Missoula woman faces prison time after hate-crime conviction

EPA approves cleanup plan for asbestos-contaminated Libby

Missoula's Champ Edmunds ends campaign for auditor

State will let MT juniors take ACT instead of Smarter Balanced exams

Billings bicyclist, 39, struck by pickup dies of injuries

Will Montana ever adopt a statewide sales tax? Not very likely

State officials concerned about illegal dig at Fort Ellis historic site

Montana's federal bankruptcy judge to retire in a year

Bogus bomb threats cause a lot of frustration in Butte

Missoula veteran wins 3-year battle with VA over disability rating

5 retired faculty members still on the UM playroll

MT railroads aren't panicking over nationwide freight-hauling recession

State's geothermal heating tax credit has mostly benefited the wealthy 

Democrats focus on infrastructure issue as they caucus

Washington legislative panel endorses closure of Colstrip plants

Glacier County helps keep the lights on at Browning city hall

Marijuana debate heats up as ballot measures advance

Ex-administrator charged with stealing $20K from state w/ fake claims

Washington state: Cleanup of Colstrip units will cost up to $200 million

State's economic outlook promising, but skips forecast for reservations

Analyst: Democrats call Gianforte an outsider as a 'dog-whistle' tactic

MSU student dies while skiing in backcountry south of Bozeman

Snowpacks below normal in some MT basins, normal in others

Judge rejects bid to stop Yellowstone bison slaughter

Officials develop plan for fighting forest fire around old vermiculite mine

Zinke raised $2.7M last year, while Juneau collected $264K in 2 months

Skeletal remains found near Cascade are at least 240 years old

MT Rail Link train, mostly with empty cars, runs off rails near Helena

Livestock Board plans to change its plan for milk-inspection fee

Former PSC commissioner Gail Gutsche to run for old seat

Mom suing medical providers admits not reading medical brochures

Zinke, Hunter introduce bill requiring women to register for draft

Air ambulance firms, insurers blame each other for high costs at hearing

Helena judge recuses herself from Wittich/Motl case

GOP Sen. Rosendale enters race for auditor

Democrat Jesse Laslovich files for state auditor

Judge hears suit against Revenue Department over liquor-sales system

Bozeman wildlife firm fights revocation of state license

MT ice cream maker may get milk from Idaho due to higher fees

Lake, Koopman seeking re-election to their PSC seats

Former US Sen. John Walsh gets job with federal agency in MT

Environmentalists trash Gianforte idea that industry leader run DEQ

Former Big Timber school worker to admit having sex with student, 15

Butte officials to step up security at courthouse during murder trial

Kalispell man who killed Somers teacher in crash sent back to prison

Feds want settlement with green group in coal mining lawsuit

UM president says he'll give his pay raise to a student

Backers of crime-victims initiative say they expect to be on fall ballot 

Hamilton research lab focuses on Zika virus research

Head of Bozeman civil contracting firm donating $6 million to MSU

Child abuse and neglect cases swamp Montana's courts


MDU seeks 21% electric rate hike for eastern Montana customers

Arcadia Power pitches wind energy to Montanans; is it worth it?

MSU Hall of Famer Nico Harrison becomes top executive at Nike

Flathead Valley sees a building boom last year

Las Vegas firm buys Montana slot machine route operator

Administration slaps 3-year moratorium on new federal coal leases

Great Falls airport to get direct United Airlines flight to Chicago

Fewer Canadians venture south of the border as loonie falls

Union workers ratify 4-year contract with Stillwater Mine


Whitefish resident Eddie DeBartolo named to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Breunig leads Griz to comeback win over Portland State, 82-80

