Articles from the April 4, 2019 edition

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  • Rubber duck replaced "The Cow" at Clearwater Junction

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 4, 2019

    GREENOUGH - While many are calling fowl, the change is official. The 15-foot rubber duck replaced the age-old steer, affectionately known to the locals as "The Cow" at Clearwater Junction April 1. When Seeley Lake resident Mike Marshall first saw the duck he said it "quacked me up." After pondering a bit more, he decided he liked the rubber duck, "Ducks and rubber, they don't go together but I like contrast." He continued, "Rubber ducks are friendly and they have no political persuasion."...

  • Sheppard served as artillery repairman

    Betty Vanderwielen, Pathfinder|Apr 4, 2019

    OVANDO – Bob Sheppard is a native Montanan but that doesn't mean he spent all his time in the same Montana town. Born in Conrad, Sheppard spent his early years in the western Hi-Line country – Cutbank, Shelby, Browning – and then high school in Helena. After that he spent a lot of time hunting, trapping and doing some outfitting in the wilderness parts of western Montana where there are no towns. In 1970 the Army broadened his horizons. With a draft lottery number of 60, Sheppard figured a sti...

  • Frozen pipes leave many in Seeley Lake without water

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 4, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – Steve Thompson carried five gallon buckets of snow into his home in Dog Town March 18. He and his wife Cheri had the service line to their house freeze ten days earlier and are still without water. The Thompsons aren’t the only ones in Seeley Lake with frozen water lines. Seeley Lake joins the list of other communities including Helena, Red Lodge, Big Timber, Cut Bank, Great Falls and Missoula that are dealing with frozen water lines due to frost. Seeley Lake Water District Manager Vince Chappell estimated they have received rep...

  • Trenton Johnson Memorial Highway bill headed to Governor's desk

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 4, 2019

    HELENA – Senate Bill 260 was transmitted to Governor Steve Bullock for signature March 26. Sponsored by Senator Sue Malek (D) - SD46, SB 260 it establishes an eight-mile stretch of Highway 83 through Seeley Lake as the Trenton Johnson Memorial Highway. Johnson was a 2016 graduate of Hellgate High School, scholar, member of Hellgate’s four-time state champion lacrosse team, sophomore at Montana State University and first year firefighter with Grayback Forestry. He lost his life July 19, 2017 when he was working with the initial attack crew fig...

  • Don't take life for granted

    Dave Strohmaier, Missoula County Commissioner|Apr 4, 2019

    MISSOULA - They call it the widow maker. It’s also called the left anterior descending (LAD) artery and one year ago mine was almost completely blocked. Had my occlusion been total, I’d likely not be penning these words today, which explains the artery’s nickname. The cautionary tale is that I didn’t see it coming. I have no family history of coronary artery disease. My annual physical exams and periodic health screenings didn’t pick up any red flags of high cholesterol or high blood pressure. And I’m fairly active. I noticed my first sympt...

  • Sprinkler woes and when to start planting

    Molly Hackett|Apr 4, 2019

    Q: Watering always is a problem for us. We hand water some raised beds but that doesn't work if we are going to be gone for several days. If we use sprinklers with timers, we end up watering areas that aren't part of the garden. That promotes weeds. We have tried drippers and found them unreliable. Sometimes they put out way too much water, and sometimes they plug up. Soaker hoses are hard to install and they start plugging up after a year of use. Is there a better method? A: If there is, I...

  • Sewer system, DARLOA land swap, live streaming at next council meeting

    Seeley Lake Community Council|Apr 4, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE - The next Seeley Lake Community Council meeting promises an interesting agenda. Chet Crowser, Pat O’Herren’s successor as head of Missoula County Community and Planning Services (CAPS), will introduce himself and speak about his plans for CAPS. Next, Jean Curtiss, the new Title District Manager of the Seeley Lake Sewer District and former County Commissioner, will give an update on the current status and projected future of the sewer system. Following Curtiss will be Tom Browder, council member and treasurer of the Double Arr...

