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May 25, 2018

The full version of Prickly Pear Junction is now available on your smartphone!

EAST HELENA WEATHER

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  • East Helena residents on May 8 approved a bond to construct the community’s first high school.
  • Our students will attend a smaller school, closer to home, with smaller class sizes. Students will have greater opportunity to participate in student groups and school sports, such as softball and football. It will be easier for kids to get to school and attend after-school and evening activities.
  • Research shows that students in small schools do better academically, feel less alienated, more nurtured and more connected to caring adults.
  • We will be a Class A school with gym, track, fields, grandstand and other sports facilities that allow us to compete at this level in Montana.
  • CTE Programs (Career Technical Education) including woodshop/construction, welding, STEM, robotics, drafting, culinary arts, art, music (band & choir), and design production, plus other academic and career elective course offerings.
  • A library, cyber café, commons areas, full and auxiliary gym, weight/fitness room, kitchen conference rooms available to community use and rental.
  • 95,000-105,000 square-foot building with full high school services for 500-600 students, which accounts for student population growth.
  • The $29.5 million bond will fund construction of the new high school. The cost for the owner or a $200,000 home is projected at $34.21 per month. However, East Helena taxpayers will no longer pay into operations of Helena’s schools once the local high school opens. This, when coupled with the recent proposed increases to the high school levies in Helena will decrease the monthly payment by $4.86 per month, for a total of $29.35 per month.
  • Operations of the new school will result in a long-term tax decrease for East Helena taxpayers. Our tax dollars will stay in town, supporting our schools.
  • The school will open to East Helena high school students on Aug. 26, 2020.

Courtesy of SMA ARCHITECTS  www.architects-sma.com

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Please remember that vehicles must be parked parallel with the edge of the roadway headed in the direction of traffic.
No angle or straight in parking is permitted without City Council approval and designated angle parking signage. Double parking is not allowed.

Click this link to read related “Method of Parking” City Code.

Please click this link to view the East Helena website “Public Notices” page for upcoming Public Meetings on changes to existing City Code or call City Hall at 227-5321 for more information.

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Public Notice: Notice of Sale At Public Auction of City Owned Real Property.
The City of East Helena, Montana will offer the following real property located in East Helena, MT, for sale at public auction on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 1:00 p.m., in Room 110 of the East Helena City Hall, 306 East Main Street, East Helena, Montana. An Open House will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2018, from 9AM to 11AM.

Address:
Jaycee Hall – East Helena
309 East Main Street
East Helena, MT 59635

Please read the Public Notice below for more information:
Public Notice: Notice of Sale At Public Auction of City Owned Real Property (PDF)

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IMPORTANT NEW POLICIES:

PLEASE NOTE NEW AIRLINE CHECK IN AND BOARDING CUT OFF TIME REQUIREMENTS:

All passengers flying on Delta or United must checked in no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled flight departure time, and also be at the airline gate inside the secured area, ready for boarding, no later than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled flight departure time. Passengers flying on Alaska Airlines must be checked in no later than 40 minutes prior to their flight and also be at the boarding gate no later than 30 minutes prior to their scheduled flight. Passengers who do not arrive at either of these locations within the required time frames will not make their flight.

Please understand this is an airline policy adopted system wide, and it is not an airport-specific policy. The airlines have instituted these policies to ensure flights and the entire airline system can remain on schedule.

Please arrive early to ensure you have adequate time to check in, declare any checked bags, and get through the TSA Security Checkpoint Lane. As a reminder, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is also requiring passengers to remove all electronics, liquids, and medications from their carry-on bags at the time you pass through the screening checkpoint. These enhanced security procedures are being done nationwide, and can take additional time, so be sure to arrive at the airport early to leave enough time to complete the screening and boarding processes.

This is especially important during the morning banks of flights. The airlines have recently increased the size of the aircraft for the morning 

departures which has provided additional seats. Additionally, there are 3 flights leaving within a 50 minute time frame which can mean up to 228 passengers getting processed within a short period of time.

Please arrive early and be prepared. For any pre-flight questions, utilize the following resources:

Delta Airlines – 1-800-221-1212 or local (406)-495-1100, or online at
www.delta.com
United Airlines – 1-800-864-8331 or local (406)-495-1100, or online at
www.united.com
Alaska Airlines – 1-800-252-7522 or local (406)-442-0930, or online at
www.alaskaair.com
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – online listing of prohibited items and screening procedures at www.tsa.gov

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SIMPLE STEPS TO PREVENT FLU:

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year. In general, all healthy people should get vaccinated. The CDC now recommends that, in addition to other high risk groups, all healthy children get a flu vaccination. Other tips:

1. Avoid close contact:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick:
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.

3. Cover your mouth and nose:
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Do the elbow cough. Since viruses cling to your bare hands, you can reduce the spread of viruses by perfecting the art of the elbow cough. When you cough, simply cover your face with your entire elbow. It’s also an easy technique to teach kids.

4. Clean your hands:
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth:
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits:
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

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Sales of my artwork and art books on the ETSY Art/Craft website 
help support Prickly Pear Junction “CLOUD”.
Click on a book cover to see it on ETSY!

