Montana News

Republican Rift
5:43 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Republican divide widening ahead of MT primary election

Credit Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

 As Montana moves toward the June primary elections, a deep divide still exists between elements of the state legislature’s Republican caucus.

This split between moderate and conservative Republicans was most dramatically seen in the 2013 Montana Senate, where the GOP held a 29-21 majority over Democrats. The body almost seemed to have three caucuses, though, as a small group of Republicans regularly defied party leadership to side with Democrats on a number of key issues such as campaign spending law changes, school funding legislation, and state employee pension reform.

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USDOJ investigation
4:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Missoula County Attorney meets with county commision to explain agreement

Credit Edward O'Brien

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg met with the County Commission today to discuss the most recent revelations concerning his ongoing dispute with the United States Department of Justice.

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Freeskiing Phenom
12:01 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Whitefish's injured Olympian gets a warm welcome home

Olympian Maggie Voisin get a hometown welcome in Whitefish Tuesday afternooon.
Brian Schott/ Whitefish Visitors Bureau

An injury may have kept 15-year-old Maggie Voisin from competing in Sochi, but it did nothing to damper the enthusiasm of her hometown crowd.

Pe

ople of all ages line the street in Whitefish as Maggie Voisin and her family cruised through town on the top of a fire truck.

Among the onlookers was 12-year-old Libby Goldhirsch.

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USDOJ Investigation
5:57 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Landquist: Van Valkenburg threw the Missoula County Commission “under the bus”

A 2012 letter from then-Attorney General Steve Bullock to UDDOJ's Montana representative Michael Cotter requests a meeting to discuss the federal agency's investigation into how Missoula handles sexual assault.

A Missoula County Commissioner believes County Attorney, Fred Van Valkenburg is throwing the commission “under the bus” in the county’s lawsuit against the federal Department of Justice.

The DOJ has been investigating how Missoula law enforcement, the University of Montana and the County Attorney’s Office handle sexual assault cases after a string of such crimes were brought to light in 2012.

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Ag Secretary
12:53 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Food and fire among the Ag secretary’s biggest concerns

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

As U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack is in charge of a lot more than the nation's food policy. His agency also oversees management of our national forests, and as a member of the Cabinet, he advises the president on everything from the farm bill - to the impacts of climate change.

In this feature interview, Vilsack talks with News Director Sally Mauk about those issues and more - starting with why he thinks the Affordable Care Act is a good deal for rural Americans.

 

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Big Data
1:28 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

The 2012 Obama campaign revolutionized how data is used to get voters to the polls

Analytics expert Dan Wagner

He's been called a cross between Bill Gates and Batman. As the chief analytics officer for the 2012 Obama campaign, Dan Wagner and his staff of data scientists revolutionized how big data is used to target voters, and get them to the polls.

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Pond Hockey
10:16 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

How Kalispell hopes hockey will help with the "off season"

Workers prep the rink for Kalispell's first annual Pond Hockey Classic on Foys Lake.
Credit Katrin Frye

Most businesses in the Flathead count on winter as the slow season for tourism and visitation. Business and economic development leaders are hoping hockey will help take the sting out of the slow season. Rob Brisendine with the Kalispell Convention and Visitors Bureau says they’re hosting the first annual Pond Hockey Classic on Foys Lake this weekend.

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Headframe Spirits
10:51 am
Fri February 21, 2014

“Neversweat bourbon” just one of the products of this new Butte business

John and Courtney McKee, co-owners of "Headframe Spirits"

When John and Courtney McKee opened their new microdistillery "Headframe Spirits" in Butte in early 2012, they had no idea their success would lead to them being named Montana Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2013.

Besides producing bourbon and gin and other spirits, their company also manufactures distillation equipment for Montana's growing distillery industry.
    In this feature interview, Courtney McKee talks with News Director Sally Mauk about how they decided to start their own company, when John got laid off from his previous job.

 

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VINE Program
5:11 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

The state system which allows anyone to track the whereabouts of adult felony offenders

  The Montana Department of Corrections is expanding a notification system which allows victims of crimes to know the whereabouts of their offenders.

The Victim Information and Notification Everyday system, or VINE, allows victims to receive phone calls, texts or emails about changes in the custody status or location of any adult felony offender in the corrections system.

The system started tracking offenders on probation and parole late last year, which adds the movements of 84-hundred people to the system.

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New fire realities
2:28 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Facing our new fire realities a major challenge in the American West

Lolo Creek Complex fire
Credit Sally Mauk

In over three decades of fighting fire, studying fire and crafting fire management policy, Tom Zimmerman has seen a lot of changes in fire behavior and control. Zimmerman has worked with fire for the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S Forest Service - and most recently, at the  National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

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