Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

USDAgriculture State Director of Rural Development Anthony Preite awards a check to NACDC Financial Services Executive Director Angie Main.
Corin Cates-Carney

Small businesses in and around the Blackfeet Reservation now have access to a little more help. This week, for the first time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture extended support to a Native American community development group, to make “micro-loans” to boost the local economy.

A restoration plan for the Upper Clark Fork Basin's largest wetland is now up for public review.

The Atlantic Richfield Company's draft wetland restoration plan is designed to address wetland loss related to mining and smelting contamination in the Clark Fork River Basin.

An estimated 22 million Americans act as caregivers for someone with a chronic medical condition.  Typically, it’s a son or daughter taking care of an aging parent. It can be rewarding, but often it’s also stressful and draining, especially for caretakers who neglect to take care of themselves.

Gov. Bullock Signs Tax Breaks For Pollution Control Equipment

May 14, 2015
Rep. Mike Miller and Governor Steve Bullock at a ceremonial bill signing for House Bill 156, tax cuts for pollution control equipment, at the Billings-area Chamber of Commerce.
Jackie Yamanaka - Yellowstone Public Radio

A tax cut for industry to install pollution control and carbon sequestration equipment is good for industry, jobs, and public health.

That’s the message from Governor Steve Bullock during a ceremonial bill signing Wednesday in Billings.

If you go to the doctor with a cough and fever, odds are you're not thinking you could have an unusual fungal infection — and neither is the doctor.

That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants to get the word out that they found more people sick with histoplasmosis in Montana and Idaho.

Greater Sage Grouse
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (CC-BY-2)

Montana will spend about half-a-million dollars annually to assemble a team to oversee management of sage grouse. The bird is a candidate for listing as a threatened or endangered species.

For the second time in two years, a Missoula hospital is entering a joint venture with a hospital in Billings. Last year, Billings Clinic and a for-profit partner bought Missoula Community Medical center. The new joint venture announced this week isn’t a merger, but it does have Missoula’s other hospital, St Patrick, joining with St. Vincent hospital in Billings.

The Governor’s Conference on Aging wraps up Thursday, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease, and the effect it’s having on society. Steve Jess reports.

Montana ranks 46th for bicycle friendliness, that’s according to a recent study from The League of American Bicyclists.

The League looked at categories including dedicated state funding, an active state advocacy group and a "share the road" campaign.

Cherie Newman

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being a performer, even though you sing like a mud frog and your feet can’t find a two-step. But singing and dancing isn’t the only way to get into the spotlight. What if you could throw flames from your mouth like a dragon?

Dartmouth College may be looking at a substantial fine for violating Montana’s campaign finance laws.

Today State Political Practices Commissioner Jonathan Motl found that the school, along with Stanford University, broke state law last October, when the two mailed fliers to 100,000 people in Montana purporting to rank candidates for state supreme court on a liberal to conservative scale.

Montana is making progress toward transitioning some elderly and disabled people out of nursing homes into less restrictive settings. Delegates at the Governor’s Conference on Aging got an update on the nationwide program.

A plow team work their way up the west side of Going-to-the-sun road in Glacier National Park. The team is about a half mile from the summit.
Corin Cates-Carney

Glacier National Park crews are getting the Going-to-the-Sun road ready for what officials say could be another record year for the park. But, before visitors climb the pass, a lot of work still needs to be done.

Vanita Gupta, head of the U.S Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division speaks at a press conference in Missoula on May 11, 2015, as Missoula Mayor John Engen and Missoula Police Chief Mike Brady look on.
Edward O'Brien

The federal government says the Missoula police department has made tremendous progress in how it handles reports of sexual assault.

"In short, this community has come together to institute long-term, systemic change to protect and ensure the safety of generations to come," said Vanita Gupta, head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Missoulovation-team
Rebecca Rice

In America’s booming high tech economy, women are vastly underrepresented. Only four in 1,000 female college freshmen want to major in computer science, and 50% of women who are in science, technology, engineering, and  math careers leave the workforce.

