Montana News

Firehole Lake Drive Closure
3:16 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Melting Yellowstone Road Temporarily Closed

Firehole Lake Drive in Yellowstone National Park has been temporarily closed due to melting caused by nearby thermal features. (CC-BY)
Credit Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park officials have temporarily closed a loop called Firehole Lake Drive because of damaged road surfaces caused by extreme heat.

Park spokesperson Dan Hottle says extreme temperatures coming from the surrounding thermal areas have caused oil to bubble to the surface of the 3 mile loop that branches off a heavily-used route through the park called the Grand Loop Road, "creating an unsafe condition for drivers".

The closed loop usually takes visitors past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake.

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Immigration and Veterans Administration
2:52 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Tester Blames Child Immigrant Crisis On U.S. House

Tester
Credit US Senate photo

Senator Jon Tester says if the U.S. House would have passed comprehensive immigration reform, the United States would not be dealing with the humanitarian crisis unfolding along the nation's southern border.

Outlines of a possible compromise over President Obama's $3.7-billion-dollar emergency border spending request are emerging on Capitol Hill.

They involve making policy changes to allow the minors streaming to the border from Central America to be sent home more quickly.

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South Fork Flathead
10:47 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Cutthroat Conservation Project Nears Finish Line In The Flathead

Fisheries Biologist Matt Boyer holds a West Slope Cutthroat Trout caught in Blackfoot Lake in the Jewel Basin in the fall of 2008.
Credit Katrin Frye

A large scale conservation project to restore genetically pure west slope cutthroat trout in northwest Montana nears the finish line. Three of 21 lakes remain for Fish, Wildlife and Parks to treat as part of the South Fork West Slope Cutthroat Trout Project.

Fisheries Biologist Matt Boyer said this September they’ll be working on Koessler Lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. This lake they’ll be treating with a poison called Rotenone and re-stocking with genetically pure West Slope Cutthroat Trout.

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Fire danger
3:09 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Missoula County outdoor debris burning closes

Credit Montana DNRC

It's July, it's getting hot and the forecast is calling for very warm temperatures by week's end.

It's with this in mind that the Missoula County Fire Protection Association has restricted open burning as of today.

Burning permits for Missoula County cannot be activated until this restriction is lifted.

MCFPA chairman, Matt Hall, says the hot, dry weather of the past week - combined with the forecast for more of the same for at least another week - will continue to dry out fuels.

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Fiberboard Plant Explosion
2:51 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Columbia Falls Fiberboard Plant To Return To Full Production

Plum Creek Timber's Columbia Falls fiberboard plant
Credit Katrin Frye

Plum Creek Timber Company officials say they hope to return the company's fiberboard plant in Columbia Falls to full production this week, about a month after an explosion and fire shut it down.

Tom Ray is a Plum Creek vice president. Ray says the plant started its No. 2 production line a week ago. The line, built in 2001, manufactures fiberboard that's one-tenth of an inch thick.

Crews were still working to return the No. 1 line to full production. It produces fiberboard up to 1-and-a-quarter inches thick:

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Train Derailment
11:54 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Gettting there...

Credit Wiley E. Waters Whitewater Rafting, Jerry Compton

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost says the second of three brand new Boeing 737 fuselages has been winched up a steep embankment. The third should be recovered by the end of today.

A total of six fuselages was aboard a westbound train to Washington when 19 cars went off the track some 10 miles west of Alberton. All six fuselages fell off; three remained on top on the bank,  the three others tumbled down toward the river.

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Politics Week in Review
1:24 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Contraceptives, Campaign Finance And Citizen Initiatives

Montana politicians and interest groups were divided along party lines over this week's U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning the Affordable Care Act's birth control coverage mandate. In the Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court ruled that closely-held private corporations do not have to provide birth control as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, if the corporations have religious objections to birth control.

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Vietnam Veterans of Northwest Montana
10:00 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Vietnam veterans helping others “come out of the woods”

Members of the 1087, Northwest Montana Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. President John Burgess on the far left.
Credit Katrin Frye

On the hill outside a Somers home a group of men and one woman are working on a 1968 Kaiser military truck.

“The frame underneath; you can see the line of green is going to cross underneath there- that’ll be OD Green. And then the frame is going to be black,” Dale Cordell served in the Army in Vietnam between 1970 and 1971. Cordell is a member of the recently formed Chapter 1087 of the Vietnam Veterans.

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Flathead Work Force - Contractors
2:59 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Building picks up in the Flathead, but Bakken boom still a big draw

The boom surrounding the Baaken oil fields remains draw for Flathead area workers and businesses.
Credit Dan Boyce

Businesses are hiring and construction across the greater Flathead has been picking up, but many are still heading east and sending money home. Kramer Enterprises Incorporated of Evergreen, east of Kalispell is one of those companies. President and CEO Terry Kramer said his company handles commercial and heavy industrial projects mainly, as well as large residential or multi-use projects.

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Hobby Lobby ruling
11:59 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Montana feedback to Hobby Lobby decision

Martha Stahl
Credit Edward O'Brien

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled this week that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. That marks the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.
 
     The justices' 5-4 decision means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under the health insurance plans of objecting companies, such as Hobby Lobby.

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