Articles from the September 26, 2019 edition


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  • Northern Powell County questions Ambulance levy

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    OVANDO – More than 50 people attended a citizen-initiated meeting at the Ovando School Sept. 16 to discuss the Powell County Ambulance Service levy that the voters approved last November. Ovando and Helmville residents expressed their concern that they would be paying taxes for a service they do not receive. While Powell County Commissioners and the Deer Lodge Medical Center CEO addressed some concerns, many questions were left unanswered. Another meeting is scheduled Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at t...

  • Epic ending to a great adventure

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – Hung on every wall of Rick Butler's living room are mounts from hunting expeditions from years past and photographs he has taken. There is a story behind each of the animals and images that Butler proudly displays in his home. But few compare to his most recent hunt where he, now legally blind, brought down a 1,200-1,400 pound buffalo with an air gun. Butler grew up in Montana and attended Seeley-Swan High School in the late 1970s. He moved to Alaska in 1984 where he worked on t...

  • Board closes in on R&Rs, by-laws amendment

    Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE –Seeley Lake Sewer District Board received public comment on their attorney’s denial of a citizens petition, discussed their proposed Rules and Regulations (R&R), worked through a final draft of the by-laws and approved an interlocal agreement with Missoula County at their Sept. 19 board meeting. In public comment, District resident Franny Trexler read a letter to the board regarding her frustration with the way District Attorney Jon Beal handled a petition for a referendum she turned in to the Missoula County Elections Office. The...

  • Subaru pushed into front wall of Wolf Ridge Apartments

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – Saturday morning, Sept. 21, when his older brother wouldn't answer the door, Timothy Pratt allegedly drove his truck into his brother's car, parked in front of the Wolf Ridge Apartments, and pushed it into his brother's apartment. While the brother and his girlfriend were inside at the time, no one was injured. Pratt faces several charges including two counts of felony endangerment and criminal mischief. According to court documents, around 10:15 a.m. Sept. 21, Pratt showed up a...

  • Petition for referendum rejected on false arguments

    Franny Trexler, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE - I want to alert the 182 people who signed the grassroots petition opposing the mandatory hookup to the sewer system that your voice has been disregarded. Moreover, my constitutional right to formalize opposition through a petition for a referendum has been rejected on a number of false arguments. I feel that there is a great deal of resistance to the construction of a centralized sewer system – the most recent vote for the Seeley Lake Sewer Board members is clear proof of the opposition. For example, challenger Troy Spence r...

  • Sewer Rules & Regulations - A must read

    Don Larson, Seeley Lake, Mont.|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE - The Sewer Board has published proposed rules for governing its sewer operation. They are a must-read and are available online, at the County annex and the Seeley Lake Public Library at Seeley-Swan High School. They are disturbing. They violate your civil rights and they absolve the District Board of any liability. As they are proposed, a sewer district employee can enter your home and examine “the manner in which the water is used” to ensure compliance with their rules. The installation is at your expense except for a narrow win...

  • You're not me

    Ken Silverstro PhD|Sep 26, 2019

    There are many ways we experience other people. First and foremost, other people are different than we are. We experience the differences quite strongly in many instances. Here is an example. Walking down the street, you pass a homeless person. Are you repulsed or fearful? Many people are both. Why is that? The answer is psychological involving many possibilities. Here is just one. Let's begin by considering you. You know your ego (beliefs, values and identity) fairly well. You know your likes a...

  • SSHS off and running

    Kellen Palmer, SSHS Principal|Sep 26, 2019

    Hello from Seeley-Swan High School. We have had an exciting first month of school. Students, staff and myself are settling in to the new year. Students were able to have a great service learning day outside the classroom when we had our annual Discovery Day. We had groups taking art walks in Missoula, visiting the smokejumper center, learning survival skills at Rainy Lake, and hiking and cleaning the campgrounds at Holland Lake. I would like to thank everyone who helped make that day a success...

