Monday, February 18, 2013

Our crossword puzzle was especially difficult last week

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Did you have some trouble with the Indy's weekly "Jonesin'" crossword puzzle, titled "Free to Be," in last week's issue? Well, I don't blame you.

Due to a production error, the "down" clues were for a different puzzle. I'm no expert when it comes to crosswordin', but my guess is that mistake makes coming up with the correct answers just a wee bit more difficult.

First off, our apologies for the confusion and potential frustration. Second, if you've been studiously completing our crossword puzzle every week for six years — as one caller professed on our voice mail over the weekend — or you're just looking for something to do on this holiday Monday and now have a hankering to check out the puzzle, we've supplied the correct "down" clues below, as well as the ones for "across."

As always, answers will appear in the next printed issue.

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How the Super Bowl delay beat out the final episode of M*A*S*H (and more from In Other News)

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Curses, Foiled Again
While serving time in the Gwinnett County, Ga., jail for paying an undercover police officer $3,000 to murder his neighbor and former business partner, Joseph Memar, 65, was caught again trying to have the man killed. Police Cpl. Jake Smith said Memar spread the word among inmates, met with a plainclothes officer during his visitation time, offered the officer $10,000 to kill the man and told him where to go to collect the money. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New York City police charged a teenage boy with stealing a girl’s iPhone after he called police to report someone had stolen the iPhone from him. “He portrays himself as being a complainant,” Sgt. Arnoldo Martinez said. “A victim.” The second thief snatched it while the teen was trying to sell it to him. Police quickly located the man and drove him and the teen to the police station. Meanwhile, police in a neighboring precinct were driving the original victim around looking for the three teens who snatched the phone from her. They eventually called the iPhone, and when the officer who answered it identified himself, the officers met. They arrested the teen after the girl identified him by his pink sneakers and her PIN unlocked the phone but he failed. (The New York Times)

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Happiest Hour: Dirty Girl

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 4:43 PM

What you’re drinking: A Dirty Girl. A glass of your favorite root beer—don’t try too hard, A&W will suffice—and a shot of Orphan Girl Bourbon Cream Liqueur distilled at Headframe Spirits in Butte, America.

Why it’s awesome: Few flavors conjure memories of the best parts of being a kid like root beer. Summer vacation, sticky fingers, Little League, Easy-Bake Ovens—add whatever cliché you like to the list, root beer is on it too.

Why it’s really awesome: Orphan Girl is Headframe Spirits' Montana-mining-town rebuttal to Baileys Irish Cream. Rather than Irish whiskey, though, it’s made with bourbon. The result is silky and sweet with just enough bite to remind you you’re imbibing. At 70 percent ABV, it puts the dirty in Dirty Girl.


Where it should be enjoyed: Don’t order this drink at a bar. You can if you want, but don’t tell your friends the Indy recommended you do. The way to really enjoy a Dirty Girl is at home, on the couch, with a loved one or someone you’re trying to love (excuse the innuendo, we didn’t name the drink). Don’t make a spectacle of it either. Just buy a six pack of root beer and a bottle of Orphan Girl ($22) and pour over ice. It’s a simple drink, and should be enjoyed simply.

For you skeptics: Sugary cocktails get a bad rap for being cheap, headache-inducing mistakes made by kids on spring break. Don't even think about lumping the Dirty Girl in with that foolishness. Sure, it's sweet, but Orphan Girl is the good stuff: it won top honors at the 2012 SIP Awards, an international spirits competition.

Tis’ the season: Tax season that is. And what better way to procrastinate filing your return than by indulging in a flavor you last enjoyed before the IRS knew your name. You only have 41 more days.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

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Rockies Today, Feb. 15

Posted By on Fri, Feb 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM


Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Montana senators submit bill to fully fund Land, Water Conservation Fund
Legislation to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund was again sponsored by Montana's U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Democrats, and with Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr joining as a lead sponsor, there is optimism that the bill will get bipartisan support.
Ravalli Republic (AP); Feb. 15

