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  • Jamie Matthew of Swan Valley School is Montana's Rural Teacher of the Year

    Keely Larson, Editor|Apr 11, 2024
    1

    Swan Valley School is nestled in between the Mission and Swan Mountains and inside Jamie Matthew’s classroom, light from the east-facing windows glows beautifully. The wood on her reading loft seems to stand out in the 3 p.m. sunshine. Students had just been released, and Matthew hugged a former student in the entrance to the school before walking back to her classroom to talk about something she kind of hates talking about — herself. Matthew was designated the Montana Rural Teacher of the Year...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder staff|Apr 11, 2024

    Thirty-five years ago ... Thursday April 13, 1989 County Canine officer on duty in Condon Robert E. Parcell has assumed duties as the new deputy sheriff in Condon and the Swan Valley area, according to Captain Jerry Crego, commander of the sheriff's office. Parcell began work here April 1 and he, his wife and children have moved to the Condon area. Parcell is Missoula County's only canine officer and he was in the Clearwater and Swan Valley's last fall giving demonstrations with his dog,...

  • Easter celebrations span the Seeley-Swan Valley

    Keely Larson, Editor|Apr 4, 2024

    Volunteer-organized Easter egg and treasure hunts brought color, candy and smiles to Seeley Lake and Condon....

  • Valley elementary schools discuss switching to a four-day school week

    Keely Larson, Editor|Mar 28, 2024

    Both Seeley Lake and Swan Valley Elementary School Boards are discussing switching to a four-day school week. A couple nearby schools — Seeley Lake High School and Potomac School being two examples — have adopted the four-day school week schedule, and statewide, as of 2022, 222 schools operate four days a week out of 826 total schools, according to the state Office of Public Instruction. Staff, board members and parents at both elementary schools are weighing the pros and cons of making the switch. Factors like better staff retention and rec...

  • Election information for the Seeley-Swan, few local seats remain open and a new House District for Seeley Lake

    Keely Larson, Editor|Mar 28, 2024

    Ballots this year will include a variety of political representatives for people in the Seeley-Swan Valley to choose from as the calendar rolls closer to primary elections, and some opportunities for people to get involved in local boards or districts. So far, it doesn't look like voters in the Seeley-Swan will have any special district or school board elections to vote in, though the school board candidate filing period is open until March 28. Ballot language for things like levies could also b... Full story

  • Community water rights lead the conversation at Swan Community Council

    Jean Pocha, Reporter|Mar 28, 2024

    The monthly Swan Valley Community Council Meeting on March 19 had reports from the Swan Valley Volunteer Fire Department and the Forest Service. In addition, special guest speaker Jim Nave from Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation discussed water rights in the Swan Valley. “The Swan Valley is one of the only basins in Montana that still has surface water rights available,” Nave said. “Other basins are closed for new surface water rights.” The Swan Basin encompasses the Swan River drainage to its confluence with Flathead...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder Staff|Mar 28, 2024

    Thirty-five years ago … Thursday March 30, 1989 Records show February ‘89 coldest month in years SWAN VALLEY — Precipitation recorded at Lindbergh Lake in January was above normal, while February precipitation was about average according to weather observer Marty Kux. The most snowfall measured “on the ground” at Lindbergh Lake this winter so far was still about 34 inches of the white stuff on the ground. As he explained the weather data collected during the past two months, Kux noted that last month turned out to be the coldest February...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder Staff|Mar 21, 2024

    Thirty-five years ago ... Thursday March 30, 1989 Records show February '89 coldest month in years SWAN VALLEY– Precipitation recorded at Lindbergh Lake in January was above normal, while February precipitation was about average according to weather observer Marty Kux. The most snowfall measured "on the ground" at Lindbergh Lake this winter so far was still about 34 inches of the white stuff on the ground. As he explained the weather data collected during the past two months, Kux noted that l...

