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

Hear Montana's Democratic U.S. House Candidates Debate

Montana's Democratic U.S. House candidates will debate at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 26, 2018. Listen live on MTPR, on your radio or online. The debate, sponsored by The Greater Montana Foundation, will featuring all the Democratic primary candidates for the U.S. House: John Heenan , Grant Kier , Jared Pettinato and Kathleen Williams .

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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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The Latest: Montana Governor Declares Flooding Emergency

Apr 18, 2018
The Milk River is forecast to remain above Moderate flood stage into next week, possibly reaching Major flood stage for a time. Areas that have yet to experience flooding in this area may begin to see flooding soon.
National Weather Service Great Falls, MT.

HAVRE, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on flooding in Montana (all times local): 4:15 p.m.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says there is a flooding emergency in seven counties and the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation.

The emergency declaration issued Wednesday allows the use of state government services and equipment, and allows the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to help protect infrastructure.

The governor's office says flooding from rapid snowmelt has the potential to cause widespread damage to homes, farms and infrastructure such as roads.

A closeup satellite image shows a thick layer of wildfire smoke covering Idaho and Montana, September 4, 2017.
NOAA

The latest American Lung Association air quality report shows some Montana communities continue to have unhealthy levels of air pollution on a national scale. Wildfires are the main culprit.

According the Lung Association’s most recent "State of the Air" report, the city of Missoula ranks as the 12th most polluted city in the nation for short-term particle pollution.

University of Montana President Seth Bodnar addresses the faculty senate about UM's preliminary plans to cut 51.5 faculty positions due to declining enrollment, April 17, 2018.
Eric Whitney

Faculty at the University of Montana had their first opportunity to give feedback on the new preliminary plan University administrators released this morning that suggests cutting more than 50 faculty positions.

A ballot initiative group hoping to generate new state revenue to fund Medicaid expansion services has been approved to start gathering signatures for an initiative raising taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes.
(PD)

A ballot initiative group hoping to generate new state revenue to fund Medicaid expansion services has been approved to start gathering signatures for an initiative raising taxes on tobacco and e-cigarettes.

Zuri Moreno speaks at the launch of Free and Fair Montana campaign in Billings, Tuesday, April 17, 2018 in this screen capture from Free and Fair Montana's Facebook video.
Screen capture from Free and Fair Montana's Facebook video.

A group called Free and Fair Montana is urging voters to oppose the so-called “bathroom ballot” initiative that would require people to use public restrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender on their birth certificate rather than the gender by which they live and identify.

Jeff Ament at MTPR studios in Missoula, April 17, 2018.
Josh Burnham

The band Pearl Jam is embarking on a brief, four city North American tour that includes a show in Missoula. Part of the proceeds from the concert will go to a get-out-the-vote effort in Montana.  The band’s founding member, bassist, Montana native and part-time Missoula resident Jeff Ament sat down in our studios with Sally Mauk to talk about that – and about music and politics.

Bison and snowcoaches share the road in Yellowstone National Park.
National Park Service

Yellowstone National Park will open select roads and services for the season Friday April 20, and entry fees will be waived the following Saturday to celebrate National Park Week.

University Hall at The University of Montana.
Josh Burnham

The University of Montana today revealed preliminary plans to eliminate more than 50 faculty positions in order to bring its budget into balance.

The University calls its proposed recommendations a "Strategy for Distinction."

Sperry Chalet before the fire, in an undated photo from the National Parks Service.
National Parks Service

Glacier National Park is recommending that the scorched dormitory of the Sperry Chalet be rebuilt in its original footprint within its original walls.

Sperry’s dormitory was badly burned in the Sprague Fire last August.

Tish Haas (background) waves a shooting target with a bullet hole smiley face at a gun rally in Kalispell April 15, 2018.
Nicky Ouellet

In less than two months, Montana voters will head to the polls to select challengers for U.S. Democratic Senator Jon Tester and Republican Congressman Greg Gianforte. Between now and the June 5 primary, Montana Public Radio is talking with voters about political issues important to them.

I hung out at a pro-gun rally in Kalispell’s Depot Park this weekend to hear what’s on voters’ minds.

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