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Volume XXV, Number 29

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comment on our front page stories on the new Bitterroot Star blog!

State to file charges against Wal-Mart-funded group

By Michael Howell

Commissioner of Political Practices Dennis Unsworth said that the state would soon be filing charges against the Ravalli County Citizens for Free Enterprise for violating Montana’s political practices laws. The organization campaigned to repeal an Interim Zoning ordinance passed by the County Commissioners in 2006 capping retail store sizes at 60,000 square feet. More...

Dennis Rehberg, Montana’s lone U.S. Representative, addresses a capacity crowd of 200 at the annual Lincoln Reagan Luncheon on February 6 at the Victor Steak House. Terry Nelson (pictured with Rehberg), Chair of Ravalli County Republican Central Committee which sponsored the event, was the emcee. A perfect time to hold the luncheon, since it was Ronald Reagan's 99th birthday. Rehberg told the crowd what was happening in Washington DC. There was excitement in the air anytime anyone mentioned Scott Brown taking Massachusetts, or the possibility of Kirk taking Illinois. Eight new candidates for seats in Ravalli County spoke, including Ron Ehli, Ed Greef, Bill Fulbright, Ron Stoltz, Suzy Foss, Matt Kanenwisher, Joede Vanek, and Pat Connell. Bob Lake, terming out in his District, announced his candidacy for the Senate, and Gary MacLaren, Chris Hoffman, Regina Plettenberg and Robin Clute will run again for their current seats. Will Deschamps, the Republican State Chair, was in attendance with his wife Jan, as was Thelma Baker, Montana State Pachyderm President, and Charlie Olinger, Montana State Pachyderm Vice President. Ray Hawk auctioned items including a Texas Longhorn calf, "Angel Wings," donated by Indian Prairie Ranch, Victor. Angel Wings went to a good home in Stevensville.

Prosecuting DUIs costly for Stevi

By Michael Howell

Jeff Hayes, prosecuting attorney for the Town of Stevensville, did not come to the Town Council looking for a raise. In fact, he came to give them a break, by settling on a $90 per hour rate for prosecuting the Town’s criminal cases. He was hoping that they could cripple through the rest of the fiscal year having already spent about $18,000 of a $20,000 budget. More...

Council moves towards water, sewer rate hikes

After listening to a summary of a rate structure analysis for the Town’s water and sewer systems prepared by HDR Engineering, the Stevensville Town Council decided by consensus to place a Resolution of Intent to Raise the Rates on the agenda of its next regular meeting, scheduled for Monday, February 22. This would be the first step required by law to implement any rate hikes. More...

County examines septage dumping options

By Michael Howell

Ravalli County has more than 13,500 permitted septic systems in its 2,814-square-mile watershed, and about 3,000 of these systems have been installed over the last decade. Since about the year 2000, county and state regulations have required new systems to have safety features like above ground access points for pumping, easy-to-clean effluent filters, and drain fields appropriate to the soil type and groundwater level. These regulations not only ensure that systems will work well now, but also make it more likely that they will function properly into the future. More...

New subdivision proposals hit bottom

By Michael Howell

No matter what the cause, one thing is for sure, fewer and fewer subdivisions are being proposed by developers in Ravalli County. The number of new subdivision applications filed at the Ravalli County planning department has steadily dropped from 27 in 2005, to 16 in 2006, to 10 in 2007, to 2 in 2008, and finally down to one in 2009. More...


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