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Council approves Don Smith for Ward 1


POLSON — The Polson City Council voted 6-0 to approve Don Smith for the open Ward 1 position, vacated by Ron Boyce during the last meeting. Smith was sworn in after he was voted in by the council and continued the meeting carrying out the duties of the Ward 1 commissioner. The Council also tabled a vote to approve or disapprove the hiring of a 13th police officer through the C.O.P.S. grant which would pay for the salary and fringe benefits of another law enforcement office for three years and then the city would pick up the costs of the officer in the fourth year. During that time, the grant requires the city to keep a police force of at least 13 including the C.O.P.S. grant officer. The reason for tabling the vote was to ensure that City Manager Todd Crossett was present and provided input before a decision was made. Crossett was out with an illness.

Corrine Irvine and her daughter Charlene Lefthand discussed improving the handicap accessibility in Polson and in it’s various parks. High curbs, handicap parking spots, the location of the spots and the inaccessibility of public parks were among the chief concerns. “Our parks and our town are made for people without disabilities,” Lefthand said.

In the Sept. 2010 cash report, Bonnie Manicke said that the city’s cash reserve will run into the red for October, until more funds from real estate taxes become available on Dec. 15. Manicke said that the large amount of delinquent property taxes is the most in a ten year period.The PRA also recommended to the council that TIF funds not be used by the city council to help reduce the SID fees that will affect Main Street businesses. PRA board member Jules Clavadetscher said that while he couldn’t speak for the other members, he thought that the reasons against using those TIF funds was the fact that already half of the Streetscape project has used public funds and that the project is improving the value of private property along Main St.

- Sports editor Brandon Hansen


Devlin on board


POLSON — Michael Devlin, a sophomore at Polson High School, will be part of the first-ever State Superintendent’s Student Advisory Board. The student advisory board consists of 40 students from 31 Montana schools that represent 142,082 Montana K-12 students.

“Michael Devlin will provide a much needed student perspective on state policy, such as Graduation Matters Montana, and will help guide the K-12 education system into the future,” State Superintendent Denise Juneau said.

Student Advisory Board members were nominated by local school and community members, and had to apply on-line for selection to the Board.

“The young people in our classrooms today will make up the workforce of tomorrow. An educated workforce is essential to economic development and our state’s long-term success. It is important that students have a voice in how that future looks,” Juneau said.

The Office of Public Instruction is launching an initiative called “Graduation Matters Montana” to increase the number of Montana high school graduates. The impacts of dropping out of high school are extreme – for the student and for Montana’s economy – costing us millions of dollars annually in lost income and increased public costs. Teachers and schools cannot solve the problem alone: it will take parents, businesses, students, civic groups and others working together to make a positive difference.

“At the Office of Public Instruction, we are well aware of the seriousness of young people not receiving a high school diploma and believe that students are an important voice in helping schools to better address this issue. We look forward to hearing Michael Devlin’s voice at the state policy level,” Juneau said.

- courtesy of Rachael DeMarce


Work hard, make a difference


LAKE COUNTY — In conjunction with Native American Heritage Month, United States Attorney Michael W. Cotter seeks nominations for “Working Hard, Making a Difference Awards.” Cotter seeks to recognize individuals in Indian Country who have made significant contributions to public safety.

In reflection on the new award, U.S. Attorney Cotter said, “Every time I go to Indian Country I am impressed and reminded that many unsung heroes are working every day to make Indian Country a better place for all. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has many outstanding law enforcement partners. We need to do a better job of recognizing the men and women who work day in and day out to assure that our reservation communities are safe and justice is served.”

Nominations should include the name, title, and contact information of the nominee along with a one page narrative describing how this person has made an outstanding contribution to public safety in Indian Country in Montana.

Nominations should be submitted to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Attn: Sally Frank, P.O. Box 1478, Billings, Montana, 59103, on or before Dec. 1. The “Working Hard, Making a Difference Award” winners will be announced in late December.

- courtesy of Sally Frank


Polson food pantry gains new support


POLSON — Mission Mountain Les Schwab Tires has joined Town Pumps “Match Program” by offering $1,500 in match money. The Polson Food Pantry, Loaves and Fish now has $6,500 of available match money that can be captured by donations from individuals, businesses, or community/service organizations.

