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PRSTD STD U.S. Postage PAID West Yellowstone, MT Permit No. 10

May 4, 2012




Volume 27, No. 18

West Yellowstone, Montana

Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

Chris Wiese used a Herculiner brand spray-in bed liner on his 2010 Nissan pickup truck last Wednesday evening. Jim Smolczynski, a Fish, Wildlife & Parks Game Warden for the West Yellowstone area, suspects that the grizzly bear that paid a visit to the Wiese residence last week may have been attracted to the unusual scent of the spray-in truck bed liner.

An unusual scent may have inspired last week’s grizzly garage break-in By ABBIE TUMBLESON West Yellowstone News


grizzly bear came out of forest, down the road and past a row of houses before making a stop at 217

Pine Needle St. in the Horse Butte area in the late night to early morning hours last Thursday. “He’s been coming to daddy’s truck,” said

four-year-old Kayla Wiese, who lives at the single family home with her parents. Chris Wiese’s wife, Katrina, went to bed after midnight on

Thursday, April 26 and didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary as she took the family’s dogs out for the night. “She let the dogs out before bed and she

didn’t hear anything,” Chris Wiese said. Neighbor Rick Armstrong said he had heard something outside around midnight.

Wiese went outside the next morning as bison were getting closer and closer to the detached garage. grizzly| continued on page 2

2 ▲ West Yellowstone News


Friday, May 4, 2012

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“The garage door was halfway open and there were bison in the garage,” he said. Soon, he got a closer look and was surprised to find the garage door laying on top of his truck. Bison hadn’t been the only visitors. “I saw the grizzly bear tracks all over it,” Wiese said of his 2010 Nissan pickup truck. Wiese and his family emphasized that they practice bear safety in the home and store only minimal garbage in the garage. The grizzly, however, may not have been attracted to garbage, but rather to the scent of a “do it yourself”

courtesy photo

A grizzly bear knocked down a garage door at 217

Pine Needle St. in the Horse Butte area in the late night to early morning hours last Thursday.

spray-in truck bed liner. Wiese had been

using Herculiner brand spray-in liner on his

truck early Wednesday evening. “Maybe it happened to smell it (the truck bed liner) and wanted it,” said Jim Smolczynski, a Fish, Wildlife & Parks Game Warden for the West Yellowstone area. He warned a few people in the area about the bear. Grizzly tracks could be seen down the dirt road and through the driveway leading up to the house and garage. He continued, “Don’t store a week’s worth of garbage in your garage and definitely bring your bird feeders in (this time of year).” He stressed the need for people to secure their garbage in a hardsided area, but that they definitely can’t store a week’s worth of garbage

in something like a garage. “Obviously from the picture, bears can bust through a garage door. Try to keep the scent (of attractants) down as much as possible,” Smolczynski said. He noted a separate past incident where a grizzly had broken into the same garage, which was filled with garbage and beer bottles at the time. “That bear got into a few garages out on Horse Butte,” he said. “We ended up having to euthanize that bear.” Smolczynski also considered that last week’s grizzly may have recognized a new smell in the environment and just happened to be close by. The broken door was taken down and piled

next to the garage on Thursday evening, but the truck escaped the incident damage free. “My truck isn’t damaged, the bear just kind of sat on it,” Wiese said. Wiese assisted Smolczynski with setting up an electric fence around the garage door of the west-facing garage in efforts to deter the grizzly from making a return visit to the Wiese residence. “We’ll see if it works,” Smolczynski said, while checking to see if the electric wiring had been charged. “It might keep the bear from coming back.” He talked to Wiese again this week, but hadn’t heard anything else about the grizzly or other incidents as of late Tuesday afternoon.

Friday, May 4, 2012

West Yellowstone News ▲ 3

Guay transitions into role as the new Operations Manager By ABBIE TUMBLESON West Yellowstone News


own council work sessions and getting acquainted with the community was on the new job agenda for Becky Guay last week. Guay was officially hired on as the new Operations Manager for the Town of West Yellowstone in February. She formerly served as the Chief Executive for Anaconda-Deer Lodge County. In her former position as Chief Executive, she served a combined city-county government with a population of nearly 10,000 with an annual expenditure budget of nearly $24 million. Guay noted that the transition to the new job and the move to West

Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

Becky Guay, the new Operations Manager for the

Town of West Yellowstone, speaks at a town council work session last Thursday afternoon.

Yellowstone, along with her husband, Doug, and their two cats, have been going smoothly. “I’m trying to find the

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bathroom and the coffeepot (in the office),” she jested, nearing the end of her first week on the job last Thursday. “Everybody’s

been so helpful and welcoming.” Guay plans to meet with town council members, department heads and citizens to get a feel for current and ongoing projects in town. And, despite the town’s small size, Guay has been impressed with West Yellowstone so far. “Now that I’m here, I noticed the Town has a social services program. That’s impressive for a town of this size and an attribute to have,” she said. “I’m really impressed just walking in, with the overall fiscal health of the town. Financially, things are being very well managed. This town has done a fabulous job of making sure that there is more money than there are bills.”

