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Handful of huckleberries

Huckleberry-stamped diplomas to all the graduates attending Saturday’s commencement ceremony at the University of Montana. We wish them the best of luck in putting those hard-earned degrees to good use as soon as possible, and in Montana if possible.

Chokecherries to Montana’s first-place ranking in a national study of teen driver fatalities. CarInsurance.com put together the report after noting that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in America, and found that the safest state for teen drivers is Massachusetts, followed by Maryland. Montana is the most dangerous, with both the highest teen driver fatality rate and the highest percentage of high-schoolers who drink and drive, and the third-highest percentage of high-schoolers who text and drive.

Huckleberries to Bernie Sanders for making a stop in Missoula this past Wednesday. Even those who aren’t “feeling the Bern” can appreciate a presidential candidate taking the time to rally for support in rural states like Montana, which holds its primaries relatively late in the election cycle and doesn’t have many delegates to send to the national convention. Hopefully we can look forward to visits from the other presidential contenders as well.

Chokecherries to the Corvallis school bus driver who left a developmentally disabled teen on a bus, in a restraint system, for three hours after dropping off other students. The driver has been placed on paid leave while the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Department investigates how the 16-year-old girl was apparently forgotten, and school officials are working on improving communication between bus drivers and school staff.

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Huckleberries to the Missoula International Airport, which is set to receive $1.3 million in federal funding to build a new taxiway. The grant, provided by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, will fund infrastructure improvements that will ultimately bring new business and new jobs to Missoula, according to airport director Cris Jensen. Furthermore, the airport is in the process of planning a $42 million terminal improvement project that promises to support even more commerce in Missoula County.

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Missoulian editorial board: Publisher Mark Heintzelman, Acting Editor Darrell Ehrlick, Opinion Editor Tyler Christensen.

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