Montana News

Montana Budget
8:54 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Lawmakers, Governor Clash Over Spending

Credit Eric Whitney

The Bullock Administration took some heat from Montana lawmakers Monday for what they say was spending over a million dollars without proper authority

In the final two days of the 2013 legislature, lawmakers handed the governor $7.5 million to fund projects in nine departments: Public Health and Human Services, Natural Resources and Conservation, Environmental Quality, Administration, Commerce, Revenue, Corrections, Labor and Industry, and the Governor’s Office . A legislative audit shows $1.1 million of that money went to agencies beyond those the legislature intended.

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Prof. David Parker
6:13 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Incumbency Matters: Prof. David Parker Talks Montana Politics

Political science professor David Parker, at Montana State University has a new book out. It’s called Battle for the Big Sky. In it, he says, “Much of the existing scholarship suggests that campaigns don’t matter much at all.”

Interviewed at his office recently, Parker acknowledged, “It does seem kind of weird, right? You look at the cost of presidential campaigns, and, wait a minute, political scientists say they don’t matter. They basically take the view of MacBeth, right? It’s all ‘full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

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Castle Doctrine
3:13 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Kaarma Trial Brings Scrutiny To 'Castle Doctrine'

Marcus Kaarma, (L) and lead attorney Paul Ryan (R) before a June, 2014 court appearance.
Credit Edward O'Brien

The trial of Missoula's Markus Kaarma will likely renew debate about the "Castle Doctrine".

University of Montana law professor, Andrew King-Ries says the specific term, "Castle Doctrine", isn't mentioned in state statute.

"I think what people refer to when they say 'The Castle Doctrine' is the ability to use force to defend an occupied structure; and by 'occupied structure', most people are thinking about their home," says King-Ries.

Outbuildings are included in that definition.

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Historical Nonfiction
6:12 am
Mon December 1, 2014

MONTANA 1864

One hundred and fifty years ago, the land that would become the state of Montana was mostly wild and untrammeled, as it had been for millennia. But then, everything changed. And Ken Egan Jr. wanted to know why. He looked for a book to explain the events of 1864. But didn’t find one. So he wrote his own, which turned out to be a humbling process for this Montana-born scholar.

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Fishing Fatality
4:18 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Body Of Missing Fisherman Recovered From Mission Lake

Glacier County Sheriff’s deputies recovered the body of 63-year-old Kazuhiko Hayashizaki, a resident of Alberta Canada, from Mission Lake Tuesday.

He and two other people, a 56-year-old Canadian man and a 75-year-old woman from Japan, failed to return home from a fishing trip to on Sunday. 

Deputies located the vehicle they were using. The search began Monday, but was called off because of bad weather.  The man’s body was found Tuesday morning. 

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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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Author
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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