Valley shows support for K-9 new unit

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The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office will soon have its own K-9 unit to help sniff out and choke off the valley’s drug epidemic.

Sheriff Brian Heino said he initially planned to raise money for the dogs and equipment in phases over time. He was humbled to see the department reach its first goal of $5,000 within 24 hours of announcing the fundraising campaign last week. Thanks to that outpouring of generosity, Heino said it’s likely the dogs will be trained and on the street by this summer.

“The community reached out to us and told us this is something they support,” Heino said.

The sheriff’s K-9s will be used for narcotics detection as well as community outreach.

As Deputy Matt Vander Ark points out, “Dogs smell 10,000 times better than a human does. They can find the needle in the hay stack.”

No doubt this will be a useful tool for our law enforcement officers as they work to expunge illicit drugs from the valley.

If you would like to help put the Sheriff’s Office fundraising goal over the top — they’ve raised about $9,300 of $15,000 goal — visit online at

There might still be snow on the ground less than a month from now when the annual Creston Auction gets underway, but Flathead folks won’t let that stop them from attending one of the social events of the spring.

The annual fundraiser for the Creston Fire Department has helped keep the rural firefighting force afloat for decades, and this year there’s a more specific goal: a new fire hall. The department has recognized the need for a bigger facility for the last 10 years, and the stars now seem to be aligning to build a new fire hall on land purchased west of Creston School.

Subdivision growth has been substantial in the rural areas around Creston, where homeowners covet not only the rich land and open spaces but also spectacular views of the Swan Range. The increase in East Valley population has required bigger and better fire trucks, and the Creston Fire Department’s 1960s-era building is a tight squeeze for the newer equipment.

This year’s Creston Auction is April 5-7; mark it on your calendar. The consignment event is the perfect opportunity to cast off your extra stuff for some extra cash, or buy some recycled treasurers. It all goes to a great cause.

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