Realtors Alice and Jim Hayes (center couple) with family at their 50th wedding anniversary. Photo courtesy of Alice Hayes.


MT Dept. of Revenue warns of tax scams

The Montana Department of Revenue warns all residents to be aware of numerous scams and frauds related to their tax information and potential refunds.

“Most Montanans are honest and trust others to be honest too, but unfortunately criminals around the world target our taxpayers and their personal information,” said Gene Walborn, director of the Montana Department of Revenue. “A little bit of caution and awareness can go a long way to protecting your information and making sure no one can abuse it.”

Here are some common tax season scams.

Paying for a refund: If a caller says they have your tax refund, but you’ll have to pay a “fee” to receive it, it’s a scam. The Department of Revenue will never demand money before giving you your refund.

Threatening arrest, or seizure of your property: Montanans have received letters saying they owe taxes to Montana, and that the state will seize their property, or even arrest them. If you owe back taxes to Montana, this is not how we will contact you. The Department of Revenue may contact individual taxpayers or businesses by phone, but in nearly all cases we will call only after sending at least one letter by U.S. mail. Such calls may come from our Collections unit to discuss past-due taxes or a payment plan, and we may need to verify information, but we will never threaten a taxpayer with arrest for non-payment.

Unclaimed Property, for a fee: The Department of Revenue distributes unclaimed assets, such as insurance payouts, mineral royalties or old bank balances, to thousands of Montanans each year. But the department doesn’t charge for it. Private parties that will locate unclaimed property for a fee are not necessarily breaking the law, but it is not necessary to use them. And the department will not contact owners individually about unclaimed property. Check to see if you have unclaimed property with the department.

Phishing for data: Don’t click links on unsolicited emails. These links could infect your computer with malware that can jeopardize the security of your personal data such as your Social Security Number or banking information.

Do not provide personal information if you are not sure who you are talking to. To verify a call is from the Department of Revenue, call our Collections unit at (406) 444-6949.

Submitted by MT Department of Revenue




realtors open new


After 27 years with Irene Loveless Realty, Alice and Jim Hayes of Team Hayes Realtors will be moving their desks downtown on March 31.

The experienced team will be relocating and offering their real estate expertise out of a new office located at 417 Mineral Ave., Suite 1, in the Mineral Plaza above Aunt T’s Coffee Corner in Libby.

Team Hayes Realtors have been dedicated to fulfilling all clients’ real estate needs, and they will continue to help with their clients’ buying and selling dreams from the their new location.

In 1993, Alice decided to see what the real estate world was all about and went to school to become a realtor. In 2001, Jim also decided to check out the real estate scene and attended school in real estate sales. In 2001, they became Team Hayes Realtors with Loveless Realty.

“Neither Jim or I consider ourselves sales persons. What we offer our clients, friends, relatives, and acquaintances is help and assistance should they decide they want to sell their property or they wish to buy something new,” said Alice.

Jim has been an outdoorsman his entire life, and he is very comfortable when it comes to dealing with bare land. Alice enjoys dealing with the residential, commercial, or smaller land parcels. Additionally, she enjoys the photo taking, design, and marketing of the various listings through words and pictures.

“We give 110% to the people we work with,” she said.

Team Hayes encourages  drop ins, calls, and emails. Alice can be reached at; Jim can be reached at You can call their cell phones at 293-8364 or 293-1926, and check out their website at

Their new mailing address is Team Hayes Realtors LLC, 417 Mineral Ave., Suite 1, Mineral Plaza, Libby, MT. 59923. The office phone number is 293-2725.

The team of Alice and Jim Hayes looks forward to hearing from folks at their new office as they continue to offer double the service and double the care while they sell Libby by the yard.


Flathead Electric

offers stuck at home


Flathead Electric holds a scholarship drawing each year for high school seniors who attend the Co-op’s Annual Meeting. The meeting was cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Co-op still wants to give local students a chance to win those scholarship dollars.

While local high school students are stuck at home, taking online classes, and practicing their social distancing, they now have a chance to put their name in the hat for the Co-op’s random scholarship drawing scheduled for March 30. Four $500 scholarships will be awarded.

To be eligible for the scholarships, the student must be a graduating high school senior in Flathead Electric’s service territory whose parent or guardian is a member of FEC, and they must be attending an accredited college or trade school in the state of Montana next year.

To enter, students must complete an online application. These applications aren’t graded — all completed applications will be entered into the random drawing. As part of the application, entrants will be asked to answer a few questions about hydropower (the type of power that Flathead Electric Cooperative is very fortunate to be served by). For more information or to apply for a scholarship, visit:

All FEC scholarship funds are provided through unclaimed capital credits, as designated by Montana statute.

Submitted by Wendy Ostrom Price



Ziply Fiber


of Frontier  soon to be


The $1.35 billion deal to acquire the northwest operations of Frontier Communications is nearing its completion and when the deal closes this spring, the new company taking over will be known as Ziply Fiber.

The deal, which encompasses the areas served by Frontier in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, is expected to close as early as April 30 and will positively impact the more than one million people who will use Ziply Fiber as their internet, phone and/or TV service provider at home or at work.

Ziply Fiber will immediately begin a transformational improvement in services and has committed to start by investing an initial $100 million into improving its core network and in fiber build-out projects in all four states. Currently, fiber service passes within a few feet of 31% of the more than 1.6 million residential and business locations in what will become Ziply Fiber’s territory. The company’s goal is to increase the number of fiber-passed locations to more than 80% in the next few years.

“We are kicking off network upgrades literally on Day 1 with our initial $100 million investment and that is just the beginning,” said Harold Zeitz, CEO of Ziply Fiber. “We’re building the most advanced fiber network anywhere and combining the speed and reliability it offers with refreshingly great service. We’re confident that customers will respond well to Ziply Fiber’s quality and service and also to how we do business.”

The name Ziply Fiber helps communicate what kind of company it will be. An invented name, Ziply Fiber gets its “zip-” from its brilliantly-fast connection, and the “-ly” part from how it does business – honestly, capably, responsibly, quickly and enthusiastically.

“Picking up the phone quickly…that’s Ziply,” added Zeitz. “Getting service calls done thoroughly and efficiently…that’s Ziply. And being downright friendly…that’s what it means to be Ziply.”

Being Ziply also means giving customers more choice and control. The company will not force residential customers to sign contracts or force them to choose service bundles they don’t want. Customers can choose internet, phone and/or TV options tailored to their unique needs. Commercial customers also will have offerings tailored to their needs.

Ziply Fiber will be headquartered in Kirkland, Washington, and will have major offices in Everett, Washington; Beaverton, Oregon and Hayden, Idaho. All of Ziply Fiber’s executive team either grew up in the northwest or have spent the better part of 30 years living in the northwest. That local ownership and market knowledge is important to the company.

“We live here, which means we’re going to be providing service to our communities, neighbors and friends,” said Zeitz. “That makes getting it right personal for us. By innovating every day, we intend to show people what it means to be a modern, reliable, local brand they can count on.”

Consisting of former executives of telecommunications heavyweights such as AT&T, CenturyLink and Wave Broadband, the leadership team behind Ziply Fiber has a long track record of success within the industry and a passion for advancing technology.

Submitted by Belle Eliason