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Utility companies say homeowners' solar panels can end up being subsidized by other customers.
(PD)

Legislation introduced Wednesday in the Montana House would require officials to study how renewable energy generators, like solar panels, impact the utility bills of the people who don’t have them. 

Solar panels can help trim down the utility bill of homeowners, but some say it shifts that cost onto other utility consumers who don’t have personal energy generators on their home. There’s no consensus on that.

Crown of the Continent Choir singing "Dear Mr. President."
Nicky Ouellet

It’s been a rough few weeks for many people living in the Flathead Valley. First, several families and businesses faced a barrage of hate-filled, anti-Semitic phone calls and messages. Then, a group of neo-Nazis threatened an armed march against the city of Whitefish.

Montana Capitol dome
William Marcus

Today, Montana Senators voted unanimously in support of a bill to change the state's legal definition of rape, removing the requirement of force for a perpetrator to be found guilty.

National Bison Range
Josh Burnham-cc-by-2.0

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced it’s assessing future management plans for the National Bison Range, including transferring control to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT).

The Protect Montana Kids Commission listening to stories of child abuse, abandonment and neglect
Corin Cates-Carney

Montana’s child protection system is in dire straits. The number of kids entering foster care has skyrocketed and caseworkers are overwhelmed. Last year, 14 children died across the state despite reports of abuse being made to authorities.

A house bill set to be heard on Thursday morning aims to help.

View of inversion over Missoula from Snowbowl
FLICKR USER, EVAN LOVELY (CC-BY-2.0)

Western Montana’s had some lousy air quality recently, but all that’s about to change. Missoula City/County Air Quality Specialist Ben Schmidt says the Missoula valley’s air quality started to degrade late last week

Rep. Ryan Zinke at his Interior Secretary confirmation hearing Tuesday
CSPAN

"It is an honor to appear before this esteemed Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources," Congressman Ryan Zinke said Tuesday, kicking off nearly four hours of testimony at his confirmation hearing to be Secretary of Interior in the Donald Trump administration.

He answered questions from Democratic and Republican senators, and had this exchange with Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders:

Sanders: President-elect Trump has stated in his view that climate change is a, "hoax." Is President-elect Trump right? Is climate change a hoax? 

Missoula high school computer science students have developed an app-concept that’s taken top honors in a statewide competition.
PD

Missoula high school computer science students have developed an app-concept that’s taken top honors in a statewide competition. They now need Montanans to help them advance in a national contest.

Familiar Infrastructure Ideas Return to 2017 Session

Jan 17, 2017

There was a bit of déjà vu surrounding a bill that seeks to use coal tax money to pay for crumbling public works and state buildings.

“I think the bill is familiar to many of us,” said Dan Villa, Governor Steve Bullock’s budget director.

Whitefish, MT rail depot.
Flickr user Roy Luck (CC-BY-2)

Leave your guns at home.

That’s the message Whitefish City Manager Chuck Stearns sent to neo-Nazi organizers, who proposed an armed march against the city last month.

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