Articles from the July 23, 2020 edition

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  • Board recommits to sewer, discusses assessment method and attorney fees

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Sewer District Board covered a wide range of topics at their July 16 meeting. They signed a resolution recommitting to move the project forward while considered a different method of financing, discussed appealing the denial for attorney’s fees in the lawsuit against the District and reconsidered the annual fee assessment methodology. The District also received an invoice from Beal Law Firm for nearly $15,000 for the lawsuit filed and then withdrawn on behalf of the District against newly elected President Tom Mor...

  • Statewide mandate adds to county-wide face covering order

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    On Thursday, July 16, Governor Steve Bullock issued a directive requiring face coverings in certain indoor spaces and for certain organized outdoor activities in counties currently experiencing four or more active cases of COVID-19 in an effort to slow the spread of the virus in Montana. Missoula County was ahead of the statewide mandate making a county-wide mandate requiring face coverings a week earlier on July 9. However, there are some differences in the directives that affect how businesses, managers of public spaces and individuals are... Full story

  • Building community from the inside

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    "His mobile home was not livable," said Missoula Aging Services (MAS) Resource Specialist Linda Howard, about a client she worked with in Seeley Lake. This was not a problem Howard or MAS had the resources to address directly, but she knew people who did. With the help of a local church, community service organizations and neighbors, the client was moved into a new mobile home at no cost to him. This story is not unique in Montana, where neighbors help neighbors and communities take care of...

  • River's Edge prints last run

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    GREAT FALLS - The Seeley Swan Pathfinder was printed for the last time at River's Edge Printing on the Goss Community press in Great Falls Tuesday, July 14. River's Edge, owned by Gannett, shuttered their print facility after printing since 2006. The Pathfinder has been printing with them since 2014 and will now be printed in Helena....

  • NEOWISE comet makes appearance in the valley

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    According to NASA, the NEOWISE comet is 64 million miles from Earth and will be visible in the northwest sky, just below the Big Dipper until July 23. For more information about the comet and where to look visit

  • Are Federal lands really open to the PUBLIC ?

    Ken Kronsperger, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 23, 2020

    I see we have another member of our community that cherishes the beauty of this area. There are millions of acres of federal lands that have been preserved in such a way that if visitors were able to time travel to us today from the mid eighteen hundreds and go to these areas they would have to say, “Nothing has changed”. That is right, folks, millions of acres of public lands have been preserved and protected from incursion of the likes of the elderly and handicapped. Those folks are NOT part of the PUBLIC; they are the refuse that just hap...

  • A message of healing

    Annick Smith, Potomac, Mont.|Jul 23, 2020

    Listen up! Montana is our home, and we love it. From the mountains to the prairies, from trout-streams and lakes to sagebrush hills and big-sky grasslands, we praise its beauties and natural bounty. We are proud of our friendly cities and small-towns, our Native American and cowboy cultures, our schools and great universities, and the hospitals and rural health care centers that dot our vast state. I live on a homestead up the Blackfoot where some of my neighbors are Trump supporters, some are survivalists and some progressive Democrats. But...

  • Let's focus our energy on how to fund the sewer

    Walt Hill, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 23, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The preceding sewer boards have put together an amazing financial package to fund this project. It includes over $10 million of grant money, with approximately $6 million of loans in a package that will fund the building of the treatment plant and the collection system. To construct the treatment plant and collection system plus hookups in Phase 1 (subdistrict 1) will cost each residential unit no more than $54.25 per month (Resolution #201725235). This is the least expensive, most feasible plan we have investigated or that has...

  • Words of encouragement for the community

    Betty Dustin, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Jul 23, 2020

    My dear friend John Ulberg from Helena, Montana wrote this poem and I found a lot of encouragement in it during these challenging times. I hope you do as well. CERTAINTY While we hear only the litany Of virus and dangers lurking around, We must keep our perspective And know hope still does abound. People are what is important And anything that supports good life, Doing what we can for each other During these times of major strife. Your faith is still with you Your faith is still strong, Relying on your God Will never lead you wrong. So as we...

