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Energy
10:30 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Is the federal government undervaluing coal leases?

Credit oatsy40/flickr

The Department of Interior has recently published a report citing some flaws in how the federal government manages coal leases. The June report from the Office of Inspector says the government is at risk of not getting the full value for the coal it sells.

A nonprofit environmental group, The Northern Plains Resource Council, believes this is especially true for coal in Montana and Wyoming’s Powder River Basin. The group thinks the federal government should be getting a lot more money for that coal.

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Book Review
4:01 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Young Adult Book Review: 'Mojo' by Tim Tharp

Mojo by Tim Tharp

Alfred A. Knopf, 2013

When Dylan's friend Randy eggs on some bullies that throw litter at them from the window of a passing car, Dylan decides to hide in a nearby dumpster... never expecting that he will find the dead body of one of his classmates in there with him!

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Commentary
4:45 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Getting Control of College Costs and Student Debt

     Young people graduating from high school face a conundrum: Going to college has gotten more and more expensive while the economic payoff from having a college degree has increased in value. College tuition and fees have continued to grow much faster than most other costs in the economy. At the same time, state legislatures have become increasingly reluctant to subsidize college operations.

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NYC Firefighter
11:27 am
Mon August 26, 2013

From 9/11 to Lolo: NYC firefighter proud of his service

NYC Assistant Fire Chief Ron Spadafora and News Director Sally Mauk
Credit Thomas Kempton

Firefighters from around the country are helping fight the Lolo Creek Complex fire west of Lolo, and some, like New York City assistant fire chief Ron Spadafora are there to learn more about how fires are fought in the West.

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Monday Poems
6:05 am
Mon August 26, 2013

"A Poem for the End of Summer"

Brenna O'Connor, poet and Words With Wings participant

All the cracks swerve up the
tree making it look old and
realistic. Its small leaves swaying
and shriveling in the hot sun. When
I look at the tip of the tree, the leaves
are tiny green dots, but up close I can see veins
running down each
and every leaf. The sun shines
through the leaves creating spots
and dots of sun on the grassy ground.
One branch multiplying into another
creating fractals and patterns of
all sorts. You can imagine
the root extending into the ground
making the tree stable and balanced.

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Fire Update
11:12 am
Sun August 25, 2013

BPA powerline a concern near Lolo Creek fire

Putting out hot spots along Highway 12
Credit Sally Mauk

Firefighters on the ground and from the air continue to wage what they're calling "a slugfest" on the north edge of the Lolo Creek Complex fire.

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Evac Order Lifted
9:29 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Evacuation order lifted and Highway 12 reopened

Highway 12 has been reopened to all traffic and the evacuation order for all residents along and off the highway has been lifted. Those residents however remain under an evacuation warning because of the nearby Lolo Creek Complex fire. There is a 45 mph speed limit from mile marker 20 to mile marker 32 on Highway 12 and motorists should be alert for fire traffic.

Poncin fire update
3:09 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

If progress continues, evacuees of the Lolo fire might get to go home sometime this weekend

Fire incident commander Greg Poncin
Credit Sally Mauk

Lolo Creek Complex fire incident commander Greg Poncin says crews are making excellent progress and if that continues over the next 24 hours, Highway 12 may reopen and evacuees may be allowed to return home - but not before tomorrow at the earliest.

In an extensive interview this afternoon with News Director Sally Mauk, Poncin said up to a tenth of an inch of rain fell on parts of the fire early this morning, and crews have made great progress.

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Public Health
2:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

MT mosquitos test positive for West Nile with a lot of hot weather still to come

Credit dr_relling/flickr

Officials with the Lewis & Clark City-County Health Department report West Nile Virus has been detected in eight Montana counties so far this Summer:

·        Blaine

·        Cascade

·        Hill

·        Lewis & Clark

·        Phillips

·        Prairie

·        Sheridan

·        Teton

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Fire photos
9:30 am
Fri August 23, 2013

More images of the Lolo Creek fire's destruction - and the hardworking firefighters

Brick patio and chimneys all that are left of Mike Amidi's home along Highway 12
Sally Mauk

Cooler temperatures and some rain showers (!)  are helping firefighters corral the Lolo Creek Complex fire, which was 30 percent contained as of this morning. Over 650 firefighters from around the country are now working the fire that has destroyed five homes, displaced hundreds of residents, and closed Highway 12 from Lolo to Graves Creek. Here are some of the images of the fire's destruction, and the firefighters working hard to keep it from doing more.....

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