Edward O'Brien

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Civic Duty Also A Social Event
5:15 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Elections A Big Deal In Small Towns

Main street, Libby, MT.
Credit libbymt.com

Voters in Montana’s cities can sometimes face long voting lines. We checked in with election officials in a couple of small towns to see how things are going for them.

"The turnout is brisk," Leigh Riggleman, Lincoln County Assistant Elections Administrator in Libby says. "Our polling stations seem to be very busy. Our front counter for late registration has been steady. (We) always like to see good voter turnout."

Riggleman says Lincoln County has roughly 13,000 registered voters and seven polling stations, but she says voting by mail is getting more popular every year.

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Stone Container Cleanup
5:31 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Frenchtown Stone Container Cleanup Plan Delayed

Credit Courtesy EPA

It will take more time before we learn about potential cleanup options at a former paper mill in Frenchtown.

Today was the Environmental Protection Agency's original deadline for the site's prior and current owners to present a "good faith" cleanup offer. The plant was in operation since the 1950’s. It was most recently owned by the Smurfit-Stone Container. The plant closed in 2010 and was purchased by M2 Green Redevelopment in 2011.

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Mountain Water Purchase
5:07 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Public Hearing On Mountain Water Purchase Tonight

The Missoula City Council may vote tonight on a proposal that would allow the mayor to continue his effort to force the sale of the local water company to the city.

The Carlyle Group currently owns Mountain Water Company. A Canadian firm, Algonquin Power,  has entered into an agreement to purchase Mountain Water and its California based parent company for $327 million.

The city's attempt to use eminent domain to take ownership of Mountain Water has proven to be costly and raised a few eyebrows.

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Yellowstone Grizzlies
4:42 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Are Yellowstone Grizzlies Ready To Come Off The Endangered Species List?

A grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.

Grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem are close to losing their endangered species status.

Chris Servheen says that population is healthy, robust and ready for that transition.

Servheen is the Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

He and other members of an Interagency Grizzly Bear Management subcommittee met yesterday in Bozeman to discuss the status of Yellowstone grizzly bears.

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Montana Wildlife
3:10 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Biologists Race To Save Flathead Valley Bats

This long-eared myotis is found only in North America and is susceptible to White Nose Syndrome.
Credit Christian Engelstoft

Bat biologists are in a race against time. A fungal disease called White Nose Syndrome is killing bats by the millions.

Regional biologists are scrambling to collect baseline data on bat habitat, species, and populations before the disease gets a foothold in the northwest. The Canadian government asked conservation groups this summer to help study bats in British Columbia's Flathead River Valley.

Filmmaker Leanne Allison produced a five minute video documenting the resulting “Bat BioBlitz."

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Bat Killing Fungus
5:34 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Biologists Study Bats In Canadian Flathead Valley

Bats from the British Columbia Flathead River Valley have been dying from a fungus called White Nose.

A fungal disease is wiping-out bats by the millions and it's spreading west.

Bat biologists gathered this summer in British Columbia's Flathead River Valley to take an inventory of local bat species and habitat.

During the so-called "BioBlitz", they detected two species of bat that are considered endangered and particularly vulnerable to the fatal White Nose fungus.

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Hunters Safety
5:05 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Game Warden Stresses Safe Hunting

Credit Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (CC-BY-ND)

A hunter unloading a gun accidentally shot his 56-year-old companion in the Brown's Gulch area north of Butte last weekend.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Sergeant Aaron Berg says a lot of people are now in the backcountry carrying high-powered rifles. Meaning everyone, hunting or not, should wear that bright hunter orange; 400 square inches of it to be exact.

Berg adds that those carrying rifles have the responsibility to use them properly.

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Montana Farmers Union
3:43 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Montana Farmers Union Meets In Great Falls

Credit USDA

Hundreds of Montana farmers are in Great Falls discussing issues that affect not only their bottom line, but our food supply.

The 99-year-old Montana Farmers Union is holding its annual meeting and convention that lasts through tomorrow. Farmers face challenges that go far beyond crop yields and market prices.

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Political Mailer
4:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Montana Secretary Of State Calls Out 'Deceitful' Political Mailer

Montana Secretary of State Linda McCulloch says this mailer is deceitful because the use of the Great Seal of Montana makes it appear to be a voter guide from the SOS office.

Have you received an official-looking mailer that rates the political leanings of Montana's four nonpartisan Supreme Court candidates?

If so, take a close look at it; the flier features an image of Montana's state seal and compares the candidates' political ideologies to those of President Obama and former Republican Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Problem is, it's a fake. The state of Montana has nothing to do with these mailers.

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Missoula Housing Market
3:33 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Missoula Realtor: Fewer Home Sales No Cause For Worry

Fewer homes sold in the Missoula area during the first three quarters of this year compared to the same time last year, but a local real estate official says he's not too worried.

In fact, Brint Wahlberg says Missoula's housing market continues its steady recovery.

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