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Brenda Carson

Heartwarming huckleberries to the Arlee Warriors boys’ basketball team for their inspiring efforts to promote suicide awareness. The team had a stellar season, winning every game and coming out district, divisional and state champions — but multiple suicides on the Flathead Indian Reservation left their community reeling. In response, team members helped create videos dedicated to the families of those who have died by suicide, reminding viewers that they stand together and asking for help sharing their message of suicide prevention. Both videos were indeed shared far and wide, with their second receiving hundreds of thousands of views, and tens of thousands of shares online. In recognition of their successful outreach, the Warriors received a suicide prevention certificate from the Montana chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Meanwhile, they continue to add to the growing number of fans inspired by their campaign to stop suicide.

Chokecherries to the frivolous ballot initiative proposal that would duplicate existing law by banning citizens of other countries from voting in Montana elections. Montana law already requires that voters be U.S. citizens, and residents of the state for at least 30 days besides. There have been no reported attempts by non-U.S. citizens to vote in an election in Montana; nevertheless, Helena attorney Chris Gallus, who filed his proposed initiative with the Secretary of State’s office this week, said he is worried that pro-immigration policies approved in other states may eventually find their way to Montana.

A housewarming basket of huckleberries to the new March Home: 40 Homes in 40 Days initiative aimed at helping 40 individuals or families in Missoula move into affordable housing. The campaign — a team effort by the Missoula Housing Authority, United Way of Missoula County and the Missoula Coordinated Entry System — is reaching out to property owners with space to rent to let them know about special vouchers that may be used to help secure housing for people without homes. The clock is ticking, however, with an April 1 deadline to leverage the federal grant money.

Rhetorical chokecherries to state Rep. Theresa Manzella, R-Hamilton, for her recent Facebook post accusing the MEA/MFT teachers’ union of “working against our constitution and for socialism and communism.” Manzella reported that she is working to expose the union’s radical leftist agenda. Worse, the Ravalli County Republicans’ Facebook page she administers helped spread misinformation and fomented anti-education sentiments this week with unhelpful — and untrue — comments by others accusing the local school district of using kids “as organized pawns for the gun control lobby.” Hamilton High School Principal Dan Kimzey responded with a level-headed letter to parents and the community setting the record straight about the student-led walkout planned for March 14. Huckleberries to him and his colleagues as they continue countering nasty insinuations and outright falsehoods while striving to respect the rights and beliefs of students, parents and others in the community.

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