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Reflections West
5:00 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Stephen Behrendt: Early Morning Animal Tracking

Credit University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Visits to poet Stephen Behrendt's favorite places in the West linger in his memory and imagination as "places of mind," where blue skies and the fragrance of sun-baked evergreen needles connect him more intensely to his surroundings than the "whitish Great Plains summer sky, heavy with humidity" of his home in Nebraska.

From Behrendt's poem, "Tracks:"

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Yellowstone River Oil Spill
6:07 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Glendive Mayor Talks Pipeline Spill Response

Jerry Jimison, Mayor of Glendive, MT, talks about the recent oil pipeline spill in the Yellowstone River near Glendive.
Credit Courtesy photo

MTPR's Eric Whitney spoke with the mayor of Glendive, Jerry Jimison, about the crude oil pipeline spill into the Yellowstone River about 5 miles upriver from town. The spill contaminated Glendive’s water system with benzene, and residents are being told not to drink or cook with tap water. Mayor Jimison talks about what’s happening in Glendive.

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2015 Legislature
5:43 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Two Education Bills On Wednesday's Legislative Agenda

Credit William Marcus

Wednesday at the Capitol, Montana legislators hear two “sister bills" on education.

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Taxes
5:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Tax Cuts Up For Debate At The Capitol

Credit Reynermedia.com (CC-BY-2.0)

Montana lawmakers are considering whether to approve a one-time only tax cut or a slight reduction across all income tax brackets.

The two tax bills were heard Monday before the House Taxation Committee. From Helena, Yellowstone Public Radio’s Jackie Yamanaka has more.

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Helena Plane Crash
5:07 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

No Fatalities After Plane Crashes Into Helena Home

Location of the plane crash in Helena, MT, Tuesday Jan 20, 2015.
Credit Google Maps

A small airplane crashed into a Helena residential neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, but nobody was killed.

Helena Assistant Fire Chief, Ken Wood, says the single engine plane clipped a tree and crashed into a house and shed on Walnut Street, west of the Helena Regional Airport.

Wood says there was no explosion or fireball when the plane went down.

"No, we were very fortunate. There was limited fuel that leaked, very limited, no fire, no smoke. For whatever reason, the plane crashed and they were fortunate to get out."

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2015 Legislature
4:26 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Legislative News Roundup - Week 2

A statue of Thomas Francis Meagher, Montana's first governor, stands outside the state capitol in Helena.
Credit William Marcus

In the second week of the 64th Montana Legislature, two initiatives from Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s budget were opened up in joint appropriations subcommittees.

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Hiring Flathead Reporter
3:32 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

MTPR Is Hiring A Flathead Reporter

Montana Public Radio is hiring a half-time reporter to cover Flathead and Lake counties.

This position is under the supervision of the MTPR News Director, and will work in coordination with MTPR headquarters in Missoula and MTPR’s Helena bureau. 

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MLK Day
1:28 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Missoula MLK Day Speech: Environmental Racism Still Prevalent

Credit Christopher Allen

At a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration speech last night in Missoula, a University of Montana professor identified low-income, Native American and other vulnerable communities as the victims of environmental racism and injustice.

Rosalyn LaPier, an environmental studies professor at the University of Montana, gave the keynote address to nearly 300 attendees who packed the pews of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

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School Districts
12:54 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Three Elementary School Districts Hope to Build And Operate High Schools

Three growing Montana communities are asking lawmakers to give them ability to create their own high school, if local voters agree.

Currently, three elementary districts - Lockwood, East Helena, and Hellgate - are looking at this expansion. Students in these districts go to high schools in nearby Billings, Helena or Missoula.

Officials with the three elementary districts say they all have growing populations. They just want to ask their voters if they want to add a high school.

Supporters of Senate Bill 107 say this is an issue of local control.

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Montana Legislature
12:27 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Net Metering And "Vaping" Proposals Pitched To Lawmakers

Credit William Marcus

State lawmakers are being asked to increase the amount of power that customers can sell to their electric utility from their own solar or wind generators

It’s called net metering, and it’s a boon for alternative energy installers, or a threat to local power companies, depending on whom you ask.

In Montana, electric customers with their own solar panels or wind turbines can sell up to fifty kilowatts back to their power company. Brad van Wert runs an alternative-energy business in Gallatin, and supports raising that cap.

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