Wednesday, July 17, 2024
55.0°F
July 10, 2024 7 a.m.

The tipping point?

I’ve been conflicted about tips lately. Whenever you check out nowadays it seems like they’re asking for a tip. Should I tip the girl who handed me a muffin out of the case at Coffee Traders the other day?

Pitamakan: On this day, a nice place for a nap
July 3, 2024 5 a.m.

Pitamakan: On this day, a nice place for a nap

The nice thing about Glacier National Park’s new Wilderness Backcountry Permit system is it lets you see what’s available in advance, so even if you didn’t book a campsite back in March, you still can nab a site (if one’s available) several days in early.

Woman injured in fiery wreck on Glacier National Park's Going-to-the Sun Road
June 27, 2024 10:45 a.m.

Woman injured in fiery wreck on Glacier National Park's Going-to-the Sun Road

A car went off the Going-to-the-Sun Road Wednesday night about 5:40 p.m., struck a tree and caught on fire, Glacier National Park officials said.

Opinion: Meadow Life
June 26, 2024 7 a.m.

Opinion: Meadow Life

So we got to the trailhead to a place I know and I looked at the boy and the boy looked at me and I said, “Where’s your backpack?”

June 26, 2024 6:30 a.m.

An appreciation for Susan Nicosia

Last Monday marked city manager Susan Nicosia’s last full meeting with the Columbia Falls city council.

Columbia Falls upgrading sewer plant after trimming project down
June 26, 2024 6:15 a.m.

Columbia Falls upgrading sewer plant after trimming project down

Columbia Falls has finalized a project to upgrade its sewage treatment plant, but had to trim back aspects of the project due to bids coming in higher than expected.

Howe Lake and beyond ... Biological diversity abounds on this relatively short journey
June 19, 2024 7:55 a.m.

Howe Lake and beyond ... Biological diversity abounds on this relatively short journey

Sometimes you do a hike in Glacier National Park for the fun of it and other times they become an exploratory mission. Sunday’s hike on the Howe Lake Fire Trail was the latter. To get to the Howe Lake Fire Trail you simply hike to Howe Lake off Glacier National Park’s Inside North Fork Road and then keep going.

Hikers and bikers should be able to go to Logan Pass this weekend
June 14, 2024 1:55 p.m.

Hikers and bikers should be able to go to Logan Pass this weekend

Glacier National Park announced Friday that the full length of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to hikers and bikers when crews aren’t working.

Tense moments in Mosquito Flats neighborhood as slope slumps, tipping huge trees over homes
June 14, 2024 7:10 a.m.

Tense moments in Mosquito Flats neighborhood as slope slumps, tipping huge trees over homes

There were some tense moments Tuesday night in the Mosquito Flats neighborhood after a steep slope slumped, tipping several large trees precariously over homes on Second Avenue East.

A perennial problem: Campers stranded at Blankenship
June 7, 2024 7:25 a.m.

A perennial problem: Campers stranded at Blankenship

Flathead National Forest spokeswoman Kira Powell said that now that the area is officially closed, the campers will have to leave — when they can.

A perennial problem: Campers stranded at Blankenship
June 7, 2024 7:25 a.m.

A perennial problem: Campers stranded at Blankenship

Flathead National Forest spokeswoman Kira Powell said that now that the area is officially closed, the campers will have to leave — when they can.

Glacier National Park  plows at  Big Drift, construction paving done on lower end of Sun Road, though shoulder work continues
May 31, 2024 9:45 a.m.

Glacier National Park plows at Big Drift, construction paving done on lower end of Sun Road, though shoulder work continues

Day and night. That might best describe conditions at Glacier National Park’s Logan Pass.

Junior High student projects look to do some good
May 29, 2024 7:25 a.m.

Junior High student projects look to do some good

Aiden Crosswhite brought speakers to the Columbia Falls Junior High to talk about misconceptions about Native Americans.

In split vote, council moves forward with Railroad Street housing
May 29, 2024 5:50 a.m.

In split vote, council moves forward with Railroad Street housing

The Columbia Falls City Council last week formally voted to move forward with a housing project at the baseball field on Railroad Street.

May 22, 2024 9:20 a.m.

East side report

Went east of the divide about a week ago, so I feel like I should give some sort of report, even though the trip was largely uneventful. It was a Sunday and we didn’t even get going until 2:30 p.m., but the Looking Glass Highway was open so we went across to check out Will Hammerquist’s new store at Kiowa Junction.

At Kiowa Junction, a new mercantile has opened
May 22, 2024 7:45 a.m.

At Kiowa Junction, a new mercantile has opened

On Mother’s Day Kiowa Junction, the historic intersection of the Looking Glass Highway and Highway 89 on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation was something it hasn’t been in a very long time: It was busy.

