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The haunted tales of Paris Gibson Square

GREAT FALLS -- The Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is the kind of place that looks like it has ghosts.

Imposing architecture? Check. Windows that seem to peer into your soul? Yep. A lady in Victorian clothing haunting the women's bathroom? Well...not really.

She's actually one of the Downtown Chicks getting ready for the ghost trolley tour the group hosts.

For the past few years, the Chicks have used the Square as their beginning and end to the tour.

Square executive director Tracy Houck says every tour they've held has sold out; she noted, "I think everybody likes to have a little spook, whether it's just a little spook or a big spook."

But even though the group's members are only dressing up as ghosts, the building has its own spooky stories.

Completed in 1896, Paris Gibson Square served as a school for almost eight decades, first as Central High School, then as Paris Gibson Junior High.

It's during that era the ghost stories originate.

Houck says staff and visitors have seen and sensed both a female teacher and a man wandering the hallways.

She speculates that he is a former caretaker who used to live up in the attic area.

The attic, with its looming ceilings and relics from the building's school days, is also a place of strange sights and sounds.

Houck admits to having her share of ghostly encounters, but says she takes comfort that the majority of reported activity is actually children singing and playing pranks.

"Now we just talk out loud at the Square whenever we're in the building. We're like 'Ok, we're here to have some fun, no more mischief."

One popular rumor to explain the Square's paranormal activity is the story of a boy who supposedly drowned in the school's pool.

But Houck says for a while, they actually had a different theory: "We've thought that perhaps a student died at the school and what happened was he actually was climbing on the roof. He fell off the roof and, unfortunately, hit an electrical power line as he came down and it killed him."

But the end of his story changed when he hit the ground: "Jolted his heart back into working and they provided him with a nurse. He fell in love with his nurse. Him and his nurse got married and they went on to have a wonderful family."

 



Montana leaders announce Ebola preparedness plan

HELENA -- There haven't been any confirmed cases of Ebola in Montana, but officials are taking steps to be ready in case the often-deadly virus does show up.

Montana governor Steve Bullock (D) announced on Friday the adoption of new state health agency protocols for Montanans who have returned from the Ebola-affected regions in Western Africa, or who may have come in contact with a person infected with the virus.

In a press release, Bullock said, "These new protocols will help ensure the safety of those potentially exposed to Ebola, and the safety of Montanans as a whole."

The state is notified by the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention of the names of all passengers who return to Montana from Ebola-affected regions in Western Africa or who have had contact with an Ebola-infected person.

Once the state is notified, the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services coordinates with local public health departments to ensure all returning travelers receive daily monitoring.

People who had known exposure to the virus will require direct and active monitoring by public health officials, including a twice-daily review of symptoms and observation of the person checking their temperature. Monitoring also includes discussion of plans to work, travel, or go to public places and determining whether these activities are permitted.

Bullock says that, if and when appropriate, the protocols will be updated to reflect a better understanding of how to more effectively treat and monitor individuals who may have been exposed.

Dick Brown, president of the Montana Hospital Association, said, "With national media attention on this disease, it is understandable that Montanans are concerned about the spread of Ebola. However, with the talented and trained public health officials and hospital staff in this state, along with Governor Bullock's protocols for monitoring those at highest risk, residents should rest easy knowing that Montana is taking proactive steps to prevent this virus in the state."

Melanie Reynolds, the Lewis & Clark County health officer, said, "With a disease like Ebola, it is important that the public has confidence that health officials have a rigorous plan to preventing the spread of the disease if it enters the state. These protocols will ensure that those at highest-risk of contracting the virus are quickly identified and if necessary, treatment is effectively administered to eliminate the risk of further infections."

Vicki Byrd, director of the Montana Nurses Association, said, "These protocols provide the guidelines appropriately monitor individuals who may have been exposed to or have had direct contact with a symptomatic person diagnosed with Ebola. This guidance clarifies the appropriate limitation to travel and presence in public places based on the level of risk that individual poses to the public These protocols also take into account the rural nature of our state, and provide appropriate steps for accommodating those who live a great distance from their nearest hospital or health facility."

In addition to the new protocols, Bullock earlier this month organized a "Command Team" to coordinate Ebola preparedness activities in the state.  The team is led by Major General Matt Quinn who oversees emergency preparedness for the state. Also on the team:

· Richard Opper - Director, MT Department of Public Health and Human Services

· Brad Livingston - Administrator, MT Disaster and Emergency Services

· Tracy Stone-Manning - Director, Montana Department of Environmental Quality

· Mike Tooley - Director, Montana Department of Transportation

· Jason Smith - Director, Governor's Office of Indian Affairs

"I've tasked these experts with creating, and now maintaining, a reasonable and effective approach to Ebola preparedness in Montana. I have every confidence that this team will do everything possible to ensure Montana is prepared in the unlikely event that a case of Ebola appears in Montana," said Bullock.

Although rumors and speculation have spread in many communities across the nation in recent weeks about Ebola, they are of particular concern to many Montanans since St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula is one of only four hospitals in the country that are fully prepared to handle Ebola patients.

St. Patrick Hospital is the designated support facility for the Rocky Mountain Laboratories, a federal facility a few miles south in Hamilton that works with rare and contagious diseases.

Rumors in the last several days about an Ebola patient in Montana were so persistent that Kalispell Regional Medical Center issued a press release on Tuesday about the situation.

Deb Wilson, the CEO of KRMC, wrote:

Posts on social media, local blogs, and online discussion forums have reported that Kalispell Regional Medical Center received a patient exhibiting signs of the virus. This claim was thoroughly investigated and was found to be categorically untrue.

No patients suspected of having Ebola have presented themselves to KRMC and there were no patient transfers to Missoula last week, as was reported by these forums.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center has had no cases of Ebola or suspected cases of Ebola. The possibility of Ebola coming to Kalispell, Montana, is extremely remote. However, our teams have been planning, preparing and putting protocols in place to address this health crisis if the need arises.

We take these potential health crises very seriously. We also take rumors regarding KRMC seriously. The health of our patients, staff and the community we serve is our top priority.

Click here to read the complete press release.

 



Ursuline Centre Historical Foundation buys Ursuline Centre

GREAT FALLS -- The Ursuline Centre Historical Foundation announced that it buying the Ursuline Centre property on Central Avenue from the Ursuline Convent of the Holy Family of Great Falls.

The Historical Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been working for more than a decade to preserve the building and continue the Ursuline mission of education, and spiritual and intellectual renewal.

In a press release, Foundation chairman Doug Wilson said, "It is very important to us, and to Great Falls to preserve the heritage and historic treasure that this building is to the community."

The Ursuline Centre, built in 1912, was originally a convent for more than 40 nuns and a girls' boarding school.

There are only two Ursuline Sisters still in Great Falls and with the passing of time and the passing of many of the Sisters, the sale of the property became apparent; Sister Francis Porter said, "This place is of course very special to us, and we are very happy that the Historical Foundation will be the new owners."

She added, "The thought of the Ursuline Centre being sold to a buyer who would tear it down or gut it out for profit was something that troubled us greatly, but having the Foundation step up to purchase the building and carry on the mission is tremendous."

The Ursuline Centre currently serves as a pre-school to more than 80 students, and also operates a retreat and conference center serving religious, non-profit, and civic organizations.

 



Great Falls man scores $25K in Montana Lottery

HELENA -- Steven Goldinger-Koch of Great Falls claimed a $25,000 Scratch prize in the Montana Lottery on Friday.

Goldinger-Koch scored his winnings with the "Bing-O-Rama" game on a ticket he bought at the Loaf ‘N Jug at 900 1st Avenue North in downtown Great Falls.

He told Lottery officials that while on his way home recently, he stopped at the convenience stores to pick up some Lottery tickets for his girlfriend.

She asked him to make sure he got some bingo tickets because those are her favorite - and likely even more so now.

When asked if he had advice for other players, Goldinger-Koch said, "Always buy the ticket your girlfriend suggests!"

He said that he plans to buy a car and go on vacation with his winnings.



How you react to this photo reveals your political beliefs

When researchers showed disgusting images of snakes, roaches, garbage, vomit, mutilated bodies and open wounds to participants in a Virginia Tech study, they found significant differences between the way liberals and conservatives reacted, on a neural level.

Though the volunteers didn't report feeling any more or less grossed out by the images, brain scans told a different story. The more strongly a person's brain reacted to seeing disgusting images, the more likely they were to hold conservative views.

The same discrepancy did not exist in their responses to positive images.

The authors point out in the paper, published in the journal Current Biology, that this is the first brain study to find multiple points of differentiation in activity when comparing the emotional processing of images in liberals versus conservatives. Several parts of the brain lit up in conservatives, while others were activated in liberals.


fmri-disgust.png

An illustration summarizing fMRI scans of the brain viewing a disgusting image. Even a single presentation of a disgusting stimulus is sufficient to make accurate predictions of individual's political orientation. Red/yellow spots predict conservative orientation and blue/green spots predict liberal orientation.  Woo-Young Ahn et al/Current Biology

P. Read Montague and his coauthors wrote in the study that their results "invite the provocative claim that neural responses to nonpolitical stimuli (like contaminated food or physical threats) should be highly predictive of abstract political opinions (like attitudes toward gun control and abortion)."

Indeed, watching the brain's reaction to a single disgusting image was sufficient to guess each subject's political orientation. Montague said in the press release, "I haven't seen such clean predictive results in any other functional imaging experiments in our lab or others."

The researchers used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging ( fMRI) to track how the brains of 83 volunteers reacted to viewing emotionally charged but politically neutral images. The volunteers were then asked to rate how disgusting, threatening, or pleasant they thought each image was, and then answer a standard questionnaire about political ideology.

The study did not determine exactly how or why liberal brains differ from conservative ones, only that the two types of brains lit up in two different patterns when viewing the same images.

But the researchers theorize that conservatives, compared to liberals, have greater "negativity bias," a psychological sensitivity to unpleasant or disturbing things. This supports the findings of an eye-tracking study published earlier this year in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, which found that conservatives reacted more intensely to disgusting images.

"Across research methods, samples and countries, conservatives have been found to be quicker to focus on the negative, to spend longer looking at the negative, and to be more distracted by the negative," the authors of that study wrote.

"The results do not provide a simple bromide, but ... if we can begin to see that some 'knee-jerk' reactions to political issues may be simply that -- reactions -- then we might take the temperature down a bit in the current boiler of political discourse," Montague said.



Life in northeast PA resumes as search ends for trooper killing suspect Frein

MILFORD, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- After 48 days of living with helicopters, heavily armed police officers, the rumors and constant questions -- where is he? -- the people of northeast Pennsylvania can finally relax.

The search for Eric Matthew Frein, accused of killing a Pennsylvania state trooper, is over. Heavily armed U.S. marshals captured Frein on Thursday night and turned him over to state police, who slapped the murdered officer's cuffs on him, put him in the back of the trooper's squad car and sent him back to the barracks where the ambush occurred.

"We just thought it was fitting," State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.

Frein, 31, is charged with first-degree murder and other charges in a September 12 ambush outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove.

He's accused of killing Cpl. Bryon Dickson and wounding Trooper Alex T. Douglass before melting into the thick Pennsylvania woods.

Authorities had worried the survivalist and military buff with a reported history of cop hatred might go out in a violent standoff. In the end, he gave up without a fight.

His capture ended a lengthy search that burned through some $10 million, according to the county prosecutor, and likely as many nerves.

"It actually felt like I was in a war zone a couple of weeks ago, and it was hard to sleep for a few nights, worrying about where he is," resident Mark Denny told CNN affiliate WNEP-TV.

The capture

The squad of 13 U.S. marshals -- armed like a military special operations squad -- found Frein at an abandoned airport near Tannersville, Pennsylvania, authorities said.

Frein hadn't been spotted. He was discovered as part of a "routine sweep through the woods," State Police Lt. Col. George Bivens told reporters Friday.

And he wasn't armed at the time of his capture, according to police, much to the relief of authorities who feared a violent showdown.

When marshals surprised him in a field near the airport, he obeyed their orders to get down on his hands and knees and told them who he was, Noonan said. There was no struggle, Pike County District Attorney Raymond Tonkin said.

Investigators searching the area did find a cache that included a sniper rifle, Noonan said. The rifle appears to be consistent with casings gathered during the investigation, he said.

Frein was in good physical condition when he was captured, apart from a cut on his nose that he had before the marshals found him, according to Noonan.

He looked "healthier than I would have expected," Noonan said.

Investigators think Frein was able to sustain himself by finding food and shelter in unoccupied cabins, Bivens said.

