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Montana Capitol dome, Helena.
William Marcus

Legislative Committee Begins Investigation Into Public Employee Settlements

A Republican-led legislative committee is investigating state settlements paid out to public employees under the administration of Democratic Governor Steve Bullock . The Special Select Committee on State Settlement Accountability held its first meeting via phone conference Wednesday.

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Morel mushrooms.
Flickr user Ann Althouse (CC-BY-NC-2)

How To Legally Harvest Morels On Montana's National Forests

With temperatures on the rise, many Montanans have one thing on their minds: finding that perfect morel. MTPR's Clare Menahan has details about harvesting legally on area national forests . Last year’s devastating fire season means Western Montana has become a mushroom-picking haven for thousands of local and visiting mushroom pickers.

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Arts & Music

Raven in flight.
(PD)

'Field Notes:' All About Ravens

I was walking through Greenough Park in Missoula the other day, enthralled by the bright spring afternoon. A yellow cascade of dandelions popped out against the grass. Rattlesnake Creek swelled with snowmelt. The air smelled of shoots, buds, and fresh growth. Then I heard an echoing croak. A raven swooped down and perched on a park bench, a defiant figure of darkness in the daylight.

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Montana's Republican U.S. Senate candidates will debate Thursday, April 26, 2018. The debate between Troy Downing, Russell Fagg, Albert Olszewski, and Matt Rosendale begins at 7 p.m.

Listen to the debate live on MTPR or watch right here.

Democratic candidates for U.S. House: John Heenan, Grant Kier, Jared Pettinato, Kathleen Williams.
Photos by Olga Kreimer

Montana's Democratic U.S. House candidates will debate May 3, 2018. The debate between John Heenan, Grant Kier, Jared Pettinato and Kathleen Williams begins at 7 p.m.

Listen live on MTPR or watch here:

Pattee Canyon Trail map. Lolo National Forest.
Lolo National Forest

A hiker who went missing in the Pattee Canyon area near Missoula was found dead Wednesday.

According to the Missoulian, the body of Missoula resident Michael Kreisberg was spotted by a helicopter crew north of the Crazy Canyon Trailhead Wednesday evening.

Morel mushrooms.
Flickr user Ann Althouse (CC-BY-NC-2)

With temperatures on the rise, many Montanans have one thing on their minds: finding that perfect morel. MTPR's Clare Menahan has details about harvesting legally on area national forests.

Last year’s devastating fire season means Western Montana has become a mushroom-picking haven for thousands of local and visiting mushroom pickers.

Montana Capitol dome, Helena.
William Marcus

A Republican-led legislative committee is investigating state settlements paid out to public employees under the administration of Democratic Governor Steve Bullock. The Special Select Committee on State Settlement Accountability held its first meeting via phone conference Wednesday.

US Delays Oil, Gas Sales In Montana After Climate Ruling

18 hours ago
Oil pump.
Dan Boyce

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. officials delayed lease sales on federal oil and gas reserves beneath more than 160 square miles (414 square kilometers) of public and private lands in eastern Montana in response to a recent court ruling on climate change, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management spokesman said Wednesday.

Senator Jon Tester this afternoon released a two-page summary of allegations against Admiral Ronny Jackson, the physician President Trump has nominated to be Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

They include accounts of drunkenness, over-prescribing drugs, and creating a hostile work environment.

Democratic Party Attorney Kevin Hamilton arguing at the Lewis and Clark County courthouse Tuesday
Corin Cates-Carney

Tuesday a state district court judge heard arguments over whether the Green Party should be allowed on Montana ballots in November. The Montana Democratic Party brought the suit against the Greens and Secretary of State Corey Stapleton.

MTPR’s capitol reporter Corin Cates-Carney was at the Lewis and Clark County courthouse for the hearing, and spoke with MTPR News Director Eric Whitney. 

Montana Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Montana’s senior senator says politics played no role in the heightened investigation into President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jon Tester is the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs.

"When we started this investigation into Admiral Jackson last week," says Tester, "we got some calls that were very concerning about him as a person."

Those allegations against Dr. Ronny Jackson include over-prescription of drugs, creation of a hostile work environment and drinking on the job. Tester says what started as a standard vetting of Jackson’s qualifications rapidly escalated into an ‘all hands-on deck’ operation in the wake of those accusations.

Grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. (File photo).
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Conservation groups alleged yesterday that Wyoming used part of Montana's grizzly bear hunting quota to increase its own allocation for a proposed hunt this year, even though Montana wildlife regulators voted not to give away any part of its quota.

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