A daily digest of Montana news

Nov. 1, 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


CAN YOU imagine former Gov. Brian Schweitzer as a Playboy centerfold? Well, neither can Buzz. And that's something you won't have to see. But you can get the next best thing: A Playboy interview with Schweitzer in the newest issue of the magazine.

Playboy noted that Schweitzer was one of the nation's more polarizing, albeit popular, governors, and his tendency to make off-the-cuff remarks sometimes lands him in hot water. Such as his recent comments about former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor setting off his "gaydar."

Playboy interviewer Jeff Greenfield told Schweitzer that Bill Clinton didn't inhale, Barack Obama did, and George Bush was somewhere between them. Where were you? Greenfield asked Schweitzer.

"I'm right there with the three of them," the former Montana governor replied with a laugh.

Schweitzer told Playboy that the image he projects -- wearing bolo ties and jeans and bringing his dog Jag to the office -- isn't an act he dreamed up to help him politically. "You know, I don't have an image creator around me," he says. I am who I am."

But for most of the interview, Greenfield pressed Schweitzer on what he thought about issues such as foreign policy and government spending, how he rated the performance of President Obama (not too highly), and where he saw himself fitting into the presidential race in 2016.

Schweitzer made it clear it is a horse race he's thought a lot about entering. "You know, I'm just a guy who knows a thing or two about horses," he concluded.

IN A column written for the Last Best News web site, former Billings Gazette newsman David Crisp expressed surprise that the Gazette endorsed Democrat John Lewis in the US House race. "I just about dropped my teeth....," he said.

The Bozeman Chronicle also recently endorsed Lewis, who is trailing Republican Ryan Zinke in the polls.

While some may be surprised that Lewis got the endorsement of the Gazette and the Chronicle, Buzz would be surprised if Zinke got the endorsement of any of the major Montana dailies this year. Why's that, you ask?

A few years back, Buzz went back and counted all the endorsements in Montana's dailies for statewide races over the course of a decade. Sorry, can't remember the exact count, but the dailies endorsed Democrats by more than a two-to-one margin over that period. So all the papers, except for the Kalispell Interlake, generally prefer Democrats.

But there are two caveats to this trend. In every election cycle, papers like to endorse at least one Republican -- usually the most moderate one running -- to show readers they try to be fair and balanced. Second, they don't like to waste endorsements on candidates who seemingly have no chance of winning.

This year, there are only two statewide partisan contests: Senate and House.

In starting at the top of the ballot, the Senate race, the Gazette and Chronicle both endorsed Republican Steve Daines. Bottom line, Buzz believes it was due to the second rule mentioned above: Don't waste your endorsement on candidates with no chance of winning. Polls show latecomer Amanda Curtis far behind Daines.

So what are the Gazette and Chronicle to do to restore their karma? Go with Lewis in the House race, of course.

UPDATE: Since this piece first appeared, the Helena Independent Record made its endorsements in these races. No surprise, at least to Buzz: Daines and Lewis got the paper's blessing.

(Interesting side note: The Great Falls Tribune says it won't be endorsing candidates this year -- the first time Buzz ever remembers that happening.) 


THE MOST popular brand names in Montana? Dodge, Amazon, and Prilosec, according to research based on Google searches done by Montanans.

Really? Sounds odd, doesn't it?

You'd think that NorthWestern Energy might have been one of the top three, as it has been in the news a lot lately due to its purchase of PPL's dams. Or maybe a company like Budweiser, since Montanans not only like their beer, but they grow much of the barley used to produce it.

WHEN IT comes to taxes, which state is the fairest of them all? Montana is, according to a survey done by WalletHut, a personal-finance site. Really?

Even a lot of Montanans will be surprised by that finding, thinking they pay an awful lot in taxes. But they actually tend to pay less than taxpayers in other states. Why?

Because Montana is one of only five states with no general sales tax. And to make up for that lack of revenue, the state takes a bigger chunk of change from energy producers and big property holders.

Interestingly, both liberals and conservatives who were surveyed ranked Montana as the fairest state in terms of taxation. Now, how often do you see folks on either side of the political spectrum agree on something, especially an important issue like taxes?

