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Articles from the August 17, 2023 edition


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  • More of everything at Huck Fest

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    by Ledger Staff More is more in the case of the 2023 Huckleberry Festival. There were more parade floats, more vendors and more visitors than ever before as the 43rd annual festival took over the Trout Creek Park last Saturday and Sunday. "Phenomenally, this is the best festival to date," said festival chairperson Elizabeth Haagenson. "We love to keep the people happy and we love this laid-back small-town fest." Carrie Greene is the volunteer in charge of vendors for the festival. She said more...

  • River Road East fire nears 17,000

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    UPDATE AUGUST 21, 2023, 8 a.m.: A resident reported that the large white barn at Kennedy Creek (across from what is known at the Paradise Spring area) burned overnight. Highway 200 is re-opened. The River Road East Fire is now listed at 16,790 acres. by Annie Wooden The River Road East Fire near Paradise has grown to more than 13,000 acres. Fire officials held a public meeting at Plains High School on Sunday afternoon, updating the community on fire activity. The fire as of Sunday afternoon is 1...

  • MSU Extension ag tour highlights vineyards

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    There's a science to making grapes grow in northwest Montana. On Thursday, about 30 participants from northwest Montana visited three Sanders County vineyards to learn and ask questions about growing grapes. Attendees ranged from those curious about the operation and excited about the wine tasting portion of the day to some who had established home vineyards. The first stop on the tour was Gut Craic Vineyard in Thompson Falls, owned by Tom and Bina Eggensperger. Tom took visitors on a tour of...

  • Fair board putting final details in place

    Ed Moreth|Aug 17, 2023

    The Sanders County Fair Commission agreed at its monthly meeting last week that they are confident of a successful 2023 fair, which takes place Aug. 31 to Sept. 3. "It's going to be a great fair this year," said board member Kim McMahon at last Wednesday's meeting at the fairgrounds pavilion, which included Sanders County Commissioners John Holland and Dan Rowan. The fair board, along with Manager Melissa Cady, and 4-H representatives Juli Thurston and Wendy Carr, ironed out a few minor details...

  • Officer takes on new role

    Shannon Brown|Aug 17, 2023

    The retirement of Detective Martin Spring from the Sanders County Sheriff's Office opened the door for Ethan Harvey who hadn't thought much about becoming a detective until recently. Born in Alaska but raised since he was two years old in Plains, Harvey says he didn't know what he wanted to be for sure when he grew up. After considering other career options, he decided as a teenager to try law enforcement. In 2013, Harvey became a reserve officer in Plains. "It has a limited scope of authority...

  • Our Viewpoint

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    In my first few years as a newspaper publisher, I was hesitant to use my editorial space to find fault in things I saw in our area of coverage. Everything was “rainbows and unicorns,” as I like to say, and I had a pretty positive angle. Recently, “Our Viewpoint” has been critical of several happenings in Sanders County. That’s necessary, too. But the definition of critical is to identify the faults and the merits of something. A few months ago, I decided I needed to take a year off. Don’t worry, it’s not what you think. After serving as a...

  • Montana Viewpoint: Freedom has a cost

    Jim Elliott|Aug 17, 2023

    President Biden is asking Congress for $24 billion to support Ukraine. There will be a fight over this request, I am sure, and the reasons will be we are spending too much money, period, and if we are going to spend too much money let’s spend it on America. I offer one reason for supporting Ukraine: Putin. Like most despots, Putin has some—to be polite—mental health issues. OK, he’s nuts, but he’s a nut with nuclear weapons and needs to be dealt with in the strongest way possible, short of...

  • Staying true to yourself

    Aug 17, 2023

    Dear Annie Wooden, Thank you for the honesty about you wearing different hats, as well as the comments and actions of the public in relation to reporters. I have comments and thoughts on both of those topics. A colleague of mine gave me a tip on how to recognize if I was still stressing about the work I did at a Washington (DOC) pre-release when I was a licensed addictions counselor. He said he picks a point or imaginary line in his road home and if work is still bothering him he has a plan to resolve and reduce stress: music, talking with a su...

  • Remember When?

    Sherry Hagerman-Benton|Aug 17, 2023

    3 YEARS AGO • JULY 14, 1993 SOPHIE MOLES ARRIVES IN AREA AS A GIRL, 17 Continued from last week… Sophie and Bert raised seven children on the homestead: Leo, Lester, Clarence, Wilfred, Tuffy, Altha and Louie. Today Altha and Louie live in Belknap, and four sons live in Libby, Indiana and Louisiana. Their eldest child, Leo, died 15 years ago. A trip back east by train was to keep Sophie busy for a while after Bert's passing. “I was a pretty green traveler,” she admits, “but went to Ontario to visit my husband’s family and on to Maryland to...

