Week of July 18, 2024

  • Noxon bridge closed

    Annie Wooden

    In February, the town of Noxon suffered the loss of three businesses to fire. Now, the community is facing another challenge. On Friday, the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) ordered an emergency closure of the Noxon bridge after cracks in the structure were discovered in an inspection of the bridge. Now the county is working to find a solution and reopen the bridge. The Noxon bridge connects the town to Highway 200 and is the primary entrance and exit for the community. There are...

  • County imposes Stage II fire restrictions

    Annie Wooden

    Sanders County Commissioners on Thursday signed a resolution enacting Stage II fire restrictions. The order went into effect at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. On Wednesday, residents and officials responded to two separate fires along the railroad tracks in Thompson Falls. Witnesses reported seeing sparks coming from a train engine traveling west through Thompson Falls, after which two grass fires started. "We were stopped at the tracks waiting for the train to go by. As it went by, I noticed that one...

  • Fairgrounds hosts ranch horse showdown

    Ed Moreth

    Two Plains women were the only local competitors at the "Sparks Fly Showdown Show" at the Sanders County Fairgrounds last weekend. Michele McGuigan of Plains and Lisa Wood of Thompson Falls took part in the two-day horsemanship event Friday and Saturday. A dozen men and women took part in Friday's activity, which was a clinic to help competitors prepare for the next day's competition. Twenty-seven riders took part in the show on Saturday. A dozen more were signed up, but dropped out due to the...

  • Judge voids Hot Springs election

    Annie Wooden

    The Hot Springs school levy election from May 7 has been voided after a district judge issued a ruling last week. The school district is now working to rerun the election. On June 21, Hot Springs school board member Jennifer Christensen filed a petition requesting the election be voided after it was discovered that more than 100 absentee ballots were not mailed to voters for the May election. In the filing, Christensen stated that at the May 15 school board meeting, "the election administrator...

  • Fire season is here

    Ed Moreth

    Firefighters quickly doused a blaze along the Clark Fork River on a small stretch of wooded area some 10 miles northwest of Plains on Friday. The River Road West Fire was contained by Saturday evening, but firefighters from the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation remained on scene for days mopping up hot spots and making sure the fire was extinguished. DNRC's Jase Sorenson, the incident commander and the department's fire adapted community coordinator, said the fire was the...

  • T. Falls approves zoning changes

    Shannon Brown

    The air was stifling as Thompson Falls City Council members met to discuss several issues with a full house last week. After months of discuss and changes, the council approved the second reading of the updated city zoning ordinance. With last Monday's vote, the changes will go into effect in 30 days. The zoning ordinance updates and changes created much discussion with public comments, mainly regarding yard fences on corner lots. The issue of blocked vision of traffic through homeowners'...

  • Man sentenced for violations

    Stephanie Molzhon

    Michael Ellis McBride came before Judge John Mercer on Tuesday, entering his admissions to the reported violations in the petition to revoke. After discussion between the parties, McBride was committed to the Department of Corrections for the remaining five years of his sentence, with credit for 701 days of street time and 44 days time served in jail. McBride was remanded to the custody of the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office for transport to the Department of Corrections. Appearing for a change of plea pursuant to a plea agreement, James...

  • Justice Court

    Montana Highway Patrol Anthony Trent, 45, seatbelt violation, $20. James Fields, 19, seatbelt violation, $20. Carver Gilman, 23, night speeding, $70. Jack Gray, 18, night speeding, $200. Jesslyn Kellerman, 36, speeding in a restricted zone, $85. Gitty Rosenberg, 29, speeding in a restricted zone, $85. Prateek Jain, 28, speeding in a restricted zone, $105. Brenden Pierce, 57, speeding in a restricted zone, $95. Abhishek Rai, 34, speeding in a restricted zone, $85. Olen Hamilton, 67, day speeding, $70, deferred imposition of sentence. Bhargav...

  • Sheriff's Log

    Ambulance: Plains, 14; T. Falls, 7; Trout Creek, 4; Paradise, 3; Hot Springs, 2; Dixon, 1. Monday, July 8 Suspicious activity, T. Falls. Motor vehicle crash, Trout Creek. Theft, Dixon. Threats, T. Falls. Civil attempts. USFS campground check, T. Falls. USFS campground check, T. Falls. Fire, Heron. Fire, Heron. USFS campground check, T. Falls. Motor vehicle crash, T. Falls. Person missing, Trout Creek. Tuesday, July 9 Livestock, Trout Creek. Civil standby, Hot Springs. General animal call/complaint, T. Falls. Motor vehicle crash, Plains....

  • Be bear aware when outdoors

    Bears can be found throughout Montana. In recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded. As you make plans for the July Fourth holiday, be sure to review these precautionary steps to “Be Bear Aware”: Carry bear spray close at hand and know how to use it. Travel in groups whenever possible and plan to be out in the daylight hours. Avoid carcass sites and concentrations of ravens and other scavengers. Watch for signs of bears such as bear scat, diggings, torn-up logs and turned over rocks, and partly consumed animal carcasses. Make...

