Edward O'Brien

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Weather
1:38 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

A good, soaking rain possible for west central and northwest Montana

National Weather Service meteorologist LeAnne Allegretto describes an incoming weather system as a potential "resetting" event; one that could - at least temporarily - give firefighters in parts of western Montana a much needed break.
       The technical term for this sort of wet, slow-moving weather event is a "cut-off low". Allegretto says thunderstorms will start to develop across central Idaho and southwest Montana.

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Fire update
2:51 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Slow but steady progress on wildfires

Firefighters report significant progress on the Firestone Flats fire burning about 6 miles outside of Arlee.
       The fire started Saturday afternoon and within hours blew up into a 700 acre incident.
       Fire information officer, Cindy Super, says the crews will continue to work around the clock to build line around that fire.  If they continue to make progress and conditions hold,  pending evacuations will come to an end at 5:00 Thursday afternoon.

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Breaking
3:11 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Latest update of the Jocko Canyon fire

Youpa Stein provided this wonderful shot of a helicopter working the Firestone Flats fire yesterday.
Credit Youpa Stein

Fire Information – Firestone Flats

Cause: Under Investigation

Detected: July 27, 2013

Location: Approximately 5 miles east northeast of Arlee, MT.

Size: 1,388 acres on Saturday, July 27 at 7:00 PM

Jurisdiction: Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribes, Lake County Current Status: Today, Sunday, July 28th, the fire is listed at 0 percent containment. Fire activity was erratic and extreme yesterday resulting in multiple evacuations.

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Breaking
6:31 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jocko Canyon evacuations complete for now

Teams on the ground and in the air are working to beat down the as-of-yet officially unnamed Jocko Canyon area fire near Arlee. Lolo National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig tells us it stands at 700 acres with Lolo Hotshots on the ground. A single engine air tanker and heavy air tanker is working from above.  The Seeley Lake Ranger district will be closing the Forest Service portion of Jocko road for public safety. Scattered evacuations along Jocko Road are complete for the time being. 

Breaking
5:51 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jock Canyon fire update

Lake County Sheriff's department spokeswoman, Karen Sargent, says 18 homes have been evacuated as a result of the Jocko Canyon fire. None of them - at least to her knowledge - have been lost or damaged.  Also the fire has not yet been officially named. More updates as we get them....

Breaking
5:35 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Jocko Canyon Fire

The Jocko Canyon smoke plume as seen from Missoula.
Credit Edward O'Brien

A new wildfire burning in the Jocko Canyon area is throwing up a huge smoke plume easily visible from Missoula. A Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes Division of Fire dispatcher, identifying himself as Buttercup, says law enforcement has blocked roads from the reservation to Seeley Lake. The Jocko Canyon road is now blocked to traffic, as is the St Mary's Lake road. Buttercup says evacuation orders have been issued for homes in the Jocko Canyon.  Early estimates of the fire stood at 500 acres, but Buttercup tells us smoke was laying low making next to impossible to confirm that number.

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Drug policy
2:07 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

Should drugs be legalized and regulated?

A retired Oregon corrections counselor, who also worked as a parole and probation officer, says America's war on drugs is an abject failure.
       Shelley Fox-Loken says states should have the authority to decide whether they want to legalize drugs that are now illegal. She predicts that responsibly legalizing drugs would result in decreased violent crime and drug use rates, while simultaneously  benefiting state coffers.
       Loken is a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs.

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NCAA investigation
10:17 am
Fri July 26, 2013

NCAA announces results of its investigation into UM's athletics department

The results of the NCAA's investigation into the University of Montana athletics department have just been released. Here's a copy of the memo UM president Royce Engstrom released to the campus community today: 

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

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Obesity
2:28 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Working to reduce childhood obesity

Credit letsmove.gov

Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss recently returned from a symposium in Washington D.C featuring First Lady Michelle Obama that was designed to let elected officials share strategies effective in addressing childhood obesity.
     "Let's Move!" is a public/private partnership designed to enhance and build healthy environments for children and adults.  

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Montana Folk Festival
2:29 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Butte's ready for the party

Montana Folk Festival starts tomorrow
Credit Montana Folk Festival

Organizers are hoping for another huge turnout to the Montana Folk Festival which kicks off tomorrow.

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