In 1982, two young seniors at Montana State University started dating. They had known of each other growing up in the Mission Valley, she in Bigfork and he on the family farm outside of Pablo, but it wasn’t until college that they officially met. The next year, Roger and Kathy Starkel would get married and begin their life and business together.
“It’s been nothing but fun since,” Roger said.
Nearly 40 years later, the Starkels are about to be the recipients of the Ronan Area Chamber of Commerce’s ‘Producer of the Year’ award. While he still says the award is for “old guys,” Roger said he and Kathy are honored for the recognition.
Yet, this achievement pales in comparison to the innovations and advancements Roger and Kathy have brought to the agriculture industry.
Lake County prosecutors to amend charges, add deliberate homicide
POLSON — Desmond Alan Mackay was originally charged with attempted deliberate homicide and two counts of assault with a weapon following an attack with a hammer earlier this month. Now, in light of the victim’s death, Lake County prosecutors are seeking to amend the charges to include deliberate homicide.
Polson resident John Barrows passed away last weekend at Kalispell Regional Medical Center after undergoing emergency surgery. He remained unresponsive and died March 15. The 67-year-old man was Mackay’s father-in-law.
Mackay had attempted to attack his brother-in-law, Jesse Waugh, whom Mackay said owed him money. Instead, Mackay accidentally hit Barrows in the head with a framing hammer.
Original court documents state that Mackay and another man were in a garage in Polson when Waugh entered, took a battery and left. Mackay then grabbed a hammer from a rack and walked over to the door Waugh exited through. The affidavit states that Mackay attempted to get Waugh to reenter the garage by taunting him, but Waugh didn’t answer. Mackay jerked the door open and swung the hammer at the person in the doorway. His blow hit Barrows squarely in the head.
Documents state Mackay uttered an apology to Barrows before going after Waugh, who was outside in the yard. The men fought, but Waugh was able to pin Mackay until authorities arrived.
Barrows was unresponsive at the scene and was rushed to St. Joseph Medical Center before being flown to Kalispell.
In an interview last week, deputy county attorney James Lapotka said the charges against Mackay were contingent on Barrows’ condition. Lapotka said Tuesday that his office will amend the charges prior to Mackay’s arraignment on Thursday to single counts of deliberate homicide and assault with a weapon.
I remember watching a family cross-country ski down the street and I remember trudging a mile in the snow with my bag to get home. I remember businesses being closed and the appointment for my taxes being cancelled.
But I also remember screaming. I remember my shovel full of snow and debris and magazines. I remember the sound of the backhoe as it moved mound after mound of snow trying to find three people buried below.
I didn’t hear the ‘whoomph’ everyone else heard. I told my mom that the avalanche must be much farther up the Rattlesnake than I was because I hadn’t heard anything. Several minutes later, my boyfriend’s roommate Catie came to tell me that snow had slid off Mount Jumbo on Holly Street, a mere two blocks away, and an 8-year-old boy was trapped underneath.
Soon we’d learn there were three victims, but we didn’t wait for that. We ran through thigh-deep snow where the sidewalks should have been. We’d have run in the street where the snow was only knee-deep, but vehicles slid precariously along the unkempt side streets the city hadn’t had time to tend during the storm.
Read all of Jessica's writing on Muck Rack