Montana high court rules landowner must open road to Pishkun Reservoir.
The Montana Supreme Court overturned a Teton County District Court decision and ruled that a private landowner who closed a popular route across his property to Pishkin Reservoir in the early 2000s must reopen that route and replace the bridge connecting Boadle Road and Canal Road in Teton County that burned in a wildfire to restore access across the Sun River Slope Canal.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 15

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Advice from the guy who brought you the date in a box

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM


I won’t sugarcoat it: I loathe Valentine’s Day. Forget that Feb. 14 is just one more cliche-soaked, co-opted spot on the calendar. The thought of a single day dedicated to lounging around in matching Snuggies, eating Chunky Monkey and watching “Love Actually” for the 15th time makes me sicker than a night of hot tubbing with Smirnoff marshmallow vodka.

So you can understand why I balked when my editor approached me, the only single reporter on staff, with the idea of writing a Valentine’s advice column. I planned to do little more today than mine my Humphrey Bogart collection for a few classic war films. He promptly reminded me that, with my Christmas gift guide idea of a date in a box, I’d previously come off as something of a romantic. It’s not that I disagree with the celebration of love. Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t believe romance should be reduced to the level of getting drunk off green beer, plowing through mounds of wings during the Super Bowl or removing unsightly knuckle hair with festive rounds of bottle rockets.

But I get it. Your S.O. is expecting something—anything—to mark the big day. And if you’re like most humans, you only got the Facebook reminder this morning. Sure, you could pick up a flashy gift after work or pass off a night at the Red Bird as something you’d planned weeks ago. Or you could take a few tips from me, the date-in-a-box guy, as I try to temper my cynicism.

Romance, like fine dining and job interviews, is all about presentation. Flowers and chocolates just come off as cheesy when gift-wrapped and left on the kitchen counter. Don’t just hand them over, work them into the evening. Pluck the petals and leave a trail from the front door to the bathroom. Use those chocolates to line the tub, and while the lady’s soaking in bubbles, croon a little on the guitar. Think of it as a Manhattan with a black cherry: cheap, traditional, with a twist.

In more of a movie mood? Screw it. You’ve got Netflix 365 days a year. The web is teeming with MP3s of old radio dramas. Throw a few on your iPod, pack up dinner and park someplace secluded with a good view of the sky. You might have to use your imagination, but a few scratchy episodes of “Suspense” beats the hell out of another Michael Bay disaster. Plus, if high school taught us anything, it’s that a car is vastly more “romantic” than a couch.

The smallest gestures usually get the biggest results. If you’re going with the old culinary standby (read: Chinese delivery) think of a 10-minute distraction to keep your S.O. busy. Use tweezers to pluck the fortunes out of the fortune cookies and insert a few of your own. It’s tastier than those chalky Valentine’s message candies, and you can get more, err, creative.

I could rattle off a host of other tried-and-true suggestions—kinky scavenger hunts, doing the five chores you hate the most, reenacting the iconic Lloyd Dobler scene from Say Anything. But this is all just to jump-start your creative process. As much as I may hate the holiday, there’s no denying its power. According to Facebook alone, Valentine’s Day 2011 saw 49 percent more new hookups than breakups.

Consider this: President Obama is spending Valentine’s Day visiting pre-kindergarteners and air base personnel in Georgia, before sitting down for an online “Fireside Hangout” about his State of the Union Address. Even with such a busy schedule, you just know the leader of the free world is going to find some small way to treat Michelle. In other words, a PajamaGram isn’t going to cut it.


Rockies Today, Feb. 14

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Groups file federal lawsuit challenging Interior Dept.'s solar plans
Western Lands Project, the Western Watersheds Project and the Desert Protective Council filed a federal lawsuit in California on Wednesday challenging the federal government's creation of solar energy zones on federal lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, arguing that the federal government should have considered placing large-scale solar-energy projects in already developed areas.
Deseret News; Feb. 14

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happiest Hour: Four must-try beers at Winter BrewFest

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 3:00 PM

On Fri., Feb. 15, the Missoula Downtown Association hosts its third annual Winter BrewFest. Much of the pre-fest buzz has been about the venue—for the first time the event will take place outside, in Caras Park, with more than a few heat lamps. While that’s certainly good to know and plan for, we prefer to focus on an even more important aspect of the festival: the beer.

