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  • Guest Opinion: EV mandates not practical for Montana

    Alan Olson|May 22, 2024

    Life in Montana takes energy. Companies and individuals across the state have worked tirelessly over the years to ensure Montanans have the power to go about their lives in the way they want. It is part of what makes Montana the Last Best Place. However, the Biden-Harris administration's new EPA mandate threatens that freedom. Under the EPA's final rule, two-thirds of vehicles sold by U.S. automakers need to be battery-powered or plug-in hybrid by 2032. Fundamentally – Montanans, and the rest o...

  • Column: Fried Chicken and Fighting Neighbors

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|May 22, 2024

    As much as I enjoy cooking, there are a few dishes that I don't feel comfortable making. It's usually either because it's too messy, takes far too long, or is a bit complicated for culinary aptitude. While fried chicken has always been one of my favorite things to eat, I've probably only made it two or three times because I usually end up splashing my face with oil and making a mess that takes a complete shift of work to clean up. After getting super sick once after an old roommate made fried... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor - Montana's 50+ Voters Hold the Key: Why Candidates Need to Appeal to Them for Election Success

    May 22, 2024

    Montanans are considering who to vote for in the upcoming primary election on June 4th -- and the candidates are doing everything they can to try to earn those votes. One fact should be top of mind: voters 50 plus decide elections, and candidates who ignore this powerful segment of the electorate do so at their own peril.  Voters 50 plus are the majority in every election. In fact, in 2022, 65% of the electorate in Montana was 50 plus. We want to see politicians address our day-to-day challenges, such as caring for our loved ones to keep t...

  • Letter to the Editor: EV Mandate Unworkable for Rural Communities by Terry Murphy

    May 22, 2024

    Rural Montanans deal with many trials that those in urban areas do not typically struggle with—whether that is internet connectivity, access to healthcare, or simply just the mileage it takes to get to a gas station or grocery store, the fact of the matter is that folks in the more remote portions of our state rely heavily on their vehicles to access the basic needs and services that we all rely on. Unfortunately, the EPA’s recent rule mandating that two-thirds of vehicles sold by U.S. automakers be either electric battery powered or plu... Full story

  • Guest Opinion: Hunters and anglers, pay attention

    Thomas Baumeister|May 15, 2024

    Whether it’s repeated attempts to privatize our wildlife or attacks on public access, Montanans have had plenty to complain about recently. While the legislature and Gov. Gianforte have been busy enacting laws like HB 635 from Rep. Kassmier (R-Fort Benton) — which guarantees deer and elk tags to large out-of-state landowners — and HB 637 from Rep. Berglee (R-Joliet) — which established tag giveaways for outfitters and sweetened the deal for landowners who want premium elk permits - resident hunters continue to express concerns over increas...

  • Column: Going home with dirt in my ears

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|May 15, 2024

    Two of my favorite pastimes in junior high school were daydreaming and golfing. Sometimes, I would daydream about golfing. It was the best of both worlds because I was far better in my head than on the course. During my ninth-grade year, I attended East Junior High School and was a member of the high school golf team. To say the school was old would be an understatement, but it had some amazing windows and views of large trees that had most likely been planted when the building first opened as a high school. While during the winter months, I... Full story

  • Letter to the editor: Support of Tezak for Senate District 35

    May 15, 2024

    Dear Editor, I am writing this letter in support of Tony Tezak for Senate District 35. Tony and his wife, Connie, have raised their family of five boys in the Madison and Ruby Valleys, and have three sons now operating businesses of their own in the Ruby Valley. Tony has always been a selfless contributor to the communities that he grew up in. He and Connie both have roots that run deep in Montana. Tony's great great grandfather, "Grandpa McAtee" first homesteaded in Ruby Creek, a tributary to the Madison River, then bought the McAtee Ranch in... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor: Ken Walsh in support of Ray Shaw for Senate District 35

    May 15, 2024

    Letter to Editor Running for public office is not for the faint of heart. City council members, county commissioners, school boards trustees, and state legislators all require a big commitment to do their jobs well. I admire anyone that tosses their hat into the ring. As taxpayers and voters, we all need to participate in the process, by educating ourselves on the candidate’s priorities and policies, and then most importantly vote. Our jobs are not done yet. We must remain engaged in the budgeting and the policy making discussions. Learn a... Full story

