Edward O'Brien


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

Ways to Connect

A client bedroom at the Assessment and Stabilization Unit (ASU).
Steve Jess

More Montanans with developmental disabilities will be moving into community-based care under a plan approved today in Boulder.

Feds Dismiss Tongue River Railroad Permit

The federal government has dismissed the permit for the controversial Tongue River Railroad. That’s the $400-million-dollar project that would have hauled coal from a proposed southeastern Montana mine that never got off the ground.

Water from a treated sewage holding pond at Big Sky leaks into the Gallatin River, March 3, 2016.
Courtesy Explore Big Sky/Outlaw Partners

State officials today released the third and final water quality report for the March 3 wastewater spill that polluted parts of the Gallatin River.

Officials wanted to know how pharmaceutical traces found in the sewage waste could have affected human and aquatic life.

The Montana Supreme Court hears arguments April, 22 2016 over the eminent domain case involving Mountain Water Company in Missoula.
Bree Zender

Montana’s Supreme Court today heard arguments in a case that will determine the future of Missoula’s water utility. The City of Missoula first tried to take ownership of Mountain Water Company by condemnation in the 1980s. Its current attempt that the court is now considering started in 2013.

Firefighters use hazmat pads to soak up leaking gas after the accident.
Courtesy Frenchtown Rural Fire Department

It may be a while before a 2,000 gallon gasoline spill is fully cleaned up outside Alberton.

Chris Servheen has been the government’s point man on grizzly bear recovery for 35 years.
Courtesy UM College of Forest & Conservation

The man hired to guide the federal government’s grizzly bear recovery program retires at the end of this month.

Mountain Water Company, Missoula, MT.
Cheri Trusler

The legal wrangling over the future of Missoula’s water utility moves to the Montana Supreme Court Friday. Montana Supreme Court justices hear oral arguments in that case at the University of Montana. The city wants to take ownership by condemnation of Mountain Water Company for the legally determined price of $88 million dollars.

Government data from 2012 through 2014 shows worsening air quality in many Montana counties including: Flathead, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Missoula, Ravalli and Richland Counties.
Josh Burnham

The American Lung Association says among America’s cities, Missoula’s air is the tenth dirtiest. That’s for a specific form of pollution.

March Precipitation Improves Montana's Streamflow Outlook
Courtesy NRCS Montana

Good rain and snow last month improved the streamflow outlook for most of Montana’s river basins. That’s according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bozeman. NRCS Water Supply Specialist Lucas Zukiewicz says this year’s snowpack and streamflow forecasts are generally much better than this time last year.

Montana Wildland-Urban Interface Parcels
Montana DNRC

The summer fire season is just around the corner, and a lifelong Montana firefighter says lots of homes in the area are at risk.