News

Hotshot crews, retardant planes and six water-dropping helicopters are keeping the West Mullan fire steered away from the town of Superior and surrounding homes. Several homes remain under mandatory or voluntary evacuation notice as the 700-plus acre fire continues to burn north and east of town. Firefighters are keeping a wary eye on the weather - hoping a predicted storm front will bring more rain than wind, and give firefighters the upper hand on the three-day old fire.

Dan Boyce

  

Leaders from across Montana’s public education spectrum met in Helena Tuesday to discuss shared priorities for improving the experience and results for the state’s students.

Joel Sartore/ National Geographic & Wade Fredenberg/ USFWS / USFWS

Scientists are studying the effects of global climate change from the peaks to the valley floors in Glacier Park.

They’re also looking in the water.

Fisheries Ecologist Clint Muhlfeld with the US Geological Survey said native west slope cutthroat and bull trout are adaptable, they’ve been adapting to environmental changes for thousands of years.’

The political world - both in Montana and nationally - is still reeling a bit from former Governor Brian Schweitzer's announcement last weekend that he will not run for the U.S. Senate seat

Controlling Wildfires: Local versus Global Solutions

 

Montana’s wildfire season continues to develop slowly, but elsewhere in the American West, the wildfire season started early and violently.  By early June wildfires were raging across Colorado where the Black Forest fire burned 22 square miles and destroyed almost 500 homes, leaving two dead by mid-June. Then at the end of June, in Yarnell, Arizona, 19 “hotshot” firefighters died as a wildfire suddenly surrounded and trapped them.

Ron Fitzgerald has written for the hit network television series "Friday Night Lights" and the Showtime hit series "Weeds" but he started his writing career as a playwright.

"A Mid-July Invitation"

Jul 15, 2013

The energy crisis is over. Lights are back on the Strip.
Name the place:  Sahara, Caesar's Palace, Casino de Paris.
This way, please. Come, my people; drink on the house.
You, Great-grandpa, dice thrower from Sichuan, casting away
one hundred acres of our land overnight, be of good cheer,
this satchel of gold will last you a long while;
and you, Uncle Lu, widower and recluse of Fuling, accost
this Dixie belle, dare what you've never dared before;
this bottle will make you bold; and you, Da Shing, you

Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer shocked the political world this past weekend in announcing he will not run for the open Senate Seat being vacated by Max Baucus in 2014.

Schweitzer says he is not interested in moving to Washington D.C., saying he’s happy with his current position as Board Chairman of the Stillwater Mining Company and is content living in his new house on Georgetown Lake.

Republican Congressman Steve Daines has expressed interest in running for the seat, and is considered to be the new frontrunner.

letsmove.gov

Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss recently returned from a symposium in Washington D.C featuring First Lady Michelle Obama that was designed to let elected officials share strategies effective in addressing childhood obesity.
     "Let's Move!" is a public/private partnership designed to enhance and build healthy environments for children and adults.  

Climate and Carbon

Jul 12, 2013

Health professionals last month applauded President Obama for making a long-awaited announcement regarding his plans to address carbon pollution and climate change.

By making this announcement, the president put forth a framework for addressing the very real risks to public health posed by our warming climate.

Scientists warn that the buildup of carbon pollution creates warmer temperatures, which increase the risk of unhealthy ozone levels. More ozone, which is also known as smog, means more childhood asthma attacks and more complications for people with lung disease.

Friendship

Jul 12, 2013

Good evening.  I’m Susan Kohler, CEO of Missoula Aging Services, the Area Agency on Aging for Missoula and Ravalli counties.  This month I celebrate 30 years at Missoula Aging Services and 34 years working in the field of aging. Tonight I would like to pay tribute to all the older adults who have served as my mentors and helped shape my personal and professional journey.

Montana Democrats are preparing for their party’s annual convention this Friday and Saturday in Lewistown.

The party will be electing officers and examining their rules. Executive Director Andrea Marcoccio said the party will be using the convention to unify—to build on the types of strategies which allowed Democrats to win big statewide races in 2012.

Katrin Frye

Affordable airfare, higher education, low wages, and quality of life are among the challenges and opportunities business leaders from across the state identify as hampering or helping economic growth.  These questions of opportunities and challenges are being asked as part of Governor Steve Bullock’s Main Street Montana Project. Governor Bullock said it’s a bottom up economic development plan to create a blueprint for job growth in Montana.

