A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Jesus statue atop Big Mountain at Whitefish can remain where it is. Atheists had asked that the 6-foot-tall statue be removed from Forest Service land. (Daily Inter Lake)



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

Proposed ballot measure would let teachers carry weapons

Billings woman who had nude photo of son's rape victim makes plea

Deputy attorney general withdraws from closed primary case

Missoula police investigating report of rape of UM student

State, environmental groups agree on plan to protect grizzlies 

Judge may expand waterway order to other states

Fire near Holter Lake forces evacuation of homes, campgrounds

Essex residents given green light to return to their homes

Heart Butte-area fire blows up to 50K acres; more evacuations ordered

Officials hope improving weather helps them corral fire west of Missoula

Lincoln County sheriff lifts evacuation orders for Libby area

Wildfire west of Missoula explodes to almost 12,000 acres

Miles City man face 6 felony counts of defrauding investors

Yellowstone guests ask park to train bears so visitors can get better look

UM upsets No. 1 North Dakota St with last second TD, 38-35

Montana's 2015 fire season: One for the history books

Is Montana experiencing a drought? Depends on where you are

Fire burns 5 Forest Service buildings in western Montana

Air quality reaches 'hazardous' level in several Montana communities

Libby-area residents forced to evacuate due to fast-approaching fire



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

Developers propose high-end treehouse resort near Whitefish

Libby residents see proposed mine as 'last chance' for economy



UM issues apology for fan who confronts NDSU player on field

UM fan scuffles with North Dakota State player after game wraps up

In 1st game as Griz coach, Stitt makes bold opening statement

Bad news for the rest of the Big Sky: The Grizzlies are back

QB Gustafson has quite the debut in UM's upset over defending champs

3 Bobcats suspended for season opener against Fort Lewis Thursday


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

Obama's Clean Power Plan good for Montana's economy

Clean Power Plan costs a lot, and accomplishes nothing but symbolism


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

Self-made miner Thomas Cruse, and the cathedral he helped build

'Being Evel': Documentary takes long, full look at Knievel's life

John Ryan isn't well known, but he played major role in shaping MT


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


Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com


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.”


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

Sept. 2, 2015