Articles from the May 28, 2020 edition

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  • Annual assessment may double

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Sewer District Board discussed a plethora of topics at its May 21 regular meeting including more than doubling the annual District operating budget, project updates, hiring a new attorney, drilling new test wells and performing an income survey. The meeting was recessed in the middle to hold a public hearing on a grant application for Phase 2 of the collection system. As the meeting started President Pat Goodover asked the directors in attendance, including newly elected but not seated directors, their thoughts o...

  • Honoring SLE eighth graders

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – Friday afternoon Seeley Lake Elementary staff Toni Sexton, Suzie Teafoe and Janina Bradley hung banners recognizing the eighth grade graduates at SLE on the fence facing School Lane. "We have known some of these kids since they were in preschool. It just doesn't feel right to not somehow honor them," said Teafoe. "Even if it is in just this small, little way." Missoula County Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Shannan Sproull said ever since schools have been closed and g...

  • Seeley man found guilty of rape

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - A Seeley man was convicted of repeatedly raping a 15-year-old minor in 2018. Roy William Wickum, 38, plead guilty to the charges of sexual intercourse without consent and sexual assault and will serve 30 years with 20 suspended, according to the charging documents, for each count. Wickum reportedly abused the minor between May and August of 2018 and again in March of 2019, according to the filed complaint. Missoula county prosecutors said Wikum repeatedly groped, assaulted and raped the girl over that period of time. According to...

  • Seeley Lake Fourth of July activities canceled

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Due to the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic many of the activities for the Fourth of July in Seeley Lake have been canceled. However the Seeley Lake Volunteer Firefighter Foundation is working with the Missoula County Health Department and hopes to be able to still offer their pancake breakfast. The Fourth of July parade and fireworks show, sponsored by the Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, averages 5,000+ people. Many visitors come together from all over the United States for the events. The Chamber decided to...

  • Never forgotten...

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    The sound of taps echoed over the traffic passing on Highway 83 as veterans and community members gathered at 11 a.m. Monday, May 25 at the Seeley Lake Veterans Memorial Gardens to honor the fallen. "For those that gave the ultimate sacrifice, I have the greatest respect and appreciation for their contribution and sacrifice and we are proud to honor them today," said Veterans & Families of Seeley Lake President Barb Knopp. "Take the time, not just on Memorial Day, but every day to take a moment...

  • Putting American workers first

    Natalie Wisehart, Seeley Lake, Mont.|May 28, 2020

    Unemployment rates are soaring and millions of Americans are unemployed. We need a leader who will put these Americans first and that’s exactly what Senator Steve Daines is doing. Daines is working on legislation to protect the American worker by extending President Trump’s 60-day travel ban for people trying to enter the United States. As we reopen our economy, Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic should be the first in line to fill open jobs - not immigrants. We need to protect our own first at this point in time and that mea...

  • COVID-19 support group: Strength through each other

    Kim Heninger, Licensed Clinical and Addiction Therapist|May 28, 2020

    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...

  • Betson wins quilt raffle

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Seeley Lake's Joel Roesner drew the winning raffle ticket May 19 at Deer Country Quilts for the quilt made by LaRee Morris. Morris started the quilt raffle in January to help Roesner cover expenses. Roesner drew Seeley Lake resident Connie Betson's ticket for the quilt. The raffle raised $400 for the Roesners....

  • Pathfinder welcomes Griffen Smith for the summer

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    Enjoying your work is one of the greatest feelings a person can have. I questioned what job was right for me but I think if there is any that I can truly appreciate it is the one I have now. I am just two semesters into college and 19 years old. Yet in my short time at the University of Montana, my interest in journalism developed quickly. It took just a week in Missoula before I found myself as the student newspaper sports reporter. While my stories did not reach a large audience, I saw how...