  • Comments sought on Liberty II fire salvage project

    US Forest Service - Lolo National Forest|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – The Lolo National Forest is asking for public feedback on a proposal to harvest trees impacted by insect infestation and disease within the 2017 Liberty Fire burned area on the Seeley Lake Ranger District. This effort has been collaboratively developed with the Southwest Crown Collaborative and the Blackfoot Challenge. The Liberty Fire was ignited by lightning on July 15, 2017 and burned through the summer and into early fall, impacting approximately 28,694 acres over multiple jurisdictions, 9,452 acres of which are National Fores...

  • Road and culvert work on Cold Lakes Road, access impacted

    US Forest Service - Flathead National Forest|Sep 26, 2019

    SWAN VALLEY - The Swan Lake Ranger District of the Flathead National Forest will recondition existing Cold Lakes Road (FS No. 9599) by installing metal pipe and placing aggregate surfacing on the road. Work will continue the week of Sept. 23 and will impact access to the Cold Lakes Trailhead. The work is located west of the Condon Post Office. The length of road affected by the work of installing crushed aggregate is 1.5 miles on the Cold Lakes Road (FS Road No. 9599). Gravel for the project will be hauled from the Forest Service gravel pits...

  • Monture Trail repaired after recent storms

    US Forest Service - Lolo National Forest|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – Trail crews spent much of last week conducting repair work on Monture Trail #27, located on the Seeley Lake Ranger District, to address a trail washout caused by storms two weeks ago. Monture Trail is a popular route into the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is frequently used by hunters with stock. The crews were successful in moving rock and conducting some drilling to regrade the trail tread and make it passable to stock animals. The Forest Service encourages anyone heading into t...

  • Caring for our natural resources

    Ranger Brett Zarling, Montana State Parks|Sep 26, 2019

    With summer’s end drawing near and fall weather rolling in it is a good time to reflect on this past season. A quick reminder however that Placid Lake State Park and the Salmon Lake State Park day use area are still open and will remain open until the end of November (weather permitting). There is still plenty of time to get in some camping, fishing, boating and kayaking. For the most part, both Montana residents and non-residents treat our local state parks with great respect and for that we are very grateful. We do have a variety of minor i...

  • Comment period open on draft Statewide Recreation Plan

    Montana State Parks|Sep 26, 2019

    HELENA – Montana State Parks is seeking public comment on the Montana Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP). Comments will be accepted through Thursday, Oct.17 at 5 p.m. The new SCORP, titled “Sustaining Montana’s Outdoor Recreation Legacy 2020-2024”, is a planning document which offers a five-year strategic framework to identify trends, issues and challenges facing the state’s outdoor recreation and natural resources and provides recommendations for outdoor recreation priorities across the state. The 2020-2024 SCORP identifie...

  • Pay raises approved

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – The Seeley Lake Fire District Board approved a $8,500 salary increase for Fire Chief Dave Lane at their Sept. 10 meeting. This was around half of what the Chief requested on the basis of the state average for fire chiefs, what he has accomplished since becoming the chief mid-April 2018 and his qualifications. Lane’s annual salary was $55,000. In Montana, the average entry chief position is paid $50,000 and a senior chief is $88,000. Fire department paramedics make between $70,000-$110,000. Lane was given a $5,000 raise at six mon...

  • Montana is the oldest state in the West. Demographics tell the tale

    Eric Dietrich, Montana Free Press|Sep 26, 2019

    HELENA - Montana is, in fact, a country for old men, and women too, according to demographic statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, which indicate that based on median age, Montana holds the distinction of grayest state in the west. And certain stretches of the state - including many but not all rural counties - have considerably older residents than Montana as a whole. That state of demographic affairs has wide-ranging implications for regional economies, education systems, and health-care...

  • Harrison Joel Binder

    Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE - Harrison Joel Binder was born Aug. 22 at 4:06 p.m. to Kayla and Austin Binder of Seeley Lake. He weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and was 19 inches long. Also welcoming Harrison into the world were his big brother Logan Binder and grandparents Becki and Mike Johnson and Lee Binder all of Seeley Lake....

