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Articles written by Annie Wooden


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  • MILESTONE BIRTHDAY

    Annie Wooden|Jun 20, 2024

    What is the secret to a long life? "Being born and raised in Montana, especially Paradise," according to Betty Meyer, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday. Five generations of family members joined the community in celebrating Meyer turning 100 on June 12. The event Saturday at the Paradise Center was filled with surprises and honors for Meyer. Family members came from as far as Colorado, Louisiana, California, Washington and British Columbia. After guests greeted Meyer and the party...

  • Fly-in connects community to the sky

    Annie Wooden|Jun 20, 2024

    The Sanders County Pilots Association (SCPA) hosted their annual fly-in Saturday at the Thompson Falls Airport. More than 100 community members turned out to observe the planes, enjoy a pancake breakfast and even take a ride in an airplane. While the weather wasn't the best for flying on Saturday, nearly a dozen pilots braved the late spring storms to attend the Thompson Falls event. Another dozen volunteers helped run activities and cook breakfast. "I thought it went very well," said SCPA...

  • Jet boat activity concerns residents

    Annie Wooden|Jun 20, 2024

    Residents are concerned over jet boat activity on Bull River west of Noxon. Though the activity is legal, one resident said allowing jet boats on the river is bad for the shoreline. On June 2, Paul Overman of Noxon witnessed five small two-seat jet boats go by his property on the Bull River. “We own a mile of shoreline and we’re in the process right now of trying to get permits for bank restoration,” Overman stated. “We’re losing our bank to natural causes, but the jet boats really wreak havoc on our shoreline. The Bull River isn’t a rocky, cl...

  • Our Viewpoint: Focusing on those everyday milestones

    Annie Wooden|Jun 20, 2024

    When does a day matter? When does an hour matter? Over the weekend I got to participate in a couple milestone birthdays. I attended Betty Meyer’s 100th birthday party at the Paradise Center. That same evening, I celebrated a close friend’s 50th birthday. Both milestones were worthy of joyous celebrations. As I drove home Saturday evening, however, it got me thinking about other milestones. We celebrate “big” birthdays such as your 21st, 40th of 100th, and anniversaries such as your first, 25th and 50th. For many people, each day is a milesto...

  • Adventure of a Lifetime

    Annie Wooden|Jun 13, 2024

    Many people look forward to retirement. There are plans to travel south for the winter months, relax, complete projects at home or just slow down in general. For John Gubel of Trout Creek, plans included walking more than 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. Gubel, who has lived in Trout Creek for almost 30 years, retired in 2020 after nearly 40 years with the U.S. Forest Service. His last post was as the District Ranger for the Cabinet District in western Sanders Cou...

  • TF moves forward with zoning changes

    Annie Wooden|Jun 13, 2024

    After nearly a year of discussing changes and tabling the matter, the Thompson Falls City Council approved a first reading of the new zoning ordinance at Monday’s meeting. The changes to the city’s zoning ordinance included adding definitions of items such as daycares, apartments and other business and dwelling types, as well as clarifying acceptable uses. For example, the new ordinance bans adult-oriented businesses in the central business district. Also prohibited in the central business district will be manufacturing or cultivation of mar...

  • Our Viewpoint: Appreciating those who don't ask for it

    Annie Wooden|Jun 13, 2024

    The primary election is over. While we didn't have many local races on the ballots in the primary, statewide and federal elections are heating up. Turning on a local television or radio station, you'll see even more aggressive ads for congressional candidates. Campaign signs will become more prominent on the Sanders County landscape as the general election nears. There's so much attention on the people running for office and political issues that sometimes we lose focus on the hard work that is happening right here in our communities. Every...

  • Voters cast primary ballots

    Annie Wooden|Jun 6, 2024

    Sanders County voters headed to the polls on Tuesday to cast ballots in the 2024 primary election. Voters decided against conducting a local government review. The ballot issue failed in the county, as well as in Thompson Falls, Plains and Hot Springs. In the county, 2,369 people voted against the review, with 1,603 votes for. In Thompson Falls, there were 199 votes against the local review and 150 for. In Hot Springs, the measure failed with 69 votes against and 57 for, and in Plains, 191 people voted against the review and 96 for. Several...

