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

Oct. 22, 2018


Staffers and volunteers work at Missoula Republican Party headquarters this past week. As the election approaches, both parties are turning their attention to get-out-the-vote efforts. (Missoulian)


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.

MONTANA is the 8th most politically engaged state. So says WalletHub, a personal finance website that analyzes how the states stack up in a number of social measures.

​In this case, Montana ranked 8th in terms of voter registration for the 2016 election. Other factors that figured into its overall ranking of 8th: 12th in the country for percentage of electorate that voted in the 2014 midterm elections, and third for political contributions among adults.

The District of Columbia is the most politically engaged "state," while New Mexico ranked as the least.​ (Hat tip to the Great Falls Tribune)

LOOKING for some of the country's best burgers? You don't have to leave Montana, according to TripAdvisor, because Billings' Burger Dive serves them.

The travel website recently released a list of the ten best burger joints in the country, and the Burger Dive came in No. 10.

Owner Brad Halsten says he was really surprised by the ranking, even though he's won other awards, including top burger at the World Burger Championship two years ago. All the success is pretty amazing considering that the restaurant is Halsten's first and he's only been in business seven years.

YOU wouldn't think 5-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady would be awestruck too often, but he was when he spotted a bear in Montana recently.

The New England Patriots quarterback posted a video on Instagram last week of himself outdoors grinning widely and whispering: "It's a bear!" He then panned his camera to a nearby bear sauntering off into the woods.

Brady didn't specify exactly where he saw the bear, but most likely he took the shot at his place at the Yellowstone Club at Big Sky, which he frequently visits in the off-season

WHILE newspapers have struggled financially and laid off many journalists in recent years, some analysts have hoped that more nimble, independent online news sites would fill the void.

That was the goal for Ed Kemmick, a seasoned Billings Gazette reporter and sure-footed writer when he launched Last Best News four and a half years ago. During that time, Kemmick continued to make his mark with hard-hitting accountability journalism that shined a light on those misusing power.  And when he wasn’t doing that, he was often poking fun at himself and others.

Unfortunately, Kemmick eventually found the rigors of running the site, where he was writing breaking news, features, and commentaries, as well as doing the grunt work of accounting, ad sales, web-site development, budgeting and so on, pretty confining.  “It occurred to me that in all my life there had been only a few relatively short periods when I lived as a full-time human being, free and untethered,” he said Sunday in announcing the site will suspend operations July 1.“Once the idea of reclaiming that kind of freedom took hold of me, it was hard to think of anything else.”

Kemmick hopes someone will step forward and revive his site or start a new one like it. If that doesn't happen, the good news for his many fans is that he expects to continue writing as a freelancer.



While Canada legalizes pot, it's still not legal to bring across the border

48-year-old hunter dies after rifle goes off in Helena parking lot

1 person dies in Billings house fire

Parties focus on turnout as election day nears

Communities near Yellowstone Park express concerns

Small miners seek treasure in Montana's old gold mine dumps

1 suspect arrested in Missoula double murder; another man still sought

Corporate campaign funding first? Patagonia endorses Tester

Crow Nation lawmakers vote to remove 2 tribal judges

Helena man gets 20 years for stealing ATM from bar-restaurant

Search narrows for missing Darby man; others still missing in region

Daines responds to Trump's praise of Gianforte's body slam

Police search for suspect after 2 found shot to death at Missoula motel

MT, Canadian scientists ramp up water monitoring at Lake Koocanusa

In MT, Trump attacks Tester, touts Gianforte's bodyslam of journalist

Protesters at Missoula rally say that 'love trumps hate'

Biologists tranquilize 900-pound grizzly that invaded Hutterite garage

Researcher: Brain cancer rates 72% higher in Butte and Anaconda

State reaches settlement with disabled student

Jury convicts former Hardin teacher of felony for hiding student's gun

IG: Zinke broke Interior Department's rules with wife's travel

Busby waitress parlays $50 tip into $70,000 lottery win

Up to 8,000 expected to attend Trump rally at Missoula airport

Trump backers urged to bring guns to rally in case of violence

Mt Sentinel caretaker wants 'M' left out of political messages

Trump will tie Truman for most visits to MT by a sitting president

Actor Jeff Bridges tries to drum up votes for Jon Tester

State officials still butting heads over conservation easements

GTF lawmaker gets contempt citation after sitting in closed court session

I-186 backers accuse foes of using foreign donations

Opponents of I-186 complain that text messages violate law

Child porn suspect arrested on MT bus was in John Mellencamp band

22 more faculty members leaving UM

Montana illusionist's tiger has surgery only done on humans

Montana Senate candidate spending climbs over $20 million


Mediator to work with utility, workers at Anaconda gas power plant

Big Sky Resort: One of the most expensive ski areas in North America

Power farmer has a big beer vision for the Golden Triangle

Miniature Herefords a hit at Billings livestock show

Yellowstone Park sees an increase in September visits

MT's ClassOne Technology rapidly expanding in semiconductor industry

Feds to take another look at Washington coal-export project


Cats fall short -- 34-24 -- in upset bid against No. 7 Weber State

Griz linebacker added to Buck Buchanan Award Watch List

Donor gives MSU athletics $2 million for facilities

UM's Rorie voted preseason Big Sky MVP; Oguine & Hall also picked

Bozeman QB commits to Grizzlies

MT native, once world's fastest man, recalls teammates' raised fists 



NorthWestern Energy isn't 'getting a pass' on renewable energy law

PSC must support rule of law on renewable energy

Not a good time to raise the pay of state legislators

Oro y Plata forever? Or never again?

Back a big tobacco tax hike, reauthorize Medicaid expansion w/ I-185

I-185 nothing more than mob rule

I-185 would improve the quality of life for Montanans


Kalispell man willing to go extra mile for his new camel

Missoula video blogger Hank Green writes his first sci-fi novel

Archaeologists find interesting clues in Yellowstone ice patch

New book on Prohibition was written by late Helena author Ambrose

Wisconsin couple gets camera back after losing it in MT wilds in 2012

MT's longest, highest bridge connects communities, offers access

Japanese man comes to MT to pay his respects to WWII Marine

UM to display Copper King William A. Clark's masterpieces


Rod Stewart moves his Billings concert to Oct. 24

Bob Seger reschedules Billings concert for January

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