Alli Friedman

KCFW Reporter

POSTED: 7:38 AM Aug 06 2014   UPDATED: 2:05 PM Jul 02 2014
alli

Alli Friedman is a reporter for KCFW in Kalispell. She was born and raised in southern California, and is excited to be living in northwest Montana.

Alli earned her BFA in Television and Broadcast Journalism from Chapman University in Orange County, CA. 

While in school, she interned for NBC LA, KTLA-TV, and PBS SoCal. 

When Alli isn't in the newsroom, she loves to travel, work out, watch hockey and hang out with friends and family.

Being new to Montana, Alli is excited to adventure and explore the outdoors. 

If you have any questions, comments, concerns or story ideas please contact Alli by email.

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New evidence emerges in murder case 17 years later

SANDERS COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 5:55 PM Dec 17 2014   UPDATED: 8:59 PM Dec 17 2014

New evidence emerges in murder case 17 years later

KALISPELL, Mont. -

It’s been nearly 17 years since a Trout Creek man was convicted of murdering his best friend. Since then, Richard Raugust insists he didn't do it.

Now the Montana Innocence Project says there’s new evidence and Raugust deserves a new trial.

The murder happened in 1997 when Raugust and two friends, Rory Ross and Joe Tash, were out drinking. Court documents say that after 2 a.m. the three of them went to Raugust’s trailer to continue partying.

An argument erupted and Tash was shot and killed that night. Ross claims he saw Raugust pull the trigger.

A three-day hearing started and new evidence was presented in the hopes of getting Raugust a re-trial.

Raugust has been serving a life sentence for homicide, but he says he didn’t do it. He wrote to the Montana Innocence Project for help in 2009.

“With Richard, we started reviewing his case in 2011 and starting investigating it, found new evidence, and we are his attorney for this case,” said Executive Director of the Montana Innocence Project Keegan Flaherty.

Raugust has stuck by his alibi for 17 years.

“Richard has always stated that he got out of the car and went to Rick Scarborough’s [a friend of Raugust] house and slept on the floor that night because he had to get up early for work. So it didn’t make sense for him to go to the campsite that night,” Flaherty said.

At the first day of the hearing, a retired Sanders County sheriff’s deputy, Wayne Abbey, took the stand. Abbey claims he saw Ross’ car stop that night, indicating that someone may have gotten out and not gone to the murder site.

Prosecutors argued that it would have been extremely difficult to see that.

The Innocence Project also called other witnesses.

“Randy Fisher is another witness that was threatened by Rory Ross, and he has evidence,” Flaherty said.

Fisher claims that during an argument, Ross pulled a knife on him and said, “I can do you like I did that guy,” and “I could gut you right now for snitching.”

“We have Dan Yarmey who is an ear-witness expert. Richard was convicted because some people said that they heard him in the woods that night. (Yarmey) is an expert that’s going to show it’s nearly impossible to hear, to be able to call someone out 100 yards through the woods,” Flaherty said.

Prosecutors argue they got the right guy the first time around.

After hearing all the presented evidence, the judge will decide whether Raugust should get a new trial.

“Our hope is that the full story is heard and we believe that this evidence shows that Richard could not have been at the campsite at the night Joe Tash was murdered,” Flaherty said.

Ross, the man who claimed to witness the murder, was asked to take the stand but he pleaded the Fifth Amendment and was not questioned.

The hearing is expected to last until Friday, then the judge will decide if there’s enough evidence for a re-trial.

FVCC surgical technology students to use Google Glass

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 6:53 PM Dec 16 2014   UPDATED: 11:48 PM Dec 16 2014

FVCC surgical technology students to use Google Glass

KALISPELL, Mont. -

Flathead Valley Community College is adding a new piece of technology into the curriculum.

Surgical technology students will soon be using Google Glass to record themselves during simulated operations.

Scalpels and forceps are among the tools of the trade for surgical technology students at FVCC. But now they’re adding something new to the curriculum -- Google Glass. It’s used for more than just helping them see.

"It's basically a wearable computer you can surf the internet from it, you can record what you're looking at and take pictures, you can recover files," said Rob Blackston, surgical technology program director.

The students will wear them during simulated operations as a new learning technique.

