This week Sen. David Wanzenried, D-Missoula, introduced a bill that would increase the dropout age in Montana from 16 to 18. This would make it illegal not to attend school until you’re 18 or until you graduate.
Graduation rates in Montana continue to climb and dropout rates continue to fall. According to in-formation released this week by the Montana Office of Public Instruction, the graduation rate in Mon-tana has risen from 80.7 percent in 2009 to 83.9 percent last year.
Today education is as important as ever and getting a high school diploma is a major step in moving on to college and into the workforce. State superintendent Denise Juneau backs Wanzenried’s bill, saying it will help graduation rates in Montana continue to improve. We agree and applaud the effort and the bill.
This Sunday, swimmers from around the state will converge on Helena for the 20th annual Bohn-Moerer Invitational. And when they arrive, they’ll find a Helena High School girl’s team ready to con-tinue a season of domination.
High school athletics is a special right of passage for many kids in our community and it becomes all the more meaningful when they are part of a successful program and a special season. The young ladies point out their success is due in part to their friendship and camaraderie. When teams in an individual sport such as swimming can come together for each other it can be magical. There’s more laps left to swim, but the Bengals have already had a special season and we congratulate them on their achieve-ments to this point wish them the best this weekend.
This week the IR held its first Reader’s Committee meeting as 11 of our readers spent the better part of two hours sharing with us their ideas for the newspaper. The goal behind bring the group together was to create a meaningful way for the newspaper to engage readers and citizens.
The group discussed the opinion page at length, along with article selection and placement. They learned more about how the newspaper comes together each day and we learned more about how our decisions about content and placement make an impression on readers. The group will continue to meet monthly and we’re looking forward to more dynamic conversations.
This coming week, the Bureau of Reclamation will host two meetings to discuss the future of the Goose Bay Marina on Canyon Ferry Lake. The marina has been operated by Jerry and Muriel Reller for about 35 years and their contract runs out this year. Besides marina services and boat slips, there are 31 mobile homes at Goose Bay, which are occupied by seasonal residents.
The BOR wants to upgrade the marina area and the land where the mobile home and Reller’s op-eration is located.
The Rellers want some straight answers from the agency on what is going to happen at the marina and it sounds like the homeowners association is gearing up for a fight.
We hope the BOR makes every effort to work with the Rellers who have invested some much of their lives to the marina, as well as the homeowners association, which also has a significant stake in what happens there.
The meetings will be held Jan. 30 at the 6:30 p.m. at the Townsend Ranger Station and Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Montana Association of Counties offices at 2715 Skyway Dr. in Helena.
Editor's note: Jan. 25 - 12:05 p.m. -- The word "own" was removed from the above article in the portion discussing the situation at Goose Bay Marina. The land at the marina is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Rellers have had use of the land under a concession contract, which expired Dec. 31.