Barrick Gold Corp. is in the process of closing the Golden Sunlight Mine near Whitehall (shown here) but it has announced plans to seek a permit to open a new gold mine less than a mile away in 2019. (Montana Standard)


MANY LIBERALS enjoy goading conservatives by arguing that they think more with their emotions than with their intellect. It is not unusual to see them claim, as British left-wing journalist George Monbiot did a few years ago that "the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own."

​But now University of Montana researchers are saying, essentially, that's not so. In a study just published in "Political Psychology," the researchers acknowledge that some prior research has indicated that liberals are more complex in their thinking than conservatives. "However, it may be that liberals are not more complex in general, but rather only more complex on certain topic domains (while conservatives are more complex in other domains)," the UM researchers said.

The UM research was based on surveys of 2,500 participants. One part of the study determined that, when it comes to environmental issues, liberals have a pronounced tendency to use very simplistic arguments and refuse to grant legitimacy to any opposing viewpoints. They “think less” about the environment and act emotionally, the researchers said.

Now there's something to chew over with family members around the Thanksgiving table.

​Or not, if you like peaceful holidays.

SINGER/SONGWRITER James Taylor has been around since guitars were invented, it seems, but he's never had a No. 1 album, believe it or not. He didn't that is, until releasing "Before the World" this year. One of the songs on the album that's drawing the most attention is "Montana." You can hear and see his performance of the song on the Late Show with Steven Colbert here.

Taylor said in an interview that he wrote the song while staying at a friend's cabin near Big Sky when there was "like twelve feet of snow outside." He added:

"After a couple of days, I started writing about the place I was in. It’s a song about longing for a simpler existence; the tug between wanderlust and wanting to be on the road and in the world, and at the same time, the appeal of being at home and staying in one place. Once the song started to appear and manifest, it was quickly clear that it was going to be about where I was in Montana. It’s a song that’s kind of rooted in the landscape, if it was a painting it would be a landscape painting."

THINK it doesn't cost much to raise a child in Montana? Think again.

​At least, that's the claim made by a ​​​​​financial website, GOBankingRates.com, which says Montana ranks 4th in the country when it comes to the cost of raising a child. The only states with higher costs are Hawaii, New York and New Mexico.

The study takes a look at such costs as food, housing and day care in each state. So why does Montana rate so high when those costs are sometimes lower here than they are in other parts of the country? The reason is that the study also took into account median family income. Montana, it said, has the USA's 9th lowest average annual income: $43,924.

"Yet the state's costs are closer to the middle of the pack than the low end, meaning Montana families are often paying more for food and housing than they can afford," the study said. "Child care rates are also well above average, costing families $8,858 a year for an infant and $7,805 for a 4-year-old. With no parental leave policies helping parents out, Montana's low incomes and higher costs cause it to rank No. 4 among the most expensive places to raise a family in the U.S."


A MSU student and hockey player who had a role in the 2004 movie "Miracle" died in a one-car crash Sunday south of Ennis.

Joe Cure, 32, died of head injuries when the car he was driving lost control and rolled several times. The passenger who was with him, fellow MSU student Hannah Wolf, 21, is in critical condition at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, where she also works.

Cure played hockey as a youth growing up in Minnesota, and it helped him land the role in "Miracle," the movie about Team USA's unlikely win over the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics. After his actor career ended, Cure came to MSU as a graduate student in neuroscience.


FOR MANY Montanans, the state is synonymous with the number "406." And now it's going to stay that way for a little while longer.

406, of course, is the phone area code for the entire state. Montana is one of only a dozen states that has just one area code. 

The Federal Communications Commission has projecting that, because the state has been getting so many additional phones, it would need two new area codes by 2019. 

But Montana's Public Service Commission says it has taken steps to delay the "exhaustion forecast," allowing the state to put off getting new area codes until 2022. Good news for those of us who have trouble keeping straight the phone numbers we now need to remember.




