Submitted by Laurie Mari
The Logger Speech & Debate Team has had an extremely successful season culminating with the Class A State Tournament in Sidney. Speech, Drama, and Debate is a Montana High School Association sanctioned activity. Although not technically a “sport,” as a competitive interscholastic activity, the same guidelines and rules must be followed.
With a mix of new and returning students, our students placed at almost every tournament attended. They competed in a variety of events, many entering in two competitive events, including Lincoln Douglas Debate, Interpretation of Literature, Original Oratory, Informative Speaking, and Impromptu Speaking. The team includes: Freshmen Teague Thompson and Addison Skranak; Sophomores Julianna Shumate, Nevaeh Neff, and Cash Vaughn; Juniors Jonathan Carey, Baylie Ames, and Layla Dagel; and Seniors Cadence Newman and Jenavie Hammond.
The Speech and Debate season began in October with practice and competition coached by Mrs. Kim Lee and Assistant Coach Morgan Bell. This very successful season, ended with the State Tournament on January 27 and 28 followed by the Showcase on Feb. 9. State Tournament awards went to: Jenavie Hammond and Cash Vaughn – 7th place in Duo Interpretation, Cash Vaughn – 7th place in Informative Speaking and Jenavie Hammond – 4th place in Informative Speaking. Showcase is a public performance for family, friends, and the community. Since Speech and Debate is not a spectator sport like wrestling or a team sport like basketball, even many family members do not have the opportunity to see their students perform their speeches until the Showcase.
Coach Lee noted, “We had two outstanding Seniors on our team this year: Cadence Newman and Jenna Hammond. Cadence was new to our team this year and jumped right in to compete in both Impromptu Speaking and Dramatic Interpretation of Literature. She excelled in both areas as well as provided encouragement and leadership to other students. Her insight and humor will be missed.”
“Jenna has been an integral part of Logger Speech and Debate for the past 4 years. She has excelled in several different events and this year was our highest placing student overall. She placed at State in two different events and was well-regarded and respected by her competitors. Her leadership of our team and her unfailing positive and kind attitude have enhanced the team and inspired her teammates.”
Coach Lee added, “All members of our team have achieved goals they set for themselves at the start of the year, both personal goals and competition goals. Their performance at the Class A State Tournament and our Showcase reflect this. Although it is very hard to say goodbye to our seniors, the rest of us are already looking forward to next year.”
Mark Your Calendars: Free Community Dinner March 14 to Discuss
Architectural Design Troy Library and Opportunity Center
Submitted by Lincoln County Libraries
Lincoln County Libraries and Community Partners Plan Dinner to Reveal Initial Architectural Design for the Troy library and Opportunity Center Project
A free community dinner will be held on March 14th at the Troy library to discuss initial architectural designs created by Mosaic Architecture of Helena Montana as part of the Troy Library and Opportunity Center (TLOC) PAR funded by Montana Community Block Development grant awarded in Sept 2022. Members of the design team will be available to discuss the project.
The TLOC project focuses on transforming the Troy Branch of Lincoln County Library into an expanded library and community center space. Partners have the goal of bringing more resources to the Troy community through a collaborative effort. TLOC partnerships include Spring Up Troy, Lincoln County Unite for Youth, Zero to Five Lincoln County, Western Montana Mental Health Center, Libby Job Service, and Lincoln County Government.
“The project community outreach has been ongoing for the past three years. We asked the question, what does your opportunity center look like? And now we are excited to reveal plans for what we have heard.” Sharee Miller, Lincoln County Librarian
Montana Highway State Trooper injured in Pursuit; All Suspects Apprehended
Submitted by Sheriff’s Office Lincoln County Montana Sheriff Darren Short
Undersheriff Brent Faulkner
On Thursday 2Febuary 16, at about 2:39 p.m., Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies in Eureka, Montana, attempted to arrest 41 year old Jason Allen Miller of Eureka on a felony warrant for absconding from parole following conviction on the charges of criminal possession of dangerous drugs and two counts of theft.
