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Obituary: John Bruno Donetti

John Bruno Donetti, born April 13, 1923, passed away peacefully with family members by his side on October 18, 2014.

A memorial service will be held at Hillcrest Lawn Memorial Chapel on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Born to Charles and Rose Donetti, Bruno (the name he went by) grew up on a small farmstead in Sand Coulee with his parents and younger sister, Mary.

Curtis and Daines debate in U.S. Senate campaign

BILLINGS -- Amanda Curtis (D) and Steven Daines (R) participated in a debate on Monday night at Petro Theater at MSU-Billings.

The two agreed on very little during the debate, and it became clear on the question regarding the federal Affordable Care Act.

"I know the ACA is not perfect," Curtis said. "I've traveled over 8,000 miles across the state, listening to Montanans who are experiencing problems with delay of care and the cost of their insurance. So I am just saying I am willing to work with both sides of the aisle in order to fix these issues and make this bill work better for everyone."

Daines said, "I will stand with the people of Montana. I'm not going to stand with President Obama. As I've traveled around the state, I've been to every one of Montana's 56 counties. Montanan's overall don't like Obamacare. They want it repealed. So we do not want to see a Washington D.C.-led solution. D.C.-led solutions don't solve the problem, they create more problems."

The topic of abortion came up, showing another stark contrast between the candidates.

"I think it's very, very important that we stand to ensure that women across this country have full access to contraception," Daines said. "We also need to make sure that we stand up and respect the First Amendment, which is an issue of freedom of religion as well. It's very important though we stand for women and assure that they have access to contraception."

Curtis said, "Congressman Daines just said in mentioning the First Amendment is he is reminding all of us that he supports the 'Hobby Lobby' decision (by the U.S. Supreme Court) that says a corporation can make my healthcare decisions for me, and as a woman...I absolutely disagree with that."

Following that, the question of coal, energy, and the Keystone XL Pipeline versus environmental concerns were addressed.

"Congressman Daines spent much of his time in the private sector, building up jobs in China," said Curtis. "He spent much of his time in Congress incentivizing corporations who ship their profits and our jobs to China, and so it's no surprise that he would fight so hard to ship our oil and our refining jobs to China."

Daines replied, "I'm a bit confused about my opponent's position. She came out against the Keystone Pipeline originally, now she says she supports it, if the product is refined here. There is a law that's 39 years old that prohibits the export of crude. All the Keystone Oil is going to get refined here in the United States."

Immediately following the debate, three political observers offered their take.

All three agreed that neither candidate landed a knockout punch.

Analyst Bob Brown said, "Curtis was clearly the aggressor in the debate. This was her best opportunity to force Daines to make an important mistake that could make a difference in the election campaign."

Analyst Gary Stein had a different take: "I think Curtis might win by a slight margin but she didn't hit the grand slam that she needed to win."

"I agree with the panel here so far," said analyst David Parker. "Steve Daines looked calm, cool, collected, refused to rise to the debate against Amanda Curtis. I thought she acquitted herself extraordinarily well under these circumstances. She did a good job."

The three agreed that Curtis took the fight to Daines but they also said that Daines did a good job of defending his positions.

The debate was partially sponsored by the Greater Montana Foundation, which works to expand quality broadcasting in Montana.


Two people die after being hit by car near Lodge Grass

BILLINGS -- Two people died on Friday evening when they were hit by a car near Lodge Grass.

The Montana Highway Patrol said the incident happened at about 8:30 p.m. on Highway 463.

A patrol dispatcher said a woman was jumping in front of traffic on the road, then laid down on the road.

A second person was checking on the woman when both were hit and killed by a Ford Fusion.

No other information was available Tuesday from the MHP.

The names of the two people killed have not yet been released.

"Freakers Ball 17" planned in Great Falls for Halloween

GREAT FALLS - "Freaker's Ball 17" is making a spooky appearance in Great Falls for the Halloween holiday.

Bands including Hemlock, Switch Off Safety, Walking Corpse Syndrome, and Arctodus will make an appearance throughout the night.

Alongside the bands, a Halloween-oriented menu will be catered by Brotha D's Grillin, and prizes for costumes will be presented.

Doors will open at 7 p.m., at the Northwest Center (2201 Northwest Bypass).

For more details or to RSVP, visit the event page on Facebook.

