WE'RE RUNNING out of room in our Opinion category for all the newspaper endorsements, so we thought we'd consolidate them here, where you can find them at a quick glance.

We'll group them together by newspaper, and keep updating the list as new ones come in.

BILLINGS GAZETTE: Clinton for president, Bullock for governor, Zinke for Congress, Fox for AG, Romano for OPI, Laslovich for auditor, Stapleton for secretary of state, Sandefur for Supreme Court, yes on I-177. no on I-181, no on CI-116.

BOZEMAN CHRONICLE: Bullock for governor, Juneau for CongressRomano for OPI, Fox for AG, Sandefur for Supreme Court, no to I-181 and CI-116, yes on I-182,

GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE: No to I-177, yes on I-181, yes on I-182.

HELENA IR: Bullock for governor.

MISSOULIAN: Fox for AG, Sandefur for Supreme Court, no on I-177yes on I-182, no on CI-116

MONTANA STANDARD: Bullock for governor, Juneau for Congress.

MONTANA voters are among the most powerful in the country, according to a personal finance website called WalletHub.

How can that be? And what does that mean exactly?

WalletHub recently ranked Montana voters the 12th most powerful in the country, with the top five being from Arizona, Iowa, Alaska, South Dakota and Ohio. So how can states like Alaska, South Dakota and Montana, which have so few electoral votes, be rated "powerful" when it comes to voting?

It appears to have a lot to do with a state's chances of influencing a presidential election. On its website, WalletHub says it graded each state election on a 100-point scale, with 100 points given to states with a 50 percent chance of swinging either red or blue (50-50) and no points to states with zero chance of one party determining the election.

“We then multiplied the win probability score by the number of electors of a given state and divided the product by the state’s population aged 18 and older,” WalletHub says. “Finally, we multiplied the result by 1,000,000 in order to calculate the Presidential Election Voter Power Score for that state.”

Check out the full report and see if it makes sense to you. Sounds somewhat plausible, but the statistics are a bit overwhelming.

BOZEMAN'S computer museum has nabbed quite an honor: A spot on USA Today's reader poll as one of the Top 10 free museums in the country.

"I'm just overjoyed we made the top 10," George Keremejiev, who co-founded the museum with his wife, Barbara, told the Bozeman Chronicle. "It validates out 25 years here."

The museum, located near MSU's Bobcat Stadium, covers 5,000 years of human communication. Its collection includes an original Apple 1 computer donated by  company co-founder Steve Wozniak.

TEXAS BILLIONAIRES Farris and Dan Wilks have attracted plenty of attention for buying more than 300,000 acres of Montana land in recent years, and sometimes getting into controversies over how they manage that land.

The brothers, worth an estimated $3 billion between them, spend about four months out of year in Montana and are building homes near their N Bar Ranch at Grass Range.

Now the Wilks brothers are buying up big chunks of land next door in Idaho. They've just bought 172,000 acres of land in Valley, Adams and Boise counties. No price was disclosed.

MONTANA'S natural resource industries have struggled in recent months, but the state has excelled in one economic category: Business startups.

It has the highest rate of startups among the 25 smallest states in the nation, according to a survey by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. It is the fourth time in a row Montana has finished at the top of the pack.

The Bullock Administration points to the rating as proof that it is on the right course in its efforts to promote business, while GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte says studies that show how low Montana wages are compared to those in other states is a better gauge of how the state is struggling economically.

FEELING FREE? Maybe you should, if you put any stock in a new study by the Cato Institute, which ranks Montana the 17th freest state in the country.

The libertarian think tank, which supports less government intervention both in the economy and in personal matters like abortion and drug use, ranks Montana as the 7th freest state in terms of fiscal policy (that's taxes, spending and the like.)

Montana ranks 21st nationally for personal freedom -- here Cato considers laws on such issues as drugs and gun control -- while it gets it lowest score in regulatory freedom: 30. 

Among the issues the study takes into account in doing its rankings are smoking bans, right-to-work laws, sin taxes as well as rules on everything from happy hours and direct auto sales to land use and occupational licensing.

New Hampshire and Alaska finished atop the rankings, while California and New York came in last.