Guay was excited to hear about plans for a new town hall building as she attended her first work session on Thursday evening and was in attendance at the regular town council meeting on Tuesday evening. “It appears that the department heads are all really on top of their responsibilities, the job will be easy in that respect,” Guay said. “They know what needs to be done and I look at it as (me) being their resource to be able to get what they need to do their jobs.” Guay was born and raised in Anaconda and attended Montana Tech in Butte. She lived in California for 23 years, with 17 of those years spent working in municipal government.

Six years ago, feeling homesick for Montana, Guay and her husband moved back to Anaconda. Now, she’s making West Yellowstone her new home. “I’ve loved West Yellowstone since I was a little kid,” Guay said. She’s spent her weekends exploring Yellowstone National park. Job-wise, Guay plans to get to hang of things before the busy summer season starts. “It’s given me a month to settle in,” she said. In her spare time, Guay enjoys fly fishing, downhill and cross-country skiing, paper crafts and jewelry making. “I’m just really excited to be here,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to live in West Yellowstone.”

D etac h t h i S fo r m an D ret u r n t o W e St Y ello W St o ne n eWS . t ha nk You

How did you come to start your own business in West Yellowstone? _______________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Who is the business owner? _________________________________________________________________________________________ What is a unique aspect of your business? _____________________________________________________________________________ Where are you located in or around West Yellowstone? __________________________________________________________________ What type of services or products do you offer? _________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Name a few activities you enjoy outside of work with West Yellowstone being both a great summer and winter destination. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Do you have any memorable experiences or stories involving tourists who visit the area? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Do you have a website, if so, what is your web address? _________________________________________________________________ How long have you been in business in West Yellowstone? _______________________________________________________________ What’s it like owning a business and living in a seasonal community? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ i f Y o u ne e D m o re SPac e, PleaS e at tac h ano t h e r Sh eet of PaP er.

4 ▲ West Yellowstone News

Friday, May 4, 2012

MDT aims to finish road project before summer travel By JANICE DOWNEY West Yellowstone News


he Montana Department of Transportation is working on completing the $3.8 million construction project near mile marker 10 on Highway 191 and expects to finish it by the end of this month. “The majority of the work is intended to wrap up at the end of May,” Bill Fogarty, district supervisor for the Montana Department of Transportation, said Wednesday. “Then after that there will be one day of chip seal on the new addition. That should take place sometime in July.” In mid-April the new bridge that crosses Grayling Creek opened, which closed the dirt detour road to the west of the replaced bridge. As part of MDT’s contract, Fogarty said, that dirt road will be obliterated and the area will be reshaped to match the natural terrain. Included in the plan is building a snowmobile bridge as part of a joint partnership project between the National Forest Service and the West Yellowstone Economic Development Council. We st

Janice Downey/WYNews

A semi truck recently crossed the new bridge near mile marker 10 on Highway 191. The $3.8 million road construction project is expected to be finished at the end of this month. A future snowmobile bridge is included in the plan for the area.

“This is really a cool project,” NFS resource specialist Rob Davies said Wednesday about the planned snowmobile bridge west of the new highway bridge. “It’s a relocation of the existing


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Big Sky snowmobile trail. This will remove about three miles out of an important big-game wildlife area.” The Grayling Creek Canyon area west of the highway is a protected area free

for moose, elk and deer, Davies said. “There’s roughly about 500 acres that we gain for quiet and secure habitat for wild big game,” he said. With the new snow-

Editor – AbbiE tumblEson

mobile bridge also comes safety, according to Davies. “The current crossing is over an icy creek,” he explained. “Early or late in the season when the ice is weak, somebody could get hurt. So we have to moni-

rEportEr – JAnicE downEy

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tor it. With having this bridge, we won’t have to close it because of thin ice conditions.” An additional safety feature is that the current road project| continued on page 5


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Friday, May 4, 2012

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trail has a very steep, narrow and dangerous section, he said. The new snowmobile bridge will also eliminate that hazardous area for the trail groomers. “We had a breakdown of the grooming equipment earlier in the year, and we were lucky to get it out of there,” Davies said. Davies explained that the new snowmobile bridge will use fill dirt left over from blasting and digging for the new highway bridge. Instead of hauling and depositing the fill dirt somewhere else, it will be used to create the bed of the snowmobile trail. “We can’t use any of the old bridge because it is too old and the abutment for it

is too close and too narrow for the size of the creek,” he said. The Forest Service and WYED began working on the snowmobile bridge when WYED submitted an application through the Montana Trails Grant Program, Davies said. About half of the money was awarded, he said, and the Forest Service and WYED have applied for the remaining $100,000 for building the bridge and expect to get the rest of the amount by the spring of 2013. Bridge construction is planned for that summer and to be open in time for the 2013-2014 snowmobile season. “It’s a little easier to build the snowmobile bridge compared to the highway bridge because the earth work on each side of the creek is mostly

already done,” Davies said. The NFS has completed the snowmobile bridge design, but the bidding for the bridge can’t happen until the remaining grant money comes, he said. “I want to stress the partnership of the NFS and WYED,” Davies said. “Working with them to make this happen has been really, really great. We’re excited about this.” Talk of the snowmobile bridge has been going on for years, according to Davies. “Now it’s eminent,” he said. “It’s going to go in. It’s going to happen.” There are currently no plans to use the bridge during the summer for allterrain vehicles or bikes. “The bridge will primarily be built for snowmobile use in the winter on a groomed trail,” Davies said.

