Lemonade on the lawn

Father-daughter duo, Bill and Christy Corbell perform at the Libby library on Wednesday, June 20. Photo by Moira Blazi, The Montanian

The Yaak Sasquatch Festival was held on Saturday, June 16. All festival proceeds will be donated to KPFL and the Yaak School District. The event included various booths and competitions with a dunk tank,  chainsaw competition and a Big Foot Run which drew participants from as far away as Knoxville, Tenn.

The overall winner of the Bigfoot Run was Josh Krantz of Missoula. The female winner was Brittany Katzer of Libby. 55 and over winners were Jim Hammons of Troy for the men and Carla Schomer of Spring Creek, Nev. for the women.

Top: a sasquatch sign was used to warn drivers of safety precautions due to the Big Foot Run. Bottom: Kaylee Svensby bravely takes a dunk in the dunk tank. Photos submitted to The Montanian via email.

CARD receives 2.5 million screening grant

CARD Clinic staff visited Montana’s congressional delegation during a Montana Coffee event held in Washington, D.C. in April of  2018. Photo courtesy of Senator Tester’s office

Senators Daines and Tester announced last week that the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) has received a grant of $2,499,999 for continuation of their asbestos health screening program.

Too many Montana families have suffered at the hands of asbestos,” said Daines. “Through this additional funding the Center for Asbestos Related Disease will be able to continue the excellent work they have been doing and the people of Libby will have the support they need to fight the consequences of this deadly carcinogen.”

“The CARD Clinic is doing incredible work saving lives,” said Tester. “This grant will provide much needed funding to screen, monitor, and diagnose asbestos related diseases.”

After widespread contamination was uncovered in 2000, Libby and Troy were placed on EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List in 2002. An initial CDC-conducted screening revealed widespread asbestos related lung abnormalities and CARD began soon after to meet the needs of the exposed population.

LES test scores above average

By Tracy McNew

Libby Elementary School (LES) principal, Ron Goodman presented at Rotary last week to share the good news. LES students’ standardized test scores were received by the school on June 11. The SBAC (SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium) tests are taken by students in grades three through six and scores are compared to other schools throughout the state. The SBAC focuses on literacy and numeracy (math.)

Goodman said, “Not only are LES students’ scores above state average, we are outpacing them.” The state averages for 2018 haven’t been received yet, but in 2017 LES students scored above state average and things improved again this year.  In three years, he shared, Literacy test scores have gone up 5.25% and Numeracy test scores have gone up 16.25%.

What’s really amazing, Goodman said, is that “our poverty subgroup could end up beating the state average in math.”

The poverty subgroup accounts for about half of LES’s students. It is defined as those who receive free and reduced lunches. Their scores, he said, are about 10% lower than those of students who are not in poverty so if they are beating the state average Libby is doing something right.

“Test scores don’t accidentally happen,” Goodman told The Montanian, “Significant professional development and curriculum changes make it possible. LES staff has learned a lot and I am very proud to be a part of that.”

Goodman will be retiring from his position as LES principal at the end of the month. The school board hired Kaide Dodson who is currently vice principal to step into the position for the 2018-2019 school year.