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Features

Montana artist focuses on unique elements from local towns Montana artist focuses on unique elements from local towns

LAKE COUNTY – Three towns in Lake County have been checked off an artist’s list of places to paint in Montana. Laura Blaker is determined to paint scenes from about 200 towns in the state in the next few years. She has finished the scenes for Polson, Ronan, St. Ignatius, and several more.  The idea for the project started during a road trip she took on her way to a painting workshop. “I noticed that every small town has something unique about it,” she said.  She decided to capture the “essence” of each town with a focus on Main Street, which is why she is calling the project “Main Street Montana,” not to be confused with the...


Polar bears, late UM professor featured in FLIC film Polar bears, late UM professor featured in FLIC film

POLSON — Local filmmaker Frank Tyro got emotional while working on “Walking Bear Comes Home.” “There were times I just had to walk away and come back to it,” he said, referring to the 57-minute documentary about the life of his mentor and friend, the late Charles Jonkel, a ...


Frenchtown Schools offset mill closure losses by allowing out-of-district students Frenchtown Schools offset mill closure losses by allowing out-of-district students

“The only time you see any sort of gathering of people are school activities and at church,” explained Frenchtown Elementary principal Aaron Griffin. For many in the small rural towns surrounding Missoula, the local schools are truly the emotional center of the community. People rally behind t...


Veteran Spotlight Veteran Spotlight

U.S. Navy—Sub Force Pacific, Sub Force Atlantic In 1960, Ron was barely 18 years old, just out of high school in Jordan, Montana.  Fortunately… or unfortunately… Ron’s father and the guy he worked for were both WWII Navy veterans. The recruiter kept coming around and fina...


Veteran Spotlight Veteran Spotlight

U.S. Navy—Sub Force Pacific, Sub Force Atlantic In 1960, Ron was barely 18 years old, just out of high school in Jordan, Montana.  Fortunately… or unfortunately… Ron’s father and the guy he worked for were both WWII Navy veterans. The recruiter kept coming around and fina...


Veteran Spotlight Veteran Spotlight

U.S. Navy—Sub Force Pacific, Sub Force Atlantic In 1960, Ron was barely 18 years old, just out of high school in Jordan, Montana.  Fortunately… or unfortunately… Ron’s father and the guy he worked for were both WWII Navy veterans. The recruiter kept coming around and fina...


Viable communities need housing options: solving the affordable housing crisis Viable communities need housing options: solving the affordable housing crisis

When fire destroyed two mobile homes in a Boulder trailer court and damaged two others in June 2016, it underscored what the community had known for years: affordable housing was at a premium. Calling the blocks of closely placed pre-1976 mobile homes “a ticking time bomb,” Boulder Fire Chief ...


Social services help people survive the income gap Social services help people survive the income gap

Caroline Roesch is a single mother with three children living near the Mission Mountain Range in Lake County, and for her, social service programs were there to help keep food on the table when she needed the assistance.   Roesch was a teacher in Utah’s public school system for about a decade w...


Veteran Spotlight Veteran Spotlight

If you were a recent high school graduate and you wanted to go to a mechanical school but were a little short of finances, what would you do? That was Neal Bocksnick in 1969 and he opted for his second choice, to get mechanical training through the military. He avoided the draft with a delayed enlistment in ...


Cooperative craft breweries: a new approach to revitalizing small towns Cooperative craft breweries: a new approach to revitalizing small towns

Small. Independent. Traditional. These are the words used to define a craft brewery. They could also be used to describe many rural towns across Montana and the Northwest. As small towns contend with big problems in the wake of ever-increasing urban sprawl, they’re getting creative in their search for...


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