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Residents seek to change offensive name of Montana lake
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Residents seek to change offensive name of Montana lake

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Montana Lake-Racist Name

This Aug. 19, 2020 photo shows Lost Coon Lake south of Whitefish, Mont. Residents who live around the small lake in northwestern Montana are asking to rename it because its name includes an offensive term referring to a Black person. (Hunter D'Antuono/Flathead Beacon via AP)

HELENA — Residents who live around a small lake in northwestern Montana are asking to rename it because its name includes an offensive term for a Black person.

The city of Whitefish filed a petition in state District Court in mid-August on behalf of property owners around Lost Coon Lake to change its name to Lost Loon Lake. The lake covers one-tenth of a square mile on the southern edge of Whitefish.

The city is known as the part-time home of white nationalist Richard Spencer and has dealt with racist issues. The renaming effort comes during a national reckoning over racism.

It's not clear when the Montana lake got its name; previously its name included the N-word, residents have said.

"We literally cannot find out who requested the name change or who established the (current) name," said Whitefish City Council member Frank Sweeney, who owns property on the lake. He said he has seen a printed map with the previous name.

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