  • Dancing is good medicine, Supaman performs in the Seeley-Swan Valley

    Keely Larson, Editor|Mar 21, 2024

    Dressed in traditional regalia with a sound mixer, projector and speakers set up in the Seeley Lake Elementary School gymnasium, Christian Parrish Takes The Gun said good morning to his audience. "Are you happy?" Parrish Takes The Gun, a member of the Apsáalooke tribe, asked. "Yeah!" the Seeley Elementary students replied. "Turn to your neighbor, shake their hand, and say I'm glad you're happy," Parrish Takes The Gun said. A moderately muffled but in-tandem response floated through the...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder Staff|Mar 14, 2024

    Thirty-five years ago... Thursday March 16, 1989 Accident free for two years Workers on the Pyramid Lumber swing shift who have worked two years without a lost time accident. From left, back row: Edd Nentwig, safety director, Alan Fuqua, Manuel Kesterson, Tammy Keenan, Jason Cole, Bryon Wieder, Joe Plumb, Joe Novak, Tom Montgomery, Austin Dillree, Tom Houtchens, Dave Sterling, Errol Evenson, Ron Brown, Greg Evans, Ted Wheeler, Lou Siloti, shift supervisor. Front row: Curtis Gehrke, Carl Gehrke,...

  • Protect the Clearwater finds common ground statewide

    Jean Pocha, Reporter|Mar 7, 2024

    Protect the Clearwater, a nonprofit based in Greenough, joined other citizen groups in the Jocko Valley, Libby, Paradise Valley, Ennis and Gallatin Gateway to oppose the effects of new open cut mining laws established in 2021. The changes brought about by a 2021 mining law, House Bill 599, removed red tape and streamlined the gravel mine permitting process for applicants. Gayla Nicholson, spokesperson for Protect the Clearwater (PTC), gave an update on the nonprofit's work to stop gravel mining...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder Staff|Mar 7, 2024

    Thirty-five years ago ... Thursday March 9, 1989 Writers planning return trip Three national magazine writers were so enamored with the Seeley Swan that they are planning a reunion to return sometime this summer. Cindy Sanguins, who played host to the writers along with her husband, Ron, for the Seeley Lake Driftriders said the writers "loved the winter and now want to come back and see the area in the July summertime." The writers will be publishing stories this fall about Seeley Swan's snowmob...

  • Archives

    Pathfinder Staff|Feb 22, 2024

    From 1989 Pathfinder Archives Feb. 23 Variety of talent in Swan Valley show Every artist was once an amateur, according to Ralph Waldo Emerson. His words of wisdom stretched across the stage of the Swan Valley Elementary School last Friday night, encouraging about two dozen performers who entertained a crowd of local residents and fans. Seven-year old Casey Parker stole the hearts of everyone in the audience when she stood up on the stage and sang, "Grandpa, Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days."...

  • Swan Valley Connections welcomes new leadership

    Keely Larson, Editor|Feb 15, 2024

    After seven years as its leader, Rebecca Ramsey is stepping down as the executive director of Swan Valley Connections, a nonprofit in the Swan Valley dedicated to conservation and education. The executive director position will be broken into thirds, welcoming Luke Lamar, Sara Lamar and Ty Tyler into leadership roles focused on different elements of the executive director position, like conservation, operations, education, board management and fundraising. The Pathfinder reached out to the...

  • Last week in the season, Seeley basketball looks to District

    Keely Larson, Editor|Feb 8, 2024

    Before the last week of the regular basketball season, the Seeley-Swan Blackhawks saw victories against Victor and Phillipsburg over the weekend, along with a forfeit for the men's team on Saturday against Granite High School in Phillipsburg. Against Victor on Friday night, the women's team won 59-13, and the men took it away with 46-18. Men's basketball coach Michael Haines said the team played good defense, but the "offense just wasn't clicking." He said he hopes that comes around for...

  • Champagne Sunday to headline 2 Valleys Stage residency

    Submitted by Jenny Rohrer, 2 Valleys Stage Director|Feb 1, 2024

    Alpine Artisans' 2 Valleys Stage is showcasing the Oregon “Glam Rock” duo, Champagne Sunday, on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Swan Valley Community Hall in Condon. Husband and wife members Jessi and Jared Fredeen tear up stages and crowds nationwide with their unique, upbeat, roller-coaster-style shows, firing off gypsy-punk rock songs alongside everything from intimate tear-jerkers to anthemic foot-stompers, peppering their sets with compelling stories behind their music. Champagne Sunday is one of the rare original acts that performs wit...

  • Firesafe Swan

    Jackie Pagano, Conservation associate for Swan Valley Connections|Feb 1, 2024

    For time immemorial Indigenous people burned low-intensity fires across this landscape to manage forests for people and wildlife. Wildfire suppression actions over the last 100 plus years have created dense forests with high wildfire risk. Forests that were once open with widely spaced trees created by regular low intensity fires are now crowded with thickets of small trees no longer regulated by fires. Removal of fire from the landscape has affected the historic mosaic and patchwork of differing ages and size classes of trees. We now see...

