LOCAL NEWS BREIFS

Suspicious activity school lockout

On 12/4/18 at 8:03 A.M. a 911 caller reported to dispatch that while driving on Louisiana Avenue he had seen a tan colored pickup traveling west on Balsam Street.  The driver was described to be hanging out of the vehicle window, holding what appeared to be a shotgun.  The gun was not being pointed at the caller.  The truck continued west on Balsam.

Libby Police and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s office responded to the area.  The school district was advised of the situation and immediately went into lockout.  Officers located a vehicle matching the description in the high school parking lot.  Two airsoft guns (airsoft guns are a realistic appearing toy gun that fire round plastic pellets) were visible on the front seat of the vehicle.  The student owning the vehicle was contacted and the airsoft guns were confiscated by LPD.
Libby School administration assisted with the investigation.

At no time was there a threat to the students or the community.

 

Stargazer’s December News

 

The 2019 Astronomy Calendars have arrived and can be picked up any time!

They are filled with fascinating information and pictures of activities in the heavens.

We have 6 extras in case you need more.

There will be no meeting in December, but we’ll resume in January

Calendar contact is Laura McGlasson 293-2552

Firewood gathering available by permit at state parks

 

With the arrival of winter weather, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is reminding residents that firewood gathering for personal, non-commercial use is allowed at certain state parks in Region 1, including the Thompson Chain of Lakes between Kalispell and Libby.

Firewood gatherers must have a permit in hand before collecting anything from a FWP site. A limited number of certain trees are designated for firewood collection.

In recent years, FWP has investigated several illegal firewood thefts at Region 1 sites. These popular public sites have lost a significant number of standing and fallen trees that were illegally removed. The lost trees can expose shorelines to erosion problems and diminish forested campsite areas, as well as harm important habitat trees for eagles, ospreys and other wildlife.

To report any illegal cutting, please call 1-800 TIP-MONT (847-6668) or the FWP Region 1 office at (406) 752-5501.

In wintertime, FWP maintains certain state parks for vehicle day-use. All sites remain open to walk-in use. Montana State Parks sites provide unique opportunities for recreation in wintertime, such as ice fishing, as well as educational programs at certain sites, such as Lone Pine State Park. On Dec. 8, Lone Pine is hosting a Winter Survivalist Ranger Talk and on Dec. 15 a Winter Survival Basics program. Space is limited and tickets can be purchased from the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 1 Facebook page.

 

Audubon Christmas bird count

 

For the 49th year local bird watchers will participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count in the Libby area on Saturday, December 15th.  This effort mobilizes over 72,000 volunteer bird counters in more than 2,400 locations across the Western Hemisphere to help scientists monitor the health of bird populations.  Those interested in participating either as field observers or watching and recording at their own homes, especially those with bird feeders, please contact Gene Reckin at 291-8482 or 293-9344.

 

Montana health officials confirm first influenza death this season

 

Missoula City-County Health Department, in conjunction with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), has confirmed the state’s first influenza-related death of the 2018-2019 flu season involving a child from Missoula County. Due to privacy concerns, no additional details will be released.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that there have been five flu-related pediatric deaths so far this season. In Montana, the last flu-related pediatric death occurred during the 2017-2018 influenza season when one child under the age of 18 died.

Influenza activity is currently at low levels in Montana; however, this is expected to change in the coming weeks. In Montana, influenza activity increases in December and peaks in January and February. To date, there have been 36 cases and six hospitalizations reported in Montana. Last season, over 10,000 cases, 979 hospitalizations, and 79 deaths were reported across Montana.

The disease spreads through coughing and sneezing with symptoms that can include high fever, chills, headaches, exhaustion, sore throat, cough and body aches.  It may take about 1 to 4 days after being exposed to the virus for symptoms to develop.  Additionally, you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else 1 day before and 5-7 days after becoming sick.

There are many weeks of flu activity left and the CDC continues to recommend getting a flu vaccine to help protect against influenza.

In addition, everyday precautions can help stop the spread of flu. Those measures include:

Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

Washing your hands often with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available.

Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Avoiding close contact with sick people.

Staying home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or necessities.

For more information, visit the DPHHS influenza website at:

https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/cdepi/diseases/influenza