CARD Clinic still closed due to


In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the CARD Clinic will be closed until at least April 20. As things change, they will work to inform the public as soon as possible through print and social media. If you have something that needs addressed, CARD’s voicemails will be checked regularly and returned as quickly as possible. The main office line is 293-9274.

COVID-19 testing is being conducted in the clinic’s parking lot to help the community during these trying times while the facility is not open. The clinic will continue to host COVID-19 testing until they are able to reopen, or the test site is no longer needed. Testing at CARD is being managed by Lincoln County Health Department in coordination with the Northwest CHC and other local medical providers. Anyone interested in learning more or being tested is asked to call (406) 293-6295 daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. CARD thanks our staff who are volunteering to work at the test site and so many others in our community who are helping to support public health and our local economy. Stay safe!

Submitted by CARD



New local business: Platinum Sandblast and Powder Coat

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.

“I’ve been visiting my family in Libby since the 80s,” said Wamsley, who is also the owner of Everything RV and Kirschner Trailer Sales in Monroe, Wash. “We were looking at cabins in Libby, and the opportunity came up to repurchase the cabin that my grandpa built.”

When he took possession of the property, he found a collection of family heirlooms that had been left there since the original sale.

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 about a year ago, he then took out a loan with Glacier Bank to purchase a compressor, air wall filtration system, and blast booth.

Now they are working to build a client base that includes auto enthusiasts, fabrication shops, and production facilities.

“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.

“We worked with Payne machinery. They had a pair of custom hand-rails they had build for a project and they brought them in to us to have them coated,” said Wamsley.

Powder coating differs from painting because the coating is thicker and holds color better than more conventional painting. It is also less susceptible to cracking or chipping than other coatings.  Platinum Powder Coating offers thousands of colors for use to add a custom finish to things like engine blocks, outdoor furniture, tools, tool boxes, grills and more.

Sand blasting is used to clean, shape, and smooth materials by propelling small abrasive particles over a surface at high speed. It’s superior to sanding in most cases because it provides better and easier cleaning of nooks and crannies. It is also known for its ability to finish or refinish steel.

While the business focus is on sand blasting and powder coating, Wamsley also offers an array of services from industrial projects to do it yourself projects. He is licensed to sell trailers and recreational vehicles too.

“We can do pretty much any sort of flat utility trailer,” he said. “We can sell Great Northern, Cargo-made, Summit, and even Load Trail Dump Trucks. I can even custom build trailers to meet a company or a family’s specific needs.”

Wamsley sees a lot of room for growth in Libby and intends to hire from the local community as the business grows. Projects have started to roll in and Wamsley is focused on getting the word out and building a client base.    He’s also getting to spend some quality time in his grandpa’s cabin.

More information is available at platinumsandblast.com

By Mati Bishop, The Montanian



OHV trail passes a


Montana residents who are off-highway vehicle operators (OHV) are required to purchase a Resident OHV Trail Pass. The pass, which costs $20, can be purchased from many local vendors or online at stateparks.mt.gov. Nonresidents are required to purchase an annual Nonresident Temporary Use Permit costing $35.

The pass is required on all public lands where Montana residents ride OHVs on designated motorized routes and trails. It must be attached and visible on the OHV. Passes are valid for up to two calendar years, expiring on Dec. 31 of the second year. In addition to the pass, Montana residents must also have a permanent registration sticker, which is available through their County Treasurer’s office.

For more information on OHV passes and permits, visit stateparks.mt.gov

Submitted by FWP




recreation site closures

As of Friday, March 27, the following developed recreation sites on the Kootenai National Forest will be closed indefinitely:

-Loon Lake Campground

-McGillivray Campground

-Howard Lake Campground

-Lake Creek Campground

-Sylvan Lake Campground

-Timberlane Campground

-Pleasant Valley Campground

-McGregor Lake Complex (campground, group site, beach, boat launch, day use)

-Fairview Rental Cabin

For more information call the Libby Ranger District at 293-7773.

