This week, we learn that it's never a good idea to moon your bosses, even if said bosses work for Bank of America.
Curses, Foiled Again
After breaking into a St. Louis home and stealing several items, Damon L. Petty, 37, lingered to eat. The homeowner and a friend returned to find him frying bacon in the kitchen. They subdued him until police arrived. Petty pleaded guilty to burglary and received a seven-year prison sentence. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Police investigating a bank robbery in Southfield, Mich., arrested Todd Jason Kettler, 37, after the manager of a strip club in Kalamazoo Township reported a man was paying for lap dances with money covered in red dye, which banks use to mark stolen money. (Detroit Free Press)
To protest Montana's bison plan, some landowners lock out hunters
Montana is in the process of drafting a statewide policy on bison, and in March, 64 bison from Yellowstone National Park were transferred to the Fort Peck Reservation in northeastern Montana, and six of 15 landowners who had lands enrolled in the Block Management Plan that opens the land up for hunters, have pulled their lands from that program to protest the transfer of the bison.
Billings Gazette; Oct. 19
Mine expansion on Montana reservation exposes ancient bison bed
A bed of bison bones estimated to be 2,000 years old was uncovered last summer by a crew working on a proposed expansion of Westmoreland Resources Inc.'s Absaloka Coal Mine on the Crow Reservation in Montana, and a crew of anthropologists and other experts are headed to the site today to assess the damage caused to the site by the backhoe that excavated it.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 19
Construction begins on wind farm in Montana
Goldwind Global broke ground on Thursday on the Musselshell Wind Project, a 14-turbine wind farm near Shawmut, about 75 miles northwest of Billings.
Billings Gazette; Oct. 19
Hellgate Hunters and Anglers has launched an incredible new mapping site for hunters just in time for this weekend's general rifle season opening, combining the ease of Google map searching with comprehensive information on land ownership, block management areas and hunting district regulations. The organization is calling it the Montana Sportsmen Atlas. It's free, and fully compatible with mobile devices. The site, which went live on Tuesday, had 1,200 visitors in the first 24 hours.
We scoped out the atlas this morning, and damn is it cool. Want to know more about land ownership patterns in hunting district 292, i.e. the southern portion of the lower Blackfoot Valley around Paw's Up? All you have to do is select which type of map—satellite, USGS, etc—you want to view and click the "land ownership" tab. But why are we telling you? Check it out for yourself, and start planning for the general season.
BNSF CEO: Pipeline through Montana won't halt rail shipments of oil
At the annual meeting of Big Sky Economic Development in Billings on Wednesday, Matthew Rose, the chief executive of BNSF Railway, talked about the increase of oil shipments by rail from the Bakken oil fields and how the development of Montana's coal reserves would affect train traffic.
Billings Gazette; Oct. 18
BNSF, others again apply to build 83-mile railroad line in Montana
After a federal court ruled nearly a year ago that the previously issued permits for the 83-mile Tongue River Railroad, which would run south from Miles City to Ashland, were outdated, BNSF Railway Co., Arch Coal, Inc. and billionaire Forrest Mars, Jr. have again applied to the Surface Transportation Board for a permit to build the line in southeastern Montana.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Oct. 18
Flathead Lake Brewing today announced a lengthy list of changes going on at their downtown Missoula digs. Due to a massive water leak in early October—which did "several hundred thousands dollars of damage," according to the brewery's press release—Flathead will be remodeling the first and second floors. In addition, the name Sapore will officially disappear from the first floor restaurant, says events coordinator Patrick Landon, and the entire building will become Flathead Lake Brewing of Missoula.
"No owners are going anywhere," Landon says, explaining that the name change was decided on largely to make the building more uniform. Rather, Sapore and Flathead Lake are joining forces, as Sapore hinted on its Facebook page in early October.
The second floor tap room will be open Oct. 21 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. for a Festival of the Dead-themed nonprofit fundraiser. Landon says the second floor should be fully open in about two weeks, with an extended bar. Renovations to the first floor restaurant will likely take an additional two weeks, Landon adds. The decor will be dramatically altered to fit more with Flathead Lake's style, and the building's menus will change. No one is losing a job, Landon says, but all staff will now work both floors. When the remodel is complete, patrons will be able to pass between both floors with drinks in hand.
Eventually, Flathead Lake plans to open an event room on the third floor called the Imperial Lounge. Landon says the brewery has not yet set a date for that opening.
Bullock releases his plan to improve public land access in Montana
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock released his "Removing Padlocks and Creating Partnerships: Hunting and Fishing for all Montanans" plan in Great Falls on Tuesday.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 17
Tuesday's cold front delivered a milestone in Pacific NW power production
When a cold front moved through the Pacific Northwest on Tuesday, wind-generated power outpaced hydropower for the first time.
