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Riggin makes initial court appearance

GREAT FALLS -- Reese Riggin, the Great Falls chiropractor who recently had his license revoked by the state Board of Chiropractors, appeared in court on Friday on a charge of sexual intercourse without consent.

Riggin was arrested on Wednesday, and was released from the Cascade County Detention Center on Wednesday after posting bail on a $100,000 bond.

According to court documents, Riggin required his employees to undergo chiropractic treatment to better understand its principles and benefits.

It was during several of these treatments that Riggin allegedly touched one of his employees inappropriately and sexually.

In 1997, he also had his license revoked by the Idaho State Board of Chiropractic Physicians for sexual misconduct and he was denied an initial license in Washington four years later.

He was initially denied by the Montana Board of Chiropractors in 2001, but was granted a probationary license to practice under special conditions in 2007.

While out on bail, Riggin must abide by several conditions, including:

- Do not possess or consume alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs, except as prescribed by a licensed physician; do not enter any establishment where alcohol is a chief item of sale.

- Avoid all contact with any family members of the alleged victim and potential prosecution witness

- Abide by any active Orders of Protection

- The Defendant shall not frequent or go to any place where children congregate, including his family business, "Flippin Family Fun."

- The Defendant shall not involve himself in any manner of chiropractic medicine or massages, including informal treatments in his home or otherwise.

- The Defendant shall have no contact with any children under the age of 18, other than his immediate family.

There are no reports that Riggin engaged in any unprofessional behavior with patients who were not employees.


Collision slowing traffic on Smelter Avenue in Great Falls

GREAT FALLS -- A collision involving at least two and possible more vehicles is slowing traffic on Smelter Avenue in Great Falls.

The crash happened just before 5 p.m. on Friday.

Witnesses at the scene tell us that eastbound traffic in front of Walmart is affected.

We do not yet know if anyone has been injured, or what caused the crash.

Emergency crews are working to clear the scene, but drivers should avoid the area if possible in the meantime.

WWII airman killed in action is laid to rest in Augusta with military honors

AUGUSTA -- More than seventy years after Lt. William Bernier was reported missing in action during World War II, he was finally brought home and laid to rest in Augusta.

Bernier received full military honors on Friday as he was laid to rest in the Augusta Veterans' Cemetery, where his parents are also buried.

Bernier was born in Augusta in 1915 and served as a bombardier on the 12-man crew of a B-24 Liberator bomber.

His plane was shot down on April 10, 1944, near Hansa Bay, Papua New Guinea, and he was initially reporting missing but was later presumed killed in the crash.

At the end of the war his remains were determined to be unrecoverable and he was reported killed in action to his family.

In 2001, the crash site was discovered by a team from the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, and the investigation identified the aircraft as Bernier's B-24. Human remains were recovered from the site in a series of excavations between 2008 and 2011.

Following an analysis of dental records and comparing recovered DNA with that of surviving relatives, portions of the remains were identified as Bernier's in June 2014.

At his time of death, he had served one year and three months in the U.S. Army Air Force, having joined the service in January 1943. He attended Montana State University and had planned to return to Augusta to ranch following the war.

Bernier's niece Sandi Jones of Columbia Falls was presented with an American flag during Friday's service.

Nearly 30 relatives attended the service and Augusta school children served as an honor guard, lining the road to the cemetery during the procession.

Major General Matthew Quinn, the Adjutant General for Montana, said, "The motto of the Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command, which handled the recovery, investigation and repatriation of 1st Lt. Bernier's remains, is ‘Until they are home.' This particular case, which involves more than a decade of careful and diligent work to return this Airman, is just one example of the strength of that motto."


WWII airman killed in action is laid to rest in Augusta with military honors

WWII airman killed in action is laid to rest in Augusta with military honors

FWP: Montana deer hunters will find "improving populations" during general season

MONTANA -- Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is reporting encouraging statistics on deer populations for the upcoming general season. 

Mule deer numbers have experienced recent declines in many areas of Montana but should be improving with favorable weather and habitat conditions in 2014.

Recent seasonal insect-related disease outbreaks have reduced white-tailed deer populations in parts of eastern, central, and west-central Montana. Other areas have stable populations with favorable weather and habitat conditions in 2014 enhancing recruitment levels across the state.

