Flash 56 in Libby to hold Grand
Opening on March 13

January 14, 2020

Michelle Barney poses in her new shop which will be opening soon. Photo by Moira Blazi, The Montanian. Flash 56 in Libby held their Grand Opening on March 13.

Kootenai Aviation Captain Retires

February 12, 2020

After 13 years of flying over the East and West Cabinets, the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Glacier Park and other areas, Bill Caldwell has now retiring. “… We started Kootenai Aviation in 2007.” Said Caldwell.

Lincoln County Towing opens

April 8, 2020

A new business, Lincoln County Towing has recently opened up in the Libby area. Owner-Operator, Ralph Miles, has operated a tow truck for over 19 years, ten of which were spent during his experience driving for the American Automobile Association. Miles told The Montanian that his company provides safe, reliable, roadside services such as lock outs, jump starts, fuel delivery, tire changes, towing, and winch outs. He prides himself on fast response times, knowledge of vehicles, and the ability to properly assist in all situations.

COVID Cruising for Kootenai Pets
For Life

May 6, 2020

“KPFL was organized by Junior Beardsley. They raised about one and a half  truck loads of dog food, cat food, cat litter, paper towels and cleaning supplies. What a great help our community was.” said Dhana Nelson. Photos taken during last Friday night’s COVID cruise in Libby courtesy of Dhana Nelson

Local Kootenai Thrift celebrates 1 year of

September 2, 2020

Kootenai Thrift and Retail Outlet celebrated its one year anniversary on September 5. Kootenai Thrift and Retail Outlet is a small store located at 505 Mineral Ave in Libby. The store sells art supplies, craft supplies, gifts and toys like drones, hover boards, Pokémon cards, clothes, bra’s, underwear, shoes, socks, and some thrift items. “With the help of our community and the support of our customers we have successfully completed one year in business, thank you so much!” said, Nicole Rogerson.

A look into the City of Libby’s
water system

October 14, 2020

When folks in greater Libby turn on their tap, they are getting some of the purest, freshest ,and most traceable water anywhere. Up in the Cabinet Mountains, the snowmelt and spring rain pool in Flower Lake and other small lakes in the flower creek drainage. Moving down the upper crevices of Flower Creek, the life sustaining fluid flows down right into Flower reservoir. The  newly built, 12 million dollar dam, toward the mountain peaks, the reservoir looks just like a natural alpine lake.

New owners add ‘Naturally Good Things’ in store

March 18, 2020

Marc and Tama Lutsko have recently become the new owners and managers of Naturally Good Things. The health food store has been in business in Libby since 1995. Beloved former owners Mike and Georgine Powers actually first approached Marc and Tama about fourteen years ago wanting them to buy the store. New owners of Naturally Good Things in Libby, Marc and Tama .

New local business: Platinum
Sandblast and Powder Coat

April 1, 2020

Platinum Sandblast and Powder Coat is the result of a wild stroke of luck and history that happened when Jason Wamsley got the opportunity to purchase the cabin that his grandfather built.   “We were looking at cabins in Libby, and the opportunity came up to repurchase the cabin that my grandpa built.” Once Wamsley had the cabin, he had a reason to invest in a business in Libby.  He worked with a business partner to purchase the building at 314 Montana Ave. “I think there is a lot of work here for people willing to do this kind of industrial work,” Wamsley said. He envisions his company taking on projects that range from work with government agencies to helping refurbish park equipment and providing sand blasting and coating services for custom projects.

Libby Volunteer Ambulance welcomes new

June 10, 2020

LVA’s newly trained EMTs include Wendy Chopyak, Kevin Hayworth, Rhea Crismore, Jerry Mee, and Amanda Niday. In addition, Dustin Webb, who is already an EMT, will be joining LVA, said Kyes. The crew is now over 20 members and they will be better equipped to serve our community. The new members are happy to serve, even during these uncertain times. “I’m extremely happy that I did this,” said new member, Amanda Niday. “I know that they needed help, and I was called to do it.”

