The weekend plane crash that killed four people — Brian Williams, Sonny Kless, Erika Hoefer and Melissa Weaver — affected many people, including those in the Indy newsroom. Two staff writers attended UM’s Journalism School with — and worked beside — Weaver, a 23-year-old reporter for the Daily Inter Lake. One also met Hoefer after she started as a business reporter at the Inter Lake in December. Kless graduated in May from the University of Montana’s Environmental Studies Program, where he attended with two other Indy staffers. And former staff writer Jesse Froehling was Williams' classmate at the UM Law School.
As we all look for ways to channel this tragic loss, Weaver's former classmates, led by 2007-2008 Kaimin editor Sean Breslin, have already set up a scholarship fund in her name. Donations can be sent to: University of Montana Foundation, P.O. Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807 or made online. Make sure to specify your donation as "Melissa Weaver Scholarship — J School."