Montana News

All Families Break In
1:35 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Only clinic to offer abortions in the Flathead may not reopen

A message on the All Families Healthcare website says "closed for the forseeable".
Credit www.allfamilieshealthcare.org

The only medical office offering abortions in the Flathead Valley may not reopen after extensive vandalism shut its doors earlier this month. The man arrested for the break in is the son of a founder of a local pro-life organization.

All Families Health Care offers primary care by Physicians Assistant Susan Cahill.

“I take care of children, and geriatrics as well, men – they don’t come in as much, and women, they come in more often either because of their reproductive years, menopause, etcetera,” Cahill said.

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Tech Commencement
7:11 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Backlash growing over upcoming Gianforte commencement at Montana Tech

Greg and Susan Gianfore

Backlash is growing at Montana Tech in Butte over the choice of the school’s commencement speakers this Spring.

Opponents say Right Now Technologies founders Greg and Susan Gianforte promote extreme religious viewpoints and discriminate against homosexuals. A small group of students and faculty are considering a boycott of the ceremony in mid-May.

Tech is standing by the choice, citing the Gianfortes’ business success and emphasis on getting young people involved with computer science.

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Climate and Forests
12:39 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Acres burned by wildfire expected to double this century

Forest service research scientist David Peterson

Montanans are getting accustomed to smoky summers, as our fire seasons have gotten longer and more intense in recent years. Get ready for things to get worse. A recent report on the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems says the number of acres burned by wildfire will at least double this century. The report is part of a National Climate Assessment presented to Congress and the President. Forest service research scientist David Peterson is one of the three editors of that report.

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Medicaid Expansion
6:47 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Legislative Fiscal Division refutes Gov.’s cost estimate for Medicaid Expansion

The summary included with the fiscal note on Medicaid expansion submitted by the Governor's Office of Budget and Program Planning.
Credit OBPP

Governor Steve Bullock announced his support Wednesday for a voter initiative to expand Medicaid, called the Healthy Montana Initiative.

Medicaid expansion is an optional piece of the Federal Affordable Care Act, and Republican majorities in the Montana Legislature decided not to approve it in 2013.

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Solar Power
5:54 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Solar power installations continue dropping in price, pay off in under ten years in MT

Solar Montana Owner Jackson Isbell stands in front of his installation at Helena's River Rock Residences.
Credit Dan Boyce

The price of solar panels continues to drop, making them a more reasonable option for households.

Montanans are taking notice; solar adoption rates have been rising in the last five years.

A solar project just switched on in January at Helena’s River Rock Residences, a low-income senior housing complex operated by the nonprofit Rocky Mountain Development Corporation.

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Farm to College
3:21 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

More Montana-grown food ending up on University of Montana plates

UM Dining Services executive chef Patrick Browne, Sally Mauk, UM executive sous-chef Michele Loftus
Jerry O'Malley

Since 2003, the University of Montana's dining services have bought six and a half million dollars worth of food - everything from lentils to beef - from Montana farmers and ranchers, under the Farm to College program. The program was created out of a partnership between students in the Environmental Studies program and UM's Dining Services, and has grown every year.
    News Director Sally Mauk visited one of the Dining Services kitchens - and a new on-campus garden - to learn more about the program, and UM's increasing commitment to buying,  and growing, local.

 

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Flathead Lake Biological Station
10:30 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Flathead Lake water and weather monitoring buoys in dry dock

One of two data gathering buoys the Flathead Lake Biological Station has been operating since August of 2011.
Credit Katrin Frye

Two large, yellow buoys with “Flathead Lake Biological Station” stenciled on the side now sit on the shore beside the lake they’ve been collecting data on since August of 2011. These weather buoys were also measuring water quality and temperature, among other things.

The buoys were taken in to calibrate the instruments and replace the batteries.

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Coal Impact Funds
1:43 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Can coal train impacts at rail crossings be mitigated?

Credit Montana State Parks

Coal export-related rail traffic in Montana is rising and not expected to subside anytime soon. Pacific Northwest-bound train traffic can have impacts on communities, leaving some wondering why more can't be done to mitigate those inconveniences.  In this interview with Edward O'Brien, Montana Coal Board member Tom Towe talks about the options available to Montana communities.
       The Billings attorney is well-versed on the issue as he created the Montana Coal Tax, Montana Coal Tax Trust Fund and Coal Impact Fund some 3 decades ago:

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Flathead Water Compact
1:41 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

More asking for re-negotiation on Flathead Water Compact

Credit Flickr, Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ

More are calling for a re-opening of negotiations on the Flathead Water Compact, soon possibly including the state commission which helped craft the compact.

But the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes are holding firm with the current version.

The CSKT have been working on this agreement with the state and federal governments and private irrigators for at least a dozen years. It would settle disputes over how water is shared on the Flathead reservation.

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Future of Journalism
11:35 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Pulitzer prize-winning reporter says newspapers may be dying, but journalism is not

Bloomberg News reporter Bryan Gruley

Bryan Gruley is an award-winning mystery writer and a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter - and he's delivering the annual Jeff Cole memorial lecture at the University of Montana this evening. Gruley is now a feature reporter for Bloomberg News, after working many years for the Wall Street Journal. He was part of a team of Journal reporters who won the Pulitzer for their coverage of the 9/11 attacks.

In this feature interview, Gruley talks with News Director Sally Mauk about the enormous changes in the journalism profession - and about the challenges of covering 9/11.

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