Montana News

Taxes
6:13 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Bill Proposes Review Of State Tax Breaks

Lawmakers are considering a bill (HB154) that would have an interim legislative committee review 25 individual income tax breaks. That panel would then recommend to future legislatures whether to continue those tax breaks.

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Conservation Funding
5:47 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Gallatin Valley Wins $3.7 Million In Federal Conservation Funds

The Gallatin Valley has won $3.7 million in federal funding for conservation projects.

The 2014 Farm Bill set aside $370 million nationwide to pay for agricultural and other conservation easements, and conservation projects like stream bank restoration through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS. The Gallatin Valley Land Trust was one of hundreds of applicants for the money, and the only project in Montana selected this year.

Eric Sufferage with the NRCS says the agency has offered similar funding since 1996.

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Human Trafficking
5:26 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

SKC To Host Workshop Addressing Human Trafficking

A workshop Thursday at Salish Kootenai College in the Mission Valley features two advocates who work with both the victims of human trafficking, and those who perpetrate the crime.

MTPR's Edward O'Brien talks with Missoula Police Detective Guy Baker, a member of the FBI's Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, and Kat Werner, who manages YWCA Missoula's domestic and sexual violence program.

Baker says trafficking is so pervasive because "there's a lot of money to be made."

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Hidden Cameras
4:51 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Lawmakers Debate Increased Penalties For Surreptitious Images Of 'Intimate Parts'

Today was the first hearing of Senator Jennifer Fielder’s bill (SB50) to increase penalties for those who take video or pictures of people’s “intimate parts” without their knowledge.

This proposal comes after a Jensen Jewelers employee was convicted of hiding a camera in the women’s bathroom. Lewis and Clark Deputy County Attorney Luke Berger says the man was later found with 96 similar pieces of footage.

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Community Medical Center Missoula
6:11 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Community Hospital Sale Faces More Scrutiny Before Final Approval

Community Medical Center, Missoula, MT.
Credit Josh Burnham

A Missoula Community Medical Center board member says the only issue left to resolve in the sale of the hospital is whether $10 million from the sale can go to the University of Montana Foundation. But Attorney General Tim Fox appears to be taking a broader view.

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High School Graduation
5:49 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Montana's Graduation Rate Hits All-Time High

Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau got right to the point when she opened a news conference Tuesday in the Governor’s office.

“I am proud to announce that Montana’s graduation rate has hit an all-time high of 85. 4 percent.”

That compares with a graduation rate of just over 80 percent in 2010.To put those numbers in perspective, only nine states have graduation rates higher than 85 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Education report from 2012.

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Wolf Reintroduction
5:26 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Wolves A Source Of Wonder, Controversy 20 Years After Reintroduction

The first wolf arrives in Yellowstone at the Crystal Bench Pen (Mike Phillips-YNP Wolf Project Leader, Jim Evanoff-YNP, Molly Beattie- USFWS Director, Mike Finley-YNP Superintendent, Bruce Babbitt-Secretary of Interior)
Jim Peaco (CC-BY-2.0)

Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the arrival of 8 wolves into Yellowstone National Park. That event marked the beginning of the recovery effort for the grey wolf, a species that had been absent from the Northern Rockies for more than 70 years.

Several of the former National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials in the recovery effort met Sunday and Monday to reflect on the effort and consider the future of the grey wolf.

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Infrastructure Bill
4:29 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

New Infrastructure Funding Approach Gets First Hearing At Montana Legislature

Montana's state capitol.
Credit William Marcus

Montana lawmakers got their first official look at the major infrastructure bill of the 2015 Legislature.

The Bullock Administration’s nearly $400 million Build Montana program was presented to a joint Appropriations Subcommittee today. 

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Mental Illness
7:17 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Glenn Close Helps Suicidal Sister

In Resilience, the sisters share their story of triumphing over Jessie's illness. The book is written in Jessie's voice with running commentary and an epilogue written by Glenn.

I’m Chérie Newman.

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Police Horses
6:19 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Governor's Infrastructure Bill On Tuesday's Legislative Agenda

Montana Governor Steve Bullock.
Credit Christopher B. Allen

Tuesday is the debut of the Governor’s proposed infrastructure bill. Worth over $400 million, this bill would provide funding over the next two years for roads and bridges across the state.

This comes after last session’s veto of a similar, but smaller, bill meant to help fund upkeep in the oil fields of eastern Montana.

Republican Representative Jeffrey Welborn of Dillon, Montana is backing the bill. However, he faces strong opposition from within his own party.

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