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  • Reform may bring sales tax to Montana businesses

    Zach White

    Colleen Rast has run an ebay store out of the Kalispell area for more than a decade. It had grown enough that, when the economic downturn took her husband's job a few years ago, she turned Great Sky Gifts pro, for some more income. She has since hired two employees and rents a warehouse space to handle all her merchandise, but she fears that new tax laws gaining momentum in Washington could halt her business' growth. Montanans are some of the most fortunate Americans for many reasons, including the freedom from sales taxes. B...

  • Reform may bring sales tax to Montana businesses

    Zach White

    Colleen Rast has run an ebay store out of the Kalispell area for more than a decade. It had grown enough that, when the economic downturn took her husband's job a few years ago, she turned Great Sky Gifts pro, for some more income. She has since hired two employees and rents a warehouse space to handle all her merchandise, but she fears that new tax laws gaining momentum in Washington could halt her business' growth. Montanans are some of the most fortunate Americans for many reasons, including the freedom from sales taxes. B...

  • Nursing students plan dinner to raise funds for pinning ceremony

    Zach White

    Nursing is a special kind of job, which is why the graduates of Montana State University-Northern's nursing program deserve a special kind of graduation ceremony, one that requires a little help from their friends. Starting at 6 p. m. Saturday, the nursing class of 2014 is holding a spaghetti dinner at the Eagles Club to raise funds for their pinning ceremony, to follow the regular Northern graduation ceremony. The dinner will feature regular staples — spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, dessert — with silent auctions going...

  • Your direct line to City Hall

    Zach White

    I was watching Mayor Michael Bloomberg on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" recently, and he and Kimmel talked about an app that New York City has launched under his watch: NYC 311. The way they described it on the show, anyone with the app can press a button to report graffiti or a pothole or a crime. You send along your position, and the city will send someone to try and solve the problem. Zach White I know some people in Havre would love to have such a direct line into City Hall, but I'm not sure how easy it is to send a...

  • Patch work: Havre police get new uniform insignias

    Zach White

    Havre Daily News/Lindsay Brown The old Havre Police Department patch is seen to the left. To the right, the new patch features a redesigned emblem and fixes the misspelled Latin motto. For Havre police officers, the side of their uniforms now match the sides of their cars. The seal on the Havre Police Department's patch will fix some spelling errors and change the creature to make it "a little more coppish, " as Police Chief Kirk Fitch put it, to match the emblem used elsewhere. The patch has been, for about 20 years, a...

  • Building momentum

    Zach White

    Havre Daily News/Lindsay Brown Governor Steve Bullock, from left, tours the Montana State University-Northern diesel technology program facilities Thursday morning with Greg Kegel, Dean of the College of Technical Sciences, and Chancellor Jim Limbaugh. Before he pushes for the legislature to fund the reconstruction of Montana State University-Northern's Auto/Diesel Technology Center, Gov. Steve Bullock visited the Havre campus Thursday to see why he should. Through an hour-long tour of Northern's automotive facilities...

  • Havre High's Murphy wins top award for Class A schools

    Zach White

    Havre Daily News/Lindsay Brown Dennis Murphy poses for a portrait in his office this morning. Havre High School Activities Director Dennis Murphy went to last weekend's Montana High School Association meeting as a representative of Havre Public Schools, and he came back the 2013 Class A Athletic Director of the Year. His colleagues in the Montana Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association voted to give Murphy the award, though he insists he didn't earn it alone. "Like with any honor you look at, it's the people...

  • Havre City Council to hold public meeting over water rates

    Zach White

    For the first time in five years, water in and around Havre may soon cost a little more. Havre City Council agreed at their meeting Tuesday night to hold a public hearing at 6:30 p. m. before their March 4 meeting. The hearing follows a Water & Sewer Committee meeting Jan. 14, where the committee discussed how an increase in water rates would be necessary to solve the city's three-year bonding compliance issues. Basically, in order to receive the funds to build the water plant, the city agreed to always take in from water use...

