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Home at last – Corvallis WWII POW finally laid to rest

Ninety year old Alfred Simmons, first cousin to the deceased, placed the last of twenty-five roses on the casket, one for each year of the young soldier’s life.

  By Michael Howell A young Army Corporal by the name of George Simmons, from Corvallis, was taken prisoner by the Japanese following the battle of Corrigedor in 1942. He survived the brutal death march to Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp located on Luzon in the Philippines. But conditions were squalid and unsanitary at the…

“I realize this award is only possible because of the hard work and commitment of all Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital employees, physicians and board members,” said John Bartos, CEO, Daly Hospital. Michael Howell photo.

By Michael Howell Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital was ranked among the top 100 Critical Access Hospitals this year by iVantage Health Analytics. The awards were announced at the National Rural Health Association’s 39th Annual Rural Health Conference. Recipients were determined to have outperformed other critical access and rural and community hospitals around the country in…

Myers files complaint against state’s Chief Disciplinary Counsel

By Michael Howell Hamilton attorney Robert Myers, a candidate for District Court Judge, has filed charges in federal court in Missoula against Shaun Thompson in his official capacity as Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the State of Montana over that office’s investigation of a radio ad he placed attacking the incumbent Judge Jeffrey Langton during the…

Election results – County commission to go back to three

By Michael Howell Ravalli County is going back to a three-member board of commissioners. Voters approved the three-commissioner board by a vote of 9,242 (78%) in favor to 3,744 (28%) for retaining the five-member board. Voters rejected the proposed change to six-year terms of office, however, and overwhelmingly approved the current four-year terms by a…

Stamey responds to county attorney instead of court

By Michael Howell Former County Treasurer Valerie Stamey failed to respond to the court after being served papers concerning the civil lawsuit in which the county alleges 58 separate instances of failing to perform her official duties and fines totaling $29,000. It took about two years for the summons to be served on Stamey, who…

Complaint against district judge candidate moves forward

By Michael Howell District Court Judge candidate Robert Myers’ attempt to have the complaint against him made by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel dismissed was denied by the Commission on Practice in an order filed on May 31, 2016. Myers was ordered to answer the complaint within seven days. Instead of answering the complaint by…

Empty coal cars mothballed in Bitterroot

Chain of empty coal cars streatches along the railroad tracks between Florence and Lolo where they are being stored. Michael Howell photo.

By Michael Howell The Bitterroot spur line owned by Montana Rail Link has not seen any train traffic the last few years. An unrepaired washout prevents any rail traffic into Ravalli County but the tracks are usable from Missoula to Florence and that portion of the Bitterroot spur is now being used as a storage…

Dealing with grief the natural way

Molly Pickett, Assistant Director and Grief Specialist at Tamarack Grief Resource Center (left), participates in a candle-lighting ceremony where candles are lit to honor the memory of the deceased. At the camps, in the evening, a campfire ritual begins with a candle-lighting ceremony offering an opportunity for each individual to light a candle silently, or with a name or with a story. Once the candles are lit, the group leans down together to light the campfire and discussion may continue, proceeding to thoughts and memories of loved ones and each person’s experience with grief. Then come the snacks, the guitars and the music, and the mood begins to shift to the here and now and to creating new memories of times with supportive others.

  By Michael Howell Grief over the death of a loved one is something every human being will have to experience in his or her lifetime. It is a naturally occurring human response to loss. But getting through it can be difficult. It can become disabling, even overwhelming, and leave a person feeling like they…