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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Valley News at a Glance

Time capsule opened

Ling honored with MLA award

Stevi teacher finalist in ‘hot husband’ contest

Snowpack above-average trend continues

Walker awarded degree

Victor Park Board position open

Spring turkey hunting permits available

Garden Clubs impress legislators, constituents

Pianist needed

Help with childcare costs available


Time capsule opened

By Michael Howell

The time capsule recovered from beneath the cornerstone of the Stevensville Junior High School building that was built in 1901 and demolished in 2011 has been opened.

The small, crushed copper box that was salvaged from underneath the cornerstone showed some signs that it had actually been smashed during installation way back at the turn of the century or at least that it was not sealed properly before installation. After its recovery, but before its opening, Stevensville Historical Museum board member Ruth Baker did a little research and found a newspaper article in the July 5, 1901 Western News that included a list of all the things placed in the time capsule. It was a long list and included: One copy New Testament, one copy constitution of the Masonic Grand Lodge of Montana, one copy Epworth Era, one copy Montana Methodist, one Badge of the Missionary Conference held at New Orleans, April 26-30, 1901, one copy School Laws enacted by the 9th Legislative Assembly of Montana, one copy Rules and Regulations of the State Board of Education, one copy constitution Grand Lodge A.O.U.W., one copy constitution Grand Lodge I.O.O.F., a part of a copy each of the North West Tribune, Western News, Ravalli Democrat, Ravalli Republican, the Missoulian, The Democrat Messenger, the I.O.G.T. News, The Anaconda Standard, The Butte Miner, The Butte Inter-Mountain, The Helena Independent, The Montana Record, and The Helena Herald, one Gold Nugget from Welcome Gulch, one Small U.S. Flag, one copy Constitution of the Modern Woodmen of America, a list of the names of the Charter subscribers of the school, a short Historical Sketch of the school, from its inception to the present, one copy of the Commoner, and coins of the realm.

Looking at the small crushed box, no bigger than a loaf of bread, no one could really believe that it contained so many items. However, when board members gathered at the Stevensville Museum last week to pry open the old box along with help from Audra Loyal of The Vespiary, a restoration specialist, to their astonishment, all the referenced items were found in the box. It was a marvel of compaction. The coins of the realm turned out to be a 1900 half dollar and a 1900 dime. The gold nugget from Welcome Gulch was more like a gold flake, smaller than a small fingernail. But there it was. The flag had totally disintegrated into a red, white and blue pile of dust. And all the referenced documents were also there in varying stages of disintegration, but mostly identifiable.

The “coins of the realm” included in the time capsule buried under the cornerstone of the recently demolished Stevensville Junior High School turned out to be a half dollar and a dime, both minted in 1900. The capsule also contained a gold nugget from Welcome Gulch.

The copper box (center) that was used as a time capsule turned out to be manufactured by Jacob Rimmel on June 29, 1901 in Helena.

Conservator Audra Loyal of The Vespiary helped members of the Stevensville Historical Museum Board of Directors unpack the many documents, in various stages of disintegration, that were packed into the copper box buried under the cornerstone of the recently demolished Stevensville Junior High building constructed in 1901.

Another bit of information discovered in the box was the name of its maker engraved on a plate in the inside corner of the box. The box was made in Helena by Jacob Rimmel on June 29, 1901.

The museum board is very interested in preserving the articles and will work with Loyal and the school district to determine the best way to preserve and display the items.

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Ling honored with MLA award

Amy Ling, Library Assistant at the North Valley Public Library in Stevensville, is the recipient of the first Montana Library Association Outstanding Support Staff of the Year Award.

“Since Amy is frequently on the public service desk, she is often the first person that people see when they arrive at the library,” wrote Library Director Renee McGrath in her nomination letter. “She always greets them cheerfully, by name. By going the extra mile to get to know all of our patrons on a personal basis, Amy has created a Talent Search database (see link in left column of our web site ( which connects people with expertise in certain subject areas with those who would like to learn more about these subjects.”

