Edward O'Brien

Interim News Director

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REAL ID
2:26 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Federal REAL ID Deadlines "Like A House Of Cards"?

Credit MT DoJ

The Department of Homeland Security has granted Montana an extension to comply with stringent federal driver's license rules under the REAL ID Act.

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Montana News
11:24 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Chemical Spill Update: Officials Closing Blackfoot River East Of Missoula

UPDATE 3:45 p.m.:
Environmental health experts say chemicals were in a non-hazardous state and have largely disbursed and diluted. No sulfuric acid reaction. No reports of fish/wildlife kills. Rivers and access sites to re-open shortly.

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Citing an "abundance of caution", Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Fisheries Manager, Pat Saffel, says the Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers from Johnsrud Park, west into Missoula are closed down due to a chemical spill.

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Breaking
10:47 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Semi Rolls Over On Highway 200; Chemicals In BlackFoot River

A semi tractor trailer rolled over near mile-marker 3, near Marco Flats on Highway 200 east of Bonner this morning, spilling an undetermined amount of chemicals into the Blackfoot River. 

Missoula County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman, Paige Pavalone, says officials don't yet know much about the specific chemicals, only that, "if mixed with water, there can be unknown risks."

A hazardous materials team is on scene and a boom is in the water to contain the spill.

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Missoula Housing Market
4:19 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Missoula Home Sales Lagging, Prices Rising

Missoula's housing market is warming up just a bit.

In the words of Missoula Organization of Realtors President, Brint Wahlberg, it's slowly but steadily improving.

The number of homes sold the first six months of this year stands at 454, compared to 557 during the first half of last year. The median "sold price" rose to $220,500 from $214,000 during the same period in 2013.

Wahlberg explains to Edward O'Brien the three main factors behind the lagging sales. The first one is interest rates :

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July Rain Showers
3:54 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

More Rain In The Forecast For Western Montana

Raindrops on a window.
Credit Flickr user nataliej (CC-BY-NC)

July rain showers are rare, but welcome events in western Montana.

Many early-risers in our listening area awoke to just that this morning and weather forecasters say more of the same is coming.

National Weather Service meteorologist, Genki Kino, says this morning's rain was the first measurable precipitation in Missoula for this month. Nearly two-tenths of an inch of rain fell between 4:30 and 6-a.m.

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Movies
2:48 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

NPR Film Critic Kenneth Turan On Great Movies And The Stinkers

Credit Edward O'Brien

Kenneth Turan says people always remind him how lucky he is to have such a great job.
      And the National Public Radio and Los Angeles Times film critic is quick to agree.

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-Fire Season
6:54 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Crews Working Two Fire Starts

Fire crews are fighting - and mopping up after, respectively - two new fires on the Lolo National Forest. Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig  says one is called the Fire Creek Fire. That's a lightning caused fire approximately three miles northwest of the Stark Lookout and 22 miles northwest of Missoula on the Ninemile Ranger District. As of 6:30 this evening, the fire was two acres and burning in thick, downed vegetation. The location is remote and no structures are threatened. Fire behavior has been active, with single tree torching.

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Mountain Water Company
5:02 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Missoula, Apple Valley Collaborate On Publicly Owned Water Utilities

Missoula and the southern California town of Apple Valley are separated by over 11-hundred miles, but both have at least one thing in common; officials from both towns want their local water systems under public ownership.

Leaders from both communities met earlier this week in Missoula to discuss ways to do just that.

Apple Valley's water system is owned and operated by Apple Valley Ranchos Water Company. In Missoula, it's Mountain Water Company.

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Joan Baez
11:40 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Joan Baez Falls Ill. Missoula Concert Canceled

Joan Baez
Credit Marina Chavez

Here's the University of Montana press release on this evening's canceled Joan Baez concert:

MISSOULA – Musician Joan Baez announced today that her Thursday, July 17, concert at the University of Montana will be canceled due to illness. Baez intends to reschedule her Missoula performance. An announcement with details will be made Tuesday, July 22.

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Trade Agreements
2:20 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

British Consul General Says US/EU Free Trade Agreement Good For Both

Priya Guha
Credit www.gov.uk

The British Consul General in San Francisco, Priya Guha*, is in Montana this week meeting with officials to discuss existing U.K./Montana trade and investment ties.

Guha is also discussing the potential benefits of a successful U.S./E.U. free trade agreement; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
    Guha stopped by the Montana Public Radio studios this week to discuss T-T-I-P with Edward O'Brien.

*In case you're wondering, pronounced PREE-yuh  GOO-hah

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