For years eco-minded Montanans have lamented the lack of glass recycling in the state. We don’t generate enough glass to lure bottling plants here, and we’re generally too far away from existing plants to make hauling our glass out-of-state cost-effective. But if you’re sending empty trucks out-of-state anyway, the math changes. It appears Target has figured that out.
In this week's installment: The bet that ended with a man eating his own beard (it tasted like chewing a "sponge"), a terrible way to remove a tattoo, and an MIT study on how cats drink. Meow.
Curses, Foiled Again
Police had little trouble identifying the masked woman who robbed a drug store in Manchester, N.H. A witness reported seeing the suspect flee the store and get into a car with vanity plates that read “B-USHER.” Police arrested Bonnie Usher, 43, at her home with stolen money. (Boston’s WCVB-TV)
New York City police investigating a murder at a Chelsea diner identified Earle Barranco, 24, as their suspect after witnesses reported the gunman wore a diamond-encrusted moneybag hanging from a gold chain—Barranco’s signature bling. A week after police issued a nationwide arrest warrant, Barranco was spotted in Charlotte, N.C., on the JumboTron video screen at a Bobcats basketball game wearing the same telltale pendant. Charlotte authorities and FBI agents arrested Barranco two nights later, when he returned for another Bobcats game. (New York’s Daily News)
Maybe it's the egg nog we started on first thing this morning that got us tingling with the holiday spirit. Regardless, we're on a roll and plan on marking the season in our own unique way. That's why we dedicate this Friday's Happiest Hour, our weekly ode to local watering holes, to Fred's Lounge & Casino.
Montana ski enthusiast Dave Evans launched a public beta test this week of a new text messaging service aimed at helping powder hounds throughout the region answer that important early morning question: "Is the snow deep enough, or should I stay in bed?" Skiers and snowboarders in five states and counting can now receive snow reports for individual resorts via text, eliminating the need to strip off the covers and open up the laptop.
Through his newly established website, skiingonthebrain.com, Evans is now offering snow condition updates for numerous resorts in California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and, of course, Montana (Discovery, Lost Trail and Snowbowl are on the list). Similar services are in the works for Alaska, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. The service is completely free, and Evans says reports are updated every day by 7 a.m. at the latest.
In other ski news, Discovery is hosting a fundraiser this Sunday for The Max Wave initiative (an effort to build a second kayak wave in Missoula in honor of Max Lentz, a local surfer who died on West Virginia's Gauley River in 2007). Day passes are only $28, with $10 from each adult pass going to benefit The Max. Wondering how great the snow is? Text 612-217-7204.
Just as quickly as Sen. Jon Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act was revived earlier this week, it died—at least for the foreseeable future—last night, a casualty of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision amid bitter Republican backlash to pull the $1.2 trillion spending measure that had contained it.
A statement from Tester spokesman Aaron Murphy: “Partisan politics shot down this measure last night, but it won't keep Jon from creating Montana jobs—through middle-class tax relief, strengthening family agriculture and small businesses, and working together with Montanans on bipartisan plans like his forest jobs bill.”
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): I vividly remember seeing singer Diamanda Galas in concert. Though classically trained, she didn't confine herself to mellifluous melodies and elegant tones. She was a whirlwind of elemental sound, veering from animalistic bellows to otherworldly chants to operatic glossolalia. It was all very entertaining, and often enjoyable. The skill with which she shaped the sound as it escaped her body was prodigious. My companion and I agreed that "she made your ears convulse and your eyes writhe and your skin prickle—but in a good way." How would you feel about inviting some similar experiences into your life, Aries? The astrological omens suggest this would be an excellent time to seek the rowdy healing that only disciplined wildness can provide.
Sen. Jon Tester's controversial Forest Jobs and Recreation Act has been lumped into a massive $1.1 trillion, 1,924-page omnibus spending bill Democrats hope to pass by year's end.
Actually, it's not called that anymore. The bill's now titled the "Montana Forest Jobs and Restoration Initiative." Here's a PDF. The initiative begins on page 893.
“Jon’s pleased that his Senate colleagues agree it’s time to put the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act up for a vote," spokesman Aaron Murphy said in a statement. "This is just another step in what has been a year-and-a-half long process to create jobs in Montana. Nothing is final until this bill is passed by the full Congress and is signed into law.”
Tester's office says the Senate is expected to vote on the bill sometime between Thursday and Saturday.
In this week's installment: Restraining orders against Jesus (and Tim Tebow), exploding escargots and The Supreme Foie Gras burger.
Curses, Foiled Again
Randy King, 53, admitted stealing an antique wrought-iron fence from a house in Duluth, Minn., after police confronted him with the evidence: the fence itself, which King had installed around his own house, a few blocks away. Officers came looking for him because the victim told them King had tried to buy her fence the month before.
Police arriving on the scene of a hotel robbery in Lewiston, Idaho, needed mere minutes to track down suspect Donald Mosley Jr., 40. He was next door, at a bar named The Alibi.
It's Friday and you just want to kick back with a strong ale and get in the holiday mood. If you head down to the Big Sky taproom you can sip on the limited edition All Souls Ale—the subject of this week's Happiest Hour—and consider what a sweet gift good beer can be.
What you’re tasting: All Souls Ale is a limited edition imperial saison. It’s slightly spicy, slightly fruity and very strong at 11% ABV. That’s unusual for a “saison,” which means “season” in French and generally hits 5% ABV. Saisons, by the way, are light beers from French-speaking Belgium that were brewed specifically to refresh farmers when they didn’t have access to water. All Souls may be strong, but it actually maintains a sort of light feel—in case you get thirsty out in those fields.
Who’s behind it: Members of all Souls Missoula, an alternative Christian church, approached the brewery last summer about crafting the beer. Big Sky owner Bjorn Nabozney says he was surprised to have a church ask about brewing, and even more surprised when the group insisted the beer not seem “too churchy,” so that it appeals to everyone. About 16 members of the church spent several hours helping Big Sky brewers bottle and label the ale.
Why you’re supporting it: Even if you’re not a churchie yourself, consider this: proceeds from sales of All Souls goes to Imagine Missoula—a non-profit that organizes volunteers to help people around town, whether it’s to fix leaks and build fences, help with childcare or run errands for those who need a little neighborly assistance. Plus, who doesn’t like doing community service in the form of drinking beer?
When to get it: Now. According to taproom bartenders, the ale is going fast. Big Sky Brewery ordered a limited 100 cases of the stylish, 750 milliliter bottles, which go for $14 each. There are no plans to make more, though Nabozney says the brewery will definitely team up with All Souls again next year with another recipe.
How to find the taproom: Near the airport, at 5417 Trumpeter Way.
Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail email@example.com.
Perhaps it’s a reflection of our altruistic, vegan, Birkenstock-wearing population that Missoula this year topped the Peace Corps’ list of metropolitan areas with the highest number of volunteers per capita anywhere in the nation. According to data released by the Corps today, Missoula beat out other well-known peacenik havens such as second-ranked Burlington, Va., and third-place Boulder, Colo.
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