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Volume XXIV, Number 53

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Kootenai Creek Fire Update

County sued over Bell Crossing bridge

By Michael Howell

The bridge across the Bitterroot River at Bell Crossing, between Victor and Stevensville, is a draw to many local swimmers who can’t resist jumping off it into the river below. To them the bridge is nothing but fun. To nearby resident Dan Floyd, President of Renascent, Inc., a Nevada Corporation that owns the property on the west bank just upstream from the bridge, it is a big mistake that threatens to take his land, his homes, and the land and homes of many other people living along the river in the area. More...

A landowner along the river near the Bell Crossing bridge has sued the county claiming that the bridge was inadequately constructed and is creating property damage due to constricted flows of the river at the site. Michael Howell photo.

The river is rapidly cutting away at the bank upstream from the Bell Crossing bridge and threatens to wash away one of the homes on property owned by Renascent, Inc. Company President Dan Floyd, who lives on the property, claims an improperly constructed bridge is pushing the water in his direction and has sued the county for damages. Michael Howell photo.

Beauty and the bees: The Native Pollinator Garden, located by the Stevensville Ranger District Office on Main St. in Stevensville, is now complete. It was researched and designed by the Stevensville Garden Club Pollinator Garden Committee and Julie Schreck (National Bitterroot Forest). Native pollinator plants were planted, by garden club members and Boy Scout Troup #91 to attract bees, birds, butterflies, beetles, moths. Plants used: Hairy Golden Asters, Penstemons, Coneflowers, Indian Rice Grass, Blue Bunch Wheat Grass, Colorado Columbine, Wild Bee Balm, Smooth Aster, Red Osier Dogwood, Rosy Pussytoes, Blanket Flower, Bergamot. Cluster planting will attract more pollinators. Flowers of different shapes will attract bees of different sizes, having different tongue lengths. Bees are our most important pollinator. Pollinators are a vital part of a healthy environment. Bumble bees are crop pollinators, pollinating food crops where honey bees are in short supply. The Pollinator Garden is a beautiful and educational addition to the town. Students and the general public can enjoy the garden with an interpretive brochure provided at the kiosk nearby.

Johnson is new Undersheriff

By Michael Howell

Ravalli County’s new Undersheriff is not new to the job. He has been Undersheriff in Ravalli County before. In fact he’s been Sheriff before. More...

Deputy fired

Sergeant Jeff Fowler, of the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office, was fired on July 24, according to Sheriff Chris Hoffman, following an internal investigation into alleged violations of department policy and procedures. Fowler had been on administrative leave since mid-June after an investigation was instigated into the theft of a significant quantity of rifle and pistol ammunition from the Sheriff’s armory. That investigation was conducted by the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation. The result of that investigation was forwarded to the State Attorney General’s Office last week, but to date no charges have been filed. More...

Stevi police shooting range closed

By Michael Howell

The Stevensville Town Council officially closed a local shooting range used by Stevensville police officers and directed them to use the Whittecar Rifle and Pistol Range near Hamilton for future weapons practice and training instead. More...

Forest Supervisor moves on

By Michael Howell

Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Dave Bull has accepted a job in Missoula working as the U. S. Forest Service Northern Region Director of Recreation, Minerals, Land Uses, Heritage and Wilderness. He will be leaving for the new job on September 14. More...

Deputy Forest Supervisor Jule King right, will serve as Interim Supervisor of the Bitterroot National Forest unti a replacement is named for Dave Bull who has accepted a position in Missoula. Michael Howell photo.


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