Montana News

Election Night Coverage
8:00 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

MTPR On Scene At Daines Watch Party

Governor Steve Daines and his wife, Cindy, talk to reporters after voting at the Gallatin County Elections Office in Bozeman this morning.
Credit Eric Whitney

MTPR News Director Eric Whitney is covering the Steve Daines election night watch party at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bozeman tonight.

Earlier today he spoke briefly with the Republican Congressman at a press conference, after Daines and his wife Cindy voted at the county election office on Main street. 

"It's bringing back a lot of memories today," Daines said, pointing to the building across the street. "That's where I went to fifth and sixth grade right there, back when it used to be Wilson Middle School."

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Election Night Coverage
8:00 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

MTPR On Scene At Lewis Watch Party

U.S. House candidate John Lewis prepares for a TV interview at a Democratic election night watch party in Helena, MT.
Credit Steve Jess

Helena's Democrats have chosen a very memorable setting for their watch party: It's Exploration Works, a science museum normally teeming with school-age children. Candidates and party officials are wandering among the exhibits that highlight the inner life of cells, or explaining how solar power works.

It's a colorful background for this election night, though some of the seats are a bit lower to the ground than you might be accustomed to.

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Election Night Coverage
7:23 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Homegrown Candidates Tout Their Roots; Do Voters Care?

Ryan Zinke found two more additional generations of Montana lineage to help better John Lewis' four generations.

 Native-born Montanans have a deep sense of pride. But if you’re one of the 54 percent of Montana residents born elsewhere, you might wonder why that seems to be such a big deal in the state’s election campaigns.

Montana candidates are eager to show voters that they and their families have deep roots in the Big Sky Country. Most TV ads feature the candidate telling viewers how long his or her family has been here.

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Identifying Herself For First Time
5:18 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

UM Rape Victim To Tell Story On 60 Minutes

The woman whose claim that she was raped in 2010 led to the punishment of four University of Montana football players, including the expulsion of one, will tell her story on the television show 60 Minutes Reports on Showtime tonight.

Kelsey Belnap is revealing her identity for the first time. She says four football players raped her one night after a drinking competition at an apartment near the University. She reported the incident to Missoula police, but Missoula County Prosecutor Fred Van Valkenburg did not press charges.

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Civic Duty Also A Social Event
5:15 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Elections A Big Deal In Small Towns

Main street, Libby, MT.
Credit libbymt.com

Voters in Montana’s cities can sometimes face long voting lines. We checked in with election officials in a couple of small towns to see how things are going for them.

"The turnout is brisk," Leigh Riggleman, Lincoln County Assistant Elections Administrator in Libby says. "Our polling stations seem to be very busy. Our front counter for late registration has been steady. (We) always like to see good voter turnout."

Riggleman says Lincoln County has roughly 13,000 registered voters and seven polling stations, but she says voting by mail is getting more popular every year.

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Montana Elections
4:37 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Governor Bullock Says Every Ballot Counts In This Year's Elections

Montana Governor Steve Bullock cast his ballot Tuesday morning in Helena.
Credit Steve Jess

Montana Governor Steve Bullock cast his ballot in Helena this morning,  and then met with reporters outside the Helena Civic Center. Montana Public Radio’s Capitol Bureau Chief Steve Jess was there.

The Democratic Governor politely dodged questions about who he voted for, except to say that no one would be surprised if they knew. But he reminded Montana voters that many elections, especially on the local level, are decided by slim margins, so every vote really does count.

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Stone Container Cleanup
5:31 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Frenchtown Stone Container Cleanup Plan Delayed

Credit Courtesy EPA

It will take more time before we learn about potential cleanup options at a former paper mill in Frenchtown.

Today was the Environmental Protection Agency's original deadline for the site's prior and current owners to present a "good faith" cleanup offer. The plant was in operation since the 1950’s. It was most recently owned by the Smurfit-Stone Container. The plant closed in 2010 and was purchased by M2 Green Redevelopment in 2011.

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Mountain Water Purchase
5:07 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Public Hearing On Mountain Water Purchase Tonight

The Missoula City Council may vote tonight on a proposal that would allow the mayor to continue his effort to force the sale of the local water company to the city.

The Carlyle Group currently owns Mountain Water Company. A Canadian firm, Algonquin Power,  has entered into an agreement to purchase Mountain Water and its California based parent company for $327 million.

The city's attempt to use eminent domain to take ownership of Mountain Water has proven to be costly and raised a few eyebrows.

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Montana Elections
4:05 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Election Day Preview With Dennis Swibold And Christopher Muste

MTPR News Analysts Dennis Swibold and Christpher Muste will join Senior News Analyst Sally Mauk for our election day coverage/
Credit Eric Whitney

Our national election coverage will begin at 6:00 p.m. with NPR’s election night special coverage.

Coverage of local races starts at 8:00 p.m., and we’ll have local reports and analysis every thirty minutes until at least 10:00 p.m.

We’ll have reporters in Helena and Bozeman. Here in Missoula, Edward O’Brien will host our coverage. Joining him in the studio will be our Senior News Analyst Sally Mauk.

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Montana Elections
2:56 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Snapshot: Ad Spending In The Montana Federal Races

A look at the ad buys on Missoula broadcasting outlets in the last month.
Credit Ric Sanchez

This year's elections have paled in comparison to the $50 million spent on 2012's fight between Sen. Jon Tester and former Congressman Denny Rehberg, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been any activity on television.

We culled through reports from Missoula-area broadcasters to get a sense of the amount of money being spent in the top races in the state.

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