A daily digest of Montana news

April 18, 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


DURING his State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama said women "still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns." This week, after Obama signed two executive orders aimed at addressing the alleged pay gap, reporters began asking questions about a recent study that showed female White House staffers earn only 88 cents compared to each dollar their male counterparts earn.

White House officials responded that the 88-cent number was misleading because it put together all workers, including those at lower levels, where women tend to outnumber men. But that, critics said, is one of the problems with the 77 cents figure: It is based on an aggregation of all workers, including women who want to work fewer hours so they have more time to spend with their families.

When Montana Gov. Steve Bullock created an Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force last year, he cited the 77-cents figure, claiming it represented what women nationally were being paid to do the same work as men. In Montana, he said, the situation is even worse: Women earn 67 cents for each dollar men get for doing the same work.

The task force met last week in Bozeman, and experts there acknowledged that most of the pay gap is due to choices women make. These choices include taking time off to raise families, or working part-time, and choosing professions that are safer and less physically demanding.

YOU might want to steer clear of Yellowstone Park. Why's that? Because the recent 4.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the park has triggered speculation among bloggers a supervolcano under the park will blow any day now.

As proof, they're citing photos showing bison and other animals leaving the park for allegedly safer ground elsewhere. Of course, they don't mention that bison leave the park most every winter seeking lower elevations and less snow to find food. 

One blogger posted a video showing bison migrating from the park along a highway and said "..whatever the case may be, ...their running away from Yellowstone is an alert of some sort."

These "alerts" might actually be good news for Montanans who have wanted to visit Yellowstone for years but have avoided doing so because of the swarms of tourists. If they go this summer, all they might have to deal with is fleeing critters. Though by then they should be fleeing back into the park.

IF YOU'RE a Montanan who frets about the possibility of a zombie apocalypse, you can now breathe a little easier. That is, you can if you believe the
rankings put out by the web site Estately.com,

The web site, which specializes in real-estate matters, had some fun by ranking the states on how prepared they were to deal with a zombie apocalypse. States with such things as a lot of gun owners and many people with survival skills and active military personnel scored the best.

Also, states with low levels of obesity -- a category where Montana ranks first -- is a big plus. Gotta outrun those zombies.

Montana finished 6th in the rankings, behind Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and New Mexico. Fortunately, except for Alaska, Montana is a little more out of the way than those other states.

MOST Montana histories focus on the western part of the state, so it's good to see one that explains a bit about how eastern Montana came to be. In blunt, folksy fashion, "A Hard-Won Life" by H. Norman Hyatt tells what life was like in the late 1800s in the Glendive area. Early on we learn that Dawson County, which then ran all the way from the Canadian border to just south of Glendive, was the last place in the USA settled by whites.

Among the first white settlers were Levi and Sarah Van Blaricom and their nine children. This book is based on the memoirs of the fifth child, Fred, who was born in 1875. Just a few months after the family arrived in early 1882 at Glendive, Sarah died from typhoid fever. Since Levi was disabled, the older children had to fare for themselves while younger siblings were shuffled off to friends or relatives. Freddie and his sister Alice were sent to live with a cousin near Forsyth.

The cousin's husband, a man Freddie dubbed "Coyote-breath," was abusive. In the winter of 1883, Freddie realized he and his sister could die if he didn't escape. He crossed the frozen Yellowstone River and fled along the railroad tracks with his grubstake of just "two slices of bread, two pieces of beefsteak, no water, no houses for miles, and no one that gave a damn whether I made it or not...and me 7 years old."

Freddie made it to Glendive and got help for his sister. It was just one of many tight squeezes he negotiated on the frontier where -- since he and school didn't see eye to eye -- he mostly worked as a cowboy.  Along the way he befriended many characters, including rancher and future president Teddy Roosevelt and artist C.M. Russell, who offered Fred several sketches.

"A Hard-Won Life" is as compelling as a novel, as van Blaricom chronicles not only the many hardships he and other settlers endured, but also the acts of kindness that kept them going.

The lights of Williston, N.D. shine in the background of oil pumps on Feb. 24. Williston is the hub of North Dakota's oil boom, a boom that some say could continue for decades, as new technology has made it possible to drill for oil that had been difficult to reach. The economic boom has also triggered a rising drug trade. (AP)

Prosecutor wants accused rapist punished for 'reign of terror'

Bullock seeks disaster declaration for flooding last month

7 coal-train protesters arrested along tracks in Missoula

MT writer ties killer to GTF murders, JonBenet, Zodiac deaths

Flathead victim advocates speak out on alleged murder plot

Wyoming seeks to have Montana's water lawsuit dismissed

John Lewis raises $300,000 for US House race since January

State closes part of Bitterroot River near Corvallis to floaters

Mountain lion hunters say estimates of populations too high

GTF suspect faces charges after allegedly assaulting officer

GTF writer/editor wins New Yorker caption contest

Bakken oil boom spawns a growing drug trade

National spotlight shines on Missoula over sex-assault cases

Crews hit deep snow as they try to open Glacier's Sun Road

Mineral Co demands Forest Service boost timber harvests

Daines outraises Walsh in 1st quarter by $253,000

Lawyers for accused rapist rest without calling witnesses

Refinery maintenance keeps gas prices high in Montana

Killer of 4 dies unexpectedly at state prison

State adopts elk-management plan to stop spread of disease

New nonprofit created to take over Butte's Evel Knievel Days

Revenue Department expands service as deadline looms

Cascade school considers arming teacher for emergencies

BIA inks deal to house inmates at empty Hardin jail

Horse sanctuary owners hit with 34 animal cruelty charges

Kalispell bride appeals 30-year sentence for killing husband

'Form, fashion' of Butte's Evel Knievel Days undecided for now

Winter-like weather to wallop much of Montana this weekend

Walsh joins other Senate Dems in pushing Keystone pipeline

Judge finds no criminal conduct in Ravalli Co probe


Boeing's Helena manufacturing plant takes off

Missoula bio-based chemical firm lands $26 million investment

Titan Machinery closing stores in Bozeman, Helena, Big Sky

Federal regulators want two-man crews on oil trains

California refinery wants to ship in crude from Bakken oil fields

Somers homeowners, renters to move under BNSF settlement

Many factors contribute to pay gap between men, women


Defense dominates in Grizzly's spring scrimmage

MSU's new hoops coach gets first measure of team

UM aims to improve running game in spring drills

Ex-Griz who performed miracles on court comes out of darkness

Montana all-stars win national U14 hockey title

Bozeman officials set aside $7.5M for new sports complex

Despite injuries, MSU's defensive line stands out in drills


Do women earn 77% of what men earn for same work? Nah

RightNow founder should speak at commencements

Everyone has a story. Even zombies.

Flathead tribes are going to war over water rights on reservation

State's elk-management plan is worth considering

Daines, Tester, Walsh should work together on North Fork bill

Rocky Boy prosecutions painful, but necessary to clear air


Life of a Montana cowboy: Some glam, lots of drudge work

Montana newcomers starring in new Outdoor Channel show

Lewistown-area pictographs tell stories of MT's ancient people

MT's cutthroat trout are hungry, and waiting for anglers

Fritz family carries on a Flathead tradition of farming

The American Prairie Reserve: A sea of Montana grass 

Where Teddy Roosevelt stayed on visits to the Billings area


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

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