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Public health is many things. It is clean air and water, safe schools, mental health, emergency preparedness, disease surveillance and promotion of healthy lifestyles. The work of public health is achieved by preventing illness and injury and promoting wellness through healthy behaviors. Pub… Read Article

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While wildfire is the most likely major hazard we face in Jefferson County, our preparedness plans should be flexible enough to help us through any hazard we may face.  We call this an all-hazard approach to preparedness. Every hazard will have its own specific preparation requirements, but … Read Article

Freedom, Knowledge and Justice
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April brought rare calendar alignment of major holidays in Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths, causing a confluence of reflections for communities making up the three monotheistic traditions among people around the world who celebrate Passover, Easter and Ramadan, respectively.  Read Article

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Public health is many things. It is clean air and water, safe schools, mental health, emergency preparedness, addiction treatment, and prevention. The pandemic has brought attention to some aspects of public health, however there is so much more. Contending with an unyielding virus for the p… Read Article

Freedom, Knowledge and Justice
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Early during this Lenten season, when Christians around the world prepare for the joyous celebration of Easter, I was liturgist at church. The scripture story of Abram from Genesis chapter 15 spoke of a “deep and terrifying darkness.” This was counterbalanced by the description in the Gospel… Read Article

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Some of our neighbors are sharing why they chose to get vaccinated against COVID. These are just a few of our neighbors who have chosen to get vaccinated. Their stories are all different, but the outcome is the same: They chose a COVID vaccine for their families—to work, to visit others, to … Read Article

‘Freedom, Knowledge and Justice’
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You probably see a dollar bill nearly every day, but do you know that the bill is a tribute to George Washington? Washington was born in 1732 in Virginia, served as commander of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and was the first president of the United States of America—s… Read Article

Freedom, Knowledge and Justice
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The Build Back Better bill essentially died in December. But from the ashes of that proposed $1.8 trillion federal overreach, urged on by appeals from activists (as reported in The New York Times) that we are facing “deadly storms, heat waves, drought and wildfires made worse by climate chan… Read Article

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Stay home. You will be asked to isolate yourself from others. This is to prevent the spread of COVID to others. Your local public health department should let you know when you are cleared to return to your normal routines. Here is the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's rec… Read Article

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Jefferson County Public Health has updated its isolation and quarantine guidance based on recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has continued to review and provide updated isolation and quarantine recommendations throughout the course of the corona… Read Article

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On Dec. 30, 2021, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office conducted an alcohol compliance check from the north to the south end of the county. During the compliance check, all businesses that serve or sell alcohol were checked for compliance with alcohol sales and service laws. The Cardwell St… Read Article

‘Freedom, Knowledge and Justice'
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It’s the season when we all wish each other Joyous Christmas, Blessed Hanukkah, Happy Holidays! During this beautiful time, our spirits are warmed by treasured Christmas memories from days of yore, by the fun of giving gifts and gratitude for gifts received, visiting family and friends, and … Read Article

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Lawyers know about precedent, defined as something that precedes or comes before: For example, a court decision that serves as authority for deciding subsequent cases involving similar facts or legal issues, or other precedents that serve as guides for administrative conduct and decisions. P… Read Article

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The 2021-22 flu season is here. Last year, Montana had no diagnosed flu. Those who follow flu trends are concerned we will see increased flu activity this year. Experts suspect it is possible that the very low number of flu cases last year may mean there are fewer people with immunity to the… Read Article

‘Freedom, knowledge and justice’
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People of all creeds, races and locations around the earth have given thanks for many millennia, following their own traditions of gratitude for life, safety, food, shelter, family and companions. In America, the earliest native settlers celebrated and gave thanks for bountiful hunts and har… Read Article

‘Freedom, knowledge and justice’
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People of all creeds, races and locations around the earth have given thanks for many millennia, following their own traditions of gratitude for life, safety, food, shelter, family and companions. In America, the earliest native settlers celebrated and gave thanks for bountiful hunts and har… Read Article

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As many of you have heard, COVID vaccination is now available to children ages 5–11. We have been listening to questions from parents and caregivers about getting their children vaccinated. I would like to share some of that information here. Read Article

Freedom, knowledge and justice
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Veterans Day is a tribute to American veterans—a special day to remember and to honor the service and sacrifice of all veterans—including 1,268 living in Jefferson County and 85,350 in Montana, whose number of veterans per population ranks third among the 50 states. Read Article

Freedom, Knowledge and Justice
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Constitution Week was September 17–23, and assemblies commemorating the 234th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution have been gathering across Montana and America throughout the month. Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 915 in 1956 establishing this time of… Read Article

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Texas’ new anti-abortion law is one of the most restrictive in the developed world. But no surprise that the brouhaha over women’s right to abortion services has nothing to do with honoring their personal autonomy and little to do with fetal mortality. Rather, the fight is grounded in partis… Read Article

