Alli Friedman

KCFW Reporter

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

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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Alli Friedman's Latest Stories

Whitefish prepares for winter tourism season


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:25 PM Nov 25 2014   UPDATED: 10:47 PM Nov 25 2014

Whitefish prepares for winter tourism season


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


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
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


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.

Glacier players, fans get ready for championship football game


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:25 PM Nov 21 2014   UPDATED: 5:45 PM Nov 21 2014
Glacier players and fans get ready for championship football game

It’s game day in the Flathead, and it’s also the first time in 34 years Kalispell will host a state football championship game.

The Glacier Wolfpack spent the day attending pep rallies, to get excited for the big game.

They started their morning at Edgerton Elementary School, a school that has a special reason to show its support. During football season, Wolfpack players spend every Friday reading to the elementary students.

The kids lined the halls, creating a tunnel for players to run through. They also held signs and wore “future Wolfpack” T-shirts, while they cheered the team on.

"They have our support because it is history in the making and we want it to be important not just to them, but also to the younger generation because they come and support the little kids here and so it’s important for us to show our support to them too, tonight," said Edgerton School Principal Merisa Murray.

Later in the afternoon, Glacier students and faculty packed the Glacier High cafeteria for another pep rally. The mascot led the students in cheers and the school song. Organizers showed a highlight reel of the team’s undefeated season.

Following the pep rally, Wolfpack fans lined Main Street as police escorted them to Legends Stadium. Fans sported their best Wolfpack green apparel and cheered as the team came down the street in school buses.

Several players told NBC Montana that the community support is thrilling and, win or lose, they’ll never forget this day.

“I didn't know so many people were pulling for us. I’ve gotten so many calls and texts lately wishing us good luck and the best, and I think it’s really awesome. It’s pretty surprising but pretty surreal too," said Wolfpack quarterback Brady McChesney.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at Legends Stadium in Kalispell.

Recount to take place for Flathead Co. referendum


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 3:43 PM Nov 20 2014   UPDATED: 6:39 PM Nov 20 2014
Recount to take place for Flathead Co. referendum

A recount will officially take place for a measure that appeared on the ballot to fund Flathead County’s 911 dispatch center.

After polls closed on Election Day, it came down to 11 votes. 15,212 voters were against the passing of the communications district to fund the dispatch center; 15,201 were in favor.

The county was not allowed to ask for a recount, it had to come from at least 10 registered voters. That’s why Whitefish resident Turner Askew decided to sign the petition and get 21 others to sign it too.

He wanted the recount in the hopes the measure would pass.

“Somebody from the public had to do it. I was at the meeting so I’m getting to do it. It’s important because it gives a reliable and dependable income stream to run the 911 center," Askew said.

Flathead County employees will be doing the recount on Friday, November 21.

Whitefish residents want city to create anti-hate ordinance


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:47 PM Nov 19 2014   UPDATED: 6:06 PM Nov 19 2014
Whitefish residents want city to create ‘anti-hate’ ordinance

Whitefish residents want the city to pass a no-hate ordinance to show their opposition to a possible white supremacist group in the Flathead Valley.

The National Policy Institute is led by Richard Spencer. According to the group's website, they are an independent think tank dedicated to the identity and future of European people in the United States. Some people refer to them as a white supremacist group.

Now, opponents want a law that would prevent the group from gathering or holding conferences to carry out what they call hate speech.

Whitefish City Council Member Richard Hildner knows what more than 100 people want -- those who packed City Hall this week.

“The request was some kind of an ordinance that would send a clear message and have consequences for hateful activities in Whitefish," Hildner said.

Problem is, it is not clear that this is something that can be legislated.

“It’s going to be, as we move forward and consider an ordinance, that we protect and not violate any of the provisions of the first amendment,” Hildner said.

That includes freedom of speech and freedom to assemble -- rights every American has no matter what.

“Speech is one of those protected rights of the first amendment, no matter how abhorrent we might find them,” Hildner noted.

All the concern is over the National Policy Institute. On its website the group says it is not based in Montana and does not plan on holding conferences here.

Even if members did gather and the city had an anti-hate ordinance in effect, it is unclear what would happen.

"Probably nothing would happen for Mr. Spencer, because we want to make sure everyone's rights are protected, including Mr. Spencer’s rights, which are to conduct a business and enjoy all the freedoms and liberties provided by the constitution," Hildner said.