  • State issues fire season reminders

    Shannon Brown

    The office of Troy Downing, Commissioner of Securities & Insurance and Montana State Auditor, released a reminder to Montanans regarding protection during the fire season. Downing reports: On Wednesday July 10, 2024, the Horse Gulch Wildfire grew rapidly near Canyon Ferry Lake and claimed the life of a wildland firefighter pilot, Juliana Turchetti. “Our deepest condolences go out to this brave pilot, her family, and friends during this difficult time,” said Commissioner Downing. “We are grateful to all those putting their lives in...

  • Health department reviews variance requests

    Shannon Brown

    County commissioners welcomed the new Public Health Department Nurse, Kjirsten Mercer, during the quarterly Board of Health meeting last week. The agenda included variance requests and public comments. Presiding officer Commissioner Dan Rowan, informed all present that the meetings are now being recorded and video taped. Also present were Cassandra Ward, executive assistant, and new board member Catherine DeWitt, Sanitarian Jeremy Leavitt, Tina Scott, Environmental Health Tech and Chris McComas, Land Services. Of the two variance requests,...

  • Over the Hill Gang beats the heat Monday

    Skye Hill

    The Over the Hill Gang had a beautiful day of golf on Monday, with Gary Thompson getting the men’s low gross score with 40. Dennis Gripp earned the men’s low net score with 31. Jan Thompson carded the women's low net score with a 38. Jens Jantzen sank the long putt on No. 11, while Jan Thompson took that honor on No. 12 and Rusty Haggard on No. 13. Rich Hooten’s drive was the closest to pin on No. 14. Rick Kendall hit the long drive on No. 15. Gary Moe sank the long putt on No. 15, with Will Mitchell getting the long putt on No. 16....

  • Thompson, Helvey lead Thursday ladies

    Skye Hill

    The ladies had another hot day at the River’s Bend golf course with Jan Thompson and Tori Helvey getting the low team gross score with their 99, while Chris Kelly and Karli Thomas earned the low team net score with a 67. Tina Wheeler proved her skills getting the low individual gross score of 44, and Kelly earned the low individual net score with 30. Wheeler came out on top getting the closest to pin on No. 10, while Barb Petteys had the closest to pin on No. 11. Jeanne Holleran added another closest to pin on hole No. 14, with Kim Pardee...

  • Alumni to gather

    The Thompson Falls High School class of 1964 will be celebrating their 60th year since graduation from TFHS, July 19-21. Registered to attend are 52 graduates, spouses, and alumni from other classes in the 60s. The class of 1964 invites members of the Thompson Falls community who are family and friends of the alumni to attend the social and no-host bar on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. at the Rimrock. Join the celebration, renew old friendships, and reminisce about the fun of growing up in Thompson...

  • MOOSE CROSSING

    Annie Wooden

    A bull moose traverses across Highway 200 near...

  • Classics shine at TC car show

    Shannon Brown

    Trout Creek had a busy Saturday with the annual Cool Summer Nights Car Show and Swap meet going on for the first time in the city park. Over 50 cars were driven in from the surrounding area and states. Idaho and Washington were represented in the show that started at 9 a.m. and lasted until 3 p.m. The 406 Cruisers and Hot Rods club sponsored the event. The Western Sky Band played music throughout the day. Blondeez Country Food Truckin' from Noxon provided burgers and tacos. Ice cream and...

  • TCCIA brings paddlers to reservoir

    Shannon Brown

    The Trout Creek Community Improvement Association through the Ridge Runners Poker Runs hosted a water event in Trout Creek on Saturday, the Paddlin' Poker Run. The poker run began at 11 a.m. at the Trout Creek Boat launch. Paddlers picked up their first and fifth cards at the launch. Stations to pick up their poker hands included Malibu Beach, Trout Creek Bay, under the train trestle, and Robinson's dock. The final card needed to be picked up by 4 p.m. but several kayakers and paddle boarders...

  • Remember When?

    Sherry Hagerman-Benton

    40 YEARS AGO • JULY 5, 1984 RESIDENTS REVEAL FAVORITE LOCAL ATTRACTIONS A lot of folks enjoy a vacation or business trip to the west to get into the mountains and the trees. For the folks in Thompson Falls who like to show off the area it’s trees, mountains and lots more. The Ledger queried local residents this past week to find out some of the attractions nearby that draw visitors here for a visit, campout or hunting trip. Norma Draszt, past president of theThompson Falls Jaycee Women, likes to take visitors to the Sanders County Fair,...

  • Question of the week: Do you prefer a good book or a good movie?

