Kiwanis receives grant from Lincoln County Foundation

February 01, 2023

Submitted by Linda Gerard,

LCCF Board Member

Kiwanis President Sandi Sullivan and member Gary Allen receive a $2400 grant from the Lincoln County Community Foundation for the Kiwanis Koats for Kids Program.

This grant was made possible by an endowed gift from the Bob Pedersen estate.  Bob spent4 years in the USAF repairing cameras used on B-29 aircraft.  He graduated first in his class, earning a degree in electrical engineering from Gonzaga University. Bob then returned to Libby where was employed by J Neils Lumber Co. and Champion International Paper.

Lincoln Co. Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity that supports the quality of life in our county through donations pooled to address community needs and support local nonprofits.

Permanent endowments and planned gifts from individuals, families, businesses and charitable institutions are held in perpetuity for the benefit of our community.

As the funds grow, a portion of the investment returns are used for grants while the remainder of the funds continue to grow into the future forever. LCCF is affiliated  with the Montana Community Foundation that invests the endowment.

In the past 10 years, LCCF has awarded 94 grants and distributed $97,041 within Lincoln County.

For more information call Paula Darko-Hensler, 293-4838 or Jim Seifert 283-1443.

Billion-Dollar Tax Rebate, Spending Package Passes Budget Committee

Six-bill package would put a sizable chunk of the state’s $2.5 billion surplus to property and income tax rebates to Montana taxpayers. It advances with Republican support and Democratic critique.

By Eric Dietrich of Montana Free Press


Republicans on a key legislative committee voted Friday to advance a six-bill package totaling more than a billion dollars in one-time spending, signaling that different factions of Republican lawmakers and Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte have reached an agreement about how to allocate a major chunk of the state’s estimated $2.5 billion surplus toward tax rebates and other priorities.

As passed by the House Appropriations Committee late Friday afternoon, the bills would provide taxpayers with rebates of up to $1,250 on their 2021 state income taxes and homeowners with property tax rebates of up to $500 in 2022 and 2023. They would also cut the business equipment tax, cut capital gains taxes, pay down state debt and allocate $100 million to a highway construction fund.

The bills now face votes on the House floor and review by the state Senate. Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee, however, inserted poison pill amendments in each of the measures that would slash their effect in half if any of the companion bills fail, whether because they’re voted down en route to the governor’s desk or vetoed.

The appropriations committee also voted separately Friday to advance the state employee pay plan, House Bill 13, and shot down a Democrat-backed bill, House Bill 258, that would have spent $109 million to give one-time rebates to both lower-income homeowners and renters. The pay plan, which was negotiated between the governor and public employee unions, includes $1.50-an-hour or 4% across-the-board raises for state and Montana University System employees each of the next two years and passed on a bipartisan 17-6 vote. The Democratic rebate bill failed on a party-line vote with Republican opposition.

Gianforte and many Republicans have argued that moving quickly to allocate surplus dollars to rebates will ease the financial pain inflation has caused many Montana families. The governor’s proposed budget calls for property tax rebates and a long-term income tax cut, but didn’t include money for one-time income tax rebates, which have been a priority for some legislative Republicans.

Rep. Bill Mercer, R-Billings, said the income tax rebates advanced Friday will benefit 460,000 taxpayers, some of whom will be refunded the entire amount they paid in state income taxes last year. Additionally, he said, this first round of spending leaves plenty of surplus to allocate elsewhere.

“There’s a very strong case for this,” Mercer said.


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LOR Foundation gives back to Central School Art Program

Courtesy of
Tabitha Viergutz

When local teacher Todd Berget passed, his absence left a huge hole in the community and especially in the lives and creativity of the Central School students.

During the summer survey that LOR conducted, community members reached out with suggestions to honor Todd Berget’s memory. To help “plant the seed” (as Todd would say) Heather Robinson decided to step up and volunteer teach at the Central School to bring the opportunity for the kids to express themselves again through art. The issue- there is no budget for art supplies to keep the program going at the Central School. Heather then reached out to the LOR Foundation for help; LOR’s funding will support the purchase of art supplies to sustain the program while the school secures future funding for the arts program. If you have an idea for a community project, please reach out to Tabitha at (406) 250-5218 or email

Winter Ecology Day Outdoor Education Program, February 11

Come share a winter day studying the interactions of area wildlife with their environment, in the beautiful outdoors of northwestern Montana! We’ll meet on Sat. Feb. 11th, at 9 a.m. Mountain Time, in the Viking Room of the Venture Inn at 1015 US Highway 2 in Libby. Over coffee, we will go over a brief set of handouts describing animal tracking methods, winter birding strategies, and evergreen identification.. At about 9:30 a.m., we will head to the field!

We’ll visit two to four different types of areas, where we will hunt as a team to find tracks, sign, and scat of area wildlife,  look for and I.D. birds, and identify both evergreen and deciduous vegetation. Please come prepared for the day with full gas tanks, proper layers, lunch, water, good boots, snowshoes if you have them, hats and gloves, cameras, binoculars, and ski poles can be helpful walking in deep snow. This adult class will take road tours, do a couple of short hikes on private lands, and wrap up will be around 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time. This class is sponsored by Libby Hostel Base Camp, and you can check them out at Airbnb. The Venture Inn and The Country Inn are also good accommodations in the area if you need them. All participants must pre-register! Senior Citizens welcome. Not super strenuous, slots limited to small group. No pets please. For More Info: Email or call 406-291-2154.

Senior Commodities Distribution, Feb. 17

Senior Commodities distribution will be held on Friday February 17, at the VFW Post 1548, located 114 W. 4th Street in Libby.

Distribution will begin at 10 a.m. until 12 noon.

Applications for low income residents 60 years and older are available at the VFW Monday through Saturday after 12 p.m.

Questions, please call Jule at 406-291-2201.

Please Welcome Newest Member of The LCSO

Mr. Welchons is our new deputy for the Eureka area– Photo Courtesy of Lincoln County Sheriffs Office

Governor Gianforte Calls for Civics, Personal

Finance Courses in Schools

:Governor urges Board of Public Education to add courses as requirement for graduation

Governor Greg Gianforte today urged the Montana Board of Public Education (BPE) to add civics and personal finance courses as requirements for high school graduation.

“There is a clear, growing need for civics and personal finance education in our high schools,” Gov. Gianforte wrote to BPE members. “When students graduate, they should be well prepared and well equipped for their lives and for the opportunities that await them.”

The governor encouraged BPE to adopt the recommendations from the Office of Public Instruction to add one half-unit of civics or government and one half-unit of economics or financial literacy as a requirement for high school graduation.

“Our Montana students should graduate with a demonstrated understanding of the U.S. system of government and the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen in our constitutional republic,” Gov. Gianforte continued. “They should also graduate with a demonstrated knowledge of personal finance, understanding budgeting, paying bills, paying taxes, saving, and navigating debt.”

Montana currently ranks 29th among all states for guaranteeing students access to personal finance courses.

The governor concluded, “As you consider many changes to school accreditation rules to improve student outcomes and eliminate red tape, adding civics and personal finance course requirements will help ensure our students receive the best education possible to prepare them for their future.”


Submitted by Brooke Stroyke