Body found in city garbage truck at Billings landfill

Bomb squad examines inactive Bulgarian land mine at MSU campus

PSC won't make public details on NorthWestern's coal supply

Bozeman fly-fishing guide joins race for US Senate

State's livestock compensation funds dwindle as predator losses rise

Montana Boy Scouts don't expect changes despite bankruptcy filing

Semi splits in 2 south of Red Lodge, spills toilet paper and lands in river

Yellowstone Park dumps trailers as it seeks to upgrade worker housing

Wildlife officials mystified by smuggled elk

West Yellowstone residents plan vigil Sunday for 12-year-old victim

In Butte, many drivers illegally passed stopped school buses, and got off

Florida man charged after 78 lbs of meth found in van near Columbus

Dog reunited with owner 9 days after crash near Lakeside

Investigators still unsure of source of fire that leveled Bigfork golf club

Legislator now says comment about shooting socialists was a joke

Judge says UM officials not liable in case of Griz player's assault

Third Republican enters contest for state auditor

Billings police officer injured after he's intentionally struck by teen driver

2 face charges for helping inmates escape from Bighorn County jail

State and marina owners tangled in disputes at Hell Creek

Brucellosis found in elk in Ruby Mountains near Dillon

Lawmakers seek more details on Colstrip from NorthWestern Energy

Wardens investigate elk, antelope killed illegally in Park County

4th man faces charges related to death of West Yellowstone boy

Friends, officers shocked by torture, murder of West Yellowstone boy

Hamilton lab releases new images of coronavirus

Bozeman patient tests negative for coronavirus

Missoula case tests balance between free speech and public safety

State's political cop dismisses complaint against GOP candidate


Butte movie theater will reopen with new owners

Washington state officials want to inspect Colstrip coal contract

Kalispell firm serving insurance industry 'hiring like crazy'

New owners take over Great Divide Ski Area

Pier 1 will close Missoula, Kalispell and Great Falls stores

State OKs plan to clean up coal ash pounds near Colstrip plants

MT's economy is strong -- but good workers are getting more scarce

Michigan man gets year in prison for Montana bitcoin scam

Columbus-area ranch once owned by Mel Gibson for sale for $30M


UM's Pridgett named Big Sky player of the week

Trump pardons former 49ers owner, who owns property in Montana

Harlem senior sets state record with 68 points in game

Pridgett almost notches a triple double as Griz down Idaho State

Bobcats rally for 77-63 win over Weber State

Lady Cats score season-high 102 as they wallop Weber State

Lady Griz fall to Idaho State, 72-59


Regents have duty to speak up for University System

Montana, Wyoming are right to fight for a coal port on the coast

Water Rights Protection Act isn't about fairness and equity

Why doesn't the state try to buy the land Weyerhaeuser is unloading?

PSC  must keep a close eye on cost of Colstrip plants to ratepayers

Some context to those legislators' Medicare for All op-eds

State has too many foster kids, too few caseworkers


Seventy years ago, a devastating hotel fire in Eureka killed 5 people

3 young Bitterroot filmmakers prepare to screen their western

New book highlights Crow's only armed uprising against government

What's Montana's dish? That's hard to say

Researchers check lead levels in Bitterroot eagles

Speed dating in Flathead aims to put love on fast track

Yes, it gets them: One-star reviews for Glacier Park


Researcher Temple Grandin to lecture in Bozeman Feb. 20

'The Daily Show' host Trevor Noah coming to Bozeman April 25

Cher plans Billings concert April 26

Country star Toby Keith to perform in Billings June 19

Kenny Chesney to play at MSU's Bobcat Stadium on July 5

Emmylou Harris, Jason Isbell among artists at Whitefish festival in July

Guns N' Roses plan Missoula concert Aug. 26

Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com


Billings police investigate a body found Tuesday in a garbage truck at the city landfill. (Billings Gazette)



HAVE ANY idea how much the top one percent of Montanans earn on average? It is $304,000, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

​The state with the wealthiest one percenters is Connecticut, with an average income of $678K. The lowest is Arkansas at $228K.

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Montana ranks No. 37.

How about our neighboring states? North Dakota does pretty well, coming in at No. 6 with the top one percent averaging $502K, probably due to all that oil and gas income. South Dakota is at $404K, Wyoming at $388K, and Idaho at $280K.

ARE MONTANANS some of the smartest folks in the country? Those who like to think so now have some ammunition to back them up.

An analysis by a web site called safehome.org says Montana is the fifth smartest state in the country. It follows only New Jersey, Utah, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. You can find the study at www.safehome.org/smartest-americans/

So how did the site determine just how "smart" a state is? It used such measures as this (Montana scores included): The percent of adults 25+ with bachelor’s degrees: 21.7%; public high school graduation rate (2016-17): 86%; median SAT score (2018-19): 1,199; and average composite ACT score (2017-18): 20.

Surprisingly, the state with with the lowest score was Idaho, right next door to Montana. That doesn't seem to add up, does it? Others at the bottom of the heap were Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona.

GOV. Steve Bullock got some valuable air time recently for his presidential campaign. Only trouble is, the exposure was on CNN, which has lost a large portion of its audience in recent years.

CNN's town hall featuring Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio lured just 402,000 viewers -- the lowest number of the year for all the network's town hall events.

Viewership was down 25 percent overall, and 38 percent for the coveted 25-54 age bracket, compared to the average Sunday numbers for CNN from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

MONTANA has jumped into the top 10 of Bankrate.com's annual ranking of best retirement states. More specifically, the Big Sky state finished No. 9 -- ahead of states such as retirement havens Arizona and Nevada.

Montana gots its best mark -- No. 2 -- in the culture category, and a ranking of No. 16 in affordability. Its worst ranking -- no surprise here -- was No. 45 for weather. The state also received a 20 in the well category and a 31 for crime.

The top five states in this year's rankings were Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota and Florida. The bottom five were Maryland, New York, Alaska, Illinois, and Washington.

DESPITE making several campaign trips to Iowa, Gov. Steve Bullock didn't win any support in the latest Iowa Poll of who leads in that state among the Democratic presidential contenders.

The poll shows Joe BIden with the lead, with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg in a close race for second. 

Bullock, who got into the Democratic presidential race late because of Montana's legislative session, didn't garner a single vote. In another part of the poll, 9 percent of those polled said they were actively considering Bullock. But there were 16 other candidates ahead of the Montana Democrat in that category.

Bullock's lack of support so far for his presidential ambitions is threatening his chances of getting on the stage for the first debate. Bullock and Montana Democrats said the rules that may keep him out of the debate are unfair.

MONTANANS enjoy seeing the state at the top of many national rankings, but there's one that doesn't justify much pride: Deaths from drunk driving.

“Montana is actually tied for first place in the entire nation for DUI fatalities,” says Kelley Parker-Wathne, Gallatin County DUI Task Force coordinator. “The alarm bells that go off is just a sad statistic.”

Montana also has a reputation for some of the nation's weakest DUI laws, and the recent legislative session tried to stiffen them. But time ran out on efforts to strengthen the DUI laws at the session's end.

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

Feb. 25, 2020