MTPR

Helena Montana

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 Veterans Health Administration is holding an open house at the Ft. Harrison VA hospital in Helena tomorrow evening, from 5:30 to 7 PM.

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.

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.

C.R. Anderson Middle School in Helena is closed temporarily due to fire damage.
Dan Boyce

It’s a short school week for students at a Helena middle school that was damaged by a fire Monday afternoon.

Classes were canceled today at C.R. Anderson Middle School and won’t resume until Thursday at the earliest. 

Three Montana cities have passed school bonds for construction, including a $125 million bond in Bozeman to build a new high school and remodel the current one.

Sen. Tester hears constituent concerns at Helena town hall, March 17, 2017.
Nicky Ouellet

Montana’s Democratic Senator Jon Tester was in Helena Friday afternoon for an in-person town hall. You can listen to the full meeting at the bottom of this post.

Tester spoke for a little over an hour to a friendly crowd of 200 people at Helena Middle School. Town halls nationwide have become confrontational events for many members of Congress. Recently, Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines has taken heat for not meeting face-to-face with constituents back home. He hosted a so-called “tele-town hall” two weeks ago, which he says allows him to interact with more Montanans because people don't have to travel to participate in them.

Ryan Zinke's confirmation as secretary of the Interior spurred into motion a 10-day political tournament between more than a dozen candidates hoping to fill his now vacant U.S. House seat.
whitehouse.gov

Montana’s political parties are getting ready for a sprint race to fill the seat of former Congressman Ryan Zinke. Zinke was confirmed as secretary of the Interior Department for the Trump administration this morning. Shortly after, Zinke released a letter resigning as Montana's lone voice in the U.S. House.

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."

People in cities across Montana held rallies last week pushing back against President Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations. More than a hundred people cheered pro-immigration slogans in a Missoula park on Friday before marching to Republican Senator Steve Daines’ local office to drop off letters asking him  to hold a town hall discussion here.

Nurses across Montana campaign to prevent workplace violence for healthcare workers and emergency responders.
Courtesy

For nearly two hours this morning, lawmakers in Helena listened to testimony and debated the consequences of a bill that could change the penalties for attacking a healthcare worker. The bill James O’Hara introduced to the House Judiciary committee is 28 lines long, less than a page.  

Recently merged three-million-acre national forest requires a new management plan.
Forest Service Northern Region (CC-by-2.0)

The first in a series of nine public meetings on a re-write of the forest plan for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest happens tonight in Lincoln. Forest plans provide land managers with important long-term guidance, goals and standards. Think of them as legally-mandated land and resource mission statements for our national forests.

A previous women's political rally in Helena
Courtesy of Women's March On Montana

This Saturday organizers are expecting almost 4,000 people from across the state to gather in Helena for the Women’s March on Montana — an event organized in tandem with the national march happening on the same day in Washington, DC.

View of inversion over Missoula from Snowbowl
FLICKR USER, EVAN LOVELY (CC-BY-2.0)

Western Montana’s had some lousy air quality recently, but all that’s about to change. Missoula City/County Air Quality Specialist Ben Schmidt says the Missoula valley’s air quality started to degrade late last week

Radiolab Co-Creator Jad Abumrad speaking in Missoula Oct. 23, 2016.
Freddy Monares

Jad Abumrad, co-host and creator of Radiolab, visited Missoula for a couple reasons.

"I was especially psyched to be here because I passed through here about 20 years ago, and it was an amazing time. And I have some really good friends here. So I’m here just to talk about the process of making radio, but also just to catch up with a few people,” Abumrad said.

The Montana Department of Veterans Affairs is hosting a town hall-style meeting Thursday night in Helena. 

"The event is open to the public, so any veteran or family member, or member of the general public that just wants to learn a little more about what the VA provides are welcome to join us that evening,” said Mike Garcia, Public Affairs Officer for the Montana VA.

American Delta Party and Reform Party nominee Roque De La Fuente
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

A presidential candidate stumped in Montana today, for the first time since before the primary election. The American Delta Party and Reform Party nominee visited the Capitol this morning.

