Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

Articles written by Rita Brown


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  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 6/2/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|May 29, 2024

    June 2, 1999 Whitehall High School was vandalized for the third time this spring when acid was poured on the desk and carpet of a science room sometime during the night of May 22. Paul Stremick, the school superintendent, said he is unsure how access to the school was gained and said no estimate of the damage was available. The Jefferson County Commission approved a noxious weed agreement on May 26 that continues funding for the Whitehall High School greenhouse and insectary sites. Up to 6,000...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 5/25/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|May 22, 2024

    May 25, 1999 Candidates for three four-year Whitehall Town Council positions, one in each of Whitehall's three wards, have until July 1 to file for office and be part of the Nov. 2, 1999, general election. The terms of council members Chuck Buus in Ward 1, Avia Timberlake in Ward 2, and Terry Ross in Ward 3 expire at the end of the year, and the ward positions will appear on the November ballot. Buus said he would not be a candidate for the town council in 1999, and both Ross and Timberlake...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 5/19/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|May 15, 2024

    May 19, 1999 Voters in both Whitehall and Cardwell approved proposed increases in property tax mill levies during the May 18 school elections. Whitehall voters approved a $21,807 mill levy for the Whitehall High School by an 181-116 vote. Depressed gold prices claimed 28 more victims on May 18 when Golden Sunlight Mine announced it reduced its workforce by 28 employees. The mine employs 209, so the layoffs - about a 14 percent workforce reduction - will reduce the Golden Sunlight workforce to...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 5/8/2024

    RITA BROWN, Whitehlal Ledger|May 8, 2024

    May 12, 1999 The Whitehall Town Council appointed a select committee on May 10 to evaluate all town land holdings and buildings with the purpose of improving the use and efficiency of town property. The creation of the seven-member committee was spurred by a discussion of the garage currently used by the Jefferson Valley Search & Rescue (JVSR) unit. Whitehall High School successfully defended its Academic Olympic Championship on May 10 in Dillon, bringing home the waist-high traveling trophy...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 5/5/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|May 1, 2024

    May 5, 1999 The Jefferson District Ranger office of the Beaverhead/Deerlodge National Forest in Whitehall is located just north of the interstate on Whitetail Road. District Ranger Grant Godbolt said the Forest Service is interested in relocating to the existing Forest Service Property on Legion Avenue next to the Whitehall A&W. Godbolt noted the reason for the potential move is simple: money. A benefit dinner and auction to raise funds to help defray the medical cost of seven-month-old C.J....

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Apr 24, 2024

    April 28, 1999 The problem of sludge build-up at the Whitehall sewage treatment lagoons is typical of small system lagoons, said an environmental specialist with the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), who also said the town isn't required to do any further immediate sludge clean-up at the lagoons. Bill Bahr, with the DEQ planning, prevention, and assistance division, said that Whitehall officials have the option to either continue the removal of the accumulated sludge and remove...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 4/21/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Apr 17, 2024

    April 21, 1999 The Whitehall High School band and choir earned numerous "superior" ratings, and the band even surpassed "superior" with a perfect score in one of the competitions at the District Music Festival in Anaconda. The Whitehall youth accused of sexually assaulting a girl during a March volleyball tournament in Whitehall was sentenced to a sexual offender program and placed in the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections until age 18. Doug Bailey began his mining career cutting...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 4/14/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Apr 10, 2024

    APRIL 14, 1999 For the first time in over a decade, Whitehall voters will be voting in a school mill levy election. The Whitehall School Board voted unanimously to place a WHS mill levy on the ballot. The amount of money sought, and the exact hike in mills are yet undetermined; Superintendent Paul Stremick said that the levy would be an increase of $24,000 in the worst-case scenario. A crowd of about 70 people turned out at LaHood Park on April 12, 1999, to discuss - and at times cuss - the...

