Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

Dan Boyce

The Rainbow Family gathering 10 miles outside the SouthWest Montana town of Jackson reached its peak over the weekend, as revelers traveled from all over the country for the extended fourth of July weekend.

The U.S. Forest Service estimated nearly 10 thousand people camped on the piece of land in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The event promotes a message of peace, love, and non-violence.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce took us inside the gathering, which in many ways took on the characteristics of a small city—both the good and the bad.  

Dan Boyce

Helena’s government-run health clinic for state employees is seeing much more use than originally expected as the experiment moves closer to its one-year anniversary.

The clinic provides free primary care services to the Capital city’s 11-thousand state workers and their dependents. It was launched last year by former Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer as way to improve overall employee health and save money for the state’s self-funded health insurance plan.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes recently released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement looking at netting, commercial fishing, and bounties to cut deeper into the invasive lake trout population in Flathead Lake.

Ron Muffick

College students will notice interest rates on new loans for the fall term will be double what they were just last spring - unless Congress follows through on its pledge to restore lower rates when it returns after the July 4th holiday.

Montana Tech

Montana Tech is spearheading a project that organizers say will improve the quantity and diversity of native plants on the Butte Hill.

Montana’s Attorney General announced Friday the proceeds from the sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana to a larger, out of state, insurance company will be used to create the “Montana Healthcare Foundation.”

noaa

Just as forecasters promised, hot temperatures have moved into the region.

Katrin Frye

The International Traditional Games Society was started when a group of native middle school students in Browning asked a simple question.

Montana Coal Council

Representatives from Montana’s coal and petroleum industries are blasting the new climate action plan announced by President Obama this week.

Montana's Senator Jon Tester was quick to praise President Obama's recent speech on climate change, where the President outlined actions he intends to take to address it.

Dan Boyce

Montanans are split in their feelings about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

The nation’s highest court yesterday threw out a provision denying federal benefits to married gay couples and in a separate decision allowed same-sex marriage to resume in California.

Both were passed with tight 5 to 4 majorities.

Montana’s gay rights advocates are applauding the decisions, although they acknowledge it doesn’t mean much here in the state.

Katrin Frye

While remodeling the Elrod Building at the Yellow Bay Station workers found a time capsule in the wall behind the cornerstone. The Biological Station was founded in 1899. The Elrod lab was built in 1967 under the tenure of Dr. Richard Solberg as director.

“The first half of the life of the Biological Station focused primarily on teaching; the professors taught, the professors didn’t do research. They did some observations, and wrote a few papers and a book or two and so on, whereas now the primary focus of the station is research,” Solberg said.

A national study from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show the percentage of minimum wage workers in Montana shrinking at the fastest rate in the country. That figure may be of particular note today, the 75th anniversary of the Fair Labor Standards Act—a law signed by President Franklin Roosevelt which created the minimum wage.

However, the figures gathered by BLS need to be taken in context.

The U.S. Senate is expected to pass an immigration reform bill later this week.

Mark Azure

Last week, the state supreme court reversed a lower court ruling blocking the transfer of disease-free bison from Yellowstone National Park to tribal lands.

New Women's Prison Warden to take over next week

Jun 21, 2013
Montana Department of Corrections

The Montana Department of Corrections announced the hiring of a new Warden for the Montana Women’s Prison on Friday. 

Experts says that providing care for the elderly or the disabled can be a very rewarding experience. It can also be extremely challenging work.
     A company providing in-home non-medical services to the Missoula and Ravalli counties recently launched a family caregiver stress relief program to specifically address those challenges.
     In this feature interview, Home Instead Senior Care owner, Denise Krueger, says home care is becoming an increasingly popular alternative.

Charlotte Caldwell

The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently released its listing of America's eleven "Most Endangered Historic Places".

As we reported earlier, the two-year Bitterroot College in Hamilton became the last of the seven two-year colleges in the state to unveil its new name and logo.

City of Missoula

When it comes to fireworks there doesn't seem to be lots of middle ground; you either love them or would be quite pleased if you never heard or saw one again in your life.

As we reported last week, Governor Steve Bullock has signed an executive order creating the Equal Pay for Equal Work task force.

Farmers Market a Saturday tradition in Missoula

Jun 14, 2013
Justin Steck

Every Saturday from May through October, part of downtown Missoula is transformed into an open-air farmer's market reminiscent of those found in Europe.

Sally Mauk

Missoula city firefighters continue at this hour to battle a large fire burning in the third floor of the Vantage Villa apartment complex on east Broadway. The fire broke out mid-afternoon, and quickly spread to at least two third floor apartments. It appears all the residents got out safely. Several fire trucks are on the scene, including a ladder truck hosing down the roof. The apartment complex is owned by the Missoula Housing Authority. Ellie Greenwood is with the housing authority's resident services, and was in the complex when the fire broke out.

The "Marketplace Fairness Act" - better known as the "Internet Sales Tax" bill -  recently passed the U.S. Senate without the help of Montana Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester.
      The proposal will soon go before the U-S House where it's widely expected to face a more skeptical reception. Montana Republican Representative Steve Daines has already gone on the record opposing the measure. 

If implemented, it would require states to force e-commerce retailers in other states to collect sales taxes for them.

Sally Mauk

The solace offered by open spaces and beautiful landscapes is part of what prompted the formation in 2009 of a Portland-based nonprofit organization known as the Vet Voice Foundation.

Sally Mauk

About a thousand gallons of water-diluted sulfuric, phosphoric and citric acid spilled out of a tank at a Missoula  company today, prompting the regional haz mat team to respond. Firefighters and the haz mat team were called out this morning to Spectrum Products, a pool product manufacturer located off Butler Creek road, not far from the airport. By midday, they were figuring out how to clean it up.

Donnie Sexton, Montana Office of Tourism

Montana's film industry has had a busy couple of years, with three feature films produced in the state.

Sally Mauk

Business and real estate people attended a daylong summit in Missoula on economic opportunities for Montana and North Dakota from development of the Bakken oil fields.

The USDA's Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment says he believes there's strength in diversity.

Butch Blazer's been touring Idaho and Montana to talk about a number of issues including an effort to bring greater diversity to the ranks of the Department of Agriculture.

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