Articles from the September 28, 2023 edition


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  • Paving starts on Salmon Lake project

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    Paving the four mile section of Highway 83 on Salmon Lake started Monday, Sept. 25, after design setbacks slowed construction of the road and could set up a tight window to finish work before winter. Paving is set to take two weeks, with weather and other factors permitting, according to public information officer Lisa Gray. She said even in the case of a snow event, the road will stay open. "The road will remain open, and the driving surface will be asphalt," Gray said in an email when asked...

  • Seeley Lake Fire Chief ordered to take education course after 2022 incident

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    The Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Chief must complete four hours of continuing education after the Montana Board of Medical Examiners ruled he acted unprofessional during an emergency call in March 2022. Dave Lane, who has been chief since 2018, was adjudicated by the Montana Medical Examiners Board on Sept. 29 for a call he responded to on March 4, 2022. The board originally recommended action on Lane's case during a private hearing in October 2022. In the case, a Seeley Lake woman was...

  • Holland sewer might have long standing problems, 2005 letter shows

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    The wastewater system near Holland Lake might have been leaking since 2005, and photos show large rips in parts of the lagoon's liner from last year, according to letters and photos requested through the Freedom of Information Act by the nonprofit Save Holland Lake. The nonprofit shared several obtained photos and correspondence between Forest Service engineers and technicians working on the two-cell lagoon roughly 1,000 feet from the Holland Lake Lodge. One handwritten note from Forest Service...

  • Well testing results presented at Sewer District meeting

    Jean Pocha|Sep 28, 2023

    Well testing results shared at the Seeley Sewer District Meeting on Thursday, Sept. 21 indicated one groundwater monitoring well near Spruce Street has nitrate levels over the state standard of 10 mg/l. The 14 groundwater monitoring wells are collected quarterly by Bill Decker, Sewer District manager, for tests. Tests are performed by an independent testing lab. Of the remaining wells there were a total of four wells over 5 mg/l. Sewer district board members voted proactively to have eDNA (environmental DNA) testing done right away on any monit...

  • Bestselling author speaks in Seeley Lake

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    A well-known author spoke to Seeley Lake residents last week about his latest historical fiction, his writing style, and the fun tidbits about his hometown of Spokane, Washington. Jess Walters has lived in Spokane for most of his life while becoming an award-winning novelist. He has 10 books and several published short stories. In 2006, he won the Edgar Allen Poe award for his best Novel "Citizen Vince." He also made the 2012 New York Times best 100 books with his novel "Beautiful Ruins." But...

  • Two regional land bills pass Senate committee

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    Both Montana Senators passed their separate public lands bills from a committee in the Senate, opening both bills up to a final vote as the federal government debates a potential shutdown. Sen. Jon Tester passed the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (BCSA) out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, while Sen. Steve Daines passed the Montana Sportsmen Conservation Act out of the same committee. The Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act would reclassify roughly 79,000 acres near...

  • Swan Valley Council hears from responders, concerns over building

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    The Swan Valley Community Council went over emergency preparedness tips, concerns over electricity in the community building and heard from a candidate running for Condon’s state senate district, which will not be the same as Seeley Lake this year. John Hallman with Swan Valley Emergency Services kicked off the Sept. 19 meeting with a new program to share safety tips for the public. Last week, he discussed basic facts of the department. Hallman said the volunteer medical and fire department currently has 33 members. The department looks over M...

  • CRC comments on the North Seeley WUI

    Clearwater Resource Council Board|Sep 28, 2023

    The Clearwater Resource Council (CRC) has reviewed the scoping notice for the North Seeley Wildland Urban Interface- Highway 83 Project #64580 proposed by the Seeley Lake Ranger District of the Lolo National Forest. The primary objective of the project is to reduce high intensity, stand replacing fire adjacent to private property and Highway 83 by thinning forest stands within the Wildland Urban Interface. This is appropriate considering the continuing risks of wildfire to the community of Seeley Lake. However, we found that the scoping...

