Montana News

Sentinel Reopened
2:03 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Mount Sentinel reopened

Conditions have improved enough that University of Montana officials have reopened Mount Sentinel to the public. Most of the east side of Campus Drive has also been reopened to parking.

Sentinel closure
10:34 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Rockslide danger closes Mount Sentinel

large boulder that rolled off Mount Sentinel onto Campus Drive behind UM
Credit Sally Mauk

Falling rocks and snow slides have prompted University of Montana officials to close Mount Sentinel until further notice. Much of the east side of Campus Drive has also been closed to vehicle parking because of the danger of rockslides. The drive itself remains open to moving traffic. Here's a link for campus safety updates:

http://umt.edu/safety/alerts/default.php

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Kerr Dam
11:31 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Montana tribe to be first to own a major dam

Tribal leaders at original dedication of Kerr Dam
Credit Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes

$18.3 million dollars - that's the price an arbitration panel has set for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes to buy Kerr Dam near Polson from PPL Montana. It's a price close to what the tribes think is fair, and well below what PPL was asking.
    The panel's decision paves the way for the Salish and Kootenai to become the first tribe in the country to own a major hydroelectric facility. Brian Lipscomb is CEO of Energy Keepers - the tribal corporation involved in the dam negotiation and eventual operation. 

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Climbing Wall
12:36 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Photo of the day

UM student Shannon Pepper repairing the climbing wall at the UM rec center
Credit Sally Mauk

Weather got you feeling like climbing the walls? UM resource conservation major Shannon Pepper has the UM rec center climbing wall repaired and ready...

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Montana BASE
10:28 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Moderate Republicans touting virtues of “light money” PAC

The moderate GOP lawmakers calling themselves "Responsible Republicans" gather for a press conference following the 2013 Montana Legislative Session.
Credit Montana BASE website

 A group of moderate Republicans who denounce anonymous campaign spending in elections say their Political Action Committee, or PAC, plays by the rules.

PACs have been the source of so-called dark money over the last few elections cycles, and a lot of that spending in Montana has been aimed at helping more conservative Republicans win primary campaigns.

The moderates say this time they’re fighting back--in a transparent way.

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Search and Rescue
10:06 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Tips for avoiding the need to be rescued

Missoula County Search and Rescue truck
Credit Jeremiah Petersen

As a member of Missoula County's search and rescue team for six years, and its current chief, Joshua Herbold has been involved in dozens of rescues and recoveries. But even for this veteran, last Friday was unique for Herbold's team: a first-ever residential avalanche rescue, followed immediately by two skiers lost near Missoula's Snobowl.

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Tourism Economy
3:41 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Measuring the impact of national parks on Montana's economy, hint: its really big

NPS report says Glacier Park brought $172 million into the local economy in 2012.
Credit Katrin Frye

Out of town travelers make up the vast majority of visitors to national parks and they dump a whole lot of money into local economies.

Nationwide that number is $13.9-billion for 2012. These are the findings released by the National Park Service in a report that details the economic impact of national parks.

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell hosted a conference call with reporters Monday. She said the report helps her make the case for funding parks.

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Betsy Cohen Remembered
12:52 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Remembering reporter Betsy Cohen: “best of the best”

Reporter Betsy Cohen
Credit Missoulian

Missoula lost an important voice this week, when long time Missoulian reporter Betsy Cohen died of breast cancer. The 49-year-old Cohen's byline appeared on thousands of stories in her 18-year journalism career, first as a reporter for the Montana Standard, and since 1998, for the Missoulian.

Cohen's work garnered numerous awards and the respect and admiration of her many peers, newsmakers and readers.
    News Director Sally Mauk spoke this week with some of Cohen's friends and colleagues and has this remembrance.

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Montana Olympian
4:36 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Montana Olympian cherishes her Sochi memories

Olympic freestyle moguls skier Heather McPhie

In December we spoke with Olympian Heather McPhie of Bozeman about her hopes for the Sochi Olympics. McPhie is the reigning national freestyle mogul ski champion, and Sochi was her second Olympics.

She placed 18th in Vancouver in 2010. In Sochi, McPhie placed 13th. Although the 29-year-old didn't make it onto the medals podium,  she tells News Director Sally Mauk she had an experience she'll always cherish.

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Train Delays
2:17 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

NW Montana avalanche delays BNSF, Amtrak trains again

An Amtrak train delayed by snow in Omaha, Nebraska in 2009.
Credit Loco Steve, flickr

UPDATE: 2:30 PM: Matt Jones with BNSF said freight travel re-opened at 12:30 PM today on one of the two tracks closed by last night's avalanche. The other track should open soon. 

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Amtrak and BNSF trains are delayed after an avalanche was reported late Sunday night east of the small northwest Montana town of Essex.

BNSF Regional Public Affairs Director Matt Jones expects the debris to be cleared from the track and freight trains should running again by this afternoon.

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