Articles from the August 3, 2023 edition


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  • Judge halts Elbow Lake gravel pit, court case in progress

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    A Missoula District Court Judge stopped new work on a gravel pit three miles south of Salmon Lake after area residents filed multiple lawsuits over the validity of the project. Protect the Clearwater, a nonprofit group of residents near the Clearwater River, successfully petitioned Missoula District Judge John Larson on July 17 for a temporary injunction, or hold, on LHC Construction’s permit to crush gravel and create asphalt for road projects. The temporary injunction means work on the p...

  • Gianforte takes helicopter ride over Colt Fire

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte visited firefighters and got a bird's eye view of the Colt Fire on Aug. 2. Gianforte landed at the Seeley Lake Airport on Wednesday afternoon, and quickly changed into a jumpsuit to fly off towards the Colt Fire. The Colt Fire is roughly 6,800 acres with 19% containment. Gianforte said the Colt Fire was the number one priority in Montana. While there was good news to report - evacuations for local residents have been lifted - fire managers and Gianforte said there is...

  • Colt Fire containment reaches 19%, evacuation order lifted

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    Fire crews on Colt Fire have continued beating out flames to add containment lines and stop the spread of the to the east. The fire was mapped at 6,680 acres the evening of Aug. 1, and only increased 156 acres from the day prior. The fire is now 19% contained — all along Colt Creek Road. The high level of containment has triggered Missoula County Sheriff’s Office to cancel the evacuation order from mile markers 27 to 31 on Highway 83. There is still an evacuation warning for the area, and oth...

  • Zinke visits Colt Fire

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    United States Congressman Ryan Zinke met with firefighters at Lake Alva on July 31, discussing both the growing Colt Fire and the push to boost wildland firefighter funding. Rep. Zinke came to the Lake Alva Campsite as the blaze reached 6,177 acres on July 30 - one of the largest in Montana. The fire has been burning in heavy dead and downed timber since July 17, and could be a long-term threat as temperatures rise in August. "We need to manage our forests, not let them burn to the ground," Zink...

  • Swan Valley CC critiques appraisals, forms committee

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    The Swan Valley Community Council made the main topic of its July 18 meeting about recent home appraisals, focusing on what people should do with steep tax increases for property around the Swan Valley. Michelle Staples from the Montana Department of Revenue was the main speaker for the meeting, going over the basics of taxes and answering questions from area residents. “Property taxes are an 18-month process,” Staples said. “We do a lot to assess value and make sure that it is accurate with the market.” Staples said property is divided...

  • RV Park gets nod from planning board

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    The Missoula Consolidated Planning Board approved the application for the Lazy Acres RV Park planned for Seeley Lake at its recent June 25 meeting in Missoula. Several variances to the RV Park code were discussed and agreed upon. The RV park would create 70 short-term spots for RVs and campers, with hookups, a camp store and a dump station. The RV park would sit between the Montana Gas and Stop and The Seeley Swan Medical Center. Variances in road width, RV lot size and interior walkway...

  • Construction Concerns

    Chris Hunter, Salmon Lake|Aug 3, 2023

    As homeowners directly affected by the Highway 83 road construction, we would like to share some observations and comments about this project. The first observation is dust - we have a layer of dust on everything inside our house. We closed the blinds to minimize dust and now they are covered with fine sand, as are rugs, furniture and every surface in the house and garage. Outside, everything has been affected, including the dock, deck, patio furniture, beach toys and even trees. Second observation is the change being made to the natural shorel...

  • Republican supermajority responsible for property tax hikes

    Rep. Laura Smith, D-79 Lewis & Clark County.|Aug 3, 2023

    Too many vacation rentals. Banks buying houses. Committed and hardworking Department of Revenue staff. There are an awful lot of options for who and what to blame for the steep property tax appraisals that many of us received in the mail the last few weeks. But I’ll tell you about the best kept secret in Montana this summer...the Republican supermajority could have prevented this. Let’s look at how. Last week, I attended the Department of Revenue’s community meeting in Helena about our property tax appraisals. People were frustrated and had l...

  • Delivering Income and Property Tax Relief for Montanans

    Gov. Greg Gianforte|Aug 3, 2023

    As I meet with Montanans in every corner of our state, I hear the same concern often –taxes are too high. And they’re right. Taxes are too high and need to be reined in. Two years ago, we enacted a fiscally responsible budget, and as a result, the State of Montana today has a historic budget surplus. Ultimately, that means you overpaid your taxes, and we’re giving it back to you. When we released our Budget for Montana Families last November, we again held the line on spending, and we focused on providing hardworking Montanans with meani...

  • Missoula County Sheriff's log for Aug. 3

    7/20 7:04 a.m. Accident with Injury MM Highway 83, Greenough 7/21 4:07 p.m. Theft 36XX Highway 83, Seeley Lake 7/21 9:11 p.m. Driving Under Influence 400XX Paws Up Road, Potomac 7/22 10:27 a.m. Fraud 4XX Riverview Drive, Seeley Lake 7/24 9;14 a.m. Suspicious Activity 48XX Highway 83, Condon 7/24 2:41 p.m. Suspicious Activity Moose Lane, Seeley Lake 7/26 9:04 a.m. Assault 36XX Highway 83, Seeley Lake 7/26 9:55 a.m. Suspicious Activity 2XX Wolverine Drive, Seeley Lake 7/27 11:04 a.m. Suspicious Activity 6XX Tamarack Drive, Seeley Lake 7/27 1:29...

  • Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Call Log For Aug. 3

    7/21/2023 Fire Gas Smell inside Highway 83 7/21/2023 Medical Boy Scout Road 7/21/2023 Medical Highway 83 7/22/2023 Structure Fire Boy Scout Road 7/22/2023 Wildland Fire Drew Creek 7/22/2023 Wildland Fire Colt Lake Road 7/22/2023 Illegal Burn Highway 83 7/23/2023 Medical Standby Highway 83 7/23/2023 Medical School Lane 7/23/2023 Medical Standby Riverview Drive 7/24/2023 Illegal Burn Grayling Drive 7/24/2023 Medical Shining Shirt Road 7/27/2023 Medical Drew Creek Loop 7/27/2023 Wildland Fire Highway 83...

  • Peace is the tranquility of order

    Michelle Jenkins, Director of the Sycamore Tree Catholic Retreat Center|Aug 3, 2023

    “What is peace?” Some might say: “Peace is the absence of war;” “Peace is freedom from turmoil;” “Peace is the avoidance of hostility;” “Peace is the termination of anxiety,” and so on. Some people think that peace is nirvana, but this word can mean death, or at least a state of feelinglessness. Is peace just a form of anesthesia? Is peace merely the cessation of pain? If so, why do we long for it so? We should want peace to convey something positive, something that improves our lives. We should be concerned about what peace is, rather th...

  • Man dies in Blackfoot River

    Missoula County Sheriff's Office|Aug 3, 2023

    Just before 11:00 a.m. on July 24, multiple agencies, including Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, were dispatched to the Johnsrud Park area, where it was reported a male, wade fishing in the area, was in distress and had gone under in the Blackfoot River and had not resurfaced. Wade fishing is a style of fishing where anglers stand in the water. Missoula County Search and Rescue was immediately called out and responded to the scene. Missoula County Search and Rescue members located the male and members of the Missoula County Sheriff’s...

  • Psychological Perspectives: Purpose in the universe or human Nature

    Ken Silvesto|Aug 3, 2023

    Readers might have trouble hearing that a number of scientists consider the universe to have a purposeful way. The universe, or the cosmos, refers to all of nature, both that which is visible and not. So, let’s explore this idea of a purposeful universe. It’s not only scientists but many people from other areas of life that hold this view as well. It’s an attractive idea since so many people want something other than themselves involved in their lives and in nature too. We often hear religious people describe the purpose brought to them from...

  • Column: The sociological and theological manifestations of burgers, brats, and firewood

    Alan Muskett, for the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    “How much are the burgers?” the rather churlish man demanded. “There’s no charge” replied Bruce Rippy, pastor of the Condon Community Church (CCC), who was serving as head waiter and order taker at the food booth during the Condon Fourth of July celebration. “Well I suppose you watch how much I put in the donations bucket so the church can make a big haul.” “No,” Bruce Rippy replied. “All the money this year goes to the senior meals program, and if need be, you can take some money out of the bucket.” The incredulous man stuffed a wadded bill...

  • Seeing results from weeds treatment

    Karen Laitala, Powell County Weeds District|Aug 3, 2023

    During the 2017 legislative session, the Montana Wildlife Habitat Improvement Act (WHIP) was passed into law. The act made federal Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration funds available to restore priority wildlife habitats by managing noxious weeds. Priorities for funding include landscape-scale projects lands that are open to public hunting and involve priority wildlife habitats, noxious weed infestations that directly impact habitat functions, broad partnerships involving multiple...

  • Drew takes plea deal for vehicular homicide, four other charges

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Aug 3, 2023

    A Seeley Lake man who killed a woman while driving under the influence changed his plea to guilty to four felonies and one misdemeanor in Missoula County District Court on Tuesday, July 18. Kerry Glen Drew, 68, was charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence, negligent vehicular assault, criminal endangerment and criminal possession of dangerous drugs — all felonies. Drew was also charged with misdemeanor vehicular assault. In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped one felony charge for tampering with physical e...

  • SLE PTC flies high at Run With The Wild

    Seeley Lake Elementary Parent Teachers Club Board|Aug 3, 2023

    SEELEY LAKE - Despite temperatures in the 90s, more than 70 runners took to the Seeley Creek Trails for the Seeley Lake Elementary Parent Teacher Club's (SLE PTC) inaugural Run With The Wild 10K, 5K and 1K Fun Runs July 22. The family-friendly event, with live music by "Keeping The Day Jobs" and a barbecue, encouraged local families to enjoy where they live and brought in racers from across the state and Florida, Colorado, Oregon and Iowa. Seeley Lake Elementary has not had a parent teacher...

  • Archives for Aug. 3

    Aug 3, 2023

    Twenty Years Ago... Thursday, July 31, 2003 Local Girl Running for Miss Teen Montana By Patricia Swan Smith Niki Minjares, 15, a student at Seeley-Swan High School will compete at the Miss Teen Montana 2003 State Pageant. She will compete for the title in Billings, August 8th through the 10th. Niki will be a sophomore this year, and is active in basketball, volleyball, track and the Flagship program. She has participated in poetry, hiking, watercolor, jewelry making, batik and ceramics with the...

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