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Articles from the April 4, 2024 edition


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  • Noxon fire not arson

    Annie Wooden|Apr 4, 2024

    Arson has been ruled out as the cause of a February 27 fire that destroyed three businesses in Noxon. "At this point there is nothing that points to arson," Sheriff Shawn Fielders said Monday. He noted that two private insurance investigators as well as the state fire marshal's office have come to the same conclusion, though the investigation is ongoing and the cause is not yet known. "We have chased down every lead that's been given to us," Sheriff Fielders told The Ledger. He commended deputy...

  • Eggstravaganza 'a delight'

    Skye Hill|Apr 4, 2024

    More than 20 volunteers helped stuff over 7,000 plastic eggs with candy and golden eggs filled with a dollar bill the week before the 10th annual Trout Creek Easter Eggstravaganza. Then last Saturday, 232 kids in five age groups were sent running to gather as many eggs as their colorful baskets would let them carry. The first age group of kids up to age 2 years old went first in their own little hunt, the other four groups all went at once. "It is a delight to watch all the kids in their Easter...

  • More eggs, hunters in Plains

    Ed Moreth|Apr 4, 2024

    The Plains Community Easter Egg Hunt was bigger than ever with a larger area and a record number of eggs and egg hunters. For the second consecutive year the annual event was held on the Saturday before Easter Sunday, but this year it was moved to the Sanders County Fairgrounds and was a big hit with 351 participants ranging from under 1 year old to adults scrambling onto the grass to retrieve the colorful plastic eggs filled with candy and messages representing prizes. The event was divided int...

  • T. Falls pool to open in June

    Annie Wooden|Apr 4, 2024

    The City of Thompson Falls is excited to re-open the pool this summer after staffing issues and needed repairs caused the pool to stay closed for the 2023 season. “We’re very excited that the pool is going to open,” City Clerk Chelsea Peterson said last week. Mayor Rusti Leivestad said she is looking forward to the return of the water aerobics program. The city has restructured management of the pool, eliminating the pool director position. The city will hire 10 lifeguards for the season, and three of those will work as pool managers. Lifeg...

  • Our Viewpoint: Common sense can protect you online

    Annie Wooden|Apr 4, 2024

    It's not uncommon these days to know someone who has been scammed online, or to have become a victim yourself. A presentation at the Thompson Falls Senior Center last week helped educate citizens on potential scams (see article on Page 4). While state officers said seniors are the biggest target, everyone is at risk. Scammers are getting more creative, and AI is providing more tools for scammers to improve their game. Instead of just calling your phone and saying you won a major prize but first you need to send money, scammers are getting more...

  • A Few Thoughts

    Sandy Compton|Apr 4, 2024

    It seems to be spring. Winter wasn’t so great, as winters go; after too many days of skiing last season, I’ve not had enough this year. But I’m grateful my knees still work after 34 seasons of sliding downhill; not perfectly, but still. Also, I only had to run the snow blower a few times. My doc tells me I’m good for another year. The new roof on my eternal rebuild project doesn’t leak. Plus, I live in the Northern Rockies, not Gaza, Ukraine or New York City. I once thought we lived in the Inland Northwest, but Dick Wentz asserted, “Compton, we...

  • Remember When?

    Sherry Hagerman-Benton|Apr 4, 2024

    4 YEARS AGO • MARCH 29, 1984 EDNA HILL LEADS A RUGGED REWARDING LIFE by Linda Shaffer Mainly, she is a mountain woman. And she has been all her “39 years.” Edna Hill at her ranch in Trout Creek smiles amidst trophies of elk and other wild game she has hunted and photographed over the years. And hunters she has guided have warned others about her. “Watch out for that woman in Montana…she’ll walk you to death,” they say. Hill has been guiding new hunters in Sanders County’s rough mountain country for over 40 years of her adult life. And if th...

  • Question of the week

    Skye Hill|Apr 4, 2024

    DONNA SCHEITER, Plains - “Wearing my hair long.” KIM HILL THOMPSON, Thompson Falls - “Playing in the sand.” JESSE BYLER, Plains - “Playing in the sandbox.” ROBB HILL, Thompson Falls - “Reading comic books.” JOEL WHITE, Trout Creek - “Hunting because I have no knees.” WAYNE LILLY, Weeksville, - “Fishing....

