Montana News

News from the state 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.

Dan Boyce

A small herd of genetically pure Yellowstone National Park bison transported to the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation late last month are creating tension between the tribes and landowners adjacent to the animals’ enclosure.

WNYC Radio

The 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is of course most meaningful to the survivors of those who perished.

NPS Photo / Jay Elhard

Glacier National Park’s new leader says the Park is facing many challenges, and opportunities. New Superintendent Jeff Mow is heading south, to Glacier National Park after more than 20-years working in Alaska.

“I have actually had the northern-most duty station in the National Park Service which is in the small Eskimo village of Anaktuvuk Pass in the Brooks Range, I lived there for a couple years. So, anything is moving south in the National Park Service,” Mow said.

Dan Boyce


Why would a group of young people  be collecting toiletries for the National Day of Service?

Well, the items collected by the Americorps VISTA volunteers go to veterans. VISTA volunteer Jessi Sheava sayssaid for vets going through hard times, some staying at the local homeless shelter, toiletries like toothpaste and shampoo may be luxury items.

"A lot of veterans here in Helena are looking for jobs, are eager to find work and the basics are needed to help them in their everyday life," she said.

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.

Sally Mauk

Five homes have been lost in the Lolo Creek Complex fire but hundreds more were saved when firefighters managed to stop the fire's progress along Highway 12 and eastward toward Sleeman Gulch.

Flicr user oatsy40 (CC-BY-2)

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.

Thomas Kempton

Firefighters from around the country are helping fight the Lolo Creek Complex fire west of Lolo, and some, like New York City assistant fire chief Ron Spadafora are there to learn more about how fires are fought in the West.