Local scout works to complete Silver Award

Tabitha Goodenough, a freshman at Libby High school, works with Senior Troop Leader, Kathy Powers, to secure the concrete framework for one of two buddy-benches she intends to build and install  in pursuing completion of her Silver Scouting Award.


By Stacy Bender,

The Montanian

When Girl Scout Cadettes focus on an issue they care about, learn the facts, and take action to make a difference, they gain the confidence and skills that will catapult them to lifelong success. It all adds up to the Girl Scout Silver Award – the highest honor a Cadette can achieve. “ 

–  GS  of America

This past Christmas Eve, as the grounds at Libby Elementary School stood silent and its students began their winter break, one former student and now Senior Girl Scout returned to her old stomping grounds with a team of assistants to begin installing a project she has been working on for a good portion of this past year.
Tabitha Goodenough, now a freshman at Libby High School, had set out with intentions to finish and install a pair of upcycled buddy-benches at the elementary school during her last year as a Cadette Scout. “I chose this project because I liked that it would use up a lot of plastic bottles to help our environment,” wrote Tabitha of her Silver Award journey. “Creating the buddy-bench could also help kids to find friends and people to hang out with while they are on the playground.  It could benefit kids, staff, and teachers at the school.”
Unfortunately, due to a few hurdles caused by COVID-19 and the social restrictions laid forth in early 2019, Tabitha’s bench project would ultimately find itself tabled for a few months. Completion would consequentially spill over into her first year as a Senior Scout. “But she hasn’t quit,” said fellow troop mate, Allie Sanderson. “No matter what, she has kept going.”
“I learned that someone needs to take charge in order to get things accomplished,” Tabitha reflected.  And take charge, she most certainly did, starting with first researching a few ideas on the internet of how to use upcycled, non-biodegradable materials to create sustainably functional benches which could be utilized for years to come.

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New years baby arrives; It’s a boy!

Submitted by Kate
Stephens, CPMC


Cabinet Peaks Medical Center staff and physicians welcomed Gabriel Isaiah James Scalf, son of proud parents Darin Scalf II and Alexandria Blevins, as the first baby born in 2021. Gabriel made his entrance at 5:15 pm on Sunday, January 3rd, weighing 8 lbs 12oz, and was 20 3/4 inches long. Dr. Jana Hall was the attending physician.

Baby Gabriel’s family is excited he is here. He has two brothers and a sister that can’t wait to meet him – Ghavin, 8 years old, Aurora, 2 years old, and Darrin III, 1 year old.

The New Year’s baby is traditionally celebrated throughout South Lincoln County, and many community members and businesses contribute to help make the celebration a bit more special.  Along with Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, who provided the new little boy and his parents with a video baby monitor and an afghan/booties created and donated by CPMC employees, other area businesses joined in the celebration. Cabinet Peaks Clinic Family Medicine donated a stroller; Cabinet Peaks Clinic OB/GYN donated a swing/bouncer; Cabinet Peaks Clinic Bull river donated a jumparoo; Glacier Bank provided a Rosauers Gift Card; and Northwest Community Health Center donated a baby bouncer.

Approximately 100 babies are delivered annually at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center.  “We pride ourselves in our Birthing Services and in our remarkable Delivery Team here at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center,” stated Kimberlee Rebo, RN, BSN, CMSRN and Manager of Acute Care Services at CPMC.   “All of our Labor and Delivery rooms are completely private, offering a warm and intimate setting in which to bring new babies into the world and individualized care for this special time.”

“At CPMC, we feel that all of our new additions deserve to be celebrated,” continued Rebo.  “We are pleased to have the opportunity to provide each of our newborns with a free newborn baby photo, an ‘I was born at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center’ onsie, a hand stitched blanket made by our Hospital Auxiliary Team, and crocheted infant hats made and donated with love by hospital and community members. Many other community organizations provide items and educational materials to our new moms & infants as well.  New babies & families alike are celebrated and supported in this new adventure!”

For more information about the Birthing Services at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center, please call Kate Stephens at 283-7140.

Gabriel Isaiah James Scalf, the first baby born in the new year at CPMC, is pictured here with proud parents Darin Scalf II and Alexandria Blevins.