  • 2VS closes season with Balinese music and dance

    Kristen McGlynn, 2VS Program Director|Apr 4, 2019

    SWAN VALLEY - 2 Valleys Stage Performing Arts Series will conclude its 2018-19 season with a performance at Swan Valley School featuring Gamelan Manik Harum on Sunday, April 14. It will be a thrilling immersion into another culture, so let's start by defining a few unfamiliar terms. Gamelan is the name for the traditional ensemble music of the Indonesian islands, Java and Bali. The music is predominantly composed of percussion instruments, most commonly metallophones struck by mallets. Hand...

  • Prevent loneliness from wrecking your retirement

    Linda Howard, Resource Specialist, Seeley-Swan Resource Center|Apr 4, 2019

    Dear friends, Retiring in Seeley-Swan Valley? What does that look like? We know it is an extraordinarily beautiful landscape. We absolutely love it here for many reasons: fishing, hunting, hiking, swimming, skiing, snowshoeing, wild animals, horses and dogs free to run, no traffic jams ... the list goes on and on. On the flip side, retirement here in Seeley-Swan can be particularly challenging as we age-in-place. Some of my friends have recently lost a spouse and they are now alone. Some...

  • Ridge-top to ridge-top conservation through education

    Caitlin Mitchell, Blackfoot Challenge Program Assistant|Apr 4, 2019

    Over the last few months, watershed students young and old experienced a variety of Blackfoot Challenge program work first-hand. In the following paragraphs we'll guide you through their journey, each step of the way woven with our mission to "coordinate efforts to conserve and enhance the natural resources and rural way of life in the Blackfoot watershed." Through place-based learning, our ridge-top to ridge-top conservation efforts permeate not only the landscape in which we work, but student...

  • Fallen antlers are spring treasures

    Sigrid Olson, Pathfinder|Apr 4, 2019

    With the weather starting to warm up, south slopes are baring off and outdoor enthusiasts can be found searching for newly dropped antlers. Shed hunting for these treasures is growing in popularity. Montana ungulates include caribou, deer, elk and moose. They are from the family Cervidae because they are even-toed and grow and shed their antlers each year. Antlers are made of bone and grow from the tips. Antelope are also even-toed ungulates but belong to the family Bovidae. They have permanent...

  • Melting snow means forest insect pest management

    Brad French, Service Forester DNRC Clearwater Unit|Apr 4, 2019

    Springtime is here. For a lot of forest landowners it means getting back into the woods on their property for cleanup and upkeep. It also means that forest insects start to show themselves again. Forest insects are found throughout Montana, with some being more of a problem than others depending on conditions. Below are a few facts that may help forest landowners address concerns. Douglas-fir beetles typically infest damaged, sickly or recently broken Douglas-fir trees. With last year's...

  • Closing in on transmittal

    Representative Mike Hopkins, House District 92|Apr 4, 2019

    HELENA - This week was the final week before transmittal, meaning that every bill that started in one chamber, had to pass through to the other chamber in order to stay alive. So at this point, any bill that started in the House and has not passed over to the Senate is dead. There are less than 30 days left in the Legislative Session, most of our work from here on out will be processing bills from the Senate and confirming or rejecting amendments made to House bills by the Senate. The final piece of the state’s infrastructure package, the S...

  • June Ash celebrates 90th birthday

    Pathfinder|Apr 4, 2019

    KALISPELL - June Ash recently celebrated her 90th birthday at The Heritage Place in Kalispell surrounded by family and friends. Born on March 19, 1929 in San Jose, Calif., June attended schools in California and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1951 with a degree in Social Welfare. June and her husband Rod first came to Montana in 1952 when Rod took a job with the Forest Service as a fire lookout on Big Swede Mountain near Libby. They spent many subsequent summer vacations with their young family...

  • Norm stocked his last shelves after 17 year career at Rovero's

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Apr 4, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – "I just have to ask Norm a quick question," said a Rovero's customer on Norm Sindelar's last official day of work. "He always knows the answer." Anyone who frequents Rovero's knows Norm. After 17 years working the floor of the hardware department and in ordering, Sindelar retired at the end of March. While customers will still see him in and out helping with different projects and helping train his replacement Carmen Contreras, he is looking forward to more time to work on u...