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Friday, May 4, 2012

Proposed community garden could be overseen by the Town By ABBIE TUMBLESON West Yellowstone News


s council members moved down the agenda at the regular meeting on Tuesday evening, they approached the subject of the community garden. The proposed community garden would be located inside the fenced area on the north side of the West Yellowstone Public Library. Garden club organizer Betty Richey submitted a proposal to council members outlining the specifics for the project, such as suggestions for user fees for plots in the garden and making it open to the public on a first come, first-served basis. Gardening enthusiasts have been meeting on a semi-weekly basis to discuss topics about gardening in the area, with organizers Peggy Lynn and Richey spearheading the community garden project. “I don’t know where to begin because last night I got very discouraging news about liability insurance,” Richey said. The garden club, however, is not an established entity that can take on liability insurance, according to Richey. “We’re not an entity, we’re individuals who see a need in the community,” she said. According to Richey, she was told that the Town would provide the land, provide the water and cover the liability for the community garden project, which has been trying to get off the ground since March. “Peggy Lynn and I

Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

Garden club organizer Betty Richey discusses the proposed community garden project at Tuesday’s regular town

council meeting. Richey and council members talked about what can be done, in regards to liability insurance and the garden, and the possibilities of getting the project up and running in time for spring and summer.

took it upon ourselves and it was on the agenda in March ... A lot of donations that we have lined up and that we’ve got, they’re going to go away. We are two individuals that saw something that could be done for the good of this community,” she said. Mayor Jerry Johnson took a minute before providing Richey with a response. “You have to request money like anyone else does,” he said. “My idea is find out how it can get covered by liability so we don’t get sued.” Council member Brad Schmier also expressed concerns in

regards to liability issues and the Town of West Yellowstone. “What if Johnny whacks Susie with a hoe? No, I don’t want to take that on, I want the Town to be released (of liability),” he said. “I want it to happen Betty, don’t get me wrong. I want this to happen. I don’t want us (the Town) in court.” Deputy mayor and council member Pierre Martineau made a motion for the Town to take charge of the community garden project. “I think the town manager should determine what department takes care of it and I think the office girls

should take the money,” he said. The motion was moved and seconded by council member Doc Stewart. “It’ll be a fairly simple task to get the community garden laid out and follow it through year to year,” new Operations Manager Becky Guay said. “But, if you choose to do that, we’ll make it happen. Schmier followed Guay’s comments with a secondary motion that would allow the garden to take place under the direction of the Town provided the details can be worked out between the Town and the users.

He also wanted everyone to be in agreement about the details before moving forward. “If we can’t come to that agreement (about) who’s responsible for what, we stop,” Schmier said. The motion was seconded by council member Mary Phillips. Following 10 to 15 more minutes of discussion, Stewart called for question and council members were unanimously in favor of the secondary motion. In other business, Parks and Recreation advisory board chair Vickie Barta presented a series of updates about

the Frontier Trail project and signs. The trail is also known as the Loop Trail. The sum of $300 was the originally proposed amount to be allocated to the sign project, but Barta suggested to have a stencil design added so that markers can be painted throughout the town, leading people along the trail. Council member Martineau made a motion to allocate $600 for trail signs, stencils, paint supplies and other materials for the project. Council members unanimously approved the agenda item. The first reading and discussions in regards to Ordinance No. 257, Fireworks, was tabled for the evening. Hebgen Basin Fire District Fire Chief Scott Waldron expressed concerns about the ordinance and suggested forming a quick committee with the Town, West Yellowstone Police Department and HBFD to work out the minor issues. “I think there are some resolutions ... that can make this (ordinance) much more palatable,” Waldron said. John Metscher, of Shining Mountain Fireworks, agreed with Waldron’s suggestions. “We need to sit down and have a discussion and make sure everyone’s happy,” he said. The next regular town council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15. The meeting will be held at the Povah Community Center.

