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Judge overturns rule that put limits on sports betting in Montana

Document shows GOP plans for upcoming legislative session

Officials say man who went missing in state park died of hypothermia

Home Ground Radio host Brian Kahn of Helena dies at 73

NorthWestern abandons bid to buy bigger share of Colstrip plant

Teen uncle of boy killed in West Yellowstone accepts plea deal

Film crews shooting both a movie and TV series in Butte

Voters will have a voice in Montana's response to virus effort

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz latest Republican to campaign in Montana

New Jersey's Chris Christie tricked to troll MT's Gianforte by Cooney

Once skeptical Butte man now urges caution about COVID

National groups, individuals bombard MT with millions for campaigns

Feds end protections for gray wolves in most of the country

Legislative agency recommends election security measures

Secretary of state hopefuls trade charges in campaign's final days

Bullock, Cooney are COVID-free after a staffer tests positive

MSU-Billings poll shows tight races for top Montana offices

State cites 6 people after hunters fire into elk herd, killing about 50

Ballot amendments aim to clean up state's Constitution

Where the money is coming from in the pricey governor's race

Missoula man pleads guilty to aiming laser at plane landing at GTF

Officials order closure of hot springs pool where woman was found dead

Daines files complaint alleging dark-money spending

Judge OKs change of racist name of lake near Whitefish

Police arrest suspect in 'ambush-style' murder on Crow Reservation

Are out-of-staters really flocking to MT due to COVID? Hard to say

School enrollments likely down by more than 3K across the state

Suspect arrested in 2-year-old Dixon murder case

Daines, Bullock battle down to wire for few remaining undecided votes

Whitefish firm still waiting to be paid $106M for work on PR power grid

Tester pushes bill to protect Montana rivers as wild and scenic 

Has there been a staff exodus at OPI under Ellie Arntzen? Who knows?

Suspect arrested in killing of woman on Crow Reservation

Judge reduces bail for Kalispell woman accused of shooting ex-husband


BUSINESS / ECONOMY

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Prices soar as MT 'land grab' continues

Flathead firearms makers see sales boom, but struggle to find workers

NorthWestern customers to pay $14.3 million in unexpected costs

Idaho utility regulators keeping an eye on Colstrip costs

Montana timber producers suddenly enjoy high prices

Old Helena Independent Record building being converted to brewery

Glacier Bancorp beats Wall Street expectations with earnings of $77.8M


SPORTS / OUTDOORS 

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Griz to have lots of post options now that Micheal Steadman's available

MSU's quarterback battle remains close

DeCuire sees a season for UM, but it will be shorter than usual

Big Sky plans to release 6-game schedule for its football teams

Big Sky alters hoops schedules to have back-to-back games at venues

Grizzlies return to practice after long layoff with aim of getting better

'70 World Series grand slam by Billings' Dave McNally remains a record
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OPINION 


Standard backs Bullock

As does the Missoulian

And the Gazette

Missoulian recommends Williams for Congress

Gazette endorses Gianforte for governor

Romano's the best choice for school superintendent, says Missoulian

Gazette recommends Rosendale for Congress

Standard: Voters should keep McKinnon on the court

Cooney's experience gives him the edge as governor, says Standard

Chronicle: Oppose LR-130 as it would usurp local control over guns

Missoulian says Graybill right choice for attorney general

Make change by electing Democrat Secretary of State, says Missoulian

Keep Justice McKinnon on the Supreme Court, Gazette says

Gazette backs Bennett for secretary of state

Promoters of legalized pot in MT spend tons of out-of-state dark money

Missoulian reverses PSC endorsement, now backs Tranel

Initial PSC endorsement hastened resignation of Missoulian editor

Gazette favors Romano for school superintendent

Standard endorses Bryce Bennett for Secretary of State

Bozeman Chronicle endorses Democratic slate for 5 state offices

Bullock best choice for Senate, says Chronicle

Chronicle backs Williams for Congress

Billings Gazette backs Troy Downing for auditor

Cooney best option for governor, says Chronicle


FEATURES


Trumpeter swan cygnets released in Yellowstone Park

That summer when Steven Spielberg came to Libby to make 'Always'

Helena brothel owner Big Dorothy battled the judicial system for years

Whitefish woman paddleboards like crazy in search of inner peace

Deer Lodge native writes mystery novel set in Butte

After 5 months, Kalispell woman finishes Continental Divide Trail

Some tourists aren't too wild about their Montana experiences

Garnet ghost town in state of 'arrested decay' as it is rediscovered


CALENDAR​​

Under the Big Sky Music Festival postponed until 2021

Foreigner concert in Butte rescheduled for Oct. 25

MSU's Kenny Chesney concert rescheduled for July of 2021

Send tips to editor@montanabuzz.com


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A giant light on a crane illuminates an alley off Broadway Street in downtown Butte recently as a film crew shoots a new movie called "Please, Baby Please" that stars Demi Moore. A new TV series also is being filmed in Butte. (Montana Standard)

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


Oct. 31, 2020


​​​​BESIDES bombarding Montana readers with political news, five Montana daily newspapers have started to roll out endorsements of candidates for state office. As of Oct. 29, they'd done 32. The most notable thing about them? All but five -- or about 85 percent -- have gone to Democrats.

Conservatives will say they aren't surprised; it is just more evidence of media bias. Liberals -- and journalists -- will say Democrats just have superior candidates this cycle.

In an editorial endorsing five Democrats in down-ballot contests, the Bozeman Chronicle acknowledged that its decision will "bring into question our impartiality and ability to make nonpartisan calls." But it argued it wasn't swayed by political parties but by the need to endorse "the best candidate in each particular race,"​

​In that editorial, the paper endorsed Democrats Shane Morigeau for auditor, Melissa Romano for school superintendent, Raph Graybill for attorney general, Bryce Bennett for secretary of state, and Tom Woods for PSC. The paper also has endorsed Mike Cooney for governor, Kathleen Williams for Congress, and Steve Bullock for the Senate.

Here are the other four newspapers and their endorsements so far. We'll update the list as they continue to come in.

Billings Gazette: Bullock for Senate, Greg Gianforte for governor, Troy Downing for auditor and Matt Rosendale for US House (three of only five Republicans to get an endorsement so far). Also, Romano for school superintendent, Bennett for secretary of state, and Graybill for attorney general.

Helena Independent Record: Cooney for governor. Also, Romano and Morigeau, as well as Republicans Austin Knudsen for attorney general and Chrisi Jacobsen for secretary of state, the only other GOP candidates beside Rosendale and Downing to win newspaper nods.

Missoulian: Bullock for US Senate, Williams for US House, Cooney for governor, Bennett for secretary of state, Graybill for attorney general, Romano for superintendent, Morigeau for auditor, and Monica Tranel for PSC.

Montana Standard: Bennett for secretary of state, Graybill for attorney general, Bullock for US Senate, and Cooney for governor.​


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.