Freakers Ball in Great Falls

KRTV Morning News - Tue Oct 21

Top stories for the morning of Tuesday, October 21st, 2014:

- Amanda Curtis (D) and Steve Daines (R), who are battling to replace John Walsh (D) in the U.S. Senate, debated in Billings on Monday evening. Click here for more details.

- The man who died in a crash on Highway 87 has been identified as Joe Bramlette of Loma. Click here for more details.

- Cascade County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a black bear that was found inside the perimeter of Malmstrom Air Force Base on Saturday. Click here for more details.

- Wildlife officials are asking for the public's help in finding out who poached a Whitetail buck near Shelby earlier in October.

- ZooMontana officials said that a child was bitten by one of two wolves at the zoo on Sunday afternoon. Click here for more details.

- Members of an organization called Wolf & Wildlife Action Group rallied at the Capitol in Helena on Monday to protest the state's wolf management policies. Click here for more details.

- Last night, the Helena City Commission meeting opened with remarks made by U.S. Senator John Walsh.

CMR Girls' Soccer Prepares for Playoffs

GREAT FALLS -- Last weekend brought the end to the regular season for high school soccer, but also the beginning of playoffs. One of the teams with the biggest chance of taking home a state trophy this year? The CMR girls' soccer team.

This weekend with their win over Skyview, they wrapped up the number two seed in the East Conference and will take on Butte on Thursday at 3. If they win that game they will play in the state tournament which will be held in Great Falls this year.

The girls definitely will have a home crowd behind their back if they make it there, but there is an even bigger story line. After seventeen seasons, CMR Head Coach Rob Zimmerman will step down at the end of the year. With all the stars aligning, the players and coach are saying, why not us?

"We both think the same. We both have want it so bad. We've wanted to for four years and it's his last year so why not win it?" said Senior Payton Netz. "That's what he wants, that's what all of us want, that's been our goal since the beginning of the season."

The girls will play against Butte on Thursday at 3:00 PM in Great Falls.


KRTV Gamechangers: Mon Oct 20

5. Power/Dutton-Brady @ Chinook

Chinook down 14-0 and trying to answer but Chase Rossmiller intercepts and spins his way into the end zone. Titans up 21-0. But Chinook comes back to win 38-21.

4. Glacier @ Capital

Bringing you to the second quarter, 27-7 already and here comes Glacier's Logan Jones. He goes 60 YDs for the TD to put the Wolfpack on top 34-7. They win 55-14.

3. Senior @ CMR

Senior driving. Nathan Dick looking downfield and finds Gabe Sulser in the corner of the end zone. The freshman makes an incredible catch but he's ruled out of bounds. CMR wins 24-14.

2. Geraldine-Highwood @ Big Sandy

7:55 left in the fourth. The Rivals go for it on fourth and six from their own 36 but it's a pick six. Freshman Weston Allderdice gives the pioneers their first score of the game. Geraldine-Highwood wins 41-14.

1. Hays-Lodge Pole @ Great Falls Central

Reid Nelson and the Central Mustangs Hosting Hays-Lodge Pole. And here's Nelson doing what he does best... extending plays. Rolls right, reverses field, and hits a wide open CJ Lewis for the first touchdown of the game. Mustangs roll 54-6.


Several Montana Athletes Named Frontier Players of the Week

GREAT FALLS -- With fall sports still being played and winter sports just getting started, plenty of local collegiate athletes were in action over the weekend.

Some Montana players had weekends that were just a little more special than the rest, and were honored by the Frontier Conference on Monday.

In football, Carroll's Dustin Rinker was awarded the conference's Offensive Player of the Week Award. He rushed for 201 yards on 30 carries in Carroll's 42-40 win over Southern Oregon. He also inched closer to breaking Carroll's individual rushing record. He is just 13 yards away from surpassing Chance Demarius for the number one spot.

Another Carroll athlete, freshman Oliver Carr, received Men's Basketball Player of the Week honors. Carr went 11-13 from the field for 27 points in Carroll's 95-68 win over Northwest Indian College.

And it's no surprise who was the Frontier Conference Women's Basketball Player of the Week: Erin Legel. She had 37 points in UGF's 83-71 win over Warner Pacific on Saturday. The junior also went 12 of 13 from the free throw line in the win, but the most impressive stat of all from Saturday was that Legel surpassed the 1,000 point mark for her Argo career.

The UGF men's soccer team also swept the men's soccer awards. Ramus Madsen won the Offensive Player of the Week award and Paul Sliwa was named Defensive Player of the Week. Both players had goals in a pair of UGF wins this weekend.


