Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Here come the Juggalos

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Knitting Factory announced this morning that hip-hop horrorcore duo Insane Clown Posse are slated to play the Wilma Oct. 1.

The group that raps about murdering people with hatchets and graphic sexual encounters (to put it mildly) is scheduled to release a new, Mozart-inspired album produced by Jack White on Sept. 13. Yes, Mozart, as in "Wolfgang Amadeus," and Jack White, as in "White Stripes." Weird. You can watch the (awesome) teaser video after the jump.

Anyway, the duo's fans are affectionately known as Juggalos, and they have quite a reputation. The band is also interesting. Over the last 20 years, ICP has declared themselves devout Christians, run a professional wrestling circuit, and once had a high-profile beef with fellow Detroit musician Eminem. This is at least the second time they've played Missoula.

Tickets are on sale now for $27.

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The Rockies Today, Aug. 31

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Colorado ski resorts on spending spree
Colorado's ski resorts had one of the best seasons ever last winter, and despite hints of a double-dip recession, they are spending a combined $100 million on upgrades.
Denver Post; Aug. 31

Storms pummel Northern Rockies with lightning, sparking wildfires
A stormfront moving through the Northern Rockies rained more than 42,000 lightning strikes down on the region, igniting new wildfires in Idaho and Montana, the largest of which was in south-central Montana near Laurel, which grew to more than 2,000 acres by Tuesday morning.
Flathead Beacon (AP); Aug. 31

Teton County Commission asks Wyoming to tweak wolf plan
At a public meeting on Wyoming's proposed wolf-management plan, Teton County Commissioner Hank Phibbs urged that legislators, who must approve the plan, move the line dividing wolves' status between a trophy game and predators along Highway 22 and down U.S. 191 to just south of Teton County's boundary.
Jackson Hole News & Guide; Aug. 31

Idaho wolf hunt season opens as depredation numbers rise
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that wolf kills in Idaho this year are up more than 17 percent compared to last year, with wolves killing 50 cattle, 34 sheep and 3 dogs so far this year, and state wildlife officials hope that this year's wolf hunt will help curtail depredation cases.
Twin Falls Times-News; Aug. 31

Idaho wolf tags sales this season just a fraction of those sold in 2009
Idaho has sold just 9,000 wolf tags for the hunt that began Aug. 30, compared to 26,433 sold for the hunt in 2009.
Coeur d'Alene Press; Aug. 31

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2011 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): Strange but true: To pave the way for your next liberation, you will have to impose some creative limitation on yourself. In other words, there’s some trivial extravagance or unproductive excess in your current rhythm that is suppressing an interesting form of freedom. As soon as you cut away the faux “luxury” that is holding you back, all of life will conspire to give you a growth spurt.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Welcome to Wildwood

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 2:00 PM

The new book by former Missoulians Carson Ellis and Colin Meloy landed on bookshelves today.

Wildwood sounds like what you'd expect from a book written by the lead singer of the Decemberists. It's described as "wry" and "fantastical", and "a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life." It also looks exactly like what you'd expect from Ellis, an immensely talented artist who's illustrated the Decemberists album covers over the years.

The book's target audience is middle-aged kids, and the story is inspired by a trail in Portland, Ore. Meloy and Ellis hatched the idea more than a decade ago, shortly after they left Missoula and before Meloy hit it big in the music business.

You can look for a full review of the book in a future dead-tree edition of the Indy. In the meantime, Willamette Week has an excerpt of the first chapter, which begins with this line:

How five crows managed to lift a twenty-pound baby boy into the air was beyond Prue, but that was certainly the least of her worries.

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The Rockies Today, Aug. 30

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Yellowstone Park officials confirm grizzly bear killed hiker
Park Service officials have confirmed that the Michigan man found dead on the Mary Mountain trail about five miles west of the Hayden Valley trailhead in Yellowstone National Park was killed by a grizzly bear, and that they have DNA samples from the scene that could allow them to identify the specific bear involved in the attack, and if that happens, they will remove the bear.
Jackson Hole Daily; Aug. 30

Encounters with grizzly bears on the rise in Idaho
The number of grizzly bears is on the rise in Yellowstone National Park and also in areas of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, as are the number of encounters with humans in Idaho communities such as Driggs and Island Park.
Idaho Statesman; Aug. 30

Wind developer in Wyoming adds mitigation bank
Jeff Meyer and Michael Fraley purchased the Pathfinder Ranch in central Wyoming with a plan to build a massive wind-energy project on the land, but the land also had several sage grouse core areas, so the co-founders of Pathfinder LLC, moved the wind farm to southeastern Wyoming near Chugwater, and plans a mitigation bank to offset the industrial development to the Pathfinder Ranch.; Aug. 30

'Smart collars' will provide wealth of data on wildlife
Researchers are refining collars with global positioning technology, as well as accelerometers for that will measure how much time animals spend leaping, running or sleeping.
New York Times; Aug. 30

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Three new arms

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 at 10:10 AM

I know it's about to be football season in Missoula, and attention is already shifting away from baseball and the Osprey, but the local minor league team made some big news today.

According to multiple Twitter reports from the team this morning, three top pitching prospects are scheduled to join Missoula today.

First-round pick Archie Bradley actually broke the news on his account last night.

"Change of plans...I'm headed to Missoula, Montana in the morning to pitch for the osprey!" he wrote.

