2021 Year in Review


January 5, 2022

January 13, at the start of another new year and in anticipation of the hundreds of family and friends coming to town this summer for another Big Sandy Homecoming, your Town Council wants to challenge all residents with this new year's resolution: We resolve to clean up and beautify Big Sandy.

Tester's new book Grounded and his experience at the Capitol building last week. What was your reason for writing Grounded? "I just thought after the election that I had in 2018 that the time to write it was then. There were so many things that I had seen in the Democrat party which was not voting well for the party in the middle of America."

The Chouteau County Health Nurse was in Big Sandy on Tuesday, December 29, to vaccinate medical personnel and residence of the Big Sandy Medical Center and Big Sandy Activities with the COVID-19 vaccine.

January 20, City Council Finalizes Plans for Junk Ordinance

January 27, There is a new business in town: Black Granary Handcrafted. Mary Merrill is taking orders for homemade baked goods and pastries.

FFA Building storage shed as a fundraiser.

The Big Sandy High School Junior class has completed construction on a shed for sale, with the proceeds that will support FFA.

Chouteau County residents ages 18 and over are invited to call the health department at 622-3771 to add their name to the waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is voluntary and available at no cost, but supplies are limited.

February 3, Rick Darlington's first month in the County Commissioners office, said, "I'm still wet behind the ears." But he is looking forward to the challenge.

February 10, The New Community Pool is becoming a reality. Sonny Phillips shines as a 3-Point star for the Big Sandy Pioneers. Big Sandy Mountaineer recognized the local businesses for working through the pandemic.

February 17, COVID-19 shots were started at the Big Sandy Pharmacy. Central Montana broke deep freeze records.

February 24, Big Sandy Pioneer Basket Ball Boys move on to divisionals.

March 3, Big Sandy Homecoming for 2020, which was postponed to this year due to last year's COVID-19 lockdown, has been canceled entirely.

Three Pioneers make it to state wrestling; Brady Pleninger, Bayley Genereux, and Reinhard Bold. Mountaineer celebrates 112 years.

After Darin Ray resigned, March 10, Krystyl Kulbeck was appointed to the City Council. The first reading of the new Water ordinance was read and approved.

LeaAnn Williams Handcrafts is open for business. She started her business with charcoal soap, but she has continued to make a wide variety of soaps, lotions, and lip balm since that time.

March 17 Big Sandy residents were encouraged to call and get on the COVID-19 vaccine list.

Rotary's commitment to the community is proven by the near completion of the updates of the cemetery's records. "Three years ago, we thought we could get it done between the Rotary banquet and Memorial Day. They are about 50% done. "We feel very good about everything to this point. It's very accurate.

March 24 DPHHS provided updates on COVID-19, saying there are Variants in Montana. It was the first information we had on Delta.

Prairie Blossoms Floral Opens in Old Library. Before Tina Rodewald moved to Big Sandy, she owned a flower shop for 12 years.

March 21 Jaesun Yirsa takes 3rd at state for his Patriots Pin essay contest.

April 7 A surprise assembly at the FE Miley school was held to award Amy Terry, Alma Terry, Cat Lopez, Brittany Sherburn, Cheryl Ostrom, and Dick Thornton the Paraeducator/Teacher Team of the Year Award.

Diane Labuda from the Big Sandy Pool committee attended the City Council to talk about the pool design and emphasized the funds would all be raised through fundraising.

Pioneers selected for the Class C 6-Man all State Football game were Kade Strutz, Parker Proulx, Cameron Schwarzbach, and Brady Pleninger.

April 14 Big Sandy High School will be competing in the Spring Music Festival online next week after missing the event last year entirely due to the lockdowns. This year the Montana High School Association decided that all of the state music festivals would be done digitally.

Big Sandy Rock School opens for young musicians. According to Chris Myers, they will learn keyboards, guitars, and drums, who is the primary teacher.

April 28 Rotary banquet was well attended after a difficult 2020. Colton Peterson won the $3,000 main prize.

Black Granary: The Bakery to open downtown at the end of the main street.

FE Miley student did their part for Earth Day. Students at FE Miley Elementary School experienced hands-on instruction for Earth day this week when they participated in a community cleanup effort organized by the teachers.

May 5 The 5th Coal Mine Coulee Cross-Country Dirt Bike Rake took place May 8 at Austin Genereux ranch.

May 12 For the second year in a row, Grizzle Bears have been seen in the Big Sandy Area. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks presented a Grizzle Bear Informational meeting in Big Sandy.

Kelly Rutledge and Anna Bold are the new school board members

Big Sandy will host the first Bear Paw Classic on May 15 & 16. This was a competition for stock dogs. There will be 50 dogs and their handlers from six states.

May 19 The Big Sandy High School Senior Class experienced an amazing educational opportunity, thanks to a generous donation from the Big Sandy Education foundation. As part of their senior sneak trip, they visited Kennedy Space Center, home of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Big Sandy Pioneer girls took 2nd at district track in Havre.

Cam Schwarzbach, son of Saud and Melanie Schwarzbach, signs to swim with the College of Idaho

May 26 Every 5th and 6th-grade student at FE Miley Elementary received a fishing pole compliments of Walleyes Unlimited of Montana.

Big Sandy Pioneer track team takes 12 to state.

Bayley Genereux won the NROTC scholarship. This scholarship, worth $150,000, will pay for his entire college, including food, room, and board, books, plus a stipend to live on. When Bayley is done with college, he will be an officer in the Marines.

June 2 Katherine Bold, Madison Terry, Amiya Griffith, Tavie Wortman, and Savannah Jerrel to attend girls state.

Pool Fundraising efforts have begun raising $110,000

Pioneer tracksters perform well at the state meet in Missoula. Eva Wagoner places 5th at state in the 100 hurdles.

