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Articles from the August 31, 2023 edition


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  • Commissioners appoint county attorney

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    Sanders County has a new County Attorney and Public Administrator. Sanders County Commissioners voted unanimously last week to appoint Megan Hansen to the position of County Attorney, which was open after Naomi Leisz resigned in July after she was charged with felony insurance fraud. Hansen will start her position next week and is excited to get started. She grew up in the Missoula area and her husband in the Bitterroot Valley, and her family has property in Trout Creek, so she has been...

  • FINAL FAIR PREPARATIONS

    Ed Moreth|Aug 31, 2023

    The fairgrounds was a busy place the Saturday before the fair with nearly 200 kids and adults sprucing up the place in preparation for the big annual event. It was Fair Readiness Day as the 4-H clubs of Sanders County got their barns and the pavilion ready for show time. More than 75 4-H kids, along with over 50 parents, 4-H leaders and barn superintendents, spent Saturday cleaning the facilities, inside and out. They filled the animals' stalls with wood shavings and did minor repairs on stalls...

  • 'Remarkable' effort to save Paradise landmark

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    When the River Road East fire erupted August 18, a community of volunteers jumped into action. With the fast-moving fire burning to the north and south of the town of Paradise, an immense coordination effort was enacted quickly to save structures. More than 15 homes and 55 structures have been lost in the blaze, which has now burned more than 17,000 acres and has hundreds of crew members working to contain it. But dozens of other homes and structures within the town were unharmed by the fire....

  • TF dam celebrates safety milestone

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    NorthWestern Energy's Thompson Falls dam was honored last week for maintaining VPP Star status. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) honors employers who have implemented safety and health management systems and maintain below average injury rates with the Volunteer Protection Program (VPP). According to OSHA's website, star certification recognizes "employers and employees who demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health...

  • Local airports review priorities

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    Representatives from the Thompson Falls and Plains airports met last week to discuss needs and priorities. Lance Bowser and Ian Warge with RPA, an engineering firm, met with pilots, airport board representatives and county commissioners to review the capital improvement plans (CIP) for both airports. Bowser said the CIPs are updated every year to review needs of the airports and seek funding sources for projects. Dan Normandeau told the RPA representatives that a pilots’ lounge is the top priority at the Thompson Falls airport. The building w...

  • TF students explore NASA

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    Three Thompson Falls High School students had an out-of-this world experience earlier this week. Team Astraeus – Rowan Ackley, Carter Marquardt and Jeremy Fausett – earned a trip to Kennedy Space Center in Florida along with their teacher, Doree Thilmony. The students studied concepts involved in the next trip to the moon, the Artemis I and Artemis II missions. Teams from across the country made the journey to Florida. They were given a VIP tour of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and lau...

  • Staying focused as summer winds down

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    The rush is on. School starts soon. High school sports teams are practicing. The great zucchini trade is on as people start harvesting their gardens. As the days get a little shorter, it seems everyone is in a rush to squeeze in last-minute vacations, days on the water and other summer activities. As we soak in the last few weeks of sunshine and making summer memories, it’s a good time for a gentle reminder to watch out for others. Driving to and from the Huckleberry Festival last weekend, several motorists had collided with deer along the w...

  • Montana Viewpoint: A moral dilemma

    Jim Elliott|Aug 31, 2023

    I don’t know where to turn. Yesterday I saw a public display of what I am sure is gender related wrongness and think I need to report it, I just don’t know what government agency to call. Understand, I don’t really want to rat out the suspect involved, I just want to protect myself from being turned in for not performing my mandatory civic duty of turning someone in for something that I think other people think is wrong. If that sounds confusing the way I say it, well, I admit, I am confu...

  • Remember When?

    Sherry Hagerman-Benton|Aug 31, 2023

    9 YEARS AGO • SEPTEMBER, 1933 THOMPSON FALLS WILL CELEBRATE Monument to David Thompson, Explorer, Will Be unveiled Today. Taken from the September 4, 1933 issue of the Spokesman Review: The monument to David Thompson, early explorer in western Montana will be unveiled at Thompson Falls at 10 o’clock today. The monument was completed last week. It is constructed of stream-worn boulders gathered from the region of David Thompson’s Salish House. A.H. Abbott and J.M. Frisbie will have charge of the unveiling ceremony today and a special progr...

