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Community briefs: Talking Saints win 26 awards; homebuyer education class offered; City of Helena has board vacancies; Nar-Anon family group meeting

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RMDC offers homebuyer education class in December

Rocky Mountain Development Council offers a monthly homebuyer education class. The purpose of the class is to teach potential homeowners about the process of purchasing a home. Homebuyer education and counseling involves a one-on-one counseling session followed by an eight -hour class covering the intricacies of purchasing a home. It is designed for both first-time homebuyers and repeat homebuyers.

Homebuyer education will be offered in a three-day, virtual format in December. This virtual format is scheduled from Tuesday, Dec. 7 through Thursday, Dec. 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Homebuyer education classes provide in-depth information on many aspects of homeownership including budgeting, finding a home, choosing a lender/closing on a loan, homeowner’s insurance, home inspection and maintenance, and energy savings. The class features local guest speakers with expertise in finance, insurance, property inspection, and real estate.

The course is led by Beverly Dashnaw, an accomplished financial services professional with multifaceted experience ranging from consumer loans and real estate financing to professional consumer credit restructuring services. She is a HUD and Neighborworks America Certified Housing Counselor.

To register for the December sessions, visit or call 406-457-7461.

Carroll College Talking Saints win 26 awards

The Carroll College Talking Saints won 26 awards, including third place in Division I sweepstakes at the Linfield College Tournament on Nov. 12-14. Hosted virtually from McMinnville, Oregon, Linfield’s Mahaffey Tournament is one of three regional championship events.

Carroll College Talking Saints win 26 awards

The Carroll College Talking Saints won 26 awards, including third place in Division I sweepstakes at the Linfield College Tournament on Nov. 12-14. See accompanying brief for more details.

Fourteen different Carroll students won recognition, led by first-year student Angelica Sutton of Wolf Point, who won four awards. Sutton won novice extemp, finished second in novice impromptu, was named third best speaker in junior BP debate and with partner Emma Peterson, of Belgrade, reached finals of junior debate.

“Angelica’s wonderful weekend comes with a pretty good story,” said coach Brent Northup. “Angelica was finishing up her 30 minutes of preparation for her extemporaneous speech, when she suddenly realized she had prepared the wrong topic. With seven minutes to showtime, she redirected her research to Afghanistan foreign policy and then calmly proceeded to win the round. Now there’s a skill that will serve her for a lifetime – cool-headed response to a self-induced crisis.”

Junior Brady Clark of Madison, Wisconsin, joined Sutton as a first-place winner by finishing first in junior extemporaneous speaking.

The team’s success was broad, spread across debate, interpretation and short prep events. Carroll advanced three teams to the championship rounds of debate, won eight speaker awards in debate, earned six finals spots in interpretation, and eight more in impromptu and extemp.

Two of the four teams in finals of junior debate were first-year teams from Carroll, with Anna Brown of Olympia, Washington, and Katie Payne of Helena, finishing second. Four of the six finalists in novice prose were Talking Saints. Juniors Mariah Hurd of Seattle and Nicole Williams of Seeley Lake, were both finalists in poetry.

Multiple award winners included Brown and junior Vicente Gallardo of Butte who each won three awards. Winning two awards were first-year students Peterson, June LePage of Lewistown,  Madi MacDonald of Missoula, and junior Roisin O’Neill of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Northup says the team has reluctantly adjusted to online competition, and some new traditions are evolving.

“Students mostly compete with laptops from classrooms around campus, and don’t really interact much during the weekend,” said Northup. “So students are coming together in auditoriums or in the team room to cheer for their teammates during online final rounds. More than a dozen students were snuggled onto couches in the forensics room to cheer wildly as their teammates spoke. We also had numerous parents who watched their kids compete via online links. We’re doing our best to build community in an online world.”

The students enjoyed having mom and dad “in the stands” at their game.

“My grandmother said I spoke very eloquently,” said Clark, smiling. “And my dad said he was proud.”

The team turned watching the final round of junior debate into a contest.

“We had bingo cards that had items like ‘Angelica will wave her hands’ and ‘Katie will use a metaphor,’” said one team member. “We were like the student section at a football game cheering wildly.”

The Talking Saints “regular season” concludes on Jan. 28 with the final regional championship tournament hosted virtually by Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Nar-Anon family group meeting

The Helena Nar-Anon Family Group, a 12-step program for families and friends of addicts, meets Mondays and Thursdays, 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Library of St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 512 Logan.

The library is located on the lower level of the main church building. Please enter using the Cruise Avenue entrance. The group observes COVID-19 protocols required by the church.

Red Cross seeks blood donations

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to help end the ongoing critical need for blood with a blood donation. The Red Cross needs donors of all blood types to give now and help ensure lifesaving transfusions are on the sidelines for those who rely on them.

As a thank-you, all those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening of the epic new film “The Matrix Resurrections” for the winner and 50 of their guests. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon. (Terms apply, additional details can be found at

Appointments can be made by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Fort Harrison

  • Dec. 3: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., V.A. Hospital, 3687 Veterans Drive


  • Dec. 1: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Mazurek Justice Bldg., 215 N. Sanders St.
  • Dec. 2: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Dakota Supply Group, 2609 Bozeman Ave.
  • Dec. 8: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Capitol Building, 1301 E. 6th
  • Dec. 10: 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Cogswell Building, 1400 Broadway St.
  • Dec. 14: 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Career Training Institute (CTI), 347 N. Last Chance Gulch
  • Dec. 15: 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Helena Donor Center, 3150 N. Montana, Suite B

Nursing program receives $400K scholarship support

Carroll College recently received scholarship support for its nursing program through its annual student scholarship fundraising event.