Venture Inn continues renovations with end in sight

June 30, 2020


As a part of the Venture Inn’s continuing efforts to enhance Libby’s tourism image and upgrade our economy, the Venture Inn is in the final planning stage for a new; enlarged lobby/gallery entrance, and a new elevator serving the restaurant and lower level meeting rooms. The remodeled lobby will have a gallery modeled around the theme of our International Chain Saw Carving Championship. At that time, the entire lobby area will become a display area for chainsaw carvings by our chainsaw carvers and local artist’s creations. The arts, crafts, and chainsaw carvings on display will be available for purchase by the public.

Stars and Strips Fly High at Happy’s Inn

November 18, 2020

On Nov. 14, the Color Guard from VFW Post #1548 in Libby along with members of the Fisher River Fire Department and several residents of the Happy’s Inn Community along Hwy 2  came together as a 30 X 60 ft American Flag was raised to the finial atop a recently installed flagpole which originally stood alongside the former Montana Raceway Park in Kalispell.


Libby Shed and Cabin Company

July 1, 2020

Libby Shed and Cabin Company reached there 3rd year in business and  is located at the Kootenai Business Park at the entrance of the old mill site. They offer a wide variety of cabins, sheds, garages, animal shelters and more. The owner is Jackquelyn Miles. Jacky Miles said, “My family and I love the outdoors and tranquility of the area. We wouldn’t want to call another place home.” In summary, Miles said, “We can’t thank our customers enough, the support we have received has been outstanding.”

Lola’s Oriental Grocery opens in Libby

August 26, 2020

There is a new Oriental food store that has opened up at 513 Mineral Avenue, and it is certainly an authentic establishment. Mary-Ann Murer, is from the Philippines, and when talking with The Montanian, she said, “I’ve always wanted to open a grocery store. Where I come from they call it a Sari Sari store. Small, but plentifully stocked with cooking goods and snacks, etc..

Libby Bus Barn playfully greets holiday passers-by

December 15, 2020

Harlow’s School Bus Services has yet again become inhabited with a playfully enchanting holiday spirit. 2020 marks the third year in which the animated creativity of 22-year veteran bus driver, Janet Kurle, has come alive at 30772 US Hwy 2 West. Kurle truly enjoys the notion of bringing a smile to the faces of both passers-by and those who show up with her each school morning to transport students across Libby School District #4.

Ultra Classic
Detail Shop


July 1, 2020

If your looking for some professional guys with an eye for detailing, the Odegaard brothers are located at 30939 U.S. Hwy. 2. The guys service cars, trucks, SUV’s, motorcycles, motor homes, boats, and perform fleet services. The exterior renovations, and the new disinfectant fogging services are not the only things getting refurbished at the business location. Michael said, “The best thing I like about doing business in Libby is the great down to earth good people. Especially the senior citizens and veterans. I like listening to the stories about the good ole days. The places they served, the logging and mining.”

Learn how to eat well,
exercise well, and live well

Learn how to eat well,
exercise well, and live well, Implementing healthy, sustainable changes to your daily nutrition and learning how to implement physical activity that is enjoyable can ultimately help you lose weight and feel better. Prevent is a lifestyle program that teaches and encourages you to make the modifications that can change the way you feel.  This program is taught by CPMC’s Nicole Kapan, Registered Dietician, and targets people who are at risk for pre-diabetes and/or developing Cardiovascular Disease.

Nicole is happy to be starting classes again this year.  “The PREVENT program began in Lincoln County over 9 years ago and has helped countless local people learn how to live longer, healthier lives.  I am pleased we can continue to share this course with the public,” she stated.

The PREVENT course begins with a personal assessment by a Lifestyle Coach to determine the best guidance that will get life-long success.  The 16 weeks to follow are known as the Core Sessions where participants attend weekly classes led by a Lifestyle coach; you will be in classes with others who have similar struggles and health concerns.  The remainder of the program is tailored to help participants maintain the healthy lifestyles they were taught in the core sessions.

Adults are eligible if they are overweight, have medical clearance, and have one or more of the following risk factors: pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or triglycerides, or have had gestational diabetes.

is sponsored by Cabinet Peaks Medical Center and the MontaThe next PREVENT program begins on January 11, 2021 and will be held every Monday from 5 – 6pm.  If you are interested, please see your physician or call the Cabinet Peaks Diabetes and Nutrition Education Department at 283-7316.

