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Montana news focused on the western side of the state. Montana politics, healthcare, wildlands, wildlife and wildfire.

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Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association
Courtesy of Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association


  The main party candidates for governor made their pitch to members of the state’s tourism industry this week during a conference of the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association.

Republican Greg Gianforte and incumbent Democrat Steve Bullock repeated their by-now familiar campaign phrases while expressing gratitude for the work done by members of Montana’s tourism industry.

Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

  Secretary of State Linda McCulloch called a press conference in her office today to reassure voters that Montana’s election is not being rigged.

“This talk is not only irresponsible," she says, "it is woefully misinformed and is meant to create distrust and doubt in a system that has been in place and successful for centuries.”

Gov. Steve Bullock, pictured, and Republican challenger Greg Gianforte both spoke at the Montana Lodging and Hospitality Association conference today.
Corin Cates-Carney

  The Republican candidate for governor has now spent more than $5 million of his own money to try to win the seat as Montana’s top executive.  Greg Gianforte wrote his campaign two $1 million checks in the last month.

New Poll Shows Bullock 12 Points Ahead Of Gianforte

Oct 25, 2016
A portion of the latest poll from MSU-Billings

A new poll from MSU-Billings released this afternoon shows Governor Steve Bullock and Congressman Ryan Zinke with substantial leads over their opponents. 

Signs posted on private property along Highway 93 are igniting debate about the boundaries of free speech.
Nicky Ouellet / Montana Public Radio

A cluster of political signs outside Lakeside has sparked debate about the boundaries of free speech.

An image from the website
US Department of Health and Human Services

A new report from the White House says around three-quarters of Montanans shopping for health insurance on will be able to find coverage for less than $75 per month.

Back in September, it was reported that monthly premiums were expected to rise upwards of 55 percent per month.

The new report says more than 80 percent of Montanans who don’t get health coverage elsewhere qualify for tax credits that can bring the cost of coverage down.

It’s Saturday night. I’m at the Unitarian church in Kalispell with 30 people, and they’re here to talk about racial tolerance in the Flathead Valley. It’s a hard conversation to have, it’s uncomfortable, but most of the people in this room, like Jennifer Stebbins-Han, think it’s important.

Gov. Steve Bullock at an equal pay rally in Helena Monday
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Democrats held so-called “Equal Pay Rallies” in seven cities across Montana today, trying to help Governor Steve Bullock win re-election. 

Backers of a ballot initiative that they say is all about brain research argue that it would fund critically needed scientific inquiry into conditions like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

But opponents say it’s about much more than that, and that approving I-181 would give voters unprecedented power over state spending in a way that would be unwise, and even illegal.

Question: What do bear scat, dragonflies, wooly aphids, and lichen have in common?

Answer: They are all featured in a book just published by the Montana Natural History Center. The book, titled Field Notes, is a collection of selected essays written for Montana Public Radio’s program of the same name.