Planning Commission OK’s public participation plan
May 15, 2024 7:50 a.m.

Planning Commission OK’s public participation plan

Following a public hearing Thursday night, the Columbia Falls Planning Commission approved a public participation plan for future planning projects in the city.

Police nab Club vandals
May 8, 2024 2 a.m.

Police nab Club vandals

The Columbia Falls Police Department arrested and charged four juveniles with a rash of vandalism in Columbia Falls, including damaging and destroying property at the Ruis Wrestling Academy and the Boys and Girls Club.

Feds say River Plan is back on track with new leadership
May 8, 2024 2 a.m.

Feds say River Plan is back on track with new leadership

The Comprehensive River Management Plan still has a pulse.

Quist, Powers will square off in primary
May 8, 2024 2 a.m.

Quist, Powers will square off in primary

Two Democrats will square off in the June primary to represent House District 3.

May 1, 2024 2 a.m.

Coalition working with EPA on an independent advisor for CFAC cleanup

Mayre Flowers of the Coalition for a Clean CFAC said it was encouraging to have a dialogue with the company, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality during two open houses and meetings last week.

Yeats family places acreage east of river under easement
May 1, 2024 2 a.m.

Yeats family places acreage east of river under easement

A key parcel of farmland just east of the Flathead River has been placed under a conservation easement with the Flathead Land Trust.

EPA says it would be tough to remove all of the waste at CFAC
May 1, 2024 2 a.m.

EPA says it would be tough to remove all of the waste at CFAC

The Environmental Protection Agency made its strongest case yet for a “waste in place” solution for the cleanup of the Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. Superfund site during a public meeting last week.

Quality of life taking a hit, 62% of Montanans say
May 1, 2024 2 a.m.

Quality of life taking a hit, 62% of Montanans say

Drought, urban sprawl, low snowpack — those are all some of the things that are seen as “serious to very serious” problems by Montanans, according to a new bipartisan poll of voters in the state.

Apgar Lookout: This early season jaunt a great way to get in shape, with views
May 1, 2024 2 a.m.

Apgar Lookout: This early season jaunt a great way to get in shape, with views

The Apgar Mountain Lookout Trail is one of those trails to hike first thing in the season because it’s easy to get to and it’s a good conditioning trail, which is to say it exposes you to elevation gain in a hurry over its 3.5 miles.

Vandals cause thousands in damage to club, academy
May 1, 2024 2 a.m.

Vandals cause thousands in damage to club, academy

Vandals struck the Boys and Girls Club and the Ruis Wrestling Academy over the weekend, doing thousands of dollars in damage.

Sidewalk project raises neighbor’s ire when bushes destroyed
April 24, 2024 2 a.m.

Sidewalk project raises neighbor’s ire when bushes destroyed

A gutter and sidewalk project on select city streets brought the ire of one resident after she found the 70-year-old lilac bushes that guarded her newly-bought home had been torn out and ground up to make way for the project.

Council interviews manager candidate
April 24, 2024 2 a.m.

Council interviews manager candidate

The Columbia Falls City Council Wednesday voted 3-2 to offer Dennis Stark of Frederick, Colorado the city manager position. If hired, Stark would replace longtime manager Susan Nicosia, who will retire at the end of June.

April 24, 2024 2 a.m.

City manager candidate had ethics issue at previous job

Columbia Falls city manager candidate Dennis Stark was the subject of an ethics investigation when he was county manager for Lyon County, Nevada, and ultimately was sanctioned $1,000 by the Nevada Commission on Ethics in 2012.

Schweikert to retire from football coaching
April 17, 2024 2 a.m.

Schweikert to retire from football coaching

After a distinguished career, Columbia Falls High School football coach Jaxon Schweikert announced his retirement from football.

New Spotted Bear District Ranger has a full plate
April 17, 2024 2 a.m.

New Spotted Bear District Ranger has a full plate

When Adam LaDell started as the new Spotted Bear District Ranger last fall, he said he spent most of his time doing paperwork and getting things organized. He didn’t get out on the trails and rivers the district is renowned for.

Flathead National Forest eyes big snowmobile use swap
April 17, 2024 2 a.m.

Flathead National Forest eyes big snowmobile use swap

Would also close more than 80 miles of trails to mechanize use in N. Fork

The Forest Service is proposing to close some areas to snowmobile and other over-the-snow vehicle use in the Spotted Bear Ranger District while opening more terrain in the Glacier View and Hungry Horse Ranger Districts.

If school roof levy fails, the alternatives are not pleasant
April 17, 2024 2 a.m.

If school roof levy fails, the alternatives are not pleasant

School District 6 will make a public push to inform voters about an upcoming building reserve levy request to fix the roof on the classroom wing of the Columbia Falls High School. The alternatives to not fixing the roof soon could still cost the district thousands, without ever addressing the roof.