The local PREVENT program na Cardiovascular Disease and Prevention Program.

Submitted by Kate Stephens


Cabinet Peaks Clinic welcomes new
Provider to help
respiratory season

Cabinet Peaks Medical Clinic is thrilled to welcome William A. Gromko, M.D. to the care team at Cabinet Peaks Clinic Family Medicine.

Dr. Gromko joins the CPMC team with a plethora of experience in the family medicine realm including managing and providing care in practices in Washington and Montana, as well as running his own solo family practice.   I now live in Kalispell.  When I saw that Libby had a need for a part time doctor, and I was happy to oblige.  The people here are blue collar, friendly, down to earth, and genuine,” stated Dr. Gromko.

Dr. Gromko is now taking patients at Cabinet Peaks Clinic Family Medicine for same day care, as well as patients with immediate needs who have a longer than optimal wait to see their primary care provider.  He will be practicing at the Family Medicine clinic regularly through respiratory season, and then on an as needed basis in the future.

“We are very happy Dr. Gromko has decided to join our team,” stated Crystal Krabbenhoft, Clinic Operations Manager.  “He has a wealth of knowledge and experience and makes a great addition to our care team here at the clinic.”

To schedule an appointment, please call Cabinet Peaks Clinic Family Medicine at 283-6850.

Submitted by Kate Stephens.

Conservation leader Erin Bell
finishing master’s studies

Libby, Mont. resident Erin Bell has been applying the tools of science, education and conservation to become a leader in the conservation community. In mid-December 2020, Bell will conclude her master’s course of study with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Biology from Miami University through Project Dragonfly.

Since joining the GFP (Global Field Program) master’s in 2018, Bell has traveled to Belize, Hawai’i, engaged with global conservationists in action projects through a new online course, and conducted projects that have made a difference in the Libby area.

Throughout her time in the Global Field Program, Bell developed a Master Plan – a kind of personal mission statement for what she wanted to accomplish in the program. In many of her master’s courses, Bell designed projects that supported this plan, which culminated in a final portfolio, “Promoting Community Conservation by Conducting Original Research and Education,” presented in a Capstone course.

Bell works as a wildlife technician for the U.S. Forest Service. The GFP master’s degree and Earth Expeditions courses are designed for educators and other professionals from all disciplines and settings interested in making a difference in human and ecological communities. Applicants can be from anywhere in the United States or abroad. More information about the GFP is located at

Submitted by Mary Jo Lahrmann


Yaak Valley Forest
Council and Save The Yellowstone Grizzly

The Yaak Valley Forest Council together with Save The Yellowstone Grizzly are offering a supplemental reward for the recent killing of a Yaak Valley grizzly bear.

An adult female grizzly bear was brutally killed in the Yaak Valley in late November. The killer or killers shot the bear, partially skinned and mutilated her before dumping the body in a driveway. At present, it is unknown if she had cubs.

A reward fund up to $50,000 plans to be added to the already-existing state reward fund for help leading to a conviction.

“Often called “the walking dead,” the tiny population of grizzly bears in northwest Montana’s Yaak Valley—the most endangered in the state – has grizzly advocates seeking to supplement the state and federal Reward/TIPS program for information leading to conviction for this crime,” stated Montana grizzly bear advocate, author, and activist Doug Peacock for Save The Yellowstone Grizzly. “Yaak grizzlies are already beset by an out-of-compliance high-volume through-hiker trail in their fragile habitat, a proposed mine beneath the Cabinet Mountains, and a Kootenai National Forest that seeks to implement clearcutting across four contiguous project areas totaling almost 250,000 acres without any Environmental Impact Statement—well, you get the picture—Yaak grizzlies need our help,” added Yaak Valley Forest Council Board Chair, author, and If you have information regarding this killing, call the state at: 1-800-TIP-MONT. “Please help us turn this around. There were an estimated 25 grizzlies remaining in the Yaak. Now that estimate is 24,” concluded author and activist Terry Tempest Williams of Save The Yellowstone Grizzly.

Donations to the reward fund can be made at:

Submitted by Aaron Peterson, Yaak Valley Forest Council