  • "Backroads of the Mind" released, young writers recognized

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – Seeley-Swan High School creative writing students released "Backroads of the Mind" literary magazine at the "In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean" Festival Sept. 14. Backroads Volume four is 64-pages filled with SSHS student poetry and images expressing courage in vulnerability as they give the readers a glimpse into their minds. Amanda Thomas's artwork was selected for the cover winning the Hawks Eye Visual Art Award. Aspen Derry, Trista Higgins and Nicole Williams were all r...

  • We are all different but we are still God's children

    Karen Johnson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints|Sep 26, 2019

    We are children of God. We are all different. We look different. We sound different. We act different. No two fingerprints are the same. We were created in the image of God, our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus the Christ. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” (Genesis 1:26). We are of the family of God. We were not all alike in heaven. We know we were sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents. We possessed different talents and abilities, and we were called to do different things on earth. We all have different cha...

  • Huckleberry Festival fun for all

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    SEELEY LAKE – The community of Seeley Lake came out Sept. 21 for the first annual Seeley Lake Huckleberry Festival in the BBQ Pit and Fat Hippie parking lots. Children enjoyed games and face painting the first Seeley Lake Huckleberry King and Queen were crowned. Steve Wilson Construction grilled up hot dogs for the event. Juli Wilson said they served 62 hot dogs, just three short of what they brought. "It was a lot of fun," said Wilson. The huckleberry cooking/baking contest had 10 entries. E...

  • Pertussis outbreak continues

    Sep 26, 2019

    As of Sept. 20, Missoula County has 174 confirmed pertussis cases, according to Cindy Farr, Health Promotion Director at the Missoula City-County Health Department. While new pertussis cases slowed down during the summer, it did not go away. Confirmed cases continued to be reported at an average of two cases per week throughout the summer. Cases have been reported across all ages, from infant to adults and in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. There have not been any confirmed cases reported at the Seeley-Swan Medical Center this...

  • Blackhawks post fast first mile, continue to work on mile splits

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Sep 26, 2019

    The Seeley-Swan Blackhawks Cross Country team took to the course in Thompson Falls on Tuesday, Sept. 17 and finished out the week on Friday in Great Falls. Not everyone made it to the races this week, but those who did continued to show improvement. Thompson Falls Invite The Ladies brought five runners to their first meet this season. Seeley-Swan tied for points with Thompson Falls for third behind Columbia Falls and Frenchtown. However because Thompson Falls had the faster finisher, the SSHS...

  • Blackhawk's streak ends in Drummond

    Sep 26, 2019

    DRUMMOND – The Blackhawks failed to extend their three game winning streak to four as they fell to the defending state champions, the Flint Creek Titans on Sept. 20. The Blackhawks struck first with Avery Smith scoring a 3-yard touchdown. Early in the second quarter the Titans tied it at 6-6 but the Blackhawks answered right back with a 31-yard pass from Owen Mercado to Smith for a touchdown and a second pass from Mercado to Walker McDonald for the extra points. By half time the Blackhawks h...

  • Lady Blackhawks defeat Drummond

    Sep 26, 2019

    The Seeley-Swan Lady Blackhawks shut out the Trojans Sept. 19 in Drummond before heading to Arlee Sept. 21 for an all day tournament. The Lady Blackhawks defeated Drummond in three sets 25-16, 25-23 and 25-15 to take the non-conference match. Klaire Kovatch pounded in 8 kills against the Trojans while Sariah Maughan had the highest hit percentage with 6 kills in 25 attempts with 5 errors. Trista Wendel scored 2 of the team’s 4 aces and had just 1 error out of 21 attempts. On the net, Kovatch led the Ladies with 4 solo blocks and 10 assisted b...

  • Community Briefs

    Sep 26, 2019

    DNRC to burn piles in the area The Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation Clearwater Unit is proposing to burn slash piles from timber harvest and other treatments in several areas including: the Seeley Lake area, Placid Lake area, Salmon Lake, Kozy Korner, the Game Range, Greenough and the Blanchard Creek / Lost Prairie Creek area. Pile burning will occur after receiving approval from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Missoula County. If conditions are acceptable and the smoke columns are transported in...

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