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Carole Mackin, a taxpayer from Helena, is escorted out of a hearing room at the Montana Capitol by a sergeant-at-arms Thursday, March 23 after she refused to stop her testimony in support of Senate Bill 305, which would allow mail ballot elections.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

Montana Legislature Hears Heated Testimony On Mail Voting Bill

A bill intended to save counties hundreds of thousands of dollars in the upcoming special election for Montana's vacant U.S. House seat brought heated testimony and debate Thursday in the Capitol. Senate Bill 305 would allow counties the option of running the May 25 election entirely through mail-in-ballots. Great Falls Republican Senator Steve Fitzpatrick introduced his bill to the House Judiciary Committee:

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Health coverage in Montana.
Montana Commissioner of Securities & Insurance

Comparing Obamacare And GOP Health Bill

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as an official Superfund site in September 2016.
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

Columbia Falls Aluminum Pollution Evaluation Released

Belinda Bullshoe says her Blackfeet tradition and culture guide her designs.
Nicky Ouellet

My Culture On The Runway: Blackfeet Woman Takes On New York Fashion Week

On a normal weekend, the inside of the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls is a cacophony of referees whistles, sneaker squeaks and raving basketball fans. But this past weekend it transformed to house the annual Great Western Living and Design Show. Instead of high school pep bands, old-timey western music plays over loudspeakers. The room smells like leather softener and wood. At the far end of the arena — past booths of silver and turquoise jewelry, paintings of horses and aspens, and vests made of the softest furs — a woman with a long, black ponytail sells blankets and bed sheets in iconic, geometric Pendleton designs. Then she pulls dresses out of a garment sheet. One after another, her colorful designs draw stares from ambling shoppers. This is Belinda Bullshoe. She recently showed her dresses at New York Fashion Week, and may be the first Native American designer to do so. I pull up a chair, and she tells me her story:

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MTPR Features

Martin Sexton's 'Mixtape Of The Open Road' Keeps The Musical Bus Rolling

One of the most dynamic singer-songwriters of any generation, Martin Sexton returns to “Musicians’ Spotlight,” recording three songs in the studio (with harmony help from the Brothers McCann) and chatting retrospectively about his career.

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Gov. Steve Bullock. File photo.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock and Senate President Scott Sales reached an agreement Wednesday on a list of nominees for the next Commissioner of Political Practices, ending a more than week long stall in the nomination hearings. Bullock says he did not try to leverage his administration's legislative goals during that meeting, which was outside of the public nominating process.

The Environmental Protection Agency designated the former Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as an official Superfund site in September 2016.
Courtesy Columbia Falls Aluminum Company

The company responsible for cleanup at the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company Superfund site released results of their site evaluation on Thursday. 

The evaluation confirms that groundwater beneath the former aluminum smelter facility has elevated levels of cyanide, fluoride and other contaminants, leached from legacy landfills used from 1955 until 1980. The studies also indicate that the contamination is not moving toward wells used for drinking water in nearby neighborhoods.

The bill would raise the state's tax on gas by 8 cents a gallon and on diesel by 7.25 cents a gallon.
Rusty Clark (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Montana House has endorsed what would be the state's first fuel tax hike in 24 years. The bill would raise the state's tax on gas by 8 cents a gallon and on diesel by 7.25 cents a gallon.

Health coverage in Montana.
Montana Commissioner of Securities & Insurance

In Montana, more than 47,000 people qualify for tax credits that lower their monthly health insurance premiums. Those tax credits were created by the Affordable Care Act, what some people call Obamacare. Many of those people would see big changes if the Republican healthcare bill in the works in Congress now becomes law.

Carole Mackin, a taxpayer from Helena, is escorted out of a hearing room at the Montana Capitol by a sergeant-at-arms Thursday, March 23 after she refused to stop her testimony in support of Senate Bill 305, which would allow mail ballot elections.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

A bill intended to save counties hundreds of thousands of dollars in the upcoming special election for Montana's vacant U.S. House seat brought heated testimony and debate Thursday in the Capitol.

Senate Bill 305 would allow counties the option of running the May 25 election entirely through mail-in-ballots. Great Falls Republican Senator Steve Fitzpatrick introduced his bill to the House Judiciary Committee:

Helping Kids Cope With Stomach Flu: Dr. Starbuck Explains

22 hours ago

Hi!  I’m Dr. Jamison Starbuck, a naturopathic family physician with health tips for kids about stomach flu. Kids know what stomach flu is right?  That awful feeling in your stomach that you might throw up.  That’s called ‘nausea’.  When you have the stomach flu and nausea, you probably will throw up.

One of the most dynamic singer-songwriters of any generation, Martin Sexton returns to “Musicians’ Spotlight,” recording three songs in the studio (with harmony help from the Brothers McCann) and chatting retrospectively about his career.

New Republican Infrastructure Proposal Hits A Speed Bump

Mar 22, 2017

House Democrats say they won’t support a new House Republican infrastructure proposal that would issue bonds to pay for rural water, wastewater, some road and school projects.

When it comes to infrastructure at the Montana Legislature even a simple matter over whether there were negotiations on the topic is up for dispute.


Montana Senate President Scott Sales.
Mike Albans

State lawmakers and Governor Bullock have ended a stalemate over nominees for Montana's next Commissioner of Political Practices. The handshake agreement was reached outside the public hearing process.

Republican Senate President Scott Sales and Democrat Steve Bullock met in the governor's office a little before noon on Wednesday and reached an agreement on a list of nominees to replace Jonathan Motl as Commissioner of Political Practices.

Bill Would Raise Production Limits For Montana Breweries

Mar 22, 2017

Nearly a dozen brewers testified at the Montana Legislature today on a bill that would raise a small brewery's production cap six fold.

Matt Leow with the Montana Brewers Association says raising the 10,000 barrel limit for small operations to 60,000 would unleash potential for Montana brewers.

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A plane flies over a field in South Sudan. Out of the sky drops a cascade of pallets, sacks or boxes filled with emergency food supplies that, once they reach the ground, can make the difference between sustenance and starvation.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort has volunteered to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, as turmoil within the committee continues and the future of the investigation into Russia's attempts to interfere with the election sunk deeper into doubt.

In dueling news conferences Friday morning, committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the committee had postponed its next open hearing for what amounted to logistical reasons — while ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that hearing had been canceled over Democratic objections.

The House Republicans' embattled health care bill has plenty of detractors: Democrats, hospitals, the American Medical Association and the House Freedom Caucus all oppose it. But the insurance industry is not on that list, even though it stands to lose millions of customers.

One reason is that insurers' profits are expected to fatten under the bill.

Most baby boomers say that they plan to keep working past conventional retirement age. But to do that, they have to get hired first. New research shows that can be harder when you're older.

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