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Huckleberries 1 STK
Roman Nerud

Helpful huckleberries to the 136 people who donated to a GoFundMe campaign to pay the delinquent taxes owed on nearly 200 trailers in Missoula County, and an extra helping to Svein Newman for creating the fundraiser and kicking it off with a generous donation of his own. In just three days, the campaign raised more than $9,700 — enough to keep more than 30 trailers from being auctioned.

Chokecherries in search of a new home for the owners of 25 trailers who were not able to scrape together enough money to pay their outstanding property taxes by the deadline and saw their homes auctioned off to the highest bidders last Wednesday. Before the GoFundMe campaign the total debt topped $50,000, with individuals owing amounts from about $200 to nearly $1,500.

Healthy huckleberries to the development of a new, faster way to test for localized asbestos contamination. A team including U.S. Geological Survey scientist Gregg Swayze created the hand-held test after studying asbestos exposure in Libby, as well as near the World Trade Centers in New York. Asbestos may be present in insulation installed in millions of American households; the new tool, though pricey at $50,000 apiece, promises to aid inspectors in more quickly and accurately detecting the presence of a serious health hazard, without first having to send samples to a lab and wait weeks for the results.

Chokecherries to Montana’s slip in reading and math scores on the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress. The recently released results of the tests taken by a sample of fourth- and eighth-graders in the state last year show that the average math score wavered only slightly, but average reading scores dropped three points in each grade. On the bright side, Montana’s students continue to score well above the national average.

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