By Beacon Staff

We’re high on “Butt Huts” and low on Michael Hilton in our weekly index of what’s up, down and in between …


“BUTT HUTS” – In the wake of the smoking ban, two enterprising Missoula men are building small dugouts for businesses to accommodate smokers without violating the law.

ARTFUL BRA PROJECT – This exhibit at the Hockaday is a visually arresting and creative way to raise breast cancer awareness that’s worth checking out.

RIO DE JANEIRO – This Brazilian city beat out President Obama-backed Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics for the first time ever in South America.

POLSON SUPER WAL-MART – Four years after the project began, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that Polson officials acted properly rezoning land for the store at the foot of Flathead Lake.


TESTER FOREST BILL – Local conservation group Headwaters Montana came out in support of Sen. Jon Tester’s landmark legislation, calling it “courageous and timely.” Days later, a national group dedicated to preserving recreational access, the “BlueRibbon Coalition,” came out strongly against it, calling it a “nonstarter.”


MICHAEL HILTON – The head of “American Police Force,” the group trying to operate the Hardin jail, is losing partners and financial backing as awareness of his past as a convicted felon spreads, and the state attorney general launches an investigation.

MONTANA LOTTERY – A legislative audit found the Lottery’s involvement with fantasy sports gambling doesn’t comply with state law – though the Lottery disputes this.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE – Rising to 9.8 percent nationally in Sept., it’s the highest it’s been since 1983.

ROBERT “JOE” HALDERMAN & DAVID LETTERMAN – This CBS news producer was indicted in an extortion plot against David Letterman, trying to blackmail the host with information about his sexual relations for $2 million. For his part, Letterman has admitted to having sexual relationships with female staffers.

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