Thankful historic church was saved

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St. Matthew’s Catholic Church has been a landmark and part of the downtown Kalispell landscape since it opened in 1911, and we’re relieved the church is able to be repaired following a Mother’s Day fire that tore through the basement, causing an estimated $150,000 in damage.

Thanks to the quick response from the Kalispell fire and police departments, first-responders were on the scene within minutes; otherwise the damage could have been much worse. Credit also goes to Bill Hensleigh, who noticed a wisp of smoke as he was praying in the church late Sunday afternoon, and then quickly notified a church staff member as smoke began to billow from the basement window. With the damage of the April 15 Notre Dame fire in Paris still on his mind, Hensleigh commented that “in effect, this is our Notre Dame.”

St. Matthew’s parishioners have a lot of work ahead of them in raising money to rebuild and restore this historic building. It’s an opportunity for the community to rally around St. Matthew’s, which has been an integral part of Kalispell with both its church and school.

Planning to travel through Glacier Park International Airport this summer? Be sure to pack your patience.

Airport officials are ramping up for what is expected to be its busiest season yet, and that means longer-than-usual lines at security check stations.

Glacier Park International expects to screen an average of 16,000 departing passengers a week during the coming summer months, which is about as busy as Missoula’s airport. During peak travel times, Transportation Security Administration officials warn that wait times could approach two hours.

Officials suggest showing up early — at least two hours in advance of your departure time ­— and to avoid traveling on Saturdays if possible, by far the busiest travel day at our local airport.

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