In this week's installment, we're forced to wonder if our coworkers might be urinating on our desk chairs.
Curses, Foiled Again
When Joshua Devonshire, 19, tried to pay for gas with a debit card in Lancaster, Pa., the clerk noticed the card had her mother’s name on it. She also recognized Devonshire as someone she went to school with. He fled but was arrested the next day. “Some people,” police Sgt. Jim Alexander observed, “just aren’t cut out to be criminals.” (United Press International)
It's the weekend and we're happy to share with you another idea for chillaxing and imbibing. This week we're suggesting drinking locally with class: a delicious artisan whiskey made from Montana ingredients that isn't the sketchy product of a backwoods bathtub still.
What you're drinking: A 750 mL bottle of the golden amber-colored Wheatfish Whiskey. Hopefully not by yourself.
Who's behind it: Glacier Distilling Company is a Montana whiskey and spirits distillery in the little town of Coram at the edge of Glacier Park. It's an artisan operation—all handcrafted and hand-bottled in what they call “The Whiskey Barn” (sounds dreamy). The company opened last year and is currently making a handful of whiskeys including some ryes and a white peach-infused whiskey.
What it tastes like: A little spicy, slightly sweet and very warm. This is a sipping whiskey that's smooth at first with an escalating heat that fills your nostrils. Tastings.com got even more in-depth with their description of Wheatfish Whiskey: “Mild aromas of peanut brittle, frosted banana pastry, straw, and brown spices with a soft, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a warming honeyed raisin cake, vanilla extract and peppery spice finish. A fun and flavorful choice for cocktails.”
How it compares: It's lived up to high standards. Recently the GDC entered Wheatfish Whiskey into some taste contests. It won a silver medal this year for both the Beverage Tasting Institute and the American Distillery Institute's blind test panel tasting.
How it's made: This whiskey mash comes from the Wheatfish beer recipe, which is brewed at the Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish with Montana wheat and barley. The distillery takes the mash from there and distills it into whiskey and then ages it in barrels. Currently, the whiskeys are at 8.4 months, but the distillery has kept some barrels to age for longer.
Where to find it: If you're in the area, the Glacier Distilling Company has a tasting room at 10237 HWY 2 Coram, Mont. “Look for the red barn on the north side of the highway, just past the cottonwood tree that got cut down last summer.” But call ahead at 406-387-9887 because the hours are sporadic. Or taste it from designated locations including Grizzly Liquor ($33.15) and Sean Kelly's in Missoula.
You may have noticed a little something in this week's printed issue of the Indy: a picture of the paper's very first cover, and an announcement about our 21st birthday party. Yes, most institutions mark anniversaries every five years with some big to-do. Not us. We decided 21 was a bigger deal because, honestly, do you better remember your 20th or your 21st? Maybe remember isn't the right word.
Anyway, we're celebrating. Throughout the course of the year you're going to see some nostalgic retrospectives in the paper, some big events in town, and, come fall, a special issue dedicated to the anniversary. But first things first: Go ahead and mark your calendar now for Indy Fest, which will serve as our birthday bash.
The music lineup features Jameson and the Sordid Seeds, Sick Kids XOXO, Shahs, Off in the Woods, and Baby & Bukowski, plus tunes from the Tallest DJ in America, Aaron Traylor. On the food and drinks front, we're excited to unveil a limited edition beer, Indy Red Ale, brewed by Blacksmith Brewing Co.
In the meantime, keep an eye out for a favorite cover from our archives appearing each week in the printed paper. This week is the aforementioned debut issue — dated March 7, 1991 — with a story about Missoula's local peace movement, an interview with then-Mayor Dan Kemmis, and a report from Project Censored.
Republishing this cover turned out to be a little harder than you may expect. Long story short: Until a few weeks ago, we didn't have it. For years, it was rumored that all remaining copies of the first issue had been used as emergency rolling papers or were stashed in the walls of the old Fourth Street office with the dead bodies. The thing ceased to exist. Gone.