  • Community Briefs

    Apr 4, 2019

    First Friday features Northern Lights, April 5 SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce invites the community to come out for an evening of entertainment on the First Friday, April 5 at The Lodges on Seeley Lake. Enjoy live music by Northern Lights from 6 – 8 p.m. Cocktails and appetizers will be available for purchase from 4 – 9 p.m. Commissioners seek applicants for Cemetery District Board SEELEY LAKE - Missoula County Commissioners are looking to fill a one, three-year term on the county Seeley Lake Cemetery Board. The new thre...

  • Ovando highlighted in Montana tourism commercial

    Roger Dey, Editor, Blackfoot Valley Dispatch|Apr 4, 2019

    OVANDO - To the surprise of many Ovando residents, Montana's 2018 Community of the Year found itself highlighted in a new commercial promoting tourism in the state. A new 30-second commercial called "Montana: Discover the Moment" features shots of the town and local businesses as a cars pulls into town and stops at the Blackfoot Commercial Company, before a couple heads out to do some exploring on their bikes. Word of the commercial reached Ovando by way of Couer D'alene, where it was spotted...

  • Down the bunny trail

    Dale Terrillion, Christian logger|Apr 4, 2019

    Every spring followers of The Way celebrate the risen Christ. “Up from the grave He arose!” so the old hymn tells us. And I believe it. Should one of the two greatest events in human history be shared with Peter Rabbit? I’ve been around the woods a long time and I’ve never seen a rabbit lay eggs. Just say’n. Ya know, leading up to the Lord Jesus overcoming death, let’s think about His awful suffering. The agony in the garden, the betrayal, mock trial, the crown of thorns, the scourging, nails driven through His hands and feet, trying to b...

  • Stephen Armer Johnson 1950-2019

    Apr 4, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE - Stephen Armer Johnson, 68, passed away on March 25 at Fort Harrison VA Medical Center in Helena, Mont. surrounded by his loving family. Stephen was born Sept. 13, 1950 in Poplar Bluff, Mo. to Charles Lebert and Voilet Lucille (Shockley) Johnson. He was the second of four children. He was raised in southern Missouri and moved to Central Oregon for his grade school years. He returned to Missouri and graduated high school in Deepwater. He was accepted into West Point, but chose not... Full story

  • Katherine Louise Doney Daniels 1947-2019

    Apr 4, 2019

    HELMVILLE - Katherine Louise Doney Daniels, 71, of Helmville, Mont., passed away March 28. She was born to parents William James Doney and Geraldine Geary Doney, December 9, 1947, in Deer Lodge, Mont. Kathy graduated from Helmville Elementary School in 1962 and Powell County High School in 1966. She was married to Paul Daniels in 1972. Kathy is survived by: her husband Paul "Buck" Daniels of Helmville; her two children and their spouses Jodi and Scott Barger of Cascade, Mont. and Ty and Alyssa... Full story

  • Special thanks to Montana's Legislators

    Jason Cohen MD, Hospitalist at North Valley Clinic Whitefish, Mont.|Apr 4, 2019

    This week, our republican and democratic state legislators notched a victory for Montanans. Working together with the Governor's office, they agreed on legislation that would permanently reauthorize Medicaid Expansion. This is good news for Montana and a triumph for bipartisanship. Republicans and Democrats were able to find common ground on this issue because both parties recognize that Medicaid Expansion works for Montana. Since its passage in 2015, the Montana HELP Act has provided affordable health care to more than 96,000 working...

  • Income inequality

    Gary Fitzpatrick, Lewistown, Mont.|Apr 4, 2019

    In Robin Hood’s time the rich (government) were rich at the expense of someone else. Everything was limited. A coat might take 100s of hours to produce. The rich had food, others had to starve. Gold, silver and land belonged to the king (government) even coins of the realm were limited by primitive production methods. Rich or poor life wasn’t a party, but rich was a whole lot better. Skip forward. Understand that money has no value other than trust. It is a storage instrument. $1000.00 might buy a cow, television, gun, etc. Point being, the...