Montana Newscasts

Montana Public Radio's morning & evening newscasts.

Evening Newscast 08-06-15

Aug 6, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says investigators believe a transient smoking a cigarette may have started the fire that burned at least two homes and several outbuildings yesterday in Evergreen, northeast of Kalispell.

A federal grand jury has indicted a Wyoming man arrested in the fatal roadside shooting of a Montana man and his wife.

Members of armed groups that call themselves constitutional advocates have arrived in Lincoln to support a mine owner during an ongoing dispute with the U.S. Forest Service about a federal mining claim.

Fire managers in Glacier National Park say the fire burning there neither grew yesterday, nor did the amount of fire line constructed around it. The fire remains estimated at just under 4,000 acres in size and 67% contained.

Morning Newscast 08-06-15

Aug 6, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: authorities were evacuating homes yesterday as a fire burned in Evergreen. Flathead County Undersheriff Dave Leib tells the Flathead Beacon that five structures burned in Wednesday's grass fire.

A former Flathead County undersheriff escaped injury when the helicopter he was piloting crashed into a lake north of Whitefish as he was dipping a water bucket to help fight a fire on private property nearby.

The Forest Service says it's now spending over half of its total budget suppressing wildfires. That's the first time that's happened in the agency's 110-year history.

Yellowstone County officials say a man whose body was found at the site of a 50-acre fire north of Laurel may have been trying to put out the fire when he was overcome.

Evening Newscast 08-05-15

Aug 5, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: The Forest Service says it's now spending over half of its total budget suppressing wildfires, the first time that's happened in the agency's 110-year history.

A former Flathead county under sheriff escaped injury when the helicopter he was piloting crashed into a lake north of Whitefish, as he was dipping a water bucket to help fight a fire on private property nearby.

Anyone living near the closed Columbia Falls Aluminum Company smelter has a chance tonight to help the Environmental Protection Agency determine whether the plant belongs on the list of sites eligible for “Superfund” cleanup funds.

State officials say 15 percent of Montanans now lack health insurance, that’s down from 20 percent two years ago.

The Flathead County Sheriff’s office has confirmed that a fire is burning in the town of Evergreen.

Morning Newscast 08-05-15

Aug 5, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: VA Montana has dissolved its urgent mental health unit in favor of additional long-term beds at Fort Harrison west of Helena. The Veterans Affairs hospital had called the closure temporary when it shuttered the acute inpatient psychiatric service in February. The services were permanently ended on July 20 due to a lack of demand.

State regulators yesterday approved new rules to let rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft serve Montanans.

The Flathead County sheriff has released the names of a woman and her son who died in house fire west of Columbia Falls. Sheriff Chuck Curry said the victims of the Monday morning fire were 30-year-old Brittany Kayleen Ince and her 3-year-old son Gavin Thomas Henrichon.

State wildlife officials are investigating a moose poaching near Kalispell.

Evening Newscast 08-04-15

Aug 4, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Hailing a ride through a smartphone app is closer to becoming a reality in Montana. The Public Service Commission today voted to approve rules for a new class of license for firms like Uber and Lyft that use phone apps to connect passengers with drivers who use their personal cars.

The latest update on the fire burning inside Glacier National Park continues to list it at just under 4,000 acres in size and at 67% contained. The weather forecast in the area calls for high temperatures in the 60s and 70s through Thursday with a 20 to 30% chance of rain.

A fire sparked by fallen power lines south of Arlee Sunday has not grown beyond 17 acres. Devin LaFramboise with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes fire department says the number of people fighting it has been reduced to about 40.

Longtime sports broadcaster Brent Musburger, who grew up in Billings, will call the season-opening football game between Montana and four-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State in Missoula on August 29.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a plan to build the nation's largest oil-by-rail terminal does not comply with the federal Clean Water Act, and that a key permit for the project should be withheld until its risks are addressed.

Morning Newscast 08-04-15

Aug 4, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: the plan the White House unveiled yesterday to reduce carbon dioxide emissions nationwide is meeting with strong and broad criticism in Montana.

Firefighters have recovered the bodies of a woman and a boy from a home that burned down west of Columbia Falls. Fire Chief Rick Hagen says firefighters found the 30-year-old woman and the 3-year-old boy after yesterday morning's fire.

