Montana Newscasts

Montana Public Radio's morning & evening newscasts.

Evening Newscast 08-31-15

6 hours ago
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

In general, wildfires in western Montana calmed over the weekend, thanks to cooler weather and even a little rain, but other fires grew, and some new ones popped up.

Two new fires were reported yesterday on the I-15 corridor between Helena and Great Falls.

To the northwest, evacuees in the Noxon area are going to be allowed back into their homes tomorrow morning.

Morning Newscast 08-31-15

16 hours ago
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: light rain dampened some wildfires in far western Montana, while other fires closer to the central part of the state continued to spread and threaten rural residences.

More firefighters and equipment are headed to the wildfire near Alberton. That’s what the fire’s Incident Commander John Thompson told about 200 people who crammed into the fire station in Alberton last night.

About 125 people have applied to replace the outgoing chief investment officer for the Montana Board of Investments.

The University of Montana is apologizing to North Dakota State University football players, coaches and staff after a postgame incident Saturday involving a fan who confronted a Bison player on the field.

Evening Newscast 08-28-15

Aug 28, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Stage 2 fire restrictions went into effect in the Missoula area today. The restrictions apply to all lands in Missoula, Mineral, Sanders, Granite and Ravalli counties, including the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests.

A new pre-evacuation notice was posted this morning for an area south of Troy. Two housing developments on the shores of Bull Lake are in the pre-evacuation area, which is along a six mile stretch of Highway 56. The Sanders County Sheriff’s department says residents in the pre-evacuation area should be monitoring emergency services information and be ready to leave quickly.

The entire Northern Rockies will feel both immediate and long-term impacts of a powerful cold front moving into the region this weekend. Meteorologist Genki Keno with the National Weather Service office in Missoula says the system packs strong winds and hits western Montana tomorrow afternoon.

Morning Newscast 08-28-15

Aug 28, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: fire officials, evacuees and members of the community gathered in the gym of West Glacier Elementary School last night hours after the town of Essex evacuated.

In far northwest Montana, the Clark Fork Complex of six fires continues to threaten homes near the town of Noxon. Fire managers now have a better picture of the challenges they face.

It looks like there may be progress in the dispute between Montana and the U.S. Forest Service over firefighting helicopters.

An ancient cedar grove appears to have survived a wildfire that burned through northern Idaho, leaving officials optimistic about the chances a similar stand in Montana will survive.

Evening Newscast 08-27-15

Aug 27, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: A mandatory evacuation of Essex and the surrounding area was ordered around 2:45 p.m. by the Flathead County Sheriff's Office.

Also evacuated today were outfitters camps, cabins and homes south of Interstate 90 near Tarkio, MT. The West Fork Fish Creek Fire had burned to within about three miles of the Clearwater Crossing Campground in the Fish Creek area. Several ranches and structures are threatened by the fire.

Fifteen residents of the Montana Developmental Center will be moved to group homes over the next month, in part because of a staff shortage at the center.

In far northwest Montana, the Clark Fork Complex of six fires continues to threaten homes near the town of Noxon. But fire managers now have a better picture of the challenges they face.

Morning Newscast 08-27-15

Aug 27, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: An independent review of a half-dozen infant and child autopsies by a former Montana associate medical examiner has found serious deficiencies in how they were conducted.

A District Court judge has heard arguments on the constitutionality of the state's method of lethal injection. State attorneys and representatives for Montana's two death-row inmates debated yesterday whether an execution drug risks undue pain and suffering.

In general fires in northwestern Montana are being held in check by the thick layer of smoke over the area. The Sheep fire that’s been threatening the town of Essex just south of Glacier National Park for a week now hasn’t grown significantly. Essex remains on pre-evacuation alert, but Fire Information Officer Jonathan Moor says conditions for the last few days have been favorable enough that fire crews have been able to clean up ground fuels that could drive the fire into Essex.

The federal government says it will strip Montana of a child abuse prevention grant if the state doesn't start releasing information about children who die of abuse and neglect, but Montana officials say a state confidentiality law prevents them from releasing the information. Montana officials sought a change in the law earlier this year, but no bill was passed before the legislative session ended.

Plans to visit Missoula this weekend, but don't have a room booked yet? If so, you're either out of luck or you'll be paying a premium. The Garden City will host not only the first University of Montana home football game of the season, but also the hugely popular River City Roots Festival.