  • Question of the week

    Shannon Brown|Aug 31, 2023

    DIANE PRONGUA, Hot Springs - “However company feels comfortable, they may enter my house with shoes on or off.” GERMAINE BLANCHARD, Hot Springs - “Keep your shoes on.” RUBY STOBIE, Hot Springs - “Shoes off in my house.” TRACI SALMI, Lonepine - “Off except for me. Everyone is good about removing their shoes, but I am not.” LINDSEY COLOMBO, Lonepine - “Shoes off in my house, but nobody is good about it.” KARI KASPER, Hot Springs - “Shoes off in the house is how I was raised....

  • Sheriff's Log

    Aug 31, 2023

    Ambulance: Plains, 9; T. Falls, 7; Hot Springs, 3; Trout Creek, 1; Heron, 1. Monday, August 21 Disturbance, Paradise. Theft, T. Falls. Motor vehicle crash, Hot Springs. Protection order violation, Hot Springs. Fire, Hot Springs. Parking problem, Plains. Motor vehicle crash, Trout Creek. Lost & found item, T. Falls. Abandoned vehicle, Noxon. Other law violations, Trout Creek. Suspicious activity, Hot Springs. Motor vehicle crash, Hot Springs. Road hazard/blockage, Paradise. Assist other agency, Dixon. Suspicious activity, T. Falls. Assist other...

  • Justice Court

    Aug 31, 2023

    Montana Highway Patrol Chelsey Bourdon, 31, reckless driving, 1st offense, $585, 90 days jail with all suspended. Nathaniel Stropko, 42, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, 2nd offense, $2,135 with $800 suspended, 365 days jail with 358 days suspended. Steven Franck, 60, seatbelt violation, $20. Talan Grounds, 35, failure to carry proof/exhibit insurance in vehicle, 1st offense, $85; seatbelt violation, $20. Archie Knerr, 52, seatbelt violation, $20. Atanacio Loya, Jr., 47, seatbelt violation, $20. Louis Mayfield, 53, seatbelt...

  • Hot Springs woman pleads not guilty to DUI

    Stephanie Molzhon|Aug 31, 2023

    Kimberly Sue Harris entered a not guilty plea to one felony count of aggravated driving under the influence before Judge Kaydee Snipes Ruiz on Thursday. Judge Snipes Ruiz questioned the Special Deputy County Attorney, Adam Duerk, regarding prior DUIs for Harris. According to a criminal history report, Duerk noted four previous convictions from Texas and Washington. Judge Snipes Ruiz set a trial date of February 13, 2024. As detailed in the charging documents, on July 14, Deputy Devin Wegener overheard Hot Springs Police on the radio reporting...

  • Hawks kick off with win

    Skye Hill|Aug 31, 2023

    by Skye Hill The Thompson Falls Blue Hawks opened the 2023 season with a big win over the Conrad Cowboys 22-14. Junior Sam Burgess made the first touchdown for the Hawks quickly in the first quarter putting Thompson Falls up 6-0 over the Cowboys. The second quarter both teams put up a fight, but with only 36 seconds left Max Hannum got his first touchdown of his senior season, going into halftime with a score of 12-0. The Cowboys came back in the third quarter with their first touchdown of the...

  • Cross country takes off in Deer Lodge

    Skye Hill|Aug 31, 2023

    Thompson Falls Cross Country was in Deer Lodge on Saturday for the Grant Kohrs Ranch run for the first competition of the season. The team trekked over wooden bridges, through fields and across packed gravel trails. The Hawks didn't let the heat slow them down. It was a strong race for Blue Hawks Cael Thilmony (18:35), Faith Palmer (22:16) and Aubrey Baxter (23:05). Coach Sarah Naegeli said all three runners "had a great initial start, settled into position and stayed mentally focused and strong...

  • Bulldogs defeat Horsemen in season opener

    Ed Moreth|Aug 31, 2023

    by Ed Moreth The Plains Horsemen hadn't won a football game in two years. It looked like that might change at Friday night's game with a tie score for most of the first half and the Horsemen holding their own, but in the end, the Mission Bulldogs pulled off a 34-6 victory in the first contest of the season. The Plains boys would have had two touchdowns in the second quarter and taken the lead, but a flag for an illegal block nullified one touchdown. A touchdown pass in the second quarter was...