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Public health departments in Montana have been assessing how to balance the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's guidance related to vaccinated individuals with Montana’s recent legislation prohibiting discrimination based on vaccination status. This summer, the CDC updated q… Read Article

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For the past couple months, I have been cautiously optimistic that our county is moving toward a healthy trend related to COVID-19 illness. Case counts and hospitalizations have been down. Vaccination rates have consistently increased. Public health staff have focused time and energy on othe… Read Article

Freedom, Knowledge and Justice
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We’re being invaded! More than one million people from about 140 different countries have illegally entered the United State of America since January. The southern border is a disaster in every way. Read Article

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July is America’s birthday month. We celebrate the 245th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence this year. On July 4, 1776, 56 representatives to the Second Continental Congress from all 13 colonies signed the document. The vision for America was declared: "all men are created equal"… Read Article

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The right to vote is fundamental to the existence of democracy. Montana's Constitution, in Article II, Section 1, provides that "all political power is vested in and derived from the people ... and is founded on their will only." And Article II, Section 2, provides that it is "the people" wh… Read Article

JHS Happenings
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As the month of July is nearly ending, the busy schedule of prepping Jefferson High School for the coming school year continues.  The custodial crew has been working diligently with cleaning, waxing and painting.  The girls' locker room floor has been stripped and removed of all paint, then … Read Article

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The building that once housed the last drugstore in Walden, Colorado—a town of fewer than 600—is now a barbecue restaurant, where pit boss Larry Holtman dishes out smoked brisket and pulled pork across the same counter where pharmacists dispensed vital medications more than 30 years ago. Read Article

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The race for Montana’s soon-to-be-established second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is starting to take shape, with Democrat Laurie Bishop and Republican Al Olszewski officially announcing their candidacies this month. Read Article

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K–12 education is a primary force that forges and changes our society generation after generation. We all are involved—through children, grandchildren, paying taxes or perhaps as teachers, administrators, staff, elected trustees or volunteer service providers. And much is happening in the ed… Read Article

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An interesting phenomenon is occurring in many rural spaces: Even though the population has been steadily declining for the past 50 years, there has been an increase in the number of households. Kelly Asche, a research associate for the Center for Rural Policy and Development, wrote in an Ap… Read Article

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One hundred thirty thousand dollars. That’s what it takes for a down payment to buy an average-priced home in Bozeman, Montana. Then an aspiring homeowner must fork out another $3,000 each month, which is more than two-thirds of their household’s paychecks if they make the median income for … Read Article

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The Bryher Patch/Youth Garden, which closed this month, has been a place where kids dug in the dirt and ate their vegetables (and sometimes worms) that they grew. This project’s goal was to teach kids about real food. The Youth Garden has been a project of our 21st Century Community Learning… Read Article

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Did you know the Jefferson County Sanitarian and County Health Board want to create a Clancy Special Management Area using the current Clancy Water & Sewer District (CWSD) boundary that runs between the Legal Tender Bistro on the north end to the Elkhorn Rehab Hospital on the south end a… Read Article

JHS Happenings
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The end of the 2020-21 school year is arriving and a number of accomplishments have occurred. This past week, the JHS golf team brought home hardware with a second-place boys’ finish at the Class B Divisional golf meet in Bigfork. Preston Field finished third, Luke Eckmann tenth, and Marcus … Read Article

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A few dozen of the 721 bills that passed the Montana Legislature this year grabbed the public’s rapt attention — hot-button social issue bills and big-dollar spending measures that prompted headlines and drew, in some cases, thousands of public comments as lawmakers wrangled over their fates. Read Article

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Once again, the Rally for Public Lands at the State Capitol was proof that our public lands and outdoor way of life bind us. The numbers bear it out: 89% of Montanans visit public lands every year; 64% hunt or fish; 79% consider themselves conservationists; and 89% say public lands positivel… Read Article

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To those of you who have been struggling with the uncertainty of this virus, know that the Health Department  has been struggled with you. We have struggled with how best to protect our community. We have debated policy and procedures. We have followed the best practices laid out by our coun… Read Article

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Eddie Mulick was the first person I met when I moved to Trout Creek, and that was largely because he owned what his matchbooks proclaimed was, “The Wayside Bar--finest bar in Trout Creek.”  It was also the only bar.  Read Article

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I’ve lost three hunting spots on corporate timberlands in the last two years. I’ve always appreciated the privilege of hunting those lands but knew they could be sold. One sale blocked a road leading to thousands of acres of US Forest Service where I’ve hunted for over 30 years. The hunt for… Read Article

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There’s one passage in William Kittredge’s The Next Rodeo that has sneaked into my brain and my way of thinking. It’s from the essay “Home”: “Looking backward is one of our main hobbies here in the American West, as we age. And we are aging, which could mean growing up. Or not. It’s a diffic… Read Article

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Thirteen-year-olds can AirDrop Simpsons memes from across the room, and artificial intelligence made chess masters like Garry Kasparov obsolete. But for all our technological advances, at home, we’re still cavemen.  Read Article

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