Articles from the March 19, 2020 edition

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  • Local, county and state responses to COVID-19

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    Below is local, county and statewide information provided as of Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. Information changes daily, sometimes hourly. Please call ahead or contact the organization directly with questions. The Seeley Swan Pathfinder is committed to providing the most up-to-date, accurate information possible. We will be posting Breaking News on our website ( and sharing local information on our Facebook page (Seeley Swan Pathfinder). The paywall for all coronavirus information ha... Full story

  • Proposed day use fees postponed in amended proposal

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The Lolo National Forest is amending the Recreation Fee proposal from last summer by postponing the proposed day use fees at the Seeley Creek Winter Sports site, Pattee Canyon Nordic Ski Trail system, and Big Larch and Seeley Lake day use areas and boat ramps. The Forest will continue to move forward with the proposal to raise or implement fees on some existing campgrounds and new or existing rental cabins/lookouts. If recommended by local Secure Rural Schools Resource Advisory...

  • Gibbs SLE's next superintendent

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – Josh Gibbs accepted a two-year contract to become Seeley Lake Elementary's superintendent. Seeley Lake Elementary School Board voted unanimously to offer the position to him at their March 11 meeting. There were more than ten applicants for the superintendent position. After reviewing applications, the board chose six to interview. Jon Konen, Eric Larson and Josh Gibbs interviewed for the superintendent position March 1 after the other three had already accepted other positions. Th...

  • Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – "The food was really good," said an attendee dressed in green as they left the Seeley Lake Senior Center's annual St. Patrick's Day dinner March 15. While attendance was down this year, the corned beef and Irish Stew was a treat for many along with the goodies from the Cake Walk and an abundance of items in the Silent Auction. The St. Patrick's Day Dinner is an annual fundraiser supporting the general operations at the Senior Center. Senior Center president Boyd Gossard said t...

  • Applaud defense of the president

    Natalie Wisehart, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Mar 19, 2020

    Thank you Roxie Sterling for your heartfelt and eloquent letter in last week’s Pathfinder. I applaud your defense of our president because he is our president. Imagine how much more could be accomplished were he not daily bombarded by unnecessary negativity. I personally only know of one other man who does not flinch under such attacks. Roxie, you have penned, on several occasions, my own sentiments. I, however, cannot write them as well. You have a gift. Roxie, I stand with you....

  • Morris and Gilpin have my vote for Sewer Board

    Troy Spence, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Mar 19, 2020

    In reference to Don Larson’s letter about selecting the next two new Sewer Board members and to do your homework. Well, I did some investigating for the citizens of the town and here are my findings: 1. Tom Morris is a past sewer board member who protested the sewer and has years of experience on the board and will fight for the alternative solution. 2. Jason Gilpin is related to Tom and knows the facts and state laws on this matter. Jason has been well educated by Tom on this project and also protested. 3. Of the two other guys, one isn’t even...

  • Thoughts on Sewer Board and cost

    Carleen Gonder, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Mar 19, 2020

    I want to better articulate what I was trying to express at the Community Meeting last week. I am a candidate for a position on the sewer board. I had never considered running or becoming a part of the process but I was asked to run. So reluctantly, I filed. I don’t know how comfortable I’d be on the board but this is a serious issue for me personally, as well as for other residents in my area, and that is why I wish to be involved with the process. Follows are points from part of a letter I wrote last September both to the Pathfinder and to th...

  • Power from internal to external

    Ken Silverstro PhD|Mar 19, 2020

    Power is often experienced in relation to other people, as when a person expresses power over someone else. However, power is also closely associated with control. An example occurs when one spouse controls another spouse's decisions. Although power is often experienced externally, it originates in our psychologies. Our shadows (dark side of the personality) and our egos (identities, values and beliefs) are responsible for expressing external power. Associated with power is a sense of...

  • Community invited to virtual preparedness conversation, March 26

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The public is invited to engage in a live-streamed Conversation on Preparedness Thursday, March 26 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. Tune in to a panel discussion via the Seeley Swan Pathfinder Facebook page and submit questions through the Facebook chat window. There will also be an opportunity to comment on a proposed Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) system for the Seeley Lake Historical Museum and Visitor’s Center (Barn). The conversation is sponsored by the Double Arrow Landowners Association and will be facilitated by Thomas K...

