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  • The Postscript: Multiplication tables

    Carrie Classon|Updated May 23, 2024

    I never learned my multiplication tables. Not really. To this day, if you ask me, “What is six times nine?” out of the blue, with some urgency, I will panic. (Please don’t do this.) The troubles started when I was transferred from one math class to another in the third grade. I now understand that this was some sort of promotion from lower math to higher math, but it did not feel like that at the time. Almost immediately, I realized everyone around me was privy to some secret... Full story

  • Jon Tester: Fighting for Montana's veterans is a sacred obligation

    Updated May 23, 2024

    Growing up as a kid in Big Sandy, I learned from a young age about the incredible service and sacrifice of our servicemembers when I played Taps at the funerals of veterans of both World Wars. It’s something that has always stuck with me, and I carry with me every day. Montana is the greatest state in the greatest country in the world. But it didn’t get that way by accident. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have fought to defend our freedom and protect our democracy, with many paying the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free.... Full story

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Water! We've got lots and lots of water!

    Sondra Ashton|Updated May 23, 2024

    All things being relative, we have water. The drought is not over. I’ve forgotten what a cloud looks like. However, the valve directing water to the ranch property has been fixed, replaced, repaired, and, just like that, we have more than a daily dribble. I still judiciously use water. Mop water, dish water, still get dumped on potted plants, whichever ones look most thirsty at the moment. I still have brown grass and dusty patches and will have until the rains come. If t... Full story

  • Letter to the Editor - Resources available to help with stuttering

    Updated May 16, 2024

    Dear editor, May 12-18 is National Stuttering Awareness Week. One in every 100 people stutter. That’s 80 million people worldwide! Yet stuttering is often misunderstood and even laughed at. To address the many myths surrounding this complex disorder, the Stuttering Foundation has compiled a list of “75 Must-Use Resources for the Stuttering Community”—available free on our website: The Foundation’s most popular content represents a mix of time-tested favorites and newer innovations: Drawings and Letters f...

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Burning, burning, burning, a ring of fire!

    Sondra Ashton|Updated May 16, 2024

    My hen-and-chicks, a succulent in my rock garden, is burned to a crisp. The leaves look like ashes. While April, May and June are our hottest months, here in Jalisco, relieved by a welcome cool-down when the rains begin late June, the old-timers tell me this we experience now is extreme, unusual. A day or two of ultra-high heat followed by a windy reprieve; that is the usual. The old, former usual. We have experienced weeks, multiple weeks, where the daily temperature climbs...

  • The Postscript: Making pickles

    Carrie Classon|Updated May 16, 2024

    My Aunt Ruthie used to make the best pickles ever. Ruthie was my mom’s sister, and she died a few years back in a car accident that left us all sad and shaken and filled with memories. I remember her dry humor and her sharp intellect and her voracious reading habits. I remember her never-ending kindness and resilience. And I remember her pickles. Ruthie always gave me a jar of pickles whenever she made them. They were a treasure. One year, the glass Mason jar filled with pickl...

  • Building up to something beautiful

    Updated May 16, 2024

    New York has been voted the ugliest American city, not because of its architecture, but because of its people. Just kidding. It’s because of its architecture. Probably. Europe does things a little better, but not by much. There’s a building in London called The Walkie-Talkie, presumably due to its resemblance to a refrigerator. So neither of these two major cities is wholly pretty. But I have to be fair. There’s not much to brag about in my home state of New Jersey, unless you count some oddly-shaped potholes. When did we de...

  • Looking out my Backdoor: I wanna be a tree

    Sondra Ashton|Updated May 9, 2024

    "In my next life, I want to be a tree." "A tree? Why, Mom, would you want to be a tree?" "Because they are more intelligent and kinder than humans." "A sycamore, Mom. Be a sycamore. I don't even know what one looks like but that tree popped into my mind." We each went to our computers and landed on the same site. Though we are 2,500 miles separated geographically, we are otherwise quite close. "Holy guacamole, these trees are beautiful." "Ooooh, I want to be a sycamore." I...

