Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life at the right speed, on the right day

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2011 at 9:45 AM

We were so gosh darn excited about the new Montana PBS documentary profiling legendary backcountry outfitter Smoke Elser that we posted about it a week early. Just to make sure you program your DVR accordingly, we're re-posting that original writeup about tonight's premiere now.

No matter how much you love "Glee" and "NCIS", perhaps you should turn the dial tonight toward Montana PBS for the premiere of 3 Miles An Hour.
Smoke Elser takes a break on a wilderness trip in 1958.
  • Elser family photo
  • Smoke Elser takes a break on a wilderness trip in 1958.
The documentary profiles longtime Montana outfitter Arnold "Smoke" Elser, who believes life is best savored at the speed of a horse.

Elser has become a legendary backcountry figure over the last 50 years. He's credited as one of the first outfitters to adopt new regulations that lessened the impact of large pack trains and unlimited guests, and also played a part in the Great Bear Wilderness designation.

In addition to following Elser's years of backcountry experience, the film provides rare footage of Elser's main stomping ground: the Bob Marshall Wilderness, one of the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48. That footage includes new video, plus vintage home movies.

Watch it tonight at 7, or when it re-airs Thursday at 3 a.m., or Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7:45 p.m.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

The Rockies Today, Nov. 21

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

U.S. Sheep Experiment Station in Montana, Idaho under review
The U.S. Sheep Experiment Station was created in 1926 on 47,000 acres in the Centennial Mountains south of Dillon that stretch to DuBois, Idaho, for sheep research, as well as grazing and rangeland health, but the domestic herds are in conflict with grizzly bears, wolves and bighorn sheep, and there is an increasing debate on closing the station or at least grazing of domestic herds in the upper reaches of the facility.
Montana Standard; Nov. 21

Yellowstone National Park proposes 'selective cull' of bison
The Associated Press obtained documents that indicate that Yellowstone National Park officials are considering a proposal to selectively remove up to 360 wild bison to reduce the number of bison in the park from around 3,700 to 3,000.
Montana Standard (AP); Nov. 21

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 9:00 AM

In this week's installment, a Tokyo dental clinic offers a $390 procedure that applies crooked false over real teeth—because classic good looks, the theory goes, can intimidate suitors.

Curses, Foiled Again
When a man entered a bank in New Castle, Del., and handed a teller a hold-up note, she told him she couldn’t make out what it said and asked him to rewrite it. Instead, he left empty-handed. Police spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description and arrested Thomas J. Love, 40. (Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV)

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

NRA could hold key in Montana Senate race

Posted By on Sun, Nov 20, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Peter Sullivan at The Hill wrote an interesting story about the Senate race between Denny Rehberg and Jon Tester, and how the National Rifle Association could be the deciding factor. As of now, Sullivan writes, the NRA has yet to endorsed either candidate. Tester, the incumbent and a Democrat, earns an "A" grade from the gun group; Rehberg, a Republican, gets an "A+".

Last month, the NRA touted bills authored by Rehberg and Tester. It praised Rehberg’s leadership for sponsoring a bill requiring a court, rather than just the Department of Veterans Affairs, to declare a veteran mentally unfit to purchase a gun.

Ten days later, the NRA lauded Tester for his sponsorship of a bill to set aside money to make federal lands more accessible for hunting and other recreation.

Traditionally, Republicans do better than Dems with the NRA. But Tester's been strong on Second Amendment rights and Rehberg's run into trouble with local hunters for his his support of HR 105.

For now, the NRA isn't talking. They declined comment for Sullivan's story.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Montana State expected to beat Griz, 34.3 - 23.8

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 4:05 PM


The prediction in that headline comes courtesy of the mathematically inclined and usually accurate Massey Ratings. These ratings are used as part of the convoluted, computer-centric Football Bowl Subdivision's BCS rankings, but Massey also includes Football Championship Subdivision schools like MSU and UM in his system. That's cool, and his numbers cranked out the projected 34.3 - 23.8 Cats victory in tomorrow's big Brawl of the Wild. He also puts UM's chances of winning at a daunting 21 percent.

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Five years worth of local Thanksgiving recipes

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 11:50 AM

This week's Indy included our annual installment of Thanksgiving recipes, any of which would be a mouth watering addition to your holiday feast. That curried sweet potato-apple soup? Dude. Totally making that.

But we recognize that some of you are picky eaters who maybe didn't find the perfect recipe in this year's batch. No worries. Here are links to past issues of our food issue, with dozens more recipes to choose from. We'll even highlight one or two from each year to whet your appetite.

2007: Holiday feast
The inaugural recipe issue featured nine dishes from the likes of Scotty's Table, St. Patrick Hospital, Uncle Bill and the Good Food Store. The mayor (and issue cover boy) led things off with his own southern cornbread stuffing.