But one of the last copies turned up thanks to Becky Goodrich, part of the original Indy staff and now with Missoula Parks & Rec. It's in pristine condition and allows us to kick off our 21st in style.
Just be sure to pace yourself, party people. We've got a long way to go before we start ordering Bodega birthday shots or Feruqi's famed Flaming Blue Lamborghini. We're gonna be here a while.
Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Public, private CO2 sequestration projects under way in Montana
At the annual Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership conference in Great Falls this week, Montana State University reported on its planned carbon sequestration project and a California company has leased more than 130,000 acres in northeastern Montana for its project.
Great Falls Tribune; April 20
The association is a nonprofit trade group that tabulates production statistics for U.S. breweries. Its rankings are based on 2011 beer sales, and broken into Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies and Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies. Big Sky made the former, ahead of well-known outfits like Gordon Biersch (40th), Breckenridge (41st) and Anderson Valley (50th). Boston Beer Co., the makers of Sam Adams, placed first among craft breweries and fifth overall.
There is a second local connection to the craft brewing list: Four Peaks Brewing, which tied Anderson for 50th and is located in Tempe, Ariz., was started in part by the same fine folks who created Tamarack Brewing Co. The beer recipes are reportedly different, but discerning customers will note that Tamarack's food menus in Lakeside and Missoula are almost identical to the one you'll find at Four Peaks.
Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
EPA adopts regulations on emissions from oil, gas operations
The Environmental Protection Agency adopted new air-quality standards for oil and gas drilling sites on Wednesday that will require companies to capture toxic emissions and greenhouse gases from pipelines, storage facilities and drilling sites.
New York Times; April 19
Man, you gotta love these kids with their raps about life as a lift-op up at Snowbowl. This gal nails it when it comes to how the tireless lifties really feel about some of you gapers, but she may have a tough time getting rehired next winter with all this truth-speak. Luckily, her career as a rapper is well on its way thanks to a gratuitous sample of Wiz Khalifa's 2010 jam "Black and Yellow" and the accompanying music video.
He reports that Wade Nash, the Polson chief of police, who was among the officers served, is accused of failing to speak with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks during an investigation and tampering with a witness. The nature of the allegations against the other four officers is still unknown (though we have an idea).
Meanwhile, the legislative Law and Justice Interim Committee is holding a hearing in Helena on Friday to look into the Lake County investigations, though the committee’s chairman, Sen. Jim Shockley, said two of the investigating state agencies invited to attend the hearing – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Department of Justice – have indicated they won’t participate, a decision he believes is improper and makes him “suspicious that we stumbled on something big.”
The Montana Public Safety Officer and Standards Training Council served law certification revocation notices to Polson Police Chief Wade Nash and Officer Cory Anderson; Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Officer Jason Nash; former Lake County Undersheriff Karey Reynolds and Sheriff’s Lieutenant Mike Sargeant. They join Lake County Sergeant Dan Duryee and Ronan Police Chief Dan Wadsworth, who were previously served. They all face revocation hearings.
Public Policy Polling is a lot of fun because it stays busy polling people days, months and even years before any of the numbers really matter, and gives us something to prematurely chew on. One example: Montana Republicans couldn't get enough Newt Gingrich in November. Now, he's penguin food.
The good news: He's tied with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and still included in polls like this one (and this one) despite never contending.
We're not worried.
For one thing, Schweitzer repeatedly insists he's not interested in Washington. Just this week he said the place "disgusts" him. For another, it's 2012. If Schweitzer changes his mind, he has plenty of time to raise his national profile after terming out of local office. Plus, the governor likes a good narrative as much as anyone, and polls like this—combined with a "Well, someone has to clean up D.C." message—will make for one heck of a come-from-behind underdog story in four years.
Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.
Montana DEQ sued over water-quality enforcement at Colstrip coal mine
The Montana Environmental Information Center and the Sierra Club filed a lawsuit in federal court in Helena against the state Department of Environmental Quality alleging that the agency is not doing enough to protect water quality at the coal mine operated by Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. near Colstrip, and requests that the state make the company address water-quality concerns before it be allowed to expand its operations.
Great Falls Tribune; April 18
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