  • TFHS welcomes alum as guest speaker

    Annie Wooden|Jun 6, 2024

    Thompson Falls High School's class of 2024 received their diplomas last Saturday in front of family and friends. The ceremony was held on the football field at the high school. The class chose Amanda Stewart, a 2010 TFHS grad, as their guest speaker. Stewart, who is a singer and songwriter now based in Bozeman, has released two albums and recently traveled to perform in New York and Georgia. Stewart gave a speech that showed her vulnerability, just as do the songs she writes. She encouraged the...

  • Our Viewpoint: Speed radar signs will help our small town

    Annie Wooden|Jun 6, 2024

    Earlier this year, at the request of the city, the Department of Transportation extended the 25 mph and 35 mph speed zones in Thompson Falls. With that, there was a request to add speed radar signs that warn approaching motorists of their speed. The Thompson Falls Woman's Club has taken on fundraising for the speed radar signs, which run about $5,000 each. TFWC felt that the signs were so important that they started the fundraising effort as one of their community service projects. They have solicited donations from local businesses and...

  • Plains man changes plea

    Annie Wooden|Jun 6, 2024

    A Plains man changed his plea on Tuesday in connection with a burglary at a dispensary earlier this year. Isaac Warnes entered a guilty plea before Judge John Mercer on Tuesday to one count of felony burglary. As part of a plea agreement, a second count of tampering with or fabricating evidence will be dismissed. The incident at Top Shelf Botanicals took place on January 18, 2024. Upon investigation by the Sanders County Sheriff's Office, the owern of the dispensary valued missing product at $10,870, amount taken from a safe at $17,313 and the...

  • Back in business

    Annie Wooden|Jun 6, 2024

    The Angry Beaver General Store in Noxon is back in business after a February fire destroyed the store and deli in Noxon. With cleanup complete at the store site, owner Teresa Jackson opened a food truck last week. Blondeez Country Food Truckin will be open 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Noxon. Jackson said she's also working on getting a temporary building in which to open a store with limited items. Patrons sampled items such as burgers, birria tacos and hand battered...

  • COMMUNITY SERVICE

    Annie Wooden|May 30, 2024

    Volunteer Mindy Ferrell (left) hugs Renee Kovarik as they place flags on the gravesites of veterans at the Whitepine Cemetery on Friday. The cemetery will hold their traditional Memorial Day service Thursday at 7 p.m....

  • Our Viewpoint: Another Ledgerversary

    Annie Wooden|May 30, 2024

    June 1 marks seven years since I bought The Ledger. On June 1, 2017, I walked in The Ledger and then owners Tom and Bina Eggensperger announced to the staff - many who I had worked with when I was in high school - that I had bought the business. It was the scariest and most exciting day of my life. I've worked at newspapers in some capacity since I was 15. Even when my career path ventured into other industries, I worked as a freelance journalist. Owning a business and being responsible for information that goes out to a whole county, as well a...

  • Noxon honors local veterans

    Annie Wooden|May 30, 2024

    Nearly 50 community members gathered for a Memorial Day ceremony at the Noxon park on Monday. The event was led by members of the Cabinet Mountain VFW Post 5556. Following a welcome by Post Commander Gary Searle and a prayer by chaplain Leo Winburn, the VFW welcomed state Sen. Greg Hinkle as their guest speaker. "When we think of Memorial Day, I look back on things like the beaches of Normandy and the jungles of Vietnam," said Hinkle, whose father was a World War II veteran. "A lot of men knew...

  • AWESOME ADVENTURE

    Annie Wooden|May 30, 2024

    Thompson Falls first-grade students traveled all over town last week for their annual scavenger hunt. The day started with a field trip to the Thompson Falls Airport (above). Pilots Dan Schulz, Dan Normandeau and Bob Rice talked to the class about flying, showed off their airplanes and a flight simulator and explained how to build an airplane, then took a parent for a ride. The scavenger hunt took the classes to nine different locations, including Farmhouse Blooms, The Ledger, city hall,...

  • COMING HOME A CHAMPION

    Annie Wooden|May 30, 2024

    The high school track season ended last weekend with several Sanders County athletes bringing home medals. Trotter Alexis Deming became the latest Plains state champion as she threw a best of 124 feet, 11 inches in discus. Her winning throw at the state meet in Laurel was more than four feet farther than the second-place finisher. Deming also brought home a second-place medal in the shot put with a throw of 39 feet, 1 inch. Plains distance runner Marina Tulloch finished third in the 3,200 in...

