Articles from the December 31, 2020 edition

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  • New quarantine guidelines adopted for close contacts

    Missoula City- County Health Department|Dec 31, 2020

    MISSOULA COUNTY - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently gave guidance to public health officials that would allow for close contacts of positive COVID-19 cases to reduce their quarantine times if they met specific criteria. The CDC says local public health authorities will make the final decision about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. Following the CDC’s announcement of updated quarantine guidance, the Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) immediately adopted a 10-day q... Full story

  • Building community one step at a time

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Dec 31, 2020

    SWAN VALLEY – "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree...," and so the song goes counting down the days. This song took on new meaning this year at Swan Valley School as each day, one of the 11 teachers or staff were called down to the office following the song. They were given a t-shirt and gifts of recognition for their hard work thanks to the group that calls themselves the Amazing Walking Women (AWW) of Condon. On the 12th day the staff and s...

  • Red Sleighs spread Christmas cheer

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Dec 31, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE – Two days before Christmas, Red Sleighs Over Montana took off from Missoula Airport on "Santa's Airmail Route." Santa visited 20 communities across western Montana delivering gifts to the children, visited with them about what they wanted for Christmas and talked about aviation. "We were just tying it all together with aviation, education and helping some kids and families out that need a little extra help. Especially with COVID the small businesses were devastated," said Museum o...

  • "Christmas Shorts" knocks Ovando's socks off

    Andi Bourne, Pathfinder|Dec 31, 2020

    OVANDO – Despite the challenges presented by COVID and a shorter-than-usual time frame between Thanksgiving and winter break, Ovando students hosted their annual Christmas Program Dec. 17. The students rose to the challenge and gave their immediate families some comic relief during the hustle and bustle of the season. Ovando School Teacher Leigh Ann Valiton explained this year's production "Christmas Shorts" written by Lucy Williams was a series of short skits, with slap-stick humor, much l...

  • Films to get in the festive spirit

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Dec 31, 2020

    The holiday season is such a grand phenomenon in American culture that in the last century a movie subgenre has evolved out of its existence and aesthetic. Over the years this subgenre has culminated its own characters, tropes and cliches. Despite the similarities in themes however, directors and writers over the years have found ways to be creative with the Christmas aesthetic and have created movies that will remain relevant for decades. “Babes in Toyland,” also known as “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” is a 1934 black and white movie starrin...

  • Get involved and let Democracy prevail

    Colleen Krause, Seeley Lake, Montana|Dec 31, 2020

    LOCAL SEELEY LAKE BUSINESSMEN ARE SUING THE SEELEY LAKE SEWER DISTRICT!! As you may already know from the Pathfinder this past week, several of your local businessmen are suing the Seeley Lake Sewer District. Their names and John Does are in last week’s Pathfinder. They are seeking TO FORCE THE DISTRICT TO CONSTRUCT THE PROPOSED SEWER SYSTEM. It is my opinion that they are doing this to benefit themselves, as I know they all own several lots in the sewer district that they probably want to develop. It is also my strong opinion that they d...

  • Support for grizzly bears' presence in Montana strong amidst expanding population

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Dec 31, 2020

    A new survey of Montanans shows positive attitudes toward grizzly bears and support for the presence of grizzly bears within the state. However, acceptance of bear presence in areas closer to residential and agricultural areas is lower than in remote public land areas. Researchers with the University of Montana worked with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists to better understand Montanans' perspectives about grizzly bears and grizzly bear management in Montana. A survey questionnaire was...

  • Medicare cards are not being replaced

    Missoula Aging Services|Dec 31, 2020

    If you’re on Medicare, you will not be receiving a new chip card or a plastic version to replace your paper ID card. If somebody calls you to tell you that, they’re lying. It’s another Medicare scam. This scam is active in Montana and several people have already unwittingly given away their personal information. The caller identifies themselves as Medicare and after confirming your card’s number they will send you a new plastic card. Please be on alert, calls have been reported in multiple counties. Medicare will never call people on Medicar...

  • Johnsrud-McNamara $5 million road project approved

    BLM Missoula Field Office|Dec 31, 2020

    MISSOULA - The road ahead for those traveling a popular byway along the Blackfoot River should be a little smoother in the future, thanks to the Bureau of Land Management Missoula Field Office’s approval of a proposed $5-million Federal Lands Transportation Project to improve 5.7 miles of Johnsrud-McNamara Road. The road is a connecting link to several popular fishing and recreation sites along the Lower Blackfoot River corridor from Johnsrud Park to Whitaker Bridge. “The project was approved to improve the long-term condition of the road, whi...

