Archives for March 2020

Social distancing beef erupts in Missoula convenience store line

Police say a Missoula man threatened another man who told him to adhere to social distancing guidelines in a gas station checkout line. Officers responded to the store on South Russell Saturday morning and the victim told them that, Timothy John Foley, 30, confronted him with a shotgun. Officers stopped Foley as he was leaving the store, and found the shotgun in his vehicle, according to charging documents filed Monday. A hearing is set for April 13 in the case.
-0-

Lewis and Clark County now experiencing community spread of COVID19 disease

Two COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized in Lewis and Clark County, which is now experiencing community spread of the disease. St. Peter’s Health officials said in an email Monday that the two hospitalized patients, a man and a woman, are both in their 70s. The man, who contracted the respiratory disease without traveling, has reinforced the health department’s belief that people in the county can become infected without knowing where or how, a stage in outbreaks known as community spread.
-0-

Historic Star of David windows from now defunct East Helena smelter are getting makeover

The historic Star of David windows from the now defunct smelter in East Helena are getting a makeover. With a $6,000 grant the city of East Helena and the Montana Preservation Alliance are working to restore and display the windows, built near the turn of the century in 1900, which have remained in storage since the smelter was torn down in 2009. The windows will be incorporated into a restoration project at the East Helena Volunteer Fire Hall.
-0-

Teachers still hard at work as students begin home schooling due to COVID19

Many parents in Helena and around the state are now home schooling their kids due to the novel coronavirus crisis, but teachers are still hard at work. It’s been two weeks since Gov. Steve Bullock ordered public schools to close, and some parents said the experience is giving them a new found appreciation for teachres, who are still working every day to provide lessons for at-home students. Public schools in Montana will remain closed until at least April 10.
-0-

Helena Public Schools’ Board of Trustees election could be cancelled

The Helena Public Schools’ Board of Trustees election could be cancelled. Candidates filed by Thursday’s deadline to get their names on the ballot for the May 7 election, and the District Clerk said that because the incumbents are running unchallenged, she will recommend that the school board cancel the election. Each of these trustee positions have three-year terms. The deadline for write-in filing is Thursday, April 2.
-0-

Despite school closures Helena educators help healthcare workers

Despite school closures Helena educators are using their 3D printers to make masks for healthcare workers. According to Helena Public Schools news release the 3D printers are creating masks using a design pattern by doctors in Billings, to be used at places such as St. Peter’s Health, where critical protective equipment for health care providers is in short supply. There are about 15 printers across the district providing masks for healthcare workers, the release stated.
-0-

Retro pastime could help entertain locals confined to the house

BILLINGS – A retro pastime could help entertain locals confined to the house due to the COVID19 “stay at home” order that goes into effect this weekend. The Amusement Park Drive-In Theater in Billings has its opening night on Saturday, giving customers a chance to see a movie on the big screen for free, while following social distancing rules. The gates are set to open at 6 p.m. and the movies will begin at 8:15 p.m.
-0-

Statewide “Stay at Home” order issued in fight against COVID19

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Thursday that he’s ordering the state’s 1 million residents to stay in their homes in a stepped-up effort to fight the spread of the coronavirus. The stay-at-home order goes into effect Saturday and lasts until April 10. Bullock previously ordered schools, restaurants, bars and other gathering places to close, in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.
-0-

Camping season could be delayed in Colorado due to coronavirus concerns

Camping season could be postponed in Colorado due to coronavirus concerns. The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest announced the temporary closure of all campgrounds, day-use sites and rental cabins effective immediately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which could spread into may during peak camping weather, the agency said in a press release.
-0-

First COVID-19 death in Montana reported

The first COVID-19 death in Montana was reported. Gov. Steve Bullock extended his love and support in a late Thursday night press release to the family, friends, and community of “our fellow Montanan.” The news followed Thursday afternoon updates that Montana reached over 85 known cases of COVID-19, with more than a third in neighboring Gallatin County, according to test results announced by the state.

MEANWHILE…

Gov. Steve Bullock issued a shelter-in-place order Thursday, aimed at keeping the state’s 1.06 million residents at home in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order takes effect Saturday at 12:01 a.m.
-0-