Photo courtesy of CPMC

Governor Gianforte lifts restrictions on small businesses

Submitted by Governor Gianforte, abridged by The Montanian


Governor Greg Gianforte has issued a new directive to replace several complicated directives previously issued in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Improving our response to the pandemic has been my top priority,” Governor Gianforte said this past week. “I am issuing a new directive that removes or replaces the cumbersome layers of the existing ones. These new directives are clear. They are practical. They are commonsense. And they are easy to understand.” Governor Gianforte’s 3-page directive now replaces over 25 pages and layers of pre-existing directives and was aimed at repealing onerous, arbitrary regulations on Montana small businesses, including restrictions on hours of operation and capacity.

Since March 2020, small business owners across Montana have worked to create a safe environment for their employees and customers while keeping their doors open. The new directive acknowledges the diversity of challenges businesses face in this pandemic and affords them the flexibility to develop and implement appropriate policies based on industry best practices.

“We can reduce the burden on our small business owners while simultaneously protecting the health of Montana workers and customers. These are not mutually exclusive,” Gianforte said. Where industry best practices do not exist, the governor’s directive states that “such policies should be developed and implemented in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and guidance.” The directive also replaces the 25-person limit on public gatherings with simple guidance that “any public gatherings or events should be managed in a way that accommodates CDC social distancing guidelines.”

Montana business leaders have welcomed Governor Gianforte’s new guidance. Todd O’Hair, president and CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, stated, “We know that the bar, restaurant, and hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard during this pandemic. By lifting the restrictions placed on indoor seating, removing limits on hours of operation, and eliminating capacity limits, these businesses will begin to operate normally again. Montanans will be back to work, and our economy will be one step further into recovery.”

Steve Wahrlich, board member of Montana Lodging and Hospitality, mirrored O’Hair’s statement, “The hospitality sector of Montana’s economy is greatly appreciative of Governor Gianforte’s actions today. His concise plan will help businesses move forward, while also working to protect our customers and workers. We think this is a step to starting off the new year in the right direction.”

Ronda Wiggers, state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), said, “We are very appreciative that Governor Gianforte understands that every small business is different. Allowing each business to follow best practice safety protocol that works for them, their employees, and their customers will allow Montana’s economy to begin to recover.”

In a press conference on Tuesday, January 5, Governor Gianforte had also provided a clear path to rescinding the statewide mask mandate. First, the most vulnerable Montanans are being vaccinated. Second, the legislature sends to his desk a measure to protect businesses and schools from lawsuits if they make a good faith effort to protect individuals from the spread of coronavirus and follow clear public health guidelines.

For access to Gov. Gianforte’s new COVID-19 directives implementing EO 2-2021 in full, please visit governor.mt..gov and follow the link to “Recent News.”

Snowmobiling in the Kootenai Country of Northwest Montana

By Brian Baxter ,

The Montanian


It can be an exhilarating thrill to snowmobile within the remote landscapes of northwest Montana. The activity enjoyed by adults and kids alike can become a strong bonding experience where computers and iPads are left at home to get out and enjoy our beautiful surroundings.
Snowmobiles are a lot of fun to ride and their basic operations are relatively easy to master. Basic touring on groomed trails can be navigated with ease by kids, adults, and even grandparents alike.
Depending on what kind of snow machine you’re looking for, the sport can also be quite affordable for the working population. Inexpensive rentals offered in many areas are also an option if wanting to explore winter landscapes without making a large purchase.
This recreational sport is one that draws both locals out to explore the backcountry they know and love and many visitors who offer a boost to local economies while seeking seasonal adventures.

Depending on who you ask, the history of how this sport began is not as straightforward as those clear-cut trails many machinists now have the luxury of traveling. Some say the first snowmobile-like vehicles were the Lombard Log Haulers, a train like vehicle equipped with skis instead of front wheels. Invented in Waterville, Maine in 1908, the Lombard machines greatly improved transportation for winter logging and grew in popularity throughout the lumber industry.
Though 80% of snowmobiles are used for recreation today, several utilitarian purposes remain. Efficient transportation for winter rescue efforts, forestry inventory and operations, repairing remote power lines, and access to the backcountry for wildlife research projects to name just a few.

Those interested in learning more about the history of snowmobiling and gaining access to a network of knowledgeable enthusiasts in our area have two well-established networks to choose from in the Libby/Troy area. The Lincoln County Snokat Club of Libby and the Norwest Montana Snowmobile Enthusiasts of Troy.


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