MTPR

Beau Baker

Reporter & Host

Beau is UM School of Journalism reporter. He reads the news on Montana Public Radio two nights a week.

He also runs the board for Morning Edition on weekdays.

A MAFFS-equipped C-130 Hercules from the 302nd Airlift Wing makes a water drop over New Mexico during a training exercise, May 2007.
Technical Sergeant Rick Sforza, United States Air Force (4th Combat Camera Squadron). PD.

The federal government has activated a large military airtanker to assist with wildfire suppression efforts in the West. Ken Palmrose is a public information officer with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

"Right now it’s going to be stationed at Fresno, California and it will probably be working there in California starting tomorrow," says Ken Palmrose, a public information officer with the Fire Center.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

The city of Missoula has taken ownership of the water utility that serves its residents after a three-year court battle. 

The city bought Mountain Water Company for $84 million and paid another $6.8 million to developers who had a claim against the company. A separate bundle of transition costs, the bulk of which are attorneys’ fees, amounts to $7.5 million.

Shards of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as crystal meth.
Radspunk (GFDL)

The Montana Healthcare Foundation announced today a series of listening sessions across the state to assess the impact of substance abuse on Montana communities.

Earlier this year, Montana’s Attorney General Tim Fox launched Aid Montana, a statewide initiative combining enforcement, treatment and education efforts to tackle drug abuse. 

<p>Panelists share their research on climate change in Montana
Beau Baker

A panel of Montana scientists laid out their findings on climate change in the state yesterday at the University of Montana (A video of the event is available at Clean Air Montana's Facebook page). That included addressing President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement last week.

Approximately 20,000 Montanans have developmental disabilities.

"Everyday they face discrimination," says Bernadette Franks-Ongoy, who is the executive director for Disability Rights Montana based in Helena.

Glacier National Park visitors wait for the shuttle bus.
Flickr user, Mike Willis (cc-by-2.0)

Starting this weekend, Glacier National Park will begin operating a spring transit shuttle for hikers and bicyclists traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Going-to-the-Sun will be vehicle free for several weeks. 

(PD)

Healthcare has again moved toward the top of the agenda in Montana’s special election race for the state’s lone seat in the U.S. House. Whichever candidate wins the race, there’s no way they’ll be able to represent everyone in Montana on healthcare.

2016 non-resident expenditure allocation by category.
UM Institute of Tourism and Recreation Research

Montana’s tourism industry saw more people last year, but fewer dollars.

That’s according to the latest update released today by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana.

In 2016 about 12.5 million out of state visitors came to Montana, that’s up 3 percent over 2015.

'March For Science' Events Planned Across Montana
(PD)

People from around the country will gather in Washington D.C. Saturday for the "March for Science." Montanans that don’t make the trip will still have a chance to participate in the global event.

Organizers are billing the March as supporting, "robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity," and, "for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence-based policies in the public interest."

Montana Lawmakers and state agency officials convened a 'meth summit' in Helena Saturday
Cal Reynolds

Montana’s ballooning meth epidemic is overwhelming state law enforcement, addiction treatment centers, and the criminal justice system.

That was the theme of the Montana Meth Summit - a bipartisan gathering of state lawmakers, agency officials, and members of the public held at the capitol on Saturday.

Crystal Methampetamine, or "meth."
File photo (PD)

Montana lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, along with state agency workers and members of the public convened in Helena Saturday with one big problem to discuss.

"Without question, everyone in here, in this room, every citizen in this state, every resident of my community is affected by methamphetamine."

Panel Tackles Questions Of Race With 'Ask A Black Person' Event At UM
Ray Fanning

If you had a chance to ask a black person a sensitive question in a safe space, what would it be?

That was the premise of a panel discussion at the University of Montana Thursday afternoon that drew a crowd of about 50 people.

The candidates for Montana’s lone seat in the U.S. House today both sought to make news out of their positions on control of federal public lands.
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-NC-2)

The Montana Wilderness Association is hoping a rally on Monday will send a message to the state’s elected officials.

Kayje Booker is the Association’s State Policy Director:

Power line
(PD)

Federal regulators today approved a billion dollar energy storage project in Meagher County. The 400-megawatt pumped storage project would supplement electricity from wind turbines and other sources.