A daily digest of Montana news

July 30, 2014






Great Falls






Miles City




Billings Gazette

Bozeman Chronicle

Montana Standard

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Livingston Enterprise

Great Falls

Helena IR

Miles City Star



Bozeman Magpie

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Last Best News

The Lowdown
Great Falls Tribune (blog)

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Bigfork Eagle

(Big Sky) Lone
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Billings Outpost


Cascade Courier

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(Columbia Falls)
Hungry Horse News

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 County News


Cut Bank
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(Eureka) Tobacco
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 Ravalli Republic

(Hardin) Big Horn
 County News

(Huson) Clark
 Fork Chronicle

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 Western News

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 (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


ACTRESS Gwyneth Paltrow recently spent some time visiting Montana, and the piece she wrote about her Big Sky experiences no doubt thrilled state tourism officials. She ravved about Montana's attributes on Goop, her popular e-commerce web site where she sounds off on fashion, family and other issues.

"They call if Big Sky Country for a reason: Interrupted solely by the distant peaks of the Rockies, the horizon here goes on forever, holding dominion over horse ranches, National Forest Service lands, and a whole lot of cattle," Paltrow said in an introduction to a guide to western Montana dude ranches.

Now, these aren't exactly the 'roughin' it' kind of dude ranches. Paltrow reviewed -- with a big thumbs up -- her stays at the Paws Up Resort northeast of Missoula, the Ranch at Rock Creek near Phillipsburg, and Triple Creek Ranch near Darby. (If you want to replicate Paltrow's vacation, be prepared to fork over big bucks. They can cost around $2,000 a night, and were recently named among the most expensive luxury resorts in the US.)

Paltrow, who sprinkled her piece with plenty of photos of herself and her kids enjoying Montana activities, also took a trip to Glacier Park and stayed at the handsome but rustic Many Glacier Hotel, which she said is "inarguably one of our favorite hotels in all the world."

"There are few spots in America where the landscape can actually move you -- reminding you not only of your relative insignificance, but of how might and ancient the earth really is," she said. "Glacier is one of those places."

Paltrow, by the way, wasn't the only celeb enjoying Big Sky Country in recent days. Singer Lady Gaga joined her friend, artist Jeff Koons, who came to Big Sky to give a talk on art at the exclusive Yellowstone Club. Lady Gaga sent out a photo of the scenery via Instagram, declaring: "It is so phenomenally beautiful here."  

FORMER Gov. Brian Schweitzer's rise as a potential presidential candidate was rapid and hot, in good part because of the media attention he won for attacking Hillary Clinton and, well, spouting off on pretty much anything.

But any thoughts he once had of a presidential run have been dashed, BuzzFeed reporter Ruby Cramer believes, by the former governor's recent controversial statements suggesting House Majority Eric Cantor was gay and comparing California Sen. Dianne Feinstein to a prostitute.

Cramer says "...in the end, Schweitzer's rise amounted to the thing people in Washington call a media narrative. And his burned hot and fast and then just went away. Schweitzer talked and talked and talked until finally he said something stupid. Now he can still talk, but there's no one left to listen."

Schweitzer apologized --- though not personally -- for his remarks. And while he had been a regular guest commentator on MSNBC (he has a little studio in his Georgetown house), network brass have decided not to bring him back on the air since he made his brash remarks, according to Cramer. They told Cramer they'll bring him back when "his insights will add value to a story."

As for Schweitzer, he told Cramer he hasn't decided to "not" run for president. But then he's never decided that he would, either.

The bottom line, he told Cramer, is that nothing has changed. 

HERE"S an "award" no politician wants to win: National Journal's Dead Man Walking citation.

In assessing many of the nation's key political races at their midpoint, the online political journal honored Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett with its "dead man walking" award, saying he trails his challenger by 22 points and will have a tough time being re-elected this fall. The journal named Montana Sen. John Walsh as one of three runners-up for the award.

WITH THE Bakken oil boom, fossil fuel production on the nation's federal lands must have risen dramatically in recent years, right?

Not so fast. Actually, fossil fuel production on federal lands has declined considerably in the last decade, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The country got over 20 billion BTUs (British thermal units) of fossil fuels from federal lands in 2003, but that slipped to just under 16 billion BTUs last year -- or a quarter of the country's energy production. Thirty-six percent came from federal lands in 2003.

Interestingly, production rates for coal have remained pretty constant. The big production drops on federal lands have been seen for oil and natural gas. In short, the energy industry has been shifting its focus to private and state lands.

AS ONE of only two states in the country that doesn't ban texting while driving, Montana could prevent a lot of accidents and save a lot of lives with a prohibition. "It's a no-brainer," as state insurance commissioner Monica Lindeen says.

Or is it?

Perhaps surprisingly, studies by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show texting bans haven't really made the roads safer. "Unfortunately, we have found that there's no evidence that various kinds of cellphone restrictions have reduced crashes," said
institute official Russ Rader.

