MTPR

Nate Hegyi

Reporter

Nate is UM School of Journalism reporter. He reads the news on Montana Public Radio three nights a week.

The Montana-based producers of the movie “Unbranded” have a new documentary opening at the Babcock Theater in Billings this Thursday.

It’s called “Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story” and it's about a man who was struck with 2,400 volts of electricity and survived.

Dustin White, the Chippewa-Cree tribal water director, says it is one of the worst water shortages he’s ever seen on the Rocky Boy's reservation.

“I’m at the mercy of the weather right now,” White says.

Within two weeks, as many as 3,000 people could run out of water as relentless hot temperatures, a drought and a failed water storage tank cause water supplies to fall to critically low levels near the town of Box Elder in north-central Montana. 

Montana Supreme Court Temporarily Halts 'Marsy's Law'
(PD)

A group of Montana individuals and organizations is suing to stop a list of rights for crime victims, known as Marcy’s Law, from going into effect in the state on July 1.

Montana voters passed Marcy’s Law last November.

The M-44 consists of a capsule holder, a cyanide capsule, a spring-activated ejector, and a stake.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Three months after a predator-killing cyanide trap sickened a teenage boy in Idaho and killed his dog, the federal government is launching an expanded review of the devices.

Clepsydra geyser, Yellowstone National Park, lower geyser basin
Flickr user, Dawn Ellner (CC-BY-2.0)

A 21-year-old North Carolina man suffered severe burns after falling into a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Park officials say Gervais Dylan Gatete, an employee of park concessionaire Xanterra Parks and Resorts, fell into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin just north of Old Faithful late Tuesday. 

Black bear
(PD)

As anyone who's read Winnie the Pooh will tell you, bears love honey. But in Montana, that love of honey and hives comes at a cost. Every year, a handful of black bears are shot and killed by beekeepers across the state. And while it’s perfectly legal, some think the law needs an update.

Greg Gianforte
Courtesy Gianforte campaign

Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte will appear in court at 10 AM Monday to face a misdemeanor assault charge against a reporter.

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.
PD

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the shooting death of a male grizzly bear west of Whitefish.

Investigators with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks say the 4-year-old bear’s body was dumped over the Farm to Market Road bridge and into the Stillwater River sometime between May 25 and 28. It was then found downstream by recreationalists and retrieved by officials last Sunday.

Grizzly bears in the NCDE  have been roaming far east of the Rocky Mountains following drainages, streams and food into the tan waves of farmland stretching out from the forest edges of the Rocky Mountain Front.
Josh Burnham

State and federal wildlife officials are investigating the death of a grizzly bear east of Missoula near Bonner.

“This is an active, ongoing investigation and the service will share more information with the public when the circumstances of the case permit,” says Ryan Moehring, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Voters cast ballots at the Missoula County Fairgrounds, May 25, 2017.
Josh Burnham

Last night, the Republican candidate to fill Montana’s vacant U.S. House seat reportedly body-slammed a political reporter from international news outlet The Guardian.

Greg Gianforte was later charged with misdemeanor assault. But did the “body slam” affect how people are voting today? We sent reporters out to Bozeman, Missoula and the Flathead Valley to find out.

A float in the Helena Vigilante Day parade depicting the Madison Buffalo Jump has been criticized by the ACLU and others for its portrayal of Native Americans.
Courtesy Meg Singer

One of the longest-running high school parades in the United States has been criticized by the ACLU and others for its portrayal of Native Americans.

“This is racism, 21st century racism," says Meg Singer, a Helena resident and member of the Navajo Nation.

She says Helena High School students at the Vigilante Day Parade last Friday dressed in Hollywood-style Native American costumes with short skirts and other scantily-clad clothing.

An escalating trade war brewing between the United States and Canada could save timber mills in Montana, but at the cost of over 1,000 jobs north of the border in British Columbia.
(PD)

An escalating trade war brewing between the United States and Canada could save timber mills in Montana, but at the cost of over 1,000 jobs north of the border in British Columbia.

It all started in April, when the Trump administration slapped tariffs on softwood lumber coming across the border, making them up to 24 percent more expensive. It’s something Montana lumber producers have been asking for, and it’s a test of Trump’s ‘America First’ trade policy. 

PD

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s carefully and seriously considering a request from the premier of British Columbia to deny U.S. coal exports through Vancouver.

Nate McConnell, Kiondra Bullock's attorney
Montana Legislature

The Montana Human Rights Bureau has found a Kalispell company retaliated against an African-American employee who complained about multiple racist remarks made in the workplace.

TeleTech Services Corp. is accused of mishandling complaints of racism made by former employee Kiondra Bullock.

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument would be subject to review under President Donald Trump's executive order.
Bureau of Land Management

President Donald Trump signed an executive order today directing his Interior secretary to review the designation of dozens of national monuments on federal lands. Trump called the protection efforts "a massive federal land grab" by previous administrations.