Idaho Statesman; Oct. 17
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): When Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro laid waste to Peru in 1532, his soldiers found green stones on the land. Were they emeralds? A priest who was traveling with them gave them bad advice. He said that the way to determine whether they were merely colored glass or else precious gems was to test their hardness by pounding them with hammers. In this manner, many actual emeralds were shattered into fragments. Learn from this mistake, Aries. Make sure you recognize treasures for what they are. And don’t force them to submit to unwise tests that misconstrue their true nature.
Montana sues landowner over closure of Meagher County road
On Friday, Montana filed a lawsuit in state district court against Howard Zehntner and Zehntner Brothers LLC, alleging that the landowners illegally gated the Tenderfoot Road that provides access to recently acquired state lands and U.S. Forest Service lands.
Great Falls Tribune; Oct. 16
Sparks flew between Sen. Jon Tester and his Republican challenger, Congressman Denny Rehberg, last night in Kalispell. Over the course of the third Senate debate, hosted by the Daily Inter Lake, Tester jabbed at Rehberg for supporting Real ID and the Patriot Act, for failing to pass a Farm Bill in the U.S. House and for “putting two wars on the credit card.” Rehberg parried with his own lines of attack, mostly centering on Tester’s support for the federal stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act. It took Rehberg less than a minute during his opening remarks to level the now-tired accusation that Tester votes with President Obama “95 percent of the time.” Tester later countered the point, singling his wife, Sharla, out of the audience. “Sorry, hun,” the Senator said. “But I don’t even agree with you 95 percent of the time.” A video of the debate is posted below.
In the middle of it all—literally—Libertarian Dan Cox came draped in a cloak of invisibility (which, according to the Dungeons & Dragons Online wiki, also gave him +2 protection against enchantments). Tester and Rehberg largely ignored the man situated at the lectern between them as they traded barbs, and many of the questions asked of the candidates were in some way related to taxes or government programs—topics that Cox struggled to find new ways to answer beyond his call for keeping big government “out of your life and out of your pocket.” My Twitter feed lit up with comments about how oblivious the entire debate seemed to be of Cox’s presence.
As the debate wore on, Cox began to emerge as something more than an also-ran. He went the route of the observational comedian. During a particularly pointed back-and-forth between Tester and Rehberg over a question on the estate tax, Cox rebuffed both candidates. “There are three of us in this race,” he said. His comment had the audience in stitches. Later, in response to a question about the Dodd-Frank reform act, Cox launched into an aside. “We keep hearing [from the candidates] that Rehberg or Tester is the wrong choice,” he said. “I agree with both.” Again, laughter.
The stakes in Sunday night’s debate were particularly high for Cox, who polled at 8 percent in mid-October, according to Public Policy Polling’s latest data. Cox was last present at the Senate debate in Big Sky in June; he was not invited to the Oct. 7 debate in Billings, nor was he invited to the fourth and final debate in Bozeman Oct. 20. Kalispell was Cox’s last chance to be seen alongside the other candidates.
Tester and Rehberg each won a few solid blows over the course of the 80-minute debate. Rehberg came off as more restrained than during the Billings debate, where many critiqued his fast speech and flailing arms. Tester, meanwhile, managed to duck the majority of Rehberg’s attacks, swinging criticism of the stimulus package around by highlighting several stimulus funded projects in the Kalispell area. But Cox’s detachment made him perhaps a more interesting character to watch. His tongue-in-cheek observations—unacknowledged by Tester and Rehberg alike—served a role akin to a Grecian chorus. At one point, Rehberg commented that not a single person in the room didn’t support the safety net of federal programs and subsidies contained in the Farm Bill. Cox, ever the opponent of government spending, stood not ten feet to Rehberg’s right, grinning and waiting for his rebuttal.
It's hard to stand out when you're following Ann Coulter and sitting on the same panel as Ben Affleck. But that's exactly what Gov. Brian Schweitzer did Friday night during an episode of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" by, right out of the gate, going after Fox News, where Coulter regularly appears, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who was a panelist alongside Schweitzer and Affleck.
If you're thinking it must've been awkward for Schweitzer to attack people sitting right next to him, you're right. When the Montana governor effectively touted his first-hand experience living in the Middle East to hammer home a point against Issa, the best the congressman could offer was a snarky: "What's it like having dinner with Gaddafi?" The governor ignored the comment and moved on.
Schweitzer wasn't flawless, but he more than held his own. He also took a jab at VP candidate Paul Ryan's budget, criticized Mitt Romney's economic plan, and, of course, spun all the money talk into a brag about Montana's record surplus. Catch the episode on HBO (subscription required), or via DeliShows (patience required; it's glitchy). Schweitzer and the panel start around the 16-minute mark and gab for about 35 minutes.
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