While Joani Young was walking on the Rails to Trails path west of town Nov. 7 she had what she called a heartwarming experience regarding a Montana Department of Transportation plow truck driver.
As she and her little dog were crossing Whalebone Drive heading west she noticed a plow truck heading east on U.S. 2 and a huge spray was coming off the edge of his plow.
“I was pretty sure we were going to get drenched!” she said. “But almost as quickly the spray stopped, the truck went by and I heard the blade strike the pavement. They must be a very skilled driver as pulling the plow up and putting it back down after passing us was all done in just a matter of seconds.”
Young wanted to thank and commend the driver for his courtesy.
“I also would like to use this as an opportunity to thank all working for our city, county and state who take care of so many things in this Valley,” she added. “I know many times they may hear complaints more often than praise.”
Young wrote to the Inter Lake after speaking to a nice man at the Montana road maintenance department about her positive experience.
He appreciated the positive feedback and said he’d pass it on to his supervisor who would know who was driving the truck.
And indeed he did. I called the Transportation Department and was connected to Kalispell Sections Supervisor Joel Hoerner.
He told me the driver that day was Joe Jones, a 25-year veteran of the department and the maintenance crew leader for the Marion satellite.
Young’s call put a big smile on Jones’ face, Hoerner said.
Hoerner said their maintenance technicians/equipment operators are trained to watch for just that very thing. Plow drivers receive quite a bit of orientation and training throughout the year, including monthly safety training.
“They struggle to keep people safe while doing their job,” Hoerner said, adding that some of the challenges they regularly face are wildlife, pedestrians, increasing traffic and changing road infrastructure.
“These guys don’t often get the credit they deserve, he said. “Please give the plows some room this winter.”
The Whitefish High School Class of 1963 recently held a reunion to celebrate 55 years since graduation. Forty classmates and guests registered.
One of the activities during the reunion weekend was a guided tour of the new Whitefish High School.
On behalf of the Class of ’63, Dave Johnson expressed appreciation to the Whitefish School board, School Superintendent Davis Schmidt and Principal Kerry Drown for allowing their group to visit the new school.
They also expressed a special thank you to their host and guide for the tour, Assistant Principal Jeff Peck, who spent about two hours with the group and did an outstanding job of explaining the amazing features of the facility.
“Jeff displayed great passion and professionalism and extended high praise for the school’s faculty, staff and students,” Johnson said. “He answered literally dozens of questions from an interested group of alumni.
“Whitefish is fortunate to have leadership like Jeff dealing with the challenges of high school education for the 2018-2019 school year and beyond.
Thanks again, Jeff, from the ‘Ol’ Dawgs’ of ’63.”
Community Editor Carol Marino may be reached at 758-4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.