Montana Newscasts

Montana Public Radio's morning & evening newscasts.

Morning Newscast 07-29-15

6 hours ago
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

The state of Montana has settled a lawsuit with retired state and local government employees that will allow them to keep a 3 percent annual increase in pension benefits.

Union workers have again rejected a proposed four-year contract with the only company mining platinum and palladium in the United States.

Montana’s Public Service Commission yesterday refused to stop Liberty Utilities from trying to buy the parent company of Mountain Water, Missoula’s water utility.

Evening Newscast 07-28-15

21 hours ago
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Montana's Public Service Commission said today it will continue its review of a Canadian company’s proposal to buy the private company that supplies Missoula’s drinking water.

Montana’s Public Service Commission today refused to stop Liberty Utilities from trying to buy the parent company of Mountain Water, Missoula’s water utility.

The state of Montana has settled a lawsuit with retired state and local government employees that will allow them to keep a 3 percent annual increase in pension benefits.

The Chippewa Cree tribe's former roads department head and environmental health leader has pleaded guilty to taking bribes and stealing tribal funds.

Morning Newscast 07-28-15

Jul 28, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

Fire crews were taking advantage of cooler, wet weather in battling the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park. The fire has burned about 5 square miles of timber, brush and grass in rugged terrain on the north shore of St. Mary Lake since it started on July 21.

The Northern Cheyenne tribe plans additional investigations of cultural sites along the path of a proposed railroad that would open new areas of southeastern Montana to large-scale coal mining.

A judge has scheduled an Oct. 19 trial date on a Nebraska lawsuit aimed at keeping TransCanada Corp. from seizing land to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. District Judge Mark Kozisek set the date during a hearing yesterday.

Evening Newscast 07-27-15

Jul 27, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Cool, wet weather today helped firefighters make progress on the wildfire in Glacier National Park, and the St. Mary Visitor Center at the east entrance to the park reopened today.

The Cabin Gulch fire east of Townsend is now being called 92% contained, and many of the 153 people working that fire are expected to be released today.

Meanwhile, firefighters on the Crow Reservation have responded to 10 mostly grassland fires in the last week. One that started yesterday has burned about 1,700 acres, fanned by 50 mile per hour wind gusts.

Two dozen Montana grandparents have organized to push back against a state agency they say has shut them out as caregivers, and sometimes has placed grandchildren with parents they don't know.

Morning Newscast 07-27-15

Jul 27, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

Glacier National Park’s St. Mary Visitor Center reopens this morning. Fire officials say the Reynold’s Creek Fire now stands at over 32-hundred acres with 30-percent containment.

For decades, forest rangers in wooden towers across the West scanned the horizon with binoculars for smoke that could signal the start of a wildfire. Now, scientists in Nevada and California are helping federal land managers develop technology to expand a network of high-definition cameras to do the job, including one in northern Nevada that recently captured a blaze in real-time more than 100 miles away in Oregon.

A man serving a 70-year prison sentence for killing a German exchange student in his garage is surrendering all his guns to settle a lawsuit filed by the victim's family.

A California woman is going to prison for nearly five years because of false claims about a data storage project in Darby.

Evening Newscast 07-24-15

Jul 24, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Firefighters in Glacier National Park are bracing for gusty winds that could help the Reynolds Creek Fire grow beyond its current size of four thousand acres. Information Officer Penny Bertram says crews have been preparing in case the wind causes the fire to flare up.

Meanwhile firefighters are making little progress against the Cabin Gulch Fire east of Townsend.  The fire is still reported at 1,616 acres, and 25 percent contained.   That fire began Tuesday.  One man was arrested by the Broadwater County Sheriff’s Department and charged with arson and Criminal Mischief in connection with the fire.

The third active fire in the region is the Rock Point fire in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho, about three miles from the Montana state line.  That lightning-caused fire now stands at 177 acres.

