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Prairie Lights: No easy fix for monumental dilemma

Searching for a voice of reason in a country up to its chin in unreasonable passion, I called Ken Robison, a historian who lives in Great Falls.

His words were the tonic I needed. Ken is a native of Montana who grew up near Geraldine and who, since retiring from a career in Naval Intelligence in 2001, has been doggedly doing research into forgotten corners of Montana history, resulting in a stream of books and numerous articles in the Great Falls Tribune and the River Press in Fort Benton.

Opinion: A Tale of two statues

Statue

In Vienna, my adopted city, there is a Soviet War Memorial. It occupies 3,000 square feet in central Vienna.  It features a white marble colonnade and a 650-foot column capped by a 40-foot figure of a Red Army soldier.

He is wearing a golden helmet and bears a Soviet flag and a golden Soviet coat of arms.  A plaque at the base of the column reads:  “Monument to honor the soldiers of the Soviet Army who fell while freeing Austria from Fascism.” Continue Reading →

Jailed ex-lawmaker called prosecution ‘political game’

Prouse

The former state legislator who was jailed on Tuesday for contempt of court reportedly refused to cooperate with authorities regarding his involvement in a political corruption scandal, calling the court case against him “a political game.”

Wesley Prouse, of Shepherd, who will turn 49 on Thursday, was in jail and could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but the Billings lawyer who prosecuted several Republican legislative candidates involved in the so-called dark-money cases gave an account of the events that landed Prouse in jail. Continue Reading →

Opinion: Time to rid Helena of Confederate memorial

Monument

As members of the American Indian Caucus of the Montana Legislature, we extend our condolences to the family of Heather Heyer, who lost her life protesting hate and bigotry in Charlottesville, Va.

Our hearts also go out to the families of Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper Berke M.M. Bates of the Virginia State Police, who lost their lives while monitoring the rally. Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlottesville and those across this great country who have been hurt physically and emotionally by the despicable actions exhibited by white nationalists. Continue Reading →

Opinion: In the aftermath of violence, silence from ‘leaders’

Signs

A presidential response condemning white nationalists and Neo-Nazis should not be this difficult to formulate, and the silence from Montana’s state and congressional leaders should not be this deep and profound.

On Saturday, white supremacists marched down the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, waving Confederate flags and bearing Nazi symbols, where they were confronted by counter protesters understandably offended by the outward show of bigotry and hate. Continue Reading →

Absarokee chips in to fund swimming pool upgrades

Pool1

ABSAROKEE — If you’ve ever seen a slumped-shouldered sullen kid in the summer sun who didn’t have a place to swim, you know how Absarokee kids felt 50 years ago when parents kept them out of deep irrigations ditches and rapid running rivers, the only places a youngster could find cooling water.

Those were dangerous places with the sluggish but heavy pull of water in the ditches and the swirling water that could tug a swimmer from a river’s edge to the rapids. Continue Reading →