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  • Living an episode of 'Little House'

    Annie Wooden|Jul 18, 2024

    Growing up, I loved "Little House on the Prairie." I loved the show and the books. I read the whole series over again every couple of years. I've always said if I could go back in time, I'd be a pioneer. I believe I could figure out how to grow things and make clothes and I think I'd be a pretty good homesteader. In those days, the communities rallied around families in need. In one "Little House" episode, Charles Ingalls gets hurt falling out of a tree right at harvest time, and Walnut Grove helps with the harvest so he can keep his oxen. Time...

  • Montana Viewpoint

    Jim Elliott|Jul 18, 2024

    My favorite father-in-law (yes, there has been more than one) once told me that if I ever went fishing make sure that I took two ministers with me. So, I took the bait. “Why is that, Dick?” And he reeled me in. “Because if you take only one, he’ll drink all the beer.” Besides being just a joke of dubious quality, the more I thought about it the more wisdom I saw in it. It’s easy to succumb to temptation if nobody’s watching, but if there is someone else there, well, people behave a little bett...

  • Letter: Honoring our parents

    Jul 18, 2024

    When our parents Carl and Linda Haywood died, in April 2024 and June 2024 respectively, we experienced our shock and concern over what to do first and next. Many readers understand the grieving cycle and processes that need to be followed. Our extended family and those we care for grew upon on arrival to Thompson Falls. We have all visited at different times over the years, but this was different, we needed help. I am worried that I will miss someone, but please know our in tent is to show our gratitude to all those that helped us through....

  • Mayor's Corner

    Jul 18, 2024

    by Rusti Leivestad Last month I wrote about The Thompson Falls Water Supply, Storage and Distribution Improvements Project that will address significant upgrades to Thompson Falls water system. This last month has reinforced and validated the need for this project as Public Works has had to make temporary repairs on serious leaks on the Church Street main line. For that reason, the Emergency Waterline Repair (EMR) design is being sent to DEQ for review and approval. While the EMR will be within the scope of the Improvements Project, we are...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Montana Viewpoint

    Jim Elliott|Jul 4, 2024

    A healthy disregard of powerful government is nothing new. The United States Constitution set up the American system of government, stating what the three branches of government could do; but there was a serious objection to the Constitution being ratified by the states. It did not say what the government could NOT do, and many states were unhappy about that. Addressing this dilemma, agreement was reached that once the Constitution was ratified and the government of the United States properly...

  • Whatcha Readin'?

    Sunday Dutro|Jul 4, 2024

    We are officially halfway through the year, and thanks to the Thompson Falls Public Library book sale last weekend, my shelves are back to overflowing. Unfortunately, I’m not keeping up with my personal goal of reading 175 books this year. I’m currently at 80, which my tracking app tells me means I’m eight books behind; eep! Despite being behind, I managed to read 13 books in June, nine of which were four stars or better. Here they are in no particular order: Funny Story by Emily Henry is a contemporary romance that’s hilarious, hopeful...

  • Real Estate Trends

    Tina Daugherty|Jul 4, 2024

    June has been a wet, cold and windy with intermittent hot, beautiful summer days and many a rainbow! The gardening and hay seem to be suffering, but we are still very blessed to live in this gorgeous area. Also, many of the ornamental and fruit trees did not enjoy the unseasonably cold weather, dang it! The very helpful county extension agent sent out a newsletter saying not to give up on those trees. They may well come back! As to the real estate market, the inventory is thankfully climbing in all categories, typical of June in Montana. The...

  • Open Meadows: Remedies for summer and always

    Shannon Brown|Jul 4, 2024

    The cool early mornings are the best time to gather plants for salves and other healing uses. The birds are singing. It is peaceful and grounding. I walk through the woods on my property and in my yard to find the best plants for my healing intentions. So many have shown up this season. I have cultivated wild red clover in my yard as well as plantain and yarrow. I noticed this year that the self heal plant is growing better than previous years. The flat pointy leaves of lime green have grown in nice little circles with their flowers about...

  • Our Viewpoint: You don't need it, but then you do

    Annie Wooden|Jun 27, 2024

    You don't need a plumber, until you do. You don't need a cup of sugar, until you do. You don't need an ambulance, until you do. We had a scare in our family last week which required my dad to take a trip to the hospital. My parents live between Thompson Falls and Trout Creek. Like many areas of Sanders County, you're at least 15 minutes from anywhere. The Thompson Falls Ambulance arrived quickly and got my dad to the hospital where he received excellent care. He is on the mend and everything will be fine. Every day when I drive out to my...

  • A Few Thoughts

    Sandy Compton|Jun 27, 2024

    I’ve not been writing a lot of late — mostly, just this column. The best of writing days are dark and wet, when I’m glad to be inside and gladder still to have something to do that I love to do. But now, the long light of the season demands to be used. Lingering day calls, “Don’t just sit there. Do something!” Not that writing is not doing something. It surely is, but a window in my writing room frames a green hodgepodge of trees, a wild bit of lawn that needs taming, wilder roses, blooming dewberry vines, the beginning of a trail to the river...

  • Refrain from backyard fireworks

    Jun 27, 2024

    Editor: On July 5, people all around this country will be posting "Lost Dog" notices because their dogs or other pets ran away, scared crazy by neighborhood firecrackers and fireworks. Unfortunately, it will probably continue all weekend. By Monday, July 8, the shelters will be full of the lucky dogs who got found and rescued before they got hit by vehicles or attacked by predators. I used to think firecrackers were fun too, when I was about 10 years old. Six decades later I now think they're kind of stupid. Big public fireworks displays are co...

