Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

Pages

Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act
5:59 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Supporters Of The Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act Celebrate

From left to right: Danelle Crary, Gene Sentz, Bonnie Crary, Connor Crary, Senator Jon Tester & Dusty Crary celebrate the inclusion of the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act in the must-pass Defense spending bill at the Crary's ranch outside Choteau.
Credit Courtesy Photo

People who worked to pass the Rocky Mountain Front Heritage Act celebrated on a ranch outside of Choteau today.

The Heritage Act was first introduced in Congress in 2011. Speaking to people celebrating on Dusty Crary’s ranch Thursday, Senator Jon Tester praised the hard work over many years before and since then that it took to put it together. It passed as part of a package of bills that were attached to a Defense spending bill.

Read more
Reporter On Scene
6:48 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Kaarma Trial Re-Cap

Celal Dede, father of the German exchange student shot by Markus Kaarma, speaks with the press following the announcement of the guilty verdict on Dec. 17 in Missoula, MT.
Credit Christopher B. Allen

MTPR reporter Christopher Allen recaps the Markus Kaarma trial and describes the scene in court when the jury delivered its guilty verdict on deliberate homicide charges.

Read more
Facing 10 Year Minimum Term
1:49 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Jury Unanimous: Kaarma Guilty Of Deliberate Homicide

Markus Kaarma in court in Missoula Tue., Dec. 17, 2014.
Credit Christopher B. Allen

At approximately 1:15 p.m. Wednesday the jury in the Markus Kaarma trial returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of the charge of deliberate homicide brought by Missoula County prosecutors.

MTPR's Christopher Allen was at the courthouse and reports "a mix of cries and smiles" in the courtroom after the verdict was read. 

Sentencing is scheduled for February 11.

Read more
Legislature Must Approve
6:06 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Tribes: New Water Compact Has Better Chance

Image courtesy CSKT

An attorney for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes says the latest compact governing tribal water rights has a better chance of passing the state legislature, than one that was rejected two years ago. 

Rhonda Swaney, says the biggest single improvement in the latest version of the tribe’s water compact with the state and federal governments is in its timing. The previous version was just introduced too late in the legislative session for lawmakers to deal with, she says.

Read more
New Wilderness And Energy Development
6:02 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Senate Passes Montana Public Lands Package Attached To Defense Bill

Bob Marshall Wilderness trail sign.
Credit U.S. Forest Service Northern Region (CC-BY-2.0)

The U.S. Senate has approved an expansive bill that adds new wilderness lands in Montana and blocks mining and drilling near Glacier National Park.

The measures were in a defense bill that passed 89 to 11 today.

The bill adds 67,000 acres to the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex. It also allows for a complex coal swap involving the Northern Cheyenne Indians. The tribe will get back 5,000 acres of coal deposits it was wrongly stripped of more than a century ago.

Read more
EPA Risk Assessment
4:44 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Hundreds Of Libby Properties Still Untested For Asbestos Contamination

Libby, MT
Credit libbymt.com

On Thursday the EPA wrapped up three meetings in Libby and Troy to tell people about the agency's new asbestos risk assessment. In a determination that people have been waiting years to hear, it says that, in general, it's safe to live in Libby now.
 

But it also says that, for people who live in houses that haven't been through an extensive EPA cleanup, the risk of getting asbestos-related disease is significantly higher.

Read more
Safe, but some risk remains
10:21 am
Wed December 10, 2014

EPA Presents Health Risk Assessment In Libby

EPA Toxicologist Deborah McKean presents data at a public meeting in Libby Tuesday evening.
Credit Eric Whitney

In Libby Tuesday, about 30 people came to hear toxicologists from the Environmental Protection Agency explain a health risk assessment released Monday.

Many locals who've followed the EPA's studies closely were already confident that there's now little health risk from living in Libby. Agency toxicologist Deborah McKean confirmed that things are very different following the half-billion dollar clean up of the town started in 2002.

Read more
Endangered Species Act
5:09 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Judge Halts Gallatin National Forest Timber Sale

Overlooking the Madison Arm on Hebgen Lake
Credit Mwest85 (CC-BY-3.0)

A federal judge in Missoula has called a halt to the 1,700 acre Lonesome Wood logging sale in the Gallatin National forest.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued to stop it under the Endangered Species Act.

Mike Garrity with the Alliance says the U.S. Forest Service didn’t adequately study how logging would affect threatened lynx and grizzly bears.

Read more
President's Executive Action
5:16 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Montana Joins Lawsuit Over Immigration

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has joined 16 other states in a lawsuit challenging President Obama's executive action on immigration.

Fox says the order, issued November 20, “is nothing but an unlawfully adopted legislative rule...and a clear violation of the separation of powers.”

Read more
Eight Bills In One
2:05 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Walsh, Tester, Daines Announce 'Landmark' Public Lands Legislation

Ranch along Montana's Rocky Mountain Front
Credit Flickr user SBebee

BREAKING NEWS: We're following up on this story and will have more on the air starting at 5 p.m. Below is the press release announcing the legislation issued this morning.

In a joint press conference today, Senators Jon Tester, John Walsh and Senator-elect Steve Daines announced a landmark legislative package that includes eight Montana-based lands and resources bills.

Read more

Pages