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122114 lc caverns1 kw.jpg

122114 lc caverns1 kw.jpg

Visitors to the Lewis and Clark Caverns approach the entrance to Cave Mountain for a candlelight tour.

17 hours agoLoading…
122114 lc caverns2 kw.jpg

122114 lc caverns2 kw.jpg

Loni Waters of Missoula lights a candle lantern for the tour.

17 hours agoLoading…
122114 lc caverns3 kw.jpg

122114 lc caverns3 kw.jpg

By the light of his candle lantern, a visitor to the cave walks among the stalactites, stalagmites and columns first discovered in the late 1800s. 

17 hours agoLoading…
122114 lc caverns4 kw.jpg

122114 lc caverns4 kw.jpg

"Stay close together and use each other's lights to see down these stairs," advises tour guide Derrick Rathe, before the group descends a stairway deep inside the cave. 

17 hours agoLoading…
122114 lc caverns5 kw.jpg

122114 lc caverns5 kw.jpg

The six days of holiday candlelight tours of the cave have become a popular annual event.

17 hours agoLoading…
122114 lc caverns6 kw.jpg

122114 lc caverns6 kw.jpg

Visitors approach the exit at the end of the two-mile, two-hour experience.

17 hours agoLoading…
122114 lc caverns7 kw.jpg

122114 lc caverns7 kw.jpg

Six-year-old Adeline Walters of Livingston stands in wonderment in the Paradise Room, the final stop on the tour. "It's the best Christmas I ever had," she said.

17 hours agoLoading…
What's wilderness worth? Montanans explore spiritual significance of wild places

What's wilderness worth? Montanans explore spiritual significance of wild places

MISSOULA — You’ve talked your friend/spouse/child into shouldering a heavy pack, enduring a painful blister, incurring dozens of mosquito bites, foregoing a soft bed and questioning his/her self respect and your good/evil intentions.

20 hours ago Related Loading…
Why not in Polson?

Why not in Polson?

POLSON — At the north end of Flathead Lake sits Bigfork, and its main drag — Electric Avenue — is packed with tourist-driven art galleries, gift shops, restaurants and a summer theater.

22 hours ago Related Loading…
Kalispell sees faster growth than the rest of northwestern Montana

Kalispell sees faster growth than the rest of northwestern Montana

KALISPELL — There are two economic forecasts for the northwest corner of Montana — one for Flathead County, which remains one of the state’s fastest growing, and one for everywhere else.

22 hours ago Related Loading…
Wilderness

Wilderness

As the 50th anniversary year of the Wilderness Act of 1964 draws to a close, Montanans still struggle to express what they mean when they say what wild country is worth.

December 21, 2014 8:10 am
'Better late than never': Missoula showing signs of recovery after recession

'Better late than never': Missoula showing signs of recovery after recession

MISSOULA — The Missoula economy was hit harder than other areas of the state by the recession of 2008 because the closures of both the Stimson lumber mill in Bonner in 2008 and the Smurfit-Stone Container plant in Frenchtown in 2010 exacerbated the problem.

December 21, 2014 8:00 am Photos

Photos

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It's Montana's time for tourism

It's Montana's time for tourism

MISSOULA — If you could get every person on earth to spend just 50 cents in Montana once a year, you would pump more than $3.5 billion into the state’s economy.

December 21, 2014 8:00 am Related Loading…
Stronger than before: Missoula returns to pre-recession economy

Stronger than before: Missoula returns to pre-recession economy

MISSOULA — If there is one business in Missoula that could be considered a bellwether of the local economy, it might be WGM Group, a firm that provides an array of engineering, planning, consulting, surveying, environmental and water resources services.

December 21, 2014 8:00 am Related Loading…
Gulcin and Celal Dede

Gulcin and Celal Dede

After a three-week-long trial, grieving parents Gulcin and Celal Dede must now begin to put their lives back together after the tragic death of their son, Diren, in Missoula last April.

December 21, 2014 7:47 am
Wilderness

Wilderness

Montana's congressional delegation hopes their sweeping public lands bill will clear Congress before the end of this year. The package includes 67,000 acres of proposed new wilderness on the Rocky Mountain Front.

