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West Fork firefighter serving as a lookout for Hotshot crews working below on the Nelson Creek fire.
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2017 Fire Season Is Montana's Most Expensive Since 1999

Both state and federal governments have spent a combined $378 million this year battling blazes. This was the most expensive fire season in Montana since at least 1999, when adjusted for inflation. Montanans may need to prepare for similar wildfire seasons in the future.

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State Supreme Court Orders Clarification Of Proposed Bathroom Amendment

The Montana Attorney General will now have to clarify a ballot proposal intended to prohibit transgender Montanans from using the public bathrooms of their choice. The Montana Supreme Court has granted the ACLU of Montana’s petition challenging the sufficiency of I-183’s ballot statement and fiscal note .

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Truffle With A Squirrel Bite
FLICKR USER, SCOTT DARBEY (CC-BY-2.0)

Truffles, Trees And — Squirrels?

Walking through the woods recently, I saw a red squirrel digging in the litter of the forest floor. I assumed it was burying a pine cone, but on closer inspection I found a piece of mushroom. Little did I know I was witnessing a process critical to the survival of a forest.

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Yes the 2012 elections have been combed over a thousand times. But what's one more detail, right?

Today, Bloomberg reports that were it not for egos, Mitt Romney could have been toppled by a conservative "unity ticket" featuring Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Had the two united, there would have been a real possibility that Romney wouldn't have made it past the primary process and 2012 would have been truly different race.

HBO CEO Richard Plepler is saying something a lot of the television network's fans have been waiting to hear — that its content could be offered to customers directly through their Internet service providers instead of a cable company.

Right now, HBO must be purchased through a cable provider. Plepler tells Reuters that HBO Go, an online streaming service launched by the network in 2010 (but still only available as an extra to your cable TV) might also be sold through ISPs.

Gay marriage opponents say they're protecting women and children first.

When the Supreme Court hears oral arguments about same-sex marriage next week, much of the debate will turn on legal questions surrounding issues such as federalism and due process.

But the underlying questions are more emotional, with moral objections frequently raised by members of the faith community.

Drug-sniffing dogs, those cute bellwethers of illegal activity, are dropping Marijuana from their repertoire in Washington state.

A 2012 ballot initiative legalized the use of marijuana in the state (although federal law still prohibits its use). Since then authorities have been working to implement the law. Part of that process is, apparently, to employ canines who don't react to the smell of marijuana. The AP explains why:

In a phone call today with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey over the 2010 Israeli raid of a flotilla that left nine people dead. The flotilla was attempting to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, when it was intercepted by Israel.

Two teens accused of rape in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted and sentenced this week. Host Michel Martin talks to the Barbershop guys about how the victim — and the perpetrators — were treated in the press. Writer Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar and Republican strategist R. Clarke Cooper discuss the week's news. ADVISORY: Please note, this conversation includes a discussion about rape and may not be suitable for all listeners.

Chinua Achebe, widely considered the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82. His popular book, Things Fall Apart, tackled the effect of colonialism on Africa, and has sold more than 10 million copies. Host Michel Martin is joined by NPR Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton to look back on his life and work.

Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious warlord accused of crimes against humanity during Congo's civil war, is headed to an international court after turning himself in at the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda earlier this week.

NPR's Gregory Warner reports that the surrender of Ntaganda, nicknamed "The Terminator," came as a surprise. He's been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006 for crimes against humanity, including conscripting child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery allegedly committed in 2002 and 2003 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

For many years, across the world, the extraordinarily powerful noses of dogs have been successfully used to help detect crime.

Now, in Britain, moves are under way to recruit humans to perform the same subtle work.

Police are encouraging the British to step out of their homes, raise their nostrils aloft, and see if they catch the whiff of wrongdoing wafting from the next-door neighbors.

Visitors to these crowded islands are often charmed by the small redbrick terraced houses that are in every town and city.

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 4: Richard catches up with one of the gurus of climate science out on the reef.

Ken Caldeira loves a challenge, and he has a big one right under his feet. He's standing on an expanse of coral reef out in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's being washed with water as the tide streams over the reef, from a lagoon to the open sea.

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