According to the letter, Amy spearheaded the library’s Spanish Outreach program, which includes a new – and popular – collection of Spanish language materials, weekly meetings of a Spanish conversation group, a free Spanish language class that meets regularly at the library and several annual events which highlight the food, culture, and history of Spanish-speaking countries. She has also been a leader in the library field by contributing regularly to the Spanish Language Outreach in MT Libraries blog (, Montana Library FOCUS ( and WebJunction’s Outreach to Spanish Speakers (

Amy plans and organizes public performances for first Friday events at the library once a month throughout the year, maintains the library’s events calendar, and often represents the library at meetings of the Main Street Association and Civic Club. She is widely recognized throughout the community as a volunteer with the Garden Club, Arbor Day, Cleanup Day and Creamery Picnic. Her community involvement was rewarded by the Civic Club in 2008 when they named her Stevensville’s “Ambassador of the Year.”

In addition to her regular work responsibilities, which include maintaining the library’s meeting room schedule and coordinating Interlibrary loan services, Amy frequently volunteers to take on additional projects to improve the library and foster goodwill between staff, volunteers, and patrons. This year she created the library’s disaster plan, a 145-page document which includes ready-reference “cheat sheets” and emergency supplies placed strategically throughout the library. She is currently organizing the first practice fire drill with the local volunteer fire department, and is helping to plan the second CPR and First Aid class for library staff.

She has also met with staff at neighboring libraries to get ideas for improving volunteer recruitment, training and reward system. She has reconfigured the library’s volunteer schedule to make better use of people’s skills at the times they are most needed, and has created a volunteer manual and newsletter to help these important helpers stay up-to-date on what’s going on at the library, which has been changing rapidly as the library plans for a new building.

She has embraced social networking technology, creating a wiki for internal communication between library staff and using Facebook and Twitter to advertise library programs and events. She also edits and distributes all the library’s press releases and has begun to hone new grant-writing skills by working with the library’s fundraiser to write several successful grants for the library.

“Every time the library conducts a customer satisfaction survey, the overwhelming response that we get is that people love the library and the people who work here for being so friendly, kind, and helpful,” stated McGrath in the letter. “I believe that Amy is a driving force in creating such a positive public perception of the library within the community. She very much deserves being named MLA’s first Paraprofessional of the Year.”

Ling has been at the North Valley Library for almost eight years. She describes her philosophy as this: “I think what you do does make a difference, as described in “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. He describes people who have their feet in many worlds and know a little bit about a lot of people. Certain people are connectors and that’s what I am. I like to know a lot of people and I like to connect people to information and resources, and to other people. It’s what I like doing and it makes life interesting. I love to help people.”

Ling will receive her award at a luncheon on Thursday, April 7 in Billings.

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Stevi teacher finalist in ‘hot husband’ contest

Josh Perkins of Stevensville is a finalist in Redbook's America's Hottest Husbands contest.  

Josh, 26, an agriculture education teacher at Stevensville High School, was nominated for the contest by his wife, Whitney.

"Whether doing household chores, working on the ranch, or teaching high school students, Josh pours his heart into everything and doesn't stop until he feels he's done the best job," says Whitney. Through their first six months of dating, Josh and Whitney had a long distance relationship.

"Every week, Josh would mail me love letters. By the end of the summer I had a box overflowing with his writing — and a heart overflowing with love for him."

Josh's sweet gestures haven't stopped. "He still hides notes for me throughout the house, leaves me a glass of ice water on my nightstand before bed, warms up my car on cold mornings, and sings lullabies to our son," she says. "He makes me feel like the luckiest girl."

Readers are invited to learn more about the 25 finalists for Redbook's America's Hottest Husbands of 2011 and vote for their favorite at

The winner will be announced in the June issue of Redbook, and will receive an 8-day, 7-night trip for 2 to the all-inclusive Imperial Maya Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

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Snowpack above-average trend continues

The Natural Resources Conservation Service announced that March 1 mountain snowpack remains above average for the fourth straight month. Snowpack values in all areas are well above last year at this time. February mountain precipitation was near average and was the fourth month in a row with average to above average accumulated precipitation. February mountain precipitation west of the Divide was 106 percent of average and east of the Divide was 105 percent of average.

On March 1, seasonal snowpack accumulation west of the divide should be about 82 percent and east of the divide should be about 75 percent. Seasonal snowpack peaks are typically reached the first to middle of April. Statewide mountain snowpack was 113 percent of average and 165 percent of last year at this time. West of the Divide, snowpack was 114 percent of average and 177 percent of last year and east of the Divide, snowpack was 110 percent of average and 153 percent of last year. The Bitterroot River Basin snowpack is currently 103% of average and 198% of last year at this time. For detailed basin snowpack information, go to:

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Walker awarded degree

Jessica F. Walker of Hamilton has been awarded an Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Sciences from Kaplan University, a leader in higher education innovation. Walker's accomplishment was celebrated during a live graduation ceremony on February 5 in Miami. Bill Richardson, former two term governor of New Mexico, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. Energy Secretary and multiple Nobel Peace Prize nominee, served as the commencement speaker.

