Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Fentanyl: Changing the landscape
April 18, 2024 midnight

Fentanyl: Changing the landscape

Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid flooding the illicit drug market in the U.S., is 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. For children, it’s even more lethal.

Sandpiper launches Art4Polson initiative
April 18, 2024 midnight

Sandpiper launches Art4Polson initiative

The community of Polson is about to become several shades more vibrant, thanks the Art4Polson public art initiative recently launched by Sandpiper Art Gallery and Gifts.

John Mercer applies to fill judicial vacancy
April 11, 2024 midnight

John Mercer applies to fill judicial vacancy

Longtime Polson attorney and former state legislator and Speaker of the House John Mercer has applied to fill the remaining office term of former District Court Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher, who resigned from the bench effective April 5.

Tin Finley: Polson show marks homecoming for Montana-based band
April 11, 2024 midnight

Tin Finley: Polson show marks homecoming for Montana-based band

For Polson native Kati O’Toole, the concert April 20 at the Theatre on the Lake in Polson marks a musical homecoming. The Polson High School grad joins another alum, bassist Eric Hogenson, and friends and bandmates Annette Strean and Kirk Cornelius in Tin Finley – a band named after Nashville’s famed Tin Angel restaurant (where three of the four members either met or worked) and inspired by the quartet’s Montana roots.

Partial solar eclipse hits Mission Valley April 8
April 4, 2024 midnight

Partial solar eclipse hits Mission Valley April 8

Granted, Montana is not among the 15 states that will spend a moment in total darkness as the rare full solar eclipse passes overhead April 8. Still, the Mission Valley will be treated to a partial eclipse at around 12:40 p.m. as the Moon’s shadow glides across the Earth.

Civic Duty: Election judges play essential role
April 4, 2024 midnight

Civic Duty: Election judges play essential role

Election judge Paula Craft calls herself “an ambassador for elections and election integrity.” She’s worked for the Lake County Election Office since 2016 in the third-floor conference room that’s transformed into a place called Central Count.

Uncharted territory: U.S. Attorney paints bleak picture of 280 withdrawal
March 28, 2024 midnight

Uncharted territory: U.S. Attorney paints bleak picture of 280 withdrawal

During a meeting that lasted more than an hour, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich and U.S. Assistant Attorney Ryan Weldon sought to map the law-enforcement landscape in Lake County after the county officially withdraws from Public Law 280 on May 20. They painted a rather bleak and muddled picture.

Landowners object to FWS efforts to use conservation lands for new headquarters
March 28, 2024 midnight

Landowners object to FWS efforts to use conservation lands for new headquarters

Dean Vaughan, a biologist who has worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 30 years, was finishing a conference call in his home office south of Charlo last October when he noticed something unusual happening at the property across the road.

Ronan dressed up in green for St. Patrick's Day
March 21, 2024 midnight

Ronan dressed up in green for St. Patrick's Day

A profusion of green sprouted along Main Street in Ronan Saturday afternoon as spectators and parade participants alike paid homage to St. Patrick – the patron saint of Ireland.

Judge Christopher announces resignation
March 21, 2024 midnight

Judge Christopher announces resignation

In a letter dated March 15, District Court Judge Kim Christopher informed Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath that she is officially stepping down from her duties April 5. She calls the decision to resign “especially bittersweet,” given her family’s long history in Lake and Sanders counties.

County officials look for answers from U.S. Attorney
March 14, 2024 midnight

County officials look for answers from U.S. Attorney

Frustration seemed to be the tenor this week at the Lake County Courthouse as public officials contemplate their withdrawal from Public Law 280, which has given the county felony jurisdiction over tribal members on the Flathead Reservation for nearly 60 years.

March 14, 2024 midnight

More candidates enlist before Monday deadline

Monday’s deadline evoked a last-minute flurry of candidate filings at the local election office and with the Secretary of State.

Water managers host meeting on water supply outlook
March 14, 2024 midnight

Water managers host meeting on water supply outlook

With the official first day of spring less than a week away, farmers, ranchers and recreationists are paying close attention to weather forecasts and snowpack measurements – as are the region’s water managers.

