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  • Fire season is here

    Ed Moreth|Jul 18, 2024

    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...

  • Fairgrounds hosts ranch horse showdown

    Ed Moreth|Jul 18, 2024

    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...

  • Fairgorunds gets in on Fourth fun

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024

    It's not unusual to see a person knocked off a bull at the Sanders County Fairgrounds, but it was a bit unique that it wasn't fair time - it was last Thursday. The fairgrounds were filled with visitors for the first Freedom Festival as part of the Independence Day celebration and a mechanical bull was one of the main attractions with dozens of people demonstrating their cowboy courage. The special Fourth of July event also had 25 vendors, a bouncy house, corn hole contests, clowns, and for the...

  • VFW shows patriotism with July 4 event

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024

    The traditional reading of the Declaration of Independence continued this Fourth of July, but with a Marine Corps veteran of World War II leading the charge in the reading of the hallowed American document. The 98-year-old Tom Carlton started the recital by reading the first line - 70 words - of the Declaration, followed by Ken Matthiesen, Jim Gillibrand, Roy Brown, Paul Nowatka, Denis Munson, and Connie Foust, who introduced the reading of the document to the event four years ago. It was part...

  • NIGHT LIGHTS

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024

    Sanders County Fairgrounds fireworks meld with fireworks from people on the beach to brighten up the crisp night....

  • COOLING OFF

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024

    A whitetail fawn takes a cool puddle break while mom stays near....

  • American Legion recognizes fire chief

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024

    The American Legion of Montana recognized the fire chief of the Plains-Paradise Rural Fire District for his firefighting efforts in Paradise. Steve Rogue, commander of American Legion Post 152 in Thompson Falls, presented James Russell with the American Legion Montana Firefighter of the Year Award at Fred Young Park during the Independence Day celebration. Legion District Commander Bob Lehman of Post 137 at Kalispell read the citation that accompanied the award. Lehman said that Russell was one...

  • Alumni gather at Paradise Center

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024

    Nearly 80 people gathered at the old brick schoolhouse for the Fourth Annual Paradise Alumni Reunion Friday and Saturday to talk of old times and look at themselves through lenses of the past. "I've asked many and there is no doubt that the Paradise alumni have a special bond to the former school building," said Dave Colyer, the primary coordinator for school reunion. Between 15-20 former students and their families attended the reunion on Friday, fewer than last year, but more showed up on...

  • Sanders County radio station goes live

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024
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    There's a new voice in Sanders County and it can be heard on the airwaves circulating from Plains. Raf Viniard of Plains created Clark Fork River Radio Station as Internet station CFRR on FM 91.9 located in a separate studio building at his Plains residence. "It has no call letter assigned for FM yet, as we are still brand new and operating under construction license," said Viniard, who added that the station was actually "born" at the end of February, but they just completed the Beta test on Ju...

  • Artwork for CFVH nears completion

    Ed Moreth|Jul 4, 2024

    A Plains man is putting the final touches on a monument of artistry with bugs, birds and copper flower power. Several people have worked on the nine-foot tall copper willow tree, including David Williams, who is adding the several pieces to the tree before it is moved to its permanent home at Clark Fork Valley Hospital. The tree has 16 branches from 41-52 inches long with brass, copper and aluminum leaves, cut by JOM member Heather Allen. Williams heads Joint Operation Mariposa, the nonprofit...

  • Our Viewpoint

    Ed Moreth|Jul 4, 2024

    If you think Congress members have trouble cooperating with each other today, you really should read up on how one of our most beloved sacred documents was created 248 years ago. It’s a miracle that it ever got done and it’s hard to imagine there wasn’t some kind of divine intervention. Our two primary political parties today are constantly at odds with one another. The only thing they agree on is that the other one is wrong. Try to envision 13 separate entities, some with divisions within themselves, attempting to make a decision that would...

  • 4-H members get showmanship help

    Ed Moreth|Jul 4, 2024

    A group of 4-H kids are getting a jump on this year's showmanship competition by getting tips on how to properly present their sheep and goats at the Sanders County Fair. Juli Thurston and Raelyn Cox taught eight 4-H'ers the proper way of showing their animals at the fairgrounds last Tuesday evening. This was the first time they've held a goat showmanship clinic and though they've had clinics for sheep, it's normally held at a private residence, according to Thurston, who heads the 4-H program i...

  • A TINY FIND

    Ed|Jul 4, 2024

    Fifteen-year-old Parker Lind of Plains was cleaning up weeds near River Road West when he came across a baby praying mantis. Once he posed for a photo with his find, he released it in nearby bushes. The praying mantis is often used to control insect populations in gardens, but might also prey on beneficial pollinators, according to the Montana Field Guide. The eggs of a praying mantis usually start hatching in mid June and has a lifespan of 10-12 months....

  • Hoopsters gather for Plains 3-on-3

    Ed Moreth|Jun 27, 2024

    More than 300 adults and kids gathered on the tarmac of the old Plains airport on Saturday for the 8th Annual Wildhorse ShootOut 3-on-3 basketball tournament. It was near nonstop action as the crowd cheered for players of the 73 teams that registered for the tournament at the Amundson Sports Complex, including a dozen teams from Sanders County, said Erika Lawyer, who coordinated the tournament put on by the Wildhorse Sports Association. WSA is the nonprofit organization that runs the sports...