Jurors began deliberations yesterday afternoon in the case of a registered sex offender who is charged with trying to rape a woman and later escaping from police custody.

Evening Newscast 08-03-15

Aug 3, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: The fire on the east side of Glacier National Park grew by about 700 acres over the weekend.

Two people are unaccounted for after a house fire in Columbia Falls.

A 66-year-old man died in a weekend rollover that sparked a small fire along Interstate 15 south of Cascade.

Morning Newscast 08-03-15

Aug 3, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

On today's morning newscast: firefighters have gained 80 percent containment on a wildfire burning on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in southeast Montana. Federal crews are being demobilized and will be sent to other fires.

The drought in western Montana is threatening the hay supplies needed by a livestock rescue in the Flathead Valley.

State environmental regulators are accepting public comments on draft wastewater discharge permits for three Montana mining companies.

A 13-year-old boy from Montana has drowned after recreating on the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone River near Crandall. The Cody Enterprise reports Jonah Anspach of Jefferson City was floating on the river with family and friends when he overturned and disappeared Saturday.

Evening Newscast 07-31-15

Jul 31, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: It’s been an active day on the fire burning on the east side of Glacier National Park. There’s been significant smoke in the area this afternoon. Fire information officer Shauna Hartman explains why.

A court official says the 18-year-old man accused of shooting a family who stopped to help him on a roadside on the Crow reservation Wednesday was released from a Wyoming jail two weeks earlier.

The Helena National Forest is trying to figure out who vandalized pictographs dating back from hundreds to thousands of years ago in the forest’s Hellgate Canyon.

Officials with Cloud Peak Energy, which mines coal in Montana, say they are optimistic, despite a downturn in the coal industry and a $53 million second-quarter loss.

The nation's only platinum and palladium mine is reporting a $27.5 million loss for the second quarter of 2015.

Morning Newscast 07-31-15

Jul 31, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

An FBI agent says a Wyoming man acknowledged to investigators that he shot a couple and their daughter on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation. Special Agent Larry McGrail II's statement filed yesterday says Jesus Deniz opened fire because one of the victims laughed at him.

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld the state's 24/7 Sobriety Program, saying charging associated fees for alcohol monitoring is not pretrial punishment in violation of the Constitution.

The governors of Wyoming and Montana say a federal plan to protect the greater sage grouse is far more restrictive than Western states' own programs to help the struggling species.

Highway Patrol troopers in several states are giving extra attention to traffic flocking to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

Evening Newscast 07-30-15

Jul 30, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: The state Supreme Court has upheld Montana's 24/7 Sobriety Program, saying that charging associated fees for alcohol monitoring is not pretrial punishment in violation of the Constitution.

Firefighters conducted burnout operations aimed at making fireline more secure around the fire in Glacier National Park today.

A St. Ignatius man who pleaded guilty to shooting his 3-year-old nephew has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and alcohol treatment.

A 19-year-old Belgrade woman who was attacked in an off-campus apartment with two other Montana State University-Northern students has been released from the hospital.

Morning Newscast 07-30-15

Jul 30, 2015
MTPR Morning Newscast
Josh Burnham

A relative says his aunt, uncle and cousin were gunned down when they stopped to help a man whose vehicle had run out of gas on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation. FBI spokesman Todd Palmer confirms that two people were killed and a third wounded Wednesday morning in the tiny town of Pryor.

Authorities now believe that the fire burning in Glacier National Park was human-caused, and the National Park Service is turning to the public for help. Anyone with information can call or email the National Park Service.

Missoula’s St. Patrick hospital invited the media to see its new family maternity center that opens Monday.

Owners of the northwestern Montana Montanore mine say they are one step closer to operating after the Forest Service found the project in compliance despite objections received during the comment period.

Evening Newscast 07-29-15

Jul 29, 2015
MTPR Evening Newscast
Josh Burnham

On tonight's evening newscast: Missoula's St. Patrick Hospital invited the media to see its new family maternity center that opens Monday.

A relative says his aunt, uncle and cousin were gunned down when they stopped to help a man whose vehicle had run out of gas on Montana's Crow Indian Reservation today.

A judge has sentenced a former Chippewa Cree tribal council member to 5  1/2 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to embezzlement, tax evasion and other charges in a federal corruption investigation.

Morning Newscast 07-29-15

Jul 29, 2015
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

Jul 28, 2015
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.

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