December 20, 2014 11:26 am
President signs bill protecting North Fork, Rocky Mountain Front

President signs bill protecting North Fork, Rocky Mountain Front

MISSOULA — Montana wilderness legislation historic both for its bipartisan support and the long-standing campaigns it completed was signed into law Friday night by President Barack Obama.

December 20, 2014 11:22 amLoading…

Employees' lawsuit against Vann's settles out of court for $9.2M

MISSOULA — A multimillion-dollar lawsuit against former officers of Vann’s Inc. was settled Friday, according to U.S. District Court in Missoula.

December 20, 2014 9:31 amLoading…
Bob Stitt introduced as Griz football coach

Bob Stitt introduced as Griz football coach

MISSOULA, Mont. — The best job in America.

December 19, 2014 3:06 pmLoading…
Grizzlies coach Bob Stitt

Grizzlies coach Bob Stitt

Newly-named head football coach at Montana, Bob Stitt, calls on an audience member with a question Friday. Behind him is Montana's athletic director and Stitt's boss, Kent Haslam.

December 19, 2014 12:31 pm
Grizzlies introduce Stitt as new football coach

Grizzlies introduce Stitt as new football coach

MISSOULA — The best job in America. That's what Bob Stitt had to say about the Montana Grizzly football head coaching gig Friday morning when the university introduced the offensive innovator as its 36th head coach.

December 19, 2014 12:31 pm Related Loading…
Judge will decide if convicted killer in 17-year-old case deserves new trial

Judge will decide if convicted killer in 17-year-old case deserves new trial

THOMPSON FALLS — The fate of a man who has spent more than 17 years in the Montana State Prison for a murder he has always denied committing is in the hands of state District Court Judge Jim Wheelis.

December 19, 2014 9:09 amLoading…
Kaarma prosecutors: No evidence partner 'colluded, facilitated'

Kaarma prosecutors: No evidence partner 'colluded, facilitated'

MISSOULA — Janelle Pflager, the partner of the Missoula man who was convicted of murdering a teenage exchange student this week, will not face charges.

December 19, 2014 9:02 amLoading…
Janelle Pflager

Janelle Pflager

Markus Kaarma's mother, left, and partner, Janelle Pflager, wait for the jury's verdict Wednesday.

December 19, 2014 9:02 am
Steve Daines

Steve Daines

U.S. Rep. Steve Daines on Thursday meets with area residents who own cabins on National Forest land as they describe the importance of the passage of the Cabin Fee Act that will help stabilize fees they pay for the cabin leases. The Cabin Fee Act was included in the 2015 National Defense Aut…

December 19, 2014 8:59 am
Montana cabin owners rejoice over capped federal lease rate

Montana cabin owners rejoice over capped federal lease rate

MISSOULA — Owners of cabins on national forest lands throughout Montana celebrated on Thursday after passage of the bipartisan Cabin Fee Act.

December 19, 2014 8:57 amLoading…
Judge will decide if convicted killer in Trout Creek case deserves new trial

Judge will decide if convicted killer in Trout Creek case deserves new trial

THOMPSON FALLS – The fate of a man who has spent more than 17 years in the Montana State Prison for a murder he has always denied committing is in the hands of state District Court Judge Jim Wheelis.

December 19, 2014 7:15 amLoading…
East Portal

East Portal

The East Portal area of the Hiawatha/Olympian rails-to-trail area takes about an hour to reach on cross-country skis. Recent snows have made the area a great winter playground around Lookout Pass along the Montana-Idaho border.

December 18, 2014 2:00 pmLoading…
Edgar

Edgar

A colorful home in Edgar.

December 18, 2014 2:00 pmLoading…
Emigrant

Emigrant

"Hepburn’s Mesa is named for John Hepburn, a local rancher, rockhound and amateur paleontologist.  He arrived in the Emigrant area in 1909 and after working in Yellowstone National Park for many years.  In 1935, Hepburn built and opened a museum next to Secondary Highway 540 that displayed m…

December 18, 2014 2:00 pmLoading…
Ennis

Ennis

The Madison Range is seen from the roadside marker on the banks of the Madison River in Ennis, that describes the "Shining Mountains."

