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Top news stories for December 10, 2018

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Monday, December 10, 2018 - Nick Ayers is said to reject Trump’s offer to be White House chief of staff. Also on the Monday rundown: Help still needed in areas hit hard by Hurricane Michael, and look for a domestic workers' bill of rights to be introduced in Congress next year. 



Giving the Gift of Music this Holiday Season

Animal shaped speakers make great stocking stuffers this holiday season.


(StatePoint) What’s your favorite song? Are you thinking of it now? How does it make you feel? Music is powerful. It can encourage, inspire, motivate and bring joy. There is even scientific evidence that music can ease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health and contribute to mental acuity.


There are some crazy great benefits to be had from something that almost everyone already enjoys. This holiday season consider some creative ways to share these incredible benefits. Give the gift of music.


Here are a few thoughtful holiday gift ideas to bring music, joy and much more into someone’s life this season.


Make Music

Considering all the great things music can do for someone, why not help them make their own? Give the gift of music lessons from a local studio or teacher. Buy an affordable instrument like a ukulele or a cajón (drum box) for a beginner. For a guitarist, some cool picks or new strings are always welcome gifts.


Big Sound, Small Package

For a fun, whimsical, portable and powerful way to listen to music anywhere your gift recipient goes, consider the My Audio Pet speaker. There are 17 designs, from unicorns to pug puppies to pandas to monkeys and owls, there is something for everyone. At just larger than a golf ball, these Bluetooth animal-shaped speakers are small enough to be the perfect stocking stuffer with a big enough sound to power the party.


Their wireless Bluetooth technology works with iPad, iPod, Samsung, tablets, Apple, Android and more and features a built-in mic so you can take calls through them hands-free. The speaker will also work as a selfie remote when paired with your phone. They even come with a downloadable app, Hide & Speak, a ridiculously fun interactive family game.


Hear it Live

Concert tickets to see a favorite band or artist, can provide a lifetime of memories and be the highlight of the year.


Their Faves

A gift card or subscription to a music streaming service can allow the music lover in your life to pick and keep their favorite tunes. With a resurgence of musicals like “La La Land” and “The Greatest Showman,” or classics like the “Sound of Music” or “Mary Poppins,” a DVD that features awesome music makes for a fantastic gift.


The holiday season is the perfect time of year to show you care, and what better way to do that than with a gift that can add so much to life? Give the gift of music this year and share all the benefits it has to offer.


PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Syda Productions/


Predators: Possible allies in fight against Chronic Wasting Disease?

Big Sky Connection

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Eric Tegethoff


December 10, 2018

HELENA, Montana - Could wolves and other large predators be border guards in the fight against Chronic Wasting Disease? 

One biologist believes so, as CWD, an infectious neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose populations, spreads in the Mountain West. 

Biologist Gary Wolfe, a former Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commissioner, says large predators such as wolves have an innate ability to sense disease in prey populations. 

He says halting recreational hunting of large predators like cougars or wolves in areas with emerging CWD outbreaks could curb the disease.

"I think it'd be worthwhile to curtail the recreational hunting for those large predators if, at the same time, you're trying to address a[n] emerging outbreak of Chronic Wasting Disease and see whether or not those large predators could assist in containing that disease," he states.

Wolfe says a study on mountain lions found they selectively prey on CWD-infected mule deer, showing that predators likely would target diseased animals. 

But he adds that there would be major pushback from hunters if recreational hunting were cut back.

Currently, the main approach for containing the disease in many states is recreational deer hunts in areas where CWD has been identified to reduce the deer population and its chance of spreading. 

Wolfe says the fact that predators tend to sniff out the weakest prey, and also hunt around the clock, would make them better candidates for selecting infected animals.

"Those predators can be more effective at taking out weakened animals from the population than the hunter will be by randomly taking animals out of the population," he states.

Wolfe says there's some evidence that wolves might already be helping prevent CWD's spread. 

He says if you place a map of wolf population distribution over areas where the disease has been detected in the Mountain West, you'll find there's very little overlap.

"That's circumstantial evidence, but to me that's a piece of circumstantial evidence that says that wolf predation can help slow the spread of the disease," he states.





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