Bottom line, deer hunters in Montana will find improving populations but a mix of hunting opportunities when the general season opens on October 25.

Even if you didn't draw a special permit this year, remember Montana offers numerous opportunities to hunt for deer with a general hunting license.

Here's a regional rundown on what deer hunters can expect this season.

Region 1-Northwestern Montana
Fawn recruitment for most of northwestern Montana for white-tailed deer is good for the fourth straight year. As a result, hunters can expect to find not only more white-tailed bucks this fall, but more bucks in the 3-year-old age category. Bucks this age start producing quality racks for hunters interested in putting something on the wall as well as in the freezer. Mule deer populations remain low and hunters should not expect to find the type of mule deer hunting they enjoyed a generation ago. However, slight improvements in the 2012 and 2013 harvests are a hopeful sign populations bottomed-out 3 years ago and are beginning a slow recovery.

Region 2-Western Montana
White-tailed deer are common and numbers are generally stable to increasing across most of the region, but mule deer numbers remain low. FWP has restricted hunting opportunities for antlerless deer to speed population increases in both species. Hunting for white-tailed bucks should be improving overall. Hunting for mule deer bucks is by permit-only in many hunting districts.

Region 3-Southwestern Montana
In the central part of the region, mule deer numbers continue to increase from low points in 2010 and 2011 in hunting districts 311, 312, 360, 362, the Gallatin and Madison areas. Conditions are also improving in the Bridgers. Townsend area mule deer numbers continue to be down in most areas, but they may be starting to rebound in at least some areas. White-tailed deer numbers continue to be generally good. Deer, in general, are holding steady in the westernmost part of the region. In the Dillon area, mule deer are generally down. Mule deer numbers are slightly up throughout Park County, while white-tailed deer numbers appear to be stable.

Region 4-Central Montana
Mule deer populations are mostly stable but below long-term averages, and white-tailed deer numbers continue to increase. After last year's whitetail decline in some areas due to EHD, there's been good production this year and a rapid recovery is expected.

Regions 5 - South Central Montana
Mule deer numbers throughout south central Montana are stable or up slightly from last year, though they remain 30 to 40 percent below the long-term average. Harvest likely will be similar to last year.

White-tailed deer numbers are quite low at lower elevations and north of the Yellowstone River, at least partially because of last summer's outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, commonly known as EHD. Numbers closer to the mountains, where the bugs that spread the disease are not present, remain reasonably strong. Whitetail buck harvest opportunities likely will be similar to last year, while antlerless harvest will decline due to significant reductions in B-tag numbers.

Region 6-Northeastern Montana
Effects on deer from recent hard winters are still being seen but mule deer and white-tailed deer numbers are rebounding in most areas.

Region 7-Southeastern Montana
Mule deer numbers are eight percent below the long term average compared to 32 percent below long term average last year. Overwinter survival last year was high, and fawn recruitment this spring-up to 61 yearling's per 100 adults-increased relative to the previous two years. Hunters may have better opportunity in the southern portion of the region.
White-tailed deer populations are currently nine percent below the long term average. Whitetail populations are variable throughout the region at the present time. Where disease did not occur, high densities of whitetail are present. In nearby areas that experienced disease outbreaks in the past two years, numbers may be low. Forage and precipitation levels have been exceptional so far in 2014. White-tailed deer can recover rapidly from declines, and it appears this process has already begun. Wildlife biologists tallied an average of 61 yearling's per 100 adults in 2014 trend surveys. Hunters who do their homework by scouting and visiting with private landowners should have success locating good areas to hunt whitetails.


Enterovirus now in 22 states

UPDATE: This article originally stated that Enterovirus D68 had been confirmed in Cascade County; we have since learned that the D68 strain has NOT been confirmed in Cascade County.

Karen Ogden, spokeswoman for Benefis Health System, said, "We have seen confirmed cases of enterovirus in pediatric patients, however there are many types of enterovirus. While we have lab tests pending, we have not had any confirmed cases of enterovirus D68, which is the variety that is of national concern."

GREAT FALLS --  Malmstrom Air Force Base said on Friday that the child of a military member was recently treated at Benefis hospital, and that hospital staff confirmed the presence of the Enterovirus -- although laboratory officials have not yet determined whether it is the D68 strain of the virus.

