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70 years ago

April 8, 1949

Spring thaw-caused slides were hindering progress on the Hungry Horse Dam. The slides had damaged a truck and a shovel. Meanwhile, about 50 million board feet of timber from clearing the reservoir was being sold. The first six schedules sold for the minimum bid price of $275,560.

60 years ago

April 10, 1959

Major project for the Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce was to put up 300 new metal street signs. The previous signs had been on telephone poles. Front page pictures featured Many Glacier. Crews were clearing snow so contractors could get to work on the hotel. The bighorn sheep were hanging around, just as they do today.

50 years ago

April 11, 1969

Construction resumed on the Cedar Creek Dam and diversion project, which was built to reduce the flood risk from Cedar Creek in Columbia Falls. Before the dam, nearly every May Cedar Creek would go underground and then pop back up in the south end of town, flooding basements, the high school track and other structures.

40 years ago

April 12, 1979

The Columbia Falls planning board approved the concept of the Meadow Lake Resort. Four men were arrested in connection with the murder of Roy Cooper, 72, who lived up the North Fork. The men, Bret Van Horn, 19, J.R. Fletcher, 28, Ronald White, 21, and Lon Orcutt, 19 were caught after a shootout with police. A woman was also sought in the Cooper death.

30 years ago

April 12, 1989

Crews had about half of the grain cleaned up from separate rail car derailments near Marias Pass that had happened over the winter. All told about 100 railcars had derailed and spilled thousands of tons of grain. Bears were already being attracted to the spill. A spill in 1985 gained notoriety after many bear came to a spill, ate the fermented grain and got drunk.

20 years ago

April 8, 1999

A bill in Congress touted the North Fork as a national park. The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act would look at making about 285,000 acres of the North Fork a park. That bill is still bandied about today, but gets nowhere in Congress.

10 years ago

April 9, 2009

Pilot Hugh Rogers was killed on his 50th birthday when his plane crashed into the Hungry Horse Reservoir. Columbia Falls barber Randy Bocksnick celebrated his 45th year as a barber.

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