About LT

Our Story

Lively Times was created in 1993 by co-publishers Susan Bearse and Kristi Niemeyer as a way of finding out what was happening beyond our hometown of Charlo. Since both of us had spent many years in the weekly newspaper business, we decided to build our own paper and forge our own business. We launched the online version in 2001, with its newest iteration appearing in 2015.

Each month, we gather information, sell ads and construct the most comprehensive arts and entertainment paper and online events calendar in the state – all from our headquarters near the tiny town of Charlo. To the east loom the Mission Mountains, and to the west, Ninepipes Reservoir is year-around home to a profusion of waterfowl and an occasional grizzly bear.

From our serene little office, we strive to connect Montana’s thriving arts & entertainment community. We’re happy we’ve survived and thrived and we’re proud to be one of the few independent papers left in the state. We’ve had heaps of help: a trusty and very talented staff and loyal readers and advertisers.


Mike O'Halloran captured this shot of the Mission Mountains at sunrise
Mike O’Halloran captured this shot of the Mission Mountains


Our Staff

Kristi is co-publisher and editor (which means she bosses words around, writes stories and oversees page design). She also provides editorial services for State of the Arts, a bimonthly newspaper we produce for the Montana Arts Council.

As business manager and co-publisher, Sue makes the business end of Lively Times run smoothly. Although semi-retired, she still plays a major role in overseeing LT, and steps in when we need her.

During hectic production weeks, Brenda tracks down missing details, refines ads and answers countless phone calls in the liveliest possible way. She also sells ads and gathers information for Great Falls and Billings, and regions beyond our borders, including Spokane and North Idaho.

Judy lassoes information and advertising for Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley. She’s also one of our best ambassadors, attending concerts and theatre events throughout the region. She also gathers new books by Montanans or about Montana, which we write about for LT and State of the Arts.

Michelle, the newest member of our sales team, wrangles information and advertising for the Flathead and Mission Valleys. She also teaches Pilates in Bigfork and offers paddleboard instruction on Flathead Lake each summer.

A longtime Charlo-ite, Kathy has a knack for helping each of us do what we do. She tends to many of the nitty-gritty business duties, proofreads all the event info that appears online and in our paper, helps out in the production department and rounds up wayward tidbits of information.

We call Mike our Web Guy because he adds photos and posts stories to our website. He’s also deft with a camera and an avid concert-goer, so you’ll occasionally see his photos in our print and online publications.

Our production whiz designs ads and helps build pages in our print publication and for State of the Arts. She’s a native of Charlo who spent many years in Texas, honing her talents. When she’s not helping us make newspapers, she’s tending her own bustling design business.

Other Important People

  • Theodora Lambson & Candi Gallagher

These two pour all the who-what-when-where information into our insatiable database, with fleet fingers and accurate eyes.

  • Mariss McTucker

With us since our very first issue, Mariss has been a stalwart friend and consummate proofreader. She's also a fine musician and writes most of our CD reviews.

  • Alisha Bynum

Our talented Cover Girl designs all of our front pages, and has for nearly a decade. The former art director is now a licensed acupuncturist in Wyoming who does a few graphic-design gigs on the side.