Friday, May 4, 2012

West Yellowstone News ▲ 7

Local science teacher wins $250 for classroom equipment By JANICE DOWNEY West Yellowstone News


amera, action, surprise. A KBZK TV camera was rolling last Thursday afternoon when West Yellowstone School science teacher Mrs. Sara Hoovler won $250 for classroom equipment. “I’m so surprised,” Mrs. Hoovler said. “I’m just so happy.” Presented by Shelley Beal, vice president of First Interstate Bank in Bozeman, the $250 check will be used to buy a more accurate scale for chemistry as well as a digital camera. Earlier this year, Hoovler applied for the grant through the bank’s “One Class at a Time”

Janice Downey/WYNews

Looking over at her chemistry students, West Yellowstone School’s science teacher

Mrs. Sara Hoovler proudly holds a $250 check. The money will be used for buying a more accurate scale as well as a digital camera for the classroom.

program. “We just need to

more accurately measure some things,” Hoovler

said. The current scale

measures only to the tenth’s place; the new one will measure to the hundredth’s place, she explained. “The digital camera will be used to take pictures of experiments and demonstrations, either to go back and review or for those students who are absent or miss class because they’re involved with other activities.” While the unexpected visit happened when Hoovler was teaching chemistry, she teaches all aspects of science to junior high and high school students. “The students didn’t know they were coming either,” Hoovler said, after the visitors left. A moment later, a voice over the P.A. system

said, “Mrs. Hoovler, you rock!” Hoovler replaced teacher Connie Cusick, who retired last year. “She acts as a mentor to me now,” Hoovler said of Cusick. This being her first year teaching, Hoovler said, “Oh, it’s wonderful. I love it.” Hoovler, who has a bachelor’s degree in science from Pennsylvania State University, is working on her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Montana State University. The TV broadcast of the classroom visit will air Monday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Bozeman’s KBZK station, a CBS affiliate.

8 ▲ West Yellowstone News

Friday, May 4, 2012

‘Study Circles’ to discuss goals for community health By JANICE DOWNEY West Yellowstone News


s part of the HEALTHY Gallatin! program, community Study Circles will discuss and determine the health needs of West Yellowstone. “We want the community to be represented from every walk of life,” said Sarah Compton, Quality Assurance Specialist for the Gallatin City-County Health Department. “We’d like business owners, teachers, senior citizens, service groups, moms, dads and kids. Actually, anyone interested in improving the health of the community.” The health-assessment program is also trying to reach out to the Latino population, Compton said. For example, she said, literature will be translated and translators provided. “For the people who come,” she said, “their voice will be heard.” As one of seven communities in Gallatin County undergoing the community health assessment, West Yellowstone now has the opportunity to identify the most important health issues and determine the actions and solutions for improving the community’s overall health, she said. “Small towns are interesting,” Compton said. “You think everybody knows everybody. But there are those who haven’t had an in-depth conversation before.” The Study Circle sessions in West Yellowstone are scheduled for May 17, May

Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

Local Government Center associate director Betsy Webb attended a planning meeting in West Yellowstone last week. Webb was a facilitator alongside Center director Dan Clark at the community health vision meeting held in Bozeman in January.

24 and May 31, all Thursdays. Dinner will be provided at all meetings, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Povah Community Center, located at 10 S. Geyser St. In the Study Circle, which is made up of 10 to 15 people, a peer

facilitator will use the “Building a Healthier Community Guide” and present an overview of community health, Compton said. The facilitator will also give more information on the community health assessment throughout the Gallatin County.

Basically, the Study Circles will look at what goes into making individuals healthy and what contributes to a healthy community, Compton said. “We don’t want to lead the questions,” she said. “We have a lot of qualified data, but we don’t

want to steer the conversation in any way. This is a series of conversations. This particular assessment is one of seven assessments in Gallatin County.” The other communities include Belgrade, Big Sky, Bozeman, Gallatin Gateway, Manhattan and

Three Forks. Gallatin County was one of only 12 communities in the country to receive a $35,000 grant for conducting the community health assessment plan as well health| continued on page 9

Friday, May 4, 2012


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as for creating a community health improvement plan. The grant provides transportation for the facilitators as well as dinner at each Study Circle. “What comes out of the Study Circle will definitely return to the community, not just be kept for health officials,” Compton said. That assessment will be available to the West Yellowstone community by mid-summer and will complete the initial phase of the community health plan. The three other aspects of the community health plan are the Quantitative Community Health Status, the Local Public Health System


“What comes out of the Study Circle will definitely return to the community ...” sarah compton

Assessment, and the Forces of Assessment of Community Health. For the Qualitative Community Health Status, a random poll of 700 people in Gallatin, Madison and Park counties were called and asked a variety of questions, such as whether they have health insurance, or have access to healthy food. In addition, the survey included behavioral questions about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. The project also has secondary data from the 2010 Census as well as records

from the Center for Disease Control to help determine the community’s health status. The Local Public Health Assessment was conducted in April. Developed by the CDC, a series of multiple-choice questions were posed to health service professionals, mental health workers, elected officials, social workers, law enforcement officers and anyone else working with the public in any aspect of health in Gallatin County, Compton said. “Essentially, they were asked about health care

services and how well those services are being provided in the county,” she said. The final aspect, the Forces of Assessment of Community Health, deals with factors that could improve the county’s health in the future. These are hypothetical questions, such as what will the economic climate be like in 10 to 15 years or how will legislation passed in the next five to 10 years affect the health of the community, she said. “It would involve any outside force that would impact the health of the community,” Compton said. “Another thing would be environmental factors like Montana’s wild fires that affect air quality or the flooding last year that had an economic impact

