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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Valley News at a Glance

Use homestead declaration to protect home equity

Report reveals status of Montana children

Local Angus breeder recognized

Closure on Teller Trail

Mid-year outlook shows Montana's boom continues

Info and referral help available

Energy Share thanks Fred Thomas

TGRF grant cycle

Fundraising opportunity

Antelope and big game licenses available

WAVE gathering

Art books still being collected



Use homestead declaration to protect home equity

The 2007 Montana Legislature increased Montana's homestead declaration.

"You can now protect up to $250,000 in the value of your home from creditors," said Marsha Goetting, Montana State University Extension family economics specialist. That was an increase from $100,000 and applies to both the land on which a home sits, and the house, condo, townhouse or mobile home that a person lives in.

"The property must be a person's primary residence for it to be eligible for a homestead declaration," adds Goetting.

While Montana has no standard homestead declaration form, many county clerk and recorders have examples. One is also available free on the Montana State University Extension Web at:

"After the homestead declaration form is completed, signed and notarized, it should be filed in the office of the clerk and recorder in the county in which the home is located," states Goetting. "If married, both spouses should sign the declaration."

A more detailed description of the homestead act is available in the publication "Using a Homestead Declaration to Protect Your Home from Creditors" available free from your local Extension Office, at or for $1 by writing Extension Publications P.O. Box 172040, Montana State University, Bozeman MT 59717.

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Report reveals status of Montana children

Montana ranks 29th in a new state-by-state study that reports on the well-being of America’s children.

The 2007 KIDS COUNT Data Book, published annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, reveals that Montana improved on three of the 10 measures reflecting child well-being, experienced setbacks on six measures and saw no change on one since 2000.

Noteworthy facts about Montana’s children include:

• More than 2,800 Montana children are in need of a permanent family connection.

In 2004, 2,862 Montana children under age 18 lived in foster care at some point during the year -- a rate of 14 per 1,000 children. That year, 92 children in the state aged out of the system without having a permanent family. Nationwide in 2004, 10 children per 1,000 under age 18 lived in foster care, with 22,718 leaving the system at age 18 without a stable family environment.

Montana leads the nation with the lowest infant mortality rate.

In 2004, the infant mortality rate in Montana plummeted to 4.5 deaths per 1,000 live births -- a significant 26 percent improvement from 6.1 deaths per 1,000 in 2000 and the lowest rate in the nation. The U.S. rate remained relatively unchanged during this period, dropping only slightly from 6.9 deaths to 6.8.

Child and teen death rates are among worst in the country.

In stark contrast to the state’s infant mortality rate, Montana’s child and teen death rates were 45th and 49th in the country in 2004. Montana’s child death rate improved slightly from 33 deaths per 100,000 in 2000 to 31 deaths in 2004. However, this is still much higher than the national rate of 20 deaths per 100,000 in 2004. Likewise, the national teen death rate of 66 deaths per 100,000 in 2004 is significantly lower than Montana’s rate of 104 deaths per 100,000.

A higher share of Montana babies are born with low birth weight, but the state still beats national average.

Montana’s percentage of low birth weight babies worsened between 2000 and 2004 by 23 percent. However, the state’s rate of 7.6 percent in 2004 is lower than the national rate of 8.1 percent.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States. The primary mission of the foundation is to foster public policies, human-service reforms and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families.

The Montana KIDS COUNT program is funded through the Annie E. Casey Foundation and is a statewide effort to identify the status and well-being of Montana children by collecting data about them and publishing an annual data book.

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Local Angus breeder recognized

Cara P. and Thomas W Ayres, Stevensville, own one bull listed in the 2007 Fall Sire Evaluation Report published by the American Angus Association in Saint Joseph, MO. Issued in both the spring and fall, the new report features the latest performance information available on 6,679 sires, and is currently accessible at

"This report provides both Angus breeders and commercial cattle producers using Angus genetics with accurate, predictable selection tools for improving their herd," says Bill Bowman, American Angus Association director of performance programs. Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) are generated from the performance database of the American Angus Association, which includes information submitted by more than 9,600 Angus breeders this past year through the Association’s Beef Improvement Records (BIR) program.

