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Looking back: Skier rescued from tree well; crime rate soars

by JULIE ENGLER
Whitefish Pilot | February 14, 2024 1:00 AM

A look back at past Pilot articles by Julie Engler

50 Years Ago

February 14, 1974

A target of $3 million was announced for the Whitefish Credit Union at the annual meeting. Don Jensen reported on the activities of the WCU board of directors and noted dividends of 6% were paid during the year, that a full-time employee was added to the staff, a retirement plan was developed, a drive-in window was purchased and other improvements were tried. The WCU credit committee reported loans totalling $2,378,203 were divided up between 1177 loans during the year for an increase of 35.6% in loans negotiated for the year. Records show 632 loan accounts in the  books at the end of the year.

40 Years Ago

February 16, 1984

Recently, the Board of Crime Control reported that Whitefish had a 75% higher crime rate than the rest of Montana. Actually, it was 75% higher than the state average. Other cities, including Kalispell, top it. The Crime Control’s statistics were incorrectly interpreted to mean Whitefish had the highest crime rate in the state. Whitefish Police Chief Howard Sellers said that there is no other city in the state the size of Whitefish with a higher crime rate and that a Whitefish resident is more likely to be a victim of a crime than most other residents in the state. “We don’t live in Disneyland east,” Sellers said.

30 Years Ago

February 10, 1994

The first major snow in more than a month blanketed the Flathead, bringing more than six inches of snow to the valley floor and as much as a foot to the mountains. The snow followed a brief but intense storm that blasted through, leaving a powdery layer of snow and frigid temperatures in its wake. Wind chills of more than minus 40 degrees during the day opened the week. An overnight low of minus 24 degrees was just two degrees off the record low for the date, set in 1936.

20 Years Ago

February 12, 2004

Former Big Mountain Resort Ambassador and avid skier Larry Hanson was rescued by three local teens recently after having been buried in a tree well in the lower Window Pane area of the resort’s northside terrain. Hanson was discovered by Tyler Gardner and Charley Bowman of Whitefish and Drew Lewis, visiting from the state of Georgia. “He was head first in the tree well, so we started digging until we uncovered his head,” said Tyler Gardner. “One of us stayed with him and the other two went for patrol.”

10 Years Ago

February 12, 2014

The rural feel of West Seventh Street was poised for a big change. The roadway from Baker Avenue to Karrow was slated to be rebuilt with curbs, a sidewalk, a bike and pedestrian path and streetlights. water, sewer and other utilities would also be upgraded. The proposed rebuild is listed as a top priority for Whiteifsh’s resort tax funded street reconstruction projects. Some residents in the neighborhood said they would be just as happy to see the roadway remain unchanged.