West Yellowstone News ▲ 9

on families because of property damage and transportation problems. Other questions would be very, very broad, like families not having enough money to afford healthier food.” When these four assessments are completed, she said, participants will work on developing the Community Health Improvement Plan. Using the community’s priorities identified in the Study Circle’s health assessment, the community will work together to determine what steps need to be taken to fix problems and decide what direction to go for making the community healthier. “All of these four assessments will inform the health improvement plan to show what the

community wants to work on as far as health issues are concerned and which way they want to go,” Compton said. Because dinner will be served at each meeting, those interested in attending the Study Circle sessions are asked to R.S.V.P. by calling (406)582-3119 or send an e-mail to You may also R.S.V.P. on the website:, then click on “Contact Us.” HEALTHY Gallatin! is a partnership of the BozemanDeaconess Health Services, Community Health Partners, Gallatin City-County Health Department, and Montana State University’s Local Government Center through MSU Extension.

10 ▲ West Yellowstone News

Friday, May 4, 2012

Letters Showing support for sheriff candidate Brian Gootkin


ear Editor, Sheriff Brian Gootkin has a fire in his belly. By this I mean he brings renewed energy and enthusiasm to the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. He knows what he is doing and he uses your taxpayers’ dollars wisely. Not only does he have the expertise to be elected as your sheriff, he also has a loyal following in his department and around the county. I wholeheartedly support Brian Gootkin and

hope that you will, too. Bill Murdock Bozeman, Mont.

About knowing Jeff Wade


ear Editor, I have known Major Jeff Wade for 17 years. During this time I have had countless opportunities to observe him as a soldier, Deputy Sheriff and family man. He is currently a candidate for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel having met or exceeding his higher education and leadership requirements. His past duties include serving as the Commander of a United States Army Hospital and as Company Commander for multiple

terms, including one term while deployed to Iraq during combat operations. Jeff is clearly one of the best officers I have worked with and formally rated. Jeff has done a magnificent job in all aspects of his life and careers since knowing him. I have complete trust and confidence in his abilities to lead and in his abilities to represent the Chief Law Enforcement position as Sheriff for Gallatin County. Jeff has unlimited potential to continue to excel in the most demanding positions. Jeff is an absolute must as Gallatin County’s Sheriff. Peter Hensler

1948 Mt. Majo St. Fort Harrison, Mont.

A first time to vote ‘no’


ear Editor, For the first time that I can recall, I will vote no on a school bond election. While the school building is going to need some work, I have lost confidence in the current administration’s and school board’s ability to make sound investments with my tax dollars. For example, the board just approved spending $15,000 on eight door locks. It does not matter what fund the $15,000 comes from, but the fact that the board would spend funds for something so extravagant and unneeded. If there are school keys in the community (a reason for the fancy locks?) why doesn’t the administration ask for them to be returned. Every key ever given out was recorded by the school clerk as to who has them. This is just the most recent example of questionable actions that cause me to be skeptical about supporting this administration’s and school

board’s proposals. So I’m voting no on the building reserve levy. Maybe in the next year the school district can inform the public what the building needs so that we are more confident that our tax dollars are not being wasted. Sincerely, Rick Armstrong West Yellowstone, Mont.

Steve White reflects on serving as a Gallatin County Commissioner


ear Editor, For the last five years I have been honored to serve the citizens of this county as a County Commissioner. New infrastructure has been added during that time, including; Road & Bridge buildings, expanded operations at the Logan Landfill, a new 911 and Detention Center. All of these projects were completed on time and on budget. I am also proud to have been involved in a new system to “stream” our county meetings, using the Internet (the first county in the state to do so). This is open

government at its best. I was also involved in the implementation of the online Burn Permit system. For the last five years I have served on the Gallatin County Local Water Quality District and Solid Waste Management District (Logan Landfill). As a member of the landfill board, I have been a strong supporter of the recycling program that includes; cardboard, plastic, aluminum, shingles, tires and e-waste. As your County Commissioner I have attended many of the West Yellowstone city council meetings, and supported holding county meetings (related to local issues) in West Yellowstone. I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve on this Commission. If anyone has any questions regarding our county government or my campaign for re-election, please give me a call or visit my campaign website (www. I would appreciate your support for my re-election on June 5. Steve White 3800 Blackwood Road Bozeman, Mont.

letters policy Letters to the editor from local readers are welcome, however they are subject to editing for length and content at the sole discretion of the editor. Letters should be original thought/writing of authors, not repeating someone else’s writing. The decision to publish letters is made by the editor. Letters may be edited or may not be published if the letters are considered libelous, in poor taste, spiteful, self-promotional, or of limited interest to the general readership. Space limitations also dictate when or if letters will be published.

Letters must be signed by the author and name, address and phone number must be included – the phone number is for verification purposes only. Letters from organizations must include the name of at least one author. Length of letters should be limited to 300 words or less. Exceptions may be made for guest columns on a case-by-case basis. Please limit “thank you” letters to four people or businesses. Generally, only two letters per month from each local reader or subscriber are considered for publication.