EPDs are available for 17 traits. Decision-making tools also include seven values in the suite of bio-economic indexes designed to assist commercial producers in simplifying the genetic selection process.

The semiannual analysis for the Sire Evaluation Report contains more than 15 million measures used to generate nearly 38 million EPDs for the Angus breed.

The American Angus Association with headquarters in Saint Joseph, MO, provides programs and services for more than 34,000 members nationwide and thousands of commercial producers who use Angus genetics. Go to for more information.

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Closure on Teller Trail

Due to extreme fire danger, the Teller Wildlife Refuge in Corvallis has closed its Bitterroot River Trail until further notice. This private trailhead is located in the northwest corner of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Woodside River Access parking lot. The Teller asks for cooperation in this season of extreme fire danger, and has sought assistance from the Ravalli County Sheriff's Office and FWP in enforcing compliance with the trail fire closure.

"This is a serious issue," said Teller's Director of Conservation, Sam Lawry. "Our lands are extremely dry, and we don't have the resources for regular patrol on 1,200 acres. We are asking for cooperation from the community to ensure future opportunities on our land. We've had trouble keeping signs posted to that effect, and trespass issues could have significant consequences this time of year."

The Teller is a private, non-profit conservation organization working to enhance 1,200 river bottom acres near Corvallis. The Teller mission is "To inspire, educate and demonstrate conservation in action."

For more information on the Teller, visit, or the new office at the Quast House, 1288 Eastside Highway, 961-3507.

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Mid-year outlook shows Montana's boom continues

Montana’s economy continues to show steady signs of growth and low unemployment rates.

“In 40 years of analyzing Montana’s economy, I cannot remember unemployment numbers this low -- especially combined with strong income growth,” said Paul Polzin, director of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

For the sixth straight month, statewide unemployment rates have come in at less than 3 percent. This, along with 4.9 percent growth in nonfarm labor income in 2006, shows that Montana’s economy continues to grow steadily.

Montana’s economy grew 5.1 percent in 2004 and 4.5 percent in 2005.

“Almost all basic industries of the economy, including mining, manufacturing and agriculture have contributed to the sustained growth,” Polzin said.

In light of current conditions, BBER recently revised its forecast to predict 4.8 percent growth in 2007, up from the January forecast of 4.3 percent. The bureau also predicts 4.3 percent growth in 2008.

BBER calculates an annual economic forecast for the state, and each June BBER re-evaluates Montana’s current economic forecast in terms of the new data available. For the last three years, BBER has revised its midyear forecast upward to account for the growing economy.

“The new data strengthens our current forecast and makes us more confident that growth in 2008 will exceed 4 percent,” Polzin said.

The only dark cloud Polzin sees on the horizon deals with workforce issues throughout Montana.

“Employers are continually telling us their difficulty in finding skilled and well-trained employees,” he said. “Unless this changes, workforce challenges will only get worse.”

Polzin and Martin Regalia, chief economist and vice president for economic and tax policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, presented their state and national economic forecasts in Whitefish at Grouse Mountain Lodge on August 2 as part of the 2007 Governor’s Cup.

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Info and referral help available

Need help locating assistance with food, housing, daycare, support groups or other human services? Call 211/First Call For Help. Call 211 or 549-5555.

211/First Call For Help is a telephone Information and referral service. Trained staff can analyze your unique problems and provide information or refer you to the social services designed to meet your needs.

Call 211/First Call For Help or S49-5555 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

211/First Call For Help is a service of the Human Resource Council and United Way of Missoula County.

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Energy Share thanks Fred Thomas

On August 13, Gregg Groepper of Energy Share of Montana presented Fred Thomas with a gift to thank him for his tenure on the Energy Share Board of Directors. Groepper, Energy Share’s Executive Director, said, “during Thomas’ two terms he had helped Energy Share serve nearly 14,000 families and provide over $4.6 million in emergency energy assistance.” Also during his time on the Board the endowment grew from $640,000 to $1,950,000.

