A daily digest of Montana news

July 23, 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


FORMER Gov. Brian Schweitzer's rise as a potential presidential candidate was rapid and hot, in good part because of the media attention he won for attacking Hillary Clinton and, well, spouting off on pretty much anything.

But any thoughts he once had of a presidential run have been dashed, BuzzFeed reporter Ruby Cramer believes, by the former governor's recent controversial statements suggesting House Majority Eric Cantor was gay and comparing California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to a prostitute.

Cramer says "...in the end, Schweitzer's rise amounted to the thing people in Washington call a media narrative. And his burned hot and fast and then just went away. Schweitzer talked and talked and talked until finally he said something stupid. Now he can still talk, but there's no one left to listen."

Schweitzer apologized --- though not personally -- for his remarks. And while he had been a regular guest commentator on MSNBC (he has a little studio in his Georgetown house), network brass have decided not to bring him back on the air since he made his brash remarks, according to Cramer. They told Cramer they'll bring him back when "his insights will add value to a story."

As for Schweitzer, he told Cramer he hasn't decided to "not" run for president. But then he's never decided that he would, either.

The bottom line, he told Cramer, is that nothing has changed. 

HERE"S an "award" no politician wants to win: National Journal's Dead Man Walking citation.

In assessing many of the nation's key political races at their midpoint, the online political journal honored Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett with its "dead man walking" award, saying he trails his challenger by 22 points and will have a tough time being re-elected this fall. The journal named Montana Sen. John Walsh as one of three runners-up for the award.

WITH THE Bakken oil boom, fossil fuel production on the nation's federal lands must have risen dramatically in recent years, right?

Not so fast. Actually, fossil fuel production on federal lands has declined considerably in the last decade, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The country got over 20 billion BTUs (British thermal units) of fossil fuels from federal lands in 2003, but that slipped to just under 16 billion BTUs last year -- or a quarter of the country's energy production. Thirty-six percent came from federal lands in 2003.

Interestingly, production rates for coal have remained pretty constant. The big production drops on federal lands have been seen for oil and natural gas. In short, the energy industry has been shifting its focus to private and state lands.

AS ONE of only two states in the country that doesn't ban texting while driving, Montana could prevent a lot of accidents and save a lot of lives with a prohibition. "It's a no-brainer," as state insurance commissioner Monica Lindeen says.

Or is it?

Perhaps surprisingly, studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show texting bans haven't really made the roads safer. "Unfortunately, we have found that there's no evidence that various kinds of cellphone restrictions have reduced crashes," said
institute official Russ Rader.

Calling it a "confusing conundrum," Rader notes that texting ban do appear to reduce the amount of texting and cellphone use by drivers, but that doesn't necessarily translate into fewer accidents. In nine out of ten cases, Rader said, vehicle mishaps are simply due to drivers making mistakes.

"There's no question that distracted driving is huge, but it was huge before we had cellphones," he said.

THE ADMINISTRATOR of the state's embattled Disaster and Emergency Services agency is moving to a new state job, according to a conservative news site.

Montana Media Trackers says Ed Tinsley has taken a post as a continuity of government program manager -- a post that generally would be considered a step down in state government from being administrator of a division.

Media Trackers noted that Tinsley's four-year tenure with the agency was rocky, and a 2011 legislative audit was critical of its contract management and other issues. A federal report also was critical of its management and handling of federal grants.

Moreover, several former employers have complained about a dysfunctional workplace, sex discrimination, and that the former chief of staff (not Tinsley) trading favors for sex. At the time all this was happening, John Walsh was the head of the Montana National Guard. 

When he became Gov. Steve Bullock's running mate, he was replaced by Brig. Gen. Joel Cusker. But after Cusker tried to rehire one of the women who had been released by DES and who had complained about conditions there, he himself was fired by Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

Why does all this matter? Because it all is resurfacing in the Senate campaign, where Sen. Walsh is now squaring off against Congressman Steve Daines. Daines has run a commercial that contends Walsh ignored sex discrimination issues at DES while he was commanding the National Guard.

District Judge G. Todd Baugh of Billings was censured by the Montana Supreme Court Tuesday for his controversial handling of a case in which he gave a lenient sentence to a former teacher who raped a 14-year-old student. The court also gave a month-long suspension to Baugh, who is retiring at the end of this year.

