Thursday Numbers

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers” which is my weekly column where I take a look at the numbers in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary (sometimes laced with just a little sarcasm).

DISCLAIMER: If you read this column you may be able to use the information to impress your family, friends, and co-workers. Then again, when they find out that you spend your time reading blogs they may not be too impressed…

This week I write about the Powerball jackpot, Beartooth highway, unemployment, a tax hike proposal, sexual violence, first town meeting, coins, Steve Daines, cable TV for prisoners, Pope Francis, MMMBop, term limits, the Montana Legislature, Allied Veterans, Pi Day, Congressional approval, Tickle, DUI, Crossword champ, and much more!


That’s the Powerball jackpot for Saturday’s drawing.


Beartooth Highway visitors “generate $13.6 million a year and 176 jobs for Red Lodge and Carbon County” a University of Montana study concluded.


That’s how many people filed new claims for unemployment last week which is “a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 342,000.”

This is good news…


Montana State Sen. Christine Kaufmann has proposed a tax hike for those earning more than $150,000 in taxable income and, according to the Associated Press, her plan “would reduce state income taxes for wage earners below roughly $31,000.”


According to the Detroit News, “A 12-year-old student who stunned officials at a middle school Monday morning when they discovered she had $20,000 cash in her backpack apparently received the money from a neighbor.”

I’m expecting a little more from my neighbors after reading this…


That’s the number of students who completed the University of Montana’s sexual violence course.


During a hearing conducted by the Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said “Nearly 2,500 sexual violence cases in the military services were reported in 2011, but only 240 made it to trial.”

This is a major problem in the military.


According to the Associated Press, on this date in 1743 “The first recorded town meeting in America was held, at Faneuil Hall in Boston.”

I wonder if they went to Bert & Ernie’s after the meeting…

Sunshine people. Sunshine…


According to the Associated Press, “Scientists from Illinois have found a rare, 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda.”

I figured they found it in a washing machine…


That is how many pennies a Jack Russell terrier swallowed last week.

After successful surgery he lived to bark another day…

104 & 103

According to his official U.S. House website, Montana’s At-Large Congressman, Steve Daines, has opened an office in Great Falls at 104 2nd Street South, Suite 103.

Since I’ve not seen this publicized, this was a public service announcement on behalf of the freshman Congressman from The Western Word.  You can thank me later…


That’s how many cells in the Cascade County Regional Adult Detention Center are getting cable television and electrical outlets installed for state prisoners so they can watch television.

It’s good to know they are being treated nicely, also if my cable is cut off I have a place I can go to watch TV…


Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina, was selected as the new Pope. The 76 year-old and will be known as Pope Francis.

I’m not Catholic, but the whole process is very interesting…


That’s how many people have been charged in an alleged illegal-gambling scheme in Florida. The Los Angeles Times reports that a group was engaged in illegal gambling with the profits going to its owners rather than to a veterans’ organization called Allied Veterans.

Sticking it to Veterans – there’s probably a special room in hell for people who do that…


According to Gallup, “Americans, by 56% to 38%, support a reduction in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.”


Today is day 55 of the 63rd Montana Legislature…

People are starting to wonder if this nightmare will ever end…


Discovery Channel’s Steven Ray Tickle, who goes by “Tickle” on the Moonshiners realty show, was arrested for public intoxication. Tickle is 35 years old.

Color me surprised! I’m thinking Tickle should guest star on MTV’s “Buckwild” realty show…


Taylor Hanson, of the band “Hanson,” turns 30 today. It would not be a celebration if I did not offer my readers the opportunity to hear “MMMBop” so HERE IT IS.

Catchy isn’t it…


Montana Legislators would like to increase the years a person can hold office to 16 years within a 24-year period. Luckily the voters get to make the decision.

Hey Montanans – I will be voting against increasing the number of years they can serve and I hope you will, too.


The 14th hole proved to be a big trap for one Illinois golfer. He fell into an eighteen foot hole.

With sinkholes in the news lately, we now have something else to worry about besides meteors…


Only 13% approve of the job congress is doing according to a new Gallup Poll.


Montana’s At-Large Congressman, Steve Daines, received his 9:58 of fame on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown this week.

The Daily Rundown is one of my favorite political shows…


The Billings Gazette reports “A 60-year-old Billings man [Allen Boyd Hoff] accused of driving with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit has been charged with his fifth drunken-driving offense.” His previous DUIs were in 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2005. The Gazette reported that he completed a state alcohol treatment program following the 2005 offense.

People like Hoff should not be allowed to own any vehicle or to have a license ever again…


A New York man has won his fourth straight American Crossword Tournament.

Where does he go now since he’s been to the top of the crossword mountain?


Happy Pi Day 2013! According to, “Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world. Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.”


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