Bobcats hold off Sacramento State 79-76

Lady Cats set scoring record as they roll past Sac State 116-99

Lady Griz pound Portland State 76-57

Experience: 6th Super Bowl for MT native, Bronco coach Rick Dennison

Kalispell's Osweiler hoping to snag a Super Bowl ring

Columbus abuzz with support for Super Bowl-bound Dwan Edwards


Decision to release booking photos is victory for public information

Fight efforts to transfer federal lands to state management

Political practices commissioner is doing his job well

Motl unfairly targeting ideological opponents

PSC should devote more attention to railroad safety

Whitefish experience shows resort tax can benefit a community

PSC must keep a close eye on utility rates

State can't let quality of emergency medical services in rural areas slip



Recalling a 1956 midair collision over the Helena Valley that killed 3

Who was mountain man Jim Bridger? The legend, and the man

The Michael Punke book that inspired 'The Revenant' is well-researched

Smith brothers wrap up production on MT-based survival thriller

State's first aviators died young

MT actress wins glowing reviews for role in film premiering at Sundance



NPR's Garrison Keillor coming to UM March 1

Carrie Underwood to perform in Billings May 12

Ziggy Marley to headline Billings Magic City Blues Festival in August


Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com

Rail traffic is dropping off in the Missoula rail yard, shown here, and in rail raids across Montana and in other parts of the country as economic activity slows. Montana Rail Link have cut back on capital expenditures and reduced their work force in the face of a nationwide freight recession. (Missoulian)


LATE-NIGHT talk show host Jimmy Kimmel got hooked on fly-fishing a decade ago after rocker Huey Lewis invited him to fling flies into the Bitterroot River near Lewis's Hamilton-area home. Kimmel "instantly" fell in love with the sport.

In fact, his wife, Molly McNearney, says Kimmel has developed an obsession. “Every time we’ve ever gone past any body of water, he’s like a dog with his nose out the window,” she says. “He looks at the water to see how it’s moving, and he’ll say, ‘I wonder if there’s any fish in there.’ He’s always looking at water that way. No matter where we are, he would rather be in a river. He always wishes that he was fishing. He’ll be there mentally sometimes, where we’ll be talking and his arm will just go up, and he’ll be doing the casting motion and he won’t even realize that he’s doing it.”

Kimmel's love for the sport is so strong that it recently brought him back to Montana in the dead of winter to fish the frigid waters of the Gallatin River.

“I live a highly electronic life, with e-mails and scripts to edit and questions to answer and videos to watch, so it’s nice to get out on the river,” he told the Robb Robert. “Fly-fishing is meditative. You’re focused on this little fly or indicator, and everything else just washes by you, and the day goes by in a snap. I love rivers. I don’t know why. I grew up in Brooklyn and Las Vegas, so there’s no reason for me to. But I love the idea of them and being on them and floating and wading in them. When I’m fishing, I’m able to think about nothing but fishing, which is very rare for me. I always have a million things in my head.”

IN A recent story that noted how critics had raised questions about whether University of Montana administrators had showed favoritism by hiring so many Mormons to high-profile positions, the Missoulian made the eye-opening assertion that the Mormon church planned to buy Utah State University.

The Missoulian's story began by quoting critics who claimed that, since Perry Brown, a Mormon Church leader, was hired as UM's provost in 2010, several other top UM slots had gone to Mormons or fellow Utah State University graduates.

​In providing background, the original version of the story noted that Mormons are 2 percent of the nation's population and up to 5 percent in Montana. The paper added: "In Utah, 60 percent of the population is Mormon, and the LDS church announced in 2013 it planned to buy Utah State University."

It is unclear where the Missoulian got its information, but it may have come from this internet April Fool's Day joke.

The Missoulian has since scrubbed the line about the LDS church buying USU from its story, but the correction probably won't satisfy many. The updated version of its story simply says there was an error in the original version: "Utah State University is a public institution."​

In a comment at the end of the story, Kevin McRae, chief human resource officer for the Montana University System, said he'd asked Missoulian editors to explain the source for their report that the LDS church was buying USU, and evidence to back the Missoulian's "proposition that faculty or staff or professional or administrative employees in the Montana University System might be employed on the basis of religion." 

Likewise, UM President Royce Engstrom accused the Missoulian of "irresponsible journalism" in a letter to the editor. He added that he was asking his attorney to see if there was any legal action UM could take against the paper, but added "I doubt that there is..."

Stay tuned. 

THERE are millionaires among us. Many of them, it seems.

More specifically, Montana has 20,899 households with over $1 million in investable assets, according to New York marketing research firm Phoenix Research International. 

That number is 2,005 households higher than the previous year -- putting Montana at 33rd in the national rankings, and six spots higher than it was in 2014.

That was the largest leap of any state. It also puts almost 5 percent of Montana's households in the "millionaire" category.

So what accounts for Montana's growth in wealth? Representatives of the firm cite the state's favorable tax climate for entrepreneurs. They also point to our growing workforce, low unemployment rates and rising wages. 

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

Feb. 12, 2016