Monday, December 21, 2009

Agent, O'Day defend Hauck to new potential employer

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 1:00 PM

UNLV could name its new head football coach as early as this evening, and UM's Bobby Hauck is one of two finalists. After Hauck interviewed in Sin City yesterday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal did some catching up with Hauck's record. All the usual items were mentioned — Hauck stonewalling student journalists, a rash of off-the-field incidents involving Griz players and past minor infractions as an assistant for Rick Neuheisel.

Hauck's friends and colleagues defended him in the report.

His agent, Michael Watkins, on bullying student reporters: "Bobby's story didn't get out because he was focused on playing games every week. It was blown out of proportion."

And UM Athletics Director Jim O'Day on other allegations: "...reporters did not do a very good job following the stories to conclusion."

I think the Kaimin and Missoulian would find those quotes as interesting as we do. Let's say this: If Hauck loses his bid to take charge of the Rebels, we'll be sure to follow-up and ask for his version of these stories.

Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Your weekly online installment of In Other News begins now.

Curses, Foiled Again
Los Angeles police broke up a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation they found 25 feet from the back door of the police station. Officers noticed the strong smell of pot coming from the building and notified the narcotics squad, which investigated. Officer Karen Raynor told KTTV News the three suspects had “gone to great lengths to filter the air coming out of every hole that might leak to the outside” and plugged all places where the smell might have been detected with liquid caulking. “But it was not enough,” Raynor noted. “Their luck ran out.”

Police responding to a bank robbery in St. Petersburg, Fla., said suspect Thomas John Castro, 54, was making his getaway on a city bus when a dye pack hidden with the stolen money exploded on him. Witnesses said he hastily hopped off the bus and fled on foot. The St. Petersburg Times reported that a tip led police to a motel room, where Castro answered the door holding a bag of crack cocaine.

Democracy Follies
Edward Natapei, the prime minister of the Pacific nation of Vanuatu, lost his job and his seat in parliament when he left the country on official business but forgot to send a note explaining his absence to the speaker of the house. “It was a standing order,” an official at the speaker’s office told Britain’s The Times. “If you miss three consecutive meetings, your seat will be declared vacant.” As a result of his oversight, Natapei, a career politician and president of the socialist Anglophone Vanua’aku Pati party, became the island nation’s shortest serving prime minister, leaving office after 14 months.

Holy Prevention
Italian inventor Luciano Marabese, determined to keep religious tradition alive despite the swine flu epidemic, unveiled an electronic holy water dispenser. “After all the news that some churches, like Milan’s cathedral, were suspending the use of holy water fonts as a measure against swine flu, demands for my invention shot to the stars,” Marabese told Reuters. “I have received orders from all over the world.” The terra cotta dispenser, introduced in the town of Fornaci di Briosco, works like an automatic soap dispenser in public restrooms; churchgoers wave their hands under a sensor, and the machine spurts out sanctified water.

Improbable Causes
David Kelbaugh, 23, rammed his car into a hot dog stand in Cary, N.C., after the vendor refused his demand to sell him a hot dog and drink for $1.

Claudia De La Rosa notified Miami International Airport that a bomb was aboard an American Airlines flight to Honduras, according to investigators, so that her boss, who was running late, wouldn’t miss his flight.

A fire that gutted the garage of a home in Damonte Ranch, Nev., destroying two vehicles and most of the roof and attic area, started, investigators told the Reno Gazette-Journal, while an occupant of the house was examining a flare gun to see if it was loaded. It was and discharged, igniting the fire.

Don’t Touch
A civilian passenger riding in the back seat of a South African air force jet accidentally ejected himself after grabbing the black-and-yellow striped handle between his legs. The rocket-powered seat smashed through the canopy and blasted 300 feet into the sky. The Guardian reported the passenger was recovered by helicopter unharmed and returned to Langebaanweg air force base. The aircraft, piloted by a member of South Africa’s air force aerobatics squad, landed safely.

