January 11, 2023
Press Release, Mayor Peggy Williams Issued Saturday Jan. 7
The City of Libby has hired an independent investigator recommended by Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority to conduct a third-party investigation into allegations by three former City of Libby police officers against Libby Police Chief Scott Kessel. Breck Law Office, Columbia Falls, has been engaged to conduct the investigation.
The investigation will take place beginning January 12, and is expected to last two days, according to Mayor Peggy Williams. “We want to get to the bottom of this problem and behind us and move forward, so we are bringing in a neutral third party to conduct the investigation”, said the Mayor.
“The “no notice quit” of the three officers has not caused the city to be unprotected. The Lincoln County Sherriff’s Office is providing coverage using their off-shift officers to cover our vacant shifts”, Williams said.
Press Release, Mayor Peggy Williams Issued Saturday Jan. 7
It has been determined that the police commission currently has no members. The Commission meets on an as needed basis to examine all applicants whose applications have been referred to the commission as to their age, legal, mental, moral, and physical qualifications and their ability to fill the office as a member of the police force, and hearing appeals brought by any member or officer of the police department who has been disciplined, suspended, removed, or discharged by an order of the mayor, city manager, or chief executive.
The City of Libby Police Commission last met in February 2022 to interview candidates for an open officer’s position. Since that time one Commissioner has moved to Arizona and the other two terms have expired with no action on renewing those terms.
The city is looking to rebuild the Police commission and is currently accepting applications. Applications are available from the City’s website and can be downloaded under the “How do I” tab in “Service Opportunities” Or one can be picked up from City Hall at 952 East Spruce. Per MCA, applicants must be city residents.
Berget, Class of 2017, is running for Miss
Troy Public Meeting
on Consolidation of
By Ashley South
A public meeting was held Thursday January 5th at the Troy High School auditorium. The Troy dispatch board of directors, spoke about issues they are facing around staffing, to keep the Troy dispatch open.
No decisions were made. It was an informative meeting, and many members of the public spoke in regards to wanting to keep and or consolidate Troy dispatch.
If Troy consolidates dispatch, all emergency calls will be based and transferred out of Libby. As of now Troy dispatch has enough staff to make it through March, and they are training a new hires as well.
If any of the public has questions or concerns, please call Troy City Hall.
Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short Speaks at Troy’s Public Meeting.
Photos by Ashley South, The Montanian.
Lincoln County to Offer Teen Mental Health First Aid
Lincoln County Health Department is partnering with Unite for Youth, Libby Public Schools, Eureka Public Schools, and multiple community members to bring teen Mental Health First Aid (tMHFA) to local school districts by next school year.
This project is supported by the LOR Foundation, DPHHS Injury Prevention, Western Montana Mental Health Center, and Lincoln County Commissioners.
tMHFA is an evidence-based training program brought to the US by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing in partnership with Born This Way Foundation.
The training teaches teens in grades 10 – 12, or ages 15 – 18, how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental health and substance use challenges among their friends and peers. It gives young people the skills to have supportive conversations with their friends and how to get help from a responsible and trusted adult.
“We are thrilled to bring teen Mental Health First Aid to our high school,” said Ron Goodman, Superintendent of Libby Public Schools. “This program will teach high school students to recognize and respond when their friends are experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge.”
Please call LCHD at 406-283-2463 with questions about Mental Health First Aid, hosting a training for adults who work with youth or for teens ages 15 – 18 years.
About the LOR Foundation: LOR works with rural communities in the Mountain West to enhance livability and prosperity while preserving the character that makes each community unique.
Nomad GCS Announces Expansion
Into Lincoln County
Submitted by Mike Hahn
Montana manufacturer Nomad GCS is preparing to launch a new facility in Libby, a move that means not only better service for its customers, but also significant positive impacts around Lincoln County.
Since 2002, Nomad has designed and manufactured Connected Mobile Operations Centers (CMOCs) for customers in defense, public safety, healthcare, telecommunications, and other vital industries. The need that sparked the business two decades ago – keeping those organizations connected and operational anywhere, at any time – has risen, and the Columbia Falls-based company now employs nearly 200.
While Nomad’s manufacturing volume has amplified, so have client expectations. “For our customers, lives and property are literally on the line,” says CEO Will Schmautz. “They need partners who can deliver the highest level of quality and do it quickly.”
Through the acquisition of a prominent Libby property, Nomad will position itself to meet the demand well into the future. “Lincoln County is a natural fit for us,” Schmautz said. “The workforce in this area is highly skilled and driven. The community has been incredibly welcoming, and we believe our investment in infrastructure and local employees will be a win for everyone.”
After planned facility and property renovations, Nomad will stand up two CMOC production lines in Libby, one focused on van-based operations centers, the other on military-spec shipping container-based solutions.
“Nobody else in the industry is providing the highly-specialized solutions we are,” Schmautz said. “But to stay in front, we need to grow. Lincoln County is a key part of that strategy.”
Nomad’s Chief of People and Development, Clay Binford, says the company expects to eventually hire 100-200 new team members for the Libby facility. “We’re excited about this expansion and actively looking for talented individuals to join our team,” he said. “Folks should definitely visit our website, check out the careers page, and get their applications in.”