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Volume XXII, Number 7

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Stevi students learn about bears

By Michael Howell

Third graders at Stevensville Elementary School got a chance last week to learn something about living with wildlife, especially the large and potentially dangerous kind, from nationally renowned bear expert Dr. Charles Jonkel. Jonkel told the students that just like kids in the city, who had to learn certain things about their environment to get around safely, like learning to use public transportation, such as subways, buses and taxis and how to be wary of guys carrying switch blades in their boots, so too students in Stevensville needed to learn a few things about getting around safely in their neck of the woods. In this case, unlike the urban environment, that means getting to know some things about wildlife. More...

Dr. Charles Jonkel, from the Great Bear Foundation, paints a different picture of the Grizzly bear for Stevensville students than the one generally portrayed with fangs bared and ears back in a deadly charge. His picture is one of a contented creature, busy trying to raise a family and fatten up for the winter, mostly on roots, berries, fruit, ants and lady bugs, sometimes on animals, even on some big ones, like elk. But, not on humans. Humans are generally attacked out of fear and surprise, not for food. Bears will avoid close contact with people for the most part He recommends making some noise when walking in bear country. Some people wear bells, but Jonkel prefers a walking stick which he taps on stones and logs to signal his approach. Jonkel urged the students to be respectful of wild animals and to learn to be aware of their signs and know how to behave when they are around. Michael Howell photo.

BRID may not apply for grant

By Michael Howell

The Bitter Root Irrigation District (BRID) told about 50 people, who showed up last Wednesday at Lone Rock School to discuss an application for a grant to place a siphon across the Dry Creek drainage, that the meeting had been canceled. BRID attorney, David Markette, told those in attendance that the meeting had been canceled, too late for public notice, because the BRID Board of Directors "in all probability" will not be making the grant application. The public meeting had been scheduled as part of the requirements for making the grant application. More...

Governor Brian Schweitzer visited the Bitterroot Valley last Thursday. He took a tour of the Daly Mansion, met with local Democratic candidates at a ranch near Stevensville, attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for Bitterroot Valley Childrenšs Advocacy Center at Emmašs House in Hamilton, and the Trout Unlimited Banquet, at the Bitterroot Inn, also in Hamilton. Michael Howell photo.

Interim Zoning Initiative will be on ballot

By Michael Howell

Ravalli County District Court Judge Jeffrey Langton denied a request for an injunction on Monday, clearing the way for Ravalli County Clerk and Recorder Nedra Taylor to print November ballots that will include an initiative that would require the Commissioners to adopt Interim Zoning Regulations. The initiative would limit subdivision density to 1 residence per 2 acres for up to one year or until the Commissioners adopt Zoning Regulations. More...

Victor to run bond

By Jean Schurman

The ballots are being sent out this week to voters of the Victor School District for a $3.6 million bond. If passed, the bond will be used to upgrade the middle and high school buildings as well as improve the library, kitchen, gymnasium, and add classrooms. Due to a change in the law, only a simple majority is needed for the bond to pass. More...

Open Lands bond goes to ballot

By Michael Howell

On the ballot in November will be a $10 million bond issue to support an Open Lands Program for Ravalli County. The ballot issue is the outcome of a study undertaken by the Ravalli County Right to Farm and Ranch Board, in collaboration with the Bitterroot Land Trust and other community groups. More...

Florence man allegedly admits setting forest fires

By Michael Howell

According to Forest Service investigators, Jonah Micah Warr, a nineteen-year-old Florence resident, recently confessed to starting 18 fires in Missoula and Ravalli Counties between the dates of July 24 and August 31. One of those fires was the Gash Creek Fire that burned over 2,000 acres and cost close to $2 million to fight. Warr was charged with setting fire to Forest Service land before U.S. Magistrate Jeremiah Lynch in federal court in Missoula last Thursday. More...

Park Board bails out Aquatic Center with no-interest loan

By Michael Howell

The Bitterroot Aquatic Center, located in Hamilton, shut its doors last Tuesday, September 12, in the face of a financial crisis. But the next evening, members of the Ravalli County Park Board decided to bail out the sinking enterprise and voted 5 to 1 to loan the center $20,000. The loan will be at no interest, but must be repaid by January 1, 2008. More...


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