Rain, cool temps help fire crews get Glacier Park fire under control

Cold front could bring record low temperatures, rain to parts of Montana

Kaboom! Fire crews use explosives to create wide fire line at Glacier fire

Glacier reopens St. Mary visitor center as fire danger abates

Townsend-area fire almost fully contained

Number of arrests at Evel Knievel Days drops by 20% this year

Flathead banker appointed to Board of Regents

Judge orders expedited review for energy lease for Glacier region

Missoula police investigate fatal shooting of man brought to hospital

Rangers in fire lookout towers being replaced by high-def cameras

3 set of fraternal twins born same day at Bozeman hospital

Huckleberry crop meager in Montana mountains, pickers say

Flathead County mulls reporting requirement for pawn shops

Bullock, others let doctor with problems keep doing infant autopsies

24 grandparents organize to protest state's parental decisions

'Hoarders' reality TV show films segment in Great Falls

After horse-riding business flops, Helena man files for governor

Fight over coal development pits 2 Indian tribes against each other

Cold front could help put a damper on Glacier Park fire

Glacier Park fire crews get reinforcements

Search on for Yellowstone Park worker from China missing in river

3 stuntmen set world records at Butte's Evel Knievel Days

300 firefighters work to corral Glacier Park wildfire in rugged terrain

As fire threat grows, tourists cancel trips to Glacier Park

Parents of teen who shot his friend call it a tragic accident

Family of German exchange student and shooter settle civil lawsuit

Media firm donates broadcast license, equipment to Montana PBS

Utility worker killed when power pole falls on him north of Helena

18-month-old girl hit and killed by van near Great Falls

Townsend-area fire almost two-thirds contained

Judge to hear arguments next month on legality of execution methods

Expert: Glacier fire could burn long time due to terrain, weather

Elite firefighting crew takes charge of Glacier Park wildfire

Panel wrestles with tough issues as closure of Boulder facility looms

Robbie Knievel takes plea deal to reduce felony DUI charge

Yellowstone visitor injured by bison while posing for selfie

Lawsuit challenging liquor price increase moves to federal court

Body of missing Yellowstone River kayaker found near Forsyth

Evel Knievel Days attracts thrill-seekers from far and near

Pine beetle making forests more susceptible to fire, researchers say

Evacuation order lifted for 40 homes near Townsend threatened by fire

Roosevelt County plagued by 5 train derailments in less than 2 years

Illegal campfire sparked Wild Horse Island wildfire



Stillwater Mining workers to reconsider contract they rejected in June

Debate over genetically modified food splits congressional delegation

New Missoula Brewing Co. bringing back Highlander Beer

Hill County hail storm caused $7.5 million in damages to crops

Drought affecting operations of Kerr Dam, levels of Flathead Lake

State's oil and gas revenue drops to lowest level in more than decade

PSC to sue CenturyLink for slow response time to problem phone lines



Martinez pays tribute to Great Falls as he's inducted into Hall of Fame

Pair of Missoula kayakers advance to world championships

How the Big Sky Conference football race could unfold

Coaches predict Bobcats will win Big Sky, Griz will garner 3rd

Baseball's long, storied history in Montana

5 Bobcats, 4 Grizzlies named to Big Sky's preseason football team


Smith River mine controversy: 'Nothing must happen to this place'

How'd Badger Two Medicine get special designation? Sorry, its redacted

Who cares about vandalism at Ten Commandments park?

Zinke plan is a sweetheart deal for coal companies

Don't waste time changing name of Helena's Confederate fountain

People adjudicated as 'dangerous' shouldn't be allowed guns



Stories link family to 'River Runs Through It' author Norman Maclean

Photographers document life in Montana's one-room schools

The bark of the stately ponderosa pine preserves and protects

Flathead's legendary George Ostrom

New book celebrates the dark night skies over Glacier Park

Chief Earl Old Person has served Blackfeet for over half a century

Short movie thriller based on James Burke story debuts


A compilation of this summer's concert activity across Montana

Dierks Bentley, Lee Brice perform at State Fair in late July

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blue Oyster Cult to play at Billings fair Aug. 8

Martina McBride coming to Billings Aug. 9

Pointer Sisters to headline Billings fundraiser Aug. 29

Miranda Lambert to perform in Billings Sept. 25

Rock superstar Elton John returns to Billings Oct. 7

Little Big Town coming to Missoula town Nov. 12


Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com


MONTANA'S travel-promotion officials have to be happy about the state's latest celebrity endorsement. 

