MTPR

Butte Montana

Corin Cates-Carney

Doctors in Montana are cutting down on the amount of painkillers they’re prescribing in response to the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse, and that’s having some unintended consequences.

A sound check on the main festival stage at the Montana Folk Festival this afternoon
Josh Burnham

The Montana Folk Festival in Butte kicks off tonight. This year is its 10th anniversary, and it’s a significant boost to the Copper city’s economy.

Earlier today, staff at the Uptown Cafe were busy preparing for the expected dinner rush. Mary McAlexander, the manager said, “Business for us quadruples on this weekend from what it would normally be, so we love it.”

Roundup Of Fire Warnings, Restrictions

Jul 7, 2017
Firefighters near Zortman on July 5
InciWeb

Fire danger in northwest Montana forests has been moved to “high” ahead of a weekend forecasted to be hot and dry.

Managers on the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests are anticipating higher risk for fire starts as temperatures continue into the 90s and dead brush dries out. The “high” fire danger designation means fires can start easily from most causes.

The 2017 Montana Folk Festival is July 7-9 in Butte, Montana. Tune in to Montana Public Radio to hear music live from the festival Friday and Saturday.
Courtesy photo

There's a lot going on in Butte this summer, from the Big Bang fireworks extravaganza to the Montana Folk Festival, and even a Folk Feast, which is part fundraiser and part art event.  George Everett, executive director of Main Street Uptown Butte joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek to give you a preview of the summer fun coming up in Butte.

Donald Trump Jr. returned to Montana on May 11 to rally supporters for U.S. House candidate Greg Gianforte in Butte, Montana.
Corin Cates-Carney

Donald Trump Jr., the head of the NRA, and Republican candidate Greg Gianforte rallied supporters in Butte, Thursday morning, two weeks before voting ends in the special election to decide Montana’s next lone representative in the U.S. House.

When the race started, Democrats saw the May 25 special election as an opportunity for a referendum against President Donald Trump. But Trump Jr. promised the crowd of about 170 supporters gathered outside a mining equipment and supply store just south of Butte’s uptown, that this would be a referendum of a different kind.

Over 300 supporters line up in Hamilton before a Greg Gianforte, Donald Trump Jr. campaign rally April 21, 2017.
Rachel Cramer

Donald Trump Jr. will be making his second visit to Montana today, hitting the campaign trail with Greg Gianforte for a series of rallies across Montana. Gianforte is the Republican candidate vying for Montana’s U.S. House seat in the May 25 special election.

Olga Kreimer

On a sunny Saturday, while thousands were marching for science around the world, about 50 people gathered inside the Knights of Columbus Hall in Butte for a different kind of Earth Day celebration.

It was what 74-year-old Mary Kay Craig was calling a Butte-style wake.

“Well I’m Irish, so what am I supposed to say?” she asked.

Craig is with the Citizens for Labor and Environmental Justice and she organized the event, called Hope for Snow Geese.

Berkeley Pit bird cannon, Butte, MT
Mark Thompson/Montana Resources

The people who manage the Berkeley Pit want to use lasers and cannons to try to save lives of migratory birds. Thousands of geese were killed last fall in the poisonous water of Butte’s Berkeley Pit. It was an environmental catastrophe that Mark Thompson hopes is never repeated.

a sign on the door at KFGM
Nora Saks

"You got Big Crawdaddy here, it’s a little after 7:30. You are listening to KFGM Missoula ..."

That’s 62-year-old Michael Cuslidge, who says you can call him just plain "Crawdaddy." He's a local musician, and a music junkie. And once a week, he drives up from the Bitterroot to DJ his show, "From the Big Easy to the Big Sky."

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber.
Mike Albans

Last week, a citizens' environmental group in Butte presented new findings on levels of heavy metals contamination in Silver Bow Creek. Nora Saks talks to David McCumber, editor of the Montana Standard, about that study and about the Superfund clean-up going forward.

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber.
Mike Albans

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber joins MTPR's Nora Saks to talk about his paper's reaction to President Trump's gag-order covering several federal agencies like EPA and USDA. McCumber talks about how his newspaper plans to hold government agencies accountable.

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber.
Mike Albans

David McCumber, the editor of the Montana Standard in Butte, discusses three bills that cumulatively could make it more dangerous to drive in the state. He also discusses what the EPA nomination of Scott Pruitt by President-elect Donald Trump could mean for Montana. 

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber.
Mike Albans

As we recently reported, a big pile of old smelter waste in the middle of Butte is one step closer to being removed.

The state of Montana this month signed an agreement with mining company Montana Resources that could lead to the removal of the Parrot tailings; a 50-foot-deep-pile of tailings behind the Butte Civic Center. The Montana Standard reports the agreement is an important first step, but at least one major obstacle remains. David McCumber, editor of the Montana Standard joins us to explain:

Mark Thompson, environmental affairs manager for Montana Resources, standing above the Berkeley Pit.
Corin Cates-Carney

When 10,000 snow geese stopped to rest in Butte, in late November, the birds didn’t know they were landing in a toxic pit filled with acidic wastewater.

Hawk calls, intended to to scare away other birds, blare from speakers surrounding the pit.

Progress is being reported this week on a long-delayed effort to remove a 50-foot-deep pile of smelter waste in the middle of Butte.

The State of Montana has signed an agreement with Montana Resources that will allow for the removal of the Parrot tailings behind the Butte Civic Center:

The Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana, where thousands of migrating geese died this week.
Mike Albans

Last week, migrating snow geese made an ill-fated decision to take a break at the toxic Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana. The numbers of dead birds are now predicted to be in the thousands. Nora Saks talks to David McCumber, the editor of the Montana Standard to find out the details surrounding the mass die-off.