  • Personal responsibility required to keep vulnerable citizens safe and Montana's economy open

    Montana Sheriffs|Jul 23, 2020

    Sheriffs take an oath to support, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Montana. We will uphold our oath, protect public safety and respond to our shared constituency through open communication and education as we continue to face the public health risks of COVID-19. As leaders in your community and the elected officials who represent you and your constitutional rights, we want to ensure we are all doing our part to protect the vulnerable citizens in our state while also keeping Montana...

  • A year in review...

    Juanita Vero, Missoula County Commissioner|Jul 23, 2020

    When I volunteered to write a "commissioners' first year in review" column last summer, I didn't anticipate it would include pandemic, threat of economic collapse or efforts to dismantle structural racism. "Droplet" wasn't in my vocabulary. I couldn't imagine bars, restaurants and schools closing and that many of those still employed would be working from home while homeschooling their children. On my first day, July 1, 2019, the commissioners had a meeting with Chief Administrative Officer...

  • Helena man dies in motorcycle accident

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – Tracy William Merritt, a 59-year-old man from Helena, died after the motorcycle he was driving struck a deer on Highway 83 near Rice Ridge Road Monday, July 13 around 4 p.m. His wife, who was riding as his passenger, sustained non-life threatening injuries. Both were wearing helmets. According to Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Philip Smart, Merritt was driving south on Highway 83 with his wife. As they approached the intersection near Rice Ridge Road, a deer came into the road. Smart said he announced to his wife that there was a...

  • A new freedom for all people

    Carleen Gonder|Jul 23, 2020

    Protests are legal and at times necessary. Rioting and looting are not. But we do need to understand the pent up hurt that can often drive extreme behavior. The Preamble to our Constitution: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. So who are the beneficiaries...

  • Construction to begin for Smokes Cabin bridge

    Seeley Lake Ranger District|Jul 23, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Construction for the Smokes Cabin bridge replacement project will begin at the end of July and last through Sept. 1. The Smokes Cabin bridge crosses the North Fork of the Blackfoot River via Hobnail Tom Trail #32 at milepost 3.1. The current bridge has reached its appropriate lifespan and needs to be updated. During construction, the bridge crossing will be closed for public safety. The District’s goal is to complete the project ahead of the majority of hunting season. Trail #32 will remain open for use. Outfitters and the g...

  • Douglas-fir trees damaged by tussock moth outbreak

    Department of Natural Resources and Conservation|Jul 23, 2020

    MISSOULA -Douglas-fir trees throughout western Montana are being damaged by an outbreak of Douglas-fir tussock moth (DFTM). Damage is particularly notable throughout Missoula, Kalispell and along Flathead Lake. The Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) and the USDA Forest Service are currently monitoring the scope and extent of damage. DFTM are voracious feeders that can cause alarming damage to trees, but a virus naturally builds up by approximately the third year of an outbreak and...

  • Local schools eligible for CARES Act funding

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    Governor Steve Bullock directed $75 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to Montana K-12 schools to cover expenses incurred due to COVID-19 and take precautions to keep students and staff safe this fall. This includes nearly $140,000 to elementary schools in Potomac, Ovando, Seeley Lake and the Swan Valley and more than $1.5 million to Missoula County Public High Schools. “We know that our schools, along with teachers, administrators and parents, are tackling so much to prepare for students to return to some normalcy this fall. Things w... Full story

  • Perfecting his edge for more than 30 years

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    POTOMAC – It was a 1975 Centennial knife made by Gerber that inspired Potomac resident Owen Tyler to pursue knife making. "I was looking at it and the blade wasn't even made straight," said Tyler. "I thought for that price [$99] I can make a knife better than that." Tyler has made more than 400 knives since he started making them in 1987. While the biggest challenge and most time consuming part of making a knife is filing the blade even on both sides, it is satisfaction in the handmade, f...

