Edward O'Brien

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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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Breaking
10:52 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Missoula's Water Company Sold To Canadian Utility

A Canadian utility has reached an agreement with global equity firm, The Carlyle Group, to acquire the parent company of Missoula's Mountain Water  Company.

Park Water owns and operates three water utilities that serve approximately 74-thousand customers in Southern California and Western Montana.

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Coal Fired Power Plants
7:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Report: Montana A Major CO2 Emitter

PPL's coal powered power plant in Colstrip, Mont.
Credit Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

Montana's coal-fired power plants emit as much carbon dioxide as Mongolia, a country of almost 3 million people. That’s according to a new study from Environment Montana’s Research and Policy Center.

It says PPL's Colstrip power plant emits the majority of CO2 in Montana, about 13 million of the state's more than 15 million metric tons.

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Tourist Numbers Up
6:49 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Record Summer For Missoula Airport

Alaska Airlines flights coming in and out of Missoula have increased.
Credit Dirk-Jan Kraan (CC-BY-NC 2.0)

It was a record summer for passenger traffic at Missoula International Airport.

Deputy Director Brian Ellestad says 240,830 passengers flew in and out of Missoula this summer.

That's almost 33,000 more than last summer.

According to Ellestad, people are responding to recently added airline service. 

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Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act
6:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Bill Would Give Tribes IRS Relief

The US House has unanimously passed a bill ensuring that certain tribal government programs and services won't be taxed by the I.R.S.

The “Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act” was drawn up in response to an I.R.S request to perform an audit on a tribal program providing school supplies to children. In another incident, the agency wanted to deem a wheelchair ramp for a disabled tribal member a taxable benefit.

Henry Cage is a council member of the Oregon's Lummi Nation and Taxation Committee Chair of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians.

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