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Montana News

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

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Courtesy EPA

Lincoln County may need to reimburse the Environmental Protection Agency for misspent grant money. The county gets a grant from the EPA to help reduce exposure to asbestos at Libby’s Superfund Site.

Weyerhaeuser closed its lumber and plywood mills in Columbia Falls last week.
Eric Whitney

A job at the lumber mills in Columbia Falls was supposed to be the kind of job you’d have forever. But forever came to an end last Friday, when the Weyerhaeuser Company sawed its last logs at its lumber and plywood mills in the industrial heart of the Flathead Valley. The mills had been open since the late 1940s.

Hotshot teams from around Montana gathered to pay tribute to Justin Beebe on Saturday, August 20, 2016
Mara Silvers

Beneath a giant American Flag, a dozen green hotshot crew carriers from around Montana sat with their lights flashing outside Ogren Stadium in Missoula on Saturday morning to honor Justin Beebe.

Beebe was a Lolo Hotshot who died fighting the Strawberry Fire in Nevada last Saturday. He is the only U.S. Forest Service firefighter to die in the line of duty this year.

ontana Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed about 180 miles of the Yellowstone River downstream from Yellowstone National Park without a timeline for reopening. The closure could last months.
Wormwould (CC-BY-NC-2)

A microscopic parasite killing tens of thousands of fish forced state wildlife officials to close a portion of the Yellowstone River Friday morning.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks closed about 180 miles of the Yellowstone River downstream from Yellowstone National Park without a timeline for reopening. The closure could last months.

Gianforte Says Indian Reservations Hinder Free Markets

Aug 19, 2016
Greg Gianforte standing among dancers during the Arlee powwow grand entry.
Corin Cates-Carney

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The way for Montana's American Indian reservations to escape poverty is through the free market, but the shortcomings of tribal governments are preventing businesses from flourishing, Republican candidate for governor Greg Gianforte said in a campaign stop last month.

U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter
U.S. Department of Justice

The U.S. Justice Department announced this week it's phasing out its use of private prisons. The government’s directive will affect 13 privately run prisons holding over 22,000 inmates.

Montana U.S. Attorney Michael Cotter tells MTPR its impact, while significant, will not be felt at north-central Montana’s Crossroads Correctional Center:

Fishing the Yellowstone River
Flikr user: Mirrur Image (CC-BY-NC)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks this morning closed an approximately 180-mile stretch of the Yellowstone River, and nearby tributaries, due to what it’s calling an “unprecedented” fish kill.

The agency estimates that tens of thousands of fish have died this week from a parasite that causes kidney disease. Most of those are mountain whitefish, but there have been reports of dead rainbow and Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 19, 2016

Aug 19, 2016
The Maple Fire in Yellowstone National Park burns through a variety of fuels on August 14, 2016
Inciweb

The latest on wildfires around western Montana.

Last Update: 10:00 a.m. 08/19/16

In Yellowstone National Park, five fires continue to burn over 10,000 acres. Some, like the 191 acre Boundary Fire and the one acre Thumb Fire, are being suppressed with teams of smoke jumpers and other aerial resources.

For as long as there have been people on earth, we have been killing each other — for lots of reasons: lust, land, money ... In his new book, "Blood on the Marias: The Baker Massacre", Bozeman author Paul Wylie associates the escalation of murder in Montana with the discovery of gold.

Today Montana’s Supreme Court denied a request from unions and lawmakers to find unconstitutional a ballot initiative that aims to create funding for brain research.

Days after I-181 qualified for the general election ballot in July, Montana AFL-CIO, Montana Taxpayers Association and several state legislators, on both sides of the aisle, asked the court to not allow the initiative to go to vote this November.

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