This Week’s Missoula News Highlights – Week of June 10


Barry Beach Back in Prison fighting to be released, again

Barry Beach, who was convicted of the 1979 murder of Kimberly Nees then released from prison by a district court judge who granted him a new trial only to have the State Supreme court reverse that decision and send him back to prison a month ago, is fighting for his freedom once again. The State Attorney General’s office responded this week to a motion filed asking that the State Supreme Court reconsider its decision. Beach’s taste of freedom was cut short by the court’s decision to reverse the District Judge’s ruling. (read more) other links: Beach prison interview

New Superintendent for Glacier National Park Named

Missoula Summer is in full swing and everyone is ready to play host to the tourists who often stop in the city on their way from Yellowstone National Park north to Glacier National Park. Visitors to Glacier will see the park as it undergoes a transition to a new park superintendent, Jeff Mow. Mow, who resume includes serving as the head of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, will take over Glacier’s interim superintendent Kym Hall’s position in the park on August 25. (read more)

MDT discuss future of Missoula’s Downtown Bridges

Missoula is often considered a city surrounded by rivers. The Blackfoot flows into the Clark Fork just east of town. The Clark Fork wanders through downtown Missoula separating the downtown Missoula from the rest of the city. With rivers playing such an important part in the city, the bridges which span them are a vital part of it. Officials from the Montana Department of Transportation met to explain to citizens the need to repair the Higgins Avenue and Madison Street bridges. MDT will go through a extensive planning and study process to determine the needs of Missoula and the repairs for the two bridges while gathering information from citizens about their wants and concerns. (read more) other links: future of Missoula’s bridges

Firefighters fight Apartment Fire East of Missoula

Missoula firefighters scrambled to evacuate residents of the Vantage Villa Apartments east of Missoula. The complex, located in the Hellgate Canyon on East Broadway, caught fire around 2:15 Thursday. Firemen were able to safely evacuate all the residents without any injuries. The three story complex is owned by the Missoula Housing Authority and once contained the agency’s headquarters. The building, which is fifty years old, houses mostly low and middle income residents. (read more) other links: audio account

MCPS Summer Lunch Program feeds hungry Kids

Summer time means long hot days, BBQs, camps for kids, and unfortunately for some less food than they would normal get during the school year. Missoula County Public Schools has realizes that for some families “no school” means one more meal to worry about finding for their children. MCPS is combating this problem with a free summer lunch program for kids 18 or under. The school system has opened five spots to receive these meals, Franklin, Lowell, Russell, Hawthorne and Chief Charlo elementary schools will all be giving free lunches out at 11 am. In addition to lunch service, Franklin, Lowell, Russell, Hawthorne and Chief Charlo elementary schools will be serving free breakfast to children starting at 8:30. (read more)

Each week, Tom Diddel recaps the week’s most talked-about stories in Missoula. Visit the Make it Missoula News & Opinion section for more talk of the town.


Tom Diddel has lived in Missoula on and off for nearly thirty-eight years. He enjoys skiing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Montana and is currently working as a Freelance Writer and a Para-Educator.



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