Health officials say that the best way to prevent the spread of any virus is through frequent hand-washing and disinfecting of surfaces.

CBS News reports that the D68 strain of the Enterovirus can cause mild to severe illness, with the worst cases needing life support for breathing difficulties. Kids with asthma have been especially vulnerable. No deaths have been reported.

"It is a rare strain of a very common virus," CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips told "CBS This Morning" last week. "The most important thing to pick up on is any difficulty breathing. Wheezing or a cough that just won't stop, those are the warning signs and parents should have a low threshold for heading to the hospital with that."

The strain is not new, but since mid-August, there's been an unusual spike in identified cases.

The federal Centers For Disease Control & Infection says that from mid-August to September 19, 2014, a total of 160 people from 22 states were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.

The 21 states other than Montana are Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

The CDC has a Q&A page with more information, including this overview:

Q: What is enterovirus D68?
A: Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is one of many non-polio enteroviruses. This virus was first identified in California in 1962, but it has not been commonly reported in the United States.

Q: What are the symptoms of EV-D68 infection?
A: EV-D68 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness.
Mild symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and body and muscle aches.
Most of the children who got very ill with EV-D68 infection in Missouri and Illinois had difficulty breathing, and some had wheezing. Many of these children had asthma or a history of wheezing.

Q: How does the virus spread?
A: Since EV-D68 causes respiratory illness, the virus can be found in an infected person's respiratory secretions, such as saliva, nasal mucus, or sputum. EV-D68 likely spreads from person to person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or touches contaminated surfaces.

Q: What are the treatments?
A: There is no specific treatment for people with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68.
For mild respiratory illness, you can help relieve symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications for pain and fever. Aspirin should not be given to children.
Some people with severe respiratory illness may need to be hospitalized .
There are no antiviral medications currently available for people who become infected with EV-D68.

Q: How can I protect myself?
A: You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses by following these steps:
Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after changing diapers.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid kissing, hugging, and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.

Click here to read more at the CDC website .


Scottish leader Alex Salmond quits after 'no' vote in independence referendum

(CNN) -- Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom -- along with England, Wales and Northern Ireland -- following a historic referendum vote.

By 55% to 45%, a majority of voters rejected the possibility of Scotland breaking away and becoming an independent nation.

Shortly afterward, Alex Salmond, the Scottish first minister and leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party, announced his resignation from both posts, effective in November.

Salmond said he was proud of the campaign for independence, and that now was the time to hold the UK leadership to its promises of shifting more autonomy to Scotland.

"We now have the opportunity to hold Westminster's feet to the fire on the 'vow' that they have made to devolve further meaningful power to Scotland," he said in a statement. "This places Scotland in a very strong position."

UK Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed Scotland's decision in a televised statement outside 10 Downing Street, saying it was a clear result.

"Like millions of other people, I am delighted," he said.

Cameron said he would have been heartbroken to see the United Kingdom broken up -- but paid tribute to the efforts of both sides in the campaign.

"We hear you," he said to those who voted for independence, adding this was an opportunity to change the way people in the United Kingdom are governed, and "change it for the better."

His government has delivered on devolution in the past and will deliver on it again, Cameron said.

A "new and fair settlement" will be created for Scotland and for the other countries of the United Kingdom, he said.

Salmond accepted defeat in an earlier televised statement -- and urged the rest of the pro-independence camp to do the same.

He thanked Scotland "for 1.6 million votes for Scottish independence" and said the turnout -- which electoral officials said was 84.6% from an electorate of more than 4.2 million -- was one of the highest in the democratic world for any such vote.

Queen Elizabeth II said the outcome of the vote will be met with a range of emotions, but was hopeful "that these emotions will be tempered by an understanding of the feelings of others."

"Now, as we move forward, we should remember that despite the range of views that have been expressed, we have in common an enduring love of Scotland, which is one of the things that helps to unite us all," the Queen said in a statement.

Sigh of relief

The final result in the referendum was 1,617,989 votes in favor of independence from the United Kingdom to 2,001,926 against.

