Montana News

Mountain Pine Beetle
2:32 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Brrrk Beetles! Has the cold snap finally defeated the Mountain Pine Beetle?

Tough little suckers
Credit SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations, Flickr

A University of Montana professor of forest entomology and pathology says this prolonged and uncomfortable deep freeze probably won't be enough to kill Mountain Pine Beetles.

The rice grain-sized beetles are a native species that mass-attack trees. U-M College of Forestry and Conservation's Dr. Diana Six says hundreds or thousands of the insects can swarm a single tree, leaving it defenseless and essentially doomed.
      

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Sagebrush Rebellion Redux
2:22 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Sagebrush rebels rise again

University of Montana forestry professor Martin Nie

The movement to get the federal government to turn over its land to state and local governments is resurfacing in the American West. Led by a Utah-based group called the "American Lands Council", supporters argue there is a legal and historical basis for this turnover.
    The movement resembles the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion of the late 70s. In this feature interview, News Director Sally Mauk talks with University of Montana forestry professor and natural resource policy expert Martin Nie about both the old and new Sagebrush rebels.

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Organic Farming
8:28 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Why Montana's organic farmers are converging on the Flathead

Credit flickr/mckaysavage

Cultivating organic seeds and genetically modified crops are among the topics farmers are meeting to discuss in the Flathead next week. The annual Montana Organic Association Conference is being held in the Flathead for the first time.

Judy Osowitz of Terrapin Farm in has been farming in rural Whitefish for 36-years.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes, I’ve seen a lot more demand for organic, I’ve seen a lot more supply of organic- which is a good thing, to have both, it’s wonderful,” Osowitz said.

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University Insurance
5:25 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

How Obamacare is compromising state university student health insurance plans

Helena College non-traditional student Susan Wensel gets her health insurance through her husband's job. Only about 220 of the institution's 1800 students opt for the insurance plan offered by the school.
Credit Dan Boyce

Officials with the Montana University System said this week the Affordable Care Act is creating problems for the health insurance plan offered to students at the state’s public universities.

Those students need to have some kind of health insurance. For years, the university plan has offered a reasonably priced alternative for students not on their parents’ plan.

But that may be in jeopardy.

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Wages
2:07 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Can Montana afford to provide “living wages” to low wage workers?

(L-R) Jason Wiener, Gail Gutsche, Jen Euell and Nancy Wilson. (Celeste Thompson not pictured)
Credit Edward O'Brien

Authors of a new study say it clearly illustrates what so many Montanans already know; that there are precious few well-paying jobs in the state.

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News Literacy
2:41 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Truth vs. Truthiness: our declining news literacy

University of Montana Radio-TV professor Ray Fanning

With more information than ever before at our fingertips, you would think the American consumer's news literacy - or knowledge of current events - had never been higher. The fact is, that literacy is slipping dramatically.
    University of Montana Radio-Television Professor Ray Fanning teaches a class on news literacy.

In this feature interview, he talks with News Director Sally Mauk about how to become a smarter news consumer - and about why our news literacy is declining.

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Public Defenders
11:49 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Raises and increased staff not enough to stop case overload for public defenders

The state’s Chief Public Defender says workloads for public defense attorneys have improved due to financial help from the Montana Legislature. However, Bill Hooks said his office still needs more help.

The 2013 Legislature gave the public defender’s office *$1.2 million in new money for employee raises, which Hooks said has been very helpful.

"We were able to bring our attorney salaries more in line with what our colleagues were getting in other courts throughout the state,” Hooks said. “So I think that was a significant improvement and we're very appreciative of that.”

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Adoption
1:45 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Adoption can make a world of difference in a child's life

We're coming to the end of National Adoption Month.
   Recent celebrations have marked the adoption of at least 29 children in Great Falls and Billings.
     Lutheran Social Services of Montana operates a statewide adoption agency.
     In this interview, executive director Kathryn Sabol tells Edward O'Brien hundreds of more Montana children are waiting to be welcomed into new families of their own.
     Sabol tells us more about Lutheran Social Services of Montana:

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YMCA
2:10 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

The YMCA - not just a gym and swim

Credit YMCA Missoula

Some of us will soon be hitting the gym to work off the weight we've gained as a result of all the holiday treats and feasts.
     The YMCA welcomes people to consider its gym and swim services.

But, Jon Lange, the executive director and chief executive officer of the Missoula Family YMCA says the organization offers much more than health and wellness facilities.
    In tonight's feature interview, Lange details some of those programs. He tells Edward O'Brien the YMCA has always been a part of his life.

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Care Farms
1:00 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Cows, Chickens, Veggies, and Therapy

Lighthouse Cristian Home resident Sara Maldonado feeds the cows as part of her morning chores.
Credit Katrin Frye

The idea of farm work as therapy takes root in the Flathead with several working farms opening their doors a couple times a week to people with disabilities. The Flathead Valley has seven Care Farms as of last spring. It’s an effort spearheaded by Maarten Fischer of the A-Plus-Home Healthcare of the Flathead, Fischer also teaches a multifunctional agriculture course at Flathead Valley Community College.

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