When Guns Are Outlawed
While spending Thanksgiving with their parents in Algoa, Texas, a 26-year-old man who was arguing with his 23-year-old sister smacked her in the face with a piece of hot pecan pie. Galveston County sheriff’s Maj. Ray Tuttoilmondo told the Houston Chronicle the sister required treatment for first- and second-degree burns to her face and neck.

Bruce Lee Follies
A 41-year-old man tried to enter a Seattle sports bar, but a 25-year-old man accosted him, and the two men started fighting. At one point, the younger man tried to get away by jumping over a 5-foot fence, but, according to police official Renee Witt, “he didn’t quite make it.” Officers called to the scene found the younger man stuck on the fence with a metal spike jutting out from his buttock. He was bleeding profusely. The Seattle Times reported that the impaled man explained he assumed he could jump over the fence because he believed he was a ninja.

Pre-Judgment Day
The day before Gary Joseph Wessel, 55, was set to stand trial on child molestation and sodomy charges in Illinois, state police found his body with a shotgun wound to the chest lying on the side of the road next to a truck with a low tire. Police Lt. James Morrisey said Wessel shot himself while trying to change a tire when he dislodged the jack, and it snagged on the shotgun case, causing the gun inside to discharge through the case.

What Color Ribbon Covers This?
Trista Joy Lathern, 24, told authorities in Waco, Texas, that she pretended to have breast cancer, collected $10,000 at a benefit held for her and then used the money for breast implants she hoped would save her failing, seven-month marriage. The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that after she was charged with theft by deception, her husband, William Lathern, who married her when he thought she had cancer, filed for an annulment, alleging that she induced him to marry her “by fraud.”

Illegal Aliens
Officials of an Arizona school district accused Brad Niesluchowski, the district’s former information technology director, of using school computers to search for space aliens, bogging down the district’s computer system and interfering with technology use in classrooms. Higley Unified School District Superintendent Denise Birdwell told the East Valley Tribune the problem would cost more than $1 million to fix.

Pay and Pay and Pay Phone
When Los Angeles hairdresser Barbara James, 49, accepted a collect call from a customer using a pay phone to say she was running late for her appointment, James was billed $45.09 for the three-minute call. Service provider Network Communications International Corp. charged her $37.40 for the brief, in-the-neighborhood collect call, $4.74 in regulatory fees and taxes, and an extra $2.95 just for what it called “billing cost recovery fee.” NCIC’s president Bill Pope told the Los Angeles Times the tiny number of collect calls nowadays makes such prices inevitable, especially since pay phones are largely unregulated.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New polling place plan released

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 5:27 PM

After her initial plan received harsh scrutiny, Missoula County Clerk & Recorder Vickie Zeier released a new precinct and polling place consolidation proposal late Friday.

Here's the release, as is:

Continue reading »

Your obligatory pre-kickoff Griz guide (plus Hauck's UNLV interview)

Posted By on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 at 5:00 PM

We knew we were in trouble today when, at 11 a.m., a friend of the paper popped into the newsroom and declared he had "only" seven hours to kill before the Griz game. Then we saw approximately 523 signs at area businesses declaring they were closing early for the big game. Then we saw roughly a million maroon-and-silver clad fans all over downtown. In Missoula. Two thousand, one hundred miles from where the games being played. Good God. Really? Is Missoula the Dillon, Texas, of FCS football?

Well, in the spirit of things, here's your complete pre-game rundown:

Get psyched by watching this:

Continue reading »

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Attorney: AutoMARK machines not a reason to shut polls

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Disability rights advocates are challenging one of the main reasons county officials use when arguing the need to eliminate 13 Missoula County polling places.

Continue reading »

Watch the Tester bill hearing live

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 12:20 PM

We've covered Sen. Jon Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act since it was first announced, and today we can watch the controversial proposal's first Senate hearing — live at 12:30 pm Missoula time — through the magic of the interwebs.

Watch the hearing here.

