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Category Archives: Page One

Volunteer resigns over beaver trapping at Metcalf NW Refuge

  By Michael Howell Tom Reed, Manager of the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, has had to do a lot of explaining since one of the refuge volunteers, Kimi Smith, made public her experience discovering a dead beaver in a conibear trap in one of the refuge’s ponds. Smith’s reaction was to throw up and…

Commissioners deny Road Department employee grievance

  By Michael Howell The Ravalli County Commissioners voted 4 to 0 to deny a grievance filed against Road and Bridge Department Supervisor Dusty McKern last week. Road Department employee Crystal Dale filed the grievance, claiming that she had been intimidated, and retaliated against, by her boss. She complained specifically about being “written up” for…

Treasurer’s Office – is the audit an audit?

  By Michael Howell Many people are wondering about the ongoing audit of the Treasurer’s Office. It appears that a lot is hanging on the outcome of the process. Members of the public, County Commissioners and the County Attorney have all expressed frustration over the situation in which the Treasurer remains on paid administrative leave…

Scientists one step closer to understanding and possibly treating hantavirus infections

By Michael Howell A group of scientists, including three from Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton –Doctors David Safronetz, Joseph Prescott and Heinz Feldman – have created an animal model that promises to unlock some of the secrets of how Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a disease spread by deer mice, actually works when it infects humans….

Another conservation easement proposed in Burnt Fork drainage

By Michael Howell The Ravalli County Open Lands Bond Program board has recommended approval of using $150,000 in Open Lands Bond Program funds to help establish another conservation easement in the Burnt Fork drainage east of Stevensville. The new conservation easement would be placed on 329 acres of the Lazy Burnt Fork Ranch owned by…

Painted Rocks Reservoir full and spilling over

  Water levels in the Bitterroot River have risen dramatically since Painted Rocks Reservoir reached capacity and began spilling over Friday evening, May 2 at about 10 p.m. According to dam manager Larry Schock, the reservoir outflows will increase from 427 cubic feet per second (cfs) to at least 600 cfs, and the outflows will…

Office of Emergency Management back under Sheriff’s Office

  By Michael Howell On Monday, April 28, the County Commissioners agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding that delegates the supervision and management of the Office of Emergency Management to the Sheriff. Back in 2003 supervision and management of the OEM was moved from the Sheriff’s Office to the County Commissioners Office. This reverses that…

Commissioner Foss accuses Sheriff of intimidation

  By Michael Howell Prior to Monday’s discussion and decision to give control of the Office of Emergency Management back to the Sheriff’s Office, Commissioner Suzy Foss and Sheriff Chris Hoffman had already had a few words about it by e-mail. Sheriff Hoffman said that he had mentioned to Commission Chairman Greg Chilcott that he…

Proposed Stevensville Airport Affected Area draws crowd

  By Michael Howell Stevensville Mayor Gene Mim Mack immediately put the crowd at ease at last Thursday’s public hearing concerning the adoption of Airport Affected Area regulations when he said that no decision would be made that evening despite the fact that it had been placed on the town council’s agenda for a second…

Commissioners take no action on pending land transfer by tribes

  By Michael Howell The County Commissioners took no action last week with respect to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) latest request for them to quit interfering with their application to transfer the Medicine Tree property, located near Darby, from tribal ownership status to trust status in which the land will be held…