  • Not guilty plea in DUI case

    Stephanie Molzhon|Aug 17, 2023

    Making his initial appearance before Judge Deborah Kim Christopher on Monday, Raymond Burton McIntyre entered not guilty pleas to a felony count of aggravated driving under the influence and a misdemeanor count of reckless driving, second or subsequent offense. McIntyre’s attorney, Cheryl Copperstone, made an argument for the reduction of McIntyre’s bail from the initial amount of $75,000. After discussion between the parties regarding McIntyre’s lengthy DUI history, Judge Christopher ordered the bond be lowered to $10,000 with the requi...

  • Question of the week

    Shannon Brown|Aug 17, 2023

    Sophia Lafriniere-Thornhill, Trout Creek - “I liked the parade with all the different floats. The Pharmacy float with all the wood was the best.” Madison Chojnacky, Trout Creek - “I liked how busy it was with all the people and booths. I am happy to be here.” Jenni Thor, Thompson Falls - “It is the first time that I have been to the festival. It has been a lot of fun with the people and their dogs.” Grady Dana, Trout Creek - “ The best thing is the 4-H booth with the tacos.” Jim Dramstad, Trout Creek - “The cooler temperatures and...

  • Justice Court

    Aug 17, 2023

    Montana Highway Patrol Katie Frabel, 39, day speeding, $70. Douglas Hettinger, 67, speeding in a restricted zone, $95. Tyler Sigsby, 36, seatbelt violation, $20. Justin Sanders, 43, seatbelt violation, $20. Ryan Hoefer, 54, night speeding, $120. Daniel Human, 26, day speeding, $70. Dustin McCue, 47, speeding in a restricted zone, $95. Jenna Snyder, 38, speeding in a restricted zone, $95. Deborah Wilson, 56, seatbelt violation, $20. David Fox, 58, speeding in a restricted zone, $85. Christine Hensel, 62, failure to yield to vehicle on through...

  • Sheriff's Log

    Aug 17, 2023

    Ambulance: Plains, 9; T. Falls, 6; Hot Springs, 3; Noxon, 2; Trout Creek, 2. Monday, August 7 Animal abuse, Hot Springs. Disturbance, Plains. Assist miscellaneous, Plains. Livestock, Plains. Search warrant, Plains. Suspicious activity, T. Falls. General animal call/complaint, T. Falls. Fire, Heron. Suspicious activity. Civil attempts. Property damage/criminal mischief, Hot Springs. Other law violations, T. Falls. Fire, Trout Creek. Tuesday, August 8 Sexual assault, Hot Springs. Disturbance, Plains. Automated alarm call, Hot Springs. Livestock,...

  • Sharon Rose (Albano) Larkin

    Aug 17, 2023

    Sharon Rose (Albano) Larkin was born August 14, 1934, in Idaho Falls to Sidney and Rita Albano. After a long hard fight with cancer, she went to join her beloved Lord and loved ones on July 31, 2023. When Sharon was eight years old her family moved from southern Idaho to Heron, Montana, where she resided until she married Larry Larkin on October 12, 1952, and moved to Noxon for the next few years. They lived in several different towns and states but settled in Noxon to raise their family.... Full story

  • River clean-up set for Aug. 26

    Aug 17, 2023

    The Eastern Sanders County Conservation District (ESCD) is hosting its second annual Clark Fork River Clean Up. The 2023 event will be 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday, August 26, at the Sanders County Fairgrounds in Plains. Volunteers of all ages are welcome. Volunteers will need to check in at the fairgrounds and sign a liability waiver before clean up can begin. Volunteers can then spread out from there, along the river banks. Water and garbage bags will be provided, but ESCD asks volunteers to bring their own gloves and other protective measures....

  • Spotlight on the Arts

    Aug 17, 2023

    Lena Oldenburg – Noxon School by Karen Thorson As a young artist in Ms. Philpott’s second grade class at Noxon School, 8-year-old Lena Oldenburg is bursting with enthusiasm. Her explanation for her art is that she gets an idea and feels she must make it visible for herself and to share with others. A brief review of her artwork shows that she has an expansive array of ideas, interests, and artistic media. In short, she is an incredibly versatile artist. Her love of color is evident, but not at the expense of artistic line. She uses both wit...

  • Plains explores 'Tree City' designation

    Ed Moreth|Aug 17, 2023

    The Town of Plains might become a "Tree City" and get an Arbor Day Grant to financially help with the removal of the aging trees around town. It was Jonalie Comeau, the deputy town clerk, who brought the arbor program to the attention of the mayor and town council in an effort to save the town money when dealing with trees. Mayor Chris Allen said the town has spent more than $8,000 on tree removal this year alone. "Unfortunately, we've got a lot of old problem trees," he said, adding that...

