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

Sept. 25, 2018

MSU has set a new record for enrollment -- 16,902 students -- a jump of 199 over last fall's record. Meanwhile, UM suffered another decline this fall, dropping to 10,962 students. (Bozeman Chronicle)


LOOKING for some of the country's best burgers? You don't have to leave Montana, according to TripAdvisor, because Billings' Burger Dive serves them.

The travel website recently released a list of the ten best burger joints in the country, and the Burger Dive came in No. 10.

Owner Brad Halsten says he was really surprised by the ranking, even though he's won other awards, including top burger at the World Burger Championship two years ago. All the success is pretty amazing considering that the restaurant is Halsten's first and he's only been in business seven years.

YOU wouldn't think 5-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady would be awestruck too often, but he was when he spotted a bear in Montana recently.

The New England Patriots quarterback posted a video on Instagram last week of himself outdoors grinning widely and whispering: "It's a bear!" He then panned his camera to a nearby bear sauntering off into the woods.

Brady didn't specify exactly where he saw the bear, but most likely he took the shot at his place at the Yellowstone Club at Big Sky, which he frequently visits in the off-season

WHILE newspapers have struggled financially and laid off many journalists in recent years, some analysts have hoped that more nimble, independent online news sites would fill the void.

That was the goal for Ed Kemmick, a seasoned Billings Gazette reporter and sure-footed writer when he launched Last Best News four and a half years ago. During that time, Kemmick continued to make his mark with hard-hitting accountability journalism that shined a light on those misusing power.  And when he wasn’t doing that, he was often poking fun at himself and others.

Unfortunately, Kemmick eventually found the rigors of running the site, where he was writing breaking news, features, and commentaries, as well as doing the grunt work of accounting, ad sales, web-site development, budgeting and so on, pretty confining.  “It occurred to me that in all my life there had been only a few relatively short periods when I lived as a full-time human being, free and untethered,” he said Sunday in announcing the site will suspend operations July 1.“Once the idea of reclaiming that kind of freedom took hold of me, it was hard to think of anything else.”

Kemmick hopes someone will step forward and revive his site or start a new one like it. If that doesn't happen, the good news for his many fans is that he expects to continue writing as a freelancer.

HAVE trouble spelling a word? Most folks do.

In South Dakota, a lot of people struggle with "chaos," and in Idaho they aren't sure about "businesses." So they ask Google "how to spell" those words, and Google, in turn, has produced a map of the most common "how to spell" words of each state.

In Montana, that word is "tomorrow."

" 'Or is it "tomarrow," or "tomorow," or "twomorrow"? (It's not, lol)' " quips Kristen Inbody in the Great Great Falls Tribune.


A GREAT horned owl is keeping a close eye on proceedings in the courtroom of District Judge Mike Menahan from its nest just a few feet away from the Lewis and Clark courthouse.

And Menahan, an avid bird watcher, and a court clerk have been closely watching the owl, which they dubbed Ollie. They've set up a watching station in the courtroom, complete with binoculars and a camcorder that can record Ollie's activities.

Ollie took over a crow's nest, and Menahan believes she's a young mother. If so, that wouldn't necessarily be a good thing. "There's not a lot of food around here," he noted.

Moreover, the nest is near busy Broadway Avenue, which would be dangerous territory for any young owls that flutter out of the nest toward the street.

Sometimes even a judge can't keep the streets safe for younger ones.




Federal judge reinstates Badger-Two Medicine energy lease

Staffers sue Yellowstone Club, saying they were stiffed on tips, charges

Cascade County charges 14 inmates for riot at regional jail

Federal judge blocks hunts of grizzly bears

MSU sets enrollment record -- 16,902 -- while UM sees another drop

UM officials try to ease fears over cuts to arts programs

State law may prevent charges for Miles City sex abuse victims

Former principal, legislator say abuse claims make him sick

Vice President Pence to visit Bozeman to campaign for Rosendale

New Medicare cards being mailed to Montana beneficiaries

Bullock updates forest management plans

2 died at fishing access site from accidental poisoning, authorities say

Montana's quiet fire season winds down after record 2017 year

Billings boy, 12, arrested in connection with house fire that injured 6

New volcanic activity reported in Yellowstone Park

Judge reinstates Billings medical marijuana provider's license

Jehovah's Witnesses accused of covering up sexual abuse

Quick response saves man mauled by grizzlies in Beartooth Mountains

Havre student, 8, expelled after bringing BB gun to school

Bullock attacks 'big tobacco' in ad promoting I-185

$3 million federal grant to help boost state's election security

Fort Harrison VA hospital sees improvement in patient care

MT therapeutic boarding school to pay families almost $1 million

Free arsenic testing offered in Anaconda

Ronan family plans facility for adults with autism

Trump Jr. rally moves to fairgrounds after Bozeman tavern shuns him

3 backpacking horses shot in Madison Valley pasture

Remains of Flathead woman found in North Dakota identified

Donald Trump Jr, Kimberly Guilfoyle to campaign for Rosendale in MT

Judge: Woman charged in mother's death unfit to stand trial

Former crime lab worker who tested positive for meth may be arrested

Feds cite man who was caught on video walking on Old Faithful geyser

CBS poll: Montana's US Senate race a statistical dead heat

Anaconda principal put on leave after he sent text to former student

Billings legislator to be fined for lack of details in campaign report

Mission Mountain bear cam videos become online hits

UM Buddhism professor accused of punching bouncer at concert

Billings house fire sends 6 to hospital

State Land Board accepts donations of land in eastern & western MT

Remains found in North Dakota may be from Flathead Reservation

Missoula school resource officer on leave after leaving gun in bathroom

Advocacy groups file complaint against Senate candidate Rosendale

Backers of mining initiative argue pollution shows need for measure


Butte's historic Dumas Hotel put up for sale again

Proposed new Drummond mine would produce lime

Publisher of Billings Gazette, Missoulian resigning

Montana's sugar beet growers harvesting good crop

Opponents of Flathead water-bottling plant sue county

Montana Magazine quits publishing after almost half a century

Cognizant buys Missoula's ATG 

Belgrade tent, tarp maker has found success by keeping things simple


Bobcats face big challenge in No. 5 Eastern Washington

School districts cancel sporting events due to bus driver shortage

With 209 rushing yards, QB Sneed leads No. 19 Griz past Sac State

Bobcats face unique Portland State defense

Griz launch conference season against experienced Sac State squad

Cat coach still not sure who'll start at QB in Big Sky opener

Grizzlies drop to No. 19 as they prepare to take on Sac State

MSU student ties world record with bighorn ram shot in Missouri Breaks

No. 15 Grizzlies upset by Western Illinois, 31-27

With Rovig at the helm, MSU rolls past Wagner 47-24

UM's Dante Olson wins national & Big Sky player of week awards



I-185 nothing more than mob rule

I-185 would improve the quality of life for Montanans

Closing Boulder River facility for disabled is losing proposition

'Mama bear' unhappy with attack on daughter's views on grizzlies

EPA chief's visit to Butte was big plus, now work must get done

Assault is no laughing matter

Where should Whitefish Energy go to get its reputation back?

State must reduce bottlenecks in foster care system


The harrowing stories of 9 still unsolved Montana homicides 

Horde of antique motorcycles roaring through Montana

Historic Missoula deaths recounted, some in gruesome detail

Creston man flipped switch that started Hungry Horse Dam generators

With his wildfire books, John Maclean aims to pass on what he knows

High-end resort Paws Up pampers glampers and their dogs

Labyrinths scattered around Montana honor women


Rod Stewart moves his Billings concert to Oct. 24

Bob Seger reschedules Billings concert for January

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