  • Havre saw modest crime decrease

    Zach White

    Following drops in a few criminal categories and recent police activity, Havre Police Chief Kirk Fitch is confident that 2013 will see a safer Havre, across the board. Fitch presented the Havre City Council with a comparison of statistics for the past two years, which showed a drop in burglary and robbery arrests but an increase in larceny and aggravated assault charges from 2011 to 2012. "Year over year, we see a slight downtick in crimes against persons overall, and a slight uptick on crimes against property, " Fitch said t...

  • Havre City Council to hold public meeting over water rates

    Zach White

    For the first time in five years, water in and around Havre may soon cost a little more. Havre City Council agreed at their meeting Tuesday night to hold a public hearing at 6:30 p. m. before their March 4 meeting. The hearing follows a Water & Sewer Committee meeting Jan. 14, where the committee discussed how an increase in water rates would be necessary to solve the city's three-year bonding compliance issues. Basically, in order to receive the funds to build the water plant, the city agreed to always take in from water use...

  • Havre saw modest crime decrease

    Zach White

    Following drops in a few criminal categories and recent police activity, Havre Police Chief Kirk Fitch is confident that 2013 will see a safer Havre, across the board. Fitch presented the Havre City Council with a comparison of statistics for the past two years, which showed a drop in burglary and robbery arrests but an increase in larceny and aggravated assault charges from 2011 to 2012. "Year over year, we see a slight downtick in crimes against persons overall, and a slight uptick on crimes against property, " Fitch said t...

  • Juneau: Dropout prevention programs are working

    Zach White

    In the first few weeks of a new semester there are two groups of people thinking about graduation, the graduating class and the Office of Public Instruction. OPI announced a continued upswing in graduation rates, with fewer students dropping out, partially supported by recent Graduation Matters Initiatives. "Making dropout prevention a statewide priority is paying off for Montana students and communities," Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said. "Every student we are able to keep from dropping out of school...

  • New scams surface in area

    Zach White

    Montana law enforcement agencies are warning Montanans to be careful about calls from people claiming to be Montana law enforcement. Havre Police Chief Kirk Fitch and the Montana Highway Patrol have sent out warnings this week to raise awareness of a new scam that appears to be duping victims across the state. An email from Fitch warns of "a new twist to the 'grandson' or 'relative' scam, " where a caller claims to be a friend or relative in a desperate situation, who needs financial help quick. "A sense of urgency to help th...

  • Ranch's university deal on hold, maybe forever

    Zach White

    The continuing battle of the Milk River Ranch is headed for a suspension, perhaps forever. The only portion of the originally proposed nearly $8 million deal between the Aageson family and various state agencies that is unsettled is the $2 million that the Montana University System was considering paying for archaeological and paleontological rights to the 4,000 acres of northern Hill County. As soon as a Gallatin County District Court Judge signs a pending motion, that portion will be put down. The Department of Natural Reso...

  • New scams surface in area

    Zach White

    Montana law enforcement agencies are warning Montanans to be careful about calls from people claiming to be Montana law enforcement. Havre Police Chief Kirk Fitch and the Montana Highway Patrol have sent out warnings this week to raise awareness of a new scam that appears to be duping victims across the state. An email from Fitch warns of "a new twist to the 'grandson' or 'relative' scam, " where a caller claims to be a friend or relative in a desperate situation, who needs financial help quick. "A sense of urgency to help th...

  • Ranch's university deal on hold, maybe forever

    Zach White

    The continuing battle of the Milk River Ranch is headed for a suspension, perhaps forever. The only portion of the originally proposed nearly $8 million deal between the Aageson family and various state agencies that is unsettled is the $2 million that the Montana University System was considering paying for archaeological and paleontological rights to the 4,000 acres of northern Hill County. As soon as a Gallatin County District Court Judge signs a pending motion, that portion will be put down. The Department of Natural Reso...

  • Chamber celebrates 104 years with impressive speakers

    Tim Leeds, John Kelleher, Zach White

    Havre Daily News/Lindsay Brown A crowd gathers in the Duck Inn Olympic Room Wednesday to attend the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting. The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce kicked off its 104th year with its annual meeting at the Duck Inn Olympic Room, including introducing its new president, wishing outgoing members well, and hearing from a slate of speakers on a variety of local topics. Incoming President Jacob Lorang welcomed the audience and introduced new board members Stacy Mantle, Bonnie O'Neill and Mike...

