Montana News

Clark Fork cleanup
2:03 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

First phase of Clark Fork River cleanup dubbed a success

Tracy Stone-Manning
Credit mt.gov

The Montana Department of Environmental Quality announced this week the first phase of the Clark Fork River cleanup near Warm Springs is mostly complete.

In this feature interview with Edward O'Brien, D-E-Q Director Tracy Stone-Manning, says this first of the 15-year project was a tremendous success.

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Highway Deaths
3:07 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

On 2013 Highways: alcohol-related deaths down, pedestrian deaths way up

Credit Dave Conner/flickr

The Montana Highway Patrol says highway deaths in 2013 increased by 10 percent over 2012 totals, but it’s the statistics within that higher figure which are puzzling troopers.

Vehicle-related deaths on Montana’s roadways, both urban and rural, totaled 224 in 2013—compared with 204 in 2012. Regional Commander for the eastern part of the state, James Moody, said Montana typically has somewhere around 200 highway deaths a year.

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Year in Review
11:22 am
Tue December 31, 2013

News staff looks back on a busy year

Sen. Mike Phillips (D-Bozeman) quoting from the Montana Constitution in opposition to Republicans taking votes before recognizing a “call of the Senate” during the 2013 legislature
Dan Boyce

2013 began with a new governor and a new legislature - and wound down with a government shutdown. In-between there were headline-grabbing trials and home-destroying fires.

The MTPR news staff - Sally Mauk, Edward O'Brien, Dan Boyce and Katrin Frye - covered the issues and breaking news. In this feature, they take a look back at a year of drama and heartache, and political surprises.

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D-o-J investigations
2:36 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Missoula County officials to discuss Justice Department this week

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg is scheduled to meet with county officials later this week to discuss the standoff between his office and the U.S. Department of Justice.
      The Justice Department earlier this year reached agreements with the University of Montana and the City of Missoula after investigations revealed deficiencies in how they responded to reports of sexual assault.  Those agreements required UM and the city take several steps to improve their responses.

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Solar Energy
2:20 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Solar energy expert says the solar revolution has begun

Physicist, author and solar energy expert John Perlin

Development of solar energy is undergoing a renaissance as the price and downside of fossil fuels increases. Author, physics professor and solar energy expert John Perlin says the use of solar energy goes back thousands of years.

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Outdoors
1:33 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Long time fisheries manager retiring

Retiring Region One Fisheries Manager Jim Vashro with a Lake Trout on Flathead Lake.
Credit Tony Anderson

Aquatic Invasive Species, Bucket Biology, lake trout suppression, public access, and family fishing are among the topics that have ruled Jim Vashro’s last thirty years with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Vashro is retiring as the Region One Fisheries Manager for F-W-P with the end of this year. Region One includes Flathead Lake as well as numerous other lakes, rivers and streams in northwest Montana. Vashro said Flathead Lake was just one of more than one hundred lakes that had Mysis shrimp introduced, but arguably saw the most profound change.

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Radon
1:52 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Radon presents serious health risks, but easy to test for and mitigate

January is radon awareness month.
    The Montana Department of Environmental Quality is encouraging Montanans to test for and - if necessary - address any radon issues.
     Radon is a colorless and odorless gas. Paul Tschida of D-E-Q's Energy and Pollution Bureau tells Edward O'Brien that radon exposure can present serious health issues:

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Bakken Spinoffs
8:42 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Writing workshop shows the creative side of an oil boom

Michael Ogden (center) gives his thoughts on a piece brought to the Williston writers workshop put on by the North Dakota Humanities Council
Credit Dan Boyce

(Note: This is the fourth of a six-part series on "Bakken Spinoffs" airing Thursdays through January 9th on "Montana Evening Edition.")

Williston, North Dakota, the undisputed capital of the Bakken Oil Boom, offers a haven for a new working class. Tens of thousands of newcomers have poured into the area in the past decade, seeking to fill an abundance of high-paying, low-skill labor jobs. The influx has brought rapid economic development to Williston; it hasn’t brought much in the name of high culture.

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Species recovery
1:01 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Renewed push to restore the Black-Footed Ferret:

A sleepy kit
Credit USFWS/Kimberly Tamkun

Earlier this week, federal wildlife officials announced they've crafted a new plan to restore the highly endangered black-footed ferret that includes re-introducing the animal to more states.
     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recovery plan calls for boosting their numbers to about 3-thousand animals.

In this feature interview with Edward O'Brien, Fish and Wildlife Service Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Coordinator, Pete Gober, says a key element of this plan is to make it as non-threatening as possible to draw in more partners.

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Holiday Decorating
8:33 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Decking someone else's halls

Shopping, cooking, tying up loose ends at work, family coming in… the list of holiday prep goes on. Joyce Billmayer of Conrad Floral in the Flathead has found a way to make a traditionally slower season busy by helping people one of those things off their list: holiday decorating.

Flathead Reporter Katrin Frye catches up with Billmayer as she preps to put the finishing touches on a home all-dolled-up for the holidays.

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