Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

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.

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.

Dan Boyce

Parks in Helena are starting to see new additions to playground equipment, as the city tries to make more enjoyable for kids with disabilities.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce looks into this all-inclusive play equipment.

firstcovers.com

Think of your memory as layers upon layers stacked on top of one another. Registered Nurse Jennifer Crowley specializes in working with patients with Alzheimer’s. Crowley said for people with Alzheimer’s new memories are the top-most layers, and they roll right off and get lost. She conducts Memory Screenings which identify risk for Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment disorders. The exam tests short term memory and looks at a person’s understanding of the world around them.

Jacob Cowgill, Prairie Heritage farm

Some of you may have already begun thawing the turkey for tomorrow's big meal. The vast majority of Americans get their turkeys from the supermarket, birds that have been mass produced  to meet the mass demand.

Didn’t you know? It’s Turkey Tuesday!

Nov 26, 2013
Dan Boyce

In a feathery showcase of America’s most-celebrated Thanksgiving dish, A Helena education center brought in some live turkeys today. Dubbed “Turkey Tuesday”, the occasion allowed some local kids to see three of the iconic birds in real life, in all their waddley gobbley glory.

“I think that connections really been lost with a lot of kids,” said Exploration Works Education Director Jamie O’Malley. “It’s nice to know where your food comes from.”

Sally Mauk

If you haven't picked up your turkey yet, and you hit a deer with your car, under a new permit system that went into effect this week, you could keep that deer for your Thanksgiving meal.

Dan Boyce

The already-crowded field of candidates vying for Montana’s U.S. House seat continues to grow.

Current Republican Representative Steve Daines announced earlier this month he will be running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democratic Senator Max Baucus in 2014.

Helena Real Estate Investor Drew Turiano says he’s running for the House seat as a Republican. It’s his second time running for office in Montana after coming in last in a four-way Republican Primary for Secretary of State in 2012. He hopes that loss has helped with name recognition for this race.

We may all know in a general sense that the security of information we share online cannot be guaranteed - but that doesn't stop us, or private business or government, from putting  sensitive data online. The hope is that security will hold up against hackers, but in fact, cyberattacks are a growing security threat. David Hamon advises the U.S. government about that threat.

The military is calling on National Guard and Reserve members to serve more frequently and for longer periods of time.
       This puts more pressure on both the soldiers who volunteer their service - and the people who employ them.
       In this evening's feature interview with Edward O'Brien, the state chairman of a Department of Defense office called the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve explains how potential conflicts can be smoothed over between these citizen soldiers and their employers.

Growing up gay in Kalispell, Montana, Shane Bitney Crone was bullied incessantly, and couldn't wait to leave his hometown. After school, he moved to California, where he met the love of his life, another young man who had grown up in small-town Indiana.

The Missoula County Sheriff's office has contacted the hunter who accidentally shot a dog in the Lee Creek area near Lolo Pass last Sunday, and have determined there was no crime committed. The hunter has said he thought he was shooting a wolf, but instead killed one of three malamutes owned by Layne Spence, who had taken his dogs along for a cross-country ski outing. Missoula County sheriff's spokeswoman Paige Pavalone says after interviewing the hunter, and the dog's owner, they have determined no violation was committed.

Butte open container ban heads to final vote

Nov 19, 2013
flickr/Tracy Elizabeth

Butte’s Council of Commissioners is preparing to take a final vote on an ordinance to curb the community’s stance on open containers of alcohol in public.

Right now, the city has no open container law.

The ordinance before the council would make it illegal to have an open alcoholic drink in public between the hours of 2 AM and 8 AM.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us commissioners and the community are split on the issue.

In the last two years, four mail processing centers - in Miles City, Butte, Helena and Kalispell - have been closed and consolidated with centers in Billings, Great Falls and Missoula. It's part of a nationwide effort to cut expenses at the postal service, which is bleeding money by the billions.

A Missoula writer and member of the Blackfeet Tribe has announced her run for Montana’s lone U.S. House seat as a Democrat.

Melinda Gopher ran for the seat in 2010, coming in third in the Democratic Primary. She is running a campaign focused on bucking the Democratic establishment.

“We have a power elite that has abused the Indian vote for a long time in the state, and that power elite has been led by Senator Baucus,” Gopher said.

