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Articles written by Jack H. Smith


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  • MDT opens Headwaters Rest Area

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    The Montana Department of Transportation officially opened the Headwaters Rest Area on US 287 near Three Forks on Friday, April 5. In a release, MDT Interim Director Larry Flynn discussed the opening. "MDT appreciates the public's patience as this project took longer than expected," said Flynn. "This has been a long process. We look forward to opening the Headwaters Rest Area to better serve the needs of the traveling public." While this may have been positive news for travelers, the journey to... Full story

  • Deliberate homicide bench trial set for April 17

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    A new trial date for Zachary Norman has been scheduled, and this time, it will be without a jury. Norman, who is charged with two counts of felony deliberate homicide for the January 15, 2022, shooting deaths of brothers Brendan Estabrook and Chase Estabrook in Three Forks, has requested a bench trial before 18th Judicial Court Judge John C. Brown in the case scheduled to start on Wednesday, April 17 in Bozeman. On July 28, 2023, after three days of deliberation and the jury deadlocked at 10 in... Full story

  • Land Board approves donation to Missouri Headwaters State Park

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    At their March meeting, the Montana Land Board approved the donation of 26.36 acres to the Missouri Headwaters State Park near Three Forks. The land was donated to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) by the Montana State Parks Foundation (MSPF) to preserve cultural resources, safeguard history, revitalize fish and wildlife habitat, and enhance recreational opportunities. The MSPF purchased the private land with funds provided by a grant from Montana's Outdoor Legacy Foundation and the Fish and... Full story

  • Column: Oh crap, they were not waving at me

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    The older I get, the more I like to be at home. This is a drastic change from when I started working as an adult and would usually just be home to sleep. There was always something to do, and I would get stir-crazy if I had to spend more than a couple of evenings in a row at my house. As much as I like the friendly confines of where I live, my job requires me to get out in public quite a bit, which is good so that I don’t become a complete hermit. Much of my time out of the house is spent covering different things. A lot of times, this is at a... Full story

  • Wolves dominate Butte Central

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    For the second straight week, the Three Forks High School Softball team did not need a full seven innings to come away with a victory. The Wolves were once again dominant from the start on April 2 with a 15-0 win over Butte Central in a game that was called after four innings due to the mercy rule. According to Head Coach Clay Feliciano, senior pitcher Fallon Page finished with seven strikeouts and allowed just two hits over the four innings. Page has now opened the season with seven scoreless... Full story

  • 2 Three Forks golfers finish in top ten at season opening meet in Florence

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    The Three Forks High School Golf team had two top-ten finishers at last Thursday’s season-opening tournament on April 4 at the Florence-Darby Invitational. According to Head Coach Aaron Harkins, the girls’ team ended up in third place, which also matched Ari Judd’s individual place. “Ari finished with a 90, and although there were a few shots she wished she had back, we were very pleased overall,” Harkins said. Claire Van Vleet finished with a 125, Paige Lien ended her round at 130, and Kennedy Rogers finished at 160. On the boys’ side, Harki... Full story

  • Another strong day for TFHS Track and Field

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    The Three Forks High School Track and Field team had a slew of fantastic performances at last week’s Fergus Invite on April 4 in Lewistown. It was quite the day for Wolves senior Colten Hayder, who finished first in the 200 meters with a time of 23.89 and tenth in the 100 meters at 11.83. “Seeing Colton winning that race was a pleasant surprise. We knew he was fast, but we’d be crazy if we were to expect the number two time in Class B fast, especially at his first track meet this year. Coach Noble and I are pretty sure he is only going to get f... Full story

  • Wolves tennis team battles elements in Great Falls

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    The Three Forks High School Tennis team battled the elements last Friday at the CMR Courts in Great Falls, playing matches against Chinook and Chester-Joplin-Inverness. "We fought and struggled through cold, wet tennis weather. We spent an hour just trying to get water off the courts with squeegees. It was a high of 41, and you could feel it. But finally, the courts dried up just enough, and we got 23 matches," Head Coach Janna Lauver said. The Wolves squad ended the day with nine victories.... Full story