An organization called Technovation is working to change those statistics. Google, Twitter, MIT, and others are backing Technovation’s technology entrepreneurship program and an annual competition for girls ages 10 through 18.

Medical marijuana advocates accuse state Attorney General Tim Fox of  defying the will of voters.

Montanans voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2004. In 2011 state lawmakers passed a bill to tighten rules governing the sale of the drug.

Fox's office this week filed a brief with the state Supreme Court to reverse District Judge James Reynolds' ruling that blocks parts of that more-strict medical marijuana law.

U.S. Forest Service Northern Region

Montana fishing regulations are being re-written this year. And for anglers who want the rulebook to change, now is the time to speak up.

Every four years, Montana’s fishing regulations undergo a comprehensive review. This month, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is hosting statewide open houses to discuss regulations for the 2016-2019 fishing seasons.

William Marcus

People in Montana who are out of work because of domestic violence will soon be able to get the same unemployment benefits as others who lose their jobs.

Josh Burnham

Montana water users are being told to brace for early and below-average snow-melt runoff this spring. The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports snowpack in all of Montana's basins are well below normal for May first.

Missoula Police Department

The male believed to have murdered two Missoulians on Wednesday evening died early this morning.

The Missoula County Coroner says 36-year-old Nicholas Scolatti was pronounced dead at 4:11 am. He died of injuries sustained from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Scolatti's  suspected of shooting and killing 34-year-old KTMF-TV News Director Kalee Scolatti and 46-year-old family friend Anthony Dupras.

Author Jon Krakauer speaks as moderator Larry Abramson listens during about his book "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town" during a community forum in Missoula, MT Wednesday May 6.
Cheri Trusler

This is a recording of the entire event with Author Jon Krakauer and Larry Abramson, dean of the University of Montana Journalism School, sponsored by Fact and Fiction bookstore, held at the Doubletree Inn in Missoula, May 6, 2015.

Author Jon Krakauer speaks during about his book "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town" during a community forum in Missoula, MT Wednesday May 6.
Cheri Trusler

Author Jon Krakauer got a standing ovation at a forum last night about his new book: Missoula Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.

The capacity crowd of more than 500 people at the Doubletree Inn ballroom applauded Krakauer several times when he stood up for rape victims, and repeated the main point of his book.

“Rape is a serious crime that’s not being taken seriously,” he said.

Montanans' property can still be seized if police suspect it's connected to criminal activity, but now it has to be returned if they can't get a conviction.  That hasn't always been the case.

Tom Westbrook (CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0)

In 2014, Glacier National Park set an all-time visitation record. But, with the record comes concern for growing traffic in the park.

Park Officials are looking for public comment on The Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Management Plan, which started in 2013.

Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Tribal leaders from across Montana gathered at the state capitol today as Governor Steve Bullock signed two bills designed to preserve native languages.

Montanans this evening will hear directly from the author whose latest book has - for better or worse - cast a national spotlight on Missoula. Jon Krakauer will participate in a public forum to discuss "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town". The book details how the community handled reports of sexual assaults involving University of Montana students.

State of Montana

In late April, as the Montana Legislature was getting ready to adjourn, the state Senate confirmed Jonathan Motl as Commissioner of Political Practices, a job he’s held since being appointed by Democratic Governor Steve Bullock in 2013. Montana has had four different Political Practices Commissioners since 2011, and Motl is the first in that time to win Senate confirmation, against harsh criticism from some Republicans.

The remains of six Montana veterans will go to their final resting place next month, in the state veterans cemetery at Fort Harrison. Steve Jess reports that it’s part of a nationwide effort to find the unclaimed ashes of service members, and give them the burial they deserve.

The federal government's point man on grizzly bears says the Yellowstone ecosystem's grizzly population should be removed from the endangered species list.

Chris Servheen says the most accurate population estimate shows between 1,000 and 1,200 grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

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