Junior Jaden McNeil knocks out opponent in Smoker
Abe Otto
Of the Flathead Arrow

    McNeil knocked out his opponent junior Tim Brough to help lead the Flathead high school Braves to a 5-7 record on Thursday, April 12 at the fairgrounds for Kalispell’s 2018 smoker.
    One of the most talked about fights of the night was McNeil versus Brough. McNeil knocking out Brough was the only fight, which ended in a knockout.
    “It was an awesome fight for the simple fact that both guys were giving it a hundred percent and throwing a lot of punches,” said Mr. Thompson.
    “I was nervous especially since before the fight I had heard that he was an amateur boxer,” said Jaden McNeil.
     “I did a little bit of boxing drills but besides that and the mandatory four smoker practices you have to go to I didn’t do anything else to prepare. I really felt like I had control by the end of the first round when he ended on the ground and had a bloody nose and his eyes were all teary.”
    Easy of the most anticipated fights which was saved for last was senior Tucker Nadeau versus Jackson Pepe. The fight ended in a TKO resulting in a win for Nadeau’s opponent.
    One of the most controversial fights of the night was sophomore Chance Sheldon-Allen versus Andrew Glynn. The fight resulted in Glynn winning the fight even though the vast majority of attendees felt as though Sheldon-Allen should have won.
    “I really think I should have won that fight,” said Sheldon-Allen. 
    “I was a little nervous before but once I got in the building I just wanted to fight. “
    Mr. Thompson one of the wrestling coaches for FHS had a fresh perspective on the judges. “One thing to realize to that these are amateur judges at the same time. They might not see things that others do and I think that some rounds were just the result of that.”
    “I was a little nervous,” said Nadeau. 
    “I didn’t do anything to prepare besides going to the smoker practices and staying in shape because of wrestling and rugby. I think my opponent was a better boxer and that showed in the fight.”
    The smoker is seen as an important event around Kalispell especially, when it comes to Flathead High School. The smoker is by far the largest fundraiser for FHS wrestling.
    “It was a fantastic turnout,” said Mr. Thompson. 
    “It felt like half the people there were flathead kids which was awesome to see. We had an even bigger turnout than last year, which is incredible to see.



Lane & Graham are retiring with 2018 class
Katia Postovit
Of The Flathead Arrow

    Flathead High School’s science department will be losing 30 years of experience within one person after this year.
    Mr. Warren Lane is retiring after 17 years at FHS.
    Mr. Lane is an Earth Science and IB Physics teacher, who graduated from New Mexico State then moved to Bozeman and got his teaching certificate from Montana State University. He is a very devoted teacher that is passionate about his students. 
    “My favorite quality of Mr. Lane is his passion for the topic of the subject. He sold everything like he was teaching the coolest thing ever and made me want to learn more about that topic.” said senior Trae Vasquez.
     “I took away the fact that good teachers make an effort to make their content interesting.” said Vasquez.
    “All of the funny things my students have done in the classroom will always be the most memorable,” said Lane. “I think Flathead has always given opportunities to grow as a teacher and be more innovative in the classroom.”
    He will be spending his retirement hunting, fishing, and skiing. One of his goals is to climb the highest peak in every state.
    Mr. Murry Graham will also be retiring who has been Flatheads personal audio visual media specialist and also the morning announcement teacher has been at FHS since 2005.
    He has three degrees; first he graduated from FVCC with an associate's of science degree, he then went to MSU Bozeman and got his Bachelors in science degree in Elementary Education, and the final degree he received was from Lesley College with a masters in educational technology.
    Many students look up to and admire Mr. Graham with the type of work he has done for this school,
     “You can really relate to him and he really cares about you as a person and doesn’t see you as just another student.” said senior Aden Youngbird. “He’s my favorite teacher and I’ve only known him for a semester.” said Youngbird.
    “My FTV class has been the best part of my career here at FHS, watching that grow and making it for the kids by the kids was pretty great” said Graham. Many impacts came with teaching here, “The value of tradition has been huge for me, it’s been almost 120 years since this school started and it’s really cool to see” said Graham.
    “This year we had a good place for being one of the top schools in Montana and the Northwest.”
    “Mr. Graham is a great guy, he’s a great teacher but a even better person in general.” said senior Bryan Baker.
    Mr. Graham has been a huge part of Flathead and will be remembered for a very long time. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Flathead and I wish all the luck to this year's graduating class and future graduates.”

Paine selected as new principal
 

KELLY BROWN
of The Flathead Arrow


    On Wednesday, Feb. 28, Flathead had four candidates for the principal position come to speak and introduce themselves. The candidates, Mr. Chad Bourgeois, Mr. Tres Genger, Mr. Robert Macauley, and Mrs. Michele Paine, were the possible choices for principal in the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. The final decision was given on Tuesday Mar. 6 with Mrs. Michele Paine keeping her position as Flathead High School’s principal.
    “There was a very fair process that we all had to go through,” Mrs. Paine said. “I didn’t want to be just picked, I wanted to feel as if I had earned this position.” She also said that she was pretty confident going into the ten hour long interviews. “It was the most efficient choice, bringing in someone from the outside would mean they had to be brought up to speed on everything, including the current construction to the school.”
    Mrs. Michele Paine, the current Flathead principal, re-ran this year after gaining her position from a faulty candidate earlier this summer. The candidate Mr. John Blackman stepped down after he plagiarized his letter of introduction from a principal in California. Previously an assistant principal, Mrs. Paine was considered the best choice out of the three options to cover the open administrative position and is currently serving as an internal interim principal this school year.
    She looks forward to the goals she wants to achieve with this coming year. “As an interim principal, I couldn’t do much but sit and wait,” Paine said. “Now as principal, I can bring my vision of what I want this school to be, to life.” She looks forward to the upcoming construction that will remove the old gym and half floors of the school, as well as some personal projects with the school safety and the academic excellence of Flathead High.
    Mrs. Paine started teaching in 1994, as a Language Arts, Reading, and Art teacher at Kennedy Junior High School in Salt Lake City, UT. She then came to Kalispell in 1998 at the Junior High as a Title 1/English Tutor then moved on to be a Reading Intervention teacher at Flathead High School. In 2005 she became the Language Arts facilitator for SD5 schools and in 2011 stepped up to be Assistant Principal.

Eight students attend All Northwest in Portland
KATIA POSTOVIT
of The Flathead Arrow 

    Eight Flathead students represented the FHS choir program at All Northwest Honor Choir in Portland, Oregon on March 7-10. Three seniors, Anna Henderson, Grace Burtsfield, and Katia Postovit, two juniors Annie Burtsfield and Toby Diegel, and two sophomores Emme Schow and Thomas Shultz.
    Each student was responsible for preparing the music prior to the choir meeting in Portland along with getting themselves to the event travel wise. Preparing the music was very crucial in the process for there were only two days that the choirs worked together to put all the bits and pieces together in preparation for a performance on Saturday March 10. “My favorite part of All Northwest was meeting all the other singers, we all shared a passion for choir and music” said junior Annie Burtsfield.
    The women's choir was directed by Dr. Phillip Swan and the men's choir was directed by Dr. Andrea Ramsey both directors have a very long history in choral music and they were very good choices for this event.
    The women’s choir got the privilege to meet two of the composers of the music they performed. The composer of Always Keep This Close is Zachary Moore a Wisconsin native who made the trip to Portland to work with the choir and watch them perform. They also got the opportunity to work with Joan Szymko who wrote the piece The Singing Place, she is a resident of Portland. These memories will stay with these girls for the rest of their lives. “Always Keep This Close was my favorite piece; I couldn't even believe that we received the opportunity to work with the composer and perform it to him” said Annie Burtsfield.
    The men's choir piano player was actually the composer of one of their pieces and made it just how he wanted it. They worked with him the entire time they were in Portland which was a huge privilege.
    The talent and determination of the kids that performed in these choirs is why they got the opportunity to travel and work with such amazing people who want to make them better musicians, but also show them how powerful music is and how it can change your outlook on life and different aspects of it.