The Kaplan University winter 2011 class, which included more than 5,600 graduates, earned associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees – as well as professional certificates – completely online. More than 1,000 of them traveled from around the country and the world to attend the ceremony, meeting face-to-face for the first time. Kaplan University has graduated nearly 27,000 online students since it began offering web-based degrees in 2001.

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Victor Park Board position open

Anyone wanting to apply for an open Victor Park Board position should send letter of interest to PO Box 945, Victor MT 59875.

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Spring turkey hunting permits available

Hunters planning to head into the field for spring turkey gobbler season in some parts of western Montana need to apply for a special permit by March 10. Look for an application and description of the special permit areas on the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park's website at Hunters that do not receive a turkey permit through special drawing can also harvest male turkeys in many areas of Montana with a general spring turkey license purchased over-the-counter. The following is a summary of spring turkey license and permit requirements. See the 2011 Montana Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations for details:

General Hunting Areas (Hunters can use an over-the-counter license in these areas): Lincoln, Flathead, Ravalli and portions of Lake, Sanders and Missoula Counties. A large portion of eastern Montana.

Permit-only Areas (Hunters must apply for a special permit for these areas): All of Mineral County (50 permits available); Powell County and a portion of Granite County (5 permits); a portion of Missoula County (50 permits) and a portion of Sanders County (30 permits). Many counties in southwest Montana.

To see a complete listing of permit areas and to apply online, hunters have until March 10. Apply online at Click on ‘Apply for a License or Buy a Permit’ under Online Services. Or, apply in person at any FWP office, or by mail. Applicants may only apply for one special spring male turkey permit and only in one area. Spring turkey season opens on April 9.

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Garden Clubs impress legislators, constituents

Mary Baughn, President of Stevensville Garden Club, joined members of other Montana Federated Garden Clubs in the Rotunda at the State Capitol in Helena on March 3 to help promote gardening, floral designing and horticulture. Longtime Stevensville Garden Club member Jean Thomas spearheaded the display 10 years ago, believing it was time to make the public aware of garden club accomplishments throughout the state. The current Legislature Session brought in many groups of students all day long. They particularly enjoyed the Junior Gardening exhibits; Montana’s Mourning Cloak Butterfly; making animal likenesses from vegetables; Mike Riley’s Cacti collection; and numerous Floral Designs. Coming soon will be the project of First Lady Nancy Schweitzer’s, “Classroom Garden.” This will help students discover the wonders of science. This is the newest feature of the First Family’s Math & Science Initiative. The program enables 4th grade classrooms across the state to “grow gardens, minds, and healthy bodies.” Learn more at HYPERLINK "" “We were able to sit in, in the Senate and House, and learn about the bills presented for vote,” said Baughn. “Meeting the First Lady was a real treat. Such a lovely, dedicated lady. The Capitol renovation was spectacular and Helena Garden Club hosted the day with food, helped with set up and unloading exhibitor cars. I had the opportunity to have a guided tour which was a real experience. All helpers were treated to Chocolate Turtles, sent from the National Federation Garden Club President, Renee Blaschke.” Legislators were very impressed with the Garden Clubs’ work and dedication, said Baughn. An informational video, “Inspiring Growth,” played continually for the public. These displays and designs can be seen this week at the North Valley Public Library in Stevensville. The Stevensville Garden Club may be contacted at 777-4196.

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Pianist needed

The Stevensville Playhouse is in need of an Pianist/Accompanist for "Little Shop of Horrors.” This is a paid position. Requirements include performing for 12 shows, running May 6- 22. Rehearsals are two nights a week beginning March 14 through April 15. Rehearsals will increase as show time becomes closer. Music is attainable for checkout. To inquire call 777-2722 or 360-9121.

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Death Notices

Richard Louis Navarro, Sr.

Richard Louis Navarro Sr. of Opportunity passed away on February 28, 2011, at his residence. Richard was born May 24, 1920, in Kansas City, Kansas to Jose and Bruna Navarro. Longfellow Finnegan Funeral Home of Anaconda is entrusted with Mr. Navarro’s funeral arrangements.