  • Sixth-graders raise money to help fellow student

    Zach White

    Havre Middle School's Junior Helpers, when looking for a cause to raise awareness and support for, they decided to stick close to home. The group of sixth-graders are raising money this semester to help seventh-grade student Dylan Hendrickson and his family fight his Hodgkin's lymphoma. Hendrickson left Havre for a hospital in Seattle before Christmas and won't be back until the end of the three-month treatment. Jean Murphy, the middle school librarian and Junior Helpers' adviser, said the students are trying to raise at...

  • More students take more classes

    Zach White

    Over the past year Montana State University-Northern's enrollment has gone up, and the increased number of students are taking more classes. Northern Chancellor Jim Limbaugh announced the spring 2013 enrollment figures in this week's Northern Network News email. This spring 1,250 students are enrolled at Northern, up 15 from 1,235 this time last year. The full-time equivalent count for this spring is 1,010.23, 29.51 more than last spring's 980.72. FTE goes up when the average number of credit hours each students enrolls in...

  • Theft suspects arrested

    Zach White

    The wave of thefts that has been washing over Havre may be over. Havre Police announced this morning that they have arrested two suspects in the string of thefts that have seen everything from wallets to guns taken from mostly unlocked vehicles. "On January 10, 2013, members of the Havre Police Department and the Tri-Agency Task Force served warrants at two residences within the city limits, " Havre Police Chief Kirk Fitch said in an email this morning. "As a result of the warrants, one male juvenile age 17 and one male...

  • More private land closed to hunters

    Zach White

    Havre Daily News/Lindsay Brown A newly placed "no trespassing" sign is seen on a fence post northeast of Havre. It's a new year, but the farmers and ranchers of northern Hill County still feel ignored by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and they have grown in solidarity to make their views known. Last week, 30 landowners, with 13 additions to the 17 who protested last month, joined in closing off what they estimate to be nearly 100,000 acres of Hill County that was open to hunters. Many of these landowners...

  • Clean audit for Havre, except for two minor items

    Zach White

    When Hamilton Consulting Group officials took a look at the books of the Havre city government, they found it was almost all good, save two issues. Hamilton employees shared with City Council at its meeting Monday night these two issues — too little water revenue and Clerk Doug Kaercher's lack of training in his first year. One problem the council is already working on and the other doesn't really need correction, Kaercher said. The first issue has been raised for three years now. When the city agreed to borrow money to...

  • Chinook looks for committee members

    Zach White

    The new year brought the Chinook City Council to take a look at its appointees, boards and committees at Thursday night's meeting, and city officials are looking for a few civic-minded Chinook residents to volunteer. The biggest need right now is to fill an all-new Ordinance Committee that will re-examine all of the Chinook city ordinances to find which are good, which need to be updated and which need to go away altogether. The head of the streamlining committee, council member Keith Hanson, is looking to have a five-member...

  • Benefit will help brothers with medical woes

    Zach White

    When Havreites need help, the community comes together for them, which is why Tammy Murray organized a free-will donation spaghetti dinner this Saturday at 6 p. m. at the Eagles Club to help alleviate the weight of recent medical bills on her cousin, and fellow Havre native, Lori Casey. Lori and her husband Tim, who live in Helena now, have been hit on two fronts by medical/financial woes. Their 12-year-old son Brennan recently had an emergency appendectomy, which he was not recovering from as expected. Doctors discovered...

  • Farewell to Havre: Keep thinking. Keep talking. Keep learning

    Zach White

    This is my last column. By the time the next would have run, I will have begun my next job, doing what I started doing here last April, which I would not have gotten without these columns. It's been a good year. It's been a good two-and-a-half years. And I have enjoyed working with and talking with you. Zach White As I've been getting ready to leave Havre, I've thought about the positive feeling I have about the direction this community is headed. I have written before about the admiration I hold for the dedication of the...

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