 

Brawlers Win second straight state title
Kenyon Fretwell
of The Flathead Arrow

    The Flathead Braves wrestling team finished their season repeating as two time state champions in the AA division a
t the Rimrock Auto Arena on Saturday, Feb 10. 
    The Brawlers were lead by their three champions Seniors, Payton Hume, Tucker Nadeau, and Michael Lee. Flathead cruised to victory totaling 288 total team points, followed by Bozeman High School and Skyview High School with 222 and 181.5 points respectively.
    Flathead won last year's championship without a single champion, this year wasn't the case while flathead boasted 3 first time champions. 

Brave Brawlers win state title

“Having three champions this year      Nadeau ended the season 49-0 winning an array of national tournaments and defeating multiple state champions. 
    
This wasn't the case this y
ear as they boasted 3 champions and 15 total placers, the most ever in t
he current 13 weight classes era. 
    “We were down a couple points to Bozeman before the blood rounds (final elimination rounds) and every kid we had won.” said senior captain Hunter Wellcome. “The coaches told us they have never seen that happen before.”
    The Braves had one runner up in Alex Paull who wrestled his own teammate, Michael Lee in the finals match at the 285 weight class. The match went all three rounds including 4 overtimes with Lee winning, 7-6.
    “It was a great way to end my career.” said Lee. “Alex and and I have been great friends all year and it was really cool for him to be my last match.”
    The Braves remaining 
state placers included alone at third place, senior Kenyon Fretwell. At fourth place, junior Bryce Shaffer, junior Tanner Russell, and sophomore Tilynne Vasquez. At fifth and sixth place, sophomore Brendan Barnes, junior Domini
c Battello, sophomore AJ Ekanger, sophomore Garrett Reike, junior Colby Martin, and senior Hunter Wellcome.
    “Having all these kids place was a great experience, not just for themselves but to know you were a key piece in winning a state championship is an awesome feeling.” said sophomore Tilynne Vasquez.
    The Braves will be letting go of a number of wrestlers after this year. 11 seniors will be leaving the program forever as they soon graduate from high school.
    “I'm glad I was able to wrestle with these guys.” said the sophomore Barnes. “I've know all nearly all of them my whole life and it's going to really different without them next year.”
    The brawlers host their final event as a group, an awards banquet on Monday, Feb 26 at Flathead High School.
Class AA
    Team scores: Kalispell Flathead 288, Bozeman 222, Billings Skyview 181.5, Billings Senior 141.5, Great Falls 140, Missoula Sentinel 113, Helena Capital 112, Butte 104, Missoula Big Sky-Loyola Sacred Heart 94, Billings West 74.5, Helena 63, Great Falls CMR 62, Kalispell Glacier 45.5, Missoula Hellgate 13.

Seniors looking to go out of state
Abe Otto
Of the Flathead Arrow 

    Several FHS seniors are leaving Montana to go to college out of state are this school year.
    Seniors Rebecca Vance Oregon, Tucker Nadeau Arizona, Sara Clarin Portland, Conrad Hedinger Colorado, and Maddie Grahmn Whiteworth are all going out of state to attend college.
    “The thing I spent most of my time on was my essays,” Hedinger said. “They do care about your grades and the classes you took but, when it comes to the essay you want to make sure it isn’t generic and you almost have to sell yourself to the college.”
    A thing that many people don’t think about when going out of state is the culture shock that many face when leaving home for an extended period for the first time. When staying in Montana it is easy to understand what your going to face and the kind of people you will meet.
    Nadeau wanted to make sure he didn’t face a culture shock when leaving the state for college. “I visited a few colleges some that were in British Columbia,” said Nadeau. “You want to make sure you like the culture of whatever college your going to especially when you are going further away.”
    One part of filling out essays for college that many don’t think about is trying to figure out what that college really values. Many colleges will have a couple key things they like to focus on. One example of this would be Arizona focusing on kindness that they have several programs for.
    “A big part of the essays is trying to see what the college cares about for sure,” said Clarin. “Colleges take a longer look at your essay if you share the same values as them.” 
 

Asbestos abatement nearly complete
Ryan Vosen 
Of The Flathead Arrow

    The half-floors of Flathead High School were closed to begin demolition on Feb 12. The first step of this process is the asbestos abatement.
    The asbestos abatement is necessary for the health and safety of all the faculty and students. Asbestos is known to cause mesotheliaoma, a type of a cancer. This is because of the small asbestos fibers that cause scar tissue in the lungs. Asbestos is usually found in the glue used to hold ceiling and floor tiles in place from the older parts of the school.
    “We’ve been told it’s a pretty simple process and hope to be done by next week,” said Flathead High Vice Principal Mr. Lincoln who is heading the committee in overseeing demolition and construction.
    The bid for construction was opened to thepublic on Feb 20. Two companies bid on the project, Swank enterprises based out of Kalispell and Sletten Construction in Great Falls.
    “We’ve done the last two remodels on Flathead,” said Grant Kerley of Swank Enterprises and Flathead High Alum. He continued saying, “We have several Flathead High alums so it’s cool to go back. Having that history and tie with the school and working on its future is really cool.”
    Mr. Lincoln said, “We are going forward with the Swank bid and it is being taken to the board.”
    Before any demolition and construction can continue the bid proposed by Swank needs to be approved by the school board.
    After that school administrators hope to meet with contractors by March 12. If everything stays on schedule the old half-floors building will be gone before school ends this year.

Actors, non-actors come together for Cinderella
Costumes, Stage, Jones, Coulter highlight performance

JADE WARE 
of The Flathead Arrow 
    
Flathead High School’s theatre department performed the magical 2013 Broadway musical of Cinderella on Feb. 22, 23, and 24 in the black box theatre.
    Kacie Bray, a former FHS graduate, directed the musical.
    “I would like to think that throughout this process, I had taught these students something that they could use in their lives, but really, they were the ones who were teaching me,” Bray said, “These kids are some of the most talented, sincere, and innovative group of students I have ever met. I was absolutely blessed to be their director.”
    The cast had been rehearsing for the musical three hours every night for two months. Cinderella, played by senior Annie Jones absolutely enjoyed the performance.
    “My favorite part was seeing the little girls in Cinderella costumes in the audience. I loved their looks of awe and seeing them dancing along in the aisles. It’s enough to make your heart melt,” Jones said.
    There were also a bunch of costume transformations throughout the musical. The fairy Godmother, played by senior Naesha Johnson, adored her costume transformation.
    “I absolutely loved my costume! It is beautiful and I got to transform from a bigger woman to a beautiful fairy godmother,” Johnson said.
    It was hard not to like every character throughout the musical. Jones absolutely loved playing Cinderella, and adored her character.
    “I love Ella so much. She's kind, strong, and a dreamer. Her story is inspiring and it’s a classic fairytale I grew up with and loved. I was so honored I got to play my dream role my senior year of high school.
    The tech for the musical was also very advanced, however once all organized, it made the musical that more magical. Senior Keith Ort was on the tech crew, and spent many hours setting the tech up for the musical.
    “For tech it took us about a month and a half to hang lights and program it all,” Ort said.
    The musical also had a live orchestra, playing through many parts of the production. Junior Anna Shultz was just one of the many orchestra performers.
    “Comparing to Beauty and the Beast, which we did two years ago, I feel like we are doing much better,” Shultz said.
    The cast’s work really paid off, for the audience was in absolute awe while watching the performance, leaving a lasting impression on all audience members.    “I thought it was amazing. The musical was probably my favorite one yet. In my eyes it was definitely one of Flathead’s best productions yet,” junior Ross Calhoon said.

