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Monday, October 22, 2018 - The Trump administration moves to narrow the definition of sexual identity. Also on the Monday rundown: is climate change causing

a shift eastward for Tornado Alley? Plus Election Day should find more polling places on Nevada Tribal Lands. 

Big Sky Connection


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Eric Tegethoff

October 19, 2018

HELENA, Montana - The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case early next year that could have a big impact on Native Americans' hunting treaty rights.

The case involves Clayvin Herrera, a Crow tribal member who pursued an elk from his reservation in Montana into Wyoming and killed it there. Wyoming later charged him for hunting outside the established seasons.

Monte Mills, co-director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the University of Montana, has filed a brief on behalf of other Native American law professors in support of Herrera.

"In defense," Mills says, "Mr. Herrera said, 'Well, I'm a member of the Crow Indian Tribe and I have a treaty right, by virtue of the tribe's treaty with the United States that allows me and authorizes me to hunt in certain areas, including on open lands owned by the United States.'"

The Wyoming court rejected this defense and Herrera was convicted and fined. Mills says Herrera's defense is based on the Laramie Treaty of 1868, which gives tribal members the right to hunt on unoccupied land.

Wyoming says that treaty became invalid when it became a state.

According to Mills, the Supreme Court has made conflicting rulings on how treaty rights are applied. He says this case could affect Native Americans and create a new precedent if the justices decide to analyze treaty rights in some new way.

"The questions of state authority and treaty interpretation," says Mills, "there's a long string of Supreme Court precedent that deal with those questions. And so, if the Court were to do something different in this case, that's really where it might have impact."

The Supreme Court will likely hear the case in January 2019 and announce its decision next summer.

by Diane Larson

Comedian Lewis Black said, “The worst thing about Halloween is, of course, candy corn. It’s unbelievable to me. Candy corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason. All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911. And so, since nobody eats that stuff, every year there’s a ton of it left over.”

The Halloween favorite is one of those candies that people seem to love or hate. However, statistics show that while Mr. Black’s observation may be funny, it is inaccurate. reported in 2017 that of 2,201 respondents, 49% thought Candy Corn tasty, 29% believe it is gross and a pragmatic 23% said that they didn’t like it but yielded to its importance to the Halloween season. So, Mr. Black you are in the minority, more people love it than hate it.

Is Candy Corn your favorite, or do you avoid it? What is the favorite when it comes to Halloween candy? sifted through 10 years of data to conclude that M&Ms is the favorite Halloween candy. Second place is held by Reese’s Cups while candy corn shares the third place slot with Skittles.

While candy corn may not be a Halloween favorite, most may agree that it is a staple of the fall season and holiday.

Candy corn has been around since the 1880s and was invented by a man named George Renninger.

Renninger worked for the “Wunderlee Candy Company” in Philadelphia, PA, where it was originally produced by hand. Sometime after its creation and original production at Wunderlee, the sweet corn began being mass produced by ”Goelitz Confectionery Company” and made available to the public. The Goelitz Confectionery Company would later be named “Jelly Belly,” says

“Goelitz,” now “Jelly Belly,” has been producing the candy since 1898.

“At the beginning, candy corn was actually called “chicken feed,” according to At the time corn was not a staple on any dining room table but mainly used as, well, chicken feed.

For many years candy corn was not associated with Halloween. However, it was a “seasonal candy due to the tedious nature of the work. Chicken feed was only available between March and November,” says

Early production of the tri-colored treat was done by hand. According to, “A sugar and corn syrup-based mixture was cooked into a slurry (a semi-liquid mixture) in a large kettle, dumped into buckets called runners, and men dubbed stringers walked backward, pouring the hot concoction into a tray of molds in the shape of corn kernels.”

“The worker passed over the buckets three times, each time with a different color: White, orange, and yellow. Fun fact: candy corn is made from the bottom to the top. The yellow bit is the top and the with is the bottom.” Says

Candy corn was packed in the standard packaging at the time, wooden boxes, and sold. They were also packed in barrels and sold in bulk in many candy stores.

Clear cellophane bags came into use in the 1940s. You could then, purchase a 1 pound bag of candy corn for .25 cents. This improvement also allowed for further shipping because the candy stayed fresh longer.

The demand for candy corn kept increasing, at times, to the point that “Goelitz had to turn down orders. They didn’t have the production capacity to keep up with its popularity,” says By 1951 Goelitz had 12 factories around the country making candy corn.

Today it is estimated, by the National Confectioners Association, that 25 million lbs. of candy corn are sold annually around the world.

Head to the store and get your supply, not only for the Halloween holiday but also for October 30, which is National Candy Corn Day.




Thursday, October 18, 2018 - Robert Mueller now expected to reveal findings of his probe right after the November midterm elections. Also on

the Thursday rundown: the poorest people pay the highest taxes in states like Nevada, and the Terminator fights gerrymandering.


Big Sky Connection


Click on the image to listen to the audio.  

Eric Tegethoff

September 24, 2018

HELENA, Montana - Federal legislation that funds resources for victims of domestic and sexual violence is set to expire at the end of September. 

State attorneys general, including Montana's Tim Fox, and groups across the country are urging Congress to renew the Violence Against Women Act. 

Agencies and organizations in Montana have received more than $70 million through the law since 2005. It's directed more than $6 billion nationwide since the bill was enacted in September 1994. 

"I really can't overstate the importance of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act," stresses Robin Turner, public policy and legal director of the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "It was the first comprehensive federal legislation that was designed to end violence against women, to end gender-based violence."

Turner says the legislation also has created vital protections for Native American women. 

When the act was reauthorized in 2013, it granted tribal communities the ability to prosecute non-Native people who commit violence against indigenous women on tribal lands. 

Last week, the Senate included a two-month extension of the law in its spending bill. The House is expected to vote on the bill this week.

Turner says these programs play critical roles across Montana, especially in rural parts of the state where no other services typically are available for those facing domestic violence.

"Our programs would be very, very challenged to continue moving forward, and encountering and responding to domestic violence and sexual violence appropriately, if this bill isn't reauthorized and the funding isn't reauthorized," she states.

proposed reauthorization bill in the House provides additional protections for immigrant survivors of violence. And it includes a provision that closes the so-called boyfriend loophole by prohibiting dating partners under court protective orders from possessing firearms.