A daily digest of Montana news

Aug. 28, 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


BELIEVE it or not, you get a bigger bang for your buck in Montana. At least, a Tax Foundation report indicates that consumers in Montana get more for their money than consumers in most other states.

According to the study, in Montana $100 will buy what would cost $106.16 in another state that is closer to the national average. Buzz isn't an economist, but this appears to mean that Montanans get a 6 percent break on goods and services.

Parts of the country where $100 is worth the least are the District of Columbia, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, and California. Places where money goes the farthest: Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Alabama, and South Dakota.

The report notes that there is often a correlation between regions with high incomes and high prices.

SO WHO is the richest person in Montana? You won't be surprised to learn it is Dennis Washington, the Missoula magnate who owns Montana Rail Link and Butte's big operating copper mine, among other things.

Washington's status has been confirmed by the real-estate broker web site Movoto.com.

Washington is worth $6.1 billion, according to Movoto. Unlike many on Movoto's list, he didn't inherit his wealth, but built it with his own smarts and hard work. With the help of a $30,000 loan and a bulldozer, he started a Missoula-area contracting firm that became the state's largest construction firm.

He now owns a large group of privately held firms that fall under the umbrella of the Washington Companies, as well as a group of Canada-based companies known as the Seaspan Marine Corp. In more recent years, he's been known for building elaborate yachts and for his philanthropy, which includes much of the work on UM's Washington-Grizzly Stadium, named after him.

The country's richest person, by the way, lives nearby in Washington state. It is Bill Gates, worth a cool $80 billion. 

ARE YOU as baffled as Buzz is when you stand in front of a beer cooler at the grocery store, pondering the vast array of Montana-made craft beers? Unless you're an expert or connoisseur in the stuff, it can make for a mind-numbing decision. 

Well, the Missoula Independent is here to help. It has assembled an admittedly subjective, but thorough, list of the state's 50 best craft brews. The alternative weekly considered such factors as distribution, reputation and awards won locally, nationally and internationally in picking the best of the best.

The editors said: "This list may stir controversy, but we're hoping it also sparks conversation and prods drinkers to sample pints they've not yet tried."

So what beers earned the top spots? No. 1 was Double Haul IPA from Kettlehouse Brewing in Missoula, while No. 2 was Blackfoot Brewing Co.'s Blackfoot IPA out of Helena. No. 3 was Cold Smoke Scotch Ale, also from Kettlehouse, No. 4 was Whitetail Wheat Ale out of Billings' Montana Brewing Co., and No. 5, Moose Drool Brown Ale by Big Sky Brewing of Missoula.

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."  

A microburst did heavy damage in Ekalaka Thursday night, including flipping over this airplane at the airport. Winds reached speeds 76 mph, and hail pelted the area. (Christopher Kuntz / KTVQ)

Although it is still summer, winter comes early to the MT Rockies

Major storm gives Montana a good dose of rain, cold

Missoula man trapped upside down in crashed car for 16 hours

Judge blocks plan that would lead to more logging on state trust land

Microburst mauls Ekalaka with hail, high winds, downpour

House speaker Boehner visits Montana to stump for Zinke

AG Fox to appeal judge's ruling on voter-approved immigration law

Highway flagger hurt after being struck by truck near Roundup

Flood watch issued for western MT as up to 2" of rain forecast

7 western Montana men charged with sexual abuse of children

Missoula County drops charges against man in pipe-bomb case

Kalispell woman denies pulling a rifle on repo men

Large crowd of mourners honors slain Cascade County deputy

Suspect in deputy's death charge with deliberate homicide

Box Elder woman gets 13 year for role in death of toddler

BNSF cleans up pollution on Havre's north side

Butte teacher fired for pregnancy sues Catholic schools

Megaload arrives in Kalispell en route to Great Falls refinery

State's wheat harvest comes in late, but still high in protein

BNSF close to moving last of 2013 grain harvest to market

Former Billings teacher faces porn, sexual-exploitation charges

Funeral Thursday for Cascade Co deputy when car hit in crash

Questions raised about firm proposing refineries in eastern MT

Daines getting a third of his campaign cash from Montanans

Yellowstone Co deputy placed on leave in wake of S.D. arrest 

Bounty offered for assets of founder of Yellowstone Club

2 arrests made in connection with Missoula pipe bomb

Battle over Flathead tribes' acquisition of Kerr Dam heats up

Man gets 100 years in prison for stabbing 2 Billings sisters to death

GTF man charged with stabbing dad in eye w broken broom handle

Neighbors upset after pipe bomb discovered at Missoula home

Supreme Court rejects Billings breeder's appeal of cruelty conviction

Board rejects parole for woman convicted of double homicide

Curtis calls Daines a 'champion of millionaires'

Daines says Curtis candidacy won't change the way he campaigns

Stillwater Co sheriff probes allegation that treasurer made threats

Sen. Reid declares Dems 'doing really well' in MT Senate contest

Feds won't give special protections to Arctic grayling

Man charged after passing out in hot pickup with infant inside

Man arrested after he complains about not getting sex at strip club

Visitor injured by horse on Flathead Lake's Wild Horse Island

Glacier Park officials discourage use of firearms

State raising health-care premiums for its employees, retirees


Carbon County landowners seek protections from oil-gas impacts

Oregon rejects plan for coal-export facility on Columbia River

Yellowstone Co officials take a liking to proposed micro-refinery

Bullock traveling state to promote economic development plan

Environmental groups sue to stop expansion of Spring Creek mine

Judge to let commission resolve mining claim dispute


Grizzlies lose starting offensive lineman for academic reasons

Ex-Griz Chase Reynolds feels more comfortable in role with Rams

MSU fieldhouse gets improved seating, new track in $3.2M upgrade

NFL vet Lex Hilliard named assistant coach at Flathead High

SI's Peter King impressed by former Griz Brock Coyle

Prukop named Bobcats' starting quarterback

Lakeside sailor takes world landsailing title


With Curtis, Democrats ditch pragmatism, go for gun-control activist

Democrats need rising star who can be competitive in Senate race

Don't let tourists use drones in Yellowstone Park

State's initiative process needs to  be tweaked

Walsh made the right move in stepping aside


Learning more about the life of Glacier Park's mountain goats

Castle Mountains provide striking views, great outdoor adventures

Livingston author foresees grim future for planet

Where's world's perfect log cabin? Nestled in the Crazy Mountains

Wreckage from '64 plane crash still scattered on peak near Geyser

Hutterites have become force in Montana's agricultural economy


Stars to shine at Bigfork guitar workshop and festival this weekend

Air Force's Thunderbirds plan air show Aug. 30-31 in Flathead

Phillip Phillips to perform at UM Oct. 23

Comedian Bob Newhart to visit Great Falls Nov. 13

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