"I recognized a need for the students to be able to critique themselves in the laboratory setting before they go into the hospital. They'll be able to get that first-person view of what they’re doing and record it so that they can see exactly what they’re doing and either fix their mistakes or do it a different way,” Blackston said.

Blackston says Google Glass is especially useful for people in an operating room.

"Because of the confines of our sterile technique, being gowned and gloved, Google Glass works so well because it's hands-free and wearable. You can use it with voice commands," he said.

When you wear the Google Glass it looks like a small computer screen that appears in the top right of your vision field. Some worry this could be distracting for people who are operating. Blackston disagrees.

"I think because of the intensity of surgery and the intensity of the clinical skills that they're practicing, more than anything it’s not going to be a distraction," Blackston said.

That’s why some think the device will soon be added to the list of tools that appear in operating rooms, in the near future.

The Flathead Valley Community College Foundation gave a grant to the surgical technology program to purchase two pairs of Google Glass. Students will start using them this spring.

Flathead Co. says not liable for mailboxes damaged during plowing

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 4:29 PM Dec 13 2014
 Flathead Co. says not liable for mailboxes damaged during plowing
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Several Flathead County residents have sent complaints to the county about their mailboxes getting damaged by snow plows.

But, the county responded saying that that’s the price homeowners have to pay if they want safe roads.

The Flathead County Road and Bridge Department says mailboxes are considered an encroachment on the county’s right-of-way.

This means landowners are responsible for any damage a plow does to a mailbox. This could be from a plow physically hitting the mailbox or the weight of the snow, that’s being plowed, pushes the mailbox over.

However, this is not new. The county passed a resolution in 1994 saying they are not liable to replace a mailbox that was damaged during county road maintenance.

They say safety is their number one concern, not mailboxes.

County officials say there are ways to prevent your mailbox from getting ruined.

“If they [the homeowner] move it back three feet from the surface road, if they move it back and make it strong enough to withstand some of that snow load, it would be good for them and it would help us out too,” said Flathead County Road and Bridge Supervisor, Ovila Byrd.

The county says the damage usually happens over time from continued force of the snow on mailboxes that loosen it from the post.

Genetic change in flu virus could make vaccine less effective

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 5:18 PM Dec 12 2014   UPDATED: 11:24 PM Dec 12 2014

Genetic change in flu virus could make vaccine less effective

KALISPELL, Mont. -

New details about this year’s flu vaccine tell us it may not be as effective as previously thought.

That’s because of a change in one of the components in the vaccine has genetically drifted.

"What’s gone on this year that's a little atypical is the strain that they put in the influenza vaccine, one of the “A” strains has drifted genetically a little bit," said Flathead County Health Official, Joe Russell.

Flathead County chose to give a quadrivalent, or four-in-one type of shot this year to residents.

It’s made up of two influenza A strains and two B strains. Some of those A strains have genetically changed.

“With this drift, the vaccine that we have right now may not be as effective,” Russell said.

What’s happening is people are getting sick with an A strain, the one they’ve been vaccinated with. Through lab analysis, health officials are finding out that the A strain people are infected with is the same one in the vaccine.

Russell explains that the A strains, rather than the B strains, are the most important component in the vaccine.

“B is not as virulent, they don’t make you as sick. A strains are the ones that most people get sick from,” he said.

But, there is still a possibility you may never get infected with the genetically drifted flu virus.

"We don't know in Flathead County or in Northwest Montana that we won’t see the H3N2 strain that's totally protected in the vaccine. We won’t know," Russell said.

That’s why Russell and other health officials urge everyone to get vaccinated despite this genetic drift.

“We want people to get vaccinated. We don't want people to think that just because there’s been some drift in one of the four or one of the three strains, to not to get vaccinated," Russell said.

A Flathead nonprofit understands the importance of getting vaccinated. That’s why United Way and Family Wize is partnering with Walgreens to give away 1,000 free flu shot vouchers.

The vouchers are for people or families who are uninsured or who cannot afford the shot.

"Access to health care is a critical issue for all people in our community and especially those who are struggling financially. So anything we can do to help reduce their costs and help them be healthier during the winter time is really important," said Sherry Stevens of United Way.

The flu virus changes every year and that’s why vaccines change. But, health officials say it’s too late in the game to change this year’s vaccine.