PD

The largest and longest-running trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada may be coming to a head on Tuesday.

It could cause a big pinch for our neighbors to the north and it’s likely to drive up the cost of lumber for homebuilders and consumers in the U.S. But it could be a positive for Montana timber mills.

“It would put a little more light at the end of the tunnel for all of us," Gordy Sanders, a resource manager with Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake, says.

Two Medicine River, in the Badger-Two Medicine area.
Courtesy Gene Sentz

A Texas oilman is suing the federal government after they canceled his lease, along with two others, in the Badger Two-Medicine area south of Glacier National Park in Montana.

The area is a sacred site for the Blackfeet Nation.

Interior Secretary Halts Bison Range Transfer Proposal
Josh Burnham (CC-BY-2)

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has halted a proposal to transfer the National Bison Range into tribal control.

In an email to the Missoulian, Secretary Zinke says he is committed to not selling or transferring public lands, but hopes the tribes will, "play a pivotal role in our discussions about the best path forward."

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is updating the bison range’s comprehensive conservation plan and accompanying environmental impact statement.
(PD)

In Montana, the Nez Perce are an indigenous tribe who face strong opposition from some who see these hunting rights as unfair and out of sync with modern society. MTPR reporter Nate Hegyi spent a day with a Nez Perce hunting party to help understand the controversy.

A plow team work their way up the west side of Going-to-the-Sun road in Glacier National Park in 2015.
Corin Cates-Carney

Plowing began on the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park today. Though Lauren Alley, a public affairs specialist for the park, says it’s hard to say when the road will be entirely clear.

“That is always the question every year, how long will that take, and it really is variable year by year, it does take several months to get all that snow cleared off,” Alley says.

Dan West speaks at the MT Democratic Party's nomination for the U.S. House Seat.
Corin Cates-Carney

While Rob Quist was selected as the Democratic Party’s nominee to run for Montana’s open U.S. house seat on Sunday, there were seven other candidates who lost. Nate Hegyi has this profile of the youngest candidate in the race.

On Sunday, Democrats will gather in Helena to pick their nominee for Montana's special election for the U.S. House. There are eight candidates, including Flathead Valley rancher and musician Rob Quist:

Kimberly Dudik is the sponsor of a bill that would require the state health department to work with other organizations to develop a plan to prevent child abuse and neglect.
Mike Albans

The Montana House endorsed a bill Monday that would require the state health department to work with other organizations to develop a plan to prevent child abuse and neglect.

How to find your polling place, return your absentee ballot, or vote in person in Montana's special election:
Josh Burnham

Accusations of voter suppression are already flying ahead of Montana's anticipated special election. That would be held after Congressman Ryan Zinke vacates his seat, pending Senate confirmation of his appointment to become secretary of the interior.

A birds-eye view looking north into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
Josh Burnham

At a ranch near Seeley Lake Wednesday, U.S. Senator Jon Tester announced he is introducing the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act. The bill would protect nearly 80,000 acres of wilderness and develop a comprehensive trail plan to provide recreationists with access to the Lolo National Forest. This would include opening some areas to snowmobiling and protecting access for mountain biking.

Last week, both of Montana’s senators held virtual town-hall meetings to connect with constituents. Questions ranged from Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, to the Affordable Care Act and Russia.

Update 2/10 7:00 a.m.: Both lanes of I-90 between St. Regis and Lookout pass have reopened. Standing water on highways across western Montana. Drive carefully!

Update 9:20 p.m.:  The Montana Department of Transportation is reporting that the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 are now open between St. Regis and Lookout pass. The eastbound lane remains closed due to standing water on the road. Heavy rain and melting snow continue to accumulate on the road. Find the latest road closures and conditions from the Montana Department of Transportation.

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A proposal to federally recognize Montana’s Little Shell Tribe advanced a step in the U.S. Senate Wednesday.

The Senate Indian Affairs Committee unanimously approved the measure, which would also give the tribe 200-acres to use as a land base. Montana Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines sit on that committee.

Wuri, who only has one name, is a student and language teacher from Indonesia who attended the protest in Missoula Tuesday, October 11, 2016.
Nora Saks

Less than two weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order blocking all refugee resettlement from Syria. He also placed a temporary ban on refugees, visitors and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iraq. While that order has since been temporarily suspended by a federal judge, it has created an air of uncertainty for some of Montana’s recently-resettled Syrian and Iraqi refugees. 

Rep. Kim Dudik, D - Missoula
Mike Albans

A new bill would give Montana’s Child and Family Services Division more time to informally resolve child abuse cases before they are referred to the courts.

If passed, the bill would provide additional funding  for a child abuse pilot project passed by the legislature in 2015.

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