December 18, 2014 2:00 pmLoading…
Essex

Essex

Izaak Walton Inn, Essex.

December 18, 2014 2:00 pmLoading…
Evaro

Evaro

Wang and Marcel Huijser, from the Western Transportation Institute based in Bozeman, walk toward the wildlife overpass at the top of Evaro Hill.

December 18, 2014 2:00 pmLoading…
Eureka

Eureka

U.S. Highway 93 cuts through the main business center of Eureka.

December 18, 2014 2:00 pmLoading…
Kate Walker and Randy Smith

Kate Walker and Randy Smith

Kate Walker and Randy Smith, Diren Dede’s host family in Missoula, react to the guilty verdict Wednesday. “I’m very happy,” says Smith. “I think justice was done. It doesn’t bring back Diren and it doesn’t undo the pain that was caused to so many people, but a happy ending.”

December 18, 2014 1:41 pm
Diren Dede's host parents express relief at guilty verdict

Diren Dede's host parents express relief at guilty verdict

MISSOULA — Kate Walker and Randy Smith, the Missoula couple who hosted 17-year-old foreign exchange student Diren Dede in their home until he was gunned down in a garage just down the street, expressed relief in the wake of Wednesday’s verdict.

December 18, 2014 1:39 pm Related Loading…
Celal Dede carries a portrait

Celal Dede carries a portrait

Celal Dede carries a portrait of his son Diren given to him and his wife Gulcin outside the Missoula County Courthouse on Thursday after they gave victim's impact statements prior to the sentencing of Markus Kaarma, who was found guilty Wednesday of deliberate homicide in Diren's death.

December 18, 2014 1:20 pm
Tester nominates 30 Montana students to military academies

Tester nominates 30 Montana students to military academies

MISSOULA — U.S. Sen. Jon Tester nominated 30 high school students to apply to the nation’s prestigious military academies.

December 18, 2014 1:15 pmLoading…
Walsh congratulates 28 Montanans nominated to military academies

Walsh congratulates 28 Montanans nominated to military academies

MISSOULA — U.S. Sen. John Walsh congratulated the 28 Montanans he nominated to apply for enrollment at America’s military academies.

December 18, 2014 1:17 pmLoading…
DEDE FAMILY REACTS TO VERDICT

DEDE FAMILY REACTS TO VERDICT

Gulcin and Celal Dede embrace after Markus Kaarma was found guilty of deliberate homicide Wednesday in Missoula County District Court.

December 17, 2014 6:14 pm
Jennifer Clark and Celal Dede

Jennifer Clark and Celal Dede

Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Clark and Diren Dede's father, Celal Dede, celebrate in court after the verdict.

December 17, 2014 2:10 pm
Markus Kaarma's mother

Markus Kaarma's mother

Markus Kaarma’s mother sobs in the courtroom after the guilty verdict.

December 17, 2014 2:05 pm
Jennifer Clark hugs Gulcin Dede

Jennifer Clark hugs Gulcin Dede

Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Clark hugs Diren Dede's mother, Gulcin Dede, before the verdict.

December 17, 2014 1:54 pm
Markus Kaarma

Markus Kaarma

Markus Kaarma shows little emotion as the jury pronounces him guilty of deliberate homicide Wednesday.

December 17, 2014 1:47 pm
Markus Kaarma

Markus Kaarma

Markus Kaarma shows little emotion as the jury pronounces him guilty of deliberate homicide Wednesday.

December 17, 2014 1:39 pm
Kaarma guilty of German student's homicide; parents will address court Thursday

Kaarma guilty of German student's homicide; parents will address court Thursday

MISSOULA — A collective cry erupted on the third floor of the Missoula County Courthouse Wednesday as a jury of eight women and four men found Markus Hendrik Kaarma guilty of deliberate homicide.

December 17, 2014 1:20 pm Video Photos

Photos

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