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Montana Wildfires Provide A Wealth Of Data On Health Effects Of Smoke Exposure

Jean Loesch and her family live in Seeley Lake, Mont., which saw the longest and most intense smoke from Montana's wildfires this summer. Loesch has 10 children, adopted or in her foster care, and they are learning what it's like to have lingering respiratory problems. Last summer, Loesch says, the smoke was so thick outside, the family couldn't see the trees across the street, so they stayed inside. It was still really hard to breathe. "These guys were miserable," Loesch says. "I think each...

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Tony Harwood lectures on Native American uses and approach to wildland fire at the first Wildland Fire in Western Montana lecture event in Kalispell, MT February 23, 2018.
Nicky Ouellet

Wildfire Experts Offer History Lesson On The Flathead's Big Burns

Even with two feet of snow on the ground, homeowners and fire managers in the Flathead Valley are thinking about fire season. FireSafe Flathead kicked off a four-part lecture series about wildland fire in western Montana at Flathead Valley Community College Thursday night. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet brings us the highlights.

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MTPR Features

'Traditional American Chamber Music' From Darol Anger, Emy Phelps And The Furies

Over forty years ago, as part of the David Grisman Quintet, multi-instrumentalist Darol Anger became a young founding father of "Dawg Grass," an influential melding of bluegrass, newgrass, classical and jazz. He has continued breaking musical ground ever since, with the Turtle Island String Quartet, Montreux, Fiddlers Four, Psychograss, the Republic of Strings, Mike Marshall, Barbara Higbie, Scott Nygaard, Phil Aaberg and many others. He's a professor at the Berklee College of Music and an instructor at fiddle camps around the world.

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Explore politics and civility with Krista Tippett, Sally Kohn and Erick Erickson, March 20 in Missoula

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As dense smoke from regional wildfires spread through communities across western Montana last summer, public health agencies faced an indoor problem, too: Residents suddenly needed filters to clean the air inside homes and public spaces, but there was no obvious funding source to pay for it.

Ellen Leahy, the health officer in charge of the Missoula City-County Health Department, says in the past, when wildfire smoke polluted the air outside, nobody really talked about air filters.

Jean Loesch and her family live in Seeley Lake, Mont., which saw the longest and most intense smoke from Montana's wildfires this summer. Loesch has 10 children, adopted or in her foster care, and they are learning what it's like to have lingering respiratory problems.

Last summer, Loesch says, the smoke was so thick outside, the family couldn't see the trees across the street, so they stayed inside. It was still really hard to breathe.

"These guys were miserable," Loesch says. "I think each one of them ended up having to go to the doctor." Everyone needed inhalers.

Oil well.
(PD)

A U.S. District Court judge Thursday ordered the reinstatement of an oil and gas industry regulation that aims to lower harmful methane emissions. Environmental groups say it’s a win for states including Montana.

This week on "Campaign Beat;" Guns, and why Montana politicians don't want to talk about them. attack ads start rolling in the Senate race, Senator Daines on why he avoids town hall meetings, and the media as the root of all evil. Listen in now with Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin.

Missoula's Big Sky High School.
Big Sky High School

A student at Stevensville High School who police say made a threat to harm staff and students was arrested today. That’s according to the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Department. The student is a juvenile male. He was arrested for felony intimidation. The Sheriff’s Department says “there no longer is a perceived threat at the Stevensville Schools.”

Tony Harwood lectures on Native American uses and approach to wildland fire at the first Wildland Fire in Western Montana lecture event in Kalispell, MT February 23, 2018.
Nicky Ouellet

Even with two feet of snow on the ground, homeowners and fire managers in the Flathead Valley are thinking about fire season. FireSafe Flathead kicked off a four-part lecture series about wildland fire in western Montana at Flathead Valley Community College Thursday night. MTPR's Nicky Ouellet brings us the highlights.

A blizzard bringing high winds, whiteouts and dangerous travel conditons has hit parts of NW Montana today.
National Weather Service, Great Falls, MT.

Blackfeet Nation Disaster and Emergency Services is advising people to stay off roadways during a blizzard that’s hit the reservation carrying what’s described as “hurricane force winds” and white-out conditions.

Several major roadways, including Highway 89 north and south of Browning, are closed due to poor visibility and wind-blown snow drifts. U.S. Highway 2 is open but experiencing severe driving conditions. Conditions are expected to worsen tonight.

Montana Senator Steve Daines at the state capitol in Helena in February, 2017
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

On Wednesday, Montana Public Radio aired a story about Senator Steve Daines’ visit to Missoula. In that story, we heard from two people who were critical of Daines for not sticking to his schedule, accusing him of trying to evade the public.

Today, we were contacted by the Senator’s Chief of Staff, Jason Thielman, who thought it was important for listeners to know more about the people we heard from.

Can Do: Montana Entrepreneurs Stick Together

Feb 23, 2018

“One of the really great things about Montana entrepreneurs is, because it is a small community, there is this feeling of, ‘We are all in it together.’ So, I’ve found that in Montana it’s more accepted to say stuff like, ‘I totally screwed that up’ or, ‘God I hope my business makes it.’ Having the ability to talk like that and be so transparent is really powerful,” says Stefanie Sample, a Montana entrepreneur and neuroscience-based leadership coach, and this week's guest on "Can Do."

Two healthcare groups plan to ask Montana voters to continue the state’s Medicaid expansion in November, and to fund it with a higher tax on tobacco .

The Montana Hospital Association and the American Heart Association filed ballot language today.

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