  • Tow truck drivers should be recognized

    Vince Vaccaro, Three Forks|Sep 28, 2023

    As a past paramedic/firefighter I want to acknowledge another first responder that is rarely recognized or thanked. Recently one of our county newspaper articles had a thank you given only to the police, fire, and ambulance. We do not seem to value our tow truck drivers. They too face the horrors of every bad accident scene; get called out at all hours of the night and work in the worst weather, longer than the other 1st responders. More tow truck drivers are killed or injured every year on these calls than police or fire personnel. WHY?...

  • Zinke helping with fentanyl problem

    Marvin Weatherwax, Member of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council in Browning|Sep 28, 2023

    Congressman Zinke is fighting the battle against fentanyl by co-sponsoring a bill that puts Narcan- the overdose treatment for fentanyl-in hands of first responders. He’s done more work single-handedly in Washington D.C. since taking office to address the immediate health needs of the Blackfeet Nation than the entire Indian Health Service staff in the Washington D. C. and Montana Offices combined....

  • Asking for help is not a sign of weakness

    Rep. Ryan Zinke, Western Montana District|Sep 28, 2023

    Montana faces a mental health epidemic. All our families have been touched by this crisis in one way or another. Tragically, many of Montana’s mentally unwell end up in prison or end their own lives rather than get the help they need and deserve. In fact, our suicide rate is second in the nation. It is a crisis that demands our immediate attention, compassion, and action. September is Suicide Awareness Month, and I feel it is my duty to speak as your congressman, as a Montanan and a combat veteran about an issue that strikes at the core of o...

  • Favorite flies for fall fishing

    Chuck Stranahan, The Fly Fishing Journal|Sep 28, 2023

    'I call the big orange fall caddis the iceberg hatch." "Why is that?" my friend asked. "Because ninety percent of the action is underwater. If you're fishing on top you miss most of it." His face lit up in a knowing smile. I was talking with Gary LaFontaine, who probably knew more about caddisflies, the flies to imitate them, and when and how to fish them, than anybody. His landmark book, Caddisflies, was published in 1981 and remains a bestseller among flyfishing books. An original copy in...

  • Missoula County Sheriff's log for Sept. 28

    9/14 1:28 p.m. Suspicious Activity 63XX Highway 83, Condon 9/16 5:39 p.m. Disorderly Conduct 62XX Lindbergh Lake Road 9/16 8:41 p.m. Accident; No Injury 42MM Highway 83, Condon 9/17 12:53 p.m. Accident with Injury Northern Comet Way, Condon 9/17 5:37 p.m. Intimidation 9XX Jette Road, Condon 9/18 8:39 a.m. Suspicious Activity 23XX Highway 83, Salmon Lake 9/18 12:57 p.m. Vandalism 1XX Seeley Lane, Seeley Lake 9/18 9:17 p.m. Accident; No Injury 3XMM Highway 200, Potomac 9/21 9:48 a.m. TOP Violation 3XX Frontier Drive, Seeley La...

  • Seeley Lake Rural Fire District Call Log for Sept. 28

    9/15/2023 Medical 3050 Highway 83 9/16/2023 Medical Highway 200 East 9/17/2023 Accident Injury Northern Comet Way 9/17/2023 Fire Wildland Big Sky Lake Road 9/18/2023 Accident Injury 41 MM/Highway 200 9/18/2023 Medical Transfer Highway 83 9/19/2023 Medical Transfer Riverview Drive 9/20/2023 Medical Laural Lane...

  • Humble yourself

    Sherman Smith, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints|Sep 28, 2023

    To be humble is to recognize gratefully our dependence on the Lord—to understand that we have constant need for His support. Humility is an acknowledgment that our talents and abilities are gifts from God. It is not a sign of weakness, timidity, or fear; it is an indication that we know where our true strength lies. We can be both humble and fearless. We can be both humble and courageous. Jesus Christ is our greatest example of humility. During His mortal ministry, He always acknowledged that H...

