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Missoula fire danger still listed as "very high"

(MISSOULA)- Missoula County's fire danger will remain "very high", leaving current fire restrictions in place because of the on-going threat of wildfire. 

The Missoula County Fire Protection Association had raised the fire danger to "extreme" levels last month, as Western Montana experienced one of its' driest months of June in decades. That was eased back to "very high" after rains and cooler weather returned after the Fourth of July. 

However, even with the respite, fire managers say conditions remain explosive. And with more warm, dry weather returning the past couple of days, grass and brush are already starting to dry out again. And they are especially worried about unattended campfires. 

The fire departments announced Monday Stage 1 fire restrictions will remain in place. That means campfires are only allowed in established fire pits in campgrounds. Smoking is also restricted. 


No Missoula council incumbents in first days of filing 

Councilman Adam Hertz says he won't run for a second term(MONDAY)- There are still several weeks to go. But so far it's only political newcomers who are filing to run for Missoula City Council this fall. 

Six different council positions are up for re-election this year.

The list of incumbents includes council veterans Jason Weiner and Ed Childers, and first-term council members Adam Hertz, Alex Taft, and Mike O'Herron. The 6th seat was vacated when Caitlen Copple stepped down earlier this year. 

However, none of the incumbents had filed to run again through the first couple of weeks of filing. 

John Debari was the first to file for the Ward 4 position vacated by Copple. Appointee Patrick Weasel Head hadn't filed to run by mid-week. 

Heidi West has filed for the Ward 1 council seat currently held by Weiner. 

Anita Green has applied for the Ward 2 council race. Adam Hertz is saying he doesn't plan to seek a second term. 

Gwen Jones has filed for the Ward 3 race. That's the position held by Alex Taft.

No one had filed for the Ward 5 race, for the seat held by Ed Childers. 

Filing closes on July 2nd. 


Filing opens for Missoula city council races

(MISSOULA)- A small business owner and active volunteer is among the first to file for the upcoming Missoula City Council elections, with the filing period getting underway this morning. 

John Dibari filed his paperwork for the Ward 4 contest this morning. 

DiBari has lived in Missoula for 16-years, spread over two periods, in the late 1980s to mid-1990s, returning again in 2005. He runs a family business, Soft Hit, LLC, which specializes in selling baseballs, softballs and golf balls for sports training. 

DiBari has a long record of volunteer and civic service, having been on the Missoula Consolidated Planning Board for the past 7-years. He's also served on the Urban Growth Commission and the panel working on the city's growth policy update. 

DiBari will be competing for the Ward 4 position that was vacated earlier this year by the resignation of Caitlen Copple. Patrick Weasel Head was appointed to fill the remainder of that term until the next elections. 

Other incumbent council members who's seats are up for election this year include Jason Weiner, Adam Hertz, Alex Taft, Mike O'Herron, and Ed Childers. 

Filing closes on July 2nd. 


Missoula Kohl's store about ready to open

(MISSOULA)- Missoula's long-awaited Kohl's store will open on schedule, with store managers announcing the grand opening is now set for March 6th.

The store has been under construction for about a year and is one of the major retailers to locate in the new South Crossing development on Brooks next to Cabela's. 

The company announced this morning the new Kohl's will officially open its doors with a ribbon cutting ceremony set for 8:45 a.m. with the store opening for business at 9. The store will employ up to 100-workers. 

The new store is one of two new locations Kohl’s will open this spring and is the third Kohl’s store to open in Montana.


Search starts for new Missoula council member

Caitlin Copple announced her plans to step down earlier this month(MISSOULA)- Missoula leaders are starting to search for a replacement to fill a vacancy on the city council, with hopes of filling the opening in the next month. 

The opening for one of the Ward 4 seats was created earlier this month when Councilwoman Caitlin Copple announced she is stepping down so she could devote more time to her work as a consultant. 

Now, the city is opening up applications for the Ward 4 seat, which represents the Lewis & Clark, Paxson and South Russell neighborhoods. The appointee would serve the remainder of this year until the vacancy goes before voters in November, with the option for whoever is selected to run for election. 

Applicants must be a U.S. and Montana citizen, living in Ward 4 for 60-days before the appointment. They also have to be at least 18-years old. 

The City Council is accepting applications until February 6th, with council members picking applicants to interview starting on February 9th.