  • Kent A. Brown 1932 – 2020

    Jul 23, 2020

    Kent A. Brown, 87, of Montana City, Montana passed away on July 8, 2020 in Missoula. Kent was born on July 16, 1932 in Leavenworth, Washington to Ronald and Afton Brown. Although his family moved a lot while he was growing up, he always considered Montana his home. After completing high school in Lincoln, Montana he joined the U.S. Air Force. He retired after 21 ½ years and returned to Montana. While stationed at Fairchild AFB, Spokane, Washington, he met his wife, Marie Fujimoto from... Full story

  • Katherine "Kathy" J. (Morton) Zuleger 1941 - 2020

    Jul 23, 2020

    CLINTON - Katherine J. Zuleger, 79, of Clinton, Montana died April 24, 2020 at Hospice of the Valley in Surprise, Arizona. Kathy was born March 14, 1941 in Ronan, Montana to parents William J. Morton and Elizabeth G. (Barclay) Morton. Kathy graduated from Anaconda High School, Class of 1958. She worked many years as the school clerk at Seeley Lake Elementary and then at Clinton Elementary, retiring in 2004. She split her retirement years between Montana and Wickenburg, Arizona. Kathy was an... Full story

  • Repent and convert

    Diana Taylor, Defendress of the Catholic Faith|Jul 23, 2020

    “Such as I love, I rebuke and chastise.” Revelation 3:14-22 “…unless you repent, you too will all perish.” Luke 13:1-5 Punishments in families and in society such as time-outs and arrests can change bad behavior to good behavior to keep the moral order. Similarly, God chastises, or punishes, us who sin and serve other gods or idols, which are things that are more important to us than God, for example: ourselves, others, activities, beliefs, things, sins, etc. 1st Commandment: “I am the LORD thy God,…You shall not have strange gods before m...

  • Missoula County Public Schools prepare for  in-person schooling

    Griffen Smith, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    MISSOULA - Missoula County Public Schools plans to bring back students for the Fall 2020 semester. In the July 14 board meeting, officials addressed what the district can do to keep students in the classroom without furthering the spread of COVID-19. Plans will be finalized in August before students return to school. “We are committed to some type of in-person learning,” said MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson. MCPS published guidelines for students to be back in classrooms based on Gov. Steve Bullock’s Safe and Healthy Schools in Montana plan,... Full story

  • Skatepark for Seeley Lake? Lincoln leads the way

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – A few weeks ago a group of Seeley-Swan High School students put out a survey to gauge interest in a skatepark in Seeley Lake. Now that they have 125 signatures and a list of interested parties, spokesman Walker McDonald, SSHS junior, said they are excited to continue exploring the idea. The group is on the agenda to present at the Seeley Lake Community Council's September meeting, Sept. 14. "We want to build a skatepark in Seeley Lake because it will give a lot of kids a reason t...

  • Artarose takes the stress out of life

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - Jenifer Flannery has been helping her family, friends and neighbors run errands, organize, clean and manage their home and businesses. After helping a few of her close friends and seeing the needs that people have in the area, Flannery decided to put her passion for helping others to work. She opened Artarose, a professional, affordable, customized service for house management, personal assistant and concierges services, to meet the demands of everyday living. "With everything...

  • PHC explains dental services, new board member welcomed

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – At the Seeley-Swan Hospital District meeting July 14, Partnership Health Center (PHC) executive director Laurie Francis gave her normal report and offered further explanation regarding dental services at the Seeley-Swan Medical Center. The board also received an update on the proposed RV Park and welcomed new board member Georgiann McCoy. Francis explained that almost every dental intervention is an aerosolizing procedure that spreads droplets all over. While manual cleanings can be done that is not the way it has been done. In l...

  • Reopening plans top discussion

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 23, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY – The Swan Valley School Board discussed their options for returning to school in-person in the fall at their July 14 meeting. They agreed to solicit teacher, parent and community input via a survey before making their decision in August. In other business, they hired C&K Custodial owned by Chris and Kellie Auchenbach to do the maintenance and cleaning duties at the school and renewed Principal Ralph King’s and secretary Katie Gleason’s contracts for the 2020-2021 school year. The main point of discussion was the 2020-2021 schoo... Full story

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