Faced with dwindling elementary school enrollment and limited funding, the Missoula County Public School (MCPS) board of trustees voted this year to shut the doors on two elementary schools, Emma Dickinson and Roosevelt. Outraged parents, concerned about how the closures would affect their communities, property values, special education and bilingual programs, sought a temporary restraining order in June to block the closures. The suit also sought to prevent MCPS from leasing a public school building to the St. Joseph School, a private Catholic school, claiming that the board’s decision had nothing to do with money. Said opponent Janet Scott, “I think it’s about a difference of opinion, a difference of philosophy.” A District Court judge denied both requests. Like a lion in Zion, reggae artist Ziggy Marley and the Melodymakers bathed Caras Park in some mighty tasty rhythms in one of the last (and best) concerts of the summer. Still, the harsh toke of Babylon was not far behind. Due to repeated complaints from nearby residents about the noise levels of the Caras Park concert series—most notably of the Sammy Hagar show, which exceeded city noise ordinance limits by 30 decibels —promoters Bravo Entertainment/Bill Silva Presents will not be returning next summer.At precisely 8:30 a.m. on Sunday Nov. 21, after 47 years of faithful service to the people of Missoula and Western Montana, the old brick St. Patrick Hospital building on West Broadway finally collapsed under its own weight—with a little help from the Loizeaux family and 427 pounds of well-placed explosives. It took a mere 18 seconds for the Maryland-based demolition crew to bring down what took the Sisters of Providence four years to build, clearing the way for a new $51 million medical arts complex and parking facility to go up next year.


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