  • Change Your Pace Challenge begins June 1

    Claire Muller, Executive Director, Seeley Lake Community Foundation|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Community Foundation's Change Your Pace (CYP) Challenge is a campaign for community-wide giving, celebrating the people and organizations that make our community great. During this month-long fundraising period, June 1-30, the CYP motivates community members to give to their favorite participating local nonprofits and community groups, knowing the impact of their gift will grow thanks to the CYP Match Fund. Fifteen local organizations are participating this year,...

  • Debate over seating newly elected directors continues

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The issue of when directors terms end and when to seat newly elected directors reared its head again in a special meeting May 21 that was held ahead of the regular meeting and also spilled into the regular meeting. The special meeting had just one item, litigation strategy, under new business on the agenda. Director Beth Hutchinson questioned how the meeting was scheduled on 48 hours notice explaining that the by-laws require 80 percent of the directors to agree to it. She said she was not asked. District Manager Jean Curtiss expl...

  • Judge dismisses Larson's lawsuit

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    MISSOULA – District Court Judge Leslie Halligan threw out Don Larson’s lawsuit against the Seeley Lake Sewer District on May 21. The order came in response to a motion by the District’s attorney Jon Beal seeking to dismiss the case due to the plaintiffs providing inadequate responses to discovery and missing multiple deadlines. Beal successfully argued that the plaintiffs’ actions or lack thereof were abusive and a bad-faith litigation tactic that prolonged the lawsuit to a severe disadvantage to the District. The District has repeate...

  • Pyramid finishes phase two of tech upgrades

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Over the past three months, Pyramid Mountain Lumber has made some major upgrades in its production line. Despite the uncertainty in the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pyramid just finished the $1.5 million second phase in the three-phase project. As a part of a three-phase plan, the 70-year-old company installed an automated tray sorter system in the second stage. After lumber was scanned, graded and trimmed by the GradExpert, an automated grading system that came online... Full story

  • Statewide project on aging demographics to relaunch

    Brad Tyer, Montana Fre|May 28, 2020

    On March 12, a collaboration of 16 Montana newsrooms launched the first story of a series titled Graying Pains, months in the making, exploring Montana's status as the demographically oldest state west of the Mississippi. The next day, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced the state's first four documented cases of COVID-19. If you read, watch or listen to Montana media, you know what happened next. The collaborating newsrooms responded by doing what newsrooms do best, immediately dispatching...

  • For rural elderly, it can take a village

    Keith Hammonds, Boulder Monitor. Additional reporting by Myers Reece, Flathead Beacon|May 28, 2020

    It looked like a lot of senior gatherings: a chatty group of folks, mostly in their 70s and 80s, with friends and family in a church basement, dining on quiche, pastries, fresh fruit and other goodies. There was plenty of laughter and a strong sense of camaraderie. But there was something special happening on a January morning at Kalispell's First Presbyterian Church. This was a celebration by volunteers and members of the recently launched My Glacier Village, Montana's first and only chapter...

  • Donald T. Dunagan Oct. 22, 1948 - May 18, 2020

    May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Donald T. Dunagan passed away Monday, May 18 after a long and courageous battle with mesothelioma. He was born Oct. 22, 1948 in DeQueen, Ark. to Ray and Alien Dunagan. He served three years in the Army receiving awards for Meritorious Unit Citation and National Defense Service Medal. He was also an expert in rifle. After an honorable discharge in 1971, Don worked for Alcoa Aluminum factory for 38 years retiring and moving to Seeley Lake with his wife Joy. His survivors include his... Full story

  • The treasure of God's Word

    Pastor Craig Wilson, Pastor - Mission Bible Fellowship|May 28, 2020

    My favorite online used bookstore recently shared about the all kinds of treasures that have been found left inside used books. Over the years, as they have sorted and cataloged used books, they have discovered a wide variety of items left hidden in the pages of used books. The biggest treasure was a bundle of 40 $1,000 bills. Also found was a Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card, a marriage certificate from 1879, a diamond ring and a baby's tooth. None of these interesting and valuable objects...

