2015 Legislature
6:32 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

New Montana Crime Lab On Tuesday's Legislative Agenda

Credit William Marcus

Tuesday, Montana legislators hear a bill that would set aside money to build a crime lab in Eastern Montana.

Republican Representative Dale Mortensen is sponsoring House Bill 512, and is a former police officer who now works as a private investigator in Billings.

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Flathead National Forest Plan
6:23 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

New Flathead Forest Plan Will Shape Policy For 2.4 Million Acres

Swan Peak, Swan Lake Ranger District, Flathead National Forest
Credit Flathead National Forest

The Flathead National Forest is revising its forest plan for the first time since 1986. The plan lays out what is and isn’t possible on 2.4 million acres of federal land from Seeley Lake to the Canadian border.

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The Food Guys
6:21 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Jon Recommends A Sugar Substitute

Chemical structure of erythritol
Credit Edgar 181

Jon discusses the sugar alcohol, erythritol, which is virtually calorie-free and doesn't cause as large a blood sugar spike as sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup.

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2015 Legislature
5:21 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Montana Lawmakers Hear State Employee Pay Plan

Rep. Nancy Ballance (R) HD87
Credit Montana Legislature

A standing room only crowd packed into the hearing room for the state employee pay plan. Members of the House Appropriations Committee are considering whether to implement the pay plan agreement reached between the Bullock administration and the various public employee unions.

Sheila Hogan heads the Department of Administration. She was one of several agency administrators who spoke in favor of the pay plan.

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Yellowstone River Oil Spill
4:56 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Contaminants Briefly Shut Down Glendive Water Supply

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup.
Credit Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

Glendive's water supply was shut down briefly this weekend due to contamination from the January 17 oil spill into the Yellowstone River.

Equipment installed near Glendive's water intake system detected elevated levels of volatile organic compounds early Saturday morning.

That prompted city officials to issue an advisory to conserve water. That forced residents to rely on bottle water through the weekend.

That advisory has since been lifted.

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2015 Legislature
4:41 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Bill Allows Cities To Criminalize Public Intoxication

Niki Zupanic Public Policy Director for the ACLU of Montana

Montana lawmakers are moving closer to giving cities the power to deal with the problem of public intoxication.

Current state law treats alcoholism as a disease to be treated rather than a crime to be punished, but Billings city officials say that hampers their efforts to deal with public drunkenness, a problem that costs the city over eight million dollars a year.

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Field Notes
4:28 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

Can Spider Webs Reveal Air Pollution?

Backlit spiderweb and spider. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, PermaCultured

"Classic spiral spider webs are made by orb-weaving spiders which weave them deadly traps for flying insects. But orb spider webs are also electrostatically charged, making them perfect for capturing not only prey but pollen and other small pollutants, indicators of an environment's health.

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Montana Newscasts
11:19 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Morning Newscast 03-16-15

Credit Josh Burnham

On this edition of Montana Morning Newscast, the Missoulian newspaper reports officials are investigating the death of a male student at a University of Montana residence hall yesterday afternoon.

Missoula County authorities say an 18 year old University of Montana student has died in an accidental shooting.

A 54 year old inmate has died after collapsing in his cell at the Missoula County Detention Center.

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Mountain West Voices
5:00 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Across The Bering Sea: A Young Russian Woman Makes Her Way To Montana

Marie Johnson
Credit Lillian Johnson

The second part of the extraordinary saga of the late Marie Johnson, who as a young woman was cut off from her Siberian village during the Russian Civil War, made her way to the Bering Sea, and eventually settled in Polson, Montana.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices," 3/16/15. Listen weekly on the radio on Mondays, 3:00 p.m., or via podcast.)

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Monday Poems
12:53 am
Mon March 16, 2015


Slept by a flat mud
reservoir with sandhill cranes
cluttering sound
all night

way out here
in the dragging wind.

We go for breakfast
smelling like sage, cow and creek water,
small town diner
a new mural half painted across old brick.

Remember how the waitress accuses us
of stealing postcards of their local boys
hometown band?

I tell you, she will not relent
despite all our defending
in our bright polypropylene fleeces
and reflective shoes.

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