Friday, May 4, 2012

West Yellowstone News ▲ 11

Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

The West Yellowstone High School seniors pose for a photo at the Grand March before heading off to the Povah Community Center to enjoy their final prom as high school students.

Prom is a special occasion for finely dressed high schoolers By ABBIE TUMBLESON West Yellowstone News


crew of 20 finely dressed West Yellowstone High School students and their dates for the evening smiled for the cameras as prom festivities kicked off with the annual Grand March at the Stage Coach Inn. A number of students walked slowly down the decorated staircase armin-arm with their escorts

and dates, pausing at the last step to pose for photographs. Seniors Shelby Young, Maisie Gospodarek, Krysti Arnado and Julie Vega were escorted by their younger brothers as their names were announced by emcee Ken Davis. West Yellowstone high school students made some great memories with friends on Saturday evening and the theme

for this year’s prom was “Starlit Paradise.” Members of the junior class are responsible for choosing a theme, planning and decorating for the prom each year. Following the Grand March, prom-goers enjoyed the rest of the evening at the Povah Community Center. A breakfast was also held for attendees after the dance ended at midnight.

West Yellowstone High School sophomore Makalyn Chase, junior Joe Dorich and sophomore Kyla Binfet make their way to the front of the room as their names are announced at Saturday’s Grand March.

More photos Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

on page 12

12 â–˛ West Yellowstone News

Friday, May 4, 2012

Seniors Angel Sanchez and Krysti Arnado pose for photos, complete with their crowns and big smiles. Sanchez and Arnado were announced as this year’s prom king and queen.

Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

Freshman Amber Dorich makes her way down the

staircase at the Stage Coach Inn with her date, John Hunt, of Idaho Falls, Idaho.

View More Photos Online at Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

Jackson Gospodarek escorts his older sister, Maisie, during the Grand March at the Stage Coach Inn in West Yellowstone last Saturday. Seniors Shelby Young, Krysti Arnado and Julie Vega, along with Gospodarek, chose to have their younger brothers escort them during the prom Grand March this year.

Abbie Tumbleson/WYNews

Friday, May 4, 2012

Power outage planned for West Yellowstone F all River Rural Electric Cooperative has scheduled a planned power outage that will affect all of the Town of West Yellowstone and surrounding area during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 8, and Wednesday, May 9. The outage will occur from approximately 1 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. each morning. The foremost reason for the outage is to replace several power line structures and

transmission lines from the Madison substation into West Yellowstone, which is part of Fall River’s on-going efforts to provide safe and reliable power to its memberowners. Additionally, Fall River Electric will use this reconstruction effort to bring the first-ever fiber optic service to West Yellowstone. Fiber optic cable consists of dozens of strands of hair-like glass conduit that carries virtually any

signal from one point to another at the speed of light. Fiber optic service replaces the much slower and interference prone copper wire transmission method, and provides high data-carrying capacity with low line loss and greater clarity of voice and image transmission. Fiber optic applications are most commonly associated with high speed, high-bandwidth internet connections, high definition television, telephone voice communication,

and medical and engineering imaging. Fall River Electric general manager Bryan Case emphasized, “This outage will allow us to rebuild a vital link in our system so that we can continue to provide electrical service reliability to our valued cooperative members in West Yellowstone. We thought it most important to accomplish this work before the busy tourist season commences.” Case went onto emphasize,

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“Being able to combine this rebuilding project with bringing to the West Yellowstone area the most modern form of fiber optic communication available today is similar in scope to what the founding families of Fall River Electric did in the 1930s by bringing electricity to areas that investor owned utilities were not interested in serving.” Several fiber optic lines have already been leased to the school district in West Yellowstone, as

well as phone and internet provider Fairpoint Communications headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Fall River expects in the coming months to provide fiber optic service to other providers, both private and public, in the West Yellowstone area. They, in turn, will offer their services to Fall River members and to the general public. For more information visit,

Roads opening on the Hebgen Lake Ranger District By CAVAN FITZSIMMONS


ay 1 marked the opening of many roads across the Hebgen Lake Ranger District. Near West Yellowstone all roads off Madison Arm 291, on Horse Butte and on Rainbow Point Road, including East Cougar Creek Road east of Highway 191 are open for wheeled vehicle travel. Most roads south of Highway 20 are still seasonally restricted to wheeled vehicles other than the Old Airport Road, Little Snowy Road and the first mile of South Plateau Road. Other roads open for accessing Hebgen Lake or the Madison River are Denny Creek Road and Ghost Village Road out past Hebgen Dam. Some roads that are open to wheeled vehicles including Beaver Creek, Red Canyon and Tepee

Ranger’s Corner

Cavan Fitzsimmons Creek are still wet or snowbound. Please use caution and discretion when considering traveling these roads as motorized use on roads that are wet and muddy causes resource damage and impacts the road surface. North of West Yellowstone, Taylor Fork Road #134 is open to wheeled vehicles. Trail access continues to be limited due to snow on many trails that do not have a predominately southern exposure. If heavy rains occur this spring, please let us know if you see any

plugged or damaged culverts, or if water is actively moving on or across roads. If these matters are dealt with swiftly, it is often possible to avoid costly damage to the road, which may cause not only resource damage, but loss of access. On another note we would like to welcome Margaret Corbett as our new resource clerk. Margaret comes to us with over 10 years of government experience, most recently from the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyo. She enjoys a myriad of outdoor pursuits and looks forward to making West Yellowstone her home. Please stop by and join us in welcoming Margaret. Have a great week. (Cavan Fitzsimmons is the Hebgen Lake District Ranger.)

