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MT Tech classes overwhelmed by 'belligerent' and 'organized cheaters'

State corrections budget goes $2M in red due to surge in prisoners

Some Montanans lose their homes after failing to pay property taxes

Commodity price falls produced state's budget shortfalls, official says

Judge tells Blixseth to pay his creditors $286 million

2 charged after raid on Bozeman-area marijuana dispensary

Dems attack Gianforte for 2002 support of sales tax

Report warns of steep drop in state revenues, coming budget cuts

House speaker asks AG to rule on Missoula's new gun ordinance

Supreme Court hopeful spars with UM newspaper over sex column

Man accused of animal cruelty wants venue change due to media

Lake County sues state in dispute over taxation of tribe's dam

Gianforte, Bullock outline views on Montana's energy future

Advocates sue over bison hunts near Yellowstone Park

Judge rules Shelby's private prison not negligent in death of inmate

Green group: Our poll shows Montanans back renewables, oppose mine

Anti-pot group files campaign complaint against I-182 advocates

Feds investigate sexual misconduct at Yellowstone Park

Officials: Drug deal gone bad led to fatal stabbing of Great Falls girl

Man admits killing Miles City man, Missoula woman

Democrats expand attacks on Gianforte's business record

Missoula decides to require background checks on private gun sales

State CASA office may have to close due to lack of funds

2 hunters hurt in separate grizzly attacks near Yellowstone Park

Officials urge caution after Yellowstone-area grizzly encounters

Lawmaker asks attorney general to look into deletion of Bullock's emails

2 charged in stabbing death of 18-year-old Great Falls girl

House candidates debate transfer of National Bison Range

Man charged with sex-trafficking scheme with underage girls

Disabled Belgrade found dead after going missing

New $4 million endowment created for University of Montana

Glasgow photographer takes weather front by storm

Biologists ponder how to measure impact of Yellowstone River fish kills

An American hero, Ben Steele of Billings, dies at 98

Great Falls police ID 18-year-old stabbing victim

Montana schools struggle to find and keep teachers

MT native starring in popular Norwegian TV show

Group touts economic benefits of hunting as it eyes management plan

Butte debates what to do about Uptown's homeless, panhandlers

Mike Fellows preached Libertarian message to the very end


BUSINESS / ECONOMY


Flathead hops producers happy with continued growth

Court upholds PSC decision that went against NorthWestern

New West Health Services failing after big losses, rate restrictions

Whitefish Mountain Resort settles lawsuit over skier's death

New building material made in Flathead gets off the ground

Montana graphic designer part of team that wins Emmy Award

China opens its doors once more to Montana beef

Board lets oil firms keep trade secrets, won't force fracking info release


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SPORTS / OUTDOORS 


SKI magazine readers rank Whitefish Mountain Resort as 11th best

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus offers tips to Anaconda golf team

Unassuming freshman receiver from Idaho is Montana's breakout star

Former 'Voice of the Griz' selling vast sports memorabilia collection 

Grizzlies fall to No. 11 after narrow Cal Poly defeat

Griz smash passing records but come up short against Cal Poly 42-41

Cats turn over ball 5 times, Cats fall to North Dakota, 17-15


OPINION


Oil and gas board should come up with better solution on fracking

Montanans should vote for medical marijuana ballot measure

State needs a better way to gauge university system enrollments

Anti-trapping ballot measure misses its target

Time to stop claiming Montana is nation's most fiscally prudent state

Libertarian Mike Fellows: A great fellow

Helena newspaper to require online comments to use real names


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FEATURES


Coming back to Flathead Lake, and its million-dollar views

Helena graduate's debut novel made Booker Prize's long list

Family's retreat surrounded by forest, wildlife, sounds of silence

Kalispell native named one of nation's top young scientific innovators

5 Montana eateries that have been around a century or more

Yellowstone Park: The good, the bad, the ugly

Country star Charley Pride, who got start in MT, honored in museum



CALENDAR​​

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 First Montana Cider Week kicks off Sunday in Bitterroot Valley

Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com

Tony Rucinsky of Great Falls comforts his wife, Ruth, after their home was sold out from under them when they failed to pay back taxes. They are victims of a state law that allows liens to be filed against residential properties on which taxes aren't paid. (Great Falls Tribune)

THE BUZZ

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

 

Sept. 29, 2016

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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.


MONTANA was one of the big movers in CNBC's annual ratings of Top States for Business. The Big Sky State rose six spots to No. 22 in the ratings announced on Tuesday.

Montana got its lowest market, 45, in the workforce category, and its highest mark, an 8, for the cost of business that firms face. The workforce score is based on such factors as education level of workers, numbers of available workers, and the state's ability to retain workers.

Montana managed to improve its place in the CNBC ratings while other states such as North Dakota that are heavily dependent on the energy industry saw their ratings drop significantly.

Utah finished first in the ratings while Texas was second. Rhode Island was last.


​JIM MESSINA, who graduated from the University of Montana's journalism school, won plenty of plaudits for overseeing President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

But now his reputation will suffer a setback with Great Britain's shocking 52-48 vote to leave the European Union.

Why's that? Because Messina was the Remain campaign's key strategist. He also played a role in arranging the visit of President Obama, his former boss, to visit Great Britain in April to oppose the "Brexit" plan. Some analysts now think Obama's visit may have backfired.

Most pundits and polls had predicted Messina's Remain campaign would prevail.

Matthew Elliott, the head of the Leave campaign, said his side knew it would be over-matched in many ways, and it didn't have the resources to bring in strategists from outside the country. "It was formidable (Remain campaign), but we felt with the right team, and the right strategy, we could do it," Elliott said.