  • Plains council approves contract for third well

    Ed Moreth|Jun 27, 2024

    The Plains Town Council held a special meeting Friday to discuss the contract for the town's new well, which will be located at the corner of Kruger Road and Upper Lynch Creek Road. Cold Water Drilling and Pumps out of Arlee was awarded the contract for $79,030. The town approved the 180-page contract, which was looked over by Loren Fitzpatrick, the town attorney, and Shari Johnson, the town's contract engineer. Mayor Joel Banham said the contract doesn't state the exact starting date, but he...

  • 4-H members present fashion show of creativity

    Ed Moreth|Jun 20, 2024

    A group of 4-H members demonstrated their custom creations in a runway of not so high fashion, but nonetheless unique at their 2024 Fashion Revue and Patchwork Parade. Four girls and two boys participated in the annual 4-H event, which involved an interviewing process, where judges Carla Kinzie and Lara Hagerman questioned the 4-H'ers about their entries. The event was held at the Plains Bible Chapel last Tuesday. The 4-H members were graded on presentation, construction, workmanship, materials,...

  • County fair to bring back fireworks show

    Ed Moreth|Jun 20, 2024

    The Sanders County Fairgrounds manager plans to make this year's Independence Day a big bash and the evening a bit more bright. Manager Kristy Sheehan announced at last Wednesday's monthly fair board meeting that she has a lot of festivities planned for the fairgrounds first annual "Freedom Festival" starting at noon for the Fourth of July celebration, including fireworks at dusk. Sheehan and her new administrative assistant, Rachel Largent, have scheduled kids' games, pony rides, a bouncy...

  • Plains fire hall grant denied

    Ed Moreth|Jun 13, 2024

    The Town of Plains was denied a request for an $87,000 grant that would have enlarged the volunteer fire department building and given the firefighters more space. Town officials were recently notified that the application did not follow the grant requirements, but that they could try again. "We got word about two weeks ago that our project was rejected because the grant was only for maintenance and repair of existing buildings, so the plans to add on with new construction was outside the scope...

  • Fairgrounds join Plains Day activities

    Ed Moreth|Jun 13, 2024

    Plains Day was extended beyond the town limits this year and went on for a second day with the Sanders County Fairgrounds "First Annual Plains Day Events" of team roping and barrel racing. Chip VonHeeder, formerly of Plains, and Jolene Burke, a Plains resident, held rodeo events on Saturday's Plains Day and Sunday, and the Kelly Hughes Band provided musical entertainment on Saturday night. It was the first time for Burke and VonHeeder to utilize the fairgrounds arena for their competitions....

  • Plains market begins

    Ed Moreth|Jun 13, 2024

    Seventeen vendors participated in the first Plains Farmers Market at the Fred Young Park Friday, drawing a constant flow of people throughout the evening. "It was a pretty good turnout for the first one," said Linda Wilson, one of the coordinators for the seasonal event, which had a variety of goods - clothing, jewelry, eggs, fruit, vegetables, lavender, herbs, bath products, and jams and jellies. Wilson said they had six first-timers, including Amish bakers Reuben and Martha Yoder of Plains,...

  • A great day for Plains Day

    Ed Moreth|Jun 6, 2024

    The Town of Plains might have tripled in size Saturday as people flooded in to Plains Day for its annual festival, which took place along Railroad Street, the greenway, at Fred Young Park, the lawn of MT West Dentist, and at the E.L. Johnson Memorial Park. Plains Day this year was again sponsored by the nonprofit organization the Free Americans and coordinated by Blair Blizzard, who introduced new activities and brought back an old favorite, along with traditional ones. Its theme this year was "...

  • Plains fun continued with gathering

    Ed Moreth|Jun 6, 2024

    Despite rumors that this would be the last Plains Day festival for the Ryan Family to put on their special potluck activity at the E.L. Johnson Memorial Park, it looks as though it will continue. "It's a great community event that brings people out to have fun," said Jake Ryan of Plains. "It lets kids have a good time the whole evening and that memory will be with them the rest of their lives," he said. Each year, more than a dozen members of the Ryan clan sponsor a potluck, dance and limbo...

  • Community gathers for Plains Day parade

    Ed Moreth|Jun 6, 2024

    The Plains Day parade this year was one of the biggest in recent years with a wide variety of units from a single person to large groups on floats. Mary Halling, the parade coordinator for the fourth year, had 50 registered entries, but believes there were about 20 additional units that did not register, but participated, such as the dozen emergency medical services vehicles - including Smokey Bear - and the Horse Plains VFW Post 3596 color guard, which led the parade. The parade lasted nearly...

  • Paradise Center roundhouse opens for visitors

    Ed Moreth|Jun 6, 2024

    The Paradise Center's newest roundhouse opened for the public on Saturday with artifacts continuing to be moved into the building. Volunteers moved an antique velocipede into the mini roundhouse last Wednesday for the Treating Plant bay of the roundhouse. It took several people - Gary Sanks, Jacqueline Colyer, Keegan Hall, Douglas Wilks, and Dave Colyer - to move the 150-pound velocipede from the center's auditorium to its new home in the roundhouse. The velocipede was donated by Charles "Ole"...

  • 'Old' Plains alumni lose to 'Young' team on the court

    Ed Moreth|Jun 6, 2024

    It was a bitter disappointment for the Plains High School alumni basketball players, who had the lead against the students until the last three minutes of the game when the Spanish foreign exchange student hit his mark. It was the 5th Annual Alumni Basketball Game in the Plains High School gymnasium Friday evening with a crowd of nearly 75 fans. The alumni team consisted of only nine players from 19-year-old Jayden Weeks of the Class of 2023 to 44-year-old J.J Blood of the Class of 1998. "It is...

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