Groepper told Thomas, “Your contributions in time and advice to Energy Share have been greatly appreciated and certainly are, in part, responsible for our tremendous success while you were a board member.”

Groepper presented Thomas with a framed and matted 8" by 10" picture of Energy Share’s winning fourth grade art contest picture from FY2007. The presentation took place at Thomas’s Western States Insurance office in Stevensville.

Energy Share of Montana is a statewide nonprofit organization that helps Montanans facing energy emergencies. According to the 2000 census, Montana has 90,000 households at or below 150% of poverty.

“The need for Energy Share’s services will continue to be at a historically high level,” said Thomas. “We have over 9,000 individuals just in Ravalli County who are under 150% of poverty. This problem isn’t going to go away. Families who live from paycheck to paycheck face financial emergencies when unexpected expenses occur. Energy Share tries to help those people, and it was a privilege to serve on the Board to help make that happen.”

The Human Resource Council in Missoula handles Energy Share applications for Missoula, Ravalli and Mineral Counties. During the heating season, people in need of help can call 728-3710 to get an application, or they can contact the satellite office in Hamilton at 316 N. 3rd Street.

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TGRF grant cycle

The Greater Ravalli Foundation announces the deadline for the grant cycle ending September 15, 2007. This process expedites funding requests to benefit the youth of Ravalli County. Deadlines for submission of grant applications for consideration are: March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15. For the current cycle grant applications may be obtained on line at Return to or fax to 375-1889 by September 15, 2007.

Financial support is limited to the growth and development of Ravalli County's school children K-12, addressing four specific areas. Those areas that the Foundation will consider funding are basic essentials of daily life in the Bitterroot educational facilities, supplies and grassroots programs; scholarships for all levels of academic ability; sustenance, such as winter clothing, hot meals and other food programs; and various capital line items as they arise, such as cafeteria equipment and extracurricular program needs.

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Fundraising opportunity

The Stevensville Main Street Association will be holding its 2nd Annual Mega Bucks fundraiser. Local non-profit groups who want to earn money for their organization and help sell Mega Bucks tickets can earn $5 for each $50 ticket sold. The winning ticket will be drawn October 6 at St. Mary's Family Center during the Main Street's 2nd annual Boast & Toast dinner. Last year the winner won $7,800.

This is a great way to earn money for your organization and help the Main Street too! Call Joan at 777-3773 for more information. Last year the winner won $7,800.

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Antelope and big game licenses available

Hunters can soon buy over-the-counter antelope licenses and surplus licenses for deer, elk and antelope.

Over the counter doe/fawn antelope licenses, valid in several of Montana's hunting areas, are now on sale, as well as all surplus deer B, elk and antelope hunting licenses and permits.

Hunters may hold up to two doe/fawn antelope licenses, and may possess a total of seven deer B (antlerless) licenses in any combination via drawing, over-the-counter, or surplus purchase.

Surplus licenses can be purchased online by going to the FWP web page at, from any Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks license provider, or by mail.

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WAVE gathering

Any former WAVEs that served in the U.S. Navy during World War II should contact Mildred Mercer, 777-2441, for information regarding a social gathering that is being planned.

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Art books still being collected

As of now, over 80 art books have been donated to the Stevensville School System's art education program through the efforts of the Bitterroot North Valley Pachyderm Club. Jay DeVore, whose print shop behind Valley Drug is the drop-off point for collection, expressed gratitude for the generosity of the community in making this effort successful. "We should easily hit a hundred appropriate volumes before the summer is out," Jay said. As has been reported, this excellent educational opportunity lacks only printed material for follow-up study and these materials will go a long way to correct this problem. So it's not too late to get your used and now unused art books over to Jay's shop. You will have the gratitude of both students and faculty in our schools.

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Births at Marcus Daly Hospital, Hamilton

Girl, 7 lbs., 9 oz., 20 inches, to Andrew Plettenberg and Courtney Cords, Corvallis

Girl, 7 lbs., 19 inches, to Daniel and Marcus Petrey, Hamilton
Boy, 6 lbs., 4 oz., 19 inches, to Mindy Vadnais, Darby.

