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Report finds Treasurer’s allegations unfounded

  By Michael Howell Retired judge Nels Swandal submitted an eight-page final report on March 28 summarizing the results of his investigation into the allegations made by County Treasurer Valerie Stamey against various county officials. The report was made public the following day by County Attorney Bill Fulbright. Fulbright hired Swandal to conduct an independent…

Florence doctor’s license suspended

    By Michael Howell On April 7, the Screening Panel of the Board of Medical Examiners (BME) at the Montana Department of Labor and Industry held an emergency meeting and summarily suspended Dr. Chris Christensen’s license to practice medicine in the state. They did so based on information provided by law enforcement that was…

School board reverses decision, counselor ousted on fourth vote

By Michael Howell In a process fraught with confusion, the Stevensville School Board of Trustees voted last week not to renew the contract of non-tenured school counselor Katherine Mason for the coming 2014-1015 school year. At a meeting the previous month, the board voted down a motion to accept the school administration’s recommendation of non-renewal…

Dangerous conditions prompt Woodside to Tucker FAS river closure

  Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks put an emergency rule in place on Friday, April 11 that closes the Bitterroot River near Corvallis to all floating from Woodside to Tucker Fishing Access Sites due to flow conditions that make portage around the Supply Ditch Diversion Dam very difficult. The Supply Ditch Diversion, located approximately three…

Treasurer’s office temporarily reorganized

  By Michael Howell Last Tuesday, April 1, the County Commissioners decided not to fill the vacant position of Chief Deputy in the Treasurer’s office and use the vacancy savings to pay for stipends for two “lead” positions instead, one in the Tax Office and one in the Motor Vehicle Division, that would bring their…

Auditor’s latest update released

  By Michael Howell The latest update concerning the independent audit being conducted at the Treasurer’s office was released to the public last Friday, April 4. The update, from James Woy, of Anderson ZurMuehlen & Co., PC, the independent firm conducting the audit, discusses the status of the audit through March 27. It is the…

Lawsuit to collect fines from Treasurer not filed

  By Michael Howell It has been almost a month since the Ravalli County Commissioners decided to file a lawsuit to collect about $29,000 in fines from County Treasurer Valerie Stamey. But as of Monday, April 7, there is no record at the courthouse of any suit having been filed. At a meeting this past…

Florence doctor’s license suspended

By Michael Howell The Montana Board of Medical Examiners issued a Summary Order of Suspension of the medical license of Florence doctor Chris Christensen, M.D., on Monday, April 7, following a raid on the clinic on April 1. The suspension is in force pending a hearing on a complaint against the doctor resulting from an…