    Shannon Brown

    EASTON DEAL, Thompson Falls - “I like to watch interesting action movies.” JAY DEAL, Thompson Falls - “ I have recently been introduced to audio books. I like listening to historical non-fiction books.” KATHY STANCIL, Blue Slide Rd/Canyon Ferry - “I prefer relaxing to a good mystery or romance novel.” KENNY STANCIL, Blue Slide Rd/ Canyon Ferry - “I like watching old Western movies.” CHARLIE MUNDAY, Trout Creek - “I enjoy relaxing and reading non-fiction books. That leads to taking a nap.” RACHEL MEYER, Thompson Falls -...

  • CROSSWORD SOLUTION

    SOLUTIONS ACROSS 1. PHI 4. ENMESH 10. AAR 11. DIALOG 12. PI 14. TWO 15. NOEL 16. ANDEAN 18. CICADAS 22. ICONIC 23. OSTRICH 24. NAUTILI 26. MT 27. INRO 28. ASAP 30. AGEE 31. CRT 34. DODOS 36. OSS 37. HEIR 39. THOU 40. ENTO 41. SH 42. PROFANE 48. STATUTE 50. MULLET 51. SENATOR 52. ITALIC 53. TERM 54. SAC 55. LH 56. KOREAN 58. EGO 59. BRIDLE 60. DEN SOLUTIONS DOWN 1. PATENT 2. HAWAII 3. IRONCLAD 4. ED 5. NINCOMPOOP 6. MAOIST 7. ELECT 8. SOLARIA 9. HG 12. PAIN 13. INCA 17. DOU 19. DINGO 20. ACRES 21. SHOES 25. ISOTHERMAL 29. ADH 31. CHESS 32....

  • Montana Viewpoint

    Jim Elliott

    My favorite father-in-law (yes, there has been more than one) once told me that if I ever went fishing make sure that I took two ministers with me. So, I took the bait. “Why is that, Dick?” And he reeled me in. “Because if you take only one, he’ll drink all the beer.” Besides being just a joke of dubious quality, the more I thought about it the more wisdom I saw in it. It’s easy to succumb to temptation if nobody’s watching, but if there is someone else there, well, people behave...

  • Letter: Honoring our parents

    When our parents Carl and Linda Haywood died, in April 2024 and June 2024 respectively, we experienced our shock and concern over what to do first and next. Many readers understand the grieving cycle and processes that need to be followed. Our extended family and those we care for grew upon on arrival to Thompson Falls. We have all visited at different times over the years, but this was different, we needed help. I am worried that I will miss someone, but please know our in tent is to show our gratitude to all those that helped us through....

  • Living an episode of 'Little House'

    Annie Wooden

    Growing up, I loved "Little House on the Prairie." I loved the show and the books. I read the whole series over again every couple of years. I've always said if I could go back in time, I'd be a pioneer. I believe I could figure out how to grow things and make clothes and I think I'd be a pretty good homesteader. In those days, the communities rallied around families in need. In one "Little House" episode, Charles Ingalls gets hurt falling out of a tree right at harvest time, and Walnut Grove helps with the harvest so he can keep his oxen....

  • Mayor's Corner

    by Rusti Leivestad Last month I wrote about The Thompson Falls Water Supply, Storage and Distribution Improvements Project that will address significant upgrades to Thompson Falls water system. This last month has reinforced and validated the need for this project as Public Works has had to make temporary repairs on serious leaks on the Church Street main line. For that reason, the Emergency Waterline Repair (EMR) design is being sent to DEQ for review and approval. While the EMR will be within the scope of the Improvements Project, we are...

  • Vicky Heath

    Vicky Heath passed away on July 3, 2024, after a short illness. She was born Vera Lou Holt on February 6, 1942, to Gordon Holt and Elsie Managhan Holt in Missoula, Montana. When she started school, there was another child named Vera, so she was called Vicky and that stuck with her the rest of her life. She was raised in Hot Springs, Montana, where her father owned and operated the Shell service station and then the Plymouth and Dodge dealership. Gordon suffered a heart attack and passed away...

  • Betty Jean (Engberg) Hoge

    "Grandma Betty" In the early hours of July 6, 2024, Betty Jean Hoge passed away at her home after a battle with complications from a heart-related illness. Betty is survived and lovingly remembered by her husband of 42 years, Chris Hoge; loving daughters Shellie Van Duker (David), Sherrie Jackson, and Pamela Zednick (Brian); and their father, Edwin Herring; grandchildren Emery, Courtney, Carson, Bradley, and Rachel; great grandchildren Hayley, Rilyn, Ella, Parker, and Ilya; brother Rodney...

  • Joan Lee Braun

    October 9, 1952 – July 10, 2024 Joan Lee Braun, aged 71, passed away peacefully in Spokane, Washington, on July 10, 2024, surrounded by her loved ones. Born October 9, 1952, in Fargo, North Dakota, Joan was the beloved daughter of Eugene and Evelyn Dahl. She grew up in a nurturing family environment that inspired her lifelong dedication to children and education. Joan grew up in a small but close-knit community in Gwinner, North Dakota, alongside her older siblings, Howard and Laura, and her...

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