Monday, September 24, 2012

The Rockies Today, Sept. 24

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Federal rules on school lunches leave rural Montana students hungry
Schools in some of Montana's smaller communities have few options for students to eat off-campus, but with federal guidelines for school lunches that limit protein servings to 3 ounces for high schoolers, hungry students are prowling for options.
Great Falls Tribune; Sept. 23

Ski areas in Colorado, elsewhere pull back on capital improvements
Last year's dismal snow year has ski areas in Colorado and elsewhere revamping their spending on capital investments, with more spending going toward summer amenities.
Denver Post; Sept. 24

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Extra, extra: In Other News, online

Posted By on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 9:00 AM


This week, Dahl’s College of Beauty in Great Falls is accepting applications.

Curses, Foiled Again
Marcus Banwell, 39, was arrested for shoplifting food at a convenience store in Bristol, England, after he ate one of the stolen items: a Scotch bonnet chili pepper. The variety has a heat rating of 100,000 to 350,000 Scoville units, compared with 2,500 to 8,000 for jalapeƱo peppers. Within seconds, Banwell doubled over in pain. The shopkeeper called police, who recovered four other chili peppers on him, along with a stolen milkshake and fruit juice. Police also found a stolen clarinet tucked inside his waistband, as well as crack cocaine and heroin. (The Huffington Post)

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Montana stable shocks horse racing, goes for $1 million purse

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM

ESPN doesn't write about Montana sports very often. When it comes to horse racing, the World Wide Leader would seem to have little reason to pay attention to the Treasure State — if not for the remarkable luck of Magic City Thoroughbred Partners.

Bill Finley has a new story on ESPN about a pair of Billings businessmen who stumbled upon one the sport's biggest surprises. Last year, Carter Stewart and his partner Ken Schlenker bought a couple horses: Golden Ticket for $100,000 and Unbridled Minister for $150,000. With just two horses, Finley explains, their odds of winning anything were slim. Slim turned to slimmer considering Stewart and Schlenker didn't know much about horse racing's bigger races. But the pair landed a bright trainer named Kenny McPeek and Golden Ticket turned into, well, a golden ticket. The horse tied for first in the prestigious Travers Stakes, splitting a $1 million pot, and tomorrow will enter the starting gate in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby.

This is one of those things that can only happen in horse racing. Two friends get together, pool a relatively modest amount of money, hire the right trainer and advisor in Kenny McPeek and, well, get lucky. That's how they won the Travers, winning right alongside Sheik Mohammed's Godolphin stable, the most powerful racing outfit in the world.

"Nobody told me how difficult this sport was supposed to be," Stewart told Finley. "We always kept a positive attitude and figured if someone else could do it we could do it."

Golden Ticket is currently listed as a favorite at 5-2 odds.

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 21

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Federal judge in Montana gives USFWS a deadline on wolverine decision
In a lawsuit filed by environmental groups challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision that wolverines deserved federal protection but that its listing is precluded by higher-priority protections, a federal judge in Montana declined to dismiss the lawsuit as the agency had requested and said Fish and Wildlife must indicate by Dec. 14 if it is going to issue a decision on the wolverine by Jan. 18.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 21

Federal officials share concerns, optimism about Colorado's forests
Harris Sherman, undersecretary of natural resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Mark Stiles, San Juan National Forest supervisor, met with members of the Durango Herald's editorial board on Thursday, and talked about how climate changes had affected forests in Colorado and the West, and how the U.S. Forest Service is using controlled burns and other mitigation processes to address those changes.
Durango Herald; Sept. 21

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Police plan extra DUI patrols during Homecoming Weekend (duh)

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 9:45 AM

This is obvious, but worth noting for those more concerned this weekend with keg stands and field goals than safety. The Missoula Police Department is planning extra DUI patrols during Homecoming Weekend, beginning tonight. A release from the department specifies:

The Police Department will have additional patrols in the downtown area as well as additional DUI enforcement and party patrols. ...

The Missoula Police Department will respond to party complaints and will if necessary issue citations or make arrests. This results in not only an arrest or citation but could also lead to eviction for a renter. ...

Directly after the homecoming football game, there will be units assigned to the UM area strictly for DUI enforcement.

Be safe. Don't be dumb. And call someone if you need a ride.

Photo by Steele Williams

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Eat, drink, be merry — and look at art

Posted on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 3:55 PM


The Missoula Art Museum brings back its Artini series this evening with its fair share of "R" words. Artini Redux calls on the masses to reduce, reuse and refashion during a full slate of artistic activities. What does that mean exactly? Create your own stylish outfit from recycled materials with help from Selvedge Studio and Home Resource. Check out the redesigned Aresty Gallery. Peruse the art of Terry Karson—he uses a ton of repurposed cardboard (pictured above)—and listen to his 7 p.m. artist talk after you read all about him in this week's Indy. There's also rad family-friendly music from WhizPops, food from James Bar and a cash bar.

