Teacher’s Gone Bananas!!

During “Winter Wellness Week” at Libby Elementary School, Kindergarten teacher, Justin Graham, dressed not only in the color of his favorite fruit or vegetable, but became the full banana!
Photo by Stacy Bender

And the winners are…
LHS Senior Class raises over $4,000 and counting

The Libby High School Senior Class “Wall of Money” raffle event came to a close this past Friday, Feb. 13 as winning tickets were drawn at  Timberline Auto Sales.

A Grand Prize Jackpot of $500 went to Jeff Gruber.  Ten remaining ticket holders were  awarded $25 in Libby Bucks: Miranda Phoenix, Ryan Andreesson, Marcia Fantozzi, Paul Resch,  Brian Zimmerman, Joan Stern, Tom Wood, Bill Miller, and Deanna Malyevac (X2).

Following payouts, the Class of 2021 counted $4,136 raised and added to funds designated for year-end Senior events.

Sales of Libby Logger decals and yard signs to benefit  the Class of 2021 remain ongoing.

Purchases can be made at the LHS office during regular school hours.

LHS Senior, Sally Weber, pulls the winning names from the 2021 “Wall of Money” raffle drawing on Friday, Feb. 12, with the help of

Kendra Benner, LMS teacher and senior parent. Benner organized  the raffle event which will help to fund end-of-year events such as the all-night graduation party, senior dessert, Baccalaureate Ceremony and Senior Skip Day.

Photo by Stacy Bender

2021 Special Enrollment
Health Care Options for MT

Press Release


Montana residents have another opportunity to enroll in a health insurance plan through the health insurance exchange from February 15 through May 15 of this year. If you sign up for a policy on February 15,  coverage will begin on March 1, 2021.

This new enrollment period comes after President Biden signed an Executive Order on Jan. 28 in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Montanans can learn more about available plans and eligibility by visiting

Consumers switching plans need to be aware that deductibles and out-of-pocket costs may not transfer to their new policy. Some companies are also opening enrollment for small group policies not sold on the exchange.

“If you lose your job, you are still eligible to get a plan on the exchange without an open enrollment period. This year, the special open enrollment will allow anyone to purchase insurance outside of the normal open enrollment period for any reason.” Commissioner Downing goes on to say, “Montanans can work with their local insurance agent to obtain health insurance.

Make sure to verify the agent is licensed by going to If you have further questions or concerns, contact our team at 406-444-2040.”

New Column: “Dear Doc”


  1. I tested positive for the COVID virus but have had no symptoms.


  1. a) How can that be?

It is well known that in a small percentage of people many kinds of viruses can enter your body, replicate in your cells, be released into your airways, and then be cleared by your immune system before there is enough damage to make you sick in any way.

An example of this would be my daughter. She had a sleep over with several friends when she was 8 years old. The next day two of the girls broke out in chicken pox. My daughter never got sick at all.

When she was in college flying to cross country ski races with her team during a chicken pox outbreak, we had her tested to see if she was immune. Her antibody titer came back very high which is consistent with a past infection.

Because so many tests are being done on so many patients for COVID-19, it is well established that 10-20% of adults do not get symptoms and in young children the percentage is even higher.


  1. b) Can I still infect others?

Unfortunately, people with asymptomatic infection can still spread the disease during their viral shedding phase. This is the reason we have a pandemic. It is nearly impossible to detect everyone who is shedding the COVID-19 virus.

People do not realize they are passing on the virus to others. It is the reason for the recommendations by the Center for Disease Control for everyone to take precautions to not spread the disease until the pandemic passes.


  1. I’ve already tested positive for COVID-19. Do I need to get a vaccination?

Yes. A small but significant percentage of people who had COVID-19 have gotten it again. This is usually at least 3 months after their first infection.

The current vaccines so far appear to be more effective in preventing the disease than “natural immunity”. If the goal is to stop the pandemic, then we all need to take steps so we do not spread it. Vaccination is one of the best ways to do this.

3. Is COVID-19 really any different from the flu (influenza virus)?

Yes. Looking at hospitalization and death rate statistics, the COVID-19 rates are much higher.

In 2018 there were 152 deaths reported from influenza in Montana (153 in 2019). It has now been 11 months since our first cases and deaths in Montana from COVID-19 (March of last year). As of Saturday, Feb. 13, there have been 1,327 deaths in Montana. This is nearly 9 times greater than deaths from influenza viruses in 2018 or 2019.

This last 11 months Montana has averaged 4 deaths from COVID-19 per day.

Have a COVID-19 question?
Send your inquiries to:

Dear Doc

1020 Idaho

Libby, MT 59923


Dr. Gregory Rice, M.D.