This means the pro-union camp won by a margin of 55.25% of the vote to 44.65% -- a much wider gap than opinion polls in the final days leading up to the vote had suggested.

The result means the main political parties in Westminster -- and many people across the United Kingdom and Scotland -- can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the threat of a breakup of a centuries-old union is over. However, many on the "Yes" side will be bitterly disappointed.

The referendum was closely watched around the world, particularly in nations like Spain, whose Catalonia province is home to a vocal independence movement.

U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed the result and praised the Scots "for their full and energetic exercise of democracy."

"Through debate, discussion, and passionate yet peaceful deliberations, they reminded the world of Scotland's enormous contributions to the UK and the world," Obama said in a statement Friday morning. "We have no closer ally than the United Kingdom, and we look forward to continuing our strong and special relationship with all the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as we address the challenges facing the world today."

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also welcomed the news that the United Kingdom, a key member of the defense bloc, would remain united.

Investors liked what they saw. The pound was firm against the U.S. dollar and the euro, after recovering much of the ground lost earlier this month when surveys suggested Scotland was on the brink of abandoning the union.

Stock markets also rose, with shares in Scottish companies doing particularly well.

Darling: 'Unity over division'

Salmond, who heads the governing Scottish National Party, hailed the political engagement seen in Scotland during the campaign and appealed for unity going forward.

"Today of all days, as we bring Scotland together, let us not dwell on the distance we have fallen short. Let us dwell on the distance we have traveled and have confidence that a movement is abroad in Scotland that will take this nation forward, and we shall go forward as one nation," he said.

Salmond has previously said that if the "Yes" campaign lost the referendum there would not be another vote on independence in a generation.

Labour lawmaker Alistair Darling, who led the pro-union campaign in the Scottish referendum, hailed the result Friday but said that the message that the people of Scotland want change must be heard.

"The people of Scotland have spoken," he said."We have chosen unity over division and positive change rather than needless separation.

"Today is a momentous result for Scotland and also for the United Kingdom as a whole -- by confirming our place within the union we reaffirm all that we have in common and the bonds that tie us together. Let them never be broken."

He gave a commitment that the political changes promised by the Westminster parties -- involving the devolution of more powers to Scotland -- would be kept.

Darling also called for the country to unify after debate that "has created some fairly deep divisions in our country," and a campaign "that has both energized but at times divided" the Scottish people.

"Those divisions now need to be addressed and that requires leadership," he said, promising to play his part.

Clegg: Radical package of powers

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, whose Liberal Democrats are in a coalition government with Cameron's Conservatives, said he was "absolutely delighted" by the result.

"But a vote against independence was clearly not a vote against change and we must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland," he said.

"At the same time, this referendum north of the border has led to demand for constitutional reform across the United Kingdom as people south of the border also want more control and freedom in their own hands rather than power being hoarded in Westminster."

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband also hailed a "historic achievement" in keeping the union together.

He promised change across the United Kingdom in a speech to supporters in which he looked forward to the general election battle due next May.

The first of the 32 councils to declare all went to the "No" campaign, as did the capital, Edinburgh, which voted overwhelmingly to stay in the union. Fife and Aberdeenshire also voted "No."

Glasgow delivered a solid win for the independence camp but the lead was not big enough to overturn the "No" camp's overall majority. Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire were the only other councils to vote "Yes."

Political fallout

Scotland has had a devolved government since 1999, meaning many, but not all, decisions are made at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh.

As opinion polls showed the lead held by the "no" vote shrinking fast in the days leading up to the referendum, the leaders of all three main parties in Westminster responded with the promise to give major new powers over tax, spending and social welfare to Scotland if it stuck with the United Kingdom.

Now the party leaders face the challenge of pushing those changes through a possibly rebellious Parliament on a tight timetable.

The process of handing over those new powers will start from Friday, Cameron said in a speech in Aberdeen earlier this week, with draft legislation expected as soon as January. "This is a timetable that is now agreed by all the main political parties and set in stone and I am prepared to work with all the main parties to deliver this during 2015," he said.

Although Scotland has chosen to stick with the union -- staving off potential calls for his resignation -- Cameron will still face political fallout over the vote.