Hildner and other council members plan to try to find a way to protect all citizens’ rights.

“That’s why I pledged to city council after the public comment that I’m committed to finding that ground,” he said.

The man whose group sparked the debate called NBC Montana. Richard Spencer says he isn’t trying to change Whitefish or hold gatherings in the city.

"I think there are a lot of people, whether they identify with the left or the right, that will look at this and say ‘I disagree with Richard Spencer' or 'I agree with Richard Spencer' or 'I have no idea who Richard Spencer is, but he is obeying the law, he publishes books and you want to ban this person or make it illegal to do business with Richard Spencer.’ That is not how we do things in this country,” Spencer said.

The Whitefish City Council will hold a public hearing on the ordinance proposal, and they’ll have to vote several times before any type of ordinance is passed.

Number of volunteer firefighters in the Flathead dwindling


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 4:53 PM Nov 15 2014   UPDATED: 11:01 PM Nov 16 2014

Number of volunteer firefighters in the Flathead dwindling


Volunteer fire departments across the state are struggling with a decline in new recruits at a time when the number of calls they respond to are on the rise.

This is affecting response times, and creating new hazards for the remaining volunteers. This is especially true for crews in the Flathead.

“We volunteer our service and our time to help our community out to respond to whatever is needed as far as structure fires, MVAs, medical assists,” said Somers-Lakeside Volunteer Firefighter, Chris Cassidy.

Besides maybe getting a couple of bucks for gas, Cassidy and thousands of volunteer firefighters like him don’t get paid.

They have regular 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. jobs, but they respond when they can. The Somers-Lakeside Fire Department has responded to several deadly incidents lately. Like the car accident on Highway 93, near Somers, that took the life of two and the house fire in Lakeside that left one woman dead.

"It comes down to safety and you’re limited to what you can do on a structure fire, sometimes a car accident, when you don't have enough people," said Smith Valley Fire Chief, D.C. Haas.

That’s the problem. The Somers-Lakeside Fire Department used to have 36 members, they’re down to nearly 10, and call volumes are up. As a result, calls are being dispatched to departments far away.

"It’s a time delay to get our neighbors to help us when we don't have enough people to staff the engines we have," Haas said.

That could mean 20 extra minutes waiting for a fire crew, and those minutes could determine life or death.

"Especially in fires, early detection and early notification [are important], and if that doesn't happen we're already behind the eight ball," said Marion Fire Chief, James Brower.

We’re told the shortage is because people are retiring later in life, and younger people are working harder to cover living costs.

"So, it’s very hard to find volunteers for everybody” Brower said.

The fireman who do volunteer their time say it’s rewarding and they do it to give back to the community.

"It makes you feel good, knowing that you've helped people in their worst possible moment of their life that you've made a difference, it’s an amazing feeling," Cassidy said.

About 70% of Montana’s fire departments are made up of volunteers. These volunteer firefighters get the same training as paid departments to become qualified and safe first responders.

Montana's first Verizon Smart Store opens in Kalispell


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 4:46 PM Nov 14 2014   UPDATED: 6:22 PM Nov 14 2014
Montana’s first Verizon Smart Store opens in Kalispell

Verizon opened Montana’s first smart store in the Flathead Valley. It’s the first of only two smart stores that will be opened in the entire state.

Managers celebrated the official opening of the Kalispell store with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The smart store is set up in sections filled with cutting-edge technology for your home, your car or even for people interested in fitness.

The retail location also contains a workspace designed for the consumer to receive tech support and attend workshops.

The district manager says it’s the atmosphere that makes the smart stores unique.

"It’s to connect with our customers, to provide that experience and really simplify the technology and the different pieces in their life, and a lot of people don't understand in a smart store we're able to showcase what you can do in your home, your work life, your hobbies and fun and really put it into a simplified package for you," said Verizon District Manager for Montana Christy Schilke.

The second of the only two smart stores in Montana will open in Bozeman on Friday, November 21.

FVCC launches business certificate program for entrepreneurs


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:02 PM Nov 14 2014   UPDATED: 5:50 PM Nov 14 2014
FVCC launches business certificate program for entrepreneurs

Flathead Valley Community College has launched a new certificate program for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business.

Students can receive the Business Innovation and Development certificate after taking 17 credits.

The credits include classes on business management, accounting, marketing and entrepreneurial thinking strategies. Students will learn market analysis, prepare business plans and even pitch to potential funders.