What a great way to offer a helping hand to those folks in our community who need supplemental or emergency assistance with food. This program has already begun and will now run through Nov. 30. Please make your tax deductible donation payable to: Polson Loaves and Fish Food Pantry.

They may be mailed to 904 1st Street East, Polson, MT 59860 or dropped off at the Pantry (same address) on Tuesday’s or Friday’s between 10 am and 2 pm or Saturday’s between 9 am and noon. Checks may also be dropped off at Town Pump on Hwy. 93 in Polson.

Our Polson Pantry serves over 320 families a month, using an all volunteer workforce. What a wonderful and fulfilling way to “lend a helping hand” to those in our community that need some help!

Won’t you please consider making a donation to capture some of the available match dollars.

A special thanks to Les Schwab Tires and Town Pump for making match dollars available to assist those in our community who “need a helping hand.”

- courtesy of Sid Rundell



wrap-up for

NW Montana


LAKE COUNTY — Hunters took to the field Saturday and Sunday across northwest Montana for the opening weekend of the general deer and elk season. At the six northwest Montana check stations, a total of 3,146 hunters checked 136 white-tailed deer, 25 mule deer, and 31 elk for a 6.1 percent rate of hunters with game. Of the whitetails checked, 95 were bucks and 41 were antlerless. The U.S. Highway 2 check station had the largest number of whitetail deer taken (40), while the Swan (31) and Olney (29) check stations weren’t far behind.

FWP Wildlife Manager Jim Williams noted that because of the two-day opening weekend this year, direct comparisons can’t be made to deer and elk harvest numbers in previous years. He added that deer and elk seasons in northwest Montana are very conservative, with adult hunters limited to buck only for whitetail and mule deer, with very few B-tags for antlerless deer.

The Thompson Falls check station had the largest number of elk taken (15). According to Biologist Bruce Sterling, a number of impressive bull elk were brought through the station Saturday and Sunday. The lower Clark Fork traditionally checks more elk than any other check station in northwest Montana.

“This was a great opening weekend,” he said.

There was no shortage of hunting stories at the check stations around the region. At the Swan Valley check station on Highway 83 south of Bigfork, hunters checked in steadily on Sunday afternoon. Six nice bull elk were brought through the station. Seven youngsters came through with their first deer, all whitetail does and young bucks.

John Vore, the biologist who is in charge of the Swan check station noted that there were a good number of yearling bucks in the harvest.

“We expected that yearling deer would make up a significant portion of the harvest this year,” he said. “We observed good survival of these young deer through the relatively mild winter last year.”

He added that at the Olney check station, yearling deer made up about half of the harvest.

Hunters are reminded that regulations for whitetails and mule deer in Region One are buck-only through the end of the hunting season. Youth 12-15 (and some qualifying 11-year olds, see the regulations) can take antlerless whitetail deer.

Elk hunting is brow-tined bull only. Youth 12-15 (and some qualifying 11-year olds) can take antlerless elk. Spike elk are not legal game. These regulations apply in most Region One hunting districts. Check the Montana hunting regulations for the district you plan to hunt.

- courtesy of John Fraley


Hunting closures


MONTANA — By order of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, hunting district 303, which includes portions of Park County, will be closed to all hunting of bighorn sheep, effective one-half hour after sunset on Wednesday, Nov. 3. The order halting the hunt came after the pre-established harvest quota for the district had been met.

The hunting of all mountain lions in southwestern Montana hunting districts 318 and 350, in portions of Jefferson and Silver Bow counties, closed at one-half hour after sunset on Sunday, Oct. 31.

These hunting districts will re-open for the hunting of all mountain lions for the winter season beginning Dec. 1. The closure notice for the hunt came shortly after FWP officials received word that the pre-established harvest quota for the districts combined had been met.

For more information, visit FWP’s web site at, click on “Hunting,” then under Hunting Guides click on “Mountain Lion,” or call the toll-free number at 1-800-385-7826.

-courtesy of Joleen Tadej

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