Boy, 7 lbs., 20-1/2 inches, to Cliff and Nicole Richard, Hamilton

Boy, 7 lbs., 21 inches, to Candice Powell, Corvallis

Girl, 6 lbs., 14 oz., 20 inches, to Jared Johnson and Jessica Kleber, Corvallis

Boy, 6 lbs., 4 oz., 20 inches, to Travis and Elizabeth Taylor, Hamilton

Boy, 9 lbs., 12 oz., 21-1/2 inches, to Coel and Kimberly McRill, Darby

Girl, 7 lbs., 4 oz., 20 inches, to Fred Sanarov and Ashlee Geary, Hamilton

Girl, 8 lbs., 4 oz., 22 inches, to B.J. Springer and Ashley Fields, Corvallis


Boy, 8 lbs., 1 oz., 21 inches, to Mark and Summer Bruso, Hamilton.


Girl, 7 lbs., 4 oz., 20 inches, to Trevis and Lara Flint, Hamilton

Girl, 7 lbs., 7 oz., 20-1/2 inches, to Arien Johnson and Allison Greene, Stevensville


Girl, 7 lbs., 9 oz., 21 inches, to Robert McGillis and Arielle Bevan, Hamilton


Boy, 8 lbs., 8 oz., 22 inches, to Samantha Pongratz, Hamilton


Girl, 8 lbs., 7 oz., 20 inches, to Jay and Stacie Duce, Hamilton

Girl, 8 lbs., 10 oz., 20 inches, to Matt Guinard and Danielle Jackson, Gamilton


Boy, 8 lbs., 20 inches, to Alan and Danielle Sutherland, Hamilton.


Boy, 6 lbs., 14 oz., 20-1/2 inches, to Norm Elswick and Cassidy Bremer, Hamilton


Boy, 8 lbs., 6 oz., 21 inches, to Justin and Debbie Daughtry, Corvallis


Girl, 7 lbs., 15 oz., 20 inches, to James and Tara Sagen, Hamilton


Girl, 7 lbs., 8 oz., 20-3/4 inches to Chad and Julie Houser, Corvallis


Boy, 8 lbs, 8 oz, 21 inches, to Eric and Samantha Haas, Hamilton.

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Betty Ann 'Felde' Braddock

Betty Ann "Felde" Braddock, 72 of Missoula passed away peacefully in the presence of her loving family on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at her home after a spirited battle with cancer.

Betty was born in Sheridan, Wyoming on October 31, 1934. She was the eldest of six children of Adam and Anna "Sprankle" Felde. Betty was the first of several Felde siblings to graduate from Lone Rock Elementary and Stevensville High School.

Betty moved to Missoula to raise her family and is well-known for her kind and helpful ways as owner/operator of 2 J's Produce with her husband, John Braddock.

In the early 1990s Betty began working for Ammon's Scientific, establishing lifelong friendships and memories. Her love for baseball, softball and volleyball never left her as she enjoyed countless hours of playing, supporting, watching her children participate and passionately following the Missoula Osprey and always rooting for any individual with hustle and effort.

Her husband John Braddock preceded her in death in 1995.

Betty is survived by her children: Stephen (Brenda) Rehberg; BettyLynn Rehberg (Ed) Litle; four brothers: Bill Felde, Donald (Donna) Felde, John Felde, Victor Felde, and sister Patsy (David) Smith; stepchildren Mark (Kathy) Braddock, Rick (Ruth) Braddock, Larry (Brenda) Braddock and Karen (Bruce) Reno; her granddaughter Kylee Anne Litle; nine stepgrandchildren: Nathan, Eric, Aaron, Noland, Ian, Francesca, Destiny, Mathew and Joe; six great grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Brooklyn, Audrey, Trenton, Sammy and Gavin and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held at the Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville on Wednesday, August 1, at 10:30 a.m. A reception and celebration of Betty's life will be at Betty's home at 4650 Blue Mountain Road following services.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Partners Hospice, 2687 Palmer Street, Suite B, Missoula MT 59808; Humane Society of Western Montana, 5930 Hwy 93 S, Missoula MT 59804; or to Camp Make A Dream, PO Box 1450, Missoula MT 59806.