Billings judge censured, suspended over handling of rape case

Court rules Helena attorney eligible to run for Supreme Court seat

Man who fired shots at Missoula police gets 5 years in prison

16 Malmstrom airmen return home after half-year stint in Afghanistan

Auditor says Court's ruling on ACA likely would affect Montanans

Man pleads not guilty to trying to kidnap Missoula girl, 10

Wardens put down black bear that charges picnickers in Glacier

Belgrade woman calls for change in carnival after ride accident

Parts of Blackfoot, Clark Fork rivers closed after semi chemical spill

Lightning strike near Darby kills 45 cows huddled under trees

Study: Well-being of MT children declines compared to other states

Lawyers want records sealed for man accused of killing student

Charley Pride looks forward to MT homecoming at Red Ants festival

Missoula County attorney honored for taking stand against DOJ

Bozeman man admits he helped rape suspect flee Montana

Pharmacist admits role in death of man who died of overdose

Schedule for Butte's Evel Knievel Days Thursday - Saturday

Glacier, Yellowstone ranked in top 3 of nation's national parks

Billings judge appears Tuesday for censure over rape remarks

Suspects in I-90 shooting arrested at Seattle motel

Former Missoula lawmaker sentenced for securities violations

Findings for crash near Helena that killed 6 under review

It's official: Not a single citizen initiative makes fall ballot

US Senate race is tightening, new poll suggests

Drunk driver who killed Missoula teens sent to transitional facility

Polson physician still missing from kayaking trip on Flathead Lake

Woman who fled Anaconda hospital with newborn arrested in Utah

Billings man admits killing 2nd man in fight over puppy, gun

Missoula County pays Lolo guest ranch $57K in legal fees

MT Guard sends 17 soldiers, 2 choppers to Washington to fight fires

Crews search for kayaker missing on rough Flathead Lake waters

Supreme Court upholds denial of disability benefits for undersheriff

Green groups gear up for new assault on Montana's coal industry

Girl injured in fall from Gallatin County carnival ride

MT has already expanded Medicaid -- through kids' program

Study: National parks brought almost $400M in economic benefits

Forsyth woman accused of trying to kill 5 people by burning home


Feds propose new rules aimed at reducing oil-train fires

Xanterra to build large garage for Glacier Park buses

Singer Wayne Newton and wife, Kat, open Lakeside boutique

Canadian firm makes offer for company that owns GTF gas utility

Bonner firm recycles shipping containers into inexpensive homes

Whitefish soccer fans develop new shin guard

Stillwater Mining reports drop in production

Former Cargill CEO selling Montana ranch for $18 million


When MT stopped stocking trout in streams, its fisheries flourished

Grizzlies land running back from San Diego

MT's Huestis averages 8 points in NBA's summer league

Ex-Griz Will Cherry got his chance to shine in summer league

West all-stars thump East 34-10 in annual Shrine game

Ex-Griz Will Cherry scores 21 again, but Cleveland loses to Houston


No, Ma'am, that is not a baby belly

Kudos to feds for cracking down on tribal corruption, other crimes

Wildlife official bravely fights tide on wolverine controversy

Long-term thinking dictates NorthWestern's purchase of PPL dams

Feds should send law-enforcement help to Bakken oil fields

Steps need to be taken to preserve sage grouse


A boy and his family

Montana man treasures 3-ton safe that guarded early MT gold

Yellowstone Park shifts focus to managing people, not grizzlies

Picture this: Montana ranch life may be hard, but it's worth seeing

How 4 weary miners discovered gold at what became Helena

Women celebrate cowgirls on the range at Paws Up Resort

Hospice patient realizes dream of riding 1st Red Bus to Logan Pass

GTF native, major Hollywood producer looks back on MT years


Evel Knievel Days schedule of events Thursday through Saturday

Rendezvous gatherings give look back at MT's mountain man era

Lots of festivals, shows on tap for MT music fans this summer

Country star Tim McGraw plans Billings concert in July

Trace Adkins coming to Helena's Last Chance Stampede

Charley Pride headlines Red Ants Festival

State Fair lineup: Tesla, Everclear, Jake Owen & more

Chris Young, Train, Evil Pop among MontanaFair acts

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

Comedian Bob Newhart to visit Great Falls Nov. 13

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