Katrin Frye

Flathead Reporter

Katrin Frye reports twice weekly on northwest Montana news from her native Flathead Valley. Frye is a graduate of the University Of Montana School Of Journalism and Davidson Honors College. Before coming on board with MTPR, she reported for the local CBS affiliate in the Flathead Valley, and worked as a contributing writer to the weekly paper the Flathead Beacon. Her reports covering the news of the Flathead Valley and northwest Montana have been heard on National Public Radio’s Evening Edition, NPR News and National Native News.

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Ski Prep
9:52 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Skiers hiking for early season turns at Big Mountain

Snow at the Big Mountain Base Lodge at Whitefish Mountain Resort 11/18/13.
Katrin Frye

The snow line has crept down the mountainsides even though much of the Flathead Valley floor remains snow-free. Public Relations manager for the Whitefish Mountain Resort Riley Polumbus said the mountain is prepping for its December 7th opening.  

The storm over the weekend brought enough snow to cover the hill even down at the base lodge. Polumbus said they measured 30 inches of snow at the Summit on Friday afternoon, it was up to 48 inches Saturday afternoon, and then another 5 inches fell by Sunday morning.

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Search and Rescue
11:57 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Philanthropy to the (search and) rescue

Jordan White of Two Bear Air stands next to the organizations new Bell 429 rescue helicopter.
Credit Katrin Frye

It took private investment of more than $10-million to create Two Bear Air, a dedicated search and rescue air support service in the Flathead.

Former Flathead County Undersheriff Jordan White teamed up with Whitefish philanthropist Mike Goguen to create the non-profit. Goguen comes from a business background with a capital investment firm known for its support of entities like Google and YouTube.  Paying for Two Bear Air is one of several philanthropic investments he’s made in the Flathead.

White described the organization as privately funded for a public purpose.

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Energy Efficiency
5:45 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Electric Co-op's paying a different kind of energy bill

Local electric co-ops are writing checks for a different kind of energy bill. Flathead Electric Co-op in Kalispell recently wrote a check to Plum Creek for more than $380,000. It’s for energy efficiency upgrades at the lumber company’s sawmill. Promoting energy efficiency is something F-E-C is doing with the Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial Program incentives.

Key Accounts Representative Don Newton with FEC said it’s actually in the Co-op’s best interest to get members to lower their electric bills.

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Montana Bats
8:23 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

How hibernacula may help scientists understand a deadly bat disease

White Nose Syndrome has not made it as far west as Montana, it's a disease that has wiped out millions of bats in the eastern US.
Credit Bigfork High School Cave Club

Where bats hibernate, how warm or cold, and how dry or damp the environment is, are questions being asked as researchers and recreationists explore Montana’s caves.

Bat Specialist Dr. Cori Lausen with Wildlife Conservation Society Canada says some species of bats are facing potential extinction because of the White Nose Syndrome which has been decimating bat populations along the east coast, and is spreading west.

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Farm to School
6:49 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

What one school is doing to maximize the amount of local veggies in its lunches

Whitefish School District reports spending 30% of it's food budget on farm-to-school, the state wide average is 12%.
Katrin Frye

Getting fresh fruits and veggies onto kids’ plates is one of the goals of local farm-to-school efforts. This idea of buying local is going national with support from the U-S Department of Agriculture. The USDA recently conducted a census of schools across the state and the country.

USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon said the farm-to-school model fits in with new school meal requirements calling for schools to serve fruits and vegetables every day.

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Demersville
4:53 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

A cemetery that lives on after its town died

Katrin Frye

Before the railroad came through and made Kalispell, Kalispell, there was Demersville (de-MARS-ville). The small community had an eatery, saloon, hotel, and mercantile, but died practically overnight when in 18-91 the railroad came through the Flathead several miles north of the fledgling town. Flathead Reporter Katrin Frye takes us to all that remains of Demersville, the cemetery.

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Conservation Economy
12:15 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

How hiking, fishing, Glacier Park, and Flathead Lake factor into the economic development question

Entrance at West Glacier.
Credit Katrin Frye

“This is a really good place to recruit to,” Dr. A. Craig Eddy works as the Chief Medical Officer at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, and is in charge of recruiting.

Eddy said the Flathead is a great place, but not because of the salary.

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Climate Week 2013
11:02 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Warming waters threaten cold water trout

The cold waters of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River are somewhat buffered from the effects of climate change, but temperatures here, too are rising.
Katrin Frye

As part of our ongoing series in Montana Public Media's "Climate Week", we focus on the impact of climate change on Montana's waters, and the native fish adapted to thrive in cold, glacier-fed streams.

Cold water fish like west slope cutthroat and bull trout call northwest Montana home. However, these native fish could be considered the canary in the coal mine in regard to the effects of climate change. Warming waters, changes in spring runoff, and mid-winter rainfall are among the issues affecting the habitat for these fish.

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Small Business Saturday
10:54 am
Wed October 23, 2013

You've heard of Black Friday, how about Small Business Saturday?

Plant Land of Evergreen and Beckman's Fine Furnishings of Kalispell (left to right) are among the local businesses signing on to a Chamber of Commerce led Small Business Saturday effort.
Credit Katrin Frye

Yes, it’s not quite Halloween yet, but businesses are already gearing up for Christmas. Over the past couple of years a buy local effort has been growing. While many people have heard of “Black Friday” as the big shopping day after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is gaining traction. T

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Glacier Park Reopens
10:00 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Barricades down, gates reopened at Glacier National Park

Glacier Park employee Brenda Woll greets visitors as the Park reopens after a 16 day shutdown.
Credit Katrin Frye

Barricades came down, open signs switched on, and employees went back to work as Glacier National Park reopened. The partial government shutdown closed the national parks October first.

Public Affairs Officer Denise Germann says the Park had about 20 to 30 people working during the shutdown. As of Thursday about 250 employees were back on.

She said a lot of the work going on right now involves getting housing and lodging buttoned up for the winter.

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