  • Guest Editorial: Fighting Human Trafficking in Montana is Real and Needs Real Work

    Alysa Erichs and Debra Pitassy|May 8, 2024

    There are many misconceptions about human trafficking, but perhaps the biggest is that most people believe it doesn’t happen near them. Tragically, this is not the case. Human trafficking is happening every day, in every country, and in every state—including Montana. Combating this growing tragedy demands greater partnerships between public and private entities—and Montanans should know that work is underway. Since its inception in 2007, Montana’s Human Trafficking Hotline has helped identify 219 cases and 446 victims of human traffic...

  • Column: Should have seen the "SCAM" all along

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|May 8, 2024

    When I was growing up, the summer months always meant that baseball would be on the television. Whether at my mom’s, dad’s, or grandparents’ house, an Atlanta Braves game on TBS would always be playing, even if people didn’t always pay attention as they did other things. It was a magical background noise that would last for months. As a huge baseball fan, I would get up every morning to read the box scores in the Daily Rocket-Miner, Casper-Star, or Rocky Mountain News to try and keep up with every team and player. I’d like to say my love for...

  • Letter to the editor: Endorsement of Jennifer Carlson for HD 68

    May 8, 2024

    Letter to the Editor: I support Jennifer Carlson for HD 68. Jennifer Carlson has served two terms in the legislature and has been extremely effective. She knows how to work with people on both sides of the aisle while maintaining her conservative values. She's carried 24+ bills and passed 11 while her opponent, Hinkle, has only carried 7 and passed 3. Medical freedom, children's rights, and mental health are some of the greatest issues she champions in Helena. In addition to being an effective, outstanding legislator, she also is an excellent... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor: Support of Republican candidate Jeff Welborn PSC commissioner District #3

    May 8, 2024

    I’m writing this letter in support of Republican candidate Jeff Welborn PSC commissioner District #3. I have known Jeff for over 20 years and served in the legislature with him for 14 years. He is a very dedicated elected official. As a Representative and Senator he always put his constituents first. As the chairman of the Senate Natural Resource Committee, Jeff always listened to those testifying and also making sure his constituents were taken care of. As a Senator myself whose main focus was on energy Jeff was always there to help me out. J... Full story

  • Our View: Important night on Main Street

    May 1, 2024

    Three Forks is blessed to have many wonderful nonprofit organizations that do so much for the community. On May 2, area residents can support eight fantastic organizations through the One Valley Community Foundation’s Give Big Gallatin Valley fundraiser. At the inaugural Give Big Three Forks Main Street Kickoff event, residents will have the opportunity to go downtown from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to learn more about the Headwaters Trail System, Headwaters Area Food Bank, Three Forks Area Historical S... Full story

  • Column: Time flies after Lagoon trip

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|May 1, 2024

    While I try to be as efficient as possible during the workday, there are times when I spend far too much time scrolling through social media. At this point, I can tell myself repeatedly not to spend too much online because I'm not quite sure it's excellent for one's mental health, but I still do it more than I should. With my job, I always try to keep up with Three Forks School's social media accounts. The other day, I read about and saw pictures of the senior class stopping at Lagoon for their... Full story

  • Letter: Endorsement of Kyle McMurray

    Chuck and Carol Feddes|May 1, 2024

    Dear Editor: It has been a long-time sine the 1860's when ambitious men moved to Montana to claim and tame land. Back then, it was a matter of choosing it and then doing the work to make it produce a living. Today, it's still doing the work, but now, a person must be able to afford the taxes every year, and our water rights are being threatened from many angles. The government is coming up with new ways to tell us how to raise our cattle (or not) and whether or not our product is beneficial to the environment. While they say, "follow the...

  • Americans are more connected than ever-here's how much time people spend on their phones and how it's changed

    Stacker, Dom DiFurio, Data Work By Elena Cox|May 1, 2024

    Americans spend an average of four hours looking at their cellphones every day, checking them at least 144 times a day, a 2023 Reviews.org survey found. In today's world, communication is wireless, connected, always on, instant, and high fidelity. The smartphone has become so much more capable than anyone imagined at its invention; it's now our bank teller, research assistant, video game device, health monitor, and then some. More than 4 in 5 Americans (85%) own a smartphone now, up from 35% in...

