Bull Lake seeks funds for new fire station


Submitted by Gerald Wallace


The First Responders of Bull Lake Rural Fire District have been protecting their community for over 40 years, using a station that has no running water, restrooms, or other facilities. This all-volunteer group of 26 men and women on call 24/7 have sacrificed their own blood, sweat, and tears to respond to structure fires, wildland fires, motor vehicle accidents, hazmat incidents, medical emergencies, and any other emergency situation that occurs within the district with sheer determination, grit, and love for their community and neighbors. In addition, they respond to mutual aid requests from other agencies throughout the West and Pacific Northwest.

Until Bull Lake Volunteer Fire Department was formed in the early 1970’s, there was no way to protect and assist the residents of Bull Lake ( located 18 miles south of Troy, Mont.) in times of emergency. Their continued vigilance has often been the deciding factor in the struggle for survival and individualism in the rough terrain of Montana.

Bull Lake Rural Fire District needs to build a new fire station and they need your help. The land (four acres on Montana Route 56) was donated, and funds donated locally are being used to excavate the property and obtain the required permits.

The next step is to literally “lay the foundation” for the new fire station; a $30,000 expense. Funds for the foundations are presently lacking.

Plans, which were donated for the new station, include a training center for structure and wildland fires, continued EMT training for the volunteer staff, and housing for the apparatus and equipment. The station wad designed to serve the community for the next 50 years.

Any and all funds donated to our project through GoFundMe will be very much appreciated.


State Elks Hoop Shoot


Submitted by Tony Fantozzi


In Livingston, Mont. on Saturday, Feb. 2, two local athletes competed in the State version of the Elk’s National Hoop Shoot competition.

Out of over 5,500 Montana athletes between the ages of  8 and 13 from all over the state, and over 50-plus Elk’s Lodges competing, only the top 30 athletes advanced to compete in Livingston.

In the girls aged 8 and 9 group, Claire Fantozzi of Libby placed third overall making 17 out of 25 of her free-throws.

In the boys aged 12 and 13 group, Ryan Beagle took first place overall making 24 out of  25 of his free-throws. Beatle will advance to the Regional competition which will be held on March 9, in Rapid City, SD.



Notes from the MT Senate


Submitted by Senator Mike Cuffe, Senate District 1


Life is busy at the Capitol. Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 6, asks Congress to delist the Grizzly statewide, and I will present SJR 6 to the Senate Fish and Game Committee on Feb. 14. Similar to the resolution carried last session by Rep. Steve Gunderson, it has generated much popular support in this 66th Montana Legislative Session. I helped develop it in 2017 and am proud to carry it in 2019.

As vice chair of the budget subcommittee for Long Range Planning, I heard major infrastructure projects from all over Montana, including Libby water distribution project, Eureka water filtration, Tobacco River restoration, and the Mud Creek restoration south of Eureka. We are at the first step in the process, but these projects ranked well.

This week I testified in support of Rep. Gunderson’s bill for the continuing asbestosis program at Libby, and I also spoke for state funding for the Good Neighbor Authority which includes USFS and Lincoln County working with the state to bring better forest health and timber jobs.  This is the kind of legislation that brought me to the legislature. Commissioner Mark Peck was here to support both bills.

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) prevention is big in my world, and AIS begins Monday, Feb. 4.

I finished a hectic first month by chairing the “Committee as a Whole,” during the second reading of bills on Friday, Feb. 1.  It was the busiest day yet with a mix of Senate Bills, House Bills, and resolutions, all of which call for different language by the presiding officer. It was my first experience of running the Senate floor, although I had done it in the House.

My committee assignments are Senate Finance and Claims, and the subcommittee for Long Range Planning, plus policy committees for State Administration and Energy and Telecommunications. I maintain close contact with Representatives Neil Duram and Gunderson.  We all have major legislation in play with more to come.

Reach me at Mike.Cuffe@mtleg.gov; mcuffe@interbel.net, or 293-1247.



Turner Mtn. hosts alpine snowboarding event this week


By McKenzie Williams


Over 75 Alpine Snowboarders are headed our way. Traveling from all over the United States and Canada.

The 2019 Montucky Clear Cut event will be held at Libby’s own Turner Mountain the week from Monday until Thursday, Feb.11 to 14.

Some sponsors include an alpine carver and graphic artist out of Brooklyn who designed the event’s logo, snowboard manufacturers from Idaho, Colo., and Ontario who are offering demo boards onsite, several clothing manufacturers, and Montucky Cold Snacks.

Black Eagle Media has offered to film and edit a promotional video for Turner Mountain, free of charge, upon hearing about the upcoming event. Grant Nakumara, photographer, ski guide, and physician, is also donating time and equipment to provide photostock for Turner and still shots for event registrants.

The Montucky Clear Cut 2019 and Turner Mountain invite spectators to observe from the base lodge during the upcoming event. Homemade soups, burgers, french fries and specialty sandwiches are available for purchase while watching.

To find out more about the event, scheduling, and the various ways in which funds will be raised for Turner Mountain, you can visit: https://montuckyclearcut.com/


Shopko stores slated to close

Shopko announced on Jan. 16 that they had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to their website, info.shopko.com, “Today’s announcement provides clarity about the path forward for us, and we are confident the outcome will be a stronger Shopko.”

They have published a list of “go forward: locations and another list of closing locations. At this time, Libby’s Shopko store is on the go forward list, so don’t worry, the empty shelves are just a reflection of changing seasons at this point.

Not so lucky are a Whitefish and the Bonners Ferry, Idaho locations that are both slated to close around May 12 according to the list published on their website.


Bee Day at the Libby Library


By Danielle Nason


McLaury Apiaries hosted “Bee Day” at the Libby branch of Lincoln County Libraries on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Librarian, Dustina Deans, assisted and helped with the program put on for the public by McLaury Apiaries in conjunction with Libby Friends of the Library.

Kids were a-buzz with excitement during the first session which started at 10:15. They learned about the wonderful ability of bees and all of the myriad of things that bees affect. The class also provided detailed information about the process of honey making and pollination. There were stories and activities about bees to keep everyone interested.

A second adult lunch and learn was held at noon with beverages and desserts provided. Adults learned about bees and the various honey products as well.

McLaury Apiaries is a family owned business located right here in Libby. Angie McLaury, said during her presentation  that the apiary is busy year round because they travel to pollinate crops all along the west coast in addition to producing honey and honey-related products here at home.

Both classes were educational and interactive for all who attended.

Angie McLaury shows a photo of a bee during the bee days kids program on Feb. 5. Photo by Danielle Nason, The Montanian.