Study: Montana's drivers worst in the country

Billings obstetrician calls it a career after delivering over 5,000 babies

Feds say Bozeman-based timeshare project is illegal tax scheme

Canadian refugee plan revives concern over porous MT-Canada border

As Golden Sunlight Mine closes, owners hope to open new mine nearby

BNSF worker quits after 18 years; says fatigue makes too many dangers

MT native who became ambassador to Russia to be honored by MSU

This turkey day, Montana has no shortage of the wild kind

Search for missing Deer Lodge woman and her son enters 4th week

In records request, Krakauer argues Ex-Griz QB has lost privacy rights

Tongue River Railroad wants to suspend plans due to soft coal market

College enrollments declining across Montana

Report that sees grim future for Colstrip plants is hotly debated

Study: State parks need a lot more staffing

2 state prison inmates die after long illnesses

Snow, ice causes dozens of crashes, slow travel across Montana

Heavy snow forces closure of US 93 north of Missoula

Winter storm helps Montana ski areas build good base

Storm hammers Montana, but snow should taper off Wednesday

Man accused of attacking wife w/ antlers for not taking him to strip club

Faculty presses UM president over proposed budget cuts

Motorist admits drinking, smoking dope before striking pedestrian

Costco pulls chicken salad from shelves after 6 Montanans get sick

2nd lawsuit filed over Montanan who died while inspecting oil field tanks

Motl releases new campaign-finance reform rules

55 GOP legislators urge Bullock to block Syrian refugees coming to MT

Montana State fires football coach Rob Ash

Prosecutors seek time to mull death penalty decision in murder case

Political practices commissioner dismisses claim against his office

Judge tells Billings tobacco shop to stop letting customers roll their own

Interior Department wants to cancel Badger-Two Medicine leases

National group says MT still has ways to go to reform civil forfeiture laws

Flathead woman convicted of killing 2 people released on parole

Weather Service warns arctic storm bringing snow, cold air to Montana

4 media groups file friend-of-court briefs in case of former Griz QB

Ballot measures target coal, encourage use of renewable energy

Search on for man who pointed laser at deputy, then fled at high speed

Pace of gay marriages in Montana slows

Just what is impact of litigation on timber sales in the national forests?

Grizzlies snare spot in playoffs with 54-35 victory over rival Bobcats

As UM enrollments fall, it struggles with role of liberal arts

Out in the Bakken, they're calling it a 'slowdown,' not a 'bust'

State aims to boost timber harvests on private, federal lands

3 arrested in Lewistown after half-day standoff with police

Regents OK $500K incentive for MSU prez, $15M for new dining hall

MSU students warm up for Cat-Griz game with annual Undie Run

Libby cleanup nears end, but some asbestos will remain

Governor frees Barry Beach after 3 decades in prison for 1979 murder

Online survey shows strong support for Beach clemency

Yellowstone County hotel owners resist turning over registers to city

New Republican Party director to start Dec. 1

Billings man convicted of shooting another man during fight


Despite weak market, Montanore Mine developers moving ahead

On Montana's real-estate market, ranchettes are in big demand

Australian firm buys controlling interest in proposed MT copper mine

Livestock Board wants to raise fees on producers, processors

Feds deny new hearing on transfer of dam to Flathead tribes

Historic Gallatin Gateway Inn becoming housing for Big Sky workers




Fans will have to brave temperatures near 20 as they cheer on Griz

Lady Cats clobber Evansville 81-55

Sidney wrestler who won state title last season passes away

To win, Grizzlies must corral South Dakota State WR Wieneke

Flathead High grad plays for Grey Cup as Edmonton's starting QB

2 teams that started season with upset wins - UM & SDSU - face off

In South Dakota State, Griz face toughest defensive test of year



WaPo blogger pans MT Standard plans to change screen name policy

State should find more ways to get more money from tourists' pockets

Legislative poll is attempt to postpone inevitable and mislead voters

Montana Standard to start using actual names of commenters

Obama blew it with decision on Keystone pipeline

Cancel the oil and gas leases in the Badger/Two Medicine area

Wild winter driving video helps promote safety on Montana roads



On the Montana map: Can you name these towns?

Ekalaka Country isn't well know, but it has an allure all its own

CNN's Anthony Bourdain focuses his 'Parts Unknown' cameras on MT

Harmless Hunter: The wildlife art of Montana's CM Russell 

Helena man's sideburns so cool they win gold medal in competition

Montana sports fans can't get enough of their Cat trappings, Griz gear

Ingenuity of refinery man, based in Billings, took him around globe




Carrie Underwood to perform in Billings May 12


Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com

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

Dec. 1, 2015