Articles from the July 29, 2021 edition


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  • Forty years of working towards the perfect fit

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – After 40 years of body work, owner of Seeley Lake Auto Body Randy Reinitz sold his shop and retired. He built his reputation on customer satisfaction using his artistic ability to repair and restore vehicles, offering compassion for his customers, building relationships with insurance adjusters and maintaining a level of professionalism and honesty in his work. In retirement, he and his wife Carol Ann are looking forward to more free time and working on their property north of S...

  • Two families lose homes in fire

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – As Seeley Lake resident Michael Riel and his wife returned from Missoula around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 22, they noticed a light column of smoke from behind Pop's Place. A recently retired 11-year volunteer firefighter/EMT who understood that no one should be burning due to restrictions, he turned off Highway 83 onto Redwood Lane making his way to Juniper Drive to check it out. "It was evident that there was a fire cooking," he said. He began evacuating people from the area and w...

  • Empathy, kindness and curiosity follows fatal bear attack

    Roger Dey, Editor - Blackfoot Valley Dispatch|Jul 29, 2021

    OVANDO - In the wake of a tragic grizzly attack that claimed the life of visiting cyclist Leah Lokan on July 6, Ovando has seen an outpouring of support as it makes plans to ensure nothing like that ever happens again. A retired registered nurse and an avid mountain biker, Lokan, 64, was eight days into a trip along a portion of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with her sister Kim Lokan and a friend, Katie Boerner. Lokan opted to spend her night in Ovando in her tent, in a camping area near...

  • Blackfoot Challenge responds to fatal grizzly bear incident with community members

    Seth Wilson, Executive Director, Blackfoot Challenge|Jul 29, 2021

    The recent death of Leah Lokan from a grizzly bear mauling while camping in Ovando on July 6 has reinforced the need to maintain and enhance efforts to protect human safety and to reduce conflicts with grizzly bears in our communities. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and the Blackfoot Challenge Board of Directors and staff offer our sincerest condolences to Lokan's family, friends and loved ones. We also want to thank the first responders and the community of Ovando for their...

  • National issues are local issues

    Roxie Sterling, Seeley Lake, Montana|Jul 29, 2021

    Dear Nathan and Andi – I can see that we have a difference of opinion. I consider the issues of voting laws, free speech, gun rights, school curriculum, immigration, the Constitution of the United States of America, masks and vaccines, etc. all of extreme importance to every community in America. Millions of conservative voices are being canceled all across our America. I was first very surprised and disappointed that conservative voices are being canceled even in our community. Thank you for the time you allowed me to voice my opinion. T...

  • Sewer Board headed in right direction

    Don Larson, Seeley Lake, Montana|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Sewer Board is sorting out its priorities and finally heading in a good direction. I appreciate the work done by Beth Hutchinson who has worked tirelessly on behalf of Seeley Lake to ensure a sensible wastewater treatment policy. Without Hutchinson’s efforts, the 500 sewer district residents would be stuck with an ill-conceived, $35 million sewer project pushed by local development groups who have large land holdings in the district. She is a shining example of what community involvement should be and her cool h...

  • What is wrong with my tomatoes and squash?

    Molly Hackett, Master Gardener|Jul 29, 2021

    What is wrong with my tomatoes? They are starting to make tomatoes, but some of the leaves are turning yellow. The usual cause of that problem is water-either too much or not enough water will produce the same symptom. Are you sure that you are watering the plants enough in this dry summer? If so, think about the idea that the tomato plants are too wet. Before you water them, check the soil. Do not turn on the irrigation system until the top inch of dirt is dry. Roots need water to stay...

  • Turn terror into joy

    Kapp L. Johnson, Retired pastor living in Seeley Lake|Jul 29, 2021

    "For they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous." Psalm 14:5 ESV Sadly, we live in a time of terror. For a generation, the defining event is 9/11. For my generation, flying will never be the same. I wonder if in some ways, we have become accustomed to the threat of terrorism. With the Olympics beginning, I remember the events of Munich in 1972 when terror struck the games. No doubt the Olympic organizers have planned for such an event. Terror is a most unpleasant...

  • CRC offers guidance on fire mitigation

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – On Friday, July 23, representatives of Clearwater Resource Council and the Department of Natural Resources led local homeowners on a tour through Double Arrow to describe what fuel mitigation methods they can take on their properties. CRC President Jon Haufler said fuel mitigation efforts are intended to reduce ladder fuels. Ladder fuels create continuity in the fuels for fire to spread from the surface into the tree crowns, creating a much more intense fire. By removing flammable...

  • Stage II Fire Restrictions in place across NW Montana

    Flathead National Forest|Jul 29, 2021

    KALISPELL - Interagency fire managers agreed to implement Stage II Fire Restrictions effective Monday, July 26 across the Flathead National Forest, Glacier National Park, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks sites, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation Kalispell, Stillwater and Swan Units and Flathead County. The intent of Fire Restrictions is to reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires during periods of high to extreme danger by decreasing potential sources of ignition. Each year,...

  • Problem bears evade capture in Seeley Lake area

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Since early last week, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Bear Specialist Jamie Jonkel said that he has received multiple reports showcasing bears with "extreme food conditioned behavior" in the Seeley Lake area. One is a small, dark black bear that was seen entering two homes in the Double Arrow area twice. Another medium, cinnamon-phase black bear had been seen in the Big Larch, Lake Alva and Lake Inez campgrounds. Jonkel said FWP set two culvert traps on a Double Arrow...