Critics have accused him of complacency during the long months of campaigning when Salmond's "Yes Scotland" campaign was laying the groundwork for its late surge. Cameron's longtime Labour rival, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, is credited by many with bringing the vital energy that eventually carried a lackluster "No" campaign to victory.

Critics have also accused Cameron and the other main party leaders of giving away too much in a last-ditch effort to keep Scottish voters on board.

It remains to be seen how the promise to give greater powers also to England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be borne out.

Cameron will also likely face difficult questions over his own leadership in the run-up to a general election due to take place next May.

-- CNN's Nic Robertson reported from Glasgow, Laura Smith-Spark reported and wrote in London. CNN's Richard Allen Greene, Euan McKirdy, Mark Thompson, Lindsay Isaac and Andrew Carey contributed to this report.

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

Bishop charged with possession of deadly weapon while in jail

GREAT FALLS -- Trevor Michael Bishop, an inmate at the Cascade County jail, has been charged with possession of a deadly weapon by a prisoner, a felony, after officers reportedly found a jagged metal bar in his jail cell.

Court documents state that during a search of Bishop's cell on Thursday, officers found the 8-inch metal bar that had black paint on it which had mostly been scraped off.

A detention officer matched the metal bar to a mop bucket from another area of the jail; the bar had been broken off from the handle of the bucket, and had jagged edges.

The court documents note that Bishop is the only inmate in that particular cell.

Bishop was sentenced last month to 40 years in prison for a shooting that injured a 16-year-old girl in November.

In November 2013, Bishop organized a plan with several friends to obtain $50 that he said he was owed for meth.

Bishop's accomplices took two sisters -- one 16 years old and the other 18 years old -- to an alley under the pretext of purchasing meth.

When the teens arrived, Bishop appeared with a handgun and demanded the money.

During the confrontation, Bishop fired a shot, hitting the 16-year old girl in the leg.

Bishop's sentence is made up of two 20-year terms, one for each count of assault with a weapon.

Bishop also received a five-year sentence for on a charge of tampering with evidence; that will be served simultaneously with his other time.

- Photo above is from Bishop's sentencing in August 2014

Veterans Stand-Down returning to Great Falls

GREAT FALLS -- Rodger McConnell talked with Art Taft about the upcoming Veterans Stand-Down, which will be held in Great Falls on October 2nd through October 4th.

The event is free for all veterans and will be held at the Mercantile Building of the Montana ExpoPark.

Organizers say that the following services will be provided:

Veterans service officers to handle claims issues

Social Security representatives

Legal advice, financial advice and family services

Psychological and addiction counseling

Medical services & health screenings including vision, dental, hearing, blood pressure and blood glucose checks

Haircuts and chair massage

VA surplus, front-line clothing and survival gear

Refreshments and drinks

For more information, contact Rodger McConnell at 799-6709.


Traffic slowed due to crash on 10th Avenue South

GREAT FALLS -- A crash is causing some traffic trouble along 10th Avenue South in Great Falls.

The left lane of 10th Avenue South is blocked between 9th Street and 10th Street due to the crash, which happened just before 11:30 a.m.

Great Falls police are at the scene investigating and working to clear the scene.

There are no reports at this time of any serious injuries.

We will update you if we get more details.

Downtown Great Falls hosting mini "pop-up" park

GREAT FALLS -- Downtown Great Falls is once again playing host to a small "pop-up" park as part of annual event called "PARK(ing) Day."

The PARK(ing) Day project is aimed at creating an interesting public space in downtown communities across the country.

The Great Falls mini-park is located on 5th Street between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue South, and everyone is invited to stop by and enjoy the view; the "park" will be up until about 5 p.m.

Joan Redeen of the Business Improvement District says that the mini-park is "...built with a bit of whimsy, part creative process, it calls attention to the fact that we need more public space in the downtown."

Tilleras Landscape & Nursery designed the space and provided the materials for the park.

Redeen noted, "The response to last year's PARK(ing) Day was amazing ~ people enjoyed having a green space outside; they loved the novelty of using a parking space to show what interseting things can be done downtown. This year, we had a hard time deciding where we should do it, because several businesses were interested. We really want folks to come down and see what we're doing this year!"

Thanks to Joan for sharing these photos.

Pop-up park in downtown Great Falls

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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