Commission takes up public input plan
April 17, 2024 2 a.m.

Commission takes up public input plan

The Columbia Falls Planning Commission took its first look at a public participation plan last week. The plan is part of the city coming into compliance with the Montana Land Use Planning Act, which was passed by the state Legislature last year.

April 17, 2024 2 a.m.

Opinion: A North Fork report

I went up the North Fork on Sunday so in the tradition of a good old-fashioned Larry Wilson column, I feel obligated to give a report.

Columbia Falls a natural ‘funnel’ for bears
April 10, 2024 2 a.m.

Columbia Falls a natural ‘funnel’ for bears

With a river running through it and plenty of bear foods along the way, Columbia Falls is basically a funnel for bears, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks conflict management specialist Justine Vallieres told Columbia Falls City Council last week.

CFAC, Ruis announce sale agreement for 2,400 acres of land
April 3, 2024 1:40 p.m.

CFAC, Ruis announce sale agreement for 2,400 acres of land

The Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. has announced a sale agreement of 2,400 acres of land it owns to Columbia Falls developer Mick Ruis.

Neighbors protest Meadow Lake water well plans
April 3, 2024 2 a.m.

Neighbors protest Meadow Lake water well plans

A resident of Garnier Creek Estates and the Garnier Creek Estates Homeowners Association have protested the expansion of the water system by the Meadow Lake County Water and Sewer District.

Boys and Girls Club moves into former Glacier Gateway School
April 3, 2024 2 a.m.

Boys and Girls Club moves into former Glacier Gateway School

The Boys and Girls Club in Columbia Falls has moved into a new location at the former Glacier Gateway Elementary School.

Columbia Falls Police Chief announces retirement
April 3, 2024 2 a.m.

Columbia Falls Police Chief announces retirement

Columbia Falls Police Chief Clint Peters has announced his retirement effective Aug. 1.

Glacier National Park crews plowing Two Medicine Road; will start on Camas Road next week
March 27, 2024 1:45 p.m.

Glacier National Park crews plowing Two Medicine Road; will start on Camas Road next week

It’s that time of year again — Glacier National Park has started plowing the Two Medicine Road and will begin plowing the Camas Road Monday, April 1.

Ruder Elementary will welcome new principal
March 27, 2024 2 a.m.

Ruder Elementary will welcome new principal

Ruder Elementary welcomes Allison Hawes as its new principal for the next school year. Hawes is currently the principal at Helena Flats School, a position she’s held for the past three years.

Cost to remove CFAC waste could be more than $1 billion, EPA estimates
March 27, 2024 2 a.m.

Cost to remove CFAC waste could be more than $1 billion, EPA estimates

Responding to calls to remove toxic waste from the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Co. plant, the Environmental Protection Agency said it estimates it would cost anywhere from $624 million to $1.4 billion to haul the waste away from the Superfund site.

Opinion: Heart advice
March 27, 2024 2 a.m.

Opinion: Heart advice

I’ve run into quite a few friends and readers since I had my double bypass heart surgery and I thought I’d share some experiences on what you might expect if you have to have this procedure done.

March 27, 2024 2 a.m.

Police get kudos from council, public for service

The Columbia Falls Police Department got some thank-yous at last week’s city council meeting.

Columbia Falls outfitter testifies on impacts of climate change to business
March 27, 2024 2 a.m.

Columbia Falls outfitter testifies on impacts of climate change to business

Columbia Falls outfitter and guide Hilary Hutcheson testified before the U.S. Senate Budget Committee last week on the impacts of climate change to the outdoor industry.

Scouts seeing success as they reach for the highest rank
March 27, 2024 2 a.m.

Scouts seeing success as they reach for the highest rank

Three Columbia Falls Scouts are have had academic and performance arts success lately. Boone Shanks, Merrick Fairchild and Lauren Rogers did well during the recent speech and debate season, helping lead the Wildcats to a state A title.

Roads lawsuit brings split decision
March 20, 2024 2 a.m.

Roads lawsuit brings split decision

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen DeSoto March 12 recommended that two local environmental groups partially prevail in their claims against the Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over road management on the Flathead National Forest.

School district will float operational levies, too
March 20, 2024 2 a.m.

School district will float operational levies, too

Looking down the barrel of some significant operating deficits in both the elementary and high school budgets, the School District 6 Board unanimously approved bringing two separate levy requests to voters last week.

March 20, 2024 2 a.m.

Opinion: Slaking a thirst a growing challenge

Last week I had a story on Glacier National Park’s glaciers breaking up — a little less than half of the named glaciers in the park have broken into pieces and I suspect it’s even worse now, since the study was based on images taken a few years ago, and last I checked, summers weren’t getting any cooler.