Articles from the March 18, 2021 edition

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  • SSHS graduate preps for 2,600 mile hike along the west coast

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 18, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley-Swan High School graduate Kyle Peltier plans to do the hike of a lifetime as he prepares for his trek that starts April 11 along the Pacific Crest Trail. The trail is 2,653 miles and goes from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. Hikers pass through multiple terrains along their journey including desert, rain forest and mountains. The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) estimates that the hike will take 133 days if the participant travels an average of 20 miles a...

  • Bill protecting Montana schools from COVID-19 lawsuits heads to Senate

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 18, 2021

    HELENA - A bill that would provide Montana’s public sectors from frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits is soon heading into the state Senate. House Bill 435 passed on its third reading 67-32 in the Montana House of Representatives March 1. Bill sponsor Rep. Bill Mercer (R-Billings) said that part of the motivation behind the bill is to make it easier for schools and public services in the state to re-open. “If we are going to move forward and reopen activities as we have traditionally known them, when entities are making best efforts to do things in a r...

  • Seeley Lake man found guilty of negligent endangerment and criminal mischief

    Mar 18, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE –Seeley Lake resident Timothy Pratt was found guilty of one felony count of negligent endangerment and one felony count of criminal mischief after allegedly driving his truck into his brother’s car and pushing it into his brother’s apartment at the Wolf Ridge Apartment complex in Seeley Lake the morning of Sept. 21, 2019. The criminal mischief misdemeanor charge was dismissed. According to court documents, when Pratt’s brother refused to open his apartment door, Pratt tried to kick it in. After three failed attempts to kick in the...

  • Snowmobilers enjoy Fun Run in the sun

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 18, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – With sunshine and temperatures reaching the low 50s, snowmobilers and volunteers for the annual Seeley Lake Driftriders Fun Run could be seen in t-shirts along the route. Local families and riders visiting the area came out to the annual fundraising event Saturday, March 13. Driftriders President Bill Swain explained that the Fun Run is supposed to be on President's Weekend in January along with the annual Snowball Banquet. "First we didn't have snow and COVID was still scary," S...

  • Leave the Wilderness untrammeled

    Libby Langston, Missoula, Montana|Mar 18, 2021

    To the Decision Makers of the poisoning of the North Fork Blackfoot River in the Scapegoat Wilderness, Having been involved in a similar project in Arizona nine years ago with the Forest Service, Arizona Game & Fish (same as MT FWP), the Yavapai-Apache Tribe, USFWS, Bureau of Reclamation and others, I witnessed the effort to establish/maintain a native fish population in a Wilderness and a Wild & Scenic River using fish poisons Rotenone mixed with Potassium Permanganate. I produced a 39-minute video (available at

  • Working together for the Potomac community

    Dawn Downs, Potomac, Montana|Mar 18, 2021

    The Potomac Greenough Community Center (PGCC) and Potomac School have had a working relationship for decades. The lease for over 13 years allotted for insurance and a small amount to be saved for future systems replacement which was the responsibility of the Lessor, PGCC, in the lease. The lease provided that the school would take care of the daily maintenance and upkeep of the building. The interior maintenance of the structure was left ambiguous and had become a source of conflict as the Center became responsible for mounting maintenance...

  • In God we trust

    Jim Quinn, Condon, Montana|Mar 18, 2021

    The Constitution of the United States sets America apart from all other countries. For the first time in the history of humanity the individual becomes more important than the state. American’s were given the right to self govern. The founding fathers believed these rights came from God, not from a King, not from the government, not even from the constitution. The constitution was written to limit the state’s authority and to secure the individual’s God-given rights. Nearly 50 years ago the Supreme Court ruled that it was uncon...

  • Montana's land and water needs more dedicated funding

    Blackfoot River Outfitters and Guides, Missoula, Montana|Mar 18, 2021

    Can you feel it? Spring is in the air. Longer days and warmer weather are on the horizon, and Blackfoot river fishing guides and outfitters are preparing for the oncoming guiding season - tying new flies, patching waders and dialing in gear before the skwala hatch. Soon, we’ll be sliding boats into the water and taking guests on trips of their lifetimes. We aren’t the only ones. Montanans and tourists alike turned to public lands and waters more than ever in 2020. As COVID curtailed many of our activities last spring and summer, we all sou...

  • COVID-19 support group: Strength through each other

    Kim Heninger, Licensed Clinical Therapist|Mar 18, 2021

    Each of our lives have been touched, reconstructed, impacted, emotionally imploded, all to varying degrees. That is what this support group is about. I would like to offer a support group at no charge, so that our community can recover and strengthen due to the emotional impact of what we are each going through or have been through. Brain science teaches us that processing experiences, normalizing experiences, can help the brain embrace a sense of control, calm and decreased cortisol. In a safe...

