Montana News

News from the state of Montana.

Sally Mauk

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

Western Montana Fair 4-H animal presentations

Aug 19, 2013
Justin Steck

The Western Montana Fair recently descended upon Missoula’s Fairgrounds for the 134th time. 

Sally Mauk

The lightning-caused Schoolhouse fire burning north and west of Lolo has grown to 250 acres. The fire is the largest of several new fires started by a lightning storm that moved through Saturday night. Smoke from this fire is visible in Missoula and it is one of two fires now burning in the Highway 12 corridor between the community of Lolo and Lolo Pass. The West Fork Two fire south of the highway is 60 acres. Information officer Cindy Super says none of the fires are currently threatening any structures.

The American Cancer Society's non-profit advocacy affiliate has released a report outlining how Montana legislative activity affects cancer prevention outcomes.

Katrin Frye

A new company is taking over management of Glacier Park’s historic hotels and restaurants. The National Park Service owns the buildings, but for the past 30-plus years Glacier Park Incorporated has been running the businesses. Glacier Park recently announced the Colorado-based Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc will replace Glacier Park Incorporated as the Concessioner operating these businesses with the new year.

File Photo

US Congressman Steve Daines said this week it makes sense to include his seven-day trip to Israel as a part of his ‘Montana Jobs Tour.’

“As Montana looks to the future, we’re gonna be highly dependent to grow our economy based on exports,” Daines said.

He visited several Montana towns last week as part of the tour, including Bozeman, Butte, and Billings.

Sussex School

The director of a private Missoula K-8 school attended a training seminar last month at U-C Berkeley to learn more about teaching "social-emotional learning skills".

Nearly five-thousand Montanans are diagnosed with cancer every year.

That’s according to figures from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.

And an estimated 42-thousand cancer survivors are living in the state right now.

But, even if they are free from the disease, many of these survivors are still dealing with long-lasting impacts from the treatments which saved their lives.

Dr. Julie Silver is a rehabilitation physician and associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

A tour of the L&C Interpretive Center

Aug 14, 2013
Dan Boyce

It’s been more than 200 years since Lewis and Clark led the ‘Corps of Discovery’ through Montana as part of their legendary expedition across the American West.

Their exploits are chronicled at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, on the banks of the Missouri River in Great Falls.

About 70 volunteer guides lead visitors through the various exhibits.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce joins one such guide for a look around.

Doctor Wendy Ring is bicycling across the country, speaking to various groups about the impacts of climate change.

Dan Boyce

A closed casket viewing was held in the Capitol building’s rotunda this for the public to pay respects for former Montana First Lady Betty Babcock.

The wife of former Governor Tim Babcock died this past Sunday at age 91.

It’s rare for anybody to lie in state in Montana’s seat of public power.

Former Governor Tom Judge’s casket was given a public viewing after he died in 2006. That was in the Old Supreme Court Chambers, on the third floor.  

Edward O'Brien

Missoula County Fairgrounds has a new director and his name is Todd Garrett. Garrett will replace Steve Earle who, earlier this year, announced his retirement plans.
      Garrett and his family currently live in Whitefish. He's a University of Montana grad who earned a degree in Recreation Management. Garrett says many people mistakenly assume that's a discipline rooted in fun and games, when in fact, he says he learned critically important management and communication skills.

University of California, San Francisco

Over 300 health professionals, advocates and

Mike Steinberg

Missoula's Roxy Theater has served as the headquarters of the International Wildlife Film Festival for several years.

Montana reporters with the Associated Press have been receiving online threats for more than the past week after requesting the public information available on the state’s concealed carry permit holders.

The request made headlines in recent weeks after the Attorney General’s office refused the request, citing privacy concerns.

Montana reporters with the Associated Press have been receiving online threats for requesting the public information available on the state’s concealed carry permit holders.

The request made headlines in recent weeks after the Attorney General’s office refused the request, citing privacy concerns.

Attorney General Tim Fox speaks with Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce about those threats and how his administration plans to approach open records requests in the future.


SSA Marine

American coal companies want to vastly increase their sale of coal to Asia, including coal from Montana, but that requires a new coal export terminal to be built on the west coast to handle the shipments.

Seeds to Cities/Adventure Cycling

Three young women are bicycling from California to New York this summer gathering information about seeds; meeting people who produce and save seeds, traditions that revolve around seeds and local agriculture.

Laurie Bridgeman

17-year-old Jesse Linton of Missoula has changed a lot over the past couple of years.

Dan Boyce

PPL Montana is now operating a completely renovated Rainbow Dam, just a few miles northeast of Great Falls.

The $230 million project marks the biggest investment in energy generation in the state since the Colstrip coal-fired power plant was built about 30 years ago.

PPL Montana Director of External Affairs David Hoffman said the new power house generates almost twice as much electricity as the old one. It’s enough to power about 45-thousand homes.

Construction on this renovation started back in 2009 and went fully online this past April.

Sally Mauk

One in 2000 kids are born with genital or reproductive anatomy or chromosomal patterns that are not clearly male or female.

The Montana Attorney General’s Office deposited a new $40 million check this week—money from the sale of Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Montana to an out of state company.

Another $100 million or more may eventually be on the way as Blue Cross sells off its assets.

Sally Mauk

Montana’s State Forester Monday said the state’s wildfire suppression fund still has the vast majority of the funding provided to it by the 2013 Legislature.

"I think we're doing relatively well, certainly compared to last year," State Forester Bob Harrington said.

So far in 2013, the state is sitting at a little less than $2 million dollars in estimated fire costs, out of a wildfire suppression fund of about $20 million. 810 fires have been reported so far, burning 43,000 acres.

National Weather Service meteorologist LeAnne Allegretto describes an incoming weather system as a potential "resetting" event; one that could - at least temporarily - give firefighters in parts of western Montana a much needed break.
       The technical term for this sort of wet, slow-moving weather event is a "cut-off low". Allegretto says thunderstorms will start to develop across central Idaho and southwest Montana.

photo courtesy Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes

If all goes as planned, in September 2015, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes will be the first tribes in the country to own a major hydroelectric facility.

Dan Boyce

A group of Great Falls health advocates are accusing at least nine bars and casinos in that city of not being in compliance with Montana’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

The law prohibits smoking in public buildings and fully went into effect in 2009.

At issue are so-called ‘smoke shacks’ attached to the casinos. These ventilated rooms allow people to smoke, drink and use gaming machines. Bar owners are open-air vents in the rooms make them technically not indoor, enclosed, spaces.

To export coal, or not to export coal

Jul 30, 2013

Coal development generates money in Montana. Executive Director of the Montana Coal Council Bud Clinch said an average train carrying coal has about 120 cars, and represents about $30,000 of local, state, and federal taxes being paid.

He said Coal is worth continuing to invest in, it’s what Montana has, and the demand for it is not going away.

Firefighters report significant progress on the Firestone Flats fire burning about 6 miles outside of Arlee.
       The fire started Saturday afternoon and within hours blew up into a 700 acre incident.
       Fire information officer, Cindy Super, says the crews will continue to work around the clock to build line around that fire.  If they continue to make progress and conditions hold,  pending evacuations will come to an end at 5:00 Thursday afternoon.

Bev Yeager

You may have already seen them: new TV ads featuring a Montana high school rodeo athlete promoting tobacco-free rodeo.

Margaret Stratton

Natalie Brown's first novel "The Lovebird" is set first in southern California and then on the Crow reservation in Montana