Braves athletes sign with colleges
KATIA POSTOVIT
of The Flathead Arrow 
  
     Within the last month officially four flathead seniors have signed with colleges to play sports next year, these four seniors are Jonathan Baker, Taylor Morton, James Bouda, and Austin Demars.  More seniors are planning to sign but are not for sure on which school quite yet. All these signings happen in FHS in either the conference room or Samson’s office.
   All four athletes who have officially signed have worked very hard for their spots and are now carving out their futures. “It was pretty awesome, you can’t describe the feeling of being passed onto a bigger thing in your life by the person who taught you everything, I just wanted to hug Samson and thanking him for allowing me to get this chance.” said senior Taylor Morton. Taylor has committed to Western College to continue his quarterback career.
    The 2018 class is shining more light on FHS as graduations quickly approaches, “This has been one of the best athletic years Flathead has seen in a very long time, it is truly amazing.” said Mr. Jeff Thomson who also is the head wrestling coach at FHS.
    Describing the feeling of being wanted by schools seems surreal. “I signed in November, but in October I gave my verbal commitment, once I gave that I became engaged, but once signing it was like really getting married. It also felt so good getting the pressure of choosing off my shoulders.” said senior James Bouda. “Definitely kept me up at night, it was between Michigan State and Wyoming and it was really 50 / 50, and once I made my decision I just got super pumped for college.” said Bouda. James has committed to Wyoming College for swimming.
    As these athletes prepare for college in the fall many thoughts and emotions are going through their minds. “I just am just really happy and totally thankful I get to go to college and i get to play football at the same time.” said senior Austin Demars. “When I signed, I was excited but it was different than just any other excitement and it just felt amazing.” said Demars. Austin
will continue his football career at Rocky College next fall.
    Flatheads best and brightest are known for their hard work and dedication to not only themselves but also their teammates and coaches for they are representing them as well. Flathead will be represented well out of just these athletes. “I’m just happy to shine a little more light on flathead and represent the school in a good way.” said senior Taylor Morton.

Hedinger wins Flathead Poetry Out Loud contest
Junior will compete for state title in Helena on March 3 

ANNA HEDINGER
of The Flathead Arrow 

    Six nervous students entered Ms. Williams’ classroom on Feb 1, anticipating their spoken poetry.
    They are participating in Poetry Out Loud, a program where students recite great works of poetry, some famous and some contemporary. A half an hour of poetry ensued, captivating the audience with their age-old words.
    Winners were soon announced. The school champion was junior Anna Hedinger, with sophomores Katie Foster and Shaylee Emerson, and senior Mariah Schutt as runners up.
    These four contestants were eligible to travel to the regional competition, although only Hedinger and Emerson competed at Hellgate on Wednesday, Feb 7. Hedinger placed second place out of around thirty contestants at Regionals, with her performance of “Backdrop Addresses Cowboy” by Margaret Atwood. She will advance to Helena for the state championship on March 3.
    “It’s a good mediator between public speaking and pushing yourself” sophomore Katie Foster said about her experience.
    “I think having a connection with the poem you’re presenting is important because it helps you display a piece of yourself,” she said. “You create that sort of vulnerability up on stage. That allows you to really put feeling into your performance and to create something beautiful out of someone else’s piece.”
    It is the first time in Montana POL history that multiple regional competitions were held. In the past, contestants would submit videos of their poetry to judges before immediately advancing to the state competition.
    The Poetry Out Loud competition has grown “exponentially” over the last few years, FHS poetry coordinator Ms. Kreiss revealed. She has been running the competition at Flathead for eleven years now.    The organization reaches more than three million students all across the United States. State winners receive $200 and a paid trip to D.C. for nationals, as well as $500 for their school, according to the event coordinator. Last year alone at Nationals, $50,000 in awards and school stipends were given. 

S&D places 3rd at state

Tayler Jakeway
of The Flathead Arrow  

    Senior Noah Love, junior Sierra Dilworth, and sophomore Bohdi Hollman took first in their events at the state speech and debate tournament bringing Flathea
d in third place overall on Sat. January, 27. 
    Love managed the first in extemporaneous speaking, Dilworth in Lincoln Douglas debate, and Hollman in informative speaking. Following the first place takers, there were many who placed top four making them all-state placers. Seniors Grace Cady with 4th ­­_place in extemporaneous and Tristan Phillips with 2nd in informative. Juniors Reed Miller w
ith 3rd in impromptu, Tanis Hadwin with 2nd in memorized public address, Korbyn Howe with 3rd in dramatic interpretation, and Annabelle Pukas with 2nd in legislative debate. Lastly freshman 
Carson Robison with 3rd in oratory.
     Hollman in his second year of speech blew the competition out of the waters with his awesome speech about the USS Indianapolis. The USS Indianapolis was a Portland-class heavy cruiser of the United States Navy, named for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. He said 
him and the coaches made a few alterations to get ready for state, mentioning “we decided to make it sound more newscaster like, like CNN, but keep the emphasis and inflections but just be more clear and confident.” His speech took a slight turn on the story of the USS than most are used to and know about. Saying that one of his coaches told him to read the book Left for Dead, it's a story about a boy at age 11 doing a history fair project about the ship. Later informing people of the severity of the situation and how uninformed people are about it. “It's a major part of my speech because kids are impactful and the story is too” Hollman finished saying. 
    Dilworth in her third year of debateclosed out the competition with friend and competitor Pucas beside her. The two went hand in hand in the final debate. Stating that they were arguing the resolution that “plea bargaining ought to be abolished in the United State criminal justice system”. She won the coin flip giving her the option to debate against or f
or the resolution. Picking the negative side, Dilworth saying “I believe in the affirmation but there is more evidence for the negative side.” Asking what put her aside from other competitors, she said “I have a lot of passion. I am a Christian and so I do all I do in honor of God and so when I'm debating I do that to glorify him.” 
    Love in his first year of extemp really surprised everyone taking on the new event after three years of legislative debate and being 7th in the nation last year. He said he switched because “I was excited to learn more. In debate i'll get 1 to 2 topics a month where in extemp I get hundreds… Extemp is fun and exciting and I now have 50 world leaders memorized.” The topic he Love gave his final speech on was “how will sanctions affect the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela.” He said it was “sentimental, finals was a nationally related topic so that's really exciting and easier to talk about for me.” 
    Overall the competition was cut close and there were a lot of ups and downs for Flathead. Bozeman High took 1st at state with a total of 180 points, Glacier High in 2nd with 151 points, and Flathead in 3rd with 121 points. Head coach Shannon O’Donnell ends the official season saying, “This team worked to improve and grow competitors, ending the season with 20 s
tate finalists, 3 individual champions, and 11 all-state designations. Im proud of that hard work and progress that was achieved.”

