NEWS BRIEFS

State Music Festival a success for Libby band students
Libby Middle School and High School bands teacher Brenda Nagode had seven Libby students representing Libby High School at its best last weekend at the State Music Festival in Helena.
Sally Weber and Alyssa Bales both performed violin solos and received supeirior ratings. Trey Thompson preformed a tenor saxophone solo and received a superior rating. Cerria Swagger performed French horn and trumpet solos and received superior ratings. Kevin Lee performed a tuba solo and received a superior rating. Shelby Smith performed a flute solo and received a superior rating, and Chris Williams performed a tenor saxophone solo and received an excellent rating.
Congratulations to all of the musicians selected to perform at the state festival.


Stimson Mill area trail opens


The old Stimson Mill property, now managed by the Lincoln County Port authority, encompasses a large portion of Libby creek frontage, on both sides, perfect for fishing, wading, rock hunting and chilling. The Lincoln County Port authority, manages a portion of this land, and has, in conjunction with the Kootenai River Development Council, opened access to the east side banks of the creek, with an improved bike/hike trail system.
“It’s always a win for Libby when blighted property turns into a community asset, it just takes a collective vision” said Port Authority director Tina Oliphant.
The property, long used by locals is adjacent to the clay cliffs which boarder the east side of the old mill property. “We now have a path to enjoy a treasure; the Libby Creek bottoms., and we see this as an exciting tipping point in a series of improvements to be made in the coming years,” said Oliphant.
Long term plans for the property include a biathlon range and a mountain bike trail, part of over six miles of trails which will run through the property.
Photo by Moira Blazi

Flathead Electric warns of scammers
Flathead Electric Cooperative wants to notify the public that some members have received fraudulent phone calls from people posing as Co-op employees. The imposters threaten to shut off power to the home or business if payment is not made immediately. In the some cases, the Caller I.D. function of the telephone even lists Flathead Electric Co-op.
 It is not the policy of FEC to ask personal questions of its members or to threaten members with immediate disconnect if there is a balance on their account. The Co-op follows a comprehensive series of procedures with regards to delinquent accounts to find an equitable solution for all concerned.
 Should you receive a call similar to those reported, do not release your personal or financial information and please notify the Co-op. Local law enforcement agencies should also be advised when illegal activity is suspected. In addition, if you are concerned about protecting yourself from identity theft or feel you may be a victim, you can find more information by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s identity theft site at www.ftc.gov/idtheft. 

Male grizzly captured near McGregor Lake

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) captured a subadult male grizzly bear on April 28 near McGregor Lake and released the animal in a remote location in the Kootenai National Forest.
The bear, approximately three years old and weighing 246 pounds, had been frequenting residential areas and eating bird seed and garbage around McGregor Lake and Little Bitterroot Lake near Marion. Residents reported several sightings of the bear. The animal did not have any prior conflicts.
FWP Bear Management Specialist Tim Manley set a culvert trap in the area and captured the animal on the night of April 28. The bear was fitted with a GPS radio collar for future monitoring. FWP Director Martha Williams assisted Manley and Region 1 Wildlife Manager Neil Anderson with the immobilization and processing of the bear.
In consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service, FWP moved the bear on May 1 to the Big Creek drainage on the west side of Lake Koocanusa on the Rexford Ranger District.
The Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, encompassing Glacier National Park, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex and most of northwest Montana, is home to the largest population of grizzlies in the lower 48 states, with an estimated 1,000 bears. The Cabinet-Yaak Ecosystem is home to a much smaller grizzly population with an estimated 53 bears.
Now that bears are active, residents are asked to remove or secure food attractants such as garbage and bird feeders to avoid conflicts.
Photo courtesy of FWP.


STOKR riders hit the road next weekend

On May 12 and 13 be ready for lots of bicycles on local roadways.
The 24th annual Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River (STOKR) bike ride will be held on Saturday and Sunday beginning at the Chamber of Commerce in Libby.
Saturday’s rides will be along the Kootenai River between Troy and Libby and/or along Pipe Creek depending on which route they choose. On Sunday riders will be near Libby Dam and Lake Koocanusa.
This year there are 410 riders registered and they will be stop along their routes to rest and enjoy food and drinks supplied by volunteers. The riders will have staggered starts and they will, for the most part, ride in single file for the convenience of residents and drivers.
STOKR is held annually as a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity.