Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

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.

“Pastured Poultry” is a method of raising chickens or turkeys by giving them free range over the ground and the most natural life possible. Agriculture Economist Jeff Schahczenski  with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, NCAT, said it’s a method gaining interest across the country.

GlacierNPS / Flickr

Spring and fall are both prime times for biologists to trap grizzly bears. Wildlife officials are trapping the bears as part of a long-term bear monitoring project spanning across the northern continental divide ecosystem.

MMW Architects

Missoula officials hope to break ground for a new emergency soup kitchen and homeless shelter this fall.

National Park Service

If hanging out in Glacier National Park is how you want to spend part of your summer, you might want to look into the citizen science program offered by the park's Crown of the Continent Research Learning Center. The program trains individuals to identify, observe and record information on species of interest in the park. This summer, the citizen scientists will study mountain goats, pikas, common loons and invasive plants.

It took a contest from a company out of Maine, and a social media effort spanning across international borders for the Glacier Institute to get an alternative energy project installed on their off-grid campus. The Institute is a non-profit organization that offers educational opportunities for students and adults in and around Glacier National Park.

Executive Director Joyce Baltz said the Institute plans to have its alternative energy project be both functional, and educational.

Katrin Frye

Several gardens at Flathead Valley schools are bringing the outdoor classroom a little bit closer to the indoor one. $16,000 in grant money received by Flathead National Forest in partnership with the Flathead Audubon Society is paying the way for native plant gardens at four area schools.

The grant comes through the US Forest Service “More Kids in the Woods” program.

University of Montana


    Longtime NBC News correspondent and University of Montana alumnus Don Oliver died last week at the age of 76. Oliver was a Billings native who worked for NBC nearly thirty years, covering everything from wars to presidential campaigns. He received a Distinguished Alumnus award from UM in 1985, and taught a semester there after he retired from NBC in the 1990's.

Summer is almost here and for many Americans that's the time to think about spending a few well-earned days away from work and getting away for an adventure.
     For many though, it's also a time of increased anxiety and stress because it can sometimes be a little more difficult to find that next meal.   
  

In this feature interview, Edward O'Brien speaks with Gayle Gifford, C.E.O of the Montana Food Bank Network.

Dan Boyce

Last Sunday marked 150 years since a small group of gold miners struck it rich up Southwest Montana’s Alder Gulch.

The swarms of people following that strike quickly established Virginia City, Montana’s first territorial capital.

Virginia City remains remarkably well-preserved today and survives off an annual boom of Summer tourists looking to take in the frontier town’s history.

The community hosted a variety of events all through the weekend to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Alder Gulch Strike.

William Marcus

Gun control continues to be nationally debated in the wake of the most recent mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school. As part of the Montana Public Media “Guns in the Big Sky” series, Montana Public Radio recently aired a live, one-hour discussion of whether new gun control legislation is necessary, or simply a knee jerk reaction to tragedy. News Director Sally Mauk hosted the discussion, featuring four panelists: hunters Doug Webber and Ed Monnig, Dana Gale of “Moms Demand Action”, and Ravalli County Sheriff Chis Hoffman. Listeners also submitted questions online.

Caitlin Copple

Does Missoula need faster and more affordable Internet service? That's the question a new study will seek to answer. With a 26-thousand dollar matching grant from the state,the city and county of Missoula are chipping in 13-thousand dollars each to fund a feasibility study of affordable extreme broadband service. City councilwoman Caitlin Copple chairs the council's economic development subcommittee. She believes superfast - and affordable - high speed Internet is an attractive recruitment tool for new business.

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