Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

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.

Katrin Frye

A grassroots human rights organization in the Flathead is building upon its anti-hate message, literally. The group “Love Lives Here” teamed up with local artists and people from across the community created ceramic tiles spelling out messages of love and peace through words and pictures. The first step of this project happened with the construction of a tile-lined gazebo in 2008. This month the group is unveiling several tiled-lined benches as an addition to the monument.

  Businesses and organizations have to be innovative and creative to survive - but that maxim is easier said than done.

Montana's Lieutenant Governor, John Walsh has announced he is running for the U.S. seat being vacated by Sen. Max Baucus in 2014. 

Walsh announced his intentions today, launching this website complete with a more than two minute video outlining his 33 years serving in the Montana National Guard, including serving as Adjutant General from 2008 to 2012, when he left the guard to join the ticket of then-gubernatorial candidate Steve Bullock.

Missoula Independent

Missoula city councilwoman Caitlin Copple was among those locked down in the U.S. Capitol for about half an hour today, because of that shootout near the Capitol.

Dan Boyce

The partial shutdown of the federal government is now stretching into its third day.

President Obama is now saying House Speaker John Boehner is the only thing standing in the way of reopening the government. Congressional leaders made no progress on ending the shutdown after a Wednesday night meeting at the White House. 

The Wall Street Journal reports about 800,000 federal employees remain on furlough. 

Courtesy photo

A public hearing will be held later this month before the Missoula City Council on a proposed ordinance that would give Mayor John Engen authority to open negotiations with The Carlyle Group to purchase Mountain Water Company.

Carlyle, a global alternative asset manager, purchased Mountain Water about two years ago, with the stipulation the city of Missoula would get the first shot at buying the utility if it ever went up for sale.

In this feature interview with Edward O'Brien, Engen explains why he thinks it's important to pursue this discussion - and why now.

A new exhibit at the Missoula Art Museum showcases folk art from around the country.

Katrin Frye

Arguably the most visible effect of the government shutdown is the closure of 401 National Parks, including Glacier Park. Glacier counts on an average of 50 to 60 thousand visitors in the month of October. Public Affairs Officer Denise Germann with the Park said there has been confusion, and surprise about the Park being closed.

  Montana employees of the US Department of Agriculture make up the largest piece of the state’s federal workforce.

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry Economist Barb Wagner said latest figures show about 12,600 federal employees work in Montana, not including military personnel—which she says her office does not track. Of that civilian workforce, about 3,000 work for the USDA.

Monica Lindeen
Courtesy Monica Lindeen

State insurance commissioner Monica Lindeen has been traveling a lot lately, answering questions from Montanans about Obamacare, and what it means for them.

Individuals and groups looking for health insurance will - starting tomorrow - have another alternative at their disposal.

Sally Mauk

Americans love their national forests.

Sally Mauk

One of the resources most directly impacted by climate change is water.

Dan Boyce

The first comprehensive report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2007 will be released this week

File Photo

Montana’s Congressman Steve Daines is touting a bill he is cosponsoring which would increase logging on national forest lands.

The Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act passed the U.S. House last Friday.

Supporters say the bill would boost local economies near forest land and help lower the risk of catastrophic wildfires like those seen near Yosemite National Park this summer.

But, the bill faces some stiff opposition, including from the Obama Administration.

A bill to cut the federal food stamp program, now called SNAP, by $4 billion annually for the next decade is heading over to the U.S. Senate.

The Republican-led U.S. House passed the SNAP cuts last week, over opposition from Democrats.

The proposed cuts could seriously impact local food banks in Montana. Executive Director of the Great Falls Community Food Bank David Abbott said currently about 10,000 people in Cascade County do not know where their next meal is coming from.

University of Denver

International law expert Ved Nanda  says the U.S. cannot isolate itself from the rest of the world without risking its own security.

Montana Developmental Center
Dan Boyce

The Montana Developmental Center (MDC) in Boulder is trimming about ten percent from its budget following cuts handed down by the state legislature.

The facility provides treatment to people with developmental disabilities whose aggressive behavior has led the courts to determine they pose a risk to themselves or others. Those in charge at MDC say they are working to make the $1.5 million in annual cuts without compromising safety or standard of care.

The national organization "Dress for Success" says it's helped hundreds of thousands of economically disadvantaged women from around the world in their job searches.

One in five Montana kids is going hungry.

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