Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

World Affairs Council

Many college graduates have jobs that have nothing to do with their degree - and many are not happy with the jobs they do have.

An environmental group called Earth First! is distributing a manual on how to sabotage the upcoming wolf hunting season.

It lays out steps for disrupting wolf hunts through methods such as smoke bombs and air horns as well as steps for destroying wolf traps.

The guide, released last month, continues to generate controversy.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce speaks with people on both sides of the trapping debate who disapprove of the manual—for different reasons.

Sally Mauk

She's ranked number 271 on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans.

Pew Charitable Trusts

Clean energy advocates are closely watching the tax reform efforts in Congress, and hoping that reform provides clear and helpful policies for clean energy development.

Attorney General Tim Fox is asking the Montana Supreme Court to prohibit a District Judge from holding a resentencing hearing this Friday on the 30-day prison sentence a former Billings teacher received for raping his 14-year-old student.

The case has prompted widespread criticism from around the country.

Katrin Frye

The Flathead Valley Community College becomes the first stand-alone 2-year college in the state to offer a health clinic for students. The FVCC Student Health Clinic opened in the new Rebecca Chaney Broussard Center for Nursing and Health Sciences with the beginning of the fall semester.

Physicians Assistant Shelley Naomi said she can treat patients for a range of ailments from preventative care like well-woman annual exams to flu shots, treating the common cold, and sexually transmitted disease testing.

University of Montana

The University of Montana's Legal Counsel presented a campus lecture today examining Title IX's impact in America over the last four decades.

Sally Mauk

Tribal leaders from around Montana gathered in Missoula this afternoon, to tell the chairwoman of the Senate Indian Affairs committee what they think is needed to boost economic development in Indian country.

David DeSilva

The Smuin Ballet will celebrate its 20th anniversary with performances in Missoula and Great Falls this month.

Sally Mauk

You get that craving say mid-afternoon, when the computer is down, and dinner is still hours away; you go to the vending machine and punch the Cheetos button.

The Montana Department of Livestock has confirmed several new cases of West Nile virus in Montana horses over the past week.

Adriana Toural

A Cuban historic preservation expert and journalist is in Montana this week, speaking about the effort to restore historic buildings in Havana.

AG blasts proposed BLM 'fracking' regulations

Aug 30, 2013

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is formally protesting new proposed ‘fracking’ regulations from the Bureau of Land Management. He signed a letter last Friday to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell along with four other Attorneys General—from Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma and West Virginia expressing strong objections to these new hydraulic fracturing rules being considered by the BLM.

The largest union of Montana University System employees announced this week a bargain has been reached with the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education over pay raises for the next two years.

The Montana Public Employees Association represents nearly 1700 ‘classified employees’ of the university system. Executive Director Quinton Nyman said the tentative agreement includes the following raises:

·        Effective Oct. 1, 2013: all MPEA bargaining unit members will receive a 46-cent per hour base pay raise.

CSKT Wildlife Program

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are calling their Trumpeter Swan reintroduction program a success. The Tribes have been releasing swans bred in captivity since 2002 on the Flathead Reservation in the Mission Valley.

Wildlife Program Manager for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Dale Becker says the swans were historically hunted for food and for marketable goods.

The population was wiped out. The Tribes have released 239 swans since 2002. They count 87 successful nesting attempts with 146 fledgling cygnets since the releases started.

The History Press

Beer lovers have no shortage of choice in Montana.

Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research

Most people visiting Montana - and who chose to participate in a recent survey - seem to have overwhelmingly positive comments about their experience here.

Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen clarified Tuesday that workers who will be helping citizens enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) must follow the same state privacy laws as insurance companies.

Community Health Centers are a health care option for those without insurance. Many of these Centers are taking a lead role in signing people up for insurance through the state health exchanges starting in March.     In Libby, the Northwest Community Health Center has expanded in the past few years, with plans to continue to grow to meet the ongoing demand. Executive Director Maria Clemons said they served nearly 2000 patients in 2003. By 2012 that number jumped to more than 6,000.

oatsy40/flickr

The Department of Interior has recently published a report citing some flaws in how the federal government manages coal leases. The June report from the Office of Inspector says the government is at risk of not getting the full value for the coal it sells.

A nonprofit environmental group, The Northern Plains Resource Council, believes this is especially true for coal in Montana and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The group thinks the federal government should be getting a lot more money for that coal.

dr_relling/flickr

Officials with the Lewis & Clark City-County Health Department report West Nile Virus has been detected in eight Montana counties so far this Summer:

·        Blaine

·        Cascade

·        Hill

·        Lewis & Clark

·        Phillips

·        Prairie

·        Sheridan

·        Teton

Katrin Frye

Right now people living with Asbestos related diseases contracted from the W-R Grace mine in Libby and living in Flathead or Lincoln Counties receive additional Medicare benefits. These benefits include compensation for medical-related travel expenses and medicine not traditionally covered through Medicare.

But, if they now live outside of Lincoln or Flathead Counties, those benefits are not available.

Dan Boyce

US Sen. Max Baucus hashed out ideas for federal tax reform Wednesday with a council of Montanans representing a number of different industries. The Democratic leader of the powerful Senate Finance Committee is making broad tax overhaul a major priority before leaving office in 2014.

The federal tax code has not been overhauled since 1986. Baucus said about 15,000 changes have been made to the code since that time, making it overly-complex and causing the US to lose some of its competitive edge in a global marketplace.

Montana schools are improving school lunches at one of the fastest rates in the nation.

The US Department of Agriculture says Montana is one of six states where 98 percent of schools or more are meeting new meal standards set by the federal government.

In this feature interview, Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce speaks with USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon about the intent of these major revisions.

The environmental organization Earth First began circulating a guidebook on how to sabotage the hunting of wolves last week.

The online guide lays out steps for destroying wolf traps, releasing trapped wolves and disrupting wolf hunts through methods such as smoke bombs and air horns. It asserts states, the NRA, and the Obama Administration are engaging in a conspiracy to wipe wolves off the face of the planet.

Sally Mauk

Residents of Sleeman Gulch, a few miles east of the Lolo Creek Complex fire off Highway 12, have been placed on pre-evacuation notice - meaning they need to be ready to leave on the spur of the moment. Sleeman road is a one-way-in, one-way-out gravel road.

Kirk Derby lives near the end of the road, in a house he and his wife just bought a year ago. Last night they left to wait out the fire in town, but returned today to clear more stuff from their house.

Edward O'Brien

Planned Parenthood of Montana's new President and C-E-O, Martha Stahl, says she's a natural fit for the organization.

Dan Boyce

Governor Steve Bullock is looking to put more focus into early childhood education—that is, education before a kid is five years old. Bullock said Montana ranks near the bottom of states in investment in early ed.

However, state spending did increase this past legislative session by nearly $2 and a half million dollars.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says that money will go toward increasing a ranking program for day-care centers called the Best Beginnings Stars to Quality Program.

 The country has just a few more months before many of the major elements of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, go into effect. This includes a requirement for Americans to buy health insurance, starting the first of the year.

An online marketplace will be giving Montanans without insurance options to buy plans from one of three providers. In this Feature Interview, Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce speaks with Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen about choices people will have regarding the marketplace.

Sally Mauk

Breaking: Highway 12, from the intersection of Highway 93 South to Lolo Pass is now CLOSED.

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