Robbie Knievel has pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge in Montana and has received a seven-day sentence. The Montana Standard reports the youngest son of daredevil Evel Knievel on Thursday agreed to pay a $685 fine and enroll in an alcohol treatment program.

A seven-year legal battle over Montana's execution methods has been scheduled for trial later this summer.
But before that happens, attorneys representing the state and Montana's two death row inmates will have one last chance to convince a Helena judge to decide the case without a jury.

Morning Newscast 07-24-15

Jul 24, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the oil company BP is asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the state alleging the oil giant has deliberately concealed information for decades.

A judge is deciding whether to stay a case for Missoula to purchase its public drinking water system. Missoulian newspaper reports that the city rejects evaluation offer from Mountain Water Company in legal battle that's racked up more than $3.4 million in cost for Missoula.

One person has been arrested in connection with the Cabin Gulch Fire burning east of Townsend.

Farmers are harvesting what remains of their winter wheat after hail storms in northern Montana earlier this month destroyed an estimated $7.5 million in crops.

State wildlife officials will host five public meetings in August on a draft environmental statement for bison conservation and management in Montana.

There's a red flag fire weather warning in effect for the third day in a row for the east side of Glacier National Park today where the Reynolds Creek fire continues to grow out of control.

Evening Newscast 07-23-15

Jul 23, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: The fire burning on the northeast side of Glacier National is still not contained but  has not grown significantly today.

State wildlife officials will host five public hearings in August on a draft environmental impact statement for bison conservation and management in Montana.

Morning Newscast 07-23-15

Jul 23, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the National Weather Service has issued a red flag fire warning for the east side of Glacier National Park today from noon to 9 p.m., meaning high winds and low humidity, with temperatures in the 70s. Yesterday the fire there grew from 2,000 to an estimated 4,000 acres, and the number of evacuations both inside and outside the park grew, according to the Park’s recorded fire information line.

The Cabin Gulch Fire east of Townsend is now estimated at 2,500 acres. Fire officials said they made good progress on the fire yesterday, extending fireline to around 15 to 20 percent of the area, but offered no predictions on when the Cabin Gulch fire will be fully contained.

Morning Newscast 07-22-15

Jul 22, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: a wildfire in Glacier National Park has the east side of Going to the Sun Road closed. The closure extends over Logan Pass to Avalanche on the west side this morning. Park officials say the fire is, quote, “moving quickly in heavy timber with extreme spread potential.”

In central Montana, Broadwater County authorities have ordered homes evacuated east of Townsend and closed a portion of U.S. Highway 12 ahead of the quickly spreading Cabin Creek wildfire.

Employment in Montana’s manufacturing sector is outpacing growth in those same jobs nationally.

The U.S. Forest Service has given an historic advisory council until late September to weigh in on a proposal by a Louisiana company to drill for natural gas near Glacier National park.

Evening Newscast 07-21-15

Jul 21, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Montana's Public Service Commission plans to sue CenturyLink for failing to promptly restore out-of-service landlines.

A Kalispell man accused of making online threats to schools and religious leaders before stocking up on guns at his home has been released from jail.

Broadwater County authorities have ordered homes evacuated east of Townsend and closed a portion of U.S. Highway 12 ahead of a quickly spreading wildfire.

The jailed founder of Montana's Yellowstone Club faces three months more in custody barring a higher court's intervention after a judge scheduled an October trial in his civil contempt case.

Morning Newscast 07-21-15

Jul 21, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: a Kalispell man accused of making online threats to schools and religious leaders before stocking up on guns at his home has been released from jail.

Gov. Steve Bullock yesterday signed onto a joint state and federal plan to provide incentives for farmers and ranchers to preserve sage grouse habitats on their lands.

Fire officials in Helena say a fast moving wildfire that broke out west of town yesterday evening and burned about 75 acres was mostly under control as of 10 o'clock last night. 

A man who assaulted a former Wall Street Journal and Missoulian reporter costing him the sight in one of his eyes has been sentenced to 20 years in prison with five years suspended.