Commission candidate alleges Decker doesn’t reside in Ronan district
March 14, 2024 midnight

Commission candidate alleges Decker doesn’t reside in Ronan district

Josh Senecal, a candidate for Commission District 3, filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Political Practices Feb. 29, alleging that incumbent Lake County Commissioner Gale Decker, who has filed for reelection, does not reside in the district he serves.

March 7, 2024 midnight

Polson Commission approves summer watering restrictions

At its regular meeting Monday night, the Polson City Commission approved a new ordinance aimed at conserving municipal water during the summer months by limiting outdoor watering from June 10-Sept. 30.

Wildire “the new norm” says county mitigation specialist
March 7, 2024 midnight

Wildire “the new norm” says county mitigation specialist

Carey Cooley, Rollins fire chief and Lake County’s fire mitigation coordinator, is passionate about fire – or more specifically, preventing it. She’s spent the last 18 months bringing together a range of stakeholders to update the county’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan. And now, it’s ready for public input before the county commissioners sign off on the document.

Governor responds to PL-280 withdrawal
March 7, 2024 midnight

Governor responds to PL-280 withdrawal

In a long-awaited letter, Gov. Greg Gianforte informed the Lake County Commissioners March 1 that his administration had no intention of allocating “current resources to assist with law enforcement in Lake County” after May 20, when the county officially pulls out of Public Law 280.

Not my problem
March 7, 2024 midnight

Not my problem

Governor Greg Gianforte finally responded to Lake County’s formal decision to pull out of Public Law 280 with a letter that could be paraphrased as “Not my problem.”

Filing deadline is Monday for federal, state, county elections
March 7, 2024 midnight

Filing deadline is Monday for federal, state, county elections

The filing deadline is March 11 – less than a week away – for candidates seeking federal, state or county offices. According to a press release from the Secretary of State’s office, 32 candidate filings were processed last week. As of March 1, a total of 328 candidate filings had been processed for 173 different offices.

Federal agency says Energy Keepers managed lake level appropriately
February 29, 2024 midnight

Federal agency says Energy Keepers managed lake level appropriately

Flathead Lake was 2,884.66 feet above sea level Feb. 28, 2023, and sat at 2886.12 feet Tuesday. But neither elevation predicts the summer ahead, or whether a lowered lake level will continue to frustrate boaters and businesses.

Voice of Democracy: Polson senior pens winning state essay, heads to D.C.
February 29, 2024 midnight

Voice of Democracy: Polson senior pens winning state essay, heads to D.C.

In an essay that captured first place in the statewide Voice of Democracy contest, Polson High senior Isabel Seeley explores the nation’s foundation, concluding that willingness to participate in our democracy is essential to our future.

Shiver in the River lands in a pool
February 22, 2024 midnight

Shiver in the River lands in a pool

Thirty-five intrepid souls leaped off the dock at Riverside Park in Polson Saturday during Shiver in the River, the annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Montana. But this year, instead of plunging into the frigid Flathead River, they landed in an ice-infused swimming pool.

Ryan Busse introduces running mate at SKC
February 22, 2024 midnight

Ryan Busse introduces running mate at SKC

Salish Kootenai College was the first stop in gubernatorial candidate Ryan Busse’s swing through Montana this week to introduce his running mate, Helena attorney Raph Graybill.

February 16, 2024 midnight

Bad roads contribute to double fatality

Snow and icy roads contributed to a fatal collision on Highway 93 Thursday evening that killed 80-year-old Ila Griffin, and her passenger, 7-year-old Kathryn Griffin, of Ronan.

February 15, 2024 midnight

Attorney files for embattled judge's seat

Local attorney Britt Cotter filed last week for the District Court seat currently held by embattled Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher.

Jury finds Craig McCrea guilty of igniting Boulder 2700 fire
February 15, 2024 midnight

Jury finds Craig McCrea guilty of igniting Boulder 2700 fire

Former firefighter Craig McCrea was found guilty last Thursday on two of four counts of arson after a dramatic four-day trial at the Lake County Courthouse.

