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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Library Revisited
10:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Not just "musty old books" at the Kalispell "Imagine If" Library

Getting "messy" at recently re-branded "Imagine If" Library of Kalispell.
Credit Katrin Frye

Walking into Flathead County Library’s main branch in Kalispell there’s the smell of fresh, buttery popcorn, and Alex Hogle and Jeremy Morrone play bluegrass music as people check out books, browse, and snack.

There’s also a big signs saying “Imagine If”. Flathead County Libraries recently unveiled itself as a new brand with “Imagine If.”

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Kalispell Schools
1:22 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

New buildings, technology, and curriculum leading issues during retiring Superintendents tenure

Kalispell School District 5 Superintendent Darlene Schottle.
Credit Mike Kofford / Kalispell School District 5

Overcrowded classrooms, outdated technology, new construction, old buildings, new curriculum, and online venue for the enduring issue of bullying are among the issues facing many school districts in 2014.

Growth and change at the Kalispell School District Five has been visible over the past 10-years with the creation and construction of a second high school.

The woman at the reins during these changes is District Five Superintendent Darlene Schottle who is retiring at the end of the school year.

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Kalispell Mini Maker Faire
2:13 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Montana's first "Makers Faire"

The Kalispell Mini Maker Faire follows in the tradition of the San Mateo, California Maker Faire which started in 2005 and has grown to feature more than 800 makers with nearly 110,000 people attending.
Credit Flickr / lemonkey

Inventors, practical science buffs, and “makers” of all kinds are invited to demonstrate their projects at an event called the Kalispell Mini Maker Faire.

The first Makers Faire happened in San Mateo, California in 2005. Now, it has featured more than 800-makers with nearly 110,000 attendees.

The World Maker Faire in New York has grown in three years to more than 500 makers with 55,000 attendees. 

Public Services Librarian April Szuch said the one planned for Kalispell will be much smaller, a Mini Maker Faire. She says it’s the first of its kind in Montana.

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Deep Brain Stimulation
2:18 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Musician regains his gift through brain surgery

Reid Merley and Sherry Parmater.
Credit Katrin Frye

Reid Merley has been playing the oboe since he was 11 years old.

“Except for two years when I didn’t play, I’ve been playing for 46 years,” Merley said.

To save you the math, that makes him 57 years old. The two years he didn’t really play was 2007 through 2009.

Merley first noticed a tremor in 2005. His arms would just shake, but only when he picked up his instrument to play.

He was able to hide it for a while.

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Outdoors
1:33 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Long time fisheries manager retiring

Retiring Region One Fisheries Manager Jim Vashro with a Lake Trout on Flathead Lake.
Credit Tony Anderson

Aquatic Invasive Species, Bucket Biology, lake trout suppression, public access, and family fishing are among the topics that have ruled Jim Vashro’s last thirty years with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Vashro is retiring as the Region One Fisheries Manager for F-W-P with the end of this year. Region One includes Flathead Lake as well as numerous other lakes, rivers and streams in northwest Montana. Vashro said Flathead Lake was just one of more than one hundred lakes that had Mysis shrimp introduced, but arguably saw the most profound change.

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Holiday Decorating
8:33 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Decking someone else's halls

Shopping, cooking, tying up loose ends at work, family coming in… the list of holiday prep goes on. Joyce Billmayer of Conrad Floral in the Flathead has found a way to make a traditionally slower season busy by helping people one of those things off their list: holiday decorating.

Flathead Reporter Katrin Frye catches up with Billmayer as she preps to put the finishing touches on a home all-dolled-up for the holidays.

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Flathead Transit
2:10 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Tribes take over bus route connecting Missoula to Whitefish

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are stepping up to fill a transportation gap between the Flathead, Mission, and Missoula Valleys. Transit Section Superintendent David Jacobs with the Montana Department of Transportation says Rimrock Stages was handling bus service from Missoula to Kalispell.

He said it was shut down by the Federal Motor Carriers Service Administration for non-compliance last March. He said the MDOT was waiting to see if Rimrock Stages would come back into compliance.

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Montana Agriculture
8:49 am
Tue December 17, 2013

The last of the Flathead dairy farms

Holstein milk cows eat a mixture of alfalfa hay and barley at the Kalispell Kreamery.
Credit Katrin Frye

“My dad started with one cow 35 years ago, they loved the animal, and we grew to 200 head, because of the animal, and so, I like people to understand that we sell the milk to keep the cows- it’s not the other way around,” Mary Tuck is Vice President and owner of Kalispell Kreamery.

It’s the last of the Flathead dairy farms in an area that used to boast more than forty. Kalispell Kreamery evolved from her family dairy farm; Hedstrom Dairy.

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Avalanche
9:31 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Changes at the Flathead Avalanche Center

Erich Peitzsch is the new part time Director of the Flathead Avalanche Center.
Credit Eric Knoff

The avalanche education, training and information outlet in the Flathead has been in flux over the past few years with old partnerships ending, and new ones forming. The National Forest is hoping to build partnerships and answer some of the demand for upgraded services through the Flathead Avalanche Center.               

The Center recently hired a part-time director Erich Peitzsch. He works for the US Geological Survey based in Glacier Park as a Physical Scientist. He has also been the Avalanche Forecaster during spring plowing on the Going to the Sun Road.

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Big Mountain Ski Patrol
10:22 am
Fri December 6, 2013

For this job you have to be able to handle explosives, provide first aid, and ski too

ALERT Helicopter from Kalispell Regional Medical Center comes to meet with ski patrol during training at Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Credit Katrin Frye

It’s not quite the ski patroller Olympics I was hoping for; skiing backwards, jumping through hoops, blindfolded…

In fact, when I showed up to the Whitefish Mountain Resort patrollers are inside, practicing specific stretches shown to them by a local physical therapist.

President of the Big Mountain Ski Patrol Incorporated Ryan Friel was, however, wearing ski boots.

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