Bessie Bolin

Stevensville - Bessie Bolin, 77, passed away Saturday, March 5, 2011 at her home in Stevensville of natural causes. Service arrrangements are pending and will be announced by Whitesitt Funeral Home.

Jane Fillmore

Jane Fillmore passed away with grace and dignity, February 28, at her home in Florence. She was surrounded by family.

The daughter of Tom and Ruby Peterson, Jane was born in Cody, WY on March 27, 1925. She attended schools in Cody and was a member of Cody High School's graduating class of 1943. Following graduation, she attended nursing school in Billings. Following a year of training, she transferred to the University of Minnesota where she met her husband, Johnny (Walter). They married on June 2, 1946. While still in Minnesota, her first child, Pamella, was born. During Walt's employment with the US Forest Service, they moved to South Dakota where their remaining children, Ruth, Nancy, John and Mary, were born.

After living a short time in Nebraska and Colorado, the Fillmore family moved to Missoula and then settled in Florence. Jane loved life and family. She spent many years supporting the family horse and cattle ranch. She also spent many hours in the garden with her flowers and always produced a wonderful vegetable garden. With the products of her garden, she would can many vegetables in addition to making family favorite recipes of mustard, horseradish and creamed corn. It was not unusual to walk into Jane's kitchen and be greeted by the wonderful smells of baking bread. Thanksgiving dinners were not complete without Jane's homemade crescent rolls. Her lefse was always a family treat at Christmas.

Jane was also an avid bird watcher. One could be visiting with Jane on the phone and hear, "Oh, there's a gold finch!" She loved the hummingbird visitors that frequented the feeders outside of her window. She lived every day to the fullest and took joy in time spent with family and friends.

Jane had many hobbies. She loved crossword puzzles and would do the daily puzzle in the newspaper with her morning coffee. Jigsaw puzzles were another love. She would get frustrated if she got down to the last piece and found it missing. Usually it was carried off by the cat or one of the family dogs.

Creative was another way to describe Jane. She was a gifted seamstress and enjoyed various fiber arts. She would knit, spin and weave beautiful creations for family and friends. She could create anything that one could imagine.

Active was another way to describe Jane. She cross-country and downhill skied well into her 70's. She enjoyed walks along the river and boat rides on Flathead Lake. She was often one of the first to jump off the boat and go for a swim. She loved singing and teaching her children all the fun camping songs around the campfire.

Following Walt's retirement, they enjoyed traveling. Each year they attended a Navy reunion with good friends from all over the nation. In 2008 Jane traveled to Guatemala with her daughter Ruth and to Hawaii with daughters Nancy and Mary. She was usually the first to say, "Yes, let's go!"

Jane was an active member of Florence-Carlton Community Church, Stevensville Garden Club and the Big Sky Fiber Arts Guild until her health declined from lung cancer.

She is survived by her brother, Gene (Ruth) Peterson of Highlands Ranch, CO; daughters, Pamella (Larry) Schnell of Alliance, NE, Ruth (Mack) Rawhouser of Big Piney, WY, Nancy Downey of Boise, ID and Mary Fillmore of Florence; son, John (Debbie) Fillmore of Stevensville and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The Fillmore family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to Aspen Hospice, Paul, Russ and the staff at Florence Pharmacy, Dr. Rob Downey and staff, Dr. Linda Ries and the staff at St. Patrick Hospital Cancer Center and the staff of Norco for their care and concern during Jane's illness.

As per Jane's wishes, there will be no service. Memorials may be sent to Aspen Hospice, 107 Bell Crossing W, Stevensville, MT 59870. Condolences may be left for the family at

Jean J. Jensen

Jean J. Jensen, 81, of Stevensville passed away Tuesday, March 1, 2011 at Community Medical Center in Missoula of natural causes.

Jean was born February 11, 1930 in Hamilton, MT to Edgar and Susie James.  She was raised in the Bitterroot Valley until she was 17 years old when she moved to the Sweetgrass Hills with her family where they farmed and ranched.  When she decided to retire, she moved back the Bitterroot Valley.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, James J. Jensen and a grandson, Daniel Nanini.

Survivors include her children, Ron Jensen (Karen) of Shelby, MT, Raymond Jensen (Rhonda) of St. Ignatius, MT, Robin Nanini (Jim) of Cut Bank, MT, Ryan Jensen (Cindy) of Stevensville, MT and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 1:00 P.M. at the Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville with a reception to follow also at the funeral home. Condolences may be left for the family at

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