  • Hawk softball battles at state

    Annie Wooden|May 30, 2024

    The Blue Hawk softball season came to a close at the state tournament in Laurel last weekend, and it was a wicked ride for all the competitors. A spring storm disrupted the tournament, which was supposed to start on Thursday. Games were delayed on Thursday, then pushed to Friday as fields were dried out to allow teams to play. The Hawks were scheduled to play Shepherd on Thursday in a repeat of the opening round game from 2023. The 4 p.m. game was delayed until 6 p.m. before being postponed to Friday morning. The Hawks, who dominated the...

  • Perma bridge project resumes

    Annie Wooden|May 23, 2024

    The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and Frontier West are resuming work on the bridge that carries Secondary Highway 382 (S 382) over the Flathead River near Perma this week, weather and other factors permitting. Planned work for this construction season includes removing and replacing the pavement on the bridge approaches, upgrading guardrail, painting portions of the steel structure, installing advance warning rumble strips and signage, and applying final pavement markings. Traffic...

  • H.S. museum hosts annual fundraiser

    Annie Wooden|May 23, 2024

    The community of Hot Springs showed up to support the LaRue Hot Springs Museum on Saturday at the museum's annual fundraiser. This year, the LaRue hosted a "Rock and Roast" at the museum, located along Highway 77 as you enter Hot Springs. While previous fundraisers have been held at the Hot Springs Senior Center, museum curator Sher Loberg said the board chose to host the fundraiser at the museum to allow the community to see the updated displays. Loberg has been involved with the museum for thr...

  • Our Viewpoint: Take discussion further

    Annie Wooden|May 23, 2024

    I attended a forum last Tuesday called "Sanders County Talks". The forum, on flyers posted throughout town, was billed as "an engaging community event where facts meet discussion." In attendance were more than 90 community members in person and another couple dozen via Zoom. Presenters talked about their issues with local government. One presenter gave information about how a budget works and what information should be included with a budget or financial report. I attend nearly every city council meeting and many of the meetings with the Sander...

  • FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS

    Annie Wooden|May 16, 2024

    The aurora borealis, also referred to as the northern lights, put on a brilliant show over the weekend. Those who stayed up for the show of lights were treated to streaks of greens, purples and pinks dancing across the sky on Friday and Saturday evenings. While some colors were visible with the naked eye, the most detail could be seen through photos from cameras and smartphone. Why? Cameras are more sensitve to light and with longer exposure times, have the ability to capture more light in the...

  • T. Falls Council approves variance request

    Annie Wooden|May 16, 2024

    The Thompson Falls City Council only had one item on their agenda for Monday's meeting, and with that the council approved a variance request to the city's zoning ordinance. Mosher Transportation received a variance request for installing electric charges and additional infrastructure to cover buses on three properties, two on Washington Street and one on Greenwood Street. Prior to Monday's council meeting, a public hearing was held at City Hall, followed by a meeting of the Board of...

  • Our Viewpoint: Community minded

    Annie Wooden|May 16, 2024

    I remember being in high school when the movie Titanic was released. My friend and I drove to Missoula to see it on opening weekend. It was a big deal to be able to go to the big city for opening weekend of a movie. That was a whole decade before Netflix first started its streaming service. Now, you can rent a movie and watch it from your own home. However, you miss the joys of the theater. The buttery popcorn, the fountain soda, the oversized boxes of candy and the energy that comes from a crowd breaking out in laughter or screaming and...

  • Tina and Jeanne lead ladies into competition

    Annie Wooden|May 16, 2024

    Ladies league at River’s Bend started competition play last week, with Tina Wheeler and Jeanne Holleran combining for the low team gross of 97, and Barb Wooden and Katrina Nygaard the low team net of 72. Wheeler had the low individual gross of 44 and Wooden the low net of 34. Nygaard sank the long putt on No. 3, while Kelly Wheeler took that honor on No. 6, Kim Sparks was closest to the pin in four on No. 2, Madi Wheeler was closest to the pin on No. 5, Barb Petteys had the closest drive on No. 8 and Doree Thilmony and Barb Mosher hit the l...

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