  • Our Town 125 and 100 Years Ago: April, Part I

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Apr 10, 2024

    8 YEARS AGO - April, Part I: The headlines in early April 1898 were filled with trouble from across the country and worldwide. A lengthy article reviewed the finding of the naval court of inquiry into the sinking of the battleship Maine in the harbor at Havana. Happenings in Butte, as usual, provided many of the front-page articles. Several more victims of the Hale house fire were removed from the building's ashes; Mary Bradley, "a member of Butte's lower stratum of society, committed...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 4/7/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Apr 3, 2024

    APRIL 7, 1999: A heavy turnout of Cardwell voters showed up at the polls on April 6 and elected two first-time candidates to the school board: Dave Oliverson and Paul Shaw. Oliverson beat incumbent Larry Feight by a 52-46 margin to win a three-year term; Shaw beat Tracie Tocci by an 81-22 margin, also securing a three-year term on the board. David Gerber, 38, pled guilty on April 5, 1999, to setting fire to the Jefferson Valley Baptist Church but was legally found not guilty because of his mental illness. Gerber was committed to the Montana...

  • Looking Back 25 Years: 3/31/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Mar 27, 2024

    MARCH 31, 1999 Nine months after a devastating fire, the Jefferson Valley Baptist Church is restored, expanded, and reborn with a dedication ceremony held on Easter Sunday. Pastor David Rogers said there would be special music, baptisms, and a building dedication during the Easter service. The Madison County Planning Board voted 4-3 to send the proposed McCollum subdivision to county commissioners. The commissioners were sharply divided and narrowly approved the 27-lot, 280-acre major...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 3/17/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Mar 20, 2024

    MARCH 17, 1999 The Whitehall youth accused of accosting a Three Forks volleyball player during the 4-B District Volleyball Tournament in Whitehall on March 5, 1999 was reportedly removed from the Whitehall school system, and on March 12 Jefferson County Attorney Valerie Wilson filed a petition against the youth for misdemeanor sexual assault. The dispatch services agreement between Gail Giono of Whitehall and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office was formally signed by the Jefferson County...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 3/10/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Mar 13, 2024

    MARCH 10, 1999 The Whitehall Town Council spent much of its March 8 meeting discussing ways to improve the appearance of Whitehall. The council discussed cleaning up abandoned cars, improving the appearance of the cemetery, working with the Jefferson County Weed District to develop a town weed management plan, repairing streets damaged during the water improvement project, and efforts on the Spring Clean Whitehall 1999 project. Over 100 students participated in the Butte-Anaconda Accredited Musi...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 3/3/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Mar 6, 2024

    MARCH 3, 1999 The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Golden Sunlight Mine negotiated a settlement on a penalty fine for the cyanide leak from a Golden Sunlight pond during the summer of 1998. DEQ sought penalties totaling over $96,000 under two different laws. Golden Sunlight Mine, Jefferson County Weed District, and the Whitehall High School's Noxious Weed Biological program worked together for a common cause: fighting noxious weeds. Troy Smith from Golden Sunlight presented...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 2/24/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Feb 28, 2024

    FEBRUARY 24, 1999 Borden's Hotel, a landmark building in downtown Whitehall since 1913, was purchased by Marion and Duane Alberts of Whitehall and reopened for business on February 16th. Sunday afternoon dancing, a 40-year tradition at Borden's, resumed on February 21st and the Alberts said the tradition would be maintained. A group of volunteers was working to provide nest boxes and know-how to encourage recovery of the mountain bluebird population, which once was in deep decline. Volunteers...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 2/17/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Feb 14, 2024

    FEBRUARY 17, 1999 Meadowlark Manor, an assisted living facility located on the west end of Whitehall up the hill behind the Jefferson IGA Store, had been under construction since the spring of 1998 and set March 1 as a target date to open the facility to residents and the public. Golden Sunlight Mine (GSM) received word late morning on Tuesday, February 16 that its parent company, Placer Dome, had accepted the second half of the GSM's current life-of-mine strategic place. The approval gives GSM...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 2/10/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Feb 7, 2024

    FEBRUARY 10, 1999 The Whitehall Town Council gave final approval for the installation of a new fence at the cemetery and up to $5,000 toward the installation of a new water line to the bathroom/concession stand at the Whitehall Rodeo Grounds/Ballfield Complex. Mike Morris of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) said the goal of NCAT's Montana Rivers Project was to promote irrigation efficiency in the Jefferson Valley. The irrigation project in the Jefferson Valley involved six...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 2/3/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Jan 31, 2024

