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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Flathead Forestry Expo
10:26 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Finding common ground in the forest at the 25th Annual Forestry Expo

Forester Chris Damrow with FH Stolttoze Land & Lumber works with other volunteers to prep the Trumbell y Creek Educational Forest for the annual Forestry Expo.
Katrin Frye

Finding common ground in the forest is one of the key goals of the Family Forestry Expo in the Flathead, and it has been since the Expo first came together 25-years-ago. May 5-9, fifth graders from across the area head to a section of forest on the outskirts of Columbia Falls learning about fisheries, forest fire, back country camping and safety, logging, and more.

Spotted Bear District Ranger Deb Mucklow with the Flathead National Forest worked on the very first Forestry Expo in 1989. She said there was a lot of polarization on natural resources issues.

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FWP
3:10 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Higher fees likely for Montana hunters and anglers

MT FWP faces a $5.7 million budget shortfall by the end of 2017.

Every ten years Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks goes back to the drawing board to look at fees, license costs, and its budget.

Administrator of Communication and Education Ron Aasheim said a Council recently came out with a series of recommendations including raising fees on hunting and fishing licenses. Aasheim said without a fee increase, redirected funding, or budget cuts, the agency is facing a $5.7-million shortfall by the end of 2017.

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Montana Art Interscholastic
1:30 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

High School artists descend on the Flathead for a 24-hour workshop blitz

Florence High senior Callie Hunt works on her piece in the wheel throwing workshop during the recent Montana Art Interscholastic event in Kalispell.
Credit Katrin Frye

High School art students from around the state converge on one town each year for a 24-hour workshop-blitz. This year Kalispell’s Glacier High and Flathead Valley Community College housed more than 200-students learning jewelry making, painting, printmaking and numerous other techniques. The students from 18 different Montana schools came to the Flathead Friday through Saturday as part of the 2014 Montana Art Interscholastic event.

Workshops range from familiar sounding art classes like oil painting and watercolor workshop, to edible art, and urban art.

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Climate Change
10:17 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Montanans rally for climate solutions

The poster for Saturdays event features the work of one of the artist who will be presenting, Diane Burko.

Major environmental legislation like the Clean Air and Endangered Species Act followed the first earth day celebration in April of 1970. Whitefish resident Steve Thompson is hoping the growth of local efforts across the country will again have a similar effect, this time in relation to climate change.

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Public Access
1:00 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Community rallies to keep from losing Flathead Lake access site

The north shore on Flathead Lake has a MT FWP Fisheries Conservation site and a USFWS Waterfowl Production Area closed to the public March 1st through July 15th.
Katrin Frye

The potential to lose a popular access to Flathead Lake’s north shore rallies the community of Bigfork and shines a light on the issue of private property and public access to water. The access in question is a county-right-of way, running through government and private land on the north shore of the lake. There’s a US Fish and Wildlife Service Waterfowl Production Area and a state Fish, Wildlife and Parks Fisheries Conservation area, both currently closed to the public. The waterfowl production area stays closed to public access from March into July while birds are nesting.

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Columbia Falls Aluminum Plant
2:43 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

EPA finds groundwater and residential wells contaminated downstream of Columbia Falls Plant

The Columbia Falls Aluminum Plant is eligible for “Superfund” designation. The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a reassessment report looking at contamination on the site, and in nearby waterways. Site Assessment Manager Rob Parker called this a screening assessment. They did not look at all potential sources for contamination, but focused on the landfill, percolation ponds, and sludge pond.

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Education
6:49 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

How the Kalispell School District hopes to make its case for a Technology levy

Flathead High School Library Media Specialist Murry Graham has been using funds from his media budget to buy computers, Kalispell's high school have been operating without a technology budget since 2010.
Credit Katrin Frye

The Kalispell School District is trying a little different approach as it asks voters to approve a $1.2-million Technology Levy.

It’s asking voters for a 10-year Technology Levy for both the high school and elementary school districts. Each request is $600,000 per year, over the ten year period.

A 2010 building reserve and technology levy failed to pass for the high school district, it passed for the elementary schools.

Kalispell tried again, and failed in 20-12.

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Growth Through Agriculture
3:11 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Farm to table, cow to ice cream: growing the Ag industry in Montana

Sweet Peaks Ice Cream scooper Catie Bricks is one of about 40 summertime, 20 wintertime employees the business employs in its four shops. Sweet Peaks uses many Montana grown products in its ice cream.
Credit Katrin Frye

Sure Montana has cows, but it also has dairies, cheese and ice cream makers. The same is true for wheat, barley, beer and liquor. Many of these are small, local businesses, but they do create jobs, and encouraging the growth of the value-added agriculture industry in Montana is part of the goal behind the state’s “Growth Through Agriculture” grant program.

The Flathead-based Sweet Peaks ice cream shops recently won a $15,000 matching grant through the program.

Owner Marissa Dauenhauer says different ice cream flavors they make feature different Montana-grown products.

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Flathead Job Fair
1:35 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

A sign of the changing economic times in the Flathead

The Flathead Valley Community College and Flathead Job Service host a Job Fair 4/16 featuring 70 employers.
Credit Katrin Frye

A sold out job fair is a sign of the changing economic times in the Flathead. For the past three years Flathead Valley Community College and the local Job Service have sponsored a spring Job Fair. They had stopped offering it for a few years prior to 2012 because of the lack of job openings.

Manager of the Flathead Job Service Bill Nelson said in the depths of the recession they were listing about 40-job openings.

Over the last few days its closer to 5-hundred.

Student Advisor and Navigator Jori Bullemer with FVCC also used to work at the Job Service.

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"Fire Speaks the Land"
10:55 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Using dance to teach science

The professional dancers of the CoMotion Dance Project and students from Flathead-area schools learn about fire ecology through dance.
Credit William Munoz

Using dance and movement to teach concepts like conduction, convection and radiation is the goal behind a Co-Motion Dance Project about fire ecology. The Project is based out of the University of Montana and brings dance into the classroom as a teaching tool.

The Program, “Fire Speaks the Land,” was written by Director of the CoMotion Dance Project Karen Kaufmann and her husband, Steve Kalling. Kaufmann said the idea is to help understand concepts through movement.

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