16 state prison officers decertified for misconduct in last 6 years

Bozeman UPS driver rescues dog from icy pond

Florence man ID'd as suspect in California shooting spree

Republicans unveil plan for boosting public school spending

Former Indian Health Services doctor gets 18 years for abusing kids

Frenchtown schools to close Friday after student makes threat

Wildlife officials concerned about behavior of wolves near Cooke City

Daines sides with Democrats in backing Russian sanctions

Former Hi-Line undersheriff pleads not guilty to rape

Daughter of ex-Miles City trainer: Molesters shouldn't get away with it

Pilot isn't injured when a 2nd small plane crashes near Townsend

Snow on the way today for most of Montana

Lawmakers want U System to help students with education debt

Bullock won't be nailed down on future political plans

Land Board to review logging project near Bozeman

Lawmakers want to remove time limits in pursuit of child molesters

After beloved wolf shot near Cooke City, rumors of baiting rile town

Libby asbestos illnesses pervasive, but total extent still unclear

Flathead woman charged after punching officer in nose

Hardin pedestrian hit, killed by pickup

Wildlife-advocates want ban on trapping cat-sized predators

Helena accepts donated fountain to replaced Confederate fountain

Judge dismisses complaint that lawmaker misused email account

GTF man accused of stalking, damaging car of former girlfiend

US Supreme Court leaves MT campaign spending limits in place

TransCanada asks judge to allow pipeline construction to resume

Lawmakers to debate proposed tuition freeze for MT college students

Loaded ammo clip found at Missoula's Sentinel High School

Billionaire Texas brothers plan to sell 4 large Montana ranches


Bozeman's Bacchus Pub back in business

Washington lawmakers mull earlier closure of Colstrip

Zinke takes job at North Carolina investment firm

Scobey-based phone co-op buys Billings data business

$4.5M for Colstrip transition still in jeopardy after utility merger rejection

Montana dairy farmers face closure, consolidation

Missoula firm transforms old wood products into new ones


Former Bobcat Bobby Daly joins MSU coaching staff

Pridgett brings energy, hard work to the court for Grizzlies

MSU's Tyler Hall on verge of setting new Big Sky scoring record

New app serves as guide to Montana's Nordic trails

UM's Pridgett named Big Sky player of the week

Bobcats fall to Northern Colorado 73-70

Lady Cats knock off Northern Colorado 79-66

Former Grizzly Will Cherry plays for Golden State Warriors affiliate

Grizzlies clobber conference-leading Northern Colorado

League-leading Northern Colorado topples Lady Griz



My day on horseback in Badger-Two Medicine with Ryan Zinke

Stapleton wrong to use email to announce bid for governor

Greens see Land & Water Conservation Fund as special entitlement

Voters should take note of how Stapleton announced run for governor

Legislators, facing many key issues, must be civil

Medicaid expansion works well for Montana


Butte 'savior' restores William Clark Jr.'s carriage house

Great Falls couple buys CM Russell's Cascade cottage

Billings history course to focus on Japanese internment camp

During last ice age, Glacial Lake Missoula unleashed incredible floods

List of best-loved Montana books sparks debate

Several MT hotels made real 'Green Book' -- made famous by new film

How an early-day tourist trip to Yellowstone went terribly wrong

Shot 3 times, Yellowstone tourist struggled to survive in 1877


Bob Seger reschedules Billings concert for January

Styx, Larry the Cable Guy performing in Billings March 23

Beatles tribute band Bongwater to play at Bonner June 2

'Weird Al' Yankovic plans Billings performance Aug. 25

Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com


UPS driver Ryan Arens rescued Sadie, a wirehaired pointing griffon who had plunged through the ice on a pond on the outskirts of Bozeman recently. (photo provided)

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

Jan. 19, 2019


MANY MONTANANS may have never heard of Huawei, the Chinese tech and telecommunications giant, until one of its top executives was arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia, recently, sending stock markets crashing. Huawei plays a key role in China's ambitions to become a worldwide tech leader, but many analysts warn that it is a major security risk around the world.

Some Montanans also may recall that a Flathead County couple -- and many others -- contend that Huawei was involved in the murder over six years ago of their son, an electronics engineer who worked in Singapore.