Women’s march takes Depot Park

ANNA HEDINGER
of The Flathead Arrow
    
Kalispell men, women, and children gathered in a sea of pink hats on Saturday, Jan 20 at Depot Park to rally for women’s rights. 
    The event unfolded on the same day as nationwide protests, on the eve of the anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration. Instead of joining the some 10,000 marchers in Helena, local Montanans decided to bring protests to home turf. 
    According to CBS, “Many not only supported women's rights, but also denounced Mr. Trump's views on issues including immigration, abortion and LGBT rights.” A
round three million people participated in marches nationwide, and included international support. 
    Kedryn McElderry, a senior at Glacier High School, was among the speakers. Leader of Glacier’s Gay Straight Alliance, (GSA) McElderry took to the podiu
m in part to advocate for marginalized women and LGBTQ+ members, and to protest the Trump Administration’s response to these issues. The Me Too movement added to the turn-out. The movement addresses the treatment of women in the workplace. 
    Janet Brown, a speaker at the event said, “we have clearly seen the rumbles of misogyny and racism and intolerance throughout the whole election proc
ess. And we saw shadows of fascism, theocracy, corruption, cronyism, and we heard people spouting authoritarian slogans. I was appalled.” 
    Protesters of all ages and genders gathered in high spirits, with many sporting signs and coffee thermoses. 
    Brown continued her speech, followed by a roar of approval from the crowd. 
    “We have watched rooms full of smiling white men chock women’s reproductive health services literally around the world.” It reflected sentiments plastered on many protesters’ signs.
Deadly accidents on slopes

ANNA HEDINGER
of The Flathead Arrow


    A tree-well fatality at Big Mountain and a cliff-jumping incident near Blacktail made for a tragic day on Dec. 30.
    A popular recreation turned deadly with heavy snowfall over the winter holiday. The victims were two young men in their twenties, discovered in two separate but fatal snowboarding accidents.
    According to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, the first death occurred near Blacktail Road in Lakeside Saturday afternoon, some distance from the ski resort. The 22-year-old victim, Conner Heidegger, and a friend had found a cliff feature. Heidegger attempted a jump off of the cliff on his snowboard and fatally injured himself, County Sheriff Chuck Curry reported. At the young age of 22, Heidegger was pronounced dead on scene due to blunt force trauma. The body was recovered in the afternoon of Dec. 30.
    According to his obituary, Conner loved spending time with friends and family, especially his nieces and nephews. He was a true Montanan who enjoyed all outdoor activities. Funeral services for Conner were held on Jan. 3 at the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church, a congregation where he had been a lifelong member.
    In an unrelated incident, a 28-year-old from Alberta died in a tree-well while snowboarding at Big Mountain, also known as Whitefish Mountain Resort. He was last seen in Hellroaring Basin within the resort boundaries, when he became separated from friends. They later reported him missing after he failed to meet his friends at the bottom of the run.
    Crews initiated a search, with Whitefish Mountain Resort Ski Patrol, Flathead Search and Rescue and Two Bear helicopter participating in the search. The body was located at about 2 a.m. Sunday morning, and was identified as Canadian Scott Robert Hornstra. He was found upside down in a tree well and was pronounced dead on scene. Hornstra's friends reported him missing when he did not meet them at the bottom of a run, Curry said.
    Whitefish Mountain Resort released a statement on New Year’s Eve,“We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident. Any death at our resort is an event that impacts the entire Whitefish Mountain Resort community. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends as they cope during this difficult time.”     The popular resort also warned their guests that tree wells were an “inherent risk of the sport,” encouraging skiers to be caustious and ski with a partner in sight. They suggested “skiing with a buddy” despite the fact that both victims were present with friends.    With the most recent death, there have been a total of six fatalities in tree wells at the resort since 1978. “We just encourage people to ski inbounds and be safe,” Curry said.

Girls hoops wins first lip-sync battle
JADE WARE
of The Flathead Arrow   
 The Flathead High School girls basketball team won the inaugural FHS Lip Sync Battle on Monday evening, Jan. 8, in the Black Box Theatre.    The victory awarded them the $40 grand prize, which they spent on orange juice at breakfast at Perkins in Helena before a game on Jan. 13.    “Th

e juice we had made the wi

n that much sweeter,” junior Kaysie Malmin said.    The 14-girl group lip synched to “Single Ladies” by Beyonce with choreographic dance moves from the music video.
    “Our performance was pretty good for only practicing it for a whole 20 minutes,” Malmin said.
    FHS students entered the competition as an individual, group, team, club, or sport. There were two cash prizes, one was presented to the individual or group with the best choreography, receiving $35. The overall winner received $40. 

    Senior Annie Jones won Best in Show, Sophomore Emme Schow won Best Choreography, Senior Adam Tepas won Most Humorous Song, and Sophomore Chase Amirata won Best Audience participation.
    Anticipation filled the halls once FHS students found out about the Lip Sync Battle. Sophomore Jade Dickerson was more than ecstatic when she found out the theatre was organizing a Lip Sync Battle, and she entered the competition with her sister, Ava, a freshman.
    “I almost fell out of my seat when I found out there was a lip sync battle,” Dickerson said. “My favorite part was just being able to watch everybody else perform, and seeing what they all came up with for their performance.”
    Junior Issac Glace, another competitor, especially appreciated the performances during the Lip Sync Battle.
    “My favorite part about the Lip Sync Battle was just to see people you weren’t expecting to perform, get up on stage and expose themselves in an artistic way,” Glace said. “That was the coolest part, seeing people’s colors come out.”
    The competition was very heated, but FHS students still enjoyed performing, even if they didn’t win the cash prize.    “I did want to win pretty bad, but I learned how to line dance because of this so I already gained something,” Glace said.
    Junior Bryn Hammer, another competitor, only competed for fun.
    “I just did it for the fun of it,” Hammer said.
    The theatre’s first Lip Sync Battle was such a success, the theater department ended up raising $415. It left a lasting impression on all FHS students, hoping that the theatre organizes the event again next year.
    “I definitely hope the theatre does another Lip Sync Battle next year because it was really fun,” Hammer said. 


Formal Packs Commons

ALBERT TEDRICK
of The Flathead Arrow   

Students dance away the semester finals frustration and anxiety at the winter formal dance in the Flathead commons on Jan 19.   Though there wasn’t as large of a turn out like the homecoming dance the line
 to get in still wrapped around the school like the hottest club in town. After waiting in line for what seemed forever students hit the dance floor right away.    “Hell yeah I was excited to dance, after 
finals it was nice to chill and do girly things” said sophomore Katie Foster
    It was an eventful dance for sure when the fire alarm went off.    “When the alarm went off I just kind of stood there, I was really confused” said senior Jacob Narin.
    What had set the alarm off was the smoke machine that had been used to set the mood. Many students immediately began to make their way to the door when the alarm went off but came back when the DJ announced what had happened. After the small interruption it didn’t take long for everyone to get back dancing and having fun.