KRTV 10pm Top Stories-Mon Oct 20

Senate debate: Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Amanda Curtis met in a Monday night U.S. Senate debate at MSU-Billings.

Debate anlysis: Three Montana political analysts say both candidates came out swinging in Monday's debate, but neither landed a knockout punch.

Fatal crash:  Joe Bramlette of Loma died in an early Monday morning crash near Belt.   Click here to read more.

Malmstrom bear: Cascade County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a black bear that was found inside the perimeter of Malmstrom Air Force Base.   Click here to read more.

Wolf protest: The Wolf & Wildlife Action Group took to the state capitol Monday, protesting the state of Montana's wolf management plan.   Click here to read more.

Deer poached: Wildlife officials are asking for the public's help in finding out who poached a Whitetail buck near Shelby earlier in October.

Hunters Against Hunger: Big game hunters in Montana can help feed the hungry through the "Hunters Against Hunger" program.   Click here to read more.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Hungry wing lovers camped out for a chance to be the first through the doors of the newest restaurant in Great Falls, Buffalo Wild Wings.   Click here to read more.


Driver charged with DUI after rolling down embankment near Neihart

GREAT FALLS -- A man has been charged after reportedly driving while drunk and rolling down an embankment near Neihart on Monday.

The man, identified at time only as an Idaho driver, was driving his pickup truck while intoxicated on Pioneer Lane just off of Carpenter Creek Road near Neihart, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.

He was driving east and went off the right-side of the road, and his truck rolled down an embankment.

The man was knocked unconscious for a time, but only sustained minor head injuries.

MHP, a Cascade County Sheriff's deputy and Belt Fire Department responded.

A Mercy Flight helicopter from Benefis Health System was called, but the man was taken via ambulance to Benefis, where he is being kept overnight for observation.

The man is being charged with 3rd offense DUI.

2014 Predictions

As promised here are my 2014 mid-term election predictions. Just a reminder, I was 100% in 2012 predicting Obama’s re-election, Tester beating Rehberg, the GOP not gaining U.S. Senate control, Bullock winning the governorship and Daines winning the House seat. So without further adieu or a-don’t:

THE GOP WILL WIN THE U.S. SENATE taking at least 6 seats away from the Dems; Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, North Carolina, Iowa and Arkansas. The GOP could flip as many as 10 states adding Alaska, Louisiana, Colorado and New Hampshire to the mix. Oregon, Michigan and Minnesota are in play according to some but I doubt those will go red.

STATUS QUO IN THE HOUSE. No significant change in the U.S. House unless the GOP wins 8-12 Senate seats, then it’s a wave similar to 2010 and they’ll pick up an additional 10 or so House seats.

Daines will easily beat Curtis for the open Montana Senate seat by 10-20 percentage points or more. The Zinke-Lewis House race will be much tighter, though I think Zinke pulls it out by 3-5 points due to the big Republican voter enthusiasm advantage. The Dems have the President to thank for that.

The GOP will maintain it’s big majority in the Montana House and a slimmer majority in the state Senate, though it’s hard to predict due to this being the first election with new state legislative districts. The entrance of Amanda Curtis into the Senate race is likely to hurt down-ticket Democratic candidates statewide unless she crafts and communicates a much more middle-of-the-road, positive message. So far she is not inspiring independents and is angering conservatives who will take it out on Dems at the ballot box. The only constituency she is currently energizing is the far, far left who would turn out and vote anyway.

It looks like a very good year for the GOP statewide and nationally but things could change pretty quickly. There’s only about 9 weeks until Election Day and actually in MT folks will begin to vote in about 5 weeks. Not a lot of time to change the positive GOP trajectory but here are a few wild cards that could change things either way:

1.) Obama could take executive action on immigration that would anger and energize a bigger conservative turnout OR energize a bigger Dem turnout. I’m sure the White House is calculating and polling on that as we speak.

2.) When the GOP led House comes back next week they could form the circular firing squad they’re so famous for and decide to “shut down the government” in response to an Obama action like the one mentioned above. If they do that then they will not retake the Senate and will LOSE House seats.

3.) It’s possible that Louisiana will have a run-off election in December to determine which party will control the U.S. Senate. They have a weird set of procedures down there and if a candidate doesn’t get at least 50% in the general then it goes to a run-off. I don’t think this scenario is likely to determine Senate control but you never know…

4.) International problems could get very ugly and much, much worse in the coming days and weeks. If so, it will most likely make things much worse for Dems, but could benefit them if the President shows some exceptional leadership and courage.

