Montana News

CSKT Wolf Management Plan
4:00 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

CSKT Wildlife Managers Work To Update Wolf Plan

Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal wildlife managers expect to have the updated, 5-year wolf management plan finalized by the end of January.

It focuses on wolves found on the Flathead reservation and is separate from the plan the state of Montana uses to manage other wolf populations.   

Summer surveys and observations suggest there are a minimum of 30 wolves on the reservation, but Tribal Wildlife Program Manager, Dale Becker, says it's difficult to pin-down a specific head count.

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7:15 am
Wed November 26, 2014

94-Year-Old Punster Publishes Fourth Book

"People who live in duplexes have a lot in common."    ~ Barbara Noel

Ninety-four-year-old Barbara Noel lives at Grizzly Peak Retirement Community in Missoula. She just published her fourth book, Puns Remembered. Her first three books are Puns Intended, volumes 1, 2, and 3.

With help from a friend and a granddaughter, all four books were published in her 90s.

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Yellowstone Ski Festival
6:02 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Yellowstone Ski Festival Underway

It's all about the skinny skis in West Yellowstone this week.
Credit Yellowstone Ski Festival


With the Thanksgiving holiday comes the unofficial start of the ski season in much of the Northwest. Tuesday marks the start of the Yellowstone Ski Festival, an event that draws up to five thousand cross country skiers to the trails just outside the national park every year.

“We’ve had skiers out here skiing on our trails since weekend when we got a good batch of snow," said Moira Dow, festival's director.

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Medicare Drug Plan Enrollment
5:57 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Medicare Deadline Approaching For 165,000 Montana Seniors

Kate Cotnoir, with Missoula Aging Services, helps people shop for Medicare prescription drug plans.
Credit Missoula Aging Services

For the 165,000 Montanans who are on Medicare, the next week and a half is crunch time. December 7 is the deadline for people age 65 and over to pick a Medicare prescription drug plan.

"People a lot of times can save hundreds of dollars just by switching plans," says Kate Cotnoir with Missoula Aging Services. 

They've got five full time staff and a couple of volunteers booked solid helping people shop for new plans.

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LGBT Discrimination
5:49 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Discrimination Questions Remain Despite Gay Marriage Decision

Credit Flickr user Archie McPhee (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

Now that a federal judge has struck down Montana’s ban on gay marriage, questions remain about how that affects businesses who object to same-sex marriage for religious or other reasons.

University of Montana Law Professor Anthony Johnstone says civil rights laws that prevent businesses from discriminating against customers don’t include protections for sexual orientation.

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5:40 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Montana Immigrants Welcome President's Action

Draft version of U.S. Employment Authorization card.

A Helena immigration attorney estimates there at least 20,000 immigrants in Montana; some are here legally, others not.

Shahid Haque-Hausrath says some are working in eastern Montana's oil patch. Seasonal workers are a staple of the Flathead cherry harvest. Immigrants perform year-round agricultural labor in Dillon. Others work construction jobs in Billings and the Gallatin Valley.

Haque-Hausrath says President Obama's recent executive action on immigration came as a welcome development to his clients.

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Wolf Management
4:54 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

CSKT Wolf Managment Plan Elicits Few Comments

Credit United States Fish and Wildlife Service

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes are updating their gray wolf management plan. A public comment period ended last Friday.

Tribal Wildlife Program Manager, Dale Becker, estimates there are about 30 wolves on the Flathead reservation.  

Becker says few people commented on the draft management plan this year, but those who did were passionate about it.

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Flathead County 911
3:37 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Flathead 911 Ballot Measure Fails After Re-count

A vote re-count in Flathead County Friday resulted in a ballot measure failing by 10 votes.

The measure would have changed the funding stream for the county’s 911 operations center, adding a per-household fee in exchange for reducing contributions from Kalispell and Whitefish. County Administrator Mike Pence says local leaders are looking to the future.

"They definitely think we ought to put it back on the ballot. It would probably be at least a year and a half or two years from now," said Pence.

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Wind Power
3:19 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Montana-Dakota Utilities Buys Wind Power Facility

Credit jabzoog/Flickr

Montana-Dakota Utilities is buying another wind generation facility to meet the growing demand of its customers for electricity.

MDU is paying about $200 million for the Thunder Spirit Wind project is located on the North Dakota-South Dakota border. Originally MDU had a contract to purchase electricity generated from the wind farm.

MDU spokesman Mark Hanson says the company later decided to purchase the project.

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Open Meeting Laws
5:38 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

News Orgs File Suit Over Republican Caucus Meeting

Credit Jacob Baynham, Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

Republicans in the Montana House face a contempt-of-court motion filed by Montana news media, for allegedly holding a caucus meeting without public notice.

Last week Great Falls Tribune reporter John S. Adams got a tip: House Republicans were meeting behind closed doors. As soon as Adams walked into the room, the discussion stopped cold.

Adams said, “I think there was even one of those motions of the finger across the neck, like cut! Cut!"

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