Yellowstone Park officials try to get more space between tourists, bison

Montana tribes fret over penalties they face under Obamacare

Drought plays havoc with huckleberries - and could leave bears hungry

Officials issue red flag warning for northwestern Montana forests

Missoula man left town with a murderer. Now he's disappeared.

Green groups sue to stop thinning project near Red Lodge

Boulder residents worry about stress, strains as center readies to close

Feds say Mexican accused of Pryor murders was legal immigrant

Wyoming neighbors say accused killer was a 'troubled' youth

Man accused of shooting Pryor family released from jail 2 weeks ago

Lack of hay may force closure of Flathead farm animal sanctuary

3 family members rescued from sinking boat on Flathead Lake

Helena group follows the money in state campaigns

Fire restrictions still in effect for some Montana counties

Body found where wildfire started near Laurel

FBI: Suspect in Pryor shootings says victim laughed at him

As fire continues to burn in Glacier, tourists flock in, congestion reins

Thanks to wildfire, new views await visitors to east side of Glacier Park

Ancient Indian pictographs near Helena vandalized

Judge to hear challenge of expansion of Spring Creek Coal Mine

Former Jefferson Co treasurer admits stealing over $222,000

Veterans gather to dedicate cemetery at Rocky Boy's Reservation

Crews work to secure final section of lines around Glacier Park wildfire

Supreme Court upholds Montana's 24/7 sobriety program

Friends, family baffled by disappearance of Stevensville man

Pryor family shot while trying to help stranded motorist, officers say

Authorities identify Wyoming man as suspect in shooting of Pryor family

Clark Fork River Superfund project ignoring one of biggest problems

MT, Wyoming governors say federal sage grouse plan overly restrictive

9th Circuit Court refuses to release Yellowstone Club founder from jail

Indiana attorney battles with Motl over new finance disclosure law

Forest Service approves Troy-area copper, silver mine

Crews make gains as Glacier Park wildfire remains calm



After losing contract to run Glacier concessions, GPI forges ahead

Stillwater Mining reports $27.5 million loss in latest quarter

Missoula air carrier plans membership flight service to Billings

NorthWestern sets up photovoltaic battery test project near Deer Lodge

City of Missoula loses round in fight over municipal water system

Stillwater Mining union workers again reject contract 4-year contract



UM coach wants to see his team continue to make progress in camp

Almost all of MSU's 9 transfers are eligible to compete this fall

2 UM linebackers arrested on misdemeanor charges

Josh Huestis signs 4-year deal with Oklahoma City

Helena's Caleb Kidder gets UM's No. 37 legacy jersey

Ben Roberts returns to Missoula to play football for Grizzlies


Bullock should let military recruiters be armed

If you question your new property appraisal, don't wait to appeal

In Missoula, a circus with exotic animals should stay away

A couple ways Montana could be saving kids' lives

Could drought of common-sense rules for public lands be ending?

Cape Air finds right formula for Montana after others fail

Smith River mine controversy: 'Nothing must happen to this place'




Hot weather produces bumper crop from Paradise peach orchard

Glenn Close helps her sister - a MT resident - cope with mental illness

Bud Lilly: Montana's fly-fishing, catch-and-release pioneer

Stories link family to 'River Runs Through It' author Norman Maclean

Photographers document life in MT's disappearing one-room schools

The bark of the stately ponderosa pine preserves and protects


A compilation of this summer's concert activity across Montana

Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice perform at State Fair in late July

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Oyster Cult to play at Billings fair Aug. 8

Martina McBride coming to Billings Aug. 9

Pointer Sisters to headline Billings fundraiser Aug. 29

Miranda Lambert to perform in Billings Sept. 25

Rock superstar Elton John returns to Billings Oct. 7

Little Big Town coming to Missoula town Nov. 12


Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com

​​​​​A daily digest of Montana news

Aug. 2, 2015


A MYSTERIOUS Whitefish firm is one of the biggest backers of Ohio Gov. John Kasich's campaign for the GOP nomination for president.

