We made it to Denver — and the American beer universe is good.

Statesman photographer Kerry Maloney and I are at Great American Beer in Denver this weekend and one thing is already very obvious after just one session — the state of craft beer in the USA is awesome.

We spent Thursday's night's opening session of the GABF walking around trying to find the best and funkiest beers the US has to offer and found a bunch — and likely only got to taste about 7% of the 1800 beers available.

Weekend music pick: Flogging Molly

Here's what you're missing if you don't have tickets to tonight's sold-out Flogging Molly show at the Knitting Factory. (Well, this and a huge hangover in the morning):


Itchin' to deer hunt

It's Friday morning, and I know someone is putting a stalk on a mule deer buck right now. It's eating me, but I have some stuff to wrap up this morning before I head into the backcountry.

Deer signs are looking good. There's a decent number of bucks in Unit 39, and there's snow in the forecast, which is pretty rare for this early in October. We're usually dealing with sunny, warm weather and yellowjackets.

State gets a heads-up on Micron layoffs — so how will the state respond?

The Micron Technology layoffs — some 1,500 in Boise, over the next two years — will test Gov. Butch Otter and his recently hired Commerce Department director, Don Dietrich.

The one glimmer of good news is that the layoffs didn't seem to catch the state off-guard this time around.

In June 2007, Micron kept its job cuts so secret that even Otter's office was in the dark. As layoffs began, Otter said he had been briefed that there would be job losses at the state's largest private workplace — but wasn't told how many.

Eventually, Micron cut about 1,100 jobs.

I palled around with a domestic terrorist

I must confess. I served on a committee with a domestic terrorist who was wanted by the government. You might say we “palled around” since we shared a few drinks at cocktail parties.

Idaho Newsreader - 10.10.08

Lightning strikes twice for Pocatello woman • Voting in Idaho is risky business • Bad Idaho smells (part I)• The saga of Hercules the snake continues • Fire season easier this year • Bad Idaho smells (part II)

Game of the Week goes to Boise-Eagle

Fans voted Boise's visit to Eagle at 7 p.m. Friday as the online Game of the Week.

The Boise-Eagle matchup garnered 84-percent of the vote. Capital-Centennial was second with 10 percent.

Vote for the Statesman's high school football Game of the Week beginning at 3 p.m. Monday each week by clicking here and navigating down the Varsity Extra home page to the online poll in the right column. Voting closes each Thursday at noon.

More fearless forecasts ... on the playoffs

I've been so busy today either interviewing or endorsing candidates that I lost sight of other priorities.

Such as picking winners in baseball's league championship series.

I didn't do too bad for a non-sportswriter in the first round, picking three out of four. Laughing in the face of the Cubs jinx was probably not my smartest move of late.

Ah well. It's all about looking forward.

Disrtict Three soccer tournament brackets

Here are the brackets for all six District Three soccer tournaments, which begin Saturday throughout the Treasure Valley. And don't miss the Friday play-in games in 5A girls and boys competition.

GIRLS SOCCER

5A District Three Tournament

Friday

at Centennial

Game 1: Eagle (7-5-2) vs. Vallivue (1-15-1), 3 p.m.

at Mountain View

Game 2: Meridian (6-7-2) vs. Caldwell (1-12-10), 3 p.m.

Game 3: Borah (6-8-0) vs. Rocky Mountain (3-11-0), 5 p.m.

Saturday

at Mountain View

Game 4: Mountain View (11-1-3) vs. TBA, 11 a.m.

Backstreet's back in Nampa — all right!

Before you snicker, consider this: The Backstreet Boys have two of the 40 best-selling albums of all time.

There will be no shortage of hits when the boy band, now a man band, performs Nov. 19 at the Idaho Center in Nampa. The days of selling out arenas may be over, but the Backstreet Boys are the biggest boy band of all time. You can bet a few thousand ladies will want to revisit the glory days. (Some inevitably dragging husbands. Poor souls.)

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