  • Board approves sale of surplus property

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Elementary School Board unanimously approved a resolution allowing the public sale of the school’s surplus property during their regularly scheduled meeting Monday, July 19. They also approved new teachers, discussed curriculum upgrades and planned for next year. The extra supplies being offered to the public included file cabinets, TV monitors, computer monitors, tables and chairs. For a full list see the classifieds in this week’s Pathfinder. The items will be distributed in the form of a silent auction Tue...

  • Wayne Cahoon Memorial Golf Tournament packs the course

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – Friends, family and acquaintances of the Wayne Cahoon family gathered Sunday, July 24 for the first annual Wayne Cahoon Memorial Golf Tournament at Double Arrow Golf Course. All proceeds from the tournament went to support the Building 4 WC Limited non-profit and the Braulik family that lost their home in a fire this past week. The Tournament was organized by Wayne's daughter Chelsea to "honor Wayne Cahoon by continuing his legacy of building youth and building people by raising fu...

  • The Ice Cream Place electrifies dumpster fence

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Russ Talmo, Defenders of Wildlife program associate, wrapped up Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' bear exclosure project around the The Ice Cream Place's dumpster Friday, July 16. He electrified the fence adding the additional deterrent to hungry bears. The solar-powered electric fence will have a joule strength of 1.5 and will push around 10,000 volts of electricity throughout its wires. According to Talmo, a structure would need at least 6,000 volts to act as a deterrent to...

  • SSHS students trek through the Bob Marshall Wilderness

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - A group of Seeley-Swan High School students traveled around 70 miles in 10 days by foot through the Bob Marshall Wilderness as part of their own independent expedition. The group included recent graduate Eric Lorentz and incoming seniors Crystal Lopez, Oskar Murphy, Will Batchelder and his cousin Asa from Sandpoint, Idaho. The group left Sunday, July 4 from Holland Lake and returned Tuesday, July 13 via the Benchmark Creek Trail ending in Augusta. Murphy estimated that they travele...

  • Putting out plenty of pottery and pies

    Henry Netherland|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE - Ovando resident LaVonne Jorgenson enjoys the extra income she gets when she sells her homemade pottery and pies as well as her "farm fresh" eggs every Sunday at Seeley Lake Market. Jorgenson gets her eggs from a chicken coop at her home. Jorgenson has been a merchant at the market for 15 years and originally began making pottery in the 1970s. "It looked like fun," she said. She makes cups, bowl sets and pie plates along with other various specialty pieces. She shapes her pieces in...

  • Chief to research hiring paid position, $10,000 grant received

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Jul 29, 2021

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Fire District Board approved Chief Dave Lane to research to see if there would be interest for a paid firefighter/paramedic or firefighter/EMT position for the District and what the cost would be. The board agreed they would hold a special meeting to approve or refuse the position should Lane get interest. In other business, the board approved the match to a Town Pump grant to purchase a second LUCAS Device, Chest Compression System to perform manual CPR, for the second ambulance. In his report, Lane said they r...

  • What's up on the AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) front?

    Joann Wallenburn, Missoula County AIS District Board Member|Jul 29, 2021

    No news is good news and there’s been very little news lately about AIS issues in Montana. That’s a good thing, but it’s not because nothing is happening. Some of what has been happening behind the scenes that you might be interested to know are… Missoula County became the first – and only, so far – county to create an AIS District. The AIS District functions about the same as the Weed District only the AIS District focuses on all species of aquatic invasives including plants, animals and pathogens. The AIS District Board is currently working t...

  • 20/35 Year Look Back

    Jul 29, 2021

    In celebration of 35 years of the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, each week we will run parts of articles that appeared in the issue 35 years ago and 20 years ago. The entire issue will be uploaded to our website seeleylake.com for you to enjoy. We hope you will enjoy the journey with us as we follow our community through the past 35 years as documented by the Pathfinder. 35 years ago: July 31, 1986 issue Sailors gather at Placid Lake The 18th Annual Driftwood Classic was held last Saturday at Placid... Full story

  • Community Briefs

    Jul 29, 2021

    Weekly COVID-19 update As of July 26, there have been 115,406 cases of COVID-19 in Montana. There have been 888,482 doses of vaccines administered and 440,754 Montanans fully immunized. There are 820 active cases, 5,648 total hospitalizations with 90 active, 112,891 recoveries and 1,695 deaths in Montana due to COVID-19 complications. Missoula County has had 9,540 cases, 82 active cases, 9,359 recovered and 99 COVID-related deaths to date. For the most up-to-date and accurate information please refer to the Missoula County-City Health Departmen...

  • Garnet Ghost Town re-opens as wildfire threat dwindles

    Bureau of Land Management|Jul 29, 2021

    GREENOUGH – Garnet Ghost Town is once again open for visitors after the Bureau of Land Management issued a new area closure in the Anderson Hill Fire vicinity. The new closure is much smaller and allows the public to access Garnet while also providing space for firefighters to safely continue suppression and mop-up operations on the 750-acre fire. The BLM closed Garnet Ghost Town on July 16, the day after the fire was reported within a mile of the historic site. Under Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation wildland fire p...

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