  • Love, war and State Parks

    Ryan Sokoloski, Montana State Parks Manager|Dec 31, 2020

    What do Montana's 55 different state parks mean to you? Montana residents who do not regularly visit our state parks may not realize just how beneficial the state park system is in their communities and everyday lives. Let's delve into some of those areas as it applies directly to our town of Seeley Lake, and the nearby Placid Lake State Park and Salmon Lake State Park. When many people think of Montana State Parks they often think of a single park or campground, mistakenly thinking that our...

  • Fish consumption guidance updated for area rivers

    Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks|Dec 31, 2020

    MISSOULA – The State of Montana Fish Guidance Board, which includes Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and the Departments of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), has updated the fish consumption guidance for all species of fish on a 148-mile stretch of the Clark Fork River and tributaries in western Montana in response to new research results. Guidance now recommends avoiding consumption of all species of fish from the Clark Fork River’s confluence with the Bitterroot River, just west of Missoula, to...

  • Board approves new camera system and gives updates on student improvement plan

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Dec 31, 2020

    SEELEY LAKE - The Seeley Lake Elementary School Board unanimously voted to use the remaining $13,000 the school received in CARES Act money towards purchasing new security cameras during their Dec. 21 meeting. The board also received updates on the Student Improvement Plan, COVID and discussed how homeschooled children could engage with the school. SLE Superintendent Josh Gibbs said the school’s CARES Act money must be spent before Dec. 30, otherwise it goes back to the state. The camera company the school is using is Verkada which Gibbs has d...

  • Merry Pan-Christmas

    Shane Kesterke, Elder, Mission Bible Fellowship|Dec 31, 2020

    I think I have both heard and used the word pandemic more in the last 10 months than in the previous almost 50 years of my life combined. Along with the word pandemic, many other previously rarely used words have become commonplace, such as r-naught, COVID, asymptomatic, social distancing and on and on. It’s been an unusual year. Along with these newly used words, I thought I would introduce another one: pan-Christmas. The prefix “pan” simply means “all.” So pan-Christmas would mean all-Christmas - all, as in, for everyone and everywher...

  • SSHS graduate shares experience treating COVID-19 patients

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Dec 31, 2020

    BILLINGS, MONTANA - "We have more ICU patients than we have ICU beds available," Respiratory Therapist Michael Biggins said in an email. "This has led to converting offices, staff break rooms and closets into hospital rooms to accomodate for the surge. We have even had to double up two related COVID-19 patients to share one ICU room to save on resources." Biggins, who was raised in Seeley Lake, has been a Respiratory Therapist at both major hospitals in Billings since 2012. He graduated from...

  • Salmon Prairie students perform self-made Christmas show

    Henry Netherland, Pathfinder|Dec 31, 2020

    SALMON PRAIRIE - Salmon Prairie Elementary School students braved the winter night as they acted out their modern reinterpretation of "A Christmas Carol" called "Scrooge" on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Supervising teacher Holl Hubbard said he had the students perform the program outside to be in compliance with Lake County COVID regulations. "We realized that with the students and myself, we would be at [capacity]," he said. "As far as the COVID ... this was completely out of the box. One of our board...

  • Community Briefs

    Dec 31, 2020

    Death Notice SEELEY LAKE - Jack C. Venters, 76, passed away in the evening, Friday, Dec. 25 at the St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. Brothers Mortuary and Crematory are honored to care for the family. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at Ethnobotany Zoom presentation, Jan. 6 SWAN VALLEY - The community is invited to join Swan Valley Connections for their first Zoom presentation of 2021 on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 6:30 p.m. Rose Bear Don’t Walk, ethnobotanist and descendant of the Bitterroot Salish and C...

  • The importance of severing ties with the Chinese Communist Party

    Katherine Combes, Kalispell, Montana|Dec 31, 2020

    It seems that the lies and disinformation from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) keeps getting worse. With China concealing information about the coronavirus, the world has been caught unprepared and it is a threat to everyone on the planet. The CCP's suppression of people who tried to warn the world of its severity is well known. The brutality that China enforces on people who try to tell the truth and make their leaders accountable is also suppressed. People practicing their faith in China, including Christians, Falun Gong practitioners,...