Butte Montana

A lot of people know about the Berkeley Pit in Butte, but not many know about another significant pollution challenge in the Mining City. It’s called the Parrot Plume, and there’s controversy over whether it needs to be cleaned up, and if so, who would pay for it.

Is there a prettier or more unique stage then the Original?
Michael Marsolek

Neither rain nor hail could dampen the fun at this year's Montana Folk Festival in Butte. There was an amazing lineup of performers, and they delivered. Check out these photos and videos from the 2015 festival.

Montana Folk Festival
Courtesy photo

George Everett, executive director of the Montana Folk Festival joins Michael Marsolek to preview the 2015 festival. The festival runs from July 10-12 in Butte, Montana.

The Montana Folk Festival features multiple stages with continuous live performances by some of the best traditional performers in the nation, including Montana's finest, some of the region's best traditional artists, ethnic and festival foods, a lively family area, and folklife demonstrations and workshops that focus on a new theme each year that highlights Montana's heritage.

It seems fitting that every year, the second weekend of July transforms the "Richest Hill on Earth" into a collection of gems - not precious metals or glittering stones, but vibrant music, art, dance, and craftwork.

Fireworks Bans Spread Across Western Montana

Jul 2, 2015
Fireworks
(PD)

Fireworks bans are spreading across western Montana in the face of hot, dry weather, and high fire danger.

The City of Whitefish has canceled its 4th of July public fireworks display, citing a fire weather watch for Saturday, issued by the National Weather Service. The Weather Service says to expect high temperatures, low humidifies and gusty winds from the Flathead Valley, through Missoula to south of Dillon. Communities included in the fire weather watch include Eureka, Libby, Polson, Seeley Lake, Hamilton and Butte.

Known worldwide as the “Richest Hill on Earth,” Butte, Montana, lured immigrants from every part of the world to sweat in the copper mines that powered America in its Gilded Age. Dozens of writers celebrated this “wide-open town” with impassioned novels of the rugged souls who braved the western frontier at the edge of the Continental Divide.

Cherie Newman

When Aaron Parrett set out to make a list of the literature created in and about Butte, Montana, he discovered something surprising: Contrary to popular belief, Mary McLane was not the first novelist to come out of Butte. The first novel he discovered was published in 1880s by Josephine White Bates.

Carson Becker & Stephen Dobyns: Shades Of The Past

Mar 18, 2015
courtesy of NMSU

Playwright Carson Becker reflects on the legendary packs of wild dogs that used to roam Butte, Montana:

"Sometimes, before I fall asleep, I’m reminded: packs of wild dogs once roamed Butte. Itinerant and prodigal, without manners, culture or restraint. Shadowing this hill I slumber on with their restlessness, hunger and complaint. Somehow I miss them, though we’ve never met. For years they were ignored. Then an urgent injunction was decreed. Funds were found, resources wrangled, fears overcome. A local dog catcher was crowned, and feral canines were quickly put to rope, to cage, to sleep.

Eric Whitney

A couple of programs for senior citizens and children in Montana are facing a volunteer shortage. That could mean reduced federal funding if target numbers aren’t met.

"As of a couple of days ago we were about a dozen short," said Megan Grotzke with Rocky Mountain Development Council in Helena. "There’s a greater need for at this point for foster grandparent volunteers."

Butte's American Legion baseball teams are now $1 million closer to a brand new facility at Copper Mountain Park.

The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation and Montana Resources contributed a total of $1 million to bring a proposed $2 million American Legion baseball facility to Butte.

Northwestern Energy will chip-in $50,000; half of that in cash, with the rest in the form of an in-kind labor donation to install lighting.

Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive Matt Vincent predicts lots of people will attend night games.

MTPR Radio Theater

Feb 5, 2015

02/08/2015 - UM journalism professor Ray Ekness loves old radio plays. “I've always been interested in radio dramas going back to my days in college listening to War of the Worlds.”  Ekness produced two versions of War of the Worlds with an MTPR cast last year, one faithful to the original script and one very funny Montana version.

(Broadcast dates:  Sunday, February 8, 2015, 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 12, 2015, 6:00 p.m.)

UM journalism professor Ray Ekness loves old radio plays. “I've always been interested in radio dramas going back to my days in college listening to War of the Worlds.”

Regan deVictoria & Ed Lahey: Leaving Butte

Jan 28, 2015
courtesy of the Lahey family

"You come to Butte, Montana direct from seven exhausting years in the city, seeking solace, expecting blight, and finding home."  Missoula native Regan deVictoria fell for Butte "as you do a man with a harelip despite deformities, and later, because of them."

A new study on the probability of more landslides at the Berkeley Pit Superfund site in Butte will be made public soon.

Last week Silver Bow County commissioners got a tour of the Butte Superfund site, led by Steve Walsh, an executive with Montana Resources. That company is actively mining for copper and molybdenum at the Continental Pit in Butte, but has operations at Berkeley Pit as well.

From a point high on the Berkeley Pit’s rim, Walsh pointed out where the company used to be more active there until last year.

Christopher Allen

The 2015 Montana Folk Festival starts on July 10. To tide you over until this weekend, here's a great recap and slideshow about the musicians and the crazy art cars on display at last year's festival.

07/30/2014 - A record 175,000 people from all over the world traveled to Butte for the Montana Folk Festival in 2014. In it's fourth year, the 'Richest Hill on Earth' not only hosted a slew of internationally renowned musicians and visual artists, but unfurled its "Culture of the Car" celebration, demonstrating that folk art thrives everywhere. On the stage, the canvas, even the hood of a station wagon.

http://montanafolkfestival.com/pages/home.php

Montana Folk Festival Photo Gallery

Jul 14, 2014
Michael Marsolek

The 2015 Montana Folk Festival starts on July 10. Until then, enjoy these photos from last year's festival, and  tell us who you're excited to see this year.

Voices From Butte

May 22, 2014
Montanabw

5/13/14: This week on "In Other Words:" producers Ann Szalda-Petree and Clark Grant - himself a brand-new resident of Butte, MT * -  talk with four residents of The Mining City about its vibrant history and culture, and about the Berkeley Pit, the former open pit copper mine which is slowly filling with toxic water. Between conversations, you'll hear music by Clark Grant, Larry Hirshberg and Big Sky Revival.

When your lab class is 100 feet underground

Oct 8, 2013
Dan Boyce

Montana Tech mining engineering junior Krystal Martin and the eight other students in her lab class were taking turns using a heavy, pneumatic, jack-leg drill to bore six foot holes into a solid rock wall last Friday. It’s definitely louder than the average college lab course, and rather than crisp, white lab coats, students wear mud-soaked work boots, dust streaked faces and hard hats.

About 22,000 men worked the underground mines of Butte at the city’s peak, hauling 20,000 tons of ore back to the surface every day.

But, that was almost 100 years ago.