This year’s lineup includes more than 35 brews from more than 25 different breweries. While there are tons of creative options to choose from, we’ve selected four standouts that rise to the level of “must-try.”

1. Kettlehouse’s Cask Huckleberry Cold Smoke
The Missoula brewery is bringing two different versions of its signature Scotch Ale to BrewFest: one aged in merlot barrels and the other cask-conditioned and flavored with huckleberries. You can’t go wrong with either, but the fruity one has become a favorite during brief appearances at the Northside taproom. It tends to go fast, so use an early token.

2. Wildwood’s Karapiller Red Lager
It’s been less than a year since Wildwood first opened its taps in Stevensville, and already the brewery has developed a reputation as one of western Montana’s best. This red lager is described as not fitting “any classic style” and dubbed an original creation by brew master Jim Lueders.

3. Philipsburg Brewing’s Tramway Rye Pale Ale
Unless you’ve stopped in after a day of skiing at Discovery, chances are many Missoulians have yet to try anything from one of Montana’s newest breweries. This is your chance, and word has it the Tramway is P’burg’s most popular pour.

4. Big Sky’s Brush Tail Farmhouse Saison
Curious what bottled brew will be flying out of Big Sky’s doors next? Well, here’s your chance to get an early taste. Brush Tail won’t be on shelves until the end of February, but Winter BrewFesters can score an early sample.

Taps open at Winter BrewFest Fri., Feb. 15, from 5 to 10 p.m. at Caras Park. $10 gets you a 7-ounce tasting glass and two drink tokens. Additional tokens $1.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, email

Additional reporting by the always thirsty Alex Sakariassen.

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Rockies Today, Feb. 13

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 10:30 AM


Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

U. of Montana professors tout NWF's 'Wildlife in a Warming World'
On Tuesday, University of Montana professors Steve Running and Diana Six, Todd Tanner of Conservation Hawk, and Greater Yellowstone Coalition climate change program director Scott Christensen joined forces to call attention to the National Wildlife Federation's "Wildlife in a Warming World" report.
Great Falls Tribune; Feb. 13

Montana FWP launches moose study in 3 areas of state
Biologists have radio-collared 12 cow moose in three regions of the state to learn more about the populations in the East Cabinet study area south of Libby, the Big Hole and along the Eastern Front of the Rockies.
Kalispell Daily InterLake; Feb. 13

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Care Net changes the message

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 10:25 AM

Last week, the Indy ran a story titled "Mixed Messages" about a pro-choice group's accusation that a Missoula pregnancy care center was misleading women about its services. Administrators at Care Net of Missoula declined to comment for the story, and pointed to their website for information about its services. The website stated, "We do not offer or refer for abortions...," but the "title" on its homepage that appeared at the top of any browser read: "abortion info: abortion pill, free abortions, free pregnancy tests." (A photograph of the "title" ran with the original story).

The title that appeared above the browser on Care Nets website suggested it offers abortions.
  • The "title" that appeared above the browser on Care Net's website suggested it offers abortions.

Similarly, at the time the article was written a Google search for "Care Net Missoula" produced Care Net's website under the same title: "abortion info: abortion pill, free abortions, free pregnancy tests."


As of Monday, Feb. 11, Care Net changed the "title" code on their website. It now reads, "Care Net of Missoula."

As of Monday, Feb. 11, the title was changed.
  • As of Monday, Feb. 11, the "title" was changed.

Care Net administrators have not returned multiple phone calls asking for comment on the change.

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM

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): Afrikaner author Laurens van der Post told a story about a conversation between psychologist Carl Jung and Ochwiay Biano, a Pueblo Indian chief. Jung asked Biano to offer his views about white people. "White people must be crazy because they think with their heads," said the chief, "and it is well-known that only crazy people do that." Jung asked him what the alternative was. Biano said that his people think with their hearts. That's your assignment for the week ahead, Aries: to think with your heart — especially when it comes to love. For extra credit, you should feel with your head — especially when it comes to love. Happy Valentine Daze, Aries!

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