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March 21 Headlines
Community meeting looks back at Lincoln’s 2017 fire season
Editorial: When you get right down to it, Envision Lincoln isn’t as confusing as it may seem
Banking on a Power House for Lincoln kids Obituary: Willa Ray Terman
Op/Ed: The local newspaper
Melting snowpack raises flood concerns New coordinator hired for Lewis and Clark County DES Science fair produces budding young scientists Geary: The lost joys of the old mill pond
This is Montana: ROCKY MOUNTAIN FRONT’S FIRST RANGER (PART 1 OF 3)
Lincoln High Junior named Montana Bowhunter of the Year
Banking on a Power House for Lincoln kids Hope QuayWork has officially begun on the Power House, a not-for-profit fitness and recreation center geared toward Lincoln’s teens. The Power House, in the old bank building, is the realization of a dream founder Rick Freeland has cherished for two decades. “The idea came to my head 20 years ago, literally, but there was really no building available and we kind of put it on the back burner,” Freeland said. “About two months ago I was driving through Lincoln and I looked at the old bank building and…I thought ‘today’s the day.’” So Freeland stopped and talked to Dickinson, who agreed the rec center was the right thing for the building. Freeland, who moved his family to Lincoln in the 1990’s, hopes to create a safe and welcoming environment for Lincoln middle and high school students to work out and hang out, as well as the opportunity for them to be mentored and encouraged to reach their goals. “I see these kids nowadays with all of the peer pressure and all of the social pressure and the cyber bullying and I thought ‘man, this is nuts. So, what can I do?’” he said. “So, I thought a safe place where the kids can improve themselves at their own speed with some good, solid, healthy guidance…it would up their percentages of being healthy individuals.” Intended primarily for use by local kids and women who want a safe, convenient place to work out, the center will eventually host a variety of classes. “There are lot of women who want to do self-defense classes and tae-bo, yoga, aerobics…the ladies can work out in the evenings or early mornings, and the kids can work out at certain times,” Freeland said. “It’s going to be a no bullying zone, and we have about 25 or 30 adults that want to mentor these kids.” Freeland and his wife, Patti, have begun to stock the gym with treadmills, bikes and weightlifting equipment and plan to add a climbing wall, sound system and media room. Their vision is for a warm and welcoming facility that kids aged 12 to 18 can use for free. “I have a pool table I’m putting in, I’m going to have video games in there, there’ll be granola bars, apples, water…they’re not going to have to pay for anything,” said Freeland, who said renovations on the interior of the building will start this week. He hopes to have a grand opening June 1. v Lincoln school’s social entrepreneurs class, a freshman-level class that moves from computer literacy to social responsibility, will take an active role in fundraising for the Power House. “The goal of the social entrepreneurship class is to teach the kids more about community service, and how to give back to their communities and be a part of it,” said teacher Laura Bullis. “We heard about the rec-center, and the kids all just unanimously got excited.” Class spokespeople Nikki Snyder and Joey Wiederhold, both freshmen, envision an exciting future for the project. “It’s…a free zone for all of us … to go work out and hang out with friends,” said Wiederhold. “It’ll be kind of nice to come after school and enjoy a good night.” “It’s not just for us, but we’ll actually have someplace to do stuff, which is really amazing,” Snyder said. Both teens agreed there is a need for a safe, no-bullying zone where Lincoln youth can congregate. “Keeping it a friendly place with no bullying is going to be kind of hard,” Wiederhold said. “What Rick was telling us is that this place is going to be 100 percent safe with no bullying, and if there is (bullying), you’re going to be kicked out.” “That’s the one good thing about it being kind of small,” said Snyder, “you can watch over most everything, make sure nothing bad is happening. I love this town, but…we just need somewhere where there is no judgment.” “Having a physical place that they can call theirs is huge,” Bullis said. “Growing up here in Lincoln, we never had that. Actually having a space that they know they’re welcome to go in and use is a really big deal.” The Lincoln Valley Chamber of Commerce has agreed to act as the project’s fiscal sponsor, lending the umbrella of their non-profit status to the Powerhouse, until it gets its own non-profit status.. “We now have an account opened up at the bank so that people can go in there and donate to the Power House, and then those monies go through the Chamber of Commerce account,” said Freeland. “I wanted this because I want to be accountable to somebody else...it’s just a better feeling for everybody who’s donating.” The Freelands’ goal is for the Power House to eventually become a community run and funded project, with Rick staying on as a director. “It’s my plan to get this rolling and have the community embrace it and take it over. Pretty much, the Power House Fitness and Recreation Center will be Lincoln’s own place,” he said. “I didn’t go into this blind. Patti and I kind of figured that we might have a couple of months where things would be tight, with the rent and stuff. But there are enough people in this valley who are interested in this that I think everybody could step up to the plate and go ‘let’s just do this.’” Eventually, Freeland would like to see a revitalized stretch of downtown Lincoln that includes not only a rec-center and gym, but an indoor pool and a playhouse. He envisions the Power House as just one step in a community-driven movement to improve Lincoln for everyone. “That’s why I’m hoping for local sponsors and the people in the community. If everybody donates like they’re excited about it happening, we won’t have any worries,” he said. “So far, everybody’s just been really excited about it.” “I think as a community we need to come together and help Rick and Patti make this happen, whether it is donating money or maybe lending them your muscle,” LVCC President Laurie Richards said. “This rec center is going to be a huge asset to Lincoln.” “This is going to be a really busy place. It’s going to be fun,” Patti Freeland said. Freeland, who is passionate about anti-bullying and mentorship, is already having fun. “My motivation to do this was to get vulnerable kids out of bad situations and give them a chance to realize their value – that they have great value, and that they have great potential, and that they can really climb out of a pit and become something great,” he said. “These high school and junior high kids, there’s a lot of promise and a lot of hope.”
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