  • Open Book Club presents author Gwen Florio and "Best Laid Plans" March 20

    Michael Cropper, AAI OBC Reviewer|Mar 18, 2021

    Put on your skates, this roller coaster will have you short of breath and sprinting in Gwen Florio's shoes as she tells the tale of a her new series detective Nora Best in "Best Laid Plans." Best is racing away from her husband, her job and home to run right into murder! And she's a suspect, jailed and out to hang. Fleeing from Denver and her cheating husband through the night in her bright new Airstream, Best arrives at an empty RV Park in Wyoming to face a new group of friends coping with thei...

  • Working towards a bright future

    Senator Shannon O'Brien, D - Senate District 46|Mar 18, 2021

    Happy Spring! I hope everyone has been enjoying this beautiful weather and had a lovely St. Patrick's Day. My family always celebrates this time of year with corned beef and cabbage and I take this opportunity to teach my son Carter, who is now 12 years old, stories about our family who came from Ireland, ranchers in the southwest Montana Territory, and steel mill workers in Ohio and later in Seattle. Those stories I hope will teach him about hard work and caring for neighbors. The economy has...

  • Parasite paradise

    Tanya Fyfe DVM, Associate veterinarian at Clark Fork Veterinary Clinic|Mar 18, 2021

    All of us are looking forward to spending more time outside in the sunshine with our animal companions. Fluffy and Spot aren't the only creatures who thrive in warmer temperatures, as this time of year is Paradise for Parasites! A parasite is described as something "that lives upon or within another living organism at whose expense it obtains some advantage." Internal and external parasites can cause great discomfort to their hosts and they can also transmit diseases to animals and humans....

  • Beware of vaccination survey scams

    Missoula Aging Services|Mar 18, 2021

    Missoula Aging Services received reports of a new COVID-19 vaccine email scam where people are asked to complete a survey. They offer a free reward but ask people to pay a nominal fee "to cover shipping." Survey scams like this are a creative way to steal your identity or money. Many survey scams offer a reward and give you a limited time to respond if you want to take the survey. A legitimate survey would not assign a time limit, nor would they ask for your credit card or bank account to pay... Full story

  • CRC establishes a "Place for All" despite Covid-19

    Alicia Dixon, Big Sky Watershed Corps member serving with CRC|Mar 18, 2021

    The beginning of March has teased us with a little taste of spring. We've been treated to temperatures in the forties, hours of sunshine, and clear skies providing crisp views of the Swan Mountain range. We've been presented with weather basically begging us to come outside and encouraging us to take advantage of the conditions while we can. We've been forced to question whether or not Punxsutawney Phil knew what he was talking about just a few weeks ago when he predicted 6 more weeks of...

  • Council discusses memorial, receives updates on vaccines, sewer and Forest Service projects

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 18, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake Community Council discussed how to honor the memory of the late Council Chairman Klaus von Stutterheim during their regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday, March 8. Council also heard updates regarding vaccines, the Sewer District Board and the Seeley Lake Ranger District. Vice Chair Jack Greenwood said Von Stutterheim’s contributions to organizing council meetings became immediately apparent following his passing. “Now that Klaus isn’t here, we’re finding out exactly how much work he did,” Greenwood said. “[W...

  • Board approves lease agreement, discusses mask directive

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 18, 2021

    POTOMAC - The Potomac School Board unanimously voted to approve their 2021-2022 lease agreement with Potomac Greenough Community Center (PGCC) during their regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday, March 8. They also approved a second reading of Montana School Board Association (MTSBA) policy updates and discussed what direction they would move in regarding the school’s mask mandate. Trustee Dr. Courtney Hathaway said she met with PGCC Chair Dawn Downs to go over the changes that the School Board had made to the agreement during a special m...

  • Klaus von Stutterheim Oct. 4, 1943 - March 1, 2021

    Mar 18, 2021

    "Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little" ~E.Burke SEELEY LAKE - Klaus von Stutterheim, 77, of Seeley Lake, Montana passed away on Monday, March 1, 2021 in his vacation home in Camp Verde, Arizona. He was born in Berlin, Germany on Oct. 4, 1943 to the late Elisabeth and Hans-Heinrich von Stutterheim. Born into the Berlin Bombing of 1943, growing up in post-war Berlin, witnessing the birth of a new nation, Klaus always was a strong believer in... Full story

  • Board updates policies

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Mar 18, 2021

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Valley Elementary School Board unanimously voted to approve a second reading of board policies regarding marijuana at their monthly board meeting Tuesday, March 9. The policies exclusively had to do with consumption and possession of marijuana on school grounds. While recreational usage was legalized in Montana during the 2020 election, it will still be against school policy to possess or use the substance on school grounds. The main changes made were mostly wording clarification. Principal Ralph King announced that all s...

