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Montana news focused on the western side of the state. Montana politics, healthcare, wildlands, wildlife and wildfire.

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State auditor candidate Jesse Laslovich.
Courtesy Montanans for Laslovich

We’re continuing our profiles of candidates in races for statewide office. Today we’ll hear from Democrat Jesse Laslovich, who’s running for state auditor. He spoke with our Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney.

Montana health insurance market breakdown.
Courtesy Montana Commissioner of Securities Insurance

State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen says the health insurance premiums one company is charging in Montana next year are, “unreasonable,” and that those proposed by two other companies were too low and needed to be adjusted upward.

'Protectors' Gather In Montana, Show Solidarity With Standing Rock Sioux

Sep 14, 2016
Self-titled "Protectors" gathered on the Higgins Street Bridge on September 13, 2016 to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Other rallies happened in Whitefish, Poplar, and Lame Deer.
Cole Grant

Montanans joined in organizing four of the estimated 200 events nationwide yesterday in support of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Environmental and tribal organizations rallied in Poplar, Lame Deer, Whitefish and Missoula, where our Flathead Valley reporter Nicky Ouellet and Missoula reporter Cole Grant gathered these stories.

Billings Clinic launched a pilot project to help rural primary care providers deliver mental or behavioral health care to their patients.

“Montana is at the epicenter of a mental health crisis,” says Dr. Eric Arzubi, chair of the Psychiatry Department at Billings Clinic.

He says there aren’t enough psychiatrists, so it falls upon primary care providers in rural areas to help their patients who are struggling with mental and behavioral health issues.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte shoots a few dozen rounds during a campaign stop at the Helena Trap Club Tuesday, September 12, 2016.
Corin Cates-Carney

The Republican candidate for governor stood in faded blue jeans and worn brown leather boots as he fired dozens of rounds out a 12 gauge shotgun in Helena Tuesday morning. Greg Gianforte called the press conference at the Helena Trap Club to tout his support of gun rights and Montana values, and to announce endorsements from pro-gun groups.

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled to keep a Libertarian candidate for secretary of state on November's election ballots.
Josh Burnham

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled to keep a Libertarian candidate for secretary of state on November's election ballots. The justices, in a 5-to-1 decision, denied Montana Republican Party Chairman Jeff Essmann's request to remove Roger Roots as a candidate.

Candidates for Montana’s contested Supreme Court seat and for Secretary of State will face off at a public forum Monday in Seeley Lake.

Missing Grizzly Prompts Investigation

Sep 12, 2016
Tribal bear biologists were called on Monday, August 29 with a report that twin grizzly bear cubs were out during the day bawling for their mother. During the following week traps were set for the cubs.

Conservation officers with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are investigating a missing female grizzly bear in the Post Creek area.

Governor Steve Bullock announcing a new healthcare reform initiative in Missoula Monday at Western Montana Clinic.
Eric Whitney

Montana has been invited to participate in a new phase of health care reform that some big players in the healthcare industry here say should save significant money. Governor Bullock made the announcement at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula Monday morning.

The DAPL (Dakota Access Pipeline) being installed between farms, as seen from 50th Avenue in New Salem, North Dakota.
Flickr user Tony Webster (CC-BY-SA-2)

Environmental organizations in two Montana cities are participating in a national rally Tuesday afternoon in support of the ongoing protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

Roughly two dozen indigenous rights and environmental groups across the country are organizing events in more than 100 American and a few international cities, including Whitefish and Missoula.