Evening Newscast 08-26-15

Aug 26, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: In general fires in northwestern Montana are being held in check by the thick layer of smoke over the area.

State wildlife officials killed a young female mountain lion in Missoula’s Rattlesnake Creek neighborhood after receiving reports it was frequenting a residential area.

Air quality in Libby has improved significantly in the last 24 hours, but is still rated “unhealthy” by the state Department of Environmental Quality at this hour.

With smoky conditions generally limiting the growth of fires in western Montana there are no additional evacuations being ordered today.

There are two public meetings tonight about area wildfires. One is at Seeley Lake Elementary School at 7:00 p.m., the other is in Lincoln, also at 7:00 p.m.

Morning Newscast 08-26-15

Aug 26, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the inversion holding heavy smoke over western Montana continues to rob wildfires of oxygen and preventing the sun from heating up ground fuels, helping firefighters make progress on fire lines. Fire information officer Bob MacGregor says the days of lesser activity also get them closer to anticipated fire season-ending weather.

The state of Montana is dropping a lawsuit against telephone provider CenturyLink, after the company agreed to improve the service it provides to rural customers.

Federal prosecutors may seek the death penalty for an 18-year-old man charged with the deaths of a husband and wife who stopped to help offer him help on the side of the road on Montana's Crow Reservation.

Two former executives of a Chippewa Cree Tribe online lending company have been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy.

Morning Newscast 08-25-15

Aug 25, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the thick blanket of wildfire smoke over western Montana is a proving a blessing and a curse for firefighters in the state. The hazy conditions can rob fires of the oxygen they need to grow but, at the same time, prevent aircraft from being able to drop water and fire retardant.

Air quality in Montana is bad from Billings west. It’s listed as very unhealthy in Libby and the Flathead valley, and unhealthy in Missoula, Hamilton, Butte, Helena, Seeley Lake, Great Falls and St Mary.

Evening Newscast 08-24-15

Aug 24, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

In far Northwest Montana, about 85 homes remain evacuated due to the Napoleon fire. It’s part of what’s now being called the Clark Fork Complex of six fires straddling the Montana - Idaho border. Fire Information Officer Glenda Scott says crews are working to keep the nine square mile Napoleon fire contained within the Kootenai National Forest.

Burning to the North and West of the Napolean Fire is the Sawtooth fire, which covers about three and a half square miles.  Scott says the priority on that fire is keeping it from burning to the east, where it could cross into the Ross Creek Cedars Scenic area, just a couple of miles away.

Firefighters are reporting success on the Scotchman Gulch Fire near Phillipsburg.

Morning Newscast 08-24-15

Aug 24, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

Firefighters and residents are bracing for a return to more intense fire activity in western Montana where wildfires have charred thousands of acres and threatened some small communities. A fire weather watch posted yesterday warned that gusty winds and low humidity were expected Monday afternoon in Glacier National Park and the Kootenai and Flathead national forest areas. On Glacier's southern boundary, a wildfire is about a mile south of the town of Essex where about 100 area residents have been advised to be ready to evacuate.

A federal panel will hold a public hearing on whether to allow oil and gas drilling on land near Glacier National Park considered sacred by Native Americans. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation will hold the hearing in Choteau on Sept. 2 to discuss the effects of lifting a suspension on Solenex LLC's drilling permit in the Badger-Two Medicine area.

Evening Newscast 08-21-15

Aug 21, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from non-tribal farmers and ranchers seeking to gain control of an irrigation project on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

It was another active fire week in western Montana. Fires forced evacuations in Sanders County, closed part of Highway 2, and put the town of Essex on alert. Nowhere in western Montana escaped the choking smoke produced by dozens of fires burning in the state and in neighboring Idaho and Washington.

About a hundred people remain poised to evacuate as swirling winds continue fueling the Sheep Fire near Essex, just south of Glacier National Park.

In Sanders County, evacuations have been underway over the past two days due to three fires burning in the Bull River drainage.

Morning Newscast 08-21-15

Aug 21, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: more homes are being evacuated north of Noxon as a fire burning in the Kootenai National Forest spreads. Fire information officer John Head says evacuation orders were issued for between 30 and 40 homes yesterday.

The Sheep Fire near Essex has, however, caused the closure of a 7-mile section U-S Highway 2 north of Essex and an adjacent section of the BNSF railroad tracks.