  • Let's Talk Travel

    Crystal Molidor|Jun 27, 2024

    Two weeks ago, my husband and I embarked on a journey along the Danube River with AmaWaterways, traveling from Budapest, Hungary to Nuremberg, Germany. This experience not only brought us closer together as a couple but also introduced us to a whole new way of seeing the world. As a travel agent, I'm frequently immersed in researching options for clients, but experiencing this voyage firsthand illuminated just how special these vacations can be. From the moment we stepped onboard, the crew made everything seamless and easy. Our hardest...

  • Our Viewpoint: Focusing on those everyday milestones

    Annie Wooden|Jun 20, 2024

    When does a day matter? When does an hour matter? Over the weekend I got to participate in a couple milestone birthdays. I attended Betty Meyer’s 100th birthday party at the Paradise Center. That same evening, I celebrated a close friend’s 50th birthday. Both milestones were worthy of joyous celebrations. As I drove home Saturday evening, however, it got me thinking about other milestones. We celebrate “big” birthdays such as your 21st, 40th of 100th, and anniversaries such as your first, 25th and 50th. For many people, each day is a milesto...

  • Montana Viewpoint: You go to your church, I'll go to mine

    Jim Elliott|Jun 20, 2024

    A few years ago I was talking with a man who raised an interesting question: “There’s only one God, why do we need so many different churches?” I let that one slide right by because I like to limit my controversial discussions to politics, for better or worse. But I was curious as to why he belonged to the church he did and not another one of the some 200 Christian denominations in America. I didn’t raise that point, either. Religion is a serious topic in America and has been ever since the Pil...

  • Gratitude for support

    Jun 20, 2024

    I am writing to express my appreciation for the support from our community of the Thompson Falls Class of 2024. As a parent of a graduating senior as well as one of the senior class advisors, I am astounded by the generosity of the local businesses and residents. As a teacher, I have respect and admiration for the residents and organizations who go out of their way to provide scholarship opportunities for students to continue their education beyond high school. Furthermore, many local businesses and residents donated to the Class of 2024 so...

  • Jeanne, Tina lead the ladies

    Skye Hill|Jun 20, 2024

    The Ladies League had another stunning day of golf at the River’s Bend Golf Course, with Tina Wheeler and Jeanne Holleran getting the low team gross score of 102. Danice Toyias and Kristy Beaty earned the low team net score with a 69, while Tina Wheeler earned the low individual gross score with 46. Chris Kelly earned the low individual net score with 32. Annie Wooden earned the closest to pin on No. 1, while Katie Miller earned the closest to pin on No. 2. Kelly Wheeler earned the closest to pin on No. 5, while Healy Ramey earned the c...

  • Our Viewpoint: Appreciating those who don't ask for it

    Annie Wooden|Jun 13, 2024

    The primary election is over. While we didn't have many local races on the ballots in the primary, statewide and federal elections are heating up. Turning on a local television or radio station, you'll see even more aggressive ads for congressional candidates. Campaign signs will become more prominent on the Sanders County landscape as the general election nears. There's so much attention on the people running for office and political issues that sometimes we lose focus on the hard work that is happening right here in our communities. Every...

  • Sunday's Snapshots: The last best tourist place

    Sunday Dutro|Jun 13, 2024

    Recently I had the good fortune to travel to Maine, a state I’d never been to and wanted to visit since I was a teenager and became obsessed with Stephen King and later Elizabeth Strout. When our local librarian, Jennifer Z., moved there, I hounded her for updates until she admitted, (and I paraphrase) “it’s a lot like Montana but with more people and an ocean.” I still wanted to go see it for myself, but it reinforced a belief I hold that Montana truly is the last best place because of the lack of population (there are other reasons of cour...

  • Mayor's Corner

    Jun 13, 2024

    by Rusti Leivestad, Thompson Falls Mayor Thompson Falls city water system is part of the original water system built for the railroad in the late 1800’s. The City’s water supply system consists of a spring supply source (Ashley Creek watershed), two operating water wells, two concrete storage reservoirs, transmission mains and the distribution system. A Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) in 2005 showed the existing water supply had adequate capacity to serve the community through 2025. (This projection was based on the service at that tim...

  • Our Viewpoint: Speed radar signs will help our small town

    Annie Wooden|Jun 6, 2024

    Earlier this year, at the request of the city, the Department of Transportation extended the 25 mph and 35 mph speed zones in Thompson Falls. With that, there was a request to add speed radar signs that warn approaching motorists of their speed. The Thompson Falls Woman's Club has taken on fundraising for the speed radar signs, which run about $5,000 each. TFWC felt that the signs were so important that they started the fundraising effort as one of their community service projects. They have solicited donations from local businesses and...

  • Montana Viewpoint

    Jim Elliott|Jun 6, 2024

    I don’t know when the Merriam turkey was introduced to Western Montana, but it was and they have prospered. I can vouch for it. In the 1980s and 90s I broke out about 65 acres of timberland into cropland and I planted a lot of oats to “tame the soil”. I put up a lot of the oats as hay and word spread fast in turkey-dom. In short-order my haystacks began to look like the rear end of a threshing machine because the turkeys scratched the bales to get at the oat kernels and popped all the strin...

  • Whatcha Readin'?

    Sunday Dutro|Jun 6, 2024

    Do you ever feel like a book finds you when you need it? Like the Universe or God or the interconnectedness of all things is working together to ensure you read a book when you need it most? May was one of those months. Nearly every book that found its way to me came when I needed it most. Now, I’m hoping all the summer books find me: the books that are light, quick, and full of love, humor, and easily resolved problems. Recommendations wanted. In May I read 14 books, 10 of which were four stars or better. Here they are, in no particular o...

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