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North Valley Library looking good, more work planned

By Michael Howell Everyone who works there and everyone who visits the North Valley Public Library (NVPL) in Stevensville breathed a collective sigh of relief when the doors opened on December 29 and patrons finally had full access to the library once again. It was a little bit hard (maybe that’s an understatement) on everyone…

Happy New Year to centenarian Helen Jenkins

Celebrating the turn of the year is even more significant when it’s the hundredth one you’ve seen. That’s the case for Helen Jenkins of Hamilton, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday with a party given by great grandchildren, Valisha and Mike Needles, and other family members. She was born on December 18, 1915. Jenkins was…

Some dark money contributors have Bitterroot connections

By Michael Howell Montana Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl has accused Montana Growth Network (MGN), a registered political committee in the state from 2011 to October 2012, of violating Montana’s campaign laws in the 2012 elections. Motl found that MGN filed too late as a political committee, published material supporting and opposing certain candidates…

County’s contract for legal notices goes to high bidder

By Michael Howell The Ravalli County Commissioners awarded the contract for publication of the county’s legal advertising for 2016 to the high bidder last week, citing issues of “efficiency and the testimony of some departments” as reasons for paying the higher cost. The bid from the Ravalli Republic was $2.85 per 100-word folio for the…

Daly Hospital recognized for overall excellence

Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital in Hamilton finishes the year on a high note, with recognition for performance leadership in quality. It was announced that the hospital has been recognized by iVantage Health Analytics and the National Organization of State Office of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in quality, reflecting top quartile performance among all…

Exit Realty honors top teens

Exit Realty Bitterroot Valley recently recognized its November Youth in Action award recipient. Sadie Mauk was presented with a certificate and a check for $50. “We always seem to hear about the negative activities teens are up to,” said Max Coleman, broker/owner of Exit Realty Bitterroot Valley. “There are so many teens who are doing…

Friends of the Metcalf Refuge honored by Bitter Root Land Trust

By Michael Howell After being banned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from making any direct contributions of money or labor to the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, the non-profit organization Friends of the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge looked for ways to spend their time, energy and money that could still benefit the…

County and state agree on maintenance of highway amenities

By Michael Howell After five years of haggling over who is responsible for maintaining the amenities that were installed when Highway 93 was expanded to four lanes, the County and the Montana Department of Transportation have finally arrived at a potential Memorandum of Understanding that would describe the various responsibilities. The County Commissioners approved a…

Hamilton Council considers possible remodel of city hall

By Michael Howell The Hamilton City Council decided last week to enlist the services of Bechtle Architects for $20,000 to evaluate the possibility of renovating the existing city hall building to house a new Law and Justice Center. The council has been considering construction of a Law and Justice Center for some time and discussing…

Stevensville invests reserve funds

By Michael Howell At its December 10 meeting the Stevensville Town Council decided to place about $235,108 from various reserve funds into certificates of deposit in order to earn a bit of interest. The money consists of $60,000 sitting in the water system’s capital improvement reserve fund and $84,100 in the water bond short lived…