Australia and New Zealand are sending firefighters to help battle wildfires burning in the western United States.

Montana health officials are hearing from people in public meetings this week about the state's plan to expand Medicaid.

Evening Newscast 08-20-15

Aug 20, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Searchers have located a single-engine airplane that crashed in the Big Belt Mountains just northeast of Canyon Ferry Lake.

Crews are working to keep a wildfire from spreading to the small community of Essex on the southern border of Montana's Glacier National Park.

Morning Newscast 08-20-15

Aug 20, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: evacuations have been ordered for homes near the Napoleon fire, that’s burning on about 21-hundred acres near the western Montana state line. The evacuation order is for houses along Highway 56 between mileposts 8 and 14.

The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for Friday for much of western Montana, stretching from the Deerlodge/Beaverhead National Forest, through the Bitterroot valley and the northwest corner of the state.

Evening Newscast 08-19-15

Aug 19, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Authorities in Sanders County have ordered the evacuation of 14 homes threatened by fires burning in the Kootenai National Forest north of Noxon.

State Air Quality Monitors are showing unhealthy conditions in Hamilton and Libby at this hour, in Seeley Lake the air is being called unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Morning Newscast 08-19-15

Aug 19, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: Bozeman software entrepreneur Greg Gianforte says he's not yet ready to lay out a campaign platform. The Republican businessman filed paperwork Monday to establish an exploratory committee that could lead to running for governor.

The Montana National Guard has sent four helicopters and 48 soldiers to help fight wildfires in response to a shortage of resources in the state.

Authorities have cancelled an Amber alert for an 18-month old girl who allegedly was taken by her non-custodial mother.

The Northern Rockies was experiencing a normal fire season until last week, when a combination of drought, high temperatures and lightning-packed storms created new blazes across western Montana and Idaho.

Evening Newscast 08-13-15

Aug 18, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Greater restrictions on burning will go into effect later this week as fire danger increases in Northwest Montana.

A Chippewa Cree tribal court jury has cleared tribal chairman Ken St. Marks of defrauding the tribe and ordered the tribe to pay him more than $200,000 for his company's work on a pipeline project.

Grizzly bears are venturing further east from the Rocky Mountains and attacking more Montana cattle and sheep.

Morning Newscast 08-18-15

Aug 18, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: technology entrepreneur Greg Gianforte has filed paperwork that says he is exploring a run for Montana governor in 2016.

So many wildfires are burning across the Northern Rockies that fire officials are allowing some to burn because all the manpower and equipment is committed elsewhere. The Northern Rockies Coordination Center lists 86 active fires in Montana and Idaho as of yesterday morning. Seven in Montana are listed as unstaffed due to a lack of resources.

Evening Newscast 08-17-15

Aug 17, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

So many wildfires are burning across the Northern Rockies that fire officials are allowing some to burn because all the manpower and equipment is committed elsewhere.

Several dozen Montana National Guard members are getting ready to join the statewide firefighting effort - and they could soon be joined by active-duty troops.  Governor Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency on Sunday, allowing state resources including the National Guard to be mobilized.  Montana State Forester Bob Harrington says while the guard hasn’t been formally activated, they’re preparing for action.

Morning Newscast 08-17-15

Aug 17, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: Gov. Steve Bullock has declared a fire emergency in Montana as better weather conditions yesterday aided firefighting efforts and prevented new major fire starts. The emergency declaration allows Bullock to mobilize state resources and the Montana National Guard to fight the fires.

Montana Democrats re-elected their party leadership and heard pep talks about the coming election at their party convention over the weekend in Bozeman.

Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester reiterated his support for the proposed nuclear-weapons agreement with Iran over the weekend.

Research spending at Montana State University has slowed slightly in the past year. MSU released its annual report on research Friday.

Evening Newscast 08-14-15

Aug 14, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

This week's hot, dry weather has helped ignite dozens of new wildfires across Montana and Idaho, and today’s conditions are making things worse, according to officials. The fire burning near Lincoln has grown to 2 square miles since lightning started it Monday. Its rapid growth has led to the evacuation orders of a dozen nearby cabins, most of which are second homes.

Lightning struck on the practice football field at C.M. Russell High School in Great Falls, knocking a coach down.

Lewis and Clark County activated its Emergency Operations Center for a few hours this afternoon after some 35 homes on Elk Trail Loop were ordered evacuated.  Most are second homes, and were vacant at the time.  

