A daily digest of Montana news

Aug. 27, 2014






Great Falls






Miles City




Billings Gazette

Bozeman Chronicle

Montana Standard

Flathead Beacon

Havre Daily News

Daily Interlake

Livingston Enterprise

Great Falls

Helena IR

Miles City Star



Bozeman Magpie

The Flint Report

Last Best News

The Lowdown
Great Falls Tribune (blog)

Make  It Missoula

Mountain  West News



Belgrade News

Bigfork Eagle

(Big Sky) Lone
 Peak Lookout

Billings Outpost


Cascade Courier

(Chester) Liberty
 County Times

Choteau Acantha

(Columbia Falls)
Hungry Horse News

(Columbus) Stillwater
 County News


Cut Bank
Pioneer Press

Dillon Tribune

(Eureka) Tobacco
 Valley News

Glasgow Courier


 Ravalli Republic

(Hardin) Big Horn
 County News

(Huson) Clark
 Fork Chronicle

Laurel Outlook


 Western News

Missoula Independent

Char-Koostra News

 (Polson) Lake
 County Leader

 (Red Lodge)
Carbon County News

Seeley Swan Pathfinder

Shelby Promoter

Sidney Herald-Leader

(Sidney) The Roundup

 Bitterroot Star

(Thompson Falls)
Sanders Co. Ledger

Townsend Star


West Yellowstone

Whitefish Pilot

Government News for MT


THE INDUSTRIAL Workers of the World, also known as the Wobblies, were a colorful part of Montana's history a century ago. Union recruiters focused on miners and lumberjacks, making Montana a key target. But the radical views of IWW organizers often turned off Montanans.

"The most extreme of America's pre-World War I labor groups, the IWW rejected political action, arbitration, and binding contracts," says historian Pamela Toler. "Instead they put their faith in the strike and nothing but the strike. Inspired by European syndicalism, the IWW wanted to organize all workers into 'One Big Union," with the ultimate goal of a revolutionary general strike that would overthrow capitalism and create a workers' society."

The Wobblies were so extreme -- and low in numbers -- that they ended up playing into the hands of corporate powers. Some Montanans speculated that the Wobblies were really corporate plants, brought in to forment resentment against all unions, including more moderate ones. It didn't take long for the IWW to fade from view.

Yet, surprisingly, there are still a few Wobblies around. One is none other than Kevin Curtis of Butte, the husband of the Democratic candidate for the US Senate, Amanda Curtis.

There is even a monthly IWW newspaper, the "Industrial Worker" -- a journal for which Amanda Curtis has written articles, including a piece about restoration of the Butte grave of IWW martyr Frank Little.

Could Curtis's ties to the IWW become a campaign issue? Probably not. The first, and only, poll on the race between Curtis and Congressman Steve Daines shows the GOP candidate with 20 point lead, and his strategy so far seems to be to ignore his opponent rather than mention her name and give her any publicity.

Despite her lack of name recognition, Curtis has attracted a number of positive national media articles, including ones by the New York TimesPolitico, and ABC News.

BELIEVE it or not, you get a bigger bang for your buck in Montana. At least, aTax Foundation reportindicates that consumers in Montana get more for their money than consumers in most other states.

According to the study, in Montana $100 will buy what would cost $106.16 in another state that is closer to the national average. Buzz isn't an economist, but this appears to mean that Montanans get a 6 percent break on goods and services.

Parts of the country where $100 is worth the least are the District of Columbia, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and California. Places where money goes the farthest: Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, and South Dakota.

The report notes that there is often a correlation between regions with high incomes and high prices.

SO WHO is the richest person in Montana? You won't be surprised to learn it is Dennis Washington, the Missoula magnate who owns Montana Rail Link and Butte's big operating copper mine, among other things.

Washington's status has been confirmed by thereal-estate broker web site Movoto.com.

Washington is worth $6.1 billion, according to Movoto. Unlike many on Movoto's list, he didn't inherit his wealth, but built it with his own smarts and hard work. With the help of a $30,000 loan and a bulldozer, he started a Missoula-area contracting firm that became the state's largest construction firm. 

He now owns a large group of privately held firms that fall under the umbrella of the Washington Companies, as well as a group of Canada-based companies known as the Seaspan Marine Corp. In more recent years, he's been known for building elaborate yachts and for his philanthropy, which includes much of the work on UM's Washington-Grizzly Stadium, named after him.

The country's richest person, by the way, lives nearby in Washington state. It is Bill Gates, worth a cool $80 billion. 

ARE YOU as baffled as Buzz is when you stand in front of a beer cooler at the grocery store, pondering the vast array of Montana-made craft beers? Unless you're an expert or connoisseur in the stuff, it can make for a mind-numbing decision. 

