Daily Inter Lake

Man accused of threatening officers headed back to Flathead after eval

A local man accused of threatening Kalispell Police officers in June will return to Flathead County after officials at the Montana State Hospital deemed him fit to continue with court proceedings. Douglas Seward Russell, 71, faces a single count of intimidation in Flathead County District Court following his alleged June 30 confrontation with officers. On July 18, Judge Dan Wilson ordered Russell sent to the state hospital for a fitness evaluation at the behest of his defense attorney. Prosecutors did not oppose the motion. Russell allegedly grew agitated with police officers after they approached him for camping within the Parkline Trail. The...
Picture for Man accused of threatening officers headed back to Flathead after eval

MDT announces pavement preservation in Kalispell

The Montana Department of Transportation has proposed a slew of road preservation projects on seven roads in Kalispell. The projects are now in their public comment phase and are scheduled for next year, depending on funding. According to a statement released by MDT, the work will be done on East Reserve Drive, West Evergreen Drive, Airport Road, Conrad Drive, Woodland Park Drive, Whitefish Stage Road and Woodland Avenue. Workers will apply a chip seal on Whitefish Stage and Woodland Avenue. The remaining roadway surfaces will be milled, a plant mix overlay applied, and finished with a seal and cover, with the intent of extending the lifespan of the roadways. All the locations will also have their road markings repainted. The public can submit questions and comments to the MDT through their website:, via U.S. mail to Montana Department of Transportation, Missoula office, P.O. Box 7039, Missoula, MT 59807-7039 or by phone at (406) 444-5416. Reporter Adrian Knowler can be reached at or 758-4407.

Redistricting commission puts Democrats’ map out for public comment

After four days of discussion and revision, Montana’s Redistricting commission voted along partisan lines — with the nonpartisan chair as the tie-breaking vote — in favor of a Democrat proposed legislative map. The map will be open for public comment and likely more changes. “This is a tentative map. I expect robust public comment on this map,” Presiding Officer Maylinn Smith said Thursday. The commission is charged with redrawing lines following the most recent U.S. Census, and both Republicans and Democrats presented their respective maps for how to divide the state into 100 legislative districts Thursday morning. Democrats on the four-member body praised the...
Picture for Redistricting commission puts Democrats’ map out for public comment

Legals for December, 2 2022

No. 29008 PUBLIC OPPORTUNITY TO PROTEST ISSUANCE OF ONE NEW MONTANA ALL-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES LICENSE   THE HOMESTEAD SPORTING CLUB, INC. (Homestead Sporting Club, Owner(s)) has applied for one new Montana All-Alcoholic Beverages License No. 07-999-2338-002 to be operated at HOMESTEAD SPORTING CLUB, 1073 Mountain Home Road, Whitefish, Flathead County. The public may protest this license transfer in accordance with the law.   Who can protest this transfer? Protests will be accepted from residents of the county of the proposed location Flathead County, residents of adjoining Montana counties, and residents of adjoining counties in another state if the criteria in 16-4-207(4)(d), Montana Code Annotated (MCA),...

Regional septage treatment facility could address growing problem

On any given day up to 40,000 gallons of septage waste needs to be pumped from septic tanks in Flathead County and with rapid growth in the area over the past decade suitable land for disposal of that waste has become scarce. “The challenge that has occurred is that as land has developed there has become more septage but there has become less and less land,” said Bill Buxton with HDR Engineering. To address the issue the county is considering constructing a regional septage treatment and biosolids composting facility. HDR has been contracted by the county to create a plan and...

Library director apologizes for job search

ImagineIF Director Ashley Cummins apologized to the library’s board of trustees Thursday following the public revelation of her application for another job in Oregon after a stressful first few months in the position. Cummins addressed trustees during her director’s report at their December board meeting. The Flathead Beacon last month reported on emails that revealed Cummins was recruited for a director’s position in Seaside, Oregon. The Seaside Signal covered a meet-and-greet with residents of that community wherein Cummins described ImagineIF as becoming a flashpoint amid worsening culture wars. She told residents it has been a stressful time in Flathead County. At...

Law roundup: Dispatchers deliver dose of reality to Columbia Falls man

It might have seemed a bit much to swallow for officers with the Columbia Falls Police Department, but a trip to a Fourth Avenue home apparently originated with a complaint about a food order. The fine kettle of fish began with a disconnected 911 call. Dispatchers phoned the number back and, after a fashion, made contact with the man who originally called the emergency line. But, aside from a mention of a food delivery service app, the man kept tight lipped about his situation. “You don’t have to verify nothing,” he told dispatchers when they tried to explain why they were...

Sliter, Sellards, Shaw and Skonord garner first-team All-State for AA

Gage Sliter and Henry Sellards, two mainstays for the 2022 Glacier Wolfpack football squad, were named first-team All-State in voting by coaches across the class. Sliter, a senior quarterback, and Sellards, a junior offensive tackle, were joined on the first team by teammate Cameron Shaw, a senior who was selected for his special teams play. Flathead saw senior Nate Skonord make first-team All-State at punter; three more Braves were honored as well. Sliter, who is headed to the Montana Grizzlies for football, led Class AA passers with 3,175 yards and 36 touchdowns. He helped the Pack go 7-4 and make the AA quarterfinals. Shaw...

Griz aim to stun Fargodome crowd

Bobby Hauck’s first game as coach of the Montana Grizzlies was in September of 2003, and it didn’t go as expected. The North Dakota State Bison, in the process of transitioning from Division II to the FCS, outscored the Griz 23-0 the second half and won, 25-24. It was a stunner. If the Griz were to win in Fargo Saturday, that would be another one. The Bison have been that dominant the past decade; they have nine FCS titles and do not seem satisfied. They have a key injury to fullback Hudson Luepke, some key kids hit the transfer portal and don’t look...

