STAFF PICK: Best Town Crier brief of 2019
Patti Baumgartner was deemed an “honorary” Montana Highway Patrol trooper in September when she took to her street in order to slow down speeding cars, according to Time Magazine. How did the Polson grandmother do it? She set up a lawn chair, poured a drink into a solo cup, grabbed her hairdryer and pointed it at speeding cars. Her suspicion, that article stated, was that speeding drivers would mistake it for a speed gun, and they indeed laid off the gas. The measure was in response to a speeding problem in her neighborhood and deemed a microcosm of a larger problem: Montana had the nation’s third-highest vehicular fatality rate, according to a 2018 University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute Study, recording 21.7 deaths per 100,000 people.