"Aghast" foils Spelling Bee contestant
February 15, 2024 midnight

"Aghast" foils Spelling Bee contestant

St. Ignatius fourth grader Kysen Incashola almost won the Lake County Spelling Bee until he fumbled “aghast,” after precisely spelling “milligram.” The faux pas landed him back in the competition, which was ultimately won by Charlo fifth grader Apollonia Hall, who correctly spelled “cupidity” and “methane.”

Hospital directors say Medicaid expansion crucial to Lake County
February 8, 2024 midnight

Hospital directors say Medicaid expansion crucial to Lake County

Two hospital administrators and the former head of the state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) sat in on a Democratic Party-sponsored listening tour Jan. 25 at the senior center in Ronan. At the top of their list of concerns was whether the 2025 Legislature was likely to support reauthorization of Medicaid expansion.

Jury finds Craig McCrea guilty of two counts of felony arson
February 8, 2024 midnight

Jury finds Craig McCrea guilty of two counts of felony arson

During opening statements in the trial against accused arsonist Craig McCrea, Assistant Attorney General Thorin Geist told jurors what to expect from the prosecution as the trial unfolded this week at the Lake County Courthouse. After three days of testimony, they began deliberations around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, and emerged five hours later with a verdict of guilty on two of four charges of arson.

Trial begins Friday for accused arsonist Craig McCrea
February 1, 2024 midnight

Trial begins Friday for accused arsonist Craig McCrea

A jury trial for accused arsonist Craig Allen McCrea begins Friday with jury selection at the Ronan Community Center. The trial begins Monday at the Lake County Courthouse with opening statements. McCrea is accused of intentionally igniting the devastating Boulder 2700 fire in August 2021, and two smaller fires the month prior.

Duck Boat Dynasty: Middle schoolers build inventive cardboard crafts
February 1, 2024 midnight

Duck Boat Dynasty: Middle schoolers build inventive cardboard crafts

A flotilla of cardboard boats, held together with duct tape and ingenuity, churned across the Mission Valley Aquatic Center pool last Wednesday and Thursday, each with its own Polson Middle School rowing crew.

Lively Library: The North Lake County Library prepares to reopen
February 1, 2024 midnight

Lively Library: The North Lake County Library prepares to reopen

It’s been years in the planning and a year in the building, but Polson’s North Lake County Library is about to open its doors to an eager community.

January 25, 2024 midnight

School bomb threats had "low credibility"

A grim email message arrived in the in-boxes of more than 200 Montana schools last week. Employees of the Ronan School District, including Pablo Elementary principal Ryan Fisher and the Ronan business clerk, received three threats late Jan. 16 that threatened retaliation "for America's great injustice against our nation."

Snow, freezing rain cause crashes, slide-ins
January 25, 2024 midnight

Snow, freezing rain cause crashes, slide-ins

As welcome as snow is – especially for skiers and irrigators – it’s arrival has created havoc for drivers and local law enforcement.

Odd Hours. No Pay. Cool Hat.: Film celebrates volunteer firefighters
January 25, 2024 midnight

Odd Hours. No Pay. Cool Hat.: Film celebrates volunteer firefighters

In the trailer to the film “Odd Hours. Cool Hat. No Pay,” a woman says, “They handed me a piece of paper and said, ‘fill this out. We have a meeting Wednesday night.’ My husband said, ‘where have you been?’ I said, ‘I think I joined the fire department.’” That’s exactly the response the Polson Fire Department hopes to get when they screen the free documentary at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at Showboat Cinemas.

Sometimes we all need a hand
January 18, 2024 midnight

Sometimes we all need a hand

Last Thursday, I walked to work in a snowstorm. I walked home in a blizzard.

Commissioners vote to streamline lakeshore protection regs
January 18, 2024 midnight

Commissioners vote to streamline lakeshore protection regs

After multiple community meetings and three public hearings, the Lake County Commissioners voted last Thursday to significantly update the Lakeshore Protection Regulations.

Search continues for missing Missoula woman
January 11, 2024 midnight

Search continues for missing Missoula woman

Friends, family and law enforcement continue searching for 43-year-old Eva Masin Prather, who disappeared from her home in Missoula Dec. 30. According to friends and family, she was experiencing a mental health crisis at the time of her disappearance and left without personal items or identification.

