MTPR

Eric Whitney

News Director

Eric Whitney is the news director for Montana Public Radio.

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Late last week Montana’s state health department announced that it’s severing contracts with four non-profit companies that help people with developmental disabilities. That’s due to the reduced state budget enacted by Governor Steve Bullock because of the state bringing in lower than expected revenue.

The health department says the 2,700 clients of those companies who will lose services due to the severed contracts will be taken care of by the department starting this spring.

To learn more about what the cuts mean, MTPR News Director Eric Whitney talked to the CEO of one of the four non-profits.

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The final tally for the number of Montanans who signed up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act by last Friday’s deadline are in, and they’re more than 90 percent of what they were last year.

"We’re happy with the numbers," says Olivia Riutta with the Montana Primary Care Association.

Widlfire smoke fills the sky in Seeley Lake August  7, 2017.
Eric Whitney

A new study says Montana lost close to a quarter of a billion dollars in tourist revenue this year due to a tough fire season. That’s based on a survey of tourists by the University of Montana's Institute for Tourism and Recreational Research.

"For every hundred visitors that came to Montana this summer, about eight to nine other visitors cancelled their trips because of the smoke," Associate Director Jeremy Sage says.

The Colstrip Power Plant consists of four separate coal-fired generating units, collectively owned by Puget Sound Energy, Talen Energy, Avista Corporation, PacifiCorp and NorthWestern Energy.
Beth Saboe

Governor Steve Bullock and Attorney General Tim Fox announced Thursday they’re creating an advisory group for Colstrip to help the area develop an economic impact plan.

Anna Whiting Sorrell is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and works for their health department
Mike Albans / NPR

Today, NPR’s Morning Edition aired a story about discrimination Native Americans face when trying to get healthcare in America. It included an interview with Anna Whiting Sorrell, a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

We’re going to follow up now by looking at some of the persistent myths about American Indians that get in the way of them getting healthcare.

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