The team confirmed as much this morning, adding that two other top draft picks — Andrew Chafin and Anthony Meo — would join Bradley on the squad. All three pitchers were chosen in the top 63 picks of this year's amateur draft.

Bradley, a 19-year-old, was picked seventh overall, making him the second-highest picked player to ever play in Missoula. Here's more from the Diamondbacks:

Bradley was 12-1 with a 0.29 ERA in leading Broken Arrow High School to the Oklahoma 6A state championship this year. He can touch 96 mph with his fastball, throws a power curve and a changeup and has plus command.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

The New Sport That's Sweeping the Nation

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM

(Or At Least Bob Wire's Backyard)

At first, I fully expected the guy at the hardware store to ask me if I was a magician. I’d asked him to cut me off two stubby sections of four-inch PVC pipe, and told him to point me toward the nut-and-bolt aisle. “I’ll be right back,” I said. “I need to get a handful of two-and-a-half inch flat washers.” Then I walked away, rattling a can of OSHA orange spray paint, and I heard his mutter of recognition: “Texas washers.”

Sure, he might look like the hood ornament from a 1952 Pontiac, but any washer enthusiast will tell you that its all in the follow-through.
  • Sure, he might look like the hood ornament from a 1952 Pontiac, but any washer enthusiast will tell you that it's all in the follow-through.
Yup. It’s the sport that’s sweeping the nation. Or at least my backyard. In some circles it’s known as Trailer Park Washers, or simply, Washers. Half horseshoes, half ring toss, and one-third alcoholism, Texas Washers is the perfect summer pastime for people who dig any outdoor game they can play with a beer in their hand and some trash talk on their lips.

The premise is so simple, it’s practically criminal. Two holes are sunk into the grass, twenty-five feet apart. You and your opponent take turns, horseshoe-style, trying to throw your washer into the hole. Closest to the hole gets a point. In the hole—three points. Honestly, it could not be more simple.

And yet, it can be insanely hilarious. The game of Texas Washers is apparently considered an offshoot of Cornhole, a beanbag toss involving a hole in a flat wooden box and a corn-filled bag. There’s even a straight-faced website,

If you’ve played a decent amount of horseshoes in the summer, you’ve probably seen someone get brained by a shoe. It’s inevitable: some joker wanders into the line of fire on his way to the ice chest, and takes some iron to the melon. Next thing you know, he’s hosting a talk show on Fox News and running for president on the Libertarian ticket.

Although the concept is the same, i.e., trying to throw a thing at another thing from a prescribed distance, a diaphragm-sized washer poses a lot less danger than a horseshoe. Or even a beanbag. But you have to know the rules. I mean, if you don’t know a cornhole from a PVC pipe, well, good luck in prison.

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment: One reason why not to lie in the road, Slim-Fast parenting, and "the most phenomenally stupid case that I have ever seen."

Curses, Foiled Again
While police were driving burglary suspect Kylen English, 20, to the Montgomery County, Ohio, jail, he began banging his head against the car’s rear passenger window when crossing a bridge. “The officer starts to pull over,” Dayton police Lt. Kim Hill recounted, “and once he pulled over, the suspect had the window broken. He then went head-first out the window and head-first over the bridge.” The cruiser was roughly midway across the bridge, but the river flows beneath only a third of the span. English fell 30 feet onto a dry, rocky area and was pronounced dead. (Dayton Daily News)

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The Rockies Today, Aug. 29

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 8:59 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

State Department nudges Alberta, U.S. pipeline project ahead
On Friday, the State Department released its assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry Alberta crude from the province's oilsands operations south to U.S. refineries, that found no significant environmental impact, clearing a major hurdle for the project.
New York Times; Aug. 29

Wildfire in W. Montana makes weekend runs
The West Riverside fire burning near Missoula grew by more than a 1,000 acres on Saturday, and added several hundred more acres on Sunday, prompting closures of some trails and public lands in Western Montana.
Missoulian; Aug. 29

Vacant big-box stores litter the landscape in Colorado
In 2010, before Borders and Ultimate Electronics announced bankruptcy and store closures, there were 70 vacant big box stores, with a total of 3 million square feet of retail space, in the Denver-Boulder area, and local officials are working to find new uses for the empty spaces.
Denver Post; Aug. 29

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Friday, August 26, 2011

State Department to allow Keystone XL

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 12:47 PM

A report today from the State Department declared the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada, through Montana, all the way to Texas, would have minimal environmental impact.

The report levels a huge blow to environmentalists who have been protesting outside the White House since Aug. 20. So far, 381 people have been arrested, including a group featuring actor Margot Kidder and holding a sign that read, "Montana Women For An Oil Free Future."

According to the New York Times, the Sierra Club is hoping President Obama will still veto the pipeline, despite the State Department report.

“The decision-making authority is solely the president’s,” Michael Brune, the Sierra Club president, told the paper. “Keystone XL is a huge issue for our young leaders at the Sierra Club, but they’re also watching the president’s actions on other critically important environmental and public health protections. It will be increasingly difficult to mobilize the environmental base and to mobilize in particular young people to volunteer, to knock on thousands of doors, to put in 16-hour days, to donate money if they don’t think the president is showing the courage to stand up to big polluters.”

And there's more from Northern Plains Resource Council:

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