Eric Whitney

There's something unusual about how kidney dialysis is done in Helena.

Nationwide, more than 400,000 Americans have kidney disease so bad that they need regular dialysis – meaning they have to connect to a machine for several hours at least three times a week to clean their blood of toxins.

“They have to come at a certain time, so it's very scheduled, very regimented, and their time is not their own,” says Dr. Robert LaClair, a nephrologist, or kidney specialist at St. Peter's hospital in Helena.

Man Shot To Death In Helena, Suspect Being Sought

Jul 7, 2016
Man Shot To Death In Helena, Suspect Being Sought
(PD)

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Police in Helena say a man was shot to death and officers are searching for a suspect.

Democrat Denise Juneau and Republican Ryan Zinke
Denise Juneau: courtesy Bronte Wittpen; Ryan Zinke: William Marcus

Candidates for Montana’s House seat are calling for debates to challenge each other on key issues. But the campaigns don’t agree on when and where those debates should take place. Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke and Democrat Denise Juneau have both proposed dates and venues for debates.

Veterans Affairs logo
CC-BY-2.0

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is opening a Vet Center this fall in Helena. Unlike larger VA medical clinics, Vet Centers only counsel returning combat veterans and military sexual trauma victims.

A movement to block the potential resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state of Montana took to the steps of the Capitol for a rally on Monday.
Corin Cates-Carney

A movement to block the potential resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state of Montana took to the steps of the Capitol for a rally on Monday. It was the second high-profile event to voice such opposition within a week.

Campaign Finance Complaint Dismissed

Jan 29, 2016
Jonathan Motl, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices speaks during a forum in Missoula, MT
Josh Burnham

Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices dismissed a complaint today about campaign practice violations. Jonathan Motl ruled today that the complaint filed on behalf of the Montana Republican Party was similar enough to another complaint filed earlier in the year that it wasn’t necessary to charge again.

'Gruesome Playground Injuries' At Myrna Loy Center

Jan 3, 2016

The Myrna Loy Center presents Helena Theatre Company’s production of Gruesome Playground Injuries, by Pulitzer finalist Rajiv Joseph. A truly different kind of love story that spans three decades, during which an accident prone daredevil and a corrosive masochist navigate friendship, love, and the squishy parts in between.

Information and tickets are available at MyrnaLoyCenter.com.

Wind, Flooding Problems Across Western Montana

Dec 9, 2015
National Weather Service Missoula, MT

Severe wind and flooding was reported from all across the western parts of the state today. Helena seemed to be hit the hardest with wind.

Flag at half-staff. File photo
Edward O'Brien

All across the state, many people are taking some time to honor the sacrifices of America’s veterans. Steve Jess attended one of the services, in the capital city.

Public Domain

Wednesday morning, an estimated 150-thousand Montanans will dive under their desks, for the Great Montana ShakeOut, the state’s annual earthquake drill. The fact that Montana has earthquake drills at all probably comes as a surprise to some, according to Michael Stickney, director of the state’s Earthquake Studies Office at Montana Tech in Butte.

Helenan Falls Victim To Jury Scam

Sep 17, 2015
Concerned woman on telephone
Public Domain

People in Helena are being targeted by scammers who claim the Federal Courts want to arrest them for missing jury duty. At least one person in Helena has sent money to a PayPal account to settle a non-existent arrest warrant supposedly issued by the U.S. District Court.

Louise Ogemahgeshig Fischer in the smudging room with an eagle feather.
Steve Jess

Saint Peter’s Hospital in Helena Wednesday dedicated a new room where Native Americans can carry out a traditional healing practice called “smudging.”

Homeless people make us uncomfortable. We wonder what’s gone wrong, but hesitate to cross an unspoken line, or extend a helping hand. Family Promise, a faith-based initiative, does both. And it works. Nick Zullo, director of Family Promise of Helena joins Brian Kahn on this episode of "Home Ground Radio".

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