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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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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Organic Farming
8:28 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Why Montana's organic farmers are converging on the Flathead

Credit flickr/mckaysavage

Cultivating organic seeds and genetically modified crops are among the topics farmers are meeting to discuss in the Flathead next week. The annual Montana Organic Association Conference is being held in the Flathead for the first time.

Judy Osowitz of Terrapin Farm in has been farming in rural Whitefish for 36-years.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes, I’ve seen a lot more demand for organic, I’ve seen a lot more supply of organic- which is a good thing, to have both, it’s wonderful,” Osowitz said.

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Care Farms
1:00 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Cows, Chickens, Veggies, and Therapy

Lighthouse Cristian Home resident Sara Maldonado feeds the cows as part of her morning chores.
Credit Katrin Frye

The idea of farm work as therapy takes root in the Flathead with several working farms opening their doors a couple times a week to people with disabilities. The Flathead Valley has seven Care Farms as of last spring. It’s an effort spearheaded by Maarten Fischer of the A-Plus-Home Healthcare of the Flathead, Fischer also teaches a multifunctional agriculture course at Flathead Valley Community College.

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Memory Care
11:26 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Why early diagnosis helps with Alzheimer's

Credit firstcovers.com

Think of your memory as layers upon layers stacked on top of one another. Registered Nurse Jennifer Crowley specializes in working with patients with Alzheimer’s. Crowley said for people with Alzheimer’s new memories are the top-most layers, and they roll right off and get lost. She conducts Memory Screenings which identify risk for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment disorders. The exam tests short term memory and looks at a person’s understanding of the world around them.

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Business Class
10:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

How Flathead High students are helping local businesses

Norm's News of Kalispell is one of the local businesses which has partnered up with a Flathead High business class to take in-class lessons and apply them in the real world.
Credit Katrin Frye

Hiring and training staff, keeping the books in order, and getting more customers in the door are among the topics being studied in business management classes everywhere. Applying those hypothetical models to real-life situations is the goal of an advanced business class at Flathead High School. Instructor Jesse Rumsey teaches the Business Management class offered through Flathead High School’s International Baccalaureate program.

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Ski Prep
9:52 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Skiers hiking for early season turns at Big Mountain

Snow at the Big Mountain Base Lodge at Whitefish Mountain Resort 11/18/13.
Katrin Frye

The snow line has crept down the mountainsides even though much of the Flathead Valley floor remains snow-free. Public Relations manager for the Whitefish Mountain Resort Riley Polumbus said the mountain is prepping for its December 7th opening.  

The storm over the weekend brought enough snow to cover the hill even down at the base lodge. Polumbus said they measured 30 inches of snow at the Summit on Friday afternoon, it was up to 48 inches Saturday afternoon, and then another 5 inches fell by Sunday morning.

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Search and Rescue
11:57 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Philanthropy to the (search and) rescue

Jordan White of Two Bear Air stands next to the organizations new Bell 429 rescue helicopter.
Credit Katrin Frye

It took private investment of more than $10-million to create Two Bear Air, a dedicated search and rescue air support service in the Flathead.

Former Flathead County Undersheriff Jordan White teamed up with Whitefish philanthropist Mike Goguen to create the non-profit. Goguen comes from a business background with a capital investment firm known for its support of entities like Google and YouTube.  Paying for Two Bear Air is one of several philanthropic investments he’s made in the Flathead.

White described the organization as privately funded for a public purpose.

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Energy Efficiency
5:45 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Electric Co-op's paying a different kind of energy bill

Local electric co-ops are writing checks for a different kind of energy bill. Flathead Electric Co-op in Kalispell recently wrote a check to Plum Creek for more than $380,000. It’s for energy efficiency upgrades at the lumber company’s sawmill. Promoting energy efficiency is something F-E-C is doing with the Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial Program incentives.

Key Accounts Representative Don Newton with FEC said it’s actually in the Co-op’s best interest to get members to lower their electric bills.

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Montana Bats
8:23 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

How hibernacula may help scientists understand a deadly bat disease

White Nose Syndrome has not made it as far west as Montana, it's a disease that has wiped out millions of bats in the eastern US.
Credit Bigfork High School Cave Club

Where bats hibernate, how warm or cold, and how dry or damp the environment is, are questions being asked as researchers and recreationists explore Montana’s caves.

Bat Specialist Dr. Cori Lausen with Wildlife Conservation Society Canada says some species of bats are facing potential extinction because of the White Nose Syndrome which has been decimating bat populations along the east coast, and is spreading west.

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