In this week's installment: Crash taxes, faulty sirens and a terrible place for a shooting range.
Curses, Foiled Again
Army prosecutors said Pvt. Jonne T. Wegley, 19, wanted out of basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., so bad that he offered a fellow recruit $5,000 and a job to shoot him in the left leg so he could get out of the Army with a medical disability. He figured he’d still be able to use his right leg to drive. Instead of barely wounding Wegley, however, the bullet from the M-16 rifle mutilated his left leg. He needed 25 surgeries, a total reconstruction of his knee and multiple skin grafts, and he suffered nerve damage so severe that he has no control of his left foot. On top of that, a court martial sentenced him to four months’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge. Wegley’s attorney, Maj. John Calcagni, admitted his client’s scheme was unnecessary, explaining all he had to do to get kicked out of the Army was to tell his sergeant that he refused to train.
During one of his frequent visits to his ex-wife’s son in Washington County, Ore., Donald Wayne George, 64, shared some digital family photos with the man to copy to his own computer. He forgot they included images of the son’s 5-year-old daughter in sexual poses and having various sex acts with George. When the pornographic photos appeared on the screen, George shouted, “No, no, no,” according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Maloney, adding that the father erupted in anger, to which George responded flippantly, “Call the police, I’m going to jail.” George received 25 years in prison.
It's Friday, and that's great, but if you're like me, you're looking forward to Sunday, when you can belly up for a full slate of NFL action. Where to watch? Red's.
Local skiers, snowboarders and beer drinkers face an epic decision tonight as the Fourth Annual Burning Dog Pray for Snow party kicks off at Big Sky Brewery at 6 p.m., and the sick ski porn flick The Way I See It makes its local premiere at 8 p.m.
Let's break down the two events in hopes of planning your gnarly pre-winter festivities:
From the city:
Missoula Police Department officers will conduct a traffic enforcement roadblock in the 500 block of Stephens Avenue on Friday, Oct. 8, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The event is to promote traffic safety awareness. At last month’s checkpoint, 18 percent of drivers stopped did not have valid proof of insurance coverage.
The Indy reported a few weeks ago on the city's intention to increase these types of stops. This is the first "traffic enforcement event" since then.
Also from the city:
The checkpoint will be clearly marked with signs, lights and uniformed officers. Officers will use marked vehicles and will be checking for current driver's licenses, registrations and insurance. Drivers will experience minimal delays and should have the proper documentation with them — proof of insurance, driver's license and registration.
Police arrested Kathleen Folden, 56, of Kalispell, for allegedly damaging a print in a Colorado museum that portrays Jesus Christ engaged in a sex act. As she grabbed the 12-panel lithograph by Stanford University professor Enrique Chagoya, titled "The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals," Folden reportedly yelled, "How can you desecrate my Lord?"
From The Associated Press:
Chagoya said his work, a collage using religious and pop culture symbols, is a critique of religious institutions, not beliefs.
"I critique the institutions and my disagreements with the way the church corrupts the spiritual," he said. "People might disagree with my views, my art, but I'm not trying to offend anybody."
Sadly, we don't have a picture of Chagoya's print yet.
Everybody's heard by now of Sun Mountain Sports' epic fail at the Ryder Cup last weekend, but here comes word that U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg doesn't think $1 million in stimulus money should be spent on a new irrigation system at Missoula's Larchmont Golf Course. The story comes courtesy of Montana Watchdog, so you can read more there, including County Commissioner Michele Landquist's defense of the project.
Knowing Rehberg's history, he'll probably show up when Larchmont unveils its new system and take credit for it.
From Think Progress:
In his book, Daschle reveals that after the Senate Finance Committee and the White House convinced hospitals to accept $155 billion in payment reductions over ten years on July 8, [2009,] the hospitals and Democrats operated under two “working assumptions.” “One was that the Senate would aim for health coverage of at least 94 percent of Americans,” Daschle writes. “The other was that it would contain no public health plan,” which would have reimbursed hospitals at a lower rate than private insurers.
Sen. Max Baucus, of course, is chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and never gave the public option a chance. The White House, however, long maintained it should be a part of the reform bill. Think Progress spoke with Daschle about what the White House did, and when, and he kind of flip-flops on Obama's commitment to it. You can read more here.
The book, titled Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform, comes out next week.
In an op-ed sent out today, the former president of the Montana Legislature and 2004 Republican nominee for governor explains why a "Con Con," or constitutional convention, is a bad idea. His full column appears below. For more information on the issue, which is on the ballot this November, read Jessica Mayrer's recent story, or attend the Montana Law Review symposium on the topic, which is happening Thursday and Friday, for free, on the UM campus.
Here's the full text from Brown:
Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Wednesday, one day before it hits the Indy's printed pages.
ARIES (March 21-April 19): Much of the reader mail I receive is friendly. But now and then I’ll get a message like this: “I’ve followed your horoscopes with pleasure for years. But I must say, you’ve really lost it lately. I can’t stand the garbage you’ve been slinging. What happened to you?” My response is to wonder why the person never wrote to me while he was happy with my efforts. It reminds me of a quote by Leon Uris: “How often in life it is that we have no time for our friends but all the time in the world for our enemies.” It also reminds me of how tempting it is to focus on what repels us and scares us, shortchanging the dreams that excite us. Your assignment in the next four weeks, Aries, is to reward what you like and pursue what you want. For now, forget about what you don’t like and don’t want.
Jeremy W. Peters of The New York Times writes today in a front-page story about the phenomenon of medical marijuana advertisers generating much-needed revenue for newspapers, particularly alternative weeklies. Remarkably, as others have noticed, Peters avoids making any gratuitous puns in the article. The publisher of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, however, isn't so lucky. (The Chronicle, clearly, isn't an alt weekly. It gets mentioned as an example of how dailies have also gotten in on this market.)
Also, if you read past the jump, you'll notice a certain local rag gets a mention. Here's a hit:
At The Missoula Independent, where medical marijuana advertising now makes up about 10 percent of the paper’s revenue, there is concern that the spigot may soon tighten.
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