Evening Newscast 07-20-15

Jul 20, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Governor Steve Bullock today signed on to a joint state and federal plan to provide incentives for farmers and ranchers to preserve sage grouse habitat on their land.

Federal railroad regulators say an oil train that derailed and spilled 35,000 gallons of oil in northeastern Montana was traveling within recommended speeds.

Hunters, a wildlife group and the Bullock administration are hailing the settlement of a decades-old road dispute west of Choteau that restores public access to about 50,000 acres of public land along the Rocky Mountain Front.

Intense drought conditions have shrunk the kernels and disrupted the proteins of winter wheat crops in Montana, and other Northwestern states that produce a fifth of the U.S. harvest.

Morning Newscast 07-20-15

Jul 20, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the Flathead county sheriff's office is denying allegations that a deputy used excessive force when he shot a woman during a 2013 stand off near Columbia Falls.

Medicaid expansion could come to Montana as early as November. The state is projected to spend about $5 million on Medicaid expansion in 2017.

Bozeman school board has voted to discontinue the national school lunch program at the high school after deeming the nutrition rules too strict.

A children's cancer clinic is being established in Kalispell so patients from western Montana can stay closer to  home for most treatments.

Evening Newscast 07-17-15

Jul 17, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Senator Jon Tester says a forest management reform bill co-sponsored by Montana Republican Ryan Zinke that recently passed in the U.S House will have a tougher time in the Senate.

The FBI and the U.S. Department of Labor are investigating the bankruptcy of a Montana appliance and electronics store that rendered its Employee Stock Ownership Plan worthless.

The U.S Senate this week passed an update to the "No Child Left Behind" education law.

Morning Newscast 07-17-15

Jul 17, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: authorities say an oil train derailed in rural northeastern Montana, prompting the evacuation of some homes and leaving at least two of the cars leaking oil. Roosevelt County Sheriff Jason Frederick says there are no reports of injury or fire, but of the 21 cars that derailed only two remained upright.

Montana officials are prepared for a worse-than-average fire season, after a light snowpack and an unusually warm June have left much of the state in, or near, a state of drought. The Governor's Drought and Water Supply Advisory Committee yesterday heard reports from about a dozen experts from different agencies around the state.

The teenager who survived a small plane crash in Washington's Cascade Mountains says she burned herself trying to pull her step-grandparents from the burning wreckage.

Morning Newscast 07-16-15

Jul 16, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: three leaders of an online lending company owned by Montana's Chippewa Cree Tribe say tribal immunity from lawsuits extends to them as individuals.

Search crews have recovered two bodies from the wreckage of a small airplane that crashed into a Washington state mountainside over the weekend.

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled a Maryland woman who was convicted of killing her estranged husband and his girlfriend in Montana must pay nearly $37,000 for the cost of her public defender.

Twenty-four counties in western and central Montana are officially drought disaster areas, under a declaration issued Wednesday by the U.S. Agriculture Department. Spokesman Jayson O’Neill with the Montana Agriculture Department says growers in those counties can apply for loans through the Farm Service Agency.

Evening Newscast 07-15-15

Jul 15, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Three leaders of an online lending company owned by Montana's Chippewa Cree Tribe are claiming tribal immunity, and want a Vermont judge to dismiss a lawsuit claiming they are predatory lenders who violate federal and state laws.

A Louisiana company seeking to drill for natural gas on Montana land held sacred by some American Indians objected to a 75-day review period sought by a federal panel considering the proposal.

Farmers and ranchers in 24 Montana counties can apply for financial assistance, after the U.S. Agriculture Department today declared them disaster areas.

Morning Newscast 07-15-15

Jul 15, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: a 16-year-old girl who survived the crash of a small plane in the rugged mountains of north-central Washington has finally made it home to Belllingham, Washington.

Federal officials say the error rate in Montana's food stamp program rose to more than twice the national average.

Be careful if you’re headed to Willow Creek reservoir any time soon. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that several people came down with “swimmer’s itch” after going in the water at Willow Creek.