    FEBRUARY 3, 1999 The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was seeking a $66,000 penalty from Golden Sunlight Mine for a summer 1998 cyanide spill from a mine process water basin, but mine officials said the amount of the fine was unwarranted and planned to appeal DEQ's decision. Golden Sunlight Mine had its best gold recovery year ever in 1998, and new technologies were being tested to further improve recovery. During 1998 Golden Sunlight recovered 82.4 percent of the gold in...

  • Ledger Looking Back: 1/27/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Jan 24, 2024

    JANUARY 27, 1999 On Friday, January 22, icy conditions caused a school bus carrying 30 Willow Creek basketball players and fans to hit a jack-knifed semi-truck head-on on Highway 41 south of Whitehall. Montana Highway Patrol Officer Jay Nelson of Whitehall said the southbound truck lost traction on the icy road around 10:55 PM as it climbed the hill approx. a mile and a half north of Silver Star. The truck then slid backward down the hill and jack-knifed across both lanes of the two-lane road....

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 1/20/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Jan 17, 2024

    JANUARY 20, 1999 Fundraising efforts for the Whitehall Library expansion project kicked into high gear, and during a January 13 meeting the Whitehall Library Building Committee gave the go-ahead to a Sunday, March 14 Luck 'o the Library dinner fundraiser. The dinner was planned to feature a St. Patrick's Day theme and according to plans, 50 Whitehall area couples would pay $100 per couple to attend the prime rib dinner. David Gerber, after taking medication for 13 weeks at the Montana State...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 1/13/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Jan 10, 2024

    JANUARY 13, 1999 The Whitehall Town Council voted unanimously on January 11th to purchase a 1998 Ford demonstration model ambulance for $66,730, and the vehicle was expected to be in Whitehall within a couple of weeks. A new adult education class titled Basics of Financial Investing was being offered by the Whitehall school system, and class participants would learn about IRAs, stocks, financial strategies, and other topics from Randy Simkins, an investment representative with Edward Jones in Bu...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 1/6/1999

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Jan 3, 2024

    JANUARY 6, 1999 The Whitehall Town Council, worried about liability exposure and possible court-imposed fees and damages, voted during a special council meeting on Monday, January 4, 1999, to both approve funding a legal defense for council member Ron Robertson and seek a legal clarification on whether or not the Town is legally obligated to fund Robertson's legal defense. Robertson, who serves as public works director for Whitehall, was also a town council member; a recent order by Montana...

  • Ledger Looking Back: 12/23/1998

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Dec 27, 2023

    DECEMBER 23, 1998 The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) continued to internally process possible permit violations and water quality violations against Golden Sunlight Mine, but fines would not be calculated or agreed upon until the end of January 1999. In the meantime, Golden Sunlight reported that its remediation efforts had successfully identified and contained contamination from an apparent leak at a tailings impoundment site within Golden Sunlight property. The Whitehall...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 12/16/1998

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Dec 20, 2023

    DECEMBER 16, 1998 A Monday, December 14 revote by the Whitehall Town Council on the decision to challenge a Montana Attorney General opinion produced the same results but cleared up any legal uncertainty about the matter. Five members of the council - council member Ron Robertson abstained - voted to again direct Whitehall Town Attorney Jack Morris to petition the Montana Supreme Court to review an attorney general opinion that essentially held that it was "incompatible" for municipal employees...

  • Ledger Looking Back 25 Years: 12/2/1998

    RITA BROWN, Whitehall Ledger|Dec 13, 2023

    DECEMBER 2, 1998 The Whitehall Town Council vote on November 30 to direct the town attorney to challenge a Montana Attorney General opinion was apparently illegally conducted because the council failed to obtain a majority vote to approve the motion. The dilemma was this: the vote itself was on a matter dealing with conflict of interest, and three members of the council abstained from voting because they could have had a conflict of interest on the issue voted upon. Montana state law requires a...

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