Articles from the June 29, 2023 edition


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  • Old Salt Fest takes over Helmville

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    Riddy Arman serenaded the crowd with her folksy bluesy voice proclaiming "a cowboy hates fencing with love on his mind" against the backdrop of misty green hills, fading as rain showers threatened. People sat in clusters on rows of straw bales under an 80 foot x 160 foot tent listening to the music and chowing down on pork barbecue and beans. They were cooked low and slow overnight in cement block fire pits and 30 gallon cauldrons. Some played corn hole and ladder golf in the background. "It's...

  • Montana Bandmasters drum 19th year

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    Griffen Smith of the Pathfinder Sam McKenzie looked over the various drums in the back of the Seeley-Swan High School Auditorium, ready to give out lessons for hungry minds. "You want to focus on getting the rhythm right more than any accents of the instrument," McKenzie said. Rather than high school students who would normally sit in the band pit, McKenzie's audience all teach music to students across the state or are just professionals looking to brush up on their skills. The workshop was one...

  • Seeley Fourth to feature flyover

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    The Seeley Lake Fourth of July activities will have most — if not all of the activities in previous years. This year under the Seeley Historical Society, a flyover by the Montana Air National Guard will be one of the many treats for visitors and residents alike. “We’re thinking that everything here we have done at some point in the past, I was worried a couple months ago though,” said Tom Browder, the chair of the historical society and Fourth planner. “Nice thing about Seeley is you just go to people and they will help out.” With the Seeley...

  • Seeley man could take plea deal for death

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    A Seeley man facing five felonies and one misdemeanor after he killed a Potomac woman while allegedly under the influence last year might agree to a plea deal, according to his defense attorney during a hearing in Missoula County Court last week. Kerry Glen Drew, 68, killed one person and injured at least two Dec. 21 when he drove off the side of Highway 200 near mile marker 18, where Victoria E. Richardson, 61, was helping a stranded motorist in the snow. Drew has been charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence, negligent...

  • Letter from the Editor

    Griffen Smith, Editor|Jun 29, 2023

    One of the most impactful things when I worked for the Pathfinder in 2020 was the sheer amount of public comment that I saw in the newspaper. Whether thanking a service member, or blasting a public official over Holland Lake Lodge, I know this community has deep-seeded opinions that often do not show up anywhere in print. That’s why I write to you, reader, to send your opinions in. Since I started two weeks ago, I have seen just one Seeley-based letter to the editor. In the past I recall almost 10 in a single issue. The opinions are i...

  • Newspaper editorials

    Mike Marshall, Seeley Lake|Jun 29, 2023

    I read with surprise and disappointment the letter of complaint in the June 8 issue of the Pathfinder wherein a reader complained that the Pathfinder dared to publish an editorial opinion (Letter From The Editor) written by Asa Metcalfe and written quite well. Perhaps this complaint was written by someone unfamiliar with the American free press tradition of disseminating editorial opinions. Perhaps the reader is new to America where we celebrate a free press that is free to share news and opinions. Here are some of the benefits of newspaper...

  • Held versus State important for Montana's climate

    Rex Koenig, Missoula|Jun 29, 2023

    Montana’s 1972 constitution guarantees its citizens a right to “a clean and healthful environment in Montana for present and future generations.” The 2023 trial of Held versus State of Montana, a lawsuit brought by 16 Montana youth, attempts to show how the state government’s longstanding energy policies violate this constitutional right by favoring fossil fuel industries with high carbon emissions. The lawsuit is named for plaintiff Rikki Held, age 22, a fifth-generation Montanan raised on a cattle ranch in the Powder River basin. In testimo...

  • What you should know about property tax appraisals

    Rep. Greg Hertz, R-Polson|Jun 29, 2023

    Property tax appraisals are currently arriving in the mail. It’s important to review the valuation and appeal it if you do not agree with the valuation. The appeal instructions are in the letter that was mailed to you. You only have 30 days, so do not wait. If the value of your property increased by 30% that does not mean your taxes will increase by 30%. However, generally if the value of your property increased, most likely your taxes will be increasing. Property tax calculations are complex and understood by few. To calculate your taxes, y...

  • An update on the Fourth of July

    Tom Browder, Fourth of July Volunteer committee|Jun 29, 2023

    The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and it looks like Seeley Lake will have its first really good weather of the summer. What better way to “Celebrate our Lakes and Mountains” on Independence Day! Your Fourth of July Committee has been working hard to put all the pieces together to make this a great day for everyone. Get a good night’s sleep on Monday so you can start with a pancake breakfast at the Fire Department Tuesday morning. There are many activities, including the parade down the middle of town, planned for the day. Be sure...

