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Local schools pay $500,000 to bail out teacher’s retirement Local schools pay $500,000 to bail out teacher’s retirement

LAKE COUNTY — A plan to bail out the Montana Teacher’s Retirement System will cost Lake County school districts more than $500,000 this year, resulting in less relief to the taxpayer and the inability to build reserve funds, according to local education officials.   The plan was created in the 2013 legislative session to get the system back on track after it lost $820 million in investments because of the 2008 financial crash. In the 2012 fiscal year the system lost $40 million because investment earnings did not cover a $99.4 million difference between contributions and benefit payments, according to a January 2013 audit.  “There was no time frame in which...


Vandalism suspects in custody

PABLO —Three juvenile suspects were taken into custody Thursday afternoon and charged with vandalism of Salish Kootenai College.  Lake County undersheriff Dan Yonkin said offices were broken into and small vehicles were damaged during the crime that was discovered early Thursday.  Colle...

Bullock, Juneau urge students to graduate Bullock, Juneau urge students to graduate

POLSON — Sheets of rain didn’t discourage Governor Steve Bullock or Denise Juneau, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, as they spoke at the Polson Graduation Matters Kickoff Celebration Thursday. Governor Bullock, raindrops dripping from his head, told Polson kids, “I’m c...

Fires burn in Mission Mountains Fires burn in Mission Mountains

LAKE COUNTY — Storms that brought relief for dry Mission Valley over the past few weeks also triggered three lightning fueled fires that were being fought or monitored on Monday.  Helicopters, single engine air-tankers and 28 personnel are fighting the five-acre Eagle Pass Fire, located in the ...

Artist strays from trademark style in new show Artist strays from trademark style in new show

ST. IGNATIUS – Louise Lamontagne has spent much of the past 20 years quietly creating art in her St. Ignatius studio, with a picturesque mountain view not unlike the beautiful landscape paintings she is known for.  “When you look up Louise Lamontagne or someone thinks of me, that is what ...

Council directs attorney to draft revisions to ordinances

RONAN – The Ronan City Council directed city attorney Jessica Cole-Hodgkinson to draft clearer language for vicious animal and town beautification ordinances at its Aug. 26 regular meeting. Last year, the council passed an ordinance that allows residents to make a formal complaint about lawns that a...

Council includes police staffing in tentative budget plans

RONAN – The Ronan City Council tentatively planned to staff its police department with at least five full-time officers at a Monday, Aug. 26 budget hearing.  The department has two full-time officers since former police chief Dan Wadsworth lost his credentials in late July. Lake County Sheriff&...

Local artist creates mountain mural Local artist creates mountain mural

POLSON — A mountain scene complete with pine trees stretches across the front of the old Gambles building on Main Street, concealing the building’s shabby visage.  Local artist Rob Gunderson painted the mural, and it’s huge — a dozen 4-foot by 8-foot panels. He started the ...

Ronan court meets goal, sets another

RONAN — The Ronan City Court managed to complete one goal two months ahead of schedule and is now setting its sights on another. “It was a goal to make the court current,” Ronan City Court Judge Justin Bartels said. During the past two years, the court has handled almost 500 cases as ...

Police officer involved in alleged assault

POLSON — Polson Police officer Cory Anderson was placed on administrative leave after an alleged assault at Swanee’s Bar and Grill on Aug. 25.  Law enforcement responded to an assault call at approximately 11:15 p.m. Anderson was not on duty and was not arrested Polson Police Chief Wad...

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