Head Start program gives kids a boost; enrollment begins now

Libby Head Start ready to teach. Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of Kootenai Valley Head Start


By Brian Baxter


Our local Head Start Program helps children develop and fulfill their potential by giving them a head start on Kindergarten readiness. The caring and dedicated coordinator, teachers, and instructors that once had their children enrolled in the program, provide personal care through a unique approach and combination education. A child must be three or four years old by Sept. 10, of this year to qualify for this years program. Family income must meet Moderate Federal Income Guidelines specific to MPDG requirements.

The Kootenai Valley Head Start and Libby-Troy Public Preschool motto is building the community by strengthening families. The office is located at 263 Indian Head Road in Libby, Mont. The staff aims to enhance the strengths, happiness, and resilience of all children. Some of the programs are taught at the Plummer Preschool Center in Libby, and some at their facility in Troy, Mont.

The Head Start group has five classrooms in Libby, and one in Troy. Shayla Montgomery, the Kootenai Valley Head Start Family and Community Services Coordinator said, “We are also a group of teachers described as a School Family. Many of us have worked together for several years. As of right now, we have over ten employees who started as parents of children in the program.” Another extremely important part of any child’s education is discipline in both academic and social realms.

The Head Start program addresses these aspects, as Montgomery said, “We utilize Conscious Discipline as part of our curriculum to fulfill the social and emotional learning whose foundation is safety, connection and problem-solving for behavior management strategies in everyday situations.”

Montgomery and her team obviously care a lot about their students and want them to succeed in school as well as in life. She then added, “We try to turn every play moment into a learning opportunity. We go on field trips throughout the community and frequently have guest speakers and performers. Our meals are on site and are healthy and delicious as well as often something new for the children to experience.”

Of course at this time in our country’s history there are unfortunately some unknown factors regarding Covid-19. What is generally agreed upon and known to most people is that our students need to return to school, and our workforce to work, but that our health and the health of all of our citizens is of primary importance also.

Regarding students returning to Head Start programs Montgomery said, “As of right now amidst all of the unknowns, we are all working hard to keep informed on best practices to return to school. This includes purchasing and training on sanitization backpacks, clear face shields for teachers, altering classroom setup and schedules to accommodate social-distancing and as always, continuously washing our hands.”

Montgomery summed things up by saying, “We have revamped our sick policy along side approval from the community health department who has been involved in every decision made thus far.” Enrollment is happening now for all three and four year old’s in the communities of Libby and Troy for the 2020-2021 school year. Folks can contact Shayla Montgomery by phone at 293-4502, or email her at s.montgomery@kootenaivalleyheadstart.com


Local gardeners knock it out of the park on fresh produce

By Moira Blazi


Through the ups and downs of economies, underlying the political rhetoric of the day, one of the few things most  Americans can always count on is that, when we go to the grocery store, the shelves will be lined with food. If we are fortunate enough to live in a town or neighborhood with a large  supermarket, we may have our pick of fruits and vegetables, often literally transported to our table from all over the world. If we live in a northern climate, with a short growing season, like we have here in western Montana, most of the fresh food we take for granted, has been grown hundreds, even thousands of miles away and trucked or flown to the supermarket shelf. It’s a bit of a miracle, when you really think about it. Most of us simply don’t.

There is a reason so much of our fresh food is  grown in California’s central valley, or Mexico’s vast farms, plants need sunshine and warmth to grow.  Anyone who has bravely endeavored to grow a garden here knows it takes a lot of grit, passion, and faith to make a garden thrive.

Fortunately, grit is alive and well here in Lincoln county. At least 3 commercial , organic farms are currently offering ultra-fresh, delicious, organic produce and flowers at our local farmers markets , grocery stores and restaurants.

Megan Leach grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, after moving there as a small child. Fleeing California.

“My dad just took out a map of the west and  put his finger down.” she remembered with a nostalgic smile. They settled down, and  although Megan’s mom discovered that she wasn’t a huge fan of snow, little Megan took to it. “ I was the one who really loved the mountains and the change of seasons” she recalled.


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Libby Volunteer Firefighters receive Historic donation

By Moira Blazi

On Thursday July 30, the Libby Volunteer Fire brigade held their annual barbeque, a chance to get together at Fireman’s Park in Libby.

In addition to the burgers and beer, the Firemen got to honor and chat with Marshall Warrington. The firemen received a donation of his original  1950’s“Bonker” suit, complete with pants, jacket, helmet and boots.

Warrington who is now a sprightly 91 years old man, said he retired from the department, “In 1973 or so,” Although Warrington was not certain what year he actually began fighting fires for our community, after consulting with Chief Tom Wood and a few others, it was determined that Warrington started volunteering in 1957 at the age of 28.

Chief Wood recalled that young Warrington needed a place to stay when he first came to Libby, and stayed with the Wood family, when Cheif Wood was just a boy. Wood recalled that his father Ernie, who was the town police chief at the time, and the rest of the family called him “Tinker”.

Warrington fought many fires for the community during his tenure, most notably the old Libby Hotel on Mineral Ave., which stood where, Copy this, Send That stands today.

Libby Scatterguns 11th Annual Ironman Contest

By Brian Baxter


The Libby Scatterguns, a part of Libby Rod and Gun Club Inc., is hosting the 11th Annual Shotgunner’s Ironman Contest on Saturday, August 22, out at the Libby Shooting Range. The range is located on Farm To Market Road, across from the Libby Airport. There is a $35 dollar entry fee per shooter, and the price includes 100 targets.

There will also be lunch provided and prizes awarded to the winners of the competitions. Competitive events include Trap 25 at the 21 yard line, Skeet at 25 regulation skeet, Five Stand at 25 compact sporting clays, and Scrap at trap targets from skeet stations.

Libby Rod and Gun Club encourages all shot gunners to give it a shot. Sign-up is at nine a.m., with the start of competition shoots at ten a.m.. Lunch will be served around noon.

Thanks to the efforts of the Libby Rod and Gun Club and the Libby Scatterguns, many improvements have been made at the range, and many are in progress at this time. The shooting range is secured by a coded gate, and there is a 24 hour caretaker on premises.

The Libby Rod and Gun Club appreciates the support of the community, and membership is only $15 dollars per year. For more information on the Libby Rod and Gun Club,  the Libby Scatterguns, this event, and more details about the range, call Tom Bailey at 293-7743, or Mike Cirian at 293-4608.