There you have it friends, and delivered before Labor Day. Have a great holiday weekend!

Bloof Witzer & Walsh in a Sityourbuttdown Room interview

Recently Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People John Walsh, Democrat from Montana, sat down with CNN’s Bloof Witzer on his show “The Sityourbuttdown Room” to discuss revelations that Walsh plagiarized a research paper required for his masters degree.

Bloof: Thank you for coming on the show Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People Walsh.

Walsh: I want to thank you for letting me be myself again.

Bloof: Sure. Tell us a little about yourself.

Walsh: My home’s in Montana I wear a bandana my spurs are of silver my pony is gray While riding the ranges my luck never changes.

Bloof: Well, your luck may have changed a little here recently, but before we get into that please tell our viewers a little about your political beliefs.

Walsh: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Bloof: Okay. Tell us a little about your philosophy on life and how it is that you have become a successful Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People.

Walsh: Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day. Oh, and he that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing.

Bloof: A recent New York Times piece has revealed that you apparently plagiarized a large portion of a research paper required to get your masters degree. What do you say to those who criticize you for doing that?

Walsh: To err is human, to forgive divine and God helps them that help themselves. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.

Bloof: But some say that plagiarism is a dis-qualifier for a Senate candidate, what say you?

Walsh: It depends what the meaning of ‘is’ is.

Bloof: Okay, let’s talk about a few issues. Ukraine; what are your views concerning the rebel separatists there and their attempt to break from Ukraine.

Walsh: When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Bloof: How about the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel?

Walsh: Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.

Bloof: Wait a minute, are you saying that Palestine is actually the ancient homeland of the Jews and is their possession by birthright?

Walsh: It depends what the meaning of ‘is’ is.

Bloof: Hmmm…well, let’s talk about the crisis on our southern border, what would you do to solve the problems down there?

Walsh: You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas. God bless Texas. Ay carumba and uhm, er…out in the west Texas town of El Paso I fell in love with a Mexican girl.

Bloof: What? Okay, ahhh..what are your own personal thoughts about allegations that the President has overreached and is violating the Constitution through executive fiat?

Walsh: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Bloof: Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before. Oh well, wrapping things up now, how do you intend to handle these latest revelations that you plagiarized to earn a degree and what do you say to allegations coming from some that it proves that you’re either too dumb, lazy, dishonest or all three to be a U.S. Senator?

Walsh: Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead! I have not yet begun to fight! Give me liberty or give me death! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you like pina coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain! Hey macarena!

Bloof: Wow, sounds like you have some real deeply held convictions here, straight from the heart. Care to leave our viewers with a final word?

Walsh: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time…er oops, I mean NO COMMENT.

Bloof: Thank you for joining us today on “The Sityourbuttdown Room” Senator-By-Political-Crony-Appointment-Not-The-Will-Of-The-People Walsh.

Walsh: I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal….

Bloof: Cut his microphone, cut it…

Fair questions about fairgrounds

Good observations and questions about Expo Park here in Cascade County from a listener to the radio show:

“The financial situation at the Fairgrounds is very concerning. It seems the most fundamental  accounting procedures to ensure employee accountability and prevent theft have not traditionally been in place. Since the Fairgrounds is a public entity, this is very surprising. Along with proper daily procedures of cash handling, an annual audit is the rule.

I applaud whoever “blew the horn” on the situation and brought these unfortunate circumstances to light. I can only hope that as we move forward, the County continues to remain transparent, and inform and reassure the public that the correct procedures are in place.

Will we see an annual audit from a private accounting firm, and will the audit be publicly noticed and available to voters? And has anyone estimated the total amount of loss to taxpayers from this situation?”

Worse than Nixon? Wow!

Obama is the worst President since WWII.
Worse than Bush.
Worse than Nixon.
According to FOX News? No, according to 1446 registered voters in a new Quinnipiac poll. And the numbers get worse and worse as you look further into the poll. It’s devastating for the President and his party.

The President could turn it around though if he would stop behaving like a third grader with the taunting, mocking, “so sue me” cocky attitude and start behaving like the adult in the room.

Democrats will start jumping ship pretty quickly now because the Presidents antics and woeful lack of anything remotely resembling leadership will not yield the intended results of sufficiently firing up the base for November. Captain Obama is steering the Titanic directly at the iceberg and will sink his party and this country if not checked. Apparently he’s too arrogant and confident in his golden lifeboat waiting in 2016 to give a rip.

