Montana News

North Fork
8:10 am
Fri January 31, 2014

A major step towards protection of the North Fork Flathead River

The North Fork of the Flathead River runs down from Canada, forming the western border of Glacier National Park.
Credit Katrin Frye

A major element for protection of the North Fork Flathead River Valley moved forward this week. Representative Steve Daines announced a bill that retires many oil and gas leases in the area unanimously passed the House Natural Resources Committee. The North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013 would restrict new mineral development in the North Fork of the Flathead.

This House bill mirrors one introduced by Senators Jon Tester and Max Baucus.

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Direct Flights to the Flathead
12:27 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Raising money to bring more flights to the Flathead

AERO is working to raise money to encourage airlines to invest in new, direct flights between the Flathead and major cities.
Credit Glacier Park International Airport

Competition is fierce to get airlines flying in and out of smaller communities. It’s especially tough to get direct flights from places like Kalispell to big cities like Chicago or Los Angeles. In the Flathead a non-profit group called Airline Enhancement and Retention Outreach, or AERO, is following in the footsteps of several other small communities to raise funds to bring in new routes. Chairman of AERO says it’s called a Minimum Revenue Guarantee or MRG.

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Max Baucus
11:36 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Senator Max Baucus on his legacy and likely high profile future

Senator Baucus showing Sally some of the pictures in his office

Montana Senator Max Baucus is having a nostalgic week. Baucus is expected to soon be confirmed by the Senate as the new Ambassador to China.

This week, he has had a confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a weekly morning coffee reception for visiting Montanans—probably his last—and a lot of interviews about the impending end of his near 40-year career in Congress.

News Director Sally Mauk sat down with the Senator in his D.C. office to discuss his new venture and his public service legacy.

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Jon Tester
12:52 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Senator Jon Tester discusses his longtime mentor

Sally interviewing Senator Tester

Senator Jon Tester will become Montana’s Senior Senator-- in only his 2nd term—once Senator Max Baucus is, as expected, confirmed as the new U.S. Ambassador to China.

News Director Sally Mauk is in Washington D.C. this week, interviewing both Senators about the transition.

In tonight’s feature interview, Sally talks with Senator Tester about his longtime mentor. Tester says he was star struck when he first met Baucus at an economic development meeting in Havre in the late 90s, just before Tester himself entered politics.

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Max Baucus
8:42 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Senate Foreign Relations Committee meets with Senator Baucus

Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester
Credit Sally Mauk

Senator Max Baucus spoke yesterday at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on his appointment to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China.

News Director Sally Mauk attended the confirmation hearing in Washington D.C.  and spoke about it with Edward O'Brien:

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Montana News
1:46 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

New CEO takes the helm at Montana Community Foundation

Mary Rutherford
Credit Montana Community Foundation

Montana's largest community foundation has hired a new Chief Executive Officer who brings almost 20 years of philanthropic experience with her.

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Brain injuries
2:31 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

University of Montana researchers win NFL and GE grant to continue brain research

UM researchers Sarj Patel, left, and Tom Rau, right
Credit University of Montana

Over 400 entries from 27 countries applied to participate in the first stage of the NFL and GE's "Head Health Challenge".  Sixteen organizations are receiving $300-thousand-dollars each for research on better diagnosing and treating mild traumatic brain injury.
       Two University of Montana researchers, Doctors Sarj Patel and Tom Rau, were among the winning 16 selected.

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Tourism
2:14 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Montana's got the scenery and the beer to lure cyclists. Now, about those roads...

Bikes line one of the walls at Montana Adventure Sports in Bigfork. The business has a bike focus, and is building a hostel catering to bike travelers.
Credit Katrin Frye

Beautiful scenery, hospitality, and beer are among the things that bicycle tourists like, and Montana has. The Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research recently came out with a study looking at the potential for the bicycle niche of the tourism industry. Wider highway shoulders and better rumble strip placement are what Executive Director Jim Sayer of Adventure Cycling called critical elements for the cyclo-tourists.

Adventure Cycling is a Missoula-based non-profit that’s worked over the last several decades to develop bike routes and encourage people to get out and peddle.

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Affordable Care Act
11:31 am
Fri January 24, 2014

40-thousand Montanans fall into Obamacare 'coverage gap'

Arlee resident Donna Mollica earns too much to qualify for Medicaid as it stands, but not enough to meet the criteria for Affordable Care Act health insurance subsidies

A ballot initiative which would expand Medicaid in Montana has run into a hang-up after the Attorney General’s office noted a legal issue with the proposal.

Supporters of the so-called “Healthy Montana Initiative” have filed a corrected version to the Montana Secretary of State’s Office.

This will shorten the amount of time the initiative has to gather signatures to be placed on the 2014 ballot.

Republican lawmakers during the 2013 legislature blocked passage of Medicaid Expansion, an optional piece of the federal Affordable Care Act.

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UM Budget Cuts
11:36 am
Thu January 23, 2014

UM coming up 9 million dollars short

View of University of Montana campus from the "M" trail
Credit Sally Mauk

As we reported earlier this week, the University of Montana must find another 9 million dollars to cut in the coming year - on top of the 6 million cut from this year's budget. President Royce Engstrom outlined the need for the cuts - and potential  money-saving steps - in a campuswide letter this week.

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