Flathead wood shop students recycle sawdust in unique way

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 4:57 PM Dec 11 2014   UPDATED: 11:23 PM Dec 11 2014

Flathead wood shop students recycle sawdust in unique way

KALISPELL, Mont. -

Instead of filling up the trash with sawdust scraps and sending it to the landfill, students in Flathead High School’s wood shop class are using it to recycle.

"We kept filling up the garbage with all this waste," said Brock Anderson, FHS wood shop teacher.

So instead of sending it to the landfill, Anderson did some research on what he can do with the leftovers.

"That's how we came across the ‘pelletizer,’" Anderson said.

It’s a machine that turns the sawdust into pellets. Wood pellets are used in wood stoves as a primary source of heat.

Here’s how it works -- students mix leftover sawdust with water and recycled oil, which came from a Kalispell restaurant. They mix it and test the moisture in the pellets, then put it through the "pelletizer."

“If they're too dry they'll crumble and if they’re too wet, they'll crumble. So we just need to make sure they're profitable and we’re not just selling cheap wood pellets," said FHS wood shop student Zephrey Holloway.

The class plans to sell the pellets, $4 for a 40-pound bag.

"It’s a cool process because we can make money off it, and we can get quite a few pellets done in a day throughout all the class periods," Holloway said.

In fact, the pelletizer can produce 40 pounds of pellets in just minutes. But it’s not easy.

"It’s a lot of work. I went into it a little bit blind. There’s a lot of work into it, the recipes for making the optimum pellets," Anderson said.

To make the best pellets, Anderson says it’s the little things that matter. For example, how fast or slowly you feed the sawdust into the pelletizer.

“You can’t go too fast because the pellets are not as tight. If you feed it a little bit slower they compact well,” Anderson said.

Anderson also noted that all the hard work is worth it to teach his students something more than just how to cut wood.

"I think it’s great for the students to see that we're not just a consumable society. We're actually using the tree all the way from the bark, making projects, all the way down to something someone can use to heat their homes with," he said.

It’s not just the wood shop students who are learning from the project. Business students are handling the marketing. Art students are designing the bags for the pellets and the foreign language students are translating the product information into Spanish.

All the money that is raised from selling the bags of pellets will benefit various school programs.

Community wonders what's next as CFAC halts talks with DEQ

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 10:54 PM Dec 11 2014
CFAC BUILDING
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Nearly 50 community members gathered Thursday in a Columbia Falls auditorium to get answers. 

News that the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company decided to cut off negotiations with the state over how to clean up environmental waste at the site came as a shock to many. 

Representatives from the state Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA gave presentations on what the next steps are in the testing and cleaning process of the site. 

They mentioned that there are known contaminates at the site, but further testing needs to be done. 

Now that the company has cut ties with the DEQ, the EPA has a new plan -- to add the site to the national priorities list. 

Community members voiced their concerns about how time consuming that process may be. 

"I think people are most concerned about the timeline and the DEQ initially offered up the ability for the state to proceed with negotiations in the hopes of moving this process along a little bit quicker.  Because negotiations were ceased, we're now kind of black to plan A which, is an NPL listing, so it may take a little bit longer," said Jeni Flatow, with the Montana DEQ.

In order to put the site on the national priorities list the EPA will first need to get the governor on board.

Storage unit thefts on the rise in Flathead

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 5:38 PM Dec 10 2014   UPDATED: 6:55 PM Dec 10 2014
Storage unit thefts on the rise in the Flathead
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Law enforcement officials in the Flathead have been called out to a string of storage unit thefts over the past few days.

Several units were broken into in the Bigfork area this week, but they’re not alone.

NBC Montana found out that storage unit break-ins happen throughout the county more often this time of year. That may be because storage units aren’t checked as frequently. They’re also a common place for people to store Christmas gifts.

But there are ways to protect yourself.

“The best way is to get a bigger lock than everyone else and check your storage unit often, especially if they have a security camera system, because if you don’t check it for a year and then you come back and your lock has been cut, with a different lock on it, they can’t go back that far,” said East Evergreen Storage Manager Mike Kilmer.

Kilmer also says having surveillance cameras and locking gates around the storage unit can also prevent these types of break-ins.