The Choteau Ranger district has reported a new fire in Lewis and Clark County, near Sock Lake along the continental divide.  It’s in wilderness and no firefighting effort is being made at this time.

The two cubs of a Montana grizzly bear that killed a hiker in Yellowstone National Park are going to an Ohio zoo.  

Evening Newscast 08-13-15

Aug 13, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Yellowstone National Park officials euthanized a female grizzly bear today after DNA tests confirmed it attacked and killed a hiker last week.

Northwestern Energy says its remaining Missoula customers without power should be back in service by late tonight.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today threw his support behind the proposed deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

Morning Newscast 08-13-15

Aug 13, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

At the request of the Blackfeet Tribal Police, the Montana Department of Justice has issued an Amber Alert for Ryder Whitford. Ryder’s a 2 year old Native American boy was abducted from his home about quarter to nine last night by his non-custodial mother Murlaina Thomas. The boy is 3 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 30 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. UPDATE: Ryder Whitford found at 8:09 a.m.

Armed protesters who say they are protecting a Montana mine from government interference are declaring victory after federal prosecutors filed a lawsuit to determine the miners' rights to the land above their claim.

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that online travel companies such as Priceline and Expedia must pay the state's lodging and vehicle sales tax on the fees they collect from customers.

Evening Newscast 08-12-15

Aug 12, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: The full length of Going to the Sun road is now open at night.

Northwestern Energy has restored power to thousands of Missoulians in the past 24 hours, but thousands more are still without electricity after Monday’s powerful storm.

Morning Newscast 08-12-15

Aug 12, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast, high temperatures and low humidity have caused the rapid growth of a new wildfire in a remote part of Glacier National Park. Park officials say the fire eight miles north of Nyack in the south-central part of Glacier had burned almost 18 square miles by Tuesday night.

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to prevent two miners and their armed supporters from blocking access to public land and threatening U.S. Forest Service officials involved in a western Montana mining claim dispute.

Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices has determined a former state senator broke at least seven campaign laws in Hamilton's 2014 Republican primary election.

Evening Newscast 08-11-15

Aug 11, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: People in Missoula and the Bitterroot Valley are facing another evening of potentially strong winds, after a storm last night blew down trees and powerlines and left thousands without power.

People from Kalispell to East Glacier are reporting a huge smoke plume this afternoon from the Thompson Creek fire inside Glacier National Park.

Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to prevent two miners and their armed supporters from blocking access to public land, and threatening U.S. Forest Service officials involved in a western Montana mining claim dispute.

Evening Newscast 08-10-15

Aug 10, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: The question of an extended elk-hunting season has drawn so much feedback that Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department has decided to give people more time to comment, and moved October’s Commission meeting to Helena, instead of Kalispell.

Crews are attacking several fires burning in Glacier National Park today.

Officials in Mineral County have released the name of a man who was shot at the county fair in Superior and the deputy who fired the shot.

Morning Newscast 08-10-15

Aug 10, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

Firefighters are now battling a new fire in Glacier National Park. The roughly 500-acre incident was spotted yesterday afternoon in the Thompson creek drainage. The Missoulian newspaper reports it’s burning about a mile southeast of Mount Thompson, east of Lake McDonald.

A man has pleaded not guilty to charges that he started a wildfire in the Helena National Forrest last month. The Independent Record reports that court documents say the morning of July 21 Robert Norman was seen leaving the area where the fire started near Cabin Gulch off of U.S. Highway 12 about 14 miles east of Townsend.

The federal government’s controversial coal program is the subject of a public listen session in Billings Tuesday. It’s the first of four planned throughout the heart of American coal country. The Department of Interior is encouraging the public to enter the fray.

Evening Newscast 08-07-15

Aug 7, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: The full length of Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road is now open again. Park officials re-opened the eastern side of the road this morning, now that the wildfire burning near St. Mary appears to be subsiding.

Flathead County investigators have not been able to determine the cause of a fire that killed a woman and her young son, but don't have any reason to suspect foul play.

An 18-year-old Wyoming man is pleading not guilty to murder and assault charges in the fatal roadside shooting of a husband and wife on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation. Investigators say Jesus Deniz of Worland killed Jason and Tana Shane on July 26 when they and their daughter offered to help what they believed was a stranded motorist in the small town of Pryor.

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