A look back at 2018

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A reporterís perspective

By KATHLEEN WOODFORD

Mineral Independent

Last year during this time most of the northwest was digging out from under epic snow fall. Fast forward to December, 2018 and barely a trace of snow blanketed the valley going into the holiday weekend. Things can change rather dramatically and as I look back over the stories in the Mineral Independent, there were some new faces and new places. But underneath, the stories continue to hold onto old traditions and the county remained the same. Much like the rocks, mountains and rivers that lay beneath the Clark Fork Valley snow.

There were changes at the county courthouse as Roni Phillips became the new jail administrator and Mike Boone finished up his first tenure as the new county sheriff. Steve Trollope was hired as the new undersheriff and CEO, Steve McNeece replaced Ron Gleason who resigned last summer from the hospital. Another resignation came from Superior Fire Chief, Rob Torrey and he was replaced by Steve Temple. The county also lost long-time planner/sanitarian Tim Read who retired. His replacement, Andy Short, will start in Jan. 2019.

Mineral County Schools were graced with a number of awards and certifications. All giving students outstanding educational opportunities. This included Superior receiving the Green Ribbon Award and St. Regis getting an AdvancED Accreditation Certification. Overall, the schools continued to have their annual concerts, dances, and award ceremonies. As parents and community members showed up to events and games to cheer on their students.

Volunteers were busy making their communities a better place to live. Whether that was by raising funds to help those in-need; building a new statue for the county courthouse; or working to rebuild a deteriorating community swimming pool. Residents have built their homes, and their lives, nestled between the mountains of pine and the thin blue Clark Fork and St. Regis Rivers. They have a rough and tumble hard-edge work ethic. Much like the county ancestors who made their living in lumber, mining, ranching and with the railroad.

Itís been my privilege as the county reporter to learn and be a part of this process. A process where residents strive to keep their heritage alive while they search out innovative ways to keep Mineral County moving forward.

The days, months and seasons seem to all wash over one another in this valley. As I look out the window and watch as a few flakes of snow make their way down from cloudy skies, I wonder how the year had passed by so quickly?

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