Click on this cover to view my book: “Step by Step: How to Cover Bottles With Fine Macramé” on my ETSY Store.

Click on this cover to view my book: “Step By Step: How To Make a Macramé Lamp ” on my ETSY store!

Click on this cover to view my book: “Macrame: String Theory” on my ETSY store!

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METG ~ East Helena

The following photo essay is a record of the two year project to reconstruct the Prickly Pear Creek floodplain to reduce the contact of groundwater with contaminated soil.

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #1

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #2

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #3

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2016 ~ Work begins

Slide #4

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #5

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #6

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #7

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #8

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Slag pile with wetlands on the right

Slide #9

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Wetlands in reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – former Lower Lake area

Slide #10

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section

Slide #11

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Inlet structure for the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek

Slide #12

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – south section

Slide #13

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Inlet structure for the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek

Slide #14

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Inlet structure for the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek

Slide #15

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Berm to bypass channel – allows water to enter the bypass channel in high flow events – protects newly planted vegetation

Slide #16

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Oxbow bend in the reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #17

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain

Slide #18

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #19

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #20

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #21

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #22

METG ~ East Helena

Summer 2017
Reconstructed Prickly Pear Creek floodplain – north section, shot from slag pile

Slide #23

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If you are relatively new to East Helena you may have wondered what those little yellow “ribbon” signs with names on them signify. You can see them on many power poles all over town. Recently I spoke with Kit Johnson (of J4 Automotive) and he told me this story:

Kit and Vi Johnson of J4 Automotive, having served our country as a veteran family of Desert Storm, wish to pay tribute to our fellow military members and families of the East Helena community. Kit and Vi have been granted permission from the City of East Helena and Northwestern Energy to attach yellow ribbons to the power poles that align Main Street in East Helena. These yellow ribbons pay tribute to the Men and Women of the East Helena community who so bravely serve our country and defend our freedom.
To qualify, the soldier must either be on active duty or a National Guard or Reservist who has been deployed for active duty. The ribbon will be removed in three years or when it has deteriorated due to weather or damage.

If you have more questions or want to nominate a soldier for this honor, please contact Kit or Vi at J4 Automotive, 227-8622.

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The new welcome sign at the entrance to East Helena was an Eagle Scouts Troop 212 project by brothers Tyler Worthy, 14 years old and Robert Worthy, 16 years old. The brothers began working with East Helena City Council in February, 2016.

Ribbon cutting dedication, flag raising ceremony, and turnover of the new sign was held Saturday, December 17, 2016.

In the second photo from the left (below) are Tyler Worthy (Left) and Robert Worthy (Right)

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The Helena Regional Airport is a commercial service airport served by Delta, United and Alaska Airlines.

The airport is also home to a diverse range of aviation activities including general and corporate aviation, 23 based military aircraft, flight training school, two air ambulance companies, air cargo, wildland firefighting aircraft, aircraft repair stations, US Customs landing rights clearance facility,

and a regional aircraft rescue fire training center traini9ng airport firefighters from all over the US and Canada.
The airport is owned and operated by the Helena Regional Airport Authority and operated as an enterprise fund, using no local community taxes or mil levies to fund the ongoing operation and maintenance of the 1,400 acre airport complex. The airport has a diversified revenue portfolio including airline related activities (33%), other aviation (33%), and non-aeronautical businesses (34%). These business activities contribute to the Helena area economy and ensure the airport remains a viable operation despite the high costs of operating a commercial service airport in a small community.

Learn more at www.helenaairport.com
(View all Departure and Arrival times!)
CLICK HERE!

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J4 Automotive Update for 2017

Kit and Vi Johnson started J4 Automotive over 22 years ago in 1994 with an SBA loan, some help from family members and a lot of prayers. Fast forward to today and we find the shop doing close to 1 million dollars in gross sales and still family owned and operated. The second generation of Johnson’s are now working in the business, with Kit and Vi’s daughter Nikita and her husband Chris carrying on the strong tradition of outstanding automotive repair and service and giving back to our community. The third generation of Johnson’s (the grand kids shown sitting with Viola) are growing up in the shop just like their mothers did and will most likely continue the family tradition well into the future.

J4 Automotive’s mission statement stresses community service, which they do a lot of. The yellow veterans ribbons, the kids activity tent in the Christmas stroll, sponsor of the spring school clean-up, the Halloween movie in the park and Frite-night are but some of the events Kit and Vi and the J4 Crew organize and participate in. Their experienced staff of seven, including three Master Mechanics, fix all makes and models of vehicles and are the recipient of many awards. The National Technician of the Year, and the Helena Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year are just a few examples of their commitment to excellence.

J4 Automotive is a Better Business Bureau A+ rated member, AAA Top Shop and NAPA AutoCare center that enjoys a 5 star Google and Yelp rating. Give them a call next time you need advice or maintenance and repair on your vehicle and use their convenient pick-up service while you work! 227-8622 or make an appointment on line at j4 Automotive.com.

