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Thumbs Up

by Brad Fuqua & Western News
| January 28, 2009 11:00 PM

High court came through

Thumbs up to the Montana Supreme Court for making the right decision with its removal of Lincoln County Justice of the Peace Gary Hicks from office. The evidence against Hicks mounted and the situation was creating a serious disruption of business within the local court system. A decision from the high court was actually not expected until well into January but the justices came through in a timely manner.

Soldiers always deserve thanks

Thumbs up to the Montana Army National Guard’s 639th Quartermaster Co., that left early this month to serve in Iraq. The 639th includes soldiers from the Libby, Kalispell and Havre areas. In addition, all of the folks that visibly show support for our soldiers should feel good. That support goes a long way for the men and women that serve our country overseas.

TAG appoints new adviser

Thumbs up to Libby’s Technical Advisory Group for finally filling the long-vacant position of adviser. TAG brought on Terry Spear to serve in that role. Spear is a tenured professor at Montana Tech in Butte and head of the Safety, Health and Industrial Hygiene Department. The position had been vacant since November 2006 and as TAG chairman Mike Noble said, “we were shooting in the dark.”

Air quality officials meet public

Thumbs up to the officials from the Department of Environmental Quality, Lincoln County and other associated agencies that met with the public this month on the issue of air quality. Many area residents were upset about that air quality alert called back in late October and even held a rally on the courthouse lawn. Agency officials could’ve gone on with business as usual but made the effort to communicate with the public on a difficult issue.

EPA chief puts Libby up front

Thumbs up to recently-confirmed Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson for accepting Sen. Max Baucus’s request to pay a visit to Libby. Jackson pledged to meet with EPA staff here in town along with residents who have been impacted by this environmental nightmare. Jackson was confirmed to the post on Jan. 22.

Fans a big boost to local teams

Thumbs up to Libby and Troy fans who show up in high numbers to support local sports teams. Over in Troy, a seat can be hard to find in the school’s current gym – something very evident in those basketball games against Libby. And in Logger land, the local basketball teams and wrestling squad can always count on plenty of vocal encouragement. It does make a difference.

(Brad Fuqua is managing editor of The Western News. He can be reached at: thewesternnews@gmail.com )