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Melon farmers press on after burglars stole seed money, dimmed sons' passion for farming

DIXON — Ten months ago, Harley and Joey Hettick were winding up their busiest season yet since they sowed the first seeds of Dixon Melons, Inc., 21 years before. The family’s melon venture had grown from a backyard garden plot that Harley tilled by hand to a booming business with faithful customers all over Western Montana.  In fact, the harvest was so busy that one Saturday in August, the Hetticks sent truckloads of their tasty fruit to eight farmers markets from Butte to Dixon. It was on a similar chaotic weekend that the unthinkable happened. While the Hetticks and sons Guy Silvernale and Faus Silvernale were gone selling melons at farmers markets, burglars climbed...


4-H youth win in shooting contests

RONAN — Mission Valley youth took aim at ribbons in several air rifle, archery and shotgun contests during the Lake County Fair shooting sports competition Saturday. The air was quiet at the fairgrounds in Ronan as young sharpshooters sighted in their rifles and bows, and it wasn’t long before...


Good Old Days promises fun-filled weekend

ST. IGNATIUS — For the 28th year, Mission Valley residents will gather to celebrate community at Good Old Days — a three-day festival packed with family-friendly events.  Festival activities are headquartered at the Good Old Days Park just off Main Street in St. Ignatius from Friday throu...


Standing Arrow Powwow showcases tribal traditions

ELMO — The Standing Arrow Powwow broke in its new dance arbor, concession stands and vendor areas during the powwow on July 16, 17 and 18.  About 400 dancers and their families attended the powwow on the shores of Flathead Lake, always a good place to be on a hot July day. Grand entries were at...


Sammons’ whereabouts remain a mystery

Kathie Sammons, a suspect in a case involving the embezzlement of $675,000 from the Whitefish Credit Union in June, is not in custody, Polson Police Detective Alan Booth confirmed on Tuesday.  According to several Lake County Sheriff’s deputies and Polson police officers, the investigation is n...


Gas cleanup continues in 2010

RONAN — The Conoco gas leak cleanup that began 15 years ago may be nearing an end, the Department of Environmental Quality reports.   Underneath the abandoned George’s Conoco building in Ronan lies the remnants of a 10,000-gallon gas leak that sprung from a perforated 16,000 gallon underg...


Montana Meth Project launches statewide art contest

RONAN —  Signs displaying the Grim Reaper, cemeteries and the mantra, “Not even once,” have recently crept up along Ronan and Polson streets. The anti-meth signs are part of the Montana Meth Project’s state-wide art competition called Paint the State. Prompting artistically in...


Commissioners select contractor for Streetscape

POLSON —The Polson City Commissioners awarded the bid for the Streetscape project to LHC, Inc. at their meeting on July 19 at 7 p.m. The motion is contingent upon final approval for Community Transportation Enhancement Program funds. The Kalispell firm’s bid was $1,602,193.68.  City Engin...


Golf, country music harmonize for local scholars

RONAN — For the 23rd year in a row, Tim Ryan’s Mission Valley Scholarship “Golf Tourney and Writer’s Night” entertained golfers and local families. The event, which donates scholarship money to local students, drew spectators and athletes from all over Montana. After the golf...


Kalispell woman swims length of lake

POLSON — Emily von Jentzen, 27, slipped into the chilly waters of Somers Bay on Flathead Lake early in the morning on July 17. Von Jentzen wasn’t just taking an early morning swim; she was attempting to be the first woman to swim across Flathead Lake. After starting at 4:23 a.m., she reached t...


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