The FVCC entrepreneur coordinator says the program is intended to encourage entrepeneurship in northwest Montana.

"We recognize that small business is the backbone of our economy here, and entrepreneurs are the drivers of this economy. So there’s a lot of interest and encouraging people to start new enterprises and then to succeed and expand those enterprises so that they create jobs," said FVCC Entrepreneur Coordinator Jill Seigmund.

Registration for the spring 2015 Business Innovation and Development certificate program begins November 22.

For more information contact Ronnie Laudati at 756-3990.

Officials release name of woman who died in Lakeside house fire


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 4:45 PM Nov 14 2014   UPDATED: 5:46 PM Nov 14 2014
Officials release name of woman who died in Lakeside house fire

Authorities have released the name of a 41-year-old woman who died in a house fire. Her dog also passed away in the fire.

Officials say Beatrice Helen Clark’s death is still under investigation after a fire was reported around 4 a.m. on Thursday, November 13.

The fire occurred on Conrad Point Road and Political Hill Road in Lakeside. Smoke could still be seen over the house nearly five hours later.

NBC Montana spoke to Clark’s older sister, who says she is shocked and devastated by the news.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and area fire departments are still investigating. It is confirmed, however, that Clark was the only one inside the home when it caught fire.

Blacktail Mountain Ski Area prepares for opening day


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:42 PM Nov 13 2014   UPDATED: 11:50 PM Nov 13 2014

Blacktail Mountain Ski Area prepares for opening day


With more snow on the way, area ski resorts are gearing up for the season. Workers in the Flathead are putting the finishing touches on lifts to get Blacktail Mountain ready for opening day.

Blacktail Mountain Ski Area is located on the west side of Flathead Lake, overlooking Lakeside.

The preparation process has taken two and a half months to get the mountain ready for skiers the first week of December.

"Every year we do the annual maintenance on the lifts," said Blacktail Mountain Ski Area owner Steve Spencer.

The preparation includes installing new cables on the lifts, greasing and checking motors, and even changing out the chair seat cushions.

"It’s kind of routine; we've been doing it for a while now and so there’s a lot of hard work, there’s a lot of climbing the towers and working out of the work chair," Spencer said.

It's all done to pass an inspection by an engineering company that specializes in aerial transport systems, like ski lifts. If they don’t pass, they can’t open.

"We have an engineer who comes through and goes through all the lifts, goes through all our logbooks to see the work that we've done,” said Spencer.

The ski runs are also being prepped with snow.

"We’ve been track packing it. We've got the runs all tracked, and if you don't do that this cold temperature tends to dry out the snow and then the wind can take it. So we try to get it pinned down as soon as we can," Spencer said.

There is new ski inventory waiting to be unpacked and put on the shelves, and new employees waiting to be trained.

Spencer says everything is going according to plan.

"We were in pretty good shape. We did a fair amount of maintenance after the ski season last spring and we got some of the line work done on the lifts,” said Spencer.

Spencer says the hard work is worth it and he’s excited to get the ski season going.

The lifts will be inspected within the next few weeks and the mountain is expected to be open either the first or second week of December.

41-year-old woman dies in Lakeside house fire


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 4:42 PM Nov 13 2014   UPDATED: 5:34 PM Nov 13 2014
41-year-old woman dies in Lakeside house fire

A house fire in Lakeside took the life of a 41-year-old woman.

The fire happened at a house on Conrad Point Road and Political Hill Road in Lakeside. It was reported around 4 a.m. on Thursday, November 13.

Somers-Lakeside Fire Department and South Kalispell Fire Department responded to the incident.

The house was still smoking at around 10 a.m.

It is unclear what caused the fire, but it is being investigated by the county fire investigation team and the sheriff’s office.

Officials say the woman who died was the only one home at the time of the fire.

Historic clock returned to original home in Sanders Co.


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 6:22 PM Nov 12 2014   UPDATED: 11:31 PM Nov 12 2014

Historic clock returned to original home in Sanders Co.


A historic clock that disappeared from a Sanders County elementary school decades ago is being returned to its original home.

It’s a clock that’s been around since 1900. It originally belonged to the Paradise Elementary School. How it landed in the Flathead remains a mystery.

"There are some gaps in the history that we're not aware of, and unfortunately the folks that know, are either passed away or gone from the area," said Gil Jordan, executive director at the Museum at Central School.

The clock apparently wandered through antique stores before being donated to the Museum at Central School 12 years ago.

