Kearns and Sons RS Aesthetics

Stoneydale Press releases new PI novel

Who’d have guessed that when author Warner Bair II moved back to his ancestral home of Deer Lodge after retiring from a long career as a practicing attorney, a prosecutor and a judge in Arizona, that his “new digs” would become the setting of a mystery thriller involving the “Anonymous Man” – his private investigator main character – riding on the wake of his highly-acclaimed first such novel, “Kismet”, set in Arizona and California.

Titled “The Manse,” Bair’s new book, released by Stoneydale Press of Stevensville, involves 190 pages of fast-paced action, and reflection, as the “Anonymous Man” and his wife, Charlie, react to threats on their lives after a chance, and chilling, encounter with a pair of outlaw bikers in a gift shop. The couple had come to Montana to restore a Victorian mansion in Deer Lodge, where they plan to settle and hadn’t expected this sort of trouble.

Here’s how the Anonymous Man describes the story: “Being married to Charlie kept me on the run and now she’d discovered a Victorian mansion in Montana she wanted to renovate. I had to buy it for her from the local crime boss, a point in my favor because I might need his help after a vicious killer made a move on Charlie and I discouraged him with a six iron. Now, the psycho had decided to even the score by killing both of us. I decided to lure him to the killing grounds of the mountains where he and I could do our death dance far from the maddening crowds. Good plan but I should have known Charlie wouldn’t stay home. Sitting by the fire with a good book. Not my woman.”

The story, set basically in Deer Lodge, involves events that take place in Philipsburg, Missoula, Helena, and Butte as the pair cope with an ever-widening web of intrigue and calumny as the threat on their lives leads to an amazing climax in the mountains to the east of the Deer Lodge valley. The author credits his background as a former reserve sheriff’s deputy, prosecutor and judge for enabling him to provide “The Manse” with hard-hitting authenticity and action.

As with his first book in the “Anonymous Man” series, “Kismet,” early readers of Bair’s new book, “The Manse” have labeled it as “a great read” with “compelling characters” and “vivid descriptions.” “Kismet” played to such commentaries as “A terrific read” by John Austin, host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Book Club, on WTAN radio in Tampa, Florida, and “Smart and sexy, I couldn’t put it down,” by P. J. Wright of the Silver State Post.

“The Manse” contains 190 pages, was issued in 5½ by 8½-inch softcover format with a stunning cover of the Deer Lodge mansion designed by artist Amy Kroon of Deer Lodge. It retails for $12.95 and is available in many book stores, gift shops, and other book outlets, or direct from Stoneydale Press at 523 Main St., Stevensville, MT 59870; phone: 406-777-2729 or at

‘Radio Hams’ donate books to library

Several months ago, at a Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club (BARC) meeting, the proposal was made by Sharon Luedecke (KK7HJ) to furnish ham radio books to the Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton. Because of an upsurge in interest in Amateur radio she felt that, for those that could not afford the books, it would make it easier for people to study for the tests and learn more about ham radio in general. Her motion was voted on and the effort to raise the necessary funding began.

On July 6, the books, worth over $200, were presented to the Bitterroot Public Library (306 State Street in Hamilton). Over 12 books were donated including the study manuals to become hams and advance in the hobby. These books will be available to other libraries in the valley through the Library’s loan program.

BARC holds classes and testing on a regular basis for interested people to get their licenses and get on the air. A class and test is planned for September of this year.

The club meets on the third Monday of every month at BJ’s Restaurant in Hamilton.  The meeting begins at 7 p.m. but if you want to come early, many meet early to eat dinner there.

Through the ARRL’s Amateur Radio Emergency Services program, ham volunteers provide emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies, all for free. To learn more about the Bitterroot Amateur Radio Club go to See what modern Amateur Radio can do. The club can even help you get on the air!


Stevensville Class of ’71 reunion

The Stevensville High School Class of 1971 will hold its 40th class reunion August 5 and 6. Contact Debbie Severson at 406-777-3576 or email for more information.


Stevensville Class of ’81 reunion

The Stevensville High School Class of 1981 will hold its 30th class reunion August 5 and 6. Planning is underway for all classmates to have a great time, whether you graduated with the class in May of 1981 or not. Help is needed in finding classmates and if you know of one who hasn’t been contacted or need additional information, contact Dawn Lujan at or call Brian Potton at 406-369-1128.


Help needed

A request has been made for donations of items to help recent victims of violent crime in Ravalli County. A family with three children under 17 months needs diapers. A single mother with two disabled children also needs diapers (7 months and 15 months) as well as gas vouchers. Anyone who can help fill these needs should contact Sara at the victim assistance program, 363-4007.


Early Head Start has openings

Ravalli Early Head Start currently has spaces open in its center-based program for children under 3 years old. In order to qualify, families must meet the 2011 Poverty Guidelines and work or go to school 30 hours per week. The Center-based option provides full-day child services for 16 children five days a week from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Center-based families have two home visits and two information sharing meetings with their Infant/Toddler Teacher each year and monthly parent groups in addition to ongoing parent involvement opportunities. For more information call Jenea Buhler at 363-7412, ext. 203.