Calling it a "confusing conundrum," Rader notes that texting ban do appear to reduce the amount of texting and cellphone use by drivers, but that doesn't necessarily translate into fewer accidents. In nine out of ten cases, Rader said, vehicle mishaps are simply due to drivers making mistakes.

"There's no question that distracted driving is huge, but it was huge before we had cellphones," he said.

Toby Griego, 42, listens to testimony during his sentencing Friday in Yellowstone County court for a series of rapes. Saying he'd never seen a more dangerous criminal, Judge Russell Fagg sentenced Griego to 22 consecutive life sentences. (Billings Gazette)

Judge gives serial rapist in Billings 22 consecutive life sentences

Walsh backtracks, says PTSD had nothing to do with plagiarism

Adams and Bohlinger condemn Walsh's plagiarism

East Coast man forms 'Draft Schweitzer' committee

Body of Polson doctor who went missing while kayaking is found

Unclaimed remains of 7 veterans to be buried at Laurel

Bullock tours Montana's newest state park at Milltown

Auditor says court's ruling likely wouldn't affect Montanans

State starts auction of unclaimed safe-deposit box contents

Crews dismantle fuselages that spilled into Clark Fork River

Judge upholds state's 12-day 'sell-by' date rule for milk

Owner puts town of Luther up for sale

Stuntman leaps from Butte headframe to kick off Evel Knievel Days

Stevensville man accused of raping girls, impregnating 11-year-old

Montana Dems active in education stay mum on Walsh scandal

Remains found on Crow Reservation being sent to FBI lab

Army War College to investigate Walsh plagiarism allegations

Walsh: I won't drop out of race over plagiarism scandal

Polling expert 538: Scandal sinks Walsh chances to 'almost zero'

Walsh scandal shows key role partisan research has come to play

Bullock joins national Democrats in expressing support for Walsh

Report: Dems have time to find replacement, but Schweitzer off list

Roll Call downgrades Walsh chances of winning Senate race

NY Times: Sen. Walsh plagiarized much of master's degree paper

The Times details the many problems with the paper Walsh wrote

79% of text matches other sources; Prof would give paper an 'F'

Walsh says plagiarism unintentional, may be related to PTSD

3 Ravalli County men charged with baiting, killing trophy black bears

State says it has shortfall of 65 correctional officers at prison

Missoula-area fire burns close to 50 acres

Grizzly wanders through Kalispell's north side

Billings prosecutors seek 23 life sentences for 'sadistic' rape stalker

With few resources, officials try to map out future for state parks

State resolves contract problems with Xerox

Boy Scouts sued by boy who says he was molested by former leader

Man's body pulled from Clark's Fork River at Missoula

Supreme Court upholds firing of states former tourism director

Former Griz player faces charges after altercation at Darby event

Billings judge censured, suspended over handling of rape case

Federal agency investigates girl's injury at Gallatin County fair

Smith River-area mining project draws almost 1K comments

Court rules Helena attorney eligible to run for Supreme Court seat

Schedule for Butte's Evel Knievel Days Thursday - Saturday


North Dakota couple wants to move bobcat fur farm to Montana

Feds propose new rules aimed at reducing oil-train fires

Xanterra to build large garage for Glacier Park buses

Singer Wayne Newton and wife, Kat, open Lakeside boutique

Canadian firm makes offer for company that owns GTF gas utility

Bonner firm recycles shipping containers into inexpensive homes

Whitefish soccer fans develop new shin guard


Pre-draft pact sending Huestis to D-League for first year

Flathead's 'The Event' to attract horses, riders from around world

Helena Capital guard commits to Lady Griz

When MT stopped stocking trout in streams, its fisheries flourished

Grizzlies land running back from San Diego

MT's Huestis averages 8 points in NBA's summer league

Ex-Griz Will Cherry got his chance to shine in summer league


Ambition blinded Walsh to likelihood he'd get caught

Walsh should stop making excuses, admit his mistake, apologize

No, Ma'am, that is not a baby belly

Kudos to feds for cracking down on tribal corruption, other crimes

Wildlife official bravely fights tide on wolverine controversy

Long-term thinking dictates NorthWestern's purchase of PPL dams

Feds should send law-enforcement help to Bakken oil fields


Biologists keep close eye on changing conditions at Flathead Lake

A boy and his family

Montana man treasures 3-ton safe that guarded early MT gold

Yellowstone Park shifts focus to managing people, not grizzlies

Picture this: Montana ranch life may be hard, but it's worth seeing

How 4 weary miners discovered gold at what became Helena


State Fair gets underway in Great Falls Friday

Evel Knievel Days schedule of events Thursday through Saturday

Rendezvous gatherings give look back at MT's mountain man era

Lots of festivals, shows on tap for MT music fans this summer

Country star Tim McGraw plans Billings concert in July

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

Comedian Bob Newhart to visit Great Falls Nov. 13

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