Dorothy J. Pauly

Dorothy J. Pauly, 82, of Stevensville, passed away Saturday, August 4 in Hamilton at the Marcus Daly Hospice and Palliative Care Center.

Dorothy was born in Fairbury, Nebraska on October 24, 1924, the daughter of Earl and Hatie French. She was raised and educated in Nebraska before moving to California. During this time, she married Harold H. Pauly in Las Vegas on November 2, 1941. In 1945, they moved to South Dakota and then to Nebraska where they ranched until moving to the Bitterroot in 1957. Dorothy was employed by the Popham Ranch, in the Corvallis area, for six years before taking employment with the Bitterroot Laundry. In September 1968 Dorothy became the head cook for the Corvallis School District and was there for 21 and a half years before retiring.

Since retirement, Dorothy enjoyed watching her grandchildren and her great grandchildren grow up. She loved taking care of her flowers, especially her clematis. She moved from then Woodside area to the Stevensville area in 2000.

She is survived by two sons, Gordon and Judi of Stafford, VA, and Larry and Linda of Delta, UT; two daughters, Beverly and Greg Nord of Spokane, WA, and Donna and Don Murphy of Stevensville. Grandchildren include Susan Dixon, Jerry Sweeney, Nona Cheek, Gordon Pauly Jr., Michael Murphy, Collin Murphy, Larry Michael Pauly, Lance Pauly, Layne Pauly, Robin Edens and Dwayne Frandsen. Step grandchildren are Jenna Barber, Marty and Stacy Gage. She is also survived by 24 great grandchildren, special friend and neighbor Nancy Fisher, numerous other relatives and caring friends and her devoted dog Cocoa.

She was preceded in death by her husband Harold in 1998, her parents, a brother Robert French, sister Betty Conard, step granddaughter Tami Gage and niece Sharon Prisbrey.

A service to celebrate her life will be held on Wednesday, August 8 at 11 a.m. at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton with Pastor Alvin House officiating. Interment will follow at the Corvallis Cemetery.

The family suggests memorials to Marcus Daly Hospice Endowment Fund, 1200 Westwood Dr., Hamilton MT 59840 or to the Corvallis Community Events Center Foundation, P.O. 748, Corvallis MT 59828. Arrangements are under the care of the Daly-Leach Chapel.

Homer Holland

Homer Holland, 81, of Stevensville, went to meet his ancestors on Saturday, August 4, 2007, at the Bitterroot Valley Living Center in Stevensville. Homer died of COPD and Post Hepatic Neuralgia pain.

He was born in Rock Hill, South Carolina the oldest son of Willie Dean and Cora (Dellinger) Holland. Homer grew up in North Carolina, enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 17 and served his country honorably during WWII.

Homer retired from Operating Engineers Local 400 because of medical problems following 40 years of service. He helped work on many of the roads built in the state of Montana.

He is survived by his wife of 44 and a half years, Iris Woolsey Holland of Stevensville; their children Jim (Connie) Holland of Wise River and Dona (Randy) Johnson of Missoula; three children from his first marriage: Bonnie Holland, Billings, Gene (Sandy) Holland, Stevensville, Bill (Lori) Holland, Park City; stepchildren Larry (Vivan) Peterson, Kalispell, Terry (Carol) Peterson, Libby, Melvin (Lois) Peterson, Coram, Dale Peterson, anywhere the wind blows.

He is also survived by siblings Muriel Gorter, Moline, ILL, Francis Brown, High Point, NC, James Holland, Cabot, AR and their families, and a very dear cousin, Juaunita Yardbourgh, High Point, NC. Also surviving are numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, August 18, at 11 a.m. at the Whitesitt Funeral Home in Stevensville with American Legion Post 94 providing military honors. A potluck reception will be held at the American Legion Hall on Middle Burnt Fork Road following services.

Memorials are suggested to Aspen Hospice.

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