Montana News

Absentee Voting
3:33 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Absentee Voting Surges Ahead Of 2010 Numbers In Most Counties

Early voter turnout looks good -- especially for a midterm election year.

Turnout tends to dip in years without a presidential election, but the absentee voting numbers are already looking higher in Montana’s largest counties than they were in 2010.

“Every election, the number of absentees continue to grow,” said Lewis and Clark County election administrator Paulette DeHart.

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Yellowstone Grizzlies
4:42 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Are Yellowstone Grizzlies Ready To Come Off The Endangered Species List?

A grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.

Grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem are close to losing their endangered species status.

Chris Servheen says that population is healthy, robust and ready for that transition.

Servheen is the Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

He and other members of an Interagency Grizzly Bear Management subcommittee met yesterday in Bozeman to discuss the status of Yellowstone grizzly bears.

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Looking At Texas, California Models
3:47 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Billings Tackling Homelessness

Credit Brian Talbot (CC-BY-NC 2.0)

Homelessness is an issue in several Montana cities and towns. They’re using different strategies to address it.

This week, Billings is working on a new approach. It’s holding a summit on homelessness, and invited experts from San Diego and San Antonio to offer advice.

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Berkeley Pit Landslides
5:32 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

EPA To Release Berkeley Pit Landslides Study

Montana Resources' Steve Walsh points out a feature of the Berkeley Pit to Butte Silver Bow County Commissioner Dan Foley last Thursday.

A new study on the probability of more landslides at the Berkeley Pit Superfund site in Butte will be made public soon.

Last week Silver Bow County commissioners got a tour of the Butte Superfund site, led by Steve Walsh, an executive with Montana Resources. That company is actively mining for copper and molybdenum at the Continental Pit in Butte, but has operations at Berkeley Pit as well.

From a point high on the Berkeley Pit’s rim, Walsh pointed out where the company used to be more active there until last year.

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Montana Wildlife
3:10 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Biologists Race To Save Flathead Valley Bats

This long-eared myotis is found only in North America and is susceptible to White Nose Syndrome.
Credit Christian Engelstoft

Bat biologists are in a race against time. A fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome is killing bats by the millions.

Regional biologists are scrambling to collect baseline data on bat habitat, species, and populations before the disease gets a foothold in the northwest. The Canadian government asked conservation groups this summer to help study bats in British Columbia's Flathead River Valley.

Filmmaker Leanne Allison produced a five minute video documenting the resulting “Bat BioBlitz."

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Early Voting
10:54 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Early Voting Gives Campaigns Less Time To Win Voters Over

Ballots have been out for more than three weeks and that has changed the way campaigns work.

More Montanans are taking advantage of absentee voting, and the trend is forcing campaigns to adapt quickly or get left behind.

The rapid increase in absentee voting means campaigns have less time to convince most their constituents to vote for them.

In the 2014 primary, absentee votes made up 68.9 percent of all votes cast. In the 2006 general election, only 29.5 percent of people voted absentee.

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The Big Read
5:56 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Big Read Author Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien, author of The Things They Carried, was in Missoula October 28th to give the keynote address for The Big Read. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Chérie Newman, producer of The Write Question, talked with him about the event, and his writing.

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Bat Killing Fungus
5:34 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Biologists Study Bats In Canadian Flathead Valley

Bats from the British Columbia Flathead River Valley have been dying from a fungus called White Nose.

A fungal disease is wiping-out bats by the millions and it's spreading west.

Bat biologists gathered this summer in British Columbia's Flathead River Valley to take an inventory of local bat species and habitat.

During the so-called "BioBlitz", they detected two species of bat that are considered endangered and particularly vulnerable to the fatal White Nose fungus.

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Montana State Parks
5:34 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

New Montana Parks Plan Up For Discussion

State park attendance has gone up 40 percent in the last ten years.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story mis-identified Woodland Water Park, Fort Missoula and Caras Park as Montana State Parks. Those parks are administered by Missoula County. We regret the error.

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Hunters Safety
5:05 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Game Warden Stresses Safe Hunting

Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (CC-BY-ND)

A hunter unloading a gun accidentally shot his 56-year-old companion in the Brown's Gulch area north of Butte last weekend.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Sergeant Aaron Berg says a lot of people are now in the backcountry carrying high-powered rifles. Meaning everyone, hunting or not, should wear that bright hunter orange; 400 square inches of it to be exact.

Berg adds that those carrying rifles have the responsibility to use them properly.

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