• Health Board presses EPA for investigation results The City-County Board of Health has given the Environmental Protection Agency a Dec. 1 deadline for telling it the outcome of an investigation into the improper use of EPA grant funds. The letter making the request — dated Oct. 11, 2018 and signed by Jinnifer Mariman, the health board’s legal counsel — was included among other documents provided in response to a recent Freedom of Information Act request The Western News sent to the EPA. The EPA and health board previously have said little about the investigation, which has been looking into payments made to the health board’s previous legal counsel R. Allan Payne and his law firm, Doney Crowley Bloomquist Payne Uda, P.C.
  • Libby City Council member Ford’s story of ID theft, credit card fraud conviction differs from police, son’s accounts Libby City Council member Angel Ford is publicly defending a 2011 conviction of felony identity theft in Oregon as an unfortunate result of a family favor gone awry. Ford has posted several explanations to Facebook, including this one on Oct. 19, 2017: “My son was in the army and wanted a ticket home. He had me add him to my credit card to purchase the ticket. 2 yrs later after he was out he lied and said I didn’t have his permission so he went after me for ID theft. It was for $300 in Oregon anything over $250 is a felony.” A Western News investigation has found that Ford’s explanation doesn’t match her son’s account or police records. [Related: Libby City Council member Angel Ford fined in 2005 for mailing campaign postcard under opponent’s name Libby City Council member Angel Ford was fined $2,500 in November 2005 for failing to disclose that she sponsored and paid for campaign postcards she mailed that election season while running for city council in Hoquiam, Washington. One postcard displayed a message that appeared to be written by Ford’s opponent, Kyla Houchens, and was written to seem as if Houchens was disparaging herself.]
  • Resigning Libby chamber president falsified resume, has forgery and identity fraud convictions Libby Area Chamber of Commerce Board President Robert Calvin “Bob” Henline — who on Monday said he resigned last week — fabricated portions of his resume to gain employment in the community, an investigation by The Western News has revealed. In addition, he pleaded guilty to forgery, a third-degree felony, in 2001 and identity fraud, also a third-degree felony, in 2010. In the latter case he pleaded guilty in abeyance and it was dismissed two years later without prejudice.

General/Community News

Breaking News

  • West Cajon Valley Couple Return to Find Home Safe From Blue Cut Fire John “Gio” Muensterman said Saturday afternoon he “was a lucky boy.” “I kissed the ground and said ‘Thank you, Lord,’” the West Cajon Valley resident said. He and his wife Vivian had returned moments before, about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, to their home of 35 years on Monte Vista Road to find their home, garage, chicken coops and dog house all still standing, though the Blue Cut fire had come right up to their property.
  • Balcony Collapse Injures 74: Seven in Serious or Critical Condition After Polson Bar Incident Tabetha Brown doesn’t remember falling. “I remember looking up at all the people standing out the door looking down on us,” Brown said. “I remember lying there trying to figure out just what happened.”


  • How an Arts Education Dream was Saved One day in Aug. 1985, William “Bill” Lowman, executive director of Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA), and Richard Richardson, development director, got into Richardson’s car and started the drive off The Hill. To Lowman, the school’s future — the survival of its founders’ dream — was at stake that day.
  • A Dog Fight Over Woods Bay: Pair of Peregrine Falcons Chase off Eagle From a Prized Perch Something was wrong: the falcon aerie was eerily quiet. Byron Crow, field project coordinator with the Montana Peregrine Institute, put his binoculars to his eyes to observe a golden eagle perched in a tree on a cliff top. “That’s a bad sign, because he’s up there eating something,” he said.
  • Coffee Talk: Lakeside Men’s Club has a Long History of Morning Meetings It’s 9 a.m. at the Spinnaker in Lakeside. A group of older men sit around two tables. They talk, they laugh, they drink coffee, they roll dice to see who pays the bill. It’s been like this for almost 30 years. “Some of these people fall asleep,” says Jay Thiessen, 75. “Don’t worry about it.” Welcome to the Lakeside Men’s Coffee Club.
  • Alta Egos: Does Alta Club Membership Still Have its Privileges? There are some who believe the Alta Club’s reputation is in the crapper. The main floor men’s bathroom, to be precise. “You’d always make sure to spit,” said Joe Hatch, recalling the giant brass spittoons that once stood on the floor. “My brother and I would go down there two or three times during dinner just to spit.”
  • Going for Broke: Is it Tithing or Carelessness That Leads Utahns to Bankruptcy? Faith got him up and running, but faith alone couldn’t solve his mounting problems. An entrepreneur of sorts, he had spread his resources thin to realize a vision, one now shared by many. Land was bought, buildings built, followers found and supported. At one point he had even printed his own money. But now his responsibilities were gaining on him.


  • St. Petersburg’s “Gramma Moses #2” Started Painting at 83 and Writing at 87 Joan Collins doesn’t look 87 — 72 seems more likely — but she does look like an artist. Today, she wears brown leather sandals, slate-blue Capri pants, and a periwinkle short-sleeved shirt that matches the hue of her lipstick and of her glass necklace. Compact spectacles frame her bright eyes, and her hair, a yin yang of white and gray, is worn short and stands a bit more than five feet above the ground. Collins appears to have followed the artist’s way for much of her life. Yet she took it up only four years ago.
  • Dream Boats: Boating’s Past is Boat Builder’s Present At 4 a.m. one morning in January 2000, the lights in Bob White’s hospital room in Kalispell went on. Ol’ Doc Williams walked in, presumably to see how Bob was doing. At the age of 70, his heart had been giving him some problems. Doc Williams sat down on the bed. “Now about this wooden boat…”
  • After a Busy Life Outdoors, Jack Whitney is Coming in From the Woods It’s been a few years since Jack Whitney has wielded a bow — many more since he last used one to bring down a cougar with a handmade arrow — but three bows, made by hand about 50 years ago, stand in the corner near his back door. Each stands handily, like a broom or a shovel, but it’s unlikely Whitney will grasp one anytime soon.