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Articles from the July 11, 2024 edition


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  • County welcomes new public health nurse

    Shannon Brown|Jul 11, 2024

    Kjirsten Mercer is the new Sanders County Health Department Nurse/Director, but she's not new to the county. She has grown up in Libby, Plains, and Noxon. "I graduated from Montana Tech in Butte with my nursing degree," Mercer said. She searched for the best options for nursing programs in Montana. "Tech is renowned for its National Council Licensure Examination, NCLEX, for registered nurses, and I had family members who were attending Tech as well," Mercer explained. Mercer graduated high schoo...

  • NOXON BRIDGE CLOSED

    Annie Wooden|Jul 11, 2024

    UPDATED JULY 13: The Noxon bridge remains closed after cracks in the structure were discovered during an inspection on Friday. Sanders County Commissioner Tony Cox on Saturday said the county is developing a plan to re-open the structure. A contractor, Neal Structural Repair, has been procured and will be working on repairs this week. NSR will work on a plan with the county and engineering firm Morrison-Maierle, who recently completed a study on the bridge for Sanders County. On Friday, commissioners declared a state of emergency in order to...

  • Noxon shows off community spirit

    Annie Wooden|Jul 11, 2024

    Noxon was bursting with community spirit for their annual Fourth of July celebration at the Noxon Bicentennial Park on Saturday. In February, a fire destroyed three businesses in Noxon - Toby's Tavern, Angry Beaver General Store and Noxon Mercantile. After the fire, many people wondered if the Independence Day celebration would continue. On Saturday, there was no question about Noxon's revival as hundreds of people gathered for the event. Along with showing off the community spirit, organizers...

  • 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...

  • Perma bridge work nears completion

    Annie Wooden|Jul 11, 2024

    The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) and Frontier West have substantially completed work on the Flathead River – Perma Bridge project. The goal of this project was to rehabilitate the bridge that carries Secondary Highway 382 traffic over the Flathead River near Perma. Traffic control has been removed over the bridge. Crews will return later this summer to complete minor tasks and apply final pavement markings. Traffic control will be in place while this final work takes place. Travelers should expect intermittent single-lane t...

  • Our Viewpoint: Give a hoot to prevent forest fires

    Annie Wooden|Jul 11, 2024

    Last year driving through Paradise on the day the River Road East fire ignited, it was something I had never experienced. I have seen documentaries about fast-moving wildfires in other parts of the country, but watching sparks fly over Highway 200 and the growing fire cloud swirling across the mountain was just incredible. In 2021 when the Thorne Creek fire roared above Thompson Falls, I would sit every night and watch the fire creep across the mountains. Again, it was an eery, incredible sight to take in. It seems that we are getting more and...

  • Sunda's Snapshots: What is strength?

    Sunday Dutro|Jul 11, 2024

    There are so many times where I feel like I’m just barely hanging on. The demands are so intense, the needs are so many, and I’m just hanging there, hoping I have the strength to outlast the weight of it all. “You do so many fun things,” a friend tells me, and I’m stopped short. We do? We sometimes do. Mostly our lives are spent at home because the world is so expensive, and crowded, and loud. We do the weekly free craft from the library when we’re lucky enough to get them. We go to local, kid-friendly events as often as we’re able. We take adv...

  • Remember When?

    Sherry Hagerman-Benton|Jul 11, 2024

    6 YEARS AGO • JUNE 18, 1964 CHERRY CREEK BRIDGE ORDERED Repairs to county roads and bridges damaged or washed out by last week’s flood are being made as quickly as possible, County Commissioner Jesse W. Lee reported this week. Lee said he ordered material Monday for a new bridge across Cherry Creek and that it will be built as quickly as possible. The Curran and Saint families now can reach their homes only by a temporary footbridge erected last week by county employees. A culvert washed out at Bear Creek on the Blue Slide was being rep...

  • Question of the week? How do you cool off in the hot weather?

    Shannon Brown|Jul 11, 2024

    SHARON LAVERTY, Angel Fire, New Mexico - “Since I have been visiting Plains, we have had fun cooling off with the grandchildren and water guns with a five-gallon bucket.” JODI HERSHBERGER, Thompson Falls - “On a chair in the river.” BLAKE HERSHBERGER, Thompson Falls - “Cliff jumping in the river down Cherry Creek Road.” BRADY GULEZIAN, Ellensburg, Washington - “With a cold soda or smoothie inside with air conditioning.” DYLAN GULEZIAN, Ellensburg, Washington - “Sitting in a river fishing.” JACK KUSPERT, North Bend, Washington - “I coo...

  • Sheriff's Log

    Jul 11, 2024

    Ambulance: Plains, 10; Hot Springs, 6; T. Falls, 5; Trout Creek, 4; Heron, 3; Noxon, 2; Dixon, 2; Lonepine, 1. Monday, July 1 General animal call/complaint, Plains. Trespass, T. Falls. Welfare check, Heron. Property damage/criminal mischief, Plains. Parking problem, Plains. Inmate transport, Plains. Assist miscellaneous, T. Falls. Livestock, Hot Springs. Fireworks, Plains. Disturbance, Dixon. Tuesday, July 2 Business contact, T. Falls. Assist other agency, Dixon. Theft, Plains. Animal other, T. Falls. Inmate transport, T. Falls. Theft, Trout Cr...