  • Letter: Asking for support of Operational Mill Levy

    Apr 24, 2024

    Dear Editor, As a teacher and resident in the Three Forks School District for over 20 years, I am asking for public support for the upcoming operational mill levy for three main reasons. First, the students in our district are down-to-earth, hard-working, bright individuals who thrive when given various opportunities inside and outside the classroom. From FFA to FCCLA, from the basketball court to the softball field, from the pep band to drama club, and from the middle school English class to AP Calculus, I witness each day the magic that happe... Full story

  • Letter: Levies are an investment in our future

    Apr 24, 2024

    Dear Editor, As I read about the uncertainty facing our local school district and particularly our teachers regarding the operational levies, I am filled with absolute terror (sounds dramatic but a poor educational system is worse than a horror movie), and I believe we all should feel the same. Education is the backbone of our community, and it’s heartbreaking to see it in such a predicament. We cannot let our frustrations with the system overshadow the needs of our youth. The proposed levies are not just about funding; it’s an investment in... Full story

  • Column: Record release day just isn't the same

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 24, 2024

    I’ve probably forgotten more about high school than I remember, but last week reminded me of a vivid memory from the first semester of my senior year. From the moment my friend Paul loaned me his CD of the Pearl Jam album “Ten,” I fell in love with the band. I was elated earlier this year when I not only found out they would be making a return trip for a concert in Missoula but also that they would be releasing their 12th studio album on April 19. While impatiently awaiting to hear more than the two songs they have released from “Dark Matter,... Full story

  • Guest Editorial: Montana's Future is at Risk

    Dr. John E. Cech, Carrol College|Apr 17, 2024

    As of the writing of this guest editorial, there has been a 30 percent decrease in FAFSA submissions by students and their parents across the United States compared to last year. In Montana, the decline is also substantial at 25 percent. What is FAFSA, and why is it important? FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and students must complete it before applying for federal grants, work-study, and loans. Colleges and universities use student FAFSA data to determine their federal aid eligibility. It is administered by the U.S.... Full story

  • Column: It's once again time for grilling season

    Jack H. Smith, Three Forks Voice|Apr 17, 2024

    While I was thrilled to pull the cover off the pellet grill a few days ago, I was disgusted for completely overlooking cleaning late last fall. We were in the process of moving, so there was a lot to do, and spending a few minutes tidying up the grill was not high on my list of priorities, although it probably should have been. Once I spent time making a mess of myself, including my face, the front door, and into the kitchen, I was finally ready to cook outside for the first time since October.... Full story

  • Guest Edit: A Montana-Driven Solution to Access in the Crazy Mountains

    Lorents Grosfield|Apr 10, 2024

    As a third-generation cattle rancher and a former three-term Senate member of the Montana Legislature, I have seen firsthand the power of Montanans rolling up their sleeves and working collaboratively to achieve a common goal. It’s the Montana way. Our family’s multi-generational ranch, located northwest of Big Timber, is a stone’s throw away from the jagged and awe-inspiring Crazy Mountain island range. For over 5 years now, I have witnessed a diversity of Montanans coming together to solve a complex problem on the east side of the Crazy...

  • 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

  • Letter to the Editor: Freeing Montana's Supreme Court from political bias

    Apr 10, 2024

    Cory Swanson is a candidate for Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court. His recent opinion piece on the Clark Fork Valley Press is a timely reminder that Montana isn’t immune from political bias. The politicization of courts is a serious threat to our system of government at all levels, federal, state, and local. If Montanans don’t take this threat seriously in November, we risk 8 more years of allowing the Montana Supreme Court to throw out Montana laws because of political or personal motives. This risk is even more evident con...

  • Letter to the editor: Endorsement of Kyle McMurray

    Apr 10, 2024

    Dear Editor; I am writing to inform readers of the candidate Kyle McMurray who is running for a seat in House District 77. Kyle was born and raised in Manhattan, Montana, so he knows the people of House District 77. He has lived in Gallatin County his whole life and paid property taxes as a homeowner and as a business owner. Like my husband and I, he has concerns for the young families raising children in District 77. How do we help our children afford a home and raise their children in a safe State? He is one of us, willing to go to Helena...

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