  • The Postscript: Stubby is gone

    Carrie Classon|Updated May 9, 2024

    It may be that Stubby is gone for good. In the summer of 2022, I started writing about my mother’s new pet, a red squirrel who she reluctantly began to care for. My parents live on 20 acres in the woods up north in a house my father designed when he retired 35 years ago. The house looks over the lake and, for most of the winter, my parents have few neighbors, except for the birds at their feeder and the deer making their way through the deep snow and, of course, red s...

  • Day at the museum

    Updated May 9, 2024

    If you want to see a flying whale, go to the Natural History Museum in London. Well, the whale isn’t technically flying. That’s because it’s dead. Even live whales don’t fly, unless there’s something David Attenborough hasn’t told me. Right when you enter the museum, you see that enormous skeleton suspended from the ceiling: a whole blue whale, or what’s left of it. Gazing at this miracle of creation, you forget your dull, everyday concerns. It doesn’t matter where you’re going to have lunch, or what day of the week it is, o...

  • Fruit of a poisonous tree

    Updated May 9, 2024

    With the completion of the poll of the Legislature on whether to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 442, I want to explain my consistent opposition to the bill, including voting against overriding the veto. The bill would have incorporated $ 16 million in annual expenditures for county roads into the existing allocations of marijuana tax revenue with corresponding reductions to the general fund. When the voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2020 through initiative (I-190), the ballot language read: “I-190 leg...

  • Letter to the Editor - Veteran survey: Make your voices heard

    Updated May 2, 2024

    Editor, Montana’s veterans deserve to live with dignity and independence. The Department of Public Health and Human Services is conducting an important survey to understand and improve the living conditions for our veterans. We at the Veterans Navigation Network encourage every veteran, caregiver, and family member in Montana to participate. This survey will help the state understand what veterans need to live well in their communities. It looks at healthcare access, financial stability, and opportunities to connect with o...

  • Looking out my backdoor: Hacking through brambles in the rabbit hole

    Sondra Ashton|Updated May 2, 2024

    Like Alice, now and then I take a dive down a rabbit hole, purely for entertainment. Oh, well, and so I can feel superior, yes, smug in my own knowledge. I’m not on Facebook, but when I check weather on my computer, I get a sidebar of widgets, (love that word), that is every bit as good as FB for misinformation, from what I’m told. So, there I am, trawling along through non-news, political rants, hundreds of chocolate-chip cookie recipes and other trivia, when I spy a hou...

  • The Postscript: A good cat

    Carrie Classon|Updated May 2, 2024

    Our cat, Felix, has a new home. We adopted Felix in Mexico while we were staying there. The woman who fostered him, Marcela, thought he was a kitten because he was so small — except for his tail, which appears to be intended for a much larger cat. But when I took him to the vet, they said he was two years old. I worried he was going through a lot of changes rather quickly for a two-year-old. He lived on the streets until he was picked up by Marcela, then he came to live with u...

  • The debacle of SB 442: Good bill and bad politics

    Updated May 2, 2024

    The two of us are from different political parties, don’t always agree on legislation and actually ran a spirited campaign against one another several years ago. Having said that, we are not enemies. In fact, it’s just the opposite. We are friends that actually get along and work together as much as possible for the betterment of the Hi-Line and those who live and work here. One legislative proposal we both were pleased to enthusiastically support, along with 86% of our House and Senate colleagues, was Senate Bill 442, spo...

  • Looking out my backdoor: Heart attack

    Sondra Ashton|Updated Apr 26, 2024

    The other morning, I visited with a long-time friend who lives in California. We don’t visit frequently, but when we do, it’s always good. Ideas fly and grow and develop and land in our deep hearts. My friend Anne belongs to a small church with an aim to make a difference in their community, to really matter to those they serve. With all the best intentions in the world, they formed a committee to put together gift bags for people in their area with no fixed abode. “Ho... Full story

  • Tackling the rising cost of housing in Montana together

    Updated Apr 26, 2024

    More than 100 years ago, my grandparents made a life for our family on a homesteaded plot of land outside of Big Sandy that we still farm to this day. I’ve been blessed to call Montana home my entire life and to always have a place to rest my head after a hard day’s work. Unfortunately, finding an affordable place to live has become a challenge for far too many Montanans. As I travel across Montana, I hear about how housing challenges are hurting working families. From Missoula to Kalispell to Bozeman, all the way to sma... Full story

  • The Postscript: Waiting for Estefan

    Carrie Classon|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    I ordered the sofa cover as soon as we adopted our new cat, Felix. The sofa in the little apartment my husband, Peter, and I rent in Mexico has seen better days, but we didn’t want to be responsible for ushering it into an early retirement due to cat scratches. So I bought a beautiful turquoise handloomed bedspread from a woman across the street to use as a throw. And the job would have been done right then and there if I’d kept my mouth shut. Instead, I asked the woman if...