“This is an artifact that really doesn’t belong here. It wound up here, but it’s not part of the Flathead Valley's history," Jordan said.

That’s why the Museum at Central School decided to send it back where it came from -- Paradise Elementary.

But the school closed in May 2013, after only five students were enrolled. Now, a preservation committee is looking to restore the building into a community and arts center, as well as a museum -- similar to the preservation effort done by the Museum at Central School.

"Any building that has served the public for 100 years deserves a second life, and that's what we see is the second hundred years for the school," said Karen Thorson, a member of the Paradise Elementary School Preservation Committee.

"When we heard about this project down in Paradise, that they were trying to do the same thing there that we did here with Central School, we thought ‘Oh boy, this clock needs to go home,'" Jordan said.

It is one of three clocks that went missing from Paradise Elementary School over time. Members of the preservation committee for Paradise Elementary say they’re thrilled to have at least one of them back.

“It’s symbolic that a piece of (the school’s) history is coming back to now watch over its future. Part of it is tangible, its a touchable thing that we can place on the wall so that people who have history with the Paradise School can see that we are restoring it," Thorson said.

"It’s important to have artifacts reside in the area where their history is rooted and so it’s very exciting to see this go home," said Jordan.

The Paradise Elementary Preservation Committee will hold a ceremony on Thursday, November 13, in Sanders County to celebrate the return of the historic clock.

The clock will hang on the wall of a dedicated classroom, similar to one from 1910.

Drilling will test bedrock for new Whitefish City Hall


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:31 PM Nov 11 2014   UPDATED: 8:29 PM Nov 11 2014
Drilling will test bedrock for new Whitefish City Hall

Workers in Whitefish will start drilling into the ground behind Whitefish City Hall to test soil and bedrock.

Construction for the nearly $14 million project won’t begin until workers determine what’s below the building.

Workers will drill 75 to 150 feet deep. That will help determine what type of foundation is needed to build a new parking structure and building for Whitefish’s new City Hall.

"One of the things that we're very seriously considering, it’s almost a given, I think we’ll have a basement. It’s some of the least expensive construction you can have, to build a basement. So we have to know how to construct that basement and that's part of that core drilling," said Richard Hildner, from Whitefish City Council.

The drilling is expected to last a week.

School remembers victim of fatal Highway 40 crash


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 5:13 PM Nov 11 2014   UPDATED: 7:04 PM Nov 11 2014
School remembers victim of fatal Highway 40 crash

More details are emerging about a car wreck near Whitefish that killed a 16-year-old girl.

Tabitha Mary Migwi was on her way to piano lessons when a semi-truck slammed into her car at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday November 10. The accident happened near Highway 40 and Dillon Road.

Migwi attended Stillwater Christian School in Kalispell. Grief counselors showed up at the school to help faculty and staff cope with the loss.

Students also wrote their memories of Migwi on posters to give to her parents. In a statement, the principal of Stillwater Christian School said it was advised to continue the day with as much normal routine as possible.

“Tabitha attended Stillwater Christian School from kindergarten to 11th grade. She was classy, bright, cheerful, upbeat and truly a fountain of joy. She was known as a selfless student who loved others and lifted them up with her kind nature. Her last words to me were, ‘What else can I do to help?’” said Principal Dana Hashley.

A memorial will be held at Hope Church this Saturday, November 15.

New cardiac monitoring device given to Kalispell Fire Department


alli By Alli Friedman, KCFW Reporter,
POSTED: 3:55 PM Nov 08 2014
New cardiac monitoring device given to Kalispell Fire Department

The Kalispell Fire Department just received a grant to receive a new cardiac monitoring device.

The American Heart Association along with Montana Lifeline has given the cardiac monitor to the fire department. It has a $20,000 price point.

The device is used to treat patients who are having a heart attack or cardiac problems.

The current devices are at the end of their life term. The fire chief says this is the first step in replacing all the outdated equipment.

“It’s probably the number one tool that we use, it’s used on every patient, it’s used on every cardiac patient. Without it we wouldn’t be able to do our job. Getting this grant is huge. It is a big piece of our capital improvement that we currently don’t have the funding for. So, this grant has been a huge help,” said Kalispell Fire Chief, Dave Dedman.

Because voters rejected an EMS levy to provide extra funding to replace equipment, like the cardiac monitors, the fire department is trying to find other ways to get funding to update their equipment.