Avalanche warning issued through Friday

Northwest Montana avalanche forecasters issued a special warning Thursday for elevated danger in the backcountry due to recent heavy snowfall. The Flathead Avalanche Center bulletin warned that the new snowfall could create dangerous slabs up to 2 feet thick on buried weak layers in the snowpack. The special warning was in effect through Friday. People recreating in the backcountry were warned to avoid slopes steeper than 30 degrees, and to be aware of signs of instability such as shooting cracks and collapsing snowpack. The storm that began Wednesday dumped up to 14 inches of snow on low and mid elevations of Glacier National...

Law roundup: Things turn out merry and bright at coffee shop

A passerby was suspicious that a man wearing a hoodie was trying to get into a coffee shop when it looked like he was trying to break a window. All was merry and bright, however, when it was discovered that it was just two employees stringing up Christmas lights. Someone thought a small dog was being left outside a home too long for its size. Maybe they got this impression of negligence because they noted the residence still had Halloween decorations up. The dog was found to be in good health and was free to come and go through a doggie...

Whitefish approves plan to address housing shortage

Whitefish City Council has adopted a plan aimed at making housing accessible and affordable for people who want to live and work in Whitefish. Council voted unanimously on Nov. 21 to adopt the Whitefish Community Housing Roadmap which is an update of the Whitefish Strategic Housing Plan that was adopted in 2017. The purpose of the Housing Roadmap is to outline “a partnership framework and a range of strategies to drive action to address community housing needs in the Whitefish area over the next five years.” Wendy Sullivan, with WSW Consulting, assisted with the update. “I recognize as a consultant coming in...

Kalispell Public Works Department accepting bids to develop solid waste master plan

The Kalispell Department of Public works is seeking a firm to craft a solid waste management master plan for the city. Officials began soliciting bids for the job last week. The chosen consultant will be expected to work with the city for a year to develop a new plan and calculate sustainable collection rates for trash collection within city limits. Residential and commercial growth in recent years prompted city officials to reexamine trash collection services, according to Public Works Director Susie Turner. “We’ve never had a master plan, we’ve had minor business plans, but we recognized that we needed to go...

Influx of out-of-state hunters dominates FWP citizens advisory meeting

Concern over out-of-state hunters dominated a meeting of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Citizens Advisory Committee for Region 1 earlier this week. The committee, which gathers five or six times a year typically, met in Kalispell to discuss the state agency’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session. Topics up for discussion included further development of an FWP app, the use of drones by hunters, hunting from highways and the removal of the 24-hour wait period accompanying a wolf license, among others.

Letters to the editor Dec. 1

Public access It was bound to happen. Wealthy individuals and corporations buy up large tracts of Montana land and close them to public access. Currently Montana timberlands and farmlands are taxed at considerably below market value. It seems there should be some way to use property taxes to motivate the owners of large tracts to continue to allow historic public access. I know this would be complicated to enforce fairly but Montana taxpayers have been subsidizing these large tracts for years, partly in exchange for access. If the new owners want to exclude the public, it’s certainly their right, but it is...

Suspended sentences given to man accused of spitting on cops

After allegedly stealing wine, fighting a supermarket store employee and spitting on Kalispell Police officers in July, Robert Eugene McCarty received multiple suspended sentences earlier this month. McCarty, 35, had pleaded guilty to felony criminal endangerment and misdemeanor assault with bodily fluid in September after striking a deal with prosecutors. He initially faced felony robbery and misdemeanor assault with bodily fluid charges. Judge Amy Eddy, following the terms of that agreement, handed down on Nov. 10 a suspended five years with the state Department of Corrections for the former charge and a suspended year in county jail for the latter....

Glacier Queer Alliance director’s criticism off-base

An article by Taylor Inman in the Nov. 26 Daily Inter Lake detailed the concerns of the LGBTQ community here in Flathead County about their personal safety considering the shootings in Colorado Springs. As I began reading the article, I realized that those concerns were based on the realization that when seconds count, law enforcement personnel are moments away. Could it be that this group had an epiphany about the 2nd Amendment? The increasing crime and violence in America since 2020, the Black Lives Matter riots and the defund the police movement are enough to make anyone be concerned about...

The champion of the world

This is the story — correct that — legend, of a man named Les Webber who ranched and caroused in and around the town of Plains. When you are leaving Plains headed to Missoula, you might notice on the right a weathered billboard with a narrow protective roof over it in front of a large Town Pump store. The fact that it is still there at all is, I was told, thanks to the intervention of a longtime sheriff’s deputy who convinced the contractor building the new Town Pump to leave it because it was a cultural monument. The sign...

State boosts contract for oversight of state hospital, other facilities

The Montana state health department has expanded its contract with a private consulting group hired to oversee the struggling Montana State Hospital and other public health care facilities. The price tag for the amended contract with Alvarez & Marsal LLC, slated to conclude in September 2023, has also swelled to nearly $7 million dollars, up from the prior agreement’s figure of $2.2 million, negotiated earlier this year. The revised contract, effective Oct. 1, was obtained by Montana Free Press through a public information request. The document lays out some of the New York-based firm’s strategies for helping the state health department...

Judy Rae Simonson, 71

Our loving mother, Judy Rae Simonson, 71, of Polson passed away peacefully at St. Joseph Hospital on Nov. 28, 2022. She was born on Nov. 20, 1951, in Stanley, North Dakota to Willard and Marion Simonson, then moved with her family to Poplar, Montana where she graduated from Poplar High School. Prior to retiring in 2014, Judy worked at Lake County Abstract and Title for over 25 years as the office manager. She also worked at the Polson Police Department as a secretary and in the office at Linderman Elementary earlier in her career. Judy loved flowers and gardening during...