Helena Montana

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.

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".

Smoky air is Montana is forcing Montana's student atheletes inside or limiting their practices.
Josh Burnham

This year, fire season has collided with the school year all over the west, especially in northwest and north central Montana, where the smoke from blazes as far away as Washington has left the air loaded with particulates that make it unhealthy to breathe, forcing teachers and coaches to decide whether to send students out for recess or practice, or keep them indoors.

Fifteen miles outside the town of Lincoln, members of several "constitutionalist" groups including the "Oath Keepers" say they’ve helped prevent a confrontation between several miners and the U.S. Forest Service. The Lincoln County Sheriff contends there was no risk of a confrontation to start with.

Jim Schulz, Helena, MT
Clay Scott

This week on Mountain West Voices, we visit the class of award-winning biology teacher Jim Schulz, of Helena, Montana, on his last day of teaching before he retires.

(Broadcast: "Mountain West Voices,"  8/3/15, Monday afternoons, 4:53 p.m., or via podcast.)

Large ponderosa pine tree.

Historian Ellen Baumler recalls a stark piece of Montana’s haunted history, Helena’s Hangman’s Tree.

John Keene was the first recorded victim who breathed his last on Helena’s infamous Hangman’s Tree. The Murderer’s Tree, as it was first known, stood at the head of Dry Gulch. Those who knew it well recalled that the ancient ponderosa pine had massive lower branches that tangled in weird contortions. The branches, bleak and devoid of foliage, protruded some twenty feet from its gnarled, moss-covered trunk. Miners, needing to cut smaller logs for cabins, let it stand.

Sen. Daines at Chessman Reservoir with federal, state and local forest officials.
Steve Jess

Steve Jess is on the road, a few miles south of Helena, trailing a convoy carrying Senator Steve Daines and an assortment of local officials. They travel down about 20 miles of dirt road and the occasional cattle guard to a site just yards from the Chessman reservoir, where many of the surrounding hills bear the corpses of lodgepole pines killed by the mountain pine beetle.