2009 year in review . . . . . part 2

37_6069COLLISION  — On Dec. 30, at 1 p.m., a BNSF local that provides service between Great Falls and Valier derailed smashing into the Columbia Grain elevator.  The train was picking up loaded grain cars when, due to ice, the wheels of the lead car derailed and ran into the elevator.  There were no injuries or track damage.  I-O Photo by Adam Jerome



JULY: The Conrad Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony for Cravings llc.  Cravings is owned by Mitch Hauer and Shari Gianarelli.

The Tri-County Cardinals were in the midst of a seven-game winning streak.

Conrad was unable to defend their Rider Cup trophy as the golfers from Shelby took the title back.

Melissa Barringer won high point honors at the Conrad Swim Meet where she took home three first places and a new pool record in the 100m Breast with a time of 1:22.58.

PMC and the Union continued to negotiate without much success.

There was some vandalism with fireworks done to the men’s restroom at the concession stand at the ball park.

Alicia Wood traveled to Billings to participate in the Mrs. Montana pageant.

Stockman Bank donated $10,000 to the Conrad Community Education Fund.  The monies were used to purchase new scoreboards for the football field and the new gym.

Llew Jones, House of Representatives District 27, was named one of the “Champion of Business” award recipients.

The Marias Fair opened on July 16 where many local 4-H kids tested their talents.

Five generations of family gathered for Betty Hofland’s 90th birthday.

Montana Change That Works was back in Conrad on an 11 town, 23 day tour in an ambulance to promote health care reform.

Long awaited Joe’s Family Steak House finally opened after a two year wait.

3 Rivers Communication was named as the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce 2009 Business of the Year.

The Tri-County Cardinals, as a four seed, cruised undefeated to their first Northern A District Championship in team history.  The team is coached by Tyler Bucklin and Tyson Anderson.

Jayleen Harris took four animals to the fair and placed at the top of her class in all four.

AUGUST: Mike Lytle of Mike’s Muffler won first place in the demolition derby with a 1983 Mercury Grand Marquis.

The town of Dupuyer held their annual Grizzly Day with a parade and other activities.

Erin Gernaat was chosen as one of seven MSU students to intern in local Extension offices.

The Conrad Swim Team swam to a second place finish at the State tournament in Roundup.  Melissa Barringer ended her run as a three time State champ in the Breast Stroke.

The Tri-County Cardinals magical season came to an end at the State tournament in Three Forks.  The Cards won their first game against Gallatin Valley before being bounced with two losses.

The team of Lane Judisch, Ryan Eisenzimer, Brandon Coryell and Jon Coryell won the annual Conrad Farm and Ranch Tournament at the Pondera Golf Course.

Larry Martin won the Horseshoe Tournament also held at the Pondera Golf Course.

The City of Conrad held their first National Night Out event.  The theme was “America’s Night out against Crime.”

Karlyn Zimbleman traveled to New Delhi for a hip replacement.

Chief Master Sgt. Jayne K. Hewett was named Command Chief at the Montana Air National Guard.

The Rocky Mountain Riders Club hosted their first HCMA moto-cross race at their new track.

Conrad Alderman Gary Brown resigned from the City Council after he moved outside of the city limits.

Craig Dyer had the EPA look into some of his cattle deaths which he thought was due to radiation poisoning in the cattle’s water source.  It was later determined that the contaminated water did not play a part in the cattle deaths.

Tillie Matthys was named Conrad Senior of the Year.

Harvest was in full swing ending with one of the most prosperous seasons in recent memory.

Karla Breeding was appointed to fill the vacant Alderman seat on the City Council.

The Pondera County Recycling Coalition hosted a Recycling Roundtable.  Dusti Johnson from the DEQ gave a presentation to over 25 community members interested in recycling as a business or as a hobby.

SEPTEMBER: A public hearing was held to discuss the county funding of the Conrad and Valier public libraries.

Judy Larson took over the reigns as manager of the Conrad Chamber of Commerce.

Ray Mayers was awarded the Pilgrim of Merit Moose award.  The award is the highest award in the Moose fraternity.

The Super Dollar Store closed up shop after eight years of being in business.

The Conrad Museum opened a Brother Van exhibit thanks to a generous loan of items from the Brother Van Experience Committee.

PMC began accepting new patients for their sleep study program.

The Conrad Community Education Fund received a $1,841 donation from Gary and Leo’s IGA.  The money was received during the Roundup for Education fundraiser.

