Edward O'Brien

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The remains of six veterans whose unclaimed remains were found at a Great Falls funeral home will be interred later this week.

They'll be laid to rest Friday at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison in Helena.

Rainbow Dam
Dan Boyce

Northwestern Energy predicts electricity bills for its residential customers will decrease by $3.10 per month starting in July.

Northwestern spokesman Butch Larcombe says a couple of different factors are at play.

William Neuheisel

Flathead Lake is a good two feet below full pool following this particularly dry spring in northwest Montana. Northwestern Energy, which manages Kerr Dam, has notified tribal and federal agencies that water levels are low which could affect outflows this summer. Kerr produces power, regulates the lake's water levels and several reservoirs.

Snowmobiles ride past bison in Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park (CC-BY-2.0)

A national conservation group and a motorized access group describe a proposed winter use management tool for Yellowstone National Park as a step in the right direction.

Monica Lindeen
Courtesy Monica Lindeen

State auditor Monica Lindeen hit the campaign trail this week, announcing her bid to become Montana's next secretary of state. Fellow Democrat Linda McCulloch currently holds that position and was re-elected back in 2012.

A revised federal water pollution rule issued today is earning praise from Montana conservationists and condemnation from the agriculture and building sectors.

Fewer state and federal dollars are filling Montana school district coffers, so school officials are turning to local voters for help.

Bob Vogel of the Montana School Boards Association says bonding requests are becoming more common.

Bill Gallagher, former Montana Public Service Commission Chairman
Montana Public Service Commission

The chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission remembers his predecessor, Bill Gallagher, as a man of courage and grace.

Gallagher died of pancreatic cancer late last week.

Forest Service helicopter crews practicing medical evacuation west of Missoula, MT.
Lane Lamoreaux (PD)

Two Forest Service helicopter crews are practicing medical evacuation maneuvers this week west of Missoula.

The teams are training for "Emergency Medical Short-Haul" missions.

Paxon Elementary School in Missoula
Missoula County Public Schools

Missoula voters are being asked to approve two major school bond issues. They haven’t said yes to school debt of this magnitude since 1952.

Supporters of the bond questions that will appear on November's ballot say it’s time to update badly deteriorating local public schools.

The World Trade Organization has again ruled against United States labeling on packaged steak and other cuts of meat that detail where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

A restoration plan for the Upper Clark Fork Basin's largest wetland is now up for public review.

The Atlantic Richfield Company's draft wetland restoration plan is designed to address wetland loss related to mining and smelting contamination in the Clark Fork River Basin.

Greater Sage Grouse
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region (CC-BY-2)

Montana will spend about half-a-million dollars annually to assemble a team to oversee management of sage grouse. The bird is a candidate for listing as a threatened or endangered species.

Vanita Gupta, head of the U.S Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division speaks at a press conference in Missoula on May 11, 2015, as Missoula Mayor John Engen and Missoula Police Chief Mike Brady look on.
Edward O'Brien

The federal government says the Missoula police department has made tremendous progress in how it handles reports of sexual assault.

"In short, this community has come together to institute long-term, systemic change to protect and ensure the safety of generations to come," said Vanita Gupta, head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

Medical marijuana advocates accuse state Attorney General Tim Fox of  defying the will of voters.

Montanans voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2004. In 2011 state lawmakers passed a bill to tighten rules governing the sale of the drug.

Fox's office this week filed a brief with the state Supreme Court to reverse District Judge James Reynolds' ruling that blocks parts of that more-strict medical marijuana law.

Josh Burnham

Montana water users are being told to brace for early and below-average snow-melt runoff this spring. The Natural Resources Conservation Service reports snowpack in all of Montana's basins are well below normal for May first.

Missoula Police Department

The male believed to have murdered two Missoulians on Wednesday evening died early this morning.

The Missoula County Coroner says 36-year-old Nicholas Scolatti was pronounced dead at 4:11 am. He died of injuries sustained from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Scolatti's  suspected of shooting and killing 34-year-old KTMF-TV News Director Kalee Scolatti and 46-year-old family friend Anthony Dupras.

Montanans' property can still be seized if police suspect it's connected to criminal activity, but now it has to be returned if they can't get a conviction.  That hasn't always been the case.

Montanans this evening will hear directly from the author whose latest book has - for better or worse - cast a national spotlight on Missoula. Jon Krakauer will participate in a public forum to discuss "Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town". The book details how the community handled reports of sexual assaults involving University of Montana students.

The federal government's point man on grizzly bears says the Yellowstone ecosystem's grizzly population should be removed from the endangered species list.

Chris Servheen says the most accurate population estimate shows between 1,000 and 1,200 grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

Cheri Trusler

A new audit shows Missoula is doing a better job of responding to reports of sexual assault. That same audit also says there's room for improvement.

Montana health care providers are paying close attention to a second case of measles that was confirmed this week in Spokane.

Powdered alcohol, just add water.
Courtesy Palcohol

A new alcohol product that’s not even on store shelves yet has already been banned in at least six states. Three states have cleared the way for powdered alcohol. Montana’s in the undecided column.

Sen. Jon Tester (D) Montana
Courtesy photo

Senator Jon Tester wants to reduce the number of student tests required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Montana school superintendent, Denise Juneau, supports the proposal.

Eric Whitney

Officials in some of Montana's most rural and timber dependent counties are relieved Congress has approved Secure Rural Schools funding to help balance their local budgets.

Flickr user biologycorner (CC-BY-NC)

Some technological glitches aren't stopping most of Montana's school districts from administering tests linked to Common Core.

State School Superintendent Denise Juneau estimates about 80 percent of Montana's schools will press ahead with the online tests despite widely reported problems.

Montana produces more AmeriCorps volunteers than any other state. What's more, the federal agency that administers the service organization says more members come from Billings than other cities of its size.

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout
U.S. Forest Service

It's ok to eat the fish downstream of last winter's big oil spill on the Yellowstone River. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has lifted an advisory urging people to use caution when eating fish caught near the break in the Bridger Pipeline near Glendive.

Cow bison with a newly born calf in Yellowstone National Park
Neal Herbert - Yellowstone National Park (CC-BY-2.0)

Yellowstone National Park might tolerate thousands more bison by 2017, or perhaps hundreds fewer. State and federal wildlife managers are developing a new Yellowstone bison management plan and several options are on the table.

Former Governor Tim Babcock died Tuesday morning at the age of 95.

Babcock was elected Montana's lieutenant Governor in 1960. He became the state's chief executive when a plane crash killed Governor Don Nutter, who was also Babcock's close friend, two years later.

Babcock would go on to lose a U.S. Senate race and another bid to serve in the Governor's office, but he and his late wife, Betty, remained active in state politics for the rest of their lives.

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