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Bison quarantine creates path for bigger herds at Fort Peck Reservation

Freezing weather creates hazardous road conditions across Montana

Fallout continues for closed Butte facility for troubled kids

Wildlife officials find 91 cases of chronic wasting disease in 2019

Report: Minority, disabled students suspended from school more often

2 Missoula men cited after dog killed in trap

Snow coming to most parts of Montana Sunday

UM creates video gaming sports team

Court ruling clears way for trial in death of teen who died in Havre jail

Montanans warned to start planning ahead if they need to get REAL ID

Stolen Butte dog found almost 2,000 miles from home

Daines' water-rights bill includes $1.9 billion for Montana tribes

Workers blast rocks off Billings' Rims for safety's sake

Montana's Episcopal Diocese welcomes first female bishop

Judge rejects plea to stop Yellowstone bison hunt

Man kills himself after traffic stop near East Helena

Birney-area man sentenced to strangling woman to death

NorthWestern wants new power plants, but what type will they be?

Trial set for August for man charged with killing 2, wounding 2 more

PSC approves wind-power project with battery storage

Deer knocks over, injures Missoula elementary student

Cold front could bring more snow, icy roads

MSU ponders policy that would keep some research secret

Woman: My father tried to get me to blame brother for mom's murder

Man wants retrial in case of doctor's death, saying judge was biased

Once again, Gov. Bullock says he won't be running for US Senate

Lake County woman charged with stealing $65K from special ed group

Drug charge brought against Helena teacher & husband of OPI hopeful


BUSINESS / ECONOMY


MT artist sues beer distributor over use of illustration

Bozeman sees boom in short-term rental market

Billings man to face new charges in case of $43M fraud scheme

Colstrip plants land 6-year contract for coal

Mining company to explore for copper near Philipsburg

Nasty fall weather plays havoc with Montana's sugar beet harvest

Montana farmers get $115 million in trade war subsidies

Stevi clothing company sues fashion giant over camo design


SPORTS / OUTDOORS 

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Montana, Weber rematch in quarterfinals will feature a different look

MSU gets another home playoff game Friday as its hosts Austin Peay

Griz clobber Southeastern Louisiana 73-28 as they advance in playoffs

Cats ride strong defense to 47-21 win over Albany in 2nd round

MSU's Rovig lifts team to new heights with elevated passing game

Montana fends off North Dakota 77-70

Late 3-pointer lifts Cats to victory over South Dakota State

Gonzaga wears down Lady Cats, winning 70-55

MSU's commitment to run-first strategy has paid off

OPINION

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PSC  must keep a close eye on cost of Colstrip plants to ratepayers

Some context to those legislators' Medicare for All op-eds

State has too many foster kids, too few caseworkers

Grizzlies are a lot smarter and more adaptable than we think

For some, there's an extra step required for return of ballots this year

Stapleton's race is already over, he just doesn't know it yet

State's reaction to vaping is nothing more than smoke and mirrors

Agency's gall in honoring inspector who harassed MT meat processors


FEATURES


Missoula mall pianist channels Liberace with 'African-American' edge

Bozeman's computer museum makes plans for the future

Havre raises funds to repair 'Beneath the Streets' attraction

Grafitti on rail cars crossing MT shows North American connections

Small eastern MT cafe/bar and its famous soup recipe go up for sale

Remembering Russell Chatham: Artist, angler, writer, cook

The life and art of Montana's first modernist: Bill Stockton


CALENDAR​​

'The Daily Show' host Trevor Noah coming to Bozeman April 25

Cher plans Billings concert April 26

Kenny Chesney to play at MSU's Bobcat Stadium on July 5

Emmylou Harris, Jason Isbell among artists at Whitefish festival in July

Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com


THE BUZZ
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WEATHER

BIson graze in Yellowstone Park. Officials on the Fort Peck Reservation hope that quarantine programs designed to produce brucellosis-free Yellowstone bison will eventually lead to larger herds on the reservation. (Bozeman Chronicle)

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


Dec. 9, 2019




​​​​​​​ARE MONTANANS some of the smartest folks in the country? Those who like to think so now have some ammunition to back them up.

