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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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Volunteering during spring pledge week (April 1 – 9) is a great way to show your support for public radio. Can you help answer calls, deliver meals to other volunteers at the station, or file pledge forms? Sign up here, or call 406-243-4214.

Bring your lunch to the Myrna Loy Center in Helena and chat with MTPR station manager Ray Ekness and program director Michael Marsolek.  Please come, ask questions and give us your advice and suggestions about the station. Ray and Michael will also let you know what projects MTPR has in the pipeline.

Today we're celebrating 52 years of Montana Public Radio! For our birthday wish this year, we're asking you to share your most memorable "driveway moment." Tell us about a time when you just couldn't pull yourself away from the radio. Don't have a "driveway moment?" Tell us why public radio matters to you.

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Revisiting Iraq: A Sister On The Edge

Mar 22, 2013

It's been 10 years since the U.S. invaded Iraq. This week we're taking a look back, revisiting voices you first heard on NPR in 2007. We brought you the story of two sisters who had lost their parents. The older sister wore conservative clothes and recited poetry. The younger sister, just 13 at the time, appeared on the verge of becoming a prostitute.

Like so many stories in Iraq, especially sensitive ones involving shame and sex, this story has to be peeled away in layers, like an onion.

The bubonic plague killed about one-third of Europe's population during the Middle Ages, but today the bacterial infection rarely shows up in the U.S. Only a handful of people catch it each year.

But in 2002, Lucinda Marker and her husband, John Tull, were bitten by fleas infected with the plague near their home in New Mexico. They then took a trip to New York City.

Earlier this week, we told you about the head of Colorado's Department of Corrections who was shot and killed after answering the front door of his home.

On Thursday, a Colorado parolee who may be linked to Tom Clements' killing led Texas deputies on a high-speed car chase that ended only when he crashed into a semitrailer, opened fire and was subsequently shot down.

Twenty years after multiple blasts ripped through India's commercial capital, Mumbai, killing more than 200 people, the country's Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a leading Bollywood actor for his role in the attacks.

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to approve a temporary measure to keep the government funded through the end of September. Government shutdown averted.

But it turns out the continuing resolution didn't just address spending. It contains six measures that limit how federal agencies deal with guns.

Tucked inside a short-term funding measure that Congress approved Thursday is a provision that critics are denouncing as a "Monsanto Protection Act."

Face To Face With Death In Iraq

Mar 21, 2013

On the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, NPR is catching up with some of the people we encountered during the war. In 2006, at the height of the violence, we brought you the story of a woman who performed the Muslim ritual of washing and preparing the dead for burial. Kelly McEvers has this update on Um Abbas, who is now living in southern Iraq.

On Gun Ownership And Policy, 'A Country Of Chasms'

Mar 21, 2013

The ideological gulf between gun owners and non-gun owners is a wide one — made all the more obvious by the ongoing debate over what, if any, gun control measures should be adopted in the U.S.

Sometimes, the debate feels like people are coming from different worlds, even for people within the same family. And while Americans are often willing to discuss their own views, it's rarer to hear conversations between people who own and love guns and those who do not.

The tiny dynamo asking the U.S. Supreme Court to turn the world upside down looks nothing like a fearless pioneer. At age 83, Edith Windsor dresses in classic, tailored clothes, usually with a long string of pearls, and she sports a well-coiffed, shoulder-length flip. She looks, for all the world, like a proper New York City lady.

Proper she may be, and a lady, but Windsor, who likes to be called Edie, is making history, challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, known as DOMA. The law bans federal recognition and benefits for legally married same-sex couples.

Police officers testifying at a federal trial challenging New York City's stop-and-frisk policy say they were ordered to increase their number of arrests, summons and 250s — the code for stop, question and frisk.

Some 5 million street stops of mostly black and Latino men have taken place in the city in the last decade.

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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has signed a bill into law that lowers the maximum blood alcohol limit for drivers to .05 percent from the current legal threshold of .08 percent — giving Utah the strictest drunken driving law in the nation.

In addition to drivers, the law applies to anyone carrying a dangerous weapon.

A last-minute attempt by conservative Republicans to dump standards for health benefits in plans sold to individuals would probably lower the average person's upfront insurance costs, such as premiums and deductibles, say analysts on both sides of the debate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

But it will likely also induce insurers to offer much skimpier plans, potentially excluding the gravely ill, and putting consumers at greater financial risk if they need care.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Painfully Funny.

About Kevin Breel's TED Talk

The image of the "sad clown" can seem like a cliche. But for Kevin Breel, it's very real. He describes how he struggled with depression while performing as a standup comedian.

About Kevin Breel

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Painfully Funny.

About Sandi Toksvig's TED Talk

When comedian and TV host Sandi Toksvig came out as gay in the early 1990s, she used humor to recover from the onslaught of vitriol. Today, she says, humor can help bring about social change.

About Sandi Toksvig

Six years after the Arab Spring, Egypt's former leader Hosni Mubarak has left a military hospital and is heading home. Mubarak, 88 and ailing, was acquitted by Egypt's top appeals court of charges that he ordered police to kill anti-government protesters in 2011.

Mubarak had ruled Egypt for 30 years; now he will live in his home in Cairo's wealthy Heliopolis district, according to local media reports.

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