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Principal McMahon

Principal’s Perspective 2017

Welcome back to all of our parents and guardians who send us such AMAZING students to work with each day! We are honored to be able to spend each day working alongside your sons and daughters! Thanks for placing your trust in us and we look forward to working with each of you through the next 180 days of school!

Life Point Church of East Helena is sponsoring a dinner/auction fundraiser for the Kid Pak program on Friday, September 29 starting at 5:30 at EVMS. Proceeds from the evening will go to support the Kid Pak backpack program in all three schools which provides food for disadvantaged students over the weekends. Tickets are on sale in all school offices. Hope to see you there!

The building going up just north of Radley is the recently approved new elementary school that will initially house students in grades 1 and 2. It is slated to be finished in August of 2018 and is currently 3 weeks ahead of schedule. Have a suggestion for a name? Email to: newschool@ehps.k12.mt.us

Mail-In ballots will be sent out mid-October and due back by November 7 to all District taxpayers who will be asked whether or not they would like the District to move ahead gathering cost estimates on the construction of a high school to be located in this District. If approved by a majority, a subsequent future ballot in need of your approval will be forthcoming with details about the proposed building, location and cost estimates.

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Please Support These Sponsors of Prickly Pear Junction “Cloud”!

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HIGH PLAINS SHEEPSKIN

Twenty three years ago I bought a building on Main Street in downtown East Helena for a practical reason: it was the closest commercial building to my house that I could afford. I had in mind to change the nature of my business from retail to mail-order and do away with most of the products I produced before and concentrate on making sheepskin footwear, slippers to be exact. It turned out to be a great decision because of something that I didn’t expect initially. What I didn’t know then was that East Helena is a truly great place to have a business.  I sure know it now, and it keeps getting reinforced. Downtown may only be a couple of blocks long but it has filled up with experienced businesses in for the long haul.  Most buildings have been upgraded and there are still a few vacancies offering opportunities for people with the next good idea.  There are several reasons that East Helena works out so well for an independent business. The business space is reasonably priced and still an easy distance from the population of the whole Helena area.

Access to banks, post office, and city services are a few things that are just down the street. The primary element that makes for a good location is intangible but East Helena has it in abundance: great neighbors – both in the business community and residents of the town. I could start listing the great neighbors, but I don’t want to play favorites or omit anyone. However I will single out one East Helena institution for special mention. We are a mail-order business and we ship out over two thousand packages a year. The East Helena Post Office is a local partner that we could hardly do without.   Don,  Dorrie, Staci and now Terry really go out of their way to streamline the process and get our goods into the postal stream as effortlessly as possible. I owe those folks a big thank you. HIGH PLAINS SHEEPSKIN was started in the cold, windy basins of southern Wyoming (hence the “HIGH PLAINS”) in 1975. My first shop was in Laramie, Wyoming. After 9 years there, we moved to Last Chance Gulch in Helena, Montana. In 1993 we moved a few miles down the road to our current location at 5 West Main in East Helena.  We are across the street from Dave and Annie’s Main Street Eats and Dr Aichlmayr’s Rocky Mountain Dental Clinic, we are next door to Stacks. This is our factory, warehouse, shipping center and retail outlet all rolled into one. Prior to starting High Plains, I had several years of experience in the tanning and industrial sheepskin business. In the tannery I worked as a sheepskin finisher and grader. As an apprentice under an old school Czech craftsman, I made sheepskin paint rollers, industrial applicators and saddle pads. This has always been a small business. Right now I work with Zach who hired on a few years ago; he is getting the hang of this work real fast. The two of us work all year to make the thousands of slippers, hats and mittens that we ship to all 50 states, Canada and overseas.

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HERITAGE FOOD STORE

Meet the new owner of the Heritage Food Store in East Helena. Doug Carpenter was born in Helena and has 25 years experience in the grocery business. This is his first ownership of a grocery store. He is committed to continued and long-term support of many non-profit organizations including Food Share and United Way. Heritage will contribute food on a regular basis, but equally important they will continue a Heritage tradition of allowing customers to contribute and collect food for those in need. Heritage also supports many local businesses. Prickly Pear Junction “Cloud” offers a warm welcome to Doug and his family. We know Heritage will continue to be an invaluable asset to East Helena! So please remember to shop locally. Phone: 227.5304 ~ 109 South Lane, East Helena, MT Hours: 7 a.m  to 9 p.m ~ 7 Days

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Great Northern Carousel Helena, Montana, Photos: David George Hill http://davidhill.tv

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“KNOWN BUT TO GOD” The four graves in the East Helena Cemetery were marked with a brass star and four small plaques identifying those buried there only as “Unknown Soldier.” But this is now changed – in part because of misguided acts of some vandals. The East Helena VFW Post had a monument made in their honor which now marks the soldiers’ final resting place. The soldiers will no longer be buried in near obscurity, but they will remain a mystery. The star is marked with GAR and they could have fought in the Civil War or in the West’s Indian wars. The cemetery’s records do not go past beyond the 1920’s. So on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 1996 a very impressive “Unknown Soldier Dedication” was held to honor these veterans.”