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Janice Downey/WYNews

Officials for the Manhattan Christian High School track meet leave their posts at Bozeman High School last Saturday morning after the meet was canceled due to snow.

Snow blanks out invitational track meet in Bozeman By JANICE DOWNEY West Yellowstone News


s West Yellowstone athletes know, snow happens. But after getting on the bus at 6:45 a.m. Saturday to travel to a track meet in Bozeman, they now know that snow cancels,

specifically track meets. After three wet inches of snow fell over night Friday and continued to fall Saturday morning, officials canceled the Manhattan Christian High School track meet, which was held at the Bozeman High School. Some Saturday

track meets and tennis matches were canceled on Friday because of predicted snowy conditions. But, the Manhattan meet wasn’t canceled until 9 a.m., when the meet was slated to begin. “There will be no make-up meet because we are so close to

districts,” head track coach Kevin Flanagan said Tuesday. West Yellowstone triple jumper senior Jeremy Huidekoper and high jumpers senior Maisie Gospodarek and freshman Amber Dorich qualified for the Townsend Top 8 track

meet Wednesday, but they did not go because Huidekoper has been sick, and the girls are among the students who left Thursday to attend the All-State Music Festival held today and Saturday in Billings. An away meet in

Anaconda is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 5. However, only seven Wolverine athletes will compete there because other team members are in the band and choir and are also in the state Track| continued on page 15

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from page 14

music festival that day. “It was too bad last Saturday didn’t work out, especially with so many missing this weekend,” Flanagan said. Many of the athletes will have gone about a month between meets, he said, and the District meet is scheduled for next Saturday, May 10 in Bozeman. For the young, inexperienced team, he said, missing last Saturday’s meet is “definitely not ideal” for helping the athletes place at Districts to qualify for Divisionals, which will be May 18 and May 19 in Corvallis. The State track meet will be in Butte and is scheduled to take place on May 25 and May 26.

Janice Downey/WYNews

Head track coach Kevin Flanagan, center, stands under the bleachers at the Bozeman High School stadium having just heard that Saturday’s track meet was called off because of snow.

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Vote for the ‘Best in West’ Be sure to visit www. westyellowstonenews. com this week for your chance to vote on “The Best in the West.” Weigh in on favorites, like the best place to grab a burger or pizza, where to hike and bike, grab those last minute items or a spot to spend a day fishing with the kids. The results will be printed in an upcoming issue of the West Yellowstone News.

West Entrance to Yellowstone open to motorized travel West-side roads opened to motor vehicles on Friday, April 20. Visitors are now able to travel by car through the park’s North and West Entrances to Norris, Madison, Canyon and Old Faithful.

The fifth-grade class has gifts for Mother’s Day West Yellowstone’s fifth-grade class had so much fun selling traditional Guatemalan handmade items this year that it barely felt like work to earn the money needed to help build a home for Maria and her mother of Antigua, Guatemala. On the site of the former shack with a dirt floor and scrap material they lived in, they now have a proper little house, built by Construcasa. Fifth-graders are rightfully proud of their project and are at it again. Come see the

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bits & pieces colorful purses, shawls and hats along with a beautiful assortment of handcrafted jewelry. This time, your patronage will help with the purchase of sewing machines for women who have completed sewing classes; this is a valuable gift that can earn food, clothing and education for a family. Drop by the West Yellowstone School from 3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. each afternoon to support our cause and get the perfect gift for mom. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Learn about wildlife in West Wildlife West, a new West Yellowstone community group interested in promoting appreciation of wildlife and their habitat through education and stewardship, will be holding their first meeting on Tuesday, May 8, 6:30 p.m., at the West Yellowstone Public Library. Meetings will be held on the second Tuesday of each month. If you are interested in learning about wildlife or hearing about opportunities to help benefit wildlife around West Yellowstone, please join us. All ages are welcome and no experience is needed. Meetings will start with a discussion about wildlife

sightings in the area, volunteer opportunities and upcoming projects, followed by a wildlifebased presentation. In May, Courtney Frost, National Forest Service wildlife biologist on the Hebgen Lake Ranger District, will be giving a presentation about grizzly bear management and traveling safely in bear country. Call Frost at (40) 823-6967 for more information.

