State Sen. Bob Keenan, R-Bigfork, and former Sen. Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell, have asked a federal judge to block the Flathead tribes from taking control of Kerr Dam this weekend. (Karen Swan)


​​IT"S NOT a scientific survey, but an online poll suggests University of Montana Grizzly fans are more likely to root for the MSU Bobcats than Cat fans will cheer for the Griz.

The poll was launched in the run-up to the Griz game vs. North Dakota State, with the sponsors wondering if MSU fans would be rooting for UM. According to this break-down of the results, it wasn't too likely. But Griz fans are a lot more likely to back the Cats when the two teams aren't squaring off against each other.

Of the 62 Griz fans who participated in the survey, 84 percent said they root for the Cats. But only 39 percent of the 83 Cat fans who responded said they ever support the Griz.

MONTANANS aren't very naughty. At least they aren't if you measure them using the Ashley Madison scale of naughtiness.

​Ashley Madison is the go-to web site for infidelity. It's motto: "Life is short. Have an affair."

Ashley Madison made headlines recently when hackers made public information on millions of the site's users. Including where they live.

Turns out not many -- relatively speaking -- are from Montana. Or so the numbers suggest. Montana ranks 42nd in amount of money spent on Ashley Madison on a per capita basis, according to a Business Insider survey. The lowest rated state is West Virginia. 

The top three: Alabama, Colorado, and the District of Columbia. Strange mix, huh?​

​UPDATE: The Billings Gazette is reporting that almost 50,000 accounts on Ashley Madison come from Montana zip codes. Yet few of those accounts seem to come from folks who are willing to pay up for the site's services. Only 897 Montanans were paying members between 2008 and this year.

It is unclear what all those accounts mean. Could 50,000 Montanans have gone on Ashley Madison and set up accounts? Seems unlikely. That's about 5 percent of the state's population.

There is evidence that a lot of the site's accounts are fake. Are any in Montana. Who knows? 

IF MONTANANS aren't spending time on Ashley Madison, it doesn't appear for lack of cash. A different survey -- this one of incomes in some of the nation's small cities -- shows many Montanans are doing just fine financially, thank you.

Bozeman comes in at No. 19 on the Bloomberg Index of Wealth in micropolitan communities (cities with populations between 10,000 and 50,000). Bozeman has a median household income of $52,833.

Helena came in No. 39 on the list, and Kalispell No. 43. Topping the list is Summit Park, Utah at $83,336.

WHOA. You don't normally think of J.K. Simmons, the University of Montana grad and Oscar winner, as a buff dude. Probably because he usually doesn't play macho roles. But he sure looked like he'd been he'd been working out a lot in a recent appearance at a fundraiser for the Bigfork Playhouse, where he got his start on the stage many years ago.

​Simmons is fresh off promotions for his latest film, "Terminator Genisys," in which he had a chance to act with former bodybuilder -- and the original Terminator -- Arnold Schwarzenegger. In an interview promoting the film, Simmons joked about how he was at a cast party last winter talking about his workout routine with Schwarzenegger and he "went fishing for a compliment" about his physique.

"So, I asked if he was impressed by my biceps,"  Simmons said. "And he said, 'Your biceps were just OK. But the triceps were very impressive.' I have been telling that to everyone at the gym since then."


IF YOU are badly hurt and need hospital care, would you rather be out in the boondocks in Montana or in a big city? You might answer Montana after reading a column by a Washington, D.C., pundit who wrote of what happened when he and a friend were fishing a remote area on the Missouri River recently when his friend was bitten by a "huge rattlesnake."

David A. Keene, the former head of the NRA who is now opinion editor for the Washington Times, said in the column that the area was so remote that they had to find a ferryman who had landline phone service where they could call for help. His friend was "in pain and mostly numb," and they were at least an hour from the nearest hospital. 

The hospital arranged a mercy flight helicopter and told the men to get to a nearby high spot where the victim could be picked up. As they waited there, a truck roared up, and a man and his wife got out. They had heard about the victim's predicament, and scrambled to help. She was a nurse. By the time the chopper arrived, three more nurses were on the scene. "It was incredible," said  Keene. "Everyone who heard there was a problem rushed out not to gape, but to help."