Montana Folk Festival

Organizers are hoping for another huge turnout to the Montana Folk Festival which kicks off tomorrow.

Montana Wildlife Commissioners have voted unanimously to enact more aggressive hunting and trapping rules for the gray wolf. It’s part of an effort to reduce the predator’s population, which is still higher than state biologists want. This despite recent hunting seasons put in place after wolves were taken off the endangered species list a couple of years ago.

The new rules extend the hunting season, allow more wolves to be taken by individuals and allow the use of electronic calls.

MT OPI

There's some encouraging results in a survey of Montana students; and some troubling results as well.

Powwow traditions

Jul 10, 2013
Justin Steck

Since 1898 the Jocko Valley north of Missoula has hosted a celebration during the week of the Fourth of July.  The timing is no coincidence.

During this program, David Shields talks about literary collage, east-coast-west-coast perspectives, and his latest book, How Literature Saved My Life. He also reads from the book

About the book:

July 11 - July 17, 2013

Jul 9, 2013

Here are MTPR program highlights for July 11-July 17, 2013.

THURSDAY- July 11, 2013

9:05 a.m.   Morning Classics
Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75 for piano; Pachelbel: Canon; Delius: In a Summer Garden; David Homan: Romeo & Juliet Pas de Deux; David Homan: Have Been Resolved; David Homan:  Black Ribbons; Bernstein/Fleischer: West Side Story Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra

11:00 a.m.  Freeforms
    
1:05 p.m   Burn, An Energy Journal – The Switch

Dan Boyce

Activity at the site of this year’s Rainbow Family Gathering is continuing to wind down this week as a small team of revelers stays behind to cleanup and county and state officials tally up the costs.

Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest District Ranger Russ Riebe predicted there were still about two-thousand people at the site near Jackson, Montana, down from a high of about 9700 people on the fourth of July.

Urban American Outdoors

An award-winning television episode takes a look at the U-S Forest Service in Western Montana.

The Esther England Story

Jul 9, 2013
Contributed to Anna Cole by Esther England

Renowned University of Montana music professor, Esther England, died this past Saturday.

CSKT tribal water compact a good deal for Montana

Jul 9, 2013

Never underestimate the ability of fire-breathing propaganda to tie good natural resource policy in knots -- even when the misinformation operates against the very interests it purports to defend.

Good policy is exactly what the proposed water compact between the State of Montana and Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes represents. However, thanks to extremist opponents – and some otherwise reasonable non-tribal irrigators scared by fear mongering -- the Compact, years in the works, was high-centered at the last Montana Legislature, a necessary stop for its ratification.

Ray Wong/Flickr

Calgary--in Alberta, Canada lies less than 200 miles from the Montana border.

This city of a million people is recovering from devastating floods which ravaged the area in June.

A two-week emergency declaration was lifted last Thursday and the Calgary Herald newspaper estimates the costs to repair infrastructure are coming in at hundreds of millions of dollars.

The city is still showing its grit, putting on the annual Calgary Stampede as planned.

It continues through this Sunday.

Mainstreet Uptown Butte

Join host John Myers Monday evening, 7:30-8:30, as he previews the music at the Third Annual Montana Folk Festival. From Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14, in Uptown Butte, you can listen, watch, and dance to over 250 musicians, craftspeople, artists and dancers for free.

Dan Boyce

The Rainbow Family gathering 10 miles outside the SouthWest Montana town of Jackson reached its peak over the weekend, as revelers traveled from all over the country for the extended fourth of July weekend.

The U.S. Forest Service estimated nearly 10 thousand people camped on the piece of land in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. The event promotes a message of peace, love, and non-violence.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce took us inside the gathering, which in many ways took on the characteristics of a small city—both the good and the bad.  

A federal budget that works for women and families

Jul 8, 2013

The summer of 2013 is shaping up to be anything but slow in the news department. Last week alone, the US Supreme Court issued three huge rulings and the US Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform.

Dan Boyce

Helena’s government-run health clinic for state employees is seeing much more use than originally expected as the experiment moves closer to its one-year anniversary.

The clinic provides free primary care services to the Capital city’s 11-thousand state workers and their dependents. It was launched last year by former Democratic Governor Brian Schweitzer as way to improve overall employee health and save money for the state’s self-funded health insurance plan.

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