The firm, called MMWP12 LLC, donated $500,000 to the pro-Kasich New Day Independent Media Committee a day after it was formed. The firm is actually controlled by another LLC called K2M, which has just two officers. One is Whitefish real estate developer  Paul Johannsen. The other is Mark Kvamme, a venture capitalist and former Kasich administration official who also has ties to Whitefish.

​Kasich will need all the help he can get. He and Texas Gov. Rick Perry appear to be battling it out for the 10th and apparently last spot in the Fox presidential primary debate soon to take place in Cleveland. ​

MONTANA'S travel-promotion officials have to be happy about the state's latest celebrity endorsement. 

Gwen Stefani, the singer, co-founder of the rock group No Doubt, and one of the hosts/coaches of NBC's popular reality show, "The Voice," posted this message on Instagram while recently vacationing in Big Sky Country: "Wow #Montana u r so beautiful #favoritevacaever#neverwanttogohome."

Stefani also posted photos of herself and her 16-month-old son, Apollo, on a Montana mountainside, as well as photos of herself dwarfed by evergreen trees and on a horseback ride.

Her fans were impressed, and hundreds posted responses. "Yay for big sky country!" said one. "Im going in 3 wks." 


AN IN-DEPTH story by the Missoulian's Keila Szpaller says that Gov. Steve Bullock, when he was attorney general, didn't enforce a mandate to keep a forensic pathologist with a troubled track record from conducting infant autopsies. Nor did the previous three attorneys general who, like Bullock, are (or were) Democrats.

The forensic pathologist was Dr. Thomas Bennett, who had problems with infant autopsies before even coming to Montana, according to records.

While the story describes in great detail the state's long history of problems with Bennett's work, it doesn't provide many clues as to why they festered for so long, partly because those involved didn't want to say much. 

Spaller's story did note that a recent guest column in the Missoulian alleges that political alliances protected Bennett. In 2008, Bennett divorced Melodee Hanes, and in 2011, Hanes married former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, who now serves as the U.S. ambassador to China, (Oddly, the Helena Independent Record deleted that portion from the printed long version of Spaller's story it ran in its Sunday paper.)

Back on July 14, a conservative web site called Mediatrackers reported that Bennett had donated thousands of dollars to Montana Democratic candidates since 2001. The site also said that Bennett had referred to McGrath as a 'friend' in a deposition he'd done for a lawsuit over an autopsy he'd done on a child.

 ​MONTANA is on pretty solid financial footing. In fact, it ranks 10th among all the state in terms of their fiscal conditions, according to a new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The rankings were for fiscal 2013, the most recent year for which data was available.

The states in the best financial shape tended to be located near Montana. North Dakota is No. 2, South Dakota No. 3. Nebraska No. 4 and Wyoming No. 6.. At the top is Alaska.

The states in the worst shape were mostly in the Northeast, places like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. But hurting the most: Illinois. 

One of the common burdens for those states, said the report, is a commitment to pay out huge sums in public-employee benefits.

Montana got its best marks in the category of long-term solvency, which asks the questions: Can the state meet its long-term spending commitments? Will there be enough money to cushion it from economic shocks or other long-term fiscal risks? 

MONTANA has moved up from 33rd to 28th in CNBC's much-watched ranking of the best states in which to do business.

The state got its best ratings in the categories of infrastructure (tied for 12th), quality of life (tied for 13th), and economy (tied for 16th). Its worst mark -- No. 48 -- was in the workforce category.

"Big Sky Country offers pristine quality of life and a strong infrastructure," said CNBC. "But its workforce is among the least productive."

The study measured the 50 states on more than 60 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness including low business costs, technology and innovation, and education. You can visit this page to see all the measures and how they were weighted.

Minnesota finished first in the rankings, with Texas, Utah and Colorado closed behind. North Dakota was No. 6. Hawaii, interestingly, was last.


After a recent spike in bison attacks on tourists, Yellowstone Park officials are trying to figure out more ways to get more distance between the two. (Bozeman Chronicle)