Edward O'Brien

No museum in the country has been more instrumental in introducing modern impressionist art to American audiences than the Art Institute of Chicago. The institute's Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern Art is in Missoula to lecture about a seminal show in 1913 that introduced the greats like Picasso and Matisse to this country.

Dan Boyce

Montana Insurance companies are looking over their options after President Obama’s Thursday announcement regarding the Affordable Care Act. The President said some insurance plans about to be cancelled for not following the new healthcare law will be allowed to continue for one more year.

Montana’s Insurance commissioner said the announcement throws years of planning for ObamaCare into a tailspin.

U.S Fish and Wildlife Service

State wildlife commissioners have approved the release of up to 20 black-footed ferrets in central Montana to prevent the loss of a struggling population of the highly-endangered prairie animal.

Katrin Frye

It took private investment of more than $10-million to create Two Bear Air, a dedicated search and rescue air support service in the Flathead.

Former Flathead County Undersheriff Jordan White teamed up with Whitefish philanthropist Mike Goguen to create the non-profit. Goguen comes from a business background with a capital investment firm known for its support of entities like Google and YouTube.  Paying for Two Bear Air is one of several philanthropic investments he’s made in the Flathead.

White described the organization as privately funded for a public purpose.

Montana sees increase in median home prices

Nov 14, 2013
Dan Boyce

Data released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Montana’s median home value moved up 5 percent in the two years after the Great Recession.

The statistics were gathered in the states nine most populous counties in the years 2010-2012 and were compared to the same figures from the recession years of 2007-2009. They show the state’s median price for owner-occupied households bumped up to $183,600 from $174,900 during the recession.

University of Colorado historian Thomas Andrews' first book on Colorado coal miners won the prestigious Bancroft award - and also led him to the topic of his second book, with the grandiose title "An Animal's History of the United States."

The names of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull are well-known but another less famous Native American leader had at least as great an impact on the history of the American West.

Local electric co-ops are writing checks for a different kind of energy bill. Flathead Electric Co-op in Kalispell recently wrote a check to Plum Creek for more than $380,000. It’s for energy efficiency upgrades at the lumber company’s sawmill. Promoting energy efficiency is something F-E-C is doing with the Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial Program incentives.

Key Accounts Representative Don Newton with FEC said it’s actually in the Co-op’s best interest to get members to lower their electric bills.

flickr/jseattle

The City of Helena is asking for permission to trap and kill 70 deer next year that live in the city limits.

The state wildlife commission approves such requests.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us Helena has been working for years to lower the population of these so-called urban deer.

Montana Food Bank Network

There are very few chances to step back, catch your breath and admire ones work at the Montana Food Bank Network.

The National Security Agency has come under public scrutiny the past few months after details of secret surveillance programs were leaked to the media.

These programs involve broad monitoring of cell phone calls, emails, and online chats.

The NSA claims these programs have kept Americans safe, but they have raised widespread concerns the agency is going too far in invading the privacy of U.S. citizens.

The American Civil Liberties Union actively opposes the NSA’s spy programs.

Bigfork High School Cave Club

Where bats hibernate, how warm or cold, and how dry or damp the environment is, are questions being asked as researchers and recreationists explore Montana’s caves.

Bat Specialist Dr. Cori Lausen with Wildlife Conservation Society Canada says some species of bats are facing potential extinction because of the White Nose Syndrome which has been decimating bat populations along the east coast, and is spreading west.

NorthWestern Energy continues to work on plans to purchase 11 hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana.

The approximately $900 million dollar deal will have to be approved by the state Public Service Commission.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says NorthWestern updated members of the Montana Legislature on their plans.

Pomona College

2013 has been a deadly year for wildland firefighters, including the loss of 19 members of a hotshot crew on a fire near Yarnell, Arizona. Their shocking deaths raised new questions about firefighting policy - and about the proper response to our changing climate and growing wildland urban interface.
    These are issues renowned environmental historian Char Miller has been pondering and writing about for some time.

Eliza Wiley Independent Record

Western Montana feminist, social justice advocate and long-time Montana Public Radio commentator, Judy Smith, has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Edward O'Brien has more on the life and legacy of a woman remembered as a "warrior" by those who knew her.

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