Speech & debate tournament needs more judges

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 5:24 PM Dec 10 2014   UPDATED: 6:52 PM Dec 10 2014
Speech and debate tournament needs a few hundred judges
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Nearly 600 students will compete this weekend in one of the largest speech and debate tournaments in the Western Division. It’s so big, that both Glacier and Flathead High School will be the hosts.

Students from 17 different high schools, including ones from Missoula, Helena and Kalispell will compete in speech and debate events.

There is one problem -- the event is short judges.

Right now, the tournament has between 400 and 500 judges signed up, but may need a few hundred more to match last year’s meet that had 700 judges.

“Usually we host this tournament in November and we always have tons of judges so it’s not that difficult. This year -- and I think it’s because it’s before the holiday season -- we’re struggling more to get judges. We have kids who have asked like 20 people and two have said yes,” said Flathead High Speech & Debate Coach Shannon O’Donnell.

O’Donnell also says a lot of people avoid judging because they don’t think they are qualified or have fear of making a wrong decision.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a judge should contact Kyla Niva at Flathead High School.

Blizzard-like conditions leave Flathead Co. residents without power

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 1:31 PM Nov 29 2014   UPDATED: 6:19 PM Nov 29 2014
Blizzard-like conditions leave Flathead Co. residents without power
KALISPELL, Mont. -

1,514 residences were without power at 6:15 p.m. Saturday night as crews from the Flathead Electric Co-op continue to repair storm damage to power lines.

You can get the latest information on when power will be restored by clicking here.

***

The Thanksgiving holiday brought mild temperatures for residents in the Flathead, with temperatures in the 40s.

But, in just 24 hours Flathead County residents woke up to a huge change in weather.

Strong winds and single digit temperatures created blizzard-like conditions.

The winds also downed several power lines in the Columbia Falls and West Glacier area, leaving thousands without power for hours.

Crews are working to get the power restored in that area.

About 7-12 inches of new snow has been reported making the roads very icy and slick. There was also limited visibility for drivers earlier this morning.

“The roads are slick and its slicker underneath. The cars were frozen this morning so we had a hard time getting the doors open because it changed from fall like temperatures to the freezing. I think it’s probably very dangerous to get out there now but everyone’s taking care of the roads and we have to trust our road department people," said resident, Jule Mason.

Flathead County is also under an avalanche advisory. If you do choose to ski today, you are encouraged to avoid steep slopes and pay close attention to the terrain around you.

Wish tree to provide Christmas gifts for veterans

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 4:00 PM Nov 29 2014
Wish tree to provide Christmas gifts for veterans
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Holiday season is in full swing and people in the Flathead have the chance to buy a gift for a veteran.

A “wish tree” is set up at the Kalispell Center Mall. It is decorated with a tag for each resident who lives at the Montana Veteran’s Home in Columbia Falls.

On the back of the tag is a description of what that resident wants or needs.

Once an item listed on the tree is purchased, the tag is removed.

The wrapped gifts will be collected on a daily basis and transported to the veteran’s home.

“You know it’s important that we recognize those people and the service that they gave for this country. Some of the guys at the veteran’s home are still pretty sharp and some of them are not, but they all deserve a good Christmas,” said Montana Veteran’s Home volunteer, Sue Haverfield.

Gifts will be collected until December 22nd, 2014.

Small Business Saturday encourages Flathead Co. residents to shop local

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 3:41 PM Nov 29 2014
Small Business Saturday encourages Flathead Co. residents to shop local
KALISPELL, Mont. -

The Black Friday sales at big retail chains have passed. But, today is about the sales at local businesses.

Small Business Saturday aims to encourage people to do their holiday shopping locally.

This year marks the second year for participating businesses in Kalispell, and more than 60 businesses are signed up.

Most of those businesses are retailers, others are restaurants. Some of them are even giving discounts to common shoppers.

The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce is offering incentives to shop. If you spend money at three different participating businesses, you can be entered to win a gift card. All of which is to promote shopping small this Saturday.

“This day really celebrates small business owners and owner and operator businesses that are so great in forming the wealth of our community. They’re a great source of employment and just have a big impact on the community. It’s a fun way to celebrate it,” said Kalispell Chamber of Commerce President, Joe Unterreiner.

The national event is a partnership with American Express, which was founded back in 2010.

