Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

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.

Glacier Park, closed for the shutdown

Oct 1, 2013
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.

The first female ambassador to South Korea is retiring from the U.S. Foreign Service after 35 years.

Dan Boyce

 The shaking of hands and rubbing of elbows is winding down in Butte.

The Montana Economic Development Summit wrapped up in the Mining City Tuesday.

Senator Max Baucus’s office and the Montana chamber of commerce led the organization for the event.

Corporate sponsors paid the quarter million dollar bill for the two-day summit, letting anyone who signed up to come for free.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says about 4,000 total attendees registered  to not only hear from some of the world’s leading business executives, but also to network.

Solutions from the Land

"Solutions from the Land Dialogue" Project Coordinator, Ernie Shea, says land managers are increasingly exploring the potential of using their lands in a more sustainable way.

Dan Boyce

The CEO of Boeing said Tuesday the company is expanding its Helena manufacturing plant by almost 50-percent.

Jim McNerney said the $35 million dollar expansion will add between 20 and 25 jobs to the facility’s workforce, allowing for the building of parts for the company’s 787 Dreamliner.

McNerney announced the expansion at the Montana Economic Development Summit in Butte alongside Senator Max Baucus and Governor Steve Bullock.

The Montana Jobs Summit   gives the following biography for Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg:

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt spoke to the Montana Economic Development Summit  on Monday, addressing both the challenges and opportunities in creating jobs in the modern world.

Schmidt also has some advice for Montana, a state he says he "loves everything about."

Hear his full speech below

Sen. Max Baucus' Montana Jobs Summit kicked off today with remarks from some of the world's most respected business leaders.

The two-day summit is featuring keynote addresses ranging from Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmit, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and SpaceX and Tesla Motors Founder Elon Musk.

Sen. Baucus introduces Musk in this 15 minute presentation.

This from the Montana DNRC:

The Evacuation Order for residents on Oral Zumwalt Way and throughout the Upper Trails End Road area has been lifted. Residents can now return to their homes. These roads and other roads in the area are only open to residents and firefighters.


Columbia College

Constitutional law scholar Melvin Urofsky  is in Missoula to deliver the Constitution Day lecture at the University of Montana.

New information from the DNRC (11:27):

Danny Dauterive

An evacuation has been ordered for residents living on Oral

Zumwalt Way, southeast of Miller Creek Road, east of Lolo and east of the Bitterroot River. The fire is approximately 50 acres and being pushed by gusty winds. Firefighting resources are arriving on the scene and beginning to suppress the fire. Nonresidents are asked to not use Upper or Lower Miller Creek Roads at this time so fire equipment can get in and residents on Oral Zumwalt Way can safely leave. More information will be out as soon as it is available...

Dan Boyce

Tug of War.

Boys vs. Girls.

A rope made of grass.

That was the scene Thursday afternoon on a 21-acre parcel of riparian land near the town of Cardwell.

About a dozen teenagers at Helena’s alternative high school have been spending four hours of almost every school day outside, combining wilderness survival skills with elements of their science and English studies.

Sally Mauk

Retired U.S. Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O'Connor  received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Montana today.