The Montanian Newspaper Under New Ownership

By Tracy McNew

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the sale of The Montanian newspaper to Ashley South. After several years at the helm, I have handed over the reins to Ashley with confidence that she will successfully lead this newspaper into the future.

Ashley grew up in the greater Troy area and spent much of her adolescent years recreating and adventuring in the outdoors with her family and friends. She graduated in 2012 from Troy High School and attended Flathead Valley Community College. Her love for the outdoors kindled her ten-year career in conservation and outdoor education. She has worked at the Montanian Newspaper for four years as the Advertising Director, and she is now the Owner and Editor. She is passionate about community connectivity and graphic design, and she looks forward to the doors that this opportunity will open. I am confident that she has the passion, dedication, and skill set to carry on the paper’s positive local focus efficiently and with care. She looks forward to learning all aspects of the business, and to hearing from all of The Montanian’s readers with stories, inquiries, and advertising requests.

I want to take this occasion to thank the communities of Libby and Troy Montana for their unwavering support and readership over the years. When I purchased the paper from David and Carol Latham in July 2016, I knew I had big shoes to fill. The Latham’s restarted The Montanian in 1989, but the paper’s history dates back to the 1800s. It has been a source of local news and information for the people of Lincoln County with a positive and sometimes quirky perspective, and I am grateful to have been a part of its legacy.

The Montanian is free, and over 3,000 copies are distributed throughout Libby and Troy every week. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and the loyalty of our readers that we have been able to continue purely on income generated from advertising.

For now, the newspaper’s office location, phone number, and email address will remain the same. Ashley intends to continue providing quality journalism and community engagement. She is committed to making sure that The Montanian remains an essential part of the fabric of Lincoln County.

As the torch is passed along to Ashley, I am filled with gratitude. I have been fortunate to meet so many wonderful people in this community and to witness firsthand the incredible resilience and spirit of the people of Lincoln County through The Montanian.

I know that it will continue to be an important voice for this community, and I look forward to seeing all the great things that Ashley and her team will accomplish in the years to come.

2023 Ben Graham Results


The 2023 Ben Graham Tourney was held on Saturday May 13.  Champion was Jonny Cielak and Women’s Champion was Jackie Mee.


Left Photo: Jonny Cielak

Ben Graham Champion.


Right Photo: Left to right: Mens low net Champion Jon Schell, Seniior Flight 1 Gross Champ Jerry Mee, Womens Champion Jacki Mee, Womens low net champion Nancy Shepard.


Photos courtesy of Jeff Dooley.

Francom Resigning as

Superintendent of Troy Schools

By Ashley South

Superintendent Jacob Francom is resigning as of July 1, 2023. After serving over 10 years for the Troy School’s, he is on to new endeavors in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Francom will be the founding principal of the North Idaho Classical Academy. The K-12 charter school will be a tuition free establishment, with a membership in the classical education program of Hillsdale College, a Michigan-based teaching institution. This institution will be focused on classical teaching as in liberal arts focused. The subjects will be on the sciences and arts, along with character building and education.

Troy Schools have appointed their new superintendent, Christina Schertel. She is the Special Education Teacher and has been Acting Principal and Assistant Principal in past years.

Libby High School Choir and Band State Music Festival Results


Ensemble that received a perfect score. From left to right is Kenna Haddock, Keyera Haischer, Rachael Smith, Lylla Pape, Livia Haddock, Aubrey Stull, and Faith Erickson– Photo Courtesy of Larraine B.

From left to right is Lylla Pape, Kenna Haddock, Livia Haddock, Hayden Jones, Rachael Smith, Elaina Covington, Keyera Haischer, and Faith Erickson– Photo Courtesy of Larraine B.


The results for the Libby High School choir and band State Music Festival ranked highly in the competition this year. The music students who attended the state music festival Friday, May 5th in Missoula all received superior scores, with one event receiving a perfect score. The participating students are Dayton Johnson (band), Elaina Covington, Faith Erickson, Kenna Haddock, Livia Haddock, Keyera Haischer, Hayden Jones, Rachael Smith, and Aubry Stull (choir). “What an exciting day! These dedicated students are awesome, magnificent, and did a great job”. Said Larraine Braun Libby Highschool Music Teacher

Submitted by Larraine Braun

Woman’s Body Found in Flower Creek near Libby Cemetery

On May 10, 2023, at approximately 2:37 pm, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a report of a body in Flower Creek near the Libby Cemetery and Libby baseball fields in Libby, MT.

Upon arrival, deputies located a deceased female, later identified as Sarina Lewis, in the water near the edge of the stream. LCSO Detectives and the Libby Police Chief also responded.

An investigation was initiated, and the Lincoln County Coroner was notified and responded to transport Lewis. Circumstances of the death are not being released currently pending further investigation. Notifications were made by the Lincoln County Coroner. Contact is Sheriff Darren Short.