Montana News

Coal Fired Power Plants
7:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Report: Montana A Major CO2 Emitter

PPL's coal powered power plant in Colstrip, Mont.
Credit Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

Montana's coal-fired power plants emit as much carbon dioxide as Mongolia, a country of almost 3 million people. That’s according to a new study from Environment Montana’s Research and Policy Center.

It says PPL's Colstrip power plant emits the majority of CO2 in Montana, about 13 million of the state's more than 15 million metric tons.

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Tourist Numbers Up
6:49 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Record Summer For Missoula Airport

Alaska Airlines flights coming in and out of Missoula have increased.
Credit Dirk-Jan Kraan (CC-BY-NC 2.0)

It was a record summer for passenger traffic at Missoula International Airport.

Deputy Director Brian Ellestad says 240,830 passengers flew in and out of Missoula this summer.

That's almost 33,000 more than last summer.

According to Ellestad, people are responding to recently added airline service. 

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State Ballot Measure
6:41 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

ACLU: Keep Election Day Voter Registration

The state ballot measure to end voter registration on election day will be especially bad for Native Americans.

That is according to the lawyer who has argued and won some of Montana’s most significant Native American voting rights lawsuits.

"Any restriction on the ability of people to register to vote ought to be invalidated," says Laughlin McDonald, director emeritus of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project.

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Suicide Prevention Focus
6:37 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Regents Approve New MSU Mental Health Research Center

Montana is getting a new Center for Mental Health Research and Recovery at Montana State University. The state Board of Regents unanimously approved that today. Part of the new center’s mission is to reduce Montana’s high suicide rate.

MSU President Waded Cruzado says suicide is painful and personal. She told the Regents, it’s an issue she began dealing with a month-and-a-half before she took the helm at the Bozeman campus almost five years ago. Cruzado said since then, "not a semester has gone by that MSU has not lost a student to suicide."

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Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act
6:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Bill Would Give Tribes IRS Relief

The US House has unanimously passed a bill ensuring that certain tribal government programs and services won't be taxed by the I.R.S.

The “Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act” was drawn up in response to an I.R.S request to perform an audit on a tribal program providing school supplies to children. In another incident, the agency wanted to deem a wheelchair ramp for a disabled tribal member a taxable benefit.

Henry Cage is a council member of the Oregon's Lummi Nation and Taxation Committee Chair of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

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Montana Water Plan
6:35 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Work Wrapping Up On State Water Plan

The Montana Water Plan will affect Montana residents and irrigators.

In this evening's feature interview with Edward O'Brien, Michael Downey with Montana's Department of Natural Resources and Conservation explains why it's taken over 20 years to update Montana's water plan:

The existing Montana State Water Plan is long overdue for an update.

The existing plan guides the conservation and management of Montana's water resources.

It is currently over 20 years old and fails to address contemporary issues and challenges faced by water users today.

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Oil & Gas Worker Fatalitites
6:29 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Why Is North Dakota So Dangerous For Oil And Gas Workers?

What makes North Dakota oil and gas work so dangerous?

North Dakota is a dangerous place to be an oil and gas worker.

In 2011 and 2012 23 oil and gas workers died in North Dakota. That gives the state the highest oil and gas worker fatality rate in country. To start to understand why that is, I went to the heart of the oil boom: Williston.

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Highway Fatalities
5:11 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Highway Deaths In Montana Fall 18 Percent

Highway deaths in Montana have dropped by almost 18 percent from this time last year.

The director of the Montana Department of Transportation says that's impressive, but adds that more needs to be done.

Mike Tooley says 132 people have died so far on Montana's highways. Last year, there were a total of 159 fatalities.

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Water Rights
5:09 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

More Water For New Missoula Development

Large diameter water pipe.
Credit Gordon McLean (CC-NC-BY-2.0)

Missoula’s water company has secured enough water for a new development in Missoula.

Ross Miller, Missoula Mountain Water's chief legal officer says getting a new water rights permit is not easy. There aren’t any more permits to draw water from the Clark Fork or Bitterroot rivers.

"You can get a new groundwater permit," Miller says, "however, you have to mitigate the effects of that new permit on the river flows. What that essentially means is all the water you consumptively use with a new groundwater permit, you have to put back into the river."

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Federal Budget
4:32 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Tester, Daines Call For Budget Vote

Montana Senator Jon Tester is urging his Congressional colleagues to act this week to prevent a federal government shutdown at the end of the month.

The current budget ends September 30th, the end of the fiscal year. Tester told reporters during a conference call yesterday the American people don’t want another event like last fall when the National Parks, federal programs and services closed.

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