  • Missoula County Sheriff's log for June 29

    Jun 29, 2023

    6/15 7:46 a.m. Accident With Injury 293XX Highway 200 E 6/16 11:00 a.m. Suspicious Activity Gold Creek Road, Bonner 6/16 8:02 p.m. Accident With Injury 25XX Highway 83, Seeley Lake 6/16 11:49 p.m. Suspicious Activity 1XX Gull Port Seeley Lake 6/17 11:35 a.m. Stolen Vehicle 27XX Highway 83, Seeley Lake 6/17 12:02 p.m. Accident No Injury 3XMM Highway 83, Condon 6/17 6: 57 p.m. Disturbance 32XX Highway 83, Seeley Lake 6/20 11:46 a.m. Vandalism 30XX Highway 83, Seeley Lake 6/20 7:37 p.m. Harassment 1XX Chipmunk Court, Seeley Lake 6/21 7:23 p.m....

  • Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Call Log

    Jun 29, 2023

    6/14/2023 Medical Paws Up Road 6/14/2023 Medical Black Bear Drive 6/16/2023 Accident Injury Highway 83 6/17/2023 Medical Paws Up Road 6/18/2023 Medical Placid Lake Road 6/18/2023 Medical Placid Lake Road 6/17/2023 Medical Sunset Road 6/21/2023 Accident Injury Highway 83/White Tail 6/21/2023 Medical Paws Up Road...

  • A passage on freedom

    Rev. Jon Bergen, Seeley Lake Baptist Church|Jun 29, 2023

    The Fourth of July is coming between now and the time the next edition of the paper comes out so thought that would be a journey worth taking. As I write this Juneteenth has just happened. I think this is a worthy celebration as we consider those that were enslaved in the past. I’m just trying to figure how it went from a local Texas holiday, to a national one, well worthy of recognition because the slaves in Texas were finally notified on that day almost two and a half years after they were actually free. Freedom matters. After living in S...

  • Jace Tyler Layman

    Jun 29, 2023

    Jace Tyler Layman, age 20, passed away Thursday, June 22, 2023, due to an undetermined medical emergency while working for the Padlock Ranch in Sheridan County, Wyoming. Jace was born January 2, 2003, in Missoula, Montana to his parents Heather & Justin, joining his older sister, Kiley. Jace was raised in Seeley Lake, Montana, until age 11, when the family moved to Havre, Montana. In 2017, the family moved back to Seeley Lake where Jace graduated from Seeley-Swan High School in June of 2020. At a young age, Jace enjoyed the outdoors. He...

  • Bear Fair shares preventative information

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    A full-body elk mount carrying panniers helped attract 200-250 people to the Bear Fair on the Little Bird lawn June 18. More than eight organizations hosted tables with displays and information for people to learn a bear smart lifestyle. "The last Bear Fair in Seeley Lake was 21 years ago," said Patti Bartlett, organizer of the Bear Fair. "It was time to have another one with all the new people in the area so we can all be safer wherever we live." There are about 100 food-conditioned black...

  • All abilities trail gets bench donated from community

    Gary Swain, Seeley Lake ROCKS|Jun 29, 2023

    With school finally out for the summer, let the fun and games begin! The Seeley Lake area offers amazing winter activities, and we promote those outdoor activities like crazy for more than half the year. And then spring and summer – those glorious, long-awaited, priceless Montana blue sky days – descend, and we turn our full attention to the warmer weather outdoor activities that ROCKS serves and supports. The jewel of the ROCKS summer activities is the Placid Lake Trails system – Lakev...

  • Fire Board approves chief salary, increased budget

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    The Seeley Fire District Board approved a 3% raise for its chief, approved its budget for next year, while call numbers for the agency are expected to surpass 2022 in the coming months. For 2022, the rural fire department responded to 95 calls. For 2023, 91 calls have been placed so far, according to Fire Chief Dave Lane. “It’s been picking up a bit,” Lane said. The fire board unanimously approved Lane’s salary to $77,845. That is below the average fire chief pay in the state of Montana, according to board member Jon Kimble. The median pay for...

  • Swan Valley community council discuss potential housing projects

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    Griffen Smith of the Pathfinder Housing has become a national problem for the United States Forest Service, and both the Seeley Ranger District and the Swan Lake Ranger District are in talks of building new housing on USFS land. The Swan Valley Community Council dived into the need for housing with both Chris Dowling, the Swan Lake district ranger, and Quinn Carver, the Seeley Lake district ranger on June 20. Both rangers agreed that the lack of housing in the area is holding people off from living and working in the area. “We can’t hire tea...

  • Pathfinder wins four statewide awards

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Jun 29, 2023

    The Seeley Swan Pathfinder took home four first place awards at the Montana Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest on June 17. All the wins came from the editorial staff of the previous owners, Andi and Nathan Bourne. The better newspaper awards highlights the top newspapers from 2022 in news, sports, photography, design, advertising and more. The Pathfinder won first in feature writing, sports writing, sports feature writing and best portrait photo. The Pathfinder competed in the smallest newspaper division with a circulation of less...

  • Archives

    Jun 29, 2023

    Twenty Years Ago... June 26, 2003 Governors, national officials focus on Seeley Lake project. Flanked by a contingent of police cars and unmarked security cars, governors from five western states along with national and regional forest officials traveled to Seeley Lake Wednesday, June 18, to view a pioneering U.S. Forest Service project, the Clearwater Stewardship Project, that has been touted as a national model. The day trip started at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest, then moved on to...

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