Keene compared that to what happened back in the District of Columbia the night before, where a "drugged-up 18-year-old stabbed a man to death while onlookers stood on both sides of a Metro car." Earlier in the year, he said, "a 77-year-old man collapsed and died of a heart attack across from a District fire station while people who banged on the door seeking help were turned away."

Keene summed up attitudes in Montana -- and many other parts of the country -- by noting the reaction of the man he thanked for coming so quickly to their aid. "No need,” the man said. “Out here, we all look after each other.”




Lawsuit filed in DC court seeks to stop tribes from acquiring Kerr Dam

Parties spar over witness credibility in execution-drug case

Billings jury rules against homeowners over falling rock damage

Totem pole unites 2 tribes in opposition to coal development

State agency says Missoula sheriff discriminated against undersheriff

Soldier injured in Hamilton parachute mishap released from hospital

New Navy vessels will be called USS Montana & USS Billings

Expected rains should put damper on Montana forest fires

Supreme Court overturns sale of Garfield County man's guns

MSU mulls changes in its booze and tailgating rules

Missoula jury finds woman not guilty of Christmas Day hospital assaults

FIrefighter hurt working on Holter Lake wildfire

Speakers at hearing want to see drilling leases near Glacier cancelled

Missing Stevensville man turns up safe in Idaho

Backstreet Boys, others filming zombie movie in Butte/Anaconda area

Citizens criticize proposed changes to state's campaign finance rules

State declines to release information on deaths of children

Special Services soldier hurt when chute fails over Hamilton

Author Ivan Doig's papers going to MSU

Trial over execution drugs gets underway in Helena

2 Lincoln mine owners deny their mine complies with federal rules

Big dinosaur fossils, bound for Billings for cleaning, may be new species

Searchers rescue 2 injured hikers in Glacier Park

Fire near Holter Lake doubles in size

Supreme Court gives Opportunity residents mixed ruling in cleanup case

State to recover funds for Common Core testing problems

Wardens euthanize bear that breaks into Billings-area home

Florence doctor facing 400 felony charges pleads not guilty

Oil firm asks judge to let drilling on leases near Glacier Park to proceed

9th Circuit rejects Montana's bid to defend limits on campaign donations

Tester, Bullock express concerns over EPA's water rules

9th Circuit Court says Jesus statue can stay on Big Mountain


10 things I learned about work and life from managing a MT pizzeria

Montana may settle with North Dakota in dispute over $300K in pea fees

State was a buyer of stocks as markets plunged

State officials forecast worker shortages as baby boomers retire

Tourists spent $3.8B in Montana in 2014 -- an increase of 9 percent

State's chief investment officer retiring in October

Montana hospitals struggle to keep up with demand for nurses



Cats overcome sluggish start, roll over Fort Lewis State 45-14

These 2 Cats are a dominant duo on the offensive line

Cal Poly rooted for UM last week, but won't this weekend

UM game 1 of most watched sports events Saturday; almost 1M viewers

MSU's opening game features 2 veteran coaches

UM issues apology for fan who confronts NDSU player on field


UM needs better security at its football games

Feds must move quickly to cut red tape blocking use of state choppers

Time to grant clemency to Barry Beach

Yellowstone officials had no choice but to put down man-eating grizzly

Forest Service shouldn't be saddled w/ tremendous cost of fighting fires

EPA shouldn't walk away from contamination in heart of Butte

Coal development important to future of Crow Tribe


Montana Club a cosmopolitan landmark on Helena landscape

Researchers chronicle Glacier Park's melting glaciers

Bozeman man's podcasts on fight with alcoholism find national audience

BLM selects artists to celebrate Missouri River Breaks area

Filmmaking couple make Flathead stopover to promote new movie

After 6 decades, McLaughlin Research Institute faces new challenges

Philipsburg's Aber Day Reunion concert strikes a chord, draws a crowd

Huey Lewis makes surprise showing in Missoula with Big Sky Mudflaps


Montana Book Festival to offer old favorites, new events

Miranda Lambert plans Missoula concert Sept. 24

Miranda Lambert to perform in Billings Sept. 25

Neil Young schedules Missoula concert Oct. 1

Rock superstar Elton John returns to Billings Oct. 7

Little Big Town coming to Missoula town Nov. 12


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

Sept. 4, 2015