In this week's installment: mouse mutations, real-life "Frogger" and drinking buddies for hire.
Curses, Foiled Again
When a woman reported that a man exposed himself to her and her children, police in Mesa, Ariz., knocked on the apartment door of upstairs neighbor Michael Polley, 55. He answered with his pants still around his ankles. Court records noted he became “immediately angry” at being interrupted and began cursing at the officers, who arrested him. (Phoenix’s The Arizona Republic)
With the Super Bowl just nine days away, we devote this week's Happiest Hour to where the preponderance of Missoula-area Packers fans will party—or wallow in self-pity—on game day: Desperado Sports Tavern.
City Councilman Dave Strohmaier's latest proposal is generating some thoughtful conversation about underage drinking, drunk driving and the limits of local government. His so-called "social host" ordinance, which basically holds the owner of a house or apartment accountable for minors in possession, sparked what Gwen Florio described as a "philosophical discussion" on the definitions of "knowledge" and "minor," and prompted Councilman Bob Jaffe to write at length on the subject in his weekly listserv.
"I can understand the basic premise that it is a crime to be an accomplice to someone who is committing a crime," wrote Jaffe. "Underage drinking is a crime. The person providing the space for this criminal activity to take place is in some ways responsible themselves for the crime. The problem comes in with how close you require the connection to be between the underage drinking and the person who controls the space."
Jaffe went on to write he has yet to hear "a really compelling argument for its necessity" and asked for some "proof" that it'd be effective. Well, considering similar ordinances are in effect across the country, we thought we'd look at how it's worked.
The heavy haul is scheduled to begin next week, with the first of four oversized loads belonging to ConocoPhillips set to depart the Port of Lewiston en route to the company's refinery in Billings. And today, Fighting Goliath announced it does not intend to continue its legal battle against the Idaho Transportation Department's (ITD) approval of oversized load permits. The group of Idaho residents, mostly from the Highway 12 corridor, have kept ConocoPhillips and ITD in a tangle of litigation since last summer with contested hearings and appeals meant to stall the loads at the port.
“We are proud of the work we have done over the last 10 months helping educate our friends and neighbors about the threats that hundreds of megaloads pose for the communities of the Highway 12 corridor,” Karen “Borg” Hendrickson, one of the founders of Fighting Goliath, said in a release this afternoon. “We now want to move past the Conoco shipments, and focus attention on the hundreds of mega-loads planned by ExxonMobil and Canada’s Imperial Oil, the Korea National Oil Corporation (Harvest Energy), Shell Canada and others companies that seek to use Highway 12 as a ‘high and wide’ corridor to transport overseas equipment to the Alberta tar sands.”
We learned two things about AG Steve Bullock yesterday: He's a fan of Caddyshack, and he's not afraid to protect our state's most avid movie addicts. Like me.
Bullock filed a lawsuit Wednesday to stop an Oklahoma collections agency from demanding outrageous payments from Montana residents on overdue rentals from the old Hollywood Video chain. From the AG's release:
The Movie Gallery chain bought out Hollywood Video in 2005. At its peak, the chain had 24 locations in Montana, from Whitefish to Sidney. Beginning in late 2009, the company began shuttering its stores in Montana. Its last Montana location closed in the summer of 2010. The company is now in the process of liquidating its assets as part of a bankruptcy. As part of that process, the names of 12,325 Montanans who owed late fees or charges to Movie Gallery were turned over to National Credit Solutions, an Oklahoma City company.
Bullock points out that the high collection fees are against Montana law, and wants to stop the company from filing negative credit reports against consumers without first notifying them.
"It's crazy to think that a Montanan would be prevented from refinancing their house or buying a new car simply because they returned Caddyshack two days late," said Bullock in the release.
That's a wrap for La Parrilla in Missoula.
Earlier today the quasi-Mexican restaurant known for unconventional ingredients posted signs at its West Broadway location announcing its imminent closure.
Why? "I think the construction killed us," says manager Tanya Servant.
She's referring to Garlington, Lohn & Robinson's massive ongoing construction project next door.
Servant says La Parrilla will stay open for another week or two.
Owner Matt Kerns didn't immediately return calls for comment.
The heavy haul once again emerged as a topic of interest in Boise yesterday when the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI) appeared at a statehouse news conference to continue pressing its pro big-rig agenda. This time the coalition of state agencies and business owners came armed with results from a poll gauging public support for the oversized load proposals pitched by ConocoPhillips and Imperial Oil. The IACI is a member of Drive Our Economy, a band of Montana and Idaho organizations and agencies that has run a flashy and intense public information campaign backing the big oil transportation projects.
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): What rewards do you deserve for all the good living and the hard work you’ve done since your last birthday? And what amends should you make for the mediocre living and the work you’ve shirked since your last birthday? If you choose this week to take care of these two matters with purposeful clarity, you will ensure the best possible outcomes. The reward you earn will be the right one, and the amends you offer will provide the proper correction.
Two weeks ago we linked to a fictitious cable television show character eating the likeness of Jeannette Rankin's head, and today we've got video of a real cable television show host eating the head of an octopus. I sense a trend!
In last night's episode of "The Wild Within," former Missoula resident and UM grad Steven Rinella hunted in Hawaii. His first challenge was to not only get an octopus, but to also paralyze it by biting into a nerve center situated behind the octopus's eyes. You can see the video here. The aftermath, described in Rinella's Travel Channel blog, wasn't pretty.
The episode also revealed the series highlight that Rinella wouldn't divulge in his recent interview with the Indy. Toward the end of his preparations for a big feast of freshly harvested Hawaiian seafood and game, Rinella tracked down a wild boar with the help of a native and some dogs. Rinella was following ancient traditions and the advice of locals, as he's done in every episode, and hunting with only a knife. Trouble started when the dogs spotted a large boar, but couldn't subdue the animal. Rinella stepped in to help and suddenly found the boar thrashing through a creek and charging him. He killed it. Alas, there's no video to post online. You'll have to catch a re-airing of the episode.
In this week's installment: errant cannonballs, hotel pranks, and a marriage proposal gone wrong.
Curses, Foiled Again
A security officer called police after noticing blood and two trays of empty razor blade packages at a Walmart store in Venango County, Pa. Deducing that a shoplifter had cut himself while removing the blades, state troopers followed the trail of blood to Michael Barton, 29. (Erie Times-News)
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