Bowhunter education course to be offered in West Yellowstone A Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Bowhunter education course will be offered on May 8 through May 10 at the Rendezvous Ski Trails trailhead building. The course will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. each evening. All new bow hunters are required to take bowhunter education before they can hunt with archery equipment. Registration is required and those interested may register online at education/hunter/ bowhunterEd.html. For more information contact Mark Petroni at (406) 646-1174.

American Legion Post #78 to meet The American Legion Old Faithful Post #78 will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Povah Community Center. Bits & Pieces | continued on page 18

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Bits and Pieces

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Everyone is welcome to attend. Cookies and coffee will be served.

Community Care Connect to offer free health screenings Community Care Connect will provide free health screenings and select immunizations Wednesday, May 16, for those in need, including people without health insurance or those who are under insured. The health service will be available from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Community Health Partners, located at 11 S. Electric St. in West Yellowstone. The free screenings will be for breast and colon cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. The clinical breast exam will include free mammography screening vouchers worth $300. The free vaccinations will be for flu, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis) and pneumonia. The health care staff consists of a nurse practitioner, two nurses, a phlebotomist, and a pharmacist who offers consultations regarding

Friday, May 4, 2012

patients’ current medications. Patients need to bring a list of medications with dosages. Community Care Connect is a partnership of Community Health Partners, Bozeman Deaconess Health Services, Gallatin City-County Health Department, Gallatin Food Bank, and the Human Resources Development Council.

Yellowstone Historic Center holds annual members meeting The Yellowstone Historic Center will host its annual members meeting on Saturday May 19. The meeting will convene at 4:30 p.m. in the theater room of the Union Pacific Dining Lodge, located at 104 Yellowstone Ave. in West Yellowstone. Yellowstone Historic Center members who are in good standing as of May 18, 2012 will vote on new and renewing Board of Directors members. The meeting will be followed by a reception at 5 p.m., celebrating the opening of the Museum for the 2012 season. Be sure to join us for refreshments and to see

the new exhibits and restoration projects in the Museum. For more information about this meeting or any other questions about the Yellowstone Historic center, please contact Jen Cantu at (406)646-7461 or (406) 646-1100.

Library to host series to promote local artists The West Yellowstone Public Library will host an opening reception on Wednesday, May 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., featuring local photographer Mike Polkowske. Photographs will be on display for six weeks. This will be the first in a series of three openings for the spring and summer seasons in a series to promote local artists. The event is free and open to the public. Patrons are also invited to come and see new improvements made to the library.


Celebrating birthdays in the upcoming week are Randy Hays (May 4); Kelly Anderson (May 5) and Angel Vega (May 9).

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Police reports


he following summary was compiled from information provided by the West Yellowstone Police Department. April 17 • An individual left a trailer on city property for over a year. They want to come and recover their trailer. • A bicycle was left at a business. • An iPod was found in the Church of Christ parking lot. • A small white poodle type dog was found on Highway 20. April 18 • A person that is not allowed on school property or school functions was trespassing.

• An individual had their purse taken out of their vehicle along Madison Avenue. April 19 • National Forest Service workers were burning piles at Baker’s Hole Campground. • Hebgen Basin Fire District personnel reported that they would be burning a large pile of debris just north of the junction of Highway 191 and Highway 20. • An abandoned trailer was impounded. • West Yellowstone police officers received a request to attempt to locate a 20-year-old man. He was traveling from Twin Falls to North Dakota.

• A large pit bull was barking at an individual. They were afraid that the dog might attack. April 20 • An ambulance was requested to respond to a location along Madison Avenue. • A neighbor had a person call the West Yellowstone Police Department for help. There were people at his house yelling at him in the Horse Butte area. • The National Park Service informed the West Yellowstone Police Department that a man was supposed to be traveling through West Yellowstone. The Police Department was cautioned about the

individual. • There was a request for a locksmith. Keys were locked inside of a 2002 Ford Windstar van. April 21 • Someone’s dogs were at large. They were threatening to people walking by. • An unknown individual attempted to break into an RV. • A little brown fluffy dog was loose along Yellowstone Avenue. • An ambulance was requested to respond to a ranch along Highway 20. • The Povah Community Center was left dirty by event renters. • Garbage was being

burned in a burn barrel for a couple of days. The person complaining about it was tired of smelling it. • A female Rottweiler took off while the owner was taking her outside. April 22 • Loud music was playing at the Povah Community Center. • Bison along Highway 287 were on the road. There was a concern about traffic safety. • A Spaniel and a Jack Russell terrier were missing. • There was a request for the coroner to respond to an incident by Yellowstone National Park officials.

• An ambulance was requested to respond to Sylvan Circle. April 23 • The Department of Livestock advised that there were buffalo on the road along Highway 20. • A fire alarm went off at the school at approximately 10:30 a.m. • A burn permit was activated. • Garbage was blowing out of the back out a truck near Faithful Street and Madison Avenue. • A small child called 911. • A burglar alarm went off at a local bank. • Someone allegedly wrote bad checks.

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May 4 issue  

May 4, 2012 issue

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