Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

Ways to Connect

Libby superfund map
US Environmental Protection Agency

August often means peak wildfire season in Northwest Montana, as thunderstorms spin off lightning strikes into forests that are dried out by a summer’s worth of heat.

And wildfires are especially concerning east of Libby, where the former W.R. Grace asbestos mine sits, surrounded by the Kootenai National Forest.

Commissioner of Securities & Insurance Monica Lindeen.
Eric Whitney

If you want to know why health insurance companies in Montana are asking for big price increases on some of the policies they sell here next year, there are some easy answers – but they only tell part of the story.

Coal ash waste at the Colstrip power plant.
Courtesy Alexis Bonogofsky - Montana Environmental Information Center

Three environmental groups settled their lawsuit from 2012 over coal ash pollution at the Colstrip power plant on Thursday.

Denise Juneau Officially Joins U.S. House Race
Corin Cates-Carney

Denise Juneau, the Democratic candidate for Montana’s seat in the U.S. House, says her opponent’s speech at the Republican National Convention last night shows he’s more focused on his own political career than the needs of Montanans. Rep. Ryan Zinke focused on national security and criticizing Hillary Clinton.

Harrison Fagg is a Montana delegate to the GOP convention from Billings.
Courtesy Montana Republican Party

Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke addresses the Republican National Convention in Cleveland tonight. His remarks will focus on national security and the need for American leadership in the world. Harrison Fagg is a party delegate from Billings; he spoke to us from the convention center earlier today.

Montana Hotel Anaconda
Eric Whitney

The Montana Standard is reporting that Anaconda and Deer Lodge County are on the cusp of signing an agreement with ARCO related to the ongoing Superfund clean up of the area. Standard Editor David McCumber joins us to talk about the agreement. Click on the link below.

Click here to read coverage on the Montana Standard's website. 

Gov. Bullock signs the Medicaid expansion plan into law on April 29 at the captiol. The bill's sponsor Sen. Ed Buttrey, and supporter Stephanie Wallace look on.
Steve Jess

Backers of Montana’s seven-month-old Medicaid expansion say they’re pleased with the first set of financial data released this week.

State figures say enrollment as of July is nearly double initial projections, at 47,399 of the 25,000 who were expected to enroll by now.

More than 47,000 Montanans have enrolled in the expanded Medicaid program state lawmakers narrowly approved last year. The state health department reported updated numbers to the legislative committee that oversees Medicaid expansion today.

The number of Montanans without health insurance has dropped by half in the last year. That's according to State Auditor Monica Lindeen.

There’s a public meeting in Pablo tonight about the proposed transfer of the National Bison Range to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
USFWS (CC-BY-2)

There’s a public meeting in Pablo tonight about the proposed transfer of the National Bison Range to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

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