Gwen Stefani, the singer, co-founder of the rock group No Doubt, and one of the hosts/coaches of NBC's popular reality show, "The Voice," posted this message on Instagram while recently vacationing in Big Sky Country: "Wow #Montana u r so beautiful #favoritevacaever#neverwanttogohome."

Stefani also posted photos of herself and her 16-month-old son, Apollo, on a Montana mountainside, as well as photos of herself dwarfed by evergreen trees and on a horseback ride.

Her fans were impressed, and hundreds posted responses. "Yay for big sky country!" said one. "Im going in 3 wks." 


AN IN-DEPTH story by the Missoulian's Keila Szpaller says that Gov. Steve Bullock, when he was attorney general, didn't enforce a mandate to keep a forensic pathologist with a troubled track record from conducting infant autopsies. Nor did the previous three attorneys general who, like Bullock, are (or were) Democrats.

The forensic pathologist was Dr. Thomas Bennett, who had problems with infant autopsies before even coming to Montana, according to records.

While the story describes in great detail the state's long history of problems with Bennett's work, it doesn't provide many clues as to why they festered for so long, partly because those involved didn't want to say much. 

Spaller's story did note that a recent guest column in the Missoulian alleges that political alliances protected Bennett. In 2008, Bennett divorced Melodee Hanes, and in 2011, Hanes married former U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, who now serves as the U.S. ambassador to China, (Oddly, the Helena Independent Record deleted that portion from the printed long version of Spaller's story it ran in its Sunday paper.)

Back on July 14, a conservative web site called Mediatrackers reported that Bennett had donated thousands of dollars to Montana Democratic candidates since 2001. The site also said that Bennett had referred to McGrath as a 'friend' in a deposition he'd done for a lawsuit over an autopsy he'd done on a child.

 ​MONTANA is on pretty solid financial footing. In fact, it ranks 10th among all the state in terms of their fiscal conditions, according to a new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The rankings were for fiscal 2013, the most recent year for which data was available.

The states in the best financial shape tended to be located near Montana. North Dakota is No. 2, South Dakota No. 3. Nebraska No. 4 and Wyoming No. 6.. At the top is Alaska.

The states in the worst shape were mostly in the Northeast, places like Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. But hurting the most: Illinois. 

One of the common burdens for those states, said the report, is a commitment to pay out huge sums in public-employee benefits.

Montana got its best marks in the category of long-term solvency, which asks the questions: Can the state meet its long-term spending commitments? Will there be enough money to cushion it from economic shocks or other long-term fiscal risks? 

MONTANA has moved up from 33rd to 28th in CNBC's much-watched ranking of the best states in which to do business.

The state got its best ratings in the categories of infrastructure (tied for 12th), quality of life (tied for 13th), and economy (tied for 16th). Its worst mark -- No. 48 -- was in the workforce category.

"Big Sky Country offers pristine quality of life and a strong infrastructure," said CNBC. "But its workforce is among the least productive."

The study measured the 50 states on more than 60 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness including low business costs, technology and innovation, and education. You can visit this page to see all the measures and how they were weighted.

Minnesota finished first in the rankings, with Texas, Utah and Colorado closed behind. North Dakota was No. 6. Hawaii, interestingly, was last.

HAVE you heard about the national controversy erupting over the white Washington state woman who's been claiming she's black? Rachel Dolezal also happens to be the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP and she teaches African American studies at Eastern Washington University.

And, oh yeah, Dolezal originally is from Montana's Lincoln County. In fact, the whole controversy blew up when her parents, Ruthanne and Larry (he's a former Lincoln County commissioner) blew the whistle on her subterfuge. They say they are Rachel's biological parents, though they did adopt four African-American children.

"She has not explained to us why she has disguised herself and been deceptive about her ethnicity, so we can't explain to you," Ruthanne told ABC News.

One of Rachel's adopted brothers, Ezra, also has accused her of giving African Americans a "slap in the face" by claiming to be black. 

For her part, Rachel has responded to questions by saying: "We're all from the African continent."

UPDATE: Rachel Dolezal has called off her Monday meeting with NAACP chapter members, upsetting some who want to see the issue resolved. Meanwhile, she's staying mum about what she'll do next.

UPDATE II: Rachel Dolezal announces she's stepping down as NAACP chapter president. Is her job at EWU in jeopardy?

UPDATE III: Dolezal, who said Tuesday on NBC's 'Today' show that 'I identify as black," has been released by Eastern Washington. 


​​​​A daily digest of Montana news

July 30, 2015