News

Hacking Rural Medicine

Most of Montana’s hospitals are small and rural. And these are hard times for small town hospitals. The National Rural Health Association says about 300 rural hospitals are in danger of having to close in the next few years.

Monica Bourgeau is an executive with a federally funded project to help Montana hospitals adapt to the rapid changes in healthcare and survive.

"Rural healthcare is really facing a lot of kind of new and unique challenges right now."

Morning Newscast 03-20-15

Mar 20, 2015
Josh Burnham

On this edition of Montana Morning Newscast, Governor Steve Bullock had strong words yesterday for House Republicans as they continue to shut out Democratic attempts to restore programs and funding proposed in his biennial budget.

Exxon Mobil Corp. has completed $1.3 million in environmental projects as part of its settlement of water pollution violations from a 2011 pipeline break into Montana's Yellowstone River.

Republicans in the state House yesterday approved a two year, $10 billion spending package for state government.

The Sundew's Lure Disguises A Deadly Trap

Mar 20, 2015
Flickr user, Adriaan Westra

In the poor soil of fens, marshes and bogs, sundews have evolved to be carnivorous.

Evening Newscast 03-19-15

Mar 19, 2015
Josh Burnham

On this edition of the Montana Evening Newscast, Governor Steve Bullock had strong words today for House Republicans as they continue to shut out Democratic attempts to restore programs and funding proposed in his biennial budget.

A new bill to expand Medicaid in Montana gets its first hearing in the state legislature tomorrow.

Democrats in the Montana House Thursday tried to resurrect Governor Steve Bullock’s “Early Edge” plan for statewide pre-school programs.

William Marcus

For the past two days, the Montana House was locked into something that resembled a scene out of the movie Groundhog Day. First, a member would stand up and introduce an amendment to the state budget.

For example, an amendment to add some money for the board of pardons and parole. Then there would be a short debate about the amendment. This would take anywhere from two minutes to an hour or more. And finally the amendment would be rejected on a party line vote.

And, back to square one.

And so on, and so on, a total of 73 times.

Lawmakers Will Consider Body Cameras For Police Friday

Mar 19, 2015
William Marcus

Friday at the Montana Legislature, lawmakers will discuss body cameras for cops. Democrat Rep. Bridget Smith of Wolf Point is carrying a resolution to study the effects of requiring Montana police officers to wear so-called body cams.

“And we will look into ... the compelling reasons why, this would be good for Montanans.”

But the cost may be too high. A 2014 Department of Justice study says the average price of cameras police stations buy is between $800 and $1,200 each.

GOP Medicaid Expansion Bill On Friday's Legislative Agenda

Mar 19, 2015

A new bill to expand Medicaid in Montana gets its first hearing in the state legislature tomorrow. Republican Ed Buttrey of Great Falls’ bill would expand the health program for the poor, elderly and disabled to an estimated 45,000 Montanans.

House Republicans Block Funding Increases For Correctional System

Mar 19, 2015

Today at the Montana Legislature, Democrats pleaded for more money for people working within the Montana correctional system. They asked for raises for public defenders, more parole officers, and raises for officers in the state prison. Democrat Mitch Tropila says the wages are too low for state prison guards, making overtime mandatory and a hard job harder.

“Whenever they have to open one of the gate, they’re subject to having the inmates’ bodily fluids thrown at them, in their face, on their body. But they’re down there every day, they’re down there 24/7, 365.”

Courtesy Photo

Among the dozens of amendments that Democrats sponsored to add spending to the $10 billion state budget, was one to enact the Governor’s $37 million pre-school plan.

The Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee stripped it out of the budget bill over a week ago, but the Democratic minority tried to convince the whole House to put it back in.

Missoula Democrat Nancy Wilson says as the world gets more complicated, kids need to start learning earlier.

Morning Newscast 03-19-15

Mar 19, 2015
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.

Pages