Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

Few uninsured Montanans go without coverage voluntarily, says a new report released Monday by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

“That means that had insurance been available, they would have taken it,” said the bureau’s Interim Health Care Research Director, Paul Polzin.

When saxophone player Madaline "Mad" Duran started playing jazz in the late 60's, there weren't a lot of women jazz instrumentalists.

University of Montana

A new report produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation concludes Americans should do more to promote early childhood education.

James Woodcock, Billings Gazette

Yellowstone County treasurer and county superintendent of schools, Max Lenington, says his use of racist and anti-gay slurs in an email were a private message to his sister, and reflected his anger that President Barack Obama was re-elected.

The Billings Gazette reports Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito is investigating whether there are grounds to recall Lenington for comments made in an email sent from his work computer last year.

A free diabetes awareness program is being held tomorrow at Missoula's Providence St. Patrick Hospital.
         Diabetes is a serious and growing problem across the country.
         The Coordinator of Providence St. Patrick's Diabetes Care and Prevention Center, Jennifer Troupe, says managing the symptoms of diabetes can seem like a daunting task for the uninitiated.
         In this interview with Edward O'Brien, Troupe says taking control of the disease is not only possible, but can change the course of a life for the better.

Katrin Frye

Before the railroad came through and made Kalispell, Kalispell, there was Demersville (de-MARS-ville). The small community had an eatery, saloon, hotel, and mercantile, but died practically overnight when in 18-91 the railroad came through the Flathead several miles north of the fledgling town. Flathead Reporter Katrin Frye takes us to all that remains of Demersville, the cemetery.

For over 30 years, Gwen Florio covered the news - everything from war in Afghanistan to crime in Missoula - as a print reporter. The recent release of her mystery novel, "Montana", marks the debut of her new career as a full-time author.

In this feature interview, Florio talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the new novel - and how she came to write a mystery.

 

Edward O'Brien

The transgendered have unique healthcare needs that can be challenging for both the patient and - in some cases - the physician.

Wolf Creek looking to implement resort tax

Oct 29, 2013
Dan Boyce

Some residents in the town of Wolf Creek are looking to change their tiny hamlet north of Helena into a resort. Or, at least, they are hoping to set up a resort tax.

Wolf Creek area resident Pat Hunter said the community needs extra money to clean up groundwater.

“The people in Wolf Creek would not be asking for a resort tax if they weren’t faced with the burden of putting in a sewer system that, quite frankly, they can’t afford,” Hunter said.

Hunter predicts the three percent resort tax would earn the community about $30 thousand dollars a year.

A film based on Missoula author Pete Fromm's  novel "As Cool As I am" debuted recently in Missoula. It's a coming-of-age tale about a teenage girl, played by up-and-coming Irish actress Sarah Bolger. The star of the hit TV series "Homeland", Claire Danes, plays the girl's mother.

In this feature interview, Fromm talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the novel - and the film of the same title. Fromm says the novel grew out of a short story he wrote called "The Gravy on the Cake".

 

DEQ closes own building for lead contamination

Oct 28, 2013
Dan Boyce

Nearly 100 Montana Department of Environmental Quality workers were sent home on paid leave Monday after inspections found elevated levels of lead in one of the department’s own buildings.

“The irony is not lost on us,” said DEQ Director Tracy Stone-Manning said regarding contaminants in Helena’s old armory at the north end of Last Chance Gulch, where DEQ now houses its division responsible for environmental cleanup.

The octopus is a very adaptable creature. It can shrink itself to fit into a discarded beer bottle for temporary shelter; can change color, and squirt a cloud of ink to camouflage its escape from danger.

Katrin Frye

“This is a really good place to recruit to,” Dr. A. Craig Eddy works as the Chief Medical Officer at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, and is in charge of recruiting.

Eddy said the Flathead is a great place, but not because of the salary.

Monica Lindeen
Courtesy Monica Lindeen

  The state’s insurance commissioner says Montanans are still having problems signing up for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act online marketplace. Most states, including Montana, opted to let the Federal Government run their Obamacare market. The federal site has been plagued with glitches and technical problems for three weeks now, and it is not clear when they will all be fixed.

Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen said Wednesday that is not acceptable.

Katrin Frye

Barricades came down, open signs switched on, and employees went back to work as Glacier National Park reopened. The partial government shutdown closed the national parks October first.

Public Affairs Officer Denise Germann says the Park had about 20 to 30 people working during the shutdown. As of Thursday about 250 employees were back on.

She said a lot of the work going on right now involves getting housing and lodging buttoned up for the winter.

Sally Mauk

Emmy-award-winning actor Keith David is in Missoula to advocate for the organization "Wood for Haiti", started by Missoula resident Gary Funk and his daughter Angela.

Dan Boyce

The Montana Department of Justice launched a poster campaign Thursday aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking in the state. Five-thousand of the posters will be put up in rest stops and other public locations around the state.

A bill passed by the state legislature created the poster campaign.They are written in both English and Spanish and highlight a toll free number to a national help line and a Q-R code for smart phones. 

Sally Mauk

The state issued an advisory today against eating northern pike caught in a 105-mile stretch of the Clark Fork river from Missoula to Paradise.

Immigration group sues Montana Highway Patrol

Oct 16, 2013

A group focused on the rights of immigrants in the state is suing the Montana Highway Patrol alleging racial discrimination.

The Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance claims the highway patrol has in place a policy of checking the immigration status of Latino drivers during routine traffic stops.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us the group believes the practice is unconstitutional.  

Renowned British historian Andrew Roberts is harshly critical of his country's increasingly isolationist foreign policy - and says America is becoming a laughingstock internationally because of its political paralysis.

Flathead County Agency on Aging

Montana’s population is aging, and the number of people aged 65-and older living in Montana is expected to keep growing.

A report from the state Department of Health and Human Services says in 2000 Montana ranked 14th in the nation in the percentage of its population aged 65 or older.

That rank is expected to jump to 5th by the year 20-25.

Connecting this population with the necessary health services is part of an effort that brings together several organizations for seniors.

Dan Boyce

The only Democrat so far to file for Montana's U.S. House seat in 2014 officially announced his campaign Monday. John Lewis, former State Director for Sen. Max Baucus, held the kick-off event for his campaign from a Helena union hall about two months after submitting paperwork for the bid.   

Lewis opened the kick-off by unveiling this campaign video:

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Tamara Jones, knows more than most about the aftermath of tragedy.

If reporters have a question about Glacier National Park, they usually first call the park's public affairs officer, Denise Germann.

Montana DNRC

The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation has launched an initiative to update the state's water plan.

William Marcus

The government shutdown has put Washington's paralysis on full display, but if you want more reinforcement of just how dysfunctional the nation's capital has become, you might want to read Mark Leibovich's best-selling book "This Town".

Leibovich is the chief national correspondent for the New York Times magazine, a former reporter for the Washington Post, and now best-selling author. He has lived and worked in D.C. for 16 years, and is a self-described "insider".

A prominent Republican State Senator is leading efforts to qualify an initiative for the 2014 ballot which would require more disclosure of political spending on state elections. The Stop Dark Money initiative is based upon a bill that failed this last legislative session.

Sally Mauk

Western Montana's fire danger is back to a "low" rating, there's been plenty of rain recently - even some high-elevation snow in western Montana. The 2013 fire season is essentially behind us.

When your lab class is 100 feet underground

Oct 8, 2013
Dan Boyce

Montana Tech mining engineering junior Krystal Martin and the eight other students in her lab class were taking turns using a heavy, pneumatic, jack-leg drill to bore six foot holes into a solid rock wall last Friday. It’s definitely louder than the average college lab course, and rather than crisp, white lab coats, students wear mud-soaked work boots, dust streaked faces and hard hats.

About 22,000 men worked the underground mines of Butte at the city’s peak, hauling 20,000 tons of ore back to the surface every day.

But, that was almost 100 years ago.

Joe Newman

Thomas Tamm's career as an attorney with the Department of Justice's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review came to an end during the Bush Administration, after Tamm leaked information to the New York Times that the government was eavesdropping on American citizens without seeking a warrant. The Times story won a Pulitzer prize.

Pages