An analysis by a web site called safehome.org says Montana is the fifth smartest state in the country. It follows only New Jersey, Utah, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. You can find the study at www.safehome.org/smartest-americans/

So how did the site determine just how "smart" a state is? It used such measures as this (Montana scores included): The percent of adults 25+ with bachelor’s degrees: 21.7%; public high school graduation rate (2016-17): 86%; median SAT score (2018-19): 1,199; and average composite ACT score (2017-18): 20.

Surprisingly, the state with with the lowest score was Idaho, right next door to Montana. That doesn't seem to add up, does it? Others at the bottom of the heap were Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.



GOV. Steve Bullock got some valuable air time recently for his presidential campaign. Only trouble is, the exposure was on CNN, which has lost a large portion of its audience in recent years.

CNN's town hall featuring Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio lured just 402,000 viewers -- the lowest number of the year for all the network's town hall events.

Viewership was down 25 percent overall, and 38 percent for the coveted 25-54 age bracket, compared to the average Sunday numbers for CNN from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


MONTANA has jumped into the top 10 of Bankrate.com's annual ranking of best retirement states. More specifically, the Big Sky state finished No. 9 -- ahead of states such as retirement havens Arizona and Nevada.

Montana gots its best mark -- No. 2 -- in the culture category, and a ranking of No. 16 in affordability. Its worst ranking -- no surprise here -- was No. 45 for weather. The state also received a 20 in the well category and a 31 for crime.

The top five states in this year's rankings were Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota and Florida. The bottom five were Maryland, New York, Alaska, Illinois, and Washington.


DESPITE making several campaign trips to Iowa, Gov. Steve Bullock didn't win any support in the latest Iowa Poll of who leads in that state among the Democratic presidential contenders.

The poll shows Joe BIden with the lead, with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg in a close race for second. 

Bullock, who got into the Democratic presidential race late because of Montana's legislative session, didn't garner a single vote. In another part of the poll, 9 percent of those polled said they were actively considering Bullock. But there were 16 other candidates ahead of the Montana Democrat in that category.

Bullock's lack of support so far for his presidential ambitions is threatening his chances of getting on the stage for the first debate. Bullock and Montana Democrats said the rules that may keep him out of the debate are unfair.


MONTANANS enjoy seeing the state at the top of many national rankings, but there's one that doesn't justify much pride: Deaths from drunk driving.

“Montana is actually tied for first place in the entire nation for DUI fatalities,” says Kelley Parker-Wathne, Gallatin County DUI Task Force coordinator. “The alarm bells that go off is just a sad statistic.”

Montana also has a reputation for some of the nation's weakest DUI laws, and the recent legislative session tried to stiffen them. But time ran out on efforts to strengthen the DUI laws at the session's end.


THE COUNTRY is a whopping $22 trillion in debt, so some wags have suggested a reasonable solution: Sell Montana to Canada. 

It isn't a total solution, as they expect Canada to pay just $1 trillion for the Treasure State. But it's a start.

The idea came from Ian Hammond, a petitioner at Change.org, who's hoping to get 7,500 signatures for his idea.

“We have too much debt and Montana is useless,” Hammond wrote, with tongue planted in cheek, in support of his plan. “Just tell them it has beavers or something.”

Even some Montanans endorsed the idea. “I'm Montanan and hoping to join Canada without the moving costs,” CJ Williams wrote in support. “Let's do this. Please adopt us.”

"I'm a Montanan and really hope that becoming Canadian makes me a nicer person," said Steve Hammond.

UPDATE: Some Montana legislators have decided to weigh in on the "lets-sell-Montana-to-Canada" petition with a "let's don't" resolution of their own. 

Rep. Forrest Mandeville, R-Columbus, proposed the resolution so lawmakers could have a little fun amidst all the serious issues they wrestle with. 

​Rep. Jessica Karjala, D-Billings, objected, with tongue in cheek, saying: " "What about those of us who would like more maple syrup, better tea and free healthcare?"

"It's still an option to move to Canada," Mandeville replied, according to a report in the Great Falls Tribune.