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Montana news focused on the western side of the state. Montana politics, healthcare, wildlands, wildlife and wildfire.

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Over the last month, Montana’s gubernatorial race drew over $2 million to fuel the two main party campaigns. But most of that money is coming out of the pocket of the Republican candidate Greg Gianforte.

The most recent campaign finance reports released today show, in the last month, Gianforte nearly doubled the money he’s given to his campaign since entering the gubernatorial race.

Part of the homecoming celebration at the University of Montana this weekend included a $1.5 million gift to the Davidson Honors College.

Nicky Ouellet

A high school homecoming football game on the Flathead Indian Reservation drew fans and protesters alike Friday night. A crowd of about 50 people amassed against the outer fence surrounding the football stadium during halftime. They held signs and chanted “No more hate” across the fence.

Kristen Juras makes headlines after her past criticisms of the Kaimin resurface, more campaign ads emerge in the House race, and in the governor’s race the state's rainy day fund has become an issue. Chuck Johnson and Professor Rob Saldin join Sally Mauk to discuss these topics and more on this episode of “Campaign Beat.”

Montana Supreme Court
Montana Supreme Court

A new survey indicates Montana’s Supreme Court is well-respected by those who use it the most. The 2016 Bench and Bar survey is essentially a performance review of Montana’s high court.

Corin Cates-Carney

Candidates in Montana's State Auditor race debated for the first time this election season during an event hosted by the Seeley Lake Community Council on Thursday. 

Democrat Jesse Laslovich and Republican Matt Rosendale challenged each other's ability to address rising healthcare costs, if elected as the state's top regulator of insurance and securities industries in Montana. 

The debate also featured statewide candidates in the contests for Superintendent of Public Instruction and an open seat on the Public Service Commission. 

Democrat Jesse Laslovich, left, and Republican Matt Rosendale, candidates for state auditor, at last night's candidate forum in Seeley Lake
Corin Cates-Carney

Candidates for three statewide offices debated in Seeley Lake last night, with Election Day just over a month away. It was the second debate in the town’s community hall in the last two weeks.

After a poor turnout by politicians and voters in the first debate night, event organizers expected the second round to bring in more of a crowd. But that wasn’t quite the case.

Montana's Minimum Wage Set To Increase In 2017

Sep 29, 2016
Getty Images/iStock Photo

Montana’s minimum wage will increase by 10 cents starting next year.

A little over one percent of Montana’s workforce receives minimum wage, which is currently $8.05 an hour.

Dr. Phil Kinsey, director of the Montana State Crime Lab, explains rape kit testing protocols to the task force.
Mara Silvers

Montana is getting a $2 million federal grant to help clear its backlog of so-called rape kits.

Attorney General Tim Fox made the announcement today. He says it will allow the state crime lab to process 1,100 boxes of evidence in sexual assault cases dating back to 1995. Testing the kits could result in suspects being identified in some unsolved rape cases.

First Of Its Kind Veteran's Resource Opens In Missoula

Sep 29, 2016
Denise Juneau, right, cuts the ribbon Ed Lesofski holds up at the grand opening ceremony for the Rural Institute for Veterans Education and Research in Missoula Thursday, Sept. 29. RIVER is considered a first-of-its kind program for veterans.
Edward O'Brien

A first-of-its-kind training and intervention program for veterans celebrated its grand opening in Missoula Thursday, Sept. 29.

The Rural Institute for Veterans Education and Research – “RIVER” for short – helps vets reintegrate back into civilian life after their military service ends.