  • Sheriff's Log

    Apr 4, 2024

    Ambulance: Hot Springs, 5; T. Falls, 5; Plains, 5; Dixon, 2; Trout Creek, 2; Paradise, 1; Noxon, 1. Monday, March 25 Theft, Hot Springs. Inmate transport. Civil standby, T. Falls. Civil standby, T. Falls. Child welfare/abuse, Plains. Fire, Paradise. Disturbance, T. Falls. Motor vehicle crash, Noxon. Other law violations, T. Falls. Civil attempts, T. Falls. Request for welfare check, T. Falls. Assist motorist/citizen, T. Falls. Parking problem, Plains. Tuesday, March 26 Person missing, Plains. Motor vehicle crash, Noxon. Animal other, T. Falls....

  • Justice Court

    Apr 4, 2024

    Montana Highway Patrol Harry Ihms, 70, seatbelt violation, $20. Tracy Vanicek, 56, careless driving, $85. Jennifer Qualls, 47, speeding in a restricted zone, $55. Mary Kowalski, 75, speeding in a restricted zone, $85. Richard Bisbee, 43, speeding in a restricted zone, $65. Laura Perkins, 45, day speeding, $70. Thomas Stilwell, 48, seatbelt violation, $20. Jimmy Curtiss, 67, seatbelt violation, $20. Madison Duke, 20, speeding in a restricted zone, $85. Jane Sosa, 68, seatbelt violation, $20. Ronda Calzada, 58, speeding in a restricted zone,...

  • Anglers hit the lake for Mack Days

    Apr 4, 2024

    After three weekends of fishing beneath the snowcapped Mission Mountains on Flathead Lake, Spring Mack Days anglers' total lake trout count stands at 13,417. This is the largest three-week total since 2019. Mack Days Fishing events are sponsored by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and are sanctioned by Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The Fishing Events are a management tool used to reduce the non-native lake troutpopulation in Flathead lake. Increasing the native bull trout and westslope cutthroat is important for the future of...

  • State presents tools to help protect people from scams

    Shannon Brown|Apr 4, 2024

    A presentation at the Thompson Falls Senior Center last week educated citizens on how to be aware of potential scams and fraud. Presenters Blair Stapleton and Drew Czoik from the state Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Office traveled from Helena to Thompson Falls to inform the audience of potential fraud and scams via the internet and phone, primarily. The seminar, titled "Protecting the Big Sky," was designed to educate investors, seniors, and consumers to safeguard their finances....

  • Spotlight on the Arts

    Apr 4, 2024

    Michael Byrd, Noxon School by Karen Thorson It is always amazing to hear a student play a musical instrument like a professional performer. That is certainly the case with Michael Byrd, an 18-year-old senior at Noxon High School. What adds to the initial amazement about his talent is that he has only been playing guitar for a year. Byrd said he has dreamed of playing the guitar since he was 5 or 6 years old. His dream was given a boost last year when an acquaintance gave him an old black...

  • Theodore L. Sampson

    Apr 4, 2024

    Theodore L. Sampson was born on 3/30/76 and departed this world on 3/28/24 due to a rollover on gravel. Ted was a busy child from the beginning, and never slept a night through until he was 12 years old. He loved to fish, catching them through the ice before he was 2. He was starting QH colts at 10, then his lifelong passion of getting firewood with his cousin Mark at 13. Every day in the woods was a special joy to Ted, whether hiking, hunting, wood getting, and then helicopter logging. Anyone...

  • Viola Mae Goetz

    Apr 4, 2024

    It is with a heavy heart that the family of Viola Mae Goetz, announce that she passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 13, 2024, at the age of 90. She was currently living at Edgewood Memory Care in Missoula, Montana, where the staff took very good care of her. She leaves behind her four kids, Larry Moles, Sandy Moles Posey and Rhonda Moles of Thompson Falls and Michelle Moles of Missoula. Viola also has eight grandchildren: Jared Moles, Jennifer Buchanan (Wayne), Justin Prichard, Jaicy...

  • Thompson Falls library receives grant

    Apr 4, 2024

    The Thompson Falls Public Library was recently selected by the John Henry Elred Jr. Foundation & Dorothy Louise Kyler Fund for $5,000 in grant funding to increase items in the children’s and junior sections of the library. Funding will be used to purchase new junior non-fiction books, junior classic books, junior fiction books, easy beginning chapter books and easy non-fiction books. Additional items for purchase will include Junior age level “Wonder Books” and “Play-Away” audio books and new STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathemati...