Tide pods affect Flathead students 

JEREMY LAPORTA
of The Flathead Arrow

    Teenagers around the U.S have recently started to eat tide pods for a challenge.
This challenge started from kids daring each other to put this soap in their mouth. According to the Washington post these pods contain chemicals that can cause vomiting, change in blood pressure, losing conscious, and or having seizures.    The Tide pods should only be used for cleaning clothes not for eating. “I just wanted to know what it tasted like.” Said Flathead high school sophomore Zach Cheney,“ It was nasty so I spit it out because it started to burn my mouth. I wasn’t thinking I don’t recommend anybody to eat the tide pods. 
    According to www.snopes.com Tide will be discontinuing their pods effective February first this year because they don’t want to risk any lives. Although it is not clear if anyone has died yet this year from consuming them.  According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers 86 people have called poison control this year and also during the first week of 2018 poison control centers handled 39 cases of teens intentionally exposed to the pods.To report exposure to laundry detergent pods, call the national poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text POISON to 797979 to save the number on your phone.



Step 1 of demo starts Feb. 12

RYAN VOSEN 
Of the Flathead Arrow

    
    There are will not be another class taught in Flathead High School’s historic half-floors. As of Jan 19 the half-floors teachers have been moved to various classrooms throughout the school.     Access to the half-floors will end on Feb 12 due to the asbestos abatement that is necessary for safety concerns.
    The issues created by demolition have begun to affect teachers and students alike. The ten teachers who had classrooms in the half-floors will be moved to various classrooms throughout the school. A total of 22 classrooms are now being shared among multiple teachers. 
    For some teachers it has been a harder move than others. This includes long time Flathead history teacher Mrs. Delle.    “It’s a lot to move out and a lot of traditions and history,” said Delle. She continued to say, “It’s going to be sad to leave because there are a lot of fun memories in here.”    
   She recounted some her favorite memories of the only classroom in Flathead with a stage. The room has collected various items including a surfboard and former Flathead teacher Mr. Ford’s shopping cart.            
  Until recently there was a giant spit wad that hung from the ceiling and ripped off the part of the ceiling tiles when it finally came down. The old wiring would also occasionally cause the outlets to “blow fire.”    
    Besides the sentimental attachment to the building, teachers along with students are finding it difficult to share classrooms. Everyone is still trying to make the best out of the situation. 
    Flathead History teacher Mr. Reilly said, “ It has been planned very well by the administration. I am actually sharing four different 
classrooms. The teachers really have been wonderful to me.”    Reilly was referring to the teachers who he now shares a classroom with in rooms 139, 143, 144, and 147.
    “I liked his (Mr. Reilly’s) room a lot” said senior in IB History Conrad Hedinger. He continued saying, “its cool that the language classes are accommodating to us”
    On Jan 22 the bid for asbestos abatement was sent out. It is planned to begin in February and will completely close off the half-floors and the old gym. The abatement is necessary for the health concerns that arise in the demolition of old buildings.

Construction looms over half-floors

RYAN VOSEN
of the Flathead Arrow

    Flathead teachers in the half-floors met with administrator Mr. Lincoln on Dec 13 to discuss the upcoming demolition of the half floors. It discussed the logistics of teachers being moved to different rooms around Flathead.
    Sharing classrooms will be necessary for all half-floor teachers, and it could possibly lead to issues as the year progresses. Although, the general response from teachers has as been very positive. One teacher heavily affected is History teacher Mr. Riley; he will be sharing 4 four different classrooms during the process. To cope with this issue Riley built a customized cart to bring to the different classrooms and be almost entirely self-sufficient. He has been preparing all year emptying out his classroom of the interesting assortment of pictures and knick-knacks hanging on the walls. 
    Despite this he is happy for future of school saying, “Its part of progress and going to be better for the students.” Another impacted English teacher Mrs. Kreiss will be sharing two classrooms when the demolition begins. She explained everyone is going to have to make short term sacrifices for the long benefits.
    “Sharing classrooms is going to be very challenging, but our staff has a positive and collaborative attitude,” said Kreiss. The meeting gave timeline for when the teachers will need to begin moving. Packing was supposed to begin on Dec 1. Teachers will need to start packing boxes that will be put in storage and moved into their ne classrooms. A sale of surplus items from the classrooms is also expected. This will all need to be completed Jan 19. Rooms 131 and 12 7 that are currently sit empty will also be prepared for classroom use starting on the Dec 18 and going to Jan 2. This includes installing whiteboards, ceiling mounted projectors and smart boards. A new teachers lounge will also be prepared for use during demolition. The project scheduled to go out to bid on Jan 19 of next year. It has been estimated to cost $10,402,772. The other roughly 9 million dollars in their budget is intended to be used for deferred maintenance throughout the school.

Construction Class building house

ALBERT TEDRICK
of The Flathead Arrow

    Flathead students construct a house at 115 Corporate Court to learn valuable construction skills during the 2017-18 school year.
    By the end of this school year the finished project will be a 3-bedroom 2-½ bath with 2470 square feet. So far the Students have gone through an OSHA 10 class broke ground and poured foundation, raised walls, put on the roof, wired the house, installed pluming, put in insulation, and dry walled.
    “They say after completing this class we can get hired almost immediately for $17 an hour plus” senior Henry Sullivan. This class provides a lot of opportunities for its students. They will graduate with an OSHA 10 card, 360 hours of apprenticeship, and be ready to join the work force right out of high school. There will be an open house and auction in June to sell the house to a lucky buyer.

Aim Higher reaches out to elderly 

CLARA VANDENBOSCH 
of The Flathead Arrow

    Flathead High School is spreading the spirit.
    FHS’s Aim Higher Club is reaching out to the nursing homes around the valley by creating Christmas cards from scratch to wish them a Merry Christmas and also making public service announcements for sporting events to show sportsmanship for and against Flathead activities.
    “It was a good thought,” said senior Eric Reyna. “Most of those senior citizens are forgotten about when it comes to the holidays and it puts a good impression on the Aim Higher Club and Flathead High School in general.”
    Aim Higher advisers Mrs. Tricia Dean and Mrs. Caitlin Heuscher help lead the club into showing leadership to the community by discussing what sportsmanship is and also how students need to represent their school and community better.
    “I think it's good that we are taking steps to insure that sportsmanship is a top priority for students at Flathead,” said senior Kenyon Fretwell. “Aim Higher takes a lot of pride with working in the school to make a positive change.”
    In Aim Higher, there are three “umbrella” terms that make up the club itself: mentorship, community service, and sportsmanship.
    Aim Higher club students made a public service announcement to show the sportsmanship within the school to show how important it is to show sportsmanlike conduct at events.
    “It is basically a organization club from Montana High School Association (MHSA),” said Heuscher. “We take our athletes or students to help them learn and discover principles in those three umbrella terms so they can take it to their teams or groups and teach those principles to better their program and Flathead High School as a whole.”
    The student club leaders decided to make Christmas cards for the nursing homes around the valley to show that they are not forgotten about. The club meetings were held on Tuesday, Dec. 12, in the Flathead Conference room to discuss the purpose of the cards.
    Heuscher and Dean thought it was something that was important, and it would fall under one of the umbrellas.
“During the holiday season it is something that tends to be forgotten,” said Heuscher. “It falls under our community service umbrella and it is a way of paying back to those who have helped our community in the past.” 

