MTPR

Edward O'Brien

News

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.

Ways to Connect

Greg Gianforte is the Republican candidate for the U.S. House seate vacated by Ryan Zinke.
Rowebotz (CC-BY-SA-4.0)

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte took to the airwaves Tuesday morning to, in a way, reintroduce himself to Montana voters:

Missoula Mayor John Engen, Interim UM President Sheila Stearns, Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss, and Missoulian Editor Kathy Best at a City Club meeting in Missoula March 13, 2017
Edward O'Brien

Missoula Mayor John Engen says District Judge Karen Townsend has again ruled in favor of the city in its effort to acquire the local municipal water company.

Engen says Townsend ruled the entities that fought the city’s use of eminent domain to acquire Mountain Water Company were overcharging for legal services and fees:

The chairman of Montana’s Little Shell tribe is not fazed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s remarks to a U.S. Senate committee earlier this week.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke acknowledges that the agency he now oversees, "unfortunately, has not always stood shoulder to shoulder with the tribes and communities it represents." 

But Zinke met with the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee this week to help identify Native American-related priorities for the new Trump administration. It's a job that will likely pull him and his staff in many different directions, because as Zinke puts it, "Tribes are not monolithic":

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may not be able to provide the slam dunk for Montana’s Little Shell Tribe that some had hoped he would. At least not right away.

Montana’s Little Shell Tribe has spent nearly four decades fighting for federal recognition. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke indicated Wednesday they might have to wait just a bit longer than they hoped.

Montana Sub-basin Snow-Water Equivalent, March 01, 2017.
USDA NRCS

February isn't usually Montana’s biggest snow month, but this year proved to be a major exception. Substantial snow fell across the state during February's first two weeks; especially in Montana's northern and southern basins.

Lucas Zukiewicz of the Natural Resources and Conservation Service says it was a badly needed shot-in-the-arm after January's anemic snow totals:

Several hundred friends, family and Forest Service personnel attended the funeral of a man killed after surprising a bear on June 29.
Nicky Ouellet

A new report details the final moments of a career Flathead National Forest law enforcement officer killed last summer after a chance encounter with a grizzly bear.

Berkeley Pit bird cannon, Butte, MT
Mark Thompson/Montana Resources

The people who manage the Berkeley Pit want to use lasers and cannons to try to save lives of migratory birds. Thousands of geese were killed last fall in the poisonous water of Butte’s Berkeley Pit. It was an environmental catastrophe that Mark Thompson hopes is never repeated.

State auditor Matthew Rosendale.
Montana Legislature

State Auditor Matt Rosendale has approved a nearly 8 percent reduction in Montana's workers compensation costs. The decrease takes effect this summer.

Rosendale says Montana's work comp rates have decreased ever since the 2011 legislative session:

Vice President Mike Pence swears in Ryan Zinke as secretary of the interior during a March 1, 2017 ceremony at the White House, with Zinke's wife Lola looking on.
WhiteHouse.gov

Montana’s former Republican Congressman Ryan Zinke is now President Donald Trump's secretary of the Interior.

Zinke sailed through his Senate confirmation vote today with a 68 to 31 vote. Both Montana senators, Republican Steve Daines and Democrat Jon Tester, supported Zinke's confirmation.

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