican governor in office for the first time in 16 years. Wednesday, March 3 marked the halfway point of the session and a key deadline called “transmittal.” Any general policy bills not attached to the state budget that have not advanced from the house they originated in are... Full story

  • Lawmakers Debate a Barrage of Bills, Key Deadlines Arrive, Right-to-Work Bills Go Down and the Judiciary Stays Nonpartisan

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Mar 11, 2021

    Montana House and Senate Adjourn for Mid-Session Break After Breakneck Floor Sessions After days of marathon sessions, the Montana House of Representatives and Senate adjourned for a nearly week-long break, having advanced more than 200 bills between the two houses in just two days. The break falls on the “transmittal” deadline, in which all bills that don’t have spending attached must advance from the house they originate in, or are considered effectively dead. This session, the week leading up to transmittal brought a flood of bills that... Full story