Montana News

New fire realities
2:28 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Facing our new fire realities a major challenge in the American West

Lolo Creek Complex fire
Credit Sally Mauk

In over three decades of fighting fire, studying fire and crafting fire management policy, Tom Zimmerman has seen a lot of changes in fire behavior and control. Zimmerman has worked with fire for the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S Forest Service - and most recently, at the  National Interagency Fire Center in Boise.

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Medicaid Expansion
5:38 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Supporters of Medicaid expansion initiative can begin gathering signatures

Supporters of an initiative looking to expand Medicaid in the state can now begin gathering signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

The Attorney General’s Office approved the Healthy Montana Plan this week after finding problems with earlier versions of the initiative.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says opponents still believe the measure violates the state constitution. 

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Blackfeet Reservation
2:39 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Where God Likes to Be

Credit Nicolas Hudak

A new documentary featuring three young people from the Blackfeet Indian reservation - all at a crossroads in their lives - debuts this weekend at Missoula's Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

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Pen Pals
12:44 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Crayons and construction paper meets cursive and stationary

2nd graders from Kalispell's Edgerton Elementary meet with pen pals from the Buffalo Hill Terrace retirement community for the first time on Valentine's Day.
Credit Mike Kofford / Kalispell School District 5

Teachers of a second grade class in Kalispell found a fairly old-school way to get kids excited about writing.

Pen pals.

Shelly Kennedy and Suzanne Elliott’s class at Edgerton Elementary School started exchanging letters with residents at the Buffalo Hill Terrace retirement home at the beginning of the school year.

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Megaloads
5:44 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Lawmakers ask if Missoula can charge fees to megaload shipments

State lawmakers are asking what rights local governments have to charge fees to megaload shipments moving through Montana cities and towns.

These vehicles carry enormous pieces of equipment, blocking traffic as they haul their freight often to the tar sands of Canada or the Bakken oil patch.

The legislature’s Revenue and Transportation Interim committee inquired into the fees Tuesday.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says the city of Missoula began charging them a few years ago. 

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Peace Corps
1:05 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

"Our mission is world peace and friendship."

Credit Peace Corps

Helen Lowman says service in the Peace Corps benefits everyone involved; and she should know - she's a former volunteer herself and the Peace Corps' former regional director for Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia. She's now the Peace Corps' Associate Director for Volunteer Recruitment and Selection.

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Walsh Appointment
5:52 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Bullock says he was not in touch with Democratic operatives on Walsh appointment

Gov. Steve Bullock, Lt. Gov. John Walsh and Walsh's wife, Janet on the day of Walsh's appointment to the U.S. Senate.
Credit Dan Boyce

Governor Steve Bullock said Friday he spoke to no Democratic Party officials ahead of appointing John Walsh to the U.S. Senate other than to tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the issue was “none of your damn business.”

This is in response to criticism from the state GOP, which has described the move as a political backroom deal orchestrated to help Democrats maintain control of the Senate in the 2014 election.

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Paycheck to Paycheck
2:51 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival premiere film showcases plight of women on the economic edge

Katrina Gilbert and family
Credit HBO

The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival kicks off tomorrow in Missoula and its opening night film - Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert - will be screened at the Wilma Theater and is free and open to the public.

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Aquatic Invasive Species
7:45 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Why you may see dogs at boat check stations this summer

Pepin, a Working Dog for Conservation, sniffs for scat in a recent demonstration.
Credit Katrin Frye

Pepin is an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois trained to identify about 19 different scents.

In a demonstration at the Flathead National Forest office he’s finding wolverine scat Megan Parker placed out there earlier in the day. Parker is the Director for Research, and also a co-founder of Working Dogs for Conservation. The Missoula-based group is in the Flathead to talk with the Flathead Basin Commission about how dogs like Pepin could help in the effort to stop aquatic invasive mussels and weeds from getting into the area.

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REAL ID
3:35 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Daines introduces bill to repeal federal ID mandates

Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT) introduces his "Repeal ID Act of 2014" Thursday in the state capitol along with Attorney General Tim Fox (R-MT)
Credit Dan Boyce

Montana Congressman Steve Daines announced plans Thursday to introduce a bill repealing portions of the 2005 REAL ID Act related to federally-mandated security protocols for driver’s licenses and other state-issued ID cards.

“In recent months, Montanans have become increasingly concerned about the federal government’s access to Montana’s personal information,” Daines said during a press conference in the state capitol building’s old Supreme Court chambers.

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