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Volume XXV, Number 18

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stevi elementary bond passes

Stevi school building bonds - one passes, one fails

By Michael Howell

Voters in the Stevensville Elementary School District approved an $8.8 million school building bond by mail-in ballot last month by a narrow (1.7 percent) margin. The bond will be used to construct a new 4th to 8th grade building on the school campus. The difference between those approving and those not was only 36 votes. The final tally was 1,096 in favor and 1,060 against. More...

Fake dog, real cat. "Dasher," the resident feline at Red Willow Antiques in Stevensville, naps on a convenient lap in the store's window display. Jean Schurman photo.

Feeding stations may limit access to Mitchell Slough

By Michael Howell

According to Mack Long, Regional Director of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, some landowners along Mitchell Slough are now invoking a federal law that allows feeding of waterfowl and restricts hunting around the feeding stations as an angle to restrict hunting access along the slough. More...

Pneumonia confirmed in bighorn sheep near Darby

State wildlife officials have announced that tests confirmed that two bighorn sheep from the East Fork Bitterroot herd south of Darby recently died from pneumonia. More...

Outfitter changes plea to guilty

By Michael Howell

Part time Hamilton resident James Mockerman changed his plea on charges of outfitting without a license to guilty last week in Ravalli County District Court. Mockerman pleaded guilty to two felony counts and 14 misdemeanor counts of outfitting without a license. In exchange for the guilty plea, imposition of sentencing on the felony counts may be deferred for three years. He could face restitution charges of $35,000 and fines and the loss of hunting and fishing privileges when sentenced on the misdemeanor counts. Mockerman originally pleaded innocent to the charges after being arrested last August. More...

County to consider micro-loan program

By Michael Howell

The Ravalli County Commissioners are still considering how to spend the bulk of the money that came to the county from the federal government as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds this year. PILT funds are federal payments to local governments that help offset losses in property taxes due to nontaxable federal lands within their boundaries. It is a significant part of the county’s revenue each year. This year the Commissioners are considering using a portion of the funds to establish a local micro-loan program. More...

Town to apologize to Mid. Burnt Fork Road residents

By Michael Howell

Although not exactly a letter of apology, since the letter doesn’t actually use that word, nonetheless one Stevensville Town Councilor, Paul Ludington, did characterize it, at the November 23, Council meeting where it was discussed, as an apology to residents along Middle Burnt Fork Road for the long delay in making the needed improvements to the road. The letter is being sent out by the Town at the behest of the Ravalli County Commissioners. More...


There was never a lawsuit filed (as reported in last week’s Star) by the Skyline Homeowners against the City of Hamilton over impacts to a road through the subdivision. It was only a dispute over a contract with the city. The City agreed to pay $45,000 to the Skyline Homeowners Association to settle a contract dispute, not to settle a lawsuit.

“The $120,000 in damages was an engineer’s estimate,” said homeowner Greg Raymond. “We told the City that we believed the true damages were closer to $70,000. We got about half that, but we are satisfied.”

Raymond said that negotiations with the City were very difficult in large part due to the constant turnover in city officials dealing with the matter.


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