  • Fighting a virus with truth and transparency

    Ken Paulson, Director of the Free Speech Center at Middle Tennessee State University|Mar 19, 2020

    As the scope and threat of the coronavirus pandemic becomes clear, people all over the world hunger for two things: an effective vaccine and truthful information about the disease. The former may be more than a year away, but the latter is critical to stemming the pandemic in the meantime. This is Sunshine Week, a time each year when people like me to write columns about some legislature’s wrong-headed move to limit access to public records, and then try to make the case for greater access to public information and transparency in g...

  • The bears are awake - contain attractants

    Mar 19, 2020

    The bears are awake! The Be Bear Aware Campaign has been notified by wildlife officials in Montana, Washington and Idaho that bears are coming out of hibernation. As bears awaken they may be irritable, making it imperative that those recreating carry bear spray, know how to use it and that attractants are secured. According to reports on Missoula Bears, signs of black bears have been seen in the Rattlesnake and Frenchtown. There have also been multiple reports of grizzly bear tracks in the Blackfoot. Bear tracks have also been seen in Condon...

  • Partnership with local Trout Unlimited chapter "amps up" restoration program

    Ryen Neudecker, Resource Coordinator, Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited|Mar 19, 2020

    How many of you have enjoyed a concert on the banks of the Blackfoot River at the Kettlehouse Amphitheater? Did you know that every time you buy a ticket, a portion of those funds go directly to our efforts to restore the many tributaries-and ultimately trout populations, within the Blackfoot River watershed? Our partnership with the concert promoter tied with this venue--Logjam Presents, and their initiative called the Blackfoot River Fund, allowed us the opportunity to expand our efforts and...

  • Muddy spring road conditions increases damage

    Flathead National Forest|Mar 19, 2020

    KALISPELL - Snow and ice melt are creating muddy conditions on many National Forest roads. People planning on driving in the forest should use caution and plan on turning around if they find soft roads. Motorists may encounter roads that the forest has temporarily closed to prevent damage. It’s also important for people to use good judgment if they find an open road that seems too wet for travel. Traveling on soft roadbeds can lead to expensive repairs and longer-term closures to fix problems. This winter has been the third warmest on record i...

  • Local stores address supply shortages

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE & SWAN VALLEY – Photos of empty store shelves are flooding social media. Most recently our local stores have been cleaned out of certain products. Both the Mission Mountain Mercantile (The Merc) and Cory's Valley Market issue a word of caution and assure the community they are doing everything they can to help their customers. "Your local businesses are working seven days a week. They take this responsibility seriously, it is not just to make money," said Grace Siloti, co-owner of t...

  • COVID-19 response and test scores top discussion, general levy approved for May election

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – At their March 11 meeting, the Seeley Lake Elementary school board discussed COVID-19 preparations, the 2018-2019 test scores and unanimously approved running a general fund levy. The General levy will appear on the May 5 mail-in election. During his superintendent report, Daniel Schrock said that he ordered a cordless disinfectant fogger for $700. It will not arrive until April 30. It takes an average of three minutes to clean a room. Until then they are promoting good hand washing techniques, frequently wiping down commonly t...

  • Time to volunteer?

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – "Giving back to my community has always been important to me," said Jaycee McGraves, Seeley Lake Fire Department volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) since January 2019. "The training is there and I love to learn and be able to take that training, pass it on and help others." With a core group of volunteers, the Seeley Lake Fire Department continues to do their best responding to the medical and fire calls throughout the District. However Chief Dave Lane said Seeley Lake i...

  • Sharing a better lifestyle

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    GREENOUGH – Fairytale Farms in Greenough has taken a huge step towards their dream of improving the food security of the local communities with access to healthy, organic produce and offering agricultural education. With their recently renewed 501(c)3 status and grant for a 30-foot X 72-foot greenhouse, they are now able to expand their education-focused organization with the help of volunteers. Bo and Sarah Mendenhall started Fairytale Farms in 2011 while renting property in the Swan Valley. T...