  • A statement from Pyramid Mountain Lumber

    Todd Johnson, General Manager of Pyramid Mountain Lumber, Inc.|Sep 28, 2023

    We at Pyramid Mountain Lumber are heartbroken and deeply saddened by the loss of one of our valued employees and friend, Matthew Raimondi, who was involved in an industrial accident at our facility on Sept. 12, 2023. Words cannot begin to describe the heartfelt sorrow we have for Matthew’s family. He was a talented and dedicated employee who will be greatly missed. He was beloved by all who worked with him during his four years at Pyramid. Pyramid is a family-owned business in a small town, and the employees of Pyramid all know one another a...

  • Volleyball sweeps Victor on the road

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    The Seeley Swan Volleyball Team started a three game road trip on a high note last Thursday, Sept. 21, defeating the Victor Pirates in three sets. The Blackhawks Volleyball team won its second game in a row off of a strong offensive tempo and staying alert on the defense, according to head coach Janelle Greenwood. The team currently stands 4-3, not including a few wins from local tournaments. "We started off really strong, but it is hard to keep up such a good tempo," Greenwood said. The...

  • Football falls to Lone Peak in Big Sky

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    The Seeley Swan High School Team couldn't keep up with Lone Peak and heavy rain last Friday, Sept. 22, losing 60-14 and dropping to 2-3 in conference play. "We had way too many turnovers that really hurt us," Head Coach Jacob Haley said. "It was poor weather conditions and the five hour bus ride there and back was tough on the boys." The leaders of the team continued to put down some scores. Senior Cannon Hawkinson finished with two touchdowns and 120 rushing yards, while fellow senior Austin...

  • Two Seeley grads now classmates at West Point

    Hattie Batchelder, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    Sam Weisenburger graduated Seeley-Swan High School in 2020 at the top of his class. Three years later, he is in his final year at West Point Military Academy in New York. Weisenburger was not expecting to be joined three years later by his friend, Owen Hoag, who was a freshman when he was a senior. With Hoag graduating from high school in 2023, he is now starting off his first year at West Point, meaning two Seeley Swan High grads are two of roughly 4,300 students at the college. West Point is...

  • Perfect storm of nature and art

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    Participants from Kalispell to Hamilton came to Seeley Lake for the Nature of Art workshops hosted by Alpine Artisans Sept. 16-17 at the Seeley Lake Community Hall. Nature Journaling, Plein Air painting, Silk Painting and Gelli printing were held during the two-day event. "The goal of the weekend was to bring more art experiences and classes to the community," Kris Gullikson, Aline Artisans president and event organizer said. " My reward will be the looks on their faces when they see how much fu...

  • Real estate market updates

    Kevin Wetherell, Clearwater Montana Properties Inc.|Sep 28, 2023

    SEELEY LAKE RESIDENTIAL SALES FAST FACTS Thus far in 2023, there has been a total of 27 homes sold, which is behind the pace of the 45 total homes that sold in 2022. The number of homes for sale has continued to rise as sales have slowed not only in our area but throughout Montana. All markets have seen increases in inventory, price reductions and increasing days on the market. In the past year, the average home price in Seeley Lake rose slightly from $575,000 to $582,200. The average home...

  • Sounds of hammers ring in ancient art

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Sep 28, 2023

    All types of tool stands, coal and propane forges were set up under a tent behind Valler's Coffee Roastery in Lincoln for the Northern Rockies Blacksmiths Association (NRBA) Conference on Sept. 15-17. Twenty people from Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota gathered for the conference. The NRBA is part of the Artists Blacksmith Association of North America (ABANA). ABANA developed a three-level accreditation program in 2015 for a nationally recognized blacksmithing curriculum. "Blacksmiths become...

  • Archives for Sept. 28

    Sep 28, 2023

    Thirty-five Years Ago Thursday, Sept. 29, 1988 Anglers consider forming bass club in Seeley Lake Fishermen who enjoy catching bass in Seeley Lake may soon be forming a Bass Masters Club here, according to Tom Ward of the Big Sky Bass Masters in Missoula. Ward pointed out that the waters here are ideal for bass fishing and that many local fishermen have inquired about joining the Missoula Club. "It just seems like people in the area would benefit from a club," he said, pointing out that most...

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