A huckleberry-hued spotlight on a new podcast helping to draw attention to the case of a woman missing from Missoula from June 2018, and supportive huckleberries to Jermain Charlo’s family for their unflagging efforts to continue the search. Connie Walker, an award-winning journalist who is Cree, has been hosting a series of podcasts focusing on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. In a new podcast, she delves into the specifics of Charlo’s disappearance and how they relate to the risks facing Native American women throughout the United States.
Chokecherries under lock and key to the recent theft of rifles and pistols from a federal firearms licensee in St. Regis. Ten firearms in all were taken on Jan. 26, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is now offering a reward of $5,000 for information that could help authorities track down the culprits and, most importantly, recover the stolen firearms.
Perfectly timed huckleberries to the Missoula Police Department for embracing changes to the shift schedule that puts more officers on the streets during peak call times. An external report recommended this and other changes after studying the patrol division’s workload, and at a recent Missoula Police Commission meeting, Assistant Chief Scott Hoffman noted that officers are on board with the new schedule.
Suddenly squashed chokecherries to the unexpected death of a bill that sought to expand access to broadband. Even though it was sponsored by a Democrat in the Republican-majority Legislature, an amended version of the bill appeared on track for passage with strong bipartisan majorities. Then, on the third reading in the House, the votes flipped and the bill was voted down. Two other bills dealing with other issues — one concerning facial recognition technology and one tackling the hiring process for military spouses — met similar fates on the same day the Legislature rushed through a host of bills in order to start the transmittal break a day early.
Judicially measured huckleberries to the Montana House representatives who voted down a bill that would have required impartial Supreme Court justice candidates to declare a political affiliation. Party politics already has too strong a hand in too many of Montana’s elected offices, and already makes an unwelcome appearance in judicial campaigns far too often. Montanans expect the justices of the highest limb of the judicial branch of state government to remain as independent and impartial as possible.
And a sun-warmed basket of huckleberries to the blue skies and moderate temperatures gracing western Montana this week. After a long, bleak pandemic winter, such early signs of the coming spring provide a literal ray of sunshine — and give us strength to carry on.
This editorial represents the views of the Missoulian Editorial Board: Publisher Jim Strauss, Executive Editor Jim Van Nostrand and Opinion Editor Tyler Christensen.