Edward O'Brien

Interim News Director

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Breaking News
1:00 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Breaking News: 2 Missoula area businesses held up. Police searching for suspect

Police searching for suspect(s) involved in two armed robberies on Broadway in Missoula. The Motel 6 Extended Stay and the Taco Bell. Police say victims describe suspect(s) as young, white male, 5'-5" to 5'-7". Different clothes in each incident but man wore bandanas in both hold-ups. Police looking for a silver passenger car that may have been the get-away vehicle in the Taco Bell hold up. Police with search dogs are scouring the area.
University of Montana (Mountain Campus) police have  issued an alert advising people to stay clear of the area north of the footbridge.

Developing
12:52 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Missoula armed robbery causes lockdown

Robbery suspect photo from Taco Bell

Police continue to search for a lone suspect involved in two armed robberies on Broadway in Missoula. The University of Montana campus is no longer on lockdown but the armed suspect is still at large. Check updates below for the latest information.

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Homelessness
2:47 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A new way to serve Missoula's homeless families

Michael Moore
Credit Edward O'Brien

Homelessness is a stubborn and pervasive problem in many places -  including, of course,  Missoula.
     Several local nonprofit service providers, along with the City of Missoula, announced this week they're shifting their approach to helping homeless families.
       The Coordinator of "Reaching Home: Missoula's 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness", concedes the "Housing First" model won't completely solve the problem, but Michael Moore says it's proven to have helped other communities.

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Northwestern Energy
2:21 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Northwestern Energy CEO says dams purchase ultimately good for consumers

Bob Rowe
Credit Northwestern Energy

Northwestern Energy announced last fall it wants to purchase eleven hydroelectric dams from PPL Montana.
      It's now in the process of proving to regulators that the $900-million-dollar deal is in the best interest of consumers.
     Northwestern is the state's largest electricity provider.

C.E.O Bob Rowe was in Missoula today and stopped by Montana Public Radio's studio to talk with Edward O'Brien about the deal.

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Montana News
1:46 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

New CEO takes the helm at Montana Community Foundation

Mary Rutherford
Credit Montana Community Foundation

Montana's largest community foundation has hired a new Chief Executive Officer who brings almost 20 years of philanthropic experience with her.

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Brain injuries
2:31 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

University of Montana researchers win NFL and GE grant to continue brain research

UM researchers Sarj Patel, left, and Tom Rau, right
Credit University of Montana

Over 400 entries from 27 countries applied to participate in the first stage of the NFL and GE's "Head Health Challenge".  Sixteen organizations are receiving $300-thousand-dollars each for research on better diagnosing and treating mild traumatic brain injury.
       Two University of Montana researchers, Doctors Sarj Patel and Tom Rau, were among the winning 16 selected.

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Suicide
1:31 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Team researching Montana's high suicide rate

Karl Rosston
Credit MT DPHHS

As we've reported this week, the state's recently-appointed Suicide Review Team has pledged to review every suicide that occurs in Montana this year to try to determine the reason and recommend ways to reduce the state's suicide rate, which is nearly twice the national average.
 
     The team, appointed in November by Gov. Steve Bullock, includes a pastor, psychologist, psychiatrist, sheriff, a schools official and a social worker along with Karl Rosston, the state's suicide prevention coordinator for the past six years.

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Corrections Department
1:49 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Corrections Department working to diversify staff

Mike Batista
MT Department of Corrections

This has been a busy time at the Montana Department of Corrections. Agency officials say they're working on a variety of projects and initiatives, while at the same time maintaining day-to-day operations. 

In this final segment of a two part series, Edward O'Brien speaks with Corrections director, Mike Batista and Department of Corrections American Indian Liaison, Harlan Trombley, about a variety of topics including what,  if anything, can be done to stem problems associated with poverty and high drug and alcohol abuse rates:

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Corrections
1:58 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Corrections Department working to build bridges with Native American inmates

Harlan Trombley
MT Department of Corrections

This has been a busy time at the Montana Department of Corrections. Agency officials say they're working on a variety of projects and initiatives, while at the same time maintaining day-to-day operations. 
       In this first of a two-part interview, Edward O'Brien speaks with Corrections Director, Mike Batista and

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Yellowstone National Park bison
1:36 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Remote vaccination of bison not likely for Yellowstone Park herd

Credit NASA

Yellowstone National Park administrators say shooting wild bison with vaccine-laced "biobullets" to prevent the spread of an animal disease would be too ineffective to justify the expense.

Today's announcement means a program that's led to the periodic capture and slaughter of thousands of migrating bison will continue.
 
       About half of Yellowstone's 4,600 bison test positive for Brucellosis, which causes pregnant animals to prematurely abort their young.

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