Former auditor sues state after discharge, claiming funds misused

National teachers' group spending $528K to defeat brain-research plan

National Democrats target Ryan Zinke in new TV commercial

Activists vandalize urban farming nonprofit after 3 pigs slaughtered

Bozeman couple uses bear spray to deflect charging grizzly in park

Man kills himself after standoff with officers in Belgrade

Wolf shot in central MT wandered 700 miles from eastern Washington

Democratic Party spending in Supreme Court race on pace to top record

Crow Tribe reaches agreement with state on coal taxes

Missoula man denies sex-trafficking charges

Discounted health insurance may be available to some Montanans

Judge rules Madison Range trail open to public despite rancher's protest

Williston State College offering free tuition to northeastern MT students

Brain-research initiative aims to tap taxpayers; critics pan the plan

2nd woman says she was assaulted by Helena police officer

Gianforte spends more than $5M of his own money on gov's campaign

Bullock leads equal pay rallies; Gianforte says Bullock paid women less

Zinke rejects Dem claims he's more Californian than Montanan

MSU president says school is beating growth targets

Early CM Russell watercolor donated to Russell Museum

Republicans aim to end Democratic dominance of state Land Board

UM plans fundraising campaign for new forestry school after $24M gift

Bigfoot believers compare notes at Bitterroot confab

Poll finds little support for transferring federal lands to state

$2.7M worth of TV political commercials bombard MT viewers

Future of Miles City VA health-care center in limbo

Poll: Montana voters aren't too keen on anti-trapping ballot measure

Forecast: Montana should see above-average precipitation this winter

Drunk man breaks into Bozeman home he thought was haunted

MT law allows judges to ignore minimum sentences in sex cases

Secretary of State advises voters to handle ballots themselves

Billings police investigate thefts of mail, including absentee ballots

Washington Foundation donates $3.5 million to UM

Murder trial offers glimpse at Flathead Valley's drug culture

Billings legislative candidate accused of being racist

Federal worker who was assaulted in Glacier sues Interior Department

State, Crows settle dispute over taxing coal owned by tribe

Judge suspends Rep. Wittich's defamation lawsuit against letter writer

Lawyer protests lack of public input over $5.7M Koch grant to MSU

Will voters change complexion of Montana Legislature?

Poll: Majority of MT voters oppose medical-marijuana ballot measure

Senate president wants auditors to investigate health department

Billings man gets 100 years for abusing kids at mother's daycare

Rare but true: Dead people do vote in Montana

GOP worries about vote fraud through collection of absentee ballots


Funding for major downtown Billings development remains up in air

Developers still hope to build wind farm near Big Timber

Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital closing inpatient rehab unit

State labor experts forecast slow job growth in coming years

Former Scotsman arrives in Butte to pave way to American Dream

680-mile Cenex Pipeline almost completed

Ordinary rocks: The future of mining in Montana?



Grizzlies tumble to No. 16 after Northern Arizona loss

Eastern Washington coach predicts better days ahead for Bobcats

Northern Arizona upsets No. 10 Montana, 45-34

Mistake-prone Cats fall to No. 3 Eastern Washington, 41-17

Former UM coach Pflugrad deserves another chance

Baker senior back at quarterback after 8-lb tumor removed from his lung

East Helena woman returns to finals of 'Extreme Huntress'


Montana doesn't need a 'Marsy's Law'

Brain-research initiative not a good cure for what ails Montana

Juneau a good choice for Congress

Re-elect Fox as attorney general

Proposal to ban traps makes sense

Voters should go with Stapleton for secretary of state

Bullock should get a 2nd term as governor



Fort Owen State Park -- and ranch surrounding it -- face challenges

Flathead couple wants to see their little lake named 'Lone Coyote'

Want a nice place at Big Sky? You can get this stunner for just $15M

Blowing winds always a big factor on Montana's landscape

Along the Front, residents learn to bend with the wind

Cool fall day good time for visit to Upper Polosi Hot Springs

Crews clean litter, graffiti from wild cave near Belt

Montana-made film 'Certain Women' wins top prize at London film fest

In new memoir, Pete Fromm takes another solo walk in the woods



Snoop Dogg performing in Missoula  and Billings in early December

Dierks Bentley to perform in Billings April 22

Faith Hill, Tim McGraw to play at MSU May 19

Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com

Map info: Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks; Spokesman Review

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​A daily digest of Montana news


Oct. 26, 2016