Officials said they were unsure how long he had been hiding at the airport.

Court appearance

During his court appearance Friday Frein looked thin, with the cut on his nose and abrasions on his forehead. His left cheek was swollen.

His voice was strong as he answered, "Yes I do," to a Pike County judge's question if he understood the charges against him, which include first-degree murder and criminal homicide of a law enforcement officer.

About 30 police were in the room for the 10-minute hearing.

Tonkin, the district attorney, said he plans to seek the death penalty.

Motive unclear

Frein has been talking to authorities since his arrest, but Tonkin declined to say what, if anything, he has revealed about the attack that left Dickson dead and Douglass critically wounded.

Douglass has since been released and is continuing to recover, according to police.

Authorities have not discussed a motive but have said Frein has talked and written about hating law enforcement.

"I've characterized his actions in the past as pure evil, and I would stand by that," Tonkin said Friday.

A review of his computer hard drive shows he had planned an attack for years, authorities said.

According to the criminal complaint against him, Frein searched the Internet going back to 2012 for information related on placing supply caches, police manhunt techniques and how to evade them and other topics.

"Eric Frein had a mission that was to attack law enforcement," Noonan said. "If he got out of those woods, we were very concerned that he would then kill other law enforcement. And if not them, civilians. That's why we had to keep the pressure on."

There was no indication that anyone was helping Frein, who "quite well-prepared," Noonan said.

'A celebration'

Frein's arrest punctured the thick tension that had blanketed the region for weeks.

"It's been a long seven weeks," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said on CNN's "New Day."

During the search, some outdoor activities were curtailed and some schoolchildren didn't go out for recess.

"It's just exciting and we're happy. We didn't go out of school for weeks for recess," resident Shannon Juirad told WNEP.

And then there was the question of Halloween.

At least one community, Barrett Township, canceled trick-or-treating as the search dragged on, instead suggesting children show up at a school parking lot to collect candy under the supervision of local and state police.

But with Frein in custody, the trick-or-treating will go on as normal, said Barrett Township Board Chairman Ralph Megliola.

"I'm ecstatic -- and just in time for Halloween!" Megliola said.

Outside the police barracks, residents held a sign reading, "Way to Go PSP." Passing motorists slowed, also offering words of encouragement for the Pennsylvania State Police.

"We all have children and we were afraid to go outside, we were afraid to do anything," one woman told CNN affiliate WBRE-TV.

"I can't even explain what I'm feeling right now, this is awesome. We are so proud of our Pennsylvania State Police, their hard work," another said.

"Now it's a celebration," one woman wearing a "Barrett Proud" shirt told WNEP.

-- CNN's Miguel Marquez reported from Milford, Pennsylvania, and CNN's Michael Pearson reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Jethro Mullen, Dana Ford, AnneClaire Stapleton, Joe Sutton, Pamela Brown, Rob Frehse, Susan Candiotti, Shimon Prokupecz, Faith Karimi and Evan Perez contributed to this report.

-- The-CNN-Wire™ & © Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.



Victims of fatal crash near Somers identified

KALISPELL -- Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says that John R. Bradstreet of Kalispell, 61 years old, and Michael B. Berman of Somers, 73, have been identified as the two men who died in a crash on Thursday south of Somers on U.S. Highway 93.

Curry said Bradstreet was driving a pickup truck north when he crossed into Berman's lane and crashed head-on into his vehicle.

A third vehicle was unable to avoid the crash and was also involved, but the driver sustained only minor injuries.

Berman and the driver of the third vehicle were wearing seatbelts, but Bradstreet was not. Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

Curry said in a news release that it's not known yet if a medical issue, drugs, or alcohol were involved in the crash.

Toxicology results are pending and the cause of the crash is still being investigated, but witnesses described a horrific crash following erratic actions by one driver.

When Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Jerril Ren arrived on scene, the highway was covered in debris and pieces of vehicles.

"Basically the 'cause vehicle' is in the middle of the road. And then two other vehicles off to the west edge of the highway," he said.

The "cause vehicle" was a Ford pickup truck. The driver of a vehicle following the pickup noticed that it was swerving prior to the crash and tried to report it to law enforcement, but by then it was too late.

Witnesses said the truck hit the northbound guardrail at least three times and then veered into oncoming traffic.