Foundation of Leadership spreads Christmas cheer

CHAD HEMSLEY
Of The Flathead Arrow 

 
    Flathead High School’s Foundations of Leadership class, which is taught by Mr. Kyle Samson, decided to spread some Christmas cheer by setting up a 16-foot Christmas tree in the Commons on Thursday, Dec. 7. 
    "The tree represents Flathead as a family," said junior Kayla Kallis, who is in the class. "It's our big family Christmas tree."
    Classmate Annie Burtsfield said the class wanted to have everyone take notice.
    "The goal was for a student to walk through the doors, take a good look at it and say, 'That’s a big tree,' and I think we accomplished that," Burtsfield said. 
    Mr. Samson’s class started to plan this project during the first week of December in class. The process first started with getting permission from FHS Principal Mrs. Michelle Paine to make sure that it was OK to put a tree in the commons. The class started looking for where they could find a tree to cut down and was able to get permission from a Kalispell resident to cut onefrom their backyard. 
    "Getting the tree was a really cool experience for me," senior Clay Treece said. "It was fun to go as a class and take that tree back to the school to spread the Christmas spirit. It really ties the school Commons together, and I’ve heard everyone really likes it."
    Mr. Samson’s class was able to set up their tree, but was uncertain of how to decorate the tree. Ideas on how to decorate the tree ranged from having the class bring in their own ornaments to having FHS students make ornaments to put on the tree. With limited time, the class was able to find ornaments that the school had in storage and was able to decorate the tree during their class period.
    "I believe the tree gives Flathead an even better sense of family, especially during the Christmas season," junior Amber Reiner said. "Plus it was a blast to put it up."
    The overall feeling that the tree gives is immediate.
    "The tree allows everyone to feel the Christmas spirit," senior Kaitlin Wride said. "We can all look at it and think, 'Wow, that’s a big tree'."

Students audition for Cinderella

JADE WARE
of The Flathead Arrow

    Flathead High School’s theatre program is starting to open the curtains to its new spring musical, Cinderella.
The actual performances will be Feb. 22-24, but the excitement is already in the air. Many FHS students filled the choir room on Dec. 6 and 7 to audition for parts of the play. Kacie Bray, an FHS graduate of 2007, will be directing the musical.
    The play is very different compared to Disney’s Cinderella version. In this version, from the 2013 Broadway show, Cinderellais known more as Ella. Senior Annie Jones won the part. Madame, her stepmother who will be played by Emma Schow, and her stepsisters only call her Cinderella because she sits by the fireplace and gets dirty from the cinders. 

The prince, who will be played by senior Alex Coulter, is also very different compared to Disney’s version. In this musical, the prince’s name is Topher, and both of his parents have just died. He must learn how to run the kingdom on his own. Though he is advised by Lord Chancellor Sebastian, who is played by Aspenn Kennedy, prince Topher is unsure of his leading abilities.
    What also makes this version of Cinderella so different is that the prince falls in love with Ella’s honesty and intellect rather than her beauty.
Madame and the stepsisters are also very contrasting characters compared to Disney’s version. In Disney’s version the two stepsisters names are Anastasia Tremaine and Drizella Tremaine. The parts will be played by Grace Burtsfield and Anna Henderson. In this musical, their names are Gabrielle and Charlotte. One of the two stepsisters actually ends up being nice to Ella towards the end of the musical.
    There is also mischief when it comes to Lord Chancellor Sebastian. As the play progresses, Ella helps open the prince’s eyes to this mischief and injustice in his kingdom.
“My favorite part about the auditions were the people who come in and they were super excited,” said FHS theatre teacher Ms. Elizabeth Sykora. “I always like the people who are off the radar, the people who come in and you’ve never seen them before. They may be a little nervous, but they are putting themselves out there and they are trying out for something that they have never done before.” 

Senior Annie Jones was nervous for the audition.
    “I was a little nervous,” Jones said. “It’s hard singing 

in front of people, especially if they’re judging if you’re right for a role. I wanted the part of Ella so badly, I had a lot riding on my shoulders.”
FHS students prepared for their auditions in more ways than one, making sure they were prepared for their auditions.
“We did this new crash course, which is a class that you can take to prep for the auditions for students, so I did a lot of that,” Sykora said. “It went really well we had over 100 kids come to the crash course, and just practice audition for the musical. And it was designed to boost confidence in those people who had never auditioned before.”
    Junior Tobias Diegel practiced many times, and with people, before the audition.
“I ran through the songs a few times and practiced an audition scene with freshman Sayler Griffith, who I auditioned with,” Diegel said.
    The cast for Cinderella is much larger compared to the production of Clue, the FHS production last spring.
“Clue had eight people in it and we wanted to try and involve as many people as we could, so we picked a very large musical,” Sykora said. “Our cast is 29 people and our crew is 20 people, so that’s almost 50 people that are involved in the show.” 

    The Cinderella musical obviously grabbed many FHS students attention, and was one of the highlights of December.
“I love everything about this musical,” Jones said. “The music’s fantastic, the characters are likable and funny. It’s different but still stays true to the original story.”


8 students accepted to All-Northwest Choir


Katia Postovit
of The Flathead Arrow

Eight Flathead High School juniors, seniors and sophomores are accepted and attending the All- Northwest Honor Choir in Portland, Oregon. The singers will attend the event this upcoming March. The eight attending students are; senior Grace Burtsfield, senior Anna Henderson, senior Katia Postovit, senior Nikki Sauter, junior Annie Burtsfield, junior Toby Diegel, senior Thomas Schultz and sophomore Emme Schow.

     “Before finding out, I had to maintain the mindset of ‘hope for the best, expect the worst’, so I was really excited and proud of myself when I made it.” said senior Grace Burtsfield.
    All except two are first time acceptees and attenders, seniors Nikki Sauter and Anna Henderson attended their sophomore year.
    “I was really excited because I didn’t think I would have made it this year.” said senior Nikki Sauter. Each student auditioned in front of choir director Mrs. Jennifer Stephens individually and their recordings were sent into the American Choral Directors Association. These students were picked out of hundreds of students from 6 different states; Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, and Idaho. This is a huge honor for the student

s accepted.
    The students received their music on Dec. 18 and will have to prepare the pieces themselves before they attend the honor choir in March. They prepare the pieces individually in order to expand their musical skills.  


Holiday music at Flathead High School

BAILEY NUNN 
Of the Flathead Arrow
   

     Flathead High School’s holiday production programs kicked off the holiday spirit from each section of music within the high school to show the community what Christmas music is all about. 

    The Orchestra concert was held on Monday, Dec. 4. The band concert was held on Thursday, Dec. 7. And the choir concert was held on Tuesday, Dec. 12. All were held in the FHS Auditorium.
    Mrs. Sherry Simmons led the orchestra group for the first piece of the Holiday Production this month. It was a beautiful concert and they had a great turnout.     
    “The concert was lively and fun,” said senior Spencer Brinton. “My favorite song was Stille Nacht.”
    Mr. David Johnke conducted the band during their winter concert. It was a beautiful concert. Everyone had fun and gave the impression of a happy Christmas season. The audience loved the concert and it was a great turnout.
    Mrs. Jennifer Stephens led the choir program in their Holiday Christmas concert. They had two concerts, one beginning at 4:30 p.m. and a later one at 7:30, because everyone loves to go and enjoy the beautiful voices during Christmas time.
    “My favorite song was Eatnemen Vuelie, the first song, and I feel like the second concert was better,” sophomore Arena Nunn said. “We all had a lot more fun. The audience turnout wasn’t as large as last year’s Christmas concert, but the house was pretty evenly filled during both concerts.”
    “My favorite song was Eatnemen Vuilie said sophomore Hanna Hanzel. “Both concerts went very smoothly and we all felt very confident. Also, both concerts had a full house.”
    The music programs have their next concerts during the music festival from February through March for all three programs.