2008: Talking turkey
Eight different recipes, including one from the PEAS Farm for traditional turkey and stuffing.

2009: Guess who's coming to dinner?
Revisit the roasted butternut squash bisque from Finn & Porter, kale slaw from Lifeline Produce's Luci Brieger and Steve Elliott, or the green bean and roasted mushroom casserole from Organic Sprouts Kitchen.

2010: Kitchen Confidential
We changed things up a bit with a profile of the University of Montana’s College of Technology's culinary arts department, but there are still recipes. Check out the cider-braised sharptail grouse from chef Thomas Campbell.

The Rockies Today, Nov. 18

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

BLM rejects Signal Energy's $5.3M bid for Montana coal lease
The Bureau of Land Management said the 35.5 million tons of coal that Signal Energy bid $5.3 million for on Wednesday was worth more than 15 cents a ton and rejected the bid for the Montana parcel that lies within the path of Signal Energy's Bull Mountain mine.
Great Falls Tribune (AP); Nov. 18

Idaho executes Paul Ezra Rhoades for 1987 murders
Paul Ezra Rhodes was the first person executed by the state of Idaho since 1994.
Idaho Statesman (AP); Nov. 18

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Montana's "Poisoned Places"

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 10:15 AM

National Public Radio and The Center for Public Integrity collaborated on an exhaustive special report that uncovers, among other things, 464 industrial polluters nationwide that the EPA placed on a "secret government watch list.” A few Montana sites are mentioned in the report and one made the watch list.

There's a ton of information here, including interactive maps, EPA data, stories of specific towns, and more. Here's how NPR introduces the project:

Two decades ago, Democrats and Republicans together sought to protect Americans from nearly 200 dangerous chemicals in the air they breathe. That goal remains unfulfilled. Today, hundreds of communities are still exposed to the pollutants, which can cause cancer, birth defects and other serious health issues. A secret government 'watch list' underscores how much government knows about the threat — and how little it has done to address it.

An interactive map shows all the data for Montana, as well as more than 17,000 facilities throughout the United States that have emitted hazardous chemicals into the air. There's info on which sites count as a "high priority violator" and links to full EPA reports. You'll find many of the usual local suspects, including Smurfit-Stone, Plum Creek, Columbia Falls Aluminum and Knife River.

The only Montana site on the "watch list" is Montana Refining in Great Falls. You can download the full Excel file here.

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The Rockies Today, Nov. 17

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Headwaters News.

Only bidder at BLM auction of coal in Montana bids $5.3M
The Bureau of Land Management is expected to decide today whether to accept Signal Peak Energy LLC's $5.3-million bid for an estimated 35.5 million tons of coal on an estimated 2,700 acres in Montana.
Billings Gazette; Nov. 17

National elk refuge in Wyoming wraps up environmental analysis
With a lengthy environmental analysis in hand, the manager of the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming is moving forward with a plan to reduce the number of elk wintering there by roughly 2,000 to around 5,000, but a former biologist at the refuge warns that it's just a matter of time before chronic wasting disease moves onto the refuge and that more should be done to reduce the number of elk wintering there.
Jackson Hole Daily; Nov. 17

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Criminal search warrants issued in Missoula related to marijuana investigation (UPDATE)

Posted By on Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 6:00 PM

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Montana today executed 12 criminal search warrants in Missoula, Whitefish, Kalispell and Somers, plus four civil seizure warrants for financial institutions in Missoula, as part of a 12-month multi-agency investigation into drug trafficking activities. A release from the office says the warrants were related to marijuana charges, including manufacture and possession with intent to distribute.

"Twelve new search warrants were carried out today because sufficient probable cause was established to support that the premises were involved in illegal and large-scale trafficking of marijuana," said U.S. District Attorney Michael Cotter in the release. "When criminal networks violate federal laws in Montana those involved will be prosecuted."

The release went on to specify that "Individuals with illnesses who are in clear and unambiguous compliance with state law are not the focus of this investigation."

It's unclear whether the criminal search warrants were executed at medical marijuana businesses or private residences. A request for more information was sent to the U.S. Attoney's Office, but a spokesperson wrote in an email that no additional comment would be provided at this time.

(UPDATE: The AP reports at least three caregiver businesses were searched, including Big Sky Health and Kind Caregivers in Missoula.)

Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir says Missoula Police were involved with the service of the warrants, but directed all questions to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to the release, no federal criminal charges have been filed yet. The following organizations took part in the investigation: the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the Missoula Police Department, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, the Missoula High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, and the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition, these organizations assisted in the execution of the warrants: Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations, the Montana Division of Criminal Investigations, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, the Kalispell Police Department, and the Northwest Montana Drug Task Force.

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