  • Resident expresses TF traffic concerns

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    The Thompson Falls City Council had its regular meeting on Monday, hearing complaints from a resident about traffic and businesses in her neighborhood. Tamra Shear appeared before the council to request a street sign and street light at the corner of Broad Street and Maiden Lane. She said that drainage has also become a big issue at the intersection. Shear said she was told there is no easement on either side of the street near the intersection, but she would like to see stop signs and yield...

  • Fire district dedicates land for station

    Shannon Brown|Aug 17, 2023

    The Plains-Paradise Rural Fire District gathered with members of the Henry family on Tuesday, August 8, 2023 to honor the efforts of Mary and David Henry. The Henrys began gathering signatures in the upper Lynch Creek area over 30 years ago. Their plan back then was to have a fire hall built to accommodate the residents beyond Blanchards Corner. On Tuesday, the children of the now deceased Henrys donated a part of the Henry land to the Rural Fire Department. "Paul Harvey has been doing the dirt...

  • TF school board approves budget, policy updates

    Shannon Brown|Aug 17, 2023

    The Thompson Falls school board met Monday to approve budgets for the upcoming school year. Superintendent Bud Scully went over expenses of repairs, power bills, water costs and new construction at the high school and the new kitchen floor in the elementary school. “We are down four mills for the elementary school and down six in the high school. We have maxed out the reserves,” Scully said. His idea was that increasing enrollment would help increase the mills. Public comments included those from Chantel Schmitt who was concerned with cla...

  • Heat is on for Hill Gang

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    The Over the Hill Gang needed extra sunscreen this week as they headed out into the summer sun for another round at River’s Bend in Thompson Falls. Ron Belger’s golf game was hot as he shot the low men’s gross round of 37. Belger’s round included a birdie on hole No. 5, and he won the pin prize for the closest drive to the hole on that par-3. Larry Eddy’s low net of 30 was the best for the men, and Kristy Beaty shot the low women’s net of 37. She also hit the long drive on No. 9. Hole No. 7 was sizzling Monday as Al Luckow, Mike Normandin a...

  • Baxter shows off All-American swing

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    Megan Baxter showed off her All-American talent during ladies league play at River’s Bend last Thursday, pummeling the long drive for those 54 and under on No. 18 and putting her drive on No. 17 closest to the pin. Baxter earned All-American Scholar status last season on the Carroll College golf team, one of three Fighting Saints to obtain the honor. Tina Wheeler and Jeanne Holleran are moving up in the team standings, again shooting the low team gross last week, with a 100. Kim Sparks and Chris Kelly combined for the low team net of 69. Wheele...

  • Sharks swim to Tuesday win

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    It was all in the details as Sharks Auto Detail golfers Dave Garr, Jens Jantzen, Charlie Hooten and Rusty Haggard combined for the low team gross score of 181 last Tuesday at River’s Bend. Custom Ventures teammates Kade Pardee, Ty Pardee, Craig LeCoure and Zack Hannum had the low team net of 144, Kade Pardee shot the low individual gross of 39 and Shawn Wilkinson the low net round of 33. The young Pardee kept the accolades rolling as he also sank the long putt on No. 15 and slammed the long drive on No. 18. Steve Fairbank had the long drive o...

  • Winning effort for Edward Jones

    Annie Wooden|Aug 17, 2023

    Edward Jones was in the money last week as team members Dan Kier, Ed Mack, Jesse Mack and Ryan Craven had the low team gross score of 171 in Wednesday night men’s league at River’s Bend Golf Course. Wild Coyote was on their heels, with the low team net of 148 from Gary Thompson, Mike Normandin, Dave Petteys and Steve Clark. Doug Fisher shot the low gross round of 38 and Chuck Manry the low net of 32. Craven was the star of the pin prizes, hitting his third shot closest on No. 11 and smashing a long drive on No. 18 (Paul Flemmer hit the lon...

  • CARD clinic's mobile unit provides screenings on the go

    Shannon Brown|Aug 17, 2023

    The Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) located in Libby has a mobile unit that has been traveling the state to facilitate testing in areas where people may not otherwise get tested. The question asked to anyone who thinks they might have been exposed to asbestos is: Have you lived, worked or played in Lincoln County over 10 years ago for at least six months? “This can have been a separate amount of time as long as the time totaled six months,” according to Pam Martens, the CARD clinic nurse. The mobile unit started in September 202...

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