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Huckleberry huckleberries

A motherlode of huckleberries to MAMA, the new Missoula Area Music Association formed to give local musicians a boost by encouraging discussion about current needs and challenges, such as fair compensation for performers. The association is working on attaining nonprofit status and already has about 100 members, as well as a core group of advisers with a range of experience in the arts scene, lending the fledgling organization a strong start toward its goal of creating “a healthy and motivated musical environment through partnerships.”

Sober, safely buckled chokecherries to the sad news that, after a positive trend toward fewer traffic fatalities, the number of deaths from crashes suddenly spiked this summer. So far this year, and following the long Labor Day weekend, 130 people had been killed on Montana roads, with the three leading causes of crashes impaired driving, not wearing a seat belt, and driving off the road.

A sky full of twinkling huckleberries to Glacier National Park’s new “Dusty Star Observatory” at the St. Mary Visitor Center. A powerful telescope and two 55-inch monitors offer astrophiles a detailed view of far-away galaxies, nebulae and other wonders of the night sky thanks to International Dark Sky Park, a partnership with Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, and the Glacier National Park Conservancy, which kicked in more than $200,000 to make the new observatory possible.

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Thinly stretched chokecherry taffy to ill-prepared Glacier National Park visitors, and extra helpings of huckleberry taffy to rangers and support staff who have had to respond to an exceptionally high number of calls for help this summer. As reported in last Sunday’s Missoulian, the number of visitors has decreased by about 3% since last year — but the number of calls for service have increased by 25%. Further, these calls run the gamut from fatal accidents, missing people, wildlife encounters, DUIs, lost pets and much more. In a single week, for example, rangers responded to more than 700 calls for service. Visitors can help by being properly prepared for current conditions and following all park rules.

Purified huckleberries to the new 6,500-square foot dialysis center in Missoula. The center, run by Community Medical Center as a joint venture with the national nonprofit Dialysis Clinic Inc., has 10 stations and can provide dialysis services to some 60 patients a week, providing a welcome option for the growing number of western Montanans with chronic kidney disease. 

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