  • Montana enters phase two of reopening plan

    Johnathan Hettinger, Montana Free Press|May 28, 2020

    Montana will lift its 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers as the state transitions to phase two of the Reopening the Big Sky plan on June 1, Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday. Lifting the quarantine will coincide with a likely June 1 opening of Montana’s gates to Yellowstone National Park in West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Cooke City, Bullock said. Yellowstone’s Wyoming gates opened to travelers on Monday, May 18. The lifting of the quarantine was not initially considered part of phase two but Bullock said he decided to lift the qua... Full story

  • FWP seeks public's help identifying CWD-symptomatic animals

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|May 28, 2020

    A follow-up test has confirmed a positive case of chronic wasting disease in a white-tailed deer buck that was euthanized in Gallatin County this month after displaying several classic symptoms of the disease. The deer, which was found in the Springhill area north of Bozeman, represents the first confirmed case of CWD in the county. CWD was first detected in Montana in 2017. Since then, FWP has closely monitored the prevalence and distribution of CWD through targeted surveillance and sampling efforts. The disease is now known to exist across...

  • Board hires teachers despite recommendation for nonrenewal

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – With three newly elected board members seated at the Seeley lake Elementary School Board May 19, two letters of resignation were accepted and all teacher contracts were approved despite two being recommended for nonrenewal by Superintendent Daniel Schrock. Since one of the nonrenewals was for the preschool teacher, the board discussed offering preschool next year. They agreed they all wanted to see it available and requested more information regarding funding options to be presente...

  • Seeley-Swan High School Class of 2020

    May 28, 2020

    The Seeley-Swan High School Class of 2020 will be having an invite-only graduation at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 31. This will be live streamed online from the school's website ( and on the "Seeley-Swan High School Activities" Facebook Page. The community is invited to a drive-through celebration in the SSHS parking lot at 1:45 p.m. The graduates will be spaced out. The community is asked to remain in their cars to ensure social distancing. Thank you to the parents,...

  • Weisenburger appointed to prestigious West Point

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Though his plans for the future were not set in stone, Sam Weisenburger knew he would go into service leadership. Now with high school wrapping up, he decided to become an Army officer. "I learned that you can always have a plan but make sure you are flexible to change," said Weisenburger. "There's a certain point when you realize it's about taking it in and understanding that you'll do better." The Seeley-Swan High School senior was appointed to go to school as a cadet at West...

  • Supporting youths' interest in the arts for 25 years

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|May 28, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – “Gratitude and deep appreciation…This sums up the feelings of students that were awarded scholarships and youth grants from Alpine Artisans over the last thirteen years,” read the opening of an article written by Alpine Artisans, Inc. Executive Director Martha Swanson in fall 2007. Even though the impact for the students was evident, with 14 students receiving more than $8,600 in scholarships and the youth grant program starting in 2005, Swanson explained AAI was at a crossroads. Without the financial support of AAI members...

  • How Montana's 2020 census became "an uphill climb while it's hailing basketballs"

    Mara Silvers, Montana Free Press|May 28, 2020

    HELENA - Since February, Tylyn Newcomb has been losing sleep over a seemingly herculean task: how to ensure the government counts as many Montana residents as possible for the 2020 census, and, in doing so, generate fair federal funding and electoral representation for the next decade. "I mean, it's vital work," said Newcomb, one of the lead staffers focused on census outreach and grant funding for the Montana Nonprofit Association. "And so we don't have the option to just give up and say it's...

  • Community Briefs

    May 28, 2020

    CORRECTION In the caption under the photo of the young grizzly bear, we incorrectly identified Kathy Koors as a bear manager. Her correct title is Bear Ranger. While her title was correct in the article, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks bear manager for the Swan is Tim Manley and for the Blackfoot/Clearwater area is James Jonkel. Grizzly Claw Scholarship available for graduating seniors SEELEY LAKE - Graduating Seeley-Swan High School seniors are encouraged to apply for the Grizzly Claw Trading Book Fund College Scholarship. Every year the...