The Blackfoot Valley Dispatch is the only newspaper devoted to Lincoln, Montana and the upper Blackfoot Valley and has been the best source for local news from Lincoln, Ovando, Helmville and Canyon Creek since 1980. With a circulation of more than 650 in 37 towns across Montana and in 25 states, we reach an estimated 1500 readers each week. We are member of Montana Newspaper Association and are working hard to provide our readers with the best possible local news and advertising. We appreciate feedback, so let us know what you think and how we can improve.You can contact us at 406-362-4131 of by email at firstname.lastname@example.org Check our new ' Recent stories' page for selected stories from recent editions
Jan. 17 Headlines
Arrest made in connection to theft of ATM recovered near Lincoln
Race to the Sky to bring most race events back to Lincoln
LVCC looks back on 2017 at annual meeting; tallies votes for vacant seats
Communication breakdown, inaccurate information leads to confusion about ‘Sled the Burn’ snowmobile promotion
Op/Ed: The Right Thing to Do with the Tax Windfall - Help Colstrip
FWP launches new program to improve wildlife habitat through weed management
Granite Prospectors hit pay dirt in Lincoln
Dutton files for re-election with changes on the horizon
Lincoln Ambulance year in review
Geary: Memories of the 'Alberta Clipper'
This is Montana: The Night the Mountain Fell in Yellowstone
Race to the Sky to bring most race events back to Lincoln
Roger DeyMost Race to the Sky activities that have been held in Helena for several years are coming back to Lincoln next month. For about six years, organizers of the dog sled race hosted events including the 300 mile vet check, pre-race and award dinners in Helena. The race officially began at Camp Rimini with a run commemorating the dogs and mushers who trained there during World War II, but a lack of snow led to the cancellation of the last three or four of those runs, race organizer Pam Beckstrom said. Since those runs didn’t count toward the race mileage, they opted to simplify things consolidating activities back in Lincoln. “We just felt like it was easier for mushers to come to Lincoln and have everything in Lincoln; the start, the drivers meeting, the prerace dinner, all of that stuff,” she said. “A lot of the mushers who are coming from either thn north or the west, it will save them actually several hours of time.” Now in its 33rd year, the dogsled race is also sporting a modified name: The 2018 Young Living Race to the Sky. “Young Living is partnering with us in a nice sponsorship,” Beckstrom said. “They have dog care products and human products. It’s an essential oils company, probably the leading essential oil company in the world, and they’ve kinda taken a fancy to our race.” She said the company is looking at vet care and how the animals are taken care of and…they’re looking at the well-being of both humans and animals. The well-being of the dogs will be the focus Friday afternoon, Feb. 9 at Hi Country Trading Post, as the 300-mile vet checks get underway at 1 p.m. “People can come and watch the dogs get their physicals. We’re hoping school kids will come and take an interest in how a team works for the dogs, and also watch them get their physicals,” Beckstrom said. “It’s pretty interesting. We have international sled dog vets that come and give the physicals.” A drivers meeting for mushers and dog handlers is set for 3:30 p.m. Friday, after the vet checks and the day’s events will be capped off from 6-8 p.m. at the Lincoln Community Hall with the Pre-Race Dinner, which is open to the public. On Saturday things kick off at Hi Country with 100-mile vet checks at 11 a.m. The 300-mile race is slated to start at 3 p.m., followed by the start of the 100-mile race. To ensure the 300-mile race, an Iditarod qualifier, meets the required mileage, the route this year takes teams to the Whitetail Ranch near Ovando twice, once on the way-out Feb. 10, when the public can come out and view the teams, and again during the night of Feb 12-13, on the return trip to Lincoln. An event that’s not returning to Lincoln is the awards dinner on Sunday. Beckstrom said the award ceremonies are going to be causal this year, so the mushers can head home. “The 100 will be at the Seeley Lake Community Center Sunday (Feb. 11). The 300 will be probably about 2 o’clock on Tuesday (Feb. 13), right at the Trading Post,” she said. Although an additional day of race-related activities are returning to Lincoln and are expected to bring people to town, not everyone is entirely enthused about it. With most of the events at Hi Country, two miles west of town, some Main Street business owners like Coyote Coffee’s Aaron Birkholz don’t expect to see much of a boost in business. Although he didn’t own a business at the time, Birkholz remembers the excitement and number of people who came to town when a portion of the race came down Main Street, and said he would like to see them find a way to bring part of the race itself back into town somehow. Beckstrom, who acknowledged how popular running the teams through town was, said the main street run isn’t coming back dueto too many “near disasters”in the past. It was safety concerns for dogs, mushers and spectators alike that brought an end to the practice. “We’re gonna take them right out on the trail. It is just for safety reasons,” she said. Nevertheless, Beckstrom hopes Lincoln residents will turn out this year to support the race. “We’re looking for a good crowd. We’re going to have street banners in Lincoln prior to the race and we would like to see a large number of spectators,” she said. Race to the Sky is also still on the lookout for sponsors. “We have sponsorships available for any amount. That would be really appreciated and it will help to put things together for next year, too,” Beckstrom said. Only two Lincoln businesses – Hi Country Snack Foods and the Lincoln Log Hotel - were listed as sponsors on the Race to the Sky website earlier this week.
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