Vasquez makes wrestling history

ABE OTTO
of The Flathead Arrow

    Flathead High School sophomore Tilynee Vasquez is an international wrestling gold medalist.
    She started making history nearly a year ago when she became the first-ever girl to place in the Montana Class AA wrestling tournament. Vasquez competed in the 103–pound weight class and placed sixth at the state tournament last February.
Currently, there is no girls division in wrestling in Montana, so she competes against boys. 
    Vasquez did not stop there. She went on to become the first Montana girl to qualify for the USA World Wrestling Team. As a member of the national team, she competed in Argentina against some of the best in the world at the Pan-American Wrestling Tournament from July 7-9. Vasquez earned first place as she dominated all three of her opponents, with a pin, then 5-0, and then 6-1.
    Vasquez trained with the national team in Ohio for two weeks before the Pan-Am Games.
    “The training in Ohio helped so much,” she said. “I really improved a lot with the team and we constantly were going hard.”
    After earning gold, Vasquez continued to impress while earning a silver medal at the USA Wrestling National Tournament in Fargo, North Dakota, on July 18. In the final match, she tied her opponent 7-7. But she said she lost a point because her coach challenged a body throw criteria, and ended up with silver.
    “Fargo was definitely a little intimidating at first,” Vasquez said. “You walk out in a huge arena with fog all around you and you look to your left and right and there are two huge screens of your face. I still don’t blame losing the match because of the criteria. I still missed a lot of things and just wasn’t at my best during the match.”
    Flathead High School wrestling coach Jeff Thompson led the Braves to their seventh state championship last season.
    “She really is just extremely dedicated to the sport and is willing to put the time in,” Thompson said. “She is somebody who wrestles twelve months out of the year and that is what has put her on that next level.
    “She is also an outlier as well,” he continued. “In a sport that is predominately filled with males, she isn’t scared to stand out. Female wrestling is growing a lot in Montana, in part due to Tilynne.”
    FHS senior Payton Hume has known and wrestled with Vasquez since they were young.
    “Tilynne is like a sister to me and to the whole team and helps everybody feel more like a family,” Hume said. “One thing that stands out is how much she focuses on her technique. She doesn’t just focus on the move overall, she thinks about all the small little details, which helps so much. Another thing to is how she can be really fast when she wants to be. The thing that really separates her from some others, though, is how much she wants it.”

Reilly named Most Outstanding Player

KATIA POSTOVIT
of The Flathead Arrow

   Former Flathead High School quarterback Mike Reilly, of the Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos, was awarded the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 season on Nov. 24. This is the second time Reilly has received this award.

    “I was very humbled for two reasons: first, that Mike won, it’s a massive massive undertaking to win that,” said Mr. Pat Reilly, Mike’s father and FHS history teacher. “I was also very humbled that he was selected ove
r his opponent, he (Toronto’s Ricky Ray) is an amazing quarterback.”Reilly ended the season with 5,830 passing yards putting him at the top for the 2017 season for passing yards and number seven on the all-time record of single season passing. He also lead the league with 12 rushing touchdowns. He also tallied 390 rushing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, and 447 completions. Ray, the quarterback for the Toronto Argonauts, led his team to victory in the Grey Cup on Nov. 26.The season for Mike     Reilly and the Edmonton Eskimos came to a close on Sunday, Nov. 19 against the Calgary Stampeders in the Western Conference semifinal, 32-28. The Eskimos started the game 14-0 and Reilly threw for 348 yards. The loss came down to the last play of the game. When Calgary’s kicker Jason Maas kicked a field goal late in the game, putting them up against the Eskimos. Edmonton would not get the ball back when Eskimos Jamill Smith fumbled a punt in the last seconds of the game. “The coach made a decision, a strategy that just didn’t work out,” Mr. Pat Reilly said. “If it would of worked out, it would of been the best call in the world.” The Eskimos ended their season third in the Western Division with a 12-6 record, due to losing in the semi finals to the 105th Grey Cup.
    The Eskimos started the season 7-1, and ended the season on a six-game win streak prior to the semifinal loss.    “It was a hard pill to swallow,” Mr. Pat Reilly said. “Most sports writers and analysts believed at the end of the season, Edmonton was the best team in the league. They just didn’t show it in that game.”    Reilly was and still is well remembered by the legacy he left at FHS. Reilly set the record of 2,280 passing yards his senior year at Flathead. Reilly came to Flathead as a senior from Kennewick, Washington. Reilly also attended Central Washington as the starting quarterback after redshirting at Washington State as 5th string quarterback. He became the 2008 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year. With completing 65.2% of his passes, 37 passing touchdowns, and rushing 103 times for a total of 415 yards.



Flathead gears up for construction

RYAN VOSEN
Of the Flathead Arrow 

    The upcoming construction, scheduled to begin next Feb, stays persistently on the minds of the students and staff alike at Flathead High School. 
The plans and renderings of the project have been completed by the engineering firm Morrison and Maierle and LPW Architecture. They are more in depth than they were previously.
    The expansion will take place in between where senoir hall and 5th Ave currently stand. It will include an auxiliary gym at the center with space for three practice volleyball courts and fold out bleachers tobe used for freshmen and sophomore basketball and volleyball. Around this 19 new classrooms will be added. New rooms such as locker rooms, a teacher’s lounge, boiler room, offices, and general storage will be added as well.
    A construction committee has been meeting monthly including several Flathead teachers such as Mr. Murray Graham, who provided most of this information, and the Flathead administrators. They will organize how the construction affects students and staff as it begins next year.
    One of the concerns the committee plans to deal with will include parking. A staging area will be needed for the construction. The only available space nearby being sophomore lot; it will most likely be used during the construction process.
    Classes currently in half- floors will also be displaced while the demolition and construction occur. Classrooms will be moved to various locations throughout the school before the project begins. Teachers and students in the half-floors currently will be forced to share classrooms with other teachers.
Hazardous smoke restricts student activities 

ANNA HEDINGER

of The Flathead Arrow 

    Coming back to school proved disheartening this year as smoke blanketed the valley.  
    The visibility was poor, at less than one cubic mile at its worst, and a thin layer of ash covered everything in sight in the heart of Kalispell. Some suffered from adverse health effects. Student activities were heavily impacted by wildfire smoke during the second week of September. The football team held two inside practices and one outdoor practice with little exercise and constant water breaks. A couple of players allegedly vomited from the smoke during practice, said junior wide receiver Ryan Vosen. Two freshmen football games were cancelled because of the conditions, which were considered “Very Unhealthy” by the Department of Public Health & Human Services. Soccer players were limited to the small gym, Trinity Lutheran Middle School, and running in the school hallways for conditioning.
    “We couldn’t touch a ball for a week and a half,” senior midfielder Clara Vandenbosch said. Two soccer games were cancelled due to smoke hazards on Sept. 7 and 9, but were later rescheduled. The games were to take place at Hellgate against Hellgate High School and at Flathead against Big Sky. The Invitational cross-country meet at Rebecca Farm was cancelled as well, affecting around 700 students.
    “I want our students to be safe,” Flathead activities director Bryce Wilson commented in an interview with NPR. “I would just hate for somebody to have impact because of the air quality." Many academic activities were also cancelled or rescheduled, like the choir retreat and the science field trip to Glacier Park. Locals can check hourly air quality updates offered by the DEQ’s Today’s Air website.