  • Lady Blackhawks find rhythm at State Tournament

    Chelsea Cahoon, For the Pathfinder|Mar 18, 2021

    LOCKWOOD, MONTANA - Tuesday, March 9 the Seeley-Swan Lady Blackhawks began their trek to the Class C State Basketball Tournament in Lockwood. The Lady Blackhawks, led by Head Coach David Cahoon and Assistant Coach Colleen Stone, once again entered the State tournament as the 13-C District Champions and Western C Division Champions. However, this year they also held an undefeated record. With last year's state appearance under their belts, they felt a little more comfortable. Senior Bethany Hoag...

  • Community Briefs

    Mar 18, 2021

    Weekly COVID-19 update As of March 15, there are 101,933 cases of COVID-19 in Montana. There have been 362,219 doses of vaccines administered and 140,739 Montanans fully immunized. There are 1,041 active cases, 4,669 total hospitalizations with 56 active, 99,499 recoveries and 1,393 deaths in Montana due to COVID-19 complications. Missoula County has had 8,428 cases, has 146 active cases, 8,198 recovered and 84 COVID-related deaths. For the most up-to-date and accurate information please refer to the Missoula County-City Health Department...

  • Montana Legislature Kicks Off Second Half With Bills Combating Drug Trafficking, Limiting Gov.'s Emergency Powers and Expanding Prison Education in Week 10

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Mar 18, 2021

    Lawmakers Hear Bill to Combat Drug, Sex Trafficking in Montana A bill drafted with the help of former Republican state Senator Dr. Al Olszewski would add a new set of signs to Montana’s highways and airports greeting visitors with notice of a reward for information leading to the prosecution of drug and sex traffickers. Senate Bill 333, sponsored by Sen. Brad Molnar, R-Laurel, seeks to break down what Molnar called a “culture of trust” in drug and human trafficking circles by offering $50,000 to anyone who gives law enforcement infor... Full story

  • "Hard Times, Hard Choices:" What you need to know about Montana's budget-building process

    Austin Amestoy, UM Legislative News Service University of Montana School of Journalism|Mar 18, 2021

    Hot off its first 45 days filled with contentious policies and partisan clashes, the 67th Montana Legislature is buckling down to the task of building the state’s budget for the next two years. While the budget is arguably the most critical bill the Legislature passes, determining how much money state-funded programs will receive, the process of assembling it can often be a head-scratching affair. With the budget now in the limelight as lawmakers race to the end of their 90-day session, here’s an explanation of the process of funding Mon... Full story

  • MHS requests Heritage Keeper nominations

    Montana Historical Society|Mar 18, 2021

    The Montana Historical Society is seeking nominations for people and organizations whose exemplary commitment to identifying and preserving our historical and cultural heritage makes them eligible for the Heritage Keeper Awards. The nomination deadline is April 1. Up to three people or organizations will be honored by the MHS Board of Trustees for the Heritage Keeper Awards. An additional award, The Montana Heritage Guardian Award, given out only on special merit, recognizes the accomplishments of one of the Heritage Keeper Award nominees with...

  • Where are our Montana Senators and Congressmen?

    Gary Fitzpatrick, Lewistown, Montana|Mar 18, 2021

    The keystone pipeline canceled, open borders, a multi trillion bill bailing out New York, California and Illinois. Rising fuel prices, gun control laws, increased taxes, forced unionization, laws enabling voter fraud, blocks on fossil fuels. What benefits Montana? Steve Daines (R) Senate and Matt Rosendale (R) Congress spent millions convincing us they would “REPRESENT” Montana”. Where are they? Montana has lost tax revenue and jobs and will lose more. We don’t get a new bridge, school or subway system. We get a war on our economy and lifesty...

  • Missoula City-County Health Department relaxes restrictions for long-term care facilities

    Missoula City- County Health Department|Mar 18, 2021

    This week, Health Officer Ellen Leahy issued new COVID-19 guidance and requirements for long-term care, assisted living, and retirement homes with communal spaces operating in Missoula County. These new requirements take into consideration that many residents have been offered voluntary COVID-19 vaccination, yet not all residents and staff have been vaccinated for COVID- 19 and transmission of COVID-19 is still occurring in Missoula County and Montana. Facilities under the facility-specific health officer orders shall follow the listed rules... Full story

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