  • Justice Court

    Jul 11, 2024

    Montana Highway Patrol Corey Franck, 38, seatbelt violation, $20. Tiffany Collier, 35, violation in a construction zone, $105. Daniel Hoffman, 41, speeding in a restricted zone, $95. Eugene Lutz, 72, speeding in a restricted zone, $85. Holly Warner, 48, speeding in a restricted zone, $95. Kendra Henning, 27, violation in a construction zone, $75. Sanders County Sheriff’s Office John Hotchkiss, 35, criminal trespass to property, $185; operating without liability insurance in effect, 4th or subsequent offense, $525, 5 days jail with credit for 2...

  • Man faces new DUI charges

    Stephanie Molzhon|Jul 11, 2024

    Nicholas Robert Smalley made his initial appearance before Judge Molly Owen on Tuesday, entering a not guilty plea to a new felony charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and misdemeanor charges of driving while license suspended and unlawful possession of alcoholic beverage container in motor vehicle. Judge Owen set this matter for an arraignment on July 23, after discussion between the parties regarding a potential global resolution following a revocation also being filed in Missoula County. As alleged in the filed...

  • Holiday celebrations continue at Ainsworth

    Skye Hill|Jul 11, 2024

    As I walked around Ainsworth park with my first ever snow cone I was met with the distinct sound of water guns and children's laughter as the Independence day celebration kicked off on Saturday. A small parade of kids started the celebration by either riding their red, white, and blue decorated bikes, or walking with small American flags while the sounds of patriotic music played. There were many local vendors including Rachael Bower who did facepainting for the kids. "All of the boys want...

  • 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....

  • FWP reminds boaters to prevent spread of AIS

    Jul 11, 2024

    HELENA – As boaters and other water recreationists gear up for the summer, they need to follow the rules to prevent aquatic invasive species from affecting Montana’s waters. Those rules include: All boats must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter including canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to $500.  Always be sure to clean, drain and dry your boat. All watercraft entering Montana are required to be inspected for aquatic invasive species. An inspection is required before laun...

  • Nick Marich Jr.

    Jul 11, 2024

    Nick Marich, Jr. was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, and friend who touched the lives of many. He passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on July 2, 2024, at the age of 68 while working at home. Nick was born to Nick and Adrienne Marich on January 21, 1956, in Oklahoma. He graduated from Thompson Falls High School and shortly thereafter married his high school sweetheart, Diane Sellmer, on August 24, 1974, in Heron, Montana. They had been married for 49 years at the... Full story

  • New Methodist pastor a familiar face

    Annie Wooden|Jul 11, 2024

    The United Methodist churches of Plains, Paradise and Whitepine have welcomed a familiar face. Steve Hermes of Paradise recently took over as pastor for the three churches. Hermes' family lived in Alaska until he was 12, when they moved to the family ranch just east of Paradise. He went to seminary in 1984 and recently retired after 38 years of serving as a United Methodist pastor. Hermes moved back to Paradise two years ago with his wife Chris, who he met in college. "Every generation has to...

  • FW seeks river recreation advisory council members

    Jul 11, 2024

    HELENA – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking up to 12 people to serve on a statewide River Recreation Advisory Council. The River Recreation Advisory Council’s purpose is to develop a set of recommendations for managing river recreation in Montana and administering the use of water-related activities. The focus area extends to department lands and water bodies that are restricted under the authority of FWP. This includes recreation use on and along the water way, including fishing access sites. Montana boasts an abundance of publicly acc...

  • COOLING OFF

    Ed Moreth|Jul 11, 2024

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

  • Chef gets into the burger biz

    Skye Hill|Jul 11, 2024

    When Ryan Davis came to Thompson Falls from Alberta, Canada, two years ago, he saw one thing missing, a burger truck. So he got together with a friend and built one. Main St. Burger opened this month at 709 Main Street in Thompson Falls, offering a variety of smash burgers, sandwiches, and fresh-cut french fries. "The real dream is a big restaurant overlooking the beautiful water, serving not only burgers but hot dogs too," he said. However, he wanted to test the waters with a truck and gain...

  • Spotlight on the rts

    Jul 11, 2024

    Zoe Denson , Thompson Falls High School Interviewed by Gary Sanks Zoe Denson is a great example of the youth we want to highlight. She is talented, continues to stretch her capabilities, and has produced numerous examples of what she can already do. At 15 years of age, she will be entering the 10th grade at Thompson Falls High School. Teacher Micah Grossberg, the Art Education Specialist for grades 7-12, recognizes Zoe's potential. The work shown in this article is black on white or gray paper....

  • 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...

  • Sanders County participates in peace run

    Shannon Brown|Jul 11, 2024

    Sanders County was treated to visitors from around the country as well as internationally who formed a peace run. Teams ran down highway 200 as they passed the torch in a relay of leap frogging men and women's teams. The Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run started in New York in April. The route turned south, north, then east to form a circle around the United States. The runners included Sanders County in their final west to east leg that will take them to Hot Springs and Kalispell before they...

  • 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...

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