The Lutheran Church welcomed a new pastor to their congregation, Pastor Michael Sculley.

Carey Monahan started a hugely successful paper recycling initiative in the Conrad Public Schools.  The paper recycling was later opened up to the public and has saved over 6,000 pounds of paper products from the landfill.

The Pondera County Extension Office in conjunction with the Pondera County Recycling Coalition held a pesticide disposal program that collected over 2,900 pounds of unwanted chemicals.

Nick Hofstad and Scott Newmiller won the Member-Guest tournament at the Pondera Golf Club.

Jennifer Orcutt participated in the Golf Channel Amateur Tour national Championship.

Construction on the Montana-Alberta Tie Line began with over $1 million in tax benefits coming to Pondera County during the projects construction.

OCTOBER: Conrad celebrated its 100th birthday with a celebration over the Harvest Festival weekend.  Highlights included the restoration of the town clock, a Celebration of Ages parade, and a special concert with Wylie and the Wild West Show also featuring Erik “Fingers’ Ray to open the new high school gym.

Mark Jones, CEO of PMC won the right to “Kiss the Pig” during the Harvest Festival contest

The Independent-Observer put out a Centennial Edition with stories including the last 100 years of Conrad history.

The Pondera County Recycling Coalition held the Centennial Aluminum Drive and collected close to 800 pounds of aluminum and tin.

The Orpheum Theatre got a new marquee complete with a story board.

Brandon Philipps and Jayleen Harris were named Homecoming King and Queen.

The Cowgirl Volleyball team opened the new gym with a win over second ranked Cut Bank during Homecoming.

The I-O’s own Barb Endler placed first in the Best Single Ad category at the Montana Better Newspaper Contest.

The Rocky Mountain Riders received an award from the HCMA for Track of the Year.  The award allows the group to select which race they host next year.

Kokoro Ito made a stop in Conrad as he bikes around the world.

H1N1 finally arrived in Conrad with several cases being confirmed by the Pondera County Health Department.

Janie McFarland, business teacher at Conrad High School was selected as the Montana Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year.

NOVEMBER: The Conrad Chamber of Commerce changed the format of the Christmas Stroll from Friday evening to all day on Saturday.

The Pondera Players and Pondera Arts Council put on Hot Flash, a musical comedy by Phyllis Ann Philipps.

The Cowgirl Volleyball squad entered the District Tournament as the two seed but fell to Cut Bank, eliminating their chance at State.

Mayor John Shevlin won a write-in vote to be elected to his second term.

World War II veteran Harry Arvidson was part of a nation-wide PBS TV WWII documentary, which will air in May of 2010.

Cindy Habets Peterson began writing a travel column for the I-O after Habets and her husband have spent the year traveling abroad.

Peggy Munson retired from the Pondera Medical Center after 32 years of service.

Dr. Shawn Nesbo harvested one of less than 100 wolves killed in Montana’s first wolf season.

John McFarland was presented the Outstanding Friend of 4-H award.

Shannalee Finlayson, Cooper Dailey and Trevor VandenBos were the winners of the Kids Karaoke for Cancer Foundation contest.

George and Betty Ellingson celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary.

DECEMBER: While the Conrad Cowboy football team missed the playoffs there were still plenty of accolades to go around.  Josiah Moerkerke was named to the All-State team and set school records for most touchdown passes in a game (7) and most completions in a season (111).  Nate Gage was named second-team All Conference and set records for most receptions in a season with 52 and the season touchdown reception mark with 11.  Paul O’Brien was named first-team All Conference and Joe Ries was named to the second-team All Conference list.

The Christmas Stroll was held on a Saturday during one of the worst winter storms of the season.  Even with the poor weather people braved the elements and had an overall good time.

Area Lutheran Churches began to consider leaving the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America with a final vote scheduled for January of next year.

The Brady/Dutton Land Transfer issue began to heat up with a public hearing scheduled for Jan. 5 of next year.  If the transfer goes through, taxable land in the old Brady School District will become part of the Conrad District.

Paul Lindberg was interviewed in an article on Beer Brewing by the MSU News Service.

Meadowlark and Prairie View students donated over 1,200 pounds of food items to the Food Pantry.

The Cowboy and Cowgirl basketball teams opened up play in the Corral with wins over Cascade.

Editor’s Note: The I-O staff hopes your new year will be prosperous and joyous as we continue to bring you the news from around the community