  • Hawks start season with a pair of wins

    Ed Moreth|Apr 4, 2024

    The Thompson Falls Lady Hawks started the softball season on fire by defeating their first two competitors with the mercy rule, dispatching Troy and Plains in a week's time and in five innings or less. The Lady Hawks defeated Troy 12-2 in five innings last Tuesday in the first game of the season. Oliva Fitchett came out on fire over the Lady Trojans, getting a no hitter three person strikeout in the first inning. The Lady Hawks were able to keep their focus and the bases loaded during the...

  • Plains track off to a great start

    Skye Hill|Apr 4, 2024

    The Plains Horsemen and Trotters headed to Eureka to take part in the Good Friday Easter Bunny track meet last Friday. Starting the day Nicholass Hill proved his quick footedness, earning third place in the 100 meters with a time of 12 seconds. Behind him was Brenden Vanderwall with a time of 12.82, Zander Czifro had a time of 13.03, Asher Seymour close behind with 13.81, and Gabe Rasmussen rounded out the Horsemen in 13.99. For the girls, Aly Roy earned fourth place with her time of 15 seconds, close behind her was Ireland Corbin in 15.45,...

  • Clark Fork loses exhibition to Polson

    Ed Moreth|Apr 4, 2024

    The Clark Fork Soccer Alliance girls are looking to settle a score against the Polson FC players during the regular season after getting beat by them in an exhibition game last week. The U18 girls teams played "just for fun" at the Amundson Sports Complex at Plains last Wednesday and were defeated 5-4, but head coach Nick Lawyer said his girls will have another chance to get back at them at the team's first real game of the season on Saturday, April 6, at Stevensville and at their only home...

  • Hawks, Devils open season in Frenchtown

    Skye Hill|Apr 4, 2024

    The Thompson Falls Blue Hawks and the Noxon Red Devils went to Frenchtown for their first meet of the track season, taking on 25 teams between Class A, B and C. “I thought our athletes went out and competed hard. The veterans, returning from last year, did a great job of being confident and helped the younger athletes, as the first meet is always a little nerve racking. I was impressed with all the athletes and their efforts,” said Thompson Falls Coach Trenna Ferris. Senior Trinity Riffle started her day strong, earning herself a state qua...

  • Insurance trends shared at TF Chamber luncheon

    Annie Wooden|Apr 4, 2024

    The Thompson Falls Chamber of Commerce held a luncheon last week, welcoming members and guests to the Rimrock for "It's Just Lunch" on Wednesday. Dennis Spurlock with Alera Group insurance of Plains spoke to the more than 20 community members about insurance. He has been an insurance agent since 2008. Spurlock said that insurance companies have been mapping the western United States for wildfire risks, and they are seeing some companies pull out of states altogether because of the risks. "For...

  • Real Estate Trends

    Tina Daugherty|Apr 4, 2024

    March seemed like an early mud season to me. As to the real estate market, it was very stable with bare land slowing, and it is always the first to slow. The inventory levels pushed up just a stitch, but mostly remained level, thus inventory is still low and prices are still climbing on homes, but not land. Average land price for sales fell, while average home sale prices rose. The contingent sale activity is also encouraging. The commercial market trend is a leading indicator and may be showing that inflation is hitting home among business own...

  • 1,000 Aces for Cheryl, Patty

    Apr 4, 2024

    Cheryl Godfrey and Patty Hopkis were the latest pair to get 1,000 Aces in Pinochle Marathon play with the Thompson Falls Woman's Club. Pinkie Nelson and Joyce Hilt won the March marathon with a total of 6,970, Godfrey and Hopkins were second with 6,380 and in third place were Alan and Lorri Renard with 6,070. Going into the final month of play, Jim Hurst and Joni Mosher are leading overall with 36,970 points, followed by Patty Coe and Wendy Kelley in second with 35,410 and Pinkie Nelson and Joyce Hilt in third with 35,230. Other overall scores...

  • Grange class teaches survival fire-making skills

    Jan Manning|Apr 4, 2024

    Building a survival fire takes more than combustion, fuel and oxygen. It also takes a heavy dose of patience and preparation before the fire is even ready to be lit. That was the primary message of the "How to Survive a Cold Night in the Mountains" class taught at Whitepine Grange recently by Dusty Rosenthal, a master outdoorsman from Yakima, Wash. Rosenthal had been asked to present a three-hour class that would cover the basics of how to avoid hypothermia when hikers, shed hunters and...

  • Road crew retirement

    Apr 4, 2024

    Courtesy photo County employees celebrated Brad Syth last week (pictured above left with District 3 supervisor Lee Smith) with breakfast in Heron. Syth retired after 25 years with the county road department. "Brad did a great job of taking care of county roads," said Commissioner Tony Cox....

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