  • Strengthening families month is a great opportunity to help a local child

    Updated Apr 23, 2024

    April is Strengthening Families Month, a time to promote the safety and well-being of Montana’s kids. If you’ve been wondering what the blue pinwheels are around town, these are the symbols of this month and drawing attention to the issue of child abuse. Communities around the state and country put them up in April. CASA of Hill County is also hosting a Kids Carnival on April 27th to wrap up Strengthening Families month and celebrate happy childhoods. We will have free games with prizes, free lunch, and door prizes from 11...

  • Looking out my Backdoor: Summertime, and the living is dusty

    Sondra Ashton|Updated Apr 19, 2024

    That may not be how the song is sung but that is how we sing it in Etzatlan this summer. We juggle the procession of seasons, winter flips into a few days of spring, which gets dropped on the floor and immediately flames into summer, temps in high 90s up to 100 this week. Dry and dusty. What little breeze we get brings cane ash and field dirt, right into my casa where I can enjoy it at leisure. I yearn for what I now think of as normal times, when the rains come in June, bring...

  • A bitter pill

    Patrick Johnston|Updated Apr 19, 2024

    To our readers, Today will be my last day as a reporter for the Havre Daily News, and I want to bid the paper and the community it serves a fond farewell. I want to. I want for my final thoughts to be about the people I’ve met, the community I did my best to serve, the memories I’ve made and how thankful I am for them, and every word of the parting letter I want to write would be true. However, I’m afraid my final thoughts cannot be about those things, at least not entirely, because a recent change announced at the paper...

  • Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees ask for support on mill levy

    Updated Apr 19, 2024

    Dear Havre residents: The Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees seeks your support for the Elementary District General fund Mill Levy on the May 7, 2024, ballot. Approval of this levy will allocate an extra $138,615.45 to bolster educational initiatives for K-8 students in Havre. Passage of this proposal will result in a tax increase of approximately $7.40 per year for a home valued at $100,000, $22.19 per year for a home valued at $300,000, and $44.39 on a home valued at $600,000. HPS has diligently pursued grant funds to...

  • The Postscript: Spring cold

    Carrie Classon|Updated Apr 16, 2024

    The fact is, I am spoiled. I never get sick. I’ve never spent a night in a hospital since I was born (and then, my mother stayed with me). I’ve never broken a bone. I’ve never had a major operation. I am absurdly healthy, and I can take no credit for any of this. So, naturally, when I get sick, I am insufferable. It always starts in the same way. I get a sore throat. First, I ignore it. I have found this is the best way to deal with imminent disasters. When I used to drive...

  • Second-most unpopular man wins presidency

    Updated Apr 16, 2024

    Because of the unique qualifications of contenders Joseph Biden and Donald Trump, the Havre Daily is able to provide readers this exclusive early 2024 presidential election wrap up. While some details will have to wait for November, one election shocker is here now: a majority of Americans are still mad, and mildly depressed by the outcome. In the aftermath of the hard fought unpopularity contest, election analysts point out that both Trump and Biden maintained their respective deficits to the finish line. Former President...

  • Clerk of Supreme Court position too important for Ellsworth

    Updated Apr 12, 2024

    Primary candidate for clerk of the Montana Supreme Court Jason Ellsworth doesn’t understand or respect separation of powers — a core tenant of our American democracy that protects us all. Demonstrated by his newly created “Judicial Oversight Committee” and now the subpoena he recently issued to the Montana secretary of state, Ellsworth continues to show, in addition to his personal criminal and civil records, that he doesn’t think the law applies to him. Worse yet, his actions undermine governmental accountability, judicial...

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