Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

Senate Committee Endorses Price Increase For Hunting, Fishing Licenses

Apr 17, 2015
U.S. Forest Service Northern Region

Today at the Montana Legislature, the Senate Finance and Claims Committee passed a bill to increase prices on hunting tags. House Bill 140 would increase fishing license prices by a few dollars, and would introduce a base license fee for any hunter of $8 for residents and $10 for nonresidents. Other special nonresident permit prices would also increase.

William Marcus

The Montana House has reversed course, voting late this afternoon to close the Montana Developmental Center over the next two years.  The bill had been defeated yesterday, but was brought up again today with an amendment that gives families of MDC’s clients more input, as well as studying new uses for the Center’s campus in Boulder.

Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park

Entrance to Glacier National Park, and all national parks, is free this weekend in honor of National Park Week.

The free weekend comes soon after after the Park Service launched it’s “Find Your Park” marketing campaign, to celebrate the Park Service’s centennial, in 2016.

Eric Whitney

Officials in some of Montana's most rural and timber dependent counties are relieved Congress has approved Secure Rural Schools funding to help balance their local budgets.

A Boeing worker operates a machine at the company's Helena, MT plant
Courtesy Photo

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is expanding its operations in Helena, as it prepares to supply parts for a new version of the 787.

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk and Mike Dennison
Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk": The Flathead water compact and "dark money" disclosure bills are on their way to the Governor's desk. Work remains on the state budget, the pay plan, and infrastructure funding bill. Will the legislature adjourn early? Sally, Chuck, and Mike bring you up to speed on this week at the legislature.

The large fire at A1 Salvage yard near Somers is out, according to Somers-Lakeside Fire Department Assistant Chief Jeremy Hayes.

“We don’t have a total yet of how many cars were in the fire,” Hayes said, “but no structures were involved.”

The source of the fire is under investigation. 

Redistricting On Friday's Legislative Agenda

Apr 16, 2015
Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Friday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers hear a bill that would change how state legislative districts are drawn.

    

The Montana House Thursday narrowly voted against closing the Montana Developmental Center in Boulder.  But hours later house members reconsidered, and will debate and vote on the measure again this afternoon. 

Corin Cates-Carney

I’m Corin Cates-Carney at the tenth annual pond skip at the Whitefish Mountain Resort.

A large pool waits for skiers and snowboards at the bottom of the mountainside runway. The goal is to skip across the icy water, dressed in costume, with prizes awarded to those who make it, and those who don’t, but fail in style.

The drive across Montana will be a little bit faster if a bill passed Thursday in the Montana House becomes law. The measure, already passed by the Senate, raises the speed limit on rural sections of Interstate highways from 75 to 80 miles an hour, matching the current limit in three neighboring states: Idaho, Wyoming, and South Dakota. 

Chérie Newman

The Flying Whales, a group of Kindergarten students at Sussex Elementary in Missoula, are getting ready for the WildWalk Parade, one of the upcoming Wildlife Film Festival activities. In a classroom filled with maps, children’s artwork, stuffed animals, and live birds, the kids try their costumes on and talk about the WildWalk Parade.

Barrett Hospital

Two hospitals in Montana have earned 5-star ratings in patient satisfaction from Medicare. Those hospitals are Barrett Memorial in Dillon, and Great Falls Clinic Medical Center.

Flickr user biologycorner (CC-BY-NC)

Some technological glitches aren't stopping most of Montana's school districts from administering tests linked to Common Core.

State School Superintendent Denise Juneau estimates about 80 percent of Montana's schools will press ahead with the online tests despite widely reported problems.

Flathead National Forest

The latest in our series of interviews on the new draft management plan for the Flathead National Forest is with Keith Hammer, chair of the Swan View Coalition, and Arlene Montgomery, the program director for Friends of the Wild Swan.

The Flathead National Forest’s scoping period for public comments on its draft management plan runs through May 15th.

Limits On Asset Forfeiture On Thursday's Legislative Agenda

Apr 15, 2015
Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Thursday, the Montana Senate will hear a bill that would ensure that police can’t take a suspect’s legal assets, like cars or money, until police can prove that the items were part of a crime.

Montana Lawmakers Consider Legalizing Sale Of Raw Milk

Apr 15, 2015

Wednesday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers heard testimony on a bill that would legalize the direct sale of raw milk from farmers with no more than seven cows or 15 goats or sheep. Those farmers would have to buy a $75 license and pay $22 a month per animal, along with adhering to several safety procedures.

State Budget Going To Conference Committee For More Work

Apr 15, 2015

As expected, the Montana House rejected the Senate's work on the state's main budget bill. That means the bill now goes to a House-Senate Conference committee to work out the differences.

Western Glacier Stonefly
U.S. Geological Service

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Center for Biological Diversity could force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make a decision on whether protect an insect only found in Glacier National Park.

Montana produces more AmeriCorps volunteers than any other state. What's more, the federal agency that administers the service organization says more members come from Billings than other cities of its size.

Wednesday afternoon the Montana House narrowly approved the Flathead Reservation Water Compact after more than three hours of debate on the House floor.

Senate Endorses Study Of Public Defender's Office

Apr 14, 2015
William Marcus

Today at the Montana Legislature, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass a bill that would create a two-year study on the Office of the State Public Defender. This year, legislators discussed, and argued about what to do with this office, which is meant to provide lawyers for those who can’t afford their own in criminal cases.

Senate Hears Vocational Arts Funding Bill

Apr 14, 2015
Rep. Donald Jones (R) HD46
Montana Legislature

Tuesday at the Montana Legislature, the Senate Finance and Claims Committee heard a bill to give more funding for vocational arts within state elementary and high schools.

Employer Tax Credits For College Tuition Contributions On Wednesday's Legislative Agenda

Apr 14, 2015

Wednesday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers hear a bill to give employers a tax break if they help pay for their employees' college tuition.

William Marcus

The proposed Flathead Water Compact will come up for a vote in the Montana House Wednesday, but as MTPR Capitol Reporter Steve Jess reports, opponents are trying to put up another roadblock to prevent its passage.

'Dark Money' Disclosure Bill Advances At State Legislature

Apr 14, 2015
Sen. Duane Ankney (R) SD20
Montana Legislature

A bill to shine more light on the donors to political campaigns continues to advance at the Montana Legislature.

The so-called Dark Money bill was in the House today after previously passing the Senate.

Some Yellowstone Roads To Open This Week

Apr 14, 2015
Snowplows near the Canyon area in Yellowstone National Park
David Restivo, Yellowstone National Park (CC-BY-2.0)

Spring is in the air and the plows have been busy in Yellowstone. Now, roads leading to Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon area are set to open for auto travel this week.

Lawmakers To Consider Limits On Where Sex Offenders Can Live

Apr 13, 2015
Montana Capitol
William Marcus

Tuesday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers hear a bill that would restrict where high-risk sex offenders can live and work.

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
U.S. Forest Service

It's ok to eat the fish downstream of last winter's big oil spill on the Yellowstone River. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has lifted an advisory urging people to use caution when eating fish caught near the break in the Bridger Pipeline near Glendive.

Flickr user Brad Smith (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

The contentious Flathead Reservation water compact appears to be taking the same convoluted path to the House floor as the Medicaid expansion bill did last week.

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