Makes you wonder why Montana's tax system isn't more of a model for other states.

Zachary Silflow, 24, was charged in court Monday with counts of arson and burglary related to fires at Bozeman's Heritage Christian school on Oct. 24 and in August of 2012. He faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted on all four felony counts he faces. (NBC Montana)

Suspect in 2 fires at Bozeman Christian school appears in court

Woman in UM apartment explosion faces endangerment charge

Lake County toddler shot in back while playing with man

National Democrats aren't backing Curtis with campaign ads

State holds over $1M in mineral trusts for owners it can't find

Malmstrom sergeant appears on 'Price is Right' Wednesday

State wants to build new I-90 bridge over Blackfoot River

Hunter shot near Butte when companion unloaded gun

State tries to find owners of $63 million in unclaimed property

As money pours into Supreme Court contest, heat turns up

Forest Service digs up old logging roads, reducing forest access

Environmentalists seek carbon tax to raise price of fuel

Debate over Montana's forest timber supply continues to rage

Former co-worker blasts candidate for state's Supreme Court

Arrest made in connection with fire at Bozeman Christian school

State approves plan for bobcat fur farm near Lewistown

Billings school superintendent advises parents to report bullying

State reveals draft plan for future of parks

Lake County man to be charged in shooting death of 3-year-old

Officials call fire at Bozeman Christian school 'suspicious'

Tribes want halt to oil and gas leases in Badger-Two Medicine

Billings man who prostituted girlfriend arrested again

U System: Records release could cost 'hundreds of millions'

Stanford apologizes for researchers Supreme Court mailers

Kalispell newlywed who killed husband appeals conviction

Judge won't stop enforcement of campaign-finance laws

17 arraigned on meth- and gun-related charges

Attorneys for Barry Beach ask Supreme Court for his release

Zinke says he's trying to get military records released quickly

Montana voters unhappy with mailers on Supreme Court races

Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering Sidney teacher

Montana among 3 state still resisting gay marriages

Defendant admits trying to kill Billings police officer

3-year-old boy shot and killed south of Ronan

Montana's largest landowners keep expanding their holdings

Consultant for Blackfeet tribe sentenced to prison

Havre Walmart evacuated after bomb threat, but no bomb found

Man suspected of killing Missoula transient returned to state

Lawsuit challenges new pollution permit for Clark Fork River

Jury awards BNSF worker $4.3M for injuries from accident

State Supreme Court race takes on partisan overtones

Former Navy officer continues attack on House hopeful Zinke

Great Falls police dog put down after biting 2 officers

Movie planned about daughter of Montana copper king

Townsend-area ranch becomes part of national forest

Missoula man gets deferred sentence in domestic assault case

In 2nd debate, Daines takes turn going on attack against Curtis


Coca-Cola stops bottling in Great Falls

New brewery, distillery to open in one downtown Bozeman spot

Billionaires buy up mega-ranches in Montana, elsewhere

Flathead's Quadrocopter selling 100s of mini-choppers annually

Missoula brewery plans major expansion at Bonner

UPS hiring 40 new workers in Helena


Lady Cats look solid with lots of returning players

Young MSU mens' hoops team has long ways to go

Cal Poly manhandles Montana, 41-21

UM's Henderson leaving school to try to heal up from infection

Men's preseason hoops polls aren't promising for MSU or UM

Griz face 4-3 Cal Poly team that features dynamic leaders

After bad car accident, Simms player happy to be back on field


Bullock's $37 million preschool plan is a good investment

Montana voters should go with the liberal long shot: Curtis

Lewis is best choice for the US House

Let's end voter-registration on election day

Kavulla: Why I opposed NorthWestern's dam purchase

With his experience, Daines is best choice for MT in US Senate


The Auditor, Butte's dog with dreads, become a legend

HGTV series set in Bozeman, Bigfork to feature MT livestyle

Artist gets new lease on life after man who tried to kill him died

What do you think? Website lists best books written about MT

MT scores another 1st: Leads nation in mountain monograms

A portrait of Montana a century and a half ago


Comedian Bob Newhart to visit Great Falls Nov. 13

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