  • TFVFD responds to working structure fire, shares open burning tips

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 10, 2024

    It was a busy 24-hour stretch last week for the Three Forks Volunteer Fire Department as they responded to a working structure fire, gas leak, and outside fire. According to Captain Charles Eastty, the TFVFD responded the evening of Friday, April 6, to a working structure fire, with Engine 14-11 arriving on the scene within seven minutes of being dispatched. "This is a great response time as all our firefighters are volunteers. They need to stop what they are doing, leave their families, drive to the station, get on their gear, and drive the... Full story

  • Living Sky Grains named 'Best in Show' at Made in Montana Event

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 3, 2024

    There was fantastic news for a Three Forks business at last month’s 2024 Made in Montana Trade Show for Food and Gifts in Helena. Living Sky Grains, owned by Franck and Kari Groeneweg, was named “Best in Show Overall” at the annual event hosted by the Montana Department of Commerce. Kari said her family was honored and surprised by the award, as the show was full of amazing vendors showcasing their products. “We love farming in Montana, and we think Montana’s people are amazing. We enjoyed learn... Full story

  • Initial appearance for LeDoux moved to later this month

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 3, 2024

    The initial court appearance for a man charged in connection with a January 4 fatal head-on collision that killed 22-year-old Laysa Grewell on Interstate 90 near Three Forks has been moved. 23-year-old Alexander Norbert LeDoux, who has been charged with Vehicular Homicide While Under the Influence, Fleeing from or Eluding a Peace Officer, and six counts of Criminal Endangerment, was originally scheduled to appear in Montana 18th Judicial Court District Court before Judge Andrew Breuner on March 28. According to 18th District Court Judicial... Full story

  • Chamber raising funds for Visitors Information Center

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 3, 2024

    8 is a milestone year for the Three Forks Chamber of Commerce, with the organization celebrating its 60th year. Next month, the Chamber will host its Annual Meeting and Dinner on Saturday, May 11, at the Three Forks Rodeo Barn. According to Chamber President Leann Bryant, the event will serve as the largest fundraising event of the year for a new Visitor's Information Center (VIC) in Three Forks. Bryant said that in the past, the Three Forks Area Historical Society graciously hosted a VIC in... Full story

  • Column: You have to earn the wooden spoon

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 3, 2024

    Sometimes, the simplest things can bring back a vivid memory. For me, it was a wooden spoon. While we probably eat way too many snacks at our house, we try to at least make something homemade for dessert on Sundays. I used a wooden spoon to mix blueberry muffins a few weeks back when it transported me to a day I'd rather forget. Growing up, I would often go to my Aunt Margaret's house. Sometimes, it would be while my mom was at work, and other times, during the weekend when she was off bowling or doing whatever she did. At one point, Margaret... Full story

  • Three Forks dominates in season opener against Ennis

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 3, 2024

    It was quite the start of the season for the Three Forks High School Softball team. The Wolves scored two runs in the first, three in the second, and eight in their third on their way to a 15-0 victory over Ennis. The game was called after three innings due to the MHSA mercy rule. Three Forks senior Fallon Page had a remarkable day on both the mound and behind the plate. Page did not allow a hit over the three innings and finished with seven strikeouts. On offense, Page added two hits and 4... Full story

  • Three Forks track and field comes out of the gates strong in season opener in Frenchtown

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 3, 2024

    By JACK H. SMITH Three Forks Voice It was a tremendous start to the season for the Three Forks High School Track and Field team. Following the opening competition of the year at last week's Frenchtown Invitational, first-year Head Coach Dillon Gongliewski said there were some great performances across the board, with all-time best marks from those who have previously competed and eye-opening numbers from those who had just competed at their first-ever track meet. "Honestly it's kind of hard to pin down any individual performances because... Full story

  • 2 School Levies on the May 7 ballot

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 27, 2024

    With a projected budget shortfall due to the rising costs in general operations, the Three Forks School Board of Trustees voted last week to place two general fund mill levies on the May 7 ballot. After just a 1.5% salary increase in the previous budget, the two levies would also raise the teacher salary base by 5%. The board voted to place a $504,234 per year levy, approximately 25.31 mills, for the Elementary District and a $176,154 levy, approximately 8.99 mills, for the High School... Full story

