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

Oct. 22, 2017


Crow tribal member Clayvin Herrera has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court a jury's verdict that he illegaly shot an elk out of season in Wyoming in 2014. Herrera argues that he had the right to shoot the elk under Indian treaty rights. (Billings Gazette)



THE POLICE blotter reports in Montana newspapers offer some of the most amusing -- and perhaps insightful -- commentaries on human nature.

Take this recent item in the Flathead Beacon: "A Canadian called the sheriff’s office and asked, 'What the heck is going on down there?' It’s unclear if anyone had an answer to that question."​​


BUTTE native Rob O'Neil, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, recently enjoyed dinner at the White House with his new bride, Jessica.

After the dinner, O'Neil lauded Trump as a "great host." As a conservative and a commentator on Fox News, O'Neil was a backer of Trump. But he's also spoken positively of former President Barack Obama.

O'Neil, 41, was married this past summer to Jessica Halprin, 27. Among the guests were his friend, Kid Rock, the Michigan rock 'n roller and potential Senate candidate. 

O'Neil met Halprin, who works in public relations, in 2015 while on a speaking tour. "I had to ask who he was," Halprin said of her now husband. As time went on, Halprin learned there was a lot more to O'Neil than the military operation he was most famous for, according to the Daily Mail.

AFTER he finished his term as governor and led President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign, former Gov. Marc Racicot dropped out of sight for years. Even close friends were left wondering what had happened to the once-popular politician.

But now Racicot, who lives on Swan Lake, is stepping back into the public eye with a speech at Flathead Lake Community College Monday evening on "The Meaning of Leadership." His primary focus will be on the late Senate Majority Leader and Ambassador Mike Mansfield of Montana.

Racicot told the Flathead Beacon he was stepping back into the limelight because he was impressed by the growth of FVCC and because he always admired Mansfield, with whom he had a chance to spend quite a bit of time. 

"He was courageous," Racicot said of Mansfield. "Because of the way he led with such humility and a quiet thoughtful touch with those he served with, he was able to accomplish extraordinary things. But he never would take credit for it. That was probably one of the secrets to his success."

Racicot, who also chaired the Republican National Committee in 2002 and 2003, also decried the current political climate, which he described as a "an all-or-nothing mentality frequently and maybe always." Yet he said he remains hopeful as Americans are resilient and are people of good faith.

Asked if he ever feels the urge to re-enter public public service, Racicot acknowledged that he did. "But I’ve never gotten past that question. I haven’t thought about seriously being a candidate for a long time. But every once in awhile, I surely do."

HOPE TO be the lucky motorist who snags a personalized Montana license plate with President Donald Trump's mystery word: "covfefe?"

Sorry, but you won't be able to get it. Nor will any other Montana motorist, according to Phil Drake of the Great Falls Tribune.

Drake says the Montana Motor Vehicle Division has decided that the word isn't appropriate for a state license plate. Go to the link above for an explanation why. After Trump tweeted "covfefe" -- he apparently meant to say press coverage -- motorists in at least 21 states attempted to see if they could get it on their license plates. 

SURPRIZE....err... suprise ... err ... Many Montanans aren't sure how to spell surprise.

​Google Trends has produced a study of the words that Americans have the most trouble spelling in each state. It can do this by looking at searches folks do in each state that start with "how to spell..."

And in Montana, believe it or not, that word is surprise. In the United States as a whole, "beautiful" is the word misspelled most often. If you want to see a map showing the top words people have trouble spelling in each state, you can go here.




Crow tribal member appeals illegal hunting conviction to Supreme Court

Feds give MT health-care providers green light to seek rate hikes

Poachers shoot at least 8 deer in McCone County

Gianforte raises $252K, while Democratic challengers do even better

Great Falls school board expels 5 students

Governor visits families who could be hurt by state budget cuts

No clear solution to state's budget crisis on the horizon

State's fisheries budget to be reduced by $1 million

Contractor sues state for failing to crack down on asbestos disposal

Growing pains expected with sweeping criminal justice reforms

Former judge, legislator Russell Fagg announces run for Senate

Inge Perkins: She 'wasn't scared to pick the hardest path there was'

Demand for mental-health services continues to grow

Deer hijacks Missoula minivan, leaving fur, blood, broken glass behind

At $2 a bird, Bryan Cleveland getting rid of Glendive's pigeons

MT ranchers send their cattle to market early due to drought

MSU fetes Elouise Cobell as a warrior for justice

Dead Bozeman climber directs recovery crew to girlfriend's buried body

New rule would make it easier to change gender on birth certificate

Bozeman legislator Tom Woods joins US House race

Rosendale raises more than $410K for Senate run

Anaconda official offers state free rent in order to save jobs

Tribal officials call for improving suicide prevention programs

State officials worry seaplanes may carry mussels from lake to lake

Forest Service ranger involved in access disputes being reinstated

White nationalist posters pop up on MSU campus

Former MT First Lady Ann Stephens dies at 90

GOP leaders balk at special session, saying budget picture too unclear

Gallatin County judge releases Gianforte's mug shot

Yellowstone's supervolcano may erupt sooner than expected

Yellowstone Park sees fewer visitors in snowy September

Keystone pipeline protesters gather in Great Falls

Zinke earns 4 Pinocchios for domestic energy production claims

Billings highway named for late Sen. Conrad Burns

Bozeman mountaineer kills himself after his girlfriend dies in avalanche

State's medical marijuana industry expects to see almost $19M in sales

Glacier Park notches new record: Over 3 million visitors in 2017

Fish & Game supervisor quits after investigation of conduct

Prosecutors move to revoke suspended sentence of former UM player

Congressional delegation believes Trump tax plan needs more work

2 Democrats challenging Gianforte report a good start to fundraising

Bozeman man charged with impersonating animal control officer


Great Falls pub wins international award

Hutterite colony expands into steel building construction business

Report: Timber industry failing to invest in R&D

Flathead laminated timber maker expanding to Weyerhaeuser site

Billings gaming firm buys American Music Co. of Great Falls

Great Falls man charged with investment fraud



Cats now tackle Southern Utah, upset winners over Weber State

Huntley Project girls hoops coach dies in car crash

Griz freshman QB Jensen leads one of nation's top passing offenses

Cat defense solid, but turnovers take their toll against EWU

Grizzlies roll over North Dakota 41-19

Cats' comeback bid falls short, as EWU wins 31-19

Tyler Hall picked as Big Sky's preseason MVP

Dismantling of Drummond trophy display stirs up a ruckus



Bullock should call legislators into special session

Zinke's response to travel issue a lot of BS

Good to hear MSU is trying to slow enrollment growth

Zinke should stop digging in heels on travel abuse issue

We're approaching point where grizzly bear numbers must be managed

Montana's budget crisis can't be solved only with cuts


'The Revenant' author was driven by love of Western history

Gilbert the badger stays happy as long as he's well-fed

New book takes look at fascinating year MT became state: 1889

Restored Missouri River homestead tells story of early-day Montanans

Tracking broken homestead dreams on the Missouri Breaks

Russell Chew Choo still pulling in diners

The Sliters: One of the Flathead's founding families

UM's new 'first lady' has deep Montana roots



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