Flathead Co. Black Friday shoppers camp out to get deals

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 2:22 PM Nov 28 2014   UPDATED: 10:34 PM Nov 28 2014

Flathead Co. Black Friday shoppers camp out to get deals

KALISPELL, Mont. -

Shoppers in the Flathead started camping out in front of stores as early as Wednesday night, to get the best Black Friday deals.

It’s a day of bargains. People camp out to be the first through the doors to get their hands on the sales.

“I’m just hoping to win one of the bigger gift cards,” said Black Friday shopper John Sturzen.

Sturzen spent the night camped out in front of the Cabela’s store in Kalispell. He says he’s done it for several years.

“It’s awesome. Everybody is friendly, and everybody seems to be happy and in good spirits. So it’s kind of hard to beat that,” Sturzen said.

He says this year is different than years past, and it’s not because of the crowds.

“This year it’s warm. It’s in the 40s. Last year it was pretty cold and miserable standing in line, the wind was blowing, so it wasn’t pleasant at all,” Sturzen said.

“This is beautiful. I’m out here in short sleeves and it’s not even really cold, so it’s just a beautiful Black Friday morning,” said Cabela’s manager Tim Ells.

Ells says he started prepping the store as early as July for this day.

"A lot of planning that comes in from the corporate perspective and then at store level, obviously, it’s just getting all the merchandise on the floor," Ells said.

To make sure the waiting customers were comfortable, heat lamps were set up and free coffee and donuts were given to those in line.

“It’s fun to be a part of an organization like this, that you know, they draw this kind of crowd because we’re Cabela’s. We just have that rapport and it’s awesome to take care of people and it’s awesome we have so much support from our community,” Ells said.

NBC Montana even found people as far as British Columbia camped out. They came down just for the sales.

Sturzen says it’s not only about those sales, but about the experience of camping out.

"I get to spend some quality time with my son and kind of hangout. He's away from his kids and everything, so it’s kind of a one on one and then all the people I get to meet in line, that's always special," Sturzen said.

Many others agreed, and said they chose to camp out for the experience too.

Concerns raised over unleashed dogs in Flathead Co.

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 6:00 PM Nov 26 2014   UPDATED: 9:15 PM Nov 26 2014

Concerns raised over unleashed dogs in Flathead Co.

KALISPELL, Mont. -

Officials in Flathead County are noticing an increase in the number of people not keeping their dogs on leashes.

The Flathead County Health Department says there have been over 60 dog-bite incidents this year, partly because of dogs running free.

Whitefish resident Anna Faith and her kids love the outdoors, but there’s one thing they don’t like.

"On one particular occasion, when there was a dog running loose throughout the entire park, and [the dog] wasn't necessarily a threat, but just the fact that he was loose made my son uncomfortable," said Faith.

Faith says she notices dogs of leashes at least once a day, which is against the law.

"There’s an ordinance in Flathead County for dogs at-large. Your dog needs to be on a leash if he's outside your yard, and you can get citations for that or even your dog could be picked up for that," said Flathead County Animal Shelter Director Cliff Bennett.

"I asked quite a few folks on different occasions if they could restrain their dog while at the park and was met with hostility," Faith said.

Some say they don’t keep their dogs on a leash because it’s trained. But the unpredictability still worries Faith.

"Not knowing where [the dog] is going to be," she said.

Even if a dog is leashed and restrained, accidents happen.

“Sometimes dogs slip their leashes, sometimes dogs dig out or climb out of a yard,” Bennett said.

They’re then taken to the shelter, and if the dog is not licensed or claimed within 72 hours, it can be put up for adoption.

Most of the strays that come into the animal shelter aren’t licensed. In fact, only 10 percent of dogs countywide are licensed.

“The reason so many aren’t is that there isn’t an animal control officer in Whitefish,” Faith said.

That’s why Whitefish Police are supposed to be monitoring unleashed dogs. But Faith says it’s not enough.

“It would be really beneficial to appropriate money for an animal control officer here in Whitefish. I feel like the Whitefish Police Department has enough on their plate, and it would be far more effective," said Faith.

It costs only around $15 to license a dog in Flathead County. If your dog is caught without a license, or off a leash, the dog can be taken and you can be cited.