"The purple pickup had been driving erratically, and sparked the attention of the vehicle following. That purple pickup then came across into the southbound traffic lane striking the first silver SUV," Ren said.

Both men were killed almost instantly.

The magnitude of the impact was so severe, it completely warped the frame of the pickup truck and forced Somers firefighters to cut the other driver out of the SUV.



Ax attack on D.C. cop prompts warnings, new protocols for police

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An officer with Washington's Metropolitan Police Department came under an unprovoked attack Friday from a man wielding an ax, police said, the second such attack in two weeks that is prompting warnings and new protocols to officers on the job.

The attack, and another last week in which a man attacked four New York City officers with a hatchet in Queens, prompted an immediate increase in security for officers in both D.C. and New York. The New York Police Department said in a memo: "Police Officers on patrol should maintain a heightened level of awareness."

The attack in Washington occurred around 3 a.m. as the officer was sitting in his marked squad car in Washington's Brookland neighborhood, near the campus of Catholic University of America, police said.

The officer, who hasn't been identified, wasn't injured by the ax, but he chased the suspect and suffered a shoulder injury in a scuffle before the attacker ran away, police said. No motive is known and the suspect remains at large. Police said he was an African-American man about 6 feet tall and of stocky build.

A photo provided to CNN by a law enforcement official shows the ax implanted in the window of the police car, just inches away from where the officer's head was inside the car.

Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier issued a warning to officers to increase their vigilance for their safety, amid concern about recent attacks on authorities in New York and Canada, a law enforcement official told CNN.

In reaction to the Washington attack, the NYPD issued new patrol protocols to its officers to increase security, including "Effective immediately, all foot posts are to be assigned in pairs of two. There are to be no solo foot posts assigned citywide."

The memo said officers will be required to remain together and take meal breaks in pairs.

-- Mary Kay Mallonee and Evan Perez contributed to this report.

-- The-CNN-Wire™ & © Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.



KRTV Morning News - Fri Oct 31

Top stories for the morning of Friday, October 31st, 2014:

- The Montana Highway Patrol says one person died on I-15 near the Vaughn exit after a one-vehicle crash. Click here for details.

- Legislative candidates got an email this week from the Jon Motl, the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices. Motl cautioned candidates that they may get an offer for some help, but that help could be illegal. Motl says a person is telling candidates he has pre-prepared letters ready to to go to voters in the candidates' districts, plus campaign contributions to cover the cost. Motl said the tactic resembles those used in the past by outside groups including American Tradition Partnership. Motl has taken several candidates in those elections to court, alleging illegal coordination with the outside groups and other campaign law violations.

- Incumbent Republican Kelly Flynn and Democrat Marla Clark will square off Tuesday to represent House District 70 in Broadwater County.

- Montana Democrats kicked off their "Get Out The Vote" tour with stops in Havre, Box Elder, Harlem, and Poplar on Thursday. U.S. House candidate John Lewis and U.S. Senate candidate Amanda Curtis were joined by U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock. The tour will stop for rallies in 17 towns over next several days.

- Ryan Zinke, the Republican candidate for Montana's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with his wife Lola and campaign staffers got early to attend the weekly Home Town Helena meeting at the Montana Club on Thursday morning. Zinke reiterated his campaign talking points about the challenges ahead, such as ObamaCare and the need for energy independence.

- Classes are back in session at Heritage Christian School. The school was closed Monday and Tuesday as crews worked to dry out the building after last Friday's fire that was set on purpose.

- Kyle Matthew Collins was sentenced in Lewis & Clark County District Court Thursday for a pair of burglaries over the summer.

- A Great Falls man with a lengthy criminal history has his deferred sentence of aggravated assault revoked.



2 people hurt in Seeley Lake gas line explosion

SEELEY LAKE -- Two men were taken to a Missoula hospital after a propane gas line rupture in Seeley Lake on Friday morning.

The Seeley Lake fire chief said that a construction crew was doing excavation work off of School Lane when they cut a gas line, which triggered an explosion and fire.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, but two people were taken to St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula; the nature and extent of their injuries is not yet known.

The cause of the rupture is being investigated; we will update you when we get more details.


2 people hurt in Seeley Lake gas line explosion



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 ricktryon@msn.com.

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.

Yikes!

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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