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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Say you’re in the restroom at a public place, like the mall. You’re at the sink, washing your hands, and you see the sign, complete with step-by-step pictures, on how to wash your hands.

Ever actually read that sign? It tells you to wash your hands for 20-seconds.

Registered Nurse Melody Finch said proper hand hygiene is the first step in prevention, and this relates to alcohol-based hand sanitizers as well as soap and water.

www.allfamilieshealthcare.org

The only medical office offering abortions in the Flathead Valley may not reopen after extensive vandalism shut its doors earlier this month. The man arrested for the break in is the son of a founder of a local pro-life organization.

All Families Health Care offers primary care by Physicians Assistant Susan Cahill.

“I take care of children, and geriatrics as well, men – they don’t come in as much, and women, they come in more often either because of their reproductive years, menopause, etcetera,” Cahill said.

Katrin Frye

Two large, yellow buoys with “Flathead Lake Biological Station” stenciled on the side now sit on the shore beside the lake they’ve been collecting data on since August of 2011. These weather buoys were also measuring water quality and temperature, among other things.

The buoys were taken in to calibrate the instruments and replace the batteries.

Katrin Frye

A Habitat for Humanity home in Columbia Falls took great strides toward completion over the past two months with the help of young volunteers. A National Service group with volunteers aged 18 to 24 came on the scene two months ago, and this month a steady stream of college students are spending spring break in hard hats and tool bags building a home for strangers.

For three weeks in March Habitat for Humanity of the Flathead hosts three different college groups. The week of the 17th it was a group of spring breakers from the University of Wisconsin – Stout.

Department of the Interior

Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh recently hosted Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on a tour of Montana, stopping at Glacier Park to talk about protection of the trans-boundary North Fork Flathead River.

Jewell said grassroots efforts hold a lot of sway with policy makers as chances for them to hear people’s voices on issues they find important.

She said securing protection of the North Fork of the Flathead is a great example of people from all over the spectrum coming together for a common goal.

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