Fires rage across western Montana 

ANNA HEDINGER
of The Flathead Arrow 

   Major wildfires burned through thousands of acres of land throughout the season in western Montana following the hottest summer on record.    
    Governor Steve Bullock declared Montana in a state of disaster in late August, calling this “one of the worst fire seasons” in its history. This summer, thousands of firefighters and National Guard members risked their lives to battle the flames. Sadly, two have lost their lives due to falling trees amidst the action. Evacuations affected thousands and even more suffered from severe smoke that impacted many throughout the state.
    The Sprague fire destroyed the historic Sperry Chalet in late August, devastating Montanans. Built in 1913, the famous chalet was listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977. The same fire burned more than 16,000 acres in Glacier National Park according to the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. This was a small fire compared to the Lodgepole Complex fire that consumed over 270,000 acres starting in mid July. The most dangerous was the Rice Ridge fire that burned 160,000 acres, causing evacuations of Seeley Lake residents. In fact, Rice Ridge was the number one priority fire in the nation according to fire information officers in early Sept.
    Montana News reports nearly $300 million were spent fire fighting, prompting response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA approved disaster assistance for three major wildfires in the western portion of the state. The Billings Gazette reported more than 2,800 wildfires that burned through over 1.2 million acres this year alone. As many as 48 fires were burning in a single dayas of Sept 12.
    These devastating fires were due to a severe drought that persisted throughout the summer. According to the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, June through August were the hottest and driest months on record for Montana. In July, over 10 percent of total land was listed as “in exceptional drought,” the largest percentage in the nation. In an interview with the New York Times, MSU professor Cathy Whitlock said, “as Montana faces warming temperatures, more fires are just a part of that story.”
    Montana climatologists like Kelsey Jencso are researching the drought’s connection to climate change, telling Montana Public Radio the smoke “is certainly what the future [of climate change] may look like.” Research in 2016 from Columbia University and the University of Idaho support that climate change has been worsening wildfires in the western United States for decades. “President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget calls for a $300 million reduction to the U.S. Forest Service’s wildfire fighting programs, another $50 million in cuts to its wildfire prevention efforts and a 23 percent reduction in funding for volunteer fire departments,” said the Huffington Post in August. Lawmakers may need to reconsider in wake of the disaster.

 

Spirit Week takes over

JADE WARE
of The Flathead Arrow


    Flathead High School students dressed up for school, sometimes outrageously, through five different daily themes for homecoming spirit week during the last week of September. The daily lineup for the week included Music Festival Monday, Twinning Tuesday, Wild Animal Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday and Color War Friday.

    From flower crowns to full-out rock-and-roll makeup, students took Music Festival Monday to the next level. The following day was Twinning Tuesday, where some students dressed exactly the same. The halls were filled with twins, some as “Where’s Waldo” and others dressing as “basic white chicks.” Tigers, bears, cats, and more, took over the school as students got a little more wild with their wild animal costumes. Next was Thrifty Thursday, where students showed off their thrift store style. Ending spirit week was Color War Friday, each grade dressed in a specific color. Freshman wore gray, sophomores black, juniors orange, and seniors white as staff members wore Hawaiian shirts.
    “It was super fun and I loved getting a chance to dress up and be crazy,” junior Pearl Anderson said.
    Spirit week was clearly one of the top highlights of September and really gave students a chance to express their school spirit.
    “I think spirit week is really important because it shows how much spirit Flathead High School really has,” junior Kiera Early said.
    On Music Festival Monday, students dressed in many different styles. Some wore Coachella inspired clothes, which is a music festival in California, where people dress in hippie-like clothing. Others dressed in a Rock N’ Roll style, with big wigs and dark face makeup.
    “I loved how creative everyone got with their outfits. I especially loved all of the flower crowns that many of the girls wore,” junior Haylee Learn said.
    Then on Twinning Tuesday, some decided to twin as Where’s Waldo, white chicks, and insects. Others twinned as simple as just wearing the same color shirt.
    “I thought is was super funny when I saw so many people twinning because some of the students outfits were definitely out there,” junior Errin Glencross said.
    Next on Wild Animal Wednesday students came to school dressed as turtles, cows, pigs, cats, and so much more, showing their wild side for Wednesday.
    “I loved seeing all my friends dress up as animals because it was a good laugh. Personally my favorite day for spirit week,” junior Darika Dickerson said.
    On Thrifty Thursday people wore gigantic furry coats, non-matching socks, hats with different colors, and vests with stylish buttons.
    “I enjoyed the cool vintage clothes that some people wore,” junior Morgan Lawson-Sanderlin said.
    To wrap up spirit week students wore their designated color that went with their grade. The halls were filled with gray, black, orange, and white shirts, as students showed their true colors for spirit week.
    “It was just super cool to see students wearing all our school colors. It definitely showed major school spirit,” junior Angela Brimberry said.


School District 5 threats

KATIA POSTOVIT
of The Flathead Arrow

    Flathead High School students got a real-life scare Thursday, Sept. 14, when the school district received an early-morning notice that school was cancelled because of anonymous threats.
    Students and staff were called and notified at 2 a.m. that school would not be in session Thursday. In all students missed 3 days of school.
    Senior Dakotah Fountain said "I was woken up by Judith (her mother) around 2 am telling me there was no school, I honestly thought it was because of the smoke, but my mom told me that the schools were being threatened. But I live in Lakeside so I wasn't in the middle of everything which made me feel almost more safe."
    The threats originated in the Columbia Falls school district the night before, on Wednesday, but then Kalispell School District Superintendent, Mark Flatau became aware that Kalispell Public School names started being included in the threats. The threats were considered prevalent enough for school to be cancelled until further notice.
    Superintendent Marc Flatau said he decided to close school "For the safety and best interest of our students and staff."
    The day before Spokane had a school shooting.
    It took a few days for authorities to figure out that the threat wasn't local. By Monday, authorities pinpointed the exact nature of the cause: Computer hackers.
    Senior Payge Boyce said, "I was very overwhelmed with homework the night before Thursday so I guess not having school was pretty nice, but the thought of not having school and almost being scared to go back was weird."
    Within this time off many different activities were cancelled, even if they were to travel out of the area affected by the threats. Soccer, Football, Volleyball, Cross- Country, and Golf all had games and or tournaments cancelled which turned into 9 total cancellations that weekend. This number does not involve practices or other activities that go along with these events such as band, cheerleading, etc.
    One of the biggest events affected was crosstown soccer was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
    Senior Boys Soccer Captain Gage Magone said,"We were ready for it all day and were super prepared, it was just disappointing to know it was cancelled."
    A group calling themselves the Dark Overlord sent ransom demands, which led authorities to realize that they had done it before. They previously did the same thing to Netflix, and U.S. health clinics. Releasing season 5 of orange is the new black and having hold of people’s confidential medical records.
    The group responsible for the threats is an out of country system that works to get money by threatening to release student and parent information. This group calls themselves the Dark Overlord.
The Dark Overlord isn't new to the FBI and other federal agencies, they are known for their hacking and threatening to release information unless they receive a large sum of money in Bitcoin, which is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.