Shane Todd, 31, was working for the Institute for Micro Electronics, part of a Singapore state agency, and headed a team that developed advanced technologies. Shane told his parents, Richard and Mary of Marion, Montana, that he worried his work could jeopardize US national security -- shortly before he was found dead in his apartment.

Singapore police declared the death a suicide, but his parents said evidence suggested their son was murdered. They also found a small hard drive at their son's apartment, evidence inadvertently left behind by police who confiscated Shane’s computers, cellphone and diary. The hard drive detailed plans for a project that involved the institute and Huawei.

Though the Todds have been frustrated by their inability to get anyone to take responsibility for their son's death, they are happy that there have been a number of media reports about what happened. While they now believe there is little likelihood that Shane’s death will ever be ruled anything other than a suicide, they are pleased his story will be told again.

“What we most want to see happen is attention brought to the illegal transfer of technology to China through my son’s work,” Mary Todd told the Daily Inter Lake earlier this year.

WELL, now that Montana's election results are in, we know how everyone fared, including the pollsters. 

And the interesting thing is, out-of-state pollsters came a lot closer to getting it right than their Montana counterparts. In fact, polls done by the University of Montana and MSU-Billings deserve failing grades for how much they missed the mark in some contests.

For example, a UM Big Sky poll released in early October (and conducted in August) showed Sen. Jon Tester with a 24-point lead over GOP challenger Matt Rosendale. Tester ended up defeating Rosendale 50-47. Libertarian Rick Breckenridge got 3 percent.

A Big Sky poll that came out closer to the election did show the race tightening, with Tester leading by 10 points.

An MSU-Billings poll, also from October, had Tester with a 47 to 38 lead.

By contrast, a polling firm new to Montana politics, Gravis Marketing, consistently showed a close race between Tester and Rosendale. Their September poll had Tester with a 49-45 lead; October's poll put Tester at 48, Rosendale at 45. Gold star to Gravis.

CBS News issued a September poll that had similar results: Tester 47, Rosendale 45. Also of note: A MTN/MSU poll of voters in late September and early October that head Tester leading 46-43. (Kudos to these pollsters as well, who had a good record this election cycle.)

Montanans who follow politics also were surprised by the first UM Big Sky poll that showed Democrat Kathleen Williams with a 52-38 lead over incumbent GOP Congressman Greg Gianforte. UM's later poll essentially showed them in a dead heat. So did the last Gravis poll.

Gianforte won 51-46. 

In this race, the MSU-Billings poll did much better, showing Gianforte with a 44-41 lead. A MTN/MSU poll gave Gianforte the edge, 48-40 after surveying voters in late September and early October.

Some of the biggest discrepancies between poll results and election results appeared in the initiative contests. 

The MSU-Billings poll had Montana voters approving Initiative 185 (Medicaid expansion) by a 52-39 margin (8 percent undecided). The ballot measure was defeated 53-47.

The same poll showed Montanans overwhelmingly behind Initiative 186, which would have added restrictions on mining. (44 for, 30 against, 26 undecided). The actual vote: 56-44 against.

An MTN/MSU poll on Initiative 185 was somewhat closer to the mark, showing a virtual dead heat.

The verdict from all this: The UM and MSU-Billings polls seem to be over-sampling Democrats.

SOME OF the most interesting -- and hilarious -- news you'll find in Montana's newspapers is featured in the police blotters. Consider this gem in the Nov. 7 edition of Kalispell's Daily Inter Lake:

"A noise complaint was validated when an officer arrived to check it out. The participants said they were wrapping up a game of strip poker and then quiet would resume."

HISTORICALLY, Montana's daily newspapers have given the majority of their endorsements to Democrats for the state's major offices. This year is different. So far all the endorsements have gone to Democrats.

For those on the right, in these polarized times, this is just confirmation of the media's liberal bias.

For those on the left, it underscores the media's reasoned resistance to the excesses of conservatives in general and President Trump in particular.

So far this fall, endorsements of Democratic Sen. Jon Tester have come from the Billings Gazette, Missoulian, Bozeman Chronicle, Helena Independent Record, and Montana Standard

The Chronicle, Missoulian, and Gazette also have endorsed Kathleen Williams, the Democratic challenger to incumbent GOP Congressman Greg Gianforte.