June 9 The Memorial Day celebration was held with guest speaker Dual Gibbs. He was the subject of a book, A Soldier's Journey, written by his son Wes Gibbs.

Big Sandy's swim team takes first place at the Harlem Swim Meet.

June 16 Public town meeting was held to discuss water and sewer rates. Approximately 30 residents were in attendance. After discussion, in the end, it was a unanimous vote of the city council member to adopt both new policies they had worked on for three years.

June 23 Wyatt Williams went to Boys State.

June 30 Big Sandy held a July 4th celebration with fireworks at the baseball field. The Big Sandy Fire Department will run the fireworks.

July 7 Grasshoppers were back again this summer. Last week, the Animals and Plant Health Inspection Service completed their treatment of around 40,000 acres of rangeland southeast of Big Sandy. Their objective was to control grasshopper populations projected to reach critical levels in the coming weeks.

Methodist church gets a new Pastor Reverend Doctor Susan King will begin regular service July 18

July 14 A massive storm hit Big Sandy on Sunday night, doing a lot of damage to buildings not only in Big Sandy but also in the country. The wind was accompanied by hail, so many of the crops were totally destroyed as well as grasslands. Two ambulance calls were for a semi-truck rollover and one for Shane Chauvet, who severely injured his left arm and underwent surgery that night to save his arm.

Brad Moore wins Superintendent of the year in the state of Montana.

July 21 Montana Farmers Union Dedicates Arrowpeak Camp trail to Alan Merrill.

Big Sandy organics grows and needs land to expand.

Major Fredrick F. Terry wrote a book, White Paw Beyond the Gate, for his children while deployed for a year.

July 28 Big Sandy Barracudas take silver at the Divisional Meet

August 4 Big Sandy Volunteer Fire Department responded to two fires Sunday afternoon

Lainey Gregory and Seanna Demontiney made the trip to Hawaii after waiting a year after COVID-19 postponed their trip last year.

Big Sandy Barracudas place fifth at state. Leading the scoring for the Barracudas was Cam Schwarzbach, who scored 42 points to earn the first-place high award in the senior boy's division. He won all three freestyle races and set a new pool record in the 400 meters.

Renee Hansen and Karen Reinertson compile the Old-Timers Column.

August 11 First Bank Hosts first Customer appreciation luncheon

Fire Danger is very high. Over 3,000 have burned in Chouteau County this month.

August 18, Jarret Jacobi has been selected to be a feature in a national publication, Eastmans Bow Hunting Edition/Back Country.

Home school students can participate in Big Sandy school extracurricular activities due to a new law approved by the 2021 legislature.

Boy's locker room gets new lockers and paint by the Big Sandy Booster club.

August 25 Maris River Freedom Concert was held on August 28. It was designed to be a fundraiser for volunteer fire departments in Chouteau County

September 1 This last weekend, the 10th annual Big Sandy Skate Jam was held. There were around 200 people in attendance; the furthest away was Alex from Costa Rica.

Townhall meeting about new drainage system, which means in the spring of 2022 main street will be redone adding a new drainage system.

September 8 Big Sandy Church of God Celebrates 100 years.

September 15 In lieu of the traditional Harvest Dinner this year, the ladies of the PCW at St. Margaret Mary's have decided to host a Harvest festival instead. The gals have hosted the Harvest Dinner for over 40 years. It was a fantastic event and very successful.

October 6 Danielle weaver is the new owner of the Big Sandy Pharmacy. She is excited to put into action her dreams of owning the Pharmacy.

October 13. One incredible weekend. This year the Chili Feed was held after it was canceled last year. All the traditional activities took place. It started with a parade by grade school kids with floats they had made themselves. Followed by the Punt Pass and Kick contest. Chili was served, and children rode the fire trucks. With food sales and raffle sales, the Fire Department raised $30,000. The hay auction at print time was $32,800, which was divided up between the Big Sandy Emergency Room and the Big Sandy EMT. The one hay bale auctioned off for Kandi Marnio Benefit was auctioned off 21 times and brought $12,550. The Kandi Marnio Benefit took place at the Bakery and brought in $13,00. The total amount raised in Big Sandy this weekend was $90,000. During difficult financial times, Big Sandy shows once again they care for each other.

October 20 Big Advancements at Big Sandy Medical Center. The following was able to be purchased this year: Fire sprinkler system, New Boilers, new sidewalks, A Canon CT machine, a new generator, building at 164 McNamara Ave for storage and expanded Physical Therapy services; nurses station remodeled, kitchen walk-in freezer; patient beds lab equipment and appliances, new van, flooring throughout the facility; and a used tractor. The board also approved a total of more than $265,000 in hazard pay to the employees. Patrick Kadrmas, D. C., a new chiropractor, is currently available for appointments.

October 27 Pack the Place Pink Volleyball game raised $900 for Maryetta Engle, Big Sandy School Financial Clerk, who is currently in breast cancer treatment. They also raised $1,000 for Chouteau County Cancer Support.

November 3 Connie Reichelt, Tracy Schuster, and Marlys Myers are the new owner of Lift Fitness.

Pioneers advance to quarter-finals with a win over Valley Christian.

November 10 Pioneers eliminate Bearcats and roll into Semi-Finals 50-14

November 17 Amiya Griffith was selected as a (C volleyball 1st team all-conference selection.

December 1 All-State and All-Conference selections for 6-man football are Braydon Cline, Rusty Gasvoda 2021 All-state selections, and Kody Strutz, NORTHERN DIVISION ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTION.

December 8, Local production of Oz and a second play, Tortoise and the Hare 2, were a smashing success.

December 29 Santa and Mrs. Clause fly into Big Sandy and give every FE Miley student gifts.


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