Lincoln County Junior Fair Exhibitors showcase strengths alongside their four-legged counterparts at J.Neils Arena

While the 2021 Lincoln County Junior Fair is not firmly logged in the memory books for this year’s
exhibitors, the strengths in character and steady diligence through the experience which were displayed are still etched strongly on the minds of those who were able to experience everything brought to the entire fair experience this year.  Pictured: Isabella Soileau leads the line as young equestrians were judged on showmanship, control, knowledge of care, and more in the Horse Division.


2021 Kootenai Kiwanis Student Stand Down
Backpacks loaded and ready for distribution

For the past three years the Kootenai Kiwanis Organization of Lincoln County has been driving the Student Stand Down event which places needed school supplies into the hands of students in Libby, Troy, Eureka, and multiple places in between.

In that time, well over 1,500 students have been
provided with backpacks stuffed generously with pencils, paper, folders, binders, markers, crayons, composition books, rulers, erasers, and any one of several hundred items which fill the supply needs lists distributed by Lincoln County schools at the
beginning of each new school year.

Last year, in light of the pandemic at play, Kiwanis members cancelled the usual Stand Down event held inside school gymnasiums.  Instead, families seeking assistance with meeting their supply lists were
welcomed to contact the Stand Down Committee through their educators and a backpack of supplies was then delivered to the child’s school.

With distribution now more freely possible, the 2021 Student Stand Down event is going forward
but choosing to continue distributions on an
as-requested basis.

Backpacks have already been pre-filled with
supplies as listed by various districts for the
2021-22 school year and will be handed out during Libby Elementary School’s registration dates on Wednesday and Thursday, August 11 and 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Additional distribution is also being arranged
for Troy students on Friday, August 27, during the Open House to be held at Morrison Elementary School from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

To request supplies, those in need of assistance may submit their contact information to:

Or send a message to Libby Kiwanis via Facebook:

Those wishing to support the 2021-22 Student Stand Down efforts may do so by reaching out to
either of the above contact sources.

Kiwanis members will also be bringing a selection of items from their Koats 4 Kids program which will be on-hand for those in need of clothing and gear for the cooler months which many are hoping will be here sooner than later.

If a child is in need of any items not on-hand
during this year’s Stand Down distribution, a request can be placed to acquire those items at a later date.


From the desk of…
Lincoln County Sheriff, Darren Short

Hello to all Lincoln County Residents—


I wanted to take a few brief moments to check-in with everyone and offer an update on current affairs from my personal perspective.

As you all are now aware, we are currently in the middle of an unprecedented fire season. All of Lincoln County is currently under Stage 2 fire restrictions. Unfortunately, it does not look like things are going to get better any time soon.

Due to extreme fire danger, private timberlands across northwest Montana have now closed to public access and recreation—effective Monday, August 2.

Unless we see some substantial rain in the near future, I would assume that the National Forest and Lincoln
County will be following suit and moving toward Stage 3 fire restrictions soon.

This is a very unfortunate situation for all residents, tourists, and guests of Lincoln County. I ask for your
patience and cooperation in helping us to manage the
active fires and keep everyone safe.

We will be posting updates to the Lincoln County
Sheriff’s Facebook page as they become available.

In the interim, I would urge everyone to please
recreate safely. We have already had multiple recreation-related incidents across the county.

It is paramount that everyone works to remain safe, including remaining aware of the extreme fire danger and current restrictions to ensure our first responders can work efficiently.

I would also suggest that you sign up for “Code Red.” This emergency contact system allows users to be notified in the event of an immediate emergency  that could affect your safety—fire, weather, flood, etc.

A link to sign-up for Code Red is available at If you are unable to access the internet and need assistance, contact Chanel at 293-4112 for help with enrollment.

Thank you all for your patience and cooperation!
Be safe and don’t hesitate to call if you have any
concerns or questions.

Sincerely, Sheriff Darren Short

Long anticipated historical work by retired

Libby educator set for official release

by Stacy Bender


“Settled along the banks of the Kootenai River
by folks rugged as the land itself, Libby, Montana’s fortunes ebbed and flowed with the natural world.

Our Hometown chronicles Libby’s fascinating history from the dawn of the new century—a time rife with struggle, outlaws, and a hardy group of
pioneers living on civilization’s edge.

Filled with hundreds of narratives and
photographs, Our Hometown give the reader
an inside look at the very heart of Libby’s charm:
it’s people.”


So reads the inside fold of Jeff Gruber’s first
installation in a series to come which he has been
working on during his spare time for more than a
decade. Our Hometown – A Pictorial History of Libby, Montana, Volume 1: Community, will be available for purchase in just nine days.

Sales will kick-off at the Libby Memorial Events
Center on the evening of Thursday, August 12, from 6:00p.m. – 9:00 p.m. A brief presentation by Gruber on his recent release and the work which transpired in bringing it to life will be followed by opportunity to both purchase and have  books signed by the local

Sales will continue on Friday, August 13, with an additional signing event to be held at the Libby Area Chamber of Commerce from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Official release signings will then close-out on
Saturday, August 14, from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at
The Heritage Museum in Libby. A befitting locale for this former history teacher’s work of passion for his community to be showcased.

Before retiring in 2018, Gruber spent 26 years
as an educator in the Libby School District.  One of the highlight’s of that career Jeff often shares is to have been honored with the Heritage Keeper Award from the Montana Historical Society alongside two fellow Libby High School teachers—Rose Goyen and Bob Malyevac.

“They were instrumental in making history fun and inspiring me to become a teacher,” Gruber had shared in an interview this past Spring. Having graduated from LHS in 1984, Gruber was first a student of Goyen and Malyevac before standing beside them as an honored colleague.

Many of Gruber’s former students now echo his
sentiment towards those who once molded his passion for history: “He [Gruber] truly made learning fun for me!” and “He made me excited about things I didn’t know I would even get excited about in history.”

To say Gruber’s release is highly anticipated just may be the understatement of the year here in South Lincoln County.

To say you might want to mark your calendar and aim to be one of the first in line for next week’s trilogy of signing events would likely be what many consider sound and sage advice.

To say simply that you are invited to enjoy a glimpse into the past and possibly learn something new would likely be precisely what Jeff would want you to know.