Katrin Frye

Flathead Reporter

Katrin Frye reports twice weekly on northwest Montana news from her native Flathead Valley. Frye is a graduate of the University Of Montana School Of Journalism and Davidson Honors College. Before coming on board with MTPR, she reported for the local CBS affiliate in the Flathead Valley, and worked as a contributing writer to the weekly paper the Flathead Beacon. Her reports covering the news of the Flathead Valley and northwest Montana have been heard on National Public Radio’s Evening Edition, NPR News and National Native News.

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Katrin Frye

On the hill outside a Somers home a group of men and one woman are working on a 1968 Kaiser military truck.

“The frame underneath; you can see the line of green is going to cross underneath there- that’ll be OD Green. And then the frame is going to be black,” Dale Cordell served in the Army in Vietnam between 1970 and 1971. Cordell is a member of the recently formed Chapter 1087 of the Vietnam Veterans.

Dan Boyce

Businesses are hiring and construction across the greater Flathead has been picking up, but many are still heading east and sending money home. Kramer Enterprises Incorporated of Evergreen, east of Kalispell is one of those companies. President and CEO Terry Kramer said his company handles commercial and heavy industrial projects mainly, as well as large residential or multi-use projects.

Steve Corey/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevecorey/6335951002/

You could say service is a tradition in Madeline Steeley’s family. She served in the US Air Force.

“Both of my daughters went into the Marine Corps, one just came out after 13 years, the other, after five. Both, heavily disabled. I have a son-in-law that came out of the Marine Corps, another son-in-law that came out of the Navy. My daughters’ father retired after 20 years Air Force. So, I have quite a bit of experience with the military,” Steeley said.

flickr/GlacierNPS

Record breaking rains in the Flathead keep the rivers high and caused the National Weather Service to call for caution. The National Weather Service is calling for the clearing skies of Thursday to continue over the next couple of days with a high pressure system coming in, and temperatures moving up from the 40’s of mid-week, to the 80’s. However, it is also calling for rivers and streams to remain high and muddy through the weekend with the greatest concern the North, Middle, and main stems of the Flathead River.

Katrin Frye

An explosion and fire at one of Plum Creeks’ Columbia Falls plants Tuesday June 10th will keep the operation shut down a month. The fire happened in the Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) Plant, the neighboring sawmill and plywood mill were unaffected, and operations continue at those facilities.

Vice President of Northwest Resources and Manufacturing for Plum Creek Tom Ray said more than 60 workers on shift at the time evacuated safely.

Katrin Frye

Two alternative ways of getting teens to achieve their high school diplomas came together in Kalispell about a year ago. Director of the Linderman Education Center Jodie Barber says the Bridge Academy was one of the first in the state to offer an online graduation option for students.

National Park Service

Visitors to Glacier Park’s Logan Pass have likely seen and perhaps been followed by the Parks iconic mountain goats. This summer you might notice something a little different, goats with radio collars. Natural Resources Program Manager Mark Biel with the Park says researchers are looking to find out where the goats go in the fall and winter, if the goats that hang at Logan Pass are the same few goats, or several different herds, and who’s driving the human-goat interactions.

Flathead Conservation District

On June 7th, 1964 a warm weather system swept into Montana, dropping 10-to-12-inches of rain over the course of two days. The rapid snowmelt combined with the heavy downpour led the rivers to quickly overflow. Long-time Columbia Falls resident Ron Buentemeier says there had been high water years and flooding in the past, but in 1964 the water came up much faster than anticipated.

Katrin Frye

While water rights lawsuits bop around state and federal courthouses there is technically no legal method of drilling a well on the Flathead Reservation, and hasn’t been since 1996. However, new wells and water uses have been allowed on the reservation of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes since. Tribal Spokesman Robert McDonald said they didn’t want to halt progress or development, however, he says there isn’t a legally valid way to dig a new well. There’s no governing structure in place so no change of use permits or new well permits.

The All Families Healthcare office was broken into in early March and vandalized to an extent that made it unable to reopen. This has been the only medical office in the Flathead Valley to offer abortion services.

The break-in prompted the Montana Human Rights Network and NARAL/ProChoice-Montana to raise funds to help Physicians Assistant Susan Cahill who runs the office, cover the costs of the damage.

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