Edward O'Brien

Interim News Director

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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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"Winning the West"
3:34 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Conservation A "Popular And Winning Issue" In The West

Jessica Goad, Advocacy Director for the Center for Western Priorities.

How much do you value the Mountain West's national parks and other public lands?

Organizers of a new ad campaign are betting these areas - and land conservation in general - are of great value to the vast majority of people.

The Denver-based Center for Western Priorities have launched the "Winning the West" campaign to, among other things, demonstrate to public policy leaders that national forests and parks are held dearly by most Americans.

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McDonald Creek fatality
2:46 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Visitor Drowns In Glacier National Park

Just above McDonald Falls at the lower end of Sacred Dancing Cascades.
Credit GlacierNPS License (CC-BY-2.0)

A Washington state woman died one day after falling into a creek in Glacier National Park.

Park spokeswoman Denise Germann identifies the victim as Abigail Sylvester of Buckley, Washington. Sylvester was 33-years-old.

Germann says the investigation indicates Sylvester was taking a picture of McDonald Creek, near the upper falls, when she slipped, fell in and was rapidly carried downstream in the cold, swollen and fast-running creek. Her husband jumped-in to save her, but eventually had to save himself due to the extreme conditions.

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Sage-Grouse
3:59 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Fish & Wildlife Commission Alters Sage-Grouse Hunting Season

Sagegrouse
Credit NRCS - Montana

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has barred sage-grouse hunting in all or part of 32 counties and shortened the hunting season from two months to one.

An earlier plan that would have closed the entire state to hunting the game birds due to their low numbers.

Instead, all or part of 13 counties in central Montana and six counties in the southwestern part of the state will be open to hunting from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30.

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Immigration and Veterans Administration
2:52 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Tester Blames Child Immigrant Crisis On U.S. House

Tester
Credit US Senate photo

Senator Jon Tester says if the U.S. House would have passed comprehensive immigration reform, the United States would not be dealing with the humanitarian crisis unfolding along the nation's southern border.

Outlines of a possible compromise over President Obama's $3.7-billion-dollar emergency border spending request are emerging on Capitol Hill.

They involve making policy changes to allow the minors streaming to the border from Central America to be sent home more quickly.

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Fire danger
3:09 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Missoula County outdoor debris burning closes

Credit Montana DNRC

It's July, it's getting hot and the forecast is calling for very warm temperatures by week's end.

It's with this in mind that the Missoula County Fire Protection Association has restricted open burning as of today.

Burning permits for Missoula County cannot be activated until this restriction is lifted.

MCFPA chairman, Matt Hall, says the hot, dry weather of the past week - combined with the forecast for more of the same for at least another week - will continue to dry out fuels.

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Fiberboard Plant Explosion
2:51 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Columbia Falls Fiberboard Plant To Return To Full Production

Plum Creek Timber's Columbia Falls fiberboard plant
Credit Katrin Frye

Plum Creek Timber Company officials say they hope to return the company's fiberboard plant in Columbia Falls to full production this week, about a month after an explosion and fire shut it down.

Tom Ray is a Plum Creek vice president. Ray says the plant started its No. 2 production line a week ago. The line, built in 2001, manufactures fiberboard that's one-tenth of an inch thick.

Crews were still working to return the No. 1 line to full production. It produces fiberboard up to 1-and-a-quarter inches thick:

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Train Derailment
11:54 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Gettting there...

Credit Wiley E. Waters Whitewater Rafting, Jerry Compton

Montana Rail Link spokeswoman Lynda Frost says the second of three brand new Boeing 737 fuselages has been winched up a steep embankment. The third should be recovered by the end of today.

A total of six fuselages was aboard a westbound train to Washington when 19 cars went off the track some 10 miles west of Alberton. All six fuselages fell off; three remained on top on the bank,  the three others tumbled down toward the river.

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Hobby Lobby ruling
11:59 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Montana feedback to Hobby Lobby decision

Martha Stahl
Credit Edward O'Brien

A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled this week that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. That marks the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.
 
     The justices' 5-4 decision means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under the health insurance plans of objecting companies, such as Hobby Lobby.

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Supreme Court Union Fees
3:07 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

S.E.I.U: Supreme Court union decision to have no impact in Montana

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions today, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union's costs of collective bargaining.

In a 5-4 split the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of non-members who disagree with the positions that unions take.

According to one regional union rep, the decision is expected to have no impact here in Montana.

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