Montana News

Clean Energy Fair
6:19 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Clean Energy Fair Comes To Missoula

Credit Wayne National Forest (CC-BY-2.0)

Local and national renewable energy advocates are saying the country needs to make sweeping changes in how they pay their energy bills. And those changes don’t involve a monthly statement from the power company.

They’ll be presenting those ideas during the fourth annual Clean Energy Fair on Saturday in Missoula.

In addition to workshops and demonstrations on the latest in residential solar, heat and wind energy systems, Ben Brouwer with Montana Renewable Energy Association, will talk about efforts to expand net-metering programs for electrical energy customers.

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Campaign Beat
6:10 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Lewis, Zinke Turn To Attack Ads In House Race

This week "Campaign Beat" examines the new aggressive ads in the U.S. House Race. John Lewis attacks Zinke over his support of the Ryan Budget. Zinke takes aim at Lewis' age and experience. Sally, Chuck and Mike also talk about what parts of Montana trend red or blue, and why.

"Campaign Beat" is our weekly political analysis program. MTPR Senior News Analyst Sally Mauk, is joined by Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison of Lee Newspapers.

Lewis ad:

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Missoula Water Ownership
6:07 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Mayor: Mountain Water Sale Changes Nothing For City's Condemnation Plans

Missoula Mayor John Engen said today the sale of Missoula's water company doesn't change the city's plan to buy Mountain Water.
Credit Edward O'Brien

It looks like Missoula's city water system could be sold to a Canadian company.

Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities, has reached an agreement with The Carlyle Group, which currently owns Missoula's water system.

Algonquin is expected to pay an estimated $327 million for Missoula's system and three other utilities. That price includes assumption of about $77 million of existing long-term debt.

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10:52 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Missoula's Water Company Sold To Canadian Utility

A Canadian utility has reached an agreement with global equity firm, The Carlyle Group, to acquire the parent company of Missoula's Mountain Water  Company.

Park Water owns and operates three water utilities that serve approximately 74-thousand customers in Southern California and Western Montana.

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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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