  • Council approves bid for chip seal project

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 27, 2024

    Chip sealing will take place later this year in the City of Three Forks for the first time in about a decade. At a meeting earlier this month, the Three Forks City Council unanimously voted to approve the City Engineer's and Streets & Alley's Committee recommendation of Street Maintenance District #1 Chip Seal Project Bid Award to Hollow Contracting Inc. for $286,785.35. According to City Treasurer Kelly Smith, this will be the first time the municipality has done a chip season in around ten... Full story

  • Column: I'm completely fine with the same 3 movies

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 27, 2024

    There are days when I literally roll out of bed and walk the short five feet to my desk to start writing stories. This usually happens when I’m on a deadline and have a lot to write for the next edition. Other times, I sit at my desk and stare off into space. Sometimes, it is because I’m waiting to hear back from someone, and other times, I cannot focus on putting together more than a paragraph. When I’m in the zone, it’s not uncommon to knock out three or four stories in a morning, but there are days when the blank Microsoft Word templat... Full story

  • Spring Sports Preview: Strong senior class leads the way for talented Three Forks tennis team

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 27, 2024

    The Three Forks High School Tennis team reached new levels of success, winning the 2023 Southeast Divisional Championship in Billings. As the program continues to ascend, the Wolves will welcome back 12 returning players for the 2024 season. As the team prepared for their season-opening event on March 22 in Manhattan, Head Coach Janna Lauver said that the weather was great for the first two weeks of practice, which was incredible. "Getting everyone on the court quickly to do drills and work... Full story

  • Spring Sports Preview: Girls' return wealth of experience, squad opens season April 4

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 27, 2024

    The Three Forks High School Golf team will open the 2024 season on April 4 in Hamilton. According to Head Coach Aaron Harkins, while the turnout is a little lower than in years past, with six girls and 17 boys, they have a great bunch of student-athletes on the 2024 squad. On the girl's side, the Wolves will welcome back Ari Judd, Paige Lien, Kennedy Rogers, and Claire Van Vleet. "All four of those girls played in the state tourney last year, so we are hoping to we can get back there again this... Full story

  • Spring Sports Preview: Record turnout for Three Forks High School Track and Field Team

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 27, 2024

    To say there has been a positive turnout of student-athletes for the 2024 Three Forks High School Track and Field Team would be an understatement. Under the direction of first-year Head Coach Dillon Gongliewski, there are over 50 members of this year's team who will open the season on March 28 at the Frenchtown Invitational. "Turnout for this year has been extraordinary. We had initial interest of 60 kids, and are still, heading into our second week of the season, sitting at 56 student athletes... Full story

  • Spring Sports Preview: Three Forks Softball looks to build on successful inaugural season

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 27, 2024

    There was plenty of excitement last March as the Three Forks High School Softball readied for the first season in program history. The Wolves did not disappoint in their inaugural campaign, finishing just one win away from qualifying for the state tournament. With season two underway, Head Coach Clay Feliciano said the players and coaches are excited to start. "Playing as well as we did last year, they definitely will enter the season with more confidence and higher expectations," he said.... Full story

  • MDT installing new wrong-way sign systems

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 20, 2024

    In the past several months, an alarming number of wrong-way motorists have been arrested for driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 near Three Forks. The disturbing recent string of incidents turned fatal on January 4 when 22-year-old Laysa Grewell was killed following a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver at mile marker 278 just outside of Three Forks. To reduce the incidents on the Interstate, the Montana Department of Transportation will soon be placing nine new wrong-way sign systems with radar detection between exit 274 in Three... Full story

  • City of Three Forks seeking comments on draft Capital Improvement Plan

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 20, 2024

    With the working draft of its Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) now available online, the City of Three Forks is asking residents for their feedback. At last week's City Council meeting, the governing body received a presentation on the first draft of the CIP from community and land use planner Lee Nellis. The city will be taking comments on the draft, which is available at www.threeforksmontana.us, until April 9. Comments can be sent by email to [email protected] or given in person at the... Full story

  • Three Forks Powerlifting Club sets 16 state records

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Mar 20, 2024

    Before the recent United States Powerlifting 2024 Montana High School State Championships in East Helena, Three Forks Coach Stan Provenza said while he knew his team would do well, he just wanted them to compete and feel good about it. It turns out there were plenty of reasons for the team to feel good about their performance. Competing for the first time as a club, Three Forks left East Helena with 16 state records. Micah Gather, Josh Delger, Maddie Griffiths, and Eva Parker each set four... Full story

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