Closures will not impact other Kootenai National Forest trails, trailheads, recreation areas, dispersed camping sites, or lake access sites which remain open at this time. However, toilets located at these areas will be closed, based on CDC guidelines and recommendations for cleaning public facilities.

Notification to cabin and lookout renters will be made as soon as possible and refunds will be processed through Recreation.gov.

Recreation sites where use is generally dispersed (dispersed camping, day use area, most boat launches, trail heads, trails and roads) and where visitors can maintain group size and social distancing guideline remain open. In coordination with Lincoln County the Kootenai Falls area remains open. Ross Creek Cedars road is still snowed in, but the gate will be opened as soon as feasible.

Submitted by Willie Sykes


New book

remembers On the Trail with Latigo Jim  column

“On The Trail With Latigo Jim and His Wonder Horse Rusty” is a newly published book written by Jack and Rebecca Bunton. When the previous owners of The Montanian, David and Carol Latham ran the paper, Jim Bunton wrote a well loved weekly column of the same name.

From May of 1989 until 1997, Jim’s tales were written in his own folksy style. They were a collection of his life stories riding his horse Rusty approximately 38,000 miles through the backcountry of the Cabinet Mountains.

Writing the book was a labor of love for the Buntons. Jack is Jim’s brother, and as Jim was nearing the end of his trail on this earth, he was somewhat depressed. Jack visited, but could not get Jim to smile much until he told Jim about his idea of putting together all of his articles into a book.

According to Jack, Jim looked at him and gave him a big smile as his eyes widely opened and he said, “Bro, you would do that for me?” Well, it’s taken the Bunton’s about six years, but the assemblage of stories written by a strong man who loved the solitude of the mountains and his horse is now available to readers.

In these works, are tales that seem to bring one back to a world of adventure and passion in the lush wilderness of Northwest Montana. An imaginative narrative told honestly and in his own language of true experiences like running into a hiker who hoped to scare off a grizzly bear with a buck knife, and numerous experiences along countless trails.

Ultimately, the reader is also treated to witness the relationship and bonding between a man and his horse. Many of Latigo Jim’s recollections wrap up with a familiar expression that those of us who read his column often will remember. Happy trails and keep your powder dry.

“On The Trail With Latigo Jim and His Wonder Horse Rusty,” written by Jack and Rebecca Bunton is 120 pages in softcover and e-book form. It is available from Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon. There is tentatively a book reading and signing event scheduled for Friday, May 15, at the Libby Library.

By Brian Baxter, The Montanian


Missing Troy man’s body found

On Sunday, March 22 the body of Harry Montgomery, age 54, of Troy was found. He was identified through fingerprints at the Montana State Crime Lab.

Montgomery was reported missing by his family on Jan. 13. Not long after, his vehicle was found abandoned along I-15, south of Dillon, Mont.  with his dogs still inside. The dogs were taken to a local animal shelter and they are okay.

According to recent reports, there are no signs of foul play, and the cause of death is pending. Beaverhead County is investigating the case.

By McKenzie Williams, The Montanian



Tender Lovin’ Quilting 101

a success

Every February Troy’s Tender Lovin Quilters put on a Saturday learning event for quilters and interested community members.

Event goers learn a number of techniques, tips, styles, and fabric material mediums to use in quilting projects. They also get to learn, network, eat a free lunch, and work on sewing projects.

This year, guild members Vicky Silcox and Sharon Gehrke spiced up the quilting event and brought in some new ideas. They were able to plan and coordinate exciting classes, bring in instructors, and offer special presenters.

“Tender Lovin Quilters had the best turnout in over 22 years,” said Gehrke. “It was beautiful; with a total of 72 attending the Quilting 101 this year.” In addition, they had at least 69 attend their rotating classes, and members from five different guilds attended.

Silcox and Gehrke have volunteered to host the Quilting 101 next February as well. “We already have several quilters and talents who would like to instruct at next year’s event,” Silcox said.

If you are interested in learning quilting or hanging out with fellow quilters, call Sharon at 293-4414 or Vicky at 293-2446.

By Mckenzie Williams, The Montanian