  • Archives: Thirty-five years ago, Thursday Feb. 2, 1989

    Feb 1, 2024

    Rural planning official speaks out Missoula County's future: timber, tourism, or both? Last May 14, the Missoulian featured coverage of the timber industry's Great Northwest Log Haul. Tucked innocently, but perhaps prophetically, into a sub-headline underneath this story was the notation to look on the following page for information for possible recreational opportunities on Lolo Peak. Five months later on Oct. 14, Forest Service Chief F. Dale Robertson admitted that "fish, wildlife and recreati...

  • Swan Valley Community Council meeting does not erupt in violence

    Alan Muskett, of the Pathfinder|Jan 25, 2024

    As an intrepid member of the Fourth Estate, I ventured out into the frigid night, determined to shine light on the Swan branch of the Deep State. Parenthetically, the Fourth Estate refers to the press. I’d never actually known what the first three are, so I looked it up (as older people say rather than Googling). The monarchy, barony (people with titles), and the Commons are the first three, with the fourth apparently keeping an eye on the first three. There is now a Fifth Estate, that being social media and other online sewage systems. When a...

  • Joel Robert Roesner (1979 - 2024)

    Jan 25, 2024

    Joel Robert Roesner, of Seeley Lake, Montana, joined eternity with our Lord on Jan. 12, 2024, after an admirable four-year struggle with colon cancer. He died at home, with his wife constantly by his side and immediate family surrounding him. He was 44. Joel was born in Whitefish, Montana, on Nov. 23, 1979, to Quentin and Kristi Roesner, joining his sister, Shani. He spent his youth in Missoula and Seeley Lake. A cute, fat, round-eyed baby, and a busy little boy, Joel kept his parents on their... Full story

  • Boys can't hold on against Lincoln, get first district win against Valley

    Griffen Smith, for the Pathfinder|Jan 25, 2024

    The Seeley Swan High School Boys Basketball Team could not make enough shots on the road against Lincoln on Jan. 19, but rallied back against Valley Christian for a win at home on Jan. 20. Head Coach Mike Haines said the team started strong against Lincoln, leading in the first quarter. He said the team simply couldn't make shots. "If we were making baskets like we were in the first quarter, we would have been in it," Haines said. Lincoln beat the Blackhawks 51-37. Haines said he was proud of...

  • Lady Blackhawks split weekend - fall to Lincoln, top Valley

    Griffen Smith, for the Pathfinder|Jan 25, 2024

    The Seeley Swan High School Girls Basketball Team was dealt a narrow road loss against Lincoln High School on Jan. 19 and then took a commanding victory over Valley Christian on Jan. 20. The Lady Blackhawks went back and forth with Lincoln early, taking a tight 22-21 lead going into halftime. The teams were tied 31-31 after the third, but the Lady Blackhawks couldn't finish out the game, and lost 41-35. A different story happened for Seeley Swan the next day, starting slow against Valley...

  • Historical museum preserves and promotes

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Jan 18, 2024

    Through volunteer efforts, the Upper Swan Valley Historical Society (USVHS) has been delving into local history through word and deed for 36 years. Twenty-five years ago on March 10, 1988, the first meeting of the USVHS was held at Evelyn Jette's residence. Meetings moved to the Swan Valley Library and Librarian Fern Kauffman began recording and archiving local historical information. In the early days the work began with copying historical photos that people brought into the library. Gradually...

  • New chapter starts for Flathead National Forest Supervisor

    Griffen Smith, of the Pathfinder|Jan 18, 2024

    The newly-hired Flathead National Forest Supervisor said he's always admired the natural beauty and extensive wilderness of western Montana. Now he gets to oversee three district rangers across northwestern Montana. Anthony Botello has been working in the Forest Service for the last 35 years, starting as a wilderness ranger. He said he worked his way up from his field job to a program manager position and said he enjoyed leading folks in natural resource issues. Since 2010, he has worked as a...

  • Grants offer rural development opportunities

    Jean Pocha, of the Pathfinder|Jan 18, 2024

    January marks the beginning of the second year of the Missoula County Rural Grant Program, Commissioner Juanita Vero said. Both Micro Grants for up to $500 and Impact Grants for projects $501 to $4,000 are designed to support community projects outside of city limits. Missoula County has opened the second round of Impact Grants and is continuing to accept Micro Grant applications to support community-driven projects that enhance the quality of life in rural areas of Missoula County. Following a...

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