The action starts at 5 p.m. and MAM suggests a $5 donation.

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The Rockies Today, Sept. 20

Posted By on Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Study: Public lands on Montana's Rocky Mountain Front an economic driver
The Coalition to Protect the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana contracted with Headwaters Economics to do an economic assessment of a 100-mile stretch of the Rocky Mountain Front, and the study found that average annual wages in that area increased 15 percent between 2000 and 2010, while statewide the average wage increased just 10 percent.
Helena Independent Record; Sept. 20

PPL Montana says it will mothball Billings power plant in 2015
Officials of PPL Montana said the $38 million in upgrades needed to make the J.E. Corette power plant in Billings compliant with new emissions regulations to take effect in April 2015 don't make economic sense, given the state of the wholesale power market in the Northwest, and said the plant will be mothballed before those regulations take effect.
Billings Gazette; Sept. 20

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Rockies Today, Sept. 19

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Top news links, courtesy of Mountain West News.

Federal appeals court hears arguments on energy leases
On Tuesday in Denver, a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver heard arguments in a case filed by oil and gas companies alleging that the Bureau of Land Management was required by law to issue oil and gas leases within sixty days of the date they were sold.
Casper Star-Tribune (AP); Sept. 19

Volunteer firefighter charged with deliberately setting Idaho wildfire
Crews were able to do burnouts Tuesday to protect homes in the Wilderness Ranch subdivision threatened by the Karney Fire, but extremely dry fuels in the Robie Creek area of the Idaho fire were cited as a concern for firefighters today.
Idaho Statesman; Sept. 19

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Your future, a little early

Posted By on Wed, Sep 19, 2012 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): For every trillion dollars the U.S. government spends on the military, it creates about 11,000 jobs. That same expenditure, if directed toward education, creates 27,000 jobs. Personally, I’d rather have the taxes I pay go to teachers than soldiers—especially in light of the fact that the U.S. spends almost as much money on its military as all the other nations in the world combined spend on theirs. I suggest that in the coming months you make a metaphorically similar move, Aries. Devote more of your time and energy and resources to learning, and less to fighting. Ironically, doing that will ultimately diminish the fighting you have to do. As you get more training and wisdom, you’ll become more skilled at avoiding unnecessary conflicts.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Trans woman says she was attacked by UM student

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 11:05 AM

On Saturday April 28, University of Montana student Anita Green danced with a well-dressed man at the Elk’s Club. After they danced, the man, identified by the Missoula Police Department as Obioha Onwubiko, a 21-year-old UM student, led Green outside. “He wanted to take me away from the club. But I said no. I felt uncomfortable with that,” says Green, 21, of Billings.

According to Green, Onwubiko tried to put his hands down her pants. She said, “no” and swiped him away. Onwubiko was rough when they kissed, she says. Green got scared and tried to walk away. “He...grabbed my shirt...I was terrified.”

Then Onwubiko grabbed her crotch, she says. She believes that’s when he discovered that she’s is a pre-operative transgender woman, born a biological male but living as a woman. Green says Onwubiko seemed infuriated. She again tried to get away. “He then punched me in the right eye.”

Photo courtesy of Anita Green
  • Photo courtesy of Anita Green

Although the alleged incidents occurred nearly five months ago, they only recently came to the Independent’s attention.

As a result of her allegations, Onwubiko faces misdemeanor sexual assault and assault charges, punishable by a maximum of 1 year in custody and a $1,000 fine. Onwubiko is pleading not guilty.

Onwubiko’s Missoula attorney, Craig Shannon, says that Green’s story is a “fabrication.” He adds that his client was provoked and acted in self defense.

“She was a man, that was confusing for Obi,” Shannon says. “It would be confusing for me, too.”

On April 30, campus police charged Onwubiko with a third misdemeanor. According to Missoula prosecutor Carrie Garber, Onwubiko allegedly threatened another UM student and caused “fear of injury.”

Shannon says the third charge stemmed from Onwubiko’s attempts to figure out “who was playing the prank on him Saturday night...He’s from Nigeria. English is not his mother language. He was confused.”

The case is slated for an October 26 trial in Missoula Municipal Court. Onwubiko is “very interested in having his day in court,” Shannon says.

Green says she agreed to discuss the alleged attack in the hope that it will raise awareness about violence against LGBT people. “People in the queer community are attacked every day,” she says. “They deserve to have their voice heard.”

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