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Montana Newscasts
10:50 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Morning Newscast 03-19-15

Credit Josh Burnham

On this edition of Montana Morning Newscast, attorneys presented their opening arguments yesterday in the city of Missoula’s lawsuit to force the sale of its water utility from current owner the Carlyle Group.

The Montana House has begun a contentious two-day debate on the state's biennial budget, making last session's bipartisan House budget deal seem a distant memory.

Federal judicial officials have been ordered to preserve hundreds of racist and inappropriate emails that prompted Montana's former chief U.S. District Judge to resign.

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Montana Newscasts
6:43 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Evening Newscast 03-18-15

Josh Burnham

On this edition of the Montana Evening Newscast, a bomb threat prompted evacuation of both Montana State University Billings and its 2-year affiliate program, City College, this morning.

The Montana House began a contentious two-day debate Wednesday on the state's biennial budget, making last session's bipartisan House budget deal seem a distant memory.

Attorneys presented their opening arguments today in the city of Missoula’s lawsuit to force the sale of its water utility from current owners, Mountain Water Company and the Carlyle Group.

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2015 Legislature
6:33 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Budget Hearings Continue Thursday At The Montana Legislature

William Marcus

Thursday, the Montana House of Representatives continue hearings for the statewide budget. It’s unlikely to change, even though it faces more than 100 Democratic amendments, because of strong Republican support of the current bill.

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2015 Legislature
6:13 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

House Republicans Reject 40 Democratic Budget Amendments

Michael Wright - Community News Service

The Montana House set aside its usual schedule Wednesday for a marathon floor session devoted to the state budget.

Democrats brought up 40 amendments to increase funding for a wide range of state departments, restoring money that the House Appropriations Committee cut from the governor’s budget proposal. The Republican majority rejected most of them on party-line votes.

One amendment that came close to passing was Butte Democrat Ryan Lynch’s proposal to restore $700,000 cut from the Governor’s office, including $330,000 for the executive airplane.

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Tax Fraud
5:31 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Identity Thieves Filing Fraudulent Montana Tax Returns

The state Revenue Department has intercepted 529 fraudulent returns totaling almost $583,000 since tax season opened January 20.

Department spokeswoman, Molly Peterson, says most of the phony returns are the result of identity theft.

"For example, when a large corporation has its credit card information stolen from all of its customers, tax fraudsters can take that information and use it to file fraudulent tax returns."

Peterson says it's tough to find and prosecute tax return scammers because they're so good at covering their tracks.

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Mountain Water Trial
5:16 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Court Hears Opening Arguments In Mountain Water Eminent Domain Case

Cheri Trusler

Attorneys presented their opening arguments today in the city of Missoula’s lawsuit to force the sale of its water utility from current owners, Mountain Water Company and the Carlyle Group. The city filed the suit nearly a year ago, claiming it's in the best interest of Missoulians for the city to operate it instead of a private company.

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2015 Legislature
4:57 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Montana Republicans Divided Over Open Primaries

Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick (R) HD20
Michael Wright - UM Community News Service

Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick, the tall, bespectacled Republican from Great Falls, stood up on the House floor in late February and explained his bill that would allow local political party officers to be appointed by the state party instead of elected in primary elections.

But the bill was about something bigger, Montana’s century-old open primary law.

“It’s really a fundamental question with this bill,” Fitzpatrick said. “Do you believe in open primaries or do you believe in closed primaries?”

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Home Ground Radio
4:25 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Jonathan Motl On The Challenges Of Policing Montana's Political Campaigns

Jonathan Motl is the Commissioner of Political Practices in Montana. It turns out, that's a difficult and controversial job. Serious state and national political interests care deeply about campaign contribution rules, anonymous or "dark money",  the definition of independent committees, and host of other issues. To top it off, Motl is up for confirmation during this session of the Montana Legislature. He has been strongly praised by some, sharply criticized by others. Listen in to hear what he has to say.

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Montana Newscasts
11:22 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Morning Newscast 03-18-15

Credit Josh Burnham

On this edition of Montana Morning Newscast, with the governor's Medicaid expansion proposal defeated, a Great Falls lawmaker has unveiled another health coverage plan that also seeks to reduce the number of people in poverty.

Montana Lawmakers are considering a resolution asking Congress and the President to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which President Obama has already vetoed once.

Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.4 percent in January.

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Nonfiction
6:02 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Lentil Underground

Forty years ago, corporate agribusiness launched a campaign to push small grain farmers to modernize or perish, or as Nixon Administration Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz put it, to “get big or get out. But twenty-seven year-old David Oien decided to take a stand.

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