A 66-year-old Missoula man who was involved in a motorcycle crash in Butte has died.

Evening Newscast 07-14-15

Jul 14, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Federal officials say the error rate in Montana's food stamp program rose last year to more than twice the national average.

Members of Montana's congressional delegation say the Air Force is keeping an engineering squadron in Great Falls.

Farmers in the Flathead Lake region are harvesting cherries that are smaller, sweeter and about a week early...the result of a freeze in November followed by a hot spring and summer.

An appeals court says people who were convicted of crimes through inconclusive or outdated DNA testing procedures should be allowed new tests using the latest technological advances without regard to a three-year time limit set by law.

A 16-year-old girl told a 911 dispatcher that she "was the only one that survived" after a small plane crashed in the mountains of Washington state.

Morning Newcast 07-14-15

Jul 14, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

The father of a teenage girl who survived a small-plane crash in the craggy, thickly forested mountains of north-central Washington state and emerged from the wilderness after hiking for a couple of days says she's doing remarkably well.

Two people charged with starting a wildfire that displaced two mountain lion cubs last summer have agreed to pay $9,450 in restitution in exchange for having felony charges dropped.

An attorney for jailed Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth is asking a federal appeals court for his release following two previous unsuccessful requests.

Police have arrested a man in connection with a homicide in Great Falls. The Cascade County Attorney tells the Great Falls Tribune that William David Miller was arrested last night on a charge of deliberate homicide.

Evening Newscast 07-13-15

Jul 13, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Lewis and Clark County prosecutors are re-evaluating the charges filed against a 25-year-old Helena man after his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter died of injuries suffered while in his care. Coleton Christos Coburn was arrested Sunday on suspicion of attempted deliberate homicide. Capt. Curt Stinson says the girl died of her injuries on Monday.

An attorney for jailed Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth is asking a federal appeals court for his release following two previous unsuccessful requests. The Medina, Washington man has been in the Cascade County Detention Center for almost three months after federal Judge Sam Haddon found him in contempt for not accounting for the $13 million he received for selling a Mexico resort in defiance of a court order.

Persistent rain and cooler temperatures brought welcome relief to parts of our parched listening area this past weekend. Fire managers say it's helped, but they’re also warning the public against letting its guard down.

Advocates are asking the Montana Supreme Court to reject the state's push to end commercial sales of medical marijuana, saying that elderly and disabled patients' access would be cut off if they can't buy the drug. The attorney representing 11 industry advocates says the medical marijuana industry would die if the high court allows the state’s entire overhaul of the medical marijuana system to go into effect.

Morning Newscast 07-13-15

Jul 13, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the Washington State Department of Transportation says crews are searching for a small, private plane that didn't reach its destination in Lynden, Washington, on Saturday.

Human remains have been found in a Helena-area home that burned to the ground last week.

Some Montana farmers are starting to harvest their wheat crop much earlier than usual this year, mostly because of the hot, dry weather.

Livestock producers say it hasn't taken long for grizzly bears and wolves to start taking a toll on livestock this summer in western Wyoming.

Morning Newscast 07-10-15

Jul 10, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the U.S. House has passed legislation designed to improve the health of national forests by scaling back the environmental reviews that go into some timbering projects and making it harder to file lawsuits that delay thinning projects.

Authorities say a man who was driven to a hospital in Bozeman with a gunshot wound to the abdomen accidentally shot himself while spinning a small-caliber handgun around his finger.

Federal officials will host a series of public meetings this summer on the U.S. government's coal program after criticism that corporations are profiting off publicly-owned reserves of the fuel at the expense of taxpayers.

Attendance at Glacier National Park soared in last month, making it the busiest June on record. The Flathead Beacon reports that 414 thousand visitors came to the park last month.

Evening Newscast 07-09-15

Jul 9, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: A health insurance company will refund about $1.7 million to Montana customers that have been forced to pay what the state calls unfairly high prices.

