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Volume XXVI, Number 28

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Click here to comment on our front page stories on the new Bitterroot Star blog!

County subdivision regs replaced with earlier version

By Michael Howell

Last week the Ravalli County Commissioners rescinded the subdivision regulations that were adopted by the previous commission on December 23, 2010. In their place the new commission re-adopted the previous set of regulations first adopted in 2000 and last amended in 2007, with a set of new amendments to address the latest changes in state law. But all of this was done with a final overriding aim of taking the existing regulations as a draft, revising it with public input, and adopting a final set of subdivision regulations in three months or so. More...

Groundhog Day at the Metcalf Refuge

By Michael Howell

The famed yellow bellied marmot, named Bitterroot Bill, our own "wild" version of Pennsylvania's cage bound Punxsutawney Phil, was a no show at the annual Groundhog Day celebrations held in his honor every year on February 2 at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. Public Relations Director for the Refuge, Bob Daniels, explained, "That's the way it is with wild animals." More...

This 'touchable' display of animal pelts allows viewers to get a real feel for the different kinds of fur on different animals including coyote, fox, badger, weasel, raccoon, beaver, muskrat...even skunk. Here Matthew Bienusa checks out the feel of muskrat fur while his sister Katie gets to feel what it's like to pet a skunk. Both are veteran attendees of the Groundhog Day celebrations at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. Michael Howell photo.

The annual Groundhog Day celebration at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is not just for kids. Ginny Deck, who was born on Ground Hog Day, February 2, 1944, said, "I thought, what the heck, it's my birthday, maybe I should go down to the Refuge and see what this celebration is all about. I learned a lot." Michael Howell photo.

Gwen Thomas and Ryan Hinson, this year's Captains of the Lewis and Clark Bitterroot Bill Expedition, lead the 2011 search for Bitterroot Bill on Groundhog Day. Michael Howell photo.

The famed Bitterroot Bill was a no show, but many facsimiles of the famed prognosticator popped up and saw their shadow this year. And that means, you guessed it, six more weeks of winter! Michael Howell photo.

Commissioners hire tax clerk and form oversight committee

By Michael Howell

Following a meeting at the end of January in which the County Treasurer came under fire for failure to perform her basic duties and the Commissioners balked at hiring a former treasurer from Lake County to train her, the Commission re-convened on Tuesday, February 1, and agreed to hire the former Lake County treasurer at the Grade 9 level as requested, but not to train the current Ravalli County Treasurer. The stated goal, instead, is that by performing her normal duties the new hire will free up the current Treasurer so that she has enough time to train herself. Treasurer Mary Hudson-Smith has been unable to reconcile the county's books for December, creating a problem for many accounts that need to be kept current through disbursements from the treasurer's office, including school districts, fire districts and others. More...

Hamilton City Council

Hamilton City eyes school property

By Michael Howell

Special Projects Director Dennis Stranger told the Hamilton City Council last Tuesday, February 1 that city representatives had met with the President of the School Board and the Superintendent of Hamilton Middle School a few months ago and brought up the topic of the potential purchase of the property adjoining River Park at the south end of the school's property. It is a three-quarter acre piece currently owned by the school but used as a park. More...

FWP to begin elk study in Bitterroot

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) will begin a study this week that will evaluate factors affecting elk calf survival in the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot Valley. More...

Stevi Town Clerk resigns

Stevensville Town Clerk Roni Kimp has submitted her two-week notice of intent to resign. According to Kimp, February 18 will be her last day on the job. More...


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