  • Community Briefs

    Mar 19, 2020

    Missoula County seeking nominations for Land Stewardship Award Missoula County Community and Planning Services is now accepting nominations for the annual Land Stewardship Award. The award recognizes landowners and residents who take stewardship of land and water seriously and are embarking on projects and practices that make a difference for land, water, forests, wildlife and communities. Community members and organizations are invited to nominate landowners and residents who are restoring, protecting or enhancing land and natural resources...

  • Potomac Pioneers end season with a win

    Sigrid Olson, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    POTOMAC - With a team of 10, the Potomac girls basketball team came through the season with three regular season wins and one tournament game win. The coaches felt the season went well and agreed that there was a lot of growth in the players. The Pioneer A and B teams were comprised of three fifth graders, two sixth graders, two seventh graders and three eighth graders. Beth Copenhaver and Christie Taillefer coached the teams this year. Potomac basketball mom Jessie Salter also helped out behind...

  • Lady Blackhawks fall at State

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    MISSOULA – The Lady Blackhawks bowed out of the State C Basketball Tournament after falling to Melstone in their opening game March 12 and Scobey the next day. Both the Lady Blackhawks and Melstone spent the first quarter testing each other's defense looking for a way to break through. The defense was winning with the score just 4-4 after the first quarter. The Lady Blackhawks finally found their groove at the start of the second quarter putting up 10 unanswered points but Melstone fought b...

  • Seeley Lake Senior Center cancels activites, take out and Meals on Wheels still available

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Mar 19, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - In a meeting with the Seeley Lake Senior Center (Sela Senci) board of directors and Rob Edwards, Missoula Aging Services Community Services Director, the group laid out a plan to minimize risk as much as possible while continuing to provide meals to their members 60 years and older. They are looking for volunteers willing to help prepare meals and drivers to deliver. Based on the guidance from Governor Steve Bullock to limit contact, as of Thursday, March 19 the congregate meals... Full story

  • Closures and alterations to area services, Thursday morning, March 19

    Mar 19, 2020

    CLOSURES & CANCELLATIONS • The Seeley Lake Senior Center has cancelled congregate meals and all social activities until further notice. Meals are still available for pick-up and Meals on Wheels is operating normally. To order a meal call 677-2008 the night before and leave a message with the number of meals and what time meal(s) will be picked up the next day between 10:30am-12pm. To sign up for Meals on Wheels, to volunteer to prepare, serve or drive, and/or for additional assistance for those 60+ or homebound call Missoula Aging Services R... Full story

  • Governor Bullock issues statewide closure for dine-in restaurants, bars and other social activities

    Mar 19, 2020

    MONTANA – To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Montana, Governor Steve Bullock today announced measures to close dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses and other activities that pose enhanced health risks, effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020. This Directive expires at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020, the same day that school closures are set to expire, though the date will likely be extended. “Both young and older Montanans, in urban and rural communities, have tested positive for coronavirus, making it eve... Full story

  • Update for Saturday, March 21

    Mar 19, 2020

    • Living Water Catholic Church is not having services until further notice through the diocese. • Condon Community Church cancelled all of their Services for the next two weeks. That includes Sunday School, Worship Services, & Choir Practices for March 22nd & March 29th as well as our weekly Bible Studies. • Almost all churches have switched to using their website and/or Facebook page for service and prayer meetings. Please check those for further announcements and opportunities to worship from home. • Effective March 19, the Seeley Lake Se... Full story

  • Ovando and Helmville response regarding COVID-19

    Mar 19, 2020

    OVANDO - While to many in Ovando, social isolation so it is "just another day in the Valley," the normal has changed in response to COVID-19. Organizations and businesses within the community are adjusting the best they can to best serve their customers and community members. The following Ovando businesses and organizations are available to support the community and others: Blackfoot Commercial Co: Open 7 days a week. Monday - Saturday 8am - 5pm and 10am - 4pm on Sundays. Hours subject to... Full story

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