First "Polson Treasure" award goes to Lee Manicke
January 11, 2024 midnight

First "Polson Treasure" award goes to Lee Manicke

Lee Manicke shows up at almost every Polson City Commission meeting, and often attempts to educate the city manager, staff or commissioners on the intricacies of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district or history of city ordinances. City officials sometimes welcome and sometimes bristle at his input. But at last Wednesday’s commission meeting, Manicke was warmly welcomed and honored with the inaugural Polson Treasure Community Service Award.

Supreme Court removes Judge Christopher from child-custody case
January 11, 2024 midnight

Supreme Court removes Judge Christopher from child-custody case

In a 5-0 opinion, the Montana Supreme Court took what justices describe as “an extraordinary remedy” of asserting “supervisory control” over a Lake County child-custody case. The decision, issued Jan. 2, returned a 5-year-old child to the custody of his mother, Shanna Spring ManyWounds of Elmo, and reassigned the case from District Court Judge Deborah “Kim” Christopher to Judge Molly Owen.

Redistricting reshapes local House and Senate races
January 4, 2024 midnight

Redistricting reshapes local House and Senate races

Thinking of running for elected office? Filing opens Jan. 11 for a slew of county and state positions.

Polson Commission wraps 2023 with full agenda
January 4, 2024 midnight

Polson Commission wraps 2023 with full agenda

The Polson City Commission dashed through a blizzard of agenda items during the first hour of its final meeting of 2023, earning the following praise from City Manager Ed Meece: “Fourteen items in one hour is probably a record.”

The Santa Drive: Helping the community one bag at a time
December 21, 2023 midnight

The Santa Drive: Helping the community one bag at a time

Instead of sleigh bells jingling, sirens blared across Polson last Wednesday night as firetrucks led the 12th annual food and coat drive through town.

"Icon of the Tribes": Visionary educator Joe McDonald dies at 92
December 21, 2023 midnight

"Icon of the Tribes": Visionary educator Joe McDonald dies at 92

Many flags across the Flathead Reservation are flying at half-mast this week in honor of Dr. Joe McDonald, a visionary educator and tribal leader who died last Thursday, Dec. 14. The founder of Salish Kootenai College was 92.

Ronan parade, holiday drawings attract crowd
December 14, 2023 midnight

Ronan parade, holiday drawings attract crowd

Main Street Ronan was crowded with parade watchers Friday as the annual Parade of Lights made its way through town. Festivities wrapped up at the Visitors’ Center with a giant bonfire, hot cocoa, and drawings for 15 themed gift packages, sponsored by the Ronan Chamber of Commerce.

Resurrection: Three Chiefs Cultural Center returns to Pablo
December 14, 2023 midnight

Resurrection: Three Chiefs Cultural Center returns to Pablo

For Marie Torosian, director of Three Chiefs Cultural Center in Pablo, hope rises from ashes. It lives in every moccasin, headdress, beaded bag or vest that survived the arson-caused fire that demolished the People’s Center Sept. 6, 2020.

Two men charged with killing and trafficking eagles
December 14, 2023 midnight

Two men charged with killing and trafficking eagles

According to an indictment filed Dec. 7 in U.S. District Court in Missoula, two men are charged with unlawful trafficking of bald and golden eagles, hunted and killed on the Flathead Reservation and elsewhere.

Wasps culprits in Pablo well contamination
December 7, 2023 midnight

Wasps culprits in Pablo well contamination

Thirsty wasps, discovered in the electrical boxes of two wells in Pablo, are blamed for an e. coli contamination that forced residents and businesses to boil water and consume bottled water for two weeks.

Public Law 280: The path forward
December 7, 2023 midnight

Public Law 280: The path forward

“You have my commitment that – no matter what happens going forward – if you call 911, we're coming,” Lake County Sheriff Don Bell said during a crowded meeting at the Lake County Courthouse last Thursday. “We don't care, frankly, who the bad guy is until we know everybody's safe,” he added.

Carnival, light parade a success
December 7, 2023 midnight

Carnival, light parade a success

According to Darren Orr – a veritable Father Christmas in St. Ignatius – this year’s Christmas Carnival and Parade of Lights were a huge success.