  • Bikers Against Bullies travels to TF

    Aug 31, 2023

    More than 100 bikers from across the northwest rode from Missoula to Thompson Falls on Saturday for a Bikers Against Bullies event. They stopped at Limberlost Brewing Company for an event. The group helped raise awareness of bullying and also raised money to help kids at Christmas. James, also known as Snake, and his daughter "Little Moose" came from Idaho. A representative of the Northwest Freedom Riders said the run was enjoyable. Another rider, who goes by Jazzy, said this is her favorite...

  • That's a wrap for leagues

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    That’s a wrap on the 2023 men’s golf league season. The Tuesday and Wednesday leagues at River’s Bend Golf Course toasted the season end with fun night scrambles last week. On Tuesday, the NLC Inc. team of Howard Morkert, Scott Rasor, Bill Nolen, Mike Tessier and Mike Lilly carded the low round of 33. Morkert, Dave Petteys, Ricky Hagedorn and Rusty Haggard all had chip-ins in their final round of league play. Zack Hannum sank the long putt on No. 3, Kade Pardee’s drive was closest to the pin on both par three holes, John Mosher had the long pu...

  • Garys take top prize Monday

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    The Over the Hill Gang said goodbye to August with another round at River’s Bend on Monday. Lana Nolen led the ladies with a low gross round of 51 and Kristy Beaty had the low net score of 32. Liz Morkert was all about the chip-ins, hitting it in off the green on both No. 2 and No. 8. Chris Gross hit the long drive for the ladies on No. 9. The Garys were the champions for the men, with Gary Thompson shooting the low gross of 40 and Gary Moe the low net of 32. Thompson was closest to the pin on No. 8 and Moe sank the long putt on No. 9. In o...

  • Crossword Solution

    Aug 31, 2023

    SOLUTIONS ACROSS 1. ESE 4. ABEAM 9. PUSEY 14. NOM 15. CONTE 16. ANTRA 17. SUI 18. CHEESESTEAK 20. ULSTER 22. ACTOR 23. ESSES 24. TASTELESS 28. ADS 29. AD 30. DOHA 31. SARSI 33. CROCS 37. AT 38. ELY 39. NACELLE 41. PRE 42. AB 43. GLAND 44. EPEES 46. TEAT 49. AI 50. DAD 51. SEPARABLE 55. ICIER 58. PRAIA 59. ANEMIA 60. IMAGINATIVE 64. EDT 65. RILED 66. EASES 67. NET 68. SALTS 69. DOORS 70. TRY SOLUTIONS DOWN 1. ENUSE 2. SOULS 3. EMISSARY 4. ACCESSING 5. BOHR 6. ENE 7. ATE 8. MESAS 9. PASTE 10. UNTOLD 11. STEREO 12. ERA 13. YAK 19. ECT 21. TEDS...

  • County volleyball teams get set for season

    Annie Wooden|Aug 31, 2023

    Plains and Noxon tipped off their 2023 volleyball season at the Mission tournament on Saturday. Ten teams competed in a full day of volleyball action. First up was a round robin tournament in order to determine seeding for the afternoon, in which the teams were bracketed for the final rounds. Senior Maygan Swanson is excited for her senior season with the Red Devils. “I’ve been ready for my senior season since fifth grade,” she expressed after Noxon won its first matchup of the season on Satur...

  • 4-H members, canines show off in annual show

    Shannon Brown|Aug 31, 2023

    The Sanders County 4-H clubs held their season ending dog show at the P3 training facility in Trout Creek on Sunday evening. Bailee Patten is the trainer for the group's dogs and young owners. Eight dogs and their owners were there to compete and be judged by Julia Jenks from Libby. There were three categories of judging, including agility, showmanship and interviews. Agility is a course the dogs must complete without being timed at this level. The course includes a tunnel that the dogs must...

  • FWP rescinds restrictions on county waterways

    Aug 31, 2023

    Portions of the Flathead and Clark Fork rivers in Sanders County are reopened after being closed due to fire danger. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is also reopening Kookoosint Fishing Access Site, Paradise Crossing Fishing Access Site, and Full Curl Wildlife Management Area south of Plains on Montana Highway 200. FWP previously closed the stretches of rivers and access sites due to the River Road East fire. While conditions have improved, the fire continues to burn in the area, and recreationists are urged to be aware of fire conditions and...