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City of Hamilton proclaims opposition to ‘big box’ stores

By Michael Howell The Hamilton City Council took a stand in support of their downtown businesses and against Big Box store development last week, approving a proclamation that opposes the construction of large-scale retail facilities in the Hamilton Trade Area. That trade area is defined in the City’s Hamilton Downtown Master Plan as including the…

Commissioners to comment on EPA rule change

By Michael Howell The Ravalli County Commissioners are composing a written comment on a proposed rule change under the federal Clean Water Act. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are considering a rule change that, according to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, clarifies the act in ways “called for by the Supreme…

Stevi changes weekend curfew hours

By Michael Howell Juveniles in Stevensville will have to get off the streets a little earlier on the weekends now. The Town Council amended the current curfew ordinance that allows juveniles to be out on the streets and other public places to get them home a little sooner. The existing curfew hour on the weekends…

Judge orders closure of exempt well ‘loophole’ in water rights law

By Michael Howell On Friday, October 17, the Montana District Court for Lewis and Clark County ordered Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) to close a loophole in the state’s water right permit rules that developers and other large water users were using to avoid the permitting process when drilling thousands of water…

Hamilton woman circulating petition against ‘big box’ stores

By Michael Howell An application for a wastewater discharge permit for a large retail store to be located at Highway 93 and Blood Lane south of Hamilton has stirred a groundswell of protest over what many speculate will be a Walmart development. Hamilton resident Clover Quinn hopes to put a crimp in any such development…

Local groups to hold meeting on box store proposal

Bitterrooters for Planning will host “Our Water, Our Towns, Our Business,” an informational public meeting on the proposal for a large-scale retail store near Hamilton on Monday, October 27 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of Hamilton City Hall. The meeting is free and open to the public. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality…

Florence school trustee resignation accepted

By Michael Howell Florence-Carlton School District Trustee Colby Reynolds’ resignation is final following a unanimous vote to accept it at the October 13 school board meeting. Reynolds first submitted notice of his resignation on August 25, effective the previous day, but then attempted to withdraw his resignation in an email sent to the Superintendent and…

Conservationist honored

Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg of Hamilton, one of the founders of the 1964 Wilderness Act which is 50 years old this year, addressed a standing-room-only audience in Hamilton last week at the screening of the U.S. Forest Service film about his years of public service in getting the Wilderness Act approved by Congress. The film, entitled…