MTPR

Montana News

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:

Read More
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:

Read More

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.

Read More

MTPR Schedule

Montana Public Radio Schedule

See what's coming up on MTPR

Montana Legislature News

Inside MTPR

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.

Connect with MTPR

U.S. Capitol.
Bjoertvedt (CC-BY-SA-3)

The NPR Two-Way blog will provide live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The live blog will include streaming video of the proceedings, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

National Weather Service, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

"It was a pretty impressive winter," says Trent Smith from the National Weather Service. "Kalispell and Missoula had some of the coldest average mean temperatures since the late 1970's. And then we ... got a significant amount of snow over this winter. And now that we've transitioned here these past few weeks we're really looking at the flooding issues."

Listen now as Smith recaps the weather highlights from this winter and gives a preview of what's in store for western Montana as we transition from winter to spring.

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.

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin review the legislature's busy week as the state budget heads out of the House and on to the Senate. They also discuss how the debate over healthcare and the Trump administration's proposed federal budget is affecting Montana's upcoming special election in May.

Sen. Tester hears constituent concerns at Helena town hall, March 17, 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester was in Helena Friday afternoon for an in-person town hall. You can listen to the full meeting at the bottom of this post.

Tester spoke for a little over an hour to a friendly crowd of 200 people at Helena Middle School. Town halls nationwide have become confrontational events for many members of Congress. Recently, Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines has taken heat for not meeting face-to-face with constituents back home. He hosted a so-called “tele-town hall” two weeks ago, which he says allows him to interact with more Montanans because people don't have to travel to participate in them.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus

A bill entering the Montana House of Representatives Monday would create a voluntary preschool program for four-year-olds from lower income families.

House Bill 563, or the Montana Preschool Grant Program, would give children who qualify access to what Rep. Kathy Kelker, D-Billings, says is high quality preschool education.

Contentious Budget Bill Moves To State Senate

Mar 17, 2017
The budget bill that doles out state money to agencies has been the most contentious bill in the legislative session thus far.
Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

The budget bill that doles out state money to agencies passed out of the House of Representatives today on a 58-to-40 vote. House Bill 2, made up of more than $10 billion to be spent over two years, has been the most contentious bill in the legislative session thus far.

Fisheries biologists checking for adult invasive mussels.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Glacier National Park will lift restrictions on non-motorized, hand-propelled boats this season. But park superintendent Jeff Mow says mandatory invasive species inspections will simultaneously ramp up across the park.

Legislators are considering legislation to help the citizens of Colstrip and the state of Montana weather the pending closure of 2 coal fired power plants by requiring the plants owners compensate the community for the economic loss.  


Delicious Montana craft beers
Eric Whitney

The state’s budget passed a final vote in the Montana House this morning and is now moving to the Senate. Democrats there are continuing efforts to increase taxes that they say would bring in more money to help currently underfunded state programs.

The latest tax increase proposal introduced in the Senate today could raise the cost of beer, wine and hard alcohol.

When Governor Steve Bullock released his budget late last year, he called for a 50 percent bump in the state’s wine tax to help make up for revenue shortfalls.

Pages

NPR News

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of child endangerment for his role in the sexual abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

In a split verdict, the Pennsylvania jury found that Spanier's handling of a 2001 complaint alleging abuse by Sandusky, warranted conviction on one of three charges against him. The jury did, however, acquit Spanier of conspiracy and a second count of child endangerment, the Associated Press reports.

In a series of memorandums sent to U.S. embassies, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has offered a glimpse of what President Trump's promised "extreme vetting" will mean for visa applicants when put into practice.

There are beers that can make headlines simply by existing, especially if they use unique ingredients. That's the case with Stone Brewing's Full Circle Pale Ale, whose key component — water — came from an advanced filtration system that recycles and purifies San Diego wastewater that had previously been used in taps, toilets and showers.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

House Republicans scrapped a vote on their health care replacement plan on Friday after defections from both the right and center that made it clear the bill would not pass.

"Obamacare is the law of the land. It is going to remain the law of the land," House Speaker Paul Ryan admitted shortly after he pulled the bill. "We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future. I don't know how long it's going to take us to replace this law."

Doctors say it all started eight years ago, when a urology clinic in Oregon ran an ad promoting the benefits of scheduling a vasectomy in March.

"You go in for a little snip, snip and come out with doctor's orders to sit back and watch nonstop basketball," the voice-over promises. "If you miss out on this, you'll end up recovering during a weekend marathon of Desperate Housewives!"

More NPR News