Helena

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."

Google Maps

A small airplane crashed into a Helena residential neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, but nobody was killed.

Helena Assistant Fire Chief, Ken Wood, says the single engine plane clipped a tree and crashed into a house and shed on Walnut Street, west of the Helena Regional Airport.

Wood says there was no explosion or fireball when the plane went down.

"No, we were very fortunate. There was limited fuel that leaked, very limited, no fire, no smoke. For whatever reason, the plane crashed and they were fortunate to get out."

The Helena Business Improvement District and Downtown Helena Inc

In small or medium-sized towns, "anchor" stores benefit many nearby businesses. Billie Shepard, owner for the last seventeen years of The Pan Handler Store on Last Chance Gulch in Helena, MT, thrives on supplying cooks with their tools and demonstrating how to use them. She also provides health insurance, sick leave and vacation pay to her employees and frequently helps pay for their training and education.

Eliza Wiley/Independent Record

Steve Browning went from self-absorbed teen to a lawyer working in high-level politics, law, and philanthropy. What caused the shift from self-focus to citizenship, and what was learned along the way?

Brian Kahn talks with Browning about all that and more during this episode of Home Ground Radio.

(Broadcast: Home Ground Radio, 8/12/14)

USDA

Federal agencies will be spending $865,000 dollars to help restore Helena’s primary watershed. 

The Ten-Mile watershed lies just southwest of the Capitol city and provides 80 percent of the community’s drinking water. 

The restoration is one of 13 projects across the country announced this week by the US Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service.

USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Bonnie unveiled the $30 million dollar partnership in Helena.

Dan Boyce

Helena’s C.R. Anderson Middle School was abruptly closed Tuesday after test results brought up elevated lead levels in areas of the building.

The lead found in Montana's largest middle school likely comes from the school's old basement firing range, which administrators say has been closed for about 20 years.

Dan Boyce

A smooth frozen pond sits in the middle of Helena--a skating rink for citizens’ use at Memorial Park.

The Helena Parks Department is starting a new program there to teach kids how to make their way around the ice.

The Helena Parks Department is holding these 30 minute ice skating classes at Memorial Park for the next five Tuesdays, starting at 6 PM.

flickr/jseattle

The City of Helena is asking for permission to trap and kill 70 deer next year that live in the city limits.

The state wildlife commission approves such requests.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce tells us Helena has been working for years to lower the population of these so-called urban deer.

Dan Boyce

The partial shutdown of the federal government is now stretching into its third day.

President Obama is now saying House Speaker John Boehner is the only thing standing in the way of reopening the government. Congressional leaders made no progress on ending the shutdown after a Wednesday night meeting at the White House. 

The Wall Street Journal reports about 800,000 federal employees remain on furlough. 

Dan Boyce

The CEO of Boeing said Tuesday the company is expanding its Helena manufacturing plant by almost 50-percent.

Jim McNerney said the $35 million dollar expansion will add between 20 and 25 jobs to the facility’s workforce, allowing for the building of parts for the company’s 787 Dreamliner.

McNerney announced the expansion at the Montana Economic Development Summit in Butte alongside Senator Max Baucus and Governor Steve Bullock.