Billings businessman Mike Gustafson pledged $200,000 through Carroll’s annual Founders Gala. Gustafson’s gift provided an incentive that the college match the $200,000 with added scholarship support.

Additional donations matched the gift and brought the total to $400,000 available for scholarships for Carroll’s nursing program. Gustafson requested that the scholarship program be named in memory of Sister Marie Damian Glatt, who is the former CEO of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL).

For more information on supporting Carroll’s nursing scholarships, contact Carroll College Vice President for Advancement, Chris Aimone at 406-447-4445 or

City of Helena has board vacancies

ADA Compliance Committee: One city resident, representing a medical field. The interim term will begin upon appointment and expire on Sept. 1, 2024. Thereafter term is three years.

One city resident and business owner. The interim term will begin upon appointment and expire on expire on Sept. 1, 2024. Thereafter term is three years.

The ADA Compliance Committee will act as an advisory committee to assist in determination of reasonable accommodations. The Committee may review requests for reconsideration of complaints forwarded by the ADA Coordinator, may make determinations as to the validity of complaints, and my provide descriptions of the resolution of those grievances that have been appealed. The Committee may recommend priorities for making structural changes to public facilities, offer suggestions on how to achieve program accessibility, and review and make recommendations on employment practices and accommodations for compliance.

Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board: Please use this application form when applying for an appointment to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board.

The City of Helena is looking for community members to serve on the Advisory Board for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF). The AHTF is a resource intended to address the supply of housing for community members with lower incomes, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, the homeless, and others with special needs. The Advisory Board will provide recommendations concerning the eligibility of applications as well as give funding recommendations to the City Commission. Members of the Board will be responsible for understanding the application process and program guidelines.

The Board will be comprised of the following members: 

one (1) community member with direct experience in housing insecurity;

one (1) citizen at large;

one (1) member of the nonprofit housing sector;

one (1) member of the real estate sector;

one (1) member with a background in engineering or architecture;

two (2) members from the field of banking/finance.

Board members will be nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the Commission for three (3) year terms of volunteer-based service. Meetings will be held once a month, or as needed. The time and day of that meeting will be determined after members are selected.

Board of Adjustment: One citizen to serve on the Board of adjustment as an alternate member. Alternate member will attend only when a quorum is needed. Interim term will begin upon appointment and expire on Oct. 1, 2021. Thereafter terms are three years.

Ordinance 1766, amended by Ordinances 2384 and 3097, established the Board of Adjustment to act on variance applications as detailed in Chapter 11-5 of the Helena City Code. Membership to include the following: one a member of the City Commission and four citizen members.

Solid Waste Steering Committee: One city resident to serve on the Solid Waste Steering Committee. Term will begin upon appointment and expire upon completion of the Integrated Solid Waste Master Plan.

The City of Helena, combined with funding made available by the Scratch Gravel Solid Waste District (created by Lewis and Clark County Commission), has dedicated funds to complete an Integrated Solid Waste Master Plan.

The process for development of the master plan will entail establishment of a limited term steering committee comprised of nine (9) members who will work with the Public Works team. Upon appointment of the full committee, the anticipated activities include:

  • Develop a request for qualifications (RFQ),
  • Review proposals,
  • Recommend a firm,
  • Work with the consulting firm on a scope and fee
  • Attend regular update meetings – The steering committee will also provide direction
  • Steer the consultant during the plan
  • Review drafts and technical memos during the development of the plan
  • Approve a recommendation of final document for the respective Commissions and Scratch Gravel Board

Tax Increment Financing Advisory Board – Railroad Urban Renewal Area: One member to serve as an owner of property located within the Railroad Urban Renewal Area.

Pursuant to §7-15-4828, MCA, and Resolution 20374 that established the urban renewal plan for the Railroad Urban Renewal Area, the City of Helena is empowered to conduct redevelopment activities in urban renewal areas, which activities may be paid for by tax increment financing. The Railroad Urban Renewal Area Tax Increment Financing Advisory Board has no assigned powers and shall only advise the Helena City Commission on the following related to the Railroad Urban Renewal Area:

  • annual work-plans, reports, evaluations, and budgets;
  • allocation of TIF funds for redevelopment projects; and
  • amendments to the Railroad Urban Renewal Plan.
  • Any other matters shall be assigned by the Helena City Commission by expressly amending this resolution.

Tourism Business Improvement District Board of Trustees (TBID): One member to serve as an owner or manager of property within the District or their assignees. The term will begin upon appointment and expire on April 20, 2025.

Resolution No. 19644, adopted April 20, 2009, created a Tourism Business Improvement District in the City of Helena. Per the resolution, the Board of Trustees is appointed by the City Commission and comprised of five to seven owners or managers of property within the District or their assignees.

Those individuals who have previously applied for any of the listed board vacancies are encouraged to reapply.

Please use the following Application when applying to the Affordable Housing Trust fund Advisory Board:

All other boards can be applied to using this form:

Request the application by email to or by calling 406-447-8410 and can be submitted electronically or mailed to the City Clerk’s Office, 316 N. Park Ave., Room 323, Helena, MT 59623. The deadline for all board applications is 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.



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