A daily digest of Montana news
April 21, 2015
MONTANANS love their rock 'n roll. So much so that they listen to more of it -- on a per capita basis -- than anyone else in the country. How do we know?
The online music service Pandora reports that Montanans listen to more rock, compared to other genres of music, than residents of any other state. Montana members listened to rock 19 percent of the time, followed closely by Colorado at 18 percent. Next up: Arkansas and Oregon at 15 percent, then Wyoming at 12 percent.
MONTANA has some great bars. Most of them are cowboy saloons, unpretentious places where you can relax with friends, sharing drinks and stories while chewing on a delicious burger and fries.
But what is the state's most iconic bar? According to the website Thrillist, it is the Sip-N-Dip in Great Falls, tucked away in the O'Haire Motor Inn. It certainly doesn't fit the stereotype for a typical Montana bar.
The Sip-N-Dip, says Thrillist, is "an old-school tiki bar that serves up fruity cocktails that are in direct contrast with the state's unofficial order of 'whiskey and a side of solidarity.' Were that its only defining trait, the Sip 'n Dip would be a rarity. But it's their mermaids that make it an icon. That's right: in a state that defines landlocked, the servers (and, once, Daryl Hannah) dress as mermaids and swim around in a pool behind the bar, peeping in through a glass window. Throw in the soothing sounds of Piano Pat Spoonheim and you don't just have an icon. You've got a national treasure."
Thrillist picked the most iconic bars in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Its rules: The bars had to be famous, had to be around since at least 1990, and they still had to be popular.
NO SURPRISE here: Montana's most liberal town is Missoula.
How about the most conservative? It's Hammond. Huh? Where's that?
Hammond is about as far from Missoula as you can get, both physically and politically, in southeastern Montana. It only has about 150 residents.
So who decided that Missoula and Hammond were the most liberal and conservative places in Montana? Business Insider came up with those designations based on data it got from political analytics company Clarity Campaign Labs. It also found the most liberal and conservative communities in the other 49 states.
WHO makes the best pizza in Montana? Eugene's of Glasgow, according to an online survey conducted by the website Montana Mint. More than 10,000 votes were cast in a March Madness -style playoff bracket.
The top vote getters had a distinctly Hi-Line flavor to them, with Eugene's winning 48 percent of the vote in the last round and Nalivka's of Havre taking 34 percent. Others that made the final round were Howard's of Great Falls (11 percent) and Me Too Pizza of Culbertson (4 percent).
AS MONTANANS, it often seems as if we have to drive long distances to go where we want to go. After all, we're the fourth largest state, with just over 147,000 square miles.
But ironically, we have some of the shortest commutes to work. Montanans have the fourth shortest travel times to work, with a mean travel time of 18 minutes, according to the American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau.
Our neighbors in South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota have the nation's fastest commute times at 17, 17.5, and 17.9 minutes, respectively. The longest commutes are in Maryland, where it takes 32.5 minutes to get to work.
"AN ARMY marches on its stomach," Napoleon Bonaparte once declared.
So does a Legislature, it appears. And the nice thing for the legislators, and the folks who work around them, is that much of the food is free.
If you want to get in on the action -- or you just want to read a glib account of who is providing the latest free snacks at the Capitol -- you can look up the Twitter account called "MT Capitol Free Food."
One recent tweet noted that advocates for a new Historical Society museum had set up a spread in the Rotunda and, as they were 'looking for a $40M building--you gotta think the free food will be nothing less than historic."
Another noted that the Montana Trappers Association was hosting a free lunch. "No word if beaver mink or gopher on menu," quipped Free Food.
MONTANA'S long been home to a lot of celebrities. And it looks as though it may soon make room for two more. Or rather, make that three.
Actor and singer Justin Timberlake and his wife, Jessica Biel, who is expecting a baby later this month or in early April, are said to be planning to move into a vacation home they own at the Yellowstone Club at Big Sky.
The couple reportedly wants to spend more time in Montana so their child can "experience as much mountain life as possible."
A helicopter takes part in the search for an 8-year-girl who fell into the river near Headwaters State Park near Three Forks Sunday evening. The search, which resumed this morning, is now being called a recovery effort. (KBZK)
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