Edward O'Brien

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Ski, Liquor Businesses Make Deals
6:03 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Montana Trade Mission Returns From China

The Montana Trade Delegation in China.
Credit Meg O'Leary

Governor Steve Bullock’s eight day trade mission to China has concluded and participants say Montana still has a lot to learn about conducting business there.

Montana exported over $100 million worth of goods to China last year, but state officials say we can do more.

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Name Recognition Still A Challenge For Both
3:42 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Analyst: In Tonight's Debate, Lewis, Zinke Must 'Tread Fine Line'

What a difference a weekend can make in Montana's U.S House debate schedule.

Republican U.S House candidate Ryan Zinke will debate Democrat John Lewis tonight in Billings. Zinke originally declined to participate in the Billings debate citing scheduling conflicts. His campaign issued a press release late Friday afternoon saying he'd changed his mind.

Montana Public Radio is broadcasting the debate starting this evening at 7:00. That debate will be aired on this radio station and streamed on our website.

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Rotten Chicken
3:17 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Sordid Saga Of Putrid Poultry Inspires Song

Bob Wire
Credit YouTube

The sordid saga of an abandoned trailer containing 37,000 lbs of rotten chicken ended today when the stinky freight was buried in a freshly dug pit.

The semi-trailer had been sitting at a Missoula-area truck stop for possibly a month or longer.

Authorities say the truck driver abandoned the trailer after his employer, Dixie River Freight Inc., refused his demands for more money to deliver its then-frozen cargo.

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Montana News
4:37 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Forest Service: Wilderness Photo/Film Policy Misunderstood

U.S. Forest Service issued a press release late Thursday to clarify the intent behind the proposed directive for commercial photography and filmmaking in Congressionally designated wilderness areas.

The Forest Service describes it as a good faith effort to ensure wilderness areas are protected.

Critics say it essentially gives the agency story-approval power.

Montana’s entire congressional delegation today called for the rule to be clarified and re-drafted.

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Mountain Water Sale
3:58 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Algonquin CEO Visits Missoula, Likes Mountain Water

Algonquin Power and Utilities CEO Ian Robertson.
Credit Danny Dauterive

Montana Public Radio’s Edward O’Brien sat down with Algonquin Power and Utilities CEO Ian Robertson. Robertson says "we would like to be part of the Montana utility landscape forever."

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Montana News
4:52 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Missoulian Welcomes New Publisher

Mark Heintzelman has been named the new publisher of the Missoulian.
Credit Kurt Wilson- Missoulian

The Missoulian newspaper is welcoming a new publisher.

Mark Heintzelman says newspaper reporters face new challenges in gathering news and their readers want to access those stories in brand new ways. Heintzelman says it's his job to help both accomplish their goals.

He succeeds Jim McGowan who's now working as the Missoulian's Sales and Marketing director.

Heintzleman comes to the Garden City from Carlisle, Pennsylvania where he most recently worked as the publisher of The Sentinel newspaper.

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Down 573 studnets
3:43 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

UM Enrollment Drops Again

UM fall semester enrollment has dropped by 573 students.
Credit Josh Burnham

Another enrollment drop at the University of Montana.

A total of 13,952 students enrolled at UM this fall semester. That's 573 fewer than a year ago.

This time last year, UM recorded over 400 fewer students than the prior year.

UM spokeswoman, Peggy Kuhr, says this semester's enrollment drop was not a surprise:

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Lost Mine Loop Fire
3:42 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Missoula Fire No Longer Threatens Power Lines

The Lost Mine Loop fire that threatened Missoula's Miller Creek area no longer presents a threat to power lines.
Credit Danny Dauterive

A large fire that ignited yesterday in Missoula's Miller Creek drainage no longer presents a threat to Northwestern Energy high voltage power lines, communication towers on Dean Stone Mountain or local homes.

An overheated chainsaw muffler sparked the Lost Mine Loop fire. Miller Creek Road remains closed to all but fire crews and local traffic.The fire is now estimated to encompass 153 acres and is 75 percent contained.

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Miller Creek Wildfire
10:49 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Hot Chainsaw Sparked Missoula-Area Wildfire

Credit Montana DNRC

Investigators say an overheated chainsaw side muffler ignited a wildfire that started yesterday afternoon in Missoula's Miller Creek drainage.

That fire now has a name - The Lost Mine Loop fire. It started Sunday afternoon around 2:00.  A flight survey will arrive today to determine the size of the fire, which is estimated to be greater than 60 acres.

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Missoula Water Ownership
6:07 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Mayor: Mountain Water Sale Changes Nothing For City's Condemnation Plans

Missoula Mayor John Engen said today the sale of Missoula's water company doesn't change the city's plan to buy Mountain Water.
Credit Edward O'Brien

It looks like Missoula's city water system could be sold to a Canadian company.

Liberty Utilities, a subsidiary of Algonquin Power & Utilities, has reached an agreement with The Carlyle Group, which currently owns Missoula's water system.

Algonquin is expected to pay an estimated $327 million for Missoula's system and three other utilities. That price includes assumption of about $77 million of existing long-term debt.

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