Blended huckleberries to last weekend’s first Missoula Together rally, a celebration and sharing of various religious faiths attended by a variety of local faith leaders, nonprofits and other community groups. The event provided yet another opportunity for Missoulians to learn a little more about different religions and get to know one another a little better — and thus makes for an effective response to the kind of anti-Semitic vitriol that appeared around Missoula earlier this year.
A chokecherry-stamped get-well card to the state’s first confirmed case of pulmonary illness linked to vaping. Montana health officials began investigating whether new cases of severe lung sickness are related to the use of e-cigarettes after more an outbreak of more than 500 potential cases in 38 other states, and at least eight deaths. Montana’s first case was confirmed in a Yellowstone County resident with a history of vaping nicotine and THC who was hospitalized last month, but is now recovering at home.
A handful of healthy huckleberries to Montana’s health officials for taking a proactive — and preventive — approach to the national outbreak of severe lung illness linked to e-cigarettes. Even before the first case in Montana was confirmed, the state Department of Public Health and Human Services was urging all users of e-cigarettes, particularly youth, to consider giving up vaping. According to the most recent Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 30% of high-school students say they currently use e-cigarettes, and 58% have tried them at least once. That’s a concern because e-cigarettes often contain harmful substances and their long-term effects on young people’s still-developing lungs are not yet known.
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A delayed delivery of chokecherries to recent oversights at the University of Montana that created confusion about paychecks and tenure applications. First, paperwork delays pushed back paychecks for some 60 to 70 employees at UM and Missoula College. Then, tenure recommendations for 19 faculty members were accidentally left off the agenda for the Board of Regents’ most recent meeting. Regents will now consider the tenure recommendations at their next meeting later in November. In the meantime, UM has taken steps to make sure that faculty aren’t adversely affected by the delay — and to make sure such oversights don’t happen again.
Hidden huckleberries to the owners of the historical Radio Central Building in downtown Missoula who recently discovered that the original façade of the 1900-era structure remains in great shape, albeit covered for decades by panels put up in the 1950s or ‘60s. The owners are planning a $3 million renovation and the Missoula Redevelopment Agency is pitching in nearly $580,000 in Façade Improvement Funds to help uncover this “hidden treasure.”