Newspaper: Butte Citizens Have Lost Faith In Superfund Talks

Nov 29, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Confidential Superfund settlement negotiations to clean up a century's worth of mining waste in Butte need to be opened to the public because residents have lost faith that the U.S. government will protect their interests, an attorney for a Montana newspaper said Tuesday.

Judge To Hear Arguments On Disclosing Butte's Secret Superfund Talks

Nov 28, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — An attorney for a Montana newspaper and an advocacy group will try to persuade a federal judge to strike down a 14-year-old court order that made settlement talks on how to clean up the nation's largest Superfund site confidential.

A photo from the "Butte. Elevated" campaign which aims to promote Butte and change some of the negative perceptions of The Mining City from the inside out.
Courtesy Butte. Elevated.

Butte, Montana is lending its Instagram account to residents in an ad campaign called “Butte. Elevated,” It’s an attempt to use social media’s power to promote Butte and change some of the negative perceptions of The Mining City from the inside out.

A Response To 'Opportunity, Montana,' by Brad Tyer

Nov 17, 2016
Beacon Press

Brad Tyer: Sacrificial Landscapes

I stare in wonder at a handful of bright turquoise bones gathered behind the CVS in downtown Butte. I came here to see them for myself, as I was told these bones have been dyed from copper sulfate leaching from the soil. I guess I didn’t believe our situation was that bad, but now I see. Up the hill from where I stand, massive gallows frames poke their heads from behind brick buildings; to my right, the East Ridge is exposed in a stepped face leading down an open pit mine. In my hands and surrounding me on all sides are the effects of my hometown’s mining past.

'Restore Our Creek' Unveils Vision For 'Headwaters Park' In Butte

Nov 7, 2016
Montana Standard Editor David McCumber.
Courtesy

A citizen's group in Butte Thursday presented a comprehensive, crowd-sourced vision for what they'd like to see happen in the contaminated corridor of Silver Bow Creek. MTPR's Nora Saks talks to Montana Standard Editor David McCumber to find out the details.

Berkeley Pit in Butte, MT
Flickr user Christopher (CC-BY-2.0)

On Monday night, the EPA presented its five-year review of the Superfund cleanup in Butte to a room full of frustrated residents and officials. David McCumber, editor of The Montana Standard talks to MTPR's Nora Saks about why the meeting got heated.

Groups campaigning for the expansion of renewable energy sources rallied nearly a hundred supporters in front of NorthWestern Energy headquarters in Butte, MT Oct. 10, 2016.
Corin Cates-Carney

  About 100 advocates for renewable energy walked through uptown Butte earlier this week, chanting and thrusting signs in the air. Some protesters kept time on wooden blocks, tambourines and drums, as they walked toward the state headquarters of Montana’s largest utility company, NorthWestern Energy.

Groups To Rally For Alternative Energy In Butte

Oct 7, 2016
A 2005 state law requires Montana utilities to buy a total of 75 megawatts of energy from small-scale, locally owned producers of renewable electricity from wind, solar, and hydro sources.
(PD)

On Monday, environmental advocates will protest in front of NorthWestern Energy’s Montana headquarters in Butte. The group 350 Missoula and others say NorthWestern isn’t moving quickly enough towards renewable sources of electricity. The rally is scheduled to start at 11:00 a.m. Monday at Emma Park in Butte, followed by speakers from the Montana Environmental Information Center and other groups in front of NorthWestern Energy’s headquarters.

Berkeley Pit in Butte, MT
Flickr user Christopher (CC-BY-2.0)

The Montana Standard is suing to make Superfund negotiations in Butte public after they've been veiled in secrecy for 14 years. Nora Saks speaks with David McCumber, the editor of the newspaper, to find out more about their lawsuit and why the state pulled out of the clean-up settlement last week.

Montana Standard Editor David McCumber.
Courtesy

Half a million gallons of flammable toxic sludge have been sitting just west of Butte since 1997. A multinational chemical company finally has the green light to clean up the site and mine the waste for profit. The Montana Standard has been covering the story. Nora Saks spoke with the paper’s editor David McCumber.

Community Groups Encourage Butte Gardeners To Share Their Bounty
(PD)

Gardeners in Butte are being encouraged to share their bounty this week to help honor the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

The service project, initiated by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, is called “Gleaning Gardens for our Community,” to provide food for those who don’t have enough to eat. 

Montana Wildfire Roundup For September 2, 2016

Sep 2, 2016
Distant smoke is visible from the Nez Perce Fire, located 11 miles northeast of Butte, on September 1, 2016
Inciweb

The latest news on wildfires around western Montana.

Plans to remove a 50-foot-deep pile of smelter waste in the middle of Butte just hit another roadblock. As the Montana Standard reports, it’s the latest in a series of setbacks for plans to relocate the Parrot tailings. Editor David McCumber of the Montana Standard joins us with the latest news.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For August 19, 2016

Aug 19, 2016
The Maple Fire in Yellowstone National Park burns through a variety of fuels on August 14, 2016
Inciweb

The latest on wildfires around western Montana.

Last Update: 10:00 a.m. 08/19/16

In Yellowstone National Park, five fires continue to burn over 10,000 acres. Some, like the 191 acre Boundary Fire and the one acre Thumb Fire, are being suppressed with teams of smoke jumpers and other aerial resources.

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