For some background, you can read George Ochenski's column this week (linking Tester's bill to the Smurfit-Stone closure), read a critical look at the bill here, or hear Tester's pitch here.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Conservatives and our "little patriots"

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2009 at 12:30 PM

An interesting read passed across my desk this week. Montana author Steve Brezenski has published "Little People Little Patriots: Saving America One Child at a Time," a go-to guide for teaching kids the fundamentals of conservative thinking. Brezenski's 52 short essays—few come in at more than three pages—cover a host of topics, from simple titles like "Small Government" to the heavier "America: The Hope of the World."


As informative as Brezenski's extensive collection of quotations from our Founding Fathers is, the book runneth over with boilerplate right-wing rhetoric. You know, the kind you find at Ron Paul rallies or local conservative group meetings. Take this quote from the delicious "Private Property is Crucial to Individual Liberty":

"Property, including the increase derived from our efforts, is a projection of our own selves...Any infringement on our property takes from us a corresponding part of our life and liberty."

Stimulating bedtime fodder.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tester joins Facebook; still losing big to Rehberg

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 3:30 PM


Sen. Jon Tester recently joined the world of Facebook, and you can become a fan by going here.

So far, he has 565 fans (the unofficial Tester page has 3,474). That's far less than future opponent social media nerd Denny Rehberg, who has 4,354 friends.

Sen. Max Baucus, meanwhile, doesn't have a Facebook page. But a recent search did find the 59 members of "Max Baucus SUCKS," 159 members of "Axe Max Baucus" and the nine members of "Impeach Max Baucus."

Lee cuts benefits for retirees

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 11:00 AM

In more uplifting economic news during this holiday season, Lee Newspapers has decided to cancel company-paid health insurance for scores of retirees. This news comes courtesy of the The Newspaper Guild of St. Louis-CWA, which sent a release to

Lee, based in Davenport, Iowa, owns 53 papers, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and, of course, the Missoulian.

More from the release:

Continue reading »

Your future, a little early

Posted By on Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Find Rob Brezsny's Free Will Astrology online, every Tuesday, two days before it hits the Indy's printed pages.

ARIES (March 21-April 19): I don't understand why the astronomers responsible for naming new-found objects are so devoid of flair. Here's a prime example: They found a blazar, or blazing quasi-stellar object, in a faraway galaxy. It's powered by a supermassive black hole that's 10 billion times larger than our sun. Why did they give this fantastic oddity the crushingly boring name "Q0906+6930"? Couldn't they have called it something like "Queen Anastasia" or "Blessed Quasimodo" or "Gastromopolopolis"? I trust you won't be as lazy in your approach to all the exotic discoveries you're going to be making in 2010, Aries. Start getting your imagination in top shape. Make sure it's primed and ready for your upcoming walkabout to the far reaches of reality.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Scientists say that pretty much everywhere you go on this planet, you are always within three feet of a spider. That will be an especially useful and colorful truth for you to keep in mind during 2010. Hopefully it'll inspire you to take maximum advantage of your own spider-like potentials. It's going to be web-spinning time, Taurus: an excellent phase in your long-term life cycle to weave an extended network—with you at the hub—that will help you catch an abundance of the resources you need.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): I don't normally recommend that you worry too much about what others think of you. In 2010, however, you could benefit from thinking about that subject more than usual. Judging from the astrological omens, I suspect that you'll be able to correct misunderstandings that have negatively affected your reputation. You might even have the power to shift people's images of you so that they're in relatively close alignment with the truth about who you actually are. Here's the best news: You may be more popular than you've ever been.