Donald Eugene Orr

HAMILTON – GONE FISHIN’… He took off on a Sunday fishing trip that never has to end. Donald Eugene Orr decided to settle down at a quiet fishing hole in the sky at 9:15 Sunday evening, July 17, 2011. In his last moments, Don’s family said “happy trails” as they sat together in his long-time home in the foothills of the Bitterroot Mountains in Hamilton, Montana.
He will be forever missed by his brother Herb, three children, six grandchildren, a great-grandchild, his faithful four-legged companion Joey, and numerous friends and extended family.
Don was born on July 24, 1936, in Wamego, Kansas, to Eleanor Kathryn and Cecil Orr. It was the hottest day in Kansas’ history – 127 degrees.
In 1955 he graduated high school in Iola, Kansas, and went on to serve our country’s Navy from 1956-1959 as a Mineman Seaman.
He was married on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1956, and welcomed three children into the world. The family moved to Albany, Oregon, and spent the years traveling, camping, hiking, fishing, picnicking, and making home movies. He was very proud to be the first father who held the title of Girl Scout Brownie Leader.
After moving to Hamilton, Montana, in 1970, Don worked as an Animal Caretaker at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory. He volunteered for Search & Rescue, taught CPR & First Aid, proudly displayed his Good Sam Club sticker, served as a member of the Montana Peace Officers Association, and was dubbed an Honorary Ranger for the Forest Service.
He spent his retirement woodworking, camp hosting, playing croquette, and ice cream-making with his grandkids. He was proud of his Eastern Cherokee heritage and his membership in the Methodist Church.
Don loved family, coffee, his land, practical jokes, trains, sourdough, camping, the mountains, Christmas, and making chocolate chip cookies for anyone with a sweet tooth. He took every opportunity to tell a great story and never missed a chance to hear a new one. His friends and family will always remember Don’s gentle consideration, capturing spirit, and infectious laugh for generations to come.
A celebration of his life was held at Daly-Leach Memorial Chapel on Friday, July 22nd with Military Honors following. There was a reception following the services in the funeral home’s community room. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Marcus Daly Hospice or St. Labre Indian School.
He’s now in a place where the eagles soar daily, the elk and deer mosey by in droves, and the fish are biting like never before…
Don, Dad, Da, Grandpa, Potter, Papa, “The Cookie Man”: We love you.


Susan P. Smaus

Hamilton – Susan P. Smaus, 77, passed from this life at her home surrounded by her loving family on Friday, July 22, 2011 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
She was born on May 21, 1934 in Butte, to John Henry and Francis Mudek Price. The family moved to Hamilton in 1943 and Susan spent the rest of her school years here. She had an older brother, William, who was killed in an automobile accident returning home to visit while on leave from the Air Force in 1953. Upon graduation from Hamilton High School, she began her career at the Rocky Mountain Laboratory in 1952, working and making lifelong friends with a number of the lab’s doctors and staff.
In August of 1954, she married Robert W. (Bill) Smaus, also of Hamilton. They were graced with five children, Robert Jr., John, Kathy, Carole and Karen.
In 1958, Bill re-entered the military, joining the U.S. Army (USAF 1951-54). Over the course of those years the family was posted to numerous bases in Europe, Asia and from coast to coast and border to border in the USA. Moving nearly every year was hard, but she took it all in stride and made the most of it. Susan not only worked and raised a family, but also found time to volunteer or serve in an official capacity on many Military Wives, fraternal organizations, and bowling groups. At Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, she spent three years attached to the Army, Navy/Marines, Air Force Joint Tactical Communications Group (TriTac).
Susan, Bill and the kids were very active in bowling leagues and rod and gun clubs, playing cards, camping and other outdoor activities. Susan also dabbled at making wine for awhile and was very well known for her needlework, gardening, crafting and baking. She truly enjoyed her grandchildren and the many beloved dogs the family raised, and was also active in later years with the American Legion Auxiliary.
Upon Bill’s retirement in 1976, the family returned to Hamilton for good. Susan returned to Rocky Mountain Labs and enjoyed her work there until her retirement in 1997 after 32 years of service.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother William, and husband Bill in 1999. She is survived by her children Robert Jr. (Butch), John Smaus and Carol Barnes, Carole Smaus, Kathy and Ken Fields, granddaughters Kenley and Kayla, Karen Anderson and grandsons Kris and Kyle, and her best friend of many years Patsy Golay, all of Hamilton and/or Corvallis.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Daly-Leach Chapel and Crematory. Private family internment will take place next to her husband at Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton. A reception celebrating her life will take place in the Daly-Leach Community Room on Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m. The family looks forward to sharing time with her many friends and former co-workers.
The family suggests that memorials be made in her name to the Marcus Daly Hospice Endowment Fund, 1200 Westwood Dr., Hamilton MT 59840.



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