Whitefish prepares for winter tourism season

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 6:25 PM Nov 25 2014   UPDATED: 10:47 PM Nov 25 2014

Whitefish prepares for winter tourism season

KALISPELL, Mont. -

As snow continues to fall, ski areas are getting ready to open. Before winter tourism season begins in Whitefish, the city wants to make sure area businesses are ready to welcome guests.

The Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Whitefish Chamber of Commerce are hosting hospitality training. Any business that deals with tourists is encouraged to attend. These include local convenience stores, lodging properties, visitor information centers, and more.

The training will focus on putting the customers first. The training will also aim to teach businesses how to direct visitors to other activities happening around town.

Businesses in Whitefish are already preparing for the busy season.

It’s crunch time for people working on the slopes. The biggest priority is getting the ski lifts inspected and making sure they’re capable of holding the weight of people.

"The load testing will actually load a lift and check to make sure everything’s functioning properly with weight. So that simulates, of course, our skiers and riders who will be riding those lifts this winter," said Whitefish Mountain Resort spokesperson Riley Polumbus.

Prep work isn’t just being done on the slopes. New ski inventory has been put on the shelves and boxes of new apparel are waiting to be unpacked.

However, it’s not just the mountain getting ready for opening day, but local businesses too.

Debbie Adams owns the Bear Mountain Mercantile. This will be her 20th winter tourism season.

"We definitely see, from Thanksgiving on, a big push of people arriving in town, and then once the mountain opens it’s just great and we love to be able to support them, and that obviously supports our business too," Adams said.

That’s why she starts buying inventory a year early, before the winter season begins.

"Summer was crazy and fall has remained very strong for us. So we're anticipating a great holiday season too," said Adams.

The preparations aren’t just for sales, rather for safety too.

"Ski patrol is busy getting stuff ready, they've been doing their training and of course the days prior to opening they'll be out there putting up caution signs," Polumbus said.

For everybody else, the next couple days will be filled with orientations and trainings.

Whitefish Mountain Resort will open Saturday, December 6.

Glacier High football player inspired to wear father’s jersey number

FLATHEAD COUNTY

alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter, afriedman@kcfw.com
POSTED: 5:25 PM Nov 23 2014   UPDATED: 2:49 PM Nov 24 2014

Glacier High football player inspired to wear father’s jersey number

KALISPELL, Mont. -

For a high school football player, it doesn’t get any better than reaching the state championship. For a football parent, the dream is to see your kid play in that stage and cheer him on.

After Friday’s state title game in Kalispell, there’s one dad who had the pleasure of doing both of those things.

The year 1980; that was the last time a state championship game was held in Kalispell. Chuck Pisk was a part of the Flathead High School team who played in that game, 34 years ago.

“It was very cold, very cold, field was frozen, we came prepared. I mean, I remember they put up extra bleachers in the stadium, “ said Chuck Pisk.

It was a night he would remember for the rest of his life.

“We played CMR in that championship and I wore number 59,” Chuck Pisk said.

Now, those memories are surfacing because 34 year later his son, Truman Pisk, is following in his footsteps—in a special way.

"I got to thinking about it after their semi-final game. It didn't really hit me until that point in time that we'd be playing on the same field, against the same opponent, wearing the same number and yeah it’s a little emotional," said Chuck Pisk.

Truman Pisk plays left tackle for the Glacier Wolfpack and helped lead them to a state title the other night. He chose to wear his father’s jersey number, 59, in the same game, against the same team, for the same title, his father played in years ago.

"My father and I we're very close and to wear number 59 against CMR like he did was really cool," Truman Pisk said.

"For him to wear that number and to mean something to him as much as it does to me; a number is a pretty big deal to a football player and it’s kind of cool seeing your kid wearing the same one," Chuck Pisk said.

In 1980, Flathead High lost 25-0, and Truman’s father never let it go until now. Chuck Pisk says he feels a bit of redemption now that his son won the championship and came out on top against the team he couldn’t beat.

And Chuck was there to cheer his son on, at the same field he stepped foot on 34 years ago for a championship game.

“It’s just something you’ll never forget, it’s just so special,” said Truman Pisk.

Truman hopes to make the jersey number, 59, a legacy. He hopes that one day his son will wear it in a state championship game just like he and his father did.