The Blackfeet Tribe has withdrawn from talks with the U.S. Government over natural gas drilling leases on land considered sacred by the Blackfeet people.

The U-S House has passed legislation designed to improve the health of national forests by scaling back the environmental reviews that go into some timbering projects and making it harder to file lawsuits that delay thinning projects.

Federal officials will host a series of public meetings this summer on the U.S. government's coal program after criticism that corporations are profiting from publicly-owned reserves at the expense of taxpayers.

The National Transportation Safety Board says it was a wind gust that pushed a single-engine Cessna off the end of a wilderness airstrip in the Great Bear wilderness a last month, causing a crash that injured three men.

Morning Newscast 07-09-15

Jul 9, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

In today's morning newscast: A part-time sports reporter and medical marijuana patient from Glendive says legalizing pot for recreational use would be an economic boon for Montana.
Anthony Varriono has submitted a proposed ballot measure with the Secretary of State's office that would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of pot.

Firefighters are reporting progress against three wildfires burning in Montana. They expect to fully contain the Glacier Rim fire south of Glacier National Park by today. And say the closed Canyon Creek Road will reopen to the public this morning.

Gov. Steve Bullock has issued an executive order declaring a state disaster exists in Powder River County after a series of storms in May and June.
 
Bullock says several weeks of storms have been damaging to the southeastern Montana county and have caused difficulty for residents. The storms with heavy rain caused rivers to rise to near-flood levels, damaging bridges and roads.

The Missoula City Council budget committee has approved a pay hike for city workers that would start with a raise to $12 an hour all the way up to $15 an hour by 2018.

Helena's city commissioners have agreed to seek the installation of signs explaining the history and controversy of a 98-year-old city park memorial that honors Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War.

Evening Newscast 07-08-15

Jul 8, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: A part-time sports reporter and medical marijuana patient from Glendive says legalizing pot for recreational use would be an economic boon for Montana.

Firefighters are reporting progress against three wildfires burning in Montana.

Montana is seeking aid from a national research organization to conduct a comprehensive study of the state's correctional system for the first time in 18 years.

The search for a North Dakota doctor last seen in southwestern Montana has moved from Gallatin County to Madison County after officials received a tip that Patrick J. Fitzpatrick might be in the Harrison area.

Morning Newscast 07-08-15

Jul 8, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: House Republicans are proposing that some wildfires be treated like federal disasters, an attempt to win broader support for legislation that targets overgrown national forest lands.

Firefighters are now working at least three wildfires in Montana. The newest, discovered Monday is burning about 10 miles north of Thompson Falls.

State officials are taking public comment on the plan to implement Medicaid expansion in Montana.

Gov. Steve Bullock raised considerably less money to fund his re-election this spring than he did in winter. But with $596 thousand in the bank, he's sitting on a half-million dollars more than any other candidate for public office in Montana.

Evening Newscast 07-07-15

Jul 7, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Firefighters are now working at least three wildfires in Montana.

Many have abandoned their landline telephones for the convenience of cell phones.  

But local emergencies, like the 2,000-acre wildfire burning in Bayview, Idaho can expose the limitations of that technology.

The home for a six-foot statue know as Big Mountain Jesus rests with a three judge federal appeals panel, this after a lawyer representing a group of atheists asked for it to be removed from U.S. Forest Service property in Whitefish.

At least three wild land fires are burning in Montana at this time, but none appear to be threatening homes or other structures.

Morning Newscast 07-07-15

Jul 7, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the office of the Commissioner of Higher Education is returning to the Montana Supreme Court to appeal a district judge's ruling ordering it to release information on any action the commissioner took after Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson appealed a university court recommendation he be expelled over a rape complaint.

A northwestern Montana woman is charged with mailing a loaded gun, ammunition and other weapons to U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.

Yellowstone County officials have released the name of a 32-year-old man who was killed in a fireworks accident in Billings on July 4 as Nathan Vannatta.

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