Wednesday radio show featuring former GOP state senator Jerry Black

This Wednesday, June 25th live in the studio will be former GOP state senator and longtime north central Montana broadcaster Jerry Black. Topics will include state and local politics and issues, political polarization and the state of the Montana Republican Party.
As always the show features listener call-ins and emails. The call-in number is 452-1073 and the email is

Two good reasons for war no more

We should all hope and pray that our great country is not sucked into another foreign war for two reasons:

First, we should have all learned the lesson that nation building and trying to solve ancient feuds when the people directly involved don’t want us to is impossible and not worth even one drop of American blood or one penny of American treasure. Thanks to the blindness and ignorance of neo-cons like Cheney and the inept prosecution of the war by the then CINC G.W. Bush that lesson was learned at the expense of our brave young soldiers and an economic debt we may never pay off.

Second, the notion of engaging in another war under the “leadership” of Obama should frighten the crap out of all of us. The weakness, indecision and incompetence of the current CINC would make W look like a military genius by comparison. Just imagine a war-time president like Obama who thinks global warming or climate change or whatever they’re calling it this week is the greatest threat facing us and who can’t even manage a web site…or his own State Department. Imagine a CINC who has no idea whats going on in the world, or his own administration for that matter, until he learns about it from the newspaper after it’s too late.


Let’s bake a bigger pie

It’s distressing to see this community being divided once again over a school levy vote. Political vendettas, personal attacks, name calling and disrespect on all sides. Folks who oppose the levy have legitimate reasons and aren’t trying to hurt the community and those who support the levy do so for noble reasons as well and aren’t trying to rip off taxpayers.

Instead of squabbling over how to divide up the crumbs and thin slices of a shrinking pie we should be WORKING TOGETHER TO GROW THE PIE. I want to hear the sound of hammer and saw building new homes, businesses and infrastructure. I want to see a thriving economy where lot’s of people have good full time jobs, where shops and restaurants are so busy they can barely keep up.

We can have a growing community where we don’t even think twice about paying a little more for public schools because we’re prosperous and student enrollment is expanding because people want to move here and live here and raise their kids here.

We CAN be that. Why not here? Let’s get to work!

GFPS levy issue: BOTH sides need to compromise

When it comes to funding our schools at the local district level we need to find common ground and make arguments based on facts rather than casting aspersions on those we disagree with. We have to come to some kind of a consensus on funding education so we can build and maintain a prosperous economy and attract and keep good jobs here. It’s not rocket science; unless we show we are able to agree and make a commitment to excellence in public education we have little chance of growing and developing a thriving economy in Cascade County. Unfortunately many levy proponents always make the same silly mistake: they just can’t seem to stop themselves from referring to levy opponents as “haters” and “gripers” etc. This kind of name-calling really hurts the pro-levy cause. I’m not sure why those who favor a levy don’t seem to understand that most of those who oppose a levy have good reasons for doing so and are not “against kids” or “cheapskates” or “selfish” or “vandals” or “naysayers” – all terms I’ve heard and read recently referring to the “anti-levy crowd” which recently has been the majority “crowd”. Instead of characterizing opponents negatively try understanding their point of view. Instead of putting all of the responsibility on local taxpayers to buck up and just “hand over the money because it’s for the kids”, why not suggest, no DEMAND, that administrators and teachers also make some sacrifices. Most levy opponents I’ve spoken with are FOR more transparency, FOR more accountability, FOR more frugality, FOR more shared responsibility between taxpayers and district employees.

The district is asking for about $500,000 of this levy request to pay for the increase in health insurance premiums for district employees which is largely due to ObamaCare mandates. A 2% raise was just approved for teachers. The GFPS Athletic Director makes $96,569 per year. Where are the sacrifices being made by district employees? Where is the compromise and attempt to find common ground? We’re still waiting for information on how much of our property and money was stolen from OUR school district by a district employee. How can we be expected to give more money to an administration that doesn’t do everything possible to account for the money we have already given?

I want to make sure we provide a world class education to our kids, my own daughters got that education here and I am proud of our community and school system. That’s why I am urging the pro-levy voices, along with their advocacy for good public education, to ask for some accountability, responsibility and shared sacrifice by the GFPS and employees. I believe this is the key. If we want to see the levy pass there has to be a GENUINE attempt by the school board, the administration and the teachers union to compromise, find solutions and work together, otherwise everyone will suffer the consequences. I stand ready to help in the effort in any way I can.


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