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I'm hoping that you will get out more in 2010. And I mean way out. Far out. Not just out to the unexplored hotspots on the other side of town (although that would be good), but also out to marvelous sanctuaries on the other side of paradise. Not just out to the parts of the human zoo where you feel right at home, but also out to places in the urban wilderness where you'll encounter human types previously unknown to you. In conclusion, traveler, let me ask you this: What was the most kaleidoscopic trip you've ever taken? Consider the possibility of surpassing it in the next 12 months.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): One of the 20th century's greatest scientific minds was Nobel Prize-winning physicist Max Planck. He knew that in his field, like most others, ingenious innovation doesn't automatically rise to the top. The advancement of good new ideas is hampered by the conservatism and careerism of scientists. "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light," he wrote, "but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." In 2010, Leo, there'll be a similar principle at work in your sphere. Influences that have been impeding the emergence of excellence will burn out, dissipate, or lose their mojo. As a result, you'll be able to express and take advantage of innovations that have previously been quashed.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Twenty-two percent of American rightwing fundamentalists believe that Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. On the other hand, 73 percent of the people who read my horoscopes think that if there were such a thing as an Anti-Christ, he would be an American rightwing fundamentalist. But I'd like to discourage speculations like that among the Virgo tribe in 2010. According to my reading of the omens, you should take at least a year off from getting worked up about your version of the devil. Whoever you demonize, just let them alone for a while. Whatever you tend to fault as the cause of the world's problems, give your blame mechanism a rest. As much as possible, create for yourself an Enemy-Free Zone.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): I'm hoping that 2010 will be the year you do whatever it takes to fall more deeply in love with the work you do. I'd like to see you reshape the job you have so that it better suits your soul's imperatives. If that's not possible, consider looking for or even creating a new job. The cosmos will be conspiring to help you accomplish this. Both hidden and not-so-hidden helpers will be nudging you to earn your livelihood in ways that serve your highest ideals and make you feel at peace with your destiny.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" is a jazz tune composed in 1931 by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills. In accordance with your long-term astrological omens, I propose that we make that song title your motto in 2010—the standard you'll keep referring to as you evaluate which experiences you want to pursue and which you don't. Please proceed on the assumption that you should share your life energy primarily with people and situations that make your soul sing and tingle and swing.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): I hope you will get more sleep in 2010. And eat better food, too. And embark on some regimen like meditation that will reduce your stress levels. In general, Sagittarius, I hope you will learn a lot more about what makes your body function at optimum levels, and I hope you will diligently apply what you learn. That doesn't mean I think you should be an obsequiously well-behaved pillar of the community. On the contrary, what I'm envisioning is that by taking better care of yourself you will make yourself strong enough to run wilder and freer.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Even if you don't plan to go to school in 2010, I suggest you make plans to further your education. Your current levels of knowledge and skill may be quite impressive, but they simply won't be enough to keep you growing and adapting forever. Eventually, you're going to need to learn more. And the coming months will be a perfect time, from an astrological perspective, to get that process underway. Here are a few questions to jumpstart your meditations: What ignorance do you find yourself having to increasingly hide? What subjects captivate your imagination and tantalize your future self? What skills and know-how do your competitors have that you don't?

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Imagine that money is not just the literal cash and checks you give and receive, but that it is also an invisible force of nature like gravity or electromagnetism. Then imagine that it's possible for this primal energy to be favorably disposed toward you—that on some occasions its rhythms may be more closely aligned with your personal needs. Can you picture that, Aquarius? I hope so, because there is a sense in which this seeming fantasy will be an actuality for you during much of 2010. How well you're able to capitalize will depend in part on how high you keep your integrity levels. Are you prepared to be more impeccably ethical, fair, and honest than you've ever been?

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Have you been toiling away earnestly at the exhausting homework that life has dumped on you this past year? Have you kept the faith even when you've been fooled and confused? Have you applied yourself with a pure heart to the maddening details and puzzling riddles you've been asked to master? If you've been less than conscientious at doing these tasks, the next two months will bring you a series of tricky final exams. But if you have been doing your due diligence, then you're on the brink of graduating from boring old problems that you have been studying and studying and studying for a long time. Do we dare hope that you will soon be free of a history that has repeated itself ad nauseam? Yes, I think we do dare.

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