Montana News

'Campaign Beat:' Third Party Spoiler? Republican Call To Anger; New Ads Begin

Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson and Rob Saldin discuss The Green Party's possible role as election spoiler; dissect the new campaign ads; and weigh in on press censorship in the Flathead, Sheriff Clarke's urgent call to anger, and Joe Biden's lament of the degradation of the Oval office. Listen in now on "Campaign Beat."

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Microphone and tablet.

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How can we better meet your news, arts and music needs online? Take a 5 minute survey to tell us why you tune in, how you tune in, and what you want more (or less) of. After all, you're the "Public" in Montana Public Radio. Make your voice heard, take the survey here.

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Sally Kohn, Krista Tippett, Erick Erickson.
Krista Tippet Photo: Peter Beck

Repairing Public Discourse With 'On Being’s' Krista Tippett

Join us for a deep exploration of politics and civility at our Repairing Public Discourse event with " On Being’s" Krista Tippett , along with guests Sally Kohn and Erick Erickson - live on-stage Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m. in Missoula at the Dennison Theater on the UM Campus. Admission is free.

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Join In A Civil Conversation With 'On Being’s' Krista Tippett

Explore politics and civility with Krista Tippett, Sally Kohn and Erick Erickson, March 20 in Missoula

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Glacier National Park Entrance At St. Mary

The Park Service is sitting on an $11 billion repair backlog. Crumbling roads account for about half of those deferred expenses. Tennessee Republican Senator, Lamar Alexander, is lead sponsor of a new bill to increase park infrastructure funding using revenue from energy production on federal lands and offshore drilling. 

Ongoing budget cuts mean the State of Montana has ended a contract that paid a big health insurance company $6 million a year to manage Medicaid recipients. That’s more than twice as much as it allocates to the state health department for similar work.

United Way of Missoula County CEO, Susan Hay Patrick.
Edward O'Brien

Dozens of homeless Missoulians are now pre-qualified for a federal rental assistance program. The problem is, there’s a dearth of available rentals in Missoula’s red-hot housing market.

Single mom Julie Barrett and her three kids were very familiar with the problem. They were homeless for over a year. That changed in December after Barrett enrolled her family in what’s called a Shelter Plus Care rental voucher. That decision landed the Barrett’s a new rental home this past December.

Snow water equivalent, basin percentage of normal, Feb. 1, 2018.
Natural Resources Conservation Service

The National Weather Service says there's a 70 percent chance of flooding in the Clark Fork and Flathead River valleys this spring.

"Probably not a bad idea to start thinking about sandbags," National Weather Service hydrologist Ray Nickless says in a youtube video posted today.

FY 2017 Montana General Fund Revenue by source
Montana Legislative Fiscal Division

The latest legislative analysis says Montana's state budget could be in the black by the end of 2018.

The monthly state revenue estimate issued today says Montana could end up $13 million ahead of what was forecast in last year's regular legislative session budget bill.

Montana Capitol in Helena.
William Marcus

Montana’s retirement system is in good shape compared to the rest of the country. That’s what national pension researchers told state lawmakers today.

Keith Brainard, the Research Director for the National Association of State Retirement Administrators told a legislative committee that since the Great Recession, the big question for state pension plans is, "are they sustainable?"

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today said his agency should be a partner with oil and gas companies that seek to drill on public land. He said that long regulatory reviews with an uncertain outcome are "un-American."

Speaking to a major energy-industry conference today, Zinke described the Trump administration's efforts to increase offshore drilling, reduce regulations, and streamline inspections of oil and gas operators.

The sale of oil and gas leases on more than 17,000 acres of federal land in south central Montana was postponed today.

The Bureau of Land Management pulled the leases on the parcels just outside Livingston and in the foothills of the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges one week before they were set to be part of a statewide oil and gas lease sale.

Sarah Corbally is an attorney in Helena and previously served as head of Montana’s child and family services division. She’s also on the board of Florence Crittenton.
Corin Cates-Carney

One of the three homes in Montana run by nonprofit organizations that help young moms and their kids stay out of the state’s foster care system closed last week. It was in Billings.

Budget cuts imposed by the state Legislature last year mean the state health department is eliminating more than $1.5 million in funding* for these kinds of organizations, sometimes referred to as "second chance homes."

John Cech, current Deputy Commissioner of Higher Education for the Montana University System, was selected as the 18th president of Carroll College.
Montana University System

Carroll College announced today that John Cech, the current deputy commissioner for the Montana University System, will be the college’s next president. Cech was chosen to be the 18th president of Carroll by the school’s board of trustees.