Local author
releases new book “Circling the World to Find Myself”

True Adventures on a
Volunteer Vacation and How it Changed My Life

In the weeks following the 9/11 bombing, Jeri Rutherford wanted to do whatever she could to “Make the World Better”. Using her 25 year background as a food scientist, she volunteered with the U.S. State Department for in-country stabilization and economic development. She was sent to the former soviet country, Kyrgyzstan, and what she finds is very different from what she expected.

Travel, Adventure, History, Culture, the People, Science and Kidnapping? Join her as she discovers both the underbelly of a country and the best it has to offer as well as her own determination and self-worth. This fast moving adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat, give you greater understanding for our country’s ties to this part of the world and leave you wanting more.

“Jeri Rutherford is a cross between James Bond and Lara Croft Tomb Raider! Her real life experiences combine for a fast-paced read that had me on the edge of my seat wondering whether she’d make it home.”

Jana Kemp, author of 7 books in 7 languages

When not captaining her boat in the Caribbean, biking in the Andes or surfing in Hawaii, Jeri resides in Lincoln County. She holds degrees in Food Science, Art and Education. She has been awarded a U.S. Patent and two trademarks, received an award from President Bush for her civic volunteer work and numerous art awards.

To purchase the book: Circling the World to Find Myself  or go to:

Submitted by Jeri Rutherford.


Electric Co-op to hold Virtual EV Day

In recognition of National Drive Electric Week, Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC) is holding Virtual Electric Vehicle (EV) Day on October 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free online event is open to the public and will feature a panel of EV owners and experts, each offering unique perspectives. The panel will be moderated by the Co-op’s Communication and Marketing Supervisor Katie Pfennigs, and attendees will have a chance to ask questions of the panelists:

Wade Harris who will offer an early adopter perspective. One of Flathead Electric Co-op’s EV champions, Wade has been driving plug-in electric cars since 2012. A Research Analyst by trade, he offers an in-depth look at the cost savings and other impacts of electric vehicles for our community, EV owners, and for the electrical industry.

Cory and Meredith Coopman will offer a family perspective. This busy family of four traded their Ford Expedition for a Tesla Model 3 two years ago. They will discuss how an electric vehicle fits into their day-to-day life with active ten and twelve-year-old sons, transporting them to and from sporting events and family vacations around the state and beyond.

Neal Ullman will offer a state perspective. Neal is an Energy Resource Professional in the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. His primary focus is on clean transportation, working on both the Diesel Emission Reduction Act and to distribute Volkswagen Settlement Funds to develop EV charging infrastructure and clean vehicle deployment across Montana.

Attendees will be entered into a grand prize drawing for a $200 Flathead Electric bill credit and two weeks with an EV. (To drive the electric vehicle, the winner must be a member of Flathead Electric Co-op with a valid driver’s license, proof of auto insurance and be age 21 or over.)

Pre-registration is encouraged. To learn more or reserve your spot for FEC’s Virtual EV Day at

Submitted by Wendy Ostrom Price


CPMC Foundation votes yes to protect its


In the past several months, the term PPE or Personal Protective Equipment, has become commonly used around the entire nation, but it is a term used numerous times a day at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center. COVID-19 and the dangers surrounding this aerosol transmissible disease (ATD), have ramped up the need for using respirator masks in the workplace.

A respirator is a device worn over the nose and mouth to protect from hazardous materials in the breathing zone. These masks must be “fit tested” to ensure proper fit to provide the most protection to the wearer. At CPMC, this testing is currently done through our safety manager on an annual basis. The testing is a long process, with the need to fit over 100 employees and medical providers that practice at the facility.

CPMC Foundation Board members have decided to step up and help the medical center out with this burden by purchasing a Portacount Respirator Fit Tester. The Portacount is a machine that conducts Fit testing in place of a person and provides a consistent and objective testing experience for most types of respirators. Its video animations guide staff through proper fit test exercise movements, providing consistent testing and allows administrators to simultaneously multi-task throughout the test. The Portacount also allows group testing of up to 4 people being tested at the same time.

Kate Stephens, Executive Director of the Foundation at CPMC, and Public Information Officer was thrilled that the Foundation could help out with this vital piece of equipment.  “This is another example of the importance of the Foundation’s Departmental Grant Program,” she stated.  “Now, more than ever, this type of device is paramount to the wellbeing of the employees at CPMC, both physically and mentally.  The Foundation is pleased to play a role in that.  We are here to help serve the community, and it makes us proud to help protect the front-line workers who help to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

For more information on the Foundation, or to make a donation, call 283-7140.

Submitted by Kate Stephens


Federal judge rules in favor of Yaak Grizzly Bears in Pacific Northwest Trail Route Case

A U.S. District Court in Montana has ruled that the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) failure to complete a route plan for the Pacific Northwest Trail, and their promotion of that trail, creates a reasonable probability that the lack of a comprehensive plan threatens the Yaak Valley Forest Council’s concrete interest in grizzly bear conservation.

“By law, a trail route comprehensive plan should have been completed 9 years ago.  This court ruling proves the trail is out-of-compliance, should not be advertised as a real trail, and that there is a ‘reasonable probability’ that grizzly bears have been and will increasingly be threatened by thru-hikers,” stated Yaak Valley Forest Council (YVFC) Executive Director Aaron Peterson.

A 2009 designation by Congress, via a single paragraph in a must-pass Omnibus Bill of a National Scenic Trail running from the Pacific Ocean to Glacier National Park, required the USFS to complete a comprehensive plan within two years.  No such plan has been executed. Independent as well as government studies show the route disrupts the summer and fall habitat of female grizzlies with cubs.

“The pressure on these bears is already great and will get worse if the Kootenai National Forest goes ahead with its 95,000 acre Black Ram timber sale –its largest ever—in close proximity to a wrongly promoted and deleterious trail route,” added Rick Bass, Board Chair of the YVFC.

“We want the trail re-routed out of the Yaak, south toward the trail towns of Libby and Troy, so it avoids bisecting core grizzly habitat,” said Peterson.  “Our route is the more ethical and responsible choice for thru-hiking.  And we are asking them to go south.  We’re for a wild Yaak.  And grizzly bears make it wild,” continued Peterson.

Judge Donald W. Molloy handed down his court order in late July. The case remains in litigation between the Department of Justice and the Yaak Valley Forest Council’s continuing advocacy for recovery and protection of the Yaak’s last 25 grizzly bears

Submitted by Yaak Valley Forest Council