Montana News

Tourism
2:14 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Montana's got the scenery and the beer to lure cyclists. Now, about those roads...

Bikes line one of the walls at Montana Adventure Sports in Bigfork. The business has a bike focus, and is building a hostel catering to bike travelers.
Credit Katrin Frye

Beautiful scenery, hospitality, and beer are among the things that bicycle tourists like, and Montana has. The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research recently came out with a study looking at the potential for the bicycle niche of the tourism industry. Wider highway shoulders and better rumble strip placement are what Executive Director Jim Sayer of Adventure Cycling called critical elements for the cyclo-tourists.

Adventure Cycling is a Missoula-based non-profit that’s worked over the last several decades to develop bike routes and encourage people to get out and peddle.

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Affordable Care Act
11:31 am
Fri January 24, 2014

40-thousand Montanans fall into Obamacare 'coverage gap'

Arlee resident Donna Mollica earns too much to qualify for Medicaid as it stands, but not enough to meet the criteria for Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies

A ballot initiative which would expand Medicaid in Montana has run into a hang-up after the Attorney General’s office noted a legal issue with the proposal.

Supporters of the so-called “Healthy Montana Initiative” have filed a corrected version to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.

This will shorten the amount of time the initiative has to gather signatures to be placed on the 2014 ballot.

Republican lawmakers during the 2013 legislature blocked passage of Medicaid Expansion, an optional piece of the federal Affordable Care Act.

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UM Budget Cuts
11:36 am
Thu January 23, 2014

UM coming up 9 million dollars short

View of University of Montana campus from the "M" trail
Credit Sally Mauk

As we reported earlier this week, the University of Montana must find another 9 million dollars to cut in the coming year - on top of the 6 million cut from this year's budget. President Royce Engstrom outlined the need for the cuts - and potential  money-saving steps - in a campuswide letter this week.

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Flathead Lake International Cinemafest
4:42 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Sundance watch out, competition from... Polson?

This weekend marks the second annual Flathead Lake International Cinemafest.
Credit FLIC

Last year the Flathead Lake International Cinemafest, or FLIC showed more than thirty films from new and emerging filmmakers. 2014 marks FLICs second year, and the number of films has more than doubled to seventy-nine.

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Eve Byron
3:55 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Wildfires, wolves and the watchdog: Eve Byron on 20 years in Montana journalism

Long-time Helena Independent Record reporter Eve Byron left the newspaper at the end of last week to "pursue other interests."
Credit Eliza Wiley, Helena Independent Record

Reporter Eve Byron has been a force at the Helena Independent Record for decades.

Starting out covering local government, Byron moved to being a journalistic authority on wildlife and natural resource issues in Montana.

After 20 years and about 15,000 stories, Byron left the Independent Record last Friday.

She’s starting a new job as a communications specialist for the Helena-based non-profit National Institute on Money in State Politics.

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Wolves
3:06 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Are wolf populations in Yellowstone leveling out?

Credit United States Fish and Wildlife Service

A new report shows a declining population of wolves in Yellowstone National Park, but a lead author describes it as a result of the predators coming into balance with their environment.

“The number of wolves are here that can be supported by prey,” said Doug Smith, Yellowstone Senior Wildlife Biologist and leader of the Yellowstone Wolf Project.

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Suicide
1:31 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Team researching Montana's high suicide rate

Karl Rosston
Credit MT DPHHS

As we've reported this week, the state's recently-appointed Suicide Review Team has pledged to review every suicide that occurs in Montana this year to try to determine the reason and recommend ways to reduce the state's suicide rate, which is nearly twice the national average.
 
     The team, appointed in November by Gov. Steve Bullock, includes a pastor, psychologist, psychiatrist, sheriff, a schools official and a social worker along with Karl Rosston, the state's suicide prevention coordinator for the past six years.

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Corrections Department
1:49 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Corrections Department working to diversify staff

Mike Batista
MT Department of Corrections

This has been a busy time at the Montana Department of Corrections. Agency officials say they're working on a variety of projects and initiatives, while at the same time maintaining day-to-day operations. 

In this final segment of a two part series, Edward O'Brien speaks with Corrections director, Mike Batista and Department of Corrections American Indian Liaison, Harlan Trombley, about a variety of topics including what,  if anything, can be done to stem problems associated with poverty and high drug and alcohol abuse rates:

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MLK Day
6:00 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Some thoughts on the state of racial equality in Montana

Martin Luther King Junior Day provides a time for us to reflect on equality.

The civil rights leader spent his life pursuing equal opportunity for all people, especially people of different racial backgrounds.

In this story, Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce speaks with Co-director of the Montana Human Rights Network Kim Abbott about the state of race issues in Montana.

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Corrections
1:58 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Corrections Department working to build bridges with Native American inmates

Harlan Trombley
MT Department of Corrections

This has been a busy time at the Montana Department of Corrections. Agency officials say they're working on a variety of projects and initiatives, while at the same time maintaining day-to-day operations. 
       In this first of a two-part interview, Edward O'Brien speaks with Corrections Director, Mike Batista and

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