Miller led Lincoln County Deputies in a vehicle pursuit fleeing in his pickup south on Montana Highway 37, south of Eureka. Deputies were joined in the pursuit by a Montana Highway Patrol trooper. Miller attempted to turn onto Camp 32 Road and lost control of his vehicle.
Deputies and the trooper approached the vehicle while giving commands to gain compliance and execute the arrest. Miller regained control of his truck and drove at the Deputy and trooper. The trooper was struck by Miller’s truck.
Deputies rendered aid to the injured trooper and additional Deputies continued the pursuit.
A Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Warden intercepted Miller off Camp 32 Road and Miller rammed the Warden’s vehicle. He was then then taken into custody.
Miller is currently being held in the Lincoln County Detention Center on the no bond arrest warrant. A female passenger in Miller’s vehicle jumped out of the truck during the pursuit and was apprehended by US Border Patrol Agents. She was questioned and released. The injured Trooper was transported to Logan Health Center in Kalispell by an Alert air ambulance.
Lincoln County Sheriff Darren Short stated,” The actions of the Deputies, Troopers, and Wardens with assistance from the Border Patrol took a dangerous person out of our community. Thanks to their heroic actions, our entire community is a safer place. Our thoughts and prayers are with the trooper and his family.”
MHP Colonel Steve Lavin said, “This is a harsh reminder of the dangers we face as law enforcement officers. The outpouring of support from Montanans and the law enforcement community has been tremendous. Please continue to keep our trooper, the MHP family, and all law enforcement in your prayers. I’m thankful for the incredible work of our partners at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, the Division of Criminal Investigation, and every agency involved in yesterday’s incident who are investigating and who helped our trooper get to the hospital safely.”
The investigation is being conducted jointly by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation assisted by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and MHP.
More information will be released as charges are filed. Miller will be arraigned today at 1:00 p.m. in Lincoln County Justice Court on the warrant only. Additional charges are pending and will be announced next week.
Senator Daines issued this statement in response to the incident, “Terrible news. Praying for a speedy & full recovery for the Montana Highway Patrol trooper who was injured this afternoon while serving their community.”
-Submitted by Office of Senator Steve Daines
State of Montana to Hold Public Meeting on Proposed Libby Asbestos Settlement;
Public Comment Period Extended Through March 15, 2023
Submitted by Kevin Stone, Montana Department of Environmental Quality
The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Montana Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) have extended the public comment period and will hold a public meeting on a proposed settlement agreement related to the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site in Lincoln County.
Filed January 10, 2023, the proposed settlement would require W.R. Grace & Co. (Grace) to pay $18.5 million to resolve the State’s natural resource damage claims. NRDP, on behalf of the Governor, would receive that amount plus interest over ten years, with the first $5 million due within six months of entry of the settlement agreement. The funds would be used to restore, replace, or rehabilitate injured natural resources in the Lincoln County area and related costs.
Under the settlement, Grace would additionally provide the State of Montana with financial assurance for the operation and maintenance of the Kootenai Development Impoundment Dam for the next 100 years. This settlement would not affect Grace’s obligations under the Montana Dam Safety Act or the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation’s regulatory powers.
The Libby Asbestos Superfund Site was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Priorities (superfund) list in 2002 due to asbestos contamination that resulted from the vermiculite mine and mill operated by Grace. The proposed settlement would resolve Grace’s liabilities to DEQ regarding hazardous or harmful substances, with certain limited exceptions, but would not affect Grace’s requirements to continue to perform superfund work, subject to EPA oversight with DEQ consultation.
The State has reserved the right to withdraw or withhold its consent to the settlement agreement if comments received disclose facts or considerations that indicate the settlement agreement is inappropriate, improper or inadequate. By request, DEQ and NRDP will hold a public meeting at the Libby City Hall Ponderosa Room at 6pm on Monday, March 6, 2023. In addition, the public comment period has been extended, through March 15, 2023. Comments can be submitted electronically or by mail. To view the settlement agreement, learn more about how to submit comments or to find details on the upcoming public meeting, please visit: https://dojmt.gov/lands/notices-of-public-comment.