Movie of the week


Directed by Tom Hooper

A tribe of cats must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.


Movie of the week courtesy of


Sunrise and Sunset Times

January 1                     8:33 a.m.     4:58 p.m.

January 2                     8:33 a.m.     4:59 p.m.

January 3                     8:33 a.m.     5:00 p.m.

January 4                     8:33 a.m.     5:01 p.m.

January 5                     8:32 a.m.     5:02 p.m.

January 6                     8:32 a.m.     5:04 p.m.

January 7                     8:32 a.m.     5:05 p.m.

Montana Gas Price Update

As of December 19, gasoline prices in Montana have fallen 8.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.41 a gallon according to Prices are 36.2 cents lower from a month ago and are 14.9 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. The national average has fallen 21.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 23.8 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.

Recipe of the Week

New Years Taco Dip


1 pound ground beef

1 packet taco seasoning

1 cup water

16 oz. can refried beans

1 cup diced tomatoes

1 cup black olive slices

1/2 cup diced jalepenos

2 cups 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese



Preheat oven to 350°.

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until browned; drain.
  3. Add taco seasoning and water and bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Spread refried beans into bottom of a round or rectangular baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle taco seasoned beef over beans.
  7. Sprinkle on diced tomatoes, chopped olives, and diced jalapenos.
  8. Top with shredded cheese.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until heated through. Serve hot.


Recipe courtesy of

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Health Tips

  • Avoid bright lights before sleep. When you`re exposed to bright lights in the evening, it may disrupt your production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
  • Eat vegetables and fruits. They are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals, and many antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.
  • Make sure to eat enough protein. High protein intake can boost metabolism significantly and has also been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.
  • Do some cardio. Doing aerobic exercise is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.
  • Avoid artificial trans fats. Artificial trans fats are harmful, man made fats that are strongly linked to inflammation and heart disease.


Health Tips courtesy of

Book of the week

The Silent Patient”

By Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive. … One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

The Gift of Public Land

The holidays are a fitting time to give thanks for our many blessings and reflect upon what we will gift to our children and grandchildren. As we near the end of 2019, I am especially grateful for Northwest Montana’s wild public lands, which are near and dear to all of us and are not to be taken for granted.

I have had the good fortune to do a bit of traveling overseas these last few years and I invariably find myself avoiding the crowds and searching for paths less traveled. Much of what I have found has given me perspective about how lucky we are in our part of the world. It has deepened my thankfulness for my home, and inspired me to pay forward the gifts of the natural world that have been given to me.

Europe is a charming place with delightful people and deep-rooted history, but it is difficult to find a place there that has not been manipulated by the hands of man. There has been serious talk about trying to “re-wild” some of this land, which long ago was not unlike the hills and mountains of Montana. But even if it were left alone to recover, there are few seeds remaining to regenerate much of the lost vegetation, and many of the native animal species are extinct. This isn’t the kind of future I want for Montana. We must learn from the mistakes of others and not go down the same road.

My travels are a constant reminder of why I love the wild places of Montana. A conversation with a couple of Scotsmen really struck home with me. I asked if they ever hunted any of the few red deer I had seen, and I learned that most of the land was private and harvesting a red deer cost $2,000 per point for a total of $24,000 for a 6X6 stag, payable to the landowner. It was a stark contrast to the $20 I pay for an elk tag and the free access to the 2.2 million acres of the Kootenai National Forest and other public lands in Montana.

There is something about being in a wild place that both heightens our senses and soothes our souls.  Here in Kootenai country we live in a place surrounded by wildness and I believe this wildness is an essential part of what makes northwest Montana feel different, special, and like home.

Generations ago, our visionary ancestors made the decision to protect the public lands and wild places that we enjoy today. We are envied and respected by people from all over the globe for our foresight and commitment to protecting these treasures. They are a precious gift and an irreplaceable blessing, and it is indeed fitting to give thanks this holiday season that they still exist today, much as they did hundreds of years ago. We must strengthen our resolve to pay forward this quality of life we all share, for our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.

Submited by Alex Blackmer, by Gene Rekin, Libby, Mont.

Northwest MT elk. Photos by Steve Barta and courtesy of Alex  Blackmer.


Global Warming and

Climate Change – Part I

The mission of the Kootenai Climate Group is to help our community understand climate science, identify associated issues, and promote both local and global solutions. A good place to start is to understand the difference between weather and climate. Weather describes short term, day-to-day conditions like temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness and wind. Climate describes how weather “behaves” over seasons, years, centuries and millennia. In any location there will be seasons or years that are colder or warmer, drier or wetter, but climate is characterized by long term averages. The colder than average conditions we experienced this year were just a variation on the cooler side of average. Our brief cold snaps this fall, or even an entire cool year, does not tell us what the trend of the average temperature is over time and by no means characterizes a long term trend in our climate.

Using the data from thousands of weather stations around the earth and satellite remote sensing, scientists are able to determine the annual global average temperature. Examination of temperature data going back to the late 1800s conclusively demonstrates the earth has been getting warmer. The last five years have been the hottest five years ever recorded.

The principle cause of accelerated global warming right now is the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. These gases are trapping more solar energy in our atmosphere, enhancing a process known as the greenhouse effect. This process is much like how sunlight streaming through a window is trapped and warms a room. The greenhouse gases of primary concern are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and fluorinated gases (e.g. refrigerants). Scientists used computerized models to test different factors that influence the earth’s temperature and have determined that the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the only valid explanation for the rate of increase we are experiencing. Warming of our land masses, and most importantly our oceans, changes the global pattern of ocean currents which dictate the characteristics of climate and weather. This affects every organism on earth.

Montana, like other northern states, is actually warming faster than the United States as a whole and is projected to continue to do so. Depending on the effort we make to combat global warming, average temperatures in Montana are projected to increase by 5.6 to 9.8 degrees F by the end of this century. This would have significant impacts on our environment and our way of life. We will discuss those potential impacts in future articles.

References: 2019, 2019, AR5 2014, 2017

Submitted by Kris Newgard, Gene Reckin and Russ Gautreaux for the Kootenai Climate Group, Libby, Mont.