Student Response
1:39 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

"Josh Slotnick: The Farmer Who Rapped"

For the last several years, Robert Stubblefield has invited me to talk about The Write Question with students in one of the classes he teaches at the University of Montana. We talk about specific The Write Question programs students have listened to. Then I answer questions about the process of reading, interviewing, and creating programs for radio and the Web.

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Empire Builder
5:05 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Amtrack Delays Hurt Whitefish Businesses

Credit Loco Steve, flickr

Businesses in Whitefish are taking a hit because of problems with Amtrak’s Empire Builder, which runs between Chicago and the West Coast. 

Monday afternoon the westbound Empire Builder was running over 90 minutes late into Whitefish. That’s actually an improvement over delays of more than eleven hours earlier this year.

Amtrak says it’s working to fix the problem. Marc Magliari is the Amtrak spokesman in Chicago. He admits ridership is down over past years.

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Health Risk Assessment
4:11 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

EPA Says Libby Asbestos Cleanup Is Paying Off

Credit Courtesy Photo

The Environmental Protection Agency released a long awaited health risk study Monday that will help guide cleanup of more of the asbestos dust found in the Libby area.

Hundreds of Libby residents died, and even more were sickened by asbestos contamination from a now-closed W.R. Grace vermiculite mine and processing plant.

EPA says years of asbestos cleanup efforts are paying off in the northwest Montana town.

Dr. Deborah McKean is EPA toxicologist.

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MTPR Program Highlights
4:09 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

December 8 - December 14

Here are MTPR program highlights for December 8- December 14, 2014

Monday December 8, 2014

5:00-9:00 a.m.    Morning Edition from NPR, Montana Morning News, and Marketplace Morning Report

9:00 a.m.    A Writers Almanac - Historical literary calendar, commentary and poetry with host Garrison Keillor

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Monday Poems
9:44 am
Mon December 8, 2014


Monologues of white interiors
time-dried of water and wind

crowds gather in history's emptiness
weightless in the hollows of memory

description without witness
so long ago lost.


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5:00 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Got Milk? Don't Need It

It's hard to miss the "Got Milk?" ad campaign encouraging us to drink more milk, but this week, "The Food Guys" make a case for moderation in milk consumption.

Considering the high rate of lactose intolerance, milk allergies, and alternative sources for calcium and vitamin D, Greg and John recommend going easy on cow's milk. 

They discuss a July 2012 New York Times opinion piece, "Got Milk? Don't Need It," by Mark Bittman.

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The Plant Detective
5:00 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Calabar Beans: Pre-History's Lie Detectors

Physostigma venenosum, from Köhler's "Medizinal Pflanzen"
Credit Franz Eugen Köhler

The Efik people of the region that is now Nigeria used to force people accused of crimes to suffer a trial by ordeal: they'd be fed calabar beans, a known poison. If the accused died, they were judged guilty. If they lived, they were "proven" innocent. There's some pharmaceutical basis to this. It turns out that the poison of the calabar bean is absorbed in the mouth, where a guilty person might try to hold the beans, to avoid swallowing. For the guileless who swallowed them whole, the emetic properties of the beans might cause them to throw up the beans and escape poisoning.

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Endangered Species Act
5:09 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Judge Halts Gallatin National Forest Timber Sale

Overlooking the Madison Arm on Hebgen Lake
Credit Mwest85 (CC-BY-3.0)

A federal judge in Missoula has called a halt to the 1,700 acre Lonesome Wood logging sale in the Gallatin National forest.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued to stop it under the Endangered Species Act.

Mike Garrity with the Alliance says the U.S. Forest Service didn’t adequately study how logging would affect threatened lynx and grizzly bears.

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Didi Schanche is deputy senior supervising editor on NPR's award-winning International Desk. She also is NPR's Africa and Latin America editor.

A journalist since 1981, Schanche landed her first reporting job as freelance correspondent for The Jerusalem Post in Cairo, Egypt. She returned to the United States and got a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 1982. With the ultimate goal of becoming a foreign correspondent, Schanche spent several months banging on doors and was hired by The Associated Press as a reporter based in Montgomery, Ala. After two years, she was transferred to the foreign desk at AP headquarters in New York. Two years later, she was sent to Nairobi, Kenya, to cover East Africa.

Volunteer Opportunity
1:35 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Wanted: Social Media Volunteer

Do you love reading and recommending books to your friends? Are you a self-motivated, responsible person?

Can you volunteer an hour a week to help promote The Write Question?


  • free books
  • MTPR tote bag and T-shirt
  • opportunities to sit in on author interview recording sessions
  • insider information about the publishing industry and radio production

If you'd like to be a Social Media Volunteer for TWQ, please send few sentences explaining why to Chérie Newman:

cherie dot newman at umontana dot edu

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