Well, the Missoula Independent is here to help. It has assembled an admittedly subjective, but thorough, list of the state's 50 best craft brews. The alternative weekly considered such factors as distribution, reputation and awards won locally, nationally and internationally in picking the best of the best.

The editors said: "This list may stir controversy, but we're hoping it also sparks conversation and prods drinkers to sample pints they've not yet tried."

So what beers earned the top spots? No. 1 was Double Haul IPA from Kettlehouse Brewing in Missoula, while No. 2 was Blackfoot Brewing Co.'s Blackfoot IPA out of Helena. No. 3 was Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, also from Kettlehouse, No. 4 was Whitetail Wheat Ale out of Billings' Montana Brewing Co., and No. 5, Moose Drool Brown Ale by Big Sky Brewing of Missoula.

Les Gapay, a retired journalist who recently came to Missoula from California, said doctors tell him he's likely to lose the sight in his right eye after an attack in a Walmart parking lot by three men Sunday evening. (Missoula)

Missoula parking lot attack likely to leave man blind in eye

Christian spreads the Word -- and controversy -- with big signs

Use of medical marijuana in Montana on the rebound

Bigfork woman faces complaint for hosting weddings in her yard

Alleged Anaconda meth mom to appear in court Wednesday

Mother charged w/ lying to police, hiding evidence to protect son

Livestock Dept cutting jobs, raising fees to ease $400K shortfall

Bozeman residents frustrated with drinking in downtown area

Helena man who fled to Spain admits sex crimes

Miles City man, 50, killed by train

Group: Science modeling behind water-compact report sound

Judge won't move trial for man accused of killing student

Half of all MT sex offenders don't have danger-level designations

State prison on high alert with undermanned, overworked staff

Butte cops cope with rash of naked folks over weekend

ACT test scores of Montana students drop

Video of Missoula toddler, who thinks he lost his nose, goes viral

Students at MSU, UM start another year of classes

So far, only 1 debate slated for US House and Senate races

Butte child escapes injury after tumbling out of 3rd floor window

In 1st TV ad, Democrat Lewis accuses Zinke of trying to buy seat

Former Billings legislative candidate charged with soliciting child

Bozeman man sentenced for stealing from elderly, disabled

Searchers hunt for UM student missing since Tuesday

Zinke: Send Marines to rescue detained Marine in Mexico

86 Montana schools to serve free breakfast, lunch to all students

Wilks brothers take land-exchange plan directly to Montanans

Missoula officials allege illegal contact between Carlyle, PSC

Disabled MSU student breaks barriers seeking advanced degree

Former Gallatin Co deputy sues in attempt to get old job back

Daines ignores Dem opponent as he focuses on own message

Biologists baffled by travels of Ethyl the wandering grizzly bear

Jewell visits Flathead to praise land-buyback project

Caravan of almost 200 Corvettes cruise through Montana

Although it is still summer, winter comes early to the MT Rockies

Major storm gives Montana a good dose of rain, cold

Lawyers argue defendant in Sidney murder case not fit for trial

Missoula man trapped upside down in crashed car for 16 hours


OSHA probes after Kalispell Walmart worker dies in ladder fall

MT's winter wheat production expected to be higher this year

Carbon Co landowners seek protections from oil-gas impacts

Oregon rejects plan for coal-export facility on Columbia River

Yellowstone Co officials take a liking to proposed micro-refinery

Bullock traveling state to promote economic development plan

Green groups sue to stop expansion of Spring Creek mine


UM looks to get first win ever over Wyoming in season opener

Fort Benton forfeits varsity football season, but hopes to co-op

Bobcats to tackle high-octane Arkansas State in season opener

Ex-Grizzly Brock Coyle likely to make Seattle Seahawks

Tres Tinkle to stay in Missoula for last year of high school

Despite inexperience, Cats confident Prukop can replace McGhee


By backing out of Billings debate, Zinke showed lack of courage

Daines crossed line with photo he used in mailer

With Curtis, Dems ditch pragmatism, go for gun-control activist

Democrats need rising star competitive in Senate race

Don't let tourists use drones in Yellowstone Park

State's initiative process needs to  be tweaked


Darby makes transition from timber to tourism town

Learning more about the life of Glacier Park's mountain goats

Castle Mountains provide striking views, great outdoor adventures

Livingston author foresees grim future for planet

World's perfect log cabin? Nestled in the Crazy Mountains

Wreckage of '64 plane crash still scattered on Geyser-area peak


Air Force's Thunderbirds plan air show Aug. 30-31 in Flathead

Phillip Phillips to perform at UM Oct. 23

Comedian Bob Newhart to visit Great Falls Nov. 13

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