MTPR

Tim Fox

Michael Cotter, former U.S. attorney for the district of Montana.
U.S. Department of Justice

Montana’s been without a permanent U.S. Attorney for almost two straight months. Back on March 10, President Donald Trump fired all 46 of the country’s remaining U.S. Attorneys who had been appointed by Barack Obama.

Montana’s Mike Cotter was one of them.

Failed Legislation Means Uncertainty For Colstrip's Future

May 3, 2017
The Colstrip Power Plant consists of four separate coal-fired generating units, collectively owned by Puget Sound Energy, Talen Energy, Avista Corporation, PacifiCorp and NorthWestern Energy.
Beth Saboe

When Montana's 2017 Legislature adjourned on April 28, Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, ended almost right where he began.

At the session's beginning, he helped draw up several bills that would help his community, which is facing the impending closure of two out of four units at its massive coal-fired electrical plant. By the time lawmakers left the Capitol, many of the bills – aimed at easing impacts on jobs, tax revenues and real estate – were dead.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
Courtesy Montana DOJ

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced a new strategy to combat substance abuse in the state on the Capitol steps Wednesday afternoon.

Backed by law enforcement, lawmakers, and healthcare officials, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced an initiative his office is calling "AID," short for addressing the impact of drugs:

Kalispell Republican Enters 2018 Senate Race

Apr 11, 2017
State Senator Albert Olszewski announced that he'll challenge Sen. Tester in the 2018 Elections.
Montana Legislature

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has his first challenger in the 2018 Montana elections. Republican state Sen. Albert Olszewski said today he will run for Tester's seat.

Olszewski is an orthopedic surgeon who lives in Kalispell. He served one term in the state House from 2015-2017, and is in his first term in the state Senate.

Sen. Jon Tester.
PD

Yesterday Montana's Republican Attorney General Tim Fox sent Senator Jon Tester a letter, urging the Democrat to vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The letter comes as Senate Democratic leadership is urging a filibuster of Gorsuch's nomination. Time magazine says 35 Senate Democrats have pledged to vote to block Gorsuch, that's just six votes shy of the number needed for a successful filibuster. Montana Public Radio asked Tester how he'll vote on Gorsuch earlier this week.

The sun setting on Rock Creek in western Montana.
Josh Burnham

I’m standing on the bank of Rattlesnake Creek in Missoula, close to where it joins the Clark Fork River. The future of this creek and scores more across the state is in question in a new way now that President Donald Trump has issued an executive order. It seeks to overturn the so-called "Waters of the United States" rule that President Obama established in 2015.

The "Capitol Talk" crew reviews the first half of the legislative session and previews the budget and infrastructure debates still to come. They also look at the front-runners for each party's nomination to fill the state's vacant U.S. House Seat, and speculate about Tim Fox's political ambitions. Join Sally Mauk, Chuck Johnson, and Rob Saldin for "Capitol Talk."

Crystal Methampetamine, or "meth."
File photo (PD)

Montana lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, along with state agency workers and members of the public convened in Helena Saturday with one big problem to discuss.

"Without question, everyone in here, in this room, every citizen in this state, every resident of my community is affected by methamphetamine."

U.S. Supreme Court
PD

Montana’s U.S. Senators were quick to issue statements on President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court justice about an hour ago. Both Senators will vote on Gorsuch's confirmation.

Arial view of the Yellowstone River oil spill cleanup, Jan. 2015.
Courtesy Bridger Pipeline LLC

There’s a new plan to restore the Yellowstone River following a 2011 Exxon-Mobil pipeline rupture. The spill leaked 1,500 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone, harming fish and wildlife, and their habitat.

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