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WANT TO know how your legislator voted on this issue or that? Here's an easy way to find out.

Just visit this new web site sponsored by the Secretary of State's office: "See How They Voted."

"At the end of the day its important to elect representatives to make decisions based on reason and issues facing their communities," said Secretary of state Linda McCulloch. "Its important for voters to see if they are following through on their commitments."


​IS HE or isn't he? For a long time now, Montanans -- as well as pundits and other Americans -- have speculated on whether former Gov. Brian Schweitzer would run for president in 2016.

Schweitzer seems to have been happy to have encouraged the speculation. In recent years he's made a number of trips to Iowa, where the leadoff caucuses would take place. And he's been plenty complimentary of the voters there, as well as in New Hampshire, another early primary state.

But while Schweitzer has always been coy about his future political plans, he told the Great Falls Tribune last week that he won't be running for president. His decision likely is related to getting into hot water last year for several gaffes that included comments about former GOP leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Diane Feinstein. 


 MONTANANS feel pretty good overall about their situation. At least when compared to residents of other states.

How do we know? That's what the Gallup polling organization has determined in its annual survey of the well-being of residents of all 50 states. Montana ranked 5th.

Topping the list was Alaska, followed by Hawaii, South Dakota, and Wyoming. At the bottom of the list: Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.

​The ratings are based on five factors: Sense of purpose, having satisfactory personal relationships, personal health, lack of financial stress, and enjoyment and safety in the community.

Montana's best ranking (No. 2) was in the last category. Its lowest (No. 33) was in personal relationships. This is how it did in the other categories: Purpose (No. 10), finances (8), and health (9).


​REP. DAVID 'Doc' Moore says he's learned his lesson: Never joke around with a reporter. Especially about something as serious as yoga pants.

The Missoula Republican drew national  -- and even international -- headlines this week with his bill that aimed to expand the state's indecent exposure law. He introduced the bill in response to a naked bike ride in Missoula last summer that attracted hundreds of riders.

Moore told a KECI reporter that he was talking to a reporter this week outside a Capital committee hearing room about the bill when he said he cracked a joke about wanting to ban tight-fitting yoga pants. (The bill doesn't actually say anything about yoga pants, according to this MTN report.) Moore said the reporter apparently didn't understand his sense of humor, thought he was being serious, and reported that the bill would ban yoga pants.

The AP report became the basis for a flurry of mocking reports across the country. "Montana lawmaker wants to ban yoga pants," said Time magazine. "A Brief History of the GOP War on Yoga and Its Pants," said The Atlantic

Moore said he carried the bill at the request of constituents who wanted to see the law clarified on what is obscene and what is free speech when it comes to public nudity. "The yoga thing was just an off-hand remark," he said. "I was kidding around afterwards. I don't have a problem with (yoga pants), but apparently, you can't kid around with a young reporter."

UPDATE: While Moore says he was just making a joke, the AP says it stands by its story.



JOHN ADAMS, the chief of the Great Falls Tribune's capital bureau, has decided to turn in his press badge. He'll soon be replaced in Helena by Tribune reporter Kristen Inbody, a Choteau native.

Adams told radio newsman Aaron Flint of Northern Broadcasting that his departure was prompted by how Gannett, the corporate owner of the Tribune, is restructuring its newsrooms. As part of the process of creating new positions and job titles, it eliminated the post of capital bureau chief and replaced it with "state capital columnist." A lot different job -- and title -- than the one he took when he was hired back in 2007, he says.

Adams says he learned of the new job description on Jan. 7, and had to reapply for the new position by the 14th. He says he's been happy working for the Trib, but decided that its "newsroom of the future" wouldn't be a good fit for him. He's not sure what he'll do down the road, however. 


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Tester lawsuit gaffe underscores frustration with logging litigation

Retired UM professer tries to find peace in wake of deadly avalanche

Senator's aide asked to quit after he registered as a lobbyist

4 injured in explosion during Billings school science experiment

After causing crash, Billings motorist pleads guilty to 10th DUI

Wildlife officers free buck tangled up in bailing twine

Bill funding 19-year-old students wins Senate approval

At session's midpoint, what is dead, and what is still alive

Zinke says he probably wouldn't have gone to war in Iraq

Tax, spending bills among top issues to be dealt with in remaining days

State officials re-evaluating findings in sex abuse case at Boulder facility

Yellowstone oil spill probe stalls, but pipeline repair efforts continue

Crow game warden, accused of poaching, plans treaty rights defense

Senators demand feds pay state money from sales of public lands

Senate endorses bill that aims to shed light on 'dark money' spending

Darby man pleads not guilty in illegal killing of 9 black bears

Helena infant, 1, injured in daycare accident dies at Spokane hospital

Bill to tap into state's coal-tax trust fund advances

Kalispell man sentenced for beating 15-month-old daughter

Governor hints he'll veto GOP bill that cuts Montanans' income taxes

Evergreen man denies he killed 2-year-old boy


BUSINESS


Phillips 66 to improve its pipeline under Yellowstone River

BNSF to spend $124M this year on MT infrastructure improvements

Missoula's Direct TV call center hiring 90 new workers

Essential Air Service: A big waste of taxpayer money?

LL Bean sells Whitefish craftsman's custom fly display cases

Gianforte: You can build successful business without outside financing

Lawmaker wants to let taxi services like Uber operate in Montana


SPORTS / OUTDOORS


New bio brings former boxing champ Marvin Camel back to limelight

Grizzlies knock Eastern Washington out of 1st with 77-76 victory

Lady Griz win right to host Big Sky tourney, beating Eastern Washington

Lady Cats thump Idaho, 71-62

MSU falls to Idaho, 80-73

Bobcats' offensive line coach hired by Oklahoma State

Ex-Griz Shane Christensen finds fame, fortune as a Harlem Globetrotter


OPINION


Yellowstone pipeline operator: Article got our firm's spill history wrong

The day I interviewed Dr. Spock, and got his autograph

Legislators shouldn't try to restrict food stamps in trying to save money

Focus on getting economy on track, not on hurting the poor

Don't make it easier for college kids to carry guns around on campus

If Bakken oil tankers exploded, they could level downtown Missoula

GOP legislator's plan for tax breaks would boost economy


FEATURES


Missoula writer's comic series being made into television series

The itinerant minister, Brother Van, never married. Here's why

A Montana bucket list, modified

Oscar nominee, UM grad JK Simmons talks of roles, future and past

Before 'Boyhood,' Richard Linklater shot part of 1st film in Missoula

Bitterroot family logs the old-fashioned way -- with horses


CALENDAR


Scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson speaks at MSU March 4

Former SEAL who says he shot bin Laden to speak in Helena

Jason Aldean playing 2 shows at MSU April 22 & 23

Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss to perform in Missoula June 17

Country star Clint Black to headline Headwaters Jam in June

Hank Williams Jr. to play at Billings music fest July 11

Martina McBride coming to Helena stage on July 22

Motley Crue, Alice Cooper take stage in Billings July 26


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A daily digest of Montana news


March 1, 2015

A year after a deadly avalanche swept down Missoula's Mount Jumbo, this piece of porch is one of the few pieces remaining of the home that once belonged to retired UM professor Fred Allendorf and his wife, Susan Colville. Colville died from the injuries she suffered by  Allendorf was badly injured, and is still trying to to cope a year later with the impact of what happened. (Missoulian)