Montana News

Daines Meetings Feb. 17, 20 & 21
5:56 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Montana Senators Seeking Input On Transportation, Timber Issues

Sen. Steve Daines
Credit Courtesy photo

Montana’s Senators are back from Washington and gathering input on transportation and timber issues.

Friday Democrat Jon Tester convened several panels in Helena to prepare for when the federal highway bill expires in May. He invited representatives from transportation, Chamber of Commerce and agriculture and construction companies to talk about the importance of good highways and bridges in Montana.

Read more
2015 Legislature
5:18 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Senate Debates Who Should Pay For Livestock Killed By Lions

Mountain lion.

Ranchers who lose livestock to mountain lion attacks would get compensation from the state of Montana under a bill the Senate approved Friday. The state already pays ranchers who lose animals to wolves and grizzly bears. Hamilton Republican Pat Connell says mountain lions are a scourge for Montana’s ranchers.

Read more
2015 Legislature
5:04 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Montana Judicial Candidates Have Confirmation Hearings

Three judicial candidates had their initial confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The candidates are to fill vacancies on the Montana Supreme Court, state District Court in Yellowstone County, and on the Workers’ Compensation Court.

Two of the vacancies are the result of sitting judges being appointed to the federal bench.

After Justice Brian Morris resigned to become a U.S. District Court judge, Governor Steve Bullock tapped then-Work Comp Court Judge Jim Shea to fill that vacancy on the Montana Supreme Court. Shea was sworn in last June.

Read more
Native American Entrepreneurs
4:56 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

State Grants Help Native American Business Owners

Ronan businessman Robert Bell is proud of his compost. Bell says he can now offer his customers an even better product, thanks to a state grant program to assist Native American entrepreneurs.

The state commerce department has awarded nine Native American small business owners a total of $84,000.

Bell, a Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal member, will use his $14,000 cut to buy a dirt screener.

Read more
Capitol Talk
4:36 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

'Capitol Talk': GOP Health Plan, U-System Funding, And 'Open War' Between Republicans And The COPP

Chuck Johnson, Sally Mauk, and Mike Dennison.
Credit Eliza Wiley

This week on "Capitol Talk":

Read more
2015 Legislature
6:20 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Changes To Minor-In-Possesion Laws On Friday's Legislative Agenda

Credit William Marcus

Friday, Montana Legislators hear a bill to let underage drinkers phone in help for a friend who’s had too many without fearing getting an MIP.

Daniel Zolnikov is sponsoring House Bill 412.

Read more
2015 Legislature
6:11 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Game Wardens Under Scrutiny At The Montana Legislature

Credit William Marcus

Rogue game wardens were spotlighted in a hearing at the Montana Capitol this morning. Republican Representative Dale Mortensen introduced House Bill 281 to make game wardens answer to the same laws as other peace officers.

Proponents like Representative Daniel Zolnikov cited cases in which he says wardens abused power.

Read more
2015 Legislature
5:38 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Montana Senate Kills Animal Abuse Bill Over Agriculture Fears

Frederick (Eric) Moore (R) SD19
Credit Montana Legislature

Montana state senators Thursday killed a bill that would have forced animal owners to pay the costs of boarding and treating abused animals that have been seized by authorities.

Sponsor Tom Facey, Democrat from Missoula, said the bill was about holding abusive animal owners responsible.

Read more
Kaarma Trial
5:06 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Judge Sentences Kaarma To 70 Years, Saying He Acted Like A 'Hunter'

Markus Kaarma listens to Judge McLean deliver his sentence of 70 years in prison Thursday in Missoula.
Credit Christopher B. Allen

Markus Kaarma was sentenced to 70 years in prison Thursday for killing a German exchange student in his garage last April.

Before pronouncing sentence, District Judge Ed McLean told a shackled Kaarma he acted like a “hunter” when he purposely left his garage door open that night, not a man defending his family.

Read more
Unsafe Jails
4:39 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Sheriff: Inadequate Funding Exacerbates Montana's Jail Problems

Credit ACLU

A new report says too many of Montana's county jails are unsafe for inmates.

The president of the Montana Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association says it makes some valid points and adds there’s a reason for those conditions.

Chris Hoffman is also sheriff of Ravalli County and says operating jails isn’t easy.

"It is difficult work. Our mandate is to keep those facilities clean and safe for both the inmates and detention officers. It's a challenge every day."

Read more

Pages